Imatges de pÓgina

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 3. ()


Enter Prince, with Attendants.

PRIN. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,—
Will they not hear?-what ho! you men, you

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 mis-temper'd weapons to the ground,


This long sword is mentioned in The Coxcomb, a comedy by Beaumont and Fletcher, where the justice says:

"Take their confessions, and my long sword;

"I cannot tell what danger we may meet with." Chapman, without authority from Homer, has equipped Neptune with this weapon:


King Neptune, with his long sword-." Iliad xv. It appears that it was once the fashion to wear two swords of different sizes at the same time.

So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602: "Peter Salamander, tie up your great and your little sword."

The little sword was the weapon commonly worn, the dress sword. STEEVENS.

The little sword was probably nothing more than a dagger.


3 Instead of this scene, in the quarto there is merely the following stage direction: " They draw, to them enters Tybalt, they fight, to them the Prince, old Montague and his wife, old Capulet and his wife, and other citizens, and part them." BOSWELL. MIS-TEMPER'D weapons-] Are angry weapons. So, in


King John:

"This inundation of mis-temper'd humour," &c. STEEVENS.

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;
(I) 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: (I)
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
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 1.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.

[Exeunt Prince, and Attendants; CAPULET,
Lady CAPULET, TYBALT, Citizens, and

MON. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? Speak, nephew, were you by, when it began? BEN. Here were the servants of your adver


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

Till the prince came, who parted either part.

* Folio, broyles. 4 To old FREE-TOWN, our common judgment-place.] This name the poet found in the Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet, 1562. It is there said to be the castle of the Capulets.

+ Quarto A, the reason of your fault.


LA. MON. O, where is Romeo!-saw you him to-day?

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

BEN. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun Peer'd 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: I, measuring his affections by my own,— That most are busied when they are most alone,Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his,

(1) And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me 7. MON. Many a morning hath he there been seen, With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew, Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs: But all so soon as the all-cheering sun

Should in the furthest east begin to draw

* Quarto A, peept through.

5 Peer'd forth the golden WINDOW of the east,] The same thought occurs in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. ii. c. x. :

"Early before the morn with cremosin ray


"The windows of bright heaven opened had,
Through which into the world the dawning day
"Might looke," &c. STEEVENS.

Again, in Summa Totalis; or All in All, or The Same for Ever, 4to. 1607:

"Now heaven's bright eye (awake by Vespers sheene) "Peepes through the purple windowes of the East."


6 That most are busied, &c.] Edition 1597. Instead of which it is in the other editions thus:


by my own,

"Which then most fought, where most might not be found, Being one too many by my weary self,


"Pursu'd my humour," &c.


And gladly shunn'd, &c.] The ten lines following, not in edition 1597, but in the next of 1599. POPE.

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 daylight 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.
(1) 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 same 9.

Ben. Have you impórtun'd, &c.] These two speeches also omitted in edition 1597, but inserted in 1599.


9 Or dedicate his beauty to the SAME.] Old copy-same. When we come to consider, that there is some power else besides balmy air, that brings forth, and makes the tender buds spread themselves, I do not think it improbable that the poet wrote:

Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.

Or, according to the more obsolete spelling, sunne; which brings it nearer to the traces of the corrupted text. THEOBALD.

I cannot but suspect that some lines are lost, which connected this simile more closely with the foregoing speech: these lines, if such there were, lamented the danger that Romeo will die of his melancholy, before his virtues or abilities were known to the world. JOHNSON.

I suspect no loss of connecting lines. An expression somewhat similar occurs in Timon, Act IV. Sc. II. :

"A dedicated beggar to the air."

Mr. M.

I have, however, adopted Theobald's emendation. Mason observes "that there is not a single passage in our author where so great an improvement of language is obtained, by so slight a deviation from the text." STEEVENS.

Dr. Johnson's conjecture is, I think, unfounded; the simile relates solely to Romeo's concealing the cause of his melancholy, and is again used by Shakspeare in Twelfth Night :

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.

BEN. But new struck nine.


Is the day so young1?

Ah me! sad hours seem long.

Was that my father that went hence so fast? BEN. It was:-What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?

ROM. Not having that, which, having, makes them short.

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In the last Act of this play our poet has evidently imitated the Rosamond of Daniel; and in the present passage might have remembered the following lines in one of the Sonnets of the same writer, who was then extremely popular. The lines, whether remembered by our author or not, add such support to Mr. Theobald's emendation, that I should have given it a place in my text, but that the other mode of expression was not uncommon in Shakspeare's time:

"And whilst thou spread'st unto the rising sunne,

"The fairest flower that ever saw the light,

"Now joy thy time, before thy sweet be done."

Daniel's Sonnets, 1594. A similar phraseology to that of my text may be found in Daniel's 14th, 32d, 44th, and 53d Sonnets. MALONE.

Is the day so YOUNG?] i. e. is it so early in the day? The same expression (which might once have been popular) I meet with in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: "It is yet young nyghte, or there is yet moche of the nyghte to come." STEEVENS.

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