Don Quixote "No Limit But The Sky"
by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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"No Limit But The Sky"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: "The sky's the limit," in modern parlance, characterizes something unlimited. Cervantes uses it in its literal sense describing the hazing of Sancho Panza in the inn to which Don Quixote goes, believing it, with his usual gift of being able to see what he wants to, a noble castle. The next morning he leaves, refusing to pay for food and lodging, since none of the Romances of Chivalry speaks of cash transactions. He is able to escape without paying his share, but Sancho is not so lucky. He also refuses to pay. "Doesn't the self-same law that acquitted the knight acquit the squire?" However some of the other lodgers of the inn, "all brisk, gamesome, arch fellows":

. . . encompassed Sancho and pulled him off his ass, while one of 'em went and got a blanket. Then they put the unfortunate squire into it and observing the roof of the place they were in to be somewhat too low for the purpose, they carried him into the back-yard, which had no limit but the sky, and there they tossed him for several times together in the blanket, as they do dogs on Shrove-Tuesday.