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Rom. Indeed, I should have asked you that before.
SERV. Now I'll tell you without asking: My master is the great rich Capulet ; and if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine?. Rest you merry.
[Exit. Ben. At this same ancient feast of Capulet's Sups the fair Rosaline, whom thou so lov'st; With all the admired beauties of Verona: Go thither; and, with unattainted eye, Compare her face with some that I shall show, And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
Rom. When the devout religion of mine eye Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires ! And these, -who, often drown'd, could never die,
Transparent hereticks, be burnt for liars ! One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun Ne'er saw her match, since first the world begun.
Ben. Tut ! you saw her fair, none else being by, Herself pois'd with herself in either eye: But in those crystal scales *, let there be weigh'd Your lady's love against some other maido That I will show you, shining at this feast,
7 — CRUSH a cup of wine.] This cant expression seems to have been once common among low people. I have met with it often in the old plays. So, in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599 :
“ Fill the pot, hostess, &c. and we'll crush it.” Again, in Hoffman's Tragedy, 1631 :
“ — we'll crush a cup of thine own country wine." Again, in The Pinder of Wakefield, 1599, the Cobler says :
“ Come, George, we'll crush a pot before we part.” We still say, in cant language-to crack a bottle. STEEVENS.
8 — in those crystal scales,] The old copies have—that crystal, &c. The emendation was made by Mr. Rowe. I am not sure that it is necessary. The poet might have used scales for the entire machine. Malone. 9- let there be weigh'd
Your Lady's love against some other maid -] Your lady's love is the love you bear to your lady, which in our language is commonly used for the lady herself. Heath.
And she shall scant show well, that now shows *
best. Rom. I'll go along, no such sight to be shown, But to rejoice in splendour of mine own. [Exeunt.
Enter Lady Capulet and Nurse'.
forth to me. NURSE. Now, by my maiden-head,-at twelve
year old, I bade her come.—What, lamb! what, lady-bird ! God forbid !-where's this girl ?-what, Juliet!
Madam, I am here.
* Quartos A, B, seems. "Enter Lady Capulet and Nurse.] In all the old copies the greater part of this scene was printed as prose. Mr. Capell was the first who exhibited it as verse, and has been followed by all the subsequent editors, but perhaps erroneously. The reader shall judge by seeing a portion of one of the Nurse's speeches as it originally appeared. “Even or odde, of alle dayes in the yeare come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteene. Susan and she, God rest all Christian soules, were of an age. Well, Susan is with God; she was too good for me.--Nay, I do beare a braine, but as I said, when it did taste the worm-wood on the nipple of my dugge, and felt it bitter, pretty foole to see it teachie, and fall out with the dugge." BOSWELL.
We must talk in secret.-Nurse, come back again ;
Nurse. 'Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.
I'll lay fourteen of my teeth, And yet, to my teen? be it spoken, I have but
A fortnight, and odd days.
2 – to my teen-) To my sorrow. Johnson. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. i. c. ix :
“ for dread and doleful teen." This old word is introduced by Shakspeare for the sake of the jingle between teen, and four, and fourteen. STEEVENS.
3 "Tis since the earthquake now eleven years ;] But how comes the Nurse to talk of an earthquake upon this occasion ? There is no such circumstance, I believe, mentioned in any of the novels from which Shakspeare may be supposed to have drawn his story; and therefore it seems probable, that he had in view the earthquake, which had really been felt in many parts of England, in his own time, viz. on the 6th of April, 1580. (See Stowe's Chronicle, and Gabriel Harvey's Letter in the Preface to Spenser's Works, edit. 1679.] If so, one may be permitted to conjecture, that Romeo and Juliet, or this part of it at least, was written in 1591 ; after the 6th of April, when the eleven years since the earihquake were completed; and not later than the middle of July, a fortnight and odd days before Lammas-lide.
Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall,
(ID quoth he:(1)
* Quarto A, up and down. . f Quarto A, Juliet. 3 Nay, I do BEAR A BRAIN:] That is, I have a perfect remembrance or recollection. So, in The Country Captain, by the Duke of Newcastle, 1649, p. 51 : “ When these wordes of command are rotten, wee will sow some other military seedes; you beare a braine and memory.” Reed. So, in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611 :
“ Dash, we must bear some brain." Again, in Marston's Dutch Courtesan, 1604:
“ nay an I bear not a brain —.". Again, in Heywood's Golden Age, 1611: “ As I can bear a pack, so I can bear a brain.”
STEEVENS. 4 - could stand alone;] The 4to. 1597, reads : “ could stand high lone,” i. e. quite alone, completely alone. So, in another of our author's plays, high fantastical means entirely fantastical.
STEEVENS. s- it stinted,] i. e. it stopped, it forbore from weeping. So,
(11) LA. CAP. Enough of this; I pray thee, hold
thy peace. Nurse. Yes, madam ; Yet I cannot choose but
laugh°, To think it should leave crying, and say-Ay: And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow A bump as big as a young cockrel's stone; A parlous knock; and it cried bitterly. Yea, quoth my husband, fallst upon thy face? Thou wilt fall backward, when thou com’st to age; Wilt thou not, Jule? it stinted, and said-Ay.(1)
Jul. And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.
his grace !
LA. CAP. Marry, that marry is the very theme I came to talk of * :-Tell me, daughter Juliet, How stands your disposition up to be married ?
Jul. It is an honour' that I dream not of.
* Quarto A, And that same marriage is the theme I mean to
talk of. + Quarto B, How stand you affected. Sir Thomas North, in his translation of Plutarch, speaking of the wound which Antony received, says : "for the blood stinted a little when he was laid.” Again, in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson :
“ Stint thy babbling tongue." Again, in What You Will, by Marston, 1607:
“ Pish! for shame, stint thy idle chat.” Again, in The Misfortunes of King Arthur, an ancient drama, 1587 :
“ - Fame's but a blast that sounds a while,
“ And quickly stints, and then is quite forgot.” Spenser uses this word frequently in his Fairy Queen.
Steevens. 6 Nurse. Yes, madam; Yet I cannot choose, &c.] This speech and tautology is not in the first edition. Pope. | 7 It is an honouR-] The first quarto reads honour ; the folio, hour. I have chosen the reading of the quarto.
The word hour seems to have nothing in it that could draw