A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Duels and breaks with lardy eggs on Saturday

In the first chapter of Don Quixote, Cervantes introduces us to the modest straights of “the Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote of La Mancha” by describing his diet:

Una olla de algo más vaca que carnero, salpicón las más noches, duelos y quebrantos los sábados, lantejas los viernes, algún palomino de añadidura los domingos, consumían las tres partes de su hacienda.

I’ve just started reading Edith Grossman’s new translation, and it contains the first paragraph from several English translations. I found the different translations of this sentence really interesting.

Grossman: An occasional stew, beef more often than lamb, hash most nights, eggs and abstinence on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, sometimes a squab as a treat on Sundays—these consumed three-fourths of his income.

John Rutherford (2001): A midday stew with rather more shin of beef than leg of lamb, the leftover for supper most nights, lardy eggs on Saturdays, lentil broth on Fridays and an occasional pigeon as a Sunday treat ate up most of his income.

Samuel Putnam (1949): A stew with beef than mutton in it, chopped meat for his evening meal, scraps for a Saturday, lentils on Friday, and a young pigeon as a special delicacy for Sunday, went to account for three-quarters of his income.

J.M. Cohen (1950): His habitual diet consisted of a stew, more beef than mutton, of hash most nights, boiled bones on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a young pigeon as a Sunday treat; on on these he spent three-quarters of his income.

Charles Jarvis (1842): A dish of boiled meat, consisting somewhat more beef than mutton, the fragments served up cold on most nights, an omelet of Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a small pigeon by way of addition on Sundays, consumed three-fourths of his income.

Also, from the web. John Ormsby: An olla of rather more beef than mutton, a salad on most nights, scraps on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a pigeon or so extra on Sundays, made away with three-quarters of his income.

Google/Babelfish/Systran translation: A pot of something more cow than sheep, salmigundi the pluses nights, duels and breaks Saturdays, lantejas Fridays, some palomino of addition Sundays, consumed the three parts of their property.

Fitzgerald (2006): A simple stew from beef more often than lamb, with leftovers most nights, and nothing but eggs and scraps on Saturdays and lentils on Fridays, with just maybe a squab on special Sundays—these consumed three-quarters of his income.


One response to “Duels and breaks with lardy eggs on Saturday

  1. Natalia June 19, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    I think the standard spelling is “lentejas,” which would account for the Google thing.

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