« AnteriorContinuar »
'A was a merry man ;-took up the child :
La. Cap. Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy peace.
Nurse. Yes, madam ; Yet I cannot choose but laugh,3 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 par’lous 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.
Jul. And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.
Nurse. Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace! Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd: An I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish.
La. Cap. Marry, that marry is the very theme I came to talk of:-Tell me, daughter Juliet, How stands your disposition to be married?
Jul. It is an honouro that I dream not of.
2 — it stinted,]i. e. it stopped, it forebore from weeping. So, 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.” Steevens. 3 Nurse. Yes, madam ; Yet I cannot choose &c.] This speech and tautology is not in the first edition. Pope.
4 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 from the Nurse that applause which she immediately bestows. The word honour was likely to strike the old ignorant woman, as a very elegant and discreet word for the occasion. Steevens.
Honour was changed to hour in the quarto, 1599. Malone..
Nurse. An honour! were not I thine only nurse,
Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man,
La. Cap. Verona's summer hath not such a flower. . Nurse.7 Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower.
La. Cap. What say you ? 8 can you love the gentleman? This night you shall behold him at our feast: Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face, And find delight writ there with beauty's pen; Examine every married lineament,1
5 Well, &c.] Instead of this speech, the quarto, 1597, has only one line:
“ Well, girl, the noble County Paris seeks thee for his
wife.” Steevens. 6 a man of wax.] So, in Wily Beguiled: " Why, he's a man as one should picture him in wax."
Steevens. a man of wax. ] Well made, as if he had been modelled in wax, as Mr. Steevens by a happy quotation has explained it. “ When you, Lydia, praise the waxen arms of Telephus,” (says Horace) (Waxen, weil shaped, fine turned:]
“With passion swells my fervid breast,
“With passion hard to be supprest." Dr. Bentley changes cerea into lactea, little understanding that the praise was given to the shape, not to the colour. S. W.
7 Nurse.) After this speech of the Nurse, Lady Capulet in the old quarto says only:
“Well, Juliet, low like you of Paris' love?”. She answers, “I'll look to like," &c. and so concludes the scene, without the intervention of that stuff to be found in the later quartos and the folio. Steevens.
8 La. Cap. What say you ? &c.] This ridiculous speech is en. tirely added since the first edition. Pope.
9 Real o'er the volume &c.] The same thought occurs in Pericles Prince of Tyre:
© Her face the book of praises, where is read
And see how one another lends content;
1 Examine every married lineament, &c.] Thus the quarto 1599. The quarto 1609-several lineament. By the former of these phrases Shakspeare means-Examine how nicely one feature de. pends upon another, or accords with another, in order to produce that harmony of the whole face which seems to be implied in the word-content. In Troilus and Cressida, he speaks of “the married calm of states ;” and in his 8th Sonnet has the same allusion.
Steevens. 2- the margin of his eyes.] The comments on ancient books were always printed in the margin. So, Horatio in Hamlet says: "- I knew you must be edified by the margent,” &c. Steevens. 3 This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover:) This ridiculous speech is full of abstruse quibbles. The unbound lover, is a quibble on the binding of a book, and the binding in marriage; and the word oover is a quibble on the law phrase for a married woman, who is styled a femme couverte in law French. M. Mason.
4 The fish lives in the sea ; &c.i.e. is not yet caught. Fish-skin covers to books anciently were not uncommon. Such is Dr. Farmer's explanation of this passage; and it may receive some support from what Ænobarbus says in Antony and Cleopatra: “ The tears live in an onion, that should water this sorrow. Steevens.
The purport of the remainder of this speech, is to show the advantage of having a handsome person to cover a virtuous mind. It is evident therefore, that instead of “ the fish lives in the sea,” we should read, “ the fish lives in the shell." For the sea cannot be said to be a beautiful cover to a fish, though a shell may. I believe, that by the golden story, is meant no particular legend, but any valuable writing. M. Mason.
5 That in gold clasps locks in the golden story ;) The golden story is perhaps the golden legend, a book in the dark ages of popery much read, and doubtless often exquisitely embellished, but of which Canus, one of the popish doctors, proclaims the author to have been homo ferrei oris, plumbei cerdis. Johnson.
The poet may mean nothing more than to say, that those books are most esteemed by the world, where valuable contents are em. bellished by as valuable binding. Steevens.
So shall you share all that he doth possess,
Nurse. No less? nay, bigger; women grow by men.
Jul. I 'll look to like, if looking liking move:6
Enter a Servant. Serv. Madam,8 the guests are come, supper served up, you called, my young lady asked for, the nurse cursed in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.
La. Cap. We follow thee.-Juliet, the county stays. Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.
[Exeunt. SCENE IV.
A Street. Enter ROMEO, MERCUTI0,9 BENVOLIO, with five or six
: Maskers, Torch-Bearers, and Others. Rom. What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse? Or shall we en without apology?
6 I'll look to like, if looking liking move:] Such another jingle of words occur in the second Book of Sidney's Arcadia: " and seeing to like, and liking to love, and loving straight” &c.
Steevens 7- endart mine eye,] The quarto, 1597, reads "engage mine eye.” Steevens.
8 Madam, &c.] To this speech there have been likewise additions since the elder quarto, but they are not of sufficient consequence to be quoted. Steevens.
9 Mercutio,] Shakspeare appears to have formed this character on the following slight hint in the original story: “ — another gentleman called Mercutio, which was a courtlike gentleman, very wel beloved of all men, and by reason of his pleasant and curteous behaviour was in al companies wel intertained.” Pain. ter's Palace of Pleasure, Tom. II, p. 221. Steevens.
Mercutio is thus described in the poem which Shakspeare fol. lowed:
* At thone side of her chair her lover Romeo,
Ben. The date is out of such prolixity ::
“ Even as a lion would among the lambs be bold,
them hold.” Perhaps it was this last circumstance which induced our poet to represent Mercutio, as little sensible to the passion of love, and si a jester at wounds which he never felt." See Othello, Act III: sc. iy:
" This hand is moist, my lady ;-
“ Hot, hot, and moist." Malone. 1 The date is out of such prolixity:] i.e. Masks are now out of fashion. That Shakspeare was an enemy to these fooleries, appears from his writing none; and that his plavs discredited such entertainments, is more than probable. Warburton.
The diversion going forward at present is not a masque, but a masquerade. In Henry VIII, where the king introduces himself to the entertainment given by Wolsey, he appears, like Romeo and his companions, in a mask, and sends a messenger before, to make an apology for his intrusion. This was a custom observed by those who came uninvited, with a desire to conceal themselves for the sake of intrigue, or to enjoy the greater freedom of conversation. Their entry on these occasions was always prefaced by some speech in praise of the beauty of the ladies, or the generosity of the entertainer; and to the prolixity of such intro. ductions, I believe Romeo is made to allude.
So, in Histriomastix, 1610, a man expresses his wonder that the maskers enter without any compliment:
“ What come they in so blunt, without device?" In the accounts of many entertainments given in reigns antece. dent to that of Elizabeth, I find this custom preserved. Of tho same kind of masquerading, see a specimen in Timon, where Cupid precedes a troop of ladies with a speech. Steevens.
Shakspeare has written a masque which the reader will find introduced in the 4th Act of The Tempest. It would have been difficult for the reverend annotator to bave proved they were discontinued during any period of Shakspeare's life. Percy.
2 Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,] The Tartarian bows, as well as most of those used by the Asiatick nations, resemble in their form the old Roman or Cupid's bow, such as we see on medals and bas reliefs. Shakspeare used the epithet to distin. guish it from the English bow, whose shape is the segment of a circle. Douce.