Don Quixote de la Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Charles Jarvis et al. | Go to book overview

under one. The carpet being removed, Don Quixote de la Mancha said:

'Let no one arise, and, sons, be attentive to me.'


CHAPTER 23
Of the wonderful things, which the unexampled Don Quixote de la Mancha declared he had seen in the deep cave of Montesinos, the greatness and impossibility of which make this adventure pass for apocryphal.

IT was about four of the clock in the afternoon, when the sun, hid among the clouds, with a faint light and temperate rays, gave Don Quixote an opportunity, without extraordinary heat or trouble, of relating to his two illustrious hearers, what he had seen in the cave of Montesinos; and he began in the following manner:

'About twelve or fourteen fathom in the depth of this dungeon, on the right hand, there is a hollow, and space wide enough to contain a large wagon, mules and all: a little light makes its way into it, through some cracks and holes at a distance in the surface of the earth. This hollow and open space I saw, just as I began to weary, and out of humour to find myself pendent and tied by the rope, and journeying through that dark region below, without knowing whither I was going: and so I determined to enter it and rest a little. I called out to you aloud, not to let down more rope till I bid you: but, it seems you heard me not. I gathered up the cord you had let down, and coiling it up into a heap, or bundle, I sat me down upon it, extremely pensive, and considering what method I should take to descend to the bottom, having nothing to support my weight. And being thus thoughtful, and in confusion, on a sudden, without any endeavour of mine, a deep sleep fell upon me; and, when I least thought of it, I awaked, and found myself, I knew not by what means, in the midst of the finest, pleasantest, and most delightful meadow, that nature could create, or the most pregnant fancy imagine.

'I rubbed my eyes, wiped them, and perceived I was not asleep, but really awake: but for all that I fell to feeling my head and breast, to be assured whether it was I, myself, who was there, or some empty and counterfeit illusion: but [touch], sensation, and the coherent

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