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Beauty itself doth of itself persuade
Of that rich jewel he thould keep unknown
Perchance his boast of Lucrece' sovereignty
Beauty itself dorb of itfelf perfuade
The eyes of men without an orator ;] So Daniel, in kis Ron famond, 1599:
-whose power doth move the blood
silent orators, to move beyond
wby is Collatine the publisher
From thievis ears, because it is bis own?] Thus the old copies. The modern editions read: From thievilh cares- MALONE.
The conduct of Lucretia's husband is here made to resemble that of Posthumus in Cymbeline. The present sentiment occurs likewise in Muchado about Nothing: “ --The flat tranfgreffion of a school-boy; who being over-joyed with finding a bird's neft, shows it his companion, and he steals it.” Steevens.
3 Suggested this proud issue of a king ;] Suggested, I think, here means tempted, prompted, instigated. So, in K. Richard II:
"'What Eve, what ferpent hath fuggested thee
6 To make a second fall of cursed man?" Again, in Love's Labour's Loft:
“ These heavenly eyes that look into these faults,
His honour, his affairs, his friends, his state,
When at Collatium this false lord arrived,
-which in his liver glows.] Thus the quarto, 1594. Some of the modern editions have grows.—The liver was formerly supposed to be the seat of love. MALONE. s-wrapt in repentant cold,] The duodecimo, 1600, reads:
-wrapt in repentance cold, but it was evidently an error of the press. The first
has Tepentant. Malone. To quench the coal which in his liver glows.
-wrapt in repentant cold,] So, in King John:
STEEVENS. • Thy hasty Spring Aill blasts, and ne'er grows old!] Like a too early spring, which is frequently checked by blights, and never produces any ripened or wholsome fruit, the irregular forward. ness of an unlawful paffion never gives any solid or permanent sag tisfaction. So, in a subsequent stanza:
“ Unruly blasts wait on the tender spring.” Again, in Hamlet :
“ For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour,
" No more.”
“ Short summers lightly have a forward spring."
“Love's gentle spring doth alway fresh remain;
Which of them both should underprop her fame:
But beauty, in that white intituled,
1 Virtue would sain that or with filver white.] The original edition exhibits this line thus :
Virtue would stain that ore with silver white. Ore might certainly have been intended for o'er, (as it is given in the modern copies,) the word over, when contracted, having been formerly written ore. But in this way the passage is not reducible to grammar. Virtue would stain that, i. e. bluftres, o'er with silver white. The word intended was, I believe, or, i.e. gold, to which the poet compares the deep colour of a blush.
The terms of heraldry in the next stanza seem to favour this fuppofition; and the opposition between or and the filver white of virtue is entirely in Shakspeare's manner. So, afterwards :
" Which virtue gave the golden age to gild
MALONE. Shakspeare delights in opposing the colours of gold and filver to cach other. So, in Macbeth :
" His filver skin lac'd with his golden blood.” We meet with a description, allied to the present one, in Much ado about Nothing :
I have mark'd " A thousand blushing apparitions 66 To start into her face; a thousand innocent shames “ In angel whiteness bear away those blushes." "
STEEVENS. in that white intituled,] I suppose he means, that cose fajts in that whiteness, or takes its title from it. STEEVENS. Our author has the fame phrase in his 37th Sonnet:
“ For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Teaching Teaching them thus to use it in the fight,When shame affail'd, the red should fence the
This heraldry in Lucrece' face was seen,
The sovereignty of either being so great,
That oft they interchange each other's seat.
in her fair face's field,] Field is here equivocally used. The war of lilies and roses requires a field of battle; the heraldry in the preceding stanza demands another field, i. e. the ground or surface of a shield or escutcheon armorial.
STEEVENS. ! This filent war of lilies and of roses
Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field,
In their pure ranks bis traitor rye encloses;] There is here much confusion of metaphor. War is, in the first line, used ; merely to signify the conteft of lilies and roses for superiority; and in the third, as an army which takes Tarquin prisoner, and encloses his eye in the pure ranks of white and red. Our authorhas the fame expression in Coriolanus :
" Our veil'd dames
« Of Phoebus' burning kisses." Were not the present phraseology so much in Shakspeare's man. ner, we might read:
The silent band of lilies &c. So, a little lower:
" The coward captive vanquished doth yield
66 To those two armiesAgain, in a subsequent stanza :
“ Fearing some bad news from the warlike band
Where, left 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) În 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 filent wonder of still-gazing eyes, This earthly saint, adored by this devil, Little suspecteth the false worshipper; For thoughts unstain'd do seldom dream on evil; Birds never lim'd no secret bushes fear 3 : So guiltless she securely gives good cheer
And reverend welcome to her princely guest, Whose inward ill no outward harm express'd:
The copies however all agree in reading war, and I believe they are not corrupt. MALONE.
If the copies agree in reading war, for once they agree in a true reading. So, in The Taming of a Shrew :
« Hast thou beheld a fresher gentlewoman?
“ Such war of white and red within her cheeks !" Again, in Venus and Adonis: “ Oh, what a war of looks was then between them !"
STEEVENS, Therefore that praise which Collatine doth owe,] Praife here fignifies the obje&t of praise, i. e. Lucretia. To owe in old lan, guage means to pollefs. So, in Othello :
“ Not poppy, nor mandragora
" Which thou ow’dst yesterday, Malone. 3 Birds never lim'd no fecret' bushes fear :] So, in K. Henry VI, P. III:
“ The bird that hath been limed in a bush,