Page:Don Quixote (Cervantes, Ormsby) Volume 2.djvu/33

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11
CHAPTER I.

sang her beauty, the famous Ariosto, not caring to sing her adventures after her contemptible surrender (which probably were not over and above creditable), dropped her where he says:

How she received the sceptre of Cathay,
Some bard of defter quill may sing some day;[1]

and this was no doubt a kind of prophecy, for poets are also called vates, that is to say diviners; and its truth was made plain; for since then a famous Andalusian poet has lamented and sung her tears, and another famous and rare poet, a Castilian, has sung her beauty."[2]

"Tell me, Señor Don Quixote," said the barber here, "among all those who praised her, has there been no poet to write a satire on this Lady Angelica?"

"I can well believe," replied Don Quixote, "that if Sacripante or Roland had been poets they would have given the damsel a trimming; for it is naturally the way with poets who have been scorned and rejected by their ladies, whether fictitious or not, in short by those whom they select as the ladies of their thoughts, to avenge themselves in satires and libels—a vengeance, to be sure, unworthy of generous hearts; but up to the present I have not heard of any defamatory verse against the Lady Angelica, who turned the world upside down."

"Strange," said the curate; but at this moment they heard the housekeeper and the niece, who had previously withdrawn from the conversation, exclaiming aloud in the courtyard, and at the noise they all ran out.

  1. Cervantes misquotes Ariosto's lines, which are:

     "E dell India a Medor desse lo scettro,
      Forse altri canterà con miglior plettro."
     Orlando Furioso, xxx. 16.

  2. The Andalusian was Barahona de Soto, who wrote the Primera parte de la Angélica (not Lágrimas de Angélica, as Cervantes calls it in chapter vi. Part I.). It appeared at Granada in 1586. The Castilian was Lope de Vega, whose Hermosura de Angélica formed the first part of his Rimas', printed at Madrid in 1602.