Imatges de pàgina

Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead;
(Strange dream! that gives a dead man leave to think,)
And breath'd such life with kisles in my lips,
That I reviv'd', and was an emperor.
Ah me! how sweet is love itself pofseft,
When but love's shadows are so rich in joy?

News from Verona!-How now, Balthasar?
Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?
How doth my lady? Is my father well?
How fares my Juliet * ? l'hat I ask again;
For nothing can be ill, if the be well.

Bal. Then she is well, and nothing can be ill ;
Her body sleeps in Capels' monument',

And Again, more appofitely, in K. Henry V.

" As if allegiance in obeir bofoms fat,

Crowned with faith and constant loyalty." MALONE. My bojom's lord-] These three lines are very gay and pleafing. But why does Shakspeare give Romeo this involuntary cheerfulness just before the extremity of unhappiness? Perhaps to shew the vanity of trusting to those uncertain and casual exaltations or depreslions, which many consider as certain foretokens of good and evil. JOHNSON, The poet has explained this passage himself a little further on:

is How oft, when men are at the point of death,
“ Have they been merry? which their keepers call

“ A lightning before death."
Again, in G. Whetstone's Cafle of Deligbl, 1576 :

lighịning delight against his souden destruction." STEEV. 6 I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead ;

And breath'd lucb life with kisses in my lips,

That I reviv'd,-) Shakspeare seems here to have remember'd Marlowe's Hero and Leander, a poem which he has quoted in As you Like it :

« By this fad Hero
« Viewing Leander's face, fell down and fainted ;

He kiss d ber, and breorb'd life into ber lips," &MALONE.

How fares my Juliet ?] So the first quarto. That of 1599, and the folio, read:

How dorb my lady Juliet? MALONE. ? -in Capels' monument,] Shakspeare found Capel and Capulet used indiscriminately in the poem which was the ground work of this tragedy. For Capels' monument the modern editors have substituted Capulet's monument. MALONE.

The old copies read in Capels' monument; and thus Gascoigne in his Flowers, p. 51:

" Thys

Leave me,

And her immortal part with angels lives;
I saw her laid low in her kindred's vault,
And presently took post to tell it you:
O pardon me for bringing these ill news,
Since you did leave it for my office, fir.

Rom. Is it even so ? then I defy my stars 8!-
Thou know'st my lodging: get me ink and paper,
And hire poil-horses; I will hence to-night.

Bal. Pardon me, fir, I will not leave you thus :
Your locks are pale and wild, and do import
Some misadventure.
Rom. Tush, thou art deceiv'd;

and do the thing I bid thee do: Haft thou no letters to me from the friar?

Bal. No, my good lord.

Rom. No matter: Get thee gone,
And hire those horses; I'll be with thee straight.

[Exit Balthasar
Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to night.
Let's see for means :-0, mischief! thou art swift
To enter in the thoughts of desperate men!
I do remember an apothecary',-

And “ Thys token whych the Mount acutes did beare alwaies, so that “ They covet to be knowne from Capels, where they palie, “ For ancient grutch whych long ago 'tweene these two houses

STEEVENS. 8 I defy my fars ! ) Thus the original copy in 1597. The quarto of 1599, and the folio, read-I deny you, ítars. MALONE.

» Pardon me, fir, I will not leave you ibus :) This line is taken from the quarto, 1597. The quarto, 1609, and the folio, read:

“ I do beseech you, fir, have patience." STEEVENS. So also the quarto, 1599. MALONE.

* I do remember an apothecary, &c.] It is clear, I think, that Shakspeare had here the poem of Romeus and Juliet before him; for he has borrowed more than one expresion from thence :

“ And seeking lung, alas, too soon! the thing he fought, he found. " An apothecary fat unbufied at his door, " Whom by his beavy countenance he guessed to be poor; “ And in his top he law his boxes were but few, “ And in his window of his wares there was so small a few : " Wherefore our Romeus assuredly hath thought, “ What by no friendship could be got, with money should be bought; « For needy lack is like the poor man to compel * To seli chat which the city's law forbiddeth him to sell.

16 Taks


And hereabouts he dwells, whom late I noted
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of fimples; meager were his looks,
Sharp misery had worn him to the bones:
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
An alligator stuff'd?, and other skins
Of ill-thap'd fishes; and about his shelves
A beggarly account of empty boxes,
Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,
Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses,
Were thinly scatter'd, to make up a few.
Noting this penury, to myself I laid-
An if a man did need a poison now,
Whose fale is present death in Mantua,
Here lives a caixiff wretch would sell it him.
O, this same thought did but fore-run my need;
And this same needy man must sell it me.
As I remember, this should be the house :
Being holiday, the beggar's shop is shut.-
What, ho! apothecary!

Enter Apothecary.
Ap. Who calls fo loud ?

Rom. Come hither, man-I fee, that thou art poor ;
Hold, there is forty ducats : let me have
A dram of poison such foon-speeding geer
As will disperse itself through all the veins,
That the lite-weary taker may fall dead;

" Take fifty crowns of gold, (quoth he) -
“ Fair fir, (quoth he) be sure this is the speeding geer,
“ And more there is than you shall need; for half of that is there
« Will serve, I undertake, in less than half an hour
“ To kill the strongest man alive, such is the poison's power."

MALONE. An alligator Auff d-) It appears from Nashe's Have wirb you to Saffron Wälden, 1596, that a stuff?d alligator, in Shakspeare's time, made part of the furniture of an apothecary's shop. “ He made (says Nathe, ) an anatomie of a rat, and after hanged her over his head, infead of an aforbecary's crocodile, or dried alligator." MALONE.

3 A beggarly account of empty boxes,] Dr. Warburton would read, a braggarily account; but beggarly is probably right; if the boxes were emp?y, the account was more beggarly, as it was more pompous.




[ocr errors]

And that the trunk may be discharg'd of breath
As violently, as hasty powder fir'd
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.

Ap. Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law
Is death, to any he that utters them.

Rom. Art thou so bare, and full of wretchedness,
And fear'lt to die? famine is in thy cheeks,
Need and oppression ftarveth in thy eyes,
Upon thy back hangs ragged miserys,
The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law:
The world affords no law to make thee rich;
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.

Ap. My poverty, but not my will, consents.

[ocr errors]

4 Need and oppreffion Atarveth in sby cyes, ] The first quarto reads:

“ And itarved famine dwelleth in thy cheeks." The quartos, 1599, 1609, and the folio:

“ Need and oppression ftar verb in thy eyes." Our modern editors, without authority,

“ Need and appreslion fiare within thy eyes." STEEVENS. This modern reading was introduced by Mr. Pope, and was founded on that of Otway, in whose Caius Marius the line is thus exhibited:

“ Need and oppreilion ftare:b in thy eyes."
The word farved in the firit copy thews that starveto in che text is
right. In the quarto of 1597, this speech stands thus:

And doft thcu fear to violate the law?
The law is not thy friend, nor the lawes friend,
And therefore make no conscience of the law.
Upon thy back hangs ragged miserie,

And starved tamine dwelleth in thy cheeks.
The last line is in my opinion preferable to that which has been sube
ftiruted in its place, but it could not be admitted into the text without
omitting the words-- famine is in tby cbecks, and leaving an hemistick.

MALONE. s Upon oby back bangs ragged mifery,] So, in Kyd's Carnelia, a tragedy, 1594:

“ Upon thy back where misery dorb fit,

" o Rome, &c. MALONE. This is the reading of the oldest copy. I have restored it in preference to the following line, which is found in all the subsequent impressions :

“ Contempt and beggary hang upon thy back." In the First Part of Jeronimo, 1605, is a passage somewhat resembling this of Shakspeare :

“ Whole familh'd jaws look like the chaps of death,

" Upon whose eye-brows hang damnation.” STEEVENS. Jeronimo was performed before 1590. MALONE.

Rom. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.

Ap. Put this in any liquid thing you will, And drink it off; and, if you had the strength Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight.

Rom. There is thy gold; worse poison to men's souls, Doing more murders in this loathsome world, Than these poor compounds that thou may’it not sell: I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none. Farewel; buy food, and get thyself in Aeth. Come, cordial, and not poison; go with me To Juliet's grave, for there must I use thee.

Friar Lawrence's Cell.

Enter Friar JOHN.
John. Holy Franciscan friar! brother, ho !

Enter Friar LAWRENCE.
Law. This fame should be the voice of friar John.-
Welcome from Mantua: What says Romeo
Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.

John. Going to find a bare-foot brother out, One of our order, to associate me,

Here 5 One of our order, to associate me, ) Each friar has always a companion assigned him by the superior, whenever he asks leave to go out; and thus, says Baretti, they are a check upon each other. STEEV.

Going to find a bare-fooi brorber out,
One of our order, to associate mo,
Here in ebis city vihring ibe fuck,

finding bim, obe searcbers of ebe town Suspecting, &c.] So, in The Tragicall Hyftory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562:

“ Apace our friar John to Mantua him hies; “ And, for because in Italy it is a wonted guise " That friars in te town should feldom walk alone, “ But of their convent aye fbould be accompanied witb one Of bis profession, ftraight a house he findech out, “ In mind to take some friar with him, to walk the town about."

Our authour having occasion for friar John, has here departed from the poem, and suppored the peftilence to rage at Verona, instead of Mantua.

Friar John fought for a brother merely for the sake of form, to accompany him in his walk, and had no intention of visiting the sick;


« AnteriorContinua »