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I bade her come.What, lamb! what, lady-bird! God forbid !--where's this girl ?-what, Juliet!
JUL. How now, who calls ?
. Your mother.
Madam, I am here. What is your will ? LA. CAP. This is the matter :-Nurse, give leave
awhile, We must talk in secret.-Nurse, come back again; I have remember'd me, thou shalt hear our counsel. Thou know'st, my daughter's of a pretty age. NURSE. ”Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour. LA. CAP. She's not fourteen. NURSE.
I'll lay fourteen of my teeth, And yet, to my teen' be it spoken, I have but
four,She is not fourteen : How long is it now To Lammas-tide?
LA. CAP. A fortnight, and odd days. NURSE. Even or odd, of all days in the year, Come Lammas-eve at night, shall she be fourteen. Susan and she,-God rest all Christian souls ! Were of an age.-Well, Susan is with God; She was too good for me : But, as I said, On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen;
- to my teen—] To my sorrow. JOHNSON. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I. c. ix:
«- for dread and doleful teen." This old word is introduced by Shakspeare for the sake of the jingle between teen, and four, and fourteen. STEEVENS.
That shall she, marry; I remember it well.
trow, To bid me trudge. And since that time it is eleven years : . * 'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;] But how comes the Nurse to talk of an earthquake upon this occasion ? There is no such circumstance, I believe, mentioned in any of the novels from which . Shakspeare may be supposed to have drawn his story; and therefore it seems probable, that he had in view the earthquake, which had really been felt in many parts of England, in his own time, viz. on the 6th of April, 1580. [See Stowe's Chronicle, and Gabriel Harvey's Letter in the Preface to Spenser's Works, edit. 1679.] If so, one may be permitted to conjecture, that Romeo and Juliet, or this part of it at least, was written in 1591; after the 6th of April, when the eleven years since the earthquake were completed; and not later than the middle of July, a fortnight and odd days before Lammas-tide. TYRWHITT.
3 Nay, I do bear a brain:] That is, I have a perfect remembrance or recollection. So, in The Country Captain, by the Duke of Newcastle, 1649, p. 51: “When these wordes of conmand are rotten, wee will sow some other military seedes; you beare a braine and memory." REED. So, in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
“ Dash, we must bear some brain." . Again, in Marston's Dutch Courtesan, 1604: .
“ nay an I bear not a brain,-" Again, in Heywood's Golden Age, 1611: . "..As I can bear a pack, so I can bear a brain."
. .'.., STEEVENS.
For then she could stand alone;+ nay, by the rood,
he: And, pretty fool, it stinted, and said — Ay. LA. CAP. Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy
peace. NURSE. Yes, madam; Yet I cannot choose but
" could stand alone;] The 4to. 1597, reads: “ could stand high lone,” i. e. quite alone, completely alone. So, in another of our author's plays, high fantastical means entirely fantastical. Steevens. s i t stinted,] i. e. it stopped, it forbore from weeping. So, Sir Thomas North, in his translation of Plutarch, speaking of the wound which Antony received, says: “ for the blood stinted a little when he was laid." · Again, in Cynthia's Revels; by Ben Jonson; . ...
“ Stint thy babbling tongue.". Again, in What you will, by Marston, 1607: :
“ Pish! for shame, stint thy idle chat.” Again, in The Misfortunes of King Arthur, an ancient drama, 1587:— .'
“ Fame's but a blast that sounds a while,
“ And quickly stints, and then is quite forgot." Spenser uses this word frequently in his Fairy Queen.
STEEVENS, * Nurse. Yes, madam ; Yet I cannot choose &c.] This speech and tautology is not in the first edition. Pope.
To think it should leave crying, and say—Ay: :
JUL. And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.
to his grace! Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd; An I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish.
LA. CAP. Marry, that marry is the very theme I came to talk of:-Tell me, daughter Juliet, How stands your disposition to be married?
JUL. It is an honourthat I dream not of.
" It is an honour ] The first quarto reads honour; the folio hour. I have chosen the reading of the quarto.
The word hour seems to have nothing in it that could draw from the Nurse that applause which she immediately bestows, The word honour was likely to strike the old ignorant woman, as a very elegant and discreet word for the occasion. .STEEVENS.
Honour was changed to hour in the quarto, 1599, MALONE.
& Well, &c.] Instead of this speech, the quarto, 1597, has only one line: “Well, girl, the noble County Paris seeks thee for his
That you are now a maid. Thus then, in brief;
NURSE. A man, young lady! lady, such a man, As all the world-Why, he's a man of wax.
LA.CAP. Verona's summer hath not such a flower. NURSE.'Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower. LA. CAP. What say you ?? can you love the gen
tleman ? This night you shall behold him at our feast: Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face, . And find delight writ there with beauty's pen; Examine every married lineament, And see how one another lends content;
9 a man of wax.] So, in Wily Beguiled: “ Why, he's a man as one should picture him in wax.”
STEEVENS. - a man of wax.] Well made, as if he had been modelled in wax, as Mr. Steevens by a happy quotation has explained it. “When you, Lydia, praise the waxen arms of Telephus,” (says Horace,) [Waxen, well shaped, fine turned :],
" With passion swells my fervid breast,
“ With passion hard to be supprest.” Dr. Bentley changes cerea into lactea, little understanding that the praise was given to the shape, not to the colour. S. W.
'Nurse.] After this speech of the Nurse, Lady Capulet in the old quarto says only :
“Well, Juliet, how like you of Paris' love?” She answers, “I'll look to like,” &c. and so concludes the scene, without the intervention of that stuff to be found in the later quartos and the folio. STEEVENS.
? La. Cap. What say you? &c.] This ridiculous speech is entirely added since the first edition. Pope. :3 Read o'er the volume &c.] The same thought occurs in Pericles, Prince of Tyre: . “ Her face the book of praises, where is read
“ Nothing but curious pleasures." STEEVENS. . * Examine every married lineament, &c.] Thus the quarto 1599. The quarto 1609-several lineament. By the former of these phrases Shakspeare means-Examine how nicely one