Book Notes

Volume 2, Chapter 7 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 2, Chapter 7

The housekeeper goes off to look for Samson Carrasco who she knows is a new friend of Don Quijote's and hopes that he will be able to persuade him to stop this nonsense. She finds him in the courtyard, explains the problem to him. He tells her not to worry, but fix him some breakfast and he'll be over shortly. He then goes off to consult with the priest. Meanwhile, Sancho is telling Don Quijote that he has "evinced" (pg. 393) his wife to let him go. Don Quijote corrects his word usage and Sancho reminds him that he has asked him in the past not to correct his word usage if he understands what he is trying to say; if he doesn't understand -- then ask. If Sancho cannot explain, then Don Quijote can correct him since after all he is "so focile" (pg. 393). Immediately Don Quijote tells him that he has no idea what "so focile" means. Sancho tries to explain, but cannot. Finally, Don Quijote tells him that now he gets it -- he means "docile":

"'And I'll bet,' said Sancho, 'you got it right away,...but you wanted to get me all bothered, so you could hear me make a couple of dozen more mistakes.'
'That's possible,' replied Don Quijote."
Volume 2, Chapter 7, pg. 394

Sancho, using many sayings and mutilated proverbs, beats around the bush , till Don Quijote asks him what point is it that he is trying to make. Sancho wants a monthly paycheck until his island comes in. Don Quijote refuses to agree to such a thing because he has never read of such an arrangement in any histories of knight errantry. The squires of these knights served their masters well and waited to see what they would be given, often based on how Fortune smiled on them. He throws a few proverbs at Sancho, pointing out that he too can pour out proverbs, and tells him that this is his offer -- take or leave it. He is sure it would not be hard to find a better squire than Sancho.

Sancho is stunned; he had never entertained the thought that Don Quijote would go without him. Samson comes in now with the housekeeper and niece and begs Don Quijote not to detain his departure any longer because the world (orphans, widows, virgins among others) need his assistance. He himself is even willing to serve as his squire. Don Quijote is delighted by this offer and says I told you so to Sancho. He declines this generous offer saying Samson's talents are better served elsewhere. He tattles that Sancho is refusing to accompany him. Sancho says he will, that he was only trying to appease his wife; but, if Don Quijote will only make sure his will cannot be "repoked" (pg. 396), he will leave right away. Sancho's creative use of vocabulary astonishes Carrasco who thought that Sidi Hamid had made up this trait of the squire. He thinks they are quite possibly the two biggest idiots that have ever existed. Don Quijote then says he needs a helmet or he just won't go. Samson says he knows of one he can get him, although it is rusted and not bright and shiny.

Topic Tracking: Helmet Imagery 15

They finally leave one evening; with Don Quijote on Rocinante and Sancho on his old donkey. Carrasco travels with them a mile or so and then goes a separate way.

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