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Ben. In love?
Ben. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will ! Where shall we dine ?-0 me !—What fray was
here? Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here's much to do with hate, but more with love :Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate ! O any thing, of nothing first create !
2 — to his will !] Sir T, Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, read—to his ill. The present reading has some obscurity; the meaning may be, that love finds out means to pursue his desire. That the blind should find paths to ill is no great wonder.
It is not unusual for those who are blinded by love to overlook every difficulty that opposes their pursuit. Nichols.
What Romeo seems to lament is, that love, though blind, should discover pathways to his will, and yet cannot avail himself of them; should perceive the road which he is forbidden to take. The quarto, 1597, reads :
* Should, without laws, give path-ways to our will !" i. e. being lawless itself, prescribe laws to others. Steevens.
This passage seems to have been misapprehended. Benvolio has lamented that the god of love, who appears so gentle, should be a tyrant. It is no less to be lamented, adds Romeo, that the blind god should yet be able to direct his arrows at those whom he wishes to hit, that he should wound whomever he wills, or desires to wound. MALONE.
3 Why then, O brawling love ! &c.] Of these lines neither the sense nor occasion is very evident. He is not yet in love with an enemy; and to love one and hate another is no such uncommon state, as can deserve all this toil of antithesis.
O heavy lightness ! serious vanity!
No, coz, I rather weep.
* Folio, and quartos B, C, well-seeing; quarto A, best-seeming.
Had Dr. Johnson attended to the letter of invitation in the next scene, he would have found that Rosaline was niece to Capulet.
ANONYMOUS. Every sonnetteer characterises Love by contrarieties. Watson begins one of his canzonets :
“ Love is a sowre delight, a sugred griefe,
“ A living death, an ever-dying life," &c. Turberville makes Reason harangue against it in the same manner:
“A fierie frost, a flame that frozen is with ise! “A heavie burden light to beare! A vertue fraughte with
“ vice!" &c.
“ Loue it is an hateful pees,
“ Rest that trauaileth night and daie," &c. This kind of antithesis was very much the taste of the Provençal and Italian poets ; perhaps it might be hinted by the ode of Sappho preserved by Longinus. Petrarch is full of it :
“ Pace non trovo, e non ho da far guerra;
Sonnet 105." Sir Thomas Wyat gives a translation of this sonnet, without any notice of the original, under the title of Description of the Contrarious Passions in a Louer, amongst the Songes and Sonnettes, by the Earle of Surrey, and others, 1574. FARMER.
At thy good heart's oppression. Rom. Why, such is love's transgression *.Griefs of my own lie heavy in my breast; Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest With more of thine : this love, that thou hast
shown, Doth add more grief to too much of mine own. Love is a smoke rais'd * with the fume of sighs; Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes'; Being vex'd', a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears of: What is it else ? a madness most discreet, A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. Farewell, my coz.
Soft, I will go along; An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
Rom. Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he's some other where.
* Folio, made. t Quarto A, a sea raging with a lover's tears.
4 Why, such is love's transgression.] Such is the consequence of unskilful and mistaken kindness. Johnson.
s Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes ;] The author may mean being purg'd of smoke, but it is perhaps a meaning never given to the word in any other place. I would rather read, Being urg'd, a fire sparkling — Being excited and inforced. To urge the fire is the technical term. Johnson.
Dr. Akenside in his Hymn to Cheerfulness, has the same expression :
“ Haste, light the tapers, urge the fire,
“ And bid the joyless day retire.” Reed. Again, in Chapman's version of the 21st Iliad :
“ And as a caldron, under put with store of fire
“ Bavins of sere wood urging it,” &c. STEEVENS. 6 Being vex'd, &c.] As this line stands single, it is likely that the foregoing or following line that rhymed to it is lost.
JOHNSON. It does not seem necessary to suppose any line lost. In the former speech about love's contrarieties, there are several lines which have no other to rhyme with them; as also in the following, about Rosaline's chastity. Steevens.
Ben. Tell me in sadness?, whom she is * you love.
Groan ? why, no; But sadly tell me, who.
Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will:Ah, word ill urg'd to one that is so ill !In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
Ben. I aim'd so nearf, when I suppos'd you lov'd. Rom. A right good marks-man!—And she's fair
I love. Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit. Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss: she'll not be
hit With Cupid's arrow, she hath Dian's wit ; And, in strong proof of chastity well arm’d, From love's weak childish bow she lives unharm’d*. She will not stay the siege of loving terms?, (ID) Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes, (ID) Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold: O, she is rich in beauty ; only poor, That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store s'.
* Folio, that is.
† Quarto A, right. Folio, uncharmed. § Quarto A, exit. ? Tell me in sadness,] That is, tell me gravely, tell me in seriousness. Johnson.
8 And, in strong proof, &c.] As this play was written in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, I cannot help regarding these speeches of Romeo as an oblique compliment to her majesty, who was not liable to be displeased at hearing her chastity praised after she was suspected to have lost it, or her beauty commended in the 67th year of her age, though she never possessed any when she was young. Her declaration that she would continue unmarried, increases the probability of the present supposition. Steevens.
“ – in strong proof —" In chastity of proof, as we say in armour of proof. Johnson.
9 She will not stay the siege of Loving terms] So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
“ Remove your siege from my unyielding heart;
“ To love's alarm it will not ope the gate." Malone. 1 - with beauty dies her store.] Mr. Theobald reads---" With her dics beauty's store ;” and is followed by the two succeeding
-(II) Ben. Then she hath sworn, that she will still
live chaste ? Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge
waste?; For beauty, starv'd with her severity, Cuts beauty off from all posterity'.
editors. I have replaced the old reading, because I think it at least as plausible as the correction. She is rich, says he, in beauty, and only poor in being subject to the lot of humanity, that her store, or riches can be destroyed by death, who shall, by the same blow, put an end to beauty. JOHNSON.
Mr. Theobald's alteration may be countenanced by the following passage in Swetnam Arraign'd, a comedy, 1620:
“ Nature now shall boast no more
“ All the stock of beauty dies."
“ Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.” Again, in Massinger's Virgin-Martyr :
- with her dies
STEEVENS. Yet perhaps the present reading may be right, and Romeo means to say, in his quaint jargon, That she is poor, because she leaves no part of her store behind her, as with her all beauty will die. M. Mason.
Words are sometimes shuffled out of their places at the press; but that they should be at once transposed and corrupted, is highly improbable. I have no doubt that the old copies are right. She is rich in beauty; and poor in this circumstance alone, that with her, beauty will expire; her store of wealth (which the poet has already said was the fairness of her person, 7 will not be transmitted to posterity, inasmuch as she will “ lead her graces to the grave, and leave the world no copy.” MALONE.
2 She hath, and in that SPARING makes huge WASTE;] So, in our author's first Sonnet: “ And, tender churl, mak’st waste in niggarding."
MALONE. 3 For beauty, starv'd with her severity,
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.] So, in our author's third Sonnet :
“ Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
“ Of his self-love, to stop posterity?” Again, in his Venus and Adonis :