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Ben. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Rom. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
No, coz, I rather weep.
At thy good heart's oppression.
13 That is, should blindly and recklessly think he can surmount all obstacles to his will.
14 This string of antithetical conceits seems absurd enough to us; but such was the most approved way of describing love in Shakespeare's time, and for some ages before. Petrarch and Chaucer used it, and divers old English poets and ballad-makers ahound in it. Perhaps the best defence of the use here made of it is, that such an affected way of speaking not unaptly shows the state of Romeo's mind, that his love is rather self-generated than inspired by any object. At all events, as compared with his style of speech after meeting with Juliet, it serves to mark the difference between being love-sick and being in love.
With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown
Soft! I will go along : An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
Rom. Tut! I have lost myself; I am not here: This is not Romeo, he's some other where.
Ben. Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.
Groan! why, no; But sadly tell me who.
Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will ; A word ill urg'd to one that is so ill ! In sadness, 16 cousin, I do love a woman.
Ben. I aim'd so near, when I suppos’d you lov’d. Rom. A right good marks-man! - And she's fair
I love. Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
15 Such is the reading of the old copies. Divers modern editions, following Dr. Johnson, change purg'd to urgʻd. The change is a good one, if any change were needed. Of course, purg'd is purified. Mr. Collier's celebrated second folio substitutes puff d. – As Romeo here resumes his strain of conceits, it may be well to quote one or two precedents for it. Thus Watson, in one of his canzonets :
" Love is a sowre delight, and sugred griefe,
A living death, and ever-dying life.” And Turberville makes Reason harangue against love thus : “ A fierie frost, a flame that frozen is with ise ;
A heavie burden light to beare; a vertue fraught with vice.”
16 In sadness is gravely, in seriousness.
Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss : she'll not be hit With Cupid's arrow: she hath Dian's wit; And, in strong proof of chastity well arm’d, From love's weak childish bow she lives encharm'd.17 She will not stay the siege of loving terms, Nor bide th' encounter of assailing eyes, Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold : O! she is rich in beauty; only poor, That when she dies, with beauty dies her store.18 Ben. Then she hath sworn that she will still live
chaste ? Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge
Ben. Be ruld by me ; forget to think of her.
Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes :
Rom. To call hers, exquisite, in question more.19 These happy masks 20 that kiss fair ladies' brows,
'Tis the way
17 The first quarto and the folio read uncharmed, which gives a sense just the opposite of that required. Since the time of Rowe, the uniform reading has been unharm’d. Encharm'd is taken from Mr. Collier's second folio. For this use of charm see Cymbeline, Act v. sc. 3, note 5.
18 She is poor only, because she leaves no part of her store behind her, as with her all beauty will die.
19 That is, to call her exquisite beauty more into my mind, and make it more the subject of conversation. Question was often used in this sense.
20 This is probably an allusion to the masks worn by the female
Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair :
Enter CAPULET, Paris, and a Servant. Cap. But Montague is bound as well as I, In penalty alike ; and 'tis not hard, I think, For men so old as we to keep the peace.
Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both; And pity 'tis you liv'd at odds so long. But now, my lord, what say you to my suit ?
Cap. But saying o'er what I have said before : My child is yet a stranger in the world ; She hath not seen the change of fourteen years :
spectators of the play; unless we suppose that these means no more than the. See Measure for Measure, Act iii. sc. 4, note 11.
21 If we are right, from the internal evidence, in pronouncing this one of Shakespeare's early dramas, it affords a strong instance of the fineness of bis insight into the nature of the passions, that Romeo is introduced already love-bewildered. The necessity of loving creates an object for itself in man and woman; and yet there is a difference in this respect between the sexes, though only to be known by a perception of it. It would have displeased us if Juliet had been represented as already in love, or as fancying herself so : but no one, I believe, ever experiences any shock at Romeo's forgetting his Rosaline, who had been a mere name for the yearning of his youthful imagination, and rushing into his passion for Juliet. Rosaline was a mere creation his fancy; and we should remark the boastful positiveness of Romeo in a love of his own making, which is never showu where love is really near the heart. - COLERIDGE. VOL. X.
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made.
married. Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she, She is the hopeful lady of my earth : But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart, My will to her consent is but a part; An she agree, within her scope of choice Lies my consent and fair according voice. This night I hold an old accustom’d feast, Whereto I have invited many a guest, Such as I love, and you among the store ; One more, most welcome, makes my number more. At my poor house, look to behold this night Earth-treading stars, that make dark heaven light: Such comfort as do lusty young men feel When well-apparell’d April on the heel Of limping winter treads, even such delight
1 So reads the quarto of 1597: all the other old copies have made instead of married. There can be little doubt that married is right. Puttenham, in his Art of Poesy, quotes the expression as proverbial : “ The maid that soon married soon marred is.”
2 Fille de terre is the old French phrase for an heiress. Earth is put for lands, or landed estote, in other old plays. 3 Johnson would read yeomen instead of young men.
Others think young men to be here used for yeomen, as it sometimes is by old writers. The meaning in that case would be, such comfort as farmers have at the coming of spring. But there seeras to be no cause for either supposition. What feelings the young are apt 10 have in the spring, can hardly need explaining, to those who remember their youth. However, the Poet's 98th Sonnet yields a good comment on the text :
“ From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dress’d in all his trim,