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He heareth not, (II) he stirreth not?, he moveth not;
general sense of the passage, and not perceiving the allusion, would naturally alter to true ; yet the former seems the more humorous expression, and, on account of its quaintness, more likely to have been used by Mercutio. PERCY.
So trim is the reading of the oldest copy, and this ingenious conjecture is confirmed by it. In Decker's Satiromastix, is a reference to the same archer :
“ He shoots his bolt but seldom ; but when Adam lets go, he hits :"
• He shoots at thee too, Adam Bell; and his arrows stick here."
Prim was an epithet formerly in common use. It occurs often in Churchyard's Siege of Leeth, 1575 :
“ Made sallies forth, as tryme men might do.” Again, ibid. : “And showed themselves trimme souldiours as I ween.”
Steevens. The ballad here alluded to, is King Cophetua and the BeggarMaid, or, as it is called in some old copies, The Song of a Beggar and a King. The following stanza Shakspeare had particularly in view :
“ The blinded boy that shoots so trim,
“ From heaven down did hie,
“ In place where he did lie." Malone. ? — he heareth not, stirreth not,] Old copies, unmetrically, he stirreth not. STEEVENS.
Is the metre improved by Mr. Steevens's alteration ? Boswell.
3 The ape is dead,] This phrase appears to have been frequently applied to young men, in our author's time, without any reference to the mimickry of that animal. It was an expression of tenderness, like poor fool. Nashe, in one of his pamphlets, mentions his having read Lyly's Euphues, when he was a little ape at Cambridge. MALONE.
4 By her High forehead,] A high forehead was in Shakspeare's time thought eminently beautiful. See Tempest, Act. IV. ad finem, and Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. Sc. III. Malone.
That in thy likeness thou appear to us.
BEN. An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.
Mer. This cannot anger him: 'twould anger him To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle Of some strange nature, letting it there stand Till she had laid it, and conjur'd it down; That were some spite: my invocation Is fair and honest, and, in his mistress' name, I conjure only but to raise up him. Bev. Come, he hath hid himself among those
trees, To be consorted with the humorous night: Blind is his love, and best befits the dark.
Mer. If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark. Now will he sit under a medlar tree, And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit, As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone:
6 — the HUMOROUS night :) I suppose Shakspeare means humid, the moist dewy night. Chapinan uses the word in that sense in his translation of Homer, b. ii. edit. 1598 : “ The other gods and knights at arms slept all the humorous
night.” Again, in the 21st book : “Whence all floods, all the sea, all founts, wells, all deeps
humorous, “ Fetch their beginnings ." Again, in Drayton's Polyolbion, song 3:
“ Such matter as she takes from the gross humorous earth." Again, song 13th:
66 which late the humorous night
“ Bespangled had with pearl —.' Again, in his Barons' Wars, canto i. :
“ The humorous fogs deprive us of his light.” Steevens. In Measure for Measure we have “the vaporous night approaches ; ” which shows that Mr. Steevens has rightly interpreted the word in the text. Malone.
7 As maids, &c.] After this line, in the old copies, I find two other verses, containing such ribaldry, that I cannot venture to insert them in the text, though I exhibit them here as a proof that the editors of our poet have sometimes known how to blot :
O Romeo that she were, ah that she were
“ O Romeo that she were, ah that she were
“ An open et cætera, thou a poprin pear!”. This pear is mention in The Wise Woman of Hogsdon, 1638: “ What needed I to have grafted in the stock of such a chokepear, and such a goodly poprin as this to escape me?" Again, in A New Wonder, a Woman Never Vexed, 1632 :
“ — I requested him to pull me
“ He'd have mistook, and given me a popperin." In The Atheist's Tragedy, by Cyril Turner, 1611, there is much conceit about this pear. I am unable to explain it with certainty, nor does it appear indeed to deserve explanation.
Thus much may safely be said; viz. that our pear might have been of French extraction, as Poperin was the name of a parish in the Marches of Calais. So, in Chaucer's Rime of Sire Thopas, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. 1775, ver. 13,650 :
“ In Flandres, al beyonde the see,
“At Popering in the place.” In the edition of Messieurs Boydell I have also omitted these offensive lines. Dr. Johnson has somewhere observed, that there are higher laws than those of criticism. STEEVENS.
These two lines, which are found in the quartos of 1597, 1599, and in the folio, were rejected by Mr. Pope, who in like manner has rejected whole scenes of our author; but what is more strange, his example has, in this instance, been followed by the succeeding editors.
However improper any lines may be for recitation on the stage, an editor, in my apprehension, has no right to omit any passage that is found in all the authentick copies of his author's works. They appear not only in the editions already mentioned, but also in that copy which has no date, and in the edition of 1637.
I have adhered to the original copy. The two subsequent quartos and the folio read, with a slight variation
“ An open-or thou a poperin pear.” The unseemly name of the apple here alluded to, is well known.
Poperingue is a town in French Flanders, two leagues distant from Ypres. From hence the Poperin pear was brought into England. What were the peculiar qualities of a Poperin pear, I am unable to ascertain, The word was chosen, I believe, merely for the sake of a quibble, which it is not necessary to explain.
Romeo, good night;—I'll to my truckle-bed * ;
Go, then ; for 'tis in vain
Enter Romeo. Rom. Hejests at scars, that never felt a wound.
[JULIET appears above, at a window. But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks! It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief,
* Quarto A, trundle-bed.
Probably for the same reason the Popering tree was preferred to any other by the author of the mock poem of Hero and Leander, small 8vo. 1653 :
“ She thought it strange to see a man
“ And listen'd for some novelty.'
8 He jests at scars,] That is, Mercutio jests, whom he overheard. Johnson. So, in Sidney's Arcadia, book “None can speake of a wound with skill, if he have not a
wound felt." STEVENS. He (that person) jests, is merely an allusion to his having conceived himself so armed with the love of Rosalind, that no other beauty could make any impression on him. This is clear from the conversation he has with Mercutio, just before they go to Capulet's. Ritson.
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
She speaks :-
9 Be not her maid,] Be not a votary to the moon, to Diana.
Johnson. So, in Troilus and Cressida:
. By all Diana's waiting-women yonder-," Steevens. " It is my lady, &c;] This line and half I have replaced [from the quarto 1599]. Johnson.
2 O, that I were a glove upon that hand,] This passage appears to have been ridiculed by Shirley in The School of Compliments, a comedy, 1637:
“ Oh that I were a flea upon that lip," &c. STEEVENS. 3 — Touch that cheek!] The quarto 1597 reads-kiss that cheek. Steevens. * 0, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
As glorious to this night,] Though all the printed copies