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1603, when a new patent was granted to the Black- Shakspeare.* The militia bands were at that friars Company by King James, the poet's name time—the agitated year of the Gunpowder Plotappears second in the list; but the source of his formed in order to repress an expected rising in unexampled success was his immortal dramas, the midland shires, and as the poet was then a the delight and wonder of his age
considerable landholder in his native county, he That so did take Eliza and our James,
may have been enrolled as one of its military
defenders. To know positively that the 'gentle as Ben Jonson has recorded, and as is confirmed Shakspeare' had borne arms, and, like Ben by various authorities. Up to 1611, the whole Jonson, 'shouldered a pike,' as one of the Warof Shakspeare's plays-thirty-seven in number, wickshire public force, would be a curious and according to the first folio edition-are supposed suggestive fact in his personal history. In June to have been produced. With the nobles, the 1858, an autograph signature of the poet to a wits, and poets of his day, he was in familiar in- mortgage deed of a house in Blackfriars, dated tercourse. The 'gentle Shakspeare,' as he was March 11, 1612–13, was sold in London to the usually styled, was throned in all hearts. But curators of the British Museum for three hundred notwithstanding his brilliant success in the metro- guineas-unquestionably the largest sum ever given polis, the poet early looked forward to a permanent for a mere autograph. From none of the few retirement to the country. He visited Stratford signatures of the poet can we ascertain with any once a year; and when wealth flowed in upon degree of certainty how he spelled his surname. him, he purchased property in his native town and The three signatures in the will are all indistinct. its vicinity. In 1597, he paid £60 for New Place, Neither of his parents, it is now proved, could the principal house in Stratford; in 1602, he gave write, as deeds are extant to which John and Mary £320 for 107 acres of land adjoining to his pur- Shakspeare affix their marks. chase ; and in 1605, he paid £440 for the lease of In 1852, Mr Collier published a volume of Notes the tithes of Stratford. The produce of his lands and Emendations of the plays of Shakspeare, he no doubt disposed of like the ordinary lords of derived from a corrected copy of the second the soil, and Mr Halliwell, in his life of Shakspeare edition in 1632, which had apparently belonged (1848), shews that in 1604 the poet brought an to one Thomas Perkins. Certain other documents action against Philip Rogers for £1, 155. 1od. for relating to the dramatist and his plays, purporting malt sold and delivered to him. The latest entry to be found in the library at Bridgewater House, of his name among the king's players is in 1604, in the Audit Office, and at Dulwich College, have but he was living in London in 1609. The year also been published. But it seems to be satisfac1612 has been assigned as the date of his final torily proved that all these are modern fabrications, retirement to the country. In the fulness of his executed, in some respects, with ingenuity and fame, with a handsome competency, and before skill. age had chilled the enjoyment of life, the poet Shakspeare, it is believed, like his contemporary returned to his native town, to spend the remainder dramatists, began his career as an author by of his days among the quiet scenes and the friends altering the works of others, and adapting them of his youth. His parents were both dead, but for the stage. The extract from Greene's Groat's their declining years had been gladdened by the Worth of Wit, which we have given in the life of prosperity of their illustrious son. His family that unhappy author, shews that he had been appears to have had a leaning towards the Puri- engaged in this subordinate literary labour before tans, and in the town-chamberlain's accounts for 1592. Three years previous to this, Nash had 1614, there is a record of a present of sack and published an address to the students of the two claret, 'given to a preacher at New Place.' universities, in which there is a remarkable passPreachers of all sects, if good men, would be wel age : ‘It is,' he says, ' a common practice now-acome to the poet's hospitality! Four years were days, among a sort of shifting companions, that spent by Shakspeare in this dignified retirement, run through every art, and thrive by none, to leave and the history of literature scarcely presents the trade of Noverint, whereto they were born, another such picture of calm felicity and satisfied and busy themselves with the endeavours of art, ambition. He died on the 23d of April 1616, that could scarce Latinise their neck-verse if having just completed his fifty-second year. His they should have need; yet English Seneca, read widow survived him seven years. His two by candle-light, yields many good sentences, as daughters were both married—his only son Ham- blood is a beggar, and so forth; and if you entreat net had died in 1596--and one of them had three him far in a frosty morning, he will afford you sons; but all these died without issue, and there whole Hamlets, I should say handfuls, of tragical now remains no lineal representative of the great speeches.' The term Noverint was applied to poet.
lawyers' clerks, so called from the first word of Of the recent Shakspearian researches, we must a Latin deed of those times, equivalent to the say with regret, in the words of Mr Hallam, 'no modern commencement of Know all men,' &c. It letter of his writing, no record of his conversation, appears from the title-page to the first edition of no character of him drawn with any fulness by a Hamlet, in 1604, that, like Romeo and Juliet, and contemporary, has been produced. The Calendars the Merry Wives of Windsor, it had been enlarged of the State Papers, published under the authority to almost twice its original size. It seems scarcely of the Master of the Rolls, shew that in the list of probable that the great dramatist should not have trained soldiers of the hundred of Barlichway, in commenced writing before he was twenty-seven. Warwickshire, in September 1605, was a William
* See Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reigns carved in stone. The Avon, which winds through the park, of James I. 1603 to 1610, preserved in the State Paper Departmakes a bend just at the foot of a gently sloping bank, which
Edited by Mary Anne sweeps round the rear of the house. Large herds of deer were Everett Green (1857). The publication of these calendars will be reposing upon its borders.'
invaluable to future historians and biographers.
ment of H.M.'s Public Record Office.
Some of his first drafts, as we have seen, he sub- interesting to consider the great poet watching sequently enlarged and completed; others may the dawn of that mighty mind which was to eclipse have sunk into oblivion, as being judged unworthy all its contemporaries. A few years afterwards, of resuscitation or improvement in his riper years. in 1598, we meet with an important notice of Pericles is supposed to be one of his earliest Shakspeare by Francis Meres, a contemporary adaptations. Dryden, indeed, expressly states it author. As Plautus and Seneca,' he says, 'are to be the first birth of his muse; but two if not accounted the best for comedy and tragedy among three styles are distinctly traceable in this play, the Latins, so Shakspeare, among the English, is and the first two acts look like the work of Greene the most excellent in both kinds for the stage ; or Peele. Titus Andronicus resembles the style for comedy, witness his Gentlemen of Verona, his of Marlowe, and if written by Shakspeare, as dis- Errors, his Love's Labour Lost, his Love's Labour tinct contemporary testimony affirms, it must have Won (or All's Well that Ends Well), his Midbeen a very youthful production. The Taming of summer Night's Dream, and his Merchant of the Shrew is greatly indebted to an old play on Venice; for tragedy, his Richard II. Richard Iii. the same subject, and must also be referred to the Henry IV. King Fohn, Titus Andronicus, and same period. It is doubtful whether Shakspeare his Romeo and Juliet.' This was indeed a brilwrote any of the first part of Henry VI. The liant contribution to the English drama, throwing second and third parts are modelled on two older Greene, Peele, and Marlowe immeasurably into plays, the Contention of York and Lancaster, and shade, and far transcending all the previous prothe True Tragedy of the Duke of York. Whether ductions of the English stage. The harvest, howthese old dramas were early sketches of Shak- ever, was not yet half reaped-the glorious intelspeare's own, cannot now be ascertained ; they lect of Shakspeare was still forming, and his contain the death-scene of Cardinal Beaufort, the imagination nursing those magnificent conceplast speech of the Duke of York, and the germs tions which were afterwards embodied in the Lear, of that vigorous delineation of character and the Macbeth, Othello, and Tempest of his tragić passion completed in Richard III. We know no muse. other dramatist of that early period, excepting The chronology of Shakspeare's plays has been Marlowe, who could have written those powerful arbitrarily fixed by Malone and others, without sketches. From the old plays, Shakspeare bor- adequate authority: Macbeth is put down to 1606, rowed no less than 1771 entire lines, and nearly though we only know that it existed in 1610. double that number are merely alterations. Hence Henry VIII. is assigned to 1603, yet it is menit has been supposed that Shakspeare's property tioned by Sir Henry Wotton as a new play in in the second and third parts of Henry VI. was 1613, and we know that it was produced with only in the additions and alterations he intro- unusual scenic decoration and splendour in that duced. Whole lines in the old plays are identical year. The Roman plays were undoubtedly among with passages in Marlowe's Edward II.; and there his latest works. The Tempest has been usually seems no reason to doubt that Marlowe and considered the last, but on no decisive authority. Greene were the original authors, and that Shak- Adopting this popular belief, Campbell has respeare had remodelled their plays, to fit them for marked, that the Tempest has a sort of sacredhis theatre, retaining what was popular, and ness' as the last drama of the great poet, who, as improving what was defective. Thus the charge if conscious that this was to be the case, has been of plagiarism brought by Greene against our great inspired to typify himself as a wise, potent, and dramatist stands explained and reconciled with benevolent magician.' probability, if not with fact, though we must There seems no good reason for believing that remember that it was Shakspeare's first editors, Shakspeare did not continue writing on to the not himself, that claimed for him the sole author- period of his death in 1616; and such a supposiship of Henry VI. as of the other plays.
tion is countenanced by a tradition thus recorded The gradual progress of Shakspeare's genius is in the diary of the Rev. John Ward, A.M. vicar of supposed to have been not unobserved by Spenser. Stratford-on-Avon, extending from 1648 to 1679. In 1594 or 1595, the venerable poet wrote his 'I have heard,' says the careless and incurious pastoral, entitled Colin Clout's Come Home Again, vicar, who might have added largely to our stock in which he commemorates his brother-poets of Shakspearian facts, had he possessed taste, under feigned names. The gallant Raleigh is the acuteness, or industry—I have heard that Mr Shepherd of the Ocean, Sir Philip Sidney is Shakspeare was a natural wit, without any art at Astrophel, and other living authors are charac- all
. He frequented the plays all his younger time, terised by fictitious appellations. He concludes but in his elder days lived at Stratford, and supas follows:
plied the stage with two plays every year, and for
it had an allowance so large, that he spent at the And then, though last, not least, is Aëtion; A gentler shepherd may nowhere be found,
rate of one thousand pounds a year, as I have Whose muse, full of high thoughts' invention,
heard. Shakspeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson Doth, like himself, heroically sound.
had a merry-meeting, and, it seems, drank too
hard, for Shakspeare died of a fever there conThe sonorous and chivalrous-like name of Shak-tracted.' We place no great reliance on this testispeare seems here designated. The poet had then mony, either as to facts literary or personal. published his two classical poems, and probably Those who have studied the works of the great most of his English historical plays had been dramatist, and marked his successive approaches acted. The supposition that Shakspeare was to perfection, must see that he united the closest meant, is at least a pleasing one. We love to study to the keenest observation ; that he attained figure Spenser and Raleigh sitting under the to the highest pitch of dramatic art, and the most shady aiders' on the banks of Mulla, reading the accurate philosophy of the human mind; and that manuscript of the Faery Queen; but it is not less he was, as Schlegel has happily remarked, 'a
profound artist, and not a blind and wildly luxu- volume, and a preface and dedication were supriant genius.' Coleridge boasted of being the first plied by the poet's fellow-comedians, Hemming in time who publicly demonstrated to the full ex- and Condell. tent of the position, that the supposed irregularity The plots of Shakspeare's dramas were nearly and extravagances of Shakspeare were the mere all borrowed, some from novels and romances, dreams of a pedantry that arraigned the eagle others from legendary tales, and some from older because it had not the dimensions of the swan.' plays. In his Roman subjects, he followed North's He maintains, with his usual fine poetical appre- translation of Plutarch's Lives; his English hisciation and feeling, that that law of unity which torical plays are chiefly taken from Holinshed's has its foundations, not in the factitious necessity Chronicle. From the latter source he also derived of custom, but in nature itself
, the unity of feeling, the plot of Macbeth. A very cursory perusal will is everywhere, and at all times, observed by Shak- display the gradual progress and elevation of his speare in his plays. “Read Romeo and Juliet-art. in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, and the all is youth and spring ; youth with its follies, its earlier comedies, we see the timidity and immavirtues, its precipitancies ; spring with its odours, turity of youthful genius ; a half-formed style, its flowers, and its transiency; it is one and the bearing frequent traces of that of his predecessors; same feeling that commences, goes through, and fantastic quibbles and conceits—which he never ends the play.' This unity of action, or of char- wholly abandoned ; only a partial development of acter and interest, conspicuous in Shakspeare, character; a romantic and playful fancy ; but n Coleridge illustrates by an image drawn, with the great strength of imagination, energy, or passion. taste of a poet, from external nature. Whence in Richards II. and III. the creative and master arises the harmony that strikes us in the wildest mind are visible in the delineation of character. natural landscapes--in the relative shapes of rocks in the Midsummer Night's Dream, the Merchant -the harmony of colours in the heaths, ferns, of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, &c. we find the and lichens—the leaves of the beech and the oak ripened poetical imagination, prodigality of inven-the stems and rich brown branches of the birch tion, and a searching, meditative spirit. These and other mountain trees, varying from verging qualities, with a finer vein of morality and conautumn to returning spring-compared with the templative philosophy, pervade As You Like It visual effect from the greater number of artificial and the Twelfth Night. In Henry IV. the Merry plantations? From this—that the natural land- Wives, and Measure for Measure, we see his scape is effected, as it were, by a single energy inimitable powers of comedy, full formed, revelling modified ab intra in each component part.' In in an atmosphere of joyous life, and fresh as if working out his conceptions, either of character from the hand of nature. He took a loftier flight or passion, we conceive Shakspeare to have in his classical dramas, conceived and finished laboured for ultimate and lasting fame, not im- with consummate taste and freedom. ' In his later mediate theatrical effect. His audiences must tragedies-Lear, Hamlet (in its improved form), often have been unable to follow his philosophy, Othello, Macbeth, and the Tempest—all his wonderhis subtile distinctions, and his imagery. The ful faculties and acquirements are found combined actors must have been equally unable to give -his wit, pathos, passion, and sublimity_his proeffect to many of his personations. He was found knowledge and observation of mankind, apparently indifferent to both—at least in his mellowed by a refined humanity and benevolence great works-and wrote for the mind of the uni- --his imagination richer from skilful culture and
There was, however, always enough of added stores of information-his unrivalled lanordinary nature, of pomp, or variety of action, for guage (like ‘light from heaven')—his imagery and the multitude; and the English historical plays, versification. connected with national pride and glory, must That Shakspeare deviated from the dramatic have rendered their author popular.
unities of time, place, and action laid down by the Eleven of the dramas were printed during ancients, and adopted by the French theatre, is Shakspeare's life, probably from copies piratically well known, and needs no defence. In his traobtained. It was the interest of the managers gedies, he amply fulfils what Aristotle admits to that new and popular pieces should not be pub- be the end and object of tragedy, to beget admiralished; but we entertain the most perfect conviction, terror, or sympathy. His mixture of comic tion, that the poet intended all his original works, with tragic scenes is sometimes a blemish, but it as he had revised some, for publication. The was the fault of his age ; and if he had lived to Merry Wives of Windsor is said to have been edit his works, some of these incongruities would written in fourteen days, by command of Queen doubtless have been expunged. But, on the Elizabeth, who wished to see Falstaff in love. whole, such blending of opposite qualities and Shakspeare, however, was anxious for his fame, characters is accordant with the actual experience as well as eager to gratify the queen : when the and vicissitudes of life. No course of events, howtemporary occasion was served, he returned to ever tragic in its results, moves on in measured, his play, filled up his first imperfect outline, and unvaried solemnity, nor would the English taste heightened the humour of the dialogue and char- tolerate this stately French style. The great preacter. Let not the example of this greatest name ceptress of Shakspeare was Nature : he spoke in English literature be ever quoted to support from her inspired dictates, 'warm from the heart, the false opinion, that excellence can be attained and faithful to its fires; and in his disregard of without study and labour !
classic rules, pursued at will his winged way In 1623 appeared the first collected edition of through all the labyrinths of fancy and of the Shakspeare's dramatic works—seven years after human heart. These celestial flights, however, his own death, and six months after that of his were regulated, as we have said, by knowledge widow, who may have had a life-interest in the and taste. Mere poetical imagination might have plays. The whole were contained in one folio created a Caliban, or evoked the airy spirits of
the enchanted island and the Midsummer Dream ; be stopped, sufflimandus erat, as Augustus said but to delineate a Desdemona or Imogen, a of Haterius. His wit was in his own power ; Miranda or Viola, the influence of a pure and would the rule of it had been so too ! " Many refined spirit, cultivated and disciplined by gentle times he fell into those things could not escape arts,' and familiar by habit, thought, and example, laughter, as when he said, in the person of Cæsar, with the better parts of wisdom and humanity, one speaking to him : “ Cæsar, thou dost me were indispensably requisite. Peele or Marlowe wrong," he replied : “Cæsar did never wrong but might have drawn the forest of Arden, with its with just cause," and such like, which were woodland glades, but who but Shakspeare could ridiculous.* But he redeemed his vices with his have supplied the moral beauty of the scene- virtues. There was ever more in him to be the refined simplicity and gaiety of Rosalind, the praised than to be pardoned.' philosophic meditations of Jaques, the true wis- The first edition of Shakspeare was published, dom, tenderness, and grace, diffused over the as already stated, in 1623. Å second edition was whole of that antique half-courtly and half-pastoral published in 1632, the same as the first, excepting drama. These and similar personations, such as that it was more disfigured with errors of the Benedict and Beatrice, Mercutio, &c. seem to us press. A third edition was published in 1644, even more wonderful than the loftier characters and a fourth_in 1685. The public admiration of Shakspeare. No types of them could have of this great English classic now demanded that existed but in his own mind. The old drama and he should receive the honours of a commentary ; the chroniclers furnished the outlines of his his- and Rowe, the poet, gave an improved edition torical personages, though destitute of the heroic in 1709. Pope, Warburton, Johnson, Chalmers, ardour and elevation which he breathed into them. Steevens, and others successively published ediPlutarch and the poets kindled his classic enthu- tions of the poet, with copious notes. In our own siasm and taste; old Chapman's Homer perhaps day, editions by Collier, Knight, Singer, Halrolled its majestic cadences over his ear and liwell, Dyce, and others have appeared. The imagination ; but characters in which polished critics of the great poet are innumerable, and manners and easy grace are as predominant as they bid fair, like Banquo's progeny, to 'stretch wit, reflection, or fancy, were then unknown to to the crack of doom. The scholars of Germany the stage, as to actual life. They are among the have distinguished themselves by their philomost perfect creations of his genius, and, in refer- sophical and critical dissertations on the genius ence to his taste and habits, they are valuable of Shakspeare. There never was an author, materials for his biography.
ancient or modern, whose works have been so In judgment, Shakspeare excels his contem- carefully analysed and illustrated, so eloquently porary dramatists as much as in genius, but at expounded, or so universally admired. the same time it must be confessed that he also partakes of their errors. To be unwilling to He so sepulchred in such pomp does lie, acknowledge any faults in his plays, is, as Hallam That kings, for such a tomb, would wish to die.
Milton on Shakspeare, 1630. remarks, 'an extravagance rather derogatory to the critic than honourable to the poet. Fresh The difficulty of making selections from Shakfrom the perusal of any of his works, and under speare must be obvious. If of character, his the immediate effects of his inspirations-walking, characters are as numerous and diversified as as it were, in a world of his creating, with beings those in human life; if of style, he has exhausted familiar to us almost from infancy-it seems like all styles, and has one for each description of sacrilege to breathe one word of censure. Yet poetry and action; if of wit, humour, satire, or truth must admit that some of his plays are hastily pathos, where shall our choice fall, where all are and ill constructed as to plot; that his proneness so abundant? We have felt our task to be someto quibble and play with words is brought forward thing like being deputed to search in some in scenes where this peculiarity constitutes a posi- magnificent forest for a handful of the finest tive defect; that he is sometimes indelicate where leaves or plants, and as if we were diligently indelicacy is least pardonable, and where it jars exploring the world of woodland beauty to accommost painfully with the associations of the scene ; plísh faithfully this hopeless adventure. Happily, and that his style is occasionally stiff, turgid, and Shakspeare is in all hands, and a single leaf obscure, chiefly because it is at once highly figura- will recall the fertile and majestic scenes of his tive and condensed in expression. Ben Jonson inspiration. has touched freely, but with manliness and fairness, on these defects :
Garden Scene in Romeo and Juliet. 'I remember,' he says, 'the players have often
Romeo. He jests at scars that never felt a wound.mentioned it as an honour to Shakspeare, that
[Juliet appears above, at a window. in his writing-whatsoever he penned-he never But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks ! blotted out a line. My answer hath been, would It is the east, and Juliet is the sun :he had blotted a thousand! which they thought Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, a malevolent speech. I had not told posterity Who is already sick and pale with grief, this, but for their ignorance who chose that cir- That thou her maid art far more fair than she ; cumstance to commend their friend by wherein he most faulted, and to justify mine own candour ; Julius Cæsar:
Jonson's allusion is to the following line in the third act of for I loved the man, and do honour his memory
Know, Cæsar doth not wrong; nor without cause on this side idolatry as much as any. He was indeed honest, and of an open and free nature; The passage was probably altered by Ben's suggestion, or, still had an excellent phantasy, brave notions, and more likely, it was corrupted by the blunder of the player. But gentle expressions, wherein he flowed with that Mr Halliwell's remark on the point
is worthy of notice: 'If wrong
is taken in the sense of injury or harm, as Shakspeare sometimes facility, that sometimes it was necessary he should uses it, there is no absurdity in the line."
Will he be satisfied,
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Jul. By whose direction found'st thou out this place? Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
Rom. By love, that first did prompt me to inquire ; And none but fools do wear it ; cast it off.
He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes. It is my lady; O! it is my love ;
I am no pilot ; yet, wert thou as far
As that vast shore washed with the farthest sea,
Ful. Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face, I am too bold ; 'tis not to me she speaks :
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek Two of the fairest stars of all the heaven,
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night. Having some business, do entreat her eyes
Fain would I dwell on form ; fain, fain deny To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What I have spoke-but farewell compliment ! What if her eyes were there, they in her head ?
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say-Ay; The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars, And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear'st, As daylight doth a lamp ; her eyes in heaven
Thou may'st prove false : at lovers' perjuries,
Or, if thou think'st I am too quickly won,
I'll frown and be perverse, and say thee nay, That I might touch that cheek!
So thou wilt woo; but, else, not for the world. Juliet. Ah me!
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond, Rom. She speaks.
And therefore thou may'st think my 'haviour light; Oh, speak again, bright angel ! for thou art
But trust me, gentleman, I 'll prove more true As glorious to this sight, being o'er my head,
| Than those that have more coying to be strange. As is a winged messenger of heaven
I should have been more strange, I must confess, Unto the white-upturned, wond'ring eyes
But that thou overheard'st, ere I was 'ware, Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him,
My true love's passion; therefore pardon me, When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds,
And not impute this yielding to light love,
Which the dark night hath so discovered.
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops-
Ful. O swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
That monthly changes in her circled orb : Rom. Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this? Lest that thy love prove likewise variable. Jul. 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy :
Rom. What shall I swear by ? Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
Ful. Do not swear at all ; What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, Nor arm, nor face--nor any other part
Which is the god of my idolatry, Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
And I 'll believe thee. What's in a name? That which we call a rose,
Rom. If my heart's dear loveBy any other name would smell as sweet.
Ful. Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, Só Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
I have no joy of this contract to-night ; Retain that dear perfection which he owes,
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden; Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name ;
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be, And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Ere one can say, It lightens ! Sweet, good-night! Take all myself !
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, Rom. I take thee at thy word :
May prove a beauteous flower, when next we meet. Call me but love, and I'll be new baptised ;
Good-night, good-night-as sweet repose and rest Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
Come to thy heart, as that within my breast ! Ful. What man art thou, that thus, bescreened in night,
Act II. sc. 2 So stumblest on my counsel? Rom. By a name
Moonlight, with Fine Music. I know not how to tell thee who I am :
Lorenzo. The moon shines bright : in such a night as My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
this, Because it is an enemy to thee.
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees, Had I it written, I would tear the word.
And they did make no noise ; in such a night, Jul. My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls, Of that tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.
And sighed his soul toward the Grecian tents, Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague ?
Where Cressid lay that night.
Jessica. In such a night
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself,
And ran dismayed away. If any of my kinsmen find thee here.
Lor. In such a night Rom. With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand, walls,
Upon the wild sea-banks, and waft her love For stony limits cannot hold love out;
To come again to Carthage. And what love can do, that dares love attempt :
Jes. In such a night
Medea gathered the enchanted herbs
Lor. In such a night
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
Rom. I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes; Jes. In such a night And but thou love me, let them find me here ;
Did young Lorenzo swear he loved her well; My life were better ended by their hate,
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith, Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.
And ne'er a true one.