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canker the dog-rose: “I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace,” MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, i. 3. 22 ; “this canker, Bolingbroke,” 1 HENRY IV., i. 3. 176 ; “The canker-blooms,” SONNETS, liv. 5. (Mr. Beisly in hisShakspere's Garden, etc., p. 49, informs us that in the first and third of the above passages our poet refers to the rosesponge or excrescence that grows on the branches of the dog-rose; but I believe him to be as much mistaken about the first passage as he evidently is with respect to the third one,— “The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumèd tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their maskèd buds discloses,” — where canker-blooms can only mean the blossoms of the dogrose.)

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