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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

That does not alter my resolution


"To

gain the hearts of thy people, I chiefly recommend two things: one is, to be affable, courteous, and fair to all the world; the other, to take care that plenty of provisions be never wanting,--for nothing afflicts or irritates more the spirit of the poor than scarcity and hunger.

"Do not put out many new orders; and if thou dost put out any, see that they be wholesome and good, and that they be strictly observed; for laws not well obeyed are no better than if they were not made, and only shew that the prince who had the wisdom and authority to make them had not the resolution to see them executed; and laws that only threaten, and are not kept, become like the log that was given to the frogs to be their king, which they feared at first, but at last scorned and trampled on.

"Be a father to virtue, but a father-in-law to vice. Be not always severe, nor always merciful; choose a mean between these two extremes; for that middle point is the centre of discretion.

"Visit the prisons, the shambles, and the public markets; for the governor's presence is highly necessary in such places.

"Be a terror to the butchers, that they may be fair in their weights; and keep hucksters and fraudulent dealers in awe, for the same reason.

"Write to thy lord and lady, and shew thyself grateful; for ingratitude is the offspring of

pride, and one of the worst corruptions of the mind; whereas he that is thankful to his benefactors gives a testimony that he will be so to God, who has done, and continually does him, so much good.

"My lady duchess despatched a messenger on purpose to thy wife Teresa, with thy hunting suit, and another present. We expect his return every moment.

"I have been somewhat out of order by a certain encounter I had lately, not much to the advantage of my nose; but all that is nothing; for if there are necromancers that misuse me, there are others ready to defend me.

"Send me word whether the steward that is with thee had any hand in the business of the Countess Trifaldi, as thou wert once of opinion; and let me also have an account of whatever befalls thee, since the distance between us is so small. I have thoughts of leaving this idle life ere long; for I was not born for luxury and ease.

"A business has offered, that I believe will make me lose the duke and duchess's favour; but though I am heartily sorry for it, that does not alter my resolution; for, after all, I owe more to my profession than to complaisance; and, as the saying is, _Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas_. I send thee this scrap of Latin, flattering myself that since thou camest to be a governor, thou mayest have learned something of that language. Farewell, and Heaven keep thee above the pity of the world.


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