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About Miguel de Cervantes



Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547 – 1616) was a Spanish writer widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language, and one of the world’s pre-eminent novelists. He is best known for his novel Don Quixote, a work often cited as both the first modern novel, and one of the pinnacles of literature. Wikipedia

References:   Encyclopaedia Britannica   |   Biography.com

  

Quotes by Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes (quotes)

  • Get out of harms way.
  • Every dog has his day.
  • Thank you for nothing.
  • Give the devil his due.
  • Comparisons are odious.
  • Miracle me no miracles.
  • Fair and softly goes far.
  • Many littles make a much.
  • I have other fish to fry.
  • I’ll turn over a new leaf.
  • Delay always heeds danger.
  • As ill-luck would have it.
  • Honesty’s the best policy.
  • Until death it is all life.
  • Delay always breeds danger.
  • Thou hast seen nothing yet.
  • Think before thou speakest.
  • Tomorrow will be a new day.
  • Little said is soon amended.
  • He who reforms, God assists.
  • The proof is in the pudding.
  • It is good to live and learn.
  • Facts are the enemy of truth.
  • A stout heart breaks bad luck.
  • He had a face like a blessing.
  • Whoever is ignorant is vulgar.
  • Virtue is the truest nobility.
  • All is not gold that glisters.
  • Behind the cross is the devil.
  • In hell there is no retention.
  • Seek for good, but expect evil.
  • Patience and shuffle the cards.
  • He who gives early gives twice.
  • Too much sanity may be madness!
  • Soul of fibre and heart of oak.
  • We must not stand upon trifles.
  • In the night all cats are gray.
  • A closed mouth catches no flies.
  • All sorrows are less with bread.
  • Dine on little, and sup on less.
  • There’s no love lost between us.
  • Faint heart ne’er won fair lady.
  • Let the worst come to the worst.
  • He preaches well that lives well
  • The wicked are always ungrateful.
  • My thoughts ran a wool-gathering.
  • Sing away sorrow, cast away care.
  • There is no love lost between us.
  • The pen is the tongue of the mind.
  • Man appoints, and God disappoints.
  • He that gives quickly gives twice.
  • I shall be as secret as the grave.
  • Be slow of tongue and quick of eye.
  • Other men’s pains are easily borne.
  • Where one door shuts another opens.
  • Let every man look before he leaps.
  • Necessity urges desperate measures.
  • It takes all sorts (to make a world
  • The absent feel and fear every ill.
  • Health and cheerfulness make beauty
  • With life many things are remedied.
  • Let us forget and forgive injuries.
  • Jests that give pains are no jests.
  • Let every man mind his own business.
  • When you are at Rome, do as you see.
  • Everything disturbs an absent lover.
  • He who’s never loved cannot be good.
  • The journey is better than the inn”.
  • Wit and humor belong to genius alone.
  • Let us make hay while the sun shines.
  • They who lose today may win tomorrow.
  • Treason pleases, but not the traitor.
  • There is no proverb that is not true.
  • He who sings frightens away his ills.
  • Blessings on him, who invented sleep.
  • When we are asleep, we are all equal.
  • Hunger is the best sauce in the world.
  • Man have to have friends even in hell.
  • The eyes those silent tongues of love.
  • Every man is the son of his own works.
  • My honor is dearer to me than my life.
  • What is bought is cheaper than a gift.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • What a man has, so much he is sure of.
  • Those two fatal words, Mine and Thine.
  • A Man Without Honor is Worse than Dead.
  • That which costs little is less valued.
  • Ill-luck, you know, seldom comes alone.
  • Evil comes not amiss if it comes alone.
  • God exalts the man who humbles himself.
  • The proof of the pudding is the eating.
  • A person dishonored is worst than dead.
  • It requires a long time to know anyone.
  • Believe there are no limits but the sky.
  • A good name is better than bags of gold.
  • God who gives the wound gives the salve.
  • I can tell where my own shoe pinches me.
  • Spare your breath to cool your porridge.
  • God helps everyone with what is his own.
  • Thou art a cat, and a rat, and a coward.
  • Where there’s music there can be no evil.
  • Arms are my ornaments, warfare my repose.
  • A blot in thy escutcheon to all futurity.
  • One swallow alone does not make a summer.
  • Leap out of the frying pan into the fire.
  • They must needs go whom the Devil drives.
  • Wit and humor do not reside in slow minds.
  • Can we ever have too much of a good thing?
  • There’s no sauce in the world like hunger.
  • A man prepared has half fought the battle.
  • It will be seen in the frying of the eggs.
  • A shy face is better than a forward heart.
  • Every production must resemble its author.
  • Whom God loves, his house is sweet to him.
  • There is nothing costs less than civility.
  • Heaven’s help is better than early rising.
  • There’s no taking trout with dry breeches.
  • Take away the cause, and the effect ceases.
  • The man who fights for his ideals is alive.
  • Sleep is the best cure for waking troubles.
  • Let us not throw the rope after the bucket.
  • Urgent necessity prompts many to do things.
  • Great people create great acts of kindness.
  • God bears with the wicked, but not forever.
  • God who sends the wound sends the medicine.
  • Time ripens all things; no man is born wise.
  • You cannot eat your cake and have your cake.
  • Troubles take wing for the man who can sing.
  • An honest man’s word is as good as his bond.
  • All sorrows are bearable, if there is bread.
  • The little birds have God for their caterer.
  • When God sends the dawn, he sends it for all.
  • Wine taken in moderation never does any harm.
  • The ass bears the load, but not the overload.
  • Good Christians should never avenge injuries.
  • When thou art at Rome, do as they do at Rome.
  • Good wits jump; a word to the wise is enough.
  • Great persons are able to do great kindnesses.
  • I know who I am and who I may be, if I choose.
  • Old, that’s an affront no woman can well bear.
  • I am almost frightened out of my seven senses.
  • Experience is the universal mother of sciences.
  • The guts carry the feet, not the feet the guts.
  • The wise hand does not all the tongue dictates.
  • I do not believe that the Good Lord plays dice.
  • Under a bad cloak there is often a good drinker
  • Take away the motive, and you take away the sin.
  • She who desires to see, desires also to be seen.
  • Riches are able to solder up abundance of flaws.
  • The darts of love are blunted by maiden modesty.
  • The road to the inn is much better than the stay.
  • The treason pleases, but the traitors are odious.
  • A tooth is much more to be prized than a diamond.
  • Alas! all music jars when the soul’s out of tune.
  • When in doubt, lean to the side of #‚Äé mercy  .
  • For hope is always born at the same time as love.
  • Make yourself honey and the flies will devour you.
  • I find my familiarity with thee has bred contempt.
  • Every one in his own house and God in all of them.
  • Fear has many eyes and can see things underground.
  • Every man is as God made him, ay, and often worse.
  • Wine in excess keeps neither secrets nor promises.
  • I must speak the truth, and nothing but the truth.
  • Love not what you are but only what you may become.
  • Truth will rise above falsehood as oil above water.
  • The man who is prepared has his battle half fought.
  • Our hours in love have wings; in absence, crutches.
  • Good painter imitates nature, bad ones spews it up.
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly.
  • We are all as God made us and frequently much worse.
  • Many go out for wool, and come home shorn themselves.
  • Great expectations are better than a poor possession.
  • A wise man does not trust all his eggs to one basket.
  • To be good to the vile is to throw water into the sea.
  • A knowledge of thyself will preserve thee from vanity.
  • Mere flimflam stories, and nothing but shams and lies.
  • A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.
  • Valor lies just halfway between rashness and cowardice.
  • Not with whom you are born, but with whom you are bred.
  • You must not think, sir, to catch old birds with chaff.
  • Well, now there’s a remedy for everything except death.
  • Those who’ll play with cats must expect to be scratched.
  • Proverbs are short sentences drawn from long experience.
  • Every man was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
  • He is mad past recovery, but yet he has lucid intervals.
  • One shouldn’t talk of halters in the hanged man’s house.
  • Laziness never arrived at the attainment of a good wish.
  • The knowledge of yourself will preserve you from vanity.
  • The worst reconciliation is better than the best divorce.
  • Cunning cheats itself wholly, and other people partially.
  • My memory is so bad that many times I forget my own name.
  • When the head aches, all the members partake of the pain.
  • Fortune leaves always some door open to come at a remedy.
  • What man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman’s mind?
  • Good actions ennoble us, and we are the sons of our deeds.
  • Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.
  • One should not talk of hatters in the house of the hanged.
  • Lovers are commonly industrious to make themselves uneasy.
  • A silly remark can be made in Latin as well as in Spanish.
  • Since we have a good loaf, let us not look for cheesecakes.
  • It is courage that vanquishes in war, and not good weapons.
  • Never look for birds of this year in the nests of the last.
  • Captivity is the greatest of all evils that can befall one.
  • Never meddle with play-actors, for they’re a favoured race.
  • Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.
  • The good governor should have a broken leg and keep at home.
  • When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?
  • The stomach carries the heart, and not the heart the stomach.
  • No man is more than another unless he does more than another.
  • True valor lies in the middle between cowardice and rashness.
  • All women are good – good for nothing, or good for something.
  • Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.
  • Get the better of yourself – this is the best kind of victory.
  • The foolish sayings of the rich pass for wise saws in society.
  • The eating. By a small sample we may judge of the whole piece.
  • The pitcher goes so often to the fountain that if gets broken.
  • In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.
  • That which we are capable of feeling, we are capable of saying.
  • Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within.
  • Nothing costs less nor is cheaper than compliments of civility.
  • Abundance, even of good things, prevents them from being valued
  • For if he like a madman lived; At least he like a wise one died.
  • He preaches well who lives well.
  • He that will not when he may, When he would, he should have nay.
  • There is no greater folly in the world than for a man to despair.
  • When good luck knocks at the door, let him in and keep him there.
  • Love is a power too strong to be overcome by anything but flight.
  • Tis ill talking of halters in the house of a man that was hanged.
  • There is nothing so subject to the inconstancy of fortune as war.
  • It is one thing to praise discipline, and another to submit to it.
  • Folly is wont to have more followers and comrades than discretion.
  • Tis a dainty thing to command, though ’twere but a flock of sheep.
  • Fly not, cowards and vile beings, for a single knight attacks you.
  • I know what’s what, and have always taken care of the main chance.
  • By the streets of ‘by and by,’ one arrives at the house of ‘never’.
  • Tell me what company thou keepest and I’ll tell thee what thou art.
  • Beware, gentle knight – the greatest monster of them all is reason.
  • Everyone is as God has made him, and oftentimes a great deal worse.
  • I drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion.
  • Woman’s advice has little value, but he who won’t take it is a fool.
  • True courage lies in the middle, between cowardice and recklessness.
  • The very remembrance of my former misfortune proves a new one to me.
  • They can expect nothing but their labor for their pains. – Cervantes
  • There were but two families in the world, Have-much and Have-little.
  • The wounds received in battle bestow honor, they do not take it away.
  • There is no book so bad…that it does not have something good in it.
  • Virtue is persecuted by the wicked more than it is loved by the good.
  • Tis the only comfort of the miserable to have partners in their woes.
  • There is remedy for all things except death – Don Quixote De La Mancha
  • Don’t put too fine a point to your wit for fear it should get blunted.
  • He who has the judge for his father goes into court with an easy mind.
  • A bad year and a bad month to all the backbiting bitches in the world!.
  • Controlling my temper is important, … Sometimes it’s hard, but I try.
  • Sancho Panza by name is my own self, if I was not changed in my cradle.
  • My heart is wax molded as she pleases, but enduring as marble to retain.
  • A little in one’s own pocket is better than much in another man’s purse.
  • A private sin is not so prejudicial in this world, as a public indecency.
  • There is no jewel in the world so valuable as a chaste and virtuous woman.
  • You are a king by your own fireside, as much as any monarch in his throne.
  • Digo, paciencia y barajar. What I say is, patience, and shuffle the cards.
  • Pray, look better, sir… those things yonder are no giants, but windmills.
  • Blessed be he who invented sleep, a cloak that covers all a man’s thoughts.
  • Well-gotten wealth may lose itself, but the ill-gotten loses its master also.
  • How will he who does not know how to govern himself know how to govern others?
  • Where envy reigns virtue can’t exist, and generosity doesn’t go with meanness.
  • It is better that a judge should lean on the side of compassion than severity.
  • Inasmuch as ill-deeds spring up as a spontaneous crop, they are easy to learn.
  • Delay always breeds danger; and to protract a great design is often to ruin it.
  • Maybe the greatest madness is to see life as it is rather than what it could be.
  • The brave man carves out his fortune, and every man is the sum of his own works.
  • Drink moderately, for drunkeness neither keeps a secret, nor observes a promise.
  • Do not eat garlic or onions; for their smell will reveal that you are a peasant.
  • Riches are of little avail in many of the calamities to which mankind are liable.
  • Let everyone turn himself around, and look at home, and he will find enough to do.
  • Be brief, for no talk can please when too long. Being prepared is half the victory.
  • All persons are not discreet enough to know how to take things by the right handle.
  • The ass will carry his load, but not a double load; ride not a free horse to death.
  • Love is invisible and comes and goes where it wants, without anyone asking about it.
  • It is past all controversy that what costs dearest is, and ought to be, most valued.
  • When the severity of the law is to be softened, let pity, not bribes, be the motive.
  • Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world
  • El pan comido y la compan? |a deshecha. With the bread eaten, the company breaks up.
  • Does the devil possess you? You’re leaping over the hedge before you come at the stile.
  • Liberty … is one of the most valuable blessings that Heaven has bestowed upon mankind.
  • We ought to love our Maker for His own sake, without either hope of good or fear of pain.
  • He who’s down one day can be up the next, unless he really wants to stay in bed, that is.
  • In short, virtue cannot live where envy reigns, nor liberality subsist with niggardliness.
  • She fights and vanquishes in me, and I live and breathe in her, and I have life and being.
  • It is a true saying that a man must eat a peck of salt with his friend before he knows him.
  • That’s the nature of women, not to love when we love them, and to love when we love them not.
  • “He preaches well that lives well,” quoth Sancho, “that’s all the divinity I can understand.”
  • Let me leap out of the frying-pan into the fire; or, out of God’s blessing into the warm sun.
  • There were no embraces, because where there is great love there is often little display of it.
  • For me alone Don Quixote was born and I for him. His was the power of action, mine of writing.
  • The bow cannot always stand bent, nor can human frailty subsist without some lawful recreation.
  • Whether the pitcher hits the stone or the stone hits the pitcher, it goes ill with the pitcher.
  • There is no remembrance which time does not obliterate, nor pain which death does not terminate.
  • I have always heard, Sancho, that doing good to base fellows is like throwing water into the sea.
  • Nay, what is worse, perhaps turn poet, which, they say, is an infectious and incurable distemper.
  • The woman who is resolved to be respected can make herself be so even amidst an army of soldiers.
  • Fortune may have yet a better success in reserve for you and they who lose today may win tomorrow.
  • From reading too much, and sleeping too little, his brain dried up on him and he lost his judgment.
  • Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.
  • Well, there’s a remedy for all things but death, which will be sure to lay us flat one time or other.
  • There is a remedy for everything but death; who, in spite of our teeth, will take us in his clutches.
  • There are only two families in the world, my old grandmother used to say, the Haves and the Have-nots.
  • Truth may be stretched, but cannot be broken, and always gets above falsehood, as does oil above water.
  • The pen is the tongue of the soul; as are the thoughts engendered there, so will be the things written.
  • Anyone who does not know how to make the most of his luck has no right to complain if it passes by him.
  • Many count their chickens before they are hatched; and where they expect bacon, meet with broken bones.
  • Love and war are the same thing, and stratagems and policy are as allowable in the one as in the other.
  • Be temperate in your drinking, remembering that too much wine cannot keep either a secret or a promise.
  • One of the effects of fear is to disturb the senses and cause things to appear other than what they are.
  • When a man says, “Get out of my house! what would you have with my wife?” there is no answer to be made.
  • Truly I was born to be an example of misfortune, and a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed.
  • The pen is the language of the soul; as the concepts that in it are generated, such will be its writings.
  • He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.
  • When we leave this world, and are laid in the earth, the prince walks as narrow a path as the day-laborer.
  • Among the attributes of God, although they are equal, mercy shines with even more brilliance than justice.
  • To withdraw is not to run away, and to stay is no wise action, when there’s more reason to fear than to hope.
  • The most difficult character in comedy is that of the fool, and he must be no simpleton that plays that part.
  • Though Gods attributes are equal, yet his mercy is more attractive and pleasing in our eyes than his justice.
  • Truth indeed rather alleviates than hurts, and will always bear up against falsehood, as oil does above water.
  • It seldom happens that any felicity comes so pure as not to be tempered and allayed by some mixture of sorrow.
  • It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not to venture all his eggs in one basket.
  • Whether it’s the pot that hits the rock or the rock that hits the pot , it’s the pot that will break every time
  • there are many hours and minutes between now and tomorrowand in any one of them-even in a minute,the house falls
  • “From what I have seen here,” remarked Sancho, “justice is so good a thing that even robbers find it necessary.”
  • Liberty, as well as honor, man ought to preserve at the hazard of his life, for without it life is insupportable
  • A knight errant who turns mad for a reason deserves neither merit nor thanks. The thing is to do it without cause
  • There is a time for some things, and a time for all things; a time for great things, and a time for small things.
  • The gratification of wealth is not found in mere possession or in lavish expenditure, but in its wise application.
  • But do not give it to a lawyer’s clerk to write, for they use a legal hand that Satan himself will not understand.
  • Urgent necessity prompts many to do things, at the very thoughts of which they perhaps would start at other times.
  • The cleverest character in comedy is the clown, for he who would make people take him for a fool, must not be one.
  • For let us women be never so ill-favored, I imagine that we are always delighted to hear ourselves called handsome.
  • By such innovations are languages enriched, when the words are adopted by the multitude, and naturalized by custom.
  • Once a woman parts with her virtue, she loses the esteem even of the man whose vows and tears won her to abandon it.
  • Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them.
  • Sorrow was made for man, not for beasts; yet if men encourage melancholy too much, they become no better than beasts.
  • One of the most considerable advantages the great have over their inferiors is to have servants as good as themselves.
  • You are a devil at everything, and there is no kind of thing in the ‘versal world but what you can turn your hand into.
  • Modesty, tis a virtue not often found among poets, for almost every one of them thinks himself the greatest in the world.
  • Take my advice and live for a long, long time. Because the maddest thing a man can do is this life is to let himself die.
  • Now blessings light on him that first invented this same sleep. It covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak.
  • That one man scorned and covered with scars Still strove with his last ounce of courage To reach the unreachable star.
  • Be not under the dominion of thine own will; it is the vice of the ignorant, who vainly presume on their own understanding.
  • The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise.
  • Jealousy sees things always with magnifying glasses which make little things large, of dwarfs giants, of suspicions truths.
  • All the vices, Sancho, bring some kind of pleasure with them; but envy brings nothing but irritation, bitterness, and rage.
  • The reason for the unreason with which you treat my reason , so weakens my reason that with reason I complain of your beauty.
  • She wanted, with her fickleness, to make my destruction constant; I want, by trying to destroy myself, to satisfy her desire.
  • All kinds of beauty do not inspire love; there is a kind which only pleases the sight, but does not captivate the affections.
  • But my thoughts ran a wool-gathering; and I did like the countryman, who looked for his ass while he was mounted on his back.
  • The most perceptive character in a play is the fool, because the man who wishes to seem simple cannot possibly be a simpleton.
  • Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never brought a man to the goal of any of his best wishes.
  • I never thrust my nose into other men’s porridge. It is no bread and butter of mine; every man for himself, and God for us all.
  • Nor has his death the world deceiv’d than his wondrous life surprise d; if he like a madman liv’d least he like a wise one dy’d.
  • For neither good nor evil can last for ever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand.
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self-deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
  • At this the duchess, laughing all the while, said: “Sancho Panza is right in all he has said, and will be right in all he shall say.
  • There are men that will make you books, and turn them loose into the world, with as much dispatch as they would do a dish of fritters.
  • Death eats up all things, both the young lamb and old sheep; and I have heard our parson say, death values a prince no more than a clown.
  • Be a terror to the butchers, that they may be fair in their weight; and keep hucksters and fraudulent dealers in awe, for the same reason.
  • There are but few proverbial sayings that are not true, for they are all drawn from experience itself, which is the mother of all sciences.
  • I do not insist,” answered Don Quixote, “that this is a full adventure, but it is the beginning of one, for this is the way adventures begin.
  • Her father guarded her, and she guarded herself; for there are no padlocks, bolts, or bars, that secure a maiden better than her own reserve.
  • History is the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instructor of the present, and monitor to the future.
  • It is impossible for good or evil to last forever; and hence it follows that the evil having lasted so long, the good must be now nigh at hand.
  • Happy the man to whom heaven has given a morsel of bread without laying him under the obligation of thanking any other for it than heaven itself.
  • I believe there’s no proverb but what is true; they are all so many sentences and maxims drawn from experience, the universal mother of sciences.
  • For the army is a school in which the miser becomes generous, and the generous prodigal; miserly soldiers are like monsters, but very rarely seen.
  • I know well enough that there have been dogs so loving that they have thrown themselves into the same grave with the dead bodies of their masters.
  • I had rather munch a crust of brown bread and an onion in a corner, without any more ado, or ceremony, than feed upon turkey at another man’s table.
  • One day, in the San Francisco walk, he came upon some badly painted figures and observed that good painters imitate nature but bad ones vomit it forth.
  • The reputation of a woman may also be compared to a mirror of crystal, shining and bright, but liable to be sullied by every breath that comes near it.
  • There is also this benefit in brag, that the speaker is unconsciously expressing his own ideal. Humor him by all means, draw it all out, and hold him to it.
  • Journey over all the universe in a map, without the expense and fatigue of traveling, without suffering the inconveniences of heat, cold, hunger, and thirst.
  • Historians ought to be precise, faithful, and unprejudiced; and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should make them swerve from the way of truth.
  • For men may prove and use their friends, as the poet expresses it, usque ad aras, meaning that a friend should not be required to act contrary to the law of God.
  • And thus being totally preoccupied, he rode so slowly that the sun was soon glowing with such intense heat that it would have melted his brains, if he’d had any.
  • The poet may say or sing, not as things were, but as they ought to have been; but the historian must pen them, not as they ought to have been, but as they really were.
  • Three things too much, and three too little are pernicious to man; to speak much, and know little; to spend much, and have little; to presume much, and be worth little.
  • Laws that only threaten, and are not kept, become like the log that was given to the frogs to be their king, which they feared at first, but soon scorned and trampled on.
  • For a man to attain to an eminent degree in learning costs him time, watching, hunger, nakedness, dizziness in the head, weakness in the stomach, and other inconveniences.
  • I do not say a proverb is amiss when aptly and reasonably applied, but to be forever discharging them, right or wrong, hit or miss, renders conversation insipid and vulgar.
  • All I know is that so long I am asleep I am rid of all fears and hopes and toils and glory, and long live the man who invented sleep, the cloak that covers all human thirst.
  • History is in a manner a sacred thing, so far as it contains truth; for where truth is, the supreme Father of it may also be said to be, at least, inasmuch as concerns truth.
  • Is it possible your pragmatical worship should not know that the comparisons made between wit and wit, courage and courage, beauty and beauty, birth and birth, are always odious and ill taken?.
  • I do not deny that what happened to us is a thing worth laughing at. But it is not worth telling, for not everyone is sufficiently intelligent to be able to see things from the right point of view.
  • There is a strange charm in the thoughts of a good legacy, or the hopes of an estate, which wondrously removes or at least alleviates the sorrow that men would otherwise feel for the death of friends.
  • Honesty is the best policy, I will stick to that. The good shall have my hand and heart, but the bad neither foot nor fellowship. And in my mind, the main point of governing, is to make a good beginning.
  • Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world. Yet from this lesson thou will learn to avoid the frog’s foolish ambition of swelling to rival the bigness of the ox.
  • The beauty of some women has days and seasons, depending upon accidents which diminish or increase it; nay, the very passions of the mind naturally improve or impair it, and very often utterly destroy it.
  • Men of great talents, whether poets or historians, seldom escape the attacks of those who, without ever favoring the world with any production of their own, take delight in criticising the works of others.
  • When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical may be madness. To surrender dreams, this may be madness …Maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be.
  • Tis an old saying, the Devil lurks behind the cross. All is not gold that glitters. From the tail of the plough, Bamba was made King of Spain; and from his silks and riches was Rodrigo cast to be devoured by the snakes.
  • I want you to see me naked and performing one or two dozen mad acts, which will take me less than half an hour, because if you have seen them with your own eyes, you can safely swear to any others you might wish to add.
  • Translation from one language to another is like viewing a piece of tapestry on the wrong side where though the figures are distinguishable yet there are so many ends and threads that the beauty and exactness of the work is obscured.
  • I would do what I pleased, and doing what I pleased, I should have my will, and having my will, I should be contented; and when one is contented, there is no more to be desired; and when there is no more to be desired, there is an end of it.
  • The virtuous woman must be treated like a relic – adored, but not handled; she should be guarded and prized, like a fine flower-garden, the beauty and fragrance of which the owner allows others to enjoy only at a distance, and through iron walls.
  • They must take me for a fool, or even worse, a lunatic. And no wonder ,for I am so intensely conscious of my misfortune and my misery is so overwhelming that I am powerless to resist it and am being turned into stone, devoid of all knowledge or feeling.
  • In every case, the remedy is to take action. Get clear about exactly what it is that you need to learn and exactly what you need to do to learn it. BEING CLEAR KILLS FEAR. Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world.
  • I follow a more easy, and, in my opinion, a wiser course, namely–to inveigh against the levity of the female sex, their fickleness, their double-dealing, their rotten promises, their broken faith, and, finally, their want of judgment in bestowing their affections.
  • Since Don Quixote de la Mancha is a crazy fool and a madman, and since Sancho Panza, his squire, knows it, yet, for all that, serves and follows him, and hangs on these empty promises of his, there can be no doubt that he is more of a madman and a fool than his master.
  • A father may have a child who is ugly and lacking in all the graces, and the love he feels for him puts a blindfold over his eyes so that he does not see his defects but considers them signs of charm and intelligence and recounts them to his friends as if they were clever and witty.
  • If you are ambitious of climbing up to the difficult, and in a manner inaccessible, summit of the Temple of Fame, your surest way is to leave on one hand the narrow path of Poetry, and follow the narrower track of Knight-Errantry, which in a trice may raise you to an imperial throne.
  • ‘Tis the maddest trick a man can ever play in his whole life, to let his breath sneak out of his body without any more ado, and without so much as a rap o’er the pate, or a kick of the guts; to go out like the snuff of a farthing candle, and die merely of the mulligrubs, or the sullens.
  • Here lies a gentleman bold Who was so very brave He went to lengths untold, And on the brink of the grave Death had on him no hold. By the world he set small store– He frightened it to the core– Yet somehow, by Fate’s plan, Though he’d lived a crazy man, When he died he was sane once more.
  • Thou camest out of thy mother’s belly without government, thou hast liv’d hitherto without government, and thou mayst be carried to thy long home without government, when it shall please the Lord. How many people in this world live without government, yet do well enough, and are well look’d upon?
  • There are two kinds of people in this world, my grandmother used to say: the Have’s and the Have-not’s, and she stuck to the Have’s. And today, Se√±or Don Quixote, people are more interested in having than in knowing. An ass covered with gold makes a better impression than a horse with a packsaddle.
  • Love is influenced by no consideration, recognizes no restraints of reason, and is of the same nature as death, that assails alike the lofty palaces of kings and the humble cabins of shepherds; and when it takes entire possession of a heart, the first thing it does is to banish fear and shame from it.
  • It is one thing to write as poet and another to write as a historian: the poet can recount or sing about things not as they were, but as they should have been, and the historian must write about them not as they should have been, but as they were, without adding or subtracting anything from the truth.
  • If thou takest virtue for the rule of life, and valuest thyself upon acting in all things comfortably thereto, thou wilt have no cause to envy lords and princes; for blood is inherited, but virtue is common property, and may be acquired by all; it has, moreover, an intrinsic worth, which blood has not.
  • Liberty is one of the most precious gifts which heaven has bestowed on man; with it we cannot compare the treasures which the earth contains or the sea conceals; for liberty, as for honor, we can and ought to risk our lives; and, on for the other hand, captivity is the greatest evil that can befall man.
  • Blessed be those happy ages that were strangers to the dreadful fury of these devilish instruments of artillery, whose inventor I am satisfied is now in Hell, receiving the reward of his cursed invention, which is the cause that very often a cowardly base hand takes away the life of the bravest gentleman.
  • Translating from one language to another, unless it is from Greek and Latin, the queens of all languages, is like looking at Flemish tapestries from the wrong side, for although the figures are visible, they are covered by threads that obscure them, and cannot be seen with the smoothness and color of the right side.
  • I would have nobody to control me; I would be absolute: and who but I? Now, he that is absolute can do what he likes; he that can do what he likes can take his pleasure; he that can take his pleasure can be content; and he that can be content has no more to desire. So the matter ‘s over; and come what will come, I am satisfied.
  • Do but take care to express yourself in a plain, easy Manner, in well-chosen, significant and decent Terms, and to give a harmonious and pleasing Turn to your Periods: study to explain your Thoughts, and set them in the truest Light, labouring as much as possible, not to leave them dark nor intricate, but clear and intelligible.
  • Poesy is a beauteous damsel, chaste, honourable, discreet, witty, retired, and who keeps herself within the limits of propriety. She is a friend of solitude; fountains entertain her, meadows console her, woods free her from ennui, flowers delight her; in short, she gives pleasure and instruction to all with whom she communicates.
  • It’s up to brave hearts, sir, to be patient when things are going badly, as well as being happy when they’re going well … For I’ve heard that what they call fortune is a flighty woman who drinks too much, and, what’s more, she’s blind, so she can’t see what she’s doing, and she doesn’t know who she’s knocking over or who she’s raising up.
  • For historians ought to be precise, truthful, and quite unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should cause them to swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instruction of the present, the monitor of the future.
  • ‘Tis said of love that it sometimes goes, sometimes flies; runs with one, walks gravely with another; turns a third into ice, and sets a fourth in a flame: it wounds one, another it kills: like lightning it begins and ends in the same moment: it makes that fort yield at night which it besieged but in the morning; for there is no force able to resist it.
  • There are two kinds of beauty, one being of the soul and the other of the body, That of the soul is revealed through intelligence, modesty, right conduct, Generosity and good breeding, all of which qualities may exist in an ugly man; And when one’s gaze is fixed upon beauty of this sort and not upon that of the body, Love is usually born suddenly and violently.
  • By God and upon my conscience, said the devil, I never observed it, for my mind is occupied with so many different things that I was forgetting the main thing I came about. This demon must be an honest fellow and a good Christian, said Sancho; for if he wasn’t he wouldn’t swear by God and his conscience; I feel sure now there must be good souls even in hell itself.
  • Now, blessings light on him that first invented sleep!√ä It covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak; it is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the cold, and cold for the hot.√ä It is the current coin that purchases all the pleasures of the world cheap, and the balance that sets the king and the shepherd, the fool and the wise man, even.
  • 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 this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight’s sole responsibility is to succour them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds.
  • One who has not only the four S’s, which are required in every good lover, but even the whole alphabet; as for example… Agreeable, Bountiful, Constant, Dutiful, Easy, Faithful, Gallant, Honorable, Ingenious, Kind, Loyal, Mild, Noble, Officious, Prudent, Quiet, Rich, Secret, True, Valiant, Wise; the X indeed, is too harsh a letter to agree with him, but he is Young and Zealous.
  • And for the citation of so many authors, ’tis the easiest thing in nature. Find out one of these books with an alphabetical index, and without any farther ceremony, remove it verbatim into your own… there are fools enough to be thus drawn into an opinion of the work; at least, such a flourishing train of attendants will give your book a fashionable air, and recommend it for sale.
  • Oh Senor” said the niece. “Your grace should send them to be burned (books), just like all the rest, because it’s very likely that my dear uncle, having been cured of the chivalric disease, will read these and want to become a shepherd and wander through the woods and meadows singing and playing and, what would be even worse, become a poet, and that, they say, is an incurable and contagious disease.
  • I had rather munch a crust of brown bread and an onion in a corner, without any more ado or ceremony, than feed upon turkey at another man?s table, where one is fain to sit mincing and chewing his meat an hour together, drink little, be always wiping his fingers and his chops, and never dare to cough nor sneeze, though he has never so much a mind to it, nor do a many things which a body may do freely by one?s self.
  • Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning, indicating a sound body and a mind free from care; but his master, being unable to sleep himself awakened him, saying, “I am amazed, Sancho, at the torpor of thy soul; it seems as if thou wert made of marble or brass, insensible of emotion or sentiment!
  • Reading Don Quixote can be compared to an indefinite visit from your most impossible senior relative, with all his pranks, dirty habits, unstoppable reminiscences, and terrible cronies. When the experience is over, and the old boy checks out at last (on page 846 – the prose wedged tight, with no breaks for dialogue), you will shed tears all right; not tears of relief or regret but tears of pride. You made it, despite all that ‘Don Quixote’ could do.
  • The fear thou art in, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “prevents thee from seeing or hearing correctly, for one of the effects of fear is to derange the senses and make things appear different from what they are; if thou art in such fear, withdraw to one side and leave me to myself, for alone I suffice to bring victory to that side to which I shall give my aid;” and so saying he gave Rocinante the spur, and putting the lance in rest, shot down the slope like a thunderbolt.
  • To think that the affairs of this life always remain in the same state is a vain presumption; indeed they all seem to be perpetually changing and moving in a circular course. Spring is followed by summer, summer by autumn, and autumn by winter, which is again followed by spring, and so time continues its everlasting round. But the life of man is ever racing to its end, swifter than time itself, without hope of renewal, unless in the next that is limitless and infinite.
  • All of that is true, responded Don Quixote, ‚Äòbut we cannot all be friars, and God brings His children to heaven by many paths: chivalry is a religion, and there are sainted knights in Glory. Yes, responded Sancho, ‚Äòbut Ive heard that there are more friars in heaven than knights errant. That is true, responded Don Quixote, ‚Äòbecause the number of religious is greater than the number of knights. There are many who are errant, said Sancho. Many, responded Don Quixote, ‚Äòbut few who deserve to be called knights.
  • ..lined his men up and had them produce all the clothing, jewels, money, and other objects that they had stolen since the last time they had divided the spoils. Having made a hasty appraisal and reduced to terms of money those items that could not be divided, he split the whole into shares with such equity and exactitude that in not a single instance did he go beyond or fall short of a strict distributive justice. They were all well satisfied with the payment received, indeed they were quite well pleased; and Roque then turned to Don Quixote.