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Summary Chapter 53

Start of Book 2, Technically Book 2 Chapter 1

The curate and barber stay a month. Though they visit the housekeeper and niece, they avoid Quixote so they do not remind him of what has taken place. They advise the women on how to care for him. The women begin to see signs that he is returning to normal.

The curate and barber decide to visit him. They discuss current events, and Quixote’s rational replies make them believe he has returned to his senses. Though they hadn’t planned to discuss any matters pertaining to chivalry, the curate decides to bring up one to test if Quixote’s recovery is genuine.

Don Quixote has a plan to resolve a crisis to the king, which worries the curate and barber—particularly as he doesn’t wish to discuss it, fearing someone will take credit for his idea. Finally, he tells them his idea after both swear they won’t tell a soul—the king merely has to call all knights roving about to come to the capital to deal with the crisis. The niece cries out in disappointment that he is not cured after all, and Quixote tells her he will die a knight.

The barber tells a story about a madman who talked so reasonably that he fooled a chaplain into believing he was sane and a victim of his family who wanted his property. Other people warned the chaplain that the man was still mad and would go from being rational to talking gibberish. The chaplain found this out when suddenly the man claimed to be Neptune.

Don Quixote retorts that he is not Neptune. He only wants to make the world realize that it should revive the order of knights. Knights protected damsels and oprhans. The order bred men of action and courage. This age produces laziness, vice, indulgence, and cowardice. The knights would keep the Turks at bay.

The curate has doubts many knights actually existed. Don Quixote says he can visulaize their appearance by the stories. When Quixote describes one knight as graceful, the curate says he isn't surprised that the knight's lady left him. Quixote says that the lady was scornful, flightly, and wanton.

They hear a commotion in another room with the housekeeper and niece.

Miguel de Cervantes