E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Quip Modest (The).
Sir, it was done to please myself. Touchstone says: If I sent a person word that his beard was not well cut, and he replied he cut it to please himself, he would answer with the quip modest, which is six removes from the lie direct; or, rather, the lie direct in the sixth degree.