Page images

Jaq. How seventh cause?--Good my lord, like this fellow.

Duke $. I like him very well.

Touch. God 'ild you, sir;3 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:5 -A 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. 6

you too.

seven times (counting 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..

3 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.” Steevens.

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


Warburton. I have not admitted the alteration, because there are other examples of this mode of expression. Fohnson.

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 Fairy Queen, B. II, c. ix:

“ If it be I of pardon I you pray.” Again, B. IV, c. xiji:

“She dear besought the prince of remedy.” Again, in Heywood's Play of the Wether :

“ Besechynge your grace of wynde continual.” Steevens.

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.

dulcet diseases.] This I do not understand. For diseases



Jaq. But, for the seventh cause; how did you find the quarrel on the seventh cause?

Touch. Upon a lie seven times removed;7-Bear your



it is easy to read discourses: but, perhaps, the fault may lie deeper. Fohnson.

Perhaps he calls a proverb a disease. Proverbial sayings may appear to him as 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 uneasinesses of love, a time when people usually talk

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 (according to the fates and destinies, and such odd sayings, the sis. ters three, and such branches of learning) is indeed deceased."

Malone. 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 courteouts, the first species of lie. When therefore, he says, that they found i he 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 aggravated species of lie, namely, the lie direct. So, in All's well that ends weil :

" Who hath some four or five removes come short

" 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, tie 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."



body more seeming, 8 Audrey :-as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard ;9 he sent me word, if I said his beard was 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 callid 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 Lie circumstantial, nor he durst not give me the Lic 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;' as


The misapprehension of that most judicious critick relative to these passages must apologize for my having employed so many words in explaining them. Malone.

- secming,] 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;] This folly is touched upon, with high humour, by Fletcher, in his Queen of Corinth:

Has he familiarly
“ Dislik'd your yellow starch, or said your doublet
“ Was not exactly frenchified ?-

-or drawn your sword,
“ Cry'd, 'twas ill mounted ? Has he given the lie
“ In circle, or oblique, or semicircle,

Or direct parallel ? you must challenge him.” Warburton. 10 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

you have books for good manners:' I will name you the


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, 4 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 Inconveniencies, for lack only of true Knowledge of Hona

and the right Understanding of Words, which here is set down. The contents of the several chapters are as follow:-1, 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 Di. versity of Lies. III, Of Lies certain, (or direct.} IV, Of conditional Lies, (or the lie circumstantial.] V, Of the Lie in general. VI, Of the Lie in particular. VII, of foolish Lies. VIII, A conclusion touching the wresting or returning back of the Lie, (or the countercheck quarrelsome.] In the chapter of conditional Lies, speaking of the particle if, he says,

Conditional lies be such as are given conditionally, as if a man should say or write these wordes:—if thou hast said that I have offered my lord abuse, thou liest; or if thou sayest so hereafter, thou shalt lie. Of these kind of lies, given in this manner, often arise much contention in wordes, -whereof no sure conclusion can arise." By which he megns, they cannot proceed to cut one another's throat, while there is an if between. Which is the reason of Shakspeare making the Clown say, “ I knew when seven justices could not make up a quarrel: but when the parties were met themselves, one of them thought but of an if; as, if you said so, then I said so, and they shook hands, and swore brothers. Your if is the only peace-maker: much virtue in if.Caranza was another of these authentic authors upon the Duello. Fletcher, in his last Act of Love's Pilgrimage, ridicules him with much humour. Warburton.

The words which I have included within crotchets are Dr. Warburton's. They have been hitherto printed in such a manner as might lead the reader to suppose that they made a part of Saviolo's work. The passage was very inaccurately printed by Dr. Warburton in other respects, but has here been corrected by the original. Malone.

books for good manners - ] One of these books I have. It is intitled, The Boke of Nurture, or Schole of good Manners, for Men, Servants, and Children, with stans puer ad mensam; 12mo. black letter, without date. It was written by Hugh Rhodes, a gentleman, or musician, of the Chapel Royal ; and was first published in 4to. in the reign of King Edward VI. Steevens.

Another is, Galateo of Maister Fohn Casa, Archbishop of Benevento; or rather, a Treatise of the Manners and Behaviours it behoveth a Man to use and eschewe' in his familiar Conversation. A Work very necessary and profitable for all Gentlemen or other ; translated from the Italian, by Robert Peterson of Lincoln's Inn, 4to. 1576. Reed.


degrees. The first, the Retort courteous; the second, the Quip modest; the third, the Reply churlish; the fourth, the Reproof valiant; the fifth, the Countercheck quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with circumstance; the seventh, the Lie direct. All these you may avoid, but the lie direct; and you may avoid that too, with an If. I knew when seven justices could not take up a quarrel ; but when the parties were met themselves, one of them thought but of an If, as, If you said 80, then I said 80; and they shook hands, and swore brothers. Your If is the only peace-maker; much virtue in If.

Jaq. Is not this a rare fellow, my lord? he 's as good at any thing, and yet a fool.

Duke S. He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, 3 and under the presentation of that, he shoots his wit. Enter HYMEN, 4 leading ROSALIND in woman's

clothes; and CELIA.

Still Musick. Hym. Then is there mirth in heaven,

When earthly things made even

Atone together.
Good duke, receive thy daughter,
Hymen from heaven brought her,

Yea, brought her hither;
That thou might'st join her hand with his,
Whose heart within her bosom is.5


like a stalking-horse,] See my note on Much Ado about Nothing, Act II, sc. iii. Steevens.

4 Enter Hymen,] Rosalind is imagined by the rest of the company to be brought by enchantment, and is therefore introduced by a supposed aerial being in the character of Hymen. Johnson.

In all the allegorical shows exhibited at ancient weddings, Hymen was a constant personage. Ben Jonson, in his Hymenæi, or the Solemnities of Masque and Barriers, at a Marriage, has left us instructions how to dress this favourite character. “On the other hand entered Hymen, the god of marriage, in a saffron-coloured robe, his under vestures white, his sockes yellow, a yellow veile of silke on his left arme, his head crowned with roses and marjoram, in his right hand a torch.Steevens. 5 That thou might'st join her hand with his,

Whose heart within her bosom is.] The old copy, instead of her, reads his in both lines. Mr. Rowe corrected the first, and I once

« PreviousContinue »