B U R E A U   O F   P U B L I C   S E C R E T S


 

Cervantes: Don Quixote

(Thirteen translations of the adventure of the windmills)

 

 



The original Spanish:


Del buen suceso que el valeroso don Quijote tuvo en la espantable
y jamás imaginada aventura de los molinos de viento


En esto, descubrieron treinta o cuarenta molinos de viento que hay en aquel campo, y así como don Quijote los vio, dijo a su escudero:

“La ventura va guiando nuestras cosas mejor de lo que acertáramos a desear, porque ves allí, amigo Sancho Panza, donde se descubren treinta, o pocos más, desaforados gigantes, con quien pienso hacer batalla y quitarles a todos las vidas, con cuyos despojos comenzaremos a enriquecer; que ésta es buena guerra, y es gran servicio de Dios quitar tan mala simiente de sobre la faz de la tierra.”

“¿Qué gigantes?” dijo Sancho Panza.

“Aquellos que allí ves,” respondió su amo,“de los brazos largos, que los suelen tener algunos de casi dos leguas.”

“Mire vuestra merced,” respondió Sancho, “que aquellos que allí se parecen no son gigantes, sino molinos de viento, y lo que en ellos parecen brazos son las aspas, que, volteadas del viento, hacen andar la piedra del molino.”

“Bien parece,” respondió don Quijote, “que no estás cursado en esto de las aventuras: ellos son gigantes; y si tienes miedo, quítate de ahí, y ponte en oración en el espacio que yo voy a entrar con ellos en fiera y desigual batalla.”

Y, diciendo esto, dio de espuelas a su caballo Rocinante, sin atender a las voces que su escudero Sancho le daba, advirtiéndole que, sin duda alguna, eran molinos de viento, y no gigantes, aquellos que iba a acometer. Pero él iba tan puesto en que eran gigantes que ni oía las voces de su escudero Sancho ni echaba de ver, aunque estaba ya bien cerca, lo que eran; antes iba diciendo en voces altas:

“Non fuyades, cobardes y viles criaturas, que un solo caballero es el que os acomete.”

Levantóse en esto un poco de viento y las grandes aspas comenzaron a moverse, lo cual visto por don Quijote, dijo:

“Pues, aunque mováis más brazos que los del gigante Briareo, me lo habéis de pagar.”

Y diciendo esto, y encomendándose de todo corazón a su señora Dulcinea, pidiéndole que en tal trance le socorriese, bien cubierto de su rodela, con la lanza en el ristre, arremetió a todo el galope de Rocinante y embistió con el primero molino que estaba delante; y, dándole una lanzada en el aspa, la volvió el viento con tanta furia que hizo la lanza pedazos, llevándose tras sí al caballo y al caballero, que fue rodando muy maltrecho por el campo. Acudió Sancho Panza a socorrerle, a todo el correr de su asno, y cuando llegó halló que no se podía menear: tal fue el golpe que dio con él Rocinante.

“¡Válame Dios!” dijo Sancho. “¿No le dije yo a vuestra merced que mirase bien lo que hacía, que no eran sino molinos de viento, y no lo podía ignorar sino quien llevase otros tales en la cabeza?”

“Calla, amigo Sancho,” respondió don Quijote; “que las cosas de la guerra, más que otras, están sujetas a continua mudanza; cuanto más, que yo pienso, y es así verdad, que aquel sabio Frestón que me robó el aposento y los libros ha vuelto estos gigantes en molinos por quitarme la gloria de su vencimiento: tal es la enemistad que me tiene; mas al cabo al cabo, han de poder poco sus malas artes contra la bondad de mi espada.”

“Dios lo haga como puede,” respondió Sancho Panza.

Y, ayudándole a levantar, tornó a subir sobre Rocinante, que medio despaldado estaba. Y, hablando en la pasada aventura, siguieron el camino del Puerto Lápice, porque allí decía don Quijote que no era posible dejar de hallarse muchas y diversas aventuras, por ser lugar muy pasajero, sino que iba muy pesaroso por haberle faltado la lanza; y, diciéndoselo a su escudero, le dijo:

“Yo me acuerdo haber leído que un caballero español, llamado Diego Pérez de Vargas, habiéndosele en una batalla roto la espada, desgajó de una encina un pesado ramo o tronco, y con él hizo tales cosas aquel día, y machacó tantos moros, que le quedó por sobrenombre Machuca, y así él como sus descendientes se llamaron desde aquel día en adelante Vargas y Machuca. Hete dicho esto porque de la primera encina o roble que se me depare pienso desgajar otro tronco tal y tan bueno como aquél que me imagino; y pienso hacer con él tales hazañas, que tú te tengas por bien afortunado de haber merecido venir a vellas y a ser testigo de cosas que apenas podrán ser creídas.”

“A la mano de Dios,” dijo Sancho, “yo lo creo todo así como vuestra merced lo dice; pero enderécese un poco, que parece que va de medio lado, y debe de ser del molimiento de la caída.”

“Así es la verdad,” respondió don Quijote; “y si no me quejo del dolor, es porque no es dado a los caballeros andantes quejarse de herida alguna, aunque se le salgan las tripas por ella.”

“Si eso es así, no tengo yo qué replicar,” respondió Sancho; “pero sabe Dios si yo me holgara que vuestra merced se quejara cuando alguna cosa le doliera. De mí sé decir que me he de quejar del más pequeño dolor que tenga, si ya no se entiende también con los escuderos de los caballeros andantes eso del no quejarse.”

No se dejó de reír don Quijote de la simplicidad de su escudero; y así, le declaró que podía muy bien quejarse como y cuando quisiese, sin gana o con ella; que hasta entonces no había leído cosa en contrario en la orden de caballería. Díjole Sancho que mirase que era hora de comer. Respondióle su amo que por entonces no le hacía menester; que comiese él cuando se le antojase. Con esta licencia, se acomodó Sancho lo mejor que pudo sobre su jumento, y sacando de las alforjas lo que en ellas había puesto, iba caminando y comiendo detrás de su amo muy de su espacio, y de cuando en cuando empinaba la bota, con tanto gusto, que le pudiera envidiar el más regalado bodegonero de Málaga. Y en tanto que él iba de aquella manera menudeando tragos, no se le acordaba de ninguna promesa que su amo le hubiese hecho, ni tenía por ningún trabajo, sino por mucho descanso, andar buscando las aventuras, por peligrosas que fuesen. . . .

Don Quijote, Volume 1 (1605)

 



 

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 two 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 succour 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 very evil plight. Sancho Panza repaired presently to succour 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 is 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. . . .

Translated by Thomas Shelton (1612/1620)

 


 

Of the good success which the valorous Don Quixote had
in the most terrifying and never-to-be-imagined adventure of the Wind-mills,
with other transactions worthy to be transmitted to posterity


As they were thus discoursing, they discover’d some thirty or forty Wind-mills, that are in that Plain; and as soon as the Knight had spy’d them, “Fortune,” cry’d he, “directs our Affairs better than we our selves could have wish’d: Look yonder, Friend Sancho, there are at least thirty outrageous Giants, whom I intend to encounter; and having depriv’d them of Life, we will begin to enrich our selves with their Spoils: for they are lawful Prize; and the Extirpation of that cursed Brood will be an acceptable Service to Heaven.” “What giants?” quoth Sancho Pança. “Those whom thou see’st yonder,” answer’d Don Quixote, “with their long-extended arms; some of that detested Race have Arms of so immense a Size, that sometimes they reach two Leagues in Length.” “Pray look better, Sir,” quoth Sancho; “those things yonder are no Giants, but Wind-mills, and the Arms you fancy, are their Sails, which being whirl’d about by the Wind, make the Mill go.” “’Tis a Sign,” cry’d Don Quixote, “thou art but little acquainted with Adventures! I tell thee, they are Giants; and therefore if thou art afraid, go aside and say thy Prayers, for I am resolv’d to engage in dreadful unequal Combat against them all.” This said, he clapp’d Spurs to his Horse, Rozinante, without giving Ear to his Squire Sancho, who bawl’d out to him, and assur’d him, that they were Wind-mills, and no Giants. But he was so fully possess’d with a strong Conceit of the contrary, that he did not so much as hear his Squire’s Outcry, nor was he sensible of what they were, although he was already very near them: Far from that, “Stand, Cowards!” cry’d he as loud as he could; “stand your Ground, ignoble Creatures, and fly not basely from a single Knight, who dares encounter you all.” At the same Time the Wind rising, the Mill-Sails began to move, which, when Don Quixote spy’d, “Base Miscreants,” cry’d he, “though you move more Arms than the Giant Briareus, you shall pay for your Arrogance.” He most devoutly recommended himself to his Lady Dulcinea, imploring her Assistance in this perilous Adventure; and so covering himself with his Shield, and couching his Lance, he rush’d with Rozinante’s utmost Speed upon the first Wind-mill he could come at, and running his Lance into the Sail, the Wind whirl’d it about with such Swiftness, that the Rapidity of the Motion presently broke the Lance into Shivers, and hurl’d away both Knight and Horse along with it, till down he fell, rolling a good Way off in the Field. Sancho Pança ran as fast as his Ass could drive to help his Master, whom he found lying, and not able to stir, such a Blow he and Rozinante had receiv’d. “Mercy o’ me!” cry’d Sancho, “Did not I give your Worship fair Warning? Did not I tell you they were Wind-mills, and that no Body could think otherwise, unless he had also Wind-mills in his Head?” “Peace, Friend Sancho,” reply’d Don Quixote: “There is nothing so subject to the Inconstancy of Fortune as War. I am verily perswaded, that cursed Necromancer Freston, who carry’d away my Study and my Books, has transform’d these Giants into Wind-mills, to deprive me of the Honour of the Victory; such is his inveterate Malice against me: But in the end, all his pernicious Wiles and Stratagems shall prove ineffectual against the prevailing Edge of my Sword.” “Amen, say I,” reply’d Sancho; and so heaving him up again upon his Legs, once more the Knight mounted poor Rozinante, that was half Shoulder-slipp’d with his Fall.

This Adventure was the Subject of their Discourse, as they made the best of their Way towards the Pass of Lapice; for Don Quixote took that Road, believing he could not miss of Adventures in one so mightily frequented. However, the Loss of his Lance was no small Affliction to him; and as he was making his Complaint about it to his Squire, “I have read,” said he, “Friend Sancho, that a certain Spanish Knight, whose Name was Diego Perez de Vargas, having broken his Sword in the Heat of an Engagement, pull’d up by the Roots a huge Oak-Tree, or at least tore down a massy Branch, and did such wonderful Execution, crushing and grinding so many Moors with it that Day, that he won himself and his Posterity the Sirname of The Pounder, or Bruiser. I tell thee this, because I intend to tear up the next Oak, or Holm-Tree we meet; with the Trunk whereof I hope to perform such wondrous Deeds, that thou wilt esteem thy self particularly happy in having had the Honour to behold them, and been the ocular Witness of the Atchievements which Posterity will scarce be able to believe.” “Heaven grant you may,” cry’d Sancho: “I believe it all, because your Worship says it. But an’t please you, sit a little more upright in your Saddle; you ride sideling methinks; but that, I suppose, proceeds from your being bruis’d by the Fall.” “It does so,” reply’d Don Quixote; “and if I do not complain of the Pain, ’tis because a Knight-Errant must never complain of his Wounds, though his Bowels were dropping out through ’em.” “Then I’ve no more to say,” quoth Sancho; “and yet, Heaven knows my Heart, I shou’d be glad to hear your Worship hone a little now and then when something ails you: For my Part, I shall not fail to bemoan my self when I suffer the smallest Pain, unless indeed it can be proved, that the Rule of not complaining extends to the Squires as well as Knights.” Don Quixote could not forbear smiling at the Simplicity of his Squire; and told him, he gave him Leave to complain not only when he pleas’d, but as much as he pleas’d, whether he had any Cause or no; for he had never yet read any thing to the contrary in any Books of Chivalry. Sancho desir’d him, however, to consider, that ’twas high Time to go to Dinner; but his Master answer’d him that he might eat whenever he pleas’d; as for himself, he was not yet dispos’d to do it. Sancho having thus obtain’d Leave, fix’d himself as orderly as he cou’d upon his Ass; and taking some Victuals out of his Wallet, fell to munching lustily as he rode behind his Master; and ever and anon he lifted his Bottle to his Nose, and fetch’d such hearty Pulls, that it would have made the best pamper’d Vintner in Malaga a-dry to have seen him. While he thus went on stuffing and swilling, he did not think in the least of all his Master’s great Promises; and was so far from esteeming it a Trouble to travel in quest of Adventures, that he fancy’d it to be the greatest Pleasure in the World, though they were never so dreadful. . . .

Translated by Peter Motteux (1700)

 


 


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 Rozinante, 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 that 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 Dulcinea, beseeching her to succour him in the present danger, being well covered with his buckler, and setting his lance in the rest, he rushed on as fast as Rozinante could gallop, and attacked the first mill before him; and running his lance into the sail, the wind whirled it about with so much violence that it broke the lance to shivers, dragging horse and rider after it, and tumbling them over and over on the plain in very evil plight. Sancho Panza hastened to his assistance as fast as his ass could carry him; and when he came up to him, he found him not able to stir, so violent was the blow he and Rozinante had received in falling. “God save me,” quoth Sancho, “did not I warn you to have a care of what you did, for that they were nothing but windmills, and nobody could mistake them but one that had the like in his head?” — “Peace, friend Sancho,” answered Don Quixote; “for matters of war are of all others most subject to continual mutations. Now I verily believe, and it is most certainly so, that the sage Freston, who stole away my chamber and books, has metamorphosed these giants into windmills, on purpose to deprive me of the glory of vanquishing them, so great is the enmity he bears me. But when he has done his worst, his wicked arts will avail but little against the goodness of my sword.” — “God grant it as he can,” answered Sancho Panza; and helping him to rise, he mounted him again upon Rozinante, who was half shoulder-slipped.

And discoursing of the late adventure, they followed the road that led to the pass of Lapice, for there Don Quixote said they could not fail to meet with many and various adventures, it being a great thoroughfare: and yet he went on very melancholy for want of his lance; and speaking of it to his squire, he said: “I remember to have read, that a certain Spanish knight, called Diego Perez de Vargas, having broken his sword in fight, tore off a huge branch or limb from an oak, and performed such wonders with it that day, and dashed out the brains of so many Moors, that he was surnamed Machuca; and from that day forward he and his descendants bore the names of Vargas and Machuca. I tell you this, because from the first oak or crab-tree we meet I mean to tear such another limb, at least as good as that; and I purpose and resolve to do such feats with it, that you shall deem yourself most fortunate in being worthy to behold them, and to be an eye-witness of things which can scarcely be believed.” — “God’s will be done,” quoth Sancho; “I believe all just as you say, Sir; but pray set yourself upright in your saddle; for you seem to me to ride sideling, occasioned, doubtless, by your being so sorely bruised by the fall.” — “It is certainly so,” answered Don Quixote; “and if I do not complain of pain, it is because knights-errant are not allowed to complain of any wound whatever, though their entrails came out at it.” — “If it be so, I have nothing to reply,” answered Sancho; “but God knows, I should be glad to hear your worship complain when anything ails you. As for myself, I must complain of the least pain I feel, unless this business of not complaining be understood to extend to the squires of knights-errant.” Don Quixote could not forbear smiling at the simplicity of his squire, and told him he might complain whenever and as much as he pleased, with or without cause, having never yet read anything to the contrary in the laws of chivalry.

Sancho put him in mind that it was time to dine. His master answered, that at present he had no need; but that he might eat whenever he thought fit. With this licence Sancho adjusted himself the best he could upon his beast, and taking out what he carried in his wallet, he jogged on eating, behind his master very leisurely, and now and then lifted the bottle to his mouth with so much relish, the best-fed victualler of Malaga might have envied him. And whilst he went on in this manner, repeating his draughts, he thought no more of the promises his master had made him; nor did he think it any toil, but rather a recreation, to go in quest of adventures, though never so perilous. . . .

Translated by Charles Jarvis (1742)

 


 

Of the happy success of the valiant Don Quixote,
and the dreadful and inconceivable adventure of the wind-mills,
with other incidents worthy of being recorded by the most able historian


In the midst of this their conversation, they discovered thirty or forty wind-mills all together on the plain, which the knight no sooner perceived, than he said to his squire, “Chance has conducted our affairs even better than we could either wish or hope for; look there, friend Sancho, and behold thirty or forty outrageous giants, with whom, I intend to engage in battle, and put every soul of them to death, so that we may begin to enrich ourselves with their spoils; for, it is a meritorious warfare, and serviceable both to God and man, to extirpate such a wicked race from the face of the earth.” “What giants to you mean?” said Sancho Panza in amaze. “Those you see yonder,” replied his master, “with vast extended arms; some of which are two leagues long.” “I would your worship would take notice,” replied Sancho, “that those you see yonder are no giants, but wind-mills; and what seem arms to you, are sails; which being turned with the wind, make the mill-stone work:” “It seems very plain,” said the knight, “that you are but a novice in adventures: these I affirm to be giants; and if thou art afraid, get out of the reach of danger, and put up thy prayers for me, while I join with them in fierce and unequal combat.” So saying, he put spurs to his steed Rozinante, without paying the least regard to the cries of his squire Sancho, nor would use the intelligence of his own eyes, tho’ he was very near them: on the contrary, when he approached them, he called aloud, “Fly not, ye base and cowardly miscreants, for, he is but a single knight who now attacks you.” At that instant, a breeze of wind springing up, the great sails began to turn; which being perceived by Don Quixote, “Tho’ you wield,” said he, “more arms than ever belonged to the giant Briareus, I will make you pay for your insolence.” So saying, and heartily recommending himself to his lady Dulcinea, whom he implored to succour him in this emergency, bracing on his target, and setting his lance in the rest, he put Rozinante to full speed, and assaulting the nearest wind-mill, thrust it into one of the sails, which was drove about by the wind with so much fury, that the lance was shivered to pieces, and both knight and steed whirled aloft, and overthrown in very bad plight upon the plain.

Sancho Panza rode as fast as the ass could carry him to his assistance, and when he came up, found him unable to stir, by reason of the bruises which he and Rozinante had received. “Lord have mercy upon us!” said the squire, “did not I tell your worship to consider well what you were about? did not I assure you, they were no other than wind-mills? indeed no body could mistake them for any thing else, but one who has wind-mills in his own head!” “Prithee, hold thy peace, friend Sancho,” replied Don Quixote; “the affairs of war, are more than any thing, subject to change. How much more so, as I believe, nay, am certain, that the sage Freston, who stole my closet and books, has converted those giants into mills, in order to rob me of the honour of their overthrow; such is the enmity he bears me; but, in the end, all his treacherous arts will little avail against the vigour of my sword.” “God’s will be done!” replied Sancho Panza, who helped him to rise, and mount Rozinante that was almost disjointed.

While they conversed together upon what had happened, they followed the road that leads to the pass of Lapice, for in that, which was a great thoroughfare, as Don Quixote observed, it was impossible but they must meet with many and divers adventures. As he jogged along, a good deal concerned for the loss of his lance, he said to his squire, “I remember to have read of a Spanish knight, called Diego Perez de Vargos, who having broken his sword in battle, tore off a mighty branch or bough from an oak, with which he performed such wonders, and felled so many Moors, that he retained the name of Machuca, or the feller, and all his descendants from that day forward, have gone by the name of Vargos and Machuca. This circumstance I mention to thee, because, from the first ash or oak that I meet with, I am resolved to rend as large and stout a bough as that, with which I expect, and intend to perform such exploits, as thou shalt think thyself extremely happy in being thought worthy to see, and give testimony to feats, otherwise incredible.” “By God’s help,” says Sancho, “I believe that every thing will happen as your worship says; but pray, Sir, sit a little more upright; for you seem to lean strangely to one side, which must proceed from the bruises you received in your fall.” “Thou art in the right,” answered Don Quixote; “and if I do not complain of the pain, it is because knights-errant are not permitted to complain of any wound they receive, even tho’ their bowels should come out of their bodies.” “If that be the case, I have nothing to reply,” said Sancho, “but God knows, I should be glad your worship would complain when any thing gives you pain: this I know, that for my own part, the smallest prick in the world would make me complain, if that law of not complaining does not reach to the squires as well as the knights.” Don Quixote could not help smiling at the simplicity of his squire, to whom he gave permission to complain as much and as often as he pleased, whether he had cause or no; for, as yet, he had read nothing to the contrary, in the history of knight-errantry.

Then Sancho observing that it was dinner-time, his master told him, that for the present he had no occasion for food; but, that his squire might go to victuals when he pleased. With this permission, Sancho adjusted himself as well as he could, upon his ass, and taking out the provision with which he had stuffed his wallet, he dropped behind his master a good way, and kept his jaws agoing as he jogged along, lifting the bottle to his head from time to time, with so much satisfaction, that the most pampered vintner of Malaga might have envied his situation.

While he travelled in this manner, repeating his agreeable draughts, he never thought of the promise which his master had made to him, nor considered it as a toil, but rather as a diversion, to go in quest of adventures, how dangerous soever they might be. . . .

Translated by Tobias Smollett (1755) 

 


 

Of the good fortune which the valiant Don Quixote had
in the terrible and undreamt-of adventure of the Windmills,
with other occurrences worthy to be fitly recorded


At this point they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that there are on plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire, “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.

“Those thou seest there,” answered his master, “with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.”

“Look, your worship,” said Sancho; “what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by the wind make the millstone go.”

“It is easy to see,” replied Don Quixote, “that thou art not used to this business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.”

So saying, he gave the spur to his steed Rocinante, heedless of the cries his squire Sancho sent after him, warning him that most certainly they were windmills and not giants he was going to attack. He, however, was so positive they were giants that he neither heard the cries of Sancho, nor perceived, near as he was, what they were, but made at them shouting, “Fly not, cowards and vile beings, for a single knight attacks you.”

A slight breeze at this moment sprang up, and the great sails began to move, seeing which Don Quixote exclaimed, “Though ye flourish more arms than the giant Briareus, ye have to reckon with me.”

So saying, and commending himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, imploring her to support him in such a peril, with lance in rest and covered by his buckler, he charged at Rocinante’s fullest gallop and fell upon the first mill that stood in front of him; but as he drove his lance-point into the sail the wind whirled it round with such force that it shivered the lance to pieces, sweeping with it horse and rider, who went rolling over on the plain, in a sorry condition. Sancho hastened to his assistance as fast as his ass could go, and when he came up found him unable to move, with such a shock had Rocinante fallen with him.

“God bless me!” said Sancho, “did I not tell your worship to mind what you were about, for they were only windmills? and no one could have made any mistake about it but one who had something of the same kind in his head.”

“Hush, friend Sancho,” replied Don Quixote, “the fortunes of war more than any other are liable to frequent fluctuations; and moreover I think, and it is the truth, that that same sage Friston who carried off my study and books, has turned these giants into mills in order to rob me of the glory of vanquishing them, such is the enmity he bears me; but in the end his wicked arts will avail but little against my good sword.“

“God order it as he may,” said Sancho Panza, and helping him to rise got him up again on Rocinante, whose shoulder was half out; and then, discussing the late adventure, they followed the road to Puerto Lapice, for there, said Don Quixote, they could not fail to find adventures in abundance and variety, as it was a great thoroughfare. For all that, he was much grieved at the loss of his lance, and saying so to his squire, he added, “I remember having read how a Spanish knight, Diego Perez de Vargas by name, having broken his sword in battle, tore from an oak a ponderous bough or branch, and with it did such things that day, and pounded so many Moors, that he got the surname of Machuca, and he and his descendants from that day forth were called Vargas y Machuca. I mention this because from the first oak I see I mean to rend such another branch, large and stout like that, with which I am determined and resolved to do such deeds that thou mayest deem thyself very fortunate in being found worthy to come and see them, and be an eyewitness of things that will with difficulty be believed.”

“Be that as God will,” said Sancho, “I believe it all as your worship says it; but straighten yourself a little, for you seem all on one side, may be from the shaking of the fall.”

“That is the truth,” said Don Quixote, “and if I make no complaint of the pain it is because knights-errant are not permitted to complain of any wound, even though their bowels be coming out through it.”

“If so,” said Sancho, “I have nothing to say; but God knows I would rather your worship complained when anything ailed you. For my part, I confess I must complain however small the ache may be; unless this rule about not complaining extends to the squires of knights-errant also.”

Don Quixote could not help laughing at his squire’s simplicity, and he assured him he might complain whenever and however he chose, just as he liked, for, so far, he had never read of anything to the contrary in the order of knighthood.

Sancho bade him remember it was dinner-time, to which his master answered that he wanted nothing himself just then, but that he might eat when he had a mind. With this permission Sancho settled himself as comfortably as he could on his beast, and taking out of the alforjas what he had stowed away in them, he jogged along behind his master munching deliberately, and from time to time taking a pull at the bota with a relish that the thirstiest tapster in Malaga might have envied; and while he went on in this way, gulping down draught after draught, he never gave a thought to any of the promises his master had made him, nor did he rate it as hardship but rather as recreation going in quest of adventures, however dangerous they might be. . . .

Translated by John Ormsby (1885)

 



Of the good fortune which the valorous Don Quixote had in
the terrifying and never-before-imagined adventure of the windmills


At this point they caught sight of thirty or forty windmills which were standing on the plain there, and no sooner had Don Quixote laid eyes upon them than he turned to his squire and said, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we could have wished; for you see there before you, friend Sancho Panza, some thirty or more lawless giants which whom I mean to do battle. I shall deprive them of their lives, and with the spoils from this encounter we shall begin to enrich ourselves, for this is righteous warfare, and it is a great service to God to remove so accursed a breed from the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.

“Those that you see there,” replied his master, “those with the long arms some of which are as much as two leagues in length.”

“But look, your Grace, those are not giants but windmills, and what appear to be arms are their wings which, when whirled in the breeze, cause the millstone to go.”

“It is plain to be seen,” said Don Quixote, “that you have had little experience in this matter of adventures. If you are afraid, go off to one side and say your prayers while I am engaging them in fierce, unequal combat.”

Saying this, he gave spurs to his steed Rocinante, without paying any heed to Sancho’s warning that these were truly windmills and not giants that he was riding forth to attack. Nor even when he was close upon them did he perceive what they really were, but shouted at the top of his lungs, “Do not seek to flee, cowards and vile creatures that you are, for it is but a single knight with whom you have to deal!”

At that moment a little wind came up and the big wings began turning.

“Though you flourish as many arms as did the giant Briareus,” said Don Quixote when he perceived this, “you still shall have to answer to me.”

He thereupon commended himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, beseeching her to succor him in this peril; and, being well covered with his shield and with his lance at rest, he bore down upon them at a full gallop and fell upon the first mill that stood in his way, giving a thrust at the wing, which was whirling at such a speed that his lance was broken into bits and both horse and horseman went rolling over the plain, very much battered indeed. Sancho upon his donkey came hurrying to his master’s assistance as fast as he could, but when he reached the spot, the knight was unable to move, so great was the shock with which he and Rocinante had hit the ground.

“God help us!” exclaimed Sancho, “did I not tell your Grace to look well, that those were nothing but windmills, a fact which no one could fail to see unless he had other mills of the same sort in his head?”

“Be quiet, friend Sancho,” said Don Quixote. “Such are the fortunes of war, which more than any other are subject to constant change. What is more, when I come to think of it, I am sure that this must be the work of that magician Frestón, the one who robbed me of my study and my books, and who has thus changed the giants into windmills in order to deprive me of the glory of overcoming them, so great is the enmity that he bears me; but in the end his evil arts shall not prevail against this trusty sword of mine.”

“May God’s will be done,” was Sancho Panza’s response. And with the aid of his squire the knight was once more mounted on Rocinante, who stood there with one shoulder half out of joint. And so, speaking of the adventure that had just befallen them, they continued along the Puerto Lápice highway; for there, Don Quixote said, they could not fail to find many and varied adventures, this being a much traveled thoroughfare. The only thing was, the knight was exceedingly downcast over the loss of his lance.

“I remember,” he said to his squire, “having read of a Spanish knight by the name of Diego Pérez de Vargas, who, having broken his sword in battle, tore from an oak a heavy bough or branch and with it did such feats of valor that day, and pounded so many Moors, that he came to be known as Machuca, and he and his descendants from that day forth have been called Vargas y Machuca. I tell you this because I too intend to provide myself with just such a bough as the one he wielded, and with it I propose to do such exploits that you shall deem yourself fortunate to have been found worthy to come with me and behold and witness things that are almost beyond belief.”

“God’s will be done,” said Sancho. “I believe everything that your Grace says; but straighten yourself up in the saddle a little, for you seem to be slipping down on one side, owing, no doubt, to the shaking-up that you received in your fall.”

“Ah, that is the truth,“ replied Don Quixote, “and if I do not speak of my sufferings, it is for the reason that it is not permitted knights-errant to complain of any wound whatsoever, even though their bowels may be dropping out.”

“If that is the way it is,” said Sancho, “I have nothing more to say; but, God knows, it would suit me better if your Grace did complain when something hurts him. I can assure you that I mean to do so, over the least little thing that ails me — that is, unless the same rule applies to squires as well.”

Don Quixote laughed long and heartily over Sancho’s simplicity, telling him that he might complain as much as he liked and where and when he liked, whether he had good cause or not; for he had read nothing to the contrary in the ordinances of chivalry. Sancho then called his master’s attention to the fact that it was time to eat. The knight replied that he himself had no need of food at the moment, but his squire might eat whenever he chose. Having been granted this permission, Sancho seated himself as best he could upon his beast, and, taking out from his saddlebags the provisions that he had stored there, he rode along leisurely behind his master, munching his victuals and taking a good, hearty swig now and then at the leather flask in a manner that might well have caused the biggest-bellied tavernkeeper of Málaga to envy him. Between draughts he gave not so much as a thought to any promise that his master might have made him, nor did he look upon it as any hardship, but rather as good sport, to go in quest of adventures however hazardous they might be. . . .

Translated by Samuel Putnam (1949)

 


 

Of the valorous Don Quixote’s success in the dreadful
and never before imagined Adventure of the Windmills,
with other events worthy of happy record


At that moment they caught sight of some thirty or forty windmills, which stand on that plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire: “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we could have wished. Look over there, friend Sancho Panza, where more than thirty monstrous giants appear. I intend to do battle with them and take all their lives. With their spoils we will begin to get rich, for this is a fair war, and it is a great service to God to wipe such a wicked brood from the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those you see there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some giants have them about six miles long.”

“Take care, your worship,” said Sancho; “those things over there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails, which are whirled round in the wind and make the millstone turn.”

“It is quite clear,” replied Don Quixote, “that you are not experienced in this matter of adventures. They are giants, and if you are afraid, go away and say your prayers, whilst I advance and engage them in fierce and unequal battle.”

As he spoke, he dug his spurs into his steed Rocinante, paying no attention to his squire’s shouted warning that beyond all doubt they were windmills and no giants he was advancing to attack. But he went on, so positive that they were giants that he neither listened to Sancho’s cries nor noticed what they were, even when he got near them. Instead he went on shouting in a loud voice: “Do not fly, cowards, vile creatures, for it is one knight alone who assails you.”

At that moment a slight wind arose, and the great sails began to move. At the sight of which Don Quixote shouted: “Though you wield more arms than the giant Briareus, you shall pay for it!” Saying this, he commended himself with all his soul to his Lady Dulcinea, beseeching her aid in his great peril. Then, covering himself with his shield and putting his lance in the rest, he urged Rocinante forward at a full gallop and attacked the nearest windmill, thrusting his lance into the sail. But the wind turned it with such violence that it shivered his weapon in pieces, dragging the horse and his rider with it, and sent the knight rolling badly injured across the plain. Sancho Panza rushed to his assistance as fast as his ass could trot, but when he came up he found that the knight could not stir. Such a shock had Rocinante given him in their fall.

“O my goodness!” cried Sancho. “Didn’t I tell your worship to look what you were doing, for they were only windmills? Nobody could mistake them, unless he had windmills on the brain.”

“Silence, friend Sancho,” replied Don Quixote. “Matters of war are more subject than most to continual change. What is more, I think — and that is the truth — that the same sage Friston who robbed me of my room and my books has turned those giants into windmills, to cheat me of the glory of conquering them. Such is the enmity he bears me; but in the very end his black arts shall avail him little against the goodness of my sword.”

“God send it as he will,” replied Sancho Panza, helping the knight to get up and remount Rocinante, whose shoulders were half dislocated.

As they discussed this last adventure they followed the road to the pass of Lapice where, Don Quixote said, they could not fail to find many and various adventures, as many travellers passed that way. He was much concerned, however, at the loss of his lance, and, speaking of it to his squire, remarked: “I remember reading that a certain Spanish knight called Diego Perez de Vargas, having broken his sword in battle, tore a great bough or limb from an oak, and performed such deeds with it that day, and pounded so many Moors, that he earned the surname of the Pounder, and thus he and his descendants from that day onwards have been called Vargas y Machuca. I mention this because I propose to tear down just such a limb from the first oak we meet, as big and as good as his; and I intend to do such deed with it that you may consider yourself most fortunate to have won the right to see them. For you will witness things which will scarcely be credited.”

“With God’s help,” replied Sancho, “and I believe it all as your worship says. But sit a bit more upright, sir, for you seem to be riding lop-sided. It must be from the bruises you got when you fell.”

“That is the truth,” replied Don Quixote. “And if I do not complain of the pain, it is because a knight errant is not allowed to complain of any wounds, even though his entrails may be dropping out through them.”

“If that’s so, I have nothing more to say,” said Sancho, “but God knows I should be glad if your worship would complain if anything hurt you. I must say, for my part, that I have to cry out at the slightest swinge, unless this business of not complaining extends to knights errants’ squires as well.”

Don Quixote could not help smiling at his squire’s simplicity, and told him that he could certainly complain how and when he pleased, whether he had any cause or no, for up to that time he had never read anything to the contrary in the law of chivalry.

Sancho reminded him that it was time for dinner, but his master replied that he had need of none, but that his squire might eat whenever he pleased. With this permission Sancho settled himself as comfortably as he could on his ass and, taking out what he had put into the saddle-bags, jogged very leisurely along behind his master, eating all the while; and from time to time he raised the bottle with such relish that the best-fed publican in Malaga might have envied him. Now, as he went along like this, taking repeated gulps, he entirely forgot the promise his master had made him, and reckoned that going in search of adventures, however dangerous, was more like pleasure than hard work. . . .

Translated by J.M. Cohen (1950)

 


 

Of the valiant Don Quixote’s success in the terrifying and
never-before-imagined adventure of the windmills


Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain, and no sooner did Don Quixote see them than he said to his squire: “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich, for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms; some of them have well-nigh two leagues in length.”

“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills, and those things that seem to be arms are their sails, which when they are whirled around by the wind turn the millstone.”

“It is clear,” replied Don Quixote, “that you are not experienced in adventures. Those are giants, and if you are afraid, turn aside and pray whilst I enter into fierce and unequal battle with them.”

Uttering those words, he clapped spurs to Rozinante, his steed, without heeding the cries of his squire, Sancho, who warned him that he was not going to attack giants but windmills. But so convinced was he that they were giants that he neither heard his squire’s shouts nor did he notice what they were, though he was very near them. Instead, he rushed on, shouting in a loud voice: “Fly not, cowards and vile caitiffs; one knight alone attacks you!” At that moment a slight breeze arose and the great sails began to move. When Don Quixote saw this, he shouted again: “Although you flourish more arms that the giant Briareus, you shall pay for it!”

Saying this and commending himself most devoutly to his lady, Dulcinea, whom he begged to help him in this peril, he covered himself with his buckler, couched his lance, charged at Rozinante’s full gallop and rammed the first mill in his way. He ran his lance into the sail, but the wind twisted it with such violence that it shivered the lance in pieces and dragged both rider and horse after it, rolling them over and over on the ground, sorely damaged.

Sancho Panza rushed up to his assistance as fast as his ass could gallop, and when he reached the knight, he found that he was unable to move, such was the blow that Rozinante had given him in the fall.

“God help us!” cried Sancho. “Did I not tell you, sir, to mind what you were doing, for those were only windmills? Nobody could have mistaken them unless he had windmills in his brain.”

“Hold your peace, good Sancho,” answered Don Quixote. “The affairs of war are, above all others, subject to continual change. Moreover, I am convinced, and that is the truth, that the magician Frestón, the one who robbed me of my study and books, has changed those giants into windmills to deprive me of the glory of victory; such is the enmity he bears against me. But in the end his evil arts will be of little avail against my doughty sword.”

“God settle it His own way,” cried Sancho as he helped his master to rise and remount Rozinante, who was well-nigh disjointed by his fall.

They conversed about the recent adventure as they followed the road toward the Pass of Lápice, for there, Don Quixote said, they could not fail to find many and various adventures, seeing that it was a much frequented spot. Nevertheless he was very downcast at the loss of his lance, and in mentioning it to his squire, he said: “I remember having read of a Spanish knight called Diego Pérez de Vargas, who, when he broke his sword in a battle, tore off a huge branch from an oak and with it did such deeds of prowess that day and pounded so many Moors that he earned the surname of Machuca, and so he and his descendants were called from that day onwards Vargas y Machuca. I mention this because I intend to tear from the first oak tree we meet such a branch, with which I am resolved to perform such deeds that you will consider yourself fortunate to witness, exploits that men will scarcely credit.”

“God’s will be done,” said Sancho. “I’ll believe all your worship says; but straighten yourself a bit in the saddle, for you seem to be leaning over on one side, which must be from the bruises you received in your fall.”

“That is true,” replied Don Quixote, “and if I do not complain, it is because knights-errant must never complain of any wound, even though their guts are protruding from them.”

“If that be so, I’ve no more to say,” answered Sancho, “but God knows, I’d be glad to hear you complain when anything hurts you. As for myself, I’ll never fail to complain at the smallest twinge, unless this business of not complaining applies also to squires.”

Don Quixote could not help laughing at the simplicity of his squire and told him that he might complain whenever he pleased and to his heart’s content, for he had never read anything to the contrary in the order of chivalry. Sancho then bade his master consider that it was now time to eat, but the latter told him to eat whenever he fancied. As for himself, he had no appetite at the moment. Sancho so sooner had obtained leave than he settled himself as comfortably as he could upon his ass, and taking out of his saddlebags some of the contents, he jogged behind his master, munching deliberately; and every now and then he would take a stiff pull at the wineskin with such gusto that the ruddiest tapster in Málaga would have envied him. While he rode on, swilling away in that manner, he did not remember any promise his master might have made to him, and so far from thinking it a labor, he thought it a life of ease to go roaming in quest of adventures, no matter how perilous they might be. . . .

Translated by Walter Starkie (1954)

 


 

The great success won by our brave Don Quijote
in his dreadful, unimaginable encounter with two windmills


Just then, they came upon thirty or forty windmills, which (as it happens) stand in the fields of Montiel, and as soon as Don Quijote saw them he said to his squire:

“Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and to kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is noble, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza. “The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”

“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seem to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”

“Obviously,” replied Don Quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures. Those are giants — and if you’re frightened, take yourself away from here and say your prayers, while I go charging into savage and unequal combat with them.”

Saying which, he spurred his horse, Rocinante, paying no attention to the shouts of Sancho Panza, his squire, warning him that without any question it was windmills and not giants he was going to attack. So utterly convinced was he they were giants, indeed, that he neither heard Sancho’s cries nor noticed, close as he was, what they really were, but charged on, crying:

“Flee not, oh cowards and dastardly creatures, for he who attacks you is a knight alone and unaccompanied.”

Just then the wind blew up a bit, and the great sails began to stir, which Don Quijote saw and cried out:

“Even should you shake more arms than the giant Briareus himself, you’ll still have to deal with me.”

As he said this, he entrusted himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, imploring her to help and sustain him at such a critical moment, and then, with his shield held high and his spear braced in its socket, and Rocinante at a full gallop, he charged directly at the first windmill he came to, just as a sudden swift gust of wind sent its sail swinging hard around, smashing the spear to bits and sweeping up the knight and his horse, tumbling them all battered and bruised to the ground. Sancho Panza came rushing to his aid, as fast as his donkey could run, but when he got to his master, found him unable to move, such a blow had he been given by the falling horse.

“God help me!” said Sancho. “Didn’t I tell your grace to be careful what you did, that these were just windmills, and anyone who could ignore that had to have windmills in his head?”

“Silence, Sancho, my friend,” answered Don Quijote. “Even more than other things, war is subject to perpetual change. What’s more, I think the truth is that the same Frestón the magician, who stole away my room and my books, transformed these giants into windmills, in order to deprive me of the glory of vanquishing them, so bitter is his hatred of me. But in the end, his evil tricks will have little power against my good sword.”

“God’s will he done,” answered Sancho Panza.

Then, helping his master to his feet, he got him back up on Rocinante, whose shoulder was half dislocated. After which, discussing the adventure they’d just experienced, they followed the road toward Lápice Pass, for there, said Don Quijote, they couldn’t fail to find adventures of all kinds, it being a well-traveled highway. But having lost his lance, he went along very sorrowfully, as he admitted to his squire, saying:

“I remember having read that a certain Spanish knight named Diego Pérez de Vargas, having lost his sword while fighting in a lost cause, pulled a thick bough, or a stem, off an oak tree, and did such things with it, that day, clubbing down so many Moors that ever afterwards they nicknamed him Machuca [Clubber], and indeed from that day on he and all his descendants bore the name Vargas y Machuca. I tell you this because, the first oak tree I come to, I plan to pull off a branch like that, one every bit as good as the huge stick I can see in my mind, and I propose to perform such deeds with it that you’ll be thinking yourself blessed, having the opportunity to see them, and being a living witness to events that might otherwise be unbelievable.”

“It’s in God’s hands,” said Sancho. “I believe everything is exactly the way our grace says it is. But maybe you could sit a little straighter, because you seem to be leaning to one side, which must be because of the great fall you took.”

“True,” answered Don Quijote, “and if I don’t say anything about the pain it’s because knights errant are never supposed to complain about a wound, even if their guts are leaking through it.”

“If that’s how it’s supposed to be,” replied Sancho, “I’ve got nothing to say. But Lord knows I’d rather your grace told me, any time something hurts you. Me, I’ve got to groan, even if it’s the smallest little pain, unless that rule about knights errant not complaining includes squires, too.”

Don Quijote couldn’t help laughing at his squire’s simplicity, and cheerfully assured him he could certainly complain any time he felt like it, voluntarily or involuntarily, since in all his reading about knighthood and chivalry he’d never come across anything to the contrary. Sancho said he thought it was dinner-time. His master replied that, for the moment, he himself had no need of food, but Sancho should eat whenever he wanted to. Granted this permission, Sancho made himself as comfortable as he could while jogging along on his donkey and, taking out of his saddlebags what he had put in them, began eating as he rode, falling back a good bit behind his master, and from time to time tilting up his wineskin with a pleasure so intense that the fanciest barman in Málaga might have envied him. And as he rode along like this, gulping quietly away, none of the promises his master had made were on his mind, nor did he feel in the least troubled or afflicted — in fact, he was thoroughly relaxed about this adventure-hunting business, no matter how dangerous it was supposed to be. . . .

Translated by Burton Raffel (1995)



 

About the brave Don Quixote’s success in the
dreadful and unimaginable adventure of the windmills,
together with other events worthy of happy memory


As he was saying this, they caught sight of thirty or forty windmills standing on the plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire:

“Fortune is directing our affairs even better than we could have wished: for you can see over there, good friend Sancho Panza, a place where stand thirty or more monstrous giants with whom I intend to fight a battle and whose lives I intend to take; and with the booty we shall begin to prosper. For this is a just war, and it is a great service to God to wipe such a wicked breed from the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.

“Those giants that you can see over there,” replied his master, “with long arms: there are giants with arms almost six miles long.”

“Look you here,” Sancho retorted, “those over there aren’t giants, they’re windmills, and what look to you like arms are sails — when the wind turns them they make the millstones go round.”

“It is perfectly clear,” replied Don Quixote, “that you are but a raw novice in this matter of adventures. They are giants; and if you are frightened, you can take yourself away and say your prayers while I engage them in fierce and arduous combat.”

And so saying he set spurs to his steed Rocinante, not paying any attention to his squire Sancho Panza, who was shouting that what he was charging were definitely windmills not giants. 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, even though he was by now upon them; instead he cried:

“Flee not, O vile and cowardly creatures, for it is but one solitary knight who attacks you.”

A gust of wind arose, the great sails began to move, and Don Quixote yelled:

“Though you flourish more arms than the giant Briareus, I will make you pay for it.”

So saying, and commending himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, begging her to succor him in his plight, well protected by his little round infantryman’s shield, and with his lance couched, he advanced at Rocinante’s top speed and charged at the windmill nearest him. As he thrust his lance into its sail the wind turned it with such violence that it smashed the lance into pieces and dragged the horse and his rider with it, and Don Quixote went rolling over the plain in a very sore predicament. Sancho Panza rushed to help his master at his donkey’s fastest trot and found that he couldn’t stir, such was the toss that Rocinante had given him.

“For God’s sake!” said Sancho. “Didn’t I tell you to be careful what you were doing, didn’t I tell you they were only windmills? And only someone with windmills on the brain could have failed to see that!”

“Not at all, friend Sancho,” replied Don Quixote. “Affairs of war, even more than others, are subject to continual change. All the more so as I believe, indeed I am certain, that the same sage Frestón who stole my library and my books has just turned these giants into windmills, to deprive me of the glory of my victory, such is the enmity he feels for me; but in the end his evil arts will avail him little against the might of my sword.”

“God’s will be done,” replied Sancho Panza.

He helped his master to his feet, and his master remounted Rocinante, whose shoulder was half dislocated. And talking about this adventure they followed the road towards the Pass of Lápice, because Don Quixote said they couldn’t fail to encounter plentiful and varied adventures there, as it was a much frequented spot. But he was dejected by the destruction of his lance, and he told his squire so, and added:

“I remember reading that a Spanish knight called Diego Pérez de Vargas, having broken his sword in battle, tore a weighty bough or trunk from an evergreen oak, and did such deeds with it that day, and thrashed so many Moors, that he was nicknamed Machuca, that is to say, the thrasher; and from that day onwards his surname and that of his descendants was changed to Vargas y Machuca. I have told you this because from the first oak tree that comes before me I intend to tear off another such trunk, as good as the one I have in mind, and with it I intend to do such deeds as to make you consider yourself most fortunate to be deemed worthy to behold them, and to witness that which can hardly be believed.”

“God’s will be done,” said Sancho. “I believe every word you say. But do sit up straighter, you’re riding all lopsided, it must be that hammering you got when you fell off your horse.”

“That is indeed the case,” replied Don Quixote, “and if I do not utter any complaint about the pain it is because knights errant are not permitted to complain about wounds, even if their entrails are spilling out of them.”

“If that’s so there’s nothing more for me to say,” replied Sancho, “but God knows I’d like you to complain if anything hurts. As for me, I can tell you I’m going to moan like anything about the slightest little pain, unless that stuff about not complaining goes for knight errants’ squires as well.”

Don Quixote couldn’t help laughing at his squire’s simple-mindedness, and declared that he could moan as and when he pleased, whether he felt any pain or not, for he had not yet read anything to the contrary in the order of chivalry. Sancho pointed out that it was time to eat. His master replied that he didn’t need any food yet, but that Sancho could eat whenever he liked. So Sancho settled himself down as best he could on his donkey and taking out of his saddle-bags what he’d put into them, he jogged along and munched away behind his master, and every so often he’d take a swig from his leather bottle with such relish that the most self-indulgent innkeeper in Malaga would have envied him. And as Sancho trotted on, drinking his fill, he didn’t remember any of the promises his master had made him, and reckoned that going in search of adventures, however dangerous they might be, was more like good fun than hard work. . . .

Translated by John Rutherford (2000)

 


 

Regarding the good fortune of the valorous Don Quixote
in the fearful and never imagined adventure of the windmills


As they were talking, they saw thirty or forty of the windmills found in that countryside, and as soon as Don Quixote caught sight of them, he said to his squire:

“Good fortune is guiding our affairs better than we could have desired, for there you see, friend Sancho Panza, thirty or more enormous giants with whom I intend to do battle and whose lives I intend to take, and with the spoils we shall begin to grow rich, for this is righteous warfare, and it is a great service to God to remove so evil a breed from the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.

“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with the long arms; sometimes they are almost two leagues long.”

“Look, your grace,” Sancho responded, “those things that appear over there aren’t giants but windmills, and what looks like their arms are the sails that are turned by the wind and make the grindstone move.”

“It seems clear to me,” replied Don Quixote, “that thou art not well versed in the matter of adventures: these are giants; and if thou art afraid, move aside and start to pray whilst I enter with them in fierce and unequal combat.”

And having said this, he spurred his horse, Rocinante, paying no attention to the shouts of his squire, Sancho, who warned him that, beyond any doubt, those things he was about to attack were windmills and not giants. But he was so convinced they were giants that he did not hear the shouts of his squire, Sancho, and could not see, though he was very close, what they really were; instead, he charged, and called out:

“Flee not, cowards and base creatures, for it is a single knight who attacks you.”

Just then a gust of wind began to blow, and the great sails began to move, and, seeing this, Don Quixote said:

“Even if you move more arms than the giant Briareus, you will answer to me.”

And saying this, and commending himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, asking that she come to his aid at this critical moment, and well-protected by his shield, with his lance in his socket, he charged at Rocinante’s full gallop and attacked the first mill he came to; and as he thrust his lance into the sail, the wind moved it with so much force that it broke the lance into pieces and picked up the horse and the knight, who then dropped to the ground and were very badly battered. Sancho Panza hurried to help as fast as his donkey could carry him, and when he reached them he discovered that Don Quixote could not move because he had taken so hard a fall with Rocinante.

“God save me!” said Sancho. “Didn’t I tell your grace to watch what you were doing, that these were nothing but windmills, and only somebody whose head was full of them wouldn’t know that?”

“Be quiet, Sancho my friend,” replied Don Quixote. “Matters of war, more than any others, are subject to continual change; moreover, I think, and therefore it is true, that the same Frestón the Wise who stole my room and my books has turned these giants into windmills in order to deprive me of the glory of defeating them: such is the enmity he feels for me; but in the end, his evil arts will not prevail against the power of my virtuous sword.”

“God’s will be done,” replied Sancho Panza.

He helped him to stand, and Don Quixote remounted Rocinante, whose back was almost broken. And, talking about their recent adventure, they continued on the road to Puerto Lápice, because there, said Don Quixote, he could not fail to find many diverse adventures since it was a very heavily trafficked place; but he rode heavyhearted because he did not have his lance; and expressing this to his squire, he said:

“I remember reading that a Spanish knight named Diego Pérez de Vargas, whose sword broke in battle, tore a heavy bough or branch from an oak tree and with it did such great deeds that day, and thrashed so many Moors, that he was called Machuca, the Bruiser, and from that day forward he and his descendants were named Vargas y Machuca. I have told you this because from the first oak that presents itself to me I intend to tear off another branch as good as the one I have in mind, and with it I shall do such great deeds that you will consider yourself fortunate for deserving to see them and for being a witness to things that can hardly be believed.”

“It’s in God’s hands,” said Sancho. “I believe everything your grace says, but sit a little straighter, it looks like you’re tilting, it must be from the battering you took when you fell.”

“That is true,” replied Don Quixote, “and if I do not complain about the pain, it is because it is not the custom of knights errant to complain about any wound, even if their innards are spilling out because of it.”

“If that’s true, I have nothing to say,” Sancho responded, “but God knows I’d be happy if your grace complained when something hurt you. As for me, I can say that I’ll complain about the smallest pain I have, unless what you said about not complaining also applies to the squires of knights errant.”

Don Quixote could not help laughing at his squire’s simplemindedness; and so he declared that he could certainly complain however and whenever he wanted, with or without cause, for as yet he had not read anything to the contrary in the order of chivalry. Sancho said that it was time to eat. His master replied that he felt no need of food at the moment, but that Sancho could eat whenever he wished. With this permission, Sancho made himself as comfortable as he could on his donkey, and after taking out of the saddlebags what he had put into them, he rode behind his master at a leisurely pace, eating and, from time to time, tilting back the wineskin with so much gusto that the most self-indulgent tavern-keeper in Málaga might have envied him. And as he rode along in that manner, taking frequent drinks, he did not think about any promises his master had made to him, and he did not consider it work but sheer pleasure to go around seeking adventures, no matter how dangerous they might be. . . .

Translated by Edith Grossman (2003)

 


 

Of the excellent outcome that the brave don Quixote had
in the frightening and never-imagined adventure of the windmills,
with other events worthy of happy memory


Just then, they discovered thirty or forty windmills that were in that plain. And as soon as don Quixote saw them, he said to his squire: “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we could ever have hoped. Look over there, Sancho Panza, my friend, where there are thirty or more monstrous giants with whom I plan to do battle and take all their lives, and with their spoils we’ll start to get rich. This is righteous warfare, and it’s a great service to God to rid the earth of such a wicked seed.”

“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.

“Those that you see over there,” responded his master, “with the long arms — some of them almost two leagues long.”

“Look, your grace,” responded Sancho, “those things that you see over there aren’t giants — they’re windmills; and what seem to be arms are the sails that rotate the millstone when they’re turned by the wind.”

“It seems to me,” responded don Quixote, “that you aren’t well versed in adventures — they are giants; and if you’re afraid, get away from here and start praying while I go into fierce and unequal battle with them.”

And saying this, he spurred his horse Rocinante without heeding what his squire Sancho was shouting to him, that what he was attacking were windmills and not giants. But he was so certain they were giants that he paid no attention to his squire Sancho’s shouts, nor did he see what they were, even though he was very close. Rather, he went on shouting: “Do not flee, cowards and vile creatures, for it’s just one knight attacking you!”

At this point, the wind increased a bit and the large sails began to move, which don Quixote observed and said: “Even though you wave more arms than Briaraeus, you’ll have to answer to me!”

When he said this — and commending himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, asking her to aid him in that peril, well covered by his shield, with his lance on the lance rest — he attacked at Rocinante’s full gallop and assailed the first windmill he came to. He gave a thrust into the sail with his lance just as a rush of air accelerated it with such fury that it broke the lance to bits, taking the horse and knight with it, and tossed him rolling onto the ground, very battered.

Sancho went as fast as his donkey would take him to help his master, and when he got there, he saw that don Quixote couldn’t stir — such was the result of Rocinante’s landing on top of him.

“God help us,” said Sancho. “Didn’t I tell you to watch what you were doing, that they were just windmills, and that only a person who had windmills in his head could fail to realize it?”

“Keep still, Sancho, my friend,” responded don Quixote. “Things associated with war, more than others, are subject to continual change. Moreover, I believe — and it’s true — that the sage Frestón — he who robbed me of my library — has changed these giants into windmills to take away the glory of my having conquered them, such is the enmity he bears me. But in the long run, his evil cunning will have little power over the might of my sword.”

“God’s will be done,” responded Sancho Panza.

Sancho helped don Quixote get back onto Rocinante, who was half-dislocated himself, and while they talked about the adventure just finished, they continued toward Puerto Lápice, because don Quixote said that it was impossible to fail to find many different adventures there, since it was a place frequented by travelers; but he was also very sad for having lost his lance, and he said to his squire: “I remember having read once that a Spanish knight named Diego Pérez de Vargas, when he broke his lance in a battle, tore a heavy branch from an oak tree and with it performed many feats that day, and pounded so many Moors, that he took the name ‘Machuca’ [“pounded”], and so he and his descendants called themselves Vargas y Machuca from that day on. I’ve told you this because I plan to rip another such branch from the very first oak we come across, as good as the one I just mentioned, and I plan to do such deeds with it that you’ll consider yourself fortunate to have been worthy to see them and to be an eyewitness to things that can hardly be believed.”

“Be that as God wills,” said Sancho. “I believe everything your grace says. But straighten yourself up a bit. It looks like you’re listing, doubtless because of the injuries from your fall.”

“That’s true,” responded don Quixote, “and if I don’t fuss about the pain it’s because knights-errant aren’t allowed to complain of any wound, even though their intestines are oozing from it.”

“If that’s the way it is, I have nothing to say,” responded Sancho, “but God knows I’d be glad if your grace complained when something hurts you. As far as I’m concerned, I can safely say that I’ll complain about the least little pain I have, unless this business of not complaining also applies to squires of knights-errant.”

Don Quixote couldn’t help but laugh at the simplicity of his squire, and so he said that he could complain however and whenever he wanted, as often as he liked. He hadn’t ever read anything to the contrary in the laws of chivalry. Sancho said that he thought that it was now time to eat. His master responded that he didn’t need to eat right then, but that Sancho could eat whenever he felt like it.

With this permission, Sancho made himself as comfortable as he could on his donkey, and, taking from the saddlebags what he’d put in, he ambled along, eating comfortably behind his master, and once in a while he raised his wineskin with such pleasure that the keeper of the most well-stocked tavern in Málaga might have envied him. And as he went along, taking swallow after swallow, he forgot completely about the promises his master had made him, nor did he consider going around looking for adventures as toil, but rather as great recreation, no matter how dangerous they might be. . . .

Translated by Tom Lathrop (2005/2011)

 


 

Our valiant Don Quixote’s triumph in the
frightful and unprecedented adventure of the windmills,
together with other incidents worthy of record


Just then, they spotted thirty or forty windmills scattered across the plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them, he said to his squire:

“Fate is guiding our affairs better than we could ever have hoped, for you see there before you, Sancho my brother, thirty or more colossal giants with whom I intend to do battle and relieve every last one of them of their lives. With the spoils from this adventure we shall take our first step toward enriching ourselves, because this is a just war, and it is a great service to God to sweep such bad seed from the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those you see over yonder,” said his master, “with those long arms, which on some giants reach up to two leagues in length.”

“May your grace observe,” replied Sancho, “that those objects aren’t giants but windmills, and what looks like arms are the vanes the wind drives to turn the millstone.”

“It is obvious,” said Don Quixote, “that you are not versed in this business of adventures. Those are giants, but if you are so afraid, go off somewhere and say your prayers while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.”

And as he said this, he dug his spurs into Rocinante’s flanks, paying no heed to his panic-stricken squire, who was shouting that those objects he was about to attack were undoubtedly windmills and not giants; but so strong was his conviction that they were giants that he failed to hear his squire’s shouts or to notice, now that he was quite near, what they were. On the contrary, he rode forward shouting:

“Flee not, ye cowardly, detestable creatures! It is but a single knight who opposes you.”

At this moment, the wind increased slightly and the large vanes began to revolve. When Don Quixote saw this, he said,

“Even if ye wave more arms than those of the giant Briareus, ye shall have me to reckon with!”

As he said this, he commended himself heart and soul to his lady Dulcinea, imploring her to assist him at this moment of peril. Then with his buckler shielding his body and his lance in its socket, he charged as fast as Rocinante could run, striking at the first mill he encountered. But just as he thrust at the vane with his lance, the wind suddenly gave the vane such a furious turn that it made splinters of the lance and sent him and his horse sprawling on the ground, badly mauled. To assist him, Sancho rode toward him as fast as his jackass could run, and when he arrived, he found him so battered that he was unable to move, such had been his fall from Rocinante.

“Heaven help me!” cried Sancho, “didn’t I warn your grace to consider what you were doing, since those were only windmills, and anyone who couldn’t see that must have some sort of windmills in his own head?”

“Hold your tongue, my friend,” said Don Quixote. “Affairs of war more than all others are subject to continual change. I am more convinced than ever of the truth of this observation when I think that the sage Frestón, who made off with my study and books, has transformed these giants into windmills to rob me of the satisfaction of overcoming them, such is the hatred he bears me; but when all is said and done, his evil arts shall be powerless against the excellence of my sword.”

“May God grant that, which He is certainly capable of doing,” said Sancho.

After being helped to his feet, Don Quixote once again seated himself on Rocinante, whose back had nearly been dislocated. Then while discussing the adventure they had just concluded, they set out once again on the road to Puerto Lápice, where Don Quixote said they could hardly fail to meet with numerous and varied adventures, because people came to that town from all parts. Nevertheless, riding along with a heavy heart because of the loss of his lance, he said to his squire:

“I remember reading that a Spanish knight named Diego Pérez de Vargas, after breaking his lance in battle, tore a thick limb or branch from an oak tree and with it performed such deeds and thrashed so many Moors on that occasion that he earned the nickname of Thrasher, by which he and his descendants have been known from that day to this. I tell you all this because from the first oak that we encounter, I propose to rip off another such limb — and one just as good — and intend to perform such deeds with it that you will consider yourself most fortunate to be privileged to view them and to witness things that will scarcely be believed.”

“It’s in God’s hands,” said Sancho, “and I believe everything just as your grace has described it, but you might sit up a little straighter, for you seem to be listing to one side, which is probably due to your painful fall from the horse.”

“That is quite true,” said Don Quixote, “and if you don’t hear me complain of the pain, it is because knights-errant are not permitted to complain of any wound, even if their guts are spilling out through it.”

“If that is so,” said Sancho, “there’s nothing I can say, but God knows how much it would please me if your grace would simply complain when anything is hurting you. I can assure you that, for my part, I’m going to complain of the tiniest pain I have, unless that rule of not complaining also applies to squires.”

Don Quixote had to laugh at his squire’s naiveté, and he made it clear that Sancho could certainly complain, however and whenever he felt the need, willingly or unwillingly, for up until then he had never read anything to the contrary in his books of chivalry. When Sancho reminded him that it was mealtime, his master told him he had no need to eat just then, but that Sancho might eat whenever he felt like it. No sooner was Sancho given permission than he made himself as comfortable as possible atop his jackass and proceeded to remove from his saddlebags what he had stored inside them. Following along behind his master in this fashion, he rode and ate at his own pace, taking a draught from time to time from his wineskin, and with such zest that it would have aroused envy in the most intemperate wine merchant in Málaga. While riding along thus, taking one drink of wine after another, he was unmindful of any promises his master had made him, nor did he consider it laborious (on the contrary, quite restful) to be riding about in quest of adventures, however dangerous they might be. . . .

Translated by James H. Montgomery (2006/2009)

 


Thirteen translations of the first part of Chapter 8 in Volume 1 of Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605).

Copyright notice.


[Passages from other recommended works]

[Gateway to the Vast Realms]

[Rexroth essay on Don Quixote]

 

  


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