I downloaded a few chapters from Project Gutenberg (PG) and started reading excitedly. That was just after New Years. It is now late February and I haven’t gotten very far.
The problem is not the story, at least I don’t think it is. The problem is the translation. The version on PG includes a note by the translator stating his reasons for doing the translation; it is dated 1566. According to PG, “The original spelling, capitalisation and punctuation have been retained.” Yikes.
To give you an idea of what this translation is like, here is the first paragraph of the first chapter:
As I fortuned to take my voyage into Thessaly, about certaine affaires which I had to doe ( for there myne auncestry by my mothers side inhabiteth, descended of the line of that most excellent person Plutarch, and of Sextus the Philosopher his Nephew, which is to us a great honour) and after that by much travell and great paine I had passed over the high mountaines and slipperie vallies, and had ridden through the cloggy fallowed fields; perceiving that my horse did wax somewhat slow, and to the intent likewise that I might repose and strengthen my self (being weary with riding) I lighted off my horse, and wiping the sweat from every part of his body, I unbrideled him, and walked him softly in my hand, to the end he might pisse, and ease himself of his weariness and travell: and while he went grazing freshly in the field (casting his head sometimes aside, as a token of rejoycing and gladnesse) I perceived a little before me two companions riding, and so I overtaking them made a third. And while I listened to heare their communication, the one of them laughed and mocked his fellow, saying, Leave off I pray thee and speak no more, for I cannot abide to heare thee tell such absurd and incredible lies; which when I heard, I desired to heare some newes, and said, I pray you masters make me partaker of your talk, that am not so curious as desirous to know all your communication: so shall we shorten our journey, and easily passe this high hill before us, by merry and pleasant talke.So, what did you think of that?
I’ve tried, really I have, but this is simply taking too much effort to read right now. I think I might enjoy the story if I had a different translation, but at the moment I’m tired of the whole thing. I’m calling it quits on this one.