Book Notes

Volume 2, Chapter 58 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 2, Chapter 58

They meet up with a dozen men who are resting from carrying bas-relief carvings of saints for altar decorations for their church. Don Quijote asks if might have a look at them. They are glad to show the carvings and Don Quijote sees this meeting with these men as a good omen; since he has so much in common with the engraved figures who fought as saints for God, while he, a sinner, fights for humanity. Sancho refers to this as the gentlest adventure they have ever had.

They continue on and Sancho mentions that he finds it curious that Altisidora fell so head over heels in love with Don Quijote; who is far from handsome and perhaps even frightening to behold. He reminds Don Quijote that he has said that beauty is the first and strongest reason for falling in love. Don Quijote acknowledges his lack of physical beauty but points out that he is not deformed and that if a man has spiritual gifts of virtue and generosity and good breeding he can attract love.

After veering off into a wooded area, Don Quijote is suddenly entangled in nets of green cord stretched among trees. Two girls dressed in expensive elaborate shepherdess outfits appear and explain that they had set the nets up to catch birds. They are part of a group of rich, well-born folk having a bit of a holiday and dressing up as shepherds and shepherdesses. She invites them to join in their festivities. Don Quijote speaks of her extraordinary beauty, his approval of these festivities and his availability to serve her. He then mentions that his name is Don Quijote -- perhaps she has heard of him? She has and turns to her friend and exclaims how lucky they are and then realizes that the other man must be the funny Sancho. To repay their kindness Don Quijote says he is going to go stand in the middle of the nearby road for two days proclaiming that the ladies here (with the exception of Dulcinea) are the most beautiful in the world and challenge anyone who disagrees with him. Very loudly, Sancho asks is there anyone in the world who will proclaim his master a lunatic?

Topic Tracking: Grandiosity 29

After shouting out his proclamation several times, a crowd of men on horses carrying spears come charging down the road. One of the men curses and yells for them to get out of the road or they'll be run over by bulls. Don Quijote says he is not afraid and the man better admit that this proclamation is true or else! The reply comes in the form of the cowhands, bulls and oxen running right over Don Quijote, Rocinante, Sancho and donkey. Terribly injured, they all manage to get to their feet and Don Quijote chases after the cowhand yelling at him to stop. Sancho catches up with his master and they leave, not stopping to say good-bye to their new friends.

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