Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (September 29, 1547 April 23, 1616), was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright. He is best known for his novel Don Quijote de la Mancha, which is considered by many to be the first modern novel, one of the greatest works in Western literature, and the greatest of the Spanish language. It is one of the Encyclopedia Britannica's "Great Books of the Western World" and the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky called it "the ultimate and most sublime word of human thinking". Israel Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion learned the Spanish language so that he could read it in the original, considering it a prerequisite to becoming an effective statesman..
"Liberty is one of the most precious gifts which heaven has bestowed on man; with it we cannot compare the treasures which the earth contains or the sea conceals; for liberty, as for honor, we can and ought to risk our lives; and, on for the other hand, captivity is the greatest evil that can befall man."
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"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."
"'Tis said of love that it sometimes goes, sometimes flies; runs with one, walks gravely with another; turns a third into ice, and sets a fourth in a flame: it wounds one, another it kills: like lightning it begins and ends in the same moment: it makes that fort yield at night which it besieged but in the morning; for there is no force able to resist it."
"One who has not only the four S's, which are required in every good lover, but even the whole alphabet; as for example... Agreeable, Bountiful, Constant, Dutiful, Easy, Faithful, Gallant, Honorable, Ingenious, Kind, Loyal, Mild, Noble, Officious, Prudent, Quiet, Rich, Secret, True, Valiant, Wise; the X indeed, is too harsh a letter to agree with him, but he is Young and Zealous."
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