Book Notes

Volume 2, Chapter 68 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 2, Chapter 68

They sleep outside that night. Don Quijote awakes after a short nap and wakes up Sancho and complains about how Sancho does not do his fair share of empathetic suffering with Don Quijote as squires are supposed to do -- properly mirroring their masters physical and emotional states. He tells him to get out there and whip his butt a bit and then come back and they'll sing some pastoral shepherd ditties. Sancho calmly explains to his lord that not having taken holy orders he is not in the habit, nor has the ability to start beating himself in the middle of the night or break out in song after enduring pain. And, if he doesn't get off his case about it he is never going to administer them -- ever! Don Quijote tries to give Sancho a guilt trip by naming all the good things he has done for him and quoting a passage about light following darkness from the Bible. Sancho tells him that he has no idea what his master is talking about that he only knows that when he is asleep he is at peace.

"--and bless the man who invented sleep, a cloak to cover over all human thought, food that drives away hunger, water that banishes thirst, fire that heats up cold, chill that moderates passion and, finally universal currency with which all things can be bought, weight and balance that brings the shepherd and the king, the fool and the wise, to the same level." Volume 2, Chapter 68, pg. 717

Sancho's foray into eloquent, poetic speech calms his master who in praising him uses a proverb. They are startled by a tremendous noise and before they know what is happening they are run over by a huge herd of pigs, leaving men, animals, saddlebags and armor laid out flat on the ground. Don Quijote sees this as his own personal punishment from heaven; Sancho wonders why he is in on it.

Traveling the next day fifteen men with lances and shields surround Don Quijote and gesture to keep quiet or die and take Sancho prisoner too. They finally arrive at their destination -- the Duke's castle! Don Quijote credits his recent failure to this sudden dramatic change of treatment from the royal duo.

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