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Book Notes

Volume 2, Chapter 53 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 2, Chapter 53

Exhausted from the many duties of the day and hungry, Sancho lies in bed just about to doze off when bells start ringing and people shouting to be joined by trumpets and drums. He opens the door of his room when twenty people with torches and swords tell him to take up arms since the island has been invaded. They insist that as governor he must lead them and Sancho says he'll give it his best shot. They tie two huge shields upon him, back and front, and give him a lance. He complains that he cannot move, let alone lead them into battle; but at their pleading and insistence he attempts to walk only to topple over unable to move like a "giant turtle" (pg. 641) lying on his back shell.

Unrelenting and pitiless in their quest for fun, they snuff out their torches and shout louder while walking upon the poor squire. One man stands upon the shelled Sancho and issues orders for defending the palace. Sweating and frightened and praying for death Sancho hears victory cries. They congratulate Sancho on the victory and say now it is time to check out the treasures they have won. Sancho, asks for a friend (expressing doubt that he has any in the vicinity), to give him some wine and wipe the sweat off him. They do so and remove his shields and Sancho promptly faints. They start to feel a little bad, believing that they may have gone a bit overboard. Coming to, Sancho gets dressed and slowly (he is hurting all over) makes his way out to the stables as they all follow him,

Crying, he embraces his donkey and calls him "my friend, my companion, my helper" (pg. 642) and talks about how it has been with him through thick and thin. He reminisces about the happy times he spent traveling with his donkey before he became ambitious for more. He saddles and climbs upon its back and addressing the steward, secretary, butler and doctor tells them to get out of his way he's going back to his old life where he belongs. He says he has to hurry since he needs some mustard plasters for all the broken ribs his enemies have given him last night. The doctor says he has a drink to heal him and if he'll only stay, he'll change his ways. Sancho says it is too little too late; none of this is funny anymore and he has made up his mind. The steward says they are sorry to lose him and they will miss his wit and goodness; but, he needs to give an accounting of his governorship before leaving the post. Sancho says he'll give it to the Duke, though the fact that he is leaving with nothing should prove he has been honest as governor. They agree and offer to supply him with anything he wants for the journey. Taking only some barley for his donkey and bread and cheese, Sancho leaves weeping. They are filled with admiration for him.

Topic Tracking: Donkey Imagery 10

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