Page images
PDF
EPUB

Fri. Hold; get you gone, be strong and pros

perous In this resolve: I'll send a friar with speed To Mantua, with my letters to thy lord. Jul, Love, give me strength! and strength shall

help afford. Farewell, dear father !

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. A Room in Capulet's House. Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, Nurse, and

Servant.
Cap. So many guests invite as here are writ.-

[Exit Servant. Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks 1.

2 Serv. You shall have none ill, sir; for I'll try if they can lick their fingers ?. Cap. How canst thou try them so

? 2 Serv. Marry, sir, 'tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers: therefore he, that cannot lick his fingers, goes not with me. Cap. Go, begone.--

[Exit Servant. We shall be much unfurnish'd for this time.What, is my daughter gone to friar Laurence ?

Nurse. Ay, forsooth.

Cap. Well, he may chance to do some good on her: A peevish self-will’d harlotry it is. Capulet has in a former scene said :--

We'll keep no great ado:

we'll have some half a dozen friends.' The poet has made him alter his mind strangely, or had forgotten what he had made him say before. (See Act iii. Sc. iv.) Malone observes that the former scene was of the poet's own invention, and that he here recollected the poem :

he myndes to make for him a costly feast.' ? This adage is found in Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, 1589:

*As the olde cocke crowes so doeth the chicke:
A bad cooke that cannot his owne fingers lick,'

1

4

Enter JULIET. Nurse. See, where she comes from shrift 3 with merry

look. Cap. How now, my headstrong ? where have you

been gadding? Jul. Where I have learn'd me to repent the sin Of disobedient opposition To you, and your behests; and am enjoin'd By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here, And beg your pardon :- Pardon, I beseech you! Henceforward I am ever ruld by you.

Cap. Send for the county : go tell him of this; I'll have this knot knit up to-morrow morning.

Jul. I met the youthful lord at Laurence' cell; And gave him what becomed * love I might, Not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty.

Cap. Why, I am glad on't; this is well, --stand up:
This is as't should be. Let me see the county ;
Ay, marry, go,

I
say,

and fetch him hither.-
Now, afore God, this reverend holy friar,
All our whole city is much bound to him 5.
Jul. Nurse, will
you go with me into

my closet, To help me sort such needful ornaments As you

think fit to furnish me to-morrow? La. Cap. No, not till Thursday; there is time

enough. Cap. Go, nurses go with her :-we'll to church to

[Exeunt Juliet and Nurse. La. Cap. We shall be short in our provision; 'Tis now near night. 3 i. e. confession,

4 Becomed for becoming : one participle for another, a frequent practice with Shakspeare.

5 Thus the folio and the quartos 1599 and 1609: The oldest quarto reads perbaps more grammatically:

• All our whole city is much bound unto.'

morrow.

Сар. .

Tush! I will stir about, And all things shall be well, I warrant thee, wife: Go thou to Juliet, help to deck up her; I'll not to bed to-night;—let me alone; I'll play the housewife for this once.- What, ho ! They are all forth: Well, I will walk myself To county Paris, to prepare him up Against to-morrow: my heart is wondrous light, Since this same wayward girl is so reclaim’d.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III. Juliet's Chamber.

Enter JULIET and Nurse. Jul. Ay, those attires are best:-But, gentle nurse, I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night; For I have need of

many

orisons To move the heavens to smile upon my state. Which, well thou know'st, is cross and full of sin.

Enter LADY CAPULET. La. Cap. What, are you busy? do you need my

help?
Jul. No, madam; we have culld such necessaries
As are behoveful for our state to-morrow;
So please you, let me now be left alone,
And let the nurse this night sit up with you;
For, I am sure, you have your hands full all,
In this so sudden business.

Good night!
Get thee to bed, and rest; for thou hast need.

[Exeunt LADY CAPULET and Nurse. Jul. Farewell?!–God knows, when we shall

meet again. | This speech received considerable additions after the first copy was published.

La. Cap.

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,
That almost freezes up the heat of life:
I'll call them back again to comfort me:-
Nurse!- What should she do here?
My dismal scene I needs must act alone.-
Come, phial.
What if this mixture do not work at all ?
Must I of force be married to the county ?-
No, no;—this shall forbid it :-lie thou there.

[Laying down a Dagger?.
What if it be a poison, which the friar
Subtly hath minister'd to have me dead;
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour'd,
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear, it is: and yet, methinks, it should not,
For he hath still been tried a holy man:
I will not entertain so bad a thought.-
How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo
Come to redeem me? there's a fearful point!
Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,
To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes ?
Or, if I live, is it not very like,
The horrible conceit of death and night,
Together with the terror of the place, -
As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
Where, for these many hundred years, the bones
Of all my buried ancestors are pack'd;

This stage direction has been supplied by the modern editors. The quarto of 1597 reads :- Knife, lie thou there.'

Daggers, or, as they were more commonly called, knives (says Mr. Gifford), were worn at all times by every woman in England; whether they were so worn in Italy, Shakspeare, I believe, never inquired, and I cannot tell.'-Works of Ben Jonson, vol. v. p. 221. 3 This idea was probably suggested to the poet by his native

Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies fest'ring + in his shroud ; where, as they say,
At some hours in the night spirits resort;-
Alack, alack! is it not like, that I,
So early waking,—what with loathsome smells,
And shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth,
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad 5;-
O! if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
Environed with all these hideous fears?
And madly play with my forefathers' joints ?
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud ?
And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone,
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?
0, look! methinks, I see my cousin's ghost
Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body
Upon a rapier's point:—Stay, Tybalt, stay!-
Romeo I come! this do I drink to thee.

[She throws herself on the Bed.

SCENE IV. Capulet's Hall.

Enter LADY CAPULET and Nurse. La. Cap. Hold, take these keys, and fetch more

spices, nurse. place. The charnel at Stratford-upon-Avon is a very large one, and perhaps contains a greater number of bones than are to be found in any other repository of the same kind in England. 4 To fester is to corrupt. So in King Edward III. 1599:

· Lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds.' This line also occurs in the ninety-fourth Sonnet of Shakspeare. The play of Edward III. has been ascribed to him.

5 See vol v. p. 263; and vol. vi. p. 204. The mandrake (says Thomas Newton in bis Herbal) has been idly represented as · creature having life, and engendered under the earth of the seed of some dead person that hath beene convicted and put to death for some felonie or murther, and that they had the same in such dampish and funerall places where the saide convicted persons were buried,' &c. So in Webster's Duchess of Malfy, 1623:

• I have this nigbt digg’d up a mandrake,

And am grown mad with it. 6 i. e. distracted.

a

« PreviousContinue »