Don Quixote

Don Quixote

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Part 1, Prologue Quotes

And to what can my barren and ill-cultivated mind give birth except the history of a dry, shriveled child, whimsical and full of extravagant fancies that nobody else has ever imagined – a child born, after all, in prison, where every discomfort has its seat and every dismal sound its habitation?

Related Characters: Cervantes (speaker)

… from beginning to end [the book] is an invective against books of chivalry ... All that has to be done is to make the best use of imitation in what one writes.

Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

In short, our hidalgo was soon so absorbed in these books that his nights were spent reading from dusk till dawn, and his days from dawn till dusk, until the lack of sleep the excess of reading withered his brain, and he went mad. … The idea that this whole fabric of famous fabrications was real so established itself in his mind that no history in the world was truer for him.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha
Part 1, Chapter 2 Quotes

And since whatever our adventurer thought, saw, or imagined seemed to him to be as it was in the books he’d read, as soon as he saw the inn he took it for a castle with its four towers and their spires of shining silver.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha
Related Symbols: Inns
Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

There is no reason why someone with a plebeian name should not be a knight, for every man is the child of his own deeds.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

I know who I am … and I know that I can be not only all of those whom I have mentioned, but every one of the Twelve Peers of France, and every one of the Nine Worthies as well, because all the deeds performed by them both singly and together will be exceeded by mine.

Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

But Don Quixote was so convinced that they were giants that he neither heard his squire Sancho’s shouts nor saw what stood in front of him.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha, Sancho Panza

He didn’t sleep in all the night, thinking about his lady Dulcinea, to conform with what he’d read in his books.

Part 1, Chapter 9 Quotes

… historians should and must be precise, truthful and unprejudiced, without allowing self-interest or fear, hostility or affection, to turn them away from the path of truth, whose mother is history.

Part 1, Chapter 10 Quotes

… for in those very many [histories] that I have read, I have not found any mention of knights errant eating, except when it happened that some sumptuous banquet was held for them, but otherwise they used to live on next to nothing.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 11 Quotes

… for of knight-errantry may be said what is said of love, that it makes all things equal.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 13 Quotes

…for in [Dulcinea] all the chimerical attributes of loveliness that poets ascribe to their ladies become reality.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Dulcinea del Toboso
Part 1, Chapter 15 Quotes

…wondering whether the beating was dishonorable or not doesn’t bother me in the slightest – all that does bother me is the pain of those staff-blows.

Related Characters: Sancho Panza (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 16 Quotes

… a knight adventurer, to cut a long story short, is someone who’s being beaten up one moment and being crowned emperor the next.

Related Characters: Sancho Panza (speaker), Don Quixote de la Mancha

…Cide Mahamate Benengeli was a careful and meticulous historian, something that’s obvious enough, for he refused to pass in silence over the happenings related so far, even though they’re so petty and trivial.

Related Characters: Cide Hamete Benengeli

And the poor hidalgo was so besotted that neither touch nor smell nor any of the good maiden’s other attributes could make him notice his mistake, even though they’d have made anyone but a muleteer vomit.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha
Part 1, Chapter 17 Quotes

Every minute of every hour of his imagination was filled with those battles, enchantments, adventures, loves, and challenges that books of chivalry recount, and everything he said, thought, or did was channeled into such affairs.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha
Part 1, Chapter 19 Quotes

The trouble, my dear Alonzo López BA, arose from your coming, as you did, by night, wearing those surplices, with your torches blazing, praying, and dressed in mourning, looking exactly like something evil from the other world; and so I could not fail to fulfill my obligation to attack you.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 20 Quotes

You can sleep, you were born to sleep – indeed you can do as you wish – but I shall behave as I consider befits my aspirations.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Sancho Panza
Part 1, Chapter 25 Quotes

What a string of absurdities you have come out with now, Sancho! What connection is there between what we are discussing and all those proverbs you have just threaded together?

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Sancho Panza

…whatever I have done, am doing, and shall do is totally reasonable and in conformity with the rules of chivalry.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

Let me add that when a painter wants to become famous for his art, he tries to copy originals by the finest artists he knows. And this same rule holds good for nearly all the trades and professions of importance that serve to adorn a society.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

Is it possible that in all the time you have been with me you have failed to realize that all things appertaining to us knights errant seem like chimeras, follies, and nonsenses, because they have all been turned on their head? Not because that is their real state, but because we are always attended by a crew of enchanters.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Sancho Panza

…the poets themselves invent most of [their ladies], to have something to write their poetry about, and to make people think that they are in love and that they have it in them to be lovers.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

…I imagine that everything I say is precisely as I say it is, and I depict her in my imagination as I wish her to be, both in beauty and in rank.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Dulcinea del Toboso
Part 1, Chapter 30 Quotes

It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained, and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer their distress for the vices, or for their virtues: the knight’s sole responsibility is to succor them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 31 Quotes

That’s the kind of love… that I’ve heard in sermons we’re supposed to feel for our Lord – for his own sake, without being moved by hopes of glory or fears of punishment. Though I must say I’d prefer to love him for what he can do for me.

Related Characters: Sancho Panza (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 32 Quotes

I don’t understand how that can be so, because to my mind there isn’t a better read anywhere in the world … at harvest time, you see, lots of the reapers come in here on rest-days, and there are always some who can read, and one of them picks up one of these books, and more than thirty of us gather around him, and we enjoy listening to it so much that it takes all our worries away.

Related Characters: The innkeeper (speaker)

A good woman is also like a mirror of clear, shining glass, but any breath that touches this mirror will cloud and dim it. She should be treated like a holy relic, adored but not touched.

Related Characters: Lotario (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 37 Quotes

This peace is the true goal of war.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

Don Quixote was developing his arguments in such an orderly and lucid way that for the time being none of those listening could believe he was a madman.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha
Part 1, Chapter 40 Quotes

It is possible that, since you have not been knighted, as I have, the enchantments in this place do not affect you, and that your understanding is unclouded, and that you can form judgments about the affairs of the castle as they really and truly are, rather than as they appeared to me.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Don Fernando

But one man had been plunged into the deepest depths of despair, and that was the barber, whose basin, there before his very eyes, had turned into Mambrino’s helmet, and whose pack-saddle, he was very sure, was about to turn into the splendid caparisons of some handsome steed.

Related Characters: Barber 2
Part 1, Chapter 42 Quotes

Yet maybe the chivalry and the enchanting of these times of ours follow different paths from those of earlier days.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

I might be poor but I’m of old Christian stock, and I don’t owe anybody anything, and if I’m set on islands others are set on worse, and deeds make the man, and being as I am a man I can get to be pope let alone governor of an island. … You be careful what you say, mister barber, there are other things in life than shaving beards, and each man’s a little bit different from the next.

Related Characters: Sancho Panza (speaker)

And even though the main point of such books is to amuse, I don’t know how they can succeed when they’re full of so many monstrous absurdities, because the soul can only take delight in the beauty and harmony that it sees or contemplates in what the eyes or the imagination places before it, and nothing than contains ugliness or disorder can give any pleasure.

Related Characters: The canon (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 43 Quotes

…whereas drama should, as Cicero puts it, be a mirror of human life, an exemplar of customs and an image of truth, there modern plays are just mirrors of absurdity, exemplars of folly and images of lewdness.

Related Characters: The priest (speaker)
Part 1, Chapter 49 Quotes

… enchantment can take many different forms, and it could be that these have changed in the course of time, so that what happens nowadays is that the enchanted do all the things that I do, even though formerly they did not. So one cannot either argue against the customs of the times, or draw any conclusions from them.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

I consider that it is you who are out of your senses and under some spell, for you have takes it upon yourself to utter such blasphemies against what has been so well received in the world and so widely accepted as the truth… Because trying to persuade someone that Amadis and all the other knights adventurers that pack the histories never existed is like trying to persuade him that the sun does not give out light, and that ice is not cold, and that the earth does not sustain us.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), The canon
Part 1, Chapter 50 Quotes

Speaking for myself, I can say that ever since I became a knight errant I have been courageous, polite, generous, well-bred, magnanimous, courteous, bold, gentle, patient and long-suffering in the face of toil, imprisonment, and enchantment.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

You go wherever you like, and eat as much as you can; I am fully satisfied already, and only need refection for my spirit, which I shall obtain by listening to this good fellow’s story.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Sancho Panza, The canon
Part 1, Chapter 52 Quotes

O pride of your family, honour and glory of all La Mancha and all the world – now that you’ve gone from it, it’ll fill up with evil-doers who won’t be frightened of being punished for their wicked ways! ... O you who were humble to the haughty and haughty to the humble, tackler of dangers, taker of insults, in love without a cause, imitator of the good, scourge of the wicked, enemy of villains – in a word, knight errant, and that says it all!

Related Characters: Sancho Panza (speaker), Don Quixote de la Mancha
Part 2, Chapter 1 Quotes

I am merely striving to make the world understand the delusion under which it labours in not renewing within itself the happy days when the order of knight-errantry carried all before it. But these depraved times of ours do not deserve all those benefits enjoyed by the ages when knights errant accepted as their responsibility and took upon their shoulders the defense of kingdoms, the relief of damsels, the succour of orphans and wards, and chastisement of the arrogant and the rewarding of the humble.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

I have often, on different occasions and with different people, attempted to expose this almost universal misconception to the light of truth; … truth so palpable that I can almost say I have seen Amadis of Gaul with my own eyes.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 2 Quotes

We shall soon see where this great fabric of absurdities leaves this knight and this squire – anyone would think they’d been made in the same mold, and that the madness of the master wouldn’t be worth a farthing without the foolishness of the man.

Related Characters: The priest (speaker), Don Quixote de la Mancha, Sancho Panza
Part 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

It’s so very intelligible that it doesn’t pose any difficulties at all: children leaf through it, adolescents read it, grown men understand it and old men praise it, and, in short, it’s so well-thumbed and well-perused and well-known by all kinds of people that as soon as they see a skinny nag pass by they say: “Look, there goes Rocinante.” And the people who have most taken to it are the page-boys. There’s not a lord’s antechamber without its Quixote. … All in all, this history provides the most delightful and least harmful entertainment ever, because nowhere in it can one find the slightest suspicion of language that isn’t wholesome or thoughts that aren’t Catholic.

Related Characters: Sansón Carrasco (speaker), Don Quixote de la Mancha
Part 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

… there is a great confusion among lineages, and the only families who show themselves to be great and illustrious are those that display these qualities in the virtue, wealth and generosity of their paterfamilias. I say virtue, wealth and generosity because the great man who is sin-ridden can only be a great sinner, and the wealthy man who is not generous will be nothing but a miserly beggar. … The poor gentleman has no means of showing that he is a gentleman other than by his virtue: being affable, well-bred, courteous and considerate and solicitous; … and anybody who sees him adorned with these virtues of which I speak, even if he does not know him, cannot fail to consider that he is a man of good stock.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 8 Quotes

… the envy that some evil enchanter must feel for all my affairs transforms all things that can give me pleasure into shapes quite unlike their real ones; and so I fear that if perchance the author of the history of my exploits that is said to be in print is some hostile sage, he has no doubt altered everything, mingling a thousand lies with one truth.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

And so, O Sancho, our works must not stray beyond the limits imposed by the Christian religion that we profess. In slaying giants, we must slay pride; in our generosity and magnanimity, we must slay envy; in our tranquil demeanor and serene disposition, we must slay anger; in eating as little as we do and keeping vigil as much as we do, we must slay gluttony and somnolence; in our faithfulness to those whom we have made the mistresses of our thoughts, we must slay lewdness and lust; in wandering all over the world in search of opportunities to become famous knights as well as good Christians, we must slay sloth.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Sancho Panza
Part 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

Look here, you heretic: have I not told you over and over again that in all the days of my life I have never seen the peerless Dulcinea, and have never crossed the threshold of her palace, and am enamoured only by hearsay of her fame as a beautiful and intelligent lady?

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Dulcinea del Toboso
Part 2, Chapter 10 Quotes

…the truth might be stretched thin but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

Part 2, Chapter 11 Quotes

On my faith as a knight errant… when I saw this cart I imagined that it heralded some great adventure, and now I do declare that appearances must be examined closely to discover the hidden truth.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 12 Quotes

With every day that passes by, dear Sancho, … you lose some foolishness and gain some sense.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Sancho Panza
Part 2, Chapter 16 Quotes

And do not imagine, sir, that by “vulgar crowd” I mean only the humble lower orders: everyone who is ignorant, even if he is a lord and a pillar of the community, can and should be considered one of the vulgar crowd.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 17 Quotes

…he sometimes thought [Quixote] sane and sometimes mad, because what he said was coherent, elegant and well expressed, and what he did was absurd, foolhardy and stupid.

Part 2, Chapter 18 Quotes

[Knight-errantry] is a subject … that contains within itself all or most of the other subjects in the world.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

All the doctors and fine clerks in the world couldn’t make a fair copy of that man by eliminating his blotches of insanity: he’s mad in streaks, complete with lucid intervals.

Related Characters: Don Lorenzo (speaker), Don Quixote de la Mancha
Part 2, Chapter 22 Quotes

Nothing that is directed at a virtuous end… can or should be called deception.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 24 Quotes

I cannot bring myself to believe that everything recorded in this chapter happened to the brave Don Quixote exactly as described… Yet I can’t believe that Don Quixote was lying, because he was the most honest hidalgo and the noblest knight of his time: he couldn’t have told a lie to save himself from being executed. … so I merely record it, without affirming either that it is false or that it is true.

Related Characters: Cide Hamete Benengeli (speaker), Don Quixote de la Mancha
Part 2, Chapter 26 Quotes

…the ploy of these enchanters who pursue me is to place before my eyes things as they are, and then change them into what they want them to be.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 29 Quotes

An ass you are, an ass you will remain and an ass you will still be when you end your days on this earth, and it is my belief that when you come to breathe your last you still will not have grasped the fact that you are an animal.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Sancho Panza

Although they look like water-mils, that is not what they are: I have already told you that enchantments transfigure al things and deprive them of their natural forms. I don’t mean to say that they really convert them from one thing into another, but that it seems as if they do.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

In this adventure two mighty enchanters must have clashed headlong, and one of them impedes whatever the other attempts: one provided me with the boat, the other knocked me out of it. May God send a remedy; for everything in this world is trickery, stage machinery, every part of it working against every other part. I have done all I can.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 31 Quotes

…Don Quixote was amazed by what was happening; and that was the first day when he was fully convinced that he was a real knight errant, not a fantasy one, seeing himself treated in the same way as he’d read that such knights used to be treated in centuries past.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha
Part 2, Chapter 32 Quotes

My intentions are always directed towards worthy ends, that is to say to do good to all and harm nobody; and whether the man who believes this, puts it into practice and devotes his life to it deserves to be called a fool is something for Your Graces, most excellent Duke and Duchess, to determine.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), The Duke and the Duchess
Part 2, Chapter 34 Quotes

Sancho Panza’s proverbs … give me more pleasure than others that are more timely and appropriate.

Related Characters: The Duke and the Duchess (speaker), Sancho Panza
Part 2, Chapter 41 Quotes

… and even if everything did turn out the opposite of how I believe it will, no amount of malice will be able to obscure the glory of having undertaken this exploit.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

Sancho, since you want people to believe what you saw in the sky, I want you to believe what I saw in the Cave of Montesinos.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Sancho Panza
Part 2, Chapter 44 Quotes

…the Dolorous Duenna’s face is indeed the butler’s, but this does not mean to say that the butler is the Dolorous Duenna; for if he were, this would imply a major contradiction, and now is not the time to make sure enquiries, which would take us into inextricable labyrinths.

Part 2, Chapter 58 Quotes

I consider it a good omen, my friends, to have seen what I have just seen, because these saintly knights professed, as I myself profess, the exercise of arms; but the difference between them and me is that they were saints, and fought in the manner of angels, and I am a sinner, and fight in the manner of men.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 59 Quotes

Yes, you eat up, friend Sancho … sustain life, which is of more interest to you than to me, and let me die at the hands of my thoughts and in the grasp of my misfortunes. I was born, Sancho, to live dying, and you were born to die eating.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker), Sancho Panza

I say it was an inn because that’s what Don Quixote called it, contrary to his habit of calling all inns castles.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha

And yet it seems to me that translating from one language into another, except from those queens of languages, Greek and Latin, is like viewing Flemish tapestries from the wrong side, when, although one can make out the figures, they are covered by threads that obscure them, and one cannot appreciate the smooth finish of the right side.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 60 Quotes

What I can tell you is that there’s no such thing as fortune, and whatever happens in this world, good and bad, does not occur by chance, but by special providence of heaven; and for this reason it is often said that every man is the architect of his own fortune. And I have been the architect of mine, but not with the necessary prudence, and so my presumption has led to disaster.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 67 Quotes

… the treasures of knights errant are like fairy gold, false and illusory.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)
Part 2, Chapter 71 Quotes

They dismounted at an inn, which Don Quixote recognized as such and not as a castle with its deep moat, towers, portcullises and drawbridge; because now that he’d been defeated his judgment on all subjects was sounder, as will soon be shown.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha, Sancho Panza
Part 2, Chapter 74 Quotes

My mind has been restored to me, and it is now clear and free, without those gloomy shadows of ignorance cast over me by my wretched, obsessive reading of those detestable books of chivalry. Now I can recognize their absurdity and their deceitfulness, and my only regret is that this discovery has come so late that it leaves me no time to make amends by reading other books that might be a light for my soul.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

You must congratulate me, my good sirs, because I am no longer Don Quixote de la Mancha but Alonso Quixano, for whom my way of life earned me the nickname of “the Good”. I am now the enemy of Amadis of Gaul and the whole infinite horde or his descendants; now all those profane histories of knight-errantry are odious to me; now I acknowledge my folly and the peril in which I was placed by reading them; now, by God’s mercy, having at long last learned my lesson, I abominate them all.

Related Characters: Don Quixote de la Mancha (speaker)

For me alone was Don Quixote born, and I for him; it was for him to act, for me to write; we two are one.

Related Characters: Cide Hamete Benengeli (speaker), Don Quixote de la Mancha
No matches.