Novel by Arturo Perez-Reverte
. A novel of political
intrigue in 19th century Spain
and an anachronistic
fencing master who plays an unwilling role in the internal feuds of the court. He is one of the few people who still view fencing as other than a sport. He clings to a sense of honor that is rapidly dying away. Home to many of my favorite quotes. A friend's description of him: "unlike the Man of La Mancha, you carry your windmills around inside you."
Another great bit of dialogue:
Don Jaime: A good death can make up for anything done in life, don't you think?
Friend: That notion has a suspicious whiff of Catholicism about it, the idea of the good death as the entrance to salvation.
Don Jaime: If you're doing it for salvation, or whatever, it has very little merit in it. I'm talking about the final battle on the brink of eternal darkness with oneself as the only witness.
Friend: you're forgetting about God.
Don Jaime: He doesn’t interest me. God tolerates the intolerable. He is irresponsible and inconsistent. God is not a gentleman.