Page images
PDF
EPUB

Love goes toward love, as school-boys from their books; But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

[Retiring slowly. Re-enter JULIET, above. Jul. Hist! Romeo, hist!--0, for a falconer's voice, To lure this tassel-gentle back again !5* Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud; Else would I tear the cave6 where echo lies, And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine With repetition of my Romeo's name.

Rom. It is my soul, that calls upon my name: How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, Like softest musick to attending ears!

5 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: “ By casting 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 D-cker'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

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 ber 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 be. long:

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

* Tercel is used by our author, as the generic appellation of the male Falcon. See Troilus and Cressida, p. 97, and notes 1, *, &c.

Am. Ed. tear the cave - ] This strong expression is more suitably employed by Milton:

* A shout that tore hell's concade " Steever's.

man.

FOR A PRINCE.

Jul. Romeo!
Rom.

My sweet!?
Jul.

At what o'clock to-morrow
Shall I send to thee?
Rom.

At the hour of nine.
Jul. I will not fail; 'tis twenty years till then.
I have forgot why I did call thee back.

Rom. Let me stand here till thou remember it.

Jul. I shall forget, to have thee still stand there, Rememb’ring how I love thy company.

Rom. And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget, Forgetting any other home but this.

Jul. 'Tis almost morning, I would have thee gone:
And yet no further than a wanton's bird;
Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.

Rom. I would, I were thy bird.
Jul.

Sweet, so would I:
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing,
Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say-good night, till it be morrow. [Exit.
Rom. Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy

breast! 'Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!

7 My sweet!] Mr. Malone reads-- Madam, and justifies his choice by the following note. Steevens.

Thus the original copy of 1597. In the two subsequent copies and the folio we have-My niece. What word was intended it is difficult to say. The editor of the second folio substituted—My sweet. I have already shown, that all the alterations in that copy were made at random ; and have therefore preserved the original word, though less tender than that which was arbitrarily substi. tuted in its place. Malone.

As I shall always suppose the second folio to have been cor. rected, in many places, by the aid of better copies than fell into the hands of the editors of the preceding volume, I have in the present instance, as well as many others, followed the authority rejected by Mr. Malone.

I must add, that the cold, distant, and formal appellationMadam, which has been already put into the mouth of the Nurse, would but ill accord with the more familiar feelings of the ardent Romeo, to whom Juliet has just promised every gratification. that youth and beauty could bestow. Steevens.

Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell;
His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell.

[Exit.

SCENE III.

Friar Laurence's Cell.

Enter Friar LAURENCE, with a Basket. Fri. The grey-ey'd morn smiles on the frowning night, Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light; And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels From forth day's path-way, made by Titan's wheels:2

8 Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell;

His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell.] Thus the quarto, 1597, except that it has good instead of dear. That of 1599, and the folio, read:

Hence will I to my ghostly frier's close cell,

His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell. Malone. 9 The grey-ey'd morn &c.] These four lines are here replaced, conformable to the first edition, where such a description is much more proper than in the mouth of Romeo just before, when he was full of nothing but thoughts of his mistress. Pope.

In the folio these lines are printed twice over, and given once to Romeo, and once to the Friar. Johnson.

The same mistake has likewise happened in the quartos, 1599, 1609, and 1637. Steevens.

1 And flecked darkness - ] Flecked is spotted, dappled, streaked, or variegated. In this sense it is used by Churchyard, in his Legend of Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. Mowbray, speaking of the Germans, says:

“ All jagg’d and frounc'd, with divers colours deck's,

They swear, they curse, and drink till they be fleck’d." Lord Surrey uses the same word in his translation of the fourth Æneid:

“ Her quivering cheekes flecked with deadly staine." The same image occurs also in Much Ado about Nothing, Act V, sc. iii:

Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey.Steevens. The word is still used in Scotland, where a "flecked cow” is a common expression. See the Glossary to Gawin Douglas's translation of Virgil, in v. fleckit. Malone.

2 From forth day's path-way, made by Titan's wheels:) So, in Jo. casta's address to the sun in the POINIZSAI of Euripides:

Ω την εν αστροις έραν& ΤΕΜΝΩΝ ΟΔΟΝ.» Mr. Malone reads

From forth day's path, and Titan's fiery wheels. Steevens. Thus the quarto, 1597. That of 1599, and the folio, have burning wheels.

Now ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer, and night's dank dew to dry,
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours, 3
With baleful weeds, and precious-juiced flowers.*
The earth that 's nature's mother, is her tomb;
What is her burying grave, that is her womb:
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find;
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some, and yet all different.
O, mickle is the powerful grace,s that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live,
But to the earth some special good doth give;
Nor aught so good, but, strain’d from that fair use,
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse :
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometime 's by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence, and mcd'cine power:
For this, being smelt, with that parto cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.

The modern editions read corruptly, after the second folio:

From forth day's path-way made by Titan's wheels. Malone. Here again I have followed this reprobated second folio. It is easy to understand how darkness might reel “from forth day's path-way,” &c. but what is meant by-forth

"Titan's fiery wheels ?” A man may stagger out of a path, but not out of a wheel.

Steevens. 3 I must up-fill this osier cage of ours, &c.] So, in the 13th Song of Drayton's Polyolbion :

• His happy time he spends the works of God to see,
“ In those so sundry herbs which there in plenty grow,
“ Whose sundry strange effects he only seeks to know.
“ And in a little maund, being made of osiers small,
“ Which serveth him to do full many a thing withal,

He very choicely sorts his simples got abroad.” Drayton is speaking of a hermit. Steevens.

and precious-juiced flowers.) Shakspeare, on his introduce tion of Friar Laurence, has very artificially prepared us for the part he is afterwards to sustain. Having thus early discovered him to be a chemist, we are not surprized when we find him fur. nishing the draught which produces the catastrophe of the piece. I owe this remark to Dr. Farmer. Steevens.

-powerful grace,] Efficacious virtue. Johnson.

5

Two such opposed foes encamp them still
In man? as well as herbs, grace, and rude will;
And, where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant."

Enter ROMEO.
Rom. Good morrow, father!
Fri.

Benedicite!
What early tongue so sweet saluteth me? -
Young son, it argues a distemper'd head,
So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed:
Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye,
And where care lodges, sleep will never lie;
But where unbruised youth with unstuff’d brain
Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign :
Therefore thy earliness doth me assure,
Thou art up-rous’d by some distemp'rature;
Or if not so, then here I hit it right-
Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night.

Rom. That last is true, the sweeter rest was mine.
Fri. God pardon sin! wast thou with Rosaline?

6

with that part -] i.e. with the part which smells; witla the olfactory nerves. Malone. 7 Two such opposed foes encamp them still

In man -] Foes is the reading of the oldest copy; kings of that in 1609. Shakspeare might have remembered the following passage in the old play of The Misfortunes of Arthur, 1587:

« Peace hath three foes encamped in our breasts,

Ambition, wrath, and envie. Steevens. So, in our author's Lover's Complaint:

terror, and dear modesty, Encamp’d in hearts, but fighting outwardly." Thus the quarto of 1597. The quarto of 1599, and all the subsequent ancient copies read-such opposed kings. Our author has more than once alluded to these opposed foes, contending for the dominion of man. So, in Othello:

“ Yea, curse his better angel from his side.” Again, in his 44th Sonnet:

“ To win me soon to hell, my female evil
“ Tempteth my better angel from my side:
“ Yet this I ne'er shall know, but live in doubt,

“ Till my bad angel fire my good one out.” Malone. 8 Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.] So, in our author's 99th Sonnet:

“A vengeful canker eat him up to death.Malone.

« PreviousContinue »