Shakespeare on Thank you, Thank you notes, Comebacks and Insults

thank me no thankings, proud me no prouds“Thank me no thankings, nor, proud me no prouds”
(Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 5)

Tips for Use. Perfect repartee for insincere social expressions and an elegant way to invite the other party(ies) to cut to the chase. Particularly applicable when the thanking appears insincere or when you wish to deflect with some humor the potential embarrassment of excessive expressions of gratitude. Good also when the appearance of gratitude is but a disguise to say no or worse.
Some liberty may be taken while preserving the effectiveness of the whole. For example if someone starts with, “I am grateful but… etc.”, the sense and force of the original is maintained if you say, “Grate me no gratefuls and proud me no prouds”, etc.
At the opposite end of the scale here is an example of an elaborate “thanks but no thanks”.
One of the parishioners of the Rev. Harton, vicar of Baulking (UK) was the writer Penelope Chetwode, wife of the poet J. Betjeman. The regular parish organist was taken ill and Ms. Chetwode gallantly undertook to play the harmonium in the church until the lady recovered. One morning a letter arrived from the vicar.
My dear Penelope,
I have been thinking over the question of the playing of the harmonium on Sunday evenings here and have reached the conclusion that I must now take it over myself. I am very grateful to you for doing it for so long and hate to have to ask you to give it up, but to put it plainly, your play has got worse and worse and the disaccord between the harmonium and the congregation is becoming destructive of devotion. People are not very sensitive to here, but even some of them have begun to complain, and they are not usually given to doing that. I do not like writing this, but I think you would understand that it is my business to see that divine worship is as perfect as it can be made. Perhaps the crankiness of the instrument has something to do with the trouble. I think it does require a careful and experienced player to deal with it. Thank you ever so much for stepping so generously into the breach when Sybil was ill; it was the greatest possible help to me and your results were noticeably better then than now.
Yours ever,
F.O. Harton**
You may look at the page describing the book “Your Daily Shakespeare”, 1390 pages filled choc-a-block with over 10,000 situations you may find yourself in or involved with, attuned to the perfect Shakespearean repartee that will get you on the stage or at least out of the water – besides making a winner of any verbal contest. The analytical index is structured so that you can quickly select the best words that fit the situation. And if you like this website why not subscribe (see last menu item to the right)? You will get automatically any new blog as well as any other information and novelty that will be forthcoming, including a system to effortlessly (yes) remember hundreds of Shakespearean quotes by heart while having fun in the process. You can also chat with me – please go to the chat-page. And I promise, no sales calls, trade leads, venomous schemes, hidden plots, Machiavellian conspiracies, commercial ploys, psychological tricks, leads exchanges, barter proposals, suggestions or offers of any kind imaginable (and unimaginable).
** From Frank Muir’s book, “A social history of almost everything”

In the Play.  Juliet’s father does not want any wiggling out of the planning wedding between Juliet and Paris.

Image Source:

This entry was posted in After Dinner Quotes, Amusing Shakespeare, Best Shakespeare Quotes, Business Presentations, Chances Quotes, Elegant Shakespearean Quotes, Fighting your Adversary, Insults Shakespeare-style, Sayings about Life, Shakespeare in Management, Shakespeare in Politics, Social Exchanges Shakespeare style and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *