« AnteriorContinuar »
From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels : 3
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse : - Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied ;
And vice sometime's by action dignified.
The Four Prentices : “ We'll fleck our white steeds in your Chris. tian blood."
3 So the first quarto; the later copies have burning instead of fiery. Fiery is preferred here, as burning occurs in the next line.
H. 4 So Drayton, in the eighteenth Song of his Poly-Olbion, speaking of a hermit :
“ His happy time he spends the works of God to see,
In those so sundry herbs which there in plenty grow,
He very choicely sorts his simples got abroad.” Shakespeare has very artificially prepared us for the part Friar Laurence is afterwards to sustain. Having thus early discovered him to be a chemist, we are not surprised when we find him furnishing the draught which produces the catastrophe of the piece.
5 Lucretius has the same thought : « Omniparens, eadem rerum commune sepulcrum." Likewise, Milton, in Paradise Lost, Book ii. : “ The womb of nature, and perhaps her grave."
Within the infant rind of this weak flower
Enter ROMEO. Rom. Good morrow, father! Fri.
Benedicite ! What early tongue so sweet saluteth me? Young son, it argues a distemper'd head, So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed: Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye, And where care lodges, sleep will never lie; But where unbruised youth, with unstuff'd brain, Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign. Therefore thy earliness doth me assure, Thou art uprous'd by some distemperature: Or, if not so, then here I hit it right, — Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night.
Rom. That last is true; the sweeter rest was mine. Fri. God pardon sin ! wert thou with Rosaline ?
Rom. With Rosaline, my ghostly father ? no; I have forgot that name, and that name's woe. Fri. That's my good son : But where hast thou
been, then ? Rom. I'll tell thee, ere thou ask it me again. I have been feasting with mine enemy ;
6 That is, with its odour.
7 The first quarto, alone, has foes instead of kings. the fourth line above, it has small instead of weak.
Where, on a sudden, one hath wounded me,
Fri. Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift:
is set On the fair daughter of rich Capulet : As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine; And all combin’d, save what thou must combine By holy marriage. When, and where, and how, We met, we woo'd, and made exchange of vow, I'll tell thee as we pass; but this I pray, That thou consent to marry us this day.
Fri. Holy St. Francis! what a change is here ! Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear, So soon forsaken? young men's love, then, lies Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes. Jesu Maria! what a deal of brine Hath wash'd thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline ! How much salt water thrown away in waste, To season love, that of it doth not taste ! The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears, Thy old groans ring yet in my ancient ears : Lo! here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit Of an old tear that is not wash'd off yet. If e'er thou wast thyself, and these woes thine, Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline : And art thou chang’d? pronounce this sentence
then, Women may fall, when there's no strength in men.
Rom. Thou chid'st me oft for loving Rosaline.
Rom. And bad'st me bury love.
Not in a grave,
O! she knew well,
Rom. O! let us hence; I stand on sudden haste. Fri. Wisely, and slow: they stumble, that run fast.
SCENE IV. A Street.
Enter BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO. Mer. Where the devil should this Romeo be?Came he not home to-night?
Ben. Not to his father's : I spoke with his man. Mer. Why, that same pale hard-hearted wench,
that Rosaline, Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.
Ben. Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet,
Mer. A challenge, on my life.
Mer. Any man, that can write, may answer a letter.
Ben. Nay, he will answer the letter's master, how he dares, being dared.
Mer. Alas, poor Romeo! he is already dead; stabb’d with a white wench's black eye; shot thorough the ear with a love-song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft : And is he a man to encounter Tybalt ?
Ben. Why, what is Tybalt ?
Mer. More than prince of cats," I can tell you. 0! he is the courageous captain of compliments. He fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and proportion; rests me his minim rest, one, two, and the third in your bosom : the very butcher of a silk button ; a duellist, a duellist ; a gentleman of the very first house, — of the first and second cause. Ah, the immortal passado! the punto reverso ! the hay !*
Ben. The what ?
Mer. The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting fantasticoes, these new tuners of accents ! - By Jesu, a very good bļade! - a very tall man ! fa very good whore !” + Why, is not this a lamentable •
1 Tbe allusion is to archery. The clout, or white mark at which the arrows were directed, was fastened by a black pin, placed in the centre of it. To hit this was the highest ambition of every marksman.
2 Tybert, the name given to a cat in the old story book of Reynard the Fox. So in Dekker's Satiromastix : “ Tho' you were Tybert, prince of long-tail'd cats.” Again, in Have With You to Saffron Walden, by Nash : “ Not Tibalt prince of cats." - The words, “I can tell you,” are from the first quarto. — Prick-song music was music pricked or written down, and so sung by note, not from memory, or as learnt by the ear.
H. 3 That is, a gentleman of the first rank among these duellists; and one who understands the whole science of quarrelling, and will tell you of the first cause, and the second cause for which a man is to fight. The clown, in As You Like It, talks of the seventh cause in the same sense.
4 All the terms of the fencing school were originally Italian; the rapier, or small thrusting sword, being first used in Italy. The hay is the word hai, you have it, used when a thrust reaches the antagonist. Our fencers on the same occasion cry out ha !