Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."
"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.
"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."
"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."
"It is easy to see," replied Don Quixote, "that thou art not used to
this business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid,
away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat."
So saying, he gave the spur to his steed Rocinante, heedless of
the cries his squire Sancho sent after him, warning him that most
certainly they were windmills and not giants he was going to attack.
He, however, was so positive they were giants that he neither heard
the cries of Sancho, nor perceived, near as he was, what they were,
but made at them shouting, "Fly not, cowards and vile beings, for a
single knight attacks you."
—Part 1, Chapter VIII. Of the valourous Don Quixote's success in the dreadful and never before imagined Adventure of the Windmills, with other events worthy of happy record. Cervantes, Don Quixote.