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Dove-feather'd raven !4 wolvish-ravening lamb!
There's no trust,
Blister'd be thy tongue,
4 Dove-feather'd raven! &c.] In old editions ;
Ravenous dove, feather'd raven, &c. The four following lines not in the first edition, as well as some others which I have omitted. Pope.
Ravenous dove, feather'd raven,
Wolfish-ravening lamb!] This passagé Mr. Pope has thrown out of the text, because these two noble hemistichs are inharmonious: but is there no such thing as a crutch for a labouring, halting verse ! I'll venture to restore to the poet a line that is in his own mode of thinking, and truly worthy of him. Ravenous was blunderingly coined out of raven and ravening; and if we only throw it out, we gain at once an harmonious verse, and a proper contrast of epi. thets and images :
Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-rav’ning lamb! Theobald. The quarto, 1599, and folio, read
Ravenous dove-feather'd raven, wolvish-ravening lamb. The word ravenous, which was written probably in the manu. script by mistake in the latter part of the line, for ravening, and then struck out, crept from thence to the place where it appears. It was properly rejected by Mr. Theobald. Malone.
5 A damned saint, The quarto, 1599, for damned, bas-dimme; the first folio-dimne. The reading of the text is found in the undated quarto. Malone.
6 These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old.] So, in our author's Lover's Complaint:
“Not age, but sorrow, over me hath power.” Malone. VOL. XII.
For 'tis a throne where honour may be crown'd
7 Upon his brow shame is asham'd to sit;] So, in Painter's Palace of Pleasure, Tom. II, p. 223: “ Is it possible that under such beautie and rare comelinesse, disloyaltie and treason may have their siedge and lodging?” The image of shame sitting on the brow, is not in the poem. Steevens
8 what tongue shall smooth thy name,] To smooth, in ancient language, is stroke, to caress, to fondle. So, in Perciles, Act I, sc. ij: “Scem'd not to strike, but smooth.” Steevens. 9 Back, foolish tears, &c.] So, in The Tempest:
“ I am a fool
- To weep at what I am glad of.” Steevens. « Back,” says she, “to your native source, you foolish tears! Properly you ought to flow only on melancholy occasions; but now you erroneously shed your tributary drops for an event (the death of Tybalt and the subsequent escape of my beloved Romeo) which is in fact to me a subject of joy.-Tybalt, if he could, would have slain my husband; but my husband is alive, and has slain Tybalt. This is a source of joy, not of sorrow: wherefore then do I weep?" Malone.
1 Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts.] Hath put Tybalt out of my mind, as if out of being. Johnson.
Was woe enough, if it had ended there:
Nurse. Weeping and wailing over Tybalt’s corse :
spent, When theirs are dry, for Romeo's banishment. Take up those cords :-Poor ropes, you are beguild, Both you and I; for Romeo is exil'd: He made you for a highway to my bed;
The true meaning is, I am more affected by Romeo's banishment than I should be by the death of ten thousand such relations as Tybalt. Ritson.
Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts.] That is, is worse than the loss of ten thousand Tybalts. Dr. Johnson's explanation cannot be right; for the passage itself shows that Tybalt was not out of her mind. M. Mason.
2_ sour woe delights in fellowship,] Thus the Latin hexame. ter: (I know not whence it comes)
“Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.” Steevens. So, in The Rape of Lucrece:
“ And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage,
“ As palmers' chat makes short their pilgrimage." Again, in King Lear:
'"- the mind much sufferance doth o'er-skip,
Malone. 3 Which modern lamentation &c.] This line is left out of the later editions, I suppose because the editors did not remember that Shakspeare uses modern for common, or slight: I believe it was in his time confounded in colloquial language with moderate.
Johnson. It means only trite, common. So, in As you Like it :
" Full of wise saws and modern instances." Steevens.
But I a maid, die maiden-widowed.
Nurse. Hie to your chamber: I 'll find Romeo
Jul. O find him! give this ring to my true knight, And bid him come to take his last farewel. [Exeunt.
SCENE III. Friar Laurence's Cell. Enter Friar LAURENCE and Romeo. Fri. Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man; AMiction is enamour'd of thy parts, And thou art wedded to calamity.
Rom. Father, what news? what is the prince's doom?
Rom. What less than dooms-day is the prince's doom?
Fri. A gentler judgment vanish'd from his lips,
Rom. Ha! banishment? be merciful, say--death:
Fri. Hence from Verona art thou banished:
Rom. There is no world without Verona walls,
Fri. O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness !
4. then banishment - The quarto, 1599, and the folio, read
then banished. The emendation was made by Sir Thomas Han. mer. The words are not in the quarto, 1597. Malone.
Thy fault our law calls death; but the kind prince,
Rom. 'Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here,
5 This is déar mercy,] So the quarto, 1599, and the folio. The earliest copy reads-This is mere mercy. Malone.
Mere mercy, in ancient language, signifies absolute mercy. So, in Othello:
“ The mere perdition of the Turkish fleet." Again, in King Henry VIII:
" to the mere undoing
“Of all the kingdom.” Steevens. 6 heaven is here;
Where Fuliet lives :) From this and the foregoing speech of Romeo, Dryden has borrowed in his beautiful paraphrase of Chaucer's Palamon and Arcite:
“ Heaven is not, but where Emily abides,
“ And where she's absent; all is hell besides.” Steevens. 7_ More validity, More honourable state, more courtship lives
In carrion flies, than Romeu:] Validity seems here to mean worth or dignity: and courtship the state of a courtier permitted to approach the highest presence. Johnson.
Validity is employed to signify worth or value, in the first scene of King Lear. Steevens.
By courtship, the author seems rather to have meant; the state of a lover ; that dalliance, in which he who courts or wooes a lady is sometimes indulged. This appears clearly from the subsequent lines:
“_ they may seize
“ Flies may do this.” Malone. 8 Who, even in pure and vestal modesty,] This and the next line are not in the first copy. Malone.