But (as it seems) did violence on herself.
All this I know; and to the marriage
Her nurse is privy : and, if aught in this
Miscarried by my fault, let my old life
Be sacrific'd, some hour before the time,
Unto the rigour of severest law.

Prince. We still have known thee for a holy man.Where's Romeo's man? what can he say in this ?

Bal. I brought my master news of Juliet's death ;
And then in post he came from Mantua,
To this same place, to this same monument.
This letter he early bid me give his father ;
And threaten'd me with death, going in the vault,
If I departed not, and left him there.

Prince. Give me the letter, I will look on it.
Where is the county's page, that rais’d the watch ?-
Sirrah, what made your master in this place ?

Page. He came with flowers to strew his lady's grave; And bid me stand aloof, and so I did: Anon, comes one with light to ope the tomb; And, by and by, my master drew on him ; And then I ran away to call the watch.

Prince. This letter doth make good the friar's words,
Their course of love, the tidings of her death ;
And here he writes—that he did buy a poison
Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal
Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.
Where be these enemies ? Capulet! Montague !
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!
And I, for winking at your discords too,
Have lost a brace of kinsmen :-all are punish’d.

Cap. O, brother Montague, give me thy hand.
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand.
But I




For I will raise her statue in pure gold ;
That while Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set
As that of true and faithful Juliet.

Cap. As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie ;
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!
Prince. A glooming peace this morning with it brings;

The sun for sorrow will not shew his head :
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things ;

Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished :
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.?



ACT I. 1 Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals; that is, we'll not bear injuries. The expression was proverbial. Thus Ben Jonson, in Every Man out of his Humour, 'Here comes one that will carry coals; ergo, will hold my dog.'

2 Poor John. This was a name for the fish called hake, the Gadus merluccius, which, salted and dried, usually formed the fare of servants during Lent.

3 I will bite my thumb at them. A contemptuous action, performed, says Cotgrave, ‘by putting the thumb nail into the mouth, and, with a jerk from the upper teeth, making it to knack.'

4 Dedicate his beauty to the sun. In the old copies, the last word here is same.

Theobald made the happy emendation. The old spelling of sun-namely, sunne-might easily be mistaken for same.

5 She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.

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Younger than she are happy mothers made. May not 'fourteen' years, as the age of Juliet, be a misprint? The Italian original has eighteen, and Brooke's poem, sixteen. The probability is that 'fourteen' was a slip of the pen or the press.

6 Your plantain-leaf is excellent. This plant (the buck's-horn plantain) was of old thought very efficacious in medicine; it was applied to stanch blood and cure raw wounds.

7 Teen-sorrow, vexation.

8 The fish lives in the sea. This observation, which seems perfectly extraneous, is supposed by Farmer to allude to the fact that fish-skin covers to books were formerly not uncommon. Mason, with greater probability, thinks 'sea' a misprint for shell. But the whole of this speech appears to merit the epithet applied to it by Pope-ridiculous.

9 Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels. The reference here, of course, is to the rushes with which apartments were anciently strewed, before the luxury of carpets was introduced.

10 Tut! dun's the mouse. A proverbial saying-most likely a corruption of 'Dumb's the mouse.' In the play of Patient Grissel, 1603, we have "Yet dun is the mouse-lie still.' In the next line we have, “If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire,' which refers to an old country sport (as old as the time of Chaucer, who mentions it), thus explained by Gifford in a note in Ben Jonson's works: 'A log of wood is brought into the midst of the room; this is Dun (the cart-horse), and a cry is

; raised that he is stuck in the mire. Two of the company advance to draw him out; they find themselves unable to do it, and call for more assist

The game continues till all take part in it, when Dun is extricated of course ; and the merriment arises from the awkward and affected efforts of the rustics to lift the log, and from sundry arch-contrivances to let the ends of it fall on one another's toes.'

il Come, we burn daylight. Mrs Ford, in The Merry Wives, has the same expression; meaning, we have proof enough, we merely waste time.

12 0, then, I see, Queen Mab hath been with you. The first edition of Romeo and Juliet gives this celebrated speech of Mercutio as follows (modernising the spelling) :


‘She is the fairies' midwife, and doth come
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the forefinger of a burgomaster,
Drawn with a team of little atomi
Athwart men's noses when they lie asleep :
Her wagon-spokes are made of spinners' webs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
The traces are the moonshine watery beams,
The collars, cricket-bones, the lash of films:
Her wagoner is a small gray-coated fly,
Not half so big as is a little worm
Pick'd from the lazy finger of a maid.
And in this sort she gallops up and down
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
O’er courtiers' knees, who straight on court'sies dream;
O’er ladies' lips, who dream on kisses straight,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometimes she gallops o'er a lawyer's lap,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit :



And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail
Tickling a parson's nose that lies asleep,
And then dreams he of another benefice :
Sometimes she gallops o'er a soldier's nose,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscados, countermines,
Of healths five fathom deep-and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And swears a prayer or two and sleeps again.

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This is the very Mab that plats the manes of horses in the night,
And plats the elf-locks in foul sluttish hair,
Which, once entangled, much misfortune breeds.

Rom. Peace, peace,' &c. That this was not printed from Shakespeare's own manuscript, is obvious from the repetitions and incongruities in the speech. The poet could never have written that the wagon-spokes were made of spinners' webs, or that the traces were formed of the moonshine watery beams. The reporter had confounded the lines which stand thus in the later editions :

'Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners' legs;

The traces of the smallest spider's web.' 13 Court-cupboard ; that is, sideboard or buffet. Marchpanes, in the same speech, were sweet cakes, made of nuts, almonds, sugar, flour, &c.

14 It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night. So in all the old copies. The second folio reads (but without authority), 'Her beauty hangs,' &c.

15 Princox; that is, a coxcomb.

1 Young auburn Cupid, he that shot so trim,

When King Cophetua lov'd the beggar-maid. The old editions have Abraham Cupid,' which Upton and others altered to Adam Cupid,' conceiving that the allusion was to Adam Bell, the famous archer, mentioned in the old ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid :

The blinded boy that shoots so trim,

From heaven down did hie;
He drew a dart and shot at him

In place where he did lie.'
Mr Dyce has shewn that 'auburn' was often in the old plays written
Abraham and Abram. In Coriolanus, according to the first three folios,

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