Acknowledgement: This work has been summarized using the Penguin 2001 edition, translated by John Rutherford. Quotations are taken from that edition except where otherwise indicated.
Overall Impression: A great, entertaining, and timeless work, though a little too long.
Cervantes claims to be Don Quixote's stepfather, the book is a child born in prison. He speaks of learned writing with Latin quotations, but prefers not to "go hunting for authors to say for me what I know how to say without them." His friend advises him to demolish books on chivalry... Various sonnets and poems on chivalric themes such as Amadis of Gaul, Belianis of Greece, and Orlando Furioso...
The hidalgo (country gentleman not of the aristocracy) Señor Quixana lives in an unnamed village [possibly Argamasilla] in La Mancha, a region SW of Madrid. He is nearly 50 y/o and lives with a 40+ y/o housekeeper and a niece [Antonia Quixana, daughter of his sister] who is <20 y/o. He has a withered face and is gaunt and thin. He has an extensive library of chivalric works and becomes obsessed with the days of chivalry, going mad as a result. He resolves to become a knight errant and hauls out an old rusty suit of armor, a damaged helmet (which he partially repairs), a leather shield, and a lance. He names his nag Rocinante ["hackafore"] and envisions it as superior to Bucephalus, etc. He adopts the name Don Quixote [DQ, meaning Sir Thighpiece] de la Mancha. He also adopts as his inamorata a peasant girl, Aldonza Lorenzo, whom he renames Dulcinea del Toboso. (He has only seen her a few times and later confesses has not actually met her).
It is July and he leaves without informing anyone in his household, riding over the Plain of Montiel on this his "first sally". He goes to an inn [perhaps at Puerto Lapice], hoping to be knighted. He encounters prostitutes whom he interprets as fair ladies. He cannot eat on his own because of the helmet and armor.
DQ keeps a vigil that night. Muleteers arrive and unceremoniously throw his armor aside from the water trough where he has placed it. Offended, he fights with them and (in one of the few times in the novel) mostly gets the best of them. The innkeeper decides to humor him and agrees to knight him with his sword. DQ rides off--the innkeeper is glad to be rid of him and does not ask for his payment (he knows DQ has no money anyway).
DQ encounters a 15 y/o lad named Andrés being flogged by a farmer, Juan Haldudo. DQ demands Juan release Andrés, thereby "rescuing" him, but as soon as he rides off the farmer resumes the beating worse than before. On the road he encounters merchants from Toledo, blocks their way, demands that they acknowledge Dulcinea as the most beautiful woman, etc. Taking offense, he charges them but Rocinante trips and he rolls on the ground. One of the footmen breaks his lance and beats DQ.
He is discovered by Pedro Alonso, a neighbor farmer, whom DQ takes for Don Rodrigo de Narváez. He gets DQ home to his village that night. Father Pero Pérez, a priest, and his barber, Master Nicolás are there worried and waiting for him with the housekeeper and niece. She laments his obsession with the books of chivalry. He is taken to bed, and the farmer tells how he found him.
The priest and barber critically review the volumes in DQ's large library, and throw many out to be burned, while keeping some books intact including Cervantes' Galatea.
DQ is shouting and raving in his madness. They decide to wall up the library so he cannot find it--the housekeeper later tells him an enchanter has carried it off. The niece wants him to stay peacefully at home. But DQ has other ideas, and recruits his neighbor Sancho Panza (SP) to serve as his squire. He is poor, honorable, "a little short of salt in the brain-pan". DQ promises to make him a governor of an island, and he wants to make his wife Juana [also, ?Mari] Gutiérrez a queen. DQ raises money by selling his possessions. SP rides a donkey or ass, is short and plump. They begin the second sally, again across the plain of Montiel.
DQ spots 30-40 windmills [perhaps at Campo de Criptana], which he takes for giants, and attacks one despite Sancho's insistence they are windmills. He is thrown to the ground battered, his lance broken. They ride on to the Pass of Lápice. He makes a new lance out of a dead branch. He discusses the rules of engagement among knights and squires when confronting various opponents. Sancho cannot help DQ fight since he has not been knighted. They encounter two friars on the road, along with a coach with a woman, etc.--DQ believes they are abducting the woman. DQ charges one of the friars with his lance, and the servants attack Sancho, beating him. A Basque man confronts DQ, the two men fight with swords, and the Basque injures DQ in the shoulder.
The narration which Cervantes says he is using to tell this story ends here.
Fortunately, Cervantes finds an Arabic manuscript which proves to be the missing parts of the story, ostensibly written by Cide Manete Benengeli [in Part II, DQ says Cide means "master"]. Cervantes finds a man to translate the story from Arabic. The narration resumes.
DQ's left ear is sliced badly, and he in turn injures the Basque badly. He forces the Basque to surrender and to swear he will go to El Toboso to present himself to Dulcinea, etc.
SP and DQ have been battered. SP fears the Holy Brotherhood [Santa Hermandad], the local form of law enforcement, will find DQ and put him on trial. DQ claims knights are never tried. SP cannot read. DQ desires some of the healing Balsam of Fierabras, which he proceeds to make up. DQ wants a new helmet to replace the one which has been damaged. SP questions how much discomfort and inconvenience they must put up with, and they discuss eating. DQ resolves that his fare will be quite simple.
They encounter 6 goatherds, who allow them to share their food. SP is having misgivings about the wisdom of his new calling, but is treated to wine. DQ extols the virtue of the past golden age of chivalry, discusses the origins of knight errantry. Antonio, a goatherd of 22 y/o, arrives and provides a song about a woman named Olalla. DQ stands watch into the night.
The goatherd Pedro tells of how the student-shepherd Grisostómo died of love for the fiendish Marcela. She wanders about dressed as a shepherdess. He and his friend Ambrosio had each dressed as a shepherd to seek after her. Grisostómo wrote poetry. Marcela is the daughter of a wealthy deceased man, Guillermo and was left wealthy and in care of her uncles. She was highly sought after by the young men. She decided one day to convert into a shepherdess, and this caused many of the young men to also dress as shepherds to pursue her. She is disdainful of all their attentions.
The next day, DQ explains about chivalric lore to a man he encounters, Vivaldo. Vivaldo is practical and wonders why the knights of old did not commend themselves to God but instead to a woman, and DQ allows that they may have also quietly commended themselves to God. Vivaldo also questions whether all knights actually had ladies or sometimes made them up. DQ tells of Dulcinea, praising her extravagantly. Vivaldo questions her ancestry, does not recognize her surname.
A funeral procession comes by bearing the corpse of Grisostómo still dressed as a shepherd (he is c. 30 y/o). Ambrosio is directing the procession to a particular spot for burial specified by Grisostómo, where he had first professed his hopeless love to her. Ambrosio bitterly condemns Marcela's cruelty.
He reads Grisostómo's bitter Song of Despair, which speaks of her implacable disdain for his love. Those present feel great prejudice against her. Then the shepherdess Marcela abruptly appears and vigorously defends herself--she did not lead any of the men on, she is entitled to not respond to a man's love, she cannot be blamed for her beauty, she wants to live free, she is loved for her looks, she wants to live in solitude, she has not deceived anyone, Grisostómo died by his own impatience and uncontrolled passion, etc. She disappears into the forest. DQ rises to her defense, threatening any man who would follow her. They bury the body, and Ambrosio provides a bitter epitaph. DQ resolves to search for her.
He rides after her but fail to find her. They encounter some 20 muleteers from Yanguas. Rocinante is attracted to their pony-mares, who reject his advances and kick him. DQ resolves to take vengeance for the insult to his horse, and taking up his sword he attacks them. Both he and SP are beaten badly. DQ feels such beatings come with the job. SP puts DQ on his ass to transport him for help.
They arrive at an inn, which DQ takes for a castle. The innkeeper's wife is very charitable and assists the battered man. She has their attractive daughter help her, along with Maritornes, a somewhat wild Asturian lass (and prostitute). SP explains about DQ's role, and all are bemused by him. A muleteer makes plans to meet with Maritornes for pleasure during the night. But that night DQ is sleeping in the same darkened room, and when she arrives he believes she is the innkeeper's daughter coming to him out of love to him. DQ grabs her tight, the muleteer strikes DQ, Maritornes hides in SP's bed, she strikes him and he strikes back, the innkeeper arrives to thump her, etc. A member of the Holy Brotherhood is also staying there and confronts the unruly scene, believing DQ has been killed.
DQ asserts the castle is enchanted, claims the daughter had come to him, believes a giant's hand attacked him and that some enchanted Moor is guarding her. DQ speaks insolently to the peace officer, who strikes him in the head. DQ mixes up the healing balsam, which he ingests and vomits and feels better after sleeping a while. SP also drinks some, and has a violent reaction against it. DQ is ready to go on more adventures. DQ refuses to pay for his stay, saying knights do not do this, and rides off. The innkeeper (Juan Palomeque) and others grab SP and toss him up and down in a blanket as punishment. The prostitute Maritornes aids him.
SP is frustrated at the beatings they have taken. DQ mistakes two herds of sheep approaching in clouds of dust for opposing armies of knights, etc., and attacks one, thinking it is the pagan Emperor Alifanfarón. The shepherds throw rocks at him, injuring him in the ribs and knocking several of his teeth out. SP laments the day he agreed to join with DQ, who believes he is again the victim of enchantment. They vomit the balsam on each other. DQ reassures SP that God will provide for them, and that knights errant often had to deliver sermons.
At night, they encounter priests on the road, carrying torches and a corpse, on their way to Segovia. DQ thinks they look evil, halts them, they respond insolently, and he attacks the unarmed men. They believe he is the devil, there to steal the corpse. One of the friars, Alonso Lopéz, sustains a broken leg. SP strips the supply mule of provisions. DQ proposes to call himself the Knight of the Sorry Face [El Caballero de la Triste figura = Doleful/Woeful countenance], and SP agrees how sorry he looks.
DQ hears hammering, decides to go off on his own to investigate, and tells SP to wait for him for three days. But SP is frightened and delays his departure by hobbling Rocinante. SP tells a story of a goat shepherd Lope Ruiz in love with a shepherdess Torralba... They cross a river in a boat... DQ constantly interrupts the story. SP defecates... DQ comments on the smell. SP unties Rocinante. They discover the hammering comes from a fulling-mill. SP mocks him, and DQ strikes him with his pike. DQ insists they treat each other with more respect and distance. DQ assures SP he will be paid full wages for his services, that he is provided for in his will.
DQ charges at a barber (not the same as Master Nicolás), captures his new brass basin, which he takes for Mambrino's helmet (though SP tries to correct him). SP swaps the tackle on his donkey for the barber's. SP voices his discouragement at the outcomes so far of their adventures. DQ fantasizes how to win a princess, become a king when her father dies, and make SP a nobleman, a count. They need to find a Christian king who is waging a war and has a daughter, .
Twelve convicts approach them on the road escorted in chains by 4 men. They are marching to serve in the king's galleys. DQ demands of them what their crimes were, and they give fanciful answers which the guards correct. One is named Ginés Pasamonte, and he is writing a book. DQ requests the guards release the men, as they are imprisoned against their will. DQ strikes one to the ground, and the convicts quickly join in the fray and unchain themselves. DQ tells Ginés to seek out Dulcinea, but he insolently refuses and the convicts throw stones at DQ. They take their clothing, etc.
SP fears the Holy Brotherhood will track them down for this crime, and they resolve to leave the road for the rough country. SP and DQ discover a traveling pack with gold coins and a notebook. A poet has written within about Chloë. They find a love letter speaking of a woman's false promise. Soon they spot a half-naked man (Cardenio) leaping from rock to rock. DQ wants to catch up with him, though SP knows it may mean having to give back the gold.
They encounter an old goatherd, who says the objects belongs to a young man he saw 6 months ago. The goatherd says the man was seeking solitude and wanted to do penance for his sins, had ripped clothes, attacked a goatherd thinking he was someone called "Fernando". Soon the troubled young man (Cardenio) appears.
This "Knight of the Sierra" [the Sierra Morena], Cardenio, partakes of their food and tells his story. He loved Luscinda and she him, but her father refused his offer of marriage. They continued to write each other love letters. Her father wanted him to talk to his father. Cardenio's father told him Duke Ricardo had offered to provide a position as a companion to his son. His father wanted him to go to meet with the Duke. Cardenio begged Luscinda's father to postpone settling her marriage until he returns. The Duke's younger son Fernando became his friend. He told Cardenio of loving a wealthy farmer's daughter [Dorotea], and his decision to conquer her virginity. Cardenio could not dissuade him from this as long as he stayed in the area, and they agreed for Fernando to go to live for a while with him at Cardenio's home. But Fernando had by then already enjoyed Dorotea's favors, and his ardor was abating. Cardenio praised Luscinda to Fernando, and Fernando fell in love with her. Cardenio suspected him. Cardenio mentions Amadis of Gaul, and DQ chastises him for maligning Queen Madásima in this book. Cardenio strikes him, then runs off without completing his story.
DQ insists it is his duty to defend the honor of all women. He decides to imitate Amadis of Gaul and to feign madness over his love for Dulcinea. He will send a letter to her via SP. During the night Ginés sneaks in and steals SP's donkey, and SP is disconsolate to discover the loss. DQ reassures him he will give him more donkeys via a warrant written in a notebook. DQ temporarily frees Rocinante, but SP eventually receives him. DQ acknowledges he has never met Dulcinea, a.k.a. Aldonza Lorenzo. Though he has seen her 4 times, their relation is "Platonic". SP recalls she is a lusty lass, strong as an ox, with a very loud voice. DQ defends her qualities, and speaks of fictional mistresses and how Dulcinea compares to them. He writes a letter to her in the notebook, which SP is to deliver to her. He begins his mad routine, stripping half-naked.
DQ writes love poetry, feigning madness in love. Meanwhile, SP goes on his mission riding Rocinante. He arrives at the inn where he was tossed in the blanket. Hesitant to go in, he encounters the priest and barber from DQ's village. He is initially evasive with them about DQ's current status. He realizes he does not have the notebook containing the warrant of Dulcinea's letter. They help him make a copy from his memory, but his recollection is imperfect. The priest hatches a plan to save DQ, deciding he will dress as a maiden errant in need and the barber will dress as "her" squire.
The innkeeper's wife helps dress the priest as a woman and provides the barber with a beard made from an ox tail. Then the priest decides to switch roles with the barber, and make him the woman in distress. They travel to where SP left DQ, and hear a voice. But it is Cardenio, reciting poetry. He thinks they have been sent by heaven to help him. He resumes his story, now told to SP and the priest and barber.
Luscinda's love letter to Cardenio. Cardenio's father wanted him to delay marriage. Fernando offered to speak to Cardenio's father... Fernando sent Cardenio away to his older brother. Luscinda feared Fernando's intentions. Meanwhile Fernando attempted to seduce Luscinda. She sent a letter of distress to Cardenio, warning him. He rushed back, only to find her preparing for her wedding ceremony with Fernando. She planned a sacrifice, and intended to prove her love to him. He heard her whisper "I will" at her wedding and she then fainted. He was not aware she had a letter in her bodice. He fled, cursing her and her unfaithfulness. He intended to kill himself in the wilderness where he is now wandering.
Dorotea arrives on the scene, disguised as a farm boy, but her long blonde hair gives her away. She tells her story to the priest, barber, and SP: She is a wealthy woman but not of the same social position as the importunate Fernando, since her father Clenardo is his father's tenant. He had passionately declared his love to her. One night he came to her in her room, having bribed her servants. She told him she was his tenant but not his slave. He promised her he would to marry her, swearing to the witnesses in heaven and the holy image in her room. She debated but decided to accept his offer, and she is seduced. He gave her a ring, left in a hurry, and only returned once. Soon she heard Fernando had married Luscinda! She dressed as a herdboy and headed for Luscinda's town. On the outskirts, she learned that Luscinda had been found to have a note declaring she was already married to Cardenio. She intended to kill herself once the ceremony was over. Fernando tried unsuccessfully to stab Luscinda. She later told her parents she was married to Cardenio. Luscinda went missing from her home.
A search was made for Dorotea, who was falsely believed to have eloped. Her servant that accompanied her tried to take advantage of her, but she pushed him over a precipice. A herdsman hired her, but he has discovered she is a woman and is also now trying to take advantage of her, so she has run away into the wild.
Dorotea is ashamed. Cardenio reveals his identity to her, remorseful he did not wait further to see what Luscinda would do at the wedding. Now he knows Luscinda cannot marry Fernando, because Fernando belongs to Dorotea, and he wants her to help him win their true loves back. SP arrives to say he has encountered DQ, dressed only in his shirt. The priest explains to Dorotea the plight of DQ, and she agrees to play a wealthy princess and damsel in distress. SP leads them to DQ. Dorotea with her squire (the disguised barber) kneels before DQ and asks him for his help. She says she is the princess Micomicona from Micomicón in Ethiopia, and that she is plagued by a giant who is attempting to usurp her kingdom. SP worries that he will have blacks for vassals, but has a plan to resolve this. DQ is surprised to see his neighbor the priest. The barber's beard disguise slips off, and he hastily replaces it. The priest speaks of his spreading fame, but DQ repels flattery. The priest claims he and his barber friend were waylaid by highwaymen escaped from a chain gang. DQ does not admit his role in this.
DQ refuses responsibility for the actions of those prisoners he freed. The "princess" tells her story: Her father is Tinacrio the Sage. A giant named Pandafilando of the Grim Visage wants her to marry him, and wants to win her kingdom. Refusing, she set out for help, seeking the one prophesied by her father. She tells of landing at Osuna, but revises this when DQ reminds her Osuna is not on the sea. Her father also said if the knight killed the giant, she would marry him immediately. She promises to make him lord of her kingdom. But DQ says he cannot contemplate marriage to anyone else. SP is disappointed, but DQ deals two blows to him. Has SP not just brought his message from Dulcinea? SP begins to make up a tale of meeting with Dulcinea. Ginés wanders by with SP's donkey, and SP demands it back. Cardenio marvels at the absurdity of what has happened. DQ wants to hear more about Dulcinea. He admits he did not have the letter, and DQ affirms he did not give it to him.
SP continues his lies to DQ about meeting with Dulcinea. He says she was sieving buckwheat, asked no questions, had a mannish smell, could not read his letter, and she begged DQ to leave the wastelands and to come to see her. But DQ is surprised she did not send a jewel to him. DQ is also amazed SP has returned so soon--a sorcerer must have helped him make the trip. DQ wonders what to do, go to Dulcinea or help the princess... SP is exhausted by his lying--he has never seen Dulcinea in his life.
The lad Andrés arrives, whom DQ previously "rescued", says he has been in the hospital from the flogging, asks DQ not to come to his rescue again.
Back at the inn, the barber sheds his beard and appears to DQ as himself, affirming the tale of the highway robbers. DQ sleeps soundly. The others discuss DQ's strange madness, in which he can be so sane about all matters except chivalry. They discuss tales of chivalry... The priest asserts most of them are made up. The innkeeper starts to tell the Tale of Inappropriate Curiosity:
The Tale of Inappropriate Curiosity: Anselmo is newly married to a lovely bride Camila. He has a best friend Lotario. He resolves to put his wife's fidelity to the test, and urges Lotario to try to seduce her. At first Lotario vehemently refuses, argues eloquently against this plan. He compares women to a superb diamond that you should not try to fracture, an ermine that should not have mud placed before it, a mirror that will be clouded by a breath, a holy relic that should be adored but not touched, etc. It would be a dishonor for him to attempt the test. A wife that is dishonored also dishonors her husband. But Anselmo keeps up the entreaties, and Lotario reluctantly agrees to make the attempt. Anselmo arranges for them to be alone... But Lotario merely feigns sleep and does not interact with Camila, who is nevertheless distressed her husband has left her like this. Anselmo hides one day and sees that Lotario is not actually trying. He confronts him and escalates the plan to test his wife. He arranges to leave for a week and insists Lotario stay in his house. Camila is distressed. Lotario begins to observe her beauty, struggles with himself, and finally makes a pass at her.
Camila writes a distressed letter to her husband, asking him to return, that his friend is trying to take advantage of her. But he refuses and orders her to stay at home with Lotario. She worries what could have caused Lotario to think she has encouraged him. Finally, she surrenders to him. Her maid Leonela realizes she has weakened. Lotario lies to Anselmo that his wife has passed the test, and begs him to desist in the test. Anselmo wants Lotario to write some love poetry. She lies to Anselmo, telling him her letter was a mistake, that Lotario had acted honorably. At the dinner table, Lotario reads his love poems which are really aimed at Camila. She confesses her sins to her maid, worries she has given away her virtue too easily, but the maid condones her behavior. Leonela has a lover of her own, and she begins to brazenly sneak him into the house to have her trysts, secure that her mistress dare not expose her when she herself has a secret to hide. One day Lotario sees the young man leaving, and suspects he is Camila's lover. Her reputation is soiled, lost. He determines to avenge himself on her. He informs Anselmo that Camila has been unfaithful and has had an affair with Lotario. He advised Anselmo to pretend to go away but to conceal himself there. Anselmo is stunned by this revelation. Camila reveals to Lotario that the maid is letting her lover into the house. Lotario realizes he was mistaken about Camila. He tells her what he has said to her husband, and she rebukes him, then devises a plan to save the situation.
Next day, Anselmo is hiding nearby, and Camila is aware of this. Camila feigns using a dagger against herself, claiming to be faithful to her husband. She says she is determined to kill Lotario. Anselmo is convinced of her fidelity but remains concealed. She calls for Lotario, whom Leonela leads in. He pretends she has still been denying his advances. She says she is planning a sacrifice. She fakes trying to stab him, then turns the dagger on herself, and slightly wounds herself. Leonela tends to her. Anselmo slips away, and praises Camila to Lotario, happy now to write poetry to her, assured at last of her fidelity (for a few months).
The story is interrupted by SP who says his master has taken his sword to a giant. SP claims he has cut his head off, but the innkeeper observes that DQ in his sleep has slashed a wine skin and spilled wine all over the floor. He beats DQ. DQ reassures the "princess" that he has spared her from the giant. The priest (and later Cardenio) assures the innkeeper that he will make up the losses.
The story resumes. Anselmo leads a happy life assured of his wife's fidelity while Camila and Lotario carry on their surreptitious affair. Leonela carries on as well. One night Anselmo hears a man in Leonela's room, confronts her, learns it is Leonela's husband, but still threatens her, and she promises to make an important revelation. Camila learns this and decides to flee to Lotario with her jewels. He takes her to a convent. Anselmo comes looking for his wife, and is told that Camila has run away with Lotario. This causes such distress in Anselmo that soon he breathes his last, a victim of his inappropriate curiosity. He leaves a note forgiving Camila. Soon Lotario dies in a battle, and she dies soon thereafter. The priest believes this story is invented.
Don Fernando arrives at the inn with other men and a woman in white (Luscinda), who is sobbing. Dorotea tries to console her. Luscinda recognizes Cardenio and she announces heaven has placed her true husband before her. Dorotea reminds Fernando that she gave herself to him, and that he cannot have Luscinda because he belongs to her, she is his lawful wife. She reminds him of the heavenly witnesses. Fernando releases Luscinda and acknowledges Dorotea as his wife, embracing her. He wishes the best for Cardenio and Luscinda, and all are weeping with joy, though SP is disappointed to see that Dorotea is not Queen Micomicona. Fernando relates how he had found the paper declaring Luscinda to be Cardenio's wife. He had ridden to the convent and had seized her, planning to take revenge.
SP is sorry to see his earldom going up in smoke. DQ finally awakens and relates how he killed the giant. SP informs him it was only a wineskin. DQ still maintains everything there happens by enchantment. The priest elsewhere informs Fernando et al of what has been happening with DQ, how they had gotten him to leave Peña Pobre. Fernando wants them to continue with the impersonation, and Dorotea agrees, in order to help get him back to his village. SP speaks with Dorotea about how she has been turned from a queen into a private individual. DQ believes that her father has performed the metamorphosis on her. But she claims to be still the same queen. DQ berates SP for claiming she was otherwise, and he recants.
Suddenly a new traveler arrives, a Christian former captive (Captain Ruy Pérez de Viedma) returned from the lands of the Moors, along with a lovely Moorish woman Lela Zoraida who speaks no Spanish. He assures them that she is going to be baptized soon. She has adopted the name María.
DQ launches into an extended commentary on the relative merits of a career in the letters versus arms, favoring arms. The others are amazed at his lucid arguments and cannot understand how the same man can be so mad about chivalry.
DQ continues his discussion. Arms are preeminent over letters. The rewards for military men are few and it is constantly hazardous. He laments the devilish new weapons that can kill and maim at a distance, unlike in the days of chivalric combat. Don Fernando begs the captive Ruy to tell his story.
Ruy tells how his father was a spendthrift and divided his property among his three sons. He, the eldest, decided to serve the king in war [much as Cervantes had], while the youngest brother enters the Church, and another sails to America. He relates a series of military engagements leading to the battle of Lepanto in 1571 against the Turks and serving under Don John of Austria [a battle in which Cervantes was wounded]. The Turks were defeated but he himself was the only one captured after he leaped aboard the enemy galley. He is taken under the power of Alouk Ali, King of Algiers, and sold at Constantinople into slavery. He goes through a number of episodes of war as a slave. He participates in taking a fort (the Goletta) near Tunis, taken by the Turks from the Spanish in 1574. One of his friends there is Don Pedro de Aguilar. One of Don Fernando's men recognizes this name as his brother's name.
Some of the poetry of Don Pedro de Aguilar is recited. The captive Ruy says Alouk Ali had been kind to him but he died, and was replaced by Hassan Aga as King of Algiers. He was a cruel man, and Ruy tried many times to escape. He was taken to Algiers and kept with other Christian captives in a bagnio there. He is classed as ransomable. He meets Cervantes, who is also a captive.
One day Ruy notes a cane protruding from a small window in the wall of a rich Moor's house, Hajji Murad. It has a handkerchief with Spanish coins (escudos) and a cross. This happens again with even more coins plus a paper with Arabic writing. He learns from a friend and renegade [renegade = one who has deserted his faith] what the woman Zoraida has said: She had been trained as a child by a Christian slave and wanted to go to the land of the Christians to see Lela Marien (Virgin Mary), and wants him to make her his wife if he is willing. He realizes this will be his means of escape, and writes back to her, promising to marry her and help her escape. They correspond more and she sends more coins for him to ransom himself and his friends. She will await him at her father's villa. He works out a plan to buy a boat with the help of his renegade friend.
They take the boat and anchor near the villa. He visits there, saying he is there to pick salad leaves. He meets the father and the beautiful Zoraida. They carry on a conversation in code saying he will leave the next day and that he is not married, that he plans to marry someone who looks just like her. They are interrupted by an invasion of 4 Turks (whom the Moors fear). He carries on a brief private conversation with her, she has her arm around him, her father returns and sees this, but she feigns a fainting spell. The father invites him to come anytime, having no fear of him with his daughter since he is a Christian.
The escaping men take control of the boat from the Moorish crew. Zoraida awaits them at her window, but her father discovers them as they try to sneak her away. They bind and gag him and take him aboard the boat. She is distressed to see her father treated this way. She is wearing her finest clothes and jewelry and her father berates her when the renegade tells him that she is coming of her own free will. He tries to escape into the sea but is recaptured. Eventually they put all the Moors including the father ashore. He pleads with her to come back. They sail on and are attacked by French privateers, who sink their boat. The renegade throws her jewel case in the sea, but they strip her of her jewels and put them in a skiff off the Spanish coast. They come ashore and are thought initially to be invading Moors, but one man recognizes his uncle and they are welcomed. The renegade intends to return to Granada to be restored to his Church though the good offices of the Holy Inquisition.
Fernando offers to have his brother the Marquis be godfather at Zoraida's baptism.
That night a judge arrives, Juan Perez de Viedma, accompanied by his not yet 16 y/o daughter. He proves to be the brother of Ruy. Ruy is initially reluctant to disclose his identity, so the priest tells the captive's story--the judge is eager to see and help his brother. The two are joyfully reunited. The couple will proceed to Seville
A young "footman" (Don Luis) sings a song.
The footman sings to Doña Clara de Viedma. He is actually a wealthy man in love with her and she loves him. She tells Dorotea that he is the lord of two manors and lives across from her father's house. He was a student. He has pursued her in disguise. She fears the discrepancy in their status will be a barrier.
Meanwhile Maritornes and the innkeeper's daughter play a trick on DQ, tying him up. DQ assumes this happens by magic.
At dawn, 4 more men arrive and find DQ hanging by his arm.
Maritornes releases DQ. Don Luis is confronted by one of his father's servants, who says he must return home. He refuses to leave Clara.
DQ comes to the aid of the innkeeper, who is being beaten by two men trying to leave without paying.
Don Luis confesses his love to the judge, Clara's father, who is bemused.
The barber who owned "Mambrino's helmet" arrives and recognizes the stolen basin and tackle.
The dispute with the barber over the helmet. three members of the Holy Brotherhood arrive and mediate the dispute. DQ attacks one of the men... They have a warrant for DQ for releasing the convicts. DQ claims to be independent of all judicial authority.
The priest explains to the peace officers that DQ is out of his senses. He quietly settles up with the barber for the basin and tackle, and Don Fernando pays the innkeeper for the wineskin damages. DQ decides it is time to leave the castle and assist the queen. SP assures DQ she is not a queen and speaks disrespectfully of her. She says she wonders if SP has been enchanted.
The company conceives a scheme to get DQ back to his village in a cage taking orders from the priest ... They bind him while they are in disguise. Only SP is not in disguise, and even he does not know for sure who the others are. The barber prophecies that he will be united with Dulcinea and exalted.
Caged in the cart, DQ discusses his current enchantment with SP. He is confused at what chivalry has come to. The priest has arranged for the peace officers to accompany them. They part company with Fernando and the captain and his brother, and the ladies. The innkeeper gives to the priest The Tale of Rinconete and Cortadillo (by Cervantes). They slowly progress with the ox cart.
A canon of Toledo meets up with them accompanied by 6 men. He wants to know why DQ is caged, and DQ says it is because of evil enchanters, which the priest confirms. SP stands up for his master. SP blames the priest for depriving his master from marrying the princess Micomicona. The barber threatens him with the cage as well. The priest rides ahead with the canon and explains the situation.
The canon speaks extensively on his views about chivalric literature, etc. Literature should be realistic and not depend on fantasies and marvels. Writing is like painting on "a broad and spacious canvas on which the pen can wander unhindered..." The author can assume any role. The highest goal of writing is to give instruction and pleasure together.
The canon continues. He has started to write a book on chivalry himself. He speaks of modern plays, the good ones such as "Isabella", "Phyllis", and "Alexandra"--he has tried to persuade impresarios to put on better plays. He criticizes plays that lack the classic unities of place and time etc., or that contain flagrant anachronisms or miracles. He praises the playwright Lope de Vega. If there were a censor who scrutinized plays and whose approval was required before they were performed, they would be better. There should also be someone to scrutinize new books on chivalry.
SP speaks to DQ, telling him that, instead of an enchantment, the village priest and barber have taken him prisoner, envious over his great achievements. But DQ assures him they only look like the priest and barber. SP exclaims how can he be so thick-skulled. He questions if DQ needs to do a number one or two.
SP argues that since DQ still likes food and needs to perform normal bodily functions, he cannot be enchanted. DQ agrees to have SP contrive his release. The canon marvels at how selective DQ's madness is. He tries to persuade DQ to be restored to good sense, and recommends he substitute readings from the Bible such as Book of Judges, and authentic historical tales of heroism. DQ disputes the canon's dismissal of the validity of chivalric tales. He launches an extended defense of chivalric literature, believing that the canon is out of his senses and under a spell. He refers to the great tales of Arthur and Tristan and Iseult, the Trojan War, etc. The canon is amazed at DQ's blending of fictional and historical events, but concedes the truthfulness of some of the stories of knight errantry and the Cid etc. but still says DQ should not put so much faith in those ridiculous books of chivalry.
DQ mocks the canon for disputing books printed with licenses from kings and approved by the public. He speaks of the delights in reading such books, describing his vision of chivalric splendor. Art imitating nature seems to surpass it. Mighty castles, splendid palaces, lovely damsels, exquisite foods, etc. He will soon be made a king, and still hopes to make SP an earl. SP chimes in with his own eager desire to own estates and live off the rents. The canon reminds SP of the responsibilities involved. DQ is guided by the example of Amadis of Gaul. The canon is astounded at DQ's nonsense and SP's simplicity. A goatherd Eugenio arrives speaking to his goat Dapple. He offers to tell a story.
The goatherd's story: A farmer nearby had a beautiful 16 y/o daughter, Leandra, and guards her virtue. He cannot decide which suitor to give her to (the goatherd was one). His rival is Anselmo. A soldier Vicente de la Rosa arrives, and tells of his exploits. She becomes enamored with his gaudy clothes and style and runs off with him. A search for her finds her robbed of her valuables and her virtue, deceived by Vicente. Her father decides to place her in a convent. Anselmo and Eugenio are forlorn. The two men came to this valley to tend sheep and goats and sigh over their lost Leandra. Other of her suitors have also come to this pastoral Arcadia. Anselmo plays the fiddle and voices his laments in verse. Eugenio does not have a high opinion of women.
DQ resolves to rescue Leandra from the convent, but Eugenio is incredulous. DQ throws a loaf at him, and he fights back. They hear a trumpet, which DQ interprets as a call to a new adventure. A procession of penitents arrive carrying a holy image of the Virgin. DQ thinks she is an eminent lady whom they are bearing away against her will. He demands they set her free, and charges the group with sword extended. One man strikes him and he falls to the ground as if dead. SP laments his apparent demise, but DQ revives. DQ gets back in the cart, the peace officers depart, and 6 days later they arrive at his village.
SP's wife Juana Panza wants to know what he has earned for his efforts, and he asks her to be patient, extolling the life he has led. The housekeeper and niece receive DQ and renew their cursing of his books on chivalry.
Cervantes alludes to the upcoming third sally of DQ, to Saragossa. A parchment found in a lead casket tells the story, and includes various epitaphs and eulogies. He provides these writings of the Academicians of Argamasilla [possibly DQ's village]: an epitaph to DQ and to Dulcinea, and sonnets lauding Dulcinea, Rocinante, and Sancho Panza. An academician plans to publish the story of DQ's third sally.
Cervantes speaks to the reader about a spurious work which was claimed to be a second part of DQ, published in 1614 by an anonymous Aragonese author from Tordesillas called Alonso Fernandez de Avellaneda (a pseudonym), and about that author's unjust criticism of Cervantes, his cowardice in hiding from broad daylight, etc.
Cide Manete Benengeli continues with the second part of the tale regarding DQ's third sally. The priest and barber visit DQ. At first, DQ seems sane, but his advocacy of knights saving the country from its problems with the Turks show he is not. The barber tells a tale of a madhouse in Seville. DQ laments the decline of knighthood (current knights focus on clothing and are slothful), and defends the existence of giants (as like Goliath in the Bible) and of great past knights including the Twelve Peers of France (Roland, etc.). He is not willing to stay at home.
SP arrives, and is berated by the housekeeper for his role in promoting her master's wanderings. SP speaks of current public opinion, which regards them as lunatics. Bartolomé Carrasco's son Sansón Carrasco has returned from Salamanca University, where he has graduated with a BA. He has found the DQ book Part I written by Cide Manete Benengeli (actually Cervantes), and DQ asks to speak to him.
DQ and Sansón discuss the reception, merits, and defects of DQ Part I. The author, being most likely a Moor, cannot be fully trusted. Sansón is 24, a great practical joker. He tells how popular the book has become, that it is being translated into many languages. DQ wishes the author had not published events which tend to discredit DQ. Many readers prefer to hear about SP. Some including DQ criticize the seemingly unrelated tales such as Inappropriate Curiosity. The book is very wholesome even for children and is in keeping with the Catholic church. Sansón wishes the critics were less censorious. They discuss how SP's dun was stolen and then reappears out of sequence, and what SP did with the 100 escudos.
SP explains away the inconsistencies regarding the theft of the donkey by Ginés (which he attributes to a printer's error) and of the 100 escudos. The author Cide hopes to publish Part II as soon as he can find the manuscript. SP is eager to go on another sally, and even Rocinante is neighing to go, so DQ resolves to make another sally. Sansón encourages DQ to make this third sally to Saragossa in the kingdom of Aragon. Sansón discusses the need for picking his fights more judiciously and SP says that there is a time for retreat as well as for attack. DQ requests a poem of farewell for Dulcinea.
SP and his wife Teresa debate his desire to resume being a squire and his ambitions for upward mobility for them and their children (Sancho=Sanchico, 15 y/o son, and Mari-Sancha or later Sanchica, a daughter). She is no longer called Juana. Teresa is down-to-earth, wants him and her children to stay in their own station and not put on airs, but is resigned to obey him even though he is a fool.
DQ debates his goals and beliefs with his niece and housekeeper, who sense he is getting ready to depart and wish to dissuade him. He discusses his categorization of all families. His road to riches and honor will be through arms.
SP tries to win an agreement with DQ for fixed wages but fails-he is still hoping for an island to govern. Sansón, to the surprise of the women, urges DQ to go forth on the third sally, saying for him to stay there is depriving women of succor, etc. SP finally relents and agrees to serve DQ. Sansón has conspired with the priest and the barber and the housekeeper, and is hatching a plan. DQ & SP set out for El Toboso.
Rocinante is neighing, a favorable omen for the sally. DQ inquires of SP about Dulcinea, and SP again sticks to his story. SP argues he is a good Christian and therefore anti-Jewish. DQ wants his deeds to remain within the dictates of the Christian faith, and to avoid price, envy, anger, gluttony, sloth, etc. He wants to be a knight, not a friar. He believes former knights are in heaven of purgatory if Christian and hell if pagan. SP would rather they be like saints. They arrive in El Toboso, and SP does not know where Dulcinea lives.
DQ seeks Dulcinea's castle but confesses he has never seen her or her castle, and is enamored over her only by hearsay. SP confesses that he too, like his master, has never seen Dulcinea. DQ is incredulous, recalling how SP said he saw her sieving wheat etc., but SP says this was only by hearsay as well. A man refers them to the village priest. They hide outside of town, and SP volunteers to go in alone to find Dulcinea.
DQ gives SP instructions on how he is to report back details of his encounter with Dulcinea. SP, realizing his master is mad, revolves to make him believe that the first woman he finds is Dulcinea. SP sees three peasant girls riding on donkeys and rides back, announcing to DQ that three maids in fine clothes and jewelry are approaching, pretending one is Dulcinea. But all DQ can see are peasant girls. DQ speaks to the women, but "Dulcinea" quickly brushes him off with coarse language and behavior and rides away. DQ laments at the cruelty of the enchanter who makes her appear as a peasant wench with garlic breath, and marvels that he could not see her in all the beauty described by SP.
SP plays down Dulcinea. A cart of actors arrives, including one playing Death, others Cupid, etc. One actor dressed as a clown teases them, frightening Rocinante into falling and dumping its master, and rides off with SP's dun. DQ threatens the actors, wanting SP to avenge himself, but SP prefers peace.
DQ observes that life is like a play, in which some act as emperors, etc.. Rocinante and the dun display their mutual affection and friendship, like Nisus and Euryalus. The author recalls all the benefits gained from animals.
Two men arrive on horseback nearby. The Knight of the Forest (Sansón in disguise) is absorbed in thoughts of love for his Casildea de Vandalia, the most beautiful woman in the world. DQ disagrees as to who is the most beautiful. The Squire of the Forest, his face concealed behind a large fake nose, invites SP to visit.
The two squires converse amiably and compare beliefs and experiences over a fine wine and pie. The Squire of the Forest wants to return to his village and family, and SP talks about his family and daughter. The squire says his Knight of the Forest is just pretending to be mad in order to help another mad knight. SP plans to stick with DQ at least until they go to Saragossa.
The Knight of the Forest (his face concealed) boasts to DQ about Casildea's beauty, saying she has charged him to force all knights to proclaim her surpassing beauty. He also claims to have defeated Don Quixote de la Mancha. DQ is initially skeptical, then proclaims the knight must have defeated an enchanted knight who only appeared as DQ, announcing he is in fact DQ. They agree to a joust to settle the matter, the defeated knight having to carry out the wishes of the victor. SP refuses to fight the squire when invited to do so, preferring to eat, drink, and be merry.
Dawn arrives and the joust begins. The other knight has spangles like little moons (thus he is the Knight of the Spangles). Through a fluke, DQ is fiddling with his lance and horse and placing SP in a tree as he has requested, and even before he begins his charge, the Knight of the Spangles is tossed from his horse and lays stunned on the ground. DQ thus wins and discovers on lifting his helmet that the Knight appears just like Sansón. His squire loses the papier mache nose and is seen to be Tomé Cecial, a neighbor of SP-he says the knight is indeed Sansón. But DQ believes this is all the result of enchantment, and still deluded, commands the vanquished knight to go to Dulcinea.
Sansón conspired with the priest and barber. The plan was for him to waylay DQ and defeat him as a knight, to force him to return home, and Tomé offered to be his squire. The two men wonder who is more mad, them or DQ. Tomé returns home, but Sansón now claims to want vengeance on DQ.
DQ is proud of his victory. He refuses to believe that Sansón could have been involved in the episode, still convinced it is a plot of malicious sorcerers. They meet the hidalgo Don Diego del Miranda riding on a mare, dressed in a green topcoat, and carrying a scimitar across his chest. DQ tells of the book that has been written about his own adventures. The man is skeptical about the existence of knights errant, and DQ is reflective. Diego extols the virtues of devotional works. Diego has a son at Salamanca University who is studying poetry, and he is critical of how the son spends his time reading ancient classics rather than works in the Spanish vernacular. DQ speaks on the merits of vernacular language in poetry-after all, even the ancients were writing in their own tongues. He criticizes satires that attack other people's honor. A poet should be pure in habits. As SP goes for milk, a cart arrives in a royal train.
SP had bought some curds, which he placed in DQ's helmet. The cart is carrying a load of the King's money. DQ demands his helmet and places it on his head, the curds and whey running down his face and hair. SP denies their existence, saying the devil must have done it. Diego is amazed to hear this. DQ confronts the royal train. The cart has two large lions from Oran (Algeria) intended for the Spanish King. DQ demands they be released for him to fight. The men and SP try to dissuade him, but DQ is adamant and threatening. He decides to fight them on foot. The lions however refuse to exit the cage, and all agree that DQ has been a brave man and is the victor. DQ demands a sworn declaration about his victory. The lion-keeper agrees to tell the king himself of DQ's victory, and says he will be known as the Knight of the Lions. DQ observes to Diego that he is not as mad or as foolish as he must have seemed initially. He contrasts himself to knights who do heroic deeds in front of their king, whereas he performs his good deeds in deserts and wilderness. Every knight has his part to play, and the knight errant must search out the remotest corner of the world. Diego agrees that DQ is a good advocate for knight errantry.
DQ and SP accept Diego's invitation, and enjoy for 4 days the hospitality of Don Diego and his wife Doña Cristina. DQ removes his armor, and we see how grimy he appears under it. His son Don Lorenzo is incredulous that this mad man has been brought in as their guest. DQ discusses strategy for winning poetry prizes, and extols knight errantry (about which Lorenzo is skeptical). Lorenzo tells his father DQ is mad in streaks, with lucid intervals. DQ gives advice on not writing poetry glosses (poetic lines written about other poetry), and Lorenzo reads one of his own. DQ praises Don Lorenzo's poetry and talent, and Lorenzo is pleased even though he finds him a mad man. He recites a sonnet about Pyramus and Thisbe. After four days, DQ resolves to give up this easy life and resume his journey, but first he wishes to go see the Cave of Montesinos and the Lakes of Ruidera. DQ still recommends the life of the knight to Lorenzo, and rides off with SP.
They encounter an MA, a BA (Corchuelo), and two farmers all on asses. They are on the way to a wedding and invite them to join. They tell how the talented but poor shepherd Basilio despairs because his longtime beloved Quiteria the Fair has been given by her father to marry Camacho the Rich. SP comments on the fickleness of women. The MA and BA fence with foils, and the MA wins. They arrive at the village of the wedding.
SP sleeps until dawn. DQ comments on his lack of ambition and peaceful undisturbed sleep, while DQ lies awake. SP criticizes Basilio for trying to marry up the ladder, and remarks how sensible it is for Quiteria to marry the wealthy farmer. They arrive at the sumptuous wedding feast, where whole ox are roasted on spits, etc. SP helps himself generously to the food. A dance masque is performed with Cupid etc. and which celebrates the victory of Wealth and Liberality over Love and Poetry. SP talks about the division of families into haves and have nots while enjoying all the food.
The lovely Quiteria appears, and soon the dashing Basilio arrives. He condemns Quiteria's faithlessness, insists she is his, and falls on his own rapier, the blade appearing to impale his abdomen. The priest believes the blade should not be removed until he has been confessed. Bleeding and apparently dying, the man refuses to make confession until Quiteria gives her hand to him in marriage. Basilio's friends join in the plea, but Quiteria is silent. Finally she kneels besides the dying man and consents to marry him for as long as he remains alive, saying she makes this declaration of her own free will. He then miraculously recovers from his "suicide", the stab wound having been a sham,-the rapier passed through a tube about his abdomen. Camachos friends are enraged, but DQ intervenes to defend the marriage and to save Basilio from their vengeance [this seems to be one of the few episodes where DQ actually does a good deed for someone]. Quiteria shows disdain for Camacho, who marvels at her apparent fickleness and reasons she would have been unfaithful to him. He continues with the festivities while Basilio and his followers ride away to his village with DQ and SP.
SQ and SP are hospitably entertained for three days by Basilio and Quiteria et al. She had not participated in the planning for the "suicide". DQ tells how to choose a wife and that every man should believe his wife is the only virtuous woman in the world.
He enlists a scholarly cousin (of a student swordsman with Basilio) to take him to the famous Cave of Montesinos and Lakes of Ruidera. On the way, the scholar describes his books, and SP joins in the discussion. At the cave, DQ has them lower him down by himself on a long rope. He seems to have left the rope for a while, but when they haul it back up, he is found to be hanging from the end, appearing to be asleep. He wakes in a reverie about Montesinos and Durandarte etc., saying "I have understood that all the pleasures of this life pass away like a shadow or a dream".
He tells what he saw in the cave. While descending, he diverted into a side concave space, thus leaving the rope slack. He was overcome with deep sleep, awakening [more likely, dreaming] to find himself in a meadow. An old man, Montesinos, appeared to him in a purple cloak. DQ asked him about the legend dating to the Battle of Roncesvalles in which Montesinos cut the heart out of his dead friend Durandarte as Durandarte had instructed him to do, in order to give it to his beloved lady Belerma. Montesinos shows him the tomb and corpse of Durandarte, who is kept there enchanted by Merlin "the French sorcerer" [though of course he came originally from Britain]. Durandarte cries out to Montesinos, and Montesinos reminds him he did carry out the mission. Belerma, Guadiana (Durandarte's squire), the duenna Ruidera, and her 7 daughters were all there in a state of enchantment that has lasted over 500 years (Ruidera and daughters were eventually turned into the lakes of Ruidera, and Guadiana into a river). Montesinos speaks how DQ may help them become unenchanted. A procession of lovely damsels enters, bearing the mummified heart, accompanied by Belerma, whose beauty has suffered during her years of enchantment. Montesinos compares her to Dulcinea, but DQ objects. SP and the cousin challenge how this could all have happened in such a short time-but he believes it has taken place over three days. They ask skeptical questions about how the enchanted live. DQ talks about enchantment, cites Dulcinea, but SP disparages this fantastic tale. DQ claims that Montesinos showed him three village girls one of whom was Dulcinea, who was still enchanted and spoke nothing to him. Montesinos tells him that someday he will be able to disenchant all of them. He also recounts how one of Dulcinea's companions came to him [still in the dream] and asked him to lend her money for Dulcinea. He gives money and swears a vow to disenchant her. SP again tries to talk him out of this hocus-pocus.
Cervantes states that Hamete felt this episode to be untrue. The cousin however is very impressed by the story, and plans to add it to his "Spanish Ovid", etc. A man overtakes them and rushes by carrying lances and halberds on a mule, and though he cannot stop, he offers to tell his story at the inn. A young poor lad comes by going to war. They all reach the inn.
The man transporting arms tells of the donkey that went missing, how it brayed in the woods, how the braying men fooled each other, and how villagers from adjacent villages began mocking the braying men by also braying. There is to be an upcoming confrontation between the villages. Master Pedro the puppeteer (actually Ginés) admires DQ and SP. His apes makes pronouncement. SP asks of the ape about the incident at the Cave of Montesinos: the ape communicates that parts were true and parts false.
Master Pedro puts on a show about how Doña Melisendra, imprisoned by the Moors in Spain, is set free by her husband Don Gaiferos. DQ points out the use of bells is out of place. The moorish cavalry chase the escaped puppet lovers. But this is broken up by a passionate attack by DQ on the puppet Moors and King Marsilio-he is trying to help the Christian escapees. DQ tells how he believes enchanters made him think that the action was real, that they are to blame. He subsequently pays Master Pedro generously for the damage he caused.
We learn that Pedro is Ginés de Pasamonte, the convict DQ freed. He had taken refuge in Aragon and took up puppeteering. DQ goes to the location of the planned fight of the villagers of the bray and breaks up the fight, saying they are mistaken to believe they have been dishonored. He lists the valid reasons to take up arms: to defend the Catholic faith, or their lives, or their honor, families, and possessions, or to serve their king in a just war, or to defend their country. [This is another good deed of DQ]. SP however brays, leading to a beating by one of the men who believes he mocks him.
SP berates DQ for not protecting him, and being a poor master. He wants to leave and be paid. But DQ berates him for ingratitude, and SP relents. They have been gone for 25 days from the village.
DQ takes a boat on the River Ebro, believing it was placed intentionally to direct him to his next mission rescuing someone as yet unknown. He and SP leave their mounts behind and start down the river in the boat. But soon he crashes into a water mill grinding corn, and nearly drowns in the mill-race. He tells the angry millers he will not be able to free them from the imprisonment he assumes they suffer from.
The next day, DQ and SP encounter a hunting party, and are warmly received by the Duke and Duchess, who have both read Part I and recognize the pair. DQ falls off his horse when his loose saddle spins around. The Duke and Duchess intend to play along with DQ and agree with everything he says.
DQ is royally received at their castle. But SP encounters a venerable duenna, Doña Rodríguez de Grijalba, who brusquely tells him he can look after his dun himself. Lovely maids remove DQ's armor. In private DQ criticizes SP's handling of the duenna. SP tells a tale about table sitting arrangements, which the Duchess finds very entertaining. The Duchess asks about Dulcinea, and DQ sadly tells how she has been turned into an ugly peasant girl. A resident grave churchman scorns DQ's illusions of being a knight and chastises the Duke for putting up with this deception.
DQ courteously defends himself to the churchman, though chastising him for the public reproof, claiming the man speaks out of ignorance. DQ has scorned wealth, redressed outrages, vanquished giants, been continent regarding women, etc. The Duke promises SP to be governor of an island. The churchman leaves in protest. DQ says he is not offended. Maids wash DQ's beard, but SP refuses this apparent custom.
DQ tries to answer their probing questions about Dulcinea, such as her appearance: he regrets that her true image has been erased from his mind since she was turned into a peasant by malicious enchanters. Duchess asks if it is true he has never actually seen her and that she may not actually exist. He answers that "God knows whether there be any Dulcinea or not in the world, or whether she is imaginary or not imaginary; these are things the proof of which must not be pushed to extreme lengths. I have not begotten nor given birth to my lady, though I behold her as she needs must be, a lady who contains in herself all the qualities to make her famous throughout the world, beautiful without blemish, dignified without haughtiness, tender and yet modest, gracious from courtesy and courteous from good breeding, and lastly, of exalted lineage, because beauty shines forth and excels with a higher degree of perfection upon good blood than in the fair of lowly birth" [Transl. John Ormsby]. He further defends her humble origins, saying that virtue ennobles the blood. He laments that because he cannot be harmed, his enchanters have taken out their revenge on her. He speaks fondly of his squire SP, whom he would not exchange for any other squire. He gives some paternal advice to SP on how best to govern his island.
The Duchess probes SP about DQ, and her doubts about Dulcinea. SP states his master is mad, and an idiot, that he had made DQ believe Dulcinea is enchanted. He says he wish he could leave him, but is too fond of him. But the Duchess assures SP that Dulcinea is truly enchanted, and that the enchanters had made him (SP) think she was merely a peasant-i.e., that he is the deceived one rather than the deceiver. SP believes now the story in the Cave of Montesinos may also be true. She and the Duke plan to play a hoax on DQ.
Six days later, they go on a boar hunt. SP flees to a tree. They dine in tents (marquees). SP criticizes hunting when it involves killing an animal that hasn't committed any crimes, but the Duke defends it. As night falls a loud "battle" takes place in the dark woods, including Moors, trumpets, enchanters, devils looking for DQ sent by Montesinos, oxcarts driven by devils holding the sages Lirgandeo, Alquife, and Arcalaus from Amadis de Gaul, etc.
A great chariot appears which carries a veiled lady, Dulcinea, and next to her dressed as Death is Merlin back from the dead. He instructs SP that SP must give himself 3000 lashes of his own free will to save Dulcinea from enchantment. SP refuses even Dulcinea's fervent appeal to him, asking what he has to gain by undergoing this. DQ threatens him for his refusal, and the Duke says SP won't get the island if he does not cooperate. SP finally reluctantly agrees, provided he can take the lashes whenever he likes. They all return to the castle.
We learn the butler played the role of Merlin, and a page played Dulcinea. SP has given himself only 5 lashes. SP writes (dictates) a letter to his wife Teresa (dated July 20, 1614). He reads it to the Duchess: he plans for his wife to go about in a coach when he is governor, tells about Montesinos and Merlin, etc. The Duchess finds his letter reveals his covetousness.
Meanwhile, a giant knight with a long beard arrives. He is Trifaldín (character from Orlando Furioso), arrived to plead as squire to Countess Trifaldi for DQ to receive her-the Duke says she has been enchanted and is called the Dolorous Duenna (DD). DQ is pleased his services are being sought, and wishes the churchman who had expressed such contempt could see them now.
SP knows nothing good can come from the involvement of duennas [duennas appear to be a convenient butt for humor]. But duenna Doña Rodríguez takes offense and defends duennas to him, saying squires have always been their enemies.
The Countess Trifaldi or Dolorous Duenna arrives with her retinue of duennas (their faces are covered by veils). She is pleased to find DQ in attendance, and kisses his feet. She tells how she was duenna to Kingdom of Kandy (near Sri Lanka) where Queen Maguncia ruled, and in charge of the lovely young heiress Princess Antonomasia. She tells how the young lady was seduced (with her complicity) and made pregnant by the smooth-talking Don Clavijo, who promised marriage.
The Dolorous Duenna's story continues. Queen Maguncia was enraged at the marriage of her daughter to a man of lower rank, and soon died. Her cousin the giant Malambruno came to avenge her. He turned the lovers into metal animals, and sent a challenge saying that only DQ can free them by doing combat with him. He also denounces all duennas, and punished all of the duennas by giving them beards (which the gathered duennas now reveal by lifting their veils).
The bearded duennas lack money to be shaved. DQ agrees to go to the lands of the Moors. The DD tells him Kandy is 5,000 leagues away, but that there is a magical horse of wood named Clavileño, made by Merlin, which DQ (like Malambruno and Pierres) can use to fly great distances. She says Malambruno, who is a Christian enchanter, will send the horse. Trifaldi insists SP go as well, and SP agrees reluctantly.
Duke reminds SP he must do this to win his governorship. DQ and SP mount the wooden horse and journey while blindfolded (ostensibly to keep from being dizzy), blown by bellows and warmed as in the upper atmosphere by flames. SP wonders why they can still hear the people they have left on the ground. They finally are hurled to the ground, and are surprised to find themselves in the same garden. A note on a lance proclaims that Malambruno regards them to have satisfied his requirements, and that the duennas are now clean-shaven and that the new queen and king have been restored to normal. SP tells some tall tales of seeing 7 goats in the sky, and DQ wonders if SP is lying or dreaming. He reminds SP that for him to believe in SP's tale, SP should believe his tale of the Cave of Montesinos.
The Duke tells SP to prepare to be governor, that the islanders are yearning for him, he will be properly dressed, etc. DQ is very pleased that SP will realize his dream even before DQ has attained prosperity, and gives him good fatherly advice on how to rule.
DQ gives more advice to SP about being governor. (Do not eat garlic, be temperate in drink, avoid an excess of proverbs, etc.) SP expresses reservations about his ability to be governor, but DQ reassures him.
Cervantes tells us that in this Part II of DQ, Hamete has omitted disconnected tales.
DQ has prepared a written version of his advice to SP, and the Duke and Duchess marvel at its madness yet ingenuity. SP thinks the butler looks like the Dolorous Duenna (in fact, he did play "her").
With SP gone to govern his "island", DQ misses him and lapses into melancholy [the plot moves back and forth between the DQ and SP while they are separated]. The Duchess alludes to the availability of other young maids, but he plans to keep a wall between his desires and his virtue. Alone in his room, he hears the amorous Altisidora sing a love ballad to him and speak of her love for him (which they hope he will overhear) and her desire to take the place of Dulcinea. But he only wonders why the enchanters choose to so persecute Dulcinea, and resolving to remain faithful to her, slams the window shut.
SP arrives with his retinue at the town and island of Baratario [actually inland]. He skillfully judges conflicts between a tailor and a farmer, two old men, and a woman and a herdsman.
Altisidora pretends to faint in DQ's presence, and her friend chastises DQ for rejecting her. DQ, attempting to console her, composes a ballad for Altisidora about how true lovers prize constancy in love. A joke on him involving cats leads to a cat attack on his face. Altisidora dresses his wounds and tells him she adores him.
SP cannot get through his meal due to the zealous Dr. Pedro Recio de Agüero, who has fanatical ideas on proper nutrition. A message arrives from the Duke-he warns SP of an impending attack and attempt on his life. A farmer makes a pitch for money to help his son marry a deformed woman, but SP refuses, calling him a scoundrel and an impostor (in fact, he had been coached for the role by the butler).
The duenna Rodriguez comes to DQ in the night, and after getting over her shock at how he appears (and reassuring him she is not enchanted or intending him harm or seduction), she tells her story of need. She is widowed: her husband was squire to the Duchess (Doña Casilda), who stabbed him with a large pin and accidentally killed him. Her 16 y/o daughter has been seduced by a farmer who won't marry her. The Duchess is said to be sick with draining wounds in her legs (apparently a lie). Two "ghosts" (the Duchess and Altisidora) enter in the dark, and punish her by choking her, also pinching DQ.
SP gets fed in his preferred style at last with ollas podridas, etc. He plans to rid the island of tramps and idlers. Walking the streets, he settles a dispute between two men, catches a clever lad running, and meets a beautiful young woman (the daughter of Diego de la Llana) who is exploring the streets in disguise as a male and accompanied by her brother. The steward falls in love with her and resolves to ask for her hand, and SP contemplates marrying his son to the brother.
Another duenna informed the Duchess on the presence of the DD in DQ's room. The Duchess was angry about the story of her draining legs, and Altisidora had her pride injured-thus they attacked DD and DQ.
The Duchess's page brings news to Teresa and Sanchica (their 14 y/o daughter) that SP is now a governor, and greets her with suitable ceremony. He gives gifts (a string of corals and an outfit for Sanchica) and letters from the Duchess to her and from SP to her. She calls for the priest, barber, and Sansón, and all marvel in confusion at SP's good luck in Aragon. Despite her previous posture to the contrary, Teresa is eager to get a carriage in the capital and begin playing the elevated role. She has two letters in reply prepared.
SP solves a paradox in a law case. He is staying hungry. DQ sends him more advice in writing. SP writes back with his news. He enacts many good reforms. The hoaxers are planning to get rid of him, however.
Doña Rodríguez appeals to DQ in front of the Duchess and Duke to champion her daughter's case with the farmer's son and force him to marry her-he accepts. The Duke offers to provide a fair field for the contest, to be held in 6 days. The court hears letters brought by the page from Teresa to the Duchess and from Teresa to SP (both asking for SP to send money), as well as from SP to DQ.
On SP's 7th night as governor, a sudden attack by "enemies" occurs to the sound of bugles and drums. He is called upon to arm himself and to lead but is trapped between two shields and trampled like a turtle by the hoaxers. When it is all over, he recognizes he was not born to be a governor. He goes to his beloved dun, now eager to return to his simple life, and leaves, to the distress of the loving people who embrace him. Proudly, he announces that he takes nothing with him beyond what he brought.
The Duke arranges for a substitute contestant, his Gascon lackey named Tosilos, to fight DQ, since the farmer's son is in Flanders. SP encounters six pilgrims from Germany asking for money-they are actually expelled Moriscos, including Ricote from his own village. (Moriscos are Moors who remained in Spain after 1492 and in theory converted to Christianity, but were officially expelled by proclamations in 1609-13). He longs for home and seeks to reunite with his wife Francisca and his daughter [Ana Félix] Ricota-they are in Algeria having fled the village. He offers money to SP to help him. When SP tells his tale, he comments to SP that they are a long way from any islands. SP promises not to turn him in but wishes to rejoin DQ.
SP and his dun fall into a hole or pit in the dark, wander trapped in a cavern, and are fortuitously heard at last by DQ and rescued with ropes and cables. They return to the castle, where he tells his events to the Duke, who promises an easier position for SP.
The Duke's lackey Tosilos appears for the joust with DQ, instructed to avoid harming DQ, before they can fight he falls in love at first sight with Doña Rodríguez's daughter, and asks to marry her at once. The joust is thus called off. Doña Rodríguez and her daughter call a fraud. DQ thinks he is the farmer's son disguised by enchanters, and advises the daughter to go ahead and marry him. The daughter expresses appreciation for Tosilos and decides to marry him.
DQ decides it is time to move on from the lazy life, and is granted permission to do so. Altisidora proclaims from on high a poem of dejected love and lament. The Duchess had not been warned about this hoax. DQ denies stealing anything of hers, and she retracts the accusation.
DQ extols freedom, which is worth dying for. They come across men with carved images of heroes and saints, and DQ shows his erudition by naming and describing each. He speaks with insight about how omens are often mere coincidences. SP wonders what Altisidora could have seen in him, since he is not all that beautiful, but DQ distinguishes between the beauty of the soul and of the body.
They are caught in the nets of young women dressed as shepherdesses, simulating Arcadia (an idyllic landscape ostensibly located in the central Peloponnesian peninsula). The women also have read of DQ in Part I. DQ speaks about giving and of God, and again extols Dulcinea's beauty. They are run over by a herd of bulls.
DQ still wants SP to complete the 3000 lashes. They check into an inn having poor food. DQ overhears two men (Don Jerónimo and Don Juan) in the adjacent room discussing the fraudulent Part II of DQ, and joins in their conversation, heatedly denying the book's validity: the language is Aragonese, the author is a novice, etc. The men ask him about Dulcinea, and he sadly tells of her current condition, and of the Cave of Montesinos, etc. DQ resolves not to go to Saragossa after all, to foil the fraudulent version which contains this plot element.
DQ plans to go to Barcelona, avoiding Saragossa on the way. DQ tries to lash SP for Dulcinea's disenchantment, but SP turns on him forcing him to promise to forever desist or be killed.
They encounter hanging corpses, outlaws and bandits. The bandit leader Roque Guinart arrives with his 40 men and robs them, later returning what he took from them. He has heard of DQ. Claudia Jerónima arrives-she has just shot her fiancée Don Vicente over jealousy. Roque escorts her back to the dying man, and he denies any unfaithfulness, then dies. She resolves to go to a convent. DQ is trying to convert Roque's followers from a life of crime. Roque speaks philosophically, but will not become a knight with DQ, and soon robs another group of travelers, though sparing the women and soldiers.
He stays with Roque for three days. Then they go to Barcelona, where DQ sees the sea for the first time. He is welcomed by Don Antonio Moreno, who has also read Part I and to whom Roque had written. A boy plays a trick on Rocinante and the dun.
DQ and SP are displayed by Don Moreno-his friends all treat DQ as a true knight errant. DQ dances at a ball, but sits on the floor exhausted. Don Moreno presents the talking bust, which always tells the truth-it is said to have been made by an enchanter (but actually connects via a hollow passage to a person below). DQ asks it if the Cave of Montesinos was a dream or real, and the bust says the truth is a little of both. It also predicts that Dulcinea will be disenchanted in due course. Moreno is afraid the sentinels of the faith (Inquisition) will find this bust dangerous, and subsequently has it dismantled. They go for a walk, and DQ visits a printing house, talks about the imperfect process of translation (which is "like viewing Flemish tapestries from the wrong side"). He sees the fraudulent Part II being printed, which makes him cross, and he stalks out.
They visit the galleys (boats) at the beach, and go aboard one. SP is playfully rolled around above the galley slaves. They spot and attack a pirate brigantine from Algiers. Two Turks on board the brigantine kill two of their men. The captain proves to be a woman, a Christian daughter of Moriscos. She tells her story: she was born of Morisco parents but is a true Catholic. She loves Don Gaspar Gregoria, who now remains in danger in Algeria where he is disguised as a woman. She is Ana Félix, the daughter of Ricote. The Viceroy releases Ana, and an old pilgrim nearby announces he is her father Ricote (chapter 54)-they are tearfully reunited. The Turks are spared from hanging by the Viceroy. The Spanish renegade crewing with Ana volunteers to return to rescue Don Gaspar. Don Moreno has Ana and her father join him as guests.
Ana is hospitably taken in by Moreno's wife. The renegade departs on his rescue mission. On the beach one day, the Knight of the White Moon challenges DQ. If defeated, DQ must agree to return to his village for one year and put aside his arms. In the subsequent joust, he sends DQ toppling, though not even touching him with his lance. SP is despondent at the defeat. DQ accepts the terms, but will not concede Dulcinea's beauty and is willing to die before retracting this belief, which the Knight accepts.
Don Antonio follows and learns from the Knight of the White Moon who he really is-it is of course Sansón again. He tells why he did this-to aid in DQ's recovery-but Don Antonio hopes DQ will never recover as he is so entertaining. DQ stays in bed for 6 days, despondent and depressed over his loss. But he finally reassures SP that the retirement will only last one year.
Don Gregorio is saved in Algeria by the renegade and reunited with Ana. The repentant renegade is restored to the bosom of the church. Don Antonio offers to try to aid the expelled Ana and her father, but Ricote knows this is unlikely to succeed because the Count of Salazar is vigorously enforcing the expulsion decreed by Philip III. DQ leaves with SP.
DQ muses on his defeat-"Here once stood Troy"-but knows he has at least kept his word. He and SP debate whether to leave their armor on a tree just as Orlando did, but decide against this. SP arbitrates a wager about a race between two men of unequal weights. Tosilos arrives and tries to persuade them to return to the Duke, but DQ still believes that Tosilos is enchanted, and refuses.
DQ wonders how God has dealt with Altisidora, again wishes SP would complete his lashings. He is hatching the idea of living with SP (as Quixotiz and Panzino) and others like shepherds in an idyllic life in the pastures.
They are trampled by a herd of pigs, then captured by 15 men who take them to the Duke's castle.
Altisidora lies "dead" on a catafalque in the courtyard. SP is swathed in robes of black and given a cardboard cone hood with devils painted on it. A mystical ceremony ensues, which requires SP to take various physical punishments to bring her back to life. He refuses initially, but finally relents if duennas will not touch him. Altisidora returns to life, thanks SP, and blames DQ's cruelty for what happened to her.
SP and DQ discuss the strange events. Cide Hamete explains how Sansón met up with the Duke, and told him of the requirement for DQ to retire for one year. Cide also believed the Duke and Duchess were nearly as mad as DQ in the lengths they went to in order to play their hoaxes and games. Altisidora comes to DQ's room. She tells SP and DQ of her experience in the afterlife: devils were playing rackets serving books rather than balls, one book of which was the fraudulent Part II of DQ, which they judged very bad), expresses her love to DQ, and when again gently spurned she states the entire events have been a sham. Later DQ advised the Duchess that Altisidora's problems stem from too much idleness.
DQ is gloomy, the unluckiest doctor in the world, who has brought much good to others but received little himself. SP agrees finally to whip himself to help Dulcinea and also to receive 820 reals, but quickly decides to whip trees instead (out of sight of DQ). DQ takes pity on him and asks him to hold off. They head for an inn, which DQ correctly recognizes. They discuss a painter Orbaneja who painted whatever emerged, and if painting a cockerel simply labeled his paintings "This is a cockerel". DQ wants SP to wait until back in the village to do the lashings.
At the inn, they meet a traveler, Don Alvaro Tarfe, who appears in the fraudulent Part II and claims to be a friend of DQ. DQ shows him that Avellaneda's Part II is a fraud, and that the incidents reported did not happen. SP completes his mock lashings that night. At last they can see their village.
They arrive at his village. DQ overhears a boy say "that's something that's never ever going to happen". DQ interprets this as an omen that he will never see Dulcinea again. A hare being hunted hides beneath SP's dun, and DQ somehow again sees this as a "malum signum" that he will not ever see Dulcinea. SP reminds DQ that Christians should not heed omens. They meet the priest, Sansón, and also the niece and housekeeper. SP meets Teresa, who is relieved to learn he has brought some money, even if he is not a governor. DQ tells the priest and Sansón of his plans to be a shepherd, and they agree to join him, though astonished at his latest delusion. Sansón plans to use the time to write poetry. DQ reassures his niece and housekeeper that he will never fail to provide for them.
DQ has a fever and unexpectedly approaches his end. The doctor believes that depression and melancholy are killing him. He sleeps, then on awakening announces that God has cleared his mind, and he renounces his former madness, the deceitfulness of his books on chivalry and knight errantry, etc. He calls for his friends and the priest, who are at last convinced he has returned to sanity. He confesses and makes his will, speaks tenderly to SP, apologizing for deluding him about knights errant, and makes provision for him. SP tries to reassure him that he will still find Dulcinea, but DQ only answers that "you won't find this year's birds in last year's nest". He gives his estate to his niece Antonia Quixana, but it will be forfeit if she marries a man who knows anything about books of chivalry-and he again disparages the fraudulent Part II. Finally he dies. There are fresh epitaphs. Cide Hamete also again speaks against the false writer from Tordesillas, and asks him to leave DQ's weary moldering bones at rest in his tomb and not try to resurrect him for a third (more accurately a fourth) sally or fresh campaign.