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But (as it seems) did violence on herself.
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 ;
Prince. Give me the letter, I will look on it.
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,
Cap. O, brother Montague, give me thy hand.
For I will raise her statue in pure gold ;
Cap. As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie ;
The sun for sorrow will not shew his head :
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished :
NOTES TO ROMEO AND JULIET.
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.
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
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail
This is the very Mab that plats the manes of horses in the night,
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.
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;
In place where he did lie.'