Page images

But (as it seems,) did violence on herself.
All this I know; and to the marriage
Her nurse is privy: And, if aught in this
Miscarried by my fault, let my old life
Be sacrific'd, some hour before his time,
Unto the rigour of severest law.
Prince. We still have known thee for a holy
man,- -
Where's Romeo's man? what can he say in this?
Bal. I brought my master news of Juliet's death;
And then in post he came from Mantua,
To this same place, to this same monument.
This letter he early bid me give his father;
And threaten'd me with death, going in the vault,
If I departed not, and left him there.
Prince. Give me the letter, I will look on it.—
Where is the county's page, that rais'd the watch?—
Sirrah, what made your master in this place?
Page, He came with flowers to strew his lady's
And bid me stand aloof, and so I did:
Anon, comes one with light to ope the tomb;
And, by and by, my master drew on him;
And then I ran away to call the watch,
Prince. This letter doth make good the friar's
Their course of love, the tidings of her death:
And here he writes—that he did buy a poison
Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal
Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.—

Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague !—
See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate, -
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!
And I, for winking at your discords too,
Have lost a brace of kinsmen":—all are punish'd.
Cap. O, brother Montague, give me thy hand:
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand.
Mon. But I can give thee more:
For I will raise her statue in pure gold;
That, while Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set,
As that of true and faithful Juliet.
Cap. As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie;
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!
Prince. A glooming peace this morning with it
brings; -
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head :
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe,
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. [Exeunt.




* This prologue, after the first copy was published in 1597, received several alterations, both in respect of correctness and versification. In the folio it is omitted.—The play was originally performed by the Right Honourable the Lord of Hunsdon his servants.

In the first of K. James I. was made an act of parliament for some restraint or limitation of noblemen in the protection of players, or of players under their sanction. STEEVENS.

2 carry coals.] To carry coals, formerly was a phrase for, to bear injuries.

3 I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it..] So it signifies in Randolph's Muses Looking-Glass, Act III. sc. iii. p. 45:

Orgylus. To bite his thumb at me.

“Argus. Why should not a man bite his thumb?

Orgylus. At me? were I scorn'd to see men bite

“ their thumbs; “Rapiers and daggers,” &c. G R EY. * —mis-temper'd weapons-) Are angry weapons, * Why then, Obrawling love! O loving hate II Every sonnetteer characterises Love by contrarieties. Watson begins one of his canzonets: “Love is a sowre delight, a sugred griefe, “A living death, an 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 “fraughte with vice!” &c. Immediately from the Romaunt of the Rose: “Loue it is an hatefull pees, “A free aquitaunce without reles, “An heavie burthen light to beare, “A wicked wave awaie to weare; “And health full of maladie, “And charitie full of envie;— “A laughter that is weping aie, “Rest that trauaileth night and daie,” &c. This kind of antithesis was very much the taste of the Provençal and Italian poets; perhaps it might be hinted by the ode of Sappho preserved by Longinus. Petrarch is full of it: “Pace non trovo, e non hò da far guerra; “Etemo, e spero, eardo, e son un ghiaccio; “Evolo sopra'l ciel, eghiaccio in terra; “E nulla stringo, e tutto'l mondo abbraccio,” &c. Son. 105. Sir Thomas Wyat gives a translation of this sonnet, without any notice of the original, under the title of, Description of the contrarious Passions in a Louer, amongst the Songes and Sonnettes, by the Earle of Surrey, and others, 1574. FA R MER. * Tell me in sadness, Tell me seriously. She is the hopeful lady of my earth:] This line means, my hopes are fired on her as the heir to my estate. * Such, amongst view of many, mine, being one, May stand in number, though in reckoning none..]— The first of these lines I do not understand. The old folio gives no help; the passage is there, Which one more view. I can offer nothing better than this: Within your view of many, mine being one, May stand in number, &c. J O H. N. SON, A very slight alteration will restore the clearest. sense to this passage. Shakspeare might have written the lines thus: Search among view of many: mine, being one, May stand in number, though in reckoning none. i. e. Amongst the many you will view there, search for one that will please you. Chuse out of the multitude. This agrees exactly with what he had already said to him : gro Hear all, all see, And like her most whose merit most shall be.” My daughter (he proceeds) will, it is true, be one of the number, but her beauty can be of no reckoning (i. e. estimation) amongst those whom you will see here. Reckoning for estimation, is used before in this very Scene: “Of honourable reckoning are you both.” STEEv.

« PreviousContinue »