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And then my husband — God be with his soul ! 'A was a merry man —
the child :
Yea," quoth my husband, “fall'st upon thy face?
thee, nurse, say I. Nurse. Peace, I have done. God mark thee to
Lady C. Marry, that marry is the very theme
3 To stint is to stop. Baret translates “ Lachrymas supprimere, to
inte weeping;” and “to stinte talke," by “sermones restinguere.” So Ben Jonson in Cynthia's Revels : “ Stint thy babbling tongue, fond Echo.”
Jul. It is an honour that I dream not of.
Nurse. An honour! were not I thine only nurse, I would say thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat.
Lady C. Well, think of marriage now; younger
Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man, As all the world — Why, he's a man of wax.*
Lady C. Verona's summer hath not such a flower.
4 That is, as well made as if he had been modelled in wax. So in Wily Beguiled: “Why, he is a man as one should picture him in wax." So Horace uses “ Cerea brachia,” waxen arms, for arms well shaped.
5 Thus the quarto of 1599. The quarto of 1609 and the folio read, “ every several lineament.” We have, « The unity and married calm of states," in Troilus and Cressida. And in his eighth Sonnet:
“ If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear.” 6 The comments on ancient books were generally printed in the margin. Horatio says, in Hamlet, “I knew you must be edified by the margent.” So in the Rape of Lucrece:
“ But she that never cop'd with stranger eyes
Could pick no meaning from their parling looks,
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
Nurse. No less ? nay, bigger : women grow by
Lady C. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris'
Enter a Servant. Serv. Madam, the guests are come, supper serv'd up, you call'd, my young lady ask'd for, the nurse curs’d in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.
Nor read the subtle shining secrecies
Writ in the glassy margent of such books." This speech is full of quibbles. The unbound lover is a quibble on the binding of a book, and the binding in marriage; and the word cover is a quibble on the law phrase for a married woman, femme couverte.
? It is not quite clear what is meant by this. Dr. Farmer explains it, “ The fish is not yet caught ;” and thinks there is a reterence to the ancient use of fish-skins for book-covers. It does not well appear what this meaning can have to do with the context. The sense apparently required is, that the fish is hidden within the sea, as a thing of beauty within a beautiful thing. Malone thinks we should read, “ The fish lives in the shell ;” and he adds that the sea cannot be said to be a beautiful cover to a fish, though a shell may." - This whole speech and the next are wanting in the quarto of 1597.
8 The quarto of 1597 reads, "engage mine eye.”
Lady C. We follow thee. Juliet, the county
stays. Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.
Entor ROMEO, MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, with five or
sir Maskers, Torch-Bearers, and Others. Rom. What! shall this speech be spoke for our
Ben. The date is out of such prolixity.'
1 In King Henry VIII., where the king introduces himself at the entertainment given by Wolsey, he appears, like Romeo and his companions, in a mask, and sends a messenger before with an apology for his intrusion. This was a custom observed by those who came uninvited, with a desire to conceal themselves, for the sake of intrigue, or to enjoy the greater freedom of conversation. Their entry on these occasions was always prefaced by some speech in praise of the beauty of the ladies, or the generosity of the entertainer; and to the prolixity of such introductions it is probable Romeo is made to allude. In Histriomastix, 1610, a man expresses bis wonder that the maskers enter without any compliment :
What, come they in so blunt, without device ?" Of this kind of masquerading there is a specimen in Timon, where Cupid precedes a troop of ladies with a speech.
2 The Tartarian bows resemble in their form the old Roman or Cupid's bow, such as we see on medals and bas-relief. Shakespeare uses the epithet to distinguish it from the English bow, whose shape is the segment of a circle. — A crow-keeper was simply a scare-crow. See King Lear, Act iv. sc. 6, note 11.
This and the preceding lines are found only in the quarto of 1597. Of course there is an allusion to some of the stage prac. tices of the Poet's time.
But, let them measure us by what they will,
Mer. You are a lover: borrow Cupid's wings,
Rom. I am too sore enpierced with his shaft,
Mer. And, to sink in it, should you burden love;
Rom. Is love a tender thing ? it is too rough, Too rude, too boisterous; and it pricks like thorn. Mer. If love be rough with you, be rough with
[Putting on a Mask.
4 A torch-bearer was a constant appendage to every troop of maskers. To hold a torch was anciently no degrading office. Queen Elizabeth's gentlemen pensioners attended her to Cambridge, and held torches while a play was acted before her in the Chapel of King's College on a Sunday evening.
5 Milton thought it not beneath the dignity of his task to use a similar quibble in Paradise Lost, Book iv. : “ At one slight bound be overleap'd all bound.”
0 Quote was often used for observe or notice. — Brooke's poem