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Doth too too oft betake him to retire ?,
Beaten away by brain-sick rude Desire.

His falchion on a flint he softly smiteth,
That from the cold stone sparks of fire do fly;
Whereat a waxen torch forthwith he lighteth,
Which must be lode-star to his lustful eyes;
And to the flame thus speaks advisedly:

As from this cold flint I enforc'd this fire,
So Lucrece must I force to my desire *.

Here pale with fear he doth premeditate
The dangers of his loathsome enterprise,
And in his inward mind he doth debate
What following sorrow may on this arise :
Then looking scornfully, he doth despise
His naked armour of still-slaughter'd lust“,
And justly thus controls his thoughts unjust.

Fair torch, burn out thy light, and lend it not
To darken her whose light excelleth thine!
And die, unhallow'd thoughts, before you blot

2 Doth too too oft betake him to retire,] That is, Fear betakes himself to flight. Malone.

3 - LODE-STAR to his lustful eye;] So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream :

“ Your eyes are lode-stars —" STEEVENS.
4 As from this cold flint I enforc'd this fire,
So Lucrece must I force to my desire.]

Limus ut hic durescit, et hæc ut cera liquescit,
Uno eodemque igni; sic nostro Daphnis amore.

Virg. Ec. 8. Steevens. : 5 - armour of still-slaughter'd lust,] i. e. still-slaughtering ; unless the poet means to describe it as a passion that is always a killing, but never dies. STEEVENS. 6 Fair torch, burn out thy light, and lend it not

To darken her whose light excelleth thine !] In Othello, we meet with the same play of terms :

“ Put out the light, and then put out the light :

“ If I quench thee," &c. Malone. VOL. XX.

With your uncleanness that which is divine! .
Offer pure incense to so pure a shrine:

Let fair humanity abhor the deed
That spots and stains love's modest snow-white


O shame to knighthood and to shining arms !
O foul dishonour to my houshold's grave!
O impious act, including all foul harms!
A martial man to be soft fancy's slave 8!
True valour still a true respect should have ;

Then my digression is so vile, so base,

That it will live engraven in my face.
Yea, though I die, the scandal will survive,
And be an eye-sore in my golden coat;
Some loathsome dash the herald will contrive!,

9 - love's modest snow-white weed.] Weed, in old language, is garment. MALONE.

3 - soft FANCY's slave !] Fancy, for love or affection. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream :

“ Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers.” Malone. 9 Then my DIGRESSION — My deviation from virtue. So, in Love's Labour's Lost : “ I will have that subject newly writ o'er, that I may example my digression by some mighty precedent."

MALONE. Again, in Romeo and Juliet :

" Thy noble shape is but a form in wax,

Digressing from the valour of a man." STEEVENS. 1- the scandal will survive, And be an eye-sore in my golden coat;

Some LoATHSOME DASH the herald will contrive,] In the books of heraldry a particular mark of disgrace is mentioned, by which the escutcheons of those persons were anciently distinguished, who“ discourteously used a widow, maid, or wife, against her will.There were likewise formerly marks of disgrace for him that “ revoked a challenge, or went from his word ; for him who fled from his colours," &c. In the present instance our author seems to allude to the mark first mentioned. MALONE.

“ Some loathsome dash the herald will contrive." So, in King John:

To look into the blots and stains of right.”

To cipher me, how fondly. I did dote;
That my posterity, sham'd with the note,

Shall curse my bones, and hold it for no sin
To wish that I their father had not been.

What win I, if I gain the thing I seek ?
A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.
Who buys a minute's mirth, to wail a week ? ?
Or sells eternity, to get a toy? .
For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy ?

Or what fond beggar, but to touch the crown,
Would with the sceptre straight be strucken


If Collatinus dream of my intent,
Will he not wake, and in a desperate rage
Post hither, this vile purpose to prevent ?
This siege that hath engirt his marriage,
This blur to youth, this sorrow to the sage,

This dying virtue, this surviving shame,
Whose crime will bear an ever-during blame?

0, what excuse can my invention make,
When thou shalt charge me with so black a deed ?
Will not my tongue be mute, my frail joints shake?
Mine eyes forego their light, my false heart bleed ?
The guilt being great, the fear doth still exceed;

· Again, in Drayton's Epistle from Queen Isabel to King Richard II.:

“ No bastard's mark doth blot my conquering shield.” This distinction, whatever it was, was called in ancient heraldry a blot or difference. STEEVENS.

2 Who buys a MINUTE'S MIRTH, TO WAIL A WEEK ?] So, in King Richard III. :

“ Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
“ And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen." .

STEEVENS.. Again, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre :

Where's hourly trouble for a minute's ease.” MALONE.

And extreme fear can neither fight nor fly,
But coward-like with trembling terrour die.

Had Collatinus kill'd my son or sire,
Or lain in ambush to betray my life,
Or were he not my dear friend, this desire
Might have excuse to work upon his wife ;
As in revenge or quittal of such strife:

But as he is my kinsman, my dear friend,
The shame and fault finds no excuse nor end.

Shameful it is ;-ay, if the fact be known*:
Hateful it is ;-there is no hate in loving:
I'll beg her love ;-but she is not her own :
The worst is but denial, and reproving :
My will is strong, past reason's weak removing:

Who fears a sentence, or an old man's saw,
Shall by a painted cloth be kept in awe.

Thus, graceless, holds he disputation
'Tween frozen conscience and hot burning will,
And with good thoughts makes dispensation,
Urging the worser sense for vantage still;
Which in a moment doth confound and kill

3 But as he IS MY KINSMAN, my dear friend,] So, in Macbeth:

“ First, as I am his kinsman, and his subject,

“ Strong both against the deed—." STEEVENS. 4 Shameful it is ;-AY, if the fact be known :] Thus all the editions before that of 1616, which reads :

“ Shameful it is ; if once the fact be known.” . The words in Italicks in the first three lines of this stanza, are supposed to be spoken by some airy monitor. Malone. s Who fears a sentence, or an old man's saw,..

Shall by a PAINTED Cloth be kept in awe.] In the old tapestries or painted cloths many moral sentences were wrought. So, in If This Be not a Good Play, the Devil is in't, by Decker, 1612: “ What says the prodigal child in the painted cloth?.


All pure effects, and doth so far proceed,
That what is vile shows like a virtuous deed.

Quoth he, she took me kindly by the hand,
And gazd for tidings in my eager eyes;
Fearing some hard news? from the warlike band,
Where her beloved Collatinus lies.
O, how her fear did make her colour rise !

First red as roses that on lawn we lay,
Then white as lawn, the roses took away'.

And how her hand, in my hand being lock'd',
Forc'd it to tremble with her loyal fear ?
Which struck her sad, and then it faster rock'd,
Until her husband's welfare she did hear;
Whereat she smiled with so sweet a cheer,

o All pure effects,] Perhaps we should read affects. So, in Othello :

“ - the young affects

• In me defunct." STEEVENS.
Effects is used here in the same manner as in Hamlet:

“ Do not look upon me:
“Lest, with this piteous action, you convert

“ My stern effects.
See vol. vii. p. 399, n. 2. MALONE.

7 Fearing some HARD news —] So, in the Destruction of Troy, translated by W. Caxton, 5th edit. 1617: “Why, is there any thing (said Deyanira); what tydings ? Lycos aunswered, hard tydings." MALONE. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :

“ this is stiff news.” The modern editors read-bad news. Steevens.

: - red as roses that on lawn we lay,] So, in Venus and Adonis :

“ — a sudden pale,

“Like lawn being laid upon the blushing rose.” Malone. 9 - the roses TOOK AWAY.] The roses being taken away.

Malone. "And how her hand, in my hand being lock’d,] Thus all the editions before that of 1616, which has :

. “ And now her hand,” &c. MalonE.

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