Who'd have thought it, gentle friends? Today marks the one-year anniversary of this Fool weblog. For the occasion, here is a complete version of the illustration that hides in the banner above: Touchstone and Audrey, engraved by Charles Clousen from a painting by John Pettie and included in Charles Knight's 2-volume "Imperial Edition" of The Works of Shakespere (1873-1876).
(Partial to this sort of thing? Be sure to explore Shakespeare Illustrated, maintained by Harry Rusche of the Emory University English Department. More obscure fun is to be had with the Victorian and Edwardian postcards at the companion site, Shakespeare and the Players.)
Context: From As You Like It, Act III, Scene iii:
Come apace, good Audrey: I will fetch up your goats, Audrey. And how, Audrey? am I the man yet? doth my simple feature content you?
Your features! Lord warrant us! what features!
I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.
[Aside] O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove in a thatched house!
When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's good wit seconded with the forward child
Understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room. Truly, I would
the gods had made thee poetical.
I do not know what 'poetical' is: is it honest in deed and word? is it a true thing?
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.
Do you wish then that the gods had made me poetical?
I do, truly; for thou swearest to me thou art honest: now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some
hope thou didst feign.
Would you not have me honest?
No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favoured; for honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.