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"'Tis Good To Keep A Nest Egg"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The original nest egg was, of course, an artificial one put into the nest to encourage the hen to lay more. Sancho has persuaded his wife to let him accompany Don Quixote on his third sally, but tells his master of her demand that he receive a regular wage and not merely the anticipation of a share in the knight's successful conquests, a stipulation in which Sancho concurs:

. . . For I'll trust no longer to rewards, that mayhaps may come late, and mayhaps not at all. I'd be glad to know what I get, be't more or less. A little in one's own pocket is better than much in another man's purse. 'Tis good to keep a nest egg. Every little makes a mickle; while a man gets, he can never lose.