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Let not my sister read it in your eye;
Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator; Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty;
Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger::
Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint;
What simple thief brags of his own attaint?
Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word. Alas, poor women! make us but believe, 4
Being compact of credit, that you love us; Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve; . : We in your motion turn, and you may move us.
In support of Mr. Theobald's first emendation, a passage in our author's 10th Sonnet may be produced:
« — thou art so possess'd with murderous hate, .
“ Which to repair should be thy chief desire.” Again, in The Rape of Lucrece:
“ To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours." . Stowe uses the adjective ruinate, in his Annales, p. 892: 66. The last year at the taking down of the old ruinate gate-".
MALONE. 3— his own attaint?] The old copy has-attaine. The emendation is Mr. Rowe's. MALONE.
• Alas, poor women! make us but believe, &c.] The old copy-not. STEEVENS.
From the whole tenour of the context it is evident, that this negative (not) got place in the first copies instead of but. And these two monosyllables have by mistake reciprocally dispossessed one another in many other passages of our author's works. THEOBALD. . .
• Being compact of credit,] Means, being made altogether of credulity. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, Part II. 1632;
66 she's compact
Then, gentle brother, get you in again;
Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife: ' 'Tis holy sport, to be a little vain, .
When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife. Ant. S. Sweet mistress, (what your name is else,
I know not, Nor by what wonder you do hit on mine,) Less, in your knowledge, and your grace, you show ir
not, · Than our earth's wonder; more than earth divine. Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak;
Lay open to my earthy gross conceit, Smother'd in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,
The folded meaning of your words' deceit. Against my soul's pure truth why labour you,
To make it wander in an unknown field? Are you a god? would you create me new ?
Transform me then, and to your power I'll yield. But if that I am I, then well I know, 'Your weeping sister is no wife of mine, Nor to her bed no homage do I owe;
Far more, far more, to you do I decline. O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note,
To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears; Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote:
Spread o’er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
Again, in our author's Venus and Adonis:
“Love is a spirit all compact of fire.” STEEVENS.
vain,] Is light of tongue, not veracious. Johnson. 7- sweet mermaid, ] Mermaid is only another name for syren. So, in the Index to P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History: “ Mermaids in Homer were witches, and their songs enchauntements.” STEEVENS.
8 - in thy sister's flood-] The old copy reads--sister. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. MALONE, VOL. XX.
And as a bed I'll take thee, and there lie;
And, in that glorious supposition, think He gains by death, that hath such means to die :
Let love, being light, be drowned if she sink !! Luc. What, are you mad, that you do reason so ? Ant. S. Not mad, but mated ;? how, I do not
! - as a bed I'll take thee,] The old copy reads as a bud. Mr. Edwards suspects a mistake of one letter in the passage, and would read:
And as a bed I'll take them, and there lie.
As a bud I'll take thee, &c. i. e. I, like an insect, will take thy bosom for a rose, or some other flower, and o p hænix like beneath thine eye
66 Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die." It is common for Shakspeare to shift hastily from one image to another.
Mr. Edwards’s conjecture may, however, receive countenance from the following passage in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I. sc. ii :
" my bosom as a bed
“ Shall lodge thee.” Mr. Malone also thinks that bed is fully supported by the word -lie. STEEVENS.
The second folio has bed. Tyrwhitt.
· Let love, being light, be drowned if she sink!] Mr. Ritson observes, that Love, in the present instance, means Venus. Thus, in the old ballad of The Spanish Lady:
“ I will spend my days in prayer,
“ Love and all her laws defy." STEEVENS. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:
“ Now for the love of love, and her soft hours ," Again, more appositely, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
“ Love is a spirit, all compact of fire,
“ Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.” Venus is here speaking of herself. Again, ibidem: " She's love, she loves, and yet she is not lov’d.”
Luc. It is a fault that springeth from your eye. ANT. S. For gazing on your beams, fair sun,
being by. Luc. Gaze where you should, and that will
clear your sight. ANT. S. As good to wink, sweet love, as look on
night. · Luc. Why call you me love ? call my sister so.
ANT. S. Thy sister's sister.
That's my sister.
No; It is thyself, mine own self's better part; Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart; My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope's aim, My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.
Luc. All this my sister is, or else should be. ANT. S. Call thyself sister, sweet, for I aim thee: 5
· Not mad, but mated ;] i. e. confounded. So, in Macbeth: “ My mind she has mated, and amaz'd my sight.”
STEEVENS. I suspect there is a play upon words intended here. Mated signifies not only confounded, but matched with a wife: and Antipholus, who had been challenged as a husband by Adriana, which he cannot account for, uses the word mated in both these senses. M. Mason. . Gaze where—] The old copy reads--when. STEEVENS.
The correction was made by Mr. Popė. MALONÉ. * My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.] When he calls the girl his only heaven on the earth, he utters the com. mon cant of lovers. When he calls her his heaven's claim, I cannot understand him. Perhaps he means that which he asks of heaven. JOHNSON. ' for I aim thee:] The old copy has for I am thee.
Thee will I love, and with thee lead my life;
O, soft, sir, hold you still;
Enter, from the House of AntiPHOLUS of Ephesus,
DROMIO of Syracuse. Ant. S. Why, how now, Dromio? where run'st thou so fast?
DRO. S. Do you know me, sir ? am I Dromio? am I your man? am I myself?
Ant. S. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thyself.
DRO. S. I am an ass, I am a woman's man, and besides myself.. Ant. S. What woman's man? and how besides
thyself? DRO. S. Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due to a woman; one that claims me, one that haunts me, one that will have me.' ; ANT. S. What claim lays she to thee?
Some of the modern editors
I mean thee. Perhaps we should read:
- for I aim thee. He has just told her, that she was his sweet hope's aim. So, in Orlando Furioso, 1594 : . . "
like Cassius, “Sits sadly dumping, aiming Cæsar's death.” Again, in Drayton's Legend of Robert Duke of Normandy: “ I make my changes aim one certain end.”