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A book is a literary compass that has the potential to direct our thoughts and actions:

"Everything we read stimulates our mind to think, and what we think determines what we desire, and desires are the seedbed of our actions. Given this iron law of human nature--from reading to thinking, to desiring, to acting--we are shaping our destiny by the ideas we choose to have enter our minds through print." - Fr. John Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Sancho Panza on Death

I've been listening to George Guidall reading Don Quixote, and the other day I was struck by this description of death by Sancho Panza:
"By my faith, Señor," responded Sancho, "you mustn't trust in the fleshless woman, I mean Death, who devours lamb as well as mutton; I've heard our priest say that she tramples the high towers of kings as well as the humble huts of the poor. This lady is more powerful than finicky; nothing disgusts her, she eats everything, and she does everything, and she crams her pack with all kinds and ages and ranks of people. She's not a reaper who takes naps; she reaps constantly and cuts the dry grass along with the green, and she doesn't seem to chew her food but wolfs it down and swallows everything that's put in front of her, because she's hungry as a dog and is never satisfied; and though she has no belly, it's clear that she has dropsy and is always thirsty and ready to drink down the lives of everyone living, like somebody drinking a pitcher of cold water."

"Enough, Sancho," said Don Quixote at this point. "Stop now before you fall, for the truth is that what you have said about death, in your rustic terms, is what a good preacher might say. I tell you, Sancho, with your natural wit and intelligence, you could mount a pulpit and go around preaching some very nice things."
From Don Quixote, translated by Edith Grossman

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posted by Nick Senger at 5:14 AM

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