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By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
And now his grief may be compared well
Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
For misery is trodden on by many,
Lie quietly, and hear a little more;
Applying this to that, and so to so;
2 - Echo replies,
As if another chase were in the skies.] So Dryden (in his Secular Masque, 1700]:
“ With shouting and hooting we pierce through the sky, “And echo turns hunter, and doubles the sky."
STEEVENS. 3 To one sore sick, that HEARS THE PASSING bell.] This thought is borrowed by Beaumont and Fletcher in Philaster :
“ - like one who languishing
“ Hears his sad bell " STEEVENS. * Each envious BRIAR his weary Legs doth SCRATCH] So, in The Taming of the Shrew :
“ roaming through a thorny wood
“ Scratching her legs." Steevens. s Unlike myself, thou hear’st me moralize,] So the quarto 1593. For myself, the edition of 1596 has thyself, which is fole lowed in some of the subsequent copies.
To moralize here means to comment ; from moral, which our author generally uses in the sense of latent meaning. So, in The Taming of the Shrew: “He has left me here behind to expound the meaning or moral of his signs and tokens.” MALONE.
Where did I leave ? —No matter where, quoth he;
And now 'tis dark, and going I shall fall;
But if thou fall, O then imagine this,
Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn,
Now, of this dark night I perceive the reason:
6 In night, quoth she, desire sees best of all.] So, in Marlowe's Hero and Leander, which preceded the present poem :
“ - dark night is Cupid's day." MALONE. I verily believe that a sentiment similar, in some sort, to another uttered by that forward wanton Juliet, occurreth here :
“ Lovers can see to do their amorous rites
“ By their own beauties.” Amner. 7 The earth, in love with thee, thy footing trips,
And all is but to ROB THEE OF A KISS.) So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
“ lest the base earth
STEEVENS. & Rich preys make TRUE men thieves ;] True men, in the language of Shakspeare's time, meant honest men; and the expression was thus frequently used in opposition to thieves. See vol. ix. p. 148, n. 8.
This passage furnishes a signal proof of what I have had frequent occasion to observe, the great value of first editions, every re-impression producing many corruptions. In the 16mo. of 1596, we here find—“Rich preys make rich men thieves ; ” a corruption which has been followed in the subsequent copies. The true reading I have recovered from the original quarto 1593. Malone. 9 – die PORSWORN.] i. e. having broken her oath of virginity,
STEEVENS. i her silver shine.] See p. 39, n. 5. MALONE.
Till forging Nature be condemn'd of treason,
And therefore hath she brib'd the Destinies,
Making it subject to the tyranny
As burning fevers, agues pale and faint,
Surfeits, impostumes, grief, and damn'd despair,
And not the least of all these maladies
2 — defeature ;] This word is derived from defaire, Fr. to undo. So, in The Comedy of Errors :
“- strange defeatures in my face.” Steevens. 3 Of mad mischances,] So the quarto 1593. The edition of 1596, has “sad mischances,” which has been followed in all the subsequent copies.
The following stanza, where some of these mischances are enumerated, supports the original reading : burning fevers, frenzies wood, and damn'd despair, are well entitled to this epithet.
It may also be observed, that an alliteration appears to have been intended in this verse. Malone.
4 — and frenzies wood,) Wood, in old language, is frantick. So in King Henry VI. Part I. :
“ How the young whelp of Talbot's, raging wood,
“ Dic flesh his puny sword in Frenchman's blood.” Malone. s But in one minute's Fight brings beauty under :) Thus the edition of 1593, and that of 1596. The least of these maladies, after a momentary engagement, subdues beauty. Not being pos
Both favour, savour, hue, and qualities,
Are on the sudden wasted, thaw'd, and done?,
Therefore, despight of fruitless chastity,
Be prodigal: the lamp that burns by night“,
What is thy body but a swallowing grave”,
sessed of these copies, when the first edition of these poems was printed, in 1780, I printed sight, the reading of the copy of 1600: but I then conjectured that fight was the true reading, and I afterwards found my conjecture confirmed. MALONE.
6 — the IMPARTIAL gazer – Thus the original copy of 1593, and the edition of 1596. Impartial is here used, I conceive, in the same sense as in Measure for Measure, vol. ix. p. 187, n. 7. The subsequent copies have-imperial. MALONE.
7-thaw'd, and done,] Done was formerly used in the sense of wasted, consumed, destroyed. So, in King Henry VI. Part I.:
" And now they meet, where both their lives are done." In the West of England it still retains the same meaning.
Malone. 8 - the lamp that burns by night,] i. e.
- Lúxvov Eftov,
Kai yárov axhuberta — Musæus. Steevens. Ye nuns and vestals, says Venus, imitate the example of the lamp, that profiteth mankind at the expence of its own oil. I do not apprehend that the poet had at all in his thoughts the torch of the loves, or the nocturnal meeting of either Hero and Leander or any other persons.
The preceding precept here illustrated is general, without any limitation of either time or space. Malone.
9 What is thy body but a swallowing grave,] So, in King Richard III.:
“ — in the swallowing gulph
Which by the rights of time thou needs must have,
If so, the world will hold thee in disdain,
So in thyself thyself art made away;
Foul cankering rust the hidden treasure frets, But gold that's put to use, more gold begets *.
Again, in our author's 77th Sonnet :
“ The wrinkles which thy glass will truly shew,
“ Of mouthed graves will give thee memory.” Malone. I-a swallowing grave,
Seeming to BURY that POSTERITY, &c.] So, in our author's third Sonnet :
“ — who is so fond, will be the tomb
“ Of his self-love, to stop posterity ?" Malone. ? — in DARK obscurity ?] So the quarto 1593, and the edition of 1596 ; that of 1600 and the subsequent copies have “ in their obscurity." MALONE.
3 Or BUTCHER-sire -) So the earliest copy, 1593, and the 16mo. 1596. The reviser of the edition in 1600, not comprehending how butcher could be used adjectively, printed—“butcher's sire;” a good specimen of the capricious changes made ad libitum, from ignorance, in the sheets of our author's plays and poems as they passed through the press. See p. 54, n. 8.
Malone. * But Gold that's put to use, more gold begets.] So, in The Merchant of Venice:
“ Or is your gold and silver ewes and rams? “ Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast." STEEVENS.
In Marlowe's poem, Leander uses the same argument to Hero, that Venus here urges to Adonis :
“ What difference between the richest mine