Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

Spanish Novelist, Dramatist, Poet and Playwright best known for his magnum opus, Don Quixote

"There can be no true pleasantry without discretion."

"There is no road so level as to have no rough places."

"There's no sauce in the world like hunger."

"Those two fatal words, Mind and Thine..."Do not forget, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "that there are two kinds of beauty, one being of the soul and the other of the body. That of the soul is revealed through intelligence, modesty, right conduct, generosity, and good breeding, all of which qualities may exist in an ugly man; and when one's gaze is fixed upon beauty of this sort and not upon that of the body, love is usually born suddenly and violently.""

"Time is the discoverer of all things."

"'Tis the part of a wise man to keep himself for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket."

"Truth always rises above falsehood, as oil rises above water."

"Truth stretches but does not break."

"We must suit our behaviour to the occasion."

"What is bought is cheaper than a gift."

"When one door is shut, another opens."

"While we are asleep we are all equal."

"Works of charity negligently performed are of no worth."

"A man prepared has half fought the battle."

"A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience."

"Death and sleep make us all alike, rich and poor, high and low."

"Envy we must overcome by generosity and nobleness of soul."

"He that gives quickly gives twice."

"If, perchance, the scales of justice be not correctly balanced, let the error be imputable to pity, not to gold."

"In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd."

"Let the tears of the poor find more compassion, but not more justice, from thee than the applications of the wealthy."

"Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once."

"Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly all the time is having to accept it."

"Think before thou speakest."

"Too much sanity may be madness. But maddest of all, to see life as it is, and not as it should be!"

"All I know is that while I’m asleep, I’m never afraid, and I have no hopes, no struggles, no glories — and bless the man who invented sleep, a cloak over all human thought, food that drives away hunger, water that banishes thirst, fire that heats up cold, chill that moderates passion, and, finally, universal currency with which all things can be bought, weight and balance that brings the shepherd and the king, the fool and the wise, to the same level. There’s only one bad thing about sleep, as far as I’ve ever heard, and that is that it resembles death, since there’s very little difference between a sleeping man and a corpse."

"All sorrows are less with bread. "

"Maybe the greatest madness is to see life as it is rather than what it could be."

"It is the mission of each true knight... His duty... nay, his privilege! To dream the impossible dream, To fight the unbeatable foe, To bear with unbearable sorrow To run where the brave dare not go; To right the unrightable wrong. To love, pure and chaste, from afar, To try, when your arms are too weary, To reach the unreachable star! This is my Quest to follow that star, No matter how hopeless, no matter how far, To fight for the right Without question or pause, To be willing to march into hell For a heavenly cause! And I know, if I'll only be true To this glorious Quest, That my heart will lie peaceful and calm When I'm laid to my rest. And the world will be better for this, That one man, scorned and covered with scars, Still strove, with his last ounce of courage, To reach the unreachable stars!"

"He who sings scares away his woes."

"Facts are the enemy of truth. "

"Those who will play with cats must expect to be scratched."

"Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn."

"Drink moderately, for drunkeness neither keeps a secret, nor observes a promise."

"All kinds of beauty do not inspire love; there is a kind which only pleases the sight, but does not captivate the affections."

"There are two kinds of beauty, one being of the soul and the other of the body, That of the soul is revealed through intelligence, modesty, right conduct, Generosity and good breeding, all of which qualities may exist in an ugly man; And when one's gaze is fixed upon beauty of this sort and not upon that of the body, Love is usually born suddenly and violently."

"Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world."

"Virtue is persecuted by the wicked more than it is loved by the good."

"In the night all cats are grey."

"Abundance, even of good things, prevents them from being valued."

"Where a door is closed, another is opened."

"I do not deny that what happened to us is a thing worth laughing at. But it is not worth telling, for not everyone is sufficiently intelligent to be able to see things from the right point of view."

"Translating from one language to another, unless it is from Greek and Latin, the queens of all languages, is like looking at Flemish tapestries from the wrong side, for although the figures are visible, they are covered by threads that obscure them, and cannot be seen with the smoothness and color of the right side."

"Delay always breeds danger; and to protract a great design is often to ruin it."

"Everyone is as God has made him, and oftentimes a great deal worse."

"Truth indeed rather alleviates than hurts, and will always bear up against falsehood, as oil does above water."

"I know who I am and who I may be, if I choose."

"Once a woman parts with her virtue, she loses the esteem even of the man whose vows and tears won her to abandon it."

"The bow cannot possibly always stand bent, nor can human nature or human frailty subsist without some lawful recreation."

"Love not what you are, but what you may become."