In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for coursing.
In any case, Cide Hamete Benengeli was a very careful historian, and very accurate in all things, as can be clearly seen in the details he relates to us, for although they are trivial and inconsequential, he does not attempt to pass over them in silence; his example could be followed by solemn historians who recount actions so briefly and succinctly that we can barely taste them, and leave behind in the inkwell, through carelessness, malice, or ignorance, the most substantive part of the work.
In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset, and so with too little sleep and too much reading his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind.
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.
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.
A bad year and a bad month to all the backbiting bitches in the world!...
Not with whom you are born, but with whom you are bred.
A tooth is much more to be prized than a diamond.
Sancho, just as you want people to believe what you have seen in the sky, I want you to believe what I saw in the Cave of Montesinos. And that is all I have to say.
Consider, that no jewel upon earth is comparable to a woman of virtue and honor; and, that the honor of the sex consists in the fair characters they maintain.
The wounds received in battle bestow honor, they do not take it away...
Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them.
There is no book so bad...that it does not have something good in it.
Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.
There were no embraces, because where there is great love there is often little display of it.
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.
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.
He who sees a play that is regular, and answerable to the rules of poetry, is pleased with the comic part, informed by the serious, surprised at the variety of accidents, improved by the language, warned by the frauds, instructed by examples, incensed against vice, and enamoured with virtue; for a good play must cause all these emotions in the soul of him that sees it, though he were never so insensible and unpolished.
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.
Hunger is the best sauce in the world.
Truly I was born to be an example of misfortune, and a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed.
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.
Virtue is persecuted by the wicked more than it is loved by the good.
I know who I am and who I may be, if I choose.
What man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman's mind?
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.
Where envy reigns virtue can't exist, and generosity doesn't go with meanness.
Good actions ennoble us, and we are the sons of our deeds.
Alas! all music jars when the soul's out of tune.
To withdraw is not to run away, and to stay is no wise action, when there's more reason to fear than to hope.
More Miguel de Cervantes Quotations (Based on Topics)
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More Miguel de Cervantes Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Don Quixote
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