Page:Don Quixote (Cervantes, Ormsby) Volume 2.djvu/32

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
10
DON QUIXOTE.

Sicily, there have been found leg-bones and arm-bones so large that their size makes it plain that their owners were giants, and as tall as great towers; geometry puts this fact beyond a doubt. But, for all that, I can not speak with certainty as to the size of Morgante, though I suspect he can not have been very tall; and I am inclined to be of this opinion because I find in the history[1] in which his deeds are particularly mentioned, that he frequently slept under a roof; and as he found houses to contain him, it is clear that his bulk could not have been anything excessive."

"That is true," said the curate, and yielding to the enjoyment of hearing such nonsense, he asked him what was his notion of the features of Reinaldos of Montalban, and Don Roland and the rest of the Twelve Peers of France, for they were all knights-errant.

"As for Reinaldos," replied Don Quixote, "I venture to say that he was broad-faced, of ruddy complexion, with roguish and somewhat prominent eyes, excessively punctilious and touchy, and given to the society of thieves and scapegraces. With regard to Roland, or Rotolando, or Orlando (for the histories call him by all these names), I am of opinion, and hold, that he was of middle height, broad-shouldered, rather bow-legged, swarthy-complexioned, red-bearded, with a hairy body and a severe expression of countenance, a man of few words, but very polite and well-bred."

"If Roland was not a more graceful person than your worship has described," said the curate, "it is no wonder that the fair Lady Angelica rejected him and left him for the gayety, liveliness, and grace of that budding-bearded little Moor to whom she surrendered herself; and she showed her sense in falling in love with the gentle softness of Medoro rather than the roughness of Roland."

"That Angelica, señor curate," returned Don Quixote, "was a giddy damsel, flighty and somewhat wanton, and she left the world as full of her vagaries as of the fame of her beauty. She treated with scorn a thousand gentlemen, men of valor and wisdom, and took up with a smooth-faced sprig of a page, without fortune or fame, except such reputation for gratitude as the affection he bore his friend got for him.[2] The great poet who

  1. i.e. the Morgante Maggiore of Pulci. The account of the bones found in Sicily is in the Jardin de Flores Curiosos of Antonio de Torquemada, "the Spanish Mandeville," as his English translator calls him.
  2. The friend was his master, Dardinel, beside whose body he received the wound of which he was cured by Angelica.