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This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,
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
As thus ; mine eye's due is thine outward part,
Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
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.
And even thence thou wilt be stolen, I fear,
6 But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are,] We have the same allusion in King Richard II. :
“- Every tedious stride I make,
“ 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?,
To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,
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
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
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Since from thee going he went wilful-slow,
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,
“ 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.