Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

As You Like It: Act 5, Scene 1

           Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY.

  1   We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle
  2   Audrey.

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

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

8. he hath no interest in me: he has no claim to me.
  8   Ay, I know who 'tis; he hath no interest in me
  9   in the world: here comes the man you mean.

           Enter WILLIAM.

10. clown: yokel. —Ironically, Touchstone is also a clown. "Clown" was used to refer to both country bumpkins and to professional fools such as Touchstone.
12. we shall be flouting: i.e., we are always mocking, making fun.  hold: hold back, refrain.
 10   It is meat and drink to me to see a clown: by my
 11   troth, we that have good wits have much to
 12   answer for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.

 13   Good ev'n, Audrey.

14. God ye: God give you.
 14   God ye good ev'n, William.

 15   And good ev'n to you, sir.

16. Cover thy head: — Perhaps William has respectfully removed his hat, or perhaps Touchstone is reminding William that he should have respectfully removed his hat.
 16   Good ev'n, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover
 17   thy head; nay, prithee, be covered. How old are
 18   you, friend?

 19   Five and twenty, sir.

William, Audrey, and Touchstone by John Edmund Buckley
 20   A ripe age. Is thy name William?

 21   William, sir.

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

 23   Ay, sir, I thank God.

 24   'Thank God;' a good answer. Art rich?

 25   Faith, sir, so so.

26. 'So so': —When William described his wealth as "so so," he meant that it was satisfactory but not excessive. However, "so so" could also mean "just so," "exactly right," and Touchstone plays upon both meanings.
28. wise: —"Wise" was used to mean both "having wisdom" and "witty." William thinks that Touchstone is asking if he is witty, but Touchstone mocks William by using the word to mean "having wisdom."
 26   'So so' is good, very good, very excellent
 27   good; and yet it is not; it is but so so. Art
 28   thou wise?

 29   Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.

 30   Why, thou sayest well. I do now remember a saying,
 31   'The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man
32-34. The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape, would open his lips: —I don't know if Touchstone is referring to a particular heathen philosopher or a typical heathen philosopher, but I think Touchstone's general point is that even a person of very sophisticated intelligence can understand a reality (such as a delicious grape) that is right in front of his nose. In this case, the reality right in front of William's nose is that Audrey, who William wants, is standing beside Touchstone, signifying that she wants Touchstone.
 32   knows himself to be a fool.' The heathen
 33   philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape,
 34   would open his lips when he put it into his mouth;
 35   meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and
 36   lips to open. You do love this maid?

 37   I do, sir.

 38   Give me your hand. Art thou learned?

 39   No, sir.

 40   Then learn this of me: to have, is to have; for it
 41   is a figure in rhetoric that drink, being poured out
 42   of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty
43. your writers: i.e., all the authorities you might have heard of.  ipse: he himself.  This Latin word would be quite familiar to any man who had gone to grammar school. William Shakespeare was such a man, but the William in the play is not.
 43   the other; for all your writers do consent that ipse
 44   is he: now, you are not ipse, for I am he.

 45   Which he, sir?

 46   He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you
 47   clown, abandon—which is in the vulgar leave—the
 48   society—which in the boorish is company—of this
 49   female—which in the common is woman; which
 50   together is, abandon the society of this female, or,
 51   clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better understanding,
52. to wit: namely.  translate: change.
 52   diest; or, to wit I kill thee, make thee away, translate
 53   thy life into death, thy liberty into bondage: I will
54. bastinado: beating with a stick.  steel: a sword.
 54   deal in poison with thee, or in bastinado, or in steel;
55-56. bandy with thee in faction: i.e., get my gang to assault you and yours.  o'errun thee with policy: overwhelm you with cunning political maneuvers.
 55   I will bandy with thee in faction; I will o'errun thee
 56   with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways:
 57   therefore tremble and depart.

 58   Do, good William.

59. God rest you merry: God keep you happy. —This was a common way of saying goodbye, but "merry" also meant "witty" and "full of fun."
 59   God rest you merry, sir.

           Exit [William].

           Enter CORIN.

 60   Our master and mistress seeks you; come,
 61   away, away!

 62   Trip, Audrey! trip, Audrey! I attend, I attend.