Good ev’n, gentle friend. Cover thy head
Good ev’n, gentle friend. Cover thy head,
cover thy head. Nay, prithee, be covered. How old
are you, friend?
A ripe age. Is thy name William?
The fool doth think he is wise, but the
wise man knows himself to be a fool.
A fair name. Wast born i’ th’ forest here?
Ay, sir, I thank God.
“Thank God.” A good answer. Art rich?
’Faith sir, so-so.
“So-so” is good, very good, very excellent
good. And yet it is not: it is but so-so. Art thou wise?
Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.
Why, thou sayst 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?
I do, sir.
Give me your hand. Art thou learned?
Then learn this of me: to have is to have.
For it is a figure in rhetoric that drink, being poured
out of a 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.
Which he, sir?
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. I will o’errun thee with policy. I
will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways. Therefore
tremble and depart.
Do, good William.
William, to Touchstone
God rest you merry, sir.