« PreviousContinue »
By any other name would smell as sweet;
I take thee at thy word :
By a name
* Quarto A, the divine.
+ Quarto A, part.
words nor any other part were omitted by the oversight of the transcriber or printer, and the lines thus absurdly exhibited :
“ Nor arm nor face, O be some other name!
Belonging to a man.
“ What's in a name, &c.” Belonging, &c. evidently was intended to begin a line, as it now does ; but the printer having omitted the words nor any other part, took the remainder of the subsequent line, and carried it to that which preceded. The transposition now made needs no note to 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. v. p.472:
“ Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace
“ As 'longeth to a lover's blessed case.” Steevens. By any other name - ] Thus the quarto, 1597. All the subsequent ancient copies read-By any other word. Malone. 9 Take all myseLF.] The elder quarto reads—Take all I have.
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 *2. 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 walls
; For stony limits cannot hold love out: And what love can do, that dares love attempt ; Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me *. Jul. If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
* Quarto A, displease. ' My ears have 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 Romeo, 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 either 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.
3 With love's light wings did I O'ER-PERCH THESE WALLS ;] Here also we find Shakspeare following the steps of the author of The Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562:
“ Approaching near the place from whence his heart had life, “ So light he wox, he leap'd the wall, and there he spy'd his
wife, “ Who in the window watch'd the coming of her lord —"
Malone. no let to me.] i. e. no stop or hinderance. 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. Malone. VOL. VI.
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
sighto; 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 .
- there lies more peril in thine eye,
Than twenty of their swords ;] Beaumont and Fletcher have copied this thought in The Maid in the Mill:
“ The lady may command, sir;
Steevens. from their sight;] So the first quarto. All the other ancient copies have—from their eyes. Malone.
9 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 subsequent 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 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." See Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV. Sc. X. Steevens.
8 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. Masov.
“ Than death prorogued.” i. e. delayed, deferred to a more distant period. So, in Act IV. Sc. I. :
" I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,
Jul. By whose direction found'st thou out this
place ? Rom. By love, who first did prompt me to in
Jul. Thou know'st, the mask of night is on my
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek,
* So quarto A ; folio, behaviour.
9 farewell compliment !) That is, farewell attention to forms. M. Mason.
- at lovers' perjuries,
They say, Jove laughs.] This, although originally from Ovid, may have been caught by our poet from Greene's Metamorphosis : “What! Eriphila, Jove laughs at the perjurie of lovers."
Malone. 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 amillia, 1593 : “Is it the fashion in Padua to be so strange with your friends ? "
I should have been more strange, I must confess,
Rom. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear,
Rom. What shall I swear by ?
Do not swear at all * ;
If my heart's dear loveJul. Well, do not swear y: although Ijoy in thee, I have no joy of this contract 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"!
* Quarto A, Rom. Now by- Jul. Nay doe not swear at all. + Quarto A, glorious. I Quarto ., true heart's love. § Quarto A, swear not at all.
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 tocoying. MALONE.
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."
Holt WHITE. 3 Ere one can say—It lightens.) So, in The Miracles of Moses, by Drayton :