Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, fick health!
Still-waking fleep, that is not what it is!

This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Doft thou not laugh?

Ben. No, coz, I rather weep.

Rom. Good heart, at what?

Ben. At thy good heart's oppreffion.


Rom. Why, fuch is love's tranfgreffion.Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breaft; Which thou wilt propagate, to have it preft With more of thine: this love, that thou haft fhown, Doth add more grief to too much of mine own. Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of fighs; 3 Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes; Being vex'd, a fea nourish'd with lovers' tears: What is it elfe? a madness moft difcreet, A choaking gall, and a preserving sweet. Farewel, my coz.

Ben. Soft, I will go along;


An if you leave me fo, you do me wrong.
Rom. Tut, I have loft myfelf; I am not here;
This is not Romeo, he's fome other where.
Ben. Tell me in sadness, who fhe is you love?
Rom. What, fhall I groan, and tell thee?
Ben. Groan? why, no;

But fadly tell me, who.

Rom. Bid a fick man in sadness make his will:O word ill urg'd to one that is fo ill!

In sadness, coufin, I do love a woman.

Ben. I aim'd fo near, when I fuppos'd you lov'd.

Why, fuch is love's tranfgreffion.] Such is the confequence of unskilful and mistaken kindnefs. JOHNSON.

3 Being purg'd, a fire fparkling in lovers' eyes;] The author may mean being purged of fmoke, but it is perhaps a meaning never given to the word in any other place. I would rather read, Being urg'd, a fire fparkling. Being excited and inforced. To urge the Are is the technical term. JOHNSON.

4 Tell me in fadness, That is, tell megravely, tell me inferioufnefs. JOHNSON.




Rom. A right good marks-man!-And fhe's fair
I love.

Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is foonest hit. Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss: fhe'll not be hit With Cupid's arrow, the hath Dian's wit;

And, in ftrong proof of chastity well arm'd, From love's weak childish bow the lives unharm'd. She will not stay the fiege of loving terms, Nor bide the encounter of affailing eyes, Nor ope her lap to faint-feducing gold: O, the is rich in beauty; only poor,

That, when the dies, with beauty dies her ftore. Ben. Then the hath fworn, that the will ftill live chafte ?

5 And in frong proof &c.] As this play was written in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, I cannot help regarding these speeches of Romeo as an oblique compliment to her majefty, who was not liable to be difpleased at hearing her chastity praised after the was fufpected to have loft it, or her beauty commended in the 67th year of her age, though fhe never poffeffed any when the was young. Her declaration that fhe would continue unmarried in creafes the probability of the prefent fuppofition. STEEVENS. 6-in firong proof] In chastity of proof, as we fay in armour of prof. JOHNSON.

7 with beauty dies her flore.] Mr. Theobald reads, "With "her dies beauty's fore;" and is followed by the two fucceeding editors. I have replaced the old reading, because I think it at leaf as plaufible as the correction. She is rich, fays he, in beauty, and only poor in being fubject to the lot of humanity, that ber flore, or riches, can be deftroyed by death, who fhall, by the fame blow, put an end to beauty. JOHNSON.

Theobald's alteration may be countenanced by the following paffage in Svetnam Arraign'd, a comedy, 1620: "Nature now fhall boaft no more

"Of the riches of her ftore;

"Since, in this her chiefeft prize,

"All the stock of beauty dies."

Again, in the 14th Sonnet of Shakspeare:

"Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date."

Again, in Maflinger's Virgin-Martyr:


with her dies

“The abstract of all sweetness that's in woman." STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge. wafte;

For beauty, ftarv'd with her severity,

Cuts beauty off from all pofterity 9.
She is too fair, too wife; wifely too fair,
To merit blifs by making me despair:
She hath forfworn to love; and, in that vow,
Do I live dead, that live to tell it now.

Ben. Be rul'd by me, forget to think of her.
Rom. O, teach me how I fhould forget to think.
Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.

Rom. 'Tis the way

To call hers, exquifite, in queftion more":
These happy masks, that kifs fair ladies' brows,
Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair;
He, that is ftrucken blind, cannot forget,
The precious treasure of his eye-fight loft:
Shew me a mistress that is paffing fair,
What doth her beauty ferve, but as a note
Where I may read, who pass'd that passing fair ?

Rom. She bath, and in that sparing, &c.] None of the following speeches of this fcene are in the first edition of 1597. POPE. 9 For beauty, ftarv'd with her feverity,

Cuts beauty off from all pofterity.]

So in our author's Third Sonnet.

"Or who is he fo fond will be the tomb
"Of his felf-love, to ftop poterity ?"

Again, in his Venus and Adonis:

"What is thy body but a fwallowing grave,
"Seeming to bury that pofterity,

"Which by the rights of time thou need'ft must have."


1-too wifely fair.] HANMER. For wifely too fair. JOHNSON. To call hers, exquifite, in queflion more:] That is, to call hers, which is exquifite, the more into my remembrance and contemplation. It is in this fenfe, and not in that of doubt, or dispute, that the word question is here ufed. REVISAL.

3 Thefe happy masks, &c.] i. e. the masks worn by female fpectators of the play. Former editors print thofe instead of these, but without authority. STEEVENS.

[blocks in formation]

Farewel; thou canst not teach me to forget. Ben. I'll pay that doctrine, or elfe die in debt. [Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

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 fo old as we to keep the peace.

Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity 'tis, you liv'd at odds fo long.
But now, my lord, what fay you to my fuit?
Cap. But faying o'er what I have faid before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world,
She hath not feen the change of fourteen years;
Let two more fummers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.


Par. Younger than fhe are happy mothers made. Cap. And too foon marr'd are those fo early made, The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but the, She is the hopeful lady of my earth:

4 Thou canst not teach me to forget.]
"Of all afflictions taught a lover yet,


"Tis fure the hardest science, to forget."-Pope's Eloifa.


And too foon marr'd are thofe fo early made.] The 4to, 1597, reads:-And too foon marr'd are those so early married.

Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589, ules this expreffion, which feems to be proverbial, as an inftance of a figure which he calls the Rebound:

"The maid that foon married is, foon marred is." The jingle between marr'd and made is likewife frequent among the old writers. So Sidney:

"Oh! he is marr'd that is for others made!" Spenfer introduces it very often in his different poems. STEEVENS. She is the hopeful lady of my earth.] This line is not in the first edition. POPE.


But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her confent is but a part;
An the agree, within her fcope of choice
Lies my confent and fair according voice.
This night I hold an old accuftom'd 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 ftars, that make dark heaven light:
Such comfort, as do lufty young men feel


When She is the hopeful lady of my earth,-This is a Gallicifm: Fille de terre is the French phrafe for an heiress.

King Richard II. calls his land, i. e. his kingdom, bis earth: "Feed not thy fovereign's foe, my gentle earth."


"So weeping, fmiling, greet I thee, my earth." Earth, in other old plays is likewife put for lands, i, e. landed eftate. So in a Trick to catch the old one, 1619:


"A rich widow and four hundred a year in good earth." STEEVENS.

7 Earth-treading ftars, that make dark heaven light:] This nonfenfe fhould be reformed thus:

Earth-treading ftars that make dark even light: i. e. When the evening is dark, and without ftars, thefe earthly ftars fupply their place, and light it up. So again in this play: Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night, Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear. But why nonfenfe? is any thing more commonly faid, than that beauties eclipfe the fun? Has not Pope the thought and the word?


[ocr errors]

"Sol through white curtains fhot a tim❜rous ray, "And op'd thofe eyes that muft eclipfe the day. Both the old and the new reading are philofophical nousense; but they are both, and both equally, poetical fenfe. JOHNSON.

-do lufy young men feel] To fay, and to fay in pompous words, that a young man Jhall feel as much in an affembly of beauties, as young men feel in the month of April, is furely to waste found upon a very poor fentiment. I read:

Such comfort as do lufty yeomen feel.

You fhall feel from the fight and converfation of thefe ladies, fuch hopes of happinefs and fuch pleafure, as the farmer receives from the fpring, when the plenty of the year begins, and the prospect of the harvest fills him with delight. JOHNSON.

C 3


« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »