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Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe“,
CXXVIII. How oft, when thou, my musick', musick play'st, Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway'st The wiry concord that mine ear confounds, Do I envy' those jacks?, that nimble leap To kiss the tender inward of thy hand , Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap, At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand!
4 — becoming of their woe,] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“- Fye, wrangling queen!
“ To weep." MALONE.
“ You are a viol, and your sense the strings,
STEEVENS. 6 The WIRY CONCORD that mine ear confounds,] We had the same expression before in the eighth Sonnet:
• If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
“ By unions married, do offend thine ear." Malone. 7 Do I envy' those jacks,] This word is accented by other ancient writers in the same manner. So, in Marlowe's Edward II. 1598:
“ If for these dignities thou be envý'd." Again, in Sir John Davies's Epigrams, printed at Middlebourg, no date:
“ Why doth not Ponticus their fame envý? ” Malone. 8 — those jacks, that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,] So, in Chrononhotonthologus :
" the tea-cups skip
“ With eager haste to kiss your royal lip.” Steevens. There is scarcely a writer of love-verses, among our elder poets, who has not introduced hyperboles as extravagant as that in the text, which the foregoing quotation was produced to ridicule. Thus Waller, in his Address to a Lady Playing on a Lute:
“ The trembling strings about her fingers crowd,
To be so tickled, they would change their state
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this",
CXXIX. The expence of spirit in a waste of shame Is lust in action; and till action, lust Is perjur'd, murderous, bloody, full of blame, Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust; Enjoy'd no sooner, but despised straight; Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had, Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait, On purpose laid to make the taker mad: Mad in pursuit ?, and in possession so; Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme; A bliss in proof,—and prov'd, a very woe; Before, a joy propos’d; behind, a dream; All this the world well knows ; yet none knows
well To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
9 O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait,] Here again their is printed in the old copy instead of thy. So also in the last line of this Sonnet. MALONE.
Since saucy JACKS so happy are in this,] He is here speaking of a small kind of spinnet, anciently called a virginal. So, in Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
“Where be these rascals that skip up and down,
“ Like virginal jacks ? ” STEEVENS. A virginal was shaped like a piano forte. See vol. xiv. p. 248, n. 6. MALONE.
? Mad in pursuit,] The old copy corruptly reads- Made in pursuit. Malone. '3 – and prov'd, a very woe ;] The quarto is here evidently corrupt. It reads : “ — and prov'd and very woe.” Malone.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
In nothing art thou black, save in thy deeds,
4 A thousand GROANS, but thinking on thy face, One on another's neck,] So, in Hamlet :
“ One woe doth tread upon another's heels, “ So fast they follow." "Malone.
Then will I swear, beauty herself is black,
Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east,] So, in King Henry IV. Part II. :
“V it struck upon him as the sun
“ In the grey vault of heaven,” MALONE. 6 Nor that full star that ushers in the even
Doth half that glory to the SOBER west,] Milton had perhaps these lines in his thoughts, when he wrote the description of the evening in his fourth book of Paradise Lost :
" Now came still evening on, and twilight grey
“Had in her sober livery all things clad- MALONE. 7 As those two MOURNING eyes become thy face :) The old copy has--morning. The context, I think, clearly shows, that the poet wrote-mourning. So before :
" Thine eyes
“ Have put on black, and living mourners be." The two words were, I imagine, in his time pronounced alike. In a Sonnet of our author's, printed by W. Jaggard, 1.599, we find :
“ In black morne I—." The same Sonnet is printed in England's Helicon, 1600, and there the line stands;
“ In black mourn I.” Malone.
Is't not enough to torture me alone,
So now I have confess'd that he is thine,
Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me;
8 - for I, being pent in thee,
Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ You take from me a great part of myself :
“Use me well in't.”
“ I have a kind of self resides with you." Malone. 9 The STATUTE of thy beauty-] Statute has here its legal · signification, that of a security or obligation for money. Malone.