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My will that marks thee for my earth's delight2,
I see what crosses my attempt will bring;
And dotes on what he looks, 'gainst law or duty.
I have debated", even in my soul,
What wrong, what shame, what sorrow I shall breed ;
But nothing can affection's course control,
my earth's delight,] So, in The Comedy of Errors :
3 I THINK the honey guarded with a sting;] I am aware that the honey is guarded with a sting. MALONE.
on what he looks,] i. e. on what he looks on.-Many instances of this inaccuracy are found in our author's plays. See the Essay on Shakspeare's Phraseology. MALONE.
5 I see what crosses
I have debated, &c.] On these stanzas Dr. Young might have founded the lines with which he dismisses the prince of Egypt, who is preparing to commit a similar act of violence, at the end of the third act of Busiris :
"Destruction full of transport! Lo I come
"Swift on the wing to meet my certain doom:
"I know the danger, and I know the shame;
But, like our phoenix, in so rich a flame
"I plunge triumphant my devoted head,
"And dote on death in that luxurious bed." STEEVENS.
This said, he shakes aloft his Roman blade,
Coucheth the fowl below with his wings' shade, Whose crooked beak threats, if he mount he dies: So under his insulting falchion lies
Harmless Lucretia, marking what he tells,
With trembling fear, as fowl hear faulcon's bells".
So thy surviving husband shall remain
Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdain,
6 like a FAULCON towering in the skies,
COUCHETH the FOWL below -] So, in Measure for Mea
"Nips youth i' th' head, and follies doth enmew
I am not certain but that we should read-Cov'reth. To couch the fowl may, however, mean, to make it couch; as to brave a man, in our author's language, signifies either to insult him, or to make him brave, i. e. fine. So, in The Taming of the Shrew: " - thou hast brav'd many men; brave not me." Petruchio is speaking to the taylor. STEEVENS.
So, more appositely, in Coriolanus:
"Flutter'd your Volces in Corioli."
as FOWL hear FAULCON'S BELLS.] So, in King Henry VI. Part III.:
"Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells."
8 THE SCORNFUL MARK of every open eye ;] So, in Othello: A fixed figure for the time of scorn.' STEEVENS. So, in the Two
9 Thy issue blurr'd with NAMELESS bastardy:]
Shalt have thy trespass cited up in rhymes',
But if thou yield, I rest thy secret friend :
The poisonous simple sometimes is compacted
Gentlemen of Verona: "That's as much as to say bastard virtues, that indeed know not their father's names, and therefore have no names." The poet calls bastardy nameless, because an illegitimate child has no name by inheritance, being considered by the law as nullius filius. MALONE.
1 Shalt have thy TRESPASS CITED up in rhymes,] So, in King Henry IV. Part I.:
He made a blushing cital of his faults." Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona : for we cite our faults." STEEVens. 2 Shalt have thy trespass CITED UP in RHYMES,
AND SUNG by children in succeeding times.] So, in King Richard III.:
Thence we looked towards England, 66 And cited up a thousand heavy times."
Again, in Antony and Cleopatra:
"Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
Qui me commôrit, (melius non tangere, clamo,)
Thus elegantly imitated by Pope:
"Whoe'er offends, at some unlucky time
"Slides into verse, and hitches in a rhyme;
"And the sad burthen of some merry song." MALONE.
3 In A PURE Compound -] Thus the quarto.
The edition of
"In purest compounds." Malone. A thought somewhat similar occurs in Romeo and Juliet: "Within the infant rind of this small flower "Poison hath residence, and medicine power."
Then for thy husband and thy children's sake,
Worse than a slavish wipe, or birth-hour's blot 5:
Are nature's faults, not their own infamy".
Here with a cockatrice' dead-killing eye",
3 TENDER my suit-] Cherish, regard my suit. So, in Hamlet:
"Tender yourself more dearly." MALONE.
4 Worse than a SLAVISH WIPE,] More disgraceful than the brand with which slaves were marked. MALONE. 5- or birth-hour's BLOT:] So, in King John:
"If thou that bid'st me be content, wert grim,
Ugly and slanderous to thy mother's womb,
"Full of unpleasing blots, and sightless stains,-
Again, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:
"And the blots of nature's hand,
“Shall not in their issue stand;
It appears that in Shakspeare's time the arms of bastards were distinguished by some kind of blot. Thus, in the play above quoted:
"To look into the blots and stains of right."
But in the passage now before us, those corporal blemishes with which children are sometimes born, seem alone to have been in our author's contemplation. MALONE.
6 For MARKS descried in men's NATIVITY
Are NATURE's faults, NOT THEIR OWN INFAMY.] So, in Hamlet :
"That for some vicious mole of nature in them,
7 with a cockatrice' dead-killing eye,] So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"From the death-darting eye of cockatrice." STEEVENS.
Like a white hind under the grype's sharp claws
To the rough beast that knows no gentle right, Nor aught obeys but his foul appetite.
Look, when a black-fac'd cloud the world doth threat 9
In his dim mist the aspiring mountains hiding, From earth's dark womb some gentle gust doth get,
8 Like a white hind UNDER the GRYPE's sharp claws,] So, in King Richard III. :
"Ah me! I see the ruin of my house;
"The tyger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind.”
All the modern editions read:
The quarto, 1594, has:
"Like a white hinde under the grype's sharp claws The gryphon was meant, which in our author's time was usually written grype, or gripe. MALONE.
The gripe is properly the griffin. See Cotgrave's Dictionary, and Mr. Reed's improved edition of Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. i. p. 124, where gripe seems to be used for vulture:
"Or cruell gripe to gnaw my growing harte."
Ferrex and Porrex.
It was also a term in the hermetick art. Thus, in Ben Jonson's Alchemist:
let the water in glass E be filter'd,
"And put into the gripe's egg,'
As griffe is the French word for a claw, perhaps anciently those birds which are remarkable for griping their prey in their talons, were occasionally called gripes." STEEVENS.
9 Look, when a black-fac'd cloud the world doth threat,] The quarto 1594 reads-But when, &c. For the emendation I am responsible.
But was evidently a misprint; there being no opposition whatsoever between this and the preceding passage. We had before: "Look, as the fair and firy-pointed sun,
"Even so -."
Again, in a subsequent stanza, we have:
Look, as the full-fed hound, &c.
"So surfeit-taking Tarquin -."
Again, in Venus and Adonis:
Look, how the world's poor people are amaz'd,—
"So she with fearful eyes