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Grieving themselves to guess at others' smarts:
And then they drown their eyes, or break their hearts:
For men have marble, women waxen minds,
No more than wax shall be accounted evil,
Their smoothness, like a goodly champaign plain,
Through crystal walls each little mote will peep:
Poor women's faces are their own faults' books.
No man inveigh against the wither'd flower,
But chide rough winter that the flower hath kill'd!
With men's abuses: those proud lords, to blame,
1i.e. held; so spelt for the sake of the rhyme.
The precedent whereof in Lucrece view.
That dying fear through all her body spread;
By this, mild patience bid fair Lucrece speak To the poor counterfeit of her complaining: 'My girl,' quoth she, on what occasion break Those tears from thee, that down thy cheeks are raining?
f thou dost weep for grief of my sustaining,
Know, gentle wench, it small avails my mood: If tears could help, mine own would do me good.
But tell me, girl, when went '-(and there she stay'd
Till after a deep groan) 'Tarquin from hence ? 'Madam, ere I was up,' replied the maid;
The more to blame my sluggard negligence: Yet with the fault I thus far can dispense :Myself was stirring ere the break of day; And, ere I rose, was Tarquin gone away.
'But, lady, if your maid may be so bold, She would request to know your heaviness.'
⚫U, peace!' quoth Lucrece: if it should be told.
The repetition cannot make it less ;
For more it is than I can well express :
And that deep torture may be call'd a hell,
• Go, get me hither paper, ink, and pen :—
Bid him with speed prepare to carry it:
The cause craves haste, and it will soon be writ.'
Her maid is gone, and she prepares to write,
Throng her inventions, which shall go before.
At last she thus begins :- Thou worthy lord
So I commend me from our house in grief:
Here folds she up the tenor of her woe,
Lest he should hold it her own gross abuse,
Ere she with blood had stain'd her stain'd ex
Besides, the life and feeling of her passion
She hoards, to spend when he is by to hear her; When sighs, and groans, and tears may grace the fashion
Of her disgrace, the better so to clear her
From that suspicion which the world might bear her.
To shun this blot, she would not blot the letter With words, till action might become them better.
To see sad sights moves more than hear them told;
For then the eye interprets to the ear
The heavy motion that it doth behold.
When every part a part of woe doth bear,
'Tis but a part of sorrow that we hear:
Deep sounds make lesser noise than shallow
And sorrow ebbs, being blown with wind of words.
Her letter now is seal'd, and on it writ.—
Charging the sour-faced groom to hie as fast
Speed more than speed but dull and slow she deems:
Extremity still urgeth such extremes.
The homely villein1 courtesies to her low;
For Lucrece thought he blush'd to see her shame;
When, silly groom! God wot, it was defect
Such harmless creatures have a true respect
Even so, this pattern of the worn-out age
His kindled duty kindled her mistrust,
That two red fires in both their faces blazed;
She thought he blush'd, as knowing Tarquin's lust.