Sancho tries to cheer up Quixote by blaming their misfortune on fate, but Quixote tells him that there is no fate, only the eye of heaven, and therefore “every man is the architect of his own fortune.” He has not been a very careful architect, he says sadly, and now he must go home in disgrace.
In this significant conversation, Quixote looks forward to the humanistic views of the Enlightenment. God is fading from the world, and humankind must assume responsibility for every event on earth.
Five days later, they arrive at a village near their own. People are celebrating at the inn when they arrive, and the villagers ask the two travellers for their advice. One very fat man has challenged a very skinny man to a race, and the fat man claims that the skinny man should carry in iron the difference between their weights. Sancho determines that the fat man should instead lose weight, so that he and his opponent weigh the same amount. Everyone is grateful for Sancho’s wisdom, but Quixote rushes on.
Through his governorship, Sancho has come to represent the need for social equality in at least two ways. First, because he proved that an illiterate peasant could make a wise and competent governor. Second, because in his brief tenure he tried to make egalitarian reforms. It seems that this episode deals with a similar issue: the fat (or prosperous) man should compete fairy with the thin (or underprivileged) man.
The next day, they encounter a man with a pike and some travelling bags. It is the Duke’s lackey Tosilos, and he urges Quixote to come and stay at the Duke’s castle. He tells Quixote that he (Tosilos) was never enchanted, that the Duke beat Tosilos for disobeying his orders on the battlefield, and that the duenna’s daughter has become a nun. He invites the two friends to share his lunch. Quixote does not want to eat with this messenger who pretends not to be enchanted, but Sancho eats with a good appetite. In a little while, the travellers take to the road.
Quixote does not want to believe that his victory on the Duke’s battlefield was neither real nor truly helpful to anyone. He is clinging to this last bit of glory, and he shows his disbelief by refusing Tosilos’s food. In a way, though, Sancho’s good appetite negates his master’s abstinence. The food is good, and Tosilos is telling the truth.