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ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONNETS.
The original edition of this collection of poems bore the following title : “Shake-speare's Sonnets. Never before imprinted. At London, by G. Eld, for T. T., and are to be sold by John Wright, dwelling at Christ Church-gate. 1609.” The volume is a small quarto. In addition to the Sonnets, it contains, at the end, " A Lover's Complaint. By William Shake-speare." In this collection the Sonnets are numbered from 1. to cliv., and they fol. low in their numerical order, as in the text we have presented to our readers. But, although this arrangement of the Sonnets is now the only one adopted in editions of Shakspeare's Poems, another occasionally prevailed up to the time of the publication of Steevens's fac-simile reprint of the Sonnets in 1766. An interval of thirty-one years elapsed between the publication of the volume by T. T. (Thomas Thorpe) in 1609, and the demand for a reprint of these remarkable Poems. In 1640 appeared “ Poems, written by Wil. Shake-speare, Gent. Printed at London by Tho. Cotes, and are to be sold by John Benson.” This volume, in duodecimo, contains the Sonnets, but in a totally different order, the original arrangement not only being departed from, but the lyrical poems of The Passionate Pilgrim scattered here and there, and sometimes a single Sonnet, sometimes two or three, and more rarely four or five, distinguished by some quaint title. No title includes more than five. In the editions of the Poems which appeared during a century afterwards, the original order of the Sonnets was adopted in some that of the edition of 1640 in
O, but with inine compare thou thine own state,
If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,
Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch
So will I pray that thou mayst have thy Will,
Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
? Suggest, tempt.
The better angel is a man right fair,
Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
Those lips that Love's own hand did make
| The variations in the copy of this Sonnet in The Passionato Pilgriin are very slight. In the eighth line, instead of foul pride, we have fair pride; in the eleventh, instead of from me, we have to me ; in the thirteenth, instead of Yel this shall I ne'er know, we have, The truth I shall not know.
W: 35= sisa*. csil
i la the orice we have the following reading :- Doers, the centre of my sinful earth,
Uz sinyal earth these rebel powers that thee array.” The received reading is a conjectural emendation by Malone. When the change in a test must rest wholly on conjecture, and some change is absolutely necessary, it appears to us that the change which has been established is in most cases better than any improvement.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
O me! what
0, cunning Love! with tears thou keep'st me blind, Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.
Canst thou, O cruel ! say I love thee not,
1 Censures, judges, estimates.