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Could to no issue of true honour bring.
Be not so long to speak; I long to die,
If what thou speak'st speak not of remedy.

Fri. Hold, daughter; I do spy a kind of hope,
Which craves as desperate an execution
As that is desperate which we would prevent.
If, rather than to marry county Paris,
Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself;
Then is it likely, thou wilt undertake
A thing like death to chide away this shame,
That cop’st with death himself to scape from it;
And, if thou dar’st I 'll give thee remedy.

Jul. O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,
From off the battlements of yonder tower;3
Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk
Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears;

- commission of thy years and art -] Commission is for authority or power. Fohnson. 3 0, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,

From off the battlements of yonder tower;] So, in King Leir, written before 1594:

“ Yea, for to do thee good, I would ascend
“ The highest turret in all Britanny,
“ And from the top leap headlong to the ground.” Malone.

of yonder tower;] Thus the quarto, 1597. All other ancient copies-of any tower. Steevens.

chain me &c.]
" Or walk in thievish ways, or bid me lurk
“Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears,

“ Or hide me nightly,” &c. It is thus the editions vary. Pope.

My edition has the words which Mr. Pope has omitted; but the old copy seems in this place preferable; only perhaps we might better read

“Where savage bears and roaring lions roam." Fohnson. I have inserted the lines which Mr. Pope omitted; for which I must offer this short apology: in the lines rejected by him we meet with three distinct ideas, such as may be supposed to excite terror in a woman, for one that is to be found in the others. The lines now omitted are these:

“ Or chain me to some steepy mountain's top,
“ Where roaring bears and savage lions roam;
" Or shut me

Steevens. The lines last quoted, which Mr. Pope and Dr. Johnson pre. ferred, are found in the copy of 1597; in the text the quarto of 1599 is followed, except that it has--Or hide me nightly, &c.

Malone. Gg2

Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house,
O'er-cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones,
With reeky shanks, and yellow chapless sculls;
Or bid me go into a new-made grave,
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud ; 5
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble ;
And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love.

Fri. Hold, then; go home, be merry, give consent
To marry Paris: Wednesday is to-morrow;
To-morrow night look that thou lie alone,
Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber:
Take thou this phial, being then in bed,
And this distilled liquor drink thou off:
When, presently, through all thy veins shall run
A cold and drowsy humour,6 which shall seize
Each vital spirit; for no pulse shall keep
His natural progress, but surcease to beat:
No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou liv'st;
The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade
To paly ashes;? thy eyes' windows fall, 8

5 And hide me with a dead man in his shroud;] In the quarto, 1599, and 1609, this line stands thus:

And hide me with a dead man in his, The editor of the folio supplied the defect by reading-in his grave, without adverting to the disgusting repetition of that word. The original copy leads me to believe that Shakspeare wrote in his tomb; for there the line stands thus:

Or lay me in a tombe with one new dead. I have, however, with the other modern editors, followed the undated quarto, in which the printer filled up the line with the word shroud. Malone.

It may be natural for the reader to ask by what evidence this positive assertion, relative to the printer, is supported.

To creep under a shroud, and so be placed in close contact with a corpse, is surely a more terrifick idea than that of being merely laid in a tomb with a dead companion. Steevena.

through all thy veins shall run A cold and drowsy humour, &c.] The first edition in 1597 has in general been here followed, except only, that instead of a cold and drowsy humour, we there find—“a dull and heavy slumber," and a little lower, “no sign of breath," &c. The speech, however, was greatly enlarged; for in the first copy it consists of only thirteen lines; in the subsequent edition, of thirty-three. Malone. 7 The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade To paly ashes;] It may be remarked, that this image does

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Like death, when he shuts up the day of life;
Each part, depriv'd of supple government,
Shall stiff, and stark, and cold, appear like death:
And in this borrow'd likeness of shrunk death
Thou shalt remain full two and forty hours,
And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
Now when the bridegroom in the morning comes
To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead:
Then (as the manner of our country is)
In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier, 9

not occur either in Painter's prose translation, or Brooke's me. trical version of the fable on which conjunctively the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is founded. It may be met with, however, in A dolefull Discourse of a Lord and a Ladie, by Churchyard, 4to. 1593:

“Her colour changde, ber cheerfull lookes

“ And countenance wanted spreete; To sallow ashes turnde the hue

« Of beauties blossomes sweete:
“ And drery dulnesse had bespred

“The wearish bodie throw;
“Ech vitall vaine did fiat refuse

“ To do their dutie now.
" The blood forsooke the wonted course,

« And backward ganne retire;
« Aud left the limmes as cold and swarfe

As coles that wastes with fire.” Steevens. To paly ashes ;] These words are not in the original copy. The quarto, 1599, and the folio, read—To many ashes, for which the editor of the second folio substituted-mealy ashes. The true reading is found in the updated quarto. This uncommon adjective occurs again in King Henry V:

and through their paly flames, “ Each battle sees the other's umber'd face." We have had too already, in a former scene—" Pale, pale as ashes." Malone.

thy eyes' windows fall,] See Antony and Cleopatra, Act V, sc. ii, Vol. XIII. Malone. 9 Then (as the manner of our country is)

In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier, ] The Italian custom here alluded to, of carrying the dead body to the grave with the face uncovered, (which is not mentioned by Painter) our author found particularly described in The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Faliet:

“ Another use there is, that whosoever dies,
"Borne to their church with open face upon the bier he lies,
" In wonted weed attir'd, not wrapt in winding-sheet

Malone.

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Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault,
Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.
In the mean time, against thou shalt awake,
Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift;
And hither shall he come; and he and I
Will watch thy waking, and that very night
Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.
And this shall free thee from this present shame ;
If no unconstant toy,? nor womanish fear,
Abate thy valour in the acting it.

Jul. Give me, 0 give me! tell me not of fear.3

66

Thus also Ophelia's Song in Hamlet:

“They bore him bare-fac'd on the bier, -.” Steevens. In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier,] Between this line and the next, the quartos 1599, 1609, and the first folio, introduce the following verse, which the poet, very probably, bad struck out, on his revisal, because it is quite unnecessary, as the sense of it is repeated, and as it will not connect with either:

“Be borne to burial in thy kindred's grave." Had Virgil lived to bave revised his Æneid, he would hardly have permitted both of the following lines to remain in his text:

" At Venus obscuro gradientes aere sepsit;

“Et multo nebulæ circum dea fudit amictu.” The aukward repetition of the nominative case in the second of them, seems to decide very strongly against it.

Fletcher, in his Knight of Malta, has imitated the foregoing passage:

and thus thought dead,
“In her best habit, as the custom is
“ You know, in Malta, with all ceremonies
“She's buried in her family's monument,” &c. Steedens.

and he and I
Will watch thy waking,] These words are not in the folio.

Johnson 2 If no unconstant toy, &c.] If no fickle freak, no light caprice, no change of fancy, hinder the performance. Fohnson.

If no unconstant toy, nor womanish fear,

Abate thy valour in the acting it.] These expressions are borrowed from the poem:

“ Cast off from thee at once the weed of womanish dread,
“ With manly courage arm thyself from heel unto the head:
« God grant he so confirm in thee thy present will,
“ That no inconstant toy thee let thy promise to fulfill!"

Malone. 3 Give me, O give me! tell me not of fear.] The old copies un. metrically read:

Give me, give me! O tell me not &c. Steevens.

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Fri, Hold; get you gone, be strong and prosperous In this resolve: I'll send a friar with speed To Mantua, with my letters to thy lord. Jul. Love, give me strength! and strength shall help

afford. Farewel, dear father!

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

A Room in Capulet's House. Enter CAPULET, Lady CAPULET, Nurse, and Servant. Cap. So many guests invite as here are writ.

[Exit Serv. Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks. 4

2 Serv. You shall have none ill, sir; for I'll try if they can lick their fingers.

Cap. How canst thou try them so?

2 Serv. Marry, sir, 'tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers:5 therefore he, that cannot lick his fingers, goes not with me. Cap. Go, begone.

[Exit Sery. We shall be much unfurnish'd for this time. What, is my daughter gone to friar Laurence ?

Nurse. Ay, forsooth.

Cap. Well, he may chance to do some good on her: A peevish self-willid harlotry it is.

Enter JULIET. Nurse. See, where she comes from shrift6 with merry

look.

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go hire me twenty cunning cooks.) Twenty cooks for half a dozen guests! Either Capulet bas altered his mind strangely, or our author forgot what he had just made him tell us. See p. 325.

Ritson. lick his own fingers :) I find this adage in Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, 1589, p. 157:

As the olde cocke crowes so doeth the chick:
“ A bad cooke that cannot his owne fingers lick.” Steevens.

- from shrift -] i. e. from confession. So, in The Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608:

"" Ay, like a wench comes roundly to her shrift." In the old Morality of Every Man, bl. I. no date, confession is personified:

“Now I pray you, shrifte, mother of salvacyon.” Steevens.

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