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Some twenty of them fought in this black strife,
Prin. Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio;
Mon. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's friend;
And, for that offence,
seems to intend the character of Benvolio as good, meant perhaps to show, how the best minds, in a state of faction and discord, are detorted to criminal partiality. Johnson.
in your hates' proceeding,} This, as Mr. Steevens has ob. served, is the reading of the original quarto, 1597. From that copy, in almost every speech of this play, readings have been drawn by the modern editors, much preferable to those of the succeeding ancient copies. The quarto of 1599 reads-hearts proceeding; and the corruption was adopted in the folio. Malone.
2 Nor tears, nor prayers, shall purchase out abuses,] This was probably designed as a covert stroke at the church of Rome, by which the different prices of murder, incest, and all other crimes, were minutely settled, and as shamelessly received. See Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 701.
Steevens 3 Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.] So, in Hale's Memorials: “When I find myself swayed to mercy, let me remember likewise that there is a mercy due to the country.”
Thus the quarto, 1599, and the folio. The sentiment here enforced is different from that found in the first edition, 1597. There the Prince concludes his speech with these words:
Pity shall dwell, and govern with us still;
4 Gallop apace, you fiery-footet steeds,
Towards Phæbus' mansion ; &c ] Our author probably remembered Marlowe's King Edward II, which was performed before 1593:
“Gallop apace, bright Phæbus, through the skie,
“ That I may see that most desired day.” Malone. Gallop apace, &c.] Cowley copies the expression, Davideis, B. III:
“ Slow rose the sun, but gallopt down apace,
“ With more than evening blushes in his face." The succeeding compound“ fiery-footed” is used by Drayton, in one of his Eclogues:
“ Phæbus had forc'd his fiery-footed team." It is also used by Spenser, in The Fairy Queen. Todd.
Phæbus' mansion;] The second quarto and folio read, Pheebus' lodging. Steevens.
immediately. ] Here ends this speech in the eldest quarto. The rest of the scene has likewise received considerable altera. tions and additions. Steevens. 6 Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night!
That run-away's eyes may wink; &c.] What run-aways are these, whose eyes Juliet is wishing to have stopt? Macbeth, we may remember, makes an invocation to night neuch in the same strain :
Come, seeling night, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day," &e. So Juliet would have night's darkness obscure the great eye of the day, the sun; whom considering in a poetical light as Phæbus, drawn in his car with fiery-footed steeds, and posting through the heavens, sbe very properly calls him, with regard to the swiftness of his course, the run-away. In the like manner our poet speaks of the night in The Merchant of Venice:
“For the close night doth play the run-away." Warburton. Mr. Heath justly observes on this emendation, that the sun is necessarily absent as soon as night begins, and that it is very un
Leap to these arms, untalk'd of, and unseen! -
likely that Juliet, who has just complained of his tediousness, should call him a run-away. Malone.
The construction of this passage, however elliptical or perverse, I believe to be as follows:
May that run-away's eyes wink!
That run-away's eyes, may (they) wink! These ellipses are frequent in Spenser; and that for oh! that, is not uncommon, as Dr. Farmer observes in a note on the first scene of The Winter's Tale. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, sc. vi:
“ That ever I should call thee cast-away!" Again, in Twelfth Night, Act iv, sc ii: “ Mal. I tell thee, I am as well in my wits, as any man in Illyria.
“ Clo. Well-a-day.- That you were, sir!" i.e. Oh that you were! Again, in Timon, Act IV:
“ That nature, being sick of man's unkindness,
“Should yet be hungry!" Juliet first wishes for the absence of the sun, and then invokes the night to spread its curtain close around the world:
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night! Next, recollecting that the night would seem short to her, she speaks of it as a run-away, whose flight she would wish to retard, and whose eyes she would blind, lest they should make discove. ries. The eyes of night are the stars, so called in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Dr. Warburton has already proved that Shakspeare terms the night a run-away in The Merchant of Venice; and in The Fair Maid of the Exchange, 1607, it is spoken of under the same character:
“ The night hath play'd the swift-foot run-away." Romeo was not expected by Juliet till the sun was gone, and therefore it was of no consequence to her that any eyes should wink but those of the night; for, as Ben Jonson says in Sejanus :
night hath many eyes,
Steevens. That seems not to be the optative adverb utinam, but the pronoun ista These lines contain no wish, but a reason for Juliet's preceding wish for the approach of cloudy night; for in such a night there may be no star-light to discover our stolen pleasures :
“That run-away eyes may wink, and Romeo
Blackstone. 7 Lovers can see to do their amorous rites By their own beauties:) So, in Marlowe's Hero and Leander:
dark night is Cupid's day.”
It best agrees with night.-Come, civil night,
The quartos 1599 and 1609, and the folio, read And by their own beauties. In the text the undated quarto has been followed.
Malone. Milton, in his Comus, might here have been indebted to Shakspeare:
“ Virtue could see to do what virtue would,
“ Were in the flat sea sunk.” Steevens. 8 Come, civil night,} Civil is grave, decently solemn. Johnson. See As you Like it, Vol. V, p. 71, n. 5. Steevens. So, in our poet's Lover's Complaint :
my white stole of chastity I daft'd, “Shook off my sober guards and civil fears." Malone. unmann'd blood-] Blood yet unacquainted with man.
Fohnson Hood my unmann'd blood bating in my cheeks,] These are terms of falconry. An unmanned hawk is one that is not brought to endure company. Bating, (not baiting, as it has hitherto been printed,) is fluttering with the wings as striving to fly away. So, in Ben Jonson's Sad Shepherd:
“ A hawk yet half so haggard and unmann'd.” Again, in an old ballad intitled, Prettie Comparisons wittily grounded, &c:
“ Or like a hawk that's never man'd,
« Or like a bide before 'tis tan’d." Again, in The Booke of Hawkyng, &c. bl. I. no date: “ It is called bating, for she bateth with herselfe most often causelesse."
Steevens. See Vol, VI, p. 106, n. 7. To hood a hawk, that is, to cover its head with a hood, was an usual practice, before the bird was suf. fered to fly at its quarry. Malone.
If the hawk flew with its hood on, how could it possibly see the object of its pursuit ? The hood was always taken off before the bird was dismissed. See Vol. IX, p. 302, n. 5. Steevens.
grown bold,] This is Mr. Rowe's emendation. The old copies for grown have grow. Malone.
2 Whiter than new snow on a raven's back.] The quarto, 1599,
Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-brow'd night,
Enter Nurse, with Cords.
and the folio-upon. The line is not in the first quarto. The edi. tor of the second folio, for the sake of the metre, reads-on a raven's back; and so, many of the modern editors. Malone. I profess myself to be still one of this peccant fraternity.
Steevens. -black-brow'd night,] So, in King John: “Why, here walk 1, in the black brow of night." Steevens.
- when he shall die,] This emendation is drawn from the undated quarto. The quartos of 1599, 1609, and the folio, readwhen I shall die. Malone.
5 - the garish sun.] Milton had this speech in his thoughts when he wrote Il Penseroso:
“ Hide me from day's garish eye.”- Milton. Johnson. Garish is gaudy, showy. So, in King Richard III:
“ A dream of what thou wast, a garish flag." Again, in Marlowe's Edward II, 1598:
march'd like players “With garish robes." It sometimes signifies wild, Aighty. So, in the following instance: “ -starting up and gairishly staring about, especially on the face of Eliosto." Hinde's Eliosto Libidinoso, 1606. Steevens.
- I have bought the mansion of a love,] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
the strong base and building of my love