Don Quixote - Part II (Author's Preface, page 2 of 3)


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I suspect thou wilt say that I am taking a very humble line, and keeping
myself too much within the bounds of my moderation, from a feeling that
additional suffering should not be inflicted upon a sufferer, and that
what this gentleman has to endure must doubtless be very great, as he
does not dare to come out into the open field and broad daylight, but
hides his name and disguises his country as if he had been guilty of some
lese majesty. If perchance thou shouldst come to know him, tell him from
me that I do not hold myself aggrieved; for I know well what the
temptations of the devil are, and that one of the greatest is putting it
into a man's head that he can write and print a book by which he will get
as much fame as money, and as much money as fame; and to prove it I will
beg of you, in your own sprightly, pleasant way, to tell him this story.

There was a madman in Seville who took to one of the drollest absurdities
and vagaries that ever madman in the world gave way to. It was this: he
made a tube of reed sharp at one end, and catching a dog in the street,
or wherever it might be, he with his foot held one of its legs fast, and
with his hand lifted up the other, and as best he could fixed the tube
where, by blowing, he made the dog as round as a ball; then holding it in
this position, he gave it a couple of slaps on the belly, and let it go,
saying to the bystanders (and there were always plenty of them): "Do your
worships think, now, that it is an easy thing to blow up a dog?"--Does
your worship think now, that it is an easy thing to write a book?

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