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Rom. So shalt thou show me friendship. Take thou
that: Live, and be prosperous; and farewel, good fellow.
Bal. For all this same, I'll hide me hereabout, His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt. [Retires.
Rom. Thou détestable5 maw, thou womb of death, Gorg'd with the dearest morsel of the earth, Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,
[Breaking open the Door of the Monument. And, in despite, I 'll cram thee with more food!
Par. This is that banish'd haughty Montague, That murder'd my love's cousin ;—with which grief, It is supposed, the fair creature died, And here is come to do some villainous shame To the dead bodies: I will apprehend him.-[Advances. Stop thy unhallow'd toil, vile Montague; Can vengeance be pursu'd further than death? Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee: Obey, and go with me; for thou must die.
Rom. I must, indeed; and therefore came I hither.--Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man, Fly hence and leave the;—think upon these gone; Let them affright thee.--I beseech thee, youth, Heap not another sin upon my head,6
détestable -] This word, which is now accented on the second syllable, was once accented on the first; therefore this line did not originally seem to be inharmonious. So, in The Tragedie of Crasus, 1604:
“ Court with vain words and détestable lyes.” Again, in Shakspeare's King Fohn, Act III, sc iii:
“ And I will kiss thy détestable bones.” Steevens. Again, in Daniel's Civil Warres, 1595:
“Such détestable vile impiety.” Malone. 6 Heap not &c.] Thus the quarto, 1597. The quartos 1599, and 1609, and the folios--Put not; which led Mr. Rowe to introduce the unauthorised reading-pull. That in the text, however, is the true one. So, in Cymbeline:
thou heapest “ A year's age on me.” Again, in a Letter from Queen Elizabeth to Lady Drury: “ Heape not your harmes where helpe ther is none,” &c. See Nichols's Progresses &c. Vol. II, p. 36, F. 2, b.
After all, it is not impossible our author designed we should read-Pluck not &c. Thus, in King Richard III:“-- sin will pluck on sin.” Steevens.
By urging me to fury :-0, be gone!
Par. I do defy thy conjurations,
[They fight. Page. O lord! they fight: I will go call the watch.
[Exit Page Par. O, I am slain! (falls]-If thou be merciful, Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.
[Dies. Rom. In faith, I will :-Let me peruse this face; Mercutio's kinsman, noble county Paris :
So, in the poem of Romeus and Juliet:
“ With sighs and salted tears her shriving doth begin,
Malone. 7 I do defy thy conjurations,] Thus the quarto, 1597. Paris con. ceived Romeo to have burst open the monument for no other purpose than to do some villainous shame on the dead bodies, such as witches are reported to have practised; and therefore tells him he defies bim, and the magick arts which he suspects he is preparing to use. So, in Painter's translation of the novel, Tom. II, p. 244:“ – the watch of the city by chance passed by, and seeing light within the grave, suspected straight that they were necro. mancers which had opened the tombs to abuse the dead bodies, for aide of their arte.” The folio reads:
I do defy thy commiseration Among the ancient senses of the word to defy, was to disdain, refuse, or deny. So, in The Death of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601:
“Or, as I said, for ever I defy your company." Again, in The Miseries of Queen Margaret, by Drayton :
“My liege, quotñ he, all mercy now defy." Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II, c. viii:
“Foole, (said the Pagan) I thy gift defje." Paris may, however, mean-1 refuse to do as thou conjurest me to do, i. e. to depart. Steevens.
I do defy thy conjurations,] So the quarto, 1597. Instead of this, in that of 1599, we find-commiration. In the next quarto of 1609 this was altered to commiseration, and the folio being probably printed from thence, the same word is exhibited there. The obvious interpretation of these words, “ I refuse to do as thou conjurest me to do, i. e. to depart,” is in my apprehension the true one.
What said my man, when my betossed soul
[Laying Paris in the Monumeni. or did I dream it so?] Here the quarto 1597 not inelegantly subjoins :
“ But I will satisfy thy last request,
“For thou hast priz'd thy love above thy life.” A following addition, however, obliged our author to omit these lines, though perhaps he has not substituted better in their room.
Steedens. 9 A grave? O, no; a lantern,] A lantern may not, in this instance, signify an enclosure for a lighted candle, but a louvre, or what in ancient records is styled lanternium, i.e. a spacious round or octagonal turret full of windows, by means of which cathedrals, and sometimes halls, are illuminated. See the beautiful lantern at Ely Minster.
The same word, with the same sense, occurs in Churchyard's Siege of Edinbrough Castle:
“This lofty seat and lantern of that land,
“ Like lodestarre stode, and lokte o'er eu'ry streete." Again, in Philemon Holland's translation of the 12th chapter of the 35th Book of Pliny's Natural History":"– hence came the l'ouvers and lanternes reared over the roofes of temples" &c.
Steevens. - presence - ) A presence is a publick room. Fohnson. A presence means a publick room, which is at times the presence-chamber of the sovereign. So, in The Two Noble Gentlemen, by Beaumont and Fletcher, Jacques says, his master is a duke, “ His chamber hung with nobles, like a presence
M. Mason. Again, in Westward for Smelts, 1620:“ the king sent for the wounded man into the presence.” Malone.
This thought, extravagant as it is, is borrowed by Middleton in his comedy of Blurt Master Constable, 1602:
“The darkest dungeon which spite can devise
“ In Paris Louvre.” Steevens. VOL. XII.
How oft when men are at the point of death,
2 — by a dead man interr’d.] Romeo being now determined to put an end to his life, considers himself as already dead. Malone.
Till I read the preceding note, I supposed Romeo meant, that he placed Paris by the side of Tybalt who was already dead, and buried in the same monument. The idea, however, of a man's receiving burial from a dead undertaker, is but too like some of those miserable conceits with which our author too frequently counteracts his own pathos. Steevens.
O, how may 1
O, now may 1 Call this a lightning? Fohnson. How is certainly right and proper. Romeo had, just before, been in high spirits, a symptom, which he observes, was sometimes called a lightning before death: but how, says he, (for no situation can exempt Sliakspeare's characters from the vice of punning) can I term this sad and gloomy prospect a lightning?
Ritson. The reading of the text is that of the quarto, 1599. The first copy reads: But how, &c. which shows that Dr. Johnson's emendation cannot be right. Malone.
This idea occurs frequently in the old dramatick pieces. So, in the Second Part of The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601:
“I thought it was a lightning before death,
« Too sudden to be certain." Again, in Chapman's translation of the 15th Iliad:
since after this he had not long to live, “ This lightning flew before his death." Again, in his translation of the 18th Odyssey:
extend their cheer “To th' utmost lightning that still ushers death.” Stecvenis. 4 Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:) So, in Sidney's Arcadia,
“ Decayed roses of discolourd cheeks
And death’s pale flag is not advanced there.5 --
beauty's ensign yet
And death's pale fiag &c.] So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosainond, 1594:
“And nought respecting death (the last of paines)
“Upon his new-got spoil,” &c. In the first edition of Romeo and Juliet, Shakspeare is less florid in his account of the lady's beauty; and only says:
ah, dear Juliet, “ How well thy beauty doth become this grave!" The speech, as it now stands, is first found in the quarto, 1599.
That unsubstantial death is amorous ; &c.] So, in Daniel's Gomplaint of Rosamoni, 1594:
“ Ah, now, methinks, I see death dallying seeks
“ To entertain itselfe in love's sweete place." Malone. That unsubstantial death is amorous; &c.) Burton, in bis Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1652, p. 463, speaking of the power of beauty, tells us:-“ But of all the tales in this kinde, that is most memorable of Death himselfe, when he should have stroken a sweet young virgin with bis dart, hee fell in love with the ob. ject.”—Burton refers to Angerianus; but I have met with the same story in some other ancient book of which I have forgot the title. Steevens.
my everlasting rest;) See a note on scene 5th of the preceding Act, p. 354, n. 3. So, in The Spanish Gipsie, by Middleton and Rowley, 1653:
could I set up my rest