Page images

By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo callid,
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.

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?

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.

Jul. My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words
Of that tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound;
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?

Rom. Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.9


By any .

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. VI, p. 109:

“ Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace
As 'longeth to a lover's blessed case.” Steevens.

other name - ] Thus the quarto, 1597. All the subse. quent ancient copies read-By any other word. Malone. 9 Take all myself.] The elder quarto reads, Take all I have.

Steevens. 1 My ears huve 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 Ro. meo, 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 ei. ther thee dislike" was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age. So, it likes me well; for it pleases me well. Malone.

Dislike here means displease. M. Mason.

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

For stony limits cannot hold love out:
And what love can do, that dares love attempt;
Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.3

Jul. If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
- 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;4 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..



no let to me.] i. e. no stop or hindrance. So, in Hamlet :

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


- from their sight;] So the first quarto. All the other ancient copies have—from their


Malone. 5 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 subse. quent 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 here 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.” Steevens. 6 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.

Jul. By whose direction found’st thou out this place?

Rom. By love, ho 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 knows't, 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. Fuin would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny What I have spoke; But farewel 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, Jore 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 strange.8 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,



Than death prorogued, 1 i. e. delayed, deferred to a more dis. tant period. So, in Act IV, sc. i:

“I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,
“ On Thursday next be married to this county.” Malone.
- farewel compliment !] That is, farewel attention to forms.

M. Mason. 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 ?”

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-coz. ing. Malone.

That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops, 9

Jul. O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon
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 self,
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 contráct 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 lightens. Sweet, good night!?
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

Rom. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
Jul. What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?3

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

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.” H. White. 1 Ere one can say It lightens. ] So, in The Miracles of Moses, by Drayton:

lightning ceaslessly 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.

Malone. Sweet, good night! ] All the intermediate lines from Sweet, good night! to Stay but a little, &c. were added after the first copy.

Steevens. 3 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


Rom. The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for

Jul. I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:
And yet I would it were to give again.
Róm. Would'st thou withdraw it? for what purpose,

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.

[Exit. Rom. O blessed blessed night! I am afeard, 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, in-

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 rite;
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,
Jul. A thousand times good night!

[Exit. Rom. A thousand times the worse, to want thy


cannot receive while they remain at their present distance from each other. Ainner,

4 To cease thy suit, ] So the quarto, 1597. The two subsequent quartos and the folio bave-thy strife. Malone.

« PreviousContinue »