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If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd,
Unkindness blunts it, more than marble hard.
Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
That's not my fault, he's master of my state:
What ruins are in me, that can be found
By him not ruin'd? then is he the ground
my defeatures: My decayed fair

A sunny look of his would soon repair :

But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,
And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale".

"Sometimes all full with feeding on his sight,

"And by and by clean starved for a look." MALONE.

4 Of my DEFEATURES:] By defeatures is here meant alteration of features. At the end of this play, the same word is used with a somewhat different signification. STEEVENS.

Mr. Steevens's interpretation would have been more correct if he had written alteration of features for the worse. My defeatures certainly means my defect of beauty, my ill looks. So, in our poet's Venus and Adonis :

"To mingle beauty with infirmity,

"And pure perfection with impure defeature." MALONE. S -My decayed fair-] Shakspeare uses the adjective gilt, as a substantive, for what is gilt, and in this instance fair for fairTo us xaλor, is a similar expression. In A MidsummerNight's Dream, the old quartos read:


"Demetrius loves your fair."

Again, in Shakspeare's 68th Sonnet:

"Before these bastard signs of fair were born."

Again, in his 83d Sonnet :

"And therefore to your fair no painting set."

Pure is likewise used as a substantive in The Shepherd to the Flowers, a song in England's Helicon, 1614:

"Do pluck your pure, ere Phoebus view the land.”


Fair is frequently used substantively by the writers of Shakspeare's time. So, Marston, in one of his Satires :

"As the greene meads, whose native outward faire
"Breathes sweet perfumes into the neighbour air."

6 But, too unruly deer,] The ambiguity of deer and dear is borrowed, poor as it is, by Waller, in his poem on a lady's Girdle : "This was my heaven's extremest sphere, "The pale that held my lovely deer."


Luc. Self-harming jealousy!—fye, beat it hence. ADR. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense.

Shakspeare has played upon this word in the same manner in his Venus and Adonis :

"Fondling, saith she, since I have hemm'd thee here,
"Within the circuit of this ivory pale,

"I'll be thy park, and thou shalt be my deer;

"Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or on dale." The lines of Waller seem to have been immediately copied from these. MALONE.

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7 - poor I am but his stale.] The word stale, in our author, used as a substantive, means not something offered to allure or attract, but something vitiated with use, something of which the best part has been enjoyed and consumed. JOHNSON.

I believe my learned coadjutor mistakes the use of the word stale on this occasion. "Stale to catch these thieves," in The Tempest, undoubtedly means a fraudulent bait. Here it seems to imply the same as stalking-horse, pretence. I am, says Adriana, but his pretended wife, the mask under which he covers his amours. So, in King John and Matilda, by Robert Davenport, 1655, the queen says to Matilda :


I am made your stale,

"The king, the king your strumpet," &c.

Again :


I knew I was made

"A stale for her obtaining."

Again, in The Misfortunes of Arthur, 1587:

"Was I then chose and wedded for his stale,

"To looke and gape for his retireless sayles

"Puft back and flittering spread to every winde?

Again, in the old translation of the Menæchmi of Plautus, 1595, from whence, perhaps, Shakspeare borrowed the expression :

"He makes me a stale and a laughing-stock." STEEvens. Adriana unquestionably means to compare herself to a stalkinghorse, formerly denominated a stale, behind whom Antipholus shoots at such game as he selects. So, in Greene's Groat's Worth of Wit, signat. D 2: “ Suppose, (to make you my stale to catch the woodcocke, your brother,) &c."

Again, in Ben Jonson's Catiline :


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- dull stupid Lentulus,

My stale, with whom I stalk." MALONE.

In Greene's Art of Coney-catching, 1592, a stale is the confederate of a thief; "he that faceth the man,” or holds him in

I know his eye doth homage otherwhere;
Or else, what lets it but he would be here?
Sister, you know, he promis'd me a chain ;—
Would that alone alone he would detain 8,

So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
I see, the jewel, best enamelled,

Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides still,
That others touch, yet often touching will
Wear gold and no man, that hath a name,
But falshood and corruption doth it shame':

discourse. Again, in another place, "wishing all, of what estate soever, to beware of filthy lust, and such damnable stales," &c. A stale, in this last instance, means the pretended wife of a crossbiter.

Perhaps, however, stale may have here the same meaning as the French word chaperon. Poor I am but the cover for his infidelity. COLLINS.

8 Would that alone ALONE he would detain,] In the first copy (u) being inserted for (n,) we have


Would that alone a loue," &c.

This obvious error was corrected in the second folio. MALONE. 9 I see, the jewel, best enamelled,

Will lose his beauty; AND THOUGH gold 'bides still,

That others touch, YET often touching will

WEAR gold and no man, that hath a name,


BUT falshood and corruption doth it shame :] The sense is this: "Gold, indeed, will long bear the handling; however, often touching will wear even gold: just so the greatest character, though as pure as gold itself, may, in time, be injured by the repeated attacks of falshood and corruption." WARburton. Mr. Heath reads thus

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"That others touch, though often touching will

"Wear gold and so a man that hath a name,



By falshood and corruption doth it shame." STEEVENS. This passage in the original copy is very corrupt. It reads→ "I see the jewel best enameled,

"Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still

"That others touch; and often touching will

"Where gold; and no man, that hath a name


By falshood, &c."

The word though [and though] was suggested by Mr. Steevens; all the other emendations by Mr. Pope and Dr. Warburton.

Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die.
Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy!


The Same.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.


ANT. S. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid up Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out. By computation, and mine host's report, I could not speak with Dromio, since at first I sent him from the mart: See, here he comes.

Enter DROMIO of Syracuse.

How now, sir? is your merry humour alter'd?
As you
love strokes, so jest with me again.

Wear is used as a dissyllable. See the Essay on Shakspeare's Metre. The commentator last mentioned, not perceiving this, reads and so no man, &c. which has been followed, I think improperly, by the subsequent editors, including Mr. Steevens. In the quarto copy of Troilus and Cressida, 1609, we have were printed for "wear this colour."

Turberville in his Songes and Sonets, p. 76, 8vo. 1567, has, like our author, used wear as a neutral verb, without any accompanying word (as away, off, &c.), of which usage Dr. Johnson has given no example in his dictionary:

"That welth assigned is to waste away,

"And stately pompe to vanish and decrease,

"That worship weares, and worldly wights decay,


"And fortune's gifts, though nere so brave do cease,
May well appeare," &c.

The observation concerning gold is found in one of the early dramatick pieces, Damon and Pithias, 1582:


- gold in time does wear away,

"And other precious things do fade: friendship does ne'er decay." MALOne.

You know no Centaur? You receiv'd no gold?
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
My house was at the Phoenix? Wast thou mad,
That thus so madly thou didst answer me?

DRO. S. What answer, sir? when spake I such a word?

ANT. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour since.

DRO. S. I did not see you since you sent me


Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me. ANT. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt ;

And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner;
For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas'd.

DRO. S. I am glad to see you in this merry vein : What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me. ANT. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the


Think'st thou, I jest? Hold, take thou that, and that. [Beating him.

DRO. S. Hold, sir, for God's sake: now your jest is earnest :

Upon what bargain do you give it me?

ANT. S. Because that I familiarly sometimes Do use you for my fool, and chat with you, Your sauciness will jest upon my love,


And make a common of my serious hours 1.

When the sun shines, let foolish gnats make sport,
But creep in crannies, when he hides his beams.
If you will jest with me, know my aspéct 2,
And fashion your demeanour to my looks,

* And make a COMMON of my serious hours.] i. e. intrude on them when you please. destined to common use,


The allusion is to those tracts of ground which are thence called commons.

know my aspect,] Study my countenance. VOL. IV.




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