« PreviousContinue »
Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
CXI. O, for my sake do you with fortune chide ®, The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds, That did not better for my life provide Than publick means, which publick manners
The meaning seems to be, 'I have wounded my own thoughts; I have acted contrary to what I knew to be right.' Malone. We meet with the same expression in Hamlet:
“ Till by some elder masters, of known honour,
“ To keep my name ungor'd." Boswell. 6 These bleNCHES gave my heart another youth,] These starts or aberrations from rectitude. So, in Hamlet :
“ I'll observe his looks;
“ I know my course.” Malone. 7 Now all is done, save what shall have no end :) The old copy reads-have what shall have, &c. This appearing to me unintelligible, I have adopted a conjectural reading suggested by Mr. Tyrwhitt. Malone.
8 O, for my sake do you with fortune chide,] The quarto is here evidently corrupt. It reads-wish fortune chide. Malone. To chide with fortune is to quarrel with it. So, in Othello:
“ The business of the state does him offence,
“ And he does chide with you." Steevens. 9 Than publick means, which publick manners breeds.] The author seems here to lament his being reduced to the necessity of appearing on the stage, or writing for the theatre. MALONE. See the Preliminary Remarks. Boswell.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand;
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
CXII. Your love and pity doth the impression fill Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow; For what care I who calls me well or ill, So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow ? ? You are my all-the-world, and I must strive To know my shames and praises from your tongue; None else to me, nor I to none alive, That my steeld sense or changes, right or wrong.
· Potions of EYSELL, 'gainst any strong infection;] Eysell is vinegar. So, in A Mery Geste of the Frere and the Boye :
“ God that dyed for us all,
“ And dranke both eysell and gall.” Steevens. Vinegar is esteemed very efficacious in preventing the communication of the plague and other contagious distempers.
MALONE. 2 For what care I who calls me well or ill,
So you o'er-Green my bad, my good allow ?] Iam indifferent to the opinion of the world, if you do but throw a friendly veil over my faults, and approve of my virtues. The allusion seems to be either to the practice of covering a bare coarse piece of ground with fresh green-sward, or to that of planting ivy or jessamine to conceal an unsightly building.
To allow, in ancient language, is to approve. MALONE.
o'er grieve my bad," i. e. I care not what is said of me, so that you compassionate my failings, and approve my virtues. Steevens.
3 That my steel'd SENSE OR changes, right or wrong.] It ap
In so profound abysm I throw all care *
You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
pears from the next line but one, that sense is here used for senses. We might better read :
“_ e'er changes, right or wrong." Malone. “ None else to me, nor I to none alive,
“ That my steel'd sense or changes, right or wrong." The meaning of this purblind and obscure stuff seems to be - You are the only person who has power to change my stubborn resolution, either to what is right, or to what is wrong. Steevens.
In so profound ABYSM I throw all care-] Our author uses this word likewise in The Tempest, and Antony and Cleopatra : “ – the abysm of time,” and “ — the abysm of hell."
Steevens. s - that my ADDER'S SENSE
TO CRITICK and to flatterer stopped are.] That my ears are equally deaf to the snarling censurer, and the flattering encomiast. Critick for cynick. So, in Love's Labour's Lost :
“And critick Timon laugh at idle toys." Our author again alludes to the deafness of the adder in Troilus and Cressida :
“ ears more deaf than adders to the voice
“ Of any true decision." MALONE. 6 That all the world besides methinks they are dead.] The quarto has
“That all the world besides methinks y'are dead." Yare was, I suppose, an abbreviation for they are or th' are. Such unpleasing contractions are often found in our old poets.
Malone. The sense is this,' I pay no regard to the sentiments of mankind; and observe how I account for this my indifference. I think so much of you, that I have no leisure to be anxious about the opinions of others. I proceed as if the world, yourself excepted, were no more.' STEEVENS.
Doth part his functions, and is partly blind,
Incapable of more, replete with you,
? – mine eye is in my mind ;] We meet with the same phrase in Hamlet :
“In my mind's eye, Horatio." Again, in The Rape of Lucrece:
“ Was left unseen, save to the eye of mind." MALONE. 8 Doth Part his function, That is, partly performs his office.
MALONE. 9 Seems seeing, but effectually is out :] So, in Macbeth :
“ Doct. You see her eyes are open.
“ Gent. Ay, but their sense is shut.” Steevens. 1 - which it doth LATCH ;) The old copy reads—it doth lack. The corresponding rhyme shows that what I have now substituted was the author's word. To latch formerly signified to lay hold of. So, in Macbeth:
- But I have words,
“Where hearing should not latch them.”
MALONE. My most true mind thus maketh mine UNTRUE.) I once suspected that Shakspeare wrote :
“My most true mind thus makes mine eye untrue.” Or,
“ Thy most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.” out the text is undoubtedly right. The word untrue is used as a substantive. “The sincerity of my affection is the cause of my untruth;” i. e. of my not seeing objects truly, such as they appear to the rest of mankind. So, in Measure for Measure :
"Say what you can, my false outweighs your true."
If it be poison'd S, tis the lesser sin
Again, in King John :
“ This little abstract doth contain that large,
“ That dy'd in Geffrey." Again, in Twelfth Night:
“ How easy is it for the proper false
“ In women's waxen hearts to set their forms !" Milton has taken the same liberty :
“- grace descending had remov'd
“ The stony from their hearts.” Malone. 4 being crown'd with you,] So, in Timon of Athens :
“ And in some sort these wants of mine are crown'd,
“ That I account them blessings." MALONE. s my mind, being crown'd with you,
DRINKS UP the monarch's plague, this flattery,] So, in Troilus and Cressida:
“ And how his silence drinks up his applause." MALONE. 6 CREATING every bad a PERFECT BEST,] So, in The Tempest: “
creating you “ Of every creature's best." 7 – what with his gust is 'greeing.] That is, what is pleasing to the taste of my mind. Malone.
8 If it be poison’d, &c.] The allusion here is to the tasters to princes. So, in King John:
" — who did taste to him ?