Imagens da página

Jul. Go, ask his name :--if he be married, My grave is like to be my wedding bed.

Nurse. His name is Romeo, and a Montague;
The only son of your great enemy.

Jul. My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.

Nurse. What's this? what's this?

A rhyme I learn'd even now Of one I danc’d withal. [One calls within, JULIET. · Nurse.

Anon, anon:
Come, let's away; the strangers all are gone. [Exeunt.

Enter CHORUS. 6
Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie,

And young affection gapes to be his heir;
That fair,? which love groan’d for, and would die,

With tender Juliet match’d, is now not fair.

6- CHORUS.] This Chorus added since the first edition.

Pope. The use of this Chorus is not easily discovered; it conduces nothing to the progress of the play, but relates what is already known, or what the next scene will show; and relates it without adding the improvement of any moral sentiment. Fohnson.

7 That fair, 1 Fair, it has been already observed, was formerly used as a substantive, and was synonymous to beauty. See Vol. V, p. 69, n. 9. Malone. .

8 That fair, which love groan'd for, and would die,] The instances produced in a subsequent note, by Mr. Malone, to justify the old and corrupt reading, are not drawn from the quartos, which he judiciously commends, but from the folio, which with equal jndgment he has censured. These irregularities, therefore, standing on no surer ground than that of copies published by ignorant players, and printed by careless compositors, I utterly refuse to ad. mit their accumulated jargon as the grammar of Shakspeare, or of the age he lived in.

Fair, in the present instance, was used as a dissyllable.

Sometimes, our author, as here, uses the same word as a dis. syllable and a monosyllable, in the very same line. Thus, in The Tempest, Act I, sc. ii :

16 Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since.” Steevens. --- for which love groan'd for,? Thus the ancient copies, for which all the modern editors, adopting Mr. Roue's alteration, read-groan'd sore. This is one of the many changes that have been made in the text from not attending to ancient phraseology; for this kind of duplication was cominon in Shakype:re's time.

Now Romeo is belov'd, and loves again,

Alike bewitched by the charm of looks; But to his foe suppos'd he must complain,

And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks: Being held a foe, he may not have access

To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear; And she as much in love, her means much less

To meet her new-beloved any where : But passion lends them power, time means to meet, Temp’ring extremities with extreme sweet. [Exit.


An open Place, adjoining Capulet's Garden.

Enter Romeo.
Rom. Can I go forward, when my heart is here?
Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out.

[He climbs the Wall, and leaps down within it.

Enter Benvolio, and MERCUTIO.
Ben. Romeo! my cousin Romeo!

He is wise;
And, on my life, hath stolen him home to bed.

Ben. He ran this way, and leap'd this orchard wall:
Call, good Mercutio.

Nay, I 'll conjure too.
Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover!
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh,
Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
Cry but-Ah me! couple but love and dove ;

So, in Coriolanus : In what enormity is Marcius poor in, that you two have not in abundance?” See Coriolanus, Vol. XIII, Act II, sc. i. Again, in As you Like it, Act II, sc. vii: “ — the scene wherein we play in.Malone.

9 Cry but -- Ah me! couple but-love and dove ;] The quarto, 1597, reads pronounce; the two succeeding quartos and the first folio, provaunt ; the 2d, 3d, and fourth folios, couply; and Mr. Rowe, who printed from the last of these, formed the present reading. Provant, however, in ancient language, signifies provision. So, in “ The Court and Kitchen of Elizabeth, called Joan Cromwell,

Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
One nick-name for her purblind son and heir,
Young Adam Cupid, 1 he that shot so trim,
When king Cophetua lov’d the beggar-maid.2 —

the Wife of the late Usurper, truly described and represented," 1664, p. 14: “ - carrying some dainty provant for her own and her daughter's repast.” To provant is to provide ; and to provide is to furnish. Provant but love and dove,” may therefore mean, furnish but such hackneyed rhymes as these are, the trite effu. "sions of lovers. Steevens

pronounce but love and dove;] Thus the first quarto, 1597. Pronounce, in the quartos of 1599 and 1609, was made provaunt.

In the first folio, which appears to have been printed from the latter of these copies, the same reading is adopted. The editor of the second folio arbitrarily substituted couply, meaning certainly couple, and all the modern editors have adopted this innovation. Provaunt, as Mr. Steevens has observed, means provision; but I have never met with the verb To provant, nor has any ex. ample of it been produced. I have no doubt, therefore, that it was a corruption, and have adhered to the first quarto.

In this very line, love and dove, the reading of the original copy of 1597, was corrupted in the two subsequent quartos and the folio, to-love and day; and heir, in the next line, corrupted into her. Malone.

Mr. Malone asks for instances of the verb provant. When he will produce examples of other verbs (like reverb, &c.) peculiar to our author, I may furnish him with the instance he desires. I am content, however, to follow the second folio. Steevens.

1 Young Adam Cupid, 1 All the old copies read-Abraham Cupid. The alteration was proposed originally by Mr. Upton. See Observations, p. 243. It evidently alludes to the famous archer, Adam Bell. Reed.

2 When king Cophetua &c.] Alluding to an old ballad preserved in the first Volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of ancient English Poetry:

“ Here you may read, Cophetua,

“Though long time fancie-fed,
“ Compelled by the blinded boy

“The begger for to wed.” Steevens.
“Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim,

• When," &c. This word trim, the first editors, consulting the 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 heareth not, stirreth not, 3 he moveth not;
The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.-
I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes,
By her high forehead,5 and her scarlet lip,
By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh,
And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
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.

Ben. Come, he hath hid himself among those trees, To be consorted with the humorous night:6

" 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."

Trim 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,
“ He drew a dart and shot at him,

“In place where he did lie.” Malone. 3 - stirreth not,] Old copies, unmetrically,-he stirreth not.

Steevens. 4 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 påmphlets, mentions his having read Lyly's Euphues, when he was a little ape at Cam. bridge. Malone.

s By her high forehead,] It has already been observed that a high forehead was in Shakspeare's time thought eminently beautiful. See Vol. II, p. 116, n. 8; and Antony and Cleopatra, Vol. XIII.


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."
Romeo, good night;—I 'll to my truckle-bed;
This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep:
Come, shall we go?

6 the humorous night:1 I suppose Shakspeare means humid, the moist dewy night. Chapman 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 hu

morous night.” Again, in the 21st Book: “Whence all floods, all the sea, all founts, wells, all deeps

humorous, " Fetch their beginnings; -." Again, in his Barons' Wars, canto i:

The humorous fogs deprive us of his light.” Steedens. 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. Steevens.

Shakspeare followed the fashion of his own time, which was, when something indecent was meant to be suppressed, to print et cætera, instead of the word. See Minsheu's Dictionary, p. 112, col. 2. Our poet did not consider, that however such a practice might be admitted in a printed book, it is absurd where words are intended to be recited. When these lines were spoken, as un. doubtedly they were to our ancestors, who do not appear to have been extremely delicate, the actor must have evaded the difficulty by an abrupt sentence.

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 Eng. land 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. Pro. bably 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
“In privy walk, and then anan
“She stepp'd behind a Popering tree,

“ And listen’d for some novelty.”
Of the parish of Poperin, or Poperling, (as we called it) John
Leland the Antiquary was parson, in the time of King Henry the
Eighth. By him the Poperin pear may have been introduced into
England. Malone.

« AnteriorContinuar »