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La. Mon. O, where is Romeo !--saw you him
to-day? Right glad I am, he was not at this fray.
Ben. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun Peer'd forth * the golden window of the east”, A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad; Where,-underneath the grove of sycamore, That westward rooteth from the city's side, So early walking did I see your son: Towards him I made ; but he was 'ware of me, And stole into the covert of the wood : I, measuring his affections by my own,That most are busied when they are most alone°,Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his, (ID) And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me?
Mon. Many a morning hath he there been seen, With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew, Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs : But all so soon as the all-cheering sun Should in the furthest east begin to draw
* Quarto A, peept through. s Peer'd forth the golden window of the east,] The same thought occurs in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. ii. c. x. :
“ Early before the morn with cremosin ray
“ The windows of bright heaven opened had,
“ Might looke,” &c. STEEVENS. Again, in Summa Totalis ; or All in all, or The Same for Ever, 4to. 1607 :
“ Now heaven's bright eye (awake by Vespers sheene) “ Peepes through the purple windowes of the East."
Hout WHITE. 6 That most are busied, &c.] Edition 1597. Instead of which it is in the other editions thus :
by my own, “Which then most fought, where most might not be found, “ Being one too many by my weary self, Pursu'd
humour,” &c. Pope. ? 7 And gladly shunn'd, &c.] The ten lines following, not in edition 1597, but in the next of 1599. Pore.
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
Ben. My noble uncle, do you know the cause ?
Mon. Both by myself, and many other friends:
8 Ben. Have you importun’d, &c.] These two speeches also omitted in edition 1597, but inserted in 1599. Pope.
9 Or dedicate his beauty to the same.] Old copy-same. When we come to consider, that there is some power else besides balmy air, that brings forth, and makes the tender buds spread themselves, I do not think it improbable that the poet wrote:
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. Or, according to the more obsolete spelling, sunne; which brings it nearer to the traces of the corrupted text. THEOBALD.
I cannot but suspect that some lines are lost, which connected this simile more closely with the foregoing speech : these lines, if such there were, lamented the danger that Romeo will die of his melancholy, before his virtues or abilities were known to the world,
Johnson. I suspect no loss of connecting lines. An expression somewhat similar occurs in Timon, Act IV. Sc. II. :
“ A dedicated beggar to the air.” I have, however, adopted Theobald's emendation. Mr. M. Mason observes “ that there is not a single passage in our author where so great an improvement of language is obtained, by so slight a deviation from the text.”
STEEVENS. Dr. Johnson's conjecture is, I think, unfounded; the simile relates solely to Romeo's concealing the cause of his melancholy, and is again used by Shakspeare in Twelfth Night :
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
Enter Romeo, at a distance.
I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.
Mon. I would, thou wert so happy by thy stay, To hear true shrift.—Come, madam, let's away.
[Exeunt Montague and Lady. Ben. Good morrow, cousin. Rom.
Is the day so young'? Ben. But new struck nine. Rom.
Ah me! sad hours seem long. Was that my father that went hence so fast ? Ben. It was :- What sadness lengthens Romeo's
hours ? Rom. Not having that, which, having, makes
She never told her love,
“ Feed on her damask cheek." In the last Act of this play our poet has evidently imitated the Rosamond of Daniel ; and in the present passage might have remembered the following lines in one of the Sonnets of the same writer, who was then extremely popular. The lines, whether remembered by our author or not, add such support to Mr. Theobald's emendation, that I should have given it a place in my text, but that the other mode of expression was not uncommon in Shakspeare's time :
“ And whilst thou spread'st unto the rising sunne,
Daniel's Sonnets, 1594.
Is the day so YOUNG?] i. e. is it so early in the day? The same expression (which might once have been popular) I meet with in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540 : “ It is yet young nyghte, or there is yet moche of the nyghte to come.” STEEVENS. VOL. VI.
Ben. In love ?
Ben. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will ? ! Where shall we dine ?-0 me !-What fray was
here? Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here's much to do with hate, but more with love :Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate ! O any thing, of nothing first create !
- to his will !] Sir T. Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, read-to his ill.
The present reading has some obscurity ; the meaning may be, that love finds out means to pursue his desire. That the blind should find paths to ill is no great wonder.
Johnson It is not unusual for those who are blinded by love to overlook every difficulty that opposes their pursuit. Nichols.
What Romeo seems to lament is, that love, though blind, should discover pathways to his will, and yet cannot avail himself of them; should perceive the road which he is forbidden to take. The quarto, 1597, reads :
* Should, without laws, give path-ways to our will!” i. e. being lawless itself, prescribe laws to others. Steevens.
This passage seems to have been misapprehended. Benvolio has lamented that the god of love, who appears so gentle, should be a tyrant. It is no less to be lamented, adds Romeo, that the blind god should yet be able to direct his arrows at those whom he wishes to hit, that he should wound whomever he wills, or desires to wound. Malone.
3 Why then, O brawling love! &c.] Of these lines neither the sense nor occasion is very evident. He is not yet in love with an enemy; and to love one and hate another is no such uncommon state, as can deserve all this toil of antithesis.
O heavy lightness ! serious vanity!
No, coz, I rather weep.
* Folio, and quartos B, C, well-seeing; quarto A, best-seeming.
Had Dr. Johnson attended to the letter of invitation in the next scene, he would have found that Rosaline was niece to Capulet.
ANONYMOUS. Every sonnetteer characterises Love by contrarieties. Watson begins one of his canzonets :
“ Love is a sowre delight, a sugred griefe,
“A living death, an ever-dying life, &c. Turberville makes Reason harangue against it in the same manner :
“ A fierie frost, a flame that frozen is with ise ! “A heavie burden light to beare! A vertue fraughte with
“ vice!" &c.
“ Loue it is an hateful pees,
“ Rest that trauaileth night and daie,” &c. This kind of antithesis was very much the taste of the Provençal and Italian poets ; perhaps it might be hinted the ode of Sappho preserved by Longinus. Petrarch is full of it:
“ Pace non trovo, e non ho da far guerra ;
Sonnet 105. Sir Thomas Wyat gives a translation of this sonnet, without any notice of the original, under the title of Description of the Contrarious Passions in a Louer, amongst the Songes and Sonnettes, by the Earle of Surrey, and others, 1574. Farmer.