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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Don Quixote (36 of 448)

CHAPTER XIII. (CONT'D)

To which our Don Quixote made answer, "Sir, one solitary swallow does not make summer; moreover, I know that knight was in secret very deeply in love; besides which, that way of falling in love with all that took his fancy was a natural propensity which he could not control. But, in short, it is very manifest that he had one alone whom he made mistress of his will, to whom he commended himself very frequently and very secretly, for he prided himself on being a reticent knight."

"Then if it be essential that every knight-errant should be in love," said the traveller, "it may be fairly supposed that your worship is so, as you are of the order; and if you do not pride yourself on being as reticent as Don Galaor, I entreat you as earnestly as I can, in the name of all this company and in my own, to inform us of the name, country, rank, and beauty of your lady, for she will esteem herself fortunate if all the world knows that she is loved and served by such a knight as your worship seems to be."

At this Don Quixote heaved a deep sigh and said, "I cannot say positively whether my sweet enemy is pleased or not that the world should know I serve her; I can only say in answer to what has been so courteously asked of me, that her name is Dulcinea, her country El Toboso, a village of La Mancha, her rank must be at least that of a princess, since she is my queen and lady, and her beauty superhuman, since all the impossible and fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her; for her hairs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her eyebrows rainbows, her eyes suns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her teeth pearls, her neck alabaster, her bosom marble, her hands ivory, her fairness snow, and what modesty conceals from sight such, I think and imagine, as rational reflection can only extol, not compare."

"We should like to know her lineage, race, and ancestry," said Vivaldo.

To which Don Quixote replied, "She is not of the ancient Roman Curtii, Caii, or Scipios, nor of the modern Colonnas or Orsini, nor of the Moncadas or Requesenes of Catalonia, nor yet of the Rebellas or Villanovas of Valencia; Palafoxes, Nuzas, Rocabertis, Corellas, Lunas, Alagones, Urreas, Foces, or Gurreas of Aragon; Cerdas, Manriques, Mendozas, or Guzmans of Castile; Alencastros, Pallas, or Meneses of Portugal; but she is of those of El Toboso of La Mancha, a lineage that though modern, may furnish a source of gentle blood for the most illustrious families of the ages that are to come, and this let none dispute with me save on the condition that Zerbino placed at the foot of the trophy of Orlando's arms, saying,

'These let none move Who dareth not his might with Roland prove.'"

"Although mine is of the Cachopins of Laredo," said the traveller, "I will not venture to compare it with that of El Toboso of La Mancha, though, to tell the truth, no such surname has until now ever reached my ears."

"What!" said Don Quixote, "has that never reached them?"

The rest of the party went along listening with great attention to the conversation of the pair, and even the very goatherds and shepherds perceived how exceedingly out of his wits our Don Quixote was. Sancho Panza alone thought that what his master said was the truth, knowing who he was and having known him from his birth; and all that he felt any difficulty in believing was that about the fair Dulcinea del Toboso, because neither any such name nor any such princess had ever come to his knowledge though he lived so close to El Toboso. They were going along conversing in this way, when they saw descending a gap between two high mountains some twenty shepherds, all clad in sheepskins of black wool, and crowned with garlands which, as afterwards appeared, were, some of them of yew, some of cypress.
Six of the number were carrying a bier covered with a great variety of flowers and branches, on seeing which one of the goatherds said, "Those who come there are the bearers of Chrysostom's body, and the foot of that mountain is the place where he ordered them to bury him." They therefore made haste to reach the spot, and did so by the time those who came had laid the bier upon the ground, and four of them with sharp pickaxes were digging a grave by the side of a hard rock. They greeted each other courteously, and then Don Quixote and those who accompanied him turned to examine the bier, and on it, covered with flowers, they saw a dead body in the dress of a shepherd, to all appearance of one thirty years of age, and showing even in death that in life he had been of comely features and gallant bearing.
Around him on the bier itself were laid some books, and several papers open and folded; and those who were looking on as well as those who were opening the grave and all the others who were there preserved a strange silence, until one of those who had borne the body said to another, "Observe carefully, Ambrosia if this is the place Chrysostom spoke of, since you are anxious that what he directed in his will should be so strictly complied with."

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The Cure for Silence.

The Cure for Silence.

How She Evolved.

Posted: 28 Jun 2007 02:00 PM CDT

What happened to my favorite Swedish pop star?

One of the many artists that captured my little musical attention is Swedish pop star Robyn, whose debut album [Robyn is Here] dominated my stereo back in my early teens until the day that I had to sell it. However, within the past ten years of discovering other great artists, I have failed to keep up with her and her music. I wonder: does she still make the same type of music that captured me ten years ago? To confirm her consistency, I have two of her well known singles: one is a classic from 1997 (my personal favorite), and the other one is a release of this year.

Wish her a luck...



"Show Me Love" (1997)

VS.

"Konichiwa Bitches" (2007)



The verdict: I miss the old Robyn.



Happy Watching!

Don Quixote (50 of 448)

CHAPTER XVII. (CONT'D)

The ill-luck of the unfortunate Sancho so ordered it that among the company in the inn there were four woolcarders from Segovia, three needle-makers from the Colt of Cordova, and two lodgers from the Fair of Seville, lively fellows, tender-hearted, fond of a joke, and playful, who, almost as if instigated and moved by a common impulse, made up to Sancho and dismounted him from his ass, while one of them went in for the blanket of the host's bed; but on flinging him into it they looked up, and seeing that the ceiling was somewhat lower what they required for their work, they decided upon going out into the yard, which was bounded by the sky, and there, putting Sancho in the middle of the blanket, they began to raise him high, making sport with him as they would with a dog at Shrovetide.

The cries of the poor blanketed wretch were so loud that they reached the ears of his master, who, halting to listen attentively, was persuaded that some new adventure was coming, until he clearly perceived that it was his squire who uttered them. Wheeling about he came up to the inn with a laborious gallop, and finding it shut went round it to see if he could find some way of getting in; but as soon as he came to the wall of the yard, which was not very high, he discovered the game that was being played with his squire. He saw him rising and falling in the air with such grace and nimbleness that, had his rage allowed him, it is my belief he would have laughed.
He tried to climb from his horse on to the top of the wall, but he was so bruised and battered that he could not even dismount; and so from the back of his horse he began to utter such maledictions and objurgations against those who were blanketing Sancho as it would be impossible to write down accurately: they, however, did not stay their laughter or their work for this, nor did the flying Sancho cease his lamentations, mingled now with threats, now with entreaties but all to little purpose, or none at all, until from pure weariness they left off. They then brought him his ass, and mounting him on top of it they put his jacket round him; and the compassionate Maritornes, seeing him so exhausted, thought fit to refresh him with a jug of water, and that it might be all the cooler she fetched it from the well.
Sancho took it, and as he was raising it to his mouth he was stopped by the cries of his master exclaiming, "Sancho, my son, drink not water; drink it not, my son, for it will kill thee; see, here I have the blessed balsam (and he held up the flask of liquor), and with drinking two drops of it thou wilt certainly be restored."

At these words Sancho turned his eyes asquint, and in a still louder voice said, "Can it be your worship has forgotten that I am not a knight, or do you want me to end by vomiting up what bowels I have left after last night? Keep your liquor in the name of all the devils, and leave me to myself!" and at one and the same instant he left off talking and began drinking; but as at the first sup he perceived it was water he did not care to go on with it, and begged Maritornes to fetch him some wine, which she did with right good will, and paid for it with her own money; for indeed they say of her that, though she was in that line of life, there was some faint and distant resemblance to a Christian about her. When Sancho had done drinking he dug his heels into his ass, and the gate of the inn being thrown open he passed out very well pleased at having paid nothing and carried his point, though it had been at the expense of his usual sureties, his shoulders.
It is true that the innkeeper detained his alforjas in payment of what was owing to him, but Sancho took his departure in such a flurry that he never missed them. The innkeeper, as soon as he saw him off, wanted to bar the gate close, but the blanketers would not agree to it, for they were fellows who would not have cared two farthings for Don Quixote, even had he been really one of the knights-errant of the Round Table.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Don Quixote (91 of 448)

CHAPTER XXV. (CONT'D)

"I have before now told thee many times, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that thou art a mighty great chatterer, and that with a blunt wit thou art always striving at sharpness; but to show thee what a fool thou art and how rational I am, I would have thee listen to a short story.
Thou must know that a certain widow, fair, young, independent, and rich, and above all free and easy, fell in love with a sturdy strapping young lay-brother; his superior came to know of it, and one day said to the worthy widow by way of brotherly remonstrance, 'I am surprised, senora, and not without good reason, that a woman of such high standing, so fair, and so rich as you are, should have fallen in love with such a mean, low, stupid fellow as So-and-so, when in this house there are so many masters, graduates, and divinity students from among whom you might choose as if they were a lot of pears, saying this one I'll take, that I won't take;' but she replied to him with great sprightliness and candour, 'My dear sir, you are very much mistaken, and your ideas are very old-fashioned, if you think that I have made a bad choice in So-and-so, fool as he seems; because for all I want with him he knows as much and more philosophy than Aristotle.
' In the same way, Sancho, for all I want with Dulcinea del Toboso she is just as good as the most exalted princess on earth. It is not to be supposed that all those poets who sang the praises of ladies under the fancy names they give them, had any such mistresses.
Thinkest thou that the Amarillises, the Phillises, the Sylvias, the Dianas, the Galateas, the Filidas, and all the rest of them, that the books, the ballads, the barber's shops, the theatres are full of, were really and truly ladies of flesh and blood, and mistresses of those that glorify and have glorified them? Nothing of the kind; they only invent them for the most part to furnish a subject for their verses, and that they may pass for lovers, or for men valiant enough to be so; and so it suffices me to think and believe that the good Aldonza Lorenzo is fair and virtuous; and as to her pedigree it is very little matter, for no one will examine into it for the purpose of conferring any order upon her, and I, for my part, reckon her the most exalted princess in the world.
For thou shouldst know, Sancho, if thou dost not know, that two things alone beyond all others are incentives to love, and these are great beauty and a good name, and these two things are to be found in Dulcinea in the highest degree, for in beauty no one equals her and in good name few approach her; and to put the whole thing in a nutshell, I persuade myself that all I say is as I say, neither more nor less, and I picture her in my imagination as I would have her to be, as well in beauty as in condition; Helen approaches her not nor does Lucretia come up to her, nor any other of the famous women of times past, Greek, Barbarian, or Latin; and let each say what he will, for if in this I am taken to task by the ignorant, I shall not be censured by the critical."

"I say that your worship is entirely right," said Sancho, "and that I am an ass. But I know not how the name of ass came into my mouth, for a rope is not to be mentioned in the house of him who has been hanged; but now for the letter, and then, God be with you, I am off."

Don Quixote took out the note-book, and, retiring to one side, very deliberately began to write the letter, and when he had finished it he called to Sancho, saying he wished to read it to him, so that he might commit it to memory, in case of losing it on the road; for with evil fortune like his anything might be apprehended. To which Sancho replied, "Write it two or three times there in the book and give it to me, and I will carry it very carefully, because to expect me to keep it in my memory is all nonsense, for I have such a bad one that I often forget my own name; but for all that repeat it to me, as I shall like to hear it, for surely it will run as if it was in print."

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Don Quixote (90 of 448)

CHAPTER XXV. (CONT'D)

"It was worse losing the ass," replied Sancho, "for with him lint and all were lost; but I beg of your worship not to remind me again of that accursed liquor, for my soul, not to say my stomach, turns at hearing the very name of it; and I beg of you, too, to reckon as past the three days you allowed me for seeing the mad things you do, for I take them as seen already and pronounced upon, and I will tell wonderful stories to my lady; so write the letter and send me off at once, for I long to return and take your worship out of this purgatory where I am leaving you."

"Purgatory dost thou call it, Sancho?" said Don Quixote, "rather call it hell, or even worse if there be anything worse."

"For one who is in hell," said Sancho, "nulla est retentio, as I have heard say."

"I do not understand what retentio means," said Don Quixote.

"Retentio," answered Sancho, "means that whoever is in hell never comes nor can come out of it, which will be the opposite case with your worship or my legs will be idle, that is if I have spurs to enliven Rocinante: let me once get to El Toboso and into the presence of my lady Dulcinea, and I will tell her such things of the follies and madnesses (for it is all one) that your worship has done and is still doing, that I will manage to make her softer than a glove though I find her harder than a cork tree; and with her sweet and honeyed answer I will come back through the air like a witch, and take your worship out of this purgatory that seems to be hell but is not, as there is hope of getting out of it; which, as I have said, those in hell have not, and I believe your worship will not say anything to the contrary."

"That is true," said he of the Rueful Countenance, "but how shall we manage to write the letter?"

"And the ass-colt order too," added Sancho.

"All shall be included," said Don Quixote; "and as there is no paper, it would be well done to write it on the leaves of trees, as the ancients did, or on tablets of wax; though that would be as hard to find just now as paper. But it has just occurred to me how it may be conveniently and even more than conveniently written, and that is in the note-book that belonged to Cardenio, and thou wilt take care to have it copied on paper, in a good hand, at the first village thou comest to where there is a schoolmaster, or if not, any sacristan will copy it; but see thou give it not to any notary to copy, for they write a law hand that Satan could not make out."

"But what is to be done about the signature?" said Sancho.

"The letters of Amadis were never signed," said Don Quixote.

"That is all very well," said Sancho, "but the order must needs be signed, and if it is copied they will say the signature is false, and I shall be left without ass-colts."

"The order shall go signed in the same book," said Don Quixote, "and on seeing it my niece will make no difficulty about obeying it; as to the loveletter thou canst put by way of signature, 'Yours till death, the Knight of the Rueful Countenance.' And it will be no great matter if it is in some other person's hand, for as well as I recollect Dulcinea can neither read nor write, nor in the whole course of her life has she seen handwriting or letter of mine, for my love and hers have been always platonic, not going beyond a modest look, and even that so seldom that I can safely swear I have not seen her four times in all these twelve years I have been loving her more than the light of these eyes that the earth will one day devour; and perhaps even of those four times she has not once perceived that I was looking at her: such is the retirement and seclusion in which her father Lorenzo Corchuelo and her mother Aldonza Nogales have brought her up."

"So, so!" said Sancho; "Lorenzo Corchuelo's daughter is the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, otherwise called Aldonza Lorenzo?"

"She it is," said Don Quixote, "and she it is that is worthy to be lady of the whole universe."

"I know her well," said Sancho, "and let me tell you she can fling a crowbar as well as the lustiest lad in all the town. Giver of all good! but she is a brave lass, and a right and stout one, and fit to be helpmate to any knight-errant that is or is to be, who may make her his lady: the whoreson wench, what sting she has and what a voice! I can tell you one day she posted herself on the top of the belfry of the village to call some labourers of theirs that were in a ploughed field of her father's, and though they were better than half a league off they heard her as well as if they were at the foot of the tower; and the best of her is that she is not a bit prudish, for she has plenty of affability, and jokes with everybody, and has a grin and a jest for everything.
So, Sir Knight of the Rueful Countenance, I say you not only may and ought to do mad freaks for her sake, but you have a good right to give way to despair and hang yourself; and no one who knows of it but will say you did well, though the devil should take you; and I wish I were on my road already, simply to see her, for it is many a day since I saw her, and she must be altered by this time, for going about the fields always, and the sun and the air spoil women's looks greatly. But I must own the truth to your worship, Senor Don Quixote; until now I have been under a great mistake, for I believed truly and honestly that the lady Dulcinea must be some princess your worship was in love with, or some person great enough to deserve the rich presents you have sent her, such as the Biscayan and the galley slaves, and many more no doubt, for your worship must have won many victories in the time when I was not yet your squire.
But all things considered, what good can it do the lady Aldonza Lorenzo, I mean the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, to have the vanquished your worship sends or will send coming to her and going down on their knees before her? Because may be when they came she'd be hackling flax or threshing on the threshing floor, and they'd be ashamed to see her, and she'd laugh, or resent the present."

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Don Quixote (89 of 448)

CHAPTER XXV. (CONT'D)

"This is the place, oh, ye heavens, that I select and choose for bewailing the misfortune in which ye yourselves have plunged me: this is the spot where the overflowings of mine eyes shall swell the waters of yon little brook, and my deep and endless sighs shall stir unceasingly the leaves of these mountain trees, in testimony and token of the pain my persecuted heart is suffering.
Oh, ye rural deities, whoever ye be that haunt this lone spot, give ear to the complaint of a wretched lover whom long absence and brooding jealousy have driven to bewail his fate among these wilds and complain of the hard heart of that fair and ungrateful one, the end and limit of all human beauty! Oh, ye wood nymphs and dryads, that dwell in the thickets of the forest, so may the nimble wanton satyrs by whom ye are vainly wooed never disturb your sweet repose, help me to lament my hard fate or at least weary not at listening to it! Oh, Dulcinea del Toboso, day of my night, glory of my pain, guide of my path, star of my fortune, so may Heaven grant thee in full all thou seekest of it, bethink thee of the place and condition to which absence from thee has brought me, and make that return in kindness that is due to my fidelity!
Oh, lonely trees, that from this day forward shall bear me company in my solitude, give me some sign by the gentle movement of your boughs that my presence is not distasteful to you! Oh, thou, my squire, pleasant companion in my prosperous and adverse fortunes, fix well in thy memory what thou shalt see me do here, so that thou mayest relate and report it to the sole cause of all," and so saying he dismounted from Rocinante, and in an instant relieved him of saddle and bridle, and giving him a slap on the croup, said, "He gives thee freedom who is bereft of it himself, oh steed as excellent in deed as thou art unfortunate in thy lot; begone where thou wilt, for thou bearest written on thy forehead that neither Astolfo's hippogriff, nor the famed Frontino that cost Bradamante so dear, could equal thee in speed."

Seeing this Sancho said, "Good luck to him who has saved us the trouble of stripping the pack-saddle off Dapple! By my faith he would not have gone without a slap on the croup and something said in his praise; though if he were here I would not let anyone strip him, for there would be no occasion, as he had nothing of the lover or victim of despair about him, inasmuch as his master, which I was while it was God's pleasure, was nothing of the sort; and indeed, Sir Knight of the Rueful Countenance, if my departure and your worship's madness are to come off in earnest, it will be as well to saddle Rocinante again in order that he may supply the want of Dapple, because it will save me time in going and returning: for if I go on foot I don't know when I shall get there or when I shall get back, as I am, in truth, a bad walker."

"I declare, Sancho," returned Don Quixote, "it shall be as thou wilt, for thy plan does not seem to me a bad one, and three days hence thou wilt depart, for I wish thee to observe in the meantime what I do and say for her sake, that thou mayest be able to tell it."

"But what more have I to see besides what I have seen?" said Sancho.

"Much thou knowest about it!" said Don Quixote. "I have now got to tear up my garments, to scatter about my armour, knock my head against these rocks, and more of the same sort of thing, which thou must witness."

"For the love of God," said Sancho, "be careful, your worship, how you give yourself those knocks on the head, for you may come across such a rock, and in such a way, that the very first may put an end to the whole contrivance of this penance; and I should think, if indeed knocks on the head seem necessary to you, and this business cannot be done without them, you might be content--as the whole thing is feigned, and counterfeit, and in joke--you might be content, I say, with giving them to yourself in the water, or against something soft, like cotton; and leave it all to me; for I'll tell my lady that your worship knocked your head against a point of rock harder than a diamond."

"I thank thee for thy good intentions, friend Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "but I would have thee know that all these things I am doing are not in joke, but very much in earnest, for anything else would be a transgression of the ordinances of chivalry, which forbid us to tell any lie whatever under the penalties due to apostasy; and to do one thing instead of another is just the same as lying; so my knocks on the head must be real, solid, and valid, without anything sophisticated or fanciful about them, and it will be needful to leave me some lint to dress my wounds, since fortune has compelled us to do without the balsam we lost."

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Don Quixote (36 of 448)

CHAPTER XIII. (CONT'D)

To which our Don Quixote made answer, "Sir, one solitary swallow does not make summer; moreover, I know that knight was in secret very deeply in love; besides which, that way of falling in love with all that took his fancy was a natural propensity which he could not control. But, in short, it is very manifest that he had one alone whom he made mistress of his will, to whom he commended himself very frequently and very secretly, for he prided himself on being a reticent knight."

"Then if it be essential that every knight-errant should be in love," said the traveller, "it may be fairly supposed that your worship is so, as you are of the order; and if you do not pride yourself on being as reticent as Don Galaor, I entreat you as earnestly as I can, in the name of all this company and in my own, to inform us of the name, country, rank, and beauty of your lady, for she will esteem herself fortunate if all the world knows that she is loved and served by such a knight as your worship seems to be."

At this Don Quixote heaved a deep sigh and said, "I cannot say positively whether my sweet enemy is pleased or not that the world should know I serve her; I can only say in answer to what has been so courteously asked of me, that her name is Dulcinea, her country El Toboso, a village of La Mancha, her rank must be at least that of a princess, since she is my queen and lady, and her beauty superhuman, since all the impossible and fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her; for her hairs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her eyebrows rainbows, her eyes suns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her teeth pearls, her neck alabaster, her bosom marble, her hands ivory, her fairness snow, and what modesty conceals from sight such, I think and imagine, as rational reflection can only extol, not compare."

"We should like to know her lineage, race, and ancestry," said Vivaldo.

To which Don Quixote replied, "She is not of the ancient Roman Curtii, Caii, or Scipios, nor of the modern Colonnas or Orsini, nor of the Moncadas or Requesenes of Catalonia, nor yet of the Rebellas or Villanovas of Valencia; Palafoxes, Nuzas, Rocabertis, Corellas, Lunas, Alagones, Urreas, Foces, or Gurreas of Aragon; Cerdas, Manriques, Mendozas, or Guzmans of Castile; Alencastros, Pallas, or Meneses of Portugal; but she is of those of El Toboso of La Mancha, a lineage that though modern, may furnish a source of gentle blood for the most illustrious families of the ages that are to come, and this let none dispute with me save on the condition that Zerbino placed at the foot of the trophy of Orlando's arms, saying,

'These let none move Who dareth not his might with Roland prove.'"

"Although mine is of the Cachopins of Laredo," said the traveller, "I will not venture to compare it with that of El Toboso of La Mancha, though, to tell the truth, no such surname has until now ever reached my ears."

"What!" said Don Quixote, "has that never reached them?"

The rest of the party went along listening with great attention to the conversation of the pair, and even the very goatherds and shepherds perceived how exceedingly out of his wits our Don Quixote was. Sancho Panza alone thought that what his master said was the truth, knowing who he was and having known him from his birth; and all that he felt any difficulty in believing was that about the fair Dulcinea del Toboso, because neither any such name nor any such princess had ever come to his knowledge though he lived so close to El Toboso. They were going along conversing in this way, when they saw descending a gap between two high mountains some twenty shepherds, all clad in sheepskins of black wool, and crowned with garlands which, as afterwards appeared, were, some of them of yew, some of cypress.
Six of the number were carrying a bier covered with a great variety of flowers and branches, on seeing which one of the goatherds said, "Those who come there are the bearers of Chrysostom's body, and the foot of that mountain is the place where he ordered them to bury him." They therefore made haste to reach the spot, and did so by the time those who came had laid the bier upon the ground, and four of them with sharp pickaxes were digging a grave by the side of a hard rock. They greeted each other courteously, and then Don Quixote and those who accompanied him turned to examine the bier, and on it, covered with flowers, they saw a dead body in the dress of a shepherd, to all appearance of one thirty years of age, and showing even in death that in life he had been of comely features and gallant bearing.
Around him on the bier itself were laid some books, and several papers open and folded; and those who were looking on as well as those who were opening the grave and all the others who were there preserved a strange silence, until one of those who had borne the body said to another, "Observe carefully, Ambrosia if this is the place Chrysostom spoke of, since you are anxious that what he directed in his will should be so strictly complied with."

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Cure for Silence.

The Cure for Silence.

Every Writer's Problem.

Posted: 06 Apr 2007 09:03 PM CDT

You know you're a good blogger when you can come up with a unique title for every entry.
For blogging every day.


Two months, not an update, not an inspiration, not an entry. Where have I been? Not an explanation either.
I miss the days when I have more to write about, from when I saw the guy that made me tingle, to when I fell down the staircase because he just said hi, to the moment when I finally sit in front of my computer to write about the experience itself. I used to be the person I just described in bold letters above this entry. Yes, I also used to have more than one blog. But now, I'm just blanked out. Not an idea, nothing at all.
I have lost my blogging mojo.

Sitting here, though, just made me realize that I don't have to experience something massive in order to have an entry. I can just write about writing. I can write about blogging. Yes, BLOGGING itself. In my most recent post on another blogging site, I have one person comment on my entry about missing blogging for months. He said: "Its not getting lazy why you don't blog. Blogging comes as an urge, to say something, even if you are trying to make a point or not." So right then, I found a reason to forgive myself. I also found a reason to write about something for this month. Why do People blog?

Two main reasons. We blog because...
  • We want our own books.
    I have told this to myself before, that lives are books waiting to be written, when I thought of making it as an author. And if I had been better with words enough to make a living off of it, that phrase would've probably been in every book I would write. It would also be in my tombstone (which ever way works). The truth is we all have our own stories to tell. We, of course, always want them to be told.
  • We want our own audience.
    This goes with the previous reason, so let me put it in a logical sense:If we all have our own stories to tell, and we always want them to be told, then we want people to hear them.
    See...audience!

And two additional reasons:

  • We make mistakes.
    We find comfort in writing down our mishaps because somehow, things get better, or so it feels. Writing is the other form of expression as supposed to cursing. Writing is another form of emotional release without shouting our urges to say FUCK! Verbally.
    See what I mean?
  • We don't make mistakes.
    Oh.....the happy days!
    If the drama appears in every writing, then there is no point of leaving a trace because most of the time we just don't have the energy to recall our depressing events. When things go well, however, we are more eager to blog it out, so when we look back, we have something to smile about.
    We can't always live our lives making mishaps.


In my eyes, blogging is a way to release every emmotions in me that people would normally ignore. I blog for my sanity. I blog for pleasure. I blog for satisfaction. I even blog to releive my guilt for not blogging. I blog so I have a little peice of the world to call my own. I blog because I can.

When the world finally learns to pay us some individual attention, Blogging is what taught them to.

The "Me" Package: A non-erasable existence.

Posted: 06 Apr 2007 08:45 PM CDT


There are thousands of reasons why you can't help who you are.

When New Years was approaching, I remember people trying to come up with the oddest sets of New Year's resolution. My sister, for example, planned to work out more this year to keep her already thin body in shape. But never once did I see her pick up a dumbbell or at least did some stretching since when the first of January arrived. The truth is, whether it was passed on by genes or influenced by society, I believe that what you were years before (bad habits or disappointing attitudes) will never be broken by a simple mental contract you made to your self overnight. It takes the right moment and the right experience for a person to want to change for good. So I ask myself, what is there really for me to change? Or better, what do I have as a person that will never change?
I came up with a few.

My "Me" Package contents:

  • I'm loud.
    If I'm having fun around people, I may talk to them like they're all five feet away from me (especially under the influence of alcohol). I laugh like there's no tomorrow, loud and contagious, and people sometimes miss me when everything quiets down.
    In other words, I hate silence. I always have. I'd rather break them.

  • I'm a nail-biter.
    Fingers. Not toes.
    It started back in third grade, when one of my very-strict-catholic-teacher criticized me for having long finger nails. When there were no nail-cutters in site, I decided to use my ingenuity.
    And I never needed a nail cutter ever since.

  • I'm frank.
    NO. My name is not "Frank". But in adjective, the word "frank" means verbally straight forward like Amada Forman's character in the show Felicity--Meghan Rutondi--the weird college roommate that says everything with no sense of care. If I don't know someone very well, I may sugar-coat my words. But if I do, I'll mostly pull a "Meghan" on that person.

  • I'm funny. Or so I'd like to think.
    This is mostly due to being frank. When I say something that is downright true, sometimes it's funny. Mostly it's offensive, but that's why it's funny (sadly!). Dumb jokes don't always work, but some people are kind. They laugh anyway. And that's what makes me think of myself as funny.

  • I hate my life. Sometimes.
    No money. No car. No love life. And I still live with my parents at age 23.
    No Money means I re-use everything. No car means I have to ride the public bus. No love life means I'm currently looking. And living with my parents means I'm cheap.
    Need I say more? But then again, who doesn't criticize their lives every once in a while?

  • I'm older than I look.
    When I was 18, I looked 14. When I was 14, I looked 12. And when I was 12, I looked 8. I always get carded in bars, clubs, and even movie theaters for rated R movies (ridiculously!), and though it may be a curse now, I'd like to think it's a compliment when I'm 80. Then again, no one wants to look 17 at age 23.
    I don't.

  • I have three weaknesses: migraine headache, my parents, and the current dream guy.
    My migraine knocks me down stone cold with or without medications. My parents call the shots until I move out. And I'm still looking for the current dream guy. But whoever he is, based on the ones that had claimed the title in the past, he is bound to be a weakness.

  • I don't care.
    Once, at a church retreat, I announced to everyone about a certain peculiar exprience: I pooped. Everyone started laughing, but I'm pretty sure they were grossed out. But here's the thing: I didn't care.

  • I do care.
    What makes a gross, annoyingly funny, and rudely frank person is a girl who hates seeing people get hurt--physically or emmotionally. My ultimate goal: become a doctor (surprise suprise!). Yes, I also have a soft side.

  • I cherish my doldrums.
    Every now and then I hit the low spirit point where I don't talk to people. I don't answer their calls, I don't read their texts, I don't return their phone calls, and I don't listen to their voicemails. If they ever ended up at my door, I would ignore them. Eventually, social inactivity starts to take over.
    Yes, it gets lonely and depressing. But sometimes, I just want to be left alone.

  • I get inspired in the weirdest place and the weirdest way.
    For example, I came up with this writing while I was in the shower. **Ta-dah**

  • I don't plan parties. I quit. I was never good at it.
    On my 14th birthday, I gave out invitations for a pool party. I was excited. I prepared the foods, I chose the right music, and I made sure the pool was ready for use. No one came.
    Since then, I never planned another party. So when a friend told me once that I was "such a party [my dear]!", I'm pretty sure that was unplanned.

  • Finally...
    I don't believe in New Years Resolution. I stopped.

    In my opinion, New Year's Resolutions are promises meant to be broken, and it's even worse that we make them to ourselves. I find that since my past resolutions never make it for the whole year, I'm basically hopeless. Besides, why make a promise to myself if it would only last for three months? Not even. Maybe two.
    Okay. One and three-quarters.
    I think I'll be better off not making any at all.

So.
What in your package are you [not] changing this year?

The lights, they flicker!

Posted: 06 Apr 2007 08:35 PM CDT


Maybe I haven't felt Christmas in nine years, but I always see them they way the always look.
Shinny!


This is Christmas:
- Christmas caroling
- Gifts
- Families
- Gifts
- Food
- Gifts
- Friends
- Gifts
- And the whole entire neighborhood of lights

Okay...obviously it's not that far from what is happening, especially since half of my list is all about gifts. But my ideal Christmas, or what it used to be, is truly about the whole gathering of families and friends that I never see on a regular basis. I mean seeing cousins I don't see everyday. Meeting aunts and uncles that never knew what to get me, but managed to wrap something anyway. Watching my grandma embrace every grandchild she has, and watching my grandpa socialize with his son and every son-in-law he has. Most especially, the foods, the gifts, the songs, and the stronger memories it gives that people choose to celebrate the 25th of December instead of using it as another "payday". That's the spirit I haven't felt in years.

On the other hand, there's always a few things that make Christmas special. Did I forget to mention the lights?
Ow, yes, the lights. The whole entire street of houses that dressed themselves up with flickering lights. Green. Red. Yellow. Sometimes blue. Sometimes orange. Sometimes they chase each other. Sometimes they stay still. Other times they are wrapped around a big inflated Santa Clause. Or, sometimes, a big inflated Frosty. And, most times, a Christmas tree.
But always, they shine.
Always, they brighten the place.
And always, they make Christmas look like "CHRISTMAS!!!".

Now, with that thought in mind, may you enjoy the lights.
Enjoy the gifts, the families, the friends, the tree, the food, the songs, and the Christmas memory that this year may bring. May yours be Blessed and Merry!



"I've got a crush on you!"

Posted: 10 Apr 2007 05:37 PM CDT


It's funny, after six months of not caring about men, I find myself getting hooked on a bloke. Unfortunately, once a girl is hooked, there's no way of getting out of it.
At least, not voluntarily.


When you're crushing on someone, it's hard not to care. A girl may pretend she doesn't care for a man, but when she eventually finds a suitable guy that she would be attracted to, she won't pretend for long. Even the ones who commit themselves to convents and swear to celibacy for good can't escape it. Some even give up nunnery to follow their hearts (i.e: The Sound of Music). That's the power of attraction. Writing this blog, I realize that attraction has taken over me. I now have a crush on someone I've been ignoring for two years.

Pardon me, it wasn't just six months. For this guy, it's actually two years. It's clear that I wasted time praying for other men while this guy had been in front of me the whole time, sometimes even trying to get my attention (or so I'd like to think). But I gather now that whatever interest he had in me two years ago isn't there anymore. Maybe it's the bitter reality of time that swept away every little attraction that he had in me, or maybe he just plainly got tired and quit. Either way, I ended up wanting him afterwards. But now, I'm just a girl in his class who didn't return his phone call when he was still interested (so the hell with me). Who was I kidding? A guy that precious don't waste his time waiting until I change my mind.

I wonder: does the concept of "wanting what we can't have" have something to do with this? What is it that makes us long for something we couldn't have, or for the matter, had, but then lost it? While I'm in this zone of venting and questioning, I must say, I couldn't erase Mr. Adonis out of my head. All this time I've wondered how I went from being uninterested to being attracted overnight. I never thought he was unattractive, but for two years, I wasn't attracted to him. Then, all the sudden, as if someone turned on a switch button somewhere, all I could think of was him. Strange, but real. The moment I realized I like him, I only had one question in my mind: why didn't I feel this before? And now, I'm lost for words and in the misfortune of not being able to turn back time. Suddenly, I care about what he thinks or how to act around him. I care about getting his attention, or not getting it so I don't look like I'm trying too hard, I even care about caring too much or caring too little. All of the sudden, I care about everything.

Maybe the one thing that I care most deeply about is the fact that he would be going away. If he makes it to a med school in Europe, he'd leave the country before the end of the year and be off living the same dream I want for myself. But right now, he's still here and that's what matters. Before Mr. Adonis disappears for good, I would sure love another chance, although it's possibly slim. Maybe all I have left is to focus on his eyes, his face, his smile, and all the other things I wasted time ignoring. But this much I know: if he calls me again any day, I will not hesitate.
I will. Definitely. Answer the phone.

Dealing with Bitterness.

Posted: 06 Apr 2007 09:03 PM CDT



I'm bad at being bitter, mostly because I play the part so well.

There are three types of people: those who forgive and forget, those who don't forgive and don't forget, and those who forgive but don't forget. The other type, in my opinion, doesn't exist. In this world, being bitter is easy when you've experienced being hurt. No one ever forgets the reason why they can't forgive.

My experience with being bitter has a lot to do with how I learned to deal with past angers. I can't exactly remember how old I was, but it must be back in the third grade when I first met my long time rival who sucked the living goodness out of my soul and laughed it off like nothing happened. And so, as time went by, I have naturally turned on my ability to manage anger in a way that only the roots of it could explain--the only way I know how. Never let the other person ignore your pain.

I accomplished it. She was aware, certainly, for I was never good at hiding my bitterness even when I was actually hiding it. I think it has more to do with the fact that I was never good with managing my feelings. I was never taught properly on how to deal with those who have angered me because the seven years of my childhood that I spent in catholic school only pounded me to forgive. It was the only way that nuns back in third grade could explain my ticket to heaven when I die. They claimed that people who hurt you are also God's children (in which I now question if they knew what they were talking about). All faults have to be forgiven, and for a long time, I must admit, I considered it. Therefore I use to have an understanding with the concept of "forgive and forget". But out in the real world, enemies are enemies. Anger is anger. Bitterness is bitterness. Forgiveness has its limits. And nuns, of course, are just people who always have their hairs covered.

So I brushed if off, a long time ago, the concept of forgive and forget.
By the time I reached fourteen, I already knew that there would be people meant to ruin what seems so simple to explain back in the catholic school. Forgiveness is not always that easy. The one thing I should've learned back in third grade is knowing how to forgive with always remembering why I had to. I never forget. I never walk away without the recollection of being hurt, so when the universe works its natural revenge, I would understand why. Then I can allow myself to feel rewarded, the need to laugh, have a little simpathy, but also a sense of pride without feeling guilty for having them. And in the end, I would realize, it's all worth being hurt for.

So how do you never let the other person ignore you pain?
You forgive. You can forgive. It's not something you completely abandon.
But, of course, you just never forget.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Don Quixote (36 of 448)

CHAPTER XIII. (CONT'D)

To which our Don Quixote made answer, "Sir, one solitary swallow does not make summer; moreover, I know that knight was in secret very deeply in love; besides which, that way of falling in love with all that took his fancy was a natural propensity which he could not control. But, in short, it is very manifest that he had one alone whom he made mistress of his will, to whom he commended himself very frequently and very secretly, for he prided himself on being a reticent knight."

"Then if it be essential that every knight-errant should be in love," said the traveller, "it may be fairly supposed that your worship is so, as you are of the order; and if you do not pride yourself on being as reticent as Don Galaor, I entreat you as earnestly as I can, in the name of all this company and in my own, to inform us of the name, country, rank, and beauty of your lady, for she will esteem herself fortunate if all the world knows that she is loved and served by such a knight as your worship seems to be."

At this Don Quixote heaved a deep sigh and said, "I cannot say positively whether my sweet enemy is pleased or not that the world should know I serve her; I can only say in answer to what has been so courteously asked of me, that her name is Dulcinea, her country El Toboso, a village of La Mancha, her rank must be at least that of a princess, since she is my queen and lady, and her beauty superhuman, since all the impossible and fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her; for her hairs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her eyebrows rainbows, her eyes suns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her teeth pearls, her neck alabaster, her bosom marble, her hands ivory, her fairness snow, and what modesty conceals from sight such, I think and imagine, as rational reflection can only extol, not compare."

"We should like to know her lineage, race, and ancestry," said Vivaldo.

To which Don Quixote replied, "She is not of the ancient Roman Curtii, Caii, or Scipios, nor of the modern Colonnas or Orsini, nor of the Moncadas or Requesenes of Catalonia, nor yet of the Rebellas or Villanovas of Valencia; Palafoxes, Nuzas, Rocabertis, Corellas, Lunas, Alagones, Urreas, Foces, or Gurreas of Aragon; Cerdas, Manriques, Mendozas, or Guzmans of Castile; Alencastros, Pallas, or Meneses of Portugal; but she is of those of El Toboso of La Mancha, a lineage that though modern, may furnish a source of gentle blood for the most illustrious families of the ages that are to come, and this let none dispute with me save on the condition that Zerbino placed at the foot of the trophy of Orlando's arms, saying,

'These let none move Who dareth not his might with Roland prove.'"

"Although mine is of the Cachopins of Laredo," said the traveller, "I will not venture to compare it with that of El Toboso of La Mancha, though, to tell the truth, no such surname has until now ever reached my ears."

"What!" said Don Quixote, "has that never reached them?"

The rest of the party went along listening with great attention to the conversation of the pair, and even the very goatherds and shepherds perceived how exceedingly out of his wits our Don Quixote was. Sancho Panza alone thought that what his master said was the truth, knowing who he was and having known him from his birth; and all that he felt any difficulty in believing was that about the fair Dulcinea del Toboso, because neither any such name nor any such princess had ever come to his knowledge though he lived so close to El Toboso. They were going along conversing in this way, when they saw descending a gap between two high mountains some twenty shepherds, all clad in sheepskins of black wool, and crowned with garlands which, as afterwards appeared, were, some of them of yew, some of cypress.
Six of the number were carrying a bier covered with a great variety of flowers and branches, on seeing which one of the goatherds said, "Those who come there are the bearers of Chrysostom's body, and the foot of that mountain is the place where he ordered them to bury him." They therefore made haste to reach the spot, and did so by the time those who came had laid the bier upon the ground, and four of them with sharp pickaxes were digging a grave by the side of a hard rock. They greeted each other courteously, and then Don Quixote and those who accompanied him turned to examine the bier, and on it, covered with flowers, they saw a dead body in the dress of a shepherd, to all appearance of one thirty years of age, and showing even in death that in life he had been of comely features and gallant bearing.
Around him on the bier itself were laid some books, and several papers open and folded; and those who were looking on as well as those who were opening the grave and all the others who were there preserved a strange silence, until one of those who had borne the body said to another, "Observe carefully, Ambrosia if this is the place Chrysostom spoke of, since you are anxious that what he directed in his will should be so strictly complied with."

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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Cure for Silence.

The Cure for Silence.

On Families (part 3): parents are humans too.

Posted: 24 Jun 2007 10:52 PM CDT

Don't think that parents don't have any weaknesses. Sometimes, it's better that they do.

As children, parents were the supper duo who could tie and untie every shoe laces and every unnecessary knots of our cat's cradle strings. There was nothing that they didn't know, and nothing that they couldn't do. Everything just seemed workable around them, and the Godly image that we had of our parents were impossible for us to reach. At a certain point however, they start to become human. And suddenly, in the oddest way, we begin to respect them more.

Within the past couple of [rough] weeks, I've seen humanity in almost every parent I know. Two of the bravest parents on earth were forced to bury their oldest son when my late friend past away. His parents had to endure the idea that they have outlived their child for the rest of their lives, and it tears them apart. On the day that my sister was taken away on a dreadful gurney for her spinal-fusion surgery, my mother couldn't stop her tears and I began to realize that the supper woman I've grown to know was then relying on me for help. Last night, as I share a meal with my dad for a peaceful dinner, he said to me: good parents should want their children to do better or at least do as well they did in life. He would hate nothing more than for me to never succeed in anything. None of these parents could wish any greater for their children. To bury a son, to cry over a daughter, and to have a great hope for a child only proves how human they are.

Parents are the most fascinating humans alive because they are at their weakest when their children are in pain. For that, I respect them.
Greatly.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Don Quixote (44 of 448)

CHAPTER XVI.

OF WHAT HAPPENED TO THE INGENIOUS GENTLEMAN IN THE INN WHICH HE TOOK TO BE A CASTLE

The innkeeper, seeing Don Quixote slung across the ass, asked Sancho what was amiss with him. Sancho answered that it was nothing, only that he had fallen down from a rock and had his ribs a little bruised. The innkeeper had a wife whose disposition was not such as those of her calling commonly have, for she was by nature kind-hearted and felt for the sufferings of her neighbours, so she at once set about tending Don Quixote, and made her young daughter, a very comely girl, help her in taking care of her guest. There was besides in the inn, as servant, an Asturian lass with a broad face, flat poll, and snub nose, blind of one eye and not very sound in the other. The elegance of her shape, to be sure, made up for all her defects; she did not measure seven palms from head to foot, and her shoulders, which overweighted her somewhat, made her contemplate the ground more than she liked.
This graceful lass, then, helped the young girl, and the two made up a very bad bed for Don Quixote in a garret that showed evident signs of having formerly served for many years as a straw-loft, in which there was also quartered a carrier whose bed was placed a little beyond our Don Quixote's, and, though only made of the pack-saddles and cloths of his mules, had much the advantage of it, as Don Quixote's consisted simply of four rough boards on two not very even trestles, a mattress, that for thinness might have passed for a quilt, full of pellets which, were they not seen through the rents to be wool, would to the touch have seemed pebbles in hardness, two sheets made of buckler leather, and a coverlet the threads of which anyone that chose might have counted without missing one in the reckoning.

On this accursed bed Don Quixote stretched himself, and the hostess and her daughter soon covered him with plasters from top to toe, while Maritornes--for that was the name of the Asturian--held the light for them, and while plastering him, the hostess, observing how full of wheals Don Quixote was in some places, remarked that this had more the look of blows than of a fall.

It was not blows, Sancho said, but that the rock had many points and projections, and that each of them had left its mark. "Pray, senora," he added, "manage to save some tow, as there will be no want of some one to use it, for my loins too are rather sore."

"Then you must have fallen too," said the hostess.

"I did not fall," said Sancho Panza, "but from the shock I got at seeing my master fall, my body aches so that I feel as if I had had a thousand thwacks."

"That may well be," said the young girl, "for it has many a time happened to me to dream that I was falling down from a tower and never coming to the ground, and when I awoke from the dream to find myself as weak and shaken as if I had really fallen."

"There is the point, senora," replied Sancho Panza, "that I without dreaming at all, but being more awake than I am now, find myself with scarcely less wheals than my master, Don Quixote."

"How is the gentleman called?" asked Maritornes the Asturian.

"Don Quixote of La Mancha," answered Sancho Panza, "and he is a knight-adventurer, and one of the best and stoutest that have been seen in the world this long time past."

"What is a knight-adventurer?" said the lass.

"Are you so new in the world as not to know?" answered Sancho Panza. "Well, then, you must know, sister, that a knight-adventurer is a thing that in two words is seen drubbed and emperor, that is to-day the most miserable and needy being in the world, and to-morrow will have two or three crowns of kingdoms to give his squire."

"Then how is it," said the hostess, "that belonging to so good a master as this, you have not, to judge by appearances, even so much as a county?"

"It is too soon yet," answered Sancho, "for we have only been a month going in quest of adventures, and so far we have met with nothing that can be called one, for it will happen that when one thing is looked for another thing is found; however, if my master Don Quixote gets well of this wound, or fall, and I am left none the worse of it, I would not change my hopes for the best title in Spain."

To all this conversation Don Quixote was listening very attentively, and sitting up in bed as well as he could, and taking the hostess by the hand he said to her, "Believe me, fair lady, you may call yourself fortunate in having in this castle of yours sheltered my person, which is such that if I do not myself praise it, it is because of what is commonly said, that self-praise debaseth; but my squire will inform you who I am. I only tell you that I shall preserve for ever inscribed on my memory the service you have rendered me in order to tender you my gratitude while life shall last me; and would to Heaven love held me not so enthralled and subject to its laws and to the eyes of that fair ingrate whom I name between my teeth, but that those of this lovely damsel might be the masters of my liberty."

The hostess, her daughter, and the worthy Maritornes listened in bewilderment to the words of the knight-errant; for they understood about as much of them as if he had been talking Greek, though they could perceive they were all meant for expressions of good-will and blandishments; and not being accustomed to this kind of language, they stared at him and wondered to themselves, for he seemed to them a man of a different sort from those they were used to, and thanking him in pothouse phrase for his civility they left him, while the Asturian gave her attention to Sancho, who needed it no less than his master.

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Don Quixote (36 of 448)

CHAPTER XIII. (CONT'D)

To which our Don Quixote made answer, "Sir, one solitary swallow does not make summer; moreover, I know that knight was in secret very deeply in love; besides which, that way of falling in love with all that took his fancy was a natural propensity which he could not control. But, in short, it is very manifest that he had one alone whom he made mistress of his will, to whom he commended himself very frequently and very secretly, for he prided himself on being a reticent knight."

"Then if it be essential that every knight-errant should be in love," said the traveller, "it may be fairly supposed that your worship is so, as you are of the order; and if you do not pride yourself on being as reticent as Don Galaor, I entreat you as earnestly as I can, in the name of all this company and in my own, to inform us of the name, country, rank, and beauty of your lady, for she will esteem herself fortunate if all the world knows that she is loved and served by such a knight as your worship seems to be."

At this Don Quixote heaved a deep sigh and said, "I cannot say positively whether my sweet enemy is pleased or not that the world should know I serve her; I can only say in answer to what has been so courteously asked of me, that her name is Dulcinea, her country El Toboso, a village of La Mancha, her rank must be at least that of a princess, since she is my queen and lady, and her beauty superhuman, since all the impossible and fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her; for her hairs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her eyebrows rainbows, her eyes suns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her teeth pearls, her neck alabaster, her bosom marble, her hands ivory, her fairness snow, and what modesty conceals from sight such, I think and imagine, as rational reflection can only extol, not compare."

"We should like to know her lineage, race, and ancestry," said Vivaldo.

To which Don Quixote replied, "She is not of the ancient Roman Curtii, Caii, or Scipios, nor of the modern Colonnas or Orsini, nor of the Moncadas or Requesenes of Catalonia, nor yet of the Rebellas or Villanovas of Valencia; Palafoxes, Nuzas, Rocabertis, Corellas, Lunas, Alagones, Urreas, Foces, or Gurreas of Aragon; Cerdas, Manriques, Mendozas, or Guzmans of Castile; Alencastros, Pallas, or Meneses of Portugal; but she is of those of El Toboso of La Mancha, a lineage that though modern, may furnish a source of gentle blood for the most illustrious families of the ages that are to come, and this let none dispute with me save on the condition that Zerbino placed at the foot of the trophy of Orlando's arms, saying,

'These let none move Who dareth not his might with Roland prove.'"

"Although mine is of the Cachopins of Laredo," said the traveller, "I will not venture to compare it with that of El Toboso of La Mancha, though, to tell the truth, no such surname has until now ever reached my ears."

"What!" said Don Quixote, "has that never reached them?"

The rest of the party went along listening with great attention to the conversation of the pair, and even the very goatherds and shepherds perceived how exceedingly out of his wits our Don Quixote was. Sancho Panza alone thought that what his master said was the truth, knowing who he was and having known him from his birth; and all that he felt any difficulty in believing was that about the fair Dulcinea del Toboso, because neither any such name nor any such princess had ever come to his knowledge though he lived so close to El Toboso. They were going along conversing in this way, when they saw descending a gap between two high mountains some twenty shepherds, all clad in sheepskins of black wool, and crowned with garlands which, as afterwards appeared, were, some of them of yew, some of cypress.
Six of the number were carrying a bier covered with a great variety of flowers and branches, on seeing which one of the goatherds said, "Those who come there are the bearers of Chrysostom's body, and the foot of that mountain is the place where he ordered them to bury him." They therefore made haste to reach the spot, and did so by the time those who came had laid the bier upon the ground, and four of them with sharp pickaxes were digging a grave by the side of a hard rock. They greeted each other courteously, and then Don Quixote and those who accompanied him turned to examine the bier, and on it, covered with flowers, they saw a dead body in the dress of a shepherd, to all appearance of one thirty years of age, and showing even in death that in life he had been of comely features and gallant bearing.
Around him on the bier itself were laid some books, and several papers open and folded; and those who were looking on as well as those who were opening the grave and all the others who were there preserved a strange silence, until one of those who had borne the body said to another, "Observe carefully, Ambrosia if this is the place Chrysostom spoke of, since you are anxious that what he directed in his will should be so strictly complied with."

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Don Quixote (88 of 448)

CHAPTER XXV. (CONT'D)

"It seems to me," said Sancho, "that the knights who behaved in this way had provocation and cause for those follies and penances; but what cause has your worship for going mad? What lady has rejected you, or what evidence have you found to prove that the lady Dulcinea del Toboso has been trifling with Moor or Christian?"

"There is the point," replied Don Quixote, "and that is the beauty of this business of mine; no thanks to a knight-errant for going mad when he has cause; the thing is to turn crazy without any provocation, and let my lady know, if I do this in the dry, what I would do in the moist; moreover I have abundant cause in the long separation I have endured from my lady till death, Dulcinea del Toboso; for as thou didst hear that shepherd Ambrosio say the other day, in absence all ills are felt and feared; and so, friend Sancho, waste no time in advising me against so rare, so happy, and so unheard-of an imitation; mad I am, and mad I must be until thou returnest with the answer to a letter that I mean to send by thee to my lady Dulcinea; and if it be such as my constancy deserves, my insanity and penance will come to an end; and if it be to the opposite effect, I shall become mad in earnest, and, being so, I shall suffer no more; thus in whatever way she may answer I shall escape f
rom the
struggle and affliction in which thou wilt leave me, enjoying in my senses the boon thou bearest me, or as a madman not feeling the evil thou bringest me. But tell me, Sancho, hast thou got Mambrino's helmet safe? for I saw thee take it up from the ground when that ungrateful wretch tried to break it in pieces but could not, by which the fineness of its temper may be seen."

To which Sancho made answer, "By the living God, Sir Knight of the Rueful Countenance, I cannot endure or bear with patience some of the things that your worship says; and from them I begin to suspect that all you tell me about chivalry, and winning kingdoms and empires, and giving islands, and bestowing other rewards and dignities after the custom of knights-errant, must be all made up of wind and lies, and all pigments or figments, or whatever we may call them; for what would anyone think that heard your worship calling a barber's basin Mambrino's helmet without ever seeing the mistake all this time, but that one who says and maintains such things must have his brains addled? I have the basin in my sack all dinted, and I am taking it home to have it mended, to trim my beard in it, if, by God's grace, I am allowed to see my wife and children some day or other."

"Look here, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "by him thou didst swear by just now I swear thou hast the most limited understanding that any squire in the world has or ever had.
Is it possible that all this time thou hast been going about with me thou hast never found out that all things belonging to knights-errant seem to be illusions and nonsense and ravings, and to go always by contraries?
And not because it really is so, but because there is always a swarm of enchanters in attendance upon us that change and alter everything with us, and turn things as they please, and according as they are disposed to aid or destroy us; thus what seems to thee a barber's basin seems to me Mambrino's helmet, and to another it will seem something else; and rare foresight it was in the sage who is on my side to make what is really and truly Mambrine's helmet seem a basin to everybody, for, being held in such estimation as it is, all the world would pursue me to rob me of it; but when they see it is only a barber's basin they do not take the trouble to obtain it; as was plainly shown by him who tried to break it, and left it on the ground without taking it, for, by my faith, had he known it he would never have left it behind.
Keep it safe, my friend, for just now I have no need of it; indeed, I shall have to take off all this armour and remain as naked as I was born, if I have a mind to follow Roland rather than Amadis in my penance."

Thus talking they reached the foot of a high mountain which stood like an isolated peak among the others that surrounded it. Past its base there flowed a gentle brook, all around it spread a meadow so green and luxuriant that it was a delight to the eyes to look upon it, and forest trees in abundance, and shrubs and flowers, added to the charms of the spot. Upon this place the Knight of the Rueful Countenance fixed his choice for the performance of his penance, and as he beheld it exclaimed in a loud voice as though he were out of his senses:

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Divine Comedy - Inferno, The (37 of 38)

CANTO XXXIII (CONT'D)

Once more upon the wretched skull his teeth
He fasten'd, like a mastiff's 'gainst the bone
Firm and unyielding. Oh thou Pisa! shame
Of all the people, who their dwelling make
In that fair region, where th' Italian voice
Is heard, since that thy neighbours are so slack
To punish, from their deep foundations rise
Capraia and Gorgona, and dam up
The mouth of Arno, that each soul in thee
May perish in the waters! What if fame
Reported that thy castles were betray'd
By Ugolino, yet no right hadst thou
To stretch his children on the rack. For them,
Brigata, Ugaccione, and the pair
Of gentle ones, of whom my song hath told,
Their tender years, thou modern Thebes! did make
Uncapable of guilt. Onward we pass'd,
Where others skarf'd in rugged folds of ice
Not on their feet were turn'd, but each revers'd.

There very weeping suffers not to weep;
For at their eyes grief seeking passage finds
Impediment, and rolling inward turns
For increase of sharp anguish: the first tears
Hang cluster'd, and like crystal vizors show,
Under the socket brimming all the cup.

Now though the cold had from my face dislodg'd
Each feeling, as 't were callous, yet me seem'd
Some breath of wind I felt. "Whence cometh this,"
Said I, "my master? Is not here below
All vapour quench'd?"--"'Thou shalt be speedily,"
He answer'd, "where thine eye shall tell thee whence
The cause descrying of this airy shower."

Then cried out one in the chill crust who mourn'd:
"O souls so cruel! that the farthest post
Hath been assign'd you, from this face remove
The harden'd veil, that I may vent the grief
Impregnate at my heart, some little space
Ere it congeal again!" I thus replied:
"Say who thou wast, if thou wouldst have mine aid;
And if I extricate thee not, far down
As to the lowest ice may I descend!"

"The friar Alberigo," answered he,
"Am I, who from the evil garden pluck'd
Its fruitage, and am here repaid, the date
More luscious for my fig."--"Hah!" I exclaim'd,
"Art thou too dead!"--"How in the world aloft
It fareth with my body," answer'd he,
"I am right ignorant. Such privilege
Hath Ptolomea, that ofttimes the soul
Drops hither, ere by Atropos divorc'd.
And that thou mayst wipe out more willingly
The glazed tear-drops that o'erlay mine eyes,
Know that the soul, that moment she betrays,
As I did, yields her body to a fiend
Who after moves and governs it at will,
Till all its time be rounded; headlong she
Falls to this cistern. And perchance above
Doth yet appear the body of a ghost,
Who here behind me winters. Him thou know'st,
If thou but newly art arriv'd below.
The years are many that have pass'd away,
Since to this fastness Branca Doria came."

"Now," answer'd I, "methinks thou mockest me,
For Branca Doria never yet hath died,
But doth all natural functions of a man,
Eats, drinks, and sleeps, and putteth raiment on."

He thus: "Not yet unto that upper foss
By th' evil talons guarded, where the pitch
Tenacious boils, had Michael Zanche reach'd,
When this one left a demon in his stead
In his own body, and of one his kin,
Who with him treachery wrought. But now put forth
Thy hand, and ope mine eyes." I op'd them not.
Ill manners were best courtesy to him.

Ah Genoese! men perverse in every way,
With every foulness stain'd, why from the earth
Are ye not cancel'd? Such an one of yours
I with Romagna's darkest spirit found,
As for his doings even now in soul
Is in Cocytus plung'd, and yet doth seem
In body still alive upon the earth.

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