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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 1.
JAQ. How seventh cause ?-Good my lord, like this fellow.
DUKE S. I like him very well.
TOUCH. God'ild you, sir2; I desire you of the like 3. I press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country copulatives, to swear, and to forswear; ac
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 removed 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.
2 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.
See before, p. 448 of this play. WOODHAM.
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."
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 MidsummerNight's Dream, vol. v. p. 255, where many examples of this phraseology are given.
So also, in Spenser's Faery Queen, book 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.
cording as marriage binds, and blood breaks :—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 sen
TOUCH. According to the fool's bolt, sir, and such dulcet diseases 5.
JAQ. But, for the seventh cause; how did you find the quarrel on the seventh cause?
TOUCH. Upon a lie seven times removed;
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.
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 (according 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
Bear your body more seeming', Audrey :-as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard; he sent me word, if I said his beard was
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 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 "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.
7 seeming,] i. e. seemly. Seeming is often used by Shakspeare for becoming, or fairness of appearance. So, in The Winter's Tale :
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 doubtlet
or drawn your sword,
Cry'd, 'twas ill mounted? Has he given the lie
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 Lie 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';
"In circle, or oblique, or semicircle,
"Or direct parallel? you must challenge him.”
9 O 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:-I. 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, [or direct.] IV. Of conditional Lies, [or the lie circumstantial.] V. Of the Lie in general. VI. Of
as you have books for good manners': I will name you the degrees. The first, the Retort courteous ;
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 means, 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 authentick 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 hitherto been 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.
See also The Booke of Honor and Armes, wherein is dicoursed the Causes of Quarrel and the Nature of Injuries, with their Repulses, &c. 4to. 1590, b. iii. c. 20:
"Another way to procure satisfaction is, that hee who gave the lie, shall say or write unto the partie belied to this effect: I pray you advertise me by this bearer, with what intent you spake those words of injurie whereupon I gave you the lie. The other will answere, I spake them in choller, or with no meaning to offend you. Thereunto may be answered by him again that gave the lie thus: If your words were said onelie in anger and no intent to challenge me, then I do assure you that my lie given shall not burthen you, for I acknowledge you to be a true speaker and a gentleman of good reputation: wherefore my desire is that the speech passed between us may be forgotten. This mode of pacification may serve in many cases, and at sundrie occasions.”
books for good manners:] One of these books I have. It is entitled, The Boke of Nurture, or Schole of good Manners,