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Rom. Is the day so young'?
Rom. Ah me! sad hours seem long.
Ben. It was :-What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?
Ben. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Rom. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled ftill,
* Is tbe day sa young?] i. e. is it so early in the day? The same ex. pression (which might once have been popular) I meet with in Aco. Laftus, a comedy, 1540 : “ It is yet young nygbre, or there is yet much of the nighte to come." STEEVENS.
2-to bis will!] The meaning may be, that love finds out means to pursue his defire. JOHNSON.
It is not unusual for those who are blinded by love to overlook every difficulty that opposes their pursuit. NICHOLS.
This passage seems to have been mi prehended. Benvolio has la. mented that the God of love, who appears so gentle, should be a tyrant. It is no less to be lamented, adds Romeo, that the blind god should yet be able to direct his arrows at those whom he wishes to hit, that he should wound whomever he wills, or defires to wound.
MALONE. The quarto 1597, reads
Should, without laws, give path-ways to our will! This reading is the most intelligible. STEEVENS.
3 Wby oben, 0 brawling love ! &c.] Of these lines neither the senre nor occasion is very evident. He is not yet in love with an enemy; and to love one and hate another is no fuch uncommon state, as can deserve all this toil of antithefis. JOHNSON.
Had Dr. Johnson attended to the letter of invitation in the next scene, he would have found that Rosaline was niece to Capulet.
O heavy lightness ! serious vanity!
Ben. No, coz, I rather weep.
Rom. Why, luch is love's transgression --
Every sonnetteer characterises love by contratieties. Watson begins one of his canzonets :
66 Love is a lowre delight, a sugred griefe.
« A living death, an ever-dying life,'' &c.
“ A fierie frost, a flame chat frozen is with ise !
“ Love it is an hatefuil pees,
« 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 prea lerved by Longinus. Petrarch is full of it:
óPace non trcvo, c non ho da far guerra,
" E nulla ftringo, e tut!o'l mondo abbraccio," Son. 105. Sir Tho. Wyat gives a translation of this sonnet, without any notice of the original, under the title of “ Description of ibe contraricus Pallions in a Louer," amongst the Songes and Sonnentes, by the Earle of Surrey, and others, 1574.
FARMER. 4 Wby, fucb is love's transgreffionem] Such is the consequence of unskilful and mistaken kindness, JOHNSON.
Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of fighs;
leave me so, you do me wrong.
Ben. Tell me in sadness?, who she is you love.
Ben. Groan? why, no;
Rom. Bid a fick man in sadness make his will:
Ben. I aim'd fo near, when I suppos'd you lov'd.
Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss: she'll not be hit.
5 Being purgid, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;] The authour may mean being purged of smoke, but it is perhaps a meaning never given to the word in any other place. I would rather read, Being urg'd, a fire sparkling, Being excited and inforced. To urge the fire is the technical term. JOHNSON.
6 Being vex'd, &c.] As this line stands fagie, it is likely that the foregoing or following line that rhymed to it is loft. Johnson.
It does not seem necessary to suppose any line loft. in the former speech about love's contrarieties, there are several lines which have no other to rhime with them; as also in the following, about Rosaline's chastity. STEEVENS.
7 Tell me in sadness,] That is, tell me gravely, tell me ia serious*ifs. JOHNSON See Vol. II. p. 223, n. 1. MALONE.
8 And, in ftrong proof of cbaftiry well arm’d, &c.] As this play was written in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, I cannot help regarding there speeches of Romeo as an oblique compliment to ber majesty, who was
From love's weak childish bow she lives unharm's.
chaíte? not liable to be displeased at hearing her chastity praised after the was suspected to have lost it, or her beauty commended in the 67th year of her age, though the never pofletted any when the was young. Her declaration that he would continue unmarried, increases the probability of the present supposition. STILVENS. -- inftrong proof-] In chasity of proof; as we sayin armour of proof.
JOHNSON. 9 Sbe will not say obe siege of loving terms] So, in our authour's Venus and Adonis :
“ Remove your fiege from my unyielding heart;
“ To loves alarm it will not ope the gate." MALONE. <!--witb beauty dies ber fore.] Mr. Theobald reads, “Witb her dies beauty's flore;” and is followed by the two succeeding editors. I have replaced the old reading, because I think it at least as plaufible 23 the correction. Sbe is ricb, fays he, in beauty, and only poor in being subject to the lot of humanity, that ber froreor riches, can be deftroyed by dealb, who hall, by the same blow, put an end to beauty.
JOHNSON. Words are sometimes shuffled out of their places at the press; but that they should be at once transposed and corrupted, is highly impro. bable. I have no doubt that the old copies are right. She is ricb in beau. ty; and poor in this circumstance alone, that with her, beauty will expire; her store of wealth which the poet has already said was the fairness of her person,) will not be transmitted to pofterity, inasmuch as the will “ lead her graces to the grave, and leave the world no copy," MALONE.
Theobald's alteration may be countenanced by the following pallage 'in Swetnam Arraign'd, a comedy, 1620 :
" Nature now shall boatt no more
" 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 Maltinger's Virgin-Martyr :
with her dies
Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge
Ben. Be ruld by me, forget to think of her.
Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Rom. 'Tis the way
2 Sbe barb, and in rbar sparing makes bage waste ;] So, in our au thour's First Sonnet :
“ And, tender churl, mak'st wasle in niggarding." MALONI. 3 For beauty, fiaro'd with ber severity,
Curs beauty of from all pojterity. ] So, in our authour's Third Sonnet :
" Or who is he lo fond will be the tomb
“ Of his self-love, to fop pofterity ?" Again, in his Venus and Adonis :
“ What is thy body but a swallowing grave,
MALONE. -wisely too fair, &c.] There is in her too much fanctimonious wisdom united with beauty, which induces her to continue chaste with the hopes of attaining heavenly bliss. MALONE.
None of the followiag speeches of this scene are in the first edition of 1597. POPE. s Do I live dead,] Sp Richard the Third :
- now they kill me with a living dearb." Sec Vol. VI. p. 467, n. 7.
MALONE. 5 in question more.] More into talk; to make her unparalleled beauty more the subject of thought and conversation. See Vol. Ill. p. 77, n. 2. MALONE.
1 These bappy masks, &c.] i. e. the masks worn by female spectators of the play. Former editors print those instead of chefe, but without authority. STEEVENS.
These happy masks, I believe, means no more than be happy masks. Such is Mr, Tyrwhite's opinion. See Vol. II. p. 53, n. S. MALONE, C2