« PreviousContinue »
He heareth not, stirreth not, 3 he moveth not;
ape is dead, and I must conjure him.-
him. Mer. This cannot anger him: 'twould anger
Ben. Come, he hath hid himself among those trees, To be consorted with the humorous night:6
He shoots his bolt but seldom; but when Adam lets go, he hits :"
“ He shoots at thee too, Adam Bell; and his arrows stick here."
Trim was an epithet formerii in common use. It occurs often in Churchyard's Siege of Leeth, 1575:
“ Made sallies forth, as tryme men might do." Again, ibid: “ And showed themselves trimme souldiours as I ween."
Steevens. The ballad here alluded to, is King Cophetua and the BeggarMaid, or, as it is called in some old copies, The Song of a Beggar and a King. The following stanza Shakspeare had particularly in view:
“ The blinded boy that shoots so trim,
“ From heaven down did hie,
“In place where he did lie.” Malone.
Steevens. 4 The ape is dead,] This phrase appears to have been frequently applied to young men, in our author's time, without any reference to the mimickry of that animal It was an expression of tenderness, like poor fool. Nashe, in one of his pamphlets, mentions his having read Lyly's Euphues, when he was a little ape at Cambridge. Malone.
5 By her high forehead,] It has already been observed that a high forehead was in Shakspeare's time thought eminently beautiful. See Vol. II, p. 116, n. 8; and Antony and Cleopatra, Vol. XIII.
Blind is his love, and best befits the dark.
Mer. If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
the humorous night:] I suppose Shakspeare means humid, the moist dewy night. Chapman uses the word in that sense in his translation of Honer, B II, edit. 1598: “ The other gods and knights at arms slept all the hu
morous night.” Again, in the 21st Book: “Whence all Hoods, all the sea, all founts, wells, all deeps
humorous, “ Fetch their beginnings; -." Again, in his Barons' Wars, canto i:
“The humorous fogs deprive us of his light.” Steevens. 7 As maids &c.] After this line, in the old copies, I find two other verses, containing such ribaldry, that I cannot venture to insert them in the text. Steevens
Shakspeare followed the fashion of his own time, which was, when something indecent was meant to be suppressed, to print et cætera, instead of the word See Minshey's Dictionary, p. 112, col. 2 Our poet did not consider, that however such a practice might be admitteil in a printed book, it is absurd where words are intended to be recited. When these lines were spoken, as undoubtedly they were to our ancestors, who do not appear to bave been extremely delicate, the actor must have evaded the difficulty by an abrupt sentence
The unseemly name of tlie apple here alluded to, is well known.
Poperingue is a town in French Flanders, two leagues distant from Ypres. From hence the Poperin pear was brought into England. What were the peculiar qualities of a Poperin pear, I am unable to ascertain. The word was chosen, I believe, merely for the sake of a quibble, which it is not necessary to explain. Probably for the same reason the Popering tree was preferred to any other by the author of the mock poem of Hero and Leander, small 8vo. 1653:
“She thought it strange to see a man
« And listen’d for some novelty.”
Go, then; for 'tis in vain
(Jul. appears above, at a Window. But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks! It is the east, and Juliet is the sun! Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief, That thou her maid art fur piore fair than she: Be not her maid,' since she is envious; Her vestal livery is but sick and green, And none but fools do wear it; cast it off. It is my lady ;1 0, it is my love: O, that she knew she were! She speaks, yet she says nothing; What of that? Her eye
discourses, will answer it. I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks: Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, Having some busiuess, do entreat her eyes To twinkle in their spheres till they return. What it ber eyes were there, they in her head? The brightness of her check would shame those stars, As daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven
8 He jests at scars,] That is, Mercutio jests, whom he overheard. Fohnson. So, in Sidney's Arcaitia, Book “None can speake of a wound with skill, if he have not a
wound felt." Steevens. He (that person) jests, is merely an allusion to his having conceived himself so armed with the love of Rosalind, that no other beauty could make any impression on him. This is clear from the conversation be has with Mercutio, just before they go to Capulet's. Ritson. 9 Be not her maid,] Be not a votary to the moon, to Diana.
Johnson. So, in Troilus and Cressila:
“By all Diana's waiting-women yonder, Steevens. It is my lady;] This line and half I have replaced. Johnson.
Would through the airy region stream so bright,
She speaks :O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art As glorious to this night,“ being o'er my head, As is a winged messenger of heaven 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. Jul. 'Tis but thy name, that is my enemy;Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
2 0, that I were a glove upon that hand,] This passage appears to have been ridiculed by Shirley in The School of Compliments, a comedy, 1637 :
“O that I were a flea upon that lip,” &c. Steevens.
- touch that cheek!] The quarto, 1597, reads: “kiss that cheek.” Steevens. 4 O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
As glorious to this night,] Though all the printed copies 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 un. necessary. The plain sense is, that Juliet appeared as splendid an object in the vault of heaven obscured by darkness, as an an. gel could seem to the eyes of mortals, who were falling back to gaze upon him.
As glorious to this night, means as glorious an 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.
- the lazy-pacing clouds,] Thus corrected from the first edition, in the other lazy-puffing. Pope.
What 's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
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
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:
“'Would Catharine had never seen him though.” Again, in King Henry VIII:
“I would not be so sick though, for his place.” 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 your Hermia? Lord! what though.?” Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor: “I keep but three men and a boy yet,- but what though.?"
Ritson. nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
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 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!
What's in a name, Sc. 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 VOL. XII.