Imágenes de páginas

sanè animo iisque viribus ut, cùm ætas vitæque ratio sic ferebat, nec ferrum tractare nec stringere quotidiano usu exercitatus nescirem; eo accinctus, ut plerumque eram, cuivis vel multò robustiori exæquatum me putabam, sccurus quid mihi quis injuriæ vir viro inferre posset.

Idem hodie animus, eædem vires, oculi non iidem ; ità tamen extrinsecus illæsi, ità sine nube clari ac lucidi, ut eorum qui acutissimùm cernunt: in liâc solùm parte, memet invito, simulator sum. In vultu, quo “ nihil exsanguius” esse dixit, is manet etiamnum color exsangui et pallenti planè contrarius, ut quadragenario major vix sit cui non denis


annis videar natu minor; neque corpore contracto neque cute. In his ego si ullâ ex parte mentior, multis millibus popularium meorum, qui de facie me nôrunt, exteris etiam non paucis, ridiculus meritò sim: sin iste in re minimê necessariâ tàm impudenter et gratuitò mendax comperietur, poteritis de reliquo eandem conjecturam facere. Atque hæc de forma meâ vel coactus: de tuâ quanquam et contemptissimam accepi, et habitantis in te improbitatis atque malitiæ vivam imaginem, neque ego dicere neque ullus audire curat. Utinam de cæcitate pariter liceret inhumanum hunc refellere adversarium: sed non

licet; feramus igitur: non est miserum esse cæcum; miserum est cæcitatem non posse ferre: quidni autem feram, quod unumquemque ità parare se oportet, ut si acciderit non ægrè ferat, quod et humanitus accidere cuivis mortalium, et præstantissimis quibusdam atque optimis omni memoriâ viris accidisse sciam: sive illos memorem, velustatis ultimæ priscos vates ac sapientissimos; quorum calamitatem et dii, ut fertur, multò potioribus donis compensarunt, et homines eo honore affecerunt, ut ipsos inculpare maluerint deos, quàm cæcitatem illis crimini dare. De augure Tiresiâ quod traditur, vulgò notum. De Phineo sic cecinit Apollonius in Argonauticis:

-Ουδ' οσσον οπίζετο και Διός αυτ8
Χρείων ατρεκέως ιερον νόον ανθρώποισι. .
Τω και οι γηρας μεν επί δηναιου αλλεν

'Εκ δ' έλετ' οφθαλμών γλυκερον φάος. “ Let us now come to the charge which he brings against me. Is there any thing in my life or my morals on which his censure can fasten? Certainly nothing. What then is his conduct? That of which no one but a savage and a barbarian could be guilty,-he reproaches me with my form and my blindness. In his pa


I am
A monster horrid, hideous, huge, and blind.”

I never, indeed, imagined that, with respect to person, there would be instituted any competition between me and a cyclops. But my accuser immediately corrects himself: “ So far, however, is he froin huge, that a more meagre, bloodless, diminutive animal can no where be seen.” Although it be idle for a man to speak of his own form, yet since, even in this particular instance, I have cause of thankfulness to God and the power of confuting the falsehoods of my adversary, I will not be silent on the subject, lest any person should deem me, as the credulous populace of Spain are induced by their priests to believe those whom they call heretics, to be a kind of rhinoceros or a monster with a dog's head. By any man indeed, who has ever seen me, I have never, to the best of my knowledge, been considered as deformed-whether as handsome or not forms a less object of my concern. My stature, I confess not to be lofty; but it approaches more to the middle height than to the low. If it were however even low, I should in this respect only be confounded with many who have eininently distinguished themselves in peace and in war; and I know not why that human body should be called little which is sufficiently

large for all the purposes of human usefulness and perfection. When my age and the habits of my life would permit, I accustomed myself to the daily exercise of the sword, and was not either so puny in body or so deficient in courage as not to think myself, with that

weapon which I generally wore, to be secure in the assault of any man, hand to hand, how superior soever he might be to me in muscular strength. The spirit and the power, which I then possessed, continue unimpaired to the present day; my eyes only are not the same; and they are as unblemished in appearance, as lucid and free from spot, as those which are endued with the sharpest vision: in this instance alone, and much against my own inclination, am I a deceiver. My face, than which, as he says, nothing is more bloodless, still retains, at the age of more than forty, a colour the very reverse of pale, and such as induces almost every one, who sees me, to consider mne as ten years younger than I am; neither is my skin wrinkled, nor my body in any way shrunk. If I should misrepresent any of these circumstances, my falsehood must instantly be detected by thousands of my own countrymen, and by many foreigners, who are acquainted with my person, and to whose

ridicule and contempt I should justly be exposed: it might then be fairly concluded that he who, in an affair of no moment, could unnecessarily be guilty of a gross and wanton violation of truth, could not be deserving of credit in any thing which he asserted. Thus much have I been compelled to speak of my own person;—of your's, though I have been informed that it is the most contemptible and the most strongly expressive of the dishonesty and malice which actuate it, I am as little disposed to speak as others would be to hear.

I wish that it were in my power, with the same facility with which I have repelled his other attacks, to refute the charge, which my unfceling adversary brings against me, of blindness: but, alas! it is not in my power, and I must consequently submit to it. It is not, however, miserable to be blind: he only is miserable who cannot acquiesce in his blindness with fortitude. And why should I repine at a calamity, which every man's mind ought to be so prepared and disciplined as to be able, on the contingency of its happening, to undergo with patience: a calamity to which man by the condition of his nature is liable; and which I know to have been the lot of some of the greatest and

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