As You Like It

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 5 Scene 4
No Fear Act 5 Scene 4 Page 4

Original Text

Modern Text

TOUCHSTONE

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. A poor virgin, sir, an ill-favored thing, sir, but mine own. A poor humor 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.

TOUCHSTONE

God bless you, sir. I want the same thing as all these other people. I’ve come here to be married, like all these other would-be couples. This poor virgin isn’t much to look at, sir, but she’s mine. It’s a strange habit of mine to take the thing that no one else wants: virginity in an ugly girl is like a rich man living in a broken-down house or a pearl in the hideous oyster.

DUKE SENIOR

60By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.

DUKE SENIOR

Really, he’s very witty, and full of wise sayings.

TOUCHSTONE

According to the fool’s bolt, sir, and such dulcet diseases.

TOUCHSTONE

His wittiness, a sweet disease, is here one minute and gone the next, sir, as with most fools.

JAQUES

But for the seventh cause. How did you find the quarrel on the seventh cause?

JAQUES

But back to that argument you mentioned. What’s the “seventh cause”?

TOUCHSTONE

Upon a lie seven times removed.—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 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 called “the reply churlish.” If again it was not well cut, he would answer I spake not true. This is called “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.”

TOUCHSTONE

Our argument went through seven stages—watch your posture, Audrey.—It went like this. I didn’t like the way a particular courtier had cut his beard. He sent me word that, whether I liked it or not, he liked it fine. They call this “the courteous retort.” If I repeat that it isn’t cut well, and he responds that he isn’t trying to please me, just himself, with his beard. They call this “ the modest quip.” If I say again it is poorly cut, and he responds that my judgment is no good, they call this “the sullen reply.” If I say yet again that his beard is poorly cut, and he says that I’m not speaking the truth, they call this “the brave retort.” One more time I say it’s not well cut, and he says I’m lying. They call this “the argumentative countercheck.” And so on through “the circumstantial lie” and “the direct lie.”

JAQUES

And how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?

JAQUES

And how many times did you say his beard wasn’t cut well?