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And the just pleasure lost, which is so deem'd
Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing.
For why should others' false adulterate eyes
Give salutation to my sportive blood ?
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
Which in their wills count bad what I think good ?
No, I am that I amo; and they that level
At my abuses, reckon up their own :
I may be straight, though they themselves be

bevel?; By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;

Unless this general evil they maintain,-
All men are bad, and in their badness reign.

Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
Full character'd with lasting memory,
Which shall above that idle rank remain,
Beyond all date, even to eternity:
Or, at the least, so long as brain and heart
Have faculty by nature to subsisto;

6 - I am that I am ;] So, in King Richard III. :

l am myself alone.” Steevens. 7 – bevel ;] i. e. crooked; a term used only, I believe, by masons and joiners. STEEVENS. 8 — within my BRAIN Full charACTER'd with lasting MEMORY,] So, in Hamlet :

“ from the table of my memory
“ I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, -
“ And thy commandment all alone shall live

". Within the book and volume of my brain." Again, in the same play:

“ And these few precepts in thy memory

“ Look thou character."
Again, in the Two Gentlemen of Verona:

“— I do conjure thee,
“Who art the table wherein all my thoughts

Are visibly character'd and engravid " Malone. 9 Or, at the least, so long as brain and heart

Have faculty by nature to subsist ;] So, in Hamlet :

Till each to raz'd oblivion yield his part
Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.
That poor retention could not so much hold',
Nor need I tallies, thy dear love to score;
Therefore to give them from me was I bold,
To trust those tables that receive thee more :

To keep an adjunct to remember thee,
Were to import forgetfulness in me.

No! Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Thy pyramids, built up with newer might,
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old ;
And rather make them born to our desire,
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wondering at the present nor the past; .
For thy records and what we see do lie,
Made more or less by thy continual haste:

This I do vow, and this shall ever be,
I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee;

If my dear love were but the child of state,
It might for fortune's bastard be unfather'd,
As subject to time's love, or to time's hate,
Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers ga-


“ Remember thee?
“ Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat

“ In this distracted globe." Steevens. 1 That poor retention could not so much hold, 1 That poor retention is the table-book given to him by his friend, incapable of retaining, or rather of containing, so much as the tablet of the brain. MALON..

No, it was builded far from accident;
It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls
Under the blow of thralled discontent,
Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls :
It fears not policy, that heretick,
Which works on leases of short-number'd hours,
But all alone stands hugely politick ?,
That it nor grows with heat, nor drowns with

showers'. To this I witness call the fools of time, Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime.

Were it aught to me I bore the canopy,
With my extern the outward honourings,

2 But all alone stands hugely politick,] This line brings to mind Dr. Akenside's noble description of the Pantheon :

“ Mark how the dread Pantheon stands,
“ Amid the domes of modern hands !
“ Amid the toys of idle state,

“ How simply, how severely great!" STEEVENS. 3 That it nor GROWS with heat, nor drowns with showers.] Though a building may be drown'd, i. e. deluged by rain, it can hardly grow under the influence of heat. I would read glows.

STEEVENS. Our poet frequently starts from one idea to another. Though he had compared his affection to a building, he seems to have deserted that thought; and here, perhaps, meant to allude to the progress of vegetation, and the accidents that retard it. So, in the 15th Sonnet :

“When I perceive, that every thing that grows,
“ Holds in perfection but a little moment,
“ When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheared and check'd even by the self-same sky," &c.

Malone. 4 – the fools of time,

Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime.] Perhaps this is a stroke at some of For's Martyrs. Steevens.

s With my EXTERN the outWARD honouring,] Thus, in Othello :

Or lay'd great bases for eternity,
Which prove more short than waste or ruining?
Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour
Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent;
For compound sweet forgoing simple savour,
Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent?
No;-let me be obsequious in thy heart,
And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
Which is not mix'd with seconds", knows no art,
But mutual render, only me for thee.

Hence, thou suborn'd informer! a true soul,
When most impeach'd, stands least in thy control.

CXXVI. O thou, my lovely boy?, who in thy power Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his sickle, hour; Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st Thy lovers withering, as thy sweet self grow'st; If nature, sovereign mistress over wrack, As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back, She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill May time disgrace, and wretched minutes kill. Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure; She may detain, but not still keep her treasure: Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be, And her quietus ® is to render thee.

“ When my outward action doth demonstrate
“ The native act and figure of my heart

“ In compliment extern—" Steevens. 6 Which is not mix'D with seconds,] I am just informed by an old lady, that seconds is a provincial term for the second kind of flour, which is collected after the smaller bran is sifted. That our author's oblation was pure, unmixed with baser matter, is all that he meant to say. STEEVENS.

70 thou, my lovely boy,] This Sonnet differs from all the others in the present collection, not being written in alternate rhymes. Malone.

3 And her QUIETUSM] So, in Hamlet :

CXXVII. In the old age black was not counted fair”, Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name; But now is black beauty's successive heir, And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame: For since each hand hath put on nature's power, Fairing the foul with art's false-borrow'd face, Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy hour, But is profan'd, if not lives in disgrace. Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black, Her eyes so suited; and they mourners seem At such, who, not born fair, no beauty lack, Slandering creation with a false esteem':

" --- might his quietus make

“ With a bare bodkin." See note on that passage, Act III. Sc. I. This sonnet consists only of twelve lines. Steevens.

9 In the old age, &c.] The reader will find almost all that is said here on the subject of complexion, is repeated in Love's Labour's Lost :

“ 0, who can give an oath? where is a book ?

“ That I may swear, beauty doth beauty lack, “ If that she learn not of her eye to look ?

“ No face is fair that is not full so black.

“O, if in black my lady's brow be deck'd,

“ It mourns, that painting and usurping hair
“ Should ravish doters with a false aspect;
“ And therefore is she born to make black fair."


"In the old age,” &c. All the remaining Sonnets are addressed to a female. MALONE. 1- and they mourners seem At such, who, not born fair, no beauty lack,

Slandering creation with a false esteem :] They seem to mourn that those who are not born fair, are yet possessed of an artificial beauty, by which they pass for what they are not, and thus dishonour nature by their imperfect imitation and false pretensions. Malone.


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