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SCENE III. Friar Laurence's Cell.
Enter FRIAR LAURENCE, with a Basket.
this osier cage ours, With baleful weeds, and precious-juiced flowers *,
1 In the folio and the three later quartos these four lines are printed twice over, and given once to Romeo and once to the Friar.
? Flecked is spotted, dappled, streaked, or variegated. Lord Surrey uses the word in his translation of the fourth Æneid :
Her quivering cheekes flecked with deadly stain.' So in the old play of The Four Prentices :
· We'll fleck our white steeds in your Christian blood.' 3. This is the reading of the second folio. The quarto of 1597 reads :
* From forth day's path and Titan's firy wheels.' The quarto of 1599 and the folio have burning wheels.'
4 So Drayton, in the eighteenth Song of bis Polyolbion, speaking of a hermit :
• His happy time he spends the works of God to see,
He very choicely sorts his simples got abroad.' Shakspeare has very artificially prepared us for the part Friar Lawrence is afterwards to sustain. Having thus early discovered him to be a chemist, we are not surprised when we find him furnishing the draught which produces the catastrophe of the piece. The passage was, however, suggested by Arthur Brooke's poem.
The earth, that's nature's mother, is her tomb 5;
Omniparens, eadem rerum commune sepulchrum.'
Lucretius. • The womb of nature, and perhaps her grave.' Milton.
Time's the king of men,
Pericles. 6 Eficacious virtue.
7 i. e. with its odour. Not, as Malone says, 'with the olfactory nerves, the part that smells.' 8 So in Shakspeare's Lover's Complaint:
terror and dear modesty Encamp'd in hearts, but fighting outwardly.' Our poet has more than once alluded to these opposed foes. So in Othello :
‘Yea, curse his better angel from his side.' See also his forty-fourth Sonnet. He may have remembered a passage in the old play of King Arthur, 1587 :
• Peace hath three foes encamped in our breasts,
And, where the worser is predominant,
Rom. That last is true, the sweeter rest was mine.
Rom. With Rosaline, my ghostly father ? no;
been then ?
9 This apparent false concord occurs in many places, not only of Shakspeare, but of all old English writers. It is sufficient to observe that in the Anglo Saxon and very old English the third person plural of the present tense ends in eth, and often familiarly in es, as might be exemplified from Chaucer and others. This idiom was not worn out in Shakspeare's time, who must not therefore be tried hy rules which were invented after his
I bear no hatred, blessed man; for, lo,
Fri. Holy Saint Francis! what a change is here!
men's love then lies
• His steeds to water at those springs
On chalic'd flowers that lies.' And in Venus and Adonis :
• She lifts the coffer lids tbat close his eyes
Where lo! two lamps burnt out in darkness lies.'
• And bakes the elf locks in foul sluttish hairs,
And art thou chang'd ? pronounce this sentence
thenWomen may fall, when there's no strength in men.
Rom. Thou chid'st me oft for loving Rosaline.
Not in a grave, To lay one in, another out to have.
Rom. I pray thee, chide not: she, whom I love now, Doth grace,
and love for love allow;
(), she knew well,
Rom. 0, let us hence; I stand on sudden haste 10. Fri. Wisely, and slow; they stumble, that run fast.
SCENE IV. A Street.
Enter BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO. Mer. Where the devil should this Romeo be?Came he not home to-night?
Ben. Not to his father's; I spoke with his man. Mer. Ab, that same pale hard-hearted wench,
that Rosaline, Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.
Ben. Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet, Hath sent a letter to his father's house.
10 • It is incumbent upon me, or it is of importance to me to use extreme haste.' So in King Richard III.:
it stands me much upon To stop all hopes,' &c.