Imatges de pàgina

Of my dear kinsman —Prince, as thou art true?,
For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.-
(ID) O cousin, cousin ! (II)
Prin. Benvolio *, who began this bloody fray ?
Ben. Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand did

slay ;
Romeo that spoke him fair, bade him bethink
How nice the quarrel was, and urg'd withalo
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

* Quarto A, Speake, Benvolio.

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7 – as thou art true,] As thou art just and upright.

Johnson. So, in King Richard III. :

And if King Edward be as true and just, —" STEEVENS. 8 How nice the quarrel was —] How slight, how unimportant, how petty. So, in the last Act :

si The letter was not nice, but full of charge,

“ Of dear import.” Johnson. From these words, this speech thus proceeds in quarto 1597 :

“ But Tibalt still persisting in his wrong,
“ The stout Mercutio drew to calm the storm ;
“ Which Romeo seeing, called, Stay, gentlemen!
“ And on me cried, who drew to part their strife :
“ And with his agile arm young Romeo,
As fast as tongue cried peace, sought peace to make.
“ While they were interchanging thrusts and blows,
“ Under

young Romeo's labouring arm to part,
“ The furious Tibalt cast an envious thrust,
“ That rid the life of stout Mercutio.
“ With that he fled, but presently return'd,
And with his rapier braved Romeo,
“ That had but newly entertain'd revenge ;
“ And ere I could draw forth my rapier
To part their fury, down did Tibalt fall,
" And this way Romeo fled.” Boswell.

and urg'd withal -] The rest of this speech was new written by the poet, as well as a part of what follows in the same scene. STEEVENS.


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

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 fled:
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 *: Some twenty of them fought in this black strife, And all those twenty could but kill one life: I beg for justice, which thou, prince, must give; Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live.

(Il Prin. Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio ; Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe ? Moy. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's

friend; His fault concludes but, what the law should end, The life of Tybalt. (II)


* Quarto A has but one line-He is a Montague, and speaks


"Affection makes him false,] The charge of falsehood on Benvolio, though produced at hazard, is very just. The author, who seems to intend the character of Benvolio as good, meant perhaps to show, how the best minds, in a state of faction and discord, are detorted to criminal partiality. . Johnson,

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And for that offence, Immediately we do exíle him hence : I have an interest in your hates' proceeding ?, My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a bleeding; But I'll amerce you with so strong a fine, That you shall all repent the loss of mine : I will be deaf to pleading and excuses; Nor tears, nor prayers, shall purchase out abuses * 3 (ll) Therefore use none: let Romeo hence in haste, Else, when he's found, that hour is his last. (ID) Bear hence this body, and attend our will : Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill 4.

[Exeunt. * Quarto A, for abuses.


in HATES' proceeding,] This, as Mr. Steevens has observed, 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 readshearts proceeding; and the corruption was adopted in the folio.

Malone. 3 Nor tears, nor prayers, shall PURCHASE out abuses,] This was probably designed as a covert stroke at the church of Rome, by which the different prices of murder, incest, and all other crimes, were minutely settled, and as shamelessly received. See Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 701.

Steevens. 4 Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.] So, in Hale's Memorials : When I find myself swayed to mercy, let me remember likewise that there is a mercy due to the country."

So, in Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, 2d part: “ And yet let the Prince be sure of this, to answere at the day of judgment before the tribunall seate of God for all the offences that the partie pardoned shall commit any time of his life after. For if the Prince had cutte him off when the lawe had passed on him, that evill had not been committed. To this purpose I remember

I I have heard a certeine pretie apothegue [apothegme) uttered by a jester to a king: The king had pardoned one of his sub

a . jectes that had committed murther, who, being pardoned, committed the like offence againe, and by meanes was pardoned the second time also, and yet filling up the measure of his iniquitie, killed the third, and being brought before the king, the king being very sorie, asked him why he had killed three men, to

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A Room in CAPULET's House.

Jul. Gallop apace, you firy-footed steeds,
Towards Phoebus' mansion"; such a waggoner


whom his jester, standing by, replied, saieing, No, (O king) he killed but the first, and thou hast killed the other two; for if thou hadst hanged him up at the first, the other two had not beene killed, therefore thou hast killed them and shall answere for their bloud. Which thing being heard, the king hanged him up straightway, as he very well deserved.” Malone.

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 still ;
Mercy to all but murderers,-pardoning none that kill.

MALONE. See Measure for Measure, Act II. Sc. II. Steevens. s GALLOP APACE, you firy footed steeds,

Towards Phæbus’ mansion ; &c.] Our author probably remembered Marlowe's King Edward II. which was performed before 1593 :

Gallop apace, bright Phæbus, through the skie,
And dusky night in rusty iron car ;
Between you

both, shorten the time, I pray,
“ That I may see that most desired day.”

I So, in Barnabe 'Riche's Farewell : “ The day to his seeming passed away so slowely that he had thought the stately steedes had bin tired that drawe the chariot of the Sunne, and wished that Phaeton had beene there with a whippe.” The first edition of Riche's Farewell was printed in 1583. Malone.

"Gallop apace, &c." Cowley copies the expression, Davideis, b. iii.:

“ Slow rose the sun, but gallopt down apace,

“With more than evening blushes in his face.” The succeeding compound fiery-footed " is used by Drayton, in one of his Eclogues :

“Phæbus had forc'd his fiery-footed team.” It is also used by Spenser, in The Fairy Queen. Todd.

Phoebus' mansion." The second quarto and folio read, Phæbus' lodging. Steevens.


As Phaeton would whip you to the west,
And bring in cloudy night immediately.
(ID) Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night!
That run-away's eyes may wink?; and Romeo


6 - immediately.) Here ends this speech in the eldest quarto. The rest of the scene has likewise received considerable alterations and additions. STEEVENS. 7 Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night!

That RUN-AWAY's eyes may wink ; &c.] What run-aways are these, whose eyes Juliet is wishing to have stopt? Macbeth, we may remember, makes an invocation to night much in the same strain :

Come, seeling night, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day," &c. So Juliet would have night's darkness obscure the great eye of the day, the sun ; whom considering in a poetical light as Phoebus, drawn in his car with fiery-footed steeds, and posting through the heavens, she very properly calls him with regard to the swiftness of his course, the run-away. In the like manner our poet speaks of the night in The Merchant of Venice: “For the close night doth play the run-away.

WARBURTON. Mr. Heath justly observes on this emendation, that the sun is necessarily absent as soon as night begins, and that it is very unlikely that Juliet, who has just complained of his tediousness, should call him a run-away. Malone.

The construction of this passage, however elliptical or perverse, I believe to be as follows :

May that run-away's eyes wink! Or,

That run-away's eyes, may (they) wink! These ellipses are frequent in Spenser: and that for oh! that, is not uncommon, as Dr. Farmer observes in a note on the first scene of The Winter's Tale. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, Sc. VI. :

That ever I should call thee cast-away!" Again, in Twelfth-Night, Act IV. Sc. II. :

Mal. I tell thee, I am as well in my wits, as any man in Illyria.

« Clo. Well-a-day. - That you were, sir ! i. e. Oh that you were ! Again, in Timon, Act IV.:

That nature, being sick of man's unkindness,

“ Should yet be hungry!” Juliet first wishes for the absence of the sun, and then invokes the night to spread its curtain close around the world:

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