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1 Watch. Hold him in safety, till the prince come hither.
Enter the Prince and Attendants.
Enter CAPULET, Lady CAPULET, and Others. Cap. What should it be, that they so shriek abroad ?3
Là. Cap. The people in the street cry-Romeo, Some-Juliet, and some--Paris; and all run, With oper Dutcry, toward our monument.
Prince. What fear is this, which startles in our ears?
I Watch. Sovereign, here lies the county Paris slain; And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before, Warm and new kill'd.
Prince. Search, seek, and know how this foul murder
1 Watch. Here is a friar, and slaughter'd Romeo's man ;
that they so shriek abroad?] Thus the folio and the undated quarto. The quarto of 1599 has—that is so shriek abroad.
Malone. 4 What fear is this, which startles in our ears.?] The old copies readmin The emendation was made by Dr. Johnson.
Malone. 5 This dagger hath mista'en,-for, lo! his house Is empty on the back
Montague, And is mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom.] The modern editors (contrary to the authority of all the ancient copies, and without attention to the disagreeable assonance of sheath and sheathed, which was first introduced by Mr. Pop.) read:
“This dagger hath mista'en; for, lo! the sheath
La. Cap. O me! this sight of death is as a bell,
Enter MONTAGUE and Others.
Mon. Alas, my liege, my wife is dead to-night;?
The quarto, 1597, erroneously,
this dagger hath mistooke;
“ And it mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosome.” If we do not read it instead of is, Capulet will be made to say— The scabbard is at once empty on the back of Montague, and sheathed in Juliet's bosom.
Sliakspeare quaintly represents the dagger as having mistaken its place, and “it mis-sheathed, i. e. “mis-sheathed itself” in the bosom of Juliet.
The quarto, 1609, and the folio, 1623, offer the same reading, except that they concur in giving is instead of it.
It appears that the dagger was anciently worn behind the back. So, in The longer thou livest the more Foul thou art, 1570:
“ Thou must weare thy sword by thy side,
“ And thy dagger handsumly at thy backe." Again, in Humor's Ordinarie, &c. an ancient collection of satires, no date:
“See you the huge bum viagger at his backe?” The epithet applied to the dagger, shows at what part of the sack it was worn). Steevens
The words, “ for, lo! his house is empty on the back of Montague,” are to be considered as parenthetical. In a former part of this scene we have a similar construction.
My reading (is) is that of the undated quarto, that of 1609, and the folio. Malone.
- for thou art early up, &c.] This speech (as appears from the following passage in The Second Part of the Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601) has something proverbial in it:
“ In you, i' faith, the proverb's verified,
“You are early up, and yet are ne'er the near.” Steevens. 7 Alas, my liege, my wife is dead to-night;] After this line the quarto, 1597, adds,
“ And young Benvolio is deceased too." But this, I suppose, the poet rejected, on his revision of the play, as unnecessary slaughter. Steevens.
The line, which gives an account of Benvolio's death, was probably thrown in to account for his absence from this interesting
Prince. Look, and thou shalt see.8
before thy father to a grave?
Fri. I am the greatest, able to do least,
Prince. Then say at once what thou dost know in this.
Fri. I will be brief,1 for my short date of breath
8 Look, and thou shalt see.] These words, as they stand, being of no kindred to metre, we nay fairly suppose that some others have been casually omitted. Perhaps, our author wrote:
Look in this monument, and thou shalt see. Steevens. 90 thou untaught! &c.] So, in The Tragedy of Darius, 1603:
- Ah me! malicious fates nave done me wrong:
“ This dealing is prepost’rous and o'er-thwari.” Steevens. Again, in our poet's Rape of Lucrece:
“ If children pre-decease progenitors,
“We are their offspring, and they none of ours." Malone. 1 I will be brief,? It is much to be lamented, that the poet did not conclude the dialogue with the action, and avoid a narrative of events which the audience already knew. Johnson.
Shakspeare was led into this uninteresting narrative by following too closely The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Fuliet.
Malone. In this poem (which is subjoined to the present edition of the play) the bodies of the dead are removed to a publick scaffold, and from that elevation is the Friar's narrative delivered. The same circumstance, as I have already observed, is introduced in the last scene of Hamlet, Vol. XV. Steevens.
my short date of breath Is not so long us is a trilious tale.) So, in the 91st Psalm:
when thou art angry, all our days are gone; we bring our years to an end, as it were a tale that is told.” Malone.
And she, there dead, that Romeo's faithful wife :
Prince. We still have known thee for a holy man.-Where's Romeo's man? what can he say in this?
Bal. I brought my master news of Juliet's death; And then in post he came from Mantua, To this same place, to this same monument.
This letter he early bid me give his father;
Prince. Give me the letter, I will look on it.
Page. He came with flowers to strew his lady's grave; And bid me stand aloof, and so I did : Anon, comes one with light to ope the tomb; And, by and by, my master drew on him; And then I ran away to call the watch.
Prince. This letter doth make good the friar's words, Their course of love, the tidings of her death: And here he writes
that he did buy a poison
Cap. (), brother Montague, give me thy hand:
But I can give thee more:
1 Have lost a brace of kinsmen:) Mercutio and Paris : Mercutio is expressly called the prince's kinsman in Act III, sc. iv, and that Paris also was the prince's kinsman, may be inferred from the following passages. Capulet, speaking of the count in the fourth Act, describes him as “ a gentleman of princely parentage,” and, after he is killed, Romeo says: “Let me peruse this face;
Mercutio's kinsman, noble county Paris.” Malone. A brace of kinsmen: --] The sportsman's term-brace, which on the present occasion is seriously employed, is in general applied to men in contempt. Thus, Prospero in The Tempest, addressing himself to Sebastian and Antonio, says:
“But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded,
" I here 80.-" Steevens. VOL. XII.