Samson Carrasco: Let me kiss your mightiness’s hand, Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha, for your worship is one of the most famous knights-errant that have ever been, or will be, all the world over.
Don Quixote: So, then, it is true that there is a history of me, and that it was a Moor and a sage who wrote it?
Samson Carrasco: So true is it, senor, that my belief is there aremore than twelve thousand volumes of the said history in print this very day.
Don Quixote: One of the things that ought to give most pleasure to a virtuous and eminent man is to find himself in his lifetime in print and in type, familiar in people’s mouths with a good name; I say with a good name, for if it be the opposite, then there is no death to be compared to it.
Samson Carrasco: If it goes by good name and fame, your worship alone bears away the palm from all the knights-errant; for your high courage in encountering dangers, your fortitude in adversity, your patience under misfortunes as well as wounds, the purity and continence of the platonic loves of your worship and my lady Dona Dulcinea del Toboso.
Sancho Panza: I never heard my lady Dulcinea called Dona, nothing more than the lady Dulcinea del Toboso; so here already the history is wrong.
Samson Carrasco: That is not an objection of any importance.
Don Quixote: Certainly not, but tell me, señor bachelor, what deeds of mine are they that are made most of in this history?
Samson Carrasco: On that point, opinions differ, as tastes do.
Sancho Panza: Tell me, does the adventure with the Yanguesans come in, when our good Rocinante went hankering after dainties?
Samson Carrasco: The sage has left nothing in the ink-bottle, he tells all and sets down everything, even to the capers that worthy Sancho cut in the blanket.
Sancho Panza: I cut no capers in the blanket, in the air I did, and more of them than I liked.
Don Quixote: There is no human history in the world, I suppose, that has not its ups and downs, but more than others such as deal with chivalry, for they can never be entirely made up of prosperous adventures.
Samson Carrasco: There are those who have read the history who say they would have been glad if the author had left out some of the countless cudgellings that were inflicted on Señor Don Quixote in various encounters.
Sancho Panza: That’s where the truth of the history comes in.
Don Quixote: At the same time they might fairly have passed them over in silence, for there is no need of recording events which do not change or affect the truth of a history, if they tend to bring the hero of it into contempt. AEneas was not in truth and earnest so pious as Virgil represents him, nor Ulysses so wise as Homer describes him.
Samson Carrasco: That is true, but it is one thing to write as a poet, another to write as a historian; the poet may describe or sing things, not as they were, but as they ought to have been; but the historian has to write them down, not as they ought to have been, but as they were, without adding anything to the truth or taking anything from it.
Sancho Panza: Well then, if this senor Moor goes in for telling the truth, no doubt among my master’s drubbings mine are to be found.
Sancho Panza: Let everyone mind how he speaks or writes about people, and not set down at random the first thing that comes into his head.
Samson Carrasco: One of the faults they find with this history, is that its author inserted in it a novel called “The Ill-advised Curiosity”; not that it is bad or ill-told, but that it is out of place.
Sancho Panza: I will bet the son of a dog has mixed the cabbages and the baskets.
Don Quixote: Then, I say, the author of my history was no sage, but some ignorant chatterer, who, in a haphazard and heedless way, set about writing it, let it turn out as it might, just as Orbaneja, the painter of Ubeda, used to do, who, when they asked him what he was painting, answered, “What it may turn out”. Sometimes he would paint a cock in such a fashion, and so unlike, that he had to write alongside of it in Gothic letters, “This is a cock”; and so it will be with my history, which will require a commentary to make it intelligible.