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ROMEO AND JULIET.
And flecked darkness 4 like a drunkard reels
* And flecked darkness-] Flecked is spotted, dappled, streaked, or variegated. In this sense it is used by Churchyard, in his Legend of Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. Mowbray, speaking of the Germans, says:
6 All jagg'd and frounc'd, with divers colours deck'd, .
“ They swear, they curse, and drink till they be fleck'd.” Lord Surrey uses the same word in his translation of the fourth Æneid:
“ Her quivering cheekes flecked with deadly staine." The same image occurs also in Much Ado about Nothing, Act V. sc. iii: “ Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey.”
STEEVENS. The word is still used in Scotland, where “a flecked cow” is a common expression. See the Glossary to Gawin Douglas's translation of Virgil, in v. fleckit. MALONE.
* From forth day's path-way, made by Titan's wheels:] So, in Jocasta's address to the sun in the QOINILEAI of Euripides :
« Ω την εν αστροις έραν8 ΤΕΜΝΩΝ ΟΔΟΝ.” Mr. Malone readsFrom forth day's path, and Titan's fiery wheels.
STEEVENS, Thus the quarto, 1597. That of 1599, and the folio, have burning wheels. The modern editions read corruptly, after the second folio: From forth day's path-way made by Titan's wheels.
MALONE. Here again I have followed this reprobated second folio. It is easy to understand how darkness might reel “ from forth day's path-way,” &c. but what is meant by-forth “ Titan's fiery wheels ?” A man may stagger out of a path, but not out of a wheel. STEEVENS.
These lines are thus quoted in England's Parnassus, or the choysest Flowers of our modern Poets, &c. 1600:
“ The gray-eyde mørne smiles on the frowning night,
« From forth daye's path-way made by Titan's wheels," ; So that the various reading in the last line does not originate in an arbitrary alteration by the editor of the second folio, as the ingenious commentator supposes. Holt White.
Now ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The earth, that's nature's mother, is her tomb;8
• I must up-fill this osier cage of ours, &c.] So, in the 13th Song of Drayton's Polyolbion :
“ His happy time he spends the works of God to see,
“ He very choicely sorts his simples got abroad.”
and precious-juiced flowers.] Shakspeare, on his introduction of Friar Laurence, has very artificially prepared us for the part he is afterwards to sustain. Having thus early discovered him to be a chemist, we are not surprized when we find him furnishing the draught which produces the catastrophe of the piece. I owe this remark to Dr. Farmer. STEEVENS. . :: In the passage before us Shakspeare had the poem in his thoughts: “ But not in vain, my child, hath all my wand'ring
been ; “ What force the stones, the plants, and metals, have to
work, “ And divers other thinges that in the bowels of earth
do lurk, “ With care I have sought out, with pain I did them
prove." MALONE. .The earth, that's nature's mother, is her tomb;] “ Omniparens, eadem rerum commune sepulchrum.”
Lucretius. “ The womb of nature, and perhaps her grave.”
* Milton. Steevens. So, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609:
" Time's the king of men,
Many for many virtues excellent,
'- powerful grace,] Efficacious virtue. Johnson.
· For nought so vile that on the earth doth live,] The quarto, 1597, reads. For nought so vile that vile on earth doth live.
STEEVENS. • to the earth-] i. e. to the inhabitants of the earth.
MALONE. s of this small flower-) So the quarto, 1597. All the subsequent ancient copies have—this weak flower.
MALONE. * with that part-] i. e. with the part which smells; with the olfactory nerves. MALONE. * Two such opposed foes encamp them still
In manm Foes is the reading of the oldest copy; kings of that in 1609. Shakspeare might have remembered the following passage in the old play of The Misfortunes of Arthur, 1587:
“ Peace hath three foes encamped in our breasts,
“ Ambition, wrath, and envie. STEEVENS... So, in our author's Lover's Complaint :
“ terror, and dear modesty, .
And, where the worser is predominant,
Rom. Good morrow, father!
: reign :7
Thus the quarto of 1597. The quarto of 1599, and all the subsequent ancient copies read-such opposed kings. Our author has more than once alluded to these opposed foes, contending for the dominion of man. So, in Othello:
“ Yea, curse his better angel from his side." Again, in his 44th Sonnet:
“ To win me soon to hell, my female evil
“ Till my bad angel fire my good one out.” MALONE.
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.] So, in our author's 99th Sonnet:
“ A vengeful canker eat him up to death.” MALONE..
with unstuff d brain &c.] The copy, 1597, reads :
Rom. That last is true, the sweeter rest was mine.
Rom. With Rosaline, my ghostly father? no;
been then? ROM. I'll tell thee, ere thou ask it me again. I have been feasting with mine enemy; Where, on a sudden, one hath wounded me, That's by me wounded; both our remedies Within thy help and holy physick lies :8 I bear no hatred, blessed man; for, lo, My intercession likewise steads my foe.
Fri. Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift; Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift. Rom. Then plainly know, my heart's dear love
is set On the fair daughter of rich Capulet: 'ii As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine; And all combin’d, save what thou must combine By holy marriage: When, and where, and how, We met, we woo'd, and made exchange of yow, I'll tell thee as we pass; but this I pray, That thou consent to marry us this day.
FRI. Holy Saint Francis! what a change is here! Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear, So soon forsaken? young men's love then lies Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
On the fair daugnhers is set on must combine
8 both our remedies . • Within thy help and holy physick lies :) This is one of the passages in which our author has sacrificed grammar to rhyme.
M, MASON. See Vol. XVIII. p. 475, n. 5. MALONE.