« AnteriorContinuar »
What said my man, when my betossed soul
[Laying Paris in the Monumení. 8 or did I dream it so?] Here the quarto 1597 not inele. gantly subjoins :
“But I will satisfy thy last request,
“For thou hast priz'd thy love above thy life.” A following addition, however, obliged our author to omit these lines, though perhaps he has not substituted better in their room.
Steevens. 9 A grave? O, no; a lantern,] A lantern may not, in this in. stance, signify an enclosure for a lighted candle, but a louvre, or what in ancient records is styled lanternium, i.e. a spacious round or octagonal turret full of windows, by means of which cathedrals, and sometimes halls, are illuminated. See the beautiful lantern at Ely Minster.
The same word, with the same sense, occurs in Churchyard's Siege of Edinbrough Castle:
“ This lofty seat and lantern of that land,
“ Like lodestarre stode, and lokte o'er eu'ry streete." Again, in Philemon Holland's translation of the 12th chapter of the 35th Book of Pliny's Natural History:“- hence came the louvers and lanternes reared over the roofes of temples" &c.
Steevens 1_ presence -- ) A presence is a publick room. Johnson.
A presence means a publick room, which is at times the presence-chamber of the sovereign. So, in The Two Noble Gentlemen, by Beaumont and Fletcher, Jacques says, his master is a duke, “ His chamber hung with nobles, like a presence.”
M. Mason. Again, in Westward for Smelts, 1620: “ – the king sent for the wounded man into the presence.” Malone.
This thought, extravagant as it is, is borrowed by Middleton his comedy of Blurt Master Constable, 1602:
“The darkest dungeon which spite can devise
“ In Paris Louyre.” Steevens. VOL. XII.
How oft when men are at the point of death,
3 0, my love! my wife!
2 — by a dead man interr'd.] Romeo being now determined to put an end to his life, considers himself as already dead. Malone.
Till I read the preceding note, I supposed Romeo meant, that he placed Paris by the side of Tybalt who was already dead, and buried in the same monument. The idea, bowever, of a man's receiving burial from a dead undertaker, is but too like some of those miserable conceits with which our author too frequently counteracts his own pathos. Steevens. 3 0 , how may I Call this a lightning ?] I think we should read:
- 0, now may 1
Call this a lightning? - Fohnson. How is certainly right and proper Romeo had, just before, been in high spirits, a symptom, which he observes, was sometimes called a lightning before death: but how, says he, (for no situation can exempt Sbakspeare's characters from the vice of punning) can I term this sad and gloomy prospect a lightning?
Ritson. The reading of the text is that of the quarto, 1599. The first copy reads: But how, &c. which shows that Dr. Johnson's emendation cannot be right. Malone.
This idea occurs frequently in the old dramatick pieces. So, in the Second Part of The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601:
“I thought it was a lightning before death,
“ Too sudden to be certain." Again, in Chapman's translation of the 15th Iliad:
" since after this he had not long to live,
“ This lightning flew before his death.” Again, in his translation of the 18th Odyssey:
'" extend their cheer
“To th' utmost lightning that still ushers death.” Steevens 4 Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty :) So, in Sidney's Arcadia,
“ Decayed roses of discolour d cheeks
And death's pale flag is not advanced there.5
5- beauty's ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips, and in thy cheeks,
And death's pale flag &c.] So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosa mond, 1594:
“And nought respecting death (the last of paines)
“ Upon his new-got spoil,” &c. In the first edition of Romeo and Fuliet, Shakspeare is less florid in his account of the lady's beauty; and only says: “
ah, dear Juliet, " How well thv beauty doth become this grave !" The speech, as it now stands, is first found in the quarto, 1599.
Steevens. 0 Ah, dear Fuliet, Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous ; &c.] So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamoni, 1594:
" Ah, now, methinks, I see death dallying seeks
“ To entertain itselfe in love's sweete place." Malone. That unsubstantial death is amorous; &c.) Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 463, speaking of the power of beauty, tells us:-"But of all the tales in this kinde, that is most memorable of Death himselfe, when he should have stroken a sweet young virgin with his dart, hee fell in love with the object." —Burton refers to Angerianus; but I have met with the same story in some other ancient book of which I have forgot the title. Steevens.
7- my everlasting rest;] See a note on scene 5th of the preceding Act, p. 354, n. 3. So, in The Spanish Gipsie, by Middleton and Rowley, 1653:
“ me could I set up my rest
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
RENCE, with a Lantern, Crow, and Spade.
. « That he were lost, or taken prisoner,
“I could bold truce with sorrow." To set up one's rest, is to be determined to any certain purpose, to rest in perfect confidence and resolution, to make up one's mind. Again, in the same play:
“ Set up thy rest; her marriest thou, or none.” Steevens. 8 Eyes, look your last! Arms, take your last embrace ! and lips, O you The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless burgain to engrossing death!] So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1594:
“ Pitiful mouth, said be, that living gavest
“ Entomb'd in your sweet circles, sleep for ever!" I think there can be little doubt, from the foregoing lines and the other passages already quoted from this poem, that our author had read it recently before he wrote the last Act of the present tragedy.
A dateless bargain to engrossing death.'] Engrossing seems to be used here in its clerical sense. Malone.
9 Come bitter conduct,] Marston also in his Satires, 1599, uses conduct for conductor:
“Be thou my conduct and my genius." So, in a former scene in this play:
“And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now.” Malone. 1- how oft to-night
Have my old feet stumbled at graves?] This accident was reckoned ominous. So, in King Henry VI, P. III:
Who is it that consorts, so late, the dead ?2
Bal. Here's one, a friend, and one that knows you well.
Fri. Bliss be upon you! Tell me, good my friend,
Bal. It doth so, holy sir; and there's my master,
Who is it?
Full half an hour.
I dare not, sir:
Fri. Stay then, I 'll go alone :-Fear comes upon me; O, much I fear some ill unlucky thing.
Bal. As I did sleep under this yew-tree here, I dreamt my master and another fought, 3
« For many men that stumble at the threshold,
“ Are well foretold, that danger lurks within." Again, in King Richard III, Hastings, going to execution, says: “ Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble."
Steevens. 2 Who is it &c.] This very appropriate question I have restored from the quarto 1597.
To consort, is to keep company with. So, in Chapman's version of the 23d Iliad:
" 'Tis the last of all care I shall take,
“While I consort the careful.” Steevens. 3* I dreamt my master and another fought,] This is one of the touches of nature that would have escaped the hand of any pain. ter less attentive to it than Shakspeare. What happens to a person while he is under the manifest influence of fear, will seem to him, when he is recovered from it, like a dream. Homer, Book 8th, represents Rhesus dying fast asleep, and as it were behold. ing his enemy in a dream plunging a sword into his bosom. Eustathius and Dacier both applaud this image as very natural; for a man in such a condition, says Mr. Pope, awakes no further than to see confusedly what environs him, and to think it not a reality, but a vision.
Let me add, that this passage appears to have been imitated By Quintus Calaber, XIII, 125: "s Tóthor opewa opówYTES óripoorn." Steesens.