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Enter PETER. Pet. Musicians, O, musicians ! “Heart's Ease, Heart's Ease ;
will have me live, play “ Heart's Ease."
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 ? 2 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.8
1 Mus. Then will I give you the serving-creature.
6 Such is the stage-direction of the undated quarto and the folio of 1623. The quartos of 1599 and 1609 have, “ Enter Will Kemp;" which shows that Kemp was the original performer of Peter's part. It seems not unlikely that this part of the scene was written on purpose for Kemp to display his talents in, as there could hardly be any other reason for such a piece of buffoonery. Coleridge has the following upon it : “ As the audience know ihat Juliet is not dead, this scene is, perhaps, excusable.
But it is a strong warning to minor dramatists not to introduce at one time many separate characters agitated by one and the same circumstance. It is difficult to understand wbat effect, whether that of pity or of laughter, Shakespeare meant to produce ; - the occasion and the characteristic speeches are so little in harmony! For example, what the Nurse says is excellently suited to the Nurse's character, but grotesquely unsuited to the occasion.”
9 This is the burthen of the first stanza of A Pleasant New Bal. lad of Two Lovers : “ Hey hoe! my heart is full of woe.” – A dump was formerly the term for a grave or melancholy strain in music, vocal or instrumental. It also signified a kind of poetical elegy. A merry dump is no doubt a purposed absurdity put into the mouth of Master Peter.
is here intended. A gleekman, or gligman, strel. To give the gleek meant also to pass a jest upon a person, to make him appear ridiculous; a gleek being a jest or scoff.
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?
1 Mus. An you ré 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,
Then music, with her silver sound,Why, 6 silver sound ?” why, “music, 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 ?
6 silver sound,” because musicians sound for silver. Pet. Pretty too!
2 Mus. I say
What say you,
3 Mus. 'Faith, I know not what to say. Pet. O, I cry you mercy! you are the singer :
9 This is part of a song by Richard Edwards, to be foand in the Paradice of Dainty Devices. Another copy of this song is to be found in Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. - The second line of Peter's quotation is wanting in all the old copies except the first quarto ; and in all the old copies the words, “Then have at you with my wit,” are made a part of the preceding speech.
10 This worthy takes his name from a small lutestring made of catgat ; his companion the fiddler, from an instrument of the same name mentioned by many of our old writers, and recorded by Milton as an instrument of mirth :
“When the merry bells ring round,
And the joyful rebecks sound.” 11 So the first quarto ; the other old copies, Prates, or Pratest. VOL. X. 13
I will say for you. It is - music, with her silver sound,” because such fellows as you have seldom gold for sounding :
Then music, with her silver sound,
[Exit, singing 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. Ereunt.
SCENE I. Mantua. A Street.
Enter ROMEO. Rom. If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,' My dreams presage some joyful news at hand : My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne ; And, all this day, an unaccustom'd spirit Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts." I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead, (Strange dream ! that gives a dead man leave to
think,) And breath'd such life with kisses in my lips,
| Thus the first quarto. The later copies read, “If I the flattering truth of sleep.” The sense appears to be, If I may trust the visions with which my eye flattered me in sleep.
2 These three last lines are very gay and pleasing. But why does Shakespeare 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.
That I reviv'd, and was an emperor.
Bal. Then she is well, and nothing can be ill :
Rom. Is it e'en 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. I do beseech you, sir, have patience :
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.
3 So the first quarto; the later copies, “ How doth my lady Juliet ?” thus repeating a part of the foregoing line. 4 So all the old editions except the first, which reads, “Par
I will not leave you thus." — Defy, in the first line of the preceding speech, is from the earliest copy; the others having deny.
Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to-night.
Enter the Apothecary.
Who calls so loud ?
5 We learn from Nashe's Have with You to Saffron Walden, 1596, that a stuffed alligator then made part of the furniture of an apothecary's shop : “ He made an anatomie of a rat, and after hanged her over his head, instead of an apothecary's crocodile or dried alligator."