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1 Mus. Why heart's ease?
Pet. O, musicians, because my heart itself plays -My heart is full of woe: 0, play me some merry dump, to comfort me.
2 Mus. Not a dump we; 'tis no time to play now. Pet. You will not then? Mus. No. Pet. I will then give it you soundly. 1 Mus. What will you give us?
Pet. No money, on my faith; but the gleek: I will give you the minstrel.3
1 Mus. Then will I give you the serving-creature.
Pet. Then will I lay the serving-creature's dagger on your pate. I will carry no crotchets: I'll re you, I'll fa you; Do you note me?
i Mus. An you re us, and fa us, you note us.
2 Mus. Pray you, put up your dagger, and put out your wit.
Pet. Then have at you with my wit; I will drybeat you with an iron wit, and put up my iron dagger:- Answer me like men:
When griping grief the heart doth wound,
0, play me some merry dump,] A dump anciently signified some kind of dance, as well as sorrow. But on this occasion it means a mournful song. Dumps were heavy mournful tunes ; possibly indeed any sort of movements were once so called, as we sometimes meet with a merry dump. Hence doleful dumps, deep sorrow, or grievous affliction, as in the verses above, and in the less ancient ballad of Chevy Chase. It is still said of a person uncommonly sad, that he is in the dumps.
No money, on my faith; but the gleek : I will give you the minstrel.] Shakspeare's pun has here remained unnoticed. A Gleekman or Gligman, as Dr. Percy has shown, signified a minstrel. The word gleek here signifies scorn ; and is borrowed from the old game so called.
Why, silver sound? why, musick with her silver sound? What say you, Simon Catling?"
1 Mus. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound.
Pet. Pretty! What say you, Hugh Rebeck?
2 Mus. I say—silver sound, because musicians sound for silver.
Pet. Pretty too!-What say you, James Soundpost?
3 Mus. 'Faith, I know not what to say.
Pet. O, I cry you mercy! you are the singer: I will say for you.
It is--musick with her silver sound, because such fellows as you have seldom gold for sounding:
: Then musick with her silver sound,
1 Mus. What a pestilent knave is this same?
2 Mus. Hang him, Jack! Come, we'll in here; tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner. [Exeunt.
SCENE I. Mantua. A Street.
Simon Catling?] A catling was a small lute-string made of catgut.
Hugh Rebeck ?] The fiddler is so called from an instrument with three strings, which is mentioned by several of the old writers. Rebec, rebecquin.
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand:
Bal. Then she is well, and nothing can be ill;
6 Act V.] The Acts are here properly enough divided, nor did any better distribution than the editors have already made, occur to me in the perusal of this play ; yet it may not be improper to remark, that in the first folio, and I suppose the foregoing editions are in the same state, there is no division of the Acts, and therefore some future editor may try, whether any improvement can be made, by reducing them to a length more equal, or interrupting the action at more proper intervals. JOHNSON.
? If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,] By the eye of sleep Shakspeare perhaps means the visual power, which a man asleep is enabled, by the aid of imagination, to exercise; or perhaps the eye of the god of sleep.
My bosom's lord-] These three lines are very gay and pleasing. But why does Shakspeare give Romeo this involuntary cheerfulness just before the extremity of unhappiness? Perhaps to show the vanity of trusting to those uncertain and casual exaltations or depressions, which many consider as certain foretokens of good and evil. JOHNSON.
I saw her laid low in her kindred's vault,
Rom. Is it even so ? then I defy you, stars ! Thou know'st my lodging: get me ink and paper, And hire post-horses; I will hence to night.
Bal. Pardon me, sir, I will not leave you thus: : Your looks are pale and wild, and do import Some misadventure. Rom.
Tush, thou art deceiv'd;
Bal. No, my good lord.
No matter: Get thee gone, And hire those horses; I'll be with thee straight.
Exit BALTHASAR. Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to night. Let's see for means:-0, mischief! thou art swift To enter in the thoughts of desperate men! I do remember an apothecary,And hereabouts he dwells, ---whom late I noted In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows, Culling of simples; meager were his looks, And in his needy shop a tortoise hung, Sharp misery had worn him to the bones: An alligator stuff'd,' and other skins Of ill-shap'd fishes; and about his shelves
9 An alligator stuff'd,] I was many years ago assured, that formerly, when an apothecary first engaged with his druggist, he was gratuitously furnished by him with these articles of show, which were then imported for that use only. I have met with the alligator, tortoise, &c. hanging up in the shop of an ancient apothecary at Limehouse, as well as in places more remote from our metropolis. See Hogarth's Marriage Alamode, Plate III.-It may be remarked, however, that the apothecaries dismissed their alligators, &c. some time before the physicians were willing to part with their amber-headed canes and solemn periwigs. STEEVENS.
A beggarly account of empty boxes,
Who calls so loud ?
Ap. Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law Is death, to any he that utters them.
Rom. Art thou so bare, and full of wretchedness, And fear'st to die? famine is in thy cheeks, Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes, Upon thy back hangs ragged misery, The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law: The world affords no law to make thee rich; Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.
An if a man, &c.] This phraseology which means simplyIf, was not unfrequent in Shakspeare's time and before.