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write my epitaph, that Tybalt came and broke the prince's laws, and Mercutio was slain for the first and second cause. Where's the Surgeon?
Boy. He's come, sir.
Mer. Now he'll keep a mumbling in my guts on the other side. -Come, Benvolio, lend me thy hand : A pox o' both your houses ! Steevens.
You will find me a grave man.] This jest was better in old language, than it is at present: Lidgate says, in his elegy upon Chaucer :
My master Chaucer now is grave." FARMER. I meet with the same quibble in the Revenger's Tregedy, 1608, where Vindici dresses up a lady's scull, and observes, “ —she has a somewhat grave look with her."
STEEVENS. hath aspir’d the clouds,] We never use this verb at present without some particle, as, to and after.
STEEVENS. Middleton, in No Wit like a Woman's, a comedy, 1657, uses this word as our author has done : " Why 'tis not possible, madam, that man's hap
"Until our bodies turn to elements,
come. There will yet be more mischief.
JOHNSON, 127. And fire-cy'd fury be my conduct now!] Conduct for conductor.
MALONE. 140. 0! I am fortune's fool!] I am always running in the way of evil fortune, like the fool in the play. “ Thou art death's fool,” in Measure for Measure. See Dr. Warburton's note.
JOHNSON. In the first copy,-0! I am fortune's slave.
STEEVENS. 154 -as thou art true,] As thou art just and upright.
JOHNSON. 160. How nice the quarrelm] How slight, how unimportant, how petty. So in the last act,
The letter was not nice, but full of charge
JOHNSON. -and urg'd withal] The rest of this speech was new written by the poet, as well as a part of what • follows in the same scene.
STEEVENS. 183. Affection makes him false.] The charge of falsehood on Benvolio, though produced at hazard, is very just. The author, who seems to intend the character of Benvolio as good, meant perhaps to shew, how the best minds, in a state of faction and discord, are distorted to criminal partiality. JOHNSON. Nor tears,
nor prayers, shall purchase out abuses,] This was probably designed as a stroke at the church of Rome, by which the different prices of murder, incest, and all other crimes, were minutely settled, and as shamelessly received.
204. Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.] So, in Hale’s Memorials : “ When I find myself swayed to mercy, let me remember likewise that there is a mercy due to the country.”
MALONE, 205. Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Towards Phæbus' mansion, &c.] Our author probably remembered Marlowe's King Edward 11. which was performed before 1593 :
“ Gallop apace, bright Phæbus, through the skie,
MALONE. 206. - Phæbus' mansion ;-] The second quarto and folio read, lodging.
STEEVENS, 208. -immediately.] Here ends this speech in the eldest quarto. The rest of the scene has likewise re. ceived considerable alterations and additions.
STEEvens, 209. Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night!
That run-away's eyes may wink ;-] What run-away's are these, whose eyes Juliet is wishing to have stopt ? Macbeth, we may remember, makes an invocation to night much in the same strain :
-Come, seeling night, “ Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,” &c. So Juliet would have night's darkness obscure the great eye of the day, the sun; whom considering in a poetical light as Phæbus, drawn in his car with fieryfooted steeds, and posting through the heavens, she Fiij
very properly calls him, with regard to the swiftness of his course, the run-away. In the like manner our poet speaks of the night in the Merchant of Venice : “ For the close night doth play the run-away.”
WARBURTON. The construction of this passage, however elliptical or perverse, I believe to be as follows:
May that run-away's eyes wink !
These ellipses are frequent in Spenser; and that, for oh! that, is not uncommon, as Dr. Farmer observes in a note on the first scene of The Winter's Tale. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, act iii. sc. 6.
" That ever I should call thee cast-away !” Juliet first wishes for the absence of the sun, and then invokes the night to spread its curtain close around the world :
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night! next, recollecting that the night would seem short to her, she speaks of it as of a run-away, whose flight she would wish to retard, and whose eyes she would blind, lest they should make discoveries. The eyes of night are the stars, so called in the Midsummer Night's · Dream. Dr. Warburton has already proved that Shakspere terms the night a run-away in the Merchant of Venice : and in the Fair Maid of the Exchange, 1607, it is spoken of under the same character :
“ The night hath play'd the swift-foot run away." Romeo was not expected by Juliet till the sun was gone, and therefore it was of no consequence to her
should wink but those of the night ; for, as Ben Jonson says in Sejanus :
-night hath many eyes, " Whereof, tho' most do sleep, yet some are spies."
STEEVENS. That seems not to be the optative adverb utinam, but the pronoun ista., These lines contain no wish, but a reason for Juliet's preceding wish for the approach of cloudy night; for in such a night there may be no star-light to discover our stolen pleasures :
* That run-away eyes may wink, and Romeo
BLACKSTONE. 214. -Come, civil night,] Civil is grave, decently solemn.
JOHNSON. 218. -unmann'd blood-] Blood yet unacquainted with man.
ту unmann'd blood bating in my cheeks,] These are terms of falconry. An unmanned hawk is one that is not brought to endure company: Bating (not baiting, as it has hitherto been printed) is fluttering with the wings, as striving to fly away. So, in Ben Jon. son's Sad Shepherd :
“ A hawk yet half so haggard and unmann'd." Again, in an old ballad, entitled Prettie Comparisons wittily grounded, &c.
« Or like a hawk that's never man'd,
« Or like a hide before 'tis tan'd.” Again, in the Booke of Haukyng, &c. bl. let. no