« AnteriorContinua »
To enter in the thoughts of desperate men!
And hereabouts he dwells,-whom late I noted
"Rom. I pay thy poverty, but not thy will.
Apo. Hold, take you this, and put it in any liquid thing you will, and it will serve, had you the lives of twenty men.
"Rom. Hold, take this gold, worse poison to men's souls "Than this which thou hast given me. Go, hie thee hence, "Go, buy thee clothes, and get thee into flesh. "Come cordial, and not poison, go with me "To Juliet's grave: for there must I use thee. [Exeunt." BOSWELL. 9 I do remember an apothecary, &c.] This circumstance is likewise found in Painter's translation, tom ii. p. 241: " -beholdyng an apoticaries shoppe of lytle furniture, and lesse store of boxes and other thynges requisite for that science, thought that the verie povertie of the mayster apothecarye would make him wyllyngly yelde to that whych he pretended to demaunde."
It is clear, I think, that Shakspeare had here the poem of Romeus and Juliet before him; for he has borrowed more than one expression from thence :
"And seeking long, alas, too soon! the thing he sought, he found.
"An apothecary sat unbusied at his door,
"Whom by his heavy countenance he guessed to be poor; "And in his shop he saw his boxes were but few,
"And in his window of his wares there was so small a shew; "Wherefore our Romeus assuredly hath thought,
"What by no friendship could be got, with money should be
"For needy lack is like the poor man to compel
"To sell that which the city's law forbiddeth him to sell."Take fifty crowns of gold, (quoth he)—
"Fair sir, (quoth he) be sure this is the speeding geer, "And more there is than you shall need; for half of that is
"Will serve, I undertake, in less than half an hour "To kill the strongest man alive, such is the poison's power."
meager were his looks,
Sharp MISERY HAD WORN HIM TO THE BONES:] See Sackville's description of Misery, in his Induction :
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
"His face was leane, and some deal pinde away;
MALONE. 2 An alligator stuff'd,] It appears from Nashe's Have With You to Saffron Waldon, 1596, that a stuff'd alligator, in Shakspeare's time, made part of the furniture of an apothecary's shop: "He made (says Nashe) an anatomie of a rat, and after hanged her over his head, instead of an apothecary's crocodile, or dried alligator." Malone.
I was many years ago assured, that formerly, when an apothecary first engaged with his druggist, he was gratuitously furnished by him with these articles of show, which were then imported for that use only. I have met with the alligator, tortoise, &c. hanging up in the shop of an ancient apothecary at Limehouse, as well as in places more remote from our metropolis. See Hogarth's Marriage Alamode, plate iii.-It may be remarked, however, that the apothecaries dismissed their alligators, &c. some time before the physicians were willing to part with their amberheaded canes and solemn periwigs. STEEVENS.
3 A BEGGARLY account of empty boxes,] Dr. Warburton would read, a braggartly account; but beggarly is probably right; if the boxes were empty, the account was more beggarly, as it was more pompous. JOHNSON.
4 AN IF a man, &c.] This phraseology which means simplyIf, was not unfrequent in Shakspeare's time and before. Thus, in Lodge's Illustrations, vol. i. p. 85: meanys was maid unto me to see an yf I wold appoynt," &c. REED.
Who calls so loud?
ROM. Come hither, man.-I see, that thou art poor;
Hold, there is forty ducats: let me have
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.
AP. Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law
Is death, to any he that utters them.
ROM. Art thou so bare, and full of wretchedness, And fear'st to die? famine is in thy cheeks, Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes,
5 Need and oppression STARVETH in thy eyes,] The first quarto reads:
"And starved famine dwelleth in thy cheeks." The quartos 1599, 1609, and the folio:
"Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes." Our modern editors, without authority:
"Need and oppression stare within thy eyes." STEevens. The passage might, perhaps, be better regulated thus:
Need and oppression stareth in thy eyes.
For they cannot, properly, be said to starve in his eyes; though starved famine may be allowed to dwell in his cheeks. Thy, not thine, is the reading of the folio, and those who are conversant in our author, and especially in the old copies, will scarcely notice the grammatical impropriety of the proposed emendation. RITSON.
The modern reading was introduced by Mr. Pope, and was founded on that of Otway, in whose Caius Marius the line is thus exhibited:
"Need and oppression stareth in thy eyes."
The word starved in the first copy shows that starveth in the text is right: "And starved famine dwelleth in thy cheeks."
This line is in my opinion preferable to that which has been substituted in its place, but it could not be admitted into the text
Upon thy back hangs ragged misery,
The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law:
Doing more murders in this loathsome world,
without omitting the words-famine is in thy cheeks, and leaving an hemistich. MALONE.
6 Upon thy back hangs ragged misery,] This is the reading of the oldest copy. I have restored it in preference to the following line, which is found in all the subsequent impressions: Contempt and beggary hang upon thy back."
In The First Part of Jeronimo, 1605, is a passage somewhat resembling this of Shakspeare:
"Whose famish'd jaws look like the chaps of death, Upon whose eye-brows hang damnation." STEevens. Perhaps from Kyd's Cornelia, a tragedy, 1594:
"Upon thy back where misery doth sit.
Jeronimo was performed before 1590.
7 Put this in any liquid thing you will,
And drink it off; and, if you had the strength
Of twenty men, it would despatch you straight.] Perhaps, when Shakspeare allotted this speech to the Apothecary, he had not quite forgot the following passage in The Pardoneres Tale of Chaucer, 12,794:
"The Potecary answered, thou shalt have
Ye, sterve he shal, and that in lesse while,
Than these poor compounds that thou may'st not sell :
I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none.
Friar LAURENCE'S Cell.
Enter Friar JOHN.
JOHN. Holy Franciscan friar! brother, ho!*
LAU. This same should be the voice of friar
Welcome from Mantua: What says Romeo?†
* Quarto A, What! Friar Laurence! brother, ho!
+ Quarto A, What news from Mantua? what, will Romeo come?
8 One of our order, to associate me,] Each friar has always a companion assigned him by the superior when he asks leave to go out; and thus, says Baretti, they are a check upon each other. STEEVENS.
In The Visitatio Notabilis de Seleburne, a curious record printed in The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, Wykeham enjoins the canons not to go abroad without leave from the prior, who is ordered on such occasions to assign the brother a companion, ne suspicio sinistra vel scandalum oriatur. Append. p. 448. HOLT WHITE.
By the Statutes of Trinity College, Cambridge, ch. 22, it is declared-That no batchelor or scholar shall go into the town without a companion as a witness of his honesty, on pain for the