Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Best Kind of Victory


Chapter LXXI
Altisidora never did give Sancho the promised smocks for his suffering; therefore, Quixote suggests payment for each lashing he gives himself for the disenchantment of Dulcinea, which he still has not completed.  When they stop for the night in the wide open, Sancho disappears alone to be among the trees, where he lowered his breeches, begins to flog himself, then stops to up the payment, which Quixote agrees, then continues, but then begins wildly whipping the trees so uncontrollably that Quixote must stop the flogging for fear that he may kill himself.  The next night they remain at an inn, and when Quixote asks if Sancho is prepared for more whipping, Sancho suggests that her prefers to be in the company of trees as “they help him endure his sufferings.” 

Chapter LXXII
While at the inn, Don Alvaro Tarfe, a principle character of Avellanedo’s history of Don Quixote, arrives and is confronted by Don Quixote who presses him for his knowledge of the imposter Don Quixote in this Second Part of Don Quixote of La Mancha; after which Don Alvaro signs an affidavit that the real Don Quixote is not the same as the one in Avellanedo’s history.  With that settled, Don Quixote and Sancho leave the inn, Sancho finally completes his duty of whipping the trees to his master’s great pleasure, and then they travel on until they see their village, in which Sancho exclaims out loud, “Open your arms [to Don Quixote] who, though he was conquered by another, nevertheless conquered himself; that is the best kind of victory a man can wish for…”

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