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With worms that are thy chamber-maids; oh, here
Arms, I have no edition but the folio, which has all the passage here mentioned. I have followed Mr. Theol ald. JOHNSON.
I am sorry to say, that the foregoing note is an inttance of difingenuousness, as well as inattention in Mr. Theobald, who, relying on the scarcity of the old quartos, very frequently makes them answerable for any thing he thinks proper to affert.
The quarto in 1599, was not the first. It was preceded by one in 1597 ; and though Mr. Theobald declares, he found the paljage left out in several of the later quarto impressions, yet in the list of those he pretends to have collated for the use of his edition, he mentions but one of a later date, and had never feen either that published in 1609, or another without any date at all; for in the former of these, the passage in question is preserved (the latter I have no copy of) and he has placed that in 1637, on the single faith of which he rejected it, among those only of middling authority : fo that what he fo roundly affirms of several, can with justice be said of but one; for there are in reality no later quarto editions of this play than I have here enumerated, and two of those (by his own confellion) he had never met with.
The hemiftich, which Mr. Theobald pronounces to be of molt profound absurdity, deserves a much better character ; but being misplaced, could not be connected with the part of the speech where he found it; but, being introduced a few lines lower, seems to make very good sense.
" Come bitter conduct? come unsav'ry guide !
“ Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kifs I die.” To tumble into port in a storm, I helieve to be a sea-phrase, as is a tumbling jea, and agrees with the allusion to the pilot or the tempeft beaten bark Here's success, says he (continuing the allufion) to the vessel wherever it tumbles in, or perhaps, to tbe pilot who is to conduct, or tumble it in ; meaning, I wish it may fucceed in ridding me of life, whatever may beride me after it, or wherever it may carry me.
He then drinks to the memory of Juliet's love, adding (as he feels the poison work) a hort apostrophe to the apothecary, the effect of whcfe drugs
Arms, take your last embrace ! and lips, oh you
[Drinks the poisor Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die. [Dies. he can doubt no longer, and turning his thoughts back again to the object moft beloved, he dies (like Othello) on a kiss.
The other hemiitich (not disposed of) may yet be introduced; how naturally, must be left to the reader to determine. The quarto of 1609, exhibits the passage thus :
Ah, dear Juliet!
Shall I believe? that unsubstantial death is amorous, " And that the lean,” &c. If such an idea could have any foundation in nature, or be allowed in poetry, and Romeo in consequence of having raised it to his imagination, was jealous of death, it would follow, that in the firit frenzy of it, he might address himself to his mistress, and take her in his arms for the greater security. That being granted, with a flight tranfposition (one verse already exceeding the measure by two feet) the passage might be read thus :
Ah, dear Juliet !
Thay unfubfiantial death is amorous, “ And that the lean,” Esc. The object of dispute may perhaps be fuch as hardly to deferve this toil of tranfpofition, but one critick has juft as good a right to attempt the insertion of what he thinks he understands, as another has to omit a paflage, because he can make no use of it at all. The whole of the conjecture is offered with the least degree of confidence, and from no other motive than a defire of preferving crory line of Shakespeare, when any reason, tolerably plautible, can be given in its favour.
Mr. Theobald has not dealt very fairly in his account of his speech, as the abfurdity is apparently owing to the repetition of fime of the lines by a blunder of the printer, who had thereby made Romco confess the eifects of the poifon before the had talted it. STEEVENS. 2
Enter friar Laurence with lanthorn, crow, and spade. Fri. St. Francis be my speed! How oft to-night old feet stumbled at graves ?-Who's there?
Enter Balthasar. Bah. Here's one, a friend, and one that knows you
well. Fri. Bliss be upon you! Tell me, my good friend, What torch is yond', that vainly lends his light To grubs and eyeless sculls ? as I discern, It burneth in the Capulets' monument.
Balth. It doth so, holy Sir;—and there's my master, One that you love.
Fri. Who is it?
Balth. I dare not, Sir:
Fri. Stay then, I'll go alone. Fear comes upon me; O, much I fear some ill unlucky thing.
Balth. As I did sleep under this yew-tree here, ? I dreamt, my master and another fought, And that my master slew hi.n.
i I dreamt, my mafer and another fought,] This is one of the roaches of nature that would have escaped the hand of any painter less aítentive to it than Shakespeare. What happens to a person while he is under the manifelt influence of fear, will feem to him when he is recovered from it, like a dream. Homer, Book 8th, represents Rhesus dying fast asieep, and as it were beholding his enemy in a dream plunging a sword into his bofom. Eutathius and Dacier both applaud this image 25 very natural ; for a man in such a condition, says Pope, awakes no further than to see confusedly what environs him, and to think it not a reality, but a vision. STEEVENS.
Fri. Romeo ! Alack, alack, what blood is this, which stains The ftony entrance of this fepulchre ? What mean these masterless and cory swords, To lie discolour'd by this place of peace ? Romeo! oh pale! Who else ? what Paris too! And steep'd in blood ! ah, what an unkind hour Is guilty of this lamentable chance ! The lady ftirs. Jul. (awaking.] Oh, comfortable Friar! where is
my lord ? I do remember well, where I should be, And there I am :- Where is my Romeo ?
Fri. I hear fome noise ! Lady, come from that neft Of death, contagion, 8 and unnatural Neep; 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 Anong a sisterhood of holy nuns. Stay not to qucftion, for the watch is coming. Come, go, good Juliet. I dare stay no longer.
. 11:1. Go, get thee hence, for I will not away. What's here? a cup, clos'd in my true love's hand? Poison, I fee, hath becn his timeless end.-Oh, 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 inake me die with a restorative. Thy lips are warm !
Enter Boy and Watch, Watch. Lead, boy :- Which
---and unnatural fcep ;] Shakespeare very poetically calls the decih of those who have fallen prematurely, natural freep.
Jul. Yea, noise !-then I'll be brief.--Oh happy dagger!
[Finding c. dagger. This is thy sheath, there rust and let me die 9.
[Als herself. Boy. This is the place; there, where the torch doch
burn. Watch. The ground is bloody. Search about the
church-yard ; Go, some of you, whom e'er you find, attach. Pitiful sight! here lies the County Nain; 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:We see the ground whereon these woes do lie; But the true ground of all these piteous woes We cannot without circumstance descry.
Enter some of the Watch with Balthafar. 2 Watch. Here's Romeo's man, we found him in
the church-yard. i Watch. Hold him in safety 'till the prince comes
there rust and let me die.] Is the reading of the quarto 1599. That of 1597 gives the passage thus :
Ay, noile! then must í be refolute.
“ Reft in my bofom, thus I come to thce.” . The alteration was probably made by the poet, when he introduced the words, “ This is thy fheath.”
STEEVENS. 'Raise up the Mcniagucs. Some others; search :--) Here seems to be a rhyme intended, which may be casily retrid; “ Raise up the Montagues.
Some others, go.