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Volume 1, Chapter 28 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 1, Chapter 28

This chapter begins with the narrator addressing the reader:

"[W]e now enjoy... not only the delight of his own absolutely veracious tale but also all those other stories and narrative digressions which, to some extent, are no less delightful and skillfully told, and every bit as true, as his own history." Volume 1, Chapter 28, pg. 178

Topic Tracking: Metafiction 4

Looking for the voice, they spot a young fellow washing his feet and legs in a stream; however, they are surprised to see such beautiful feet and legs on a man! But, the removal of the fellow's hat reveals him to be a beautiful woman, and speaking with her they discover that she is none other than Dorotea, the farmer's daughter, whom Don Fernando tricked. They learn that her parents are very rich and that Dorotea is very smart -- practically runs the estate. She tells how Don Fernando harassed her constantly: seeking her attention, declaring his love and giving her parents gifts. However, both her parents and she suspected his true intentions. When news reached him that her parents were seeking a suitable husband (not him) for her, he got her maid to allow him into her bedroom one night. She was so frightened that she was unable to scream or move as he took her in his arms.

"[He] began to say such things to me that I cannot fathom how anyone could have such a facility at lying and still make his lies sound like truths. The traitor make his tears vouch for his words... I somehow began -- I don't know how -- to believe his lies, though...[they] didn't stir me to anything more than simple compassion." Volume 1, Chapter 28, pg.182

Starting to recover her wits, she tells him no one but a legal husband will ever have her willingly. He picks up a statue of the Virgin Mary to witness their vows. She tries to talk sense into him -- that his father will not be pleased by his marrying a commoner. Dorotea realizes that he means to have her -- one way or another (he has never let go of her); she weighs her options. Who would ever believe that she had not let him into her room and that he had raped her? She would be dishonored. That, along with his vivid sincerity, convinced her; and so, had her servant witness their private vows. When he left at dawn he gave her an expensive ring from his finger. He only returned once (the next night); she hadn't seen him for a month, when she heard that he had married someone else. Leaving quietly (with a male servant), she went to find Don Fernando to confront him. When she reached Luscinda's town, she quickly learned what had taken place at the wedding.

It turns out that the document in Luscinda's bodice said that she was already the wife of Cardenio and that she intended to kill herself with a dagger when she said her vows (only to obey her parents). A dagger was found on her. Don Fernando became so angry that he tried to stab her with it and probably would have killed her if he hadn't been stopped. Afterwards Don Fernando had disappeared.

Dorotea had come to the mountains to hide because she heard a public proclamation offering a reward for her whereabouts. After they reached the mountains, the man servant tried to rape her but she managed to push him over a precipice. Then the shepherd (who had hired her as a boy), had found out that she was a woman and had started making passes at her, so she had to hide again.

Topic Tracking: Idealized Women 15

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