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Let my good name, that senseless reputation,
That is as clear from this attaint of mine,
O unseen shame! invisible disgrace!
Alas, how many bear such shameful blows,
If, Collatine, thine honour lay in me,
In thy weak hive a wandering wasp hath crept,
Yet am I guiltless of thy honour's wreck ';
9 — may read the mot afar,) The motto, or word, as it was sometimes formerly called. So, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609 :
“ The word, lux tua vita mihi.” Again, in the title of Nashe's Have With You to Saffron Walden, 1596 : “ - The mott or paesie, instead of omne tulit punctum, pacis fiducia nunquam." The modern editors read unintelligibly:
“— may read the mote afar.” Malone. " Yet am I Guiltless of thy honour's wreck ;] The old copy reads, I think, corruptedly:
“Yet am I guilty of thy honour's wreck ; ”
For it had been dishonour to disdain him:
And talk'd of virtue:-0, unlook'd for evil,
Why should the worm intrude the maiden bud??
But no perfection is so absolute *,
Dr. Sewell has endeavoured to make sense by a different punctuation :
“ Yet, am I guilty of thy honour's wreck ?" But this docs not correspond with the next verse, where the words are arranged as here, and yet are not interrogatory, but affirmative. Guilty was, I am persuaded, a misprint. Though the first quarto seems to have been printed under our author's inspection, we are not therefore to conclude that it is entirely free from typographical faults. Shakspeare was probably not a very diligent corrector of his sheets; and however attentive he might have been, I am sorry to be able to observe, that, notwithstanding an editor's best care, some errors will happen at the press.
If the present emendation be not just, and the author wrote guilty, then undoubtedly there was some error in the subsequent line. Shakspeare might have written
“Yet am I guilty of thy honour's wreck ?
“No; for thy honour did I entertain him." The compositor's eye might have glanced a second time on the first line, and thus the word yet might have been inadvertently repeated. MALONE.
According to the old copy, which I think right, she is reproaching herself, at first, for having received Tarquin's visit ; but instantly defends herself by saying that she did it out of respect to her husband. Boswell.
2 Why should the worm intrude the maiden Bud?] So, in Twelfth Night:
“ But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
“ Feed on her damask cheek.” 3 Or tyrant folly lurk in Gentle breasts ?] Folly is, I believe, here used, as in Scripture, for wickedness. Gentle, is wellborn. Malone.
4 But no perfection is so ABSOLUTE,] So complete. So, in Pericles :
The aged man that coffers up his gold, .
Having no other pleasure of his gain,
So then he hath it, when he cannot use it,
The sweets we wish for turn to loathed sours,
Unruly blasts wait on the tender spring; Unwholesome weeds take root with precious flowers: The adder hisses where the sweet birds sing;
“ still she vies
“ With absolute Marina." Perhaps but has here the force of-But that. Malone. “ — no perfection is so absolute, “ That some impurity doth not pollute.” So, in Othello :
“- Where's that palace, where into foul things
“ Sometimes intrude not?” Steevens. s And useless BARNS the harvest of his wits ;] Thus all the copies before that of 1616, which reads :
" And useless buns the harvest of his wits." This has been followed in all the modern editions. Malone. 6 So then he hath it, when he cannot use it,
And leaves it to be master'd by his young, &c.] So, in Measure for Measure:
“— Thou hast not youth nor age,
What virtue breeds, iniquity devours :
But ill annexed opportunity
0, Opportunity! thy guilt is great: "Jis thou that execut'st the traitor's treason; Thou set'st the wolf where he the lamb may get; Whoever plots the sin, thou 'point'st the season; 'Tis thou that spurn'st at right, at law, at reason;
And in thy shady cell, where none may spy him, Sits Sin, to seize the souls that wander by him,
Thou mak'st the vestal violate her oath? :
Thou ravisher, thou traitor, thou false thief,
Thy secret pleasure turns to open shame,
Thou mak’st the vestAL VIOLATE HER OATH;] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ women are not
“ The ne'er-touch'd vestal." Steevens. & Thy SMOOTHING titles to a Ragged name;] Thy flattering titles. So, in King Lear :
“ Such smiling rogues as these
“ That in the nature of their lords rebels.” Again, in Pericles, ' Prince of Tyre, 1609 :
“ The sinful father
“ Seem'd not to strike, but smooth,” The edition of 1616, and all afterwards, read without authority:
“ Thy smoth'ring titles.”
Thy sugar'd tongue to bitter wormwood taste":
How comes it then, vile Opportunity,
When wilt thou be the humble suppliant's friend,
The patient dies while the physician sleeps ;
A ragged name means a contemptible, ignominious name. See vol. xvii. p. 18, n. 5. Malone.
9 Thy Sugar'D tongue to BITTER WORMWOOD taste :] So, in Othello : " — the food that to him now is luscious as locusts, shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida.” Steevens.
Thy violent vanities can never last.] So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ These violent delights have violent ends,
" And in their triumph die." Again, in Othello : “ — it was a violent commencement in her, and thou shalt see an answerable sequestration," MALONE. Fierce vanities is an expression in King Henry VIII. Scene I.
STEEVENS. ? When wilt thou sort an hour -] When wilt thou choose out an hour. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
“Let us into the city presently
MALONE. Again, in King Richard III.:
“ But I will sort a pitchy day for thee." STEEVENS. 3 Advice is sporting while infection breeds ;] While infection is spreading, the grave rulers of the state, that ought to guard