Don Quixote de la Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Charles Jarvis et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
Of the good success which the valorous Don Quixote had in the dreadful and never-before-imagined adventure of the windmills, with other events worthy to be recorded.

AS they were thus discoursing, they perceived some thirty or forty windmills that are in that plain; and as soon as Don Quixote espied them, he said to his squire:

'Fortune disposes our affairs better than we ourselves could have desired; look yonder, friend Sancho Panza, where you may discover somewhat more than thirty monstrous giants, with whom I intend to fight, and take away all their lives: with whose spoils we will begin to enrich ourselves; for it is lawful war, and doing God good service to take away so wicked a generation from off the face of the earth.'

'What giants?' said Sancho Panza.

'Those you see yonder,' answered his master, 'with those long arms; for some of them are wont to have them almost of the length of two leagues.'

'Consider, Sir,' answered Sancho, 'that those which appear yonder, are not giants, but windmills; and what seem to be arms are the sails, which, whirled about by the wind, make the millstone go.'

'One may easily see,' answered Don Quixote, 'that you are not versed in the business of adventures: they are giants; and, if you are afraid, get aside and pray, whilst I engage with them in a fierce and unequal combat.'

And so saying, he clapped spurs to Rosinante, without minding the cries his squire sent after him, assuring him that those he went to assault were without all doubt, windmills, and not giants. But he was so fully possessed that they were giants, that he neither heard the outcries of his squire Sancho, nor yet discerned what they were, though he was very near them, but went on, crying out aloud:

'Fly not, ye cowards and vile caitiffs; for it is a single knight who assaults you.'

Now the wind rose a little, and the great sails began to move: which Don Quixote perceiving, he said:

'Well, though you should move more arms than the giant Briareus,* you shall pay for it.'

And so saying, and recommending himself devoutly to his lady

-59-

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