« НазадПродовжити »
Look, what thy memory cannot contain,
These offices, so soft as thou wilt look,
? Commit to these aafie blacks,-) What meaning does blacks convey here? Let us examine a few of the verses that precede these, and see if from thence we may borrow any instruction :
6 7 hy glass will fbew thee how thy beauties wear,
" And of this book this learning may'st thou taste." Our poet must have written in the place first quoted-walte blanks; i. e. thefe vacant leaves, as he calls them in the other quotation.
THEOBALD. * And heavy ignorance aloft to fly, j So, in Othello : "O besty ignorance! thou praisest the worst, beit.” Does not this line teem to favour a conjecture, proposed by Dr. Johnson, in The Merry Wives of Windsor,-“ ignorance itself is a plummet over me where he would read — "" has a plume o' me?” He has indeed given a different interpretation; but if plume be right, the prefent line might lead one to think that Falstaff meant to say, that even ignorance, however heavy, could foar above him. MALONE. * Have adiled feathers to the learned's wing,] So, in Cymbeline :
your lord, " (The best feather of our qving) —” STEEVENS.
But thou art all my art, and doft advance
Then thank him not for that which he doth say,
LXXX. O how I faint when I of
do write, Knowing a better fpirit doth use your name', And in the praise thereof spends all his might, To niake me tongue-ty'd, speaking of your fame ! But since your worth (wide, as the ocean is,) The humble as the proudest fail doth bear',
My • Knowing a better fpirit doth use your name,] Spirit is here, in in many other places, used as a monofyllable Curiofity will naturally endeavour to find out who this better fpirit was, to whom even Shakspeare acknowledges himself inferior. There was certainly no poet in his own time with whom he needed to have fear ed a comparison ; but these Sonnets being probably written when his name was but little known, and at a time when Spenser was in the zenith of his reputation, I imagine he was the person here alluded to. MALONE.
The humble as the proudest fail doth bear,] The fame thought occurs in Troilus and Creffida:
-The fea being smooth,
My faucy bark, inferior far to his,
Then if he thrive, and I be cast away,
entombed in inen's eyes shall lie.
You still shall live (such virtue hath my pen,)
“ Upon her patient breast, making their way
“ With those of nobler bulk ? - Where's then the faucy boat?” Sec notę on Troilus and Creifida, last edit. Vol. IX. p. 28.
And therefore art enforc'd to seek anew
And their gross painting might be better us'd
LXXXIII. I never saw that you did painting need, And therefore to your fair no painting set. I found, or thought I found, you did exceed The barren tender of a poet's debt? : And therefore have I slept in your report, That you yourself, being extant, well might show How far a modern quill doth come too short *, Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth This filence for my fin
did impute, Which shall be most my glory, being dumb;
? The barren tender of a poet's debt :) So, the poet in Timon:
- tender down “ Their services to lord Timon." Again, in K. John :
" And the like tender of our love we make.” MALONE. 3 And therefore have I slept in your report,] And therefore I have not sounded your praises. Malone. The same phrase occurs in K. Henry VIII:
Heaven will one day open
" This bold, bad man.” Again, in K. Henry IV. P.1:
- hung their eyelids down,
" Slept in his face." STEEVENS. • How far a modern quill doth come too short,] Modern seems to have formerly signified common or trite. So, in As you like it :
" Full of wile laws and modern instances." MALONE. See note on K. John, p. 76. last edit. -Steevens.
what worth in you doth grow.) We might better read :
grow. 1. e, that worth, which &c. MALONE.
For I impair not beauty being mute,
Their lives more life in one of your fair eyes,
You to your beauteous blessings add a curse, Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse 7.
LXXXV. My tongue-ty'd muse in manners holds her still, While comments of your praise, richly compild, Reserve their character with golden quill', And precious phrase by all the muses fil’d. I think good thoughts, whilst others write good words, And, like unletter'd clerk, still cry Amen
6 When others would give life, and bring a tomb.) When others endeavour to celebrate your character, while in fact they disgrace it by the meannels of their compositions. MALONE.
i Being fond on praise, which makes your praises cvorse.] i. e. being tond of such panegyrick as debafes what is praiseworthy in you, insiead of exalting it. On in ancient books is often printed for of. It may mean, “ behaving foolishly on receiving praise." STEEVENS.
8 Reserve their character with golden quill,) Reserve has here the sense of preserve. See p. 607. note 3. MALONE.