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"With A Grain Of Salt"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The Romans spoke of taking an unbelievable story "cum grano salis," (with a grain of salt), to make it easier to swallow. The druggist mentioned by Sancho did not like "old waiting women," and required a grain of salt to make them more palatable. The arrival of the Disconsolate Matron is announced. She is coming to beg Don Quixote to redress her wrongs. Sancho, taking her Spanish title of Dueña to mean a waiting woman, is sure her coming will spoil his chances to receive preferment.

. . . I remember I once knew a Toledo pothecary, that talked like a canary bird, and used to say, wherever come old waiting-women, good luck can happen there to no man. Body of me, he knew them too well and therefore valued them accordingly. He could have eaten them all with a grain of salt.