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Rom. O! I am fortune's fool!
Ben, Why doft thou stay?

[Exit Romeo.

Enter Citizens, &c.

Cit. Which way ran he, that kill'd Mercutio?
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?
Ben. There lies that Tybalt.
Cit. Up, fir, go with me;

I charge thee in the prince's name, obey.

Enter Prince, Montague, Capulet, their Wives, &c.

Prin. Where are the vile beginners of this fray?
Ben. O noble prince, I can difcover all
The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl:
There lies the man, flain by young Romeo,
That flew thy kinfman, brave Mercutio.
La. Cap. Tybalt, my coufin!
-O my


O prince!-O husband !-O, the blood is fpill'd
Of my dear kinfman !-Prince, 3 as thou art true,
For blood of ours, fhed blood of Montague.-
O coufin, coufin !

Prin. Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?
Ben. Tybalt, here flain, whom Romeo's hand did

Romeo that spoke him fair, bid him bethink
How nice the quarrel was, ' and urg'd withal



O! I am fortune's fool!] I am always running in the of evil fortune, like the fool in the play. Thou art death's fool, in Measure for Mcafure. See Dr. Warburton's note. JOHNSON.

In the first copy, O! 1 am fortune's flave. STEEVENS.

3 -as thou art true.] As thou art juft and upright. JOHNSON. 4 Hotu nice the quarrel-] How flight, how unimportant, how petty. So in the last act,

The letter was not nice, but full of charge

Of dear import. JOHNSON.

5-and urg'd witbal-] The reft of this fpeech was new writ.


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Your high displeasure all this-uttered
With gentle breath, calm look,knees humbly bow'd,--
Could not take truce with the unruly fpleen
Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts
With piercing fteel at bold Mercutio's breaft;
Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point,
And, with a martial fcorn, with one hand beats
Cold death afide, and with the other fends
It back to Tybalt, whofe dexterity
Retorts it: Romeo, he cries aloud,
Hold, friends! friends, part! and fwifter than his

His agile arm beats down their fatal points,
And 'twixt them rufhes; underneath whofe arm
An envious thruft from Tybalt hit the life
Of ftout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled :
But by and by comes back to Romeo,
Who had but newly entertain'd revenge,
And to't they go like lightning; for, ere I
Could draw to part them, was ftout Tybalt flain;
And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly :
This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.

La. Cap. He is a kinsman to the Montague,
" Affection makes him falfe, he speaks not true:
Some twenty of them fought in this black ftrife,
And all thofe twenty could but kill one life:
I beg for juftice, which thou, prince, must give;
Romeo flew Tybalt, Romco must not live.

Prin. Romeo flew him, he flew Mercutio;
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?

ten by the poet, as well as a part of what follows in the fame fcene. STEVENS.

5 Affection makes him falfe,] The charge of falfhood on Benvolio, though produced at hazard, is very juft. The author, who feems to intend the character of Benvolio as good, meant perhaps to fhew, how the best minds, in a state of action and difcord, are deftorted to criminal partiality. JOHNSON.


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La. Mon. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's friend;

His fault concludes but, what the law fhould end,
The life of Tybalt.

Prin. And, for that offence,
Immediately we do exile him hence:

7 I have an intereft in your hates' proceeding,
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a bleeding;
But I'll amerce you with fo ftrong a fine,

That you fhall all repent the lofs of mine:
I will be deaf to pleadings and excufes;
Nor tears, nor prayers, fhall purchase out abuses",
Therefore ufe none: let Romeo hence in hafte,
Elfe when he's found, that hour is his last.
Bear hence this body, and attend our will:
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill 9.


I have an intereft in your hearts' proceeding,] Sir Thomas Hanmer faw that this line gave no fenfe, and therefore put, by a very eafy change,

I have an intereft in your beats proceeding :

which is undoubtedly better than the old reading which Dr. Warburton has followed; but the fenfe yet feems to be weak, and perhaps a more licentious correction is neceffary. I read therefore,

I had no intereft in your beats preceding, This, fays the prince, is no quarrel of mine, I had no intereft in your former difcord; I fuffer merely by your private animofity. JOHNSON.

The quarto, 1597, reads bates' proceeding. This renders all emendation unneceffary. I have followed it. STEEVENS.

8 Nor tears nor prayers, shall purchase out abufes :] This was probably defigned as a ftroke at the church of Rome, by which the different prices of murder, inceft, and all other crimes, were minutely fettled, and as fhamelessly received. STEEVENS.

9 Mercy but murders, pardoning thofe that kill.] So, in Hale's Memorials: "When I find myfelf fwayed to mercy, let me remember likewife that there is a mercy due to the country."







An apartment in Capulet's houfe.
Enter Juliet.

Jul. Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Towards Phoebus' manfion; fuch a waggoner
As Phaeton would whip you to the west,

And bring in cloudy night immediately 3..


Spread thy clofe curtain, love-performing night!




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Gallop apace, you fiery-footed feeds,

Towards Phoebus' manfion, &c.] Our author probably remembered Marlow's King Edward II. which was performed be fore, 1593:

Gallop apace, bright Phoebus, through the skie,
"And dufky night in rufty iron car;
"Between you both, fhorten the time, I pray,

"That I may fee that most defired day." MALONE. -Phebus' manfion ;] The fecond quarto and folio read, lodging. STEEVENS.


immediately.] Here ends this fpeech in the eldest quarto.. The reft of the fcene has likewife received confiderable alterations and additions. STEEVENS.

Spread thy clofe curtain, love-performing night,

That run-aways eyes may ink;] What run-aways are thefe, whofe eyes Juliet is withing to have ftopt? Macbeth, we may remember, makes an invocation to night much in the fame ftrain: "Come, feeling night,

"Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day," &c. So Juliet would have night's darknefs obfcure the great eye of the day, the fun; whom confidering in a poetical light as Phabus, drawn in his car with fiery-footed steeds, and pofting through the heavens, the very properly calls him, with regard to the fwiftnefs of his courfe, the run-away. In the like manner our poet speaks of the night in the Merchant of Venice:

"For the clofe night doth play the run-away," WARBURton. The construction of this paffage, however elliptical or perverse, I believe to be as follows:

May that run-away's eyes wink!

Or, That run-away's eyes, may (they) wink!

Thefe ellipfes are frequent in Spenfer; and that for oh! that is not uncommon, as Dr. Farmer obferves in a note on the first


That run-away's eyes may wink; and Romeo
Leap to thefe arms, untalk'd of, and unfeen !-
Lovers can fee to do their amorous rites
By their own beauties: or, if love be blind,
It beft agrees with night.- Come, civil night,
Thou fober-fuited matron, all in black,
And learn me how to lofe a winning match,
Play'd for a pair of stainless maidenhoods:
Hood my unmann'd blood bating in my checks,
With thy black mantle; 'till ftrange love, grown bold,


fcene of the Winter's Tale. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, act iii. fc. 6. That ever I fhould call thee caft-away!

Juliet first wishes for the absence of the fun, and then invokes the night to fpread its curtain clofe around the world:

Spread thy clofe curtain, love-performing night! next, recollecting that the night would feem fhort to her, she speaks of it as of a run-away, whofe flight fhe would wish to retard, and whofe eyes fhe would blind left they should make difcoveries. The eves of night are the stars, fo called in the Midfummer Night's Dream. Dr. Warburton has already proved that Shakspeare terms the night a run-away in the Merchant of Venice: and in the Fair Maid of the Exchange, 1607, it is fpoken of under the fame character: The night hath play'd the fwift-foot run-away." Romeo was not expected by Juliet till the fun was gone, and therefore is was of no confequence to her that any eyes fhould wink but those of the night; for, as Ben Jonfon fays in Sejanus; -night bath many eyes, Whereof, tho' moft do fleep, yet fome are fpies."




That seems not to be the optative adverb utinam, but the pronoun ifta. Thefe lines contain no wish, but a reafon for Juliet's preceding with for the approach of cloudy night; for in fuch a night there may be no ftar-light to difcover our stolen pleasures:

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"That run-away eyes may wink, and Romeo
Leap to thofe arms, untalked of and unfeen."



5 Come, civil night,] Civil is grave, decently folemn. JOHNSON. unmann'd blood] Blood yet unacquainted with man. JOHNSON, Hood my unmann'd blood bating in my cheeks,] Thefe are terms of falconry. An unmanned hawk is one that is not brought to endure company. Bating (not baiting, as it has hitherto been

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