SONNET NO. 70
That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect.
For slanders mark was ever yet the fair,
The ornament of beauty is suspect,
A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air,
So thou be good, slander doth but approve,
Their worth the greater, being woo'd of time,
For canker vice-the sweetest buds doth love
And thou present'st a pure unstained prime
Thou hast pass'd by the ambush of young days
Either not assailed, or victor being charged
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
To tie up envy-evermore enlarged,
If some suspect of ill mask'd not thy show
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts should'st owe.
Note the following repetitions of certain words, we find-thou, thou, thou, thou, thou, thy defect, thy praise, thy praise, thy show.
7th Line. Canker vice-vice the canker worm.
8th Line. Prime-the first-hence the best of life-youth.
10th Line. Victor being charged-a victor whencharged
12th Line. Envy-which goes to and fro in the earth always at liberty and must be tied up.
13th Line. Thy show-did not conceal the appearance you would otherwise present to the world's eye.
Here Bacon writing of himself tells us that he being blamed(censured) is not his defect (fault) because the fair (persons free from blemish) are always the mark (an object to be aimed at) of slander (Bacon in his own writings said: " The Justest Judge may for a time seem foul when greatness is the mark and accusation the Game "). He tells that " the garments of beauty is suspect", that is to say that the marks of honour in a man is always suspected that slander is a crow that flies through the air. (Bacon in his own writings also says: Slander is a crow that flies".) Bacon writes that if he be good-slander will approve his worth the greater because slander (the canker vice) always attaches itself to people of good character (the sweetest buds) and that he presents a pure unstained prime ,that is to say that there are no stains on his character, that since his youth he has survived any ambush (attack by surprise) not being assailed (attacked) or if attacked being victorious. That his praise (commendation) was not sufficient to tie up (restrain) the envy of other people which was increased (enlarged) and that if some suspicion of ill doing did not mask (conceal) his show (appearance) he alone should'st owe (own) the kingdom of other peoples hearts.
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