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Nay then, quoth Adon, you will fall again
For by this black-faced night, desire's foul nurse,
If love have lent you twenty thousand tongues,
For know, my heart stands armed in mine ear,
Lest the deceiving harmony should run
No, lady, no; my heart longs not to groan,
What have you urg'd, that I cannot reprove?
You do it for increase, O strange excuse !
Call it not love, for Love to heaven is fled,
5 - that leadeth on to danger;} So the original edition, 1593, and that of 1596; for which in the edition of 1600, and the modern copies, we have “ leadeth unto danger." Malone. 6 When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse.] So, in Hamlet :
"And reason panders will.” Steevens. Love to heaven is fled, Since sweating Lust on EARTH usurp'd his NAME;] This
Under whose simple semblance he hath fed
Which the hot tyrant stains, and soon bereaves,
Love comforteth, like sunshine after rain,
Love surfeits not; lust like a glutton dies :
More I could tell, but more I dare not say;
Mine ears, that to your wanton talk attended,
With this he breaketh from the sweet embrace
information is of as much consequence as that given us by Homer about one of his celebrated rivers, which, he says, was
“ Xanthus by name to those of heavenly birth,
“ But call’d Scamander by the sons of earth.” Steevens. & Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain,
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done.] So, again, in The Rape of Lucrece:
“O rash false heat, wrapt in repentant cold !
Malone. 9 My face is full of shame, my heart of teen:] Teen is Sorrow. The word is often used by Shakspeare and Spenser.
I do condemn mine ears, that have
And homeward through the dark lawnd runs apace; Leaves Love upon her back deeply distress'd.
Look, how a bright star shooteth from the sky, So glides he in the night from Venus' eye ;
Which after him she darts, as one on shore
So did the merciless and pitchy night
? - the dark lawnd-) So the original copy of 1593, and the edition of 1596. Lawnd and lawn were in old language synonymous. The 16mo. of 1600 has-lawnes, which in the modern editions became lanes. Malone.
3 Look, how a bright star SHOOTETH from the sky,] So, in King Richard II. :
“ I see thy glory like a shooting star—." Again, in A Midsummer Night's Dream :
“ And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
“ To hear the sea-maid's musick." Malone, Again, in Troilus and Cressida :
and fly like chidden Mercury, “ Or like a star dis-orb’d.” Steevens. 4 — as one on shore
Gazing upon a late-embarked friend,] Perhaps Otway had this passage in his thoughts when he wrote the following lines :
“ Methinks I stand upon a naked beach,
Malone. See the scene in Cymbeline where Imogen tells Pisanio how he ought to have gazed after the vessel in which Posthumus was embarked. STEEVENS. 5 Till the wild waves Whose RIDGES -] So, in King Lear: “ Horns welk'd and wav'd like the enridged sea."
STEEVENS. the wild waves “ Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend." So, in Othello:
Whereat amaz'd, as one that unaware
Even so confounded in the dark she lay,
And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans,
Ah me! she cries, and twenty times, woe, woe!
She marking them, begins a wailing note,
Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe,
“ The chiding billow seems to pelt the clouds ;
“And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole." Again, ibidem :
“And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas,
Olympus high." Malone. • Or 'stonish'd as night-WANDERERS often are,] So, in King
the wrathful skies “ Gallow the very wanderers of the dark.” Steevens. 7 — the fair discovery of her way.) I would read-discoverer, i. e. Adonis. STEVENS.
The old reading appears to me to afford the same meaning, and is surely more poetical. Our author uses a similar phraseology in Coriolanus : “ Lest you should chance to whip your informatim,
[i. e. your informer.] “ And beat the messenger who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded.” Malone. & And still the choir of echoes answer so.] Our author ought
Her song was tedious, and outwore the night,
Their copious stories, oftentimes begun,
For who hath she to spend the night withal,
She says, 'tis so: they answer all, 'tis so;
to have written-answers; but the error into which he has fallen is often committed by hasty writers, who are deceived by the noun immediately preceding the verb being in the plural number.
MALONE. 9 For lovers' hours are long, though seeming short:] So, in Romeo and Juliet :
“ I must hear from thee every day'i the hour,
“ For in a minute there are many days." Malone. Like shrill-tongu'd tapsters answering every call,
Soothing the humour of fantastick wits?] But the exercise of this fantastick humour is not so properly the character of wits, as of persons of a wild and jocular extravagance of temper. To suit this idea, as well as to close the rhyme more fully, I am persuaded the poet wrote:
Soothing the humour of fantastick wights." THEOBALD. “ Like shrill-tongu'd tapsters answering every call,
Soothing the humour of fantastick wits?' See the scene of “ Anon, anon, Sir,” in King Henry IV. Part 1.-Had Mr. Theobald been as familiar with ancient pamphlets as he pretended to have been, he would have known that the epithet fantastick is applied with singular propriety to the wits of Shakspeare's age. The rhyme, like many others in the same piece, may be weak, but the old reading is certainly the true one. ' Steevens.
The weakness of our poet's rhymes is a favourite topick with Mr. Steevens in these poems. But the charge is here wholly unfounded; for in the original copy 1593, as well as in that of 1596, the word corresponding with wits is written parasits; which shews that he intended the i in the third syllable to be pronounced short ; and thus pronounced, the word affords a full and perfect rhyme to wits. Malone.