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William Shakespeare, Sonnet lxix

Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view
Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend:
All tongues (the voice of souls) give thee that due, [*]
Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.
Thine outward thus with outward praise is crown'd;
But those same tongues that give thee so thine own,
In other accents do this praise confound,
By seeing farther than the eye hath shown.
They look into the beauty of thy mind,
And that, in guess, they measure by thy deeds;
Then (churls) their thoughts, although their eyes were kind,
To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds:
But why thy odour matcheth not thy show,
The soil is this, -- that thou dost common grow. [*]


line 3: Due. The original has end. Tyrwhitt sagaciously made the change; knowing that such a typographical error is not unfrequent. The separate letters drop out at the press; and the workman, who does not stand upon niceties, puts them together again after his own fashion. By the inversion of the u a pretty metamorphosis of due into end is made; and such feats of legerdemain are performed with a dexterity which, however satisfactory to the operator, is not the most agreeable part of an author's experience, if he should ever indulge himself with the perusal of his own writings after they have passed to the printer. [ Back to text ]

line 14: [Soil. The usual emendation seems preferable in this botanical context to Charles Knight's edition's solve; he notes:] Solve. The original has solye. Malone reads solve in the sense of solution. We have no parallel example of the use of solve as a noun. [ Back to text ]

Most notes to Shakespeare's sonnets are from Charles Knight's edition, but those in square brackets are mine.