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Sam. Yes, better, sir.
Sam. Draw, if you be men.-Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.'
[They fight. Ben. Part, fools; put up your swords; you know not what you do.
[Beats down their Swords.
Enter TYBALT. Tyb. What, art thou drawn among these heartless
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
Ben. I do but keep the peace; put up thy sword, Or manage it to part these men with me.
Tyb. What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee: Have at thee, coward.
[They fight. Enter several Partizans of both Houses, who join the
Fray; then enter Citizens, with Clubs. i Cit. Clubs, bills, and partizans! strike! beat them
down! Down with the Capulets! down with the Montagues!
Enter CAPULET, in his Gown; and Lady CAPULET. Cap. What noise is this?-Give me my long sword,?
Perhaps there is no mistake. Gregory may mean Tybalt, who enters immediately after Benvolio, but on a different part of the stage. The eyes of the servant may be directed the way he sees. Tybalt coming, and in the mean time, Benvolio enters on the op. posite side. Steevens. 9 t hy swashing blocv.) Ben Jonson uses this expression in his Staple for News: “I do confess a swashing blow.” In The Three Ladies of London, 1584, Fraud says:
• I will flaunt it and brave it after the lusty swash." Again, in As you Like it:
“I'll have a martial and a swashing outside.” See Vol. V, p. 32, n. 8.
To swash seems to have meant to be a bully, to be noisily va. liant. So, Green, in his Card of Fancy, 1608: “-in spending and spoiling, in swearing and swashing." Barrett, in his Alvearie, 1580, says, that “to swash is to make a noise with swordes against tergats.” Steevens.
1 Clubs, bills, &c.] When an affray arose in the streets, clubs was the usual exclamation. See Vol. V, p. 128, n. 4, and Vol. %, p. 29, n. 6. Malone.
La. Cap. A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?
Cap. My sword, I say !--Old Montague is come, And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
Enter Montague and Lady MontagUE. Mon. Thou villain, Capulet.-Hold me not, let me go. La. Mon. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.
Enter Prince, with Attendants. · Prin. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,Will they not hear?what ho!'you men, you beasts, That quench the fire of your pernicious rage With purple fountains issuing from your veins, On pain of torture, from those bloody hands Throw your mis-temper'd weapons to the ground, And hear the sentence of your moved prince.. Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets ; And made Verona's ancient citizens Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, To wield old partizans, in hands as old, Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate : If ever you disturb our streets again, Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
2 Give me my long sword,] The long sword was the sword used in war, which was sometimes wielded with both hands. Johnson.
See Vol. III, p. 60, n. 6. Malone
This long sword is mentioned in The Coxcomb, a comedy by Beaumont and Fletcher, where the justice says:
“ Take their confessions, and my long sword;
“I cannot tell what danger we may meet with." Chapman, without authority from Homer, has equipped Neptune with this weapon:
“King Neptune, with his long sword, -." Iliad XV. It appears that it was once the fashion to wear two swords of different sizes at the same time.
So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602: “ Peter Salamander, tie up your great and your little sword.”
The little sword was the weapon commonly worn, the dress sword. Steevens. The little sword was probably nothing more than a dagger.
Malone. 3-mis-temper'd weapons —) are angry weapons. So, in King John:
“This inundation of mis-temper'd humour,” &c. Steeden.
For this time, all the rest depart away:
Tyb. Citizens, and Servants.
Ben. Here were the servants of your adversary,
La. Mon. O, where is Romeo !-saw you him to-day? Right glad I am, he was not at this fray.
Ben. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun
4 To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.] This name the poet found in the Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet, 1562. It is there said to be the castle of the Capulets. Malone.
5 That most are busied &c.) edition 1597. Instead of which it is in the other editions thus: "
by my own,
And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.
Mon. Many a morning hath he there been seen,
Ben. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
Mon. Both by myself, and many other friends :
And gladly shunn'd &c.] The ten lines following, not in edition 1597, but in the next of 1599. Pope.
7 Ben. Have you impórtund &c.] These two speeches also omitted in edition 1597, but inserted in 1599. Pope.
8 Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.] [Old copy--same.) When we come to consider, that there is some power else besides balmy air, that brings forth, and makes the tender buds spread themselves, I do not think it improbable that the poet wrote:
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. Or, according to the more obsolete spelling, sunne; which brings it nearer to the traces of the corrupted text. Theobald.
I cannot but suspect that some lines are lost, which connected this simile, more closely with the foregoing speech: these lines, if such there were, lamented the danger that Romeo will die of his melancholy, before his virtues or abilities were known to the world Johnson.
I suspect no loss of connecting lines. An expression somewhat similar occurs in Timon, Act IV, sc. ii:
“A dedicated beggar to the air.” I have, however, adopted Theobald's emendation. Mr. M. Mason observes “that there is not a single passage in our author
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
Enter ROMEO, at a distance.
Mon. I would, thou wert so happy by thy stay, To hear true shrift.--Come, madam, let 's away.
[Exeunt Mon. and Lady.
Is the day so young?
Ah me! sad hours seem long.
where so great an improvement of language is obtained, by so slight a deviation from the text.” Steevens
Dr. Johnson's conjecture is, I think unfounded; the simile relates solely to Romeo's concealing the cause of his melancholy, and is again used by Shakspeare in Twelfth Night:
" She never told her love,
« Feed on her damask cheek.” In the last Act of this play our poet has evidently imitated the Rosamond of Daniel; and in the present passage might have remembered the following lines in one of the Sonnets of the same writer, who was then extremely popular. The lines, whether re. membered by our author or not, add such support to Mr. Theo. bald's emendation, that I should have given it a place in my text, but that the other mode of phraseology was not uncommon in Shakspeare's time:
“ And whilst thou spread'st unto the rising stinne,
Daniel's Sonnets, 1594 The line quoted by Mr. Steevens does not appear to me to be adverse to this emendation. The bud could not dedicate its beauty to the sun, without at the same time dedicating it to the air.
A similar phraseology, however, to that of my text may be found in Daniel's 14th, 32, 44th, and 53d Sonnets. Malone.