January 28, 2023

Don Diego de Miranda (Knight of the Green Topcoat)

Age: He is about fifty, with not many grey hairs.

Rank: Don Diego is “a hidalgo from a village where [he and Don Quixote] take lunch [one day].”

Family and Friends: Don Diego “spends [his] don quixote – quixotic novels time with [his] wife, children and friends.”

Wealth: Don Diego is “more than moderately well-off.”

Don Quixote
Don Quixote Novel

Meals: Occasionally, Don Diego “eats in [his] friends and neighbors houses, and they very often eat in [his home], where they find the table neat and clean, and not lacking in good things.”

Food: At Don Diego’s house, Don Quixote enjoys a meal Don Quixote Narrative that is “clean, plentiful, and tasty: [the normal fare] he usually offers his guests.”

Hobbies and Pets: Don Diego’s “pastimes are hunting and fishing, but [he] keep[s] neither hawk nor hounds, just one or two decoy partridges [as well as a group of] intrepid ferrets.”

Library: Don Diego “possesses about six dozen books, some in Spanish and others in Latin, some historical and others devotional [but] books of chivalry have yet to cross the threshold of [his] house.” He “peruses [his] books of devotion less than the others, so long as [they] provide harmless entertainment, delighting the reader with their style and amazing him with their inventiveness.”

Facial Expression: Don Diego has a face like an eagle with a look that is half cheerful and half serious.

Religious: Don Diego is a “devotee of [Mary Magdelene] and Don Quixote Story [he] trusts forever in the infinite mercy of God.”

Son: Don Diego has “one son [who he complains] is less good than [he] could wish.”

Introduction: On a country road in La Mancha, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza approach a man from behind riding along on the same road “on a handsome dapple-grey mare.”

Clothing and Weapons: Don Diego wears “a topcoat of fine green flannel slashed with tawny velvet, and a cape of the same material.” His mare is in “country trappings, with Arab-style short stirrups and high saddle, all of it also brown and green.” A scimitar also hangs “from his broad green-and-gold strap crossing [his] chest, and his riders-boots match his sword strap.” His “spurs [aren’t] gilded, but lacquered green, and they [shine] so brightly that, Don Quixote Narrative matching as they [do] the rest of his dress, they look better than if they’d been coated in the purest gold.” Altogether, Don Diego’s clothes and demeanour makes him seem like a man with admirable qualities.

Don Diego Leads Don Quixote to His House: Don Diego encourages Don Quixote to “make haste to reach [his] village and [his] house where [he’ll] be able to rest from [his] recent labors—if not labors of the body, then of the spirit, which often also make the body weary.” Without waiting for a reply, he “spurs forward at a better pace than before [and] by about two o’clock in the afternoon [he and Don Quixote] reach [his] village and house.”

House: Don Diego’s house is a “spacious [domicile] in village style, [with] his [coat of] arms carved in coarse stone, over the street door.” Under “the courtyard [is a] wine cellar [and] under the porch is [a] buttery.” In the garden are “enormous earthenware jars from El Toboso.” It is also “marvelously silent like a 13Carthusian monastery.”

Though, Cide Hamete el Benengeli “describes every detail of Don Diego’s house (i.e. the contents of any rich gentleman farmers dwelling) the translator thinks it is better to pass in silence over these and other similar minutiae, because they aren’t relevant to the principal purpose of the history.”

Gossip: Don Diego “likes [neither] gossip, nor do[es] [he] allow others to Don Quixote Novel gossip in [his] presence [since he] makes no scrutiny of other people’s lives, nor does he spy on their deeds.”

Peacemaker: Don Diego “strives to make peace among those who have quarreled.”

Interaction With Don Quixote: When Don Diego rides up to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, he gives them “a courteous greeting and spurs his mule forward.” But before he reaches the pair, our knight asks him “if he is going their way, and not too much in a hurry, he would consider it a great favour if [he] would ride with [them].” In reply, Don Diego tells Don Quixote that if he had “not been afraid that [his] horse might become excited in the company of his mount, [he] would not have overtaken him [as he did].” Prompted by Sancho Panza to rein in his mare, “the traveler draws rein, amazed at Don Quixote’s bearing.” Curious, Don Diego “gazes at Don Quixote, [and] Don Quixote gazes even more at the man in green, thinking that he [is] a fine upright citizen.”

Don Diego Is Surprised by Don Quixote: Is it “really possible, [Don Diego de Miranda wonders] that knight errants [exist] in the world today, and that there are histories in print [describing] authentic chivalric exploits?” Because Don Diego “cannot imagine that there is anyone on the face of this earth who protects widows, rescues maidens, honours married women, [and] succours orphans,” he is surprised to see “a living example of it in [Don Quixote]”.

Don Diego’s Opinion of Don Quixote: Don Diego Don Quixote Narrative thinks that he has never seen someone remotely like Don Quixote in all of his life. Thus, he wonders, at length, about Don Quixote’s horse, his lank body, the thinness and pallor of his face, his arms and armor, and, most crucially, his deportment, which “had not been seen in those parts for many years.” Thus, Don Diego “observes what Don Quixote does and listens to what he says, because he regards him as a sane man with madness in him, and as a madman with sane tendencies.” At one point, Don Quixote impresses Don Diego so much with talk of poetry that “he is [so] astonished by his reasoning.” This is why “the opinion [Don Diego] had formed of him as some sort of idiot had been dissipating.” But then, later, when Don Quixote fights an encaged lion, “he takes Don Quixote to be a madman beyond” repair.

Don Diego de Miranda Reaction to Part I and II of “Don Quixote”: Evidently, “Don Diego doesn’t know about the first part of Don Quixote’s history.” If “he had read it he would have known what sort of madness [Don Quixote] suffers from.” But “not knowing about it, [Don Diego] sometimes [thinks Don Quixote] is sane and sometimes mad, because what he says is coherent, elegant, and well-expressed, [but] what he does is absurd, foolhardy, and stupid.”

Don Diego Talks About Don Quixote’s Knowledge of Chivalry: It is Don Diego’s belief “that everything [Don Quixote has] said and done [gives him the impression] that if the rules and regulations of knight errantry were ever lost they could be recovered from [his] breast as from their repository and archive.”

Don Diego Talks About Mambrino’s Helmet: When Don Quixote “rams down a helmet full of curds, which [makes] the whey inside run down over his face and beard,” Don Diego asks himself “what greater madness can there be than putting a helmet full of curds on your head and thinking that enchanters are softening your brain-box?”

Don Diego Talks About the Lion Episode: When Don Quixote wants to fight Don Quixote Fiction two encaged lions, Don Diego asks “what could be more foolhardy and absurd than trying to force lions to fight you?”

Don Quixote Five-Day Stay with Don Diego: After “four days [of] liv[ing] a life of luxury in Don Diego’s house, [our knight] begs permission to leave, saying that he [is] grateful for all [of] Don Diego’s kindness and hospitality, but since it [does] not become knights errant to give themselves over to leisure and luxury for too long, he wishes to go and do his duty, looking for adventures that abound in that land.”

Don Diego and Don Quixote Discuss Chivalry Books: When Don Quixote says he has “been deemed worthy to appear in print in most of the nations of the world [since] thirty thousand copies of the [Histories of Don Quixote] have been published, and there is every sign that there will be a thousand times as many more, [Don Diego is shocked that] the history [our knight speaks of has] been printed.” After discussing whether histories of knights errant are fictional or not, Don Diego discusses who he is.

Don Diego Wonders if Don Quixote Is Sane or Mad: Don Diego “observes [what] Don Quixote does and listens to what he says because he regards him as a sane man with madness in him, and as a madman with sane tendencies.”

Don Quixote Explains His Weird Appearance to Don Diego: When Don Quixote notices the care with which Don Diego examines him, our knight explains his strange appearance by saying he is “one of those knights [who] left his village, pledged his estate, abandoned his domestic comforts, and delivered himself into the arms of fortune to revive the extinct order of knight-errantry.” And as a good knight he has been “fulfilling his desires [by] succouring widows, rescuing maidens, protecting wives, orphans and wards, [which is] the proper and natural occupation of knights errant.” Then Don Quixote explains that he is the Knight of the Sorry Face, and “[his] horse, [his] lance, [his] shield, [his] squire, [his] arms [and his armor, nor] the pallor of [his] face, nor [his] extreme thinness, should surprise [Don Diego], now that he knows who [he] is and the profession [that he] follows.”

Don Quixote and Don Diego Talk About Don Diego’s Son: When Don Diego tells Don Quixote that he has an eighteen-year-old poet son who makes him unhappy because he studies the literary humanities, not the law, or theology, as he hoped, Don Quixote expresses to don quixote – quixotism Don Diego to “allow [him] to study the subject he likes best [because it is a mistake to] force him to study this discipline or that discipline.” Then, Don Quixote tells Don Diego that since “sons are fragments [of] their parent’s bowels, their parents must love them whether they are good or bad, just as we love the souls who give us life.” Don Quixote continues that “it is the parent’s task to direct their sons from their earliest days along the path of virtue, good breeding and correct Christian behaviour, so that when they grow up they can be the staffs of their parents’ old age and their glory for the future.” Thus, Don Quixote urges Don Diego to allow his son “to go where his star is calling him, [because once he has] mounted the first rung of learning, the ancient languages, [his son will be able] to climb by himself to the peak of the humanities, which so suit a private gentlemen [by] adorn[ing], honor[ing], and exalt[ing] him as mitres do bishops and robes do judges.” After listening to Don Lorenzo recite a poem, Don Quixote tells his father that though he “should like to take [his son] with [him] to show him how to forgive the [modest] and subdue the proud and trample them under foot, his tender age makes it inadvisable.” Moreover, Don Quixote says that since Don Lorenzo’s “praiseworthy pursuits will not permit [him to venture quest throughout Spain] he shall limit himself to advising [Don Diego] that as a poet he might become famous if he allows himself to be guided more by his own opinions than by the opinions of others.”

Don Quixote Polices Don Diego’s Son’s Poetry: Don Quixote thinks that Don Diego “should reprimand [his son] if he writes satires that damage other people’s honor, [by] punish[ing] him [by] tear[ing] up” his poems. But if he writes poems “in the Horatian manner, disparaging vices in general, as Horace did with such elegance, [Don Diego] should praise [his son] because it is permissible for the poet to attack envy and speak ill in his verses of the envious, and the same applies to other vices, so long as he does not name any individual.”

Don Diego Tries To Stop Don Quixote From Fighting Two Lions: When Don Quixote sees a cart coming toward him driven by one of the Kings servants and a mule driver “bearing two or three small flags [symbolizing] that it must be carrying a load of the King’s money,” Don Diego tries to dissuade him from molesting the wagon. Unmoved, Don Quixote “steadies himself in his stirrups, checks his sword, and seizes his lance [ready to attack] the cart with the flags rolled up.” Astonished, Don Diego asks Sanch Panza if his “master is so mad [that he will] fight such fierce beasts.” Then, to dissuade Don Quixote from fighting two lions, Don Diego tells Sancho Panza that “knights errant should [only] undertake adventures that offer some chance of success; and not those that are utterly hopeless; because courage that crosses the border into foolhardiness has more of insanity than fortitude about it.” Furthermore, Don Diego says that “these lions have not come here to attack [him].” Rather, “‘they’re a present for His Majesty, and it will not be a good idea to detain them or to obstruct their journey.’” In response, Don Quixote tells Don Diego to “go away and play with [his] tame decoy partridges and [his] intrepid ferrets and let others proceed with their own business.” But when Don Quixote orders the carter to open a cage with a lion in it, Don Diego “again tries to persuade Don Quixote to not do anything so mad.” But Don Quixote again replies that “he knows what he is all about.” In response, Don Diego begs Don Quixote “to consider carefully what he proposes to do, because in his opinion don quixote – quixotic novels it [is] a very great mistake.” Unmoved, Don Quixote tells Don Diego that if he does “not wish to be present at what [he] think[s] is going to be a tragedy, [he should] put spurs to [his] dapple-grey mare and take [himself] off to safety.” Readers are told that “the man in the green topcoat would have liked to force [Don Quixote not to attack the lions] but his weapons were no match for” Don Quixote’s. What’s more, Don Diego does not “think it sane to fight a madman.”

Parting Gift: As a parting gift don quixote books Don Diego tells Don Quixote “to take from [his] house whatever he likes, because [his] only desire [is] to help [Don Quixote] on his venture quest.” Moreover, Don Diego feels “obliged, to be generous by the worth of [Don Quixote’s] person and the honorable profession that he follows.”

Leave Taking: Don Quixote leaves Don Diego’s house after sojourning for four days with future “offers of services and [other sundry civilities].”


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Originally posted 2019-12-20 13:42:47.