Don Quixote de la Mancha, riding through the plains of Montiel,
approached thirty or forty windmills, which he declared to Sancho
Panza “were giants, two leagues in length or more.”
Striking his spurs into Rosinante, with his lance in rest, he drove at
one of the “monsters dreadful as Typhoeus.” The lance
lodged in the sail, and the latter, striking both man and beast,
lifted them into the air, shivering the lance to pieces. When the
valiant knight and his steed fell to the ground they were both much
injured, and Don Quixote declared that the enchanter Freston,
“who carried off his library with all the books therein,”
had changed the giants into windmills “out of malice.”
. Don Quixote, bk. i. ch. viii.)
To fight with windmills.
chimeras. The French have the same proverb, “Se battre
contre des moulins á vent.
” The allusion is,
of course, to the adventure of Don Quixote referred to above.
To have windmills in your head.
chimeras. Similar to “bees in your bonnet”
). Sancho Panza says -
“Did I not tell your worship they were windmills? and who
could have thought otherwise, except such as had windmills in their
Don Quixote, bk. i. ch. viii.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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