Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ben. Good morrow, cousin.
Rom.

Is the day so young ?
Ben. But new struck nine.
Rom.

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

short.
Ben. In love?
Rom. Out-
Ben. Of love?
Rom. Out of her favor, where I am in love.

Ben. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!

Rom. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will !!
Where shall we dine ?_O‘me !—What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! ?
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness ! serious vanity!
Mishapen chaos of well-seeming forms !
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health !
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is -
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh ?
Ben.

No, coz, I rather weep.
Rom. Good heart, at what ?
Ben.

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.

[ocr errors]

Rom. Why, such is love's transgression.-
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast;
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it pressed
With more of thine : this love, that thou hast shown,
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
- Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being urged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears.
What is it else ? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.

[Going
Ben.

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;
This is not Romeo; he's some other where.

Ben. Tell me in sadness, whom she is you love.
Rom. What, shall I groan, and tell thee?
Ben.

Groan ? why, no;
But sadly tell me who.

Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will.
Ah, word ill urged to one that is so ill !
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.

Ben. I aimed so near, when I supposed you loved.
Rom. A right good marksman !- And she's fair I love.
Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.

Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss : she'll not be hit
With Cupid's arrow; she hath Dian's wit;
And in strong proof of chastity well armed,
rom love's weak, childish bow she lives unharmed.
2 will not stay the siege of loving terms,

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

waste;
For beauty, starved with her severity,
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise ; wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair.
She hath forsworn to love; and, in that vow,
Do I live dead, that live to tell it now.

Ben. Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.
Rom. O, teach me how I should forget to think.

Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes ;
Examine other beauties.

Rom.
To call hers, exquisite, in question more.?
These happy masks, that kiss fair ladies' brows,
Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair;
He that is strucken blind, cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.
Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve, but as a note
Where I may read, who passed that. passing fair ?
Farewell; thou canst not teach me to forget.
Ben. I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.

[Exeunt.

'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.
But now, my lord, what say you to my

suit ?
Cap. But saying o'er what I have said before.
My child is yet a stranger in the world;
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years;
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.

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.

6

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
Through fair Verona ; find those persons out,
Whose names are written there, [Gives a paper,] and

to them say,
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.

[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.
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.

Rom. Your plantain-leaf is excellent for that.”
Ben. For what, I pray

thee? Rom.

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.”

« PreviousContinue »