Page:Don Quixote (Cervantes, Ormsby) Volume 2.djvu/22

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xiv
PREFACE.


if there be no printing-presses in the world, or if they print more books against me than there are letters in the verses of Mingo Revulgo ! [1] These two princes, unsought by any adulation or flattery of mine, of their own goodness alone, have taken it upon them to show me kindness and protect me, and in this I consider myself happier and richer than if Fortune had raised me to her greatest height in the ordinary way. The poor man may retain honor, but not the vicious ; poverty may cast a cloud over nobility, but can not hide it altogether ; and as virtue of itself sheds a certain light, even though it be through the straits and chinks of penury, it wins the esteem of lofty and noble spirits,and in consequence their protection. Thou needst say no more to him, nor will I say anything more to thee, save to tell thee to bear in mind that this Second Part of " Don Quixote " which I offer thee is cut by the same craftsman and from the same cloth as the First, and that in it I present thee Don Quixote continued, and at length dead and buried, so that no one may dare to bring forward any further evidence against him, for that already produced is sufficient, and suffice it, too, that some reputable person should have given an account of all these shrewd lunacies of his without going into the matter again; for abundance, even of good things, prevents them from being valued ; and scarcity, even in the case of what is bad, confers a certain value. I was forgetting to tell thee that thou mayest expect the " Persiles," which I am now finishing, and also the Second Part of "Galatea."

  1. Las Coplas de Mingo Revulgo is the title given to an old versified satire on the reign of Henry IV. absurdly attributed by some to Juan de Mena, by others to Rodrigo Cota, or Fernando del Pulgar.