Skip to main content

Posts

What "Don Quixote" Really Slew

Miguel de Cervantes Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616).   Don Quixote, Part 1. Slayer of windmills, rescuer of fair damsels in distress, eccentric Don Quixote, scores of years behind his time, set out on a mad quest of knight-errantry. Worlds of fun and killing satire are in this absorbing story of Cervantes. VIII. Of the Good Success Don Quixote Had, in the Dreadful and Never-Imagined Adventure of the Windmills, with Other Accidents Worthy to Be Recorded AS they discoursed, they discovered some thirty or forty windmills, that are in that field; and as soon as Don Quixote espied them, he said to his squire, ‘Fortune doth address our affairs better than we ourselves could desire; for behold there, friend Sancho Panza, how there appears thirty or forty monstrous giants, with whom I mean to fight, and deprive them all of their lives, with whose spoils we will begin to be rich; for this is a good war, and a great service unto God, to take away so bad a seed from the face
Recent posts

First Problem Play Popular

Sophocles Sophocles (c.496 B.C.–406 B.C.).   Antigone. Antigone, an orphan princess, defies a king's mandate and risks her life to do her duty to her brother. What is this duty which her brother calls her to perform and the king forbids? (Sophocles died at Athens, Jan. 30. 405 B. C.) Dramatis Personæ Creon, King of Thebes Hæmon, son of Creon Teiresias, a seer Guard First Messenger Second Messenger Eurydice, wife of Creon Antigone Ismene, daughters of Œdipus Chorus of Theban Elders SCENE—Thebes, in front of the Palace. Enter ANTIGONE and ISMENE ANTIGONE  ISMENE, mine own sister, dearest one; Is there, of all the ills of Œdipus, One left that Zeus will fail to bring on us, While still we live? for nothing is there sad Or full of woe, or base, or fraught with shame, But I have seen it in thy woes and mine. And now, what new decree is this they tell, Our ruler has enjoined on all the state? Know’st thou? hast heard? or is it hid from thee, The doo

Visits the Land of Fire

Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882).   The Voyage of the Beagle. South of Patagonia is Tierra del Fuego - "The Land of Fire." The natives of that primitive country are today almost extinct. Darwin made a careful and vitally interesting study of that land and its ill-fated inhabitants.  (Darwin married Emma Wedgewood, Jan. 29, 1839.) Chapter X Tierra del Fuego, first arrival—Good Success Bay—An Account of the Fuegians on board—Interview with the Savages—Scenery of the Forests—Cape Horn—Wigwam Cove—Miserable Condition of the Savages—Famines—Cannibals—Matricide—Religious Feelings—Great Gale—Beagle Channel—Ponsonby Sound—Build Wigwams and settle the Fuegians—Bifurcation of the Beagle Channel—Glaciers—Return to the Ship—Second Visit in the Ship to the Settlement—Equality of Condition amongst the Natives DECEMBER 17th, 1832.—Having now finished with Patagonia and the Falkland Islands, I will describe our first arrival in Tierra del Fuego. A l

Man's Wings

Thomas à Kempis Thomas à Kempis. (b. 1379 or 1380, d. 1471).   The Imitation of Christ. A pure heart, says Thomas à Kempis, comprehends the very depths of Heaven and Hell. And it is by the wings of simplicity and purity that man is lifted above all earthly things. Book II: Admonitions Concerning the Inner Life IV. Of a Pure Mind and Simple Intention BY two wings is man lifted above earthly things, even by simplicity and purity. Simplicity ought to be in the intention, purity in the affection. Simplicity reacheth towards God, purity apprehendeth Him and tasteth Him. No good action will be distasteful to thee if thou be free within from inordinate affection. If thou reachest after and seekest, nothing but the will of God and the benefit of thy neighbour, thou wilt entirely enjoy inward liberty. If thine heart were right, then should every creature be a mirror of life and a book of holy doctrine. There is no creature so small and vile but that it showeth us the goodness of G

Dante and Beatrice in Paradise

Dante Alighieri Dante Alighieri (1265–1321).   Purgatory, The Divine Comedy. Dante fell madly in love with Beatrice at first sight; but it is doubted if he ever spoke to her in this world. He tells of his happy meeting with Beatrice in Paradise. (Dante victim of political persecution in Florence, Jan. 27, 1302.) Canto XXX ARGUMENT.—Beatrice descends from Heaven, and rebukes the Poet.

In the Cradle of Civilization

Herodotus Herodotus. An Account of Egypt: Being the Second Book of His Histories Called Euterpe A king who entombed his daughter in a golden cow - the worship of the bull and the cat - scandal of the court and the gossip of the temples is given by Herodotus in his delightful story of old Egypt.   Down to the time when Rhampsinitos was king, they told me there was in Egypt nothing but orderly rule, and Egypt prospered greatly; but after him Cheops became king over them and brought them to every kind of evil: for he shut up all the temples, and having first kept them from sacrifices there, he then bade all the Egyptians work for him. So some were appointed to draw stones from the stone-quarries in the Arabian mountains to the Nile, and others he ordered to receive the stones after they had been carried over the river in boats, and to draw them to those which are called the Libyan mountains; and they worked by a hundred thousand men at a time, for each three months continual

A Field Mouse Made Famous

Robert Burns Robert Burns (1759–1796). To A Mouse, Poems and Songs. A humble Scotchman, plowing his fields, turns over the nest of a frightened mouse. He apologizes with the deepest sincerity and explains how "the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley." WEE, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie, O, what a panic’s in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty,                     Wi’ bickering brattle! I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,                     Wi’ murd’ring pattle! I’m truly sorry man’s dominion, Has broken nature’s social union, An’ justifies that ill opinion,                     Which makes thee startle At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,                     An’ fellow-mortal! I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve; What then? poor beastie, thou maun live! A daimen icker in a thrave                     ’S a sma’ request; I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,                     An’ never miss’t! Thy wee bit h