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Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd:
La Cap. Marry, that marry is the very theme
Jul. It is an honours that I dream not of.
Nurse. An honour! were not I thine only nurse,
Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man,
La Cap. Verona's summer hath not such a flower.
5 he is an honour-] The first quarto reads bonour; the folio beur. I have chosen the reading of the quarto.
The word bour seems to have nothing in it that could draw from the Nurse that applause which the immediately bestows. The word bonost was likely to strike the old ignorant woman, as a very elegant and discieet word for the occasion. STEEVENS.
Honour was changed to bour in the quarto, 1599. MALONE.
• Well, &*c.] Instead of this speech, the quarto, 1597, has only one line : Well, girl, the noble County Paris seeks thce for his wife.
STEEVENS 7-a mar. of wax. ] So, in Wily Beguiled, 1606: “ Why, he's a man as one should picture him in wax."
STEEVENS. - man of wax -] Well made, as if he had been modelled in wax, as Mr. Steevens by a happy quotation has explained it. Lydia, praise the waxen arms of Telephus," says Horace, [waxen, well thaped, finely turned,]
“ With patsion swells my fervid breaft,
“ With passion hard to be suppreft.” Dr. Bentley changed cerea into laétea, little underftanding, that the praise was given to the shape, not to the colour, S. W.
r. When you,
Nurse. Nay, he's a flower: in faith, a very flower.
8 Nurse.] After this fpeech of the Nurse, Lady Capulet in the old quarto says only :
« Well, Juliet, how like you of Paris' love ?" She answers, “ I'll look to like, &c.” and so concludes the scene, without the intervention of that stuff to be found in the later quartos and the folio. STEEVENS.
9 La. Cap. What say you ? &c.] This ridiculous speech is entirely aded since the first edition. Pope.
? Read o'er obe volume, &c.] The same thought occurs in Pericles Prince of Tyre:
is Her face the book of praises, where is read
« Nothing but curious pleasures." STEEVENS. 2 Examine every married lineamene ;] This speech, as has been obferved, is not in the quarto, 1597. The reading of the text is that of che quarto 1599. The folio, after a later quarto, that of 1609, reads fea veral lineament. I have no doubt that married was the poet's word, and that it was altered only because the printer of the quarto of 1609 did not understand it. MALONE.
Shakspeare meant by this phrase, Examine how nicely one feature depends upon another, or accords with another, in order to produce that harmony of the whole face which seems to be implied in content. -In Troilus and Crellida, he speaks of “the married calm of states;" and in his 8th Sonnet has the fame allufion :
“ If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
“ By unions married, do ottend thine ear." STELYIXS. 3 And wbat obscur'd inibis fair volume lies,
Find written in the margin of his eyes.] So, in our authour's Rage of Lucreces
« But she, that never cop'd with ftranger eyes,
“ Writ in the glatly margene of fuch books." MALONI. The comments on ancient books were always printed in the margin.
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
Jul. I'll look to like, if looking liking move:
Enter a Servant. Serv. Madam?, the guests are come, supper served up, you call’d, my young lady ak'd for, the nurse cursed in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.
La. Cap. We follow thee.- Juliet, the county stays. Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.
So Horario in Hamler says: “I knew, you must be edify'd by the margent,”' &c. STEEVENS.
4°This precious book of love, this unbound lover, ] The urbound lover, is a quibble between the binding of a book, and the binding of mar. riage. MASON.
Š Tbar in gold clasps locks in the golden story;] The golden story is perhaps the golden legend, a book in the darker ages of popery much read, and doubtless often exquisitely embellihed, but of which Canus, one of the popish doctors, proclaims the authour to have been bome ferrei oris, plumbei cordis. JOHNSON.
The poet may mean nothing more than to say, that those books are most esteemed by the world, where valuable contents are embellished by as valuable binding. STEEVENS.
omendart mine eye,] The quarto, 1597, reads :--engage mire eye. STEEVENS.
7 Madam, &c.] To this speech there have been likewise additions fince the elder quarto, but they are not of sufficient consequence to be quoted. STEEVENS.
SCE N E IV.
A Street. Enter Romeo, Mercut108. BENVOLIO, with five or
fix Maskers, Torch-bearers, and Others. Rom. What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse ? Or shall we on without apology?
Ben. The date is out of such prolixity: We'll have no Cupid hood-wink'd with a fearf,
&– Mercutio,] Shakspeare appears to have formed this character on the following night hint in the original story : “ - another gentleman called Mercutio, which was a couitlike gentleman, very wel beloved of all men, and by reason of his pleasant and courteous behaviour was in al companies wel intertained." Painter's Palace of Pleasure, tom. ii. P. 221. STEEVENS. Mercutio is thus described in the poem which Shakspeare followed:
" At thone side of her chair her lover Romeo,
them hold." Perhaps it was this last circumdance which induced our poet to represent Mercutio, as little sensible to the passion of love, and “ a jefter at wounds which be never felt." See Oibello, A& III, sc. iv.
16 ~ This bard is moiit, my lady,
« Hot, bot, and moist."
. The date is out of such prolixiry :) A tedicus speech by way of introduction to maskers, before their entry at a masquerade, is no longer in fashion. To Mr. Steevens we are indebted for the true interpretation of this paffage. MALONE.
In Henry VIII. where the king introduces himself to the entertaina ment given by Wolsey, he appears, like Romeo and his companions, in a mask, and sends a messenger.before, to make an apology for his intrusion. This was a custom observed by those who came uninvited, with a desire to conceal themselves for the sake of intrigue, or to enjoy the greates freedom of conversation. Their entry on these oc. VOL. IX.
Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,
Rom. Give me a torch”,-I am not for this ambling; Being but heavy, I will bear the light.
casions was always prefaced by some speech in praise of the beauty of the ladies, or the generosity of the entertainer; and to the prolixity of fuch introductions, I believe, Romeo is made to allude.
So, in Hiflriomaftix, 1610, a man expresies his wonder that the maskers enter without any compliment:
" What, come they in so blunt, wit bout device for In the accounts of many entertainments given in reigns antecedent to that of Elizabeth, I find this custom preserved. Of the same kind of masquerading, see a specimen in Timon, where Cupid precedes a troop of ladies with a speech. STEEVENS.
I-like a crow-keeper;] The word crow. keeper is explained in K. Lear, A& IV. sc. vi. JOHNSON.
2 Nor no witbour.book prologue, &c.] The two following lines are in. serted from the first edition. Pope. 3 - for our entrance:) Entrance is here used as a trisyllable; en.
MALONE. 4 We'll measure ibem a measure,] i. e. a dance. See Vol. II. p. 405,
MALONE. 5 Give me a torcb,] The character which Romeo declares his resolution to afiume, will be best explained by a passage in Westward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607 : “ He is just like a torcb-bearer to maskers; he wears good cloaths, and is ranked in good company, but he doth nothing." A torcb-bearer seems to have been a constant at. tendant on every troop of masks. So, in the second part of Robert Earl of Iluntingdon, 1601 :
6 —as on a marque: but for our corch bearers,
“ Hell cannot rake so mad a crew as 1." Again, in the same play:
" --a gallant crew,
« Who, with his sorcb is enter'd. STEEVENS. K. Henry VIII. when he went masked to Wolsey's palace, (nome Whitehall,) had fixteen torch-bearers. See Vol. VII. p. 36.