In this preface, Cervantes takes the opportunity to address that fact that some con artist has gone and published a fake Part 2 for Don Quixote. Cervantes just wants to clear the air and to say that this edition is totally bogus and that the guy who wrote it is a hack. Take that, anonymous 17th-century Spanish writer.
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 1
Now that he's back home, Don Quixote rests in his bed for a while and talks about some stuff with his buddies, the curate and the barber. Whenever they bring the topic around to knight adventure books, Don Quixote starts to get worked up and argues that the books are all true. But whenever they talk about anything else, Don Quixote seems to be his totally normal self.
Don Quixote also makes a very nice speech about how there are worse things to believe in than the values of chivalry. For example, people could be greedy and selfish, but knights are always taught to be humble, selfless, and kind.
This is enough to make the curate and the barber reflect on the merits of what Don Quixote is actually saying. They got so caught up in his craziness that they didn't realize he was actually preaching some worthwhile values.
At this point, the group is interrupted by a noise coming from outside Don Quixote's house.
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 2
It turns out that the noise from outside is coming from Sancho Panza, who's trying to force his way into Don Quixote's house. But Don Quixote's niece and housekeeper are trying to push him away. After all, they think he's a bad influence.
Sancho says he's not going anywhere until he gets the island that Don Quixote promised him.
Sancho eventually gets to Don Quixote, and Don Quixote tells him that he understands his squire's frustration. He says he'll still get his island, and Sancho is sort of satisfied with this answer.
Sancho has also come to inform Don Quixote that his story (from Part 1 of the book) has already been told in books that have spread throughout Spain. In other words, Don Quixote has become a sort of celebrity.
Sancho found this out from a young university student named Sansón Carrasco. Don Quixote sends Sancho to go find this dude and bring him back for a chat.
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 3
Sancho returns with the university student who has read Don Quixote's story in a book.
Don wants to make sure the story talks about him (and especially his love, Dulcinea) in a positive light.
We quickly find out from the narrator, though, that Sansón Carrasco is a mean-spirited guy who likes to have fun at other people's expense.
Sansón immediately falls to his knees in front of the Don and shouts about how honored he is to be in the presence of such a famous knight.
Sansón goes on to tell Sancho and Don Quixote everything that made it into the book about them. The book seems to be pretty thorough, and Don Quixote can't imagine how one person was able to learn so much about what he did when only he and Sancho were present at all the events. Carrasco also leaves out the fact that the book portrays the two of them as lunatics.
Don Quixote says that for someone to write a false history should be punishable by public burning. Yikes.
This conversation is funny, as it gives Cervantes an opportunity to call himself out on some silly mistakes he made when writing Part 1 of Don Quixote. For starters, he excuses the dumb mistake he made by saying that Sancho's mule was stolen, then having Sancho ride the same mule only a few lines later.
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 4
The conversation between Sansón, Don Quixote, and Sancho continues, with Sansón reassuring Sancho that the Don will definitely make him governor of an island before all is said and done.
Sansón also convinces the Don and Sancho that they should go out in quest of another adventure (or, what the heck, 500 more adventures).
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 5
Sancho returns home to tell his wife that he's taking off again with Don Quixote. She says that this is a stupid idea, but Sancho reminds her that last time he left, he came back with a hundred gold pieces. Remember how he found Cardenio's wallet in the mountains? Yeah, he never gave that back.
What follows is a long argument about whether Sancho should keep serving a maniac like Don Quixote.
The thing is that Sancho's wife claims she wouldn't want Sancho to be wealthy even if he could be. She thinks it's important for people to know their places, and she's comfortable being just a regular country person. Sancho, though, thinks that people should always strive to be better. Sancho's wife is also worried that all the people in their village will start hating them if they become rich.
Sancho doesn't care about any of this, so he leaves, anyway. Now let's see how Don Quixote is going to get away from his niece and housekeeper.
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 6
Don Quixote tells his niece and housekeeper that he's going to head back out into the world. More specifically, he's thinking about heading to Zaragoza (also spelled Saragossa) for a fighting tournament.
Don Quixote's niece pleads with him to understand that knight adventure stories are all just made up. But if the Don were going to believe this, he would have by now.
The niece and the housekeeper basically make the argument that the Don is having a midlife crisis—which is fine, as long as he doesn't have a total mental collapse.
Don Quixote, though, insists that he can't go through life being just like everyone else. He needs to rise above the mediocre pack (yup, sounds like a midlife crisis to us).
Since the women can't physically force Don Quixote to stay home, he gets ready to leave. At this point, Sancho shows up and he and Don Quixote lock themselves together in a room for a private chat.
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 7
Worried about the situation, the housekeeper goes to look for Sansón Carrasco, since he's a smart dude, and she thinks he'll be able to persuade Don Quixote that he's nuts.
Sansón, of course, is the dude who put ideas of adventure back into Don Quixote's head to begin with. But he tells the housekeeper that he'll help if she cooks him a nice breakfast. He's not going to help, either way—but this way he gets a free breakfast.
As the chapter continues, Sancho tries to negotiate with Don Quixote for some upfront squire wages. Don Quixote says this sort of thing never happens in the books he's read. So it's a no go. He does, however, agree to bring a big sack of money to pay for their food and expenses, since not having money was a bit of a problem in Part 1 of the book.
It turns out, though, that Sansón has some sort of plan that he's been hatching with the curate and the barber from Don Quixote's town.
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 8
The first thing Don Quixote decides to do on this new journey is to go visit—and, um, see for the first time—his beloved Dulcinea del Toboso.
Sancho and Don Quixote have a philosophical conversation about whether or not it's worthwhile to seek fame and honor, considering that all people eventually die, anyway.
Sancho thinks it'd be more worthwhile to be a saint than a knight, since saints don't have to spend all their time fighting, and they get even more honored than knights once they're dead. His arguments actually start to get to Don Quixote, who wants to change the subject.
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 9
It's nighttime when Sancho and the Don finally arrive at the village of Toboso, so they can't really see anything. Don Quixote, though, sees the outline of a giant building and reckons that it's Dulcinea's castle. Turns out, though, that it's just the church.
Next, Don Quixote turns to Sancho and asks him where Dulcinea lives. Don't forget that Sancho totally lied about visiting Dulcinea back in Part 1 to deliver Don Quixote's message. Sancho weasels his way out of admitting the truth by changing the subject.
As the sun starts to come up, Sancho suggests that they retreat to a nearby forest to avoid being seen by everyone in the streets.
Once they're out there, the sun is up, and Sancho volunteers to go find Dulcinea by himself… because he's probably just going to lie again.
Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 10
Sancho has no clue how he's going to relay Don Quixote's messages to a girl he hasn't met. But nonetheless, he rides toward the village while trying to think of a plan.
As he approaches the village, he sees three country girls approaching him on donkeys. None of them are very good-looking. And at the sight of them, Sancho suddenly has an idea.
Sancho rides back to the Don and tells him that Dulcinea and two of her damsels are riding toward him at that very moment. As the girls come closer, Don Quixote asks Sancho if his beautiful Dulcinea is hidden behind the ugly girls. But Sancho persists in the lie and tells him that Dulcinea is one of the ugly girls.
This basically breaks Don Quixote's heart, since he's spent the whole book so far getting into fights because he thinks Dulcinea is the most beautiful woman in the world.
Don Quixote rides up to the young women and tells them that he is the great Don Quixote of La Mancha. The girls, though, aren't impressed and tell him to get out of their way.
At this, Don Quixote tells Sancho that the only possible explanation for what's happened is that Dulcinea has been enchanted by some wizard. Yup, the ol' wizard explanation again. Clearly, some terrible magic man has cast a spell to make Dulcinea look ugly. Meanwhile, you've got to wonder how much this is hurting the feelings of the poor girl on the donkey.
As the girls ride away, Sancho is happy that Don Quixote has bought his story about Dulcinea being enchanted. So now he doesn't have to go find the actual girl.