« PreviousContinue »
Enter Watch, with the Page of PARIS. Page. This is the place; there, where the torch doth burn.
[church-yard : 1 Watch. The ground is bloody; Search about the Go, some of you, whoe'er you find, attach.
[Exeunt some. Pitiful sight! here lies the county slain ;And Juliet bleeding; warın, and newly dead, Who here bath lain these two days buried.Go, tell the prince,-run to the Capulets, Raise up the Montagaes,--some others search ;
[Exeunt other Watchmen. We see the ground whereon these woes do lie; But the true ground of all these piteous woes, We cannot without circumstance descry.
Enter some of the Watch, with BALTHAZAR. 2 Watch. Here's Romeo's inan, we found him in the church-yard.
[hither. 1 Watch. Hold him in safety, till the prince come Enter another Watchman, with FRIAR LAURENCE.
3 Watch. Here is a friar, that trembles, sighs, and We took this mattock and this spade from him, sweeps : As he was coming from this church-yard side. 1 Watch. A great suspicion; Stay the friar too.
Enter the PRINCE and Attendants. Prince. What misadventure is so early up, That calls our person from our morning's rest?
Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, and others. Cap. What should it be, that they so shriek abroad?
Lady C. The people in the street cry-Romeo, Some-Juliet, and some-Paris ; and all run, With open outcry, toward our monument.
Prince. What fear is this, which startles in our ears?
1 Watch. Sovereign, bere lies the county Paris slain ; And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before, Warm and new kill'd.
Prince. Search, seek, and know how this foul murder
1 Watch. Here isa friar, and slaughter'd Romeo's man;
Lady C. O me! this sight of death is as a bell,
Enter MONTAGUE and others.
Mon. Alas, my liege, my wife is dead to-night;
Prince. Look, and thou shalt see.
Mon. O thou untaught! what manners is in this, To
press before thy father to a grave?
Fri. I am the greatest, able to do least,
Prince. Then say at once what thou dost know in this.
Fri. I will be brief, for my short date of breath
Was Tybalt's doomsday, whose untimely death
Prince. We still have known thee for a holy inanWhere's Romeo's man? what can he say in this?
Bal. I brought my master news of Juliet's death; And then in post he came from Mantua,
To this same place, to this same monument.
Prince. Give me the letter, I will look on it.Where is the county's page, that rais'd the watch:Sirrah, what made your master in this place?
Page. He came with flowers to strew his lady's grave; And bid me stand aloof, and so I did : Anon, comes one with light to ope the tomb; And, by and by, my master drew on him; And then I ran away to call the watch.
Prince. This letter doth make good the friar's words,
Cap. O, brother Montague, give me thy hand :
But I can give thee more:
Cap. As rich shall Romeo by bis lady lie;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head : Go hence, to bave more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished: For never was a story of more woe, Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. [Exeunt. This play is one of the most pleasing of our anthor's performances. The scenes are busy and various, 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 atiempts of Shakspeare 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 Shakspeare, that he was obliged to kill Mercutio in the third act, lest he should have been killed by him. Yet he thinks him no such formidable person, but that he might have lived through the
play and died in his bed, without danger to the poet. Dryden well knew, had he been in quest of truth, in a pointed sentence, that more regard is commonly had to the words than the thought, and that it is very seldom to be rigorously understood. Mercutio's wit, gaiety, and
courage, 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 Shakspeare to have continued his existence, though some of his sallies are perhaps out of the reach of Dryden; whose genius was not very fertile of merriment, nor ductile to humour, but acute, argumentative, comprehensive, and sublime
The Nurse is one of the characters in which the author delighted: he has, with great subtility of distinction, drawn her at once loquacious and secret, obsequious and insolent, trusty and dishonest.
His comic scenes are happily wrought, but his pathetic strains are always polluted with some unexpected depravations. His persons, however distressed, have a conceit left them in their misery, a miserable conceit.
C. Whittingham, Printer, Chiswick.