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Nay, I'll conjure too. Romeo! humours ! madman! passion! lover! Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh, Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied; Cry but—Ah me! pronounce but—love and dove; Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word, One nickname for her purblind son and heir, Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim”, When king Cophetua lov'd the beggar-maid.He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not; The ape * is dead, and I must conjure him.-I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes, By her high forehead, and her scarlet lip, By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh, And the demesnes that there adjacent lie, That in thy likeness thou appear to us. Ben. An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger
him. Mer. This cannot anger him: 'twould anger him To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle
? This is the reading of the quarto of 1597. Those of 1599 and 1609 and the folio read provaunt, an evident corruption. The folio of 1632 has couply, meaning couple, which has been the reading of many modern editions. Steevens endeavours to persuade himself and his readers that provant may be right, and mean provide, furnish.
3 All the old copies read, Abraham Cupid. The alteration was proposed by Mr. Upton. It evidently alludes to the famous archer Adam Bell. So in Decker's Satiromastix:
-He shoots bis bolt but seldom; but when Adam lets go, he hits.' 'He shoots at thee too, Adam Bell; and his arrows stick here. The ballad alluded to is King Cophetua and the Beggar-Maid, or, as it is called in some copies, 'The Song of a Beggar and a King.' It may be seen in the first volume of Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry. The following stanza Shakspeare had particularly in view:
• The blinded boy that shoots so trim,
From heaven down did hie;
In place where he did lie.' * This phrase in Shakspeare's time was used as an expression of tenderness, like poor fool, &c.
Of some strange nature, letting it there stand
Ben. Come, he hath hid himself among those trees,
Mer. If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
Go, then; for 'tis in vain
SCENE II. Capulet's Garden.
[Juliet appears above, at a Window. But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks!
5 i. e. the humid, the moist dewy night. Chapman uses the word in this sense in his translation of Homer, b. ii. edit. 1598: • The other gods and knights at arms slept all the
humorous night. And Drayton, in the thirteenth Song of his Polyolbion :
which late the humorous night
Bespangled had with pearl.' And in The Baron's Wars, canto i. :
* The humorous fogs deprive us of his light.' Shakspeare uses the epithet, vaporous night,' in Measure for Measure.
6 After this line in the old copies are two lines of ribaldry, which have justly been degraded to the margin :
• O Romeo, that she were, ah that she were
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun! -
and kill the envious moon,
Ah me! Rom.
She speaks :0, speak again, bright angel! for thou art As glorious to this sight?, being o'er my head, As is a winged messenger of heaven Unto the white-upturned wond’ring eyes Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him, When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds, And sails
the bosom of the air.
1 i.e. be not a votary to the moon, to Diana.
? The old copies read, 'to this night.' Theobald made the emendation, which appears to be warranted by the context.
Jul. ( Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou
Romeo? Deny thy father, and refuse thy name: Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I'll no longer be a Capulet. Rom. Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this ?
I take thee at thy word:
By a name
Jul. My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words Of that tongue’s utterance}, yet I know the sound; Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague ?
3 We meet with almost the same words as those here attributed to Romeo in King Edward III. a tragedy, 1596 :
• I might perceive his eye in her eye lost,
Rom. Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike +,
kinsmen find thee here. Rom. With love's light wings did I o'er-perch
Jul. If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
Rom. Alack! there lies more peril in thine eye, Than twenty of their swords 6; look thou but sweet, And I am proof against their enmity.
Jul. I would not for the world they saw thee here.
4 i.e. if either thee displease. This was the usual phraseology of Shakspeare's time. So it likes me well; for it pleases me well.
5 i.e. no stop, no hinderance. Thus the quarto of 1597. The subsequent copies read, no stop to me.'
6 Beaumont and Fletcher have copied this thought in The Maid in the Mill:
* The lady may command, sir;
She bears an eye more dreadful than your weapon.' ? But is here again used in its exceptive sense, without or unless. See vol. i. p. 17, note 12; and vol. viii. p.493, note 3.
8 i.e. postponed, delayed or deferred to a more distant period. So in Act iv. Sc. I:
• I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,
On Thursday next be married to the county.' The whole passage above, according to my view of it, has the following construction :- I have night to screen me;—yet unless thou love me, let them find me here. It were better that they ended my life at once, than to have death delayed, and to want thy love.