THE ADVENTURES OF GIL BLAS OF SANTILLANE
BY ALAIN-RENE LESAGE
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY TOBIAS SMOLLETT
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE AND ACKNOWLEGDEMENTS
The text of this version is taken from
The Adventures of Gil Blas by A.R. LeSage. Translated from the
French by Tobias Smollett with an introduction by William Morton
Fullerton. George Routledge & Sons. 1913
We wish to acknowledge the courtesy and helpfulness of Ms. Sally
Sweet of ITPS in clearing copyright for this publication.
THE AUTHOR'S DECLARATION.
THERE are some people in the world so mischievous as not to read
a work without applying the vicious or ridiculous characters it
may happen to contain to eminent or popular individuals. I
protest publicly against the pretended discovery of any such
likenesses. My purpose was to represent human life historically
as it exists: God forbid I should holdmyself out as a portrait-painter.
Let not the reader then take to himself public property; for if he
does, he may chance to throw an unlucky light on his own character:
as Phaedrus expresses it, Stulte nudabit animi conscientiam.
Certain physicians of Castille, as well as of France, are
sometimes a little too fond of trying the bleeding and lowering
system on their patients. Vices, their patrons, and their dupes,
are of every day's occurrence, To be sure, I have not always
adopted Spanish manners with scrupulous exactness; and in the
instance of the players at Madrid, those who know their
disorderly modes of living may reproach me with softening down
their coarser traits: but this I have been induced to do from a
sense of delicacy, and in conformity with the manners of my own
GIL BLAS TO THE READER.
READER! hark you, my friend! Do not begin the story of my life
till I have told you a short tale.
Two students travelled together from Penafiel to Salamanca.
Finding themselves tired and thirsty, they stopped by the side of
a spring on the road. While they were resting there, after having
quenched their thirst, by chance they espied on a stone near
them, even with the ground, part of an inscription, in some
degree effaced by time, and by the tread of flocks in the habit
of watering at that spring. Having washed the stone, they were
able to trace these words in the dialect of Castille; Aqui esta
encerrada el alma del licenciado Pedro Garcias. "Here lies
interred the soul of the licentiate Peter Garcias."