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The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
[Dies. Enter at the other end of the Churchyard, FRIAR LAURENCE, with a Lantern, Crow, and Spade.
Fri. Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night Have my old feet stumbled at graves 13 ?—Who's
there? Who is it that consorts, so late, the dead?
Bal. Here's one, a friend, and one that knows
Fri. Bliss be upon you! Tell me, good my friend, What torch is yond' that vainly lends his light To grubs and eyeless sculls ? as I discern, It burneth in the Capels' monument.
Bal. It doth so, holy sir; and there's my master, One that
Who is it? Bal.
Romeo. Fri. How long hath he been there? Bal.
Full half an hour. Fri. Go with me to the vault. Bal.
I dare not, sir:
12 Conduct for conductor. So in a former scene :
* And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now.' 13 This accident was reckoned ominous. So in King Henry VI. Part 111.:
. For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.' And in King Richard III. Hastings, going to execution, says:
· Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble.'
My master knows not, but I am gone hence;
Fri. Stay then, I'll go alone:— Fear comes upon
0, much I fear some ill unlucky thing.
Bal. As I did sleep under this yew-tree here, I dreamt my master and another fought 14, And that my master slew him. Fri.
Romeo? [Advances. Alack, alack, what blood is this, which stains The stony entrance of this sepulchre ?What mean these masterless and
swords To lie discolour’d by this place of peace ?
[Enters the Monument, Romeo! 0, pale!-Who else? what, Paris too? And steep'd in blood ?—Ah, what an unkind hour Is guilty of this lamentable chance ! The lady stirs 15. [JULIET wakes and stirs. Jul. 0, comfortable friar! where is my
lord ? I do remember well where I should be, And there I am:- Where is my Romeo ?
[Noise within. 14 This is one of the touches of nature that would have escaped the hand of any painter less attentive to it than Shakspeare. What happens to a person while he is under the manifest influence of fear, will seem to bim, when he is recovered from it, like a dream. Homer (book viii.) represents Rhesus dying, fast asleep, and, as it were, beholding his enemy in a dream, plunging a sword into his bosom. Eustathius and Dacier both applaud this image as very natural; for a man in such a condition, says Mr. Pope, awakes no further than to see confusedly what environs him, and to think it not a reality, but a vision. Let me add, that this passage appears to have been imitated by Quintus Calaber, xiii. 125:Πότμον όμως ορόωντες όνειρασιν.'
.' Steevens. 15 In the alteration of this play, now exhibited on the stage, Garrick appears to have been indebted to Otway, who perhaps, without any knowledge of the story as told by Da Porto and Bandello, does not permit his hero to die before his wife awakes.
Fri. I hear some noise.- Lady, come from that
nest Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep; A greater Power than we can contradict Hath thwarted our intents; come, come away: Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead; And Paris too"; come, I'll dispose of thee Among a sisterhood of holy nuns : Stay not to question, for the watch is coming; Come, go, good Juliet,-[Noise again.] I dare stay no longer.
[Exit. Jul. Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.What's here? a cup, clos’d in my true love's
hand ? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end: O churl! drink all; and leave no friendly drop, To help me after?—I will kiss thy lips; Haply, some poison yet doth hang on them, To make me die with a restorative. [Kisses him. Thy lips are warm
16 Shakspeare has been arraigned for making Romeo die before Juliet awakes from her trance, and thus losing a happy opportunity of introducing an affecting scene between these anfortunate lovers. He had undoubtedly never read the Italian novel, or any literal translation of it; and has in this particular followed the old poem or an older drama on the subject. Be this as it may-Augustus Schlegel remarks, that the poet seems to have hit upon what was best. There is a measure of agitation, beyond which all that is superadded becomes torture, or glides off ineffectually from the already saturated mind. In case of the cruel reunion of the lovers for an instant, Romeo's remorse for his overhasty self-murder, Juliet's despair over her deceitful hope, at first cherished, then annihilated, that she was at the goal of her wishes, must have deviated into caricatures. Nobody surely doubts that Shakspeare was able to represent these with suitable force; but here every thing soothing was welcome, in order that we may not be frightened out of the melancholy, to which we willingly resign ourselves, by too painful discords. Why should we heap still more upon accident,
1 Watch. [Within.) Lead, boy:-Which way? Jul. Yea, noise ?—then I'll be brief.-0 happy
dagger! [Snatching Romeo's Dagger. This is thy sheath [Stabs herself ]; there rust, and let me die 17.
[Falls on Romeo's Body, and dies.
Enter Watch, with the Page of Paris. Page. This is the place; there, where the torch
doth burn. 1 Watch. The ground is bloody; Search about
the churchyard : Go, some of you, whoe'er you find, attach.
[Exeunt some. Pitiful sight! here lies the county slain; And Juliet bleeding; warm, and newly dead, Who here hath lain these two days buried. Go, tell the prince,-run to the Capulets,Raise up the Montagues,--some others search;
[Exeunt other Watchmen. We see the ground whereon these woes do lie; But the true ground of all these piteous woes, We cannot without circumstance descry.
that is already so guilty ? Wherefore shall not the tortured Romeo quietly
“ Shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From his world-wearied flesh ?” He holds his beloved in his arms, and, dying, cheers himself with a vision of everlasting marriage. She also seeks death, in a kiss, upon his lips. These last moments must belong unparticipated to tenderness, that we may hold fast to the thought, that love lives, although the lovers perish.' 17 Thus the quarto of 1599. That of 1597 reads :
Ay, noise ? then must I be resolute.
Enter some of the Watch, with BALTHASAR. 2 Watch. Here's Romeo's man, we found him in
the churchyard. 1 Watch. Hold him in safety, till the prince come
Enter another Watchman, with FRIAR LAU
RENCE. 3 Watch. Here is a friar, that trembles, sighs, and
weeps: We took this mattock and this spade from him, As-he was coming from this churchyard side. 1 Watch. A great suspicion; Stay the friar too.
Enter the Prince and Attendants. Prince. What misadventure is so early up, That calls our person from our morning's rest? Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, and Others. Cap. What should it be, that they so shriek
abroad? La. Cap. The people in the street cry-Romeo, Some-Juliet, and some-Paris; and all run, With open outcry toward our monument.
Prince. What fear is this, which startles in our ears? 1 Watch. Sovereign, here lies the county Paris
slain; And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before, Warm and new kill'd. Prince. Search, seek, and know how this foul
murder comes. 1 Watch. Here is a friar, and slaughter'd Romeo's
man; With instruments upon them, fit to open These dead men's tombs.