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"Put In Her Oar"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: As preparations for Don Quixote's third sally are progressing, the Knight's housekeeper and especially his niece attempt to persuade him to become a Knight at the King's court. He objects. At court men lead a soft life, but in the field they join those noble warriors defending the kingdom, as told about in histories. The niece interrupts angrily and calls all the stories of knights-errant a pack of lies and fables.

". . . Now by the powerful sustainer of my being," cried Don Quixote, "wert thou not so nearly related to me, wert thou not my own sister's daughter, I would take such revenge for the blasphemy thou hast uttered, as would resound through the whole universe. Who ever heard of the like impudence? That a young baggage, who scarce knows her bobbins from her bodkin, should presume to put in her oar, and censure the histories of knights-errant!"