Act V - Act V, Scene 1

ACT V.

SCENE I. The Forest of Arden.

[Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY.]

TOUCHSTONE.
We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.

AUDREY.
Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman's
saying.

TOUCHSTONE.
A most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile Martext.
But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to
you.

AUDREY.
Ay, I know who 'tis: he hath no interest in me in the
world: here comes the man you mean.

[Enter WILLIAM.]

TOUCHSTONE.
It is meat and drink to me to see a clown: By my troth,
we that have good wits have much to answer for; we shall be
flouting; we cannot hold.

WILLIAM.
Good even, Audrey.

AUDREY.
God ye good even, William.

WILLIAM.
And good even to you, sir.

TOUCHSTONE.
Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy
head; nay, pr'ythee, be covered. How old are you, friend?

WILLIAM.
Five and twenty, sir.

TOUCHSTONE.
A ripe age. Is thy name William?

WILLIAM.
William, sir.

TOUCHSTONE.
A fair name. Wast born i' the forest here?

WILLIAM.
Ay, sir, I thank God.

TOUCHSTONE.
"Thank God;"--a good answer. Art rich?

WILLIAM.
Faith, sir, so-so.

TOUCHSTONE.
"So-so" is good, very good, very excellent good:--and
yet it is not; it is but so-so. Art thou wise?

WILLIAM.
Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.

TOUCHSTONE.
Why, thou say'st well. I do now remember a saying; 'The
fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to
be a fool.' The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat
a grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth;
meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and lips to open.
You do love this maid?

WILLIAM.
I do, sir.

TOUCHSTONE.
Give me your hand. Art thou learned?

WILLIAM.
No, sir.

TOUCHSTONE.
Then learn this of me:--to have is to have; for it is a figure in
rhetoric that drink, being poured out of cup into a glass, by
filling the one doth empty the other; for all your writers do
consent that ipse is he; now, you are not ipse, for I am he.

WILLIAM.
Which he, sir?

TOUCHSTONE.
He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you clown,
abandon,--which is in the vulgar, leave,--the society,--which
in the boorish is company,--of this female,--which in the common
is woman,--which together is abandon the society of this female;
or, clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better understanding,
diest; or, to wit, I kill thee, make thee away, translate thy
life into death, thy liberty into bondage: I will deal in poison
with thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee
in faction; will o'er-run thee with policy; I will kill thee a
hundred and fifty ways; therefore tremble and depart.

AUDREY.
Do, good William.

WILLIAM.
God rest you merry, sir.

[Exit.]

[Enter CORIN.]

CORIN.
Our master and mistress seek you; come away, away!

TOUCHSTONE.
Trip, Audrey, trip, Audrey;--I attend, I attend.

[Exeunt.]

Footnotes

  1. Touchstone assures William on the point of his lack of education with another philosophical remark. In essence, Touchstone says that if you have something—in this case, Audrey—you have it. In metaphorical terms, though a drink poured from cup to cup may leave the first cup empty, the second one is full nonetheless. In a word, William should not stress his areas of lack.

    — Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. Touchstone mocks WIlliam with an apt quotation from Socrates. Having asked William whether he thinks himself wise, William replies “Ay, sir.” Touchstone points out that only the fool would think he is wise. Touchstone’s treatment of William raises the question of whether Touchstone would consider himself a wise man or a fool.

    — Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff
  3. Touchstone defines each word in this sentence by its simplest definition. The hyperbole of this defining functions to mock William and his lack of intelligence.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  4. “Ipse” is an archaic form of itself, himself, or oneself. Here, Touchstone claims that all writers believe they are “he” who has it, just as William believes that he is “he” who has wit. Touchstone will go on to mock William’s intelligence and prove that William does not have the wit he boasts of.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  5. Touchstone is showing his learning here--abandon is a latinate word, multisyllabic, and leave is an Anglo-Saxon word, monosyllabic, and therefore vulgar because it is not the language (Latin) of learned people. 

    — Stephen Holliday
  6. An interesting irony here: a real clown calling someone else a clown, by which Touchstone probably means rustic or country bumpkin.

    — Stephen Holliday
  7. Ipse is the Latin word for he himself, and is most often used in the phrase ipse dixit, which literally means "he himself has spoken," but refers to a statement made by someone who expects the listener to accept the truth of the statement without question, a practice that Touchstone uses all the time.

    — Stephen Holliday
  8. By "pretty wit," William means that he is witty; he has mistaken Touchstone, who asks if he is "wise," to have wisdom.

    — Stephen Holliday
  9. In the early 17thC. in England, an average lifespan for a man was the mid-30s, so a man of 25 was entering middle age and was therefore "ripe."

    — Stephen Holliday
  10. That is, we shall continue to be contrary and make fun of everything.

    — Stephen Holliday
  11. Touchstone refers to the blundering preacher from Act 3, Scene 3.

    — Stephen Holliday
  12. I will bandy with you in argument; I will be your superior in craftiness. 

    — Jamie Wheeler
  13. It seems that Touchstone is poking fun at William's gaping mouth. 

    — Jamie Wheeler
  14. Apparently (in a gesture of respect), William has removed his hat. 

    — Jamie Wheeler