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Fruth: if her of Romeo, duct of
“ Which too untimely scorn'd the lowly earth.” 141. “ For blood of ours, shed blood of Mon
tague.” This injunction would have come with more decorum from Capulet than from the lady.
“O cousin, cousin !” This useless hemistic is not in the first copy. 142. “ Affection makes him false."
Benvolio (whom the author certainly intended for a good character) does not appear to me to be chargeable with any material deviation from the truth: if he mis-states the transaction at all, it is not in favour of Romeo, but by suppressing some circumstances in the conduct of Mercutio, the kinsman and favourite of the prince, to whom the narrative is addressed, and whom, we may suppose, (I think, without any great imputation on his integrity) he wished to conciliate. It is true that Romeo “ spoke Tybalt fair,” that he urged the prince's displeasure, that he interposed between Mercutio and Tybalt, and that he did not attack Tybalt, till Tybalt had killed Mercutio ; Benvolio even suppresses a circumstance which makes considerably in favour of Romeo, viz. that Tybalt called Romeo a villain, before Romeo had spoken a single word, and that Romeo submitted peaceably to that insult, and did not retort the word villain, till Tybalt had slain his friend Mercutio. For these reasons, Dr. Johnson's censure of Benvolio appears to me unfounded, and to have been made for the sake of introducing the reflection that follows it; which, without the assertion of Benvolio's falsehood, must have been lost.
144. “That run-away's eyes may wink; and
Romeo “ Leap to these arms, untalk'd of, and
unseen !-" These run-aways appear to have gone beyond the reach of all the critical pursuers ; let me try if I can come up with them :-Romeo I take to be the run-away, i. e. the person that is to come and run away with Juliet, and she would have him post to her on the wings of love, with such celerity as to be blind to every obstacle, and invisible to every eye; that Romeo is he whose eyes are to wink, and is, of consequence, the runaway, seems partly implied in what follows: " Lovers can see to do their amorous rites “ By their own beauties; or, if love be blind, “ Iť best agrees with night.”
“ That run-away's eyes may wink.” Is it not possible that fame or rumour, with all its vigilant eyes, may be intended ?
CAPEL LOFFt. 147.“- Till strange love, grown bold.”
“Strange," here, is unpractised, new, initiate. Thus in Cymbeline; Iachimo, speaking of his servant, whom he would describe as inexpert and unacquainted with the world, says, “he is strange and peevish:” and Macbeth also “ My strange and self-abuse “ Is the initiate fear that wants hard USE." “ IVhiter than new snow on a raven's back.”
This line is not in the first quarto; the second omits the idle epithet new, and the line, I think, stands there to much advantage : “Whiter than snow upon the raven's back.” 152. “ All forsworn, all nought, all dissem
blers.” This is disgracefully hobbling—we might read, “ All are forsworn, all false, all are dissemblers.” 155. “ -- If sour woe delights in fellowship.”
This, and some other similar applications of the epithet “ sour,” may serve pretty strongly to support Mr. Strutt's conjecture, that the hiatus in the early copy of Richard the Third,
“Now is the winter of-discontent,” should be filled up with the word " sour," instead of the feeble one supplied, “ our.” See Note on that passage.
Again, 157, scene 3, of the present act of this play, 16- Too familiar “ Is my dear son with such sour company.” 155.“ Which modern lamentation might have
Violent sorrow seems
SCENE III. 157. “ Hence-banished is banish'd from the
Here, as in many other instances, the same word is a dissyllable and a trisyllable.
“ And world's exíle is death."The first quarto, “ And world-exild,” which is a better expression. 161. “Wert thou as young as I.” We might read, perhaps better,
“If thou wert young as I.” The difference between the persons referred to, is not that Romeo is younger than the friar, but that the friar is an old man, and Romeo a young one. 167. “ Farewell."
So I should gladly say to this word, in removing it from the text.
· SCENE V.
171. “ Therefore stay yet, thou need'st not to be
gone.” The first copy, with evident advantage, “ Then stay awhile; thou need'st not go so soon.”
Again, I cannot discover any improvement that has been gained, but clearly the contrary, by the change from these lines in the first quarto :
“ It is the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow; “ I'll say it is the nightingale that beats “ The vaulty heaven so high above our heads, “ And not the larke, the messenger of morn: “ Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so. “ What says my love ? let's talk, it is not day."
172. “I have more care to stay, than will to
I have a more anxious desire to stay than inclination to depart. “ Some say, the lark and loathed toad change
eyes ; “0, now I would they had chang'd voices too.”
Dr. Warburton's emendation may seem plausible, but it is certainly false, as well as needless : Juliet could not possibly mistake the voice of the lark for that of the toad, though she might well, in the furor of amorous and poetic interdiction, desire that the notes of the lark, which disturbed and disappointed her happiness, might be changed, and become henceforward hateful discord. 174. “ Art thou gone so? my love ! my lord !
my friend !" It is not often that the changes from the first copy are to be commended, but I confess that, in the present case, I have always preferred, as more sweetly tender, the reading of the quarto 1599, adopted in the folio: