Quixote meets some students on the road. They realize he is insane but are curious about him. They invite him to a wedding. The student says that the bride is very beautiful. She loved a neighbor from childhood, but her father married her to a rich man. Her lover Basilio went mad, and they expect the disappointment to kill him. The students claim that while Basilio is not as rich, he excels in many physical activities like wrestling and hunting.
Quixote remarks he should be allowed to marry the bride Quiteria for those attributes. Sancho says that his wife believes that people should marry their equals. However, he believes people who are in love should marry.
Quixote disagrees. It would prevent parents the right to choose the spouse of their children. The children might choose to marry people beneath them who might make bad mates. Love makes people blind.
Sancho says that love has a way of triumphing. Quixote calls him a blockhead, saying he never understands Sancho’s speeches. One student (Corchuelo) says he is from the university and can speak well. His companion comments how, for someone who prides himself on that, he came out at the bottom on the exams. The two decide to fence each other. Quixote serves as a referee. They fight a bit, one beating the other. Sancho advises Corchuelo to give up, which he agrees. The students make up and become better friends.
The victor talks about how superior the sword is to learning in resolving arguments. He convinces Corchuelo.
They reach the town the night before the wedding, but already the festivities are beginning as preparations are made. Don Quixote refuses to enter the town, preferring to sleep in a field. Sancho is much dismayed.