Cervantes offers his novel to the Count of Lemos, saying that he is sending Don Quixote back out into the world to “purge the disgust and nausea caused by another Don Quixote who has been running about the world masquerading as the Second Part.” Cervantes says he rejected an offer from the emperor of China to be the rector of a college of Castilian language in which The History of Don Quixote would be the primary textbook. Because the emperor did not send an advance, Cervantes sent his envoy away and decided to commend his work to the Count of Lemos.
Cervantes introduces the Second Part, the account of the third expedition of Don Quixote, by railing against an author who has published a false sequel to the First Part of Don Quixote. Cervantes suggests that if readers run into that author, they should tell him a story about a man who, using a hollow cane, inflated a dog to the astonishment of bystanders. The man’s response to his audience’s questioning was to ask them whether they think it is an easy thing to blow up a dog.
Cervantes also wants the reader to pass on an anecdote about a man who carried around a heavy slab that he drops on dogs in the street. One day, a dog owner beats the man, making him too afraid to drop slabs on any more dogs. Cervantes suggests the author should be likewise afraid to publish any more bad books. Cervantes defends his honor against the personal slights the other author has made, saying that although he may be poor and a cripple, he has earned his wounds in battle and is proud of them.
Cervantes tells us that Cide Hamete Benengeli continues his account of Don Quixote’s adventures by recounting the priest and the barber’s visit to Don Quixote after a month of not seeing him. Don Quixote initially seems sane, but when the priest gets him started talking about chivalry, it becomes clear that Don Quixote has not given up his intention of being a knight-errant.
Sancho comes to visit Don Quixote to find out when they will again embark on their quest for adventure, but the niece and the housekeeper try to keep Sancho out of the house. Don Quixote orders them to let Sancho in and then asks Sancho about Don Quixote’s reputation in the village. Sancho tells him that many consider him mad. He then tells Don Quixote about the publication of a book of their previous adventures. The book contains so many details that Sancho marvels that the writer could have learned about all of them. Don Quixote thinks that the writer is a sage enchanter, but Sancho says the writer is a Moor whose name is Cide Hamete Aubergine. Sancho goes to the village to find the student Sampson Carrasco, from whom he has heard about the book.
While Sancho fetches Sampson, Don Quixote muses that the Moorish enchanter who wrote the book must either want to tear him down or exalt him. He laments that the author is a Moor because he does not believe that Moors ever tell the truth. Sampson arrives and tells Don Quixote about the book and its author, Cide Hamete Benengeli. He also mentions that the book has been translated into Christian tongues. Sampson criticizes the novel for the anecdotal digressions in which Don Quixote plays no part but says that everyone enjoys reading the novel nonetheless. He also mentions several textual inconsistencies regarding the appearance and disappearance of Dapple. Sancho says he can explain those inconsistencies but runs off with a stomachache.