Imatges de pÓgina

" accould I set up my rest
“ That he were lost, or taken prisoner,

" I could hold truce with sorrow." To set up one's rest is to be determined to any certain purpose, to rest in perfect confidence and resolution, to make up one's mind. Again, in the same play: “ Set up thy rest; her marriest thou, or none.”


-Eyes, look your last !
Arms, take your last embrace! and lips, O you,
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss

A dateless bargain to engrossing death!) So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1594 :

« Pitiful mouth, said he, that living gavest
“ The sweetest comfort that my soul could wish,
« O, be it lawful now, that dead, thou havest
“ The sorrowing farewell of a dying kiss !


containers of my bliss,
“ Motives of love, born to be matched never,

“Entomb'd in your sweet circles, sleep for ever!" I think there can be little doubt, from the fore. going lines and the other passages already quoted from this poem, that our author had 'read it recently before he wrote the last act of the present tragedy.

MALONB. 236. A dateless bargain to engrossing death!] Engrossing seems to be used here in its clerical sense.


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237. Come, bitter conduct -] Marston also in his satires, 1599, uses conduct for conductor :

“ Be thou my conduct and my genius.'
So, in a former scene in this play:
“ And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now.'

243. how oft to-night


old feet stumbled at graves ? --] This accident was reckoned ominous. So, in King Henry VI. Part III.

" For many men that stumble at the threshold,

Are well foretold, that danger lurks within." Again, in King Richard III. Hastings going to execu. tion, says : “ Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble."

STEEVENS. 249. It burneth in the Capulets' monument.] Both the folio and the quarto read,

It burneth in the Capels' monument. MALONE. 264. I dreamt my master and another fought,] This is one of the touches of nature that would have escaped the hand of any painter less attentive to it than Shakspere. What happens to a person while he is under the manifest influence of fear, will seem to him, when he is recovered from it, like a dream. Homer, Book VIII. represents Rhesus dying fast asleep, and as it were behulding his enemy in a dream plunging a sword into his bosom. Eustathius and Dacier both applaud this image as very natural ; for a man in such a condition, says Pope, awakes no further than to see 3


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confusedly what environs him, and to think it not a reality, but a vision.

STEEVENS. 279. -and unnatural sleep;] Shakspere alludes to the sleep of Juliet, which was unnatural, being brought on by drugs.

STEEVENS. 296. Snatching Romeo's dagger.]' So, in Painter's translation of Pierre Boisteou, Tom. II. p. 244.. “ Drawing out the dagger which Romeo ware by his side, she pricked herself with many blowes against the heart."

STEEVENS. 297. —there rust, and let me die.] This is the reading of the quarto 1599. That of 1597 gives the passage thus:

I, noise ? then must I be resolute.
Oh, happy dagger! thou shalt end my fear.

Rest in my bosom, thus I come to thee.
The alteration was probably made by the poet, when
he introduced the words,
This is thy sheath.

STEEVENS. 305. Raise up the Montagues, --some others search :-) Here seems to be a rhyme intended, which may be easily restored :

Raise up the Montagues. Some others, go.
We see the ground whereon these woes do lie,
But the true ground of all this piteous woe
We cannot without circupistance descry.

JOHNSON. It was often thouglit sufficient, in the time of Shakspere, for the second and fourth lines in a stanza to rhime with each other.


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330. -lo! his house, &c.] The modern editors (contrary to the authority of all the ancient copies, and without attention to the disagreeable assonance of sheath and sheathed, which was first introduced by Mr. Pope) read,

This dagger hath mista'en; fór, lo! the sheath
Lies empty on the back of Montague,

The point mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom.
The quarto, 1597, erroneously,

-this dagger hath mistook,
For (loe) the backe is empty of yong Montague,

And it's sheathed in our daughter's breast.
The quarto, 1599, affords the true reading:

This dagger hath mistane, for, loe ! his house
Is emptie on the back of Mountague,

And it mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosome.
If we do not read it instead of is, Capulet will be made
to say~ The scabbard is at once empty on the back of Mon-
tague, and sheathed in Juliet's bosom. The construc-
tion, even with this emendation, will be irregular.

The quartos 1609, 1637, and the folio 1623, offer the same reading, except that they concur in giving is instead of it. : It appears that the dagger was anciently worn behind the back. So, in The longer thou livest the more" Fool thou art, 1570 :

“ Thou must weare thy sword by thy side,

“ And thy daggèr handsumly at thy backe, Again, in Humor's Ordinarie, &c, an ancient collection of satires, no date:


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66 See you the huge bum dagger at his backe?"

STEEVENS. The passage, as it stands in the quarto of 1609, and in the first folio, if regulated thus, is perfectly grammatical:

This dagger hath mista'en (for lo! his house
Lies empty on the back of Montague)
And is mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom.

MALONE, 335. --for thou art early up, &c.] This speech (as appears from the following passage in The Second Part of the Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingtan, 1601) has something proverbial in it:

"In you i'faith the proverb's verified,
You are early up, and yet are ne'er the near."

STEEVENS. 337. Alas, my liege, my wife is dead lo-night;] After this line the quarto, 1597, adds,

And young Benvolio is deceased too. But this I suppose the poet rejected on his revision of the play, as unnecessary slaughter.

STEEVENS. 341. O, thou yntaugkat! &c ] So, in The Tragedy of Darius, 1603 :

“ Ah me! malicious fates have done me wrong: " Who came first to the world, should first de.

part. • It not becomes the old t'o'er live the young; " This dealing is prepostrous and o'er-thwart.”


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