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She bows her head the new-sprung flower to smell,
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears. "Poor flower," quoth she, "this was thy father's guise,
Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire,-
To grow unto himself was his desire,
And so 't is thine; but know, it is as good
"Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast;
Thus weary of the world, away she hies,
Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen
1 Immure, shut in. 359
NOTES TO VENUS AND ADONIS.
1. Vilia miretur vulgus.-I may just note that the MS. transcript of Day's delightful Parliament of Bees, which is preserved among the Lansdowne MSS. (No. 725), bears the following title: "An olde Manuscript conteyning the Parliament of Bees, found In a Hollow Tree In a garden at Hibla, in a strandge Languadge, And now faithfully Translated into Easie English Verse by
mihi flavus Apollo Pocula Castaliis plena ministret aquis."
The couplet, by the way, is from Ovid's Amores, bk. I. Elegy xv. lines 35, 36, a poem which, as Professor Baynes notes, had not been translated into English; when Marlowe's Version first appeared is not certain, perhaps, as Gifford thinks, in 1598. The rendering of this particular Elegy (xv.) was evidently by Ben Jonson; see the Poetaster, i. 1 (page 107 in Routledge's edition), where the poem has undergone some revision and alterations from its original form as published in Marlowe's volume. Thus the first version of the present couplet runs:
Let base-conceited wits admire vild things; Fair Phoebus lead me to the Muses' springs. -Bullen's Marlowe, vol. iii. p. 137; while in The Poetaster it stands, quaintly enough: Kneel hinds to trash: me let bright Phoebus swell With cups full flowing from the Muses well.
-Ben Jonson, Works, p. 107. Marston is probably sneering at Shakespeare when he says in the poem to the third book of his Satires:
I invocate no Delian deitie,
No sacred ofspring of Mnemosyne;
I pray in aid of no Castalian muse.
-Works, edn. 1856, iii. p. 285.
2. Dedication: the first heir of my INVENTION. — So Marston describes his Pigmalion as being a "young newborn invention;" and again in the lines To his Mistres writes:
I invocate no other saint but thee,
-Works, iii pp 200, 202. Some critics regard Marston's Pigmalion (1598) as a parody of Venus and Adonis; others, as an imitation of Shakespeare's poem. For myself, I must confess I cannot trace the supposed resemblance. Shakespeare, by the way, may conceivably be the fifth poet described in the sixth satire of the Scourge of Villanie (1598) (Works, iii. pp. 275, 276).
3. Dedication: and never after EAR.-See note on unear'd, Sonnet iii. 5.
4. Lines 1, 2: Even as the sun, &c.—One of Gullio's pla
13. Line 125: These BLUE-VEIN'D violets whereon we lean. I find the same graceful epithet applied to the violet by Day in The Parliament of Bees, Character i. line 7:
The blue-veined violets, and the damask rose. So in a charming lyric in England's Helicon:
How shall I her pretty tread
When she doth walk?
Scarce she does the primrose head
Or tender stalk
Of blue-vein'd violets,
-Bullen's Reprint, p. 88. 14. Line 130: Beauty within itself, &c.-Compare Sonnet ix. 11, 12:
But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,
15. Line 140: Mine EYES are GRAY.-See Two Gentlemen of Verona, note 111; also Titus Andronicus, ii. 2. 1.
16. Line 147: Or, like a nymph, &c.-These lines are not unsuggestive of Midsummer Night's Dream, ii. 1. 85, 86.
17. Line 157: Is thine own heart to thine own face affected?-This curious idea of self-love meets us in Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess, iv. 4:
Dearer than thou canst love thyself though all
-Beaumont & Fletcher, in Mermaid Series, vol. ii. p. 383; the swain in question being, of course, Adonis. Compare, too, a stanza in Bullen's Lyrics (1887), pp. 63, 64:
O let not beauty so forget her birth
18. Line 161: NARCISSUS 8o himself, &c. -For similar references cf. Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 5. 96: "Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face;" and The Faithful Shepherdess, i. 3:
Not Narcissus, he That wept himself away in memory Of his own beauty,
-Beaumont & Fletcher, Mermaid ed vol. ii. p. 338;
and The Two Noble Kinsmen, ii. 2. 119-121:
Emi. What flower is this?
Wo. 'Tis call'd Narcissus, madam
Emi, That was a fair boy certain, but a fool To love himself,
-Leopold Shakspere, p. 1o1& 19. Line 163: TORCHES are made to LIGHT.-Compare Measure for Measure, i. i. 33, 34:
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,
20. Line 171: By law of nature thou art bound to breed. -See note 1 on Sonnets.
21. Line 177: TIRED in the midday heat.--Collier read 'tired attired.
22. Line 189: I'll SIGH celestial BREATH.-Compare Coriolanus, iv. 5. 120, 121:
This, of course, is the reference in St. Matthew xvi. 2, 3: "When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather; for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day; for the sky is red and lowering."
According to Thiselton Dyer, the notion is "common on the Continent. Thus, at Milan, the proverb was, 'If the morn be red, rain is at hand"" (Folklore of Shakespeare, p. 62).
say, and at a respectful distance. This is a sample of the paraphrase perpetrated by Dryden's Lisideius:
Forbear, regardless youth! at length forbear;
Is still to Vig'rous Sylvan Sports inclin'd,
51. Line 680: to OVERSHOOT his troubles.-Q. 1, Q. 2, and Q. 3 give ouer-shut. The reading in the text is due to Steevens.
52. Line 682: He CRANKS and crosses, &c.--For crank =run crookedly, cf. I. Henry IV. iii. 1. 98:
See how this river comes me cranking in. Everyone will recollect Milton's "quips and cranks," L'Allegro, 27, where cranks is equivalent to sharp turns of wit; and an equally good illustration of the use of the word occurs in The Faerie Queene, bk. vii. c. vii. st. lii. 9: So many turning cranks these have, so many crookes. -Globe ed. of Spenser, p. 435Compare also Coriolanus, i. 1. 141.
53. Lines 695, 696: Echo replies, &c.-In the Fortune's Tennis-ball, or Pocula Castalia (1640), of Robert Baron several very daring appropriations of lines in Venus and Adonis occur. For instance, the present couplet appears in this form:
The airy queen (sounds child) each cell replies,
See the Shakespeare Centurie of Prayse, in the publications of the New Shakspere Society, p. 231.
54. Line 697: By this, poor WAT, &c.-Dyer (Folklore, p. 178) suggests that the name comes from the long ears or wattles of the hare, though properly, according to Skeat, a wattle is "the fleshy part under the throat of a cock or turkey." In any case, Wat is a recognized term for a hare; cf. Drayton's Polyolbion, xxiii.:
The man whose vacant mind prepares him to the sport, The finder sendeth out, to seek out nimble Wat.
55. Line 724: Rich preys make true men thieves.-The sentiment is that of Sonnet xlviii. 14:
For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.
56. Line 757: a SWALLOWING GRAVE.-Compare "mouthed graves" in Sonnet lxxvii. 6.
57. Line 765: Or theirs whose desperate hands THEMSELVES do slay.-For Shakespeare's sentiments on this subject we may turn to Cymbeline, iii. 4. 78-80:
Against self-slaughter There is a prohibition so divine That cravens my weak hand.
Compare, too, Hamlet, i. 2. 131, 132.
61. Lines 815, 816:
Look, how a bright star shooteth from the sky, So glides he in the night from Venus' eye. "How many images and feelings are here brought together without effort and without discord, in the beauty of Adonis, the rapidity of his flight, the yearning, yet hopelessness of the enamoured gazer, while a shadowy ideal is thrown over the whole" (Coleridge, Lectures on Peele has a fine Shakspere, Bohn's ed. pp. 220, 221). use of the same simile in The Tale of Troy. Speaking of the sailing of the Greek fleet, he says:
Away they fly, their tackling toft and tight,
Compare, too, Comus, 897-899.
79. Lines 1046, 1047:
As when the WIND, imprison'd in the ground, Struggling for PASSAGE, earth's foundation shakes. For the same simile, expressed ir very similar language, cf. Marlowe's Tamburlaine, part I. i. 2. 51, 52: