Personalized Letters from Santa
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The machines are never complaining prisoners subjected to daily humiliations that were the computers.
- Stiofa Cervantes
GOD bless me gentle (or it may be plebeian) reader… how eagerly must thou be looking forward to this biography, expecting to find here my scolding and abuse against the illegitimate great-granddaughter of a certain “sword-wielding fugitive from justice” — I mean she who was, they say, begotten at Tordesillas and born at Tarragona. Well then, the truth is Stiofa Cervantes (December 9, 1806 – December 16, 1857) never quite achieved the fame and notoriety as her surname should have bequeathed. Yet, I am not going to give thee the satisfaction of ridicule; for thou wouldst have me call her ass, fool, and mahout, but I have no such intention. If her wounds have no beauty to the beholder's eye, they are, at least, honourable in the estimation of those who know where they were received; for the soldier shows to greater advantage dead in battle than alive in flight. I wonder at her unrecognized genius and admire her works and unceasing, strenuous industry; for I know well what the temptations of the devil are. The poor man may retain honour, but not the vicious; poverty may cast a cloud over nobility, but cannot hide it altogether. Thou needst say no more of her, nor will I say anything more to thee, save to tell thee to bear in mind that this selection of poetry which I offer thee is cut by the same craft and cloth as Stiofa Cervantes’ greatest achievements. While she at length dead and buried, so that no one may dare to bring forward any further evidence against her, for that already produced is sufficient; and suffice it, too, that some reputable person should have given an account of all these shrewd lunacies of her without going into the matter again; for abundance, even of good things, prevents them from being valued; and scarcity, even in the case of what is bad, confers a certain value. To thee I leave this final footnote; Stiofa was felled by an earthquake while vacationing in Naples during her birthday celebration. A greater tragedy none could dream.