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Enter Romeo.

F I may trust the flattering truth of neep,

My dreams presage some joyful news at hand: 3 My bosom's lord sits lightly on his throne; And all this day an unaccustom'd spirit Lifts me above the ground with chearful thoughts. I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead; (Strange dream! that gives a dead man leave to think)

I The acts are here properly enough divided, nor did any better diftribution than the editors have already made, occur to me in the perusal of this play; yet it may not be improper to remark, that in the first folio, and I suppose the foregoing editions are in the same state, there is no division of the acts, and therefore some future editor may try, whether any improvement can be made, by reducing them to a length more equal, or interrupting the action at more proper intervals.

JOHNSON. 2 If I may trust the flattering TRUTH of peep,] The sense is, If I may only truft the honesty of feep, which I know however not to be so nice as not often to practise flattery. JOHNSON.

The oldest copy reads, the flattering eye of deep. Whether this reading ought to supersede the more modern one, I fall not pretend to determine : it appears to me, however, the most cafily intelligible of the two. STEVENS.

3 My bofom's lord] These three lines are very gay and pleasing. But why does Shakespeare give Romeo 'this invojuntary cheerfulness just before the extremity of unhappiness ? Perhaps to fhew the vanity of trusting to those uncertain and casual exaltations or depressions, which many consider as certain foretokens of good and evil. Johnson.

The poet has explained this paffage himself a little further an,

" How oft, when men are at the point of death,
“ Have they been merry? which their keepers call
" A lightning before death."



And breath'd such life with kisses in my lips,
That I reviv'd, and was an emperor.
Ah me! how sweet is love itself poffeft,
When but love's shadows are so rich in joy!

Enter Balthasar.
News from Verona!

-How now, Balthasar ?
Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?
How doth my lady? is my father well?
How doth my Juliet ? That I ask again ;
For nothing can be ill, if she be well.

Balth. Then she is well, and nothing can be ill;
Her body seeps in Capulets' monument,
And her immortal part with angels lives.
I saw her laid low in her kindred's vault,
And presently took post to tell it you.
O, pardon me for bringing these ill news,

did leave it for my office, Sir. Rom. Is it even fo? then I defy you, stars 4 !— Thou know'st my lodging: get me ink and paper, And hire post-horses: I will hence to-night.

Balth. Pardon me, Sir, I dare not leave you thus s.
Your looks are pale and wild, and do import
Some misadventure.

Rom. Tush, thou art deceiv’d.
Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do:
Haft thou no letters to me from the friar?

Balth. No, my good lord.

Rom. No matter : get thee gone,
And hire those horses ; I'll be with thee straight.

[Exit Balthasar, Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to-night.

4 - I defy you, stars !] The folio reads--deny you, stars.

STEEVENS. 5 Pardon me, Sir, I dare not leave you thus.] This line is taken from the quarto, 1597. The quarto, 1609, and the folio read, “ I do beseech you, Sir, have patience." Steevens.


Let's see for means : O mischief! thou art swift
To enter in the thoughts of desperate men !
I do remember an apothecary-
And hereabouts he dwells, whom late I noted
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of simples; meager were his looks;
Sharp misery had worn him to the bones :
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
An alligator stuft, and other skins
Of ill-Ihap'd fishes; and about his shelves
6 A beggarly account of empty boxes ;
Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,
Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses
Were thinly scatter'd to make up a show.
Noting this penury, to myself I said,
An if a man did need a poison now,
Whose fale is present death in Mantua,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.
Oh, this same thought did but fore-run my need;
And this fame needy man must sell it me.
As I remember, this should be the house:
Being holy-day, the beggar's shop is shut.
-What, ho! apothecary!

Enter Apothecary.
Ap. Who calls fo loud ?

Rom. Come hither, man.- I see, that thou art poor. Hold; there is forty ducats. Let me have A dram of poison ; such soon-speeding geer, As will disperse itself thro' all the veins, That the life-weary taker may fall dead; And that the trunk may be discharg'd of breath, As violently, as hasty powder fir’d Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.

A BEGGARLY account of empty boxes ;] Dr. Warburton would read, a braggartly account; but beggarly is probably right : if the boxes were empty, the account was more beggarly, as it was more pompous, Johnson.


Ap. Such mortal drugs I have ; but Mantua's law Is death to any he that utters them.

Rom. Art thou fo bare and full of wretchedness,
And fear'st to die? famine is in thy cheeks,
Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes ?,
8 Upon thy back. hangs ragged misery,
The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law :
The world affords no law to make thee rich;
Then be not poor, but break it and take this.

Ap. My poverty, but not my will, consents.
Rom. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.

Ap. Put this in any liquid thing you will,
And drink it off; and if you had the strength
Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight.
Rom. There is thy gold ; worse poison to men's

Doing more murders in this loathsome world,
Than these poor compounds that thou may'st not fell.
I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none.
Farewell; buy food, and get thyself in fesh.
Come, cordial, and not poison; go with me
To Juliet's grave, for there must I use thee. (Exeunt.

Friar Laurence's cell,

Enter friar John.
Jokn. Holy Franciscan friar! brother ! ho !

? Need and oppression ftare vithin thine eyes,] The first quarto reads,

“And starved famine dwelleth in thy cheeks.” The quartos, 1599, 1609, and the folio,

“ Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes.” The variation in the text has hitherto been merely arbitrary.

Sreevens. Upon thy back hangs ragged misery,] This is the reading of the oldest copy. I have reitored it in preference to the following line, which is found in all the subsequent impressions. “ Contempt and beggary hang upon thy back.”




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Enter friar Laurence.
Lau. This same should be the voice of friar John.
Welcome from Mantua : what says Romeo ?
Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.

John. Going to find a bare-foot brother out,
One of our order, to associate me,
Here in this city visiting the sick,
And finding him, the searchers of the town,
Suspecting that we both were in a house
Where the infectious pestilence did reign,
Seald up the doors, and would not let us forth ;
So that my speed to Mantua there was staid.

Lau. Who bore my letter then to Romeo ?

John. I could not send it; here it is again ;
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
So fearful were they of infection.

Lau. Unhappy fortune ! by my brotherhood,
The letter 2 was not nice, but full of charge
Of dear import; and the neglecting it
May do much danger. Friar John, go hence,
Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight
Unto my cell.

John. Brother, I'll go and bring it thee. [Exit.

Lou. Now must I to the monument alone,
Within these three hours will fair Juliet wake
She will beshrew me much, that Romeo
Hach had no notice of these accidents.
But I will write again to Mantua,
And keep her at my cell 'till Ronco come.
Poor living corse, clos'd in a dead man's tomb !

[Exit. One of our order, to associate me,] Each friar has always a companion affigned him by the fuperior whenever he asks leave to go out; and thus, says Baretti, they are a check upon cach other. STEEVENS.

was not nice,–] i. e. was not written on a trivial subject, or in compliance merely with the laws of ceremony.




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