Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

The story of this play, except the episode of Ed-||that it follows the chronicle; it has the rudiments mund, which is derived, I think, from Sidney, is of the play, but none of its amplifications: it first taken originally from Geoffry of Monmouth, whom hinted Lear's madness, but did not array it in cirHolinshed generally copied; but perhaps immedi- cumstances. The writer of the ballad added ately from an old historical ballad. My reason for something to the history, which is a proof that he believing that the play was posterior to the ballad, would have added more, if more had occurred to rather than the ballad to the play, is, that the bal his mind; and more must have occurred if he had lad has nothing of Shakspeare's nocturnal tempest, seen Shakspeare. which is too striking to have been omitted, and JOHNSON.

[blocks in formation]

PROLOGUE.

TWO households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows

Do, with their death, bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could move,

stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's.

Gre. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall.

Sam. True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall:therefore I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.

Gre. The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men.

Sam. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel re-with the maids; I will cut off their heads. Gre. The heads of the maids?

Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

ACT I.

SCENE I-A public place. Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with swords and bucklers.

Sampson.

GREGORY, o'my word, we'll not carry coals.
Gre. No, for then we should be colliers.
Sam. I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw.
Gre. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of
the collar.

Sam. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt.

Gre. They must take it in sense, that feel it. Sam. Me they shall feel, while I am able to stand: and, 'tis known, I am a pretty piece of flesh.

Gre. 'Tis well, thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor John.2 Draw thy tool; here comes two of the house of the Montagues.3

Enter Abram and Balthazar.

Sam. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee.

Gre. How? turn thy back, and run?
Sam. Fear me not.

Gre. No, marry: I fear thee!

Sam. Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.

Gre. I will frown, as I pass by; and let them take it as they list.

Sam. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they

Sam. I strike quickly, being moved. Gre. But thou art not quickly moved to strike. Sam. A dog of the house of Montague moves me. Gre. To move, is to stir; and to be valiant, is-bear it. to stand to it: therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.

Sam. A dog of that house shall move me to

(1) A phrase formerly in use to signify the bearang injuries.

Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Sam. I do bite my thumb, sir.
Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

(2) Poor John is hake, dried and salted.
(3) The disregard of concord is in character.

[ocr errors]

Sam. Is the law on our side, if I say-ay?
Gre. No.

Sam. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.

Gre. Do you quarrel, sir?
Abr. Quarrel, sir? no, sir.

Sam. If you do, sir, I am for you; I serve as
good a man as you.
Abr. No better.
Sam. Well, sir.

Enter Benvolio, at a distance.

Gre. Say-better; here comes one of my master's kinsmen.

Sam. Yes, better, sir.
Abr You lie.

Sam. Draw, if you be men.-Gregory, remember thy swashing blow. [They fight. Ben. Part, fools; put up your swords; you know not what you do. [Beats down their swords. Enter Tybalt.

Tyb. What, art thou drawn among these less hinds?

For this time, all the rest depart away:
You, Capulet, shall go along with me;
And, Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our further pleasure in this case,
To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.

[Exe. Prince, and Attendants; Capulet, Lady

Capulet, Tybalt, Citizens, and Servants.
Mon. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
Speak, nephew, were you by, when it began?

Ben. Here were the servants of your adversary,
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach:
I drew to part them; in the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar'd;
Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head, and cut the winds,
Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn:
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more, and fought on part and part,
Till the prince came, who parted either part.

La. Mon. O, where is Romeo?-saw you him
to-day?

heart-Right glad I am, he was not at this fray.

Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
Ben. I do but keep the peace; put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.
Tyb. What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate
the word,

As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee:
Have at thee, coward.

[They fight. Enter several Partizans of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs.

1 Cit. Clubs, bills, and partizans! strike! beat them down!

Ben. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun
Peer'd3 forth the golden window of the east,
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad
Where,-underneath the grove of sycamore,
That westward rooteth from the city's side,—
So early walking did I see your son:
Towards him I made; but he was 'ware of me,
And stole into the covert of the wood:
That most are busied when they are most alone,-
I, measuring his affections by my own,-
Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his,
And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.
Mon. Many a morning hath he there been seen,

Down with the Capulets! down with the Monta-With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew,

gues!

Enter Capulet, in his gown; and Lady Capulet. Cap. What noise is this?-Give me my long sword, ho!

La. Cap. A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?

Cap. My sword, I say!-Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.

Enter Montague and Lady Montague.
Mon. Thou villain Capulet,-Hold me not, let

me go.

La. Mon. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.

Enter Prince, with Attendants.
Prince. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,
Will they not hear?-what ho! youmen, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins,
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistemper'd2 weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.-
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet and Montague,
Have thrice disturb'd the quiet of our streets;
And made Verona's ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,
To wield old partizans, in hands as old,
Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate:
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.

(1) Clubs! was the usual exclamation at an affray in the streets, as we now call Watch!

Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs:
Should in the furthest east begin to draw
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
Away from light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself;
Shuts up his windows, locks fair day-light out,
And makes himself an artificial night:
Black and portentous must this humour prove,
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.

Ben. My noble uncle, do you know the cause
Mon. I neither know it, nor can learn of him.
Ben. Have you impórtun'd him by any means
Mon. Both by myself, and many other friends:
But he, his own affections' counsellor,
Is to himself-I will not say, how true-
But to himself so secret and so close,
So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm,
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
We would as willingly give cure, as know.

Enter Romeo, at a distance.

Ben. See, where he comes: So please you, step
aside;

I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.
Mon. I would, thou wert so happy by thy stay,
To hear true shrift.-Come, madam, let's away.
[Exeunt Montague and Lady.

Ben. Good morrow, cousin.
Rom.

Ben. But new struck nine.
Rom.

Is the day so young? Ah me! sad hours seem long.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

here?

Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love :-
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health;
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!-
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?

Ben.
No, coz,
I rather weep.
Rom. Good heart, at what?
Ben.
At thy good heart's oppression.
Rom. Why, such is love's transgression.-
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast;
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest
With more of thine: this love, that thou hast shown,
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;
Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.

Ben.

[Going.

Soft, I will go along; And if you leave me so, you do me wrong. Rom. Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he's some other where. Ben. Tell me in sadness, who she is you Rom. What, shall I groan, and tell thee? Ben. Groan? why, no; But sadly tell me, who.

love.

Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will: Ah, word ill urg'd to one that is so ill!— In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.

[ocr errors]

Ben. I aim'd so near, when I suppos'd you lov'd. Rom. A right good marksman-And she's fair I love.

Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit. Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss: she'll not be hit With Cupid's arrow, she hath Dian's wit; And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd, From love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd. She will not stay the siege of loving terms, Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes, Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold: O, she is rich in beauty; only poor, That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store. Ben. Then she hath sworn, that she will still live chaste?

Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;

For beauty, starv'd with her severity,
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise; wisely too fair,

(1) In seriousness.

(2) e. What end does it answer. (3) Account, estimation.

To merit bliss by making me despair:
She hath forsworn to love; and, in that vow,
Do I live dead, that live to tell it now.

Ben. Be rul'd by me, forget to think of her. Rom. O, teach me how I should forget to think. Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes; Examine other beauties. 'Tis the way

Rom.

To call hers, exquisite, in question more:
These happy masks, that kiss fair ladies' brows,
Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair;
He, that is strucken blind, cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost :
Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve,2 but as a note
Where I may read, who pass'd that passing fair?
Farewell; thou canst not teach me to forget.
·Ben. I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.
[Exeunt.
SCENE II-A street. Enter Capulet, Paris,
and Servant.

Cap. And Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we,to keep the peace.

Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both; And pity 'tis, you liv'd at odds so long. But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?

Cap. But saying o'er what I have said before: My child is yet a stranger in the world, She hath not seen the change of fourteen years; Let two more summers wither in their pride, Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.

Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made. Cap. And too soon marr'd are those so early made. The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she, She is the hopeful lady of my earth: But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart, My will to her consent is but a part; An she agree, within her scope of choice Lies my consent and fair according voice. This night I hold an old accustom'd feast, Whereto I have invited many a guest, Such as I love; and you, among the store, One more, most welcome, makes my number

more.

At my poor house, look to behold this night
Earth-treading stars, that make dark heaven light:
Such comfort, as do lusty young men feel
When well-appareil'd April on the heel
O limping winter treads, even such delight
Among fresh female buds shall you this night
Inherit4 at my house; hear all, all see,

And like her most, whose merit most shall be:
Such, amongst view of many, mine, being one,
May stand in number, though in reckoning none.
Come, go with me;-Go, sirrah, trudge about
Through fair Verona; find those persons out,
Whose names are written there, [Gives a paper.]
and to them say,

My house and welcome on their pleasures stay. [Exeunt Capulet and Paris. Serv. Find them out, whose names are written here? It is written-that the shoemaker should meddle with his yard, and the tailor with his last, the fisher with his pencil, and the painter with his nets; but I am sent to find those persons, whose names are here writ, and can never find what names the writing person hath here writ. I must to the learned:-In good time.

(4) To inherit, in the language of Shakspeare, is to possess.

(5) Estimation.

Enter Benvolio and Romeo.

Ben. Tut, man! one fire burns out another's
burning,

One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish;
Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;
One desperate grief cures with another's languish:
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.

Rom. Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.
Ben. For what, I pray thee?
Rom.

For your broken shin.
Ben. Why, Romeo, art thou mad?
Rom. Not mad, but bound more than a mad-
man is:

Shut up
in prison, kept without my food,
Whipp'd, and tormented, and-Good-e'en, good
fellow.

Serv. God gi' good e'en.-I pray, sir, can you
read?

Rom. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
Serv. Perhaps you have learn'd it without book:
But I pray, can you read any thing you see?
Rom. Ay, if I know the letters, and the language.
Serv. Ye say honestly; Rest you merry !
Rom. Stay, fellow; I can read.

[blocks in formation]

I'll lay fourteen of my teeth,
And yet, to my teen4 be it spoken, I have but four,-
She is not fourteen: How long is it now
To Lammas-tide?

La. Cap.

[Reads Signior Martino, and his wife, and daughters; A fortnight, and odd days. County Anselme, and his beauteous sisters; The Nurse Even or odd, of all days in the year, lady widow of Vitruvio; Signior Placentio, and Come Lammas-eve at night, shall she be fourteen. his lovely nieces; Mercutio, and his brother Val-Susan and she,-God rest all Christian souls!entine: Mine uncle Capulet, his wife, and daugh- Were of an age.--Well, Susan is with God; ters; My fair niece Rosaline; Livia; SigniorShe was too good for me: But, as I said, Valentio, and his cousin Tybalt; Lucio, and the lively Helena.

On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen:
That shall she, marry; I remember it well.
'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;

A fair assembly; [Gives back the note.] Whither And she was wean'd,-I never shall forget it,—

should they come?

Serv. Up.

Rom. Whither?

Serv. To supper; to our house.

Rom. Whose house?

Serv. My master's.

Rom. Indeed, I should have asked you that be

fore.

Serv. Now I'll tell you without asking: My master is the great rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine. Rest you merry. [Exit.

Of all the days of the year, upon that day :
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall,
My lord and you were then at Mantua :-
Nay, I do bear a brain :5-but, as I said,
When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
Of my dug, and felt it bitter, pretty fool!
To see it tetchy, and fall out with the dug.
Shake, quoth the dove-house: 'twas no need, I trow,
To bid me trudge.

And since that time it is eleven years:
For then she could stand alone; nay, by the rood,
She could have run and waddled all about.
For even the day before, she broke her brow:
And then my husband-God be with his soul!
'A was a merry man;-took up the child:
Yea, quoth he, dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward, when thou hast more wit;
Wilt thou not, Jule? and by my holy-dam,7
The pretty wretch left crying, and said—Ay:

Ben. At this same ancient feast of Capulet's
Sups the fair Rosaline, whom thou so lov'st;
With all the admired beauties of Verona :
Go thither; and, with unattainted eye,
Compare her face with some that I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
Rom. When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires!
And these, who, often drown'd, could never die,-To see now, how a jest shall come about!
Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!
I warrant, an I should live a thousand
One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
Ne'er saw her match, since first the world begun.

Ben. Tut! you saw her fair, none else being by,
Herself pois'd2 with herself in either eye :
But in those crystal scales, let there be weigh'd
Your lady's love against some other maid
That I will show you, shining at this feast,

And she shall scant3 show well, that now shows

[blocks in formation]

years,

never should forget it; Wilt thou not, Jule?
quoth he:

And, pretty fool, it stinted, and said—Ay.
La. Cap. Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy

peace.

Nurse. Yes, madam; Yet I cannot choose but

laugh,

To think it should leave crying, and say-Ay:
And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow
A bump as big as a young cockrel's stone;

(5) i. e. I have a perfect remembrance or recollection.

(6) The cross.

(7) Holy dame, i. e. the blessed Virgin.
(8) It stopped crying.

« AnteriorContinua »