Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

time appointed being come, they went into the city, where things befell them that were things indeed.


CHAPTER 9 .
Which relates what will be found in it

HALF the night, or thereabouts,* was spent, when Don Quixote and Sancho left the mountain,* and entered into Toboso. The town was all hushed in silence: for its inhabitants were sound asleep, reposing, as the phrase is, with outstretched legs. The night was not quite a dark one: though Sancho could have wished it were, that the obscurity thereof might cover or excuse his prevarication. Nothing was heard in all the place but the barking of dogs, stunning Don Quixote's ears, and disquieting Sancho's heart. Now and then an ass brayed, swine grunted, and cats mewed: which different sounds were augmented by the silence of the night. All which the enamoured knight took for an ill omen; nevertheless, he said to Sancho:

'Sancho, son, lead on before to Dulcinea's palace; for it may be we shall find her awake.'

'To what palace? body of the sun!' answered Sancho: 'That I saw her highness in was but a very little house.'

'She must have been retired at that time,' replied Don Quixote, 'to some small apartment of her castle, amusing herself with her damsels, as is usual with great ladies and princesses.'

'Since your worship,' quoth Sancho, 'will needs have my lady Dulcinea's house to be a castle, is this an hour to find the gates open; and is it fit we should stand thundering at the door, till they open and let us in, putting the whole house in an uproar? Think you, we are going to a bawdy-house, like your gallants, who knock, and call, and are let in at what hour they please, be it never so late?'

'First, to make one thing sure, let us find this castle,' replied Don Quixote, 'and then I will tell you what is fit to be done: and look, Sancho; for either my eyes deceive me, or that great, dark bulk we see yonder must be Dulcinea's palace.'

'Then lead on yourself, sir,' answered Sancho: 'perhaps it may be so; though if I were to see it with my eyes and touch it with my hands, I will believe it just as much as I believe it is now day.'

-520-

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