Chap. 8 [planets]. 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.