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So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
The which he will not every hour survey,
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure,
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare,
Since seldom coming, in the long year set,
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are?,
Or captain jewels in the carcanet 8.
So is the time that keeps you, as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe, which the robe doth hide,
To make some special instant special-blesto,
By new unfolding his imprison'd pride.

6 FOR BLUNTING the fine point of seldom pleasure,] That is, for fear of blunting, &c.

Voluptates commendat rarior usus. Hor. MALONE.

aciesque habetatur amori Mutato toties. Alicubi. Steevens. 7 Therefore are FEASTS so solemn and so rare, Since SELDOM COMING, in the long year set, Like stones of worth, &c.] So, in King Henry IV. Part I. :

so If all the year were playing holidays,
“ To sport would be as tedious as to work ;
" But, when they seldom come, they wish'd-for come;

And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.” Again, ibidem :

“ - my state,
Seldom, but sumptuous, shewed like a feast,

“And won by rareness much solemnity.” MALONE. feasts so solemn and so rare.” He means the four festivals of the year. Steevens.

8'Or CAPTAIN jewels in the CARCANET.] Jewels of superior worth. So, in Timon of Athens :

“ The ass more captain than the lion, and the fellow .“ Loaden with irons, wiser than the judge.” Again, in the 66th Sonnet :

“ And captive Good attending captain Ill.” The carcanet was an ornament worn round the neck. MALONE, 9 Or as the wardrobe, which the Robe doth hide,

To make some special instant special-blest,] So, in King Henry IV. Part I. :


Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope,
Being had, to triumph, being lack'd, to hope.

What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend ?
Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
And you, but one, can every shadow lend.
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit?
Is poorly imitated after you;
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set,
And you in Grecian tires are painted new :
Speak of the spring, and foizon of the year 2 ;
The one doth shadow of your beauty show,
The other as your bounty doth appear;
And you in every blessed shape we know.

In all external grace you have some part,
But you like none, none you, for constant heart.

O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!

“Then did I keep my person fresh and new;
“ My presence, like a robe pontifical,

“ Ne'er seen but wonder'd at.” Steevens. 1 and the COUNTERFEIT -] A counterfeit, it has been already observed, formerly signified a portrait. MALONE.

2 Speak of the spring, and foizon of the year;] Foizon is plenty. The word is yet in common use in the North of England.

Malone, 3 The other As YOUR BOUNTY,-) The foizon, or plentiful season, that is, the autumn, is the emblem of your bounty. So, in The Tempest:

• How does my bounteous sister [Ceres] ? " Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :

“ For his bounty,
“ There was no winter in't; an autumn "twas,
“ That grew the more by reaping." Malone.

The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye,
As the perfumed tincture of the roses * ;
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds dis-

closes 5;
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwoo'd, and unrespected fade;
Die to themselves; Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made?:

And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth, When that shall fade, my verse distills your

truth 8.

4 The CANKER-Blooms have full as deep a dye,

As the perfumed tincture of the ROSES;] The canker is the canker-rose or dog-rose. The rose and the canker are opposed in like manner in Much Ado About Nothing: “I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace," MALONE.

Shakspeare had not yet begun to observe the productions of nature with accuracy, or his eyes would have convinced him that the cynorhodon is by no means of as deep a colour as the rose. But what has truth or nature to do with Sonnets ? STEEVENS.

5 When summer's breath their MASKED BUDS DISCLOSES :) So, in Hamlet :

“ The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty to the moon :
“ Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes :
“The canker galls the infants of the spring,

“ Too oft before their buttons be disclosed." MALONE. 6 But, FOR their virtue -] For has here the signification of because. So, in Othello:

" haply, for I am black." MALONE. 9- Sweet ROSES do not so ;

Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:] The same image occurs in a Midsummer-Night's Dream:

“ earthlier happy is the rose distillid,
“ Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,
“ Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness."

MALONE. 8 – My verse distills your truth.] The old copy reads, I think, corruptedly :-by verse distills your truth. MALONE.

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments 9
Of princes, shall out-live this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time ?.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory”.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
· Even in the eyes of all posterity,
That wear this world out to the ending doom.

So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.

Sweet love, renew thy force ; be it not said,
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite;
Which but to-day by feeding is allay'd,
To-morrow sharpen'd in his former might:
So, love, be thou; although to-day thou fill
Thy hungry eyes, even till they wink with fulness,
To-morrow see again, and do not kill
The spirit of love with a perpetual dulness.
9 Not marble, nor the gilded monuments, &c.]

Exegi monumentum ære perennius,

Regalique situ pyramidum altius. Hor. This Sonnet furnishes a very strong confirmation of my interpretation of the words,“- a paper epitaph," in King Henry V. See vol. xvii. p. 283, n. 2. MALONE. ? 1 Than UnswEPT STONE, besmeard with sluttish time.] So, in All's Well That Ends Well :.

“ Where dust, and damn'd oblivion, is the tomb

“ Of honour'd bones indeed.” MALONE.
2 When wasteful. war shall statues overturn, &c.]

Jamque opus exegi, quod nec Jovis ira nec ignes,
Nec poterit ferrum, nec edax abolere vetustas.

Ovid. MALONE," :

Let this sad interim like the ocean be
Which parts the shore, where two contracted-new
Come daily to the banks, that, when they see
Return of love, more blest may be the view;

Or call it winter, which being full of care, Makes summer's welcome thrice more wish'd, more rare.

Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire ?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour,
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour,
When you have bid your servant once adieu ;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought,
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose;
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought,
Save, where you are, how happy you make those :

So true a fool is love, that in your will
(Though you do any thing) he thinks no ill.

That God forbid, that made me first your slave,
I should in thought control your times of pleasure,
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave,
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure !

3 OR call it winter,] The old copy reads— As call it, &c. The emendation, which requires neither comment nor support, was suggested to me by the late Mr. Tyrwhitt. Malone.

4 – the WORLD-WITHOUT-END hour,] The tedious hour, that seems as if it would never end. So, in Love's Labour's Lost :

“ - a time, methinks, too short : “ To make a world-without-end bargain in." i. e. an everlasting bargain. MALONE.

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