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Beauty itself doth of itself persuade
The eyes of men without an orator';
What needeth then apology be made
To set forth that which is so fingular
Or why is Collatine the publisher

Of that rich jewel he thould keep unknown
From thievish ears, because it is his own?

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Perchance his boast of Lucrece' sovereignty
Suggested this proud issue of a king ? ;
For by our ears our hearts oft tainted be :
Perchance that envy of so rich a thing,
Braving.coinpare, disdainfully did sting
His high-pitch'd thoughts, that meaner men

should yaunt
The golden hap which their superiors want.
But some untimely thought did instigate
His all-too-timeless speed, if none of those :

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
" More than the words or wisdom of the wise."
Again, in The Martial Maid, by B. and Fletcher :

silent orators, to move beyond
“ The honey-tongued rhetorician." STEEVENS.

wby is Collatine the publisher
Of that rich jewel he should keep unknown

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,
Suggested us to make.” MALONB.

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His honour, his affairs, his friends, his state,
Neglected all, with swift intent he goes
To quench the coal which in his liver glows *.
O rash-false heat, wrapt in repentant cold ,
Thy hasty spring still blasts, and ne'er grows

old •!

When at Collatium this false lord arrived,
Well was he welcom'd by the Roman dame,
Within whose face beauty and virtue strived

-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:
" There is no malice in this burning coal;
« The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out,
" And strew'd repentant alhes on his head.”

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,
“ Hold it a fashion and a toy of blood;
" A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent; sweet, not lafling;
The perfume and suppliance of a minute :

" No more.”
Again, in King Richard III:

Short summers lightly have a forward spring."
Blasts is here a neutral verb.
In Venus and Adonis we meet nearly the same sentiment :

“Love's gentle spring doth alway fresh remain;
“ Luft's winter comes ere summer half be done."


Which of them both should underprop her fame:
When virtue bragg’d, beauty would blush for

When beauty boasted blushes, in despite
Virtue would stain that or with silver white?:

But beauty, in that white intituled,
From Venus' doves doth challenge that fair field;
Then virtue claims from beauty beauty's red,
Which virtue gave the golden age, to gild
Their silver cheeks, and call'd it then their fhield;

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
" Their filver cheeks

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,
“ Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Intitled in their parts, do crowned fit


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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,
Argued by beauty's red, and virtue's white.
Of either's colour was the other queen,
Proving from world's minority their right:
Yet their ambition makes them ftill to fight;

The sovereignty of either being so great,

That oft they interchange each other's seat.
This filent war of lilies and of roses
Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field',
In their pure ranks his traitor eye




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
" Commit the war of white and damask in
" Their nicely-gawded cheeks, to the wanton spoil

« 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 her beloved Collatinus lies."


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
" Shall ever med cine thee to that sweet fleep

" 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,
“ With trembling wings misdoubteth every bulb."



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