Summary and Analysis
The niece and housekeeper refuse to allow Sancho to see his master, saying that he is the cause of his distraction. Don Quixote orders them to desist and eagerly questions Sancho. The squire first informs his master that all their adventures are written down in a history written by Cid Hamet Benengali and that the young student, Samson Carrasco, has read the book. Don Quixote marvels and surmises that the author must be a powerful enchanter in order to command such universal knowledge. He is eager to talk with Samson and find out the world's opinion.
The twenty-four-year-old student, carefully described as "one that would delight in nothing more than in making sport for himself by ridiculing others," reassures the knight and squire that their history has been told with great fidelity to the truth. Not only is the book popular in Spain, he says, but it is available to readers as far as Antwerp. The bachelor and knight now discuss how difficult it is for an author to iron out all the small errors he may have committed in the course of writing, and how unjust critics can be, themselves devoid of creative talents. Sancho now takes his leave while Don Quixote and Samson Carrasco begin to dine.
Samson Carrasco asks that Don Quixote and Sancho supply him with certain missing information that Cid Hamet neglected to include in his history. Sancho is more than eager to oblige, especially describing how his ass was stolen while he was yet sitting on it. Concluding his humorous discourse, Sancho declares, "if my master be ruled by me, we had been in the field by this time, undoing of misdeeds and righting of wrongs, as good knights-errant used to do." Rosinante loudly neighs at this moment. A good omen, exclaims Don Quixote, and he immediately sets plans for sallying forth once more. Carrasco kindly volunteers the news of a splendid tournament to be held at Sargossa, and were Don Quixote to out-tilt all rivals, he would be famous as the greatest living knight.