Book Notes

Volume 2, Chapter 10 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 2, Chapter 10

As Don Quijote waits in the woods, Sancho heads back toward Toboso. However, once he is out of Don Quijote's sight, he gets off his donkey and sits by a tree to have a good think. He imagines the conversations and reactions he would get from the hot-tempered, proud people when they are told of his mission in their city. He imagines that they would feel it to be a highly reasonable response to hit him with big sticks for coming into their town trying to chat up and bother their ladies.

He decides there is no reason to risk getting hurt just to please Don Quijote and there are probably many Dulcineas in Toboso to boot! He realizes that his master is quite a nutcase (and Sancho not much better); seeing things that aren't there -- like giants where there are windmills -- so he decides to use Don Quijote's insanity in his favor. He'll pretend and convince Don Quijote that some peasant girl is the ravishing Dulcinea and if his master says she isn't he'll be just as stubborn and insist it is. At that point his master will probably believe that a jealous evil magician has transformed his Dulcinea into a plain, unadorned peasant girl.

Sancho, plan in hand, stays right where he is till he spies three peasant girls on mules headed Don Quijote's way. He quickly rides over and tells him Dulcinea is on her way with two of her ladies; all of them decked out in jewels and brocade. Don Quijote tells Sancho for this good news he may choose the best spoils from their first adventure or all the foals from Don Quijote mares at home. Sancho chooses the animals. Seeing the three village girls riding towards them, Don Quijote asks where is Dulcinea. Sancho acts amazed that Don Quijote cannot see the exquisite beauties and three lovely palfreys. Sancho rides out to greet the ladies, dismounts and kneeling on the ground addresses the village girl he has chosen to play Dulcinea as one would a princess. He introduces himself and then Don Quijote as that wondrous knight -- Don Quijote of La Mancha or Knight of the Sad Face.

Kneeling down, Don Quijote is confused by the sight of his Dulcinea's ugly features. Although surprised at first, the girls quickly recover and tell the duo to "go soak your head" (pg. 410) and to get out of their way or else. Don Quijote tells Sancho to get up as it is useless, obviously the evil magician has not only clouded his eyes to Dulcinea's beauty, but has made Don Quijote appear as horrible to Dulcinea. Eager to be away, the ersatz Dulcinea jabs her donkey with a stick sending him running across the meadow where it bucks and flings her to the ground. As Don Quijote tries to assist her, she gets up herself, steps back and runs, making a flying leap upon her mount. Sancho is impressed. She and her escorts race away.

Don Quijote rants about how all these magicians hate him -- even to the point of stealing Dulcineas lovely scent and replacing it with that of garlic! Sancho commiserates with his master; but says that she looked absolutely beautiful to him -- right down to the mole next to her mouth from which eight golden foot long hairs grew! Don Quijote ponders where her matching mole might be and says if she had a hundred moles they would be as beautiful as moons and stars in the sky. He is buying all that Sancho is selling today.

Topic Tracking: Idealized Women 25

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