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Shew me a mistress that is passing fair,
Enter Capulet, Paris, and Sercant.
Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both;
Cap. But saying o'er what I have said before:
Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made.
The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she,
And like her most, whose merits most shall be:
[Exeunt Capulet and Paris.
One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish;
Rom. Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.
Rom. For your broken shin.
Ben. Why, Romeo, art thou mad?
10 Rom. Not mad, but bound more than a mad-man
[He reads the list.]
"Signior Martino, and his wife, and daughters; County Anselm, and his beauteous sisters; The "lady widow of Vitruvio; Signior Placentio, and 25" his lovely nieces; Mercutio, and his brother "Valentine; Mine uncle Capulet, his wife and "daughters; My fair niece Rosaline; Livia; "Signior Valentio, and his cousin Tybalt; Lucio, and the lively Helena."
30 A fair assembly; Whither should they come? Serv. Up.
Rom. Whither to supper?
Rom. Whose house?
Serv. My master's.
Rom. Indeed, I should have ask'd you that beServ. Now I'll tell you without asking: My master is the great rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come and 40 crush a cup of wine2. Rest you merry.
Ben. At this same ancient feast of Capulet's
Serv. Find them out, whose names are written 50 here? It is written-that the shoemaker should meddle with his yard, and the tailor with his last, the fisher with his pencil, and the painter with his nets; but I am sent to find those persons, whose names are here writ, and can never find what 55 names the writing person hath here writ. I must to the learned:In good time.
Enter Benvolio, and Romeo.
Ben. Tut, man! one fire burns out another's burning.
Rom. When the devout religion of mine eye
This is a Gallicism: Fille de terre is the French phrase for an heiress. 2 A cant expression which seems to have been once common among low people. We still say-to crack a bottle. "Your lady's love is the love you bear to your lady, which in our language is commonly used for the lady herself.
La. Cap. Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy
Nurse. Yes, madam; Yet I cannot choose but
Yea,' quoth my husband, 'fall'st upon thy face?
Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd:
Nurse. I'll lay fourteen of my teeth,- [four, And yet, to my teen 'be it spoken, I have but She's not fourteen: How long is 't now to Lam-25
La. Cap. A fortnight, and odd days.
Nurse. Even or odd, of all days in the year,
And since that time it is eleven years:
Yea,' quoth he, dost thou fall upon thy face?
And, pretty fool, it stinted, and said—' Ay.'
i. e. to my sorrow.
La. Cap. Marry, that marry is the very theme
Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man,
40 And see how one another lends content;
I hat book in many's eyes doth share the glory,
La. Cap. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris'
Serv. Madam, the guests are come, supper serv'd up, you call'd, my young lady ask'd for, the 60 nurse curs'd in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.
2 i. e. it stopped, it forbore from weeping.
ancient books were always printed in the margin.
The comments on
Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or six
Rom. What, shall this speech be spoke for our
Or shall we on without apology?
Ben. The date is out of such prolixity':
After the prompter, for our enterance:
[I'll be a candle-holder, and look on❝,
Mer. Tut! dun's the mouse', the constable's
5 If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire,
Mer. I mean, sir, in delay
10 We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day, Take our good meaning; for our judgement sits Five times in that, ere once in our five wits.
Being but heavy, I will bear the light. [dance.
With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead,
Mer. You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings,
Mer. And, to sink in it, should you burden love?
Mer. O, then, I see, queen Mab hath been with
Rom. Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
[Putting on a mask.
On courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies
Rom. A torch for me; let wantons, light of 50
Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels';
It was a custom observed by those who came uninvited to a masquerade, with a desire to conceal themselves for the sake of intrigue, or to enjoy the greater freedom of conversation, to preface their entry on these occasions by some speech in praise of the beauty of the ladies, or the generosity of the entertainer; and to the prolixity of such introductions we believe Romeo is made to allude. 2 See note', p. 957. 3 A torch-bearer seems to have been a constant attendant on every troop of masks. To quote is to observe, We have already observed, that it was anciently the custom to strew rooms with rushes, before carpets were in use. The stage was also anciently strewn with rushes. The proverb which Romeo means, is contained in the line immediately following: To hold the candle, is a very common proverbial expression, for being an idle spectator. 'Dun's the mouse, is a proverbial expression, the precise meaning of which cannot be determined. • Draw dun out of the mire, seems to have been a game. • To burn day-light is a proverbial expression, used when candles, &c. are lighted in the day-time. Atomy is no more than an obsolete substitute for atom.
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Rom. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace;
Mer. True, I talk of dreams;
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Supper is done, and we shall come too late.
Rom. I fear, too early: for my mind misgives, Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars, Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night's revels; and expire the term
Enter Capulet, &c. with the Guests, and the Maskers. 1 Cap. Welcome, gentlemen! ladies, that have their feet
Unplagu'd with corns, will have about with you:→ 5 Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all [she, Will now deny to dance? she that makes dainty, I'll swear, hath corns; Am I come near you now? You are welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day, That I have worn a visor; and could tell ⚫ 10A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, [gone : Such as would please; 'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis You are welcome, gentlemen.-Come,musicians, play.
A hall! a hall give room, and foot it, girls. [Musick plays, and they dance. More light, ye knaves; and turn the tables up, And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.Ah, sirrah, this unlook'd-for sport comes well. Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet; 20 For you and I are past our dancing days: How long is 't now, since last yourself and I Were in a mask?
2 Cap. By 'r lady, thirty years.
[much: 1 Cap. What, man! 'tis not so much, 'tis not so 25 'Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio,
A Hall in Capulet's House.
1 Serv. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to 40 take away? he shift a trencher! he scrape a trencher!
2 Serv. When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's hands, and they unwash'd too, 'tis a foul thing.
1 Serv. Away with the joint-stools, remove the court-cupboard, look to the plate:- -good thou, save me a piece of march-pane; and, as thou lov'st me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone, and Nell.-Antony! and Potpan!
2 Serv. Ay, boy: ready.
1 Serv. You are look'd for, and call'd for, ask'd for, and sought for, in the great chamber.
Come pentecost as quickly as it will,
1 Cap. Will you tell me that?
His son was but a ward two years ago.
Rom. What lady's that, which doth enrich the Of yonder knight?
Serv. I know not, sir.
Rom. O, she doth teach the torches to burn Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear: Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shews a snowy dove trooping with crows,, As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make happy my rude hand. Did my heart love 'till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty 'till this night.
Tyb.This, by his voice,should be a Montague:Fetch me my rapier, boy:-What, dares the slave Come hither, cover'd with an antick face, To fleer and scorn at our solemnity? Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, 50 To strike him dead I hold it not a sín.
2 Serv. We cannot be here and there too.Cheerly, boys; be brisk a while, and the longer 55 liver take all.
1 Cap. Why, how now, kinsman? wherefore storm you so?
Tyb. Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe;
This was a common superstition, and seems to have had its rise from the horrid disease called the Plica Polonica. 2 Trenchers were still used by persons of good fashion in our author's time. They continued cominon much longer in many public societies, particularly in colleges and inns of court; and are still retained at Lincoln's-Inn. Meaning, perhaps, what we call at present the side-board. * March-pane was a confection made of pistachio-nuts, almonds, and sugar, &c. and in high esteem in Shakspeare's time. It was a constant article in the desserts of our ancestors. This exclamation occurs frequently in the old comedies, and signifies, make room,
Tyb. 'Tis he, that villain Romeo.
1 Cap. Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone, He bears him like a portly gentleman; And, to say truth, Verona brags of him, To be a virtuous and well-govern'd youth: I would not for the wealth of all this town, Here in my house, do him disparagement: Therefore be patient, take no note of him, It is my will; the which if thou respect, Shew a fair presence, and put off these frowns, An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.
Tyb. It fits, when such a villain is a guest ; I'll not endure him.
1 Cap. He shall be endur'd;
Rom. Is she a Capulet?
100 dear account! my life is my foe's debt.
What, goodman boy!-I say,he shall:-Go to;-15
1 Cap. Go to, go to,
You are a saucy boy:-Is 't so, indeed?
This trick may chance to scathe you ';-I know
You must contrary me! marry, 'tis timeWell said,my hearts:-You are a princox'; go:Be quiet, or More light, more light, for shame!I'll make you quiet; What!-Cheerly, my hearts. Tyb. Patience perforce, with wilful choler meeting, [ing. Makes my flesh tremble in their different greetI will withdraw: but this intrusion shall, Now seeming sweet, convert to bitter gall. [Exit. Rom. If I profane with my unworthy hand [To Juliet. This holy shrine, the gentle fine is thisMy lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. Jul. Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shews in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And-palm to palin is holy palmers' kiss. Rom. Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?| Jul.Ay,pilgrim,lips that they must use in prayer. Rom.O then, dear saints, let lips do whathandsdo; They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair. Jul. Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake. [I take. Rom. Then move not, while my prayer's effect Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purg'd. [Kissing her. Jul.Then have my lips the sin thattheyhavetook. Rom. Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urg'd! Give me my sin again.
Jul. You kiss by the book.
1i.e. to do you an injury. ready, at hand.
Ben. Away, begone; the sport is at the best.
I thank you, honest gentlemen; good night:-
Jul. My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.
Nurse. What's this? what's this?
Of one I danc'd withal. [One calls within, Juliet.
Come, let's away; the strangers all are gone. [Exeunt.
Now old desire doth on his death-bed lie,
Alike bewitched by the charm of looks;
To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear; And she as much in love, her means much less To meet her new-beloved any where: But passion lends them power, time means to meet, Temp'ring extremities with extreme sweet. [Exit Chorus.