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Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point,
LA. CAP. He is a kinsman to the Montague, Affection makes him false,' he speaks not true: Some twenty of them fought in this black strife, And all those twenty could but kill one life: I beg for justice, which thou, prince, must give; Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live.
* PRIN. Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio; Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe ? Mon. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's
friend; His fault concludes but, what the law should end, The life of Tybalt.
' Affection makes him false, ] The charge of falsehood on Benvolio, though produced at hazard, is very just. The author, who seems to intend the character of Benvolio as good, meant perhaps to show, how the best minds, in a state of faction and discord, are detorted to criminal partiality. JOHNSON.
Prin. And, for that offence, Immediately we do exíle him hence : I have an interest in your hates' proceeding, My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a bleeding; But I'll amerce you with so strong a fine, That you shall all repent the loss of mine: I will be deaf to pleading and excuses; Nor tears, nor prayers, shall purchase out abuses, Therefore use none: let Romeo hence in haste, Else, when he's found, that hour is his last. Bear hence this body, and attend our will: Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.: :
? - in your hates' proceeding, ] This, as Mr. Steevens has observed, is the reading of the original quarto, 1597. From that copy, in almost every speech of this play, readings have been drawn by the modern editors, much preferable to these of the succeeding ancient copies. The quarto of 1599 readshearts proceeding; and the corruption was adopted in the folio.
MALONE. 3 Nor tears, nor prayers, shall purchase out abuses,] This was probably designed as a covert stroke at the church of Rome, by which the different prices of murder, incest, and all other crimes, were minutely settled, and as shamelessly received. · See Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 701,
STEEVENS, * Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.] So, in Hale's Memorials : “ When I find myself swayed to mercy, let me remember likewise that there is a mercy due to the country.” i
Thus the quarto, 1599, and the folio. The sentiment here enfarced is different from that found in the first edition, 1597. There the Prince concludes his speech with these words:
Pity shall dwell, and govern with us still ; : Mercy to all but murderers,- pardoning none that kilt.
.: MALONE. See Vol. VI. p. 253, n. 9. STEEVENS. . . . .
A Room in Capulet's House.
. Jul. Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
* Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, : Towards Phoebus mansion ; &c.] Our author probably remembered Marlowe's King Edward II. which was performed before 1593 :
“ Gallop apace, bright Phoebus, through the skie,
“ That I may see that most desired day." MALONE. Gallop apace, &c.] Cowley copies the expression, Davideis, B. III :
“ Slow rose the sun, but gallopt down apace,
“ With more than evening blushes in his face.” The succeeding compound " fiery-footed” is used by Drayton, in one of his Eclogues :
“ Phæbus had forced his fiery-footed team.” It is also used by Spenser, in The Fairy Queen. TodD.
- Phobus' mansion ;] The second quarto and folio read, Phoebus' lodging. STEEVENS. n i mmediately.] Here ends this speech in the eldest quarto. The rest of the scene has likewise received considerable alterations and additions. STEEVENS. ? Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night!
That run-away's eyes may wink ; &c.] What run-aways are these, whose eyes Juliet is wishing to have stopt? Macbeth,
Leap to these arms, untalk'd of, and unseen ! —
we may remember, makes an invocation to night much in the same strain:
" — Come, seeling night,
“ Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day," &c. So Juliet would have night's darkness obscure the great eye of the day, the sun; whom considering in a poetical light as Phæbus, drawn in his car with fiery-footed steeds, and posting through the heavens, she very properly calls him, with regard to the swiftness of his course, the run-away. In the like manner our poet speaks of the night in The Merchant of Venice:
“ For the close night doth play the run-away.”
Mr. Heath justly observes on this emendation, that the sun is necessarily absent as soon as night begins, and that it is very unlikely that Juliet, who has just complained of his tediousness, should call him a run-away. MALONE.
The construction of this passage, however elliptical or perverse, I believe to be as follows:
: May that run-away's eyes wink !
That run-away's eyes, may (they) wink! . These ellipses are frequent in Spenser; and that for oh! that, is not uncommon, as Dr. Farmer observes in a note on the first scene of The Winter's Tale. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. sc. vi:
“ That ever I should call thee cast-away!” Again, in Twelfth-Night, Act IV. sc. ii : "“ Mal. I tell thee, I am as well in my wits, as any man in Illyria.
*Clo. Well-a-day-That you were, sir!" i. e. Oh that you were! Again, in Timon, Act IV:
“ That nature, being sick of man's unkindness, ,“ Should yet be hungry!" Juliet first wishes for the absence of the sun, and then invokes the night to spread its curtain close around the world:
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night! Next, recollecting that the night would seem short to her, she speaks of it as of a run-away, whose flight she would wish to retard, and whose eyes she would blind, lest they should make discoveries. The eyes of night are the stars, so called in A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Dr. Warburton has already proved that Shakspeare terms the night a run-away in The Merchant of
Lovers can see to do their amorous rites
Venice; and in The Fair Maid of the Exchange, 1607, it is spoken of under the same character:
« The night hath play'd the swift-foot run-away.” Romeo was not expected by Juliet till the sun was gone, and therefore it was of no consequence to her that any eyes should wink but those of the night; for, as Ben Jonson says in Sejanus,
night hath many eyes,
STEEVENS. That seems not to be the optative adverb utinam, but the pronoun ista. These lines contain no wish, but a reason for Juliet's preceding wish for the approach of cloudy night; for in such a night there may be no star-light to discover our stolen pleasures :
“ That run-away eyes may wink, and Romeo
BLACKSTONE. • Lovers can see to do their amorous rites
By their own beauties :] So, in Marlowe's Hero and Leander:
“ dark night is Cupid's day.” The quartos 1599 and 1609, and the folio, read And by their own beauties. In the text the undated quarto has been followed. MALONE.
Milton, in his Comus, might here have been indebted to Shakspeare:
“ Virtue could see to do what virtue would,
“ Were in the flat sea sunk.” Steevens.
“ my white stole of chastity I daff’d,