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P. 67, 1. 15. Blessed, fair. Read--blessed-fair.
P. 69, 1. 16. And yet this time removed. This time in which I was remote or absent from thee. Malone.
Ib. I. 17 and 18. Increase---burden of the prime. The prime is the spring. Increase is the produce of the earth. Malone.
P. 70, 1. 7. Any summer's story tell. By a summer's story Shakespeare seems to have meant some gay fiction. MALONE.
Ib. 1. 11. They were but sweet, but figures of delight. What more could be expected from flowers, than that they should be sweet? To gratify the smell is their highest praise. I suspect the compositor caught the word but from a subsequent part of the line, and would read :--“ They were, my sweet, but figures of delight.”
MALONE. The old reading is surely the true one. The poet refuses to enlarge on the beauty of the flowers, declaring that they are only, only delightful, so far as they resemble his friend. Steevens.
Nearly this meaning the lines, after the emendation proposed, will still supply. In the preceding couplet, the colour, not the sweetness of the flowers is mentioned; and in the subsequent line the words drawn and pattern relate only to their external appearance. MALONE.
Both the preceding and following lines prove that the present reading is proper :-
- "Nor the sweet smell
“ Of different flowers in odour and in hue," &c. Here the author fully marks the qualities of different flowers; he then says---They are but sweet, but beauti· ful, (for flowers delight the eye as well as gratify the
smell) notwithstanding they fail in a comparison with the perfections of his friend, which the author immediately proves, and at the same time shows how be is a pattern of these flowers :--
“ The forward violet thus did I chide ; .“ Sueet thief! where didst thou steal thy sweet that
These lines, though they begin another stanza, are connected with the preceding, and corroborate Mr. Steevens's assertion, particularly the last line :---- But sweet, or colour," &c. p. 71, 1. 2. Where no alteration is necessary, I wonder any should be proposed, that might render these poems still more disgusting to a modern critic; but if readers are willing to suppose they are addressed to a female, Mr. Malone's emendation will then be very agreeable. EDITOR.
Ib. 1. 20. The lily I condemned for thy hand. I condemned the lily for presuming to emulate the whiteness of thy hand. Malone.
Ib. 1. 23. One blushing shame. The old copy reads---Our blushing, &c, evidently a misprint. MaLONE. · P.71, 1. 11. And give, &c. Other copies read in. correctly---And gives, &c. doth being in the preceding line---And doth give, &c.
Ib. 1. 13. If time hute, &c. Read--- If time have, &c.
Ib. 1. 17. So thou prevent'st his scythe, &c. i. e. So by anticipation thou hinderest the destructive effects of his weapons. STEEVENS.
P. 72, 1. 3 and 6. To make her, &c.--as she shows now. Other copies read---To make him, &c.---as he shows now. The feminine gender has been adopted to render it more pleasing to modern readers. EDITOR.
Ib. I. 8. To me, fuir love, &c. Other copies readfair friend, &c. .
Ib. 1. 17. No place perceiv'd. Read---80 pace perceiv'd.
P. 73, 1. 9. Have never sat in one. Other copies read, disregarding metre-never kept seat in one.
Ib. I. 21. They had not still enough, &c. · Thus the old copy. Mr. Tyrwhitt very properly advises us to read---They had not skill enough, &c. which was undoubtedly the author's word, but that the compositor “ had not skill enough" to discern it. EDITOR.
P.74, 1. 7. In my lays. Read With my lays.
Ib. 1. 8. In summer's front. In the beginning of summer. MALONE.
Ib. 1. 22. That overgrows, &c. Read---That over . goes, &c.
P. 75, 1. 9. Which in my breast, &c. Read-Which in thy breast, &c.
Ib. 1. 21. A motley to thy view. Readm--to the view.
Appeared like a fool; (of whom the dress was formerly a motley coat.) Malone. .
Ib. I. 22. Gor'd mine own thoughts. I know not whether this be a quaintness, or a corruption. STEE
The text is probably not corrupt, for our author has employed the same word in “ Troilus and Cressida :" ;
" My fame is shrewdly gor’d.” The meaning seems to be, I have wounded my own thoughts; I have acted contrary to what I knew to be right. Malone.
P. 76, 1.-3. These blenches. These starts, or aberrations, from rectitude. Malone.
Ib. 1. 5. Now all is dme, have what shall have no end. Thus the old copy, which appearing unintelligible, Mr. Tyrwhitt suggests the following reading :-
« Now all is done, save what,” &c. But really, I think, the proposed emendation more unintelligible than the old reading. The author, in my opinion, means, I have tried other friendships, but have found thine the most worthy, and now that every trial is made, take in return my endless esteem. EDITOR. .
Ib. 1. 10. And most loving breast. Read--and most, most loving breast. · Ib. 1. 13. My harmless deeds. Read--my harmful deeds. I think it would be better to read---each harmful deed, &c. and make the corresponding rhyme, breed. EDITOR.
Ib. 1. 15. Than public means which public manners breeds. The author seems here to lament his being reduced to the necessity of appearing on the stage, or writing for the theatre. MALONE.
Ib. I. 21. Potions of eysell 'gainst my strong infection. Eysell is vinegar. Steevens.
Vinegar is esteemed very efficacious in preventing the communication of the plague and other contagious distempers. Malone.
P. 77, 1. 4. So you o'er-skreen my bad, my good allow. Thus a modern edition : the old copies read o'er-green my bad, &c.
I am indifferent to the opinion of the world, if you do but throw a friendly veil over my faults, and approve of my virtues. The allusion (o'er-green) seems to be either to the practice of covering a base coarse piece of ground with fresh green sward, or to that of planting ivy or jessamine to conceal an unsightly building. To allow, in ancient language, is to approve. MALONE.
I would read--o'er-grieve my bad ; i. e. I care not what is said of me, so that you compussionate my failings, and approve my virtues. STEEVENS.
Ib. 1. 5. You are my all, the world and I, &c. Read ---You are my all-the-world, and I, &c.
Ib. I. 8. That my steeld sense or changes right or wrong. It appears, from the next line but one, that sense is here used for senses : we might better read. e'er changes, right or wrong. Malone.
The meaning seems to be---You are the only person who has the power to change my stubborn resolution. either to what is right, or to what is wrong. STEEVENS.
The or here is transposed by a poetic licence. The poet meant, that my steeld sense changes, or right or wrong. Sense here has a different signification from that in the second succeeding line, and I am certain was not used in this place for the plural number. Edi