« AnteriorContinua »
Re-enter BENVOLIO. Ben. O Romeo, Romco, brave Mercutio's dead; That gallant spirit hath aspir'd the clouds, Which too untimely here did scorn the earth. Rom. This day's black fate on more days doth de
Rom. Alive! in triumph! and Mercutio dain!
.-barb aspir'd be clouds,) So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608 :
“ Her haughty mind is tno lofty for me to aspire." We never use this verb at present without some particle, as, to and «fter. STELVENS, So allo Marlowe, in his Tamburlaine, 15905
“ Untill our bodies turn to elements,
“ And both our souls aspire celestial thrones. MALONE. 7 Tbis day's black fate on more days does depend ;] This day's unhappt deftiny bangs over the days yet to come. There will yet be more mila chief. JOHNSON.
$ Alive! in triumpb! &6.-) Thus the quarto, 1997: for which the quarto 1599 has:
Hc gan in triumph-
MALONS. 9-respective leniry- ] Cool, considerate gentleness. Respect former. ly fignified consideracion ; prudential caution. So, in the Rape of Lucruce, Vol. X. p. 102 :
“ Refpe&t and reason well besecm the sage." MALONE. And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now ! ] Condu&t for condutor. So, in a former scene of this play, quarto, 1597:
" Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
" Must be my conduct in the secret night." Thus the first quarto. In that of 1599 end being corruptly printed instead of ey'd, the editor of the folio, according to the usual process of corruption, exhibited the line thus : And fire and fury be my conduct now. MALOXE.
Staying for thine to keep him company;
Tyb. Thou, wretched boy, that didit confort him here,
[They fight; Tybalt falls.
Rom. O! I am fortune's fool ?!
[Exit ROMBO. Enter Citizens, sc. 1. Cit. Which way ran he, that kill'd Mercutio ? Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he? Ben. There lies that Tybalt.
1. Cit. Up, fir, go with me; I charge thee in the prince's name, obey. Enter Prince, attended; MONTAGUE, CAPULET, their
Wives, and others.
Ben. (noble prince, I can discover all
La. Cap. Tybalt, my cousin !--O my brother's child ! Unhappy light! ah, the blood is spill’d3 Of my dear kinsman !--Prince, as thou art true 4, For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.
20! I am fortune's fool!] 1 am always running in the way of evil fortune, like the tool in the play. I bou art deatb's fool, in Majurt for Measure. See Dr. Warburton's noc. JOHNSON.
In the firft copy, O! I am fortune's flave. STLEVENS.
3 Unbappy fazbe! ab, obe blood is spill'd--} Thus the quarto, 1597. The quarto 1599, and the subsequent ancient copies, read:
prince! O coufin ! hutband ! O, the blood is spillid, &c. The modern editors have followed neither copy. The word me was probably inadvertently omitted in the first quarto.
Unhappy fight! ah me, the blood is spilld, &c. MALONE. 4 as thou ari irue,] As thou art just and uprigbr. JOHNSON.
O cousin, cousin !
Prin. Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?
Ben. Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand did Nay : Romeo that spoke him fair, bade him bethink How nice the quarrels was, and urg'd withal , Your high displeasure :-all this-uttered With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bow'd, Could
not take truce with the unruly spleen Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts With piercing steel at bold Mercutio's breast; Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point, And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats Cold death aside, and with the other sends It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity Retorts it: Romeo he cries aloud, Hold, friends! friends, part! and, swifter than his tongue, His agile arm beats down their fatal points, And 'twixt them rushes ; underneath whose arm An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt Aed : 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 stout Tybalt slain ; 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 false?, he speaks not true :
s How nice the
quarrel-] How sligbt, how unimportant, how perry. So, in the last Act :
« The letter was not nice, but full of charge,
« Of dear import." JOHNSON. See also Vol. VII. p. 539, n. 2. MALONE.
6.and urg'd wirbal] The rest of this speech was new written by the poet, as well as a part of what follows in the same scene.
STEIVENS 7 Affe&tion makes bim false,] The charge of falshood on Benvolio, though produced at hazard, is very just. The authour, who seems to intend the character of Benvolio as good, meant perhaps to thew, how Vol. IX.,
Some twenty of them fought in this black strife,
Prin. Romeo flew him, he flew Mercutio ;
Mon. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's friend;
Prin. And, for that offence,
shall all repent the loss of mine:
the best minds in a state of faction and discord, are detorted to criminal partiality. JOHNSON.
hates' proceeding ;] This, as Mr. Steevens has observe ed, is the reading of the original quarto, 1597. From that copy, in almost every speech of this play, readings have been drawn by the modern editors, much preferable to those of the succeeding ancient copies. The quarto of 1599 reads-bearts proceeding; and the corrup. tion was adopted in the folio. MALONE.
9 Nor tears, nor prayers, spall purchase out abuses,] This was pro. bably designed as a stroke at the church of Rome, by which the different prices of murde:, incest, and all other crimes, were minutely settled, and as shamelessly received. STELVENS.
Mercy båt murders, pardoning thuse ibat kill.] So, in Hale's Me. morials : " When I find myself Iwayed to mercy, let me remember likewise that there is a mercy due to the country."
Thus the quarto 1599, and the folio. The sentiment here enforced is different from that found in the first edition, 1597. There the prince concludes his speech with these words:
Pity shall dwell, and govern with us ftill;
3 Gallop apace, you firy-footed feeds;
Towards Pboebus manfon ; É C.] Our authour probably remembered Marlowe's King Edward II. which was performed before 1593 :
“ Gallop apace, bright Phæbus, through the skie,
" That I may see that most desired day.” MALONÉ.
3 immediately.) Here ends this speech in the eldest quarto. The rest of the scene has likewise received considerable alterations and ad. ditions. STEEVENS. 4 Spread by close curtain, love-performing nigbt!
Tbot run-away's eyes may wink;] Dr. Warburton reads That the runaway's eyes may wink, i. e. the sun's. Mr. Heath justly observes on this emendation, that the sun is necessarily absent as foon as night begins, and that it is very unlikely that Juliet, who has just complained of his tediousness, should call him a runaway. In the Mer. chant of Venice, as Dr. Warburton has observed, that term is applied to night:
“ For the close night doth play the runaway." MALONE, The construction of this paffage, however elliptical or perverse, I believe to be as follows:
May ibat run-away's eyes wink!
These ellipses are frequent in Spencer; and obat for ob! tbal, is not uncommon, as Dr. Farmer observes in a note on the first scene of the Winter's Tale. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, A& Ill. sc. vi.
Tber ever I should call thee cat-away! Juliet first wishes for the absence of the sun, and then invokes the night to spread its curtain close around the world:
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night! next, recolle&ingit at the night would seem lhost to her, she speaks of it as of a run-away, whose fight the would wish to retard, and whose eyes she would blind left they dould make discoveries. The eyes