Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

2 Serv. Ay, boy; ready.

1 Serv. You are looked for, and called for, asked for, and sought for, in the great chamber.

2 Serv. We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys; be brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.

[They retire behind. Enter CAPULET, &c. with the Guests, and the

Maskers. CAP. Gentlemen, welcome! ladies that have

their toes Unplagu'd with corns, will have a bout with

you

* Ah ha, my mistresses ! which of you all Will now deny to dance ? she that makes dainty,

she, I'll swear, hath corns; Am I come near you now? You are welcome, gentlemen! (IDI have seen the day, That I have worn a visor; and could tell A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, Such as would please ;—'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis

, gone : You are welcome, gentlemen'—Come, musicians,

play.

* So quarto A; folio, will walke about with you. on les bailloit tous entiers.” Our macaroons are only debased and diminutive marchpanes. Steevens.

their toes - ) Thus all the ancient copies. The modern editors, following Mr. Pope, read, with more delicacy—their feet. -An editor by such capricious alterations deprives the reader of the means of judging of the manners of different ages; for the word employed in the text undoubtedly did not appear indelicate to the audience of Shakspeare's time, though perhaps it would not be endured at this day. Malone.

It was endured, at least, in the time of Milton. Thus, in Comus, 960:

without duck or nod “ Other trippings to be trod

“ Of lighter toes.STEEVENS. 1 You are welcome, gentlemen !) These two lines, omitted by the modern editors, I have replaced from the folio. Johnson.

[ocr errors]

9

66

[ocr errors]

A hall! a hall?! give room, and foot it, girls.

Musick plays, and they dance.(ID) More light, ye knaves; and turn the tables up, And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot. Ah, sirrah, this unlook’d-for sport comes well. Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet * ;

2 A hall! a hall !] Such is the old reading, and the true one, though the modern editors read—A ball! a ball! The former exclamation occurs frequently in the old comedies, and signifies, make room. So, in the comedy of Doctor Dodypoll, 1600 :

“ Room ! room! a hall! a hall!Again, in Ben Jonson's Tale of a Tub:

Then cry, a hall! a hall!" Again, in an Epithalamium, by Christopher Brooke, published at the end of England's Helicon, 1614:

“ Cry not, a hall, a hall; but chamber-roome;

Dancing is lame,” &c. and numberless other passages. Steevens.

3 — turn the tables up,] Before this phrase is generally intelligible, it should be observed that ancient tables were flat leaves, joined by hinges, and placed on tressels. When they were to be removed, they were therefore turned up. So, in the ancient translation of Marco Paolo's Voyages, 1579: “After dinner is done, and the tables taken uppe, everie man goeth aboute his businesse."

Again, in “ The Seventh mery Jest of the Wyddow Edyth," 1573 :

“ And when that taken up was the borde,

“ And all payde for," &c. Again, in Mandeville's Travels, p. 285-6: “And such playes of desport they make, till the taking up of the boordes.” Steevens.

4 — good cousin Capulet;] This cousin Capulet is uncle in the paper of invitation; but as Capulet is described as old, cousin is probably the right word in both places. I know not how Capulet and his lady might agree, their ages were very disproportionate ; he has been past masking for thirty years, and her age, as she tells Juliet, is but eight-and-twenty. Johnson.

Cousin was a common expression from one kinsman to another, out of the degree of parent and child, brother and sister. Thus in Hamlet, the King his uncle and step-father addresses him with :

“ But now my cousin Hamlet and my son." And in this very play, Act III. Lady Capulet says:

Tybalt my cousin !-O my brother's child.
So, in As You Like It:

Ros. Me uncle?
Duke. You cousin !

5

For you and I are past our dancing days ":
How long is't now, since last yourself and I
Were in a mask ?
2 Cap.

By’r lady, thirty years. 1 CAP. What, man! 'tis not so much, 'tis not

so much: 'Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio, Come pentecost as quickly as it will, Some five and twenty years; and then we mask’d.

2 CAP. 'Tis more, 'tis more : his son is elder,

sir ;

His son is thirty. 1 CAP.

Will you tell me that? His son was but a ward two years ago. Rom. What lady's that, which doth enrich the

hand Of yonder knight ? ?

And Olivia, in Twelfth-Night, constantly calls her uncle Toby cousin. Ritson.

Shakspeare and other contemporary writers use the word cousin to denote any collateral relation, of whatever degree, and sometimes even to denote those of lineal descent.

Richard III. during a whole scene, calls his nephew York, cousin ; who, in his answer, constantly calls him uncle. And the old Duchess of York, in the same play, calls her grandson, cousin:

Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow.

York. Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper," &c. And in Fletcher's Women Pleased, Sylvio styles Rhodope, at one time, his aunt—at others, his cousin-to the great annoyance of Mr. Sympson, the editor. M. Mason.

s – our dancing days :) Thus the folio: the quarto reads, “our standing days." STEEVENS. Will you

tell me, &c.] This speech stands thus in the first copy :

tell me that ? it cannot be so :
“ His son was but a ward three years ago ;

“ Good youths, i'faith!-Oh, youth's a jolly thing!” There are many trifling variations in almost every speech of this play ; but when they are of little consequence I have foreborne to encumber the page by the insertion of them. The last, however, of these three lines, is natural, and worth preserving.

STEEVENS.

6

“ Will

you

8

(11) Serv. I know not, sir.(ID)
Rom. O, she doth teach the torches to burn

bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear':
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make happy * my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now ? forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night'.

Tyb. This, by his voice, should be a Montague:

8 IT SEEMS

* Folio, blessed. 7 W'hat lady's that, which doth enrich the hand

Of yonder knight?) Here is another proof that our author had the poem, and not Painter's Novel, in his mind. In the latter we are told—“A certain lord of that troupe took Juliet by the hand to dance."

In the poem of Romeus and Juliet, as in the play, her partner is a knight : “ With torch in hand a comely knight did fetch her forth to dance." Malone.

She hangs upon the cheek of night -] Mr. Steevens adopts the reading of the second folio_Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night. Boswell. Shakspeare has the same thought in his 27th Sonnet :

“Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,

“ Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.” The quartos 1597, 1599, 1609, and the folio 1623, coldly read:

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night.” It is to the folio 1632 that we are indebted for the present reading, which is certainly the more elegant, if not the true one. The repetition, however, of the word beauty, in the next line but one, in my opinion, confirms the emendation of our second folio.

STEEVENS. 9 Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear:) So, in Lyly's Euphues :

“ A fair pearl in a Morian's ear." Holt WHITE. ' For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.] Thus King Henry VIII. :

O beauty,
“ Till now I never knew thee!” Steevens.

a

Fetch me my rapier, boy :-What! dares the slave
Come hither, cover'd with an antick face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity ?
Now, by the stock and honour of my kin,
To strike him dead I hold it not a sin.
1 Cap. Why, how now kinsman ? wherefore

storm you so ?
Tyb. Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe;
A villain, that is hither come in spite,
To scorn * at our solemnity this night.

1 CAP. Young Romeo is't ?
Түв.

'Tis he, that villain Romeo. 1 CAP. (1) Content thee, gentle coz,(li) let him

alone,
He bears him like a portly gentleman;
And, to say truth, Verona brags of him,
To be a virtuous and well-govern'd youth:
I would not for the wealth of all this town,
Here in my house, do him disparagement;
Therefore be patient, take no note of him,
It is my will; the which if thou respect,
Show * a fair presence, and put off these frowns,
An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.

Tyb. It fits, when such a villain is a guest;
I'll not endure him.
1 CAP.

He shall be endured ; What, goodman boy !.I say, he shall;—Go to ;Am I the master here, or you ? go to. You'll not endure him !-God shall mend my

soulYou'll make a mutiny among my guests! You will set cock-a-hoop! you'll be the man !

Tyb. Why, uncle, 'tis a shame. 1 CAP.

Go to, go to, You are a saucy boy ) :--Is't so, indeed ?

a

* Quarto A, to mock. # Quarto A, bear.

† Quarto A, is it not? § Quarto A, knave.

« AnteriorContinua »