Don Quixote Part 1, Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Don Quixote

Don Quixote

Don Quixote Part 1, Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis

Sancho makes his way back to the inn to find something to eat. At the inn, he runs into the priest and the barber from his village; they have set out to bring Quixote home in order to cure him of his madness. Sancho tells them about their recent adventures, and by and by realizes he’d lost the notebook with the letter and donkey warrant. Sancho tries to recite the letter from memory for the priest, but he makes a funny jumble of it. When he tells the men about Quixote’s promise to give him an island, they become convinced that he is as mad as his master, but decide not to correct him because he’s so entertaining. The priest decides to dress up like a masked damsel in need in order to lure Quixote back to the village. They convince Sancho to help then by saying that Quixote needs to be set on a governmental and not on a religious path, since religious figures have no property to give away.
The priest and the barber assume that Quixote’s madness is a terrible misfortune, and they spare no effort to try to cure it. Yet when they realize that Sancho is suffering from the same ailment as his master, they don’t try to restore his sanity, because his madness is too amusing. In other words, Sancho’s madness (as they see it) delights and pleases them. Just before he burned Quixote’s books, the priest said that good books must give pleasure. There is a connection between the imaginative quality of Sancho and Quixote’s madness and the magic of a good book.
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