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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 cancel'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;

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

About the mourning and congealed face
Of that black blood, a watery rigol goes 3,
Which seems to weep upon the tainted place:

2Vastly stood,] i.e. like a waste. Vastum is the law term for waste ground. Thus, in The Winter's Tale: "— shook hands as over a vast." Again, in Pericles:

"Thou God of this great vast, rebuke the surges."


s — a watery Rigol goes,] A rigol is a circle. Malone.
So, in King Henry IV. Part II.:
"a sleep

"That from this golden rigol hath divorc'd"So many English kings." Steevens. , .,

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 putrify'd.

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,
Where shall I live, now Lucrece is unliv'd4?
Thou wast not to this end from me deriv'd.
If children pre-decease progenitors 5,
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 °,

* If in the child the father's Image Lies,

Where shall I Live, now Lucrece is Unliv'd?] So, in King Richard III.:

"And liv'd by looking on his images." Malone. "—unliv'd?" The quaintness of this word has only been equalled by another of the same kind in Chrononhotonthologos:"Himself he unfatigues with pleasing slumbers."


I do not perceive any peculiar uncouthness in this expression. What is unliv'd but liveless (for so the word lifeless was frequently written in our author's time)? Thus, in The Comedy of Errors:"But to procastinate his liveless end." The privative un may be joined to almost any English participle. When indeed it is annexed to a word that is itself of a privative nature, (as fatigue,) the word so formed may justly be objected to. But unliv'd does not appear to me more exceptionable than unhoused, unpaved, and twenty more. In Macbeth we meet with unrough:

"many unrough youths, that even now"Protest their first of manhood." And in King Richard II. we have undeqf:

"My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear." Malone.

* If children pre-decease progenitors,] So, in Romeo and Juliet:

"oh, thou untaught!

"To press before thy father to a grave!" Steevens.

Shows me a bare-bon'd death by time out - worn7;

O, from thy cheeks my image thou hast torn8!
And shiver'd all the beauty of my glass,
That I no more can see what once I was.

6 But now that fair fresh mirror, dim and Old,] Thus the quarto. The modern editions have—dim and cold, which I once thought might have been the true reading. This indeed is not a very proper epithet, because all mirrors are cold. But the poet, I conceived, might have thought that its being descriptive of Lucretia's state was sufficient. On a more mature consideration, however, I am of opinion that the old copy is right. As dim is opposed to fair, so old is to fresh. Malone.

Old, I believe, is the true reading. Though glass may not prove subject to decay, the quicksilver behind it will perish, through age, and it then exhibits a faithless reflection. A steelglass, however, would certainly grow dim in proportion as it grows old. Steevens

7 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 bare-bon'd Death by time out-worn ;] So, in King Richard III.:

"I have bewept a worthy husband's death, '' And liv'd by looking on his images; "But now two mirrors of his princely semblance "Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death; "And I for comfort have but one false glass, "That grieves me when I see my shame in him." Again, in our author's third Sonnet:

"Thou art thy mother's glass," &c. Malone. Compare this stanza with the speech of King Richard II. when he commands a mirror to be brought, and afterwards dashes it on the ground. Steevens."Shows me a bare-bon'd death—." So, in King John:"and on his forehead sits

"A bare ribb'ddeath—." Steevens.

8 O, from Thy cheeks my image thou hast torn!] Thus the quarto. The edition of 1600, and all subsequent to it, have:"O, from my cheeks my image thou hast torn!" But the father's image was in his daughter's countenance, which she had now disfigured. The old copy is therefore certainly right.


O time, cease thou thy course, and last no longer 9,
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:
Then live sweet Lucrece, live again, and see
Thy father die, and not thy father thee!

By this starts Collatine as from a dream,
And bids Lucretius give his sorrow place ';
And then in key-cold Lucrece' bleeding stream 2
He falls, and bathes the pale fear in his face3,
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

That no man could distinguish what he said.

9 O time, cease thou thy course, and Last no longer,] Thus the quarto. The octavo 1616 reads:

", haste no longer which has been followed by all the modern editions. Malone.

'And bids Lucretius Give His Sorrow Place ;] So, Queen Margaret, in King Richard III.:

"And let my griefs frown on the upper hand." Steevens. 1 And then in Key-cold Lucrece' bleeding stream—] This epithet is frequently used by our author and his contemporaries. So, in King Kichard III.:

"Poor key-cold figure of a holy king." Malone.

'—the Pale Fear in his face,] So, in King Richard II.:"And with pale beggars/ear impeach my height."


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'er3:
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 4.
Woe, woe, quoth Collatine, she was my wife,

3 At last it Rains, and busy Winds Give O'er :] So, in Macbeth:

"That tears shall drown the wind." Steevens. Again, in Troilus and Cressida:

"Where are my tears?—rain, rain, to lay this wind." Again, in King Henry VI. Part III.:

"Would'st have me weep? why now thou hast thy will i "For raging wind blows up incessant showers, "And where the rage allays, the rain begins." Again, in King John:

"But this effusion of such manly drops,

"This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul—."

Malone. 4 O, quoth Lucretius, I did Give That Life, Which She Too Early and Too Late hath spill'd.] The same conceit occurs in the third part of King Henry VI.: "O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon, "And hath bereft thee of thy life too late I" Steevens. "Which she too early and too late hath spill'd." Too late here means too recently. So, in King Richard III.:

"Too late he died, that might have kept that title, "Which by his death hath lost much majesty." Malone. VOL. XX. P

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