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Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth
Askance and strangely ; but, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth ,
And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love.
Now all is done, save what shall have no end?:
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof, to try an older friend,
A God in love, to whom I am confin'd.

Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.

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,
“I have a voice and precedent of peace,

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'll tent him to the quick; if he but blench,

“ 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;
And almost thence my nature is subdu'd
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand :
Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd ;
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Potions of eysell, 'gainst my strong infection;
No bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance, to correct correction.

Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
Even that your pity is enough to cure me.

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.
I would read :

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 *
Of others' voices, that my adder's sense
To critick and to flatterer stopped are 5.
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense :-

You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
That all the world besides methinks they are

dead .

Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind?;
And that which governs me to go about,

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,
Seems seeing, but effectually is out':
For it no form delivers to the heart
Of bird, of flower, or shape, which it doth latch";
Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch;
For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight,
The most sweet favour", or deformed'st creature,
The mountain or the sea, the day or night,
The crow or dove, it shapes them to your feature :

Incapable of more, replete with you,
My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.

? – 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,
“That should be howlid out in the desert air,

“Where hearing should not latch them.”
See vol. xi. p. 232, n. 2. MALONE.
2 The most sweet FAVOUR,] Favour is countenance.

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."

Or whether doth my mind, being crown’d with you“,
Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery 5,
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true,
And that your love taught it this alchymy,
To make, of monsters and things indigest,
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble;
Creating every bad a perfect besto,
As fast as objects to his beams assemble ?
O, 'tis the first; 'tis flattery in my seeing,
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up:
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing ?,
And to his palate doth prepare the cup:

If it be poison'd S, tis the lesser sin
That mine eye loves it, and doth first begin.

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 ?
Hub. A monk whose bowels suddenly burst out."


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