« PreviousContinue »
Ben. Good morrow, cousin.
Is the day so young ?
Ah me! sad hours seem long. Was that my father that went hence so fast ? Ben. It was.—Wbat sadness lengthens Romeo's
hours ? Rom. Not having that, which, having, makes them
Ben. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Rom. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
No, coz, I rather weep.
At thy good heart's oppress
1 i. e. should blindly and recklessly think he can surmount all ob to his will.
2 Every ancient sonnetteer characterized Love by contrarieties. W son begins one of his canzonets
“ Love is a sowre delight, and sugred griefe,
A living death, and ever-dying life,” &c. Turberville makes Reason harangue against it in the same manner :“ A fierie frost, a flame that frozen is with ise!
A heavie burden light to beare! A vertue fraught with vice!" &c.
Rom. Why, such is love's transgression.-
Soft, I will go along; An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
Rom. Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here;
Ben. Tell me in sadness, whom she is you love.
Groan ? why, no;
Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will.
Ben. I aimed so near, when I supposed you loved.
Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss : she'll not be hit
bide the encounter of assailing eyes,
ope her lap to saint-seducing gold. I'll kie is rich in beauty ; only poor,
Mo, when she dies, with beauty dies her store.* Tc
Such is the consequence of unskilful and mistaken kindness. 2 The old copy reads, “ Being purged a fire,” &c.—The emendation admitted into the text was suggested by Dr. Johnson. To urge the fire is to kindle or ercite it.
3 i. e. in seriousness.
4 The ineaning appears to be, as Mason gives it, “ She is poor only, because she leaves no part of her store behind her, as with her, all beauty will die.”
Ben. Then she hath sworn, that she will still live
chaste ? Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge
Ben. Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.
Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes ;
'Tis the way
SCENE II. A Street.
Enter CAPULET, Paris, and Servant. Cap. And Montague is bound as well as I, In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think, For men so old as we to keep the peace.
Par. Of honorable reckoning are you both;
1 i. e. to call her exquisite beauty more into my mind, and make it more the subject of conversation.
2 This means no more than the happy masks, according to a form of expression not unusual with the old writers.
And pity 'tis, you lived at odds so long.
Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made.
Cap. And too soon marred are those so early made. The earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she ; She is the hopeful lady of my earth. But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart, My will to her consent is but a part;8 An she agree, within her scope of choice, Lies my consent and fair-according voice. This night I hold an old accustomed feast, Whereto I have invited many a guest, Such as I love; and you, among the store, One more, most welcome, makes my number more. At my poor house, look to behold this night Earth-treading stars, that make dark heaven light. Such comfort, as do lusty young men 4 feel When well-apparelled April on the heel Of limping winter treads, even such delight Among fresh female buds shall you this night Inherits at my house; hear all, all see, And like her most, whose merit most shall be ; Which, on more view of many, mine being one, May stand in number, though in reckoning none.
1 The quarto of 1597 reads :
“ And too soon marred are those so early married.” 2 Fille de terre is the old French phrase for an heiress; but Mason suggests that earth may here mean corporal part, as again in this play
“ Can I go forward, when my heart is here?
Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out." 3 i. e. in comparison to.
4 For“ lusty young men” Johnson would read “ lusty yeomen.” Ritson has clearly shown that young men was used for yeomen in our elder language.
5° To inherit, in the language of Shakspeare, is to possess.
6 By a perverse adherence to the first quarto copy of 1597, which reads, “ Such amongst view of inany,” &c., this passage has been made unin
Come, go with me.—Go, sirrah, trudge about
to them say,
[Exeunt Capulet and Paris. Serv. Find them out, whose names are written here? 1 It is written that the shoemaker should meddle with bis yard,—and the tailor with his last, the fisher with his pencil, and the painter with his nets; but I am sent to find those persons, whose names are here writ, and can never find what names the writing person hath here writ. I must to the learned.-In good time.
Enter BENVOLIO and Romeo.
Ben. Tut, man! one fire burns out another's burning,
One pain is lessened by another's anguish; Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning ;
One desperate grief cures with another's languish.
Rom. Your plantain-leaf is excellent for that.”
For your broken skin. Ben. Why, Romeo, art thou mad?
telligible. The subsequent quartos and the folio read, “Which one (on] more," &c., evidently meaning, “ Hear all, see all, and like her most who has the most merit; her, which, after regarding attentively the many, my daughter being one, may stand unique in merit, though she may be reckoned nothing, or held in rio estimation. The allusion, as Malone has shown, is to the old proverbial expression, “ One is no number.” It will be unnecessary to inform the reader that which is here used for who, a substitution frequent in Shakspeare, as in all the writers of his time. One of the later quartos has corrected the error of the others, and reads as in the present text:
“Which on more view," &c. 1 The quarto of 1597 adds, “ And yet I know not who are written here; I must to the learned to learn of them: that's as much as to say, the tailor," &c.
2 The plantain-leaf is a blood-stancher, and was formerly applied to green wounds. So in Albumazar:
“ Help, Armellina, help! I'm fallen i'the cellar:
Bring a fresh plantain-leaf ; I've broke my shin.”