Book Notes

Volume 1, Chapter 15 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 1, Chapter 15

And so, Don Quijote, ignoring his own fine advice, and Sancho follow the path that Marcela had taken into the woods. Unable to find her after two hours and coming upon a spot with thick green grass for the donkey and Rocinante to graze upon, they decide to have an afternoon nap. The old horse and donkey are allowed to graze freely -- due to their usual lack of inclination to roam or seek amorous adventure.

But on this afternoon, the old horse must have been feeling his oats, because, when a group of over 20 muledrivers from Yanguas, with a herd of Galician ponies decide to have an afternoon siesta (not far from Don Quijote and Sancho), Rocinante decides to go pay a call. The female ponies, who had not eaten of the fresh grass yet, found the horse's intentions irritating and go on to bite and kick him so hard that it knocks off his saddle and everything else on him. The muledrivers too become enraged and before Don Quijote and Sancho can get there, beat Rocinante with their short heavy clubs till he lay bleeding on the ground.

Quickly dismissing Sancho's advice that revenge would be unwise (since they were severely outnumbered), Don Quijote quickly attacks the muledrivers with his sword, while Sancho follows his lead using his pig sticker. The muledrivers, with their cudgels, make short work of the pair and Don Quijote and his faithful squire soon joined Rocinante on the ground. Realizing how badly they have injured the three; the muledrivers and their ponies beat a hasty retreat.

After they regain consciousness, Sancho asks his master for some "Folly Blas Balm" -- Saracen Fierabra's Balm. Unfortunately, Don Quijote has not yet made up a batch. He does, however, claim responsibility for their current predicament believing that the god of battles let him lose because he raised his sword against commoners -- which, as a knight, he is not allowed to do. The idea that it was because there were twenty or more men against two escapes him. He and his squire go on to have another of their celebrated conversations. Don Quijote, (to help Sancho put their injuries in perspective), says there are worse things that could happen to a knight: one example being what happened to the Knight of Phoebus, who was tied up and given an ice-water and sand enema. Finally, amidst much moaning and cursing from all three, the knight, squire and horse finally get off the ground and manage to make their way to an inn (which Don Quijote thinks is a castle).

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