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AP. Put this in any liquid thing you will, And drink it off; and, if you had the strength Of twenty men, it would despatch you straight.3 ROM. There is thy gold; worse poison to men's souls,

Doing more murders in this loathsome world, Than these poor compounds that thou may'st not

sell:

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I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none.
Farewell; buy food, and get thyself in flesh.-
Come, cordial, and not poison; go with me
To Juliet's grave, for there must I use thee.

Put this in any liquid thing you will,

And drink it off; and, if you had the strength

[Exeunt.

Of twenty men, it would despatch you straight.] Perhaps, when Shakspeare allotted this speech to the Apothecary, he had not quite forgot the following passage in The Pardoneres Tale of Chaucer, 12,794:

"The Potecary answered, thou shalt have

"A thing, as wisly God my soule save,
"In all this world ther n'is no creature,
"That ete or dronke hath of this confecture,
"Not but the mountance of a corne of whete,
"That he ne shal his lif anon forlete;

"Ye, sterve he shal, and that in lesse while,
"Than thou wolt gon a pas not but a mile:

"This poison is so strong and violent." STEEVENS.

SCENE II.

Friar Laurence's Cell.

Enter Friar JOHN.

JOHN. Holy Franciscan friar! brother, ho!

Enter Friar LAURENCE.

LAU. This same should be the voice of friar
John.-

Welcome from Mantua: What says Romeo?
Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.

JOHN. Going to find a bare-foot brother out,
One of our order, to associate me,*

* One of our order, to associate me,] Each friar has always a companion assigned him by the superior when he asks leave to go out; and thus, says Baretti, they are a check upon each other. STEEVENS.

In The Visitatio Notabilis de Seleburne, a curious record printed in The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, Wykeham enjoins the canons not to go abroad without leave from the prior, who is ordered on such occasions to assign the brother a companion, ne suspicio sinistra vel scandalum oriatur. Append. p. 448. HOLT WHITE.

By the Statutes of Trinity College, Cambridge, ch. 22, it is declared That no batchelor or scholar shall go into the town without a companion as a witness of his honesty, on pain for the first offence to be deprived of a week's commons, with further punishment for the offence if repeated. REED.

Going to find a bare-foot brother out,

One of our order, to associate me,

Here in this city visiting the sick,

And finding him, the searchers of the town,

Suspecting, &c.] So, in The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562:

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Here in this city visiting the sick,

And finding him, the searchers of the town,
Suspecting, that we both were in a house
Where the infectious pestilence did reign,
Seal'd up the doors, and would not let us forth;
So that my speed to Mantua there was stay'd.
LAU. Who bare my letter then to Romeo?
JOHN. I could not send it,-here it is again,-
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
So fearful were they of infection.

LAU. Unhappy fortune! by my brotherhood,
The letter was not nice, but full of charge,

"Apace our friar John to Mantua him hies;
"And, for because in Italy it is a wonted guise
"That friars in the town should seldom walk alone,
"But of their convent aye should be accompanied with

one

"Of his profession, straight a house he findeth out,
"In mind to take some friar with him, to walk the town

about."

Our author, having occasion for Friar John, has here departed from the poem, and supposed the pestilence to rage at Verona, instead of Mantua.

Friar John sought for a brother merely for the sake of form, to accompany him in his walk, and had no intention of visiting the sick; the words, therefore, to associate me, must be considered as parenthetical, and Here in this city, &c. must refer to the bare-foot brother.

I formerly conjectured that the passage ought to be regulated

thus:

Going to find a bare-foot brother out,

One of our order, to associate me,

And finding him, the searchers of the town

Here in this city visiting the sick, &c.

But the text is certainly right. The searchers would have had no ground of suspicion, if neither of the Friars had been in an infected house. MALONE.

-was not nice,] i. e. was not written on a trivial or idle subject.

Of dear import; and the neglecting it

May do much danger: Friar John, go hence;
Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight
Unto my cell.

6

JOHN. Brother, I'll go and bring it thee. [Exit. LAU. Now must I to the monument alone; Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake;° She will beshrew me much, that Romeo Hath had no notice of these accidents: But I will write again to Mantua,

And keep her at my cell till Romeo come; Poor living corse, clos'd in a dead man's tomb!

[Exit.

Nice signifies foolish in many parts of Gower and Chaucer. So, in the second Book De Confessione Amantis, fol. 37: My sonne, eschewe thilke vice.

66

"My father elles were I nice."

Again, in Chaucer's Scogan unto the Lordes, &c. the most complaint of all,

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"Is to thinkin that I have be so nice,

"That I ne would in vertues to me call," &c.

Again, in The longer thou livest the more Fool thou art, 1570: "You must appeare to be straunge and nyce."

The learned editor of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 1775, observes, that H. Stephens informs us, that nice was the old French word for niais, one of the synonymes of sot. Apol. Herod. L. I. c. iv. STEEVENS.

See Vol. XIV. p. 421, n. 1; and Vol. XVI. p. 375, n. 8.

MALONE.

• Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake;] Instead of this line, and the concluding part of the speech, the quarto, 1597, reads only:

"Lest that the lady should before I come

"Be wak'd from sleep, I will hye

"To free her from that tombe of miserie." STEEVENS.

SCENE III.

A Church-Yard; in it, a Monument belonging to the Capulets.

Enter PARIS, and his Page, bearing Flowers and a Torch.

PAR. Give me thy torch, boy: Hence, and stand aloof;

Yet put it out, for I would not be seen.
Under yon yew-trees lay thee all along,
Holding thine ear close to the hollow ground;
So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread,
Being loose, unfirm, with digging up of graves,)
But thou shalt hear it: whistle then to me,
As signal that thou hear'st something approach
Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go.

PAGE. I am almost afraid to stand alone Here in the churchyard; yet I will adventure. [Retires.

PAR. Sweet flower, with flowers I strew thy bridal bed:

Sweet tomb, that in thy circuit dost contain
The perfect model of eternity;

Fair Juliet, that with angels dost remain,"

7 Fair Juliet, that with angels &c.] These four lines from the old edition. POPE.

The folio has these lines:

"Sweet flow'r, with flow'rs thy bridal bed I strew;
"O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones,
"Which with sweet water nightly I will dew,

"Or, wanting that, with tears distill'd by moans.

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