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Lxxxiv. Who is it that says most? which can say more 84

LXXXV. My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still 85

LXXXVI. Was it the proud full fail of his great verse. 86

LXXXVII. Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing


LXXXVII. When thou shalt be dispor'd to set me light 88

LXXXIX. Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault 89

xc. Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now 90

xci. Some glory in their birth, some in their skill


XCII. But do thy worst to steal thyself away


XCIII. So shall I live, supposing thou art true


xciv. They that have power to hurt and will do none 94

xcv. How sweet and lovely doft thou make the shame


XCVI. Some say, thy fault is youth, some wantonness 96

XCVII. How like a winter hath my absence been


xcviii. From you have I been absent in the spring 98

xcix. The forward violet thus did I chide


c. Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget's so


ci. O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends

cul. My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in


CII. Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth IO3

civ. To me, fair friend, you never can be old


cv. Let not my love be call'd idolatry


CVI. When in the chronicle of wasted time


CVII. Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul 107

CVIII. What's in the brain that ink may character 108

CIX. O, never say that I was false of heart


cx. Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there

cxi. O, for my fake do you with Fortune chide

cxır. Your love and pity doth the impression fill

cxii. Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind 113

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No edition of Shakfpere's Sonnets, 2 apart from his other writings, with sufficient explanatory notes, has hitherto appeared. Notes are an evil, but in the case of the Sonnets a necessary evil, for many passages are hard to understand. I have kept beside me for several years an interleaved copy of Dyce's text, in which I set down from time to time anything that seemed to throw light on a difficult passage. From these jottings, and from the Variorum Shakspeare of 1821, my annotations have been chiefly drawn. I have had before me in preparing this volume the

| The poet's name is rightly written Shakespeare ; rightly also Shakspere. If I err in choosing the form Shakspere, I err with the owner of the name.

* To which this general reference may suffice. I often found it convenient to alter Nightly the notes of the Variorum Shakspere, and I have not made it a rule to refer each note from that edition to its individual writer.

editions of Bell, Clark and Wright, Collier, Delius, Dyce, Halliwell, Hazlitt, Knight, Palgrave, Staunton, Grant White; the translations of François-Vi&or Hugo, Bodenstedt, and others, and the greater portion of the extensive Shakspere Sonnets literature, English and German. It is sorrowful to consider of how small worth the contribution I make to the knowledge of these poems is, in proportion to the time and pains bestowed.

To render Shakspere's meaning clear has been my aim. I do not make his poetry an occasion for giving lessons in etymology. It would have been easy, and not useless, to have enlarged the notes with parallels from other Elizabethan writers; but they are already bulky. I have been sparing of such parallel passages, and have illustrated Shakspere chiefly from his own writings. Repeated perusals have convinced me that the Sonnets stand in the right order, and that sonnet is conne&ted with sonnet in more instances than have been observed. My notes on each sonnet commonly begin with an attempt to point

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