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Summary Chapter 84

Quixote says he always acts for virtuous ends--and if that makes him an idiot to some people, he doesn’t care. Who is an ecclesiastic, who hasn’t seen much of the world, one to say what’s in it? He tells Quixote to go home to his family without knowing if he has any. Quixote is a knight, and he will die a knight.

The ecclesiastic, when Sancho says he doesn’t know what he is talking about, asks if he has his island yet. Sancho believes he will get it. The duke decides to give Sancho a governorship. This enrages the ecclesiastic, who says these two will remain mad when sane people promote it. As long as they are here, he will not visit the duke or duchess. The ecclesiastic leaves, much to the duke’s amusement.

The servants come in and wash Quixote’s face, but then “forget” to bring water to rinse him. The duke and duchess are both angry and amused by their joke. The duke, worrying Quixote will realize that they are making fun of him, orders to be washed as well—reminding them to bring water this time. Sancho would like to wash, and the duchess commands the seneschal to tend to him.

The duchess begs for a description of Dulcinea. Don Quixote describes her as she is now in her transformed state. The duchess had doubts about Dulcinea’s fine lineage when she heard that she winnowed wheat. Quixote explains that because enchanters can’t harm him directly, they inflict their malice on those he loves. Besides, he sometimes thinks Sancho plays jokes on him.

Quixote thinks Sancho is a dolt, going from being skeptical to being completely credulous. He tells the duke he has his doubts that he’ll govern the land well that the duke plans to give him. Yet, he wouldn’t trade Sancho for another squire.

Sancho barges in, being chased by kitchen boys with a pail of dirty dish water. They tell the duchess that he wouldn't let himself be washed. Sancho says he wants to be washed with cleaner towels, cleaner hands, and cleaner lye. Quixote dismisses the servants, not approving of their joke. The duchess chides the staff for using the wrong equipment to wash Sancho and for being ill-bred.

The servants flee. Sancho bows before the duchess and says he is at her service. She promises to repay him with a governorship. She invites him to keep her company. Though Sancho usually takes his siesta at this time of day, he agrees.

Miguel de Cervantes