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¿Qué os admira? ¿Qué os espanta,
si fue mi maestro un sueño,
y estoy temiendo, en mis ansias,
que he de despertar y hallarme
otra vez en mi cerrada
prisión? Y cuando no sea,
el soñarlo sólo basta;
pues así llegué a saber
que toda la dicha humana,
en fin, pasa como sueño,
y quiero hoy aprovecharla
el tiempo que me durare,
pidiendo de nuestras faltas
perdón, pues de pechos nobles
es tan propio el perdonarlas.
Why this wonder, these surprises,
If my teacher was a dream,
And amid my new aspirings
I am fearful I may wake,
And once more a prisoner find me
In my cell? But should I not,
Even to dream it is sufficient:
For I thus have come to know
That at last all human blisses
Pass and vanish as a dream,
And the time that may be given me
I henceforth would turn to gain:
Asking for our faults forgiveness,
Since to generous, noble hearts
It is natural to forgive them.
–Pedro Calderón de la Barca, La vida es sueño act iii, sc xiv, l. 1114 (Segismundo)(1636)(D. MacCarthy transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Number of countries thought to possess chemical weapons:
Placebos are more effective if the drugs for which they stand in are said to be more expensive.
In Torrance, California, an African grey parrot named Nigel, who once spoke English with a British accent and had returned home after a four-year absence, began asking for someone named “Larry” and speaking Spanish.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”