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Murder'd her kinsman.-O tell me, friar, tell me,
[Drawing his Sword. Fri.
Hold thy desperate hand: Art thou a man? thy form cries out, thou art; Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote The unreasonable fury of a beast: Unseemly woman,' in a seeming man! Or ill-beseeming beast, in seeming both! Thou hast amaz'd me: by my holy order, I thought thy disposition better temper’d. Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself? And slay thy lady too that lives in thee, By doing damned hate upon thyself? Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?3 Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three do meet In thee at once; which thou at once would'st lose.
9 Unseemly woman, &c.] Thou art a beast of ill qualities, under the appearance both of a woman and a man. Johnson.
A person who seemed both man and woman, would be a monster, and of course an ill-beseeming beast. This is all the Friar meant to express.
M. Mason. 1 And slay thy lady too that lives in thee,] Thus the first copy. The quarto, 1599, and the folio, have
And slay thy lady, that in thy life lives. Malone. My copy of the first folio reads:
And slay thy lady that in thy life lies. Steevens. 2 Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?] Romeo has not here railed on his birth, &c. though in his interview with the Friar as described in the poem, he is made to do so:
“ First Nature did he blame, the author of his life,
“On fortune eke he rail'd.” Shakspeare copied the remonstrance of the Friar, without reviewing the former part of his scene. He has in other places fallen into a similar inaccuracy, by sometimes following and sometimes deserting his original.
The lines, Why railst thou, &c. to--thy own defence, are not in the first copy. They are formed on a passage in the poem:
“Why cry'st thou out on love? why dost thou blame thy fate? “ Why dost thou so cry after death? thy life why dost thou
hate?” &c. Malone.
Fy, fy! thou sham'st thy shape, thy love, thy wit;
3 Digressing from the valour of a man:] So, in the 24th Book of Homer's Odyssey, as tr: 'islate by Chapman:
my deservings shall in nought digress “ From best fame of our race's foremost merit." Steevens. 4 Like powder in a skill-less soldier's flask, &c.] To understand the force of this allusion, it should be remembered that the ancient English soldiers, using match-locks, instead of locks with flints as at present, were obliged to carry a lighted match hanging at their belts, very near to the wooden flask in which they kept their powder. The same allusion occurs in Humour's Ordinary, an old collection of English epigrams:
" When she his flask and touch-box set on fire,
“ And till this hour the burning is not out.” Steevens. 5 And thou dismember'd with thine own defence.] And thou torn to pieces with thine own weapons. Johnson.
there art thou happy too:] Thus the first quarto. In the subsequent quartos and the folio too is omitted. Malone.
It should not be concealed, that the reading of the second folio corresponds with that of the first quarto:
there art thou happy too. Steevens. The word is omitted in all the intermediate editions; a suffi. cient proof that the emendations of that folio are not always the result of ignorance or caprice. Ritson.
Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love:7
Nurse. O Lord, I could have staid here all the night,
Rom. Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide.
Nurse. Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir: Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late. [Exit Nurse.
Rom. How well my comfort is reviv'd by this!
7 Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love:] The quarto, 1599, and 1609, read:
Thou puts up thy fortune and thy love. The editor of the folio endeavoured to correct this by reading:
Thou puttest up thy fortune and thy love. The undated quarto has powts, which, with the aid of the ori. ginal copy in 1597, pointed out the true reading. There the line stands:
Thou frown'st upon thy fate, that smiles on thee. Malone. The reading in the text is confirmed by the following passage in Coriolanus, Act V, sc. i:
then “We pout upon the morning, -" Steevens. 8 Romeo is coming ] Much of this speech has likewise been ad. ded since the first edition. Steevens.
9 Go hence: Good night; &c.] These three lines are omitted in all the modern editions. Johnson. They were first omitted, with many others, by Mr. Pope.
Malone. - here stands all your state;] The whole of your fortune depends on this. Fohnson.
Either be gone before the watch be set,
Rom. But that a joy past joy calls out on me,
[Exeunt. SCENE IV.%
A Room in Capulet's House.
Par. These times of woe afford no time to woo : Madam, good night: commend me to your daughter.
La. Cap. I will, and know her mind early to-morrow; To-night she 's mew'd up3 to her heaviness.
Cap. Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender Of my child's love:* I think, she will be rul’d
2 SCENE IV.) Some few unnecessary verses are omitted in this scene according to the oldest editions. Pope.
Mr. Pope means, as appears from his edition, that he has fol. lowed the oldest copy, and omitted some unnecessary verses which are not found there, but inserted in the enlarged copy of this play. But he has expressed himself so loosely, as to have been misunderstood by Mr. Steevens. In the text these unnecessary verses, as Mr. Pope calls them, are preserved, conformably to the enlarged copy of 1599. Malone.
mew'd up-] This is a phrase from falconry. A mew was a place of confinement for hawks. So, in Albumazar, 1614:
fully mew'd “ From brown soar feathers -." Again, in our author's King Richard III:
“And, for his meed, poor lord he is mew'd up." Steevens. 4 Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender
O my child's love :] Desperate means only bold, adventurous, as
In all respects by me; nay more, I doubt it not.
Monday, my lord.
Par. My lord, I would that Thursday were to-morrow.
Cap. Well, get you gone:-O'Thursday be it then :Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed, Prepare her, wife, against this wedding-day-Farewel, my lord.—Light to my chamber, ho! Afore me, it is so very late, that we May call it early by and by:-Good night. [Exeunt..
Enter Romeo and JULIET.
if he had said in the vulgar phrase, I will speak a bold word, and venture to promise you my daughter. Johnson. So, in The Weakest goes to the Wall, 1600:
“ Witness this desperate tender of mine honour.” Steedens. 5 SCENE V. Juliet's Chamber.] The stage-direction in the first edition is "Enter Romeo and Juliet, at a window.” In the second quarto, “ Enter Romeo and Juliet aloft.” They appeared prebably in the balcony which was erected on the old English stage.
Malone. o Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree:) This is not merely a poetical supposition. It is observed of the nightingale, that, VOL. XII.