CERVANTES. A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. The most trivial act of the daily life of some men has a unique interest, independent of idle curiosity, which dissatisfies us with the meagre food of date, place, and pedigree. So in the "Cartas de Indias" was published, two years ago, in Spain, a facsimile letter from Cervantes when tax-gatherer to Philip II., informing him of the efforts he had made to collect the taxes in certain Andalusian villages. It is... more...

CHAPTER I Which Treats of the Character and Pursuits of the Famous Gentleman, Don Quixote of La Mancha NEARLY four hundred years ago, there lived in the village of La Mancha in Spain an old gentleman of few worldly possessions but many books, who was given to a hardy and adventurous way of life, and who beguiled his spare time by reading the many tales of chivalry and knighthood that were in his possession. This old gentleman was a tall, gaunt... more...

Don Antonio de Isunza and Don Juan de Gamboa, gentlemen of high birth and excellent sense, both of the same age, and very intimate friends, being students together at Salamanca, determined to abandon their studies and proceed to Flanders. To this resolution they were incited by the fervour of youth, their desire to see the world, and their conviction that the profession of arms, so becoming to all, is more particularly suitable to men of... more...

I: ABOUT THIS TRANSLATION It was with considerable reluctance that I abandoned in favour of the present undertaking what had long been a favourite project: that of a new edition of Shelton's "Don Quixote," which has now become a somewhat scarce book. There are some—and I confess myself to be one—for whom Shelton's racy old version, with all its defects, has a charm that no modern translation, however skilful or correct, could... more...