Imatges de pÓgina

JUL. By whose direction found'st thou out this place?

ROM. By love, who first did prompt me to inquire;

He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes.

I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far

As that vast shore wash'd with the furthest sea,
I would adventure for such merchandise.

JUL. Thou know'st, the mask of night is on my face;

Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek,
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.
Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny
What I have spoke; But farewell compliment?!
Dost thou love me? I know, thou wilt say—Ay;
And I will take thy word: yet, if thou swear'st,
Thou may'st prove false; at lovers' perjuries,
They say, Jove laughs'. O, gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully :
Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won,
I'll frown, and be perverse, and say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo; but, else, not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond;

And therefore thou may'st think my haviour * light:
But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true
Than those that have more cunning to be strange2.



* So quarto A; folio, behaviour.

farewell compliment!] That is, farewell attention to M. MASON.

1 - at lovers' perjuries,

They say, Jove laughs.] This, although originally from Ovid, may have been caught by our poet from Greene's Metamorphosis: "What! Eriphila, Jove laughs at the perjurie of lovers."



CUNNING to be strange.] Cunning is the reading of the quarto 1597, and I have restored it.

To be strange, is to put on affected coldness, to appear shy. So, in Greene's Mamillia, 1593: “Is it the fashion in Padua to be so strange with your friends?"

I should have been more strange, I must confess,
But that thou over-heard'st, ere I was ware,
My true love's passion: therefore pardon me ;
And not impute this yielding to light love,
Which the dark night hath so discovered.

ROM. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear, That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops 2,JUL. O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant


That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
ROM. What shall I swear by ?

Do not swear at all *

Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious
Which is the god of my idolatry,

And I'll believe thee.



If my heart's dear love

JUL. Well, do not swear §: although I joy in thee,

I have no joy of this contract to-night:

It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden;

Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be,
Ere one can say-It lightens3. Sweet, good night'!

* Quarto A, Rom. Now by † Quarto A, glorious.

§ Quarto A, swear not at all.


Nay doe not swear at all. Quarto A, true heart's love.

Again, in one of the Paston Letters, vol. iii. p. 327: "I pray ye that ye be not strange of writing of letters to me." STEEVENS. In the subsequent ancient copies cunning was changed to— coying. MALONE.


That TIPS WITH SILVER all these fruit-tree tops,] This image struck Pope:

"The moon-beam trembling falls,

"And tips with silver all the walls." Imit. of Horace. Again, in the celebrated simile on the moon at the conclusion of the eighth book of the Iliad:

"And tips with silver ev'ry mountain's head."


3 Ere one can say-It lightens.] So, in The Miracles of Moses, by Drayton :

This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart, as that within my breast!

ROM. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
JUL. What satisfaction canst thou have to-night'?
ROM. The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for


gave thee mine before thou didst request it: And yet I would it were to give again.

ROM. Would'st thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?

JUL. But to be frank, and give it thee again.
And yet I wish but for the thing I have:
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,

My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

[Nurse calls within.
I hear some noise within; Dear love, adieu !
Anon, good nurse!-Sweet Montague, be true.
Stay but a little, I will come again.


ROM. O blessed blessed night! I am afeard,

"lightning ceaselessly to burn,

"Swifter than thought from place to place to pass,
"And being gone, doth suddenly return
"Ere you could say precisely what it was."

The same thought occurs in A Midsummer-Night's Dream.

STEEVENS. Drayton's Miracles of Moses was first printed in quarto, in 1604, several years after A Midsummer-Night's Dream, and Romeo and Juliet. MALone.

Sweet, good night!] All the intermediate lines from Sweet, good night! [for which the quarto 1597 reads-I hear some coming] to Stay but a little, &c. were added after the first copy. STEEVENS.

5 What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?] Here Juliet seemeth as if she meant to promise (i. e. as much as in her lieth) to afford Romeo, in some future instance, that satisfaction which he cannot receive while they remain at their present distance from each other.


Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.

Re-enter JULIET, above.

JUL. Three words, dear Romeo, and good night, indeed.

If that thy bent of love be honourable",

Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, By one that I'll procure to come to thee,

Where, and what time, thou wilt perform the


And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay,

And follow thee my lord throughout the world: () NURSE. [Within.] Madam.

JUL. I come, anon:-But if thou mean'st not well,

I do beseech thee,

NURSE. [Within.] Madam.


By and by, I come :

To cease thy suit, and leave me to my grief:
To-morrow will I send.


So thrive my soul,

6 If that thy BENT of love be honourable, &c.] In The Tragical Hystory already quoted Juliet uses nearly the same expres

sions :

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if your thought be chaste, and have on virtue ground, "If wedlock be the end and mark which your desire hath


"Obedience set aside, unto my parents due,

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The quarrel eke that long ago between our housholds grew, "Both me and mine I will all whole to




And following you whereso you go, my father's house forsake : "But if by wanton love and by unlawful suit

"You think in ripest years to pluck my maidenhood's dainty


"You are beguil'd, and now your Juliet you beseeks,

"To cease your suit, and suffer her to live among her likes."


7 To cease thy SUIT,] So the quarto 1597. The two subsequent quartos and the folio have-thy strife. MALONE.

JUL. A thousand times good night!


ROM. A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.-()

Love goes toward love, as school-boys from their


But love from love, toward school with heavy looks. [Retiring slowly.

Re-enter JULIET, above.

JUL. Hist! Romeo, hist!-O, for a falconer's voice,

To lure this tassel-gentle back again!

Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud;

8 To lure this TASSEL-GENTLE back again!] The tassel or tiercel (for so it should be spelt) is the male of the gosshawk; so called, because it is a tierce or third less than the female. This is equally true of all birds of prey. In The Booke of Falconrye, by George Turberville, Gent. printed in 1575, I find a whole chapter on the falcon-gentle, &c. So, in The Guardian, by Massinger: then, for an evening flight,


"A tiercel-gentle."

Taylor the water poet uses the same expression:

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ing out the lure, she makes the tassel-gentle come to her fist." Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. iii. c. iv. :

"Having far off espyde a tassel-gent,

"Which after her his nimble wings doth straine."

Again, in Decker's Match Me in London, 1631:

"Your tassel-gentle, she's lur'd off and gone."

This species of hawk had the epithet of gentle annexed to it, from the ease with which it was tamed, and its attachment to man. STEEVENS.

It appears from the old books on this subject that certain hawks were considered as appropriated to certain ranks. The tercel-gentle was appropriated to the prince; and thence, we may suppose, was chosen by Juliet as an appellation for her beloved Romeo. In an ancient treatise entitled Hawking, Hunting, and Fishing, with the true Measures of Blowing, is the following passage: "The names of all manner of hawkes, and to whom they belong:

"For a Prince.

"There is a falcon gentle, and a tercel gentle; and these are for a prince." MALONE.

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