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When I have seen such interchange of state 3,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate-
That time will come, and take my love away.

This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

LXV. Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea, But sad mortality o'er-sways their power, How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea*, Whose action is no stronger than a flower ? 0, how shall summer's honey breath hold out Against the wreckful siege of battering days 5 When rocks impregnable are not so stout, Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays? O fearful meditation ! where, alack, Shall time's best jewel from time's chest lie hid 6 ?

3 When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store ;

When I have seen such interchange of state, &c.] So, in King Henry IV. Part II. :

“ O heaven! that one might read the book of fate;
“ And see the revolution of the times
“ Make mountains level, and the continent,
". Weary of solid firmness, melt itself
“ Into the sea ! and, other times, to see
“ The beachy girdle of the ocean
“ Too wide for Neptune's hips ; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration

" With diverse liquors!” C. 4 How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,] Shakspeare, I believe, wrote—with his rage,-i. e. with the rage of Mortality.

MALONE. 5 - SIEGE of battering days,] So, in Romeo and Juliet :

the siege of loving terms." STEEVENS. .6 O fearful meditation ! where, alack,

Shall time's best jewel from time's Chest lie hid?] I once thought Shakspeare might have written--from time's quest, but

Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back ? Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid? ?

am now convinced that the old reading is right. “ Time's best jewel" is the person addressed, who, the author feared, would not že able to escape the devastation of time, but would fall a prey, however beautiful, to his all-subduing power. So, in his 48th Sonnet:

" thou, to whom my jewels trifles are,
“ Thee have I not lock’d up in any chest,

“ Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art." This allusion is a favourite one of Shakspeare, for he has introduced it in several places. Thus again, in King Richard II. :

“ A jewel in a ten-times-barr’d-up chest

- Isa bold spirit in a loyal breast.” Again, in his Rape of Lucrece :

“ She wakes her heart hy beating on her breast,
“ And bids it leap from thence, where it may find

“ Some purer chest, to close so pure a mind.”
Again, in King John :
. “ They found him dead, and thrown into the street,

An empty casket, where the jewel of life

“ By some damn’d villain was robb’d and ta’en away!” A similar conceit is found in an Epitaph on Prince Henry, eldest son of King James I. written in 1613 :

6. Within this marble casket lies
“ A matchless jewel of rich price;
“ Whom nature, in the world's disdain,

“ But shew'd, and then put up again.” The chest of Time is the repository where he lays up the most rare and curious productions of nature; one of which the poet

- vobis male sit, malæ tenebræ

Orci, quæ omnia bella devoratis. Catul. MALONE. Time's chest is the repository into which he is poetically supposed to throw those things which he designs to be forgotten. Thus, in Troilus and Cressida :

Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,

“ Wherein he puts alms for oblivion.” Again, in Sonnet LII.:

“ So is the time that keeps you, as my chest." · The thief who evades pursuit, may be said with propriety to lie hid from justice, or from confinement. Steevens.

7 Or who his spoil or beauty can forbid ?] The reading of the quarto-his spoil or beauty, is manifestly a misprint.


Onone, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright, ,

Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry ,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplac'd,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgrac'd,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-ty'd by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall’d simplicity”,
And captive good attending captain ill?:

Tir'd with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
And with his presence grace impiety, ..
That sin by him advantage should achieve,
And lace itself with his society ? ?
Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steal dead seeing of his living hue : ?

8 Tird with all these, &c.] ( ompare Hamlet's celebrated soliloquy with this Sonnet. C. · 9 And simple truth miscall’d simPLICITY,] Simplicity has here the signification of folly. MALONE.

And captive good attending CAPTAIN ill:] So, in Timon of Athens :

" the ass more captain than the lion." Again, in the 52d Sonnet:

« Like captain jewels in the carcanet.” Malone. 2 And LACE itself with his society ?] i. e. embellish itself. So, in Romeo and Juliet:

“- what envious streaks
“ Do lace the severing clouds," Steevens.“

Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true ?
Why should he live, now nature bankrupt is,
Beggar'd of blood to blush through lively veins ?
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And, proud of many, lives upon his gains.

O, him she stores, to show what wealth she had,
In days long since, before these last so bad.

Thus is his cheek the map of days out-worno,
When beauty liv'd and died, as flowers do now,
Before these bastard signs of fair were borne",
Or durst inhabit on a living brow;
Before the golden tresses of the dead,
The right of sepulchres, were shorn away,
To live a second life on second head o;
Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay:

3 And steal dead seeing of his living hue ?] Dr. Farmer would read-seeming. MALONE.

4 — the MAP OF DAYS OUT-WORN,] So, in The Rape of Lucrece:

“Even so this pattern of the worn-out age

“ Pawn'd honest looks—." MALONE, 3 Before these bastard signs of FAIR were borne,] Fair was formerly used as a substantive, for beauty. MALONE. 6 Before the GOLDEN TRESSes of the dead,

THE RIGHT OF SEPULCHRES, were shorn away,

To live a second life on SECOND HEAD ;] Our author has again inveighed against this practice in The Merchant of Venice:

“ So are those crisped snaky golden locks,
“ Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
“ Upon supposed fairness, often known
“ To be the dowry of a second head,

The skull that bred them in the sepulchre." Again, in Timon of Athens :

"- thatch your poor thin roofs

“With burdens of the dead." So, in Swetnam Arraigned by Women, a comedy, 1620 :

“ She'll instruct them how

In him those holy antique hours are seen,
Without all ornament, itself, and true?,
Making no summer of another's green,
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new;

And him as for a map doth nature store,
To show false art what beauty was of yore.

Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view,
Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend;
All tongues (the voice of souls) give thee that due ,
Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.
Thine outward'thus with outward praise is crown'd;
But those same tongues that give thee so thine

own, In other accents do this praise confound, By seeing farther than the eye hath shown.

to use,
“ The mysteries, painting, curling, powd'ring,
And with strange periwigs, pin-knots, borderings,
“ To deck them up, like to a vintner's bush,

“For man to gaze at on a midsummer-night.” In our author's time, the false hair usually worn, perhaps in compliment to the queen, was of a sandy colour. Hence the epithet golden. See Hentzner's Account of Queen Elizabeth.

MALONE. 7 Without all ornament, ITSELF, and true,] Surely we ought to read himself, and true. In him the primitive simplicity of ancient times may be observed ; in him, who scorns all adscititious ornaments, who appears in his native genuine state, [himself and true,] &c. MALONE.

Itself is without any thing artificial by which it would be disguised, and would not be known to be itself. Boswell.

8 All tongues (the voice of souls) give thee that due,] The quarto has—that end. For the present emendation (which the rhyme requires) the reader is indebted to Mr. Tyrwhitt. The letters that compose the word due were probably transposed at the press, and the u inverted. MALONE.

9 Thine outward-] The quarto reads--- Their. MALONE.

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