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The other two, slight air and purging fire,
Are both with thee, wherever I abide ;
The first my thought, the other my desire,
These present-absent with swift motion slide..
For when these quicker elements are gone
In tender embassy of love to thee,
My life, being made of four !, with two alone
Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy;
Until life's composition be recur'd
By those swift messengers return'd from thee,
Who even but now come back again, assur'd
Of thy fair health “, recounting it to me:

This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,
I send them back again, and straight grow sad.

XLVI. Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war, How to divide the conquest of thy sight; Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would baro, My heart mine eye the freedom of that right. My heart doth plead, that thou in him dost lie, (A closet never pierc'd with crystal eyes,) But the defendant doth that plea deny, And says in him thy fair appearance lies?.

3 My life, being made of four,-) So, in Twelfth Night: “Does not our life consist of the four elements ? "

Steevens. * Of thy fair health,] The old copy has—their fair health.

MALONE. s Mine eye and heart are at a MORTAL WAR,] So, in a passage in Golding's Translation of Ovid, 1576, which our author has imitated in The Tempest, vol. xv. p. 159: “ Among the earth-bred brothers you a mortal war did set.

MALONE. 6 - The picture's sight would bar,] Here also their was printed instead of thy. MALONE,

7 — Thy fair appearance lies.] The quarto has their. In this Sonnet, this mistake has happened four times. Malone,

To'cide this title is impannelled
A quest of thoughts”, all tenants to the heart;
And by their verdict is determined
The clear eye's moiety', and the dear heart's part:

As thus ; mine eye's due is thine outward part,
And my heart's right thine inward love of heart.

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other:
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look ?,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love's picture then my eye doth feast,
And to the painted banquet bids my heart 3:
Another time mine eye is my heart's guest,
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:
So, either by thy picture or my love,
Thyself away, art present still with me;
For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them, and they with thee;

Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight.

8 To 'Cide this title is impanelled-] To 'cide, for to decide. The old copy reads-side. Malone.

9 A Quest of thoughts,–] An inquest or jury. So, in King Richard III.:

“What lawful quest have given their verdict up

“ Unto the frowning judge?" Malone.

The clear eye's moiety,-) Moiety in ancient language signifies any portion of a thing, though the whole may not be equally divided. See p. 95, n. 1. MALONE.

3 When that mine eye is FAMISH'D FOR A LOOK,] So, in The Comedy of Errors :

“ While I at home slarve for a merry look." Malone. :3 — BIDS my heart :) i. e. invites my heart. See vol. v. p. 53, n. 1. MALONE.

4 So, either by the picture or my love,] The modern editions read unintelligibly:

“ So either by the picture of my love." MALONE. s Thyself away, ART present-] i. e. Thyself, though away, art present, &c. The old copy is here evidently corrupt. It readsare instead of art. MALONE.

How careful was I, when I took my way,
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust;
That, to my use, it might unused stay
From hands of falshood, in sure wards of trust !
But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are o,
Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief,
Thou, best of dearest, and mine only care,
Art left the prey of every vulgar thief.
Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest,
Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art,
Within the gentle closure of my breast?,
From whence at pleasure thou may'st come and part;

And even thence thou wilt be stolen, I fear,
For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear .

Against that time, if ever that time come,
When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
Whenas thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Call’d to that audit by advis'd respects;
Against that time, when thou shalt strangely pass,
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye ;
When love, converted from the thing it was,
Shall reasons find of settled gravity”;

6 But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are,] We have the same allusion in King Richard II. :

“- Every tedious stride I make,
" Will but remember me what a deal of world

“ I wander from the jewels that I love." Malone. 7 Within the gentle closure of my breast,] So, in King Richard III.:

“Within the guilty closure of thy walls." 'Steevens. We have the very words of the text in Venus and Adonis, p. 58:

“Lest the deceiving harmony should run

“ Into the quiet closure of my breast.Bosnell. 8 For truth proves ThievISH FOR A PRIZE So dear.] So, in Venus and Adonis :

Rich preys make true men thieves." C. 9 Whenas thy love hath cast his utmost sum,] Whenas, in ancient language, was synonymous to when. Malone.

Against that time do I ensconce me here?,
Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
And this my hand against myself uprear,
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part :

To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,
Since, why to love, I can allege no cause.

L. How heavy do I journey on the way, When what I seek,-my weary travel's end, Doth teach that ease and that repose to say, Thus far the miles are measur'd from thy friend'! The beast that bears me, tired with my woe, Plods dully on *, to bear that weight in me, As if by some instinct the wretch did know His rider lov'd not speed, being made from thee: The bloody spur cannot provoke him on That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide ; Which heavily he answers with a groan, More sharp to me than spurring to his side ;

For that same groan doth put this in my mind, My grief lies onward, and my joy behind.

all thared with in the

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer, when from thee I speed:

1 When love, converted from the thing it was,

Shall reasons find of settled gravity :) A sentiment somewhat similar, occurs in Julius Cæsar :

“When love begins to sicken and decay,

“ It useth an enforced ceremony." STEEVENS. 2 - do I ENSconce me here,] I fortify myself. A sconce was a species of fortification. MALONE.

3 Thus far the miles are measur’D FROM THY FRIEND!] So, in one of our author's plays :

Measuring our steps from a departed friend." Steevens. 4 Plods DULLY on,] The quarto reads- Plods duly on. The context supports the reading that I have substituted. So, in the next Sonnet, where the same thought is pursued :

“ Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
“ Of my dull bearer.” MALONE.

From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow 3 ?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the

In winged speed no motion shall I know :
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;
Therefore desire, of perfect love being made,
Shall neigh (no dull flesh) in his firy race 5;
But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade;

Since from thee going he went wilful-slow,
Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go.

3 When swift extremity can seem but slow ?] So, in Macbeth :

“ The swiftest wing of recompence is slow." STEEVENS. 4 Then should I spur, though MOUNTED ON THE wind;] So, in Macbeth :

“ And Pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or Heaven's cherubin, hors'd
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,

“ Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye.” It is likewise one of the employments of Ariel,

“ To run upon the sharp wind of the north.” Again, in King Henry IV. Part II. :

“ I, from the orient to the drooping west,

“ Making the wind my post-horse." Again, in Cymbeline:

“ whose breath . Rides on the posting winds." MALONE.

s Shall neigh (no dull flesh) in his firy race ;] The espression is here so uncouth, that I strongly suspect this line to be corrupt. Perhaps we should read :

“ Shall neigh to dull Aesh, in his firy race." Desire, in the ardour of impatience, shall call to the sluggish animal, (the horse) to proceed with swifter motion. MALONE.

Perhaps this passage is only obscured by the aukward situation of the words no dull flesh. The sense may be this : • Therefore desire, being no dull piece of horse-flesh, but composed of the most perfect love, shall neigh as he proceeds in his hot career.' A good piece of horse-flesh,is a term still current in the stable. Such a profusion of words, and only to tell us that our author's passion was impetuous, though his horse was slow! Steevens.

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