William Shakespeare

Colin Burrow (ed.), The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Sonnets and Poems

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pg 656 pg 657 138

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Editor’s Note
1 made of truth composed of fidelity
Editor’s Note
2 lies By l. 13 the sense 'sleeps around' emerges.
Editor’s Note
3 That so that
untutored 'Uneducated, untaught; simple, unsophisticated' (OED, which offers the dedication to Lucrece and 3 Henry VI (True Tragedy) 5.5.32 as earliest citations).
Critical Apparatus
4 Unlearnèd … subtleties] q; Vnskilfull … forgeries o1
Editor’s Note
4 false subtleties cunning deceptions. False also implies sexual infidelity (Schmidt, 6), as it does in 20.4.
Editor’s Note
5 vainly unreasonably, without any effect. The sense 'With personal vanity; conceitedly' (OED 3) is emerging c. 1600, but there is no clear Shakespearian parallel for such a usage (All's Well 5.3.122–4 plays on 'vanity' and 'vainly': 'My fore-past proofs … | Shall tax my fears of little vanity, | Having vainly feared too little.')
Critical Apparatus
6 she … are] q; I know my yeares be o1; I know my yeres are fol9
Editor’s Note
6 my days are past their best When the poem was first printed in 1599 Shakespeare was 35. 'Youth' has no fixed limit in the period, but according to many of the established divisions of the ages of man Shakespeare would still have counted as a youth by this date. See 7.6 n. For ageing sonneteers, see 104.3 n.
Critical Apparatus
7 Simply I] q; I smiling, o1
Editor’s Note
7 Simply (a) straightforwardly, artlessly; (b) unconditionally; (c) stupidly, like a simpleton (OED 5; although not otherwise used by Shakespeare in this sense)
Critical Apparatus
8 On … suppressed] q; Outfacing faults in Loue, with loues ill rest o1
Editor’s Note
8 suppressed (a) left unexpressed (OED 4); (b) kept secret (OED 3a)
Critical Apparatus
9 she … unjust] q; my Loue that she is young o1
Editor’s Note
9 wherefore why
unjust sexually unfaithful. The usage develops OED 2, 'Not upright or free from wrongdoing; faithless, dishonest', and is paralleled in P. Pilgrim 18.21, where it also rhymes with 'trust'.
Critical Apparatus
11 habit is in seeming trust] q; habit's in an soothing tongue o1; habit is a soothing tongue o2; habit is a smoothinge tongue fol9
Editor’s Note
11 O, love's … trust 'O the best dress for love is the appearance of mutual fidelity.' This answers the questions of the previous lines.
Critical Apparatus
12 to have] o1; t'haue q
Editor’s Note
12 age personified: aged people
told (a) counted; (b) publicly revealed. Cf. suppressed, l. 8 above.
Critical Apparatus
13 I … she] q; Ile lye with Loue, and Loue o1
Editor’s Note
13 lie brings out the double meaning latent in l. 2.
Critical Apparatus
14 And … flattered] q (flattered i.e. flattered); Since that our faults in Loue thus smother'd be o1
Editor’s Note
14 And in … be And through our sins and weaknesses we are delightfully misled. Faults covers both the act of lying together (and with others) and their reluctance to perceive the truth. Flattered means both 'beguiled' and 'pleased'.
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