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Enter RoMEO. Rom. He jests at scars, that never felta wound..
JULIET appears above, at a Window. But, soft! what light through yonderwindowbreaks!" It is the east, and Juliet is the sun ! ! ;Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief, That thou her maid art far more fair than she: Be not her maid, since she is envious; Her vestal livery is but sick and green, And none but fools do wear it; cast it off. It is my lady ; 0, it is my love: O, that she knew she were ! She speaks, yet she says nothing; What of that?
• He jests at scars,] That is, Mercutio jests, whom he overheard. Johnson. So, in Sidney's Arcadia, Book“ None can speake of a wound with skill, if he have not
a wound felt.” STEEVENS. He (that person) jests, is merely an allusion to his having conceived himself so armed with the love of Rosalind, that no other beauty could make any impression on him. This is clear from the conversation he has with Mercutio, just before they go to Capulet's. Ritson. 9 Be not her maid,] Be not a votary to the moon, to Diana.
JOHNSON. So, in Troilus and Cressida :: “ By all Diana's waiting-women yonder,—,"
STEEVENS. * It is my lady:] This line and half I have replaced.
Her eye discourses, I will answer it.
She speaks :-
30, that I were a glove upon that hand,] This passage appears to have been ridiculed by Shirley in The School of Compliments, a comedy, 1637:
“O that I were a flea upon that lip,” &c. STEEVENS. i touch that cheek!] The quarto, 1597, reads : “kiss that cheek.” Steevens. 40, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
As glorious to this night,] Though all the printed copies concur in this reading, yet the latter part of the simile seems to require
As glorious to this sight; and therefore I have ventured to alter the text so. THEOBALD.
I have restored the old reading, for surely the change was unnecessary. The plain sense is, that Juliet appeared as splendid an object in the vault of heaven obscured by darkness, as an angel could seem to the eyes of mortals, who were falling back to gaze upon him.
As glorious to this night, means as glorious appearance in this dark night, &c. It should be observed, however, that the simile agrees precisely with Theobald's alteration, and not so well with the old reading. STEEVENS.
As is a winged messenger of heaven
TAside. · Jul. 'Tis but thy name, that is my enemy ;Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
the lazy-pacing clouds,] Thus corrected from the first edition, in the other lazy-puffing. POPE.
6 Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.] For the present punctuation I am accountable. It appears to me to afford a clear sense, which the line as printed in the old copies, where we have a comma after thyself, and no point after though, does not in my apprehension afford.
Thou art, however, says Juliet, a being sui generis, amiable and perfect, not tainted by the enmity which your family bears to mine.
According to the common punctuation, the adversative par. ticle is used without any propriety, or rather makes the passage nonsense.
Though is again used by Shakspeare in A Midsummer-Night's · Dream, Act III. sc. last, in the same sense:
“ My legs are longer though, to run away.” Again, in The Taming of a Shrew:
"'Would Catharine had never seen him though.” Again, in King Henry VIII:
.“ I would not be so sick though, for his place.” Other writers frequently use though for however. So, in The Fatal Dowry, a tragedy, by Massinger and Field, 1632: .
“ Would you have him your husband that you love,
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, . Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name?? that which we call a rose,
Again, in Cupid's Revenge, by Beaumont and Fletcher':
" Odissembling woman,
“ Whom I must reverence though.” Again, in the last speech of The Maid's Tragedy, by Beaumont and Fletcher, 1619:
“Look to him though, and bear those bodies in.” Again, in Otway's Venice Preserved:
“ I thank thee for thy labour though, and him too.” . Juliet is simply endeavouring to account for Romeo's being amiable and excellent, though he is a Montague. And, to prove this, she asserts that he merely bears that name, but has none of the qualities of that house. MALONE.
If this punctuation be right, and the words of the text accurate, we must understand though in the sense of then, a reading proposed by Dr. Johnson: a sense it is perpetually used in by our ancient poets, and sometimes by our author himself. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream: " What though he love your Hermia? Lord! what
though?” Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor:
“I keep but three men and a boy yet, but what
i though?” Again, in As you like it: " we have no assembly here but beasts ; but what
though ?” Again, in King Henry V:
**“ It is a simple one, but what though ?” Ritson. ? nor any other part . .
Belonging to a man. “0, be some other name!
What's in a name? &c.] The middle line is not found in the original copy of 1597, being added, it should seem, on a revísion. The passage in the first copy stands thus:
· Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part:
What's in a name? That which we call a rose, &c. ' In the copy of 1599, and all the subsequent ancient copies, the words nor any other part were omitted by the oversight of the transcriber or printer, and the lines thus absurdly exhibited:
By any other name 8 would smell as sweet;
I take thee at thy word :
. By a name
Nor arm nor face, O be some other name!
What's in a name, &c. Belonging, &c. evidently was intended to begin a line, as it now does; but the printer having omitted the words nor any other part, took the remainder of the subsequent line, and carried it to that which preceded. The transposition now made needs no note to support it: the context in this and many other places supersedes all arguments. MALONE.
For the sake of metre, I am willing to suppose our author wrote
'Longing to man. &c. The same elision occurs in The Taming of a Shrew, Vol. 1 p. 139:
“ Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace
“ As 'longeth to a lover's blessed case." STEEVENS. . By any other name - Thus the quarto, 1597. All the subsequent ancient copies read-By any other word.
MALONE. 9 Take all myself.] The elder quarto reads, Take all I have.