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My will that marks thee for my earth's delight,
But as reproof and reason beat it dead,
I see what crosses my attempt will bring;
Only he hath an eye to gaze on beauty,
I have debated, even in my soul,
• - my earth's delight,] So, in The Comedy of Errors :
“My sole earth's heaven.” Steevens. 31 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. s 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
This said, he shakes aloft his Roman blade,
Harmless Lucretia, marking what he tells,
With trembling fear, as fowl hear faulcon's bells?. Lucrece, quoth he, this night I must enjoy thee: If thou deny, then force must work my way, For in thy bed I purpose to destroy thee; That done, some worthless slave of thine I'll slay, To kill thine honour with thy life's decay; And in thy dead arms do I mean to place him,
Swearing I slew him, seeing thee embrace him. · So thy surviving husband shall remain The scornful mark of every open eye 8 ; Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdain, Thy issue blurr'd with nameless bastardy': And thou, the author of their obloquy,
6- like a fauLCON towering in the skies.
COUcaeth the fowl below —] So, in Measure for Measure :
“ Nips youth i' th' head, and follies doth enmew
“ As faulcon doth the fowl." I am not certain but that we should read-Cou'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 appositelv, in Coriolanus :
“ Flutter'd your Volces in Corioli." Boswell. 7 — as fowl hear Faulcon's bells.] So, in King Henry VI. Part III. :
“ — not he that loves him best
STEVENS. 8 The scORNFUL MARK of every open eye ;] So, in Othello:
“ A fixed figure for the time of scorn." STEEVENS. 9 Thy issue blurr'd with NAMELESS bastardy :] So, in the Two
Shalt have thy trespass cited up in rhymes",
But if thou yield, I rest thy secret friend :
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.
* 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 Ill.:
"— Thence we looked towards England,
“ And cited up a thousand heavy times." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ — Saucy lictors
Flebit, et insignis tota cantabitur urbe. Hor.
" Whoe'er offends, at some unlucky time
“ And the sad burthen of some merry song.” Malone. 3 In A PURE compound -] Thus the quarto. The edition of 1616 reads :
“ In purest compounds —.” Malone.
“ Within the infant rind of this small hower
Then for thy husband and thy children's sake,
For marks descried in men's nativity
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. s or birth-hour's BloT:] So, in King John:
“ If thou that bid'st me be content, wert grim,
“ I would not care."
" And the blots of nature's hand,
“ Nor mark prodigious—." 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. MalonB. 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,
STEEVENS. 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, Pleads in a wilderness, where are no laws,
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', In his dim mist the aspiring mountains hiding, From earth's dark womb some gentle gust doth get,
& 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:
“ — beneath the gripe's sharp claws." 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:
“ - Ixion's wheele,
Ferrer 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, -