Imatges de pÓgina
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Unto the white-upturned wond'ring eyes
Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him,
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing * clouds",
And sails upon the bosom of the air.

JUL. O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou
Romeo?

Deny thy father, and refuse thy name!
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn, my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

ROM. Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this? [Aside.

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JUL. "Tis but thy name, that is my enemy;|| Thou art thyself though, not a Montague ®. (||) * Folio, lazy-puffing.

concur in this reading, yet the latter part of the simile seems to require

As glorious to this sight

and therefore I have ventured to alter the text so.

THEOBALD.

I have restored the old reading, for surely the change was unnecessary. The plain sense is, that Juliet appeared as splendid an object in the vault of heaven obscured by darkness, as an angel could seem to the eyes of mortals, who were falling back to gaze upon him.

As glorious to this night, means as glorious appearance in this dark night, &c. It should be observed, however, that the simile agrees precisely with Theobald's alteration, and not so well with the old reading. STEEVENS.

S the LAZY-PACING clouds,] Thus corrected from the first edition in the other, lazy-puffing. POPE.

6 Thou art thyself THOUGH, not a Montague.] For the present punctuation I am accountable. It appears to me to afford a clear sense, which the line as printed in the old copies, where we have a comma after thyself, and no point after though, does not in my apprehension afford.

Thou art, however, says Juliet, a being sui generis, amiable and perfect, not tainted by the enmity which your family bears to mine.

According to the common punctuation, the adversative particle is used without any propriety, or rather makes the passage non

sense.

Though is again used by Shakspeare in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Act III. Sc. last, in the same sense :

My legs are longer though, to run away.” Again, in The Taming of a Shrew :

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What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose,

"'Would Catharine had never seem him though." Again, in King Henry VIII. :

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I would not be so sick though, for his place."

Other writers frequently use though for however. So, in The Fatal Dowry, a tragedy, by Massinger and Field, 1632: "Would you have him your husband that you love, "And can it not be ?-He is your servant, though, "And may perform the office of a husband." Again, in Cupid's Revenge, by Beaumont and Fletcher: -Ò dissembling woman,

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"Whom I must reverence though."

Again, in the last speech of The Maid's Tragedy, by Beaumont and Fletcher, 1619:

"Look to him though, and bear those bodies in." Again, in Otway's Venice Preserved :

"I thank thee for thy labour though, and him too." Juliet is simply endeavouring to account for Romeo's being amiable and excellent, though he is a Montague. And, to prove this, she asserts that he merely bears that name, but has none of the qualities of that house. MALONE.

If this punctuation be right, and the words of the text accurate, we must understand though in the sense of then, a reading proposed by Dr. Johnson: a sense it is perpetually used in by our ancient poets, and sometimes by our author himself. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:

"What though he love you, Hermia? Lord! what though?” Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :

"I keep but three men and a boy yet,-but what though?" Again, in As You Like It :

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we have no assembly here but beasts; but what though?” Again, in King Henry V. :

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It is a simple one, but what though?" RITSON.

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nor any other part Belonging to a man.

What's in a name? &c.] The middle line is not found in the original copy of 1597, being added, it should seem, on a revision. The passage in the first copy stands thus:

"Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, &c." In the copy of 1599, and all the subsequent ancient copies, the

O, be some other name!

By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear* perfection () which () he owes,
Without that title:-Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself".

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ROM.
I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptiz'd;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

JUL. What man art thou, that, thus bescreen'd in night,

So stumblest on my counsel ?

ROM.

By a name
I know not how to tell thee () who I am: ()
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
Because it is an enemy to thee;

Had I it written, I would tear the word.

* Quarto A, the divine.

+ Quarto A, part.

words nor any other part were omitted by the oversight of the transcriber or printer, and the lines thus absurdly exhibited: "Nor arm nor face, O be some other name!

[blocks in formation]

Belonging, &c. evidently was intended to begin a line, as it now does; but the printer having omitted the words nor any other part, took the remainder of the subsequent line, and carried it to that which preceded. The transposition now made needs no note to support it: the context in this and many other places supersedes all arguments. MALONE.

For the sake of metre, I am willing to suppose our author

wrote

'Longing to man, &c.

The same elision occurs in The Taming of a Shrew, vol. v. p.472:

"Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace

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"As 'longeth to a lover's blessed case." STEEVENS. By any other NAME] Thus the quarto, 1597. All the subsequent ancient copies read-By any other word. MALONE. 9 Take all MYSELF.] The elder quarto reads-Take all I have. STEEVENS.

JUL. My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words

Of that tongue's utterance1, yet I know the sound; Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?

2

ROM. Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike ** JUL. How cam'st thou hither, tell me? and wherefore?

The orchard walls are high, and hard to climb;
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.

ROM. With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls 3 ;

For stony limits cannot hold love out:
And what love can do, that dares love attempt;
Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me *.

JUL. If they do see thee, they will murder thee. * Quarto A, displease.

'MY EARS have not yet DRUNK a hundred words

Of THAT tongue's UTTERANCE,] Thus the quarto 1597. The subsequent ancient copies read-of thy tongue's uttering. We meet with almost the same words as those here attributed to Romeo, in King Edward III. a tragedy, 1596:

"I might perceive his eye in her

eye lost,

"His ear to drink her sweet tongue's utterance." MALONE. 2 Neither, fair SAINT, if either thee DISLIKE.] Thus the original copy. The subsequent ancient copies read-fair maid. If either thee dislike" was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age. So, it likes me well; for it pleases me well. MALONE.

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Dislike here means displease. M. MASON.

3 With love's light wings did I O'ER-PERCH THESE WALLS ;] Here also we find Shakspeare following the steps of the author of The Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562:

"Approaching near the place from whence his heart had life, "So light he wox, he leap'd the wall, and there he spy'd his

wife,

"Who in the window watch'd the coming of her lord —"

MALONE.

4

no LET to me.] i. e. no stop or hinderance. So, in Hamlet:

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By heaven I'll make a ghost of him that lets me." Thus the original edition. The subsequent copies read-no stop to me. MALONE.

VOL. VI.

G

ROM. Alack! there lies more peril in thine eye, Than twenty of their swords'; look thou but sweet, And I am proof against their enmity.

JUL. I would not for the world, they saw thee here.

ROM. I have night's cloak to hide me from their sight;

And, but thou love me, let them find me here":
My life were better ended by their hate,
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love".

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there lies more peril in thine eye,

Than twenty of their swords;] Beaumont and Fletcher have copied this thought in The Maid in the Mill:

"The lady may command, sir;

"She bears an eye more dreadful than your weapon.” STEEVENS.

- from their SIGHT;] So the first quarto. All the other ancient copies have-from their eyes. MALONE.

7 And, BUT thou love me, let them find me here;] And so thou do but love me, I care not what may befall me: Let me be found here. Such appears to me to be the meaning.

Mr. M. Mason thinks that " but thou love me," means, unless thou love me; grounding himself, I suppose, on the two subsequent lines. But those contain, in my apprehension, a distinct proposition. He first says, that he is content to be discovered, if he be but secure of her affection; and then adds, that death from the hands of her kinsmen would be preferable to life without her love. But, however, it must be acknowledged, has often in old English the meaning which Mr. M. Mason would affix to it.

MALONE.

Mr. M. Mason is certainly in the right. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:

"But being charg'd, we will be still by land." See Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV. Sc. X. STEEVENS.

* Than death PROROGUED, wanting of thy love.] The common acceptation of prorogue, is to postpone to a distant time, which is in fact to delay. But I believe in this place prorogued means continued; and that Romeo means, in the language of lovers, to represent life without her as a continual death;

"Death's life with thee, without thee death to live." M. MASON. "Than death prorogued." i. e. delayed, deferred to a more distant period. So, in Act IV. Sc. I. : it,

"I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue
"On Thursday next be married to this county." MALONE.

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