The Duke and the Grave Churchmen: A Lord Is Sick of a Rigid Prelate
The Duke’s Relationship With The Grave Churchman:
At the mention of damsels, princesses, scurvy knaves, and giants, the Grave Churchman realizes that his guest must be the one and only Don Quixote de la Mancha: the crazy old hidalgo whose history he has often faulted the Duke for reading saying that “it is an absurdity to read such absurdities.” When the Grave Churchman finds his suspicions confirmed with further talk of giants, caitiffs, and enchantment, he turns to the Duke, in fury, and exclaims that “his Grace will have to answer to the lord for this fellows doings, since Don Quixote, or Don Idiot, or whatever his name is, is not as much of a fool as his excellency would like to turn him into, by encouraging him to perform his preposterous and ludicrous antics.” Incensed by the Grave Churchman’s personal insults, Don Quixote forgets the respect due to the Duke and Duchess, and rises to his feet and rebuts his verbal attacks so effectively that the Duke cannot suppress his laughter any longer, especially when the Grave Prelate storms out of the room. Once the Duke stops laughing, however, first, he complements Don Quixote by saying that he has “answered so absolutely splendidly for [himself].” Then, he tells the Knight of the Two Lions that there is no need for him to seek further satisfaction for what might seem to be an offense, since his oratory is quite enough to put the Grave Churchman in his place. Here, the Duke suggests that physical action is not required by Don Quixote, because it would be out of proportion to the offense that the Grave Churchman gave him. So ensues a long conversation about the difference between an offense and an affront since an offense is a onetime insult, while an affront comprises many insults (usually sustained) over a long period of time. To further differentiate an offense from an affront, the Duke reasons that while the Grave Churchman’s insult may have offended Don Quixote it certainly does not constitute an affront, since the priest only insulted him briefly, as opposed to mocking him over time, in an intense and sustained way.
Originally posted 2020-01-11 07:57:44.