Note 1. This sonnet, though it has one admirable passage,about the dyers hand,is not selected on account of its superiority to the general run of the authors compositions of this kind, but because Shakespeare is here unlocking his heart, and because all his sonnets appear to have been written after he had entered upon a line of life for which he and others had not yet procured its just social consideration.
Public means, which public manners breeds
is very harsh versifying,to say nothing of the bad grammar, which was a license of the time. And the concluding rhyme assure ye and cure me, is no rhyme. The nature
To what it works in, like the dyers hand
is true Shakespearian writing. I have noticed the faulty passages, because cultivators of the Sonnet must not be misled, even by Shakespeare. He can afford to err, where it would be presumption to follow him. Eysell is vinegar. Etymologistsin whose way so small a thing as a consonant is never allowed to standderive the word from the German Essig,vinegar. [back]