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What dar'st thou not, when once thou art a king9?
O, be remember'd 1, no outrageous thing

From vassal actors can be wip'd away;
Then kings' misdeeds cannot be hid in clay 2.

This deed will make thee only lov'd for fear,
But happy monarchs still are fear'd for love:
With foul offenders thou perforce must bear,
When they in thee the like offences prove :
If but for fear of this, thy will remove;

For princes are the glass, the school, the book,
Where subjects' eyes do learn, do read, do look ".

And wilt thou be the school where Lust shall learn?
Must he in thee read lectures of such shame ?
Wilt thou be glass, wherein it shall discern
Authority for sin, warrant for blame,
To privilege dishonour in thy name?

9 If in thy hope thou dar'st do such outrage,

What dar'st thou not when thou art once a king?] This sentiment reminds us of King Henry Fourth's question to his son: When that my care could not withhold thy riots,


"What wilt thou do, when riot is thy care?" STEEVENS. O, be remember'd,] Bear it in your mind. So, in King Richard II. :

"joy being wanting,

"It doth remember me the more of sorrow." MALONE. 2 Then kings' misdeeds cannot be HID IN CLAY.] The memory of the ill actions of kings will remain even after their death. So, in The Paradise of Dainty Devises, 1580:

"Mine owne good father, thou art gone; thine ears are stopp'd with clay."

Again, in Kendal's Flowers of Epigrams, 1577:

"The corps clapt fast in clotted clay,

"That here engrav'd doth lie." MALONE.

3 For princes are the GLASS, the school, the BOOK,

Where subjects' eyes do learn, do read, do look.] So, in King Henry IV. Part II. :

"He was the mark and glass, copy and book,

"That fashion'd others.'

Regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis. Claud.


Thou back'st reproach against long-lived laud,
And mak'st fair reputation but a bawd.

Hast thou command? by him that gave it thee,
From a pure heart command thy rebel will:
Draw not thy sword to guard iniquity,

For it was lent thee all that brood to kill.
Thy princely office how canst thou fulfil,

When, pattern'd by thy fault, foul Sin may say,
He learn'd to sin, and thou didst teach the way?

Think but how vile a spectacle it were,

To view thy present trespass in another.
Men's faults do seldom to themselves appear;
Their own transgressions partially they smother:
This guilt would seem death-worthy in thy brother.
O, how are they wrapp'd in with infamies,

That from their own misdeeds askaunce their eyes!

To thee, to thee, my heav'd-up hands appeal,
Not to seducing lust, thy rash relier 5
I sue for exil'd majesty's repeal";


Let him return, and flattering thoughts retire:
His true respect will 'prison false desire,

And wipe the dim mist from thy doting eyne,
That thou shalt see thy state, and pity mine.

4-PATTERN'D by thy fault,] Taking thy fault for a pattern or example. So, in the Legend of Lord. Hastings, Mirrour for Magistrates, 1587:


By this my pattern, all ye peers, beware." MALone. 5 Not to seducing lust, thy rash RELIER ;] Thus the first copy. The edition of 1616 has-thy rash reply. Dr. Sewel, without authority, reads:

"Not to seducing lust's outrageous fire." MALONE. for exil'd majesty's REPEAL;] For the recall of exiled majesty. So, in one of our author's plays :


if the time thrust forth

"A cause for thy repeal." MALONE.

Have done, quoth he; my uncontrolled tide
Turns not, but swells the higher by this let.
Small lights are soon blown out, huge fires abide",
And with the wind in greater fury fret:
The petty streams that pay a daily debt

To their salt sovereign, with their fresh falls' haste,
Add to his flow, but alter not his taste 9.

Thou art, quoth she, a sea, a sovereign king!
And lo, there falls into thy boundless flood
Black lust, dishonour, shame, misgoverning,
Who seek to stain the ocean of thy blood.
If all these petty ills shall change thy good,
Thy sea within a puddle's womb is hers'd;
And not the puddle in thy sea dispers'd.

So shall these slaves be king, and thou their slave 2; Thou nobly base, they basely dignified;

Thou their fair life, and they thy fouler grave:

7 SMALL LIGHTs are SOON BLOWN OUT, huge fires abide,] So, in King Henry VI.:

"A little fire is quickly trodden out," &c. STEEVENS. 8 And with the WIND in greater fury FRET:] So, in The Merchant of Venice:

"When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven.”


9 Add to His flow, but alter not HIS taste.] The octavo 1616 reads:

“Add to this flow, but alter not the taste." MALONE. These three lines seem to me to resemble both the phraseology and cadence of Denham, in his Cooper's Hill. BOSWELL.

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Thy sea within a puddle's womb is HERSED,] Thus the quarto. The octavo 1616 reads, unintelligibly:


Thy sea within a puddle womb is hersed."

Dr. Sewel, not being able to extract any meaning from this, reads:

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Thy sea within a puddle womb is burst,

"And not the puddle in thy sea dispers'd."

Our author has again used the verb to herse in Hamlet: "Why thy canoniz'd bones, hersed in death,

"Have burst their cerements." MALONE.

2 So shall these SLAVES be KING, and thou their slave ;] In King Lear we meet with a similar allusion:

Thou loathed in their shame, they in thy pride:
The lesser thing should not the greater hide;

The cedar stoops not to the base shrub's foot,
But low shrubs wither at the cedar's root.

So let thy thoughts, low vassals to thy state-
No more, quoth he, by heaven, I will not hear thee;
Yield to my love; if not, enforced hate,


Instead of love's coy touch 3, shall rudely tear thee;
That done, despitefully I mean to bear thee
Unto the base bed of some rascal groom,
To be thy partner in this shameful doom.

This said, he sets his foot upon the light,
For light and lust are deadly enemies :
Shame folded up in blind concealing night,
When most unseen, then most doth tyrannize.
The wolf hath seiz'd his prey, the poor lamb cries*;
Till with her own white fleece her voice controll'd
Entombs her outcry in her lips' sweet fold:


For with the nightly linen that she wears
He pens her piteous clamours in her head;
Cooling his hot face in the chastest tears


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it seem'd she was a queen

"Over her passion, who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her." MALONE.


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love's COY TOUCH,] i. e. the delicate, the respectful approach of love. STEEVENS.

4 The wolf hath seiz'd his prey, the poor lamb cries ;]

Illa nihil:

Sed tremit, ut quondam stabulis deprensa relictis,

Parva sub infesto cum jacet agna lupo. Ovid.

I have never seen any translation of the Fasti so old as the time of Shakspeare; but Mr. Coxeter in his manuscript notes (as Mr. Warton has observed,) mentions one printed about the year 1570. MALOne.

5 For with the NIGHTLY linen that she wears,] Thus the first quarto. The octavo 1616 reads, unintelligibly:

"For with the mighty linen," &c.


That ever modest eyes with sorrow shed.
O, that prone lust should stain so pure a bed 5!
The spots whereof could weeping purify,
Her tears should drop on them perpetually.

But she hath lost a dearer thing than life",
And he hath won what he would lose again;
This forced league doth force a further strife;
This momentary joy breeds months of pain;
This hot desire converts to cold disdain :

Pure chastity is rifled of her store,

And lust, the thief, far poorer than before.

Look, as the full-fed hound or gorged hawk,
Unapt for tender smell or speedy flight,
Make slow pursuit, or altogether balk
The prey wherein by nature they delight;
So surfeit-taking Tarquin fares this night:
His taste delicious, in digestion souring,
Devours his will, that liv'd by foul devouring

O deeper sin than bottomless conceit
Can comprehend in still imagination!
Drunken Desire must vomit his receipt",

5 O, that PRONE lust should stain so pure a bed!] Thus the first quarto. The edition of 1600, instead of prone, has proud. That of 1616, and the modern copies, foul. Prone is headstrong, forward, prompt. In Measure for Measure it is used in somewhat a similar sense :


in her youth

"There is a prone and speechless dialect." MAlone. Thus, more appositely, in Cymbeline : "Unless a man would marry a gallows, and beget young gibbets, I never saw one so prone." STEEVENS.

6 But she hath lost, &c.] Shakspeare has in this instance practised the delicacy recommended by Vida :

Speluncam Dido dux et Trojanus eandem
Deveniunt, pudor ulterius nihil addere curet.


7 Drunken DESIRE must VOMIT his receipt,] So, in Cymbeline : "To make desire vomit emptiness."

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