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Aud. I do not know what poetical is : Is it honest in deed, and word ? Is it a true thing ?
Touch. No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most feigning; and lovers are given to poetry; and what they swear in poetry, may be said, as lovers, they do feign
Aud. Do you wish then, that the gods had made me poetical ?
Touch. I do, truly: for thou swear'st to me thou art honest; now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didst feign.
Aud. Would you not have me honest ?
Touch. No truly, unless thou wert hard favour'd: for honesty coupled to beauty, is to have honey a sauce to sugar. Jaq. A material fool?!
[Aside. Aud. Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods make me honest !
Touch. Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut, were to put good meat into an unclean dish.
Aud. I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul 8.
Touch. Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness! sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may be, I will marry thee: and to that end, I have been with Sir Oliver Mar-text, the vicar of the next village; who hath promised to meet me in this place of the forest, and to couple us.
6 This should probably be read—it may be said, as lovers they do feign.'
?•A material fool,' is a fool with matter in him.
8 • I thank the gods I am foul. The humour of this passage has, I think, been missed by the commentators. Audrey in the simplicity of her heart here thanks the gods amiss ;' mistaking foulness for some notable virtue, or commendable quality. But indeed foul was anciently used in opposition to fair, the one signifying homely, the other handsome. Audrey may therefore only mean to say that she is not a slut, though she thanks the gods she is homely.
Jag. I would fain see this meeting. [Aside. Aud. Well, the gods give us joy!
Touch. Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger in this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, no assembly but horn-beasts. But what though? Courage! As horns are odious, they are necessary. It is said, -Many a man knows no end of his goods: right; many a man has good horns, and knows no end of them. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of his own getting. Horns? Even so : -Poor men alone ?- -No, no; the noblest deer hath them as huge as the rascalo. Is the single man therefore blessed ? No: as a walld town is more worthier than a village, so is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare brow of a bachelor: and by how much defence 10 is better than no skill, by so much is a horn more precious than to want.
Enter SIR 11 OLIVER MAR-TEXT. Here comes Sir Oliver:-Sir Oliver Mar-text, you are well met: Will you dispatch us here under this tree, or shall we go with
your chapel ? Sir Oli. Is there none here to give the woman? Touch. I will not take her on gift of any man.
Sir Oli. Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.
Jaq. [Discovering himself.] Proceed, proceed; I'll give her. Touch. Good even, good master What
callt: How do you, sir? You are very well met: God'ild you
: I am very glad to see 9 Lean deer are called rascal deer. 10 i.e. the art of fencing.
11.Sir Oliver.' This title, it has been already observed, was formerly applied to priests and curates in general. See notes on Merry Wives of Windsor, Act i. Sc. 1.
12 i.e. God yield you, God reward you.
you:-Even a toy in hand here, sir :-Nay; pray, be cover'd.
Jaq. Will you be married, Motley ?
Touch. As the ox hath his bow 13, sir, the horse his curb, and the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be nibbling. Jaq. And will you, being a man of your
breeding, be married under a bush, like a beggar? Get you to church, and have a good priest that can tell you what marriage is : this fellow will but join you together as they join wainscot; then one of you will prove a shrunk panel, and, like green timber, warp, warp.
Touch. I am not in the mind but I were better to be married of him than of another : for he is not like to marry me well; and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife.
[Aside. Jaq. Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.
Touch. Come, sweet Audrey; We must be married, or we must live in bawdry. Farewell, good master Oliver ! Not_0 sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver,
Leave me not behind thee:
Begone, I say,
[Exeunt JAQ. Touch. and AUDREY. 13 i. e. his yoke, which, in ancient time, resembled a bow or branching horns. See note on Merry Wives of Windsor, Act v. Sc. 5, vol. i. p. 285.
14 The ballad of O sweete Olyver, leave me not behind thee,' and the answer to it are entered on the Stationers' books in 1584 and 1586. Touchstone says I will sing—not that part of the ballad which says—'Leave me not behind thee;' but that which says— Begone, I say,' probably part of the answer. VOL. III.
Sir Oli. 'Tis no matter; ne'er a fantastical knave of them all shall fout me out of my calling. [Exit.
SCENE IV. The same. Before a Cottage.
Enter ROSALIND and CELIA. Ros. Never talk to me, I will p
Cel. Do, I prythee; but yet have the grace to consider, that tears do not become a man.
Ros. But have I not cause to weep?
Ros. His very hair is of the dissembling colour.
Cel. Something browner than Judas's?: marry, his kisses are Judas's own children.
Ros. I'faith, his hair is of a good colour.
Cel. An excellent colour: your chestnut was ever the only colour.
Ros. And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch of holy bread.
Cel. He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana: a nun of winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously; the very ice of chastity is in them.
Ros. But why did he swear he would come this morning, and comes not?
Cel. Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him. | It has been already observed, in a note on The Merry Wives of Windsor, that Judas was constantly represented in old paintings and tapestry, with red hair and beard. So in The Insatiate Countess :
'I ever thought by his red beard he would prove a Judas.'
2 Surely this speech is sufficiently intelligible without the blundering of Theobald or the pedantic refinement of Warburton ? There is humour in the expression cast lips; which Theobald rightly explained left off, as we still say cast clothes. Who would ever dream of taking this figurative passage in its literal meaning? The nun of winter's sisterhood with the very ice of chastity in her lips, needs no explanation.
? Cel. Yes: I think he is not a pick-purse, nor a horse-stealer: but for his verity in love, I do think him as concave as a cover'd goblet, or a worm-eaten nut.
Ros. Not true in love?
Cel. Was is not is: besides the oath of a lover is no stronger than the word of a tapster; they are both the confirmers of false reckonings : He attends here in the forest on the duke
father. Ros. I met the duke yesterday, and had much question 3 with him. He asked me of what parentage
was; I told him, of as good as he; so he laugh’d, and let me go. But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a man as Orlando?
Cel. O, that's a brave man! he writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite traverse, athwart 4 the heart of his lover5; as a puny tilter, that spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble goose 6 : but all's brave, that youth mounts, and folly guides :Who comes here?
3 Question is conversation.
4 When the tilter by unsteadiness or awkwardness suffered his spear to be turned out of its direction, and to be broken across the body of his adversary, instead of by the push of the point, it was held very disgraceful. Sir Philip Sidney alludes to this in the mock combat of Clinias and Damætas in the Arcadia; and in the following verses,
• One said he brake across, full well it might so be-' the lover and the tilter are compared; as the one brakes staves, the other breaks oaths. 5 i.e. mistress. So in Measure for Measure:
• Your brother and his lover have embraced.' 6 Sir Thomas Hanmer proposed to read ' nose-quilled goose,' which has received some support from Farmer and Steevens.