Page images

That the life-weary taker


fall dead;
And that the trunk may be discharg'd of breath,
As violently as hasty powder fir'd
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.

Ap. Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua's law Is death to any he that utters them.

Rom. Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
And fear'lt to die? famine is in thy cheeks ;
Need and oppression stare within thine eyes,
Contempt and beggary hang upon thy back;
The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law;
The world affords no law to make thee rich,
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.

Ap. My poverty, but not my will, confents,
Rom. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.

Ap. Put this in any liquid thing you will,
And drink it off, and if you had the strength
Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight.

Rom. There is thy gold; worfe poison to mens' fouls,
Doing more murders in this loathsome world,
Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell :
I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none-
I arewel, buy food, and get thee into flesh.

SCENE IV. Romeo and Paris.

Par. Stop thy unhallowed toil, vile Mountague :
Can vengeance be pursued farther than death?
Condemnd villain! I do apprehend thee,
Obey and go with me, for thou must die.

Romi I must indeed, and therefore came I hither.
-Good gentle youth, teinpt not a desp'rate man.
Fly hence and leave me think

upon those gone; (13)


(13) Think upon, &c.] Meaning Mercurio and Tybalt. This Thort scene between Romeo and Paris, I have always thought extremely affecting. Nothing can raise the character of the former, more than his unwillingness to fight, notwithstanding the highest provocation ; and when at last he is obliged to kill

Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth.
Pull not another fin upon my head,
By urging me to fury-Oh, be gone!
By heav'n I love thee better than myself;
For I come hither arm'd against myfelf.

Par. I do defy thy commiseration,
And apprehend thee for a felon here.
Rom. Wilt thou provoke ine? then have at thee, boy.

[They fight. Paris fails. Par. Oh, I am flain : if thou be merciful Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.

Rom. In faith I will: let me peruse this face.
Mercutio's kinsman! nolle county

What said my man, when my betosled soul
Did not attend him as we rode? - I think
He told me Paris should have married Juliet,
Said he not fo? Or did I dream it fo?
Or I am mad, hearing him talk of Juliet,
To think it was fo? Oh, give me thy hand,
One writ with me in four misfortune's book.

Romeo's last Speech over Juliet in the Vault.

(14) O, my love, my wife ! Death that has suck'd the honey of thy breath,

Hath his adversary in his own defence, his tenderness on discovery that he is his rival is increased, and in the most pathetic man. ner he takes the dying Paris by the hand.

-Give me thy hand, One writ with me in four misfortune's book: Some passages in this scene, are not unlike Æncas's behaviour to Laujus, who, in defence of his father, provokes his fate from the hand of that hero.

Quo moriture ruis, majoraque viribus ardes?
At vero ut vultum vidit morientis, et ora,
Ora modis Anchiliades pallentia miris,
Ingemuit miserans graviter, dextramque tetendit.

Anonym. (14) O my, &c.] I have given the Reader this last speech of - Romco, rather to let him into the plot, and convince him of the


N 3

Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty :
Thou art not conquer'd : beauty's ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips, and in thy cheeks,
And death's pale flag is not advanced there.
Tybalt, ly'st thou there in thy bloody sheet?
Oh, what more favour can I do to thee,
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
To funder his, that was thy enemy ?
Forgive me, cousin.--Ah dear Fuliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour ?
For fear of that, I still will stay with thee;
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again : here, here will I remain,
With worms that are thy chambermaids : oh here
Will I set up my everlasting reft ;
And shake the yoke of inauipicious stars
From this world-weary'd flesh. Eyes, look your

Arms, take your last embrace ! and lips, oh you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engroffing death!
Come, bitter conduct ! coine, unfav'ry guide!
Thou deip'rate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks my sea-fick, weary, bark:
Here's to my love, oh, true apothecary!

[Drinks the poifon. * Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kifs I die.


merit of the alterations made in it, than for any fingular reauty of its own; Romeo's surviving till Fuliit awakens, is certamig productive of great beauties, particularly in the acting. Anti, indeed, this play of our author's has met with better success, than any other which has been attempted to be altered : wboever reads Otway's Caius Marius will soon be convinc'd of this; and it is to be with’d, none would prefume to build upon Shakce Spear's foundation, but such as are equal masters with Orway.


General Observation.

[ocr errors]

THIS play (says Johnson) is one of the most pleasing of out author's performances. The scenes are busy and various, the incidents numerous and important, the catastrophe irresistibly affecting, and the process of the action carried on with such probability, at least with such congruity to popular opinions, as tragedy requires.

Here is one of the few attempts of Shakespear to exhibit the conversation of gentlemen, to represent the airy sprightliness of juvenile elegance. Mr. Dryden mentions a tradition, which might easily reach his time, of a declaration made by Shakespear, that he was obliged to kill Mercutio in the third qui, les he bouid have been killed by him. Yet he thinks him no such formidable person, but that be might have lived through the play, and died in his bed, without danger to a poet. Dạyden well knew, had he been in quest of truth, that, in a pointed sentence, more regard is commonly had to the words than the thought, and that it is very feldoni to be rigorously understood. Mercutio's wit, gaiety, and coue rage, will always procure him friends that wish him a longer life ; but his death is not precipitated, he has lived out the time allotted him in the construction of the play ; nor do I doubt the ability of Shakrípiar to have continued his existence, thougla feme of his fallies are perhaps one of the reach of Dryn; whose çenius was not very fertile of merriment, nor ductile to humour, but acute, argumentative, compuehensive, and sublime.

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


HE painting is almost the natural man :

For fince dishonour traffics with man's nature, He is but outside : pencil'd figures are Ev'n such as they give out.

SCENE V. The Pleasure of doing Good.

Oh, you gods (think I), what need we have any friends, if we should never have need of 'em ? they would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in cases, that keep their founds to themselves. Why, I have often wish'd myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you: we are born to do benefits. And what better or properer can we call our own, than the riches of our friends ? O, what a precious comfort 'tis to have so many, like brothers, commanding one another's fortunes ?

« PreviousContinue »