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Re: English Mastiffs

Poster: edh@ascc01.ascc.lucent.com

Sayyid Falcone al Rasool ibn Muhajir, writes, in regard to
English Mastiffs,

> [...]  These dogs are
> considered, although I have not verified this myself, period.

The following may constitite proof (I suppose one must check
the original Catalan version):

[From _Tirant_Lo_Blanc_, written by Joanot Martorell &
Marti' Joan de Galba, published in 1490, translated from
Catalan by David H. Rosenthal (c) 1984.  This excerpt is
from Chapter LXVIII: "How The Judges Announced That Tirant
Had Won The Duel"]

   The prince of Wales had come to London with a great
retinue of noblemen.  Being fond of hunting, he kept many
fierce mastiffs in his lodgings near the city walls, and by chance,
one morning the king and three or four knights went to visit
him, for the prince and His Majesty were boyhood friends.
[...]  As he [Tirant] was passing the prince's lodgings,
he saw a mastiff that had broken loose and run into the
street.  A great crowd was trying to catch it, but the dog was so
ferocious that no one dared to approach.
    When Tirant reached the square, the mastiff started to chase
him, whereupon our knight dismounted and unsheathed his
sword.  Beholding the weapon, the mastiff halted, and Tirant
said:  "I have no wish to lose this life or its honors from an animal."
    Then he remounted, while the king and his judges looked
on.  The Prince of Wales said, "On my faith, sire, I know that
mastiff's nature, and if that knight has any courage in him, we
shall se a noble battle."
    "That knight," replied the king, "looks like Tirant lo Blanc,
and he has already frightened your mastiff once.  I doubt that the
beast will come back a second time."
    When Tirant had ridden some twenty paces further, the
mastiff bounded after him with great ferocity.  Tirant had to
dismount again and said: "Is this dog under a spell or the Devil
    He drew his sword and hurried toward the mastiff, which
circled around him but kept its distance because of the weapon.
    "Now," said Tirant, "I know you fear my sword, and I wish
no one to say I bested you in unequal combat."
    He threw his sword behind him, whereupon the mastiff took
two or three mighty leaps, ran as fast as it could and seized the
weapon in its teeth.  Having carried it to the other side of the
square, the dog dashed toward Tirant.
   "Now that we are equal," said Tirant, "I shall vanquish you
with the same arms you plan to use against me."

----------------- end of excerpt ------------------

The book then goes on to describe a battle of sorts.

-- Alfredo

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