The duchess asks Sancho the next day if he has done some of his penance. Sancho says he gave himself five whacks with his hand. The duchess says slaps don’t count. He needs to make a cat-o-nine tails. He has to draw blood, and he has to put more heart into it. Only then will the Lady Dulcinea be freed from the curse she is under.
Sancho asks for her to give him a whip--though he says his flesh is soft, and he won’t injure himself for anyone. He asks the duchess to read his letter to his wife to see if it is written like a governor. He dictated it to someone who wrote it for him, as he cannot read or write.
Sancho writes to his wife that his governorship costed him a good hiding. He is sending his hunting suit so it can be altered for their daughter. He tells her about how Merlin charged him with the task of disenchanting Dulcinea, and how it is to be done. He orders her to keep quiet about their fortunes. He will tell her if she is to join him.
The duchess tells Sancho he’ll only get his governorship if he completes his penance. She also remarks that he sounded envious, and she worries this will make him a bad governor.
As they sit down to dine, some mourners come towards them. One has a long white beard. He introduces himself as Trifaldin, a squire to the Countess Trifaldi--who is known as the Distressed Duenna. She has come here to see Don Quixote. The duke tells Quixote that already the afflicted are coming here for aide, and Quixote has only been with them a week. Quixote wishes the ecclesiastic could see this, for it would prove that knights are needed in the world.