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Of dear import; and the neglecting it
May do much danger: Friar John, go hence;
Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight
Unto my cell.

John. Brother, I'll go and bring it thee. [Exit.

LAU. Now must I to the monument alone; Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake; 6 She will beshrew me much, that Romeo Hath had no notice of these accidents : But I will write again to Mantua, And keep her at my cell till Romeo come; Poor living corse, clos'd in a dead man's tomb!


Nice signifies foolish in many parts of Gower and Chaucer. So, in the second Book De Confessione Amantis, fol. 37: .

«My sonne, eschewe thilke vice.

“ My father elles were I nice.. .
Again, in Chaucer's Scogan, unto the Lordes, &c. . .

the most complaint of all,
“ Is to thinkin that I have be so nice,

“ That I ne would in vertues to me call,” &c. Again, in The longer thou livest the more Fool thou art, 1570:

“ You must appeare to be straunge and nyce." . The learned editor of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 1775, observés, that H. Stephens informs us, that nice was the old French word for niais, one of the synonymes of sot. * Apol. Herod. L. I. c. iv. STEEVENS. See Vol. XIV. p. 421, n. 1; and Vol. XVI. p. 375, n. 8.

MALONE. 6 Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake;] Instead of this line, and the concluding part of the speech, the quarto, 1597, reads only:

“ Lest that the lady should before I come

Be wak'd from sleep, I will hye . “ To free her from that tombe of miserie." STEEVENS.

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A Church-Yard; in it, a Monument belonging to

- the Capulets.

Enter Paris, and his Page, bearing Flowers and a


PAR. Give me thy torch, boy: Hence, and stand

aloof; Yet put it out, for I would not be seen. Under yon yew-trees lay thee all along, Holding thine ear close' to the hollow ground; So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread, (Being loose, unfirm, with digging up of graves,) But thou shalt hear it: whistle then to me, As signal that thou hear'st something approach Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go.

PAGE. I am almost afraid to stand alone Here in the churchyard; yet I will adventure.

[Retires. PAR. Sweet flower, with flowers I strew thy

bridal bed:
Sweet tomb, that in thy circuit dost contain
The perfect model of eternity;
Fair Juliet, that with angels dost remain,"

Fair Juliet, that with angels &c.] These four lines from the old edition. POPE.. The folio has these lines:

“ Sweet flow'r, with flow'rs thy bridal bed I strew;

6 O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones,
“ Which with sweet water nightly I will dew,

“ Or, wanting that, with tears distill’d by moans.

Accept this latest favour at my hands;
That living honour'd thee, and, being dead,
With funeral praises do adorn thy tomb!

[The Boy whistles.
The boy gives warning, something doth approach.
What cursed foot wanders this way to-night,
To cross my obsequies, and true love's rites ?
What, with a torch!--muffle me, night, a while.8


Enter ROMEO and BALTHASAR with a Torch,

Mattock, fc.
Rom. Give me that mattock, and the wrenching

iron. · Hold, take this letter; early in the morning See thou deliver it to my lord and father. Give me the light: Upon thy life I charge thee, Whate'er thou hear'st or seest, stand all aloof, And do not interrupt me in my course. Why I descend into this bed of death,

• The obsequies that I for thee will keep,
“ Nightly shall be, to strew thy grave, and weep."

JOHNSON. · Mr. Pope has followed no copy with exactness; but took the first and fourth lines from the elder quarto, omitting the two intermediate verses, which I have restored. STEEVENS.

The folio follows the quarto of 1599. In the text the seven lines are printed as they appear in the quarto, 1597. MALONE.

8- muffle me, night, a while.] Thus, in Drayton's Polyolbion:

“ But suddenly the clouds which on the winds do fly,

“ Do muffle him againe " Muffle was not become a low word even in the time of Milton, as the Elder Brother in Comus uses it :

Unmuffle ye faint stars” &c. A muffler, as I have already observed, was a part of female dress. See Vol. V. p. 170, n. 5. STEEVENS.

Is, partly, to behold my lady's face:
But, chiefly, to take thence from her dead finger
A precious ring; a ring, that I must use
In dear employment:' therefore hence, be gone;
But if thou, jealous, dost return to pry
In what I further shall intend to do,
By heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint,
And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs :
The time and my intents are savage-wild,
More fierce, and more inexorable far, .
Than empty tigers, or the roaring sea.

Bal. I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you.
Rom. So shalt thou show me friendship.-Take

thou that: Live, and be prosperous; and farewell, good fellow.

BAL. For all this same, I'll hide me hereabout; His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt. [Retires.

9 dear employment:] That is, action of importance. Gems were supposed to have great powers and virtues.

Johnson. See Vol. VII. p. 308, n. 6. Ben Jonson uses the word dear in the same sense: “ Put your known talents on so dear a business."

Catiline, Act I. Again, in Chapman's version of the 10th Book of the Odyssey:

66 full pitching on

.66 The dearest joint his head was plac'd upon.” · Again, in the ancient MS. romance of The Sowdon of Babyloyne, p. 14: : :

“ Now telle we of the messengere
“ That went to Charlemayne,
“ Certyfyinge him by lettres dere

“ How the Romaynes were slayne.” STEEVENS. See Vol. XIX. p. 202, n. 9. MALONE.

savage-wild;] Here the speech concludes in the old copy. STEEVENS.

Rom. Thou détestable? maw, thou womb of

: death, Gorg'd with the dearest' morsel of the earth, Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,

. [Breaking open the Door of the Monument. And, in despite, I'll cram thee with more food!

PAR. This is that banish'd haughty Montague, That murder'd mylove's cousin;--with which grief, It is supposed; the fair creature died, And here is come to do some villainous shame To the dead bodies: I will apprehend him.

[Advances. Stop thy unhallow'd toil, vile Montague; Can vengeance be pursu'd further than death? Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee: Obey, and go with me; for thou must die.

Rom. I must, indeed ; and therefore came I ..

hither. Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man, Fly hence and leave me;—think upon these gone; Let them affright thee.--I beseech thee, youth, Heap not another sin upon my head,

? détestable ] This word, which is now accented on the second syllable, was once accented on the first; therefore this line did not originally seem to be inharmonious. So, in The Tragedie of Croesus, 1604 :

“ Court with vain words and détestable lyes.” Again, in Shakspeare's King John, Act III. sc. iii :

" And I will kiss thy détestable bones." STEEVENS. Again, in Daniel's Civil Warres, 1595:

“ Such détestable vile impiety.” MALONE. 3 Heap not &c.] Thus the quarto, 1597. The quartos 1599 and 1609, and the folios-Put not; which led Mr. Rowe to introduce the unauthorized reading--pull. That in the text, how ever, is the true one. So, in Cymbeline : · 66 t hou heapest Hi... : « A year's age on me."


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