Saturday, March 24, 2012

Six Shirts for Sancho's Sufferings


Chapter LXVIII
Don Quixote and Sancho set up to sleep for the night, but as usual luck would have it, are trampled under foot by a heard of 600 hundred hogs; Quixote calls it a punishment for his being a vanquished knight-errant, but Sancho had no understanding of why he has to be punished for being the squire of a vanquished knight-errant.  At dawn, they continue on until they are confronted by ten horsemen who force them against their will and in silence to go with them, taking them to the castle of the duke and duchess who were the plotters of so many playful jests before.
Chapter LXVIX
The silent pair is immediately taken to the castle courtyard ablaze with torches and showcasing the corpse of a damsel, who is none other than the doleful Altisidora.  Sancho is made to wear the Robe of Flames and a miter upon his head, as he is told by Rhadamathus, judge of the underworld, that he must receive twenty-four thwacks, a dozen pinches, and six pinpricks in order to restore Altisidora; naturally, he protests, but his master assures him that heaven has granted him this virtue and that through martyrdom he can disenchant the enchanted and resuscitate the dead; to which Sancho relents and is physically tortured by six duennas so that Altisidora may awaken from death.  She then curses Don Quixote again and donates six shirts to Sancho for his sacrifice.

Chapter LXX
Cervantes explains that Cide Hamete exposes how the duke and duchess devised this final prank since Sansón Carrasco had visited the duke’s castle after Tomé Cecial had delivered Sancho’s letter to Teresa Panza; and after Carrasco learned of where the pair was headed, he tracked them down, vanquished Quixote, and then returned to the duke to tell him the result; whereas the duke sent out retainers to track them down.   The morning following these lastest shenanigans, Quixote offered to the duchess that Altisidora suffers from idleness and that the solution is sincere and persistent work; therefore, since Altisidora said that they wore lace in hell, the duchess promised to keep her busy in needlework.  

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