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One, that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,
And in the essential vesture of creation,

Does bear all excellency.*


The noble sister of Publicola,

The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle,

That's curded by the frost from purest snow,
And hangs on Dian's temple.


I take thy hand; this hand,

37-ii. 1.

28-v. 3.

As soft as dove's down, and as white as it;
Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fann'd snow,
That's boltedt by the northern blasts twice o'er.


13-iv. 3.

"Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on :
Lady, you are the cruel'st she alive,

If you will lead these graces to the grave,
And leave the world no copy.


O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purged the air of pestilence;
That instant was I turn'd into a hart;

And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
E'er since pursue me.

4-i. 5.

4-i. 1.


Thou dost look

Like Patience, gazing on kings' graves, and smiling 33-v. 1. Extremity out of act.

*"Does bear all excellency." This is the reading of the quarto. In the folio it is " Do's tyre the ingenieur." Mr. Steevens remarks that "the reading of the quarto is so flat and unpoetical, when com. pared with that sense which seems meant to have been given in the folio, that I heartily wish some emendation could be hit on, which might entitle it to a place in the text." The following is suggested, Attires the engineer, that is, adorns the general. "The woman is the glory of the man."-1 Cor. xi. 7. "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband."-Prov. xii. 4. Achilles is called "a rare engineer." †The sieve used to separate flour from bran is called a bolting cloth. Blended, mixed together.

§ By her beauty and patient meekness disarming Calamity, and preventing her from using her uplifted sword. Extremity, for the utmost of human suffering.


What's the matter,

That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris rounds thine eye ?*


11-i. 3.

If two gods should play some heavenly match,
And on the wager lay two earthly women,
And Portia one, there must be something else
Pawn'd with the other; for the poor rude world
Hath not her fellow.


O, how ripe in show

9-iii. 5.

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Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!


From women's eyes this doctrine I derive :
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,

7-iii. 2.

That show, contain, and nourish, all the world.

8-iv. 3.


Where is any author in the world, Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?

8-iv. 3.


Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!

For thou hast given me in this beauteous face,
A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.


O, what a hell of witchcraft lies

In the small orb of one particular tear?
But with the inundation of the eyes

22-i. 1.

What rocky heart to water will not wear?
What breast so cold that is not warmed here?
O cleft effect! cold modesty, hot wrath,
Both fire from hence and chill extincture hath!


*There is something exquisitely beautiful in this representation of that suffusion of colours which glimmers around the sight when the eyelashes are wet with tears.


When the sun sets, the air doth drizzle dew.

What, still in tears?

Evermore showering? In one little body
Thou counterfeit'st a bark, a sea, a wind:
For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea,
Do ebb and flow with tears; the bark thy body is,
Sailing in this salt flood; the winds, thy sighs;
Who,-raging with thy tears, and they with them,—
Without a sudden calm, will overset

Thy tempest-tossed body.

35-iii. 5.



Posthumus anchors upon Imogen;

And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye
On him, her brothers, me, her master; hitting
Each object with a joy.


31-v. 5.

Tears, 'tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in.


Thy tears are salter than a younger man's,

11-i. 1.

And venomous to thine eyes.

28-iv. 1.


His eye being big with tears,

Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,*

And with affection wondrous sensible

He wrung Bassanio's hand, and so they parted.


Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
What humble suit attends thy answer there.

9-ii. 9.

8-v. 2.

*So curious an observer of nature was our author, and so minutely had he traced the operation of the passions, that many passages of his works might furnish hints to painters. In the above passage, we have the outline of a beautiful picture.


Now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Her delicate cheek: it seem'd, she was a queen
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her.

Patience and sorrow strove

Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears
Were like a better day :* Those happy smiles,
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.-In brief, sorrow
Would be a rarity most beloved, if all


Could so become it.


The April's in her eyes: It is love's spring,
And these the showers to bring it on.


My plenteous joys,

Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves

In drops of sorrow.


34-iv. 3.

30-iii. 2.

15-i. 4.

By noting of the lady, I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions start
Into her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness, bear away those blushes;
And in her eye there hath appeared a fire,
To burn the errors, that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth.


6-iv. 1.

There might you have beheld one joy crown another: so, and in such manner, that, it seem'd, sorrow wept to take leave of them; for their joy waded in 13-v. 2.


*"A better day." This is adopted by the commentators, and is without sense. Like an April day, is suggested as the right reading, and proved to be so, by the next piece.


Say, that upon the altar of her beauty

You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart;
Write till your ink be dry; and with your tears
Moist it again; and frame some feeling line,
That may discover such integrity:

For Orpheus' lute was strung with poet's sinew;
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans

Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands.


Drawn in the flattering table of her eye!
Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow!
And quarter'd in her heart.


2-iii. 2.

16-ii. 2.

If lusty love should go in quest of beauty, <
Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch?
If zealous* love should go in search of virtue,
Where should he find it purer than in Blanch?
If love ambitious sought a match of birth,
Whose veins bound richer blood than lady Blanch?
Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,

Is the young Dauphin every way complete:
If not complete, O say, he is not she:

And she again wants nothing, to name want,
If want it be not, that she is not he:
He is the half part of a blessed man,
Left to be finished by such a she;
And she a fair divided excellence,
Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
O, two such silver currents, when they join,
Do glorify the banks that bound them in.


The Roman dame,

Within whose face beauty and virtue strived

16-ii. 2.

Which of them both should underprop her fame, When virtue bragg'd, beauty would blush for shame;

* Pious.

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