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Doth too too oft betake him to retire ?,
His falchion on a flint he softly smiteth,
As from this cold flint I enforc'd this fire,
Here pale with fear he doth premeditate
Fair torch, burn out thy light, and lend it not
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.
Limus ut hic durescit, et hæc ut cera liquescit,
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! .
Let fair humanity abhor the deed
O shame to knighthood and to shining arms !
Then my digression is so vile, so base,
That it will live engraven in my face.
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;
Shall curse my bones, and hold it for no sin
What win I, if I gain the thing I seek ?
Or what fond beggar, but to touch the crown,
If Collatinus dream of my intent,
This dying virtue, this surviving shame,
0, what excuse can my invention make,
· 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,
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,
Had Collatinus kill'd my son or sire,
But as he is my kinsman, my dear friend,
Shameful it is ;-ay, if the fact be known*:
Who fears a sentence, or an old man's saw,
Thus, graceless, holds he disputation
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,
Quoth he, she took me kindly by the hand,
First red as roses that on lawn we lay,
And how her hand, in my hand being lock'd',
o All pure effects,] Perhaps we should read affects. So, in Othello :
“ - the young affects
• In me defunct." STEEVENS.
“ Do not look upon me:
“ My stern effects.”
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.