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Summary Chapter 12

One of the young men who went to get provisions from the village comes back with the news that a student-shepherd called Chrysostom has died. He supposedly died for the love of a girl, who is in the habit of wandering in a shepherdess dress, even though she is the daughter of a rich man.

Chrysostom left a will instructing how he is to be buried, which has resulted in a lot of turmoil for he has asked for many pagan rituals and customs to be performed. He wishes to be buried like a Moor at the base of a tree where he first saw the woman he loved. His best friend Ambrosio and several other shepherds intend to obey his last wishes.

The goatherds decide they would like to see this ceremony. One of the shepherds, who suffered an injury, offers to stay behind so the others can go watch the ceremony.

Don Quixote asks more about the gentleman who died. Pedro, the shepherd who came from the village, said he was a very learned gentleman who made everyone prosper with his knowledge of astrology. Then one day, with his friend Ambrosio, he decided to live the life of a shepherd. It coincided with the death of his father, who named him his heir. However, they soon learned that the young man had fallen in love with the shepherdess Marcela, and he wanted to follow her.

Marcela was the daughter of a rich man who had married a woman with an excellent reputation. He died soon after she did from grief. Marcela was left in the care of her uncle, who was a priest. She was extremely beautiful. He kept her confined, but her beauty was legendary. Many people persuaded him to marry her off, but she seemed unwilling. He didn't want to force her. He begged her to make a choice, but she said she wasn't ready yet. One day, she became a shepherdess.

Many young men take up the shepherd dress to follow her. However, she protects her virtue like she protects her flock. Anyone who proposes to her, she spurns--and thus she has gotten the reputation of being hard-hearted. She has broken many hearts. Trees are carved with her name from hopeful suitors.

The shepherds wait to see which fortunate young man will one day when her heart. Pedro advises Quixote to go see the funeral. Quixote says he will. He spends the night thinking about Dulcinea.

Miguel de Cervantes