Don Quixote stops in the woods and sends Sancho back to see Dulcinea, to request her to allow Don Quixote to visit. He asks Sancho to be watchful of Dulcinea's reactions and behavior. He'll expect him to report back everything he saw, and this will allow Quixote to gauge the measure of his lady's love for him.
Sancho is worried that Quixote will discover that he never came to El Toboso to deliver the letter. He worries the townsfolk will beat him if he tries to pursue one of their women. He knows Quixote is mad, and he is mad to follow him. He decides to trick Quixote and let him take the risks. He plans to tell him that Dulcinea is one of the peasant girls coming towards them. Quixote may not believe Sancho, or he may believe the evil enchanter changed Dulcinea’s form.
Quixote is disturbed when he sees the three peasant girls which Sancho claims are three damsels approaching in coaches. Sancho kneels before the girl he says is Dulcinea. The girl is ugly. Quixote is confused. The girl yells at them to get out of the way, for they are in a hurry.
Quixote does blame the evil enchanter for changing Dulcinea’s form. The girl passes but she is thrown from her donkey. Quixote goes to help her, but she regains her seat. Sancho remarks on how quick Dulcinea is and how good she is at riding. Quixote laments his persecution by the enchanters. Not only was Dulcinea ugly, but she smelled of garlic. Sancho has to stifle his laughter.
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