Don Quixote: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. Cervantes describes Quixote's growing obsession with knight-errantry, saying, "he so immersed himself in those romances that he spent whole days and nights over his books; and thus with little sleeping and much reading his brains dried up to such a degree that he lost the use of his reason" (Book 1, Part 1).
  2. Cervantes explains the Don's desire to leave his village and take up the profession of knighthood: "he was spurred on by the conviction that the world needed his immediate presence." (Book 1, Part 2).
  3. Quixote explains the Golden Age of men, saying, "Neither fraud, nor deceit, nor malice had yet interfered with truth and plain dealing" (Book 1, Part 8).
  4. Because the world is no longer in such a state, however, "the order of knight-errantry was instituted to defend maidens, to protect widows, and to rescue orphans and distressed persons," the knight continues (Book 1, Part 8).
  5. Quixote explains to Sancho the sacrifice that knights-errant and their squires must give to their higher calling, saying, "But all this must be suffered by those who profess the stern order of chivalry" (Book 1, Part 11).
  6. Continuing, he explains how God will provide for them: ".God, Who provides for all, will not desert us; especially being engaged, as we are, in His service" (Book 1, Part 11).
  7. Sancho, the realist, tells his master, "I sometimes think that all you tell me of knighthood, kingdoms, empires and islands is all windy blather and lies" (Book 1, Part 15).
  8. Quixote, lamenting over the fact that his Lady Dulcinea is enchanted: "Truly I was born to be an example of misfortune, and a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed" (Book 2, Part 3).
  9. The Don, strict in his Catholicism and its doctrine of free will, rejoices over his freedom, telling his squire, "Liberty, Sancho, my friend, is one of the most precious gifts that Heaven has bestowed on mankind" (Book 2, Part 14).
  10. The knight, after rejecting his stories of chivalry, tells his family, shamefully, "My judgement is now clear and unfettered, and that dark cloud of ignorance has disappeared, which the continual reading of those detestable books of knight-errantry had cast over my understanding" (Book 2, Part 16).

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