293. CXVI. line 7: It is the STAR.-Referring to the northern star. Cf. Much Ado, iii. 4. 59; and Julius Cæsar, iii. 1. 60-62. So The Faithful Shepherdess, i. 2:

that fair star

That guides the wandering seaman through the deep. -Beaumont and Fletcher, Mermaid ed. vol. ii. p. 329. 294 CXVI. line 8: Whose worth's unknown, &c.-A difficult and much-discussed line. Dowden says: "The passage seems to mean, 'As the star, over and above what can be ascertained concerning it for our guidance at sea, has unknowable occult virtue and influence, so love, beside its power of guiding us, has incalculable potencies.'" This is not very satisfactory; but I am afraid I cannot suggest anything better. Perhaps the difficulty comes in this way, that we do not quite know how an Elizabethan regarded the stars. Popular astronomy may have held that the northern star was materially as rich in wealth as this earth. Suppose now that we take worth literally; the sense might be this: The height, altitude, of the star is known; but who can tell what riches it contains? The outward is visible to us; the inward is hidden. So, too, with love. We can gain a rough estimate and idea of its extent; we can measure it from the outward. But the real essence and worth of the passion is incalculable, unknown, just as the worth of the star is unknown. In either case we see little more than the outside, the surface.

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bitter, sharp, the French aigre. It is used twice in Hamlet in the same sense; cf. i. 4. 2: "a nipping and an eager air;" and i. 5. 69: "like eager droppings into milk.

303. CXVIII. line 6: did I FRAME my feeding.-Frame= suit, adapt. So the Passionate Pilgrim, 323: And to her will frame all thy ways;

and III. Henry VI. iii. 2. 185:

And frame my face to all occasions. 304. CXIX.-Carrying on idea of previous sonnet, with the same metaphor, "potions," "fever," &c.

305. CXIX. line 10: That better is by EVIL still MADE BETTER.-Repeating the "by ill be cured" of cxviii. 12.

306. CXIX. line 14: And gain by ILL.-The Quarto has ills; but I think the singular is required; cf. "O benefit of ill" in line 9.

307. CXX.-Remembering how much I suffered when you were untrue, I might have divined how much you would suffer by my disloyalty, and that thought should have given me reason to pause. Still the fact that you did trespass once must be an excuse for me now. We are quits.

308. cxx. line 9: 0, that OUR NIGHT OF WOE.-Compare Venus and Adonis, 481:

The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day. Staunton proposed sour.

309. cxx. line 11: And soon to you, &c.-Sidney Walker would print the line thus:

And soon to you, as you to me then, tender'd.

I don't think the change is necessary.

310. CXXI. line 1: than VILE ESTEEMED.-Dyce and some other editors read vile-esteem'd.

311. CXXI. line 3: And the just PLEASURE lost.-Should we not read and the just pleasure's lost? the sense being: We lose that pleasure which seems vile ("is so deem'd") to others, but is not felt to be so by us.

312. CXXI. line 6: Give SALUTATION to my sportive BLOOD. -So Henry VIII. ii. 3. 103: "If this salute my blood a jot." I owe the reference to Dowden.

313. CXXI. line 9: I AM THAT I AM.-We may remember Iago's "I am not what I am" (Othello, i. 1. 65).

314. CXXI. line 11: themselves be BEVEL.-Bevel=slanting or crooked: a builder's term.

315. CXXII. He has received some tables (memorandumbooks) from his friend and has given them away. Here he apologizes for having done so: the true tables on which you are written down are my heart and brain: what others should I need?

316. CXXII. line 1: Thy gift, thy TABLES.-For tables see Troilus and Cressida, note 262.

317. CXXIII. He takes up the idea of forgetfulness suggested in last line of last sonnet: he will be true in spite of time. The poem is full of conventional metaphor.

318. CXXIII. line 7: And rather make THEM born to our desire.-Them" what thou dost foist upon us;" the sense being, "you foist upon us things which really are old and 449 220

hackneyed, but which we imagine to be new-born to our desire"-created just to please us.

319. CXXIV. lines 3, 4: As subject to Time's love, &c."My love might be subject to Time's hate, and so plucked up as a weed, or subject to Time's love, and so gathered as a flower" (Dowden).

320. CXXIV. line 7: THRALLED DISCONTENT. -Does this refer to the affected "melancholy" of which Jaques speaks? See note 126 on As You Like It; and cf. Thomas Lord Cromwell, iii. 2: "My nobility is wonderful melancholy is it not most gentlemanlike to be melancholy?" (Tauchnitz ed. p. 101).

321. CXXIV. line 12: nor GROWS with heat.-Steevens would read glows.

322. CXXVI. This poem is generally regarded as the envoy, the conclusion of the series addressed to Shakespeare's friend. The editor of the Quarto evidently thought that a couplet was missing, as he left a space for theapparently-absent lines 13, 14.

323. CXXVI. line 2: his SICKLE, HOUR.-There must be some corruption of the text. Unfortunately no emendation-sickle hoar, fickle hour, sickle-hour-is at all satisfactory.

324. CXXVI. line 14: And her QUIETUS is to render thee. -For quietus see Hamlet, iii. 1. 75. Sometimes we find the full expression quietus est.

325. CXXVII. Introducing the "Dark Woman" series of Sonnets.

326. CXXVII. line 1: BLACK was not counted FAIR.-See Troilus and Cressida, note 14.

327. CXXVII. line 3: beauty's SUCCESSIVE heir.—See Titus Andronicus, note 1.

328. CXXVII. line 9: my mistress' BROWS are raven black. -Q. has eyes, which, I think, must be wrong. I have followed the Globe editors. Walker proposed hairs.

329. CXXVII. line 10: Her EYES so suited, and they mourners seem.—It is worth noting that in the old prose History of Dr. Faustus Helen is described as having "most amorous cole black eyes;" and Helen, as we know from Marlowe, was taken as a perfect type of beauty. Sidney complains (Astrophel and Stella, vii. 1, 2):

When Nature made her chief work-Stella's eyes; In colour black, why wrapt she beams so bright? -Arber's English Garner, vol. 1. p. 506. Suited clad, as in exxxii. 12; and Lear, iv. 7. 6. Dyce reads as they. For the conceit in the line cf. cxxxii. 1-3.

330. CXXVII. line 11: not born FAIR. -The use of cosmetics in dyeing hair, and such like devices, are continually referred to; see, for instance, Stubbes' Anatomy of Abuses, part I. pp. 67-69; and Fairholt's Lilly, vol. i. pp. 288, 289. Perhaps these customs were introduced from Italy. Coryat in his Crudities has much to tell us concerning the ways of the Venetian ladies: "All the women of Venice every Saturday in the afternoone doe use to annoint their haire with oyle, or some other drugs, to the end to make it looke faire, that is whitish. For that colour is most affected of the Venetian Dames and Ladies." He describes

the process, which included drying in the sun (vol. ii. pp 37, 38).

331. CXXVIII. line 1: thou, my MUSIC.-Compare Son. viii. 1: "Music to hear."

332. CXXIX.-As a study of lust contrasted with love this sonnet may be compared with Lucrece, 687-743, and the single stanza in Venus and Adonis, 799–804. It is a commonplace of criticism that Shakespeare's Sonnets almost suffer as works of art from this plethora of meaning; they are, in Trench's phrase, "so double-shotted with thought." I suppose there is nowhere in the plays and poems a more striking instance of compression than this sonnet affords. Every line is packed with passion. It may be noticed that the poem seems to be rather out of place; linked in no way with the preceding and following sonnets.

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self. In the first line Will ought, I believe, to be written 'will" desire, in antithesis to "wish." Possibly, however, the husband of the "dark woman" was a Will.

350. CXXXV. line 13: Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill. So the Quarto; but I can make no sense of the text. Of the emendations, two are noticeable: "Let no unkind 'No' fair beseechers kill" (Dowden); and "no fair beseechers skill"=avail, i.e. against Shakespeare. The latter is Mr. W. M. Rossetti's proposal.

351. CXXXVI. line 8: Among a number ONE is RECKON'D NONE. SO Hero and Leander, First Sestiad, 255: "One is no number;" and Fifth Sestiad, 339, "for one no number is" (Bullen's Marlowe, vol. iii. pp. 15 and 84). Compare, too, Romeo and Juliet, i. 2. 32, 33, and note.

352. CXXXVI. line 10: in thy STORE'S account.-Q. has stores; but everywhere else the word occurs in the singular. 353. CXXXVI. line 12: a SOMETHING SWEET to thee.Query: a something, sweet, to thee, as Dyce reads.

354. CXXXVI. lines 13, 14: Make but my name thy love, &c.-Dowden says: "Love only my name (something less than loving myself), and then thou lovest me, for my name is Will, and I myself am all will, i.e. all desire." Is this right? I should have thought the sense was: "Let your love be named Will (i.e. his friend), and then in loving him you must indirectly love me, since my name too is Will.

355. CXXXVII. line 6: Be ANCHOR'D in the bay. --Compare Antony and Cleopatra, i. 5. 31-33; and Cymbeline, v. 5. 393. 356. CXXXVII. lines 9, 10: a SEVERAL plot Which my heart knows the WIDE WORLD'S common place. Several belonging to a private owner. Cf. Love's Labour's Lost, ii. 1. 223, where (as here) a quibble is intended: My lips are no common, though several they be.

A several was an inclosed field, as opposed to public land = a common. Wide world, as in Son. cvii. 2.

357. CXXXVIII.-See the Passionate Pilgrim, poem 1. 358. CXXXIX. line 6: forbear to GLANCE thine EYE aside. -Compare cxl. 14: "Bear thine eyes straight."

359. CXXXIX. line 14: KILL ME OUTRIGHT with looks, &c. -So Constable, Diana, Son. v. of the Fourth Decade, 7-9: Dear! if all other favour you shall grudge, Do speedy execution with your eye! With one sole look, you leave in me no soul. -Arber's English Garner, vol. ii. p. 243. Dowden compares Astrophel and Stella, xlviii. 13, 14: Dear killer, spare not thy sweet cruel shot; A kind of grace it is, to slay with speed.

-Arber's English Garner, vol. i. p. 527. 360. CXL. line 3: Lest SORROW LEND me WORDS.-We may remember Macbeth, iv. 3. 209, 210:

the grief that does not speak Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break. "True grief is dumb," says a character in Old Fortunatus. ii. 2 (Mermaid edition of Dekker, p. 332); and Seneca long before had written:

Cura leves loquuntur, majores stupent,

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This seems to me an entirely satisfactory explanation, and the couplet may be paralleled by Lucrece, 1534-1537. Steevens suggested flew for threw.

375. CXLVI.-Loss to the body is gain to the soul. Let the body pine and perish that the soul may reap the advantage. Death can claim as his prey the body alone; in destroying the body the soul wins a victory over death.

376. CXLVI. line 2: PRESS'D BY these rebel powers that thee ARRAY.-In the Quarto the line stands thus:

My sinful earth these rebel powers that thee array. Obviously the line is corrupt; as obviously, I think, the corruption came in this way-that the printer repeated the last words of line 1, leaving out the real beginning of line 2. We must supply a word; what that word should be depends rather on the sense which we give to array. I think that array must clothe; the body is the vesture which incloses the soul; and the soul says, with Saint Paul, "Who will deliver me from the body of this death?" Taking array thus, we may accept Dowden's press'd by or Furnival's hemm'd with there is not much to choose between them-and refer the participle to the soul. Dr. Ingleby, however, argues that array = abuse, afflict, a perfectly feasible interpretation, though Shakespeare does not elsewhere use the word in this sense. If we follow Dr. Ingleby, then we may read, as he does, leagu'd with, and refer the participle to the earth in line 1. Myself, I prefer the first of our alternatives.


377. CXLVI. line 11: Buy TERMS divine in selling HOURS of dross.-Hours of dross (i.e. sensual pleasure?) waste the body, and destruction of the body should be the ultimate end and aim of the soul. Here, as in cli. 7-9, the soul is the ruler who checks or allows the self-indulgence of the body. I think terms = condition, as though it were the terms of some bargain and compact between soul and body. Others, however, take it "in the legal and academic sense. Long periods of time, opposed to hours" (Sidney Walker).

378. CXLVII. The metaphor is much the same as in cxviii. and cxix.

379. CXLVII. line 9: PAST CURE I am, now reason is PAST CARE.-Said obviously in allusion to the proverb, Past cure, past care, which, as the editors note, occurs in Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2. 28. Perhaps, too, the latter part of the line is meant to imply that reason has ceased to care for him.

380. CXLVII. line 10: with evermore UNREST.-A beautiful word, found in Titus Andronicus, iv. 2. 31, and Richard III. iv. 4. 29. Tennyson somewhere speaks of "the wild unrest that lives in woe.'

381. CXLVII. lines 13, 14: For I have sworn thee fair, &c. Compare Son. clii. 13. The couplet forms a link with the next sonnet, which in turn reminds us of cxxxvii. 382. CXLVIII. line 8: all men's; NO.-Lettsom suggested: Love's eye is not so true as all men's #0; thinking that a pun on eye-ay was intended.

383. CXLIX. line 4: all TYRANT.- Malone suggested truant; but cf. cxxxi. 1: "Thou art as tyrannous." All tyrant complete tyrant.

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390. CLII. line 11: And, to ENLIGHTEN thee, gave eyes to blindness.-Dowden says: "to see thee in the brightness of imagination. I made myself blind." Probably this is right; but may not enlighten be quibblingly used in the sense "make light," i.e. fair of complexion? Compare line 13. In that case gave eyes to blindness would = caused myself to see awry.

391. CLII. line 13: more perjur'd I.—Q. has eye.

392. CLIII. This and the following sonnet may be considered together, cliv. being obviously a variation on cliii.

Professor Dowden says: Herr Hertzberg has found a Greek source for these two sonnets. (The source in question is a poem in the Anthology, which Dowden prints, continuing): "The poem is by the Byzantine Marianus, a writer probably of the fifth century after Christ. How Shakspere became acquainted with the poem of Marianus we cannot tell, but it had been translated into Latin: Selecta Epigrammata, Basel, 1529;' and again several times before the close of the sixteenth century." Then follows a literal version of the original lines, which I venture to "convey:" "Here 'neath the plane trees, weighed down by soft slumber, slept Love, having placed his torch beside the Nymphs. Then said the Nymphs to one another, 'Why do we delay? Would that together with this we had extinguished the fire of mortals' hearts.' But as the torch made the waters also to blaze, hot is the water the amorous Nymphs (or the Nymphs of the region of Eros) draw from thence for their bath."

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393. CLIII. line 8: a SOVEREIGN cure.-Compare Venus and Adonis, 916:

'Gainst venom'd sores the only sovereign plaster; Coriolanus, ii. 1. 127: "the most sovereign prescription in Galen;" and The Faithful Shepherdess, v. 5:

Satyr, bring him to the bower:

We will try the sovereign power

Of other waters.

-Beaumont and Fletcher, Mermaid ed. vol. ii. p. 402.

394. CLIV. line 1: The little LOVE-GOD. -So Much Ado, ii. 1. 403: "for we are the only love-gods."

395. CLIV. line 5: The fairest VOTARY.-Shakespeare elsewhere prefers the form votaress (votress); e.g. Midsummer Night's Dream, ii. 1. 123 and 163.


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