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Still she entreats, and prettily entreats,
For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale;
Still is he sullen, still he low'rs and frets,
Twixt crimson shame, and anger ashy-pale9;
Being red, she loves him best; and being white,
Her best is better'd1 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 debt2.

Upon this promise did he raise his chin,
Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave,

, 9 — still he low'rs and frets, 'Twixt crimson shame, and anger ashy-pale;] We have here a proof of the great value of first editions; for the 16mo of 1596, reads corruptly,—"still she low'rs and frees." The true reading is found in the original quarto, 1593. In my former editions I pointed differently:

"'Twixt crimson shame and anger, ashy-pale;" applying the epithet, ashy-pale, to Adonis. I have now adopted the punctuation of the original copy, which, I am persuaded, is right; and the meaning is, that Adonis lowers and frets, actuated by the different passions of crimson shame and ashy-pale anger. The following couplet shews that this is the true construction. Our poet indeed, in The Winter's Tale, has red-look'danger; but that epithet would not suit here; and anger, it is well known, sometimes produces paleness. Besides, Adonis could not be rendered pale by crimson shame. Malone.

1 Her Best is better'd—] This is the reading of the original quarto, 1593. That of 1636, and the modern editions, read—breast.


1 And one sweet Kiss shall pay this Countless Debt.] So, in Titus Andronicus:

"— kiss for kiss

"Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips:
"Oh were the sum of these that I should pay
"Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them."

Steevens. 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 burn3:

O, pity, 'gan she cry, flint-hearted boy;

Tis 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'dfor that which thou unask'd shalt have.

Over my altars hath he hung his lance,
His batter'd shield, his uncontrolled crest,
And for my sake hath learn'd to sport and dance,
To toy, to wanton4, dally, smile, and jest;
Scorning his churlish drum, and ensign red,
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed.

Thus he that over-rul'd, I oversway'd,
Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain 5:

6—yet her fire must burn:] So the quarto 1593, and the 12mo. 1596. That of 1600, and the later editions, read—" yet in fire must burn, [i. e. the fiery passion that consumes her.] The context shews that the original is the true reading. Her fire, notwithstanding her being bathed in water [i. e. tears] must still continue to burn. Malone.

♦ To Toy, to wanton.] Thus the original copy, 1593. In that of 1596, we find coy, instead of toy; which has been followed in all the subsequent editions. Malone.

s Leading him prisoner in a Red-rose Chain :] So Ronsard, Livre xiv. Ode xxiii.:

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

Yet was he servile to my coy disdain6.

O, be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For mastering her that foil'dthe 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 see'stthou in the ground? hold up thy head;
Look in mine eye-balls, there thy beauty lies:
Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes7?

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 sight8:
These blue-vein'd violets whereon we lean,
Never can blab, nor know not we mean 9.

Les Muses lierent un jour
Des chaisnes de roses Amour, &c.
Several of Ronsard's Odes had been translated into English.
See Puttenham, 1589, as quoted to this purpose by Dr. Farmer,
vol. xiii. p. 403. W.

Some of Anacreon's Odes, which Ronsard had imitated in French, were translated into English; and it is very probable that the ode above quoted was one of those which were translated; for it is an imitation of Anacreon's thirteenth ode, beginning, Ai fiatrai, &c. and stands in Ronsard's works in the opposite page to the Bacchanalian ode which Shakspeare seems to have had in his thoughts in Timon of Athens. Malone. 6Servile To my coy disdain.] So, in Measure for Measure:

1 since eyes In eyes.] So the original copy. The moderns read corruptly, after the 16mo. of 1600, on eyes. Malone. 8 Love keeps his revels where there are but twain;Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight:] So, in Romeo and Juliet:

"Dark night is Cupid's day.—

"Lovers can see to do their amorous rites "By their own beauties." Mai-one. 'Never can blab, nor know Not what we mean.] So the

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The tender spring upon thy tempting lip

Shews thee unripe; yet may'st 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, reumatick and cold. Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice2, Then might'st thou pause, for then I were not for thee;

But having no defects, why dost abhor me?

Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow; Mine eyes are grey 3, and bright, and quick in turning;

quarto 1593, and 16mo. of 1596. The double negative is frequently employed by our old English writers, and is often found in the translation of the Bible. The edition of 1600 reads— "— nor know they what they mean;" and this, as well as various other alterations made in our author's plays in the printed editions as they passed through the press, shews that in Shakspeare's time the correctors of the press (that is, the stewards or managers of the printing house, where his plays and poems were printed,) who revised the sheets of the various editions as they were reprinted, altered the text at random according to their notion of propriety and grammar. Malone.

■ —harsh in voice.] Our poet on -all occasions expresses his admiration of the fascinating powers of a sweet female voice, and his dislike of the opposite defect. Thus in King Lear: ."Her voice was ever soft,

"Gentle and low, an excellent thing in woman." Malone.

2 —and lacking Juice,] Thus the quarto 1593 and 1596. The edition of 1600 has—joice. The word juice, as Dr. Farmer informs me, is so pronounced in the midland counties.

3 Mine eyes are Grey,] What we now call blue eyes, were in Shakspeare's time called grey eyes, and were considered as eminently beautiful. See a note on Romeo and Juliet, vol. vi. p. 100. Malone. .'

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 seen4:
Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire5.

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 should'st 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.

* Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell'd hair, Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen;] So, in The Tempest:

"And ye, that on the sands with printless feet
"Do chase the ebbing Neptune—." Malone.

* Love is a spirit all Compact of fire, Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.] So, in The Comedy of Errors: "Let Love, being light, be drowned, if she sink." Compact is, made up, composed. See vol. v. p. 309, n. 6.


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