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"Paid Him In His Own Coin"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Paying "in kind," "tit for tat," are common expressions for the need for making change in the currency in which one is paid. The expression occurs in one of the most earthy of all of Don Quixote's adventures. Two flocks of sheep are transformed by the knight's feverish imagination into the army of the pagan Emperor Alifanfaron of Taprobana (Ceylon), come to claim the daughter of the leader of the other army, Pentapolin of Garamantas (in Africa). When Don Quixote charges one flock, to help the Christian, shepherds of both flocks rain stones upon him. The wounded champion tries to drink his "magic balsam," but a stone breaks the jar in which he is carrying it, and he chokes on the horribletasting concoction. He vomits over Sancho, who has come to help him.

. . . his master's loathsome drench . . . caused such a sudden rumbling in his maw, that, before he could turn his head, he unladed the whole cargo of his stomach full in his master's face, and put him in so delicate a pickle as he was himself. Sancho having thus paid him in his own coin, half blinded as he was, ran to his ass. . . .