Page images
PDF
EPUB

Lies fest'ring in his shroud; where, as they say,
At some hours in the night spirits resort;-
Alack, alack! is it not like, that 1,5
So early waking,—what with loathsome smells;
And shrieks like mandrakes' torn out of the earth,
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad;“—
O! if I wake, shall I not be distraught,?
Environed with all these hideous fears?
And madly play with my forefather's joints?
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?
And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone,
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?
0, look! methinks, I see my cousin's ghost
Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body
Upon a rapier's point:- Stay, Tybalt, stay!
Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.

[She throws herself on the Bed.

5

6

4 Lies fest'ring -) To fester is to corrupt. So, in King Edward III, 1599:

“ Lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds." This line likewise occurs in the 941h Sonnet of Shakspeare. The play of Edward 111, has been ascribed to him. Steevens.

- is it not like, that I,] This speech is confused, and inconsequential, according to the disorder of Juliet's mind. Johnson.

run mad;) So, in Webster's Dutchess of Malfy, 1623 : “I have this night digg'd up a mandrake,

“ And am grown mad with 't.” Again, in The Atheist's Trage.ly, 1611:

“ The cries of mandrakes never touch'd the ear

“ With more sad horror, than that voice does mine." The mandrake (says Thomas Newton, in his Herball to the Bible, 8vo. 1587,) has been idly represented as “a creature having life and engendered under the earth of the seed of some dead person that hath beene convicted and put to death for some felonie or murther; and that they had the same in such dampish and funerall places where the saide convicted persons were buried,” &c. Steevens. See Vol. IX, p. 108, n. 7; and Vol. X, p. 207, n. 7. Malone.

- be distraught, ] Distraught is distracted. So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song 10:

“ Is, for that river's sake, near of his wits distraught." Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I, c. ix: " What frantick fit, quoth he, hath thus distraught,&c.

Steevens.

7

SCENE IV.

Capulet's Hall. Enter Lady CAPULET and Nurse. La. Cap. Hold, take these keys, and fetch more spices,

nlil'se.

Nurse. They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.8

Enter CAPULET. Cap. Come, stir, stir, stir! the second cock hath crow'd, The curfeu beil' hath rung, 'tis three o'clock :Look to the bak'd meats, good Angelica :: Spare not for cost. Nurse.

Go, go, you cot-quean, go, Get you to bed; 'faith, you 'll be sick to-morrow For this night's watching:

Cap. N not a whit; What! I have watch'd ere now All night for lesser cause, and ne'er been sick. La. Cap. Ay, you have been a mouse-hunt? in your

time;

8 They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.) i. e. in the room where paste was made. So laundry, spicery, &c. Malone.

The curfeu bell --] I know not that the morning-bell is called the curfeu in any other place. Johnson.

The curfew bell was rung at nine in the evening, as appears from a passage in The Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608:

well’tis nine o'clock, 'tis time to ring curfew.” Steevens. The curfew bell is universally rung at eight or nine o'clock at night; generally according to the season. The term is here used with peculiar impropriety, as it is not believed that any bell was ever rung so early as three in the morning. The derivation of cur. feu is well known, but it is a mere vulgar error that the institution was a badge of slavery imposed by the Norman Conqueror. To put out the fire became necessary only because it was time to go to bed: And if the curfeu commanded all fires to be extinguished, the morning bell ordered them to be lighted again. In short, the ringing of those two bells was a manifest and essential service to people who had scarcely any other means of measuring their time.

Ritson. 1 Look to the bak'd meats, good Angelica:] Shakspeare has here imputed to an Italian nobleman and his lady all the petty solici. tudes of a private house concerning a provincial entertainment. To such a bustle our author might have been witness at home; but the like anxities could not well have occurred in the family of Capulet, whose wife, if Angelica be her name, is here directed to perform the office of a housekeeper. Steevens.

But I will watch you from such watching now.

[Exeunt La. CAP. and Nurse. Cap. A jealous-hood, a jealous-hood !-Now, fellow, What's there?

Enter Servants, with Spits, Logs, and Baskets. 1 Serv. Things for the cook, sir; but I know not what. Cap. Make haste, make haste. [Exit i Serv.]-Sir

rah, fetch drier logs ; Call Peter, he will show thee where they are.

2 Serv. I have a head, sir, that will find out logs, And never trouble Peter for the matter.

Cap. 'Mass, and well said; A merry whoreson! ha, Thou shalt be logger-head.-Good faith, 'tis day: The county will be here with musick straight,

[Musick within. For so he said he would. I hear him near:Nurse! — Wife!-what, ho!-what, nurse, I say!

Enter Nurse. Go, waken Juliet,

go,

and trim her up;
I 'll go and chat with Paris :- Hie, make haste,
Make haste! the bridegroom he is come already:
Make haste, I say!

[Exeunt.

[Exit.

SCENE V.

Juliet's Chamber; JULIET on the Bed.

Enter Nurse. Nurse. Mistress !-what, mistress -Juliet !-fast, I

warrant her, she:Why, lamb! - why, ladyfy, you slug-a-bed ! Why, love, I say!- madam! sweet-heart-why, bride! What, not a word ?—you take your pennyworths now; Sleep for a week; for the next night, I warrant,

2

a mouse-hunt in your time ;] In my original attempt to explain this passage, I was completely wrong, for want of knowing that in Norfolk, and many other parts of England, the cant term for a weasel is—a mouse-hunt. The intrigues of this animal, like those of the cat kind, are usually carried on during the night. This circumstance will account for the appellation which Lady Capulet allows her husband to have formerly deserved. Steevens.

The animal called the mouse-hunt, is the martin. Henley. Cat after kinde, good mouse hunt, is a proverb in Heywood's Dialogue, 1598, 1st. pt. c. 2. H. White.

The county Paris hath set up his rest,?
That you shall rest but littie. God forgive me,
(Marry, and amen!) how sound is she asleep!
I needs must wake her:-Madam, madam, madam!
Ay, let the county take you in your bed;*
He 'll fright you up, i' faith. Will it not be?
What, drest! and in your clothes! and down again!

3

set up his rest,] This expression, which is frequently employed by the old dramatick writers, is taken from the manner of tiring the harquebuss. This was so heavy a gun, that the soldiers were obliged to carry a supporter called a rest, which they fixed in the ground before they levelled 10 take aim. Decker uses it in his comedy of Old Fortunatus, 1600: “ - set your heart at rest, for I have set up my rest, that unless you can run swifter than a hart, home you go not.” The same expression occurs in Beaumont and Fletcher's Elder Brother:

My rest is up, “ Nor will I go less Again, in The Roaring Girl, 1611:

“ Like a musket on a rest." See Montfaucon's Monarchie Françoise, Tom. V, plate 48.

Steevens The origin of this phrase has certainly been rightly explained, but the good Nurse was here thinking of other matters. T.C.

The above expression may probably be sometimes used in the sense already explained; it is, however, oftener employed with a reference to the game at primero, in which it was one of the terms then in use. In the second instance above quoted it is certainly

To avoid loading the page with examples, I shall refer to Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, Vol. X, p. 364, edit. 1780, where several are brought together. Reed.

To set up one's rest, is, in fact, a gambling expression, and means that the gamester has determined what stake he should

In the passage quoted by Steevens from Fletcher's Elder Brother, when Eustace says:

My rest is up, and I will go no less." he means to say, my stake is laid, and I will not play for a smaller.

The same phrase very frequently occurs in the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher. It is also used by Lord Clarendon, in his History, as well as in the old comedy of Supposes, published in the year 1587. M. Mason.

- why lady!--fy, you slug-a-bed! Ay, let the county take you in your bed;] So, in The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet :

“First softly did she call, then louder did she cry,
"Lady, you sleep too long, the earl will raise you by und by.”

Malonę.

SO.

play for.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

I must needs wake you: Lady! lady! lady!
Alas! alas ! -Help! help! my lady's dead !
O, well-a-day, that ever I was born
Some aqua-vitæ, ho!--my lord! my lady!

Enter Lady CAPULET.
La. Cap. What noise is here?
Nurse.

O lamentable day!
La. Cap. What is the matter?
Nurse.

Look, look! O heavy day!
La. Cap. O me, O me!-my child, my only life,
Revive, look up, or I will die with thee!
Help, help!-call help.

Enter CAPULET.
Cap. For shame, bring Jujiet forth; her lord is come.
Nurse. She 's dead, deceas’d, she 's dead; alack the

day!
La. Cap. Alack the day! she's dead, she's dead, she's

dead.
Cap. Ha! let me see her:-Out, alas! she's cold ;
Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff;
Life and these lips have long been separated :
Death lies on her, like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
Accursed time! unfortunate oid man!

Nurse. O lamentable day!
La. Cap.

O woful time!
Cap. Death, that hath ta'en her hence to make me

wail,
Ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak.
Enter Friar LAURENCE and PARIS, with Musicians.
Fri. Come, is the bride ready to go to church?

Cap. Ready to go, but never to return:
O son, the night before thy wedding day
Hath death lain with thy bride :-See, there she lies,
Flower as she was, deflowered by him.
Death is my son-in-law,5 death is my heir;
My daughter he hath wedded! I will die,

1

$ Death is my son-in-law, &c.] The remaining part of this speech, « death is my heir,” &c. was omitted by Mr. Pope in his edition and some of the subsequent editors, following his example, took the same unwarrantable licence. The lines were very properly restored by Mr. Steevens. Malone.

« PreviousContinue »