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With objects manifold; each several stone,
Lo! all these trophies of affections hot,
O then advance of yours that phraseless hand,
Lo! this device was sent me from a nun,
5 ( then advance of yours that PHRASELESS hand,
Whose white weighs down the airy scale of praise ;] So, in Romeo and Juliet :
“ they may seize
“ On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand.” The “airy scale of praise" is the “scale filled with verbal eulogiums. Air is often thus used by our author. So, in Much Ado About Nothing :
“Charm ache with air, and agony with words."
"— in compt,
“ Still to return your own." STEEVENS. 7 Or sister sanctified, of holiest note;] The poet, I suspect, wrote :
“ A sister sanctified, of holiest note." Malone. 8 Which late her noble suit in court did shun,] Who lately
Whose rarest havings made the blossoms dote'; For she was sought by spirits of richest coat', But kept cold distance, and did thence remove, To spend her living in eternal love.
But O, my sweet, what labour is't to leave
retired from the solicitation of her noble admirers. The word suit, in the sense of request or petition, was much used in Shakspeare's time. Malone.
9 Whose rarest Havings made the blossoms date,] Whose accomplishments were so extraordinary that the flower of the young nobility were passionately enamoured of her. MALONE.
i For she was sought by spirits OF RICHEST COAT,] By nobles; whose high descent is marked by the number of quarters in their coats of arms. So in our author's Rape of Lucrece:
“ Yea, though I die, the scandal will survive,
“And be an eye-sore in my golden coat.” MALONE, ? But O, my sweet, what labour is't to leave
The thing we have not, mastering what not strives ?
Paling the place which did no form receive;-] The old copy reads :
“ Playing the place which did no form receive,
“ Playing patient sports in unconstrained gyves.” It does not require a long note to prove that this is a gross corruption. How to aniend it is the only question Playing in the first line, I apprehend, was a misprint for paling ; the compositor's eye I suppose glanced upon the second line, and caught the first word of it instead of the first word of the line he was then composing. -The lover is speaking of a nun who had voluntarily retired from the world.—But what merit (he adds,) could she boast, or what was the difficulty of such an action? What labour is there in leaving what we have not, i. e. what we do not enjoy, (See Rape of Lucrece, p. 110, n. 6.) or in restraining desires that do not agitate our breast?“ Paling the place," &c. securing within the pale of a cloister that heart which had never received the impression of love,—When fetters are put upon us by our consent, they do not appear irksome, &c. Such is the meaning of the text as now regulated.
The scars of battle scapeth by the flight*,
O pardon me, in that my boast is true;
In Antony and Cleopatra the verb to pale is used in the sense of to hem in:
“ Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips,
“ Is thine, if thou wilt have it." The word form, which I once suspected to be corrupt, is undoubtedly right. The same phraseology is found in the Rape of · Lucrece:
." — the impression of strange kinds
“ Is form’d in them, (women,] by force, by fraud, or skill." It is also still more strongly supported by the passage quoted by Mr. Steevens from Twelfth Night. Malone. I do not believe there is any corruption in the words
“ – did no form receive," as the same expression occurs again in the last stanza but three :
“- a plenitude of subtle matter,
“ Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives."
“ How easy is it for the proper false
SteeVENS. 3 Playing patient sports,] So Spenser, Fairy Queen, b. i. c. 10, st. 31 :
“A multitude of babes about her hong,
“ Playing their sports." Again, b. 5, c. 1. st. 6 :
"Playing their childish sports." Malone. 4 — by the flight,] Perhaps the author wrote—by her flight.
Steevens. s Not to be tempted, would she be immurd] The quarto has enur'd; for which the modern editions have properly given immur'd. MALONE.
Immurd is a verb used by Shakspeare in King Richard III. and The Merchant of Venice. We likewise have immures, subst. in the Prologue to Troilus and Cressida. Steevens. VOL. XX.
A LOVERS COMP
ou are, O hear me tell ! Sthat to me belong, ll their fountains in my well, ur your ocean all among: them, and you o'er me being strong, our victory us all congest,
pund love to physick your cold breast. marts had power to charm a sacred sun',
disciplin'd and dieted in grace, liev'd her eyes, when they to assail begun, All vows and consecrations giving place : ő most potential love! vow, bond, nor space, In thee hath neither sting, knot, nor confine, For thou art all, and all things else are thine.
s My parts had power to charm a sacred sun,] Perhaps the poet wrote:
a sacred nun." If sun be right, it must mean, the brightest luminary of the cloister. So, in King Henry VIII. :
“ When these suns
“ Beyond thought's compass." Malone.
STEEVENS. 6 My parts had power to charm a sacred sun,
Who, disciplin'd and dieted in grace,
All vows and consecrations giving place:] The old copy reads :
“ My parts had power to charm a sacred sun,
" Who disciplind I died in grace—." For the present regulation of the text, the propriety of which, I think, will at once strike every reader, I am indebted to an anonymous correspondent, whose communications have been already acknowledged. The same gentleman would read :
“ — when I the assail begun—.” and I formerly admitted that emendation, but it does not seem absolutely necessary. The nun believ'd or yielded to her eyes, when they, captivated by the external appearance of her wooer, began to assail her chastity. MALONE.
When thou impressest, what are precepts worth
Love's armeinst shame ® ;
nongs it bears,
And sweetens, in the suffering pangs it bears,
Now all these hearts that do on mine depend,
7- When thou wilt inflame,
How coldly those impediments stand forth
Of wealth, of filial 'fear, law, kindred, fame?] Thus, in Rowe's Lady Jane Gray:
“ - every other joy, how dear soever,
STEEVENS. Pope has a closer resemblance; * “ Fame, wealth, and honour, what are ye to love."
BOSWELL. 8 Love's arms are peace, 'gainst rule, &c.] I suspect our author wrote:
“Love's arms are proof 'gainst rule," &c. The meaning, however, of the text as it stands, may be-The warfare that love carries on against rule, sense, &c. produces to the parties engaged a peaceful enjoyment, and sweetens, &c. The construction in the next line is perhaps irregular.--Love's arms are peace, &c. and love sweetens. Malone. Perhaps we should read :
“Love aims at peace
" Yet sweetens," &c. Steevens. . And sweetens in the suffering pangs it bears,
The aloes of all forces, shocks, and fears.] So, in Cymbeline :
“ a touch more rare