« AnteriorContinuar »
.Enter Benvolio," at a Distance: GRE. Say—better ; here comes one of my master's kinsmen.
SAM. Yes, better, sir.
SAM. Draw, if you be men.-Gregory, remem, ber thy swashing blow.9,
[They fight. BEN. Part, fools; put up your swords; you know not what you do. [Beats down their Swords.
TYB. What, art thou drawn among these heart
less hinds ?
Enter Benvolio,] Much of this scene is added since the first edition ; but probably by Shakspeare, since we find it in that of the year 1599. Pope..
8 here comes one of my master's kinsmen.] Some mistake has happened in this place: Gregory is a servant of the Capulets, and Benvolio'was of the Montague faction. FARMER.
Perhaps there is no mistake. . Gregory may mean Tybalt, who enters immediately after Benvolio, but on a different part of the stage. The eyes of the servant may be directed the way, he sees Tybalt coming, and in the mean time, Benvolio enters on the opposite side. STÈEVENS. . . .,
9- thy swashing blow.] Ben Jonson uses this expression in his Staple for News: “ 1 do confess a swashing blow.” In The Three Ladies of London, 1584, Fraud says:
“ I will flaunt and brave it after the lusty swash." . Again, in As you like it :
“ I'll have a martial and a swashing outside." See Vol. VIII. p. 38, n. 8.
To swash seems to have meant to be a bully, to be noisily valiant. So, Green, in his Card of Fancy, 1608 : “ -in spending and spoiling, in swearing and swashing.” Barrett, in his Alvearie, 1580, says, that “ to swash is to make a noise with swordes against tergats." STEEVENS.
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
BEN. I do but keep the peace; put up thy sword, Or manage it to part these men with me. Tyb. What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate
the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee: Have at thee, coward.
Enter several Partizans of both Houses, who join
the Fray; then enter Citizens, with Clubs.
1 Cit. Clubs, bills,' and partizans! strike ! beat
them down! Down with the Capulets! down with the Monta
gues! Enter Capulet, in his Gown ; and Lady Capulet. CAP. What noise is this ?-Give me my long
Clubs, bills, &c.] When an affray arose in the streets, clubs was the usual exclamation. See Vol. VIII. p. 166, n. 3, and Vol. XIII. p. 35, n. 6. MALONE.
. Give me my long sword, ] The long sword was the sword used in war, which was sometimes wielded with both hands.
JOHNSON, See Vol. V. p. 76, n. 3. Malone.
This long sword is mentioned in The Coxcomb, a comedy by Beaumont and Fletcher, where the justice says:
“ Take their confessions, and my long sword;
“ I cannot tell what danger we may meet with.” Chapman, without authority from Homer, has equipped Neptune with this weapon:
" King Neptune, with his long sword,--." Iliad XV. It appears that it was once the fashion to wear two swords of different sizes at the same time.
So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602: “ Peter Salamander, tie up your great and your little sword.”
LA. CAP. A crutch, a crutch !Why call you
for a sword ? CAP. My sword, I say !-Old Montague is come, And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
Enter Montague and Lady MONTAGUE. Mon. Thou villain Capulet,-Hold me not, let
me go. LA. Mon. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek
Enter Prince, with Attendants.
· PRIN. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel, Will they not hear ?-what ho! you men, you
beasts, That quench the fire of your pernicious rage With purple fountains issuing from your veins, On pain of torture, from those bloody hands Throw your mis-temper'd weapons to the ground, And hear the sentence of your moved prince. Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets ; And made Verona's ancient citizens Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, To wield old partizans, in hands as old,
The little sword was the weapon commonly worn, the dress sword. STEEVENS. The little sword was probably nothing more than a dagger.
MALONE. -mis-temper'd weapons---] are angry weapons. So, in King John: “ This inundation of mis-temper'd humour,” &c.
Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate:
[Exeunt Prince, and Attendants ; CAPULET,
Lady CAPULET, TYBALT, Citizens, and
Servants. . Mon. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? Speak, nephew, were you by, when it began?
BEN. Here were the servants of your adversary, And yours, close fighting ere I did approach: I drew to part them; in the instant came The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar’d; Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears, He swung about his head, and cut the winds, Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn : While we were interchanging thrusts and blows, Came more and more, and fought on part and part, Till the prince came, who parted either part. LA. Mon. O, where is Romeo !-saw you him
to-day? Right glad I am, he was not at this fray.
BEN. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun Peer'd forth the golden window of the east,5
. • To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.] This name the poet found in the Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet, 1562. It is there said to be the castle of the Capulets.
MALONE. s Peer'd forth the golden window of the east, ] The same thought occurs in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. x:
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad;
.“ Early before the morn with cremosin ray
“ The windows of bright heaven opened had,
• “ Might looke,” &c. STEEVENS. !! Again, in Summa Totalis ; or All in All, or the same for ever, 4to. 1607:
“ Now heaven's bright eye (awake by Vespers sheene) “ Peepes through the purple windowes of the East.”
HOLT WHITE. That most are busied &c.] Edition 1597. Instead of which it is in the other editions thus:
-by my own,
“ Pursu'd my humour,” &c. Pope. * And gladly shunn'd &c.] The ten lines following, not in edition 1597, but in the next of 1599. POPE.