We find in this chapter several interesting passages which in no way together form a central thesis of this post.
One: DQ and SP ride into the woods and find respite in a verdant oasis. In this same valley, a drove of Gallician fillies are feeding not far from our hero’s convenient spot. Rozinante
seized with an inclination to solace himself with some of those skittish females, no sooner had them in the wind, than deviating from his natural disposition and accustomed deliberation, without asking leave of his lord and master, he went off at a small trot, to communicate his occasions to the objects of his desire.
So it seems that the emotions of love and desire which grip the shepherds are the same as those suffered by DQ’s horse. And the same misperception of reality which characterizes DQ also characterizes his horse.
Two: When DQ suggests that SP fight against anyone who is not a knight, Sancho replies,
“Sir, I am a quiet, meek, peaceable man, and can digest any injury, be it never so hard; for, I have a wife and small children to maintain and bring up: wherefore, let me also apprize, (tho’ I cannot lay my commands upon your worship) that I will in no shape whatever, use my sword against either knight or knave; and that henceforward, in the fight of God, I forgive all injuries, past, present, or to come, which I have already received, at this present time suffer, or may hereafter undergo, from any person whatsoever, high or low, rich or poor, gentle or simple, without exception to rank or circumstance.”
Liberally sprinkling his speech with qualifying clauses, Sancho sounds just like a lawyer.
Three: After they have been thrashed by the unmerciful Yanguesian carriers, DQ decides they must seek out a castle where they can rest and recuperate. Rozinante, however, has been equally thrashed, and so DQ finds in the tale of Silenus entering Thebes upon an ass the legitamacy for his riding Sancho’s ass. This gives Sancho his first opportunity to display his sparkling and biting wit:
“It may be very true, that he rode upon an ass, replied Sancho, but, there is some difference, I apprehend, between riding and lying across the beast like a bag of dirt.”