Don Quixote, Part One, Chapter VIII, Paragraphs 1 and 2

From Wanted: One side-kick

Don Quixote, Part One by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra The First Part

VIII. Of the Good Success Don Quixote Had, in the Dreadful and Never-Imagined Adventure of the Windmills, with Other Accidents Worthy to Be Recorded

AS they discoursed, they discovered some thirty or forty windmills, that are in that field; and as soon as Don Quixote espied them, he said to his squire, ‘Fortune doth address our affairs better than we ourselves could desire; for behold there, friend Sancho Panza, how there appears thirty or forty monstrous giants, with whom I mean to fight, and deprive them all of their lives, with whose spoils we will begin to be rich; for this is a good war, and a great service unto God, to take away so bad a seed from the face of the earth.’ ‘What giants?’ quoth Sancho Panza. ‘Those that thou seest there,’ quoth his lord, ‘with the long arms; and some there are of that race whose arms are almost who leagues long.’ ‘I pray you understand,’ quoth Sancho Panza, ‘that those which appear there are no giants, but windmills; and that which seems in them to be arms, are their sails, that, swung about by the wind, do also make the mill go.’ ‘It seems well,’ quoth Don Quixote ‘that thou art not yet acquainted with matter of adventures. They are giants; and, if thou beest afraid, go aside and pray, whilst I enter into cruel and unequal battle with them.’ And, saying so, he spurred his horse Rozinante, without taking heed to his squire Sancho’s cries, advertising him how they were doubtless windmills that he did assault, and no giants; but he went so fully persuaded that they were giants as he neither heard his squire’s outcries, nor did discern what they were, although he drew very near to them, but rather said, so loud as he could, ‘Fly not, ye cowards and vile creatures! for it is only one knight that assaults you.’

With this the wind increased, and the mill sails began to turn about; which Don Quixote espying, said, ‘Although thou movest more arms than the giant Briareus thou shalt stoop to me.’ And, after saying this, and commending himself most devoutly to his Lady Dulcinea, desiring her to succor him in that trance, covering himself well with his buckler, and setting his lance on his rest, he spurred on Rozinante, and encountered with the first mill that was before him, and, striking his lance into the sail, the wind swung it about with such fury, that it broke his lance into shivers, carrying him and his horse after it, and finally tumbled him a good way off from it on the field in evil plight. Sancho Panza repaired presently to succor him as fast as his ass could drive; and when he arrived he found him not able to stir, he had gotten such a crush with Rozinante. ‘Good God!’ quoth Sancho, ‘did I not foretell unto you that you should look well what you did, for they were none other than windmills? nor could any think otherwise, unless he had also windmills in his brains.’ ‘Peace, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘for matters of war are more subject than any other thing to continual change; how much more, seeing I do verily persuade myself, that the wise Frestron, who robbed my study and books, hath transformed these giants into mills, to deprive me of the glory of the victory, such in the enmity he bears towards me. But yet, in fine, all his bad arts shall but little prevail against the goodness of my sword.’ ‘God grant it as he may!’ said Sancho Panza, and then helped him to arise; and presently he mounted on Rozinante, who was half shoulder-pitched by rough encounter; and, discoursing upon that adventure, they followed on the way which guided towards the passage or gate of Lapice; for there, as Don Quixote avouched, it was not possible but to find many adventures, because it was a thoroughfare much frequented; and yet he affirmed that he went very much grieved, because he wanted a lance; and, telling it to his squire, he said, ‘I remember how I have read that a certain Spanish knight, called Diego Peres of Vargas, having broken his sword in a battle, tore off a great branch or stock from an oak-tree, and did such marvels with it that day, and battered so many Moors, as he remained with the surname of Machuca, which signifies a stump, and as well he as all his progeny were ever after that day called Vargas and Machuca. I tell thee this, because I mean to tear another branch, such, or as good as that at least, from the first oak we shall encounter, and I mean to achieve such adventures therewithal, as thou wilt account thyself fortunate for having merited to behold them, and be a witness of things almost incredible.’ ‘In God’s name!’ quoth Sancho, ‘I do believe every word you said. But, I pray you, sit right in your saddle; for you ride sideling, which proceeds, as I suppose of the bruising you got by your fall.’ ‘Thou sayst true,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘and if I do not complain of the grief, the reason is, because knights-errant use not to complain of any wound, although their guts did issue out thereof.’ ‘If it be so,’ quoth Sancho, ‘I know not what to say; but God knows that I would be glad to hear you to complain when anything grieves you. Of myself I dare affirm, that I must complain of the least grief that I have, if it be not likewise meant that the squires of knights-errant must not complain of any harm.’ Don Quixote could not refrain laughter, hearing the simplicity of his squire; and after showed unto him that he might lawfully complain, both when he pleased, and as much as he listed with desire, or without it; for he had never yet read anything to the contrary in the order of knighthood. Then Sancho said unto him that it was dinner-time. To whom he answered, that he needed no repast; but if he had will to eat, he might begin when he pleased. Sancho, having obtained his license, did accommodate himself on his ass’ back the best he might. Taking out of his wallet some belly-munition, he rode after his master, travelling and eating at once, and that with great leisure; and ever and anon he lifted up his bottle with such pleasure as the best-fed victualler of Malaga might envy his state; and whilst he rode, multiplying of quaffs in that manner, he never remembered any of the promises his master had made him, nor did he hold the fetch of adventures to be a labour, but rather a great recreation and ease, were they never so dangerous. In conclusion, they passed over that night under certain trees, from one of which Don Quixote tore a withered branch, which might serve him in some sort for a lance; and therefore he set thereon the iron of his own, which he had reserved when it was broken.

The Complete Text of Don Quixote, Part One


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