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

"Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliancy than justice."

"An honest man's word is as good as his bond."

"Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness — its opposite — never brought a man to the goal of any of his best wishes."

"Every man is the son of his own works."

"Every one in his own house and God in all of them."

"Every one is responsible for his own acts."

"Fear has many eyes."

"He is best served who has no occasion to put the hand of others at the end of his arms."

"He preaches well that lives well."

"Health and cheerfulness make beauty."

"History is the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instructor of the present, and monitor to the future."

"Honesty is the best policy, I will stick to that. The good shall have my hand and heart, but the bad neither foot nor fellowship. And in my mind, the main point of governing, is to make a good beginning."

"If thou takes virtue for the rule of life, and valuest thyself upon acting in all things comfortably thereto, thou wilt have no cause to envy lords and princes; for blood is inherited, but virtue is common property and may be acquired by all; it has, moreover, an intrinsic worth, which blood has not."

"It is better that a judge should lean on the side of compassion than severity."

"Jealousy sees things always with magnifying glasses which make little things large, of dwarfs giants, of suspicions truths."

"Journey all over the universe in a map, without the expense and fatigue of traveling, without suffering the inconveniences of heat, cold, hunger, and thirst."

"Necessity urges desperate measures."

"Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within."

"Sloth never arrived at the attainment of a good wish."

"Strive to know thyself, the most difficult thing to know that can be imagined."

"Take away the motive, and you take away the sin."

"The gratification of wealth is not found in mere possession or in lavish expenditure, but in its wise application. "

"The knowledge of thyself will preserve thee from vanity."

"The mean of true valor lies between the extremes of cowardice and rashness."

"The wicked are always ungrateful."

"There is a time for some things, and a time for all things; a time for great things, and a time for small things."

"There is no remembrance which time does not obliterate, nor pain which death does not terminate."

"Three things too much and three too little are pernicious to man: to speak much and know little; to spend much and have little; to presume much and be worth little."

"Truth may be stretched, but cannot be broken, and always gets above falsehood, as oil does above water."

"When in doubt, lean to the side of mercy."

"Where there is much love, there are usually but few freedoms."

"Whoever undertakes a long Journey, if he be wise, makes it his Business to find out an agreeable Companion. How cautious then should He be, who is to take a Journey for Life, whose Fellow-Traveler must not part with him but at the Grave; his Companion at Bed and Board and Sharer of all the Pleasures and Fatigues of his Journey; as the Wife must be to the Husband! She is no such Sort of Ware, that a Man can be rid of when he pleases: When once that’s purchas’d, no Exchange, no Sale, no Alienation can be made: She is an inseparable Accident to Man: Marriage is a Noose, which, fasten’d about the Neck, runs the closer, and fits more uneasy by our struggling to get loose: ‘Tis a Gordian Knot which none can unty, and being twisted with our Thread of Life, nothing but the Schyth of Death can cut it."

"Proverbs: Short sentences drawn from long experiences."

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

"A good name is better than bags of gold (riches)."

"All comparisons are odious."

"All that glisters is not gold."

"Art does not surpass nature, but only brings it to perfection."

"Be slow of tongue and quick of eye."

"Draw strength from weakness."

"For historians ought to be precise, truthful, and quite unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should cause them to swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instruction of the present, the monitor of the future."

"He got the better of himself, and that's the best kind of victory one can wish for."

"I am of opinion that there are no proverbial sayings which are not true, because they are all sentences drawn from experience itself, who is the mother of all sciences."

"It is good to live and learn."

"Madness must necessarily have more followers than discretion."

"No one is born ready taught."

"The pen is the tongue of the mind."

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

"The righteous sometimes pay for the sinners."

"There are only two families in the world, the Haves and the Have Nots."