Monday, February 25, 2013

It is certain this ape is not an astrologer

" Spain there is not a jade, or page, or old cobbler, that will not undertake to set up a figure as readily as pick up a knave of cards from the ground, bringing to nought the marvellous truth of the science by their lies and ignorance. I know of a lady who asked one of these figure schemers whether her little lap-dog would be in pup and would breed, and how many and of what colour the little pups would be. To which senor astrologer, after having set up his figure, made answer that the bitch would be in pup, and would drop three pups, one green, another bright red, and the third parti-coloured, provided she conceived between eleven and twelve either of the day or night, and on a Monday or Saturday; but as things turned out, two days after this the bitch died of a surfeit, and senor planet-ruler had the credit all over the place of being a most profound astrologer"

--Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Book II, Chapter 25, "The Prophesying Ape" (trans. Ormsby)


  1. Mr. B, This morning on a bus a fellow riding saw me reading Moby Dick and told me it was his favorite book. He works at UCLA, and we ended up walking up the boulevard together talking about books. Don Quixote came up as a book neither one of us has read but that we both want to.

  2. You know I think Moby-Dick is a great book. Don Quixote is so much better than I thought it would be. I can see why it's still being read after 400 years.

    So far nobody has told me that Finnegans Wake is their favorite book.