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Jul. My ears have not yet drunk a hundred
. . words Of that tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound; Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?
Rom. Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.?' · Jul. How cam’st thou hither, tell me? and
: wherefore ? The orchard walls are high, and hard to climb ; And the place death, considering who thou art, If any of my kinsmen find thee here. Rom. With love's light wings did I o'er-perch
these walls; 3 : For stony limits cannot hold love out: And what love can do, that dares love attempt ;
My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words
Of that tongue's utterance,] Thus the quarto, 1597. The subsequent ancient copies read-of thy tongue's uttering. We meet with almost the same words as those here attributed to Romeo, in King Edward III. a tragedy, 1596 :
“ I might perceive his eye in her eye lost,
MALONE. 19 Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.] Thus the original copy. The subsequent ancient copies read_fair maid. “ If either thee dislikes was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age. So, it likes me well; for it pleases me well. MALONE.
Dislike here means displease. M. MASON.
s With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls ;] Here also we find Shakspeare following the steps of the author of The Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562:
“ Approaching near the place from whence his heart had “ So light he wox, he leap'd the wall, and there he spy'd
his wife, . “Who in the window watch'd the coming of her lord, "
Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.. .
JUL. If they do see thee, they will murder thee. Rom. Alack! there lies more peril in thine eye, Than twenty of their swords;5 look thou but sweet, And I am proof against their enmity. : · JUL. I would not for the world, they saw thee
here. Rom. I have night's cloak to hide me from their
sight; 8 And, but thou love me, let them find me here:?
no let to me.] i. e. no stop or hinderance. So, in Hamlet:
“By heaven I'll make a ghost of him that lets me.” Thus the original edition. The subsequent copies read-no stop to me. MALONE. 5 there lies more peril in thine eye,
Than twenty of their swords.;] Beaumont and Fletcher have copied this thought in The Maid in the Mill:
. « The lady may command, sir; . ." She bears an eye more dreadful than your weapon.”
STEEVENS. O f rom their sight;] So the first quarto. All the other ancient copies have from their eyes. MALONE.
1 And, but thou love me, let them find me here:) And so thou do but love me, I care not what may befall me: Let me be found here. Such appears to me to be the meaning.'
Mr. M. Mason thinķs that “but thou love me,” means, unless thou love me ; grounding himself, I suppose, on the two subsequent lines. But those contain, in my apprehension, a distinct proposition. He first says, that he is content to be discovered, if he: be, but secure of her, affection; and then adds, that death from the hands of her kinsmen would be preferable to life without her love. But, however, it must be acknowledged, has often in old English the meaning which Mr. M. Mason would affix to it. ' MALONE. · Mr. M. Mason is certainly in the right. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
.." But being charg’d, we will be still by land.”. See Vol. XVII. p. 226, n. 5. STEEVENS.
My life were better ended by their hatė,
place? Rom. By love, who first did prompt me to in.
quire; He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes. I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far As that vast shore wash'd with the furthest sea, I would adventure for such merchandise. JUL. Thou know'st, the mask of night is on my.
face; Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek, For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night. Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny What I have spoke; But farewell compliment!9: Dost thou love me? I know, thou wilt say-Ay; And I will take thy word: yet, if thou swear'st, Thou may’st prove false ; at lovers' perjuries, They say, Jove laughs. O, gentle Romeo, If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully: Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won, I'll frown, and be perverse, and say thee nay,
8 Than death: prorogued, wanting of thy love.] The common acceptation of prorogue, is to postpone to a distant time, which is in fact to delay. But I believe in this place prorogued means continued; and that Romeo means, in the language of lovers, to represent life without her as a continual death: “Death's life with thee, without thee death to live.” ?
M. Mason. Than death prorogued,] i. e. delayed, deferred to a more distant period. .So, in Act IV. sc. i :.
is I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it, ;.'" On Thursday next be married to this county.”
MALONE, farewell compliment!] That is, farewell attention to forms. M. Mason.
So thou wilt woo; but, else, not for the world.
JUL. O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant
Rom. What shall I swear by?
Do not swear at all; Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
- cunning to be strange.] Cunning is the reading of the quarto, 1597, and I have restored it.
To be strange, is to put on affected coldness, to appear shy. So, in Greene's Mamillia, 1593 : “Is it the fashion in Padua to be so strange with your friends ?” : Again, in one of the Paston Letters, Vol. III. p. 327: “I pray ye that ye be not strange of writing of letters to me." .
STEEVENS. In the subsequent ancient copies cunning was changed tocoying. MALONE.
moon That tips with sibver all these fruit-tree tops,] This image struck Pope:
« The moon-beam trembling falls,
“ And tips with silver all the walls.” Imit. of Horace. - Again, in the celebrated simile on the moon at the conclusion of the eighth Book of the Iliad: !.. « And tips with silver ev'ry mountain's head.”
· HOLT WHITE
Which is the god of my idolatry,
If my heart's dear lover
ROM. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied ?
for mine. · Jul. I gave thee mine before thou didst request And yet I would it were to give again.
3 Ere one can say—It lightens.] So, in The Miracles of Moses, by Drayton:
- lightning ceaslessly to burn,
* Ere you could say precisely what it was.” . The same thought occurs in A Midsummer-Night's Dream.
STEEVENS. Drayton's Miracles of Moses was first printed in quarto, in 1604. MALONE. · · * - Sweet, good night !] All the intermediate lines from Sweet, good night! to Stay but a little, &c. were added after the first copy. STEEVENS. :. * What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?] Here Juliet seemeth as if she meant to promise (i. e. as much as in her lieth) to afford Romeo, in some future instance, that satisfaction which he cannot receive while they remain at their present distance from each other. AMNER. .