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Touch. Salutation and greeting to you all!
JAQ. Good my lord, bid him welcome; This is the motley-minded gentleman, that I have so often met in the forest : he hath been a courtier, he swears.
Touch. If any man doubt that, let him put me to my purgation. 'I have trod a measure ; 9 I have flattered a lady; I have been politick with my friend, smooth with mine enemy; I have undone three tailors; I have had four quarrels, and like to have fought one.
JAQ. And how was that ta’en up ?
Touch. 'Faith, we met, and found the quarrel was upon the seventh cause."
ark is here alluded to; into which the clean beasts entered by sevens, and the unclean by two, male and female. It is plain then that Shakspeare wrote, here come a pair of unclean beasts, which is highly humorous. WARBURTON.
Strange beasts are only what we call odd animals. There is no need of any alteration. Johnson.
A passage, somewhat similar, occurs in A Midsummer-Nights Dream : “ Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion."
STEEVENS. e trod a measure ;] So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act V. sc. ii:
“ To tread a measure with you on this grass." See note on this passage. REED.
Touchstone, to prove that he has been a courtier, particularly mentions a measure, because it was a very stately solemn dance. So, in Much Ado about Nothing : "—the wedding mannerly modest, as a measure full of state and ancientry.” MALONE.
i and found the quarrel was upon the seventh cause.] So all the copies; but it is apparent, from the sequel, that we must read the quarrel was not upon the seventh cause.
Johnson, By the seventh cause, Touchstone, I apprehend, means the lie seven times removed ; i. e. the retort courteous, which is re- VOL. VIII.
JAQ. How seventh cause?-Good my lord, like this fellow.
DUKE S. I like him very well.
Touch. God'ild you, sir;? I desire you of the like. I press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country copulatives, to swear, and to forswear; according as marriage binds, and blood breaks : 4—A
moved seven times (counted backwards) from the lie direct, the last and most aggravated species of lie. See the subsequent note on the words "-a lie seven times removed.” Malone.
? God'ild you, sir ;] i. e. God yield you, reward you. So, in the Collection of Chester Mysteries, Mercer's play, p. 74, b. MS. Harl. Brit. Mus. 2013:
“ The high father of heaven, I pray,
“ To yelde you your good deed to day.” See note on Macbeth, Act I. sc. vi. STEEVENS.
3- I desire you of the like.] We should read-I desire of you the like. On the Duke's saying, I like him very well, he replies, I desire you will give me cause, that I may like you too.
WARBURTON. I have not admitted the alteration, because there are other examples of this mode of expression. JOHNSON.
See a note on the first scene of the third Act of A Midsummer. Night's Dream, where many examples of this phraseology are given. So also, in Spenser's Faery Queen, B. II. c. ix :
“ If it be so, of pardon I pray you.” Again, B. IV. c. viii :
“ She dear besought the prince of remedy.” Again, in Heywood's Play of the Wether : “ Besechynge your grace of wynde continual.”
STEEVENS. 4 according as marriage binds, and blood breaks :] To swear according as marriage binds, is to take the oath enjoined in the ceremonial of marriage. Johnson.
-to swear, and to forswear; according as marriage binds, and blood breaks :) A man, by the marriage ceremony, SWEARS that he will keep only to his wife; when therefore, to gratify his lust, he leaves her for another, BLOOD BREAKS his matrimonial obligation, and he is FORSWORN. HENLEY.
poor virgin, sir, an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own; a poor humour of mine, sir, to take that that no man else will : Rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a poor-house; as your pearl, in your foul oyster. .
DUKE S. By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.
Touch. According to the fool's bolt, sir, and such dulcet diseases.
JAQ. But, for the seventh cause; how did you find the quarrel on the seventh cause?
Touch. Upon a lie seven times removed ; om
dulcet diseases.] This I do not understand. For diseases it is easy to read discourses : but, perhaps, the fault may lie deeper. JOHNSON.
Perhaps he calls a proverb a disease. Proverbial sayings may appear to him the surfeiting diseases of conversation. They are often the plague of commentators.
Dr. Farmer would read-in such dulcet diseases; i. e, in the sweet uneasiness of love, a time when people usually talk nonsense. STEEVENS.
Without staying to examine how far the position last advanced is founded in truth, I shall only add, that I believe the text is right, and that this word is capriciously used for sayings, though neither in its primary or figurative sense it has any relation to that word. In The Merchant of Venice the Clown talks in the same style, but more intelligibly : the young gentleman (aca cording to the fates and destinies, and such odd sayings, the sisters three, and such branches of learning,) is indeed deceased.” MALONE.
6 Upon a lie seven times removed ;] Touchstone here enumerates seven kinds of lies, from the Retort courteous to the seventh and most aggravated species of lie, which he calls the lie direct. The courtier's answer to his intended affront, he expressly tells us, was the Retort courteous, the first species of lie. When therefore, he says, that they found the quarrel was on the lie seven times REMOVED, we must understand by the latter word, the lie removed seven times, counting backwards, (as the word removed seems to intimate,) from the last and most
Bear your body more seeming,' Audrey :-as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard; 8 he sent me word, if I said his beard was
aggravated species of lie, namely, the lie direct. So, in All's well that ends well :
“ Who hath some four or five removes come short
6. To tender it herself.” Again, in the play before us: “ Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling,” i. e. so distant from the haunts of men.
When Touchstone and the courtier met, they found their quarrel originated on the seventh cause, i. e. on the Retort courteous, or the lie seven times removed. In the course of their altercation, after their meeting, Touchstone did not dare to go farther than the sixth species, (counting in regular progression from the first to the last,) the lie circumstantial; and the courtier was afraid to give him the lie direct ; so they parted. In a subsequent enumeration of the degrees of a lie, Touchstone expressly names the Retort courteous, as the first; calling it therefore here “ the seventh cause,” and “the lie seven times removed,” he must mean, distant seven times from the most offensive lie, the lie direct. There is certainly, therefore, no need of reading with Dr. Johnson in a former passage-"We found the quarrel was not on the seventh cause."
The misapprehension of that most judicious critick relative to these passages must apologize for my having employed so many words in explaining them. MALONE.
?_ seeming,] i, e. seemly. Seeming is often used by Shakspeare for becoming, or fairness of appearance. So, in The Winter's Tale : . "
these keep “ Seeming and savour all the winter long." STEEVENS.
as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard ;1 This folly is touched upon, with high humour, by Fletcher, in his Queen of Corinthi
Has he familiarly
or drawn your sword,
not cut well, he was in the mind it was : This is called the Retort courteous. If I sent him word again, it was not well cut, he would send me word, he cut it to please himself: This is called the Quip modest. If again, it was not well cut, he disabled my judgment: This is call’d the Reply churlish. If again, it was not well cut, he would answer, I spake not true: This is call’d the Reproof valiant. If again, it was not well cut, he would say, I lie : This is called the Countercheck quarrelsome : and so to the Lie circumstantial, and the Lie direct.
JAQ. And how oft did you say, his beard was not well cut?
Touch. I durst go no further than the Lię circumstantial, nor he durst not give me the Lie direct; and so we measured swords, and parted.
JAQ. Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?
Touch. O sir, we quarrel in print, by the book ; 9
90 sir, we quarrel in print, by the book ;] The poet has, in this scene, rallied the mode of formal duelling, then so prevalent, with the highest humour and address : nor could he have treated it with a happier contempt, than by making his Clown so knowing in the forms and preliminaries of it. The particular book here alluded to is a very ridiculous treatise of one Vincentio Saviolo, intitled, Of Honour and honourable Quarrels, in quarto, printed by Wolf, 1594. The first part of this tract he entitles, A Discourse most necessary for all Gentlemen that have in regard their Honours, touching the giving and receiving the Lie, whereupon the Duello and the Combat in divers Forms doth ensue ; and many other Inconveniences, for lack only of true Knowledge of Honour, and the right Understanding of Words, which here is set down. The contents of the several chapters are as follow :-). What the Reason is that the Party unto whom the Lie is given ought to become Challenger, and of the Nature of Lies. II. Of the Manner and Diversity of Lies. III. Of Lies certain, [ordirect.] IV. Of conditional Lies,