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Full text of "The comedies, histories, tragedies, and poems of William Shakspere"

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C. KNIGHT'S 
LIBRARY EDITION 

SHAKSPERE. 



VOL. XII.— POEMS, ASCRIBED PLAYS, 
INDEXES. 



<r 



Vol. XII. 



THE 



COMEDIES, HISTORIES, TRAGEDIES, 
AND POEMS 



WILLIAM SHAKSPERE. 



EDITED BY 



CHARLES KNIGHT. 



" It is a tiling scarcely believable how much, and how boldly, as well the 
common writers that from time to time have copied out his works, as also 
certain that have thought themselves liable to control and emend all men's 
doings, have taken upon them in this author ; who ought witli all reverence 
to have been handled of them, and with all fear to have been preserved from 
altering, depraving, or corrupting." 

Udall's Preface to Erasmus's Apophthegms (applied there to Plutarch). 



THE SECOND EDITION. 



VOLUME XIL 



LONDON: 
CHARLES KNIGHT AND CO., LUDGATE STREET. 

MDCCCXHV. 



117045 



LONDON: 

Printed by Wilham Clowes and Sons, 

Stamford Street. 



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NOTICE. 



The present edition of the Poems of Shakspere comprises the 
Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, The Passionate 
Pilgrim, The Lover's Complaint, and the Sonnets. The 
Songs from the Plays of Shakspere are necessarily excluded from 
this edition, it being sufficient to make a reference to the Dramas 
to which they respectively belong. 



Vol. XII. 




' Vilia miretur vulgus : mihi flavus Apollo 

Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua." — Ovid. 



B 2 




RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLEY, 

EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BAHON OF TITCHFIELD. 



Right Honourable, 

I KNOW not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished 
lines to your Lordship, nor how the world will censure me for 
choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a hurthen : only if 
your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, 



O DEDICATION. 

and vow to take advantage of all idle hours till I have honoured 
you with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my invention 
prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and 
never after ear* so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a 
harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honourf to 
your heart's content ; which I wish may always answer your own 
wish, and the world's hopeful expectation. 

Your Honour's in all duty, 

William Shakespeare. 

* Eat — plough. 

f Honour. As a duke is now styled " your grace," so " your honour" was for- 
merly the usual mode of address to noblemen in general. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 



Even as tlie sun with purple-colour'd face 

Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn, 

Rose-cheek'd Adonis* hied him to the chase ; 

Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to scorn : 
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him. 
And like a bold-fac'd suitor 'gins to woo him, 

" Thrice fairer than myself," thus she began, 
" The field's chief flower, sweet above compare. 
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man. 
More white and red than doves or roses are ; 
Nature that made thee, with herself at strife, 
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life. 

" Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed. 

And rein his proud head to the saddle bow ; 

If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed 

A thousand honey-secrets shalt thou know : 
Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses. 
And being set I '11 smother thee with kisses; 

" And yet not cloy thy lips with loath'd satiety. 
But rather famish them amid their plenty, 

a The poem of ' Hero and Leander,' although Marlowe's portion of it was not 
published till 1598, was probably well known in the poetical circles. The follow- 
ing lines are in the first sestyad : — 

" The men of wealthy Sestos every year, 

For his sake whom their goddess held so dear, 
Rose-cheek d Adonis, kept a solemn feast." 



8 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

Making them red and pale with fresh variety. 
Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty : 
A summer's day will seem an hour but short. 
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport." 

With this she seizeth on his sweating palm. 
The precedent of pith and livelihood. 
And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm, 
Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good : 
Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her force. 
Courageously to pluck him from his horse. 

Over one arm the lusty courser's rein. 

Under her other was the tender boy. 

Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain. 

With leaden appetite, unapt to toy; 

She red and hot as coals of glowing fire. 
He red for shame, but frosty in desire. 

The studded bridle on a ragged bough 

Nimbly she fastens : (O how quick is love !) 

The steed is stalled up, and even now 

To tie the rider she begins to prove : 

Backward she push'd him, as she would be thrust, 
And govern'd him in strength, though not in lust. 

So soon was she along, as he was down. 
Each leaning on their elbows and their hips : 
Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown. 
And 'gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips ; 
And kissing speaks, with lustful language broken, 
" If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall never open." 

He burns with bashful shame ; she with her tears 
Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks : 
Then with her windy sighs, and golden hairs. 
To fan and blow them dry again she seeks : 
He saith she is immodest, blames her 'miss ; * 
What follows more she murders with a kiss. 



■ Wiss — amiss, fault. So in Sonnet CLI. : — 

" Love 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 9 

Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast. 
Tires* with her beak on feathers, flesh, and bone, 
Shaking her wings, devouring all in haste. 
Till either gorge be stufF'd, or prey be gone ; 

Even so she kiss'd his brow, his cheek, his chin, 

And where she ends she doth anew begin. 

Forc'd to content,'' but never to obey. 

Panting he lies, and breatheth in her face ; 

She feedeth on the steam, as on a prey. 

And calls it heavenly moisture, air of grace. 

Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers. 
So they were dew'd with such distilling showers. 

Look how a bird lies tangled in a net. 

So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies ; 

Pure shame and aw'd resistance made him fret. 

Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes : 

Rain added to a river that is rank,"= 

Perforce will force it overflow the bank. 

Still she entreats, and prettily entreats, 
¥oT to a pretty ear she tunes her tale ; 
Still is he sullen, still he low'rs and frets, 
'Twixt crimson shame, and anger ashy pale ; 

" Love is too young to know what conscience is ; 
Yet who knows not conscience is born of love ? 
Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss, 
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove." 

» Tires — tears, preys. The image is to be found without variation in ' Henry VL, 
Part III.,' Act L, Scene 1 : — 

" RevengVl may she be on tliat hateful duke; 
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire. 
Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle, 
Tire on the flesh of me and of my son." 
*> Content — acquiescence. 

« Rank — full. Rank is often used to express excess or violence generally : and 
rankness is applied to a flood, in ' King John,' Act V., Scene 4 : — 
" And like a bated and retired flood. 
Leaving our rankness and irregular course." 



10 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

Being red, she loves him best ; and being white. 
Her best is better'd with a more delight. 

Look how he can, she cannot choose but love ; 

And by her fair immortal hand she swears 

From his soft bosom never to remove. 

Till he take truce with her contending tears. 

Which long have rain'd, making her cheeks all wet 
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt. 

Upon this promise did he raise his chin. 
Like a dive-dapper* peering through a wave. 
Who, being look'd on, ducks as quickly in ; 
So offers he to give what she did crave ; 
But when her lips were ready for his pay. 
He winks, and turns his lips another way. 

Never did passenger in summer's heat 
More thirst for drink than she for this good turn : 
Her help she sees, but help she cannot get ; 
She bathes in water, yet her fire must burn : 

" O, pity," 'gan she cry, " flint-hearted boy ! 

'T is but a kiss I beg ; why art thou coy? 

" I have been woo'd, as I entreat thee now. 
Even by the stern and direful god of war. 
Whose sinewy neck in battle ne'er did bow. 
Who conquers where he comes, in every jar ; 
Yet hath he been my captive and my slave. 
And begg'd for that which thou unask'd shalt have. 

" Over my altars hath he hung his lance. 
His batter'd shield, his uncontrolled crest. 



* Dive-dapper. One of the familiar names of the dab-chick is dive-dapper, or 
di-dapper; and this was the old poetical name. Beaumont and Fletcher, in the 
♦ Woman Hater,' have a comparison of the mutability of fortune with this nimble 
water-bird: — " The misery of man may fitly be compared to a di-dapper, who, 
when she is under water past our sight, and indeed can seem no more to us, rises 
again, shakes but herself, and is the same she was." 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 1 1 

And for my sake hath learn'd to sport and dance. 

To toy, to wanton, dally, smile, and jest ; 
Scorning his churlish drum, and ensign red. 
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed. 

" Thus he that overrul'd I oversway'd. 

Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain : 

Strong-temper'd steel his stronger strength obey'd. 

Yet was he servile to my coy disdain. 

O be not proud, nor brag not of thy might. 
For mastering her that foil'd the god of fight ! 

" Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine, 
(Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red,) 
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine : 
What seest thou in the ground ? hold up thy head j 
Look in mine eyeballs, there thy beauty lies: 
Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes ? 

" Art thou asham'd to kiss ? then wink again. 
And I will wink, so shall the day seem night : 
Love keeps his revels where there are but twain; 
Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight : 
These blue-vein'd violets whereon we lean 
Never can blab, nor know not what we mean. 

" The tender spring upon thy tempting lip 
Shows thee unripe ; yet mayst thou well be tasted ; 
Make use of time, let not advantage slip ; 
Beauty within itself should not be wasted : 

Fair flowers that are not gather'd in their prime 

Rot and consume themselves in little time. 

" Were I hard-favour'd, foul, or wrinkled-old, 
Ill-nurtur'd, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice, 
O'er-worn, despised, rheumatic, and cold. 
Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice. 

Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee ; 

But having no defects, why dost abhor me ? 



12 VENUS AND ADONLS. 

" Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow ; 

Mine eyes are grey," and bright, and quick in turning ; 

My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow. 

My flesh is soft and plump> my marrow burning ; 
My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt. 
Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt. 

" Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear. 
Or, like a fairy, trip upon the green. 
Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell'd hair. 
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen: 
Love is a spirit all compact of fire. 
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire. 

" Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie ; 

These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me ; 

Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky. 

From morn to night, even where I list to sport me: 
Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be 
That thou shouldst think it heavy unto thee ? 

" Is thine own heart to thine own face affected ? 

Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left ? 

Then woo thyself, be of thyself rejected. 

Steal thine own freedom, and complain on theft. 
Narcissus so himself himself forsook. 
And died to kiss his shadow in the brook. 

" Torches are made to light, jewels to wear. 
Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use. 
Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to bear ; 
Things growing to themselves are growth's abuse : 
Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth beauty. 
Thou wast begot, — to get it is thy duty. 

" Upon the earth's increase why shouldst thou feed, 
Unless the earth with thy increase be fed ? 

• Grey is said to be here used as blue. We have subsequently — 
" Her two blue windows faintly she upheaveth." 
But the eye-lidt are the " blue windows." 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 13 

By law of Nature thou art bound to breed. 

That thine may live, when thou thyself art dead ; 

And so in spite of death thou dost survive. 

In that thy likeness still is left alive." 

By this the love-sick queen began to sweat. 
For, where they lay, the shadow had forsook them. 
And Titan, 'tired* in the midday heat. 
With burning eye did hotly overlook them ; 

Wishing Adonis had his team to guide. 

So he were like him, and by Venus' side. 

And now Adonis, with a lazy spright. 

And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye. 

His lowering brows o'erwhelming his fair sight, 

Like misty vapours when they blot the sky. 

Souring his cheeks, cries, "Fie, no more of love! 

The sun doth burn my face; I must remove." 

" Ah me," quoth Venus, " young, and so unkind ! 
What bare excuses mak'st thou to be gone ! 
I '11 sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind 
Shall cool the heat of this descending sun ; 

I '11 make a shadow for thee of my hairs ; 

If they burn too, I '11 quench them with my tears. 

" The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm, 
And lo, I lie between that sun and thee ; 
The heat I have from thence doth little harm. 
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me : 

And were I not immortal, life were done. 

Between this heavenly and earthly sun. 

" Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel. 
Nay, more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth ? 
Art thou a woman's son, and canst not feel 
What 't is to love ? how w^ant of love tormenteth ? 

• 'Tired — attired. 



14 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

O had thy mother borne so hard a mind. 

She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind.' 

" What am I, that thou shouldst contemn^ me this? 

Or what great danger dwells upon my suit ? 

What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss ? 

Speak, fair ; but speak fair words, or else be mute : 
Give me one kiss, I '11 give it thee again. 
And one for interest, if thou wilt have twain. 

" Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone. 

Well -painted idol, image dull and dead, 

Statue contenting but the eye alone. 

Thing like a man, but of no woman bred ; 

Thou art no man, though of a man's complexion. 
For men will kiss even by their own direction." 

This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue. 

And swelling passion doth provoke a pause ; 

Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong ; 

Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause : 
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak. 
And now her sobs do her intendments *= break. 

Sometimes she shakes her head, and then his hand. 
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground ; 
Sometimes her arms infold him like a band ; 
She would, he will not in her arms be bound ; 

And when from thence he struggles to be gone, 

She locks her lily fingers one in one. 



■ Unkind, Milton applies the same epithet, in the same way, in his ' Doctrine 
of Divorce :' — " The desire and longing to put off an unkindli/ solitariness by unit- 
ing another body, but not without a fit soul, to his, in the cheerful society of wed- 
lock.'' 

*> Contemn is here used in the sense of throw aside ; as Malone explains it, 
" Contemptuously refuse this favour." 

'^ Intendments — iiitentiotis. So in * Othello," Act IV., Scene 2 : — " I have said 
nothing but what I protest intendment of doing." The word continued to be used 
long after the time of Shakspere. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 15 

" Fondling," she saith, " since 1 have hemm'd thee here. 

Within the circuit of this ivory pale, 

I '11 be a park, and thou shalt be my deer; 

Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale : 
Graze on my lips ; and if those hills be dry, 
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie. 

" Within this limit is relief enough. 
Sweet bottom-grass, and high delightful plain. 
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough. 
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain; 

Then be my deer, since I am such a park ; 

No dog shall rouse thee, tho' a thousand bark." 

At this Adonis smiles as in disdain. 

That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple : 

Love made those hollows, if himself were slain. 

He might be buried in a tomb so simple ; 
Foreknowing well if there he came to lie. 
Why there Love liv'd, and there he could not die. 

These lovely caves, these round-enchanting pits, 
Open'd their mouths to swallow Venus' liking : 
Being mad before, how doth she now for wits ? 
Struck dead at first, what needs a second striking ? 
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorn. 
To love a cheek that smiles at thee in scorn ! 

Now which way shall she turn? what shall she say? 
Her words are done, her woes the more increasing. 
The time is spent, her object will away. 
And from her twining arms doth urge releasing : 

" Pity " — she cries, — " some favour — some remorse * — " 

Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse. 

But lo, from forth a copse that neighbours by, 
A breeding jennet, lusty, young, and proud, 

» Remoru — tenderness. 



16 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

Adonis' trampling courser doth espy. 
And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud : 
The strong-neck'd steed, being tied unto a tree, 
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he. 

Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds. 
And now his woven girths he breaks asunder; 
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds. 
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven's thunder ; 

The iron bit he crushes 'tween his teeth. 

Controlling what he was controlled with. 

His ears up prick'd ; his braided hanging mane 
Upon his compass'd* crest now stand on end; ^ 
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again. 
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send : 

His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire. 

Shows his hot courage and his high desire. 

Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps. 

With gentle majesty, and modest pride ; 

Anon he rears upright, curvets, and leaps. 

As who should say, lo ! "= thus my strength is tried ; 

And this I do to captivate the eye 

Of the fair breeder that is standing by. 

What recketh he his rider's angry stir, 

His flattering " holla," "^ or his "Stand, I say?" 

" Compass d — arched. 

*■ Mane is here used as a plural noun. In a note on * Othello,' Act II., Scene 1, 
we justified the adoption of a new reading — 

" The wiiid-shak'd surge, with high and monstrous mane — " 
upon the belief that in this line we have a picture which was probably suggested in 
the noble passage of Job : — " Hast thou given the horse strength ? Hast thou 
clothed his neck with thunder ? " The passage before us shows that the image was 
familiar to the mind of Shakspere, of the majesty of the war-horse erecting his 
mane under the influence of passion. 

• This is a faint echo of the wonderful passage in Job — " He saitli among the 
trumpets, Ha, ha! "' 

^ Holla. Ho is the ancient interjection, giving notice to stop. The word before 
us is certainly the same as the French hola, and is explained in Cotgrave's French 
Dictionary as meaning " enough, soft, soft, no more of that." 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 



17 



What cares he now for curb, or pricking spur ? 

For rich caparisons, or trapping gay ? 

He sees his love, and nothing else he sees. 
Nor nothing else with his proud sight agrees. 

Look, when a painter would surpass the life. 
In limning out a well -proportion'd steed. 
His art with nature's workmanship at strife. 
As if the dead the living should exceed ; 

So did this horse excel a common one. 

In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone. 

Round-hoof 'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long, 
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide. 
High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong. 
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide : 

Look what a horse should have, he did not lack. 

Save a proud rider on so proud a back. 

Sometime he scuds far off, and there he stares ; 

Anon he starts at stirring of a feather ; 

To bid the wind a base* he now prepares. 

And whe'r he run, or fly, they knew not whether ; 
For thro' his mane and tail the high wind sings. 
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feather'd wings. 

He looks upon his love and neighs unto her ; 
She answers him as if she knew his mind : 
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her. 
She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind ; 
Spurns at his love, and scorns the heat he feels. 
Beating his kind embracements with her heels. 

Then, like a melancholy malecontent. 

He vails ^ his tail, that, like a falling plume, 

■ In the game of base, or prison base, one runs and challenges anotlier to pursue. 
" To bid the wind a base '' is therefore to challenge the wind to speed. We have' 
the same expression in the early play of ' The Two Gentlemen of Verona :' — 
" Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus." 

^ yai/s — lowers. 

Vol. XII. C 



18 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent ; 

He stamps, and bites the poor flies in his fume : 
His love, perceiving how he is enrag'd, 
Grew kinder, and his fury was assuag'd. 

His testy master goeth about to take him ; 
When lo, the unback'd breeder, full of fear. 
Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him. 
With her the horse, and left Adonis there : 

As they were mad unto the wood they hie them. 
Out-stripping crows that strive to over-fly them. 

All swoln with chasing down Adonis sits. 
Banning his boisterous and unruly beast ; 
And now the happy season once more fits. 
That love-sick Love by pleading may be blest ; 
For lovers say the heart hath treble wrong. 
When it is barr'd the aidance of the tongue. 

An oven that is stopp'd, or river stay'd, 

Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage: 

So of concealed sorrow may be said ; 

Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage; 
But when the heart's attorney* once is mute. 
The client breaks, as desperate in his suit. 

He sees her coming*, and begins to glow. 
Even as a dying coal revives with wind. 
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow ; 
Looks on the dull earth with disturbed mind ; 
Taking no notice that she is so nigh, 
For all askaunce he holds her in his eye. 

O what a sight it was, wistly to view 
How she came stealing to the wayward boy ! 
To note the fighting conflict of her hue ! 
How white and red each other did destroy ! 

« In ' Richard III.' we have — 

" Why should calamity be full of words ? 
Windy attorneys to their client woes." 
The tongue, in the passage before us, is the attorney to the heart. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 



19 



But now her cheek was pale, and by and by 
It flash'd forth fire, as lightning from the sky. 

Now was she just before him as he sat. 

And like a lowly lover down she kneels ; 

With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat. 

Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels : 

His tenderer cheek receives her soft hand's print. 
As apt as new-fallen snow takes any dint. 

O what a war of looks was then between them ! 

Her eyes, petitioners, to his eyes suing ; 

His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them ; 

Her eyes woo'd still, his eyes disdain'd the wooing : 
And all this dumb play had his* acts made plain 
With tears, which, chorus-like, her eyes did rain. 

Full gently now she takes him by the hand, 

A lily prison'd in a gaol of snow. 

Or ivory in an alabaster band ; 

So white a friend engirts so white a foe : 

This beauteous combat, wilful and unwilling, 
Show'd like two silver doves that sit a billing. 

Once more the engine of her thoughts began : 

" O fairest mover on this mortal round. 

Would thou wert as I am, and I a man. 

My heart all whole as thine, thy heart my wound ; '' 
For one sweet look thy help I would assure thee. 
Though nothing but my body's bane would cure thee." 

'* Give me my hand," saith he, " why dost thou feel it ?" 
" Give me my heart," saith she, " and thou shalt have it ; 
O give it me, lest thy hard heart do steel it. 
And being steel'd, soft sighs can never grave it : •= 
Then love's deep groans I never shall regard. 
Because Adonis' heart hath made mine hard." 



■' His for its. 

^ Maloiie explains this " thy lieart wounded as mine is.' 

>= Grave — engrave. 

C 2 



20 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

" For shame," he cries, " let go, and let me go ; 

My day's delight is past, my horse is gone. 
And 't is your fault I am bereft him so ; 
I pray you hence, and leave me here alone : 
For all my mind, my thought, my busy care. 
Is how to get my palfrey from the mare." 

Thus she replies : " Thy palfrey, as he should. 

Welcomes the warm approach of sweet desire. 

Aflfection is a coal that must be cool'd ; 

Else, suffer'd, it will set the heart on fire : 

The sea hath bounds, but deep desire hath none. 
Therefore no marvel though thy horse be gone. 

" How like a jade he stood, tied to the tree. 
Servilely master'd with a leathern rein! 
But when he saw his love, his youth's fair fee. 
He held such petty bondage in disdain ; 

Throwing the base thong from his bending crest. 
Enfranchising his mouth, his back, his breast. 

'* Who sees his true love in her naked bed. 
Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white. 
But when his glutton eye so full hath fed. 
His other agents aim at like delight ? 
Who is so faint that dare not be so bold 
To touch the fire, the weather being cold ? 

" Let me excuse thy courser, gentle boy ; 

And learn of him, I heartily beseech thee. 

To take advantage on presented joy ; 

Though I were dumb, yet his proceedings teach thee. 
O learn to love ; the lesson is but plain. 
And, once made perfect, never lost again." 

" I know not love," quoth he, " nor will not know it. 

Unless it be a boar, and then I chase it : 

'T is much to borrow, and I will not owe it ; 

My love to love is love but to disgrace it ; 
For I have heard it is a life in death. 
That laughs and weeps, and all but with a breath. 



VENUS AND ADONIS, 21 

" Who wears a garment shapeless and unfinish'd ? 

Who plucks the bud before one leaf put forth ? 

If springing things be any jot diminish'd. 

They wither in their prime, prove nothing worth : 
The colt that 's back'd and burthen'd being young 
Loseth his pride, and never waxeth strong. 

" You hurt my hand with wringing ; let us part. 
And leave this idle theme, this bootless chat : 
Remove your siege from my unyielding heart ; 
To love's alarm it will not ope the gate. 

Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery ; 

For where a heart is hard, they make no battery." 

" What ! canst thou talk," quoth she, " hast thou a tongue ? 

would thou hadst not, or I had no hearing! 
Thy mermaid's voice* hath done me double wrong ; 

1 had my load before, now press'd with bearing : 

Melodious discord, heavenly tune harsh sounding, 
Ear's deep-sweet music, and heart's deep-sore wounding. 

" Had I no eyes, but ears, my ears would love 
That inward beauty and invisible ; 
Or, were I deaf, thy outward parts would move 
Each part in me that were but sensible : 

Though neither eyes nor ears, to hear nor see. 

Yet should I be in love, by touching thee. 

" Say, that the sense of feeling were bereft me. 
And that I could not see, nor hear, nor touch. 
And nothing but the very smell were left me. 
Yet would my love to thee be still as much ; 
For from the still' tory of thy face excelling 
Comes breath perfum'd, that breedeth love by smelling. 

a Mermaid's voice. Mermaid and syren were formerly used as synonymous. So 
in ' The Comedy of Errors,' Act III., Sc. 2:— 

" O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note, 
To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears ; 
Sing, syren, for thyself, and I will dote." 



22 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

" But O, what banquet wert thou to the taste. 
Being nurse and feeder of the other four ! 
Would they not wish the feast might ever last. 
And bid Suspicion double-lock the door? 
Lest Jealousy, that sour unwelcome guest. 
Should, by his stealing in, disturb the feast." 

Once more the ruby-colour'd portal open'd. 
Which to his speech did honey passage yield ; 
Like a red mom, that ever yet betoken'd 
Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, 
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds, 
Gusts and foul flaws' to herdmen and to herds. 

This ill presage advisedly she marketh : 
Even as the wind is hush'd before it raineth. 
Or as the wolf doth grin before he barketh. 
Or as the berry breaks before it staineth. 
Or like the deadly bullet of a gun. 
His meaning struck her ere his words begun. 

And at his look she flatly falleth down. 

For looks kill love, and love by looks reviveth : 

A smile recures the wounding of a frown. 

But blessed bankrupt, that by love so thriveth ! 

The silly boy, believing she is dead. 

Claps her pale cheek, till clapping makes it red ; 

And all-amaz'd brake off his late intent. 
For sharply he did think to reprehend her. 
Which cunning love did wittily prevent : 
Fair fall the wit that can so well defend her! 
For on the grass she lies as she were slain. 
Till his breath breatheth life in her again. 

He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheeks. 
He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard ; 

" Flawi is here use<l in the sense of violent blasts. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 23 

He chafes her lips, a thousand ways he seeks 
To mend the hurt that his unkindness marr'd ; 

He kisses her ; and she, by her good will. 

Will never rise so he will kiss her still. 

The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day : 
Her two blue windows* fiaintly she upheaveth. 
Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array 
He cheers the morn, and all the world relieveth : 

And as the bright sun glorifies the sky. 

So is her face illumin'd with her eye ; 

Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix'd. 

As if from thence they borrow'd all their shine. 

Were never four such lamps together mix'd. 

Had not his clouded with his brows' repine ;^ 

But hers, which thro' the crystal tears gave light. 
Shone like the moon in water seen by night.*^ 

" O, where am I ?" quoth she, " in earth or heaven. 
Or in the ocean drench'd, or in the fire? 
What hour is this ? or morn or weary even ? 
Do I delight to die, or life desire ? 

But now I liv'd, and life was death's annoy ; 

But now I died, and death was lively joy. 

" O thou didst kill me ; — kill me once again : 
Thy eyes' shrewd tutor, that hard heart of thine. 
Hath taught them scornful tricks, and such disdain 
That they have murder'd this poor heart of mine ; 

" The windows are doubtless the eyelids, but the epithet blue is somewhat start- 
ling. We must remember that Shaicspere has described violets as 

" Sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes." 
The propriety of this epithet is fully noticed by us in * Cymbeline,' Act II. 
Scene 2. 

^ Repine — used as a substantive. Chaucer employs pine in the same manner. 
■= In Sliakspere's early plays we frequently meet the same image that is found in 
these early poems. Thus in ' Love's Labour 's Lost :' — 

" Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright 
Through the transparent bosom of the deep, 
As dotli tliy face through tears of mine give light ; 
Thou shin'st in every tear that I do weep." 



24 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

And these mine eyes, true leaders to their queen. 
But for thy piteous lips no more had seen. 

" Long may they kiss each other, for this cure ! 

O never let their crimson liveries wear ! 

And as they last, their verdure still endure. 

To drive infection' from the dangerous year! 
That the star-gazers, having writ on death, 
May say the plague is banish'd by thy breath. 

" Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted. 
What bargains may I make, still to be sealing? 
To sell myself I can be well contented. 
So thou wilt buy, and pay, and use good dealing ; 
Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips. 
Set thy seal-manual on my wax -red lips. 

" A thousand kisses buys my heart from me ; 

And pay them at thy leisure, one by one. 

What is ten hundred touches unto thee ? 

Are they not quickly told, and quickly gone? 

Say, for non-payment that the debt should double,'' 
Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble?" 

" Fair queen," quoth he, " if any love you owe me. 

Measure my strangeness*^ with my unripe years; 

Before I know myself seek not to know me ; 

No fisher but the ungrown fry forbears : 

The mellow plum doth fall, the green sticks fast. 
Or being early pluck'd is sour to taste. 

" Look, the world's comforter, with weary gait. 
His day's hot task hath ended in the west : 



" The custom of strewing houses with fragrant herbs was universal at a period 
when the constant recurrence of the plague habituated families to the use of wliat 
tliey considered preventives. It was this cause which rendered Bucklersbury at 
simpling time such a crowded mart. 

■» Here is one of the many traces of Shakspere's legal studies — an allusion to tiie 
penalty for non payment which formed the condition of a money-bond. 

= St7'aiige7iess — coyness or bashfulness. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 25 

The owl, night's herald, shrieks, — 't is very late j 
The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest ; 
And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's licjht 
Do summon us to part, and bid good night. 

" Now let me say * good night,' and so say you ; 
If you will say so, you shall have a kiss." 
" Good night," quoth she ; and, ere he says " adieu," 
The honey fee of parting tender'd is : 

Her arms do lend his neck a sweet embrace ; 

Incorporate then they seem ; face grows to face. 

Till, breathless, he disjoin'd, and backward drew 
The heavenly moisture, that sweet coral mouth. 
Whose precious taste her thirsty lips well knew. 
Whereon they surfeit yet complain on drouth : 
He with her plenty press'd, she faint with dearth, 
(Their lips together glued,) fall to the earth. 

Now quick Desire hath caught the yielding prey. 

And glutton-like she feeds yet never filleth ; 

Her lips are conquerors, his lips obey. 

Paying what ransom the insulter willeth ; 

Whose vulture thought doth pitch the price so high. 
That she will draw his lips' rich treasure dry. 

And having felt the sweetness of the spoil. 

With blindfold fury she begins to forage ; 

Her face doth reek and smoke, her blood doth boil. 

And careless lust stirs up a desperate courage ; 
Planting oblivion, beating reason back. 
Forgetting shame's pure blush, and honour's wrack. 

Hot, faint, and weary, with her hard embracing. 
Like a wild bird being tam'd with too much handling. 
Or as the fleet-foot roe that 's tir'd with chasing. 
Or like the froward infant still'd with dandling. 
He now obeys, and now no more resisteth. 
While she takes all she can, not all she listeth. 



26 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

What wax so frozen but dissolves with tempering. 
And yields at last to every light impression?" 
Things out of hope are compass'd oft with venturing. 
Chiefly in love, whose leave ^ exceeds commission : 
Affection faints not like a pale-fac'd coward. 
But then woos best when most his choice is froward. 

When he did frown, O, had she then gave over. 

Such nectar from his lips she had not suck'd. 

Foul words and frowns must not repel a lover ; 

What though the rose have prickles, yet 't is pluck'd : 
Were beauty under twenty locks kept fast, 
Yet love breaks through, and picks them all at last. 

For pity now she can no more detain him ; 
The poor fool '^ prays her that he may depart : 
She is resolv'd no longer to restrain him ; 
Bids him farewell, and look well to her heart. 

The which, by Cupid's bow she doth protest. 

He carries thence incaged in his breast. 

" Sweet boy," she says, " this night I '11 waste in sorrow. 

For my sick heart commands mine eyes to watch. 

Tell me, love's master, shall we meet to-morrow? 

Say, shall we? shall we ? wilt thou make the match?" 
He tells her, no ; to-morrow he intends 
To hunt the boar with certain of his friends. 

" The boar !" quoth she ; whereat a sudden pale. 
Like lawn being spread upon the blushing rose. 
Usurps her cheeks ; she trembles at his tale. 
And on his neck her yoking arms she throws: 

She sinketh down, still hanging by his neck. 

He on her belly falls, she on her back. 

•* The soft wax upon which the seal attached to a legal instrument was impressed 
required to be tempered before the impression was made upon it. So Falstafl" says 
of Justice Shallow — "I have him already tempering between my finger and my 
thumb, and shortly will I seal with him." ^ Leave — licence. 

' No reader of Shaivspere can forget the pathos with which he has employed this 
expression in another place — " And my poor fool is hanged." 



VENUS ANt) ADONIS. 27 

Now is she in the very lists of love. 

Her champion mounted for the hot encounter: 

All is imaginary she doth prove. 

He will not manage her, although he mount her ; 

That worse than Tantalus' is her annoy. 

To clip Elysium, and to lack her joy. 

Even as poor birds, deceiv'd with painted grapes,* 

Do surfeit by the eye, and pine the maw. 

Even so she languisheth in her mishaps. 

As those poor birds that helpless'' berries saw : 
The warm effects which she in him finds missing. 
She seeks to kindle with continual kissing. 

But all in vain ; good queen, it will not be : 
She hath assay'd as much as may be prov'd ; 
Her pleading hath deserv'd a greater fee ; 
She 's Love, she loves, and yet she is not lov'd. 

" Fie, fie," he says, "you crush me; let me go; 

You have no reason to withhold me so," 

" Thou hadst been gone," quoth she, " sweet boy, ere this. 
But that thou told'st me thou wouldst hunt the boar, 
O be advis'd ! thou know'st not what it is 
With javelin's point a churlish swine to gore. 

Whose tushes never-sheath'd he whetteth still. 

Like to a mortal '^ butcher, bent to kill. 

" On his bow-back he hath a battle set 

Of bristly pikes, that ever threat his foes ; 

His eyes like glowworms shine when he doth fret : 

His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes ; 
Being mov'd, he strikes whate'er is in his way, 
And whom he strikes his cruel tushes slay. 



" The allusion is to the picture of Zeuxis, mentioned by Pliny. We may ob- 
serve that there was no English translation of Pliny so early as the date of this 
poem. 

•• Helpless — that afford no help. <= Mortal — deadly. 



28 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

" His brawny sides, with hairy bristles arm'd. 

Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter ; 

His short thick neck cannot be easily harm'd ; 

Being ireful on the lion he will venture : 
The thorny brambles and embracing bushes, 
As fearful of him, part ; through whom he rushes. 

" Alas ! he nought esteems that face of thine, 

To which Love's eyes pay tributary gazes ; 

Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips, and crystal eyne. 

Whose full perfection all the world amazes ; 
But having thee at vantage (wondrous dread !) 
Would root these beauties as he roots the mead. 

" O, let him keep his loathsome cabin still ! 

Beauty hath nought to do with such foul fiends : 

Come not within his danger* by thy will ; 

They that thrive well take counsel of their friends. 
When thou didst name the boar, not to dissemble, 
I fear'd thy fortune, and my joints did tremble. 

" Didst thou not mark my face ? Was it not white ? 

Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye ? 

Grew I not faint ? And fell I not downright ? 

Within my bosom, whereon thou dost lie, 

My boding heart pants, beats, and takes no rest, 
But, like an earthquake, shakes thee on my breast. 

" For where Love reigns, disturbing Jealousy 
Doth call himself Affection's sentinel ; 
Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny. 
And in a peaceful hour doth cry, ' kill, kill !' 

Distempering gentle Love in his desire, 

As air and water do abate the fire> 

^Danger — power of doing harm. So in ' The Merchant of Venice,' Act IV. 
Scene 1 : — 

" You stand within his danger."' 
See Note on that passage. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 29 

' This sour informer, this bate-breeding ■ spy. 
This canker that eats up love's tender spring,** 
This carry-tale, dissentious jealousy, 
That sometime true news, sometime false doth bring. 
Knocks at my heart, and whispers in mine ear. 
That if I love thee I thy death should fear : 

" And more than so, presenteth to mine eye 

The picture of an angry-chafing boar. 

Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie 

An image like thyself, all stain'd with gore ; 
Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed 
Doth make them droop with grief, and hang the head. 

" What should I do, seeing thee so indeed. 

That tremble at the imagination ? 

The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed. 

And fear doth teach it divination : 

I prophesy thy death, my living sorrow. 
If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow. 

" But if thou needs wilt hunt, be rul'd by me ; 

Uncouple at the timorous flying hare. 

Or at the fox, which lives by subtilty. 

Or at the roe, which no encounter dare : 

Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs. 

And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy hounds. 

" And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare, 
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot'' his troubles. 
How he outruns the wind, and with what care 
He cranks ^ and crosses, with a thousand doubles : 

The many musits^ through the which he goes 

Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes. 

^ Bate signifies strife. Mrs. Quickly says that John Rugby is no breed-bate. 
•> Spring — bud or young shoot. 

•= Overshoot. The original editions read overshut. This reading is retained by 
Malone. 

<> Cranks — winds. So in ' Henry IV.. Part I.' : — 

" See how this river comes me cranking in." 
e Mitsits. The term is explained in Markham's ' Gentlemen's Academy,' 1595 : 



30 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

" Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep. 
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell. 
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep," 
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell ; 

And sometime sorteth ^ with a herd of deer ; 

Danger deviseth shifts ; wit waits on fear : 

" For there his smell with others being mingled. 
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt. 
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled 
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out ; 

Then do they spend their mouths : Echo replies. 
As if another chase were in the skies. 

" By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill. 
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear. 
To hearken if his foes pursue him still ; 
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear ; 
And now his grief may be compared well 
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell. 

" Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch. 
Turn and return, indenting with the way ; 
Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch. 
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay : 
For misery is trodden on by many. 
And being low never reliev'd by any. 

" Lie quietly, and hear a little more ; 
Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise : 
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar. 
Unlike myself thou hear'st me moralize,*^ 

Applying this to that, and so to so ; 

For love can comment upon every woe. 



— " We term the place where she [the hare] sitteth her form ; the place through 
which she goes to relief her musit." 

■ Keep — dwell. >> Sorlefh — coiisorteth. 

"^ Moralize — comment. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 31 

" Where did I leave ?"• — " No matter where," quoth he ; 

" Leave me, and then the story aptly ends : 

The night is spent." — " Why, what of that ?" quoth she. 

" I am," quoth he, "expected of my friends; 
And now 't is dark, and going I shall fall." 
" In night," quoth she, "desire sees best of all. 

" But if thou fall, O then imagine this. 

The earth in love with thee thy footing trips. 

And all is but to rob thee of a kiss. 

Rich preys make true men thieves ; so do thy lips 
Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn. 
Lest she should steal a kiss, and die forsworn. 

" Now of this dark night I perceive the reason : 

Cynthia for shame obscures her silver shine. 

Till forging nature be condemn'd of treason. 

For stealing moulds from heaven that were divine. 
Wherein she fram'd thee in high heaven's despite. 
To shame the sun by day, and her by night. 

" And therefore hath she brib'd the Destinies, 
To cross the curious workmanship of nature. 
To mingle beauty with infirmities. 
And pure perfection with impure defeature ; 

Making it subject to the tyranny 

Of mad mischances and much misery ; 

" As burning fevers, agues pale and faint. 

Life -poisoning pestilence, and frenzies wood,* 

The marrow-eating sickness, whose attaint 

Disorder breeds by heating of the blood : 

Surfeits, imposthumes, grief, and damn'd despair. 
Swear Nature's death for framing thee so fair. 

" And not the least of all these maladies. 

But in one minute's fight brings beauty under : 

'^ fVood — mad. 



32 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

Both favour, savour, hue, and qualities. 
Whereat the impartial gazer late did wonder. 
Are on the sudden wasted, thaw'd, and done,* 
As mountain- snow melts with the midday sun. 

" Therefore, despite of fruitless chastity. 
Love-lacking vestals, and self-loving nuns. 
That on the earth would breed a scarcity 
And barren dearth of daughters and of sons. 
Be prodigal : the lamp that burns by night 
Dries up his oil to lend the world his light. 

•' What is thy body but a swallowing grave. 

Seeming to bury that posterity 

Which by the rights of time thou needs must have. 

If thou destroy them not in dark obscurity ? 
If so, the world will hold thee in disdain, 
Sith in thy pride so fair a hope is slain. 

" So in thyself thyself art made away ; 
A mischief worse than civil home-bred strife. 
Or theirs whose desperate hands themselves do slay. 
Or butcher-sire, that reaves his son of life. 
Foul cankering rust the hidden treasure frets, 
But gold that 's put to use more gold begets." 

" Nay, then," quoth Adon, "you will fall again 

Into your idle over-handled theme ; 

The kiss I gave you is bestow'd in vain. 

And all in vain you strive against the stream ; 
For by this black-fac'd night, desire's foul nurse. 
Your treatise makes me like you worse and worse. 

" If love have lent you twenty thousand tongues. 
And every tongue more moving than your own. 
Bewitching like the wanton mermaid's songs. 
Yet from mine ear the tempting tune is blown ; 

" Done — destroyed. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 33 

For know, my heart stands armed in mine ear. 
And will not let a false sound enter there ; 

** Lest the deceiving harmony should run 

Into the quiet closure of my breast ; 

And then my little heart were quite undone. 

In his bedchamber to be barr'd of rest. 

No, lady, no ; my heart longs not to groan. 
But soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone. 

" What have you urg'd that I cannot reprove ? 
The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger ; 
I hate not love, but your device in love. 
That lends embracements unto every stranger. 

You do it for increase ; O strange excuse ! 

When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse. 

" Call it not love, for love to heaven is fled. 
Since sweating lust on earth usurp'd his name ; 
Under whose simple semblance he hath fed 
Upon fresh beauty, blotting it with blame ; 

Which the hot tyrant stains, and soon bereaves. 

As caterpillars do the tender leaves. 

" Love comforteth like sunshine after rain. 
But lust's effect is tempest after sun ; 
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain. 
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done. 

Love surfeits not ; lust like a glutton dies : 

Love is all truth ; lust full of forged lies. 

" More I could tell, but more I dare not say ; 

The text is old, the orator too green. 

Therefore, in sadness, now I will away ; 

My face is full of shame, my heart of teen;* 
Mine ears that to your wanton talk attended 
Do burn themselves for having so offended," 



* Teen — grief. 
Vol. XII. 



34 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

With this he breaketh from the sweet embrace 
Of those fair arms which bound him to her breast. 
And homeward through the dark laund* runs apace; 
Leaves Love upon her back deeply distress'd. 
Look how a bright star shooteth from the sky, 
So glides he in the night from Venus' eye ; 

Which after him she darts, as one on shore 
Gazing upon a late-embarked friend, ' 

Till the wild waves will have him seen no more. 
Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend ; 

So did the merciless and pitchy night 

Fold in the object that did feed her sight. 

Whereat amaz'd, as one that unaware 

Hath dropp'd a precious jewel in the flood. 

Or 'stonish'd as night-wanderers often are, / 

Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood ; 

Even so confounded in the dark she lay. 

Having lost the fair discovery of her way. 

And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans, 
That all the neighbour-caves, as seeming troubled. 
Make verbal repetition of her moans ; 
Passion on passion deeply is redoubled : 

" Ah me !" she cries, and twenty times, " woe, woe !" 

And twenty echoes twenty times cry so. 

She, marking them, begins a wailing note. 

And sings extemp'rally a woeful ditty ; 

How love makes young men thrall, and old men dote ; 

How love is wise in folly, foolish-witty : 

Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe. 

And still the choir of echoes answer*' so. 

• Laund — lawn. Camden describes a lawn aa a plain among trees, and the epi- 
thet (lark confirms this explanation. We have such a scene in ' Henry VI., Part III.' 
Act III.:— 

" Under this thick-grown brake we "11 shroud ourselves, 
For through this laund anon the deer will come."' 
^ Atuwer, So the original. Mr. Dyce, who is a careful collator of copies, prints 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 35 

Her song was tedious, and outwore the night. 
For lovers' hours are long, though seeming short : 
If pleas'd themselves, others, they think, delight 
In such like circumstance, with such like sport : 

Their copious stories, oftentimes begun. 

End without audience, and are never done. 

For who hath she to spend the night withal. 
But idle sounds, resembling parasites. 
Like shrill-tougued tapsters answering every call, 
Soothing the humour of fantastic wits ? 

She says, " 't is so :" they answer all, " 't is so ;" 

And would say after her, if she said " no." 

Lo ! here the gentle lark, weary of rest. 

From his moist cabinet mounts up on high. 

And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast 

The sun ariseth in his majesty ; 

Who doth the world so gloriously behold. 
The cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold. 

Venus salutes him with this fair good morrow : 
" O thou clear god, and patron of all light. 
From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow 
The beauteous influence that makes him bright. 
There lives a son, that suck'd an earthly mother. 
May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other." 

This said, she hasteth to a myrtle grove. 
Musing the morning is so much o'erworn. 
And yet she hears no tidings of her love : 
She hearkens for his hounds, and for his horn : 

answers. No doubt, according to the rules of modern construction, antwsrt i» 
more correct, and Malone talks of Shakspere having fallen into the error of " hasty 
writers, who are deceived by the noun immediately preceding the verb being in the 
plural number." We hold that to be a false refinement which destroys the land- 
marks of an age's phraseology. Ben Jonsou, in his ' English Grammar,' lays down 
as a rule that " nouns signifying a multitude, though they be of the singular num- 
ber, require a verb plural." The rule would appear still more reasonable when the 
plural is more apparently expressed in the noun of multitude, as in the form before 
us — " the choir of echoes." 

D2 



36 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 



Anon she hears them chant it lustily. 
And all in haste she coasteth * to the cry. 

And as she runs, the bushes in the way 
Some catch her by the neck, some kiss her face. 
Some twine about her thigh to make her stay ; 
She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace. 
Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ache. 
Hasting to feed her fawn, hid in some brake. 

By this she hears the hounds are at a bay. 
Whereat she starts, like one that spies an adder 
Wreath'd up in fatal folds, just in his way. 
The fear whereof doth make him shake and shudder ; 
Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds 
Appals her senses, and her spright confounds. 

For now she knows it is no gentle chase. 

But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud. 

Because the cry remaineth in one place. 

Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud : 
Finding their enemy to be so curst. 
They all strain court'sy who shall cope him first. 

This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear. 
Through which it enters to surprise her heart. 
Who, overcome by doubt and bloodless fear. 
With cold-pale ^ weakness numbs each feeling part : 
Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield, 
They basely fly^ and dare not stay the field. 

Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy ; 
Till, cheering up her senses sore-dismay 'd,*= 
She tells them 't is a causeless fantasy. 
And childish error that they are afraid ; 

» Coasteth — advanceth. 

*> Cold-pale. The hyphen denoting the compound adjective is marked in the 
original edition of 1593. 

"= Sore-dismay d. This is the reading of the edition of 1596. The original has 
all dismayed. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 37 

Bids them leave quaking, bids them fear no more; — 
And with that word she spied the hunted boar ; 

Whose frothy mouth, bepainted all with red. 
Like milk and blood being mingled both together, 
A second fear through all her sinews spread. 
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither : 
This way she runs, and now she will no further. 
But back retires, to rate the boar for murther. 

A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways ; 

She treads the path that she untreads again ; 

Her more than haste is mated* with delays. 

Like the proceedings of a drunken brain. 

Full of respect,^ yet nought at all respecting. 
In hand with all things, nought at all effecting. 

Here kennell'd in a brake she finds a hound. 

And asks the weary caitiff for his master ; 

And there another licking of his wound, 

'Gainst venom'd sores the only sovereign plaster; 
And here she meets another sadly scowling. 
To whom she speaks, and he replies with howling. 

When he hath ceas'd his ill-resounding noise. 

Another flap-mouth'd mourner, black and grim. 

Against the welkin volleys out his voice ; 

Another and another answer him. 

Clapping their proud tails to the ground below. 
Shaking their scratch'd ears, bleeding as they go. 

Look, how the world's poor people are amaz'd 
At apparitions, signs, and prodigies. 
Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gaz'd. 
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies : 

So she at these sad signs draws up her breath. 

And, sighing it again, exclaims on Death. 

=* Mated — confounded. *" Respect — circumspection. 



117045 



38 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

" Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean. 

Hateful divorce of love," (thus chides she Death,) 

" Grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm, what, dost thou mean 

To stifle beauty, and to steal his breath. 

Who when he liv'd, his breath and beauty set 

Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet? 

" If he be dead, — O no, it cannot be. 

Seeing his beauty, thou shouldst strike at it — 

O yes, it may ; thou hast no eyes to see. 

But hatefully at random dost thou hit. 

Thy mark is feeble age ; but thy false dart 
Mistakes that aim, and cleaves an infant's heart. 

" Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke. 

And hearing him thy power had lost his * power. 

The Destinies will curse thee for this stroke ; 

They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluck'st a flower: 
Love's golden arrow at him should have fled. 
And not Death's ebon dart, to strike him dead.'' 

" Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok'st such weeping? 

What may a heavy groan advantage thee ? 

Why hast thou cast into eternal sleeping 

Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see ? 
Now Nature cares not for thy mortal vigour. 
Since her best work is ruin'd with thy rigour." 

Here overcome, as one full of despair. 
She vail'd"^ her eyelids, who, like sluices, stopp'd 
The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair 
In the sweet channel of her bosom dropp'd ; 

• His for it$. 

*" Boswell has quoted a passage from Massinger's * Virgin Martyr,' alluding, as 
Shakspere here does, to the beautiful fable of ' Cupid and Death' exchanging ar- 
rows : — 

" Strange affection ! 
Cupid once more hath chang'd his shafts with Death, 
And kills, instead of giving life." 
« Faird — ^lowered. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 39 

But through the floodgates breaks the silver rain. 
And with his strong course opens them again. 

O how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow ! 

Her eyes seen in the tears, tears in her eye ; 

Both crystals, where they view'd each other's sorrow, 

Sorrow, that friendly sighs sought still to dry ; 
But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain. 
Sighs dry her cheeks, tears make them wet again. 

Variable passions throng her constant woe. 

As striving who should best become her grief; 

All entertain'd, each passion labours so 

That every present sorrow seemeth chief, 

But none is best ; then join they all together. 
Like many clouds consulting for foul weather. 

By this, far off she hears some huntsmen hollo : * 
A nurse's song ne'er pleas'd her babe so well : 
The dire imagination she did follow 
This sound of hope doth labour to expel ; 

For now reviving joy bids her rejoice. 

And flatters her it is Adonis' voice. 

Whereat her tears began to turn their tide. 
Being prison'd in her eye, like pearls in glass ; 
Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside. 
Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass. 
To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground, 
Who is but drunken when she seemeth drown'd, 

O hard-believing love, how strange it seems 

Not to believe, and yet too credulous ! 

Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes. 

Despair and hope make thee ridiculous : 

The one doth flatter thee in thoughts unlikely. 
In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly. 



" Holh, or hollow, is not quite the same word as holla, which we have already 
noticed, although the usual spelling of this word in the passage before us is holla. 



40 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought ; 

Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame ; 

It was not she that call'd him all-to* naught; 

Now she adds honours to his hateful name ; 

She clepes him king of graves, and grave for kings. 
Imperious supreme of all mortal things. 

" No, no," quoth she, " sweet Death, I did but jest ; 
Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of fear, 
Whenas I met the boar, that bloody beast. 
Which knows no pitj, but is still severe ; 
Then, gentle shadow (truth I must confess), 
I rail'd on thee, fearing my love's decease. 

" 'T is not my fault : the boar provok'd my tongue ; 

Be wreak'd on him, invisible commander ; 

'T is he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong ; 

I did but act, he 's author of thy slander : 

Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet 
Could rule them both, without ten women's wit." 

Thus, hoping that Adonis is alive. 

Her rash suspect she doth extenuate ; 

And that his beauty may the better thrive. 

With Death she humbly doth insinuate ; 

Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs ; and stories 
His victories, his triumphs, and his glories. 

" O Jove," quoth she, "how much a fool was I, 

To be of such a weak and silly mind. 

To wail his death who lives, and must not die. 

Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind ! 

For he being dead, with him is beauty slain. 
And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again.'* 



» Att-to. Mr. Dyce explains this as entirely, altogether. 

^ Sbakspere in his greater works was not ashamed to recur to the treasury of bi» 
early thoughts : — 

" Excellent wretch ! Perdition catch my soul, 
But I do love thee ! and when I love thee not 
Chaos is come again.'' 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 41 

" Fie, fie, fond love, thou art so full of fear 
As one with treasure laden, hemm'd with thieves ; 
Trifles, unwitnessed with eye or ear. 
Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves." 
Even at this word she hears a merry horn. 
Whereat she leaps that was but late forlorn. 

As falcon to the lure away she flies ; 

The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light ; 

And in her haste unfortunately spies 

The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight ; 

Which seen, her eyes, as murder'd with the view. 
Like stars asham'd of day, themselves withdrew. 

Or, as the snail, whose tender horns being hit. 
Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain. 
And there, all smother'd up, in shade doth sit. 
Long after fearing to creep forth again ; 

So, at his bloody view, her eyes are fled 

Into the deep dark cabins of her head ; 

Where they resign their office and their light 
To the disposing of her troubled brain ; 
Who bids them still consort with ugly night. 
And never wound the heart with looks again ; 

Who, like a king perplexed in his throne. 

By their suggestion gives a deadly groan. 

Whereat each tributary subject quakes : 
As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground. 
Struggling for passage, earth's foundation shakes. 
Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound. 
The mutiny each part doth so surprise. 
That from their dark beds once more leap her eyes ; 

And, being open'd, threw unwilling light 

Upon the wide wound that the boar had trench'd 

In his soft flank ; whose wonted lily white 

With purple tears, that his wound wept, was drench'd : 



42 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

No flower was nigh, no grass, herb, leaf, or weed. 
But stole his blood, and seem'd with him to bleed. 

This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth ; 
Over one shoulder doth she hang her head ; 
Dumbly she passions, franticly she doteth; 
She thinks he could not die, he is not dead. 

Her voice is stopp'd, her joints forget to bow ; 

Her eyes are mad that they have wept till now. 

Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly 

That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem three ; 

And then she reprehends her mangling eye 

That makes more gashes where no breach should be : 

His face seems twain, each several limb is doubled ; 

For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled. 

" My tongue cannot express my grief for one. 
And yet," quoth she, " behold two Adons dead ! 
My sighs are blown away, my salt tears gone. 
Mine eyes are turn'd to fire, my heart to lead : 

Heavy heart's lead melt at mine eyes' red fire! 

So shall I die by drops of hot desire. 

" Alas, poor world, what treasure hast thou lost ! 
What face remains alive that 's worth the viewing ? 
Whose tongue is music now ? what canst thou boast 
Of things long since, or anything ensuing? 

The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh and trim ; 

But true-sweet beauty liv'd and died with him. 

" Bonnet nor veil henceforth no creature wear ! 

Nor sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you : 

Having no fair* to lose, you need not fear ; 

The sun doth scorn you, and the wind doth hiss you : 
But when Adonis liv'd, sun and sharp air 
Lurk'd like two thieves to rob him of his fair ; 

■ Fair — beauty. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 43 

" And therefore would lie put his bonnet on. 
Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep ; 
The wind would blow it off, and, being gone, 
Plaj with his locks; then would Adonis weep : 
And straight, in pity of his tender years. 
They both would strive who first should dry his tears. 

" To see his face the lion walk'd along 

Behind some hedge, because he would not fear him : 

To recreate himself, when he hath sung. 

The tiger would be tame and gently hear him : 

If he had spoke the wolf would leave his prey. 

And never fright the silly lamb that day. 

" When he beheld his shadow in the brook 
The fishes spread on it their golden gills ; 
When he was by the birds such pleasure took 
That some would sing, some other in their bills 

Would bring him mulberries, and ripe-red cherries ; 

He fed them with his sight, they him with berries. 

" But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted * boar. 
Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave. 
Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore : 
Witness the entertainment that he gave ; 
If he did see his face, why then I know 
He thought to kiss him, and hath kill'd him so. 

" 'T is true, 't is true ; thus was Adonis slain ; 

He ran upon the boar with his sharp spear. 

Who did not whet his teeth at him again. 

But by a kiss thought to persuade him there; 
And nuzzling in his flank the loving swine 
Sheath'd, unaware, the tusk in his soft groin. 

" Had I been tooth'd like him I must confess 
With kissing him I should have kill'd him first ; 

• Urchin-snouted — with the snout of the urchin, or hedgehog. 



44 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

But he is dead, and never did he bless 
My youth with his ; the more am I accurst." 
With this she falleth in the place she stood. 
And stains her face with his congealed blood. 

She looks upon his lips, and they are pale ; 

She takes him by the hand, and that is cold ; 

She whispers in his ears a heavy tale. 

As if they heard the woeful words she told : 
She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes. 
Where, lo ! two lamps, burnt out, in darkness lies : 

Two glasses where herself herself beheld 

A thousand times, and now no more reflect ; 

Their virtue lost, wherein they late excell'd. 

And every beauty robb'd of his effect : 

" Wonder of time," quoth she, " this is my spite. 
That you being dead the day should yet be light. 

" Since thou art dead, lo! here I prophesy. 
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend ; 
It shall be waited on with jealousy. 
Find sweet beginning but unsavoury end ; 

Ne'er settled equally, but high or low ; 

That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe. 

" It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud ; 

Bud and be blasted in a breathing while ; 

The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd * 

With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile : 
The strongest body shall it make most weak. 
Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak. 

"It shall be sparing, and too full of riot. 
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures;'' 
The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet. 
Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures : 

• O'erstraw'd — o'crstrewed. '' Measure* — grave dances suited to age. 



VENUS AND ADONIS. 45 

It shall be raging mad, and silly mild. 
Make the young old, the old become a child. 

" It shall suspect where is no cause of fear ; 
It shall not fear where it should most mistrust; 
It shall be merciful, and too severe. 
And most deceiving when it seems most just ; 

Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward. 

Put fear to valour, courage to the coward. 

" It shall be cause of war and dire events. 

And set dissention 'twixt the son and sire ; 

Subject and servile to all discontents. 

As dry combustions matter is to fire ; 

Sith in his prime death doth my love destroy. 
They that love best their loves shall not enjoy." 

By this, the boy that by her side lay kill'd 
Was melted like a vapour from her sight. 
And in his blood that on the ground lay spill'd, 
A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with white. 
Resembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood 
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood. 

She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell. 

Comparing it to her Adonis' breath ; 

And says, within her bosom it shall dwell. 

Since he himself is reft from her by death : 
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears 
Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears. 

" Poor flower," quoth she, " this was thy father's guise, 
(Sweet issue of a more sweet smelling sire,) 
For every little grief to wet his eyes : 
To grow unto himself was his desire. 

And so 't is thine ; but know, it is as good 

To wither in my breast as in his blood. 

" Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast; 
Thou art the next of blood, and 't is thy right : 



46 VENUS AND ADONIS. 

Lo ! in this hollow cradle take thy rest. 
My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night : 
There shall not be one minute in an hour 
Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower." 

Thus weary of the world, away she hies. 
And yokes her silver doves ; by whose swift aid 
Their mistress mounted, through the empty skies 
In her light chariot quickly is convey'd. 

Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen 
Means to immure herself, and not be seen. 




RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLEY, 

EAKI. OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TITCHFIELD. 



The love I dedicate to your Lordship is without end; whereof this 
pamphlet, without beginning, is but a superfluous moiety.* The 
warrant I have of your honourable disposition, not the worth of my 



= Moiety. In ' Henry IV., Part I.,' and in ' I^ear,' Shakspere uses moiety as it 
ig here used, meaning a portion, not a half. 

Vol. XII. E 



50 DEDICATION. 

untutored lines, makes it assured of acceptance. What I have done 
is yours, what I have to do is yours ; being part in all I have, de- 
voted yours. Were my worth greater my duty would show greater : 
meantime, as it is, it is bound to your Lordship ; to whom I wish 
long life, still lengthened with all happiness. 

Your Lordship's in all duty, 

William 3hakespeare. 



THE ARGUMENT. 



Lucius Takquinius (for his excessive pride surnamed Superbus), after he had 
caused his own father-in-law, Servius TuUius, to be cruelly murdered, and, contrary 
to the Roman laws and customs, not requiring or staying for the people's suffrages, 
had possessed himself of the kingdom, went, accompanied with his sons and other 
noblemen of Rome, to besiege Ardea. During which siege the principal men of 
the army meeting one eyening at the tent of Sextus Tarquinius, the king's son, in 
their discourses after supper, every one commended the virtues of his own wife ; 
among whom, CoUatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife Lucretia. 
In that pleasant humour they all posted to Rome ; and intending, by their secret 
and sudden arriTal, to make trial of that which every one had before avouched, 
only CoUatinus finds his wife (though it were late in the night) spinning amongst 
her maids : the other ladies were all found dancing and revelling, or in several 
disports. Whereupon the noblemen yielded CoUatinus the victory, and his wife 
the fame. At that time Sextus Tarquinius, being inflamed with Lucrece' beauty, 
yet smothering his passions for the present, departed with the rest back to the camp ; 
from whence he shortly after privily withdrew himself, and was (according to his 
estate) royally entertained and lodged by Lucrece at Collatium. The same night 
he treacherously stealeth into her chamber, violently ravished her, and early in the 
morning speedeth away. Lucrece, in this lamentable plight, hastily despatcheth 
messengers, one to Rome for her father, another to the camp for CoUatine. They 
came, the one accompanied with Junius Brutus, the other with Publius Valerius ; 
and, finding Lucrece attired in mourning habit, demanded the cause of her sorrow. 
She, first taking an oath of them for her revenge, revealed the actor, and whole 
manner of his dealing, and withal suddenly stabbed herself. Which done, with one 
consent they all vowed to root out the whole hated family of the Tarquins ; and bear- 
ing the dead body to Rome, Brutus acquainted the people with the doer and manner 
of the vile deed, with a bitter invective against the tyranny of the king : wherewith 
the people were so moved, that with one consent and a general acclamation the 
Tarquins were all exiled, and the state government changed firom kings to consuls. 



E 2 




THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 



From tlie besieged Ardea all in post. 
Borne by the trustless wings of false desire. 
Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host. 
And to Collatium bears the lightless fire 
Which, in pale embers hid, lurks to aspire. 
And girdle with embracing flames the waist 
Of Collatine's fair love, Lucrece the chaste. 

Haply that name of chaste unhapp'ly set 
This bateless edge on his keen appetite ; 
When CoUatine unwisely did not let* 



» Let — forbear. 



54 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

To praise the clear unmatched red and white 

Which triuraph'd in that sky of his delight, 

Where mortal stars, as bright as heaven's beauties. 
With pure aspects did him peculiar duties. 

For he the night before, in Tarquin's tent, 

Unlock'd the treasure of his happy state ; 

What priceless wealth the heavens had him lent 

In the possession of his beauteous mate ; 

Reckoning his fortune at such high -proud rate. 
That kings might be espoused to more fame, 
But king nor peer to such a peerless dame. 

O happiness enjoy'd but of a few! 

And, if possess'd, as soon decay 'd and done " 

As is the morning's silver-melting dew 

Against the golden splendour of the sun ! 

An expir'd date, cancell'd ere well begun : 
Honour and beauty, in the owner's arms. 
Are weakly fortress'd from a world of harms. 

Beauty itself doth of itself persuade 
The eyes of men without an orator ; 
What needeth then apologies be made 
To set forth that which is so singular ? 
Or why is Collatine the publisher 

Of that rich jewel he should keep unknown 

From thievish ears, because it is his own? 

Perchance his boast of Lucrece' sovereignty 

Suggested ^ this proud issue of a king ; 

For by our ears our hearts oft tainted be : 

Perchance that envy of so rich a thing. 

Braving compare, disdainfully did sting 

His high-pitch'd thoughts, that meaner men should vaunt 
That golden hap which their superiors want. 

" Done. The word is here used as in a previous passage of the ' Venus and 
Adonis :' — 

" Wasted, thaw'd, and done, 
As mountain- snow melts with the mid-day sun." 
•• Suggested — tempted. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 55 

But some uutimely thought did instigate 

His all-too-timeless speed, if none of those : 

His honour, his affairs, his friends, his state. 

Neglected all, with swift intent he goes 

To quench the coal which in his liver glows. 
O rash false heat, wrapp'd in repentant cold. 
Thy hasty spring still blasts," and ne'er grows old ! 

When at Collatium this false lord arriv'd. 
Well was he welcom'd by the Roman dame. 
Within whose face beauty and virtue striv'd 
Which of them both should underprop her fame : 
When virtue bragg'd, beauty would blush for shame ; 
When beauty boasted blushes, in despite 
Virtue would stain that or*^ with silver white. 

But beauty, in that white intituled,*^ 
From Venus' doves doth challenge that fair field: 
Then virtue claims from beauty beauty's red. 
Which virtue gave the golden age, to gild 
Their silver cheeks, and call'd it then their shield ; 
Teaching them thus to use it in the fight, — 
When shame assail'd, the red should fence the white. 

This heraldry in Lucrece' face was seen. 
Argued by beauty's red, and virtue's white : 

" Blasts is here used as a verb neuter. It is so used in the poem ascribed to Ra- 
leigh, entitled ' The Farewell :' 

" Tell age it daily wasteth ; 
Tell honour how it alters ; 
Tell beauty that it b/asteth." 
^ Or. The line usually stands thus : — 

" Virtue would stain that o'er with silver white." 
The original has ore. Malone has suggested, but he does not act upon the sugges- 
tion, that " the word intended was perhaps or, i. e. gold, to which the poet com- 
pares the deep colour of a blush." We have no doubt whatever of the matter. The 
luies in the subsequent stanza complete the heraldic allusion : — 
" Then virtue claims from beauty beauty's red, 
Which virtue gave the golden age, to gild 
Their silver cheeks, and cfdl'd it then their shield." 
"^ Intituled — having a title to, or in. 



56 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

Of either's colour was the other queen. 
Proving from world's minority their right : 
Yet their ambition makes them still to fight ; 
The sovereignty of either being so great. 
That oft they interchange each other's seat. 

This silent war of lilies and of roses 
Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field. 
In their pure ranks his traitor eye encloses ; 
Where, lest between them both it should be kill'd. 
The coward captive vanquished doth yield 
To those two armies that would let him go. 
Rather than triumph in so false a foe. 

Now thinks he that her husband's shallow tongue 
(The niggard prodigal that prais'd her so) 
In that high task hath done her beauty wrong. 
Which far exceeds his barren skill to show : 
Therefore that praise which Collatine doth owe," 
Enchanted Tarquin answers with surmise. 
In silent wonder of still-gazing eyes. 

This earthly saint, adored by this devil, 
Little suspecteth the false worshipper; 
For unstain'd thoughts do seldom dream on evil ; 
Birds never lim'd no secret bushes fear : 
So guiltless she securely gives good cheer 
And reverend welcome to her princely guest. 
Whose inward ill no outward harm express'd : 

For that he colour'd with his high estate. 
Hiding base sin in plaits of majesty ; 
That nothing in him seem'd inordinate. 
Save sometime too much wonder of his eye. 
Which, having all, all could not satisfy ; 
But, poorly rich, so wanteth in his store. 
That cloy'd with much he pineth still for more. 



The object of praise which Collatine doth possess. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 57 

But she, that never cop'd with stranger eyes. 
Could pick no meaning from their parling* looks. 
Nor read the subtle-shining secrecies 
Writ in the glassy margents of such books ; '^ 
She touch'd no unknown baits, nor fear'd no hooks ; 
Nor could she moralize *= his wanton sight, 
More than his eyes were open'd to the light. 

He stories to her ears her husband's fame. 

Won in the fields of fruitful Italy ; 

And decks with praises Collatine's high name. 

Made glorious by his manly chivalry. 

With bruised arms and wreaths of victory ; 

Her joy with heav'd-up hand she doth express. 
And, wordless, so greets heaven for his success. 

Far from the purpose of his coming thither. 
He makes excuses for his being there. 
No cloudy show of stormy blustering weather 
Doth yet in his fair welkin once appear ; 
Till sable Night, mother of Dread and Fear, 

Upon the world dim darkness doth display. 

And in her vaulty prison stows the day. 

For then is Tarquin brought unto his bed. 

Intending*^ weariness with heavy spright ; 

For, after supper, long he questioned^ 

With modest Lucrece, and wore out the night : 

Now leaden slumber with life's strength doth fight ; 

And every one to rest himself betakes. 

Save thieves, and cares, and troubled minds, that wakes. 

As one of which doth Tarquin lie revolving 
The sundry dangers of his will's obtaining ; 
Yet ever to obtain his will resolving, 

° Purling — speaking. 

^ See * Romeo and Juliet.' Illustrations of Act I. 

•= Moralize — interpret. 

<* Intending — pretending. 

*" Questioned — converged. 



58 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

Though weak-built hopes persuade him to abstaining ; 

Despair to gain doth traffic oft for gaining ; 
And when great treasure is the meed propos'd. 
Though death be adjunct, there 's no death suppos'd. 

Those that much covet are with gain so fond, 
That what they have not, that which they possess 
They scatter and unloose it from their bond," 
And so, by hoping more, they have but less ; 
Or, gaining more, the profit of excess 
Is but to surfeit, and such griefs sustain. 
That they prove bankrupt in this poor-rich gain. 

The aim of all is but to nurse the life 

With honour, wealth, and ease, in waning age ; 

And in this aim there is such thwarting strife. 

That one for all, or all for one we gage ; 

As life for honour in fell battles' rage ; 

Honour for wealth ; and oft that wealth doth cost 

The death of all, and all together lost. 

So that in vent'ring ill we leave to be 

The things we are, for that which we expect ; 

And this ambitious foul infirmity. 

In having much, torments us with defect 

Of that we have : so then we do neglect 

The thing we have, and, all for want of wit. 
Make something nothing, by augmenting it. 



" This is the reading of the original edition of 1594. That of IGIG reads 

" are with gain so fond, 
That oft they have not that which they possess ; 
They scatter and unloose it." 

Malone adopts the reading of the original, and he thus explains it : " Poetically 
speaking, they may be said to scatter what they have not, t. e. what they cannot be 
truly said to have ; what they do not enjoy, \\\q\x^ possessed of it." This is clearly 
a misinterpretation. The reasoning of the two following stanzas is directed against 
tlie folly of venturing a certainty for an expectation, by which we " make something 
nothing." The meaning then, though obscurely expressed, is that the covetous are 
so fond of gaining what tliey have not, tliat they scatter and unloose from their 
bond (safe hold) (hat which they possess. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 59 

Such hazard now must doting Tarquin make. 

Pawning his honour to obtain his lust ; 

And for himself himself he must forsake : 

Then where is truth if there be no self-trust ? 

When shall he think to find a stranger just. 
When he himself himself confounds/ betrays 
To slanderous tongues, and wretched hateful days ? 

Now stole upon the time the dead of night. 
When heavy sleep had clos'd up mortal eyes; 
No comfortable star did lend his light. 
No noise but owls' and wolves' death-boding cries ; 
Now serves the season that they may surprise 

The silly lambs ; pure thoughts are dead and still. 
While lust and murder wake to stain and kill. 

And now this lustful lord leap'd from his bed. 

Throwing his mantle rudely o'er his arm ; 

Is madly toss'd between desire and dread ; 

Th' one sweetly flatters, th' other feareth harm ; 

But honest Fear, bewitch'd with lust's foul charm. 

Doth too too oft betake him to retire. 

Beaten away by brain-sick rude Desire. 

His falchion on a flint he softly smiteth. 
That from the cold stone sparks of fire do fly. 
Whereat a waxen torch forthwith he lighteth, 
Which must be lode-star to his lustful eye ; 
And to the flame thus speaks advisedly : 

" As from this cold flint I enforc'd this fire, 

So Lucrece must I force to my desire." 

Here pale with fear he doth premeditate 
The dangers of his loathsome enterprise. 
And in his inward mind he doth debate 
What following sorrow may on this arise ; 
Then looking scornfully, he doth despise 

* Confounds. Malone interprets this as destroys ; but the meaning is sufficiently 
clear if we accept confounds in its usual sense. 



60 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

His naked armour of still-slaughter'd lust, 
And justly thus controls his thoughts unjust: 

" Fair torch, burn out thy light, and lend it not 
To darken her whose light excelleth thine ! 
And die unhallow'd thoughts, before you blot 
With your uncleanness that which is divine ! 
Offer pure incense to so pure a shrine : 

Let fair humanity abhor the deed 

That spots and stains love's modest snow-white weed. 

" O shame to knighthood and to shining arms ! 
O foul dishonour to my household's grave ! 
O impious act, including all foid harms ! 
A martial man to be soft fancy's slave ;'' 
True valour still a true respect should have; 

Then my digression*' is so vile, so base. 

That it will live engraven in my face. 

" Yea, though I die, the scandal will survive. 
And be an eyesore in my golden coat ; 
Some loathsome dash the herald will contrive,'' 
To cipher me how fondly I did dote ; 
That my posterity, sham'd with the note. 



* Weed — garment. The word is more commonly used in the plural, as in Mil- 
ton's ' Paradise Regained :" — 

" But now an aged man in rural weeds,'''' 

But in the same scene of ' Coriolaiius' (Act II., Scene 3) we have both weed and 
weeds. 

*• Fancy's slave — love's slave. 

'^ Digression is here used in the sense of transgression. 

^ Here is one of the frequent examples with which the works of Shakspere and 
his contemporaries abound, of applying the usages of chivalry to the more remote 
antiquity of Greece and Rome. The poem of ' Lucrece' contains many such allu- 
sions. In particular, towards the close we have this line : — 

" Knights by their oaths should right poor ladies' harms.' 

This was indeed an anticipation of chivalry ; but the poet could in no way so forci- 
bly express the spirit which animated the avengers of Lucrece, and which the in- 
jured lady here invokes, as by employing the language of chivalry. The use of the 
word ladies in this line is as much an anachronism as that oi knights ; but what 
other words will express the meaning intended ? 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 61 

Shall curse my bones, and hold it for no sin 
To wish that I their father had not been. 

" What win I if 1 gain the thing I seek ? 

A dream, a breathy a froth of fleeting joy : 

Who buys a minute's mirth to wail a week ? 

Or sells eternity to get a toy ? 

For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy ? 
Or what fond beggar, but to touch the crown. 
Would with the sceptre straight be strucken down ? 

" If Collatinus dream of my intent. 

Will he not wake, and in a desperate rage 

Post hither, this vile purpose to prevent ? 

This siege that hath engirt his marriage. 

This blur to youth, this sorrow to the sage. 
This dying virtue, this surviving shame. 
Whose crime will bear an ever-during blame ? 

" O what excuse can my invention make. 

When thou shalt charge me with so black a deed ? 

Will not my tongue be mute, my frail joints shake ? 

Mine eyes forego their light, my false heart bleed ? 

The guilt being great the fear doth still exceed ; 
And extreme fear can neither fight nor fly. 
But, coward-like, with trembling terror die. 

" Had Collatinus kill'd my son or sire. 

Or lain in ambush to betray my life. 

Or were he not my dear friend, this desire 

Might have excuse to work upon his wife ; 

As in revenge or quittal of such strife : 
But as he is my kinsman, my dear friend. 
The shame and fault finds no excuse nor end. 

" Shameful it is ; — ay, if the fact be known : 
Hateful it is : — there is no hate in loving : 
I '11 beg her love ; — but she is not her own;* 

* Malone says the words such as shameful it is are " supposed to be spoken by 



62 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

The worst is but denial, and reproving : 
My will is strong, past reason's weak removing. 
Who fears a sentence or an old man's saw 
Shall by a painted cloth * be kept in awe." 

Thus, graceless, holds he disputation 
'Tween frozen conscience and hot-burning will. 
And with good thoughts makes dispensation. 
Urging the worser sense for vantage still ; 
Which in a moment doth confound and kill 
All pure effects, and doth so far proceed. 
That what is vile shows like a virtuous deed. 

Quoth he, " She took me kindly by the hand, 
And gaz'd for tidings in my eager eyes. 
Fearing some hard news from the warlike band 
Where her beloved CoUatinus lies. 
O how her fear did make her colour rise ! 
First red as roses that on lawn we lay. 
Then white as lawn, the roses took away.^^ 

" And how her hand, in my hand being lock'd, 
Forc'd it to tremble with her loyal fear; 
Which struck her sad, and then it faster rock'd. 
Until her husband's welfare she did hear ; 
Whereat she smiled with so sweet a cheer. 
That had Narcissus seen her as she stood. 
Self-love had never drown'd him in the flood. 

" Why hunt I then for colour or excuses ? 
All orators are dumb when beauty pleadeth ; 
Poor wretches have remorse in poor abuses ; 
Love thrives not in the heart that shadows dreadeth 
Affection is my captain, and he leadeth ; 



some airy monitor." Surely the poet only meant to express that contest of thoughts 
which goes forward in a mind distracted between reason and passion ; and which 
the dramatic poet can only represent by soliloquy, as it is here represented. 

" See ' As You Like It,' Illustrations of Act III. 

'' Took away — being taken away. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 63 

And when his gaudy banner is display'd. 
The coward fights, and will not be dismay'd. 

" Then, childish fear, avaunt ! debating, die ! . 
Respect^ and reason wait on wrinkled age ! 
My heart shall never countermand mine eye : 
Sad '^ pause and deep regard beseem the sage ; 
My part is youth, and beats these from the stage : 

Desire my pilot is, beauty my prize ; 

Then who fears sinking where such treasure lies ?" 

As corn o'ergrown by weeds, so heedful fear 

Is almost chok'd by unresisted lust. 

Away he steals with open listening ear. 

Full of foul hope, and full of fond mistrust ; 

Both which, as servitors to the unjust. 

So cross him with their opposite persuasion. 
That now he vows a league, and now invasion. 

Within his thought her heavenly image sits. 

And in the selfsame seat sits Collatine : 

That eye which looks on her confounds his wits ; 

That eye which him beholds, as more divine. 

Unto a view so false will not incline ; 

But with a pure appeal seeks to the heart. 
Which once corrupted takes the worser part ; 

And therein heartens up his servile powers. 

Who, flatter 'd by their leader's jocund show. 

Stuff up his lust, as minutes fill up hours; 

And as their captain, so their pride doth grow. 

Paying more slavish tribute than they owe. 
By reprobate desire thus madly led. 
The Roman lord marcheth to Lucrece' bed. 

The locks between her chamber and his will. 
Each one by him enforc'd, retires his ward ; 

^ Respect — prudence, — in the sense of the original Latin, looking again. 
^ Sad — grave. 



64 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

But as they open they all rate his ill, 

Which drives the creeping thief to some regard ; 

The threshold grates the door to have him heard ; 

Night-wand'ring weasels shriek to see him there ; 

They fright him, yet he still pursues his fear. 

As each unwilling portal yields him way. 
Through little vents and crannies of the place 
The wind wars with his torch, to make him stay. 
And blows the smoke of it into his face. 
Extinguishing his conduct* in this case; 

But his hot heart, which fond desire doth scorch. 
Puffs forth another wind that fires the torch : 

And being lighted, by the light he spies 
Lucretia's glove, wherein her needle sticks ; 
He takes it from the rushes where it lies. 
And griping it, the neeld ^ his finger pricks : 
As who should say, this glove to wanton tricks 

Is not inur'd ; return again in haste ; 

Thou seest our mistress' ornaments are chaste. 

But all these poor forbiddings could not stay him ; 

He in the worst sense construes their denial: 

The doors, the wind, the glove that did delay him, 

He takes for accidental things of trial ; 

Or as those bars which stop the hourly dial. 
Who with a lingering stay his course doth let,'' 
Till every minute pays the hour his debt. 

" So, so," quoth he, " these lets attend the time. 
Like little frosts that sometime threat the spring. 
To add a more rejoicing to the prime. 
And give the sneaped*^ birds more cause to sing. 
Pain pays the income of each precious thing ; 



» Conduct — conductor. ^ Neeld — needle. " Let — obstruct. 

■* Sruaped — checked. So in ' Love'g Labour 's Lost,' Act I., Scene 1 : — 
" Biron is like an envious sneaping frost, 
That bites the first-bom infants of the spring." 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 65 

Huge rocks, high winds, strong pirates, shelves and sands. 
The merchant fears, ere rich at home he lands." 

Now is he come unto the chamber door 
That shuts him from the heaven of his thought. 
Which with a yielding latch, and with no more. 
Hath barr'd him from the blessed thing he sought. 
So from himself impiety hath wrought, 
That for his prey to pray he doth begin. 
As if the heaven should countenance his sin. 

But in the midst of his unfruitful prayer. 
Having solicited the eternal power. 
That his foul thoughts might compass his fair fair. 
That they would stand auspicious to the hour. 
Even there he starts : — quoth he, " I must deflower ; 

The powers to whom I pray abhor this fact. 

How can they then assist me in the act ? 

" Then Love and Fortune be my gods, my guide ! 

My will is back'd with resolution : 

Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried. 

The blackest sin is clear'd with absolution ; 

Against love's fire fear's frost hath dissolution. 
The eye of heaven is out, and misty night 
Covers the shame that follows sweet delight." 

This said, his guilty hand pluck'd up the latch. 

And with his knee the door he opens wide : 

The dove sleeps fast that this night-owl will catch ; 

Thus treason works ere traitors be espied. 

Who sees the lurking serpent steps aside ; 

But she, sound sleeping, fearing no such thing. 

Lies at the mercy of his mortal sting. 

Into the chamber wickedly he stalks," 
And gazeth on her yet unstained bed. 



" Slalks. Malone aays, '• That the poet meant by the word stalk to convey the 
Vol. XII. F 



66 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

The curtains being close, about he walks. 

Rolling his greedy eyeballs in his head : 

By their high treason is his heart misled ; 

Which gives the watchword to his hand full soon. 
To draw the cloud that hides the silver moon. 

Look, as the fair and fiery-pointed sun, 
Rushing from forth a cloud, bereaves our sight ; 
Even so, the curtain drawn, his eyes begun 
To wink, being blinded with a greater light : 
Whether it is that she reflects so bright. 

That dazzleth them, or else some shame supposed ; 

But blind they are, and keep themselves enclosed. 

O, had they in that darksome prison died. 

Then had they seen the period of their ill ! 

Then CoUatine again by Lucrece' side 

In his clear bed might have reposed still ; 

But they must ope, this blessed league to kill ; 
And holy-thoughted Lucrece to their sight 
Must sell her joy, her life, her world's delight. 

Her lily hand her rosy cheek lies under. 
Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss ; 
Who therefore angry, seems to part in sunder. 
Swelling on either side to want his bliss ; 
Between whose hills her head entombed is : 

Where, like a virtuous monument, she lies. 

To be admir'd of lewd unhallow'd eyes. 

notion, not of a boisterous, but quiet movement, appears from a subsequent pas- 
sage : — ■ 

' For in the dreadful dark of deep midnight 

With shining falchion in my chamber came 
A ci'eeping creature.' " 

Malone appears from a subsequent part of his note to confouud stalk with stride. 
He says, " A person apprehensive of being discovered naturally takes long $tep», the 
sooner to arrive at his point." But long steps are noisy steps ; and therefore •' Tar- 
quin's ravishing strides" cannot be the true reading of the famous passage in ' Mac- 
beth.' But stalk, on the contrary, literally means, to go warily or iuftlij. It is the 
Anglo-Saxon stnelcan — pedetentim ire. The fowler who creeps upon the birds stalks, 
and his stalking -hoToe derives its name from the character of the fowler's movement. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 67 

Without the bed her other fair hand was. 
On the green coverlet ; whose perfect white 
Show'd like an April daisy on the grass. 
With pearly sweat, resembling dew of night. 
Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheath'd their light. 

And canopied in darkness sweetly lay. 

Till they might open to adorn the day. 

Her hair, like golden threads, play'd with her breath ; 

O modest wantons ! wanton modesty ! 

Showing life's triumph in the map of death. 

And death's dim look in life's mortality : 

Each in her sleep themselves so beautify. 

As if between them twain there were no strife. 
But that life liv'd in death, and death in life. 

Her breasts, like ivory globes circled with blue, 

A pair of maiden worlds unconquered. 

Save of their lord no bearing yoke they knew. 

And him by oath they truly honoured. 

These worlds in Tarquin new ambition bred : 
Who, like a foul usurper, went about 
From this fair throne to heave the owner out. 

What could he see but mightily he noted ? 

What did he note but strongly he desir'd ? 

What he beheld on that he firmly doted. 

And in his will his wilful eye he tir'd,* 

With more than admiration he admir'd 
Her azure veins, her alabaster skin. 
Her coral lips, her snow-white dimpled chin. 

As the grim lion fawneth o'er his prey. 

Sharp hunger by the conquest satisfied^ 

So o'er this sleeping soul doth Tarquin stay. 

His rage of lust by gazing qualified; 

Slack'd, not suppress'd ; for standing by her side. 



Tir'd — satiated, glutted — as a falcon tires on his prey. 

F 2 



68 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

His eye, -which late this mutiny restrains. 
Unto a greater uproar tempts his veins : 

And they, like straggling slaves for pillage fighting. 
Obdurate vassals, fell exploits efiecting. 
In bloody death and ravishment delighting. 
Nor children's tears, nor mother's groans respecting. 
Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting : 
Anon his beating heart, alarum striking. 
Gives the hot charge, and bids them do their liking. 

His drumming heart cheers up his burning eye. 
His eye commends the leading to his hand ; 
His hand, as proud of such a dignity. 
Smoking with pride, march'd on to make his stand 
On her bare breast, the heart of all her land ; 
Whose ranks of blue veins, as his hand did scale. 
Left their round turrets destitute and pale. 

They, mustering to the quiet cabinet 
Where their dear governess and lady lies. 
Do tell her she is dreadfully beset. 
And fright her with confusion of their cries : 
She, much amaz'd, breaks ope her lock'd-up eyes. 
Who, peeping forth this tumult to behold. 
Are by his flaming torch dimm'd and controll'd. 

Imagine her as one in dead of night 
From forth dull sleep by dreadful fancy waking. 
That thinks she hath beheld some ghastly sprite. 
Whose grim aspect sets every joint a shaking; 
What terror 't is ! but she, in worser taking. 
From sleep disturbed, heedfully doth view 
The sight which makes supposed terror true. 

Wrapp'd and confounded in a thousand fears. 
Like to a new-kill'd bird she trembling lies ; 
She dares not look ; yet, winking, there appears 
Quick-shifting antics, ugly in her eyes : 
Such shadows are the weak brain's forgeries : 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 



69 



Who, angry that the eyes fly from their lights. 

In darkness daunts them with more dreadful sights. 

His hand, that yet remains upon her breast, 

(Rude ram, to batter such an ivory wall !) 

May feel her heart, poor citizen, distress'd. 

Wounding itself to death, rise up and fall. 

Beating her bulk,' that his hand shakes withal. 
This moves in him more rage, and lesser pity. 
To make the breach, and enter this sweet city. 

First, like a trumpet, doth his tongue begin 
To sound a parley to his heartless foe. 
Who o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chin. 
The reason of this rash alarm to know. 
Which he by dumb demeanour seeks to show ; 

But she with vehement prayers urgeth still 

Under what colour he commits this ill. 

Thus he replies: " The colour in thy face 

(That even for anger makes the lily pale. 

And the red rose blush at her own disgrace) 

Shall plead for me, and tell my loving tale : 

Under that colour am I come to scale 

Thy never-conquer'd fort ; the fault is thine. 
For those thine eyes betray thee unto mine. 

" Thus I forestall thee, if thou mean to chide : 
Thy beauty hath ensnar'd thee to this night. 
Where thou with patience must my will abide. 
My will that marks thee for my earth's delight. 
Which I to conquer sought with all my might ; 

But as reproof and reason beat it dead. 

By thy bright beauty was it newly bred. 

" Bulk — the body, the whole mass. Johnson, however, defines the word as the 
breast, or largest part, of a man ; deriving it from the Dutch bukke. A passage in 
' Hamlet ' employs the word in the same way as in the text before us : — 
" He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound, 
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk." 
Turbervile, who preceded Shakspere about twenty years, has this line : — 
" My liver leapt within my bulk." 



70 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

" I see what crosses my attempt will bring ; 
I know what thorns the growing rose defends ; 
I think the honey guarded with a sting : 
All this, beforehand, counsel comprehends : 
But will is deaf, and hears no heedful friends ; 
Only he hath an eye to gaze on beauty. 
And dotes on what he looks, 'gainst law or duty. 

" I have debated, even in my soul. 

What wrong, what shame, what sorrow I shall breed ; 

But nothing can Affection's course control. 

Or stop the headlong fury of his speed. 

I know repentant tears ensue the deed. 

Reproach, disdain, and deadly enmity ; 

Yet strive I to embrace mine infamy." 

This said, he shakes aloft his Roman blade. 
Which, like a falcon towering in the skies, 
Coucheth * the fowl below with his wing's shade. 
Whose crooked beak threats if he mount he dies : 
So under his insulting falchion lies 

Harmless Lucretia, marking what he tells 
With trembling fear, as fowl hear falcon's bells.'' 

" Lucrece," quoth he, " this night I must enjoy thee : 

If thou deny, then force must work my way. 

For in thy bed I purpose to destroy thee ; 

That done, some worthless slave of thine I '11 slay. 

To kill thine honour with thy life's decay ; 

And in thy dead arms do I mean to place him. 
Swearing I slew him, seeing thee embrace him. 

" So thy surviving husband shall remain 

The scornful mark of every open eye ; 

Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdain. 



• Coucheth — causes to couch. 

'' We have the same image hi ' Henry VI,, Part III. :' — 

" Not he that loves him best 
Dares stir a wing if Warwick ghaJte his beUs. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 71 

Thy issue blurr'd with nameless bastardy : 
And thou, the author of their obloquy, 

Shalt have thy trespass cited up in rhymes. 

And sung by children in succeeding times. 

" But if thou yield I rest thy secret friend : 
The fault unknown is as a thought unacted ; 
A little harm, done to a great good end. 
For lawful policy remains enacted. 
The poisonous simple sometimes is compacted 

In a pure compound ; being so applied 

His venom in effect is purified. 

" Then for thy husband and thy children's sake, 
Tender* my suit: bequeath not to their lot 
The shame that from them no device can take. 
The blemish that will never be forgot ; 
Worse than a slavish wipe, or birth- hour's blot:'' 

For marks descried in men's nativity 

Are nature's faults, not their own infamy." 

Here with a cockatrice' dead-killing eye 

He rouseth up himself, and makes a pause ; 

While she, the picture of pure piety. 

Like a white hind under the grype's"^ sharp claws. 

Pleads in a wilderness, where are no laws. 

To the rough beast that knows no gentle right, 

Nor aught obeys but his foul appetite : 

Buf^ when a black-fac'd cloud the world doth threat. 
In his dim mist the aspiring mountains hiding, 

* Tender — heed, regard. 

'' Birth-hour's blot — corporal blemish. So in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream:' — 

" And the blots of nature's hand 
Shall not in their issue stand ; 
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar, 
Nor mark prodigious."' 
•= Steevens says the grype is properly the griffin. But in the passage before us, as 
in the early English writers, the word is applied to birds of prey, — the eagle espe- 
cially. 

^ Maloue, who has certainly made very few deviations from the original text of 



72 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

From earth's dark womb some gentle gust doth get. 
Which blows these pitchy vapours from their biding. 
Hindering their present fall by this dividing ; 
So his unhallow'd haste her words delays. 
And moody Pluto winks while Orpheus plays. 

Yet, foul night-waking cat, he doth but dally. 
While in his holdfast foot the weak mouse panteth ; 
Her sad behaviour feeds his vulture folly, 
A swallowing gulf that even in plenty wanteth : 
His ear her prayers admits, but his heart granteth 
No penetrable entrance to her plaining : 
Tears harden lust, though marble wear with raining. 

Her pity-pleading eyes are sadly fix'd 

In the remorseless wrinkles of his face ; 

Her modest eloquence with sighs is mix'd. 

Which to her oratory adds more grace. 

She puts the period often from his place,* 

And 'midst the sentence so her accent breaks. 
That twice she doth begin ere once she speaks. 

She conjures him by high almighty Jove, 

By knighthood, gentry, and sweet friendship's oath. 

By her untimely tears, her husband's love. 

By holy human law, and common troth. 

By heaven and earth, and all the power of both. 

That to his borrow'd bed he make retire. 

And stoop to honour, not to foul desire. 

this poem, here changes but to look, " there being no opposition whatsoever between 
this and the preceding passage." An opposition is, however, intended. Lucretia 
pleads to the " rough beast " that ** knows no right ; " but, as the gentle gast di- 
vides the black cloud, 

" So his unhallow'd haste her words delays." 
* Shakspere, whose knowledge of the outward effects of the passions was univer- 
sal, makes the terror of poor Lucrece display itself in the same manner as that of 
" great clerks" greeting their prince with '• premeditated welcomes." They also 
" Make periods in the midst of sentences, 
Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears. 
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off." 

(* Midsummer Night's Dream,' Act V., Scene 1.) 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 73 

Quotli she, " Reward not hospitality 
With such black payment as thou hast pretended ;* 
Mud not the fountain that gave drink to thee ; 
Mar not the thing that cannot be amended ; 
End thy ill aim, before thy shoot ^ be ended : 

He is no woodman that doth bend his bow 

To strike a poor unseasonable doe. 

" My husband is thy friend, for his sake spare me ; 

Thyself art mighty, for thine own sake leave me ; 

Myself a weakling, do not then ensnare me ; 

Thou look'st not like deceit ; do not deceive me : 

My sighs, like whirlwinds, labour hence to heave thee. 
If ever man were mov'd with woman's moans. 
Be moved with my tears, my sighs, my groans : 

" All which together, like a troubled ocean. 
Beat at thy rocky and wreck-threatening heart ; 
To soften it with their continual motion ; 
For stones dissolv'd to water do convert. 
O, if no harder than a stone thou art. 

Melt at my tears, and be compassionate ! 

Soft pity enters at an iron gate. 

" In Tarquin's likeness I did entertain thee ; 

Hast thou put on his shape to do him shame ? 

To all the host of heaven I complain me. 

Thou wrong'st his honour, wound'st his princely name. 

Thou art not what thou seem'st ; and if the same 

Thou seem'st not what thou art, a god, a king ; 

For kings like gods should govern everything. 

" How will thy shame be seeded in thine age. 
When thus thy vices bud before thy spring ! 



» Pretended — proposed. 

^ Shoot. Malone says that the author iutendeJ this word to be taken in a double 
sense, suit and shoot being in his time pronounced alike. We doubt this. Sml is 
not the word that the indignation of Lucrece would have used ; nor is the double 
seTise carried forward at all. 



74 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

If in thy hope thou dar'st do such outrage. 
What dar'st thou not when once thou art a king ! 
O be remember' d, no outrageous thing 

From vassal actors can be wip'd away ; 

Then kings' misdeeds cannot be hid in clay. 

" This deed will make thee only lov'd for fear. 
But happy monarchs still are fear'd for love : 
With foul offenders thou perforce must bear. 
When they in thee the like offences prove : 
If but for fear of this thy will remove ; 

For princes are the glass, the school, the book. 
Where subjects' eyes do learn, do read, do look. 

" And wilt thou be the school where Lust shall learn? 

Must he in thee read lectures of such shame ? 

Wilt thou be glass, wherein it shall discern 

Authority for sin, warrant for blame. 

To privilege dishonour in thy name ? 

Thou back'st reproach against long-lived laud. 
And mak'st fair reputation but a bawd, 

" Hast thou command ? by him that gave it thee, 
From a pure heart command thy rebel will : 
Draw not thy sword to guard iniquity. 
For it was lent thee all that brood to kill. 
Thy princely office how canst thou fulfil. 

When, pattern'd by thy fault, foul Sin may say. 
He learn'd to sin, and thou didst teach the way ? 

" Think but how vile a spectacle it were 

To view thy present trespass in another. 

Men's faults do seldom to themselves appear ; 

Their own transgressions partially they smother : 

This guilt would seem death-worthy in thy brother. 
O how are they wrapp'd in with infamies. 
That from their own misdeeds askaunce their eyes ! 

" To thee, to thee, my heav'd-up hands appeal, 
Not to seducing lust, thy rash relier ; 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 75 

I sue for exil'd majesty's Tepeal ;* 

Let him return, and flattering thoughts retire : 

His true respect will 'prison false desire. 

And wipe the dim mist from thy doting eyne, 
That thou shalt see thy state, and pity mine." 

" Have done," quoth he ; " my uncontrolled tide 
Turns not, but swells the higher by this let. 
Small lights are soon blown out, huge fires abide. 
And with the wind in greater fury fret : 
The petty streams that pay a daily debt 

To their salt sovereign, with their fresh falls' haste. 

Add to his flow, but alter not his taste." 

" Thou art," quoth she, " a sea, a sovereign king ; 
And lo, there falls into thy boundless flood 
Black lust, dishonour, shame, misgoverning. 
Who seek to stain the ocean of thy blood. 
If all these petty ills shall change thy good. 

Thy sea within a puddle's womb is hers'd. 

And not the puddle in thy sea dispers'd. 

*' So shall these slaves be king, and thou their slave ; 
Thou nobly base, they basely dignified ; 
Thou their fair life, and they thy fouler grave ; 
Thou loathed in their shame, they in thy pride : 
The lesser thing should not the greater hide ; 

The cedar stoops not to the base shrub's foot. 

But low shrubs wither at the cedar's root. 

" So let thy thoughts, low vassals to thy state" — 

" No more," quoth he, " by heaven, I will not hear thee : 

Yield to my love ; if not, enforced hate. 

Instead of love's coy touch, shall rudely tear thee ; 

That done, despitefully I mean to bear thee 

Unto the base bed of some rascal groom. 

To be thy partner in this shameful doom." 

" Repeal — recal ; from 'lie French rappeler. 



76 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

This said, he sets his foot upon the light. 

For light and lust are deadly enemies : 

Shame folded up in blind concealing night. 

When most unseen, then most doth tyrannize. 

The wolf hath seiz'd his prey, the poor lamb cries 
Till with her own white fleece her voice controU'd 
Entombs her outcry in her lips' sweet fold : 

For with the nightly linen that she wears 

He pens her piteous clamours in her head ; 

Cooling his hot face in the chastest tears 

That ever modest eyes with sorrow shed. 

O, that prone ■ lust should stain so pure a bed ! 
The spots whereof could weeping purify. 
Her tears should drop on them perpetually. 

But she hath lost a dearer thing than life. 
And he hath won what he would lose again. 
This forced league doth force a further strife. 
This momentary joy breeds months of pain. 
This hot desire converts to cold disdain : 
Pure Chastity is rifled of her store. 
And Lust, the thief, far poorer than before. 

Look, as the full-fed hound or gorged hawk. 

Unapt for tender smell or speedy flight. 

Make slow pursuit, or altogether balk 

The prey wherein by nature they delight ; 

So surfeit-taking Tarquin fares this night : 
His taste delicious, in digestion souring. 
Devours his will that liv'd by foul devouring. 

O deeper sin than bottomless conceit 
Can comprehend in still imagination ! 
Drunken desire must vomit his receipt. 
Ere he can see his own abomination. 
While lust is in his pride no exclamation 

" Prone — having inclination or propensity, and so self-willed, headstrong. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. ^ 

Can curb his heat, or rein his rash desire. 
Till, like a jade, self-will himself doth tire. 

And then with lank and lean discolour'd cheek. 

With heavy eye, knit brow, and strengthless pace. 

Feeble desire, all recreant, poor, and meek. 

Like to a bankrupt beggar wails his case : 

The flesh being proud, desire doth fight with grace. 

For there it revels ; and when that decays. 

The guilty rebel for remission prays. 

So fares it with this faultful lord of Rome, 

Who this accomplishment so hotly chas'd ; 

For now against himself he sounds this doom. 

That through the length of times he stands disgrac'd : 

Besides, his soul's fair temple is defac'd ; 

To whose weak ruins muster troops of cares. 

To ask the spotted princess how she fares. 

She says, her subjects with foul insurrection 

Have batter'd down her consecrated wall. 

And by their mortal fault brought in subjection 

Her immortality, and make her thrall 

To living death, and pain perpetual : 

Which in her prescience she controlled still. 
But her foresight could not forestall their will. 

Even in this thought through the dark night he stealeth, 
A captive victor that hath lost in gain ; 
Bearing away the wound that nothing healeth. 
The scar that will, despite of cure, remain. 
Leaving his spoil perplex'd in greater pain. 

She bears the load of lust he left behind. 

And he the burthen of a guilty mind. 

He like a thievish dog creeps sadly thence j 
She like a wearied lamb lies panting there ; 
He scowls, and hates himself for his offence ; 
She, desperate, with her nails her flesh doth tear ; 
He faintly flies, sweating with guilty fear ; 



78 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

She stays exclaiming on the direful night j 

He runs, and chides his vanish'd, loath'd delight. 

He thence departs a heavy convertite; 

She there remains a hopeless castaway : 

He in his speed looks for the morning light ; 

She prays she never may behold the day ; 

" For day," quoth she, " night's scapes doth open lay ; 
And my true eyes have never practis'd how 
To cloak offences with a cunning brow. 

" They think not but that every eye can see 

The same disgrace which they themselves behold ; 

And therefore would they still in darkness be. 

To have their unseen sin remain untold ; 

For they their guilt with weeping will unfold. 
And grave, like water, that doth eat in steel. 
Upon my cheeks what helpless shame I feel." 

Here she exclaims against repose and rest, 
And bids her eyes hereafter still be blind. 
She wakes her heart by beating on her breast. 
And bids it leap from thence, where it may find 
Some purer chest, to close so pure a mind. 

Frantic with grief thus breathes she forth her spite 

Against the unseen secrecy of night : 

" O comfort-killing night, image of hell ! 

Dim register and notary of shame ! 

Black stage for tragedies and murders fell ! 

Vast sin-concealing chaos ! nurse of blame ! 

Blind muffled bawd ! dark harbour for defame ! 
Grim cave of death, whispering conspirator, 
With close-tongued treason and the ravisher ! 

" O hateful, vaporous, and (oggj night. 
Since thou art guilty of my cureless crime. 
Muster thy mists to meet the eastern light. 
Make war against proportion'd course of time 
Or if thou wilt permit the sun to climb 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 79 

His wonted height, yet ere he go to bed. 
Knit poisonous clouds about his golden head. 

" With rotten damps ravish the morning air; 

Let their exhal'd unwholesome breaths make sick 

The life of purity, the supreme fair. 

Ere he arrive his weary noontide prick;' 

And let thy misty vapours march so thick. 
That in their smoky ranks his smother d light 
May set at noon, and make perpetual night. 

" Were Tarquin night, (as he is but night's child,) 

The silver-shining queen he would distain ; 

Her twinkling handmaids too, by him defil'd, 

Through night's black bosom should not peep again ; 

So should I have copartners in my pain : 
And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage. 
As palmers' chat makes short their pilgrimage. 

" Where b now I have no one to blush with me. 

To cross their arms, and hang their heads with mine. 

To mask their brows, and hide their infamy; 

But I alone alone must sit and pine. 

Seasoning the earth with showers of silver brine. 

Mingling my talk with tears, my grief with groans. 

Poor wasting monuments of lasting moans. 

" O night, thou furnace of foul-reeking smoke. 
Let not the jealous day behold that face 
Which underneath thy black all-hiding cloak 
Immodestly lies martyr'd with disgrace ! 
Keep still possession of thy gloomy place. 

That all the faults which in thy reign are made 

May likewise be sepulchred '^ in thy shade ! 

' Noontide prick — the point of noon. 
^ Jiliere — whereas. 

•■ Sepukhred. Milton uses the word with the same accent, in bis linei on Sbak- 
spere : — 

" And so sepulchred in such pomp does lie, 
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die." 



80 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

" Make me not object to the tell-tale day ! 

The light will show, character'd * in my brow. 

The story of sweet chastity's decay. 

The impious breach of holy wedlock vow : 

Yea, the illiterate, that know not how 
To 'cipher what is writ in learned books. 
Will quote*' my loathsome trespass in my looks. 

" The nurse, to still her child, will tell my story. 
And fright her crying babe with Tarquin's name ; 
The orator, to deck his oratory. 
Will couple my reproach to Tarquin's shame: 
Feast-finding minstrels, tuning my defame. 

Will tie the hearers to attend each line. 

How Tarquin wronged me, I CoUatine. 

" Let my good name, that senseless reputation. 
For Collatine's dear love be kept unspotted : 
If that be made a theme for disputation. 
The branches of another root are rotted. 
And undeserv'd reproach to him allotted. 

That is as clear from this attaint of mine. 

As I, ere this, was pure to Collatine. 

" O unseen shame ! invisible disgrace ! 

O unfelt sore ! crest-wounding, private scar ! 

Reproach is stamp'd in Collatinus' face. 

And Tarquin's eye may read the mot "^ afar. 

How he in peace is wounded, not in war. 
Alas, how many bear such shameful blows. 
Which not themselves but he that gives them knows ! 

" If, Collatine, thine honour lay in me. 
From me by strong assault it is bereft. 

* Character'd. Here again is an accentuation diflerent from the present, but 
which is common to all Shakspere's contemporaries. Malone has observed that 
this is still the pronunciation of the Irish peo})le; and he adds with great truth, that 
much of the pronunciation of Queen Elizabeth's age is yet retained m Ireland. 

'' Quote — observe. 

<= Mot — motto. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 81 

My honey lost, and I, a drone -like bee. 

Have no perfection of my summer left. 

But robb'd and ransack'd by injurious theft : 
In thy weak hive a wandering wasp hath crept. 
And suck'd the honey which thy chaste bee kept. 

" Yet am I guilty of thy honour's wrack,^ — 
Yet for thy honour did I entertain him ; ^ 
Coming from thee, I could not put him back. 
For it had been dishonour to disdain him : 
Besides of weariness he did complain him. 

And talk'd of virtue : — O, unlook'd for evil. 

When virtue is profan'd in such a devil ! 

" Why should the worm intrude the maiden bud ? 
Or hateful cuckoos hatch in sparrows' nests ? 
Or toads infect fair founts with venom mud ? 
Or tyrant folly lurk in gentle breasts ? " 
Or kings be breakers of their own behests ? 

But no perfection is so absolute. 

That some impurity doth not pollute. 

" The aged man that coffers up his gold 

Is plagued with cramps, and gouts, and painful fits. 

And scarce hath eyes his treasure to behold, 

^ Wrack. Mr. Hunter, in his ' Disquisition on the Tempest,' pointed out the 
necessity of restoring to Shakspere's text the old word wrack, instead of the modem 
tvreck. He asks, " What could editors, who proceed upon principles which lead to 
such a substitution, do with this couplet of the ' Lucrece :' — 

* O, this dread night, wouldst thou one hour come back, 
I could prevent this storm, and shun thy wrack ." " 

In this particular instance they have preserved the original word ; but in that be- 
fore us, where wrack is equally required to rhyme with back, they have substituted 
wreck. Even Mr. Dyce herein copies Malone without alteration. This is probably 
mere carelessness ; but it shows the danger of tampering with an original reading. 

•> This is again an instance of the dramatic crowding of thought upon thought, 
and making one thought answer £Uid repel the other, which render Shakspere's soli- 
loquies such matchless revelations of the heart. Malone, not perceiving this dra- 
matic power, changes guilty to guiltless; because the idea of the first line does not 
correspond with that of the second. 

" Folly is here used in the sense of wickedness ; and gentle in that of well-born. 

Vol. XII. G 



82 THE RAPE OF LUCHECE. 

But like still-pining Tantalus he sits. 
And useless barns the harvest of his wits ; 
Having no other pleasure of his gain 
But torment that it cannot cure his pain. 

" So then he hath it, when he cannot use it. 
And leaves it to be master'd by his young. 
Who in their pride do presently abuse it : 
Their father was too weak, and they too strong. 
To hold their cursed-blessed fortune long. 

The sweets we wish for turn to loathed sours. 
Even in the moment that we call them ours. 

" Unruly blasts wait on the tender spring ; 
Unwholesome weeds take root with precious flowers ; 
The adder hisses where the sweet birds sing ; 
What virtue breeds iniquity devours : 
We have no good that we can say is ours. 

But ill-annexed Opportunity 

Or kills his life, or else his quality. 

" O Opportunity ! thy guilt is great : 

'T is thou that execut'st the traitor's treason ; 

Thou sett'st the wolf where he the lamb may get ; 

Whoever plots the sin, thou 'point'st the season ; 

'T is thou that spurn'st at right, at law, at reason ; 
And in thy shady cell, where none may spy him. 
Sits Sin, to seize the souls that wander by him. 

" Thou mak'st the vestal violate her oath ; 

Thou blow'st the fire when temperance is thaw'd ; 

Thou smother'st honesty, thou murther'st troth ; 

Thou foul abetter ! thou notorious bawd ! 

Thou plantest scandal, and displacest laud : 
Thou ravisher, thou traitor, thou false thief. 
Thy honey turns to gall, thy joy to grief! 

" Thy secret pleasure turns to open shame. 
Thy private feasting to a public fast ; 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 83 

Thy smoothing* titles to a ragged'' name ; 
Thy sugar'd tongue to bitter wormwood taste : 
Thy violent vanities can never last. 

How comes it then, vile Opportunity, 

Being so bad, such numbers seek for thee ? 

" When wilt thou be the humble suppliant's friend. 
And bring him where his suit may be obtain'd? 
When wilt thou sorf an hour great strifes to end? 
Or free that soul which wretchedness hath chain'd ? 
Give physic to the sick, ease to the pain'd ? 

The poor, lame, blind, halt, creep, cry out for thee ; 

But they ne'er meet with Opportunity. 

" The patient dies while the physician sleeps ; 

The orphan pines while the oppressor feeds ; 

Justice is feasting while the widow weeps ; 

Advice is sporting while infection breeds ; * 

Thou grant'st no time for charitable deeds: 

Wrath, envy, treason, rape, and murder's rages. 
Thy heinous hours wait on them as their pages. 

" When truth and virtue have to do with thee, 

A thousand crosses keep them from thy aid ; 

They buy thy help : but Sin ne'er gives a fee. 

He gratis comes; and thou art well appay'd" 

As well to hear as grant what he hath said. 
My Collatine would else have come to me 
When Tarquin did, but he was stay'd by thee. 

* Smoothing — flattering. 

'' Ragged is here used in the sense of contemptible. It means something broken , 
torn, and therefore worthless. See Note on ' Henry IV., Part II.,' Act I. Sceue 1. 

•= Sort — assign, appropriate. So in ' Richard III. :' — 

" But I will sort a pitchy day for thee." 

^ The constant allusions of the Elizabethan poets to that familiar terror the 
plague show how completely the evil, whether present or absent, was associated 
with the habitual thoughts of the people. Advice is here used in the sense of go- 
vernment, municipal or civil ; and the line too correctly describes the carelessness 
of those in high places, who abated not their feasting and their revelry while pesti- 
lence was doing its terrible work around them. 

* Appay'd — satisfied, pleased. Well appayed, ill appayed, are constantly used by 
Chaucer and other ancient writers. 

G2 



84 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

" Guilty thou art of murder and of theft ; 
Guilty of perjury and subornation ; 
Guilty of treason, forgery, and shift ; 
Guilty of incest, that abomination : 
An accessary by thine inclination 

To all sins past, and all that are to come. 

From the creation to the general doom. 

" Mis-shapen Time, copesmate of ugly night. 

Swift subtle post, carrier of grisly care. 

Eater of youth, false slave to false delight. 

Base watch of woes, sin's packhorse, virtue's snare ; 

Thou nursest all, and murtherest all that are. 

O hear me then, injurious, shifting Time ! 

Be guilty of my death, since of my crime. 

" Why hath thy servant, Opportunity, 
Betray 'd the hours thou gav'st me to repose ? 
Cancell'd my fortunes, and enchained me 
To endless date of never-ending woes ? 
Time's office is to fine * the hate of foes ; 

To eat up errors by opinion bred, 

Not spend the dowry of a lawful bed. 

" Time's glory is to calm contending kings. 

To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light. 

To stamp the seal of time in aged things. 

To wake the morn, and sentinel the night. 

To wrong the wronger till he render right ; 
To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours. 
And smear with dust their glittering golden towers : 

" To fill with worm -holes stately monuments. 
To feed oblivion with decay of things. 
To blot old books, and alter their contents. 
To pluck the quills from ancient ravens' wings. 
To dry the old oak's sap, and cherish springs;*" 

° To J!ne — to brine' to an end. 

^ Springs — shoots, saplings. Time, which dries up the old oak's sap, cherishes 
the young plants. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 



85 



To spoil antiquities of liamnier'd steel. 

And turn the giddy round of Fortune's wheel ; 

" To show the beldame daughters of her daughter. 

To make the child a man, the man a child. 

To slay the tiger that doth live by slaughter. 

To tame the unicorn and lion wild, 

To mock the subtle, in themselves beguil'd; 
To cheer the ploughman with increaseful crops. 
And waste huge stones with little water-drops. 

" Why work'st thou mischief in thy pilgrimage. 

Unless thou couldst return to make amends ? 

One poor retiring* minute in an age 

Would purchase thee a thousand thousand friends. 

Lending him wit that to bad debtors lends : 

O, this dread night, wouldst thou one hour come back, 
I could prevent this storm, and shun thy wrack! 

" Thou ceaseless lackey to eternity. 
With some mischance cross Tarquin in his flight : 
Devise extremes beyond extremity. 
To make him curse this cursed crimeful night : 
Let ghastly shadows his lewd eyes affright ; 
And the dire thought of his committed evil 
Shape every bush a hideous shapeless devil. 

" Disturb his hours of rest with restless trances, 

Afflict him in his bed with bedrid groans ; 

Let there bechance him pitiful mischances. 

To make him moan, but pity not his moans : 

Stone him with harden'd hearts, harder than stones ; 
And let mild women to him lose their mildness. 
Wilder to him than tigers in their wildness. 

" Let him have time to tear his curled hair,'' 
Let him have time against himself to rave, 

* Retiring is here used in the sense of coming back again. 

^ Curled hair is the chaiacteristic of Tarquin, as it was of all men of high rank 



OO THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

Let him have time of Time's help to despair. 
Let him have time to live a loathed slave. 
Let him have time a beggar's orts to crave ; 

And time to see one that by alms doth live 

Disdain to him disdained scraps to give. 

" Let him have time to see his friends his foes. 

And merry fools to mock at him resort ; 

Let him have time to mark how slow time goes 

In time of sorrow, and how swift and short 

His time of folly and his time of sport : 
And ever let his unrecalling* crime 
Have time to wail the abusing of his time. 

" O Time, thou tutor both to good and bad. 

Teach me to curse him that thou taught'st this ill ! 

At his own shadow let the thief run mad ! 

Himself himself seek every hour to kill ! 

Such wretched hands such wretched blood should spill : 
For who so base would such an office have 
As slanderous death's-man to so base a slave ? 

*' The baser is he, coming from a king. 

To shame his hope with deeds degenerate. 

The mightier man, the mightier is the thing 

That makes him honour'd, or begets him hate ; 

For greatest scandal waits on greatest state. 
The moon being clouded, presently is miss'd. 
But little stars may hide them when they list. 

" The crow may bathe his coal-black wings in mire. 

And unperceiv'd fly with the filth away ; 

But if the like the snow-white swan desire. 

The stain upon his silver down will stay. 

Poor grooms are sightless night, kings glorious day. 

in Shakspere's time. Perhaps it implied a notioii of luxuriousness. In this way 
we have " the curled Antony ;" and in ' Othello ' 

" The wealthy curled darlings of our nation." 
» Unrecalling — not to be recalled. The elder writers use the participle with 
much more licence than we do. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 87 

Gnats are unnoted wheresoe'er they fly. 
But eagles gaz'd upon with every eye. 

" Out, idle words, servants to shallow fools ! 
Unprofitable sounds, weak arbitrators ! 
Busy yourselves in skill-contending schools. 
Debate where leisure serves with dull debaters ; 
To trembling clients be you mediators : 

For me, I force" not argument a straw. 

Since that my case is past the help of law. 

" In vain I rail at Opportunity, 

At Time, at Tarquin, and uncheerful night ; 

In vain I cavil with my infamy. 

In vain I spurn at my confirm'd despite: 

This helpless smoke of words doth me no right. 

The remedy indeed to do me good. 

Is to let forth my foul, defiled blood. 

" Poor hand, why quiver'st thou at this decree ? 

Honour thyself to rid me of this shame ; 

For if I die my honour lives in thee, 

But if I live thou liv'st in my defame : 

Since thou couldst not defend thy loyal dame. 

And wast afear'd to scratch her wicked foe. 

Kill both thyself and her for yielding so." 

This said, from her betumbled couch she starteth. 
To find some desperate instrument of death : 
But this no-slaughter-house no tool imparteth. 
To make more vent for passage of her breath. 
Which thronging through her lips so vanisheth 
As smoke from ^tna, that in air consumes. 
Or that which from discharged cannon fumes. 

" In vain," quoth she, " I live, and seek in vain 
Some happy mean to end a hapless life. 

* Force is here used in the sense of value or regard. 



88 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

I fear'd by Tarquin's falchion to be slain. 
Yet for the selfsame purpose seek a knife : 
But when I fear'd I was a loyal wife; 

So am I now : — O no, that cannot be ; 

Of that true type hath Tarquin rifled me. 

" O! that is gone for which I sought to live. 
And therefore now I need not fear to die. 
To clear this spot by death, at least I give 
A badge of fame to slander's livery;* 
A dying life to living infamy ; 

Poor helpless help, the treasure stolen away. 

To burn the guiltless casket where it lay ! 

" Well, well, dear Collatine, thou shalt not know 

The stained taste of violated troth ; 

I will not wrong thy true affection so 

To flatter thee with an infringed oath ; 

This bastard grafl" shall never come to growth : 

He shall not boast who did thy stock pollute 

That thou art doting father of his fruit. 

" Nor shall he smile at thee in secret thought. 
Nor laugh with his companions at thy state ; 
But thou shalt know thy interest was not bought 
Basely with gold, but stolen from forth thy gate. 
For me, I am the mistress of my fate, 

And with my trespass never will dispense. 

Till life to death acquit my forc'd ofience. 

" I will not poison thee with my attaint. 
Nor fold my fault in cleanly-coin'd excuses ; 
My sable ground of sin I will not paint. 
To hide the truth of this false night's abuses : 
My tongue shall utter all ; mine eyes like sluices. 
As from a mountain-spring that feeds a dale. 
Shall gush pure streams to purge my impure tale." 

■ An allusion to the badges which servants or retainers of (atnilies of rank wore 
on their liveries. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 89 

By this, lamenting Philomel had ended 
The well-tun'd warble of her nightly sorrow. 
And solemn night with slow-sad gait descended 
To ugly hell ; when lo, the blushing morrow 
Lends light to all fair eyes that light will borrow : 
But cloudy Lucrece shames herself to see. 
And therefore still in night would cloister'd be. 

Revealing day through every cranny spies. 
And seems to point her out where she sits weeping ; 
To whom she sobbing speaks : " O eye of eyes. 
Why pryest thou through my window? leave thy peeping; 
Mock with thy tickling beams eyes that are sleeping : 
Brand not my forehead with thy piercing light. 
For day hath nought to do what 's done by night." 

Thus cavils she with everything she sees : 

True grief is fond" and testy as a child. 

Who wayward once, his mood with nought agrees. 

Old woes, not infant sorrows, bear them mild ; 

Continuance tames the one ; the other wild. 
Like an unpractis'd swimmer plunging still 
With too much labour drowns for want of skill. 

So she, deep-drenched in a sea of care^ 
Holds disputation with each thing she views. 
And to herself all sorrow doth compare ; 
No object but her passion's strength renews ; 
And as one shifts, another straight ensues : 

Sometime her grief is dumb, and hath no words ; 

Sometime 't is mad, and too much talk affords. 

The little birds that tune their morning's joy 
Make her moans mad with their sweet melody. 
For mirth doth search the bottom of annoy ; 
Sad souls are slain in merry company ; 
Grief best is pleas'd with griefs society : 

* Fond — foolish. 



90 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

True sorrow then is feelingly suflSc'd 
When with like semblance it is sympathiz'd. 

'T is double death to drown in ken of shore ; 
He ten times pines that pines beholding food ; 
To see the salve doth make the wound ache more ; 
Great grief grieves most at that would do it good ; 
Deep woes roll forward like a gentle flood. 

Who, being stopp'd, the bounding banks o'erflows ; 

Grief dallied with nor law nor limit knows. 

" You mocking birds," quoth she, " your tunes entomb 
Within your hollow- swelling feather'd breasts. 
And in my hearing be you mute and dumb! 
(My restless discord loves no stops nor rests ; 
A woeful hostess brooks not merry guests :) 

Relish your nimble notes to pleasing ears ; 

Distress likes dumps* when time is kept with tears. 

" Come, Philomel, that sing'st of ravishment, 
Make thy sad grove in my dishevell'd hair. 
As the dank earth weeps at thy languishment. 
So I at each sad strain will strain a tear. 
And with deep groans the diapason bear : 
For burthen-wise I '11 hum on Tarquin still. 
While thou on Tereus descant'st better skill.'' 

" And whiles against a thorn thou bear'st thy part. 
To keep thy sharp woes waking, wretched I, 
To imitate thee well, against my heart 
Will fix a sharp knife, to affright mine eye ; 
Who, if it wink, shall thereon fall and die. 
These means, as frets upon an instrument. 
Shall tune our heartstrings to true languishment. 

" And for, poor bird, thou sing'st not in the day. 
As shaming any eye should thee behold. 



■ Dumps — melancholy airs. 

*" Better skill. We must probably here understand with better skill. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 91 

Some dark deep desert, seated from the way, 
That knows nor parching heat nor freezing cold. 
We will find out ; and there we will unfold 

To creatures stern sad tunes, to change their kinds : 
Since men prove beasts let beasts bear gentle minds." 

As the poor frighted deer, that stands at gaze. 

Wildly determining which way to fly. 

Or one encompass'd with a winding maze. 

That cannot tread the way out readily ; 

So with herself is she in mutiny. 

To live or die which of the twain were better. 
When life is sham'd, and Death reproach's debtor. 

" To kill myself," quoth she, " alack ! what were it. 
But with my body my poor soul's pollution? 
They that lose half with greater patience bear it 
Than they whose whole is swallow'd in confusion. 
That mother tries a merciless conclusion 

Who, having two sweet babes, when death takes one. 

Will slay the other, and be nurse to none. 

" My body or my soul, which was the dearer ? 
When the one pure, the other made divine. 
Whose love of either to myself was nearer ? 
When both were kept for heaven and Collatine. 
Ah me ! the bark peel'd from the lofty pine. 

His leaves will wither, and his sap decay ; 

So must my soul, her bark being peel'd away. 

" Her house is sack'd, her quiet interrupted. 

Her mansion batter'd by the enemy; 

Her sacred temple spotted, spoil'd, corrupted. 

Grossly engirt with daring infamy : 

Then let it not be call'd impiety 

If in this blemish'd fort I make some hole 
Through which I may convey this troubled soul. 

" Yet die T will not till my Collatine 

Have heard the cause of my untimely death ; 



y2 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

That he may vow, in that sad hour of mine. 
Revenge on him that made me stop my breath. 
My stained blood to Tarquin I '11 bequeath. 

Which by him tainted shall for him be spent. 

And as his due writ in my testament. 

" My honour I '11 bequeath unto the knife 

That wounds my body so dishonoured. 

'T is honour to deprive dishonour'd life ; 

The one will live, the other being dead: 

So of shame's ashes shall my fame be bred ; 
For in my death I murther shameful scorn : 
My shame so dead, mine honour is new-born. 

" Dear lord of that dear jewel I have lost. 

What legacy shall I bequeath to thee ? 

My resolution. Love, shall be thy boast. 

By whose example thou reveng'd mayst be. 

How Tarquin must be used, read it in me : 
Myself, thy friend, will kill myself, thy foe. 
And, for my sake, serve thou false Tarquin so. 

" This brief abridgment of my will I make : 

My soul and body to the skies and ground ; 

My resolution, husband, do thou take ; 

Mine honour be the knife's that makes my wound ; 

My shame be his that did my fame confound ; 
And all my fame that lives disbursed be 
To those that live, and think no shame of me. 

" Thou, CoUatine, shalt oversee this will ; ' 
How was I overseen that thou shalt see it ! 
My blood shall wash the slander of mine ill ; 
My life's foul deed my life's fair end shall free it. 
Faint not faint heart, but stoutly say, 'so be it.' 

Yield to my hand ; my hand shall conquer thee ; 

Thou dead, both die, and both shall victors be." 

■ The executor of a will was sometimes called the overseer ; but our ancestors 
often appointed overseers as well as executors. Shakspere's own will contains such 
an appointment. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 93 

This plot of death when sadly she had laid. 
And wip'd the brinish pearl from her bright eyes. 
With untun'd tongue she hoarsely call'd her maid. 
Whose swift obedience to her mistress hies ; 
For fleet-wing'd duty with thought's feathers flies. 
Poor Lucrece' cheeks unto her maid seem so 
As winter meads when sun doth melt their snow. 

Her mistress she doth give demure good-morrow. 

With soft-slow tongue, true mark of modesty. 

And sorts a sad look to her lady's sorrow, 

(For why ? her face wore sorrow's livery.) 

But durst not ask of her audaciously 

Why her two suns were cloud-eclipsed so. 
Nor why her fair cheeks over-wash'd with woe. 

But as the earth doth weep, the sun being set," 

Each flower moistened like a melting eye ; 

Even so the maid with swelling drops 'gan wet 

Her circled eyne, enforc'd by sympathy 

Of those fair suns, set in her mistress' sky. 
Who in a salt-wav'd ocean quench their light. 
Which makes the maid weep like the dewy night. 

A pretty while these pretty creatures stand, 

Like ivory conduits coral cisterns filling : 

One justly weeps ; the other takes in hand 

No cause, but company, of her drops spilling: 

Their gentle sex to weep are often willing ; 

Grieving themselves to guess at others' smarts. 

And then they drown their eyes, or break their hearts. 

" III the folio edition of ' Romeo and Juliet," as well as in the quarto of 1597, we 
find the line — 

" When the sun sets, the earth doth drizzle dew." 

Here the image completely agrees with that in the text before us. But in the un- 
dated quarto, which the modern editors follow, we have " the air doth drizzle 
dew." Science was long puzzled to decide whether the earth or the air produced 
dew ; but it was reserved for the accurate experiments of modern times to show 
that the earth and the air must unite to produce this efl'ect under particular cir- 
cumstances of temperature and radiation. The correction of the undated edition 
of * Romeo and Juliet ' was certainly unnecessary. 



94 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

For men have marble, women waxen minds, 
And therefore are they form'd as marble will;* 
The weak oppress'd, the impression of strange kinds 
Is form'd in them by force, by fraud or skill : 
Then call them not the authors of their ill. 
No more than wax shall be accounted evil. 
Wherein is stamp'd the semblance of a devil. 

Their smoothness, like a goodly champaign plain. 
Lays open all the little worms that creep ; 
In men, as in a rough-grown grove, remain 
Cave-keeping evils that obscurely sleep : 
Through crystal walls each little mote will peep : 
Though men can cover crimes with bold stern looks. 
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 ! 
Not that devour'd, but that which doth devour 
Is worthy blame. O, let it not be hild** 
Poor women's faults that they are so fulfiU'd'' 
With men's abuses ! those proud lords, to blame. 
Make weak-made women tenants to their shame. 

The precedent whereof in Lucrece view, 
Assail'd by night with circumstances strong 
Of present death, and shame that might ensue 
By that her death, to do her husband wrong : 
Such danger to resistance did belong. 

That dying fear through all her body spread ; 

And who cannot abuse a body dead ? 

By this, mild patience bid fair Lucrece speak 
To the poor counterfeit •* of her complaining: 
" My girl," quoth she, " on what occasion break 



" Marble here stands for men, whose minds have just been compared to marble. 
*" Hild — held. Such a change for the sake of rhyme is frequent in Spenser. 
■■ FulJiWd — completely filled. 
•* Counterfeit — a likeness or copy. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 95 

Those tears from thee, that down thj cheeks are raining ? 

If 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 " 

" O 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. 
When more is felt than one hath power to tell. 

" Go, get me hither paper, ink, and pen — 

Yet save that labour, for I have them here. 

What should I say ? — One of my husband's men 

Bid thou be ready, by and by, to bear 

A letter to my lord, my love, my dear ; 
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. 

First hovering o'er the paper with her quill : 

Conceit and grief an eager combat fight ; 

What wit sets down is blotted straight with will ; 

This is too curious-good, this blunt and ill : 
Much like a press of people at a door. 
Throng her inventions, which shall be before. 

At last she thus begins : — " Thou worthy lord 
Of that unworthy wife that greeteth thee. 



96 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

Health to thy person ! next vouchsafe to afford 

(If ever, love, thy Lucrece thou wilt see) 

Some present speed to come and visit me : 
So I commend me from our house in grief;' 
My woes are tedious, though my words are brief." 

Here folds she up the tenor of her woe. 

Her certain sorrow writ uncertainly. 

By this short schedule Collatine may know 

Her grief, but not her grief's true quality ; 

She dares not thereof make discovery, 

Lest he should hold it her own gross abuse. 

Ere she with blood had stain'd her stain'd excuse. 

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. 

'T is but a part of sorrow that we hear : 

Deep sounds" make lesser noise than shallow fords. 
And sorrow ebbs, being blown with wind of words. 

* The simplicity of this letter is exquisitely beautiful; and its pathos is deeper 
from the circumstance that it is scarcely raised above the tone of ordinary corre- 
spondence. 

" So I commend me from our house in grief"' 
is such a formula as we constantly find in ancient correspondence. In the ' Paston 

Letters' we have such conclusions as this : " Written at when I was not well 

at ease." 

*• Motion — dumb show. 

"= Sounds. Malorie proposes to read flooih. This Steevens resists, and says that 
tound is such a part of the sea as may be sounded. To this Malone replies that a 
sound cannot be deep, and therefore sounds is not here intended. A sound is a 
bay or frith ; and Dampier, who is better authority than the commentators on nau- 



THE RAPE OF LUCRF.CE. 97 

Her letter now is seal'd, and on it writ, 
"At Ardea to my lord with more than haste :" 
The post attends, and she delivers it. 
Charging the sour-fac'd groom to hie as fast 
As lagging fowls before the northern blast. 

Speed more than speed but dull and slow she deems : 

Extremity still urgeth such extremes. 

The homely villein court'sies to her low ; 
And blushing on her, Avith a steadfast eye 
Receives the scroll without or yea or no. 
And forth with bashful innocence doth hie. 
But they whose guilt within their bosoms lie 

Imagine every eye beholds their blame ; 

For Lucrece thought he blush'd to see her shame ; 

When, silly groom ! God wot, it was defect 

Of spirit, life, and bold audacity. 

Such harmless creatures have a true respect 

To talk in deeds, while others saucily 

Promise more speed, but do it leisurely : 
Even so, this pattern of the worn-out age 
Pawn'd honest looks, but laid no words to gage. 

His kindled duty kindled her mistrust. 

That two red fires in both their faces blaz'd ; 

She thought he blush'd, as knowing Tarquin's lust. 

And, blushing with him, wistly on him gaz'd ; 

Her earnest eye did make him more amaz'd : 

The more she saw the blood his cheeks replenish. 
The more she thought he spied in her some blemish. 

But long she thinks till he return again. 
And yet the duteous vassal scarce is gone. 
The weary time she cannot entertain. 
For now 't is stale to sigh, to weep, and groan : 
So woe hath wearied woe, moan tired moan. 



tical matters, mentions a sound as " large and deep." The stillness of a sound, 
in consequence of being land-locked, testifies to the correctness of the poet's image. 
Vol. XII. H 



VO THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

That she her plaints a little while doth stay. 
Pausing for means to mourn some newer way. 

At last she calls to mind where hangs a piece 
Of skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy ; 
Before the which is drawn " the power of Greece, 
For Helen's rape the city to destroy, 
Threat'ning cloud-kissing Ilion with annoy ; 
Which the conceited ^ painter drew so proud. 
As heaven (it seem'd) to kiss the turrets bow'd. 

A thousand lamentable objects there. 
In scorn of Nature, Art gave lifeless life : 
Many a dry drop seem'd a weeping tear. 
Shed for the slaugliter'd husband by the wife : 
The red blood reek'd to show the painter's strife ; 
And dying eyes gleam'd forth their ashy lights. 
Like dying coals burnt out in tedious nights. 

There might you see the labouring pioneer 
Begrim'd with sweat, and smeared all with dust; 
And from the towers of Troy there would appear 
The very eyes of men through loopholes thrust. 
Gazing upon the Greeks with little lust : 

Such sweet observance in this work was had. 
That one might see those far-off eyes look sad. 

In great commanders grace and majesty 
You might behold, triumphing in their faces ; 
In youth, quick bearing and dexterity ; 
And here and there the painter interlaces 
Pale cowards, marching on with trembling paces ; 
Which heartless peasants did so well resemble. 
That one would swear he saw them quake and tremble. 

In Ajax and Ulysses, O what art 
Of physiognomy might one behold \ 

" Drawn — drawn out into the field. 
*" Conceited — ingenious, imaginative. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 99 

The face of either 'cipher'd cither's heart ; 

Their face their manners most expressly told : 

In Ajax' eyes blunt rage and rigour roll'd ; 
But the mild glance that sly Ulysses lent 
Show'd deep regard and smiling government. 

There pleading might you see grave Nestor stand. 
As 't were encouraging the Greeks to fight ; 
Making such sober action with his hand 
That it beguil'd attention, charm'd the sight : 
In speech, it seem'd, his beard all silver white 
Wagg'd up and down, and from his lips did fly 
Thin winding breath, which purl'd up * to the sky. 

About him were a press of gaping faces. 

Which seem'd to swallow up his sound advice ; 

All jointly listening, but with several graces. 

As if some mermaid did their ears entice ; 

Some high, some low, the painter was so nice : 
The scalps of many, almost hid behind. 
To jump up higher seem'd to mock the mind. 

Here one man's hand lean'd on another's head. 
His nose being shadow'd by his neighbour's ear j 
Here one being throng'd bears back, all boll'n ^ and red ; 
Another smother'd seems to pelt '^ and swear ; 
And in their rage such signs of rage they bear. 
As, but for loss of Nestor's golden words. 
It seem'd they would debate with angry swords. 

For much imaginary work was there ; 
Conceit deceitful, so compact, so kind,** 



= Purl'd. The meaning of purl as applied to a sound is familiar to all. Bacon, 
in speaking of the sound of a pipe, mentions " a sweet degree of sibillation or purl- 
ing." Thus, in the passage before us, the thin winding breath of Nestor, the soft- 
flowing words, purVd up to the sky. But the commentators believe that purl'd 
here expresses motion, and not sound ; and Steevens proposes to substitute curld. 

*> Uo^rw— swollen. 

c Pelt — to be clamorous, to discharge hasty words as pellets. 

^ Kind — natural. 

H i 



100 THK RAPE OF LUCUECK. 

That for Acliilles' image stood his spear, 
Grip'd in an armed hand ; himself, behind. 
Was left unseen, save to the eye of mind : 

A hand, a foot, a face, a leg, a head. 

Stood for the whole to be imagined. 

And from the walls of strong-besieged Troy 
When their brave hope, bold Hector, march'd to field. 
Stood many Trojan mothers, sharing joy 
To see their youthful sons bright weapons wield ; 
And to their hope they such odd action yield. 
That through their light joy seemed to appear 
(Like bright things stain'd) a kind of heavy fear. 

And, from the strond of Dardan where they fought. 
To Simois' reedy banks, the red blood ran. 
Whose waves to imitate the battle sought 
With swelling ridges ; and their ranks began 
To break upon the galled shore, and than * 
Retire again, till meeting greater ranks 
They join, and shoot their foam at Simois' banks. 

To this well-painted piece is Lucrece come. 
To find a face where all distress is stel'd.'' 



» Than used for then. This is another example (we had one before in hild) of 
changing a termination for the sake of rhyme. In Fairfax's ' Tasso' there is a 
parallel instance : — 

" Time was, (for each one hatli his doting time, 
These silver locks were golden tresses than,) 
That country life I hated as a crime, 

And from the forest's sweet contentment ran." 

•> Stel'd. A passage in the twenty- fourth Sonnet may explain the lines in the 
text:— 

" Mine eye hath play'd the painter, and hath stel'd 
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart." 
The word stel'd in both instances has a distinct association with something painted ; 
but to stell is interpreted as to fix, from stell, a fixed place of abode. It appears to 
us that the word is coiniected in Shaksjjere's mind with the world stile, the pencil 
by which forms are traced and copied. The application does not appear forced, 
when we subsequently find the poet using the expression of " pencill'd pensiveness."' 
We constantly use the term stile as applied to painting ; but we all know that stile, 
as describing the manner of delineating forms, is derived from the instrument by 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 101 

Many she sees where cares have carved some, 
But none where all distress and dolour dwell' d. 
Till she despairing Hecuba beheld. 

Staring on Priam's wounds with her old eyes. 
Which bleeding under Pyrrhus' proud foot lies. 

In her the painter had anatomiz'd 

Time's ruin, beauty's wrack, and grim care's reign ; 

Her cheeks with chaps and wrinkles were disguis'd ; 

Of" what she was no semblance did remain : 

Her blue blood, chang'd to black in every vein. 

Wanting the spring that those shrunk pipes had fed, 

Show'd life imprison'd in a body dead. 

On this sad shadow Lucrece spends her eyes. 

And shapes her sorrow to the beldame's woes. 

Who nothing wants to answer her but cries. 

And bitter words to ban her cruel foes : 

The painter was no God to lend her those ; 

And therefore Lucrece swears he did her wrong. 
To give her so much grief, and not a tongue. 

" Poor instrument," quoth she, " without a sound, 
I '11 tune thy woes with my lamenting tongue : 
And drop sweet balm in Priam's painted wound. 
And rail on Pyrrhus that hath done him wrong. 
And with my tears quench Troy that burns so long ; 

And with my knife scratch out the angry eyes 

Of all the Greeks that are thine enemies. 

" Show me the strumpet that began this stir, 

That with my nails her beauty I may tear. 

Thy heat of lust, fond Paris, did incur 

This load of wrath that burning Troy doth bear; 

Thy eye kindled the fire that burneth here; 
And here in Troy, for trespass of thine eye. 
The sire, the son, the dame, and daughter, die. 



which characters were anciently written, Slel'd is probably then stil'd, the word 
being slightly changed to suit the rhyme. 



102 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 



" Why should the private pleasure of some one 
Become the public plague of many mo?" 
Let sin, alone committed, light alone 
Upon his head that hath transgressed so. 
Let guiltless souls be freed from guilty woe : 

For one's offence why should so many fall. 

To plague a private sin in general ? 

" Lo, here weeps Hecuba, here Priam dies. 
Here manly Hector faints, here Troilus swounds ;^ 
Here friend by friend in bloody channel lies. 
And friend to friend gives unadvised '^ wounds. 
And one man's lust these many lives confounds : "^ 
Had doting Priam check'd his son's desire, 
Troy had been bright with fame, and not with fire," 

Here feelingly she weeps Troy's painted woes : 
For sorrow, like a heavy-hanging bell. 
Once set on ringing, with his own weight goes ; 
Then little strength rings out the doleful knell : 
So Lucrece set a-work sad tales doth tell 

To pencill'd pensiveness and colour'd sorrow; 

She lends them words, and she their looks doth borrow. 

She throws her eyes about the painting, round. 
And whom she finds forlorn she doth lament : 
At last she sees a wretched image bound. 
That piteous looks to Phrygian shepherds lent ; 
His face, though full of cares, yet show'd content: 
Onward to Troy with the blunt swains he goes. 
So mild that Patience seem'd to scorn his woes. 

In him the painter labour'd with his skill 
To hide deceit, and give the harmless show 
An humble gait, calm looks, eyes wailing still, 

■ Mo — more. 

*> Swounds — swoons. It is probable that the word was so usually pronounced, 
In Drayton swound rhymes to wound. 
<= Unadvised — unknowing. 
•* Confounds is here used in the sense of destroys. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 103 

A brow unbent, that seem'd to welcome woe ; 

Cheeks neither red nor pale, but mingled so 
That blushing red no guilty instance gave. 
Nor ashy pale the fear that false hearts have. 

But, like a constant and confirmed devil, 

He entertain'd a show so seeming just. 

And therein so ensconc'd his secret evil. 

That jealousy itself could not mistrust 

False-creeping craft and perjury should thrust 
Into so bright a day such black-fac'd storms. 
Or blot with hell-born sin such saint-like forms. 

The well-skill'd workman this mild image drew 

For perjur'd Sinon, whose enchanting story 

The credulous old Priam after slew ; 

Whose words, like wildfire, burnt the shining glory 

Of rich-built Ilion, that the skies were sorry. 
And little stars shot from their fixed places. 
When their glass fell wherein they view'd their faces.* 

This picture she advisedly ^ perus'd. 
And chid the painter for his wondrous skill ; 
Saying, some shape in Sinon's was abus'd. 
So fair a form lodg'd not a mind so ill ; 
And still on him she gaz'd, and gazing still, 

Such signs of truth in his plain face she spied. 

That she concludes the picture was belied. 

" It cannot be," quoth she, " that so much guile " — 
(She would have said) " can lurk in such a look ; " 
But Tarquin's shape came in her mind the while, 

" Malone objects to this image of Priam's palace being the mirror in which the 
tixed stars beheld themselves, Boswell has answered Malone by quoting Lyd- 
gate's description of the same wonderful edifice : — 

" That verely when so the Sonne shone 
Upon the golde meynt amonge the stone, 
They gave a lyght withouten any were, 
As doth Apollo in his mid-day sphere." 
•> Advisedly — attentively. 



104 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

And from her tongue " can lurk " from " cannot " took ; 

" It cannot be " she in that sense forsook. 
And turn'd it thus : " It cannot be, I find. 
But such a face should bear a wicked mind : 

" For even as subtle Sinon here is painted. 

So sober-sad, so weary, and so mild, 

(As if with grief or travail he had fainted,) 

To me came Tarquin armed ; so beguil'd * 

With outward honesty, but yet defil'd 

With inward vice : as Priam him did cherish. 
So did I Tarquin ; so my Troy did perish. 

" Look, look, how listening Priam wets his eyes. 

To see those borrow'd tears that Sinon sheds. 

Priam, why art thou old, and yet not wise ? 

For every tear he falls ^ a Trojan bleeds ; 

His eye drops fire, no water thence proceeds : 

Those round clear pearls of his that move thy pity 
Are balls of quenchless fire to burn thy city. 

" Such devils steal effects from lightless hell ; 

For Sinon in his fire doth quake with cold. 

And in that cold hot-burning fire doth dwell ; 

These contraries such unity do hold 

Only to flatter fools, and make them bold : 

So Priam's trust false Sinon's tears doth flatter. 
That he finds means to burn his Troy with water." 

Here, all enrag'd, such passion her assails. 
That patience is quite beaten from her breasts 
She tears the senseless Sinon with her nails. 
Comparing him to that unhappy guest 
Whose deed hath made herself herself detest : 



• So beguiVd. Tlie original has to beguil'd. Beguiled is masked with fraud, lit 
« The Mercluint of Venice' we have — 

" Tims ornament is but the guikd shore 
To a most dangerous sea." 
*• Fa//»— lets fall. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 105 

At last she smilingly with this gives o'er ; 

" Fool ! fool ! " quoth she, " his wounds will not be sore." 

Thus ebbs and flows the current of her sorrow. 
And time doth weary time with her complaining. 
She loots for night, and then she longs for morrow. 
And both she thinks too long with her remaining : 
Short time seems long in sorrow's sharp sustaining. 

Though woe be heavy yet it seldom sleeps ; 

And they that watch see time how slow it creeps. 

Which all this time hath overslipp'd her thought. 
That she with painted images hath spent : 
Being from the feeling of her own grief brought 
By deep surmise of others' detriment ; 
Losing her woes in shows of discontent. 

It easeth some, though none it ever cur'd. 

To think their dolour others have endur'd. 

But now the mindful messenger, come back. 

Brings home his lord and other company ; 

Who finds his Lucrece clad in mourning black ; 

And round about her tear-distained eye 

Blue circles stream'd, like rainbows in the sky. 
These water-galls* in her dim element 
Foretell new storms to those already spent. 

Which when her sad-beholding husband saw, 

Amazedly in her sad face he stares : 

Her eyes, though sod in tears, look'd red and raw. 

Her lively colour kill'd with deadly cares. 

He hath no power to ask her how she fares. 
But stood, like old acquaintance in a trance. 
Met far from home, wondering each other's chance. 

At last he takes her by the bloodless hand. 
And thus begins : " What uncouth ill event 

" IVater-gaUs. Steevens says the word is current among the shepherds on Salis- 
bury Plain. 



106 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

Hath thee befallen, that thou dost trembling stand ? 

Sweet love, what spite hath thy fair colour spent ? 

Why art thou thus attir'd in discontent ? 
Unmask, dear dear, this moody heaviness. 
And tell thy grief, that we may give redress." 

Three times with sighs she gives her sorrow fire 
Ere once she can discharge one word of woe : 
At length address'd* to answer his desire. 
She modestly prepares to let them know 
Her honour is ta'en prisoner by the foe ; 
While Collatine and his consorted lords 
With sad attention long to hear her words. 

And now this pale swan in her watery nest 
Begins the sad dirge of her certain ending : 
" Few words," quoth she, " shall fit the trespass best. 
Where no excuse can give the fault amending : 
In me more woes than words are now depending ; 
And my laments would be drawn out too long. 
To tell them all with one poor tired tongue. 

" Then be this all the task it hath to say : — 
Dear husband, in the interest of thy bed 
A stranger came, and on that pillow lay 
Where thou wast wont to rest thy weary head ; 
And what wrong else may be imagined 
By foul enforcement might be done to me, 
From that, alas ! thy Lucrece is not free. 

" For in the dreadful dead of dark midnight. 
With shining falchion in my chamber came 
A creeping creature, with a flaming light. 
And softly cried. Awake, thou Roman dame. 
And entertain my love ; else lasting shame 
On thee and thine this night I will inflict. 
If thou my love's desire do contradict. 



Addreas'd — prepared. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE, 107 

" For some hard-fa vour'd groom of thine, quoth he. 
Unless thou yoke thy liking to my will, 
I '11 murder straight, and then I '11 slaughter thee. 
And swear I found you where you did fulfil 
The loathsome act of lust, and so did kill 

The lechers in their deed : this act will be 

My fame, and thy perpetual infamy, 

" With this I did begin to start and cry. 

And then against my heart he set his sword. 

Swearing, unless I took all patiently 

I should not live to speak another word : 

So should my shame still rest upon record. 
And never be forgot in mighty Rome 
The adulterate death of Lucrece and her groom. 

'* Mine enemy was strong, my poor self weak. 

And far the weaker with so strong a fear : 

My bloody judge forbade my tongue to speak ; 

No rightful plea might plead for justice there : 

His scarlet lust came evidence to swear 

That my poor beauty had purloin'd his eyes. 
And when the judge is robb'd, the prisoner dies. 

" O teach me how to make mine own excuse ! 

Or, at the least, this refuge let me find ; 

Though my gross blood be stain'd with this abuse. 

Immaculate and spotless is my mind ; 

That was not forc'd ; that never was inclin'd 

To accessary yieldings, but still pure 

Doth in her poison'd closet yet endure." 

Lo here, the hopeless merchant of this loss. 
With head declin'd, and voice damm'd up with woe. 
With sad-set eyes, and wretched arms across. 
From lips new-waxen pale begins to blow 
The grief away that stops his answer so : 

But wretched as he is he strives in vain ; 

What he breathes out his breath drinks up again. 



lOy THE RAPE OF LUCUECE. 

As through an arch the violent roaring tide 

Outruns the eye that doth behold his haste; 

Yet in the eddy boundeth in his pride 

Back to the strait that forc'd him on so fast ; 

In rage sent out, recall'd in rage, being past : 
Even so he sighs, his sorrows make a saw. 
To push grief on, and back the same grief draw. 

Which speechless woe of his poor she attendeth. 

And his untimely frenzy thus awaketh : 

" Dear lord, thy sorrow to my sorrow lendeth 

Another power ; no flood by raining slaketh. 

My woe too sensible thy passion maketh 
More feeling-painful : let it then suffice 
To drown one woe, one pair of weeping eyes. 

" And for my sake, when I might charm thee so. 
For she that was thy Lucrece, — now attend me ; 
Be suddenly revenged on my foe. 
Thine, mine, his own ; suppose thou dost defend me 
From what is past : the help that thou shalt lend me 

Comes all too late, yet let the traitor die ; 

For sparing justice feeds iniquity. 

" But ere I name him, you, fair lords," quoth she, 
(Speaking to those that came with Collatine,) 
" Shall plight your honourable faiths to me. 
With swift pursuit to venge this wrong of mine ; 
For 't is a meritorious fair design 

To chase injustice with revengeful arms : 

Knights, by their oaths, should right poor ladies' harms." 

At this request, with noble disposition 

Each present lord began to promise aid. 

As bound in knighthood to her imposition. 

Longing to hear the hateful foe bcwray'd. 

But she, that yet her sad task hath not said. 
The protestation stops. " O speak," quoth she, 
" How may this forced stain be wip'd from me ? 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 109 

" What is the quality of mine oifence. 

Being constrain'd with dreadful circumstance ? 

May ray pure mind with the foul act dispense. 

My low-declined honour to advance ? 

May any terms acquit me from this chance? 

The poison'd fountain clears itself again ; 

And why not I from this compelled stain ?" 

With this, they all at once began to say. 

Her body's stain her mind untainted clears ; 

While with a joyless smile she turns away 

The face, that map which deep impression bears 

Of hard misfortune, carv'd in it with tears. 

" No, no," quoth she, " no dame, hereafter living. 
By my excuse shall claim excuse's giving." 

Here with a sigh, as if her heart would break. 
She throws forth Tarquin's name : " He, he," she says. 
But more than " he " her poor tongue could not speak ; 
Till after many accents and delays. 
Untimely breathings, sick and short assays. 
She utters this : " He, he, fair lords, 't is he. 
That guides this hand to give this wound to me." 

Even here she sheathed in her harmless breast 
A harmful knife, that thence her soul unsheath'd : 
That blow did bail it from the deep unrest 
Of that polluted prison where it breath'd : 
Her contrite sighs unto the clouds bequeath'd 

Her winged sprite, and through her wounds doth fly 

Life's lasting date from cancell'd destiny. 

Stone-still, astonish'd with this deadly deed. 

Stood Collatine and all his lordly crew ; 

Till Lucrece' father, that beholds her bleed. 

Himself on her self-slaughter'd body threw ; 

And from the purple fountain Brutus drew 
The murderous knife, and as it left the place, 
Her blood, in poor revenge, held it in chase ; 



1 10 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

And bubbling from her breast, it doth divide 

In two slow rivers, that the crimson blood 

Circles her body in on every side. 

Who like a late-sack'd island vastly' stood 

Bare and unpeopled, in this fearful flood. 

Some of her blood still pure and red remain'd. 

And some look'd black, and that false Tarquin stain'd. 

About the mourning and congealed face 
Of that black blood a watery rigoP goes. 
Which seems to weep upon the tainted place : 
And ever since, as pitying Lucrece' woes. 
Corrupted blood some watery token shows ; 

And blood untainted still doth red abide. 

Blushing at that which is so putrefied. 

" Daughter, dear daughter," old Lucretius cries, 

" That life was mine which thou hast here depriv'd. 

If in the child the father's image lies. 

Were shall I live now Lucrece is unliv'd? 

Thou wast not to this end from me deriv'd. 
If children predecease progenitors. 
We are their offspring, and they none of ours. 

" Poor broken glass, I often did behold 
In thy sweet semblance my old age new born ; 
But now that fair fresh mirror, dim and old. 
Shows me a barebon'd death by time outworn ; 
O, from thy cheeks my image thou hast torn ! 
And shiver'd all the beauty of my glass. 
That I no more can see what once I was. 

" O time, cease thou thy course, and last no longer, 
If they surcease to be that should survive. 
Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger. 
And leave the faltering feeble souls alive ? 
The old bees die, the young possess their hive : 

• Vastly — like a waste. '' Rigol—cixcie. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 1 I I 

Then live, sweet Lucrece, live again, and see 
Thy father die, and not thy father thee." 

By this starts CoUatine as from a dream. 
And bids Lucretius give his sorrow place ; 
And then in key -cold* Lucrece' bleeding stream 
He falls, and bathes the pale fear in his face. 
And counterfeits to die with her a space ; 

Till manly shame bids him possess his breath. 

And live, to be revenged on her death. 

The deep vexation of his inward soul 
Hath serv'd a dumb arrest upon his tongue ; 
Who, mad that sorrow should his use control. 
Or keep him from heart-easing words so long. 
Begins to talk ; but through his lips do throng 

Weak words, so thick come, in his poor heart's aid. 
That no man could distinguish what he said. 

Yet sometime Tarquin was pronounced plain. 
But through his teeth, as if the name he tore. 
This windy tempest, till it blow up rain. 
Held back his sorrow's tide, to make it more ; 
At last it rains, and busy winds give o'er: 
Then son and father weep with equal strife. 
Who should weep most for daughter or for wife. 

The one doth call her his, the other his. 

Yet neither may possess the claim they lay. 

The father says, " She 's mine." " O, mine she is," 

Replies her husband : " do not take away 

My sorrow's interest ; let no mourner say 

He weeps for her, for she was only mine. 

And only must be wail'd by Collatine." 

" O," quoth Lucretius, " I did give that life 
Which she too early and too late*^ hath spill'd." 

a Key-cold. So in ' Richard III.,' Act I., Scene 2 :— 

" Poor key-cold figure of a holy king." 
*> Too late — too recently. 



11'2 THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 

" Woe, woe," quoth Collatine, " she was my wife, 
I ow'd her, and 't is mine that she hath kill'd. 
" My daughter/' and "" my wife '' with clamours fiU'd 
The dispers'd air, who, holding Lucrece' life, 
Answer'd their cries, "my daughter*' and "my wife." 

Brutus, who pluck'd the knife from Lucrece' side. 

Seeing such emulation in their woe. 

Began to clothe his wit in state and pride. 

Burying in Lucrece' wound his folly's show. 

He with the Romans was esteemed so 
As silly jeering idiots are with kings. 
For sportive words, and uttering foolish things. 

But now he throws that shallow habit by. 

Wherein deep policy did him disguise ; 

And arm'd his long-hid wits advisedly. 

To check the tears in Collatinus' eyes. 

" Thou wronged lord of Rome," quoth he, " arise ; 
Let my unsounded self, suppos'd a fool. 
Now set thy long-experienc'd wit to school. 

" Why, Collatine, is woe the cure for woe? 

Do wounds help wounds, or grief help grievous deeds ? 

Is it revenge to give thyself a blow. 

For his foul act by whom thy fair wife bleeds ? 

Such childish humour from weak minds proceeds : 
Thy wretched wife mistook the matter so. 
To slay herself, that should have slain her foe. 

" Courageous Roman, do not steep thy heart 
In such relenting dew of lamentations. 
But kneel with me, and help to bear thy part. 
To rouse our Roman gods with invocations. 
That they will suffer these abominations, 

(Since Rome herself in them doth stand disgrac'd,) 
By our strong arms from forth her fair streets chas'd. 

" Now, by the Capitol that we adore. 

And by this chaste blood so unjustly stain'd. 



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. 113 

By heaven's fair sun that breeds the fat earth's store. 
By all our country rights in Rome maintain'd. 
And by chaste Lucrece' soul that late complain'd* 
Her wrongs to us, and by this bloody knife, 
We will revenge the death of this true wife." 

This said, he struck his hand upon his breast. 
And kiss'd the fatal knife to end his vow; 
And to his protestation urg'd the rest. 
Who, wondering at him, did his words allow:'' 
Then jointly to the ground their knees they bow ; 
And that deep vow which Brutus made before, 
He doth again repeat, and that they swore. 

When they had sworn to this advised doom. 
They did conclude to bear dead Lucrece thence ; 
To show her bleeding body thorough Rome, 
And so to publish Tarquin's foul ofi'ence : 
Which being done with speedy diligence. 

The Romans plausibly <= did give consent 

To Tarquin's everlasting banishment. 

* Complained was formerly used without a subjoined preposition. 
•> Allow — approve. 

" Plausibly — with expressions of applause — with acclamation. Plauaively — ap- 
plausively. 



Vol. Xir. 




1 3 



THE ONLY BEGETTER OF THESE ENSUING SONNETS, 
Mr. W. H., 

ALL HAPPINESS, 

AND 

THAT ETERNITY PROMISED BY OUR EVER-LIVING POET, 

WISHETH 

THE WELL WISHING ADVENTURER 
IN SETTING FORTH, 

T. T. 



SONNETS. 



/ 



From fairest creatures we desire increase. 
That thereby beauty's rose might never die, 
But as the riper should by time decease. 
His tender heir might bear his memory : 
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, 
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel. 
Making a famine where abundance lies. 
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel. 
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament. 
And only herald to the gaudy spring. 
Within thine own bud buriest thy content. 
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding. 
Pity the world, or else this glutton be. 
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee. 



When forty winters shall besiege thy brow, 
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field. 
Thy youth's proud livery, so gaz'd on now. 
Will be a tatter'd weed,** of small worth held : 
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies. 
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days ; 
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes. 
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise. 
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use. 
If thou couldst answer — " This fair child of mine 

» IVeed — garment. 



118 SONNETS. 

Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse — " 
Proving liis beauty by succession thine ! 

This were to be new-made when thou art old. 
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold. 

3. 

Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest. 
Now is the time that face should form another ; 
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest, 
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother. 
For where is she so fair whose unear'd* womb 
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry ? 
Or who is he so fond*' will be the tomb 
Of his self-love, to stop posterity? 
Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee 
Calls back the lovely April of her prime : 
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see. 
Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time. 
But if thou live, remember'd not to be, 
Die single, and thine image dies with thee. 



Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend 
Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy ? 
Nature's bequest gives nothing, but doth lend. 
And being frank she lends to those are free. 
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse 
The bounteous largess given thee to give? 
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use 
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live ? 
For having traffic with thyself alone. 
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive. 
Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone. 
What acceptable audit canst thou leave ? 

The unus'd beauty must be tomb'd with thee. 
Which, used, lives thy executor to be. 

^ Uhear'd — unploughed. •' Foud — foolish. 



SONNETS. 119 



5. 

Those hours that with gentle work did frame 

The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell. 

Will play the tyrants to the very same. 

And that unfair* which fairly doth excel; 

For never-resting time leads summer on 

To hideous winter, and confounds him there ; 

Sap check'd with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone. 

Beauty o'ersnow'd, and bareness everywhere : 

Then, were not summer's distillation left, 

A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass. 

Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft. 

Nor it, nor no remembrance what it was. 

But flowers distill' d, though they with winter meet, 
Leese^ but their show; their substance still lives sweet. 

6. 

Then let not winter's ragged hand deface 

In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd : 

Make sweet some phial ; treasure thou some place 

With beauty's treasure, ere it be self-kill'd. 

That use is not forbidden usury. 

Which happies"^ those that pay the willing loan; 

That 's for thyself to breed another thee. 

Or ten times happier, be it ten for one ; 

Ten times thyself were happier than thou art. 

If ten of thine ten times refigur'd thee : 

Then what could death do if thou shouldst depart. 

Leaving thee living in posterity ? 

Be not self-will'd, for thou art much too fair 

To be Death's conquest, and make worms thine heir. 

T. 

Lo, in the orient when the gracious light 
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye 

" Unfair — a verb — deprive of fairness, of beauty. <> Leese — lose. 

•= Happies — makes happy. 



120 SONNETS. 

Doth homage to his new-appearing sight. 
Serving with looks his sacred majesty ; 
And having climb'd the steep-up heavenly hill. 
Resembling strong youth in his middle age. 
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still. 
Attending on his golden pilgrimage ; 
But when from high-most pitch, with weary car. 
Like feeble age he reeleth from the day, 
The eyes, 'fore duteous, now converted are 
From his low tract, and look another way: 
So thou, thyself outgoing in thy noon, 
Unlook'd on diest, unless thou get a son. 



Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly ? " 
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy. 
Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly ? 
Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy ? 
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds. 
By unions married, do offend thine ear. 
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds 
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear. 
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another. 
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering ; ^ 
Resembling sire and child and happy mother. 
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing : 

Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one. 
Sings this to thee, " thou single wilt prove none." 



Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye 

That thou consum'st thyself in single life ? 

Ah ! if thou issueless shalt hap to die. 

The world will wail thee, like a makeless*^ wife ; 

* Malone thus explains this passage : — " O ihou whom to hear is music, why 
hear"st thou," &c. 

*" If two strings are tuned in perfect unison, and one only is struck, a very sen- 
sible vibration takes place in the other. This is called sympathetic vibration. 

* AfaA«fc«s — mateless. Make and mate are synonymous in our elder writers. 



SONNETS. 121 

The world will be thy widow, and still weep 
That thou no form of thee hast left behind. 
When every private widow well may keep. 
By children's eyes, her husband's shape in mind. 
Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend 
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it ; 
But beauty's waste hath in the world an end. 
And kept unus'd, the user so destroys it. 
No love toward others in that bosom sits. 
That on himself such murderous shame commits. / 

10. 

For shame ! deny that thou bear'st love to any. 

Who for thyself art so unprovident. 

Grant if thou wilt thou art belov'd of many. 

But that thou none lov'st is most evident ; 

For thou art so possess'd with murderous hate. 

That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire, 

Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate. 

Which to repair should be thy chief desire. 

O change thy thought, that I may change my mind ! 

Shall hate be fairer lodg'd than gentle love ? 

Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind. 

Or to thyself, at least, kind-hearted prove ; 
Make thee another self, for love of me. 
That beauty still may live in thine or thee. 

11. 

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow'st 

In one of thine, from that which thou departest; 

And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st. 

Thou mayst call thine, when thou from youth convertest. 

Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase ; 

Without this, folly, age, and cold decay : 

If all were minded so the times should cease. 

And threescore years would make the world away. 

Let those whom Nature hath not made for store. 

Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish: 



122 SONNETS. 

Look whom she best endow'd, she gave thee more ; 

Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish ; 
She carv'd thee for her seal, and meant thereby 
Thou shouldst print more, nor let that copy die. 

la. 

When I do count the clock that tells the time. 
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night ; 
When I behold the violet past prime. 
And sable curls, all* silver'd o'er with white ; 
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves. 
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd. 
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves. 
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard ; 
Then of thy beauty do I question make. 
That thou among the wastes of time must go. 
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake. 
And die as fast as they see others grow ; 

And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence 
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence. 

13. 

O that you were yourself! but, love, you are 

No longer yours than you yourself here live : 

Against this coming end you should prepare, 

And your sweet semblance to some other give. 

So should that beauty which you hold in lease 

Find no determination : then you were 

Yourself again, after yourself's decease. 

When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear. 

Who lets so fair a house fall to decay. 

Which husbandry in honour might uphold 

Against the stormy gusts of winter's day. 

And barren rage of death's eternal cold ? 

O ! none but un thrifts ; — Dear my love, you know 

You had a father ; let your son say so. 

" Alt. The original has or. 



SONNETS. 123 



14. 



Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck ; 
And yet methinks I have astronomy. 
But not to tell of good or evil luck. 
Of plagues, of dearths, or season's quality: 
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell. 
Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind. 
Or say with princes if it shall go well. 
By oft predict that I in heaven jBnd : 
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive. 
And (constant stars) in them I read such art. 
As truth and beauty shall together thrive. 
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert : 
Or else of thee this I prognosticate. 
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date. 



15. 



When I consider everything that grows 
Holds in perfection but a little moment. 
That this huge state presenteth nought but shows 
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment ; 
When I perceive that men as plants increase, 
Cheered and check'd even by the selfsame sky; 
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease. 
And wear their brave state out of memory ; 
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay 
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight. 
Where wasteful time debate th with decay. 
To change your day of youth to sullied night ; 
And, all in war with Time, for love of you. 
As he takes from you, I engraft you new. 



But wherefore do not you a mightier way 
Make war upon this bloody tyrant. Time ? 
And fortify yourself in your decay 
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme ? 



124 SONNKTS. 

Now stand you on the top of happy hours ; 

And many maiden gardens, yet unset. 

With virtuous wish would bear your* living flowers, 

Much liker than your painted counterfeit : '' 

So should the lines of life that life repair. 

Which this. Time's pencil, or my pupil pen. 

Neither in inward worth, nor outward fair,*" 

Can make you live yourself in eyes of men. 

To give away yourself keeps yourself still ; 

And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill. 

IT. 

Who will believe my verse in time to come. 

If it were fill'd with your most high deserts? 

Though yet. Heaven knows, it is but as a tomb 

Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts. 

If I could write the beauty of your eyes. 

And in fresh numbers number all your graces. 

The age to come would say, this poet lies. 

Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces. 

So should my papers, yellow'd with their age. 

Be scorn'd, like old men of less truth than tongue; 

And your true rights be terra'd a poet's rage. 

And stretched metre of an antique song : 

But were some child of yours alive that time. 
You should live twice ; — in it, and in my rhyme. 

18. 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day ? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate : 
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 
And summer's lease hath all too short a date ; 
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven '^ shines. 
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd ; 

■^ Your. The ordinary reading is you, Malone conceiving that i/oiir in the ori- 
ginal is an error of the press. *• Counterfeit — portrait. 
*■ Fair — beauty. 'I'lie word is used in the same sense in the 18th Sonnet. 
••So in ' Richard II.:'— 

" When tlie searching ei/e of heaven is hid 
Behind the globe, and lights the lower world." 



SONNETS. 125 

And every fair from fair sometime declines. 

By chance, or nature's changing course, untriram'd;* 

But thy eternal summer shall not fade. 

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest ; 

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade. 

When in eternal lines to time thou growest; 
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see. 
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 

19. 

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws. 
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood ; 
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws. 
And burn the long-liv'd phoenix in her blood ; 
Make glad and sorry seasons, as thou fleet'st. 
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time, 
To the wide world, and all her fading sweets ; 
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime : 
O carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow. 
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen ; 
Him in thy course untainted do allow. 
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men. 

Yet, do thy worst, old Time ; despite thy wrong. 

My love shall in my verse ever live young. 

20. 

A woman's face, with nature's own hand painted. 

Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion ; 

A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted 

With shifting change, as is false women's fashion ; 

An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling. 

Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth ; 

A man in hue, all hues in his controlling. 

Which steals men's eyes, and women's souls amazeth. 

And for a woman wert thou first created ; 

Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting, 

" Untrimtrid — undecorated. 



i 2G SONNETS. 

And by addition me of thee defeated, 

By adding one thing to my purpose nothing. 

But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure. 
Mine be thy love, and thy love's use their treasure. 

21. 

So is it not with me as with that muse, 

Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse ; 

Who heaven itself for ornament doth use. 

And every fair with his fair doth rehearse ; 

Making a couplement ' of proud compare. 

With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems^ 

With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare 

That heaven's air in his huge rondure ^ hems. 

O let me, true in love, but truly write. 

And then believe me, my love is as fair 

As any mother's child, though not so bright 

As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air : 

Let them say more that like of hearsay well ; 

I will not praise, that purpose not to sell. 



My glass shall not persuade me I am old. 
So long as youth and thou are of one date ; 
But when in thee time's furrows I behold. 
Then look I death my days should expiate. 
For all that beauty that doth cover thee 
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart. 
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me ; 
How can I then be elder than thou art ? 
O therefore, love, be of thyself so wary. 
As I not for myself but for thee will; 
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary 
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill. 

Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain ; 

Thou gav'st me thine, not to give back again. 

■ CotrpUment — union. So in Spenser : — 

" Allied with bands of mutual couplement,"' 
^ /iowdMre— circumference. 



SONNETS. 1 27 



23. 

As an unperfect actor on tKe stage. 
Who with his fear is put besides his part. 
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage. 
Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart ; 
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say 
The perfect ceremony of love's rite. 
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay, 
O'ercharg'd with burthen of mine own love's might. 
O let my books be then the eloquence 
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast ; 
Who plead for love, and look for recompence. 
More than that tongue that more hath more express'd. 
O learn to read what silent love hath writ : 
To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit. 

24. 

Mine eye hath play'd the painter, and hath stel'd 

Thy beauty's form in table" of my heart; 

My body is the frame wherein 't is held. 

And perspective it is best painter's art. 

For through the painter must you see his skill. 

To find where your true image pictur'd lies. 

Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still. 

That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes. 

Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done ; 

Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me 

Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun 

Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee ; 

Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art. 
They draw but what they see, know not the heart. 

» Tabk— 80 in ' All 's Well that Ends Well :'— 

" 'T was pretty, though a plague, 
To see him every hour ; to sit and draw 
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls, 
In our heart's table." 
Table, though sometimes used in the sense of a picture, more commonly means the 
tabular surface upon which a picture is painted. 



1'28 SONNETS. 



as. 

Let those who are in favour with their stars. 
Of public honour and proud titles boast, 
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars, 
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most. 
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread 
But as the marigold at the sun's eye ; 
And in themselves their pride lies buried. 
For at a frown they in their glory die. 
The painful warrior famoused for fight," 
After a thousand victories once foil'd. 
Is from the book of honour razed quite. 
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd : 

Then happy I, that love and am belov'd 

Where I may not remove, nor be remov'd. 

20. 

Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage 

Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit. 

To thee I send this written embassage. 

To witness duty, not to show my wit. 

Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine 

May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it ; 

But that I hope some good conceit of thine 

In thy soul's thought, all naked, will bestow it : 

Till whatsoever star that guides by moving. 

Points on me graciously with fair aspect. 

And puts apparel on my tatter'd loving. 

To show me worthy of thy sweet respect : 

Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee. 

Till then, not show my head where thou mayst prove me. 



" FighU The original has worth. Theobald, who saw that the alternate rhyme 
is invariably preserved in the other Sonnets, proposed to make one of two changes; 
to read Jlght instead o( worth, ot forth instead of quite. We are not perfectly satis- 
fied with either cliange ; but as the first has been adopted in all modem editions, 
we will not attempt to disturb the received reading, and we have no doubt that 
some error is involved in the original. 



SONNETS. 129 



27. 



Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed. 
The dear repose for limbs with travel tir'd ; 
But then begins a journey in my head. 
To work my mind, when body's work 's expir'd : 
For then my thoughts (from far where I abide) 
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee. 
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide. 
Looking on darkness which the blind do see : 
Save that my soul's imaginary sight 
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view. 
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night. 
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new. 
Lo, thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind. 
For thee, and for myself, no quiet find. 



How can I then return in happy plight. 

That am debarr'd the benefit of rest ? 

When day's oppression is not eas'd by night. 

But day by night and night by day oppress'd? 

And each, though enemies to cither's reign. 

Do in consent shake hands to torture me. 

The one by toil, the other to complain 

How far I toil, still farther ofi* from thee. 

I tell the day, to please him, thou art bright. 

And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven : 

So flatter I the swart^complexion'd night ; 

When sparkling stars twire* not, thou gild'st the even. 



" Twire. Malone proposed to read twirl, and Steevens conjectured that twire 
means quire. Gifford, in a note upon Ben Jonson's ' Sad Shepherd,' explains that 
in the passage before us the meaning is " when the stars do not gleam or appear at 
intervals." He adds, " Twire should not have been suffered to grow obsolete, for 
we have no word now in use that can take its place, or be considered as precisely 
synonymous with it in sense : leer and twinkle are merely shades of it." Gifford 
quotes several passages from Jonson and Beaumont and Fletcher in confirmation 
of his opinion. But there are four lines in Drayton's ' Polyolbion * which contain 
a parallel use of the word : — " Suppose 

Vol, XII. K 



130 SONNETS. 

But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer. 

And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger. 

20. 

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, 

I all alone beweep my outcast state, 

And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries. 

And look upon myself, and curse my fate. 

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, 

Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd. 

Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope. 

With what I most enjoy contented least ; 

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, 

Haply I think on thee, — and then my state 
(Like to the lark at break of day arising 
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate ; ■ 
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings. 
That then I scorn to change my state with kings. 

30. 

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought 

I summon up remembrance of things past, 

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought. 

And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste : 

Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow. 

For precious friends hid in death's dateless ^ night. 

And weep afresh love's long-since cancell'd woe. 

And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight."^ 



" Suppose 'twixt noon and night the sun is half-way wrought, 
(The shadows to be large, by his descending brought,) 
Who with a fervent eye looks through the twiring glades, 
And his dispersed rays commixeth with the shades." 

■ See ' Cymbeline,' Illustrations of Act II. 

^ Dateless — endless — having no certain time of expiration. 

" If we understand expense to be used as analogous to passing away, there is no 
difficulty in this line. What we expend is gone from us ; and so the poet moans 
the expense of many a vanished sight Malone thinks that lyhl is used for sigh ; 
but this is certainly a very strained conjecture. 



SONNETS. 131 

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone. 
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er 
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan. 
Which I new pay as if not paid before. 

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend. 

All losses are restor'd, and sorrows end. 

31. 

Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts. 
Which I by lacking have supposed dead ; 
And there reigns love and all love's loving parts, 
And all those friends which I thought buried. 
How many a holy and obsequious ' tear 
Hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye. 
As interest of the dead, which now appear 
But things remov'd, that hidden in thee lie ! 
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live. 
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone. 
Who all their parts of me to thee did give ; 
That due of many now is thine alone : 

Their images I lov'd I view in thee. 

And thou (all they) hast all the all of me. 

32. 

If thou survive my well-contented day. 

When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover. 

And shalt by fortune once more re-survey 

These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover. 

Compare them with the bettering of the time ; 

And though they be outstripp'd by every pen. 

Reserve ^ them for my love, not for their rhyme. 

Exceeded by the height of happier men. 

O then vouchsafe me but this loving thought ! 

" Had my friend's muse grown with this growing age, 

A dearer birth than this his love had brought. 

To march in ranks of better equipage: 

* Obsequious — funereal. 

'' Reserve — the same as preserve. In ' Pericles ' we have — 
" Reserve that excellent complexion." 

K2 



132 SONNETS. 

But since he died, and poets better prove, 
Theirs for their style I '11 read, his for his love." 

33. 

Full many a glorious morning have I seen 
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye. 
Kissing with golden face the meadows green. 
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchymy ; 
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride 
With ugly rack" on his celestial face. 
And from the forlorn world his visage hide. 
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace : 
Even so my sun one early morn did shine 
With all triumphant splendour on my brow ; 
But out ! alack ! he was but one hour mine. 
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now. 

Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth ; 

Suns of the world may stain, when heaven's sun staineth. 

34. 

Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day. 
And make me travel forth without my cloak. 
To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way. 
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke? 
'T is not enough that through the cloud thou break. 
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face. 



" Rack. Tooke, in his full discussion of the meaning of this word (' Diversions 
of Purley,' Part II., Chap. IV.), holds that rack means " merely that which is 
reeked f and that in all the instances of its use by Shakspere the word signifies 
vapour. He illustrates the passage before us by quoting the lines in ' The First 
Part of Henry IV.,' where the Prince in some degree justifies his course of pro- 
fligacy : — 

" Yet herein will I imitate the sun, 
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds 
To smother up his beauty from the world, 
' That when he please again to be himself, 
Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at, 
By breaking through ihefoul and ugly mists 
Of vapours, that did seem to strangle him." 

^ Stain and staineth are here used with the signification of a verb neuter. Suns 
of the world may be stained as heaven's sun b stained. 



SONNETS. 133 

For no man well of such a salve can speak. 

That heals the wound, and cures not the disgrace : 

Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief; 

Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss : 

The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief 

To him that bears the strong offence's cross.* 

Ah ! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds. 
And they are rich, and ransom all ill deeds. 

35. 

No more be griev'd at that which thou hast done : 

Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud ; 

Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun. 

And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud. 

All men make faults, and even I in this. 

Authorising thy trespass with compare. 

Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,'' 

Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are : 

For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense, 

(Thy adverse party is thy advocate,) 

And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence : 

Such civil war is in my love and hate. 
That I an accessory needs must be 
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me. 

36. 

Let me confess that we two must be twain. 

Although our undivided loves are one : 

So shall those blots that do with me remain, 

Without thy help, by me be borne alone. 

In our two loves there is but one respect. 

Though in our lives a separable ° spite. 

Which though it alter not love's sole effect. 

Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight. 



« Crots. The original has loss — evidently a mistake. Malone substituted 
cross. 

^ Amiss — fault. 

"= Separable — separating. 



184 SONNETS. 

I may not evermore acknowledge thee. 
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame ; 
Nor thou with public kindness honour me. 
Unless thou take that honour from thy name : 
But do not so ; I love thee in such sort. 
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report. 

3T. 

As a decrepit father takes delight 

To see his active child do deeds of youth. 

So I, made lame by fortune's dearest * spite. 

Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth ; 

For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit. 

Or any of these all, or all, or more. 

Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit, 

I make my love engrafted to this store : 

So then I am not lame, poor, nor despis'd. 

Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give. 

That I in thy abundance am suffic'd. 

And by a part of all thy glory live. 

Look what is best, that best I wish in thee ; 

This wish I have ; then ten times happy me ! 

38. 

How can my muse want subject to invent. 
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse 
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent 
For every vulgar paper to rehearse ? 
O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me 
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight ; 
For who *s so dumb that cannot write to thee. 
When thou thyself dost give invention light ? 
Be thou the tenth muse, ten times more in worth 
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate ; 
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth 
Eternal numbers to outlive long date. 

" Dearett. So in ' Hamlet :' — 

" Would I had met my dearest foe in heayen ! " 



SONNETS. 135 

If my slight muse do please these curious days. 
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise. 

39. 

O, how thy worth with manners may I sing. 

When thou art all the better part of me ? 

What can mine own praise to mine own self bring ? 

And what is 't but mine own, when I praise thee ? 

Even for this let us divided live. 

And our dear love lose name of single one. 

That by this separation I may give 

That due to thee, which thou deserv'st alone. 

absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove. 
Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave 
To entertain the time with thoughts of love, 
(Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive,) 

And that thou teachest how to make one twain. 
By praising him here, who doth hence remain ! 

40. 

Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all ; 
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before ? 
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call ; 
All mine was thine, before thou hadst this more. 
Then if for my love thou my love receivest, 

1 cannot blame thee for* my love thou usest; 
But yet be blam'd, if thou thyself deceivest 
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest. 

I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief. 

Although thou steal thee all my poverty ; 

And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief 

To bear love's wrong, than hate's known injury. 
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows. 
Kill me with spites ; yet we must not be foes. 

41. 

Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits 
When I am sometime absent from thy heart, 

* For here signifies because. 



♦ » 



136 SONNETS. 

Thy beauty and thy years full well befits. 
For still temptation follows where thou art. 
Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won. 
Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assail'd ; 
And when a woman woos, what woman's son 
Will sourly leave her till she have prevail'd ? 
Ah me! but yet thou mightst ray seat forbear. 
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth. 
Who lead thee in their riot even there 
Where thou art forc'd to break a two- fold truth ; 
Hers, by thy beauty tempting her to thee. 
Thine, by thy beauty being false to me. 

42. 

That thou hast her, it is not all my grief. 

And yet it may be said I lov'd her dearly ; 

That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief, 

A loss in love that touches me more nearly. 

Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye : — • 

Thou dost love her, because thou knew'st I love her ;, 

And for my sake even so doth she abuse me. 

Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her. 

If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain. 

And, losing her, my friend hath found that loss ; 

Both find each other, and I lose both twain. 

And both for my sake lay on me this cross : 

But here 's the joy; my friend and I are one; 

Sweet flattery ! then she loves but me alone. 

43. 

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see. 
For all the day they view things unrespected ; * 
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee. 
And, darkly bright, are bright in dark directed ; 
Then thou whose shadow shadows doth make bright. 
How would thy shadow's form form happy show 
To the clear day with thy much clearer light. 
When to unseein^g eyes thy shade shines so 1 

■ Uiiretpected — unregarded. 



SONNETS. 137 

How would (I say) mine eyes be blessed made 
By looking on thee in the living day. 
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade 
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay? 

All days are nights to see, till I see thee. 

And nights, bright days, when dreams do show thee me.* 

44. 

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought. 
Injurious distance should not stop my way ; 
For then, despite of space, I would be brought 
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay. 
No matter then, although my foot did stand 
Upon the farthest earth remov'd from thee. 
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land. 
As soon as think the place where he would be. 
But ah ! thought kills me, that I am not thought. 
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone. 
But that, so much of earth and water wrought,^ 
I must attend time's leisure with my moan ; 

Receiving nought by elements so slow 

But heavy tears, badges of cither's woe : 

45. 

The other two, slight air and purging fire. 
Are both with thee, wherever I abide ; 
The first my thought, the other my desire. 
These present-absent with swift motion slide. 
For when these quicker elements are gone 
In tender embassy of love to thee. 



' Thee me — thee to me. 

•> A passage in ' Henry V.' explains this : — " He is pure air and fire ; and the 
dull elements of earth and water never appear in him." The thought is continued 
in the first line of the 45th Sonnet, in which Sonnet we also find " My life being 
made of four." This was the theory of life in Shakspere's time ; and Sir Toby, 
in ' Twelfth Night,' speaks learnedly when he says « Does not our life consist of 
the four elements? " Shakspere, however, somewhat laughs at the theory when he 
makes Sir Andrew reply, " Faith, so they say, but I think it rather consists of 
eating and drinking." 



138 SONNETS. 

My life, being made of four, with two alone 
Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy ; 
Until life's composition be recur'd 
By those swift messengers return'd from thee. 
Who even but now come back again, assur'd 
Of thy fair health, recounting it to me : 
This told, I joy ; but then no longer glad, 
I send them back again, and straight grow sad. 

46. 

Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war. 
How to divide the conquest of thy sight ; 
Mine eye my heart thy* picture's sight would bar. 
My heart mine eye the freedom of that right. 
My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie, 
(A closet never pierc'd with crystal eyes,) 
But the defendant doth that plea deny. 
And says in him thy fair appearance lies. 
To 'cide ^ this title is impannelled 
A quest *= of thoughts, all tenants to the heart ; 
And by their verdict is determined 
The clear eye's moiety,*^ and the dear heart's part : 
As thus ; mine eye's due is thine outward part. 
And my heart's right thine inward love of heart. 

4T. 

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took. 
And each doth good turns now unto the other : 
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look. 
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother. 



» TTiy. The original has their ; and it is remarkable that the same typographi- 
cal error occurs four times in this one Sonnet — a pretty convincing proof that no 
competent or authorised person superintended the publication. Errors of this 
sort are very frequent in the original ; but we have not thought it necessary to 
notice them when there can be no doubt of the meaning. 

^ 'Cide. Malone explains that this is a contraction of decide. The original 
reads tide. 

« Quest — inquest or jury. 

^ Moiety — portion. 



SONNETS. 139 

With my love's picture then my eye doth feast. 

And to the painted banquet bids my heart ; 

Another time mine eye is my heart's guest. 

And in his thoughts of love doth share a part : 

So, either by thy picture or my love. 

Thyself away art present still with me ; 

For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move. 

And I am still with them, and they with thee ; 
Or if they sleep, thy picture in my sight. 
Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight. 



How careful was I when I took my way. 
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust. 
That, to my use, it might unused stay 
From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust ! 
But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are. 
Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief. 
Thou, best of dearest, and mine only care. 
Art left the prey of every vulgar thief. 
Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest. 
Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art. 
Within the gentle closure of my breast. 
From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part ; 
And even thence thou wilt be stolen I fear. 
For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.* 

49. 

Against that time, if ever that time come. 
When I shall see thee frown on my defects, 
Whenas'' thy love hath cast his utmost sum, 
Call'd to that audit by advis'd respects ; 
Against that time, when thou shalt strangely pass 
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye. 
When love, converted from the thing it was. 
Shall reasons find of settled gravity ; 

* The same thought is in ' Venus and Adonis :' — 

" Rich preys make true men thieves." 
*" Whenas — when. 



140 SONNETS. 

Against that time do I ensconce^ me here 
Within the knowledge ol" mine own desert. 
And this my hand against myself uprear. 
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part : 

To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws, 
Since, why to love, I can allege no cause. 

50. 

How heavy do I journey on the way. 
When what I seek — my weary travel's end — 
Doth teach that ease and that repose to say, 
" Thus far the miles are measur'd from thy friend !" 
The beast that bears me, tired with my woe. 
Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me. 
As if by some instinct the wretch did know 
His rider lov'd not speed, being made from thee : 
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on 
That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide. 
Which heavily he answers with a groan. 
More sharp to me than spurring to his side ; 
For that same groan doth put this in my mind. 
My grief lies onward, and my joy behind. 

61. 

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence 
Of my dull bearer, when from thee I speed : 
From where thou art why should I haste me thence ? 
Till I return, of posting is no need. 
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find. 
When swift extremity can seem but slow ? 
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind ; 
In winged speed no motion shall I know : 
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace ; 
Therefore desire, of perfect love being made. 
Shall neigh (no dull flesh) in his fiery race ; 
But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade ; 
Since from thee going he went wilful slow. 
Towards thee I '11 run, and give him leave to go. 

" Entconee — fortify. 



SONNETS. 141 



52. 

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.'^ 

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-blest. 

By new unfolding his imprison'd pride. 

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

53. 

What is your substance, whereof are you made. 

That millions of strange shadows on you tend ? 

Since every one hath, every one, one's 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;^ 

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. 

* There is a somewhat similar thought in ' Henry IV., Part I. :' — 

" My state, 
Seldom but sumptuous, show'd like a feast, 
And won by rareness much solemnity." 

*> Captain — used adjectively for chief. 

' Carcanet — necklace. 

^ Counterfeit — portrait. 

* Foizon is plenty ; and the/oizon of the year is the autumn, or plentiful season. 



142 SONNETS. 



54. 

O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem. 

By that sweet ornament which truth doth give ! 

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 discloses : 

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, by^ verse distils your truth. 

55. 

Not marble, not the gilded monuments 

Of princes, shall outlive 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. 

56. 

Sweet love, renew thy force ; be it not said. 
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite, 

* Canker-blooms — the flowers of the canker or dog-rose. 

'' Bi/. The word of the original is altered by Malone to mt/. The change is 
certainly not wanted. 



SONNETS. 143 

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. 

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. 

5T. 

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 anything) he thinks no ill. 

58. 

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 ! 

O, let me sufier (being at your beck) 

The imprison'd absence of your liberty. 

And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check 

Without accusing you of injury. 

Be where you list ; your charter is so strong. 

That you yourself may privilege your time : 



144 SONNETS. 

Do what you will, to you it doth belong 
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime. 

I am to wait, though waiting so be hell ; 

Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well. 

59. 

If there be nothing new, but that which is 
Hath been before, how are our brains beguil'd. 
Which labouring for invention bear amiss 
The second burthen of a former child ! 
O, that record could with a backward look. 
Even of five hundred courses of the sun. 
Show me your image in some antique book. 
Since mind at first in character was done ! 
That I might see what the old world could say 
To this composed wonder of your frame ; 
Whether we are mended, or whe'r* better they. 
Or whether revolution be the same. 
O ! sure I am, the wits of former days 
To subjects worse have given admiring praise. 

60. 

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, 

So do our minutes hasten to their end ; 

Each changing place with that which goes before. 

In sequent toil all forwards do contend. 

Nativity, once in the main of light, ** 

Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd. 

Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight. 

And Time, that gave, doth now his gift confound. 

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth. 

And delves the parallels*^ in beauty's brow ; 



■ fVke'r — whether, 

*" Main of light. As the main of waters would signify the great body of waters, 
80 the main of light signifies the mass or flood of light into which a new-born child 
is launched. 

* Parallel*. We have exactly the same idea in the 2nd Sonnet : — 
" When forty winters shall besiege thy brow, 
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field." 



SONNETS. 145 

Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth. 
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow. 
And yet, to times in hope, my verse shall stand. 
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand, 

61. 

Is it thy will thy image should keep open 
My heavy eyelids to the weary night ? 
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken. 
While shadows, like to thee, do mock my sight ? 
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee 
So far from home, into my deeds to pry ; 
To find out shames and idle hours in me. 
The scope and tenor of thy jealousy ? 
O no ! thy love, though much, is not so great ; 
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake ; 
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat. 
To play the watchman ever for thy sake : 

For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere. 

From me far off, with others all-too-near, 

62. 

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye. 
And all my soul, and all my every part ; 
And for this sin there is no remedy. 
It is so grounded inward in my heart. 
Methinks no face so gracious* is as mine. 
No shape so true, no truth of such account. 
And for myself mine own worth do define. 
As I all other in all worths surmount. 
But when my glass shows me myself indeed, 
Beated^ and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity. 
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read. 
Self so self-loving were iniquity. 



" Gracious — beautiful. 

'' Beated. So in the old copy ; and it has been followed by Malone, He sug- 
gests that the true word may be bated ; but he receives beated as the participle of 
the verb to beat. 

Vol, XII. L 



146 SONNETS. 

'T is thee (myself) that for myself I praise. 
Painting my age with beauty of thy days. 

63. 

Against my love shall be, as I am now. 
With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'erworn ; 
When hours have drain'd his blood, and fill'd his brow 
With lines and wrinkles ; when his youthful mom 
Hath travell'd on to age's steepy night ; ■ 
And all those beauties, whereof now he 's king. 
Are vanishing or vanish'd out of sight. 
Stealing away the treasure of his spring ; 
For such a time do I now fortify 
Against confounding age's cruel knife. 
That he shall never cut from memory 
My sweet love's beauty, though my lover's life. 
His beauty shall in these black lines be seen. 
And they shall live, and he in them, still green. 

When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd 
The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age ; 
When sometime lofty towers I see down-ras'd. 
And brass eternal, slave to mortal rage ; 
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain 
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore. 
And the firm soil win of the wat'ry main. 
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store ; 
When I have seen such interchange of state. 
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. 



" Steepy night. It has been proposed to read sleepy night; but in the 7th Sonnet 
we have the same notion of man climbing up the hill of age ; and here the idea is 
also connected with the antithesis of morn and night. 



SONNETS. 147 



65. 



Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea. 

But sad mortality o'ersways their power. 

How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea. 

Whose action is no stronger than a flower ? 

O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out 

Against the wreckful siege of battering days. 

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?" 

Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back ? 

Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid ? 
O none, unless this miracle have might. 
That in black ink my love may still shine bright. 

66. 

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-tied 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. 

" In ' Troilus and Cressida,' Ulysses says — 

" Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, 
In which he puts alms for oblivion." 

Time's chest and Times wallet are the same ; they are the depositories of what was 
once great and beautiful, passed away, perished, and forgotten. 
^ Simplicity is here used for folly. 

L 2 



148 SONNETS. 



er. 

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 ? 
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. 

66. 

Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn, 
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. 
Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay ; "^ 
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 : 

» Lace — embellish — ornament. •» Fair — beauty. 

« See ' Merchant of Venice,' Illustrations of Act III. 



SONNETS. 149 

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. 

They look into the beauty of thy mind. 

And that, in guess, they measure by thy deeds ; 

Then (churls) their thoughts, although their eyes were kind. 

To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds : 
But why thy odour matcheth not thy show, 
The solve ^ is this, — that thou dost common grow. 

TO. 

That thou art blam'd shall not be thy defect. 

For slander's mark was ever yet the fair; 

The ornament of beauty is suspect, "^ 

A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air. 

So thou be good, slander doth but approve 

Thy worth the greater, being woo'd of time ; 

For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love. 

And thou present'st a pure unstained prime. 

Thou hast pass'd by the ambush of young days, 

Either not assail'd, or victor being charg'd ; 

Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise, 

To tie up envy, evermore enlarg'd : 

If some suspect of ill mask'd not thy show. 

Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.'* 

» Due. The original has end. Tyrwhitt sagaciously made the change ; know- 
ing that such a typographical error is not unfrequent. The separate letters drop 
out at the press; and the workman, who does not stand upon niceties, puts them 
together again after his own fashion. By the inversion of the u a pretty metamor- 
phosis of due into end is made ; and such feats of legerdemain are performed with 
a dexterity which, however satisfactory to the operator, is not the most agreeable 
part of an author's experience, if he should ever indulge himself with the perusal 
of his own writings after they have passed the printer. 

*> Solve. The original has so/ye. Malone reads solve in the sense of solution. 
We have no parallel example of the use of solve as a noun. 

= Suspect — suspicion. So in ' King Htnry IV., Part II.' : — 

" If my suspect be false, forgive me." 
•• Owe — own. 



150 SONNETS. 

n. 

No longer mourn for me when I am dead 
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell 
Give warning to the world that I am fled 
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell : 
Nay, if you read this line, remember not 
The hand that writ it ; for I love you so. 
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot, 
If thinking on me then should make you woe. 
O if (I say) you look upon this verse. 
When I perhaps compounded am with clay. 
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse ; 
But let your love even with my life decay ; 

Lest the wise world should look into your moan. 
And mock you with me after I am gone. 

T2. 

O, lest the world should task you to recite 
What merit liv'd in me, that you should love 
After my death, — dear love, forget me quite, 
For you in me can nothing worthy prove ; 
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie. 
To do more for me than mine own desert. 
And hang more praise upon deceased I 
Than niggard truth would willingly impart : 
O, lest your true love may seem false in this. 
That you for love speak well of me untrue. 
My name be buried where my body is. 
And live no more to shame nor me nor you. 
For I am sham'd by that which I bring forth. 
And so should you, to love things nothing worth. 

T3. 

That time of year thou mayst in me behold 
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang 
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold. 
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. 



SONNETS. 151 

In me thou seest the twilight of such day 

As after sunset fadeth in the west. 

Which by and by black night doth take away, 

Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. 

In me thou seest the glowing of such fire. 

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie. 

As the death-bed whereon it must expire, 

Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by. 

This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong. 
To love that well which thou must leave ere long : 

T4. 

But be contented : when that fell arrest 

Without all bail shall carry me away. 

My life hath in this line some interest. 

Which for memorial still with thee shall stay. 

When thou reviewest this, thou dost review 

The very part was consecrate to thee. 

The earth can have but earth, which is his due ; 

My spirit is thine, the better part of me : 

So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life. 

The prey of worms, my body being dead ; 

The coward conquest of a wretch's knife. 

Too base of thee to be remembered. 

The worth of that, is that which it contains. 
And that is this, and this with thee remains. 

T6. 

So are you to my thoughts, as food to life. 

Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground ; 

And for the peace of you I hold such strife 

As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found : 

Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon 

Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure ; 

Now counting best to be with you alone. 

Then better'd that the world may see my pleasure : 

Sometime all full with feasting on your sight. 

And by and by clean starved for a look ; 



152 SONNETS. 

Possessing or pursuing no delight. 

Save what is had or must from you be took. 

Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day. 

Or gluttoning on all, or all away. 

T6. 

Why is my verse so barren of new pride ? 

So far from variation or quick change ? 

Why, with the time, do I not glance aside 

To new-found methods and to compounds strange? 

Why write I still all one, ever the same. 

And keep invention in a noted weed," 

That every word doth almost tell my name. 

Showing their birth, and where they did proceed ? 

O know, sweet love, I always write of you. 

And you and love are still my argument ; 

So all my best is dressing old words new. 

Spending again what is already spent : 

For as the sun is daily new and old. 

So is my love still telling what is told. 

TT. 

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear. 
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste ; 
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear. 
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste. 
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show. 
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory ; 
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know 
Time's thievish progress to eternity. 
Look, what thy memory cannot contain. 
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find 
Those children nurs'd, deliver'd from thy brain. 
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind. 
These oiRces, so oft as thou wilt look. 
Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book. 

* A noted weed — a dreg* known and familiar, through being always the same. 



SONNETS. 1 53 



78. 



So oft have I invok'd thee for my muse. 
And found such fair assistance in my verse. 
As every alien pen hath got my use. 
And under thee their poesy disperse. 
Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing. 
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly. 
Have added feathers to the learned's wing. 
And given grace a double majesty. 
Yet be most proud of that which I compile. 
Whose influence is thine, and born of thee : 
In others' works thou dost but mend the style. 
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be ; 
But thou art all my art, and dost advance 
As high as learning my rude ignorance. 



79. 



Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid. 
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace ; 
But now my gracious numbers are decay 'd. 
And my sick muse doth give another place. 
I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument 
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen ; 
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent. 
He robs thee of, and pays it thee again. 
He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word 
From thy behaviour; beauty doth he give. 
And found it in thy cheek ; he can afibrd 
No praise to thee but what in thee doth live. 
Then thank him not for that which he doth say. 
Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay. 



80. 



O, how I faint when I of you do write. 
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name. 
And in the praise thereof spends all his might. 
To make me tongue-tied, speaking of your fame ! 



154 SONNETS. 

But since your worth (wide as the ocean is) 

The humble as the proudest sail doth bear. 

My saucy bark, inferior far to his. 

On your broad main doth wilfully appear. 

Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat. 

Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride ; 

Or, being wreck'd, I am a worthless boat. 

He of tall building, and of goodly pride : 
Then if he thrive, and I be cast away. 
The worst was this ; — my love was my decay. 

SI. 

Or I shall live your epitaph to make. 

Or you survive when I in earth am rotten ; 

From hence your memory death cannot take. 

Although in me each part will be forgotten. 

Your name from hence immortal life shall have. 

Though I, once gone, to all the world must die : 

The earth can yield me but a common grave. 

When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie. 

Your monument shall be my gentle verse. 

Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read ; 

And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse. 

When all the breathers of this world are dead ; 
You still shall live (such virtue hath my pen) 
Where breath most breathes, — even in the mouths of men, 

82. 

I grant thou wert not married to my muse. 
And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook 
The dedicated words which writers use 
Of their fair subject, blessing every book. 
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue. 
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise ; 
And therefore art enforc'd to seek anew 
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days. 
And do so, love ; yet when they have devis'd 
What strained touches rhetoric can lend. 



SONNETS. 155 

Thou truly fair wert truly sympathiz'd. 
In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend ; 
And their gross painting might be better us'd 
Where cheeks need blood ; in thee it is abus'd. 

83. 

I never saw that you did painting need. 

And therefore to your fair no painting set. 

I found, or thought I found, you did exceed 

The barren tender of a poet's debt : 

And therefore have I slept in your report. 

That you yourself, being extant, well might show 

How far a modern* quill doth come too short. 

Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow. 

This silence for my sin you did impute. 

Which shall be most my glory, being dumb ; 

For I impair not beauty being mute. 

When others would give life, and bring a tomb. 

There lives more life in one of your fair eyes 

Than both your poets can in praise devise. 

94. 

Who is it that says most ? which can say more 
Than this rich praise, — that you alone are you ? 
In whose confine immured is the store 
Which should example where your equal grew ? 
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell. 
That to his subject lends not some small glory ; 
But he that writes of you^ if he can tell 
That you are you, so dignifies his story. 
Let him but copy what in you is writ. 
Not making worse what nature made so clear. 
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit. 
Making his style admired everywhere. 

You to your beauteous blessings add a curse. 

Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse. 

" Modem — trite — common. 



156 



SONNETS. 



85. 



My tongue-tied muse in manners holds her still. 
While comments of your praise, richly compil'd, 
Reserve* their character with golden quill. 
And precious phrase by all the muses fil'd. 
I think good thoughts, while others write good words. 
And, like unletter'd clerk, still cry " Amen " 
To every hymn that able spirit affords. 
In polish'd form of well-refined pen. 
Hearing you prais'd, I say, " 'T is so, 't is true," 
And to the most of praise add something more; 
But that is in my thought, whose love to you. 
Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before. 
Then others for the breath of words respect. 
Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect. 



86. 



Was it the proud full sail of his great verse, 
Bound for the prize of all-too-precious you. 
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse. 
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew ? 
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write 
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead ? 
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night 
Giving him aid, my verse astonished. 
He, nor that affable familiar ghost 
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,'' 
As victors, of my silence cannot boast ; 
I was not sick of any fear from thence. 

But when your countenance fil'd *= up his line, 
Then lack'd I matter ; that enfeebled mine. 



* Reserve is here again used for preserve. 

^ Steevens conjectures that this is an allusion to Dr. Dee's pretended intercourse 
with a familiar spirit. 

* Fifd — gave the last polish. Ben Jonson, in his verses on Shakspere, speaks of 
big 

" Welltomed and true-Jiled lines," 



SONNETS. 157 



8T. 



Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing. 
And like enough thou know'st thj estimate : 
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing ; 
My bonds in thee are all determinate. 
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting ? 
And for that riches where is my deserving? 
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting. 
And so my patent back again is swerving. 
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing. 
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking ; 
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing. 
Comes home again, on better judgment making. 
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter. 
In sleep a king, but, waking, no such matter. 



When thou shalt be dispos'd to set me light. 
And place my merit in the eye of scorn. 
Upon thy side against myself I '11 fight. 
And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn. 
With mine own weakness being best acquainted. 
Upon thy part I can set down a story 
Of faults conceal'd, wherein I am attainted ; 
That thou, in losing me, shalt win much glory : 
And I by this will be a gainer too ; 
For bending all my loving thoughts on thee. 
The injuries that to myself I do. 
Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me. 
Such is my love, to thee I so belong, 
That for thy right myself will bear all wrong. 

89. 

Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault. 
And I will comment upon that oiFence : 
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt ; 
Against thy reasons making no defence. 



158 SONNETS. 

Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill. 
To set a form upon desired change. 
As I '11 myself disgrace : knowing thy will, 
I will acquaintance strangle,* and look strange ; 
Be absent from thy walks ; and in my tongue 
Thy sweet-beloved name no more shall dwell j 
Lest I (too much profane) should do it wrong. 
And haply of our old acquaintance tell. 
For thee, against myself I '11 vow debate, 
For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate. 

90. 

Then hate me when thou wilt ; if ever, now ; 

Now while the world is bent my deeds to cross. 

Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow. 

And do not drop in for an after-loss : 

Ah! do not, when my heart hath scap'd this sorrow. 

Come in the rearward of a conquer'd woe ; 

Give not a windy night a rainy morrow. 

To linger out a purpos'd overthrow. 

If thou wilt leave me, do* not leave me last. 

When other petty griefs have done their spite. 

But in the onset come ; so shall 1 taste 

At first the very worst of fortune's might ; 

And other strains of woe, which now seem woe, 
Compar'd with loss of thee will not seem so. 

91. 

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill. 
Some in their wealth, some in their body's force ; 
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill ; 
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse ; 

* Strangle. Malone gives several examples of the use of the verb ; and Steevens 
adds, " This uncouth phrase seems to have been a favourite with Shakspere." Why 
is any word called uncouth which expresses a meaning more clearly and forcibly 
than any other word? The miserable affectation of the last age, in rejecting words 
that in sound appeared not to harmonise with the mincing piettinesses of polite con- 
versation, emasculated our language ; and it will take some time to restore it to its 
ancient nervousness. 



SONNETS. 159 

And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure. 

Wherein it finds a joy above the rest ; 

But these particulars are not my measure. 

All these I better in one general best. 

Thy love is better than high birth to me. 

Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost. 

Of more delight than hawks or horses be ; 

And, having thee, of all men's pride I boast. 
Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take 
All this away, and me most wretched make. 

92. 

But do thy worst to steal thyself away. 

For term of life thou art assured mine ; 

And life no longer than thy love will stay. 

For it depends upon that love of thine. 

Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs. 

When in the least of them my life hath end. 

I see a better state to me belongs 

Than that which on thy humour doth depend. 

Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind. 

Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie. 

O what a happy title do I find, 

Happy to have thy love, happy to die ! 

But what 's so blessed-fair that fears no blot ? — 
Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it not: 

93. 

So shall I live, supposing thou art true. 

Like a deceived husband ; so love's face 

May still seem love to me, though alter'd-new ; 

Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place : 

For there can live no hatred in thine eye. 

Therefore in that I cannot know thy change. 

In many's looks the false heart's history 

Is writ, in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange ; 

But Heaven in thy creation did decree 

That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell ; 



160 SONNETS. 

Whate'er thy thoughts or thy heart's workings be. 
Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness tell. 
How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow. 
If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show ! 

94. 

They that have power to hurt and will do none. 
That do not do the thing they most do show. 
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone, 
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow ; 
They rightly do inherit Heaven's graces. 
And husband nature's riches from expense ; 
They are the lords and owners of their faces. 
Others but stewards of their excellence. 
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet. 
Though to itself it only live and die ; 
But if that flower with base infection meet. 
The basest weed outbraves his dignity : 

For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds ; 

Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds. 

95. 

How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame. 
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose. 
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name ! 
O, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose ! 
That tongue that tells the story of thy days. 
Making lascivious comments on thy sport. 
Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise ; 
Naming thy name blesses an ill report. 
O, what a mansion have those vices got 
Which for their habitation chose out thee ! 
Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot. 
And all things turn to fair, that eyes can see! 

Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege ; 

The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge. 



SONNETS. 101 



96. 

Some say, thy fault is youth, some wantonness ; 
Some say, thy grace is youth and gentle sport ; 
Both grace and faults are lov'd of more and less : 
Thou mak'st faults graces that to thee resort. 
As on the finger of a throned queen 
The basest jewel will be well esteem'd; 
So are those errors that in thee are seen 
To truths translated, and for true things deem'd. 
How many lambs might the stem wolf betray. 
If like a lamb he could his looks translate! 
How many gazers mightst thou lead away. 
If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state ! 
But do not so ; I love thee in such sort. 
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report. 

9T. 

How like a winter hath my absence been 
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year ! 
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen ! 
What old December's bareness everywhere ! 
And yet this time remov'd * was summer's time ; 
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase. 
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime. 
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease : 
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me 
But hope of orphans, and unfather'd fruit ; 
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee. 
And, thou away, the very birds are mute; 
Or, if they sing, 't is with so dull a cheer. 
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter 's near. 

98. 

From you have I been absent in the spring. 
When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim. 



■ Malone explains thig as, " This time in which I was remote or absent from 
thee." 

Vol. XII. M 



162 SONNETS. 

Hath put a spirit of youth in everything. 

That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him. 

Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell 

Of different flowers in odour and in hue. 

Could make me any summer's story tell. 

Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew : 

Nor did I wonder at the lilies white. 

Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose ; 

They were but sweet, but figures of delight. 

Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. 
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away. 
As with your shadow I with these did play : 

99. 

The forward violet thus did I chide ; — 

Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells. 

If not from my love's breath ? The purple pride 

Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells. 

In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dy'd. 

The lily I condemned for thy hand. 

And buds of marjoram had stolen thy hair : 

The roses fearfully on thorns did stand. 

One blushing shame, another white despair ; 

A third, nor red nor white, had stolen of both. 

And to his robbery had anncx'd thy breath ; 

But for his theft, in pride of all his growth 

A vengeful canker eat him up to death. 
More flowers I noted, yet I none could see, 
But sweet or colour it had stolen from thee. 

100. 

Where art thou. Muse, that thou forgett'st so long 
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might ? 
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song. 
Darkening thy power, to lend base subjects light ? 
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem 
In gentle numbers time so idly spent ; 
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem 
And gives thy pen both skill and argument. 



SONNETS. 163 

Rise, restive Muse, my love's sweet face survey. 

If Time have any wrinkle graven there ; 

If any, be a satire to decay. 

And make Time's spoils despised everywhere. 

Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life ; 

So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife. 

101. 

truant Muse, what shall be thy amends 
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd ? 
Both truth and beauty on thy love depends ; 
So dost thou too, and therein dignified. 
Make answer, Muse : wilt thou not haply say, 
" Truth needs no colour with his colour fix'd. 
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay ; 

But best is best, if never intermix'd?" — 

Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb ? 

Excuse not silence so ; for it lies in thee 

To make him much outlive a gilded tomb. 

And to be prais'd of ages yet to be. 

Then do thy office. Muse ; I teach thee how 
To make him seem long hence as he shows now. 

102. 

My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming ; 

1 love not less, though less the show appear ; 
That love is merchandiz'd, whose rich esteeming 
The owner's tongue doth publish everywhere. 
Our love was new, and then but in the spring. 
When I was wont to greet it with my lays ; 

As Philomel in summer's front doth sing. 
And stops his pipe in growth of riper days : 
Not that the summer is less pleasant now 
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night. 
But that wild music burthens every bough. 
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight. 
Therefore, like her, I sometime hold my tongue. 
Because I would not dull you with my song. 

M 2 



164 SONNETS. 



103. 

Alack ! what poverty my Muse brings forth, 
That having such a scope to show her pride. 
The argument, all bare, is of more worth. 
Than when it hath my added praise beside. 
O blame me not if I no more can write ! 
Look in your glass, and there appears a face 
That over-goes my blunt invention quite. 
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace. 
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend. 
To mar the subject that before was well ? 
For to no other pass my verses tend. 
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell ; 

And more, much more, than in my verse can sit. 
Your own glass shows you, when you look in it. 

104. 

To mc, fair friend, you never can be old. 
For as you were when first your eye I eyed. 
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters' cold 
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride ; 
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd 
In process of the seasons have I seen; 
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd. 
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green. 
Ah ! yet doth beauty, like a dial hand. 
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd ; 
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand. 
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd. 
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred. 
Ere you were born, was beauty's summer dead. 

105. 

Let not my love be call'd idolatry. 
Nor my beloved as an idol show. 
Since all alike my songs and praises be. 
To one, of one, still such, and ever so. 



SONNETS. 165 

Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind. 

Still constant in a wondrous excellence ; 

Therefore my verse, to constancy confin'd. 

One thing expressing, leaves out difference. 

Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument. 

Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words ; 

And in this change is my invention spent. 

Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords. 
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone. 
Which three, till now, never kept seat in one. 

106. 

When in the chronicle of wasted time 

I see descriptions of the fairest wights. 

And beauty making beautiful old rhyme. 

In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights. 

Then in the blazon of sweet beauty's best. 

Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, 

I see their antique pen would have express'd 

Even such a beauty as you master now. 

So all their praises are but prophecies , 

Of this our time, all you prefiguring; 

And, for they look'd but with divining eyes. 

They had not skill enough your worth to sing: 
For we, which now behold these present days. 
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. 

lOT. 

Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul 
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come. 
Can yet the lease of my true love control, 
Suppos'd as forfeit to a confin'd doom. 
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd. 
And the sad augurs mock their own presage ; 
Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd. 
And peace proclaims olives of endless age. 
Now with the drops of this most balmy time 
My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes," 

" Subscribes — submit* — acknowledges as a superior. 



166 SONNETS. 

Since spite of him I '11 live in this poor rhyme. 
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes. 
And thou in this shalt find thy monument. 
When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent. 

lOS. 

What 's in the brain that ink may character. 

Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit ? 

What 's new to speak, what now * to register, 

That may express my love, or thy dear merit ? 

Nothing, sweet boy ; but yet, like prayers divine, 

I must each day say o'er the very same ; 

Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine. 

Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name. 

So that eternal love in love's fresh case 

Weighs not the dust and injury of age. 

Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place. 

But makes antiquity for aye his page ; 

Finding the first conceit of love there bred. 
Where time and outward form would show it dead. 

109. 

O, never say that I was false of heart. 
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify ! 
As easy might I from myself depart. 
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie : 
That is my home of love : if I have rang'd. 
Like him that travels, I return again ; 
Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd, — 
So that myself bring water for my stain. 
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd 
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood. 
That it could so preposterously be stain'd. 
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good ; 
For nothing this wide universe I call. 
Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all. 



" Now. So the original, but altered by Maloiie to new. We agree with Mr. 
Dyce in thinking the alteration unnecessary. 



SONNETS. 167 



110. 

Alas, 't is true, I have gone here and there. 

And made myself a motley " to the view, 

Gor'd ^' mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear. 

Made old offences of affections new. 

Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth 

Askance and strangely ; but, by all above. 

These blenches •= gave my heart another youth. 

And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love. 

Now all is done, have "^ what shall have no end : 

Mine appetite I never more will grind 

On newer proof, to try an older friend, 

A God in love, to whom I am confin'd. 

Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best. 
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast. 

ill. 

O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide. 
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds. 
That did not better for my life provide. 
Than public means, which public manners breeds. 
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand. 
And almost thence my nature is subdued 
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand : 
Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd; 

■* Motley. Jaques, in ' As You Like It,' exclaims, " Invest me in my motleyS'' 
Motley was the dress of the domestic fool or jester ; and thus the buffoon himself 
came to be called a motley. Jaques, addressing Touchstone, says, " Will you be 
married, Motley ? " 

^ Gor'd — wounded. In * Hamlet ' we have — 

" I have a voice and precedent of peace 
To keep my name ungor'd." 
' Blenches — deviations. 

<• Have. This is the word of the old copy. The reading of all modern editions 
is — 

" Now all is done, save what shall have no end.'' 

Malone says the original reading is unintelligible. His conjectural reading, which 
Tyrwhitt recommended, appears to us more so. " Now all is done '' clearly ap- 
plies to the blenches, tlie worse essays ; but the poet then adds, " have thou what 
shall have no end," — my constant affection, my undivided friendship. 



168 SONNETS. 

Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink 
Potions of eysell," 'gainst my strong infection ; 
No bitterness that I will bitter think. 
Nor double penance, to correct correction. 
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye. 
Even that your pity is enough to cure me. 

112. 

Your love and pity doth the impression fill 
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow ; 
For what care I who calls me well or ill. 
So you o'ergreen my bad, my good allow ? ^ 
You are my all-the-world, and I must strive 
To know my shames and praises from your tongue ; 
None else to me, nor I to none alive. 
That my steel'd sense or changes, right or wrong. *^ 
In so profound abysm I throw all care 
Of other's voices, that my adder's sense 
To critic and to flatterer stopped are. 
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense : — 
You are so strongly in my purpose bred. 
That all the world besides methinks are dead.*' 



° Eysell — vinegar. 

*> Allow — approve. 

* This passage is obscure, and there is probably some slight misprint. Steevens 
gays, with his usual amenity, " The meaning of this purblind and obscure stuff 
seems to be — ' You are the only person who has the power to change my stubborn 
resolution, either to what is right, or to what is wrong.' " We have little doubt that 
something like this is the meaning ; but why has not this great conjectural critic, 
instead of calling out " purblind and obscure stuff," tried his hand at some slight 
emendation? He is venturous enough when the text is clear. We might read 
thus : — 

" That my steel'd sense so changes right or wrong ;"' 

or we might read, as Malone has proposed, " £'«;• changes.'' 

«* This line presents in the old copy one of the many examples of how little the 
context was heeded. We there find — 

" That all the world besides me thinks t/' are dead." 
Muloiie changes this to — 

" That all the world besides methinks they are dead." 
We adopt Mr. Dyce's better reading. 



SONNETS. 169 



113. 



Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind ; 

And that which governs me to go about 

Doth part his function, and is partly blind, 

Seems seeing, but effectually is out ; 

For it no form delivers to the heart 

Of bird, of flower, or shape, which it doth latch f 

Of his quick objects hath the mind no part. 

Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch ; 

For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight. 

The most sweet favour,'' or deformed'st creature. 

The mountain or the sea, the day or night, 

The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature. 
Incapable of more, replete with you. 
My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.'' 

114. 

Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you. 

Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery. 

Or whether shall I say mine eye saith true. 

And that your love taught it this alchymy. 

To make of monsters and things indigest 

Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble. 

Creating every bad a perfect best, 

As fast as objects to his beams assemble ? 

O, 't is the first ; 't is flattery in my seeing. 

And my great mind most kingly drinks it up : 

Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing. 

And to his palate doth prepare the cup : 
If it be poison'd, 't is the lesser sin 
That mine eye loves it, and doth first begin. 

" Latch. The original has lack. Malone substituted latch, which signifies to 
lay hold of. 

•> FawMr— countenance. 

'^ Untrue is here used as a substantive. So in ' Measure for Measure ' — 
" Say what you can, my false outweighs your true.''' 



170 SONNETS. 

115. 

Those lines that I before have writ, do lie ; 
Even those that said I could not love you dearer ; 
Yet then my judgment knew no reason why 
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer. 
But reckoning time, whose million'd accidents 
Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of kings. 
Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents. 
Divert strong minds to the course of altering things ; 
Alas ! why, fearing of Time's tyranny. 
Might I not then say, " Now I love you best," 
When I was certain o'er incertainty. 
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest ? 
Love is a babe ; then might I not say so. 
To give full growth to that which still doth grow ? 

lift. 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 

Admit impediments. Love is not love 

Which alters when it alteration finds. 

Or bends with the remover to remove : 

O no; it is an ever-fixed mark. 

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken ; 

It is the star to every wandering bark. 

Whose worth 's unknown, although his height be taken. 

Love 's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 

Within his bending sickle's compass come ; 

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks. 

But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 

If this be error, and upon me prov'd, 

I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd. 

lit. 

Accuse me thus ; that I have scanted all 
Wherein I should your great deserts repay ; 
Forgot upon your dearest love to call. 
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day ; 



SONNETS. 171 

That I have frequent been with unknown mind8. 

And given to time your own dear-purchas'd right j 

That I have hoisted sail to all the winds 

Which should transport me farthest from your sight. 

Book both my wilfulness and errors down. 

And on just proof surmise accumulate. 

Bring me within the level of your frown. 

But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate : 

Since my appeal says, I did strive to prove 

The constancy and virtue of your love. 

118. 

Like as, to make our appetites more keen, 
With eager" compounds we our palate urge ; 
As, to prevent our maladies unseen. 
We sicken to shun sickness, when we purge ; 
Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness. 
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding. 
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness 
To be diseas'd, ere that there was true needing. 
Thus policy in love, to anticipate 
The ills that were not, grew to faults assured. 
And brought to medicine a healthful state. 
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cured. 

But thence I learn, and find the lesson true. 

Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you. 

119. 

What potions have I drunk of Siren tears, 

Distill'd from limbecs foul as hell within. 

Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears. 

Still losing when I saw myself to win ! 

What wretched errors hath my heart committed. 

Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never ! 

How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted,'' 

In the distraction of this madding fever ! 

» Eager — sour ; the French aiffte. 
^ Fitted — subjected to fits. 



172 SONNETS. 

O benefit of ill ! now I find true 

That better is by evil still made better; 

And ruin'd love, when it is built anew. 

Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater. 
So I return rebuk'd to my content. 
And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent. 

120. 

That you were once unkind, befriends me now. 
And for that sorrow, which I then did feel. 
Needs must I under my transgression bow. 
Unless my nerves were brass or hammer'd steel. 
For if you were by my unkindness shaken. 
As I by yours, you have pass'd a hell of time ; 
And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken 
To weigh how once I sufier'd in your crime. 

that our night of woe might have remember'd ' 
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits. 
And soon to you, as you to me, then tender'd 
The humble salve which wounded bosoms fits ! 

But that your trespass now becomes a fee ; 
Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me. 

121. 

'T is better to be vile than vile esteem'd. 

When not to be receives reproach of being. 

And the just pleasure lost, which is so deem'd 

Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing. 

For why should others' false adulterate eyes 

Give salutation to my sportive blood ? 

Or on my frailties why are frailer spies. 

Which in their wills count bad what I think good ? 

No. — I am that I am ; and they that level 

At my abuses, reckon up their own : 

1 may be straight, though they themselves be bevel ; '' 
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown ; 



Remember'd — reminded. '' Bevel — bent in an angle. 



SONNETS. 1 73 

Unless this general evil they maintain, — 
All men are bad, and in their badness reign. 

122. 

Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain 
Full character'd with lasting memory. 
Which shall above that idle rank remain. 
Beyond all date, even to eternity : 
Or at the least so long as brain and heart 
Have faculty by nature to subsist ; 
Till each to raz'd oblivion yield his part 
Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd. 
That poor retention could not so much hold,* 
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score ; 
Therefore to give them from me was I bold. 
To trust those tables that receive thee more : 

To keep an adjunct to remember thee. 

Were to import forgetfulness in me. 

123. 

No ! Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change : 

Thy pyramids built up with newer might 

To me are nothing novel, nothing strange; 

They are but dressings of a former sight. 

Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire 

What thou dost foist upon us that is old ; 

And rather make them born to our desire. 

Than think that we before have heard them told. 

Thy registers and thee I both defy. 

Not wondering at the present nor the past ; 

For thy records and what we see do lie, 

Made more or less by thy continual haste : 
This I do vow, and this shall ever be, 
I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee : 

124. 

If my dear love were but the child of state. 
It might for Fortune's bastard be unfather'd, 

* Malone says, " That poor retention is the table-book given to him by his friend, 
incapable of retaining, or rather of containing, so much as the tablet of the brain." 



174 SONNETS. 

As subject to Time's love, or to Time's hate. 

Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd. 

No, it was builded far from accident ; 

It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls 

Under the blow of thralled discontent. 

Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls : 

It fears not policy, that heretic. 

Which works on leases of short-number'd hours. 

But all alone stands hugely politic. 

That it nor grows with heat, nor drowns with showers. 
To this I witness call the fools of time. 
Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime. 

125. 

Were it aught to me I bore the canopy. 
With my extern the outward honouring, 
Or laid great bases for eternity, 
Which prove more short than waste or ruining ? 
Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour 
Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent, 
For compound sweet foregoing simple savour. 
Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent ? 
No ; — let me be obsequious in thy heart. 
And take thou my oblation, poor but free. 
Which is not mix'd with seconds,* knows no art. 
But mutual render, only me for thee. 

* Seconds. Mr. Dyce considers this word a misprint. The only note on the 
passage in the variorum editions is that of Steevens: — " I am just informed by an 
old lady that seconds is a provincial term for the second kind of flour, which is col- 
lected after the smaller bran is sifted. That our author's oblation was pure, un- 
mixed with baser matter, is all that he meant to say." Mr. Dyce calls this note 
" preposterously absurd." Steevens, however, knew what he was doing. He men- 
tions the flour, as in almost every other note upon the Sonnets, to throw discredit 
upon compositions with which he could not sympathise. He had a sharp, cunning, 
pettifogging mind ; and he knew many prosaic things well enough. He knew 
that a second in a duel, a seconder in a debate, a secondary in ecclesiastical affairs, 
meant one next to the principal. The poet's friend has bis chief oblation ; no 
seconds, or inferior persons, are mixed up with his tribute of affection. 

In the copy of the Sonnets in the Bodleian Library, formerly belonging to Ma- 
lone (and which is bound in the same volume witli the ' Lucrece,' &c.), is a very 
cleverly drawn caricature representing Shakspere addressing a periwig-pated old 
fellow in these lines : — " If 



SONNETS. 175 

Hence, thou suborn'd informer ! a true soul. 
When most impeach'd, stands least in thy control. 

126. 

O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power 
Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his sickle, hour ; 
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st 
Thy lovers withering, as thy sweet self grow'st ! 
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack. 
As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back. 
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill 
May time disgrace, and wretched minutes kill. 
Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure ; 
She may detain, but not still keep her treasure : 
Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be. 
And her quietus is to render thee. 

127. 

In the old age black was not counted fair. 

Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name ; 

But now is black beauty's successive heir. 

And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame : 

For since each hand hath put on nature's power, 

Fairing the foul with art's false borrow'd face. 

Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy hour. 

But is profan'd, if not lives in disgrace. 

Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black. 

Her eyes so suited ; and they mourners seem 

At such, who, not born fair, no beauty lack. 

Slandering creation with a false esteem : 
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe. 
That every tongue says, beauty should look so. 

" If thou couldst, Doctor, cast 

The water of my Sonnets, find their disease, 

Or purge my Editor till he understood them, 

I would applaud thee." 
Under this Malone has written, " Mr. Steevens borrowed this volume from me in 
1779, to peruse the • Rape of Lucrece,' in the original edition, of which he was not 
possessed. When he returned it he made this drawing. I was then confined by a 
sore throat, and attended by Mr. Atkinson, the apothecary, of whom the above 
figiue, whom Shakspere addresses, is a caricature." 



1 76 SONNETS. 



128. 



How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st. 
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds 
With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway'st 
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds, 
Do I envy those jacks," that nimble leap 
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand. 
Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap. 
At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand! 
To be so tickled, they would change their state 
And situation with those dancing chips. 
O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait. 
Making dead wood more bless'd than living lips. 
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this. 
Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss. 

129. 

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame 

Is lust in action ; and till action, lust 

Is perjur'd, murderous, bloody, full of blame. 

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust ; 

Enjoy'd no sooner, but despised straight ; 

Past reason hunted ; and no sooner had. 

Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait. 

On purpose laid to make the taker mad : 

Mad in pursuit, and in possession so ; 

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme ; 

A bliss in proof, — and prov'd, a very woe ; 

Before, a joy propos'd ; behind, a dream : 

All this the world well knows ; yet none knows well 
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell. 

130. 

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun ; 
Coral is far more red than her lips' red : 

• Jaekt, The small hammers, moved by the keys, which strike the strings of a 
virginal. In the comedy of ' Ram Alley,' we have — 

" Where be these rascals that skip up and down 
Like virginal jack* f " 



SONNETS. 177 

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun ; 

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. 

I have seen roses damask'd, red and white, 

But no such roses see I in her checks ; 

And in some perfumes is there more delight 

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. 

I love to hear her speak, — yet well I know 

That music hath a far more pleasing sound ; 

I grant I never saw a goddess go, — 

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground ; 

And yet, by Heaven, I think my love as rare 

As any she belied with false compare. 

131. 

Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art, 

As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel ; 

For well thou know'st to my dear doting heart 

Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel. 

Yet, in good faith, some say that thee behold. 

Thy face hath not the power to make love groan : 

To say they err, I dare not be so bold. 

Although I swear it to myself alone. 

And, to be sure that is not false I swear, 

A thousand groans, but thinking on thy face. 

One on another's neck, do witness bear 

Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place. 
In nothing art thou black, save in thy deeds. 
And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds. 

132. 

Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me. 
Knowing thy heart, torment me with disdain ; 
Have put on black, and loving mourners be. 
Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain. 
And truly not the morning sun of heaven 
Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east. 
Nor that full star that ushers in the even 
Doth half that glory to the sober west. 

Vol. XII. N 



178 SONNETS. 

As those two mourning eyes become thy face : 
O, let it then as well beseem thy heart 
To mourn for me, since mourning doth thee grace. 
And suit thy pity like in every part. 

Then will I swear beauty herself is black. 
And all they foul that thy complexion lack. 

133. 

Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan 
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me ! 
Is 't not enough to torture me alone. 
But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be ? 
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken. 
And my next self thou harder hast engross'd ; 
Of him, myself, and thee, I am forsaken ; 
A torment thrice three-fold thus to be cross'd. 
Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward. 
But then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail ; 
Who e'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard ; 
Thou canst not then use rigour in my gaol : 
And yet thou wilt ; for I, being pent in thee. 
Perforce am thine, and all that is in me. 

134. 

So now I have confess'd that he is thine. 
And I myself am mortgag'd to thy will ; 
Myself I '11 forfeit, so that other mine 
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still : 
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free. 
For thou art covetous, and he is kind ; 
He learn'd but, surety -like, to write for me. 
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind. 
The statute* of thy beauty thou wilt take. 
Thou usurer, that putt'st forth all to use. 
And sue a friend, came debtor for my sake ; 
So him I lose through my unkind abuse. 

Him have I lost ; thou hast both him and me ; 

He pays the whole, and yet am I not free. 

• Statute — security, or obligation. 



SONNETS. 



135. 



179 



Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy will, 
And will to boot, and will in over-plus ; 
More than enough am I that vex thee still. 
To thy sweet will making addition thus. 
Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious. 
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine ? 
Shall will in others seem right gracious. 
And in my will no fair acceptance shine? 
The sea, all water, yet receives rain still. 
And in abundance addeth to his store ; 
So thou, being rich in will, add to thy will 
One will of mine, to make thy large will more. 

Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill ; 

Think all but one, and me in that one fVill. 



136. 



If thy soul check thee that I come so near. 
Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy fVill, 
And will, thy soul knows, is admitted there ; 
Thus far for love, my love-suit, sweet, fulfil. 
Will will fulfil the treasure of thy love. 
Ay, fill it full with wills, and my will one. 
In things of great receipt with ease we prove ; 
Among a number one is reckon'd none. 
Then in the number let me pass untold. 
Though in thy stores' account I one must be ; 
For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold 
That nothing me, a something sweet to thee : 
Make but my name thy love, and love that still. 
And then thou lov'st me, — for my name is Will. 

13T. 

Thou blind fool. Love, what dost thou to mine eyes. 
That they behold, and see not what they see ? 
They know what beauty is, see where it lies. 
Yet what the best is, take the worst to be. 

N 2 



180 SONNETS. 

If eyes, corrupt by over-partial looks, 

Be anclior'd in the bay where all men ride, 

Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged hooks. 

Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied? 

Why should my heart think that a several plot,* 

Which my heart knows the wide world's common place ? 

Or mine eyes, seeing this, say this is not. 

To put fair truth upon so foul a face ? 

In things right true my heart and eyes have err'd. 
And to this false plague are they now transferr'd. 

138. 

When my love swears that she is made of truth, 
I do believe her, though I know she lies ; 
That she might think me some untutor'd youth. 
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties. 
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young. 
Although she knows my days are past the best. 
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue; 
On both sides thus is simple truth supprest. 
But wherefore says she not she is unjust ? 
And wherefore say not I that I am old ? 
O, love's best habit is in seeming trust. 
And age in love loves not to have years told : 

Therefore I lie with her, and she with me, 

And in our faults by lies we flattcr'd be.^ 

* See note on ' Love's Labour 's Lost,' Act IL, Scene 1. 

^ There are many variations in the copy of this Sonnet as originally published in 
the ' Passionate Pilgrim.' The differences are of that character which would lead 
us to believe that the author, after the lapse of a few years, wrote it out a second 
time from memory. The variations are certainly not those of a transcriber : — 
" When my love swears that she is made of truth, 

I do believe her, though I know she lies, 

That she might think me some untutor'd youth, 

Unskilful in the world's talae forgeries. 

Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young, 

Although / know my years be past the best, 

Jsmiling credit her false-speaking tongue. 

Outfacing faults in love with love's ill rest. 

But wherefore says my love that she is young 9 

And wherefore say not I that I am old ? O, 



SONNETS. 1^1 



139. 



O, call not me to justify the wrong 

That thy unkindness lays upon my heart ; 

Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue ; 

Use power with power, and slay me not by art. 

Tell me thou lov'st elsewhere ; but in my sight. 

Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside. 

What need'st thou wound with cunning, when thy might 

Is more than my o'erpress'd defence can 'bide ? 

Let me excuse thee : ah ! my love well knows 

Her pretty looks have been mine enemies ; 

And therefore from my face she turns my foes. 

That they elsewhere might dart their injuries : 
Yet do not so ; but since I am near slain. 
Kill me outright with looks, and rid my pain. 



140. 



Be wise as thou art cruel ; do not press 
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain ; 
Lest sorrow lend me words, and words express 
The manner of my pity -wan ting pain. 
If I might teach thee wit, better it were. 
Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so ; 
(As testy sick men, when their deaths be near. 
No news but health from their physicians know ;) 
For, if I should despair, I should grow mad. 
And in my madness might speak ill of thee : 
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad. 
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be. 

That I may not be so, nor thou belied. 

Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide. 

O, love's best habit is a soothing tongue, 

And age in love loves not to have years told. 
Therefore / 7/ lie with love, and love with me, 
Since that our faults in love thus smother' d be.'' 



182 SONNETS. 



141. 

In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes. 
For they in thee a thousand errors note ; 
But 't is my heart that loves what they despise. 
Who in despite of view is pleas'd to dote. 
Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune delighted j 
Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone. 
Nor taste nor smell, desire to be invited 
To any sensual feast with thee alone : 
But my five wits, nor my five senses can 
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee. 
Who leaves unsway'd the likeness of a man. 
Thy proud heart's slave and vassal wretch to be : 
Only my plague thus far I count my gain. 
That she that makes me sin, awards me pain. 

148. 

Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate. 
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving : 
O, but with mine compare thou thine own state. 
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving ; 
Or, if it do, not from those lips of thine. 
That have profan'd their scarlet ornaments. 
And seal'd false bonds of love as oft as mine ; 
Robb'd others' beds' revenues of their rents. 
Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lov'st those 
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee : 
Root pity in thy heart, that, when it grows. 
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be. 

If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide. 
By self-example mayst thou be denied ! 

143. 

Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch 
One of her feather'd creatures broke away. 
Sets down her babe, and makes all swift despatch 
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay ; 



SONNETS. 183 

Whilst her neglected child holds her in chace. 

Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent 

To follow that which flies before her face. 

Not prizing her poor infant's discontent ; 

So runn'st thou after that which flies from thee. 

Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind; 

But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me. 

And play the mother's part, kiss me, be kind : 
So will I pray that thou mayst have thy fVill, 
If thou turn back, and my loud crying still. 

144. 

Two loves I have of comfort and despair. 
Which like two spirits do suggest * me still ; 
The better angel is a man right fair. 
The worser spirit a woman, colour'd ill. 
To win me soon to hell, my female evil 
Tempteth my better angel from my side. 
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil. 
Wooing his purity with her foul pride. 
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend. 
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell ; 
But being both from me, both to each friend, 
I guess one angel in another's hell. 

Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt. 

Till my bad angel fire my good one out.'' 

145. 

Those lips that Love's own hand did make 
Breath'd forth the sound that said, " I hate," 
To me that languish'd for her sake : 
But when she saw my woeful state. 
Straight in her heart did mercy come. 
Chiding that tongue, that ever sweet 



" Suggest — tempt. 

'' The variations in the copy of this Sonnet in * The Passionate Pilgrim ' are very 
slight. In the eighth line, instead of foul pride, we have fair pride ; in the ele- 
venth, instead of from me, we have to me; in the thirteenth, instead of Yet this 
shall I ne'tr know, we have The truth I shall tint know. 



184 



SONNETS. 



Was used in giving gentle doom ; 
And taught it thus anew to greet: 
" I hate " she alter'd with an end, 
That follow'd it as gentle day 
Doth follow night, who like a fiend 
From heaven to hell is flown away. 
" I hate " from hate away she threw. 
And sav'd my life, saying — " not you. 



L46. 



Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, 
Fool'd by those rebel powers that thee array ,* 
Why dost thou pine within, and suffer dearth. 
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay ? 
Why so large cost, having so short a lease, 
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend ? 
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess. 
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end? 
Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss. 
And let that pine to aggravate thy store ; 
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross ; 
Within be fed, without be rich no more : 

So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men. 
And, Death once dead, there 's no more dying then. 



14T. 



My love is as a fever, longing still 
For that which longer nurseth the disease ; 
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill. 
The uncertain sickly appetite to please. 
My reason, the physician to my love, 
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept. 



■* In the original copy we have the following reading :— 

" Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, 
My sinful earth these rebel powers that thee array." 

The received reading is a conjectural emendation by Malone. When the change 
in a text must rest wholly on conjecture, and some change is absolutely necessary, it 
appears to us that the change which has been established is in most cases better 
than any improvement. 



SONNETS. 185 

Hath left me, and I desperate now approve 

Desire is death, which physic did except. 

Past cure I am, now reason is past cure. 

And frantic mad with evermore unrest; 

My thoughts and my discourse as mad men's are. 

At random from the truth vainly express'd ; 

For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright. 

Who art as black as hell, as dark as night. 

148. 

O me ! what eyes hath love put in my head. 

Which have no correspondence with true sight ! 

Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled. 

That censures* falsely what they see aright? 

If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote. 

What means the world to say it is not so ? 

If it be not, then love doth well denote 

Love's eye is not so true as all men's : no. 

How can it ? O how can Love's eye be true. 

That is so vex'd with watching and with tears ? 

No marvel then though I mistake my view ; 

The sun itself sees not till heaven clears. 

O cunning Love ! with tears thou keep'st me blind. 
Lest eyes well- seeing thy foul faults should find. 

149. 

Canst thou, O cruel ! say I love thee not. 
When I, against myself, with thee partake ? ^ 
Do I not think on thee, when I forgot 
Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake ? 
Who hateth thee that I do call my friend ? 
On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon ? 
Nay if thou low'rst on me, do I not spend 
Revenge upon myself with present moan ? 
What merit do I in myself respect. 
That is so proud thy service to despise, 

"* Censures — judges, estimates. 
*" Partake — take part. A partaker was a confederate. 



186 SONNETS. 

When all my best doth worship thy defect. 
Commanded by the motion of thine eyes ? 

But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind ; 

Those that can see thou lov'st, and I am blind. 

160. 

O, from what power hast thou this powerful might, 
With insufficiency my heart to sway ? 
To make me give the lie to my true sight. 
And swear that brightness doth not grace the day ? 
Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill. 
That in the very refuse of thy deeds 
There is such strength and warrantise of skill. 
That, in my mind, thy worst all best exceeds ? 
Who taught thee how to make me love thee more. 
The more I hear and see just cause of hate ? 
O, though I love what others do abhor. 
With others thou shouldst not abhor my state ; 
If thy un worthiness rais'd love in me. 
More worthy I to be belov'd of thee. 

151. 

Love is too young to know what conscience is ; 
Yet who knows not, conscience is born of love ? 
Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,* 
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove. 
For thou betraying me, I do betray 
My nobler part to my gross body's treason ; 
My soul doth tell my body that he may 
Triumph in love ; flesh stays no farther reason ; 
But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee 
As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride. 
He is contented thy poor drudge to be. 
To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side. 
No want of conscience hold it that I call 
Her — love, for whose dear love I rise and fall. 

" Amiss — fault. 



SONNETS. 187 



152. 



In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn. 
But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing ; 
In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn. 
In vowing new hate after new love bearing. 
But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee. 
When I break twenty ? I am perjur'd most ; 
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee. 
And all my honest faith in thee is lost : 
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness. 
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy ; 
And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness. 
Or made them swear against the thing they see ; 
For I have sworn thee fair : more perjur'd I, 
To swear, against the truth, so foul a lie I 

153. 

Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep : 
A maid of Dian's this advantage found. 
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep 
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground ; 
Which borrow'd from this holy fire of love 
A dateless lively heat, still to endure. 
And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove 
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure. 
But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fir'd. 
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast ; 
I, sick withal, the help of bath desir'd. 
And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest. 
But found no cure : the bath for my help lies 
Where Cupid got new fire, — my mistress' eyes. 

154. 

The little love-god, lying once asleep. 
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand. 
Whilst many nymphs that vow'd chaste life to keep 
Came tripping by ; but in her maiden hand 



188 SONNETS. 

The fairest votary took up that fire 
Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd ; 
And so the general of hot desire 
Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm'd. 
This brand she quenched in a cool well by. 
Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual. 
Growing a bath and healthful remedy 
For men diseas'd ; but 1, my mistress' thrall. 
Came there for cure, and this by that I prove. 
Love's fire heats water, water cools not love. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 189 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 



The original edition of this collection of poems bore the following title : — ' Shake- 
speare's Sonnets. Never before imprinted. At London, by G. Eld, for T. T., 
and are to be sold by John Wright, dwelling at Christ Church-gate. 1609.' The 
volume is a small quarto. In addition to the Sonnets it contains, at the end, ' A 
Lover's Complaint. By William Shake-speare.' In this collection the Sonnets 
are numbered from 1 to 154, and they follow in their numerical order, as in the 
text we have presented to our readers. But, although this arrangement of the 
Sonnets is now the only one adopted in editions of Shakspere's Poems, another 
occasionally prevailed up to the time of the publication of Steevens's fac-simile 
reprint of the Sonnets in 1766. An interval of thirty-one years elapsed between 
the publication of the volume by T. T. (Thomas Thorpe) in 1609, and the demand 
for a reprint of these remarkable poems. In 1640 appeared ' Poems, written by 
Wil. Shake-speare, Gent. Printed at London by Tho. Cotes, and are to be sold 
by John Benson.' This volume, in duodecimo, contains the Sonnets, but in a 
totally different order, the original arrangement not only being departed from, but 
the lyrical poems of ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' scattered here and there, and some- 
times a single Sonnet, sometimes two or three, and more rarely four or five, distin- 
guished by some quaint title. No title includes more than five. In the editions 
of the Poems which appeared during a century afterwards, the original order of 
the Sonnets was adopted in some — that of the edition of 1640 in others. Lintot's, 
in 1709, for example, adheres to the original; Curll's, in 1710, follows the second 
edition. Cotes, the printer of the second edition, was also the printer of the second 
edition of the plays. That the principle of arrangement adopted in this edition 
was altogether arbitrary, and proceeded upon a false conception of many of these 
poems, we can have no hesitation in believing; but it is remarkable that within 
twenty-four years of Shakspere's death an opinion should have existed that the 
original arrangement was also arbitrary, and that the Sonnets were essentially that 
collection of /ra^fwew^s which Meres described in 1598, when he wrote, " As the 
soul of Kuphorbus was thought to live in Pythagoras, so the sweet witty soul of 
Ovid lives in mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakespeare : witness his ' Venus and 
Adonis,' his ' Lucrece,' his sugared Sonnets amony his private friends."' Upon the 
question of the continuity of the Sonnets depend many important considerations 
with reference to the life and personal character of the poet ; and it is necessary, 
therefore, in this place to examine that question with proportionate care. 

The Sonnets of Shakspere are distinguished from the general character of that 
class of poems by the continuity manifestly existing in many successive stanzaa, 
which form, as it were, a group of flowers of the same hue and fragrance. Mr. 
Hallam has justly explanied this peculiarity : — 

" No one ever entered more fully than Shakspeare into the character of this 
species of poetry, which admits of no expletive imagery, no merely ornamental 
line. But, though each Sonnet has generally its proper unity, the sense — 1 do not 
mean the grammatical construction — will sometimes be found to spread from one 



190 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

to another, independently of that repetition of the leading idea, like variations of 
an air, which a series of them frequently exhibits, and on account of which they 
have latterly been reckoned by some rather an integral jioem than a collection of 
Sonnets. But this is not uncommon among the Italians, and belongs, in fact, to 
those of Petrarch himself." 

But, although a series may frequently exhibit a " repetition of the leading idea, 
like variations of an air," it by no means follows that they are to be therefore con- 
sidered " rather an integral poem than a collection of Sonnets." In the edition of 
1640 the " variations " were arbitrarily separated, in many cases, from the " air ;'' 
but, on the other hand, it is scarcely conceivable that in the earlier edition of 1609 
these verses were intended to be presented as " an integral poem." Before we exa- 
mine this matter, let us inquire into some of the circumstances connected with the 
original publication. 

The first seventeen Sonnets contain a " leading idea" under every form of " va- 
riation." They are an exhortation to a friend, a male friend, to marry. Who 
this friend was has been the subject of infinite discussion. Chalmers maintains 
that it was Queen Elizabeth, and that there was no impropriety in Shakspere ad- 
dressing the queen by the masculine pronoun, because a queen is a prince ; as we 
still say in the Liturgy, " our queen and governor.''^ The reasoning of Chalmers 
on this subject, which may be found in his ' Supplementary Apology,' is one of 
the most amusing pieces of learned and ingenious nonsense that ever met our view. 
We believe that we must very summarily dismiss Queen Elizabeth. But Chalmers 
with more reason threw over the idea that the dedication of the bookseller to the 
edition of 1609 implied the person to whom the Sonnets were addressed. T, T., 
who dedicates, is, as we have mentioned, Thomas Thorpe, the publisher. W. H., 
to whom the dedication is addressed, was, according to the earlier critics, an humble 
person. He was either William Harte, the poet's nephew, or William Hews, some 
unknown individual ; but Drake said, and said truly, that the person addressed in 
some of the Sonnets themselves was one of rank ; and he maintained that it was 
Lord Southampton. " W. H.," he said, ought to have been H. W. — Henry Wri- 
othesley. But Mr. Boaden and Mr. Brown have recently aflBrmed that " W. H." 
is William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, who, in his youth and his rank, exactly 
corresponded with the person addressed by the poet. The words " begetter of 
these Sonnets,"' in the dedication, must mean, it is maintained, the person who was 
the immediate cause of their being written — to whom they were addressed . But 
he was " the only begetter of these Sonnets." The latter portion of the Sonnets are 
unquestionably addressed to a female, which at once disposes of the assertion that 
he was the only begetter, assuming the "begetter" to be used in the sense of in- 
spirer. Chalmers disposes of this meaning of the word very cleverly : — " W. H. 
was the bringer forth of the Sonnets. Beget is derived by Skinner from the Anglo- 
Saxon begettan, obtinere. Johnson adopts this derivation and sense : so that be- 
getter, in the quaint language of Thorpe the bookseller. Pistol the ancient, and 
such affected persons, signified the obtainer : as to get and getter, in the present day, 
mean obtain and obtainer, or to procure and the procurer." But then, on the other 
hand, it is held that, when the bookseller wishes Mr. W. H. " that eternity pro- 
mised by our ever-living poet," he means promised him. This inference we must 
think is somewhat strained. Be this as it may, the material question to examine is 
this — are the greater portion of the Sonnets, putting aside those which manifestly 
apply to a female, or females, addressed to one male friend ? Or are these the 
"sugared Sonnets" scattered among many "private friends?" When Meres 
printed his ' Palladis Tamia,' in 1598, there can be no doubt that Shakspere's 
Sonnets, then existing only in manuscript, had obtained a reputation in the literary 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 191 

and courtly circles of that time. Probably the notoriety which Meres had given to 
the "sugared Sonnets" excited a publisher, in 1599, to produce something which 
should gratify the general curiosity. In that year appeared a collection of poems 
bearing the name of Shakspere, and published by W. Jaggard, entitled *The Pas- 
sionate Pilgrim.' This little collection contains two Sonnets which are also given 
in the larger collection of 1609. They are those numbered 138 and 144 in that 
collection. In the modern reprints of ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' it is usual to 
omit these two Sonnets without explanation, because they have been previously 
given in the larger collection of Sonnets. But it is essential to bear in mind the 
fact that in 1599 two of the Sonnets of the hundred and fifty-four published in 
1609 were printed; and that one of them especially, that numbered 144, has been 
held to form an important part of the supposed " integral poem." We may there- 
fore conclude that the other Sonnets which appear to relate to the same persons as are 
referred lo in the 144th Sonnet were also in existence. Further, the publication of 
these Sonnets in 1599 tends to remove the impression that might be derived from 
the tone of some of those in the larger collection of 1609, — that they were written 
when Shakspere had passed the middle period of life. For example, in the 73rd 
Sonnet the poet refers to the autumn of his years, the twDight of his day, the ashes 
of his youth. In the I38th, printed in 1599, he describes himself as " past the 
best" — as "old." He was then thirty-five. Dante was exactly this age when he 
described himself in " the midway of this our mortal life." In these remarkable 
particulars, therefore, — the mention of two persons, real or fictitious, who occupy an 
important position in the larger collection, and in the notice of the poet's age, — the 
two Sonnets of ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' are strictly connected with those published 
in 1609, of which they also form a part ; and they lead to the conclusion that they 
were obtained for publication out of the scattered leaves floating about amongst 
"private friends." The publication of ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' was unquestion- 
ably unauthorised and piratical. The publisher got all he could which existed in 
manuscript ; and he took two poems out of ' Love's Labour 's Lost,' which was 
printed only the year before. In 1609, we have no hesitation in believing that the 
same process was repeated ; that without the consent of the writer the hundred and 
fifty-four Sonnets — some forming a continuous poem, or poems ; others isolated, in 
the subjects to which they relate, and the persons to whom they were addressed — 
were collected together without any key to their arrangement, and given to the 
public. Believing as we do that " W. H.," be he who he may, who put these 
poems in the hands of " T. T.," the publisher, arranged them in the most arbitrary 
manner (of which there are many proofs), we believe that the assumption of con- 
tinuity, however ingeniously it may be maintained, is altogether fallacious. Where 
is the diflBculty of imagining, with regard to poems of which each separate poem, 
sonnet, or stanza, is either a "leading idea," or its "variation," that, picked up as 
we think they were from many quarters, the supposed connexion must be in many 
respects fanciful, in some a result of chance, mixing what the poet wrote in his own 
person, either in moments of elation or depression, with other apparently continuous 
stanzas that painted an imaginary character, indulging in all the warmth of an ex- 
aggerated friendship, in the complaints of an abused confidence, in the pictures of 
an unhallowed and unhappy love ; sometimes speaking with the real earnestness of 
true friendship and a modest estimation of his own merits ; sometimes employing 
the language of an extravagant eulogy, and a more extravagant estimation of the 
powers of the man who was writing that eulogy ? Suppose, for example, that in the 
leisure hours, we will say, of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and William 
Shakspere, the poet should have undertaken to address to the youth an argument 
why he should marry. Without believing the Earl to be the W. H. of the Dedica- 



192 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

tion, we know that he was a friend of Shakspere. There is nothing in the first 
seventeen Sonnets which might not have been written in the artificial tone of the 
Italian poetry, in the working out of this scheme. Suppose, again, that in other 
Sonnets the poet, in the same artificial spirit, complains that the friend has robbed 
him of his mistress, and avows that he forgives the falsehood. There is nothing in 
all this which might not have been written essentially as a work of fiction, — received 
as a work of fiction, — handed about amongst " private friends " without the slightest 
apprehension that it would be regarded as an exposition of the private relations of 
two persons separated in rank as they probably were in their habitual intimacies, — 
of very different ages, — the one an avowedly profligate boy, the other a matured 
man. But this supposition does not exclude the idea that the poet had also, at 
various times, composed, in the same measure, other poems, truly expressing his 
personal feelings, — with nothing inflated in their tone, perfectly simple and natural, 
offering praise, expressing love to his actual friends (in the language of the time 
"lovers"), showing regret in separation, dreading unkindness, hopeful of continued 
affection. These are also circulated amongst "private friends." Some " W. H." 
collects them together, ten, or twelve, or fifteen years after they have been written 5 
and a publisher, of course, is found to give to the world any productions of a man 
so eminent as Shakspere. But who arranged them ? Certainly not the poet him- 
self : for those who believe in their continuity must admit that there are portions 
which it is impossible to regard as continuous. In the same volume with these 
Sonnets was published a most exquisite narrative poem, ' A Lover's Complaint.' 
The form of it entirely prevents any attempt to consider it autobiographical. Tlie 
Sonnets, on the contrary, are personal in their form ; but it is not therefore to be 
assumed that they are all personal in their relation to the author. It is impossible 
to be assumed that they could have been printed with the consent of the author as 
they now stand. If he had meant in all of them to express his actual feelings and 
position, the very slightest labour on his part — a few words of introduction either 
in prose or verse — would have taken those parts wliich he would have naturally 
desired to appear like fiction, and which to us even now look like fiction, out of the 
possible range of reality. The same slight labour would, on the other hand, have 
classed amongst the real, apart from the artificial, those Sonnets which he would 
have desired to stand apart, and whicli appear to us to stand apart, as the result of 
real moods of the poet's own mind. 

It is our intention, without at all presuming to think that we liave discovered any 
real order in which these extraordinary productions may be arranged, to offer them 
to the reader upon a principle of classification, which, on the one hand, does not 
attempt to reject the idea that a continuous poem, or rather several continuous 
poems, may be traced throughout the series, nor adopt the belief that the whole can 
be broken up into fragments; but which, on the other hand, does no violence to the 
meaning of the author by a pertinacious adherence to a princijjle of continuity, 
sometimes obvious enough, but at other times maintained by links as fragile as the 
harness of Queen Mab's chariot : — 

" Her traces of the smallest spider's web, 
Her collars of the moonshine's watery beams." 

The reader will have the text of the first edition before him ; and he will be 
enabled at every step to judge whether the original arrangement, to whicli we must 
constantly refer, was a systematic or an arbitrary one. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 193 



The earliest productions of a youthful poet are commonly Love-Sonnets, or Ele- 
gies as they were termed in Shakspere's time. The next age to that of the school 
boy is that of 

" the lover, 
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad 
Made to his mistress' eyebrow." 

We commence our series with three Sonnets which certainly bear the marks of 
juvenility, when compared with others in this collection, as distinctly impressed 
upon them as the character of the poet's mind at different periods of his life is 
impressed upon ' Love's Labour "s Lost ' and ' Macbeth :' — 

Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy will. 
And will to boot, and will in over- plus ; 
More than enough am I that vex thee still. 
To thy sweet will making addition thus. 
Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious, 
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine ? 
Shall will in others seem right gracious, 
And in my will no fair acceptance shine ? 
The sea, all water, yet receives rain still, 
And in abundance addeth to his store ; 
So thou, being rich in will, add to thy will 
One will of mine, to make thy large will more. 

Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill; 

Think all but one, and me in that one Will. — 135. 

If thy soul check thee that I come so near, 

Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy Will, 

And will, thy soul knows, is admitted there ; 

Thus far for love, my love-suit, sweet, fulfil. 

Will will fulfil the treasure of thy love, 

Ay, fill it full with wills, and my will one, 

In things of great receipt with ease we prove ; 

Among a number one is reckon'd none. 

Then in the number let me pass untold. 

Though in thy stores' account I one must be ; 

For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold 

That nothing me, a something sweet to thee : 

Make but my name thy love, and love that still. 

And then thou lov'st me, — for my name is Will. — 136. 

Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch 
One of her feather'd creatures broke away. 
Sets down her babe, and makes all swift despatch 
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay ; 
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chace, 
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent 
To follow that which flies before her face. 
Not prizing her poor infant's discontent ; 
So rumi'st thou after that which flies from thee, 
Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind ; 
Vol. XII. O 



194 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me, 

And play tlie mother's part, kiss me, be kind : 
So will I pray that Ihou mayst have thy fVill, 
If thou turn back, and my loud crying still. — 143. 

The figures wliich we subjoin to each Sonnet show the place which it occupies in 
the collection of 1609. If the reader will tuni to our reprint of that text, he will 
see where these Sonnets, through each of which the same play upon the poet's name 
is kept up with a boyish vivacity, are found. The two first follow one of those 
from which Mr. Brown derives the title of what he calls ' The Sixth Poem,' being 
' To his Mistress, on her Infidelity.'* Mr. Brown, however, qualifies the dissimi- 
larity of tone by the following admission : — " All the stanzas in the preceding poems 
(to Stanza 126) are retained in their original order; the printers, without disturbing 
the links, having done no worse than the joining together of five chains into one. 
But I suspect the same attention has not been paid to this address to his mistress. 
Indeed, I farther suspect that some stanzas, irrelevant to the subject, have been 
introduced into the body of it." The stanzas to which Mr. Brown objects are the 
I35th and 136th, just given. But let us proceed. The poet now sings the praise of 
those eyes which so took his brother-poet, Phineas Fletcher ; — 

" But most I wonder how thai jett^ ray, 
Which those two blackest suns do fair display, 
Should shine so bright, and night should make so sweet a day." 

We know not the colour of Anne Hathaway's eyes ; but how can we affirm that the 
following three Sonnets were not addressed to her ? — 

In the old age black was not counted fair, 

Or, if it were, it bore not beauty's name ; 

But now is black beauty's successive heir. 

And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame : 

For since each hand hath put on nature's power, 

Fairing the foul with art's false borrow'd face. 

Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy hour. 

But is profan'd, if not lives in disgrace. 

Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black. 

Her eyes so suited ; and they mourners seem 

At such, who, not born fair, no beauty lack. 

Slandering creation with a false esteem : 
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe. 
That every tongue says beauty should look so. — 127. 

Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art. 

As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel : 

For well thou know'st to my dear doting heart 

Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel. 

Yet, in good faith, some say that thee behold, 

Thy face hath not the power to make love groan : 

To say they err, I dare not be so bold. 

Although I swear it to myself alone. 

And, to be sure that is not false I swear, 

A thousand groans, but thinking on thy face. 

One on another's neck, do witness bear 

Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place. 

* ' Shakspeare's Autobiographical Poems,' p. 96. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 195 

In nothing art thou black, save in thy deeds. 
And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds. — 131. 

Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me, 

Knowing thy heart, torment me with disdain ; 

Have put on black, and loving mourners be, 

Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain. 

And truly not the morning sun of heaven 

Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east, 

Nor that full star that ushers in the even. 

Doth half that glory to the sober west, 

As those two mourning eyes become thy face ; 

O, let it then as well beseem thy heart 

To mourn for me, since mourning doth thee grace. 

And suit thy pity like in every part. 

Then will I swear beauty herself is black. 

And all they foul that thy complexion lack. — 132. 

But the two last immediately precede the Sonnet beginning 

" Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan, 
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me :" — 

and so the lady of the " mourning eyes " is associated with a tale of treachery and 
sin. The line of the 131st Sonnet, 

" In nothing art thou black, save in thy deeds,'''' 

may be held to imply something atrocious. The two first lines, however, show of 
what the poet- lover complains: — 

" Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art. 
As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel." 

The 128th Sonnet has never been exceeded in airy elegance, even by the professed 
writers of amatory poems : — 

How oft, when fhou, my music, music play'st, 
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds 
With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway"st 
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds. 
Do I envy those jacks, that nimble leap 
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand, 
Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap. 
At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand ! 
To be so tickled, they would change their state 
And situation with those dancing chips, 
O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait, 
Making dead wood more bless'd than living lips. 

Since saucy jacks so happy are in this. 

Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss. — 128. 

The 130th, too, is one of the prettiest vers de societe that a Suckling, or a Moore, 
could have jiroduced: — 

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun ; 
Coral is far more red than her lips' red ; 
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun ; 
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. 

02 



1% ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

I have seen roses damask'd, red aiid white, 

But no such roses see I in her cheeks ; 

And in some perfumes is there more delight 

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. 

I love to hear her speak, — yet well I know 

That music hath a far more pleasing sound ; 

I grant I never saw a goddess go, — 

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground ; 

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare 

As any she belied with false compare. — 130. 

And of what character is the 129th Sonnet, which separates these two playful 
compositions? It is a solemn denunciation against unlicensed gratifications — a 
warning 

" To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell." 
If we are to bring those Soimets in apposition where the " leading idea " is repeated, 
we shall have to go far back to find one that will accord with the I30th : — 

So is it not with me as with that muse, 

Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse ; 

Who heaven itself for ornament doth use, 

And every fair with his fair doth rehearse ; 

Making a couplement of proud compare. 

With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems, 

With April's first-bom flowers, and all things rare 

That heaven's air in his huge rondure hems. 

O let me, true in love, but truly write. 

And then believe me, my love is as fair 

As any mother's child, though not so bright 

As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air : 

Let them say more that like of hearsay well ; 

I will not praise, that purpose not to sell. — 21. 

This is the 21st Sonnet ; and it has as much the character of a love-sonnet as any we 
have just given. 

The tyranny of which the poet complains in the 131st Sonnet forms the subject of 
the three following : — 

O, call not me to justify the wrong 

That thy unkindness lays upon my heart; 

Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue ; 

Use power with power, and slay me not by art. 

Tell me thou lov'st elsewhere ; but in my sight, 

Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside. 

What need'st thou wound with cunning, when thy might 

Is more than my o'erpress'd defence can 'bide ? 

Let me excuse thee : ah ! my love well knows 

Her pretty looks have been my enemies ; 

And therefore from my face she turns my foes, 

That they elsewhere might dart their injuries : 
Yet do not so; but since I am near slain. 
Kill me outright with looks, and rid my pain. — 139. 

Be wise as thou art cruel : do not press 

My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain ; 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 197 

Lest sorrow lend me words, and words express 
The manner of my pity-wanting pain. 
If I might teach thee wit, better it were. 
Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so ; 
(As testy sick men, when their deaths be near, 
No news but health from their physicians know ;) 
For, if I should despair, I should grow mad, 
And in my madness might speak ill of thee : 
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad, 
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be. 

That I may not be so, nor thou belied. 

Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide. — 140. 

Canst thou, O cruel ! say I love thee not. 
When I, against myself, with thee partake ? 
Do I not think on thee, when I forgot 
Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake ? 
Who hateth thee that I do call my friend ? 
On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon? 
Nay if thou low'rst on me, do I not spend 
Revenge upon myself with present moan? 
What merit do I in myself respect. 
That is so proud thy service to despise, 
When all my best doth worship thy defect, 
Commanded by the motion of thine eyes ? 

But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind ; 

Those that can see thou lov'st, and I am blind. — 149. 

And yet the tyranny is meekly borne by the lover : — 

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 sei-vices 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 afi'airs 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 anything) he thinks no ill. — 57. 

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 ! 
O, let me sufier (being at your beck) 
The imprison'd absence of your liberty. 
And patience, tame to suflerance, bide each check 
Without accusing you of injury. 



198 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Be where you list ; your charter is so stroug, 
That you yourself may privilege your time : 
Do what you will, to you it doth belong 
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime. 

I am to wait, though waiting so be hell ; 

Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well. — 58. 

The Sonnets last given are the 57th and 58th. These are especially noticed by 
Mr. Brown as evidence that the person to whom he considers the Sonnets are 
addressed — W. H. — was " a man of rank." He adds, " Reproach is conveyed 
more forcibly, and, at the same time, with more kindness, in their strained 
humility, than it would have been by direct expostulation." The reproach, 
according to Mr. Brown, is for the " coldness "' which the noble youth had 
evinced towards his friend. The " coldness " is implied in these stanzas, and 
in that which precedes them : — 

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 sharj-)en'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 perjjetual dulness. 

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 bless'd may be the view ; 
Or call it winter, which, behig full of care. 
Makes summer's welcome thrice more wish'd, more rare. — 56. 

We believe, on the contrary, that the three Sonnets are addressed to a female. It 
appears to us that a line in the 57th is decisive upon this : — 

" When you have bid your servant once adieu.'" 

The lady was the mistress, the lover the servant, in the gallantry of Shakspere's time. 
In Beaumont and Fletcher's ' Scornful Lady ' we have, " Was I not once your mis- 
tress, and you my servant ?*' The three stanzas, 56, 57, 58, are completely isolated 
from what precedes and what follows them ; and therefore we have no hesitation in 
transposing them to this class. 

We are about to give a Sonnet which Mr. Brown thinks " should be expunged 
from the poem." We should regret to lose so pretty and playful a love-verse : — 

Those lips that Love's own hand did make 
Breath'd forth the sound that said / hate, 
To me that languish'd for her sake : 
But when she saw my woeful state. 
Straight in her heart did mercy come, 
Chiding that tongue, that ever sweet 
Was used in giving gentle doom ; 
And taught it thus anew to greet : 
/ hate slie alter'd with an end, 
Tliat follow'd it as gentle day 



ILLUSTRATION OP THE SONNETS. 199 

Doth follow night, who like a fiend 
From heaven to hell is flown away. 

/ hate from hate away she threw, 

And sav'd my life, saying — not you. — 145. 

It is, however, strangely opposed to the theory of continuity ; for it occurs between 
the Sonnet which first appeared in ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' — 

" Two loves I have, of comfort and despair'" — 

and the magnificent lines beginning 

"Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth." 

This sublime Sonnet Mr. Brown would also expunge. This is a hard sentence 
against it for being out of place. We shall endeavour to remove it to fitter com- 
pany. 

We have now very much reduced the number of stanzas which Mr. Brown as- 
signs to the Sixth Poem, entitled by him, ' To his Mistress, on her Infidelity.' 
There are only twenty-six stanzas in this division of Mr. Brown's Six Poems ; for 
he rejects the Sonnets numbered 153 and 154, as belonging " to nothing but them- 
selves." They belong, indeed, to the same class of poems as constitute the bulk of 
those printed in <The Passionate Pilgrim.' But, being printed in the collection 
of 1609, they offer very satisfactory evidence that "the begetter" of the Sonnets 
had no distinct principle of connexion to work upon. He has printed, as already 
mentioned, two Sonnets which had previously appeared in ' The Passionate Pil- 
grim.' But if they were taken out from the larger collection, no one could say 
that its continuity would be deranged. There are other Sonnets, properly so called, 
in ' The Passionate Pilgrim,' which, if they were to be added to the larger collec- 
tion, there would be no difficulty in inserting them, so as to be as continuous as 
the two which are common to both works. We have no objection to proceed with 
our analytical classification without including the two Sonnets on " the little love- 
god ;" because, if we were attempting here to present all Shakspere's love-verses 
which exist in print, not being in the plays, we should have to insert six other 
poems which are in ' The Passionate Pilgrim.' 

What, then, have we left of the Sonnets from the 127th to the 152nd which may 
warrant those twenty-six stanzas being regarded (with two exceptions pointed out 
by Mr. Brown himself) as a continuous poem, to be entitled, ' To his Mistress, on 
her Infidelity ? ' We have, indeed, a " leading idea," and a very distinct one, of 
some delusion, once cherished by the poet, against the power of which he struggles, 
and which his better reason finally rejects. But the complaint is not wholly that 
of the infidelity of a mistress ; it is that the love which he bears towards her is in- 
compatible with his sense of duty, and with that tranquillity of mind which belongs 
to a pure and lawful affection. This " leading idea " is expressed in ten stanzas, 
which we print in the order in which they occur. They are more or less strong 
and direct in their allusions; but, whether the situation which the poet describes 
be real or imaginary — whether he speak from the depth of his own feelings, or with 
his wonderful dramatic power — there are no verses in our language more expressive 
of the torments of a passion based upon unlawfulness. Throes such as these were 
somewhat uncommon amongst the gallants of the days of Elizabeth : — 

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame 
Is lust in action ; and till action, lust 
Is perjur'd, murderous, bloody, full of blame. 
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust ; 



200 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Enjoy'd no sooner, but despised straight; 

Past reason hunted ; and no sooner had, 

Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait, 

On purpose laid to make the taker mad ; 

Mad in pursuit, and in possession so ; 

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme; 

A bliss in proof, — and prov'd, a very woe ; 

Before, a joy propos'd; behind, a dream ; 

All this the world well knows ; yet none knows well 
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell. — 129 

Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes. 

That they behold, and see not what they see ? 

They know what beauty is, see where it lies, 

Yet what the best is, take the worst to be. 

If eyes, corrupt by over-partial looks, 

Be anchor'd in the bay where all men ride, 

Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged hooks, 

Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied ? 

Why should my heart think that a several plot. 

Which my heart knows the wide world's common place ? 

Or mine eyes, seeing this, say this is not, 

To put fair truth upon so foul a face ? 

In things right true my heart and eyes have err'd, 
And to this false plague are they now transferr'd. — 137. 

When my love swears that she is made of truth, 

I do believe her, though I know she lies ; 

That she might think me some untutor'd youth. 

Unlearned in the world's false subtleties. 

Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young, 

Although she knows my days are past the best. 

Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue; 

On both sides thus is simple truth suppress'd. 

But wherefore says she not she is unjust? 

And wherefore say not I that I am old ? 

O, love's best habit is in seeming trust. 

And age in love loves not to have years told : 
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me, 
And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be. — 138. 

In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes. 

For they in thee a thousand errors note ; 

But 't is my heart that loves what they despise. 

Who in despite of view is pleas'd to dote. 

Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune delighted; 

Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone, 

Nor taste nor smell, desire to be invited 

To any sensual feast with thee alone : 

But my five wits, nor my five senses can 

Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee, 

Who leaves unsway'd the likeness of a man, 

Thy proud heart's slave and vassal wretch to be : 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Only my plague thus far I count my gain, 

That she that makes me sin awards me pain. — 141. 

Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate, 
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving : 
O, but with mine compare thou thine own state, 
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving ; 
Or if it do, not from those lips of thine. 
That have profan'd their scarlet ornaments. 
And seald false bonds of love as oft as mine ; 
Robb"d others' beds' revenues of their rents. 
Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lov'st those 
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee : 
Root pity in thy heart, that, when it grows. 
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be. 

If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide, 
By self-example mayst thou be denied ! — 142. 

My love is as a fever, longing still 

For that which longer nurseth the disease ; 

Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill. 

The uncertain sickly appetite to please. 

My reason, the physician to my love. 

Angry that his prescriptions are not kept, 

Hath left me, and I desperate now approve. 

Desire is death, which physic did except. 

Past cure I ara, now reason is past care. 

And frantic mad with evermore unrest ; 

My thoughts and my discourse as mad men's are, 

At random from the truth vainly express'd ; 

For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, 
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night. — 147. 

O me ! what eyes hath love put in my head. 

Which have no correspondence with true sight? 

Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled, 

That censures falsely what they see aright ? 

If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote, 

What means the world to say it is not so ? 

If it be not, then love doth well denote 

Love's eye is not so true as all men's : no. 

How can it ? O how can Love's eye be true. 

That is so vex'd with watching and with tears? 

No marvel then though I mistake my view ; 

The sun itself sees not till heaven clears. 

O cunning Love '. with tears thou keep'st me blind, 
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find. — 148. 

O, from what power hast thou this powerful might. 

With insufficiency my heart to sway ? 

To make me give the lie to my true sight. 

And swear that brightness doth not grace the day? 

Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill, 

That in the very refuse of thy deeds 



201 



202 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

There is such strength and warrantise of skill, 
That in my mind thy worst all best exceeds ? 
Who taught thee how to make me love thee more, 
The more I hear and see just cause of hate? 
O, though I love what others do abhor, 
With others thou shouldst not abhor my state ; 

If thy unworthiness rais'd love in me, 

More worthy I to be belov'd of thee. — 150. 

Love is too young to know what conscience is ; 

Yet who knows not conscience is born of love? 

Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss. 

Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove. 

For thou betraying me, I do betray 

My nobler part to my gross body's treason ; 

My soul doth tell my body that he may 

Triumph in love ; flesh stays no farther reason. 

But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee 

As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride, 

He is contented thy poor drudge to be. 

To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side. 
No want of conscience hold it that I call 
Her — love, for whose dear love I rise and fall. — 151. 

In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn, 
But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing; 
In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn. 
In vowing new bate after new love bearing. 
But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee. 
When I break twenty ? I am perjur'd most ; 
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee. 
And all my honest faith in thee is lost : 
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness, 
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy ; 
And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness, 
Or made them swear against the thing they see ; 

For I have sworn thee fair : more perjur'd I, 

To swear, against the truth, so foul a lie ! — 152. 

We have only three Sonnets left, out of the twenty-six stanzas, in which we may 
find any allusion to tlie " infidelity" of the poet's " mistress." They are these : — 

Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan 
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me ! 
Is 't not enough to torture me alone. 
But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be ? 
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken, 
And my next self thou harder hast engross 'd ; 
Of him, myself, and thee, I am forsaken ; 
A torment thrice three-fold thus to be cross'd. 
Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward. 
Hut then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail ; 
Who e'er keejw me, let my heart be his guard ; 
Thou canst not then use rigour in my jail : 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. '^^3 

And yet thou wilt ; for I, being {)ent in thee, 
Perforce am thine, and all that is in me. — 133. 

So now I have confess'd that he is thine, 
And I myself am mortgag'd to thy will ; 
Myself 1 11 forfeit, so that other mine 
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still : 
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free, 
For thou art covetous, and he is kind ; 
He leam'd but, surety-like, to write for me, 
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind. 
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take, 
Thou usurer, that putt'st forth all to use. 
And sue a friend, came debtor for my sake ; 
So him I lose through my unkind abuse. 

Him have I lost ; thou hast both him and me ; 

He pays the whole, and yet am I not free. — 1 34. 

Two loves I have of comfort and despair, 
Which like two spirits do suggest me still ; 
The better angel is a man right fair, 
The worser spirit a woman, colour'd ill. 
To win me soon to hell, my female evil 
Temptelh my better angel from my side, 
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil, 
Wooing his purity with her foul pride. 
And whether that my angel be tum'd fiend, 
Suspect I may, but not directly tell ; 
But being both from me, both to each friend, 
I guess one angel in another's hell. 

Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt. 

Till my bad angel fire my good one out. — 144. 

Tlie 144th, we must again point out, was printed in 'The Passionate Pilgrim ' in 
1599. This Sonnet, then, referring, as it appears to do, to private circumstances 
of considerable delicacy, was public enough to fall into the hands of a piratical 
bookseller, ten years before the larger collection in which it a second time appears 
was printed. But in that larger collection the poet accuses the friend as well as 
the mistress. We have no means of knowing whether the six Sonnets, in which 
this accusation appears, existed in 1599, or what was the extent of their publicity ; 
but by their publication in 1609 we are enabled to compare "the better angel" 
with " the worser spirit :" — 

Full many a glorious morning have I seen 
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, 
Kissing with golden face the meadows green. 
Gilding pale streams witli heavenly alchymy ; 
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride 
With ugly rack on his celestial face, 
And from the forlorn world his visage hide. 
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace : 
Even so my sun one early morn <Jid shine, 
With all triumphant splendour on my brow; 



204 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

But out ! alack ! he was but one hour mine, 
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now. 

Yet him for this my love no whit ilisdaineth ; 

Suns of the world may stain, when heaven's sun staineth. — ""• 

Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day, 

And make me travel forth without my cloak. 

To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way, 

Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke ? 

'T is not enough that through the cloud thou break, 

To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face. 

For no man well of such a salve can sjieak. 

That heals the wound, and cures not the disgrace : 

Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief; 

Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss : 

The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief 

To him that bears the strong offence's cross. 

Ah ! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds. 
And they are rich, and ransom all ill deeds. — 34. 

No more be griev'd at that which thou hast done : 

Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud ; 

Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun. 

And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud. 

All men make faults, and even I in this. 

Authorising tljy trespass with compare. 

Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss, 

Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are : 

For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense, 

(Thy adverse party is thy advocate,) 

And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence ; 

Such civil war is in my love and hate. 
That I an accessory needs must be 
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me. — 35. 

Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all ; 

What hast thou then more thjui thou hadst before ? 

No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call ; 

All mine was thine before thou hadst this more. 

Then if for my love thou my love receivest, 

I cannot blame thee, for my love thou usest ; 

But yet be blam'd, if thou thyself deceivest 

By wilful taste of what thyself refusest. 

I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief. 

Although thou steal thee all my poverty ; 

And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief 

To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury. 
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows, 
Kill me with spites ; yet we must not be foes. — 40. 

Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits. 
When 1 am sometime absent from thy heart, 
Thy beauty and thy years full well befits, 
For still temptation follows where thou art. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 205 

Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won. 
Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assail'd ; 
And when a woman woos, what woman's son 
Will sourly leave her till she have prevail'd ? 
Ah me ! but yet thou mightst my seat forbear, 
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth, 
Who lead thee in their riot even there 
Where thou art forc'd to break a twofold truth ; 

Hers, by thy beauty tempting her to thee, 

Thine, by thy beauty being false to me. — 41. 

That thou hast her, it is not all my grief, 
And yet it may be said I lov'd her dearly ; 
That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief, 
A loss in love that touches me more nearly. 
Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye ; — 
Thou dost love her, because thou knew'st I love her 
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me, 
Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her. 
If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain. 
And losing her, my friend hath found that loss ; 
Both find each other, and I lose both twain, 
And both for my sake lay on me this cross : 

But here 's the joy ; my friend and I are one ; 

Sweet flattery ! then she loves but me alone. — 42. 

It is probably to the same friend that the following mild reflections upon the general 
faults of his character are addressed : — 

They that have power to hurt and will do none. 
That do not do the thing they most do show, 
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone, 
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow ; 
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces, 
And husband nature's riches from expense ; 
They are the lords and owners of their faces, 
Others but stewards of their excellence. 
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet, 
Though to itself it only live and die ; 
But if that flower with base infection meet, 
The basest weed outbraves his dignity : 

For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds ; 

Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds. — 94. 

How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame, 
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose, 
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name ! 
O, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose ! 
That tongue that tells the story of thy days, 
Making lascivious comments on thy sport, 
Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise ; 
Naming thy name blesses an ill report. 
O what a mansion have those vices got, 
Which for their habitation chose out thee! 



206 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot, 
And all things turn to fair that eyes can see ! 

Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege ; 

Tlie hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge. — 95. 

Some say, thy fault is youth, some wantonness ; 

Some say, thy grace is youth and gentle sport ; 

Both grace and faults are lov'd of more and less : 

Thou mak'st faults graces that to thee resort. 

As on the finger of a throned queen 

The basest jewel will be well esteem 'd ; 

So are those errors that in thee are seen 

To truths translated, and for true things deem'd. 

How many lambs might the stem wolf betray, 

If like a lamb he could his looks translate ! 

How many gazers mightst thou lead away, 

If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state ! 
But do not so ; I love thee in such sort. 
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report. — 96. 

But the poet, true to his general principle of morals, holds that forgiveness should 
follow upon repented transgressions : — 

Like as, to make our appetites more keen, 

With eager compounds we our palate urge : 

As, to prevent our maladies unseen. 

We sicken to shun sickness, when we purge ; 

Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness, 

To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding. 

And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness 

To be diseas'd ere that there was true needing. 

Thus policy in love, to anticipate 

The ills that were not, grew to faults assur'd. 

And brought to medicine a healthful state, 

Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cur'd. 

But thence I learn, and find the lesson true, 

Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you. — 118. 

What potions have I drunk of Siren tears, 

Distill'd from limbecs foul as hell within. 

Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears. 

Still losing when I saw myself to win ! 

What wretched errors hath my heart committed, 

Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never ! 

How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted, 

In the distraction of this madding fever ! 

O benefit of ill ! now I find true 

That better is by evil still made better ; 

And ruin'd love, when it is built anew, 

Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater. 
So I return rebuk'd to my content. 
And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent. — 119. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 207 

That you were once unkind, befriends me now, 
And for that sorrow, which I then did feel, 
Needs must I under my transgnression bow, 
Unless my nerves were brass or hammer'd steel. 
For if you were by my unkindness shaken. 
As I by yours, you have pass'd a hell of time : 
And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken 
To weigh how once I suffer'd in your crime. 
O that our night of woe might have remember'd 
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits. 
And soon to you, as you to me, then tender'd 
The humble salve which wounded besoms fits ! 

But that your trespass now becomes a fee ; 

Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me. — 120. 



II. 

We have thus selected all the Sonnets, or stanzas, that appear to have reference to 
the subject of love, — whether those which express the light playfulness of affection, 
the abiding confidence, the distracting doubts, the reproaches for pride or neglect, 
the fierce jealousies, the complaints that another is preferred. Much of this may be 
real, much merely dramatic. But it appears to us that it would have been quite 
impossible to have maintained that these fragments relate to a particular incident 
of the poet's life — the indulgence of an illicit love, with which the equally illicit 
attachment of a youthful friend interfered — unless there had been a forced associa- 
tion of the whole series of Sonnets with that youthful friend to whom the first 
seventeen Sonnets are clearly addressed. Mr. Brown groups the Sonnets from the 
27th to the 55th as the " Second Poem," which he entitles, ' To his Friend — who 
had robbed him of his mistress — forgiving him.' Now, literally, the Sonnets we 
have already given, the 33rd, 34th, 35th, 40th, 41st, and 42nd, are all that within 
these limits can be held to have reference to such a subject. The 27th and 28th 
Sonnets have not the slightest allusion to this supposed injury ; and we shall pre- 
sently endeavour to show that they have been wrested from their proper place. 
The 29th, 30th, 3lst, and 32nd are Sonnets of the most confiding friendship, full 
of the simplest, and therefore the deepest pathos, and which we have no hesitation 
in classing amongst those which are strictly personal — those to which the lines of 
Wordsworth apply : — 

" Scorn not the Sonnet : Critic, you have frown'd 
Mindless of its just honours. With this key 
Shakspere unlock'd his heart." 

The following exquisite lines are familiar to most poetical students : — 

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, 
I all alone beweep my outcast state, 
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries, 
And look upon myself, and curse my fate. 
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope. 
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed. 
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, 
With what I most enjoy contented least ; 



208 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, 

Haply I think on thee, — and then my state 

(Like to the lark at break of day arising 

From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate ; 
For thy sweet love remember' d, such wealth brings, 
That then I scorn to change my state with kings. — 5 . 

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought 

I summon up remembrance of things past, 

I sigh the lack of many a thing I souglit, 

And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste : 

Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, 

For precious friends hid in death's dateless night. 

And weep afresh love's long-since cancell'd woe. 

And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight. 

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone. 

And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er 

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, 

Which I new pay as if not paid before. 

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend. 

All losses are restor'd, and sorrows end. — 30. 

Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts. 
Which I by lacking have supposed dead ; 
And there reigns love and all love's loving parts. 
And all those friends which I thought buried. 
How many a holy and obsequious tear 
Hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye. 
As interest of the dead, which now appear 
But things remov'd, that hidden in thee lie? 
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live. 
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone, 
Who all their parts of me <o thee did give ; 
That due of many now is thine alone : 

Their images I lov'd I view in tliee. 

And thou (all they) hast all the all of me. — 31. 

If thou survive my well-contented day, 

When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover, 

And shalt by fortune once more re-survey 

These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover, 

Compare them with the bettering of the time ; 

And though they be outstripp'd by every pen. 

Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme. 

Exceeded by the height of happier men. 

O then vouchsafe me but this loving thought! 

Had my friend's muse grown with this growing age, 

A dearer birth than this his love had brought, 

To march in ranks of better equipage : 
But since he died, and poets better prove. 
Theirs for their style I '11 read, his for his love. — 32. 

Immediately succeeding these are the three stanzas we have already quoted, in 
which the poet is held to accuse his friend of having robbed him of his mistress. In 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 



209 



these stanzas the friend is spoken of in connexion with a " sensual fault," a " tres- 
pass," &c. But in those which follow, the " bewailed guilt " belongs to the poet — 
the " worth and truth " to his friend. Surely tliese are not continuous. I" the 
3Gtli, 37th, 38th, and 39th Sonnets, we have the expression of that deep humility 
wliich may be traced through many of these remarkable compositions, and of 
which we find the first sound in tlie 29th Sonnet : — 

Let me confess that we two must be twain, 

Although our undivided loves are one : 

So shall those blots that do with me remain, 

Without thy help, by me be borne alone. 

In our two loves there is but one respect. 

Though in our lives a separable spite, 

Wliich, though it alter not loves sole eft'ect. 

Yet doth it steal sweet hoiu-s from love's delight. 

I may not evermore acknowledge thee. 

Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame ; 

Nor thou with public kindness honour me. 

Unless thou take that honour from thy name : 
But do not so ; I love thee in such sort. 
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report. — 36. 

As a decrepit father takes delight 

To see his active child do deeds of youth. 

So I, made lame by fortune's dtarest spite. 

Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth ; 

For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit, 

Or any of these all, or all, or more. 

Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit, 

I make my love engrafted to this store : 

So then I am not lame, poor, nor despis'd, 

Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give. 

That I in thy abundance am suflSc'd, 

And by a part of all thy glory live. 

Look what is best, that best I wish in thee ; 

This wish I have ; then ten times happy me ! — 37. 

How can my muse want subject to invent. 

While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse 

Thine own sweet argument, too excellent 

For every vulgar paper to rehearse ? 

O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me 

Worthy perusal stand against thy sight; 

For who 's so dumb that cannot write to thee. 

When thou thyself dost give invention light ? 

Be thou the tenth muse, ten times more in worth 

Than those old nine which rhymers invocate ; 

And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth 

Eternal numbers to outlive long date. 

If my slight muse do please these curious days, 
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise. — 38, 

O, how thy worth with manners may I sing, 
When thou art all the better part of me? 
Vor.XII. P 



210 ILLUSTRATIOl^ OF THE SONNETS. 

What can mine own praise to mine own self bring ? 

And what is 't but mine own, when I praise thee? 

Even for this let us divided live, 

And our dear love lose name of single one, 

That by this separation I may give 

That due to thee which thou deserv'st alone. 

O absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove, 

Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave 

To entertain the time with thoughts of love, 

(Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive,) 
And that thou teachest how to make one twain. 
By praising him here, who doth hence remain ! — 39. 

The 40th, 4l8t, and 42nd Sonnets return to the complaint of his friend's faithlessness. 
Surely, then, the Sonnets we have just quoted must be interpolated. The 43rd is 
entirely isolated from what precedes and what follows. But in the 39th we have 
allusions to "separation " and " absence;" and in the 44tli we return to t}ie subject 
of "injurious distance." With some alterations of arrangement we can group nine 
Sonnets together, which form a connected epistle to an absent friend, and wliich 
convey those sentiments of real affection which can only be adequately transmitted 
in language and imagery possessing, as these portions do, the charm of nature and 
simplicity. Tlie tone of truth and reality is remarkably contrasted with those arti- 
ficial passages which have imparted their character to the whole series in tlie estima- 
tion of many : — 

How heavy do I journey on the way. 

When what I seek, — my weary travel's end, — 

Doth teach that ease and that repose to say, 

" Thus far the miles are measur'd from thy friend '.' 

The beast that bears me, tired with my woe. 

Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me. 

As if by some instinct the wretch did know 

His rider lov'd not speed, being made from thee : 

•The bloody spur cannot provoke him on 

That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide. 

Which heavily he answers with a groan. 

More sharp to me than spurring to his side : 

For that same groan doth put this in my mind. 

My grief lies onward, and my joy behind. — 50. 

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence 

Of my dull bearer, when from thee I speed : 

From where thou art why should I haste me thence ? 

Till I return, of posting is no need. 

O, what excuse will my poor beast then find, 

When swift extremity can seem but slow ? 

Then sliould I spur, though mounted on the wind ; 

In winged speed no motion shall I know : 

Then can no horse with my desire keep pace; 

Therefore desire, of perfect love being made, 

Shall neigh (no dull flesh) in his fiery race ; 

But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade ; 
Since from thee going he went wilful slow. 
Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go. — 51. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. -H 

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. 
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- bless'd, 
By new unfolding his imprison"d pride. 

Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope. 

Being had, to triumph, being lack'd, to hope. — 52. 

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed, 

Tlie dear repose for limbs with travel tir'd ; 

But then begins a journey in my head, 

To work my mind, when body's work 's expir'd : 

For then my thoughts (from far where I abide) 

Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee, 

And keep my drooping eyelids open wide, 

Looking on darkness which the blind do see : 

Save that my soul's imaginary sight 

Presents thy shadow to my sightless view, 

Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night. 

Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new 

Lo, thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind, 

For thee, and for myself, no quiet find. — 27. 

How can I then return in happy plight, 

That am debarr'd the benefit of rest ? 

When day's oppression is not eas'd by night. 

But day by night and night by day oppress'd ? 

And each, though enemies to cither's reign. 

Do in consent shake hands to torture me, 

The one by toil, the other to complain 

How far I toil, still farther off from thee. 

I tell the day, to please him, thou art bright. 

And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven 

So flatter I the swart-complexion'd night ; 

When sparkling stars twire not, thou gild'st the even. 
But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer, 
Andnight doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger. — 28. 

Is it thy will thy image should keep open 
My heavy eyelids to the weary night? 
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken, 
W^hile shadows, like to thee, do mock my sight? 
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee 
So far from home, into my deeds to pry ; 
To find out shames and idle hours in me. 
The scope and tenor of thv jealousy? 

P 2 



212 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

no ! thy love, though much, is not so great ; 
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake ; 
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat, 
To play the watchman ever for thy sake : 

For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere 
From me far off, with others all-too-near. — 61. 

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see. 

For all the day they view things unrespected : 

But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee, 

And, darkly bright, are bright in dark directed ; 

Then thou whose shadow shadows doth make bright. 

How would thy shadow's form form happy show 

To the clear day with thy much clearer liglit. 

When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so? 

How would (I say) mine eyes be blessed made 

By looking on thee in the living day, 

When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade 

Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay ? 
All days are nights to see, till I see thee, 
And nights, bright days, when dreams do show thee me. — 43. 

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, 
Injurious distance should not stop my way ; 
For tlien, despite of space, I would be brought 
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay. 
No matter then, although my foot did stand 
Upon the farthest earth remov'd from thee. 
For nimble thouglit can jump both sea and land. 
As soon as think the place where he would be. 
But ah! thought kills me, that I am not thought, 
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone, 
But that, so mucli of earth and water wrought, 

1 must attend time's leisure with my moan ; 
Receiving nought by elements so slow 

But heavy tears, badges of cither's woe : — 44. 

The other two, slight air and purging fire, 

Are both with thee, wherever I abide ; 

The first my thought, the other my desire. 

These present-absent with swift motion slide. 

For when these quicker elements are gone 

In tender embassy of love to thee, 

My life, being made of four, with two alone, 

Sitiks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy ; 

Until life's composition be recur'd 

By those swift messengers retumVl from thee. 

Who even but now come back again, assur'd 

Of thy fair health, recounting it to me: 
This told, I joy ; but then no longer glad, 
1 send them back again, and straight grow sad. — 45. 

The transpositions we have made in the arrangement are justified by the conBidera- 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 



213 



tion that in the original text the 50th, 51st, and 52nd Sonnets are entirely isolated ; 
that the 27tli and 28th are also perfectly unconnected with what precedes and what 
follows; that the Cist stands equally alone ; and that the 43rd, 44th, and 45th are 
in a similar position. We have now a perfect little poem describing the journey — 
the restless pilgrimage of thought — the desire for return. 

The thoughts of a temporary separation lead to the fear that absence may pro- 
duce estrangement : — 

How careful was I, when I took my way, 

Each trifle under truest bars to thrust, 

That, to my use, it might unused stay 

From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust ! 

But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are, 

Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief, 

Thou, best of dearest, and mine only care, 

Art left the prey of every vulgar thief. 

Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest, 

Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art, , 

Within the gentle closure of my breast, 

From whence at pleasure tliou mayst come and part ; 
And even thence thou wilt be stolen I fear. 
For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear. — 48. 

The sentiment is somewhat differently repeated in a Sonnet which is entirely iso- 
lated in the place where it stands in the original : — 

So are you to my thoughts, as food to life. 

Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground ; 

And for the peace of you I hold such strife 

As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found : 

Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon 

Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure ; 

Now counting best to be with you alone, 

Then better'd that the world may see my pleasure : 

Sometime, all full with feasting on your sight, 

And by and by clean starved for a look ; 

Possessing or pursuing no delight, 

Save what is had or must from you be took. 

Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day, 

Or gluttoning on all, or all away. — 75. 

But the 49th Sonnet carries forward the dread expressed in the 48th that his friend 
will " be stolen," into the apprehension that coldness, and neglect, and desertion 
may one day ensue : — 

Against that time, if ever that time come, 
When I shall see thee frown on my defects, 
Whenas thy love hath cast his utmost sum, 
Call'd to that audit by advis'd respects; 
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass. 
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye, 
When love, converted from the thing it was, 
Shall reasons find of settled gravity ; 



214 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Against that time do I ensconce me here 
Within the knowledge of mine own desert, 
And this my hand against myself uprear, 
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part : 

To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws. 

Since, why to love, I can allege no cause. — 49. 

This Sonnet is also completely isolated ; but much further on, according to the 
original arrangement, we find the idea here conveyed of that self-sacrificing hu- 
mility which will endure unkindness without complaint, worked out with exquisite 
tenderness : — 

When thou shalt be dispos'd to set me light, 

And place my merit in the eye of Scorn, 

Upon thy side against myself I '11 fight. 

And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn. 

With mine own weakness being best acquainted. 

Upon thy part I can set down a story 

Of faults conceal'd, wherein I am attainted ; 

That thou, in losing me, shalt win much glory : 

And I by tliis will be a gainer too ; 

For bending all my loving thoughts on thee. 

The injuries that to myself I do, 

Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me. 
Such is my love, to thee I so belong, 
That for thy right myself will bear all wrong. — 88. 

Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault, 

And I will comment upon that offence : 

Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt ; 

Against thy reasons making no defence. 

Thou canst not, love, disgrace me lialf so ill, 

To set a form upon desired change. 

As I '11 myself disgrace : knowing thy will, 

I will acquaintance strangle, and look strange ; 

Be absent from thy walks ; and in my tongue 

Thy sweet-beloved name no more shall dwell ; 

Lest I (too much profane) should do it wrong, 

And haply of our old acquaintance tell. 
For thee, against myself 1 "11 vow debate, 
For I must ne'er love him whonj thou dost hate. — 89. 

Then hate me when thou wilt ; if ever, now ; 

Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross, 

Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow, 

And do not drop in for an after loss : 

Ah ! do not, when my heart hath scap'd this sorrow, 

Come in the rearward of a conquer'd woe ; 

Give not a windy night a rainy morrow, 

To linger out a purpos'd overthrow. 

If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last. 

When other petty griefs have done their spite, 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. '-^15 

But in the onset come ; so shall I taste 

At lirst the very worst of fortune's might ; 

And other strains of woe, which now seem woe, 
Compar'd with loss of thee will not seem so. — 90. 

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill, 

Some iu their wealth, some in their body's force ; 

Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill ; 

Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse ; 

And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure. 

Wherein it finds a joy above the rest; 

But these particulars are not my measure, 

All these I better in one general best. 

Thy love is better than high birth to me, 

Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost, 

Of more delight than hawks or horses be ; 

And having thee, of all men's pride I boast. 
Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take 
All this away, and me most wretched make. — 91. 

But do thy worst to steal thyself away, 

For term of life thou art assured mine ; 

And life no longer than thy love will stay, 

For it depends upon that love of thine. 

Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs, 

When in the least of them my life hath end. 

I see a better state to me belongs 

Than that which on thy humour doth depend. 

Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind. 

Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie. 

O what a happy title do I find, 

Happy to have thy love, happy to die! 

But what 's so blessed-fair that fears no blot? — 
Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it not : — 92. 

So shall I live, supposing thou art true. 

Like a deceived husband ; so love's face 

May still seem love to me, though alter" d-new ; 

Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place : 

For there can live no hatred in thine eye. 

Therefore in that I cannot know thy change. 

In many's looks the false heart's history 

Is writ, in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange ; 

But Heaven in thy creation did decree 

That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell ; 

Whatever thy thoughts or thy heart's workings be. 

Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness tell. 

How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow, 

If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show ! — 93. 

Separated from the preceding stanzas by three Sonnets, the 94th, 95th, and 96th 
which we have already given — (they are those in which a friend is mildly up- 
braided for the defects in his character) — we have a second little poem on Absence. 



216 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNRTS. 



It would be difficult to find anything more perfect in our own or any other lan- 
guage :— 

How like a winter hath my absence been 

From tliee, the pleasure of the fleeting year ! 

What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen ! 

What old December's bareness everywhere ! 

And yet this time remov'd was summer's time ; 

The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, 

Bearing the wanton burden of the prime. 

Like widow d wombs after their lords decease : 

Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me 

But hope of orphans, and unfathered fruit j 

For summer and his pleasures wait on thee. 

And, thou away, the very birds are mute ; 
Or, if they sing, 't is with so dull a cheer, 
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter 's near. — 97. 

From you have I been absent in the spring, 

When proud-pied April, dress "d in all iiis trim. 

Hath put a spirit of youth in everytliing, 

That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him. 

Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell 

Of different flowers in odour and in hue, 

Could make me any summer's story tell, 

Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew : 

Nor did I wonder at the lilies white. 

Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose ; 

They were but sweet, but figures of delight. 

Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. 
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away, 
As with your shadow 1 with these did play : — 98. 

The forward violet thus did I chide : — 

Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells. 

If not from my love's breath ? The purple pride 

Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells, 

Jn my love's veins thou hast too grossly dy'd. 

The lily I condemned for thy hand, 

And buds of marjoram had stolen thy hair : 

The roses fearfully on thorns did stand, 

One blushing shame, another white despair ; 

A third, nor red nor white, had stolen of both, 

And to his robbery had annex'd thy breatli ; 

But for his theft, in pride of all liis growth 

A vengeful canker eat him up to death. 

More flowers I noted, yet I none could see, 

But sweet or colour it had stolen from thee. — 99. 

But this poem is quite unconnected with what precedes it. It is placed where it 
is upon no principle of conthiuity. Are we then to infer that the friend whose 
" shame" is " like a canker in the budding rose "' is tlie person who is immediately 
afterwards addressed as one from whom every flower had stolen " sweet or colour?' 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. "2 1 7 

If we read these three stanzas without any impression of their connexion with some- 
thing that has gone before, we shall irresistibly feel that they are addressed to a 
female. They point at repeated absences ; and why may they not then be ad- 
dressed to the poet's first love ? The Earl of Southampton, or the Earl of Pem- 
broke, to whom the series of Sonnets are held all to refer, except when they spe- 
cially address a dark-haired lady of questionable character, would not have been 
greatly pleased to have been complimented on the sweetness of his breath, or the 
whiteness of his hand. The Sonnets which are unquestionably addressed to a 
male, although they employ the term " beauty "' in a way which we cannot easily 
comprehend in our own days, have always reference to manly beauty. The com- 
parisons in the above Sonnets as clearly relate to female beauty. They are pre- 
cisely the same as Spenser uses in one of his Amoretti,' — the 64th; which thus 
concludes : — 

" Such fragrant flowers do give most odorous smell. 
But her sweet odour did them all excel." 

It appears to us that in both the poems on Absence, in the stanzas which anticipate 
neglect and coldness, and in others which we have given and are about to give, 
we must not be too ready to connect their images with the person who is addressed 
in the first seventeen Somiets; or be always prepared to " seize a clue which innu- 
tnerahle passages give us,"' according to Mr. Hallam, " and suppose that they allude 
to a youth of high rank as well as personal beaufy and accomplishment."* The 
chief characteristic of those passages which clearly apply to that " unknown youth" 
is, as it appears to us, extravagance of admiration conveyed in very hyperbolical 
language. Much that we have quoted offers no example of the justice of Mr. 
Hallam's complaint against these productions: — "There is a weakness and folly in 
all excessive and misplaced affection, which is not redeemed by the touches of 
nobler sentiments that abound in this long series of Sonnets." It would be diffi- 
cult, we think, to find more forcible thoughts expressed in more simple, and there- 
fore touching language, than in the following continuous verses. They comprise 
all the Sonnets numbered from 109 to 125, with the exception of 118, 119, 120, 
121, three of which we have already printed as belonging to another subject than 
the poet's constancy of affection ; and one of which we shall give as an isolated 
fragment : — 

O, never say that I was false of heart. 
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify ! 
As easy might I from myself depart. 
As from my soul which in thy breast doth lie : 
That is my home of love : if I have rang'd. 
Like him that travels, I return again ; 
Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd, — 
So that myself bring water for my stain. 
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd 
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood. 
That it could so preposterously be stain'd. 
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good ; 

For nothing tliis wide universe I call, 

Save thou, my rose ; in it thou art my all. — 109. 

* Literature of Europe, vol. iii., p, 503. 



218 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Alas, 't is true, I have gone here and there, 

Aiul made myself a motley to the view, 

Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear, 

Made old offences of affections new. 

Most true it is that I have look'd on truth 

Askance and strangely ; but, by all above. 

These blenches gave my heart another youth, 

And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love. 

Now all is done, save what shall have no end : 

Mine appetite I never more will grind 

On newer proof, to try an older friend, 

A God in love, to whom I am confin'd. 

Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best. 
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast, — 1 10. 

O, for my sake do you with fortune chide, 
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds, 
That did not better for my life provide. 
Than public means, which public manners breeds. 
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand, 
And almost thence my nature is subdued 
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand : 
Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd ; 
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink 
Potions of eysell, 'gainst my strong infection ; 
No bitterness that I will bitter think. 
Nor double penance, to correct correction. 
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye. 
Even that your pity is enough to cure me. — 1 1 1 . 

Your love and pity doth the impression fill 
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow ; 
For what care I who calls me well or ill. 
So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow ? 
You are my all-the-world, and I must strive 
To know my shames and j)raises from your tongue ; 
None else to me, nor I to none alive, 
That my steel'd sense or changes, right or wrong. 
In so profound abysm I throw all care 
Of other's voices, that my adder's sense 
To critic and to flatterer stopped are. 
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense : — 
You are so strongly in my purpose bred, 
That all the world besides methinks are dead. — 112. 

Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind ; 
And that which governs me to go about 
Doth part his function, and is partly blind, 
Seems seeing, but effectually is out ; 
For it no form delivers to the heart 
Of bird, of flower, or shape, which it doth latch ; 
Of his quick objects hath the mind no part, 
Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch ; 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 219 

For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight, 

The most sweet favour, or deformed'st creature, 

The mountain or the sea, the day or night, 

The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature. 
Incapable of more, replete with you, 
My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue. — 113. 

Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you, 

Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery^ 

Or whether shall I say muie eye saith true, 

And that your love taught it this alchymy, 

To make of monsters and things indigest 

Such cherubims as your sweet self resemble, 

Creating every bad a perfect best. 

As fast as objects to his beams assemble ? 

O, 't is the first; 'tis flattery in my seeing, 

And my great mind most kingly drinks it up : 

Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing. 

And to his palate doth prepare the cup : 

If it be poison'd, 'tis the lesser sin 

That mine eye loves it, and doth first begin. — 114. 

Those lines that I before have writ, do lie, 

Even those that said I could not love you dearer ; 

Yet then my judgment knew no reason why 

My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer. 

But reckoning time, whose million'd accidents 

Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of kings, 

Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents, 

Divert strong minds to the course of altering things; 

Alas ! why, fearing of time's tyranny, 

Might I not then say, " Now I love you best," 

When I was certain o'er incertainty. 

Crowning the present, doubting of the rest? 
Love is a babe ; then might I not say so. 
To give full growth to that which still doth grow? — 115. 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 

Admit impediments. Love is not love 

Which alters when it alteration finds, 

Or bends with the remover to remove : 

O no; it is an ever- fixed mark. 

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken; 

It is the star to every wandering bark, 

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. 

Love "s not Time's fool, though rosy lips and clieeks 

Within his bending sickle's compass come; 

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 

But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 

If this be error, and upon me prov'd, 

I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd. — 116. 

Accuse me thus ; that I have scanted all 
Wherein I should your gieat deserts repay ; 



220 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Forgot upon your dearest love to call, 
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day; 
That I liave frequent been with unknown minds, 
And given to time your own dear-purchas'd right ; 
That I have hoisted sail to all the winds 
Wiiich should transport me farthest from your sight. 
Book both my wilfulness and errors down, 
And on just proof, surmise accumulate. 
Bring me within the level of your frown. 
But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate : 
Since my appeal says, I did strive to prove 
The constancy and virtue of your love. — 117. 

Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain 
Full character'd with lasting memory, 
Which shall above that idle rank remain, 
Beyond all date, even to eternity : 
Or at the least so long as brain and heart 
Have faculty by nature to subsist ; 
Till each to razd oblivion yield his part 
Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd. 
That poor retention could not so much hold, 
Nor need I tallies, thy dear love to score ; 
Therefore to give them from me was I bold. 
To trust those tables that receive thee more ; 
To keep an adjunct to remember thee, 
Were to import forgetfuluess in me. — 122. 

No ! Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change : 
Thy pyramids built up with newer might 
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange ; 
They are but dressings of a former sight. 
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire 
What thou dost foist ujwn us that is old ; 
And rather make them born to our desire, 
Than think that we before have heard them told. 
Thy registers and thee 1 both defy, 
Not wondering at the present nor the past ; 
For thy records and what we see do lie. 
Made more or less by thy continual haste : 
This I do vow, and this shall ever be, 
1 will be true, despite thy scythe and thee: — 123. 

If my dear love were but the child of state. 

It might for fortune's bastard be unfather'd, 

As subject to time's love, or to time's hate. 

Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd. 

No, it was builded far from accident ; 

It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls 

Under the blow of thralled discontent, 

Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls : 

It fears not policy, that heretic, 

Which works on leases of short-number'd hours. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 221 

But all alone stands hugely politic, 
That it nor grows with heat, nor drowns with showers. 
To this I witness call the fools of time, 
Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime. — 124. 

Were it aught to me I bore the canopy, 

With my extern the outward honouring. 

Or laid great bases for eternity. 

Which prove more short than waste or ruining? 

Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour 

Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent. 

For compound sweet foregoing simple savour, 

Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent? 

No ; — let me be obsequious in thy heart. 

And take thou my oblation, poor but free. 

Which is not mix'd with seconds, knows no art, 

But mutual render, only me for thee. 

Hence, thou suborn'd informer ! a true soul, 

When most impeach'd, stands least in thy control. — 125. 

Dr. Drake, in maintaining ^that the Sonnets, from the 1st to the 126th, were 
addressed to Lord Southampton, has alleged, as " one of the most striking proofs 
of this position," the fact " that the language of the Dedication to the ' Rape of 
Lucrece,' and that of the 26th Sonnet, are almost precisely the same." If the 
reader will turn to this Dedication, he will at once see the resemblance. " The 
love I dedicate to your lordship is without end," shows that, in the Sonnets as in 
the works of contemporary writers, the perpetually recurring terms of love and lover 
were meant to convey the most profound respect as well as the strongest affection. 
In that age friendship was not considered as a mere conventional intercourse for 
social gratification. There was depth and strength in it. It partook of the spi- 
ritual energy which belonged to a higher philosophy of the affections than now 
presides over clubs and dinner-parties. " My friend," or " my lover," meant some- 
thing more than one who is ordinarily civil, returns our calls, and shakes hands 
upon great occasions. Lord Southampton, in a letter of introduction to a grave 
Lord Chancellor, calls Shakspere "my especial friend." To Lord Southampton 
Shakspere dedicates '' love without end." This 26th Sonnet, we have little doubt, 
is a/so a dedication, accompanying some new production of the mighty dramatist, 
in accordance with his declaration, " What I have done is yours, what I have to 
do is yours, being part in all I have devoted yours :" — 

Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage 

Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit. 

To thee I send this written embassage, 

To witness duty, not to show my wit. 

Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine 

May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it ; 

But that I hope some good conceit of thine 

In thy soul's thought, all naked, will bestow it : 

Till whatsoever star that guides by moving. 

Points on me graciously with fair aspect. 

And puts apparel on my tatter'd loving. 

To show me worthy of thy sweet respect : 

Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee. 

Till then, not show my head where thou mayst prove me. — 26. 



222 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

The Sonnet which precedes this has also the marked character of the same respect- 
ful affection ; and, like the 26th, in all probability accompanied some offering of 
friendship : — 

Let those who are in favour with their stars 
Of public honour and proud titles boast, 
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars, 
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most. 
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread, 
But as the marigold at the sun's eye ; 
And in themselves their pride lies buried, 
For at a frown they in their glory die. 
The painful warrior famoused for fight. 
After a thousand victories once foil'd. 
Is from the book of honour razed quite, 
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd : 

Then happy I, that love and am belov'd. 

Where I may not remove, nor be remov'd. — 25. 

Again, the 23rd Sonnet is precisely of the same character. All these appear to us 
wholly unconnected with the poems which surround them — little gems, perfect in 
themselves, and wanting no setting to add to their beauty : — 

As an unperfect actor on the stage. 

Who with his fear is put besides his part. 

Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage. 

Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart ; 

So I, for fear of trust, forget to say 

The perfect ceremony of love's rite, 

And in mine own love's strength seem to decay, 

O'ercharg'd with burthen of mine own love's might. 

O let my books be then the eloquence 

And dumb presagers of my speaking breast ; 

Who plead for love, and look for recompence. 

More than that tongue that more hath more express'd. 
O learn to read what silent love hath writ : 
To hear with eyes belongs to love"s fine wit. — 23. 

Between the 23rd and 25th Sonnets, which we have just given — remarkable as 
they are for the most exquisite simplicity of thought and diction — occurs the fol- 
lowing conceit : — 

Mine eye hath play'd the painter, and hath stell'd 
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart ; 
My body is the frame wherein 't is held, 
And perspective it is best painter's art. 
For through the painter must you see his skill, 
To find where your true image pictur'd lies, 
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still, 
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes. 
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done ; 
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me 
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun 
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee; 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 223 

Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art, 

They draw but what they see, know not the heart. — 24. 

But, separated by a long interval, we find two variations of the air, entirely out of 
place where they occur. Can we doubt that these three form one little poem of 
themselves ? — 

Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war, 

How to divide the conquest of thy sight ; 

Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar. 

My heart mine eye the freedom of that right. 

My heart doth plead, that thou in him dost lie, 

(A closet never pierc'd with crystal eyes,) 

But the defendant doth that plea deny, 

And says in him thy fair appearance lies. 

To 'cide this title is impannelled 

A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart ; 

And by their verdict is determined 

The clear eye's moiety, and the dear heart's part : 
As thus ; mine eye's due is thine outward part, 
And my heart's right thine inward love of heart. — 46. 

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took, 

And each doth good turns now unto the other : 

When that mine eye is famish'd for a look, 

Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother. 

With my love's picture then my eye doth feast. 

And to the painted banquet bids my lieart : 

Another time mine eye is my heart's guest, 

And in his thoughts of love doth share a part ; 

So, either by thy picture or my love, 

Thyself away art present still with me ; 

For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move, 

And I am still with them, and they with thee ; 
Or if they sleep, thy picture in my sight 
Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight. — 47. 

The 77th Sonnet interrupts the continuity of a poem which we shall presently 
give, in which the writer refers, with some appearance of jealousy, to an " alien 
pen." There can be no doubt that this Sonnet is completely isolated. It is 
clearly intended to accompany the present of a note-book : — 

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear. 
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste ; 
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear, 
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste. 
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show, 
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory ; 
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know 
Time's thievish progress to eternity. 
Look, what thy memory cannot contain, 
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find 



224 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Those children nurs'd, deliver'd from thy brain, 

To take a new acquaintance of thy mind. 
These offices, so oft as thou wilt look, 
Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book, — 77. 

The 76th to the 87th Sonnets (omitting the 77th and 81st) have been held to 
refer to a particular event in the poetical career of Shakspere. He expresses some- 
thing like jealousy of a rival poet — a " better spirit." By some, Spenser is sup- 
posed to be alluded to ; by others, Daniel. But we do not accept these stanzas as 
a proof that William Herbert is the i)erson always addressed in these Sonnets, for 
the alleged reason that Daniel was patronised by the Pembroke family, and that, 
in 1601, he dedicated a book to William Herbert, to which Shaksfjere is held to 
allude in the 82nd Sonnet, by the expression " dedicated words." This is Mr. 
Boaden's tlieory. One of the Sonnets, supposed also to refer to William Herbert as 
"a man right fair," was publislied in 1599, when the young nobleman was only 
nineteen years of age. But in the stanzas which relate to some poetical rivalry, 
real or imaginar)', the person addressed has 

" added feathers to the leamed's wing, 
And given grace a double majesty." 

He is 

" as fair in knowledge as in hue." 

The praises of the "lovely boy," be he William Herbert or not, are always con- 
fined to his personal appearance and his good nature. There is a quiet tone about 
the following which separates them from the Sonnets addressed to that " unknown 
youth ;■' and yet they may be as unreal as we believe most of those to be : — 

Why is my verse so barren of new pride ? 

So far from variation or quick change ? 

Why, with the time, do I not glance aside 

To new-found methods and to compounds strange ? 

Why write I still all one, ever the same. 

And keep invention in a noted weed, 

Tliat every word doth almost tell my name. 

Showing their birth, and wiiere they did proceed ? 

O know, sweet love, I always write of you. 

And you and love are still my argument ; 

So all my best is dressing old words new. 

Spending again what is already spent: 

For as the sun is daily new and old. 

So is my love still telling what is told. — 76. 

So oft have I invok'd thee for my muse. 

And found such fair assistance in my verse, 

As every alien pen hath got my use. 

And under thee their poesy disperse. 

Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing, 

And heavy ignorance aloft to fly, 

Have added feathers to the leamed's wing, 

And given grace a double majesty. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 225 

Yet be most proud of <hat which I compile. 
Whose influence is thine, and bom of thee : 
In others' works thou dost but mend the style, 
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be; 

But thou art all my art, and dost advance 

As high as learning my rude ignorance. — 78. 

Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid, 

My verse alone had all thy gentle grace ; 

But now my gracious numbers are decay'd, 

And my sick muse doth give another place. 

I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument 

Deserves the travail of a worthier pen ; 

Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent, 

He robs thee of, and pays it thee again. 

He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word 

From thy behaviour; beauty doth he give, 

And found it in thy cheek ; he can afford 

No praise to thee but what in thee doth live. 
Then thank him not for that which he doth say. 
Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay. — 79. 

O, how I faint when I of you do write, 

Knowing a better spirit doth use your name. 

And in the praise thereof spends all his might, 

To make me tongue-tied, speaking of your fame ! 

But since your worth (wide, as the ocean is) 

The humble as the proudest sail doth bear. 

My saucy bark, inferior fax to his. 

On your broad main doth wilfully appear. 

Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat, 

Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride ; 

Or, being wreck'd, I am a worthless boat. 

He of tall building, and of goodly pride : 
Then if he thrive, and I be cast away. 
The worst was this ; — my love was my decay. — 80. 

I grant thou wert not married to my muse. 

And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook 

The dedicated words which writers use 

Of their fair subject, blessing every book. 

Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue. 

Finding thy worth a limit past my praise ; 

And therefore art enforc'd to seek anew 

Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days. 

And do so, love ; yet when they have devis'd 

What strained touches rhetoric can lend. 

Thou truly fair wert truly sympathiz'd 

In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend ; 
And their gross painting might be better us'd 
Where cheeks need blood ; in thee it is abus'd. — 82. 

I never saw that you did painting need. 
And therefore to your fair no painting set. 
Vol. XII. Q 



226 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

I found, or thought I found, you did exceed 
The barren tender of a poet's debt : 
And therefore have I slept in your report, 
That you yourself, being extant, well might show 
How far a modern quill doth come too short. 
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow. 
This silence for my sin you did impute, 
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb ; 
For I impair not beauty being mute, 
When others would give life, and bring a tomb. 
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes 
Than both your poets can in praise devise. — 83. 

Who is it that says most? which can say more 
Than this rich praise, — that you alone are you ? 
In whose confine immured is the store 
Which should example where your equal grew. 
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell, 
That to his subject lends not some small glory ; 
But he that writes of you, if he can tell 
That you are you, so dignifies his storv, 
Let him but copy what in you is writ. 
Not making worse what nature made so clear, 
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit. 
Making his style admired everywhere. 

You to your beauteous blessings add a curse, 

Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.' — 84. 

My tongue-tied muse in manners holds her still, 
While comments of your praise, richly compil'd. 
Reserve their character with golden quill, 
And precious phrase by all the muses fil'd. 
I think good thoughts, while others write good words, 
And, like unletter'd clerk, still cry " Amen " 
To every hymn that able spirit aifords, 
In polish'd form of well-refined pen. 
Hearing you prais'd, I say, " "T is so, 't is true," 
And to the most of praise add something more ; 
But that is in my thought, whose love to you 
Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before. 
Then others for the breath of words respect, 
Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in efll'ect. — 85. 

Was it the proud full sail of his great verse, 
Bound for the prize of all-too-precious you. 
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse. 
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew? 
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write 
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead? 
No, neither he, nor his compeers by niglit 
Giving him aid, my verse astonished. 
He, nor that affable familiar ghost 
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THR SONNETS. 227 

As victors, of my silence cannot boast ; 

I was not sick of any fear from thence. 

But when your countenance fil'd up his line, 
Then lackM I matter : that enfeebled mine. — 86. 

Farewell I thou art too dear for my possessing, 

And like enough thou know'st thy estimate ; 

The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing ; 

My bonds in thee are all determinate. 

For how do I hold thee but by thy granting? 

And for that riches where is my deserving ? 

The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting, 

And so my patent back again is swerving. 

Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing, 

Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking ; 

So thy great gift, upon misprision growing. 

Comes home again, on better judgment making. 
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter, 
In sleep a king, but waking no such matter. — 87. 

We caimot trace the connexion of the 121st Sonnet with what precedes and what 
follows it. It may stand alone — a somewhat impatient expression of contempt for 
the opinion of the world, which too often galls those most who, in the consciousness 
of right, ought to be best prepared to be indiflerent to it : — 

"Tis better to be vile, than vile esteem'd, 

When not to be receives reproach of being. 

And the just pleasure lost, which is so deem'd 

Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing. 

For why should others' false adulterate eyes 

Give salutation to my sportive blood? 

Or on my frailties why are frailer spies, 

Which in their wills count bad what I think good ? 

No. — I am that I am ; and they that level 

At my abuses, reckon up their own : 

I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel ; 

By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown ; 
Unless this general evil they maintain, — 
All men are bad, and in their badness reign. — 121. 

Lastly, of the Sonnets entirely independent of the other portions of the series, the 
following, already mentioned, furnishes one of the many proofs which we have 
endeavoured to produce that the original arrangement was in many respects an arlii- 
trary one : — 

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, 
Fool'd by those rebel powers that thee array. 
Why dost thou pine within, and suffer dearth, 
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay ? 
Why so large cost, having so short a lease. 
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend? 
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess. 
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end ? 

Q2 



228 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Tlien, soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss, 

And let that pine to aggravate thy store ; 

Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross ; 

Within be fed, without be rich no more : 

So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men, 

And, death once dead, there 's no more dying then. — 146. 



III. 

We have thus, with a labour which we fear may be disproportionate to the results, 
separated those parts of tliis series of poems which a})peared to be manifestly com- 
plete in themselves, or not essentially connected with what has been sujiposed to be 
the " leading idea" which preveails throughout the collection. It has !)een said, 
with great eloquence, " It is true that, in the poetry as well as in the fictions of 
early ages, we find a more ardent tone of affection in the language of friendship 
than has since been usual ; and yet no instance has been adduced of such rapturous 
devotedness, such an idolatry of admiring love, as the greatest being whom nature 
ever produced in the human form pours forth to some unknown youth in the ma- 
jority of these Sonnets."* The same accomplished critic further sjieaks of the 
strangeness of " Shakspere"s humiliation in addressing him (the youth) as a being 
before whose feet he crouched, whose frown he feared, whose injuries, and those of 
the most insulting kind — the seduction of the mistress to whom we have alluded 
— he felt and bewailed without resenting." We should agree with Mr. Hallam, i/ 
these circumstances were manifest, that, notwithstanding the frequent beauties of 
these Sonnets, the pleasure of their perusal would be much diminislied. But we 
believe that tiiese impressions have been, in a great degree, produced by regarding 
the original arrangement as the natural and proper one — as one suggested by the 
dejjendence of one part upon another, in a poem essentially continuous. Mr. 
Hallam, with these impressions, adds, somewhat strongly, "it is impossible not to 
wish that Shakspere had never written them." Let us, however, analyse what we 
have presented to the reader in a different order than that of the original edi- 
tion : — 



Will 


. 3S 


(Onn 


Black eyrs . . . . . 

The virginal . . . . . 

False compare . . . . . 

Tyranny ...... 

Slavery ...... 

Coldness ...... 


. 3 

1 

. 2 

. 3 

2 
1 


n 


/ hate not you ..... 
7%e little love-god (not reprinted) . 
Love and hatred .... 


. 1 
. 2 

. 10 


5> 


Infidelity ..... 

Injury ...... 

A friend's faults . . . . 


. 3 
. 3 




Forgiveness ..... 


. 3 


» 



43 



• lUUam, Literature of Europe, vol. iii., p. 502. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNE IS. 229 



4 Sonnets 


4 


j> 


9 


» 


9 


)> 


3 


») 


13 


>* 


3 


» 


3 


» 


1 


„ 


10 


„ 


1 


5> 


1 


)> 


— 61 





Voitfidttig friendship 
Humility 
Absence . 
Estratigement , 
A second absence 
Fidelity . 
Dedications 
The picture . 
The note-book . 
Rivalry . 
Reputation 
The soul , 



We have thus as many as 104 Sonnets which, if they had been differently arranged 
upon their original publication, might have been read with undiminished pleasure, 
as far as regards the strangeness of their author's humiliation before one unknown 
youth, and have therefore left us no regret that he had written them. If we are to 
regard a few of these as real disclosures, with reference to a " dark-haired lady 
whom the poet loved, but over whose relations to him there is thrown a veil of 
mystery, allowing us to see little except the feeling of the parties — that their love 
w£is guilt,'' — we are to consider, what is so justly added by the writer from whom 
we quote, that " much that is most unpleasing in the circumstances connected 
with those magnificent lyrics is removed by the air of despondency and remorse 
which breathes through those which come most closely on the facts."'* But it 
must not be forgotten that, in an age when the Italian models of poetry were so 
diligently cultivated, imaginary loves and imaginary jealousies were freely admitted 
into verses which appeared to address themselves to the reader in the personal cha- 
racter of the poet. Regarding a poem, whether a sonnet or an epic, essentially as 
a work of art, the artist was not careful to separate his own identity from the sen- 
timents and situations which he delineated — any more than the pastoral poets of 
the next century were solicitous to tell their readers that their Corydons and 
Phyllises were not absolutely themselves and their mistresses. The * Amoretti ' of 
Spenser, for example, consisting of eighty eight Sonnets, is also a puzzle to all those 
who regard such productions as necessarily autobiographical. These poems were 
published in 15G6 ; in several passages a date is tolerably distinctly marked, for 
there are lines which refer to the completion of the first six Books of the ' Fniry 
Queen,' and to Spenser's appointment to the laureatship — '' the badge which I do 
bear." And yet they are full of the complaints of an unrequited love, and of a 
disdainful mistress, at a period when Spenser was married, and settled with his 
family in Ireland. Chalmers is here again ready with his solution of the difficulty. 
They were addressed, as well as Shakspere's Sonnets, to Queen Elizabeth. We 
believe that, taken as works of art, having a certain degree of contumity, the Son- 
nets of Spenser, of Daniel, of Drayton, of Shakspere, although in many instances 
they might shadow forth real feelings, and be outpourings of the inmost heart, were 
presented to the world as exercises of fancy, and were received by the world as such. 
Tlie most usual form which such compositions assumed was that of love-verses. 
Spenser's ' Amoretti ' are entirely of this cliaracter, as their name implies. Daniel's, 
which are fifty-seven in number, are all addressed "To Delia;'' Drayton's, which 
he calls " Ideas, ' are somewhat more miscellaneous in their character. Tliese were 
* Edinburgh Review, vol. Ixxi., p. 466. 



230 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

the three great poets of Shakspere's days. S[)enser's ' Amoretti ' was first printed iu 
1595; Daniel's 'Delia' in 1592; Drayton's 'Ideas' in 1594. In 1593 was also 
published ' Licia, or Poems of Love, iu honour of the admirable and singular virtues 
of his Lady.' Here are fifty-two Sonnets, all conceived in the language of passionate 
alTection and extravagant praise. And yet the author, in bis Address to the Reader, 
says — " If thou muse what my Licia is, take her to be some Diana, at the least 
chaste, or some Minerva, no Venus, fairer far. It may be she is Learning's image, 
or some heavenly wonder, which the precisest may not mislike : perhaps under that 
name I have shadowed Discipline." This fashion of Sonnet-writing upon a con- 
tinuous subject prevailed, thus, about the period of the publication of the ' Venus 
and Adonis ' and the ' Lucrece,' when Shakspere had taken his rank amongst the 
poets of his time — independent of his dramatic rank. He chose a new subject for a 
series of Sonnets ; he addressed them to some youth, some imaginary person, as we 
conceive ; he made this fiction the vehicle for stringing together a succession of 
brilliant images, exhaustuig every artifice of language to present one idea under a 
thousand different forms — 

" varying to other words ; 
And in this change is my invention spent." 

Coleridge, with his usual critical discrimination, speaking of the Italian poets of 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and glancing also at our own of the same 
period, says, " In opposition to the present age, and perhaps in as faulty an extreme, 
they placed the essence of poetry in the art. The excellence at which they aimed 
consisted in the exquisite polish of the diction, combined with perfect simplicity."* 
This, we apprehend, is the characteristic excellence of Shakspere's Sonnets; dis- 
playing, to the careful reader, " the studied position of words and phrases, so that 
not only each part should be melodious in itself, but contribute to the harmony of 
the whole."' He sought for a canvas in which this elaborate colouring, this skilful 
management of light and shade, might be attempted, in an address to a young man, 
instead of a scornful Delia or a proud Daphne ; and he commenced with an exhort- 
ation to that young man to marry. To allow of that energy of language which 
would result from the assumption of strong feeling, the poet links himself with 
the young man's happiness by the strongest expressions of friendship — in the com- 
mon language of that day, love. We say, advisedly, the poet ; for it is in this cha- 
racter that the connexion between the two friends is preserved throughout; and it is 
in this character that the personal beauty of the young man is made a constantly 
recurring theme. With these imperfect observations, we present the continuous 
poem which appears in tlie first nineteen Somiets : — 

From fairest creatures we desire increase, 
That thereby beauty's rose might never die, 
But as the riper should by time decease. 
His tender heir might bear his memory : 
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, 
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel. 
Making a famine where abundance lies, 
Thyself thy foe, to tliy sweet self too cruel. 
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament. 
And only herald to the gaudy spring. 
Within thine own bud buriest thy content. 
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding. 

* ' Biograpliia Literaria,' vol. ii. p. 27. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. '^^^ 

Pity the world, or else this glutton be, 

To eat tlie world's due, by the grave and thee. — 1. 

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow, 

And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field, 

Thy youth's proud livery, so gaz'd on now. 

Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held : 

Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies, 

Where all the treasure of thy lusty days ; 

To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes, 

Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise. 

How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use. 

If thou couldst answer — " This fair child of mine 

Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse — " 

Proving his beauty by succession thine ! 

This were to be new-made when thou art old, 

And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold. — 2. 

Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest. 

Now is the time that face should form another; 

Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest, 

Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother. 

For where is she so fair, whose unear'd womb 

Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry? 

Or who is he so fond will be the tomb 

Of his self-love, to stop posterity ? 

Thou art thy mother's glass, and she In thee 

Calls back the lovely April of her prime : 

So thou through windows of thine age shalt see, 

Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time. 

But if thou live remember'd not to be. 

Die single, and thine image dies with thee. — 3. 

Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend 
Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy ? 
Nature's bequest gives nothing, but doth lend. 
And, being frank, she lends to those are free. 
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse 
The bounteous largess given thee to give ? 
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use 
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live ? 
For having traffic with thyself alone, 
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive. 
Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone, 
What acceptable audit canst thou leave ? 

Thy unus'd beauty must be tomb'd with thee, 

Which, used, lives thy executor to be, — 4. 

Those hours, that with gentle work did frame 
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell. 
Will play the tyrants to the very same, 
And that unfair which fairly doth excel ; 
For never-resting time leads summer on 
To hideous winter, and confounds him there; 



232 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Sap check'd with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone, 

Beauty o'ersiiow'd, and bareness everywhere : 

Tlien, were not summer's distillation left, 

A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass, 

Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft. 

Nor it, nor no remembrance what it was. 

But flowers distill'd, though they with winter meet, 
Leese but their show ; their substance still lives sweet. — 5. 

Then let not winter's ragged hand deface 

In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd : 

Make sweet some phial ; treasure thou some place 

With beauty's treasure, ere it be self-kill'd. 

That use is not forbidden usury, 

Which happies those tliat pay the willing loan ; 

That 's for thyself to breed another thee, 

Or ten times happier, be it ten for one ; 

Ten times thyself were liappier than thou art. 

If ten of thine ten times refigur'd thee : 

Then, what could Death do if thou shouldst depart, 

Leaving the living in posterity ? 

Be not self-will'd, for thou art much too fair 

To be Death's conquest, and make worms thine heir. — 6. 

Lo, in the orient when the gracious light 

Lifts up his burning head, each under eye 

Doth homage to his new-appearing sight. 

Serving with looks his sacred majesty ; 

And having climb'd the steep-up heavenly hill. 

Resembling strong youth in his middle age. 

Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still. 

Attending on his golden pilgrimage ; 

But when from high-most pitch, with weary car, 

Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day. 

The eyes, 'fore duteous, now converted are 

From his low tract, and look another way : 
So thou, thyself outgoing in thy noon, 
Unlook'd on diest, unless thou get a son. — 7. 

Music to bear, why hear'st thou music sadly? 

Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy. 

Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly f 

Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy ? 

If the true concord of well-tuned sounds, 

By unions married, do offend thine ear. 

They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds 

In singleness the parts tliat thou shouldst bear. 

Mark how one string, sweet husband to another. 

Strikes each in each by mutual ordering ; 

Resembling sire and child and happy mother. 

Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing : 

Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one, 
Sings this to thee, " Thou single wilt prove none.'' — 8. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye, 
That thou cousum'st thyself in single life ? 
Ah ! if thou issueless shalt hap to die, 
The world will wail thee, like a makeless wife : 
The world will be thy widow, and still weep, 
That thou no form of thee hast left behind. 
When every private widow well may keep, 
By children's eyes, her husband's shape in mind. 
Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend. 
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it : 
But beauty's waste hath in the world an end. 
And kept unus'd, the user so destroys it. 
No love toward others in that bosom sits, 
That on himself such murderous shame commits^ — 9. 

For shame ! deny that thou bear'st love to any, 

Who for thyself art so unprovident. 

Grant, if thou wilt, thou art belov'd of many. 

But that thou none lov'st is most evident ; 

For thou art so possessed with murderous hate. 

That 'gainst thyself thou stick 'st not to conspire ; 

Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate. 

Which to repair should be thy chief desire. 

O change thy thought that I may change my mind ! 

Shall hate be fairer lodg'd than gentle love ? 

Be as thy presence is, gracious and kind. 

Or to thyself, at least, kind-hearted prove ; 
Make thee another self, for love of me. 
That beauty still may live in thine or thee. — 10. 

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow'st 
In one of thine, from that which thou departest ; 
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st, 
Thou mayst call thine, when thou from youth convertest. 
Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase ; 
Without this, folly, age, and cold decay : 
If all were minded so, the times should cease, 
And threescore years would make the world away. 
Let those whom Nature hath not made for store, 
Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish : 
Look, whom she best endow'd, she gave thee more ; 
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish : 
She carv'd thee for her seal, and meant thereby 
Thou shouldst print more, nor let that copy die. — 11. 

When I do count the clock that tells the time. 
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night ; 
When I behold the violet past prime. 
And sable curls, all silver'd o'er with white ; 
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves, 
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd. 
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves. 
Borne on the bier witii white and bristly beard; 



233 



234 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Then of thy beauty do I question make, 
That lliou among the wastes of time must go, 
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake, 
And die as fast as they see others grow; 

And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence, 
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence. — 12. 

O that you were yourself ! but, love, you are 
No longer yours than you yourself here live : 
Against this coming end you should prepare. 
And your sweet semblance to some other give. 
So should that beauty which you hold in lease 
Find no determination : then you were 
Yourself again, after yourself 's decease, 
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear. 
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay. 
Which husbandry in honour might uphold 
Against the stormy gusts of winter's day, 
And barren rage of death's eternal cold ? 

O ! none but unthrifts : — Dear my love, you know 
You had a father ; let your son say so. — 13. 

Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck ; 
And yet methinks I have astronom}'. 
But not to tell of good or evil luck. 
Of plagues, of dearths, or season's quality : 
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell. 
Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind, 
Or say, witli pruices if it shall go well. 
By oft predict that I in heaven find : 
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive, 
And (constant stars) in them I read such art, 
As truth and beauty shall together thrive, 
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert: 

Or else of thee this I prognosticate. 

Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date. — 14. 

When I consider everything that grows 
Holds in perfection but a little moment, 
That this huge state presenteth nought but shows 
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment; 
When I perceive that men as plants increase, 
Cheer'd and check'd ever by the selfsame sky ; 
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease, 
And wear their brave state out of memory ; 
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay 
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight, 
Where wasteful time debateth with decay, 
To change your day of youth to sullied night ; 
And, all in war with time, for love of you. 
As he takes from you, I engraft you new. — 15. 

But wherefore do not you a mightier way 
Make war upon this bloody tyrant. Time ? 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

And fortify yourself in your decay 

With means more blessed than my barren rhyme? 

Now stand you on the top of happy hours ; 

And many maiden gardens, yet unset, 

With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers, 

Much liker than your painted counterfeit : 

So should the lines of life that life repair. 

Which this, Time's pencil, or my pupil pen. 

Neither in inward worth, nor outward fair, 

Can make you live yourself in eyes of men. 

To give away yourself, keeps yourself still ; 

And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill. — 16. 

Who will Ijelieve my verse in time to come. 

If it were fiU'd with your most high deserts ? 

Though yet Heaven knows it is but as a tomb 

Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts. 

If I could write the beauty of your eyes. 

And in fresh numbers number all your graces, 

The age to come would say, this poet lies, 

Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces. 

So should my papers, yellow'd with their age. 

Be scorn" d, like old men of less truth than tongue ; 

And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage. 

And stretched metre of an antique song : 

But were some child of yours alive that time, 

You should live twice ; — in it, and in my rhyme. — 17. 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day ? 

Thou art more lovely and more temperate : 

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 

And summer's lease hath all too short a date : 

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd ; 

And every fair from fair sometime declines, 

By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd ; 

But thy eternal summer shall not fade, 

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest ; 

Nor shall Death brag thou wander 'st in his shade, 

When in eternal lines to time thou growest : 
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, 
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. — 18. 

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws. 
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood ; 
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws, 
And burn the long-liv'd phoenix in her blood ; 
Make glad and sorry seasons, as thou fleets. 
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time, 
To the wide world, and all her fading sweets ; 
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime : 
O carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow. 
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen; 



235 



236 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Him in thy course untainted do allow, 

For beauty's pattern to succeeding men. 

Yet, do thy worst, old Time : despite thy wrong, 
My love shall in my verse ever live young. — 19. 

That this series of Sonnets, powerful as they are, displaying not only the most 
abundant variety of imagery, but the greatest felicity in making the whole har- 
monious, constitutes a poem ambitious only of the honours of a work of Art, is, 
we think, manifest. If it had been addressed to a real person, no other object 
could have been proposed than a display of the most brilliant ingenuity. In the 
next age it would have been called an exquisite " copy of verses." But in the 
next age, probably — certainly in our own — the author would iiave been pronounced 
arrogant beyond measure in the anticipation of the immortality of his rhymes. 
There is a show of modesty, indeed, in the expressions " barren rhyme" and " pupil 
pen;'' but that is speedily cast off, and "eternal summer" is promised through 
" eternal lines ;" and 

" So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, 
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." 

Regarding these nineteen Sonnets as a continuous poem, wound up to the climax 
of a hyperbolical promise of immortality to tlie object whom it addresses, we re- 
ceive the 20th Sonnet as the commencement of aiiother poem in which the same 
idea is retained. Tiie poet is bound to the youth by ties of strong affection ; but 
nature has called ujkju the possessor of that beauty 

" Which steals men's eyes, and women's souls amazeth," 

to cultivate closer ties. This Soimet, through an utter misconception of the lan- 
guage of Shakspere's time, has produced a comment sufficiently odious to throw 
an unpleasant shade over much which follows. The idea which it contains is con- 
tinued in the 53rd Sonnet ; and we give the two in comiexion : — 

A woman's face, with natures own hand painted, 

Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion ; 

A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted 

With shifting cliange, as is false women's fashion ; 

An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling. 

Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth ; 

A man in hue, all hues in his controlling, 

Which steals men's eyes, and women's souls amazeth. 

And for a woman wert thou first created ; 

Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting, 

And by addition me of thee defeated. 

By adding one thing to my purpose nothing. 

But since she prick "d thee out for women's pleasure, 
Mine be thy love, and thy love's use their treasure. — 20. 

What is your substance, whereof are you made. 
That millions of strange shadows on you tend ? 
Since every one hath, every one, one's sliade. 
And you, but one, can every shadow lend. 
I)escrit)e Adonis, and the counterfeit 
Is poorly imitated after you ; 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 237 

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 ; 

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. — 53. 

Between the 20th Sonnet and the 53rd occur, as it appears to us, a number of 
fragments which we have variously classified; and which seem to have no relation 
to the praises of that " unknown youth " who has been supposed to preside over 
five-sixths of the entire series of verses. We have little doubt that the " begetter" 
of the Sonnets was not able to beget, or obtain, all ; and that there is a consider- 
able hiatus between the 20th Sonnet and the second hyperbolical close, which he 
filled up as well as he could, from other "sugared sonnets amongst private 
friends :" — 

O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem, 

By that sweet ornament which truth doth give '. 

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 discloses : 

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, by verse distils your truth. — 54. 

Not marble, not the gilded monuments 

Of princes, sliall outlive 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. — 55. 

Wherever we meet with these magnificent promises of the immortality which 
the poet's verses are to bestow, we find them associated with that personage, the 
representative at once of " Adonis "' and of " Helen," who presents himself to us as 
tlie unreal coinage of tlie fancy. In many of the lines which we have given in 
tlie second division of this inquiry, the reader will have noticed the affecting mo- 



238 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

desty, the humility without abasement, of the great poet comparing himself with 
others. Here Shakspere indeed speaks. For example, take the whole of the 32iid 
Sonnet. We should scarcely imagine, if the poem were continuous, as Mr. Brown 
believes, that the last stanza of the second portion of it in his classification would 
conclude with these lines : — 

" Not marble, not the gilded monuments 

Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme.''' 

They contrast remarkably with the tone of the 32nd Sonnet, — 

" These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover." 

Meres has a passage : " As Ovid saith of his works — 

' Jamque opus exegi quod nee Jovis ira, nee ignis, 
Nee poterit ferrum, nee edax abolere vetustas ;' 

and as Horace saith of his, 

' Exegi monumentum sere perennius,' &c. ; 

so say I severally of Sir Philip Sidney's, Spenser's, Daniels, Drayton's, Shake- 
speare's, and Warner's works.'" What Ovid and Horace said is imitated in the 
55th Sonnet. But we greatly doubt if what Meres would have said of Shakspere 
he would have said of himself, except in some assumed character, to which we 
have not the key. Ben Jonson, to whom a boastful spirit has with some justice 
been objected, never said anything so strong of his own writings ; and he wrote 
with too much reliance, in this and other particulars, upon classical examples. 
But Jonson was not a writer of Sonnets, which, pitched in an artificial key, made 
this boastful tone a constituent part of the whole performance. The man, who 
never once speaks of his own merita in the greatest productions of the human intel- 
lect, when he put on the imaginary character in which a poet is weaving a fiction 
out of his supposed personal relations, did not hesitate to conform himself to the 
practice of other masters of the art. Shakspere here adopted the tone which 
Spenser, Daniel, and Drayton had adopted. The parallel appears to us very re- 
markable; and we must beg the indulgence of our readers while we present them 
a few passages from each of these writers. 

And first of Spenser. His 27th Sonnet will furnish an adequate notion of the 
general tone of his * Amoretti,' and of the self-exaltation which appears to belong to 
this species of poem : — 

" Fair Proud ! now tell me, why should fair be proud, 

.Sith all world's glory is but dross unclean. 

And in the shade of death itself shall shroud. 

However now thereof ye little ween ! 

That goodly idol, now so gay beseen. 

Shall doff" her flesh's borrow'd fair attire ; 

And be forgot as it had never been ; 

That many now much worship and admire! 

Ne any then shall after it inquire, 

Ne any mention shall thereof remain. 

But what this verse, that never shall expire, 

Shall to yoti purchase witli her thankless pain 1 
F'air! be no longer proud of that shall perish, 
But that, which shall you make immortal, cherish.'' 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 239 

And the 69th Sonnet is still more like the model upon which Shakspere formed hi* 
55th:— 

" The famous warriors of the antique world 
Used trophies to erect in stately wise, 
In which they would the records have enroll'd 
Of their great deeds and valorous emprise. 
What trophy then shall I most tit devise, 
In which I may record the memory 
Of my love's conquest, peerless beauty's prize, 
Adornd with honour, love, and chastity ? 
Even this verse, vow"d to eternity, 
Shall be tliereof immortal monument ; 
And tell her praise to all posterity, 
That may admire such world's rare wonderment; 

The happy purchase of my glorious spoil. 

Gotten at last with labour and long toil." 

Spenser's 75th Sonnet also thus closes : 

" My verse your virtues rare shall eternize, 
And in the heavens write your glorious name. 

Where, when as Death shall all the world subdue, 
Our love shall live, and later life renew." 

Of Daniel's Sonnets, the 4Ist and 42nd furnish examples of the same tone, 
though somewhat more subdued than in Shakspere or Spenser: — 

" Be not displeas'd that these my papers should 

Bewray unto the world how fair thou art ; 

Or that my wits have show'd the best they could. 

(The chastest flame that ever warmed heart !) 

Think not, sweet Delia, this shall be thy shame, 

My muse should sound thy praise with mournful warble ; 

How many live, the glory of whose name 

Shall rest in ice, when thine is grav'd in marble ! 

Thou mayst in after ages live esteem'd, 

Unburied in these lines, reservd in pureness ; 

These s'tiall entomb those eyes, that have redeem'd 

Me from the vulgar, thee from all obscureness. 
Although my careful accents never mov'd thee. 
Yet count it no disgrace that I have lov'd thee." 

" Delia, these eyes, that so admire thine, 
Have seen those walls which proud ambition rear'd 
To check the world ; how they entomb'd have lien 
Within themselves, and on them ploughs have ear'd. 
Yet never found that barbarous hand attain'd 
The spoil of fame deserv'd by virtuous men ; 
Whose glorious actions luckily had gain'd 
The eternal annals of a happy pen. 
And therefore grieve not if thy beauties die; 
Tliough time do spoil thee of the fairest veil 
Tliat ever yet cover'd mortality ; 
And must enstar the needle and the rail. 

That grace which doth more than enwoman thee. 
Lives in my lines, and must eternal be." 

But Drayton, if he display not the energy of Shakspere, tiie fancy of Spenser, or 
the sweetness of Daniel, is not behind either in the extravagance of his admiration 



240 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

or his coiifldence in his own power. The 6th and the 44th " Ideas " are suflicient 
examples : — 

" How many paltry, foolish, painted things, 
That now in coaches trouble every street, 
Shall be forgotten, whom no poet sings. 
Ere they be well wrapp'd in their winding-sheet ! 
When I to thee eternity shall give, 
When nothing else remaineth of these days, 
And queens hereafter shall be glad to live 
Upon the alms of thy superfluous praise; 
Virgins and matrons, reading these my rhymes, 
Shall be so much delighted with thy story, 
That they shall grieve they liv'd not in these times, 
To have seen thee, their sex's only glory : 
So thou shalt fly above the vulgar throng, 
Still to survive in my immortal song." 

" Whilst thus my pen strives to eternize thee, 
Age rules my lines with wrinkles in my face, 
Where, in the map of all my misery. 
Is modell'd out the world of my disgrace : 
Whilst, in despite of tyrannizing rhymes, 
Medea-like, I make thee young again, 
Proudly thou scom'st my world-outwearing rhymes, 
And murther'st virtue with thy coy disdain ; 
And though in youth my youth untimely perish. 
To keep thee from oblivion and the grave, 
Ensuing ages yet my rhymes shall cherish. 
Where I entomb'd my better part shall save; 

And though this earthly body fade and die. 

My name shall mount upon eternity." 

We now proceed to what appears another continuous poem amongst Shakspere's 
Sonnets, addressed to the same object as the first nineteen stanzas were addressed to, 
and devoted to the same admiration of his personal beauty. The leading idea is 
now that of the spoils of Time, to be repaired only by the immortality of verse : — 

Where art thou, Muse, that thou forgett'st so long 
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might? 
Sj)end'st thou thy fury on some worthless song. 
Darkening thy power, to lend base subjects light? 
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem 
In gentle numbers time so idly spent; 
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,' 
And gives thy pen both skill and argument. 
Rise, restive Muse, my love's sweet face survey, 
If Time have any wrinkle graven there ; 
If any, be a satire to decay, 
And make Time's spoils despised everywhere. 

Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life ; 

So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife. — 100. 

O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends, 
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd ? 
Both truth and beauty on my love depends ; 
S« dost thou too, and therein dignified. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Make answer, Muse : wilt thou not haply say, 
" Truth needs no colour with his colour fix'd, 
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay ; 
But best is best, if never intermix'd?" — 
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb ? 
Excuse not silence so ; for it lies in thee 
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb, 
And to be prais'd of ages yet to be. 

Then do thy oflSce, Muse ; I teach thee how 

To make him seem long hence as he shows now. — 101. 

My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming ; 
I love not less, though less the show appear; 
That love is merchandis'd whose rich esteeming 
The owner's tongue doth publish everywhere. 
Our love was new, and then but in the spring. 
When I was wont to greet it with my lays ; 
As Philomel in summer's front doth sing, 
And stops his pipe in growth of riper days : 
Not that the summer is less pleasant now 
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night. 
But that wild music burthens every bough, 
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight. 
Therefore, like her, I sometime hold my tongue, 
Because I would not dull you with my song. — 102. 

Alack ! what poverty my Muse brings forth. 
That having such a scope to show her pride. 
The argument, all bare, is of more worth, 
Than when it hath my added praise beside. 
O blame me not if I no more can write ! 
Look in your glass, and there appears a face 
That overgoes my blunt invention quite. 
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace. 
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend. 
To mar the subject that before was well 1 
For to no other pass my verses tend, 
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell ; 

And more, much more, than in my verse can sit. 
Your own glass shows you, when you look in it. — 103. 

To me, fair friend, you never can be old. 
For as you were when first your eye I eyed, 
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters' cold 
Have from the forest shook three summers' pride ; 
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn tum'd. 
In process of the seasons have I seen, 
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd. 
Since first I saw you fresh which yet are green. 
Ah ! yet doth beauty, like a dial hand, 
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd ; 
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand, 
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd. 
Vol. XII. 



241 



242 IliUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred, 

Ere you were born, was beauty's summer dead.— 104* 

Let not my love be call'd idolatry. 

Nor my beloved as an idol show. 

Since all alike my songs and praises be. 

To one, of one, still such, and ever so. 

Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind. 

Still constant in a wondrous excellence ; 

Therefore my verse, to constancy confin'd. 

One thing expressing, leaves out difference. 

Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument. 

Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words ; 

And in this change is my invention spent, 

Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords. 
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone. 
Which three, till now, never kept seat in one. — 105. 

When in the chronicle of wasted time 
I see descriptions of the fairest wights. 
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme, 
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights, 
Then in the blazon of sweet beauty's best. 
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, 
I see their antique pen would have express'd 
Even such a beauty as you master now. 
So all their praises are but prophecies 
Of this our time, all you prefiguring ; 
And, for they look'd but with divining eyes, 
They had not skill enough your worth to sing : 
For we, which now behold these present days. 
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. — 106. 

Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul 
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come. 
Can yet the lease of my true love control, 
Suppos'd as forfeit to a confin'd doom. 
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd. 
And the sad augurs mock their own presage ; 
Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd. 
And peace proclaims olives of endless age. 
Now with the drops of this most balmy time 
My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes. 
Since spite of him I 11 live in this poor rhyme, 
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes. 
And thou in this shalt find thy monument, 
When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent. — 107. 

What 's in the brain that ink may character. 
Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit ? 
What 's new to speak, what now to register, 
That may express my love, or thy dear merit ? 
Nothing, sweet boy ; but yet, like prayers divine, 
I must each day say o'er the very same ; 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 243 

Counting no old thing old, tbou mine, I thine, 

Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name. 

So that eternal love in love's fresh case 

Weighs not the dust and injury of age, 

Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place. 

But makes antiquity for aye his page ; 
Finding the first conceit of love there bred, 
Where time and outward form would show it dead. — 108. 

If there be nothing new, but that which is 

Hath been before, how^ are our brains begull'd, 

Which labouring for invention bear amiss 

The second burthen of a former child ! 

O, that record could with a backward look. 

Even of five hundred courses of the sun, 

Show me your image in some antique book, 

Since mind at first in character was done ! 

That I might see what the old world could say 

To this composed wonder of your frame ; 

Whether we are mended, or whe'r better they, 

Or whether revolution be the same. 
O ! sure I am, the wits of former days 
To subjects worse have given admiring praise. — 59. 

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, 

So do our minutes hasten to their end ; 

Each changing place with that which goes before. 

In sequent toil all forwards do contend. 

Nativity, once in the main of light, 

Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd, 

Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight. 

And Time, that gave, doth now his gift confound. 

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth. 

And delves the parallels in beauty's brow ; 

Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth, 

And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow. 

And yet, to times in hope, my verse shall stand. 

Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand. — 60. 

Of these eleven stanzas nine are consecutive in the original, being numbered 100 
to 108. The other two, the 59th and 60th, are certainly isolated in the first ar- 
rangement ; but the idea of the 108th glides into the 69th, and closes appropri- 
ately with the 60th. But there is a short poem which stands completely alone in 
the original edition, the I26th ; and it is remarkable for being of a different metri- 
cal character, wanting the distinguishing feature of the Sonnet in its number of 
lines. Its general tendency, however, connects it with those which we have just 
given : — 

O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power 
Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his sickle, hour; 
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st 
Thy lovers withering, as thy sweet self grow "st ! 

R 2 



244 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack, 
As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back, 
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill 
May time disgrace, and wretched minutes kill. 
Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure ; 
She may detain, but not still keep her treasure : 
Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be, 
And her quietus is to render thee. — 126. 

There is an enemy as potent as Time, who cuts down the pride of yonth as tbe 
flower of the field. That enemy is Death; and the poet most skilfully present* 
the images of mortality to his " lovely boy" in connexion with the decay of the 
elder friend. In this portion of the poem there is a touching simplicity, which, 
however, is intermingled with passages which, denoting that the Poet is still speak- 
ing in character, take the stanzas, in some degree, out of the range of the real :— 

My glass shall not persuade me I am old, 
So long as youth and thou are of one date ; 
But when in thee time's furrows I behold. 
Then look I death my days should expiate. 
For all that beauty that doth cover thee 
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart, 
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me ; 
How can I then be elder than thou art ? 
O therefore, love, be of thyself so wary, 
As I not for myself but for thee will ; 
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary. 
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill. 

Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain ; 

Thou gav'st me thine, not to give back again. — 22. 

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye. 
And all my soul, and all my every part ; 
And for this sin there is no remedy. 
It is so grounded inward in my heart, 
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine. 
No shape so true, no truth of such account, 
And for myself mine own worth do define, 
As I all other in all worths surmount 
But when my glass shows me myself indeed, 
Beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity. 
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read, 
Self so self-loving were iniquity. 

'T is thee (myself) that for myself I praise. 

Painting my age with beauty of thy days. — 62. 

Against my love shall be, as I am now. 

With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'erwom ; 

When hours have drain'd his blood, and fill'd his brow 

With lines and wrinkles ; when his youthful morn 

Hath traveU'd on to age's steepy night ; 

And all those beauties, whereof now he 's king. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Are vanishing or vanish'd out of sight, 

Stealing away the treasure of his spring ; 

For such a time do I now fortify 

Against confounding age's cruel knife, 

That he shall never cut from memory 

My sweet love's beauty, though my lover's life. 
His beauty shall in these black lines be seen, 
And they shall live, and he in them, still green. — 63. 

When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd 

The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age ; 

When sometime lofty towers I see down-raa'd, 

And brass eternal, slave to mortal rage ; 

When I have seen the hungry ocean gain 

Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, 

And the firm soil win of the wat'ry main. 

Increasing store with loss, and loss with store ; 

When I have seen such interchange of state, 

Or state itself confounded to decay ; 

Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate — 

That Time will come and fake my love away. 
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose 
But weep to have that which it fears to lose. — 64. 

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea, 
But sad mortality o'ersways their power, 
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea. 
Whose action is no stronger than a flower? 
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out 
Against the wreckful siege of battering days. 
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 ? 
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back ? 
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid I 

O none, unless this miracle have might. 

That in black ink my love may still shine bright. — 65. 

Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry, — 

As, to behold desert a beggar bom, 

And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity. 

And purest faith unhappily forsworn, 

And gilded honoin: shamefully misplac'd. 

And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted, 

And right perfection wrongfully disgrac'd. 

And strength by limping sway disabled, 

And art made tongue-tied 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. — 66. 



245 



246 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Ah ! wherefore with infection should he lire, 

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 1 

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. — 67. 

Thug is his cheek the map of days outworn, 

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, 

Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay : 

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. — 68. 

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 ovm, 
In other accents do this praise confound. 
By seeing farther than the eye hath shown. 
They look into the beauty of thy mind, 
And that, in guess, they measure by thy deeds ; 
Then (churls) their thoughts, although their eyes were kind, 
To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds : 
But wliy thy odour matcheth not thy show. 
The solve is this, — that thou dost common grow. — 69. 

That thou art blam'd shall not be thy defect, 
For slander's mark was ever yet the fair ; 
The ornament of beauty is susjject, 
A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air. 
So thou be good, slander doth but approve 
Thy worth the greater, being woo'd of time : 
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love. 
And thou preseat'st a pure unstained prime. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 247 

Thou hast pass'd by die ambush of young days, 

Either not assail'd, or victor being charg'd ; 

Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise, 

To tie up envy, evermore enlarg'd : 

If some suspect of ill masked not thy show, 

Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe. — 70. 

No longer mourn for me when I am dead 
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell 
Give warning to the world that I am fled 
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell : 
Nay, if you read this line, remember not 
The hand that writ it ; for I love you so. 
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot^ 
If thinking on me then should make you woe. 
O, if (I say) you look upon this verse, 
When I perhaps compounded am with clay, 
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse; 
But let your love even with my life decay ; 

Lest the wise world should look into your moan, 

And mock you with me after I am gone. — 71. 

O, lest the world should task you to recite 

What merit liv'd in me, that you should love 

After my death, — dear love, forget me quite. 

For you in me can nothing worthy prove ; 

Unless you would devise some virtuous lie. 

To do more for me than mine own desert. 

And hang more praise upon deceased I 

Than niggard truth would willingly impart : 

O, lest your true love may seem false in this, 

That you for love speak well of me untrue, 

My name be buried where my body is. 

And live no more to shame nor me nor you. 
For I am sham'd by that which I bring forth. 
And so should you, to love things nothing worth. — 72. 

That time of year thou mayst in me behold 

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang 

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold. 

Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. 

In me thou seest the twilight of such day 

As after sunset fadeth in the west, 

Which by and by black night doth take away, 

Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. 

In me thou seest the glowing of such fire 

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, 

As the death-bed wheteon it ihust expire, 

Consum'd with that which it was hourish'd by. 

This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong 
To love that well which thou must leave ere long. — 73. 

But be contented : when that fell arrest 
Without all bail shall carry me away, 



248 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

My life hath in this liQe some interest, 

Which for memorial still with thee shall stay. 

When thou reviewest this, thou dost review 

The very part was consecrate to thee. 

The earth can have but earth, which is his due; 

My spirit is thine, the better part of me : 

So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life. 

The prey of worms, my body being dead ; 

The coward conquest of a wretch's knife. 

Too base of thee to be remembered. 

The worth of that, is that which it contains, 
And that is this, and this with thee remains. — 74. 

Or I shall live your epitaph to make, 

Or you survive when I in earth am rotten ; 

From hence your memory death cannot take,' 

Although in me each part will be forgotten. 

Your name from hence immortal life shall have, 

Though I, once gone, to all the world must die : 

The earth can yield me but a common grave, 

When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie. 

Your monument shall be my gentle verse. 

Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read; 

And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse, 

When all the breathers of this world are dead ; 
You still shall live (such virtue hath my pen) 
Where breath most breathes, — even in the mouths of men. — 81. 

Thirteen of these stanzas, the 62nd to the 74th, follow in their original order. The 
first of the fifteen, the 22nd Sonnet, stands quite alone, although its idea is con- 
tinued in the 62nd, The last of the series, the 81st, not only stands alone, but 
actually cuts off the undoubted connexion between the 80th and the 82nd Sonnets. 
The 71st to the 74th Sonnets seem bursting from a heart oppressed with a sense of 
its own unworthiness, and surrendered to some overwhelming misery. There is a 
line in the 74th which points at suicide. We cling to the belief that the sentiments 
here expressed are essentially dramatic. In the 32nd Sonnet, where we recognise 
the man Shakspere speaking in his own modest and cheerful spirit, death is to come 
across his "well-contented day." The opinion which we have endeavoured to sus- 
tain of the probable admixture of the artificial and the real in the Sonnets, arising 
from their supposed original fragmentary state, necessarily leads to the belief that 
some are accurate illustrations of the poet's situation and feelings. It is collected 
from these Sonnets, for example, that his profession as a player was disagreeable to 
him ; and this complaint is found amongst those portions which we have separated 
from the series of verses which appear to us to be written in an artificial character ; 
it might be addressed to any one of his family, or some honoured friend, such 
as Lord Southampton : — • 

" O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide, 
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds. 
That did not better for my life provide 
Than public means, which public maimers breeds. 
Tiience comes it that my name receives a brand. 
And almost thence my nature is subdued 
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand." 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 249 

But if from his professional occupation his nature was felt by him to be subdued 
to what it worked in, — if thence his name received a brand, — if vulgar scandal 
sometimes assailed him, — he had high thoughts to console him, such as were never 
before imparted to mortal. This was probably written in some period of dejection, 
when his heart was ill at ease, and he looked upon the world with a slight tinge of 
indifference, if not of dislike. Every man of high genius has felt something of 
this. It was reserved for the highest to throw it off, " like dewdrops from the lion's 
m£ine." But the profound self-abasement and despondency of the 74th Sonnet, 
exquisite as the diction is, appear to us unreal, as a representation of the mental 
state of William Shakspere ; written, as it most probably was, at a period of his 
life when he revels and luxuriates (in the comedies which belong to the close of the 
sixteenth century) in the spirit of enjoyment, gushing from a heart full of love for 
his species, at peace with itself and with all the world. 

We have thus, if we have not been led away by imaginary associations, coimected 
the verses addressed to 

" the world's fresh ornament. 
And only herald to the gaudy spring," 

in a poem, or poems, of fifty stanzas, written upon a plan by which it is obviously 
presented as a work of fiction, in which the poet displays his art in a style accord- 
ant with the existing fashion and the example of other poets. The theme is the 
personal beauty of a wonderful youth, and the strong affection of a poet. Beauty 
is to be perpetuated by marriage, and to be immortalized in the poet's verses. 
Beauty is gradually to fade before Time, but is to be still immortalized. Beauty 
is to yield to Death, as the poet himself yields, but its memory is to endure in 
" eternal lines." Separating from this somewhat monotonous theme those portions 
of a hundred and fifty-four Sonnets which do not appear essentially to belong to it, 
we separate, as we believe, more or less, what has a personal interest in these com- 
positions from what is meant to be dramatic — the real from the fictitious. Our 
theory, we well know, is liable to many objections ; but it is based upon the un- 
questionable fact that these one hundred and fifty-four Sonnets cannot be received 
as a continuous poem upon any other principle than that the author had written 
them continuously. If there are some parts which are acknowledged interpolations, 
may there not be other parts that are open to the same belief? If there are parts 
entirely different in their tone from the bulk of these Sonnets, may we not consider 
that one portion was meant to be artificial and another real, — that the poet some- 
times spoke in an assumed character, sometimes in a natural one ? This theory 
we know could not hold if the poet had himself arranged the sequence of these 
verses ; but as it is manifest that two stanzas have been introduced from a poem 
printed ten years earlier, — that others are acknowledged to be out of order, and 
others positively dragged in without the slightest connexion, — .may we not carry 
the separation still further, and, believing that the " begetter " — the getter-up — of 
these Sonnets had levied contributions upon all Shakspere's " private friends," — 
eissume that he was indifferent to any arrangement which might make each portion 
of the poem tell its own history? There is one decided advantage in the separation 
which we have proposed — the idea with which the series opens, and which is car- 
ried, here and there, in the original, through the first hundred and twenty-six 
Sonnets, does not now over-ride the whole of the series. The separate parts may be 
read with more pleasure when they are relieved from this strained and exaggerated 
association. 



There are three points connected with the opinion we have formed with regard 



250 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

to tbe entire series of Sonnets, which we must briefly notice before we leare the 
■ubject. 

The first is, the inconsistencies which obvioiuly present themselves in adopting 
the theory that the series of Sonnets— or at least the first hundred and twenty-six 
Sonnets — are addressed to one person. It is not our intention to discuss the ques- 
tion to whom they were addressed, which question depends u|K)n the adoption of the 
theory that they are addressed to one. Drake's opmion that they were addressed to 
Lord Southampton rests upon the belief that Shakspere looked up to some friend 
to whom they point, " with reverence and homage." The later theory, that Wil- 
liam Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, was their object, is supported by the facts, derived 
from Clarendon and others, that he was " a man of noble and gallant character, 
though always of a licentious life." W. H. is held to be William Herbert; and 
Mr. Hallam says, " Proofs of the low moral character of * W. H.' are continual." 
We venture to think that the term " continual " is somewhat loosely applied. 
The one " sensual fault," of which the poet complains, is obscurely hinted at in 
the 33rd, 34th, Sdth, 40th, 41st, and 42ud stanzas; and the general faults of his 
friend's character, from which the injury proceeded, are summed up in the 94th, 
95th, and 96th. We shall search in vain throughout the hundred and fifty-four 
Sonnets for any similar indications of the " low moral character " of the person 
addressed. But the supposed continuity of the poem implies arrangement, and 
therefore consistency, in the author. In the 4l8t stanza the ofie friend, according 
to this theory, is reproached for the treachery which is involved in the indulgence 
of his passions. The poet says " thou migbtst 

" chide thy beauty and thy straying youth. 
Who lead thee in their riot even there 
Where thou art forcd to break a two-fold truth." 

Again, in the 9dth stanza we have these lines : — 

" How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame, 
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose. 
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name! " 



And, 



" O, what a mansion have those vices got, 
Which for their habitation chose out thee ! " 



Here are not only secret " vices," but " shame," defacing the character. " Tongues" 
make " lascivious comments " on the story of his days. Is it to this person that in 
the 69th Sonnet we have these lines addressed ? — 

" Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view 
Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend." 

Is it to this person that the 70th Sonnet is devoted, in which are these remarkable 
words ? — 

" Thou present'st a pure unstained prime. 
Thou hast pass'd by tiie ambush of young days, 
Either not assail'd, or victor being chargd." 

These lines, be it remembered, occur between the first reproof for licentiousness 
in the 41st stanza, and the repetition of the blame in the 95th. Surely, if the 
poem is to be taken as continuous, and as addressed to one person, such contradictions 
would make us believe that the whole is based on unreality, and that the poet was 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 251 

satisfied to utter the wildest inconsistencies, merely to produce verses of exquisite 
beauty, but of" true no-meaning." 

The second point to which we would briefly request attention is the supposed 
date of the series of Sonnets. The date must, it is evident, be settled in some mea- 
sure according to the presiding belief in the person to whom they are held to be 
addressed. Mr. Hallam, who thinks the hypothesis of William Herbert sufficiently 
proved to demand our assent, says, " Pembroke succeeded to his father in 1601 : 
I incline to think that the Sonnets were written about that time, some probably 
earlier, some later." Pembroke was bom in 1580. Now, in the earlier Sonnets, 
according to the hypothesis, he might be called " beauteous and lovely youth," or 
•' sweet boy ;" but Southampton could not be so addressed unless the earlier 
Sonnets were written even before the dedication of the * Venus and Adonis ' to 
him, in 1593, for Southampton was born in 1573. Further, it is said that, whilst 
the person addressed was one who stood " on the top of happy hours," the poet who 
addressed him was 

" Seated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity," ; 

as in the 62nd Sonnet ; 

" With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'erworn," 

as in the 63rd ; and approaching tlie termination of his career, as so exquisitely 
described in the 73rd : — 

" That time of year thou mayst in me behold 

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang 

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, 

Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. 

In me thou seest the twilight of such day 

As after sunset fadeth in the west, 

Which by and by black night doth take away, 

Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. 

In me thou seest the glowing of such fire 

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie. 

As the death-bed whereon it must expire, 

Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by. 

This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong 
To love that well which thou must leave ere long." 

Most distinctly in this particular portion of the Sonnets the extreme youth of the 
person addressed is steadily kept in view. But some are written earlier, some 
later ; time is going on. In the 104th Sonnet the poet says that three winters, 
three springs, and three summers have passed 

" Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green." 

But carrying on the principle of continuity, we find that in the 138th Sonnet the 
poet's " days are past the best ;" and he adds — 

" And wherefore say not I that I am old f " 

That Sonnet, we have here to repeat, was published in ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' 
when the poet was thirty-five. But let us endeavour to find one more gleam of 
light amidst this obscurity. In one of the Sonnets in which the poet upbraids his 
friend with his licentiousness, the 94th, we have these lines : — 



252 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

" The summer's flower is to the summer sweet. 
Though to itself it only live and die ; 
But if that flower with base infection meet, 
The basest weed outbraves his dignity : 

For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds ; 

Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds." 

The thought is here quite perfect, and the image of the last line is continued from 
the Ilth and 12th, ending in a natural climax. But we have precisely the same 
line as the last in a play of Shakspere's age — one, indeed, which has been attributed 
to himself, ' The Reign of King Edward III.' Let us transcribe the passage 
where it occurs, in the scene where Warwick exhorts his daughter to resist the 
dangerous addresses of the King : — 

" That sin doth ten times aggravate Itself 
That is committed in a holy place : 
An evil deed done by authority 
Is sin and subornation : Deck an ape 
In tissue, and the beauty of the robe 
Adds but the greater scorn unto the beast. 
A spacious field of reasons could I urge 
Between his glory, daughter, and thy shame : 
That, poison shows worst in a golden cup ; 
Dark night seems darker by the lightning flash ; 
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds ; 
And every glory that inclines to sin. 
The shame is treble by the opposite." 

We doubt, exceedingly, whether the author of the 94th Sonnet, where the image 
of the festering lilies is a portion of the thought which has preceded it, would have 
transplanted it from the play, where it stands alone as an apophthegm. It seems 
more probable that the author of the play would have borrowed a line from one of 
the " sugared sonnets amongst private friends." The extreme fastidiousness re- 
quired in the composition of the Sonnet, according to Ihe poetical notions of that 
day, would not have warranted the adaptation of a line from a drama " sundry 
times played about the city of London," as the title-page tells us this was ; but the 
play, without any injury to its poetical reputation (to which, indeed, in the matter 
of plays, little respect was paid), might take a line from the Sonnet. Our 
reasoning may be defective, but our impression of the matter is very strong. The 
play was published in 1596, after being " sundry times played " in different theatres. 
William Herbert must have begun his career of licentiousness unusually early, 
and have had time to make a friend and abuse his confidence before he was fifteen 
— if the line is original in the Sonnet. 

The last point to which we shall very briefly draw the reader's attention is the 
doubt which has been stated whether the hundred and fifty-four Sonnets published 
in 1609 were the same as Meres mentioned, in 1598, as amongst the compositions 
of Shakspere, and familiar to his " private friends.'' Mr. Hallam thinks they are 
not the same, " both on account of the date, and from the peculiarly personal allu- 
sions they contain." One of the strongest of the personal allusions is contained in 
the 144th, originally printed in ' The Passionate Pilgrim.' Where could the 
printer of ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' liave obtained that Sonnet except from some one 
of Shakspere's " private friends ?" If he so obtained it, why might not the collector 
of the volume of 1609 have obtained otliers of a similar character from a similar 
source ? Would such productions have been circulated at all if they had been 
held to contain " peculiarly personal allusions f" If these are not the Sonnets 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 253 

which circulated amongst Shakgpere's " private friendg," where are those Sonnets ? 
Would Meres have spoken of them as calling to mind the sweetness of Ovid if 
only those published in ' The Psissionate Pilgrim ' had existed, many of which 
were " Verses to Music," afterwards printed as such ? Why should those Sonnets 
only have been printed which contain, or are supposed to contain, " peculiarly 
personal allusions?" The title-page of the collection of 1609 is ' Shake-speare's 
Sonnets.' We can only reconcile these matters with our belief that in 1609 were 
printed, without the cognizance of the author, all the Sonnets which could be 
found attributed to Shakspere ; that some of these formed a group of continuous 
poems ; that some were detached ; that no exact order could be preserved ; and that 
accident has arranged them in the form in'which they first were handed down to us. 

If we have succeeded in producing satisfactory evidence that many of the 
Sonnets are not presented in a natural and proper order in the original edition, — 
if we have shown that there is occasionally not only a digression from the prevail- 
ing train of thought, by the introduction of an isolated Sonnet amongst a group, 
but a jarring and unmeaning interruption to that train of thought, — we have esta- 
blished a case that the original arrangement is no part of the poet's work, because 
that arrangement violates the jjrinciples of art, which Shakspere clings to with such 
marvellous judgment in all his other productions. The inference, therefore, is that 
the author of the Sonnets did not sanction their publication — certainly did not 
superintend it. This, we think, may be proved by another course of argument. 
The edition of 1609, although, taken as a whole, not very inaccurate, is full of 
those typographical errors which invariably occur when a manuscript is put into 
the hands of a printer to deal with it as he pleases, without reference to the author, 
or to any competent editor, upon any doubtful points. Malone, in a note upon the 
77th Sonnet, very truly says, " This, their, and tht/ are so often confounded in these 
Sonnets, that it is only by attending to the context that we can discover which was 
the author's word." He is speaking of the original edition. It is evident, there- 
fore, that in the progress of the book through the press there was no one capable 
of deciphering the obscurity of the manuscript by a regard to the context. The 
manuscript, in all probability, was made up of a copy of copies; so that the 
printer even was not responsible for those errors which so clearly show the absence 
of a presiding mind in the conduct of the printing, Malone has suggested that 
these constantly recurring mistakes in the use of this, their, thy, and thine, probably 
originated in the words being abbreviated in the manuscript, according to the cus- 
tom of the time. But tliis species of mistake is by no means uniform. For 
example : from the 43rd to the 48th Sonnet these errors occur with remarkable 
frequency ; in one Sonnet, the 46th, this species of mistake happens four times. 
But we read on, and presently find that we may trust to the printed copy, which 
does not now violate the context. What can we infer from this, but that the 
separate poems were printed from diflferent manuscripts in which various systems 
of writing were employed, — some using abbreviations, some rejecting them ? 
If the one poem, as the first hundred and twenty-six Sonnets are called, had been 
printed either from the author's manuscript, or from an uniform copy of the 
author's manuscript, such differences of systematic error in some places, and of 
systematic correctness in others, would have been very unlikely to have oc- 
curred. If the poem had been printed under the author's eye, their existence would 
have been impossible. 

The theory that the first hundred and twenty-six Sonnets were a continuous poem, 
or poems, addressed to one person, and that a very young man — and that the greater 
portion of the remaining twenty-eight Sonnets had reference to a female, with whom 
there was an illicit attachment on the part of the poet and the young man — involves 



29* ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

some higher difficulties, if it is assumed that the publication was authorized by 
the author, or by the person to whom they are held to be addressed. Could Shak- 
spere, in 1609, authorize or sanction their publication? He was then living at 
Stratford, in the enjoyment of wealth ; he was forty-five years of age ; he was 
naturally desirous to associate with himself all those circumstances which constitute 
respectability of character. If the Sonnets had regard to actual circumstances 
connected with his previous career, would he, a husband, a father of two daughters, 
have authorized a publication so calculated to degrade him in the eyes of his 
family and his associates, if the verses could bear tlie construction now put upon 
them ? We think not. On the other hand, did the one person to whom they are 
held to be addressed sanction their publication? Would Lord Pembroke have 
Buffered himself to be styled " W. H,, the only begetter of these ensuing Sonnets " 
— plain Mr. W. H. — he, a nobleman, with all the pride of birth and rank about 
him — and represented in these poems as a man of licentious habits, and treacherous 
in his licentiousness? The Earl of Pembroke, in 1609, had attained great honours 
in his political and learned relations. In the Ist year of James I. he was made a 
Knight of the Garter; in 1605, upon a visit of James to Oxford, he received the 
degree of Master of Arts; in 1607 he was appointed Governor of Portsmouth; 
and, more than all these honours, he was placed in the highest station by public 
opinion ; he was, as Clarendon describes, " the most universally beloved and es- 
teemed of any man of that age." Was this the man, in his mature years, dis- 
tinctly to sanction a publication which it was understood recorded his profligacy ? 
He was of " excellent parts, and a graceful speaker upon any subject, having a 
good proportion of learning, and a ready wit to apply to it," says Clarendon. Is 
there in the Sonnets the slightest allusion to the talents of the one person to whom 
they are held to be addressed? If, then, the publication was no/ authorized, in 
either of the modes assumed, we have no warrant whatever for having regard to the 
original order of the Sonnets, and in assuming a continuity because of that order. 
What then is the alternative ? That the Sonnets were a collection of " Sibylline 
leaves " rescued from the perishableness of their written state by some person who 
had access to the high and brilliant circle in which Shakspere was esteemed j and 
that this ijcrson's scrajj-book, necessarily imperfect, and pretending to no order, 
found its way to the hands of a bookseller, who was too happy to give to that age 
what its most distinguished man had written at various periods, for his own amuse- 
ment, and for the gratification of his " private friends.'' 



We subjoin, for the more ready information of those who may be disposed to 
examine for themselves the question of the order of Shakspere's Sonnets (and it 
really is a question of great interest and rational curiosity), the results of the two 
opposite theories — of their exhibiting almost perfect continuity, on the one hand ; 
and of their being a mere collection of fragments, on the other. The one theory is 
illustrated with much ingenuity by Mr. Brown ; the other was capriciously adopted 
by the editor of the collection of 1640. 

Me. Brown's Division into Six Poems. 

First Poem. — Stanzas i. to xxvi. To his Friend, persuading him to Marry. 
Second Poem. — Stanzas xxvii. to Iv. To his Friend, who had robbed him of his 

Mistress — forgiving him. 
Third Poem. — Stanzas Ivi. to Ixxvii. To his Friend, complaining of his Coldness, 

and warning him of Life's Decay. 



ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 255 

Fourth Poem. — Stanzas Ixxviii. to ci. To his Friend, complaining that he prefers 
another Poet's Praises, and reproving him for faults that may injure his 
character. 

Ft/th Poem. — Stanzas cii. to cxxvi. To his Friend, excusing himself for having 
been sometimes silent, and disclaiming the charge of Inconstancy. 

Sixth Poem. — Stanzas cxxvii. to clii. To his Mistress, on her Infidelity, 

Arrangement of the Edition of 1640. 

%* In this arrangement the greater part of the Poems of ' The Passionate Pilgrim* 
are blended, and are here marked P. P, In this collection the following 
Sonnets are not found :— 18, 19, 43, 56, 75, 76, 96, 126. 

The Glory of Beauty. [67, 68, 69.] 

Injurious Time. [60, 63, 64, 65, 66.] 

True Admiration. [53, 54.] 

The Force of Love. [57, 58.] 

The Beauty of Nature. [59.] 

Love's Cruelty. [1, 2, 3.] 

Youthful Glory. [13, 14, 15.] 

Good Admonition. [16, 17.] 

Quick Prevention. [7.] 

Magazine of Beauty. [4, 5, 6.] 

An Invitation to Marriage. [8, 9, 10, 11, 12.] 

False Belief. [138.] 

A Temptation. [144.] 

Fast and Loose, [P. P. 1.] 

True Content. [21.] 

A bashful Lover. [23.] 

Strong Conceit. [22.] 

A sweet Provocation. [P. P. 11.] 

A constant Vow. [P. P. 3.] 

The Exchange. [20.J 

A Disconsolation. [27, 28, 29.] 

Cruel Deceit. [P. P. 4.] 

The Unconstant Lover. [P. P. 5.] 

The Benefit of Friendship. [30, 31, 32.] 

Friendly Concord. [P. P. 6.] 

Inhumanity. [P. P. 7.] 

A Congratulation. [38, 39, 40.] 

Loss and Gain. [41, 42.] 

Foolish Disdain. [P. P. 9.] 

Ancient Antipathy. [P. P. 10.] 

Beauty's Valuation. [P. P. 11. J 

Melancholy Thoughts. [44, 45.] 

Love's Loss. [P. P. 8.] 

Love's Relief. [33, 34, 35.] 

Unanimity. [36, 37.] 

Loth to Depart. [P. P. 12, 13.] 

A Masterpiece. [24.] 

Happiness in Content. [25.] 

A Dutiful Message. [26.] 

Go and come quickly, [50,51.] 

Two Faithful Friends. [46, 47.] 



256 ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS. 

Careless Neglect [48.] 

Stout Resolution. [49.] 

A Duel. [P. P. 14.] 

Love-sick. [P. P. 15.] 

Love's Labour Lost. [P. P. 16.] 

Wholesome Counsel. [P. P. 17.] 

Sat fuisse. [62.] 

A living Monument. [55.] 

Familiarity breeds Contempt. [52.] 

Patiens Armatus. [61.] 

A Valediction. [71, 72, 74.] 

Nil magriis Invidia. [70.] 

Love-sick. [80, 81.] 

The Picture of true Love. [116.] 

In Praise of his Love. [82, 83, 84, 85.] 

A Resignation. [86, 87.] 

Sympathizing Love. [P. P. 18.] 

A Request to his Scornful Love. [88, 89, 90, 91.] 

A Lover's Affection, though his Love prove Unconstanl. [92, 93, 94, 95.] 

Complaint for his Lover's Absence. [97, 98, 99.] 

An Invocation to his Muse. [100, 101.] 

Constant Affection. [104, 105, 106.] 

Amazement. [102, 103.] 

A Lover's Excuse for his long Absence. [109, 110.] 

A Complaint. [111,112.] 

Self-flattery of her Beauty. [113, 114, 115.] 

A Trial of Love's Constancy. [ 1 1 7, 1 1 8, 1 1 9.] 

A good Construction of his Love's Unklndness. [120.] 

Error in Opinion. [121.] 

Upon the Receipt of a Table-Book from bis Mistress. [122.] 

A Vow. [123.] 

Love's Safety. [124.] 

An Entreaty for her Acceptance. [125.] 

Upon her playing upon the Virginals. [128.] 

Immoderate Lust. [129.] 

In praise of her Beauty, though Black. [127, 130, 131, 132.] 

Unkind Abuse. [133, 134.] 

Love-suit. [135, 136.] 

His Heart wounded by her Eye. [137, 139, 140.] 

A Protestation. [141, 142.] 

An Allusion. [143.] 

Life and Death. [145.] 

A Consideration of Death. [146.] 

Immoderate Passion. [147.] 

Love's powerful Subtilty. [148, 149, 150.] 

Retaliation. [78, 79.] 

Sunset. [73, 77.] 

A Monument to Fame. [107, 108.] 

Peijury. [151, 152.] 

Cupid's Treachery. [153, 154.] 




Vol. XII. 



A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 



From off a hill whose concave womb re-worded* 
A plaintful story from a sistering vale. 
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded. 
And down I laid ^ to list the sad-tun'd tale : 
Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale. 
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain. 
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain. 

Upon her head a platted hive of straw. 

Which fortified her visage from the sun. 

Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw 

The carcase of a beauty spent and done. 

Time had not scythed all that youth begun. 

Nor youth all quit ; but, spite of Heaven's fell rage. 

Some beauty peep'd through lattice of sear'd age. 

Oft did she heave her napkin ^ to her eyne. 
Which on it had conceited characters,*^ 
Laund'ring^ the silken figures in the brine 
That season'd woe had pelleted ^ in tears. 
And often reading what contents it bears ; 
As often shrieking undistinguish'd woe. 
In clamours of all size, both high and low. 

'^ Re-worded — echoed. 

*• Laid. So the original. But it is usually more correctly printed lay. The 
idiomatic grammar of Shakspere's age ought not to be removed. 

" Napkin — handkerchief. lago says, of Desdemona's fatal handkerchief — 

" I am glad I have found this napkin." 
*• Conceited characters — fanciful figures worked on the handkerchief, 
e Laundering — washing. 
' Pelleted — formed info pellets, or small balls. 

S 2 



260 A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 

Sometimes her levell'd eyes their carriage ride. 
As they did battery to the spheres intend ; " 
Sometime diverted their poor balls are tied 
To th' orbed'' earth: sometimes they do extend 
Their view right on ; anon their gazes lend 
To every place at once, and nowhere fix'd. 
The mind and sight distractedly commix'd. 

Her hair, nor loose, nor tied in formal plat, 

Proclaim'd in her a careless hand of pride ; 

For some, tintuck'd, descended her sheav'd " hat. 

Hanging her pale and pined cheek beside; 

Some in her threaden fillet still did bide. 

And, true to bondage, would not break from thence. 

Though slackly braided in loose negligence. 

A thousand favours from a maund '^ she drew 

Of amber, crystal, and of bedded jet,^ 

Which one by one she in a river threw. 

Upon whose weeping margent she was set ; 

Like usury, applying wet to wet. 

Or monarch's hands, that let not bounty fall 

Where want cries " some," but where excess begs all. 

Of folded schedules had she many a one. 
Which she perus'd, sigh'd, tore, and gave the flood ; 
Crack'd many a ring of posied gold and bone. 
Bidding them find their sepulchres in mud ; 
Found yet mo'' letters sadly penn'd in blood. 



• Shakspere often employs the metaphor of a piece of ordnance ; but what in his 
plays is generally a slight allusion, here becomes a somewliat quaint conceit. 

^ Th' orbed. We retain orOed as a dissyllable, according to the origiual. Mr. 
Dyce has the orb'd. 

' Sheav'd — made of straw, collected from sheaves. 

•^ Maund — a basket. The word is used in the old translation of the Bible. 

« Bedded. So the original, the word probably meaning jet imbedded, or set, in 
some other substance. Steevens has beaded Jet, — ^jet formed into beads ; which 
Mr. Dyce adopts. 

'' Mo — more. This word is now invariably printed more. It occurs in sub- 
sequent stanzas. Why should we destroy this little archaic beauty by a rage for 
modernizing ? 



A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 



261 



With sleided silk * feat and affectedly 
Enswath'd, and scal'd to curious secresy. 

These often bath'd she in her fluxive eyes. 

And often kiss'd, and often gave'' to tear; 

Cried, " O false blood ! thou register of lies^ 

What unapproved witness dost thou bear ! 

Ink would have seem'd more black and damned here !" 

This said, in top of rage the lines she rents. 

Big discontent so breaking their contents. 

A reverend man that graz'd his cattle nigh. 
Sometime a blusterer, that the ruffle knew 
Of court, of city, and had let go by 
The swiftest hours, observed as they flew,'' 
Towards this afflicted fancy ^ lastly drew ; 

' SltiiUd silk. The commentators explain this as " untwisted silk." In the 
chorus to the fourth act of ' Pericles,' Marina is pictured — 

" When she weav'd the sleided silk 
With fingers long, small, white as milk." 

Percy, in a note on this passage, says, " untwisted silk, prepared to be used in the 
weaver's sley." The first part of this description is certainly not correct. The 
silk is not untwisted, for it must be spun before it is woven ; and a strong twisted 
silk is exactly what was required when letters were to be sealed " feat " (neatly) 
" to curious secresy." In Mr. Ramsay's Introduction to his valuable edition of 
the ' Paston Letters,' the old mode of sealing a letter is clearly described : — " It 
was carefully folded, and fastened at the end by a sort of paper strap, upon which 
the seal was affixed ; and under the seal a string, a silk thread, or even a straw, 
was frequently placed rimning around the letter." 

^ Gave. So the original. Malone changes the word to ^gan. This appears to 
us, although it has the sanction of Mr. Dyce's adoption, an unnecessary change ; 
gave is here used in the sense of gave the mind to, contemplated, made a movement 
towards, inclined to. Shakspere has several times " my mind gave me ;" and the 
word may therefore, we think, stand alone here, as expressing inclination. 

•^ Malone, by making the sentence parenthetical which begins at " sometime a 
blusterer," and ends at " swiftest hours," causes the reverend man's attention to be 
drawn to the scattered fragments of letters as they flew— a very snow-storm of let- 
ters. Surely this is nonsense! 

" The swiftest hours, observed as they flew," 

clearly show that the reverend man, although he had been engaged in the ruffle, in 
the turmoil, of the court and city, had nut suffered the swiftest hours to pass un- 
observed. He was a man of experience, and was thus qualified to give advice. 

<• Fancy is often used by Shakspere in the sense of love ; but here it means one 
that is possessed by fancy. 



262 A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 

And, privileg'd by age, desires to know 

In brief^ the grounds and motives of her woe. 

So slides he down upon his grained bat,' 
And comely-distant sits he by her side ; 
When he again desires her, being sat. 
Her grievance with his hearing to divide: 
If that from him there may be aught applied 
Which may her suffering ecstacy assuage, 
'T is promis'd in the charity of age. 

** Father," she says, " though in me you behold 
The injury of many a blasting hour. 
Let it not tell your judgment I am old ; 
Not age, but sorrow, over me hath power : 
I might as yet have been a spreading flower. 
Fresh to myself, if I had self-applied 
Love to myself, and to no love beside. 

" But woe is me ! too early I attended 
A youthful suit (it was to gain my grace) 
Of one ^ by nature's outwards so commended. 
That maiden's eyes stuck over all his face : 
Love lack'd a dwelling, and made him her place : 
And when in his fair parts she did abide, , 
She was new lodg'd, and newly deified. 

" His browny locks did hang in crooked curls ; 
And every light occasion of the wind 
Upon his lips their silken parcels hurls. 
What 's sweet to do, to do will aptly find : 
Each eye that saw him did enchant the mind ; 
For on his visage was in little drawn. 
What largeness thinks in paradise was sawn."^ 

" Bat— club. 

^ Of one — the original reads O one. 

« Sawn. Malone explains tliis as seen ; but Boswell says that the word means 
town, and that it is still so pronounced in Scotland. 



A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 263 

'* Small show of man was yet upon liis chin ; 
His phoenix down began but to appear. 
Like unshorn velvet, on that termless skin. 
Whose bare out-bragg'd the web it seem'd to wear ; 
Yet show'd his visage* by that cost more*" dear; 
And nice aiFections wavering stood in doubt 
If best 't were as it was, or best without. 

" His qualities were beauteous as his form. 

For maiden-tongued he was, and thereof free ; 

Yet, if men mov'd him, was he such a storm 

As oft 'twixt May and April is to see. 

When winds breathe sweet, unruly though they be. 

His rudeness so with his authoriz'd youth 

Did livery falseness in a pride of truth. 

" Well could he ride, and often men would say 

That horse his mettle from his rider takes : 

Proud of subjection, noble by the sway. 

What rounds, what bounds, what course, what stop he makes ! 

And controversy hence a question takes. 

Whether the horse by him became his deed. 

Or he his manage by the well-doing steed. 

" But quickly on this side the verdict went ; 
His real habitude gave life and grace 
To appertainings and to ornament, 
Accomplish'd in himself, not in his case : "^ 
All aids, themselves made fairer by their place. 
Can ^ for additions ; yet their purpos'd trim 
Piec'd not his grace, but were all grac'd by him. 



" Fisage is the inverted nominative case to showed. 

^ More. So the original : in all the modern editions we have most. 

"^ Case — outward show. 

<• Can is the original reading; but Malone changed it to came, and he justifies 
the change by a passage in ' Macbeth,' Act I., Sc. 3, where he supposes the same 
mistake occurred. In that passage we did not receive the proposed correction ; 
nor do we think it necessary to receive it liere. Can is constaxitly used by the old 
writers, especially by Spenser, in the sense o^ began ; and that sense, began for ad- 
ditions, is as intelligible as came for additions. For is used in the sense of as. 



264 A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 

" So on the tip of his subduing tongue 
All kind of arguments and question deep. 
All replication prompt, and reason strong. 
For his advantage still did wake and sleep : 
To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep. 
He had the dialect and different skill. 
Catching all passions in his craft of will ; 

" That he did in the general bosom reign 
Of young, of old ; and sexes both enchanted. 
To dwell with him in thoughts, or to remain 
In personal duty, following where he haunted : 
Consents bewitch'd, ere he desire, have granted ; 
And dialogued for him what he would say, 
Ask'd their own wills, and made their wills obey. 

" Many there were that did his picture get. 

To serve their eyes, and in it put their mind ; 

Like fools that in the imagination set 

The goodly objects which abroad they find 

Of lands and mansions, theirs in thought assign'd ; 

And labouring in mo pleasures to bestow them. 

Than the true gouty landlord which doth owe them 

" So many have, that never touch'd his hand. 
Sweetly suppos'd them mistress of his heart. 
My woeful self, that did in freedom stand, 
And was my own fee-simple, (not in part,) 
What with his art in youth, and youth in art. 
Threw my affections in his charmed power, 
Reserv'd the stalk, and gave him all my flower. 

" Yet did I not, as some my equals did. 
Demand of him, nor being desired yielded ; 
Finding myself in honour so forbid. 



' There is a similar sarcastic thought in ' Timon,' where the misanthrope, address- 
ing himself to the gold he had found, says — 

" Thou 'It go, strong thief, 
When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand." 



A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 265 

With safest distance I mine honour shielded : 
Experience for me many bulwarks builded 
Of proofs new-bleeding, which remain'd the foil 
Of this false jewel, and his amorous spoil. 

" But ah ! who ever shunn'd by precedent 

The destin'd ill she must herself assay ? 

Or forc'd examples, 'gainst her own content. 

To put the by-pass'd perils in her way ? 

Counsel may stop a while what will not stay ; 

For when we rage, advice is often seen 

By blunting us to make our wits more keen. 

" Nor gives it satisfaction to our blood. 
That we must curb it upon others' proof. 
To be forbid the sweets that seem so good. 
For fear of harms that preach in our behoof. 
O appetite, from judgment stand aloof! 
The one a palate hath that needs will taste. 
Though reason weep, and cry It is thy last. 

" For further I could say, This man 's untrue. 
And knew the patterns of his foul beguiling ; 
Heard where his plants in others' orchards grew. 
Saw how deceits were gilded in his smiling; 
Knew vows were ever brokers to defiling ; 
Thought * characters and words, merely but art. 
And bastards of his foul adulterate heart. 

" And long upon these terms I held my city. 
Till thus he 'gan besiege me : Gentle maid. 
Have of my suffering youth some feeling pity. 
And be not of my holy vows afraid : 
That 's to you sworn, to none was ever said ; 

a Malone — and he ig followed in all modem editions — puts a comma after 
thought, and says, " it is here, I believe, a substantive." Surely thought is a verb. 
We have a regular sequence of verbs — heard — saw — knew — thought. How can 
thought be art? the art is in the expression of the thoughts by " characters and 
words." He who said " words were given us to conceal our thoughts" is a better 
commentator upon the passage than Malone. 



266 A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 

For feasts of love I have been call'd unto. 
Till now did ne'er invite, nor never vow. 

" All my offences that abroad you see 

Are errors of the blood, none of the mind; 

Love made them not ; with acture * they may be. 

Where neither party is nor true nor kind : 

They sought their shame that so their shame did find ; 

And so much less of shame in me remains, 

By how much of me their reproach contains. 

" Among the many that mine eyes have seen. 

Not one whose flame my heart so much as warm'd. 

Or my affection put to the smallest teen,'' 

Or any of my leisures ever charm'd : 

Harm have I done to them, but ne'er was harm'd ; 

Kept hearts in liveries, but mine own was free. 

And reign'd, commanding in his monarchy. 

" Look here what tributes wounded fancies sent me. 

Of paled pearls, and rubies red as blood ; 

Figuring that they their passions likewise lent me 

Of grief and blushes, aptly understood 

In bloodless white and the encrimson'd mood ; 

Effects of terror and dear modesty, 

Encamp'd in hearts, but fighting outwardly. 

" And lo ! behold these talents "= of their hair. 
With twisted metal amorously impleach'd/' 
I have receiv'd from many a several fair, 
(Their kind acceptance weepingly beseech'd,) 
With the annexions of fair gems enrich'd. 
And deep-brain'd sonnets that did amplify 
Each stone's dear nature, worth, and quality. 

" The diamond, why 't was beautiful and hard. 
Whereto his invis'd^ properties did tend; 

" Acture is explained aa synonymous with action. ^ Teen — griet'. 

"^ Talents is here used in tlie sense of something precious. 
'' Inipkacfi d — interwoven. " Invis'd — invisible. 



A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 267 

The deep-green emerald, in whose fresh regard 
Weak sights their sickly radiance do amend ; 
The heaven-hued sapphire and the opal blend 
With objects manifold ; each several stone. 
With wit well blazon'd, smil'd or made some moan. 

" Lo ! all these trophies of affections hot. 
Of pensiv'd and subdued desires the tender. 
Nature hath charg'd me that I hoard them not. 
But yield them up where I myself must render. 
That is, to you, my origin and ender : 
For these, of force, must your oblations be. 
Since I their altar, you enpatron me. 

" O then advance of yours that phraseless hand. 
Whose white weighs down the airy scale of praise ; 
Take all these similes to your own command. 
Hallow 'd with sighs that burning lungs did raise; 
What me your minister, for you obeys. 
Works under you ; and to your audit comes 
Their distract parcels in combined sums. 

" Lo ! this device was sent me from a nun. 
Or sister sanctified of holiest note ; 
Which late her noble suit* in court did shun. 
Whose rarest havings ^ made the blossoms '^ dote ; 
For she was sought by spirits of richest coat,*^ 
But kept cold distance, and did thence remove. 
To spend her living in eternal love. 

" But O, my sweet, what labour is 't to leave 

The thing we have not, mastering what not strives ? 

Paling^ the place which did no form receive. 



• Suit. " The noble suit in court " is, we think, the suit made to her in court. 
Mr. Dyce says suitors. 

^ Havings. Malone receives tliis as accomplishments — Mr. Dyce ax fortune. 
•= Blossoms — young men ; the flower of the nobility. 
'' Of richest coat — of highest descent. 

* Paling. In the old copy playing. Malone's emendation o( paling is sensible 
as well as ingenious. 



268 A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 

Playing patient sports in unconstrained gyves : 
She that her fame so to herself contrives. 
The scars of battle 'scapeth by the flight. 
And makes her absence valiant, not her might. 

" O pardon me, in that my boast is true ; 
The accident which brought me to her eye. 
Upon the moment did her force subdue. 
And now she would the caged cloister fly : 
Religious love put out religion's eye : 
Not to be tempted, would she be immur'd. 
And now, to tempt all, liberty procur'd. 

" How mighty then you are, O hear me tell ! 

The broken bosoms that to me belong 

Have emptied all their fountains in my well. 

And mine I pour your ocean all among : 

I strong o'er them, and you o'er me being strong. 

Must for your victory us all congest. 

As compound love to physic your cold breast. 

" My parts had power to charm a sacred sun. 
Who, disciplin'd and dieted " in grace, 
Believ'd her eyes when they to assail begun. 
All vows and consecrations giving place. 
O most potential love ! vow, bond, nor space. 
In thee hath neither sting, knot, nor confine. 
For thou art all, and all things else are thine. 

" When thou impressest, what are precepts worth 

Of stale example? When thou wilt inflame. 

How coldly those impediments stand forth 

Of wealth, of filial fear, law, kindred, fame ! 

Love's arms are peace, 'gainst rule, 'gainst sense, 'gainst shame. 

And sweetens, in the suffering pangs it bears. 

The aloes of all forces, shocks, and fears. 



» And dieted. The old copy reads / died. A correspondent suggested the 
change to Malone. 



A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 269 

" Now all these hearts that do on mine depend. 
Feeling it break, with bleeding groans they pine. 
And supplicant their sighs to you extend. 
To leave the battery that you make 'gainst mine. 
Lending soft audience to my sweet design. 
And credent soul to that strong-bonded oath. 
That shall prefer and undertake my troth. 

" This said, his watery eyes he did dismount. 
Whose sights till then were levell'd on my face ; 
Each cheek a river running from a fount 
With brinish current downward flow'd apace : 
O how the channel to the stream gave grace ! 
Who, glaz'd with crystal, gate* the glowing roses 
That flame through water which their hue encloses. 

" O father, what a hell of witchcraft lies 

In the small orb of one particular tear ! 

But with the inundation of the eyes 

What rocky heart to water will not wear ? 

What breast so cold that is not warmed here ? 

O cleft effect ! ^ cold modesty, hot wrath. 

Both fire from hence and chill extincture hath ! 

" For lo ! his passion, but an art of craft. 

Even there resolv'd my reason into tears ; 

There my white stole of chastity I daff''d. 

Shook off" my sober guards, and civiP fears; 

Appear to him, as he to me appears. 

All melting ; though our drops this difference bore. 

His poison'd me, and mine did him restore. 

" In him a plenitude of subtle matter. 
Applied to cautels,^ all strange forms receives. 
Of burning blushes, or of weeping water, 

" Gate — got, procured. 

•> cUft effect. The reading of the original is Or^ cleft effect. Malone substi- 
tuted " cleft effect:' 
<= Civil — decorous. 
■* Cauteli — deceitful purposes. 



270 A LOVER'S COMPLAINT. 

Or swooning paleness ; and he takes and leaves. 
In cither's aptness, as it best deceives. 
To blush at speeches rank, to weep at woes. 
Or to turn white and swoon at tragic shows ; 

" That not a heart which in his level came 
Could scape the hail of his all-hurting aim. 
Showing fair nature is both kind and tame ; 
And, veil'd in them, did win whom he would maim 
Against the thing he sought he would exclaim ; 
When he most burn'd in heart-wish'd luxury. 
He preach'd pure maid, and prais'd cold chastity. 

" Thus merely with the garment of a Grace 
The naked and concealed fiend he cover'd. 
That the unexperienc'd gave the tempter place. 
Which, like a cherubin, above them hover'd. 
Who, young and simple, would not be so lover'd ? 
Ah me ! I fell ; and yet do question make 
What I should do again for such a sake. 

" O, that infected moisture of his eye, 
O, that false fire which in his cheek so glow'd, 
O, that forc'd thunder from his heart did fly, 
O, that sad breath his spongy lungs bestow'd, 
O, all that borrow'd motion, seeming ow'd,' 
Would yet again betray the fore-betray 'd. 
And new pervert a reconciled maid." 

' Ow'd — owned ; hia own. 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 



Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye, 
'Gainst whom the world could not hold argument. 
Persuade my heart to this false perjury ? 
Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment. 
A woman I forswore ; but I will prove. 
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee : 
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love ; 
Thy grace being gain'd cures all disgrace in me. 
My vow was breath, and breath a vapour is ; 
Then, thou fair sun, that on this earth doth shine. 
Exhale this vapour vow ; in thee it is : 
If broken, then it is no fault of mine. 
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise 
To lose an oath, to win a paradise ? * 



Sweet Cytherea, sitting by a brook. 
With young Adonis, lovely, fresh, and green. 
Did court the lad with many a lovely look. 
Such looks as none could look but beauty's queen. 

" The foregoing Sonnet appears, witli some variations, in ' Love's Labour 's Lost,' 
the first edition of which was printed in 1598. We give the lines in which the 
variations occur : — 

" 'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument." 
" Fows are but breath, and breath a vapour is ; 

Then thou fair sun, which on wry earth dost shine, 

ExhaPst this vapour vow ; in thee it is." 

The text of the play is evidently superior to that in ' The Passionate Pilgrim.' 



272 THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 

She told him stories to delight his ear ; 

She show'd him favours to allure his eye ; 

To win his heart, she touch'd him here and there : 

Touches so soft still conquer chastity. 

But whether unripe years did want conceit. 

Or he refus'd to take her figur'd proifer. 

The tender nibbler would not touch the bait. 

But smile and jest at every gentle offer : 

Then fell she on her back, fair queen, and toward . 

He rose and ran away ; ah, fool too froward ! 



If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love ? 

O never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow'd : 

Though to myself forsworn, to thee I '11 constant prove ; 

Those thoughts, to me like oaks, to thee like osiers bow'd. 

Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes. 

Where all those pleasures live that art can comprehend. 

If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice ; 

Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend ; 

All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder; 

Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire : 

Thine eye Jove's lightning seems, thy voice his dreadful 
thunder. 

Which (not to anger bent) is music and sweet fire. 
Celestial as thou art, O do not love that wrong. 
To sing the heavens' praise with such an earthly tongue.* 



Scarce had the sun dried up the dewy morn. 
And scarce the herd gone to the hedge for shade. 



• Thig Sonnet also occurs in ' Love's Labour 's Lost,' in which copy there are 
variations in several lines. In the second we read, " Ak, never faith ;" in the 
third, "/ai/A/w/ prove ;" in the fourth, "were oaks;" in f lie sixth, " w^oM/rf com- 
prehend ;" in the eleventh, " lightning bears." The concluding lines are as fol- 
lows : — 

" Celestial as thou art, oh pardon, love, this wrong, 
That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue.'' 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 

When Cytherea, all in love forlorn, 

A longing tarriance for Adonis made. 

Under an osier growing by a brook, 

A brook where Adon used to cool his spleen. 

Hot was the day ; she hotter that did look 

For his approach, that often there had been. 

Anon he comes, and throws his mantle by. 

And stood stark naked on the brook's green brim 

The sun look'd on the world with glorious eye, 

Yet not so wistly as this queen on him : 

He, spying her, bounc'd in, whereas he stood ; 

O Jove, quoth she, why was not I a flood ? 



Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle ; 

Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty ; 

Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle ; 

Softer than wax, and yet, as iron, rusty: 
A lily pale, with damask die to grace her. 
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her. 

Her lips to mine how often hath she join'd. 
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing ! 
How many tales to please me hath she coin'd. 
Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing ! 
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings. 
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings. 

She burn'd with love, as straw with fire flameth. 
She burn'd out love, as soon as straw out burneth ; 
She fram'd the love, and yet she foil'd the framing. 
She bade love last, and yet she fell a turning. 

Was this a lover, or a lecher whether ? 

Bad in the best, though excellent in neither. 



If music and sweet poetry agree. 
As they must needs, the sister and the brother. 
Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me. 
Because thou lov'st the one, and I the other. 

Vol. XII. 



273 



274 THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 

Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch 
Upon the lute doth ravish human sense ; 
Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such. 
As, passing all conceit, needs no defence. 
Thou lov'st to hear the sweet melodious sound 
That Phoebus' lute, the queen of music, makes ; 
And I in deep delight am chiefly drown'd, 
Whenas himself to singing he betakes. 

One god is god of both, as poets feign ; 

One knight loves both, and both in thee remain. 

T. 

Fair was the mom, when the fair queen of love,* 

Paler for sorrow than her milk-white dove. 

For Aden's sake, a youngster proud and wild ; 

Her stand she takes upon a steep-up hill ; 

Anon Adonis comes with horn and hounds ; 

She, silly queen, with more than love's good will. 

Forbade the boy he should not pass those grounds ; 

Once, quoth she, did I see a fair sweet youth 

Here in these brakes deep-wounded with a boar. 

Deep in the thigh, a spectacle of ruth ! 

See in my thigh, quoth she, here was the sore : 
She showed hers ; he saw more wounds than one. 
And blushing fled, and left her all alone. 

Sweet rose, fair flower, untimely pluck'd, soon vaded,** 

Pluck'd in the bud, and vaded in the spring ! 

Bright orient pearl, alack ! too timely shaded ! 

Fair creature, kill'd too soon by death's sharp sting ! 
Like a green plum that hangs upon a tree. 
And falls, through wind, before the fall should be. 



• The second line is lost. 

*> Faded — faded. This form of the word often occurs in Shakspere, and has been 
too frequently changed in reprints. 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 275 

I weep for thee, and yet no cause I have ; 
For why ? thou left'st me nothing in thy will. 
And yet thou left'st me more than I did crave ; 
For why ? I craved nothing of thee still : 

O yes, dear friend, T pardon crave of thee ; 

Thy discontent thou didst bequeath to me. 



Venus, with Adonis" sitting by her. 

Under a myrtle shade, began to woo him : 

She told the youngling how god Mars did try her. 

And as he fell to her, she fell to him. 

Even thus, quoth she, the warlike god embrac'd me ; 

And then she clipp'd Adonis in her arms : 

Even thus, quoth she, the warlike god unlac'd me ; 

As if the boy should use like loving charms. 

Even thus, quoth she, he seized on my lips, 

And with her lips on his did act the seizure ; 

And as she fetched breath, away he skips. 

And would not take her meaning nor her pleasure. 

Ah ! that I had my lady at this bay. 

To kiss and clip me till I run away ! 

10. 

Crabbed age and youth 

Cannot live together ; 
Youth is full of pleasance. 

Age is full of care : 
Youth like summer morn. 

Age like winter weather ; 
Youth like summer brave. 

Age like winter bare. 

a This Sonnet is found in ' Fidessa,' by B. Griffin, 1596. There are great varia- 
tions in that copy, for which see Illustrations. Amongst others we have (he epi- 
tliet young before Adonis. If we make a pause after Venus, the epithet is not 
necessary to the metre. The fourth line is given more metrically in ' Fidessa:' — 
" And as he fell to her, so she fell to him." 

T 2 



276 THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 

Youth is full of sport. 
Age's breath is short. 

Youth is nimble, age is lame : 
Youth is hot and bold, 
Age is weak and cold; 

Youth is wild, and age is tame. 
Age, I do abhor thee. 
Youth, I do adore thee ; 

O, my love, my love is young I 
Age, I do defy thee ; 
O sweet shepherd, hie thee. 

For methinks thou stay'st too long. 

II. 

Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good, 
A shining gloss, that vadeth suddenly : 
A flower that dies, when first it 'gins to bud ; 
A brittle glass, that 's broken presently : 

A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower. 

Lost, vaded, broken, dead within an hour. 

And as goods lost are seld or never found. 

As vaded gloss no rubbing will refresh. 

As flowers dead lie wither'd on the ground. 

As broken glass no cement can redress," 
So beauty, blemish'd once, for ever 's lost. 
In spite of physic, painting, pain, and cost. 

12. 

Good night, good rest. Ah ! neither be my share : 
She bade good night, that kept my rest away ; 

» In the twenty-ninth volume of the ' Gentleman's Magazine' a copy of this 
poem is given, as from an ancient manuscript, in which there are the following 
variations : — 

" And as goods lost are seld or never found, 
As faded gloss no rubbing will excite, 
As flowers dead lie wither'd on the ground, 
As broken glass no cement can unite." 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 277 

And daff'd me to a cabin hang'd with care. 
To descant on the doubts of my decay. 

Farewell, quoth she, and come again to-morrow ; 

Fare well I could not, for I supp'd with sorrow. 

Yet at my parting sweetly did she smile. 
In scorn or friendship, nill I construe whether : 
'T may be, she joy'd to jest at my exile, 
'T may be, again to make me wander thither : 
Wander, a word for shadows like myself. 
As take the pain, but cannot pluck the pelf. 

13. 

Lord, how mine eyes throw gazes to the east ! 

My heart doth charge the watch; the morning rise 

Doth cite each moving sense from idle rest. 

Not daring trust the office of mine eyes. 

While Philomela sits and sings, I sit and mark. 
And wish her lays were tuned like the lark ; 

For she doth welcome daylight with her ditty. 
And drives away dark dismal-dreaming night : 
The night so pack'd, I post unto my pretty ; 
Heart hath his hope, and eyes their wished sight ; 

Sorrow chang'd to solace, solace mix'd with sorrow ; 

For why? she sigh'd, and bade me come to-morrow. 

Were I with her, the night would post too soon ; 
But now are minutes added to the hours ; 
To spite me now, each minute seems a moon;* 
Yet not for me, shine sun to succour flowers ! 

Pack night, peep day ; good day, of night now borrow ; 

Short, night, to-night, and length thyself to-morrow. 

* A moon. The original has an hour — evidently a misprint. The emendation 
of moon, in the sense of month, is by Steevens, and it ought to atone for some faults 
of the commentator. 



278 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 



SONNETS 



SUNDRY NOTES OF MUSIC. 



14. 



It was a lording's daughter, the fairest one of three. 

That liked of her master as well as well might be. 

Till looking on an Englishman, the fairest that eye could see. 

Her fancy fell a turning. 
Long was the combat doubtful, that love with love did fight. 
To leave the master loveless, or kill the gallant knight : 
To put in practice either, alas it was a spite 

Unto the silly damsel. 
But one must be refused, more mickle was the pain, 
That nothing could be used, to turn them both to gain. 
For of the two the trusty knight was wounded with disdain : 

Alas, she could not help it ! 
Thus art, with arms contending, was victor of the day, 
Which by a gift of learning did bear the maid away ; 
Then lullaby, the learned man hath got the lady gay ; 

For now my song is ended. 



15. 



On a day (alack the day !), 
Love, whose month was ever May, 
Spied a blossom passing fair. 
Playing in the wanton air : 
Through the velvet leaves the wind. 
All unseen, 'gan passage find ; 
That the lover, sick to death, 
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath. 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 279 

Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow ; 
Air, would I might triumph so ! 
But, alas, my hand hath sworn 
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn : 
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet. 
Youth, so apt to pluck a sweet. 
Thou for whom Jove would swear 
Juno but an Ethiope were ; 
And deny himself for Jove, 
Turning mortal for thy love.* 

16. 

My flocks feed not. 
My ewes breed not, 
My rams speed not. 

All is amiss : 
Love is dying. 
Faith 's defying. 
Heart *s denying, 

Causer of this.'' 
All my merry jigs are quite forgot. 
All my lady's love is lost, God wot : 
Where her faith was firmly fix'd in love. 
There a nay is plac'd without remove. 
One silly cross 
Wrought all my loss ; 



" This beautiful little poem also occurs in * Love's Labour 's Lost.' In that 
copy in the'second line we find " is every May :" evert/, which is repeated in the 
folio of 1623, is clearly a mistake. In the eleventh line we have — 

" But, alack, my hand is sworn." 

In the play there is a couplet not found in • The Passionate Pilgrim :' — 

" Do not call it sin in me. 
That I am forsworn for thee." 

These lines precede " Thou for whom." 

^ We have two other ancient copies of this poem — one in ' England's Helicon,' 
1600 ; the other in a collection of Madrigals by Thomas Weelkes, 1597. In 'Eng- 
land's Helicon' these lines are thus given : — 

" Love is denying, Faith is defying ; 
Hearts renging (renying), causer of this.'' 



280 THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 

O frowning Fortune, cursed, fickle dame ! 
For now I see, 
Inconstancy 

More in women than in men remain. 

In black mourn I, 
All fears scorn I, 
Love hath forlorn me. 

Living in thrall : 
Heart is bleeding. 
All help needing, 
(O cruel speeding !) 

Fraughted with gall. 
My shepherd's pipe can sound no deal,' 
My wether's bell rings doleful knell ; 
My curtail dog, that wont to have play'd. 
Plays not at all, but seems afraid -, 
With sighs so deep. 
Procures^ to weep. 

In howling-wise, to see my doleful plight. 
How sighs resound 
Through heartless ground. 

Like a thousand vanquish'd men in bloody fight ! 

Clear wells spring not. 
Sweet birds sing not. 
Green plants bring not 

Forth; they die:'= 
Herds stand weeping, 
Flocks all sleeping. 
Nymphs back peeping 

Fearfully. 
All our pleasure known to us poor swains. 
All our merry meetings on the plains, 

' No deal — in no degree : some deal and no deal were common expressions. 

*> Procures. The curtail dog is the nominative case to this verb. 

" The reading in Weelkes's ' Madrigals' is an improvement of this passage :- 

" Loud bells ring not 
Cheerfully." 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 281 

All our evening sport from us is fled. 
All our love is lost, for Love is dead. 
Farewell, sweet lass,'' 
Thy like ne'er was 

For a sweet content, the cause of all my moan : '' 
Poor Coridon 
Must live alone. 

Other help for him I see that there is none. 

IT. 

Whenas thine eye hath chose the dame. 
And stall'd the deer that thou shouldst strike," 
Let reason rule things worthy blame. 
As well as fancy, partial might : "^ 

Take counsel of some wiser head. 

Neither too young, nor yet unwed. 

And when thou com'st thy tale to tell. 
Smooth not thy tongue with filed talk. 
Lest she some subtle practice smell ; 
(A cripple soon can find a halt :) 

But plainly say thou lov'st her well. 

And set her person forth to sell.® 

What though her frowning brows be bent. 
Her cloudy looks will calm^ ere night; 
And then too late she will repent. 
That thus dissembled her delight ; 

'» Lass. This is the reading of Weelkes. * The Passionate Pilgrim ' has love. 

^ Moati, This is the reading in ' England's Helicon.' ' The Passionate Pil- 
grim' has woe. 

' Strike. So the original. Mr. Dyce, who seldom indulges in conjectural 
emendation, alters the word to smite, '' for the sake of the rhyme.'' This we think 
is scarcely allowable ; for there are many examples of loose rhymes in these little 
poems. In the seventh stanza of this poem we have nought to rhyme with oft. 

^ Fancy is here used as hve, and might as power. Steevens, mischievously we 
should imagine, changed partial might to partial tike ; and Malone adopts this 
reading, which makes Cupid a bull-dog. 

* Sell. The reading of ' The Passionate Pilgrim' is sale. A manuscript in the 
possession of Mr. Lysons gives us sell. 

^ Calm is the reading of ' The Passionate Pilgrim ;' the manuscript just men- 
tioned Was clear. 



282 THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 

And twice desire, ere it be day. 
That which with scorn she put away. 

What though she strive to try her strength. 
And ban and brawl, and say thee nay, 
Her feeble force will yield at length. 
When craft hath taught her thus to say : 
" Had women been so strong as men. 
In faith you had not had it then." 

And to her will frame all thy ways ; 

Spare not to spend, — and chiefly there 

Where thy desert may merit praise. 

By ringing in thy lady's ear : 

The strongest castle, tower, and town. 
The golden bullet beats it down. 

Serve always with assured trust. 
And in thy suit be humble, true ; 
Unless' thy lady prove unjust, 
Press never thou to choose anew : 

When time shall serve, be thou not slack 
To proffer, though she put thee back. 

The wiles and guiles that women work. 
Dissembled with an outward show. 
The tricks and toys that in them lurk. 
The cock that treads them shall not know. 
Have you not heard it said full oft, 
A woman's nay doth stand for nought ? 

Think women still to strive with men. 
To sin, and never for to saint : 
There is no heaven, by holy then. 
When time with age shall them attaint.* 

» These four lines are thus given in Mr. Lysons's manuscript : — 
" Think women love to match with men. 
And not to live so like a saint : 
Here is no heaven ; they holy then 
Begin, when age doth them attaint." 
The one copy is somewhat more intelligible than the other. 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. ^83 

Were kisses all the joys in bed. 
One woman would another wed. 

But soft; enough, — too much I fear. 
Lest that my mistress hear my song ; 
She '11 not stick to round me i' th' ear, 
To teach my tongue to be so long : 

Yet will she blush, here be it said. 

To hear her secrets so bewray'd. 

18. 

Live with me and be my love, 
And we will all the pleasures prove 
That hills and valleys, dales and fields. 
And all the craggy mountains yields. 

There will we sit upon the rocks. 
And see the shepherds feed their flocks. 
By shallow rivers, by whose falls 
Melodious birds sing madrigals. 

There will I make thee a bed of roses. 
With a thousand fragrant posies, 
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle 
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle. 

A belt of straw and ivy buds, * 

With coral clasps and amber studs ; 
And if these pleasures may thee move. 
Then live with me, and be my love. 

LOVE'S ANSWER. 

If that the world and love were young, 
And truth in every shepherd's tongue. 
These pretty pleasures might me move 
To live with thcc and be thy love.* 



" We insert this poem in the order in which it apjiears in ' The Passionate Pil- 
grim.' Tlie variations of other copies will be found in our Illustrations. 



284 THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 

10. 

As it fell upon a day, 

In the merry month of May, 

Sitting in a pleasant shade 

Which a grove* of myrtles made. 

Beasts did leap, and birds did sing. 

Trees did grow, and plants did spring : 

Everything did banish moan. 

Save the nightingale alone : 

She, poor bird, as all forlorn, 

Lean'd her breast up-till'' a thorn. 

And there sung the dolefull'st ditty. 

That to hear it was great pity : 

Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry, 

Teru, Teru, by and by : 

That to hear her so complain. 

Scarce I could from tears refrain ; 

For her griefs so lively shown. 

Made me think upon mine own. 

Ah ! thought T, thou mourn'st in vain ; 

None take pity on thy pain : 

Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee ; 

Ruthless bears," they will not cheer thee. 

King Pandion, he is dead ; 

All thy friends are lapp'd in lead : 

All thy fellow-birds do sing. 

Careless of thy sorrowing. 

[Even so, poor bird, like thee. 

None alive will pity me.'*] 

Whilst as fickle Fortune smil'd. 

Thou and I were both beguil'd. 

* This poem is also incompletely printed in ' England's Helicon ;' where it bears 
the signature Ignoto. There are some variations in the twenty-eight lines there 
given, as in the case before us, of grove in ' The Passionate Pilgrim,' whicli in 
' England's Helicon' is group. 

^ Up-till. This is given against in ' England's Helicon.' 

■^ Bears. In ' England's Helicon' beasts. 

^ The poem in ' England's Helicon' here ends; but the two lines with which it 
concludes are wanting in ' The Passionate Pilgrim.' 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 

Every one that flatters thee 

Is no friend in misery. 

Words are easy like the wind ; 

Faithful friends are hard to find. 

Every man will be thy friend 

Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend ; 

But if store of crowns be scant. 

No man will supply thy want. 

If that one be prodigal. 

Bountiful they will him call : 

And with such-like flattering, 

" Pity but he were a king." 

If he be addict to vice. 

Quickly him they will entice ; 

If to women he be bent. 

They have him at commandement ; 

But if fortune once do frown. 

Then farewell his great renown : 

They that fawn'd on him before. 

Use his company no more. 

He that is thy friend indeed. 

He will help thee in thy need ; 

If thou sorrow, he will weep ; 

If thou wake, he cannot sleep : 

Thus of every grief in heart 

He with thee doth bear a part. 

These are certain signs to know 

Faithful friend from flattering foe. 



THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. 



SONG. 



Take, oh, take those lips away. 

That so sweetly were forsworn. 
And those eyes, the break of day, 

Lights that do mislead the morn : 
But my kisses bring again. 
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain. 

Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow. 

Which thy frozen bosom bears. 
On whose tops the pinks that grow 

Are of those that April wears. 
But first set my poor heart free. 
Bound in those icy chains by thee." 

" Tlie collection entitled ' The Passionate Pilgrim,' &c., ends with the ' Sonnet 
to Sundry Notes of Music ' which we have numbered 19. Malone adds to the 
collection this exquisite song, of which we find the first verse in * Measure for 
Measure.' (See Illustrations.) 



VERSES 



AMONO THE 



ADDITIONAL POEMS TO CHESTER'S LOVE'S MARTYR, 

IGOl. 



Let the bird of loudest lay. 

On the sole Arabian tree/ 

Herald sad and trumpet be. 

To whose sound chaste wings obey. 

But thou, shrieking harbinger. 
Foul pre-currer of the fiend. 
Augur of the fever's end. 
To this troop come thou not near. 

From this session interdict 
Every fowl of tyrant wing. 
Save the eagle, feather'd king : 
Keep the obsequy so strict. 

Let the priest in surplice white. 
That defunctive music can,^ 
Be the death-divining swan. 
Lest the requiem lack his right. 

And thou, treble-dated crow. 

That thy sable gender mak'st 

With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st, 

'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go. 



* There is a curioug coincidence in a passage in ' The Tempest :' — 

" Now I will believe 
That there are unicorns ; that in Arabia 
There is one tree, the phoenix' throne." 

* Can — knows. 



288 VERSES. 

Here the anthem doth commence : 
Love and constancy is dead ; 
Phoenix and the turtle fled 
In a mutual flame from hence. 

So they lov'd, as love in twain 
Had the essence but in one ; 
Two distincts, division none : 
Number there in love was slain. 

Hearts remote, yet not asunder ; 
Distance, and no space was seen 
'Twixt the turtle and his queen : 
But in them it were a wonder. 

So between them love did shine, 
That the turtle saw his right 
Flaming in the phcenix' sight : 
Either was the other's mine. 

Property was thus appall'd. 
That the self was not the same ; 
Single nature's double name 
Neither two nor one was call'd. 

Reason, in itself confounded. 
Saw division grow together ; 
To themselves yet either-neither. 
Simple were so well compounded : 

That it cried how true a twain 
Seemeth this concordant one ! 
Love hath reason, reason none. 
If what parts can so remain. 

Whereupon it made this threne" 
To the phoenix and the dove, 
Co-supremes and stars of love ; 
As chorus to their tragic scene. 

" Threne — funereal song. 



VERSES. 289 



Threnos. 



Beauty, truth, and rarity, 
Grace in all simplicity. 
Here enclos'd in cinders lie. 

Death is now the phoenix' nest ; 
And the turtle's loyal breast 
To eternity doth rest. 

Leaving no posterity : — 
'T was not their infirmity. 
It was married chastity. 

Truth may seem, but cannot be : 
Beauty brag, but 't is not she ; 
Truth and beauty buried be. 

To this urn let those repair 

That are either true or fair ; 

For these dead birds sigh a prayer. 




Vol. XII. 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



A LOVER'S COMPLAINT, THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM, &c. 



' A Lover's Complaint' was first printed with the Sonnets in 1609. It was re- 
printed in 1640, in that collection called ' Shakspere's Poems,' in which the original 
order of the Sonnets was entirely disregarded, some were omitted, and this poem 
was thrust in amidst translations from Ovid which had been previously claimed by 
another writer. Of these we shall have presently to speak. There can be no doubt 
of the genuineness of ' A Lover's Complaint.' It is distinguished by that conden- 
sation of thought and outpouring of imagery which are the characteristics of Shak- 
spere's poems. The effect consequent upon these qualities is, that the language is 
sometimes obscure, and the metaphors occasionally appear strange and forced. It 
is very different from any production of Shakspere's contemporaries. As in the case 
of the ' Venus and Adonis,' and the ' Lucrece,' we feel that the power of the writer 
is in perfect subjection to his art. He is never carried away by the force of his own 
conceptions. We mention these atti-ibutes merely with reference to the undoubted 
character of the poem as belonging to the Shaksperian system : we shall have occa- 
sion to notice it again. 

' The Passionate Pilgrim ' was originally published in 1599, by William Jag- 
gard, with the name of Shakspere on the title-page. A reprint, with some addi- 
tions and alterations of arrangement, appeared in 1612, bearing the following title: 
' The Passionate Pilgrime, or certaine amorous Sonnets, betweene Venus and 
Adonis, newly corrected and augmented. By W. Shakespeare. The third Edi- 
tion. Whereunto is newly added two Love- Epistles, the first from Paris toHellen, 
and Hellen's Answere backe again to Paris. Printed by W. Jaggard, 1612.' The 
second edition was, in all probability, a mere reprint of the first edition ; but in the 
third edition there are, as the title-page implies, important alterations. There is 
one alteration which is not expressed in the title-page. A distinction is established 
in the character of the poems by classifying six of them under a second title-page, 
* Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Musick.' This distinction we have preserved. 
There can be no doubt, we apprehend, tliat the 'newly added two Love-Epistles, 
the first from Paris to Hellen, and Hellen's Answere backe again to Paris,' were 
not written by Shakspere. There is the best evidence that they were written by 
Thomas Hey wood. In 1609 that writer published a folio volume of considerable 
pretension, entitled ' Troia Britanica, or Great Britaine's Troy.' In this volume 
appear the two translations from Ovid which William Jaggard published as Shak- 
spere's in 1612. Heywood in that year published a treatise, entitled 'An Apology 
for Actors ;' to which is prefixed an epistle to his bookseller, Nicholas Okes. The 
letter is a curious morsel in literary history : — 



ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM, &c. 291 

" To my approved good friend, Mr. Nicholas Okes. 

" The infinite faults escaped in my book of ' Britain's Troy,' by the negligence 
of the printer, as the misquotations, mistaking of syllables, misplacing half lines, 
coining of strange and never-heard-of words : these being without number, when I 
would have taken a particular account of the errata, the printer answered me, he 
would not publish his own disworkmanship, but rather let his own fault lie upon 
the neck of the author : and being fearful that others of his quality had been of the 
same nature and condition, and finding you, on the contrary, so careful and indus- 
trious, so serious and laborious, to do the author all the rights of the press, I could 
not choose but gratulate your honest endeavours with this short remembrance. 
Here, likewise, I must necessarily insert a manifest injury done me in that work, by 
taking the two Epistles of Paris to Helen, and Helen to Paris, and printing them in a 
less volume, under the name of another, which may put the world in opinion I might 
steal them from him, and he, to do himself right, hath since published them in his 
own name : but as I must acknowledge my lines not worthy his patronage under 
whom he hath published them, so the author I know much offended with M. lag- 
gard that (altogether unknown to him) presumed to make so bold with his name. 
These, and the like dishonesties, I know you to be clear of; and I could wish but 
to be the happy author of so wortliy a work as I could willingly commit to your 
care and workmanship. 

" Yours ever, 

" Thomas Heywood." 

Jaggard, upon the publication of this, appears to have been compelled to 
do some sort of justice to Heywood, however imperfect. He cancelled the title- 
page of the edition of 'The Passionate Pilgrim ' of 1612, removing the name of 
Shakspere, and printing the collection without any author's name. Malone had a 
copy of the book with both title-pages. This transaction naturally throws great 
discredit on the honesty of the publisher ; and might lead us to suspect that Hey- 
wood's was not the only case in which Shakspere was " much offended with M. 
Jaggard, that (altogether unknown to him) presumed to make so bold with his 
name." There are other pieces in ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' that have been attri- 
buted on reasonable grounds to other authors than Shakspere. It may be well, 
therefore, that we should run through the whole collection, offering a few brief ob- 
servations on the authenticity of these poems. 

The first two Sonnets in Jaggard's edition of * The Passionate Pilgrim ' are those 
which, with some alterations, appear as the 138th and the 144th in the collection of 
Sonnets published in 1609. The variations of those Sonnets, as they appeared in 
* The Passionate Pilgrim,' are given in our foot-notes at pages 180 and 181. The 
third Sonnet in the collection (the first in our reprint) is found in ' Love's Labour 's 
Lost.' The fourth is one of the four Sonnets on the subject of Venus and Adonis. 
In Malone's first edition of these poems (1780) he followed the order of the origi- 
nal, as we now do; but in his posthumous edition, by Boswell, that order is 
changed, and the four Sonnets on the subject of Venus and Adonis are placed 
together, the first in the series. Malone's opinion, which he did not subsequently 
alter, was, that " several of the Sonnets in this collection seem to have been essays 
of the author when he first conceived the notion of writing a poem on the subject of 
Venus and Adonis, and before the scheme of his work was completely adjusted." 
Boswell justly says that some doubt is thrown upon Malone's conjecture by the 
circumstance that one of these four Sonnets, with some variations, is found in a 
volume of poems published before ' The Passionate Pilgrim,' namely, ' Fidessa 

U 2 



292 ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM, &c. 

more Chaste than Klnde,' by B. Griffin, 1596. In Griflan's little volume, which 
has been reprinted, the Sonnet stands as follows : — 

" Venus, with young Adonis sitting by her, 

Under a myrtle shade began to woo him ; 
She told the youngling how god Mars did try her. 

And as he fell to her, so fell she to him. 
Even thus, quoth she, the wanton god embrac'd me ; 

And thus slie clasp'd Adonis in her arms : 
Even thus, quoth she, the warlike god unlac'd me. 

As if the boy should use like loving charms. 
But he, a wayward boy, refus'd her offer. 

And ran away, the beauteous queen neglecting ; 
Showing both folly to abuse her proffer. 

And all his sex of cowardice detecting. 
Oh, that I had my mistress at tliat bay. 
To kiss and clip me till I ran away !" 

The variations between this Sonnet and that printed in ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' 
are very remarkable ; but there can be no doubt, we should think, that the author- 
ship belongs to Griffin. This volume was not published anonymously ; and it is 
dedicated '• to Mr. Wm. Essex, of Lambourne, Berks, and to the Gentlemen of the 
Inns of Court."' It is not likely that he would have adopted a Sonnet by Shakspere 
floating about in society, and made it his own by these changes. 

The fifth poem in Jaggard's collection is Biron's Sonnet in ' Love's Labour 's 
Lost.' The seventh, ' Fair is my love,' stands as Shakspere's, without any rival to 
impugn Jaggard's authority. Tiie eighth is not so fortunate. It would be plea- 
sant to believe that the Sonnet commencing 

" If music and sweet poetry agree," 

was written by Shakspere. It would be satisfactory that the greatest dramatic poet 
of the world should pay his homage to that great contemporary from whose exhaust- 
less wells of imagination every real lover of poetry has since drawn waters of " deep 
delight." But that Sonnet is claimed by another ; and we believe that the claim 
must be admitted. There was another publisher of the name of Jaggard — John 
Jaggard ; and he, in I59S, printed a volume bearing this title: — ' Encomion of 
Lady Pecunia ; or the Praise of Money : the Complaint of Poetrie for the Death of 
Liberalitie : i. e. The Combat betvveene Conscience and Covetousness in the Minde 
of Man : with Poems in divers Humors.' The volume bears the name, as author, 
of Richard Barnfield, graduate of Oxford, who had previously published a volume 
entitled ' Cynthia.' The volume of 1598 contains a Sonnet " addressed to his friend 
Master R. L., in praise of Music and Poetry."' This is the Sonnet that a year after 
William Jaggard prints with the name of Shakspere. But Barnfield's volume con- 
tains another poem, which the publisher of ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' also assigns to 
Shakspere, amongst the 'Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music ' — the last in the collec- 
tion — 

" As it fell upon a day."' 

It is remarkable that, after the publication of Barnfield's volume in 1598, and 'The 
Passionate Pilgrim ' in 1599, a large portion of this poem was, in 1600, printed in 
♦England's Hi'l icon,' with the signature of "Igtioto."' It there follows the poem 
which is the 1 8th in ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' — 

" My flocks feed not." 

That poem bears the title of 'The Unknown Shepherd's Complaint,' and is also 



ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM, &c. 293 

signed, in ' England's Helicon,' " Ignoto." " As it fell upon a day" is entitled 
* Another of the same Shepherds.'* Both the poems in ' England's Helicon' imme- 
diately follow one bearing the signature of " W. Shakespeare," the beautiful Son- 
net in 'Love's Labour 's Lost'— 

" On a day, alack the day," — 

which is given as one of the Sonnets to Music in ' The Passionate Pilgrim.' 

For the following poems in ' The Passionate Pilgrim ' no claim of authorship 
has appeared further to impugn the credibility of W. Jaggard : — 

" Sweet rose, fair flower." 

" Crabbed age and youth.*' 

" Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good." 

" Good night, good rest." 

" Lord, how mine eyes." 

" It was a lording's daughter." 

" Whenas thine eye." 

But there is a poem, imperfectly printed in ' The Passionate Pilgrim' (and which 
we have reprinted, that the reader may have before him what that work originally 
contained), of a higher reputation than any poem in the collection. 

" Live with me and be my love" 

is printed in ' England's Helicon ' with the signature of " Chr. Marlow," and the 
copy there given is as follows : — 

The Passionate Shepherd to his Love. 

Come live with me, and be my love. 
And we will all the pleasures prove 
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, 
Woods, or steepy mountains yields. 

And we will sit upon the rocks. 
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks, 
By shallow rivers, to whose falls 
Melodious birds sing madrigals. 

And I will make thee beds of roses. 
And a thousand fragrant posies, 
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle 
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle. 

A gown made of the finest wool 
Which from our pretty lambs we pull ; 
Fair lined slippers for the cold, 
With buckles of the purest gold : 

A belt of straw, and ivy buds 
With coral clasps and amber studs. 
And if these pleasures may thee move, 
Come live with me, and be my love. 

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing 
For thy delights each May-morning ; 
If these delights thy mind may move. 
Then live with me, and be my love. 

Chr. Mablow. 



294 ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM, &c. 

In that collection it is immediately succeeded by another poem, almost equally 
celebrated, bearing the signature of " Ignoto : " — 

The Nymph's Reply to the Shefhebik 

If all the world and love were young, 
And truth in every shepherd's tongue, 
These pretty pleasures might me move 
To live with thee, and be thy love. 

Time drives the flocks from field to fold. 
When rivers rage, and rocks grow cold ; 
And Philomel becometh dumb ; 
The rest complains of cares to come. 

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields 
To wayward winter reckoning yields ; 
A honey tongue, a heart of gall, 
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall. 

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses, 
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies. 
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten. 
In folly ripe, in reason rotten. 

Thy belt of straw, and ivy buds. 
Thy coral clasps, and amber studs, 
All these in me no means can move 
To come to thee, and be thy love. 

But could youth last, and love still breed. 
Had joys no date, nor age no need, 
Then these delights my mind might move 
To live with thee, and be thy love, 

Ignoto. 

In our Illustrations of * The Merry Wives of Windsor,' Act III., we have al- 
ready noticed the probable authorship of these poems. Warburton, upon the au- 
thority of * The Passionate Pilgrim,' assigns " Come live with me " to Sliakspere. 
But we fear that Mr. William laggard's authority is not quite so much to be relied 
upon as that of ' England's Helicon ;' and, moreover, there was an honest witness 
living some fifty years after, whose traditionary evidence must go far to settle the 
point. We cannot resist the pleasure of transcribing dear Izaak Walton's testimony : 
— " Look ! under that broad beech-tree I sat down when I was last this way a-fishing. 
And the birds in the adjoining grove seemed to have a friendly contention with an 
echo, whose dead voice seemed to live in a hollow tree near to the brow of that prim- 
rose hill. There I sat viewing the silver streams glide silently towards their centre, 
the tempestuous sea; but sometimes opposed by rugged roots and pebble-stones, 
which broke their waves, and turned them into foam. And sometimes I beguiled 
time by viewing the harmless lambs — some leaping securely in the cool shade, 
whilst others sported themselves in the cheerful sun; and saw others craving comfort 
from the swollen udders of their bleating dams. As thus I sat, these and other 
sights had so fully possessed my soul with content, that I thought, as the poet 
has happily expressed it, 

' I was for that time lifted above earth. 
And possess'd joys not promis'd in my birth.' 

As I left this place, and entered into the next field, a second pleasure entertained 
me : 't was a handsome milkmaid, that had not yet attained so much age and wis- 



ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM, &c. 



295 



dom as to load her mind with any fears of many things that will never be, as too 
many men too often do; but she cast away all care, and sung like a nightingale : 
her voice was good, and the ditty fitted for it ; it was that smooth song which was 
made by Kit Marlow, now at least fifty years ago. And the milkmaid's mother 
sung an answer to it, which was made by Sir Walter Raleigh in his younger days. 
" They were old-fashioned poetry, but choicely good ; I think much better than 
the strong lines that are now in fashion in this critical age. Look yonder! on my 
word, yonder they both be a-milking again. I will give her the chub, and persuade 
them to sing those two songs to us." 

We have now gone through all the poems of * The Passionate Pilgrim ;' and, 
taking away the five poems which are undoubtedly Shakspere's, but which are to 
be found in the ' Sonnets' and ' Love's Labour 's Lost,' and considering at least as 
apocryphal those which have been assigned to other authors, there is not a great 
deal left that posterity may thank Mr. William Jaggard for having rescued from 
oblivion. 

There are two other poems that usually follow ' The Passionate Pilgrim,' though 
they form no part of that collection. The first is the celebrated song of 

" Take, O take those lips away." 

Our readers are aware that the first stanza is found in ' Measure for Measure,' as 
sung by a boy to Mariana, who says " Break ofi' thy song.'' The two stanzas are 
in the tragedy, ascribed to Fletcher, of * Rollo, Duke of Normandy.' There is no 
possibility, we apprehend, of deciding the authorship of the second stanza (see Il- 
lustrations of ' Measure for Measure,' Act IV.) The other poem, beginning 

" Let the bird of loudest lay," 

is found with Shakspere's name in a book printed in 1601, the greater part of which 
consists of a poem translated from the Italian by Robert Chester, entitled ' Love's 
Martj^r ; or Rosalins Complaint : allegorically shadowing the Truth of Love, in 
the constant Fate of tlie PhcEnix and Turtle.' There is a second title to this vo- 
lume prefixed to some supplementary verses : ' Hereafter follow diverse Poetical 
Essaies on the former Subject, viz. the Turtle and Phcenix. Done by the best and 
chiefest of our modem Writers, with their Names subscribed to their particular 
Works. Never before extant' The name " Wm. Shakeispeare " is subscribed to 
this poem, in the same way that the names of Ben Jonsou, Marston, and Chapman 
are subscribed to other poeras. 



SUPPLEMENTARY NOTICE TO THE POEMS. 



" If the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry- 
it had so noble a godfather." These are the words which, in rela- 
tion to the ' Venus and Adonis,' Shakspere addressed, in 1593, to 
the Earl of Southampton. Are we to accept them literally ? Was 
the ' Venus and Adonis' the first production of Shakspere's imagi- 
nation ? Or did he put out of his view those dramatic perform- 
ances which he had then unquestionably produced, in deference to 
the critical opinions which regarded plays as works not belonging 
to "invention"? We think that he used the words in a literal 
sense. We regard the ' Venus and Adonis' as the production of a 
very young man, improved, perhaps, considerably in the interval 
between its first composition and its publication, but distinguished 
by peculiarities which belong to the wild luxuriance of youthful 
power, — such power, however, as few besides Shakspere have ever 
possessed. 

A deep thinker and eloquent writer, Julius Charles Hare, thus 
describes " the spirit of self-sacrifice," as applied to poetry : — 

" The might of the imagination is manifested by its launching 
forth from the petty creek, where the accidents of birth moored it, 
into the wide ocean of being, — by its going abroad into the world 
around, passing into whatever it meets with, animating it, and be- 
coming one with it. This complete union and identification of the 
poet with his poem, — this suppression of his own individual insu- 
lated consciousness, with its narrowness of thought and pettiness of 
feeling, — is what we admire in the great masters of that which for 
this reason we justly call classical poetry, as representing that 
which is symbolical and universal, not that which is merely occa- 
sional and peculiar. This gives them that majestic calmness which 
still breathes upon us from the statues of their gods. This in- 
vests their works with that lucid transparent atmosphere wherein 
every form stands out in perfect definiteness and distinctness, only 



SUPPLEMENTARY NOTICE TO THE POEMS. 297 

beautified by the distance which idealizes it. This has delivered 
those works from the casualties of time and space, and has lifted 
them up like stars into the pure firmament of thought, so that they 
do not shine on one spot alone, nor fade like earthly flowers, 
but journey on from clime to clime, shedding the light of beauty 
on generation after generation. The same quality, amounting to a 
total extinction of his own selfish being, so that his spirit became 
a mighty organ through which Nature gave utterance to the full 
diapason of her notes, is what we wonder at in our own great dra- 
matist, and is the groundwork of all his other powers : for it is only 
when purged of selfishness that the intellect becomes fitted for re- 
ceiving the inspirations of genius." * 

What Mr. Hare so justly considers as the great moving principle 
of " classical poetry," — what he further notes as the pre-eminent 
characteristic of " our own great dramatist," — is abundantly found 
in that great dramatist's earliest work. Coleridge was the first to 
point out this pervading quality in the ' Venus and Adonis ;' and 
he has done this so admirably, that it would be profanation were 
we to attempt to elucidate the point in any other than his own 
words : — 

*' It is throughout as if a superior spirit, more intuitive, more 
intimately conscious, even than the characters themselves, not only 
of every outward look and act, but of the flux and reflux of the 
mind in all its subtlest thoughts and feelings, were placing the 
whole before our view ; himself meanwhile unparticipating in the 
passions, and actuated only by that pleasurable excitement which 
had resulted from the energetic fervour of his own spirit in so 
vividly exhibiting what it had so accurately and profoundly con- 
templated. I think I should have conjectured from these poems, 
that even then the great instinct which impelled the poet to the 
drama was secretly working in him, prompting him by a series and 
never-broken chain of imagery, always vivid, and, because unbroken, 
often minute, — by the highest effort of the picturesque in words of 
which words are capable, higher perhaps than was ever realized by 
any other poet, even Dante not excepted, — to provide a substitute 
for that visual language, that constant intervention and running, 
comment by tone, look, and gesture, which in his dramatic works 
he was entitled to expect from the players. His ' Venus and Ado- 
nis' seem at once the characters themselves, and the whole repre- 

* ' The Victory of Faith; and other Sermons.' By Julius Charles Hare, M.A. 
1840. P. 277. 



298 SUPPLEMENTARY NOTICE 

sentation of those characters by the most consummate actors. You 
seem to be told nothing, but to see and hear everything. Hence 
it is, that, from the perpetual activity of attention required on the 
part of the reader, — from the rapid flow, the quick change, and the 
playful nature of the thoughts and images, — and, above all, from 
the alienation, and, if I may hazard such an expression, the utter 
aloofness of the poet's own feelings from those of which he is at 
once the painter and the analyst, — that though the very subject 
cannot but detract from the pleasure of a delicate mind, yet never 
was poem less dangerous on a moral account."* 

Coleridge, in the preceding chapter of his ' Literary Life,' says, 
" During the first year that Mr. Wordsworth and I were neigh- 
bours, our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal 
points of poetry — the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader 
by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of 
giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colours of imagina- 
tion." In Coleridge's ' Literary Remains,' the ' Venus and Ado- 
nis ' is cited as furnishing a signal example of " that affectionate 
love of nature and natural objects, without which no man could have 
observed so steadily, or painted so truly and passionately, the very 
minutest beauties of the external world." The description of the 
hare-hunt is there given at length as a specimen of this power. A 
remarkable proof of the completeness as well as accuracy of Shak- 
spere's description lately presented itself to our mind, in running 
through a little volume, full of talent, published in 1825 — ' Essays 
and Sketches of Character, by the late Richard Ayton, Esq.' There 
is a paper on hunting, and especially on hare-hunting. He says — 
" I am not one of the perfect fox-hunters of these realms; but 
having been in the way of late of seeing a good deal of various 
modes of hunting, I would, for the benefit of the uninitiated, set 
down the results of my observations." In this matter he writes with 
a perfect unconsciousness that he is describing what any one has 
described before. But as accurate an observer had been before 
him : — 

" She (the hare) generally returns to the seat from which she was put up, run- 
ning, as all the world knows, in a circle, or something sometimes like it, we had 
better say, that we may keep on good terms with the mathematical. At starting, 
she tears away at her utmost speed for a mile or more, and distances the dogs half 
way : she then returns, diverging a little to the right or left, that she may not run 
into the mouths of her enemies — a necessity which accounts for what we call the 



Biographia Literaria,' 1817, vol. ii., p. 16. 



TO THE POEMS. 299 

circularity of her course. Her flight from home is direct and precipitate ; but on 
her way back, when she has gained a little time for consideration and stratagem, 
she describes a curious labyrinth of short turnings and windings, as if to perplex 
the dogs by the intricacy of her track." 

Compare this with Shakspere : — 

" And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare, 
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles. 
How he outruns the wind, and with what care 
He cranks and crosses, with a thousand doubles: 

The many musits through the which he goes 

Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes." 

Mr. Ayton thus goes on : — 

" The hounds, whom we left in full cry, continue their music without remission 
as long as they are faithful to the scent ; as a summons, it should seem, like the 
seaman's cry, to pull together, or keep together, and it is a certain proof to them- 
selves and their followers that they are in the right way. On the instant that they 
are ' at fault,' or lose the scent, they are silent. ****** The wea- 
ther, in its impression on the scent, is the great father of * faults ;' but they may 
arise from other accidents, even when the day is in every respect favourable. The 
intervention of ploughed land, on which the scent soon cools or evaporates, is at 
least perilous ; but sheep-stains, recently left by a flock, are fatal : they cut off the 
scent irrecoverably — making a gap, as it were, in the clue, in which the dogs have 
not even a hint for their guidance." 

Compare Shakspere again : — 

" Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep. 
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell, 
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep, 
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell ; 

And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer; 

Danger deviseth shifts ; wit waits on fear : 

*' For there his smell with others being mingled, 
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt. 
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled 
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out ; 

Then do they spend their mouths : Echo replies. 

As if another chase were in the skies." 

One more extract from Mr. Ayton : — 

" Suppose then, after the usual rounds, that you see the hare at last (a sorry 
mark for so many foes) sorely beleaguered — looking dark and draggled — and 
limping heavily along; then stopping to listen — again tottering on a little — and 
again stopping ; and at every step, and every pause, hearing the death-cry grow 
nearer and louder." 

One more comparison, and we have exhausted Shakspere's de- 
scription : — 



300 SUPPLEMENTARY NOTICE 

" By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill, 
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear, 
To hearken if his foes pursue him still ; 
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear ; 
And now his grief may be compared well 
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell. 

" Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch 
Turn and return, indenting with the way ; 
Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch. 
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay : 

For misery is trodden on by many, 

And being low never reliev'd by any." 

Here, then, be it observed, are not only the same objects, the 
same accidents, the same movement, in each description, but the 
very words employed to convey the scene to the mind are often the 
same in each. It would be easy to say that Mr. Ayton copied 
Shakspere. We believe he did not. There is a sturdy ingenuous- 
ness about his writings which would have led him to notice the 
' Venus and Adonis' if he had had it in his mind. Shakspere and 
he had each looked minutely and practically upon the same scene ; 
and the wonder is, not that Shakspere was an accurate describer, but 
that in him the accurate is so thoroughly fused with the poetical, 
that it is one and the same life. 

The celebrated description of the courser in the ' Venus and 
Adonis' is another remarkable instance of the accuracy of the 
young Shakspere's observation. Not the most experienced dealer 
ever knew the points of a horse better. The whole poem indeed is 
full of evidence that the circumstances by which the writer was sur- 
rounded, in a country district, had entered deeply into his mind, 
and were reproduced in the poetical form. The bird " tangled in 
a net" — the " di-dapper peering through a wave" — the " blue- 
veined violets" — the 

" Red morn, that ever yet betoken'd 
Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field " — 

the fisher that forbears the " ungrown fry" — the sheep " gone to 
fold" — the caterpillars feeding on " the tender leaves" — and, not 
to weary with examples, that exquisite image, 

" Look how a bright star shooteth from the sky. 
So glides he in the night from Venus' eye"' — 

all these bespeak a poet who had formed himself upon nature, and 
not upon books. To understand the value as well as the rarity of 



TO THE POEMS. 301 

this quality in Shakspere, we should open any contemporary poem. 
Take Marlowe's ' Hero and Leander ' for example. We read line 
after line, beautiful, gorgeous, running over with a satiating luxu- 
riousness ; but we look in vain for a single familiar image. Shak- 
spere describes what he has seen, throwing over the real the deli- 
cious tint of his own imagination. Marlowe looks at Nature her- 
self very rarely ; but he knows all the conventional images by 
which the real is supposed to be elevated into the poetical. His 
most beautiful things are thus but copies of copies. The mode in 
which each poet describes the Morning will illustrate our mean- 
ing:— 

" Lo ! here the gentle lark, weary of rest, 
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high, 
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast 
The sun ariseth in his majesty ; 

Who doth the world so gloriously behold, 
The cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold."' 

We feel that this is true. Compare — 

" By this Apollo's golden harp began 
To sound forth music to the ocean ; 
Which watchful Hespertis no sooner heard 
But he the day's bright-bfaring car prepar'd. 
And ran before, as harbinger of light. 
And with his flaring beams mock'd ugly Night, 
Till she, o'ercome with anguish, shame, and rage, 
Dang'd down to hell her loathsome carriage." 

We are taught that this is classical. 

Coleridge has observed that " in the ' Venus and Adonis,' the 
first and most obvious excellence is the perfect sweetness of the 
versification ; its adaptation to the subject ; and the power displayed 
in varying the march of the words without passing into a loftier 
and more majestic rhythm than was demanded by the thoughts, or 
permitted by the propriety of preserving a sense of melody pre- 
dominant." * This self-controlling power of " varying the march 
of the words without passing into a loftier and more majestic 
rhythm" is perhaps one of the most signal instances of Shakspere*s 
consummate mastery of his art, even as a very young man. He 
who, at the proper season, knew how to strike the grandest music 
within the compass of our own powerful and sonorous language, in 
his early productions breathes out his thoughts 



Biographia Literaria,' vol. ii., p. 14. 



302 SUPPLEMENTARY NOTICE 

" To the Dorian mood 
Of flutes and soft recorder." 

The sustained sweetness of the versification is never cloying ; and 
yet there are no violent contrasts, no sudden elevations : all is 
equable in its infinite variety. The early comedies are full of the 
same rare beauty. In ' Love's Labour 's Lost' — ' The Comedy of 
Errors' — ' A Midsummer Night's Dream' — we have verses of alter- 
nate rhymes formed upon the same model as those of the ' Venus 
and Adonis,' and producing the same feeling of placid delight by 
their exquisite harmony. The same principles on which he built 
the versification of the ' Venus and Adonis ' exhibited to him the 
grace which these elegiac harmonies would impart to the scenes of 
repose in the progress of a dramatic action. 

We proceed to the ' Lucrece.' Of that poem the date of the 
composition is fixed as accurately as we can desire. In the dedica- 
tion to the ' Venus and Adonis' the poet says — " If your honour 
seem but pleased I account myself highly praised, and vow to take 
advantage of all idle hours till I have honoured you with some 
graver labour." In 1594, a year after the ' Venus and Adonis,' 
' Lucrece' was published, and was dedicated to Lord Southampton. 
This, then, was undoubtedly the " graver labour ;" this was the 
produce of the " idle hours" of 1593. Shakspere was then nearly 
thirty years of age — the period at which it is held by some he first 
began to produce anything original for the stage. The poet un- 
questionably intended the " graver labour" for a higher effort than 
had produced the " first heir" of his invention. He describes the 
* Venus and Adonis' as " unpolished lines" — lines thrown ofi" with 
youthful luxuriousness and rapidity. The verses of the ' Lucrece' 
are " untutored lines" — lines formed upon no established model. 
There is to our mind the difference of eight or even ten years in the 
aspect of these poems — a difference as manifest as that which exists 
between ' Love's Labour 's Lost' and ' Romeo and Juliet.' Cole- 
ridge has marked the great distinction between the one poem and 
the other : — • 

" The ' Venus and Adonis' did not perhaps allow the display of 
the deeper passions. But the story of Lucretia seems to favour, 
and even demand, their intensest workings. And yet we find in 
SJiakespeare^s management of the tale neither pathos nor any other 
dramatic quality. There is the same minute and faithful imagery 
as in the former poem, in the same vivid colours, inspirited by the 



TO THE POEMS. 303 

same impetuous vigour of thought, and diverging and contracting 
with the same activity of the assimilative and of the modifying fa- 
culties ; and with a yet larger display, a yet wider range of know- 
ledge and reflection : and, lastly, with the same perfect dominion, 
often domination^ over the whole world of language." * 

It is in this paragraph that Coleridge has marked the diflference — 
which a critic of the very highest order could alone have pointed 
out — between the power which Shakspere's mind possessed of 
going out of itself in a narrative poem, and the dramatic power. 
The same mighty, and to most unattainable, power, of utterly sub- 
duing the self-conscious to the universal, was essential to the high- 
est excellence of both species of composition, — the poem and the 
drama. But the exercise of that power was essentially different in 
each. Coleridge in another place says, " In his very first produc- 
tion he projected his mind out of his own particular being, and felt, 
and made others feel, on subjects no way connected with himself 
except by force of contemplation, and that sublime faculty by 
which a great mind becomes that on which it meditates, "f But 
this " sublime faculty" went greatly farther when it became dra- 
matic. In the narrative poems of an ordinary man we perpetually 
see the narrator. Coleridge, in a passage previously quoted, has 
shown the essential superiority of Shakspere's narrative poems, 
where the whole is placed before our view, the poet unparticipating 
in the passions. There is a remarkable example of how strictly 
Shakspere adhered to this principle in his beautiful poem of ' A 
Lover's Complaint.' There the poet is actually present to the 
scene : — 

" From off a hill whose concave womb re-worded 
A plaintful story from a sistering vale, 
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded, 
And down I laid to list the sad-tun"d tale." 

But not one word of comment does he offer upon the revelations of 
the " fickle maid full pale." The dramatic power, however, as 
we have said, is many steps beyond this. It dispenses with narra- 
tive altogether. It renders a complicated story, or stories, one in 
the action. It makes the characters reveal themselves, sometimes 
by a word. It trusts for everything to the capacity of an audience 
to appreciate the greatest subtilties, and the nicest shades of passion, 
through the action. It is the very reverse of the oratorical power, 

» ' Biographia Literaria,' vol. ii., p. 21. 
t ' Literary Remains,' vol. ii., p. 51. 



304 SUPPLEMENTARY NOTICE 

which repeats and explains. And how is it able to effect this pro- 
digious mastery over the senses and the understanding ? By raising 
the mind of the spectator, or reader, into such a state of poetical 
excitement as corresponds in some degree to the excitement of the 
poet, and thus clears away the mists of our ordinary vision, and 
irradiates the whole complex moral world in which we for a time 
live, and move, and have our being, with the brightness of his own 
intellectual sunlight. Now, it appears to us that, although the 
* Venus and Adonis,' and the 'Lucrece,' do not pretend to be the 
creations of this wonderful power — their forms did not demand its 
complete exercise — they could not have been produced by a man 
who did not possess the power, and had assiduously cultivated it in 
its own proper field. In the second poem, more especially, do we 
think the power has reached a higher development, indicating itself 
in " a yet wider range of knowledge and reflection." 

Malone says, " I have observed that Painter has inserted the 
story of ' Lucrece' in the first volume of his ' Palace of Pleasure,' 
1567, on which I make no doubt our author formed his poem." Be 
it so. The story of ' Lucrece' in Painter's novel occupies four 
pages. The first page describes the circumstances that preceded 
the unholy visit of Tarquin to Lucrece ; nearly the whole of the 
last two pages detail the events that followed the death of Lucrece. 
A page and a half at most is given to the tragedy. This is proper 
enough in a narrative, whose business it is to make all the circum- 
stances intelligible. But the narrative poet, who was also tho- 
roughly master of the dramatic power, concentrates all the interest 
upon the main circumstances of the story. He places the scene of 
those circumstances before our eyes at the very opening : — 

" From the besieged Ardea all in post, 
Borne by the trustless wings of false desire, 
Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host, 
And to Collatium bears," &c. 

The preceding circumstances which impel this journey are then 
rapidly told. Again, after the crowning action of the tragedy, the 
poet has done. He tells the consequences of it with a brevity and 
simplicity indicating the most consummate art : — 

" When they had sworn to this advised doom, 
They did conclude to bear dead Lucrece thence ; 
To show her bleeding body thorough Rome, 
And so to publish Tarquin's foul offence : 
Which being done with speedy diligence, 
The Romans plausibly did give consent 
To Tarquin's everlasting banishment." 



TO THE POEMS. 305 

He has thus cleared away all the encumbrances to the progress of 
the main action. He would have done the same had he made Lu- 
crece the subject of a drama. But he has to tell his painful story 
and to tell it all : not to exhibit a portion of it, as he would have 
done had he chosen the subject for a tragedy. The consummate 
delicacy with which he has accomplished this is beyond all praise, 
perhaps above all imitation. He puts forth his strength on the 
accessaries of the main incident. He delights to make the chief 
actors analyse their own thoughts, — reflect, explain, expostulate. 
All this is essentially undramatic, and he meant it to be so. But 
then, what pictures does he paint of the progress of the action, 
which none but a great dramatic poet, who had visions of future 
Macbeths and Othellos before him, could have painted ! Look, for 
example, at that magnificent scene, when 

" No comfortable star did lend bis light," 

of Tarquin leaping from his bed, and, softly smiting his falchion on 
a flint, lighting a torch 

" Which must be lode-star to his lustful eye." 

Look, again, at the exquisite domestic incident which tells of the 
quiet and gentle occupation of his devoted victim : — 

" By the light he spies 
Lucretia's glove, wherein her needle sticks ; 
He takes it from the rushes where it lies." 

The hand to which that glove belongs is described in the very per- 
fection of poetry : — 

" Without the bed her other fair hand was, 
On the green coverlet ; whose perfect white 
Show'd like an April daisy on the grass." 

In the chamber of innocence Tarquin is painted with terrific gran- 
deur, which is overpowering by the force of contrast : — 

" This said he shakes aloft his Roman blade, 
Which, like a falcon towering in the skies, 
Coucheth the fowl below with his wings' shade." 

The complaint of Lucrece after Tarquin has departed was meant 
to be undramatic. The action advances not. The character deve- 
lops not itself in the action. But the poet makes his heroine 
bewail her fate in every variety of lament that his boundless com- 
VoL. XII. X 



306 SUPPLEMENTARY NOTICE 

mand of imagery could furnish. The letter to CoUatine is written ; 
— a letter of the most touching simplicity : — 

" Thou worthy lord 
Of that unworthy wife that greeteth thee, 
Health to thy person ! Next vouchsafe to afford 
(If ever, love, thy Lucrece thou wilt see) 
Some present speed to come and visit me : 

So I commend me from our house in grief; 

My woes are tedious, though my words aie brief." 

Again the action languishes, and again Lucrece surrenders herself 
to her grief. The 

" Skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy," 

is one of the most elaborate passages of the poem, essentially cast 
in an undramatic mould. But this is but a prelude to the cata- 
strophe, where, if we mistake not, a strength of passion is put forth 
which is worthy him who drew the terrible agonies of Lear : — 

" Here with a sigh, as if her heart would break. 
She throws forth Tarquin's name : ' He, he,' she says. 
But more than ' he ' her poor tongue could not speak ; 
Till after many accents and delays, 
Untimely breathings, sick and short assays. 
She utters this : ' He, he, fair lords, 't is he, 
That guides this hand to give this wound to me.' " 

Malone, in his concluding remarks upon the ' Venus and Adonis,' 
and ' Lucrece,' says, " We should do Shakspeare injustice were 
we to try them by a comparison with more modem and polished 
productions, or with our present idea of poetical excellence." This 
was written in the year 1780 — the period which rejoiced in the 
" polished productions" of Hayley and Miss Seward, and founded 
its " idea of poetical excellence" on some standard which, secure 
in its conventional forms, might depart as far as possible from sim- 
plicity and nature, to give us words without thought, arranged in 
verses without music. It would be injustice indeed to Shakspere 
to try the ' Venus and Adonis,' and ' Lucrece,' by such a standard 
of " poetical excellence." But we have outlived that period. By 
way of apology for Shakspere, Malone adds, " that few authors 
rise much above the age in which they live." He further says, 
" the poems of ' Venus and Adonis,' and ' The Rape of Lucrece,' 
whatever opinion may be now entertained of them, were certainly 
much admired in Shakspeare's lifetime." This is consolatory. In 
Shakspere's lifetime there were a few men that the world has since 



TO THE POEMS. 307 

thought somewhat qualified to establish an " idea of poetical ex- 
cellence" — Spenser, Drayton, Jonson, Fletcher, Chapman, for ex- 
ample. These were not much valued in Malone's golden age of 
" more modern and polished productions ;" — but let that pass. We 
are coming back to the opinions of this obsolete school ; and we 
venture to think the majority of readers now will not require us to 
make an apology for Shakspere's poems. 

If Malone thought it necessary to solicit indulgence for the 
' Venus and Adonis,' and ' Lucrece,' he drew even a more timid 
breath when he ventured to speak of the Sonnets. " I do not feel 
any great propensity to stand forth as the champion of these com- 
positions. However, as it appears to me that they have been some- 
what underrated, I think it incumbent on me to do them that justice 
to which they seem entitled." No wonder he speaks timidly. The 
great poetical lawgiver of his time — the greater than Shakspere, for 
he undertook to mend him, and refine him, and make him fit to be 
tolerated by the super-elegant intellects of the days of George III. — 
had pronounced that the Sonnets were too bad even for his genius to 
make tolerable. He, Steevens, who would take up a play of Shak- 
spere's in the condescending spirit with which a clever tutor takes up 
a smart boy's verses — altering a word here, piecing out a line there, 
commending this thought, shaking his head at this false prosody, and 
acknowledging upon the whole that the thing is pretty well, seeing 
how much the lad has yet to learn — he sent forth his decree that 
nothing less than an act of parliament could compel the reading of 
Shakspere's Sonnets. For a long time mankind bowed before the 
oracle ; and the Sonnets were not read. Wordsworth has told us 
something about this : — 

" There is extant a small volume of miscellaneous poems in 
which Shakspeare expresses his feelings in his own person. It is 
not difficult to conceive that the editor, George Steevens, should 
have been insensible to the beauties of one portion of that volume, 
the Sonnets ; though there is not a part of the writings of this 
poet where is found, in an equal compass, a greater number of 
exquisite feelings felicitously expressed. But, from regard to the 
critic's own credit, he would not have ventured to talk of an act of 
parliament not being strong enough to compel the perusal of these, 
or any production of Shakspeffre, if he had not known that the 
people of England were ignorant of the treasures contained in those 
little pieces." * 

* Preface to Poetical Works. 

X2 



308 SUPPLEMENTARY NOTICE 

That ignorance has been removed ; and no one has contributed 
more to its removal, by creating a school of poetry founded upon 
Truth and Nature, than Wordsworth himself. The critics of the 
last century have passed away : — 

" Peor and BaUlim 
Forsake their temples dim." 

By the operation of what great sustaining principle is it that we 
have come back to the just appreciation of " the treasures contained 
in those little pieces ? " The poet-critic will answer : — 

" There never has been a period, and perhaps never will be, in 
which vicious poetry, of some kind or other, has not excited more 
zealous admiration, and been far more generally read, than good ; 
but this advantage attends the good, that the individual, as well as 
the species, survives from age to age : whereas, of the depraved, 
though the species be immortal, the individual quickly perishes; 
the object of present admiration vanishes, being supplanted by some 
other as easily produced, which, though no better, brings with it at 
least the irritation of novelty, — with adaptation, more or less skilful, 
to the changing humours of the majority of those who are most at 
leisure to regard poetical works when they first solicit' their atten- 
tion. Is it the result of the whole, that, in the opinion of the wri- 
ter, the judgment of the people is not to be respected? The 
thought is most injurious ; and, could the charge be brought against 
him, he would repel it with indignation. The people have already 
been justified, and their eulogium pronounced by implication, when 
it is said, above — that, of good poetry, the ifidividual, as well as 
the species, survives. And how does it survive but through the 
people ? what preserves it but their intellect and their wisdom ? 

* Past and future are the wings 
On whose support, harmoniously conjoin'd, 
Moves the great spirit of human knowledge.' — MS. 

The voice that issues from this spirit is that vox populi which the 
Deity inspires. Foolish must he be who can mistake for this a 
local acclamation, or a transitory outcry — transitory though it be 
for years, local though from a nation ! Still more lamentable is 
his error who can believe that there is anything of divine infalli- 
bility in the clamour of that small though loud portion of the com- 
munity, ever governed by factitious influence, which, under the 
name of the Public, passes itself, upon the unthinking, for the 
People."* 

♦ Preface to Poulical Works. 



TO THE POEMS. 



309 



It is this perpetual mistake of the public for the people that has 
led to the belief that there was a period when Shakspere was neg- 
lected. He was always in the heart of the people. There, in 
that deep, rich soil, have the Sonnets rested during two centu- 
ries ; and here and there in remote places have the seeds put forth 
leaves and flowers. All young imaginative minds now rejoice in 
their hues and their fragrance. But this preference of the fresh 
and beautiful of poetical life to the pot-potirri of the last age must 
be a regulated love. Those who, seeing the admiration which now 
prevails for these outpourings of " exquisite feelings felicitously 
expressed," talk of the Sonnets as equal, if not superior, to the 
greatest of the poet's mighty dramas, compare things that admit of 
no comparison. Who would speak in the same breath of the gem 
of Cupid and Psyche, and the Parthenon? In the Sonnets, ex- 
quisite as they are, the poet goes not out of himself (at least in 
iheform of the composition), and he walks, therefore, in a narrow 
circle of art. In the ' Venus and Adonis,' and the ' Lucrece,' the 
circle widens. But in the Dramas, the centre is the Human Soul, 
the circumference the Universe. 




END OF THE POEMS. 



L C R 1 N E. 



The subject of this tragedy was a favourite with the early poets. 
We find it in ' The Mirror of Magistrates,' in Spenser, and in 
Drayton ; occupying seven stanzas of ' The Faery Queen ' (Book 
II., Canto 10), and fifty lines of the ' Poly-Olbion.' The legend of 
Brutus is circumstantially related in Milton's ' History of England,' 
where the story of Locrine is told with the power of a poet : — 

" After this, Brutus, in a chosen place, builds Troja Nova, changed in time to 
Trinovantum, now London, and began to enact laws, Heli being then high priest in 
Judaea; and, having governed the whole isle twenty-four years, died, and was 
buried in his new Troy. His three sons, Locrine, Albanact, and Camber, divide 
the land by consent. Locrine has the middle part, Loegria; Camber possessed 
Cambria, or Wales ; Albanact, Albania, now Scotland. But he in the end, by 
Humber, king of the Hunns, who with a fleet invaded that land, was slain in fight, 
and his people drove back into Loegria. Locrine and his brother go out against 
Humber ; who, now marching onwards, was by them defeated, £ind in a river 
drowned, which to this day retains his name. Among the spoils of his camp and 
navy were found certain young maids, and Estrildis above the rest, passing fair, 
the daughter of a king in Germany ; from whence Humber, as he went wasting the 
sea-coast, had led her captive ; whom Locrine, though before contracted to the 
daughter of Corineus, resolves to marry. But being forced and threatened by 
Corineus, whose authority and power he feared, Guendolen the daughter he yields 
to marry, but in secret loves the other : and ofttimes retiring, as to some private 
sacrifice, through vaults and passages made under ground, and seven years thus 
enjoying her, had by her a daughter equally fair, whose name was Sabra. But 
when once his fear was off by the death of Corineus, not content with secret enjoy- 
ment, divorcing Guendolen, he made Estrildis now his queen. Guendolen, all in 
rage, departs into Cornwall, where Madan, the son she had by Locrine, was hitherto 
brought up by Corineus, his grandfather. And gathering an army of her father's 
friends and subjects, gives battle to her husband by the river Sture; wherein 
Locrine, shot with an arrow, ends his life. But not so ends the fury of Guendolen ; 
for Estrildis, and her daughter Sabra, she throws into a river ; and, to leave a 
monument of revenge, proclaims that the stream be thenceforth called after the 
damsers name, which, by length of time, is changed now to Sabrina, or Severn."' 

In ' Comus ' Milton lingers with delight about the same story : — 

" There is a gentle nymph not far from hence. 

That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream, 
Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure ; 
Whilome she was the daughter of Locrine, 



314 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

That had the sceptre from his father Brute. 
She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit 
Of her enraged stepdame, Guendolen, 
Commended her fair innocence to the flood, 
That stay'd her flight with his cross-flowing course." 

The tragedy of ' Locrine ' was originally printed in quarto, under 
the following title : — ' The lamentable Tragedie of Locrine, the 
eldest Sonne of King Brutus, discoursing the warres of the Bri- 
taines and Hunnes, with their Discomfiture : The Britaines victorie, 
with their Accidents, and the death of Albanact. No lesse pleasant 
than profitable. Newly set foorth, ouerseene and corrected, by 
W. S. London, printed by Thomas Creede, 1595.' It was entered 
in the books of the Stationers' Company on the 20th of July, 1594. 
The play concludes with some homespun lines, which, to a certain 
extent, fix the date : — 

" Lo ! here the end of lawless treachery, 
Of usurpation, and ambitious pride. 
And they that for their private amours dare 
Turmoil our land, and set their broils abroach. 
Let them be warned by these premises. 
And as a woman was the only cause 
That civil discord was then stirred up, 
So let us pray for that renowned maid 
That eight-and-thirty years the sceptre sway'd, 
In quiet peace and sweet felicity ; 
And every wight that seeks her grace's smart. 
Would that this sword were pierced in his heart ! " 

The thirty-eighth year of Queen Elizabeth's reign began on the 
nth of November, 1595; and it would therefore appear that these 
lines were written after the entry at Stationers' Hall ; and that the 
piece, if acted at all, was presented in the latter part of the year of 
which the first edition bears the date. The question then arises, 
whether the expression in the title-page of that edition, " Newly 
set foorth, ouerseene and corrected, by W. S.," implies that W. S. 
had corrected and published a play of an elder date; and that 
involves the further question whether W. S. was the original au- 
thor, or one who undertook to repair a work that had fallen into 
his hands. Steevens says — " Supposing for a moment that W. S. 
here stood for our great poet's name (which is extremely impro- 
bable), these words prove that Shakspeare was not the writer of 
this performance. If it was only set forth, overseen, and corrected, 
it was not composed, by him." This is not a very logical inference 
from the words of the title-page ; nor is this an isolated case of 



LOCRINE. 315 

prominently setting forth the correction of a play. The following 
title-page is, we think, an exact parallel to that of ' Locrine :' — ' A 
Pleasant Conceited Comedie called Love's Labours Lost. As it 
was presented before her Highnes this last Christmas. Newly 
corrected and augmented by W. Shakespeare.' Here the corrector 
and augmentor is the undoubted author; and so the appearance of 
W. S. in the title-page of ' Locrine ' as its overseer and corrector, 
does not prove that "it was not composed" by W. S. We have 
no earlier trace that W. S. was held to be William Shakspere than 
the publication of 'Locrine' in the folio of 1664. If the pub- 
lishers of that edition of Shakspere's works were misled by the 
initials W. S., they are not the only persons who have thought that 
these initials could only belong to the greatest of writers. Shak- 
spere has been made a political economist upon the strength of 
them. He was indeed a much better political economist than 
many of the statesmen of his time; but he did not in 1581 write 
' A compendious or briefe examination of certayne ordinary com- 
plaints, &c., by W. S.,' which in the last century was printed with 
his name. The author of that very able pamphlet was William 
Stafford. The theory of Steevens with regard to ' Locrine ' is that 
it was written by Marlowe, who died in 1593; that it was entered 
on th'^ Stationers' books as Marlowe left it ; that some revision was 
necessary ; and that it was published with the initials of the re- 
visor, William Smith, in 1595. In 1596 William Smith printed a 
collection of fifty sonnets, entitled, ' Chloris, or the Complaint of 
the passionate despised Shepheard.' In ' England's Helicon,' 
printed in 1600, there is a little poem entitled 'Corin's Dream of 
his fair Chloris,' bearing the initials W. S., which is no doubt by 
the same William Smith. We extract the first eight lines of this 
poem : — 

" What time bright Titan in the zenith sat, 
\nd equally the fixed poles did heat : 
When to my flock my daily woes I chat, 
And underneath a broad beech took my seat. 
The dreaming god, which Morpheus poets call, 
Augmenting fuel to my ^Etna's fire, 
With sleep possessing my weak senses all, 
In apparitions makes my hopes aspire." 

In the ' Censura Literaria ' (vol. v., p. 113) an account is given of 
a work printed in 1577, entitled 'The Golden Aphroditis : a plea- 
sant discourse, penned by John Grange, gentleman,' in which a 
poem is also found by W. S., which is thus described : — " Eighteen 



316 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERK. 



commendatory lines succeed, by W. S. Tliis probably was Wm. 
Smith, the writer of other poesies. Shakspeare it could not be ; 
both on account of the date, and because he thus useth the com- 
monplace process of compliment employed in that age, in which 
mythology and personification are made to halt for it." We ex- 
tract four lines from these commendatory verses : — 

" Here Virtue seems to check at Vice, and Wisdom Folly taunts : 
Here Venus she is set at nought, and dame Diane she vaunts. 
Here Pallas Cupid doth detest, and all his carpet-knights ; 
Here doth she show that youthful imps in folly most delights." 

Here then was a W. S. appearing as a poet in 1577, and again in 
1596. ' Locrine,' in 1595, is newly set forth, &c., by W. S. The 
same anonymous person might have written a play in the very 
early days of the English stage, contemporary with the first per- 
formances of Peele, Greene, Marlowe, and Kyd; he might have 
revised it and published it in 1595. Very little is known of this 
author ; nothing of his personal history. A copy or two is in ex- 
istence of his fifty sonnets ; and, if that be fame, his little book 
has been sold for thirty pounds in our own day. Seventy years 
after the first publication of ' Locrine,' it is reprinted in a collec- 
tion of Shakspere's works ; but we have not a particle of evidence 
that it was traditionally ascribed to Shakspere. The principle 
which appears to have determined the publishers of our poet's 
works in 1664 to add to their "impression" a collection of "seven 
plays never before printed in folio" appears to have been a very 
simple one. They took all which they found bearing the initials 
W. S., or the name William Shakspere, as may be seen from the 
following table : — 



Title of Play. 



Initials, or Name, on Title. 



Date. 



Pericles, Prince of Tyre . 
Tragedie of Locrine .... 
First Part of the Life of Sir John) 

Oldcastle j 

Chronicle Historie of Thomas) 

Lord Cromwell . . . . j 
The London Prodigall . 

The Puritaine 

A Yorkshire Tragedie . . . 



William Shakespeare . 
W. S 

1. No name or initial . 

2. William Shakespeare 

1. No name or initial . 

2. W. S 



William Shakespeare 

W. S 

W. Shakespeare . 



1609 
1595 
1600 
1600 
1602 
1613 
1605 
1607 
1608 



The name of Shakspere affixed to the title of any of these plays 
cannot, as we have before observed in our notice of ' Pericles,' be 
received as evidence of the authorship. ' Sir John Oldcastle,' of 



LOCRINE. 317 

which two editions were published in 1600 by the same bookseller, 
the one with Shakspere's name, the other without (the one without 
a name being the most correct), was unquestionably not written by 
Shakspere, because we have record of a payment to the actual 
writers. This circumstance compelled us to inquire into the au- 
thorship of ' Pericles,' almost wholly with reference to the internal 
evidence. And upon the same principle we must examine ' The 
London Prodigal ' and ' The Yorkshire Tragedy.' It is manifest 
that the initials W. S. upon the title-pages of the early copies can- 
not be received as evidence at all of the authorship, however con- 
venient it might have been for a publisher to accept them as evi- 
dence fifty years after Shakspere's death. W. S. might, without 
any attempt to convey the notion that ' Locrine ' was written by 
Shakspere, have fairly stood for William Smith ; and in the same 
way tlie W. S. of ' Thomas Lord Cromwell,' and the W. S. of ' The 
Puritan,' might have represented Wentworth Smith, a well-known 
dramatic author at the date of the publication of those plays, who 
wrote many pieces in conjunction with the best poets of that pro- 
lific period of the stage. We proceed to an analysis of * Locrine,' 
not, as we would repeat, to attempt any display of ingenuity in 
finding parallels or contrasts, but, inquiring into the broad princi- 
ples of Shakspere's art, to apply something like a test of the genu- 
ineness of those productions which have been assigned to him at 
various periods since they were written, some very loosely and 
hastily, as we think, and others upon grounds that demand a patient 
and careful examination. 

According to Tieck, ' Locrine ' is the earliest of Shakspere's 
dramas. He has a theory that it has altogether a political tendency : 
" It seems to have reference to the times when England was suf- 
fering through the parties formed in favour of Mary Stuart, and 
to have been written before her execution, while attacks were 
feared at home, and invasions from abroad." It was corrected by 
the author, and printed, he further says, in 1595, when another 
Spanish invasion was feared. We confess ourselves utterly at a 
loss to recognise in ' Locrine' the mode in which Shakspere usually 
awakens the love of country. The management in this particular 
is essentially different from that of ' King John ' and ' Henry V.' 
' Locrine ' is one of the works which Tieck has translated, and his 
translation is no doubt a proof of the sincerity of his opinions ; yet 
he says, frankly enough, " It bears the marks of a young poet un- 
acquainted with the stage, who endeavours to sustain himself con- 
stantly in a posture of elevation, who purposely neglects the neces- 



318 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

sary rising and sinking of tone and effect, and who, with wonderful 
energy, endeavours from beginning to end to make his personages 
speak in the same highly-wrought and poetical language, while at 
the same time he shakes out all his school-learning on every pos- 
sible occasion." To reduce this very just account of the play to 
elementary criticism, Tieck says, first, that the action of the play 
is not conducted upon dramatic principles; second, that the lan- 
guage is not varied with the character and situation ; third, that 
the poetry is essentially conventional, being the reflection of the 
author's school-learning. It must be evident to all our readers 
that these characteristics are the very reverse of Shakspere. 
Schlegel says of * Locrine,' " The proofs of the genuineness of 
this piece are not altogether unambiguous ; the grounds for doubt, 
on the other hand, are entitled to attention. However, this ques- 
tion is immediately connected with that respecting ' Titus Andro- 
nicus,' and must be at the same time resolved in the affirmative or 
negative." We dissent entirely from this opinion. It appears to 
us that the differences are as strikingly marked between ' Locrine ' 
and ' Titus Andronicus ' as between ' Titus Andronicus ' and 
' Othello.' Those productions were separated by at least twenty 
years. The youth might have produced Aaron ; the perfect master 
of his art, lago. There is the broad mark of originality in the 
characterization and language of ' Titus Andronicus.' The terrible 
passions which are there developed by the action find their vent in 
the appropriate language of passion, the bold and sometimes rude 
outpourings of nature. The characters of ' Locrine ' are moved to 
passion, but first and last they speak out of books. In Shakspere, 
high poetry is the most natural language of passion. It belongs to 
the state of excitement in which the character is placed ; it har- 
monizes with the excited state of the reader or of the audience. 
But the whole imagery of ' Locrine ' is mythological. In a speech 
of twenty lines we have Rhadamanthus, Hercules, Eurydice, Ere- 
bus, Pluto, Mors, Tantalus, Pelops, Tithonus, Minos, Jupiter, 
Mars, and Tisiphone. The mythological pedantry is carried to 
such an extent, that the play, though unquestionably written in 
sober sadness, is a perfect travesty of this peculiarity of the early 
dramatists. Conventional as Greene and Marlowe are in their 
imagery, a single act of ' Locrine ' contains more of this tinsel than 
all their plays put together, prone as they are to this species of 
decoration. In the author of ' Locrine ' it becomes so entirely 
ridiculous, that this quality alone would decide us to say that Mar- 
lowe had nothing to do with it, or Greene either. There is ano- 



LOCRINE. 



319 



ther peculiarity also in ' Locrine ' which distinguishes it as much 
from 'Titus Andronicus' as it does from the accredited works of 
the hest dramatists of the early period. We allude to the incessant 
repetitions of a phrase, in the endeavour to be forcible and rheto- 
rical. Sparingly used, all poets know the power of an echo which 
intensifies the original sound ; but we will select a few such pas- 
sages from ' Locrine ' which are the mere platitudes of weakness 
and inexperience : — 

" These arms, my lords, these never-daunted arms." 
" This heart, my lords, this ne'er-appalled heart.*' 
" Accursed stars, damn'd and accursed stars." 
" Brutus, that was a glory to us all, 

Brutus, that was a terror to his foes." 
" For at this time, yea at this present time." 
" Casts such a heat, yea such a scorching heat." 
" Since mighty kings are subject to mishap 

(Ay, mighty kings are subject to mishap)." 
" But this foul day, this foul accursed day." 

No doubt we may find this rhetorical form amongst the founders of 
our drama, and often in an excess which approaches to the ridicu- 
lous ; take a passage from Greene's ' Orlando Furioso,' for ex- 
ample : — 

" Although my country's love, dearer than pearl, 
Or mines of gold, might well have kept me back ; 
The sweet conversing with my king and friends, 
J-ieft all for love, might well have kept me back ; 
The seas by Neptune hoised to the heavens, 
Whose dangerous flaws might well have kept me back ; 
The savage Moors and Anthropophagi, 
Whose lands I pass'd, might well have kept me back ; 
The doubt of entertainment in the event 
When I arriv'd, might well have kept me back ; . 
But so the fame of fair Angelica 
Stamp'd in my thoughts the figure of her love, 
As neither country, king, or seas, or cannibals, 
Could by despairing keep Orlando back." 

We have the same sort of elaborate repetition in ' Locrine :' — 

" If Fortune favour me in mine attempts, 
Thou shalt be queen of lovely Albion. 
Fortune shall favour me in mine attempts. 
And make thee queen of lovely Albion." 

The latter passage, as well as that of Greene, is evidently part of 
the system of rhetoric upon which both writers proceeded, although 
in Greene the management is more spirited. We know of nothing 



3*20 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

like examples of this system in Shakspere, except in one playful 
piece of comedy, where the principle is applied with the greatest 
nicety of art : — 

" Bass. Sweet Portia, 

If you did know to whom I gave the ring, , 

If you did know for whom I gave the ring, 
And would conceive for what I gave the ring, 
And bow unwillingly I left the ring, 
When nought would be accepted but the ring, 
You would abate the strength of your displeasure. 

Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring, 
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring. 
Or your own honour to contain tlie ring, 
You would not then have parted with the ring." 

( ' Merchant of Venice,' Act V.) 

Let US, however, proceed to a rapid examination of ' Locrine,' in 
its action and characterization. 

The dumb-show, as it is called, of ' Locrine ' is tolerably decisive 
as to the date of the performance. It belongs essentially to that 
period when the respective powers of action and of words were 
imperfectly understood ; when what was exhibited to the eye re- 
quired to be explained, and what was conveyed to the imagination 
of the audience by speech was to be made more intelligible by a 
sign-painting pantomime. Nothing could be more characteristic 
of a very rude state of art, almost the rudest, than the dumb -shows 
which introduce each act of ' Locrine.' Act L is thus heralded: — 

" Thunder and lightning. Enter Ate in black, with a burning torch in one 
hand, and a bloody sword in the other. Presently let there come forth a lion run- 
ning after a bear ; then come forth an archer, who must kill the lion in a dumb 
show, and then depart. Ate remains." 

Ate then tells us, in good set verse, that a mighty lion was killed by 
a dreadful archer; and the seventeen lines in which we are told this 
are filled with a very choice description of the lion before he was 
shot, and after he was shot. And what has this to do with the sub- 
ject of the play ? It is an acted simile : — 

" So valiant Brute, the terror of the world. 
Whose only looks did scare his enemies. 
The archer Death brought to his latest end. 
O, what may long abide above this ground, 
Iti state of bliss and healthful happiness? " 

In the second act we have a dumb-show of Perseus and Andromeda ; 
in the third " a crocodile sitting on a river's bank, and a little snake 



LOCRINE. 321 

stinging it;" in the fourth Omplialc and Hercules; in the fifth 
Jason, Medea, and Creon's daughter. Ate, who is the great show- 
woman of these scenes, introduces her puppets on each occasion with 
a line or two of Latin, and always concludes her address with " So " 
— " So valiant Brute" — " So fares it with young Locrine" — " So 
Humber " — " So martial Locrine " — " So Guendolen." A writer in 
the ' Edinburgh Review ' most justly calls Locrine " a characteristic 
work of its time." If we were to regard these dumb-shows as the 
most decisive marks of its chronology, we should carry the play 
back to the age when the form of the moralities was in some degree 
indispensable to a dramatic performance ; when the action could not 
move and develop itself without the assistance of something ap- 
proaching to the character of a chorus. Thus in ' Tancred and 
Gismunda,' originally acted before Queen Elizabeth in 1568, pre- 
vious to the first act " Cupid cometh out of the heavens in a cradle 
of flowers, drawing forth upon the stage, in a blue twist of silk, 
from his left hand, Vain Hope, Brittle Joy ; and with a carnation 
twist of silk from his right hand. Fair Resemblance, Late Repent- 
ance." We have there choruses at the conclusion of other acts ; 
and, previous to the fourth act, not only " Megsera riseth out of 
hell, with the other furies," but she subsequently mixes in the main 
action, and throws her snake upon Tancred. Whatever period 
therefore we may assign to ' Locrine,' varying between the date of 
' Tancred and Gismunda' and its original publication in 1594, we 
may be sure that the author, whoever he was, had not power enough 
to break through the trammels of the early stage. He had not that 
confidence in the force of natural action and just characterization 
which would allow a drama to be wholly dramatic. He wanted 
that high gift of imagination which conceives and produces these 
qualities of a drama ; and he therefore dealt as with an unimagi- 
native audience. The same want of the dramatic power renders his 
play a succession of harangues, in which the last thing thought of 
is the appropriateness of language to situation. The first English 
dramatists, and those who worked upon their model, appear to have 
gone upon the principle that they produced the most perfect work 
of art when they took their art entirely out of the province of 
nature. The highest art is a representation of Nature in her very 
highest forms ; something which is above common reality, but at 
the same time real. The lowest art embodies a principle opposite 
to nature ; something purely conventional, and consequently always 
uninteresting, often grotesque and ridiculous. ' Locrine ' furnishes 
Vol. XII. Y 



322 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

abundant examples of the characteristics of a school of art which 
may be considered as the antithesis of the school of Shakspere. 

The first scene introduces us to " Brutus carried in a chair." 
With him are his three sons, Locrine, Camber, and Albanact ; Cori- 
neus and Asaracus, his brothers ; Guendolen, the daughter of Cori- 
neus ; with other personages. Brutus informs the assembly of his 
approaching death ; and his brothers tell him of his great renown ; 
which speeches encourage Brutus to take a very self- satisfying view 
of the whole course of his life, from the period of his flight from 
Italy to his quelling of the giants of Albion. However, the dying 
man at last proceeds to business ; divides the kingdom amongst his 
sons, and directs that Locrine shall marry Guendolen. Having 
effected all this at an expense of words which would be somewhat 
weakening to a person in health, he very opportunely dies, and his 
son and brother break out into the following rhapsodies : — 

" Loc. Accursed stars, damn'd and accursed stars, 
To abbreviate my noble father's life ! 
Hard-hearted gods, and too envious fates, 
Thus to cut off my father's fatal thread ! 
Brutus, that was a glory to us all, 
Brutus, that was a terror to his foes, 
Alas ! too soon by Demogorgon's knife 
The martial Brutus is bereft of life ; 
No sad complaints may move just iEacus. 

Cor. No dreadful threats can fear judge Rhadaraantli. 
Wert thou as strong as mighty Hercules, 
That tam'd the hugy monsters of the world, 
Play'dst thou as sweet on the sweet-sounding lute 
As did the spouse of fair Eurydice, 
That did enchant the waters with his noise. 
And made stones, birds, and beasts to lead a dance, 
Constrain'd the hilly trees to follow him, 
Thou couldst not move the judge of Erebus, 
Nor move compassion in grim Pluto's heart ; 
For fatal Mors expecteth all the world. 
And every man must tread the way of death. 
Brave Tantalus, the valiant Pelops' sire, 
Guest to the gods, suffer'd untimely death ; 
And old Tithonus, husband to the mom. 
And eke grim Minos, whom just Jupiter 
Deign "d to admit unto his sacrifice. 
The thmid'ring trumpets of bloodthirsty Mars, 
The fearful rage of fell Tisiphone, 
The boisterous waves of humid ocean. 
Are instruments and tools of dismal death. 
Then, noble cousin, cease to mourn his chance, 
Whose age and years were signs that he should die. 



LOCRINE. 323 

It resteth now that we inter his bones, 

Tliat was a terror to his enemies. 

Take up the corse, and, princes, hold him dead, 

Who while he liv'd upheld the Trojan state. 

Sound drums and trumpets ; march to Troynovant, 

There to provide our chieftain's funeral." 

At the end of the first act Locrine and Guendolen are married ; but 
a comic scene is interposed, in which Strumbo, a cobbler, talks of 
Cuprit and Dina, and in the same breath of the fourth book of Lac- 
tantius. It is evident that the author of this play could not produce 
the lowest buffoonery without making a parade of his book-know- 
ledge. 

The second act opens with the arrival of Humber, the king of 
the Scythians, with Estrild his wife, and Hubba his son. The lady 
is rapturous in her admiration of Albion : — 

" The plains, my lord, gamish'd with Flora's wealth. 
And overspread with particolour'd flowers, 
Do yield sweet contentation to my mind. 
The airy hills enclos'd with shady groves, 
The groves repleiiish'd with sweet chirping birds, 
The birds resounding heavenly melody, 
Are equal to the groves of Thessaly ; 
Where Phcebus, with the learned ladies nine. 
Delight themselves with music's harmony, 
And from the moisture of the mountain-tops 
The silent springs dance down with murmuring streams. 
And water all the ground with crystal waves. 
The gentle blasts of Eurus' modest wind, 
Moving the pittering leaves of Silvan's woods, 
Do equal it with Tempe's paradise ; 
And thus consorted all to one effect. 
Do make me think these are the happy isles. 
Most fortunate if Humber may them win." 

After strutting about, and talking of Fortune, and Boreas, and Se- 
miramis, and Lucifer, and Penthesilea, these Scythian scholars move 
forward, and the cobbler appears again upon the scene, and refuses 
the "press-money" which a captain offers him. Subsequently the 
Scythians burn the cobbler's house with his wife in it ; but he goes 
to the wars with Albanact, and has the honour of fighting with the 
king of the Scythians, Humber is routed ; and talks, as is very 
natural with people when they are in very great distress, about 
Briareus, Olympus, and Minerva, However, the tide of battle 
turns again, and Albanact is routed; and kills himself, after a 
denunciation of Fortune, which furnishes the most satisfactory 

Y 2 



324 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 



evidence of the greatness of his ambition who was resolved to do so 
many wonderful things after he had cut his own throat : — 

" Curs'd be her charms, damn'd be her cursed charms, 
That do delude the wayward hearts of men, 
Of men that trust unto her fickle wheel, 
Which never leaveth turning upside-down ! 

gods, O heavens, allot me but the place 
Where I may find her hateful mansion. 

1 '11 pass the Alps to wat'ry Meroe, 
Where fiery Phoebus in his chariot. 

The wheels whereof are deck'd with emeralds, 
Casts such a heat, yea such a scorching heat, 
And spoileth Flora of her checker'd grass ; 
I '11 overturn the mountain Caucasus, 
Where fell Chimaera, in her triple shape, 
Rolleth hot flames from out her monstrous paunch, 
Scaring the beasts with issue of her gorge ; 
I '11 pass the frozen zone, where icy flakes, 
Stopping the passage of the fleeting ships. 
Do lie, like mountains, in the congeal'd sea : 
Where if I find that hateful house of hers, 
I '11 pull the fickle wheel from out her hands, 
And tie herself in everlasting bands." 

He very appropriately concludes with six Latin hexameters before 
he kills himself. It is difficult to say which is the most ludicrous — 
the solemn ravings of the hero, or the burlesque of the cobbler and 
his man. 

In the third act Locrine comes against Humber, and finally de- 
feats him, after a great many words uttered in the same " Ercles' 
vein." We hopelessly look for any close parallel of the fustian of 
this play in the accredited works of Greene, or Marlowe, or Kyd, 
who redeemed their pedantry and their extravagance by occasional 
grandeur and sweetness. The dialogue of ' Locrine ' from first to 
last is inflated beyond all comparison with any contemporary per- 
formance with which we are acquainted. Our readers are familiar 
with a gentleman who, when he is entreated to go down, says, " I '11 
see her damned first ; — to Pluto's damned lake, to the infernal deep, 
with Erebus and tortures vile also." The valiant Pistol had, no 
doubt, diligently studied ' Locrine ;' but he was a faint copyist of 
such sublime as the following : — 

" You ugly spirits that in Cocytus mourn, 
And gnash your teeth with dolorous laments; 
You fearful dogs, that in black Lethe howl, 
And scare tlie ghosts with your wide-open throats ; 
You ugly ghosts, that flying from tliese dogs 



LOCRINE. 325 

Do plunge yourselves in Puryflegethon ; 

Come all of you, and with your shrieking notes 

Accompany the Britons' conquering host. 

Come, fierce Erinnys, horrible with snakes ; 

Come, ugly furies, armed with your whips ; 

You threefold judges of black Tartarus, 

And all the army of your hellish fiends, 

"With new-found torments rack proud Locrine's bones ! " 

We do not get rid of Humber, who of all the characters excels in 
this line, until the end of the fourth act ; previous to which happy 
event of his death Locrine has fallen in love with Estrild, his pri- 
soner ; and the lady, after a very brief wooing, requites his love 
under the assurance that Queen Guendolen shall do her no harm. 
The following lines, in which Locrine describes the arrangennents 
that he has made for the indulgence of his passion, furnish almost 
the only example of a passage in the play approaching to something 
like natural and appropriate language : — 

" Nigh Durolitum, by the pleasant Ley, 

Where brackish Thamis slides with silver streams, 

Making a breach into the grassy downs, 

A curious arch of costly marble fraught 

Hath Locrine framed underneath the ground; 

The walls whereof, garnish'd with diamonds, 

Wilh opals, rubies, glistering emeralds, 

And interlac'd with sun-bright carbuncles, 

Lighten the room with artificial day : 

And from the Ley with water-flowing pipes 

The moisture is deriv'd into this arch. 

Where I have plac'd fair Estrild secretly. 

Thither eftsoons, accompanied with my page, 

I visit covertly my heart's desire. 

Without suspicion of the meanest eye, 

For love aboundeth still with policy. 

And thither still means Locrine to repair. 

Till Atropos cut off mine uncle's life." 

In the fifth act we hear of the death of Corineus ; upon which 
Locrine commands that Estrild shall be queen in the room of Guen- 
dolen. The rightful wife, upon hearing of her misfortune, calls 
upon the winds and the clouds and the sun, and other such allies of 
tragic personages, to assist her in her distress, and she does not call 
in vain : — 

" Behold the heavens do wail for Guendolen; 

The shining sun doth blush for Guendolen ; 

The liquid air doth weep for Guendolen ; 

The very ground doth groan for Guendolen. 

Ay, they are milder than the Britain king, 

For he rejecteth luckless Guendolen."' 



326 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Her son arrives, and changes her temper in a moment from sorrow 
to revenge : — 

" Then henceforth farewell womanish complaints ! 
All childish pity henceforth then farewell! 
But, cursed Locrine, look unto thyself; 
For Nemesis, the mistress of revenge, 
Sits arm'd at all points on our dismal blades : 
And cursed Estrild, that inflam'd his heart, 
Shall, if I live, die a reproachful death." 

A battle ensues in which Locrine is defeated ; but previously the 
ghost of Corineus appears, and his speech is no unfavourable speci- 
men of the power of the writer : — 

" Behold, the circuit of the azure sky 
Throws forth sad throbs, and grievous suspires, 
Prejudicating Locrine's overthrow. 
The fire casteth forth sharp darts of flames; 
The great foundation of the triple world 
Trembleth and quaketh with a mighty noise, 
Presaging bloody massacres at hand. 
The wandering birds that flutter in the dark 
(When hellish Night, in cloudy chariot seated, 
Casteth her mists on shady Tellus' face. 
With sable mantles covering all the earth) 
Now flies abroad amid the cheerful day, 
Foretelling some unwonted misery. 
The snarling curs of darken'd Tartarus, 
Sent from Avernus' ponds by Rhadamanth, 
With howling ditties pester every wood. 
The wat'ry ladies, and the lightfoot fawns, 
And all the rabble of the woody nymphs, 
All trembling hide themselves in shady groves, 
And shroud themselves in hideous hollow pits. 
The boisterous Boreas thund'reth forth revenge : 
The stony rocks cry out on sharp revenge : 
The thorny bush pronounceth dire revenge. 
Now, Corineus, stay and see revenge.'" 

The last four lines furnish another example of that species of repe- 
tition which we have previously noticed. We have four lines very 
similar in Lodge's ' Wounds of Civil War :' — 

" Thy coloured wings, 8teej)ed in purple blood. 
Thy blinding wreath, distain'd in purple blood, 
Thy royal robes, wash'd in my purple blood, 
Shall witness to the world thy thirst of blood." 

Locrine and Estrild each kill themselves ; and Sabren, previous to 
her completion of the tragedy, speaks some lines which, with a few 



LOCllINE. 327 

other scattered passages here and there, afford evidence that, if the 
author possessed little or nothing of what may he properly called 
dramatic power, he might, could he have shaken off the false learn- 
ing and extravagance of his school, have produced something which 
with proper culture might have ripened into poetry : — 

" You mountain nymphs which in these deserts reign, 
Cease off your hasty chase of savage beasts ! 
Prepare to see a heart oppress'd with care ; 
Address your ears to hear a mournful style ! 
No human strength, no work can work my weal, 
Care in my heart so tyrant-like doth deal. 
You Dryades and lightfoot Satyri, 
You gracious fairies, which at even-tide 
Your closets leave, with heaveidy beauty stor'd, 
And on your shoulders spread your golden locks; 
You savage bears, in caves and darken'd dens. 
Come wail with me the martial Locrine"s death ; 
Come mourn with me for beauteous Estrild's death ! 
Ah ! loving parents, little do you know 
What sorrow Sabren suffers for your thrall." 

Can we then believe that ' Locrine ' was the earliest work of 
Shakspere, as Tieck would believe ? or are we to think with Schle- 
gel that it belongs to the same class, and the same hand, as ' Titus 
Andronicus ? ' We doubt much whether it is the work of a very 
young man at all. It is wrought up to the author's conception of a 
dramatic poem ; it has no inequalities ; its gross defects were in- 
tended to be beauties. It was written tmquestionably by one who 
had received a scholastic training, and who saw the whole world of 
poetry in the remembrance of what he had read ; he looked not 
upon the heart of men; he looked not even upon the commonest 
features of external nature. Did Shakspere work thus in the poems 
that we knoiv he produced when a young man ? Assuredly not. 
If his training had been scholastic, his good sense would have taught 
him to see something in poetry besides the echo of his scholarship. 
Nor can ' Locrine ' be compared with ' Titus Andronicus.' The 
faults of that play are produced by the uncontrolled energy which, 
straining for effect in action and passion, destroys even its own 
strength through the absence of calmness and repose. Even Shak- 
spere could not at first perceive the universal truth which is con- 
tained in his own particular direction to the players : — " In the very 
torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) the whirlwind of passion, you 
must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness." 

We have already apprised our readers that the opinions we enter- 



328 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPKIIE. 

tain with regard to the authorship of ' Locrine ' are directly opposed 
to those of Tieck, who has translated the play. The passages we 
have selected are, we think, fair examples of the average character 
of the poetry ; but Tieck has pointed out one passage which he con- 
siders demonstrative of the hand of Shakspere. He supposes that 
' Locrine ' was enlarged and improved by our poet previous to the 
edition of 1595; and he says — "In this new edition are doubtless 
added many verses adapted to the circumstances of the time ; but 
particularly the beautiful rhymed stanzas in the fourth act, which 
so distinctly remind us of his Sonnets and the ' Venus and Adonis,' 
that these alone would prove the genuineness of the drama." We 
subjoin the stanzas : — 

" Enter Soldiers, leading in Estrii.d. 

Est. What prince soe'er, adoni'd with golden crown. 
Doth sway the regal sceptre in his hand. 
And thinks no chance can ever tiirow \nm down, 
Or that his state shall everlasting stand, 
Let him behold poor Estrild in this plight, 
The perfect platform of a troubled wight. 

Once was I guarded with Mavortial bands, 
Compass'd with princes of the noble blood ; 
Now am I fallen into ray foemen's liands, 
And with my death must pacify their mood. 
O life, the harbour of calamities! 

death, the haven of all miseries ! 

1 could compare my sorrows to thy woe. 
Thou wretched queen of wretched Pergamus, 
But that thou view'dst thy enemies' overthrow. 
Nigh to the rock of high Caphareus 

Thou saw'st their death, and tlien departedst thence : 
I must abide the victors" insolence. 

Tlie gods, that pitied thy continual grief, 
Transform'd thy cor])se, and with thy corpse thy care : 
Poor Estrild lives, despairing of relief, 
For friends in trouble are but few and rare. 
What said I, few ? ay, few, or none at all, 
For cruel Death made havoc of them all. 

Thrice happy they whose fortune was so good 

To end their lives, and with their lives their woes! 

Thrice hapless I, whom Fortune so withstood. 

That cruelly she gave me to my foes ! 

O soldiers, is there any misery 

To be compar'd to Fortune's treachery ? ' 




SIR JOHN OLDCASTLE. 

PART I. 



The mode in which some of the German critics have spoken of 
this play is a rebuke to dogmatic assertions and criticism. Schlegel 
says — putting ' Sir John Oldcastle,' ' Thomas Lord Cromwell,' and 
' The Yorkshire Tragedy' in the same class — " The three last pieces 
are not only unquestionably Shakspere's, but in my opinion they 
deserve to be classed among his best and maturest works. 
' Thomas Lord Cromwell ' and ' Sir John Oldcastle ' are biographi- 



330 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

cal dramas, and models in this species ; the first is linked, from its 
subject, to ' Henry VIII.,' and the second to ' Henry V.' " Tieck 
is equally confident in assigning the authorship of this play to 
Shakspere. Ulrici, on the contrary, takes a more sober view of 
the matter. He says — " The whole betrays a poet who endea- 
voured to form himself on Shakspere's model, nay, even to imitate 
him, but who stood far below him in mind and talent." Our own 
critics, relying upon the internal evidence, agreed in rejecting it. 
Malone could " not perceive the least trace of our great poet in 
any part of this play." He observes that it was originally entered 
on the Stationers' registers without the name of Shakspere ; but he 
does not mention the fact that of two editions printed in 1600 one 
bears the name of Shakspere, the other not. The one which has 
the name says — " As it hath bene lately acted by the Right honor- 
able the Earle of Notingham, Lord High Admirall of England, his 
Seruants." In 1594 a play of Shakspere's might have been acted, 
as, we believe, ' Hamlet ' was, at Henslowe's theatre, which was 
that of the Lord High Admiral his servants ; but in 1600 a play of 
Shakspere's would have unquestionably been acted by the Lord 
Chamberlain his servants. However, this conjectural evidence is 
quite unnecessary. Henslowe, the head of the Lord Admiral's 
company, as we learn by his diary, on the 16th of October, 1599, 
paid " for The first part of the Lyfe of Sir Jhon Ouldcastell, and 
in earnest of the Second Pte, for the use of the company, ten 
pound;" and the money was received by "Thomas Downton " 
" to pay Mr. Monday, Mr. Drayton, Mr. Wilson, and Hathaway." 
We might here dismiss the question of the authorship of this play, 
did it not furnish a very curious example of the imperfect manner 
in which it was attempted to imitate the excellence and to rival the 
popularity of Shakspere's best historical plays at the time of their 
original production. It is not the least curious also of the circum- 
stances connected with ' The First Part of Sir John Oldcastle,' 
tliat, whilst the bookseller affixed the name of Shakspere to the per- 
formance, it has been supposed that the FalstafF of his ' Henry IV.' 
was pointed at in the following prologue : — 

" The doubtful title, gentlemen, prefix'd 
Upon the argument we have in hand, 
May breed suspense, and wrongfully disturb 
The peaceful quiet of your settled thoughts. 
To sto]) which scruple, let this brief sutSce : 
It is no pamper d glutton we present, 
Nor aged counsellor to ijouthful sin, 
But one, whose virtue shone above the rest, 



SIR JOHN OLDCASTLR. 331 

A valiant martyr, and a virtuous peer ; 
In whose true faith and loyalty, express'd 
Unto his sovereign and his country's weal, 
"We strive to pay that tribute of our love 
Your favours merit. Let /air truth be gracd. 
Since f org d invention former time defac'd.'''' 

In the Introductory Notice to ' Henry IV.' we have adverted to 
the opinion that the Sir John FalstafF of Shakspere's ' Henry IV.' 
was originally called Sir John Oldcastle; and the question is again 
touched upon in the Introductory Notice to ' The Merry Wives of 
Windsor.' The line in the prologue which we have just quoted — 
" Since forg'd invention yb^'/wer time defac'd " — 

might appear to point to an earlier period of the stage than that in 
which Shakspere's ' Henry IV.' was produced. Indeed, the old 
play of ' The Famous Victories ' contains the character of Sir John 
Oldcastle. He is a low, ruffianly sort of fellow, who may be called 
" an aged counsellor to youthful sin ;" but he is not represented as 
"a pampered glutton." In the Notice to ' Henry IV.' we said — 
" In our opinion, there was either another play besides ' The Fa- 
mous Victories ' in which the name of Oldcastle was introduced, or 
the remarks of contemporary writers applied to Shakspere's Fal- 
stafF, who had originally borne the name of Oldcastle. The fol- 
lowing passage is from Fuller's ' Church History :' — ' Stage-poets 
have themselves been very bold with, and others very merry at, 
the memory of Sir John Oldcastle, whom they have fancied a boon 
companion, a jovial royster, and a coward to boot. The best is. 
Sir John FalstafF hath relieved the memory of Sir John Oldcastle, 
and of late is substituted buffoon in his place.' This description of 
Fuller cannot apply to the Sir John Oldcastle of ' The Famous 
Victories.' The dull dog of that play is neither a jovial companion 
nor a coward to boot." We added, — " Whether or not Shakspere's 
FalstafF was originally called Oldcastle, he was, after the character 
was fairly established as FalstafF, anxious to vindicate himself from 
the charge that he had attempted to represent the Oldcastle of 
history. In the epilogue to ' The Second Part of Henry IV.' we 
find this passage : — ' For anything I know, FalstafF shall die of a 
sweat, unless already he be killed with your hard opinions ; for 
Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man.' '* • The Second 
Part of Henry IV.,' the epilogue of which contains this passage, 
was entered in the Stationers' registers in 1600, and was published 
in that year. When ' The First Part of Sir John Oldcastle ' was 
published in the same year, Falstaff is distinctly recognised as the 



33-2 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPKRE. 

companion of Prince Henry. In that play Henry V. is represented 
as robbed by the parson of Wrotham, a very queer hedge-priest in- 
deed, bearing the name of Sir John, as if in rivalry of another Sir 
John ; and the following dialogue takes place : — 

" Sir John. Sirrah, no more ado ; come, come, give me the money you have. 
Despatch ; I cannot stand all day. 

K. Henri/. Well, if thou wilt needs have it, here it is. Just the proverb, one 
thief robs another. Where the devil are all my old thieves? FalstafF, that villain, 
is so fat, he cannot get on his horse ; but methinks Poins and Peto should be stir- 
ring hereabouts. 

.S'i> John. How much is there on 't, o' thy word ? " 

Falstaff is again mentioned in the same scene with the priest, who 
asserts that the king was once a thief; and in answer to the question 
" How canst thou tell ? " replies, — 

" How ? because he once robbed me before I fell to the trade myself, when that 
foul villainous guts, that led him to all tliat roguery, was in his company there, 
that Falstaff." 

We have here tolerable evidence that Falstaff was " not the man " 
Oldcastle in 1600. And yet the following very remarkable letter, 
or dedication, is written some years after : — 

•' To my noble friend Sir Henry Bourchier : 
" Sir Harry Bourchier, you are descended of noble ancestry, and in the duty of 
a good man love to hear and see fair reputation preserved from slander and obli- 
vion. Wherefore to you I dedicate this edition of ' Ocleve,' where Sir John Old- 
castle appears to have been a man of valour and virtue, and only lost in his own 
times because he would not bow under the foul superstition of Papistry, from 
whence, in so great a light of Gospel and learning, that there is not yet a more uni- 
versal departure is to me the greatest scorn of men. But of this more in another 
place, and in preface will you please to hear me that which follows? A young 
gentle lady of your acquaintance, having read the works of Shakespeare, made me 
this question : How Sir John Falstaffe, or Fastolf as it is written in the statute-book 
of Maudlin College in Oxford, where every day that society were bound to make 
memory of his soul, could be dead in Harry tiie Fifth's time and again live in tlie 
time of Harry the Sixth to be banished for cowardice? Whereto I made answer 
that this was one of those humours and mistakes for which Plato banished all poets 
out of his commonwealth ; that Sir John Falstaff was in those times a valiant sol- 
dier, as appears by a book in the Heralds' office dedicated unto him by a herald who 
had been with him, if I well remember, for the space of 25 years in the French wars; 
that he seems also to have been a man of learning, because in a library of Oxford I 
tiiid a book of dedicating churches sent from him for a present unto Bishop Wain- 
tleet, and inscribed with his own name. That in Shakespeare's first show of ' Harry 
the Fifth,' the person with which he undertook to play a buffoon was not Falstaff, 
but Sir John Oldcastle ; and that, offence being worthily taken by personages de- 
scended from his title, as peradventure by many others also who ought to have him 
in lionoiirable memory, the poet was put to make an ignorant shift of al)using Sir 
Jolm Falstoplie, a man not interior of virtue, though not so famous in piety as the 



SIR JOHN OLDCASTLK. 333 

other, who gave witness unto the trust of our reformation with a constant and reso- 
lute martyrdom, unto which he was pursued by the priests, bishops, monks, and 
friars of those days. Noble sir, this is all my preface. God keep you and me, and 
all Christian people, from the bloody designs of that cruel religion. 

" Yours in all observance, 

" Rich. James."' 

This letter is contained in a manuscript preserved in the Bodleian 
Library, written by Dr. Richard James, who died in 1638. The 
manuscript to which it is prefixed is entitled ' The Legend and De- 
fence of the Noble Knight and Martyr, Sir John Oldcastel,' and has 
been published by Mr. Halliwell, having been pointed out to him 
by the Rev. Dr. Bliss.* 

The "young gentle lady" who, according to this letter, was so 
well employed in studying Shakspere's historical plays, read them 
as many other persons read, without any very accurate perception 
of what essentially belongs to the province of imagination, and of 
what is literally true. Whatever similarity there may be in the 
names of Sir John FalstafF and Sir John Fastolf, the young lady 
might have perceived that the poet had not the slightest intention of 
proposing the Fastolf of ' Henry VL' as the FalstafF of ' Henry IV.' 
Assuredly the FalstafF that we last see in the closing scene of ' The 
Second Part of Henry IV.' — a jester, surfeit- swelled, old, profane, 
as the king denounces him — is not the Fastolf that makes his appear- 
ance at the battle of Patay, in ' The First Part of Henry VI.,' and is 
subsequently degraded from being a knight of the Garter for his 
conduct on that occasion. In these scenes of ' Henry VL' Shak- 
spere drew an historical character and represented an historical fact. 
The degradation of Fastolf was in all probability an unjust sen^ 
tence, — as unjust as that pronounced by the worthy writer of the 
letter in the Bodleian Library, that the wittiest of allj Shakspere's 
creations was "a buffoon," and that he might be confounded with 
the very commonplace knight whose only distinction was the garter 
on his leg. Fastolf was a respectable personage no doubt in his 
day, but not " sweet Jack FalstafF, kind Jack FalstafF, true Jack 
FalstafF, valiant Jack FalstafF, and therefore more valiant, being, as 
he is, old Jack FalstafF." It appears to us, therefore, that, in the 
same manner as the " young gentle lady " and Dr. Richard James, 
somewhat ignorantly as we think, confounded Fastolf and Falstaff, 
so they erred in a similar way by believing that " in Shakspere's 
first show of Harry the Fifth the person with which he undertook 
to play a buffoon was not FalstafF, but Sir John Oldcastle." Fuller, 
in his 'Worthies,' speaking of Sir John FalstafF, has the same com- 

* ' On the Character of Sir Jolni Falstaff/ 1841. 



334 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPEUE. 

plaint, as we have seen, against "stage-poets." Now, admitting 
what appears possible, that Shakspere in his ' Henry IV.' ori- 
ginally had the name of Oldcastle where we now find that of Fal- 
staff, is it likely that he could have meant the champion of the Re- 
formation of Wickliff, who was cruelly put to death for heresy in 
the fourth year of Henry V., to have been the boon companion of 
the youthful prince ; and who, before the king went to the French 
wars, died quietly in his bed, " e'en at the turning of the tide ? " 
And yet there is little doubt that, when Shakspere adopted a name 
familiar to the stage, he naturally raised up this species of absurd 
misconception, which had the remarkable fate of being succeeded 
by a mistake still more absurd, that Falstaff and Fastolf were one 
and the same. It is, however, extremely probable that there were 
other plays in which the character of Sir John Oldcastle was pre- 
sented historically, and falsely presented; that from this circum- 
stance Shakspere saw the necessity of substituting another name for 
Oldcastle, and of making the declaration " Oldcastle died a martyr, 
and this is not the man;" and that the authors of the play before us, 
' The First Part of Sir John Oldcastle,' adopted a subject with 
which the public mind was at that time familiar, and presented Sir 
John Oldcastle upon the stage, in a manner that would be agreeable 
to "personages descended from his title," and to the great body of 
the people " who ought to have him in honourable memory," Whe- 
ther the reputation of Oldcastle derived much benefit from their 
labours remains to be seen. 

The play opens with a quarrel in the street of Hereford between 
Lord Herbert, Lord Powis, and their followers ; which is put down 
by the judges, who are holding the assize in the town. The com- 
mencement of the conflict, in which blood was shed, is thus de- 
scribed : — 

" Lord Powis detracted from the power of Rome, 
Affirming Wickliff "s doctrine to be true, 
And Rome's erroneous : hot reply was made 
By the lord Herbert ; they were traitors all 
That would niauitain it. Powis answered, 
They were as true, as noble, and as wise 
As ye; they would defend it with their lives; 
He nam'd, for instance, sir John Oldcastle, 
The lord Cobham : Herbert replied again, 
He, thou, and all are traitors that so hold. 
The lie was given, the several factions drawn, 
And so enrag'd that we could not appease it." 

The second scene introduces us to the Bishop of Rochester, de- 
nouncing Lord Cobham (Oldcastle), as an heretic, to the Duke of 



SIH JOHN OLDCASTLE. 335 

Suffolk. The bishop is supported by Sir John of Wrotham, whose zeal 
is so boisterous as to receive the following rebuke from the Duke : — 

" Oh, but you must not swear ; it ill becomes 
One of your coat to rap out bloody oaths." 

The king appears to hear the complaint of the churchman ; and he 
promises to send for Oldcastle " and school him privately." In the 
third scene we have Lord Cobham and an aged servant, and Lord 
Powis arrives in disguise, and is concealed by Cobham. In the se- 
cond act we have a comic scene, amusing enough, but anything but 
original ; a sumner arrives to cite Lord Cobham before the Eccle- 
siastical Court, and the old servant of the noble reformer makes the 
officer eat the citation. Nashe tells us in his ' Pierce Pennylesse ' 
that he once saw Robert Greene " make an apparitor eat his citation, 
wax and all, very handsomely served 'twixt two dishes." We have 
something like the same incident in the play of the ' Pinner of Wake- 
field.' The scene changes to London, where we have an assembly 
of rebels, who give out that Oldcastle will be their general. In the 
next scene, which is probably the best sustained of the play, we 
have Henry and Lord Cobham in conference : — 

" K. Henri/. 'T is not enough, lord Cobham, to submit; 

You must forsake your gross opinion. 

The bishops find themselves much injured ; 

And though, for some good service you have done, 

We for our part are pleas'd to pardon you, 

Yet they will not so soon be satisfied. 

Cob. My gracious lord, unto your majesty, 

Next unto my God, I do owe my life ; 

And what is mine, either by nature's gift, 

Or fortune's bounty, all is at your service. 

But for obedience to the pope of Rome, 

I owe him none; nor shall his shaveling priests, 

That are in England, alter my belief. 

If out of Holy Scripture they can prove 

That I am in an error, I will yield, 

And gladly take instruction at their hands : 

But otherwise I do beseech your grace 

My conscience may not be encroach'd uporj. 
K. Henry. We would be loth to press our subjects' bodies, 

Much less their souls, the dear redeemed part 

Of Him that is the ruler of us all : 

Yet let me counsel you, that might command. 

Do not presume to tempt them with ill words, 

Nor suffer any meetings to be had 

W ithin your house ; but to the uttermost 

Disperee the flocks of this new gathering sect. 

Cob. My liege, if any breathe, that dares come forth, 

And say, my life in any of these points 



336 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Deserves the attainder of ignoble thoughts, 
Here stand I, craving no remorse at all, 
But even the utmost rigour may be shown." 

The Bishop of Rochester appears and denounces Cobham for the 
contempt shown to his citation ; the king reproves tlie bishop and 
dismisses Oldcastle in safety. It is evident that the dramatic capa- 
bilities of such a scene furnish an occasion for the display of high 
poetical power. The interview between Henry and his faithful 
friend and adherent; the anxiety of the reformer to vindicate him- 
self from disloyalty, whilst he honestly supported his own opinions ; 
the natural desire of the king to resist innovation, whilst he respected 
the virtues of the innovator, — points like these would have been 
handled by Shakspere, or one imbued with his spirit, in a manner 
that would have lived and abided in our memories. The lines that 
we have quoted, which are the best in the scene, furnish a sufficient 
proof that the subject was in feeble hands. 

The third act opens to us the conspiracy of Cambridge, Scroop, 
and Grey. The conspirators meet Lord Cobham. The mode in 
which they introduce their purpose is spirited and dramatic. Cob- 
ham has invited them to his house, and promises them hunters' fare 
and a hunt. Cambridge thus replies, before he presents the paper 
which discloses the plot : — 

" Cam. Nay, but the stag which we desire to strike, 
Lives not in Cowling : if you will consent, 
And go with us, we '11 bring you to a forest 
Where runs a lusty herd ; among the which 
There is a stag superior to the rest, 
A stately beast, that, when his fellows run, 
He leads the race, and beats the sullen earth. 
As though lie scorn'd it, with his trampling lioiifs ; 
Aloft he bears his head, and with his bre.ast. 
Like a huge bulwark, counterchecks the wind : 
And, when he standeth still, he stretcheth forth 
His proud ambitious neck, as if he meant 
To wound the firmament with forked horns. 

Cob. 'T is pity such a goodly l)east should die. 

Cam. Not so, sir John ; for he is tyrannous. 
And gores the other deer, and will not keep 
Within the limits are appointed him. 
Of late he 's broke into a several, 
Which doth belong to me, and there he spoils 
Both com find pasture. Two of his wild race. 
Alike for stealth and covetous encroaching. 
Already are remov'd ; if he were dead, 
I should not only be secure from hurt. 
But with his body make a royal feast." 



SIR JOHN OLDCASTLE. 337 

Cobham then dissembles, and aslcs — 

" Is not this a train laid to entrap my life ? " 

They offer to swear fidelity ; but he requires them only to subscribe 
the writing. The time and place of meeting are appointed, and they 
part. Cobham puts the paper in his pocket, and goes off to betray 
them to the king. The state-morality of the age of Elizabeth might 
perhaps have made this incident more palatable to an audience of 
that day than to ourselves ; but we doubt whether Shakspere would 
have put this burthen upon the soul of one whom he wished to re- 
present as a hero and a martyr. We have more scenes of the rebels ; 
followed by the scene which we have already noticed of the parson 
robbing the king. The same worthy divine is afterwards found in 
the king's camp, dicing with his majesty ; and then the robbery is 
discovered, and the robber pardoned. The rebels who were in the 
field, headed by Sir Roger Acton, are routed. The Bishop of Ro- 
chester affirms that they were incited by Cobham, who arrives at the 
moment of the accusation to prove his loyalty by denouncing Scroop, 
Grey, and Cambridge. The king is satisfied; but subsequently the 
Bishop of Rochester seizes Cobham and confines him in the Tower, 
from which he very soon escapes. With the exception of a scene 
in which Cambridge and the other conspirators are seized by the 
king, the whole of the fifth act is occupied by the wanderings of 
Cobham and his wife, their disguises and their escapes. The fol- 
lowing scene is happily imagined and gracefully expressed: — 

" Cob. Come, madam, happily escap'd. Here let us sit ; 
This place is far remote from any path ; 
And liere awhile our weary limhs may rest 
To take refreshing, free frona the pursuit 
Of envious Rochester. 

L. Cob. But where, my lord, 

Shall we fiiid rest for our disquiet minds? 
There dwell untamed thoughts, that hardly stoop 
To such abasement of disdained rags ; 
We were not wont to travel thus by night, 
Especially on foot. 

Cob. No matter, love ; 

Extremities admit no better choice, 
And, were it not for thee, say froward time 
Impos'd a greater task, I would esteem it 
As lightly as the wind that blows upon us : 
But in thy suflerance I am doubly task'd ; 
Thou wast not wont to have the earth thy stool, 
Nor the moist dewy grass thy pillow, nor 
Thy chamber to be the wide horizon. 
Vol. XII. Z 



338 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

L. Cob. How can it seem a trouble, having you 
A partner with me in the worst I feel? 
No, gentle lord, your presence would give ease 
To death itself, should he now seize upon me. 

\_She produces some bread and cheese, and a bottle. 
Behold, what my foresight hath underta'en, 
For fear we faint ; they are but homely cates ; 
Yet, sauc'd with hunger, tliey may seem as sweet 
As greater dainties we were wont to taste. 

Cob. Praise be to Him whose plenty sends both this 
And all things else our mortal bodies need ! 
Nor scorn we this poor feeding, nor the state 
We now are in ; for what is it on earth. 
Nay, under heaven, continues at a stay ? 
Ebbs not the sea, when it hath overflow'd ? 
Follows not darkness when the day is gone ? 
And see we not sometimes the eye of heaven 
Dimm'd with o'er-flying clouds? There 's not that work 
Of careful nature, or of cunning art. 
How strong, how beauteous, or how rich it be, 
But falls in time to ruin. Here, gentle madam, 
In this one draught I wash my sorrow down. [£)ri»ib." 

The persecuted pair fall asleep ; and, a murdered body being found 
near them, they are apprehended as the murderers and conducted to 
trial. They are discharged through the discovery of the real mur- 
derer, and fly with Lord Powis into Wales. 

It will be evident from this analysis that ' The First Part of Sir 
John Oldcastle ' is entirely deficient in dramatic unity. Shakspere 
in representing a series of historical events did not of course attempt 
to sustain that unity of idea which we see so strikingly in his best 
tragedies and comedies. We have not one great action, but a suc- 
cession of actions ; and yet, through his wonderful power of charac- 
terization, and his skill in grouping a series of events round one 
leading event, we have a principle upon which the mind can deter- 
minately rest, and rightly comprehend the whole dramatic move- 
ment. In the play before us there is no distinct relation between 
one scene and another. We forget the connexion between Old- 
castle and the events in which he is implicated ; and, when he him- 
self appears on the scene, the development of character, in which a 
real poet would have luxuriated, is made subordinate to the hurry 
of the perplexed thpugh monotonous movement of the story. Tho- 
roughly to understand the surpassing power of Shakspere in the ma- 
nagement of the historical drama, it might be desirable to compare 
' King John,' or 'Richard II.,' or 'Richard III.' or 'Henry VIII.,' 
with this play ; but, after all, the things do not admit of comparison. 




THOMAS LORD CROMWELL. 



The first edition of this play was published in 1602, under the title 
of ' The Chronicle History of Thomas Lord Cromwell.' No name 
or initials of an author appear in the title-page. In 1613 appeared 
' The true Chronicle Historic of the whole life and death of Thomas 
Lord Cromwell. As it hath beene sundry times publikely Acted 
by the Kings Majesties Seruants. Written by W. S.' In 1602 the 
registers of the Stationers' Company had the entry of ' A Booke 
called the Lyfe and Deathe of the Lord Cromwell, as yt was lately 
acted by the Lord Chamberleyn his servants.' It appears, there- 
fore, that the play was originally performed, and continued to be 
performed, by the company in which Shakspere was a chief pro- 
prietor. In the Introductory Notice to ' Henry VIII.' we have at- 
tempted to show that Shakspere produced that play as a neiv play in 

Z 2 



340 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

1613. It is easy to understand why in 1613 it might recommend 
the sale of * Thomas Lord Cromwell ' to put W. S. on the title-page, 
whether those initials represented the real writer or were meant to 
imply that the writer was William Shakspere. Beyond these ini- 
tials there is no external evidence whatever to attribute the play to 
the great dramatizer of English history. 

Schlegel, as we have seen, calls ' Sir John Oldcastle ' and ' Tho- 
mas Lord Cromwell ' " biographical dramas and models in this spe- 
cies." We have no hesitation in affirming that a biographical 
drama, especially such a drama as ' Thomas Lord Cromwell,' is es- 
sentially undramatic. ' Oldcastle ' takes a portion only of the life 
of its hero ; but ' Cromwell ' gives us the story of the man from his 
boyhood to his execution. The resemblance which it bears to any 
play of Shakspere 's is solely in the structure of the title ; and that 
parallel holds good only with regard to one play, ' Lear,' according 
to its original title, the ' True Chronicle Historie of the Life and 
Death of King Lear and his three Daughters.' In the folio collec- 
tion of ] 623 we have indeed ' The Life and Death of King John,' 
' The Life and Death of Richard II.,' ' The Life of King Henry V.,' 
' The Life and Death of Richard III.,' and ' The Life of King 
Henry VIII.' So in the same edition we have ' The Life and 
Death of Julius Caesar.' But our readers are perfectly aware that 
in all these dramas a very small portion of the life of the hero of 
each is included in the action. Shakspere knew his art too well to 
attempt to teach history dramatically by connecting a series of iso- 
lated events solely by their relation to a principal agent, without 
any other dependence. Nothing, for example, can be more com- 
plete in itself than the action of ' Richard II.,' or that of ' Henry V.,' 
of ' Richard III.,' and of ' Henry VIII.' We have in these pieces 
nearly all the condensation which pure tragedy requires. But in 
' Thomas Lord Cromwell,' on the contrary, what Shakspere would 
have told in a few words, reserving himself for an exhibition of cha- 
racter in the more striking situations, is actually presented to us in 
a succession of scenes that have no relation to any action of deepen- 
ing interest — chapter upon chapter which might have been very 
well spared, if one chapter, that of the elevation and fall of Crom- 
well, had occupied a space proportioned to its importance. 

We begin the drama in the shop of old Cromwell, the blacksmith, 
at Putney, where young Cromwell, with a want of sense that ill ac- 
cords with his future advancement, insists that his father's men shall 
leave off work because their noise disturbs his study. His father 
comes, and like a sensible and honest man reproves his son for his 



THOMAS LORD CROMWELI^ 341 

vagaries; and then the ambitious youth, who proclaims the purpose 
of his presaging soul, that he will build a palace 

" As fine as is King Henry's house at Sheen," 

thus soliloquizes : — 

" Crom. Why should my birth keep down my mounting spirit? 
Are not all creatures subject unto time, 
To time, who doth abuse the cheated world, 
And fills it full of hodge-podge bastardy ? 
There 's legions now of beggars on the earth 
That their origuial did spring from kings ; 
And many monarchs now, whose fathers were 
The riff-rafl" of their age : for time and fortune 
Wears out a noble train to beggary ; 
And from the dunghill minions do advance 
To state and mark ui this admiring world. 
This is but course, which in the name of fate 
Is seen as often as it whirls about. 
The river Thames, that by our door doth pass. 
His first beginning is but small and shallow; 
Yet, keeping on his course, grows to a sea. 
And likewise Wolsey, the wonder of our age, 
His birth as mean as mine, a butcher's son ; 
Now who within this land a greater man? 
Then, Cromwell, cheer thee up, and tell thy soul. 
That thou mayst live to flourish and control." 

The young man, who despises work, immediately gets employment 
without seeking it, — to be secretary to the English merchants at 
Antwerp. Then commences the secondary action of the drama, 
which consists of the adventures of one Banister, an English mer- 
chant, who is persecuted by Bagot, a usurer, and relieved by a foreign 
merchant. It is by no means clear what this has to do with Thomas 
Lord Cromwell ; but it may be satisfactory to know that eventually 
the usurer is hanged and the merchant is restored to competence. 

It would have been difficult, with all the author's contempt for 
unity of action, to have contrived to have told the whole story of 
Cromwell dramatically ; and so he occasionally gives us a chorus. 
The second act thus opens : — 

" Now, gentlemen, imagine that young Cromwell 's 
In Antwerp, leiger for the English merchants ; 
And Banister, to shun this Bagot's hate, 
Hearing that he hatli got some of his debts, 
Is fled to Antwerp, with his wife and children ; 
Which Bagot hearing is gone after them. 
And thither sends his bills of debt before, 
To be reveng'd on wretched Banister. 
W^hat doth fall out, with patience sit and see, 
A just requital of false treachery." 



342 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Cromwell has nothing to do with this " just requital of false 
treachery," — which requital consists in the usurer being arrested for 
purcliasing the king's stolen jewels. Cromwell gets as tired of keep- 
ing accounts as he previously was of the din of his father's smithy ; 
60 all in a moment he throws up his commission and sets off upon 
his travels to Italy, having very opportunely met in Antwerp with 
Hodge, his father's man. And so we get through the second act. 

In the third act the capricious lad and his servant are standing 
penniless upon the bridge at Florence, and their immediate neces- 
sities are relieved by the generous Italian merchant who was suc- 
couring the distress of the Englishman in the first act. Cromwell 
is always moving ; and he sets off for Bononia, where he rescues, by 
a stratagem, Russell the Earl of Bedford from the agents of the 
French king. We have the chorus again in the middle of the act : — 

" Thus far you see how Cromwell's fortune pass'd. 
The earl of Bedford, being safe in Mantua, 
Desires Cromwell's company into France, 
To make requital for his courtesy ; 
But Cromwell doth deny the earl his suit, 
And tells him that those parts he meant to see. 
He had not yet set footing on the land ; 
And so directly fakes his way to Spain ; 
The earl to France ; and so they both do part. 
Now let your thoughts, as swift as is the wind, 
Skip some few years that Cromwell spent in travel ; 
And now imagine him to be in England, 
Servant unto the master of the rolls ; 
Where in short time he there began to flourish : 
An hour shall show you what few years did cherish." 

The scene shifts to London, where Sir Christopher Hales is giving 
an entertainment to Cardinal Wolsey and Sir Thomas More, with 
Cromwell waiting on the guests. The sudden preferment of Crom- 
well to the highest confidence of Wolsey is accomplished with a 
celerity which was perfectly necessary when the poet had so many 
events to tell us : — 

" fVol. Sir Christopher, is that your man? 

Hales. An 't like 

Your grace, he is a scholar, and a linguist ; 
One that hath travelled through many parts 
Of Christendom, my lord. 

fVol. My friend, come nearer : have you been a traveller ? 

Crom. My lord, 
I have added to my knowledge the Low Countries, 
With France, Spain, Germany, and Italy ; 
And though small gain of profit I did find, 
Yet it did please my eye, content my mind. 



THOMAS LORD CROMWELL. 343 

fVol, What do you think then of tlie several states 
And princes' courts as you have travelled ? 

Crom. My lord, no court with England may compare, 
Neither for state, nor civil government. 
Lust dwells in France, in Italy, and Spain, 
From the poor peasant to the prince's train. 
In Germany and Holland, riot serves ; 
And he that most can drink, most he deserves. 
England I praise not for I here was bom. 
But that she laughs the others unto scorn. 

fVol. My lord, there dwells within that spirit more 
Than can be discern'd by the outward eye :— 
Sir Christopher, will you part with your man ? 

Hales. I have sought to proffer him unto your lordship ; 
And now I see he hath preferr'd himself. 

fVol. What is thy name ? 

Crom. Cromwell, my lord. 

ff'ol. Then, Cromwell, here we make thee solicitor 
Of our causes, and nearest, next ourself : 
Gardiner, give you kind welcome to the man." 

The fourth act opens again with a chorus : — 

" Now Cromwell's highest fortunes do begin. 
W^olsey, that lov'd him as he did his life. 
Committed all his treasure to his hands. 
Wolsey is dead ; and Gardiner, his man. 
Is now created bishop of Winchester. 
Pardon, if we omit all Wolsey's life, 
Because our play depends on Cromwell's death. 
Now sit, and see his highest state of all, 
His height of rising, and his sudden fall. 
Pardon tlie errors are already past, 
And live in hope the best doth come at last. 
My hope upon your favour doth depend. 
And looks to have your liking ere the end." 

It was certainly needless for the author to apologize for omitting 
*' aW Wolsey's life ;" but the apology is curious as exhibiting his 
rude notions of what was properly within the province of the drama. 
We have now Cromwell, after the death of Wolsey, become Sir Tho- 
mas Cromwell; and Gardiner makes a sudden resolution that he 
will have his head. The Florence merchant comes to London in 
want; and we presently find him at the hospitable board of Crom- 
well, with money-bags showered upon him, and his debts paid. We 
have in this act a scene between Gardiner and Cromwell which, 
feeble as it is, is amongst the best passages of the play : — 

" Crom. Good morrow to my lord of Winchester : I know 
You bear me hard about the abbey lands. 



344 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Gard, Have I not reason, when religioH 's wrong'd ? 
You had no colour for what you have done. 

Crom. Yes, the abolishing of antichrist, 
And of his popish order from our realm. 
I am no enemy to religion ; 
But what is done, it is for England's good. 
What did they serve for, but to feed a sort 
Of lazy abbots and of full-fed friars? 
They neither plough nor sow, and yet they reap 
The fat of all the land, and suck the poor. 
Look, what was theirs is linking Henry's hands; 
His wealth before lay in the abbey lands. 

Gard. Indeed these things you have alleg'd, my lord ; 
When, God doth know, the infant yet unborn ' 
Will curse the time the abbeys were pull'd down. 
I pray now where is hospitality ? 
Where now may poor distressed people go, 
For to relieve their need, or rest their bones, 
When weary travel doth oppress their limbs ? 
And where religious men should take them in. 
Shall now be kept back with a mastiff dog ; 
And thousand thousand—- " 

Gardiner suborns witnesses to impute treasonable words to Crom- 
well, and absolves them by crucifix and holy water. 

The real action of the play commences at the fourth act; all 
which precedes might have been told by a skilful poet in a dozen 
lines. The fifth act presents us the arrest of Cromwell ; and after 
a soliloquy in the Tower, and a very feeble scene between the un- 
happy man, Gardiner, and the Dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk, his 
son is introduced, of whom we have before heard nothing : — 

" Lieu. Here is your son, sir, come to take his leave. 

Crom. To take his leave ? Come hither, Harry Cromwell. 
Mark, boy, the last words that I speak to thee : 
Flatter not Fortune, neither fawn upon her ; 
Gape not for state, yet lose no spark of honour : 
Ambition, like the plague, see thou eschew it; 
I die for treason, boy, and never knew it. 
Yet let tliy faith as s[K)tles3 be as mine. 
And Cromwell's virtues in thy face shall siiine : 
Come, go along, and see me leave my breath, 
And I "11 leave thee mx)n the door of death."' 

Cromwell leaves the stage for his execution with this speech : — 

'* Exec. I am your deathsman ; pray, my lord, forgive me. 

Crom. Even with my soul. Why, man, thou art my doctor. 
And bring'st me precious physic for my soul. 
My lord of Bedford, I desire of you 



THOMAS LORD CROMWELL. 345 

Before my death a corporal embrace. 

Farewell, great lord ; my love I do commend, 

My heart to you ; my soul to heaven I send. 

This is my joy, that ere my body fleet, 

Your honour'd arms are my true winding-sheet. 

Farewell, dear Bedford; my peace is made in heaven. 

Thus falls great Cromwell, a poor ell in length, 

To rise to unmeasured height, wing'd with new strength, 

The land of worms, which dying men discover : 

My soul is shrin'd with heaven's celestial cover." 

It would be a waste of time to attempt to show that ' Thomas 
Lord Cromwell ' could not have been written by Shakspere. Its 
entire management is most unskilful ; there is no art whatever in 
the dramatic conception of plot or character ; from first to last there 
is scarcely a passage that can be called poetry ; there is nothing in 
it that gives us a notion of a writer capable of better things ; it has 
none of the faults of the founders of the stage, — false taste, extra- 
vagance, riches needlessly paraded. We are acquainted with no 
dramatic writer of mark or likelihood who was a contemporary of 
Shakspere to whom it may be assigned. If W. S. were Wentworth 
Smith, it must have been unlucky for him in his own time that his 
initials might excite a comparison with the great master of the 
stage ; however fortunate he may have been in having descended to 
after-times in the same volume with ten historical plays that pro- 
bably first stimulated his weak ambition. 



THE LONDON PRODIGAL. 



Tins comedy was first published in 1605, with the following title : — 
' The London Prodigall. As it was plaide by the Kings Maiesties 
seruants. By William Shakespeare, London. Printed by T. C. 
for Nathaniel Butter.' It was probably written after the death of 
Elizabeth ; for in the second act we have, " I am a commander, sir, 
under the king." There is no entry of the play in the Stationers' 
registers. Schlegel says, " If we are not mistaken, Lessing pro- 
nounced this piece to be Shakspere's, and wished to bring it on the 
German stage." Tieck also assigns this comedy to Shakspere. 
Hazlitt says, " ' Locrine ' and ' The London Prodigal,' if they were 
Shakspeare's at all, must have been amongst the sins of his youth." 
This is at best a hasty opinion ; for there can be no doubt whatever 
that these two plays belong to different periods, and that each is cha- 
racteristic of its period. They must have been separated by at least 
twenty years. If in ♦ Locrine ' we could find any natural power, 
any of that instinctive knowledge of art that constitutes genius, we 
might inquire whether it was possible that the youthful Shakspere 
could have produced the work. We find in it, not the faults of a 
very young man, but the habits which belong to a vicious system, 
in which the writer has had a complete training. We therefore re- 
ject it. Putting the date of its publication out of the question, we 
are satisfied from the general tone of ' The London Prodigal ' that 
it represents the manners of the last years of Elizabeth, or the first 
of James. If Shakspere wrote it, therefore, he must have written it 
after his comic powers were fully matured ; after he had produced 
' Much Ado about Nothing,' ' Twelfth Night,' * As You Like It,' 
' The Merry Wives of Windsor.' The belief is almost too extra- 
vagant to be gravely controverted. 

The comedy opens with the arrival from Venice of the merchant 
Flowerdale senior, who had left his son Matthew under the guar- 
dianship of his brother, Flowerdale junior, a London merchant. 
The uncle tells the father of the reckless course of the young man. 
The father takes this view of the matter : " Believe me, brother, 



THE LONDON PRODIGAL. 347 

they that die most virtuous have in their youth lived most vicious ; 
and none knows the danger of the fire more than he that falls into 
it." This, we undertake to say, is not the morality of Shakspere : 
it is a tolerance beyond his tolerance. But it is the morality which 
prevails in ' The London Prodigal.' The uncle goes on to say that 
the son is a continual swearer, a breaker of his oaths, a mighty 
brawler, a great drinker, one that will borrow of any man. The 
youth knocks at the door ; and the father disguised is to be repre- 
sented as dead. A will is produced by which the son is disinherited ; 
and it is justice to him to say that he displays the same indifference 
about the loss of fortune as about the death of his father. Old 
Flowerdale lends him twenty pounds in his assumed character, and 
agrees to engage with him as a servant. A wooing now commences 
after a strange fashion. Sir Lancelot Spurcock has three daugh- 
ters, of whom Luce, the most attractive, has three suitors — Sir Ar- 
thur Greenshield, whom she prefers ; Oliver, a Devonshire clothier, 
whom the father patronizes ; and young Flowerdale, who is rejected 
both by father and daughter. A more heartless scoundrel certainly 
never presented himself in worshipful society. His father being 
named, he thus speaks of him : — 

" Ay, God be praised, he is far enough ; 
He is gone a pilgrimage to Paradise, 
And left me to cut a caper against care. 
Luce, look on me that am as light as air." 

His father, who in his assumed character of a servant is called Kes- 
ter, is desirous to marry his son to the lady ; and he thus devises a 
plan for overcoming the prudential scruples of Sir Lancelot : — 

"Presently we'll go and draw a will, 
Where we '11 get down land that we never saw ; 
And we will have it of so large a sum, 
Sir Lancelot shall entreat you take his daughter. 
This being form'd, give it master Weathercock, 
And make Sir Lancelot's daughter heir of all: 
And make him swear never to show the will 
To any one, until that you be dead. 
This done, the foolish changing Weathercock 
Will straight discourse unto Sir Lancelot 
The form and tenor of your testament. 
Ne'er stand to pause of it : be rul'd by me : 
What will ensue, that shall you quickly see." 

The device succeeds. The covetous knight rejects the honest 
clothier, and Luce is married against her will to the heartless pro- 



348 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 



fligate, who thus discloses the nature of his love in confidence to 
Kester : — 

*' And thou shalt see, when once I have my dower, 
In mirth we '11 spend full many a merry hour : 
As for this wench, I not regard a pin, 
It is her gold must bring my pleasures in." 

The father and uncle concert to arrest the prodigal on his return 
from church, that they may try the temper of his wife. The liber- 
tine braves it out when this resolve is carried into effect ; but the 
unhappy woman clings to him, now he is her husband, with a ten- 
derness that in the hands of a real poet might have been worked up 
into subsequent situations of uncommon beauty : — 

" Sir Lane. I am cozen'd, and my hopefullest child undone. 

M. Flow. You are not cozen'd, nor is she undone. 
They slander me ; by this light, they slander me. 
Look you, my uncle here 's an usurer, 
And would undo me ; but I '11 stand in law ; 
Do you but bail me, you shall do no more : 
You, brother Civet, and master Weathercock, do but bail me. 
And let me have my marriage-money paid me, 
And we '11 ride down, and your own eyes shall see 
How my poor tenants there will welcome me. 
You shall but bail me, you shall do no more : — 
And you, you greedy gnat, their bail will serve? 

Flow. Jun. Ay, sir, I 11 ask no better bail. 

Sir Lane. No, sir, you shall not take my bail, nor his, 
Nor my son Civet's : I '11 not be cheated, I. 
Shrieve, take your prisoner; I '11 not deal with him. 
Let his uncle make false dice with his false bones ; 
I will not have to do with him : mock'd, guU'd, and wrong'd! 
Come, girl, though it be late, it falls out well ; 
Thou shalt not live with him in beggar's hell. 

Luee. He is my husband, and high heaven doth know 
With what unwillingness I went to church ; 
"But you enforc'd me, you comjiell'd me to it. 
The holy churchman pronounc'd these words but now, 
* I must not leave my husband in distress : ' 
Now I must comfort him, not go with you. 

Sir Lane. Comfort a cozener! on my curse forsake him. 

Luee. This day you caus'd me on your curse to take him. 
Do not, I pray, my grieved soul oppress ; 
God knows my heart doth bleed at his distress." 

The wife refuses to go home with her father ; and she is left with 
her husband and his uncle : — 

" Lwe. O go not yet, good master Flowcrdale : 
Take my word for the debt, my word, my bond. 



THE LONDON PRODIGAL. 349 

M. Flow. Ay, by , uncle, and my bond too. 

iMce. Alas, I ne'er ought notliing but I paid it ; 
And I can work : alas, he can do notliing. 
I have some friends perhaps will pity me : 
His cliiefest friends do seek his misery. 
All that I can or beg, get, or receive, 
Sliall be for you. O do not turn away : 
Methinks, within a face so reverend, 
So well experienc'd in this tottering world, 
Should live some feeling of a maiden's grief : 
For my sake, his father's and your brother's sake, 
Ay, for your soul's sake, that doth hope for joy, 
Pity my state ; do not two souls destroy. 

Flow. Jun. Fair maid, stand up ; not in regard of him, 
But in pity of thy hapless choice, 
J do release him. Master sheriff, I thank you ; 
And, officers, there is for you to drink. 
Here, maid, take this money ; there is a hundred angels : 
And, for I will be sure he shall not have it. 
Here, Kester, take it you, and lose it sparingly ; 
But let not her have any want at all. 
Dry your eyes, niece ; do not too much lament 
For him whose life hath been in riot spent: 
If well he useth thee, he gets him friends, 
If ill, a shameful end on him depends. 

[^Ejcit Flowerdale Jun. 

M. Flow. A plague go with you for an old fornicator ! 
Come, Kit, the money ; come, honest Kit. 

Flow, Sen. Nay, by my faith, sir, you shall pardon me. 

M. Flow. And why, sir, pardon you ? Give me the money, 
you old rascal, or I will make you. 

Luce. Pray hold your hands ; give it him, honest friend. 

Flow. Sen, If you be so content, with all my heart. 

[ Gives the money, 

M. Flow. Content, sir ? 'sblood ! she shall be content 
whether she will or no. A rattle-baby come to follow me ! 
Go, get you gone to the greasy chuff your father : bring me 
your dowry, or never look on me. 

Flow. Sen. Sir, she hath forsook her father and all her 
friends for you. 

M. Flow. Hang thee, her friends and father, all together ! 

Flow. Sen, Yet part with something to provide her lodging. 

M. Flow. Yes, I mean to part with her and you ; but if I 
part witli one angel, hang me at a post. I '11 rather throw 
them at a cast of dice, as I have done a thousand of their 
fellows." 

The unmitigated villain deserts his wife after this brutality. She 
is, necessarily, protected by his father; and, disguised as "a Dutch 
frow," enters into the service of her own married sister. Matthew 
Flowerdale loses his hundred angels at the gaming-table ; robs Spur- 
cock's unmarried daughter upon the highway ; is reduced to starva- 



350 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

tion and beggary; receives alms from his own wife in her Dutch 
mask ; and tlms shows how the medicine misfortune has operated 
upon his soul : — " By this hand, this Dutch wench is in love with 
me. Were it not admirable to make her steal all Civet's plate, and 
run away ?" Of course the fellow has his deserts. He is about to 
be taken to prison on a charge of robbery, and on suspicion of 
having murdered his wife. The Dutch frow, who sees' his arrest, 
throws off her dress, and the following scene quickly leads to a 
happy conclusion : — 

" Luce. I am no trull, neifher outlandish frow : 
Nor he nor I shall to the prison go. 
Know you me now? Nay, never stand amaz'd. 
Father, I know I have offended you ; 
And though that duty wills me bend my knees 
To you in duty and obedience, 
Yet this way do I turn, and to him yield 
My love, my^duty, and my humbleness. 

Sir Lane. Bastard in nature ! kneel to such a slave ? 

Luce. O master Flowerdale, if too much grief 
Have not stopp'd up the organs of your voice, 
Then speak to her that is thy faithful wife : 
Or doth contempt of mc thus tie thy tongue? 
Turn not away ; I am no vEthiop, 
No wanton Cressid, nor a changing Helen ; 
But rather one made wretclied by thy loss. 
What ! turii'st thou still from me ? O then 
I guess thee wofull'st among hapless men. 

M. Flow. I am indeed, wife, wonder among wives! 
Thy chastity and virtue hath infus"d 
Ano'her soul in me, red with defame, 
For in my blushing cheeks is seen my shame.'' 

Old Flowerdale also throws off his disguise, and the son rejoices in 
a kind wife and a forgiving father : — 

" M Flow. My father! O, I shame to look on him. 
Pardon, dear father, the follies that are past. 

Flow. Sen, Son, son, I do; and joy at thistliy change. 
And applaud thy fortune in this virtuous maid, 
Whom heaven hath sent to thee to save thy soul. 

Luce. This addeth joy to joy ; high heaven be prais'd. 

H'eath. Master Flowerdale, welcome from death, good 
master Flowerdale. 'T was said so here, 't was said so here 
good faith. 

Flow. Sen. I caus'd that rumour to be spread myself, 
Because I 'd see tlie humours of my son, 
Wliich to relate the circumstance is needless. 
And, sirrah, see 
^ ou run no more into that same disease : 



THE LONDON PRODIGAL. 351 

For lie that 's once curM of that malady, 
Of riot, swearing, drunkenness, and pride, 
And falls again into the like distress, 
That fever 's deadly, doth till death endure ; 
Such men die mad, as of a calenture. 

M. Flow. Heaven helping me, I '11 hate the course as hell. 

Flow. Jun. Say it, and do it, cousin, all is well. 

jSjV Lane. Well, being in hope you '11 prove an honest man, 
I take you to my favour," 

If Shakspere had chosen such a plot, in which the sudden repent- 
ance of the offender was to compensate for the miseries he had in- 
flicted, he would have made the prodigal retain some sense of honour, 
some remorse amidst his recklessness — something that would have 
given the assurance that his contrition was not hypocrisy. We 
have little doubt that the low moral tone of the writer's own mind 
produced the low morality of the plot and its catastrophe. We see 
in this play that confusion of principles of which the stage was too 
long the faithful mirror. In Shakspere the partition which sepa- 
rates levity and guilt is never broken down ; thoughtlessness and 
dishonour are not treated with equal indulgence. This is quite ar- 
gument enough to prove that Shakspere could not have written this 
comedy, nor rendered the least assistance in its composition. If it 
exhibited any traces of his wit or his poetry, we should still reject 
it upon this sole ground. 



THE PURITAN. 



The first edition of this comedy was published in 1607, under the 
following title : — ' The Puritaine or the Widdow of Watling-streete. 
Acted by the Children of Paules. Written by W. S.' The entry 
of the play appears in the Stationers' registers of the same year. 
It was printed, as we have seen, in the third edition of Shakspere's 
works; and was ascribed to Shakspere by Gildon in 1702. Gildon 
probably relied upon its publication as Shakspere's in the third col- 
lected edition of his plays. Our own critics of recent times have 
uniformly rejected it. Schlegel inclines to the opinion that Shak- 
spere wrote it ; and he produces this curious theory : — " One of my 
literary friends, intimately acquainted with Shakspere, was of opi- 
nion that the poet must have wished to write a play for once in the 
style of Ben Jonson, and that in this way we must account for the 
difference between the present piece and his usual manner. To fol- 
low out this idea, however, would lead to a very nice critical inves- 
tigation." Such an investigation would, we believe, bring us to the 
conclusion that ' The Puritan ' is as unlike Ben Jonson as it is unlike 
Shakspere. If it possesses little of the wit, the buoyancy, the genial 
good humour, the sparkling poetry, the deep philosophy, and the 
universal characterization of Shakspere, it wants in the same degree 
the nice discrimination of shades of character, the sound judgment, 
the careful management of the plot, the lofty and indignant satire, 
the firm and gorgeous rhetoric of Jonson. As a comedy of man- 
ners ' The Puritan ' is at once feeble and extravagant. The author 
cannot paint classes in painting individuals. * The Puritan ' is a 
misnomer. We have no representation of the formal manners of 
that class. The family of the Widow of Watling Street is meant to 
be puritanical, but it is difficult to discover wherein they differ from 
the rest of the world, except in the coarse exhibition of the loose 
morality of one of their servants, who professes to lie though he 
swears not, and is willing to steal if the crime is called by some 
gentler name. Yet the comedy is not without spirit and interest. 
The events are improbable, and some of the intrigues are super- 



THE PURITAN. 353 

fluous ; but the action seldom lingers ; and if the characters seem 
unnatural, they are sufficiently defined to enable us to believe that 
such characters did exist, and might have been copied from the life 
by the author. It is tliis individual painting that constitutes the 
essential difference between the comedy of almost every writer as 
compared with Shakspere. Old Aubrey said, with a truth which 
might have been imitated by critics of higher pretension, — " His 
comedies will remain wit as long as the English tongue is under- 
stood, for that he handles mores hominum ; now our present writers 
reflect so much upon particular persons and coxcombities that twenty 
years hence they will not be understood." 

The first scene introduces us to the widow, ostentatiously weep- 
ing for the death of her husband. She is surrounded by a silly son, 
a brother not overwise, and two daughters of " no characters at all," 
except that one vows she will never marry, and the other declares 
herself entirely of an opposite inclination. The whelp of a son re- 
fuses to weep for his father, and the mother thus chides him : — 

'■ H'id. O thou past-grace, thou I Out of my sight, thou grace- 
less imp! thou grievest me more than the death of thy father. O 
thou stubborn only sou ! Hadst thou such an honest man to thy 
father — that would deceive all the world to get riches for thee, and 
canst thou not afford a little saltwater? He that so wisely did 
quite overthrow the right heir of those lands, which now yon respect 
not : uj) every morning betwixt four and five ; so duly at Westmin- 
ster-hall every term-time, with all his cards and writings, for thee, 
thou wicked Absalon: O dear husband! "" 

The widow vows on her knees an awful vow : — 

" O may I be the by-word of the world, 
The common talk at table in the mouth 
Of every grojm and waiter, if e'er more 
I entertain the carnal suit of man ! '' 

The second scene introduces us to the chief actor in the piece, 
Pyeboard, a profligate scholar, who unites the professions of a poet 
and a swindler. Mr. Dyce, in his valuable edition of George Peele's 
works, says that George Pyeboard is the same as George Peele, 
" Peel signifying a board with a long handle with which bakers 
put things in and out of the oven." It is somewhat hard upon the 
memory of Peele to assume, as some have assumed, that Pyeboard 
was meant as a portrait of him. The exact date of Peele's death 
has not been ascertained ; but an allusion to his death is made by 
Meres in 1598. He was no doubt a man of profligate habits; as 

Vol. XII. 2 A 



354 PLAYS ASCRIUED TO SHAKSPERE. 

were too many of the unhappy race of authors in those days, when 
uncertain occupation and dependence upon the great made them 
more than usually ready to snatch at passing gratifications. The 
' Merrie conceited Jests of George Peele, Gentleman, sometime a 
Student in Oxford,' was published in 1627, and in that tract there 
are two stories told of Peele which are very nearly similar to two 
of the tricks of Pyeboard in ' The Puritan :' both may have been 
mere inventions or exaggerations. In the following passage of 
' The Puritan ' there is probably a melancholy truth as to the con 
dition of men of letters in that age. Pyeboard is addressing him- 
self to an old soldier, Skirmish : — 

" As touching my profession ; the multiplicity of scholars, hatched 
and nourished in the idle calms of peace, makes them, like fishes, 
one devour another ; and the community of learning has so played 
upon aflfections, that thereby almost religion is come about to phan- 
tasy, and discredited by being too much spoken of, in so many and 
mean mouths. I myself, being a scholar and a graduate, have no 
other comfort by my learning, but the affection of my words, to 
know how, scholar-like, to name what I want; and can call myself 
a beggar both in Greek and Latin. And therefore, not to cog with 
peace, I '11 not be afraid to say, 't is a great breeder, but a barren 
nourisher ; a great getter of children, which must either be thieves 
or rich men, knaves or beggars. 

Skir. Well, would I had been born a knave then, when I was 
bom a beggar! for if the truth was known, I think I was begot when 
my father liad never a penny in his purse. 

Pi/e. Puh ! faint not, old Skirmish ; let this warrant thee— ^aci- 
lis descensus Averiii — "t is an easy journey to a knave ; thou mayst 
be a knave when thou wilt : and Peace is a good madam to all 
other professions, and an errant drab to us. Let us handle her ac- 
cordingly, and by our wits thrive in despite of her : For since the 
law lives by quarrels, the courtier by smooth good-morrows, and 
every profession makes itself greater by imperfections, why not we 
then by shifts, wiles, and forgeries ? And seeing our brains are our 
only patrimonies, let "s spend with judgment ; not like a desperate 
son and heir, but like a sober and discreet Templar : one that will 
never march beyond the bounds of his allowance." 

Pyeboard resolves to be a fortune-teller, and proposes to Skirmish 
to be a conjurer, and so they are to deceive the widow and her 
family. We are presently introduced in the Marshalsea Prison to 
Captain Idle, who has committed what he calls a common offence — 
a highway robbery. Captain Idle is to be released by a stratagem 
of Pyeboard. The gold chain of Sir Godfrey Plus, the widow's 
brother, is to be stolen by his puritanical servant, and to be disco- 
vered by the instrumentality of the military highwayman. As the 
action advances the plot thickens. The widow and one of her daugh- 



THE PURITAN. 



355 



ters refuse honest suitors ; and when Idle is redeemed from prison 
(which the knight effects in a moment with the hope of finding his 
chain) the worthy confederates propose to marry the ladies. The 
fortune-telling and conjuration scenes are amusing enough, but they 
will scarcely furnish any extracts. In the end, however, the strata- 
gems of the scholar and the captain are discovered ; and the widow 
and her daughter are rescued from their hands on their way to 
church to be married. The affections of the ladies are very quickly 
transferred to other suitors ; and so the play ends. The following 
scene, which occurs in the third act, is one of the incidents which 
is told, with some variation, of the hero of the ' Merrie conceited 
Jests.' Pyeboard is under arrest for debt ; and he persuades the 
bailiffs to go with him to a house " to receive five pound of a gen- 
tleman for the device of a mask here drawn in this paper." The 
following scene ensues : — 

" A Gallery in a Gentleman's House. 

Enter a Servant. 
Ser. Who knocks? Who "s at door? We had need of a porter. 

\^Opens the door. 
Pye. [^Vithin.^ A few friends here. Pray is the gentleman, 
your master, witliin ? 

Ser. Yes ; is your business to him ? [Servant opens the[door. 

Enter Pyeboard, Puttock, Ravenshaw, and Dogson. 

Pye. Ay, he knows it, when he sees me : I pray you, have you 
forgot me ? 

Ser. Ay, by my troth, sir ; pray come near ; I '11 in and tell him 
of you. Please you to walk here in ihe gallery till he comes. 

\_Exit Servant. 

Pye. We will attend his worship. Worship, I think; for so 
much the posts at his door should signify, and the fair coming-in, 
and the wicket ; else I neither knew him nor his worship : but 't is 
happiness he is within doors, whatsoe'er he be. If he be not too 
much a formal citizen he may do me good. \_Aside.^ — Serjeant and 
yeoman, how do you like this house ? Is 't not most wholesomely 
plotted? 

Rav. 'Troth, prisoner, an exceeding fine house. 

Pye. Yet I wonder how he should forget me, — for he never knew 
me. {^Aside.'\ No matter ; what is forgot in you, will be remem- 
bered in your master. A pretty comfortable room this, methinks: 
you have no such rooms in prison now ? 

Put. O, dog-holes to 't. 

Pye. Dog-holes, indeed. I can tell you, I have great hope to 
have my chamber here shortly, nay, and diet too; for he is the 
most free-heartedest gentleman, where he takes: yoii* would little 
think it. And what a fine gallery were here for me to walk and 
study and make verses ! 

2 A 2 



356 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERK. 

Put. O, it stands very pleasantly for a scholar. 

Enter Gentleman. 

Pi/e. Look, what maps, and pictures, and devices, and things, 
neatly, delicately — Mass, here he comes; he should be a gentle- 
man ; I like his beard well. — All happiness to your worship. 

Gent. You 're kindly welcome, sir. 

Put. A simple salutation. 

JRav. Mass, it seems the gentleman makes great account of him. 

Pye. I have the thing here for you, sir. — [ Takes the Gentleman 
apart.'l I beseech you, conceal me, sir ; I 'm undone else. [^Aside.'\ 
I have the mask here for you, sir ; look you, sir. I beseech your 
worship, first pardon my rudeness, for my extremes make me bolder 
than I would be. I am a poor gentleman, and a scholar, and now 
most unfortunately fallen into the fangs of unmerciful officers: 
arrested for debt, which, though small, I am not able to compass, 
by reason I am destitute of lands, money, and friends ; so that if I 
fall into the hungry swallow of the prison, I am like utterly to 
perish, and with fees and extortions be pinched clean to the bone. 
Now, if ever pity had interest in the blood of a gentleman, I beseech 
you vouchsafe but to favour that means of my escape which 1 have 
already thought upon. 

Gent. Go forward. 

Put. I warrant he likes it rarely. 

P_i/e. In the plunge of my extremities, being giddy, and doubtful 
what to do, at last it was put into my labouring thouglits to make 
a happy use of this paj)er ; and to blear their unlettered eyes, I told 
them there was a device for a mask drawn in 't, and that (but for 
their interception) I was going to a gentleman to receive my reward 
for 't. They, greedy at this word, and hoping to make purchase of 
me, offered their attendance to go along with me. My hap was to 
make bold with your door, sir, which my thoughts showed me the 
most fairest and comfortablest entrance ; and I hope I have happened 
right upon understanding and pity. May it please your good worship, 
then, but to uphold my device, which is to let one of your men put 
me out at a back-door, and I shall be bound to your worship for 
ever. 

Gent. By my troth, an excellent device. 

Put. An excellent device, he says ; he likes it wonderfully. 

Gent. O' my faith, I never lieard a better. 

Mav. Hark, Vie swears he never heard a better, Serjeant. 

Put. O, there 's no talk on 't; he 's an excellent scholar, and 
especially for a mask. 

Gent. Give me your paper, your device; I was never better 
pleased in all my life : good wit, brave wit, finely wrought ! Come 
in, sir, and receive your money, sir." 

The prisoner, of course, escapes. 

There is no doubt considerable truth in this picture : but it is not 
such truth as we find in Shakspere ; it belongs to the temporary 
and the personal, not to the permanent and the universal. Such is 
the characteristic merit of the whole comedy, whatever merit it has. 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 



INTRODUCTORY NOTICE. 



* A Yorkshire Tragedie. Not so new, as lamentable and true. 
Written by W. Shakespeare.' This was the title of the original 
edition of the play printed in 1608. Upon a subsequent title we 
have ' All 's One, or, One of the four Plaies in one, called a York- 
shire Tragedy.' We may receive ' All 's One ' as the general title 
of four short plays represented in the same day and standing in the 
place of a regular tragedy or comedy. Of the four plays thus pre- 
sented it is remarkable that ' The Yorkshire Tragedy ' is the only 
one which appears to have been published; that was entered, 
on the 2nd of May, 1608, on the Stationers' registers as 'A booke 
The Yorkshire Tragedy, written by Wylliam Shakespere.' The 
publisher of the play, Thomas Pavyer, in 1605 entered 'A ballad 
of lamentable Murther done in Yorkshire, by a Gent, upon two of 
his owne Children, sore wounding his Wyfe and Nurse.' The fact 
upon which the ballad and the tragedy are founded is thus related 
in Stow's ' Chronicle,' under the year 1604 : — " Walter Calverly, 
of Calverly, in Yorkshire, Esquire, murdered two of his young 
children, stabbed his wife into the body with full purpose to have 
murdered her, and instantly went from his house to have slain his 
youngest child at nurse, but was prevented. For which fact at his 
trial in York he stood mute, and was judged to be pressed to death, 
according to which judgment he was executed at the castle of York 
the 5th of August." 



PERSONS REPRESENTED. 

HCSBAND. 

Master of a College. 

A Knight fa Magistrate), 

Several Gentlemen. 

Oliver, l 

Ralph, > Servants. 

Samuel, J 

Other Servants and Officers. 

A little Boy, ^c. 

Wife. 
Maid-Servant. 

SCENE, — Calverly, in Yorkshire. 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 359 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 



SCENE I.— A Room in Calverly Hall. 

Enter Ojliver and Ralph. 

Oliv. Sirrah Ralph, my young mistress is in such a pitiful passionate 
humour for the long absence of her love — 

Ralph. Why, can you blame her ? Why, apples hanging longer on 
the tree than when they are ripe, makes so many fallings ; viz. mad 
wenches, because they are not gathered in time, are fain to drop of 
themselves, and then 'tis common, you know, for every man to take 
them up. 

Oliv. Mass, thou say'st true, 'tis common indeed! But, sirrah, is 
neither our young master returned, nor our fellow Sam come from 
London ? 

Ralph. Neither of either, as the puritan bawd says. 'Slid, I hear 
Sam. Sam 's come ; here he is ; tarry ; — come i' faith : now my nose 
itches for news. 

Oliv. And so does mine elbow. 

Sam. [icithin.'\ Where are you, there ? Boy, look you walk my horse 
with discretion. I have rid him simply : I warrant his skin sticks 
to his back with very heat. If he should catch cold and get the cough 
of the lungs, I were well served, were I not ? 

Enter Sam. 
What, Ralph and Oliver ! 

Both. Honest fellow Sam, welcome i' faith. What tricks hast thou 
brought from London ? 

Sam. You see I am hanged after the truest fashion ; three hats, and 
two glasses bobbing upon them ; two rebate wires upon my breast, a 
cap- case by my side, a brush at my back, an almanac in my pocket, 
and three ballads in my codpiece. Nay, I am the true picture of a 
common servingman. 

Oliv. I '11 swear thou art ; thou mayst set up when thou wilt : there 's 
many a one begins with less, I can tell thee, that proves a rich man 
ere he dies. But what 's the news from London, Sam ? 

Ralph. Ay, that "s well said ; what 's the news from London, sirrah? 
My young mistress keeps such a puling for her love. 

Sam. Why, the more fool she ; ay, the more ninnyhammer she. 

Oliv. Why, Sam, why ? 

Sam. Why, he is married to another long ago. 

Both, r faith? You jest. 



360 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Sam. Why, did you not know that till now? Why, he's married, 
beats his wife, and has two or three children by her. For you must 
note, that any woman bears the more when she is l)eaten. 

Ralph. Ay, that 's true, for she bears the blows. 

Oliv. Sirrah Sam, I would not for two years' wages my young mis- 
tress knew so much ; she 'd run upon the left hand of her wit, and 
ne'er be her own woman again. 

Sam. And I think she was blessed in her cradle, that he never came 
in her bed. Why, he has consumed all, pawned his lands, and made 
his university brother stand in wax for him ; there 's a fine phrase for 
a scrivener. Puh ! he owes more than his skin is worth. 

Oliv. Is 't possible ? 

Sam. Nay, I '11 tell you moreover, he calls his wife whore, as fami- 
liarly as one would call Moll and Doll ; and his children bastards, as 
naturally as can be. — But what have we here ? I thought 't was some- 
thing pull'd down my breeches ; I quite forgot my two poking-sticks : 
these came from London. Now anything is good here that comes 
from London. 

Oliv. Ay, far fetched, you know, Sam, — But speak in your consci- 
ence i' faith ; have not we as good poking-sticks i' the country as need 
to be put in the fire ? 

Sam. The mind of a thing is all ; the mind of a thing is all ; and as 
thou said'st even now, far-fetched are the best things for ladies. 

Oliv. Ay, and for waiting-gentlewomen too. 

Sam. But, Ralph, what, is our beer sour this thunder ? 

Ralph. No, no, it holds countenance yet. 

Sam. Why, then follow me ; 1 11 teach you the finest humour to be 
drunk in : I learned it at London last week. 

Both. Y faith ? Let 's hear it, let "s hear it. 

Sam. The bravest humour! 't would do a man good to be drunk in 
it: they call it knighting in London, when they drink upon their 
knees. 

Both. 'Faith, that's excellent. 

Sam. Come ; follow me ; I '11 give you all the degrees of it in order. 

\^Exeunt. 

SCENE n. — Another Apartment in the same. 
Enter Wife. 

Wife. What will become of us ? All will away : 
My husband never ceases in expense, 
Both to consume his credit and his house ; 
And 't is set down by heaven's just decree. 
That riofs child nmst needs be beggary. 
Are these the virtues that his youth did promise? 
Dice and voluptuous meetings, midnight revels, 
Taking his bed with surfeits ; ill beseeming 
The ancient honour of his house and name ? 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 3G1 

And this not all, but that which kills me most. 

When he recounts his losses and false fortunes, 

The weakness of his state so much dejected, 

Not as a man repentant, but half mad 

His fortunes cannot answer his expense, 

He sits, and sullenly locks up his arms ; 

Forgetting heaven, looks downward ; which makes him 

Appear so dreadful that he frights my heart : 

Walks heavily, as if his soul were earth ; 

Not penitent for those his sins are past, 

But vex'd his money cannot make them last ; 

A fearful melancholy, ungodly sorrow. 

O, yonder he comes ; now in despite of ills 

I '11 speak to him, and I will hear him speak, 

And do my best to drive it from his heart. 

Enter Husband. 

Hus. Pox o' the last thiow ! It made five hundred angels 
Vanish from my sight. I am damn'd, I am damn'd ; 
The angels have forsook me. Nay, it is 
Certainly true ; for he that has no coin 
Is damn'd in this world ; he is gone, he 's gone. 

Wife. Dear husband. 

Hus. O ! most punishment of all, I have a wife. 

Wife. I do entreat you, as you love your soul, 
Tell me the cause of this your discontent. 

Hus. A vengeance strip thee naked ! thou art cause. 
Effect, quality, property ; thou, thou, thou ! IBxit. 

Wife. Bad turn'd to worse ; both beggary of the soul 
And of the body ; — and so much unlike 
Himself at first, as if some vexed spirit 
Had got his form upon him. He comes again. 

Re-enter Husband. 

He says I am the cause : I never yet 
Spoke less than words of duty and of love. 

Hus. If marriage be honourable, then cuckolds are honourable, for 
they cannot be made without marriage. Fool ! what meant I to marry 
to get beggars ? Now must my eldest son be a knave or nothing ; he 
cannot live upon the fool, for he will have no land to maintain him. 
That mortgage sits like a snaffle upon mine inheritance, and makes 
me chew upon iron. My second son must be a promoter, "^ and my 
third a thief, or an under putter ; a slave pander. Oh beggary, beggary, 
to what base uses dost thou put a man ! I think the devil scorns to be 
a bawd ; he bears himself more proudly, has more care of his credit. — 
Base, slavish, abject, filthy poverty ! 

" P?o»ni/(c»'— informer. 



362 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Wife. Good sir, by all our vows I do beseech you, 
Show me the true cause of your discontent. 

Htis. Money, money, money ; and thou must supply me. 

Wtfe. Alas, I am the least cause of your discontent ; 
Yet what is mine, either in rings or jewels, 
Use to your own desire ; but I beseech you, 
As you are a gentleman by many bloods, 
Though I myself be out of your respect, 
Think on the state of these three lovely boys 
You have been father to. 

Hus. Puh ! bastards, bastards, bastards ; begot in tricks, begot in 
tricks. 

Wife. Heaven knows how those words wrong me : but I may 
Endure these griefs among a thousand more. 

call to mind your lands already mortgag'd. 
Yourself wound into debts, your hopeful brother 
At the university in bonds for you, 

Like to be seiz'd upon ; and 

Hus. Have done, thou harlot, 
Whom, though for fashion-sake I married, 

1 never could abide. Think'st thou, thy words 
Shall kill my pleasures ? Fall off to thy friends ; 
Thou and thy bastards beg ; I will not bate 

A whit in humour. Midnight, still I love you. 

And revel in your company ! Curb'd in, 

Shall it be said in all societies. 

That I broke custom ? that I flagg'd in money !* 

No, those thy jewels I will play as freely 

As when my state was fullest. 

Wife. Be it so. 

Hus. Nay, I protest (and take that for an earnest), [Spunis her. 

I will for ever hold thee in contempt. 
And never touch the sheets that cover thee, 
But be divorc'd in bed, till thou consent 
Thy dowry shall be sold, to give new life 
Unto those pleasures which I most affect. 

Wife. Sir, do but turn a gentle eye on me, 
And what the law shall give me leave to do, 
You shall command. 

Hus. Look it be done. Shall I want dust, 
And like a slave wear nothing in my pockets 

l^Holds his hands in his pockets. 
But my bare hands, to fill them up with nails ? 

much against my blood ! Let it be done. 

1 was never made to be a looker-on, 

A bawd to dice ; I '11 sliake the drabs myself. 
And make them yield : I say, look it be done. 

Wife. I take my leave : it shall. . [E.i:it. 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 3G3 

^"*- Speedily, speedily. 

I hate the very hour I chose a wife : 
A trouble, trouble ! Three children, like three evils. 
Hang on me. Fie, fie, fie ! Strumpet and bastards ! 

Enter three Gentlemen. 
Strumpet and bastards ! 

1 Gent. Still do these loathsome thoughts jar on your tongue i' 
Yourself to stain the honour of your wife, 
Nobly descended ? Those whom men call mad. 
Endanger others ; but he 's more than mad 
That wounds himself ; whose own words do proclaim 
Scandals unjust, to soil his better name. 
It is not fit ; I pray, forsake it. 

2 Gent. Good sir, let modesty reprove you. 

3 Gent. Let honest kindness sway so much with you. 
Hus. Good den ; I thank you, sir ; how do you ? Adieu ! 

I am glad to see you. Farewell instructions, admonitions. 

{^Exeunt Gentlemen. 

Enter a Servant. 
How now,'sirrah ? What would you ? 

Ser. Only to certify you, sir, that my mistress was met by the way, 
by them who were sent for her up to London by her honourable uncle, 
your worship's late guardian. 

Hus. So, sir, then she is gone ; and so may you be ; 
But let her look the thing be done she wots of. 
Or hell will stand more pleasant than her house 
At home. {Exit Servant. 

Enter a Gentleman. 

Gent. Well or ill met, I care not. 

Hus. No, nor I. 

Gent. I am come with confidence to chide you. 

Hus. Who ? me ? 

Chide me ? Do 't finely then ; let it not move me : 
For if thou chid'st me angry, I shall strike. 

Gent. Strike thine own follies, for 't is they deserve 
To be well beaten. We are now in private ; 
There 's none but thou and L Thou art fond and peevish ; 
An unclean rioter ; thy lands and credit 
Lie now both sick of a consumption : 
I am sorry for thee. That man spends with shame, 
That with his riches doth consume his name ; 
And such art thou. 

Hu^. Peace ! 

Ge)it. No, thou shalt hear me further. 

Thy father's and forefathers" worthy honours. 



364 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Which were our country monuments, our grace, 

Follies in thee begin now to deface. 

The spring-time of thy youth did fairly promise 

Such a most fruitful summer to thy friends, 

It scarce can enter into men's beliefs 

Such dearth should hang upon thee. We that see it 

Are sorry to believe it. In thy change, 

This voice into all places will be hurl'd — 

Thou and the devil have deceiv'd the world. 

Hus. I '11 not endure thee. 

Gent. But of all the worst, 

Thy virtuous wife, right honourably allied, 
Thou hast proclaim'd a strumpet. 

Hus. Nay, then I know thee ; 

Thou art her champion, thou ; her private friend ; 
The party you wot on. 

Gent. O ignoble thought ! 

I am past my patient blood. Shall I stand idle, 
And see my reputation touch'd to death ? 

Hus. It has gall'd you, this ; has it ? 

Gent. No, monster ; I will prove 

My thoughts did only tend to virtuous love. 

Hus. Love of her virtues ? there it goes. 

Gent. Base spirit. 

To lay thy hate upon the fruitful honour 
Of thine own bed ! [^They fight , and the Husband is htirt. 

Hus. Oh ! 

Gent. Wilt thou yield it yet ? 

Hus. Sir, sir, I have not done with you. 

Gent. I hope, nor ne'er shall do. {They fight mjain. 

Hus. Have you got tricks ? Are you in cunning with me ? 

Gent. No, plain and right : 
He needs no cunning that for truth doth fight. [HusBAND^a/A' down. 

Hus. Hard fortune ! am I levelled with the ground ? 

Gent. Now, sir, you lie at mercy. 

Hus. Ay, you slave. 

Gent. Alas, that hate should bring us to our grave ! 
You see, my sword 's not thirsty for your life : 
I am sorrier for your wound than you yourself. 
You 're of a virtuous house ; show virtuous deeds ; 
'T is not your honour, 't is your folly bleeds. 
Much good has been expected in your life ; 
Cancel not all men's hopes : you have a wife. 
Kind and obedient ; heap not wrongful shame 
On her and your posterity ; let only sin be sore. 
And by this fall, rise never to fall more. 
And so I leave you. [Exit. 

Hus. Has the dog left me then, 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 365 

After his tooth has left me ? O, my heart 

Would fain leap after him. Revenge, I say ; 

I 'm mad to be reveng'd. My strumpet wife. 

It is thy quarrel that rips thus my flesh, 

And makes my breast spit blood ; — but thou shalt bleed. 

Vanquish'd ? got down ? unable even to speak ? 

Surely 't is want of money makes men weak : 

Ay, 't was that o'erthrew me : I 'd ne'er been down else. l^xit. 

SCENE III. — Another Room in the same. 

Enter Wife, in a riding suit, and a Servant. 

Ser. 'Faith, mistress, if it might not be presumption 
In me to tell you so, for his excuse 
You had small reason, knowing his abuse. 

Wife. I grant I had ; but, alas, 
Why should our faults at home be spread abroad ? 
'T is grief enough within doors. At first sight 
Mine uncle could run o'er his prodigal life 
As perfectly as if his serious eye 
Had number'd all his follies : 
Knew of his mortgag'd lands, his friends in bonds. 
Himself wither'd with debts ; and in that minute 
Had I added his usage and unkindness, 
'T would have confounded every thought of good : 
Where now, fathering his riots on his youth. 
Which time and tame experience will shake off, — 
Guessing his kindness to me (as I smooth'd him 
With all the skill I had, though his deserts 
Are in form uglier than an unshap'd bear), 
He 's ready to prefer him to some office 
And place at court ; a good and sure relief 
To all his stooping fortunes. 'T will be a means, I hope. 
To make new league between us, and redeem 
His virtues with his lands. 

Ser. I should think so, mistress. If he should not now be kind to 
you, and love you, and cherish you up, I should think the devil himself 
kept open house in him. 

Wife. I doubt not but he will. Now prithee leave me ; I think I 
hear him coming. 

Ser. I am gone. \^Exit. 

Wife. By this good means I shall preserve my lands, 
And free my husband out of usurers' hands. 
Now there 's no need of sale ; my uncle 's kind : 
I hope, if aught, this will content his mind. 
Here comes my husband. 

Enter Husband. 
Hus. Now, are you come ? Where 's the money ? Let 's see the 



366 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

money. Is the rubbish sold? those wise-acres, your lands? Why, 
when? The money? Where is it? Pour it down; down with it, 
down with it : I say pour 't on the ground ; let 's see it, let 's see it. 

Wife. Good sir, keep but in patience, and I hope my words shall 
like you well. I bring you better comfort than the sale of my dowry. 

Hus. Ha ! what 's that ? 

Wife. Pray do not fright me, sir, but vouchsafe me hearing. My 
uncle, glad of your kindness to me and mild usage (for so I made it 
to him), hath, in pity of your declining fortunes, provided a place for 
you at court, of worth and credit ; which so much overjoy'd me — 

Hus. Out on thee, tilth ! over and overjoyed, when I 'm in torment ? 
[Sptf/ns her.] Thou politic whore, subtiler than nine devils, was this 
thy journey to nunck ? to set down the history of me, of my state and 
fortunes ? Shall I, that dedicated myself to pleasure, be now confined 
in service ? to crouch and stand like an old man i' the hams, my hat 
off ? I that could never abide to uncover my head i' the church ? 
Base slut ! this fruit bear thy complaints. 

Wife. O, heaven knows 
That my complaints were praises, and best words, 
Of you and your estate. Only, my friends 
Knew of your mortgag'd lands, and were possess'd 
Of every accident before I came. 
If you suspect it but a plot in me, 
To keep my dowry, or for mine own good, 
Or my poor children's, (though it suits a mother 
To show a natural care in their reliefs,) 
Yet I '11 forget myself to calm your blood : 
Consume it, as your pleasure counsels you ; 
And all I wish even clemency affords; 
Give me but pleasant looks, and modest words. 

Hus. Money, whore, money, or I '11 [Draws a daggei: 

Enter a Servant hastily. 

What the devil ! How now ! thy hasty news ? 

Ser. May it please you, sir 

Hus. What ! may I not look upon my dagger ? Speak, villain, or 
I will execute the point on thee : Quick, short. 

Ser. Why, sir, a gentleman from the university stays below to speak 
with you. [Exit. 

Hus. From the university? so; university :— that long word runs 
through me. [^Exif. 

Wife. Was ever wife so wretchedly beset ? 
Had not this news stepp'd in between, the point 
Had ofFer'd violence unto my breast. 
That which some women call great misery 
Would show but little here ; would scarce be seen 
Among my miseries. I may compare, 
For wretched fortunes, with all wives that are. 
Nothing will please him, until all be nothing. 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 367 

He calls it slavery to be preferr'd ; 

A place of credit, a base servitude. 

What shall become of me, and my poor children, 

Two here, and one at nurse ? my pretty beggars ! 

I see how ruin with a palsy hand 

Begins to shake the ancient seat to dust : 

The heavy weight of sorrow draws my lids 

Over my dankish eyes : I can scarce see ; 

Thus grief will last ; — it wakes and sleeps with me. [Exit. 

SCENE IV. — Another Apartment in the same. 

Enter Husband and the Master of a College. 

Hys. Please you draw near, sir ; you 're exceeding welcome. 

Mast. That 's my doubt ! I fear I come not to be welcome. 

Hus. Yes, howsoever. 

Mast. 'T is not my fashion, sir, to dwell in long circumstance, but 
to be plain and effectual ; therefore to the purpose. The cause of my 
setting forth was piteous and lamentable. That hopeful young gentle- 
man, your brother, whose virtues we all love dearly, through your 
default and unnatural negligence lies in bond executed for your debt, 
— a prisoner ; all his studies amazed, his hope struck dead, and the 
pride of his youth muffled in these dark clouds of oppression. 

Htis. Umph, umph, umph ! 

Mast. O you have killed the towardest hope of all our university : 
wherefore, without repentance and amends, expect ponderous and 
sudden judgments to fall grievously upon you. Your brother, a man 
who profited in his divine employments, and might have made ten 
thousand souls fit for heaven, is now by your careless courses cast into 
prison, which you must answer for ; and assure your spirit it will come 
home at length. 

Has. O God ! oh ! 

Mast. Wise men think ill of you ; others speak ill of you ; no man 
loves you: nay, even those whom honesty condemns, condemn you: 
And take this from the virtuous affection I bear your brother ; never 
look for prosperous hour, good thoughts, quiet sleep, contented walks, 
nor anything that makes man perfect, till you redeem him. What is 
your answer ? How will you bestow him ? Upon desperate misery, or 
better hopes ? — I suffer till I hear your answer. 

Hits. Sir, you have much wrought with me ; I feel you in my soul : 
you are your art's master. I never had sense till now ; your syllables 
have cleft me. Both for your words and pains I thank you. I cannot 
but acknowledge grievous wrongs done to my brother ; mighty, mighty, 
mighty, mighty wrongs. Within there ! 

Enter a Servant. 

Hns. Fill me a bowl of wine. [Exit Servant.] Alas, poor brother, 
bruis'd with an execution for my sake ! 



368 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERK. 

Mast. A bruise indeed makes many a mortal sore, 
Till the grave cure them. 

Re-enter Servant, with wine. 

Hits. Sir, I begin to you ; you 've chid your welcome. 

Mast. I could have wish'd it better for your sake. 
I pledge you, sir : — To the kind man in prison. 

Hus. Let it be so. Now, sir, if you please to spend but a few minutes 
in a walk about my grounds below, my man here shall attend you. I 
doubt not but by that time to be furnished of a sufficient answer, and 
therein my brother fully satisfied. 

Mast. Good sir, in that the angels would be pleas'd, 
And the world's murmurs calm'd ; and I should say, 
I set forth then upon a lucky day. [^Exeunt Master and Servant. 

Htis. O thou confused man ! Thy pleasant sins have undone thee ; 
thy damnation has beggared thee. That heaven should say we mnst 
not sin, and yet made women ! give our senses way to find pleasure, 
which, being found, confounds us ! Why should we know those things 
so much misuse us ? O, would virtue had been forbidden ! We should 
then have proved all virtuous ; for 't is our blood to love what we are 
forbidden. Had not drunkenness been forbidden, what man would 
have been fool to a beast, and zany to a swine, — to show tricks in the 
mire? What is there in three dice,"* to make a man draw thrice three 
thousand acres into the compass of a little round table, and with the 
gentleman's palsy in the hand shake out his posterity thieves or 
beggars? 'T is done ; I have done 't, i" faith : terrible, horrible misery ! 
— How well was I left ! Very well, very well. My lands showed like 
a full moon about me ; but now the moon 's in the last quarter, — wan- 
ing, waning ; and I am mad to think that moon was mine ; mine, and 
my father's, and my forefathers'; generations, generations. — Down 
goes the house of us ; down, down it sinks. Now is the name a beggar ; 
begs in me. That name which hundreds of years has made this shire 
famous, in me and my posterity runs out. In my seed five are made 
miserable besides myself: my riot is now my brother's gaoler, my 
wife's sighing, my three boys' penury, and mine own confusion. 
Why sit my hairs upon my cursed head ? [Tears his hair. 

Will not this poison scatter them ? O, my brother 's 
In execution among devils that 
Stretch him and make him give ; and I in want, 
Not able for to live, nor to redeem him ! 
Divines and dying men may talk of hell. 
But in my heart her several torments dwell ; 
Slavery and misery. Who, in this case. 
Would not take up money upon his soul ? 
Pawn his salvation, live at interest ? 
I, that did ever in abundance dwell. 
For me to want, exceeds the throes of hell. 

* The game called passage, or pass-dire, was played with three dice. 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 369 

Enter a little Boy with a Top and Scourge. 

Son. What ail you, father? Are you not well? I cannot scourge 
my top as long as you stand so. You take up all the room with your 
wide legs. Puh ! you cannot make me afraid with this ; I fear no 
vizards, nor bugbears. 

[^He fakes tip the Child by the skirts of his long coat with one hand, 
and draws his dagger with the otlier. 

Hus. Up, sir, for here thou hast no inheritance left. 

Son. O, what will you do, father? I am your white boy. 

Hus. Thou shalt be my red boy ; take that. \Strikes him. 

Son. O, you hurt me, father. 

Hus. My eldest beggar, 
Thou shalt not live to ask an usurer bread ; 
To cry at a great man's gate ; or follow, 
" Good your honour," by a coach ; no, nor your brother : 
'T is charity to brain you. 

Son. How shall I learn, now my head 's broke ? 

Htis. Bleed, bleed, [Stabs him. 

Rather than beg. Be not thy name's disgrace : 
Spurn thou thy fortunes first ; if they be base, 
Come view thy second brother's. Fates ! My children's blood 
Shall spin into your faces ; you shall see, 
How confidently we scorn beggary ! [Exit with his Son. 

SCENE V. 

A Maid discovered with a Child in her arms ; the Mother on a couch hy 

her, asleep. 

Maid. Sleep, sweet babe ; sorrow makes thy mother sleep : 
It bodes small good when heaviness falls so deep. 
Hush, pretty boy ; thy hopes might have been better. 
'T is lost at dice, what ancient honour won : 
Hard, when the father plays away the son ! 
Nothing but Misery serves in this house; 
Ruin and Desolation. Oh ! 

Enter Husband, with his Son bleeding. 

Hus. Whore, give me that boy. [Strives with her for the Child. 

Maid. O help, help ! Out, alas ! murther, murther ! 

Hus. Are you gossiping, you prating, sturdy quean ? 
I '11 break your clamour with your neck. Down stairs; 
Tumble, tumble, headlong. So : — 

[He throws her down, and stabs the Child. 
The surest way to charm a woman's tongue. 
Is — break her neck : a politician did it. 

Son. Mother, mother ; I am kill'd, mother ! [Wife awakes. 

Wife. Ha, who "s that cried ? O me ! my children ! 
Both, both, bloody, bloody ! [Ckitches up the youngest Child. 

Vol. XII. 2 B 



370 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 



Hus. Strumpet, let go the boy ; let go the beggar. 

Wife. O my sweet husband ! 
Hits. Filth, harlot ! 

Wife. O, what will you do, dear husband ? 
Hus. Give me the bastard ! 

Wife. Your own sweet boy — 
Hus. There are too many beggars. 
Wife. Good my husband — 
Hus. Dost thou prevent me still ? 
Wife. O God ! 

Hus. Have at his heart. [Stabs at the Child in her arms. 

Wife. O, my dear boy ! 

Hus. Brat, thou shalt not live to shame thy house — 
Wife. Oh heaven ! \She is huH, and sinks down. 

Hus. And perish ! — Now be gone: 
There 's whores enough, and want would make thee one. 

Enter a Servant. 

Ser. O sir, what deeds are these ? 

Hus. Base slave, my vassal ! 
Com'st thou between my fury to question me ? 

Ser. Were you the devil, I would hold you, sir. 

Hus. Hold me? Presumption ! I '11 undo thee for it. 

Ser. 'Sblood, you have undone us all, sir. 

Hus. Tug at thy master ? 

Ser. Tug at a monster. 

Hus. Have I no power ? Shall my slave fetter me ? 

Ser. Nay, then the devil wrestles : I am thrown. 

Hus. O villain ! now I '11 tug thee, now I '11 tear thee ; 
Set quick spurs to my vassal ; bruise him, trample him. 
So ; I think thou wilt not follow me in haste. 
My horse stands ready saddled. Away, away ; 
Now to my brat at nurse, my sucking beggar : 
Fates, I '11 not leave you one to trample on ! [Exi^. 

SCENE V].~Ckmrt before the House. 

Enter Husband ; to him the Master of the College. 

Mast. How is it with you, sir ? 
Methinks you look of a distracted colour. 

Hu^. Who, I, sir ? 'T is but your fancy. 
Please you walk in, sir, and I '11 soon resolve you : 
I want one small part to make up the sum, 
And then my brother shall rest satisfied. 

Mn.<it. I shall be glad to see it : Sir, I '11 attend you. [Exeunt. 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 371 



SCENE VII.— 4 Room in the House. 

The Wife, Servant, and Children discovered. 

Ser. Oh, I am scarce able to heave up myself, 
He has so bruis'd me with his devilish weight, 
And torn my flesh with his blood-hasty spur : 
A man before of easy constitution, 
Till now hell power supplied, to his soul's wrong : 
O how damnation can make weak men strong ! 

Enter the Master of the College and two Servants. 

Ser. O the most piteous deed, sir, since you came ! 

Mast. A deadly greeting ! Hath he summ'd up these 
To satisfy his brother ? Here 's another ; 
And by the bleeding infants, the dead mother. 

Wife. Oh ! oh ! 

Mast. Surgeons ! surgeons ! she recovers life : — 
One of his men all faint and bloodied ! 

1 Ser. Follow ; our murtherous master has took horse 
To kill his child at nurse. O, follow quickly. 

Mast. I am the readiest ; it shall be my charge 
To raise the town upon him. 

1 Ser. Good sir, do follow him. [Exeunt Master and two Servants. 

Wife. O my children ! 

1 Ser. How is it with my most afflicted mistress ? 

Wife. Why do I now recover ? Why half live. 
To see my children bleed before mine eyes ? 
A sight able to kill a mothers breast, without 
An executioner. — What, art thou mangled too ? 

1 Ser. I, thinking to prevent what his quick mischiefs 
Had so soon acted, came and rush'd upon him. 
We struggled ; but a fouler strength than his 
O'erthrew me with his arms : then did he bruise me, 
And rent my flesh, and robbd me of my hair ; 
Like a man mad in execution, 
Made me unfit to rise and follow him. 

Wife. What is it has beguil'd him of all grace. 
And stole away humanity from his breast ? 
To slay his children, purpose to kill his wife. 
And spoil his servants — 

Enter a Servant. ' 

Ser. Please you to leave this most accursed place : 
A surgeon waits within. 

Wife. Willing to leave it ? 
'T is guilty of sweet blood, innocent blood : 
Murther has took this chamber with full hands, 

And will ne"er out as long as the house stands. {^Exeunt. 

2 B 2 



372 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

SCENE VIII.— ^ High Road. 

Enter Husband. He falls. 

Hus. O stumbling jade ! The spavin overtake thee ! 
The fifty diseases stop thee! 
Oh, I am sorely bruis'd ! Plague founder thee ! 
Thou runn'st at ease and pleasure. Heart of chance ! 
To throw me now, within a flight o' the town, 
In such plain even ground too ! 'Sfoot, a man 
May dice upon it, and throw away the meadows. 
Filthy beast ! 

[Cry within.'] Follow, follow, follow. 

Hiis. Ha ! I hear sounds of men, like hue and cry. 
Up, up, and struggle to thy horse ; make on ; 
Despatch that little beggar, and all 's done. 

[Cry within.'] Here, here; this way, this way. 

Hiis. At my back ? Oh, 
What fate have I ! my limbs deny me go. 
My will is 'bated ; beggary claims a part. 

could I here reach to the infant's heart ! 

Enter the Master of the College, thiee Gentlemen, and Attendants with 

Halberds. 

All. Here, here ; yonder, yonder ! 

Mast. Unnatural, flinty, more than barbarous ! 
The Scythians, even the marble-hearted Fates, 
Could not have acted more remorseless deeds. 
In their relentless natures, than these of thine. 
Was this the answer I long waited on ? 
The satisfaction for thy prison'd brother ? 

Hiis. Why, he can have no more of us than our skins. 
And some of them want but fleaing. 

1 Gent. Great sins have made him impudent. 

Mast. He has shed so nmch blood, that he cannot blush. 

2 Gent. Away with him ; bear him to the justice's. 
A gentleman of worship dwells at hand : 

There shall his deeds be blaz d. 

Hus. Why, all the better. 

My glory 't is to have my action known ; 

1 grieve for nothing, but I miss'd of one. 
Mast. There "s Jittle of a father in that grief: 

Bear him away. [Exeunt. 

SCENE IX. — A Room in the House of a Magistrate. 

Enter a Knight, and three Gentlemen. 

Knight. Endanger'd so his wife ? murther'd his children ? 
1 Gent. So the cry goes. 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 373 

Knight. I am sorry I e'er knew him ; 

That ever he took life and natural being 
From such an honour'd stock, and fair descent, 
Till this black minute without stain or blemish. 

1 Gent. Here come the men. 

Enter Master of the College, ^'c, with the Prisoner. 

Knight. The serpent of his house I I am sorry, 
For this time, that I am in place of justice. 

Mast. Please you, sir 

Knight. Do not repeat it twice ; I know too much : 
Would it had neer been thought on ! Sir, I bleed for you. 

1 Gent. Your father's sorrows are alive in me. 
What made you show such monstrous cruelty ? 

Hus. In a word, sir, I have consumed all, played away long-acre ; 
and I thought it the charitablest deed I could do, to cozen beggary, 
and knock my house o' the head. 

Knight. O, in a cooler blood you will repent it. 

Htis. I repent now that one is left unkill'd : 
My brat at nurse. I would full fain have wean'd him. 

Knight. Well, I do not think, but in to-morrow's judgment, 
The terror will sit closer to your soul, 
When the dread thought of death remembers you : 
To further which, take this sad voice from me, 
Never was act play'd more unnaturally. 

Hus. I thank you, sir. 

Knight. Go lead him to the gaol : 

Where justice claims all, there must pity fail, 

Hus. Come, come ; away with me. [^Exeunt Husband, ^c. 

Mast. Sir, you deserve the worship of your place : 
Would all did so ! In you the law is grace. 

Knight. It is my wish it should be so. — Ruinous man ! 
The desolation of his house, the blot 
Upon his predecessor's honour'd name ! 
That man is nearest shame, that is past shame. \Exeunt. 

SCENE y^.~Before Calverly Hall. 

Enter Husband guarded. Master of the College, Gentlemen, and 
Attendants. 

Hus. I am right against my house, — seat of my ancestors : 
I hear my wife 's alive, but much endanger'd. 
Let me entreat to speak with her, before 
The prison gripe me. 

His Wife is brought in. 

Gent. See, here she comes of herself. 

Wife. O my sweet husband, my dear distress'd husband, 



374 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Now in the hands of unrelenting laws, 

My greatest sorrow, my extremest bleeding ; 

Now my soul bleeds. 

Hus. How now ? Kind to me ? Did I not wound thee ? 
Left thee for dead ? 

Wife. Tut, far, far greater wounds did my breast feel ; 
Unkindness strikes a deeper wound than steel. 
You have been still unkind to me. 

Hns. 'Faith, and so I think I have ; 
I did my murthers roughly out of hand, 
Desperate and sudden ; but thou hast devis'd 
A fine way now to kill me : thou hast given mine eyes 
Seven wounds apiece. Now glides the devil from me. 
Departs at every joint ; heaves up my nails. 
O catch him, torments that were ne'er invented ! 
Bind him one thousand more, you blessed angels. 
In that pit bottomless ! Let him not rise 
To make men act unnatural tragedies ; 
To spread into a father, and in fury 
Make him his children's executioner ; 
Murther his wife, his servants, and who not? — 
For that man 's dark, where heaven is quite forgot. 

Wife. O my repentant husband ! 

Hus. O my dear soul, whom I too much have wrong'd ; 
For death I die, and for this have I long'd. 

Wife. Thou shouldst not, be assur'd, for these faults die 
If the law could forgive as soon as I. [The two Children laid out. 

Hus. What sight is yonder ? 

Wife. O, our two bleeding boys. 

Laid forth upon the threshold. 

Hu^. Here 's weight enough to make a heart-string crack. 
O, were it lawful that your pretty souls 
Might look from heaven into your father's eyes, 
Then should you see the penitent glasses melt, 
And both your murthers shoot upon my cheeks ! 
But you are playing in the angels' laps, 
And will not look on me, who, void of grace, 
Kill'd you in beggary. 

that I might my wishes now attain, 

1 should then wish you living were again, 
Though I did beg with you, which thing I fear'd : 
O, 't was the enemy my eyes so blear'd ! 

O, would you could pray heaven me to forgive, 
That will unto my end repentant live ! 

Wife. It makes me even forget all other sorrows. 
And live apart with this. 

Offi. Come, will you go ? 

Hus. I '11 kiss the blood I spilt, and then I '11 go : 
My soul is bloodied, well may my lips be so. 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 375 

Farewell, dear wife ; now thou and I must part ; 
I of thy wrongs repent me with ray heart. 

Wife. O stay ; thou shalt not go. 

Hus. That 's but in vain ; you see it must be so. 
Farewell, ye bloody ashes of my boys ! 
My punishments are their eternal joys. 
Let every father look into my deeds, 
And then their heirs may prosper, while mine bleeds. 

[Exeunt Husband and Officers. 

Wife. More wretched am I now in this distress, 
Than former sorrows made me. 

Mast. O kind wife, 

Be comforted ; one joy is yet unmurther'd ; 
You have a boy at nurse ; your joy 's in him. 

Wife. Dearer than all is my poor husband's life. 
Heaven give my body strength, which is yet faint 
With much expense of blood, and I will kneel. 
Sue for his life, number up all my friends 
To plead for pardon for my dear husband's life. 

Mast. Was it in man to wound so kind a creature? 
I '11 ever praise a woman for thy sake. 
I must return with grief; my answer 's set; 
I shall bring news weighs heavier than the debt. 
Two brothers, one in bond lies overthrown. 
This on a deadlier execution. [Exeunt omnes. 



NOTICE 



THE AUTHORSHIP OF A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 



The event upon which this little drama is founded happened in 
1604 ; the play was published in 1608. If it were written by Shak- 
spere then, as his name on the title-page would lead us to believe, it 
must have been written when he was at the height of his power and 
of his fame. The question therefore as to his authorship of this 
play lies within very narrow limits. On the one hand we have the 
assertion of the publisher, in his entry upon the Stationers' regis- 
ters, and in the title-page of the book, that Shakspere was the au- 
thor : on the other hand, we have to consider the manifest impro- 
bability that one who essentially viewed human events and passions 
through the highest medium of poetry should have taken up a sub- 
ject of temporary interest to dramatize upon a prosaic principle. 
The English stage is familiar with works of extensive and perma- 
nent popularity which present to the senses the literal movement of 
some domestic tragedy, in which, from the necessary absence of the 
poetical spirit, the feelings of the audience are harassed and tortured 
without any compensation from that highest power of art which sub- 
dues the painful in and through the beautiful. ' George Barnwell ' 
and ' The Gamester ' are ready examples of tragedies of this class ; 
and without going into any minute comparisons, it is easy to under- 
stand that the principle upon which such works are composed is 
essentially different from that which presides over ' Hamlet ' and 
'Lear' and * Othello.' There was a most voluminous dramatic 
writer in Shakspere's time, Thomas Hey wood, whose pen was ready 
to seize upon a subject of passing interest, such as the frantic vio- 
lence of the unhappy Mr. Calverly. Charles Lamb, after quoting 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 377 

two very pathetic scenes from a tragedy of this writer, ' A Woman 
Killed with Kindness,' says, " Hey wood is a sort of j^ro^e Shakspeare. 
His scenes are to the full as natural and affecting. But we miss the 
poet, that which in Shakspeare always appears out and ahove the 
surface of the nature. Heywood's characters, his country gentle- 
men, &c., are exactly what we see (but of the best kind of what we 
see) in life. Shakspeare makes us believe, while we are among his 
lovely creations, that they are nothing but what we are familiar with, 
as in dreams new things seem old ; but we awake, and sigh for the 
difference." We have no doubt that Heywood could have written 
' The Yorkshire Tragedy ;' we greatly question whether Shakspere 
would have written it. The play, however, is one of sterling merit 
in its limited range ; and as it is also a remarkable specimen of a 
species of drama of which we have very few other examples of the 
Shaksperian age, we have printed it entire. It is scarcely necessary 
for us to enter upon any minute criticism in this place, especially 
as we shall have to revert to the general principle of the suitable- 
ness of such a subject to Shakspere's powers, when we give an ac- 
count of ' Arden of Feversham,' a tragedy of an earlier date, which 
has also been imputed to our great poet. A writer in the ' Retro- 
spective Review,' analyzing ' The Yorkshire Tragedy,' says, " There 
is no reason why Shakspeare should not have written it, any more 
than why he should." The reason why Shakspere should not have 
written it is, we think, to be deduced from the circumstance that he, 
who had never even written a comedy in which the scene is placed 
in his own country in his own times, would very unwillingly have 
gone out of his way to dramatise a real incident of horror, occur- 
ring in Yorkshire in 1604, which of necessity could only have been 
presented to the senses of an audience as a fact admitting of very 
little elevation by a poetical treatment which might seize upon their 
imaginations. There is, no doubt, in this little drama the evidence 
of a sound judgment, relying upon the truth of the representation 
for its effect ; and the patience and gentleness of the wife, as con- 
trasted with the selfish ferocity of the husband, add to the intensity 
of the pain which the representation produces. The Retrospective 
reviewer further says — " If he (Shakspere) had written it, on the 
principle of merely dramatising the known fact, he would not have 
done it much better than it is here done; and there were many 
of his contemporaries who could have done it quite as well." 
We agree with this assertion. If ' The Yorkshire Tragedy ' had 
been done better than it is — that is, if the power of the poet had 
more prevailed in it — it would not have answered the purpose for 



378 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

which it was intended ; it would in truth have been a mistake in art. 
Shakspere would not have committed this mistake. But then we 
doubt whether he would have consented at all to have had a circle 
drawn around him by the anti-poetical, within which his mastery 
over the spirits of the earth and of the air was unavailing. There 
were other men amongst his contemporaries to whom these limits 
would not have been imprisonment ; who might say with Hamlet, 
" I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of in- 
finite space." Thomas Heywood was one of the number. We ex- 
tract from that writer the concluding scene of ' A Woman Killed 
with Kindness,' in which a faithless but repentant wife receives 
when dying the forgiveness of her husband. We request our read- 
ers to compare this with the last scene of ' The Yorkshire Tragedy,' 
in which the murderer of her children, when about to be led to exe- 
cution, is in the same spirit forgiven by his outraged wife : — 

" Frankford. How do you, woman ? 

Mrs. Anne. Well, Mr. Frankford, well ; but shall be better 
I hope within this hour. Will you vouchsafe 
(Out of your grace, and your humanity) 
To take a spotted strumpet by the hand ? 

Frankford. This hand once held my heart in faster bond 
Than now 't is grip'd by me. God pardon them 
That made us first break hold. 

Mrs. Anne. Amen, amen. 

Out of my zeal to heaven, whither I 'm now bound, 
I was so impudent to wish you liere ; 
And once more beg your pardon. Oh! good man, 
And father to my children, pardon me. 
Pardon, O pardon me : my fault so heinous is, 
That if you in this world forgive it not, 
Heaven will not clear it in the world to come. 
Faintness hath so usurp'd upon my knees, 
That kneel I cannot, but on my heart's knees 
My prostrate soul lies thrown down at your feet 
To beg your gracious pardon. Pardon, O pardon me. 

Frankford. As freely from the low depth of my soul 
As my Redeemer hath forgiven his death, 
I pardon thee. I will shed tears for thee ; 
Pray with thee ; and, in mere pity of thy weak estate, 
I 11 wish to die with thee. 

All. So do we all. 

Nicholas. So will not I ; 
I '11 sigh and sob, but, by my faith, not die. 

Sir Francis. O, Mr. Frankford, all the near alliance 
1 lose by her, sliall be supplied in thee : 
You are my brother by the nearest way ; 
Her kindred has fall'n off, but yours doth stay. 



A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. 379 

Frankford. Even as I'hope for pardon at that day, 
When the great Judge of heaven in scarlet sits, 
So be thou pardoii'd. Though thy rash offence 
Divorc'd our bodies, thy repentant tears 
Unite our souls. 

Sir Charles. Then comfort, Mistress Frankford, 
You see your husband hath forgiven your fall ; 
Then rouse your spirits, and cheer your fainting soul. 

Susan. How is it with you ? 

Sir Francis. How d' ye feel yourself? 

Mrs. Anne. Not of this world. 

Frankford. I see you are not, and I weep to see it. 
My wife, the mother to my pretty babes ! 
Both those lost names I do restore thee back, 
And witli this kiss I wed thee once again : 
Though thou art wounded in thy honour'd name, 
And with that grief upon thy deathbed liest. 
Honest in heart, upon my soul, thou diest. 

Mrs. Anne. Pardon'd on earth, soul, thou in heaven art free. 
Once more : tljy wife dies thus embracing thee. [Dje«." 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 



In 1592 was first published ' The lamentable and true Tragedie of 
M. Arden of Feversham in Kent.' Subsequent editions of this 
tragedy appeared in 1599 and 1633. Lillo, the author of ' George 
Barnwell,' who died in 1139, left an unfinished tragedy upon the 
same subject, in which he has used the play of the 16th century 
very freely, but with considerable judgment. In 1170 the 'Arden 
of Feversham' originally published in 1592 was for the first time 
ascribed to Shakspere. It was then reprinted by Edward Jacob, a 
resident of Feversham (who also published a history of that town 
and port), with a preface, in which he endeavours to prove that the 
tragedy was written by Shakspere, upon the fallacious principle that 
it contains certain expressions which are to be found in his acknow- 
ledged works. This is at once the easiest and the most unsatisfac- 
tory species of evidence. Resemblances such as this may consist of 
mere conventional phrases, the common property of all the writers 
of a particular period. If the phrases are so striking that they must 
have been first created by an individual process of thought, the re- 
petition of them is no proof that they have been twice used by the 
same person. Another may have adopted the phrase, perhaps un- 
consciously. General resemblances of style lead us into a wider 
range of inquiry ; but even here we have a narrow enclosed ground 
compared with the entire field of criticism, which includes not 
only style, but the whole system of the poet's art. It has been 
said of this play, " Arden of Feversham, a domestic tragedy, would, 
in point of absolute merit, have done no discredit to the early man- 
hood of Shakspeare himself; but, both in conception and execution, 
it is quite unlike even his earliest manner; while, on the other 
hand, its date cannot possibly be removed so far back as the time 
before which his own style had demonstrably been formed." * 
Tieck has translated the tragedy into German, and he assigns it with 

* Etliuburgli Review, vol. Ixxi. p. 471. 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 381 

little hesitation to Shakspere. Ulrici also subscribes to this opinion ; 
but he makes a lower estimate of its merit than his brother critic. 
The versification he holds to be tedious and monotonous, and the 
dialogue, he says, is conducted with much exaggeration of expres- 
sion. The play appears to us deserving of a somewhat full consi- 
deration. It was printed as early as 1592, and was most probably 
performed several years earlier ; the event which forms its subject 
took place in 1551. What is very remarkable too for a play of 
this period (and in this opinion we differ from Ulrici), there is very 
little extravagance of language ; and the criminal passion in all its 
stages is conducted with singular delicacy. There are many pas- 
sages too which aim to be poetical, and are in fact poetical ; but for 
the most part they want that vivifying dramatic power which makes 
the poetry doubly effective from its natural and inseparable union 
with the situation which calls it forth and the character which gives 
it utterance. The tragedy is founded upon a real event which had 
been popularly told with great minuteness of detail ; and the drama- 
tist has evidently thought it necessary to present all the points of 
the story, and in so doing has of course sometimes divided and 
weakened the interest. Of invention, properly so called, there is 
necessarily very little; but there is still some invention, and that of 
a nature to show that the author had an imaginative conception of 
incident and character. Upon the whole, we should be inclined to 
regard it as the work of a young man ; and the question then arises 
whether that young man was Shakspere. If ' Arden of Feversham,' 
like the ' Yorkshire Tragedy,' had been founded upon an event 
which happened in Shakspere's mature years, that circumstance 
would have been decisive against his being in any sense of the word 
the author. But whilst we agree with the writer in the ' Edinburgh 
Review ' that " both in conception and execution it is quite unlike 
even his earliest manner," we are not so confident that " its date 
cannot possibly be removed so far back as the time before which his 
own style had demonstrably been formed." Whether it be due to 
the absorbing nature of the subject, or to the mode in which the 
story is dramatically treated, we think that ' Arden of Feversham ' 
cannot be read for the first time without exciting a very considerable 
interest ; and this interest is certainly not produced by any violent 
exhibitions of passion, any sudden transitions of situation, or any 
exciting display of rhetoric or poetry ; but by a quiet and natural 
succession of incidents, by a tolerably consistent, if not highly 
forcible, delineation of character, and by equable and unambitious 
dialogue, in which there is certainly less extravagance of expression 



382 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

than we should readily find in any of the writers for the stage be- 
tween 1585 and 1592. Do we then think that ' Arden of Feversham ' 
belongs to the early manhood of Shakspere ? We do not think so 
with any confidence ; but we do think that, considering its date, it 
is a very remarkable play, and we should be at a loss to assign it to 
any writer whose name is associated with that early period of the 
drama, except to Shakspere. In questions of this nature there may 
be a conviction resulting from an examination of the whole evi- 
dence, the reasons for which cannot be satisfactorily communicated 
to others. But we are less anxious to make our readers think with 
us than to enable them to think for themselves ; and we shall endea- 
vour to effect this object in the analysis to which we now proceed. 

The murder of Arden of Feversham must have produced an ex- 
traordinary and even permanent sensation in an age when deeds of 
violence were by no means unfrequent. Holinshed's ' Chronicle ' 
was first published in 1517; the event happened twenty-six years 
before, but the writer of the ' Chronicle ' says, " The which murder, 
for the horribleness thereof, although otherwise it may seem to be 
but a private matter, and therefore as it were impertinent to this 
history, I have thought good to set it forth somewhat at large, 
having the instructions delivered to me by them that have used some 
diligence to gather the true understanding of the circumstances." 
The narrative in Holinshed occupies seven closely printed columns, 
and all the details are brought out with a remarkable graphic power. 
We have no doubt that this narrative strongly seized upon the ima- 
gination of the writer of the play. To judge correctly of the poeti- 
cal art of that writer, we must follow the narrative step by step. 
The relative position of the several parties is thus described : — 

" This Arden was a man of a tall and comely personage, and matched in mar- 
riage with a gentlewoman, young, tall, and well favoured of shape and counte- 
nance, who chancing to fall hi familiarity with one Mosbie, a tailor by occupation, 
a black swart man, servant to the Lord North, it hap])ened this Mosbie upon some 
mistaking to fall out with her; but slie, being desirous to be in favour with him 
again, sent him a pair of silver dice by one Adam Foule, dwelling at the Flower- 
de-luce, in Feversham. After which he resorted to her again, and oftentimes lay 
in Arden's house ; and although (as it was said) Arden perceived right well their 
mutual familiarity to be much greater than their honesty, yet because he would 
not offend her, and so lose the benefit he hoped 1o gain at some of her friends' hands 
in bearing with her lewdness, which he might have lost if he should have fallen out 
with her, he was contented to wink at her filthy disorder, and both permitted and 
also invited Mosbie very often to lodge in his house. And thus it continued a 
good space before any practice was begun by them against Master Arden. She at 
length, inflamed in love with Mosbie, and loathing her husband, wished, and after 
practised, the means how to hasten his end." 



ARDKN OF FEVERSHAM. 383 

Tlie first evidence of a sound judgment in the dramatist is the 
rejection of the imputation of the chronicler that Arden connived 
at the conduct of his wife from mercenary motives. In the opening 
scene he puts Arden in a thoroughly different position. The play 
opens with a dialogue between Master Arden and his friend Master 
Franklin, in which Franklin exhorts him to cheer up his spirits 
because the king has granted him letters-patent of the lands of the 
abbey of Feversham. This is the answer of Arden : — 

" Franklin, thy love prolongs my weary life ; 
And but for thee, how odious were this life. 
That shows me nothing, but torments my soul ; 
And those foul objects that offend mine eyes, 
fVhich make me wish that, for * this veil of heaven, 
The earth hutig over my head and cover'd me ! 
Love-letters post 'twixt Mosbie and my wife, 
And they have privy meetings in the town ; 
Nay, on his finger did I spy the ring 
Which, at our marriage, the priest put on : 
Can any grief be half so great as this ?" 

Presently Arden breaks out into a burst of passion, and Frank- 
lin thus counsels him : — 

" Be patient, gentle friend, and learn of me 
To ease thy grief and save her chastity : 
Entreat her fair ; sweet words are fittest engines 
To raze the flint walls of a woman's breast ; 
In any case be not too jealous, 
Nor make no question of her love to thee, 
But, as securely, presently take horse, 
And lie with me at London all this term ; 
For women, when they may, will not, 
But, being kept back, straight grow outrageous." 

Alice, the wife of Arden, enters ; and he accuses her, but mildly, of 
having called on Mosbie in her sleep ; the woman dissembles, and 
they part in peace. We have then the incident of the silver dice 
sent to the paramour by Adam of the Flower-de-luce. The chro- 
nicler has represented Alice as the principal agent in procuring the 
murder of her husband; and the dramatist has, it appears to us with 
considerable skill, shown the woman from the first under the influ- 
ence of a headlong passion, which cannot stop to conceal its purposes, 
which has no doubts, no suspicions, no fears. The earnestness with 
which she proceeds in her terrible design is thoroughly tragic ; and 

* For — instead of. 



384 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

her ardour is strikingly contrasted with the more cautious guilt of 
her chief accomplice. She avows her passion for Mosbie to the 
landlord of the Flower-de-luce; she openly prompts Arden's own 
servant Michael to murder his master, tempting him with a promise 
to promote his suit to Mosbie's sister. The first scene between 
Mosbie and Alice is a striking one : — 

" Mosbie. Where is your husband ? 

Alice. 'T is now high water, and he is at the quay. 

Mosbie. There let him ; henceforward, know me not. 

Alice. Is this the end of all thy solemn oaths ? 
Is this the fruit thy reconcilement buds? 
Have I for this given thee so many favours, 
Incurr'd my husband's hate, and out, alas! 
Made shipwreck of mine honour for thy sake ? 
And dost thou say, henceforward know me not f 
Remember when I lock'd thee in my closet, 
What were thy words and mine? Did we not both 
Decree to murder Arden in the night? 
The heavens can witness, and the world can tell, 
Before 1 saw that falsehood look of thine, 
'Fore I was tangled with thy 'ticing speech, 
Arden to me was dearer than my soul, — 
And shall be still. Base peasant, get thee gone. 
And boast not of thy conquest over me, 
Gotten by witchcraft and mere sorcery, 
For what hast thou to countenance my love, 
Being descended of a noble house, 
And match'd already with a gentleman. 
Whose servant thou mayst be ; — and so, farewell. 

Mosbie. Ungentle and unkind Alice, now I see 
That which I ever fear'd, and find too true: 
A woman's love is as the lightning flame, 
Which even in bursting forth consumes itself. 
To try thy constancy have I been strange : 
Would I had never tried, but liv'd in hopes ! 

Alice. What needs thou try me, whom thou never found false? 

Mosbie. Yet, pardon me, for love is jealous. 

Alice. So lists the sailor to the mermaid's song ; 
So looks the traveller to the basilisk. 
I am content for to be reconcil'd, 
And that I know will be mine overthrow. 

Mosbie. Thine overthrow? First let the world dissolve. 

Alice. Nay, Mosbie, let me still enjoy thy love, 
And happen what will, I am resolute." 

It is impossible to doubt, whoever was the writer of this play, that 
we have before us the work of a man of no ordinary power. The 
transitions of passion in this scene are true to nature ; and, instead 
of the extravagant ravings of the writers of this early period of our 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 



385 



drama, the appropriateness of the language to the passion is most 
remarkable. There is poetry too, in the ordinary sense of the word, 
but the situation is not encumbered with the ornament. We would 
remark also, what is very striking throughout the play, that the 
versification possesses that freedom which we find in no other writer 
of the time but Shakspere. Ulrici holds a contrary opinion, but we 
cannot consent to surrender our judgment to a foreign ear. There 
is too in this scene the condensation of Shakspere, that wonderful 
quality by which he makes a single word convey a complex idea : — 

*'I8 this the fruit thy reconcilement budsf" 

is an example of this quality. The whole scene is condensed. A 
writer of less genius, whoever he was, would have made it thrice as 
long. The guilty pair being reconciled, Mosbie says that he has 
found a painter who can so cunningly produce a picture that the 
person looking on it shall die. Alice is for more direct measures — 
for a poison to be given in her husband's food. Here again the 
'Chronicle' is followed: — 

" There was a painter dwelling in Feversham, wlio had skill of poisons, as was 
reported ; she therefore demanded of him whether it were true that he had such 
skill in feat or not ? And he denied not but that he had indeed. Yea, said she, but 
I would have such a one made as should have most vehemerit and speedy operation 
to despatch the eater thereof. That can I do, quoth he ; and forthwitli made her 
such a one."' 

The painter enters, and his reward, it appears, is to be Susan Mosbie. 
The painter is a dangerous and wicked person, but he speaks of his 
art and of its inspiration with a high enthusiasm : — 

" For, as sharp-witted poets, whose sweet verse 
Make heavenly gods break off" their neetar-drawjhfs. 
And luy their ears down to the lowly earth, 
Use humble promise to their sacred muse; 
So we, that are the poets' favourites. 
Must have a love. Ay, love is the painter's muse, 
That makes him frame a speaking countenance, 
A weeping eye that witnesseth heart's grief." 

The conference is interrupted by the entrance of Ardon, of whom 
Mosbie readily asks a question about the abbey-lands. The follow- 
ing scene ensues, and it is an example of the judgment with which 
the dramatist has adopted the passage Irom the 'Chronicle' that 
Arden "both permitted and also invited Mosbie very often to lodge 
in his house," without at the same time rnmj)romising his own 
honour : — 

Vol. XII. 2 C 



386 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

" Arden. Mosbie, that question we '11 decide anon. 
Alice, make ready my breakfast, I must hence. [Exit Alice. 
As for the lands, Mosbie, they are mine 
By letters-patent of his majesty. 
But I must have a mandat for my wife; 
They say you seek to rob me of her love : 
Villain, what mak'st thou in her company? 
She 's no companion for so base a groom. 

Mosbie. Arden, I thought not on her, I came to thee ; 
But rather than I '11 put up this wrong 

Franklin. What will you do, sir ? 

Mosbie. Revenge it on the proudest of you both. 

[Then Arden draws forth Mosbie's sword. 

Arden. So, sirrah, you may not wear a sword. 
The statute made against artificers forbids it. 
I warrant that I do.* Now use your bodkin. 
Your Spanish needle, and your pressing-iron ; 
For this shall go with me : And mark my words, — 
You, good man botcher, 't is to you I speak, — 
The next time that I take thee near my house. 
Instead of legs, I '11 make thee crawl on stumps. 

Mosbie. Ah, master Arden, you have injured me, 
I do appeal to God and to the world. 

Franklin. Why, canst thou deny thou wert a botcher once ? 

Mosbie. Measure me what I am, not what I once was. 

Arden. Why, what art thou now but a velvet drudge, 
A cheating steward, and base-minded peasant ? 

Mosbie. Arden, now hast thou belch'd and vomited 
The rancorous venom of thy mis-swoln heart. 
Hear me but speak : As I intend to live 
With God, and his elected saints in heaven, 
I never meant more to solicit her, 
And that she knows ; and all the world shall see : 
I lov'd her once, sweet Arden ; pardon me : 
I could not choose ; her beauty fir'd my heart ; 
But time hath quenched these once-raging coals ; 
And, Arden, though I frequent thine house, 
'T is for my sister's sake, her waiting-maid. 
And not for hers. Mayst thou enjoy her long ! 
Hell fire and wrathful vengeance light on me 
If I dishonour her, or injure thee! 

Arden. With these thy protestations 
The deadly hatred of my heart 's appeas'd. 
And thou and I '11 be friends if this prove true. 
As for the base terms that I gave thee late, 
Forget them, Mosbie ; I had cause to speak. 
When all the knights and gentlemen of Kent 
Make common table-talk of her and thee. 

Mosbie. Who lives that is not touch'd with slanderoiu tongues 1 



I justify that which I do. 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 387 

Franklin. Then, Mosbie, to eschew the speech of men, 
Upon whose general bruit all honour hangs, 
Forbear his house, 

Arden, Forbear it ! nay, rather frequent it more : 
The world shall see that I distrust her not. 
To warn him on the sudden from my house 
Were to confirm the rumour that is grown." 

The first direct attempt of Alice upon her husband's life is thus 
told by the chronicler : — 

" Now, Master Arden purposing that day to ride to Canterbury, his wife brought 
faim his breakfast, which was wont to be milk and butter. He, having received a 
spoonful or two of the milk, misliked the taste and colour thereof, and said to his 
wife, Mistress Alice, what milk have you given me here ? Wherewithal she tilted 
it over with her hand, saying, I ween nothing can please you. Then he took horse 
and rode towards Canterbury, and by the way fell into extreme sickness, and so 
escaped for that time." 

In the tragedy the incident is exactly followed. Upon parting with 
her husband the dissembling of Alice is heart-sickening, but the 
scene is still managed naturally and consistently. 

There is no division of this play into acts and scenes, but it is 
probable that the first act ends with the departure of Arden for Lon- 
don. Another agent appears upon the scene, whose motives and 
position are thus described in the ' Chronicle :' — 

" After this his wife fell in acquaintance with one Greene, of Feversham, servant 
to Sir Anthony Ager, from which Greene Master Arden had wrested a piece of 
ground on the back side of the Abbey of Feversham, and there had great blows and 
great threats passed betwixt them about that matter. Therefore she, knowing that 
Greene hated her husband, began to practise with him how to make him away; 
and concluded that, if he could get any that would kill him, he should have ten 
pounds for a reward." 

The manner in which the guilty wife practises with this revengeful 
man is skilfully wrought out in the tragedy. She sympathises with 
his supposed wrongs, she tells a tale of her own injuries, and then 
she proceeds to the open avowal of her purpose. Greene is to pro- 
cure agents to murder her husband, and his reward, besides money, 
is to be the restoration of his lands. She communicates her proceed- 
ings to Mosbie, but he reproaches her for her imprudence in tam- 
pering with so many agents. 

The course of the ' Chronicle ' continues to be followed with much 
exactness. The scene changes to the road for London, and the fol- 
lowing description is then dramatized. It is so curious a picture of 
manners, as indeed the whole narrative is, tliat we need scarcely 
apologize for its length ; — 

2 C 2 



388 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

" This Greene, having doings for his master Sir Antliony Ager, had occasion to 
go up to London, where his master then lay, and, having some charge up with him, 
desired one Bradshaw, a goldsmith of Feversham, that was his neighbour, to accom- 
pany him to Gravesend, and he would content him for his pains. This Bradshaw, 
lieing a very honest man, was content, and rode with him. And when they came 
to Rainhamdown they chanced to see three or four servingmen that were coming 
from Leeds; and therewith Bradshaw espied, coming up the hill from Rochester, 
one Black Will, a terrible cruel ruffian, with a sword and a buckler, and another 
with a great staff" on his neck. Then said Bradshaw to Greene, We are happy that 
there cometh some company from Leeds, for here cometh up against us as murder- 
ing a knave as any is in England : if it were not for them, we might chance hardly 
escape without loss of our money and lives. Yea, thought Greene (as he after con- 
fessed), such a one is for my purpose ; and therefore asked. Which is he? Yonder 
is he, quoth Bradshaw, the same that hath the sword and buckler ; his name is 
Black Will. How know you that ? said Greene. Bradshaw answered, 1 knew 
him at Boulogne, where we both served ; he was a soldier, and I was Sir Richard 
Cavendish's man ; and there he committed many robberies and heinous murders on 
such as travelled betwixt Boulogne and France. By this time the other comiiany 
of servingmen came to them, and they, going altogether, met with Black Will and 
his fellow. The servingmen knew Black Will, and, saluting him, demanded of him 
whither he wetit ? He answered, By his blood (for his use was to swear almost at 
every word), I know not, nor care not ; but set up my staff, and even as it falleth I go. 
If thou, quoth they, will go back again to Gravesend, we will give thee thy supper. 
By his blood, said he, I care not; I am content; have with you: and so he re- 
turned again with them. Then Black Will took acquaintance of Bradshaw, say- 
ing. Fellow Bradshaw, how dost thou? Bradshaw, unwilling to renew acquaint- 
ance, or (o have aught to do with so shameless a ruffian, said. Why, do ye know 
me? Yea, that I do, quoth he ; did not we serve in Boulogne together? But ye 
must pardon me, quoth Bradshaw, for I have forgotten you. Then Greene talked 
with Black Will, and said. When ye have supped, come to mine host's house at 
such a sign, and I will give you the sack and sugar. By his blood, said he, I 
thank you; I will come and take it, I warrant you. According to his promise he 
came, and there they made good cheer. Then Black Will and Greene went and 
talked apart from Bradshaw, and there concluded together, that if he would kill 
Master Arden he should have ten pounds for his labour. Then he answered, By 
his wounds, that I will if I may know him. Marry, to-morrow in Paul's I will 
show him thee, said Greene. Then they left their talk, and Greene bad him 
go home to his host's house. Then Greene wrote a letter to Mistress Arden, and 
among other things put in these words, — We have got a man for our purpose ; we 
may thank my brother Bradshaw. Now Bradshaw, not knowing anytliing of tliis, 
took the letter of him, and in the morning departed home again, and delivered tlie 
letter to Mistress Arden, and Grrene and Black Will went up to London at the 
tide." 

The scene in the play seizes upon the principal points of this de- 
scription, but the variations are those of a master. Bradshaw, it 
seems, is a goldsmith, and he is involved in a charge of buying some 
stolen plate. He thus describes the man who sold it him, and we 
can scarcely avoid thinking that here is the same power, though in 
an inferior degree, which produced the description of the apothecary 
in ' Romeo and Juliet :' — 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 389 

" fVill. What manner of man was he ? 

Biad. A lean-faced writhen knave, 
Hawk-nosed and very hollow-eyed ; 
With mighty furrows in stormy brows; 
Long hair down to his shoulders curl'd ; 
His chin was bare, but on his upper lip 
A mutchado, which he wound about his ear. 

mil. What apparel had he ? 

Brad. A watchet satin doublet all to-torn : 
The inner side did bear the greater show : 
A pair of threadbare velvet hose seam-rent ; 
A worsted stocking rent above the shoe ; 
A livery cloak, but all the lace was oflf; 
'T was bad, but yet it serv'd to hide the plate.'' 

One of the sources of the enchaining interest of this drama is to 
be found in the repeated escapes of Arden from the machinations of 
his enemies. We have seen the poison fail, and now the ruffian, 
whom no ordinary circumstances deterred from the commission of 
his purpose, is to he defeated by an unforeseen casualty. The 
' Chronicle ' says, — 

" At the time appointed Greene showed Black Will Master Arden walking in 
Paul's. Then said Black Will, What is he that goeth after him ? Marry, said 
Greene, one of his men. By his blood, said Black Will, I will kill them both. 
Nay, said Greene, do not so, for he is of counsel with us in this matter. By his 
blood, said he, I care not for that ; I will kill them both. Nay, said Greene, in 
any wise do not so. Then Black Will thought to have killed Master Arden in 
Paul's churchyard, but there were so many gentlemen that accompanied him to 
dinner, that he missed of his purpose." 

The dramatist presents the scene much more strikingly to the senses, 
in a manner which tells us something of the inconveniences of old 
London. The ruffians are standing before a shop; an apprentice 
enters saying — 

" 'T is very late, I were best shut up my stall, for here will be old * filching 
when the press comes forth of Paul's." 

The stage-direction which follows is: — "Then lets he down his 
window, and it breaks Black Will's head," The accident disturbs 
the immediate purpose of the ruffians. The character of Black Will 
is drawn with great force, but there is probably something of a 
youthful judgment in making the murderer speak in high poetry : — 

" I tell thee, Greene, the forlorn traveller, 
Whose lips are glued with summer-scorcliing heal, 
Ne'er long'd so much to see a running brook 
As I to finish Arden's tragedy," 

* Old — excessive. 



390 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

The other ruffian is Shakebag, and in the same way he speaks in the 
language which a youthful poet scarcely knows how to avoid sum- 
moning from the depths of his own imagination : — 

" I cannot paint my valour out with words : 
But give me place and opportunity. 
Such mercy as the starveu lioness, 
When she is dry suck'd of her eager young, 
Shows to the prey that next encounters her, 
On Arden so much pity would I take." 

The propriety of putting poetical images in the mouths of the low 
agents of crime cannot exactly be judged by looking at such pas- 
sages apart from that by which they are surrounded. There is no 
comedy in ' Arden of Feversham.' The characters and events are 
lifted out of ordinary life of purpose by the poet. The ambition of 
a young writer may have carried this too far, but the principle 
upon which he worked was a right one. He aimed to produce some- 
thing higher than a literal copy of every-day life, and this consti- 
tutes the essential distinction between ' Arden of Feversham ' and 
the ' Yorkshire Tragedy,' as between Shakspere and Heywood, and 
Shakspere and Lillo. In the maturity of his genius Shakspere did 
not vulgarize even his murderers. At the instant before the assault 
upon Banquo, one of the guilty instruments of Macbeth says, in the 
very spirit of poetry, — 

" The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day : 
Now spurs the lated traveller apace, 
To gain the timely inn." 

Early in the drama, as we have seen, Alice proposes to her hus- 
band's servant to make away with his master. The circumstance 
has come to the knowledge of Greene, who, after the defeat of the 
plan through the apprentice's shutter, has to devise with his ruffians 
another mode of accomplishing Arden's death. The ' Chronicle ' 
thus tells the story : — 

" Greene showed all this talk to Master Arden's man, whose name was Michael, 
which ever after stood in doubt of Black Will, lest he should kill him. The cause 
that this Michael conspired with the rest against his master was, for that it was de- 
termined that he should marry a kinswoman of Mosbie's. After this, Master 
Arden lay at a certain parsonage which he held in London, and therefore his man 
Michael and Greene agreed that Black Will should come in the night to the par- 
sonage, where he should find the doors left open that he might come in and murder 
Master Arden." 

The scene in which Michael consents to this proposal, with great 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 391 

reluctance, is founded upon the above text. We have a scene of 
Arden and Franklin, before they go to bed, in which Arden is torn 
with apprehension of the dishonour of his wife. There is great 
power here; but there is something of a higher order in the con- 
flicting terrors of Michael when he is left alone, expecting the 
arrival of the pitiless murderer : — 

" Conflicting thoughts, encamped in my breast, 
Awake me with the echo of their strokes ; 
And I, a judge to censure either side, 
Can give to neither wished victory. 
My master's kindness pleads to me for life, 
With just demand, and I must grant it him : 
My mistress she hath forc'd me with an oath, 
For Susan's sake, the which I may not break, 
For that is neaTer than a master's love : 
That grim-fac'd fellow, pitiless Black Will, 
And Shakebag stem, in bloody stratagem 
(Two rougher ruffians never liv'd in Kent) 
Have sworn my death if I infringe my vow — 
A dreadful thing to be consider'd of. 
Methinks I see them with their bolster'd hair, 
Staring and grinning in thy gentle face, 
And, in their ruthless hands their daggers drawn, 
Insulting o'er thee with a peck of oaths. 
Whilst thou, submissive pleading for relief. 
Art mangled by their ireful instruments ! 
Metiiinks I hear them ask where Michael is, 
And pitiless Black Will cries, ' Stab the slave ; 
The peasant will detect the tragedy.' 
The wrinkles of his foul death-threatening face 
Gape open wide like graves to swallow men : 
My death to him is but a merriment ; 
And he will murder me to make him sport. — 
He comes ! he comes ! Master Franklin, help ; 
Call up the neighbours, or we are but dead." 

This in a young poet would not only be promise of future great- 
ness, but it would be the greatness itself. The conception of this 
scene is wholly original. The guilty coward, driven by the force 
of his imagination into an agony of terror so as to call for help, and 
thus defeat the plot in which he had been an accomplice, is a crea- 
tion of real genius. The transition of his fears, from the picture of 
the murder of his master to that of himself, has a profundity in it 
which we seldom find except in the conceptions of one dramatist. 
The narrative upon which the scene is founded offers us a mere 
glimpse of this most effective portion of the story : — 

" This Michael, having liis master to bed, left open the doors according to the 



392 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

appointment. His master, tlien being in bed, asked bim if he had s)mt fast tlie 
doors, and he saiil Yea; but yet afterwards, fearing lest Black Will would kill 
bini as well as iiis master, after he was in bed himself he rose again, and shut the 
iloors, bolting them fast." 

In the drama the ruflSans arrive, and are of course disappointed of 
their purpose by the closing of the doors. They swear revenge 
against Michael, but he subsequently makes his peace by informing 
them that his master is departing from London, and that their pur- 
pose may be accomplished on Rainhamdown. 

The scene now changes, with a skilful dramatic management, to 
exhibit to us the guilty pair at Feversham. Mosbie is alone, and 
he shows us the depth of his depravity in the following soliloquy : — 

" Mosbie. Disturbed thoughts drive me from company, 
And dry my marrow with their watchfulness ; 
Continual trouble of my moody brain 
Peebles my liody liy excess of drink, 
And nips me as the bitter north-east wind 
Dotli check the tender blossoms in the spring. 
Well fares tlie man, howe'er his cates do taste, 
Tliat tables not with foul suspicion ; 
And he but pines among his delicates 
Whose troubled mind is stuff'd with discontent. 
My golden time was when I had no gold ; 
Though then I wanted, yet I slept secure ; 
My daily toil begat me night"s repose. 
My night's repose made daylight fresh to me ; 
But since I cllmb'd the top bough of the tree. 
And sought to build my nest among the clouds. 
Each gentle stary* gale doth shake my bed. 
And makes me dread my downfall to the earth. 
But whither doth contemplation carry me ? 
The way I seek to find where pleasure dwells 
Is liedg'd behind me, that I cannot back. 
But needs must on, although to danger's gate. 
Then, Arden, perish thou by that decree; 
For Greene doth heir the hmd, and weed thee up 
To make my harvest nothing but pure corn ; 
And for his pains I '11 lieave him up awhile, 
And after smother him to have his wax ; 
Such bees as Greene must never live to sting. 
Then is there Michael, and the painter too. 
Chief actors to Arden's overthrow, 
Who, when they see me sit in Arden's seat, 
They will insult upon me for my meed. 
Or fright me by detecting of his end : 
I '11 none of that, for I can cast a bone 



* Stary — stirring. Our word slur is suj)posed to be derived from the Anglo- 
Saxon tlii-an, to move. 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 393 

To make these curs }i]uck out each other's throat, 
And then am I sole ruler of mine own : 
Yet mistress Arden lives, but she 's myself, 
And holy church-rites make us two but one. 
But what for that? I may not trust you, Alice ; 
You have supplanted Arden for my sake. 
And will extirpen me to plant another ; 
'T is fearful sleeping in a serpent's bed ; 
And I will cleanly rid my hands of her. 
But here she comes ; and I must flatter her. 

[Here enters Alice.'' 

The unhappy woman has already begun to pay the penalty of her 
sin ; slie has moments of agonizing remorse, not enduring, however, 
but to be swept away again by that tempest of passion which first 
hurried her into guilt. The following scene is, we think, un- 
matched by any other writer than Shakspere in a play published as 
early as 1592, perhaps written several years earlier. It might have 
been written by Webster or Ford, but they belong to a considerably 
later period. It possesses in a most remarkable degree that quiet 
strength which is the best evidence of real power. Except in 
Shakspere, it is a strength for which we shall vainly seek in the 
accredited writings of any dramatic poet who, as far as we know, 
had written for the stage some ten years before the close of the 
sixteenth century : — 

" Moibie. Ungentle Alice, thy sorrow is my sore ; 
Thou know'st it well ; and 't is thy jjolicy 
To forge distressful looks to wound a breast 
Where lies a heart that dies when thou art sad : 
It is not love that loves to anger love. 

Alice. It is not love that loves to murder love. 

Mosbie. How mean you that ? 

Alice. Thou know'st how dearly Arden loved me. 

Mosbie. And then 

Alice. And then conceal the rest, for 't is too bad, 
Lest that my words he carried with the wind, 
And publish'd in the world to both our shames ! 
I pray thee, Mosbie, let our spring-time wither ; 
Our harvest else will yield but loathsome weeds : 
Forget, I pray thee, what has pass'd betwixt us, 
For now I blush and tremble at the thouglits. 

Mosbie. What, are you chang'd ? 

Alice. Ay ! to my former happy life again ; 
From title of an odious strumpet's name, 
To honest Arden "s wife, not Arden's honest wife. 
Ah, Mosbie ! 't is thou hast rifled me of tliat. 
And made me slanderous to all my kin : 
Even in my forehead is thy name engraven — 
A mean ai'titicer ; — that low-born name'. 



394 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

I waa bewitch'd — wo-worth the hapless hour 
And all the causes that enchanted me ! 

Mosbie. Nay, if thou ban, let me breathe curses forth ; 
And if you stand so nicely at your fame, 
Let me repent the credit I have lost. 
I have neglected matters of import ' 
That would have stated me above tliy state ; 
Forslow'd advantages, and spurn 'd at time ; 
Ay, Fortune's right hand Mosbie hath forsook, 
To take a wanton giglot by the left. 
I left the marriage of an honest maid, 
Whose dowry would have weigh'd down all thy wealth. 
Whose beauty and demeanour far exceeded thee : 
This certain good I lost for changing bad. 
And wrapp'd my credit in thy company. 
I was bewitch'd — that is no theme of thine. 
And thou, unhallow'd, hast enchanted me. 
But I will break thy sjtells and exorcisms. 
And put another sight upon these eyes, 
That show'd my heart a raven for a dove. 
Thou art not fair ; I view'd thee not till now : 
Thou art not kind ; till now I knew thee not : 
And now the rain hath beaten oft" thy gilt, 
Thy worthless copper shows thee counterfeit. 
It grieves me not to see how foul thou art. 
But mads me that ever I thought thee fair. 
Go, get thee gone, a copesmate for thy hinds ; 
I am too good to be thy favourite. 

Alice. Ay, now I see, and too soon find it true. 
Which often hath been told me by my friends. 
That Mosbie loves me not but for my wealth, 
Which, too incredulous, I ne'er believ'd. 
Nay, hear me speak, Mosbie, a word or two : 
I '11 bite my tongue if it speak bitterly. 
Look on me, Mosbie, or else I '11 kill myself; 
Notliing shall hide me from tliy stormy look. 
If thou cry war, there is no peace for me ; 
I will do penance for ofl'ending thee, 
And burn this prayer-book, where I here use 
The holy word that hath converted me. 
See, Mosbie, I will tear away the leaves. 
And all the leaves, and in this golden cover 
Shall thy sweet phrases and thy letters dwell, 
And thereon will I chiefly meditate, 
And liold no other sect but such devotion. 
Wilt tliou not look? Is all thy love o'erwhelm'd? 
Wilt thou not hear ? What malice stops tiiine ears? 
Why speak "st thou not? Wliat silence ties thy tongue? 
Thou hast been sighted as the eagle is, 
And heard as quickly as the fearful hare. 
And spoke as smoothly as an orator, 
AVhen I liavc bid thee hear, or see, or speak. 
And art thou sensible in none of these? 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 395 

Weigh all my good turns with this little fault, 
And I deserve not Mosbie's muddy looks ; 
A fence of trouble is not thicken'd still ; 
Be clear again ; I '11 no more trouble thee. 

Mosbie. O fie, no ; I am a base artificer ; 
My wings are feather'd for a lowly flight; 
Mosbie, fie ! no, not for a thousand pound — 
Make love to you — why "t is unpardonable — 
We beggars must not breathe where gentles are ! 

Alice. Sweet Mosbie is as gentle as a king, 
And I too blind to judge him otherwise : 
Flowers sometimes spring in fallow lands, 
Weeds in gardens ; roses grow on thorns : 
So, whatsoe'er my Mosbie's father was, 
Himself is valued gentle by his worth. 

Mosbie. Ah ! how you women can insinuate 
And clear a trespass with your sweetest tongue ! 
I will forget this quarrel, gentle Alice, 
Provided I '11 be tempted so no more." 

The man who wrote that scene was no ordinary judge of the way- 
wardness and wickedness of the human heart. It would be difficult 
to say that Shakspere at any time could have more naturally painted 
the fearful contest of a lingering virtue with an overwhelming 
passion. 

We have seen the conspiracy to murder Arden on Rainhamdown. 
The devoted man again escapes by accident, and the ' Chronicle ' 
thus briefly records the circumstance : — 

" When Master Arden came to Rochester, his man, still fearing that Black 
Will would kill him with his master, pricked his horse of purpose and made him 
to halt, to the end he might protract the time, and tarry behind. His master 
asked him why his horse halted. He said, I know not. Well, quoth his master, 
when j'e come at the smith here before (between Rochester and the hill-foot over 
against Chatham) remove his shoe, and search him, and tlien come after me. So 
Master Ai'den rode on : and ere he came at the place where Black Will lay in wait 
for him, there overtook him divers gentlemen of his acquauitance, who kept him 
company ; so that Black Will missed here also of his purpose." 

The dramatist shows us Greene and the two ruffians waiting for 
their prey, and the excuse of Michael to desert his master. Arden 
and Franklin are now upon the stage ; and the dialogue which 
passes between them is a very remarkable example of the dramatic 
skill with which the principal characters are made to sustain an in- 
different conversation, but which is still in harmony with the tone 
of thought that pervades the whole drama. Arden is unhappy in 
his domestic circumstances, and he eagerly listens to the tale of 
another's unhappiness. The perfect ease with which this conver- 



396 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

sation is managed appears to us a singular excellence, when we 
regard the early date of this tragedy : — 

" Frank. Do you remember where my tale did cease ? 

Arden. Ay, where the gentleman did check his wife. 

Frank. She being reprehended for the fact, 
Witness produc'd that took her with the deed. 
Her glove brought in which there she left behind. 
And many otlier assured arguments, 
Her husband ask'd her whether it were not so. 

Arden. Her answer then ? I wonder how she look'd. 
Having forsworn it with such vehement oaths, 
And at the instance so approv'd upon her. 

Frank. First did she cast her eyes down to the earth, 
Watching the drops that fell amain from thence ; 
Then softly draws she forth her handkercher, 
And modestly she wipes her tear-stain'd face ; 
Then liemm'd she out, to clear her voice should seem, 
And with a majesty address'd herself 
To encounter all their accusations : — 
Pardon me, master Arden, I can no more ; 
This fighting at my heart makes short my wind. 

Arden. Come, we are almost now at llainhamdown : 
Your pretty tale beguiles the weary way ; 
I would you were in case to tell it out." 

This " fighting at the heart," of which Franklin complains, is an 
augury of ill. Black Will and Shakebag are lurking around them ; 
but the " divers gentlemen " of Ardcn's acquaintance arrive. Lord 
Cheinie and his men interrupt the murderers' purpose. Arden and 
his friend agree to dine with the nobleman the next day. They 
reach Feversham in safety. The occurrences of the next day are 
thus told in the ' Chronicle :' — 

" After that Master Arden was come home, he sent (as he usually did) his man 
to Sheppy, to Sir Thomas Cheinie's, then lord warden of the Cinque Ports, about 
certain business, and at his coming away he had a letter delivered, sent by Sir 
'Hiomas Cheinie to his master. When he came home, his mistress took the letter 
and kept it, willing her man to tell his master that he had a letter delivered him 
by Sir Thomas Cheinie, and that he had lost it : adding, that he thought it best 
that his master should go the next morning to Sir Thomas, because he knew not 
the matter : he said lie would, and therefore he willed his man to be stirring l>e- 
times. In this mean while. Black Will, and one George Shakebag, his companion, 
were kept in a storehouse of Sir Anthony Ager"s, at Preston, by Greene's appoint- 
ment; and thither came Mistress Arden to see him, bringing and sending him meat 
and drink many times. He, therefore, lurking there, and watching some opportu- 
nity for his purpose, was willed in any wise to be uj) early in Uie morning, to lie in 
wait for Master Arden in a certain broomclose betwixt Feversham and (he ferry 
(which close he must needs pass), there to do his feat. Now Black Will stirred 
in the morning betimes, but missed the way, and tarried in a wrong place. 



ARDKN OF FEVERSHAM. 397 

" Master Arden and his man coming on their way early in the morning towards 
Shomelan, where Sir Thomas Cheinie lay, as they were almost come to the broom- 
close, his man, always fearing that Black Will would kill him with his master, 
feigned that he had lost his purse. Why, said his master, thou foolish knave, 
couldst thou not look to thy purse, but lose it? What was in it ? Three pounds, 
said he. Why, then, go thy ways back again, like a knave (said his master), and 
seek it, for being so early as it is there is no man stirring, and therefore thou mayst 
be sure to find it ; and then come and overtake me at the ferry. But nevertheless, 
by reason that Black Will lost his way. Master Arden escaped yet once again. At 
that time Black Will yet thought he should have been sure to have met him home- 
wards ; but whether that some of the lord warden's men accompanied him back to 
Feversham, or that being in doubt, for that it was late, to go through the broom- 
close, and therefore took another way, Black Will was disappointed then also." 

The incident of the visit to Lord Cheinie is, as we have seen, dif- 
ferently managed by the dramatist. The escape of Arden on this 
occasion is very ingeniously contrived. A sudden mist renders it 
impossible for the ruffians to find their way. Black Will thus 
describes his misadventure : — 

" Mosbie. Black Will and Shakebag, what make you here ? 
What ! is the deed done ? is Arden dead ? 

Will, What could a blinded man perform in arms ? 
Saw you not how till now the sky was dark, 
That neither horse nor man could be discerned ? 
Yet did we hear their horses as they pass'd." 

As Arden and Franklin return they are intercepted by Read, a 
sailor, who accuses Arden of a gross injustice in depriving him of a 
piece of land. This incident is founded upon a statement of the 
chronicler, in accordance with the superstition of the times, that 
where the murdered body of Arden was first laid the grass did not 
grow for two years, and that of this very field he had wrongfully 
possessed himself: — 

" Many strangers came in that mean time, beside the townsmen, to see the print 
of his body there on the ground in that field ; which field he had, as some have 
reported, most cruelly taken from a woman that had been a widow to one Cooke, 
and after married to one Richard Read, a mariner, to the great hindrance of her and 
her husband, the said Read; for they had long enjoyed it by a lease, which they had 
of it for many years, not then expired ; nevertheless he got it from them. For the 
which the said Read's wife not only exclaimed against liim in shedding many a 
salt tear, but also cursed him most bitterly even to his face, wishing many a ven- 
geance to light upon him, and that all the world might wonder on him." 

There is surely great power in the following passage ; and the de- 
nunciation of the sailor comes with a terrible solemnity after the 
manifold escapes to which we have been witness : — 



398 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

" Read. What! wilt thou do me wrong and threaten me too? 
Nay, then, I '11 tempt thee, Arden ; do thy worst. 
God ! I beseech thee show some miracle 
On thee or thine, in plaguing thee for this : 
That plot of ground which thou detainest from me, — 
I speak it in an agony of spirit, — 
Be ruinous and fatal unto thee ! 
Either there be butcher'd by thy dearest friends. 
Or else be brought for men to wonder at, 
Or thou or thine miscarry in that place, 
Or there run mad and end thy cursed days. 

Frank. Fie, bitter knave ! bridle thine envious tongue ; 
For curses are like arrows shot upright, 
Which falling down light on the shooter's head. 

Read. Light where they will, were I upon the sea, 
As oft I have in many a bitter storm, 
And saw a dreadful southern flaw at hand, 
Tlie pilot quaking at the doubtful storm, 
And all the sailors praying on their knees, 
Even in that fearful time would I fall down, 
And ask of God, whatever betide of me. 
Vengeance on Arden, or some misevent. 
To show the world what wrong the carle hath done. 
This charge I '11 leave with my distressful wife ; 
My children shall be taught such prayers as these ; 
And thus I go, but leave my curse with thee." 

We have next a scene in which, by the device of Alice, Mosbie 
and Black Will fasten a pretended quarrel upon Arden and his 
friend ; but Mosbie is wounded, and Black Will runs away. A 
reconcilement takes place through the subtilty of the wife. Arden 
invites Mosbie with other friends to supper, and the conspirators 
agree that their deed of wickedness shall be done that night. The 
Chronicler briefly tells the story : — 

"They conveyed Black Will into Master Arden's house, putting him into a closet 
at the end of his parlour. Before this they had sent out of the house all the ser- 
vants, those excepted which were privy to the devised murder. Then went Mosbie 
to the door, and there stood in a nightgown of silk girded about him, and this was 
betwixt six and seven of the clock at night. Master Arden, having been at a 
neighbour's house of his, named Dumpkin, and having cleared certain reckonings 
betwixt them, came home, and, finding Mosbie standing at the door, asked him if 
it were supper-time ? I think not (quoth Mosbie) ; it is not yet ready. Then let 
us go and play a game at the tables in the mean season, said Master Arden. And 
80 they went straight into the parlour; and as they came by through tlie liall, his 
wife was walking there, and Master Arden said. How now. Mistress Alice ? But 
she made small answer to him. In the mean time one chained the wicket-door of 
the entry. When they came into the parlour, Mosbie sat down on the bench, hav- 
ing his face toward the place where Black Will stood. Tiien Michael, Master 
Arden's man, stood at hig master's back, holding a candle in his hand, to shadow 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 399 

Black Will, that Arden might by no means perceive him coming forth. In their 
play Mosbie said thus (which seemed to be the watchword for Black Will's coming 
forth), Now may I take you, sir, if I will. Take me I quoth Master Arden; which 
way? With that Black Will stepped forth, and cast a towel about his neck, so to 
stop his breath and strangle him. Tlien Mosbie, having at his girdle a pressing- 
iron of fourteen pounds weight, struck him on the head with the same, so that he 
fell down and gave a great groan, insomuch that they thought he had been killed."' 

The tragedy follows, with very slight variation, the circumstances 
here detailed. The guests arrive ; but Alice betrays the greatest 
inquietude : she gets rid of them one by one, imploring them to 
seek her husband, and in the mean while the body is removed. The 
dramatist appears here to have depended upon the terrible interest 
of the circumstances more than upon any force of expression in the 
characters. The discovery of the murder follows pretty closely the 
narrative of the Chronicler : — 

" Here enter the Mayor and the Watch. 

Alice. How now, master Mayor ? have you brought my 
husband home ? 

Mayor. I saw him come into your house an hour ago. 

Alice. You are deceived ; it was a Londoner. 

Mayor. Mistress Arden, know you not one that is call'd 
Black Will? 

Alice. I know none such ; what mean these questions ? 

Mayor. I have the council's warrant to apprehend him. 

Alice. I am glad it is no worse. [^Asidc. 

Why, master Mayor, think you I harbour any such ? 

Mayor. We are informed that here he is ; 
And therefore pardon us, for we must search. 

Alice. Ay, search and spare you not, through every room : 
Were my husband at home you would not offer this. 

Here enter Franklin. 

Master Franklin, what mean you come so sad ? 

Frank. Arden thy husband, and my friend, is slain. 

Alice. Ah ! by whom ? master Franklin, can you tell ? 

Frank. 1 know not, but behind the abbey 
There he lies murder'd, in most piteous case. 

Mayor. But, master Franklin, are you sure 't is he? 

Frank. I am too sure ; would God I were deceiv'd ! 

Alice. Find out the murderers; let them be known. 

Frank. Ay, so they shall : come you along with us. 

Alice. Wherefore ? 

Frank. Know you this hand-towel and this knife ? 

Stisun. Ah, Michael ! through this thy negligence, 
Thou hast betrayed and undone us all. [^Aside. 

Mich. I was so afraid, I knew not what I did ; 
I thought I had thrown them both into the well. [Aside. 

Alice. It is the pig's blood we had to supper. 
But wherefore stay you ? find out the murderers. 



400 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Mayor. I fear rae you '11 prove one of them yourself. 

Alice. I one of them ? what mean such questions ? 

Frank. I fear me he was murder'd in this house, 
And carried to the fields ; for from that place, 
Backwards and forwards, may you see 
The print of many feet within the snow ; 
And look about this chamber where we are. 
And you shall find part of his guiltless blood, 
For in his slip-shoe did I find some rushes, 
Which argue he was murder'd in this room. 

Mayor, Look in the place where he was wont to sit: 
See, see, his blood ; it is too manifest. 

Alice. It is a cup of wine that Michael shed. 

Mich. Ay, truly. 

Frank. It is his blood, which, strumpet, thou hast shed ; 
But, if I live, thou and thy complices. 
Which have conspired and wrought his death. 
Shall rue it." 

In a subsequent scene the unhappy woman makes confession : — 

" Mayor. See, mistress Arden, where your husliand lies. 
Confess this foul fault, and be 2:)enitent. 

Alice. Arden, sweet husband, what shall I say ? 
The more I sound his name the more he bleeds. 
This blood condemns me, and in gushing forth 
Speaks as it falls, and asks me why I did it. 
Forgive me, Arden! I repent me now ; 
And would my death save thine, thou shouldst not die. 
Rise up, sweet Arden, and enjoy thy love, 
And frown not on me when we meet in heaven : 
In heaven I love thee, though on earth I did not." 

The concluding scene shows us the principal culprits condomned to 
die : — 

" Mayor. Leave to accuse each other now, 
And listen to the sentence I shall give : 
Bear Mosbie and his sister to London straight. 
Where they in Smithfield must be executed : 
Bear mistress Arden unto Canterbury, 
Where her sentence is, she must be burnt : 
Michael and Bradshaw in Feversham 
Must suffer death. 

Alice. Let my death make amends for all my sin. 

Mosbie. Fie upon women, tliis shall be my song.'' 

After the play, Franklin, in a sort of epilogue, somewhat inartifi- 
cially tells us that Shakebag was murdered in Soutliwark, and Black 
Will burnt at Flushing ; that Greene was hanged at Osbridge, and 
the painter fled. Bradshaw, according to the ' Chronicle ' and the 



ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM. 401 

dramatic representation, was an innocent person. The drama con- 
cludes with the following apologetical lines : — 

" Gentlemen, we hope you '11 pardon this naked tragedy, 
Wherein no filed pouits are foisted in 
To make it gracious to the ear or eye ; 
For simple truth is gracious enough. 
And needs no other points of glozing stuff."' 

These lines appear to us as an indication that the author of ' Arden 
of Feversham,' whoever he might be, was aware that such a story 
did not call for the highest efforts of dramatic art. It was a " naked 
tragedy," — " simple truth," — requiring " no filed points " or 
" glozing stuff." It appears to us, however, to stand upon very dif- 
ferent grounds from the 'Yorkshire Tragedy.' It is a higher 
attempt in art than that little play. It involves more conflicting 
passion. It is not such a mere endeavour to present a series of 
exciting facts to the senses of an audience. It was in all proba- 
bility written twenty years before the ' Yorkshire Tragedy ;' and 
this is a most important circumstance in considering whether 
Shakspere was at all concerned in it. To a very young man, 
whose principles of art were not formed, and who had scarcely any 
models before him, this tragic story might have appeared not only 
easy to be dramatized, but a worthy subject for his first efforts. We 
have to consider, too, how familiar the fearful narrative must have 
been to the young Shakspere. The name of his own mother was 
Arden ; perhaps the Kentish Arden had some slight relationship 
with her family; but it is evident that the play originally bore the 
name of Arden of Feversham, as if it were to mark the distinction 
between that family and the Ardens of Wilmecote. The tale, too, 
was narrated at uncommon length in the ' Chronicle ' with which 
Shakspere was very early familiar. There is considerable inequality 
in the style of this play, but that inequality is not sufficient to lead 
us to believe that more than one hand was engaged in it. The 
dramatic management is always skilful ; the interest never flags ; 
the action steadily goes forward ; there are no secondary plots ; and 
the little comedy that we find is not thrust in to produce a laugh 
from a few barren spectators. The writer, we think, was familiar 
with London, which is not at all inconsistent with the belief that it 
belongs to the youth of Shakspere. Still, the utter absence of 
external evidence must have left the matter exceedingly doubtful, 
even if the tragedy had possessed higher excellences than belong 
to it. It was never attributed to Shakspere by any of his contem- 
VoL. XII. 2 D 



402 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

poraries; and yet it must have been a popular play, for it was 
reprinted forty years after its publication. Without doubt there 
may have been some writer, of whose name and works we know 
nothing, to whom this play may have been assigned ; but if it be 
improbable that Shakspere had written it, it is equally improbable 
that any of the known dramatists who had attained a celebrity in 
1592 should have written it. It has none of the characteristics of 
any one of them — their extravagance of language ; their forced 
passion ; their overloading of classical allusions ; their monotonous 
versification. Its power mainly lies in its simplicity. The un- 
happy woman is the chief character in the drama ; and it appears to 
us that the author especially exhibits in " Mistress Arden " that 
knowledge of the hidden springs of human guilt and weakness 
which is not to be found in the generalities of any of the early con- 
temporaries of Shakspere. Still we must be understood as not 
attempting to pronounce any decided opinion upon the question of 
authorship. We neither hold with the German critics, whose belief 
approaches credulity in this and other cases, nor with the English, 
who appear to consider, in most things, that scepticism and sound 
judgment are identical. 




KING EDWARD III. 



* The Raigne of King Edward the third : As it hath bin sundrie 
times plaied about the Citie of London,' was first published in 1596. 
It was entered on the registers of the Stationers' Company, De- 
cember 1, 1595. The play was reprinted in 1599, and, judging 
from other entries in the Stationers' registers, also in 1609, 1617, 
and 1625. From that time the work was known only to the col- 
lectors of single plays, till, in 1760, Capell reprinted it in a volume 
entitled ' Prolusions, or Select Pieces of Ancient Poetry,' as " A 

2 D 2 



404 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

play thought to be writ by Shakespeare." The editor of that 
volume thus speaks of the play in his preface : — " But what shall 
be said of the poem that constitutes the second part ? or how shall 
the curiosity be satisfied which it is probable may have been raised 
by the great name inserted in the title-page ? That it was indeed 
written by Shakespeare, it cannot be said with candour that there is 
any external evidence at all : something of proof arises from re- 
semblance between the style of his earlier performances and the 
work in question ; and a more conclusive one yet from considera- 
tion of the time it appeared in, in which there was no known writer 
equal to such a play : the fable of it too is taken from the same 
books which that author is known to have followed in some other 
plays, to wit, Holinshed's ' Chronicle,' and a book of novels called 
' The Palace of Pleasure.' But, after all, it must be confessed that 
its being his work is conjecture only, and matter of opinion ; and 
the reader must form one of his own, guided by what is now before 
him, and by what he shall meet with in perusal of the piece itself." 
Capell was not a person to offer any critical reasons for his own 
belief; but the opinions of several able critics in our own time 
would show that he was not to be laughed at, as Steevens was in- 
clined to laugh at him, for rescuing this play from the hands of the 
mere antiquarians.* The anonymous critic whom we have often 
quoted says, " Capell was the first who directed attention to this 
play, as perhaps Shakspeare's ; and it is in every respect one of the 
best dramas of its time. It is very unequal, and its plot is unskil- 
fully divided into two parts ; but through most scenes there reign a 
pointed strength of thought and expression, a clear richness of 
imagery, and an apt though rough delineation of character, which 
entitle it to rank higher than any historical play of the sixteenth 
century, excepting Shakspeare's admitted works of this class, and 
Marlowe's ' Edward II.' " t The opinion of Ulrici is very full 
and decided upon the authorship of * Edward III.,' and we may as 
well present it at once to the reader in its general bearings. 

" The play of ' Edward III. and the Black Prince,' &c., is 
entered not less than four times in the registers of the Stationers' 
Company : first, on December 1, 1595 ; and lastly, on February 23, 
1625. It was first printed in 1596, and reprinted in 1599, both 

* Steevens, in a note upon the entry in the Stationers' registers, says — " This is 
ascribed to Shakspeare by the compilers of ancient catalogues." This was one of 
the modes in which Steevens thought it clever to insult Capell by a contemptuous 
neglect. 

t ' Edinburgh Review,' vol. Ixxi., p. 471. 



KING EDWARD III. 405 

•editions being without the name of the author. Of any later edi- 
tion I have no knowledge. Both these early editions, being anony- 
mous, can, however, prove nothing. But even if the later editions 
were equally without the announcement of the author, this certainly 
rather striking fact may be satisfactorily explained by the nature of 
the piece itself. In the first two acts we find many bitter attacks 
upon the Scots, inspired by English patriotism : these were 
thoroughly in place during Elizabeth's lifetime, who, it is well 
known, loved her successor not much better than she did his mother, 
and ever stood in a guarded attitude against Scotland. To 
James I., on the contrary, these passages must have given offence. 
But Shakspere was indebted to James for many kindnesses ; and he 
has praised and celebrated him in several of his plays. Thus, in 
order to avoid wounding his sense of gratitude, he may either have 
expressly denied the paternity of ' Edward III.,' or have refused to 
recognise it, and abandoned to its fate a piece that perhaps did not 
satisfy him upon other grounds. And in this way it may be also 
explained how a poem, which bears Shakspere's stamp so evidently, 
should have been overlooked or intentionally omitted by his friends 
Heminge and Condell, the editors of the first folio. That the piece 
probably belongs to Shakspere's earlier labours (without doubt two 
years at least before the date of its first being printed), is evident 
from the language and versification, from the many rhymed pas- 
sages, but more particularly from the composition, which, if we 
consider the piece as one whole, is incontestably faulty. For the 
first two acts clearly stand alone much too independently ; internally 
only partially united, and not at all externally, with the following 
three acts. In the first part the point of the action turns upon the 
love of the king for the beautiful Countess of Salisbury, whom he 
has released from the besieging Scottish army. The whole of this 
connexion is no farther mentioned in the following part; it comes 
to a total conclusion at the end of the second act, where the king, 
conquered, and at the same time strengthened, by the virtuous 
greatness of the countess, renounces his passion, and becomes again 
the master of himself. The countess then disappears wholly from 
the scene, which is changed to the victorious campaign of Edward 
III. and his heroic son the Black Prince. The play thus falls into 
two different Parts. But the fault which this involves wholly 
vanishes immediately that we take the two halves for two different 
pieces, united into a whole, in the same manner as the two Parts of 
' Henry IV.' Everything then rounds itself into a complete and 



406 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

beautiful historical composition, which is throughout worthy of the 
great poet." 

Of the value of this opinion of the very able German critic be- 
fore us we shall endeavour to lead our readers to form their own 
judgment. If they come to the conclusion that the play is not 
Shakspere's, they will at least acquire a familiarity with some 
striking scenes and passages which are little known to English 
readers. The early editions are very rare ; and Capell's volume is 
by no means a common book. 

The view which Ulrici has taken that ' The Reign of Edward 
III.' must be considered as a play in two Parts is perfectly just. 
But it must also be borne in mind that Shakspere has himself fur- 
nished us no example of such a complete division of the action in 
any one historical play which he has left us. The two Parts of 
' Henry IV.' comprised two distinct plays, each complete in itself, 
each performed on a separate day, but each connected with the 
other by a chorus which fills up the gap of time. So the three 
Parts of ' Henry VI.,' and ' Richard III.' are perfectly sepa- 
rate, although essentially connected. The plan pursued in the 
* Edward III.' is, to say the least, exceedingly inartificial. 
If the writer of this play had possessed more dramatic skill, he 
might have made the severance of the action less abrupt. As it 
is, the link is snapped short. In the first two acts we have the 
Edward of romance, — a puling lover, a heartless seducer, a 
despot, and then a penitent. In the last three acts we have the 
Edward of history, — the ambitious hero, the stern conqueror, 
the affectionate husband, the confiding father. The one por- 
tion of the drama pretty closely follows the apocryphal and 
inconsistent story in ' The Palace of Pleasure,' how " A King of 
England loved a daughter of one of his noblemen, which was 
Countess of Salisbury." And here the author has certainly pro- 
duced some powerful scenes, and considerably improved upon the 
fable which he in great part followed. In the latter portion of the 
play he has Froissart before him ; and, dealing with those incidents 
which were calculated to call forth the highest poetical efforts, such 
as the battle of Poitiers and the siege of Calais, the dramatist is 
strikingly inferior to the fine old chronicler. When Shakspere 
dealt with heroic subjects, as in his ' Henry V.,' he kept pretty 
closely to the original narratives ; but he breathed a life into the 
commonest occurrences, which leaves us to wonder how the exact 
could be so intimately blended with the " poetical, and how that 



KING EDWARD HI. 407 

which is the most natural should, through the force of a few 
magical touches, become the most sublime. We do not trace this 
wonderful power in the play before us : talent there certainly is, but 
the great creative spirit is not visible. 

The play opens with Robert of Artois explaining to Edward III. 
the claims which he has to the crown of France through his mother 
Isabelle. This finished, the Duke of Lorraine arrives to summon 
Edward to do homage to the King of France for the dukedom of 
Guienne. The scene altogether reminds us of the second scene of 
the first act of ' Henry V.,' where the Archbishop of Canterbury 
expounds the Salic law, and the ambassadors of France arrive with 
un insolent message to Henry from the Dauphin. The parallel 
scenes in both plays have some resemblance to the first scene of 
' King John,' where Chatillon arrives with a message from France. 
It is probable that the ' Henry V.' of Shakspere was not written 
till after this play of ' Edward III. ;' and the ' King John,' as we 
now have it, might probably be even a later play : but the original 
* King John,' in two Parts, belongs, without doubt, to an earlier 
period than the ' Edward III.,' and the same resemblance in this 
scene holds good with that play. Upon the departure of Lorraine, 
the rupture of the league with the Scots is announced to Edward, 
with the further news that the Countess of Salisbury is besieged in 
the castle of Roxburgh. The second scene shows us the countess 
upon the walls of the castle, and then King David of Scotland 
enters, and thus addresses himself to Lorraine : — 



" Dav. My lord of Lorraine, to our brother of France 
Commend us, as the man in Christendom 
Whom we most reverence and entirely love. 
Touching your embassage, return, and say, 
That we with England will not enter parley. 
Nor never make fair weather, or take truce ; 
But burn their neighbour towns, and so persist 
With eager roads beyond their city York. 
And never shall our bonny riders rest; 
Nor rusting canker have the time to eat 
Their light-borne snaffles, nor their nimble spurs ; 
Nor lay aside their jacks of gy mold mail; 
Nor hang their staves of grained Scottish ash 
In peaceful wise upon their city walls ; 
Nor from their button'd tawny leathern belts 
Dismiss their biting whinyards, — till your king 
Cry out ' Enough ; spare England now for pity.' 
Farewell : and tell him, tliat you leave us here 
Before this castle; say, you came from us 
Even when we had that yielded to our hands."' 



408 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

If this speech be not Shakspere's, it is certainly a closer imitation 
of the freedom of his versification, and the truth and force of his 
imagery, than can be found in any of the historical plays of that 
period. We do not except even the ' Edxrard II.' of Marlowe, in 
which it would be diflScult to find a passage in which the poetry is 
so little conventional as the lines which we have just quoted. And 
this brings us to the important consideration of the date of ' Ed- 
ward III.' Ulrici holds that it was written at least two years before 
it was published. We cannot see the reason for this opinion. It 
was entered on the Stationers' registers on the 1st of December, 
1595, and we have pretty good evidence in many cases that such 
entry was concurrent with the time of the original performance. 
If the ' Edward III.,' then, was first produced in 1595, there can 
be no doubt that several of Shakspere's historical plays were already 
before the public — the ' Henry VI.,' and ' Richard III.,' — in all 
probability the ' Richard II.' Bearing this circumstance in mind, 
we can easily understand how a new school of writers should, in 
1595, have been formed, possessing, perhaps, less original genius 
than some of the earlier founders of the drama, but having an 
immense advantage over them in the models which the greatest of 
those founders had produced. Still this consideration does not 
wholly warrant us in hastily pronouncing the play before us not to 
be Shakspere's. As in the case of ' Arden of Feversham,' we have 
to look, and we look in vain, for some known writer of the period 
whose works exhibit a similar combination of excellences. 

The Countess of Salisbury is speedily relieved from her besiegers 
by the arrival of Edward with his army. The king and the 
countess meet, and Edward becomes her guest. His position is a 
dangerous one, and he rushes into the danger. There is a very 
long and somewhat ambitious scene, in which the king instructs 
his secretary to describe his passion in verse. It is certainly not 
conceived in a real dramatic spirit. The action altogether flags, 
and the passion is very imperfectly developed in such an outpour- 
ing of words. The next scene, in which Edward avows his passion 
for the countess, is conceived and executed with far more success : — 

" Cou. Sorry I am to see my liege so sad : 
What may thy subject do, to drive from thee 
This gloomy consort, sullen melancholy ? 

Edw. Ah, lady, I am blunt, and cannot straw 
The flowers of solace in a ground of shame : — 
Since I came hither, countess, I am wrong'd. 

Cou. Now, God forbid, that any in my house 
Should think my sovereign wrong! Thrice gentle king, 
Acquaint me with your cause of discontent. 



KING EDWARD III. 409 

Edw. How near then shall I be to remedy ? 

Cou. As near, my liege, as all my womatrs power 
Can pawn itself to buy thy remedy. 

Edw. If thou speak 'st true, then have I my redress : 
Engage thy power to redeem my joys. 
And I am joyful, countess ; else, I die. 

Cou. I will, my liege. 

Edw. Swear, countess, that thou wilt. 

Cou. By heaven I will. 

Edwi Then take thyself a little way aside ; 
And tell thyself a king doth dote on thee : 
Say, that within thy power it doth lie 
To make him happy ; and that thou hast sworn 
To give me all the joy within thy power : 
Do this, and tell me when I shall be happy. 

Cou. All this is done, my thrice dread sovereign : 
That power of love, that I have power to give. 
Thou hast with all devout obedience ; 
Employ me how thou wilt in proof thereof. 

Edw. Thou hear'st me say that I do dote ou thee. 

Cou. If on my beauty, take it if thou canst ; 
Though little, I do prize it ten times less : 
If on my virtue, take it if thou canst ; 
For virtue's store by giving doth augment: 
Be it on what it will, that I can give. 
And thou canst take away, inherit it. 

Edw. It is thy beauty that I would enjoy. 

Cou. O, were it painted, I would wipe it oflf, 
And dispossess myself, to give it thee: 
But, sovereign, it is solder'd to my life ; 
Take one, and both ; for, like an humble shadow, 
It haunts the sunshine of my summer's life. 

Edw. But thou mayst lend it me, to sport withal. 

Cou. As easy may my intellectual soul 
Be lent away, and yet my body live, 
As lend my body, palace to my soul. 
Away from her, and yet retain my soul. 
My body is her bower, her court, her abbey. 
And she an angel, pure, divine, unspotted ; 
If I should lend her house, my lord, to thee, 
I kill my poor soul, and my poor soul me." 

The Earl of Warwick, father to the Countess of Salisbury, is re- 
quired by Edward, upon his oath of duty, to go to his daughter, 
and command her to agree with his dishonourable proposals. This 
very unnatural and improbable incident is found in the story of 
♦ The Palace of Pleasure ;' but it gives occasion to a scene of very 
high merit — a little wordy, perhaps, but still upon the whole 
natural and effective. The skill with which the father is made to 
deliver the message of the king, and to appear to recommend a 



410 PLAYS ASCUIBED TO SHAKSPERK. 

compliance with liis demands, but so at the same time as to 
make the guilty purpose doubly abhorrent, indicates no common 
power : — 

" War. How shall I enter in this graceless errand ? 
I must not call her child ; for where 's the father 
That will, ill such a suit, seduce his child ? 
Then, Wife of Salisbury, — shall I so begin ? 
No, he 's my friend ; and where is found the friend 
That will do friendship such endamagement ? 
Neither my daughter, nor my dear friend's wife. 
I am not Warwick, as thou think 'st I am. 
But an attorney from the court of hell ; 
That thus have hous'd my spirit in his form, 
To do a message to thee from the king. 
The mighty king of England dotes on thee : 
He, that hath power to take away thy life. 
Hath power to take thine honour ; then consent 
To pawn thine honour, rather than tliy life ; 
Honour is often lost, and got again ; 
But life, once gone, hath no recovery. 
Tlie sun, that withers hay, doth nourish grass; 
The king, that would distain thee, will advance thee. 
The poets write, that great Achilles' spear 
Could heal the wound it made : the moral is,' 
What mighty men raisdo, they can amend. 
The lion doth become his bloody jaws. 
And grace his foragement, by being mild 
When vassal fear lies trembling at his feet. 
The king will in his glory hide thy shame ; 
And those, that gaze on him to find out thee, 
Will lose their eyesight, looking in the sun. 
What can one drop of poison harm the sea, 
Whose hugy vastures can digest the ill. 
And make it lose his operation ? 
The king's great name will temper thy misdeeds. 
And give the bitter potion of reproach 
A sugar'd sweet and most delicious taste : 
Besides, it is no harm to do the thing 
Wliich without shame could not be left undone. 
Thus have I, in his majesty's behalf, 
Apparel'd sin in virtuous sentences, 
And dwell upon thy answer in his suit. 

Cou. Unnatural besiege! Woe me, unhappy. 
To have escaped the danger of my foes, 
And to be ten times worse iiivir'd by friends ! 
Hath he no means to stain my honest blood. 
But to corrupt the author of my blood. 
To be his scandalous and vile solicitor ? 
No marvel though the branches be infected. 
When poison hatii encompassed the root : 
No marvel though the leprous infant die. 



KING EDWARD III. 411 

When the stem dam envenometh the dug. 
Why, then, give sin a passport to offend, 
And youth the dangerous rein of liberty : 
Blot out the strict forbidding of the law; 
And cancel every canon that prescribes 
A shame for shame, or penance for offence. 
No, let me die, if his too boisfrous will 
Will have it so, before I will consent 
To be an actor in his graceless lust. 

fVar. Why, now thou speak 'st as I would have thee speak ; 
And mark how I unsay my words again. 
An honourable grave is more esteem'd. 
Than the jjoUuted closet of a king : 
The greater man, the greater is the thing, 
Be it good, or bad, that he shall undertake : 
An unreputed mote, flying in the sun, 
Presents a greater substance than it is : 
The freshest summer's day doth soonest taint 
The loathed carrion that it seems to kiss : 
Deep are the blows made with a mighty axe : 
That sin doth ten times aggravate itself 
That is committed in a holy place : 
An evil deed, done by authority. 
Is sin and subornation : Deck an ape 
In tissue, and the beauty of the robe 
Adds but the greater scorn unto the beast. 
A spacious field of reasons could I urge 
Between his glory, daughter, and thy shame ; 
That poison shows worst in a golden cup ; 
Dark night seems darker by the lightning flash ; 
Lilies, that fester, smell far worse than weeds ; 
And every glory that inclines to sin. 
The shame is treble by the opposite. 
So leave I, with my blessing in thy bosom ; 
Which then convert to a most heavy curse. 
When thou convert'st from honour's golden name 
To the black faction of bed-blotting shame ! [£r«V. 

Cou. I '11 follow thee : And, when my mind turns so. 
My body sink my soul in endless woe ! [£xi/." 

There is a line in the latter part of this scene which is to be found 
also in one of Shakspere's Sonnets — the ninety-fourth : — 

'* Lilies, that fester, smell far worse than weeds." 

In our illustration of the Sonnets we have expressed a decided 
opinion that the line was original in the sonnet, and transplanted 
thence into this play. The point was material in considering the 
date of the sonnet, but it throws no light either upon the date of 
this play or upon its authorship.* 

* See Poems, p. 252. 



412 PLAYS iVSCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

During the tempest of Edward's passion, the Prince of Wales 
arrives at the Castle of Roxburgh, and the conflict in the mind of 
the king is well imagined : — 

" Edw. I see the boy. O, how his mother's face, 
Moulded in his, corrects my stray 'd desire, 
And rates my heart, and chides my thievish eye ; 
Who, being rich enough in seeing her, 
Yet seeks elsewhere : and basest theft is that 
Which cannot check itself on poverty. — 
Now, boy, what news? 

Pri. I have assembled, my dear lord and father, 
The choicest buds of all our English blood. 
For our affairs in France ; and here we come, 
To take direction from your majesty. 

Edw. Still do I see in him delineate 
His mother's visage ; those his eyes are hers. 
Who, looking wistly on me, made me blush ; 
For faults against themselves give evidence : 
Lust is a 6re ; and men, like lanthorns, show 
Light lust within themselves, even through themselves. 
Away, loose silks of wavering vanity ! 
Shall the large limit of fair Brittany 
By me be overthrown ? and shall I not 
Master this little mansion of myself? 
Give me an armour of eternal steel ; 
I go to conquer kings : And shall I then 
Subdue myself, and be my enemy's friend ? 
It must not be. — Come, boy, forward, advance .' 
Let 's with our colours sweep the air of France. 

Lod. My liege, the countess, with a smiling cheer, 
Desires access unto your majesty. 

\^Advattcing from the door, and whisperinij him, 

Edw. Why, there it goes ! that very smile of hers 
Hath ransom'd captive France ; and set the king, 
The dauphin, and the peers, at liberty. — 
Go, leave me, Ned, and revel with thy friends. 

[ExiV Prince." 

The countess enters, and with the following scene suddenly ter- 
minates the ill-starred passion of the king : — 

<' Edw. Now, my soul's playfellow ! art thou come, 
To speak the more than heavenly word of yea. 
To my objection in thy beauteous love ? 

Cou. My father on his blessing hath commanded — 

Edw. That thou slialt yield to me. 

Cou. Ay, dear my liege, your due. 

Edw. And that, my dearest love, can be no less 
Than right for right, and tender love for love. 

Cou. Than wrong for wrong, and endless hate for liate. — 
But, — sith I see your majesty so bent, 



KING EDWARD III. 413 

That my unwillingness, my husband's love, 

Your high estate, nor no respect respected 

Can be my help, but that your mightiness 

Will overbear and awe these dear regards, — 

I bind my discontent to my content. 

And, what I would not, I '11 compel I will ; 

Provided that yourself remove those lets 

That stand between your highness' love and mine. 

E(lw. Name them, fair countess, and, by heaven, I will. 

Con. It is their lives, that stand between our love. 
That I would have chok'd up, my sovereign. 

Edw. Whose lives, my lady ? 

Cuu, My thrice loving liege, 

Your queen, and Salisbury my wedded husband ; 
Who living have that title in our love. 
That we cannot bestow but by their death. 

B^dw. Thy opposition is beyond our law. 

Cou. So is your desire : If the law 
Can hinder you to execute the one, 
Let it forbid you to attempt the other : 
I cannot think you love me as you say, 
Unless you do make good what you have sworn. 

Eldw. No more ; thy husband and the queen shall die. 
Fairer thou art by far than Hero was ; 
Beardless Leander not so strong as I : 
He sworn an easy current for his love: 
But I will, through a helly spout of blood, 
Arrive that Sestos where my Hero lies. 

Cou. Nay, you '11 do more ; you '11 make the river too. 
With their heart-bloods that keep our love asunder. 
Of which, my husband, and your wife, are twain. 

Edw. Thy beauty makes them guilty of their death. 
And gives in evidence, that they shall die ; 
Upon which verdict, I, their judge, condemn them. 

Cou. O peijur'd beauty ! more corrupted judge! 
When, to the great star-chamber o'er our heads. 
The universal sessions calls to count 
This packing evil, we both shall tremble for it. 

Edw. What says my fair love ? is she resolute ? 

Cou. Resolute to be dissolv'd ; and, therefore, this, — 
Keep but thy word, great king, and I am thine. 
Stand where thou dost, I '11 part a little from thee. 
And see how I will yield me to thy hands. 

[ Turning suddenly upon him, and showing two daggers. 
Here by my side do hang my wedding knives : 
Take thou the one, and with it kill thy queen, 
And learn by me to find her where she lies ; 
And with the other I '11 despatch my love, 
Which now lies fast asleep within my heart: 
When they are gone, then I '11 consent to love. 
Stir not, lascivious king, to hinder me ; 
My resolution is more nimbler far, 



414 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Than thy prevention can be in my rescue, 

And, if thou stir, I strike ; therefore stand still, 

And hear the choice that I will put thee to : 

Either swear to leave thy most unholy suit, 

And never henceforth to solicit me ; 

Or else, by heaven [kneelinffi, this sharp-pointed knife 

Shall stain thy earth with that which thou wouldst stain, 

My poor chaste blood. Swear, Edward, swear, 

Or I will strike, and die, before thee here. 

Edw. Even by that Power I swear, that gives me now 
The power to be ashamed of myself, 
I never mean to part my lips again 
In any word that tends to such a suit. 
Arise, true English lady ; whom our isle 
May better boast of, than e'er Roman might 
Of her, whose ransack"d treasury hath task'd 
The vain endeavour of so many pens : 
Arise ; and be my fault thy honour's fame, 
Which after ages shall enrich thee with. 
I am awaked from this idle dream." 

The remarks of Ulrici upon this portion of the play are conceived 
upon his usual principle of connecting the action and characteriza- 
tion of Shakspere's dramas with the development of a high moral, 
or rather Christian, principle. He is sometimes carried too far by 
his theory, but there is something far more satisfying in the criti- 
cism of his school than in the husks of antiquarianism with which 
we have been too long familiar : — " We see, in the first two acts, 
how the powerful king (who in his rude greatness, in his reckless 
iron energy, reminds us of the delineations of character in the elder 
' King John,' ' Henry VI.,' and 'Richard HI.') sinks down into the 
slough of common life before the virtue and faithfulness of a 
powerless woman ; how he, suddenly enchained by an unworthy 
passion, abandons his great plans in order to write verses and spin 
intrigues. All human greatness, power, and splendour, fall of 
themselves, if not planted upon the soil of genuine morality ; the 
highest energies of mankind are not proof against the attacks of sin, 
when they are directed against the weak unguarded side — this is 
the substance of the view of life here taken, and it forms the basis 
of the first Part. But true energy is enabled again to elevate itself; 
it strengthens itself from the virtues of others, which by God's 
appointment are placed in opposition to it. With this faith, and 
with the highest, most masterly, deeply-penetrating, and even sub- 
lime picture of the far greater energy of a woman, who, in order 
to save her own honour and that of her royal master, is ready to 
commit self-murder, the second act closes. This forms the tran- 



KING EDWARD III. 415 

sition to the following second Part, which shows us the true heroic 
greatness, acquired through self-conquest, not only in the king, but 
also in his justly celebrated son. For even the prince has also 
gone through the same school : he proves this, towards the end of 
the second act, by his quick silent obedience to the order of his 
father, although directly opposed to his wishes." 

In the third act we are at once in the heart of war ; we have the 
French camp, where John with his court hears of the arrival of 
Edward's fleet, and the discomfiture of his own. The descriptions 
of these events are, as we think, tedious and overstrained ; at any 
rate they are undramatic. The writer is endeavouring to put out 
his power, where the highest power would be wasted. There is 
less ambition, but much more force, in the following speech of a 
poor Frenchman who is flying before the invaders : — 

" Fly, countrymen, and citizens of France ! 
Sweet-flow'ring jjeace, the root of happy life, 
Is quite abandon'd and expiils'd the land: 
Instead of whom, ransack-constraining war 
Sits like to ravens on your houses' tops ; 
Slaughter and mischief walk within your streets, 
And, unrestrain'd, make havoc as they pass : 
The form whereof even now myself beheld, 
Now, upon this fair mountain, whence I came. 
For 80 far as I did direct mine eyes, 
I might perceive five cities all on fire, 
Corn-fields, and vineyards, burning like an oven : 
And, as the leaking vapour in the wind 
Turned aside, I likewise might discern 
The poor inhabitants, escap'd the flame, 
Fall numberless upon the soldiers' pikes : 
Three ways these dreadful ministers of wrath 
Do tread the measures of their tragic march ; 
Upon the right hand comes the conquering king. 
Upon the left his hot unbridled son, 
And in the midst our nation's glittering host ; 
All which, though distant, yet conspire in one 
To leave a desolation where they come."' 

Before the battle of Cressy we have an interview between the 
rival kings. The debate is not managed with any very great dignity 
on either side. Upon the retiring of John and his followers, the 
Prince of Wales is solemnly armed upon the field : — 

" And, Ned, because this battle is the first 
That ever yet thou fought'st in pitched field, 
As ancient custom is of martialists, 
To dub thee with the type of chivalry, 
In solemn manner we will give thee arms." 



416 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPKRE. 

The famous incident of the battle of Cressy, that of the king 
refusing to send succour to his gallant son, is thus told by 
Froissart : — 

" They with the prince sent a messenger to the king, who was on a little wind- 
mill hill ; then the knight said to the king, ' Sir, the Earl of Warwick, and the 
Earl of Oxford, Sir Reynold Cobham, and other, such as be about the prince your 
son, are fiercely fought withal, and are sore handled, wherefore they desire you, 
that you and your battle will come and aid them, for if the Frenchmen increase, as 
they doubt they will, your son and they shall have much ado.' Then the king 
said, ' Is my son dead or hurt, or on the earth felled? ' ' No, sir,' quoth the knight, 
* but he is hardly matched, wherefore he hath need of your aid.' ' Well,' said the 
king, ' return to him and to them that sent you hither, and say to them, that they 
send no more to me for any adventure that falleth, as long as my son is alive; and 
also say to them, that they suffer him this day to win his spurs, for, if God be 
pleased, I will this journey be his, and the honour thereof, and to them that be 
about him.' Then the knight returned again to them, and showed the king's 
words, the which greatly encouraged them, and repined in that they had sent to the 
king as they did." 

The dramatist has worked out this circumstance with remarkable 
spirit ; it is, we think, the best business scene in the play — not over- 
wrought, but simple, and therefore most eflfective : — 

" Drums. Enter King Edward and Audley. 

Edw. Lord Audley, whiles our son is in the chase, 
Withdraw your powers unto this little hill. 
And here a season let us breathe ourselves. 

Aud. I will, my lord. [Exit Audlev. Retreat. 

Edw. Just-dooming heaven, whose secret providence 
To our gross judgment is unscrutable, 
How are we bound to praise thy wondrous works. 
That hast this day giv'n way unto the right. 
And made the wicked stumble at themselves! 

Enter Artois hastily. 

Art. Rescue, king Edward ! rescue for thy son ! 

EaIw. Rescue, Artois ? what, is he prisoner ? 
Or, by violence, fell beside his horse ? 

Art. Neither, my lord ; but narrowly beset 
With turning Frenchmen, whom he did pursue, 
As 't is impossible that he should 'scape. 
Except your highness presently descend. 

Edw. Tut ! let him fight ; we gave him arms to-day. 
And he is labouring for a knighthood, man. 

Enter Derby hastily. 

Der. The prince, my lord ! the prince! O, succour him; 
He 's close encompass'd with a world of odds ! 

Edw. Then will he win a world of honour too, 
If he by valour can redeem liim thence : 
If not, what remedy? We have more sons 
Than one, to comfort our declining age. 



KING EDWARD HI. 417 

Re-enter Audley hastily. 

And. Renowned Edward, give me leave, I pray. 
To lead my soldiers where I may relieve 
Your grace's son, in danger to be slain. 
The snares of French, like emmets on a bank, 
Muster about him ; whilst he, lion-like. 
Entangled in the net of their assaults, 
Franticly rends, and bites the woven toil : 
But all in vain, he cannot free himself. 

Etlw. Audley, content ; I will not have a man, 
On pain of death, sent forth to succour him : 
This is the day ordain'd by destiny 
To season his green courage with those thoughts, 
That, if he break'th out Nestor's years on earth, 
Will make him savour still of this exploit. 

Dtr. Ah ! but he shall not live to see those days. 

Edw. Why, then his epitaph is lasting praise. 

Aud, Yet, good my lord, 't is too much wilfulness 
To let his blood be spilt, that may be sav'd. 

Edw. Exclaim no more ; for none of you can tell 
Whether a borrow'd aid will serve, or no ; 
Perhaps he is already slain, or ta'en : 
And dare a falcon when she 's in her flight, 
And ever after she '11 be haggard-like : 
Let Edward be deliver'd by our hands. 
And still, in danger, he '11 expect the like ; 
But if himself himself redeem from thence. 
He will have vanquish'd, cheerful, death and fear. 
And ever after dread their force no more 
Than if they were but babes, or captive slaves. 

Aud. O, cruel father ! — Farewell, Edward, then ! 

Der. Farewell, sweet prince, the hope of chivalry ! 

Art. O, would my life might ransom him from death ! 

Edw. But, soft ; methinks I hear \Retreat sounded. 

The dismal charge of trumpets' loud retreat : 
All are not slain, I hope, that went with him ; 
Some will return with tidings, good or bad. 

Flowish. Enter Prince Edward m triumph, hearing in his 
hand his shivered lance ; his sword and battered armour borne 
be/ore him, and the body of the King of Bohemia, icrapped 
in the colours : Lords run and embrace him. 
Aud. O joyful sight! victorious Edward lives! 
Der. Welcome, brave prince ! 
Edzc. Welcome, Plantagenet !" 

There is a fine scene where the Prince of Wales is surrounded 
by the French army before the battle of Poitiers ; but it is some- 
thing too prolonged and rhetorical ; it has not the Shaksperian rush 
which belongs to such a situation. One specimen will suffice, where 
the prince exborts his companion in arms, old Audley, to fly from 
the danger : — 

Vol. XH. 2 E 



418 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERK. 

" Now, Audley, sound those silver wings of thine, 
And let those milk-white messengers of time 
Show thy time's learning in this dangerous time : 
Thyself art bruis'd and bent wilh many broils, 
And stratagems forepast with iron pens 
Are texed in thine honourable face ; 
Thou art a married man in this distress. 
But danger woos me as a blushing maid ; 
Teach me an answer to this perilous time. 

Aud. To die is all as common as to live ; 
The one in choice, the other holds in chace ; 
For, from the instant we begin to live, 
We do pursue and hunt the time to die : 
First bud we, then we blow, and after seed ; 
Then presently we fall ; and, as a shade 
Follows the body, so we follow death. 
If then we hunt for death, why do we fear it? 
Or, if we fear it, why do we follow it I 
If we do fear, with fear we do but aid 
The thing we fear to seize on us the sooner : 
If we fear not, then no resolved proffer 
Can overthrow the limit of our fate : 
For, whether ripe or rotten, drop we shall, 
As we do draw the lottery of our doom. 

Pri. Ah, good old man, a thousand thousand armours 
These words of thine have buckled on my back : 
Ah, what an idiot hast thou made of life. 
To saek the thing it fears ! and how disgrac'd 
The imperial victory of murdering death! 
Since all the lives his conquering arrows strike 
Seek him, and he not them, to shame his glory. 
I will not give a penny for a life, 
Nor half a halfpenny to shun grim death ; 
Since for to live is but to seek to die. 
And dying but beginning of new life : 
Let come the hour when he that rules it will ! 
To live, or die, I hold indifferent." 

The victory of Poitiers ensues ; but previous to the knowledge of 
this triumph the celebrated scene of the surrender of Calais is thus 
dramatised : — 

" Enter, from the town, six Citizens in their shirts, and bare- 
footed, with halters about their 7iecks. 

Cit. Mercy, king Edward ! mercy, gracious lord ! 

Edw. Contemptuous villains! call ye now for truce? 
Mine ears are stopp'd against your bootless cries : — 
Sound drums ; [alarum] draw, threat'ning swords ! 

1 C Ah, noble prince. 

Take pity on this town, and hear us, mighty king! 
Wc claim the promise that your highness made: 
The two days' respite is not yet expir'd, 



KING EDWARD III. 419 

And we are come, with willingness, to bear 
What torturing death, or punishment, you please. 
So that the trembling multitude be sav'd. 

Eldw. My promise? well, I do confess as much: 
But I require the chiefest citizens. 
And men of most account, that should submit ; 
You, jjeradventure, are but servile grooms, 
Or some felonious robbers on the sea. 
Whom, apprehended, law would execute. 
Albeit severity lay dead in us : 
No, no, ye cannot overreach us thus. 

2 C. The sun, dread lord, that in the western fall 
Beholds us now low brought through misery, 
Did in the orient purple of the morn 
Salute our coming forth, when we were known; 
Or may our portion be with damned fiends. 

Eldw. If it be so, then let our covenant stand ; 
We take possession of the town in peace : 
But, for yourselves, look you for no remorse ; 
But, as imperial justice hath decreed, 
Your bodies shall be dragg'd about these walls, 
And after feel the stroke of quartering steel : 
This is your doom : — Go, soldiers, see it done. 

Que. Ah, be more mild unto these yielding men! 
It is a glorious thing to 'stablish peace; 
And kings approach the nearest unto God, 
By giving life and safety unto men : 
As thou intendest to be king of France, 
So let her people live to call thee king; 
For what the sword cuts down, or fire hath spoil'd. 
Is held in reputation none of ours. 

EaIw. Although experience teach us this is true. 
That peaceful quietness brings most delight 
When most of all abuses are controll'd, 
Yet, insomuch it shall be known, that we 
As well can master our affections, 
As conquer other by the d int of sword, 
Philippe, prevail; we yield to thy request; 
These men shall live to boast of clemency, — 
And, tyranny, strike terror to thyself." 

This assuredly we think is not what Shakspere would have made of 
such a situation. How altogether inferior is it in the higher requi- 
sites of poetry to the exquisite narrative of Froissart ! — 

" Then the barriers were opened, the burgesses went towards the king, and the 
captain entered again into the town. When Sir Walter presented these burgesses 
to the king, they kneeled down, and held up their hands and said, ' Gentle king, 
beliold here we six, who were burgesses of Calais and great merchants; we have 
brought the keys of the town and of the castle, and we submit ourselves clearly into 
your will and pleasure, to save the residue of the people of Calais, who have suf- 
fered great pain. Sir, we beseech your grace to have mercy and pity on us through 

2 E 2 



420 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

your high noblesse.' Then all the earls and barons and other that were there wept 
for pity. The king looked felly on them, for greatly he hated the people of Calais 
for the great damage and displeasures they had done him on the sea before. Then 
he commanded their heads to be stricken off. Then every man required the king 
for mercy, but he would hear no man in that behalf. Then Sir Walter of Manny 
said, ' Ah, noble king, for God's sake refrain your courage ; ye have the name of 
sovereign noblesse ; therefore, now do not a thing that should blemish your renown, 
nor to give cause to some to speak of you villainously ; every man will say it is a 
great cruelty to put to death such honest persons, who by their own wills put them- 
selves into your grace to save their company.' Then the king wryed away from 
him and commanded to send for the hangman, and said. ' They of Calais had 
caused many of my men to be slain, wlierefore these shall die in like wise.' Then 
the queen, being great with child, kneeled down, and, sore weeping, said, * Ah, 
gentle sir, sith I passed the sea in great peril 1 have desired nothing of you ; there- 
fore, now I humbly require you, in the honour of the son of the Virgin Mary, and 
for the love of me, that ye will take mercy of these six burgesses.' The king 'be- 
held the queen, and stood still in a study a space, and then said, ' Ah, dame, I 
would ye had been as now in some other place ; ye make such request to me that I 
cannot deny you, wherefore I give them to you to do your pleasure with them.' 
Tlien the queen caused them to be brought into her chamber, and made the halters 
to be taken from their necks, and caused them to be new clothed, and gave them 
their dinner at their leisure, and then she gave each of them six nobles, and made 
them to be brought out of the host in safeguard, and set at their liberty." 

The concluding scene, in which the Prince of Wales offers up to 
the Most High a prayer and thanksgiving, is imbued with a patriotic 
spirit, but it has not the depth and discrimination of Shakspere's 
patriotism : — 

" Now, father, this petition Edward makes : 
To Thee, [^kneels] whose grace hath been his strongest shield. 
That, as thy pleasure chose me for the man 
To be the instrument to show thy power, 
So thou wilt grant, that many princes more. 
Bred and brought up within that little isle. 
May still be famous for like victories! — 
And, for my part, the bloody scars I bear, 
The weary nights that I have watch'd in field. 
The dangerous conflicts I have often had. 
The fearful menaces were ])roffer"d me, 
The heat, and cold, and what else might displease, 
I wish were now redoubled twenty-fold ; 
So that hereafter ages, when they read 
The painful traffic of my tender youth, 
Might thereby be inflam'd with such resolve. 
As not the territories of France alone. 
But likewise Spain, Turkey, and what countries else 
That justly would provoke fair England's ire, 
Might, at their presence, tremble, and retire !' 

We have thus presented to our readers some of the most striking 
passages of this play. It does not, in our opinion, bear the marks of 



KING EDWARD III. 



421 



being a very youthful performance of any man. Its great fault is 
tameness ; the author does not rise with the elevation of his subject. 
To judge of its inferiority to the matured power of Shakspere, dealing 
with a somewhat similar theme, it should be compared with the 
* Henry V.' The question then should be asked, Will the possible 
difference of age account for this difference of power ? We say 
possible, for we have no evidence that the ' Edward III.' was pro- 
duced earlier than 1595, nor have we evidence that the ' Henry V.,' 
in some shape, was produced later. Ulrici considers that this play 
forms an essential introduction to that series of plays commencing 
with 'Richard H.' If Shakspere wrote that wonderful series upon 
a plan which necessarily included ' Henry V.,' we think he would 
advisedly have omitted ' Edward III. ;' for the main subject of the 
conquest of France would be included in each play. The conclud- 
ing observation of Ulrici is — " Truly, if this piece, as the English 
critics assert, is not Shakspere's own, it is a shame for them that 
they have done nothing to recover from forgetfulness the name of 
this second Shakspere, this twin-brother of their great poet." Rest- 
ing this opinion upon one play only, the expression "twin-brother " 
has somewhat an unnecessary strength. Admitting, which we do 
not, that the best scenes of this play display the same poetical power, 
though somewhat immature, which is found in Shakspere's his- 
torical plays, there is one thing wanting to make the writer a " twin- 
brother," which is found in all those productions. Where is the 
comedy of 'Edward III.'? The heroic of Shakspere's histories 
might be capable of imitation ; but the genius which created Faul- 
conbridge, and Cade, and Pistol, and Fluellen (FalstafF is out of 
the question), could not be approached. 




GEORGE-A-GREENE. 



* A Pleasant conceyted Comedie of George-a-Greene, the Pinner 
of Wakefield,' bears upon the title-page that it was acted by the 
servants of the Earl of Sussex. The earliest edition known is that 
of 1599. In Henslow's Diary we have an entry of ' George-a- 
Greene ' being played by the Earl of Sussex his men on the 28th of 
December, 1593. This play was formerly ascribed (amongst 
others by Winstanley) to John Heywood, the friend of Sir Thomas 
More. Such an opinion argues the most complete ignorance of 
the state of our language, and of dramatic poetry especially, at the 
time when John Heywood wrote. No English critic, we believe, 
ever thought of assigning the play to Shakspere ; but the Germans, 
finding it reprinted in Dodsley's collection as the work of an un- 
known author, seize upon it as another production of the great 
English dramatist, rescued by them from the wallet of Time. 
Tieck translates it. He remarks — " It is traditionally said that the 
' Pinner of Wakefield ' is a play of Shakspere's. I must acknow- 
ledge for myself that any tradition would have more weight than 
the narrow-minded criticisms of the English editors, which, pro- 
ceeding wholly on false premises, naturally take little notice of such 
productions. If it is by Shakspere, it must be an early work." 
We know not where the tradition is to be found, and indeed the 
play is now pretty confidently assigned to Robert Greene. It is 
included in Mr. Dyce's edition of his works, for a reason thus 
given : — 

" It has been thought right to include in the present collection ' George-a- 
Greene, the Pinuer of Wakefield," 1599, in consequence of the following MS. notes 
having been found on the title-page of a copy of that piece, which was formerly in 
the library of Mr. Rhodes : — 

' Written by a minister who acted the piners pt in it himself. 

Teste, W. Shakespeare. 

' Ed. Juby* saith it was made by Ro. Greene.' 
These two memoranda are by different persons, and in handwriting of about the 
time when the play was printed. The probability of Greene's having been ' a 
ininister' we have noticed before." 



* An actor who wrote a play in conjunction with Rowley. 



GEORGE-A-GREENE. 



423 



This evidence is not absolutely decisive as to the authorship of the 
play, but, conjoined w^ith the internal evidence, w^e have no doubt 
that Mr. Dyce exercised a sound discretion in printing it in his 
collection of Greene's dramatic works. 

Tieck, having translated the play in his ' Alt Englisches Theater, 
oder Supplemente zum Shakspere,' as one of " those dramas which • 
Shakspere produced in his youth, and which Englishmen, through 
a misjudging criticism and a tenderness for his fame (as they 
thought), have refused to recognise," is of course decided in his 
opinion as to the merits of this performance. He says, " It seems 
to me a model of a popular comedy (Volks-comodie — people's 
comedy) ; the cheerful joyousness, that never overflows, but keeps 
within the bounds of moderation, and does us good; the merry 
clown; the agreeable character of the principal person, whose 
oflficial zeal and heroic courage are so nicely softened down with a 
few milder features ; and the genius which plays through the whole ; 
— everything is such that Shakspere himself would have no cause 
to be ashamed of this, though we cannot show any other piece of 
his worked out in a similar style." The criticism of Horn is more 
temperate. George-a-Greene, the hero of the play, " equals, in his 
invincibility, waggery, and love of jesting, our Siegfried in the 
' Niebelungen.' " He acknowledges, however, that there is not a 
trace of humour in the performance, and that there is a great want 
of dramatic art in the construction. To say nothing of the feeble- 
ness of the blank verse, we believe that the entire absence of wit or 
humour in the comic parts, and the inartificial management of the 
incidents, decide at once that the play could not belong to Shak- 
spere at any period of his life. There is a rude activity in the 
working out of the plot, but no real creative power. That any 
high poetical power was not in the writer does not require, we 
think, a very laboured proof. One example of this deficiency of 
the higher quality may suffice. There is an incident in the play 
founded on the fine old ballad of ' The Jolly Pinder of Wakefield,' 
which undoubtedly was in existence before 1.593, and, compared 
with that ballad, the tameness of the dramatic version of it appears 
to us very striking. We will give a passage from each : — 



BALLAD OF THE JOLLY PINDER. 

' In Wakefield there lives a jolly pinder, 
In Wakefield all on a green, 
In Wakefield all on a green : 
There is neither knight nor squire, said the 
pinder. 



GEORGE A-GREENE. 

" Geo. Back again, you foolish travellers, 
For you are wrong, and may not wend this 
way. 
Rob. That were great shame. Now, by 
my soul, proud sir, 



424 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 



Nor baron that is so bold. 

Nor baron that is so bold, 
Dare make a trespass to the town of Wake- 
field, 
But his pledge goes to the pinfold, &c. 

All this beheard three witty young men, 
'T was Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John ; 

With that they espied the jolly pinder, 
As he sat under a thorn. 

Now turn again, turn again, said the pin- 
der. 

For a wrong way you have gone ; 
For you have forsaken the king's highway, 

And made a path over the corn. 

O that were a shame, said jolly Robin, 
We being tliree, and thou but one; 

The pinder leapt back then thirty good foot, 
'T was thirty good foot and one. 

He leaned his back fast unto a thorn. 

And his foot against a stone. 
And there he fought a long summer's day, 

A summer's day so long, 
Till that their swords on their broad buck- 
lers 

Were broke fast into their hands. 

Hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said bold 
Robin Hood, 

And my merry men, every one ; 
For this is one of the best pinders 

That ever I tried with sword. 

And wilt thou forsake thy pinder's craft. 
And live in the green-wood with me ? 

* At Michaelmas next my cov'nant comes 
out. 
When every man gathers his fee.' " 



We be tliree tall yeomen, and thou art but 

one. 
Come, we will forward in despite of him. 
Oeo. Leap the ditch, or I will make you 
skip. 
What, cannot the highway serve your turn. 
But must you make a path over the com ? 
Rob. Why, art thou mad ? dar'st thou en- 
counter three ? 
We are no babes, man ; look upon our limbs. 

Geo. Sirrah, 
The biggest limbs have not the stoutest hearts. 
Were ye as good as Robin Hood, and his 

three merry men, 
I '11 drive you back the same way that ye 

came. 
Be ye men, ye scorn to encounter me all at 

once ; 
But be ye cowards, set upon me all three. 
And try the pinner what he dares perform. 

Scar. Were thou as high in deeds 
As thou art haughty in words. 
Thou well mightst be a champion for a king ; 
But empty vessels have the loudest sounds. 
And cowards prattle more than men of worth. 
Geo. Sirrah, darest thou try me ? 
Scar. Ay, sirrah, that I dare. 

\_TheyJight, and Geokoe-a-Gbeens 
heats him. 
Much. How now ? what, art thou down ? 
Come, sir, I am next. 

[Thet/Jight, and Geoboe-a-Gheene 
beats him. 
Rob. Come, sirrah, now to me: spare me 
not. 
For I'll not spare thee. 

Oeo. Make no doubt, 1 will be as liberal to 
thee. 

[They fight ; Robin Hood stayt. 
Rob. Stay, George, for here I do protest. 
Thou art tlie stoutest champion that ever I 
Laid hands upon. 

Geo. Soft you, sir ; by your leave, you lie. 
You never yet laid hands on me. 

Rub. George, wilt thou forsake Wakefield, 
And go with me ? 

Two liveries will I give thee every year. 
And forty crowns shall be thy fee." 



The principal action of George-a- Greene ' is founded upon an 
old romance which describes an insurrection of nobles in the time 
of Richard I., which was resisted and finally put down by the Pin- 
der of Wakefield ; that is, the keeper of the pinfolds. The best 
scene in the play is where Sir Nicholas Mannering comes before 
the justices of Wakefield to demand provisions for the rebels. 
George-a-Greene undertakes to speak for his townsmen ; and, on 
being asked " Who art thou ? " thus replies : — 



GEORGE-A-GREENE. 425 

" Why, I am George-a-Greene, 
True liegeman to my king, 
Who scorns that men of such esteem as these 
Should brook the braves of any traitorous squire. 
You of the bench, and you, my fellow-friends, 
Neighbours, we subjects all unto the king ; 
We are English born, and therefore Edward's friends, 
Vow'd unto him even in our mother's womb, 
Our minds to God, our hearts unto our king ; 
Our wealth, our homage, and our carcases 
Be all king Edward's. Then, sirrah, we have 
Nothing left for traitors but our swords, 
Whetted to bathe them in your bloods, and die 
Against you, before we send you any victuals." 

The Richard of the romance has hecome, it is thus seen, the Ed- 
ward of the play. The writer has puzzled Mr. Grose, the anti- 
quarian, with this change, the good man wisely arguing that Rohin 
Hood and Edward IV., whom he supposes to he king of the piece, 
did not live at the same time. He concludes, therefore, that the 
drama has slight foundation in history. We quite agree with him. 
In the scene before the justices George-a-Greene makes Mannering 
eat his commission, seals and all. This is an incident of the old 
romance, which was transferred, as our readers will recollect, to 
the play of ' Sir John Oldcastle ;' and was a practical joke which 
Robert Greene himself played off upon an apparitor. After this 
feat the Finder of Wakefield goes forward with his club chivalry. 
As the crowning work of some stratagems, he kills one of the rebel 
lords, and takes the other two prisoners ; he fights, as we have seen, 
with Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John ; and he soundly beats the 
shoemakers of Bradford, in the presence of King Edward and the 
King of Scots, who are come in disguise to see the rustic hero. 
George-a-Greene of course arrives at riches and honour; and as 
during the play we have occasional glimpses of his being in love, 
the king rewards him also with his mistress : — 

" Edw. George-a-Greene, give me thy hand ; 
There is none in England that shall do thee wrong. 
Even from my court I came to see thyself; 
And now I see that fame speaks nought but truth. 

Geo. I humbly thank your royal majesty. 
That which I did against the earl of Kendal, 
It was but a subject's duty to his sovereign, 
And therefore litlle merits such good words. 

Edw. But ere I go, I '11 grace thee with good deeds. 
Say what king Edward may perform, 
And thou shalt have it, being in England's bounds. 

Geo. I have a lovely leman, 



426 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPEKE. 

As bright of blee as is the silver moon, 

And old Grime, her father, will not let her match 

With me, because I am a pinner. 

Although I love her, and she me, dearly. 

Edw. Where is she ? 

Geo. At home at my poor house. 
And vows never to marry unless her father 
Give consent, which is my great grief, my lord. 

ILdw. If this be all, I will despatch it straight ; 
I '11 send for Grime, and force him give his grant ! 
He will not deny king Edward such a suit." 

We have no doubt that this little play was amusing enough to an 
uncritical audience ; but to seek for the hand of Shakspere amongst 
these coarse and feeble scenes is as fruitless as to look for Claudes 
and Correggios amongst the alehouse signs. 



FAIR EM. 



In the ' Theatrum Poetarum ' of Edward Phillips we have the fol- 
lowing notice of the authorship of this play : — " Robert Green, one 
of the Pastoral Sonnet-makers of Qu. Elizabeth's time, contempo- 
rary with Dr. Lodge, with whom he was associated in the writing 
of several comedies, namely, ' The Laws of Nature,' ' Lady Ali- 
mony,' ' Liberality and Prodigality,' and a masque called ' Lumi- 
nalia ;' besides which he wrote alone the comedies of ' Friar Bacon ' 
and ' Fair Emme.' " Langbaine contradicts this statement, as far 
as regards Greene's association with Lodge; but he admits the 
assertion regarding ' Friar Bacon,' and says nothing of ' Fair Em.' 
Mr. Dyce thinks that it is possible that Greene might have written 
' Fair Era.' ' A Pleasante Comedie of Faire Em, the Miller's 
Daughter of Manchester, with the Love of William the Conqueror. 
As it was sundry times publiquely acted in the Honourable Citie of 
London, by the right Honourable the Lord Strange his seruants,' 
was published in 1631. Possibly this may not have been the first 
edition, and the play may be as early as the time of Greene ; but 
of this we are greatly inclined to doubt. The versification does not 
often exhibit that antiquated structure which we occasionally meet 
with in Greene and his contemporaries. The dramatic movement 
is more lively and skilful than we find in the conduct of Greene's 
pieces. The plot, which is a double one, has much of the com- 
plexity of Beaumont and Fletcher. We have little doubt that the 
play belongs to a period subsequent to the death of Shakspere. 
Upon what principle the German critics have assigned it to Shak- 
spere we are at a loss to say. Tieck, who has translated the ' Fair 
Em,' calls it a youthful production of our poet, and Horn agrees 
with him. Ulrici dissents from this opinion. The play is lively 
enough, with a good deal of talent. Although a legend of love- 
stories, it has the remarkable merit, for that period, of being con- 
ducted without offence to propriety. What comedy there is in it 



428 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

is altogether vapid and ridiculous. Let us hastily run through the 
plot, giving a few extracts. 

The story carries us back to the days of William the Conqueror. 
There is a tilting-match, in which the king is victor ; but he has 
on a sudden " cast away his staiF," and left the field. Lubeck, a 
Danish knight, has borne upon his shield the picture of a beautiful 
woman ; and the king has fallen in love with the picture, which is 
a portrait of Blanche, a daughter of the King of Denmark. The 
amorous monarch immediately delegates his authority to certain 
lords, and sets out for the Danish court, to behold and obtain the 
object of his passion. The miller and his daughter, fair Em, now 
present themselves. He is no real miller, but Sir Thomas Goddard. 
Weighty circumstances compelled him to this course of life ; and 
his daughter submits to her change of fortune with a becoming 
resignation. The father thus counsels the maiden : — 

" Miller. Thanks, my dear daughter ; these thy pleasant words 
Transfer my soul into a second heaven : 
And in thy settled mind my joys consist, 
My state reviv'd, and I in former plight. 
Although our outward pomp be thus abas'd. 
And thrall'd to drudging, stayless of the world, 
Let us retain those honourable minds 
That lately govern'd our superior state, 
Wherein true gentry is the only mean 
That makes us differ from true millers born : 
Though we expect no knightly delicates. 
Nor thirst in soul for former sovereignty, 
Yet may our minds as highly scorn to stoop 
To base desires of vulgar's worldliness, 
As if we were in our precedent way. 
And, lovely daughter, since thy youthful years 
Must needs admit as young affections, 
And that sweet love unpartial perceives 
Her dainty subjects through every part, 
In chief receive these lessons from my lips, 
The true discoverers of a virgin's due ; 
Now requisite, now that 1 know thy mind 
Something inclin'd to favour Manvile's suit, 
A gentleman, thy lover in protest : 
And that thou mayst not be by love deceiv'd, 
But try his meaning, fit for thy desert, 
In pursuit of all amorous desires, 
Regard thine honour. Let not vehement sighs. 
Nor earnest vows importing fervent love, 
Render thee subject to tlie wrath of lust ; 
For that, transform'd to former sweet delight, 
Will bring thy body and thy soul to shame. 
Cliaste thouglits and modest conversations, 



FAIR EM. 429 

Of proof to keep out all enchanting vows, 
Vain sighs, forc'd tears, and pitiful aspects, 
Are they that make deformed ladies fair ; 
Poor wretch ! and such enticing men 
That seek of all but only present grace. 
Shall, in perseverance of a virgin's due. 
Prefer the most refusers to the choice 
Of such a soul as yielded what they thought." 

Our readers will scarcely think that the commonplaces of this very 
long speech savour of Shakspere, The miller's man now presents 
himself as a suitor to fair Em ; and having learnt the necessity for 
concealment, she rather evades than repulses his advances. But 
she is not long destined to equivocate with the clown. Manvile, 
Valingford, and Mountney, all lords of William's court, come 
separately, disguised, to woo the maiden. Manvile's suit, as we 
have learnt by her father's speech, was somewhat favoured. He 
overhears the other two lords communicating their love for the 
same object, and agreeing to unite their efforts to obtain her, leav- 
ing the rest to chance. Manvile, of course, becomes jealous ; and 
he thus reproaches his mistress : — 

" Two gentlemen attending on duke William, 
Mountney and Valingford as I heard them nam'd, 
Ofttimes resort to see and to be seen, 
Walking the street fast by thy father's door, 
Whose glancing eyes up to windows cast 
Give testes of their masters' amorous heart. 
This, Em, is noted, and too much talk'd on ; 
Some see it without mistrust of ill. 
Others there are that, scorning, grin thereat. 
And saith, there goes the miller's daughter's wooers. 
Ah me! whom chiefly and most of all it doth concern, 
To spend my time in grief, and vex my soul. 
To think my love should be rewarded thus, 
And for thy sake abhor all womankind." 

The lover departs in a rage, and Mountney comes to prefer his suit. 
The fair Em resolves to vindicate her constancy ; and to this ad- 
mirer, therefore, she feigns deafness. In a subsequent scene 
Valingford approaches her ; and to him, upon the same principle of 
stratagem, she affects to be blind, " by mishap on a sudden." 
Mountney and Valingford meet and quarrel; but their mutual 
accusations bring about the conviction that the lady has deceived 
them both. The action advances, by Manvile complaining to the 
miller of his daughter's conduct; and Mountney and Valingford 



430 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

appear on the scene to demand of the miller how it is that Em has 
become blind and deaf. The miller replies, — 

" Marry, God forbid ! I have sent for her. Indeed, she 
hath kept her chamber this three days. It were no little 
grief to me if it should be so. 

Man. This is God's judgment for her treachery." 

Em is led on by the miller's man, whom she has persuaded to assist 
her in maintaining the pretences she has assumed. Her stratagem is 
successfully supported, to the grief of her father, and the conviction 
of the rest. Manvile exclaims — 

" Both blind and deaf! then is she no wife for me; 
And glad I am so good occasion is happen'd." 

Mountney also gives her up with considerable indifference; but 
Valingford resolves to stay and prosecute his love, still suspecting 
there may be a " feigned invention." Manvile seeks another 
love — Elner, the daughter of a wealthy merchant; but Valingford 
declares that no misfortune can alter the constancy of his affection ; 
and Em, learning the faithlessness of her former lover, discloses the 
conduct she has pursued. 

During the progress of this, the main portion of the plot, we 
have a succession of scenes alternating with those in which the 
miller's daughter is concerned, exhibiting the history of the love 
adventures of the disguised king at the Danish court. William is 
disappointed in the reality of the lady, with whose picture he be- 
came enamoured. But he as readily falls in love with Mariana, a 
Swedish captive, the chosen fair of the Marquis of Lubeck. 
Blanche, however, the Danish king's daughter, falls in love v/ith 
William ; and we have then a pretty succession of jealousies and 
quarrels, which terminate in William carrying off the princess to 
England, masked, and disguised as Mariana. Upon their arrival in 
England the king and his fair companion fall into the hands of 
some barons who are in arms. The mistakes are of course cleared 
up ; and the King of Denmark offers his daughter to the King of 
England, who has resumed his state. He has to decide upon the 
claims of the fair Em, and of Elner, to the hand of Manvile. The 
scene on this occasion is perhaps the best passage in the play : — 

" Em. I loved this Manvile so much, that still methought, 
When he was absent, did present to me 
The form and feature of tliat countenance 
Which I did shrine an idol in my heart : 



FAIR EM. 431 

And never could I see a man, methought, 

That equall'd Manvile in my partial eye. 

Nor was there any love between us lost, 

But that I held the same in high regard. 

Until repair of some unto our house, 

Of whom my Manvile grew tlius jealous, 

As if he took exception I vouchsafd 

To hear them speak, or saw them when they came ; 

On which I straight took order with myself, 

To avoid the scruple of his conscience. 

By counterfeiting that I neither saw nor heard: 

Any ways to rid my hands of them. 

All this I did to keep my Manvile's love. 

Which he unkindly seeks for to reward. 

Man. And did my Em, to keep her faith with me, 
Dissemble that she neither heard nor saw ? 
Pardon me, sweet Em, for I am only thine. 

Em. Lay off thy hands, disloyal as thou art ! 
Nor shalt thou have possession of my love, 
That canst so finely shift thy matters off. 
Put case I had been blind, and could not see. 
As oftentimes such visitation falls. 
That pleaseth God, which all things dotli dispose ; 
Shouldst thou forsake me in regard of that ? 
I tell thee, Manvile, hadst thou been blind, 
Or deaf, or dumb, or else what impediments 
Might befall to man, Em would have lov'd, and kept. 
And honour'd thee ; yea, begg'd, if wealth had fail'd. 
For thy relief. 

Man. Forgive me, sweet Em. 

Em. I do forgive thee with my heart, 
And will forget thee too, if case I can ; 
But never speak to me, nor seem to know me. 

Man. Then farewell frost ; 
Well fare a wench that will. 
Now, Elner, I am thy own, my girl. 

Elner. Mine, Manvile ? thou never shalt be mine ; 
I so detest thy villainy. 
That whilst I live 1 will abhor thy company." 

This issue of the contest produces a singular effect upon the King 
of England. He determines that " women are not general evils;" 
and so he accepts the hand of Blanche. Valingford is united to the 
fair Em, and Sir Thomas Goddard is restored to his rank and for- 
tune. 

It is exceedingly difficult for us to understand how a man of 
great ability, like Tieck, perfectly conversant with the dramatic 
art and style of Shakspere — sometimes going far beyond Shakspere's 
own countrymen in sound as well as elevated criticism — should 
fancy that a play like this could have been written by our great 



432 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

poet. Whatever merit it possesses, and it is certainly in some re- 
spects a lively and spirited performance, arises out of the circum- 
stance that the author had good models before him. But we look 
in vain for all that sets Shakspere so high above his contemporaries ; 
his wit, his humour, his poetry, his philosophy, his intimate know- 
ledge of man, his exquisite method. Scenes such as these pass be- 
fore our eyes like the tricks of the fantoccini. There is nothing of 
vitality in them; — they 

" Come like shadows, so depart.'' 



MUCEDORUS. 



The first known edition of this "contiedy" is that of 1598: — ' A 
most pleasant Comedy of Mucedorus, the Kings Sonne of Valentia, 
and Amadine the Kings Daughter of Arragon, With the merry 
Conceits of Mouse.' There are repeated reprints of this play up to 
1639, denoting an extraordinary popularity; and, what is more re- 
markable, the piece is revived after the Restoration, and the edition 
before us of 1668 is " Amplifyed with new Additions, as it was 
Acted before the King's Majestie at White-hall on Shrove-sunday 
night." A more rude, inartificial, unpoetical, and altogether effete 
performance the English drama cannot, we think, exhibit. Popu- 
larity, however, is not obtained by mere accident. Mediocrity and 
positive stupidity will often command it, — but in the case of ' Mu- 
cedorus ' it appears to us that the piece was expressly adapted for a 
very common audience. Whilst the highest and the best educated 
of the land were captivated by Shakspere and Jonson, there must 
necessarily have been rude farces and melodramas for theatres lower 
than the Globe and Blackfriars. There were strolling companies, 
too, who in many cases were unable to procure copies of the best 
plays, and who would justly think that other wares than poetry and 
philosophy would be demanded in the bam of the alehouse or in the 
hall of the squire. We have a curious example of the long-during 
popularity of ' Mucedorus.' After the suppression of the theatres 
in 1647, clandestine performances in London were put down by 
provost-marshals and troopers. But in the country the wandering 
players sometimes dared to lift their heads; and as late as 1653 a 
company went about playing ' Mucedorus.' They had acted in 
several villages in the neighbourhood of Oxford, but, upon the 
occasion of its performance at Witney, an accident occurred by 
which several persons lost their lives, and others were wounded. A 
pamphlet immediately appeared from the pen of an Oxford divine, 
showing that this calamity was an example of the Divine vengeance 
against stage performances. But ' Mucedorus,' as we have seen, 
had a higher popularity in reserve. It was revived for the enter- 
tainment of the King's Majesty, the tastes of whose court were 
Vol. XII. 2 F 



434 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

pretty much upon a level with those of the Witney peasants and 
blanket-makers ; and, what is not the least wonderful part in the 
history of this comedy, " very delectable and full of conceited 
mirth," some one rises up and says it is written by Shakspere. The 
tradition is handed down in old catalogues ; and the Germans apply 
themselves seriously to discuss the point, whether a play which is 
too silly to be ascribed to any known writer of the time, might not 
be a youthful performance of the great poet himself. 

To attempt any detailed analysis of the story of ' Mucedorus ' 
would be a waste of time. Mucedorus, the Prince of Valentia, has 
heard of the beauty of Amadine, the Princess of Aragon, and he 
resolves to go in disguise to her father's court. The shepherd- 
prince, upon his arrival in Aragon, immediately saves the princess 
from the attack of a bear, who has rushed upon her, when in com- 
pany with Segasto, a sort of lover, who takes to his heels in a very 
ungallant style. The lady, of course, falls in love with the shepherd, 
and the shepherd is very soon turned out of the court for his own 
presumptuous love. But the princess resolves to run away with him, 
and they appoint to meet and live in the forest, unscared by hunger or 
by bears. A wild man of the woods, however, seizes upon the lady ; 
but Mucedorus, disguised as a hermit, very opportunely kills the 
wild man. The King of Valentia comes to look after his son. 
The lovers return to court. The gentleman who ran away from the 
bear withdraws his claims to the princess, and the whole terminates 
with great felicity. We can easily understand how such a story 
would be popular, and how any surplusage of wit or poetry would have 
lessened its popularity. The serious adventures are relieved by the 
constant presence of a clown, who, to do him justice, is never guilty 
of the slightest cleverness, but produces a laugh by his exquisite stu- 
pidity. One specimen of the poetry will suffice. Mucedorus, 
clothed as a hermit, meets Bremo, the wild man of the woods, who 
has got Amadine safe in his grasp ; and, justly considering that a 
wild man of the woods must be an excellent judge of rhetoric, and 
liable to be moved to pity by the force of fine words, thus addresses 
him : — 

" In time of yore, when men like brutish beasts 
Did lead their lives in loathsome cells and woods, 
And wholly gave themselves to witless will, 
A rude unruly root, then man to man became 
A present prey ; then might prevail'd. 
The weakest men went to walls ; 
Right was unknown, for wrong was all in all. 
As men thus liv'd in their great courage, 



MUCEDORUS. 435 

Behold, one Orpheus came (as poets tell), 

And them from rudeness unto reason brought. 

Who, led by reason, soon forsook the woods ; 

Instead of caves, they built them castles strong. 

Cities and towns were founded by them then : 

Glad were they they found such ease ; 

And in the end they grew to perfect amity. 

Weighing their former wickedness, 

They term'd the time wherein they lived then 

A golden age, a good golden age. 

Now, Bremo (for so I heard thee call'd), 

If men which liv'd tofore, as thou dost now, 

Wild in woods, addicted all to spoil, 

Returned were by worthy Orpheus' means, 

Let me (like Oi"pheus) cause thee to return 

From murther, bloodshed, and such-like cruelties : 

What, should we fight before we have a cause ? 

No, let 's live, and love together faithfully : 

I '11 fight for thee." 

There are one or two passages in ' Mucedorus ' which indicate 
some poetical power, but they are inappropriate to the situation and 
character. Whenever we compare Shakspere with other writers, 
the difference which, perhaps, upon the whole makes the most 
abiding impression is the marvellous superiority of his judgment. 



2 F 2 



THE BIRTH OF MERLIN. 



The first known edition of this play was published in 1662, under 
the following title : — ' The Birth of Merlin : or, The Childe hath 
found his Father : as it hath been several times Acted with great 
Applause. Written by William Shakespear and William Rowley.' 
Of this very doubtful external evidence two of the modem German 
critics have applied themselves to prove the correctness. Horn has 
written a criticism of fourteen pages upon ' The Birth of Merlin,' 
which he decides to be chiefly Shakspere's, possessing a high degree 
of poetical merit with much deep-thoughted characterization. Tieck 
has no doubt of the extent of the assistance that Shakspere gave in 
producing this play : — " This piece is a new proof of the extraordi- 
nary riches of the period, in which such a work was unnoticed 
among the mass of intellectual and characteristic dramas. The 
modern English, whose weak side is poetical criticism, have left it 
almost to accident what shall be again revived ; and we seldom see, 
since Dodsley, who proceeded somewhat more carefully, any reason 
why one piece is selected and others rejected." He adds, " None 
of Rowley's other works are equal to this. What part has Shak- 
spere in it ? — has he taken a part ? — what induced him to do so ? — 
can only be imperfectly answered, and by supposition. Why should 
not Shakspere for once have written for another theatre than his 
own ? Why should he not, when the custom was so common, have 
written in companionship with another though less powerful poet?" 
Ulrici takes a different, and, as we think, a much juster view. The 
play, he holds, must have been produced late in Shakspere's life. 
If he had written in it at all, he would have put out his matured 
strength. All the essentials, — plan, composition, and character, — 
belong to Rowley. Peculiarities of style and remarkable turns of 
thought are not sufficient to furnish evidence of authorship, for they 
are common to other contemporary poets. It is not very easy to 
trace the exact progress of William Rowley. He was an actor in 
the company of which Shakspere was a proprietor. We find his 



THE BIRTH OF MERLIN. 437 

name in a document of 1616, and again in 1625. The same book- 
seller that published ' The Birth of Merlin ' associated his name with 
other writers of eminence besides Shakspere. He is spoken of by 
Langbaine as " an author that flourished in the reign of King 
Charles I. ;" but there is no doubt that he may be considered as a 
successful writer in the middle period of James I. It is impossible 
to think that he could have been associated with Shakspere in writing 
a play until after Shakspere had quitted the stage ; and we must 
therefore bear in mind that Rowley's supposed associate was at that 
period the author of ' Othello ' and ' Lear,' of ' Twelfth Night ' and 
* As You Like It.' 

A few years after the accession of James I. the fondness of the 
court for theatrical entertainments, and the sumptuousness of the 
masks that were got up for its special delight, appear to have pro- 
duced a natural influence upon the public stage, in rendering some 
of the pieces performed more dependent upon scenery and dresses 
and processions than in the later years of Elizabeth. The ' Birth of 
Merlin ' belongs to the class of show-plays ; and the elaboration of 
that portion which is addressed merely to the eye has imparted a 
character to those scenes in which the imagination is addressed 
through the dialogue. There is an essential want of refinement as 
well as of intellectual force, partly arising from this false principle 
of art, which addresses itself mainly to the senses. We have a 
succession of incidents without any unity of action. The human 
interest and the supernatural are jumbled together, so as to render 
each equally unreal. Extravagance is taken for force, and what is 
merely hideous is ofi'ered to us as sublime. The story of course 
belongs to the fabulous history of Britain. Its movements are so 
complicated that we should despair of tracing it through its scenes 
of war and love, and devilry and witchcraft. The Britons are in- 
vaded by the Saxons, but the British army is miraculously preserved 
by the power of Anselm, a hermit. The Saxons sue for peace to 
Aurelius, the King of Britain, but the monarch suddenly falls in 
love with Artesia, the daughter of the Saxon general, and marries 
her, against the wishes of all his court. Uter Pendragon, the bro- 
ther of Aurelius, has been unaccountably missing, and he, it seems, 
had fallen in love with the same lady during his rambles. Upon 
the return of Prince Uter to his brother's court, the queen endea- 
vours to obtain from him a declaration of unlawful attachment. 
Her object is to sow disunion amongst the Britons, to promote the 
ascendancy of the Saxons. She is successful, and the weak Aurelius 



438 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERK. 

joins his invaders. During the progress of these events we have 
love-episodes with the daughters of Donobert, a British nobleman. 
The character of Modestia, one of the daughters, who is resolved to 
dedicate herself to a religious life, is drawn with considerable skill, 
and she expresses herself with a quiet strength which contrasts ad- 
vantageously with the turmoil around her : — 

" Noble and virtuous ! could I dream of mairiage, 
I should affect thee, Edwin. Oh, my soul, 
Here 's something tells me that these best of creatures, 
These models of the world, weak man and woman, 
Should have their souls, their making, life, and being, 
To some more excellent use : if what the sense 
Calls pleasure were our ends, we might justly blame 
Great Nature's wisdom, who rear'd a building 
Of so much art and beauty, to entertain 
A guest so far incertain, so imperfect : 
If only speech distinguish us from beasts. 
Who know no inequality of birth and place, 
But still to fly from goodness ; oh ! how base 
Were life at such a rate ! No, no! that Power 
That gave to man his being, speech, and wisdom. 
Gave it for thankfulness. To Him alone 
That made me thus, may I thence truly know, 
I '11 pay to Him, not man, the love I owe." 

The supernatural part of this play is altogether overdone, exhibit- 
ing no higher skill in the management than a modern fairy spectacle 
for the Easter holidays. Before Merlin appears we have a Saxon 
magician produced who can raise the dead, and he makes Hector 
and Achilles come into the Saxon court very much after the fashion 
of the apparition of Marshal Saxe in the great gallery at Dresden 
(see Wraxall's ' Memoirs'). The stage-direction for this extraordi- 
nary exhibition is as follows : — 

" Enter Proximus, bringing in Hector, attired and armed 
after the Trojan manner, with target, sword, and battle-axe ; 
a trumpet before him, and a Sj)irit in flame-colours with a 
torch: at the other door, Achilles, with his spear and fal- 
chion, a trumpet, and a Spirit in black before him : trumpets 
sound alarm, and they manage their weapons to begin the 
fight, and after some charges the Hermit steps between them, 
at which, seeming amazed, the Spirits tremble.''' 

That the poet who produced the cauldron of the weird sisters 
should be supposed to have a hand in this child's play is little less 
than mii-aculous itself. But we soon cease to take an interest in 



THE BIRTH OF MERLIN. 439 

mere Britons and Saxons, for a clown and his sister arrive at court, 
seeking a father for a child which the lady is about to present to the 
world. After some mummery which is meant for comedy we have 
the following stage-direction : — " Enter the Devil in man's habit 
richly attired, his feet and his head horrid ;" and the young lady from 
the country immediately recognises the treacherous father. After 
another episode with Modestia and Edwin, thunder and lightning 
announce something terrible ; the birth of Merlin has taken place, 
and his father the Devil properly introduces him reading a book and 
foretelling his own future celebrity. We have now prophecy upon 
prophecy and fight upon fight, blazing stars, dragons, and Merlin 
expounding all amidst the din. We learn that Artesia has poisoned 
her husband, and that liter has become King Pendragon. The 
Saxons are defeated by the new king, by whom Artesia, as a mur- 
deress, is buried alive. In the mean time the Devil has again been 
making some proposals to Merlin's mother, which end greatly to his 
discomfiture, for his powerful son shuts him up in a rock. Merlin 
then, addressing his mother, proposes to her to retire to a solitude 
he has prepared for her, " to weep away the flesh you have offended 
with;" " and when you die," he proceeds, 

" I will erect a moDumeiit 
Upon the verdant plains of Salisbury, — 
No king shall have so high a sepulchre, — 
With pendulous stones, that I will hang by art, 
Where neither lime nor mortar shall be used — 
A dark enigma to the memory, 
For none shall have the power to number them ; 
A place that I will hallow for your rest ; 
Where no night-hag shall walk, nor were-wolf tread. 
Where Merlin's mother shall be sepulchred." 

As this is a satisfactory account of the origin of Stonehenge, we 
might here conclude ; but there is a little more to tell of this mar- 
vellous play. Uter, the triumphant king, desires Merlin to 

" show the full event, 
That shall both end our reign and chronicle." 

Merlin thus consents : — 

" What Heaven decrees, fate hath no power to alter: 
The Saxons, sir, will keep the ground they have, 
And by supplying numbers still increase, 
Till Britain be no more : So please your grace, 
I will, in visible apparitions, 
Present you prophecies, which shall concern 



440 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

Succeeding princes, which my art shall raise, 
Till men shall call these times the latter days. 

[Merlin strikes. 

Hautboys. Enter a King in armour, his shield quartered 

with thirteen crowns. At the other end enter divers Princes, 

who present their crowns to him at his feet, and do him homage ; 

then enters Death, and strikes him ; he, growing sick, crowns 

CJONSTANTINE." 

This Merlin explains to represent Uter's son, Arthur, and his suc- 
cessor ; at which the prince, much gratified, asserts, 

" All future times shall still record this story, 
Of Merlin's learned worth, and Arthur's glory." 



THE MERRY DEVIL OF EDMONTON. 



' The Merry Deuill of Edmonton : As it hatli been sundry times 
acted by his Maiesties Servants, at the Globe on the Banke-side,' was 
originally published in 1608. On the 22nd October, 1607, there 
is an entry of the title of the play on the Stationers' registers; but 
on the 5th April, 1608, we have a more precise entry of "A book 
called the Lyfe and Deathe of the Merry Devill of Edmonton, with 
the pleasant pranks of Smugge the Smyth, Sir John, and mine Hoste 
of the George, about their stealing of venison. By T. B." This 
was, in all probability, a second Part. Steevens says, " The initial 
letters at the end of this entry sufficiently free Shakspeare from the 
charge of having been its author." It has been supposed that these 
initials represent Tony, or Antony, Brewer, — a dramatic writer of 
the time of James I., highly lauded by some of his contemporaries. 
Kirkman, the bookseller, first affixed Shakspere's name to it in his 
catalogue. In *The Companion to the Playhouse,' published in 
1764, it is stated, upon the authority of a laborious antiquary, Tho- 
mas Coxeter, who died in 1747, to have been written by Michael 
Drayton ; and in some posthumous papers of another diligent in- 
quirer into literary history, Oldys, the same assertion is advanced. 
Charles Lamb, who speaks of this play with a warmth of admiration 
which is probably carried a little too far — and which, indeed, may 
in some degree be attributed to his familiarity with the quiet rural 
scenery of Enfield, Waltham, Cheshunt, and Edmonton, in which 
places the story is laid — says, " I wish it could be ascertained that 
Michael Drayton was the author of this piece : it would add a worthy 
appendage to the renown of that panegyrist of my native earth ; who 
has gone over her soil (in his Polyolbion) with the fidelity of a 
herald, and the painful love of a son ; who has not left a rivulet (so 
narrow that it may be stepped over) without honourable mention; 
and has animated hills and streams with life and passion above the 



4^2 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

dreams of old mythology." * * The Merry Devil ' was undoubtedly 
a play of great popularity. We find from the account-books of the 
Revels at Court, that it was acted before the King in the same year, 
1618, with ' Twelfth Night ' and ' A Winter's Tale.' In 1616, Ben 
Jonson, in his Prologue to ' The Devil is an Ass,' thus addresses his 
audience : — 

" If you '11 come 
To see new plays, pray you afford us room, 
And show this but the same face you have done 
Your dear delight, ' The Devil of Edmonton.' " 

Its popularity seems to have lasted much longer ; for it is men- 
tioned by Edmund Gayton, in 1654, in his ' Notes on Don Quixote.'f 
The belief that the play was Shakspere's has never taken any root in 
England. Some of the recent German critics, however, adopt it as 
his without any hesitation. Tieck has translated it ; and he says that 
it undoubtedly is by Shakspere, and must have been written about 
1600. It has much of the tone, he thinks, of ' The Merry Wives 
of Windsor,' and " mine host of the George " and " mine host of 
the Garter " are alike. It is surprising that Tieck does not see that 
the one character is, in a great degree, an imitation of the other. 
Shakspere, in the abundance of his riches, is not a poet who repeats 
himself. Horn declares that Shakspere's authorship of ' The Merry 
Devil ' is incontestable. Ulrici admits the bare possibility of its 
being a very youthful work of Shakspere's. The great merit, on 
the contrary, of the best scenes of this play consists in their perfect 
finish. There is nothing careless about them ; nothing that betrays 
the very young adventurer ; the writer is a master of his art to the 
extent of his power. But that is not Shakspere's power. 

Fuller, in his ' Worthies,' thus records the merits of Peter Fabel, 
the hero of this play : " I shall probably offend the gravity of some 
to insert, and certainly curiosity of others to omit, him. Some make 
him a friar, others a lay gentleman, all a conceited person, who, 
with his merry devices, deceived the Devil, who by grace may be 
resisted, not deceived by wit. If a grave bishop in his sermon, 
speaking of Brute's coming into this land, said it was but a bruit, I 
hope I may say without offence that this Fabel was but Bifable, sup- 
posed to live in the reign of King Henry the Sixth." His fame is 
more confidingly recorded in the Prologue to ' The Merry Devil : ' — 



* ' Specimens of English Dramatic Poets.' 
t Collier's ' Annals of the Stage,' vol. iii. p. 417. 



THE MERRY DEVIL OF EDMONTON. 443 

" "T is Peter Fabel, a renowned scholar, 
Whose fame hath still been hitherto forgot 
By all the writers of this latter age. 
In Middlesex his birth and his abode, 
Not full seven miles from this great famous city ; 
That, for his fame in sleights and magic won. 
Was call'd the Merry Fiend of Edmonton. 
If any here make doubt of such a name, 
In Edmonton, yet fresh unto this day, 
Fix'd in the wall of that old ancient church, 
His monument remaineth to be seen : 
His memory yet in the mouths of men, 
That whilst he liv'd he could deceive the devil." 

The Prologue goes on to suppose him at Cambridge at the 
hour when the term of his compact with the fiend is run out. We 
are not here to look for the terrible solemnity of the similar scene 
in Marlowe's ' Faustus ;' but, nevertheless, that before us is written 
with great poetical power. Coreb, the spirit, thus addresses the 
magician : — 

" Cord). Why, scholar, this is the hour my date expires; 
I must depart, and come to claim my due. 

Fabel. Hah! what is thy due? 

Coreb. Fabel, thyself. 

Fabel. O let not darkness hear thee speak that word, 
Lest that with force it hurry hence amain. 
And leave the world to look upon my woe : 
Yet overwhelm me with this globe of earth. 
And let a little sparrow with her bill 
Take but so much as she can bear away, 
That, every day thus losing of my load, 
I may again, in time, yet hope to rise." 

While the fiend sits down in the necromantic chair Fabel thus 
soliloquises : — 

" Fabel. O that this soul, that cost so dear a price 
As the dear precious blood of her Redeemer, 
Inspired with knowledge, should by that alone. 
Which makes a man so mean unto the powers, 
Ev'n lead him down into the depth of hell ; 
When men in their own praise strive to know more 
Than man should know ! 
For this alone God cast the angels down. 
The infinity of arts is like a sea, 
Into which when man will take in hand to sail 
Farther than reason (which should be his pilot) 
Hath skill to guide him, losing once liis compass. 
He falleth to such deep and dangerous whirlpools, 
,\s he doth lose the very sight of heaven : 



444 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

The more he strives to come to quiet harbour, 
The farther still he finds himself from land. 
Man, striving still to find the depth of evil. 
Seeking to be a God, becomes a devil." 

But the magician has tricked the fiend ; the chair holds him fast, and 
the condition of release is a respite for seven years. The super- 
natural part of the play may be said here to end; for although 
throughout the latter scenes there are some odd mistakes produced 
by the devices of Fabel, they are such as might have been accom- 
plished by human agency, and in fact appear to have been so ac- 
complished. Tieck observes, " It is quite in Shakspere's manner 
that the magical part becomes nearly superfluous." This, as it ap- 
pears to us, is not in Shakspere's manner. In ' Hamlet,' in ' Mac- 
beth,' in ' The Midsummer Night's Dream,' in ' The Tempest,' the 
magical or supernatural part is so intimately allied with the whole 
action that it impels the entire movement of the piece. Shakspere 
knew too well the soundness of the Horatian maxim, — 

" Nee Deus intersit nisi dignus vindice nodus," — 

to produce a ghost, a witch, or a fairy, without necessity. How- 
ever, the magical part here finishes ; and we are introduced to the 
society of no equivocal mortal, the host of the George at Waltham. 
Sir Arthur Clare, his wife Dorcas, his daughter Millisent, and his 
son Harry, arrive at the inn, where the host says, " Knights and 
lords have been drunk in my house, I thank the destinies." This 
company have arrived at the George to meet Sir Richard Moun- 
chensey, and his son Raymond, to whom Millisent is betrothed ; 
but old Clare informs his wife that he is resolved to break off the 
match, to send his daughter for a year to a nunnery, and then to 
bestow her upon the son of Sir Ralph Jerningham. Old Moun- 
chensey, it seems, has fallen upon evil days : — 

" Clare. For look you, wife, the riotous old knight 
Hath overrun his annual revenue. 
In keeping jolly Christmas all the year : 
The nostrils of his chimneys are still 8tuff"d 
With smoke more chargeable than cane-tobacco ; 
His hawks devour his fattest dogs, whilst simple. 
His leanest curs eat his hounds' carrion. 
Besides, I heard of late his younger brother, 
A Turkey-merchant, hath sure suck'd the knight, 
By means of some great losses on the sea; 
That (you conceive me) before God, all 's nought, 
His seat is weak ; thus, each thing rightly scann'd, 
You '11 see a flight, wife, shortly of his land." 



THE MERRY DEVIL OF EDMONTON. 



445 



Fabel, the kind magician, who has been the tutor to Raymond, 
arrives at the same time with the Mounchensey party. " He knows 
the plots against his young friend, and he is determined to circum- 
vent them : — 

" Raymond Mounchensey, boy, have thou and I 
Thus long at Cambridge read the liberal arts, 
The metaphysics, magic, and those parts 
Of the most secret deep philosophy ? 
Have I so many melancholy nights 
Watch'd on the top of Peter-house highest tower, 
And come we back unto our native home. 
For want of skill to loose the wench thou lov'st ? 
We "11 first hang Envil* in such rings of mist 
As never rose from any dampish fen ; 
I '11 make the brined sea to rise at Ware, 
And drown the marshes unto Stratford-bridge : 
I '11 drive the deer from Waltham in their walks, 
And scatter them, like sheep, in every field. 
We may perhaps be cross'd ; but if we be, 
He shall cross the devil that but crosses me." 

Harry Clare, Frank Jerningham, and Raymond Mounchensey are 
strict friends ; and there is something exceedingly delightful in the 
manner in which Raymond throws away all suspicion, and the others 
resolve to stand by their friend, whatever be the intrigues of their 
parents : — 

" Jem. Raymond Mounchensey, now I touch thy grief 
Witli the true feeling of a zealous friend. 
And as for fair and beauteous Millisent, 
With my vain breath I will not seek to slubber 
Her angel-like perfections : but thou know'st 
That Essex hath the saint that I adore : 
Where'er didst meet me, that we two were jovial, 
But like a wag thou hast not laugh'd at me, 
And with regardless jesting mock'd my love? 
How many a sad and weary summer's night 
My sighs have drunk the dew from off the earth. 
And I have taught the nightingale to wake. 
And from the meadows sprung the early lark 
An hour before she should have list to sing : 
I have loaded the poor minutes with my moans, 
That I have made the heavy slow-pac'd hours 
To hang like heavy clogs upon the day. 
But, dear Mounchensey, had not my affection 
Seiz'd on the beauty of another dame. 
Before I 'd wrong the chase, and leave the love 
Of one so worthy, and so true a friend, 



* Envil— Enfield. 



446 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

I will abjure both beauty and her sight, 
And will in love become a counterfeit. 

Moun. Dear Jerningham, thou hast begot my life, 
And from the mouth of hell, where now I sate, 
I feel my spirit rebound against the stars ; 
Thou hast conquer'd me, dear friend, in my free soul. 
There time, nor death, can by their power control. 

Fabel. Frank Jerningham, thou art a gallant boy ; 
And were he not my pupil, I would say, 
He were as fine a metall'd gentleman. 
Of as free spirit, and of as fine a temper. 
As is in England ; and he is a man 
That very richly may deserve thy love. 
But, noble Clare, this while of our discourse, 
What may Mounchensey's honour to thyself 
Exact upon the measure of thy grace? 

Young Clare. Raymond Mouiichensey, I would have thee know. 
He does not breathe this air, whose love I cherish. 
And whose soul I love, more than Mounchensey's : 
Nor ever in my life did see the man 
Whom, for his wit and many virtuous parts, 
I think more worthy of my sister's love. 
But since the matter grows unto this pass, 
I miLst not seem to cross my father "s will ; 
But when thou list to visit her by night. 
My horse is saddled, and the stable door 
Stands ready for thee ; use them at thy pleasure. 
In honest marriage wed her frankly, boy, 
And if thou gett'st her, lad, God give thee joy. 

Moun. Then, care away ! let fate my fall pretend, 
Back'd with the favours of so true a friend." 

Charles Lamb, who gives the whole of this scene in his * Specimens,' 
speaks of it rapturously : — " This scene has much of Shakspeare's 
manner in the sweetness and goodnaturedness of it. It seems writ- 
ten to make the reader happy. Few of our dramatists or novelists 
have attended enough to this. They torture and wound us abun- 
dantly. They are economists only in delight. Nothing can be 
finer, more gentlemanlike, and noble, than the conversation and 
compliments of these young men. How delicious is Raymond 
Mounchensey's forgetting, in his fears, that Jerningham has a ' saint 
in Essex ;' and how sweetly his friend reminds him ! " 

The ancient plotters, Clare and Jerningham, are drawn as very 
politic but not overwise fathers. There is, however, very little that 
is harsh or revolting in their natures. They put out their feelers 
of worldly cunning timidly, and they draw them in with consider- 
able apprehension when they see danger and difficulty before them. 
All this is in harmony with the thorough good humour of the whole 
drama. The only person who is angry is Old Mounchensey : — 



THE MERRY DEVIL OF EDMONTON. 447 

" Clare. I do not hold thy offer competent ; 
Nor do I like the assurance of thy land, 
The title is so brangled with thy debts. 

Old Moun. Too good for thee : and, knight, thou know'st it well, 
I fawn'd not on thee for thy goods, not I, 
'T was thine own motion ; that thy wife doth know. 

Lady Clare. Husband, it was so ; he lies not in that. 

Clare. Hold thy chat, quean. 

Old Moun. To which I lieaiken'd willingly, and the rather. 
Because I was persuaded it proceeded 
From love thou bor'st to me and to my boy; 
And gav'st him free access unto thy house. 
Where he hath not behav'd him to thy child 
But as befits a gentleman to do : 
Nor is my poor distressed state so low 
That I '11 shut up my doors, I warrant thee. 

Clare. Let it suflSce, Mounchensey, I mislike it; 
Nor think thy son a match fit for my child. 

Old Moun. I tell thee^ Clare, his blood is good and clear 
As the best drop that panteth in thy veins : 
But for this maid, thy fair and virtuous child, 
She is no more disparag'd by thy baseness, 
Than the most orient and the precious jewel, 
Which still retains his lustre and his beauty, 
Although a slave were owner of the same." 

For his " frantic and untamed passion " Fabel reproves him. The 
comic scenes which now occur are exceedingly lively. If the wit 
is not of the highest order, there is real fun and very little coarse- 
ness. We are thrown into the midst of a jolly set, stealers of veni- 
son in Enfield Chase, of whom the leader is Sir John, the priest of 
Enfield. His humour consists of applying a somewhat pious sen- 
tence upon every occasion — " Hem, grass and hay — we are all 
mortal — let 's live till we die, and be merry, and there 's an end." 
Mine host of the George is an associate of this goodly fraternity. 
The comedy is not overloaded, and is very judiciously brought in 
to the relief of the main action. We have next the introduction of 
Millisent to the Prioress of Cheston (Cheshunt) : — 

" Lady Clare. Madam, 
The love unto this holy sisterhood. 
And our confirm'd opinion of your zeal. 
Hath truly won us to bestow our child 
Rather on this than any neighbouring cell. 

Prioress. Jesus' daughter! Mary's child ! 
Holy matron! woman mild! 

For thee a mass shall still be said, ' 

Every sister drop a bead ; 
And those again succeeding them 
For you shall sing a requiem. 



448 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPKRK. 

,SiV Arthur. Madam, for a twelvemonth's approbation, 
We mean to make this trial of our child. 
Your care, and our dear blessing, in mean time, 
We pray may prosj)er this intended work. 

Prioress. May your happy soul be blithe. 
That 80 truly pay your tithe : 
He that many children gave, 
'T is fit that he one child should have. 
Then, fair virgin, hear my spell, 
For I must your duty tell. 

Millisent. Good men and true, stand togetlier, 
And hear your charge. 

Prioress. First, a mornings take your book, 
The glass wherein yourself must look ; 
Your young thoughts, so proud and jolly, 
Must be turn'd to motions holy ; 
For your busk attires, and toys, 
Have your thoughts on heavenly joys : 
And for all your follies past. 
You must do penance, p'ray, and fast. 
You must read the morning mass. 
You must creep unto the cross, 
Put cold ashes on your head. 
Have a hair-cloth for your bed. 
Bind your beads, and tell your needs, 
Your holy aves, and your creeds : 
Holy maid, this must be done. 
If you mean to live a nun." 

The sweetness of some of these lines argues the practised poet. 
Indeed the whole play is remarkable for its elegance rather than its 
force ; and it appears to us exactly such a performance as was with- 
in the range of Drayton's powers. The device of Fabel proceeds, 
in the appearance of Raymond Mounchensey disguised as a friar. 
Sir Arthur Clare has disclosed to him all his projects. The " holy 
young novice " proceeds to the priory as a visitor sent from 
Waltham House to ascertain whether Millisent is about to take 
the veil " from conscience and devotion." The device succeeds, 
and the lovers are left together : — 

" Moun. Life of my suul ! bright angel ! 
' Millisent. What means the friar? 

Moun. O Millisent! 't is I. 

Millisent. My heart misgives me ; I should know that voice. 
You? who are you? the holy Virgin bless me! 
Tell me your name ; you shall ere you confess me. 

Moun. Mounchensey, thy true friend. 

Millisent. My Raymond! my dear heart! 
Sweet life, give leave to my distracted soul 
To wake a little Irom this swoon of joy. 
By what means cam'st thou to assume this shaj)e ? 



THE MERRY DEVIL OF EDMONTON. 449 

Moun. By means of Peter Fabel, my kind tutor, 
Who, in the habit of friar Hildersham, 
Frank Jerningham's old friend and confessor, 
Plotted by Frank, by Fabel, and myself, 
And so deliver'd to Sir Arthur Clare, 
Who brought me here unto the abbey-gate, 
To be his nun-made daughter's visitor. 

Millisent. You are all sweet traitors to my poor old father. 

my dear life, I was a dream'd to-night. 
That, as I was praying in my psalter. 
There came a spirit unto me, as I kneel'd. 
And by his strong persuasions tempted me 
To leave this nunnery : and methought 
He came in the most glorious angel shape 
That mortal eye did ever look upon. 

Ha ! thou art sure that spirit, for there 's no form 
Is in mine eye so glorious as thine own. 

Moun. O thou idolatress, that dost this worship 
To him whose likeness is but praise of thee ! 
Thou bright unsetting star, which, through this veil, 
For very envy mak'st the sun look pale. 

Millisent. Well, visitor, lest that perhaps my mother 
Should think the friar too strict in his decrees, 

1 this confess to my sweet ghostly father ; 
If chaste pure love be sin, I must confess, 
I have offended three years now with thee. 

Moun. But do you yet repent you of the same ? 

Millisent. V faith I cannot. 

Moun. Nor will I absolve thee 

Of that sweet sin, though it be venial : 
Yet have the penance of a thousand kisses ; 
And I enjoin you to tliis pilgrimage: — 
That in the evening you bestow yourself 
Here in the walk near to the willow-ground. 
Where I '11 be ready both with men and horse 
To wait your coming, and convey you hence 
Unto a lodge I have in Enfield Chase : 
No more reply if that you yield consent: 
I see more eyes upon our stay are bent. 

Millisent, Sweet life, farewell ! 't is done, let that suffice ; 
What my tongue fails, I send thee by mine eyes." 

The votaress is carried off by her brother and Jerningham ; but 
in the darkness of the night they lose their way, and encounter the 
deer-stealers and the keepers. A friendly forester, however, assists 
them, and they reach Enfield in safety. Not so fortunate are Sir 
Arthur and Sir Ralph, who are in pursuit of the unwilling nun. 
They are roughly treated by the keepers, and, after a night of toil, 
find a resting-place at Waltham. The priest and his companions 
are terrified by their encounters in the Chase : the lady in white, 
who has been hiding from them, is taken for a spirit ; and the sex- 

VoL. XII. 2 G 



450 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPRRK, 



ton has seen a vision in the church-porch. The morning however 
arrives, and we see " Sir Arthur Clare and Sir Ralph Jerningham 
trussing their points, as newly up." They had made good their 
retreat, as they fancied, to the inn of mine host of the George, but 
the merry devil of Edmonton had set the host and the smith to 
change the sign of the house with that of another inn ; and at the 
real George the lovers were being happily married by the venison- 
stealing priest, in the company of their faithful friends. Sir Arthur 
and Sir Ralph are of course very angry when the truth is made 
known ; but reconcilement and peace are soon accomplished : — 

" Fahel. To end this difference, know, at first 1 knew 
What you intended, ere your love took flight 
From old Mounchensey : you, Sir Arthur Clare, 
Were minded to have married this sweet beauty 
To young Frank Jerningham. To cross this match 
I U8"d some pretty sleights, but, I protest. 
Such as but sat upon the skirts of art ; 
No conjurations, nor such weighty spells 
As tie the soul to their performancy ; 
These, for his love who once was my dear pupil. 
Have I effected. Now, methinks, 't is strange 
Tliat you, being old in wisdom, should thus knit 
Your forehead on this match ; since reason fails. 
No law can curb the lover's rash attempt ; 
Years, in resisting this, are sadly spent : 
Smile then upon your daughter and kind son. 
And let our toil to future ages prove. 
The Devil of Edmonton did good in love. 

Sir Arthur. Well, 't is in vain to cross the providence: 
Dear son, I take thee up into my heart ; 
Rise, daughter, this is a kind father's part. 

Host. Why, Sir George, send for Spindle's noise presently ; 
Ha ! ere 't be night I '11 serve the good Duke of Norfolk. 

Sir John. Grass and h:iy, mine host ; let 's live till we die, 
and be merry, and there 's an end." 

We lament with Tieck that the continuation of the career of 
' The Merry Devil ' is possibly lost. We imagine that we should 
have seen him expiating his fault by doing as much good to his 
fellow- mortals as he could accomplish without the aid of necro- 
mancy. Old Weever, in his ' Funeral Monuments,' has no great 
faith in his art magic : " Here (at Edmonton) lieth interred under 
a seemelie Tome, without Inscription, the Body of Peter Fabell (as 
the report goes) upon whom this Fable was fathered, that he by his 
wittie devises beguiled the devill : belike he was some ingenious 
conceited gentleman, who did use some sleighty trickes for his owne 
disports. He lived and died in the raigne of Henry the Seventh, 
saith the booke of his merry pranks." 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 



This play was first printed in 1634, with the following title: — 
' The Two Nohle Kinsmen : presented at the Blackfriers by the 
King's Majesties servants, with great applause: written by the 
memorable Worthies of their Time, Mr. John Fletcher, and Mr. 
William Shakspeare, Gent. Printed at London, by Tho. Cotes, for 
John Watersone, and are to be sold at the signe of the Crowne, in 
Paul's Church-Yard, 1634.' In the first folio edition of the works 
of Beaumont and Fletcher, in 1647, this play did not appear. In 
the second folio it is reprinted, with very slight alterations from 
the quarto. That second folio contains the following notice : — " In 
this edition you have the addition of no fewer than seventeen plays 
more than were in the former, which we have taken the pains and 
care to collect, and print out of 4to. in this volume, which for dis- 
tinction sake are marked with a star in the catalogue of them 
facing the first page of the book." — (/-Ve/ace.) ' The Two Noble 
Kinsmen ' is so marked. 

In our ' Pictorial Edition ' we thought it the most satisfactory 
course to print this play entire. Since that publication, however, 
a new edition of the works of Beaumont and Fletcher is publishing, 
under the editorship of a competent antiquarian, who will give the 
lovers of the old drama a text to which we may safely refer our 
readers. 

The title-page of the original edition of ' The Two Noble Kins- 
men ' sets forth that it was " written by the memorable worthies of 
their time, Mr. John Fletcher and Mr. William Shakspeare." 
This was printed in 1634, nine years after the death of Fletcher, 
and eighteen years after the death of Shakspere. The play was not 
printed in the first collected edition of Beaumont and Fletcher's works, 
in 1647, for the reason assigned in the ' Stationers' Address.' " Some 
plays, you know, written by these authors were heretofore printed : 
I thought not convenient to mix them with this volume, which of 
itself is entirely new." The title-page of the quarto of 1634 is, 
therefore, the only direct external evidence we possess as to Shak- 

2 G 2 



452 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

spere's participation in this play ; and that evidence in itself would 
certainly not warrant us in reprinting it, for the first time, in a 
collection of Shakspere's works. Nor have we to offer any con- 
temporary notice of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' which refers to 
this question of the co-authorship. The very prologue and epilogue 
of the play itself are silent upon this point. They are, except in 
a passage or two, unimportant in themselves, have no poetical 
merit, and present some of those loose allusions which, as we ap- 
proach those days when principles of morality came into violent 
conflict, rendered the stage so justly obnoxious to the Puritans. 
The prologue, speaking of the play, says — 

" It has a noble breeder, and a pure, 
A learned, and a poet never went 
More famous yet twixt Po and silver Trent : 
Chaucer (of all admired) the story gives; 
There constant to eternity it lives! " 

And it then adds — 

" If we let fall the nobleness of this, 

And the first sound this child hear be a hiss, 

How will it shake the bones of that good man. 

And make him cry from under-ground, ' O, fan 

From me the witless chaff of such a vrriter 

That blasts my bays, and my fam'd works makes lighter 

Than Robin Hood?' "' 

The expression " such a writer " is almost evidence against the 
double authorship. It implies, too, that, if Fletcher were the 
author, the play was presented before his death ; for if the players 
had produced the drama after his death, they would have probably 
spoken of him (he being its sole author) in the terms of eulogy 
with which they accompanied the performance of ' The Loyal Sub- 
ject:'— 

" We need not, noble gentlemen, to invite 
Attention, pre-instruct you who did write 
This worthy story, being confident 
The mirth join'd with grave matter and intent 
To yield the hearers profit with delight, 
Will speak the maker : And to do him right 
Would ask a genius like to his; tlie age 
Mourning his loss, and our now-widow'd stage 
In vain lamenting." 

The inferences, therefore, to be deduced from the prologue to 



THK TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 453 

' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' (supposing Fletcher to be concerned in 
this drama), — that it was acted during his life-time, and that he 
either claimed the sole authorship, or suppressed all mention of the 
joint- authorship, — are to be weighed against the assertion of the title- 
page, that it was " written by the two memorable worthies of their 
time." We are thrown upon the examination of the internal evi- 
dence, then, without any material bias from the publication of the 
play, or its stage representation. But if the evidence of the title- 
page is not valid for the assignment of any portion of the play to 
Shakspere, neither is it valid as a proof of the co-operation of 
Fletcher in the work. The first editors of the collected edition of 
Beaumont and Fletcher do not print ' The Two Noble Kinsmen,' 
as well as seventeen other plays, because it had been printed be- 
fore in a separate shape. The publishers of the second edition, of 
1679, do print it, that the collection may be " perfect and com- 
plete," and contain " all, both tragedies and comedies, that were 
ever writ by our authors ;" and in this way they reprint ' The 
Coronation,' first published in 1640, with the name of Fletcher, 
although, in 1652, Shirley distinctly claimed it in a list of his 
works. If we reject, then, upon the external evidence, Shakspere's 
claim to a portion of the authorship of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen,' 
we must reject Fletcher's claim, as supported by the same evi- 
dence; and for a satisfactory solution of both questions we must 
rely upon the internal evidence. 

Before the first builders-up of that wondrous edifice, the English 
drama, lay the whole world of classical and romantic fable, " where 
to choose." One of the earliest, and consequently least skilful, of 
those workmen, Richard Edwards, went to the ancient stores for 
his ' Damon and Pythias,' and to Chaucer for his ' Palamon and 
Arcyte.' "We learn from Wood's MSS. that when Elizabeth visited 
Oxford, in 1566, " at night the Queen heard the first part of an 
English play, named ' Palsemon, or Palamon Arcyte,' made by 
Mr. Richard Edwards, a gentleman of her chapel, acted with very 
great applause in Christ Church Hall." An accident happened at 
the beginning of the play by the falling of a stage, through which 
three persons were killed — a scholar of St. Mary's Hall, and two 
who were probably more missed — a college brewer and a cook. 
The mirth, however, went on, and " afterwards the actors per- 
formed their parts so well, that the Queen laughed heartily thereat, 
and gave the author of the play great thanks for his pains." * It 

* Nicliols"s ' Progresses of Queen Elizaliotli,' vol. i. pp. 210, 211. 



454 PLAYS ASCUIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

is clear that the fable of Chaucer must have been treated in a dif- 
ferent manner by Edwards than we find it treated in ' The Two 
Noble Kinsmen.' We have another record of a play on a similar 
subject. In Henslowe's ' Diary ' we have an entry, under the date 
of September 1594, of ' Palamon and Arsett ' being acted four times. 
It is impossible to imagine that ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' is the 
same play. Here then was a subject adapted to a writer who 
worked in the spirit in which Shakspere almost uniformly worked. 
It was familiar to the people in their popular poetry ; it was familiar 
to the stage. To arrive at a right judgment regarding the author- 
ship of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen,' we must examine the play line 
by line in its relation to ' The Knight's Tale ' of Chaucer. The 
examination cannot be ill bestowed if it bring any of our readers 
into more direct acquaintance with the great master of English 
verse, whose poem of ' Palamon and Arcite,' although it was ac- 
knowledged by its author to be " knowen lite " in his own days, 
when abridged into his ' Knight's Tale ' furnished to Dryden in his 
translation (he himself calls his poem a translation) a subject for 
" the most animated and most harmonious piece of versification in 
the English language;" * and in a revived taste for our old poetry 
will itself always be admired for its force, its simplicity, its ma- 
jesty, and its just proportion. 

' The Knight's Tale' of Chaucer opens with the return to Athens 
of the " duke that highte Theseus " after he had 

" conquer'd all the regne of Feminie, 
That whilom was ycleped Scythia, 
And wedded the freshe queen Hypolita, 
And brought her home with him to his countrey 
With muchel glory and great solempnitie, 
And eke her younge sister Emelie." 

' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' opens with Theseus at Athens, in the 
company of Hippolyta and her sister, proceeding to the celebration 
of his marriage with the " dreaded Amazonian." Their bridal 
procession is interrupted by the 

" three queens whose sovereigns fell before 
The wrath of cruel Creon." 

In Chaucer the suppliants are a more numerous company. As 
Theseus was approacliing Athens 

" He was 'ware, as he cast his eye aside, 
Where that there kneeled in the highc way_ 
A company of ladies tway antl tway, 

* War ton. 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 455 

Elach after other, clad in clothes black ; 
But such a cry and such a woe they make, 
That in this world n'is creature living 
That ever heard such another waimenting." 

Briefly they tell their tale of woe, and as rapidly does the chival- 
rous duke resolve to avenge their wrongs : — 

** And right anon, withouten more abode. 
His banner he display 'd, and forth he rode 
To Thebes ward, and all his host beside." 

The Queen and her sister remained at Athens. Out of this rapid 
narration, which occupies little more than a hundred lines in 
Chaucer, has the first scene of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' been 
constructed. Assuredly, the reader who opens that scene for the 
first time will feel that he has lighted upon a work of no ordinary 
power. The mere interruption of the bridal procession by the 
widowed queens — the contrast of their black garments and their 
stained veils with the white robes and wheaten chaplets and hy- 
meneal songs with which the play opens — is a noble dramatic con- 
ception ; but the poet, whoever he be, possesses that command of 
appropriate language which realizes all that the imagination can 
paint of a dramatic situation and movement ; there is nothing 
shadowy or indistinct, no vague explanations, no trivial epithets. 
When the First Queen says — 

" Oh, pity, duke ! 
Thou jntrger of the earth, draw thy fear'd sword 
That does good turns to the world ; give us the bones 
Of our dead kings, that we may chapel them ! " 

we know that the thoughts which belong to her condition are em- 
bodied in words of no common significancy. When the Second 
Queen, addressing Hippolyta, " the soldieress," says, — 

" Speak 't in a tcomatt's key, like such a woman 
As any of us three ; weep ere you fail ; 
Lend us a knee ; 

But touch the ground for us no longer time 
Than a dove's motion, when the head 's pluck'd off! '' — 

we feel that the poet not only wields his harmonious language with 
the decision of a practised artist, but exhibits the nicer touches 
which attest his knowledge of natural feelings, and employs images 
which, however strange and unfamiliar, are so true that we wonder 
they never occurred to us before, but at the same time so original 
that they appear to defy copying or imitation. The whole scene is 



456 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

full of the same remarkable word-painting. There is another 
quality which it exhibits, which is also peculiar to the highest order 
of minds — the ability to set us thinking — to excite that just and 
appropriate reflection which might arise of itself out of the exhi- 
bition of deep passions and painful struggles and resolute self- 
denials, but which the true poet breathes into us without an effort, 
so as to give the key to our thoughts, but utterly avoiding those 
sententious moralizings which are sometimes deemed to be the 
province of tragedy. When the Queens commend the surrender 
which Theseus makes of his affections to a sense of duty, the poet 
gives us the philosophy of such heroism in a dozen words spoken 
by Theseus : — 

" As we are men, 

Thus should we do ; being sensually subdued. 
We lose our humane title,^' 

The first appearance, in Chaucer, of Palamon and Arcite is when 
they lie wounded on the battle-field of Thebes. In ' The Two 
Noble Kinsmen ' the necessary conduct of the story, as a drama, 
requires that the principal personages should be exhibited to us be- 
fore they become absorbed in the main action. It is on such occa- 
sions as these that a dramatist of the highest order makes his charac- 
ters reveal themselves, naturally and without an eflbrt ; and yet so 
distinctly that their individual identity is impressed upon the mind, 
so as to combine with the subsequent movement of the plot. The 
second scene of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' appears to us some- 
what deficient in this power. It is written with great energy; but 
the two friends are energetic alike : we do not precisely see which 
is the more excitable, the more daring, the more resolved, the more 
generous. We could change the names of the speakers without 
any material injury to the propriety of what they speak. Take, as 
an opposite example, Hermia and Helena, in ' A Midsummer Night's 
Dream,' where the differences of character scarcely required to be 
so nicely defined. And yet in description the author of ' The Two 
Noble Kinsmen ' makes Palamon and Arcite essentially different • — 

" Arcite is gently visag'd : yet his eye 
Is like an engine bent, or a sharp wea|)on 
In a soft sheath ; mercy, and manly courage, 
Are bedfellows in his visage. Palamon 
Has a most menacing aspect; his brow 
Is grav'd, and seems to bury what it frowns on ; 
Yet sometimes 't is not so, but alters to 
The quality of his thoughts ; long time his eye 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 457 

Will dwell upon his object; melancholy 
Becomes liim nobly ; so does Arcite's mirth ; 
But Palamon's sadness is a kind of mirth, 
So mingled, as if mirth did make him sad, 
And sadness, merry ; those darker humours that 
Stick misbecomingly on others, on him 
Live in fair dwelling," 

This is noble writing ; and it is quite sufficient to enable the stage 
representation of the two characters to be well defined. Omit it, 
and omit the recollections of it in the reading, and we doubt greatly 
whether the characters themselves realize this description : they are 
not self-evolved and manifested. The third scene, also, is a dra- 
matic addition to the tale of Chaucer. It keeps the interest con- 
centrated upon Hippolyta, and especially Emilia ; it is not essential 
to the action, but it is a graceful addition to it. It has the merit, 
too, of developing the character of Emilia, and so to reconcile us to 
the apparent coldness with which she is subsequently content to 
receive the triumphant rival, whichever he be, as her husband. 
The Queen and her sister talk of the friendship of Theseus and 
Perithous. Emilia tells the story of her own friendship, to prove 

" That the true love 'tween maid and maid may be 
More than in sex dividual." 

This, in some sort, modifies the subsequent position of Emilia, 
" bride-habited, but maiden -hearted." Her description of her 
early friendship has been compared to the celebrated passage in 
' A Midsummer Night's Dream :' — 

" Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd," &c. 

Seward, the editor of Beaumont and Fletcher, makes this com- 
parison, and prefers the description in ' The Two Noble Kinsmen.' 
Weber assents to this preference. We have no hesitation in 
believing the passage in the play before us to be an imitation of the 
passage in ' A Midsummer Night's Dream,' and therefore inferior 
in quality ; we do not think that Shakspere would thus have 
repeated himself. 

In Chaucer, Theseus makes swift work with Creon and with 
Thebes : — 

" With Creon, which that was of Thebes king, 
He fought, and slew him manly as a knight 
In plain bataille, and put his folk to flight ; 
And by assault he won ijje city after. 
And rent adown both wall, and sjxir, and rafter; 



4j8 plays ascribed to shakspere. 

And tu the ladies be restor'd again 

The bodies of their husbands that were slain, 

To do th' obsequies, aa was then the guise." 

It is in the battle-field that Palaraon and Arcite are discovered 
wounded : — 

" Not fully quick ne fully dead they were. 
But by their cote-armure and by their gear 
The heralds knew them well in special." 

The incident is literally followed in the play, where the herald says, 
in answer to the question of Theseus, " They are not dead ?" — 

" Nor in a state of life : Had they been taken 
When their last hurts were given, 't was possible 
They might have been recover'd ; yet they breathe. 
And have the name of men." 

In Chaucer, Theseus is to the heroic friends a merciless con- 
queror : — 

" He full soon them sent 

To Athenes, for to dwellen in prison 

Perpetual, he n"olde no ranson." 

But in ' The Two Noble Kinsmen' he would appear to exhibit 
himself as a generous foe, who, having accomplished the purposes 
of his expedition, has no enmity with the honest defenders of their 
country : — 

" The very lees of such, millions of rates 
Exceed the wine of others ; all our surgeons 
Convent in their behoof; our richest balms. 
Rather than niggard, waste ! their lives concern us 
Much more than Thebes is worth." 

The fifth scene of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' is a scenic expan- 
sion of a short passage in Chaucer : — 

" But it were all too long for to devise 
The greate clamour and the waimenting, 
Which that the ladies made at the breuning 
Of the bodies." 

The epigrammatic ending of the scene is perhaps familiar to many . — 

" This world 's a city full of straying streets ; 

And death 's the market-place, where each one meets." 

Pursuing the plan with which we set out, of following the course 
of Chaucer's story — and our reasons for adopting this plan we shall 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 450 

hereafter have to explain — we pass over all those scenes and parts 
of scenes which may be called the underplot. Such in the second 
act is the beginning of Scene I. In Chaucer we learn that — 

" In a t)w'r, in anguish and in woe, 
Dwellen this Palamon and eke Arcite 
For evermore, there may no gold them quite." 

The old romantic poet reserves his dialogue for the real business of 
the story, when the two friends, each seeing Emilia from the prison- 
window, become upon the instant defying rivals for her love. This 
incident is not managed with more preparation by the dramatist ; 
but the prelude to it exhibits the two young men consoling each 
other under their adverse fortune, and making resolutions of eternal 
friendship. It is in an attentive perusal of this dialogue that we 
begin to discover that portions even of the great incidents of the 
drama have been written by different persons ; or that, if written 
by one and the same person, they have been composed upon dif- 
ferent principles of art. We have had occasion previously to men- 
tion a little work of great ability, printed in 1833, entitled ' A 
Letter on Shakspeare's Authorship of The Two Noble Kinsmen.' 
The writer of that letter is now commonly understood to be the 
accomplished professor of rhetoric in the University of Edinburgh, 
William Spalding, Esq. ; and although we have reason to believe 
that his opinions on this particular question have undergone some 
change or modification, it would be unjust, not only to the author, 
but to our readers, not to notice with more than common respect 
the opinions of a writer who, although then a very young man, dis- 
played a power of analysis and discrimination which marked him as 
belonging to a high school of criticism. Mr. Spalding assumes that 
a considerable portion of this drama was unquestionably the pro- 
duction of Shakspere ; that the underplot was entirely by a different 
hand ; but that the same hand, which was that of Fletcher, was also 
engaged in producing some of the higher scenes of the main action. 
The whole of the first act, according to the traditional opinion, he 
holds to have been written by Shakspere. The dialogue before us 
in the first scene of the second act, and the subsequent contest for 
the love of Emilia, he assigns to Fletcher. We quote his words 
with reference to the first part of this scene : — " The dialogue is in 
many respects admirable. It possesses much eloquence of descrip- 
tion, and the character of the language is smooth and flowing ; the 
versification is good and accurate, frequent in double endings, and 



460 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

usually finishing the sense with the line ; and one or two allusions 
occur, which, being favourites of Fletcher's, may be in themselves 
a strong presumption of his authorship ; the images too have in 
some instances a want of distinctness in application, or a vagueness 
of outline, which could be easily paralleled from Fletcher's acknow- 
ledged writings. The style is fuller of allusions than his usually If, 
but the images are more correct and better kept from confusion 
than Shakspeare's ; some of them indeed are exquisite, but rather 
in the romantic and exclusively poetical tone of Fletcher than in 
the natural and universal mode of feeling which animates Shak- 
speare. The dialogue too proceeds less energetically than Shak- 
speare's, falling occasionally into a style of long-drawn disquisition 
which Fletcher often substitutes for the quick and dramatic conver- 
sations of the great poet. On the whole, however, this scene, if it 
be Fletcher's (of which I have no doubt), is among the very finest 
he ever wrote ; and there are many passages in which, while he 
preserves his own distinctive marks, he has gathered no small 
portion of the flame and inspiration of his immortal friend and 
assistant." He adds — " In this scene there is one train of meta- 
phors which is perhaps as characteristic of Fletcher as anything that 
could be produced. It is marked by a slowness of association which 
he often shows. Several allusions are successively introduced ; but 
by each, as it appears, we are prepared for, and can anticipate, the 
next : we see the connection of ideas in the poet's mind through 
which the one has sprung out of the other, and that all are but 
branches, of which one original thought is the root. All this is the 
work of a less fertile fancy and a more tardy understanding than 
Shakspeare's : he would have leaped over many of the intervening 
steps, and, reaching at once the most remote particular of the series, 
would have immediately turned away to weave some new chain of 
thought." We shall presently advert to the differences of style 
thus clearly pointed out. 

We are now arrived at a part of the tale where the poetry of 
Chaucer assumes the dramatic form. The description of Emilia 
walking in the garden, the first sight of her by Palamon, and his 
imaginative love, the subsequent prostration of his heart before the 
same vision by Arcite, — are all told with wonderful spirit by the 
old poet. The entire passage is too long for extract, but we give 
some lines which will show that the energy of Chaucer imposed no 
common task of rivalry upon him who undertook to dramatize this 
scene of passion : — 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 461 

" This Palamon *gan knit his brow 6s tway. 
' It were,' quod he, * to thee no great honour 
For to be false, ne for to be traytour 
To me, that am thy cousin and thy brother 
Ysworn full deep, and each of us to other, 
That never for to dien in the pain, 
Till that the death departen shall us twain. 
Neither of us in love to hinder other, 
Ne in none other case, my leve brother ; 
But that thou shouldest truly further me 
In every case as I should further thee. 
This was thine oath, and mine also, certain ; 
I wot it well, thou dar'st it not withsain : 
Thus art thou of my counsel out of doubt, ; 

And now thou wouldest falsely been about 
To love my lady, whom I love and serve. 
And ever shall till that mine hearte starve. 

" ' Now certes, false Arcife, thou shalt not so : 
I lov'd her first, and tolde tliee my woe 
As to my counsel, and my brother sworn 
To further me as I have told befom, 
For which thou art ybounden as a knight 
To helpen me, if it lie in thy might, 
Or elles art thou false I dare well say'n.' 
This Arcita full proudly spake again. 

" ' Thou shalt,' quod he, ' be rather false than I, 
And thou art false, I tell thee utterly ; 
For par amour I lov'd her first ere thou.' " 

It is a remarkable circumstance that one of the conditions of the 
friendship of the young men — the chivalric bond, 

" Neither of us in love to hinder other," — 

so capable of dramatic expansion, has been passed over by the writer 
of this scene in * The Two Noble Kinsmen.' The story is followed 
in Arcite being freed ; but in Chaucer he returns to Thebes, and 
after a long absence comes to the court of Theseus in disguise. 
The unity of time is preserved in the drama, by making him a 
victor in athletic sports, and thus introduced to the favour of 
Theseus and the service of Emilia. In Chaucer, Palamon, after 
seven years' durance, 

" By helping of a friend brake his prison." 

The gaoler's daughter is a parasitical growth around the old 
vigorous tree. 

Palamon is fled to the woods. Arcite has ridden to the fields to 
make his May- garland; and his unhappy friend, fearful of pursuit, 
hears him, unknown, sing — 



^62 PLAY'S ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPKRE. 

" Maye, with all thy fluwr^saiiil thy green, 
Right welcome be thou fair6 freshe May, 
I hope that I some green here getten may." 

The old poet continues, with his inimitable humour : — 

" When that Arcite had roamed all his fill. 
And sungen all the roundel lustily. 
Into a study he fell suddenly, 
As do these lovers in their quaint^ gears. 
Now in the crop, and now down in the breres, 
Now up, now down, as bucket in a well." 

The lover gives utterance to his lamentations ; his rival hears him, 
and starts out of the bushes with, " False Arcite, false traitor !" 
Arcite proposes that they should determine their contention by 
mortal combat on the following day : — 

" Here I will be founden as a knight. 
And bringen harness right enough for thee. 
And choose the best, and leave the worst for me : 
And meat and drink6 this night will 1 bring." 

The corresponding scene in ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' is finely 
written. There is a quiet strength about it which exhibits very 
high art. The structure of the verse, too, is somewhat different 
from that of the prison scene between the friends. But still we 
have no difficulty in believing that it might be written by the 
author of that previous scene. The third scene, where Arcite 
comes to Palamon " with meat, wine, and files," is merely the 
carrying out of the action promised in the previous interview. It 
is unnecessary for the dramatic movement. We quite agree with 
Mr. Spalding in his estimate of this scene — that it is not very 
characteristic of either Shakspere or Fletcher, but that it " leans 
towards Fletcher; and one argument for him might be drawn from 
an interchange of sarcasms between the kinsmen, in which they 
retort on each other former amorous adventures : such a dialogue 
is quite like Fletcher's men of gaiety." The combat itself takes 
place in the sixth scene. The passage in Chaucer upon which this 
scene is founded possesses all his characteristic energy. The hard 
outline which it presents is in some degree a natural consequence 
of its force and clearness : — 

" And in the grove, at time and place yset, 
This Arcite and this Palamon been met. 
Tho chaiigeu 'gan the colour in their face; 
Right as the liuiifer in the legne of Tlmice 
That standeth at a gapp^ with a spear. 
When hunted is the lion or the bear, 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 463 

And beareth him come rushing in the greves, 
And breaking bofh the boughes and the leaves, 
And think'th, ' Here com'th my mortal enemy, 
Withouten fail he must be dead or I ; 
For either I must slay him at the gap. 
Or he must slay me, if that me mishap.' 
So faredeii they in changing of their hue, 
As far as either of them other knew. 
There n'as no good day, ne no saining, 
But straight withouten wordes rehearsing, 
Everich of them help to armen otlier 
As friendly as he were his oweu brother ; 
And after that with sharpe speares strong 
They foinden each at other wonder long." 

It is upon the " everich of them help to armen otlier " that the 
dramatist has founded the interchange of courtesies between the two 
kinsmen. The conception and execution of this scene are certainly 
very graceful ; but the grace is carried somewhat too far to be 
natural. The dramatic situation is finely imagined ; but in the 
hands of a writer of the highest power it might, we think, have been 
carried beyond the point of elegance, or even of beauty ; it might 
have been rendered deeply pathetic, upon the principle that at the 
moment of mortal conflict the deep-seated affection of the two young 
men would have grappled with the chimerical passion which each 
had taken to his heart, and would have displayed itself in something 
more eminently tragic than the constrained courtesy of the scene 
before us. It is this power of dealing with high passions which 
appears to us to be most wanting in the scenes where passion is re- 
quired. It is answered, that those scenes are written by Fletcher, 
and not by Shakspere. Of this presently. The interruption to the 
combat by Theseus and his train ; the condemnation of the rivals by 
the duke; the intercession of Hippolyta and Emilia; and the final 
determination that the knights should depart, and within a month 
return accompanied by other knights to contend in bodily strength 
for the fair prize — these incidents are founded pretty closely upon 
Chaucer, with the exception that the elder poet does not make The- 
seus decree that the vanquished shall die upon the block. The scene 
has no marked deviation in style from that which precedes it. 

The supposed interval of time during the absence of the knights 
is filled up by Chaucer with some of the finest descriptions which 
can be found amongst the numberless vivid pictures which his writ- 
ings exhibit. In ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' the whole of the 
fourth act is occupied with the progress of the underplot; with the 
exception of the second scene, which commences with the long and 



464 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERK. 

not very dramatic soliloquy of Emilia upon the pictures of her two 
lovers, and is followed by an equally undramatic description by a 
messenger of the arrival of the princes and of the qualities of their 
companions. This description is founded upon Chaucer. We pass 
on to the fifth act. 

Chaucer has wonderfully described the temples of Venus, of 
Mars, and of Diana. The dramatist has followed him in making 
Arcite address himself to Mars, Palamon to Venus, and Emilia to 
Diana. Parts of these scenes are without all doubt the finest pas- 
sages of the play, surpassed by very few things indeed within their 
own poetical range. The addresses of Arcite to Mars, and of 
Emilia to Diana, possess a condensation of thought, a strength of 
imagery, and a majesty of language, almost unequalled by the very 
highest masters of the art ; but they as properly belong to the epic 
as to the dramatic division of poetry. The invocation of Palamon 
to Venus, although less sustained and less pleasing, is to our minds 
more dramatic : it belongs more to romantic poetry. The nobler 
invocations are cast in a classical mould. The combat scene is not 
presented on the stage. The absence of it is certainly managed 
with very great skill. Emilia refuses to be present ; she is alone ; 
the tumult is around her ; rumour upon rumour is brought to her ; 
she attempts to analyse her own feelings ; and we must say that she 
appears to be thinking more of herself than is consistent with a very 
high conception of female excellence. Arcite is eventually the 
victor. Palamon and his friends appear on the scaffold, prepared 
for death. Then comes the catastrophe of Arcite's sudden calamity 
in the hour of triumph ; and this again is description. The death 
of Arcite is told by Chaucer with great pathos ; and the address of 
the dying man to Emilia is marked by a truth and simplicity in- 
finitely touching : — 

*' What is this world ? what asken men to have? 
Now with his love, now in his colde grave — 
Alone — withouten any company. 
Farewell, my sweet, — Farewell, mine Emily! 
And 8oft6 take me in your armes tway 
For love of God, and hearkeneth what I say. 

I have here with my cousin Palamon 
Had strife and rancour many a day agone 
For love of you, and for my jealousy ; 
And Jupiter to wis my soul^ gie, 
To speaken of a servant properly, 
With alle circumstances truely, 
That is to say, truth, honour, and knighthead. 
Wisdom, humbless, estate, and high kindred, 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 465 

Freedom, and all that 'longeth to that art, 

So Jupiter have of my soul^ part, 

As in this world right now ne know I none 

So worthy to be lov'd as Palamon, 

That serveth you, and will do all his life ; 

And if that ever ye shall be a wife. 

Forget not Palamon, the gentle manS' 

The dramatic poet falls short of this : — 

" Take Emilia, 

And with her all the world's joy. Reach thy hand ; 
Farewell ! I have told my last hour. I was false, 
Yet never treacherous : Forgive me, cousin ! 
One kiss from fair Emilia ! 'T is done : 
Take her. I die ! " 

In this imperfect analysis of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen,' as 
compared with the * Palamon and Arcite ' of Chaucer, we have ne- 
cessarily laid aside all those scenes which belong to the underplot, 
namely, the love of the gaoler's daughter for Palamon, her agency 
in his escape from prison, her subsequent madness, and her unnatu- 
ral and revolting union with one who is her lover under these cir- 
cumstances. The question which we have here to examine is, whether 
Shakspere had any concern with the authorship of this play ; and it 
is perfectly evident that this underplot was of a nature not to be 
conceived by him, and further not to be tolerated in any work with 
which he was concerned. Had he made " the friend " who delivered 
Chaucer's Palamon from prison to appear on the stage as a woman, 
she would have been a timid, confiding, self-denying, spirit-bound 
woman, which character he of all men could represent best ; and 
not a creature of mere sexual affection. Assuming that he wrote 
any part of the play, we may safely lay aside this part as having his 
participation or concurrence. Our inquiry is then reduced to 
narrower limits. We have to ask what portion of the original 
poem of Chaucer Shakspere is supposed to have dramatized, and 
what portion was the work of a coadjutor. The stage tradition 
was, that he wrote the first act. The searching analysis of Mr. 
Spalding leads to the conclusion that he wrote all that relates to the 
main story in the first and fifth acts, and a scene of the third act ; 
amounting to little short of half the play. To Fletcher is assigned 
the remainder. Mr. Spalding says that an attentive study of this 
drama from beginning to end " would convince the most sceptical 
mind that two authors were concerned in the work ; it would be 

Vol. XII. 2 H 



466 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

perceived that certain scenes are distinguished by certain prominent 
characters, while others present different and dissimilar features." 
These differences, Mr. Spalding has justly shown in the case of 
Fletcher as compared with Shakspere, are so striking, that " we are 
not compelled to reason from difference in degree, because we are 
sensible of a striking dissimilarity in kind. We observe ease and 
elegance of expression opposed to energy and quaintness ; brevity 
is met by dilation, and the obscurity which results from hurry of 
conception has to be compared with the vagueness proceeding from 
indistinctness of ideas ; lowness, narrowness, and poverty of thought 
are contrasted with elevation, richness, and comprehension : on the 
one hand is an intellect barely active enough to seek the true ele- 
ments of the poetical, and on the other a mind which, seeing those 
finer relations at a glance, darts off in the wantonness of its luxuriant 
strength to discover qualities with which poetry is but ill fitted to 
deal." This is strikingly and truly put. Yet, be it observed, it 
has reference only to the drapery of the dramatic action and charac- 
terization — the condensation or expansion of the thought — the 
tameness or luxuriance of the imagery — the equable flow or the 
involved harmony of the versification. The real body of a drama is 
its action and characterization. It is the constant subordination 
of all the ordinary poetical excellences to the main design, to be 
carried on through the agency of different passions, temperaments, 
and humours, that constitutes the dramatic art. To judge of a 
question of authorship, and especially of such a question with refer- 
ence to Shakspere, we must not only take into consideration the 
resemblances in what we call style (we use this for the want of a 
more comprehensive word), but in the management of the action 
and the development of the characters. Such inquiries as these are 
not without their instruction, if they lead us by analysis and com- 
parison to a better appreciation of what constitutes the highest 
qualities of art. The best copy of a picture is necessarily inferior 
to the original ; but we may better learn the value of the original 
by a close examination of the copy ; — and this is the position which 
we are about to take up in the question of the authorship of ' The 
Two Noble Kinsmen.' We hold that in parts it bears a most re- 
markable resemblance to Shakspere in the qualities of detached 
thought, of expression, of versification ; and not so with reference 
to Shakspere's early and unformed style, but to the peculiarities of 
his later period. But we hold, at the same time, that the manage- 
ment of the subject is equally unlike Shakspere j that the poetical 



THE TWO NOBLK KINSMEN. 467 

form of what is attributed to him is for the most part epic, and not 
dramatic ; that the action does not disclose itself, nor the characters 
exhibit their own qualities. 

The fact that amongst the extraordinary multitude of plays pro- 
duced in the palmy half-century of the stage, a very great many 
were composed upon the principle of a division of labour between 
two, and sometimes three and even four writers, is too satisfactorily 
established for us to consider that the difficulties attending upon 
such a partnership would produce imperfect and fragmentary per- 
formances where there was not the closest friendship. It is pro- 
bable, however, that the intimate social life of the poets of that day, 
many of whom were also actors, led to such a joint invention of 
plot and character as would enable two or more readily to work 
upon a defined plan, each bringing to the whole a contribution 
from his own peculiar stores. The ordinary mixture too of the 
serious and comic portions of a drama facilitated such an arrange- 
ment; and the general introduction of an underplot, sometimes 
very slightly hung upon the main action, would still further render 
the union even of more than two writers not a very difficult 
thing to manage. It must be considered too that the dramatists of 
that age were all, or very nearly all, thoroughly familiar with stage 
business. As we have said, many of them were actors; and the 
literary employment of those who were not so was, if we may use 
the term, so professional, that it was as necessary for them to be 
familiar with the practice of the theatre as for a lawyer to know by 
daily habit the rules of court. All these circumstances made such 
dramatic partnerships comparatively easy to manage. But we must 
not cease to bear in mind that these arrangements must always have 
had especial reference to the particular capacities and excellences 
of the persons so united, as known by experience, or suggested by 
their own promptings of what they were most fitted to accomplish. 
Let us apply these considerations to the case before us. 

Shakspere and Fletcher, we will assume, agree to write a play 
on the subject of Chaucer's tale of ' Palamon and Arcite.' It is a 
subject which Shakspere in some respects would have rejoiced in. 
It was familiar to many of his audience in the writings of England's 
finest old poet. It was known to the early stage. It was sur- 
rounded with those romantic attributes of the old legendary tale 
which appear to have seized upon his imagination at a particular 
period of his life, and that not an early one. But, above all, it was a 
subject full of deep feeling, — where overwhelming passions were to 

2 H 2 



468 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

be brought into contact with habitual affections ; a subject, too, not 
the less interesting because it required to be treated with great 
nicety of handling. It may be presumed that, if such a partnership 
had been proposed by Fletcher to Shakspere (the belief that Shak- 
spere would have solicited Fletcher's assistance is not very pro- 
bable), the younger poet would have offered to the great master of 
dramatic action, to the profound anatomist of character, to him 
who knew best how to give to the deepest and most complicated 
emotions their full and appropriate language — his own proper task 
of exhibiting the deep friendship, the impassioned rivalry, the 
terrible hatred, and the final reconciliation of the two heroes of the 
tale. The less practised poet might have contented himself with the 
accessory scenes, those of the introduction and of the underplot. 
Now, according to the just belief which has been raised upon the 
dissimilarities of style, Fletcher has not only taken the underplot, 
but all, or nearly all, the scenes that demanded the greatest amount 
of dramatic power, the exhibition of profound emotion in connection 
with nice distinction of character. It was not the poetical faculty 
alone that was here wanting — that power which Fletcher possessed 
of expressing somewhat ordinary thoughts in equable and well- 
rounded verse, producing agreeable sensations, but rarely rising 
into the sublime or the pathetic, and never laying bare those hidden 
things in the nature of man which lie too deep for every-day philo- 
sophy, but when revealed become truths that require no demonstra- 
tion. Shakspere, on the contrary, according to the same just belief 
as to the internal evidence of style, takes those parts which require 
the least dramatic power, — the descriptive and didactic parts ; those 
which, to a great extent, are of an epic character, containing, like a 
poem properly epic, set and solemn speeches, elaborate narration, 
majestic invocations to the presiding deities. There can be no 
doubt as to the high excellence of these portions of the work. But 
is such a division of labour the natural one between Shakspere and 
Fletcher ? If it be said that Shakspere left portions of a posthumous 
play which Fletcher finished, we have the same objection diflferently 
applied. The internal evidence of style would lead us to assign 
the first and last acts to Shakspere. The course of the action would 
of necessity adhere pretty closely to the tale of Chaucer ; and thus 
the beginning and the end might have been written without any 
very strict reference to what was to come between, provided the 
subject were in the hands of an author who would look at the com- 
pleteness of the narrative as the main thing to be worked out. 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 469 

Shakspere might have made the preliminary scenes as full as we 
find them in ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ;' but when we look at the 
conciseness with which Chaucer gives the same scenes, and hurries 
on to the more dramatic parts of the subject, we do not very readily 
believe that Shakspere would have taken the opposite course. 
Skilful as he is in the introduction of his subjects, in the prepara- 
tion with which he brings the mind into the proper state for com- 
prehending and feeling the higher interests which are to be deve- 
loped, he comes, in almost every case, with that decision which is 
a quality of the highest genius, to grapple with the passions and 
characters of the agents who are to work out the events ; and when 
he has done this, and has our imaginations completely subdued to 
his power, he delays or precipitates the catastrophe, — sometimes 
lingering in some scene of gentleness or repose to restore the 
balance of feeling, and to keep the tragic within the limits of 
pleasurable emotion, — and sometimes clearing away by a sudden 
movement all the involutions of the plot, shedding his sunlight on 
all the darknesses of character, and yet making this unexpected 
denouement the only one compatible with truth and nature. It was 
out of Shakspere's own power, we believe, because incompatible 
with those principles of art which were to him as an unerring in- 
stinct, to produce the last scenes of a play before he had worked out 
the characterization which would essentially determine the details 
of the event. The theory that Shakspere left a portion of ' The 
Two Noble Kinsmen,' which, after his death, was completed by 
Fletcher, is one which, upon a mature consideration of the subject, 
we are constrained to reject ; although it has often presented itself 
to us as the most plausible of the theories which would necessarily 
associate themselves with the belief that Shakspere had written a 
considerable portion of this play. 

In his 'Specimens of English Dramatic Poets,' Charles Lamb 
selects from ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' nearly all the first scene 
of the first act, part of the scene between Emilia and Hippolyta in 
the same act, and the dialogue between Palamon and Arcite, before 
Emilia comes into the garden, in Act II. The latter scene he says 
" bears indubitable marks of Fletcher : the two which precede it 
give strong countenance to the tradition that Shakspere had a hand 
in this play." These and other passages, he adds, " have a luxu- 
riance in them which strongly resembles Shakspere's manner in 
those parts of his plays where, the progress of the interest being 
subordinate, the poet was at leisure for description." Upon a 



470 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

principle, then, of arranged co-operation with Fletcher, Shakspere 
had produced only those parts of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' in 
which the interest is subordinate, and which should resemble his 
manner when he was at leisure for description. This is the main 
point which, with every deference for the opinion, founded upon a 
comparison of style, that Shakspere was associated in this play with 
Fletcher, we venture to urge as evidence that ought to be impar- 
tially taken in support of the opinion that Shakspere was not con- 
cerned in it at all. Our own judgment, as far as the question of 
style is concerned, very nearly coincides with that of the author of 
the ingenious ' Letter ' to which we have several times referred ; 
but, on a careful examination of the whole question, we are inclined 
to a belief that Shakspere did not participate in the authorship. 
We do not, on the other hand, go along with Tieck, who, with 
somewhat of an excess of that boldness with which his countrymen 
pronounce opinions upon the niceties of style in a foreign language, 
says of this play, " I have never been able to convince myself that 
a single verse has been written by Shakspere. The manner, the 
language, the versification is as thoroughly Fletcher as any other 
of his pieces. If Shakspere had the capability of altering his lan- 
guage so variously as we here see, yet he nowhere presents 
exaggerations of thought and feeling in soft and flowing speeches, 
which is the characteristic of Fletcher."* This is to mistake the 
question at issue. Nobody has ever supposed that Shakspere wrote 
the parts that are commonly assigned to Fletcher ; and therefore 
nobody accused him of putting exaggerated thoughts in soft and 
flowing speeches. If Tieck, however, considers the scenes of the 
first act, to which he distinctly alludes, to be in Fletcher's natural 
and habitual manner, he maintains a theory which in our opinion 
is more untenable than any which has been proposed upon this 
question. Steevens holds that the play is for the most part a studied 
imitation of Shakspere by Fletcher. But if he has imitated style, 
he has also imitated character ; and that most weakly. The gaoler's 
daughter is a most diluted copy of Ophelia ; the Schoolmaster, of 
Holofernes ; the clowns, with their mummery, of the " rude me- 
chanicals " of ' A Midsummer-Night's Dream.' This very circum- 
stance, by the way, is evidence that there was no distinct concert 
between Shakspere and Fletcher as to the mode in which the sub- 
ject should be treated. We agree with Lamb, that Fletcher, with 

* * Alt-Englisches Theater, oder Supplemente zum Shakspere,' 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 471 

all his facility, could not have so readily gone out of his habitual 
manner to produce an imitation of Shakspere's condensed and in- 
volved style. He frequently copies Shakspere in slight resemblances 
of thought; but the manner is always essentially different. These 
scenes in ' The Two Noble Kinsmen' are not in Fletcher's manner ; 
it was not very probable, even if he had the power, that he would 
write them in imitation of Shakspere. We believe that Shakspere 
did not write them himself. We are bound, therefore, to produce 
a theory which may attempt, however imperfectly, to reconcile 
these diflSculties ; and we do so with a due sense of the doubts 
which must always surround such questions, and which in this case 
are not likely to be obviated by any suggestion of our own, which 
can pretend to little beyond the character of a mere conjecture, not 
hurriedly adopted, but certainly propounded without any great con- 
fidence in its validity. 

We hold, then, that Fletcher, for the most part, wrote the scenes 
which the best critical opinions concur in attributing to him: we 
hold, also, that he had a coadjutor who produced for the most part 
the scenes attributed by the same authorities to Shakspere : but we 
hold, further, that this coadjutor was not Shakspere himself. 

Coleridge has thrown out a suggestion that parts of ' The Two 
Noble Kinsmen ' might have been written by Jonson. He was pro- 
bably led into this opinion by the classical tone which occasionally 
prevails, especially in the first scene, and in the invocations of the 
fifth act. The address to Diana, — 

" Oh, sacred, shadowy, cold, and constant queen, 
Abandoner of revels, mute, contemplative, 
Sweet, solitary, white as chaste, and pure 
As wind-fann'd snow," — 

at once reminds us of 

" Queen and huntress, chaste and fair ;" 

more perhaps from the associations of the subject than from Jonson's 
manner of treating it. But Coleridge goes on to state that the main 
presumption for Shakspere's share in this play rests upon the con- 
struction of the blank verse. He holds that construction to be evi- 
dence either of an intentional imitation of Shakspere, or of his own 
proper hand. He then argues, from the assumption that Fletcher 
was the imitator, that there was an improbability that Jie would 



472 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

have been conscious of the inferiority of his own versification, which 
Coleridge calls " too poematic minus-dramatic." The improbabi- 
lity, then, that Fletcher imitated Shakspere in portions of the play, 
writing other portions in his own proper language and versification, 
throws the critic back upon the other conjecture, that Shakspere's 
own hand is to be found in it. But then again he says, " The harsh- 
ness of many of these very passages, a harshness unrelieved by any 
lyrical inter-breathings, and still more the want of profundity in the 
thoughts, keep me from an absolute decision." We state these 
opinions of Coleridge with reference to what we must briefly call 
the style of the different parts, to show that any decision of the ques- 
tion founded mainly upon style is not to be considered certain even 
within its own proper limits. We have rested our doubts princi- 
pally upon another foundation ; but, taken together, the two modes 
of viewing the question, whether as to style or dramatic structure, 
require that we should look out for another partner than Shakspere 
in producing this work in alliance with Fletcher. Coleridge ap- 
pears to have thought the same when he threw out the name of Jon- 
son ; but we cannot conceive that, if he had pursued this inquiry 
analytically, he would have abided by this conjecture. Jonson's 
proper versification is more different from Shakspere's than perhaps 
that of any other of his contemporaries ; and we doubt if his mind 
was plastic enough, or his temper humble enough, to allow him to 
become the imitator of any man. We request our readers to com- 
pare the following invocation by Jonson, from ' Cynthia's Revels,' 
with the invocation to Mars in the fifth act of ' The Two Noble Kins- 
men ;' and we think they will agree that the versification of Jonson, 
in a form in which both the specimens are undramatic, is essentially 
different : — 

" Phoebus Apollo, if with ancient rites, 
And due devotions, I have ever hung 
Elaborate paeans on thy golden shrine, 
Or sung thy triumphs in a lofty strain, 
Fit for a theatre of gods to hear ; 
i And thou, the other son of mighty Jove, 

Cyllenian Mercury, sweet Maia's joy, 
If in the busy tumults of the mind 
My path thou ever hast illumined. 
For which thine altars I have oft perfum'd, 
And deck'd thy statues with discolour'd flowers : 
Now thrive invention in this glorious court, 
That not of bounty only, but of right, 
Cynthia may grace, and give it life by sight." 



THB TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 473 

Here is no variety of pause ; the couplet with which the speech con- 
cludes is not different from the pairs of blank- verse which have gone 
before, except in the rhyming of the tenth syllables. But there is 
another writer of that period who might have been associated with 
Fletcher in the production of a drama, and did participate in such 
stage partnerships ; who, from some limited resemblances to Shak- 
spere that we shall presently notice, might without any improbabi- 
lity be supposed to have written those portions of ' The Two Noble 
Kinsmen' which are decidedly/ and essentially different from the style 
of Fletcher. We select, though probably not the best selection we 
could make, a passage of the same general character as the invoca- 
tions so often mentioned, and which may be compared also with 
Jonson's address to Apollo. It is an invocation to Behemoth : — 

" Terror of darkness! oh thou king of flames! 
That with thy music-footed horse dost strike 
The clear light out of crystal, on dark earth, 
And hurl'st instructive fire about the world, 
Wake, wake, the drowsy and enchanted night. 
That sleeps with dead eyes in this heavy riddle ; 
Oh, thou great prince of shades, where never sun 
Sticks his far-darted beams, whose eyes are made 
To shine in darkness, and see ever best 
Where men are blindest! open now the heart 
Of thy abashed oracle, that for fear 
Of some ill it includes would fain lie hid, 
And rise thou with it in thy greater light." 

The writer of this invocation, which we select from the tragedy of 
' Bussy D'Ambois,' is George Chapman. 

Webster, in his dedication to ' Vittoria Corombona,' speaks of 
" that full and heightened style of Master Chapman," in the same 
sentence with " the laboured and understanding works of Master 
Jonson." It is in the " full and heightened style " that we shall 
seek resemblances to parts of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen,' rather 
than in the " laboured and understanding works." We are sup- 
ported in this inquiry by the opinion of one of the most subtle and 
yet most sensible of modern critics, Charles Lamb : — " Of all the 
English play-writers. Chapman perhaps approaches nearest to Shak- 
speare in the descriptive and didactic, in passages which are less 
purely dramatic. Dramatic imitation was not his talent. He could 
not go out of himself, as Shakspeare could shift at pleasure, to inform 
and animate other existences, but in himself he had an eye to per- 



474 PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 

ceive and a soul to embrace all forms. He would have made a great 
epic poet, if, indeed, he has not abundantly shown himself to be 
one ; for his ' Homer ' is not so properly a translation as the stories 
of Achilles and Ulysses re-written." Our theory is, that the pas- 
sages which have been ascribed to Shakspere as a partner in the 
work of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' are essentially " descriptive and 
didactic ;" that to write these passages it was not necessary that the 
poet should be able to " go out of himself;" that they, for the most 
part, might enter into the composition of a great epic poem ; that 
the writer of these passages was master, to a considerable extent, of 
Shakspere's style, especially in its conciseness and its solemnity, 
although he was ill fitted to grapple with its more dramatic qualities 
of rapidity or abruptness ; that also, unlike most of the writers of his 
day, who sought only to please, he indulged in the same disposition 
as Shakspere, to yield to the prevailing reflection which the circum- 
stances of the scene were calculated to elicit ; and, lastly, that his 
intimate acquaintance with the Greek poets fitted him to deal more 
especially with those parts of the tale of ' Palamon and Arcite ' in 
which Chaucer, in common with all the middle-age poets, built a 
tale of chivalry upon a classical foundation. We can understand 
such a division of labour between Fletcher and Chapman, as that 
Fletcher should take the romantic parts of the story, as the knight- 
errantry, the love, the rivalry, the decision by bodily prowess, — and 
that Chapman should deal with Theseus and the Amazons, the lament 
of the three Queens, (which subject was familiar to him in ' The 
Seven against Thebes ' of the Greek drama,) and the mythology 
which Chaucer had so elaborately sketched as the machinery of his 
great story. 

Lord Byron somewhere says, speaking of his own play of ' Sar- 
danapalus,' " I look upon Shakspere to be the worst of models, 
though the most extraordinary of writers." We think, if Shakspere 
be the worst of models, it is because he is the most extraordinary of 
writers. His prodigious depth of thought, his unbounded range of 
imagery, his intense truth of characterization, are not to be imitated. 
The other qualities, which might remain as a model, lie beneath the 
surface. Imitate, if it be possible, the structure of his verse ; the 
thought and the imagery are wanting, and the mere versification 
is a lifeless mass. Dryden says, in his preface to ' All for Love,' 
" In my style I have professed to imitate the divine Shakspeare." 
Open the play at any part, and see if the imitation has produced a 
resemblance. Rowe tells us that ' Jane Shore ' is an imitation of 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 475 

Shakspere. It is a painted daub of the print-shops imitating the 
colouring of Titian. Otway pieced ' Romeo and Juliet ' into his 
' Caius Marius,' where the necessity for imitation was actually forced 
upon hira, in making a cento of Shakspere's lines and his own ; and 
yet the last speech of the Romeo of Otway's tragedy substitutes 
these three lines in the place of " Thus with a kiss I die :" — 

" This world's gross air grows burtheiisome already. 
I am all a god; such heavenly joys transport me, 
That mortal sense grows sick, and faints with lasting." 

We mention these things to show that men of very high talent have 
not been able to grapple with Shakspere's style in the way of imi- 
tation. A poet, and especially a contemporary poet, might have 
formed his own style, in some degree, upon Shakspere ; not only by 
the constant contemplation of his peculiar excellences, but through 
the general character that a man of the very highest genius im- 
presses unconsciously upon the aggregate poetry of his age. This 
we believe to have been the case with Chapman. He was not an 
imitator of Shakspere in the ordinary sense of the word ; he could 
not imitate him in his scenes of passion, because he could not " shift 
at pleasure, to inform and animate other existences." But, in a 
limited range, he approached Shakspere, because he had the same 
earnestness, the same command of striking combinations of lan- 
guage, a rhythm in which harmony is blended with strength, a power 
of painting scenes by vivid description, a tendency to reflect and 
philosophize. All this Shakspere had, but he had a great deal more. 
Is that more displayed in the scenes of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' 
which have been attributed to him? or, not being present, had 
Chapman the power of producing these scenes out of his own re- 
sources ? This is a question which we certainly cannot pretend to 
answer satisfactorily : all that we can do is to compare a few pecu- 
liarities in the first and last acts of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' with 
passages that offer themselves in those of Chapman's works with 
which we have an acquaintance. 

We will begin with a quality which is remarkable enough in pas- 
sages of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen ' to distinguish them from those 
written by Fletcher — we mean the presence of general truths and 
reflections, propounded always with energy, sometimes with solem- 
nity, not dragged in as a moral at the end of a fable, but arising 
spontaneously out of the habit of the author's mind. Coleridge 
doubts the profundity of these thoughts — and we think he is right. 



476 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 



We will place in one column a few of such passages from ' The Two 
Noble Kinsmen ;' and, in the other, passages of a similar nature, 
selected somewhat hastily from three or four of Chapman's plays : — 



Two Noble Kinsmen. 

" We come unseasonably ; but when could 

Grief 
Cull forth, "as unpang'd Judgment can, fitt'st 

time 
For best solicitation ?" 

" Oh you heavenly charmers. 
What things you make of us ! For what we 

lack 
We laugh, for what we have are sorry ; still 
Are children in some kind." 

" Let th' event. 
That never-erring arbitrator, tell us 
When we know all ourselves ; and let us 

follow 
The becking of our chance ! " 



Chapman. 

" Sin is a coward, madam, and insults 
But on our weakness, in his truest valour ; 
And so our ignorance tames us, that we let 
His shadows fright us." Bussy D'Ambois. 



" O the good God of Gods, 
How blind is pride ! what eagles we are still 
In matters that belong to other men ! 
What beetles in our own ! " All Fuols. 



"01 the strange difference 'twixt us and the 

stars ! 
They work with inclinations strong and fatal, 
And nothing know : and we know all their 

working, 
And nought can do or nothing can prevent." 
Byron's Tragedy. 



It would be easy to multiply examples of this kind; and it would 
not be necessary for our purpose to select passages that are very 
closely parallel. We only desire to show that Chapman is a re- 
flective poet; and that in this respect the tone of thought that may 
be found in the first and last acts of 'The Two Noble Kinsmen' is 
not incompatible with his habits of composition. 

We have already selected an invocation by Chapman, with the 
intent of showing that his style in this detached and complete form of 
poetry approaches much more closely to the invocations in ' The Two 
Noble Kinsmen ' than the style of Jonson. Chapman appears to us 
to delight in this species of oratorical verse, requiring great con- 
densation and majesty of expression, and demanding the nicest ad- 
justment of a calm and stately rhythm. He derived, perhaps, this 
love of invocation, as well as the power of introducing such pas- 
sages successfully in his dramas, from his familiarity with Homer ; 
and thus for the same reason his plays have more of the stately form 
of the epic dialogue than the passionate rapidity of the true drama. 
We will select one invocation from Chapman's translation of the 
' Iliad,' that of Agamemnon's prayer in the third book, to show the 
sources at least which were open to the writer of the invocations in 
the fifth act of ' The Two Noble Kinsmen,' for examples of con- 
densation of thought, majesty of diction, and felicity of epithet : — 

" O Jove, that Ida doth protect, and hast the titles won, 
Most glorious, most invincible ; and thou all-seeing sun ; 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 477 

All-hearing, all-recomforting; floods, earth, and powers beneath ! 

That all the perjuries of men chastise even after death; 

Be witnesses, and see perform'd, the hearty vows we make." 

These invocations in his ' Homer ' have the necessary condensation 
of the original. In his own inventions in the same kind he is na- 
turally more diffuse ; but his diffuseness is not the difFuseness of 
Fletcher. Take one example : — 

" Now all ye peaceful regents of the night, 
Silently-gliding exhalations, 

Languishing winds, and murmuring falls of waters, 
Sadness of heart, and ominous secureness, 
Enchantments, dead sleeps, all the friends of rest. 
That ever wrought upon the life of man, 
Extend your utmost strengths ; and this charm'd hour 
Fix like the centre; make the violent wheels 
Of Time and Fortune stand ; and great existence. 
The maker's treasury, now not seem to be." 

The time is past when it may be necessary to prove that Chapman 
was a real poet. There are passages in his plays which show that 
he was capable not only of giving interest to forced situations and 
extravagant characters by his all-informing energy, but of pouring 
out the sweetest spirit of beauty in the most unexpected places. Take 
the following four lines as an example : — 

" Here 's nought but whispering with us : like a calm 
Before a tempest, when the silent air 
Lays her soft ear close to the earth to hearken 
For that she fears steals on to ravish her." 

Was ever personification more exquisitely beautiful ? The writer of 
these lines, with his wondrous facility, was equal to anything that did 
not demand the very highest qualities for the drama ; and those qua- 
lities we do not think are manifest in the first and last acts of ' The 
Two Noble Kinsmen,' rich as these are in excellences within the 
range of such a writer as Chapman, especially when his exuberant 
genius was under the necessary restraint of co-operation with an- 
other writer. 

The classical nature of that portion of ' The Two Noble Kins- 
men ' that we think might have been assigned to Chapman, might 
have been treated by a writer not very deeply imbued with the 
spirit of Greek poetry without the use of any peculiar phrases or 
epithets which a poet derives from a particular course of reading, as 
we constantly find in Milton. We will select a very few parallel 



478 



PLAYS ASCRIBED TO SHAKSPERE. 



examples of such from ' The Two Noble Kinsmen,' and from Chap- 
man's plays and the translation of the ' Iliad :' — 



Two NoBLs Kinsmen. 

The scythe-tusk'd boar. 
Blubber'd queens. 
Clear-spirited cousin. 
The heavenly limiter. 
Shaker of o'er-rank states. 
Sacred silver mistress. 
Oh, you heavenly charmers. 



Chapman. 

Thy music-footed horse. 

His blubber'd cheeks. 

Cold-spirited peers. 

The heavenly lightener. 

Thou mighty shaker of the earth. 

Golden-throned queen. 

The eternal dwellers. 



It would be tedious as well as unnecessary to pursue these details 
farther. Whoever was the writer of those passages in ' The Two 
Noble Kinsmen ' which, on some grounds, have with great probabi- 
lity been attributed to Shakspere, it is clear to us that there were 
two hands concerned in the production of the play, as dissimilar in 
their styles as Chapman, as a translator of Homer, is dissimilar to 
Pope. There is some analogy, however remote it may appear, be- 
tween the poetical characters of Fletcher and Pope, as compared 
with writers of greater energy and simplicity ; and the differences 
in kind of this poetical quality may serve as an illustration of the 
imperfect argument which we thus conclude : — 



Chapman. 

" They sat delightfully, 

And spent all night in open field ; fires round 
about them shin'd; 

As when about the silver moon, when air is 
free from wind, 

And stars shine clear; to whose sweet beams 
high prospects, and the brows 

Of all steep hills and pinnacles thrust up 
themselves for shows ; 

And even the lowly valleys joy to glitter in 
their sight, 

When the unmeasur'd firmament bursts to 
disclose her light, 

And all the signs in heaven are seen that 
glad the shepherd's heart ; 

So many fires disclos'd their beams, made by 
the Trojan part. 

Before the face of Ilion ; and her bright tur- 
rets show'd : 

A thousand courts of guard kept fires: and 
every guard allow'd 

Fifty stout men, by whom their horse eat 
oats and hard white corn. 

And all did wilfully expect the silver- 
throned morn." 



Pope. 

" The troops exulting sat in order round. 
And beaming fires illumin'd all the ground ; 
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night. 
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred 

light. 
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene. 
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene. 
Around her throne the vivid planets roll. 
And stars nnnumber'd gild the glowing pole ; 
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed. 
And tip with silver every mountain's head ; 
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect 

rise, 
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies : 
The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight. 
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light ; 
So many flames before proud Ilion blaze. 
And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their 

rays : 
The long reflections of the distant fires 
Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the 

spires ; 
A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild, 
And shed a shady lustre o'er the field. 
Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend. 
Whose umber'd arms, by fits, thick flashes 

send ; 
Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of 

com ; 
And ardent warriors wait the rising morn." 



THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN. 479 

We have only one word to add. Chapman died in the very year 
that the first edition of 'The Two Noble Kinsmen' was published, 
with the name of Shakspere in the title-page. If the title-page 
were a bookseller's invention, the name of Shakspere would be of 
higher price than that of Chapman. 




END OF THE ASCRIBED PLAYS. 



INDEXES 



PLAYS AND POEMS OF SHAKSPERE. 



Vol. XII. 2 I 



EXPLANATION. 



It has been found convenient to arrange the references under two heads. 

The First Index is for the most part Glossarial, but it also refers to explanations which 
are more diffuse in their character. The words which are in Italic are those which may be 
explained briefly, and often by the addition of another word, approaching to a synonyme, which 
gives the sense. The words in Roman, principally referring to objects, customs, and ancient and 
proverbial expressions, require a more lengthened explanation, which will be found under the 
passages referred to, either in a foot-note (designated by m) or an illustration (designated 
by .). 

The Second Index is of the Dramatis Persons, showing the names of the Characters 
which occur in each Play, and the particular Act and Scene in which each appears. 

The references are not made to Volume and Page, but to Play, Act and Scene. The Poems 
are referred to by their titles. All the references are abridged as follows : — 





G.V. 


Two Gentlemen of Verona. 


R. T. 


King Richard HI. 




L. L. L. 


Love's Labour 's Lost. 


H. E 


King Henry VIII. 




M. W. 


Merry Wives of Windsor. 


R.J. 


Romeo and Juliet. 




C. E. 


Comedy of Errors. 


H. 


Hamlet. 




T. S. 


Taming of the Shrew. 


Cy. 


Cymbeline. 


M. N. D. 


A Midsummer Night's Dream. 


O. 


Othello. 




M.V. 


The Merchant of Venice. 


T. Ath. 


Tiraon of Athens. 




A. W. 


All 's Well that Ends Well. 


L. 


King Lear. 




M. A. 


Much Ado about Nothing. 


M. 


Macbeth. 




T.N. 


Twelfth Night. 


T. C. 


Troilus and Cressida. 




A. L. 


As You Like It. 


Cor. 


Coriolanus. 




M. M. 


Measure for Measure. 


J.C. 


Julius CiEsar. 




W. T. 


A Winter's Tale. 


A. C. 


Antony and Cleopatra. 




T. 


Tempest. 


V.A. 


Venus and Adonis. 




J. 


King John. 


Luc. 


Lucrece. 




R. S. 


King Richard IL 


So. 


Sonnets. 


H 


4, F.P 


King Henry IV., Part I. 


L. C. 


A Lover's Complaint. 


H. 


4, S. P. 


King Henry IV., Part II . 


P. P. 


The Passionate Pilgrim 




H. F. 


King Henry V. 


T. And. 


Titus Andronicus. 


H. 


6. F. P. 


King Henry VI., Part I. 


P. 


Pericles. 


H. 


6, S. P. 


King Henry VI., Part II. 


T. N. K. 


Two Noble Kinsmen. 


H 


6, T. P. 


King Henry VI., Part III. 







These two Indexes comprise all that are properly references to the works of Shakspere. A 
word, or a sentence, is desired to be referred to, when the passage in which it occurs requires 
explanation. In the /oot-notes, or the i/luslrations, such explanation is to be found, the Index 
citing the passage to which reference is made ; and thus showing, at one view, how words are 
employed in peculiar senses, either varying or alike in distinct plays. In like manner the 
name of a character is to be found, in connexion with the act and scene of each play. But it 
is obvious that a large portion of the Commentary of this edition — that which is comprised in 
the Introductory and Supplementary Notices, and in the Historical Illustrations — is thus excluded 
from the Index ; — and this exclusion is rendered necessary, partly from the great extent to 
which the references would run, even if they were confined to names of persons and books ; and 
partly from the extreme difficulty of digesting into the form of an index those matters which 
are purely critical and speculative. 



1 N D E X.-I. 



A. 

A — he. M. A. iii. 3, n (and in many other passages). 

How if a will not stand ? 
Abhor, technical use of the word. H. E. ii. 4, n. 

I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul 

Refuse you for my judge. 
Abhorred — disgusted. H. v. l,n. 

And now how abhorred my imagination is! 
Abide (v.) — sojourn. W. T. iv. 2, n. 

There 's no virtue whipped out of the court ; 
they cherish it to make it stay there ; and yet it 
will no more but abide. 
Abraliam Cupid. R. J. ii. 1, n. 

Young Abraham Cupli, he that shot so trim 

When king Cophetua lov'd the beggar-maid. 
Abridgement — pastime. M. N. D. v. 1, n. 

Say, what abridgement have you for this evening? 
Abroad — not at hand — far off. Cy. iii. 5, n. 
Your means abroad, 

Y'ou have me rich. 
Absey-book — A B C book. J. i. 1, n. 

And then comes answer like an Absey-booh. 
Abstract. A. C. iii. 6, n. 

Being an abstract 'tween his lust and him. 
Aby (v.)— suffer for. M. N. D. iii. 2, n. 

Thou shalt abt/ it. 
Accept — consent to certain articles of a treatv. H. F. 
v. 2, n. 

We will, suddenly. 

Pass our accept and peremptory answer. 
Accommodation. H. 4, S. P. iii. 2, t. 

A soldier-like word. 
According to the trick — according to the fashion of 
banter and exaggeration. M. M. v. 1, n. 

I spoke it but according to the trick. 
Achievement. H. F. iii. 5, n. 

He'll drop his heart into the sink of fear, 

And, for achievement, offer us his ransom. 
Achieves her goodness. A. W. i. 1, n. 

She derives her honesty, and achieves her good- 
ness. 
Achilles and Hector. T. C. iii. 3. t. 

I have a woman's longing, 

An appetite that I am sick withal, 

To see great Hector in his weeds of peace. 
' Accidence of Armourie,' passage from. H. v. 1 , i. 

Was he a gentleman ? 
Acknown. O. iii. 3, n. 

Be not acknown on 't. 
Acquaintance — used in the singular as a noun of 
multitude. O. ii. 1, n. 

How does my old acquaintance of this isle ? 
Acquaint you with the perfect s;)y — inform yourselves 
with a most careful inquiry. M. iii. 1, n. 

Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time. 

The moment on 't. 
Actaeon story of. T. N. i. 1, ». 

And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds. 

E'er since pursue me. 
Actors, profits of. H. iii. 2, i. 

A fellowship in a cry of players. 
Acture — action. L. C. n. 

Are errors of the blood, none of the mind ; 

Love made them not; with acture they maybe. 

Where neither party is nor true nor kind. 
Addition. L. ii. 2, n. 

One whom I will lieat into clamorous whining, 
if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition. 
Address'd — prepared. A. L. v. 4, n. 

Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day 

Men of great worth resorted to this forest, 

Address'd a mighty power. 
Address'd — prepared. ' H. 4, S. P. iv. 4, n. 

Our navy is address'd, our power collected. 



AGL 

.^rfrfress'rf— prepared. Luc. n. 

At length address'd to answer his desire. 
Address'd — ready. J.C. iii. l.n. 

He is address'd ; press near and second him. 
Addrest — ready. M. N. D. v. 1, n. 

So please vour grace, the prologue is addrest. 
Adriatic. T. S. i. 2. i. 

Were she as rough 

As are the swelling Adriatic seas. 
Advantage — used as a verb. H. F. iv. 1, n. 

Whose hours the peasant best advantages. 
Advertisements. M. A. i. 1, «. 

He set up his bills. 
Advice — government, municipal or civil. Luc. n. 

Advice is sporting while infection breeds. 
Advisedly — attentively. Luc. n. 

The picture she advisedly perus'd. 
Afar 0^— in a remote degree. W. T. ii. 1, n. 

He who shall speak for her is afar o^guilty 

But that he speaks. 
Affect (v.) — incline towards; metaphoricallv, love. 
L. L. L. i. 2.n. 

I do affect the very ground. 
Affect the letter — affect alliteration. L. L. L. iv. 2, n. 

I will Something affect the letter, for it argues 
facility. 
Affect a sorrow, than to have. A. W. i. 1, n. 

Let it be rather thought you affect a sorrow, 
than to have. 
Afftcti n — affectation. L. L. L. v. 1, n. 

Witty without affection. 
Affection — imagination. W. T. i. 2, n. 

Affection ! thy intention stabs the centre. 
Affection — master of passion. M. V. iv. 1, n. 
For affection. 

Master (f passion, sways it to the mood 

Of what it likes, or loathes. 
Affectihned—affecteA. T. N. ii. 3, n. 

An affectioned ass, that cons state without book. 
Affeer'd. M. iv. 3, n. 

Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure. 

For goodness dares not check thee ! wear thou 
thv wrongs. 

The title'is affeer'd. 
Affront — encounter. Cy. v. 3, n. 

There was a fourth man, in a silly habit. 

That gave the affront with them. " 
Affront (v.) — encounter, confront. H. iii. 1, n. 

That he, as 't were by accident, may here 

Affront Ophelia. 
Affy (v.)— betroth. H. 6, S. P. iv. l.n. 

For daring to affy a mighty lord 

Unto the daughter of a worthless king. 
Against yuur sacred person — aught against your sa- 
cred person. H. E. ii. 4, n. 

If, in the course 

And process of this time, you can report. 

And prove it too, against mine honour aught. 

My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty, 

Against your sacred person, in God's name, 

Turn me away. 
.\gate. M. A. iii. 1, n. 

An agate very vilelv cut. 
Agate. H. 4, S. P. i. 2'n. 

I was never manned with an agate till now. 
Age's steepy night. So. Ixiii. n. 

When his youthful mom 

Hath travell'd on to age's steepy night. 
Age — seniority. T. And.'i. 1, n. 

Then let my father's honours live in me. 

Nor wrong mine age with this indignity. 
Aglet-baby. T. S. i. 2, n. 

Marry him to a puppet, or an aglet bahy. 
2 12 



A6N 



C 484 ) 



APE 



Agnize (v.) — confess, acknowledge. O. i, 3, n. 
1 <lo agnize 

A natural and prompt alacrity 

1 find in hardness, 
^i^e— sharp, sour. H. i. 5, n. 

It doth posset 

And curd, like aigre droppings into milk. 

The thin and wholesome blood, 
.^t'm— purpose. G. V. iii. 1, n. 

But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err. 
Aim — conjecture. O. i. 3, n. 

As in these cases where the aim reports. 
Aimed at — guessed at. G. V. iii. 1, n. 

But, good my lord, do it so cunningly. 

That my discovery be not aimed at. 
Air — appearance. H. 4, F. P. iv. 1, n. 

The quality and air of our attempt 

Brooks no division. 
Alcides' shoes. J. ii. 1, t. 

As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass. 
Alder-liefest—Aearest of all. H. 6, S. P. i. 1 , n. 

Will you, mine alder-liefest sovereign. 
Ale — rural festival. G. V. ii. 5, n. 

As go to the ale with a Christian. 
All the world a stage, parallels with. A. L. ii. 7, i. 
All amirt — dispirited. T. S. iv. 3, n. 

What, sweeting, all amort? 
All~a-ttt(jrt—dhp'iT\tei. H. 6, F. P. iii. 2, n. 

Now where 's the bastard's braves, and Charles 
his gleeks .■' 

What, all a-mm-t f 
Alia storcata — Italian term of art for the thrust with 
a rapier. R. J. iii. 1, n. 

Alia stvcC'ita carries it away. 
All-halluwn summer — summer in November. II. 4, 
F. P. i. 2, n. 

Farewell, thou latter spring ! Farewell, All- 
hilldWH summer! 
All-to — entirely, altoj;ether. V. A. n. 

Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame ; 

It was not she that calld him at!-to naught. 
Allow (v.) — approve. W. T. iv. 1, n. 

Of this allow, 

If ever you have spent time worse ere now. 
.4//oi» (v.) — approve. Luc. n. 

Who, wondering at him, did his words allow. 
Allow (v.)— approve. So. cxii. n. 

So you o'ergreen my bad, my good allow. 
Altar at St. Edmundsbury. J. v. 4, i. 

Upon the altar at St. Edmundsbury. 
Alter thy course fur Tyre — pursue not the course for 
Tyre. P. iii. 1, n. 

Thither, gentle mariner ; 

Alter thy course for Tyre. 
Althea's dream. H. 4, S. P. ii. 2, n. 

Awav, you rascally Althea's dream. 
Althea. 'H. 6, S. P. i. l,n. 

The fatal brand Althea burn'd. 

Unto the prince's heart of Calydon. 
Am, have, and will be. H. K. iii. 2, n. 

For your highness' good I ever labour'd 

More than mine own ; that am, have, and will he. 
Amaimon. H. 4, F. P. ii. 4, t. 

He of Wales, that gave Amaimim the bastinado. 
Amaze (v.) — confuse. A. L. i. 2, n. 

You amaze me, ladies. 
Ambassadors sent from Antony to Octavius Caesar, 
—from North's ' Plutarch.' A. C. iii. 10, t. 

Let him appear that's come from Antony. 
America, discovery of. C. E. iii. 2, i. 

Wiiere America, the Indies ? 
Amiss — fault. So. xxxv. n. 

Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss. 
Amiss — fault. So. cli. n. 

Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss, 

Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove. 
Amurath the Third. H. 4, S. P. v. 2, i. 
Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds. 
Anachronisms in King John. J. i. I, t. 

The thunder of my cannon shall be heard. 
Anchor — Anchoret. H. iii. 2, n. 

An (inchr s cheer in prison be my scope. 
Ancient — bearer of the ensign. H, 4, S. P. ii. 4, n. 

Sir, ancient Pistol s below. 



Andirons. Cy. ii. 4, t. Her andirons 

(I had forgot them) were two winking Cupids. 
Andren — H. E. i. 1,«. 

Met in the vale of Andren. 
Andrew — name of a ship. M. V. i. 1, n. 

And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in sand. 
Angel on English coins. M. V. ii. 7, t. 

A coin that bears the figure of an angel. 
Angel— coin. H. 4, S. P. i. 2, ». 

Your ill annel is light. 
Angel— bird. T. N. K. i. 1, n. 
Not an angel of the air. 
Bird melodious, or bird fair, 
Be absent there. 
Angerly — angrily. G. V. i. 2, n. 

How angerly I taught my brow to frown. 
Angle— guW. T. S. iv. 2, n. 

But at last I spied 
An ancient angle coming down the hill. 
Answer — statement of objections to certain articles 
of a treaty. H. F. v. 2, n. 

We will, suddenly. 
Pass our accept and peremptory answer. 
Answer me declin'd. A. C. iii. 1 1 , n. 

I dare him therefore 
To lay his gay comparisons apart. 
And answer me dechn'd. 
Anthropophagi and headless men. O. i. 3, f. 
The Anthrupijphagi, and men whose heads 
Do grow beneath their shoulders. 
Antipathies. M. V. iv. l,t. 
Some men there are, &c. 
Antony, — from North's ' Plutarch.' .T. C. ii. 1, t. 

Let Antony and Caesar fall together. 
Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, conference of, — 
from North's ' Plutarch.' J. C. iv. 1, f. 
These many then shall die. 
Antony and Cleopatra, amusements of, — from 
North's' Plutarch.' A. C. i. 1, t. 
To-night we '11 wander through the streets, &c. 
Antony and Octavia, marriage of, — from North's 
' Plutarch.' A. C. ii. 2, i. 

Thou hast a sister by the mother's side. 
Antony's cook, — from North's ' Plutarch.' A. C. 
ii. 2, i. 

Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast. 
Antony and Cleopatra, first meeting of, — from 
North's ' PluUrch.' A C. ii. 2, i. 
When she first met Mark Antony, &c. 
Antony's angling, — from North's ' Plutarch.' A. C. 
ii. 5, i. 'T was merry when 

You wager'd on your angling, &c. 
Antony, Ceesar, and Pompey, meetings of, — from 
North's ' Plutarch.' A. C. ii. 6, i. 
Your liostages I have, so have you mine, &c. 
Antony and Cleopatra at Alexandria,— from North's 
' Plutarch.' A. C. iii. 6, ). 

I' the market-place, on a tribunal silver'd, 
Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold 
Were publicly enthron'd. 
Antony's preparations for battle, — from North's 
' Plutarch.' A. C. iii. 7, «'. 

noble emperor, do not fight by sea. 
Antony's reception of Ciesar's messenger, — from 

North's ' Plutarch.' A. C. iii. 1 1, i. 
A messenger from Caesar. 
Antony's challenge to Caesar, — from North's ' Plu- 
tarch.' A. C. iv. 1, i. 

Let the old ruffian know, 

1 have many other ways to die, &c. 
Antony's speecn to his servants, — from North's 

' Plutarch.' A. C. iv. 2, >. 
Call forth my household servants. 
Antony, desertion of, by the god Hercules,— from 
North's ' Plutarch.' A. C iv. 3, i. 
Peace, what noise ? 
Antony, defeat of,— from North's ' Plutarch.' A.C. 
iv. 10, t. 

This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me. 
Antony's last speech to Cleopatra, and death, — 
from North's ' Plutarch.' A. C. iv. I.'^, i. 
O Charmian, I will never go from hence. 
Ape — expression of kindly familiarity applied to a 
young man. R. J. ii. 1, n. 



APE 



( 485 ) 



BAD 



The ape is dead, and I must conjure him. 
Ape-bearer. W. T. iv. 2, i. 

An npehearer. 
Apostle-spoons. H. E. v. 2, i. 

Vou M spare your spoons. 
Apothecary, Romeo's description of. R. J. v. 1, (. 

I do remember an apothecary. 
Apparel, fashions of. M. A. ii. 3, i. 

Carving the fashion of a new doublet. 
Appay'd — satisfied, pleased. Luc. n. 

But sin ne'er gives a fee, 

He gratis comes ; and thou art well appay'd 

As well to hear as grant what he hath said. 
Apperil. T. Ath. i. 2, .,. 

Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon. 
Apprehension — opinion. H. 6, F. P. ii. 4, n. 

To scourge you for this appreh nsiun. 
Approbatitm—pTohsLtion. M M. i. 3, n. 

This day my sister should the cloister enter. 

And there receive her apprnbatiun. 
Approbatiim — proof. W. T. ii. 1, n. 

Which was as gross as ever touch'd conjecture. 

That lack'd sight only, nought for approbatiun. 
Apprmw our eyes — confirm what we have seen. H. 
i, I, «. 

That, if again the apparition come. 

He may approve our eyes, and speak to it. 
Approv'd — proved. G. V. v. 4, n. 

O, 'tis the curse in love, and still approv'd. 

When women cannot love, where they 're be- 
lov'd. 
Apricocks — apricots. R. S. iii. 4. n. 

Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks. 
April day — spring time of life. T. Ath. iv. 3, n. 

She, whom the spital house and ulcerous sores 

W'ould cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices 

To the Afiril-day again. 
Are arms — which are arms. P. i. 2, n. 

From whence an issue I might propagate. 

Are arms to princes, and bring joys to subjects. 
Argosy — ship. T. S. ii. 1, n. 

Besides an argosy 

That now is lying in Marseilles road. 
Argument — conversation. M. A. iii. 1, n. 

For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour. 
Argument — subject-matter. A. L. iii. 1, n. 

I should not seek an absent argument 

Of my revenge, thou present. 
Arm him — Take hira in your arms. Cy. iv. 2, n. 

Come, arm him. 
Armgaunt. A. C. i. 5, n. 

And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt steed. 
Arm your prize — ofTer your arm to the lady you have 
won. T. N. K. V. 3, n. 

Arm your prize : 

I know you will not lose her. 
Aroint thee, explanatiqji of. L. iii. 4, i. 

Aroint thee, witch, aruint thee. 
Aroint. M. i. 3. n. See L. iii. 4, i. 

•Aroint thee, witch ! ' the rump-fed ronyon cries. 
A-row — one after the other. C. L. v. 1, n. 

Beaten the maids a-ruw, and bound the doctor. 
Arras. H. 4. F. P. ii. 4, t. 

Go hide thee behind the arras. 
Arrest before judgment. C. E. iv. 2, f. 

One that, before the judgment, carries poor souls 
to hell. 
Arrive tAe— arrive at the. J. C. i. 2, n. 

But ere we could arrive the point propos'd. 
Arthur's show. H. 4, S. P. iii. 2, i. 

I remember at Mile end green (when I lav at 
Clement's inn), I was then sir Dagonet at Arthur's 

Sh::W. 

Articulated — exhibited in articles. H. 4, F. P. v. 1 , n. 

These things, indeed, you have articulated, 

Proclaim'd at market-crosses. 
Artijicial strife — contest of art with nature. T. Ath. 
i. l,n. Artijicial strife 

Lives in these touches, livelier than life. 
Arundel, escape of Thomas son of the earl of. R. S. 
ii. 1 , I. 

The son of Richard, earl of Arundel, 

That late broke from the duke of Exeter. 
/Is bid — as to bid. ,T. iv. 2, n. 



Or tum'd an eye of doubt upon my face. 

As bid me tell my tale in express words. 
As how — with a train of circumstances. A. L, iv. 
3, n. 

Tears our recountments had most kindly bath'd , 

As h'jw I came into that desert place. 
As our good wills. Cor. ii. 1, n. 

It shall be to him then, as our good loUh; 

A sure destruction. 
Asli o/— ask for. M. W. i. 2, n. 

Ask of doctor Caius' liouse. 
Aspersion — sprinkling. J. iv. l,n. 

No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall 

To make this contract grow. 
Assay of the deer. J. ii. 2. i. 

And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come 

Our lusty English, all with purpled hands. 
Assinego — ass. J. C. ii. 1, n. 

An assinego may tutor thee. 
Association of ideas, Mr. Whiter's theory of. R. J. 
i. 3, 1. 

Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face. 
Assum'd this age — put on these appearances of age. 
Cy. v. 5, n. He it is that hath 

Assum'd this age. 
Assured — -affianced. C. E. iii. 2, n. 

I was assured to her. 
Assur'd — affianced. J. ii. 2, n. 

That I did so, when I was first assur'd. 
Astonished him — stunned him with the blow. H. F. 
v. 1, n. 

Enough, captain ; you have astonished him. 
Astringer — falconer. A, W. v. 1, t. 

Enter a gentle Astringer. 
At each. L. iv. 6, n. 

Ten masts at each make not the altitude 

Which thou hast perpendicularly fell. 
At liberty — of his own unrestrained will. H. 4, 
F. P. V. 2, n. Never did 1 hear 

Of any prince so wild at liberty. 
Atone together— unite. A. L. v. 4, «. 

Then is there mirth in heaven. 

When earthly things made even 

Atone together. 
Atone you — make you in concord. R. S. i. l,»i. 

Since we cannot atone you, you shall see 

Justice design the victor's chivalry. 
Atone (v.) — to make at one. (^y. i. o, n. 

I was glad I did atone my countryman and you. 
Atone (v.) — he reconciled. Cor. iv. 6, n. 

He and Aufidius can no more atone. 

Than violentest contrariety. 
Attended -waited for. U. 6, T. P. iv. 6, n. 

And the lord Hastings, who attended him 

In secret ambush on the forest side. 
Aumerle, duke of R. S. i. 3, i. 
Away with me— like me. H. 4, S. P. iii. 2, «, 

She never could away with me. 
Awful — in the sense of lawful, G. V. iv. 1, n. 

Thrust from the company of awful men. 
Awful — reverential. H. 4, S. P. iv. 1 , n. 

We come within our awful banks again. 

And knit our powers to the arm of peace. 
Awkward wind — epithet used by Marlowe and 
Drayton. H. 6, S. P, iii. 2, n. 

And twice by awkward wind from England's 
bank 

Drove back again unto my native clime, 
Awless — not inspiring awe. J. i. 1, n. 

Against whose fiery and unmatched force 

The awless lion could not wage the fight. 
Aye remaining lamps — constantly burning lamps. 
P. iii. l,n. 

Where, for a monument upon thy bones. 

And aye-remaining tamps. 

B. 

Baccare — go back. T. S. ii. 1 , n. 

Baccare ! you are marvellous forward. 
Badge of fame to slander's livery. Luc. n. 
At least 1 give 

A badge of fame U) slander's livery ; 

A dying life to living infamy. 



BAG 



( 486 ) 



BED 



Bagpipes. M. V. iv. 1, t. 

Bagpipe. 
Bagpipe. H. 4, F. P. i. 2, i. 

The drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe. 
Bailitr, dress of the. C. E. iv. 2, i. 

A fellow all in buff. 
Bailiff, dog-like attributes of the. C. E. iv. 2, i. 

A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry- 
foot well. 
Balconies on the stage. R. J. iii. 5, i. 

Juliet's chain btr. 
BaWrtcA— belt. M. A. i. 1, n. 

Or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick. 
Bale—Tuin. Cor. i. 1, n. 

Rome and her rats are at the point of battle, 

The one side must have bate. 
Ba/e/u;— baneful. H. 6, F. P. v. 4, n. 

By sight of these our baleful enemies. 
Balk — pass over. T. S. i. 1, n. 

Bulk logic with acquaintance that you have. 
Ba/ft'rf— heaped up. H. 4, F. P. i. 1, n. 

Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty 
knights, 

Balk'd in their own blood, did sir Walter see 

On Holmedon's plains. 
Ballad. H. 4, S. P. iv. 3,(. 

I w ill have it in a particular ballad. 
Balluw — pole. L. iv. 6, n. 

Or ise try whether your costard or my balluw be 
the harder. 
jBanrf— bond. C. E. iv. 2, n. (See R. S. i. 1, n.) 

Tell me, was he arrested on a band? 
Band — bond. R. S. i. l,n. 

Hast thou, according to thy oath and band. 

Brought hither Henry Hereford, thy bold son? 
Banishment, law of. R. S. i. 3, i. 

Our part therein we banish. 
Banh'd their towns — sailed along their banks. J. v. 
2, n. 

Have I not heard these islanders shout out, 

Vive le roy ! as I have banh'd their towns f 
Bans — curses. L. ii. 3, n. 

Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with 
prayers. 
Barbasan — evil spirit in the ' Daemonology.' H. F. 
ii. 2, n. 

1 am not Barbason, you cannot conjure me ! 
Barbed — caparisoned. R. T. i. 1, n. 

And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds. 
Barbers' shops. A. W. ii. 2, «. 

It is like a barber's chair. 
Bare the raven's eye. Cy. ii. 2, ». 

Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that 
dawning 

May bare the raven's eye! 
Barm — yeast. M. N. D. ii. 1, n. 

And sometime make the drink to bear no barm. 
Same— child. W. T. iii. 3, n. 

Mercy on 's, a bame, a very pretty bamel 
Baronets, order of. O. iii. 4, i. 

The hearts of old gave hands ; 

But our new heraldry is — hands, not hearts. 
Base — prison-base (the game). G. V. i. 2, n. 

Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus. 
Base court — lower court. R. S. iii. 3, n. 

My lord, in the base court he doth attend. 
Basilisco like. J. 1. l,n. 

Knight, knight, good mother, — Basilisco-like. 
Bastard, whom the oracle — allusion to the tale of 
CKdipus. T. Ath. iv. 3, n. 

Think it a bastard, whom the oracle 

Hath doubtfully pronounc'd thy throat shall cut, 

And mince it sans remorse. 
Sat— club. L. C. n. 

So slides he down upon his grained bat. 
Bate — strife, debate. M. W. i. 4, n. 

And, 1 warrant you, no tell-tale, nor no breed- 
bate. 
Bate. H. F. iii. 7,n. 

'T is a hooded valour ; and, when it appears, it 
will bate. 
Bate breeding — strife-breeding. V. A. n. 

This sour informer, this hate-breeding spv. 
Baled. H. 4, F. P. iv. 1, n. 



All fumish'd, all in arms : 
All plum'd, like estridges that with the wind 
Bated. 
Batler — bat used in washing linen in a stream. 
A. L. ii. 4,n. 
I remember the kissing of her hatter. 
Battle-knights, creation of. J. i. l,i. 

A soldier, by the honour-giving hand 
Of Coeur-de-Lion knighted in the field. 
Battles upon the stage. H. F. i. Chorus, i. 

But pardon, gentles all. 
Bavian — character in the morris-dance. T. N. K. 
iii. 5, R. 
Enter Gerrold, four Countrymen (and the Ba- 
vian"). 
Bavin — brushwood. H. 4, F. P. iii. 2, n. 

He ambled up and down 
With shallow jesters and rash bavin wits. 
Baynard's castle. R. T, iii 5, i. 

If you thrive w ell, bring them to Baynard's 
castle. 
Be moved — have compassion. G. V. ii. 1, n. 

be not like your mistress ; be moved, be moved. 
Be naught awhile. A. L. i. 1 , «. 

Marry, sir, be better employed, and 6e naught 
atehite. 
Be comfi/rtable — become susceptible of comfort. 
A."L. ii. 6, n. 

For my sake, be comfortable ; hold death awhile 
at the arm's end. 
Be borne — to be borne. R. J. iv. 1, n. 

In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier. 
Be borne to burial in thy kindred's grave. 
Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault. 
Be drcumstanc'd — yield to circumstances. O. iii. 
4,n. 
'T is very good : I must be drcumstanc'd. 
Beadsman. G. V. i. 1 , t. 

1 will be thy beadsman, Valentine. 
Beacon to this under globe. L. ii. 2, n. 

Approach, thou beacon to this under globe, 

That by thy comfortable beams I may 

Peruse this letter ! 
Bear-baiting. M. W. i. 1, i. 

I have seen Sackerson loose. 
Bearing-cloth— mantle with which a child is covered 
when carried to the church to be baptized. W. T. 
iii. 3, n. 

Look thee, a bearing-doth for a squire's child ! 
Bear a brain — have a memory. R. J. i. 3, n. 

My lord and you were then at Mantua : — 

Nay, I do bear a brain. 
Bear-garden on the Bankside. H. E. v. 3, i. 

Paris-garden. 
Beards. H. F. iii. 6, i. 

A beard of the general's cut. 
Bears (v.) — figures, is seei^ M. M. iv. 4, n. 

For my authority bears of a credent bulk. 
Bears (the Nevils). H. 6, S. P. v. 1 , n. 

CaJl hither to the stake my two brave t>ears. 
Beat on a crown — are intent on a crown. H. 6, S. P. 
ii. 1, n. Thine eyes and thoughts 

Beat on a crown. 
Beated — participle of the verb to beat. So. Ixii. n. 

But when my glass shows me myself indeed, 

Beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity. 
Beauty — pronounced booty. H. 4, F. P. i. 1, n. 

Let not us that are squires of the night's body 
be called thieves of the day's beauty. 
Beaver — helmet. H. 4, F. P. iv. 1, n. 

I saw young Harrv with his beaver on. 
Beaver. H. i. 2, n. See H. 4, S. P. iv. 1, i. 

He wore his beaver up. 
Beavers. H. 4, S. P. iv. 1, i 

Their beavers down. 
Becomed — becoming. R. J. iv. 2, n. 

And gave him what becomed love I might, 

Not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty. 
Bedded jet — jet imbedded or set. L. C. n. 

A thousand favours from a maund she drew 

Of amber, crvstal, and of bedded jet. 
Bedfellow. H. F. ii. 2, t. 

Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow. 
Bedlam beggars. L. ii. 3, t. 



SSB, 



( 87 ) 



BLU 



The conntrv gives me proof and precedent 

Of Bediam beggars. 
Beetle. M. M. ui. l.f. 

The poor beetle, that we tread apon, 

In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great 

As when a giant dies. 
Beggars. G. V. ii. 1, f. 

Beggar at Hallowmas. 
Beggar's nurse and Casar's — death. A. C. v. 2, n. 

Wliich sleeps, and never palates more the dung, 

Tlie beggar s nurse and Ccesar's. 
BeguiVd — masked with fraud. Luc. n. 

^- o begtdVd, 

With outward honesty, but yet defil'd 

With inward vice. 
Behaviuur — conduct. J. i. 1 , n. 

Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of France, 

In my behaviour, to the majesty, 

Tlie borrow'd majesty of England here. 
Beholding — beholden. H. E. iv. 1, n. 

Had I not known those customs, 

I should have been beholding. 
Bclee'd and catm'd — terms of navigation. O. i. 1, n. 
Must be belee'd and calm' d 

By debitor and creditor. 
Bellona's bridegroom. M. i. 2, n. 

The thane of Cawdor began a dismal conflict : 

Till that Bellima's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof. 

Confronted him with self-comparisons. 
Belly and the members, fable of. Cor. i. 1, i. 

Make edicts for usury, to support usiurers. 
Bemoiled — bemired. T. S. iv. 1 , n. 

How she was bemoiled. 
Benvolio's falsehood. R. J. iii. 1, i. 

Affection makes him false. 
Bergamo, sailmakers of. T. S. v. I, i. 

A sailmaker in Bergamo. 
Bergomask dance — an Italian dance. M. N. D. v. 1 , ??. 

Hear a Bergomask dance, between two of our 
company. 
Besmirch (v.) — sully. H. i. 3, n. 

And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch 

The virtue of his will, 
BestiU'd — dissolv'd. H. i. 2, n. 

Whilst they, bestill'd 

Almost to jelly with the act of fear. 

Stand dumb, and speak not to him. 
Bestow' dstovicA, deposited. C. E. i. 2, n. 

In what safe place you have bestow'd my money. 
Bestraught — distraught, distracted. T. S. Indue, 2, n. 

What ! I am not bestraught. 
Beteem (v.) — pour forth. M. N. D. i. 1, n. 

Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes. 
Beteem (v.)— allow, suffer. H. i. 2, n. 

So loving to my mother, 

That he might not beteem the winds of heaven 

Visit her face too roughly. 
Better skill — with better skill. Luc. n. 

For burthen-wise 1 '11 hum on Tarquin still, 

While thou on Tereus descant 'st better skill. 
Bevel — bent in an angle. So. cxxi. n. 

I may be straight, though they themselves be 
bei'el. 
Bevis of Southampton. H. 6, S. P. ii. 3, i. 

As Bevis of Southampton fell upon Ascapart. 
Bevy. H. E. i. 4, n. 

None here he hopes 

In all this noble bevt/, has brought with her 

One care abroad. 
Bewray (v.) — discover. H. 6, T. P. i. 1, n. 

Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her 
anger. 
Bewray {y.) — reveal. L. ii. l,n. 

He did bewray his practice. 
Beyond beyond — further than beyond. Cy. iii. 2, n. 
O, not like me ; 

For mine 's beyond beyond. 
Bezonians — term of contempt. H. 6, S. P. iv. 1,71. 

Great men oft die by vile bezonians. 
Bias of the world. J. ii. 2, n. 

Commodity, the bias of the world. 
Bid the wind a base — challenge the wind to speed. 
V. A. n. 

To bid the ivind a base he now prepares. 



Bilboes — bar of iron with fetters attached to it. H. v. 
2, n. 

Methought, I lay 

Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. 
Bills. M. A. iii. 3, n. 

We are like to prove a goodly commodity, be- 
ing taken up of these men's bills. 
Bills. H. 6, S. P. iv. 7, n. 

My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside, and 
take up commodities upon our bills t 
Bills. T. Ath. iii. 4, n. 

Phi. All our Hlls. 

Tim. Knock me down with 'em. 
Bills on tiieir necks. A. L. i. 2, n. 

With bills im their necks, — ■ Be it known unto all 
men by these presents.' 
Bills placed on Junius Brutus' statue. J. C. i. 3, i. 

Good Cinna, take this paper, &c. 
Bird bolts. M. A. i. 1, t. 

Challenged Cupid at the flight : and my uncle's 
fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, 
and challenged him at the bird bolt. 
Birds of Italy. M. V. v. 1, i. 

The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark, &c. 
Birds, deceiv'd with painted grapes. V. A. n. 

Even as poor birds, deceiv'd with painted grapes. 

Do surfeit by the eye. 
Bimam wood. M. v. 4. f. 

Siward. What wood is this before us ? 

Menteth. The wood of Bimam. 
Birth-hour's blot — corporal blemish. Luc. n. 

Worse than a slavish wipe, or birth-hour's blot. 
Bishop, costume of. H. 4, S. P. iv. 1, t. 

Whose white investments figure innocence. 
Si««m— blind. Cor. ii. 1, n. 

What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean 
out of this character ? 
Biting the thumb. K. J. i. 1, t. 

I will bite my thumb at them. 
Black — dark. G. V. iv. 4, n. 

That now she is become as black as I. 
Black — swarthy, dark. M. A. iii. 1, n. 

If fair- faced. 

She would swear the gentleman should be her 
sister ; 

If black, why, nature, drawing of an antic. 

Made a foul blot. 
Black Monday, origin of. M. V. ii. 5, i. 

Block Monday. 
Blasts — used as a verb neuter. Luc. ». 

rash false heat, wrapp'd in repentant cold, 
Thy hasty spring still blasts, and ne'er grows 

old! 
Blenches — deviations. So. ex. n. 

These blenches gave my heart another youth. 

And worse essays prov'd thee ray best of love. 
Blessed thistle, supposed virtues of. M. A. iii. 4, i. 

Carduus benedictus. 
Blessing the marriage-bed. M. N. D. v. 2, t. 

To the best bride-bed will we. 
Blessing, begging of. H. iii. 4, n. 

.\nd when you are desirous to be bless'd, 

1 '11 blessing beg of you. 
Block. L. iv. 6, n. 

This a good block ! 
Blood-letting. R. S. i. 1, f. 

Our doctors say, this is no month to bleed. 
Blood will I draw. H. 6, F. P. i. 5, n. 

Blood will I draw on thee, thou art a witch. 

And straightway give thy soul to him thou serv'st. 
Blond — natural disposition. T. Ath. iv. 2, n. (See 
Cy. i. l,n.) 

Strange, unusual blood. 

When man's worst sin is, he does too much good ! 
Bloodless. H. 6, S. P. iii. 2, n. 

Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost. 

Of ashy semblance, meagre, pale, and bloodless, 

Being all descended to the labouring heart. 
Blossiims — young men, flower of the nobility. L. C. n. 

Whose rarest havings made the blossoms dote. 
Blows (v.) — swells. A. C. iv. 6, n. 

This bk/ws my heart. 
Blue of heaven's own tinct. Cy. ii. 2, n. 

The enclosed lights now canopied 



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Under these windows, white and azare, lac'd 
fFith blue of heaven's oum tinct. 
Board (v.) — adaress. T. N. i. 3, n. 

Accost, is, front her, buard her, woo her, assail 
her. 
Boarded — accosted. A. W. v. 3, n. 

Certain it is I lik'd her, 
And boarded her i' the wanton way of youth. 
Boarded — accosted. M. A. ii. l,n. 

I would he had boarded me. 
Boar's Head Tavern. H. 4, F. P. ii. 4, t. 

Kastcheap ; a room in the Boar's Head Tavern. 
Bob — rap. A. L. ii. 7,n. 

He that a fool doth very wisely hit 
Doth very foolishly, although he smart. 
Not to seem senseless of the bob. 
Bodg'd. H. 6, T. P. i. 4, n. 

But, out, alas ! 
We bodg'd again. 
Budiin—amaW sword. H. iii. 1, n. 

When he himself might his quietus make 
With a bare budkin. 
Bolingbroke. R. S. i. 1, t. 

'rhen, Bolingbroke. 
Boll'n — swollen. Luc. n. 

Here one being throng'd bears back, all bolPn 
and red. 
Bolter'd — ^begrimed, besmeared. M. iv. 1 , n. 

For the hlood-bolter'd Banquo smiles upon me. 
Bombast — from bombagia ; cotton wool used as stuff- 
ing. L. L. L. V. 2, n. 

As bombast, and as lining to the time. 
Bonneted. Ck>r. ii. 2, n. (See O. i. 2, n.) 

And his ascent is not by such easy degrees as 

those who, having been supple and courteous to 

the people, bonneted, without any further deed to 

have them at all into their estimation and report. 

Book of songs and sonnets. M. W. i. 1, i. 

I had rather than forty shillings, I had my book 
of songs and Sunnets here. 
Book, sense of the term. H. 4, F. P. iii. 1, i. 

By that time will our book 1 think be drawn. 
Book uncross'd. Cy. iii. 3, n. 

Such gains the cap of him that makes him fine, 
Yet keeps his book uncross'd. 
Boot — into the barjjain. R. T. iv. 4, n. 

The other Edward dead, to quit my Edward ; 
Young York he is but bout, because both they 
Match not the high perfection of my loss. 
Boot — advantage. M. M. ii. 4, n. 

Could I, with boot, change for an idle plume. 
Boot — compensation. R. S. i. 1, n. 

Norfolk, throw down, we bid ; there is no boot. 
Boots. G. V. i. 1, t. 

Nay, give me not the boots. 
Boord (v.) — accost. H. ii. 2, n. 

1 '11 boord him presently. 
Bores — wounds, thrusts. H. E. i. 1, n. 

At tills instant 
He bores me with some tiick. 
Borne in hand — encouraged by false hopes. M. iii. 
I, n. 
How you were borne in hand ; how cross'd. 
Borrower's cap. H. 4, S. V. ii. 2, n. 

The answer is as ready as a borrower's cap. 
Bosom — wish, heart's desire. M. M. iv. 3, n. 

And you shall have your bosom on this wretch. 
Boson — boatswain. T. i. l,n. 

Where is the master, boson f 
Buund — boundary, obstacle. T. Ath. i. 1, n. 
Our gentle flame 
Provokes itself, and, like the current, flies 
lOach bound it chafes. 
Bourn — boundary. L. iv. 6, n. 

From the dread summit of this chalky bourn. 
Bowls. L. L. L. V. 2, t. 
A very good bowler. 
Brach — dog of a particular species. T. S. Indue, 1 , n. 
Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my 

hounds : 
Brach Merriman. 
Brach — female harrier. L. iii. 6, n. (See L. i. 4, n.) 

Hound or spaniel, brach or lym. 
Braid — crafty. A. W. iv. 2, n. 



Since Frenchmen are so braid. 
Marry that will, I '11 live and die a maid. 
Brakes of ice. M. M.ii. l,n. 

Some run from brakes of ice, and answer none. 
Brass. H. F. iv. 4, n. 

Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat, 
Offer'st me brass f 
Srat;e —bravado. J. v. 2, n. 

There end thy brave, and turn thy face in peace. 
Braved — made fine. T. S. iv. 3, n. 

Thou hast braved many men. 
Bravery — finery. A. L. ii. 7, n. 

His bravery is not on my cost. 
Brawls. L. L. L. iii. 1, t. 

A French brawl. 
Break up (v.) -open. M. V. ii. 4, n. 

An it shall please you to break up this. 
Break with him — break the matter to him. G. V. i. 
3, fi. 
Now will we break with him. 
Break the parle — begin the parley. T. And. v. 3, n. 
Rome's emperor, and nephew, break the parte. 
Breast — voice. T. N. ii. 3, n. 

By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast, 
Breath'd. T. Ath. i. l,n. 

Breath'd as it were. 
To an untirable and continuate goodness. 
Breathe in your watering — take breath when you are 
drinking. H. 4, F. P. ii. 4, n. 

When you breathe in your watering, they cry- 
hem! 
Bribe. Cy. iii. 3, ». 

O this life 
Is nobler, than attending for a check ; 
Richer, than doing nothing for a bribe. 
Bride-cup. T. S. iii. 2, i. 

A health, quoth he. 
i?rte/-letter. H. 4, F. P. iv. 4, n. 

Bear this sealed brief. 
With winged haste, to the lord marshal. 
Bring me out — put me out. A. L. iii. 2, n. 
Ros. Sweet, say on. 
Celia. You bring me out. 
Bring in — call to the drawers for more wine. H. 4, 
F. P. i. 2, n. 
Got with swearing — lay by ; and spent with ciy • 
ing — bring in. 
Bristol. R. S. iii. l,r. 
Srt«e-gad-fly. T. C. i. 3, n. 

The herd hath more annoyance by the brixe 
Than by the tiger. 
Brize — gad-fly. A. C. iii. 8, n. 

The brize upon her, like a cow in June. 
Brock — badger. T. N. ii. 5, n. 

Marry, hang thee, brock 1 
Brogues — rude shoes. Cy. iv. 2, ». 

And put 
My clouted brogues from oflT my feet. 
Broken with — communicated with. H. E. v. 1, n. 
With which they mov'd 
Have broken with the king. 
Brooch — an ornament. R. S. v. 5, n. 

And love to Richard 
Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world. 
Brooch'd — adorned. A. C. iv. 13, n. 

Not the imperious show 
Of the full-fortun'd Csesar ever shall 
Be br(joch'd with me. 
Brother father. M. M. iii. 2, n. 

And you, good brother father. 
Brother Ciassius. J. C. ii. 1, n. 

Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door. 
Brought yuu Cofsarhomef — did you accompany Caesar 
home i J. C. i. 3, n. 

Good even , Casca ; brought you Ccesar home t 
Brown bills — bills for billmen, infantry. L. iv. 6, n. 

Bring up the broum bills. 
Brownists. T. N. iii. 2, i. 

1 had as lief be a Bruwnist as a politician. 
Bruit — report. H. 6, T. P. iv. 7, n. 

Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand ; 
The bruit thereof will bring you many friends. 
Brutus and Cassius, — from North s ' Plutarch.' J. C. 



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Will you go see the order of the course ? 
Brutus and Portia, — from North's ' Plutarch.' J.C. 
u. l,t. 

Let not our looks, &c. 
Brutus and Antony, orations of, — from North's ' Plu- 
tarch.' J. C. iii. 2, I. 

Enter Brutus and Cassius, and a throng of citi- 
zens. 
Brutus the night before the battle, — from North's 
'Plutarch.' J. C. v. l,f. 

Be thou my witness that, against my will, &c. 
Brutus, death of, — from North's ' Plutarch.' J. C. 
V. 5, I. 

Come, poor remains of friends, &c. 
Buckle (y.)—hend. H. 4, S. P. i. 1, n. 

And as the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joints, 

Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life. 
Bucklersbury. M. W. iii. 3, t. 

Bucklersbury in simple time. 
Bugs — hobgoblins. T. S. i. 2, n. 

Tush ! tush ! fear boys with bugs. 
Bugs— terrors. Cy. v. 3, n. 

Those that would die or ere resist are grown 

The mortal bugs o' the field. 
Bulk. O. V. l,n. 

Here, stand behind this bulk. 
Bulk — the whole body. Luc. n. 

May feel her heart, poor citizen, distress'd, 

Wounding itself to death, rise up and fall. 

Beating her bulk, that his hand shakes withal. 
Bully-rook. M. W. i. 3, n. 

What says my bully-rock f 
Bumbards — ale-barrels. H. E. v. 3, n. 

And here ye lie baiting of bumbards, when 

Ye should do service. 
Burgimet — helmet. A. C. i. 5, n. 

The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm 

And burgonet of men. 
Bum daylight — waste time. M. W. ii. 1, n. 

We burn daylight : — here, read, read. 
Surst— broken. "T. S. Induction, 1, n. 

Pay for the glasses you have burst. 
Burton" Heath. T. S. Induction, 2, t". 

Old Sly's son of Burton Heath. 
Busky — bosky, woody. H. 4, F. P. v. 1, n. 

How bloodily the sun begins to peer 

Above yon busky hill. 
But — unless. T. S. iii. 1, n. 

For, but I be deceiv'd. 

Our fine musician groweth amorous. 
But one — except one. A. W. ii. 3, n. 

To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress 

Fall, when love please, — marry to each — but 
one. 
But poor a thousand crowns. A. L. i. 1, n. 

It was upon this fashion bequeathed me by will, 
but poor a thousand aowns. 
But Just'y — but as justly. A. L. i. 2, n. 

if you do keep your promises in love 

But justly as you have exceeded all promise. 

Your mistress shall be happy. 
But — except. J. iii. l,n. 

But on this day, let seamen fear no wrack. 
But niiw—}u8t now. H. 6, S. P. iv. 9, ». 

But null! is Cade driven back, his men dispers'd. 
But thou lave me — so thou do but love me. R. J. ii. 
2, n. 

And, but thuu love me, let them find me here. 
Butt. T. i. 2, n. 

Where they prepar'd 

A rotten carcase of a buft. 
Butter-woman's rank to market. A. L. iii. 2, n. 

It is the right butter woman' s rank to market. 
Buxom — obedient, disciplined. H. F. iii. 6, n. 

Bardolph, a soldier firm and sound of lieart. 

Of bu,tiim valour, &c. 
Suz— interjection of ridicule. T. S. ii. 1, n. 

Should be ? should } buz ! 
By nature — by the impulses of nature. C. E. i. 
1, n. 

Witness that my end 

Was wrought by nature, not by vile oflence. 
By day and night — always, constantly. L. i. 3, n. 

By day and night he wrongs me. 



By-peeping — clandestinely peeping. Cy. i. 7, n. 
Then, by-peeping in an eye. 
Base and unlustrous as the smoky ligiit. 
By him — by his house. J. C. ii. 1 , n. 

Now, good Metellus, go along by him. 
By'r'nkin — by our ladykin; our little lady. M. N. D. 
iii. 1, n. 

By'riakin, a parlous fear. 
Byron s ' Bride of Abydos,' lines from. A. L. iv. \,i. 
Good youth, he went but forth to wash liim in 
the Hellespont, and, being taken with the cramp, 
was drowned. 
Byron's ' Stanzas for Music' M. M. iii. 1, t. 
For all thy blessed youth, &c. 

c. 

Caddis-garter — garter of ferret. H. 4, F. P. ii. 4, w. 
Puke-stocking, cadd(S-<;ar<er, smooth-tongue, &c. 
Cade — cask. H. 6, S. P. iv. 2, n. 

Cade. We, John Cade, so termed of our sup- 
posed father, — • 

Dick. Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings. 
Caesar and his fortune, — pa.ssage in ' Plutarch.' H. 6, 
F. P. i. 2, .". 
Now am I like that proud insulting ship 
Which Ceesar and his fortune bare at once. 
Caesar's fear of Cassius, — from North's ' Plutarch.' 
J. C. i. 2, 1. 

Let me have men about me that are fat, &c. 
Caesar, offer of the crown to, — from North's ' Plu- 
tarch.' J. C. i. 2, i. 

Ay, Casca ; tell us what hath chanc'd to-day. 
Caesar, assassination of, — from North's ' Plutarch.' 
J. C. iii. 1 , t. 

All the senators rise. 
Caesar's grief for the death of Antony, — from North's 
' Pluteich.' A. C. V. 1, t. 

Wherefore is that? and what art thou that dar'st 
Appear thus to us ? 
(Caesar's interview with Cleopatra, — from North's 
'Plutarch.' A. C. v. 2, i. 

Which is the queen of Egvpt ? 
Caitiff. R. S. i. 2, n. 

And tlirow the rider headlong in the lists, 
A cattj^ recreant to my cousin Hereford! 
Calen o Custure me. H. ¥. iv. 4, n. 

Quality ! Calen o Custure me. Art thou a gen- 
tleman .' 
Caliver — small musket. H. 4, S. P. iii. 2, n. 

Put me a caliver into Wart's hand. 
Ca^ftjns— hoofs. T. N. K. v. 4, n. 

On this horse is Arcite, 
Trotting the stones of Athens, which the calkins 
Did rather tell than trample. 
Call. J. iii. 4, n. 

If but a dozen French 
Were there in arms, they would be as a call 
To train ten thousand English to their side. 
Call Mere— call it. A. W. ii. 3, n. 

Wliat do vou call there. 
Callet. H. 6,'T. P. ii. 2, ». 

A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns, 
To make this shameless callet know herself. 
Catling — name. A. L. i. 2, n. 

1 am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son. 

His youngest son ; — and would not change that 

calling. 
To be adopted heir to Frederick. 
Culm — used by Hostess for qualm. H. 4, S. P. ii. 4, n. 

Sick of a calm 
Calphurnia's dreams, — from North's ' Plutarch.' J. 
C. ii. 2, (. 
Tlirice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out, &c. 
Calves'guts. Cy. ii. 3, n. 

It is a voice in her ears, which horse-hairs and 
calvei'-gufs, nor the voice of unpaved eunuch to 
boot, can never amend. 
Camelot. L. ji. 2, t. 

Goose, if I iiad you upon Sarum plain, 
I 'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot. 
Campanella, passage from, — with parallel references 
to Milton and Coleridge. M. V. v. 1, i. 
Sit, Jessica, &c. 



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Can — knows. P. P. n. 

Let the priest in surplice white, 
Tliat defunctive music can. 
Can for additions— began as additions. L. C. n. 
All aids, themselves made fairer by their place, 
Can far additions. 
Canary. L. L. L. iii. 1, i. 

Canary to it. 
Candle-wasters— hookvorms. M. A. v. 1, n. 
Make misfortune drunk 
With cand/e-irasters. 
Cane-coloured beard. M. W. i. 4, n. 

A little yellow heard ; a cane-culoured beard. 
Canker. G. V. i. 1,». 

In the sweetest bud 
The eating canker dwells. 
Canfter— dog-rose. M. A. i. 3, t. 

I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose 
in his grace. 
Canfter-— dog-rose. H. 4, F. P. i. 3, n. 

To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose, 
And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke. 
Canker-blooms — flowers of the canker or dog-rose. 
So. lix. n. 

The canker-bhioms have full as deep a dye 
As the perfumed tincture of the roses. 
Cannibals, imaginary nation of. T. ii. 1, j. 

No kind of traffic, &c. 
Cannibals — used by Pistol for Hannibals. H. 4, S. 
P, ii. 4, n. 
Compare with Caesars and with cannibals. 
Canon. H. i. 2, ». 

His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. 
Cantle — corner. H. 4, F. P. iii. 1, n. 

And cuts me, from the best of all my land, 
A huge half-moon, a monstrous cantle out. 
Cantle — portion. A. C. iii. 8, n, (See H. 4, F. P. 
iii. 1, n.) 

The greater cantle of the world is lost 
With very ignorance. 
Cantons — cantos. T. N. i. 5, n. 

Write loyal cantons of contemned love. 
Capable — able to receive. A. L. iii. 5, n. 
Lean upon a rush, 
The cicatrice and capable irapressure, 
Thy palm some moment keeps. 
Capitulate (v.)— settle the heads of an agreement. 
H. 4, F. P. iii. 2, ». 
The archbishop's grace of York, Douglas, Mor- 
timer, 
Capitulate against us, and are up, 
Capocchia — shallow slionce, loggerliead. T. C. iv. 
2, n. 
Alas, poor wretch ! a poor capocchia I 
Captain — used adjectively for chief. So. Iii. n. 
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are. 
Or captain jewels in the carcanet. 
Captious and intenible — capable of receiving, but not 
of retaining. A. W. i. 3, n. 

Yet, in this captious and intenible sieve, 
I still pour in the waters of my love. 
Capulet's feast, season of. R. J. i. 2, i. 

This night I hold an old accustom'd feast. 
Carack — vessel of heavy burden. O. i. 2, n. 

'Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land carack. 
Carbonado — rasher on the coals. H. 4, F. P. v. 3, n. 

Let him make a carbonado of me. 
Carcanet— chain, necklace. C. E. iii. 1, n. 

'I'o see tlie making of her carcanet. 
Carcanet — necklace. So. Iii. n. 

Or captain jewels in the carcanet. 
Card often — proverbial expression. T. S. ii. 1, n. 

Yet I have fac'd it with a card often. 
Card. H. V. l,n. 

We must speak by the card, or equivocation 
will undo us. 
Carded. H. 4, F. P. iii. 2, n. 

Carded his state ; 
Mingled his royalty with carping fools. 
Cards. J. v. 2, i. 

Have I not here the best cards for the game ? 
Careers— a. term of the manege. M. W. i. i, n. 

And so conclusions passed the careers. 
Cart — churl. Cy. v. 2, n. 



Could this car/, 

A very drudge of nature's, have subdued me. 
Carlot — churl, peasant. A. L. iii. f>, n. 

And he hath bought the cottage, and the bounds 

That the old carlot once was master of. 
Carpet. P. iv. 1 , n. 

The purple violets, and marigolds. 

Shall as a carpet hang upon thy grave. 
Carpet knights. T. N. iii. 4, t. 

He is knight, dubbed with unhatched rapier, 
and on carpet consideration. 
Carpets laid. T. S. iv. 1, n. 

The carpets laid, and everything in order. 
Carptn(/— jesting. H. 4, F. P. iii. 2, B. 

Mingled his royalty with carping fools. 
Carriages in the time of Shakspere. A. W. iv. 4, t. 

Our waggon is prepar'd. 
Carriages. J. v. 7, i. 

Many carriages. 
Carrying coals. R. J. i. 1, t. 

Gregory, o' my word, we '11 not carry coals. 
Case— skin. T. N. v. 1 , ». 

When time hath sow'd a grizzle on thy case. 
Case — outside. M. M. ii. 4, n. 

O form ! 

How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit, 

Wrench awe from fools ! 
Case of lives — several lives. H. F. iii. 2, n. 

For mine own part, I have not a case of lives. 
Case — outward show. L. C. n. 

Accomplisli'd in himself, not in his case. 
Cassius and Brutus, quarrel between, — from North's 
' Plutarch.' J. C. iv. 2, t. 

Most noble brother, you have done me wrong. 
Cassius, death of, — from North's ' Plutarch.' J. C. 
V. iii. i. 

Fly farther off, my lord. 
Castilian. M.W. ii.3, n. 

Thou art a Castilian. 
Castiliano-vulgo. T. N. i. 3, n. 

What wench ? Castitiano-mtlgo — for here comes 
sir Andrew Ague-face. 
Castle — stronghold, power. T. And. iii. 1, n. 

And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe, 

Writing destruction on the enemy's castle. 
Catalan. M. W. ii. 1, n. 

I will not believe such a Cataian. 
Cat and bottle. M. A. i. 1, i. 

Hang me in a bottle like a cat, and shoot at me. 
Cat i' the adage. M. i. 7, n. 

Letting I dare not wait upon I would, 

Like the poor cat i' the adage. 
'Catch that catch can,' notice of the work. A. Ij. 
iv. 2, «'. 

What shall he have that kill'd the deer ? 
Catling — lute-string. R. J. iv. 5, n. 

What say you, Simon Catling? 
Caucasus, origin of the name of. R. S. i. 3, t. 

The frosty Caucasus. 
Cause you come — cause on which you come. R. S. i. 
\,n. 

As well appeareth by the cause you come. 
Causeless. A. W. ii. 3, n. 

To make modern and familiar things superna- 
tural and causeless. 
Cautel — crafty way to deceive. H. i. 3, n. 

And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch 

The virtue of his will. 
Cautelous — wary, circumspect. J. C. ii. 1, n. 

Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous. 
Cautets — deceitful purposes. L. C. n. 

In him a plenitude of subtle matter. 

Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives. 
Caviarie. H. ii. 2, t. 

'T was caviarie to the general. 
Cawdor Castle. M. i. 3, t. 

Thane of Cawdur. 
Cease (v. used actively) — stop. H. 6, S. P. v. 2, n. 

Now let the general trumpet blow his blast. 

Particularities and petty sounds 

To cease. 
Ceilings ornamented. Cy. ii. 4, i. 

The roof o' the chamber 

With golden cherubins is fretted. 



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Censure (v.) — give an opinion. G. V. i. 2, n. 
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen. 
Censure — opinion. H. 6, F. F. ii. 3, n. 

To give their centure of these rare reports. 
Censure — opinion. H. 6, S. P. i. 3, n. 

Madam, the king is old enough himself 
To give his censure. 
Censure — opinion. P. ii. 4, n. 

Whose death 's, indeed, the strongest in our 
censure. 
Censure (v.)— judge. H. 6, F. P. v. 5, n. 

If you do censure me by what you were. 
Censure — comparison. H. E. i. 1, n. 

And no discerner 
Durst wag his tongue in ceni>ure. 
Censure well — approve. H. 6, S. P. iii. 1, n. 

Say, you consent, and censure well the deed. 
Censur'd — sentenced. M. M. i. 5, n. 

Isab. Doth he so 

Seek his life ? 

Luciu. Hath censur'd him already. 

Censures — opinions. R. T. ii. 2, n. 

Will you go 
To give your censures in this weighty business ? 
Certsures — judges, estimates. So. cxlviii. n. 

Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled. 
That censures falsely what they see aright ? 
Cents — concerns. T. S. v. 1 , a. 

What cems it you if I wear pearl and gold ? 
Chairs. J. iv. 1 , i. 

Fast to the chair. 
Challenge, legal use of the word. H. E. ii. 4, n. 
And make my challenge 
You shall not be my judge. 
Change — reverse. A. L. i. 3, n. 

And do not seek to take your change upon you. 
Change the cud's head fur the salmon's tail — exchange 
the more delicate fare for the coarser. O. ii. 
l,n. 

She that in wisdom never was so frail. 
To cltange the cod's head for the salmon's tail. 
Change (v.) — vary, give a different appearance to. 
A. C. i. 2, n. 

O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, 
must cliange his horns with garlands ! 
Channeling — a child changed. W. T. iii. 3, n. 

This is some c/tangeling. 
Changeling — child procured in exchange. M. N. D. 
ii. 1, n. 

Slie never had so sweet a changeling, 
Channel— \iennel. H. 6, T. P. ii, 2, n. 

As if a channel should be call'd the sea. 
Chapman — a seller. L. L. L. ii. 1, n. 

Base sale of chapmen's tonaues. 
Character — description. W. T. iii. 3, n. 
There lie ; and there thy character. 
Character — handwriting. L. ii. 1, n. 

Ay, though thou didst produce 
My very character. 
Characters — the help of letters. R. T. iii. 1, n. 
I say, without characters, fame lives long. 
Characts — inscriptions, official designations. M. M. 
V. 1, n. 

So may Angelo, 
In all his dressings, characts, titles, forms. 
Be an arch villain. 
Char'd. T. N. K. iii. 2, n. 

How stand I then ? 
AU 's char'd when he is gone. 
Chares — work. A. C. iv. 13, n. 

By such poor passion as the maid that milks. 
And does the meanest chares. 
tVtaroe— burden. P.i. 2,n. 

Let none disturb us ; why should this charge of 

thoughts, — 
The sad companion, duUeyed Melancholy, 
By me so us'd a guest. 
Chariest — most cautious. H. i. 3, n. 

The chariest maid is prodigal enough. 
If she unmask her beauty to the moon. 
Charing Cross. — H. 4, F. P. ii. 1, i. 
Chariot dra\vn by lion, at the baptism of Henry 
Prince of Scotland. M. N. D. iii. 1, i. 
A lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing. 



Chariot of night. M. N. D. iii. 2, i. 

For night's swift dragons cut tiie clouds full fast. 
Charles' wain — constellation of the Great Bear. H. 
4, F. P. i. I, n. 

Charles' wain is over the new chimney. 
Charm'd. Cy. v. 3, n. 

I, in mine own woe charm'd. 

Could not find death where I did hear him 
groan. 
Charnel-house. R. J. iv. 3, t. 

As in a vault. 
Chameco — name of a wine. H. 6, S. P. ii. 3, n. 

Here *s a cup of chameco. 
Chaucer's 'Troilus and Cressida.' M. V. v. 1, i. 

Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls. 
Chaucer's ' Knight's Tale.' M. N. D. i. 1, ». 

Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword. 
Chaucer's ' Knight's Tale.' M. N D. iii. 2, t. 

Even till the eastern gate. 
Chaucer's ' Knight's Tale.' M. N. D. iv. 2, i. 

Go one of you, find out the forester. 
Chaucer's description of Hector and Troilus. T. C. 
i. 2, t". 

That 's Hector, &c. 
Chaucer's description of the parting of Troilus and 
Cressida. T. C. iv. 4, t". 

Be thou but true of heart. 
Chaucer's ' Troilus and Cressida,' extract from. 
T. C. v. 2,n. 

Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve. 
Chaudron — entrails. M. iv. 1, n. 

Add thereto a tiger's chaudron. 

For the ingredients of our caldron. 
Cheater — escheater. M. W. i. 3, ». 

I will be cheater to them. 
Cheater. H. 4, S. P. ii. 4, n. (See M. W. i. 4, n.) 

He 's no swaggerer, hostess ; a tame cheater. 
Cheer— face. M. N. D. iii. 2, n. 

All fancy sick, and pale of cheer. 
Cheer — countenance. H. 6, F. P. i. 2, n. 

Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer appall'd. 
Chertsey, monastery of. R. T. i. 2, t. 

Come now, toward Chertsey with your holy 
load. 
Cheveril glove — kid glove, easy-fitting glove. T. N. 
iii. 1, n. 

A sentence is but a cheveril gluve to a good wit. 
Cheveril — kid-skin. H. E. ii. 3, n. 

The capacity 

Of your soft cheveril conscience would receive. 

If you might please to stretch it. 
Cheveril — kid-skin. R. J. ii. 4, n. 

O, here 's a wit of cheveril, that stretches from 
an inch narrow to an ell broad. 
Chewet. H. 4, F. P. v. 1, n. 

Peace, chewet, peace. 
Chide (v.)— rebuke, resound. H. F. ii. 4, n. 

That caves and womby vaultages of France 

Shall cAtrfe your trespass, and return your mock. 
CAfe/'^eminence, superiority. H. i. 3, n. 

And they in France of the best rank and station 

Are of a most select and generous chief in that. 
Child. W. T. iii. 3,n. 

A boy, or a child, I wonder ? 
Childing — producing. M. N. D. ii. 2, n. 

The childing autumn. 
China dishes. M. M. ii. 1, «'. 

They are not China dishes, but very good dishes. 
Chiromancy. M. V. ii. 2, «. 

Go to, here 's a simple line of life. 
Chivalry, usages of. Luc. n. 

Yea, though I die, the scandal will survive. 

And be an eyesore in my golden coat ; 

Some loathsome dash the herald will contrive. 

To ciplier me how fondly I did dote. 
Choppine. H. ii. 2, i. 

By the altitude of a choppine. 
Chopping French — French which changes the mean- 
ing of words. R. S. V. 3, n. 

The chopping French we do not understand. 
Christendom — christening. J. iv. 1, n. 

By my Christendom, 

So I were out of prison, and kept sheep, 

I should be as merry as the day is long. 



CHR 



( 492 ) 



COM 



Cliristom child. H. F. ii. 3, n. 

A made a finer end, and went away, an it had 
been any chri tiim Mid. 
C'AiyfS— swollen, pampered gluttons. H. 4, F. P. 
ii. 2, n. 

Ye fat chiles. 
Cicero, — fromNorth's 'Plutarch.' J. C. ii. 1, i. 

But « hat of Cicero ? 
'Cide — decide. So. xlvi. n. 

To 'cide this title is impannelled 
A 'quest of thoughts. 
Cinna, the poet, death of, — from North's ' Plutarch.' 
J. C. iii. 3, f. 

Enter Cinna, the poet. 
Circummur'd — walled round. M. M. iv. 1, n. 
He hath a garden circummur'd with brick. 
Circumstance — in two senses : 1. circumstantial de- 
duction ; 2. position. G. V. i. ; , n. 

So, by your circumstance, I fear, you '11 prove. 
Circumstance — circumlocution. O. i. 1, n. 

With a bombast circumstance. 
Horribly stuflTd w ith epithets of war, 
Nonsuits my mediators. 
Cittern-head — head of a cittern or guitar. L. L. L. 
V. 2, n. 

Hoi. What is this } 
Biiyet. A. cittern- he .d. 
Citizens to their dens. A. C. v. 1 , n. 

The round world 
Should have shook lions into civil streets. 
And citizens to their dens. 
City feasts. A. W. ii. 5,i. 

Like him that leaped into the custard. 
Civil — grave. T. N. iii. 4, n. 

He is sad, and cit'7. 
Civil — decorous. L. C. n. 

Shook off my sober guards, and civil fears. 
Clamour your tongues. W. T. iv. 3, n. 

Clamour your tongues, and not a word more. 
Clap thyself my love. W. T. i. 2, n. 

Ere I could make thee open thy white hand. 
And clap thyself my love. 
Classical allusions. T. S. i. 1, t. 

O yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face. 
Such as the daughter of Agenor had. 
Clean ham — nothing to the purpose. Cor. iii. 1, n. 

This is clean kam. 
Clear-stories — clerestories. T. N. iv. 2, n. 

And the clear stories towards the south-norlh 
are as lustrous as ebony. 
Clear thy crystals — dry thine eyes. H. F. ii. 3, n. 

Go, clear thy crystals. 
Cleave to my consent — unite yourself to my fortunes. 
M. ii. 1, n 

If you shall cleave to my consent, — when 't is 
It shall make honour for you. 
Cleft the root — (in archery). See Cleave the pin. 
G. V. V. 4,n. 

How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root. 
Cleopatra, fliglit of, — from North's ' Plutarch.' 
A. C. iii. 8, I. 

Naught, naught, all naught! 
Cleopatra taken by Proculeius, — from North's ' Plu- 
Urch.' A. C. V. 2, t". 

Guard her till Caesar come. 
Cleopatra, death of, — from North's 'Plutarch.' 
A. C. V. 2,1. 

Caesar through Syria 
Intends his journey. 
Clinquant — bright with gingling ornaments. H. E. 
i. \,n. 

To-day, the French, 
All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods. 
Shone down the English. 
Clothier's yard. L. iv. 6, n. 

That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper : 
draw me a clothier's yard. 
Clubs, bills, and partizans. R. J. i. 1, i. 

Clubs, bills, and partizans, strike ! beat them 
down. 
Coaches. M. W. ii. 2, i. 

Coach after coach. 
Coasteth — advanceth. V. A. n. 

And all in haste she coasteth to the cry. 



Coats in heraldry. M. N. D. iii. 2, i. 

Two of the first, like coats in /lerolrlry. 
Coch-shut time — cock-roost time, time at wliidi the 
cock goes to rest. U T. v. 3, n. 

Thomas the earl of Surrey, and himself. 

Much about cnch-^hut time, from troop to troop. 

Went through the army. 
Cock and pye, swearing by. H. 4, S. P. v. 1, i. 

By C'ick and pye. 
Cock-a-hoop. R. J. i. 5, n. 

You '11 make a mutiny among my guests I 

You will set cock-ahoop. 
Cock — cock-boat. L. iv. 6, n. 

And yon tall anchoring bark, 

Oiminish'd to her cock. 
Cockle — weed amongst the corn. Cor. iii. 1, ». 

We nourish 'gainst our senate 

The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition. 
Cockney. L. ii. 4, i. 

Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels. 
Coffer of Darius. H. 6, F. P. i. 6, w. 

Her ashes in an urn more precious 

Than the rich -jewel Id differ if Darius. 
Coffin — crust of a pie. T. S. iv. 3, n. 

A custard-ci^'n, a bauble, a silken pie. 
Coffin — crust of a pie. T. And. v. 2, n. 

And with your blood and it I '11 make a paste. 

And of the paste a affin I will rear. 
Coffin— coffer. P. iii. 1, «. 

Bid Nestor bring me spices, ink, and paper. 

My casket and my jewels; and bid Nicander 

Bring me the satin C'ffin. 
Cog (v.) — term applied to dice. L. L. L. v. 2, n. 

Since you can Cug, I '11 play no more with you. 
Cognizance — badge. H. 6, F. P. ii. 4, n. 

This pale and angry rose, 

As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate. 

Will 1 for ever, and my faction, wear. 
Colbrand and Guy of Warwick, combat of. .1. i. I, i. 

Colbrand the giant. 
Cold — unmoved. H. F. i. 2, n. 

All out of work, and cold for action. 
Coleridge, passage from * Literary Remains.' A. L. 
i. 1,1. 

Of all sorts enchantingly beloved. 
Coleridge's ' Essav on Method,' passage from. H. 
4, S. P. ii. 1, i. ' 

Marry, if thou wert an honest man, &c. 
Coleridge, passage from. R. J. ii. 2, i. 

Well, do not swear, &c. 
Coleridge, extract from. R. J. ii, 4, i. 

Why, is not this better now than groaning for 
love .'' 
Oileridge's remarks on Shakspere's philosophy of 
presentiments. R. J. iii. o, v. 

God ! I have an ill-divining soul. 
Collection — consequence deduced from premises. Cy. 

V. 5, n. 

When I wak'd, I found 

This label on my bosom ; whose containing 

Is so from sense in hardness, that I can 

Make no collection of it.