Don Quixote Part 1, Chapter 7 Summary
by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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Part 1, Chapter 7 Summary

Don Quixote’s Second Sally in Quest of Adventure

While others are sorting books in his library, Don Quixote has a “raving fit,” calling all able knights to arms. His outcry is loud enough to take the inquisitors away from the library. When the men leave, the housekeeper and the niece burn several more volumes which might have escaped if the men had been there to save them.

When the curate and barber reach Quixote’s room, they find him as mad as ever, standing on his bed and fighting an invisible enemy with all his strength. After they remove the raging man from his bed and calm him down, Quixote says they have caused him to dishonor the tournament by carrying him away. The curate tells him even greater victories may be in store for him once he has recovered, for surely he has been wounded in the fighting.

Quixote insists he is only tired and bruised, for his rival has battered him with an oak tree; however, Quixote will seek his revenge once he has eaten his dinner. The men have a meal brought to Quixote, and after he eats he falls asleep. Everyone leaves the room amazed at what they had just seen. That night the housekeeper burns every book in the house and the yard; even some worthy volumes are lost in the purging.

One thing the curate and barber think might help their mad friend recover his wits is to close up the room where Quixote’s books are, so he will neither miss them nor find them when he awakes. They hope the effects will end when the cause is removed, and they tell the servants to tell Quixote, if he asks, that a “certain enchanter” had taken away his books as well as his entire study. Two days later, Quixote wakes up and the first thing he wants to do is go visit his beloved books. He is frantic when he cannot find his study. When he finally asks the housekeeper where it is, she denies knowing anything about a study, just as she was told to do.

The niece says a conjurer came to the house, mounted on a dragon, and cast a spell; after he left they could find no trace of Quixote’s study or his books. Quixote knows who the nefarious necromancer must have been, as he is the knight-errant’s mortal enemy. He vows to seek his revenge against the conjurer, but his niece asks why he must seek after quarrels and wonders why her uncle cannot just stay at home and live in peace rather than live like a vagabond.

Quixote tells her she does not understand that he will fight to the death in order to defend what is his; the ladies remain silent so they do not anger him further. For fifteen days Quixote stays quietly at home, betraying no desire to continue his crusading. In the...

(The entire section is 738 words.)