Sunday, January 16, 2005

Three different openings

At a village of La Mancha, whose name I do not wish to remember, there lived a little while ago one of those gentlemen who are wont to keep a lance in the rack, an old buckler, a lean horse, and a swift greyhound. His stew had more beef than mutton in it and most nights he ate a hodgepodge, pickled and cold. Lentil soup on Fridays, "tripe and trouble" on Saturdays, and an occasional pigeon as an extra delicacy on Sundays consumed three quarters of his income.

--Walter Starkie

In a certain corner of la Mancha, the name of which I do not choose to remember, there lately lived one of those country gentlemen, who adorn their halls with a rusty lance and worm-eaten target, and ride forth on the skeleton of a horse, to course with a sort of starved greyhound.

Three fourths of his income were scarce sufficient to afford a dish of hodge-podge, in which the mutton bore no proportion to the beef, for dinner; a plate of salmagundy, commonly at supper, gripes and grumblings on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and the addition of a pigeon or some such thing on the Lord's-day.

--Tobias Smollett

Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing. An occasional stew, beef more often than lamb, hash most nights, eggs and abstinence on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, sometimes squab as a treat on Sundays--these consumed three-fourths of his income.

--Elizabeth Grossman


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