Book Notes

Volume 2, Chapter 32 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 2, Chapter 32

Shaking and talking quickly, Don Quijote says out of respect for the church he is controlling himself even though the priest has certainly not behaved like one of their representatives -- publicly calling someone a fool rather than attempting to offer gentle council in private. He asks who is he to claim to know anything of the world and knight errantry when he has been coddled and protected in schools and goes no farther than fifty mile radius surrounding his parish? Sancho further defends his master and there and then the Duke offers Sancho an island to govern. Sancho bends and kisses his feet as Don Quijote has instructed him to do. The priest rises, and says as long as these two are in the Duke's house, he will stay in his own.

Some servants take it upon themselves to treat Don Quijote to a made-up custom of post-dinner face washing. As they go on to do the Duke's face, Sancho whispers to the Duchess that he has never seen such a thing and would like a turn. She instructs her butler to see to Sancho's request and Sancho leaves with the butler.

Discussion ensues regarding the lovely, ugly, enchanted, real, imagined, noble, common -- take your pick!-- person or persona of Dulcinea del Toboso. Despite Don Quijote's avoidance of being pinned down on the issue of whether she is real or make-believe, they nevertheless continue to discuss her lineage and birth (and appearing as a commoner sifting wheat in the book published about Don Quijote) as if she were real.

Topic Tracking: Idealized Women 28

Don Quijote then turns the conversation to the subject of Sancho and how he would not trade his by turns, funny, foolish, wise squire for anything. However, despite his many good qualities he's not sure Sancho has what it takes to be governor, although with all the advisors and help a governor gets, he might be able to pull it off and of course Don Quijote would share his own wise council with his squire. Just then, Sancho comes running out followed by the kitchen help who with dirty water and dirty towels have been attempting to wash the squire's face. Sancho says these shenanigans seem more like teasing than taking care of guests. The Duchess tells them that this is no way to treat the Governor elect and to go. She apologizes to Sancho, explaining that they are jealous of him. Don Quijote goes off to take his afternoon nap and the Duchess requests that Sancho join her and her ladies for the afternoon in a cool room.

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