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Kent. The wonder is, he hath endured so long : He but usurp'd his life.

Alb. Bear them from hence: our present business Is general woe. Friends of my soul, you twain

[to Kent and Edgar. Rule in this realm, and the gored state sustain.

Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go; My master calls, and I must not say, No.

Alb. The weight of this sad time we must obey ; Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we, that are young, Shall never see so much, nor live so long.

[Exeunt, with a dead march.

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ROMEO AND JULIET.

SILAK.

XIII.

HISTORICAL NOTICE

OF

ROMEO AND JULIET.

The story on which this play is founded, is related as a true one in Girolamo de la Corte's History of Verona. In 1562, Mr. Arthur Brooke published a poem on the Tragicall Historie of Romeus and Juliett;' the materials for which he chiefly obtained from a French translation, by Boisteau, of an Italian novel by Luigi da Porto, a gentleman of Vicenza, who died in 1529. A prose translation of Boisteau's work was also published in 1567, by Painter, in his Palace of Pleasure ; and on the incidents of these two works Shakspeare is supposed to have constructed this interesting tragedy. Malone imagines that the present piece was designed in 1591, and finished in 1596; but Chalmers refers it to 1592, and Dr. Drake to 1593. There are four early editions of it in quarto, namely those of 1597, 1599, 1609, and one without date; the first of which is less copious than the others; since each successive edition appears to have been revised, with additions to particular passages.

• This play,' says Dr. Johnson, ‘is one of the most pleasing of our author's performances. The scenes are busy and various, the incidents numerous and important, the catastrophe irresistibly affecting, and the process of the action carried on with such probability,

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