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Again, in his 9th Sonnet :

"Ah! if thou issueless shall hap to die,

"The world will hale thee like a makeless wife; "The world will be thy widow, and still weep "That thou no form of thee hast left behind.” Again, in the 13th Sonnet :

"O that you were yourself! but, love, you are "No longer yours than you yourself here live : "Against this coming end you should prepare, "And your sweet semblance to some other give.”


553. -with fertile tears,] With, which is not in the old copy, was added by Mr. Pope to supply the metre. I am not sure that it is necessary. Our author might have used tears as a dissyllable, like fire, hour, sire, &c.

With adoration's fertil tears, i. e. with the copious tears that unbounded and adoring love pours forth. MALONE.

554. With groans that thunder love with sighs of fire.] This line is worthy of Dryden's Almanzar; and, if not said in mockery of amorous hyperboles, might be regarded as a ridicule on a passage in Chapman's translation of the first book of Homer, 1598:

"Jove thunder'd out a sigh ;"

or, on another, in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592: “The winds of my deepe sighs

"That thunder still for noughts," &c.


569. Write loyal cantos of contemned love,] The old copy has cantons. -Canton was used for canto in our author's time. So, in the London Prodigal, a Comedy, 1605: "What-do-you-call-him has it there in his third canto." MALONE.

571. Halloo your name to the reverberate hills,] Mr. Upton well observes, that Shakspere frequently uses the adjective passive, actively.—Ben Jonson, in one of his masques at court, says,

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-which skill, Pythagoras

"First taught to men by a reverberate glass."

STEEVENS. 610. Mine eye, &c.] I believe the meaning is; I am not mistress of my own actions, I am afraid that my eyes betray me, and flatter the youth, without my consent, with discoveries of love.



Line 14.



-To express myself:—] i. e. to reveal


-Messaline,- -] Sir Thomas Hanmer very

judiciously offers to read-Metelin, an island in the Ar. chipelago; but Shakspere knew very little of geography, and was not at all solicitous about orthographical nicety.

nicety. The same mistake occurs in the concluding

scene of this play :

"Of Messaline; Sebastian was my father." STEEVENS.

26. -with such estimable wonder,- -] Shak. spere often confounds the active and passive adjectives. Estimable wonder is esteeming wonder, or wonder and esteem. The meaning is, that he could not venture to think so highly as others of his sister. JOHNSON. Thus Milton uses unexpressive notes for unexpressible, in his hymn on the Nativity. MALONE.

59. She took the ring of me, I'll none of it.] Surely here is an evident corruption. We should read, without doubt,

She took no ring of me ;- -I'll none of it.

So afterwards,

"I left no ring with her."

Viola expressly denies having given Olivia any ring. How then can she assert, as she is made to do in the old copy, that the lady had received one from her?

This passage, as it stands at present (as an ingenious friend observes to me), might be rendered less exceptionable, by a different punctuation:

She took the ring of me !—I'll none of it.

I am, however, still of opinion that the text is corrupt, and ought to be corrected as above. Had our author intended such a mode of speech, he would, I think, have written,

She took a ring of me!-I'll none of it..



That, sure,- -] Sure, which is wanting in the first folio. was supplied by the second.

-her eyes had lost her tongue,] We say a man loses his company when they go one way and he goes another. So Olivia's tongue lost her eyes; her tongue was talking of the duke, and her eyes gazing on his messenger. JOHNSON.

75.the pregnant enemy] Is, I believe, the dexterous fiend, or enemy of mankind. JOHNSON. Pregnant is certainly dexterous, or ready. So, in Hamlet: "How pregnant sometimes his replies are!" STEEVENS.

76. How easy is it, for the proper false

In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!] This is obscure. The meaning is, how easy is disguise to women; how easily does their own falsehood, contained in their waxen changeable hearts, enable them to assume deceitful appearances! The two next lines are perhaps transposed, and should be read thus:

For such as we are made, if such we be,


Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we. I am not certain that this explanation is just. Viola has been condemning them who disguise themselves, because Olivia had fallen in love with the spacious appearance. How easy is it, she adds, for those who are at once proper (i. e. fair in their appearance) and false (i. e. deceitful), to make an impression on the hearts of women ?-The proper false is certainly a less elegant expression than the false deceiver, but seems to C


mean the same thing. A proper man, was the ancient phrase for a handsome man :

"This Ludovico is a proper man."


The proper false may be yet explained another way. Shakspere sometimes uses proper for peculiar. So, in Othello:

"In my defunct and proper satisfaction."

The proper false will then mean those who are pecu. liarly false, through premeditation and art. To set their forms, means, to plant their images, i. e. to make an impression on their easy minds. Mr. Tyrwhitt concurs with me in the first supposition, and adds— "instead of transposing these lines according to Dr. Johnson's conjecture, I am rather inclined to read the latter thus:

"For such as we are made of, such we be."

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I have no doubt that Mr. Tyrwhitt's conjecture is right. Of and if are frequently confounded in the old copies. Thus, in the first folio, p. 173. [Merchant of Venice.]

"But of mine, then yours"

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Again, in the folio, 1632, K. John, p. 6.

"Lord of our presence, Angiers, and if you."

instead of" of you."


O frailty.



our frailty] The old copy reads


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