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For pity now she can no more detain him;
The poor fool6 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 protest7, He carries thence incaged in his breast8.
Sweet boy, she says, this night I'll waste in sorrow,
For my sick heart commands mine eyes to watch.
Tell me, Love's master9, shall we meet to morrow?
Say, shall we? shall we ? wilt thou make the match?
The boar! (quoth she) whereat a sudden pale,
6 The Poor Fool —] This was formerly an expression of tenderness. So, King Lear, speaking of Cordelia:"And my poorfool is hang'd." Malone. 7 —By Cupid's Bow she doth Protest,] So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
"I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow." Malone. 8 He carries thence Incaged in his breast.] Thus the editions of 1593 and 1596. So, in King Richard II.:
"And yet incaged in so small a verge—." The edition of 1636, and all the modern copies, read—engaged. This is a thought which Shakspeare has often introduced. So, in As You Like It:
"That thou might'st join her hand in his,"Whose heart within her bosom is." Again, in Love's Labour's Lost:
"Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast." Again, in King Richard III.:
"Even so thy breast incloseth my poor heart." Malone. 9 —Love's Master,] i. e.the master of Venus, the Queen of love. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
"Let Love, being light, be drowned if sAesink." Again, p. 47, 1. 8:
"She's Love, she loves," &c. Malone. 1 The boar! (quoth she) whereat a sudden Pale, Like lawn being spread upon the blushing Rose,] So, in The Sheepheard's Song of Venus and Adonis, by H. C. 1600:
Usurps her cheek; she trembles at his tale,
Now is she in the very lists of love3,
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 joy4.
Even as poor birds, deceiv'd with painted grapes5, Do surfeit by the eye, and pine the maw,
"Now, he sayd, let's goe;
"Harke, the hounds are crying; "Grislie boare is up,
"Huntsmen follow fast. "At the name of boare
"Venus seemed dying: "Deadly-colour'd pale
"Roses overcast." Malone. "Like lawn being spread upon the blushing rose." So again, in The Rape of Lucrece:
"red as roses that on lawn we lay." Steevens. 1 —hanging By his neck,] So the quarto 1593, and 16mo. of 1596. The modern editions, following the copy of 1600, have —on his neck. Malone.
3 —in the very Lists Of Love,] So also John Dryden in his play called Don Sebastian:
"The sprightly bridegroom on his wedding night, "More gladly enters not the lists of love." Amner. * To Clip Elysium,] To clip in old language is to embrace.
Malone. s Even As Poor Birds, deceiv'd with Painted Grapes,] Our author alludes to the celebrated picture of Zeuxis, mentioned by Pliny, in which some grapes were so well represented that birds lighted on them to peck at them.
Sir John Davies has the same allusion in his Nosce teipsum, 1599:
"Therefore the bee did seek the painted flower,
"And birds of grapes the cunning shadow peck." Malone.
Even so she languisheth in her mishaps,
But all in vain; good queen, it will not be:
Fie, fie, he says, you crush me; let me go;
You have no reason to withhold me so.
Thou had'st been gone, quoth she, sweet boy, ere this,
6 As those poor birds that Helpless Berries saw :] Helpless berries are berries that afford no help, i. e. nourishment.
Steevens. I once thought that a different meaning was intended to be conveyed; but I now believe, Mr. Steevens is right. So, in The Comedy of Errors: "So thou—
"With urging helpless patience would'st relieve me."
Malone. 7 The warm Effects —] I think we should read affects. So, in Othello:
"the young affects"In me defunct." Steevens. Effects means consequences produced by action. There is clearly no need of change. Malone.
8 She seeks to Kindle with continual Kissing:] So, in Antony and Cleopatra:
"Quicken with kissing:—had my lips that power,
9 Like to a Mortal butcher,] Mortal, for deadly. So, in Othello:
"And you, ye mortal engines," &c. Malone.
On his bow-back he hath a battle set
Of bristly pikes, that ever threat his foes;
His eyes, like glow-worms, shine when he doth fret';
His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes; Being mov d, he strikes what e'er is in his way, And whom he strikes, his cruel tushes slay.
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,
Alas, he nought esteems that face of thine,
1 On his bow-back he hath a battle set Of bristly ^ikes/' that ever threat his foes; His eyes, like glow-worms, shine when he doth fret;] In this description Shakspeare had perhaps in view that given by Ovid of the Calydonian boar, slain by Meleager. See Golding's translation, book viii.:
"His eyes did glister blood and fire; right dreadful was to see "His brawned back; right dreadful was his haire, which grew as thicke"With pricking points as one of them could well by other sticke:"And, like a front of armed pikes set close in battel ray, "The sturdie bristles on his back stood staring up alway."
Malone. 2 The thorny brambles and embracing bushes, As fearful of him, part; through whom he rushes.] Thus Virgil describing the rapid passage of two centaurs through the woods:
——dat euntibus ingens
Sylva locum, et magno cedunt virgulta fragore.
O, let him keep his loathsome cabin stills;
Beauty hath nought to do with such foul fiends:
Come not within his danger4 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,
For where love reigns, disturbing jealousy
Distemp'ring gentle love in his desire6,
As air and water do abate the fire.
This sour informer, this bate-breeding7 spy,
'— his loathsome Cabin still;] Cabin, in the age of Queen Elizabeth, signified a small mean dwelling place, and was much in use. The term still is used universally through Ireland, where the word cottage is scarcely ever employed. Malone.
* Come not within his danger —] This was a common expression in Shakspeare's time, and seems to have meant, Expose not yourself to one who has the power to do you mischief. See vol. v. p. 120, n. 2. Malone.
i And in a peaceful hour doth cry, Kill, Kill;] So, in King Lear:
"And when I have stolen upon these sons-in-law,
6 —In his desire—] So the original copy 1593, and the 16mo. 1596. In the edition of 1600, we find—with his desire.
7 — bate-breeding —] So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Mrs. Quickly observes that John Rugby is "no tell-tale, no VOL. XX. E