Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.'

Jul. Saints do not more, though grant for prayers' sake.

Rom. Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take. Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purg'd.

[Kissing her.2 Jut. Then have my lips the sin that they have took.

Rom. Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urg'd! Give me my sin again. Jul.

You kiss by the book.3 Nurse. Madam, your mother craves a word with you.

10 then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;

They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair. ] Juliet had said before that "palm to palm was holy palmers' kiss.” She afterwards says that “palmers have lips that they must use in prayer." Romeo replies, that the prayer of his lips was, that they might do what hands do; that is, that they might kiss. M Mason.

2 [Kissing her ] Our poet here, without doubt, copied from the mode of his own time: and kissing a lady in a publick assembly, we may conclude, was not thought indecorous. In King Henry VIII, he in like manner makes Lord Sands kiss Anne Boleyn, next to whom he sits at the supper given by Cardinal Wolsey.

Malone. 3 You kiss by the book.] In As you Like it, we find it was usual to quarrel by the book, and we are told in the note, that there were books extant for good manners. Juliet here appears to refer to a third kind, containing the art of courtship, an example from which it is probable that Rosalind hath adduced. Henley.

Of all men who have loosed themselves on Shakspeare, none is there who so inveigleth me to amorous meditations, as the critic aforesaid. In Antony and Cleopatra he sore vexed and disquieted mine imagination touching the hair and voice of women; in King Leur he hinted at somewhat touching noninos ; and lo! now disserteth he on lip-gallantry! But (saith a wag at mine elbow) on the business of kissing, surely Calista's question might be addressed to our commentator" Is it become an art then? a trick that bookmen can teach us to do over?” I believe, no dissertation, or guide, to this interchange of fondness was ever penned, at least while Shakspeare was alive. All that Juliet means to say is-you kiss methodically; you offer as many reasons for kissing, as could have been found in a treatise professedly written on the subject. When Hamlet observes on the Grave-digger's equivoca. tion-" we must speak by the card,” can he be supposed to have had a literal meaning? Without reference to books, however, Juliet betrays little ignorance on the present occasion; but could have said (with Mortimer, in King Henry IV,)

" I understand thy kisses, and thou mine;
" And that's a feeling disputation.” Amner.

Ron. What is her mother?
Nurse.

Marry, bachelor,
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise, and virtuous :
I nurs'd her daughter, that you talk'd withal;
I tell you,ếhe, that can lay hold of her,
Shall have the chinks.
Rom.

Is she a Capulet?
O dear account! my life is my foe's debt.

Ben. Away, begone; the sport is at the best.
Rom. Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest.
i Cap. Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone;
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.'--
Is it e'en so? Why, then I thank you all;
I thank you, honest gentlemen; good night:-
More torches here ! Come on, then let's to bed.
Ah, sirrah, [to 2 CAP.] by my fay, it waxes late;
I'll to my rest. [Exeunt all but Jul. and Nurse.

Jul. Come hither, nurse: What is yon gentleman?5
Nurse. The son and heir of old Tiberio.
Jul. What's he, that now is going out of door?
Nurse. Marry, that, I think, be young Petruchio.
Jul. What’s he that follows there, that would not dance?
Nurse. I know not.

4 We have a trifling foolish banquer towards.] Towards is ready, at hand. So, in Hamlet:

“What might be towards, that this sweaty haste

“ Doth make the night joint labourer with the day?” Again, in The Phænix, by Middleton, 1607: “here's a voyage towards, will make us all.” Steevens.

It appears, from the former part of this scene, that Capulet's company had supped. A banquet, it should be remembered, often meant, in old times, nothing more than a collation of fruit, wine, &c. So, in The Life of Lord Cromwell, 1602:

“Their dinner is our banquet ofter dinner.” Again, in Howel's Chronicle of the Civil Wars, 1661, p. 662: After dinner, he was served with a banquet." Malone.

It appears, from many circumstances, that our ancestors quitted their eating-rooms as soon as they had dined, and in warm weather retired to buildings constructed in their gardens. These were called banqueting-houses, and here their dessert was served.

Steevens. 5 Come hither, nurse: What is yon gentleman?] This and the fol.lowing questions are taken from the novel. Steevens. See the poem of Romeus and Fuliet. Malone.

[ocr errors]

Jul. Go, ask his name :--if he be married, My grave is like to be my wedding bed.

Nurse. His name is Romeo, and a Montague;
The only son of your great enemy.

Jul. My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.

Nurse. What's this? what's this?
Jul.

A rhyme I learn'd even now Of one I danc'd withal. [One calls within, JULIET. Nurse.

Anon, anon: Come, let's away; the strangers all are gone. [Exeunt.

Enter CHORUS. 6 Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie, And young affection

gapes to be his heir; That fair,7 which love groan'd for, and would die, 8

With tender Juliet match’d, is now not fair.

6

CHORUS] This Chorus added since the first edition.

Pope. The use of this Chorus is not easily discovered; it conduces nothing to the progress of the play, but relates what is already known, or what the next scene will show; and relates it without adding the improvement of any moral sentiment. Johnson.

7 That fair,] Fair, it has been already observed, was formerly used as a substantive, and was synonymous to beauty. See Vol. V, p. 69, n. 9. Malone.

8 That fair, which love groan'd for, and would die,] The instances produced in a subsequent note, by Mr. Malone, to justify the old and corrupt reading, are not drawn from the quartos, which he judiciously commends, but from the folio, which with equal judgment he has censured. These irregularities, therefore, standing on no surer ground than that of copies published by ignorant players, and printed by careless compositors, I utterly refuse to admit their accumulated jargon as ihe grammar of 'Shakspeare, or of the age he lived in.

Fair, in the present instance, was used as a dissyllable.

Sometimes, our author, as here, uses the same word as a dissyllable and a monosyllable, in the very same line. Thus, in The Tempest, Act I, sc. ï:

“Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since.” Steevens.

-for which love groan'd for,] Thus the ancient copies, for which all the modern editors, adopting Mr. Rowe's alteration, read-groan'd sore. This is one of the many changes that have been macle in the text from not attending to ancient phraseology: for this kind of duplication was common in Shakspeare's time.

Now Romeo is belov'd, and loves again,

Alike bewitched by the charm of looks; But to his foe suppos’d he must complain,

And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks: Being held a foe, he may not have access

To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear; And she as much in love, her means much less

To meet her new-beloved any where : But passion lends them power, time means to meet, Temp’ring extremities with extreme sweet. [Exit.

ACT II.....SCENE I.

An open Place, adjoining Capulet's Garden.

Enter ROMEO.

Rom. Can I go forward, when my heart is here? Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out.

[He climbs the Wall, and leaps down within it.

Enter BENVOLIO, and MERCUTIO. - Ben. Romeo! my cousin Romeo! Mer.

He is wise; And, on my life, hath stolen him home to bed.

Ben. He ran this way, and leap'd this orchard wall:
Call, good Mercutio.
Mer.

Nay, I'll conjure too.-
Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover!
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh,
Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
Cry but-- Ah me! couple but-love and dove ;

So, in Coriolanus: In what enormity is Marcius poor in, that you two have not in abundance ?" See Coriolanus, Vol. XIII, Act IL sc. i. Again, in As you Like it, Act II, sc. vii: “- the scene wherein we play in.Malone.

9 Cry but-- Ah me! couple but_love and dove ; ] The quarto, 1597, reads pronounce; the two succeeding quartos and the first folio, provaunt; the 2d, 3d, and fourth folios, couply; and Mr. Rowe, who printed from the last of these, formed the present reading. Provant, however, in ancient language, signifies provision. So, in “ The Court and Kitchen of Elizabeth, called Joan Cromwell,

Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
One nick-name for her purblind son and heir,
Young Adam Cupid, 1 he that shot so trim,
When king Cophetua lov’d the beggar-maid.2-

tbe Wife of the late Usurper, truly described and represented," 1664, p. 14: “- carrying some dainty provant for her own and her daughter's repast To provant is to provide ; and to provide is to furnish. Provant but love and dove,” may therefore mean, furnish but such hackneyed rhymes as these are, the trite effu. sions of lovers. Steevens

pronounce but love and dove ;) Thus the first quarto, 1597. Pronounce, in the quartos of 1599 and 1609, was made provaunt.

In the first folio, which appears to have been printed from the latter of these copies, the same reading is adopted. The editor of the second folio arbitrarily substituted couply, meaning certainly couple, and all the modern editors have adopted this inno. vation. Provaunt, as Mr. Steevens has observed, means provision; but I have never met with the verb To provant, nor has any example of it been produced. I have no doubt, therefore, that it was a corruption, and have adhered to the first quarto.

In this very line, love and dove, the reading of the original copy of 1597, was corrupted in the two subsequent quartos and the folio, to love and day; and heir, in the next line, corrupted into her. Malone.

Mr. Malone asks for instances of the verb provant. When he will produce examples of other verbs (like reverb, &c.) peculiar to our author, I may furnish him with the instance he desires. I am content, however, to follow the second folio. Steevens.

Young Adam Cupid,] All the old copies read-Abraham Cupid. The alteration was proposed originally by Mr. Upton. See Observations, p 243. It evidently alludes to the famous archer, Adam Bell. Reed.

2 When king Cophetua &c.] Alluding to an old ballad preserved in the first Volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of ancient English Poetry:

"Here you may read, Cophetua,

“Though long time fancie-fed,
“Compelled by the blinded boy

“The begger for to wed.” Steevens.
“ Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim,

" When," &c. This word trim, the first editors, consulting the general sense of the passage, and not perceiving the allusion, would naturally alter to true; yet the former seems the more humorous expression, and, on account nf its quaintness, more likely to have been useil by Mercutio. Percy.

So trim is the reading of the oldest copy, and this ingenious conjecture is confirmed by it. In Decker's Satiromastix, is a re. ference to the same archer;

1

« ПредишнаНапред »