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, Z3 


* ROMEO AND JULIET.] The story on which this play is 
founded, is related as a true one in Girolamo de la Corte's 
History of Verona. It was originally published by an anonymous 
Italian novelist in 1549 at Venice; and again in 1553, at the 
same place. The first edition of Bandello's work appeared a^ 
year later than the last of these already mentioned. Pierre 
Boisteau copied it with alterations and additions. Belleforest 
adopted it in the first volume of his collection 1596: but very 
probably some edition of it yet more ancient had found its way 
abroad ; as, in this improved state, it was translated into English, 
by Arthur Brooke, and published in an octavo volume, 1562, 
but without a name. On this occasion it appears in the form of 
a poem entitled, Thetragicall Historic of Pom eus and Juliet: It 
was republished in 1587, under the same title: " Contayning in 
it a rare Example of true Constancie: ivith the subtill Counsels 
and Practises of an old Fryer, and their Event. Imprinted bit 
R. Robinson." Among the entries on the Books of the Stationer'. 
Company, I find Feb. 18, 1582: M. Tottel] Romeo and 
Juletta." Again, Aug. 5, 1596: "Edward White] a new 
ballad of Romeo and Juliett" The same story is found in The 
Palace of Pleasure: however, Shakspeare was not entirely in- 
debted to Painter's epitome ; but rather to the poem already men- 
tioned. Stanyhurst, the translator of Virgil in 1582, enumerates 
Julietta among his heroines, in a piece which he calls an Epitaph, 
or Commune Defunctorum: and it appears (as Dr. Farmer has 
observed, ) from a passage in Ames's Typographical Antiquities, 
that the story had likewise been translated by another hand. 
Captain Breval in his Travels tells us, that he saw at Verona the 
tomb of these unhappy lovers. STEE YENS. 

This story was well known to the English poets before the time 
of Shakspeare. In an old collection of poems, called A gorgeous 
Gallery of gallant Inventions, 1578, I find it mentioned: 
" Sir Romeus' annoy but trifle seems to mine." 

And again, Romeus and Juliet are celebrated in " A poor 
Knight his Palace of private Pleasure, 1579." FARMER. 

The first of the foregoing notes was prefixed to two of our 
former editions ; but as the following may be in some respects 
more correct, it would be unjustly withheld from the publick. 
This is not the first time we have profited by the accuracy of 
Mr. Malone. STEEVENS. 

The original relater of the story on which this play is formed, 
was Luigi da Porto, a gentleman of Vicenza, who died in 1529. 
His novel did not appear till some years after his death ; being 
first printed at Venice in 1535, under the title of La Giulietta. 
A second edition was published in 1539.; and it was again re- 

printed at the same place in 1553, (without the author's name,) 
with the following title: Historia nuovamente ritrovata di due 
nobili Amanti, con la loro pietosa morte; intervenuta gia nella 
citta di Verona, nett tempo del Signor Bartolomeo delta Scala. 
Nuovamente stampata. Of the author some account may be 
found prefixed to the poem of Ronieus and Juliet. 

In 1554 Bandello published, at Lucca, a novel on the same 
subject; [Tom. II. Nov. bt.] and shortly afterwards Boisteau 
exhibited one in French, founded on the Italian narratives, but 
varying from them in many particulars. From Boisteau's novel 
the same story was, in 1562, formed into an English poem, 
with considerable alterations and large additions, by Mr. Arthur 
Brooke. This piece, which the reader may find at the end of 
the present play, was printed by Richard Tottel with the fol- 
lowing title, written probably, according to the fashion of that 
time, by the bookseller: The TragicaU Hy story ofRomens and 
Juliet, containing a rare Example of true Constancie: with the 
lubtill Counsels, and Practices of an old Fryer, and their ill 
event. It was again published by the same bookseller in 1582. 
Painter in the second volume of his Palace of Pleasure, 1567, 
published a prose translation from the French of Boisteau, which 
he entitled Rhomeo and Juliet ta. Shakspeare had probably read 
Painter's novel, having taken one circumstance from it or some 
other prose translation of Boisteau ; but his play was undoubt- 
edly formed on the poem of Arthur Brooke. This is proved 
decisively by the following circumstances. 1. In the poem the 
prince of Verona is called Escalus; so also in the play. In 
Painter's translation from Boisteau he is named Signor Escalaj 
and sometimes Lord Bartholomew of Escala. 2. In Painter's 
novel the family of Romeo are called the Montesches; in the 
poem and in the play, the Montagues. 3. The messenger em- 
ployed by friar Lawrence to carry a letter to Romeo to inform 
him when Juliet would awake from her trance, is in Painter's 
translation called Anselmc: in the poem, and in the play, friar 
John is employed in this business. 4. The circumstance of 
Capulet's writing down the names of the guests whom he invites 
to supper, is found in the poem and in the play, but is not men- 
tioned by Painter, nor is it found in the original Italian novel. 

5. The residence of the Capulets, in the original, and in Painter, 
is called Villa Franca; in the poem and in the play Freetown. 

6. Several passages of Ifomco and Juliet appear to have been 
formed on hints furnished by the poem, of which no traces are 
found either in Painter's novel, or in Boisteau, or the original ; 
and several expressions nre borrowed from thence, which will be 
found in their proper places. 

B 2 

As what has been now stated has been controverted, (for what 
may not be controverted ? ) I should enter more largely into the 
subject, but that the various passages of the poem which I have 
quoted in the following notes, furnish such a decisive proof of 
the play's having been constructed upon it, as not to leave, in 
my apprehension, a shadow of doubt upon the subject. The 
question is not, whether Shakspeare had read other novels, or 
other poetical pieces, founded on this story, but whether the 
poem written by Arthur Brooke was the basis on which this play 
was built. 

With respect to the name of Romeo, this also Shakspeare 
might have found in the poem ; for in one place that name is 
given to him : or he might have had it from Painter's novel, from 
which or from some other prose translation of the same story he 
has, as I have already said, taken one circumstance not men- 
tioned in the poem. In 1570 was entered on the Stationers' 
books by Henry Bynneman, The Pitifull Hystory of ij lovyng 
Italians, which I suspect was a prose narrative of the story on- 
which our author's play is constructed. 

Breval says in his travels, that on a strict inquiry into the his- 
tories of Verona, he found that Shakspeare had varied very little 
from the truth, either in the names, characters, or other circum- 
stances of his play. MALONE. 

It is plain, from more than one circumstance, that Shakspeare 
had read this novel, both in its prosaick and metrical form. He 
might likewise have met with other poetical pieces on the same 
subject. We are not yet at the end of our discoveries relative 
to the originals of our author's dramatick pieces. STEEVEKS. 


Two households, both alike in dignity, 

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, 
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, 

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. 
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes 

A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life ; 
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows 

Do, with their death, bury their parents' strife. 
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, 

And the continuance of their parents' rage, 
Which, but their children's end, nought could 

Is now the two hours' traffick of our stage ; 
The which if you with patient ears attend, 
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. 1 

1 This prologue, after the first copy was published in 1597, 
received several alterations, both in respect of correctness and 
versification. In the folio it is omitted. The play was originally 
performed by the Right Hon. the Lord of Hunsdon his servants. 

In the first of King James I. was made an act of parliament 
for some restraint or limitation of noblemen in the protection of 
players, or of players under their sanction. STEEVENS. 

Under the word PROLOGUE, in the copy of 1599, is printed 
Choru^, which I suppose meant only that the prologue was to be 
spoken by the same person who personated the chorus at the end 
of the first Act. 

The original prologue, in the quarto of 1597, stands thus : 
" Two household frends, alike in dignitie, 

" In faire Verona, where we lay our scene, 
" From civil broyles broke into enmitie, 

" Whose- civill warre makes civill handes uncleane. 
" From forth the fatall loynes of these two foes 

** A paire of starre-crost lovers tooke their life ; 
" Whose misadventures, piteous ovt-rthrowes, 

" (Through the continuing of tlu-ir fathers' strife, 
" And denth-mnrkt passage of their parents' rage,) 

" Is now the two howres truliiqiu: of our stage. 
** The which if you 'ith patient earet attend, 
" What here we want, wre'll studic to amend." MA LONE. 


Escalus, Prince qf Verona. 

Paris, a young Nobleman, Kinsman to the Prince. 

Montague, ) Heads qffavo Houses, at Variance with 

Capulet, f each other. 

An old Man, Uncle to Capulet. 

Romeo, Son to Montague. 

Mercutio, Kinsman to the Prince, and Friend to 

Benvolio, Nephew to Montague, and Friend to 


Tybalt, Nephew to Lady Capulet. 
Friar Lawrence, a Franciscan. 
Friar John, of the same Order. 
Balthasar, Servant to Romeo. 

Gregory,' \ Servants to Capulet. 

Abram, Servant to Montague. 

An Apothecary. 

Three Musicians. 

Chorus. Boy; Page to Paris j Peter; an Officer. 

Lady Montague, Wife to Montague. 
Lady Capulet, Wife to Capulet. 
Juliet, Daughter to Capulet. 
Nurse to Juliet. 

Citizens o/*Verona ; several Men and Women, Rela- 
tions to both Houses; Maskers, Guards, Watch- 
men, and Attendants. 

SCENE during the greater Part of the Play, in 
Verona ; once in thejlfth Act, at Mantua. 


A publick Place. 

Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, armed with Swords 
and Bucklers. 

SAM. Gregory, o'my word, we'll not carry coals.* 
GRE. No, for then we should be colliers. 

- well not carry coals.'} Dr. Warburton very justly ob- 
serves, that this was a phrase formerly in use to signify the 
hearing injuries ; but, as he has given no instances in support of 
his declaration, I thought it necessary to subjoin the following. 
So, Skelton : 

" You, I say, Julian, 

" Wyll you bearc no coles?*' 

Again, .>ash, in his Have -with you to Saffron Walden, 1595, 
says : " We will bear no coles, I warrant you." 

Again, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida, 2nd part, 1602: 
" He has had wrong, and if I were he, / would bear no coles." 
Again, in Law Tricks, or, Who would have thought it? a 
comedy, by John Day, 1608: " I'll carry coals an you will, no 
horns." Again, in May-Day, a comedy, by Chapman, 1610: 
" You must swear by no man's beard but your own ; lor that 
may breed a quarrel : above all things, you must carry no coals." 
And again, in the same play : " Now my ancient being a man 
of an un-coal-carryi)ifr spirit," &c. Again, in Ben Jonson's 
Every Man out of his Humour: "Here comes one that will 
carry coals; ergo, will hold my dog." And, lastly, in the poet's 
own King Henry V : " At Calais they stole a firesnovel ; I knew 
by that piece of service the men would carry coals" Again, in 
The Malcontent, 16<H: "Great slaves fear better than love, 
born naturallv for a coal-basket" STEEVEXS. 


SAM. I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw. 
GRE. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of 
the collar. 

SAM. I strike quickly, being moved. 
GRE. But thou art not quickly moved to strike. 
SAM. A dog of the house of Montague moves me. 
GRE. To move, is to stir ; and to be valiant, is 

This phrase continued to be in use down to the middle of the 
last century. In a little satirical piece of Sir John Birkenhead, 
intitled, " Two centuries [of Books 3 of St. Paul's Churchyard," 
&c. published after the death of King Charles I. N. 22, p. 50, 
is inserted, " Fire,Jire !. a small manual, dedicated to Sir Arthur 
Haselridge ; in which it is plainly proved by a whole chauldron 
of scripture, that John Lillburn will not carry coals." By Dr. 
Gouge. PERCY. 

Notwithstanding this accumulation of passages in which the 
phrase itself occurs, the original of it is still left unexplored : " If 
thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be 
thirsty, give him water to drink : for thou shalt heap coals of 
fire upon his head," &c. Proverbs xxv. 22 ; or as cited in the 
Epistle to the Romans, xii. 20. HENLEY. 

The English version of the Bible (exclusive of its nobler use) 
has proved of infinite service to literary antiquaries; but on the 
present occasion, I fear, it will do us little good. Collier was a 
very ancient term of abuse. " Hang him, foul Collier /" says 
Sir Toby Belch, speaking of the Devil, in the fourth Act of 
Twelfth-Night. Any person, therefore, who would bear to be 
called a cotti r, was said to carry coals. 

It afterwards became descriptive of any one who would endure 
a gibe or flout. So, in Churchyard's Farewell to the World, 

" He made him laugh, that lookt as he would sweare ; 
" He carried coales, that could abide no gest." 


The phrase should seem to mean originally, We'll not submit 
to servile offices ; and thence secondarily, we'll not endure in- 
juries. It has been suggested, that it may mean, " we'll not bear 
resentment burning like a coal ofjire in our bosoms, without 
breaking out into some outrage ;" with allusion to the proverbial 
sentence, that smothered anger is a coal of fire in the bosom : 
But the word carry seems adverse to such an interpretation. 



to stand to it : therefore, if thou art moved, 
thou run'st away. 

SAM. A dog of that house shall move me to 
stand : I will take the wall of any man or maid of 

GRE. That shows thee a weak slave ; for the 
weakest goes to the wall. 

SAM. True ; and therefore women, being the 
weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall : there- 
fore I will push Montague's men from the wall, 
and thrust his maids to the wall. 

GRE. The quarrel is between our masters, and 
us their men. 

SAM. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant : 
when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel 
with the maids;' I will cut oft' their heads. 

GRE. The heads of the maids ? 

SAM. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maid- 
enheads ; take it in what sense thou wilt. 

GRE. They must take it in sense, that feel it. 

SAM. Me they shall feel, while I am able to stand: 
and, 'tis known, 1 am a pretty piece of flesh. 

GRE. 'Tis well, thou art not fish ; if thou hadst, 
thou hadst been Poor John.* Draw thy tool ; here 
comes two of the house of the Montagues. 5 

cruel with the maids ;] The first folio rends civil 
with the maids. JOHNSON. 

So docs the quarto 1599; but the word is written ciuill. It 
was manifestly an error of the press. The first copy furnishes 
no help, the passage there standing thus : " He play the tyrant ; 
lie first begin with the maids, and off with their heads:" but the 
true reading is found in the undated quarto. M ALONE. 

4 pour John.~\ is hake, dried, and salted. MA LONE. 

* here comes two of the house of the Montagues.] The 



SAM. My naked weapon is out ; quarrel, I will 
back thee. 

GRE. How ? turn thy back, and run ? 

SAM. Fear me not. 

GRE. No, marry : I fear thee ! 

SAM. Let us take the law of our sides ; let them 

GRE. I will frown, as I pass by ; and let them 
take it as they list. 

SAM. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at 
them ; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it. 6 

word two, which was inadvertently omitted by the compositor in 
the quarto 1599, and of course in the subsequent impressions, I 
have restored from the first quarto of- 1597, from which, in 
almost every page, former editors have drawn many valuable 
emendations in this play. The disregard of concord is in cha- 

It should be observed, that the partizans of the Montague 
family wore a token in their hats, in order to distinguish them 
from their enemies, the Capulets. Hence throughout this play, 
they are known at a distance. This circumstance is mentioned 
by Gascoigne, in a Devise of a Masque, written for the Right 
Honourable Viscount Mountacute, 1575 : 

" And for a further proofe, he shewed in hys hat 

" Thys token which the Mountacutes did beare alwaies, 

for that 

" They covet to be knowne from Cupels, where they pass, 
" For ancient grutch whych long ago 'tweene these two 
houses was." MALONE. 

6 / will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to 

them, if they bear it."] So it signifies in Randolph's Muses Look- 
ing-Giass, Act III. sc. iii. p. 4?5 : 

" Orgylus. To bite his thumb at me. 

" Argus. Why should not a man bite his thumb ? 

" Orgylus. At me ? were I scorn'd to see men bite their 
thumbs ; 

" Rapiers and daggers," &c. GREY. 


ABR. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir ? 
SAM. I do bite my thumb, sir. 
ABR. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir ? 
SAM. Is the law on our side, if I say ay ? 
GRE. No. 

SAM. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, 
sir ; but I bite my thumb, sir. 

GRE. Do you quarrel, sir ? 
ABR. Quarrel, sir ? no, sir. 

SAM. If you do, sir, I am for you j I serve as 
good a man as you. 

ABR. No better. 
SAM. Well, sir. 

Dr. Lodge, in a pamphlet called Wits Miserie &c. 1596, has 
this passage: " Behold next I see Contempt marching forth, 
giving mee the Jico with his thombe in his mouth." In a trans- 
lation from Stephens's Apology for Herodotus, in 1607, p. 142, 
I meet with these words : " It is said of the Italians, if they once 
bite their ^fingers' ends in a threatning manner, God knows, if 
they set upon their enemie face to face, it is because they can- 
not assail him behind his backe." Perhaps Ben Jonson ridicules 
this scene of Romeo and Juliet, in his New Inn : 

" Huff. How, spill it ? 

" Sjnll it at me ? 

" Tip. I reck not, but I spill it." STEEVENK. 

This mode of quarrelling appears to have been common in our 
author's time. " What swearing is there, (says Decker, de- 
scribing the various groupes that daily frequented the walks of 
St. Paul's Church,) what shouldering, what justling, what jeering, 
what byting of thumbs, to beget quarrels I 1 ' THE DEAD TERM, 
1608. MALONE. 


Enter BENvoLio, 7 at a Distance. 

GRE. Say better ; here comes one of my 
master's kinsmen. 8 

SAM. Yes, better, sir. 
ABR. You lie. 

SAM. Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remem- 
ber thy swashing blow. 9 [They JigKt. 

BEN. Part, fools; put up your swords; you know 
not what you do. \_Beats down their Swords. 

Enter TYBALT. 

TYS. What, art thou drawn among these heart- 
less hinds ? 

7 Enter Benvolio,"] Much of this scene is added since the first 
edition ; but probably by Shakspeare, since we find it in that of 
the year 1599. POPE. 

8 here comes one of my master's kinsmen.^ Some mistake 

has happened in this place : Gregory is a servant of the Capulets, 
and Benvolio was of the Montague faction. FARMER. 

Perhaps there is no mistake. Gregory may mean Tybalt, who 
enters immediately after Benvolio, but on a different part of the 
stage. The eyes of the servant may be directed the way he sees 
Tybalt coming, and in the mean time, Benvolio enters on the 
opposite side. STEEVENS. 

9 thy swashing blow."] Ben Jonson uses this expression 

in his Staple for News: " I do confess a swashing blow." In 
The Three Ladies of London, 1584, Fraud says : 

" I will flaunt and brave it after the lusty swash." 
Again, in As you like it: 

" I'll have a martial and a swashing outside." 
See Vol. VIII. p. 38, n. 8. 

To swash seems to have meant to be a bully, to be noisily 
valiant. So, Green, in his Card of Fancy, 1608 : " in spend- 
ing and spoiling, in swearing and swashing." Barrett, in his Al- 
vearie, 1580, says, that " to swash is to make a noise with 
swordes against tergats." STEEVENS. 

sc. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 13 

Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death. 

BEN. I do but keep the peace ; put up thy sword, 
Or manage it to part these men with me. 

TYB. What, drawn, and talk of peace ? I hate 

the word, 

As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee : 
Have at thee, coward. [They Jight. 

Enter several Partizans of both Houses, who join 
the Fray ; then enter Citizens, with Clubs. 

1 CIT. Clubs, bills, 1 and partizans ! strike ! beat 

them down ! 

Down witli the Capulets ! down with the Monta- 
gues ! 

Enter CAPULET, in his Gown; and Lady CAPULET. 

CAP. What noise is this? Give me my long 
sword, 2 ho ! 

1 Clubs, frills, &c.] When an affray arose in the streets, clubs 
was the usual exclamation. See Vol. VIII. p. 166, n. 3, and 
Vol. XIII. p. 35, n< 6. MALONE. 

1 Give me my long sword,] The Ions sword was the sword 
used in war, which was sometimes wielded with both hands. 


See VoL V. p. 76, n. 3. MALONE. 

This long sword is mentioned in The Coxcomb, a comedy by 
Beaumont and Fletcher, where the justice says : 

u Take their confessions, and my long sword ; 
" I cannot tell what danger we may meet with." 
Chapman, without authority from Homer, has equipped Nep- 
tune with this weapon : 

" King Neptune, with his long srvord, ." Iliad XV. 
It appears that it was once the fashion to wear two swords of 
different sizes at the same time. 

So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602: ** Peter Salamander, tie 
up your great and your little sword." 


LA. CAP. A crutch, a crutch ! Why call you 

for a sword ? 

CAP. My sword, I say ! Old Montague is come, 
And flourishes his blade in spite of me. 


MON. Thou villain Capulet, Hold me not, let 

me go. 
LA. MON. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek 

a foe. 

Enter Prince, with Attendants. 

PRIN. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, 
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel, 
Will they not hear ? what ho ! you men, you 


That quench the fire of your pernicious rage 
With purple fountains issuing from your veins, 
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands 
Throw your mis-temper' d weapons 3 to the ground, 
And hear the sentence of your moved prince. 
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, 
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, 
Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets ; 
And made Verona's ancient citizens 
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, 
To wield old partizans, in hands as old, 

The little sword was the weapon commonly worn, the dress 
sword. STEEVENS. 

The little sword was probably nothing more than a dagger. 


3 mis-temper'd weapons ] are angry "weapons. So, in 

King John : 

" This inundation of mis-temper'd humour," &c. 


sc. /. ROMEO AND JULIET. 15 

Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate : 
If ever you disturb our streets again, 
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. 
For this time, all the rest depart away : 
You, Capulet, shall go along with nie ; 
And, Montague, come you this afternoon, 
To know our further pleasure in this case, 
To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.* 
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. 
[Exeunt Prince, and Attendants ; CAPULET, 

Lady CABLET, TYBALT, Citizens, and 


MON. Who set this ancient quarrel newabroach? 
Speak, nephew, were you by, when it began ? 

REX. Here were the servants of your adversary, 
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach : 
I drew to part them ; in the instant came 
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar'd ; 
Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears, 
He swung about his head, and cut the winds, 
Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn : 
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows, 
Came more and more, and fought on part and part, 
Till the prince came, who parted eitner part. 

LA. MON. O, where is Romeo ! saw you him 

to-day ? 
Right glad I am, he was not at this fray. 

BRN. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun 
Peer'd forth the golden window of the east, 5 

4 To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.'] This name 
the poet found in the Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet, 
1. ">';'_'. It is there said to be the cattle of the Capulet*. 


* Peer* d forth the golden window of the east,'] The same 
thought occurs in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. x : 


A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad ; 

Where, underneath the grove of sycamore, 

That westward rooteth from the city's side, 

So early walking did I see your son : 

Towards him I made ; but he was 'ware of me, 

And stole into the covert of the wood : 

I, measuring his affections by my own, 

That most are busied when they are most alone, 6 

Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his, 

And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me. 7 

MON. Many a morning hath he there been seen, 
With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew, 
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs : 
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun 
Should in the furthest east begin to draw 
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed, 
Away from light steals home my heavy son, 
And private in his chamber pens himself j 
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, 
And makes himself an artificial night : 

" Early before the morn with cremosin ray 
" The 'windows of bright heaven opened had, 

" Through which into the world the dawning day 
" Might looke," &c. STEEVENS. 

Again, in Summa Totalis ; or All in All, or the same for ever, 
4to. 1607 : 

" Now heaven's bright eye (awake by Vespers sheene) 
*' Peepes through the purple tvindowes of the East" 


5 That most are busied &c,] Edition 1597. Instead of which 
it is in the other editions thus : 

" by my own, 

" Which then most sought, where most might not be 


" Being one too many by my weary self, 
" Pursu'd my humour," &c. POPE. 

* And gladly shunn'd &c.] The ten lines following, not in 
edition 1597, but in the next of 1599. POPE. 

sc. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 17 

Black and portentous must this humour prove, 
Unless good counsel may the cause remove. 

BEN. My noble uncle, do you know the cause ? 
MON. I neither know it, nor can learn of him. 
BEX. Have you importun'd him by any means ? 8 

MON". Both by myself, and many other friends: 
But he, his own affections' counsellor, 
Is to himself- I will not say, how true 
But to himself so secret and so close, 
So far from sounding and discovery, 
As is the bud bit with an envious worm, 
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air, 
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. 9 

* Ben. Have you importun'd &c.] These two speeches also 
omitted in edition 1597, but inserted in 1599. POPE. 

9 Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.] [Old copy same."] 
When we come to consider, that there is some power else besides 
balmy air, that brings forth, and makes the tender buds spread 
themselves, I do not think it improbable that the poet wrote : 
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. 

Or, according to the more obsolete spelling, sunne; which 
brings it nearer to the traces of the corrupted text. THEOBALD. 

I cannot but suspect that some lines are lost, which connected 
this simile more closely with the foregoing speech: these lines, 
if such there were, lamented the danger that Romeo will die of 
his melancholy, before his virtues or abilities were known to the 
world. JOHNSON. 

I suspect no loss of connecting lines. An expression some* 
what similar occurs in Timon, Act IV. sc. ii: 
" A dedicated beggar to the air." 

I have, however, adopted Theobald's emendation. Mr. M. 
Mason observes " that there is not a single passage in our author 
where so great an improvement of language is obtained, by so 
slight a deviation from the text." STEKVENS. 

Dr. Johnson's conjecture is, I think, unfounded; the simile 
relates solely to Komeo's concealing the cause of his melancholy, 
and is again used by Shakspeare in Twelfth Night; 



Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow, 
We would as willingly give cure, as know. 

Enter ROMEO, at a distance. 

BEN. See, where he conies: So please you, step 

aside ; 
I'll know his grievance, or be much denied. 

MON. I would, thou wert so happy by thy stay, 
To hear true shrift.- j -Come, madam, let's away. 

\JExeunt MONTAGUE and Lady. 

BEN. Good morrow, cousin. 

ROM. Is the day so young , ?1 

" She never told her love, 

" But let concealment, like a worm i' ih' bud, 
" Feed on her damask cheek.'* 

In the last Act of this play our poet has evidently imitated 
the Rosamond of Daniel; and in the present passage might have 
remembered the following lines in one of the Sonnets of the 
same writer, who was then extremely popular. The lines, whe- 
ther remembered by our author or not, add such support to 
Mr. Theobald's emendation, that I should have given it a place 
in my text, but that the other mode of phraseology was not un- 
common in Shakspeare's time: 

" And whilst thou spread'st unto the rising sunne, 

" The fairest^otoer that ever saw the light, 

" Now joy thy time, before thy sweet be done." 

Daniel's Sonnets, 1594. 

The line quoted by Mr. Steevens does not appear to me to 
be adverse to this emendation. The bud could not dedicate its 
beauty to the sun, without at the same time dedicating it to the 

A similar phraseology, however, to that of my text may be 
found in Daniel's 14th, 32d, 44th, and 53d Sonnets. 


1 Is the day so young ?] i. e. is it so early in the day ? The 
same expression (which might once have been popular) I meet 
with in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: " It is yet young nyghte, or 
there is yet moche of the nyghte to come." STEEVENS. 

sc. /. ROMEO AND JULIET. 19 

BEN. But new struck nine. 

ROM. Ah me! sad hours seem long. 

Was that my father that went hence so fast? 

BEN. It was : What sadness lengthens Romeo's 

ROM. Not having that, which, having, makes 
them short. 

BEN. In love? 

ROM. Out 

BEN. Of love? 

ROM. Out of her favour, where I am in love. 

BEN. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view, 
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof! 

ROM. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, 
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will! 4 

to his will!~\ Sir T. Hanmer, and after him Dr. War- 
burton, read to his ill. The present reading has some obscu- 
rity; the meaning may be, that love 6nds out means to pursue 
his desire. That the blind should find paths to ill is no great 
wonder. JOHNSON. 

It is not unusual for those who are blinded by love to over- 
look every difficulty that opposes their pursuit. NICHOLS. 

What Romeo seems to lament is, that love, though blind, 
should discover pathways to his will, and yet cannot avail him- 
self of them; should perceive the road which he is forbidden to 

The quarto, 1597, reads 

Should, without laws, give pathways to our will! 
i. e. being lawless itself, prescribe laws to others. STEEVENS. 

Tliis passage seems to have been misapprehended. Benvolio 
has lamented that the- God of love, who appears so gentle, should 
be a tyrant. It is no less to be lamented, adds Romeo, that the 
blind frod should yet be able to direct his arrows at those whom 
he wishes to hit, that he should wound whomever he trills, or 
desires to wound. MA J.ONE. 

C 2 


Where shall we dine ? O me ! What fray was 

here ? 

Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. 
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love: 
Why then, O brawling love ! 3 O loving hate ! 

3 Why then, brawling love! &c.] Of these lines neither the 
s sense nor occasion is very evident. He is not yet in love with 
an enemy; and to love one and hate another is no such uncom- 
mon state, as can deserve all this toil of antithesis. JOHNSON. 

Had Dr. Johnson attended to the letter of invitation in the next 
scene, he would have found that Rosaline was niece to Capulet, 


Every sonnetteer characterises Love by contrarieties. Watson 
begins one of his canzonets : 

" Love is a sowre delight, a sugred griefe, 
" A living death, an ever-dying life," &c. 
Turberville makes Reason harangue against it in the same 
manner : 

" A fierie frost, a flame that frozen is with ise ! 

" A heavie burden light to beare ! A vertue fraughte 

with vice!" &c. 

Immediately from The Romaunt of the Rose? 
" Loue it is an hateful pees, 
tf A free aquitaunce without reles, 
" An heavie burthen light to beare, 
" A wicked wawe awaie to weare; 
" And health full of maladie, 
" And charitie full of envie ; 
" A laughter that is weping aie, 
" Rest that trauaileth night and daie," &c. 
This kind of antithesis was very much the taste of the Pro- 
vengal and Italian poets; perhaps it might be hinted by the ode 
of Sappho preserved by Longinus. Petrarch is full of it: 
" Pace non trovo, e non ho da far guerra ; 
" E temo, e spero, e ardo, e son un ghiaccio; 
" E volo sopra'l ciel, e ghiaccio in terra; 
" E nulla stringo, e tutto'l mondo abbraccio." &c. 

Sonnet 105. 

Sir Thomas Wyat gives a translation of this sonnet, without 
any notice of the original, under the title of Description of the 
contrarious Passions in a Louer, amongst the Songes and Son- 
nettes, by the Earle of Surrey, and others, 1574. FARMER. 

sc. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 21 

O any thing, of nothing first create ! 
O heavy lightness ! serious vanity ! 
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms! 
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health ! 
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is ! 
This love feel I, that feel no love in this. 
Dost thou not laugh ? 

BEN. No, coz, I rather weep. 

ROM. Good heart, at what ? 

J3sy. At thy good heart's oppression. 

ROM. Why, such is love's transgression. 4 
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast ; 
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest 
With more of thine : this love, that thou hast 


Doth add more grief to too much of mine own. 
Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs ; 
Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes ; 5 
Being vex'd, 6 a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears : 

4 Why, such is love's transgression.] Such is the consequence 
of unskilful and mistaken kindness. JOHNSON. 

4 Being purg'd, ajire sparkling in lovers eyes;'] The author 
may mean being purged of smoke, but it is perhaps a meaning 
never given to the word in any other place. I would rather 
read, Being urg'd, afire sparkling . Being excited and in- 
forced. To urge the fire is the technical term. JOHNSON. 

Dr. Akenside in his Hymn to Cheerfulness, has the same ex- 
pression : 

" Haste, light the tapers, urge thefre, 

" And bid the joyless day retire." REED. 

Again, in Chapman's version of the 21st Iliad: 

" And as a caldron, under put with store of fire - 
" Bavins of sere wood urging it," &c. STEEVENS. 

Being vci'd, &c.] As this line stands single, it is likely 
that the foregoing or following line that rhymed to it is lost. 



What is it else ? a madness most discreet, 
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. 
Farewell, my coz. [Going. 

BEN. 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, 7 who she is you love. 
ROM. What, shall I groan, and tell thee ? 

BEN. Groan ? why, no ; 

But sadly tell me, who. 

ROM. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will : 
Ah, word ill urg'd to one that is so ill ! 
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman. 

BEN. I aim'd so near, when I suppos'dyou lov'd. 

ROM. A right good marks-man! And she's fair 
I love. 

BEN. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit. 

ROM. Well, in that hit, you miss : she'll not be 


With Cupid's arrow, she hath Dian's wit ; 
And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd, 8 
From love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd. 

It does not seem necessary to suppose any line lost. In the 
former speech about love's contrarieties, there are several lines 
which have no other to rhyme with them; as also in the follow- 
ing, about Rosaline's chastity. STEEVENS. 

7 Tell me in sadness,] That is, tell me gravely, tell me in 
seriousness. JOHNSON. 

See Vol. VI. p. 35, n. 9. MALONE. 

8 And, in strong proof &c.~\ As this play was written in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth, I cannot help regarding these speeches 
of Romeo as an oblique compliment to her majesty, who was not 
liable to be displeased at hearing her chastity praised after she was 

sc. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 23 

She will not stay the siege of loving terms, 9 

Nor bide the 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. 1 

suspected to have lost it, or her beauty commended in the 67th 
year of her age, though she never possessed any when she was 
young. Her declaration that she would continue unmarried, in- 
creases the probability of the present supposition. STEEVENS. 

in strong proof- ] In chastity of proof, as we say in 

armour of proof. JOHNSON. 

* She mil not stay the siege of loving terms,'] So, in our au- 
thor's Venus and Adonis: 

" Remove your siege from my unyielding heart; 

" To love's alarm it will not ope the gate." MALONE. 

with beauty dies her store.'] Mr. Theobald reads, 

" With her dies beauty's store;" and is followed by the two 
succeeding editors. I have replaced the old reading, because I 
think it at least as plausible as the correction. She is rich, says 
he, in beauty, ana only poor in being subject to the lot of hu- 
manity, that her store, or riches, can be destroyed by death, who 
.shall, by the same blow, put an end to beauty. JOHNSON. 

Mr. Theobald's alteration may be countenanced by the fol- 
lowing passage in Swetnam Arraigned, a comedy, 1620: 

" Nature now shall boast no more 

" Of the riches of her store; 

" Since, in this her chiefest prize, 

" All the stock of beauty dies." 
Again, in the 14th Sonnet of Shakspeare: 

" Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date." 
Again, in Massinger's Virgin-Martyr: 

" with her dies 

" The abstract of all sweetnesi that's in woman." 


Yet perhaps the present reading may be right, and Romeo 
means to say, in his quaint jargon, That she is poor, because 
he leares no part of her store behind her, as with her all beauty 
will die. M. MASON. 

Words are sometimes shuffled out of their places at the press; 
but that they should be at once transpoftt-d and corrupted, is 
highly improbable. I have no doubt that the old copies are right. 


BEN. Then she hath sworn, that she will still live 
chaste ? 

ROM. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge 

waste ; 2 

For beauty, starv'd with her severity, 
Cuts beauty off' from all posterity. 3 
She is too fair, too wise ; wisely too fair, 4 
To merit bliss-by making me despair : 
She hath forsworn to love ; and, in that vow, 
Do I live dead, 5 that live to tell it now. 

BEN. Be rul'd by me, forget to think of her. 
ROM. O, teach me how I should forget to think. 

She is rich in beauty; and poor in this circumstance alone, that 
with her, beauty will expire; her store of wealth [which the 
poet has already said was the fairness of her person,] will not be 
transmitted to posterity, inasmuch as she will " lead her graces 
to the grave, and leave the world no copy." MALONE, 

2 She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;] So, in 
our author's first Sonnet: 

" And, tender churl, mak'st taaste in niggarding." 


3 For beauty, starv'd ivith her severity, 

Cuts beauty off from all posterity. ~] So, in our author's third 
Sonnet : 

" Or who is he so fond will be the tomb 
" Of his self-love, to stop posterity ?" 
Again, in his Venus and Adonis: 

" What is thy body but a swallowing grave, 
" Seeming to bury that posterity, 

" Which by the rights of time thou need'st must have !" 


4 wisely too fair, &c.] There is in her too much sancti- 
monious wisdom united with beauty, which induces her to con- 
tinue chaste with the hopes of attaining heavenly bliss. 


None of the following speeches of this scene are in the first 
edition of 1597. POPE. 

* Do /live dead,] So, Richard the Third: 

" now they kill me with a living death" 

See Vol. XIV. p. 291, n. 2. MALONE. 

sc. i. . 25 

BEN. By giving liberty unto thine eyes ; 
Examine other beauties. 

ROM. 'Tis the way 

To call hers, exquisite, in question more: 6 
These happy masks, 7 that kiss fair ladies* brows, 
Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair ; 
He, that is strucken blind, cannot forget 
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost : 
Show me a mistress that is passing fair, 
What doth her beauty serve, 8 but as a note 
Where I may read, who pass'd that passing fair ? 
Farewell ; thou canst not teach me to forget. 9 

BEN. I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt* 


8 To call hers, exquisite, in question more:'] That is, to call 
hers, which is exquisite, the more into my remembrance and 
contemplation. It is in this sense, and not in that of doubt, or 
dispute, that the word question is here used. HEATH. 

More into talk ; to make her unparalleled beauty more the 
subject of thought and conversation. See Vol. VII. p. 349, n. 9. 


7 These happy masks, c.] i. e. the masks worn by female 
spectators of the play. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Beggar's 
Bush, sc. ult : 

We stand here for an Epilogue. 
Ladies, your bounties first ! the rest will follow ; 
For women's favours are a leading alms : 
If you be pleas'd, look cheerly, throw your eyes 
Out at your masks" 

Former editors print those instead of these, but without autho- 
rity. STEEVENS. 

These happy musks, I believe, means no more than the happy 
masks. Such is Mr. Tyrwhitt's opinion. See Vol. VI. p. 278, 
n. 5. MALONE. 

* What doth her beauty serve,] i. e. what end does it answer? 
In modern language we ay " serve /or." STEEVENS. 
p thou canst not leach me to forget."] 

" Of all afflictions taught a lover yet, 
" 'Tis sure the hardest science, lnjar<rrt" 

Pope's Eloisa. STF.EVEXS. 



A Street. 
Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and Servant. 

CAP. And Montague is bound 1 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 j 
Let two more summers wither in their pride, 2 
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride. 

PAR. Younger than she are happy mothers made. 

CAP. And too soon marr'd are those so early 
made. 3 

1 And Montague is bound ] This speech is not in the first 
quarto. That of 1599 has But Montague In that of 1609, 
and the folio, But is omitted. The reading of the text is that 
of the undated quarto. MALONE. 

* Let ttvo more summers "wither in their pride, ~\ So, in our 
poet's 103d Sonnet : 

Three winters cold 

" Have from the forests shook three summers pride, ~" 


* And too soon marr'd are those so early made.] The quarto, 
1597, reads : And too soon marr'd are those so early married. 

Puttenham, in his Art of Poesy, 1589, uses this expression, 
which seems to be proverbial, as an instance of a figure which 
he calls the Rebound.' 

" The maid that soon married is, soon marred is." 


The earth hath swallow* d 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 ; 5 

The jingle between marr'd and made is likewise frequent 
among the old writers. So, Sidney : 

" Oh ! he is marr'd, that is for others made /" 
Spenser introduces it very often in his different poems. 


Making and marring is enumerated among other unlawful 
games in the Stat. 2 and 3, Phi. and Ma. c. 9. Great improve- 
ments have been made on this ancient game in the present 
century. MALONE. 

4 She is the hopeful lady of my earth:'] This line is not in the 
first edition. POPE. 

She is the hopeful lady of my earth:"] This is a Gallicism: 
Fille dc terre is the French phrase for an heiress. 

King Richard II. calls his land, i. e. his kingdom, his earth: 

" Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth." 

" So weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth." 
Earth in other old plays is likewise put for lands, i. e. landed 
estate. So, in A Trick to catch the Old One, 1619: 

" A rich widow, and four hundred a year in good earth." 
Again, in the Epistle Dedicatorie to Dr. Bright's Characterie, 
an Arte of Sliorte, Swifte, and Secrete writing by Character, 
12mo. 1588: " And this my inuention being altogether of 
English yeeld, where your Majestie is the Ladie of the Soyle, it 
appertayneth of right to you onely." STEEVENS. 

The explanation of Mr. Steevens may be right ; but there is 
a passage in The Maid's Tragedy, which leads to another, where 
Amintor says : 

** This earth of mine doth tremble, and I feel 
" A stark affrighted motion in my blood." 
Here earth means corporal part. M. MASON. 
Again, in this play: 

" Can I go forward, when my heart is here? 
" Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out." 
Again, in our author's 144>th Sonnet : 

'* Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth, ." 

* My will to her consent is but a parts'] To, in this instance, 


An she agree, within her scope of choice 
Lies my consent and fair according voice. 
This night I hold an old accustomed feast, 
Whereto I have invited many a guest, 
Such as I love j 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 : 6 

sonifies in comparison with, in proportion to. So, in King 
Henry VIII: " These are but switches to them." STEEVENS. 

' Earth-treading stars, that made dark heaven light .] This 
nonsense should be reformed thus : 

Earth-treading stars that make dark even light: 
i. e. When the evening is dark, and without stars, these earthly 
stars supply their place, and light it up. So again, in this play : 
" Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night, 
" Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear." WARBURTON. 

But why nonsense ? is any thing more commonly said, than 
that beauties eclipse the sun ? Has not Pope the thought and the 
word ? 

" Sol through white curtains shot a tim'rous ray, 
" And op'd those eyes that must eclipse the day" 
Both the old and the new reading are philosophical nonsense ; 
but they are both, and both equally, poetical sense. JOHNSON. 

I will not say that this passage, as it stands, is absolute non- 
sense ; but I think it very absurd, and am certain that it is not 
capable of the meaning that Johnson attributes to it, without the 
alteration I mean to propose, which is, to read : 

Earth-treading stars that make dark, heavens light. 

That is, earthly stars that outshine the stars of heaven, and 
make them appear dark by their -own superior brightness. But 
according to the present reading, they are earthly stars that en- 
lighten the gloom of heaven. M. MASON. 

The old reading is sufficiently supported by a parallel passage 
in Churchyard's Shores Wife, 1593: 

" IVJy beautie blasd like torch or twinckling starre, 
" A liuely lamp that lends darke "world some light" 
Mr. M. Mason's explanation, however, may receive counte- 
nance from Sidney's Arcadia, Book III : 

" Did light those beamy stars which greater light did 
dark." STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 29 

Such comfort, as do lusty young men feel 7 
When well-appareird April on the heel 

7 do lusty young men feel ] To say, and to say in 

pompous words, that a young man shall feel as much in an 
assembly of beauties, as young men feel in the month of April, _ 
is surely to waste sound upon a very poor sentiment. I read : 
Such comfort as do lusty yeomen feel. 

You shall feel from the sight and conversation of these ladies, 
such hopes of happiness and such pleasure, as the farmer receives 
from the spring, when the plenty of the year begins, and the 
prospect ot the harvest fills him with delight. JOHNSON. 

Young men are certainly yeomen. So, in A lytell Geste of 
Robyn Hodc, printed by Wynken de Worde : 

" Robyn commaunded his wight yong men. 

" Of lii. wyght yonge men. 

" Seuen score of wyght yonge men, 

" Buske you my mery yonge men." 

In all these instances Copland's edition, printed not many years 
after, reads yeomen. 

So again, in the ancient legend of Adam Bel, printed by Cop- 

" There met he these wight yonge men. 

" Now go we hence sayed these wight yong men. 

" Here is a set of these wyght yong men." 
But I have no doubt that he printed from a more antiquated 
edition, and that these passages have accidentally escaped alter- 
ation, as we generally meet with " wyght ycmen" See also 
Spelman's Glossary; voce JUNIORES. It is no less singular that 
in a subsequent act of this very play the old copies should, in 
two places, read "young trees ' and "young tree," instead of 
yew-trees, and yew-tree. RITSON. 

The following passages from Chaucer's Romaunt of the Rose, 
and Virgil's third Georgick, will support the present reading, and 
show the propriety of Shakspeare's comparison : for to tell Paris 
that he should feel the same sort of pleasure in an assembly of 
beauties, which young folk fel in that season when they are 
n\ostg(iy and amorous, was sur3r , as nmch as the old man ought 
to say : 

nlti uibdita Jlannna nuchdlix, 

" f'rrr tnagis (guta vcre calor red it otfibut\. n 

" That it was May, thus drcmid me, 

" In time of love and jolite, 


Of limping winter treads, even such delight 
Among fresh female buds shall you this night 
Inherit at my house ; 8 hear all, all see, 
And like her most, whose merit most shall be : 
Such, amongst view of many, mine, being one, 
May stand in number, though in reckoning none. y 

" That al thing ginnith waxin gay, &c. 

" Then yong folke entendin aye, 

" For to ben gaie and amorous, 

" The time is then so savorous." 

Romaunt oftlie Rose, v. 51, &c. 

Again, in The Romaunce of the Sowdon of Babyloyne &c. MS. 
Penes Dr. Farmer : 

" Hit bifelle by twyxte marche and maye, 

" Whan kynde corage begynneth to pryke ; 

" Whan frith and felde wexen gaye, 

" And every wight desirith his like ; 

" When lovers slepen with opyn yee, 

c * As nightingalis on grene tre, 

" And sore desire that thai cowde flye 

** That thay myghte with there love be" &c. p. 2. 


Our author's 99th Sonnet may also serve to confirm the reading 
of the text : 

** From you I have been absent in the spring, 

" When proud-pied April dress'd in all his trim, 

" Hath put a spirit of youth in ev'ry thing." 
Again, in Tancred and Gismund, a tragedy, 1592: 

" Tell me not of the date of Nature's days, 

** Then in the April of her springing age ." MALONE. 

8 Inherit at my house;"] To inherit, in the language of Shak- 
speare's age, is to possess. See Vol. XL p. 3, n. 7. MALONE. 

9 Such, amongst view of many, mine, being one, 

May stand in number, though in reckoning none."] The first 
of these lines I do not understand. The old folio gives no help ; 
the passage is there, Which one more view. I can offer nothing 
better than this : , j6 

Within your view of maeiy, mine, being one, 

May stand in number, &c. JOHNSON. 

Such, amongst view of many, &c.~] Thus the quarto, 1597. 
In the subsequent quarto of 1599, that of 1609, and the folio, 
the line was printed thus : 

Which one [ow] more view of many, &c. MALONE. 

sc. a. ROMEO AND JULIET. 31 

Come, go with me ; Go, sirrah, trudge about 
Through fair Verona ; find those persons out, 

A very slight alteration will restore the clearest sense to this 
passage. Shakspeare might have written the lines thus : 
Search among view of many t mine, being one, 
May stand in number, though in reckoning none. 
i. e. Amongst the many you will view there, search for one that 
will please you. Choose out of the multitude. This agrees ex- 
actly with what he had already said to him : 

" Hear all, all see, 

" And like her most, whose merit most shall be.'* 
My daughter (he proceeds) will, it is true, be one of the num- 
ber, but her beauty can be of no reckoning (i. e. estimation) 
among those whom you will see here. Reckoning for estimation, 
is used before in this very scene : 

" Of honourable reckoning are you both." STEEVENS. 

This interpretation is fully supported by a passage in Measure 
for Measure: 

" our compell'd sins 

" Stand more for number, than accompt." 
i. e. estimation. There is here an allusion to an old pro- 
verbial expression, that one is no number. So, in Decker's 
Honest Whore, Part II : 

" to fall to one, 

" is to fall to none, 

" For one no number is." 
Again, in Marlowe's Hero and Leander: 

" One is no number." 
Again, in Shakspeare's 136th Sonnet: 

" Among a number one is reckoned none, 
" Then in the number let me pass untold." 
The following lines in the poem on which the tragedy is 
founded, may add some support to Mr. Steevens's conjecture : 
" To his approved friend a solemn oath he plight, 

" every where he would resort where ladies wont 

to meet ; 

" Eke should his savage heart like all indifferently, 
" For he would view and judge them all witli unallured 

* * * * 

" No knight or gentleman of high or low renown 
" But C'upulet himself had bid unto his feast, &c. 
" Young damsels thither flock, of bachelors a rout; 
" Not so much for the banquet's sake, as beauties to 
search out." MAI.ONE. 


Whose names are written there, 1 [Gives a Paper.~] 

and to them say, 
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay. 

[Exeunt CAPULET and PARIS. 

SERV. Find them out, whose names are written 
here ? 2 It is written that the shoemaker should 
meddle with his yard, and the tailor with his last, 
the fisher with his pencil, and the painter with his 
nets ; but I am sent to find those persons, whose 
names are here writ, and can never find what names 
the writing person hath here writ. I must to the 
learned : In good time. 

This passage is neither intelligible as it stands, nor do I think 
It will be rendered so by Steevens's amendment. " To search 
amongst view of many," is neither sense nor English. 

The old folio, as Johnson tell us, reads 
Which one more view of many 

And this leads us to the right reading, which I should suppose 
to have been this : 

Whilst on more view of many, mine being one, &c. 

With this alteration the sense is clear, and the deviation from 
the folio very trifling. M. MASON. 

1 Jind those persons out, 

Whose names are written there, ~\ Shakspeare has here closely 
followed the poem already mentioned : 

" No lady fair or foul was in Verona town, 
" No knight or gentleman of high or lojv renown, 
" But Capilet himself hath bid unto his feast, 
" Or by his name, in paper sent, appointed as a guest."" 


Find them out, whose names are written here ?~\ The quarto, 
1597, adds: "And yet I know not who are written here: I 
must to the learned to learn of them : that's as much as to say, 
the tailor," &c. STEEVENS. 

ac. n. ROMEO AND JULIET. 33 


BEN. Tut, man! one fire burns out another's 


One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish ; 
Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning ; 
One desperate grief cures with another's lan- 
guish : 3 

Take thou some new infection to thy eye, 
And the rank poison of the old will die. 4 

3 with another's languish:] This substantive is again 

found in Antony and Cleopatra. It was not of our poet's coin- 
age, occurring also (as I think) in one of Morley's songs, 1595: 

Alas, it skills not, 

For thus I will not, 

Now contented, 

Now tormented, 

Live in love and languish." MALONE. 

4 Tut, man! onejire burns out another's burning, 
Take thou some new infection to thy eye, 

And the rank poison of the old wilt die.~\ So, in the poem: 
" Ere long the townish dames together will resort : 
" Some one of beauty, favour, shape, and of so lovely 


" With so fast-fixed eye perhaps thou may'st behold, 
" That thou shall quite forget thy love and passions past 

of old. 

" And as out of a plank a nail a nail doth drive, <o / c) 
" So novel love out of the mind the ancient love doth rive." * ,y 
Again, in our author's Coriolanus: 

" One fire drives out one fire; one nail one nail." 
So, in Lyly's Euphites, 1580: " a fire divided in twayne s. > ^ 
burneth slower ; one love expelleth another, and the remem- 
brance of the latter quencheth the concupiscence of the first." 


Veterem amorem now, quasi clavum claro repel/ere, is a mor- 
sel of very ancient advice; and Ovid also has assured us, that 

" Alterius vires subtrahit alter amor." 

" Sueceuore novo truditur omnis amor." 

Priftrem Jlammam ntvms ignis cxtrudit, is also a proverbial 
phrase. STEKVENS. 



ROM. Your plantain leaf is excellent for that. 5 
BEN. For what, I pray thee ? 
ROM. For your broken shin. 

BEN. Why, Romeo, art thou mad? 

ROM. Not mad, but bound more than a madman 


Shut up in prison, kept without my food, 
Whipp'd, and tormented, and Good-e'en, good 


SERV. God gi* good e'en. I pray, sir, can you 
read ? 

ROM. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery. 

SERV. Perhaps you have learn* d it without book : 
But I pray, can you read any thing you see? 

ROM. Ay,if I knowthe letters, and the language. 
SERV. Ye say honestly; Rest you merry! 
ROM. Stay, fellow; I can read. \_Reads. 

Signior Martino, and his wife, and daughters; 
County Anselme, and his beauteous sisters; The lady 
widow of Vitruvio; Signior Placentio, and his lovely 
nieces; Mercutio, and his brother Valentine; Mine 

* Your plantain leaf is excellent for that."} Tackius tells us, 
that a toad, before she engages with a spider, will fortify herself 
with some of this plant; and that, if she comes off wounded, she 
cures herself afterwards with it. DR. GREY. 

The same thought occurs in Albumazar, in the following lines : 
" Help, Armellina, help! Pm faU'n i' the cellar: 
" Bring a fresh plantain leaf, I've broke my shin." 
Again, in The Case is Alter'd, by Ben Jonson, 1609, a fellow 
who has had his head broke, says: " Tis nothing, a fillip, a 
device: fellow Juniper, prithee get me a plantain" 

The plantain leaf is a blood-stauncher, and was formerly ap- 
plied to green wounds. STE EVENS. 

sc. n. ROMEO AND JULIET. 35 

uncle Capulet, his wife, and daughters; My fair 
niece Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio, and his 
cousin Tybalt; Lucio, and the lively Helena. 

A fair assembly; [Gives back tiie Note.~\ Whither 
should they come? 

SERV. Up. 

ROM. Whither? 

SERF. To supper; to our house. 6 

ROM. Whose house ? 

SERV. My master's. 

ROM. Indeed, I should have asked you that 

SERV. Now 1*11 tell you without asking: My 
master is the great rich Capulet; and if you be not 
of the house ot Montagues, I pray, come and crush 
a cup of wine. 7 Rest you merry. [ Exit. 

BEN. At this same ancient feast of Capulet' s 
Sups the fair Rosaline, whom thou so lov'st; 
With all the admired beauties of Verona: 
Go thither; and, with unattainted eye, 
Compare her face with some that I shall show, 
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow. 

6 To supper; to our house."} The words to supper are in the 
old copies annexed to the preceding speech. They undoubtedly 
belong to the Servant, to whom they were transferred by Mr. 
Theobald. MA LONE. 

7 crush a cup of wine.'] This cant expression seems to 

have been once common among low people. I have met with 
it often in the old plays. So, in The Two angry Women of 
Abington, 1.599: 

'* Fill the pot, hostess &c. and we'll crush it." 
Again, in Hoffman's Tragedy, 1631: 

" we'll crush a cup of thine own country wine." 

Again, in The Pinder of Wakpfield, 1599, the Cobler says: 
" Come, George, we'll crush a pat before we part." 
We still say, in cant language to crack a bottle. STEBVENS. 

J) 2 


ROM. When the devout religion of mine eye 
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to 

fires ! 
And these, who, often drown'd, could never die, 

Transparent hereticks, be burnt for liars ! 
One fairer than my love ! the all-seeing sun 
Ne'er saw her match, since first the world begun. 

BEN. Tut ! you saw her fair, none else being by, 
Herself pois'd with herself in either eye : 
But in those crystal scales, 8 let there be weigh' d 
Your lady's love against some other maid 9 
That I will show you, shining at this feast, 
And she shall scant show well, that now shows best. 

ROM. I'll go along, no such sight to be shown. 
But to rejoice in splendour of mine own. \Exeunt. 


A Room in Capulet's House. 
Enter Lady CAPULET and Nurse. 

LA. CAP. Nurse, where's my daughter ? call her 
forth to me. 

NURSE. Now, by my maiden-head, 'at twelve 
year old,- 

8 in those crystal scales,'] The old copies have that 

crystal, &c. The emendation was made by Mr. &owe. I am 
not sure that it is necessary. The poet might have used scales 
for the entire machine. MALONE. 

9 let there be tveigh'd 

Your lady's love against some other maid ] Your lady's 
love is the love you bear to your lady, which in our language is 
commonly used for the lady herself. HEATH. 

sc. in. ROMEO AND JULIET. 37 

I bade her come. What, lamb ! wbat, lady-bird ! 
God forbid ! -where's this girl ? what, Juliet ! 

Enter JULIET. 

JUL. How now, who calls ? 

NURSE. Your mother. 

JUL. Madam, I am here. 

What is your will ? 

LA. CAP. This is the matter : Nurse, give leave 


We must talk in secret. Nurse, come back again; 
I have remember* d me,thou shalt hear our counsel. 
Thou know'st, my daughter's of a pretty age. 

NURSE. 'Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour, 
LA. CAP. She's not fourteen. 

NURSE. I'll lay fourteen of my teeth, 

And yet, to my teen 1 be it spoken, I have but 


She is not fourteen : How long is it now 
To Lammas-tide ? 

LA. CAP. A fortnight, and odd days. 

NURSE. Even or odd, of all days in the year, 
Come Lammas-eve at night, shall she be fourteen. 
Susan and she, God rest all Christian souls ! > 
Were of an age. Well, Susan is with God; 
She was too good for me : But, as I said, 
On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen ; 

1 to my teen ] To my sorrow. JOHNSON. 

So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I. c. ix: 

" for dread and doleful teen." 

This old word is introduced by Shnkspeare for the sake of the 
jingle between teen, andjbur, tmdjburtccn. STEEVEJJS. 


That shall she, marry; I remember it well. 
'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years; 2 
And she was wean'd, I never shall forget it, 
Of all the days of the year, upon that day : 
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug, 
Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall, 
My lord and you were then at Mantua : 
Nay, I do bear a brain : 3 but, as I said, 
When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple 
Of my dug, and felt it bitter, pretty fool ! 
To see it tetchy, and fall out with the dug. 
Shake, quoth the dove-house : 'twas no need, I 


To bid me trudge. 
And since that time it is eleven years : 

* 'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years ;~] But how 
comes the Nurse to talk of an earthquake upon this occasion ? 
There is no such circumstance, I believe, mentioned in any of 
the novels from which Shakspeare may be supposed to have 
drawn his story ; and therefore it seems probable, that he had in 
view the earthquake, which had really been felt in many parts 
of England, in his own time, viz. on the 6th of April, 1580. 
[See Stowe's Chronicle, and Gabriel Harvey's Letter in the Pre- 
fece to Spenser's Works, edit. 1679.] If so, one may be per- 
mitted to conjecture, that Romeo and Juliet, or this part of it at 
least, was written in 1591; after the 6th of April, when the 
eleven years since the earthquake were completed ; and not later 
than the middle of July, a fortnight and odd days before Lam- 
mas-tide. TYRWHITT. 

* Nay, I do bear a brain:] That is, I have a perfect remem- 
brance or recollection. So, in The Country Captain, by the 
Duke of Newcastle, 1649, p. 51: " When these wordes of com- 
mand are rotten, wee will sow some other military seedes ; you 
beare a braine and memory." REED. 

So, in Ram- Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611: 

" Dash, we must bear some brain." 
Again, in Marston's Dutch Courtesan, 1604- : 
nay an I Lear not a 

Again, in Hey wood's Golden Age, 1611: 

*' As I can bear a pack, so I can bear a brain" 


sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET- 39 

For then she could stand alone ; 4 nay, by the rood, 
She could have run and waddled all about. 
For even the day before, she broke her brow : 
And then my husband God be with his soul ! 
'A was a merry man ; took up the child : 
Yea, quoth he, dost thou fall upon thy face? 
Thou wilt Jail backward, when thou haul more wi(; 
Wilt thou not, Jule ? and, by my holy-dam, 
The pretty wretch left crying, and said Ay: 
To see now, how a jest shall come about! 
I warrant, an I should live a thousand years, 
I never should forget it; Wilt thou not, Jule? quoth 

he : 
And, pretty fool, it stinted, 5 and said Ay. 

LA. CAP. Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy 

NURSE. Yes, madam; Yet I cannot choose but 
laugh, 6 

4 could stand alone;'] The 4to. 1597, reads: " could 

>tand high lone" i. e. quite alone, completely alone. So, in 
.mother of our author's plays, high fantastical means entirely 
fantastical. STEEVENS. 

* it stinted,'] i. e. it stopped, it forbore from weeping. 

So, Sir Thomas North, in his translation of Plutarch, speaking 
of the wound which Antony received, says: " for the blood 
stinted a little when he was laid." 

Again, in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson : 

" Stint thy babbling tongue." 
Again, in What you will, by Marston, 1607: 

*' Pish! for shame, stint thy idle chat." 

Again, in The Misfurtu/ies of Kins Arthur, an ancient drama, 

" Fame's but a blast that sounds a while, 

" And quickly stints, and then is quite forgot." 
Spenser uses this word frequently in his Fairy Queen. 


Nurse. Yet, madam; Yet I cannot choose &c.] This speech 
and tautology is not in the first edition. POPE. 


To think it should leave crying, and say Ay: 

And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow 

A bump as big as a young cockrel's stone; 

A parlous knock ; and it cried bitterly. 

Yea, quoth my husband,^//' st upon thy face? 

Thou wilt Jail backward, when thou contest to age; 

Wilt thou not, Jule? it stinted, and said Ay. 

JUL. And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I. 

NURSE. Peace, I have done. God mark thee 

to his grace ! 

Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd: 
An I might live to see thee married once, 
I have my wish. 

LA. CAP. Marry, that marry is the very theme 
I came to talk of: Tell me, daughter Juliet, 
How stands your disposition to be married ? 

JUL. It is an honour 7 that I dream not of. 

NURSE. An honour! were not I thine only nurse, 
I'd say, thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat. 

LA. CAP. Well, 8 think of marriage now; younger 

than you, 

Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, 
Are made already mothers : by my count, 
I was your mother much upon these years 

7 It is an honour ] The first quarto reads honour; the 
folio hour. I have chosen the reading of the quarto. 

The word hour seems to have nothing in it that could draw 
from the Nurse that applause which she immediately bestows. 
The word honour was likely to strike the old ignorant woman, 
as a very elegant and discreet word for the occasion. STEE VENS. 

Honour was changed to hour in the quarto, 1599. MALONE. 

* Well, &c.] Instead of this speech, the quarto, 1597, has 
only one line: 

" Well, girl, the noble County Paris seeks thee for his 
wife." STEEVENS. 

sc. in. ROMEO AND JULIET. 41 

That you are now a maid. Thus then, in brief; 
The valiant Paris seeks you for his love. 

NURSE. A man, young lady ! lady, such a man, 
As all the world Why, he's a man of wax. 9 

LA. CAP. Verona's summer hath not such a flower. 
NURSED Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower. 

LA. CAP, What say you ? 3 can you love the gen- 
tleman ? 

This night you shall behold him at our feast : 
Read o'er the volume 3 of young Paris' face, 
And find delight writ there with beauty's pen ; 
Examine every married lineament, 4 
And see how one another lends content ; 

9 a man o/"wax.J So, in Wily Beguiled: 

" Why, he's a man as one should picture him in wax.'* 


a man o/wax.] Well made, as if he had heen modelled 

in wax, as Mr. Steevens by a happy quotation has explained it. 
" When you, Lydia, praise the waxen arms of Telephus," (says 
Horace,) \Waxen, well shaped, fine turned:] 
'* With passion swells my fervid breast, 
" With passion hard to be supprest." 

Dr. Bentley changes cerea into laciea, little understanding that 
the praise was given to the shape, not to the colour. S. W. 

' Nurse."} After this speech of the Nurse, Lady Capulct in 
the old quarto says only : 

" Well, Juliet, how like you of Paris' love?" 
She answers, " I'll look to like," &c. and so concludes the 
scene, without the intervention of that stuff to be found in the 
later quartos and the folio. STEEVENS. 

1 La. Cap. What say you? &c.] This ridiculous speech is 
entirely added since the first edition. POPE. 

' Read o'er the volume &c.] The same thought occurs in 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre: 

** Her face the book of praises, where is read 
" Nothing but curious pleasures." STEEVENS. 
4 Examine every married lineament, &c.] Thus the quarto 
1599. The quarto 1609 several lineament. Hy tlie former 
of these phrases Shakspeare means Examine how nicely one 


And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies, 
Find written in the margin of his eyes. 5 
This precious book of love, this unbound lover. 
To beautify him, only lacks a cover : 6 

feature depends upon another, or accords with another, in order 
to produce that harmony of the whole face which seems to be 
implied in the word content. In Troilus and Cressida, he 
speaks of " the married calm of states ;" and in his 8th Sonnet 
has the same allusion : 

" If the true concord of well-tuned sounds, 

" By unions married, do offend thine ear." 
So also, in Ronsard : 

" Phebus du milieu de la table, 

" Pour rejouir 1e front des Dieux, 

" Marioit sa voix delectable 

" A son archet melodieux." 

" Le mariant aux haleines 

" De trompettes qui sont pleines 

" D'un son furieux et grave." STEEVENS. 

This speech, as has been observed, is not in the quarto, 1597. 
The reading of the text is that of the quarto, 1599. The folio, 
after a later quarto, that of 1609, reads several lineament. I 
have no doubt that married was the poet's word, and that it was 
altered only because the printer of the quarto of 1609 did not 
understand it. MALONE. 

5 the margin of his eyes.~] The comments on ancient 

books were always printed in the margin. So, Horatio in Hamlet 
says : " I knew you must be edified by the margent," &. 


So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece: 

" But she, that never cop'd with stranger eyes, 
" Could pick no meaning from their parling looks, 
" Nor read the subtle shining secrecies, 
" Writ in the glassy margent of such books" 


6 This precious book of love, this unbound lover, 

To beautify him, only lacks a cover :] This ridiculous speech 
is full of abstruse 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, 
who is styled afemme couverte in law French. M. MASON. 

ac. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 43 

The fish lives in the sea j 7 and 'tis much pride, 
For fair without the fair within to hide : 
That book in many's eyes doth share the glory, 
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story ; 8 
So shall you share all that he doth possess, 
By having him, making yourself no less. 

XURSE. No less ? nay, bigger ; women grow by 

LA. CAP. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris* love? 

JUL. I'll look to like, if looking liking move : 9 
But no more deep will I endart mine eye, 1 
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly. 

7 The Jish lives in the sea; &c.] i.e. is not yet caught. 
Fish-skin covers to books anciently were not uncommon. Such 
is Dr. Fanner's explanation of this passage ; and it may receive 
.-onio support from what ^Enobarbus says in Antony and Cleo- 
patra: " The tears live in an onion, that should water this 
sorrow." STEEVENS. 

The purport of the remainder of this speech, is to show the 
advantage of having a handsome person to cover a virtuous mind. 
It is evident therefore, that instead of " the fish lives in the sea," 
we should read, " the fish lives in the shell." For the sea can- 
not be said to be a beautiful cover to a fish, though a shell may. 
I believe, that by the golden story, is meant no particular 
legend, but any valuable writing. 3VL MASON. 

* That in gold clasps locks in the golden story ;] The golden 
dory is perhaps the golden legend, a book in the dark ages of 
popery much read, and doubtless often exquisitely embellished, 
but of which Canus, one of the popish doctors, proclaims the 
author to have been homojerrei oris, plumbei cordis. JOHNSON. 

The poet may mean nothing more than to say, that those books 
are most esteemed by the world, where valuable contents are em- 
bellished by as valuable binding. STKEVENB. 

/'// look to like, if looking liking move:~\ Such another 
jingle of words occurs in the second llook of Sidney's Arcadia: 
" and seeing to like, and liking to love, and loving straight" 

endart mine eyr,] The quarto, 1597, read*" engage 
mine eye." STEEVENS. 


Enter a Servant. 

SERV. Madam, 2 the guests are come, supper 
served up, you called, my young lady asked for, the 
nurse cursed in the pantry, and every thing in 
extremity. I must hence to wait ; I beseech you, 
follow straight. 

LA. CAP. We follow thee. Juliet, the county 

NURSE. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy 
days. [Exeunt. 


A Street. 

Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO, S BENVOLIO, with Jive or 
six Maskers, Torch-Bearers, and Others. 

ROM. What, shall this speech be spoke for our 

excuse ? 
Or shall we on without apology ? 

* Madam, &c.] To this speech there have been likewise 
additions since the elder quarto, but they are not of sufficient 
consequence to be quoted. STEEVENS. 

3 Mercutio,~] Shakspeare appears to have formed this 

character on the following slight hint in the original story: 
" another gentleman called Mercutio, which was a courtlike 
gentleman, very wel beloved of all men, and by reason of his 
pleasant and curteous behavior was in al companies wel inter- 
tained." Painter's Palace of Pleasure, Tom. II. p. 221. 


Mercutio is thus described in the poem which Shakspeare 
followed : 

" At thone side of her chair her lover Romeo, 

" And on the other side there sat one call'd Mercutio ; 

ac. iv. ROMEO AND JULIET, 45 

BEN. The date is out of such prolixity: 4 
We'll have no Cupid hood-wink'd with a scarf, 

" A courtier that each where was highly had in price, 
" For he was courteous of his speech, and pleasant of 


' Even as a lion would among the lambs be bold, 
Such was among the bashful maids Mercutio to behold. 
' With friendly gripe he seiz'd fair Juliet's snowish hand ; 
' A gift he had, that nature gave him in his swathing 


' That frozen mountain ice was never half so cold, 
' * As were his hands, though ne'er so near the fire he did 

them hold." 

Perhaps it was this last circumstance which induced our poet 
to represent Mercutio, as little sensible to the passion of love, 
and "a jester at wounds which he never felt" See Othello, 
Act III. sc. iv : 

" This hand is moist, my lady ; 

" This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart ; 
" Hot, hot, and moist." 
See also Vol. XVII. p. 19, n. 5. MALONK. 

4 The date is out of such prolixity:'] i. e. Masks are now out 
of fashion. That Shakspeare was an enemy to these fooleries, 
appears from his \vriting none; and that his plays discredited 
such entertainments, is more than probable. WAKBURTON. 

The diversion going forward at present is not a masque, but a 
masquerade. In Henry VIII. where the king introduces himself 
to the entertainment given by Wolsey, he appears, like Romeo 
and his companions, in a mask, and sends a messenger before, to 
make 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 con- 
versation. Their entry on these occasions was always prefaced by 
some speech in praise of the beauty of the ladies, or the generosity 
df the entertainer ; and to the prolixity of such introductions, I 
believe Uomeo is made to allude. 

So, in Histriomastix, 1610, a man expresses his wonder that 
the maskers enter without any compliment : 

" What come they in so blunt, without device?" 

In the accounts of many entertainments given in reigns ante- 
cedent to that of Elizabeth, I find this custom preserved. Of the 
same kind of masquerading, see a specimen in Timon, where 
Cupid precedes a troop of ladies with a speech. STKEVENS. 


Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath, 5 
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper; 6 
Nor no without-book prologue, 7 faintly spoke 
After the prompter, for our entrance : 8 
But, let them measure us by what they will, 
We'll measure them a measure, 9 and be gone. 

ROM. Give me a torch, 1 I am not for this am- 
bling ; 
Being but heavy, I will bear the light. 

Shakspeare has written a masque which the reader will find 
introduced in the 4th Act of The Tempest. It would have been 
difficult for the reverend annotator to have proved they were dis- 
continued during any period of Shakspeare's life. PERCY. 

5 Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,'] The Tartarian 
bows, as well as most of those used by the Asiatick nations, re- 
semble in their form the old Roman or Cupid's bow, such as we 
see on medals and bas reliefs. Shakspeare used the epithet to 
distinguish it from the English bow, whose shape is the segment 
of a circle. DOUCE. 

like a crow-keeper ;~\ The word erotic-keeper is ex- 
plained in King Lear, Act IV. sc. vi. JOHNSON. 

See Vol. XVII. p. 54-1, n. 4. STEEVENS. 

7 Nor no without-book prologue, &c.] The two following lines 
are inserted from the first edition. POPE. 

-for our entrance :] Entrance is here used as trisyllable ; 

entcrance. MALONE. 

9 We'll measure them a measure,] i. e. a dance. See Vol. VII. 
p. 154, n. 9. MALONE. 

1 Give me a torch,'] The character which Romeo declares his 
resolution to assume, will be best explained by a passage in West- 
ward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607: " He is just like a 
torch-bearer to maskers ; he wears good cloaths, and is ranked 
in good company, but he doth nothing." A torch-bearer seems 
to have been a constant appendage on every troop of masks. So, 
in the second part of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601 : 

" As on a masque ; but for our torch-bearers, 

" Hell cannot rake so mad a crew as I." 
Again, in the same play : 

" a gallant crew, 

" Of courtly maskers landed at the stairs; 

sc. iv. ROMEO AND JULIET. 47 

MER. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you 

ROM . Not I, believe me : you have dancing shoes, 
With nimble soles : I have a soul of lead, 
So stakes me to the ground, I cannot move. 

MER. You are a lover ; 2 borrow Cupid's wings, 
And soar with them above a common bound. 

ROM. I am too sore enpierced with his shaft, 
To soar with his light feathers ; and so bound, 
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe : 3 
Under love's heavy burden do I sink. 

MER. And,to sink in it, should you burden love; 4 

" Before whom, unintreated, I am come, 
" And here prevented, I believe, their page, 
" Who, with his torch is enter'd." . 

Before the invention of chandeliers, all rooms of state were 
illuminated by flambeaux which attendants held upright in their 
hands. This custom is mentioned by Froissart, and other writers 
who had the merit of describing every thing they saw. See ft 
wooden cut in Vol. IX. p. 359. 

To hold a torch, however, was anciently no degrading office. 
Queen Elizabeth's Gentlemen-Pensioners attended her to Cam- 
bridge, and held torches while a play was acted before her in the 
Chapel of King's College, on a Sunday evening. 

At an entertainment also, given by Louis XIV. in 166i, no 
less than 200 valets-de-pied were thus employed. STEEVENS. 

King Henry VIII. when he went masked to Wolsey's palace, 
(now Whitehall,) had sixteen torch-bearers. Sec Vol. XV. p. 55. 


1 Mer. You are a lover; &C.} The twelve following lines 
are not to be found in the first edition. POPE. 

so bound, 

I cannot bound &c.] Let Milton's example, on this occa- 
sion, keep Shakspeare in countenance: 

'* in contempt 

" At one slight bound high over-leap'd all bound 
" Of hill," &c. Paradise Lout, Book IV. 1. 180. 

should you burden lore;"] i.e. by sinking in it, you 


Too great oppression for a tender thing. 

ROM. Is love a tender thing ? it is too rough, 
Too rude, too boist'rous ; and it pricks like thorn. 

MER. If love be rough with you, be rough with 

love ; 

Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down. 
Give me a case to put my visage in : 

[Putting on a Mask. 
A visor for a visor ! what care I, 
What curious eye doth quote deformities? 5 
Here are the beetle-brows, shall blush for me. 

BEN. Come, knock, and enter; and no sooner in, 
But every man betake him to his legs. 

ROM. A torch for me : let wantons, light of 

heart, 6 
Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels; 7 

should', or would, burden love. Mr. Heath, on whose sugges- 
tion a note of interrogation has been placed at the end of this 
line in the late editions, entirely misunderstood the passage. 
Had he attended to the first two lines of Mercutio's next speech, 
he would have seen what kind of burdens he was thinking of. 
See also the concluding lines of Mercutio's long speech in p. 60. 


* doth quote deformities ?] To quote is to observe. So, 

in Hamlet: 

" I am sorry, that with better heed and judgment 
" I had not quoted him." 
See note on this passage, and Vol. IV. p. 217, n. 8. 


6 let wantons, light of heart, &c.] Middleton has bor- 
rowed this thought in his play of Blurt Master-Constable, 1602: 

" bid him, whose heart no sorrow feels, 

" Tickle the rushes with his wanton heels, 
" I have too much lead at mine." STEEVENS. 

7 Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels ;] It has been 
already observed, that it was anciently the custom to strew rooms 
with rushes, before carpets were in use. See Vol. XI. p. 331, 
B. 8. So Hentzner, in his Itinerary, speaking of Queen Eliza- 

sc. iv. ROME6 AND JULIET. 49 

For I am pro verb M with a grandsire phrase, 8 
I'll be a candle-holder, and look on, 
The game Was ne'er so fair, and I am done. 9 

beth's presence-chamber at Greenwich, says : " The floor, after 

the English fashion, was strewed with hay, 1 " meaning rushes. 

So, in The Dumb Knight, 1636 : 

" Thou dancest on my heart, lascivious queen, 
" Even as upon these rushes which thou treadest." 
The stage was anciently strewn with rushes. So, in Decker's 

Gut's Hornbook, 1609: " on the very rushes when the com- 

medy is to daunce." STEEVENS. 

Shakspeare, it has been observed, gives the manners and cus- 
toms of his own time to all countries and all ages. It is cer- 
tainly true ; but let it always be remembered that his contem- 
poraries offended against propriety in the same manner. Thus, 
Marlowe, in his Hero and Leandi-r: 

" She, fearing on the rushes to be flung, 

" Striv'd with redoubled strength ." MA LONE. 

8 a grandsire phrase, &c.] The proverb which Romeo 

means, is contained in the line immediately following : To hold 
the candle, is a very common proverbial expression, for being an 
idle spectator. Among Ray's proverbial sentences, is this : 
" A good candle-holder proves a good gamester." STEEVENS. 

The proverb to which Romeo refers, is rather that alluded to 
in the next line but one. 

It appears from a passage in one of the small collections of 
Poetry, entitled Drolleries, of which I have lost the title, that 
" Our sport is at the best," or at the fairest, meant, we have had 
enough of it. Hence it is that Romeo says, " I am done." 

Dun is the mouse, I know not why, seems to have meant, 
Peace; be still! and hence it is said to be " the constable's own 
word;" who may be supposed to be employed in apprehending 
an offender, and afraid of alarming him by any noise. So, in 
the comedy of Patient Grissel, 160S : "What, Babulo! say 
you. Heere, master, say I, and then this eye opens ; yet don is 
(he mouse, LIE STILL. What Habulo! says (irissel. Anone, 
ay I, and then this eye lookcs up; yet doune I snug againe." 


9 Pll be a candle -holder, and look on t 

The game was ne'er so fair, and I um done.'] An allusion to 
an old proverbial saying, which advises to give over when thf 
game is at the fairest. RITSON. 

vol.. xx. r. 


MER. Tut ! dun's the mouse, the constable's 

own word : ' 
If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire 2 

and I am done.] This is equivalent to phrases in com- 
mon use I am done for, it is over ivith me. Done is often used 
in a kindred sense by our author. Thus, in King Henry VI. 
Fart III : 

my mourning weeds are done" 

Again, in The Rape ofLucrece: 

" as soon decay'd and done, 

" As is the morning's dew." STEEVENS. 

1 Tut! dun's the mouse, the constable's otvn "word .] This poor 
obscure stuff' should have an explanation in mere charity. It is 
an answer to these two lines of Romeo : 

" For I am proverb'd with a grandsire phrase ; and 
" The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done." 
Mercutio, in his reply, answers the last line first. The thought 
of which, and of the preceding, is taken from gaming. Til be a 
candle-holder (says Romeo) and look on. It is true, if I could 
play myself, I could never expect a fairer chance than in the 
company we are going to ; but, alas ! / am done. I have no- 
thing to play with : I have lost my heart already. Mercutio 
catches at the word done, and quibbles with it, as if Romeo had 
said, The ladies indeed arejair, but I am dun, i. e. of a dark 
complexion. And so replies, Tut. 1 dun's the mouse ; a prover- 
bial expression of the same import with the French, La nuit tous 
les chats sont gris : as much as to say, You need not fear, night 
will make all your complexions alike. And because Romeo had 
introduced his observations with 

I am proverb'd with a grandsire phrase, 

Mercutio adds to his reply, the constable's otvn ivord: as much 
as to say, If you are for old proverbs, I'll fit you with one ; 'tis 
the constable's otvn word; whose custom was, when he sum- 
moned his watch, and assigned them their several stations, to 
give them what the soldiers call, the ivord. But this night-guard 
being distinguished for their pacifick character, the constable, 
as an emblem of their harmless disposition, chose that domes- 
tick animal for his tword, which, in time, might become prover- 

* If thou art dun, well draw thee from the mire ] A pro- 
verbial saying, used by/Mr. Thomas Heywood, (Drue,) in his 
play, intitled The Dutchess of Suffolk, Act III: 
" A rope for Bishop Bonner, Clunce fun, 
" Call help, a rope, or we are all undone, 
" Draw dun out of the ditch." DR. GREY. 

rc./r. RQMEO AND JULIET. 51 

Of this (save reverence) love, 3 wherein thou stick'st 

Draw dun (a common name, as Mr. Douce observes, for a 
cart-horse) out of the mire, seems to have been a game. In an 
old collection of Satyres, Epigrams, &c. I find it enumerated 
among other pastimes : 

" At shoYC-groate, venter point, or crosse and pile, 
" At leaping o'er a Midsommer bone-fier, 
" Or at the drawing dun out of the myer" 
Dun's the mouse is a proverbial phrase, which I have likewise 
met with frequently in the old comedies. So r in Every Woman 
in her Humour , 1609: 

" If my host say the word, the mouse shall be dun." 
It is also found among Ray's proverbial similes. 
Again, in The Troo Merry Milkitiaids, 1620 : 

" Why then 'tis done, and dun's the mouse, and undone all 
the courtiers." 

Of this cant expression I cannot determine the precise mean- 
ing. It is used again in Westward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 
1607, but apparently in a sense different from that which Dr. 
Warburton would affix to it. STEEVENS. 

Dun out of the mire was the name of a tune, and to this sense 
Mercutio may allude when Romeo declines dancing. Taylor in 
A Navy of Land Ships, says, " Nimble-heeled mariners (like so 
many dancers) capring in the pumpes and vanities of this sinfull 
world, sometimes a Morisca or Trenchraore of forty miles long, 
to the tune of dusty my deare, dirty come thou to me, Dun out 
of the mire, or I wayle in woe and plunge in paine: all these 
dances have no other musicke." HOLT WHITE. 

These passages serve to. prove that Dr. Warburton's explana- 
tion is ill founded, without tending to explain the real sense of 
the phrase, or showing why it should be the constable's own 

" The cat is grey," a cant phrase, somewhat similar to " Dun's 
the mouse," occurs in King Lear. But the present application 
of Mercutio's words will, I fear, remain in hopeless obscurity. 


J Of this (sme rnrrencr) love,'] [The folio Or save your 
reverence Sfc.~] The word or obscures the sentence ; we should 
roud ()! for or Iwr. Mcrcutio having called the affection with 
which Romeo was entangled by so disrespectful a word as mire, 
out : 
O! tavc your reverence, love. JOHNSON. 

K 2 


Up to the ears. Come, we burn day-light, ho. 4 

This passage is not worth a contest; and yet if the conjunction 
or were retained, the meaning appears to be : " Well draw 
thee from the mire, (says he) or rather from this love wherein 
thou stick'st." 

Dr. Johnson has imputed a greater share of politeness to Mer- 
cutia than he is found to be possessed of in the quarto, 1597. 
Mercutio, as he passes through different editions, 

" Works himself clear, and as he runs refines." 


I have followed the first quarto, 1597, except that ithasswr- 
reverence, instead of save-reverence. It was only a different mode 
of spelling the same word ; which was derived from the Latin, 
salva reverentia. See Blount's Glossqgraph. 8vo. 1681, in v. sa- 

So, in Massinger's Very Woman : 
" The beastliest man, 
" (Sir-reverence of the company) a rankwhore-rnorister." 

Again, in The Puritan, 1607 : " uagartered, unbuttoned, 
nay, (sir-reverence,} untrussed." 

In Cymbeline we have the same thing more delicately ex- 
pressed : " Why should his mistress not be fit too ? The rather, 
saving reverence of the word, for 'tis said a woman's fitness comes 
by fits." 

In The Comedy of Errors , the word is written as in the first 
copy of this play, and is used in the same sense : ** such a one 
as a man may not speak of, without he say sir-reverence," . 
And in Much Ado about Nothing, it occurs as now printed in 
the text : " I think you will have me say (save reverence) a hus- 
band." The printer of the quarto, 1599, exhibited the line 
thus unintelligibly : 

Or, save you reverence, love 

which was followed by the next quarto, of 1609, and by the 
folio with a slight variation. The editor of the folio, whenever 
he found an error in a later quarto, seems to have corrected it by 
caprice, without examining the preceding copy. He reads 
Or, save your reverence, &c. MALONE. 

4 we burn day-light, ho.~\ To burn day-light is a prover- 
bial expression, used when candles, &c. are lighted in the day 
time. See Vol. V. p. 63, n. 5. 

Chapman has not very intelligibly employed this phrase in his 
translation of the twentieth Iliad : 

" And all their strength 

" no more shall burn in vain the day" 


sc. ir. ROMEO AND JULIET. 53 

ROM. Nay, that's not so. 

MER. I mean, sir, in delay 

We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day. 5 
Take our good meaning ; for our judgment sits 
Five times in that," ere once in our five wits. 

s like lamps byday.~\ Lamps is the reading of the oldest 

quarto. The folio and subsequent quartos rcad--4ights, lights 
by day. STEEVE^S. 

Five times in that, &c.] The quarto, 1597, reads: " Three 
times a day;" and right wits, instead ofjinc wits. STEEVENS. 

for our judgment sits 

Five times in that, ere once in our five wits."] The quarto, 
1599, and the folio, have our Jine wits. Shakspeare is on all 
occasions so fond of antithesis, that I have no doubt he wrote 
Jive, not Jine. The error has happened so often in these plays, 
and the emendation is so strongly confirmed by comparing these 
lines as exhibited in the enlarged copy of this play, with the 
passage as it stood originally, that I have not hesitated to give 
the reading which I proposed some time ago, a place in the text. 

The same mistake has happened in A Midsummer-Night'' s 
Dream, Vol. V. p. 4-47, n. 8, where we find in all the old 
copies " of these Jine the sense," instead of " these Jive" 
Again, in King Henry VI. P. I. Vol. XIII. p. 24, n. 1 : " Deck'd 
with Jine flower-de-luces," instead of "Jive," &c. In Corio- 
lanng, (see Vol. XVI. p. 234, n. 6.) the only authentick ancient 
copy has " the five strains of honour," for " the^w* strains 
of honour." Indeed in the writing of Shakspeare's age, the u 
and n were formed exactly in the same manner : we are not to 
wonder therefore that ignorant transcribers should have con- 
founded them. In the modern editions these errors have all been 
properly amended See also on the same point, Vol. V. p. 191, 
n. 3 ; Vol. IX. p. 412, n. 9 ; and Vol. XIX. p. 130, n. 7. 

Shakfpeare has again mentioned the Jfre wits in Much Ado 
about Nothing, (gee Vol. VI. p. 11, n. 6.) in King Lear, and 
in one of hig Sonnets. Again, in the play before us : " Thou 
hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits, than, I am sure, 
I have in my whole Jive" Mercutio ix here also the speaker. 

In the first quarto the line stands thus : 

" Three times in that, ere once in our right wits." 

When the poet altered " three times" to "Jive times," he, 
without doubt, for the sake of the jingle, discarded the word 


ROM. And we mean well, in going to this mask ; 
But 'tis no wit to go. 

MER. Why, may one ask ? 

ROM. I dreamt a dream to-night. 

MER. And so did I. 

ROM. Well, what was yours ? 

MER. That dreamers often lie. 

ROM. In bed, asleep, while they do dream 
things true. 

MER. O, then, 7 I see, queen Mab hath been 

with you. 
She is the fairies* midwife j 8 and she comes 

right, and substituted Jive in its place. The alteration, indeed, 
seems to have been made merely to obtain the antithesis. 


7 0, then, &c.] In the quarto 1597, after the first line of 
Mercutio's speech, Romeo says, Queen Mab, what's she ? and 
the printer, by a blunder, has given all the rest of the speech to 
the same character. STEEVENS. 

8 0, then, I see, queen Mab hath been with you. 

She is the fairies' midwife;] The fairies' midwife does 
not mean the midwife to the fairies, but that she was the person 
among the fairies, whose department it was to deliver the fancies 
of sleeping men of their dreams, those children of an idle brain. 
When we say the king's judges, we do not mean persons who 
are to judge the king, but persons appointed by him to judge 
his subjects. STEEVENS. 

I apprehend, and with no violence of interpretation, that by 
" the fairies' midwife," the poet means, the midwife among the 
jfairies, because it was her peculiar employment to steal the new- 
born babe in the night, and to leave another in its place. The 
poet here uses her general appellation, and character, which yet 
has so far a proper reference to the present tram of fiction, as 
that her illusions were practised on persons in bed or asleep ; 
for she not only haunted women in childbed, but was likewise 
the incubus or night-mare. Shakspeare, by employing her here, 
alludes at large to her midnight pranks performed on sleepers; 
but denominates her from the most notorious one, of her per- 

sc. ir. ROMEO AND JULIET. 55 

In shape no bigger than an agate-stone 
On the fore-finger of an alderman, 9 
Drawn with a team of little atomies * 

sonating the drowsy midwife, who was insensibly carried away 
into some distant water, and substituting a new birth in the bed 
or cradle. It would clear the appellation to read the fairy mid- 
tatfe. The poet avails himself of Mab's appropriate province, 
by giving her this nocturnal agency. T. WARTON. 

9 On the fore-fnger of an alderman,'] The quarto, 1597, 
reads of a burgo-master. The alteration was probably made 
by the poet himself, as we find it in the succeeding copy, 1599 : 
but in order to familiarize the idea, he has diminished^ its pro- 
priety. In the pictures of burgO'mastfrs, the ring is generally 
placed on the fore-finger ; and from a passage in The First Part 
of Henry IV. we may suppose the citizens, in Shakspeare's time, 
to have worn this ornament on the thumb. So again, Glap- 
thorne, in his comedy of Wit in a Constable, 1639 : " and 
an alderman, as I may say to you, he has no more wit than the 
rest o'the bench ; and that lies in his thumb-ring." STEEVENS. 

1 nf litlk atomies ] Atomy is no more than an obso- 
lete substitute for atom. 

So, in The Two Merry Milkmaids, 1620: 

" I can tear thee 

" As small as atomies, and throw thce oft' 
** Like dust before the wind." 
Again, in Heywood's Brazen Age, 1613: 

" I'll tear thy limbs into more atomics 
" Than in the summer play before the sun." 
In Drayton's Nimphidia there is likewise a description of 
Queen Mab's chariot : 

" Four nimble gnats the horses were, 
" Their harnesses of gossumere, 
" l ; ly cranioJi, her charioteer, 

" Upon the coach-box getting : 
'* Her chariot of a snail's fine shell, 
* Which for the colours did excell, 
" The fair Queen Mab becoming well, 

" So lively was the limning: 
" The seat, the soft wool of the bee, 
" The cover (gallantly to see) 
" The wing of a py'd butterflec, 
" I trow, 'twas simple trimming : 


Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep : 

Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs ; 

The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers ; 

The traces, of the smallest spider's web ; 

The collars, of the moonshine's watry beams : 

Her whip, of cricket's bone ; the lash, of film : 

Her waggoner, a small grey-coated gnat, 

Not half so big as a round little worm 

Prick' d from the lazy finger of a maid : 

Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut, 

Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub, 

Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers. 

And in this state she gallops night by night 

Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of 

love : 
On courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies 

straight : 

O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees : 
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream ; 
"Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues, 
Because their breaths with sweet-meats 2 tainted are. 
Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose, 
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit : 3 

" The wheels compos'd of cricket's bones, 
" And daintily made for the nonce, 
" For fear of rattling on the stones, 

" With thistle-down they shod it." STEEVENS. 

Drayton's Nimphidia was written several years after this tra- 
gedy. See Vol. V. p. 34*8, n. 7. MALONE. 

* with sweet-meats ] i. e. kissing-comfits. These 

artificial aids to perfume the breath, are mentioned by Falstaff, 
in the last Act of The Merry Wives of Windsor. MALONE. 

3 Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose, 

And then dreams he of smelling out a suit : &c.] Mr. Pope 
reads lawyer's nose. STEEVENS. 

The old editions have it courtier's nose ; and this undoubt- 
edly is the true reading ; and for these reasons : First, In the 

sc. iv. ROMEO AND JULIET. 57 

And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail, 

new reading there Is a vicious repetition in this fine speech ; the 
same thought having been given in the foregoing line : 

" O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees :" 

Nor can it be objected that there will be the same fault if we 
read courtiers', it having been said before : 

" On courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies straight :" 
Because they are shown in two places under different views : in 
the first, their foppery; in the second, their rapacity is ridi- 
culed. Secondly, in our author's time, a court-solicitation was 
called simply, a suit, and a process, a suit at law, to distinguish 
it from the other. " The King (says an anonymous contem- 
porary writer of the Life of Sir William Cecil) " called him 
[Sir William Cecil] and after long talk with him, being much 
delighted with his answers, willed his father to FIND [i. e. to 
smell out"] A SUIT for him. Whereupon he became SUITOR for 
the reversion of the Custos-brevium office in the Common Pleas ; 
which the king willingly granted, it being the first SUIT he had 
in his life." Indeed our poet has very rarely turned his satire 
against lawyers and law proceedings, the common topick of later 
writers : for, to observe it to the honour of the English judica- 
tures, they preserved the purity and simplicity of their first in- 
stitution, long after chicane had over-run all the other laws of 

As almost every book of that age furnishes proofs of what 
Dr. Warburton has observed, I shall add but one other instance, 
from Decker's Guls Hornebooke, 1609: " If you be a courtier, 
discourse of the obtaining of suits." MALONE. 

In these lines Dr. Warburton has very justly restored the old 
reading, courtier's nose, and has explained the passage with his 
usual learning ; but I do not think he is so happy in his endea- 
vour to justify Shakspeare from the charge of a vicious repetition 
in introducing the courtier twice. The second folio, I observe, 

" On countries knees, " 

which has led me to conjecture, that the line ought to be read 

" On counties knees, that dream on court'sics straight :" 

Counties I understand to signify noblemen in general. Paris, 
who, in one place, I think, is called earl, is most commonly 
jitylcd the county in this play. 

And so in Much Ado about Xothing, Act IV. we find : 
" Princes and countict." 


Tickling a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep, 
Then dreams he of another benefice : 
^Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck, 
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats, : 

And in All's well that ends well, Act III : 

" A ring the county wears." 

The Countie Egmond is so called more than once in Ilolin- 
shed, p. 1150, and in the Burleigh papers, Vol. I. p. 204. See 
also p. 7 : The Countie Palatine Lowys. However, perhaps, it 
is as probable that the repetition of the courtier, which offends 
us in this passage, may be owing (not to any error of the press, 
but) to the players having jumbled, together the varieties of se- 
veral editions, as they certainly have done in other parts of the 
play. TYRWHITT. 

In the present instance, I think, it is more probable that the 
repetition arose from the cause assigned by Mr. Steevens. 


At the first entry of the characters in the history of Orlando 
Furioso, played before Queen Elizabeth, and published in 1594- 
and 1599, Sacripant is called the Countie Sacripant. 

Again, Orlando, speaking of himself: 

" Surnam'd Orlando, the Countie Palatine." 

Countie is at least repeated twenty times in the same play. 

This speech, at different times, received much alteration and 
improvement. The part of it in question stands thus in the 
quarto 1597: 

* And in this sort she gallops up and down 

* Through lovers braines, and then they dream of love : 

* O'er courtiers knees, who strait on cursies dreame : 
' O'er ladies lips, who dream on kisses strait ; 

* Which oft the angrie Mab with blisters plagues, 

' Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are. 
" Sometimes she gallops o'er a lawyer's lap, 
" And then dreames he of smelling out a suit : 
" And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pigs taile, 
" Tickling a parson's nose that lies asleepe, 
" And then dreames he of another benefice. 
" Sometimes she gallops o'er a souldier's nose, 
" And then dreames he of cutting forraine throats, 
" Of breaches, ambuscadoes, countermines, 
" Of healths five fadome deepe," &c. 

Shakspeare, as I have observed before, did not always attend 
to the propriety of his own alterations. STEEVENS. ROMEO AND JULIET. 69 

Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, 4 
Of healths five fathom deep ; 5 and then anon 
Drums in his ear ; at which he starts, and wakes ; 
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two, 
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab, 
That plats the manes of horses in the night ; 
And bakes the elf-locks 6 in foul sluttish hairs, 
Which, once untangled, much misfortune bpdes. 
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs, 7 

* Spanish blades,'} A sword is called a toledo, from 

the excellence of the Toletan steel. So Grotius : 

Gladiiis Toletanus. 

" Unda Tagi non est uno celebranda metallo ; 
" Utilis in cives est ibi lamna suos." JOHNSON. 

The quarto 1597, instead of Spanish blades, reads counter- 
mines. STEEVENS. 

In the passage quoted from Grotius, alto has been constantly 
printed instead of nun, which makes it nonsense; the whole 
point of the couplet depending on that word. I have corrected 
it from the original. M ALONE. 

* Of healths five fathom deep;"] So, in Westward Hoe, by 
Decker and Webster, 1607 : ** troth, sir, my master and sir 
Goslin are guzzling ; they are dabbling together fathom deep, 
The knight has drunk so much health to the gentleman yonder, 
on his knees, that he hath almost lost the use of his legs." 


And bakes the clf~loclcs &c.] This was a common super- 
stition; and seems to have had its rise from the horrid disease 
called the Plica Polonica. WARBURTON. 
So, in Hey wood's Iron Age, 1632: 

" And when I shook these locks, now knotted all, 
" As bak'd in blood, ." MALONE. 

when maids &c.] So, in Drayton's Nimphidia : 

" And Mab, his merry queen, by night 
" licstridcs young folks that lie upright, 
" (In elder times the mare that hight) 

" Which plagues them out of measure." 
So, in Gcnwsr nfTitJtury, Dec. I. c. 17: " Vidimus quosdnm 
dcmonet tanto xelo mulieres amare, quod ad inaudita proruin- 
punt ludibria, ct cum ad concuhitum carum accedunt, mira 
mole cn.< npprimnnl, nee ab nliis videntur." STEEVE.VS.' 


That presses them, and learns them first to bear, 
Making them women of good carriage. 8 
This, this is she 

ROM. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace ; 

Thou talk's! of nothing. 

MER. True, I talk of dreams ; 

Which are the children of an idle brain, 
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy ; 
Which is as thin of substance as the air ; 
And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes 
Even now the frozen bosom of the north, 
And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence, 9 
Turning his face 1 to the dew-dropping south. 

BEN. This wind, you talk of, blows us from 

ourselves ; 
Supper is done, and we shall come too late. 

ROM. I fear, too early : for my mind misgives, 
Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars, 
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date 
With this night's revels ; and expire the term 
Of a despised life, 2 clos'd in my breast, 

8 of good carriage.] So, in Love's Labours Lost, Act I. 

sc. ii : 

" let them be men of good repute and carriage. 

" Moth. Sampson, master ; lie was a man of good carriage ; 
great carriage ; for he carried the town-gates," &c. 


9 from thence^ The quarto 1597 reads in haste. 


1 kis face ] So the quarto 1597. The other ancient 

copies have side. MALONE. 

* and expire the term 

Of a despised Ufe,~\ So, in The Rape of Lucrece : 

" An expir'd date, cancell'd ere well begun." MALONE. 

Again, in Hubbard's Tale: 

" When as time flying with wings swift, 
" Expired had the term" &c. 

sc. v. ROMEO AND JULIET. 61 

By some vile forfeit of untimely death : 

But He, that hath the steerage of my course, 

Direct my sail! 3 On, lusty gentlemen. 

BEN. Strike, drum. 4 [Exeunt 


A Hall in Capulet's House. 
Musicians waiting. Enter Servants. 

1 SERV. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to 
take away ? he shift a trencher ! 6 he scrape a 
trencher ! 

Again, in Chapman's version of the eleventh Iliad : 

" Draw some breath, not expire it all ; ." STEEVENS. 

3 Direct my sail !] I have restored this reading from the elder 
quarto, as being more congruous to the metaphor in the pre- 
ceding line. Suit is the reading of the folio. STEEVENS. 

Suit is the corrupt reading of the quarto 1599, from which it 
got into all the subsequent copies. MALONE. 

Direct my suit .'] Guide the sequel of the adventure. 


4 Strike, drum.'] Here the folio adds: They march about 
the stage, and serving men come forth with their napkins. 


s Scene V."] This scene is added since the first copy. 


* he shift a trencher! #c.] Trenchers were still used 

by persons of good fashion in our author's time. In the HJDUS- 
liold Book of the Earls of Northumberland, compiled at the 
beginning of the same century, it appears that they were com- 
mon to the tables of the first nobility. PERCY. 

To shift a trencher was technical. So, in The Miseries of 
Enftirst Marriage. 1608, Sig. E 3: " learne more manners, 
stand at your brothers backe, as to shift a trencher neately" AT. 



2 SERV. When good manners shall lie all in one 
or two men's hands, and they unwashed too, 'tis a 
foul thing. 

1 SERV. Away with the joint-stools, remove the 
court-cupboard, 7 look to the plate : good thou, 

They were common even in the time of Charles I. See 
Vol. IV. p. 92, n. 2. MALOKE. 

They continued common much longer in many publick socie- 
ties, particularly in colleges and inns of court ; and are still 
retained at Lincoln's-Inn. NICHOLS. 

On the books of the Stationers' Company, in the year 1554* 
is the following entry : " Item, payd for x dosyn of trenchers, 
xxi d." STEEVEXS. 

7 court-cupboard,"] I am not very certain that I know 

the exact signification of court-cupboard. Perhaps it served the 
purpose of what we call at present the side-board. It is how- 
ever frequently mentioned in the old plays. So, in A Humorous 
Day's Mirth, 1599 : " shadow these tables with their white 
veils, and accomplish the court-cupboard" Again, in Monsieur 
D* Olive, 1606, by Chapman : " Here shall stand my court- 
cupboard, with its furniture of plate.'* Again, in The Roaring 
Girl, 1611: 

" Place that in the court-cupboard." 

Again, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635 : " they are to- 
gether on the cupboard of the court, or the court-cupboard."" 
Again, in Chapman's May-Day, 1611 : " Court-cupboards 
planted with flaggons, cans, cups, beakers," &c. 

Two of these court -cupboards are still in Stationers' Hall. 


The use which to this day is made of those cupboards is ex- 
actly described in the above-quoted line of Chapman ; to dis- 
play at publick festivals the feiggons, cans, cups, beakers, and 
other antique silver vessels of the company, some of which 
(with the names of the donors inscribed on them) are remark- 
ably large. NICHOLS. 

By " remove the court-cupboard," the speaker means, I think, 
remove the flaggons, cups, ewers, &c. contained in it. A court- 
cupboard was not strictly what we now call a side-board, but a 
recess fitted up with shelves to contain plate, &c. for the use of 
the table. It, was afterwards called a bitffet, and continued to 
be used to the time of Pope : 

sc. v. ROMEO AND JULIET. <& 

save me a piece of marchpane ; 8 and, as thou lovest 
me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone, and 
Nell. Antony ! and Potpan ! 

" The rich buffet well colour'd serpents grace, 
" And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face.'* 
The side-board was, I apprehend, introduced in the present 
century. MA LONE. 

A court-cupboard was a moveable ; a beitfet, a fixture. The 
former was open, and made of plain oak ; the latter had folding 
doors, and was both painted and gilded on the inside. 


* woe me a piece of marchpane ;] Marchpane was a con- 
fection made of pistacho-nuts, almonds, and sugar, &c. and in 
high esteem in Shakspeare's time ; as appears from the account 
of Queen Elizabeth's entertainment in Cambridge. It is said 
that the University presented Sir William Cecil, their chancellor, 
with two pair of gloves, a marchpane^ and two sugar-loaves. 

Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, Vol. II. p. 29. GREY. 

Marchpane was a kind of sweet bread or biscuit ; called by 
some almond-cake. Hermolaus Barbarus terms it mazapanis, 
vulgarly Martiut pants : G. marcepain andmassepan; It. marza- 
pane, il macapan : B. marcepeyn, i. e. massa pura. But, as few 
understood the meaning of this term, it began to be generally, 
though corruptly, called massepeyn y marcepeyn, marlsepeyn ; and 
in consequence of this mistake of theirs, it soon took the name 
of martins panis, an appellation transferred afterwards into other 
languages. See Juniue. HAWKINS. 

Marchpane was a constant article in the deserts of our ances- 
tors. So, in Acolaslus, a comedy, 1540: " seeing that the 
issue of the table, fruits and cheese, or wafers, hypocras, and 
marchpanes, or comfy tures, be brought in." See Dugdale's 
Orig. Jurid. p. 133. 

In the year 1560, I find the following entry on the books of 
the Stationers' Company: " Item, pay a for ix marshe parties, 
xxvis. viiid." 

Marchpanes were composed of filberts, almonds, pistachoe*, 
pine-kernels, and sugar of roses, with a small proportion of flour. 
L'Etoile in his description of a magnificent entertainment given 
at Paris in 1596, says: " les confitures seiclus \ masse pans \ 
cstoient si peu espargnez, que les dames it damoiselles cstoient 
contraintes de s'en decharper sur les pages & les laquais, aux- 
quela on les bailloit tous entiers." Our macaroons are only dc- 
and diminutive marchpane*. STEEVENS. 


2 SERV. Ay, boy j ready. 

1 SERF. You are looked for, and called for, 
asked for, and sought for, in the great chamber. 

2 SERV. We cannot be here and there too. 
Cheerly, boys ; be brisk a while, and the longer 
liver take all. [They retire behind. 

Enter CAPULET, $c. with the Guests, and the 

CAP. Gentlemen, welcome! ladies, that have 

their toes 9 

Unplagu'd with corns, will have a bout with you : 
Ah ha, my mistresses ! which of you all 
Will now deny to dance ? she that makes dainty, 


I'll swear, hath corns ; Am I come near you now ? 
You are welcome, gentlemen ! I have seen the day, 
That I have worn a visor; and could tell 
A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, 
Such as would please ; 'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis 

You are welcome, gentlemen ! ' Come, musicians, 


9 their toes ] Thus all the ancient copies. The mo- 
dern editors, following Mr. Pope, read, with more delicacy, their 
feet. An editor by such capricious alterations deprives the 
reader of the means of judging of the manners of different ages; 
for the word employed in the text undoubtedly did not appear 
indelicate to the audience of Shakspeare's time, though perhaps 
it would not be endured at this day. MALONE. 

It was endured, at least, in the time of Milton. Thus, ii> 
Comus, 960 : 

" without duck or nod 

" Other trippings to be trod 
** Of lighter toes." STEEVENS. 

1 You are welcome, gentlemen /] These two lines, omitted by 
the modern editors, I have replaced from the folio. JOHNSON. 


A hall ! a hall ! 2 give room, and foot it, girls. 

[Mustek plays , and they dance. 
More light, ye knaves ; and turn the tables up, 3 
And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot. 
Ah, sirrah, this unlook'd-for sport comes well. 
Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet ; 4 

* A hall! a hall''] Such is the old reading, and the true one, 
though the modern editors read, A ball! a ball! The former 
exclamation occurs frequently in the old comedies, and signifies, 
jnake room. So, in the comedy of Doctor Dodypoll, 1600 : 

" Room! room! a hall! a hall!*' 
Again, in Ben Jonson's Talc of a Tub: 

" Then cry, a hail! a hall!" 

Again, in an Epithalamium, by Christopher Brooke, published 
at the end of England's Helicon, 1614*: 

" Cry not, a hall, a halls but chamber-roome ; 

" Dancing is lame," &c. 
and numberless other passages. STEEVENS. 

J turn the tables up,] Before this phrase is generally in- 
telligible, it should be observed that ancient tables were flat 
leaves, joined by hinges, and placed on tressels. \Vhen they 
were to be removed, they were therefore turned up. So, in the 
ancient translation of IVIarco Paolo's Voyages, 1579: " After 
dinner is done, and the tables taken uppe, everie man goeth 
aboute his businesse." 

Again, in " The Seventh mery Jest of the Wyddow Edyth," 

** And when that taken up was the borde, 
" And all payde for," &c. 

Again, in Mandeville's Travels, p. 285-6 : " And suche playes 
of desport they make, till the taking up ujthe boordes." 


* gocd cousin Capulet ;] This cousin Capulet is uncle in 

the paper of invitation; but as Capulet is described as old, cousih 
1* probably the right word in both places. I know not InwC'a- 
pulet and his lady might agree, their ages were very dispropor- 
tionate; he has been past masking for thirty years, and her age, 
as she tells Juliet, is but cight-and-twenty. JOHNSON. 

Couxin was a common expression from one kinsman to another, 
out of the degree of parent and child, brother and sister. Thus 
hi Hamlet, the King his uncle and step- father addresses him with ; 

" But now my cousin Hamlet and my son." 


For you and I are past our dancing days : s 
How long is't now, since last yourself and I 
Were in a mask ? 

2 CAP. By'r lady, thirty years. 

1 CAP. What, man ! 'tis not so much, 'tis not 

so much : 

J Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio, 
Come pentecost as quickly as it will, 
Some nve and twenty years; and then we mask'd. 

2 CAP. J Tis more, 'tis more : his son is elder, sir j 
His son is thirty. 

1 CAP. Will you tell me that ? 6 

His son was but a ward two years ago. 

And in this very play, Act III. Lady Capulet says : 
" Tybalt my cousin! O my brother's child." 

So, in As you like it: 

" Ros. Me uncle ? 
" Duke. You cousin!" 
And Olivia, in Twelfth- Night, constantly calls her uncle Toby 

cousin. RITSON. 

Shakspeare and other contemporary writers use the word cousin 
to denote any collateral relation, of whatever degree, and some- 
times even to denote those of lineal descent. 

Richard III. during a whole scene, calls his nephew York, 
cousin; who, in his answer, constantly calls him uncle. And 
the old Duchess of York, in the same play, calls her grandson, 

" Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow. 

" York. Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper," 


And in Fletcher's Women Pleased, Sylvio styles Rhodope, at one 
time, his aunt at others, his cousin-^- to the great annoyance of 
Mr. Sympson, the editor. M. MASON. 

See also Vol. XIV. p. 347, n. 9. MALONE. 

5 our dancing days:"] Thus the folio: the quarto reads, 

" our standing days." STEEVENS. 

6 WiU you tell me &c.] This speech stands thus in the first 

sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 67 

ROM. What lady's that, which doth enrich the 

Of yonder knight? 7 

SERV. I know not, sir. 

ROM. O, she doth teach the torches to burn 

bright ! 

Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night* 
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear : 9 
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear ! 

Will you. tell me that ? it cannot be so: 
His son was but a ward three years ago; 
Good youths, i* faith! Oh, youth's a jolly thing! 
There are many trifling variations in almost every speech of 
this play; but when they are of little consequence I have fore- 
borne to encumber the page by the insertion of them. The last, 
however, of these three lines, is natural, and worth preserving. 

7 What lady's that, which doth enrich the hand 

Of yonder knight?] Here is another proof that our author 
bad the poem, and not Painter's Novel, in his mind. In the 
latter we are told " A certain lord of that troupe took Juliet 
by the hand to dance." 

In the poem of Romeits and Juliet, as in the play, her partner 
is a knight: 

" With torch in hand a comely knight did fetch her forth 
to dance." MALONE. 

* Her beauty hangs upon the check of night ] Shakspeare 
has the same thought in his 27th Sonnet: 

" Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night, 
" Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new." 
The quartos 1597, 1599, 16O9, and the folio 1623, coldly read: 

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night. 
It is to the folio 163z, that we are indebted for the present 
reading, which is certainly the more elegant, if not the true 
one. The repetition, however, of the word beauty, in the next 
line but one, in my opinion, confirms the emendation of our 
second folio. STEEVKNS. 

9 Like a rich jewel in an Ethiap's ear:'] So, in Lyly'* 

" A fair pearl in a Morian's car." HOLT WHITE. 

i 2 


So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, 
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. 
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, 
And, touching hers, make happy my rude hand. 
Did my heart love till now ? forswear it, sight ! 
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night. 1 

TYB. This, by his voice, should be a Montague: 
Fetch me my rapier, boy : What! dares the slave 
Come hither, cover'd with an antick face, 
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity ? 
Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, 
To strike him dead I hold it not a sin. 

1 CAP. Why, how now, kinsman ? wherefore 
storm you so ? 

TYB. Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe j 
A villain, that is hither come in spite, 
To scorn at our solemnity this night. 

1 CAP. Young Romeo is't ? 

TYB. 'Tis he, that villain Romeo. 

1 CAP. Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone, 
He bears him like a portly gentleman ; 
And, to say truth, Verona brags of him, 
To be a virtuous and well-govern* d youth : 
I would not for the wealth of all this town, 
Here in my house, do him disparagement : 
Therefore be patient, take no note of him, 
It is my will ; the which if thou respect, 
Show a fair presence, and put off these frowns, 
An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast. 

TYB. It fits, when such a villain is a guest ; 
I'll not endure him. 

1 For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night."] Thus King 
Henry VIII: 

" O beauty, 

" Till now I never knew thee!" STEEVENS. 

sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 69 

1 CAP. He shall be endur'd ; 

What, goodman boy ! I say, he shall ; Go to j 
Am I the master here, or you ? go to. 
You'll not endure him! God shall mend my soul 
You'll make a mutiny among my guests ! 
You will set cock-a-hoop ! you'll be the man ! 

TYB. Why, uncle, 'tis a shame. 

1 CAP. Go to, go to, 

You are a saucy boy : Is't so, indeed ? 
This trick may chance to scath you ; 2 I know what. 
You must contrary me ! 3 marry, 'tis time 
Well said, my hearts: You are aprincox; go: 4 

* to scath you;'] i. e. to do you an injury. So, in The 

Pinner of IVakefield, 1599: 

" They shall amend the scath, or kiss the pound." 
Again, in the interlude of Jacob and Esau, 1568: 

" Alas! what wretched villain hath done me such scath . J " 


See Vol. XIV. p. 319, n. 5. MALONE. 

3 You must contrary me!~\ The use of this verb is common 
to our old writers. So, in Tully's Love, by Greene, 1616: 
" rather wishing to die than to contrary her resolution." 
Many instances more might be selected from Sidney's Arcadia. 

Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. X. c. 59 : 
" his countermand should have contraried so." 

The same verb is used in Arthur Hall's version of the eighth 
Iliad y 4-to. 1581 ; and in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plu- 
tarch. STEEVENS. 

4 You are a princox; go:~] A princox is a coxcomb, 

.1 conceited person. 

The word is used by Ben Jonson, in The Case is alter d, 1609: 
by Chapman, in his comedy of Mai/' Day, 1610; in The Return 
from Parnassus, 16O6: *' Your proud university Princox." 
Again, in Fuimus Troes, 1633: " That Princox proud." And 
indeed by most of the old draraatick writers. Cotgravc renders 
MM jeune cstourdeau superbe a young princox boy. STEEVENS. 

The etymology of the word princox may be found in Florio'a 
Italian Dictionary, 1598, in v. Pinrhino. It is rather a cock- 
ered or spoiled child, than a coxcomb. MALONE. 


Be quiet, or More light, more light, for shame! 
I'll make you quiet; What! Cheerly, my hearts. 

TYB. Patience perforce 5 with wilful choler 


Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting. 
I will withdraw: but this intrusion shall, 
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitter gall. \_Exit. 

ROM. If I profane with my unworthy hand 


This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this, 
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, 6 ready stand 

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. 

JUL. Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too 


Which mannerly devotion shows in this ; 
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, 

And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. 
ROM. Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too ? 

JUL. Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in 

ROM. O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands 


They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to de- 
spair. 7 

* Patience perforce ] This expression is part proverbial : 
the old adage is 

" Patience perforce is a medicine for a mad dog." 


6 If I profane with my untvortht/ hand 
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this, 
My lips,, two blushing pilgrims, &c.J The old copies read 
sin. MALONE. 

All profanations are supposed to be expiated either by some 
meritorious action, or by some penance undergone, and punish- 
ment submitted to. So Romeo would here say, If I have been 
profane in the rude touch of my hand, my lips stand ready, as 

/fc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 71 

JtfL* Saints do not move, though grant for 

prayers' sake. 
ROM. Then move not, while my prayer's effect 

I take. 
Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purg'd. 

[Kissing her* 

JUL. Then have my lips the sin that they have 

ROM. Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly 

urg'd ! 
Give me my sin again. 

JUL. You kiss by the book. 9 

two blushing pilgrims, to take off that offence, to atone for it by 
a sweet penance. Our poet therefore must have wrote : 
the gentle tine it this. WARBURTON. 

7 O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; 

They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair."] Juliet 
had said before that ** palm to palm was holy palmer's kiss." 
She afterwards says that palmers have lips that they must use 
in prayer." Romeo replies, " that the prayer of his lips was, 
that they might do tuhat hands do; that is, that they might kiss. 


[Kissing her.~] Our poet here, without doubt, copied from 
the mode of his own time ; and kissing a lady in a publick 
assembly, we may conclude, was not thought indecorous. In 
King Henry VIII. he in like manner makes Lord Sands kiss 
Anne Boleyn, next to whom he sits at the supper given by Car- 
dinal Wolsey. MA LONE. 

9 You kiss by the book.~\ In As you like it, we find it was 
usual to quarrel by the book, and we are told in the note, that 
there were books extant for good manners. Juliet here appears 
to refer to a third kind, containing the art of courtship, an ex- 
ample from which it is probable that Rosalind hath adduced. 


Of all men who have loosed themselves on Shakspeare, none 
it thre who so inveigleth me to amorous meditations, as the 
critick aforesaid. In Antony and Cleopatra he sore vexed and 
disquieted mine imagination touching the li.n'r and voice of 
women ; in King Lear he hinted at somewhat touching noninos; 
.ml loJ now disecrteth ho on lip-galluntry! But (saith a wag 


NURSE. Madam, your mother craves a word 
with you. 


ROM. What is her mother ? 

NURSE. Marry, bachelor, 

Her mother is the lady of the house, 
And a good lady, and a wise, and virtuous : 
I nurs'd her daughter, that you talk'd withal ;~, 
I tell you, he, that can lay hold of her, 
Shall have the chinks. 1 

ROM. Is she a Capulet ? 

dear account ! my life is my foe's debt. 

BEN. Away, begone ; the sport is at the best. 
ROM. Ay, so I fear ; the more is my unrest. 

1 CAP. Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone ; 
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards. 2 

at mine elbow) on the business of kissing, surely Calista's ques- 
tion might be addressed to our commentator " Is it become 
an art then ? a trick that bookmen can teach us to do over ?" 

1 believe, no dissertation, or guide, to this interchange of fond- 
ness was ever penned, at least while Shakspeare was alive. All 
that Juliet means to say is you kiss methodically; you offer as 
many reasons for Jdssing, as could have been found in a treatise 
professedly written on the subject. When Hamlet observes on 
the Grave-digger's equivocation " we must speak by the card," 
can he be supposed to have had a literal meaning ? Without 
reference to books, however, Juliet betrays little ignorance on 
the present occasion; but could have said (with Mortimer, in 
King Henry IV.) 

** I understand thy kisses, and thou mine ; 
" And that's a feeling disputation." AMNER. 

1 the chinks.] Thus the old copies; for which Mr, 

Pope and the subsequent editors have substituted chink. 


* We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.] Towards is 
ready, at hand. 

So, in Hamlet; 

" What might be towards, that this sweaty haste 

" Doth make the night joint labourer with the day ?" 


Is it e'en so? Why, then I thank you all ;w.*.' 
I thank you, honest gentlemen ; 3 good night : 
More torches here ! Come on, then let's to bed. 
Ah ? sirrah, [To 2 CAP.] by my fay, it waxes late ; 
I'll to my rest. \_Exeunt all &w/ JULIET and Nurse. 

JUL. Come hither, nurse : What is yon gentle- 
man ?* 

NURSE. The son and heir of old Tiberio. 
JUL. What's he, that now is going out of door ? 
NURSE. Marry, that, I think, be young Petruchto. 

JUL. What's he, that follows there, that would 
not dance ? 

NURSE. I know not. 

JUL. Go, ask his name : if he be married, 
My grave is like to be my wedding bed. 

Again, in The Phcenix, by Middleton, 1607: " here's a 
voyage towards, will make us all." STEEVENS. 

It appears, from the former part of this scene, that Capulet's 
company had supped. A banquet, it should be remembered, 
often meant, in old times, nothing more than a collation of 
fruit, wine, &c. So, in The Life of Lord Cromwell, 1602: 
'* Their dinner is our banquet after dinner" 

Again, in Ilowel's Chronicle of the Civil Wars, 1661, p. 662: 
" After dinner, he was served with a banquet." MA LONE. 

It appears, from many circumstances, that our ancestors quitted 
their eating-rooms as soon as they had dined, and in warm wea- 
ther retired to buildings constructed in their gardens. These 
were called banquet ing-houses, and here their desert was served. 


honest gentlemen;"] Here the quarto, 1597, odds: 

" I promise you, but for your company, 
" I would liave been in bed an hour ago : 
' Light to my chamber, ho !" STEEVENS. 

* Come hither, nurse : What is i/nn gnillcntait?'] Tliis and the 
following questions are taken from the novel. STEFVENS. 

SPC the poem of Romeus and Juliet. MALONE. 



NURSE. His name is Romeo, and a Montague ; 
The only son of your great enemy. 

JUL. My only love sprung from my only hate ! 
Too early seen unknown, and known too late ! 
Prodigious birth of love it is to me, 
That I must love a loathed enemy. 

NURSE. What's this ? what's this ? 

JUL. A rhyme I learn' d even now 

Of one I danc'd withal. [One calls within, JULIET. 

NURSE. Anon, anon : 

Come, let's away ; the strangers all are gone. 


Enter CHORD s. 5 

Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie, 
And young affection gapes to be his heir ; 

That fair, 6 which love groan'd for, and would die, 7 
With tender Juliet match'd, is now not fair. 

5 CHOR US.] This Chorus added since the first edition. 


The use of this Chorus is not easily discovered ; it conduces 
nothing to the progress of the play, but relates what is already 
known, or what the next scene will show ; and relates it with- 
out adding the improvement of any moral sentiment. 


6 That fair,'] Fair, it has been already observed, was formerly 
used as a substantive, and was synonymous to beauty. See 
Vol. VIII. p. 88, n. 9. MALONE. 

7 That fair, which love groan'd for, and would die,~] The 
instances produced in a subsequent note, by Mr. Malone, to 
justify the old and corrupt reading, are not drawn from the 
quartos, which he judiciously commends, but from the folio, 
which with equal judgment he has censured. These irregu- 
larities, therefore, standing on no surer ground than that of 
copies published by ignorant players, and printed by careless 
compositors, I utterly refuse to admit their accumulated jargon 
as the grammar of Shakspeare, or of the age he lived in. 

sc. v. ROMEO AND JULIET. 7* 

Now Romeo is belovM, and loves again, 

Alike bewitched by the charm of looks ; 
But to his foe suppos'd he must complain, 

And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks: 
Being held a foe, he may not have access 

To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear ; 
And she as much in love, her means much less 

To meet her new-beloved any where : 
But passion lends them power, time means to meet, 
Tempering extremities with extreme sweet. [Exit. 

Fair, in the present instance, was used as a dissyllable. 
Sometimes, our author, as here, uses the same word as a dis- 
syllable and a monosyllable, in the very same line. Thus, in 
The Tempest, Act I. sc. ii : 

" Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since." 


-Jbr ixhich love groan'd for,] Thus the ancient copies, 

for which all the modern editors, adopting Mr. Howe's altera- 
tion, read groan'd sore. This is one of the many changes that 
have been made in the text from not attending to ancient 
phraseology ; for this kind of duplication was common in Shak- 
speare's time. So, in Coriolanus: " In what enormity is Mar- 
cius poor in, that you two have not in abundance?" See 
Vol. XVI. p. 64*, n. 9. Again, in As you like it, Act II. sc. vli : 
" the scene wherein we play in." MALONE. 



^Hjftef i;?.-n-,'.:v '^;:-. 

An open Place, adjoining Capulet's Garden. 

Enter ROMEO. 

ROM. Can I go forward, when my heart is here ? 
Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out. 

\_He climbs tJie JVall 9 and leaps down within it. 


BEN. Romeo ! my cousin Romeo ! 

MER. He is wise ; 

And, on my life, hath stolen him home to bed. 

BEN. He ran this way, and leap'd this orchard 

Call, good Mercutio. 

MER. Nay, I'll conjure too. 

Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover! 
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh, 
Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied ; 
Cry but Ah me ! couple but love and dove ; 8 

* Cry lut Ah me ! couple but love and dove;~] The quarto, 
1597, reads pronounce; the two succeeding quartos and the first 
folio, provaunt; the 2d, 3d, and 4th folios, couply; and Mr. 
Rowe, who printed from the last of these, formed the present 
reading. Provant, however, in ancient language, signifies pro- 
vision. So, in " The Court and Kitchen of Elizabeth, called 
Joan Cromwell, the Wife of the late Usurper, truly described 
and represented," 1664, p. 14: " carrying some dainty pro- 
vant for her own and her daughter's repast." To provant is to 
provide; and to provide is to furnish. " Provant but love and 
dove," may therefore rae&n, furnish but such hackneyed rhymes 
as these are, the trite effusions of lovers. STEEVENS. 

sc. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. ' 77 

Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word, 
One nick-name for her purblind son and heir, 
Young Adam Cupid, 9 he that shot so trim, 
When king Cophetua lov'd the beggar-maid. 1 

pronounce but love and dove;'] Thus the first quarto, 

1597. Pronounce, in the quartos of 1599 and 1609, was made 

In the first folio, which appears to have been printed from 
the latter of these copies, the same reading is adopted. The 
editor of the second folio arbitrarily substituted couply, meaning 
certainly couple, and all the modern editors have adopted his 
innovation. Provaunt, as Mr. Steevens has observed, mean* 
provision ; but I have never met with the verb To provant, nor 
nas any example of it been produced. I have no doubt, there- 
fore, that it was a corruption, and have adhered to the first 

In this very line, love and dove, the reading of the original 
copy of 1597, was corrupted in the two subsequent quartos and 
the folio, to love and day; and heir, in the next line, cor- 
rupted into her. MA LONE. 

Mr. Malone asks for instances of the verb provant. When he 
will produce examples of other verbs (like reverb, &c.) peculiar 
to our author, I may furnish him with the instance he de- 
sires. I am content, however, to follow the second folio. 


9 Young Adam Cupid,'] All the old copies read Abraham 
Cupid. The alteration was proposed originally by Mr. Upton. 
See Observations, p. 243. It evidently alludes to the famous 
archer, Adam Bell. REED. 

1 When king Cophetua &c.] Alluding to an old ballad pre- 
served in the first Volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of ancient 
English Poetry: 

** Here you may read, Cophetua, 
" Though long time fancie-fed, 
" Compelled by the blinded boy 

" The begger for to wed." STEEVENS. 
" Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim t 
" When," &c. 

This word trim, the first editors, consulting the general sense 
of the passage, and not perceiving the allusion, would naturally 
alter to true; yet the former seems the more humorous ex- 
pression, and, on account of its quaintncss, more likely to have 
been used bv Mcrcutio. PERCY. 


He heareth not, stirreth not, 2 he moveth not ; 
The ape is dead, 3 and I must conjure him. 
I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes, 
By her high forehead, 4 and her scarlet lip, 
By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh, 
And the demesnes that there adjacent lie, 5 
That in thy likeness thou appear to us. 

So trim is the reading of the oldest copy, and this ingenious 
conjecture is confirmed by it. In Decker's Satiromastix, is a 
reference to the same archer : 

" He shoots his bolt but seldom ; but when Adam lets 

go, he hits :" 

" He shoots at thee too, Adam Bell; and his arrows stick 

Trim was an epithet formerly incommon use. It occurs often 
in Churchyard's Siege ofLeeth, 1575: 

" Made sallies forth, as tryme men might do." 
Again, ibid: 

'* And showed themselves trimme souldiours as I ween.' ? 


The ballad here alluded to, is King Cophetua and the Beggar- 
Maid, or, as it is called in some old copies, The Song of a 
Beggar and a King. The following stanza Shakspeare had par- 
. ticularly in view : 
wfc. " The blinded boy that shoots so trim, 

" From heaven down did hie, 
" He drew a dart and shot at him, 

" In place where he did lie." MALONE. 

* stirreth not,"} Old copies, unmetrically, he stirreth 


3 The ape i-s dead,~\ This phrase appears to have been fre- 
quently applied to young men, in our author's time, without any 
reference to the mimickry of that animal. It was an expression 
of tenderness, like poor fool. Nashe, in one of his pamphlets, 
mentions his having read Lyly's Euphues, when he was a little 
ape at Cambridge. MALONE. 

4 By her high forehead,'] It has already been observed that 
a high forehead was in Shakspeare's time thought eminently 
beautiful. See Vol. IV. p. 146, n. 2 ; and Vol. XVII. p. 143, 
n. 9. MALONE. 

5 And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,'] Here, perad- 


BEN. An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him. 

MER. This cannot anger him : 'twould anger him 
To raise a spirit in his mistress* circle 
Of some strange nature, letting it there stand 
Till she had laid it, and conjur'd it down ; 
That were some spite : my invocation 
Is fair and honest, and, in his mistress* name, 
I conjure only but to raise up him. 

BEN. Come, he hath hid himself among those 


To he consorted with the humorous night: 6 
Blind is his love, and best befits the dark. 

MER. If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark. 

venture, hath our waggish poet caught hold of somewhat from 
Barnabe Googe his version of Palingenius. Sec Cancer, edit. 

' What shuld I here commend her thies, or places thcr 
that lie?" AM M.I:. 

the humorous night :~\ I suppose Shakspenre means 

humid, the moist dnvy night. Chapman uses the word in that 
sense, in his translation of Homer, B. II. edit. 1598 : 

" The other gods and knights at arms slept all the 

humorous night." 
Again, in the 21st Book : 

" Whence all floods, all the sea, all founts, wells, all 

deeps humorous, 
" Fetch their beginnings; ." 
Again, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song 3 : 

" Such matter as she takes from the gross humorous 

Again, Song 13th: 

" which late the humorous night 

" Bespangled had with pearl . ' 
Again, in his Ifarons' Wars, canto i : 

" The humorous fogs deprive us of his light." 


In Mtasurc for Mcaxure we have " the vaporous night ap- 
proaches;" which shows that Mr. Steevens has rightly inter- 
preted the word in the text. MALONK. 


Now will he sit under a medlar tree, 

And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit, 

As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone. 7 

7 As maids &c.] After this line, in the old copies, I find 
two other verses, containing such ribaldry, that I cannot venture 
to insert them in the text, though I exhibit them here as a 
proof that the editors of our poet have sometimes known how 
to blot : 

" O Romeo that she were, ah that she were 
" An open et ccetera, thou apoprin pear!" 
This pear is mentioned in The Wise Woman of Hogsdon, 
1638: " What needed I to have grafted in the stock of such a 
choke-pear, and such a goodly poprin as this to escape me ?" 
Again, in A neiv Wonder, a Woman never vexed, 1632 : 

" 1 requested him to pull me 

" A Katherine Pear, and, had I not look'd to hhn, 
" He'd have mistook, and given me apopperin." 
In The Atheist's Tragedy, by Cyril Turner, 1611, there is 
much conceit about this pear. I am unable to explain it with 
certainty, nor does it appear indeed to deserve explanation. 

Thus much may safely be said ; viz. that our pear might have 
been of French extraction, as Poperin was the name of a parish 
in the Marches of Calais. So, in Chaucer's Rime of Sire Thopas, 
Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. 1775, ver. 13,650: 

" In Flandres, al beyonde the see, 
" At Popering in the place." 

In the edition of Messieurs Boydell I have also omitted these 
offensive lines. Dr. Johnson has somewhere observed, that there 
are higher laws than those of criticism. STEEVENS. 

These two lines, which. are found in the quartos of 1597, 
1599, and in the folio, were rejected by Mr. Pope, who in like 
manner has rejected whole scenes of our author ; but what is 
more strange, his example has, in this instance, Jbeen followed 
by the succeeding editors. 

However improper any lines may be for recitation on the 
stage, an editor, in my apprehension, has no right to omit any 
passagd that is found in all the authentick copies of his author's 
works. They appear not only in the editions already mentioned, 
but also in that copy which has no date, and in the edition of 

I have adhered to the original copy. The two subsequent 
quartos and the folio read, with a slight variation 
An open or thou a poperin pear. 

sc. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 81 

Romeo, good night ; I'll to my truckle-bed ; 
This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep : 
Come, shall we go ? 

BEN. Go, then ; for 'tis in vain 

To seek him here, that means not to be found. 


Shakspeare followed the fashion of his own time, which was, 
when something indecent was meant to be suppressed, to print 
et ccetera, instead of the word. See Minsheu's Dictionary, 
p. 112, col. 2. Our poet did not consider, that however such 
a practice might be admitted in a printed book, it is absurd 
where words are intended to be recited. When these lines were 
spoken, as undoubtedly they were to our ancestors, who do not 
appear to have been extremely delicate, the actor must have 
evaded the difficulty by an abrupt sentence. 

The unseemly name of the apple here alluded to, is well 

Poperingue is a town in French Flanders, two leagues distant 
from Ypres. From hence the Poperin pear was brought into 
England. What were the peculiar qualities of a Poperin pear, 
I am unable to ascertain. The word was chosen, I believe, 
merely for the sake of a quibble, which it is not necessary to ex- 
plain. Probably for the same reason the Popering tree was 
preferred to any other by the author of the mock poem of Hero 
and Leander, small 8vo. 1653: 

" She thought it strange to see a man 

*' In privy walk, and then anan 

" She stepp'd behind a Popering tree, 

" And listen 'd for some novelty." 

Of the parish of Poperin, or Poperlmg, (as we called it) John 
Leland the Antiquary was parson, in the time of King Henry the 
Eighth. By him the Poperin pear may have been introduced 
into England. MALONF. 




Capulet's Garden. 
Enter ROMEO. 

ROM. He jests at scars, 8 that never feltawound. 
[JULIET appears above, at a Window. 
But,soft! what light through yonder window breaks! 
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun ! 
Arise, fair" sun, and kill the envious moon, 
Who is already sick and pale with grief, 
That thou her maid art far more fair than she : 
Be not her maid, 9 since she is envious ; 
Her vestal livery is but sick and green, 
And none but fools do wear it ; cast it off. 
It is my lady ; l O, it is my love : 
O, that she knew she were ! 
She speaks, yet she says nothing ; What of that ? 

8 He jests at scars,"] That is, Mercutio jests, whom he over- 
heard. JOHNSON. 

So, in Sidney's Arcadia, Book 

" None can speake of a wound with skill, if he have not 
a wound felt." STEEVENS. 

He (that person) jests, is merely an allusion to his having 
conceived himself so armed with the love of Rosalind, that no 
other beauty could make any impression on him. This is cl^ar 
from the conversation he has with Mercutio, just before they go 
to Capulet's. RITSON. 

9 Be not her maid,"] Be not a votary to the moon, to Diana. 

So, in Troilus and Cressida: 

" By all Diana's tuaiting-ivomen yonder, ." 

1 It is my lady;"] This line and half I have replaced. 


sc.ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. ss 

Her eye discourses, I will answer it. 
I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks : 
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, 
Having some business, do entreat her eyes 
To twinkle in their spheres till they return. 
What if her eyes were there, they in her head ? 
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars, 
As daylight doth a lamp ; her eye in heaven 
Would through the airy region stream so bright, 
That birds would sing, and think it were not night. 
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand ! 
O, that I were a glove upon that hand, 2 
That I might touch that cheek I 3 

JUL. Ah me ! 

ROM. She speaks : 

O, speak again, bright angel ! for thou art 
As glorious to this night,* being o'er my head, 

1 O, that I were a slave upon that hand,'] This passage ap- 
pears to have been ridiculed by Shirley in The School ofCom- 
pliments, a comedy, 1637: 

" O that I were a flea upon that lip," &c. STEEVENS. 

touch that cheek !~\ The quarto, 1597, reads: "kiss 
that cheek." STEEVENS. 

4 O, speak again, bright angel ! for thou art 

As glorious to this night,] Though all the printed copies 
concur in this reading, yet the latter part of the simile seems to 

Ax glorious to this sight ; . 

and therefore I have ventured to alter the text so. THEOBALD. 

I have restored the old reading, for surely the change was un- 
necessary. The plain sense is, that Juliet appeared as splendid 
an object in the vault of heaven obscured by darkness, as an 
angel could seem to the eyes of mortals, who were tailing back 
to gaze upon him. 

At glorious to this nighty means as glorious appearance in this 
dark night, &c. It should be observed, however, that the simile 
agrees precisely with Theobald's alteration, and not so trcll with 
the old reading. STEEVENS. 

G 2 


As is a winged messenger of heaven 
Unto the white-upturned wond'ring eyes 
Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him, 
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds, 5 
And sails upon the bosom of the air. 

JUL. O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou 

Romeo ? 

Deny thy father, and refuse thy name : 
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, 
And I'll no longer be a Capulet. 

ROM. Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this ? 


JUL. 'Tis but thy name, that is my enemy ; 
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague. 6 

* the lazy-pacing clouds,"] Thus corrected from the first 
edition, in the other lazy-puffing. POPE. 

6 Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.'] For the present 
punctuation I am accountable. It appears to me to afford a clear 
sense, which the line as printed in the old copies, where we have 
a comma after thyself, and no point after though, does not in my 
apprehension afford. 

Thou art, however, says Juliet, a being sui generis, amiable 
and perfect, not tainted by the enmity which your family bears 
to mine. 

According to the common punctuation, the adversative par- 
ticle is used without any propriety, or rather makes the passage 

Though is again used by Shakspeare in A Midsummer-Night's 
Dream, Act III. sc. last, in the same sense : 

" My legs are longer though, to run away." 
Again, in The Taming of a Shrew: 

" 'Would Catharine had never seen him though." 
Again, in King Henry VIII: 

" I would not be so sick though, for his place." 
Other writers frequently use though for however. So, in The 
Fatal Dowry, a tragedy, by Massinger and Field, 1632 : 

" Would you have him your husband that you love, 
* And can it not be ? He is your servant, though, 
" And may perform the office of a husband." 

to. ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 85 

What's Montague ? it is nor hand, nor foot, 
Nor. arm, nor face, nor any other part 
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name ! 
What's in a name ? 7 that which we call a rose, 

Again, in Cupid's Revenge, by Beaumont and Fletcher : 

** O dissembling woman, 

** Whom I must reverence though.'* 

Again, in the last speech of The Maid's Tragedy, by Beau- 
mont and Fletcher, 1619: 

" Look to him though, and bear those bodies in." 
Again, in Otway's Venice Preserved: 

" I thank thee for thy labour though, and him too." 
Juliet is simply endeavouring to account for Romeo's being 
amiable and excellent, though he is a Montague. And, to prove 
this, she asserts that he merely bears that name, but has none of 
the qualities of that house. M ALONE. 

If this punctuation be right, and the words of the text accu- 
rate, we must understand though in the sense of then, a reading 
proposed by Dr. Johnson : a sense it is perpetually used in by 
our ancient poets, and sometimes by our author himself. So, 
in A Midsummer-Night'' s Dream: 

" What though he love your Hermia ? Lord ! what 

Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : 

" 1 keep but three men and a boy yet, but what 

though ?" 
Again, in As you like it : 

" we have no assembly here but beasts ; but what 

though ?" 
Again, in King Henry V: 

" It is a simple one, but what though f" RITSOK. 

7 nor any other part 
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name ! 
What's in a name? &c.] The middle line is not found in 
the original copy of 1597, being added, it should seem, on a 
revision. The passage in the first copy stands thus : 
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part : 
What's in a name? That which we call a rose, &c. 
In the copy of 1599, and all the subsequent ancient copies, 
the words nor any other part were omitted by the oversight of 
the transcriber or printer, and the lines thus absurdly exhibited : 


By any other name 8 would smell as sweet ; 
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, 
Retain that dear perfection which he owes, 
Without that title : Romeo, doff' thy name ; 
And for that name, which is no part of thee, 
Take all myself. 9 

ROM. I take thee at thy word : 

Call me but love, and I'll be new baptiz'd ; 
Henceforth I never will be Romeo. 

JUL. What man art thou, that, thus bescreen'd 

in night, 
So stumblest on my counsel ? 

ROM. By a name 

I know not how to tell thee who I am : 
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, 
Because it is an enemy to thee ; 
Had I it written, I would tear the word. 

Nor arm nor face, le some other name ! 

Belonging to a man. 

What's in a name, 8fC. 

Belonging, &c. evidently was intended to begin a line, as it 
now does; but the printer having omitted the words nor any 
ether part, took the remainder of the subsequent line, and carried 
it to that which preceded. The transposition now made needs 
no note to support it : the context in this and many other places 
supersedes all arguments. MALONE. 

For the sake of metre, I am willing to suppose our author 

'Longing to man. &c. 

The same elision occurs in The Taming of a Shrew, Vol. IX. 
p. 139: 

" Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace 

*' As > longeth to a lover's blessed case." STEEVENS. 

* By any other name ~] Thus the quarto, 1597. All the 
subsequent ancient copies read By any other word. 


9 Take all myself."] The elder quarto reads, Take all I have. 


ac. n. ROMEO AND JULIET. 87 

JUL. My ears have not yet drunk a hundred 


Of that tongue's utterance, 1 yet I know the sound; 
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague ? 

ROM. Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike. 8 

JUL. flow cam'st thou hither, tell me ? and 

wherefore ? 

The orchard walls are high, and hard to climb ; 
And the place death, considering who thou art, 
If any of my kinsmen find thee here. 

ROM. With love's light wings did I o'er-perch 

these walls ; 3 

For stony limits cannot hold love out : 
And what love can do, that dares love attempt ; 

1 My ears have not yet drunk a hundred ivords 

Of that tongue's utterance,] Thus the quarto, 1597. The 
subsequent ancient copies read of thy tongue's uttering. We 
meet with almost the same words as those here attributed to 
Romeo, in Kins Edward III. a tragedy, 1596 : 
** I might perceive his eye in her eye lost, 
" His ear to drink her sweet tongue's utterance. " 


* Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.] Thus the original 
copy. The subsequent ancient copies read fair maid. " If 
either thee dislike" was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age. 
So, it likes me well ; for it pleases me well. MA LONE. 

Dislike here means displease. M. MASON. 

' With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls ;] Here 
also we find Shakspeare following the steps of the author of The 
Hystory of Romeiu and Juliet, 1562 : 

" Approaching near the place from whence his heart had 

" So light he wox, he leap'd the ten//, and there he spy'd 

nis wife, 

" Who in the n.?W<m,' watch'd the coming of her lord, " 



Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me. 4 
JUL. If they do see thee, they will murder thee. 

ROM. Alack ! there lies more peril in thine eye, 
Than twenty of their swords; 5 look thoubut sweet, 
And I am proof against their enmity. 

JUL. I would not for the world, they saw thee 

i <f 


ROM. I have night's cloak to hide me from their 

sight; 6 
And, but thou love me, let them find me here : 7 

4 no let to me."] i. e. no stop or hinderance. So, in 
Hamlet : 

" By heaven I'll make a ghost of him that lets me." 

Thus the original edition. The subsequent copies read no 
stop to me. MALONE. 

4 there lies more peril in thine eye, 

Than twenty of their siuords;~j Beaumont and Fletcher 
have copied this thought in The Moid in the Mill: 
" The lady may command, sir ; 

" She bears an eye more dreadful than your weapon." 


c from their sight ;] So the first quarto. All the other 

ancient copies have from their eyes. MALONE. 

7 And, but thou love me, let them find me here:] And so thou 
do but love me, I care not what may befall me: Let me be 
found here. Such appears to me to be the meaning. 

Mr. M. Mason thinks that " but thou love me," means, 
unless thou love me ; grounding himself, I suppose, on the two 
subsequent lines. But those contain, in my apprehension, a 
distinct proposition. He first says, that he is content to be 
discovered, if he be but secure of her affection ; and then 
adds, that death from the hands of her kinsmen would be prefer- 
able to life without her love. But, however, it must be acknow- 
ledged, has often in old English the meaning which Mr. M. 
Mason would affix to it. MALONE. 

Mr. M. Mason is certainly in the right. So, in Antony and 
Cleopatra : 

" But being charg'd, we will be still by land." 
See Vol. XVII. p. 226, n. 5. STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 89 

My life were better ended by their hate, 
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love. 8 

JUL. By whose direction found'st thou out this 
place ? 

ROM. By love, who first did prompt me to in- 
quire j 

He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes. 
I am no pilot ; yet, wert thou as far 
As that vast shore wash'd with the furthest sea, 
I would adventure for such merchandise. 

JUL. Thou know'st, the mask of night is on my 

face ; 

Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek, 
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night. 
Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny 
What I have spoke; But farewell compliment!' 
Dost thou love me? I know, thou wilt say Ay; 
And I will take thy word : yet, if thou swear'st, 
Thou may'st prove false ; at lovers' perjuries, 
They say, Jove laughs. O, gentle Romeo, 
Jf thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully : 
Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won, 
I'll frown, and be perverse, and say thee nay, 

' Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.~\ The common 
acceptation of prorogue, is to postpone to a distant time, which 
is in fact to delay. But I believe in this place prorogued means 
continued! and that Romeo means, in the language of lovers, to 
represent life without her as a continual death : 

" Death's life with thee, without thee death to live." 


Than death prorogued,] i. e. delayed, deferred to a more 
distant period. So, in Act IV. sc. i : 

" I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it, 
" On Thursday next be married to this county." 


^farewell compliment!'] That is, farewell attention to 

forms. M. MASON. 


So thou wilt woo ; but, else, not for the world. 
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond ; 
And therefore thou may'st think my haviour light: 
But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true 
Than those that have more cunning to be strange. 1 
I should have been more strange, I must confess, 
But that thou over-heard'st, ere I was ware, 
My true love's passion : therefore pardon me ; 
And not impute this yielding to light love, 
Which the dark night hath so discovered. 

ROM. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear, 
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops, 2 

JUL. O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant 


That monthly changes in her circled orb, 
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable. 

ROM. What shall I swear by ? 

JUL. Do not swear at all - f 

Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, 

1 cunning to be strange.'] Cunning is the reading of the 

quarto, 1597, and I have restored it. 

To be strange, is to put on affected coldness, to appear shy. 
So, in Greene's Mamillia, 1593 : " Is it the fashion in Padua to 
be so strange with your friends?" 

Again, in one of the Paston Letters, Vol. III. p. 327 : " I 
pray ye that ye be not strange of writing of letters to me.'* 


In the subsequent ancient copies cunning was changed to 
coying. MALONE. 
4 . moon 

That tips inith silver all these fruit-tree tops,] This image 
struck Pope : 

" The moon-beam trembling falls, 
" And tips txith silver all the walls." Imit. of Horace. 
Again, in the celebrated simile on the moon at the conclusion 
of the eighth Book of the Iliad: 

" And tips with silver ev'ry mountain's head." 


sc. ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 91 

Which is the god of my idolatry, 
And I'll believe thee. 

ROM. If my heart's dear love 

JUL. Well, do not swear: although I joy in thee, 
I have no joy of this contract to-night : 
It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden ; 
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be, 
Ere one can say It lightens. 3 Sweet, good night! 4 
This bud of love, by summer's, ripening breath, 
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. 
Good night, good night ! as sweet repose and rest 
Come to thy heart, as that within my breast ! 

ROM. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied ? 
JUL. What satisfaction canst thou have to-night? 5 

ROM. The exchange of thy love's faithful vow 
for mine. 

JUL. I gave thee mine before thou didst request 

And yet I would it were to give again. 

3 Ere one can say It lightens.'] So, in TheMiracles of Moses, 
by Drayton : 

lightning ceaslcssly to burn, 
** Swifter than thought from place to place to pass, 
*' And being gone, doth suddenly return 
" Ere you could say precisely what it was." 
The same thought occurs in A Midsummer- Night's Dream. 


Drayton's Miracles of Moses was first printed in quarto, iu 

4 Sweet, good night /] All the intermediate lines from 

Sweet, good night ! to Stay but a little, &c. were added after the 
first copy. STEEVENS. 

* What satisfaction canst thou have to-night ?] Here Juliet 
scemeth as if she meant to promise ( L e. as much as in her lieth ) 
to afford Romeo, in some future instance, that satisfaction which 
he cannot receive while they remain at their present distance 
from each other. AMNER. 


ROM. Would' st thou withdraw it ? for what pur- 
pose, love ? 

JUL. But to be frank, and give it thee again. 
And yet I wish but for the thing I have ; 
My bounty is as boundless as the sea, 
My love as deep ; the more I give to thee, 
The more I have, for both are infinite. 

[Nurse calls within. 

I hear some noise within ; Dear love, adieu ! 
Anon, good nurse ! Sweet Montague, be true. 
Stay but a little, I will come again. \_Exit. 

ROM. O blessed blessed night ! I am afeard, 
Being in night, all this is but a dream, 
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial. 

Re-enter JULIET, above. 

JUL. Three words, dear Romeo, and good night, 

If that thy bent of love be honourable, 6 

6 If that thy bent of love be honourable, &c.~] In The Tra- 
gical Hystory already quoted Juliet uses nearly the same expres- 
sions : 

" if your thought be chaste, and have on virtue 

" If wedlock be the end and mark which your desire 

hath found, 

" Obedience set aside, unto my parents due, 
" The quarrel eke that long ago between our housholds 


" Both me and mine I will all whole to you betake, 
" And following you tuhereso you go, my father's house 

forsake : 

" But if by wanton love and by unlawful suit 
" You think in ripest years to pluck my maidenhood's 

dainty fruit, 

" You are beguil'd, and now your Juliet you beseelcs, 
.:. " To cease your suit, and suffer her to live among her 
likes." MALONE. 


Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, 
By one that I'll procure to come to thee, 
Where, and what time, thou wilt perform the rite ; 
And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay, 
And follow thee my lord throughout the world : 

NURSE. [Within.'} Madam. 

JUL. I come, anon : But if thou mean'st not 

I do beseech thee, 

NURSE. [Within.~\ Madam. 

JUL. By and by, I come : 

To cease thy suit, 7 and leave me to my grief: 
To-morrow will I send. 

ROM. So thrive my soul, 

JUL. A thousand times good night ! [Exit. 

ROM. A thousand times the worse, to want thy 

Love goes toward love, as school-boys from their 

books ; 

But love from love, toward school with heavy looks. 

[Retiring slowly. 

Re-enter JULIET, above. 

JUL. Hist ! Romeo, hist ! O, for a falconer's 

To lure this tassel-gentle back again ! 8 

' To ceaie thy suit,] So the quarto, 1597. The two subse- 
quent quartos and the folio have thy strife. MALONE. 

' To lure this tassel-gentle back again .'] The tassel or tiercel 
(for so it should be spelt) is the male of t\\e gosshawk ; so called, 
because it is a tierce or third less than the female. This is equally 
true of all birds of prey. In The Booke ofFalconrye, by George 
Turberville, Gent, printed in 1575, 1 find a whole chapter on the 
falcon-gentle* &c. So, in The Guardian, by Massinger: 


Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud ; 
Else would I tear the cave 9 where echo lies, 
And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine 
With repetition of my Romeo's name. 

ROM. It is my soul, that calls upon my name : 
How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, 
Like softest musick to attending ears ! 

JUL. Romeo! 

ROM. My sweet ! l 

" then, for an evening flight, 

" A tiercel-gentle." 

Taylor the water poet uses the same expression : " By cast- 
ing out the lure, she makes the tassel-gentle come to her fist." 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. III. c. iv : 
" Having far off espyde a tassel-gent, 
" Which after her his nimble wings doth straine." 
Again, in Decker's Match me in London, 1631 : 

* Your tassel-gentle, she's lured off and gone." 
This species of hawk had the epithet of gentle annexed to it, 
from the ease with which it was tamed, and its attachment to 

It appears from the old books on this subject that certain hawks 
were considered as appropriated to certain ranks. The tercel- 
gentle was appropriated to the prince ; and thence, we may sup- 
pose, was chosen by Juliet as an appellation for her beloved 
Komeo. In an ancient treatise entitled Hawking, Hunting, and 
Fishing, with the true Measures of Blowing, is the following 
passage : 

" The names of all manner of hawkes, and to whom they be- 


There is a falcon gentle, and a tercel gentle ; and these are for 
a prince." MALONE. 

9 tear the cave -3 This strong expression is more suit- 
ably employed by Milton : 

" A shout that tore hell's concave ." STEEVENS. 

* My sweet .'} Mr. Malone reads Madam, and justifies his 
choice by the following note. STEEVENS. 

sc. u. ROMEO AND JULIET. 95 

JUL. At what o'clock to-morrow 

Shall I send to thee ? 

ROM. At the hour of nine. 

JUL. I will not fail ; 'tis twenty years till then. 
I have forgot why I did call thee back. 

ROM. Let me stand here till thou remember it. 

JUL. I shall forget, to have thee still stand there, 
Rememb'ring how I love thy company. 

ROM. And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget, 
Forgetting any other home but this. 

JUL. 'Tis almost morning, I would have thee 

gone : 

And yet no further than a wanton's bird ; 
Who lets it hop a little from her hand, 
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves, 
And with a silk thread plucks it back again, 
So loving-jealous of his liberty. 

ROM. I would, I were thy bird. 

JUL. Sweet, so would 1 ~. 

Thus the original copy of 1597. In the two subsequent co- 
pies and the folio we have My niece. What word was intended 
it is difficult to say. The editor of the second folio substituted 
My sweet. I have already shown, that all the alterations in that 
copy were made at random ; and have therefore preserved the 
original word, though less tender than that which was arbitrarily 
substituted in its place. M ALONE. 

A* I shall always suppose the second folio to have been cor- 
rected, in many place?, by the aid of better copies than fell into 
the hands of the editors of the preceding volume, I have in the 
prevent instance, as well as many others, followed the authority 
rejected by Mr. Malone. 

I must add, that the cold, distant, and formal appellation 
Madam, which has been already put into the mouth ol the Nurse, 
would but ill accord with the more familiar feelings of the ardent 
Home o, to whom Juliet ha* jut promised every gratification that 
youth and beauty could bestow. 


Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing. 
Good night, good night! parting is such sweet 

That I shall say good night, till it be morrow. 


ROM. Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy 


'Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest! 
Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell ; 
His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell. 2 [Exit. 


Friar Laurence's Cell. 
Enter Friar LAURENCE, with a Basket. 

FRI. The grey-ey'd morn smiles on the frown- 
ing night, 3 
Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light : 

* Hence tuill I to my ghostly father's cell ; 

His help to crave , and my dear hap to tell.~] Thus the quarto, 
1597, except that it has good instead of dear. That of 1599, 
and the folio, read : 

Hence will I to my ghostly frier's close cell, 

His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell. MALONE. 

* The grey-ey'd morn &c.] These four lines are here replaced, 
conformable to the first edition, where such a description is much 
more proper than in the mouth of Romeo just before, when he 
was full of nothing but the thoughts of his mistress. POPE. 

In the folio these lines are printed twice over, and given once 
to Romeo, and once to the Friar. JOHNSON. 

The same mistake has likewise happened in the quartos, 1599, 
1609, and 1637. STEEVENS. 

*. ///. &OMEO AND JULIET. 97 

And flecked darkness* like a drunkard reels 
From forth day's path -way, made by Titan's wheels: 5 

4 And flecked darkness ] Flecked is spotted, dappled, 
streaked, or variegated. In this sense it is used by Churcnyard, 
in his Legend of Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. Mowbray, 
speaking of the Germans, says : 

" All jagg'd and frounc'd, with divers colours deck'd, 
" They swear, they curse, and drink till they bejleck'd." 
Lord Surrey uses the same word in his translation of the 
fourth JEneid: 

" Her quivering cheekes flecked with deadly staine." 
The same image occurs also in Much Ado about Nothing^ 
Act V. sc. iii : 

" Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey." 


The word is still used in Scotland, where " a.Jlecked cow" is 
a common expression. See the Glossary to Gawin Douglas's 
translation of Virgil, in v. fleckit. MALONE. 

* From Jbrth day's path-way, made by Titan 1 s wheels:'] So, 
in Jocasta's address to the sun in the $OINIAI of Euripides : 

" li rr,v iv otorpug a pay 5 TEMNX1N OAON." 
Mr. Malone reads 

From Jbrth day's path, and Titan's Jiery wheels. 


Thus the quarto, 1597. That of 1599, and the folio, have 
burning wheels. 

The modern editions read corruptly, after the second folio : 
From Jbrth day's path-way made by Titan's "wheels. 


Here again I have followed this reprobated second folio. It 
is easy to understand how darkness might reel " from forth day's 
path-way," &c. but what is meant by -forth " Titan's fiery 
wheels ?" A man may stagger out of a path, but not out of a 
wheel. STEEVENS. 

These lines are thus quoted in England's Parnassus, or the 
choytcst Flowers of our modern Ports, &c. 1600: 

*' The gray-eyde morne smiles on the frowning night, 
" Cheering the easterne cloudes with streames of light; 
" And darknexxc jlf cted, like a drunkard reeles 
" From forth daye's path-way made, by Titan's wheels." 
So that the various rending in the last line does not orij;inaU* 
in an arbitrary alteration by the editor of the second folio, ns 
the ingenious commentator supposes. HOLT WIIITK. 

vor,. xx. H 


Now ere the sun advance his burning eye, 
The day to cheer, and night's dank dew to dry, 
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours, 6 
With baleful weeds, and precious-juiced flowers. 7 
The earth, that's nature's mother, is her tombj 8 
What is her burying grave, that is her womb : 
And from her womb children of divers kind 
We sucking on her natural bosom find j 

. / must up-f.ll this osier cage of ours , &c.] So, in the 13th 
Song of Dray ton's Polyolbion: 

" His happy time he spends the works of God to see, 
" In those so sundry herbs which there in plenty grow, 
" Whose sundry strange effects he only seeks to know. 
" And in a little maund, being made of oziers small, 
" Which serveth him to do full many a thing withal, 
" He very choicely sorts his simples got abroad." 
Drayton is speaking of a hermit. STEEVENS. 

7 and precious-juiced jloiuers.'] Shakspeare, on his in- 
troduction of Friar Laurence, has very artificially prepared us 
for the part he is afterwards to sustain. Having thus early dis- 
covered him to be a chemist, we are not surprized when we find 
him furnishing the draught which produces the catastrophe of 
the piece. I owe this remark to Dr. Farmer. STEEVENS. 

In the passage before us Shakspeare had the poem in his 
thoughts : 

'* But not in vain, my child, hath all my wand'ring 

been ; 
" What force the stones, the plants, and metals, have to 

*' And divers other thinges that in the bowels of earth 

do lurk, 
" With care I have sought out, with pain I did them 

prove." MALONE. 
s The earth, that's nature's mother, is her tombs'] 

" Omniparens, eadem rerum commune sepulchrum." 


" The womb of nature, and perhaps her grave." 

Milton. STEEVENS. 
So, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609 : 

" Time's the king of men, 

ft For he's their parent, and he is their grave." 


sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 99 

Many for many virtues excellent, 
None but for some, and yet all different. 
O, mickle is the powerful grace, 9 that lies 
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities : 
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live, 1 
But to the earth 2 some special good doth give ; 
Nor aught so good, but, strain'd from that fair use, 
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse : 
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied ; 
And vice sometime 's by action dignified. 
Within the infant rind of this small flower 3 
Poison hath residence, and med'cine power : 
For this, being smelt, with that part* cheers each 


Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart. 
Two such opposed foes encamp them still 
In man 5 as well as herbs, grace, and rude will ; 

9 powerful grace,~] Efficacious virtue. JOHNSON. 

1 For nought so vile that on the earth doth live,] The quarto, 
1597, reads 

For nought so vile that vile on earth doth live. 


* to the earth ] i. e. to the inhabitants of the earth. 


of this small Jiower ] So the quarto, 1597. AH 
the subsequent ancient copies have this weak flower. 


4 with that part ] i.e. with the part which smells; 

with the olfactory nerves. MALONE. 

' Two such opposed foes encamp them still 

In man ] Foes is the reading of the oldest copy ; kings 
of that in 1609. Shakspeare might have remembered the fol- 
lowing passage in the old play of The Misfortunes of Arthur, 
1587 : 

" Peace hath three foes encamped in our breasts, 
*' Ambition, wrath, and envie. " STEEVENS. 

So, in our author's Lorer's Complaint : 

" terror, and dear modesty, 

" Encamp'd in hearts, but Jightinjr outwardly." 

II '2 


And, where the worser is predominant, 
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant 

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 : 7 

Therefore thy earliness doth me assure,- 
Thou art up-rous'd by some distemp'rature ; 
Or if not so, then here I hit it right 
Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night. 

Thus the quarto of 159Y. The quarto of 1599, and all the 
subsequent ancient copies read such opposed kings. Our au- 
thor has more than once alluded to these opposed joes, contend- 1 
ing for the dominion of man. 
So, in Othello: 

" Yea, curse his better angel from his side."' 
Again, in his 44th Sonnet : 

" To win me soon to hell, my female evil 

" Tempteth my better angel from my side : 

" Yet this I ne'er shall know, but live in doubt, 

" Till my bad angel fire my good one out." MALONE. 

6 Full soon the canker death eats up that plant."] So, in our 1 
author's 99th Sonnet : 

" A vengeful canker eat him up to death. 1 ' MALONE. 

7 -ivith unstii/fd brain &c.] The copy, 1597, reads: 

ivith unstuff'd brains 

Doth conch hislimmes, there golden sleeps remaines. 


sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 101 

ROM. That last is true, the sweeter rest was mine. 
FRI. God pardon sin ! wast 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 ; 
Where, on a sudden, one hath wounded me, 
That's by me wounded ; both our remedies 
Within thy help and holy physick lies: 8 
I bear no hatred, blessed man ; for, lo, 
My intercession likewise steads my foe. 

FRI. Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift j 
Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift. 

ROM. Then plainly know, my heart's dear love 

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 Saint 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. 

both r)itr remedies 

Within thy help and holy physick lies :] This is one of the 
passages in which our author has sacrificed grammar to rhyme. 

See Vol. XVIII. p. 1-75, n. .5. M ALONE. 


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 

Women may fall, when there's no strength in men. 

ROM. Thou chidd'st me oft for loving Rosaline. 
FRI. For doting, not for loving, pupil mine. 
ROM. And bad'st me bury love. 

FRI. Not in a grave, 

To lay one in, another out to have. 

ROM. I pray thee, chide not : she, whom I love 


Doth grace for grace, and love for love allow ; 
The other did not so. 

FRI. O, she knew well, 

Thy love did read by rote, and could not spell. 9 
But come, young waverer, come go with me, 
In one respect I'll thy assistant be ; 
For this alliance may so happy prove, 
To turn your households' rancour to pure love. 1 

<J and could not spell.~\ Thus the quarto, 1597- The 

subsequent ancient copies all nave 

Thy love did read by rote that could not spell. 

I mention these minute variations only to show, what I have 
so often urged, the very high value of first editions. MALONE. 

1 The two following lines were added since the first copy of 
this play. STEEVENS. 

sc. iv. ROMEO AND JULIET. 103 

ROM. O, let us hence ; I stand on sudden haste. 2 

FRI. Wisely, and slow ; They stumble, that run 

fast. {Exeunt. 


A Street. 

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. Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, 

that Rosaline, 
Torments him so, that he will sure run mad. 

BEN. Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet, 
Hath sent a letter to his father's house. 

MER. A challenge, on my life. 
BEN. Romeo will answer it. 

MER. Any man, that can write, may answer a 

BEN. Nay, he will answer the letter's master, 
how lie dares, being dared. 

MER. Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead ! 
stabbed with a white wench's black eye ; shot tho- 
rough the ear with a love-song ; the very pin of his 

* / ttand on sudden haste.] i. c. it is of the utmost 
conacquence for me to be hasty. So, in King Richard III: 

" it stands me much upon, 

" To stop all hopes" &c. STEEVENS. 


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, 4 I can tell you. 5 
O, he is the courageous captain of compliments. 6 

* the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's 

butt-shaft;"] So, in Love's Labour's Lost: 

" Then she will get the upshot, by cleaving of the pin" 
See note on the word- pin, Vol. VII. p. 83. A butt-shaft 
was the kind of arrow used in shooting at butts. STEEVENS. 

The allusion is to archery. The clout or white mark at which 
the arrows are directed, was fastened by a black pin placed in 
the center of it. To hit this was the highest ambition of every 
marksman. So, in No Wit like a Woman's, a comedy, by 
Middleton, 1657 : 

" They have shot two arrows without heads, 
" They cannot stick i' the but yet : hold out, knight, 
" And I'll cleave the black pin i' the midst of the 'white." 
Again, in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590: 

" For kings are clouts that every man shoots at, 
Our crown the^im that thousands seek to cleave." 


* More than prince of cats,"] Tybert, the name given to the 
cat, in the story-book of Reynard the Fox. WARBURTON. 

So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602 : 

" tho' you were Tybert, the long-tail'd prince of 

Again, in Have -with you to Saffron Walden, &c. 1598 : 

" not Tibalt prince of cats," &c. STEEVENS. 

It appears to me that these speeches are improperly divided, 
arid that they ought to run thus : 

Ben. Why, what is Tybalt more than prince of cats f 
Mer. O, he's the courageous captain of compliments, &c. 


5 * I can tellyou.~\ So the first quarto. These words are 
omitted in all the subsequent ancient copies. MALONE. 

courageous captain of compliments.'] A complete 

master of all the laws of ceremony, the principal man in the 
doctrine of punctilio : 

" A man of compliments, whom right and wrong 

*' Have chose as umpire ;" 


He fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time, dis- 
tance, and proportion ; 7 rests me his minim rest, 8 
one, two, and the third in your bosom : the very 
butcher of a silk button, 9 a duellist, a duellist ; a 
gentleman of the very first house, of the first and 
second cause: 1 Ah, the immortal passado! the punto 
reverso! the hay! 2 

says our author, of Don Armado, the Spaniard, in Love's Labour's 

7 keeps time, distance, and proportion ;"] So Ben Jon- 
son's Bobadil : 

" Note your distance, keep your due proportion of time" 


* his minim rest,~\ A minim is a note of slow time in 

musick, equal to two crotchets. MA LONE. 

9 the very butcher of a silk button,] So, in The Return 

from Parnassus, 1606: 

" Strikes his poinado at a button's breadth." 

This phrase also occurs in the Fantaisies de Bruscambille, 
1612, p. 181 : un coup de mousquet sans fourchette dans 
le sixiesme bouton " STEEVENS. 

1 a gentleman of the very first house, of the Jirst and 

second cause:'] i. e. one who pretends to be at the head of his 
family, and quarrels by the book. See a note on As you like it, 
ActV. sc. vi. WARBURTON. 

Tybalt cannot pretend to be at the head of his family, as both 
C'apulet and Romeo barred his claim to that elevation. " A 
gentleman of the Jirst house; of&ejirtt and second cause," is 
a gentleman of the first rank, of the first eminence among these 
duellists; and one who understands the whole science of quar- 
relling, and will tell you of theirs/ 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. STEEVENS. 

We find the first of these expressions in Fletcher's Women 
Pleat* d: 

" a gentleman's gone then ; 

* A gentleman of the Jirst house ; there's theendoft." 


the hay!] All the terms of the modern fencing-school 
were originally Italian; the rapier, or small thrusting sword, 
being first used in Italy. The nay is the word hai, you have it, 


BEN. The what ? 

MER. The pox of such antick, lisping, affecting 
fantasticoes ; 3 these new tuners of accents ! By 
Jesu t a very good blade! a very tall man! a very 
good whore! Why, is not this a lamentable thing, 
grandsire,* that we should be thus afflicted with 
these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these 
pardonnez-moy's, 5 who stand so much on the new 

used when a thrust reaches the antagonist, from which our fen- 
cers, on the same occasion, without knowing, I suppose, any 
reason for it, cry out, ha! JOHNSON. 

* affecting jantasticoes ;~\ Thus the oldest copy, and 

rightly. Modern editors, with the folios, &c. read phantasies. 
Nash, in his Have ixiith you to Saffron Walden, 1596, says 
" Follow some of these new-fangled Galiardo's and Signer Fan- 
tastico's," &c. Again, in Decker's comedy of Old Fortunatus, 
1600: " I have danc'd with queens, dallied with ladies, worn 
strange attires, seen fantasticoes, convers'd with humorists," &c. 


Fantasticoes is the reading of the first quarto, 1597; all the 
subsequent ancient copies read arbitrarily and corruptly phan- 
tacies. MALONE. 

* Why, is not this a lamentable thing, grandsire,'] Humor- 
ously apostrophising his ancestors, whose sober times were un- 
acquainted with the fopperies here complained of. 


3 these pardonnez-moy's,] Pardonnez-moi became the 

language of doubt or hesitation among men of the sword, when 
the point of honour was grown so delicate, that no other mode 
of contradiction would be endured. JOHNSON. 

The old copies have these pardon-mees, not, these pardon- 
nez-mois. Theobald first substituted the French word, without 
any necessity. MALONE. 

If the French phrase be not substituted for the English one, 
where lies the ridicule designed by Mercutio ? " Their bons, 
their bans," immediately following, shows that Gallick phraseo- 
logy was in our poet's view. So, in King Richard II: 
" Speak it in French, king; say, pardonnez~moy." 


sc. ir. ROMEO AND JULIET. 107 

form, that they cannot sit at ease on the old bench? 6 
O, their bans, their bons!" 

Enter ROMEO. 

BEN. Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo. 

MER. Without his roe, like a dried herring : 
O flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified ! Now is he 
for the numbers that Petrarch flowed in : Laura, to 
his lady, was but a kitchen-wench ; marry, she 
had a better love to be-rhyme her : Dido, a dowdy ; 
Cleopatra, a gipsy; Helen and Hero, hildings and 
harlots ; Thisbe, a grey eye or so, 8 but not to the 

e - stand so mnch on the new form, that they cannot sit at 
case on the old bench ?] This conceit is lost, if the double mean- 
ing of the word form be not attended to. FARMER. 

A quibble on the two meanings of the word form occurs in 
Love's Labour's Lost, Act I. sc. i : " sitting with her on the 
form, and taken following her into the park ; which, put together, 
is, in manner and form following." STEEVENS. 

7 0, their bons, their bons !] Mercutio is here ridiculing 
those frenchified fantastical coxcombs whom he calls pardonnez- 
moi's : and therefore, I suspect here he meant to write French 

O, their bon's .' their ion'*/ 

i. e. how ridiculous they make themselves in crying out, good, 
and being in ecstasies with every trifle ; as he had just described 
them before : 

" - a very good blade !" &c. THEOBALD. 

The old copies read O, their bones, their bones ! Mr. Theo- 
bald's emendation is confirmed by a passage in Green's Tu Qtto- 
ffuc, from which we learn that bon jour was the common salu- 
tation of those who affected to appear fine gentlemen in our 
author's time : " No, I want the bon jour and the tu quoque, 
which yonder gentleman has." MALONE. 

Thisbf, a grey eye or so,] He means to allow that 

*' had a very fine eye; for from various passages it appears 
that a grey eye was in our author's time thought eminently 
beautiful. This may seem strange to those who are not con- 


purpose. SigniorRomeo^ow/OMr/there'saFrench 
salutation to your French slop. 9 You gave us the 
counterfeit fairly last night. 

ROM. Good morrow to you both. What coun- 
terfeit did I give you ? 

MER. The slip, sir, the slip ; l Can you not con- 
qeive ? 

rersant with ancient phraseology ; but a grey eye undoubtedly 
meant what we now denominate a blue eye. Thus, in Venus and 
Adonis : 

" Her two blue windows faintly she upheaveth," 
i. e. the windows or lids of her blue eyes. In the very same poem 
the eyes of Venus are termed grey ; 

" Mine eyes are grey and bright, and quick in turning." 
Again, in Cymbeline : 

" To see the inclosed lights, now canopy 'd 

" Under these windows : white and azure lac'd ; 

" With blue of heaven's own tinct." 

In Twelfth- Night, Olivia says, " I will give out divers sche- 
dules of my beauty; as item, two lips, indifferent red ; item, 
two grey eyes, with lids to them," &c. So Julia, in The Two 
Gentlemen of Verona, speaking of her rival's eyes, as eminently 
beautiful, says 

" Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine.'* 
And Chaucer has the same comparison : 

" hire eyes gray as glas." 

This comparison proves decisively what I have asserted ; for 
clear and transparent glass is not what we now call grey, but 
blue, or azure. MA LONE. 

If grey eyes signified iweeyes,howhappened itthat our author, 
in The Tempest, should have styled Sycorax a blue-eyed hag, 
instead of a grey-eyed one ? See Vol. IV. p. 34 ; and Vol. XXI. 
p. 42, n. 5. STEEVENS. 

9 your French slop.] Slops are large Ipose breeches or 

trousers, worn at present only by sailors. STEEVENS. 

See Vol. VII. p. 104, n. 2. MALONE. 

1 What counterfeit Sfc.? 

Mer. The slip, sir, the slip;] To understand this play upon 
the words counterfeit and slip, it should be observed that in our 
author's time there was a counterfeit piece of money distin- 

sc. rr. ROMEO AND JULIET. 109 

ROM. Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was 
great; and, in such a case as mine, a man may strain 

MER. That's as much as to say such a case as 
yours constrains a man to bow in the hams. 

ROM. Meaning to court'sy. 

MER. Thou hast most kindly hit it. 

ROM. A most courteous exposition. 

MER. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy. 2 

guished by the name of a slip. This will appear in the follow- 
ing instances : " And therefore he went and got him certain 
tlips, which are counterfeit pieces of money, being brasse, and 
covered over with silver, which the common people call slips." 
Thieves Jailing out. True Men come by their Goods, by Robert 
Greene. Again : 

" I had like t' have been 

" Abus'd i' the business, had the slip slur'd on me, 
" A counterfeit." Magnetick Lady, Act III. BC. vi. 
Other instances may be seen in Dodsley's Old Plays, Vol. V* 
p. 396, edit. 1780. REED. 

Again, in Skialetheia, a collection of epigrams, satires, &c. 

" Is not he fond then which a slip receives 

" For current money ? She which thee deceaves 

" With copper guilt, is but a slip ." 

It appears from a passage in Gascoigne's Adventures of 'Master 
F. I. no date, that a slip was "a piece of money which was then 
fallen to three halfpence, and they called them slippcs." P. 281. 


The slip is again used equivocally in A T o Wit like a Woman's, 
a comedy, by Middleton, 1657 : 

" Clown. Because you shall be sure on't, you have given me 
a nine-pence here, and I'll give you the slip for it." [Exit."] 


1 pink of 'courtesy. ,] This appears to have been an ancient 

formulary mode of encomium ; for in a ballad written in the 
time of Ldward II. (MS. Harl. No. 2253,) we have the following 

" Heo is lilie of largesse, 

" Heo itparuenke of prouewe, 

" Hen is sofscclc of suelnesso," &c. STEE.VEN-S. 


ROM. Pink for flower. 

MER. Right. 

ROM. Why, then is my pump well flowered. 3 

MER. Well said :* Follow me this jest now, till 
thou hast worn out thy pump ; that, when the 
single sole of it is worn, the jest may remain, after 
the wearing, solely singular. 

ROM. O single-soled jest, 5 solely singular for the 

3 then is my pump well flowered. ] Here is a vein of wit 

too thin to be easily found. The fundamental idea is, that Romeo 
wore pinked pumps, that is, punched with holes in figures. 


See the shoes of the morris-dancers in the plate at the con- 
clusion of The First Part of King Henry IV. with Mr. Toilet's 
remarks annexed to it. 

li was the custom to wear ribbons in the shoes formed into 
the shape of roses, or of any other flowers. So, in The Masque 
of Flowers, acted by the Gentlemen of Gray's-Inn, 1614: 
** Every masker's pump was fasten'd with ajloiver suitable to his 
cap." STEEVENS. 

4 Well said:'] So the original copy. The quarto of 1599, 
and the other ancient copies, have Sure wit, follow, &c. What 
was meant, I suppose, was Sheer wit ! follow, &c. and this 
corruption may serve to justify an emendation that I have pro- 
posed in a passage m Antony and Cleopatra, where I am confident 
sure was a printer's blunder. See Vol. XVII. p. 107, n. 8. 


By sure wit might be meant, wit that hits its mark. 


* O single-soled jest,~\ i. e. slight, unsolid, feeble. This 
compound epithet occurs likewise in Hall's second Book of 
Satires : 

" And scorne contempt it selfe that doth excite 
" Each single-sold squire to set you at so light." 
Again, in Decker's Wonderful Yeare, 1603, we meet with 
** a single-sole fidler." 

Again, in A short Relation of a long Journey, &c. by Taylor, 
the water-poet : " There was also a single-soal'd gentlewoman, 
of the last edition, who would vouchsafe me not one poor glance 
of her eye-beams," &c. STEEVENS. 

sc.iv. ROMEO AND JULIET. in 

MER. Come between us, good Benvolio; my 
wits fail.* 

ROM. Switch and spurs, switch and spurs ; or 
I'll cry a match. 

MER. Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chace, 
I have done ; 7 for thou hast more of the wild-goose 
in one of thy wits, than, I am sure, I have in my 
whole rive : Was I with you there for the goose ? 

ROM. Thou wast never with me for any thing, 
when thou wast not there for the goose. 

MER. I will bite thee by the ear 8 for that jest. 

This epithet is here used equivocally. It formerly signified 
mean or contemptible ; and that is one of the senses in which it 
is used here. So, in Holinshed's Description of 'Ireland, p. 23 : 
" which was not unlikely, considering that a meane tower 
might serve such single-soale kings as were at those daies hi Ire- 
land." MA LONE. 

B my wits fail.] Thus the quarto, 1597. The quarto, 

1599, and the folio my ivits faints. STEEVENS. 

7 if thy ivits run the wild-goose chace, / have done ; ~\ 

One kind of horse-race, which resembled the flight of wild-geese, 
was formerly known by this name. Two horses were started to- 
gether; and which ever rider could get the lead, the other 
was obliged to follow him over whatever ground the foremost 
jockey chose to go. That horse which could distance the other, 
won the race. See more concerning this diversion in Chambers'* 
Dictionary, last edition, under the article CHACE. 

This barbarous sport is enumerated by Burton, in his Anatomy 
of Melancholy, as a recreation much in vogue in his time among 
gentlemen : " Riding of great horses, running at ring, tilts and 
turnaments, horse races, wild-goose chases, are the disports of 
great men." P. 266, edit. 1632, fol. 

This account explains the pleasantry kept up between Romeo 
and his gay companion. " My wits fail," says Mercutio. Ro- 
meo exclaims briskly " Switch and spurs, switch and spurs." 
To which Mercutio rejoins " Nay, if thy wits run the wild- 
goose chace," &c. HOLT WHITE. 

/ will bite thee by the ear ] So, Sir Epicure Mammon to 
Face, in Ben Jonson's Alchemist : 

" Slave, I could bitf thine ear." STEEVENS. 


ROM. Nay, good goose, bite not. 9 

MER. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; 1 it is a 
most sharp sauce. 

ROM. And is it not well served in to a sweet 
goose ? 

MER. O, here's a wit of cheverel, 2 that stretches 
from an inch narrow to an ell broad ! 

ROM. I stretch it out for that word broad: 
which added to the goose, proves thee far and wide 
a broad goose. 3 

9 good goose, bite not."] Is a proverbial expression, to be 
found in Ray's Collection; and is used in The Two Angry Women 
of Abington, 1599. STEEVENS. 

1 a very bitter sweeting;] A bitter sweeting, is an 

apple of that name. So, in Summer's Last Will and Testament, 

" as well crabs as sweetings for his summer fruits." 

Again, in Fair Em, 1631 : 

" what, in displeasure gone ! 

** And left me such a bitter sweet to gnaw upon ?" 
Again, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, Lib. VIII. fol. 
174, b : 

" For all such tyme of love is lore, 

" And like unto the bitter swete ; 

" For though it thinke a man fyrst swete, 

** He shall well felen at laste 

" That it is sower," &c. STEEVENS. 

* a wit of cheverel,] Cheverel is soft leather for gloves. 

So, in The Two Maids of More-Clad:, 1609 : 

" Drawing on love's white hand a glove of warmth, 
" Not cheveril stretching to such prophanation.'* 
Again, in The Owl, by Drayton : 

" A cheverell conscience, and a searching wit.'* 


Cheveril is from chevreuil, roebuck. MUSGRAVE. 

3 proves thee Jar and wide a broad goose."] To afford 

some meaning to this poor but intended witticism, Dr. Farmer 
would read " proves thee far and wide abroad, goose." 


MER. Why, is not this better now than groaning 
for love ? now art thou sociable, now art thou 
Romeo; now art thou what thou art, by art as 
well as by nature : for this driveling love is like a 

freat natural, that runs lolling up and down to 
ide his bauble in a hole. 4 

BEN. Stop there, stop there. 

MEB. Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against 
the hair. 5 

BEN. Thou wpuld'st else .have made thy tale 

MER. O, thou art deceived, I would have made 
it short : for I was come to the whole depth of my 
tale : and meant, indeed, to occupy the argument 
no longer. 6 

ROM. Here's goodly geer ! 

4 to hide his bauble in a hole."} It has been already ob- 
served by Sir J. Hawkins, in a note on AWs well that ends well, 
Vol. VIII. p. 374, n. 7, that a bauble was one of the accoutre- 
ments of a licensed fool or jester. So again, in Sir William 
D'Avenant's Albovine, 1629 : " For such rich widows there love 
court fools, and use to play with their baubles." 

Again, in The longer thou livest, the more Fool thou art, 

*' And as stark an idiot as ever bare bable." 

See the plate at the end of King Henri/ IV. P. I. with Mr. 
Toilet's observations on it. STEEVENS. 

* against the hair. ~\ A contrepoil: Fr. An expression 

equivalent to one which we now use " against the grain." See 
Vol. V. p. 103, n. 3 ; and Vol. XI. p. 37*. n. 7. STEEVENS. 

I opine, that the commentators, in the present instance, have 
eschewed to seek the bottom of the poet's meaning : but tnta 
tilentio merces, saith the Roman adage. AM NEK. 

a to occupy the argument no longer.] Here we have 

another wanton allusion. See Vol. XII. p. 88, n. 5. 




Enter Nurse and PETER. 

MER. A sail, a sail, 7 a sail I 

BEN. Two, two ; a shirt, and a smock. 

NURSE. Peter! 

PETER. Anon ? 

NURSE. My fan, Peter. 8 

MER. Pr'ythee, do, good Peter, to hide her face ; 
for her fan's the fairer of the two. 

NURSE. God ye good morrow, gentlemen. 
MER. God ye good den, 9 fair gentlewoman. 
NURSE. Is it good den ? 

MER. 'Tis no less, I tell you ; for the bawdy 
hand of the dial 1 is now upon the prick of noon. 2 

7 Mer. A sail, a saz7,] Thus the quarto, 1597. In the sub- 
sequent ancient copies these words are erroneously given to 
Romeo. MALONE. 

8 My fan, Peter. ~\ The business of Peter carrying the Nurse's 
fan, seems ridiculous according to modern manners ; but I find! 

such was formerly the practice. In an old pamphlet called The 
Serving Mans Comfort, 1598, we are informed, " The mistress 
must have one to carry her cloake and hood, another her fanne." 

Again, in Love's Labour's Lost: 

" To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan." 
Again, in Every Man out of his Humour : " If any lady, &c. 
wants an upright gentleman in the nature of a gentleman-usher,. 
&c. who can hide his face with her fan," &c. STEEVENS. 

9 God ye good den,~] i. e. God give you a good even. The 
first of these contractions is common among the ancient comick 
writers. So, in R. Brome's Northern Lass, 1633 1 

" God you good even, sir." STEEVENS. 

1 - hand of the dial &c.] In The Puritan Widoiio, 1607, 
which has been attributed to our author, is a similar expression : 
" the feskewe of the dial] is upon the chrisse-crosse of noon." 


.* .. . the prick of noon.] I marvel much that mine associates 

sc.w. ROMEO AND JULIET. 115 

. NURSE. Out upon you ! what a man are you ? 

ROM. One, gentlewoman, that God hath made 
himself to mar. 

NURSE. By my troth, it is well said ; For him- 
self to mar, quoth'a ? Gentlemen, can any of you 
tell me where I may find the young Romeo ? 

ROM. I can tell you ; hut young Romeo will be 
older when you have found him, than he was when 
you sought him : I am the youngest of that name, 
for 'fault of a worse. 

NURSE. You say well. 

MER. Yea, is the worst well ? very well took, 
i'faith ; wisely, wisely. 

NURSE. If you be he, sir, I desire some confi- 
dence with you. 

BEN. She will indite him to some supper. 
MER. A bawd, a bawd, a bawd ! So ho ! 
ROM. What hast thou found ? 
MER. No hare, sir j 3 unless a hare, sir, in a len- 

in the task of expounding the darker phrases of Shakspeare, 
should have overlooked this, which also hath already occurred 
in King Henry VI. P. III. Act I. sc. iv : 

" And made an evening at the noon-tide prick** 
Prick ineaneth point, i. e. punctum, a note of distinction in 
writing, a stop. So, in Timothy Bright'a Characterie, or an 
Artc of Shorte, &c. writing by Characters, 12mo. 1588: ** If the 
worde, hy reason of tence ende in ed, as, I loved, then make a 
prick in the character of the word, on the left side." Again; 
" The present tence wanteth a pricke, and so is knowen from 
other tences." Again : " A worde of doing, that endeth fll ing, 
as eating, drinking, &c. requireth two prickcs under the bodie of 
the character," &c. AMNKH. 

* No hare, sir;~\ Mercutio having roared out, So ho! the 
Cry of the sportsmen when they start a hare, Romeo oks what 
he has found. And Mercutio answers, JVo hare, &c. The rt 

I 2 


ten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere ii be 

An old hare hoarf 

And an old hare hoar, 
Is very good meat in lent : 

But a hare that is hoar, 

Is too much for a score, 
Wlien it hoars ere it be spent. 

Romeo, will you come to your father's ? we'll to 
dinner thither. 

ROM. I will follow you. 

MER. Fare well , ancient lady; fare well, lady, lady, 
lady. 5 

NURSE. Marry, farewell ! 6 I pray you, sir, what 

is a series of quibbles unworthy of explanation, which he who does 
not understand, needs not lament his ignorance. JOHNSON. 

So ho ! is the term made use of in the field when the hare is 
found in her seat, and not when she is started. A. C. 

4 An old hare hoar,] Hoar or hoary, is often used for mouldy, 
as things grow white from moulding. So, in Pierce Pennylesss 
Supplication to the Devil, 1595 : " as hoary as Dutch butter." 
Again, in F. Beaumont's Letter to Speght on his edition of 
Chaucer, 1602 : " Many of Chaucer's words are become as it 
were vinew'd and hoarie with over long lying." Again, in 
Every Man out of his Humour: 
" mice and rats 

" Eat up his grain ; or else that it might rot 
" Within the hoary ricks e'en as it stands." STKEVENS. 
These lines appear to have been part of an old song. In the 
quarto, 1597, we have here this stage-direction; "He walks 
between them. [i. e. the Nurse and Peter,] and sings" 


3 lady, lady, lady."] The burthen of an old song. See 

Vol. V. p. 297, n. 8. STEEVENS. 

* Marry, farewell /] These words I have recovered from the 
quarto, 1597. MALONE. 


saucy merchant was this, 7 that was so full of his 
ropery? 8 

ROM. A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear 
himself talk ; and will speak more in a minute, 
than he will stand to in a month. 

NURSE. An 'a speak any thing against me, I'll 
take him down an 'a were lustier than he is, and 
twenty such Jacks ; and if I cannot, I'll find those 
that shall. Scurvy knave ! I am none of his flirt- 
gills ; I am none of his skains-mates : 9 And thou 

' what saucy merchant toas this, &c.] The term mcr* 

chant, which was, and even now is, frequently applied to the 
lowest sort of dealers, seems anciently to have been used on these 
familiar occasions in contradistinction to gentleman; signifying 
that the person showed by his behaviour be was a low fellow. 
So, in Churchyard's Chance, 1580 i 

" What sflusie marchaunt spcaketh now, saied Venus in 

her rage." 

The term chap, i. e. chapman, a word of the same import with 
merchant in its less respectable sense, is still in common use 
among the vulgar, as a general denomination for any person of 
bom they mean to speak with freedom or disrespect. 

See Vol. XIII. p. 63, n. 1. MALONE. 

* of his ropery ?] Ropery was anciently used in the same 

sense as roguery is now. So, in The Three Ladies of London, 

" Thou art very pleasant and full of thy roperye." 
Rope-tricks are mentioned in another place. STEEVENS. 

See Vol. IX. p. 60, n. 3. MALONE. 

9 none of his skains-maltt.] None of his skains-matet 

means, I apprehend, none of his cut-throat companions. 


A skein or tkain was either a knife or a short dagger. By 
sJcainx-mates the Nurse means none of his loose companions who 
frequent the fencing-school with him, where we may suppose tho 
exercise of this weapon was taught. 

The word is used in the old tragedy of Soliman and Perseda t 


must stand by too, and suffer every knave to use me 
at his pleasure ? 

PET- I saw no man use you at his pleasure ; if 
I had, my weapon should quickly have been out, I 
warrant you : I dare draw as soon as another man, 
if I see occasion in a good quarrel, and the law on 
my side. 

NURSE. Now, afore God, I am so vexed, that 
every part about me quivers. Scurvy knave ! 
Pray you, sir, a word : and as I told you, my young 
lady bade me inquire you out ; what she bade me 
say, I will keep to myself: but first let me tell ye, 
if ye should lead her into a fool's paradise, as they 
say, 1 it were a very gross kind of behaviour, as 

" Against the light-foot Irish have I serv'd, 
" And in my skin bare tokens of their skeins" 
Again, in the comedy called Lingua, &c. 1607. At the 
opening of the piece Lingua is represented as apparelled in a 

particular manner, and among other things having " a little 

skene tied in a purple scarf." 

Green, in his Quip for an Upstart Courtier, describes, " an 
ill-favoured knave, who wore by his side a skeine like a brewer's 

Skein is the Irish word for a knife. 
Again, in The Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608 : 

" with this frantick and untamed passion, 

" To whet their skeins." 
Again, in Warner's Albion s England, 1602, B. V. ch. xxvi: 

" And hidden skeines from underneath their forged gar- 
ments drew." 
Again, in Chapman's translation of Homer's Hymn to Apollo: 

" Let every man purvey 

" A skeane, or slaughtering steel" &c. 

Mr. M. Mason, however, supposes the Nurse uses skains-matcs 
for kins-mates, and ropery for roguery. STEEVENS. 

1 if ye should lead her into a fool's paradise, as they say,~\ 

So, in A Handful of pleasant Delightes, containing sundry new 
Sonets, &c. 1584 : 

" When they see they may her win, 

" They leave then where they did begin : 


they say: for the gentlewoman is young; and, 
therefore, if you should deal double with her, truly, 
it were an ill thing to be offered to any gentle- 
woman, and very weak dealing. 

ROM. Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mis- 
tress. I protest unto thee, 

NURSE. Good heart ! and, i'faith, I will tell her 
as much : Lord, lord, she will be a joyful woman. 

ROM. What wilt thou tell her, nurse ? thou dost 
not mark me. 

NURSE. I will tell her, sir, that you do protest; 2 
which, as I take it, is a gentlemanlike offer. 

ROM. Bid her devise some means to come to shrift 
This afternoon ; 

And there she shall at friar Laurence* cell 
Be shriv'd, and married. Here is for thy pains. 3 

NURSE. No, truly, sir ; not a penny. 
ROM. Go to ; I say, you shall. 

NURSE. This afternoon, sir ? well, she shall be 

" They prate, and make the matter nice, 

" And leave her in fooles paradise." M ALONE. 

* protest;] Whether the repetition of this word conveyed 

any iik-a peculiarly comick to Shakspeare's audience, is not at 
present to be determined. The use of it, however, is ridiculed 
m the old comedy of Sir Giles Goosecap, 16O6: 

'* There is not the best duke's son in France dares say, I pro- 
test, till he be one and thirty years old at least ; for the inherit- 
ance of that word is not to be possessed before." See Donne's 
fourth Satire. STEEVKXS. 

' Here it for thy pains."\ So, in The Tragical Hystory 

of Romeus and Juliet, \ 5(>2 : 

" Then he vi crowns of gold out of his pocket drew, 
" And gave them her ; a slight reward, quoth he ; and 
so adieu." MAI.ONE. 


ROM. And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey- 

Within this hour my man shall be with thee ; 
And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair;* 
Which to the high top-gallant of my joy 5 
Must be my convoy in the secret night. 
Farewell ! Be trusty, and I'll quit thy pains. 
Farewell ! Commend me to thy mistress. 

NURSE. Now God in heaven bless thee ! Hark 
you, sir. 

ROM. What say'st thou, my dear nurse ? 

NURSE. Is your man secret ? Did you ne'er hear 

Two may keep counsel, putting one away ? 6 

ROM. I warrant thee; 7 my man's as true as steel. 

NURSE. Well, sir ; my mistress is the sweetest 
lady Lord, lord! when 'twas a little prating 

4 like a tackled stairs'] Like stairs of rope in the tackle 

of a ship. JOHNSON. 

A stair, for a flight of stairs, is still the language of Scotland, 
and was probably once common to both kingdoms. MALONE. 

4 top-gallant of my joy ] The top-gallant is the highest 

extremity of the mast of a ship. 

So, in Reynolds's God's Revenge against Murder, B. I. Hist. 
IV : " which so spread the sails of his ambition, and hoysted 
his fame from top to top-gallant, that" &c. 

The expression is common to many writers ; among the rest, 
to Markham, in his English Arcadia, 1607: 

" beholding in the high top-gallant of his valour." 

Again, in Eliosto -Libidinoso, 1606: 

" that, vailing top-gallant, she return'd," &c. 


8 Two may keep counsel, &c.] This proverb, with a slight 
variation, has been introduced in Titus Andronicus. STEEVENS, 

7 I warrant thee;~] I, which is not in the quartos or first 
folio, was supplied by the editor of the second folio. 


thing, 8 there's a nobleman in town, one 
Paris, that would fain lay knife aboard ; but she, 
good soul, had as lieve see a toad, a very toad, as 
see him. I anger her sometimes, and tell her that 
Paris is the properer man ; but, I'll warrant you, 
when I say so, she looks as pale as any clout in 
the varsal world. Doth not rosemary and Romeo 
begin both with a letter? 9 

* Well, sir ; my mistress is the sweetest lady Lord, lord ! 
when 'twas a little prating thing, ] So, in the Poem : 

" And how she gave her suck in youth, she leaveth not 

to tell. 

" A pretty babe, quoth she, it was, when it was young; 
" Lord, how it could full prettily have prated with its 

tongue," &c. 

This dialogue is not found in Painter's Rhomeo and Julietta. 


9 Doth not rosemary and Romeo begin both with a letter?"] 
By this question the Nurse means to insinuate that Romeo's image 
was ever in the mind of Juliet, and that they would be married. 
Rosemary being conceived to have the power of strengthening 
the memory, was an emblem of remembrance, and of the affec- 
tion of lovers, and (for this reason probably,) was worn at wed- 
dings. So, in A liandjull of pleasant Dclites, &c. 1584: 

" Rosemary is For remembrance, 

" Betweene us daie and night, 

" Wishing that I might alwaies have 

" You present in my sight." 
Again, in our aulhor's Hamlet: 

" There's rosemary, that's for remembrance" 
That rosemary was much used at weddings, appears from 
many passages in the old plays. So, in The Noble Spanish Sol- 
dier, 1634: " I meet few but are stuck with rosemary; every 
one ask'd me who was to be married?" Again, in The Wit of 
a Woman, 1604: " What is here to do? Wine and cakes, and 
rosemary, and nosegaies? What, a wedding ?" M ALONE. 

On a former occasion, the author of the preceding note ha* 
suspected me of too much refinement. Let the reader judge 
whether he himself is not equally culpable in the present in- 
stance. The Nurse, I believe, is guiltless of so much meaning 
as is here imputed to her question. STEEVENS. 


ROM. Ay, nurse; What of that? both with an R. 

NURSE. Ah, mocker ! that's the dog's name. R. 
is for the dog. No ; I know it begins with some 
other letter: l and she hath the prettiest sententious 

1 Nurse. Ah, mocker! that's the dog's name. &c.] It is a 
little mortifying, that the sense of this odd stuff, when found, 
should not be worth the pains of retrieving it : 

u spissis indigna theatris 

** Scripta pudet recitare, & nugis addere pondus." 
The Nurse is represented as a prating silly creature ; she eays, 
she will tell Romeo a good joke about his mistress, and asks him, 
whether Rosemary and Romeo do not begin both with a letter : 
He says, Yes, an R. She, who, we must suppose, could not 
read, thought he had mocked her, and says, No, sure, I know- 
better : our dog's name is R. yours begins with another letter. 
This is natural enough, and in character. R put her in mind of 
that sound which is made by dogs when they snarl ; and there- 
fore, I presume, she says, that is the dog's name, R in schools, 
being called The dog's letter. Ben Jonson, in his English Gram- 
mar ', says 7? is the dogs letter, and hirreth in the sound. 

** Irritata canis quod R. R. quam plurima dicat." LuciL 


Dr. Warburton reads: R. is for Thee? STEEVENS. 

I believe we should read R is for the dog. No ; I know it 
begins with some other letter. TYRWHITT. 

I have adopted this emendation, though Dr. Farmer has since 
recommended another which should seem equally to deserve at- 
tention. He would either omit name or insert letter. The dog's 
letter, as the same gentleman observes, is pleasantly exemplified 
in Barclay's Ship of Fools, 1578 : 

" This man malicious which troubled is with wrath, 
" Nought els soundeth but the hoorse letter R. 
" Though all be well, yet he none aunswere hath 
" Save the dogges letter glowming with nar, nar." . 


Erasmus in explaining the adage " canina facundia," says, 
" R. litera quae in rixando prtma est, canina vocatur." I think 
it is used in this sense more than once in Rabelais: and in The 
Alchemist Subtle says, in making out Abel Drugger's name, 
" And right anenst him a dog snarling er." DOUCE. 

Mr. Tyrwhitt's alteration is certainly superior to either Dr. 
Warburton 's (Thee? wo;) or one formerly proposed by Dr. 

sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 123 

of it, of you and rosemary, that it would do you 
good to hear it. 

ROM. Commend me to thy lady. \_Exit. 

NURSE. Ay, a thousand times. -Peter ! 
PET. Anon? 

NURSE. Peter, Take my fan, and go before. 2 



Capulet's Garden. 
Enter JULIET. 

JUL. The clock struck nine, when I did send 

the nurse ; 
In half an hour she promis'd to return. 

Johnson (the nonce] not but the old reading is as good, if not 
better, when properly regulated ; e. g. 

Ah mocker! that's the dog's name. R is for the no; I 
know it begins with some other letter. RITSON. 

This passage is not in the original copy of 1597. The quarto 
1599 and folio read Ah, mocker, that's the dog's name. 


To the notes on this passage perhaps the following illustration 
may not improperly be added from Nash's Summers last Will 
and Testament, 1600, of dogs: 

" They arre and barke at night against the moone." 


* Peter, Take my fan, and go before."] Thus the first quarto. 
The subsequent ancient copies, instead of these words, have 
Before, and apace. MA LONE. 

This custom of having a Jan-carricr in also mentioned by 
Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 603: 

" doe you heare, good man ; 

44 Now give me peurle, and carry you my fan " 



Perchance, she cannot meet him: that's not so.~ 

O, she is lame ! love's heralds should be thoughts, 3 

Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams, 

Driving back shadows over lowring hills : 

Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw love, 

And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings. 

Now is the sun upon the highmost hill 

Of this day's journey; and from nine till twelve 

Is three long hours, yet she is not come. 

Had she affections, and warm youthful blood, 

She'd be as swift in motion as a ball ; 

My words would bandy her to my sweet love, 

And his to me : 

But old folks, many feign as they were dead ; 

Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead. 

Enter Nurse and PETER. 

O God, she comes ! O honey nurse, what news? 
Hast thou met with him ? Send thy man away. 

NURSE. Peter, stay at the gate. \_Exit PETER. 

JUL. Now, good sweet nurse, O lord! why 
look'st thou sad ? 

* should be thoughts, &c.] The speech is thus continued 

in the quarto, 1597 : 

. should be thoughts. 

And run more siuift than hasty poixider jird, 
Doth hurry from the fearful cannon* s mouth. 
Oh, now she comes ! Tell me, gentle Nurse, 
What says my love? 

The greatest part of the scene is likewise added since that 

Shakspeare, however, seems to have thought one of the ideas 
comprised in the foregoing quotation from the earliest quarto 
too valuable to be lost. He has therefore inserted it in Romeo's 
first speech to the Apothecary, in Act V: 

" As violently, as hasty powder fir'd 

" Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb," 


sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 125 

Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily ; 
If good, thou sham'st the musick of sweet news 
By playing it to me with so sour a face. 4 

NURSE. I am aweary, give me leave a while ; 
Fye, how my bones ache! What a jaunt have I had! 5 

JUL. I would, thou hadst my bones, and I thy 


Nay, come, I pray thee, speak ; good, good nurse, 

NURSE. Jesu, What haste ? can you not stay 

awhile ? 
Do you not see, that I am out of breath ? 

JUL. How art thou out of breath, when thou 

hast breath 

To say to me that thou art out of breath ? 
The excuse, that thou dost make in this delay, 
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse. 
Is thy news good, or bad ? answer to that; 
Say either, and I'll stay the circumstance : 
Let me be satisfied, Is't good or bad ? 

NURSE. Well, you have made a simple choice; 
you know not how to choose a man : Romeo ! no, 

sham'st the musick qfsroect news 

y playing it to me with so sour a face.] So, in Antony 
end Cleopatra: 

" needs so tart a favour, 
" To trumpet such good tidings !" 
Again, in Cymbeline: 

" if it be summer-news, 

" Smile to it before." MALONE. 

* - What a jaunt have I had!~\ This is the reading of the 
folio. The quarto reads : 

- What a jnunce have I had ! 

The two words appear to have been formerly synonymous. 
See King Richard II: 

" Spur-gall'd and tir'd by jouncing Bolingbroke." 



not he ; though his face be better than any man's, 
yet his leg excels all men's ; and for a hand, and a 
foot, and a body, though they be not to be talked 
on, yet they are past compare ; He is not the 
flower of courtesy, but, I'll warrant him, as 
gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench j serve 
God. What, have you dined at home ? 

JUL. No, no : But all this did I know before j 
What says he of our marriage ? what of that ? 6 

NURSE. Lord, how my head akes ! what a head 

have I ? 

It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces. 
My back o' t' other side, O, my back, my back! 
Beshrew your heart, for sending, me about, 
To catch my death with jaunting up and down ! 

JUL. I'faith, I am sorry that thou art not well : 
Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says my 

NURSE. Your love says like an honest gentleman, 
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, 
And, I warrant, a virtuous : Where is your mo- 
ther ? 

JUL. Where is my mother ? why, she is within ; 
Where should she be ? How oddly thou reply 'st ? 
Your love says like an honest gentleman, 
Where is your mother ? 

NURSE. O, God's lady dear ! 

Are you so hot ? Marry, come up, I trow j 

6 No, no: But all this did I know before; 

What says he of our marriage ? "what of that f] So, in 
The Tragicall History ofRomeus and Juliet, 1562: 

" 'Ml me else what, quod she, this evermore I thought ; 
" But of our marriage, say at once, what answer have 
you brought?" MALONE. 

se.r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 127 

Is this the poultice for my aking bones ? 
Henceforward do your messages yourself. 

JUL. Here's such a coil ; Come, what says 
Romeo ? 

NURSE. Have you got leave to go to shrift to- 
day ? 

JUL. I have. 

NURSE. Then hie you hence to friar Laurence' 


There stays a husband to make you a wife : 
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks, 
They'll be in scarlet straight at any news. 
Hie you to church ; I must another way, 
To fetch a ladder, by the which your love 
Must climb a bird's nest soon, wnen it is dark : 
I am the drudge, and toil in your delight ; 
But you shall bear the burden soon at night. 
Go, I'll to dinner ; hie you to the cell. 

JUL. Hie to high fortune ! honest nurse, fare- 
well. [Exeunt. 



Friar Laurence's Cell. 

Enter Friar LAURENCE and RoMEO. 7 

FRI. So smile the heavens upon this holy act, 
That after-hours with sorrow chide us not ! 

7 This scene was entirely new formed : the reader may be 
pleased to have it as it was at first written : 

" Rom. Now, father Laurence, in thy holy grant 

" Consists the good of me and Juliet. 
" Friar. Without more words, I will do all I may 

" To make you happy, if in me it lie. 
" Rom. This morning here she 'pointed we should meet, 

" And consummate those never-parting bands, 

" Witness of our hearts' love, by joining hands ; 

" And come she will. 
" Friar. I guess she will indeed : 

" Youth's love is quick, swifter than swiftest speed. 

Enter JULIET somewhat fast, and embraceth ROMEO. 

" See where she comes ! 

" So light a foot ne'er hurts the trodden flower ; 

" Of love and joy, see, see the sovereign power ! 
Jul. Romeo ! 
" Rom. My Juliet, welcome ! As do waking eyes 

" ( Clos'd in night's mists ) attend the frolick day, 

" So Romeo hath expected Juliet ; 

" And thou art come. 
" Jul. lam (if I be day) 

" Come to my sun ; shine forth, and make me fair. 
** Rom. All beauteous fairness dwelleth in thine eyes. 
" Jul. Romeo, from thine all brightness doth arise. 
*' Friar. Come, wantons, come, the stealing hours do pass; 

" Defer embracements to some fitter time ; 

*' Part for a time, * you shall not be alone, 

* Till holy church hath join'd you both in one.' 

sc. vi. ROMEO AND JULIET. 129 

ROM. Amen, amen ! but come what sorrow can, 
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy 
That one short minute gives me in her sight : 
Do thou but close our hands with holy words, 
Then love-devouring death do what he dare, 
It is enough I may but call her mine. 

FRI. These violent delights have violent ends, 8 
And in their triumph die ; like fire and powder, 
Which, as they kiss, consume : The sweetest honey 
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness, 
And in the taste confounds the appetite : 
Therefore, love moderately ; long love doth so ; 
Too swift arrives 9 as tardy as too slow. 

Enter JULIET. 
Here comes the lady : ' O, so light a foot 

*' Rom. Lead, holy father, all delay seems long. 

" JuL Make haste, make haste, this ling'ring doth us 


44 Friar. O, soft and fair makes sweetest work they say ; 
" Haste is a common hind'rer in cross-way." [Exeunt. 


These violent delights have violent ends,"] So, in our author's 
Rape of Lucrece: 

" These violent vanities can never last." MALONE. 

' Too swift arrives ] He that travels too fast is as long 
before he comes to the end of his journey, as he that travels 
low. Precipitation produces mishap. JOHNSOX. 

1 Here comex the lady: &c.] However the poet might think 
the alteration of this scene on the whole to be necessary, I am 
afraid, in respect of the passage before us, he has not been very 
successful. The violent hyperbole of never wearing out the ever- 
lasting Jiint appears to me not only more reprehensible, but even 
less beautiful than the lines a* they were originally written, where 
the lightness of Juliet's motion is accounted for from the cheer- 
ful effects the passion of love produced in her mind. 




Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint : 
A lover may bestride the gossomers 2 
That idle in the wanton summer air, 
And yet not fall ; so light is vanity. 

JUL. Good even to my ghostly confessor. 

FRI. Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us 

Jut, As much to him, else are his thanks too 

ROM. Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy 
Be heap'd like mine, and that thy skill be more 
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath 
This neighbour air, and let rich musick's tongue 
Unfold the imagin'd happiness that both 
Receive in either by this dear encounter. 

JUL. Conceit, more rich in matter than in 
words, 3 

* A lover may bestride, the gossomers ] The gossamer is the 
long white filament which flies in the air in summer. So, in 
Hannibal and Scipio, 1637, by Nabbes : 

" Fine as Arachne's web, or gossamer 
" Whose curls when garnish'd by their dressing, shew 
" Like that spun vapour when 'tis pearl'd with dew ?" 
See Vol. XVII. p. 537, n. 2. STEEVENS. 

See Bullokar's English Expositor, 1616: " Gossomor. Things 
that flye like cobwebs in the ayre." MALONE. 

3 Conceit, more rick &c.] Conceit here means imagination. 
So, in The Rape of Lucrece: 

" which the conceited painter drew so proud," &c. 

See Vol. XIV. p. 397, n. 8. MALONE. 

Thus, in the title-page to the first quarto edition of The 
Merry Wives of Windsor: " A most pleasant and excellent 
conceited comedy" &c. Again, in the title, &c. to King Henry IV. 
P. I. quarto, 1599: " with the humorous conceits of Sir 
John Falstaft'e ." STEEVEXS. 

sc. n. ROMEO AND JULIET. 131 

Brags of his substance, not of ornament : 
They are but beggars that can count their worth ; 4 
But my true love is grown to such excess, 
I cannot sum up half my sum of wealth. 5 

FRI. Come, come with me, and we will make 

short work ; 

For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone, 
Till holy church incorporate two in one. 


4 They are but beggars that can count their worth;"] So, in 
Antony and Cleopatra: 

" There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd." 
Se Vol. XVII. p. 7, n. 5. STEEVENS. 

So, in Much Ado about Nothing: " I were but little happy, 
if I could say how much." MALONE. 

* / cannot sum up half my sum of wealth.'] The quarto, 
1599. reads: 

I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth. 
The undated quarto and the folio : 

/ cannot sum tip some of half my "wealth. 
The emendation was made by Mr. Steerens. MALONB. 

K 2 



A publick Place. 
MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, Page, and Servants. 

BEN. I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire j 
The day is hot, 6 the Capulets abroad, 
And, if we meet, we shall not 'scape a brawl ; 
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring. 

MER. Thou art like one of those fellows, that, 
when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me 
his sword upon the table, and says, God send me no 
need of thee ! and, by the operation of the second 
cup, draws it on the drawer, when, indeed, there 
is no need. 

BEN. Am I like such a fellow? 

MER. Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy 
mood as any in Italy ; and as soon moved to be 
moody, and as soon moody to be moved. 

BEN. And what to ? 

MER. Nay, an there were two such, we should 
have none shortly, for one would kill the other. 

8 The day is hot,'] It is observed, that, in Italy, almost all 
assassinations are committed during the heat of summer. 


In Sir Thomas Smith's Commonwealth of England, 1583, 
B. II. c. xix. p. 70, it is said " And commonly every yeere or 
each second yeere in the beginning of sommer or afterwards 
(Jbr in the tvarme time the people for the most part le more 
unruly) even in the calm time of peace, the prince with his 
counsell chooseth out," &c. REED. 

sc.i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 133 

Thou ! why thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath 
a hair more, or a hair less, in his beard, than thou 
hast. Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking 
nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast 
hazel eyes ; What eye, but sucli an eye, would spy 
out such a quarrel ? Thy head is as full of quarrels, 
as an egg is full of meat ; and yet thy head hath 
been beaten as addle as an egg, for quarrelling. 
Thou hast quarrelled with a man for coughing in 
the street, because he hath wakened thy dog that 
hath lain asleep in the sun. Didst thou not fall 
out with a tailor for wearing his new doublet before 
Easter ? with another, for tying his new shoes with 
old ribband ? and yet thou wilt tutor me from quar- 
relling! 7 

BEX. An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, 
any man should buy the fee-simple of my life for 
an hour and a quarter. 

MER. The fee-simple? O simple! 8 

Enter TYBALT, and Others. 

REN. By my head, here come the Capulets. 
MER. By my heel, I care not. 

' thou wilt tutor me from quarrelling /] Thou wilt 

endeavour to restrain me, by prudential advice, from quarrelling. 

Thus the quarto, 1599, and the folio. The quarto, 1597, 
reads thou wilt forbid me of quarrelling. The modern edi- 
tions, after Mr. 1'ope, read Thou wilt tutor me Jor quarrel- 
ling. MALONE. 

* An I were so apt &c.] These two speeches have been added 
since the first quarto, together with some few circumstance* in 
the rest of the scene, us well as in the ensuing one. 



TYB. Follow me close, for I will speak to them. 9 
Gentlemen, good den : a word with one of you. 

MER. And but one word with one of us ? Couple 
it with something ; make it a word and a blow. 

^ TYB. You will find me apt enough to that, sir, 
if you will give me occasion. 

MER. Could you not take some occasion with- 
out giving ? 

TYB. Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo, 

MER. Consort ! what, dost thou make us min- 
strels ? an thou make minstrels of us, look to hear 
nothing but discords : here's my fiddlestick ; here's 
that shall make you dance. 'Zounds, consort ! 

BEN. We talk here in the publick haunt of men: 
Either withdraw into some private place, 
Or reason coldly of your grievances, 
Or else depart ; here all eyes gaze on us. 

MER. Men's eyes were made to look, and let 

them gaze ; 
I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I. 

9 Follow me close, for I "will speak to ihem.~] In the ori- 
ginal copy this line is not found, Tybalt entering alone. In that 
of 1599 we find this stage-direction: " Enter Tybalt, Petruchio, 
and others ;" and the above line is inserted ; but I strongly sus- 
pect it to be an interpolation : for would Tybalt's partizans suffer 
him to be killed without taking part in the affray ? That they 
do not join in it, appears from the account given by Benvolio. 
In the original copy Benvolio says, on the entrance of Tybalt, 
** By my head, here comes a Capulet." Instead of the two latter 
words, we have in the quarto 1599, the Capulets. M ALONE. 

Mr. Malone forgets that, even in his own edition of this play, 
Tybalt is not killed while his partisans are on the stage. They 
'go out with him after he has wounded Mercutio ; and he him- 
self re-enters, unattended, when he fights with Romeo. 


sc.i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 135 

Enter ROMEO. 

TYB. Well, peace be with you, sir ! here comes 
my man. 

MER. But I'll be hanged, sir, if he wear your 

livery : 

Marry, go before to field, he'll be your follower ; 
Your worship, in that sense, may call him man. 

TYB. Romeo, the hate I bear thee,- can afford 
No better term than this Thou art a villain. 

ROM. Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee 
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage 
To such a greeting : Villain am I none ; 
Therefore farewell ; I see, than know'st me not. 

TYB. Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries 
That thou hast done me ; therefore turn, and draw. 

ROM. I do protest, I never injur'd thee ; 
But love thee better than thou canst devise, 
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love : 
And so, good Capulet, which name I tender 
As dearly as mine ov/n, be satisfied. 

MER. O calm, dishonourable, vile submission ! 
A la stoccata 3 carries it away. 
Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk ? 

TYB. What would'st thou have with me ? 

1 the hate I bear thee,'] So the quarto 1597. The sub- 
sequent ancient copies have the love, &c. MA LONE. 

* A la stoccata ] Stoccata is the Italian term for a thrust 
or stab with u rapier. So, in The Dcvd's Charter, 1607 : 
'* He makes a thrust ; I with a swift pasuado 
" Make quick avoidance, and with this stoccata" &c. 



MER. Good king of cats, 4 nothing, but one of 
your nine lives ; that I mean to make bold withal, 
and, as you shall use me hereafter, dry-beat the 
rest of the eight. Will you pluck your sword out 
of his pilcher by the ears ? 5 make haste, lest mine 
be about your ears ere it be out. 

TYB. I am for you. \_Dramng. 

ROM. Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up. 
MER. Come, sir, your passado. [They jight. 

ROM. Draw, Benvolio ; 

Beat down their weapons : -Gentlemen, for shame 
Forbear this outrage ; Tybalt Mercutio 
The prince expressly hath forbid this bandying 
In Verona streets : hold, Tybalt ; good Mercutio. 
[Exeunt TYBALT and his Partizans. 

MER. I am hurt ; 

A plague o'both the houses ! I am sped : 
Is he gone, and hath nothing ? 

BEN. What, art thou hurt ? 

4 Good king ofcats,~] Alludyig to his name. See p. 104-, n. 4. 


* Will you pluck your stvord out of his pilcher by the ears f] 
We should read pilche, which signifies a cloke or coat of skins, 
meaning the scabbard. WARBURTON. 

The old quarto reads scabbard. Dr. Warburton's explanation 
is, I believe, just. Nash, in Pierce Pennyless his Supplication, 
1595, speaks of a carman in a leather pilche. Again, in Decker's 
Satiromastix, 1602 : 

" I'll beat five pounds out of his leather pilch." 

Again, " Thou hast forgot how thou ambled'st in a leather 
pilch, by a play-waggon in the highway, and took'st mad Jero- 
nimo's part, to get service among the mimicks." 

It appears from this passage, that Ben Jonson acted the part 
of Hieronimo in the Spanish tragedy, the speech being addressed 
to Horace, under which character old Ben is ridiculed. 


se. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 137 

MER. Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch ; marry, 'tis 


Where is my page? go, villain, fetch a surgeon. 

[Exit Page. 

ROM. Courage, man ; the hurt cannot be much. 

MER. No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide 
as a church door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: ask 
for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave 
man. 6 I am peppered, I warrant, for this world : 
A plague o'both your houses! 'Zounds, a dog, a 
rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to death ! a 
braggart, a rogue, a villain, that fights by the 
book of arithmetick! Why, the devil, came you 
between us ? I was hurt under your arm. 

ROM. I thought all for the best. 

a grave man.'] After this, the quarto, 1597, conti- 
nues Mercutio's speech as follows : 

" A pox o'both your houses ! I shall be fairly mounted upon 
four men's shoulders for your house of the Montagues and thfe 
Capulets : and then some peasantly rogue, some sexton, some 
base slave, shall write my epitaph, that Tybalt came and broke 
the prince's laws, and Mercutio was slain for the first and se- 
cond cause. Where's the surgeon ? 

" Boy. He's come, sir. 

" Mcr. Now he'll keep a mumbling in my guts on the other 
side. Come, iieuvolio, lend me thy hand : A pox o'both your 
houses!" STEEVKNS. 

" You shall find me a grave man.*' This jest was better in 
old language, than it is at present. Lidgate says, in his elegy 
upon Chaucer: 

" My master Chaucer now is grave." FARMER. 

We meet with the same quibble in The Revenger's Tragedy, 
1608, where yindici dresses up a lady's scull, and observes: 
" she has a somewhat grave look with her." 


Again, in Sir Thomas Overbury's Description of a Sexton, 
CHARACTERS, 1616: " At every church-style commonly there's 
an ale-house ; where let him bee found never so idle-pated, hec 
is still a grave drunkard." MALONE. 


MER. Help me into some house, Benvolio, 
Or I shall faint. A plague o'both your houses ! 
They have made worm's meat of me : 
I have it, and soundly too : Your houses ! 


ROM. This gentleman, the prince's near ally, 
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt 
In my behalf; my reputation staih'd 
With Tybalt's slander, Tybalt, that an hour 
Hath been my kinsman : O sweet Juliet, 
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate, 
And in my temper soften'd valour's steel. 7 

Re-enter BENVOLIO. 

BEN. O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio's dead; 
That gallant spirit hath aspir'd the clouds, 8 
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth. 

ROM. This day's black fate on more days doth 

depend; 9 
This but begins the woe, others must end. 

7 soften'd valour's steel.] So, in Coriolanus : 

" When steel grows 

" Soft as the parasite's silk ." MA LONE. 

* hath aspir'd the clouds,] So, in Greene's Card of 

Fancy, 1608: 

" Her haughty mind is too lofty for me to aspire" 
Again, in Chapman's version of the tenth Iliad; 

" and presently aspir'd 

" The guardless Thracian regiment.'* 
Again, in the ninth Iliad : 

" and aspir'd the gods' eternal feats." 

We never use this verb at present without some particle, as, 
to and after. STEEVENS. 

So also, Marlowe, in his Tamburlaine, 1590: 

" Until our bodies turn to elements, 

" And both our souls aspire celestial thrones." MALONE. 
9 This day's black fate on more days doth depend ;] This 

sc.i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 139 

Re-enter TYBALT. 

BEN. Here comes die furious Tybalt back again. 

ROM. Alive ! in triumph ! l and Mercutio slain ! 
Away to heaven, respective lenity, 2 
And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now ! 3 
Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again, 
That late thou gav'st me ; for Mercutio's soul 
Is but a little way above our heads, 
Staying for thine to keep him company ; 
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him. 

TYB. Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort 

him here, 
Shalt with him hence. 

ROM. This shall determine that. 

[ TJieyJight ; TYBALT Jails. 

BEN. Romeo, away, be gone ! 
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain : 

day's unhappy destiny hangs over the days yet to come. There 
will yet be more mischief. JOHNSON. 

1 Alive! in triumph! &c.] Thus the quarto, 1597; for which 
the quarto, 1599, has 

He g:m in triumph . 

This, in the subsequent ancient copies, was made He gone, 
&c. MA LONE. 

respective lenity,~\ Cool, considerate gentleness. 

Respect formerly signified consideration ; prudential caution. 
So, in The Rape (tfLucrece : 

" Respect and reason well beseem the sage." MALONE. 

' And Jirc-eyd Jury be my conduct now!"] Conduct for con- 
ductor. So, in a former scene of this play, quarto, 1597: 
" Which to the high top-gallant of mv ioy 
" Must be my conduct in the secret mglit." 
Thus the first quarto. In that of 1599, end being corruptly 
printed instead of </'/, the editor of the folio, according to the 
usual process of corruption, exhibited the line thus : 

Andjire *&Afury be my conduct none. M ALONE. 


Stand not amaz'd: 4 the prince will doom thee 

If thou art taken : hence ! be gone ! away ! 

ROM. O ! I am fortune's fool ! 5 

BEST. Why dost thou stay ? 

\JExit ROMEO. 

Enter Citizens, fyc. 

1 CIT. Which way ran he, that kill'd Mercutio? 
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he ? 

BEN. There lies that Tybalt. 
1 CIT. Up, sir, go with me ; 

I charge thee in the prince's name, obey. 

Enter Prince, attended; MONTAGUE, CAPULET, 
their Wives, and Others. 

PRIN. Where are the vile beginners of this fray ? 

BEN. O noble prince, I can discover all 
The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl : 
There lies the man, slain by young Romeo, 
That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio. 

LA. CAP. Tybalt, my cousin ! O my brother's 

child ! 
Unhappy sight ! ah me, the blood is spill' d 6 

4 Stand not amaz'd :] i. e. confounded, in a state of confu- 
sion. So, in Cymbeline : " I am amaz'd with matter." 


* O! I am fortune's fool !~\ I am always running in the way 
of evil fortune, like the Fool in the play. Thou art death's fool, 
in Measure for Measure. See Dr. Warburton's note. JOHNSON. 

See Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Vol. XXI. Act III. sc. ii. 


In the first copy O ! I am fortune's slave. STEEVENS. 

6 Unhappy sight! ah me, the blood is spill' d ] The pro- 

x. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 141 

Of my dear kinsman! Prince, as thou art true, 7 
For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague. 
O cousin, cousin ! 

PRIN. Benvolio, who began this bloody fray ? 
BEN. Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand 

did slay ; 

Romeo that spoke him fair, bade him bethink 
How nice the quarrel 8 was, and urg'd withal" 
Your high displeasure : All this uttered 
With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly 


Could not take truce with the unruly spleen 
Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts 
With piercing steel at bold Mercutio's breast ; 

noun me, has been inserted by the recommendation of the fol- 
lowing note. STEEVENS. 

The quarto, 1597, reads : 

Unhappy sight ! ah, the blood is spiWd . 
The quarto, 1599, and the subsequent ancient copies, have: 

prince! cousin! husband! O, the blood is spilTd 

The modern editors have followed neither copy. The word 
me was probably inadvertently omitted in the first quarto. 
Unhappy sight ! ah me, the blood is spill'd &c. 


7 at thou art true,~\ As thou art just and upright. 


So, in King Richard III: 

" And if King Edward be as true and just, ." 


* 7/otc nice the quarrel ] How slight, how unimportant, 
how petty. So, in the last Act : 

" The letter wag not nice, but full of charge, 
" Of dear import." JOHNSON. 

See also Vol. XVII. p. 197, n. 8. MALONE. 

' J and urg'd withal ] The rest of this speech was 

new written by the poet, as well as a part of what follows in tho 
same scene. STEEVENS. 


Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point, 

And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats 

Cold death aside, and with the other sends 

It hack to Tybalt, whose dexterity 

Retorts it : Romeo he cries aloud, 

Hold+friends ! friends, part! and, swifter than his 


His agile arm beats down their fatal points, 
And 'twixt them rushes ; underneath whose arm 
An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life 
Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled : 
But by and by comes back to Romeo, 
Who had but newly entertain'd revenge, 
And to't they go like lightning ; for, ere I 
Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain j 
And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly : 
This is the truth, or let Benvolio die. 

LA. CAP. He is a kinsman to the Montague, 
Affection makes him false, 1 he speaks not true : 
Some twenty of them fought in this black strife, 
And all those twenty could but kill one life : 
I beg for justice, which thou, prince, must give ; 
Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live. 

PRIN* Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio ; 
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe ? 

MON. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's 

friend ; 

His fault concludes but, what the law should end, 
The life of Tybalt. 

1 Affection makes him false,] The charge of falsehood on 
Benvolio, though produced at hazard, is very just. The author, 
who seems to intend the character of Benvolio as good, meant 
perhaps to show, how the best minds, in a state of faction and 
discord, are detorted to criminal partiality. JOHNSON. 

sc. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 143 

PRIN. And, for that offence, 

Immediately we do exile him hence : 
Lhave an interest in your hates' proceeding, 2 
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a bleeding ; 
But I'll amerce you with so strong a fine, 
That you shall all repent the loss of mine : 
I will be deaf to pleading and excuses ; 
Nor tears, nor prayers, snail purchase out abuses, 3 
Therefore use none : let Romeo hence in haste, 
Else, when he's found, that hour is his last. 
Bear hence this body, and attend our will : 
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kilL* 

* - in your hates' proceeding,'] This, as Mr. Steevens 
has observed, is the reading of the original quarto, 1597. From 
that copy, in almost every speech of this play, readings have 
been drawn by the modern editors, much preferable to those of 
the succeeding ancient copies. The quarto of 1599 reads 
hearts proceeding ; and the corruption was adopted in the folio. 


' Nor tears, nor prayers, shall purchase out flfowex,] This 
was probably ilesigued us a covert stroke at the church of Rome, 
by which the different prices of murder, incest, and all other 
crimes, were minutely settled, and as shamelessly received. 

See Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 701. 


4 Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kilL'] So, in 
Halt's Memorials : " When I find myself swayed to mercy, let 
me remember likewise that there is a mercy due to the coun- 

Thus the quarto, 1599, and the folio. The sentiment here en- 
ferced is different from that found in the first edition, 1597. 
There the Prince concludes his speech with these words: 
Pity shall divcll, and govern with us still ; 
Mercy to all but murderers, -pardoning none that kill. 


See Vol. VI. p. 253, n. 9. STEF.VP.NS. 



A Room in Capulet's House. 
Enter JULIET. 

JUL. Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, 
Towards Phoebus' mansion ; 5 such a waggoner 
As Phaeton would whip you to the west, 
And bring in cloudy night immediately. 6 
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night! 
That run-away's eyes may wink; 7 and Romeo 

s Gallop apace, youjiery '-footed steeds, 

Towards Phoebus' mansion ; &c.] Our author probably 
remembered Marlowe's King Ediuard II. which was performed 
before 1593 : 

" Gallop apace, bright Phoebus, through the skie, 

" And dusky night in rusty iron car ; 

" Between you both, shorten the time, I pray, 

" That I may see that most desired day." MALONE. 

Gallop apace, &c.l Cowley copies the expression, Davideis, 
B. Ill : 

" Slow rose the sun, but gattopt down apace, 
" With more than evening blushes in his face." 
The succeeding compound " fiery-footed" is- used by Dray- 
ton, in one of his Eclogues : 

" Pho3bus had forced \i\sjiery-footed team." 
It is also used by Spenser, in The Fairy Queen. TODD. 

Phoebus* mansion;'] The second quarto and folio read, 

Phoebus' lodging. STEEVENS. 

" immediately. ,~\ Here ends this speech in the eldest 

quarto. The rest of the scene has likewise received considera- 
ble alterations and additions. STEEVENS. 

1 Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night ! 

That run-away's eyes may wink ; &c.] What run-aways 
are these, whose eyes Juliet is wishing to have stopt? Macbeth, 

sc. ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 145 

Leap to these arms, untalk'd of, and unseen ! 

we may remember, makes an invocation to night much in the 
same strain : 

" Come, seeling night, 

" Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day," &c. 
So Juliet would have night's darkness obscure the great eye 
ef the day, the sun; whom considering in a poetical light as 
Phcebus, drawn in his car with Jiery-footed steeds, and posting 
through the heavens, she very properly calls him, with regard to 
the swiftness of his course, the run-away. In the like manner 
our poet speaks of the night in The Merchant of Venice: 

" ror the close night doth play the run-away." 


Mr. Heath justly observes on this emendation, that the sun is 
necessarily absent as soon as night begins, and that it is very 
unlikely that Juliet, who has just complained of his tediousness, 
should call him a run-away. MALONE. 

The construction of this passage, however elliptical or per- 
verse, I believe to be as follows : 

May that run-away 1 's eyes wink ! 

That run-away s eyes, may (they) wink! 
These ellipses are frequent in Spenser; and that for oh ! that, 
is not uncommon, as Dr. Farmer observes in a note on the first 
scene of The Winter's Tale. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, 
Act III. sc. vi: 

'* That ever I should call thee cast-away !" 
Again, in Twelfth- Night, Act IV. sc. ii : 
" Mai. I tell thee, I am as well in my wits, as any man in 

** Clo. Well-a-day. That you were, sir!" i. e. Oh that you 
were! Again, in Timon, Act IV: 

" That nature, being sick of man's unkindness, 
" Should yet be hungry !" 

Juliet first wishes for the absence of the sun, and then invokes 
the night to spread its curtain close around the world : 
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night ! 
Next, recollecting that the night would seem short to her, she 
peaks of it as of a run-away, whose flight she would wish to 
retard, and whose eyes she would blind, lest they should make 
discoveries. The eyes of night are the stars, so called in A Mid- 
summer -Night's Dream. Dr. Warburton has already proved 
that Shakspeare terms the night a run-away in The Merchant of 


Lovers can see to do their amorous rites 
By their own beauties : 8 or, if love be blind, 
It best agrees with night. Come, civil night, 9 
Thou sober-suited matron, all in black, 
And learn me how to lose a winning match, 
Play'd for a pair of stainless maidenhoods : 

Venice; and in The Fair Maid of the Exchange, 1607, it is 
spoken of under the same character : 

" The night hath play'd the swift-foot run-away." 
Romeo was not expected by Juliet till the sun was gone, and 
therefore it was of no consequence to her that any eyes should 
wink but those of the night ; for, as Ben Jonson says in Sejanus, 

" night hath many eyes, 

" Whereof, tho' most do sleep, yet some are spies." 


That seems not to be the optative adverb utinam, but the pro- 
noun ista. These lines contain no wish, but a reason for Juliet's 
preceding wish for the approach of cloudy night ; for in such a 
night there may be no star-light to discover our stolen pleasures : 
*' That run-away eyes may wink, and Romeo 
" Leap to these arms, untalk'd of, and unseen." 


* Lovers can see to do their amorous rites 

By their otvn beauties .] So, in Marlowe's Hero and Lean- 

" dark night is Cupid's day." 

The quartos 1599 and 1609, and the folio, read And by 
their own beauties. In the text the undated quarto has been 
followed. MALONE. 

Milton, in his Comus, might here have been indebted to 
Shakspeare : 

" Virtue could see to do what virtue would, 

" By her own radiant light, though sun and moon 

" Were in the flat sea sunk." STEEVENS. 

9 Come, civil night,"] Civil is grave, decently solemn. 


See As you like it, Vol. VIII. p. 91, n. 5. STEEVENS. 

So, in our poet's Lover's Complaint : 

" my white stole of chastity I daff'd, 

<! Shook off my sober guards and civil fears." 


sc.ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 147 

Htood my unmann'd blood 1 bating in my cheeks, 
With thy black mantle ; till strange love, grown 

bold, 2 

Think true love acted, simple modesty. 
Come, night ! Come, Romeo ! come, thou day in 

night ! 

For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night 
Whiter than new snow on a raven's back. 3 

1 unmann'd blood ] Blood yet unacquainted with man. 


Hood my unmann'd blood bating in my cheeks,'} These are 
terms of falconry. An unmanned hawk is one that is not brought 
to endure company. Bating, (not baiting, as it has hitherto 
been printed,) is fluttering with the wings as striving to fly away. 
So, in Ben Jonson's Sad Shepherd: 

" A hawk yet half so haggard and unmann'd." 
Again, in an old ballad intitled, Prcttie Comparisons wittily 
Grounded, &c : 

** Or like a hawk that's never man'd, 
" Or like a hide before 'tis tan'd." 

Again, in The Booke of Havokyng, &c. bl. 1. no date : " It is 
called bating, for she bateth with herselfe most often causelesse." 


See Vol. IX. p. 135, n. 2. To hood a hawk, that is, to cover 
its head with a hood, was an usual practice, before the bird was 
suffered to fly at its quarry. M ALONE. 

If the hawk flew with its hood on, how could it possibly see 
the object of its pursuit ? The hood was always taken off before 
the bird was dismissed. See Vol. XII. p. 414, n. 9. 


* grown bold,"] This is Mr. Rowe's emendation. The 

old copies for grown hare grow. MA LONE. 

J Whiter than new snow on a raven' 's back.~\ The quarto, 
1599, and the folio upon. The line is not in the first quarto. 
The editor of the second folio, for the sake of the metre, reads 
on a raven's back ; and so, many of the modern editors. 


I profess myself to be still one of this peccant fraternity. 


L 2 


Come, gentle night j come, loving, black-brow 5 d 

night, 4 

Give me my Romeo : and, when he shall die, 5 
Take him and cut him out in little stars, 6 
And he will make the face of heaven so fine, 
That all the world will be in love with night, 
And pay no worship to the garish sun. 7 , 
O, I have bought the mansion of a love, 8 

4 blftck-broiad night y ~\ So, in Kins John: 

" Why, here walk I, in the black brotu of night" 


* -when he shall die,~\ This emendation is drawn from 

the undated quarto. The quartos of 1599, 1609, and the folio, 
read when / shall die. MALONE. 

8 Take him and cut him out in little stars, &c.~\ The same 
childish thought occurs in The Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll, 
which was acted before the year 1596 : 

" The glorious parts of faire Lucilia, 

" Take them and joine them in the heavenly spheres ; 

" And fixe them there as an eternal light, 

'.' For lovers to .adore and wonder at." STEEVENS. 

7 the garish sun.~] Milton had this speech in his thoughts 

when he wrote II Penseroso: 

" Civil night, 

" Thou sober-suited matron." Shnkspeare. 

" Till civil-suited morn appear." Milton. 

" Pay no worship to the garish sun." Shakspeare^ 

*' Hide me from day's garish eye." Milton. 


Garish is gaudy, showy. So, in King Richard III: 

" A dream of what thou wast, a garish flag." 
Again, in Marlowe's Edward II. 1598 : 

" march'd like players 

" With garish robes." 

It sometimes signifies wild, flighty. So, in the following in- 
stance : " starting up and gairishly staring about, especially 
on the face of Eliosto" Hinde's Eliosto Libidinoso, 1606. 


/ have bought the mansion of a love,] So, in Antony 

and Cleopatra ; 


But not possessed it ; and, though I am sold, 

Not yet enjoy 'd : So tedious is this day, 

As is the night before some festival 

To an impatient child, that hath new robes, 

And may not wear them. O, here comes my nurse, 

Enter Nurse, with Cords. 

And she brings news ; and every tongue, that speaks 
But Romeo's name, speaks heavenly eloquence. 
Now, nurse, what news ? What hast thou there, 

the cords, 
That Romeo bade thee fetch ? 

NURSE. Ay, ay, the cords. 

[Throws them down. 
JUL. Ah me ! what news ? why dost thou wring 

thy hands ? 
NURSE. Ah well-a-day ! he's dead, he's dead, he's 


We are undone,. lady, we are undone ! 
Alack the day ! he's gone, he's kill'd, he's dead ! 
JUL. Can heaven be so envious ? 
NURSE. Romeo can, 

Though heaven cannot : O Romeo ! Romeo ! 
Who ever would have thought it ? Romeo ! 
JUL. What devil art thou, that dost torment me 

thus ? 

This torture should be roar'd in dismal hell. 
Hath Romeo slain himself? say thou but I? 


" the strong base and building of my love 

" Is as the very center to the earth, 
" Drawing all things to it." MALONE. 

say thou but I,] In Shakspeare's time fas Theobald 

ha* observed) the affirmative particle m/ was usually written 7, 
and here it is necessary to retain the olcl spelling. MALONB. 


And that bare vowel 7 shall poison more 

Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice : 1 

I am not I, if there be such an /; 

Or those eyes shut, that make thee answer, /. 

If he be slain, say // or if not, no : 

Brief sounds determine of my weal, or woe. .. 

NURSE. I saw the wound, I saw it with mine 


God save the mark ! 2 here on his manly breast : 
A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse ; 
Pale, pale as ashes, all bedawb'd in blood, 
All in gore blood j -I swoonded at the sight. 

1 death-darting eye of cockatrice :] See Vol. XIII. p. 281 , 

n. 1, and p. 298, n. 2. MALONE. 

The strange lines that follow here in the common books, are 
not in the old edition. POPE. 

The strange lines are these : 

" I am not I, if there be such an. I, 
" Or these eyes shot, that make thee answer I. 
'* If he be slain, say I ; or if not, no : 
** Brief sounds determine of my weal or woe." 
These lines hardly deserve emendation ; yet it may be proper 
to observe, that their meanness has not placed them below the 
malice of fortune, the first two of them being evidently trans- 
posed ; we should read : 

" that bare vowel 7 shall poison more, 

" Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice, 
" Or those eyes shot, that make thee answer, I. 
" I am not I," &c. JOHNSON. 

I think the transposition recommended may be spared. The 
second line is corrupted. Read shut instead of shot, and then 
the meaning will be sufficiently intelligible. 

Shot, however, may be the same as shut. So, in Chaucer's 
Millers Tale, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. ver. 3358 : 

" And dressed him up by a shot window.*' STEEVENS. 

* God save the mark /] This proverbial exclamation occurs 
Again, with equal obscurity, in Othello, Act I. sc. i. See note 
on that passage. STEEVENS. 

sc.ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 151 

JUL. O break, my heart ! poor bankrupt, break 

at once ! 

To prison, eyes ! ne'er look on liberty ! 
Vile earth, to earth resign ; end motion here ; 
And thou, and Romeo, press one heavy bier ! 

NURSE. O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had ! 
O courteous Tybalt ! honest gentleman ! 
That ever I should live to see thee dead! 

JUL. What 'storm is this, that blows so contrary ? 
Is Romeo slaughtered ; and is Tybalt dead ? 
My dear-lov'd cousin, and my dearer lord ? 3 
Then, dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom ! 
For who is living, if those two are gone ? 

NURSE. Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished ; 
Romeo, that kill'd him, he is banished. 

JUL. O God ! did Romeo's hand shed Tybalt's 

NURSE. It did, it did ; alas the day ! it did. 
JUL. O serpent heart, hid with a flow'ring face !* 

1 My dear-lov'd cousin, and my dearer lord ?] The quarto, 
1599, and the folio, read 

My dearest cousin, and my dearer lord? 

Mr. Pope introduced the present reading from the original 
copy of 1597. MALONE. 

4 serpent heart, hid with a flow'ring face!"] The same 
images occur in Macbeth: 

" look like the innocent Jlower, 

" But be the serpent under it." HENLEY. 

O serpent heart, hid ix>ith a Jiovo'ring face ! 
Did erer dragon keep so fair a cave$~] So, in King John: 
" Hash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries, 
'* With ladies* facet and farce dragons' spleens." 
Again, in King Henry VIII : 

" You have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts." 
The line, Did ever dragon, &c. and the following eight lines, 
are not in the quarto, 1597. MALONE. 


Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave ? 
Beautiful tyrant ! fiend angelical ! 
Dove-feather'd raven ! 5 wolvish-ravening lamb ! 
Despised substance of divinest show ! 
Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st, 
A damned saint, 6 an honourable villain ! 
O, nature ! what hadst thou to do in hell, 
When thou did'st bower the spirit of a fiend 
In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh ? 
Was ever book, containing such vile matter, 
So fairly bound ? O, that deceit should dwell 
In such a gorgeous palace ! 

NURSE. There's no trust, 

No faith, no honesty in men ; all perjur'd, 
All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers. 

* Dove-feather'' d raven ! &c.] In old editions 

Ravenous dove, feather a raven, &c. 

The four following lines not in the first edition, as well as 
some others which I have omitted. POPE. 

Ravenous dove, feather d raven, 

Wolvish-ravening lamb /] This passage Mr. Pope has thrown 
out of the text, because these two noble hemistichs are inhar- 
monious : but is there no such thing as a crutch for a labouring, 
halting verse ? I'll venture to restore to the poet a line that is in 
his own mode of thinking, and truly worthy of him. Ravenous 
was blunderingly coined out of raven and ravening; and if we 
only throw it out, we gain at once an harmonious verse, and a 
proper contrast of epithets and images : 

Dove-feather 'd raven ! 'voolvish-rav'ning lamb ! 


The quarto, 1599, and folio, read 

Ravenous dove feather'd raven, ivolvish-ravening lamb. 

The word ravenous, which was written probably in the ma- 
nuscript by mistake in the latter part of the line, for ravening, 
and then struck out, crept from thence to the place where it 
appears. It was properly rejected by Mr. Theobald. MALONE. 

8 A damned saint, ~] The quarto, 1599, for damned, has 
dimme; the first folio dimne. The reading of the text is found 
in the undated quarto. MALONE. 

sc. ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 153 

Ah, where's my man ? give me some aqua vitce: 
These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me 

old. 7 
Shame come to Romeo ! 

JUL. Blister'd be thy tongue, 

For such a wish ! he was not born to shame : 
Upon his brow shame is asham'd to sit ; 8 
For 'tis a throne where honour may be crown'd 
Sole monarch of the universal earth. 
O, what a beast was I to chide at him ! 

NURSE. Will you speak well of him that kilPd 
your cousin ? 

JUL. Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband? 
Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy 

name, 9 
When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it? 1 

7 These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old."] So, 
in our author's Lover's Complaint: 

" Not age, but sorrow, over me hath power." 


* Upon his brow shame is ashamd to sit ;] So, in Painter's 
Palace of Pleasure, Tom. II. p. 223 : " Is it possible that under 
such beautie and rare comelinesse, disloyaltie and treason may 
have their siedge and lodging ?" The image of shame sitting on 
the brow, is not in the poem. STEEVENS. 

9 what tongue shall smooth thy name,"] To smooth, in 

ancient language, is to stroke, to caress, to fondle. So, in 
Pericles, Act I. sc. ii : " Seera'd not to strike, but smooth." 


1 A h, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name, 

When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it f] So, in the 
poem already quoted : 

"Ah cruel murdering tongue, murderer of others' fame, 
" How durst thou once attempt to touch the honour of 

his name ? 

" Whose deadly foes do yield him due and earned praise, 
*' For though his freedom be bereft, his honour not 


But, wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin? 
That villain cousin would have kill'd my husband: 
Back, foolish tears, 2 back to your native spring ; 
Your tributary drops belong to woe, 
Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy. 
My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain j 
And Tybalt's dead, that would have slain my hus- 
band : 

All this is comfort j Wherefore weep I then ? 
Some word there was, worser than Tybalt's death, 
That murder* d me : I would forget it fain ; 
But, O ! it presses to my memory, 
Like damned guilty deeds to sinners' minds : 
Tybalt is dead, and Romeo banished; 
That banished, that one word banished. 

" Why blam'st thou Romeus for slaying of Tybalt ? 

" Since he is guiltless quite of all, and Tybalt bears the 


" Whither shall he, alas ! poor banish'd man, now fly ? 
" What place of succour shall he seek beneath the starry 


" Since she pursueth him, and him defames by wrong, 
" That in distress should be his fort, and only rampire 

strong." MALONE. 

Again, in Painter's Palace of Pleasure: " Where from hence- 
forth shall be his refuge ? sith she, which ought to be the only 
bulwarke and assined repare of his distresse, doth persue and 
defame him." HENDERSON. 

* Back, foolish tears, &c.~] So, in The Tempest: 
" I am a. fool 
" To weep at what I am glad of." STEEVENS. 

" Back," says she, " to your native source, you foolish tears ! 
Properly you ought to flow only on melancholy occasions ; but 
now you erroneously shed your tributary drops for an event 
[the death of Tybalt and the subsequent escape of my beloved 
Romeo] which is in fact to me a subject of joy. Tybalt, if he 
could, would have slain my husband ; but my husband is alive, 
and has slain Tybalt. This is a source of joy, not of sorrow : 
wherefore then do I weep ?" MALONE. 


Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. 3 Tybalt's death 
Was woe enough, if it had ended there : 
Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship,* 
And needly will be rank'd with other griefs, 
Why followed not, when she said~-Tybalt's dead, 
Thy father, or thy mother, nay, or both, 
Which modern lamentation might have mov'd? 5 
But, with a rear-ward following Tybalt's death, 
Romeo is banished, to speak that word, 
Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet, 
All slain, all dead : Romeo is banished, 
There is no end, no limit, measure, bound, 

* Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts.] Hath put Tybalt out of 
my mind, as if out of being. JOHNSON. 

The true meaning is, I am more affected by Romeo's banish- 
ment than I should be by the death of ten thousand such rela- 
tions as Tybalt. RITSOX. 

Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts.] That is, is worse than the 
loss of ten thousand Tybalts. Dr. Johnson's explanation cannot 
be right ; for the passage itself shews that Tybalt was not out of 
her mind. M. MASON. 

4 sour woe delights injellowship,] Thus the Latin hexa- 
meter: (I know not whence it comes \ 

** Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris." STEEVENS. 

So, in The Rape of Lucrece : 

" And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage, 

" As palmers' chat makes short their pilgrimage." 

Again, in King Lear: 

" the mind much sufferance doth o'er-skip, 

" When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship." 


' Which modern lamentation &c.] This line is left out of the 
later editions, I suppose because the editors did not remember 
that Shakopeare uses modern for common, or slight : I believe it 
was in his time confounded in colloquial language with moderate. 

It means only trite, common. So, in Ax you like it: 

" Full of wise saws and modrrn instances." 
See Vol. VIII. p. 71, n. 4-. STEEVENS. 

See Vol. VIII. p. 276, n. 5. MALONE. 


In that word's death ; no words can that woe 

Where is my father, and my mother, nurse ? 

NUSSE. Weeping and wailing over Tybalt's corse : 
Will you go to them ? I will bring you thither. 

JUL. Wash they his wounds with tears ? mine 

shall be spent, 

When theirs are dry, for Romeo's banishment. 
Take up those cords: Poor ropes, you are beguil'd, 
Both you and I ; for Romeo is exil'd : 
He made you for a highway to my bed j 
But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed. 
Come, cords ; come, nurse j I'll to my wedding 

And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead ! 

NURSE. Hie to your chamber : I'll find Romeo 
To comfort you : I wot well where he is. 
Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night ; 
I'll to him ; he is hid at Laurence' cell. 

JUL. O find him! give this ring to my true 

And bid him come to take his last farewell. 


sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 157 


Friar Laurence's Cell. 

Enter Friar LAURENCE and ROMEO. 

FRI. Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou 

fearful man ; 

Affliction is enamour' d of thy parts, 
And thou art wedded to calamity. 

ROM. Father, what news ? what is the prince's 

doom ? 

What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand, 
That I yet know not ? 

FRI. Too familiar 

Is my dear son with such sour company : 
I bring thee tidings of the prince's doom. 

ROM. What less than dooms-day is the prince's 
doom ? 

FRI. A gentler judgment vanish'd from his lips, 
Not body's death, but body's banishment. 

ROM. Ha! banishment? be merciful, say death: 
For exile hath more terror in his look, 
Much more than death : do not say banishment. 

FRI. Hence from Verona art thou banished : 
Be patient, for the world is broad and wide. 

ROM. There is no world without Verona walls, 
But purgatory, torture, hell itself. 
Hence-banished is banish'd from the world, 
And world's exile is death : then banishment 6 

then hanJBhment ] The quarto 1599, and the folio, 


Is death mis-term'd : calling death banishment, 
Thou cut'st my head off with a golden axe, 
And smiPst upon the stroke that murders me. 

FRI. O deadly sin ! O rude unthankfulness ! 
Thy fault our law calls death ; but the kind prince, 
Taking thy part, hath rush'd aside the law, 
And turn'd that black word death to banishment: 
This is dear mercy, 7 and thou seest it not. 

ROM. 'Tis torture, and not mercy : heaven is 


Where Juliet lives ; 8 and every cat, and dog, 
And little mouse, every unworthy thing, 
Live here in heaven, and may look on her, 
But Romeo may not. More validity, 
More honourable state, more courtship lives 
In carrion flies, than Romeo: 9 they may seize 

read then banished. The emendation was made by Sir Thomas 
Hanmer. The words are not in the quarto 1597. MALONE. 

7 This is dear mercy,"] So the quarto 1599, and the folio. 
The earliest copy reads This is mere mercy. MALONE. 

Mere mercy, in ancient language, signifies absolute mercy. 
So, in Othello : 

" The mere perdition of the Turkish fleet.'* 
Again, in King Henry VIII: 

" to the mere undoing 

" Of all the kingdom." STEEVENS. 

'heaven is here, 

Where Juliet lives ;~\ From this and the foregoing speech 
of Romeo, Dryden has borrowed in his beautiful paraphrase of 
Chaucer's Palamon and Arcite: 

" Heaven is not, but where Emily abides, 
'* And where she's absent, all is hell besides." 


9 More validity, 

More honourable stat?, more courtship lives 
In carrion flies, than Romeo :~] Validity seems here to mean 
faorth or dignity : and courtship the state of a courtier permitted 
to approach the highest presence. JOHNSON. 

sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 159 

On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand, 
And steal immortal blessing from her lips ; 
Who, even in pure and vestal modesty, 1 
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin ; 
But Romeo may not ; he is banished : 2 
Flies may do this, when I from this must fly; 
They are free men, but I am banished. 
And say'st thou yet, that exile is not death ? 3 
Hadst thou no poison mix'd, no sharp-ground knife, 
No sudden mean of death, though ne'er so mean, 
But banished to kill me ; banished ? 
O friar, the damned use that word in hell ; 
Rowlings attend it : How hast thou the heart, 

Validity is employed to signify worth or value, in the first 
scene of iting Lear. STEEVENS. 

By courtship, the author seems rather to hare meant, the state 
of a lover ; that dalliance, in which he who courts or wooes a lady 
is sometimes indulged. This appears clearly from the subse- 
quent lines : 

" they may seize 

" On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand, 

" And steal immortal blessing from her lips ; 

" Fliet may do this." MALONE. 

1 Who, even in pure and vestal modesty, ~\ This and the next 
line are not in the first copy. MALONE. 

* But Romeo may not; he is banished:'] This line has been 
very aukwardly introduced in the modern as well as ancient 
copies, and might better be inserted after their own kisses tin. 


This line, in the original copy, immediately follows " And 
teal immortal blessing from her lips." The two lines, Who, 
even, &c. were added in the copy of 1599, and arc merely paren- 
thetical : the line therefore, But Romeo may not ; &c. undoubt- 
edly ought to follow those two lines. By mistake, in the copy 
of 1.599, it was inserted lowtT down, after is not death. 


J They are free men, but I am banished. 

And say'sf thou yet, that exile is not death f] These two 
lines are not in the original copy. MALONE. 


Being a divine, a ghostly confessor, 
A sin-absolver, and my friend profess'd, 
To mangle me with that word banishment ? 

FRI. Thou fond mad man, hear me but speak a 
word. 4 

ROM. O, thou wilt speak again of banishment. 

FRI. I'll give thee armour to keep off that word; 
Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy, 
To comfort thee, though thou art banished. 5 

ROM. Yet banished ? Hang up philosophy ! 
Unless philosophy can make a Juliet, 
Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom ; 
It helps not, it prevails not, talk no more. 

FRI. O, then I see that madmen have no ears. 

ROM. How should they, when that wise men 
have no eyes ? 

FRI. Let me dispute with thee of thy estate. 6 

4 Thou^/owc? mad man, hear, me but speak a word.] So the 
quarto, 1597. The quartos 1599 and 1609 read: 
Then fond mad man, hear me a little speak. 
The folio : 

Then fond mad man, hear me speak. MALONE. 

* Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy, 

To comfort thee, though thou art banished.'] So, in Romeus 
and Juliet, the Friar says 

" Virtue is always thrall to troubles and annoy, 
" But wisdom in adversity finds cause of quiet joy." 
See also Lyly's Euphues, 1580 : " Thou sayest banishment is 
better to the freeborne. There be many meates which are sowre 
in the mouth and sharp in the maw ; but if thou mingle them 
with sweet sawces, they yeeld both a pleasant taste and whole- 
some nourishment. I speake this to this end ; that though thy 
exile seeme grievous to thee, yet guiding thyselfe with the rules 
of philosophy, it shall be more tolerable." MALONE. 

Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.~\ The same phrase, 
and with the same meaning, occurs in The Winter's Tale : 

sc. in. ROMEO AND JULIET. 161 

ROM. Thou canst not speak of what thou dost 

not feel : 

Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love, 7 
An hour but married, Tybalt murdered, 
Doting like me, and like me banished, 
Then might'st thou speak, then might'st thou tear 

thy hair, 8 

And fall upon the ground, as I do now, 
Taking the measure of an unmade grave. 

FBI. Arise ; one knocks ; good Romeo, hide 
thyself. [Knocking within. 

ROM. Not I ; unless the breath of heart-sick 

Mist-like, infold me from the search of eyes. 


FBI. Hark, how they knock ! Who's there ? 

Romeo, arise ; 
Thou wilt be taken : Stay a while : stand up ; 

Run to my study : By and by : God's will ! 

" can he speak ? hear ? 

" Know man from man ? dispute his o'von estate?" 
i. e. is he able to talk over his own affairs, or the present state 
he is in ? STEEVENS. 

1 Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,} Thus the original 
copy ; for which in the folio we have 

Wert thou as young as Juliet my love. 

I only mention this to show the very high value of the early 
quarto editions. MAI.OXB. 

* then might'st thou tear thy hair,"] So, in the poem : 

" These heavy tidings heard, his golden locks he tare, 
" And like a frantick man hath torn the garments that 

he ware. 

" He riscth oft, and Btrikes his head against the walls : 
" He falleth down again, and 'loud for hasty death lie 

calls." MA LONE. 


What wilfulness* in this ? I come, I come. 


Who knocks so hard ? whence come you ? what's 
your will ? 

NURSE. [Within.'] Let me come in, and you 

shall know my errand ; 
I come from lady Juliet. 

FRI. Welcome then. 

Enter Nurse. 

NURSE. O holy friar, O, tell me, holy friar, 
Where is my lady's lord, where's Romeo ? 

FRI. There on the ground, with his own tears 
made drunk. 

NURSE. O, he is even in my mistress* case, 
Just in her case ! 

FRI. O woeful sympathy ! 

Piteous predicament! 1 

NURSE. Even so lies she, 

Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubber- 

Stand up, stand up ; stand, an you be a man : 
For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand ; 
Why should you fall into so deep an O ? 

ROM. Nurse! 

What wilfulness ] Thus the quarto 1597. That of 1599, 
and the folio, have What simpleness. MALONE. 

1 O woeful sympathy ! 

Piteous predicament!] The old copies give these words to 
the Nurse. One may wonder the editors did not see that such 
language must necessarily belong to the Friar. FARMER. 

Dr. Farmer's emendation may justly claim that place in the 
text to which I have now advanced it. STEEVENS. 

sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 163 

NURSE. Ah sir ! ah sir ! Well, death's the end 
of all. 

ROM. Spak'st thou of Juliet ? how is it with her ? 
Doth she not think me an old murderer, 
Now I have stain'd the childhood of our joy 
With blood remov'd but little from her own ? 
Where is she ? and how doth she ? and what says 
My conceaPd lady to our cancell'd love ?* 

NURSE. O, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and 

weeps ; 

And now falls on her bed ; and then starts up, 
And Tybalt calls ; and then on Romeo cries, 
And then down falls again. 

ROM. As if that name, 

Shot from the deadly level of a gun, 
Did murder her ; as that name's cursed hand 
Murder'd her kinsman. O tell me, friar, tell me, 
In what vile part of this anatomy 
Doth my name lodge ? tell me, that I may sack 
The hateful mansion. [Drawing fiis Sword. 

FRI. Hold thy desperate hand : 

Art thou a man ? thy form cries out, thou art ; 
Thy tears are womanish ; 3 thy wild acts denote 

* cancell'd hoe ?] The folio reads concealed love. 

The quarto, cancell'd love. STEEVEHS. 

The epithet concealed is to be understood, not of the person, 
but of the condition of the lady. So, that the sense is, my lady, 
whose being so, together with our marriage which made her so, 
is concealed from the world. HEATH. 

1 Art thou a man f thy form cries out, thou art ; 

Thy tears are womanish ; ] Shukspuare has here cloudy fol- 
lowed his original: 

" Art thou, quoth he, a man f thy shape saith, to thou 

art i 

" Thy crying and thy weeping eyes denote a tooman's 

M 2 


\ % 

,The unreasonable fury of a beast : 
Unseemly woman, 4 in a seeming man ! 
Or ill-beseeming beast, in seeming both ! 
Thou hast amaz'd me : by my holy-order,* 
I thought thy disposition better temper'd. 
Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself? 
And slay thy lady too that lives in thee, 5 
By doing damned hate upon thyself? 
Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and 
earth? 6 

lt For manly reason is quite from off thy mind outchased, 
" And in her stead affections lewd, and fancies highly 

placed ; 

'* So that I stood in doubt, this hour at the least, 
" If thou a man or woman inert, or else a brutisk beast." 
fragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562. 


4 Unseemly woman, &c.] Thou art a beast of ill qualities, 
under the appearance both of a "woman and a man. JOHNSON. 

A person who seemed both man and woman, would be a 
monster, and of course an ill-beseeming beast. This is all the 
Friar meant to express. M. MASON. 

3 And slay thy lady too that lives in thee,'] Thus the first copy. 
The quarto 1599, and the folio, have 

And slay thy lady, that in thy life lives. MALONE. 

My copy of the first folio reads : 

And slay thy lady that in thy life lies. STEEVENS. 

6 Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth ?~] Romeo 
has not here railed on his birth, &c. though in his interview with 
the Friar as described in the poem, he is made to do so : 
" First Nature did he blame, the author of his life, 
" In which his joys had been so scant, and sorrows aye 

so rife ; 

" The time and place of birth he fiercely did reprove ; 
'* He cryed outwith open mouth against the starsabove. 
" On fortune eke he rail'd." 

Shakspeare copied the remonstrance of the Friar, without re- 
viewing the former part of his scene. He has in other places 
fallen into a similar inaccuracy, by sometimes following and 
sometimes deserting his original. 

sc. in. ROMEO AND JULIET. 165 

Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three do 


In thee at once ; which thou at once would'st lose. 
Fye,fye! thou sham'st thyshape, thy love, thy wit ; 
Which, like an usurer, abound'st in all, 
And usest none in that true use indeed 
Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit. 
Thy noble shape is but a form of wax, 
Digressing from the valour of a man : 7 
Thy dear love, sworn, but hollow perjury, 
Killing that love which thou hast vow'd to cherish : 
Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love, 
Mis-shapen in the conduct of them both, 
Like powder in a skill-less soldier's flask, 8 
Is set on fire by thine own ignorance, 
And thou dismember'd with thine own defence. 9 
What, rouse thee, man ! thy Juliet is alive, 
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead j 

The lines, Why rail'st thou, &c, to thy own defence, are not 

in the first copy. They are formed on a passage in the poem : 

" Why cry st thou out on love? why dost thou biame thy fate? 

" Why dost thou so cry after death ? thy life why dost thou 

hate ?" &c. MALONE. 

' Digressing from the valour of a man:'] So, in the 21th 
Book of Homer's Odyssey, as translated by Chapman : 

" my deservings shall in nought digress 

" From best fame of our race's foremost merit." 


* Like powder in a skill-less soldier's Jlask, &c.] To under- 
stand the force of this allusion, it should be remembered that the 
ancient English soldiers, using malc/i-locks, instead of locks with 
Hints as at present, were obliged to carry a lighted match hang- 
ing at their belts, very near to the wooden Jlask in which they 
kept their powder. The same allusion occurs in Humour's Ordi- 
.nary, an old collection of English epigrams : 

" When she his fldi>k and touch-box set on fire, 

" And till this, hour the burning is not out." STEEVENS- 

9 And thou dixmembtr'd \vilh thine, own defence.'} And thou 
torn to pieces with thine own weapons. JOHNSON. 


There art thou happy : Tybalt would kill thee, 
But thou slew'st Tybalt ; tnere art thou happy too : 1 
The law, that threaten* d death, becomes thyfriend, 
And turns it to exile ; there art thou happy : 
A pack of blessings lights upon thy back ; 
Happiness courts thee in her best array ; 
But, like a mis-behav'd and sullen wench, 
Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love : * 
Take need, take heed, for such die miserable. 
Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed, 
Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her ; 
But, look, thou stay not till the watch be set, 
For then thou canst not pass to Mantua ; 
Where thou shalt live, till we can find a time 
To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends, 
Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back 

1 there art thou happy too :] Thus the first quarto. In 

the subsequent quartos and the folio too is omitted. MALONE. 

It should not be concealed, that the reading of the second Jblio 
corresponds with that of the first quarto : 

there art thou happy too. STEEVENS. 

The word is omitted in all the intermediate editions ; a suffi- 
cient proof that the emendations of that folio are not always the 
result of ignorance or caprice. RITSON. 

4 Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love:'] The quarto, 
1599, and 1609, read: 

Thou puts up thy fortune and thy love. 
The editor of the folio endeavoured to correct this by reading : 

Thou puttest up thy fortune and thy love. 
The undated quarto has powts, which, with the aid of the 
original copy in 1597, pointed out the true reading. There the 
line stands : 

Thou frown'st upon thy fate ', that smiles on thee. 


The reading in the text is confirmed by the following passage 
in Coriolanus : 

" then 

' We pout upon the morning, ." 
See Vol. XVI. p. 214. STEEVENS. 

sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 167 

With twenty hundred thousand times more joy 
Than thou went'st forth in lamentation. 
Go before, nurse : commend me to thy lady ; 
And bid her hasten all the house to bed, 
Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto : 
Romeo is coming. 3 

NURSE. O Lord, I could have staid here all the 


To hear good counsel : O, what learning is ! * 
My lord, I'll tell my lady you will come. 

ROM. Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide. 

NURSE. Here, sir, a ring she bid me give* you, 

Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late. 

[Exit Nurse. 

ROM. How well my comfort is reviv'd by this ! 

FRI. Go hence : Good night; 4 and here stands 

all your state ; 5 

Either be gone before the watch be set, 
Or by the break of day disguis'd from hence : 
Sojourn in Mantua ; I'll find out your man, 
And he shall signify from time to time 
Every good hap to you, that chances here : 
Give me thy hand ; 'tis late: farewell ; good night. 

ROM. But that a joy past joy calls out on me, 
It were a grief, so brief to part with thee : 
Farewell. \_Exeunt. 

3 Romeo is coming.'] Much of this speech has likewise been 
added since the first edition. STEEVENS. 

4 Go hence : Good night ; &c.] These three lines are omitted 
in all the modern editions. JOHNSON. 

They were first omitted, with many others, by Mr. Pope. 


' here stands aU your ttate ;] The whole of your for- 
tune depends on this. JOHNSON. 



A Room in Capulet's House. 


CAP. Things have fallen out, sir, so unluckily, 
That we have had no time to move our daughter: 
Look you, she lov'd her kinsman Tybalt dearly, 
And so did I ; Well, we were born to die. 

J Tis very late, she'll not come down to-night : 

T i- .,_ r 

1 promise you, but tor your company, 

I would have been a-bed an hour ago. 

PAR. These times of woe afford no time to woo : 
Madam, good night : commend me to your daugh- 

LA. CAP. I will, and know her mind early to- 
morrow ; 
To-night she's mew'd up 7 to her heaviness. 

6 SCENE 7F.] Some few unnecessary verses are omitted in 
this scene according to the oldest editions. POPE. 

Mr. Pope means, as appears from his edition, that he has fol- 
lowed the oldest copy, and omittedsome unnecessary verses which 
are not found there, but inserted in the enlarged copy of this 
play. But he has expressed himself so loosely, as to have been 
misunderstood by Mr. Steevens. In the text these unnecessary 
verses, as Mr. Pope calls them, are preserved, conformably to 
the enlarged copy of 1599. MALONE. 

7 mew'd up ] This is a phrase from falconry. A mew 

was a place of confinement for hawks. So, in Albumazar y 1614 ; 

" fully metv'd 

" From brown soar feathers ; ." 
Again, in our author's King Richard HI: 

And, for his meed, poor lord he is mew'd up." 


sc. iv. ROMEO AND JULIET. 169 

CAP. Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender 
Of my child's love : 8 I think, she will be rul'd 
In all respects by me ; nay more, I doubt it not. 
Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed ; 
Acquaint her here of my son Paris' love ; 
And bid her, mark you me, on Wednesday next 
But, soft ; What day is this ? 

PAR. Monday, my lord. 

CAP. Monday? ha! ha! Well, Wednesday is 

too soon, 

O' Thursday let it be ; o' Thursday, tell her, 
She shall be married to this noble earl : 
Will you be ready ? do you like this haste ? 
We'll keep no great ado; a friend, or two : 
For hark you, Tybalt being slain so late, 
It may be thought we held him carelessly, 
Being our kinsman, if we revel much : 
Therefore we'll have some half a dozen friends, 
And there an end. But what say you to Thurs- 
day ? 

PAR. My lord, I would that Thursday were to- 

CAP. Well, get you gone : O' Thursday be it 

then : 

Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed, 
Prepare her, wife, against this wedding-day. 
Farewell, my lord. Light to my chamber, ho ! 
Afore me, it is so very late, that we 
May call it early by and by : Good night. 


8 Sir Paru, I will make a desperate tender 

Oj 'my child'g love:"] Desperate means only bold, advent H- 
rous y as if he had .-aid in the vulgar phrase, / will speak a bold 
Mxtrd, and venture to promise you my daughter. JOHNSON. 
So, in The. Weakest goes to the WaU> 1600 : 

" Witness this desperate tender of mine honour." 



I ' "l I ^4 


Juliet's Chamber. 9 
Enter ROMEO and JULIET. 

JUL. Wilt thou be gone ? it is not yet near day: * 
It was the nightingale, and not the lark, 

SCENE V. Juliet's Chamber.'] The stage-direction in the 
first edition is " Enter Romeo and Juliet, at a window." In 
the second quarto, " Enter Romeo and Juliet aloft." They ap- 
peared probably in the balcony which was erected on the old 
English stage. See The Account of the Ancient Theatres in 

1 Wilt thou be gone ? it is not yet near day : &c.] This scene 
is formed on the following hints in the poem of Romeus and Ju- 
liet, 1562: 

" The golden sun was gone to lodge him in the west, 
" The full moon eke in yonder south had sent most men 

to rest ; 

" When restless Romeus and restless Juliet, 
" In wonted sort, by wonted mean, in Juliet's chamber 
met, &c. 

* * * 

" Thus these two lovers pass away the weary night 

" In pain, and plaint, not, as they wont, in pleasure and 

delight. . 

" But now, somewhat too soon, in farthest east arose 
" Fair Lucifer, the golden star that lady Venus chose ; 
" Whose course appointed is with speedy race to run, 
" A messenger of dawning day and of the rising sun. 
" When thou ne lookest wide, ne closely dost thou wink, 
" When Phrebus from our hemisphere in western wave 

doth sink, 

" What colour then the heavens do show unto thine eyes, 
" The same, or like, saw Romeus in farthest eastern skies : 
" As yet he saw no day, ne could he call it night, 
** With equal force decreasing dark fought with increas- 
ing light. 

ac. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 171 

That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear ; 
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree: 2 
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale. 

ROM. It was the lark, the herald of the morn, 
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks 
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east : 
Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day 
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops ; 
I must be gone and live, or stay and die. 

JUL. Yon light is not day-light, I know it, I : 
It is some meteor that the sun exhales, 
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer, 
And light thee on thy way to Mantua : s 
Therefore stay yet, thou need'st not to be gone* 

*' Then Romeus in arms his lady gan to fold, 
** With friendly kiss, and ruthfully she 'gan her knight 
behold." MALONE. 

* Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree .] This is not 
merely a poetical supposition. It is observed of the nightingale, 
that, if undisturbed, she sits and sings upon the same tree for 
many weeks together. 

What EusUithius, however, has observed relative to a. jig-tree 
mentioned by Homer, in his 12th Odyssey, may be applied to 
the passage before us : " These particularities, which seem of 
no consequence, have a very good effect in poetry, as they give 
the relation an air of truth and probability. For what can in- 
duce a poet to mention such a tree, if the tree were not there 
in reality ?" STEEVENS. 

' // it some meteor that the sun exhales, 
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer, 
And light thee on thy tvay ] Compare Sidney's Arcadia, 
13th edit. p. 109: " The moon, then full, (not thinking scorn 
to be a torch-bearer to such beauty) guided ner steps." 
And Sir J. Davies's Orchestra, 1596, st. vii. of the sun : 
" When the great torch-bearer of heauen was gone 
" Downe in a maske unto the Ocean's court." 
And Drayton's Eng. Heroic. Kpist. p. '221, where the moon 
described with the sura 

" Attending on her, as her torch-bearers." TODD. 


ROM. Let me be ta'en, let me be put to death j 
I am content, so thou wilt have it so. 
I'll say, yon grey is not the morning's eye, 
J Tis but the pale reflex 4 of Cynthia's brow ; 
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat 
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads : 
I have more care to stay, than will to go ; 5 
Come, death, and welcome ! Juliet wills it so. 
How is't, my soul ? let's talk, it is not day. 

JUL. It is, it is, hie hence, be gone, away ; 
It is the lark that sings so out of tune, 
Straining harsh discords, arid unpleasing sharps. 
Some say, the lark makes sweet division ; 6 
This doth not so, for she divideth us : 
Some say, the lark and loathed toad change eyes ; 
O, now I would they had chang'd voices too !' 


4 the pale reflex ] The appearance of a cloud opposed 

to the moon. JOHNSON. 

* / have more care to stay, than 'will to go;~\ Would it not be 
better thus / have more ivill to stay, than care to go ? 


Care was frequently used in Shakspeare's age for inclination. 


. stveet division;] Division seems to have been the 

technical phrase for the pauses or parts of a musical composi- 
tion. So, in King Henry IF. P. I: 

" Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower, 

" With ravishing division to her lute." 
To run a division, is also a musical term. STEEVENS. 

7 Some say, the lark and loathed toad change eyes ; 

O, noto I tvould they had chang'd voices too /] I wish the 
lark and toad had changed voices ; for then the noise which I 
hear would be that of the toad, not of the lark: it would con- 
sequently be evening, at which time the toad croaks ; not morn- 
ing, when the lark sings ; and we should not be under the ne- 
cessity of separation. A. C. 

If the toad and lark had changed voices, the unnatural croak 
of the latter would have been no indication of the appearance 

sc. v. ROMEO AND JULIET. i?s 

Since arm from arm 8 that voice doth us affray, 
Hunting thee hence with hunts-up to the day. 9 

of day, and consequently no signal for her lover's departure. 
This is apparently die aim and purpose of Juliet's wish. HEATH. 

The toad having very fine eyes, and the lark very ugly ones, 
was the occasion of a common saying amongst the people, that 
the toad and lark had changed eyes. To this the speaker alludes. 


This tradition of the toad and lark I have heard expressed in 
a rustick rhyme : 

" To heav'n I'd fly, 

" But that the toad beguil'd me of mine eye." JOHNSON. 
Read chang'J eyes. M. MASON. 

8 Since arm from arm &c.] These two lines are omitted in 
the modern editions, and do not deserve to be replaced, but as 
they may show the danger of critical temerity. Dr. Warburton's 
change of / would to / u-ot was specious enough, yet it is evi- 
dently erroneous. The sense is this : The lark, they say, has 
lost her eyes to the toad, and nova I would the toad had her voice 
too, since she uses it to the disturbance of lovers. JOHNSON. 

9 Hunting thee hence tvi(h hunts-up to the day.~\ The hunts- 
up was the name of the tune anciently played to wake the 
hunters, and collect them together. So, in The Returnfront 
Parnassus, 1606: 

" Yet will I play a hunts-up to my Muse." 
Again, in the piny of Orlando Furio~o, 1594- and 1590: 
" To play him huniiup with a point of war, 
" I'll Denis minstrell with my drum and fife." 
Again, in Weshcard Hoe, lf>07: 

- Make a noise, its no matter ; any huntsup to 

waken vice." 
Again, in Drayton's Polyolbion t Song 13th: 

" But hunls-up to the morn the fcather'd sy Ivans sing." 


Tottenham, in his Art of English /Vxvry, l.W), speaking of 
one (Jr;iy, says, " what good estimation did he f^row into with 
king Henry [the Kighth] and afterwards with the duke of So- 
merset protectour, for making certainu merry ballads, whereof 
one chiefly was The Ilunte is up, the Ilnnte is /j." RITSON. 

A huntsup also signified a morning song to a new-married 
woman, the day after her marriage, and is certainly used here in 
that sense. See Cotgrave's Dictionary, iu v. Resveil. MALO.VE. 


O, now be gone ; more light and light it grows. 
ROM. More light and light? more dark and 
dark our woes. 

Enter Nurse. 

NURSE. Madam! 
JUL. Nurse ? 

NURSE. Your lady mother's coming to your 

chamber : 
The day is broke ; be wary, look about. 

[Exit Nurse. 

JUL. Then, window, let day in, and let life out. 

ROM. Farewell, farewell ! one kiss, and I'll de- 
scend. [ROMEO descends. 

JUL. Art thou gone so ? my love ! my lord ! 

my friend ! l 

I must hear from thee every day i'the hour, 
For in a minute there are many days : 
O ! by this count I shall be much in years, 
Ere I again behold my Romeo. 2 

ROM. Farewell ! I will omit no opportunity 
That may convey my greetings, love, to thee. 

JUL. O, think'st thou, we shall ever meet again ? 
ROM. I doubt it not ; and all these woes shall 

l Arf thou gone so ? my love ! my lord! my friend!] Thus the 
quarto, 1597. That of 1599, and the folio, read : 

Art thou gone so ? love, lord, ay husband, friend! 


* O! by this count I shall be much in years, 
Ere / again behold my Romeo."] 

" Ilia ego, quae fueram te decedente puella, 
" Protinus ut redeas, facta videbor anus." 

Ovid, Epist. /. STEEVENS. 

5t7. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 175 

For sweet discourses in our time to come. 

JUL. O God! I have an ill-divining soul : s 
Methinks, I see thee, now thou art below, 
As one dead 4 in the bottom of a tomb : 
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale. 

ROM. And trust me, love, in my eye so do you: 
Dry sorrow drinks our blood. 5 Adieu ! adieu ! 

[Exit ROMEO. 

JUL. O fortune, fortune ! all men call thee fickle: 
If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him 

1 O God ! I have an ill-divining soul : &c.] This miserable 
prescience of futurity I have always regarded as a circumstance 
particularly beautiful. The same kind of warning from the 
mind, Romeo seems to have been conscious of, on his going to 
the entertainment at the house of Capulet : 

* my mind misgives, 

" Some consequence yet hanging in the stars, 

" Shall bitterly begin his fearful date 

" From this night's revels." STEEVENS. 

* God! I have an ill-divining soul: 
Met It inks t I see thee, note thou art below. 

As one dead 3 So, in our author's Venus and Adonis: 
" The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed ; 
M And fear doth teach it divination ; 
** I prophecy thy death.'* 

The reading of tne text is that of the quarto, 1597. That of 
1599, and the folio, read now thou art so low. MA LONE. 

* Dry sorrow drinks our blood.~\ This is an allusion to the 
proverb " Sorrow's dry." 

Chapman, in his version of the seventeenth Iliad, says 

* their harts 

" Drunk from their faces all their blouds ; ." 


He is accounting for their paleness. It was an ancient notion 
that sorrow consumed the blood, and shortened life. Hence, in 
The Third Part of King Henry VI. we have " blood-sucking 
light." MA LONE. 

See Vol. XVIII. p. 81 1, n. 4-. STEEVENS. 


That is renown'd for faith ? 6 Be fickle, fortune ; 
For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long, 
But send him back. 

LA. CAP. \_Within.~] Ho, daughter ! 'are you up ? 

JUL. Who is'tthat calls? is it my lady mother? 
Is she not down so late, or up so early ? 7 
What unaccustom'd cause procures her hither ? 8 

Enter Lady CAPULET. 

LA. CAP. Why, how now, Juliet ? 

JUL. Madam, I am not well. 

LA. CAP. Evermore weeping for your cousin's 
death ? 9 

6 That is renown d for faith ?~\ This Romeo, so renowned for 
faith, was but the day before dying for love of another woman : 

yet this is natural. Romeo was the darling object of Juliet's 
love, and Romeo was, of course, to have every excellence. 


7 Is she not down so late, or up so early?~\ Is she not laid 
down in her bed at so late an hour as this ? or rather is she risen 
from bed at so early an hour of the morn ? MA LONE. 

' procures her hither?] Procures for brings. 


9 Evermore Keeping for your cousin's death? &c.] So, in The 
Tragicall Hy story of Romeus and Juliet, 1562 : 

. " . time it is that now you should our Tybalt's death 

" Of whom since God hath claim'd the life that was but 

" He is in bliss, ne is there cause why you should thus 

lament : 
" You cannot call him back with tears and shriekings 

shrill ; 
" It is a fault thus still to grudge at God's appointed 

will." MALONE. 

So, full as appositely, in Painter's Novel : " Thinke no more 
upon the death of your cousin Thibault, whom do you thinks to 
revoke with teares?" &c. STEEVENS. 

sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 177 

What, wilt thou wash him from his grave with 

tears ? 
An if thou could'st, thou could'st not make him 

Therefore, have done : Some grief shows much of 

love j 
But much of grief shows still some want of wit. 

JUL. Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss. 

LA. CAP. So shall you feel the loss, but not the 

Which you weep for. 

JUL. Feeling so the loss, 

I cannot choose but ever weep the friend. 

LA. CAP. Well, girl, thou weep'st not so much 

for his death, 
As that the villain lives which slaughter' d him. 

JUL. What villain, madam ? 

LA. CAP. That same villain, Romeo. 

JUL. Villain and he are many miles asunder. 
God pardon him ! l I do, with all my heart j 
And yet no man, like he, doth grieve my heart. 

LA. CAP. That is, because the traitor murderer 

JUL. Ay, madam, from 2 the reach of these my 

'Would, none but I might venge my cousin's death ! 

LA. CAP. We will have vengeance for it, fear 
thou not : 

1 God pardon him !] The word him, which was inadvertently 
emitted in the old copies, was inserted by the editor of the se- 
cond folio. MA LONE. 

* Ay, madam, from &c.] Juliet's equivocations are rather too 
rtful for a mind disturbed by the loss of a new lover. JOHNSON. 



Then weep no more. I'll send to one in Mantua, 
Where that same banish'd runagate doth live, 
That shall bestow on him so sure a draught, 3 
That he shall soon keep Tybalt company : 
And then, I hope, thou wilt be satisfied. 

JUL. Indeed, I never shall be satisfied 
With Romeo, till I behold him dead 
Is my poor heart so for a kinsman vex'd : 
Madam, if you could find out but a man 
To bear a poison, I would temper it ; 
That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof, 
Soon sleep in quiet. O, how my heart abhors 
To hear him nam'd, and cannot come to him, 
To wreak the love I bore my cousin Tybalt 4 
Upon his body that hath slaughtered him ! 

3 That shall bestoiu on him so sure a draught,"] Thus the 
elder quarto, which I have followed in preference to the quartos 
1599 and 1609, and the folio, 1623, which read, less intelli- 

Shall give him such an unaccustomed dram. 


The elder quarto has That should &c. The word shall is 
drawn from that of 1599. MALONE. 

unaccustom'd dram,"] In vulgar language, Shall give him 

a dram which he is not used to. Though I have, if I mistake 
not, observed, that in old books unaccustomed signifies ivonder- 
July powerful, efficacious. JOHNSON. 

I believe Dr. Johnson's first explanation is the true one. Bar- 
naby Googe, in his Cupido Conquered, 1563, uses unacquainted 
in the same sense : 

" And ever as we mounted up, 
" I lookte upon my wynges, 
" And prowde I was, me thought, to see 
" Suche unacquaynted thyngs." STEEVEHS. 

4 my cousin Tybalt ] The last word of this line, which 

is not in the old copie's, was added by the editor of the second 
folio. MAIONE. 

sc. v. ROMEO AND JULIET. 179 

LA. CAP. Find thou 5 the means, and I'll find 

such a man. 
But now 1*11 tell thee joyful tidings, girl. 

JUL. And joy comes well in such a needful time: 
What are they, I beseech your ladyship ? 

LA. CAP. Well, well, thou hast a careful father, 

child ; 

One, who, to put thee from thy heaviness, 
Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy, 
That thou expect'st not, nor I look'd not for. 

JUL. Madam, in happy time, 6 what day is that ? 

LA. CAP. Marry, my child, early next Thursday 


The gallant, young, and noble gentleman, 
The county Paris, 7 at Saint Peter's church, 

* Find thou &c.] This line in the quarto 1597, is given to 
Juliet. STEEVENS. 

in happy time,"] A la bonne heure. This phrase was 

interjected, when the hearer was not quite so well pleased as 
the speaker. JOHNSON. 

' The county Paris,] It is remarked, that " Paris, though in 
one place called Earl, is most commonly stiled the Cotiniie in 
this play. Shakspeare seems to have preferred, for some reason 
or other, the Italian Comte to our Count: perhaps he took it 
from the old English novel, from which he is said to have taken 
his plot." He certainly did so: Paris is there first stiled a 
young Earle, and nftewards Counfe, Countce, County ; accord- 
ing to the unsettled orthography of the time. 

The word, however, is frequently met with in other writers ; 
particularly in Fairfax : 

" As when a captaine doth besiege Rome hold, 

Set in a marish, or high on a hill, 
' And trieth waies and wiles a thousand fold, 
" To bring the place subjected to his will ; 
" So far'd the Countie with the Pagan bold," &c. 

Codfrfy of JiullvigHe, Book VII. Stanza 90. 

See p. 56-57, n. 5. M ALONE. 

X 2 


Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride. 

JUL. Now,by Saint Peter's church, and Peter too, 
He shall not make me there a joyful bride. 
I wonder at this haste ; that I must wed 1 
Ere he, that should be husband, comes to woo. 
I pray you, tell my lord and father, madam, 
I will not marry yet ; and, when I do, I swear, 
It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, 
Rather than Paris : These are news indeed ! 

LA. CAP. Here comes your father ; tell him so 

And see how he will take it at your hands. 

Enter CAPULET and Nurse. 

CAP. When the sun sets, the air doth drizzle 
dew; 8 

* When the sun sets, the air doth drizzle dff(x>;~\ Thus the 
undated quarto. The quarto 1599, and the folio, read the 
earth doth drizzle dew. The line is not in the original copy. 

The reading of the quarto 1599, and the folio, is philosophi- 
cally true ; and perhaps ought to be preferred. Dew undoubt- 
edly rises from the earth, in consequence of the action of the 
heat of the sun on its moist surface. Those vapours which rise 
from the earth in the course of the day, are evaporated by the 
warmth of the air as soon as they arise ; but those which rise 
after sun-set, form themselves into drops, or rather into that fog 
or mist which is termed dew. 

Though, with the modern editors, I have followed the undated 
quarto, and printed the air doth drizzle dew, I suspected when 
this note was written, that earth was the poet's word, and a line 
in The Rape ofLucrece, strongly supports that reading : 

" But as the earth doth weep, the sun being set, ." 


When our author, in A Midsummer- Night's Dream, says: 
" And when she [the moon] weeps, tveeps every little flower ;'* 
he only means that every little flower is moistened with dew, as 
if with tears ; and not that the flower itself drizzles dew. This 
passage sufficiently explains how the earth, in the quotation 
from The Rape ofLucrece, may be said to weep. STEEVENS. 

sc. v. ROMEO AND JULIET. 181 

But for the sunset of my brother's son, 

It rains downright. 

How now? a conduit, girl ? what, still in tears? 9 

Evermore showering ? In one little body 

Thou counterfeit' st a bark, a sea, a wind : 

For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea, 

Do ebb and flow with tears ; the bark thy body is, 

Sailing in this salt flood ; the winds, thy sighs ; 

Who, raging with thy tears, and they with them, 

Without a sudden calm, will overset 

Thy tempest-tossed body. How now, wife ? 

Have you deliver'd to her our decree ? 

LA. CAP. Ay, sir ; but she will none, she gives 

you thanks. 
I would, the fool were married to her grave ! 

That Shakspeare thought it was the air and not the earth 
that drizzled dew, is evident from other passages. So, in King 
John : 

" Before the dew of evening fall" 
Again, in King Henry VIII: 

" His dews Jail every where.'* 
Again, in the same play : 

" The dews of heaven Jail thick in blessings on her." 
Again, in Hamlet: 

" Dews of blood fell." RITSON. 

9 How now? a conduit, girl? what, still in tears?"] In 
Thomas Heywood's Troia firitannica, cant. ii. St. 4O, 1609, 
there is the same allusion : 

" You should not let such high-priz'd rnoysture fall, 
" Which from your hart your conduit-eyes distill." 


Conduits in the form of human figures, it has been already 
observed, were common in Shakspeare's time. See Vol. IX. 
p. 401, n. 9. 

We have again the same image in The Rape ofLucrcce: 
" A pretty while these pretty creatures stand, 
" Like ivory conduits coral cisterns filling." MALONE. 


CAP. Soft, take me with you, take me with you, 


How ! will she none? doth she not give us thanks ? 
Is she not proud ? doth she not count her bless'd, 
Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought 
So worthy a gentleman to be her bridegroom ? 

JUL. Not proud, you have ; but thankful, that 

you have : 

Proud can I never be of what I hate ; 
But thankful even for hate, that is meant love. 

CAP. How now ! how now, chop-logick ! * What 

is this ? 

Proud, and, I thank you, and, I thank you not; 
And yet not proud ; 3 Mistress minion, you, 
Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds, 
But settle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next, 
To go with Paris to Saint Peter's church, 
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. 
Out, you green-sickness carrion ! out, you baggage ! 
You tallow face! 3 

1 chop-logick /] This term, which hitherto has been di- 
vided into two words, I have given as one, it being, as I learn 
from The xxiiii Orders of Knaves, bl. 1. no date, a nick-name : 
" Choplogyk is he that whan his mayster rebuketh his servaunt 
for his defawtes, he wijl gyve hym xx wordes for one, or elles 
he wyll bydde the deuylles pater noster in scylence." 

In The Contention betivyxte Churchyeard and Camell &c. 
1560, this word also occurs: 

" But you wyl choplogyck 

" And be Bee-to-busse," &c. STEEVENS. 

* And yet not proud; &e.] This line is wanting in the folio. 

3 " .. out, you Baggage ! 

You tallotv^face .'J Such was the indelicacy of the age of 
Shakspeare,that authors were not contented only to employ these 
terms of abuse in their own original performances, but even felt 
no reluctance to introduce them in their versions of the most 
chaste and elegant of the Greek or Roman Poets. Stanyhurst, 

sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 183 

LA. CAP. Fye, fye ! what, are you mad ? 

JUL. Good father, I beseech you on my knees, 
Hear me with patience but to speak a word. 

CAP. Hang thee, young baggage ! disobedient 

wretch ! 

I tell thee what, get thee to church 'Thursday, 
Or never after look me in the face : 
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me ; 
My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us 


That God had sent us 4 but this only child ; 
But now I see this one is one too much, 
And that we have a curse in having her : 
Out on her", hilding ! 

NURSE. God in heaven bless her ! 

You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so. 

CAP. And why, my lady wisdom ? hold your 

tongue, t 
Good prudence ; smatter with your gossips, go. 

NURSE. I speak no treason. 

CAP. O, God ye good den ! 

NURSE. May not one speak ? 

CAP. Peace, you mumbling fool ! 

Utter your gravity o'er a gossip's bowl, 
For here we need it not. 

LA. CAP. You are too hot. 

the translator of Virpil, in 1582, makes Dido call ^Encas 
hedgrbrat, cullion, and tar-breech, in the course of one speech. 

Nay, in the Interlude of The Repentance nf Mary Magdalene, 
1567, Mary Magdalen says to one of her attendants: 

** Horcson, I beshrowe your heart, are you here ?" 


4 had sent t ] So the first quarto, 1597. The sub- 
sequent ancient copies read had lent us. MALONE. 


CAP. God's bread! it makes me mad: 5 Day, 

night, late, early, 

At home, abroad, alone, in company, 
Waking, or sleeping, still my care hath been 
To have her match'd : and having now provided 
A gentleman of princely parentage, 
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train'd, 
Stuff'd (as they say,) with honourable parts, 
Proportioned as one's heart could wish a man, 
And then to have a wretched puling fool, 
A whining mammet, in her fortune's tender, 
To answer /'// not wed, / cannot love* 

* God's bread! &c.] The first three lines of this speech are 
formed from the first quarto, and that of 1599, with which the 
folio concurs. The first copy reads : 

" God's blessed mother, wife, it makes me mad, 
" Day, night, early, late, at home, abroad, 
" Alone, in company, waking or sleeping, 
" Still my care hath been to see her match'd." 
The quarto, 1599, and the folio, read: 
" God's bread, it makes me mad. 
" Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play, 
" Alone, in company, still my care hath been 
" To have her match'd," fyc. MALONE. 

8 and having nota provided 

A gentleman of princely parentage, 

A whining mammet, in her fortune's tender, 
To answer I'll not wed, / cannot love,"] So, in Romeus 
and Juliet, 1562 : 

" Such care thy mother had, so dear thou wert to me, 
" That I with long and earnest suit provided have for thee 
** One of the greatest lords that wons about this town, 
" And for his many virtues' sake a man of great renown ; 

" and yet thou playest in this case 

" The dainty Jbol and stubborn girl ; for want of skill, 
** Thou dost refuse thy offer'd weal, and disobey my will. 
" Even by his strength I swear that first did give me life, 
" And gave me in my youth the strength to get thee on 
ray wife, 

tc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 185 

I am too young, I pray you, pardon me; 
But, an you will not wed, I'll pardon you : 
Graze where you will, you shall not house with me ; 
Look to't, think on't, I do not use to jest. 
Thursday is near ; lay hand on heart, advise : 
An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend ; 
An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die i' the streets, 
For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee, 

" Unless by Wednesday next thou bend as I am bent, 

'* And, at our castle call'd Freetown, thou freely do assent 

'* To county Paris* suit, 

" Not only will I give all that I have away, 

" From thee to those that shall me love, me honour and 


, " But also to so close and to so hard a gale 
" I shalJ thee wed for all thy life, that sure thou shall not 


" A thousand times a day to wish for sudden death : 
' Advise thee well, and say that thou art warned now, 
" And think not that I speak in sport, or mind to break 

my vow." 

There is a passage in an old play called Wily BeguiFd, so 
nearly resembling this, that one poet must have copied from the 
other. Wily BeguiFd was on the stage before 1596, being 
mentioned bv Nashe in his Have with you to Saffron Walden, 
printed in that year. In that play Gripe gives his daughter 
Lelia's hand to a suitor, which she plucks back ; on which her 
Nurse says : 

" She'll none, she thanks you, sir. 

*' Gripe. Will she none ? why, liov now, I say ? 

" What, you pouting, peevish thing, you untoward 

" Will you not be ruled by your father ? 

** Ha've^J ta'en care to bring you up to this f 

* And will you doe as you list? 

" Away, I Bay ; hang, starve, beg, be gone ; 

' Out of my sight ! pack, I say : 

" Thou ne'er get'st a pennyworth of my goods for this. 

" Think on't ; / do not use to jest: 

u Be gone, I say, 1 will not hear thee speake." 



Nor what is mine shall never do thee good : 
Trust to't, bethink you, I'll not be forsworn. [Exit. 

JUL. Is there no pity sitting in the clouds, 
That sees into the bottom of my grief? 7 
O, sweet my mother, cast me not away ! 
Delay this marriage for a month, a week ; 
Or, if you do not, make the bridal bed 
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies. 8 

LA* CAP. Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a 

word ; 
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee. \_Exit. 

JUL. O God ! O nurse ! how shall this be pre- 
vented ? 

My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven ; 
How shall that faith return again to earth, 
Unless that husband send it me from heaven 
By leaving earth ? comfort me, counsel me. 
Alack, alack, that heaven should practise stratagems 
Upon so soft a subject as myself! 
What say'st thou ? hast thou not a word of joy ? 
Some comfort, nurse. 

NURSE. 'Faith, here 'tis : Romeo 

Is banished ; and all the world to nothing, 
That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you ; 
Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth. 
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth, 

7 Is there no pity sitting in the clouds, 

That sees into the bottom of my grief ?~\ So, in King John, 
in two parts, 1591 : 

" Ah boy, thy yeeres, I see, are far too greene, 
*' To look into the bottom of these cares** MAI-ONE. 

8 In that dim monument &c.] The modern editors read dun 
monument. I have replaced dim from the old quarto, 1597, 
and the folio. STEEVENS. 

sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 187 

I think it best you married with the county. 9 
O, he's a lovely gentleman 1 
Romeo's a dishclout to him ; an eagle, madam, 
Hath not so green, 1 so quick, so fair an eye, 

' 'Faith, here 'tis: Romeo 
Is banished; and ail the world to nothing, 
That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you ; 
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth, 
I think it best you married with the county. ~] The character 
of the Nurse exhibits a just picture of those whose actions have 
no principles for their foundation. She has been unfaithful to 
die trust reposed in her by Capulet, and is ready to embrace 
any expedient that offers, to avert the consequences of her first 
infidelity. STEEVENS. 

This picture, however, is not an original. In The Tragical! 
Hystory of llomeus and Juliet, 1562", the Nurse exhibits the same 
readiness to accommodate herself to the present conjuncture : 
' The flattering nurse did praise the friar for his skill, 
" And said that she had done right well, by wit to order 

will ; 

" She setteth forth at large the father's furious rage, 
* And eke she praiseth much to her the second marriage ; 
" And county Paris now she praiseth ten times more 
" By wrong, that she herself by right had Romeus praisd 


" Paris shall dwell there still ; Romeus shall not return; 
" What shall it boot her all her life to languish still aud 
mourn?" MALONE. 

Sir John Vanbrugh, in Th Relapse, has copied in this respect 
the character of his Nurse from Shakspeare. BLACKSTONE. 

so green, an eye,"] So the first editions. Sir T. 

Hanmcr reads -so keen. JOHNSON. 

Perhaps Chaucer hag given to Kmetrius, in The Knight's Tale, 
eyes of the same colour : 

" His nose was high, his eyin bright citryn:" 
i. e. of the hue of an unripe lemon or citron. 

Again, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Fletcher and Shak- 
speare, Act V. sc. i : 

" oh vouchsafe, 

** With that thy rare green eye," &c. 


As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart, 
I think you are happy in this second match, 
For it excels your first : or if it did not, 
Your first is dead ; or 'twere as good he were, 
As living here 2 and you no use of him. 

JUL. Speakest thou from thy heart ? 

NURSE. From my soul too ; 

Or else beshrew them both. 

JUL. Amen ! 

NURSE. To what ? s 

JUL. Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous 


Go in ; and tell my lady I am gone, 
Having displeas'd my father, to Laurence* cell, 
To make confession, and to be absolved. 

NURSE. Marry, I will ; and this is wisely done. 


I may add, that Arthur Hall (the most ignorant and absurd 
of all the translators of Homer), in the fourth Iliad (4to, 1581,) 
calls Minerva 

" The greene eide Goddese ." STEEVENS. 

What Shakspeare meant by this epithet here, may be easily 
collected from the following lines, which he has attributed to 
Thisbe in the last Act of A Midsummer-Night's Dream: 

" These lily lips, 

" This cherry nose, 

" These yellow cowslip cheeks, 

" Are gone, are gone ! 

" His eyes were green as leeks." MALONE. 

* As lining here ] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, as living 
hence, that is, at a distance, in banishment ; but here may sig- 
nify, in this "world. JOHNSON. 

3 To ivhat ?] The syllable To, which is wanting towards 
the measure, I have ventured to supply. When Juliet says 
Amen ! the Nurse might naturally ask her to which of the fore- 
going sentiments so solemn a formulary was subjoined. 



JUL. Ancient damnation! 4 O most wicked fiend ! 
Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn, 
Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue 
Which she hath prais'd him witli above compare 
So many thousand times ? Go, counsellor ; 
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain. 
I'll to the friar, to know his remedy ; 
If all else fail, myself have power to die. \_Exit. 


Friar Laurence's Cell. 
Enter Friar LAURENCE and PARIS. 

FRI. On Thursday, sir ? the time is very short. 

PAR. My father Capulet will have it so ; 
And I am nothing slow, to slack his haste. 5 

* Ancient damnation /] This term of reproach occurs in The 
Malcontent, 1604: 

" out, you ancient damnation .'" STET.VENS. 

* And I am nothing slow, &c.] His haste shall not be abated 
by my slowness. It might be read : 

And I am nothing slow to back his haste: 
that is, I am diligent to abet and enforce his haste. JOHNSON". 

Slack was certainly the author's word, for, in the first edition, 
the line ran 

And I am nothing slack to slow his haste. 
Back could not have stood there. 

If this kind of phraseology be justifiable, it can be justified 
only by supposing the meaning to be, there is nothing of slow- 
neu in me, to induce me to slacken or abate his haste. The 


FRI. You say, you do not know the lady's mind ; 
Uneven is the course, I like it not. 

PAR. Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death, 
And therefore have I little talk'd of love ; 
For Venus smiles not in a house of tears. 
Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous, 
That she doth give her sorrow so much sway j 
And, in his wisdom, hastes our marriage, 
To stop the inundation of her tears ; 
Which, too much minded by herself alone, 
May be put from her by society : 
Now do you know the reason of this haste. 

FRI. I would I knew not why it should be 
slow'd. 6 [Aside. 

Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my cell. 

Enter JULIET. 

. PAR. Happily met, my lady, and my wife ! 
JUL. That may be, sir, when I may be a wife. 

PAR. That may be, must be, love, on Thursday 

meaning of Paris is very clear ; he does not wish to restrain 
Capulet, or to delay his own marriage ; but the words which the 
poet has given him, import the reverse of this, and seem rather 
to mean, / am not backward in restraining his haste; I endea- 
vour to retard him as much as I can. Dr. Johnson saw the im- 
propriety of this expression, and that his interpretation extorted 
a meaning from the words, which they do not at first present ; 
and hence his proposed alteration ; but our author must answer 
for his own peculiarities. See Vol. XVII. p. 24-0, n. 6. 


be slow'd.] So, in Sir A. Gorges' translation of the 

second Book of Lucan : 

** -will you overflow 

" The fields, thereby my march to sloiv '(" STEEVENS. 


JUL. What must be shall be. 

FRI. That's a certain text. 

PAR. Come you to make confession to this fa- 
ther ? 

t JUL. To answer that, were to confess to you. 
PAR. Do not deny to him, that you love me. 
JUL. I will confess to you, that I love him. 
PAR. So will you, I am sure, that you love me. 

JUL. If I do so, it will be of more price, 
Being spoke behind your back, than to your face. 

PAR. Poor soul, thy face is much abus'd with 

JUL. The tears have got small victory by that ; 
For it was bad enough, before their spite. 

PAR. Thou wrong'st it, more than tears, with 

that report. 

JUL. That is no slander, sir, 7 that is a truth ; 
And what I spake, I spake it to my face. 

PAR. Thy face is mine, and thou hast slander'd it. 

JUL. It may be so, for it is not mine own. 
Are you at leisure, holy father, now ; 

7 That it no slander, sir, &c.] Thus the first and second folio. 
The quarto, 1597, reads That is no ivrong, &c. and so leaves 
the measure defective. STEEVENS. 

A word was probably omitted at the press. The quarto, 1599, 
and the subsequent copies, read : 

That is no slander, sir, which is a truth. 
The context shows that the alteration was not made by Shak- 
ipeare. M A LONE. 

The repetition of the word wrong, is not, in my opinion, 
necessary : besides, the reply of Paris justifies the reading in 
the text : 

" Thy face is mine, and thou hast slandfr'd it.*' 



Or shall I come to you at evening mass ? 8 

FRi. My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, 

now : 
My lord, we must entreat the time alone. 

PAR. God shield, I should disturb devotion ? 
Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse you : 
Till then, adieu ! and keep this holy kiss. 

\_Exit PARIS. 

JuL. O, shut the door ! and when thou hast done 

Come weep with me ; Past hope, past cure, past help! 

FRI. Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief j 
It strains me past the compass of my wits : 
I hear thou must, and nothing must prorogue it, 
On Thursday next be married to this county. 

JUL. Tell me not,' friar, that thou hear'st of this, 
Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it : 
If, in thy wisdom, thou canst give no help, 
Do thou but call my resolution wise, 
And with this knife I'll help it presently. 
God join'd my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands j 
And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo seal'd, 
Shall be the label to another deed, 9 

* Or shall I come to you at evening mass ?] Juliet means 
vespers. There is no such thing as evening mass. " Masses 
(as Fynes Moryson observes) are only sung in the morning, and 
when the priests are fasting." So, likewise, in The boke of then- 
seygnemente and techynge that the knyght of the toure made to 
his daughters . translated and printed by Caxton : " And they 
of the parysshe told the preest that it was past none, and therfor 
he durst not synge masse, and so they hadde na masse that daye." 


9 Shall be the label to another deed,'] The seals of deeds in 
our author's time were not impressed on the parchment itself on 
which the deed was written, but were appended on distinct slips 
or labels affixed to the deed. Hence in King Richard II. the 


Or my true heart with treacherous revolt 
Turn to another, this shall slay them both : 
Therefore, out of thy long-experienc'd time, 
Give me some present counsel ; or, behold, 
'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife 
Shall play the umpire ; * arbitrating that 
Which the commission of thy years and art 2 
Could to no issue of true honour bring. 
Be not so long to speak ; I long to die, 
If what thou speak'st speak not of remedy. 

FRI. Hold, daughter ; I do spy a kind of hope, 
Which craves as desperate an execution 
As that is desperate which we would prevent. 
If, rather than to marry county Paris, 
Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself; 
Then is it likely, thou wilt undertake 
A thing like death to chide away this shame, 
That cop'st with death himself to scape from it ; 
And, if thou dar'st, I'll give thee remedy. 

JUL. O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, 
From off' the battlements of yonder tower; 3 

Duke of York discovers a covenant which his son the Duke of 
Auraerle had entered into by the depending seal : 

" What seal is that, which hangs without thy bosom ?" 
See \hejac-similc of Shakspeare's hand writing in Vol. I. 


1 Shall play the umpire;'] That is, this knife shall decide the 
Itru g' e between me and my distresses. JOHNSON. 

* commission of thy years and art ] Commission is for 

authority or power. JOHNSON. 

' 0, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, 

From off' the battlements of yonder tower;'] So, in KingLeir t 
written before 1594-: 

" Yea, for to do thee good, I would ascend 

" The highest turret in all Britanny, 

" And from the top leap headlong to the ground." 

VOL. xx. o 


Or walk in thievish ways ; or bid me lurk 
Where serpents are ; chain me 4 with roaring bears ; 
Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house, 
O'er-cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones, 
With reeky shanks, and yellow chapless sculls ; 
Or bid me go into a new-made grave, 
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud ; 5 

of yonder t&voer;~] Thus the quarto, 1597- All other 

ancient copies of any tower. STEEVENS. 

* chain me &c.] 

" Or walk in thievish ways, or bid me lurk 
" Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears, 
" Or hide me nightly," &c. 
It is thus the editions vary. POPE. 

My edition has the words which Mr. Pope has omitted; but 
the old copy seems in this place preferable ; only perhaps we 
might better read 

" Where savage bears and roaring lions roam.'* 


I have inserted the lines which Mr. Pope omitted ; for which 
I must offer this short apology : in the lines rejected by him we 
meet with three distinct ideas, such as may be supposed to ex- 
cite terror in a woman, for one that is to be found in the others. 
The lines now omitted are these : 

" Or chain me to some steepy mountain's top, 
. " Where roaring bears and savage lions roam ; 
" Or shut me ." STEEVENS. 

The lines last quoted, which Mr. Pope and Dr. Johnson pre- 
ferred, are found in the copy of 1597; m the text the quarto of 
1599 is followed, except that it has Or hide me nightly, &c. 


J And hide me "with a dead man in his shroud ;] In the quarto, 
1599, and 1609, this line stands thus : 

And hide me with a dead man in his, 

The editor of the folio supplied the defect by reading in his 
grave, without adverting to the disgusting repetition of that 
word. The original copy leads me to believe that Shakspeare 
wrote in his tomb; for there the line stands thus : 
Or lay me in a tombe with one new dead. 

I have, however, with the other modern editors, followed the 
undated quarto, in which the printer filled up the line with the 
word shroud. MALOXE. 

sc. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 195 

Things that, to hear them told, have made me 

tremble ; 

And I will do it without fear or doubt, 
To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love. 

FRI. Hold, then ; go home, be merry, give con- 

To marry Paris: Wednesday is to-morrow j 
To-morrow night look that thou lie alone, 
Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber : 
Take thou this phial, 6 being then in bed, 

It may be natural for the reader to ask by what evidence this 
positive assertion, relative to the printer, is supported. 

To creep under a shroud, and so be placed in close contact 
with a corpse, is surely a more terrifick idea than that of being 
merely laid in a tomb with a dead companion. STEEVENS. 

6 Take thou this phial, &c.] So, in The Tragicali Hystory of 
Romeus and Juliet: 

" Receive this phial small, and keep it in thine eye, 
*' And on the marriage day, before the sun doth clear 

the sky, 

" Fill it with water full up to the very brim, 
* Then drink it off, and thou shalt feel throughout each 

vein and limb 

' A pleasant slumber slide, and quite dispread at length 
" On all thy parts ; from every part reve all thy kindly 

strength : 

" Withouten moving then thy idle parts shall rest, 
" So pulse shall go, no heart once heave within thy hol- 
low breast; 

*' But thou shall lie us she that dieth in a trance ; 
*' Thy kinsmen and thy trusty friends shall wail the sud- 
den chance : 

" Thy corps then will they bring to grave in this church- 
" Where thy forefathers long ago a costly tonb prcpar u : 

" where thou shalt retft, my daughter, 

" Till I to Mantua send for Roim-us, thy knight, 
" Out of the tomb /wt/i he aud /will take thee forth tlvtf 

o 2 


And this distilled liquor drink thou off: 
When, presently, through all thy veins shall run 
A cold and drowsy humour, 7 which shall seize 
Each vital spirit ; for no pulse shall keep 
His natural progress, but surcease to beat : 
No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou liv'st j 
The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade 
To paly ashes ; 8 thy eyes' windows fall, 9 

Thus, in Painter's Palace of Pleasure, Tom. II. p. 23T: 
" Beholde heere I give thee a viole, &c. drink so much as is 
contained therein. And then you shall feele a certaine kinde of 
pleasant sleepe, which incroching by litle and litle all the parts 
of your body, will constrain them in such wise, as unmoveable 
they shal remaine : and by not doing their accustomed duties, 
shall loose their natural feelings, and you abide in such extasie 
the space of xl hours at the least, without any beating of poulse 
or other perceptible motion, which shall so astonne them that 
come to see you, as they will judge you to be dead, and accord- 
ing to the custome of our citie, you shall be caried to .the 
churchyard hard by our church, when you shall be entombed in 
the common monument of the Capellets your ancestors," &c. 
The number of hours during which the sleep of Juliet was to 
continue, is not mentioned in the poem. STEEVENS. 

7 through all thy veins shall run 

A cold and drowsy humour, &c.] The first edition in 1597 
has in general been here followed, except only, that instead of 
a cold and drowsy humour, we there find " a dull and heavy 
slumber" and a little lower, " no sign of breath," &c. The 
speech, however, was greatly enlarged ; for in the first copy it 
consists of only thirteen lines; in the subsequent edition, of 
thirty-three. MALONE. 

8 The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall Jade 

To paly ashes ;] It may be remarked, that this image does 
not occur either in Painter's prose translation, or Brooke's me- 
trical version of the fable on which conjunctively the tragedy of 
Romeo and Juliet is founded. It may be met with, however, 
in A dolefull Discourse of a Lord and a Ladie, by Churchyard, 
4*o. 1593: 

" Her colour changde, her cheerfull lookes 

" And countenance wanted spreete ; 
" To sallotv ashes turnde the hue 
" Of beauties blossomes sweete : 

sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 197 

Like death, when he shuts up the day of life j 
Each part, depriv'd of supple government, 
Shall stiff, and stark, and cold, appear like death: 
And in this borrow'd likeness of shrunk death 
Thou shalt remain full two and forty hours, 
And then awake as from a pleasant sleep. 
Now when the bridegroom in the morning comes 
To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead : 
Then (as the manner of our country is,) 
In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier, 1 

" And drery dulnesse had bespred 

** The wearish bodie throw ; 
" Each vitall vaine did flat refuse 

" To do their dutie now. 
** The blood forsooke the wonted course, 

" And backward ganne retire ; 
" And left the limmes as cold and swarfe 

" As coles that wastes with fire." STEEVENS. 

To paly ashes ;] These words are not in the original copy. 
The quarto, 1599, and the folio, read To many ashes, for which 
the editor of the second folio substituted mealy ashes. The 
true reading is found in the undated quarto. This uncommon 
adjective occurs again in King Henry V : 

and through their paly flames, 
" Each battle sets the other's umber'd face." 
We have had too already, in a former scene " Pale, pale as 
ashes." MALONE. 

5 thy eyes' windows/a//,] See Vol. XVII. p. 29.5, n. 9. 


1 Then (as the manner of our country is,) 

In thy best robes uncover'd on the vit-r,] The Italian custom 
here alluded to, of carrying the dead body to the grave with the 
face uncovered, (which is not mentioned by Painter,) our author 
found particularly described in The Tragicall Hystory qfRomeus 
4tnd Juliet : 

" Another use there is, that whosoever dies, 

" Borne to their church with open face upon the bier he 


" In wonted weed attir'd, not wrapt in winding-sheet ." 



Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault, 
Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie. 
In the mean time, against thou shalt awake, 
Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift ; 
And hither shall he come ; and he and I 
Will watch thy waking, 2 and that very night 
Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua. 
And this shall free thee from this present shame ; 
If no unconstant toy, 3 nor womanish fear, 

Thus also Ophelia's Song in Hamlet : 

" They bore him bare-foc'd on the bier, " STEEVENS. 

In thy best robes uncover 'd on the bier,"] Between this line and 
the next, the quartos 1599, 1609, and the first folio, introduce the 
following verse, which the poet, very probably, had struck out, 
on his revisal, because it is quite unnecessary, as the sense of it 
is repeated, and as it will not connect with either : 

" Be borne to burial in thy kindred's grave." 
Had Virgil lived to have revised his Mneid, he would hardly 
have permitted both of the following lines to remain in his text : 
" At Venus obscuro gradientes acre sepsit ; 
" Et multo nebulae circum dea fudit amictu." 
The aukward repetition of the nominative case in the second 
of them, seems to decide very strongly against it. 

Fletcher, in his Knight of Malta, has imitated the foregoing 
passage : 

a nd thus thought dead, 

" In her best habit, as the custom is 

" You know, in Malta, with all ceremonies 

" She's buried in her family's monument," &c. 

and he and I 

Will watch thy waking,"] These words are not in the folio. 


3 If no unconstant toy, &c.] If no fickle freak, no light ca- 
price, no change offancy, hinder the performance. JOHNSON. 
If no unconstant toy, nor tvomanishjear, 
Abate thy valour in the acting it. ] These expressions are bor- 
rowed from the poem : 

" Cast off from thee at once the weed of womanish dread, 
" With manly courage arm thyself from heel unto the 
head : 

sc. ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 199 

Abate thy valour in the acting it. 
JUL. Give me, O give me ! tell me not of fear.* 

FRI. Hold ; get you gone, be strong and pros- 

In this resolve: I'll send a friar with speed 
To Mantua, with my letters to thy lord. 
JUL. Love, give me strength ! and strength shall 

help afford. 
Farewell, dear father ! [Exeunt. 


A Room in Capulet's House. 

Enter CAPULET, Lady CAPULET, Nurse, and 

CAP. So many guests invite as here are writ. 

[Exit Servant. 
Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks. 5 

2 SERF. You shall have none ill, sir j for Til try 
if they can lick their fingers. 

CAP. How canst thou try them so ? 

" God grant he so confirm in thec thy present will, 
*' That no inconstant toy thee let thy promise to fulfill !" 


4 Give me, O give me ! tell me not of fear.'] The old copies 
unmetrically read : 

Give me, give me! tell me not &c. STEEVENS. 

* go hire me twenty cunning cooks. 1 Twenty cooks for 

half a dozen guests! Either Capulet has altered his mind strangely, 
or our author forgot what he had just made him tell us. Set 
p. 169. RITSON. 


2 SERV. Marry, sir, 'tis an ill cook that cannot 
lick his own fingers : 6 therefore he, that cannot lick 
his fingers, goes not with me. 

CAP. Go, begone. \JExit Servant. 

We shall be much unfurnished for this time. 
What, is my daughter gone to friar Laurence ? 

NURSE. Ay, forsooth. ' 

CAP. Well, he may chance to do some good on 

A peevish self- will* d harlotry it is. 

Enter JULIET. 

NURSE. See, where she comes from shrift 7 with 
merry look. 

CAP. How now, my headstrong ? where have you 
been gadding? 8 

JUL. Where I have learn'd me to repent the sin 
Of disobedient opposition 
To you, and your behests ; and am enjoin'd 
By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here, 

lick his otvnjingers :] I find this adage in Puttenham's 

Arte of English Poesie, 1589, p. 157 : 

" As the olde cocke crowes so doeth the chick : 
" A bad cooke that cannot his owne fingers lick." 


7 from shrift ] i. e. from confession. So, in The 

Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608: 

" Ay, like a wench comes roundly to her shrift.'' 9 
In the old Morality of Every Man, bl. 1. no date, confession 
is personified : 

" Now I pray you, shrifte, mother of salvacyon." 


* gadding ?] The primitive sense of this word was to 

straggle from house to house, and collect money under pretence 
of singing carols to the Blessed Virgin. See Mr. T. Warton's 
note on Milton's Lycidas, v. 40. STEEVENS. .. 

sc. ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 201 

And beg your pardon : Pardon, I beseech you ! 
Henceforward I am ever rul'd by you. 

CAP. Send for the county; go tell him of this j 
I'll have this knot knit up to-morrow morning. 

JUL. I met the youthful lord at Laurence* cell ; 
And gave him what becomed love 9 I might, 
Not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty. 

CAP. Why, I am glad on't j this is well, stand 


This is as't should be. Let me see the county j 
Ay, marry, go, I say, and fetch him hither. 
Now, afore God, this reverend holy friar, 
All our whole city is much bound to him. ' 

JUL. Nurse, will you go with me into my closet, 
To help me sort such needful ornaments 
As you think fit to furnish me to-morrow ? 

LA. CAP. No, not till Thursday ; there is time 

CAP. Go, nurse, go with her : we'll to church 

\_E.rcunt JULIET and Nurse. 

9 becomed love ] Becomed for becoming: one parti- 
ciple for the other ; a frequent practice with our author. 


1 this reverend holy friar, 

AH our whole city is much bound to him."] So, in Romcus 
und Juliet, 1562: 

this is not, wife, the friar's first desert ; 
" In all our commonweal scarce one is to be found, 
" But is, for some good turn, unto this holy Jathcr 
bound." MALOXE. 

Thus the folio, and the quartos 1.599 and 1609. The oldest 
quarto reads, I think, more grammatically: 

All our whole city is much bound unto. STEEVENS. 


LA. CAP. We shall be short 2 in our provision ; 
'Tis now near night. 3 

CAP. Tush ! I will stir about, 

And all things shall be well, I warrant thee, wife : 
Go thou to Juliet, help to deck up her ; 
I'll not to bed to-night ; let me alone ; 
I'll play the housewife for this once. What, ho! 
They are all forth : Well, I will walk myself 
To county Paris, to prepare him up 
Against to-morrow : my heart is wond'rous light, 
Since this same wayward girl is so reclaim'd. 



Juliet's Chamber. 
Enter JULIET and Nurse. * 

JuL. Ay, those attires are best : But, gentle 

* We shall be short ] That Is, we shall be defective. 


3 'Tis nova near night.'] It appears, in a foregoing scene, 
that Romeo parted from his bride at day-break on Tuesday 
morning. Immediately afterwards she went to Friar Laurence, 
and he particularly mentions the day of the week, [" Wednes- 
day is to-morrow."] She could not well have remained more 
than an hour or two with the friar, and she is just now returned 
from shrift: yet lady Capulet says, " 'tis near night," and this 
same night is ascertained to be Tuesday. This is one out of the 
many instances of our author's inaccuracy in the computation of 
time. MALONE. 

4 Enter Juliet and Nurse.~\ Instead of the next speech, the 
quarto 1597 supplies the following short and simple dialogue: 

" Nurse. Come, come ; what need you anie thing else ? 

sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 203 

I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night ; 

For I have need of many orisons 5 

To move the heavens to smile upon my state, 

Which, well thou kiiow'st, is cross and full of sin. 

Enter Lady CAPULET. 

LA. CAP. What, are you busy? do you need my 
help ? 

JUL. No, madam j we have cull'd such neces- 

As are behoveful for our state to-morrow : 
So please you, let me now be left alone, 
And let the nurse this night sit up with you ; 
For, I am sure, you have your hands full all, 
In this so sudden business. 

*' Juliet. Nothing, good Nurse, but leave me to myselfe. 
" Nurxe. Well there's a cleane smocke under your pillow, and 
so good night." STEEVENS. 

3 For I have need &c.~] Juliet plays most of her pranks under 
the appearance of religion : perhaps Shakspeare meant to punish 
her hypocrisy. JOHNSON. 

The pretence of Juliet's, in order to get rid of the Nurse, was 
suggested by The Tragical! Hystory of ttomeus and Juliet, and 
some of the expressions of this speech were borrowed from 
thence : 

" Dear friend, quoth she, you know to-morrow is the day 
" Of new contract ; wherefore, this night, my purpose 

is to pray 

" Unto the heavenly minds that dwell above the skies, 
" And order all the course of thingt as they can best 


" That they so smile upon the doings of to-morrow, 
" That all the remnant of my life may be exempt from 

sorrow ; 

" Wherefore, I pray you, leave me her' alone this night, 
" But see that you to-morrow come before the dawning 


14 For you matt curl ray hair, and set on my attire " 



LA. CAP. Good night ! 

Get thee to bed, and rest ; for thou hast need. 

\JExeunt Lady CAPULET and Nurse. 

JUL. Farewell! 6 God knows, when we shall 

meet again. 

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins, 
That almost freezes up the heat of life : 7 
I'll call them back again to comfort me ; 
Nurse ! What should she do here ? 
My dismal scene I needs must act alone. 
Come, phial. 
What if this mixture do not work at all ? 8 

6 Farewell! &c.] This speech received considerable additions 
after the elder copy was published. STEEVENS. 

1 I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins, 

That almost freezes up the heat of life :~] So, in Rometis 
and Jultt, 1562: 

" And whilst she in these thoughts doth dwell somewhat 

too long, 

" The force of her imagining anon did wax so strong, 
-*' That she surmis'd she saw out of the hollow vault, 
" A grisly thing to look upon, the carcase of Tybalt ; 
" Right in the self same sort that she few days before 
" Had seen him in his blood embrew'd, to death eke 

wounded sore. 

" Her dainty tender parts 'gan shiver all for dread, 
" Her golden hair did stand, upright upon her chillish 


" Then pressed with \hefear that she there lived in, 
" A sweat as cold as mountain ice piercd through her 

tender skin." MALONE. 

8 What if this mixture do not work at all?] So, in Painter's 
P.alace of Pleasure, Tom. II. p. 239 : " but what know I 
(sayd she) whether the operation of this pouder will be to soone 
or to late, or not correspondent to the due time, and that my 
faulte being discovered, I shall remayne a jesting stocke and 
fable to the people ? what know I moreover, if the serpents and 
other venemous and crauling wormes, which commonly fre- 
quent the graves and pittes of the earth, will hurt me thinkyng 

sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 205 

Must I offeree be married to the county ? 9 
No, no j this shall forbid it : lie thou there. 

\_Laying down a Dagger. 1 

that I am dead ? But how shall I endure the stinche of so many 
carions and bones of myne auncestors which rest in the grave, if 
by fortune I do awake before Romeo and frier Laurence doe 
come to help me ? And as she was thus plunged in the deepe 
contemplation of things, she thought that she sawe a certaine 
vision or fansie of her cousin Thibault, in the very same sort as 
she saw him wounded and imbrued with blood." STEEVENS. 

Here also Shakspeare appears to have followed the poem : 

" to the end I may my name and conscience save, 

" I must devour the mixed drink that by me here I have: 
" Whose working and whose force as yet I do not 

know : 

" And of this piteous plaint began another doubt to grow; 
" What do I know, (quoth she) if that this powder shall 
" Sooner or later than it shoula, or else not work at all ? 
" And what know I, quoth she, if serpents odious, 
" And other beasts and worms, that are of nature vene- 


" That wonted are to lurk in dark caves under ground, 
" And commonly, as I have heard, in dead men's tombs 

are found, 

" Shall harm me, yea or nay, where I shall lie as dead ? 
*' Or how shall I, that always have in so fresh air been 


** Endure the loathsome stink of such a heaped store 
" Of carcases not yet consum'd, and bones that long 


" Intombcd were, where I my sleeping-place shall have, 
" Where all my ancestors do rest, my kindred's common 

grave ? 

" Shall not the friar and my Romeus, when they come, 
" Find me, if I awake before, y-stijlcd in the tomb?" 


9 Must / of force be married to the county ? ] Thus the quarto 
of 1.597, and not, as the line has been exhibited in the late 

Shall I of force be married to the Count? 

The subsequent ! ancient copies read, as Mr. Steevens has observed, 
Shall / be married then to-morrow morning I MALONE. 

lie thou there. [Laying dorvn a dagger."] This stage- 


What if it be a poison, which the friar 
Subtly hath minister* d to have me dead ; 
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonoured, 
Because he married me before to Romeo ? 
I fear, it is : and yet, methinks, it should not, 
For he hath still been tried a holy man : 
I will not entertain so bad a thought. 2 

direction has been supplied by the modern editors. The quarto, 
1597, reads : " Knife, lie thou there." It appears from several 
passages in our old plays, that knives were formerly part of the 
accoutrements of a bride ; and every thing behoveful for Juliet's 
state had just been left with her. So, in Decker's Match me in 
London, 1631 : 

** See at my girdle hang my wedding knives /" 
Again, in King Edward III. 1599: 

" Here by my side do hang my "wedding knives : 
" Take thou the one, and with it kill thy queen, 
" And with the other, I'll dispatch my love." 

Again : " there was a maide named &c. she took one 

of her knives that was some halfe a foote long" &c. &c. " And 
it was found in all respects like to the other that tvas in her 
sheath." Goulart's Admirable Histories, &c. 4-to. 1607, pp. 176, 

In the third Book of Sidney's Arcadia we are likewise in- 
formed, that Amphia!us " in his crest carried Philocleas' knives, 
the only token of her forced favour." STEEVENS. 

In order to account for Juliet's having a dagger, or as it is 
called in old language, a knife, i is not necessary to have re- 
course to the ancient accoutrements of brides, how prevalent 
soever the custom mentioned by Mr. Steevens may have been ; 
for Juliet appears to have furnished herself with this instrument 
immediately after her father and mother had threatened to force 
her to marry Paris : 

" If all fail else, myself have power to die." 
Accordingly, in the very next scene, when she is at the Friar's 
cell, and before she could have been furnished with any of the 
apparatus of a bride, (not having then consented to marry the 
count,) she says 

" Give me some present counsel, or, behold, 
" 'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife 
" Shall play the umpire." MALONE. 

* I will not entertain so bad a thought. ,] This line I have 
restored from the quarto, 1597. STEEVENS. 

sc. ni. ROMEO AND JULIET. 207 

How if, when I am laid into the tomb, 

I wake before the time that Romeo 

Come to redeem me ? there's a fearful point ! 

Shall I not then be stifled in the vault, 

To whose foul mouth no healthsome airbreathes in, 

And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes ? 

Or, if I live, is it not very like, 

The horrible conceit of death and night, 

Together with the terror of the place, 

As in a vault, an ancient receptacle, 3 

Where, for these many hundred years, the bones 

Of all my buried ancestors are pack'd ; 

Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth, 4 

Lies fest'ring 5 in his shroud ; where, as they say, 

At some hours in the night spirits resort ; 

Alack, alack ! is it not like, that I, 6 

' As in a vault, &c.] This idea was probably suggested to 
our poet by his native place. The charnel at Stratford upon 
Avon is a very large one, and perhaps contains a greater number 
of bones than are to be found in any other repository of the same 
kind in England. I was furnished with this observation by Mr. 
Murphy, whose very elegant and spirited defence of Shakspeare 
against the criticisms of Voltaire, is not one of the least con- 
siderable out of many favours which he has conferred on the 
literary world. STEEVEXS. 

4 green in earthy} i. e. fresh in earth, newly buried. 

So, in Hamlet : 

" of our dear brother's death, 

'* The memory be green" 
Again, in The Opportunity, by Shirley: 

" I am but 

" Green in my honours." STEEVENS. 

* Lies fest'ring To Jester is to corrupt. So, in King 
Edward III. 1599: 

" Lillies that/w/tT smell far worse than weeds." 
This line likewise occurs in the 94th Sonnet of Shakspeare. 
The play ofEdwird III. has been ascribed to him. STEEVENS. 
is it not like, that /,] This speech is confused, and in- 
consequential, according to the disorder of Juliet's mind. 



So early waking,- what with loathsome smells ; 
And shrieks like mandrakes' torn out of the earth, 
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad ; 7 
Q ! if I wake, shall I not be distraught, 8 
Environed with all these hideous fears ? 
And madly play with my forefathers' joints ? 
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud ? 
And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone, 
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains ? 
O, look ! methinks, I see my cousin's ghost 
Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body 

7 run mad;'] So, in Webster's Dutchess of Malfy, 


" I have this night digg'd up a mandrake, 

" And am grown mad with't." 
Again, in The Atheist's Tragedy, 1611: 

" The cries of mandrakes never touch'd the ear 

" With more sad horror, than that voice does mine." 
Again, in A Christian turnd Turk, 1612: 

" I'll rather give an ear to the black shrieks 

" Of mandrakes," &c. 
Again, in Aristippus, or the Jovial Philosopher : 

" This is the mandrake's voice that undoes me." 
The mandrake (says Thomas Newton, in his Herball to the 
Bible, 8vo. 1587,) has been idly represented as "a creature 
having life and engendered under the earth of the seed of some 
dead person that hath beene convicted and put to death for some 
felonie or murther ; and that they had the same in such dampish 
and funerall places where the saide convicted persons were 
buried," &c. STEEVENS. 

See Vol. XII. p. 149, n. 1 ; and Vol. XIII. p. 297, n. 8. 


8 be distraught,] Distraught is distracted. So, in Dray- 
ton's Polyolbion, Song 10 : 

" Is, for that river's sake, near of his wits distraught" 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I. c. ix : 

"What frantick fit, quoth he, hath thus distraught," &c. 


sc. ir. KOMEO AND JULIET. 209 

Upon a rapier's point: Stay, Tybalt, stay! 
Romeo, 1 come ! this do I drink to thee. y 

[S//e throivs herself on the Bed. 


Capulet's Hall. 
Enter Lady CAPULET and Nurse. 

LA. CAP. Hold, take these keys, and fetch more 
spices, nurse. 

NURSE. They call for dates and quinces in the 
pastry. 1 


CAP. Come, stir, stir, stir ! the second cock hath 

The curfeu bell 2 hath rung, 'tis three o'clock : 

' Romeo, / come ! this do I drink to thet:] So the first quarto, 
1597- The subsequent ancient copies read : 

Romeo, Romeo, Romeo, here's drink, I drink to thte. 


' They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.] i. e. in the 
room where paste was made. So laundry, spicery, &c. 


See Vol. V. p. 321, n. 5. 

On the books of the Stationers' Company, in the year 1560, 
fire the following entries : 

*' Item payd for iiii pound of dates iiii *. 

" Item payd for xxiiii pounde of prunys iii. *. viii rf." 


1 The. curfeu bell ] I know not that the morning-bell, is 
called the curfeu in any other place. JOHNSON. 


Look to the bak'd meats, good Angelica: 3 
Spare not for cost. 

NURSE. Go, go, you cot-quean, go, 

Get you to bed ; 'faith, you'll be sick to-morrow 
For this night's watching. 

CAP. No, not a whit ; What ! I have watch'd ere 

All night for lesser cause, and ne'er been sick. 

LA. CAP. Ay, you have been a mouse-hunt 4 in 
your time ; 

The curfew bell was rung at nine in the evening, as appears 
from a passage in The Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608 : 

" well 'tis nine o'clock, 'tis time to ring curfew" 


The curfew bell is universally rung at eight or nine o'clock at 
night; generally according to the season. The term is here used 
with peculiar impropriety, as it is not believed that any bell was 
ever rung so early as three in the morning. The derivation of 
curfeu is well known, but it is a mere vulgar error that the 
institution was a badge of slavery imposed by the Norman Con- 
queror. To put out the Jire became necessary only because it 
was time to go to bed : And if the curfeu commanded all fires 
to be extinguished, the morning bell ordered them to be lighted 
again. In short, the ringing of those two bells was a manifest 
and essential service to people who had scarcely any other means 
of measuring their time. RITSON. 

3 Look to the bak'd meats, good Angelica:"] Shakspeare has 
here imputed to an Italian nobleman and his lady all the petty 
solicitudes of a private house concerning a provincial entertain- 
ment. To such a bustle our author might have been witness at 
home ; but the like anxieties could not well have occurred in the 
family of Capulet, whose wife, if Angelica be her name, is here 
directed to perform the office of a housekeeper. STEEVENS. 

* a mouse-hunt in your time;~] In my original attempt 

to explain this passage, I was completely wrong, for want of 
knowing that in Norfolk, and many other parts of England, the 
cant term for a weasel is a mouse-hunt. The intrigues of this 
animal, like those of the cat kind, are usually carried on during 
the night. This circumstance will account for the appellation 

sc. iv. ROMEO AND JULIET. 211 

But I will watch you from such watching now. 

[Exeunt Lady CAPULET and JSurse. 

CAP. A jealous-hood, a jealous-hood! Now, 

What's there ? 

Enter Servants, with Spits, Logs, and Baskets. 

1 SERF. Things for the cook, sir ; but I know 

not what. 

CAP. Make haste, make haste. [Exit 1 Serv.] 

Sirrah, fetch drier logs ; 
Call Peter, he will show thee where they are. 

2 SERV. I have a head, sir, that will find out 

And never trouble Peter for the matter. [Exit. 

CAP. 'Mass, and well said ; A merry whoreson ! 


Thou shalt be logger-head, Good faith, 'tis day: 
The county will be here w T ith musick straight, 

[Mttsick within. 

For so he said he would. I hear him near : 
Nurse ! Wife ! what, ho ! what, nurse, I say ! 

Enter Nurse. 

Go, waken Juliet, go, and trim her up ; 
I'll go and chat with Paris: Hie, make haste, 
Make haste ! the bridegroom he is come already: 
Make haste, I say ! [Exeunt. 

which Lady Capulct allows her husband to have formerly de- 
served. STEEVENS. 

The animal called the outtisc-fmnt, is the martin. HENLEY. 

Cat after Itinde, good motuie hunt, is n proverb in 
Dialogue, 1598, 1st. pt. c. 2. HOLT WHITE. 

P 2 


Juliet's Chamber; JULIET on the Bed, 

Enter Nurse. 

NURSE. Mistress ! what, mistress ! Juliet ! 

fast, I warrant her, she : 

Why, lamb ! why, lady ! fye, you slug-a-bed ! 
Why, love, I say ! madam ! sweet-heart ! why, 

bride ! 
What, not a word ? you take your pennyworths 


Sleep for a week ; for the next night, I warrant, 
The county Paris hath set up his rest, 5 

* set up his rest,"] This expression, which is frequently 

employed by the old dramatick writers, is taken from the man- 
ner of firing the harquebuss. This was so heavy a gun, that the 
soldiers were obliged to carry a supporter called a rest, which 
they fixed in the ground before they levelled to take aim. 
Decker uses it in his comedy of Old Fortunatus, 1600 : " set 
your heart at rest, for I have set up my rest, that unless you can 
run swifter than a hart, home you go not." The same expres- 
sion occurs in Beaumont and Fletcher's Elder Brother: 

" My rest is up, 

" Nor will I go less ." 

Again, in The Roaring Girl, 1611: 

" Like a musket on a rest." 

See Montfaucon's Monarchic Frangoise, Tom. V. plate 48. 


The origin of this phrase has certainly been rightly explained, 
but the good Nurse was here thinking of other matters. T. C. 

The above expression may probably be sometimes used in the 
sense already explained ; it is, however, oftener employed with a 
reference to the game at primero, in which it was one of the 
terms then in use. In the second instance above quoted it is cer- 
tainly so. To avoid loading the page with examples, I shall refer 


That you shall rest but little. God forgive me, 
(Marry, and amen !) how sound is she asleep ! 
I needs must wake her: Madam, madam, madam ! 
Ay, let the county take you in your bed ; 6 
He'll fright you up, i'faith. Will it not be ? 
What, drest! and in your clothes! and down again! 
I must needs wake you : Lady ! lady ! lady ! 
Alas ! alas ! Help ! help ! my lady's dead ! 
O, well-a-day, that ever I was born ! 
Some aqua-vitae, ho ! my lord ! my lady ! 

Enter Lady CAPULET. 

LA. CAP. \Vhat noise is here ? 

NURSE. O lamentable day ! 

LA. CAP. What is the matter ? 

NURSE. Look, look ! O heavy day ! 

to Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, Vol. X. p. 364, edit. 1780, 
where several are brought together. REED. 

To set up one's rest, is, in fact, a gambling expression, and 
means that the gamester has determined what stake he should 
play for. 

In the passage quoted by Steevens from Fletcher's Elder Bro- 
ther, when Eustace says : 

" My rest is up, and I will go no less." 

he means to say, my stake is laid, and I will not play for a 

The same phrase very frequently occurs in the plays of Beau- 
mont and Fletcher. It is also used by Lord Clarendon, in his 
History, as well as in the old comedy of Supposes, published in 
the year 1587. M. MASON. 

6 why lady \-fye, you slug-a-bed ! 

Ay, Ift the county take you in your bed ;] So, in The Tra- 
^icall Hystory of Homrus and Juliet: 

" First softly did she call, thrn louder did she cry, 
" Lady, you sleep too long, the earl will raise you by and 
by." MA LONE. 


LA. CAP. O me, O me ! my child, my only life, 
Revive, look up, or I will die with thee ! 
Help, help ! call help. 


CAP. For shame, bring Juliet forth ; her lord is 

NURSE. She's dead, deceas'd, she's dead; alack 
the day ! 

LA. CAP. Alack the day ! she's dead, she's dead, 
she's dead. 

CAP. Ha! let me see her : Out, alas! she's cold; 
Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff; 
Life and these lips have long been separated : 
Death lies on her, like an untimely frost 
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field. 
Accursed time ! 7 unfortunate old man ! 

NURSE. O lamentable day ! 

LA. CAP. O woful time ! 

CAP. Death, that hath ta'en her hence to make 

me wail, 
Ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak. 8 

~ Accursed time! &c.] This line is taken from the first quarto, 
1597. MALONE. 

8 Death, that hath ta'en her hence to make me wail, 

Ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak.] Our author 
has here followed the poem closely, without recollecting that he 
had made Capulet, in this scene, clamorous in his grief. In 
The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, Juliet's mother 
makes a long speech, but the old man utters not a word : 

" But more than all the rest the father's heart was so 
" Smit with the heavy news, and so shut up with sudden 


" That he ne had the power his daughter to beweep, 
" Ne yet to speak, but long is forc'd his tears and plaints 
to keep." MALONE. 

sc. v. ROMEO AND JULIET. 215 

JEnter Friar LAURENCE and PARIS, with Musicians. 

FRI. Come, is the bride ready to go to church ? 

CAP. Ready to go, but never to return : 
O son, the night before thy wedding day 
Hath death lain with thy bride : 9 See, there she 


Flower as she was, deflowered by him. 1 
Death is my son-in-law, 2 death is my heir ; 
My daughter he hath wedded ! I will die, 
And leave him all ; life leaving, all is death's. 3 

9 O son, the night before thy wedding-day 

Hath death tain with thy bride:'] Euripides has sported with 
this thought in the same manner, Iphig. in Aid. ver. 4-60 : 

" Tijv* ay raXaivav iraf 9svov (ri nrasSsvov ; 
" "Aor t s vix, us soixe, vupQevffsi fd.yjj..')" 


Hath death lain with thy bride:] Perhaps this line is coarsely 
ridiculed in Decker's Satiromastix : 

" Dead : she's death's bride ; he hath her maidenhead." 


Decker seems rather to have intended to ridicule a former line 
in this play : 

I'll to my wedding bed, 

" And Death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead" 
The word see in the line before us, is drawn from the first 
quarto. MALONE. 

' Flower as she was, deflowered by him.] This jingle was 
common to other writers ; and among the rest, to Greene, in 
his Greene in Conceipt, 1598: " a garden-house having 
round about it many Jlmvers, and within it much deflowering." 


* Death is my son-in-law, &c.] The remaining part of this 
speech, 4< death is my heir," &c. was omitted by Mr. Pope in his 
edition ; and some of the subsequent editors, following his ex- 
ample, took the same unwarrantable licence. The lines were 
very properly restored by Mr. Stcevcns. MALONE. 

life leaving, all is death's.] The old copies read life- 
living. The emendation was made by Mr. Steevt-ns. MA r. ONE. 


PAR. Have I thought long to see this morning's 

face, 4 
And doth it give me such a sight as this ? 

LA. CAP. Accurs'd, unhappy, wretched, hateful 


Most miserable hour, that e'er time saw 
In lasting labour of his pilgrimage ! 
But one, poor one, one poor and loving child, 
But one thing to rejoice and solace in, 
And cruel death hath catch'd it from my sight, 

NURSE. O woe! O woful, woful, woful day! 5 
Most lamentable day ! most woful day, 
That ever, ever, I did yet behold ! 
O day ! O day ! O day ! O hateful day ! 
Never was seen so black a day as this : 
O woful day, O woful day! 

PAR. Beguil'd, divorced, wronged, spited, slain! 
Most detestable death, by thee beguil'd, 
By cruel cruel thee quite overthrown ! - 
O love ! O life ! not life, but love in death ! 

4 morning's face.~\ The quarto, 1597, continues the 

speech of Paris thus : 

* And doth it now present such prodigies ? 

* Accurst, unhappy, miserable man, 

* Forlorn, forsaken, destitute I am ; 

' Born to the world to be a slave in it : 

' Distrest, remediless, unfortunate. 

4 O heavens ! Oh nature ! wherefore did you make me 

' To live so vile, so wretched as I shall ?" STEEVENS. 

5 tuoe! O woful, &c.] This speech of exclamations is not 
in the edition above-cited, [that of 1597] Several other parts 
unnecessary or tautology, are not to be found in the said edi- 
tion ; which occasions the variation in this from the common 
books. POPE. 

In the text the enlarged copy of 1599 is here followed. 


sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 217 

CAP. Despis'd, distressed, hated, martyr'd, 


Uncomfortable time ! why cam'st thou now 
To murder murder our solemnity ? 
O child ! O child ! my soul, and not my child! 
Dead art thou, dead ! 6 alack ! my child is dead; 
And, with my child, my joys are buried ! 

FRI. Peace, ho, for shame! confusion's cure 7 

lives not 

In these confusions. Heaven and yourself 
Had part in this fair maid; now heaven hath all, 
And all the better is it for the maid: 
Your part in her you could not keep from death ; 
But heaven keeps his part in eternal life. 
The most you sought was her promotion ; 
For 'twas your heaven, she should be advanc'd : 
And weep ye now, seeing she is advanc'd, 
Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself? 
O, in this love, you love your child so ill, 
That you run mad, seeing that she is well : 
She's not well married, that lives married long; 
But she's best married, that dies married young. 
Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary 

8 Dead art thou, dead ! &c.] From the defect of the metre 
it is probable that Shakspearu wrote : 
Dead, dead, art thou ! &c. 

When the same word is repeated, the compositor often is 
guilty of omission. MA LONE. 

I have repeated the word dead, though in another part of 
the line. STREVENS. 

confusion's cure ] Old copies care. Corrected by 

Mr. Theobald. These violent and confused exclamations, says 
the Friar, will by no means alleviate that sorrow which at pre- 
sent overwhelms and disturbs your minds. So, in The Rape oj 
f.ticrece : 

" Why, Collatine, is woe the cure of woe "' MALONE. 


On this fair corse ; and, as the custom is, 
In all her best array bear her to church : 
For though fond nature 8 bids us all lament, 
Yet nature's tears are reason's merriment. 

CAP. All things, 9 that we ordained festival, 
Turn from their office to black funeral : 
Our instruments, to melancholy bells ; 

8 For though fond nature ] This line is not in the first 
quarto. The quarto, 1599, and the folio, read though some 
nature. The editor of the second folio substituted^/om/ for some. 
I do not believe this was the poet's word, though I have nothing 
better to propose. I have already shown that till the alterations 
made by the editor of the second folio were capricious, and ge- 
nerally extremely injudicious. 

In the preceding line the word all is drawn from the quarto, 
1597, where we find 

" In all her best and sumptuous ornaments," &c. 
The quarto, 1599, and folio, read 

" And in her best array bear her to church." MALONE. 

I am fully satisfied with the reading of the second folio, the 
propriety of which is confirmed by the following passage in Co- 

" 'Tisfond to wail inevitable strokes." STEEVENS. 

9 All things, &c.~] Instead of this and the following speeches, 
the eldest quarto has only a couplet : 

" Cap. Let it be so : come woeful sorrow-mates, 
" Let us together taste this bitter fate." STEEVENS. 

All things, that we ordained festival, &c.] So, in the poem 
already quoted: 

" Now is the parents' mirth quite changed into mone, 

" And now to sorrow is return'd the joy of every one ; 

" And now the wedding weeds for mourning weeds they 

" And Hymen to a dirge : alas ! it seemeth strange. 

" Instead of marriage gloves now funeral gowns they 

" And, whom they should see married, they follow to 
the grave ; 

" The feast that should have been of pleasure and of joy, 

" Hath every dish and cup fill'd full of sorrow and an- 
noy." MALONE. 

sc. v. ROMEO AND JULIET. 219 

Our wedding cheer, to a sad burial feast ; * 
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change ; 
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse, 
And all things change them to the contrary. 

FRI. Sir, go you in, and, madam, go with 


And go, sir Paris ; every one prepare 
To follow this fair corse unto her grave : 
The heavens do low'r upon you, for some ill ; 
Move them no more, by crossing their high will. 
and Friar. 

1 Mus. 'Faith, we may put up our pipes, and 
be gone. 

NURSE. Honest good fellows, ah, put up, put up ; 
For, well you know, this is a pitiful case. 2 

[Exit Nurse. 

1 Mus. Ay, by my troth, the case may be 

Enter PETER.* 

PET. Musicians, O, musicians, Heart's ease, 
liearfs ease ; O, an you will have me live, play 
heart's ease. 

\ Mus. Why heart's ease ? 

PET. O, musicians, because my heart itself plays 

- burial feast ;~\ See Vol. XVIII. p. 43, n. 5. 


1 pitiful case."] If this speech was designed to be me- 
trical, we should read piteous. STEKVENS. 

1 Enter Peter.] From the quarto of 1;>99, it appears, that 
hc part of Pelrr was originally performed by William Kempr. 



My heart is full of woe.- 4 O, play me some 
merry dump, to comfort me. 5 

4 My heart is full of 'woe .] This is the burthen of the 

first stanza of A pleasant new Ballad of Two Lovers: 

" Hey hoe ! my heart is full of woe." STEEVENS. 

* 0, play me some merry dump, to comfort me.~] A 

dump anciently signified some kind of dance, as well as sorrow. 
So, in Humour out of Breath, a comedy, by John Day, 1607 : 
" He loves nothing but an Italian dump, 
" Or a French brawl." 

But on this occasion it means a mournful song. So, in The 
Arraignment of Paris, 1584, after the shepherds have sung an 
elegiac hymn over the hearse of Colin, Venus says to Paris 

" How cheers my lovely boy after this dump of 

woe ? 

" Paris. Such dumps, sweet lady, as bin these, are deadly 
dumps to prove." STEEVENS. 

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 next page but one, and in the less ancient 
ballad of Chevy Chase. It is still said of a person uncommonly 
sad, that he is in the dumps. 

In a MS. of Henry the Eighth's time, now among the King's 
Collection in the Museum, is a tune for the cittern, or guitar, 
entitled, " My lady Careys dompe;" there is also " The duke of 
Somersettes dompe;' as we now say, " Lady Coventry's mi- 
nuet," &c. " If thou wert not some blockish and senseless dolt, 
thou wouldest never laugh when I sung a heavy mixt-Lydian 
tune, or a note to a dumpe or dolefull dittie." Plutarch's Morals, 
by Holland, 1602, p. 61. RITSON. 

At the end of The Secretaries Studie, by Thomas Gainsford, 
Esq. 4to. 1616, is a long poem of forty-seven stanzas, and called 
A Dumpe or Passion. It begins in this manner : 
' I cannot sing; for neither have I voyce, 
' Nor is my minde nor matter musicall; 
* My barren pen hath neither form nor choyce : 
' Nor is my tale or talesman comicall, 
' Fashions and I were never friends at all: 
" I write and credit that I see and knowe, 
" And mean plain troth; would every one did so." 


x. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 221 

2 Mus. Not a dump we ; 'tis no time to play 

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. 7 

6 the gleek :] So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream : 

" Nay, I canglcelc, upon occasion." 

To gleek is to scoftT The term is taken from an ancient ganie 
at cards called gleek. 

So, in TurbervilJe's translation of Ovid's Epistle from Dido to 

" By manly mart to purchase prayse, 
" And give his Joes the gleeke" 

Again, in the argument to the same translator's version of 
Htrmione to Orestes: 

" Orestes gave Achylles' sonnethegleeke." STEEVENS. 

The use of this cant term is no where explained; and in all 
probability cannot, at this distance of time, be recovered. To 
ffleefc however signified to put a joke or trick upon a person, 
perhaps to jest according to the coarse humour of that age. See 
A Midsummer- Night's Dream above quoted. RITSON. 

7 No money., on my faith ; but the gleek ; / will give you the 
minstrel.] Shakspeare's pun has here remained unnoticed. A 
Gleekman or Gligman, as Dr. Percy has shown, signified a min- 
strel. See his Essay on the antient English Minstrels, p. 55. 
The word glcck here signifies scorn, as Mr. Steevens has already 
observed; and is, as he says, borrowed from the old game so 
called, the method of playing which may be seen in Skinner's 
Etymologicon, in voce, and also in The Compleat Gamester, 2d 
edit. 1676, p. 90. DOUCE. 

thr minstrel.] From the following entry on the books 

of the Stationers' Company, in the year 1.560, it appears that the 
hire of a parson was cheaper than that of a minstrel or a cook. 

*' Item, payd to the preacher vi s. ii d. 

" Item, payd to the xii 8. 

" Item, payd to the coke xv s." STEEVENS. 


1 Mus. Then will I give you the serving-crea- 

PET. Then will I lay the serving-creature's 
dagger on your pate. I will carry no crotchets : 
1*11 re you, I'll fa you ; Do you note me ? 

1 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 
dry-beat you with an iron wit, and put up my iron 
dagger : Answer me like men : 

When griping grief* the heart doth wound, 
And dolejitl dumps the mind oppress* 
Then musick, with her silver sound; 

8 When griping grief &c.] The epithet griping was by no 
means likely to excite laughter at the time it was written. 
Lord Surrey, in his translation of the second Book of Virgil's 
./Eneid, makes the hero gay : 

" New gripes of dred then pearse our trembling brestes." 

Dr. Percy thinks that the questions of Peter are designed as 
a ridicule on the forced and unnatural explanations too often 
given by us painful editors of ancient authors. STEEVENS. 


" Wh^re griping grief y 6 hart would wotid, & dolful 
domps y 6 mind oppresse 

" There musick with her silver sound, is wont with 
spede to geue redresse ; 

" Of troubled minds for every sore, swete musick hath a 
salue in store.: 

" In ioy it maks our mirth abound, in grief it chers our 
heauy sprights, 

" The carefull head releef hath found, by musicks plea- 
sant swete delights: 

" Our senses, what should I saie more, are subject unto 
musicks lore. 

5(7. F. ROMEO AND JULIET. 223 

Why, silver sound ? why, musick with her silver 
What say you, Simon Catling ? ' 

1 Mus. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet 

PET. Pretty! What say you, Hugh Rebeck?" 

" The Gods by musick hath their pray, the soul therein 

doth ioye, 
" For as the Romaine poets saie, in seas whom pirats 

would destroye, 

" A Dolphin sau'd from death most sharpe, Arion play- 
ing on his harp. 
" Oh heauenly gift that turnes the minde, (like as the 

sterne doth rule the ship,) 
" Of musick, whom y c Gods assignde to comfort man, 

whom cares would nip, 
" Sith tliou both man, and beast docst inoue, what 

wisema the will thee reprove? 
From The Paradise ofDaintie Richard Edwards." 

Denises, fol. 31. b. 

Of Richard Edwards and William Hunnis, the authors of sun- 
dry poems in this collection, see an account in Wood's Athena: 
O.ton. and also in Tanner's Bibliothcca. SIR JOHN HAWKINS. 

Another copy of this song is published by Dr. Percy, [in the 
first volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. 


' And doleful dumps the mind oppress,"} This line I have re- 
covered from the old copy [1597-] It was wanting to complete 
the stanza as it is afterwards repeated. STEEVENS. 

1 Simon Catling ?] A catting was a small lutc-strinp 

made of catgut. STEEVENS. 

In An historical account of Taxes under all Denominations in 
the Time of William and Mary, p. 336, is the following article: 
" For every gross of callings and lutestring," &c. A. C. 

* Hugh RebeckF] The fidler is so called from an in- 
strument with three strings, which is mentioned by several of 
the old writers. Rebec, rcbccquin. See Menage, in v. Rebec. 
So, in Reaumont and Fletchers Knight of the Burning Pestle: 
" 'Tis present death for those fullers to tune their rebecks be- 
fore the great Turk's grace." In England'* Helicon, 16(X), is 
The Shepherd Arsilius, hit Song to his REBECK, by Har. Yong. 



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, 3 because such fellows as you 4 have seldom 
gold for sounding : 

TJien musick with her silver sound, 
With speedy help doth lend redress. 

[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. \_Exeunt. 

It is mentioned by Milton, as an instrument of mirth : 
" When the merry bells ring round, 
" And the jocund rebecks sound " MALONE. 

3 silver , sound,] So, in The Return from Parnassus; 


" Faith, fellow fidlers, here's no silver sound in this place." 
Again, in Wily Beguiled, 1606: 

" : what harmony is this 
" With silver sound that glutteth Sophos* ears ?" 
Spenser perhaps is the first author of note who used this phrase: 
" A silver sound that heavenly musick seem'd to make." 


Edwards's song preceded Spenser's poem. MALONE. 

4 'because such Jelloias as you ] Thus the quarto, 

1597. The others read because musicians. I should suspect 
that a fidler made the alteration. STEEVENS. 


Mantua. A Street. 

Enter ROMEO. 

ROM. If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,* 
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand : 

* Act F.] 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 edi- 
tions 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 inter- 
rupting the action at more proper intervals. JOHNSON. 

6 If I may trust th* jlattering eye of sleep,] Thus the earliest 
copy, meaning, perhaps, If I may trust to \vhat I sate in my 
sleep. The folio reads : 

If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep; 
which is explained, as follows, by Dr. Johnson. STEEVENS. 

The sense is, If I may trust the honesty of sleep, which I know 
however not to be so nice as not often to practise Jlattery. 


The sense seems rather to be " If I may repose any confi- 
dence in the flattering visions of the night." 

Whether the former word ought to supersede the more mo- 
dern one, let the reader determine : it appears to me, however, 
the most easily intelligible of the two. STEEVENS. 

If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,"] i. e. If I may con- 
fide in those delightful visions which I have seen while asleep. 
The precise meaning of the word Jlattcring here, is ascertained 
by a former passage in Act II: 

" 411 this is but a dream, 

*' Too Jlattering-tweet to be substantial." 
By the eye of deep Shakspeare, I think, rather meant the visual 
power, which a man a#lftep is enabled, by the aid of imagination, 
to exercise, than the eye of the god oj sleep. 



My bosom's lord 7 sits lightly in his throne ; 
And, all this day, an unaccustom'd spirit 

This is the reading of the original copy in 1597, which in my 
opinion is preferable in this and various other places, to the sub- 
sequent copies. That of 1599, and the folio, read: 

If I may trust the Jlattering truth of sleep, 
which by a very forced interpretation may mean, If I may con- 
fide in the pleasing visions of sleep, and believe them to be 

Otway, to obtain a clearer sense than that furnished by the 
words which Dr. Johnson has interpreted, reads, less poetically 
than the original copy, which he had probably never seen, but 
with nearly the same meaning : 

If I may trust the flattery of sleep, 
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand: 
and Mr. Pope has followed him. 

In this note I have said, that I thought Shakspeare by the eye 
of sleep meant the visual power which a man asleep is enabled 
by the aid of imagination to exercise, rather than the eye of the 
God of sleep: but a line in King Richard III. which at the 
same time strongly supports the reading of the old copy which 
has been adopted in the text, now inclines me to believe that 
the eye of the god of sleep was meant : 

" My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks ; 

" O, if thy eye be not a flatterer, 

" Come thou on my side, and entreat for me." 


7 My bosom's lord ] So, in King Arthur, a Poem, by R. 
Chester, 1601 : 

" That neither Uter nor his councell knew ' 
" How his deepe bosome's lord the dutchess thwarted." 
The author, in a marginal note, declares, that by bosom's lord, 
he means Cupid. STEEVENS. 

So also, in the Preface to Caltha Poetarum, or the Bumble- 
bee, 1599: " whilst he [CjtW,] continues honoured in the 
world, we must once a yeare bring him upon the stage, either 
dancing, kissing, laughing, or angry, or dallying with his dar- 
lings, seating himself in their breasts," &c. 

Thus too Shakspeare, in Twelfth Night : 
, " It gives a very echo to the seat 

" Where love is thron'd." 
Again, in Othello: 

* Yield up, O Love, thy crown and hearted throne." 

sc.i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 227 

Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts. 

Though the passage quoted above from Othello proves deci- 
sjvely that Shakspeare considered the heart as the throne of love, 
it has been maintained, since this note was written, strange as 
it may seem, that by my bosom's lord, we ought to understand, 
not the god of love, but the heart. The words love sits lightly 
on his throne, says Mr. Mason, can only import " that Romeo 
loved less intensely than usual." Nothing less. Love, the lord 
of my bosom, (says the speaker,) who has been much disquieted 
by the unfortunate events that have happened since my mar- 
riage, is now, in consequence of my last night's dream, gay and 
cheerful. The reading of the original copy sits cheerful in his 
throne, ascertains the author's meaning beyond a doubt. 

When the poet described the god of love as sitting lightly on 
the heart, he was thinking, without doubt, of the commop 
phrase, a light heart, which signified in his time, as it does at 
present, a heart undisturbed by care. 

Whenever Shakspeare wishes to represent a being that he has 
personified, eminently happy, he almost always crowns him, or 
places him on a throne. 

So, in Kins Henry I V.P.I: 

" And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep." 
Again, in the play before us : 

" Upon his brow shame is asham'd to sit : 

" For 'tis a throne where honour may be crown'd, 

" Sole monarch of the universal earth." 
Again, more appositely, in King Henry V : 

" As if allegiance in their bosoms sat, 

" Crowned with fnith and constant loyalty." MALONE. 

My bosom's lord ] These three lines are very gay and 
pleasing. But why does Shakspeare give Romeo this involun- 
tary 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 cer- 
tain foretokens of good and evil. JOHNSON. 

The poet has explained this passage himself a little further on : 
" How oft, when men are at the point of death, 
" Have they been merry i which their keepers call 
" A lightning before death." 
Again, in G. Whetstone's Castle of Delight, 1576: 

" a lightning delight against TUB soudcn destruction." 



I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead ; 
(Strange dream! that gives a dead man leave to 


And breath'd such life with kisses in my lips, 
That I reviv'd, 8 and was an emperor. 9 
Ah me ! how sweet is love itself possess' d, 
When but love's shadows are so rich in joy ? 


News from Verona ! How now, Balthasar ? 
Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar ? 
How doth my lady ? Is my father well ? 
How fares my Juliet ? l That I ask again j 
For nothing can be ill, if she be well. 

BAL. Then she is well, and nothing can be ill ; 
Her body sleeps in Capels* monument,, 2 

8 / dreamt, my lady came and found me dead; - 
And breath'd such life with kisses in my lips, 
That I reviv'd,"] Shakspeare seems here to have remem- 
bered Marlowe's Hero and Leander, a poem that he has quoted 
in As you like it: > 

" By this sad Hero - 

" Viewing Leander's face, fell down and fainted; 
" He kiss'd her, and breath'd life into her lips," &c. 


9 I dreamt, my 

That I reviv'd, and was an emperor.} So, in Shakspeare's 
87th Sonnet : 

" Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth Jlatter, 
<f In sleep a king." STEEVENS. 

1 Hotv fares my Juliet?] So the first quarto. That of 1599, 
and the folio, read : 

How doth my lady Juliet ? MALONE. 

* - in Capels' monument,'] Thus the old copies; and thus 
Gascoigne, in his Flowers, p. 51 : 

" Thys token whych the Mountacutes did beare alwaies, 
so that 

sc. r. ROMEO AND JULIET. 229 

And her immortal part with angels lives ; 
I saw her laid low in her kindred's vault, 
And presently took post to tell it you : 
O pardon me for bringing these ill news, 
Since you did leave it for my office, sir. 

ROM. Is it even so ? then I defy you, stars ! 3 
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 : 4 
Your looks are pale and wild, and do import 
Some misadventure. 

ROM. Tush, thou art deceived ; 

Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do : 
Hast thou no letters to me from the friar ? 

BAL. No, my good lord. 

ROM. No matter -.Get thee gone, 

" They covet to be knowne from Cupels, where they 

" For ancient grutch whych long ago 'tweene these two 

houses was." STEEVENS. 

Shakspeare found Capel and Capulet used indiscriminately in 
the poem which was the ground work of this tragedy. For 
Capcls' monument the modern editors have substituted Capu- 
let s monument. MALONE. 

Not all of them. The edition preceding Mr. Malone's does 
not, on this occasion, differ from his. REED. 

/ defy you, stars .'] The first quarto I defy my stars. 
The folio reads deny you, stars. The present and more ani- 
mated reading is picked out of both copies. STEEVENS. 

The quarto of 1599, and the folio, read I deny you, stars. 


4 Pardon me, sir, I will not leave you thus:'] This line is 
taken from the quarto, 1597. The quarto, 1609, and the folio, 
read : 

/ do beseech you, sir, have patience. STEEVENS. 
So alo the quarto, 1599. MALONE. 


And hire those horses ; I'll be with thee straight. 


Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to night. 
Let's see for means : O, mischief! thou art swift 
To enter in the thoughts of desperate men ! 
I do remember an apothecary, 5 
And hereabouts he dwells, whom late I noted 
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows, 
Culling of simples ; meager were his looks, 

s I do remember an apothecary, &c3 This circumstance 
is likewise found in Painters translation, Tom. II. p. 24-1 : 
" beholdyng an apoticaries shoppe of lytle furniture, and 
lesse store of boxes and other thynges requisite for that science, 
thought that the verie povertie of the mayster apothecarye 
would make him wyllyngly yelde to that whych he pretended 
to demaunde." STEEVENS. 

It is clear, I think, that Shakspeare had here the poem of 
Romeus and Juliet before him ; for he has borrowed more than 
one expression from thence : 

" And seeking long, alas, too soon ! the thing he sought, 

he found. 

" An apothecary sat unbusied at his door, 
" Whom by his heavy countenance he guessed to be 


" And in his shop he saw his boxes were but few, 
" And in his window of his wares there was so small a 


" Wherefore our Romeus assuredly hath thought, 
" What by no friendship could be got, with money should 

be bought; 

" For needy lack is like the poor man to compel 
" To sell that which the city's law forbiddeth him to 

Take fifty crowns of gold (quoth he) 

Fair sir (quoth he) be sure this is the speeding geer, 
And more there is than you shall need; for half of 

that is there 

Will serve, I undertake, in less than half an hour 
To kill the strongest man alive, such is the poison's 
power." MALONE. 

sc. i. ROMEO AND JULIET. 231 

Sharp misery had worn him to the bones: 6 

And in his needy shop a tortoise hung, 

An alligator stunfd, 7 and other skins 

Of ill-shap'd fishes ; and about his shelves 

A beggarly account of empty boxes, 8 

Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds, 

Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses, 

Were thinly scatter'd, to make up a show. 

Noting this penury, to myself I said 

An if a man 9 did need a poison now, 

meager "were his looks, 

Sharp misery had worn him to the bones :] See Sackville's 
description of Miserie, in his Induction : 

" His face -was leane, and some deal pinde away ; 

** And eke his hands consumed to the hone." MALONE. 

7 An alligator stuff" d,~\ It appears from Nashe's Have tvith 
you to Saffron Waklen, 1596, that a stuff'd alligator, in Shak- 
speare's time, made part of the furniture of an apothecary's 
shop : " He made says Nashe) an anatomic of a rat, and after 
hanged her over his head, instead of an apothecary's crocodile, 
or dried alligator" MALONE. 

1 was many years ago assured, that formerly, when an apo- 
thecary 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 witli the alligator, tor- 
toise, &c. hanging up in the shop of an ancient apothecary at 
Limehouse, as well as in places more remote from our metro- 
polis. 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. 


* A beggarly account of empty boxes,'] Dr. Warburton would 
read, a braggartly account ; but beggarly is probably right ; if 
the boxes were empty, the account was more beggarly, as it was 
more pompous. JOHNSON. 

9 An if a maw Ac.] This phraseology, which means simply 
If, was not unfrequent in Shakspeare's time and before. Thus, 
in Lodge's Illuslrationx, Vol. I. p. 85 : " meanys was maid 
unto me to see an yj\ wold appoynt," &c. KEED. 


Whose sale is present death in Mantua, 
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him. 
O, this same thought did but fore-run my need j 
And this same needy man must sell it me. 
As I remember, this should be the house : 
Being holiday, the beggar's shop is shut. 
What, ho ! apothecary ! 

Enter Apothecary. 

AP. Who calls so loud ? 

ROM. Come hither, man. I see, that thou art 


Hold, there is forty ducats : let me have 
A dram of poison ; such soon-speeding geer 
As will disperse itself through all the veins, 
That the life-weary taker may fall dead ; 
And that the trunk may be discharg'd of breath 
As violently, as hasty powder fir'd 
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb. 

AP. Such mortal drugs I have j but Mantua's 

Is death, to any he that utters them. 

ROM. Art thou so bare, and full of wretched- 

And fear'st to die ? famine is in thy cheeks, 
Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes, 1 

1 Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes,"] The first quarto 
reads : 

And starved famine dwelleth in thy cheeks. 
The quartos, 1599, 1609, and the folio: 

Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes. 
Our modern editors, without authority, 

Need and oppression stare within thy eyes. STEEVENS. 

The passage might, perhaps, be better regulated thus : 
Need and oppression stareth in thy eyes. 

?. /. ROMEO AND JULIET. 233 

Upon thy back hangs ragged misery, 9 
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. 

AP. My poverty, but not my will, consents. 
ROM. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will. 

For they cannot, properly, be said to starve in his eyes ; though 
starved famine may be allowed to dwell in his cheeks. Thy, 
not thine, is the reading of the folio, and those who are con- 
versant in our author, and especially in the old copies, will 
scarcely notice the grammatical impropriety of the proposed 
emendation. RITSON. 

The modern reading was introduced by Mr. Pope, and was 
founded on that of Otway, in whose Caius Marius the line is 
thus exhibited: 

" Need and oppression stareth in thy eyes." 
The word starved in the first copy shows that starvcth in the 
text is right. In the quarto of 1597, this speech stands thus : 
And dost thou fear to violate the law ? 
The law is not thy friend, nor the lawes friend, 
And therefore make no conscience of the law. 
Upon thy back hangs ragged miserie, 
And starved famine dwelleth in thy cheeks." 
The last line is in my opinion preferable to that which has 
been substituted in its place, but it could not be admitted into 
the text without omitting the words famine is in thy cheeks, 
and leaving an hemistich. MALONE. 

* Upon thy back hangs ragged misery,"] This is the reading of 
the oldest copy. I have restored it in preference to the following 
line, which is found in all the subsequent impressions : 

Contempt and beggary liang upon thy back. 
In The First Part ofJeronimo, 1G05, is a passage somewhat 
resembling this of Shakspeare : 

" Whose t'.iini.sliM jaws look like the chaps of death, 
" Upon whose eye-brows hang damnation." STEEVENS. 

Perhaps from Kyd's Cornelia, a tragedy, 1 59-1- : 

" Upon thy back where misery doth sit. 

" O Home," &c. 
Jeronimo was performed before 1.590. M.XLONE. 

See Vol. X. p. 344, n. 3. STEEVKVS. 


AP. Put this in any liquid thing you will, 
And drink it off; and, if you had the strength 
Of twenty men, it would despatch you straight. 3 

ROM. There is thy gold j worse poison to men's 


Doing more murders in this loathsome world, 
Than these poor compounds that thou may'st not 


I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none. 
Farewell ; buy food, and get thyself in flesh. 
Come, cordial, and not poison ; go with me 
To Juliet's grave, for there must I use thee. 


3 Put this in any liquid thing you will, 
And drink it off"; and, if you had the strength 
Of twenty men, it 'would despatch you straight."] Perhaps, 
when Shakspeare allotted this speech to the Apothecary, he had- 
not quite forgot the following passage in The Pardoneres Tale 
of Chaucer, 12,794 : 

The Potecary answered, thou shalt have 
A thing, as wisly God my soule save, 
In all this world ther n'is no creature, 
That etc or dronke hath of this confecture, 
Not but the mountance of a corne of whete, 
'.' That he ne shal his lif anon forlete ; 
" Ye, sterve he shal, and that in lesse while, 
*' Than thou wolt gon a pas not but a mile : 
" This poison is so strong and violent." STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. ROMEO AND JULIET. 235 


Friar Laurence's Cell. 

Enter Friar JOHN. 

JOHN. Holy Franciscan friar ! brother, ho ! 
Enter Friar LAURENCE. 

LAU. This same should be the voice of friar 


Welcome from Mantua : What says Romeo ? 
Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter. 

JOHN. Going to find a bare-foot brother out, 
One of our order, to associate me,* 

4 One of our order, to associate me,"] Each friar has always 
a companion assigned him by the superior when he asks leave 
to go out ; and thus, says Baretti, they are a check upon each 
other. STEEVENS. 

In The Visitatio Notabilis de Seleburne, a curious record 
printed in The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, 
Wykeham enjoins the canons not to go abroad without leave 
from the prior, who is ordered on such occasions to assign the 
brother a companion, ne suspicio sinistra vel scandalwn oriatur. 
Append, p. 448. HOLT WHITE. 

By the Statutes of Trinity College, Cambridge, ch. 22, it is 
declared That no batchelor or scholar shall go into the town 
without a companion as a witness of his honesty, on pain for the 
first offence to be deprived of a week's commons, with further 
punishment for the offence if repeated. REED. 

doing to Jind a bare-foot brother out, 
One of our order, to associate me, 
Here in this city visiting the sick, 
And Jinding him, the searchers of the town, 
Suspecting, &c.] So, in The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus 
and Juliet, 1562: 


Here in this city visiting the sick, 
And finding him, the searchers of the town, 
Suspecting, that we both were in a house 
Where the infectious pestilence did reign, 
Seal'd up the doors, and would not let us forth ; 
So that my speed to Mantua there was stay'd. 

LAU. Who bare my letter then to Romeo? 

JOHN. I could not send it, here it is again, 
Nor get a messenger to bring it tfcee, 
So fearful were they of infection. 

LAU. Unhappy fortune ! by my brotherhood, 
The letter was not nice, 5 but full of charge, 

" Apace our friar John to Mantua him hies ; 

* And, for because in Italy it is a wonted guise 

* That friars in the town should seldom walk alone, 

' But of their convent aye should be accompanied "with 

* Of his profession, straight a house he findeth out, 

* In mind to take some friar with him, to walk the town 


Our author, having occasion for Friar John, has here departed 
from the poem, and supposed the pestilence to rage at Verona, 
instead of Mantua. 

Friar John sought for a brother merely for the sake of form, 
to accompany him in his walk, and had no intention of visiting 
the sick ; the words, therefore, to associate me, must be con- 
sidered as parenthetical, and Here in this city, &c. must refer to 
the bare-foot brother. 

I formerly conjectured that the passage ought to be regulated 

Going to jftnd a barefoot brother out. 
One of our order, to associate me, 
Andjinding him, the searchers of the totan 
Here in this city visiting the sick, &c. 

But the text is certainly right. The searchers would haVe 
had no ground of suspicion, if neither of the Friars had been in 
an infected house. MALONE. 

* VMS not nice,] i.e. was not written on a trivial er 

idle subject. 

sc. //. ROMEO AND JULIET. 237 

Of dear import; and the neglecting it 
May do much danger : Friar John, go hence ; 
Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight 
Unto my cell. 

JOHN. Brother, I'll go and bring it thee. [Exit. 

LAU. Now must I to the monument alone ; 
Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake ; 6 
She will beshrew me much, that Romeo 
Hath had no notice of these accidents : 
But I will write again to Mantua, 
And keep her at my cell till Romeo come ; 
Poor living corse, clos'd in a dead man's tomb ! 


Nice signifies foolish in many parts of Gower and Chaucer. 
So, in the second Book De Confessione Amantis, fol. 37 : 

" My sonne, eschewe thilke vice. 

" My father elles were I nice. 1 ' 
Again, in Chaucer's Scogan unto the Lordes, &c. 

" the most complaint of all, 

" Is to 1 1 1 ink i n that 1 have be so nice, 
" That I ne would in vertues to me call," &c. 
Again, in The longer thou livcst the more Fool than art, 1570: 

" You must appeare to be straunge and nyce." 
The learned editor of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 1775, 
observes, that H. Stephens informs us, that nice was the old 
French word for niais, one of the synonymea of sot. Apol. 
Herod. L. I. c. iv. STEEVENS. 

See Vol. XIV. p. 421, n. 1 ; and Vol. XVI. p. 375, n. 8. 


Within this three hours will fair Juliet tcake;"] Instead of 
this line, and the concluding part of the speech, the quarto, 
J597, reads only: 

" Lest that the lady should before I come 

" Be wak'd from sleep, I will hye 

" To free her from that tombe of miserie." SIEBVENS. 



A Church-Yard; in it, a Monument belonging to 
the Capulets. 

Enter PARIS, and Ms Page, bearing Flowers and a 


PAR. Give me thy torch* boy : Hence, and stand 


Yet put it out, for I would not be seen. 
Under yon yew-trees lay thee all along, 
Holding thine ear close to the hollow ground ; 
So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread, 
(Being loose, unfirm, with digging up of graves,) 
But thou shalt hear it : whistle then to me, 
As signal that thou hear'st something approach 
Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go. 

PAGE. I am almost afraid to stand alone 
Here in the churchyard ; yet I will adventure. 


PAR. Sweet flower, with flowers I strew thy 

bridal bed : 

Sweet tomb, that in thy circuit dost contain 
The perfect model of eternity ; 
Fair Juliet, that with angels dost remain, 7 

7 Fair Juliet, that 'with angels &c.] These four lines from the 
old edition. POPE. 

The folio has these lines : 

** Sweet flow'r, with flow'rs thy bridal bed I strew ; 

" O woe ! thy canopy is dust and stones, 
" Which with sweet water nightly I will dew, 

* Or, wanting that, with tears distill'd by moans. 

#7.///. ROMEO AND JULIET. 239 

Accept this latest favour at my hands ; 
That living honour'd thee, and, being dead, 
With funeral praises do adorn thy tomb ! 

[The Boy whistles. 

The boy gives warning, something doth approach. 
What cursed foot wanders this way to-night, 
To cross my obsequies, and true love's rites ? 
What, with a torch! muffle me, night, a while.* 

, JUT/ :. i:> [Retires. 

Enter ROMEO and BALTHASAR with a Torch, 
Mattock, $c. 

ROM. Give me that mattock, and the wrenching 


Hold, take this letter ; early in the morning 
See thou deliver it to my lord and father. 
Give me the light : Upon thy life I charge thee, 
Whate'er thou hear'st or seest, stand all aloof, 
And do not interrupt me in my course. 
Why I descend into this bed of death, 

" The obsequies that I for thee will keep, 

" Nightly shall be, to strew thy grave, and weep." 


Mr. Pope has followed no copy with exactness ; but took the 
first and fourth lines from the elder quarto, omitting the two 
intermediate verses, which I have restored. STEEVENS. 

The folio follows the quarto of 1599. In the text the seven 
lines are printed as they appear in the quarto, 1597. MALONE. 

muffle me, nighty a while."] Thus, in Drayton'e 
Polydbion : 

" But suddenly the clouds which on the winds do fly, 

*' Do miifflf him againe .'* 

Muffle was not become a low word even in the time of Milton, 
as the Elder Brother in Comus uses it : 

" \]nmuflle ye faint stars" &c. 

A miifflfr, as I have already observed, was a part of female 
dress. See Vol. V. p. 170, n. 5. STKEVKKS, 


Is, partly, to behold my lady's face : 

But, chiefly, to take thence from her dead finger 

A precious ring ; a ring, that I must use 

In dear employment: 9 therefore hence, be gone: 

But if thou, jealous, dost return to pry 

In what I further shall intend to do, 

By heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint, 

And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs : 

The time and my intents are savage-wild ; l 

More fierce, and more inexorable far, 

Than empty tigers, or the roaring sea. 

BAL. I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you. 

ROM. So shalt thou show me friendship. Take 

thou that : 
Live, and be prosperous ; and farewell, good fellow. 

BAL. For all this same, I'll hide me hereabout ; 
His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt. \_Retires. 

9 dear employment :~\ That is, action of importance. 

Gems were supposed to have great powers and virtues. 


See Vol. VII. p. 308, n. 6. 

Ben Jonson uses the word dear in the same sense : 
" Put your known talents on so dear a business.'* 

Catiline , Act I. 
Again, in Chapman's version of the 10th Book of the Odyssey: 

" full pitching on 

" The, dearest joint his head was plac'd upon." 
Again, in the ancient MS. romance of The Soivdon of Baly- 
loyne, p. 14: 

" Now telle we of the messengere 

'* That went to Charlemayne, 

" Certyfyinge him by lettres dere 

" How the Romaynes were slayne." STEEVENS. 

See Vol. XIX. p. 202, n. 9. MALONE. 

1 savage-toild;] Here the speech concludes in the old 

copy. STEEVENS. 

sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 241 

ROM. Thou detestable 2 maw, thou womb of 


Gorg'd with the dearest morsel of the earth, 
Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open, 

[Breaking open the Door of the Monument. 
And, in despite, I'll cram thee with more food 1 

PAR. This is that banish'd haughty Montague, 
That murder'd my love's cousin ; with which grief, 
It is supposed, the fair creature died, 
And here is come to do some villainous shame 
To the dead bodies : I will apprehend him. 


Stop thy unhallow'd toil, vile Montague ; 
Can vengeance be pursu'd further than death? 
Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee : 
Obey, and go with me ; for thou must die. 

ROM. I must, indeed j and therefore came I 


Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man, 
Fly hence and leave me ; think upon these gone; 
Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth, 
Heap not another sin upon my head, 3 

* detestable ] This word, which is now accented on 

the second syllable, was once accented on the first ; therefore 
this line did not originally seem to be inharmonious. So, in 
The Tragcdie of Croesus, 1604: 

" Court with vain words and detestable lyes." 
Again, in Shakspeare's King John, Act III. c. iii : 

" And I will kiss thy detestable bones." STEEVENS. 

Again, in Daniel's Civil Warres, 1595: 

" Such detestable vile impiety." MA LONE. 

J Heap not Ac.] Thus the quarto, 1597. The quartos 1599 
and 1609, and the folios Put not; which led Mr. Rowe to in- 
troduce the unauthorized reading pu#. That in the text, how- 
ever, is the true one. So, in Cymbcline: 

** thou heapett 

" A year's age on me." 


By urging me to fury : O, be gone ! 
By heaven, I love thee better than myself; 
For I come hither arm'd against myself: 
Stay not, be gone ; live, and hereafter say 
A madman's mercy bade thee run away. 

PAR. I do defy thy conjurations, 4 
And do attach thee as a felon here. 

Again, in a Letter from Queen Elizabeth to Lady Drury : 
" Heape not your harmes where helpe ther is none," &c. See 
Nichols's Progresses &c. Vol. II. p. 36, F. 2. b. 

After all, it is not impossible our author designed we should 
read Pluck not &c. Thus, in King Richard III: " sin will 
pluck on sin." STEEVENS. 

So, in the poem of Romeus and Juliet: 

" With sighs and salted tears her shriving doth begin, 
* For she of heaped sorrows hath to speak, and not of 

sin." MALONE. 

* I do defy thy conjurations, ~\ Thus the quarto, 1597. Paris 
conceived Romeo to have burst open the monument for no other 
purpose than to do some villainous shame on the dead bodies, 
such as witches are reported to have practised ; and therefore 
tells him he defies him, and the magick arts which he suspects 
he is preparing to use. So, in Painter's translation of the novel, 
Tom. II. p. 244: " the watch of the city by chance passed 
by, and seeing light within the grave, suspected straight that 
they were necromancers which had opened the tombs to abuse the 
dead bodies, for aide of their arte." The folio reads : 

/ do defy thy commiseration. 

Among the ancient senses of the word to defy, was to dis- 
dain, refuse, or deny. So, in The Death of Robert Earl of 
Huntingdon, 1601 : 

" Or, as I said, for ever I defy your company." 
Again, in The Miseries of Queen Margaret, by Drayton : 

" My liege, quoth he, all mercy now defy." 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. viii : 

" Foole, (said the Pagan) I thy giftdefye." 
See Vol. XI. p. 232, n. 7. 

Paris may, however, mean I refuse to do as thou conjurest 
me to do, i. e. to depart. STEEVENS. 

I do defy thy conjurations,] So the quarto, 1597. Instead 
of this, in that of 1599, we find commiration. In the next ROMEO AND JULIET. 243 

ROM. Wilt thou provoke me ? then have at thee, 
boy. [Theyfight. 

PAGE. O lord ! they fight : I will go call the 
watch. [Exit Page. 

PAR. O, I am slain ! [Falls.'} If thou be mer- 
Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet. [Dies. 

ROM. In faith, I will : Let me peruse this 

face ; 

Mercutio's kinsman, noble county Paris : 
What said my man, when my betossed soul 
Did not attend him as we rode ? I think, 
He told me, Paris should have married Juliet : 
Said he not so ? or did I dream it so ? 5 
Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet, 
To think it was so ? O, give me thy hand, 
One writ with me in sour misfortune's book ! 
I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave, 
A grave ? O, no ; a lantern, 6 slaughter'd youth, 

quarto of 1609 this was altered to commiseration, and the folio 
being probably printed from thence, the same word is exhibited 
there. The obvious interpretation of these words, " / refuse to 
ffo as thou conjurest me to do y i. e. to depart," is in my appre- 
hension the true one. MALONE. 

or did I dream it sof] Here the quarto 1597 not inele- 
gantly subjoins : 

" But I will satisfy thy last request, 
" For thou hast priz'd thy love above thy life." 
A following addition, however, obliged our author to omit 
these lines, though perhaps he has not substituted better in their 
room. STEEVESS. 

A grave? O, no; a lantern,] A lantern may not, in this 
instance, signify an enclosure for a lighted candle, but & louvre, 
or what in ancient records is styled lanterniitm, i. e. a spacious 
round or octagonal turret full of windows, by means of which 
cathedrals, and sometimes halls, nre illuminated. See the beau- 
tiful lantern at Ely Minster. 


For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes 
This vault a feasting presence 7 full of light. 
Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interred. 8 

[Laying Paris in the Monument. 
How oft when men are at the point of death, 
Have they been merry ? which their keepers call 
A lightning before death : O, how may I 

The same Word, with the same sense, occurs in Churchyard's 
Siege ofEdinbrough Castle : 

" This lofty seat and lantern of that land, 
" Like lodestarre stode, and lokte o'er eu'ry streete." 
Again, in Philemon Holland's translation of the 12th chapter 
of the 35th Book of Pliny's Natural History: " hence came 
the louvers and lanternes reared over the roofes of temples," &c. 


7 presence ~\ A. presence is zpublick room. JOHNSON. 

A presence means a publick room, which is at times the pre- 
sence-chamber of the sovereign. So, in The. Tiuo Noble Gentle- 
men , by Beaumont and Fletcher, Jacques says, his master is a 

" His chamber hung with nobles, like a presence" 


Again, in Westward for Smelts, 1620 : " the king sent for 
the wounded man into the presence." MALONE. 

This thought, extravagant as it is, is borrowed by Middletoa 
in his comedy of Blurt Master Constable, 1602: 

" The darkest dungeon which spite can devise 
" To throw this carcase in, her glorious eyes 
" Can make as lightsome as the fairest chamber 
" In Paris Louvre." STEEVENS. 

8 by a dead man interrd.~] Romeo being now deter- 
mined to put an end to his life, considers himself as already 
dead. MALONE. 

Till I read the preceding note, I supposed Romeo meant, that 
he placed Paris by the side of Tybalt who was already dead, and 
buried in the same monument. The idea, however, of a man's 
receiving burial from a dead undertaker, is but too like some of 
those miserable conceits with which our author too frequently 
counteracts his own pathos. STEEVENS. 

so. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 245 

Call this a lightning ? 9 O, my love ! my wife ! 
Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath, 
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty : l 
Thou art not conquer'd ; beauty's ensign yet 
Is crimson in thy lips, and in thy cheeks, 

O, how may I 

Call this a lightning ?] I think we should read : 

O, now may I 

Call this a lightning ? JOHNSON. 

How is certainly right and proper. Romeo had, just before, 
been in high spirits, a symptom, which he observes, was some- 
times called a lightning before death : but how, says he, (for no 
situation can exempt Shakspeare's characters from the vice of 
punning) can I terra this sad and gloomy prospect a lightning? 


The reading of the text is that of the quarto, 1599. The first 
cop^ reads : But how, &c. which shows that Dr. Johnson's emen- 
dation cannot be right. M ALONE. 

This idea occurs frequently in the old dramatick pieces. So, 
in the Second part of The Down fall of Robert Earl of Hunting- 
don, 1601 : 

*' I thought it was a lightning before death, 

" Too sudden to be certain." 
Again, in Chapman's translation of the 15th Iliad: 

" since after this he had not long to live, 

" This lightning Jlew before his death." 
Again, in his translation of the 18th Odyssey: 

" extend their cheer 

" To th' utmost lightning that still ushers death." 


1 Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath, 

Hath had no power yet unon thy ocauty:~\ So, in Sidney's 
Arcadia, B. Ill : " Death being able to divide the soule, but not 
the beauty from her body." STEEVENS. 

So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1594- : 
" Decayed roses of discolour'd cheeks 
" Do yet retain some notes of former grace, 
" And ugly death sitsfaire within herjace." 



And death's pale flag is not advanced there. 2 
Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet? 3 
O, what more favour can I do to thee, 
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain, 
To sunder his that was thine enemy ? 
Forgive me, cousin ! Ah, dear Juliet, 
Why art thou yet so fair ? Shall I believe 
That unsubstantial death is amorous ; 4 

* beauty 1 s ensign yet 

Is crimson in thy lips, and in thy cheeks. 
And death's pale jlag &c.] So, in Daniel's Complaint of 
Rosamond, 1594: 

" And nought respecting death (the last of paines) 
" Plac'd his pale colours (th' ensign of his might) 
" Upon his new-got spoil," &c. 

In the first edition of Romeo and Juliet, Shakspeare is less florid 
in his account of the lady's beauty ; and only says : 

" ah, dear Juliet, 

" How well thy beauty doth become this grave !" 
The speech, as it now stands, is first found in the quarto, 1599. 


And death's pale jlag is not advanced there."] An ingenious 
friend some time ago pointed out to me a passage of Marini, 
which bears a very strong resemblance to this : 
" Morte la 'nsegna sua pallida e bianca 
" Vincitrice spiego sul volto mio." 

Rime lugubri, p. 149, edit. Venet. 1605. 


* Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?"] So, in Pain- 
ter's translation, Tom. II. p. 242 : " what greater or more 
cruel satisfaction canst thou desyre to have, or henceforth hope 
for, than to see hym which murdered thee, to be empoysoned 
wyth hys owne handes, and buryed by thy syde ?" STEEVENS. 

4 . Ah, dear Juliet, 

Why art thou yet so fair ? shall I believe 
That unsubstantial death is amorous; &c.J So, in Daniel's 
Complaint of Rosamond, 1594: 

" Ah, now, methinks, I see death dallying seeks 
" To entertain itselfe in love's sweete place." 


That unsubstantial death is amorous; &c.J Burton, in his 
Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 463, speaking of the 

sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 247 

And that the lean abhorred monster keeps 
Thee here in dark to be his paramour ? 

power of beauty, tells us : " But of all the tales in this kinde, 
that is most memorable of Death himselfe, when he should have 
stroken a sweet young virgin with his dart, hee fell in love with 
the object." Burton refers to Angerianus: but I have met with 
the same story in some other ancient book of which I have forgot 
the title. STEEVENS. 

Ah, dear Juliet, &c.] In the quarto, 1597, the passage 

runs thus : 

" Ah dear Juliet, 

" How well thy beauty doth become this grave ! 
" O, I believe that unsubstantial death 
" Is amorous, and doth court my love. 
*' Therefore will I, O here, O ever here, 
" Set up my everlasting rest 
** With worms that are thy chamber-maids. 
" Come, desperate pilot, now at once run on 
" The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary barge : 
" Here's to my love. O, true apothecary, 
" Thy drugs are swift : thus with a kiss I die." [Falls. 
In the quarto 1599, and the folio, (except that the latter has 
arms instead of arm, ) the lines appear thus : 

" Ah dear Juliet, 

" Why art thou yet so fair ? / iaUl believe 
" Shall I believe that unsubstantial death is amorous, 
" And that the lean abhorred monster keeps 
" Thee here in dark to be his paramour ; 
" For fear of that I still will stay with thee, 
" And never from this palace [pallat* 4-] of dim nigh 
" [Depart again. Come, lie thou in my arm : 
'* Here's to thy health ixhcre e'er thou tumblcst in. 
' O true apothecary ! 

* Thy drugs are quick : thus with a kiss I die.] 
' Depart again ; here, here, will I remain 
' With worms that are thy chamber-maids : O, here 
' Will I set up my everlasting rest, 

* pallat ] Meaning, [>erhai>9, the free/ of night. So,in King HenrylV. 

P. II: 

" Upon uneasy palltti utrrlchirij; thcc." 

In The Strand Maidcn't Tntgrdy, however, (an old MS. in the library of the 
Marquis of Laasdowue,) monuments are styled the " palacn of death." 



For fear of that, I will still stay with thee ; 
And never from this palace of dim night 
Depart again ; here, here will I remain 
With worms that are thy chamber-maids j O, here 
Will I set up my everlasting rest ; 5 

" And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars, &c. 
" Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide ! 
'* Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on 
" The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark ! 
" Here's to my love. O, true apothecary, 
" Thy drugs are quick: thus with a kiss I die." 
As the old blundering transcribers or compositors maybe fairly 
supposed, in the present instance, to have given what Shakspeare 
had rejected, as well as what he designed to appear in his text, 
the lines within the crotchets are here omitted. Following the 
example of Mr. Malone, I have also omitted the long notes 
which, in some former editions, had accompanied this passage. 


There cannot, I think, be the smallest doubt that the words 
included within crotchets, which are not found in the undated 
quarto, were repeated by the carelessness or ignorance of the 
transcriber or compositor. In like manner, in a former scene we 
have two lines evidently of the same import, one of which only 
the poet could have intended to retain. See p. 197, n. 1. 

In a preceding part of this passage Shakspeare was probably 
in doubt whether he should write : 

/ will believe 

That unsubstantial death is amorous } 

Shall / believe 

That unsubstantial death is amorous ; 

and having probably erased the words / ivill believe imperfectly, 
the wise compositor printed the rejected words as well as those 
intended to be retained. 
With respect to the line : 

Here's to thy health, where'er thou tumblest in, 
it is unnecessary to inquire what was intended by it, the passage 
in which this line is found, being afterwards exhibited in another 
form; and being much more accurately expressed in its second 
than in its first exhibition, we have a right to presume that the 
poet intended it to appear in its second form, that is, as it now 
appears in the text. MALONE. 

* my everlasting rest;~] See a note on scene 5th of the 

sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 249 

And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars 
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last! 
Arms, take your last embrace ! and lips, O you 
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss 
A dateless bargain to engrossing death ! 6 
Come, bitter conduct, 7 come, unsavoury guide ! 

preceding Act, p. 212, n. 5. So, in The Spanish Gipsie, by 
Middleton and Rowley, 1653 : 

* could I set up my rest 

" That he were lost, or taken prisoner, 
" I could hold truce with sorrow." 

To set up one's rest, is to be determined to any certain pur- 
pose, to rest in perfect confidence and resolution, to make up 
one's mind. 

Again, in the same play : 

" Set up thy rest ; her marriest thou, or none." 


Eyes, look your last ! 

Arms, take your last embrace ! and lips, you 
The doors of breath, seal ivith a righteous kiss 
A dateless bargain to engrossing death /] So, in Daniel's 
Complaint of Rosamond, 1594: 

" Pitiful mouth, said he, that living gavest 
The sweetest comfort that my soul could wish, 
O, be it lawful now, that dead thou havest 
The sorrowing farewell of a dying kiss ! 
And you, fair eyes, containers of my bliss, 
Motives of love, born to be matched never, 
Entomb'd in your sweet circles, sleep for ever !" 

1 think there can be little doubt, from the foregoing lines and 
the other passages already quoted from this poem, that our 
author had read it recently before he wrote the last Act of the 
present tragedy. 

A dateless bargain to engrossing death /] Engrossing seems 
to be used here in its clerical sense. MALONE. 

7 Come, bitter conduct,] Marston also in his Satires, 1599, 
nses conduct for conductor : 

" Be thou my conduct and my genius.*' 
So, in a former scene in this play : 

" And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now." 
See Vol. IV. p. 166, n. 3. MALONE. 


Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on 
The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark ! 
Here's to my love ! [Drinks J\ O, true apothecary ! 
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die. 


Enter ', at the other End of the Churchyard, Friar 
LAURENCE, with a Lantern, Crow, and Spade. 

FRI. Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to- 

Have my old feet stumbled at graves? 8 Who's 
there ? 

Who is it that consorts, so late, the dead? 9 

BAL. Here's one, a friend, and one that knows 
you well. 

FRI. Bliss be upon you ! Tell me, good my friend, 
What torch is yond', that vainly lends his light 
To grubs and eyeless sculls ? as I discern, 
It burneth in the Capels' monument. 

BAL. It doth so, holy sir ; and there's my master, 
One that you love. 

FRI. Who is it ? 


9 how oft to-night 

Have my old feet stumbled at graves ?~\ This accident was 
reckoned ominous. So, in King Henry VI. P. Ill : 
" For many men that stumble at the threshold, 
" Are well foretold, that danger lurks within." 
Again, in King Richard III. Hastings, going to execution, says : 
" Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble." 


9 Who is it &c.] This very appropriate question I have 
restored from the quarto 1597. 

To consort, is to keep company with. So, in Chapman's 
version of the 23d Iliad: 

" 'Tis the last of all care I shall take, 

" While I consort the careful." STEEVENS. 

so. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 251 

BAL. Romeo. 

FRI. How long hath he been there ? 

BAL. Full half an hour. 

FRI. Go with me to the vault. 

BAL. I dare not, sir : 

My master knows not, but I am gone hence ; 
And fearfully did menace me with death, 
If I did stay to look on his intents. 

FRI. Stay then, I'll go alone : Fear comes upon 

O, much I fear some ill unlucky thing. 

BAL. As I did sleep under this yew-tree here, 
I dreamt my master and another lought, 1 
And that my master slew him. 

FRI. Romeo? [Advances. 

Alack, alack, what blood is this, which stains 
The stony entrance of this sepulchre ? 
What mean these masterless and gory swords 
To lie discolour'd by this place of peace ? 

[Enters the Monument. 

Romeo ! O, pale ! Who else ? what, Paris too ? 
And steep'd in blood ? Ah, what an unkind hour 

1 I dreamt my master and another fought,"] This is one of 
the touches of nature that would have escaped the hand of any 
painter less attentive to it than Shakspeare. What happens to a 
person while he is under the manifest influence of fear, will seem 
to him, when he is recovered from it, like a dream. Homer, 
Book Hth, represents Rhesus dying fast asleep, and as it were 
beholding his enemy in a dream plunging a sword into his bosom. 
Eustathius and Dacier both applaud this image as very natural ; 
for a man in such a condition, says Mr. Pope, awakes no further 
than to see confusedly what environs him, and to think it not a 
reality, but a vision. 

Let me add, that this passage appears to have been imitated 
by Quintus Calaber, XIII. 125: 

" Flor/xox 6u,a>y ozi-jwres nup&nv." STEEVEXS. 


Is guilty of this lamentable chance ! 

The lady stirs. 2 [JULIET wakes and stirs. 

JUL. O, comfortable friar ! where is my lord ? 
I do remember well where I should be, 
And there I am : Where is my Romeo ? 

[Noise within. 

FRI. I hear some noise. Lady, come from that 


Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep; 3 
A greater Power than we can contradict 
Hath thwarted our intents ; come, come away : 
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead;* 

* The lady stirs.'] In the alteration of this play now exhibited 
on the stage, Mr. Garrick appears to have been indebted to 
Otway, who, perhaps without any knowledge of the story as 
told by Da Porto and Bandello, does not permit his hero to die 
before his wife awakes : 

" Mar. Jun. She breathes, and stirs. 

" Lav. [in the tomb.'] Where am I ? bless me! Heaven ! 

" ' Tis very cold, and yet here's something warm. 
" Mar. Jun. She lives, and we shall both be made immortal. 
" Speak, my Lavinia, speak some heavenly news, 
" And tell me how the gods design to treat us. 
" Lav. O, I have slept a long ten thousand years. 

" What have they done with me ? I'll not be us'd thus . 
" /'// not ived Sylla; Marius is my husband." 


3 and unnatural sleep;'] Shakspeare alludes to the sleep 

of Juliet, which was unnatural, being brought on by drugs. 


4 Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead;~] Shakspeare has 
been arraigned for departing from the Italian novel, in making 
Romeo die before Juliet awakes from her trance ; and thus losing 
a happy opportunity of introducing an affecting scene between 
these unfortunate lovers. But he undoubtedly had never read 
the Italian novel, or any literal translation of it, and was misled 
by the poem of Romeus and Juliet, the author of which departed 
from the Italian story, making the poison take effect on Romeo 
before Juliet awakes. See a translation of the original pathetick 
narrative at the conclusion of the play, in a note on the poem 
near the end. MALONE. ROMEO AND JULIET. 253 

And Paris too ; come, I'll dispose of thee 
Among a sisterhood of holy nuns : 
Stay not to question, for the watch is coming ;* 
Come, go, good Juliet, [ Noise again.'} I dare stay 
no longer. [Exit. 

JUL. Go, get thee hence, for I will not away. 
What's here ? a cup, clos'd in my true love's hand ? 
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end : 
O churl ! drink all ; and leave no friendly drop, 6 
To help me after ? I will kiss thy lips ; 
Haply, some poison yet doth hang on them, 
To make me die with a restorative. [Kisses him. 
Thy lips are warm ! 

1 WATCH. [Within."] Lead, boy: Which way? 

5 Stay not to question, for the watch is coming;"} It has been 
objected that there is no such establishment in any of the* cities 
of Italy. Shakspeare seldom scrupled to give the manners and 
usages of his own country to others. In this particular instance 
the old poem was his guide : 

" The weary watch discharg'd did hie them home to 

Again : 

" The ixatchmen of the town the whilst are passed by, 
' And through the gates the candlelight within the tomb 
they spy." MALONE. 

In Much Ado about Nothing, where the scene lies at Messina, 
our author has also introduced Watchmen; though without sug- 
gestion from any dull poem like that referred to on the present 

See, however, Vol. XIX. p. 24-1, n. 8, in which Mr. Malone 
appears to contradict, on the strongest evidence, the present asser- 
tion relating to there being no watch in Italy. STEKVENS. 

O churl! drink all; and leave no friendly drop,] The text 
is here made out from the quarto ot' 1597 and that of 1599. 
The lirst has 

Ah churl! drink all, and leave no drop for me! 
The other: 

O churl! drunk all, and left no friendly drop, 

To help me after ? MALONE. 


JUL. Yea, noise ? then I'll be brief. O happy 
dagger ! [Snatching ROMEO'S Dagger. 1 
This is thy sheath ; [Stabs herself'.'] there rust, and 
let me die. 8 

[Falls on ROMEO'S Body, and dies. 

Enter Watch, with the Page of PARIS. 

PAGE. This is the place j there, where the torch 
doth burn. 

1 WATCH. The ground is bloody ; Search about 

the churchyard : 
Go, some of you, who e'er you find, attach. 

[Exeunt some. 

Pitiful sight ! here lies the county slain ; 
And Juliet bleeding ; warm, and newly dead, 
Who here hath lain these two days buried. 
Go, tell the prince,- run to the Capulets, 

7 Snatching Romeo's dagger."] So, in Painter's translation of 
Pierre Boisteau, Tom. II. p. 244 : " Drawing out the dagger 
which Romeo ware by his side, she pricked herself with many 
blowes against the heart." STEEVENS. 

It is clear that in this and most other places Shakspeare fol- 
lowed the poem, and not Painter, for Painter describes Romeo's 
dagger as hanging at his side; whereas the poem is silent as to 
the place where it hung, and our author, governed by the fashion 
of his own time, supposes it to have hung at Romeo's back: 

" And then past deadly fear (for life ne had she care,) 
" With hasty hand she did draw out the dagger that he 
ware." MALONE. 

9 there rust, and let me die.~\ is the reading of the quarto 

1599. That of 1597 gives the passage thus : 
" I, noise I then must I be resolute. 
" Oh, happy dagger ! thou shalt end my fear ; 
" Rest in my bosom : thus I come to thee." 
The alteration was probably made by the poet, when he 
introduced the words, 

" This is thy sheath." STEEVEXS. 

sc. m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 255 

Raise up the Montagues, some others search ; 9 

[Exeunt other Watchmen. 
We see the ground whereon these woes do lie ; 
But the true ground of all these piteous woes, 
We cannot without circumstance descry. 

Enter some'oftiie Watch, with BALTHASAR. 

'J WATCH. Here's Romeo's man, we found him 
in the churchyard. 

1 WATCH. Hold him in safety, till the prince 
come hither. 

Enter another Watchman, with Friar LAURENCE. 

3 WATCH. Here is a friar, that trembles, sighs, 

and weeps : 

We took this mattock and this spade from him, 
As he was coming from this churchyard side. 

1 WATCH. A great suspicion ; Stay the friar too, 
Enter the Prince and Attendants. 

PRINCE. What misadventure is so early up, 
That calls our person from our morning's rest ? 

9 Raise up the Montagues, some others search; ] Here 
seems to be a rhyme intended, which may he easily restored : 
'* Raise up the Montagues. Some others, go. 
" We see the ground whereon these woes do lie, 
** But the true ground of all this piteous war 
" We cannot without circumstance descry." JOHNSON, 

It was often thought sufficient, in the time of Shakspcarc, for 
the second and fourth lines in a stanza, to rhyme with each other. 

It were to be wished that an apology as sufficient could be 
offered for this Watchman's quibble between ground, the earth, 
and ground, the fundamental canto. STF.EVKSS. 


Enter CAPULET, Lady CAPULET, and Others. 

CAP. What should it be, that they so shriek 
abroad ? ' 

LA. CAP. The people in the street cry Romeo, 
Some Juliet, and some Paris ; and all run, 
With open outcry, toward our monument. 

PRINCE. What fear is this, which startles in our 
ears? 2 

1 WATCH. Sovereign, here lies the county Paris 

slain ; 

And Romeo dead ; and Juliet, dead before, 
Warm and new kill'd. 

PRINCE. Search, seek, and know how this foul 
murder comes. 

l WATCH. Here is a friar, and slaughtered Ro- 
meo's man ; 

With instruments upon them, fit to open 
These dead men's tombs. 

CAP. O, heavens! O, wife! look how our 

daughter bleeds ! 

This dagger hath mistaken, for, lo ! his house 
Is empty on the back of Montague, 
And is mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom. 3 

1 that they so shriek abroad?"] Thus the folio and the 

undated quarto. The quarto of 1599 has that is so shriek 
abroad. MALONE. 

8 What fear is this, which startles in our earsf~\ The old 
copies read in your ears. The emendation was made by Dr. 
Johnson. MALONE. 

J This dagger hath mista'enffor, lo ! his house 
Is empty on the back of Montague, 

And is mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom."] The modern 
editors (contrary to the authority of all the ancient copies, and 

sc.m. ROMEO AND JULIET. 257 

LA. CAP. O me ! this sight of death is as a bell, 
That warns my old age to a sepulchre. 

Enter MONTAGUE and Others. 

PRINCE. Come, Montague ; for thou art early 

without attention to the disagreeable assonance of sheath and 
sheathed, which was first introduced by Mr. Pope) read: 
" This dagger hath mista'en ; for, lo ! the sheath 
* c Lies empty on the back of Montague, 
" The point mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom." 
The quarto, 1597, erroneously, 

" - this dagger hath mistooke ; 
" For (loe) the back is empty of yong Montague, 
* And it mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosome." 
If we do not read it instead of w, Capulet will be made to 
say The scabbard is at once empty on the back of Montague, and 
sheathed in Juliet's bosom. 

Shakspeare quaintly represents the dagger as having mistaken 
its place, and " it mis-sheathed," i. e. " mis-sheathed itself" in 
the bosom of Juliet. 

The quarto, 1609, and the folio, 1623, offer the same reading, 
except that they concur in giving is instead of it. 

It appears that the dagger was anciently worn behind the back. 
So, in Fhe longer thou livest the more Fool thou art, 1570: 
" Thou must weare thy sword by thy side, 
" And thy dagger handsumly at thy backe. J> 
Again, in Humor's Ordinarie, &c. an ancient collection of sa- 
tires, no date : 

" See you the huge bum dagger at his backe?" 
The epithet applied to the dagger, shows at what part of the 
back it was worn. STEEVENS. 

The words, "./or, lo! his house is empty on the back of Mon- 
tague," are to be considered as parenthetical. In a former part 
of this scene we have a similar construction. 

My reading [w] is that of the undated quarto, that of 1609, 
and the folio. MALONK. 

-for thou art early tip, A-c.] This speech (as appears 



To see thy son and heir more early down. 

MON. Alas, my liege, my wife is dead to-night; 5 
Grief of my son's exile hath stopp'd her breath: 
What further woe conspires against mine age ? 

PRINCE. Look, and thou shalt see. 6 

MON. O thou untaught! 7 what manners is in 

To press before thy father to a grave ? 

PRINCE. Seal up the mouth of outrage for a 

Till we can clear these ambiguities, 

from the following passage in The Second Part of the Downfall 
of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601) has something proverbial 
in it: 

" In you, i'faith, the proverb's verified, 

" You are early up, and yet are ne'er the near." 


* Alas, my liege, my ivife is dead to-night ;] After this line 
the quarto, 1597, adds, 

" And young Benvolio is deceased too." 

But this, I suppose, the poet rejected, on his revision of the 
play, as unnecessary slaughter. STEEVENS. 

The line, which gives an account of Benvolio's death, wa& 
probably thrown in to account for his absence from this interest- 
ing scene. RITSON. 

8 Look, and thou shalt see.'] These words, as they stand, 
being of no kindred to metre, we may fairly suppose that some 
others have been casually omitted. Perhaps, our author wrote : 
Look in this monument, and thou shalt see. STEEVENS. 
7 thou untaught! &c.] So, in The Tragedy of Darius, 

" Ah me ! malicious fates have done me wrong : 
" Who came first to the world, should first depart. 
" It not becomes the old t'o'er-live the young ; 
" This dealing is prepost'rous and o'er-thwart." 


Again, in our poet's Rape qfLucrece: 

" If children pre-decease progenitors, 

** We are their offspring, and they none of ours." 


sc. ///. ROMEO AND JULIET. 259 

And know their spring, their head, their true de- 
scent ; 

And then will I be general of your woes, 
And lead you even to death : Mean time forbear, 
And let mischance be slave to patience. 
Bring forth the parties of suspicion. 

FRI. I am the greatest, able to do least, 
Yet most suspected, as the time and place 
Doth make against me, of this direful murder ; 
And here I stand, both to impeach and purge 
Myself condemned and myself excus'd. 

PRINCE. Then say at once what thou dost know 
in this. 

FRI. I will be brief, 8 for my short date of 


Is not so long as is a tedious tale. 9 
Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet ; 
And she, there dead, that Romeo's faithful wife : 
I married them ; and their stolen marriage-day 
Was Tybalt's dooms-day, whose untimely death 
Banish'd the new-made bridegroom from this city; 

f trill be brief,"} It is much to be lamented, that the poet 
did not conclude the dialogue with the action, and avoid a nar- 
rative of events which the audience already knew. JOHNSON. 

Shakspeare was led into this uninteresting narrative by fol- 
lowing too closely The Tragical! Hystory of Romeus and Juliet. 


In this poem (which is subjoined to the present edition of the 
play) the bodies of the dead are removed to a publick scaffold, 
and from that elevation is the Friar's narrative delivered. The 
same circumstance, as I have already observed, is introduced in 
Hamlet. See Vol. XVIII. p. 383, n. 2. STJCEVKNS. 

* my short date of breath 

la not so loner ax is a tedious talc."] So, in the 91t Psalm: 
when thou art angry, all our days are gone ; we bring 

our years to an end, ag it were a tale that is tola." MALONE. 

S 2 


For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pin'd. 
You to remove that siege of grief from her, 
Betroth'd, and would have married her perforce, 
To county Paris : Then comes she to me ; 
And, with wild looks, bid me devise some means 
To rid her from this second marriage, 
Or, in my cell there would she kill herself. 
Then gave I her, so tutor' d by my art, 
A sleeping potion ; which so took effect 
As I intended, for it wrought on her 
The form of death : meantime I writ to Romeo, 
That he should hither come as this dire night, 
To help to take her from her borrowed grave, 
Being the time the potion's force should cease. 
But he which bore my letter, friar John, 
Was staid by accident ; and yesternight 
Return'd my letter back : Then all alone, 
At the prefixed hour of her waking, 
Came I to take her from her kindred's vault j 
Meaning to keep her closely at my cell, 
Till I conveniently could send to Romeo : 
But, when I came, (some minute ere the time 
Of her awakening,) here untimely lay 
The noble Paris, and true Romeo, dead. 
She wakes ; and 1 entreated her come forth, 
And bear this work of heaven with patience : 
But then a noise did scare me from the tomb ; 
And she, too desperate, would not go with me, 
But (as it seems,) did violence on herself. 
All this I know ; and to the marriage 
Her nurse is privy : And, if aught in this 
Miscarried by my fault, let my old life 
Be sacrific'd, some hour before his time, 
Unto the rigour of severest law. 

PRINCE. We still have known thee for a holy 


Where's Romeo's man ? what can he say in this ? 

BAL. I brought my master news of Juliet's death ; 
And then in post he came from Mantua, 
To this same place, to this same monument. 
This letter he early bid me give his father ; 
And threaten'd me with death, going in the vault, 
If I departed not, and left him there. 

PRINCE. Give me the letter, I will look on it. 
Where is the county's page,that rais'd the watch ? 
Sirrah, what made your master in this place ? 

PAGE. He came with flowers to strew his lady's 

grave ; 

And bid me stand aloof, and so I did : 
Anon, comes one with light to ope the tomb ; 
And, by and by, my master drew on him ; 
And then I ran away to call the watch. 

PRINCE. This letter doth make good the friar's 


Their course of love, the tidings of her death : 
And here he writes that he did buy a poison 
Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal 
Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet. 
Where be these enemies ? Capulet ! Montague ! 
See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate, 
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love! 
And I, for winking at your discords too, 
Have lost a brace of kinsmen : ' all are punish'd. 

1 Have lost a brace of kinsmen :] Mercutio and Paris: Mer- 
cutio is expressly called the prince's kinsman in Act III. sc. iv. 
and that Paris also was the prince's kinsman, may be inferred 
from the following passages. Capulet, speaking of the count in 
the fourth Act, describes him as " a gentleman of princely pa- 
rentage," and, after he is killed, Romeo say* : 

" Let me peruse this face ; 

kintman, noble county Paris." MA LONE. 


CAP. O, brother Montague, give me thy hand : 
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more 
Can I demand. 

MON* But I can give thee more : 

For I will raise her statue in pure gold ; 
That, while Verona by that name is known, 
There shall no figure at such rate be set, 
As that of true and faithful Juliet. 

CAP. As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie ; 
Poor sacrifices of our enmity ! 

PRINCE. A glooming peace 2 this morning with 

it brings ; 

The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head : 

Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things ; 

Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished : 3 

A brace of kinsmen : ] The sportsman's term brace, which 
on the present occasion is seriously employed, is in general ap- 
plied to men in contempt. Thus, Prospero in The Tempest, ad- 
dressing himself to Sebastian and Antonio, says : 

" But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded, 

" I here Sfc. " STEEVENS. 

* A glooming peace &c.] The modern editions read gloomy t 
but glooming, which is an old reading, may be the true one. 
So, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1603 : 

** Through dreadful shades of ever-glooming night.'* 
To gloom is an ancient verb used by Spenser ; and I meet with 
it likewise in the 'play of Tom Tyler and his Wife, 1661 : 
" If either he gaspeth or gloometh." STEEVENS. 

Gloomy is the reading of the old copy in 1597 ; for which 
glooming was substituted in that of 1599. MALONE. 

3 Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:'] This seems 
tb be not a resolution in the prince, but a reflection on the va- 
rious dispensations of Providence ; for who was there that could 
justly be punished by any human law ? EDWARDS'S MSS. 

This line has reference to the novel from which the fable is 
taken. Here we read that Juliet's female attendant was ba- 
nished for concealing the marriage; Romeo's servant set at liberty 
because he had only acted in obedience to his master's orders ; 

sc. in. ROMEO AND JULIET. 263 

For never was a story of more woe, 

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. 4 [Exeunt? 

the apothecary taken, tortured, condemned, and hanged ; while 
friar Laurence was permitted to retire to a hermitage in the 
neighbourhood of Verona, where he ended his life in penitence 
and tranquillity. STEEVENS. 

4 Juliet and her Romeo.] Shakspeare has not effected 

the alteration of this play by introducing any new incidents, but 
merely by adding to the length of the scenes. 

The piece appears to have been always a very popular one. 
Marston, in his Satires, 1598, says: 

" Luscus, what's play'd to-day ? faith, now I know 
" I set thy lips abroach, from whence doth flow 
" Nought but pure Juliet and Romeo." STEEVENS. 

For never was A story of more woe, 

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."] These lines seem to 
have been formed on the concluding couplet of the poem of 
Romeut and Juliet : 

" among the monuments that in Verona been, 

" There is no monument more worthy of the sight, 
** Than is the tomb of Juliet, and Komeus her knight." 


* This play is one of the most pleasing of our author's per- 
formances. The scenes are busy and various, the incidents 
numerous and important, the catastrophe irresistibly affecting, 
and the process of the action carried on with such probability, 
at least with such congruity to popular opinions, as tragedy re- 

Here is one of the few attempts of Shakspeare to exhibit the 
conversation of gentlemen, to represent the airy sprightliness 
of juvenile elegance. Mr. Dryden mentions a tradition, which 
might easily reach his time, of a declaration made by Shak- 
speare, that he tvas obliged to kill Merculio in the third Act, 
lest he should have been killed by him. Yet he thinks him no 
such formidable person, but that he might hare lived through, 
the play, and died in his bed, without danger to the poet. 
Dryden well knew, had he been in quest of truth, in a pointed 
sentence, that more regard is commonly had to the words than 
the thought, and that it is very seldom to be rigorously under- 
stood. Slercutio's wit, gaiety, and courage, will always procure 
him friends that wish him a longer life ; but his death is not 


precipitated, he has lived out the time allotted him in the con- 
struction of the play ; nor do I doubt the ability of Shakspeare 
to have continued his existence, though some of his sallies are 
perhaps out of the reach of Dryden ; whose genius was not very 
Fertile of merriment, nor ductile to humour, but acute, argu- 
mentative, comprehensive, and sublime. 

The Nurse is one of the characters in which the author de- 
lighted : he has, with great subtilty of distinction, drawn her at 
once loquacious and secret, obsequious and insolent, trusty and 

His comick scenes are happily wrought, but his pathetick 
strains are always polluted with some unexpected depravations. 
His persons, however distressed, have a conceit left them in their 
misery, a miserable conceit.* JOHNSON. 

* Tliis quotation is also found in the Preface to Dryden's Fables : " Just 
John Littlewit in Bartholomew Fair, who had a conceit (as he tells you) left 
him in his misery ; a miserable conceit." STEEVENS.. 

IT The Tragicall His- 

torye of Romeus and Juliet, ivrit- 

ten first in Italian by Bandellj 

and nowe in Englishe by 

Ar. Br. 

In adibus Richardi TotteUi. 
Cum Priudegio. 

[In the Second Edition, printed 1587, the Title was varied to 











" To the Reader.* The God of all glorye created vniuersallye 
all creatures, to sette forth his prayse, both those whiche we 
esteme profitable in vse and pleasure, and also those, whiche we 
accompte noysome, and lothsome. But principally, he hath ap- 
pointed man, the chiefest instrument of his honour, not onely, 
for ministryng matter thereof in man himselfe : but aswell in 
gatheryng out of other, the occasions of publishing Gods good- 
nes, wisdorae, & power. And in like sort, euerye dooyng of 
man hath by Goddes dyspensacion some thynge, whereby God 
may, and ought to be honored. So the good doynges of the 
good, & the euill actes of the wicked, the happy successe of 
the blessed, and the wofull procedinges of the miserable, doe 
in diuers sorte sound one prayse of God. And as eche flower 
yeldeth hony to the bee, so euery exaumple ministreth good 
lessons to the well disposed mynde. The glorious triumphe Of 
the continent man vpon the lustes of wanton fleshe, incourageth 
men to honest restraynt of wyld affections, the shamefull and 
wretched endes of such, as haue yelded their lihertie thrall to 
fowle desires, teache men to withholde them selues from the 
hedlong fall of loose dishonestie. So, to lyke effect, by sundry 
meanes, the good mans exaumple byddeth men to be good, and 
the euill mans misehefe, warneth men not to be euyll. To this 
good ende; serue all ill endes, of yll begynnynges. And to this 
ende (good Reader) is this tragicall matter written, to describe 
vnto thee a coople of vnfortunate louers, thralling thernselues to 
vnhonest desire, neglecting the authoritie and aduise of parents 
and frendes, conferring their principall counsels with dronken 
gossyppes, and superstitious friers (the naturally fitte instru- 
mentes of vnchastitie) attemptyng all aduentures of peryll, for 
thattaynyng of their wished lust, vsyng auriculer confession (the 
lay of whoredome, and treason) for furtheratmce of theyr pur- 
pose, abusyng the honorable name of lawefull mariage, to cloke 
the shame of stolne contractes, finallye, by all meanes of vnho- 
nest lyfe, hastyng to most vnhappye deathe. This president 
(good Reader) shalbe to thee, as the slaues of Lacedemon, op- 
pressed with excesse of drinke, deformed and altered from like- 
nes of men, both in mynde, and vse of body, were to the free 
borne children, so shewed to them by their parentes, to thintent 
to rayse in them an hatefull lothyng of so filthy beastlynes. 
Hereunto if you applye it, ye shall deliuer my dooing from of- 
fence, and profit yourselues. Though I saw the same argument 

* This address is from the first edition, printed in 1562, and inserted in 
the second volume of the British Bibliographer, by Mr. Haslewood, who has 
collated the whole poem with a copy of that edition, and by him obligingly 
communicated for the present edition. HARRIS. 


lately set foorth on stage with more commendation, then I can 
looke for: (being there much better set forth then I haue or 
can dooe) yet the same matter penned as it is, may serue to 
lyke good effect, if the readers do brynge with them lyke good 
myndes, to consider it,* which hath the more incouraged me to 
publishe it, suche as it is. Ar. Br." 

The poem rhymes in couplets, but the lines originally were 
divided throughout ; otherwise the measure forms alternate lines 
of twelve and fourteen syllables. A short specimen, to shew the 
manner of first printing it, will suffice. 
" There is beyonde the Alps, 

a towne of auncient fame, 
Whose bright renoune yet shineth cleare, 

Verona men it name. 
Bylt in an happy time, 

bylt on a fertile soyle : 
Maynteined by the heauenly fates, 

and by the townish toyle." &c. Fo. 1. 

Steevens, in a note prefixed to the play, rather prophetically observe* 
" we are not yet at the end of our discoveries relative to the originals of our 
author's draamtick pieces :" true : a play founded on the story of Romeo and 
Juliet, appearing on the stage " with commendation," anterior to the time of 
Shakspeare, U a new discovery for the commentators. HASLKWOOD. 


AMID the desert rockes the mountaine beare 
Bringes forth vnformd, vnlyke herselfe, her yong, 
Nought els but lumpes of fleshe, withouten heare ; 
In tract of time, her often lycking long 
Geues them such shape, as doth, ere long, delight 
The lookers on ; or, when one dogge doth shake 
With mooslcd mouth the ioyntes too weake to fight, 
Or, when vpright he standeth by his stake, 
(A noble creast!) or wylde in sauage wood 
A dosyn dogges one holdeth at a baye, 
With gaping mouth and stayned iawes with blood ; 
Or els, when from the farthest heauens, they 
The lode-starres are, the wery pilates marke, 
In stormes to gyde to hauen the tossed barke ; 

Right so my muse 

Hath (now, at length,) with trauell long, brought forth 
Her tender whelpes, her diuers kindes of style, 
Such as they are, or nought, or little woorth, 
Which carefull trauell and a longer whyle 
May better shape. The eldest of them loe 
I offer to the stake ; my youthfull woorke, 
Which one reprochefull mouth might overthrowe : 
The rest, (vnlickt as yet,) a whyle shall lurke, 
Tyll Tyme geue strength, to meete and match in fight, 
With Slaunder's whelpes. Then shall they tell of stryfe, 
Of noble trymphes, and deedes of martial might; 
And shall geue rules of chast and honest lyfe. 
The whyle, I pray, that ye with fauour blame, 
Or rather not reprove the laughing game 
Of this my muse. 


LOUE hath inflamed twayne by sodayn sight, 

And both do graunt the thing that both desyre ; 

They wed in shrift, by counsell of a frier ; 

Yong Romeus clymes fayre Juliets bower by night. 

Three monthes he doth enioy his cheefe delight : 

By Tybalt's rage prouoked vnto yre, 

He payeth death to Tybalt for his hyre. 

A banisht man, he scapes by secret flight : 

New marriage is offred to his wyfe : 

She drinkes a drinke that seemes to reue her breath ; 

They bury her, that sleping yet hath lyfe. 

Her husband heares the tydinges of her death ; 

He drinkes his bane ; and she, with Romeus' knyfe, 

\Vhen she awakes, her selfe, (alas!) she sleath. 


THERE is beyonde the Alps a towne of auncient fame, 
Whose bright renoune yet shine th clcarc, Verona men it name; 
Bylt in an happy time, bylt on a fertyle soyle, 
Maynteined by the heauenly fates, and by the townish toyle. 

In a preliminary note on Rimeo and Juliet I observed that it was founded 
on The Tragical! Hystory of Romtus mid Juliet, printed in 1562. That piece 
being almost as rare as a manuscript, I reprinted it a few years ago, and shall 
gire it a place here as a proper supplement to the commentaries on this tragedy. 
From the following lines in An Epitaph on the Death of Maitter Arthur 
Brooke drownde in pasting to Xew-Haien, by George Tuberville, [Epitaphet, 
Epigramma, &c. 1567,] we learn that the former was the author of this 

" Apollo lent him lute, for solace sake, 

" To sound his verse by touch of stately string, 
" And of the never-fading baye did make 

" A lawrcll crowne, about his browcs to cling. 
" In proufe that he for myter did excell, 

' As may be judge by Julyet and htr mate ; 
" For there he shewde his cunning passing well, 

" When he the tale to English did translate. 
" But what? as he to forraigne realm was bound, 

" With others moe his soveraigne queene to serve, 
" Amid the seas unluckie youth was drownd, 

" More speedie death than such one did deserve." 

The original relater of this story was Luigi da Porto, a gentleman of Vicen/a, 
who died in 1529. His novel did not appear till some years after his death ; 
being first printed at Venice, in octavo, in 1535, under the title of La Giulietta. 
In an epistle prefixed to this work, which is addressed Alia belliitima e leggi- 
utira Madonna I.ucina Savorgnana, the author gives the following account (pro- 
bably a fictitious one) of the manner in which he became acquainted with this 
tory : 

" As you yourself have seen, when heaven had not as yet levelled against 
me its whole wruth, in the fair spring of my youth I devoted myself to the 
profession of arms, and, following therein many brave and valiant men, for 
some years I served in your delightful country, Frioli, through every part of 
which, in the course ol my private service, it was my duty to ruam. I was 
ever accustomed, when upon any expedition on horseback, to bring with me 
un archer of mine, whose name was Peregrino, a man about fifty years old, 
well practised in the military art, a pleasant companion, and, like almost all 
his countrymen of Verona, a great talker. This man was not only a brave 
mid experienced soldier, but of a gay mid lively disposition, and, more per- 
haps than became his age, was for ever in love , a quality which gave a double 
value to hi* valour. Hence it wa* that he delighted in relating the mott 
niuing novels, especially surh ** treated of love, and this he Hid with more 


The fruitfull hilles aboue, the pleasant vales belowe, 

The siluer streame with chanell depe, that through the town 

doth flow ; . 

The store of springes that serue for vse, and eke for ease, 
And other moe commodities, which profite may and please ; 
Eke many certaine signes of thinges betyde of olde, 
To fyll the houngry eyes of those that curiously beholde; 
Doe make this towne to be preferde abbue the rest 
Of Lumbard townes, or at the least, compared with the best. 
In which while Escalus as prince alone dyd raigne, 
To reache rewarde vnto the good, to paye the lewde with payne, 
Alas! (I rewe to thinke,) an heauy happe befell, 
Which Boccace skant, (not my rude tonge,) were able forth to 


Within my trembling hande my penne doth shake for feare, 
And, on my colde amased head, vpright doth stand my heare. 
But sith shee doth commaunde, whose hest I must obaye, 
In moorning verse a woful chaunce to tell I will assaye. 
Helpe, learned Pallas, helpe, ye Muses with your arte, 
Helpe, all ye damned feendes, to tell of ioyes retournd to smart : 
Helpe eke, ye sisters three, my skillesse penne tindyte, 
For you it causd, which I alas ! vnable am to wryte. 

grace and with better arrangement than any I have ever heard. It therefore 
chanced that, departing from Gradisca, where I was quartered, arid, with 
this archer and two other of my servants, travelling, perhaps iifipelled by 
love, towards Udino, which route was then extremely solitary, and entirely 
ruined and burned up by the war, wholly absorbed in thought, and riding at 
a distance from the others, this Peregrino drawing near me, as one who 
guessed my thoughts, thus addressed me : ' Will you then for ever live this 
melancholy life, because a cruel and disdainful fair one does not love you ? 
though I now speak against myself, yet, since advice is easier to give than to 
follow, I must tell you, master of mine, that, besides its being disgraceful in 
a man of your profession to remain long in the chains of love, almost all the 
ends to which he conducts us are so replete with misery, that it is dangerous 
to follow him. And in testimony of what I say, if it so please you, 1 could 
relate a transaction that happened in my native city, the recounting of which 
will render the way less solitary and less disagreeable to us j and in this rela- 
tion you would perceive how two noble lovers were conducted to a miserable 
and piteous death.' And now, upon my making him a sign of my willingness 
to listen, he thus began." 

The phrase, in the beginning of this passage, when heaven had not as yet 
levelled against me its whole wrath, will be best explained by some account 
of the author, extracted from Crescimbeni, Istoria della Volgar Poesia, T. V, 
p. 91 : " Luigi da Porto, a Vicentine, was, in his youth, on account of his 
valour, made a leader in the Venetian army ; but, fighting against the Ger- 
B>ans in Friuli, was so wounded, that he remained for a time wholly disabled, 
aad afterwards lame and weak during his life ; on which account, quitting the 
profession of arms, he betook himself to letters," &c. M ALONE. 


There were two auncient stock es, which Fortune high dyd place 
Aboue the rest, iadewd with welth, and nobler of their race ; 
Loved of the common sort, loved of the prince alike, 
And like vnhappy were they both, when Fortune list to strike ; 
Whose prayse with equall blast Fame in her trumpet blew ; 
The one was cliped Capelet, and thother Montagew. 
A wonted vse it is, that men of likely sorte, 
(I wot not by what furye forsd) enuye eche others porte. 
So these, whose egall state bred enuye pale of hew, 
And then of grudging enuyes roote blacke hate and rancor grewe; 
As of a little sparke oft ryseth mighty fyre, 
So, of a kyndled sparke of grudge, in flames flashe oute theyr 


And then theyr deadly foode, first hatchd of trifling stryfe, 
Did bathe in bloud of smarting woundes, it reued breth and lyfe. 
No legend lye I tell ; scarce yet theyr eyes be drye, 
That did behold the grisly sight with wet and weping eye* 
But when the prudent prince who there the scepter helcle, 
So great a new disorder in his commonweale behelde, 
By ientyl meane he sought their choler to asswage, 
And by perswasion to appease their blameful furious rage ; 
But both his woords and tyme the prince hath spent in vayne, 
So rooted was the inward hate, he lost his buysy paync. 
When frendly sage aduise ne ientyll woords auayfe, 
By thondring threats and princely powre their courage gan ha 

quayle ; 

In hope that when he had the wasting flame supprest, 
In time he should quyte quench the sparks that boornd within 

their brest. 

Now whilst these kyndreds do remayne in this estate, 
And eche with outward frendly shew dooth hyde his inward hate, 
One liomeus, who was of race a Montague, 
Upon whose tender chyn as yet no manlyke beard there grewe, 
Whose beauty and whose shape so farre the rest did stayne, 
That from the cheef of Veron youth he greatest fame dyd gayne, 
Hath found a mayde so fayre (he founde so foul his happe) 
Whose beauty, shape, and comely grace,did so his heart entrappe, 
That from his owne afl'ayres his thought she did remove ; 
Onely he sought to honor her, to serue her and to loue. 
To her he writeth oft, oft messengers are sent, 
At length, (in hope of better spcdc, ) himselfe the loucr went; 
Present to plcade for grace, which absent WK not founde, 
And to discouer to her eye his new rvceaued wounde. 
But she that from her youth was fostrcd eucnnore 
With vertues foodc, and taught in schole of wisdomes skilfull 



By aunswere did cutte off thaffections of his loue, 

That he no more occasion had so vayne a sute to moue : 

So sterne she was of chere, (for all the payne he tooke) 

That, in reward of toyle, she would not geue a frendly looke ; 

And yet how much she did with constant minde retyre, 

So much the more his feruent minde was prickt fourth by de- 


But when he, many monthes, hopelesse of his recure, 
Had serued her, who forced not what paynes he did endure, 
At length he thought to leaue Verona, and to proue 
If chaunge of place might chaunge awaye his ill-bestowed loue ; 
And speaking to himselfe, thus gan he make his mone : 
" What booteth me to loue and serue a fell vnthankfull one, 
Sith that my humble sute, and labour sowede in vayne, 
Can reape none other fruite at all but scorne and proude dis- 

dayne ? 

What way she seekes to goe, the same I seeke to runne, 
But she the path wherin I treade with spedy flight doth shunne. 
I cannot Hue except that nere to her I be ; 
She is ay best content when she is farthest of from me. 
Wherefore henceforth I will farre from her take my flight ; 
Perhaps, mine eye once banished by absence from her sight, 
This fyre of myne, that by her pleasant eyne is fed, 
Shall little and little weare away, and quite at last be ded." 

But whilest he did decree this purpose still to kepe, 
A contrary repugnant thought sanke in his brest so depe, 
That doutefull is he now which of the twayne is best, 
In sighs, in teares, in plainte, in care, in sorrow and vnrest, 
He mones the daye, he wakes the long and wery night ; 
So deepe hath loue, with pearcing hand, ygrau'd her bewty bright 
Within his brest, and hath so mastred quite his hart, 
That he of force must yeld as thrall ; no way is left to start. 
He cannot staye his steppe, but forth still must be ronne, 
He languisheth and melts awaye, as snowe against the sonne. 
His kyndred and alyes do wonder what he ayles, 
And eche of them in frendly wise his heauy hap bewayles. 
But one emong the rest, the trustiest of his feeres, 
Farre more than he with counsel fild, and ryper of his yeeres, 
Gan sharply him rebuke ; suche loue to him he bare, 
That he was felow of his smart, and partner of his care. 
'* What meanst thou Romeus, quoth he, what doting rage 
Dooth make thee thus consume away the best parte of thine age, 
In seking her that scornes, and hydes her from thy sight, 
Not forsing all thy great expence, ne yet thy honor bright, 
Thy teares, thy wretched lyfe, ne thine vnspotted truth, 
Which are offeree, I weene, to moue the hardest hart to ruthe? 


Now, for our frendships sake, and for thy health, I pray 

That thou hencefoorth become thyne owne ; O geue no more 


Vnto a thankeles wight thy precious free estate : 
In that thou louest such a one thou seemst thyselfe to hate. 
For she doth loue els where, and then thy time is lorne ; 
Or els (what booteth thee to sue ?) Loues court she hath for- 


Both yong thou art of yeres, and high in Fortunes grace : 
What man is better shapd than thou? who hath a swetter 


By painfull studies meane great learning hast thou wonne, 
Thy parentes haue none other heyre, thou art theyr onely sonne. 
What greater griefe, trowst thou, what wofull dedly smart, 
Should so be able to distraine thy seely fathers hart, 
As in his age to see thee plonged deepe in vyce, 
When greatest hope he hath to heare thy vertues fame arise ? 
What shall thy kinsmen thinke, thou cause of all theyr ruthe? 
Thy dedly foes do laugh to skorne thy yll-employed youth. 
Wherefore my counsel! is, that thou henceforth beginne 
To knowe and flye the errour which to long thou liuedst in. 
Rcmoue the veale of loue that keepes thine eyes so blynde, 
That thou ne canst the ready path of thy forefathers fynde. 
But if vnto thy will so much in thrall thou art, 
Vet in some other place bestowe thy witles wandring hart. 
Choose out some worthy dame, her honor thou, and serue, 
Who will geue eare to thy complaint, and pitty ere thousterue. 
But sow no more thy paynes in such a barrayne soyle 
As yeldes in haruest time no crop, in recompence of toyle. 
Ere long the townishe dames together will resort, 
Some one of bewty, favour, shape, and of so louely porte, 
With so fast fixed eye perhaps thou mayst beholde, 
That thou shall quite forget thy loue and passions past of olde." 

The yong mans lystning eare receiude the holsome sounde, 
And reasons truth y-planted so, within his heade had grounde; 
That now with healthy coole y-tempred is the heate, 
And piece rneale weares away the greefe that erst his heart dyd 


To his approued frend a solemne othe he plight, 
At euery feast y-kept by day, and banquet made by night, 
At pardons in the churche, at games in open streate, 
And euery where he would resort where ladies wont to mcetc ; 
Eke should his sauage heart like all indifferently, 
For he would view and iudgc them all with vnaflured eye. 
flow happy had he been, had he not been forswome! 
But twyue a happy had he been, had he been neuer borne, 
vor.. \\. T 


For ere the moone could thryse her wasted homes renew, 
False Fortune cast for him, poore wretch, a mys'chiefe newe to 


The wery winter nightes restore the Christmas games, 
And now the season doth inuite to banquet townish dames. 
And fyrst in Capels house, the chiefe of all the kyn 
Sparth for no cost, the wonted vse of banquets to begyn. 
No lady fay re or fowle was in Verona towne, 
No knight or gentleman of high or lowe renowne, 
But Capilet himselfe hath byd vnto his feast, 
Or, by his name in paper sent, appoynted as a geast. 
Yong damsels thether rlocke, of bachelers a rowte, 
Not so much for the banquets sake, as bewties to searche out. 
But not a Montagew would enter at his gate, 
( For, as you heard, the Capilets and they were at debate ) 
Saue Romeus, and he in maske, with hidden face, 
The supper done, with other fiue dyd prease into the place. 
When they had maskd a whyle with dames in courtly wise, 
All did vnmaske; the rest dyd shew them to theyr ladies eyes; 
But bashfull Romeus with shamefast face forsooke 
The open prease, and him withdrew into the chambers nooke. 
But brighter then the sunne the waxen torches shone, 
That, maugre what he could, he was espyd of euery one, 
But of the women cheefe, theyr gasing eyes that threw e, 
To woonder at his sightly shape, and bewties spotles hewe ; 
With which the heauens him had and nature so bedect, 
That ladies, thought the fayrest dames, were fowle in his re- 

And in theyr head beside an other woonder rose, 
How he durst put himselfe in throng among so many foes : 
Of courage stoute they thought his cumming to procede, 
And women loue an hardy hart, as I in stories rede. 
The Capilets disdayne the presence of theyr foe, 
Yet they suppresse theyr styrred yre ; the cause I do not knowe : 
Perhaps toftend theyr gestes the courteous knights are loth ; 
Perhaps they stay from sharpe reuenge, dreadyng the princes 

wroth ; 

Perhaps for that they shamd to exercise theyr rage 
Within their house, gainst one alone, and him of tender age. 
They vse no taunting talke, ne harme him by theyre deede, 
They neyther say, what makst thou here, ne yet they say, God 


So that he freely might the ladies view at ease, 
And they also behelding him their chaunge of fansies please : 
Which Ndture had him taught to doe with such a grace, 
That there was none but ioyed at his being there in place. 


With vpright beame he wayd the bewty of eche dame. 

And judgd who best, and who next her, was wrought in natures 


At length he saw a mayd, right fayre, of perfect shape, 
(Which Theseus or Paris would have chosen to their rape) 
Whom erst he neuer sawe ; of all she pleasde him most ; 
Within himselfe he saydto her, thou iustly mayst thee boste 
Of perfit shapes renoune and beauties sounding prayse, 
Whose like ne hath, ne shal be scene, ne liueth in our dayes. 
And whilest he fixd on her his partiall perced eye,. 
His former loue, for which of late he ready was to dye, 
Is nowe as quite forgotte as it had neuer been : 
The prouerbe saith, vnminded oft are they that are vnseene. 
And as out of a planke a nayle a nayle doth drive, 
So nouell loue out of the mimic- the nuncient loue doth riue. 
This sodain kindled fyre in time is wox so great, 
That onely death and both theyr blouds might quench the fiery 


When Romeus saw himselfe. in. this new tempest tost, 
Where both was hope of pleasant port, and daunger to be lost, 
He doubtefull skasely knew what countenance to keeper 
In Lethies floud his wonted flames were quenchd and drenched 

deepe. ,< 

Yea he forgets himselfe, ne is the wretch so bolde 
To aske her name that without force hath him iu bandage folde; 
Ne how tunloose his bondes doth the poore foole deuise, 
But onely seeketh by her sight to feede his houngry eyes ; 
Through them he swalloweth downe loucs sweete empoysondt; 


How surely are the wareles wrapt by those that lye in wayte ! 
So is the poyson spred throughout his bones and vaines,. 
That in awhile (alas the while) it hasteth deadly paines. 
Whilst Juliet, for so this gentle damscll hight, 
From syde to syde on euery one dyd cast about her sight, 
At last her floting eyes were ancored fast on him, 
Who for her sake dyd banishe health and ireedome from echo 


He in her sight did seeme to passe the rest, as farre 
As Phoebus shining beames do passe the height nes of a starre. 
In wayte laye warlike Loue with golden bowe and shaft, 
And to his eare with steady hand the bowstring vp he raft : 
Till now she had escapde his shurpe inflaming datte, 
Till now he listed not assaulte her yong and tender hart. 
His whetted arrow loo*de, so touchde her to the quicke, 
That through the eye it strake the hart, and there the hedde did 




It booted not to striue. For why ? she wanted strength ; 
The weaker aye vnto the strong, offeree, must yeld, at length. 
The pomps now of the feast her heart gyns to despyse ; 
And onely ioyeth whan her eyen meete with her loners eyes. 
When theyr new smitten hearts had fed on louing gleames, 
Whilst, passing too and fro theyr eyes, y-mingled were theyr 


Eche of these louers gan by others lookes to knowe, 
That frendship in their brest had roote, and both would haue it 


When thus in both theyr harts had Cupide made his breache, 
And eche of them had sought the meane to end the warre by 


Dame Fortune did assent, theyr purpose to advaunce. 
With torch in hand a comly knight did fetch her foorth to 

daunce ; 

She quit herselfe so well and with so trim a grace 
That she the cheefe prase wan that night from all Verona race : 
The whilst our Romeus a place had warely wonne, 
Nye to the seatewhere she must sit, the daunce once beyng donne. 
Fayre Juliet tourned to her chayre with pleasant cheere, 
And glad she was her Romeus approched was so neere. 
At thone side of her chayre her louer Romeo, 
And on the other syde there sat one cald Mercutio ; 
A courtier that eche where was highly had in pryce, 
For he was courteous of his speche, and pleasant of deuise. 
Euen as a lyon would emong the lambes be bolde, 
Such was emong the bashfull maydes Mercutio to beholde. 
With frendly gripe he ceasd fayre Juliets snowish hand : 
A gyft he had, that Nature gaue him in his swathing band, 
That frosen mountayne yse was neuer halfe so cold, 
As were his handes, though nere so neere the fire he dyd them 


As soone as had the knight the vyrgins right hand raught, 
Within his trembling hand her left hath louing Romeus caught. 
For he wist well himselfe for her abode most payne, 
And well he wist she loued him best, vnles she list to fayne. 
Then she with tender hand his tender palme hath prest ; 
What ioy, trow you, was graffed so in Romeus clouen brest ? 
The sodain sweete delight had stopped quite his tong, 
Ne can he claime of her his right, ne craue redresse of wrong. 
But she espyd straight waye, by chaunging of his hewe 
From pale to red, from red to pale, and so from pale anewe, 
That vehment loue was cause why so his tong dyd stay, 
And so much more she longde to heare what Loue could teache 

him saye, 


When she had longed long, and he long held his peace, 
And her desire of hearing him by sylence dyd encrease, 
At last, with trembling voyce and shamefast chere, the mayde 
Unto her Romeus tournde her selfe, and thus to him she sayde : 

" O blessed be the time of thy arriuall here !" 
But ere she could speake forth the rest, to her Loue drewe so nere, 
And so within her mouth her tong he glcwed fast, 
That no one woord could scape her more then what already past. 
In great contented ease the yong man straight is rapt : 
What chaunce (quod he) vnware to me, O lady myne, is hapt : 
That geues you worthy cause my cumming here to blisse ? 
Fayre Juliet was come agayne vnto her selfe by this ; 
Fyrst ruthfully she look'd, then say'd with smylyng cheere : 
" Meruayle no whit, my heartes delight, my onely knight and 


Mercutious ysy hande had all to-frosen myne, 
And of thy goodnes thou agayne hast warmed it with thyne." 
Whereto with stayed brow gan Romeus to replye : 
" If so the Gods haue graunted me suche fauour from the skye, 
That by my being here some seruice I haue donne 
That pleaseth you, I am as glad as I a realme had wonne. 
O wel-bestowed tyme that hath the happy hyre, 
Which I woulde wysh if I might haue my wished hart's desire! 
For I of God woulde craue, as pryse of paynes forpast, 
To serue, obey, and honor you, so long as lyfe shall last : 
As proofe shall teache you playne, if that you like to trye 
His faltles truth, that nill for ought vnto his ladye lye. 
But if my touched hand haue warmed yours some dele, 
Assure your self the heat is colde which in your hand you fele, 
Compard to suche quick sparks and glowing furious gleade, 
As from your bewties pleasaunt eyne Loue caused to proceade; 
Which haue so set on fyre eche feling parte of myne, 
That lo ! my mynde doeth melt awaye, my vtward parts doe 


And, but you helpe all whole, to ashes shall I toorne ; 
Wherfore, alas! have ruth on him, whom you do force to 


Euen with his ended tale, the torches-daunce had cnde, 
And Juliet of force must part from her new-chosen frend. 
His hand she clasped hard, and all her partes did shake, 
When laysureles with whispring voyce thus did she aunswer 


" You arc no more your ownc, dcare frend, then I am yours ; 
My honor sav'd, nrest tobay your will, while life endures." 
Lo ! here the lucky lot that sild true louers fmdc, 
Echc takes away the others hart, and leaues the ownc behindc. 


A happy life is loue, if God graunt from aboue 

That hart with hart by eucn waight do make exchaunge of loue. 

But Romeus gone from her, his hart for care is colde ; 

He hath forgot to aske her name, that hath his hart in holde. 

With forged careles cheere, of one he seekes to knowe, 

Both how she hight, and whence she camme, that him en- 

chaunted so. 

So hath he learnd her name, and knowth she is no geast, 
Her father was a Capilet, and master of the feast. 
Thus hath his foe in choyse to geue him lyfe or death, 
That scarsely can his wofull brest keepe in the liuely breath. 
Wherefore with piteous plaint feerce Fortune doth he blame, 
That in his ruth and wretched plight doth seeke her laughing 


And he reproueth loue cheefe cause of his vnrest, 
Who ease and freedome hath exilde out of his youthfull brest : 
Twyse hath he made him serue, hopeles of his rewarde ; 
Of both the ylles to choose the lesse, I weene, the choyse were 


Fyrst to a ruthlesse one he made him sue for grace, 
And now with spurre he forceth him to ronne an endles race. 
Amyd these stormy seas one ancor doth him holde, 
He serueth not a cruell one, as he had done of olde ; 
And therefore is content and chooseth still to serue, 
Though hap should sweare that guerdonles the wretched wight 

should sterue. 

The lot of Tantalus is, Romeus, lyke to thine ; 
For want of foode, amid his foode, the myser styll doth pine. 

As carefull was the mayde what way were best deuise, 
To learne his name that intertaind her in so gentle wise ; 
Of whom her hart receiued so deepe, so wyde, a wounde. 
An auncient dame she calde to her, and in her eare gan roUnde : 
( This old dame in her youth had nurst her with her mylke, 
With slender nedel taught her sow, and how to spin with 


What twayhe are those, qubth she, which prease vnto the doore, 
Whose pages in theyr hand doe beare two toorches light before ? 
And then, as eche of them had of his houshold name, 
So shehimnamde. Yet dnce agayne the yong andwyly dame: 
" And tell me who is he with vysor in his hand, 
That yender doth in masking weede besyde the window stand." 
His name is Romeus, sayd she, a Montegew, 
Whose fathers pryde first styrd the strife which both your hous- 

holdes rewe. 

The woord of Montegew her ioys did ouerthrow, 
And straight insteade of happy hope dyspayre began to growe. 


What hap haue I, quoth she, to loue my fathers foe ? 

What, ani I wery of my wele ? what, doe I wishe my woe ? 

But though her grieuouse paynes distraind her tender hart, 

Yet with an outward shewe of ioye she cloked inward smart; 

And of the courtlyke dames her leaue so courtly tooke, 

That none dyd gesse the sodain change by changing of her looke. 

Then at her mothers best to chamber she her hyde, 

So wel she faynde, mother ne nurce the hidden harme descride. 

But when she should haue slept as wont she was in bed, 

Not halfe a winke of quiet slepe could harber in her heel ; 

For loe, an hugy heape of dyuers thoughtes arise, 

That rest haue banisht from her hart, and slumber from her eyes. 

And now from side to side she tosseth and she turnes, 

And now for feare she sheuereth, and now for love she burnes, 

And now she lykes her choyse, and now her choyse she blames, 

And now eche houre \\ it liin her head a thousand tansies frames. 

Sometime in mynde to stop amyd her course begonne, 

Sometime she vowes, what so betyde, that tempted race to ronne. 

Thus dangers dred and loue within the mayden fought ; 

The fight was feerce, continuyng long by their contrary thought. 

In tourning mase of loue she wandreth too and fro, 

Then standeth doutfull what to doe ; last, ouerprest with woe, 

How so her fansies cease, her teares dyd neuer blyn , 

With heauy cheere and wringed hands thus doth herplaintbegyn. 

*' Ah sily foole, quoth she, y-cought in soottil! snare ! 

Ah wretched wench, bewrapt in woe ! ah caytife clad with care ! 

Whence come these wandring thoughts to thy vnconstant brest, 

By straying thus from raysons lore, that reue thy wonted rest ? 

What ir his suttell brayne to fayne haue taught his long, 

And so the snake that lurkes in grasse thy tender hart hath stong ? 

What if with frendly spcache the traytor lye in wayte, 

As oft the poysond hooke is hid, wrapt in the pleasant bayte ? 

Oft vnder cloke of truth hath 1'alshood serued her lust ; 

And toornd theyr honor into shame, that did so slightly trust. 

What, was not Dido so, a crouned queene, defamd ? 

And eke, for such an heynous cryme, haue men not Theseus 

blamd ? 

A thousand stories more, to teache me to beware, 
In Boccace and in Quids bookes too playnely written are. 
Perhaps, the great reuenge he cannot woorke by strength, 
By suttel sleight (my honor staynde) he hopes to worke at 


So shall I seeke to finde my fathers foe, his game ; 
So ( I befylde ) Report shall take her trompe of blacke defame, 
Whence she with puffed cheekc shall blowe a blast so shrill 
Of my disprayse, that with the noyse Verona shall she fill. 


Then I, a laughing stocke through all the towne becomme, 
Shall hide my selfe,but not my shame, within an hollowetoombe." 
Straight underneth her foote she treadeth in the dust 
Her troublesom thought, as wholy vaine, y-bred of fond distrust. 
" No, no, by God aboue, I wot it well, quoth shee, 
Although I rashely spake before, in no wise can it bee, 
That where such perfet shape with pleasant bewty restes, 
There crooked craft and trayson blacke should be appoynted 


Sage writers say, the thoughts are dwelling in the eyne ; 
Then sure I am, as Cupid raignes, that Romeus is myne. 
The tong the messenger eke call they of the mynd ; 
So that 1 see he loueth me : shall I then be vnkynd ? 
His faces rosy hew I saw full oft to seeke; 

And straight againe it flashed foorth, and spred in eyther eheeke. 
His fyxed heauenly eyne that through me quite did perce 
His thoughts vnto my hart, my thought they semed to rehearce. 
What ment his foltring tunge in telling of his tale ? 
The trembling of his ioynts, and eke his cooller waxen pale ? 
And whilst I talke with him, hymself he hath exylde 
Out of himself, as seemed me ; ne was I sure begylde. 
Those arguments of loue craft wrate not in his face, 
But Natures hande, when all deceyte was banishd out of place. 
What other certain signes seke I of his good wil ? 
These doo suffise ; and stedfast I will loue and serue him still, 
Till Attropos shall cut my fatall thread of lyfe, 
So that he mynde to make of me his lawfull wedded wyfe. 
For so perchaunce this new aliance may procure 
Vnto our houses suche a peace as euer shall endure." 

Oh how we can perswade ourself to what we like ! 
*,And how we can diswade our mynd, if ought our mynd mislyke! 
Weake arguments are stronge, our fansies streyght to frame 
To pleasing things, and eke to shonne, if we mislike the same. 
The mayde had scarsely yet ended the wery warre, 
Kept in her heart bystriuing thoughtes, when euery shining starre 
Had payd his borowed light, and Phebus spred in skies 
His golden rayes, which seemd to say, now time it is to rise. 
And Romeus had by this forsaken his wery bed, 
Where restles he a thousand thoughts had forged in his hed. 
And while with lingring step by Juliets house he past, 
And vpward to her windowes high his gredy eyes did cast, 
His loue that looked for him there gan he straight espie. 
With pleasant cheere eche greeted is ; she followeth with her 


His parting steppes, and he oft looketh backe againe, 
But not so oft as he desyres: warely he doth refraine. 


What life were lyke to loue, if dred of ieopardy 

Y-sowred not the sweete ; if loue were free from ielosy ! 

But she more sure within, vnseene of any wight, 

When so he comes, lookes after him till he be out of sight. 

In often passing so, his busy eyes he threw, 

That eucry pane and tooting hole the wily louer knew. 

In happy houre he doth a garden plot espye, 

From which, except he warely walke, men may his loue descrye ; 

For lo ! it fronted full vpon her leaning place, 

Where she is woont to shew her heart by cheerfull frendly face.. 

And lest the arbors might theyr secret loue bewraye, 

He doth keepe backe his forward foote from passing there by 


But when on earth the Night her mantel blacke hath spred, 
Well-armd he walketh foorth alone, ne dreadfull foes doth dred. 
Whom inakfth Loue not bold, naye whom makes he not blinde : 
He reueth daungers dread oft times out of the louers minde. 
By night he passeth here. a weeke or two in vayne ; 
And for the missing of his marke his griefe hath hym nye slaine. 
And Juliet that now doth lacke her hearts releefe, 
Her Romeus pleasant eyen I meenc is almost dead for greefe. 
Eche daye she chaungeth howres, for louers keepe an howre 
When they are sure to see their loue, in passing by their howre.* 
Impacient of her woe, she hapt to leane one night 
Within her window, and anon the moone did shine so bright 
That she espyde her loue ; her hart reuiued sprang ; 
And now for ioy she clappes her handes, which erst for woe she 


Eke Romeus, when he sawe his long desired sight, 
His moorning clokc of mono cast of, hath clad him with delight. 
Yet dare I say, of both that she reioyced more : 
His care was great, hers twise as great was, all the tyme before ; 
For whilst she knew not why he did himselfe absent, 
Ay douting both his health and lyfe, his death she dyd lament. 
For loue is fearefull oft where is no cause of feare, [weare. 

And what loue feares, that loue laments, as though it chaunced 
Of greater cause alway is greater woorke y-bred ; 
While he nought douteth of her helth, she dreads lest he be ded. 
When onely absence is the cause of Romeus smart, 
By happy hope of sight agayne he feedes his faynting hart. 
What woonder then if he were wrapt in lesse annoye ? 
What mar i id 1 if by sodain sight she fed of greater loye ? 
His smaller greefe or ioy no smaller loue doo proue ; 
Ne, for she passed him in both, did she him passe in loue : 


But eche of them alike dyd burne in equall flame, 
The wel-belouing knight and eke the wel-beloued dame. 
Now whilst with bitter teares her eyes as fountaynes ronne, 
With whispering voice, y-broke with sobs, thus is her tale be- 

gonne : 

" Oh Romeus, of your lyfe too lauas sure you are, 
That in this place, and at thys tyme, to hasard it you dare. 
What if your dedly foes, my kinsmen, saw you here ? 
Lyke lyons wylde, your tender partes asonder would they teare. 
In ruth and in disdayne, I, weary of my life, 
With cruell hand my moorning hart would perce with bloudy 


For you, myne own, once dead, what ioy should I haue heare ? 
And eke my honor staynde, which I then lyfe doe holde more 


" Fay re lady myne, dame Juliet, my lyfe (quod he) 
Euen from my byrth committed was to fatall sisters three. 
They may in spyte of foes draw foorth my liuely threed ; 
And they also (who so sayth nay) asonder may it shreed. 
But who, to reaue my life, his rage and force would bende, 
Perhaps should trye vnto his payne how I it coulde defende. 
Ne yet I loue it so, but alwayes, for your sake, 
A sacrifice to death I would my wounded corps betake. 
If my mishappe were such, that here, before your sight, 
I should restore agayne to death, of lyfe my borowde light, 
This one thing and no more my parting sprite would rewe, 
That part he should before that you by certaine triall knew 
The loue I owe to you, the thrall I languish in, 
And how I dread to loose the gayne which"! doe hope to win : 
And how I wishe for lyfe, not for my propre ease, 
But that in it you might I loue, you honor, serue and please, 
Till dedly pangs the sprite out of the corps shall send :" 
And thereupon he sware an othe, and so his tale had ende. 

Now loue and pitty boyle in Juliets ruthfull brest ; 
In windowe on her leaning arme her weary bed doth rest: 
Her bosome bathd in teares (to witnes inward payne), 
With dreary chere to Romeus thus aunswerd she agayne : 
" Ah my dere Romeus, kepe in these woords, (quod she) 
For lo, the thought of such mischaunce already maketh me 
For pitty and for dred welnigh to yeld vp breath ; 
In euen ballance peysed are my life and eke my death. 
For so my hart is knitte, yea made one selfe with yours, 
That sure there is no greefe so small, by which your mynde 


But as you suffer payne, so I doe beare in part 
( Although it lessens not your greefe) the halfe of all your smart. 


But these thinges ouerpast, if of your health and myne 

You haue respect, or pitty ought my tear-y-weeping eyen, 

In few vnfained woords your hidden mynd vnfolde, 

That as I see your pleasant face, your heart I may beholde. 

For if you doe intende my honor to defile, 

In error shall yon wander still, as you haue done this whyle: 

But if your thought be chaste, and haue on vertue ground, 

If wedlocke be the ende and marke which your desire hath 


Obedience set aside, vnto my parentes dewe, 
The quart- 11 eke that long agone betwene our housholdes grewe, 
Both me and myne I will all whole to you betake, 
And following you where so you goe, my fathers house forsake. 
But if by wanton loue and by vnlawfull sute 
You thmke in ripest yeres to plucke my maydenhods dainty 


You are begylde \ and now your Juliet you beseekes 
To cease your sute, and suffer her to Hue among her likes." 
Then Komeus, whose thought was free from fowle desyre, 
And to the top of vertues haight did worthely aspyre, 
Was fild with greater ioy then can my pen expresse, 
Or, till they haue cnioya the like, the hearers hart can gesse.* 
And then with ioyned hands, hcaud vp into the skies, 
He thankes the Gods, and from the heauens for vengeance 

downe he cries, 

If he haue other thought but as his Lady spake ; 
And then his looke he toornd to her, and thus did aunswcr make: 
" Since, lady, that you like to honor me so much 
As to accept me for your spouse, I yeld myselfe for such. 
In true witnes wherof, because I must depart, 
Till that my deede do proue my woord, I leaue in pawne my hart. 
Tomorrow eke betimes, before the sunne arise, 
To Fryer Lawrence will I wtnde, to learne his sage aduisc. 

the hearers Jiart can gctst.] From these worth it should srem that 

this poem was formerly sung or recited to casual |iassengers iu tin- street*. See 
also p. 285, I. 23 : 

" If any niau be here, whom love hath clad with care, 
" To him I speak; if thou wilt speed," &c. MAI.ONK. 

In former days, when the faculty of reading was by no means so general as 
at present, it must have been m> (infrequent practice for those who did not 
possess this accomplishment to gratify their curiosity by listening while some 
better educated |>ersou read aloud. It in, I think, scarcely probable, that a 
poem of the length of this Tragicall History should be tunf or recited in the 
itrerti : And Sir John Maunde.vile, at the clone, of his work, iutreata " ulle 
the liectrrri and Hmi BIS of his boke, ,-ii it plesc hem that thei wolde preyen 
to God," Ace, p. 383, 8vo. edit. 1727. Hy hcrerri of hit boke he unquestion- 
ably intended htarrrt in the sense I Invc Miggested. TfiotT WIIITK. 


He is my gostly syre, and oft he hath me taught 

What I should doe in things of wayght, when I his ayde haue 


And at this self same houre, I plyte you here my faith, 
I wil be here, (if you think good,) to tell you what he sayth." 
She was contented well ; els fauour found he none 
That night, at lady Juliets hand, saue pleasant woordes alone. 

This barefoote fryer gyrt with cord his grayish weede, 
For he of Frauncis order was a fryer, as I reede. 
Not as the most was he, a grosse vnlearned foole, 
But doctor of diuinitie preceded he in schoole. 
The secretes eke he knew in Natures woorkes that loorke ; 
By magiks arte most men supposd that he could wonders 


Ne doth it ill beseeme deuines those skils to know, 
If on no harmeful deede they do such skilfulnes bestow ; 
For iustly of no arte can men condemne the vse, 
But right and reasons lore crye out agaynst the lewd abuse. 
The bounty of the fryer and wisdom hath so wonne 
The townes folks herts, that welnigh all to fryer Lawrence 


To shriue themselfe ; the olde, the yong, the great and small ; 
Of all he is beloued well, and honord much of all. 
And, for he did the rest in wisdome farre exceede, 
The prince by him (his counsell craude) was holpe at time of 


Betwixt the Capilets and him great frendship grew, 
A secret and assured frend vnto the Montegue. 
Loued of this yong man more then any other gest, 
The frier eke of Verone youth aye liked Romeus best ; 
For whom he euer hath in time of his distres, 
(As erst you heard, ) by skilful lore found out his harmesredresse. 
To him is Romeus gonne, ne stayth he till the morowe ; 
To him he paynteth all his case, his passed ioy and sorow. 
How he hath her espyde with other dames in daunce, 
And how that first to talke with her himselfe he did ad- 

uaunce ; 

Their talke and change of lookes he gan to him declare, 
And how so fast by fayth and troth they both y-coupled are, 
That neither hope of lyfe, nor dred of cruel death, 
Shall make him false his fayth to her, while lyfe shall lend him 


And then with weping eyes he prayes his gostly syre 
To further and accomplish all their honest hartes desyre. 
A thousand doutes and moe in thold mans hed arose, 
A thousand daungers like to come the old man doth disclose, 


And from the spousall rites he readeth him refrayne, 

Perhaps he shalbe bet aduisde within a \veeke or twayne. 

Aduise is banisht quite from those that followe loue, 

Except aduise to what they like theyr bending mynde do moue. 

As well the father might haue counseld him to stay 

That from a uiountaines top thrown downe is falling halfe the 


As warne his frend to stop amyd his race begonne, 
Whom Cupid with his smarting whip enforceth foorth to ronne. 
Part wonne by earnest sute, the fryer doth graunt at last ; 
And part, because he th hikes the s tonnes, so lately ouerpast, 
Of both the housholdes wrath, this manage might apease ; 
So that they should not rage agayne, but quite for euer cease. 
The respite of a day he asketh to deuyse 

What way were best, vnknowne, to ende so great an enterprise. 
The wounded man that now doth dedly paines endure, 
Scarce pdcient tarieth whilst his leeche doth make the salue to 


So Romeus hardly graunts a short day and a night, 
Yet nedes he must, els must he want his onely heartes delight. 

You see that Romeus no time or payne doth spare ; 
Thinke, that the whilst fayre Juliet is not deuoyde of cafe. 
Yong Komeus powreth foorth his hap and his mishap 
Into the friers brest ; but where shall Juliet vnwrap 
The secretes of her hart ? to whom shall she vnfolde 
Her hidden burning loue, and eke her thought and cares so colde. 
The nurce of whom I spake, within her chaumb'er laye, 
Vpon the mayde she wayteth still ; to her she doth bewray 
Her new-receiued wound, and then her ayde doth craue, 
In her, she saith, it lyes to spill, in her, her lyfe to saue. 
Not easely she made the froward nurce to bowe, 
But wonne at length with promest hyre, she made a solemne 


To do what she commaundes, as handmayd of her hest ; 
Her mistres secrets hide she will, within her couert brest. 

To Romeus she goes, of him she doth desyre 
To know the meane of mariage, by councell of the fryre. 
On Satvrday (quod he) if Juliet come to shrift 
She shalbe shriued and maried: how lyke you, noorse, this 


Now by my truth, (quod she) God's blessing haue your hart, 
For yet in all my life I haue not heard of such a part. 
Lord, how you yong men can such crafty wiles deuise, 
If that you loue the daughter well, to bleare the mothers eyes ! 
An easy thing it is with cloke of holines 
To mock the sely mother, that suspecteth nothing lesse. 


But that it pleased you to tell me of the case, 

For all my many yeres perhaps I should haue found it scarse. 

Now for the rest let me and Juliet alone ; 

To get her leaue, some feate excuse I will deuise anone ; 

For that her golden lockes by sloth haue been vnkempt, 

Or for vnwares some wanton dreame the youthfull damsell 


Or for in thoughts of loue her ydel time she spent, 
Or otherwise within her hart deserued to be shent. 
I know her mother will in no case say her nay ; 
I warrant you, she shall not fayle to come on Saterday. 
And then she sweares to him, the mother loues her well ; 
And how she gaue her sucke in youth, she leaueth not to tell. 
A prety babe (quod she) it was when it was yong ; 
Lord how it could full pretely haue prated with it tong 1 
A thousand times and more I laid her on my lappe, 
And clapt her on the buttocke soft, and kist where I did clappe. 
And gladder then was I of such a kisse forsooth, 
Then I had been to haue a kisse of some olde lecher's mouth. 
And thus of Juliets youth began this prating noorse, 
And of her present state to make a tedious long discoorse. 
For though he pleasure tooke in hearing of his loue, 
The message aunswer seemed him to be of more behoue. 
But when these Beldams sit at ease vpon theyr tayle, 
The day and eke the candle light before theyr talke shall fayle. 
And part they say is true, and part they do deuise, 
Yet boldly do they chat of both, when no man checkes theyr 


Then he vi crqwnes of gold out of his pocket drew, 
And gaue them her; a slight reward (quod he) and so adiew. 
In seuen yeres twise tolde she had not bowd so lowe 
Her crooked knees, as now they bowe : she sweares she will be- 


Her crafty wit, her time, and all her busy payne, 
To helpe him to his hoped blisse ; arid, cowring downe agayne, 
She takes her leaue, and home she hyes with spedy pace ; 
The chaumber doore she shuts, and then she saith with smyling 

face ; 

Good newes for thee, my gyrle, good tidinges I thee bring, 
Leaue of thy woonted song of care, and now of pleasure sing. 
For thou mayst hold thyselfe the happiest vnder sonne, 
That in so little while so well so worthy a knight hast wonne. 
The best y-shapde is he and hath the fay rest face, 
Of all this towne, and there is none hath halfe so good a grace : 
So gentle of his speche, and of his counsell wise : - 
And still with many prayses more she heaued him to the skies. 


Tell me els what, (quod she) this euermore I thought ; 

But of our manage, say at once, what answere haue you brought ? 

Nay, soft, ( quoth she ) I feare your hurt by sodain ioye ; 

I list not play (quoth Juliet), although thou list to toye. 

How glad, trow you, was she, when she had heard her say, 

No farther of then Saturday differred was the day. 

Again the auncient nurse doth speake of Roraeus, 

And then (said she) he spake to me, and then I spake him thus. 

Nothing was done or said that she hath left vntold, 

Saue onely one that she forgot, the taking of the golde. 

" Thert is no losse (quod she) swcete wench, to losse of time, 

Ne in thine age shall thou repent so much of any crime. 

For when I call to mynde my former passed youth, 

One thing there is which most of all doth cause my endless ruth. 

At sixtene yeres I first did choose my louing feere, 

And I was fully ripe before, ( I dare well say, ) a yere. 

The pleasure that I lost, that yere so ouerpast, 

A thousand times I haue bewept, and shall, while lyfe doth last. 

In fayth it were a shame, yea sinne it were, y wisse, 

When thou mayst liue in happy ioy, to set light by thy blisse." 

She that this mornyng could her mistres mynde disswade, 

Is now becomme an Oratresse, her lady to perswade. 

If any man be here whom lone hath clad with care, 

To him I speake ; if thou wilt spede, thy purse thou must not 


Two sorts of men there are, seeld welcome in at doore, 
The welthy sparing nigard, and the sutor that is poore. 
For glittring gold is woont by kynd to mooue the hart ; 
And oftentimes a slight rewarde doth cause a more desart. 
Y-written haue I red, I wot not in what booke, 
There is no better way to fishe then with a golden hooke. 
Of Romeus these two doe sitte and chat awhile, 
And to them selfe they laugh how they the mother shall begyle. 
A feate excuse they finde, but sure I know it not, 
And leaue for her to goe to shrift on Saterday, she got. 
So well this Juliet, this wyly wench, dyd know 
Her mothers angry houres, and eke the true bent of her bowe. 
The Saterday betimes, in sober weede yclad, 
She tooke her leaue, and forth she went with visage graue and sad. 
With her the nurce is sent, as brydle of her lust, 
With her the mother sendes a mayde almost of equall trust. 
Betwixt her teeth the bytte the Jenet now hath cought, 
So warely eke the vyrgin walkes, her raayde perceiueth nought. 
She gasetli not in churche on yong men of the towne, 
Ne wandreth she from place to place, but straight she knelcth 



Vpon an alters step, where she deuoutly prayes, 
And therevpon her tender knees the wery lady stayes ; 
Whilst she doth send her mayde the certain truth to know, 
If frier Lawrence laysure had to heare her shrift, or no. 
Out of his shriuing place he commes with pleasant cheere ; 
The shamefast mayde with bashfull brow to himward draweth 


Some great offence (quod he) you have committed late, 
Perhaps you haue displeasd your frend by geuing him a mate. 
Then turning to the nurce and to the other mayde, 
Go heare a masse or two, (quod he) which straightway shalbe 


For, her confession heard, I will vnto you twayne 
The charge that I receiud of you restore to you agayne. 
What, was not Juliet, trow you, right well apayde, 
That for this trusty fryre hath chaungde her yong mistrusting 

mayde ? 

I dare well say, there is in all Verona none, 
But Romeus, with whom she would so gladly be alone. 
Thus to the fryers cell they both foorth walked bin ; 
He shuts the doore as soon as he and Juliet were in. 
But Romeus, her frend, was entred in before, 
And there had way ted for his loue, two howers large and more. 
Eche minute seemde an howre, and euery howre a day, 
Twixt hope he liued and despayre of cumming or of stay. 
Now wauering hope and feare are quite fled out of sight, 
For, what he hopde he hath at hande, his pleasant cheefe de- 


And ioyfull Juliet is healde of all her smart, 
For now the rest of all her parts haue found her straying hart. 
Both theyr confessions first the fryer hath heard them make, 
And then to her with lowder voyce thus fryer Lawrence spake : 
Fayre lady Juliet, my gostly doughter deere, 
As farre as I of Romeus learne, who by you standeth here, 
Twixt you it is agreed, tha you shalbe his wyfe, 
And he your spouse in steady truth, till death shall end your life. 
Are you both fully bent to kepe this great behest ? 
And both the louers said, it was theyr onely harts request. 
When he did see theyr myndes in linkes of loue so fast, 
When in the prayse of wedlocks state some skilfull talke was pask 
When he had told at length the wife what was her due, 
His duety eke by gostly talke the youthfull husband knew ; 
How that the wife in loue must honor and obay, 
What loue and honor he doth owe, and dette that he must pay, 
The woords pronounced were which holy church of olde 
Appointed hath for mariage, and she a ring of golde 


Receiued of Romeus ; and then they both arose. 

To whom the frier then said : Perchaunce apart you will disclose., 

Betwixt your selfe alone, the bottome of your hart; 

Say on at once, for time it is that hence you should depart. 

Then Romeus said to her, (both loth to part so soone) 

" Fayre lady, send to me agayne your nurce this after noone. 

Of corde I will bespeake a ladder by that time ; 

By which, this night, while other sleepe, I will your window 


Then will we talke of loue and of our olde dispayres, 
And then with longer laysure had dispose our great afiaires." 
These said, they kisse, and then part to theyr fathers house, 
The ioyfull bryde vnto her home, to his eke goth the spouse ; 
Contented both, and yet both vncontented still, 
Till night and Venus child geue leaue the wedding to fulfill. 
The painful souldiour, sore ybet with wery warre, 
The merchant eke that nedefull things doth drcd to fetch from 


The ploughman that, for doute of feerce inuading foes, 
Rather to sit in ydle ease then sowe his tilt hath chose, 
Reioice to heare proclaymd the tydinges of the peace ; 
Not pleasurd with the sound so much, but, when the warres do 


Then ceased are the harmes which cruell warre bringes foorth : 
The merchant then may boldly fetch his wares of precious 

woorth ; 

Dredeless the husbandman doth till his fertile feeld. 
For welth, her mate, not for her selfe, is peace so precious held : 
So louers Hue in care, in dread, and in vnrest, 
And dedly warre by striuing thoughts they kepe within their 

brest ; 

But wedlocke is the peace wherby is freedome wonne 
To do a thousand pleasant thinges that should not els be donnc. 
The newes of ended warre these two haue hard with ioy, 
But now they long the fruite of peace with pleasure to enioy. 
In stormy wind and waue, in daunger to be lost, 
Thy stearles ship, (O Romeus,) hath been long while betost; 
The seas are now appeasd, and thou, by happy starre, 
Art comme in sight of quiet hauen ; and, now the wrackfull 


Is hid with swelling tyde, boldly thou mayst resort 
Vnto thy wedded ladies bed, thy long desyred port. 
God graunt, no follies mist so dymme thy inward sight, 
That thou do misse the chanell that doth loade to thy delight ! 
God graunt, no daungers rocke, y -lurking in the darke, 
Before thou win the happy port, wracke thy sea-beaten barkc. 

A seruant Romeus had, of woord and deede so iust, 

That with his life, (if nede requierd,) his master would him 

trust.' r/> JJo< 

His faithfulnes had oft our Romeus proued of olde ; 
And therefore all that yet was done vnto his man he tolde. 
Who straight, as he was charged, a corden ladder lookes, 
To which he hath made fast two strong and crooked yron hookes. 
The bryde to send the nurce at twylight fayleth not, 
To whom the bridegroome yeven hath the ladder that he got. 
And then to watch for him appointeth her an howre, 
For, whether Fortune smyle on him, or if she list to lowre, 
He will not misse to comme to his appoynted place, 
Where wont he was to take by stelth the view of Juliets face. 
How long these louers thought the lasting of the day, 
Let other iudge that woonted are lyke passions, to assay : 
For my part, I do gesse eche howre seeraes twenty yere : 
So that I deeme, if they might haue (as of Alcume we heare) 
The sunne bond to theyr will, if they the heauens might gyde, 
Black shade of night and doubled darke should straight all ouer- 


Thappointed howre is comme ; he, clad in rich araye, 
Walkes toward his desyred home : good fortune gyde his way ! 
Approching nere the place from whence his hart had life, 
So light he wox, he lept the wall, and there he spyde his wife, 
Who in the windowe watcht the cumming of her lorde; 
Where she so surely had made fast the ladder made of corde, 
That daungerles her spouse the chaumber window climes, 
Where he ere then had wisht hrmselfe-aboue ten thousand times. 
The windowes close are shut ; els looke they for no gest ; 
To light the waxen quariers, the auncient nurce is prest, 
Which Juliet had before prepared to be light, 
That she at pleasure might beholde her husbandes bewty bright. 
A Carchef white as snowe ware Juliet on her hed, 
Such as she wonted was to weare, attyre meete for the bed. 
As soone as she hym spyde, about his necke she clong, 
And by her long and slender armes a great while there she hong. 
A thousand times she kist, and'him vnkist agayne, 
Ne could she speake a woord to him, though would she nere so 


And like betwixt his armes to faint his lady is ; 
She fettes a sfgh and clappeth close her closed mouth to his : 
And ready then to sownde, she lodked ruthfully, 
That loe, it made him both at once to Hue and eke to dye. 
These piteous painfull panges were haply ouerpast, 
And she vnto herselfe agayne retorned home at last. 


Then, through her troubled brest, euen from the farthest part, 
An hollow sigh, a messenger she sendeth from her hart. 

Romeus, (quoth she) in whome all vertues shyne, 
Welcome thou art into this place, where from these eyes of myne 
Such teary streames dyd flowe, that I suppose welny 

The source of all my bitter teares is altogether drye. 
Absence so pynde my heart, which on thy presence fed, 
And of thy safetie and thy health so much I stood in dred. 
But now what is decreed by fatall desteny, 

1 force it not ; let Fortune do and death their woorst to me. 
Full recompensd am I for all my passed harmes, 

In that the Gods haue graunted me to claspe thee in myne armes. 
The christall teares began to stand in Romeus eyes, 
When he unto his ladies woordes gan aunswere in this wise : 
" Though cruell Fortune be so much my dedly foe, 
That I ne can by lively proofe cause thee, fayre dame, to know 
How much I am by loue enthralled vnto thee, 
Ne yet what mighty powre thou hast, by thy desert, on we, 
Ne tormentes that for thee I did ere this endure, 
Yet of thus much (ne will I fayne) I may thee well assure; 
The least of many paynes which of thy absence sprong, 
More paynefully than death it selfe my tender hart hath wroong. 
Ere this, one death had reft a thousand deathes away, 
But lyfe prolonged was by hope of this desired day ; 
Which so iust tribute payes of all my passed mone, 
That I as well contented am as if my selfe alone 
Did from the Occean reigne vnto the sea of Inde. 
Wherfore now let vs wipe away old cares out of our mynde : 
For, as the wretched state is now redrcst at last, 
So is it skill behinde our backe the cursed care to cast. 
Since Fortune of her grace hath place and time assinde, 
Where we with pleasure may content our vncontented minde, 
In Lethes hyde we deepc all greefe and ail annoy, 
Whilst we do bath in biisse, und fill our hungry harts with ioye. 
And, for the time to comme, let be our busy care 
So wisely to direct our loue, as no wight els be ware ; 
Lest enuious foes by force despoyle our new delight, 
And vs throwc backe from happy state to more vnhappy plight." 
Fayre Juliet began to nunswere what he sayde, 
But foorth in hast the old nurce stept, and so her aunswere stayde. 
Who takes not time (quoth she) when time well oft'red is, 
An other time shall seeke for time, and yet of time shall misse. 
And when occasion serues, who so doth let it slippe, 
Is woorthy sure (if I might Judge, ) of lashes with a whippe. 
Wherfore if eche of you hath harnide the other so, 
And cche of you hath been the cause of others wayled woe, 

U 2 


Loe, here a fielde (she shewd a fiecld-bed ready dight) 
Where you may, if you list, in armes reuenge yourselfe by fight. 
\Vherto these louers both gan easely assent, 
And to the place of mylde reuenge with pleasant cheere they 


Where they were left alone (the nurce is gone to rest) 
How can this be ? they restless lye, ne yet they feele vnrest. 
I graunt that I enuie the blisse they liued in ; 
Oh that I might haue found the like ! I wish it for no sin r 
But that I might as well with pen their ioyes depaynt, 
As heretofore I haue displayd their secret hidden playnt. 
Of shyuering care and dred I haue felt many a fit, 
But Fortune such delight as theyrs dyd neuer graunt me yet. 
By proofe no certain truth can I vnhappy write, 
But what I gesse by likelihod, that dare I to endite. 
The blyndfold goddesse that with frowning face doth fraye, 
And from theyr seate the mighty kinges throwes down with 

hedlong sway, 

Begynneth now to turne to these her smyling face ; 
Nedes must they tast of great delight, so much in Fortunes grace. 
If Cupid, god of loue, be god of pleasant sport, 
I think, O Romeus, Mars himselfe enuies thy happy sort. 
Ne Venus iustly might (as I suppose) repent, 
If in thy stead, (O Juliet,) this pleasant time she spent. 

This passe they foorth tne night, in sport, in ioly game ; 
The hastines of Phoebus steeds in great despyte they blame. 
And now the virgins fort hath warlike Romeus got, 
In which as yet no breache was made by force of canon shot, 
And now in ease he doth possesse the hoped place : 
How glad was he, speake you, that may your louers parts 


The mariage thus made vp, and both the parties pleasd, 
The nigh approche of days retoorne these seely soles diseasd. 
And for they might no while in pleasure passe theyr time, 
Ne leysure had they much to blame the hasty mornings crime, 
With friendly kisse in armes of her his leaue he takes, 
And euery .other night, to come, a solemne othe he makes, 
By one selfe meane, and eke to come at one selfe howre : 
And so he doth, till Fortune list to sawse his sweete with sowre, 
But who is he that can his present state assure ? 
And say vnto himselfe, thy ioyes shall yet a day endure ? 
So wavering fortunes whele, her chaunges be so straunge ; 
And c-uery .wight y-thralled is by fate vnto her chaunge : 
Who raignes so ouer all, that eche man hath his part, 
(Although not aye, perchaunce, alike) of pleasure and of smart. 


For after many ioyes some feele but little payne, 

And from that little greefe they toorne to happy ioy againe. . 

But other somme there are, that liuing long in woe, 

At length they be in quiet ease, but long abide not so ; 

Whose greefe is much increast by myrth that went before, 

Because the sodayne chaunge of thinges doth make it seeme tlit 


Of this vnlucky sorte our Romeus is one, 
For all his hap tunics to mishap, and all his myrth to mone. 
And ioyfull Juliet another leafe must toorne ; 
As woont she was, (her ioyes bereft) she must begin to moorne. 

The summer of their blisse doth last a month or twayne, 
But winters blast with spedy foote doth bring the fall agayne. 
Whom glorious Fortune erst had heaued to the skies, 
By enuious Fortune ouerthrowne, on earth now groueling lyes. 
She payd theyr former greefe with pleasures doubled gayne, 
But now, for pleasures vsury, ten folde redoubleth payne. 

The prince could neuer cause those housholds so agree, 
But that some sparcles of their wrath as yet remaining bee ; 
Which lye this while raakd vp in ashes pale and ded, 
Till tyme do serue that they agayne in wasting flame may spred. 
At holiest times, men say, most heynous crimes are donne; 
The morowe after Easter-day the mischiefe new begonne. 
A band of Capilets did meete ( my hart it rewes ) 
Within the walles, by Pursers gate, a band of M ontagewes. 
The Capilets as cheefe a yong man haue chose out, 
Best exercisd in feates of armes, and noblest of the rowte, 
Our Juliets vnkles sonne, that cliped was Tibalt ; 
He was of body tall and strong, and of his courage halt. 
They neede no trumpet sounde to byd them geue the charge, 
So lowde he cryde with strayned voyce and mouth out-stretched 

large : 

" Now, now, (quod he,) my frends, our selfe so let vs wreake, 
Thatof this day es reuenge and vs our childrens heyres may speak*.'. 
Now once for all let vs their swelling pryde asswage ; 
Let none of them escape aliue," then he with furious rage, 
And they with him, gave charge vpon theyr present foes, 
And then forthwith a skyrmishe great upon this fray arose. 
For loe the Montagewes thought shame away to flye, 
And rather then to Hue with shame, with prayse did choose 

to dye. 

The woordes that Tybalt vsd to styrre his folke to yre, 
Haue in the brestes of Montagcwes kindled a furious fyrc. 
With Lyons hartes they fight, warely them selfe defenue ; 
To wound his foe, his present wit and force eche one doth bend. 


This furious fray is long on eche side stoutly fought, 

That whether part had got the woorst, full doutfuU were the 


The noyse hereof anon throughout the towne doth flye, 
And parts are taken on euery side ; both kinreds thether hye. 
Here one doth gaspe for breth, his frend bestrideth him ; 
And he hath lost a hand, and he another maymed lym : 
His leg is cutte whilst he strikes at an other full, 
And who he would haue thrust quite through', hath cleft hys 

cracked skull. 

Theyr valiant harts forbode theyr foote to geue the grounde ; 
With vnappauled cheere they tooke full deepe and doutfull 


Thus foote by foote long while, and shield to shield set fast, 
One foe doth make another faynt, but makes him not agast. 
And whilst this noyse is ryfe in euery townes mans eare, 
Eke, walking with his frendes, the noyse doth wofull Romeus 


With spedy foote he ronnes vnto the fray apace ; 
With him, those fewe that were with him he leadeth to the place. 
They pittie much to see the slaughter made so greate, 
That wetshod they might stand in blood on eyther side the 

Part frendes, (said he,) part frendes, helpe, frendes, to part the 


And to the rest, enough, (he cryes) now time it is to staye. 
Gods farther wrath you styrre, beside the hurt you feele, 
And with this new vprore confounde all this our common wele. 
But they so busy are in fight, so egar, feerce, 
That through theyr eares his sage aduise no leysure had to pearce. 
Then lept he in the throng, to part and barre the blowes 
As well of those that were his frendes, as of his dedly foes. 
As soon as Tybalt had our Romeus espyde, 
He threw a thrust at him that would have past from side to side ; 
But Romeus euer went, ( douting his foes, ) well armde, 
So that the swerd, ( kept out by mayle, ) had nothing Romeus 


Thou doest me wrong, (quoth he,) for I but part the fraye ; 
Not dread, but other waighty cause my hasty hand doth stay. 
Thou art the cheefe of thine, the noblest eke thou art, 
Wherfore leaue of thy malice now, and helpe these folke to part. 
Many are hurt, some slayne, and some are like to dye : 
No, coward, traytor boy, (quod he,) straight way I mynd to trye, 
Whether thy sugred talke, and tong so smoothely fylde, 
Against the force of this my swerd shall serue thee for a shylde. 


And then, at Romeus bed a blow he strake so hard 

That might haue cloue him to the braynebutfor hiscunningward. 

It was but lent to him that could repay agayne, 

And geue him death for interest, a well-forborne gayne. 

Right as a forest bore, that lodged in the thicke, 

Pinched with dog, or els with speare ypricked to the quicke, 

His bristles stiife vpright vpon his backe doth set, 

And in his fomy mouth his sharp and crooked tuskes doth whet ; 

Or as a Lyon wylde, that rampeth in his rage, 

His whelpes bereft, whose fury can no weaker beast asswage ; 

Such seemed Romeus in euery others sight, 

When he him shope, of wrong receaude tauenge himself by fight. 

Euen as two thunderbolts throwne downe out of the skye, 

That through the ayrc, the massy earth, and seas, haue powre to 


So met these two, and while they chaunge a blow or twayne, 
Our Romeus thrust him through the throte, and so is Tybalt 


Loe here the ende of those that styre a dedly stryfe ! 
Who thyrsteth after others death, himselfe hath lost his life. 
The Capilets are quaylde by Tybalts ouerthrowe, 
The courage of the Mountagewes by Romeus fight doth growe. 
The townesincn waxen strong, the Prince doth send his force ; 
The fray hath end. The Capilets do bring the bretheles corce 
Before the prince, and craue that cruell dedly payne 
May be the guerdon of his fait, that hath their kinsman 


The Montagewes do pleade theyr Romeus voyde of fait; 
The lookers on do say, the fight begonne was by Tybalt. 
The prince doth pawse, and then geues sentence in a while, 
That Romeus, for sleying him, should goe into exyle. 
His foes would have him hangde, or sterue in prison strong ; 
His frendes do think, ( but dare not say, ) that Romeus hath wrong. 
Both housholds straight are charged on payne of losing lyfe, 
Theyr bloudy weapons layd aside, to cease the styrred stryfe. 
This common plage is spred through all the towne anon, 
From side to Hide the towne is fild with murmour and with mone. 
For Tybalts hasty death bewayled was of somme, 
Both tor his bkill in feates of armes, and for, in time to commc 
He should, ( had this not chaunced, ) ben riche and of great powre, 
To helpe his frcndes, and serue the state ; which hope within a 


Was wasted quite, and he, thus yelding vp his breath, 
More then he holpe the towne in lyfe, hath harmde it by his 



And other soraraft bewayle, (but ladies most of all,) 
The lookeles lot by Fortunes gylt that is so late befall, 
(Without his fait,) vnto the seely Romeus; 
For whilst that he from natife land shall Hue exyled thus, 
From heauenly bewties light and his welshaped parts, 
The sight of which was wont, (faire dames,) to glad your youth- 
full harts, 

Shall you be banishd quite, and tyll he do retoorne, 
What hope haue you to ioy, what hope to cease to moorne ? 
This Romeus was borne so much in heauens grace, 
Of Fortune and of Nature so beloued, that in his face 
( Beside the heauenly bewty glistring ay so bright, 
And seemely grace that wonted so to glad the seers sight) 
A certain charme was graued by Natures secret arte, 
That vertue had to draw to it the loue of many a hart. 
So euery one doth wish to beare a parte of payne, 
That he released of exyle might straight retorne againe, 
But how doth moorne emong the moorners Juliet ! 
How doth she bathe her brest in teares ! what depe sighes doth 

she fet ! 

How doth she tear her heare ! her weede how doth she rent ! 
How fares the louer hearing of her louers banishment ! 
How wayles she Tibalts death, whom she had loued so well ! 
Her hearty greefe and piteous plaint, cunning I want to tell. 
For deluing depely now in depth of depe dispayre, 
With wretched sorowes cruell sound she fils the empty ayre ; 
And to the lowest hell downe falles her heauy crye, 
And vp vnto the heauens haight her piteous plaint doth flye. 
The waters and the woods of sighes and sobs resounde, 
And from the hard resounding rockes her sorowes do rebounde. 
Eke from her teary eyne downe rayned many a showre, 
That in the garden where she walkd might water herbe and 


But when at length she saw her selfe outraged so, 
Vnto her chaumber there she hide; there, ouerchargd with 


Vpon her stately bed her painfull parts she threw, 
And in so wondrous wise began her sorowes to renewe, 
That sure no hart so hard (but it of flint had byn,) 
But would haue rude the piteous plaint that she did languishe in. 
Then rapt out of her selfe, whilst she on euery side 
Did cast her resiles eye, at length the windowe she espide, 
Through which she had with ioye seen Romeus many a time, 
Which oft the ventrous knight was wont for Juliets sake to 


She crydc, O cursed windowe ! acurst be euery pane, 
Through which, (alas!) to sone I raught the cause of life and 


If by thy meane I haue some slight delight receaued, 
Or els such fading pleasure as by Fortune straight was reaued, 
Hast thou not made me pay a tribute rigorous 
Of heaped greefe and lasting care, and sorowes dolorous ? 
That these my tender partes, which nedefull strength do lacke 
To beare so great vnweldy lode vpon so weake a backe, 
Opprest with waight of cares and with these sorowes rife, 
At length must open wide to death the gates of lothed lyfe ; 
That so my wery sprite may somme where els vnlode 
His dedly lode, and free from thrall may seeke els where 

abrode ; 

For pleasant quiet ease and for assured rest, 
Which I as yet could neuer finde but for my more vnrest ? 

Komeus, when first we both acquainted were, 
When to thy paynted promises I lent my listning eare, 
Which to the brinkes you fikl with many a solemne othe, 
And I them iudgde empty of gyle, and fraughted full of troth, 

1 thought you rather would continue our good will, 

And seek tappease our fathers strife, which daily groweth still. 
I little wend you would haue sought occasion how 
By such an heynous act to breake the peace and eke your vowe ; 
Whereby your bright renoune all whole yclipsed is, 
And I vnhappy, husbandles, of cumforte robde and blisse. 
But if you aid so much the blood of Capels thyrst, 
Why have you often spared mine ? myne might haue quencht 

it first. 

Synce that so many times and in so secret place, 
(Where you were wont with vele of loue to hyde your hatreds 


My doubtful lyfe hath hapt by fatall dome to stand 
In mercy of your cruell hart, and of your bloudy hand. 
What ! seemd the conquest which you got of me so small ? 
What ! seemcl it not enough that I, poore wretch, was made 

your thrall ? 

But that you mu.-t increase it with that kinsmans blood, 
Which for his woorth and loue to me, most in my fauour stood ? 
Well, goe hencefoorth els where, and seeke an other whyle 
Some other as vnhappy as I, by flattry to begyle. 
And, where I comme, see that you shonne to shew your face, 
For your excuse within my hart shall finde no resting place. 
And I that now, too late, my former fault repent, 
Will so the rest of wery life with many teares lament, 


That soon my ioyceles corps shall yeld vp banishd breath, 
And where on earth it restles liued, in earth seeke rest by death. 

These sayde, her tender hart, by payne oppressed sore, 
Restraynd her tears, and forced her tong to keepe her talke in 

store ; 

And then as still she was, as if in sownd she lay, 
And then agayne, wroth with herselfe, with feble voyce gan say : 

" Ah cruell murthering tong, murthrer of others fame, 
How durst thou once attempt to tooch the honor of his name ? 
Whose dedly foes doe yelde him dewe and earned prayse ; 
For though his fredome be bereft, his honor not decayes. 
Why blamst thou Romeus for sleying of Tybalt, 
Since he is gyltles quite of all, and Tibalt beares the fait ? 
Whether shall he, (alas !) poore banishd man, now flye ? 
What place of succor shall he seeke beneth the starry skye ? 
Synce she pursueth hym, and him defames by wrong', 
That in distres should be his fort, and onely rampier strong. 
Receiue the recompence, O Romeus, of thy wife, 
Who, for she was vnkind her selfe, doth offer vp her lyfe, 
In flames of yre, in sighes, in sorow and in ruth, 
So to revenge the crime she did commit against thy truth." 
These said, she could no more ; her senses all gan fayle, 
And dedly panges began straightway her tender hart assayle ; 
Her limmes she stretched forth, she drew no more her breath : 
Who had been there might well haue scene the signes of present 


The nurce that knew no cause why she absented her, 
Did doute lest that some sodain greefe too much tormented her. 
Eche where but where she was, the carefull Beldam sought, 
Last, of the chamber where she lay she haply her bethought ; 
Where she with piteous eye her nurce-childe did beholde, 
Her limmes stretched out, her vtward parts as any marble colde. 
The nurce supposde that she had payde to death her det, 
And then, as she had lost her wittes, she cryde to Juliet : 
Ah ! my dere hart, quoth she, how greeueth me thy death ! 
Alas ! what cause hast thou thus soone to yelde up liuing breath ? 
But while she handled her, and chafed euery part, 
She knew there was some sparke of life by beating of her hart, 
So that a thousand times she cald vpon her name ; 
There is no way to helpe a traunce but she hath tryde the same : 
She openeth wide her mouth, she stoppeth close her nose, 
She bendeth downe her brest, she wringes her fingers and her 


And on her bosome colde she layeth clothes hot ; 
A warmed and a holesome iuyce she powreth downe her throte. 


At length doth Juliet heave fayntly vp her eyes, 

And then she stretcheth forth her arme, and then her nurce she 


But when she was awakde from her vnkindly traunce, 
" Why dost thou trouble me, (quoth she,) what draue thee, 

(with mischaunce,) 

To come to see my sprite forsake my bretheles corse ? 
Go hence, and let me dye, if thou haue on my smart remorse. 
For who would see her frend to Hue in dedly payne ? 
Alas ! I see my greefe begoone for euer will remayne. 
Or who would seeke to Hue, all pleasure being past ? 
My myrth is donne, my mooming mone for ay is like to last. 
Wherefore since that there is none other remedy, 
Comme gentle death, and ryue my hart at once, and let my 


The nurce with tricling teares, to witnes inward smart, 
With holow sigh fetchd from the depth of her appauled hart, 
Thus spake to Juliet, y-cl*d with ougly care : 
" Good lady myne, I do not know what makes you thus to 


Ne yet the cause of your vnmeasurde heauiness. 
But of this one I you assure, for care and sorowes stresse, 
This hower large and more I thought, (so God me saue,) 
That my dead corps should wayte on yours to your vntimely 


" Alas, my tender nurce, and trusty frend, (quoth she) 
Art thou so blinde that with thine eye thou canst not easely see 
The lawfull cause I haue to sorow and to moorne, 
Since those the which I hyld most deere, I have at once for- 


Her nurce then aunswered thus " Methinkes it site you yll 
To fall in these extremities that may you gyltles spill. 
For when the stormes of care and troubles do aryse, 
Then is the time for men to know the foolish from the wise. 
You are accounted wise, a foole am I your nurce ; 
But I see not how in like case I could behaue me wurse. 
Tibalt your frend is ded ; what, weene you by your teares 
To call him backe againe ? thinke you that he your crying 

heares ? 

You shall perceue the fait, (if it be iustly tryde,) 
Of his so sodayn death was in his rashnes and his pryde. 
Would you that Komeus him selfe had wronged so, 
To suffer him selfe causeles to be outraged of his foe, 
To whom in no respect he ought a place to geue ? 
Let it suffise to thee, fayre dame, that Homeus doth liue, 


And that there is good hope that he, within a while, 

With greater glory shalbe calde home from his hard exile. 

How well y-borne he is, thyselfe I know canst tell, 

By kindred strong, and well alyed, of all beloued well. 

With patience arme thyselfe, for though that Fortunes cryme, 

Without your fait, to both your greefes, depart you for a time. 

I dare say, for amendes of all your present payne, 

She will restore your owne to you, within a month or twayne, 

With such contented ease as neuer erst you had ; 

Wherfore reioyce a while in hope, and be ne more so sad. 

And that I may discharge your hart of heauy care, 

A certaine way I haue found out, my paynes ne will I spare, 

To learne his present state, and what in time to comme 

He mindes to doe : which knowne by me, you shall know all 

and somme. 

But that I dread the whilst your sorowes will you quell, 
Straight would I hye where he doth lurke, to frier Lawrence 


But if you gyn eft sones, ( as erst you did, ) to moorne, 
Wherto goe I ? you will be ded, before I thence retoorne. 
So I shall spend in wast my time and busy payne, 
So vnto you, your ilfe once lost, good aunswere comes in 

vayne ; 

So shall I ridde my selfe with this sharpe pointed knife, 
So shall you cause your parents deere wax wery of theyr life ; 
So shall your Romeus, (despising liuely breath,) 
With hasty foote, before his tyme, ronne to vn timely death. 
Where, if you can a while by reason rage suppresse, 
I hope at my retorne to bring the salue of your distresse. 
Now choose to haue me here a partner of your payne, 
Or promesse me to feede on hope till I retorne agayne." 

Her mistres sendes her forth, and makes a graue behest 
With reasons rayne to rule the thoughts that rage within her 


When hugy heapes of harmes are heapd before her eyes, 
Then vanish they by hope of scape ; and thus the lady lyes 
Twixt well-assured trust, and doutfull lewd dispayre : 
Now blacke and ougly be her thoughts ; now seeme they white 

and fayre. 

As oft in summer tide blacke cloudes do dimme the sonne, 
And straight againe in clearest skye his restles steedes do ronne; 
So Juliets wandring mynd y-clowded is with woe, 
And by and by her hasty thought the woes doth ouergoe. 

But now is time to tell, whilst she was tossed thus, 
What windes did driue or haven did hold her louer Romeus. 


When he had slayne his foe that gan this dedly strife, 

And saw the furious fray had ende by ending Tybalts life, 

He fled the sharpe reuenge of those that yet did live, 

And douting much what penall doome the troubled prince myght 


He sought somewhere vnseene to lurke a little space, 

And trusty Lawrence secret cell he thought the surest place. 

In doutfull happe ay best a trusty frend is tride ; 

The frendly fryer in this distresse doth graunt his frend to hyde. 

A secret place he hath, well seeled round about, 

The mouth of which so close is shut, that none may finde it out; 

But roome there is to walke, and place to sitte and rest, 

Beside a bed to sleape vpon, full soft and trimly drest. 

The flowre is planked so, with mattes it is so warme, 

That neither wind nor smoky damps haue powre him ought to 


Where he was wont in youth his fayre frends to bestowe, 
There now he hydeth Romeus, whilst forth he goeth to knowe 
Both what is sayd and donne, and what appoynted payne 
1 - published by trumpets sound ; then home he hyes agayne. 

By this vnto his cell the nurce with spedy pace 
Was comme the nerest way ; she sought no ydel resting place. 
The fryer sent home the newes of Romeus certain helth, 
Andpromcsse made (what so befell) he should that night by stelth 
Comme to his wonted place, that they in nedefull wise 
Of theyr affayres in tyme to comme might thoroughly devise. 
Those ioyfull newes the nurce brought home with mcry ioy ; 
And now our Juliet ioyes to thinke she shall her loue enioye. 
The fryer shuts fast his doore, and then to him beneth, 
That waytcs to hearc the doutefull newes of lyfe or els of death. 
Thy hap, quoth he, is good, daunger of death is none, 
But tluni .shult Hue, and doe full well, in spite of spitefull fone. 
This onely payne for thee was erst proclaymde aloude, 
A hanishd man, thou rnayst thee not within Verona shroude. 

These heauy tydings heard, his golden lockes he tare, 
And like a t rant ike man hath torne the gnrmentes that he ware. 
And as the smitten deere in brakes is waltring found, 
Jjo waltreth he, and with his brest doth beate the troden grounde. 
He rises eft, and striketh his hcd against the wals, 
He t'.illfth downe againe, and lowde for hasty death he cals. 
" Come spedy deth, (quoth he,) the readiest leache in loue, 
Since nought can els beneth the sunne the ground of grefe re- 


Of lothsome life breake downe the Imted staggering staves, 
Destroy, destroy at once the lyfe that faintly yet decnyes. 


But you, (fayre dame,) in whome dame Nature dyd deuise 
With cunning hand to woorke that might seeme wondrous in 

our eyes, 

For you, I pray the gods, your pleasures to increase, 
And all mishap, with this my death, for euermore to cease. 
And mighty Joue with speede of Justice" bring them lowe, 
Whose lofty pryde, (without our gy It,) our blisse doth ouerblowe. 
And Cupide graunt to those theyr spedy wrongs redresse, 
That shall bewaylemy cruell death and pity her distresse." 
Therewith a cloude of sighes he breathd into the skies, 
And two great streames of bitter teares ran from his swollen 


These thinges the auncient fryre with sorow saw and heard, 
Of such begynning eke the ende the wiseman greatly feard. 
But loe ! he was so weake by reason of his age, 
That he ne could by force represse the rigour of his rage. 
His wise and friendly woordes he speaketh to the ayre, 
For Romeus so vexed is with care, and with dispayre, 
That no aduise can perce his close forstopped eares, 
So now the fryer doth take his part in shedding ruthfull teares. 
With colour pale and wan, with armes full hard y-fold, 
With wofull cheere his wayling frend he standeth to beholde. 
And then our Romeus with tender handes y-wrong, 
With voyce with plaint made horce, w 1 . sobs and with a foltring 


Renewd with nouel mone the dolours of his hart ; 
His outward dreery cheere bewrayde his store of inward smart, 
Fyrst Nature did he blame, the author of his lyfe, 
In which his ioyes had been so scant, and sorowes aye so ryfe ; 
The time and place of byrth he fiersly did reproue, 
He cryedout (with open mouth) against the starres aboue: 
The fatall sisters three, he said had done him wrong, 
The threed that should not haue been sponne, they had drawne 

foorth too long. 

He wished that he had before this time been borne, 
Or that as soone as he wan light, his life he had forlorne. 
His nurce he cursed, and the hand that gaue him pappe, 
The midwife eke with tender grype that held him in her lappe ; 
And then did he complaine on Venus cruel sonne, 
Who led him first vnto the rockes which he should warely shonne: 
By meane wherof he lost both lyfe and libertie, 
And dyed a hundred times a day, and yet could neuer dye. 
Loues troubles lasten long, the ioyes he geues are short ; 
He forceth not a louers payne, theyr ernest is his sport. 
A thousand thinges and more I here let passe to write 
Which vnto loue this wofull man dyd speake in great despite. 


On Fortune eke he raylde, he calde her deafe, and blynde, 

Vinconstant, fond, deceitfull, rashe, vnruthfull, and vnkynd. 

And to himself he layd a great part of the fait, 

For that he slewe and was not slayne, in fighting with Tibalt. 

He blamed all the world, and all he did defye, 

But Juliet for whom he liued, for whom eke would he dye. 

When after raging fits appeased was his rage, 

And when his passions, (powred forth,) gan partly to asswage, 

So wisely did the fryre vnto his tale replye, 

That he straight cared for his life, that erst had care to dye. 

" Art thou, quoth he, a man ? Thy shape saith, so thou art ; 

Thy crying, and thy weping eyes denote a womans hart. 

For manly reason is quite from of thy mynd out-chased, 

And in her stead affections lewd and fansies highly placed : 

So that I stoode in doute, this howre (at the least,) 

If thou a man or woman wert, or els a brutish beast. 

A wise man in the midst of troubles and distres 

Still standes not wayling present harme, but seeks his harmes 

red res. 

As when the winter flawes with dredfull noyse arise, 
And heaue the fomy swelling waiies vp to the starry skies, 
So that the broosed barke in cruell seas betost, 
Dispayreth of the happy hauen, in daunger to be lost, 
The pylate bold at helme, cryes, mates strike now your sayle, 
And tomes her stemme into the waues that strongly her assay le; 
Then driuen hard upon the bare and wrackfull shore, 
In greater daunger to be wract than he had been before, 
He seeth his ship full right against the rocke to ronne, 
But yet he dooth what lyeth in him the perilous rocke to shonnc: 
Sometimes the beaten boate, by cunning gouernment, 
The ancors lost, the cables broke, and all the tackle spent, 
The roder smitten of, and ouer-boord the mast, 
Doth win the long-desyred porte, the stormy daunger past 
But if the master dread, and ouerprest with woe 
Begin to wring his handes, and lets the gyding rodder goe, 
The ship rents on the rocke, or sinketh in the deept>, 
And eke the coward drenched is : So, if thou still beweepe 
And seke not how to helpe the chaunges that do chaunce, 
Thy cause of sorow shall increase, thou cause of thy mischaunce. 
Other account thee wise, proove not thyselfe a foole ; 
Now put in practise lessons learnd of old in wisdomcs schoole. 
The wise man aaith, beware thou double not thy payne, 
For one perhaps thou mayst abydc-, but hardly suffer twaine. 
As well we ought to seeke thingcs hurtful! to decrease, 
As to endeuor helping thinge* by study to increase. 


The prayse of trew fredom in wisdomes bondage lyes, 

He winneth blame whose deedes be fonde, although his woords 

be wise. 

Sickenes the bodies gayle, greefe, gayle ia of the mynd ; 
If thou canst scape from heauy greefe, true fredome shalt thou 


Fortune can fill nothing so full of hearty greefe, 
But in the same a constant mynd finds solace and releefe. 
Vertue is alwayes thrall to troubles and annoye, 
But wisdome in aduersitie findes cause of quiet ioye. 
And they most wretched are that know no wretchednes, 
And after great extremity mishaps ay waxen lesse. 
Like as there is no weale but wastes away somtime, 
So every kind of wayled woe will weare away in time. 
If thou wilt master quite the troubles that the spill, 
Endevor first by reasons help to master witles will. 
A sondry medson hath eche sondry faynt disease, 
But pacience, a common salue, to euery wound geues ease. 
The world is alway full of chaunces and of chaunge, 
Wherfore the chaunge of chaunce must not seeme toawise'man 


For tickel Fortune doth, in chaunging, but her kind, 
But all her chaunges cannot chaunge a steady constant mind. 
Though wauering Fortune toorne from thee her smyling face, 
And sorow seeke to set himselfe in banishd pleasures place, 
Yet may thy marred state be mended in a while, 
And she eftsones that frowneth now, with pleasant cheere shall 


For as her happy state no long whyle standeth sure, 
Euen so the heauy plight she brings, not alwayes doth endure. 
What nede so many woordes to thee that art so wyse ? 
Thou better canst aduise thyselfe, then I can thee aduyse. 
Wisdome, I see, is vayne, if thus in time of neede 
A wisemans wit vnpractised doth stand him in no steede. 
I know thou hast some cause of sorow and of care, 
But well I wot thou hast no cause thus frantikly to fare. 
Aifections foggy mist thy febled sight doth blynde ; 
But if that reasons beames agayne might shine into thy mynde, 
If thou wouldst view thy state with an indifferent eye, 
I thinke thou wouldst condemne thy plaint, thy sighing, and thy 


With valiant hand thou madest thy foe yeld vp his breth, 
Thou hast escaped his swerd and eke the lawes that threatten 


By thy escape thy frendes are fraughted full of ioy, 
And by his death thy deadly foes are laden with annoy. 


Wilt them with trusty frendcs of pleasure take some part ? 
Or els to please thy halt-full foes be partner of theyr smart ? 
Why cryest tliou out on loue ? why. doest thou blame thy fate ? 
Why dost thou so crye after death ? thy life why dost thou hate ? 
Dost thou repent the choyce that thou so late didst choose ? 
Loue is thy lord ; thou oughtst obay and not thy prince accuse. 
For thou hast found, (thou knowst, ) great fauour in his sight, 
He graunted thee, at thyNrequest, thy. onely hartes delight. 
So that the gods enuyde the blisse thou liuedst in ; 
To geue to such vnthankefull men is folly and a sin. 
Methinkes I heare thee say, the cruell banishment 
Is onely cause of thy vnrest ; onely thou dost lament 
Tlmt from thy nut iff land and frendes thou must depart, 
Enforsd to flye from her that hath the keping of thy hart : 
And so opprest with waight of smart that thou dost feele, 
Thou dost complaine of Cupides brand, and Fortunes turning 


Vnto a valiant hart there is no banishment, 
All countreys are his natiue soyle beneath the firmament. 
As to the fishe the sea, as to the fowle the ayre, 
So is like pleasant to the wise eche place of his repayre. 
Though froward fortune chase thee hence into exyle, 
With doubled honor shall she call thee home within a whyle. 
Admyt thou shouldst abyde abrode a yere or twayne, 
Should so short absence cause so long and eke so greeuous payne? 
Though thou ne mayst thy frendes here in Verona see, 
They are not banishd Mantua, where safely thou mast be. 
Thether they may resort, though thou resort not hether, 
And there in sun-tie may you talke of your aff'ayres together. 
Yea, but this whyle, (alas !) thy Juliet must thou misse, 
The onely piller of thy ht-lth, and ancor of thy blisse. 
Thy hart thou leauest with her, when thou dost hence depart, 
And in thy brest inclosed bearst her tender frendly hart. 
But if thou rew so much to leaue the rest behinde, 
With thought of passed ioyes content thy vncontcnted mynde; 
So shall the mone decrease wherwith thy mynd doth melt, 
Compared to the heauenly ioyc-s which thou hast often felt. 
He is too nyse a weakeling that shrinketh at a showre, 
And he vnworthy of the sweete, that tasteth not the sowre. 
Call now againe to mynde thy first consuming flame ; 
How didst thou vaineiy burne in loue of an vnlouing dame? 
Hadst thou not wclnigh wept quite out thy swelling eyne ? 
Did not thy parts, fordoon with payne, lunguishe away and 


Those grecfes and others like were hnpply ouerpast, 
And thou in haight of Fortunes wheele well placed at the last ! 


From whence thou art now falne, that, raysed vp agayne, 
With greater joy a greater whyle in pleasure maystthou raygne. 
Compare the present while with times y-past before, 
And thinke that fortune hath for thee great pleasure yet in 


The whilst, this little wrong receive thou paciently, 
And what of force must nedes be done, that doe thou willingly. 
Folly it is to feare that thou canst not auoyde, 
And madnes to desire it much that cannot be enioyde. 
To geue to Fortune place, not ay deserueth blame, 
But skill it is, according to the times thy selfe to frame." 

Whilst to this skilfull lore he lent his listning eares, 
His sighs are stopt, and stopped are the conduits of his teares. 
As blackest cloudes are chaced by winters nimble winde, 
So haue his reasons chaced care out of his carefull mynde. 
As of a morning fowle ensues an euening fayre, 
So banisht hope returneth hope to banish his despayre. 
Now his affections veale remoued from his eyes, 
He seeth the path that he must walke, and reson makes him 


For very shame the blood doth flashe in both his cheekes, 
He thankes the father for his lore, and farther ayde he seekes. 
He sayth, that skilles youth for counsell is vnfitte, 
And anger oft with hastines are ioynd to want of witte ; 
But sound aduise aboundes in heddes with horishe heares, 
For wisdom is by practise wonne, and perfect made by yeares. 
But aye from this time forth his ready bending will 
Shal be in awe and gouerned by fryer Lawrence' skill. 
The gouernor is nowe right carefull of his charge, 
To whom he doth wisely discoorse of his affaires at large. 
He telles him how he shall depart the towne vnknowne, 
Both mindfull of his frendes safetie, and carefull of his owne. 
How he shall gyde himselfe, how he shall seeke to winne 
The frendship of the better sort, how warely to crepe in 
The fauour of the Mantuan prince, and how he may 
Appease the wrath of Escalus, and wipe the fault away ; 
The choller of his foes by gentle meaues tasswage, 
Or els by force and practises to bridle quite theyr rage : 
And last he chargeth him at his appointed howre 
To goe with manly mery cheere vnto his ladies bowre, 
And there with holesome woordes to salue her sorowes smart, 
And to ceviue, ( if nede require, ) her faint and dying hart. 

The old mans woords have fild with ioy our Romeus brest, 
And eke the old wiues talke hath set our Juliets hart at rest. 
Whereto may I compare, (O louers,) thys your day? 
Like dayes the painefull mariners are woonted to assay ; 


For, beat with tempest great, when they at length espye 
Some little beame of Phoebus light, that perceth through the skie,. 
To cleare the shadow-tie earth by clearnes of his face, 
They hope that dreadles they shall ronne the remnant of their 


Yea they assure them selfe, and quite behynd theyr backe 
They cast all doute, and thanke the Gods for scaping of the 

wracke ; 

But straight the boysterous windes with greater fury blowe, 
And over boord the broken mast the stormy blastes doe throwe ; 
The heauens large are clad with cloudes as darke as hell, 
And twise as hye the striuing waues begin to roare and swell ; 
With greater daungers dred the men are vexed more, 
In greater perill of their lyfe then they had been before. 
The golden sonne was gonne to lodge him in the west, 
The full moone eke in yonder South had sent roost men to rest; 
When restles Romeus and restles Juliet 
In woonted sort, by woonted meane, in Juliets chamber met. 
And from the windowes top downe had he leaped scarce, 
When she with armes outstretched wide so hard did him embrace, 
That wel nigh had the sprite (not forced by dedly force) 
Flowne vnto death, before the time abandoning the corce, 
Thus inuet stood they both the eight part of an howre, 
And both would speake, but neither had of speaking any powre ; 
But on his brest her hed doth ioylesse Juliet lay, 
And on her slender necke his chyn doth ruthfull Romeus stay. 
Theyr scalding sighes ascend, and by theyr cheekes downe fall 
Theyr trickling teares, as christall cleare, but bitterer farre then 


Then he, to end the greefe which both they liued in, 
Dyd kysse his loue, and wisely thus hys tale he dyd begin : 

" My Juliet, my loue, my onely hope and care, 
To you I purpose not as now with length of woords declare 
The diuersenes and eke the accidents so straunge 
Of frayle vnconstant Fortune, that delyteth still in chaunge ; 
Who in a moment heaues her frendes vp to the height 
Of her swift-turning slippery wheele, then fleetes her frendship 

wondrous chaunge ! euen with the twinkling of an eye 
Whom erst herselfe had rashly set in pleasant place so hye, 
The same in great despyte downe hedlong dotn she throwe, 
And while she treadea, and spurneth at the lofty state laid lowe, 
More sorow doth she shape within an howers space, 

Than pleasure in an hundred yeres ; so geyson is her grace. 

1 he proofe whereof, in me, (alas!) too plaine apperes, 
Whom tenderly my carefull frendes haue fostcrd with my feere, 

X 2 


In prosperous high degree, mayntayned so by fate, 

That, (as your selfe dyd see, ) my foes enuyde ray noble state. 

One thing there was I did aboue the rest desire, 

To which as to the soueraigne good by hope I would aspyre. 

Thol by our mariage meane we might within a while 

(To work our perfect happines) our parents reconsile : 

That safely so we might, (not stopt by sturdy strife,) 

Vnto the boundes that Goa hath set, gyde forth our pleasant lyfe. 

But now, (alacke !) too soone my blisse is ouer blowne, 

And vpside downe my purpose and my enterprise are throwne. 

And driuen from my frendes, of straungers must I craue 

(O graunt it God ! ) from daungers dread that I may suretie haue. 

For loe, henceforth I must wander in landes vnknowne, 

(So hard I finde the prince's doome) exyled from mine owne. 

Which thing I haue thought good to set before your eyes, 

And to exhort you now to prove yourselfe a woman wise ; 

That paciently you beare my absent long abod, 

For what above by fatall domes decreed is, that God " 

And more then this to say, it seemed, he was bent, 

But Juliet in dedly greefe, with brackish tears besprent, 

Brake of his tale begonne, and whilst his speche he stayde, 

These selfe same wordes, or like to these, with dreery chere she 

sayde : 

" Why Romeus, can it be, thou hast so hard a hart, 
So farre remoued from ruth, so farre from thinking on my smart, 
To leaue me thus alone, (thou cause of my distresse,) 
Beseged with so great a campe of mortall wretchednesse ; 
That euery hower now and moment in a day 
A thousand times Death bragges, as he would reaue my life 


Yet such is my mishap, O cruell destenye ! 

That still I Hue, and wish for death, but yet can neuer dye. 

So that iust cause I haue to thinke, (as seemeth me,) 

That froward Fortune did of late with cruel Death agree, 

To lengthen lothed life, to pleasure in my payne, 

And tryumph in my harme, as in the greatest hoped gayne. 

And thou, the instrument of Fortunes cruell will, 

Without whose ayde she can no way her tyrans lust fulfill, 

Art not a whit ashamde (as farre as I can see) 

To cast me off, when thou hast culd the better part of me. 

Whereby (alas !) to soone, I, seely wretch, do proue, 

That all the auncient sacred lawes of friendship and of loue 

Are quelde and quenched quite, since he on whom alway 

My cheefe hope and my steady trust was wonted still to stay, 

For whom I am becomme vnto mysejf a foe, 

Disdayneth me, his stedfast frend, and scornes my friendship so. 


Nay Romeus, nay, thou mayst of two thinges choose the one, 

Either to see thy castaway, as soone as thou art gone, 

Hedlong to throw her selfe downe from the windowes haight, 

And so to breake her slender necke with all the bodies waight, 

Or suffer her to be companion of thy payne, 

Where so thou goe( Fortune thee gyde),tyllthou retoorne agayne. 

So wholy into thine transformed is my hart, 

That euen as oft as I do thinke that thou and I shall part, 

So oft, (methinkes, ) my life withdrawes it selfe awaye, 

Which I retayne to no end els but to the end I may 

In spite of all thy foes thy present partes enioye, 

And in distrcs to beare with thee the half of thine annoye. 

Wherfore, in humble sort, (Romeus,) I make request, 

If euer tender pity yet were lodgde in gentle brest, 

O, let it now haue place to rest within thy hart ; 

Receaue me as thy seruant, and the fellow of thy smart : 

Thy absence is my death, thy sight shall geue me life. 

But if perhaps thou stand in dred to leade me as a wyfe, 

Art thou all counsellesse ? canst thou no shift deuise ? 

What letteth but in other weede I may my selfe disguyse ? 

What, shall 1 be the first ? hath none done so ere this, 

To scape the bondage of theyr frendes? thyselfe can aunswer, 


Or dost thou stand in doute that I thy wyfe ne can 
By seruice pleasure thee as much, as may thy hyred man ? 
Or is my loyalte of both accompted lesse ? 
Perhaps thou fearst lest I for gayne forsake thee in distresse. 
What ! hath my bewty now no powre at all on you, 
Whose brightnes, force, and praise, somtime vp to the skyes you 

blew ? 

My teares, my friendship, and my pleasures donne of olde, 
Shall they be quite forgote in dcde?" when Romeus dyd 


The wildnes of her looke, her cooler pale and ded, 
The woorst of all that might betyde to her, he gan to dred ; 
And once agayne he dyd in armes his Juliet take, 
And kist her with a louing kysse, and thus to her he spake : 

Ah Juliet, (quoth he) the mistres of my hart, 
For whom, (euen now,) thy seruant doth abyde in dedly smart, 
Euen for the happy dayes which thou desyrest to see, 
And for the feruent frcndships sake that thou dost owe to me, 
At once these faraies vayne out of thy mynd roote out, 
Except, perhaps, vnto thy blame, thou fondly go about 
To hasten forth my death, and to thine owne to ronne, 
Which Natures law and wisdoms lore teach euery wight to 



The dawning they shall see, ne sommer any more, 

But black-faced night with winter rough (ah ! ) beaten ouer sore. 

The wery watch discharged did hye them home to slepe, 
The warders, and the skowtes were chargde theyr place and 

coorse to keepe, 

And Verone gates awyde the porters had set open. 
When Romeus had or his affayres with frier Lawrence spoken, 
Warely he walked forth, vnknowne of frend or foe, 
Clad like a merchant venterer, from top euen to the toe. 
He spurd apace, and came, withouten stop or stay, 
To Mantua gates, where lighted downe, he sent his man away 
With woords of comfort to his old afflicted syre ; 
And straight, in mynde to soiourne there, a lodgeing doth he hyre, 
And with the nobler sort he doth himselfe acquaint, 
And he. of his open wrong receaued the duke doth heare his 


He practiseth by frends for pardon of exyle ; 
The whilst, he seeketh euery way his sorowes to begyle. 
But who forgets the cole that burneth in his brest ? 
Alas ! his cares denye his hart the sweete desyred rest ; 
No time findes he of myrth, he findes no place of joye, 
But euery thing occasion giues of sorow and annoye. 
For when in toorning skies the heauens lampes are light, 
And from the other hemysphere fayr Phoebus chaceth night, 
When euery man and beast hath rest from painefull toyle, 
Then in the brest of Romeus his passions gyn to boyle. 
Then doth he wet with teares the cowche wheron he lyes, 
And then his sighs the chamber fill, and out aloude he cries 
Against the restles starres in rolling skyes that raunge, 
Against the fatall sisters three, and Fortune full of chaunge. 
Eche night a thousand times he calleth for the day, 
He thinketh Titans restles stedes of restines do stay ; 
Or that at length they haue some bayting place found out, 
Or, (gyded yll,) haue lost theyr way and wandered farre about. 
Whyle thus in ydel thoughts the wery time he spendeth, 
The night hath end, but not with night the plaint of night he 


Is he accompanied ? is he in place alone ? 
In cumpany he wayles his harme, apart he maketh mone : 
For if his feeres reioyce, what cause hath he to ioy, 
That wanteth still his cheefe delight, while they theyr loues en- 


But if with heauy cheere they shewe their inward greefe, 
He wayleth most his wretchednes that is of wretches cheefe. 
When he doth heare abrode the praise of ladies blowne, 
Within his thought he scorneth them, and doth preferre his owne. 


When pleasant songes he beares, wheile others do reioyce, 
The melodye of Musike doth styrre vp his mourning voyce. 
But if in secret place he walke some where alone, 
The place itselfe and secretnes redoubleth all his mone. 
Then speakes he to the bcastes, to fethered fowles and trees, 
Vnto the earth, the cloudes, and to what so beside he sees. 
To them he sheweth his smart, as though they reason had, 
Eche thing may cause his heauines, but nought may make him 


And (wery of the day) agayne he calleth night, 
The sunne he curseth, and the howre when fyrst his eyes saw 


And as the night and day their course do enterchaunge, 
So doth our Romeus nightly cares for cares of day exchaunge. 

In absence of her knight the lady no way could 
Kepe trewe betwene her greefes and her, though nere so fayne 

she would : 

And though with greater payne she cloked sorowes smart, 
Yet did her paled face disclose the passions of her hart. 
Her sighing euery howre, her weping euery where, 
Her recheles hcede of mcate, of slepe, and wearing of her geare, 
The carefull mother marks ; then of her health afrayde, 
Because the greefes increased still, thus to her child she sayde : 
" Deere daughter if you shouldc long languishe in this sort, 
I stand in doute that ouer-soone your sorowes will make short 
Your louing father's life and myne, that loue you more 
Than our owne propre breth and lyfe. Brydel henceforth thcr- 


Your greefe and payne, yourselfe on ioy 3 r our thought to set, 
For time it is that now you should our Tybalts death forget. 
Of whom since God hath claymd the lyfe that was but lent, 
He is in blisse, ne is there cause why you should thus lament ; 
You cannot call him backe with teares and shrikinges shrill : 
It is a fait thus still to grudge at Gods appoynted will." 
The seely soule had now no longer powre to fayne, 
Ne longer could she hyde her harme, but aunswerd thus agayne, 
With heauy broken sighes, with uisage pale and ded : 
" Madame, the last of Tybalts teares a great while since I shed ; 
Whose spring hath been ere this so laded out by me, 
That empty quite and moystureles I gesse it now to be. 
So that my payncd hnrt by conduites of the eyne 
No more henceforth (as wont it was) shall gush forth dropping 


The wofull mother know not what her daughter ment, 
And loth to vcxc her childe by woordes, her peace hc warely 



But when from howre to howre, from morow to the morow, 
Still more and more she saw increast her daughters wonted 


All meanes she sought of her and howshold folke to know 
The certaine roote whereon her greefe and booteles mone doth 


But lo, she hath in vayne her time and labor lore, 
Wherfore without all measure is her hart tormented sore. 
And sith herselfe could not fynd out the cause of care, 
She thought it good to tell the syre how yll this childe did fare. 
And when she saw her time, thus to her feere she sayde : 
" Syr, if you mark our daughter well, the countenance of the 


And how she fareth since that Tybalt vnto death 
(Before his time, forst by his foe,) dyd yeld his liuing breath, 
Her face shall seeme so chaunged, her doynges eke so straunge, 
That you will greatly wonder at so great and sodain chaunge. 
Not onely she forbeares her meate, her drinke, and sleepe, 
But now she tendeth nothing els but to lament and weepe. 
No greater ioy hath she, nothing contentes her hart 
So much, as in the chaumber close to shut her selfe apart : 
Where she doth so torment her poore afflicted mynde, , 
That much in daunger stands her lyfe, except somme help we 


But, (out alas !) I see not how it may be founde, 
Vnlesse that fyrst we might fynd whence her sorowes thus 


For though with busy care I haue employde my wit, 
And vsed all the wayes I knew to learne the truth of it, 
Neither extremitie ne gentle meanes could boote ; 
She hydeth close within her brest her secret sorowes roote. 
This was my fyrst conceite, that all her ruth arose 
Out of her coosin Tybalts death, late slayne of dedly foes, 
But now my hart doth hold a new repugnant thought ; 
Somme greater thing, not Tybalts death, this chaunge in her hath 


Her selfe assured me that many days agoe 
She shed the last of Tybalts teares ; which woords amasd me so 
That I then could not gesse what thing els might her greeue : 
But now at length I haue bethought me ; and I doe beleue 
The onely crop and roote of all my daughters payne 
Is grudgeing enuies faynt disease ; perhaps she doth disdayne 
To see in wedlocke yoke the most part of her feeres, 
Whilst onely she vnmarried doth lose so many yeres. 
And more perchaunce she thinkes you mynd to kepe her so ; 
Wherfore dispayring doth she weare herselfe away with woe. 


Therefore, (deere Syr,) in time, take on your daughter ruth; 

For why ? a brickel thing is glasse, and frayle is frayllesse youth. 

Joyne her at once to somme in linke of mariage, 

That may be meete for our degree, and much about her age : 

So shall you banish care out of your daughters brest, 

So we her parentes, in our age, shall Hue in quiet rest." 

Whereto gan easely her husband to agree, 

And to the mothers skilfull talke thus straightway aunswered he. 

" Oft have I thought, (deere wife,) of all these things ere this, 

But euerinore my mynd me gaue, it should not be amisse 

By farther leysure had a husband to prouyde ; 

Scarce saw she yet full xvi yeres, too yong to be a bryde. 

But since her state doth stande on termes so perilous, 

And that a mayden daughter is a treasour daungerous, 

With so great speede I will endeauour to procure 

A husband for our daughter yong, her sickenes faynt to cure, 

That you shall rest content, (so warely will I choose,) 

And she recouer soone enough the time she seemes to loose. 

The whilst seek you to learne, if she in any part 

Already liath, ( vnware to vs, ) fixed her frendly hart ; 

Lest we haue more respect to honor and to welth, 

Then to our doughter's quiet life, and to her happy helth : 

Whom I do hold as deere as thapple of myne eye, 

And rather wish in poore estate and daughterles to dye, 

Then leaue my goodes and her y-thrald to such a one, 

Whose chorlish dealing, (I once dead) should be her cause of 


This pleasaunt aunswere heard, the lady partes agayne, 
And Capilet, the maydens sire, within a day or twayne, 
Conferreth with his frendes for mariage of his daughter, 
And many gentilmen there were, with busy care that sought 


Both, for the mayden was well-shaped, yong and foyre, 
As also well brought vp, and wise ; her fathers onely In yrc. 
Emong the rest was one inflamde with her desyre, 
Who County Paris cliped was ; an Earle he had to syre. 
Of all the suters him t|ie father liketh best, 
And easely vnto the Earle he maketh his behest, 
Both of his owne good will, and of his frendly ayde, 
To win his wife vnto his will, and to perswade the mayde. 
The wyfe did ioy to heare the ioyfull husband say 
How happy hap, how meete a match, he had found out that day ; 
Ne did the seekc to hyde her ioycs within her hart, 
But straight she hyeth to Juliet; to her she telles, apart, 
What happy talke, (by mcane of her,) was past no rather 
Betwcne the woing Paris and her carcfull louing father. 


The person of the man, the fewters of his face, 

His youthfull yeres, his fayrenes, and his port, and semely 


With curious wordes she payntes before her daughters eyes, 
And then with store of vertues prayse she hoaues him to the 


She vauntes his race, and gyftes that Fortune did him geue, 
Wherby (she saith), both she and hers in great delight shall Hue. 
When Juliet concerned her parentes whole entent, 
Whereto both loue and reasons right forbod her to assent, 
Within herselfe she thought rather then be forsworne, 
With horses wilde her tender partes asonder should be torne. 
Not now, with bashfull brow, (in wonted wise,) she spake, 
But with vnwonted boldnes straight into these woordes she brake : 

" Madame, I maruell much, that you so lauasse are 
Of me your childe, (your Jewell once, your onely ioy and care,) 
As thus to yelde me vp at pleasure of another, 
Before you know if I doe like or els mislike my louer. 
Doo what you list ; but yet of this assure you still, 
If you do as you say you will, I yelde not there vntill. 
For had I choyse of twayne, farre rather would I choose 
My part of all your goodes and eke my breath and lyfe to 


Then graunt that he possesse of me the smallest part : 
First, weary of my painefull life, my cares shall kill my hart ; 
Els will I perce my brest with sharpe and bloody knife ; 
And you, my mother, shall becomme the murdresse of my life, 
In geuing me to him, whom I ne can, ne may, 
Ne ought, to love : wherfore, on knees, deere mother, I you 


To let me Hue henceforth, as I have liued tofore ; 
Ceasse all your troubles for my sake, and care for me no more ; 
But suffer Fortune feerce to worke on me her will, 
In her it lyeth to doe me boote, in her it lyeth to spill. 
For whilst you for the best desyre to place me so, 
You hast away my lingring death, and double all my woe.'* 

So deepe this aunswere made the sorrowes downe to sinke 
Into the mothers brest, that she ne knoweth what to thinke 
Of these her daughters woords, but all appalde she standes, 
And vp vnto the heavens she throwes her wondring head and 


And, nigh besyde her selfe, her husband hath she sought ; 
She telles him all ; she doth forget ne yet she hydeth oilght. 
The testy old man, wroth, disdainfull without measure, 
Sendes forth his folke in haste for her, and byds them take no 

leysure ; 


Ne on her tears or plaint at all to haue remorse, 
But, ( if they cannot with her will, ) to bring the mayde perforce. 
The message heard, they part, to fetch that they must fet, 
And willingly with them walkes forth obedient Juliet. 
Arriued in the place, when she her father saw, 
Of whom, (as much as duety would,) the daughter stoode in awe, 
The seruantes sent away, (the mother thought it meete), 
The wofull daughter all bewept fell groueling at his feete, 
Which she doth washe with teares as she thus groueling lyes ; 
So fast and eke so plenteously distill they from her eyes : 
When she to call for grace her mouth doth think to open, 
Muet she is ; for sighes and sobs her fearefull talke haue broken. 
The syre, whose swelling worth her teares could not asswage, 
With fiery eyen, and skarlet cheeks, thus spake her in his rage 
Whilst ruthfully stood by the maydens mother mylde : 
" Listen (quoth he) vnthankfull and thou disobedient childe; 
Hast thou so soone let slip out of thy mynde the woord, 
That thou so often times hast heard rehearsed at my boord ? 
How much the Komayne youth of parentes stoode in awe, 
And eke what powre vpon theyr seede the fathers had by 

lawe ? 

Whom they not onely might pledge, alienate, and sell, 
( When so they stoode in needej but more, if children did rebell, 
The parentes had the powre of lyfe and sodayn death. 
What if those good men should agayne receave the liuyng breth? 
In how straight bondes would they the stubberne body bynde ? 
What weapons would they seeke for thee ? what tormentes would 

they fynde, 

To chasten, (if they saw) the lewdnes of thy life, 
Thy great vnthankfulnes to me, and shamefull sturdy strife ? 
Such care thy mother had, so deere thou wert to mee, 
That I with long and earnest sute prouided haue for thee 
One of the greatest lordes that wonnes about this towne, 
And for his many vertues sake a man of great renowne. 
Of whom both thou and I vnworthy are too much, 
So rich ere long he shalbe left, his fathers welth is such, 
Such is the noblenes and honor of the race 
From whence his father came : and yet thou playcst in this case 
The dainty foole and stubberne gyrle; for want of skill 
Thou dost refuse thy offred weale, and disobay my will. 
Euen by his strength I sweare, that fyrst did gcue me lyfe, 
And gaue me in my youth the strength to get thee on my wyfe, 
Onlessc by Wensday next thou bende an 1 am bent, 
And at our castle cald freetowne thou freely doe assent 
To Countie Paris sute, and promise to agree 
To whatsoeuer then shall passe twixt him, my wife, and me, 


Not onely will I geue all that I haue away 

From thee, to those that shall me loue, me honor, and obay, 

But also too so close and to so hard a gayle 

I shall thee wed, for all thy life, that sure thou shalt not fayle 

A thousand times a day to wish for sodayn death, 

And curse the day and howre when first thy lunges did geue 

thee breath. 

Aduise thee well, and say that thou are warned now, 
And thinke not that I speake in sport, or mynd to breake my 


For were it not that I to Counte Paris gaue 
My fayth, which I must keepe vnfalst, my honor so to saue, 
Ere thou goe hence, my selfe would see thee chastned so, 
That thou shouldst once for all be taught thy dutie how to 

knowe ; 

And what reuenge of olde the angry syres did fynde 
Against theyre children that rebeld, and shewd them selfe vn- 


These sayd, the olde man straight is gone in hast away ; 
Ne for his daughters aunswere would the testy father stay. 
And after him his wife doth follow out of doore, 
And there they leaue theyr chidden chylde kneeling vpon the 


Then she that oft hath scene the fury of her syre, 
Dreading what might come of his rage, nould farther styrre his 


Vnto her chaumber she withdrew her selfe aparte, 
Where she was wonted to vnlode the sorowes of her hart. 
There did she not so much busy her eyes in sleping, 
As ouerprest with restles thoughts, in piteous booteless weping. 
The fast falling of teares make not her teares decrease, 
Ne, by the powring forth of plaint, the cause of plaint doth cease. 
So that to thend the mone and sorow may decaye, 
The best is that she seeke some meane to take the cause away. 
Her wery bed betime the wofull wight forsakes, 
And to saint Frauncis church, to masse, her way deuoutly takes. 
The fryer forth is calde ; she prayes him heare her shrift ; 
Deuocion is in so yong yeres a rare and precious gyft. 
When on her tender knees the dainty lady kneeles, 
In minde to powre foorth all the greefe that inwardly she 


With sighes and salted teares her shryuing doth beginne, 
For she of heaped sorowes hath to speake, and not of sinne. 
Her voyce with piteous plaint was made already horce, 
And hasty sobs, when she would speake, brake of her woordes 


But as she may, peece meale, she powreth in his lappe 

The manage newes, a mischief newe, prepared by mishappe ; 

Her purentes promisse erst to Counte Paris past, 

Her fathers threats she telleth him, and thus concludes at last: 

" Once was I wedded well, ne will I wed agayne ; 

For since I know I may not be the wedded wife of twayne, 

For I am bound to haue one God, one faith, one make, 

My purpose is as soone as I shall hence my iorney take, 

With these two handes, which ioynde vnto the heauens I stretch, 

The hasty death which I desire, vnto my selfe to reache. 

This day, (O Romeus,) this day, thy wofull wife 

Will bring the end of all her cares by ending carefull lyfe. 

So my departed sprite shall witnes to the skye, 

And eke my blood vnto the earth beare record, how that I 

Haue kept my fayth vnbroke, stedfast vnto my frende." 

When this her heauy tale was tolde, her vowe eke at an ende, 
Her gasing here and there, her feerce and staring looke, 
Did witnes that some lewd attempt her hart had vndertooke. 
Whereat the fryer astonde, and gastfully afrayde 
Lest she by dede perfourme her woord,- thus much to her he 

sayde : 

" Ah ! Lady Juliet, what nede the wordes you spake ? 
I pray you, graunt me one request, for blessed Maries sake. 
Measure somewhat your greefe, holde here a while your peace, 
Whilst I bethiake me of your case, your plaint and sorowes 


Such comfort will I geue you, ere you part from hence, 
And for thassaults of Fortunes yre prepare so sure defence, 
So holesome salue will I for your afflictions limit-, 
That you shall hence depart agayne with well contented mynde." 
His wordes have chased straight out of her hart despayre, 
Her blacke and ougly dredfull thoughts by hope are waxen fayre> 
So fryer Lawrence now hath left her there alone, 
And he out of the church in hast is to his chaumbcr gone ; 
Where sundry thoughtes within his carefull head arise ; 
Tin- old mans foresight diuers doutes hath set before his eye*. 
His conscience one while condemns it for a sinne 
To let her take Paris to spouse, since he him selfe had byn 
The chefest cause that she vnknowne to father or mother, 
Not fiue montlu'.s post, in that selfe place was wedded to another. 
An other while an hugy heape of daungers dred 
His restles thought hath heaped vp within his troubled hed. 
Kurn of it selfe thattempte he iudgeth perilous ; 
The execucion eke he denies so much more daungcroiu, 
That to a womana grace he must himselfe commit, 
That yong i, simple and vnware, for waighty aflairet vnfit. 


For, if she fayle in ought, the matter published, 

Both she and llomeus were undonne, himselfe eke punished. 

When too and fro in mynde he dyuers thoughts had cast, 

With tender pity and with ruth his hart was wonne -at last ; 

He thought he rather would in hasard set his fame, 

Then suffer such adultery : resoluing on the same, 

Out of his closet straight he tooke a litele glasse, 

And then with double hast retornde where wofull Juliet was ; 

Whom he hath found welnigh in traunce, scarce drawing breath, 

Attending still to heare the newes of lyfe or els of death. 

Of whom he did enquire of the appointed day ; 

" On wensday next, (quod Juliet) so doth my father say, 

1 must geue my consent; but, (as I do remember,) 

The solemne day of mariage is the tenth day of September." 

*' Deere daughter, quoth the fryer, of good chere see thou be, 

For loo! sainct Frauncis of his grace hath shewde away to me, 

By which I may both thee and Romeus together, 

Out of the bondage which you feare, assuredly deliuer. 

Euen from the holy font thy husband haue I knowne, 

And, since he grew in yeres, have kept his counsels as myne 


For from his youth he would vnfold to me his hart, 
And often haue I cured him of anguish and of smart : 
I knowe that by desert his frendship I haue wonne, 
And I him holde as dere, as if he were my propre sonne. 
WTierfore my frendly hart can not abyde that he 
Should wrongfully in ought be harmde, if that it lay in me 
To right or to reuenge the wrong by my aduise, 
Or timely to preuent the same in any other wise. 
And sith thou art his wife, thee am I bound to loue, 
For Romeus frindships sake, and seeke thy anguishe to remoue, 
And dreadfull torments, which thy hart besegen rounde ; 
Wherefore, my daughter, geue good care vnto my counsels 


Forget not what I say, ne tell it any wight, 
Not to the nurce thou trustest so, as Romeus is thy knight. 
For on this threed doth hang thy death and eke thy lyfe, 
My fame of shame, his weale or woe that chose thee to his wyfe. 
Thou art not ignorant, (because of such renowne 
As euery where is spred of me, but chefely in this towne, ) 
That in my youthfull days abrode I trauayled, 
Through euery lande found out by men, by men inhabited ; 
So twenty yeres from home, in landes vnknowne a gest, 
I neuer gaue my weary limmes long time of quiet rest, 
But, in the desert woodes, to beaste of cruell kinde, 
Or on the seas to drenching waues, at pleasure of the winde. 


I haue committed them, to ruth of rouers hand, 

And to a thousand daungers more, by water and by lande. 

But not, in vayne, (my childe,) hath all my wandring byn; 

Beside the great contentednes my sprete abydeth in, 

That by the pleasant thought of passed thinges doth grow, 

One priuate frute more haue I pluckd, which thou shalt shortly 


What force the stones, the plants, and metals haue to woorke, 
And diuers other thinges that in the bowels of earth do loorke, 
With care I haue sought out, with payne I did them proue ; 
With them eke can I helpe my selfe at times of my behoue, 
(Although the science be against the lawes of men) 
When sodain daunger forceth me ; but yet most cheefly when 
The worke to doe is least displeasing vnto God 
Not helping to do any sinne that wrekefull Jove forbode. 
For since in lyfe no hope of long abode I haue, 
But now am comme vnto the brinke of my appointed graue, 
And that my death drawes nere, whose stripe I may not shonne, 
But shalbe calde to make account of all that I haue donne, 
Now ought I from henceforth more depely print in mynde 
The Judgement of the lord, then when youthes folly made me 

blynde ; 

When loue and fond desyre were boyling in my brest, 
Whence hope and dred by striuing thoughts had banishd frendly 


Know therefore, ( daughter, ) that with other gyftes which I 
Haue well attained to, by grace and fauour of the skye, 
Long since I did finde out, and yet the waye I knowe, 
Of certain rootes and sauory herbes to make a kinde of dowe, 
Which baked hard, and bet into a powder fine, 
And dronke with conduite water, or with any kynd of wine, 
It doth in halfe an howre astonne the taker so, 
And mastreth all his sences, that he feeleth weale nor woe : 
And so it burieth vp the sprite and liuing breath, 
That euen the skilfull leche would say, that he is slayne br 


One vertue more it hath, as meruelous as this ; 
The taker, by receiuing it, at all not greeued is ; 
But as a man that thinketh nought at all, 
Into a swete and quiet slepe immediately doth fall ; 
From which, according to the quantitie he taketh, 
Longer or shorter is the time before the sleper waketh : 
And thence (theffect once wrought) agayne it doth restore 
Him that ruceaued vnto the state wnerin he was before. 
Wherforc, ni 'kc well the ende of this my tale begonne, 
And therby learne what is by thee hereafter to be donne. 


Cast of from thee at once the weede of womannish dread, 

With manly courage arme thyselfe from heele vnto the head ; 

For onely on the feare or boldnes of thy brest 

The happy happe or yll mishappe of thy affayre doth rest. 

Receiue this vyoll small and keepe it as thine eye ; 

And on thy marriage day, before the sunne doe cleare the skye, 

Fill it with water full vp to the very brim, 

Then drinke it of, and thou shalt feele throughout eche vayne 

and lim 

A pleasant slumber slide, and quite dispred at length 
On all thy partes, from euery part reue all thy kindly strength ; 
Withouten mouing thus thy ydle parts shall rest, 
No pulse shall goe, ne hart once beate within thy hollow brest, 
But thou shalt lye as she that dyeth in a traunce : 
Thy kinsmen and thy trusty frendes shall wayle the sodaine 

chaunce ; 

The corps then will they bring to graue in this churchyarde, 
Where thy forefathers long agoe a costly tombe preparde, 
Both for him selfe and eke for those that should come after, 
Both deepe it is, and long and large where thou shalt rest, my 


Till I to Mantua sende for Romeus, thy knight ; 
Out of the tombe both he and I will take thee forth that night. 
And whenout of thy slepe thou shalt awake agayne, 
Then may'st thou goe with him from hence ; and, healed of thy 


In Mantua lead with him vnknowne a pleasant life ; 
And yet perhaps in time to comme, when cease shall all the 


And that the peace is made twixt Romeus and his foes, 
My selfe may finde so fit a time these secretes to dysclose, 
Both to my prayse, and to thy tender parentes ioy, 
That daungerles, without reproche, thou shalt thy loue enioy." 

When of his skilfull tale the fryer had made an ende, 
To which our Juliet so well her care and wits dyd bend, 
That she hath heard it all and hath forgotten nought, 
Her fainting hart was comforted with hope and pleasant thought, 
And then to him she said " doubte not but that I will 
With v stoute and vnapauled hart your happy hest fulfill. 
Yea, if I wist it were a venemous dedly drinke, 
Rather would I that through my throte the certaine bane should 

sinke, , 

Then I, (not drinking it,) into his handes should fall, 
That hath no part of me as yet, ne ought to haue at all. 
Much more I ought with bold and with a willing hart 
To greatest daunger yelde my selfe, and to the dedly smart, 


To comme to him on whome my life doth wholy stay, 
That is my onely hartes delight, and so he shalbe aye." 
" Then goe, quoth he, (my childe,) I pray that God on hye 
Direct thy foote, and by thy hand vpon the way thee gye. 
God graunt he so confirme in thee thy present will, 
That no inconstant toy thee let thy promesse to fulfill." 

A thousand thanfces and more our Juliet gaue the fryer, 
And homeward to her fathers house ioyfull she doth retyre ; 
And as with stately gate she passed through the streete, 
She saw her mother in the doore, that with her there would 


In mynd to aske if she her purpose yet did hold, 
In mynd also, apart twixt them, her duety to haue tolde ; 
Wherfore with pleasant face, and with vnwonted chere, 
As soone as she was vnto her approched sumwhat nere, 
Before the mother spake, thus did she fyrst begin : 
" Madame, at sainct Frauncis churche have I this morning byn, 
Where I did make abode a longer while, (percase,) 
Then dewty would ; yet haue I not been absent from this place 
So long a while, whithout a great and iust cause why ; 
This frute have I receaued there ; my hart, erst lyke to dye, 
Is now reuiued agayne, and my afflicted hrest, 
Released from affliction, restored is to rest ! 
For lo! my troubled gost, (alas too sore diseasde) 
By gostly counsell and aduise hath fryer Lawrence easde ; 
To whome I dyd at large discourse my former lyfe, 
And in confession did I tell of all our passed stryfe : 
Of Counte Paris sute, and how my lord, my syre, 
By my vngrate and stubborn stryfe I styrred vnto yre ; 
But lo, the holy fryer hath by his gostly lore 
Made me another woman now than I had been before. 
By strength of argumentes he charged so my mynde, 
That, (though I sought,) no sure defence my sercliing thought 

could finde. 

So forced I was at length to yeld vp witles will, 
And promist to be orderd by the friers nraysed skill. 
Wherfore, albeit I had rashely, long before, 
The bed and rytes of manage for many yeres forswore, 
Yet mother, now behold your daughter at your will, 
Ready, (if you commaunde her ought,) your pleasure to fulfill. 
Wherfore in humble wise, dere madam, I you pray, 
To go vnto my lord and syrc, withouten long delay ; 
Of hym fyrst pardon craue of faultes already past, 
And shew him, ( it' it pleaseth you,) his child is now at last 
Obedient to hi.s iust and to his skilful! hest, 
And that I will, ( Ciod lending life, ) on wensday next, be prest 

Y 2 


To wayte on him and you, vnto thappoynted place, 

Where I will, in your hearing, and before my fathers face, 

Vnto the Counte geue my fayth and whole assent, 

And take him for my lord and spouse ; thus fully am I bent ; 

And that out of your mynde I may remoue all doute, 

Vnto my closet fare I now, to searche and to choose out 

The brauest garmentes and the richest iewehs there, 

Which, (better him to please,) I mynde on wensday next to 

weare ; 

For if I did excell the famous Gretian rape, 
Yet might attyre helpe to amende my bewty and my shape." 
The simple mother was rapt into great delight ; 
Not halfe a word could she bring forth, but in this ioyfull plight 
With nimble foote she ran, and with vnwonted pace, 
Vnto her pensiue husband, and to him with pleasant face 
She tolde what she had heard, and prayseth much the fryer ; 
And ioyfull teares ranne downe the cheekes of this gray-berded 


With hands and eyes heaued-up he thankes God in his hart, 
And then he sayth : " This is not (wife, ) the fryers first desart ; 
Oft hath he showde to vs great frendship heretofore, 
By helping vs at nedefull times with wisdomes pretious lore. 
In all our common weale scarce one is to be founde 
But is, for somme good torne, vnto this holy father bounde. 
Oh that the thyrd part of my goods (I doe not fayne) 
But twenty of his passed yeres might purchase him agayne ! 
So much in recompence of frendship would I geue, 
80 much, (in faith,) his extreme age my frendly hart doth greve." 
These said, the giad old man from home goeth straight abrode. 
And to the stately palace hyeth where Paris made abode ; 
Whom he desyres to be on wensday next his geast, 
At Freetowne, where he myndes to make for him a costly feast. 
But loe, the Earle saith, such feasting were but lost, 
And counsels him till mariage time to spare so great a cost. 
For then he knoweth well the charges wilbe great ; 
The whilst, his hart desyreth still her sight, and not his meate. 
He craues of Capilet that he may straight go see 
Fayre Juliet ; wherto he doth right willingly agree. 
The mother, warnde before, her daughter doth prepare ; 
She warneth and she chargeth her that in no wyse she spare 
Her curteous speche, her pleasant lookes, and commely grace, 
But liberally to geue them foorth when Paris commes in place : 
Which she as cunningly could set forth to the shewe, 
As cunning craftesman to the sale do set theie wares on rew : 
That ere the County did out of her sight depart, 
So secretely vnwares to him she stale away his hart, 


That of his lyfe and death the wyly wench hath po\vre ; 

And now his longing hart thinkes long for theyr appoynted 

how re, 

And with importune sute the parentes doth he pray 
The wedlocke knot to knit soone vp, and hast the mariage day. 

The woer hath past forth the first day in this sort, 
And many other more then this, in pleasure and disport. 
At length the wished time of long hoped delight 
( As Paris thought) drew nere ; but nere approched heauy plight. 
Against the bridal! day the parentes did prepare 
Such rich attyre, such furniture, such store of dainty fare, 
That they which did behold the same the night before, 
Did thinke and say, a man could scarcely wishe for any more. 
Nothing did seeme to deere ; the deerest thinges were bought ; 
And, (as the written story saith,) in dede there wanted nought, 
That longd to his degree, and honor of his stocke; 
But Juliet, the whilst, her thoughts within her brcst did locke ; 
Euen from the trusty nurce, whose secretnes was tryde, 
The secret counsell of her hart the nurce-childe seekes to hide. 
For sith, to mocke her dame, she dyd not sticke to lye, 
She thought no sinne with shew of truth to bleare her nurces eye. 
In chamber secretly the tale she gan renew, 
That at the doore she told her dame, as though it had been trcw. 
The flattring nurce did prayse the fryer for his skill, * 
And said that she had done right well by wit to order will. 
She setteth forth at large the fathers furious rage, 
And eke she prayseth much to her the second manage ; 
And County Paris now she praiseth ten times more, 
By wrong, then she her selfe by right had Romeus praysde before. 
Paris shall dwell there still, Komeus shall not retourne; 
What shall it boote her life to languish still and mourne. 
The pleasures past before she must account as gayne ; 
But if he doe retorne what then? forone sheshall hauetwayne. 
The one shall use her as his lawful wedded wyfe; 
In wanton loue with equall ioy the other lende his lyfe ; 
And best shall she be sped of any townish (tame, 
Of husband and of paramour to fynde her diaunge of game. 
These words and like the nurce did speake, in hope to please, 
But greatly did these wicked wordes the ladies mynde disease : 
But ay she hid her wrath, and seemed well content, 
When dayly dyd the naughty nurce new argumontes inuent. 
But when the bryde perceued her howre opproched nere, 
She sought, (the best she could,) to fayne, and tempted so h- r 


That by her outward lookc no lining wight could gesse 
Her inward woe ; and yet anew renewde is her distressc. 


Vnto her chaumber doth the pensiue wight repayre, 

And in her hand a percher light the nurce beares vp the stayre. 

In Juliets chaumber was her wonted vse to lye ; 

Wherfore her mistres, dreading that she should her work des- 


As sone as she began her pallet to vnfold, 
Thinking to lye that night where she was wont to lye of olde, 
Doth gently pray her seeke her lodgeing somewhere els ; 
And, lest the crafty should suspect, a ready reason telles. 
" Dere frend, (quoth she,) you knowe, tomorow is the day 
Of new contract ; wherefore, this night, my purpose is to pray 
Vnto the heauenly myndes that dwell aboue the skyes, 
And order all the course of thinges as they can best deuyse, 
That they so smyle vpon the doynges of Tomorow, 
That all the remnant of my lyfe may be exempt from sorow ; 
Wherfore, I pray you, leaue me here alone this night, 
But see that you tomorow comme before the dawning light, 
For you must coorle my heare, and set on my attyre ;" 
And easely the louing nurse did yelde to her desire. 
For she within her hed dyd cast before no doute ; 
She little knew the close attempt her nurce-childe went about. 

The nurce departed once, the chamber doore shut close, 
Assured that no liuing wight her doing myght disclose, 
She powred forth into the vyole of the fryer, 
Water, out of a silver ewer, that on the boord stoode by her. 
The slepy mixture made, fayre Juliet doth it hyde 
Vnder her bolster soft, and so vnto her bed she hyed : 
Where diuers nouel thoughts arise within her hed, 
And she is so inuironed about with deadly dred, 
That what before she had resolued vndoutedly 
The same she calleth into doute : and lying doutfully 
Whilst honest loue did striue with dred of dedly payne, 
With handes y-wrong, and weping eyes, thus gan she to com- 

plaine : 

What, is there any one, beneth the heauens hye, 
So much vnfortunate as I ? so much past hope as I ? 
What, am I not my selfe, of all that yet were borne, 
The depest drenched in dispayre, and most in Fortunes skorne ? 
For loe the world for me hath nothing els to finde, 
Beside mishap and wretchednes and anguish of the mynde ; 
Since that the cruel cause of my vnhappines 
Hath put me to this sodaine plonge, and brought to such distres. 
As, (to the end I may my name and conscience saue, ) 
I must deuowre the mixed drinke that by me here I haue, 
Whose woorking and whose force as yet I doe not know.." 
And of this piteous plaint began an other doute to growe : 


What doe I knowe, (quoth she) if that this powder shall 

Sooner or later then it should or els not woorke at all ? 

And then my craft descride as open as the day, 

The peoples tale and laughing stocke shall I remayne for aye. 

And what know I, (quoth she,) if serpentes odious, 

And other beastes and wormes that are of nature venomous, 

That wonted are to lurke in darke caues vnder grounde, 

And commonly, as I haue heard, in dead mens tonibes are 


Shall harme me, yea or nay, where I shall lye as ded ? 
Or how shall I that alway haue in so freshe ayre been bred, 
Endure the lothsome stinke of such an heaped store 
Of carkases, not yet consumde, and bones that long before 
Intombed were, where I my sleping place shall haue, 
Where all my auncestors doe rest, my kindreds common graue ? 
Shall not the fryer and my Romeus, when they come, 
Fynd me, (if I awake before,) y-stifled in the tombe?" 

And whilst she in these thoughtes doth dwell somwhat too 


The force of her ymugining anon doth waxe so strong, 
That she surmystie she saw, out of the hollow vaulte, 
( A griesly thing to looke vpon, ) the carkas of Tybalt ; 
Right in the selfe same sort that she few dayes before 
Had seene him in his blood embrewde, to death eke wounded 


And then when she agayne within her selfe had wayde 
That quicke she should be buried there, and by his side be layde, 
All comfortles, for she shall liuing feere haue none, 
But many a rotten carkas, and full many a naked bone ; 
Her dainty tender partes gan sheuer all for dred, 
Her golden heares did stande vpright vpon her dullish hed. 
Then pressed with the feare that she there liued in, 
A sweate as colde as mountaine yse pearst through her tender 


That with the moysture hath wet euery part of hers : 
And more besides, she vainely thinkes, whilst vainely thus she 


A thousand bodies dead haue compast her about, 
And lest they will dismember her she greatly standes in clout. 
But when she felt her strength began to weare away, 
By little and little, and in her hart her feare increased ay, 
Dreading that weaknes might, or foolish cowardise, 
Hinder the execution of the purposde enterprise, 
As she had frantikc been, in hast the glasse she cought, 
And up she dranke the mixture quite, withouten farther 



Then on her brest she crost her armes long and small, 
And so, her senses fayling her, into a traunce did fall. 

And when that Phoebus bright heaued vp his seemely hed, 
And from the East in open skies his glistring rayes dispred, 
The nurce vnshut the doore, for she the key did keepe, 
And douting she had slept to long, she thought to breake her 

slepe ; 

Fyrst softly dyd she call, then lowder thus did crye, 
" Lady, you slepe to long, (the Earle) will rayse you by and by." 
But wele away, in vayne vnto the deafe she calles, 
She thinkes to speak to Juliet, but speaketh to the walles. 
If all the dredfull noyse that might on earth be found, 
Or on the roaring seas, or if the dredfull thunder's sound, 
Had blowne into her eares, I thinke they could not make 
The sleping wight before the time by any meanes awake ; 
So were the sprites of lyfe shut vp, and senses thrald;, 
Wherwith the seely carefull nurce was wondrously apalde. 
She thought to daw her now as she had donne of olde, 
But loe, she found her parts were stifle and more than marble 

colde ; 

Neither at mouth nor nose found she recourse of breth ; 
Two certaine argumentes were these of her vntimely death. 
Wherfore as one distraught she to her mother ranne, 
With scratched face, and heare betorne, but no woord speake 

she can, 

At last (with much adoe,) " dead (quoth she) is my childe ;" 
Now, " out, alas," (the mother cryde) ; and as a Tyger wilde, 
Whose whelpes, whilst she is gonne out of her denne to pray, 
The hunter gredy of his game doth kill or cary away ; 
So rageing forth she ranne vnto her Juliets bed, 
And there she found her derling and her onely comfort ded. 
Then shriked she out as lowde as serue her would her breth, 
And then, (that pity was to heare,) thus cryde she out on death : 
** Ah cruell death (quoth she) that thus against all right, 
Hast ended my felicitie, and robde my hartes delight, 
Do now thy worst to me, once wreake thy wrath for all, 
Euen in despite I crye to thee, thy vengeance let thou fall. 
Whereto stay I, (alas !) since Juliet is gone ? 
W T hereto Hue I since she is dead, except to wayle and mone ? 
Alacke, dere chylde, my teares for thee shall neuer cease ; 
Euen as my dayes of life increase, so shall my plaint increase : 
Such store of sorow shall afflict my tender hart, 
That dedly panges, when they assayle, shall not augment my 


Then gan she so to sobbe, it seemde her hart would brast ; 
And while she crieth thus, behold, the father at the last, 


The County Paris, and of gentilmen a route, 

And ladies of Verona towne and country round about, 

Both kindreds and dies thether apace haue preast, 

For by theyr presence there they sought to honor so the feast ; 

But when the heauy news the bydden geastes did heare, 

So much they mournd, that who had seene theyr countnance 

and theyr cheere, 

Might easely have iudgde by that that they had seene, 
That day the day of wrath and eke of pity [to] haue beene. 
But more than all the rest the fathers hart was so 
Smit with the heauy newes, and so shut vp with sodain woe, 
That he ne had the powre his daughter to bewepe, 
Ne yet to speake, but long is forsd his teares and plaint to kepe. 
In all the hast he hath for skilfull leaches sent ; 
And, hearyng of her passed life, they iudge with one assent "* 
The cause of this her death was inward care and thought ; 
And then with double force againe the doubled sorowes wrought. 
If ever there hath been a lamentable day, 
A day, ruthfull, vnfortunate and fatall, then I say, 
The same was it in which through Veron towne was spred 
The wofull newes how Juliet was sterued in her bed. 
For so she was bemonde both of the yong and olde, 
That it might seeme to him that would the common plaint be- 

That all the commen welth did stand in ieopardy ; 
So vniversall was the plaint, so piteous was the crye. 
For lo, beside her shape and natiue bewties hewe, 
With which, like as she grew in age, her vertues prayses grewe, 
She was also so wise, so lowly, and so mylde, 
That euen from the hory head vnto the witles childe, 
She wan the hartes of all, so that there was not one, 
Ne great, ne small, but dyd that day her wretched state bemone. 

Whilst Juliet slept, and whilst the other wepcn thus, 
Our fryer Lawrence hath by this sent one to Homeus, 
A frier of his house, there neuer was a better, 
Me trust' ,1 him euen as himselfe to whom he gaue a letter, 
In which he written had of euery thing at length, 
That past twixt Juliet and him, and of the powders strength ; 
The next night after that, he willeth him to comme 
To helpe to take his Juliet out of the hollow toombc, 
For by that time, the drinke, he saith, will cease to woorke, 
And for one night his wife and he within his cell shall loorke; 
Then shall he cary her to Mantua away, 
(Till flckell Fortune fatmur him,) disguisde in mans aray. 
This letter closde he sendes to Homeus by his brother ; 
He chargeth him that in no case he geue it any other. 


Apace our frier John to Mantua him hyes ; 

And, for because in Italy it is a wonted gyse 

That friers in the towne should seeldome walke alone, 

But of theyr couent ay should be accompanide with one 

Of his profession, straight a house he fyndcth out, 

In mynd to take some frier with him, to walke the towne about. 

But entred once, he might not issue out agayne, 

For that a brother of the house a day before or twayne 

Dyed of the plague, (a sicknes which they greatly feare and hate :) 

So were the brethren charged to kepe within theyr couent gate, 

Bard of theyr felowship that in the towne do wonne ; 

The towne folke eke commaunded are the fryers house to 

Till they that had the care of health theyr fredome should 

renew ; 
Wherof, as you shall shortly heare, a mischeefe great there 


The fryer by this restraint, beset with dred and sorow, 
Not knowing what the letters held, differd vntill the morowe ; 
And then he thought in tyme to send to Romeus. 
But whilst at Mantua, where he was, these dooinges framed thus, 
The towne of Juliets byrth was wholy busied 
About her obsequies, to see theyr darlyng buried. 
Now is the parentes myrth quite chaunged into mone, 
And now to sorow is retornde the ioy of euery one ; 
And now the wedding weedes for mourning weedes they 


And Hymene into a Dyrge ; alas ! it seemeth straunge : 
Insteade of mariage gloues, now funerall gloues they haue, 
And whom they should see maried, they follow to the grave. 
The feast that should haue been of pleasure and of ioy, 
Hath euery dish and cup fild full of sorow and annoye. 

Now throughout Italy this common vse they haue, 
That all the best of euery stocke are earthed in one graue ; 
For every houshold, if it be of any fame ; 
Doth bylde a tombe, or digge a vault, that beares the hous- 

houldes name ; 

Wherein, (if any of that kindred hap to dye,) 
They are bestowde ; els in the same no other corps may lye. 
The Capilets her corps in such a one dyd lay, 
Where Tybalt slayne of Romeus was layde the other day. 
An other vse there is, that whosoever dyes, 
Borne to their church with open face vpon the beere he lyes, 
In wonted weede attyrde, not wrapt in winding sheete. 
So, as by chaunce he walked abrode, our Romeus man dyd 



His maisters wyfe ; the sight with sorow straight dyd wounde 

His honest hart ; with teares he sawe her lodged vnder ground. 

And, for he had been sent to Verone for a spye, 

The doynges of the Capilets by wisdome to descrye, 

And for he knew her death dyd tooch his maister most, 

( Alas ! ) too soone, with heauy newes, he hyed away in post ; 

And in his house he found his maister Romeus, 

Where he, besprent with many teares, began to speake him 


' Syr, vnto you of late is chaunced so great a harme, 
That sure, except with constancy you seeke yourselfe to arme, 
I feare that strayght you will brethe out your latter breath, 
And I, most wretched wight, shalbe thoccasion of your death. 
Know syr, that yesterday, my lady and your wyfe, 
I wot not by what sodain greefe, hath made exchaungeoflife; 
And for because on earth she found nought but vnrest, 
In heaven hath she sought to lynde a place of quiet rest ; 
And with these weping eyes my selfe haue scene her layde, 
Within the tombe of Capilets :" and herewithall he stayde. 
This sodayne message sounde, sent forth with sighes and teares, 
Our Romeus receaued too soone with open listening cares; 
And tlu rhy hath sonke in such sorow in his hart, 
That loe, his sprite annoyed sore with torment and with smart, 
Was like to break out of his prison-house perforce, 
And that he might flye after hers, would leaue the massy corce: 
But earnest loue that will not fayle him till his ende, 
This fond and sodain fantasy into his head dyd sende ; 
That if nere vnto her he offred vp his breath, 
That then an hundred thousand parts more glorious were his 

death : 

Eke should his painfull hart a great deal more be eased, 
And more also, (he vainely thought,) his lady better pleased. 
Wherfore when he his face hath washt with water cleene, 
Lest that the staynes of dryed teares might on his cheekes be 


And so his sorow should of euery one be spyde, 
Which he with all his care dyd seeke from every one to hyde, 
Straight, wery of the house, he walketh forth abrode ; 
His seruant, at the maisters hest, in chamber styll abode : 
And then fro Ktreate to strcate he wandreth vp and downe, 
To see if he in any place may fynde, in all the towne, 
A salue meet for his sore, an oyle fitte for his wounde ; 
And seeking long, (alac too soone!) the thing he sought, he 


An apothecary sate vnbusied at his doore, 
Who by his heauy countenance he gessed to be poore. 


And in his shop he saw his boxes were but fewe, 

And in his window (of his wares) there was so small a shew; 

Wherfore our Romeus assuredly hath thought, 

What by no friendship could be got, with money should be 

bought ; 

For nedy lacke is lyke the poore man to corupell 
To sell that which the cities lawe forbiddeth him to sell. 
Then by the hand he drew the nedy man apart, 
And with the sight of glittering gold inflamed hath his hart: 
" Take fiftie crownes of gold (quoth he) I geue them thee, 
So that, before I part from hence, thou straight deliuer me 
Somme poyson strong, that may in lesse than halfe an howre 
Kill him whose wretched hap shalbe the potion to deuowre." 
The wretch by couetise is wonne, and doth assent 
To sell the thing, whose sale ere long, too late, he doth repent. 
In haste he poyson sought, and closely he it bounde, 
And then began with whispering voyce thus in his eare torounde: 
" Fayr syr, (quoth he,) be sure this is the speeding gere, 
And more there is than you shall nede; for halfe of that is there 
Will serue, I vndertake, in less than halfe an howre 
To kill the strongest man aliue ; such is the poysons power." 

Then Romeus, somwhat easel of one part of his care, 
Within his bosome putteth vp his dere vnthrifty ware. 
Retorning home agayne, he sent his man away, 
To Verone towne, and chargeth him that he, without delay, 
Prouyde both instruments to open wyde the toombe, 
And lightes to shew him Juliet ; and stay, (till he shall comme,) 
Nere to the place whereas his louing wyfe doth rest, 
And chargeth him not to bewray the dolours of his brest. 
Peter, 'these heard, his leaue doth of his maister take ; 
Betyme he commes to towne, such hast the paynfull man did 


And then with busy care he seeketh to fulfill, 
But doth dysclose vnto no wight his wofull maisters will. 
Would God, he had herein broken his maisters hest ! 
Would God, that to the fryer he had disclosed all hys brest ! 
But Romeus the whyle with many a dedly thought 
Prouoked much, hath caused ynke and paper to be brought, 
And in few lynes he dyd of all his loue dyscoorse, 
How by the friers helpe, and by the knowledge of the noorse, 
The wedlocke knot was knyt, and by what meane that night 
And many moe he dyd enioy his happy hartes delight ; 
Where he the poyson bought, and how his lyfe should ende ; 
And so his wailefull tragedy the wretched man hath pend. 

The letters closd and seald, directed to his syre, 
He locketh in his purse, and then a post-hors doth he hyre. 


When he approched nere, he warely lighted downe, 

And euen with the shade of night he entred Verone towne ; 

Where he hath found his man, wayting when he should conmie, 

With lanterne, and with instruments to open Juliets toomrae. 

Helpe Peter, helpe, quod he, helpe to remoue the stone, 

And straight when I am gone fro thee, my Juliet to bemone, 

See that thou get thee hence, and on the payne of death 

I charge thee that thou comme not nere while I abyde beneath, 

Ne seeke thou not to let thy masters enterprise, 

Which he hath fully purposed to doe, in any wise. 

Take there a letter, which, as soon as he shall ryse, 

Present it in the morning to my louing fathers eyes ; 

Which vnto him perhaps farre pleasanter shall seerne, 

Than eyther I do mynd to say, or thy grose head can deeme. 

Now Peter, that knew not the purpose of his hart, 
Obediently a little way withdrew himselfe apart ; 
And then our Romeus, (the vault stone set upright,) 
Descended downe, and in his hand he bare the candle light. 
And then with piteous eye the body of his wyfe 
He gan beholde, who surely was the organ of his lyfe ; 
For whom vnhappy now he is, but erst was blyst ; 
He watred her with teares, and then an hundred times her kyst ; 
And in his folded armes full straightly he her plight, 
But no way could his greedy eyes be filled with her sight : 
His fearfull handes he layde upon her stomacke colde, 
And them on diuerse parts besyde the woefull wight did hold. 
But when he could not fynd the signes of lyfe he sought, 
Out of his cursed box he drewe the poyson that he bought ; 
Whereof he gredely deuowrde the greater part, 
And then he cryde, with dedly sigh fetcht from his mourning 


" Oh Juliet, of whom the world vnwoorthy was, 
From which, for worldes vnworthines thy worthy gost dyd passe, 
What death more pleasant could my hart wish to abyde 
Then that which here it suffreth now, so nere thy frendly syde? 
Or els so glorious tombe how could my youth haue craued, 
As in one selfe same vaulte with thee haply to be ingraued ? 
What Epitaph more worth, or halfe so excellent, 
To consecrate my memorye, could any man inuente, 
As this our mutuell and our piteous sacrifice 
Of lyfe, set light for loue?" but while he talketh in this 


And thought as yet a while his dolors to enforce, 
His tender hart began to faynt, prest with the venoms force; 
Which little and little gan to ouercomme hys hart, 
And whilst hit busy eyne lie threwe about to euery part, 


He saw, hard by the corce of sleping Juliet, 

Bold Tybalts carkas dead, which was not all consumed yet. 

To whom, (as hauing life,) in this sort speaketh he : 

" Ah.cosin dcre, Tybalt, where so thy restles sprite now be, 

With stretched handes, to thee for mercy now I crye, 

For that before thy kindly howre I forced thee to dye. 

But if with quenched lyfe not quenched be thine yre, 

But with reuenging lust as yet thy hart be set on fyre, 

What more amendes, or cruell wreke desyrest thou 

To see on me, then this which here is shewd forth to thee 


Who reft by force of armes from thee thy liuing breath, 
The same with his owne hand, (thou seest,) dost poyson him- 

selfe to death. 

And for he caused thee in tombe too soone to lye, 
Too soone also, yonger then thou, himselfe he layeth by." 
These sayd, when he gan feele the poysons force preuayle, 
And little and little mastred lyfe for aye beganne to fayle, 
Kneeling vpon his knees, he said with voyce full lowe, 
" Lord Christ, that so to raunsome me descendest long agoe 
Out of thy fathers bosome, and in the virgins wombe 
Didst put on fleshe, Oh let my plaint out of this hollow toombe, 
Perce through the ayre, aud graunt my sute may fauour finde ; 
Take pity on my sinnefull and my poore affected mynde ! 
For well enough I know, this body is but clay, 
Nought but a masse of sinne, to frayle and subiect to decaye." 
Then pressed with extreme greefe he threw with so great force 
His overpressed parts vpon his ladies wayled corse, 
That now his wekened hart, weakened with tormentes past, 
Vnable to abyde this pang, the sharpest and the last, 
Remayned quite depriued of sense and kindly strength, 
And so the long imprisoned soule hath freedome wonne at 


Ah cruell death, too soone, too soone was this deuorce, 
Twixt youthfull Romeus heauenly sprite, and his fayre earthy 


The fryer that knew what time the powder had been taken, 
Knew eke the very instant when the sleper should awaken : 
But wondring that he could no kinde of aunswer heare, 
Of letters which to Romeus his fellow fryer did beare, 
Out of Sainct Frauncis church hymselfe alone dyd fare, 
And for the opening of the tombe meete instrumentes he bare. 
Approching nigh the place, and seeing there the lyght, 
Great horror felt he in his hart, by straunge and sodaine sight ; 
Tyll Peter, (Romeus man,) his coward hart made bolde, 
When of his masters being there the certain newes he tolde : 


44 There hath he been, quoth he, this halfe howre at the least, 
And in this time, I dare well say, his plaint hath still increast." 
Then both they entered in, where they (alas ! ) dyd fynde 
The bretheles corps of Romeus, forsaken of the mynde ; 
Where they haue made such mone, as they may best conceue, 
That haue with perfect frendship loued, whose frend feerce death 

dyd reue. 

But whilst with piteous playnt they Romeus fate bewepe, 
An howre too late fayre Juliet awaked out of slepe;* 

* In the original Italian Novel Juliet awakes from her trance before the 
death of Romeo, Shakspeare has been arraigned for departing from it, and 
losing so happy an opportunity of introducing an affecting scene. He was mis- 
led, we see, by the piece now before us. The curious reader may perhaps not 
be displeased to compare the conclusion of this celebrated story as it stands in 
the Giuliettauf Luigi da Porto, with the present poem. It is as follows ; 

" So favourable was fortune to this his last purpose, that on the evening of 
the day subseqnent to the lady's funeral, undiscovered by any, he entered 
Verona, and there awaited the coming of night ; and now perceiving that 
all was silent, he betook himself to the monastery of the Minor Friars, where 
was the vault. The church, where these monks then dwelt, was in the 
citadel, though since, for what reason 1 know not, they have transferred their 
habitation to the Borgo di S. Zeno, in that place which is now called Santo 
Bernardino ; yet is it certain that their former mansion had been inhabited by 
Saint Francis himself. Near the walls of this church, on the outside, were 
at that time certain buildings, such as we usually see adjoining to churches, 
one of which was the ancient sepulcher of the Capelletti family, and in this 
the fair damsel had been deposited. At this place, about four hours after 
midnight, Romeo being arrived, and having as a man of superior strength, 
by force raised the stone which covered the vault, and, with certain wedges, 
which he had brought with him for that [>ur|>osc, having so propped it that it 
could not be fastened down contrary to his desire, he entered and reclosed 
the entrance. 

" The unhappy youth, thitt he might behold his lady, had brought with 
him a dark lantern, which, after closing the vault, he drew forth, and opened ; 
and there, amidst the hones and fragments of many dead bodies, he beheld 
the fair Juliet lying us if dead. Whence suddenly breaking out into a flood 
of tear*, he thus began : O eyes, which, while it pleased the Heavens, were 
to my ryes the brightest lights! O lips, by roe a thousand times so sweetly 
kixscd, and from whence were heard the words of wisdom! O beautcou* 
breast, in which my heart rejoiced to dwell I where do I now find jou, blind, 
mute, and cold how without you do I see, do I speak, do I live? Alas, 
my miserable lady, whither hast tlitm been conducted by that love, whose 
will it now is tliut ihis narrow pace shall both destroy and lodge two wretched 
lovers! Ah me! an end like this my hope promised not, nor that desire 
which fint inflamed me with love fur you ! O unfortunate life, why do I 
upjxirt you? mid so saying, he covered with kisses her eyes, her lips, her 
breast, bursting every instant into more abundant lamentation ; in the midst 
of which be cried, O ye wall*, which hang over me, why do you not render 
my lite still more short by crushing me in your ruin ? But since death is HI 
all limes in our power, it i daMardly to dctire it, and not to snatch it : and, 
with these words, he drew forth from his sleeve the vial of deadly pofcon, 
which be had there concealed, and thiu proceeded : I know not what destiny 


And much amasde to see in tombe so great a light, 

She wist not if she saw a dreame, or sprite that walkd by night. 

conducts me to die in the midst of my enemies, of those by me slain, and 
in their sepulcher; but since, O my soul, thus near my love it delights us to 
die, here let us die! and, approaching to his lips the mortal draught, he 
received it entire into his bosom; when embracing the beloved maid, and 
strongly straining her to his breast, he cried, O thou beauteous body, the ut- 
most limit of all my desires, if after the soul is departed, any sentiment yet 
remains in you, or if that soul now beholds my cruel fate, let it not be displeas- 
ing to you, that, unable to live with you joyfully and openly, at the least I 
should die with you sadly and secretly ; and holding the body straitly em- 
braced, he awaited death. 

" The hour was now arrived, when by the natural heat of the damsel the 
cold and powerful effects of the powder should have been overcome, and when 
she should awake ; and accordingly, embraced and violently agitated by 
Romeo, she awoke in his arms, and, starting into life, after a heavy sigh, she^ 
cried, Alas, where am I? who is it thus embraces me? by whom am I thus 
kissed? and, believing it was the Frier Lorenzo; she exclaimed, Do you thus, 
O friar, keep your faith with Romeo? is it thus you safely conduct me lo 
him ? Romeo, perceiving the lady to be alive, wondered exceedingly, and 
thinking perhaps on Pigmalion, he said, Do you not know me, O my sweet 
lady ? see you not that I am your wretched spouse, secretly and alone come 
from Mantua to perish by you? Julietta, seeing herself in the monument, 
and perceiving that she was in the arms of one who called himself Romeo, 
was well nigh out of her senses, and pushing him a little from her, and gazing 
on his face, she instantly knew him, and embracing gave him a thousand 
kisses, saying, what folly has excited you, with such imminent danger, to 
enter here ? Was it not sufficient to have understood by my letters how I had 
contrived, with the help of Friar Lorenzo, to feign death, and that I should 
shortly have been with you ? The unhappy youth, then perceiving his fatal 
mistake, thus began: O miserable lot! O wretched Romeo! O, by far the 
most afflicted of all -lovers ! On this subject never have I received your letters ! 
and he then proceeded to inform her how Pietro had given him intelligence 
of her pretended death, as if it had been real, whence, believing her dead, he 
had, in order to accompany her in death, even there close by her, taken the 
poison, which, as most subtile, he already felt, had sent forth death through all 
bis limbs. 

" The unfortunate damsel hearing this, remained so overpowered with grief, 
that she could do nothing but tear her lovely locks, and beat and bruise her 
innocent breast; and at length to Romeo, who already lay supine, kissing him 
often, and. pouring over him a flood of tears, more pale than ashes, and trem- 
bling all over, she thus spoke : Must you then, O lord of my heart, must 
you then die in my presence, and through my means ! and will the heavens 
permit that I should survive you, though but for a moment? Wretched me! 
O, that I could at least transfer my life to you, and die alone ! to which, 
with a languid voice, the youth replied : If ever my faith and my love were 
dear to you, live, O my best hope ! by these 1 conjure you, that after my 
death, life should not be displeasing to you, if for no other reason, at least 
that you may think on him, who, penetrated with passion, for your sake, 
and before your dear eyes now perishes ! To this the damsel answered : If 
for my pretended death you now die, what, ought I to do for yours which is 
real ? It only grieves me that here in your presence, I have not the means 
of death, and, inasmuch as I survive jou, I detest myself ! yet still will I hope 


But cumming to her selfe she knew them, and said thus : 
*' What, fryer Lawrence, is it you ? where is my Romeus ?" 

that ere long, as I have been the cause, so shall I be the companion of jour 
death: And, having with difficulty spoken these words, she fainted, and, 
again returning to life, busied herself in sad endeavours to gather with her 
sweet lips the extreme breath of her dearest lover, who now hastily approached 
his end. 

" In this interval Friar Lorenzo had been informed how and when the 
damsel had drunk the potion, as also that upon a supposition of her death $hu 
had been buried ; and, knowing that the time was now arrived when the 
powder should cease to operate, taking with him a trusty companion, about 
an hour before day he came to the vault; where being arrived, he heard the 
cries and lamentations of the lady, and, through a crevice in the cover, seeing 
a light within, he was greatly surprised, and imagined that, by some means 
or other, the damsel had contrived to convey with her a lamp into the tomb , 
and that now, having awaked, she wept and lamented, either through fear 
of the dead bodies by which she was surrounded, or perhaps from the appre- 
hension of being for ever immured in this dismal place ; and having, with the 
assistance of Us companion, speedily opened the tomb, he beheld .1 illicit, t. 
who, with hair all disheveled, and sadly grieving, had raised herself so far as 
to be seated, and had taken into her lap her dying lover. To her he thus 
addressed himself: Did you then fear, O my daughter, that I should have left 
you to die here inclosed ? and she, seeing the friar, and redoubling her lamen- 
tations, answered : Far from it ; my only fear b that you will drag me hence 
alive ! alas, for the love of God, away, and close the sepulcher, that 1 may 
here perish, or rather reach me a knife, that piercing my breast, 1 may rid 
myself of my woes! O, my father, ray father! is it thus you have sent me 
the letter? are these my hopes of happy marriage? is it thus you have con- 
ducted me to my Romeo? behold him here in my bosom already dead! and, 
pointing to him, she recounted all that had passed. The friar, hearing these 
things, stood as one bereft of sense, and gazing upon the young man, then 
ready to pass from this into another life, bitterly weeping, he called to him, 
saying, O, KOIDCO, what hard hap has torn you from me? speak to me at 
least ! cast your eyes a moment upon me ! O, Romeo, behold your dearest 
Julietta, who beseeches you to look at her. Why at the least will you not 
answer her in whose dear bosom you lie ? At the beloved name of his mistress, 
Romeo raised a little his languid eyes, weighed down by the near approach 
of death, and, looking at her, rcclosed them ; and, immediately after, death 
thrilling through his whole frame, all convulsed, and heaving a short sigh, he 

" The miserable lover being now dead in the manner I have related, as the 
day was already approaching, after much lamentation the friar thus addressed 
the young damsel: And you, Julietta, what do you mean to do? to which 
she instantly replied, here inclosed will I die. Say not so, daughter, said he ; 
come forth from hence ; for, though I know not well how to dispose of you, 
the means can not be wanting of shutting yourselt up in some holy monas- 
tery, where you may continually otter your supplications to God, as well for 
yourself as for your deceased husband, if' he should need your prayers. Father, 
replied the lady, one favour alone 1 entreat of you, which for the love you 
bear to the memory of him, and so saying she pointed to Romeo, you will 
willingly grant me, and that is, that you will never make known our death, 
that so our bodies may tor ever remain united in this sepulcher : and if, by 
any accident, ihc mauner of our dying should be discovered, by the love 



And then the auncient frier, that greatly stoode in feare 
Lest if they lingred ouer long they should be taken theare, 
In few plaine woordes the whole that was betyde, he tolde, 
And with his fingar shewd his corps out-stretched, stiffe, and 

colde ; 

And then perswaded her with pacience to abyde 
This sodain great mischaunce; and sayth, that he will soone 


In some religious house for her a quiet place, 
Where she may spend the rest of lyfe, and where in time percase 
She may with wisdomes meane measure her mourning brest, 
And vnto her tormented soulc call back exiled rest. 
But loe, as soone as she had cast her ruthfull eye 
On Romeus face, that pale and wan fast by her side dyd lye, 
Straight way she dyd vnstop the conduites of her teares, 
And out they gushe ; with cruell hand she tare her golden 


But when she neither could her swelling sorow swage, 
Ne yet her tender hart abyde her sicknes furious rage, 
Falne on his corps she lay long panting on his face, 
And then with all her force and strength the ded corps dyd em- 

As though with sighes, with sobs, with force, and busy payne, 
She would him rayse, and him restore from death to lyfe agayne 
A thousand times she kist his mouth, as cold as stone, 
And it unkist agayne as oft ; then gan she thus to mone : 
" Ah pleasant prop of all my thoughtes, ah onely ground 
Of all the sweete delightes that yet in all my lyfe I found, 

already mentioned I conjure you, that in both our names you would implore 
our miserable parents that they should make no difficulty of suffering those 
whom leve has consumed in one fire, and conducted to one death, to remain 
iii one and the same tomb ; then turning to the prostrate body of Romeo, 
whose head she had placed on a pillow which had been left .with her in the 
vault, having carefully closed his eyes, and bathing his cold visage with 
tears, lord of my heart, said she, without you what should I do with life ? 
and what more remains to be done by me toward you but to follow you in 
death ? certainly nothing more ! in order that death itself, which alone could 
possibly have separated you from me, should not now be able to part us! 
and having thus spoken, reflecting upon the horrour of her destiny, and 
calling to mind the loss of her dear lover, determined no longer to live, she 
suppressed her respiration, and for a long space holding in her breath, at 
length sent it forth with a loud cry, and fell dead upon the dead body." 

For the foregoing faithful and elegant translation, as wfell as that in a former 
page, I am indebted to a most dear and valued friend, whose knowledge of the 
Italian language is so much superior to any that I can pretend to, that I am 
confident no reader will regret that the task has been executed by another. 

MA ton r. 


Did such assured trust within thy hart repose, 

That in this place and at this time, thy church-yarde thou hast 


Betwixt the armes of me, thy perfect louing make, 
And thus by meanes of me to ende thy lyfe, and for my sake ? 
Euen in the flowring of thy youth, when vnto thee 
Thy lyfe most deare (as to the most) and pleasant ought to bee, 
How could this tender corps withstand the cruell Hght 
Of furious death, that wonts to fray the stoutest with his sight ? 
How could thy dainty youth agree with willing hart 
In this so fowle infected place (to dwell,) where now thou art ? 
Where spitefull Fortune hath appoynted thee to bee 
The dainty foode of greedy woormes, vnworthy sure of thee. 
Alas, alas, alas, what neded now anew 
My wonted sorowes, doubled twise, agayne thus to renewe : 
Which both the tyme and eke my pacient long abode 
Should now at length have quenched quite, and vnder foote 

haue trode ? 

Ah wretch and caytiue that I am, euen when I thought 
To find my painefull passions salue, I myst the thing I sought . 
And to my mortall harme the fatall knyfe I grounde, 
That gaue to me so deepe, so wyde, so cruell dedly wounde. 
Ah thou, most fortunate and most vnhappy tombe ! 
For thou shall beare, from age to age, witnes in time to comme 
Of the most perfect league betwixt a payre of louers, 
That were the most vnf ortundte and fortunate of others ; 
Receaue the latter sigh, receaue the latter pang, 
Of the most cruell of cruell slaues that wrath and death ay 


And when our Juliet would continue still her mone, 
The fryer and the seruant fled, and left her there alone ; 
For they a sodayne noyse fast by the place did hcare, 
And lest they might be taken there, greatly they stoode in feare. 
When Juliet saw herselfe left in the vaulte alone, 
That freely she might worke her will, for let or stay was none, 
Then once for all she tooke the cause of all her harmes, 
The body dead of Romeus, and claspd it in her armes ; 
Then she with earnest kisse sufficiently did proue, 
That more then by the feare of death, she was attaint by loue; 
And then, past deadly feare, for lyfe ne had she care 
With hasty hand she did draw out the dagger that he ware. 
" O welcome death, (quoth she,) end of vnhappines, 
That also art begginning of assured happincs, 
Feare not to darte me nowe, thy stripe no longer stay, 
Prolong no longer now my lyfe, 1 hate this long delaye ; 

Z 2 


For straight my parting sprite, out of this carkas fled, 

At ease shall finde my Romeus sprite emong so many ded. 

And thou, my louing lord, Romeus, my trusty feere, 

If knowledge yet doe rest in thee, if thou these woordes dost heer, 

Receue thou her, whom thou didst loue so lawfully, 

That causd alas ! thy violent death, although vnwillingly ; 

And therfore willingly offers to thee her gost, 

To thend that no wight els but thou might haue iust cause to 


Thinioying .of my loue, which ay I haue reserved 
Free from the rest, bound vnto thee, that hast it well deserued: 
That so our parted sprites from light that we see here, 
In place of endlesse light and blisse may euer Hue y-fere." 

These said, her ruthlesse hand through gyrt her valiant hart : 
Ah, Ladies, helpe with teares to wayle the ladies dedly smart ! 
She grones, she stretcheth out her limmes, she shuttes her eyes, 
And from her corps the sprite doth flye ; what should I say ? 

she dyes. 

The watchemen of the towne the whilst are passed by, 
And through the gates the candel light within the tomb they 


Wherby they did suppose inchaunters to be comme, 
That with prepared instrumentes had opend wide the.tombe, 
In purpose to abuse the bodies of the ded, 
Which, by their science ayde abusde, do stand them oft in sted. 
Theyr curious harts desire the trueth herof to know ; 
Then they by certaine steppes descend, where they do fynd 


In clasped armes y-wrapt the husband and the wyfe, 
In whom as yet they seemd to see somme certaine markes of 


But when more curiously with leysure they did vew, 
The certainty of both theyr deathes assuredly they knew : 
Then here and there so long with carefull eye they sought, 
That at the length hidden they found the murthrers ; so they 


In dungeon depe that night they lodgde them vnder grounde ; 
The next day do they tell the prince the mischefe that they 


The newes was by and by throughout the towne dyspred, 
Both of the takyng of the fryer, and of the two found ded. 
Thether might you haue scene whole housholdes forth to ronne, 
For to the tombe where they did heare this wonder straunge was 


The great, the small, the riche, the poore, the yong, the olde, 
With hasty pace do ronne to see, but rew when they beholde. 


And that the murtherers to all men might be knowne, 

Like as the murders brute abrode through all the towne was 


The prince did straight ordaine, the corses that were founde 
Should be set forth vpon a stage hye raysed from the grounde, 
Right in the selfe same fourme, (shewde forth to all mens sight,) 
That in the hollow valt they haa been found that other night ; 
And eke that Romeus man and fryer Lawrence should 
Be openly examined ; for els the people would 
Have murmured, or faynd there were some wayghty cause 
Why openly they were not calde, and so conuict by lawes. 

The holy fryer now, and reuerent by his age, 
In great reproche set to the shew vpon the open stage, 
(A thing that ill beseemde a man of siluer heares) 
His beard as whyte as mylke he bathes with great fast-falling 

teares : 

Whom straight the dredfull judge commaundeth to declare 
Both, how this murther hath been donne, and who the murth- 

rers are; 

For that he nere the tombe was found at howres vnfitte, 
And had with hym those yron tooles for such a purpose fitte. 
The frier was of liuely sprite and free of speche, 
The judges wordes appald him not, ne were his wittes to seeche. 
But with aduised heed a whyle fyrst did he stay, 
And then with bold assured voyce aloude thus gan he say : 
" My lordes, there is not one emong you, set togyther, 
So that, (affection set aside,) by wisdome he consider 
My former passed lyfe, and this my extreme age, 
And eke this heauy sight, the wreke of frantike Fortunes rage, 
But that, amased much, cloth wonder at this chaunge, 
So great, so sodainly befalne, vnlooked for, and straunge. 
For I that in the space of Ix yeres and tenne, 
Since first I did begin, to soone, to Icadc my lyfe with men, 
And with the worldes vaine thinges myselfe I did acquaint, 
Was neuer yet, in open place, at any time attaynt 
With any cryme, in waight as heauy as a rushe, 
Ne is there any stander by can make me gylty blushe ; 
(Although before the face of God I doe confesse 
Myselfe to be the sinfulst wretch of all this mighty pressc.) 
When readiest I am and likeliest to make 
My great accomnt, which no man els for me shall vndertake ; 
When wormen, the earth, and death, doe cyte me euery howre, 
Tappeare before the Judgment seate of'euerlasting powre, 
And falling ripe I teppe vpon my graues brinke, 
Euen then, am I, most wretched wight, ( as eche of you doth 

tiiinke, ) 


Through my most haynous deede, with hedlong sway throwne 


In greatest daunger of my lyfe, and domage of renowne. 
The spring, whence in your head this new conceite doth ryse, 
And in your hart increaseth still your vayne and wrong sur- 

May be the lingeries of these teares of myne, (percase,) 
That so aboundantly downe fall by eyther syde my face ; 
As though the memory in scriptures were not kept 
That Christ our sauiour himselfe for ruth and pittie wept : 
And more, whoso will reade, y-written shall he fynde, 
That teares are as true messengers of mans vngylty mynde. 
Or els, (a liker proofe,) that I am in the cryme, 
You say these present yrons are, and the suspected tyme : 
As though all howres alike had not been made aboue ! 
Did Christ not say, the day had twelue ? whereby he sought to 


That no respect of howres ought iustly to be had, 
But at all times men haue the choyce of dooing good or bad ; 
Euen as the sprite of God the hartes of men doth guyde, 
Or as it leaueth them to stray from Vertues path asyde. 
As for the yrons that were taken in my hand, 
As now I deeme, I neede not seeke to make ye vnderstande 
To what use yron first was made, when it began ; 
How of it selfe it helpeth not, ne yet can helpe a man. 
The thing that hurteth is the malice of his will, 
That such indifferent thinges is wont to vse and order yll. 
Thus much I thought to say, to cause you so to know 
That neither these my piteous teares, though nere so fast they 


Ne yet these yron tooles, nor the suspected time, 
Can iustly proue the murther donne, or damne me of the 

cryme : 

No one of these hath powre, ne powre haue all the three, 
To make me other then I am, how so I seeme to be. 
But sure my conscience, (if so my gylt deserue,) 
For an appeacher, witnesse, and a hangman, eke should serue ; 
For through mine age, whose heares of long time since were 


And credyt greate that I was in, with you, in time tofore, 
And eke the soiorne short that I on earth must make, 
That euery day and howre do loke my iourney hence to take, 
My conscience inwardly should more torment me thrise, 
Then all the outward deadly payne that all you could deuyse. 
But God I prayse, I feele no worme that gnaweth me, 
And from remorses pricking sting I ioy that I am free : 


I meane, as touching this, wherwith you troubled are, 
Wherwith you should be troubled still, if I nay speche should 

spare. , 

But to the end I may set all your hartes at rest, 
And plucke out all the scrupuls that are rooted in your brest, 
Which might perhappes henceforth increasing more and more, 
Within your conscience also increase your curelessc sore, 
I sweare by yonder heauens, whither I hope to clym, 
And for a witnes of my woordes my hart attesteth him, 
Whose mighty hand doth welde them in their vyolent sway, 
And on the rolling stormy seas the heauy earth doth stay 
That I will make a short and eke a true dyscourse 
Of this most wofull Tragedy, and shew both thend and sourse 
Of theyr vnhappy death, which you perchaunce no lesse 
Will wonder at then they (alas!) poore louers in distresse, 
Tormented much in mynd, not forcing liuely breath, 
With strong and patient hart dyd yelde themselfe to cruell death : 
Such was the mutuull loue wherin they burned both, 
And of theyr promystfrendshippes fayth so stedy was the troth." 

And then the auncient frier began to make dyscourse, 
Euen from the first, of Komeus and Juliets amours ; 
How first by sodayn sight the one the other chose, 
And twixt them selfe dyd knitte the knotte which onely death 

might lose ; 

And how, within a while, with hotter loue ppprest, 
Vnder confessions cloke, to him themselfe they haue addrest ; 
And how with solemne othes they haue protested both, 
That they in hart are maried by promise and by othe ; 
And that except he graunt the rytes of church to geue, 
They shal be forst by earnest loue in sinneful state to Ihie : 
Which thing when he had wayde, and when he vnderstoode 
That the agreement twixt diem twayn was lawfull, honest, 


And all thinges peysed well, it seemed meete to bee 
For lyke they were of noblenesse, age, riches, and degree ; 
Hoping that so at length ended myght be the stryfe 
Of Montagewes and Capelets, that led in hate theyr lyfe, 
Thinking to woofke a woorke well-pleasing in Gods sight, 
In secret shrift he wedded them ; and they the selfe same night 
Made vp the manage in house of Capelet, 
As well doth know (if she be askt) the nurce of Juliet. 
He told how Komeus fled for reuing Tybalts lyfe, 
And how, the whilst, Paris the Earle was offred to hys wyfe ; 
And how the lady dyd so great a wrong dysdayne, 
And how to shrift vnto his church she came to him agayne ; 


And how she fell flat downe before his feete aground, 

And how she sware, her hand and blody knife should wound 

Her harmeles hart, except that he some meane dyd fynde 

To dysappoynt the Earles attempt : and spotles saue her mynde. 

Wherfore, he doth conclude, (although that long before) 

By thought of death and age he had refusde for euermore 

The hidden artes which he delighted in, in youth, 

Yet wonne by her importunenes, and by his inward ruth, 

And fearing lest she would her cruell vowe dyscharge, 

His closed conscience he" had opened and set at large ; 

And rather did he choose to suffer for one tyme 

His soule to be spotted somdeale with small and easy cryme, 

Then that the lady should, (wery of liuing breath,) 

Murther her selfe, and daunger much her seely soule by 

death : 

Wherfore his auncient artes agayne he puttes in ure, 
A certain powder gaue he her, that made her slepe so sure, 
That they her held for dead ; and how that frier John 
With letters sent to Romeus to Mantua is gone ; 
Of whom he knoweth not as yet, what is becomme ; 
And how that dead he found his frend within her kindreds 


He thinkes with poyson strong, for care the yong man sterude, 
Supposing Juliet dead ; and how that Juliet hath carude, 
With Romeus dagger drawne her hart, and yelded breath, 
Desyrous to accompany her louer after death ; 
And how they could not saue her, so they were afeard, 
And hidde themselfe, dreding the noyse of watchmen, that 

they heard. 

And for the proof'e of thys his tale, he doth desyer 
The iudge to send forthwith to Mantua for the fryer, 
To learne his cause of stay, and eke to reade his letter ; 
And, more beside, to thend that they might iudge his cause the 


He prayeth them depose the nurce of Juliet, 
And Romeus man, whom at vnwares besyde the tombe he 


Then Peter, not so much, as erst he was, dysmayd : 
My lordes, (quoth he,) too true is all that fryer Laurence sayd. 
And when my maister went into my mystres graue, 
This letter that I offer you, vnto me then he gaue, 
Which he himselfe dyd write, as I do vnderstand, 
And charged me to offer them vnto his fathers hand. 
The opened packet doth conteyne in it the same 
That erst the skilfull frier said ; and eke the wretches name 


That had at his request the dedly poyson sold, 

The price of-it, and why he bought, his letters plaine haue tolde. 

The case vnfolded so and open now it lyes, 

That they could wish no better proofe, saue seeing it with theyr 


So orderly all thinges, were tolde, and tryed out, 
That in the prease there was not one that'stoode at all in 


The wyser sort, to councell called by Escalus, 
Here geven aduyse, and Escalus sagely decreeth thus : 
The nurse of Juliet is banisht in her age, 
Because that from the parentes she dyd hyde the manage, 
Which might have wrought much good had it in time been 


Where now by her concealing it a mischeefe great is growne ; 
And Peter for, he dyd obey his masters hest, 
In woonted freedome had good leaue to lead his lyfe in rest : 
Thapothecary high is hanged by the throte, 
And, for the paynes he tooke with him, the hangman had his 


But now what shall betyde of this gray-bearded syre, 
Of fryer Lawrence thus araynde, that good barefooted fryre ? 
Because that many time he woorthely did serue 
The common welth, and in his lyfe was neuer found to swerue, 
He was discharged quyte, and no marke of defame 
Did seem to blot or touch at all the honour of his name. 
But of himselfe he went into an Hermitage, 
Two myles from Veron towne, where he in prayers past forth 

his age ; 

Tyll that from earth to heauen his heauenly sprite dyd flye : 
Fyue years he liued an Hermite, and an Hcrmitc dyd he dye. 
The straungnes of the chaunce, when tryed was the truth, 
The Montagewes and Capelets hath moued so to ruth, 
That with their emptyed teares theyr choler and theyr rage 
Has emptied quite; and they, whose wrath no wisdom could 


Nor threatning of the prince, ne mynde of murthers donne, 
At length, (so mighty Joue it would) by pitye they are wonne. 
And lest that length of time might from our myndes rcmoue 
The memory of so perfect, sound, and so approued loue, 
The bodies dead, remoued from vaulte where they did dye, 
In stately tombe, on piUerx great of marble, rayse they hye. 
On euery side aboue were set, and eke beneath, 
Great store of cunning Epitaphcs, in honor of theyr death. 


And euen at this day the tombe is to be scene ;* 
So that among the monuments that in Verona been, 
There is no monument more worthy of the sight, 
Than is the tombe of Juliet and Romeus her knight. 

fl Imprinted at London in 

Flete strete 'within Temble barre, at 

the signe of the hand and starre, by 

Richard. Tottitt the xix day of 

Nouember. An. do. 1562. 

* Breval says, in his Travelt, 1726, that when he was at Verona, his guide 
shewed him an old building, then converted into a house for orphans, in which 
the tomb of these unhappy lovers had been ; but it was then destroyed. 



* COMEDY OF ERRORS.] Shakspeare might have taken the 
general plan of this comedy from a translation of the Mencechmi 
of Plautus, by W. W. i. e. (according to Wood) William War- 
ner, in 1595, whose version of the acrostical argument hereafter 
quoted is as follows : 

" Two twinne borne sonnes a Sicill marchant had, 
" Menechmus one, and Sosicles the other ; 

" The first his father lost, a little lad ; 
" The grandsire namde the latter like his brother : 

" This (growne a man) long travell took to seeke 
" His brother, and to Epidamnum came, 

" Where th* other dwelt inricht, and him so like, 
" That citizens there take him for the same : 

" Father, wife, neighbours, each mistaking either, 
" Much pleasant error, ere they meet togither." 
Perhaps the last of these lines suggested to Shakspeare the title 
for his piece. 

See this translation of the Men&chmi, among six old Plays 
on "which Shakspeare founded^ &c. published by S. Leacroft, 
Charing Cross. 

At the beginning of an address Ad Lectorem, prefixed to the 
errata of .Decker's Satiromastix, &c. 1602, is the following 
passage, which apparently alludes to the title of the comedy 
before us : 

" In steed of the Trumpets sounding thrice before the play 
begin, it shall not be amisse (for him that will read) first to 
beholde this short Comedy of Errors, and where the greatest 
enter, to give them instead of a hisse, a gentle correction." 


I suspect this and all other plays where much rhyme is used, 
and especially long hobbling verses, to have been among Shak- 
speare's mere early productions. BLACKSTONE. 

I am possibly singular in thinking that Shakspeare was not 
under the slightest obligation, in forming this comedy, to War- 
ner's translation of the Mencechmi. The additions of Erotes 
and Sereptus, which do not occur in that translation, and he 
could never invent, are, alone, a sufficient inducement to be- 
lieve that he was no way indebted to it. But a further and more 
convincing proof is, that he has not a name, line, or word, from 
the old play, nor any one incident but what must, of course, be 
common to every translation. Sir William Blackstone, I observe, 
suspects " this and all other plays where much rhyme is used, 
and especially long hobbling verses, to have been among Shak- 
speare's more early productions." But I much doubt whether 
any of these " long hobbling verses" have the honour of pro- 
ceeding from his pen : and, in fact, the superior elegance and 
harmony of his language is no less distinguishable in his earliest 
than his latest production. The truth is, if any inference can 

be drawn from the most striking dissimilarity of style, a tissue 
as different as silk and worsted, that this comedy, though boasting 
the embellishments of our author's genius, in additional words, 
lines, speeches, and scenes, was not originally his, but proceeded 
from some inferior playwright, who was capable of reading the 
Mencechmi without the help of a translation, or, at least, did 
not make use of Warner's. And this I take to have been the 
case, not only with the three Parts of King Henry VI. ( though 
not, perhaps, exactly in the way, or to the extent, maintained 
by a late editor,) but with The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Loves 
Labour's Lost, and King Richard II. in all which pieces Shak- 
speare's new work is as apparent as the brightest touches of 
Titian would be on the poorest performance of the veriest can- 
vass-spoiler that ever handled a brush. The originals of these 
plays were never printed, and may be thought to have been put 
into his hands by the manager, for the purpose of alteration and 
improvement, which we find to have been an ordinary practice 
of the theatre in his time. We are therefore no longer to look 
upon the above " pleasant and fine conceited comedie," as en- 
titled to a situation among the " six plays on which Shakspeare 
founded his Measure for Measure" &c. of which I should hope 
to see a new and improved edition. RITSON. 

This comedy, I believe, was written in 1593. See An At- 
tempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. 



Solinus, Duke of Ephesus. 
^Egeon, a Merchant of Syracuse. 

Antipholuso/Syracuse, > 

' ) unknown to each other. 

Dromioo/'Ephesus, > Twin Brothers, and Attend- 

Dromioo/ ? Syracuse, j ants on the two Antipholus's. 

Balthazar, a Merchant. 

Angelo, a Goldsmith. 

A Merchant, Friend to Antipholus of Syracuse. 

Pinch, a Schoolmaster, and a Conjurer. 

./Emilia, Wife to ^Egeon, an Abbess at Ephesus. 
Adriana, Wife to Antipholus of Ephesus. 
Luciana, her Sister. 
Luce, her Servant. 
A Courtezan. 

Gaoler, Officers, and other Attendants. 
SCENE, Ephesus. 

1 In the old copy, these brothers are occasionally styled, Anti- 
pholus Erotes, or Errotis; and Antipholus Sereptus; meaning, 
perhaps, erraticus, and surreptus. One of these twins wan- 
dered in search of his brother, who had been forced from Emilia 
by fishermen of Corinth. The following acrostick is the argu- 
ment to the Mencechmi of Plautus Delph. Edit. p. 654 : 

" Mercator Siculus, cui erant gemini filii, 

" Ei, surrepto altero, mors obtigit. 

" Nomen surreptitii illi indit qui domi est 

" Avus paternus, facit Mensechmum Sosiclem. 

" Et is germanum postquam adolevit, quaeritat 

" Circum omnes oras. Post Epidamnum devenit : 

" Hie fuerat auctus ille surreptitius. 

" Menaechmum civem credunt omnes advenam : 

" Eumque appellant, meretrix, uxor, et socer. 

" li se cognoscunt fratres postremo invicem." 
The translator ; W. W. calls the brothers, Menaechmus Sosicles, 
and Mencechmus the traveller. Whencesoever Shakspeare adopt- 
ed erraticus and surreptus , ( which either he or his editors have 
mis-spelt, ) these distinctions were soon dropped, and throughout 
the rest of the entries the twins are styled of Syracuse or Ephesus. 




A Hall in the Duke's Palace. 

Enter Duke, ^GEON, Gaoler, Officers, and other 

Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall, 
And, by the doom of death, end woes and all. 

DUKE. Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more; 
I am not partial, to infringe our laws : 
The enmity and discord, which of late 
Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke 
To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen, 
Who, wanting gilders to redeem their lives, 
Have sealed his rigorous statutes with theirbloods, 
Excludes all pity from our'ning looks. 
For, since the mortal and intestine jars 
'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us, 
It hath in solemn synods been decreed, 
Both by the Syracusans and ourselves, 
To admit no traftick to our adverse towns : 
Nay, more, 

If any, born at Ephesus, be seen 
At any Syracusan marts and fairs, 
Again, If any Syracusan born, 
Come to the bay of Ephesus, lie dies, 
His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose ; 
Unless a thousand marks be levied, 


To quit the penalty, and to ransome him. 
Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, 
Cannot amount unto a hundred marks ; 
Therefore, by law thou art condemn'd to die. 

JEGE. Yet this my comfort ; when your words 

are done, 
My woes end likewise with the evening sun. 

DUKE. Well, Syracusan, say, in brief, the cause 
Why thou departedst from thy native home : 
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus. 

JEGE. A heavier task could not have been im- 


Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable : 
Yet, that the world may witness, that my end 
Was wrought by nature, not by vile oifence, 1 
I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave. 
In Syracuse was I born ; and wed 
Unto a woman happy but for me, 

1 Was "wrought by nature, not by vile offence, ]| All his 
hearers understood that the punishment he was about to undergo 
was in consequence of no private crime, but of the publick 
enmity between two states, to one of which he belonged: but 
it was a general superstition amongst the ancients, that every 
great and sudden misfortune was the vengeance of heaven pur- 
suing men for their secret offences. Hence the sentiment put 
into the mouth of the speaker was proper. By my past life, 
(says he,) which I am going to relate, the world may under- 
stand, that my present death is according to the ordinary course 
of Providence, [wrought by nature,'} and not the effects of divine 
vengeance overtaking me for my crimes, [not by vile offence."] 


The real meaning of this passage is much less abstruse than 
that which Warburton attributes to it. By nature is meant 
natural affection. JEgeou came to Ephesus in search of his son, 
and tells his story, in order to show that his death was in con- 
sequence of natural affection for his child, not of any criminal 
intention. M. MASON. 


And by me too, 2 had not our hap been bad. 
With her I liv'd in joy ; our wealth increas'd, 
By prosperous voyages I often made 
To Epidamnum, till my factor's death ; 
And he (great care of goods at random left) 3 
Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse : 
From whom my absence was not six months old, 
Before herself (almost at fainting, under 
The pleasing punishment that women bear,) 
Had made provision for her following me, 
And soon, and safe, arrived where I was. 
There she had not been long, but she became 
A joyful mother of two goodly sons ; 
And, which was strange, the one so like the other, 
As could not be distinguish'd but by names. 
That very hour, and in the selfsame inn, 
A poor mean woman 4 was delivered 
Of such a burden, male twins, both alike : 
Those, for their parents were exceeding poor, 
I bought, and brought up to attend my sons. 
My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys, 
Made daily motions for our home return : 

* And by me too,] Too, which is not found in the original 
copy, was added by the editor of the second folio, to complete 
the metre. MALONE. 

3 And he (great care of goods at random left)"] Surely we 
should read 

And the great care of goods at random left 
Drew me &c. 

The text, as exhibited in the old copy, can scarcely be recon- 
ciled to grammar. MALONE. 

A parenthesis makes the present reading clear : 
And he (great care of goods at random left) 
Drew me &c. M. MASON. 

4 A poor mean woman ~- ] Poor is not in the old copy. It 
was inserted, for the sake of the metre, by the editor of the 
second folio. MALONE. 

VOL. xx. 2 A 


Unwilling I agreed ; alas, too soon. 
We came aboard : 

A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd, 
Before the always-wind-obeying deep 
Gave any tragick instance of our harm : 
But longer did we not retain much hope ; 
For what obscured light the heavens did grant 
Did but convey unto our fearful minds 
A doubtful warrant of immediate death ; 
Which, thoughmyself would gladly have embraced, 
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife, 
Weeping before for what she saw must come, 
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes, 
That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to fear, 
Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me. 
And this it was, for other means was none, 
The sailors sought for safety by our boat, 
And left the ship, then sinking-ripe to us ; 
My wife, more careful for the latter-born, 
Had fastened him unto a small spare mast, 
Such as sea-faring men provide for storms j 
To him one of the other twins was bound, 
Whilst I had been like heedful of the other. 
The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I, 
Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fix'd, 
Fasten* d ourselves at either end the mast ; 
And floating straight, obedient to the stream, 
Were carried towards Corinth, as we thought. 
At length the sun, gazing upon the earth, 
Dispers'd those vapours that offended us ; 
And, by the benefit of his wish'd light, 
The seas wax'd calm, and we discovered 
Two ships from far making amain to us, 
Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this : 
But ere they came, O, let me say no more ! 
Gather the sequel by that went before. 

sc.i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 353 

DUKE. Nay, forward, old man, do not break off 

For we may pity, though not pardon thee. 

. O, had the gods done so, I had not now 
Worthily term'd them merciless to us! 
For, ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues, 
We were encountered by a mighty rock ; 
Which being violently borne upon, 5 
Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst, 
So that, in this unjust divorce of us, 
Fortune had left to both of us alike 
What to delight in, what to sorrow for. 
Her part, poor soul ! seeming as burdened 
With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe, 
Was carried with more speed before the wind ; 
And in our sight they three were taken up 
By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought. 
At length, another ship had seiz'd on us ; 
And, knowing whom it was. their hap to save, 
Gave helpful welcome 6 to their shipwreck'd guests; 
And would have reft the fishers of their prey, 
Had not their bark been very slow of sail, 
And therefore homeward did they bend their 


Thus have you heard me sever'd from my bliss ; 
That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd, 
To tell sad stories of my own misnaps. 

* borne upon,] The original copy reads borne up. The 
additional syllable was supplied by the editor of the second folio. 


* Gave helpful welcome ] Old copy healthful welcome. 
Corrected by the editor of the second folio. So in King 
Henry IV. P.I: 

" And gave the tongue a helpful welcome." MALONK. 

2 A 2 


DUKE. And, for the sake of them thou sorrowest 


Do me the favour to dilate at full 
What hath befall'n of them, and thee, till now. 7 

JE,GE. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,* 
At eighteen years became inquisitive 
After his brother ; and importuned me, 
That his attendant, (for his case was like, 9 
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name,) 
Might bear him company in the quest of him : 
Whom whilst I labour'd of a love to see, 
I hazarded the loss of whom I lov'd. 
Five summers have I spent in furthest Greece, 
Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia, 1 
And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus ; 
Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought, 

7 and thee, till notv, ] The first copy erroneously reads 

and they. The correction was made in the second folio. 


8 My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,"] Shakspeare has 
here been guilty of a little forgetfulness. ^Egeon had said, page 
352, that the youngest son was that which his wife had taken 
care of: 

" My wife, more careful for the latter-born, 
" Had fasten'd him upon a small spare mast." 
He himself did the same by the other ; and then each, fixing 
their eyes on whom their care was fixed, fastened themselves at 
either end of the mast. M. MASON. 

9 for his case tvas like,'] The original copy has so his. 

The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. 


1 Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia,"] In the northern 
parts of England this word is still used instead of quite,fulty, per- 
fectly, completely. So, in Coriolanus: 

*' This is clean kam." 

Again, in Julius Caesar : 

" Clean from the purpose of the things themselves." 
The reader will likewise find it in the 77th Psalm. 


se. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 355 

Or that, or any place that harbours men. 
But here must end the story of my life ; 
And happy were I in my timely death, 
Could all my travels warrant me they live. 

DUKE. Hapless ^Egeon, whom the fates have 


To bear the extremity of dire mishap ! 
Now, trust me, were it not against our laws, 
Against my crown, my oath, my dignity, 
Which princes, would they, may not disannul, 
My soul should sue as advocate for thee. 
But, though thou art adjudged to the death, 
And passed sentence may not be recall'd, 
But to our honour's great disparagement, 
Yet will I favour thee in what I can : 
Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day, 
To seek thy help 2 by beneficial help : 
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus ; 
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum, 
And live ; if not, 3 then thou art doom'd to die : - 
Gaoler, take him to thy custody, 

GAOL. I will, my lord. 

* help ] Mr. Pope and some other modern editors 

read To seek thy life, &c. But the jingle has much of Shak- 
tpeare's manner. MALONE. 

To seek thy life, can hardly be the true reading, for, in ancient 
Language, it signifies a base endeavour to take life away. Thus, 
Antonio says of Shylock, 
" He seeks my life." 

I believe, therefore, the word help, was accidentally re- 
peated by the compositor, and that our author wrote, 
To seek thy help by beneficial means. STEEVENS. 


if not,] Old copy no. Corrected in the second 

lio. >IALONE. 


. Hopeless, and helpless, doth JEgeou wend,* 
But to procrastinate his lifeless end. \_Exeunt. 

A publick Place. 

Enter ANTIPHOLUS and DROMIO of Syracuse, and 
a Merchant. 

MER. Therefore, give out, you are of Epidamnum 9 
Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate. 
This very day, a Syracusan merchant 
Is apprehended for arrival here ; 
And, not being able to buy out his life, 
According to the statute of the town, 
Dies ere the weary sun set in the west. 5 
There is your money that I had to keep. 

ANT. S. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host, 
And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee. 
Within this hour it will be dinner-time : 
Till that, I'll view the manners of the town, 
Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings, 
And then return, and sleep within mine inn ; 
For with long travel I am stiff and weary. 
Get thee away. 

-ivend,~] i. e. go. An obsolete word. So, in A Mict- 

summer's- Night's Dream : 

" And back to Athens shall the lovers mend." 


4 ere the weary sun set in the ivest."] So, in King John : 

" the feeble and day-iuearied sun.'* 

Again, in King Richard III: 

** The tueary sun hath made a golden set." STEEVENS. 

c. it. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 357 

DRO. S. Many a man would take you atyour word, 
And go indeed, having so good a mean. 

[Exit DRO. S. 

ANT. S. A trusty villain, 6 sir ; that very oft, 
When I am dull with care and melancholy, 
Lightens my humour with his merry iests. 
What, will you walk with me about tne town, 
And then go to my inn, ami dine with me ? 

MER. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,. 
Of whom I hope to make much benefit; 
I crave your pardon. Soon, at five o'clock, 
Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart, 
And afterwards consort you till bed-time ; 7 
My present business calls me from you now. 

ANT.S. Farewell till then : I will go lose myself, 
And wander up and down, to view the city. 

MER. Sir, I commend you to your own content. 

[Exit Merchant. 

ANT. S. He that commends me to my own con- 

Commends me to the thing I cannot get. 
I to the world am like a drop of water, 
That in the ocean seeks another drop ; 

' A trusty villain,] i. e. servant. DOUCE. 

' And afterwards consort you //// bed-time ;J We should read, 
I believe, 

And afterwards consort with you till bed-time. 
So r in Romeo and Juliet : 

" Mercutio, thou consort" st with Romeo." MALONK. 

There is no need of emendation. The old reading is sup- 
ported by the following passage in Love's Labours Lost, Act II. 
sc. i : 

" Sweet health and fair desires consort your grace." 
Again in Romeo and Juliet : 

" Thou wretched boy, that didst consort him here ." 



Who, falling there to find his fellow forth, 
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself: 
So, I, to find a mother, and a brother, 
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself. 

Enter DROMIO q/^Ephesus. 

Here comes the almanack of my true date. 
"What now ? How chance, thou art return'd so soon? 

DRO. E. Return'd so soon! rather approach' d 

too late ; 

The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit ; 
The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell, 
My mistress made it one upon my cheek: 
She is so hot, because the meat is cold ; 
The meat is cold, because you come not home ; 
You come not home, because you have no stomach ; 
You have no stomach, having broke your fast j 
But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray, 
Are penitent for your default to-day. 

ANT. S. Stop in your wind, sir ; tell me this, I 

Where have you left the money that I gave you ? 

DRO. E. O, six-pence, that I had o* Wednesday 


To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper ; 
The saddler had it, sir, I kept it not. 

ANT. S. I am not in a sportive humour now : 
Tell me, and dally not, where is the money? 
We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust 
So great a charge from thine own custody ? 

DRO. E. 1 pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner r 
I from my mistress come to you in post ; 
If I return, I shall be post indeed ; 

sr. //. COMEDY OF ERRORS. S59 

For she will score your fault upon my pate. 8 
Methinks, your maw, like mine, should be your 

clock, 9 
And strike you home without a messenger. 

ANT. S. Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out 

of season ; 

Reserve them till a merrier hour than this : 
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee ? 

DRO. E. To me, sir ? why you gave no gold to 

ANT. S. Come on, sir knave, have done your 

And tell me, how thou hast disposed thy charge. 

DRO. E. My charge was but to fetch you from 

the mart 

Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner ; 
My mistress, and her sister, stay for you. 

* / shall be post indeed; 

For she will score your fault upon my pate.~] Perhaps, 
before writing was a general accomplishment, a kind of rough 
reckoning, concerning wares issued out of a shop, was kept by 
chalk or notches on a post, till it could be entered on the books 
of a trader. So, in Every Man in his Humour, Kitely, the mer- 
chant, making his jealous enquiries concerning the familiarities 
used to his wife, Cob answers, " if I saw any body to be kiss'd, 
unless they would have kiss'd the post in the middle of the ware- 
house," &c. S i Ki-VKNs. 

So, in Every Woman in her Humour, 1609: 

'* Host. Out of my doors, knave, thou enterest not my doors ; 
I have no chalk in my house ; my posts shall not be guarded 
with a little sing-song." MALONK. 

* Melhinks, your mow, like mine, should be your clock,] The 
old copy reads your cook. Mr. Pope made the change. 

So, I'lautus : 

*' me puero uterus erat solarium." 

See Aul. (Jell. L. III. ch. iii. STEEVENS. 


ANT. S. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me, 
In what safe place you have bestow'd my money j 
Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours, 1 
That stands on tricks when I am undispos'd : 
Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me ? 

DRO. E. I have some marks of yours upon my 


Some of my mistress* marks upon my shoulders, 
But not a thousand marks between you both. 
If I should pay your worship those again, 
Perchance, you will not bear them patiently. 

ANT.S. Thy mistress* marks! what mistress, slave, 
hast thou ? 

DRO. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the 

Phoenix ; 

She that doth fast, till you come home to dinner, 
And prays, that you will hie you home to dinner. 

ANT. S. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my 

Being forbid ? There, take you that, sir knave. 

DRO. E. What mean you,, sir ? for God's sake, 

hold your hands ; 
Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels. 

\Exit Duo. E. 

ANT. S. Upon my life, by some device or other, 
The villain is o'er-raught 2 of all my money. 

1 that merry sconce of yours ^\ Sconce is head. So, in 

Hamlet, Act V : " why does he suffer this rude knave now to 
knock him about the sconce ?" 

Again, in Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611: 

" 1 say no more, 

" But 'tis within this sconce to go beyond them.*' 


* o'er-raught ] That is, over-reached. JOHNSON. 


They say, this town is full of cozenage ; s 
As, nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye, 
Dark-working sorcerers, that change the mind, 
Soul-killing witches, that deform the body j* 

So, in Hamlet: 

" certain players 

" We o'er-ranght on the way.*' 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. VI. c. iii : 

'* Having by chance a close advantage view'd, 
" He o'er-raught him," &c. STEEVENS. 

3 They say, this town is full of cozenage ;] This was the 
character the ancients give of it. Hence Etps-ria aAsJ-i^asaaxa 
was proverbial amongst them. Thus Menander uses it, and 

E(f>scna ypa.u,p.3.1a, in the same sense. WAHBUHTON. 

4 As, nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye, 
Dark-working sorcerers, that change the mind, 
Soul-killing witches, that djbrm the body ;~\ Those, who 

attentively consider these three lines, must confess, that the poet 
intended the epithet given to each of these miscreants, should 
declare the power by which they perform their feats, and which 
would therefore be a just-characteristick of each of them. Thus, 
by nimble jugglers, we are taught, that they perform their tricks 
by slight of hand: and by soul-killing witches, we are informed, 
the mischief they do is by the assistance of the devil, to whom 
they have given their souls: but then, by dark-working sor- 
cerers, we are not instructed in the means by which they per- 
form their ends. Besides, this epithet agrees as well to witches 
as to them; and therefore certainly our author could not design 
this in their characteristiek. We should read : 

Drug-working sorcerers, that change the mind; 
and we know, by the history of ancient and modern superstition, 
that these kind of jugglers always pretended to work changes of 
the mind by these applications. WAKBUBTON. 

The learned commentator has endeavoured with much earnest- 
ness to recommend his alteration ; but, if I may judge of other 
apprehensions by my own, without great success. This inter- 
pretation of *nMl-kiUin<r IK forced and harsh. Sir T. Hanmer 
reads xiHil-xrlting, agreeable enough to the common opinion, but 
without such improvement M may justify the change. Perhaps 
the epithets have only been misplaced, und the line* should b 
read thus : 


Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks, 
And many such like liberties of sin : 5 

Soul-killing sorcerers, that change the mind, 
Dark-working witches, that deform the body; 
This change seems to remove all difficulties. 

By soul-kitting I understand destroying the rational faculties 
by such means as make men fancy themselves beasts. 


Dark-forking sorcerers, may only mean sorcerers who carry 
on their operations in the dark. Thus, says Bolingbroke, in The 
Second Part of King Henry VI : 

'* wizards know their times: 

** Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night," &c. 
Witches themselves, as well as those who employed them, 
were supposed to forfeit their souls by making use of a forbidden 
agency. In that sense they may be said to destroy the souls of 
others as well as their own. Hence, Sidney, in his Astrophel 
and Stella: 

" No witchcraft is so evill, as which mans minde de- 


The same compound epithet occurs in Christopher Middleton's 
Legend of Humphrey Duke ofGlocester, 1600: 

" They charge her, that she did maintaine and feede 
" Soul-killing witches, and convers'd with devils." 
The hint for this enumeration of cheats, &c. Shakspeare might 
have received from the old translation of the Mencechmi, 1595 : 
" For this assure yourselfe, this towne Epidamnum is a place of 
outrageous expences, exceeding in all ryot and lasciviousnesse ; 
and (I heare) as full of ribaulds, parasites, drunkards, catch- 
poles, cony-catchers, and sycophants, as it can hold : then for 
curtizans," &c. STEEVENS. 

*' liberties of sin:~\ Sir T. Hanmer reads libertines, 

which, as the author has been enumerating not acts but persons, 
seems right. JOHNSON. 

By liberties of sin, I believe, Shakspeare means licensed of- 
fenders, such as mountebanks, fortune-tellers, &c. who cheat 
with impunity. 

Thus, says Ascham, " I was once in Italic myself; but I 
thank God my abode there was but nine daies ; and yet I sawe 
in that little tyme in one citie (Venice) more libertie to sinne, 
than ever I yet heard tell of in London in nine yeare." 



If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner. 

I'll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave ; 

I greatly fear, my money is not safe. [Exit. 


A publick Place. 

ADR. Neither my husband,nor the slave return* d, 
That in such haste I sent to seek his master ! 
Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock. 

Luc. Perhaps, some merchant hath invited him, 
And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner. 
Good sister, let us dine, and never fret : 
A man is master of his liberty : 
Time is their master ; and, when they see time, 
They'll go, or come : If so, be patient, sister. 

ADR. Why should their liberty than ours be 
more ? 

Luc. Because their business still lies out o'door. 
ADR. Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill. 6 - 
Luc. O, know, he is the bridle of your will. 

- 1//.] This word, which the rhyme seems to counte- 
nance, was furnished by the editor of the second folio. The 
first has thus. MALONE. 


ADR. There's none, but asses, will be bridled so. 

Luc. Why headstrong liberty is lash'd with woe. 7 
There's nothing, situate under heaven's eye, 
But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky : 
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls, 
Are their males' subject, and at their controls : 

7 Adr. There's none, but asses, "will be bridled so. 

Luc. Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd "with woe."] Should it 
not rather be leash'd, i. e. coupled like a headstrong hound ? 

The high opinion I must necessarily entertain of the learned 
Lady's judgment, who furnished this observation, has taught me 
to be diffident of my own, which I am now to offer. 

The meaning of this passage may be, that those who refuse 
the bridle must bear the lash, and that woe is the punishment 
of headstrong liberty. It may be observed, however, that the 
seamen still use lash in the same sense as leash; as does Greene, 
in his Mamillia, 1593: " Thou didst counsel me to beware of 
love, and I was before in the lash" Again, in George Whet- 
stone's Castle of Delight, 1576: "Yet both in lashe at length 
this Cressid leaves." Lace was the old English word for a cord, 
from which verbs have been derived very differently modelled 
by the chances of pronunciation. So, in Promos and Cassandra, 

'* To thee Cassandra which dost hold my freedom in a 

When the mariner, however, lashes his guns, the sportsman 
leashes his dogs, the female laces her clothes, they all perform 
one act of fastening with a lace or cord. Of the same original 
is the word windlass, or more properly tnindlace, an engine, by 
which a lace or cord is wound upon a barrel. 

To lace likewise signified to bestow correction with a cord, or 
rope's end. So, in the Second Part of Decker's Honest Whore , 

" the lazy lowne 

" .Gets here hard hands, or lacd correction." 
Again, in The Two Angry Women of Abingdon, 1599: 

" So, now my back has room to reach ; I do not love to be 
laced in, when I go to lace a rascal." STEEVENS. 

I agree with the learned Lady who reads leash'd with woe. 



Men, more divine, the masters of all these, 8 
Lords of the wide world, and wild watry seas, 
Indued with intellectual sense and souls, 
Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls, 
Are masters to their females, and their lords : 
Then let your will attend on their accords. 

ADR. This servitude makes you to keep unwed. 
Luc. Not this, but troubles of the marriage bed. 

ADR. But, were you wedded, you would bear 
some sway. 

Luc. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey. 

ADR. How if your husband start some other 
where ? 9 

Luc. Till he come home again, I would forbear. 

Men, the masters #c.] The old copy has Man, the 
master &c. and in the next line Lord. Corrected by Sir T. 
Hanmer. MALONE. 

start some other where ?] I cannot but think, that our 

author wrote : 

start some other hare ? 

So, in Much Ado about Nothing, Cupid is said to be a good 
hare-Jinder. JOHNSON. 

I suspect that inhere has here the power of a noun. So, in 
King Lear : 

" Thou losest here, a better inhere to find.'* 
Again, in Tho. Drant's translation of Horace's Satires, 1567: 

" they ranged in eatche where, 

" No spoueailes knowne," &c. 

The sense is, How, if your husband fly off in pursuit of some 
other woman f The expression is used again, scene iii : 

" his eye doth homage otherwhere" 

Again, in Romeo and Juliet, Act I : 

" This is not Romeo, he's some otherwhere." 
Otherwhere signifies*/! other places. So, in King Henry VIII. 
Act II. sc. ii: 

" The king hath sent me otherwhere." 


ADR. Patience, unmov'd, no marvel though she 

pause ; l 

They can be meek, that have no other cause. 2 
A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity, 
We bid be quiet, 3 when we hear it cry ; 
But were we burden'd with like weight of pain, 
As much, or more, we should ourselves complain : 
So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee, 
With urging helpless patience 4 would'st relieve me : 
But, if thou live to see like right bereft, 
This fool-begg'd patience in thee will be left. 5 

Again, in Chapman's version of the second Book of Homer's 
Odyssey : 

" For we will never go, where lies our good, 
" Nor any other where; till" &c. STEEVENS, 

1 though she pause;'] To pause is to rest, to be in quiet. 


* They can be meek that have no other cause.] That is, who 
have no cause to be otherwise. M. MASON. 

3 A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity, 

We bid be quiet, &c.] Shakspeare has the same sentiment 
in Much Ado about Nothing, where Leonato says 

" men 

** Can counsel, and speak comfort to that grief 
" Which they themselves not feel." 
And again : 

" 'tis all men's office to speak patience 

" To those that wring under the load of sorrow." 


4 With urging helpless patience ] By exhorting me to 
patience, which affords no help. So, in our author's Venus and 

" As those poor birds that helpless berries saw." 


-fool-begged ] She seems to mean, by fool-begged 

** OO -J i-j 

patience, that patience which is so near to idiotical simplicity, 
that your next relation would take advantage from it to repre- 
sent you as a. fool, and beg the guardianship of your fortune. 


x. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 36? 

Luc. Well, I will marry one day, but to try ; 
Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh. 

Enter DROMIO o/'Ephesus. 

ADR. Say, is your tardy master now at hand ? 

DRO. E. Nay, he is at two hands with me, and 
that my two ears can witness. 

ADR. Say, didst thou speak with him ? know'st 
thou his mind ? 

DRO. E. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear: 
Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it. 

Luc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not 
feel his meaning ? 

DRO. E. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too 
well feel his blows ; and withal so doubtfully, that 
I could scarce understand them. 6 

ADR. But say, I pr'ythee, is he coming home ? 
It seems, he hath great care to please his wife. 

DRO. E. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn- 

ADR. Horn-mad, thou villain ? 

DRO. E. I mean not cuckold-mad ; but, sure, 

he's stark mad : 

When I desir'd him to come home to dinner, 
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold : 7 

* that I could scarce understand them."] i. e. that I 

could scarce stand under them. This quibble, poor as it is, 
eerns to have been a favourite with Shakspeare. It has been 
already introduced in The Two (jicntlrmen of Verona : 
" my stuff' understands me." STEEVENS. 

a thousand marks in frald:~\ The old copy reads a 

hundred marks. The correction wa* made in the second folio. 

VOL. XX. 2 B 


'Tis dinner-time, quoth I ; My gold, quoth he : 
Your meat doth burn, quoth I ; My gold, quoth he : 
Will you come home ? quoth I ; 8 My gold, quoth he : 
Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain ? 
The pig, quoth I, is burn'd ; My gold, quoth he : 
My mistress, sir, quoth I ; Hang up thy mistress ; 
I /mow not thy mistress ; out on thy mistress /' 

Luc. Quoth who? 

DRO. E. Quoth my master : 
/ know, quoth he, no house, no wife, no mistress ; 
So that my errand, due unto my tongue, 
I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders ; 
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there. 

ADR. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him 

DRO. E. Go back again, and be new beaten 

home ? 
For God's sake, send some other messenger. 

ADR. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across. 

DRO. E. And he will bless that cross with other 

beating : 
Between you I shall have a holy head. 

ADR. Hence, prating peasant ; fetch thy master 

DRO. E. Am I so round with you, as you with 
me, 1 

* Will you come home? quoth /;] The word home, which 
the metre requires, but is not in the authentick copy of thi$ 
play, was suggested by Mr. Capell. MALONE. 

9 / knovo not thy mistress ; out on thy mistress /] I suppose 
this dissonant line originally stood thus : 

/ know no mistress ; out upon thy mistress ! STEEVENS. 

1 Am I so round with you, as you with me,"] He plays upon 
the word round, which signified spherical, applied to himself, 

sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 369 

That like a football you do spurn me thus ? 
You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither: 
If I last in this service, you must case me in leather. 2 

Luc. Fye, how impatience lowreth in your face ! 

ADR. His company must do his minions grace, 
Whilst I at home starve for a merry look. 3 
Hath homely age the alluring beauty took 
From my poor cheek ? then ne hath wasted it : 
Are my discourses dull ? barren my wit ? 
If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd, 
Unkindness blunts it, more than marble hard. 
Do their gay vestments his affections bait ? 
That's not my fault, he's master of my state : 
What ruins are in me, that can be found 
By him not ruin'd r then is he the ground 
Of my defeatures : 4 My decayed fair 5 
A sunny look of his would soon repair : 

and unrestrained, or free in speech or action, spoken of his 
mistress. So the King, in Hamlet, bids the Queen be round 
with her son. JOHNSON. 

case me in leather.'] Still alluding to a football, the 

bladder of which is always covered with leather. STEEVENS. 

* Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.] So, in our poet's 
47th Sonnet: 

" When that mine eye \& famished for a look." 


4 Of my defeatures:] By defeatures is here meant alteration 
of features. At the end of this play the same word is used with 
a somewhat different signification. STEEVENS. 

1 My decayed fair ] Shakspeare uses the adjective 

gilt, as a substantive, lor what is gilt, and in this instance fair 
for fairness. To us xaAiv, is a similar expression. In A Mid- 
summer-Sight's tiream, the old quartos read: 

" Demetrius loves your Jair." 
Again, in Shakspeare'i (JHth Sonnet: 

" Before these bastard signs of fair were bom." 

2 B 2 


But, too unruly deer, 6 he breaks the pale, 

And feeds from home ; poor I am but his stale. 7 

Again, in his 83d Sonnet: 

" And therefore to your fair no painting set." 
Pure is likewise used as a substantive m The Shepherd to the 
Flowers, a song in England's Helicon, 1614 : 

" Do pluck your pure, ere Phoebus view the land." 


Fair is frequently used sulstantively by the writers of Shak- 
speare's time. So, Marston, in one of his Satires : 

" As the greene meads, whose native outward faire 
" Breathes sweet perfumes into the neighbour air." 


too unruly deer,] The ambiguity of deer and dear is 

borrowed, poor as it is, by Waller, in his Poem on The Ladies 
Girdle : 

" This was my heaven's extremest sphere, 

" The pale that held my lovely deer." JOHNSON. 

Shakspeare has played upon this word in the same manner in 
his Venus and Adonis : 

" Fondling, saith she, since I have hemm'd thee here, 

" Within the circuit of this ivory pale, 
" I'll be thy park, and thou shall be my deer, 

" Feed where thou wilt on mountain or on dale." 
The lines of Waller seem to have been immediately copied 
from these. MALONE. 

7 poor lam but his stale."] The word stale, in our author, 

used as a substantive, means not something offered to allure or 
attract, but something vitiated with use, something of which 
the best part has been enjoyed and consumed. JOHNSON. 

1 believe my learned coadjutor mistakes the use of the word 
stale on this occasion. " Stale to catch these thieves," in The 
Tempest, undoubtedly means a fraudulent bait. Here it seems 
to imply the same as stalking-horse, pretence. I am, says Adri- 
ana, but his pretended wife, the mask under which he covers his 
amours. So, in King John and Matilda, by Robert Davenport, 
1655, the Queen says to Matilda: 

" I am made your stale, 

" The king, the king your strumpet," &c. 
Again : 

" 1 knew I was made 

A stale for her obtaining." 

sc.i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 371 

Luc. Self-harming jealousy! fye, beat it hence. 

ADR. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dis- 

I know his eye doth homage otherwhere ; 
Or else, what lets it but he would be here ? 
Sister, you know, he promis'd me a chain ; 
Would that alone alone he would detain, 8 
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed ! 
I see, the jewel, best enamelled, 
Will lose his beauty ; and though gold 'bides still, 
That others touch, yet often touching will 
Wear gold : and so no man, that hath a name, 
But falshood and corruption doth it shame. 9 

Again, in The Misfortunes of Arthur, 1587: 

** Was I then chose and wedded for his stale, 
" To looke and gape for his retireless sayles 
" Puft back and flittering spread to every winde?" 
Again, in the old translation of the Mentechmi of Plautus, 
1595, from whence, perhaps, Shakspeare borrowed the ex- 
pression : 

" He makes me a stale and a laugliing-stock." 


In Greene's Art of Coney-catching, 1592, a stale is the con- 
federate of a thief; " he that faceth the man," or holds him in 
discourse. Again, in another place, " wishing all, of what estate 
soever, to beware of filthy lust, and such damnable stales," &c. 
A stale, in this last instance, means the pretended wife of a 

Perhaps, however, stale may have here the same meaning as 
the French word chaperon. Poor I am but the cover for hi* 
infidelity. COLLINS. 

Would that alone alone he -would detain,"] The first copy 

Would that alone a love Sfc. 
The correction was made in the second folio. MAJ.ONE. 

y I see, the jewel, best enamelled, 
Will lose his beauty ; and though gold 'bides still, 
That others touch, yet often touching vcill 
Wear gold: and so no man, that hath a name, 
But falshood and corruption doth it shame.'} The sense is 


Since that my beauty cannot please his eye, *> 
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die. 

X*uc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy ) 


this : " Gold, indeed, will long bear the handling ; however, 
often touching will wear even gold; just so the greatest charac- 
ter, though as pure as gold itself, may, in time, be injured, by 
the repeated attacks of falshood and corruption." 


Mr. Heath reads thus : 

yet the gold 'bides still, 

That others touch, though often touching "will 

Wear gold : and so a man that hath a name, 

By folshood and corruption doth it shame. STEEVENS. 

This passage in the original copy is very corrupt. It reads 

yet the gold 'bides still 

That others touch ; and often touching will 
Where gold ; and no man, that hath a name 
By falshood &c. 

The word though was suggested by Mr. Steevens ; all the 
other emendations by Mr. Pope and Dr. Warburton. Wear is 
used as a dissyllable. The commentator last mentioned, not 
perceiving this, reads and so no man, &c. which has been fol- 
lowed, I think improperly, by the subsequent editors. 

The observation concerning gold is found in one of the early 
dramatick pieces, Damon and Pithias, 1582 : 

" gold in time does wear away, 

" And other precious things do fade : friendship doe* 
ne'er decay." MALONE. 

sc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 373 


The same. 
Enter ANTIPHOLUS ^Syracuse. 

A NT. S. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid up 
Safe at the Centaur ; and the heedful slave 
Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out. 
By computation, and mine host's report, 
I could not speak with Dromio, since at first 
I sent him from the mart : See, here he comes. 

Enter DROMIO o/*Syracuse. 

How now, sir ? is your merry humour alter'd ? 
As you love strokes, so jest with me again. 
You know no Centaur ? you received no gold ? 
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner ? 
My house was at the Phoenix ? Wast thou mad, 
That thus so madly thou didst answer me ? 

DRO. S. What answer, sir ? when spake I such 

a word ? 
ANT. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour 


DRO.S. I did not see you sinceyou sent me hence, 
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me. 

ANT. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's re- 
ceipt ; 

And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner; 
For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeased. 

DRO. S. I am glad to see you in this merry vein : 
What means this jest ? I pray you, master, tell me. 


ANT. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the 

teeth ? 

Think'st thou, I jest ? Hold, take thou that, and 
that. [Beating him. 

Duo. S. Hold, sir, for God's sake : now your jest 

is earnest : 
Upon what bargain do you give it me ? 

ANT. S. Because that I familiarly sometimes 
Do use you for my fool, and chat with you, 
Your sauciness will jest upon my love, 
And make a common of my serious hours. 1 
When the sun shines, let foolish gnats make sport, 
But creep in crannies, when he hides his beams. 
If you will jest with me, know my aspect, 2 
And fashion your demeanour to my looks, 
Or I will beat this method in your sconce. 

DRO. S. Sconce, call you it ? so you would leave 
battering, I had rather have it a head : an you use 
these blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, 
and insconce it too ; 3 or else I shall seek my wit in 
my shoulders. But, I pray, sir, why am I beaten ? 

ANT. S. Dost thou not know ? 

DRO. S. Nothing, sir ; but that I am beaten, 

1 And make a common of my serious hours."] i. e. intrude on 
them when you please. The allusion is to those tracts of ground 
destined to common use, which are thence called commons. 


* know my aspect,"] i. e. study my countenance. 


8 and insconce it too ;~\ A sconce was a petty fortifica- 

tion. So, in Orlando Furioso, 1599: 

'* Let us to our sconce, and you my lord of Mexico." 
Again : 

" Ay, sirs, ensconce you how you can. ? * 
Again : 

" And here ensconce myself, despite of thee." 


sc. n. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 375 

ANT. S. Shall I tell you why ? 

DRO. S. Ay, sir, and wherefore ; for, they say, 
every why hath a wherefore. 

ANT. S. Why, first, for flouting me; and then, 

For urging it the second time to me. 

DRO. S. Was there ever any man thus beaten out 

of season ? 
When, in the why, and the wherefore, is neither 

rhyme nor reason ? 
Well, sir, I thank you. 

ANT. S. Thank me, sir ? for what ? 

DRO. S. Marry, sir, for this something that you 
gave me for nothing. 

ANT. S. I'll make you amends next, 4 to give you 
nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinner- 

DRO. S. No, sir ? I think, the meat wants that 
I have. 

ANT. S. In good time, sir, what's that ? 

DRO. S. Basting. 

ANT. S. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry. 

DRO. S. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it. 

ANT. S. Your reason ? 

DRO. S. Lest it make you cholerick, 5 and pur- 
chase me another dry basting. 

4 next,"] Our author probably wrote next time. 


' Lest it make you chokrick, &c.] So, in The Taming of the 


ANT. S. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time ; 
There's a time for all things. 

DRO. S. I durst have denied that, before you 
were so cholerick. 

ANT. S. By what rule, sir ? 

DRO. S. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain 
bald pate of father Time himself. 

ANT. S. Let's hear it. 

DRO. S. There's no time for a man to recoverhis 
hair, that grows bald by nature. 

ANT. S. May he not do it by fine and recovery ? 6 

DRO. S. Yes, to pay a fine for a peruke, and re- 
cover the lost hair of another man. 

ANT. S. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, 
being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement ? 7 

" I tell thee Kate, 'twas burnt and dried away, 

" And I expressly am forbid to touch it, 

" For it engenders choler, planteth anger," &c. 


6 tyjine and recovery ?] This attempt at pleasantry must 

have originated from our author's clerkship to an attorney. He 
has other jokes of the same school. STEEVENS. 

7 Ant. S. Why is Time $-c.] In former editions : 

Ant S. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, 
so plentiful an excrement ? 

Dro. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts, and 
'what he hath scanted them in hair, he hath given them in wit. 

Surely, this is mock-reasoning, and a contradiction in sense. 
Can hair be supposed a blessing, which Time bestows on beasts 
peculiarly; and yet that he hath scanted them of it too ? Men 
and Them, I observe, are very frequently mistaken, vice versa, 
for each other, in the old impressions of our author. 


The same error is found in the Induction to King Henry IV. 
P. II. edit. 1623: 

" Stuffing the ears of them with false reports." 


sc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 577 

DRO. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows 
on beasts : and what he hath scanted men in hair, 
he hath given them in wit. 

ANT. S. Why, but there's many a man hath more 
hair than wit. 

DRO. S. Not a man of those, but he hath the 
wit to lose his hair.* 

ANT. S. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men 
plain dealers without wit. 

DRO. S. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost: Yet 
he loseth it in a kind of jollity. 

ANT. S. For what reason ? 

DRO. S. For two j and sound ones too. 

ANT. S. Nay, not sound, I pray you. 

DRO. S. Sure ones then. 

ANT. S. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing. 9 

DRO. S. Certain ones then. 

ANT. S. Name them. 

DRO. S. The one, to save the money that he 

' Not a man of those, but he hath the uit to lose his hair."] 
That is, Those who have more hair than wit, are easily entrap- 
ped by loose women, and suffer the consequences of fewdnesi, 
one of which, in the first appearance of the disease in Europe, 
was the loss of hair. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Roaring Girl, 1611 : 

" Your women are so hot, I must lose my hair in their 

company, I sec." 

** His hair sheds off, and yet he speaks not so much in the nose 
as he did before." STEEVENS. 

g -fairing."] This word is now obsolete. Spenser and 

Chaucer ofU-n use the verb to false. Mr. Heath would read 
falling. STEEVENS. 


spends in tiring ; l the other, that at dinner they 
should not drop in his porridge. 

ANT. S. You would all this time have proved, 
there is no time* for all things. 

DRO. S. Marry, and did, sir j namely, no time 3 
to recover hair lost by nature. 

ANT. S. But your reason was not substantial, why 
there is no time to recover. 

DRO. S. Thus I mend it : Time himself is bald,* 
and therefore to the world's end, will have bald 

ANT. S. I knew, 'twould be a bald conclusion : 
But soft! who wafts us 4 yonder? 


ADR. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange, and 

frown ; 

Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects, 
I am not Adriana, nor thy wife. 
The time was once, when thou unurg'd would' st vow 

1 that he spends in tiring :] The old copy reads in 

trying. The correction was made by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 

* there is no time ] The old copy reads here, &c. 

The editor of the second folio made the correction. MALONE. 

3 no time &c.] The first folio has in no time &c. In 

was rejected by the editor of the second folio. Perhaps the word 
should rather have been corrected. The author might have 
written e'en no time, &c. See many instances of this corrup- 
tion in a note on All's "well that ends well, Act I. sc. i. 


* wafts us ] i. e. beckons us. So, in Hamlet f 

" It wafts me still : go on, I'll follow thee." 


sc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 379 

That never words were musick to thine ear, 5 
That never object pleasing in thine eye, 
That never touch well-welcome to thy hand, 
That never meat sweet-savour* d in thy taste, 
Unless I spake, look'd, touch'd, 6 or carv'd to thee. 
How conies it now, my husband, oh, how comes it, 
That thou art then estranged from thyself? 
Thyself I call it, being strange to me, 
That, undividable, incorporate, 
Am better than thy dear self's better part. 
Ah, do not tear away thyself from me ; 
For know, my love, as easy may'st thou fall 7 
A drop of water in the breaking gulph, 
And take unmingled thence that drop again, 
Without addition, or diminishing, 
As take from me thyself, and not me too. 
How dearly would it touch thee to the quick, 
Should'st thou but hear I were licentious ? 
And that this body, consecrate to thee, 
By ruffian lust should be contaminate ? 
Would'st thou not spit at me, and spurn at me, 
And hurl the name of husband in my face, 
And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot brow, 
And from my false hand cut the wedding ring, 
And break it with a deep-divorcing vow ? 

* That never words were musick to thine car,~\ Imitated by 
Pope, in his Epistle from Sappho to Phaon : 

" My musick then you could for ever hear, 
" And all my words were musick to your ear." 


look'd, touch r d,~] The old copy redundantly reads or 
look'd, or touch'd. STEEVENS. 

7 may'st thou fall ] To Jail is here a verb active. So, 

in Othello: 

" Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile." 



I know thou canst ; and therefore, see, thou do it. 

I am possessed with an adulterate blot ; 

My blood is mingled with the crime of lust : 8 

For, if we two be one, and thou play false, 

I do digest the poison of thy flesh. 

Being strumpeted 9 by thy contagion. 

Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bedj 

I live dis-stain'd, thou undishonoured. 1 

ANT. S. Plead you to me, fair dame ? I know 

you not : 

In Ephesus I am but two hours old, 
As strange unto your town, as to your talk ; 
Who, every word by all my wit being scann'd, 
Want wit in all one word to understand. 

8 / am possessed "with an adulterate blot ; 

My blood is mingled with the crime of lust :] Both the in- 
tegrity of the metaphor, and the word blot, in the preceding 
line, show that we should read : 

faith the grime oj lust: 

i. e. the stain, smut. So, again, in this play, A man may go 
over shoes in the grime of it. WARBURTON. 

9 Being strumpeted ] Shakspeare is not singular in his use 
of this verb. So, in Hey wood's Iron Age, 1632: 

" By this adultress basely strumpeted." 
Again : 

" I have strumpeted no Agamemnon's queen." 


1 / live dis-stain'd, thou undishonoured. ] To distain (from 
the French word, destaindre) signifies, to stain, djile, pollute. 
But the context requires a sense quite opposite. We must either 
read, unstain'd ; or, by adding an hyphen, and giving the prepo- 
sition a privative force, read dis-stain'd; and then it will mean, 
unstain'd, undejiled. THEOBALD. 

I would read : 

/ live distained, thou dishonoured. 

That is, As long as thou continuest to dishonour thyself, I 
also live distained. HEATH. 

se. n. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 381 

Luc. Fye, brother ! how the world is chang'd 

with you : 

When were you wont to use my sister thus ? 
She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner. 

ANT. S. By Dromio ? 
DRO. S. By me ? 

ADR. By thee ; and this thou didst return from 


That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows 
Denied my house for his, me for his wife. 

ANT. S. Did you converse, sir, with this gentle- 
woman ? 
What is the course and drift of your compact ? 

DRO. S. I, sir ? I never saw her till this time. 

ANT. S. Villain, thou liest ; for even her very 

Didst thou deliver to me on the mart. 

DRO. S. I never spake with her in all my life. 

ANT. S. How can she thus then call us by our 

Unless it be by inspiration ? 

ADR. How ill agrees it with your gravity, 
To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave, 
Abetting him to thwart me in my mood ? 
Be it my wrong, you are from me exempt, 2 
But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt. 

you are from me exempt,] Exempt, separated, parted. 
The sense is, If I am doomed to suffer the wrong of separation, 
yet injure not with contempt me who am already injured. 


Johnson says that exempt means separated, parted ; and the 
use of the word in that sense may be supported by a passage in 
Beaumont and Fletcher's Triumph of Honour, where Valerius, 
in the character of Mercury, says 


Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine : 
Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine ; 3 
Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,* 
Makes me with thy strength to communicate : 
If aught possess thee from me, it is dross, 
Usurping ivy, briar, or idle moss ; 5 
Who, all for want of pruning, with intrusion 
Infect thy sap, and live on thy confusion. 

ANT. S. To me she speaks j she moves me for 

her theme : 
What, was I married to her in my dream ; 

" To shew rash vows cannot bind destiny, 
" Lady, behold the rocks transported be. 
" Hard-hearted Dorigen ! yield, lest for contempt 
" They fix you there a rock, whence they're exempt" 
Yet I think that Adriana does not use the word exempt in that 
sense, but means to say, that as he was her husband she had no 
power over him, and that he was privileged to do her wrong. 


3 Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine; &c.~\ Thus, in 
Ovid's tale of Vertumnus and Pomona : 

" Ulmus erat contra, spatiosa tumentibus uvis: 
" Quam socia postquam pariter cum vite probavit ; 
" At si staret, ait, coelebs, sine palmite truncus, 
" Nil praeter frondes, quare peteretur, haberet. 
" Haec quoque, quae juncta vitis requiescit in ulmo, 
" Si non nupta foret, terrae acclinata jaceret." 


" Lenta, qui, velut assitas 
" Vitis implicat arbores, 
" Implicabitur in tuum 
" Complexum." Catull. 57. 
So, Milton, Paradise Lost, B. V : 

" They led the vine 

" To wed her elm. She spous'd, about him twines 
" Her marriageable arms." MALONE. 

4 stronger state,'} The old copy has stranger. Cor- 
rected by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 

4 idle moss;~\ i. e. moss that produces no fruit, but be- 
ing unfertile is useless. So, in Othello : 

" antres vast and desarts idle.'* STEEVENS. 

sc. m. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 383 

Or sleep I now, and think I hear all this ? 
What error drives our eyes and ears amiss ? 
Until I know this sure uncertainty, 
I'll entertain the offer* d fallacy. 6 

Luc. Dromio, go bid the servants spread for 

DRO. S. O, for my beads! I cross me for a 


This is the fairy land ; O, spite of spites ! 
We talk with goblins, owls, and elvish sprites; 7 

the offered fallacy.] The old copy has : 
the free'd fallacy. 

Which perhaps was only, by 'mistake, for 

the oft'er'd fallacy. 

This conjecture is from an anonymous correspondent. 
Mr. Pope reads -favour d fallacy. STEEVENS. 

7 We talk with goblins, owls, and elvish sprites}'] Here Mr. 
Theobald calls out, in the name of Nonsense, the first time he 
had formally invoked her, to tell him how owls could stick their 
breath, and pinch them black and blue. He therefore alters 
owls to ouphs, and dares say, that his readers will acquiesce in 
the justness of his emendation. But, for all this, we must not 
part with the old reading. He did not know it to be an old 
popular superstition, that the screech-owl sucked out the breath 
and blood of infants in the cradle. On this account, the Italians, 
called witches, who were supposed to be in like manner mis- 
chievously bent against children, strega from strix, the screech- 
owl. This superstition they had derived from their pagan an- 
cestors, as appears from this passage of Ovid : 

" Sunt avidae volucres ; non qua: Phineia mensis 
" Guttura fraudabant; scd genus indc trahunt. 
" Grande caput; stantes oculi; rostra apta rapinae; 

" Canities pennis, unguibus hamus incst. 
" Nocte volant, puerosquc petunt nutricis egentes, 

" Et vitinnt cunis coq>ora rapta suis. 
" Carpere dicuntur luctantia viscera rostris, 
" Et plenum poto sanguine guttur hubent. 

" Est illis strigtbus nomen : ." Lib. VI. Fast. 


Ghastly owls accompany elvish ghosts, in Spenser's Shepherd's 
VOL. XX. 2 C 


If we obey them not, this will ensue, 

They'll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue. 

Luc. Why prat'st thou to thyself, and answer'st 

Dromio, thou drone,thou snail,thou slug, thou sot! 8 

Calendar for June. So, in Sheringham's Disceptatio de An- 
glorum Gentis Origine, p. 333 : " Lares, Lemures, Stryges, 
Lamiae, Manes (Gastae dicti) et similes monstrorum, Greges, 
Elvarum Chorea dicebatur." Much the same is said in Olaus 
Magnus de Gentibus Septentrionalibus, p. 112, 113. TOLLET. 

Owls are also mentioned in Cornucopia, or Pasquil's Night- 
cap, or Antidote for the Headach, 1623, p. 38 : 

" Dreading no dangers of the darksome night, 

" No oules, hobgoblins, ghosts, nor water-spright." 


How, it is objected, should Shakspeare know that striges or 
screech-owls were considered by the Romans as witches ? The 
notes of Mr. Toilet and Mr. Steevens, as well as the following 
passage in The London Prodigal, a comedy, 1605, afford the 
best answer to this question : " 'Soul, I think, I am sure cross'd 
or 'witch* d with an ou;/." M ALONE. 

The epithet elvish is not in \hefirst folio, but the second 
has elves, which certainly was meant for elvish. STEEVENS. 

All the emendations made in the second folio having been 
merely arbitrary, any other suitable epithet of two syllables may 
have been the poet's word. Mr. Rowe first introduced elvish. 


I am satisfied with the epithet elvish. It was probably in- 
serted in the second folio on some authority which cannot now 
be ascertained. It occurs again, in King Richard III: 
" Thou elvish-mark' d abortive, rooting hog." 

Why should a book, which has often judiciously filled such 
vacuities, and rectified such errors, as disgrace the folio 1623, 
be so perpetually distrusted ? STEEVENS. 

9 Dromio, thou drone, 8$c.~\ The old copy reads 
Dromio, thou Dromio, snail, thou slug, thou sot ! 


This verse is half a foot too long ; my correction cures that 
fault : besides, drone corresponds with the other appellations of 
reproach. THEOBALD. 

sc. m. COMEDY OF ERRORS: 385 

DRO. S. I am transformed, master, am not I ? 9 
ANT. S. I think, thou art, in mind, and so am I. 

DRO. S. Nay, master, both in mind, and in my 

ANT. S. Thou hast thine own form. 

DRO. S. No, I am an ape. 

Luc. If thou art chang'd to aught, 'tis to an ass. 

DRO. S. 'Tis true ; she rides me, and I long for 


'Tis so, I am an ass ; else it could never be, 
But I should know her as well as she knows me. 

ADR. Come, come, no longer will I be a fool, 
To put the finger in the eye and weep, 
Whilst man, and master, laugh my woes to scorn. 
Come, sir, to dinner ; Dromio, keep the gate : 
Husband, I'll dine above with you to-day, 
And shrive you 1 of a thousand idle pranks: 
Sirrah, if any ask you for your master, 
Say, he dines forth, and let no creature enter. 
Come, sister : Dromio, play the porter well. 

ANT. S. Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell ? 
Sleeping or waking ? mad, or well-advis'd ? 
Known unto these, and to myself disguis'd ! 

Drone is also a term of reproach applied by Sbylock to 
Launcelot, in The Merchant of Venice: 

** - he sleeps by day 

" More than the wild cat ; drones hive not with me." 


am not I ?] Old copy am I not ? Corrected by Mr. 

Theobald. MALONE. 

1 And shrive you ] That is, I will call you to confession, 
and make you tell your tricks. JOHNSON. 

So, in Hamlet : " not shriving time allow'd." 


2 C 2 


I'll say as they say, and persever so, 
And in this mist at all adventures go. 

DRO. S. Master, shall I be porter at the gate ? 

. ADR. Ay ; and let none enter, lest I break your 

Luc. Come, come, Antipholus, we dine too late. 



The same. 

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, DROMIO of 
Ephesus, ANGELO, and BALTHAZAR. 

'ANT. E. Good signior Angelo, you must excuse 

us all; 2 

My wife is shrewish, when I keep not hours : 
Say, that Llinger'd with you at your shop, 
To see the making of her carkanet, 3 

* Good signior Angelo, you must excuse us all ;] I suppose, 
the word all, which overloads the measure, without improve- 
ment of the sense, might be safely omitted, as an interpolation. 


3 carkanet,"] Seems to have been a necklace, or rather 

chain, perhaps hanging down double from the neck. So, Love- 
lace, in his poem : 

" The empress spreads her carcanets." JOHNSON. 

" Quarquan, ornement d'or qu'on mit au col des damoiselles." 

Le grand Diet, de Nicot. 

A carkanet seems to have been a necklace set with stones, or 
strung with pearls. Thus, in Partheneia Sacra, &c. 1633: 


And that to-morrow you will bring it home. 
But here's a villain, that would face me down 
He met me on the mart ; and that I beat him, 
And charg'd him with a thousand marks in gold j 
And that I did deny my wife and house : 
Thou drunkard, thou, what didst thou mean by 
this ? 

DRO. E. Say what you will, sir, but I know what 

I know : 
That you beat me at the mart, I have your hand to 

If the skin were parchment, and the blows you gave 

were ink, 
Your own handwriting would tell you what I think. 

ANT. E. I think, thou art an ass. 

DRO. E. Marry, so it doth appear 

By the wrongs I suffer, and the blows I bear. 4 

" Seeke not vermillion or ceruse in the face, bracelets of oriental 

pearls on the wrist, rubie carkanets on the neck, and a most 

exquisite fan of feathers in the hand." 

Again, in Histriomastix, or the Player whipt, 1610: 
" Nay, I'll be matchless for a carcaiet, 
" Whose pearls and diamonds plac'd with ruby rocks 
" Shnll circle this fair neck to set it forth." 

Again, in Sir W. D'Avenant's comedy of The Wits, 1636: 

" she sat on a rich Persian quilt 

" Threading a carkanet of pure round pearl 
" Bigger than pigeons eggs." 

Again, in The Changes, or Love in a Maze, 16C2: 

" the drops 

" Shew like a carkanet of pearl upon it." 
In the play of Soliman and Perseda, 1599, the word carcanet 

occurs eight or nine times. STEEVENS. 

4 Marry, so it doth appear 

By the wrongs I suffer, and the blows f Lear."} Thus all 
the printed copies ; but, certainly, this is cross-purposes in rea- 
toning. It appears, Dromio is an ass by his* making no resistance ; 


I should kick, being kick'd ; and, being at that 

You would keep from my heels, and beware of an 


ANT. E. You are sad, signior Balthazar : Tray 

God, our cheer 

May answer my good will, and your good welcome 

BAL. I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your 
welcome dear. 

ANT. E. O, signior Balthazar, either at flesh or 


A table full of welcome makes scarce one dainty 

BAL. Good meat, sir, is common ; that every 
churl affords. 

ANT. E. And welcome more common j for that's 
nothing but words. 

BAL. Small cheer, and great welcome, makes a 
merry feast. 

ANT. E. Ay, to a niggardly host, and more 

sparing guest : 
But though my cates be mean, take them in good 

Better cheer may you have, but not with better 


because an ass, being kicked, kicks again. Our author never 
argues at this wild rate, where his text is genuine. THEOBALD. 

Mr. Theobald, instead of doth, reads don't. MALONE. 

I do not think this emendation necessary. He first says, that 
his wrongs and blows prove him an ass; but immediately, with 
a correction of his former sentiment, such as may be hourly 
observed in conversation, he observes that, if he had been an 
ass, he should, when he was kicked, have kicked again. 


sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 389 

But, soft; my door is lock'd ; Go bid them let us in. 

DRO. E. Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cicely, Gillian, 

DRO. S. [Wiihsn.~] Mome, 5 malt-horse, capon, 

coxcomb, idiot, patch ! 6 
Either get thee from the door, or sit down at the 

hatch : 
Dost thou conjure for wenches, that thou call'st for 

such store, 
When one is one too many ? Go, get thee from the 


DRO. E. What patch is made our porter ? My 
master stays in the street. 

DRO. S. Let him walk from whence he came, lest 
he catch cold on's feet. 

ANT. E. Who talks within there ? ho, open the 

DRO. S. Right, sir, I'll tell you when, an you'll 
tell me wherefore. 

* Mome,~] A dull stupid blockhead, a stock, a post. This 
owes its original to the French word Momon, which signifies the 
gaming at dice in masquerade, the custom and rule of which is, 
that a strict silence is to be observed : whatever sum one stakes, 
another covers, but not a word is to be spoken. From henct' 
also comes our word mum ! for silence. HAWKINS. 

So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrccc, 1630: 

" Important are th* affairs we have in hand ; 

" Hence with that Mome ! 

" Brutus, forbear the presence." STEEVENS. 

* jmtch n i. e. fool. Alluding to the parti-coloured 

coats worn by the licensed fools or jesters of the age. So, iu 
Macbeth : 

" what soldiers, patch f" 

See notes on A Midsummer- Night's Dream, Act III. sc. ii. 
and The Merchant of Venice, Act I. sc. i. STEEVENS. 


ANT. E. Wherefore ? for my dinner j I have not 
din'd to-day. 

DRO. S. Nor to-day here you must not ; come 
again, when you may. 

ANT. E. What art thou, that keep'st me out from 
the house I owe ? 7 

DRO. S. The porter for this time, sir, and my 
name is Dromio. 

DRO. E. O villain, thou hast stolen both mine 

office and my name ; 
The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle 


If thou had'st been Dromio to-day in my place, 
Thou would'st have chang'd thy face for a name, 

or thy name for an ass. 

LUCE. \_Within.~\ What a coil is there ! Dromio, 
who are those at the gate ? 

DRO. E. Let my master in, Luce. 

LUCE. Faith no ; he comes too late ; 

And so tell your master. 

DRO. E. O Lord, I must laugh : 

Have at you with a proverb. Shall I set in my staff? 

LUCE. Have at you with another: that's, 
When ? can you tell ? 

DRO. S. If thy name be called Luce, Luce, thou 
hast answer J d him well. 

ANT. E. Do you hear, you minion ? you'll let us 
in, I hope ? 8 

T / owe ?] I.e. I own, am owner of. So, in The Four 

Prentices of London, 1615: 

" Who owes that shield ? 

" I : and who owes that ?" STEEVENS. 

6 / hope?] A line either preceding or following this 


LUCE. I thought to have ask'd you. 

DRO. S. And you said, no. 

DRO. E. So, come, help ; well struck ; there 
was blow for blow. 

ANT. E. Thou baggage, let me in. 

LUCE. Can you tell for whose sake? 

DRO. E. Master, knock the door hard. 

LUCE. Let him knock till it ake. 

ANT. E. You'll cry for this, minion, if I beat 
the door down. 

LUCE. What needs all that, and a pair of stocks 
in the town ? 

ADR. [Within."} Who is that at the door, that 
keeps all this noise ? 

DRO. S. By my troth, your town is troubled 
with unruly boys. 

ANT. E. Are you there, wife ? you might have 
come before. 

ADR. Your wife, sir knave! go, get you from 
the door. 

DRO. E. If you went in pain, master, this knave 
would go sore. 

has, I believe, been lost. Mr. Theobald and the subsequent 
editors read I trovo ; but that word, and hope, were not likely 
to be confounded by either the eye or the ear. MALONE. 

The text, I believe, is right, and means I expect you'll let 
us in. To hope, in ancient language, has sometimes this signi- 
fication. So, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" I cannot hope 

" Caesar and Antony shall well greet together." 
Again, in Chaucer's fteve's Tale, v. 4027: 

" Our manciple I hope he wol be ded." STEEVENS. 


ANG. Here is neither cheer, sir, nor welcome ; 
we would fain have either. 

SAL. In debating which was best, we shall part 
with neither. 9 

DRO. E. They stand at the door, master ; bid 
them welcome hither. 

ANT. E. There is something in the wind, that 
we cannot get in. 

DRO. E. You would say so, master, if your gar- 
ments were thin. 

Your cake here is warm within ; you stand here in 
the cold : 

It would make a man mad as a buck, to be so 
bought and sold. 1 

ANT. E. Go, fetch me something, I'll break 
ope the gate. 

DRO. S. Break any breaking here, and I'll break 
your knave's pate. 

DRO. E. A man may break a word with you, sir ; 

and words are but wind ; 

Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not 

9 we shall part tvith neither.'] In our old language, to 

part signified to have part. See Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, 
ver. 9504- : 

" That no wight with his blisse parten shall." 

The French usepartir in the same sense. TYRWHITT. 

Tyrwhitt mistakes the sense of this passage. To part does 
not signify to share or divide, but to depart or go aiuay ; and 
Balthazar means to say, that whilst debating which is best, they 
should go away without either. M. MASON. 

1 bought and sold."] This is a proverbial phrase. " To 

be bought and sold in a company." See Ray's Collection, p. 179, 
edit. 1737. STEEVENS. 


DRO. S. It seems, thou wantest breaking ; Out 
upon thee, hind ! 

DRO. E. Here's too much, out upon thee ! I 
pray thee, let me in. 

DRO. S. Ay, when fowls have no feathers, and 
fish have no fin. 

ANT. E. Well, I'll break in j Go borrow me a 

DRO. E. A crow without a feather ; master, 

mean you so ? 

For a fish without a fin, there's a fowl without a 
feather : 

If a crow help us in, sirrah, we'll pluck a crow to- 
gether. 2 

ANT. E. Go, get thee gone, fetch me an iron 

BAL. Have patience, sir ; O, let it not be so j 
Herein you war against your reputation, 
And draw within the compass of suspect 
The unviolated honour of your wife. 
Once this, 3 Your long experience of her wisdom, 

* we* II pluck a craw together."] We find the same quibble 

on a like occasion in one of the comedies of Plautus. 

The children of distinction among the Greeks and Romans 
had usually birds of different kinds given them for their amuse- 
ment. This custom Tyndarus, in The Captives, mentions, and 
Bays, that for his part he had 

** tantum upunam." 

Upupa signifies both a lapwing and a mattock, or some instru- 
ment of the same kind, employed to dig stones from the quarries. 


1 Once thix,~] This expression appears to me so singular, that 
I cannot help suspecting the passage to be corrupt. MALONE. 

Once this, may mean, once for all, at once. So, in Sydney's 
Arcadia, Book I: " Some perchance loving my estate, others 
my person. Hut once, I know all of them," &c. Again, ibid. 


Her sober virtue, years, and modesty, 

Plead on her part 4 some cause to you unknown ; 

And doubt not, sir, but she will well excuse 

Why at this time the doors are made against you. 5 

Be rul'd by me ; depart in patience, 

And let us to the Tiger all to dinner : 

And, about evening, come yourself alone, 

To know the reason of this strange restraint. 

If by strong hand you offer to break in, 

Now in the stirring passage of the day, 

A vulgar comment will be made on it ; 

And that supposed by the common rout s 

Against your yet ungalled estimation, 

That may with foul intrusion enter in, 

And dwell upon your grave when you are dead : 

For slander lives upon succession j 7 

For ever hous'd, where it once gets possession. 8 

B. Ill: " She hit him, with his own sworde, such a blowe 
upon the waste, that she almost cut him asunder : once she sun- 
dred his soule from his body, sending it to Proserpina, an angry 
goddess against ravishers." STEEVENS. 

* . . Your long experience of her ivisdom, 

Plead on her part ~] The old copy reads your, in both 
places. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE. 

* the doors are made against you."} Thus the old edi- 
tion. The modern editors read : 

the doors are barr'd against you. 

To make the door, is the expression used to this day in some 
counties of England, instead of, to bar the door. STEEVENS. 

6 supposed by the common rout ] For supposed I once 

thought it might be more commodious to substitute supported ; 
but there is no need of change : supposed is founded on suppo- 
sition, made by conjecture. JOHNSON. 

7 upon succession ;] Succession is often used as a quadri- 
syllable by our author, and his contemporaries. So, Act IV. 
sc. i. line 5, satisfaction composes half a verse : 

" Therefore make present satisfaction ." MALONE. 

8 For ever hous'd, where it once gets possession."] The adverb 
once is wanting in the first folio. STEEVENS. 


ANT. E. You have prevail' d ; I will depart in 


And, in despight of mirth, 9 mean to be merry. 
I know a wench of excellent discourse, 
Pretty and witty ; wild, and, yet too, gentle ; 
There will we dine : this woman that I mean, 
My wife (but, I protest, without desert,) 
Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal ; 
To her will we to dinner. Get you home, 
And fetch the chain ; by this, I know, 'tis made : 
Bring it, I pray you, to the Porcupine ; 
For there's the house ; that chain will I bestow 
(Be it for nothing but to spite my wife,) 
Upon mine hostess there : good sir, make haste : 
Since mine own doors refuse to entertain me, 
I'll knock elsewhere, to see if they'll disdain me. 

ANG. I'll meet you at that place, some hour 

ANT. E. Do so ; this jest shall cost me some 
expence. [Exeunt. 

The second folio has once; which rather improves the sense, 
and a not inconsistent with the metre. TYRWHITT. 

' And, in despight of mirth,] Mr. Theobald does not know 
what to make of this ; and, therefore, has nut wrath instead of 
mirth into the text, in which he is followeu by the Oxford edi- 
tor. But the old reading is right, and the meaning is, I will 
be merry, even out of spite to mirth, which is now, of all things, 
the most unpleasing to me. WARBURTON. 

Though mirth has withdrawn herself from me, and seems 
determined to avoid me, yet in despight of her, and whether 
she will or not, I am resolved to be merry. HKATH. 



The same. 
Enter LUCIANA I and ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse. 

Luc. And may it be that you have quite forgot 
A husband's office ? shall, Antipholus, hate, 
Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot ? 
Shall love, in building, grow so ruinate ? 2 

1 Enter Luciana ] Here, in the old blundering first folio, 
we find, " Enter Juliana" Corrected in the second folio. 


* that you have quite forgot &c.] In former copies : 

And may it be that you have quite forgot 

A husband's office ? Shall, Antipholus^ 

Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot ? 

Shall love in buildings groiu so ruinate? 
This passage has hitherto laboured under a double corruption. 
What conceit could our editors have of love in buildings grow- 
ing ruinate ? Our poet meant no more than this : Shall thy love- 
springs rot, even in the spring of love ? and shall thy love grow 
ruinous, even while 'tis but building up ? The next corruption 
is by an accident at press, as I take it. This scene for fifty-two 
lines successively is strictly in alternate rhymes ; and this mea- 
sure is never broken, but in the second and fourth lines of these 
two couplets. 'Tis certain, I think, a monosyllable dropt from 
the tail of the second verse ; and I have ventured to supply it 
by, I hope, a probable conjecture. THEOBALD. 

Mr. Theobald's emendations are the word hate, supplied 
at the end of the second line, and, in the fourth, building given 
instead of buildings. STEEVENS. 

Love-springs are young plants or shoots of leve. Thus, in 
The Faithful Shepherdess of Fletcher : 
/ ** The nightingale among the thick-leav'd springs 
" That sits alone in sorrow." 

sc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 397 

If you did wed ray sister for her wealth, 

Then, for her wealth's sake, use her with more 

kindness : 
Or, if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth ; 

Muffle your false love with some show of blind- 

See a note on the second scene of the fifth Act of Coriolanus, 
and Mr. Malone's edition of our author's works, Vol. X. p. 44, 
n. 9, where the meaning of this expression is more fully dilated. 

The rhyme which Mr. Theobald would restore, stands thu 
in the old edition : 

shall Antipholus 

If, therefore, instead of ruinate, we should read ruinous, the 
passage may remain as it was originally written ; and perhaps, 
indeed, throughout the play we should read Antiphilus, a name 
which Shakspeare might have found in some quotations from 
Pliny, B. XXXV. and XXXVII. Antiphilus is also one of the 
heroes in Sidney's Arcadia. 

Ruinous is justified by a passage in The Two Gentlemen of 
Verona t Act V. sc. iv: 

" Lest growing ruinous the building fall." 

Throughout the first folio, Antipholus occurs much more often 
than Antipholis, even where the rhyme is not concerned ; and 
were the rhyme defective here, such transgressions are accounted, 
for in other places. STEEVENS. 

The word hate, in the first line, is introduced by Theobald, 
without authority, and certainly injures the sense of the passage. 
Hate rotting the springs of love, is a strange idea. It appears to 
me that the true reading is that suggested, though not adopted, 
by Steevens : 

shall, Antipholus, 

Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot ? 
Shall love, in building, grow so ruinous ? 
Which preserves both the sense and the rhyme. M. MASON. 

Antipholi* occurs, I think, but thrice in the original copy. 
I have therefore adhered to the other spelling. M ALONE. 

Shall love, in building, groiu so ruinate ?] So, in our author's. 
119th Sonnet: 

" And ruin'd love, when it is built anew ." 


Let not my sister read it in your eye ; 

Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator ; 
Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty ; 

Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger : 
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted; 

Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint ; 
Be secret-false : What need she be acquainted? 

What simple thief brags of his own attaint? 3 
'Tis double wrong, to truant with your bed, 

And let her read it in thy looks at board : 
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed ; 

111 deeds are doubled with an evil word. 
Alas, poor women ! make us but believe, 4 

Being compact of credit, 5 that you love us ; 
Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve j 

We in your motion turn, and you may move us. 

In support of Mr. Theobald's first emendation, a passage in 
our author's 10th Sonnet may be produced : 

" thou art so possess' d with murderous hate, 

" That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire, 
" Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate, 
" Which to repair should be thy chief desire." 
Again, in The Rape ofLucrece: 

" To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours." 
Stowe uses the adjective ruinate, in his Annales, p. 892: 
" The last year at the taking down of the old ruinate gate ." 


3 his own attaint?] The old copy has attaine. The 

emendation is Mr. Rowe's. M ALONE. 

4 Alas, poor "women ! make us but believe, &c.~] The old 
copy not. STEEVENS. 

From the whole tenour of the context it is evident, that this 
negative (not) got place in the first copies instead of but. And 
these two monosyllables have by mistake reciprocally dispos- 
sessed one another in many other passages of our author's 
works. THEOBALD. 

* Being compact of credit,'] Means, being made altogether 
of credulity. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, Part II. 1632: 

*' she's compact 

"Merely of blood ." 


Then, gentle brother, get you in again; 

Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife : 
'Tis holy sport, to be a little vain, 6 

When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife. 

ANT. S. Sweet mistress, (what your name is else, 
I know not, 

Nor by what wonder you do hit on mine,) 
Less, in your knowledge, and your grace, you show 

Than our earth's wonder; more than earth divine. 
Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak; 

Lay open to my earthy gross conceit, 
Smother'd in errors, feeble, shallow, weak, 

The folded meaning of your words' deceit. 
Against my soul's pure truth why labour you, 

To make it wander in an unknown field ? 
Are you a god ? would you create me new ? 

Transform me then, and to your power I'll yield. 
But if that I am I, then well I know, 

Your weeping sister is no wife of mine, 
Nor to her bed no homage do I owe ; 

Far more, far more, to you do I decline. 
O, train me not, sweet mermaid, 7 with thy note, 

To drown me in thy sister's flood 8 of tears ; 
,Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote : 

Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs, 

Again, in our author's Venus and Adonis: 

" Love is a spirit all compact of fire." STEEVENS. 

8 :/,] Is light of tongue, not veracious. JOHNSON. 

7 nv-rt mermaid,] Mermaid is only another name for 

syren. So, in the Index to P. Holland's translation of Pliny'g 
Natural History: " Mermaids in Homer were witches, and their 
songs enchauntemcnts." JJTEEVEKS. 

* in thy sister's Jlood ] The old copy reads sister. 

Corrected by the editor of the second folio. MALOVE. 
VOL. XX. 2 I) 


And as a bed I'll take thee, 9 and there lie ; 
And, in that glorious supposition, think 

He gains by death, that hath such means to die : - 
Let love, being light, be drowned if she sink 1 * 
Luc. What, are you mad, that you do reason so ? 

ANT. S. Not mad, but mated; 2 how, I do not 

9 as a bed Ptt take thee,"] The old copy reads as a 

bud. Mr. Edwards suspects a mistake of one letter JD the pas- 
sage, and would read : 

And as a bed Ptt take them, and there lie. 
Perhaps, however, both the ancient readings may be right : 

As a bud Ptt take thee, &c. 

i. e. I, like an insect, will take thy bosom for a rose, or some 
other flower, and 

" phrenix like beneath thine eye 

" Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die." 
It is common for Shakspeare to shift hastily from one image 
to another. 

Mr.Edwards's conjecture may, however, receive countenance 
from the following passage in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 
Act I. sc. ii : 

" my bosom as a bed 

" Shall lodge thee." 

Mr. Malone also thinks that bed is fully supported by the word 

The second folio has bed. TYRWHITT. 

\Let love, being light, be drowned if she sink!~\ Mr. Ritson 
observes, that Love, in the present instance, means Venus. 

Thus, in the old ballad of The Spanish Lady: 
" I will spend my days in prayer, 
" Love and all her laws defy.'* STEEVENS. 

So, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" Now for the love of love, and her soft hours ." 
Again, more appositely, in our author's Venus and Adonis: 
'* Love is a spirit, all compact of fire, 
" Not gross to sink, but light , and will aspire." 
Venus is here speaking of herself. 
Again, ibidem: 

" She's love, she' loves, and yet she is not lov'd.'* 


sc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 401 

Luc. It is a fault that springeth from your eye. 

ANT. S. For gazing on your beams, fair sun, 
being by. 

Luc. Gaze where 3 you should, and that will 
clear your sight. 

ANT. S. As good to wink, sweet love, as look on 

Luc. Why call you me love ? call my sister so. 

ANT. S. Thy sister's sister. 

Luc. That's my sister. 

ANT. S. No j 

It is thyself, mine own self's better part ; 
Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart ; 
My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope's aim, 
My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.* 

Luc. All this my sister is, or else should be. 

ANT. S. Call thyself sister, sweet, for I aim thee: 5 

* Not mad, but mated ;] i. e. confounded. So, in Macbeth: 

" My mind she has mated, and amaz'd my sight." 


I suspect there is a play upon words intended here. Mated 
signifies not only confounded, but matched with a wife: and 
Antipholus, who had been challenged as a husband by Adriana, 
which he cannot account for, uses the word mated in both these 
enses. M. MASON. 

Gaze where ] The old copy reads ruhcn. STEEVENS. 
The correction was made by Mr. Pope. MA LONE. 

4 My tale earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim."] When 
he calls the girl his only heaven on the earth, he utters the com- 
mon cant of lovers. When he calls her his heaven's claim, I 
cannot understand him. Perhaps he means that which be asks 
of heaven. JOHNSON. 

' for I aim thee .] The old copy has 

for I am thee. 

2 D 2 


Thee will I love, and with thee lead my life ; 
Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife : 
Give me thy hand. 

Luc. O, soft, sir, hold you still j 

I'll fetch my sister, to get her good will. 

[Exit Luc. 

Enter, from the House O/*ANTIPHOLUS o/'Ephesus, 
DROMIO of Syracuse. 

ANT. S. Why, how now, Dromio? where run'st 
thou so fast ? 

DRO. S< Do you know me, sir ? am I Dromio ? 
am I your man ? am I myself? 

ANT. S. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, 
thou art thyself. 

DRO. S. I am an ass, I am a woman's man, 
and besides myself. 

ANT. S. What woman's man ? and how besides 

DRO. S. Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due to 
a woman ; one that claims .me, one that haunts 
me, one that will have me. 

ANT. S. What claim lays she to thee ? 

Some of the modern editors 

/mean thee. 

Perhaps we should read : 

for I aim thee. 

He has just told her, that she was his sweet hopes aim. So, 
in Orlando Furioso, 1594 : 

" like Cassius, 

" Sits sadly dumping, aiming Caesar's death." 

Again, in Drayton's Legend -of Robert Duke of Normandy: 

" I make my changes aim one certain end." 


se. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 403 

DRO. S. Marry, sir, such claim as you would lay 
to your horse ; and she would have me as a beast: 
not that, I being a beast, she would have me ; but 
that she, being a very beastly creature, lays claim 
to me. 

ANT. S. What is she ? 

DRO. S. A very reverent body ; ay, such a one 
as a man may not speak of, without he say, sir-reve- 
rence : I have but lean luck in the match, and yet 
is she a wondrous fat marriage. 

ANT. S. How dost thou mean, a fat marriage ? 

DRO. S. Marry, sir, she's the kitchen-wench, and 
all grease ; and I know not what use to put her to, 
but to make a lamp of her, and run from her by 
her own light. I warrant, her rags, and the tallow 
jn them, will burn a Poland winter : if she lives till 
doomsday, she'll burn a week longer than the 
whole world. 

ANT. S. What complexion is she of? 

DRO. S. Swart, 6 like my shoe, but her face no- 
thing like so clean kept; For why ? she sweats, a 
man may go over shoes in the grime of it. 

ANT. S. That's a fault that water will mend. 

DRO. S. No, sir, 'tis in grain ; Noah's flood could 
not do it. 

ANT. S. What's her name ? 

DRO. S. Nell, sir; but her name and three 

6 .Suarf,] i. e. black, or rather of a dark brown. Thus, in 
Milton's Comujt, v. 436: 

" No goblin, or suart fairy of the mine." 
Again, in King Henry VI. P. I: 

" And whereas I was black and swart before." 



quarters, that is, an ell and three quarters, will not 
measure her from hip to hip. 7 

ANT S. Then she bears some breadth ? 

DRO. S. No longer from head to foot, than from 
hip to hip : she is spherical, like a globe; I could 
find out countries in her. 

ANT. S. In what part of her body stands Ire- 

DRO. S. Marry, sir, in her buttocks ; I found it 
out by the bogs. 

ANT. S. Where Scotland ? 

DRO. S. I found it by the barrenness ; hard, in 
the palm of the hand. 

ANT. S. Where France ? 

DRO. S. In her forehead ; armed and reverted, 
making war against her hair. 8 

7 Dro. S. Nell, sir; but her name and three quarters, that is, 
an ell and three quarters, &c.] The old copy reads her name 
is three quarters. STEEVENS. 

This passage has hitherto Iain as perplexed and unintelligible, 
as it is now easy and truly humorous. If a conundrum be re- 
stored, in setting it right, who can help it ? I owe the correction 
to the sagacity of the ingenious Dr. Thirlby. THEOBALD. 

This poor conundrum is borrowed by Massinger, in The Old 
Law, 1656 : 

" Cook. That Nell was Hellen of Greece. 

" Clown. As long as she tarried with her husband she waa 
Ellen, but after she came to Troy she was Nell of Troy. 

" Cook. Why did she grow shorter when she came to Troy ? 

" Clown. She grew longer, if you mark the story, when she 
grew to be an ell," &c. MALONE. 

8 In her forehead ; armed and reverted, making war against 
her hair.] All the other countries, mentioned in this description, 
are in Dromio's replies satirically characterized : but here, as the 
editors have ordered it, no remark is made upon France ; nor 
any reason given, why it should be in her forehead : but only 

sc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 40* 

ANT. S. Where England ? 

the kitchen wench's high forehead is rallied, as pushing back her 
hair. Thus all the modern editions ; but the first folio reads 
making war against her heir. And I am very apt to think, this 
last is the true reading ; and that an equivoque, as the French 
call it, a double meaning, is designed in the poet's allusion: and 
therefore I have replaced it in the text. In 1589, Henry III. 
of France being stabbed, and dying of his wound, was sutr- 
ceeded by Henry IV. of Navarre, whom he appointed his suc- 
cessor : but whose claim the states of France resisted, on account 
of his being a protestant. This, I take it, is what he means, by 
France making war against her heir. Now, as, in 1591, Queen 
Elizabeth sent over 4000 men, under the conduct of the Earl 
of Essex, to the assistance of this Henry of Navarre, it seems to 
me very probable, that during this expedition being on foot, this 
comedy made its appearance. And it was the finest address 
imaginable in the poet to throw such an oblique sneer at France, 
for opposing the succession of that heir, whose claim his royal 
mistress, the queen, had sent over a force to establish, and 
oblige them to acknowledge. THEOBALD. 

With this correction and explication Dr. Warburton concurs, 
and Sir Thomas Hanmcr thinks an equivocation in tended, though 
he retains hair in the text. Yet surely they have all lost the sense 
by looking beyond it. Our author, in my opinion, only sports 
with an allusion, in which he takes too much delight, and means 
that his mistress had the French disease. The ideas are rather 
too offensive to be dilated. By a forehead armed, he means 
covered with incrusted eruptions : by reverted, he means having 
the hair turning backward. An equivocal word must have senses 
applicable to both the subjects to which it is applied. Both/ore- 
head and France might in some sort make war against their /tair, 
but how did thejbrehead make war against its heir? The sense 
which I have given, immediately occurred to me, and will, I be- 
lieve, arise to every reader who is contented with the meaning 
that lies before him, without sending out conjecture in search of 
refinements. JOHNSON. 

The present reading was introduced by the editor of the se- 
cond folio. 

1 think, with Sir T. Hanmer, that an equivocation may have 
boon intended. It is of little consequence which of the two 
words is preserved in the text, if the author meant that two 
Censes should be couched under the same term. Dr. Johnson's 
objection, that " an equivocal term must have senses applicable 


DRO.S. I looked for the chalky cliffs, but I could 
find no whiteness in them : but I guess, it stood in 
her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France 
and it. 

ANT. S, Where Spain ? 

DRO. S. Faith, I saw it not ; but I felt it, hot in 
her breath. 

ANT. S. Where America, the Indies ? 

DRO. S. O,sir,uponher nose, all o'er embellished 
with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their 
rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain ; who sent 
whole armadas of carracks to be ballast 9 at her 

ANT. S. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands ? 

DRO. S. O, sir, I did not look so low. To con- 
clude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me j 

to both the subjects to which it is applied," appears to me not 
so well founded as his observations in general are ; for, though 
a correct writer would observe that rule, our author is very sel- 
dom scrupulous in this particular, the terms which he uses in 
comparison scarcely ever answering exactly on both sides. How- 
ever, as hair affords the clearest and most obvious sense, I have 
placed it in the text. In King Henry V. 4to. 1600, we have 

" This your heire of France hath blown this vice in 


instead of air. In Macbeth, folio, 1623, heire is printed for 

" Whose horrid image doth unfix my heire," 
Again, in Cymbeline, folio, 1623: 

" His meanest garment is dearer 

" In my respect, than all the heires above thee." 


9 to be ballast- ] The modern editors read ballast?^,- 

the old copy-r &G/.W, which is right. Thus, in Hamlet: 

" to have the engineer 

" Hoist with his own petar." i. e. hoisted. 



called me Dromio ; swore, I was assured to her ; * 
told me what privy marks I had about me, as the 
mark of my shoulder, the mole in my neck, the 
great wart on my left arm, that I, amazed, ran 
from her as a witch : and, I think, if my breast had 
not been made of faith, 2 and my heart of steel, she 
had transformed me to a curtail-dog, and made me 
turn i'the wheel. 

ANT. S. Go, hie thee presently, post to the road; 
And if the wind blow any way from shore, 
I will not harbour in this town to-night. 
If any bark put forth, come to the mart, 
Where I will walk, till thou return to me. 
If every one know us, and we know none, 
'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack, and be gone. 

DRO. S. As from a bear a man would run for 

So fly I from her that would be my wife. \_Exit. 

ANT. S. There's none but witches do inhabit 

here ; 

And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence. 
She, that doth call me husband, even my soul 
Doth for a wife abhor: but her fair sister, 
Possess'd with such a gentle sovereign grace, 
Of such enchanting presence and discourse, 

1 assured to her;~\ i. e. affianced to her. Thus, in King 


" For so I did when I was first assur'd" STEEVENS. 

and, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, 

ffc.~] Alluding to the superstition of the common people, that 
nothing could r sist a witch's power of transforming men into 
animal.-, but a great share of faith : however, the Oxford editor 
thinks a breast made t>f flint better security, and has therefore 
put it in. WAHBURTOJJ. 


Hath almost made me traitor to myself: 
But, lest myself be guilty to self- wrong, 3 
I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song. 

i> j , Enter ANGELO. 

ANG. Master Antipholus ? 
ANT. S. Ay, that's my name. 

ANG. I know it well, sir : Lo, here is the chain; 
I thought to have ta'en you at the Porcupine :* 
The chain unfinish'd made me stay thus long. 

ANT. S. What is your will, that I shall do with 
this ? 

ANG. What please yourself, sir ; I have made it 
for you. 

ANT. S. Made it for me, sir ! I bespoke it not. 

3 to self-wrong,"} I have met with other instances of 

this kind of phraseology. So, in The Winter's Tale : 
" But as the unthought-on accident is guilty 
" To what we wildly do, ." 
Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors read of self-wrong. 


* at the Porcupine .] It is remarkable, that throughout 

the old editions of Shakspeare's plays, the word Porpentine is 
used instead of Porcupine. Perhaps it was so pronounced at 
that time. 

I have since observed the same spelling in the plays of other 
ancient authors. Mr. Tolleffinds it likewise in p. 66 of Ascham's 
works, by Bennet, and in Stowe's Chronicles in the years 1117, 
1135. STEEVENS. 

The word, although written Porpentine in the old editions of 
Shakspeare, was scarcely so pronounced, as Mr. Steevens con- 
jectures, at least not generally; for in Eliot's Dictionary, 154*5, 
and Cooper's Dictionary, 1584, it is " Porkepyne;" and in 
Hulet's Abecedarium, 1552 " Porpyn." See a note on The 
Tempest, Act I. sc. ii. DOUCE. 

fc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 4O9 

ANG. Not once, nor twice, but twenty times 

you have : 

Go home with it, and please your wife withal ; 
And soon at supper-time I'll visit you, 
And then receive my money for the chain. 

ANT. S. I pray you, sir, receive the money now, 
For fear you ne'er see chain, nor money, more. 

ANG. You are a merry man, sir ; fare you well. 


ANT. S. What I should think of this, I cannot 


But this I think, there's no man is so vain, 
That would refuse so fair an offer'd chain. 
I see, a man here needs not live by shifts, 
When in the streets he meets such golden gifts. 
I'll to the mart, and there for Dromio stay; 
If any ship put out, then straight away. [Exit. 



The same. 

Enter a Merchant, ANGELO, and an Officer. 

MER. You know, since pentecost the sum is due, 
And since I have not much importuned you ; 
Nor now I had not, but that I am bound 
To Persia, and want gilders 5 for my voyage : 
Therefore make present satisfaction, 
Or I'll attach you by this officer. 

ANG. Even just the sum, that I do owe to you, 
Is growing to me 6 by Antipholus : 
And, in the instant that I met with you, 
He had of me a chain ; at five o'clock, 
I shall receive the money for the same : 
Pleaseth you walk with me down to his house, 
I will discharge my bond, and thank you too. 

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, and DROMIO 
of Ephesus. 

OFF. That labour may you save ; see where he 

ANT. E. While I go to the goldsmith's house, 

go thou 
And buy a rope's end ; that will I bestow 

5 "want gilders- ] A gilder is a coin valued from one 

shilling and six-pence, to two shillings. STEEVENS. 

6 Is growing to me ] i. e. accruing to me. STEEVENS. 

sc.i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 411 

Among my wife and her confederates, 7 
For locking me out of my doors by day. 
But soft, I see the goldsmith : get thee gone ; 
Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me. 

DRO. E. I buy a thousand pound a year ! I buy 
a rope ! [Exit DROMIO. 

ANT. E. A man is well holp up, that trusts to 


I promised your presence, and the chain ; 
But neither chain, nor goldsmith, came to me : 
Belike, you thought our love would last too long, 
If it were chain'd together; and therefore came not. 
AXG. Saving your meny humour, here's the 


How much your chain weighs to the utmost carrat; 
The fineness of the gold, and chargeful fashion ; 
Which doth amount to three odd ducats more 
Than I stand debted to this gentleman : 
I pray you, see him presently discharged, 
For he is bound to sea, and stays but for it. 

ANT. E. I am not furnish'd with the present 

money ; 

Besides, I have some business in the town : 
Good signior, take the stranger to my house, 
And with you take the chain, and bid my wife 
Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof; 
Perchance, I will be there as soon as you. 8 

AXG. Then you will bring the chain to her your- 

and her confederates,"] The old copy has their con- 

federates. The emendation was made by Mr. Rowe. 


* Perchance, I will be there as toon at you.] / mill, instead 
of / shall, is n Scoticisrn. DOUCE. 

And an Irishism too. REED. 


ANT. E. No ; bear it with you, lest I come not 
time enough. .. , . . , , .. 

ANG. Well, sir, I will : Have you the chain 
about you ? 

ANT. E. An if I have not, sir, I hope you have; 
Or else you may return without your money. 

ANG. Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the 

chain ; 

Both wind and tide stays for this gentleman, 
And I, to blame, have held him here too long. 

ANT. E. Good lord, you use this dalliance, to 

ujd excuse 

Your breach of promise to the Porcupine : 
I should have chid, you for not bringing it, 
But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl. 

MER. The hour steals on ; I pray you, sir, de- 

ANG. You hear, how he importunes me ; the 

ANT. E. Why, give it to my wife, and fetch 
your money. 

ANG. Come, come, you know, I gave it you even 

. now; 
Either send the chain, or send me by some token. 

ANT. E. t Fye ! now you run this humour out of 

breath : 
Come, where's the chain? I pray you, let me see it. 

MER. My business cannot brook this dalliance: 
Good sir, say, whe'r you'll answer me, or no ; 
If not, I'll leave him to the officer. 

ANT. E. I answer you ! What should I answer 
you? ,, a <a .a,. 

ANG. The money, that you owe me for the chain. 

vc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 41$ 

ANT. E. I owe you none, till I receive the chain. 
ANG. You know, I gave it you half an hour since. 

ANT. E. You gave me none; you wrong me 
much to say so. 

ANG. You wrong me more, sir, in denying it : 
Consider, how it stands upon my credit. 

MER. Well, officer, arrest him at my suit. 

OFF. I do ; and charge you, in the duke's name, 
to obey me. 

ANG. This touches me in reputation : 
Either consent to pay this sum for me, 
Or I attach you by this officer. 

ANT. E. Consent to pay thee that I never had! 
Arrest me, foolish fellow, if thou dar'st. 

ANG. Here is thy fee ; arrest him, officer ; 
I would not spare my brother in this case, 
If he should scorn me so apparently. 

OFF. I do arrest you, sir ; you hear the suit. 

ANT. E. I do obey thee, till I give thee bail : 
But, sirrah, you shall buy this sport as dear 
As all the metal in your shop will answer. 

ANG. Sir, sir, I shall have law in Ephesus, 
To your notorious shame, I doubt it not. 

Enter DROMIO of Syracuse. 

DRO. S. Master, there is a bark of Epidamnum, 
That stays but till her owner comes aboard, 
And then, sir, bears away:" our fraughtage, sir, 

9 And then, V, bears away:'] The old copy redundantly 

And then, tir, she bean away. STKEVENS. 


I have convey'd aboard ; and I have bought 
The oil, the balsamum, and aqua-vitae. 
The ship is in her trim ; the merry wind 
Blows fair from land : they stay for nought at all, 
But for their owner, master, and yourself. 

ANT. E. How now ! a madman ? Why thqu pee- 
vish sheep, 1 
What ship of Epidamnum stays for me ? 

DRO. S. A ship you sent me to, to hire waftage. 

ANT. E. Thou drunken slave, I sent thee for 

a rope; 
And told thee to what purpose, and what end. 

. DRO, S. You sent me, sir, for a rope's-end as 

soon : 2 
You sent me to the bay, sir, for a bark. 

ANT. E. I will debate this matter at more leisure, 
And teach your ears to listen with more heed. 
To Adriana, villain, hie thee straight ; 
Give her this key, and tell her, in the desk 
That's cover'd o'er with Turkish tapestry, 
There is a purse of ducats ; let her send it ; 
Tell her, I am arrested in the street, 

1 thou peevish sheep,"] Peevish is silly. So, in Cym- 

beline : 

" Desire my man's abode where I did leave him ; 
" He's strange and peevish." 
See a note on Act I. sc. vii. STEEVENS. 

* You sent me, sir, for a rope's-e?zrf as soon:~] Mr. Malone 
says that rope's is here a dissyllable ; the Saxon genitive case ; 
but a Saxon genitive case accords better with one of Puck's 
lyrical effusions, [See Vol. IV. p. 343,] than with the vulgar 
pronunciation of Dromio. I suppose, a word has been casually 
omitted in the old copy, and that we should read as I have 
printed. So, above, the same speaker says 

" And then, >, bears away: our fraughtage, sir " 


sc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 415 

And that shall bail me : hie thee, slave ; be gone. 
On, officer, to prison till it come. 
[Exeunt Merchant, ANGELO, Officer, and ANT. E. 

DRO. S. To Adriana ! that is where we din'd, 
Where Dowsabel 3 did claim me for her husband: 
She is too big, I hope, for me to compass. 
Thither I must, although against my will, 
For servants must their masters' minds fulfil. [Exit. 


The same. 

ADR. Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee so ? 

Might'st thou perceive austerely in his eye 
That he did plead in earnest, yea or no ? 

Look'd he or red, or pale ; or sad, or merrily ? 
What observation mad'st thou in this case, 
Of his heart's meteors tilting in his face ?* 

1 Where Dowsabel ] This name occurs in one of Drayton's 
Pastorals : 

" He had, as antique stories tell, 

" A daughter cleaped D&tvsabel," &c. STEEVENS. 

4 meteors tilting in his Jacef] Alluding to those me- 
teors in the sky, which have the appearance of Tines of armies 
meeting in the shock. To this appearance he compares civil 
wars in another place King Henry IV. P. I. sc. i : 

" Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven, 

" All of one nature, of one substance bred, 

" Did lately meet in the intestine shock 

" And furious close of civil butchery." WAKBURTON. 

The allusion is more clearly explained by the following com* 
parison in the second Book of Paradise Lost: 
VOL. XX. 2 E 


Luc. First, he denied you had in him no right. 

ADR. He meant, he did me none ; the more my 

Luc. Then swore he, that he was a stranger here. 

ADR. And true he swore, though yet forsworn 
he were. 

Luc. Then pleaded I for you. 
ADR. And what said he ? 

Luc. That love I begg'd for you,he begg'd of me. 
ADR. With what persuasion did he tempt thy love? 

Luc. With words, that in an honest suit might 

First, he did praise my beauty ; then, my speech. 

ADR. Did'st speak him fair ? 

Luc. Have patience, I beseech. 

ADR. I cannot, nor I will not, hold me still ; 
My tongue,though not my heart, shall have his will. 
He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere, 5 
Ill-fac'd, worse-bodied, shapeless every where ; 
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind ; 
Stigmatical in making, 6 worse in mind. 

" As when, to warn proud cities, war appears 

" Wag'd in the troubled sky, and armies rush 

" To battle in the clouds, before each van 

" Prick forth the aery knights, and couch their spears 

" Till thickest legions close ; with feats of arms 

" From either end of heaven the welkin burns." 


The original copy reads OA, his heart's meteors, &c. The 
correction was made in the second folio. MALONE. 

4 sere,] That is, dry, withered. JOHNSON. 

So, in Milton's Lycidas: " ivy never sere" STEEVENS. 

* Stigmatical in making,'] That is, marked or stigmatized by 
nature with deformity, as a token of his vicious disposition. 


sc. n. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 417 

Luc. Who would be jealous then of such a one ? 
No evil lost is waiPd when it is gone. 

ADR. Ah ! but I think him better than I say, 

And yet would herein others' eyes were worse: 
Far from her nest the lapwing cries away ; 7 

My heart prays for him, though my tongue do 

Enter DROMIO of Syracuse. 

DRO. S. Here, go ; the desk, the purse ; sweet 
now, make haste. 

Luc. How hast thou lost thy breath ? 

DRO. S. By running fast. 

ADR. Where is thy master, Dromio ? is he well ? 

DRO. S. No, he's in Tartar limbo, worse than 

A devil in an everlasting garment 8 hath him, 

So, in The Wonder of a Kingdom, 1635 : 
" If you spy any man that hath a look, 
'* Stigmatically drawn, like to a fury's," &c. 


7 Far from her nest the lapwing #c.] This expression seems 
to be proverbial I have met with it in many of the old comick 
writers. Greene, in his second Part of Coney-Catching, 1592, 
says, " But again to our priggers, who, as before I said, cry 
iirith the lajncing farthest from the nest, and from their place of 
residence where their most abode is." 

Nash, speaking of Gabriel Harvey, says "he withdraweth 
men, lamving-like, from his nest, as much as might be." 

See this passage yet more amply explained in a note on Mea- 
turejur Measure, Vol. VI. p. 221, n. 8. STEEVENS. 

* an everlasting garment ] The sergeants, in those 

days, were clad in buff\ as Dromio tells us the man was who 
arrested Antipholus. HuJf'iH also a cant expression for a man's 
kin, a covering which lasts, him as long as his life. Dromio 
therefore calls LuJJ' M\ everlasting garment : and in pursuance of 



One, whose hard heart is button'd up with steel ; 
A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough ; 9 
A wolf, nay, worse, a fellow all in buff; 
A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that coun- 
The passages of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands j 1 

this quibble on the word buff, he calls the sergeant, in the next 
scene, the " Picture of old Adam ;" that is, of Adam before 
his fall, whilst he remained unclad : " What, have you got 
the picture of old Adam new apparelled ?" 

So, in The Woman-Hater, Pandar says, " Were it not for 
my smooth citizen, I'd quit this transitory trade, get me an ever- 
lasting robe, and turn sergeant." M. MASON. 

9 A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough ;~] Dromio here bringing 
word in haste that his master is arrested, describes the bailiff by 
names proper to raise horror and detestation of such a creature, 
such as, a devil, a Jiend, a tuolf, &c. But how does fairy come 
np to these terrible ideas ? we should read, a Jiend, a Jury, &c. 


There were fairies like hobgoblins, pitiless and rough, and 
described as malevolent and mischievous. JOHNSON. 

So, Milton : 

'* No goblin, or swart fairy of the mine, 

" Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity." MALONE. 

. It is true that there is a species of malevolent and mischievous 
fairies; but Fairy, as it here stands, is generical. 


1 A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, &c. of alleys, creeks, 
and narrow lands;] It should be written, I think, narrow: 
lanes, as he has the same expression in King Richard II. Act V, 
sc. vi: 

" Even such they say as stand in narroiu lanes, 1 " 


The preceding rhyme forbids us to read lanes. Lands, I 
believe, in the present instance, mean, what we now call landing- 
places at the water-side. 

A shoulder-clapper is a bailiff. So, in Decker's Satiromastix,- 

*' fear none but these same shoulder-clappers." 


sc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 419 

A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot 

well; 2 
One that, before the judgment, carries poor souls 

to hell. 3 ' 

Narrow lands is certainly the true reading, as not only the 
rhyme points out, but the sense : for as a creek is a narrow 
water, forming an inlet from the main body into the neigh- 
bouring shore, so a narrow-land is an outlet or tongue of the 
shore that runs into the water. Besides, narrow Lanes and 
Alleys are synonymous. HENLEY. 

* A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot well ; ] 
To run counter is to run backward, by mistaking the course of 
the animal pursued ; to draw dry-foot is, I believe, to pursue 
by the track or prick of the foot ; to run counter and draw dry- 
foot well are, therefore, inconsistent. The jest consists in the 
ambiguity of the word counter, which means the wrong way in 
the chace, and a prison in London. The officer that arrested 
him was a sergeant of the counter. For the congruity of this 
jest with the scene of action, let our author answer. 


Ben Jonson has the same expression Every Man in his 
Humour, Act II. sc. iv: "Well, the truth is, my old master 
intends to follow my young, dry-foot over Moorfields to London 
this morning," &c. 

To draw dry-foot, 'n when the dog pursues the game by the 
scent of the foot : for which the blood-hound is famed. GREY. 

So, in Ram- Alley, or Merry Tricks: 

" A hunting, Sir Oliver, and dry-foot too !" 
Again, in The Dumb Knight, 1633: 

" I care not for dry-fout hunting." STEEVENS. 

A hound that draws dry-foot, means what is usually called a 
blood-hound, trained to follow men by the scent. The expression 
occurs in an Irish Statute of the 10th of William III. tor pre- 
servation of the game, which enacts, that all persons licensed 
for making and training up of setting dogs, shall, in every two 
years, during the continuance of their licence, be compelled to 
train up, tench, und make, one or more hounds, to hunt on 
dry-foot. The practice of keeping blood-hounds was long con- 
tinued in Ireland, and they were found of great use in detecting 
murderers and robbers. M. MASON. 

J poor tuuls to hell.~\ Hdl was the cant term for an 


ADR. Why, man, what is the matter ? 
DRO. S. I do not know the matter j he is 'rested 
on the case. 4 

obscure dungeon in any of our prisons. It is mentioned in The 
Counter-Rat, a poem, 1658 : 

" In Wood-street's-hole, or Poultry's hell." 
The dark place into which a tailor throws his shreds, is still 
in possession of this title. So, in Decker's If this be not a good 
Play i the Devil is in it, 1612 : 

" Taylors 'tis known 

** They scorn thy hell, having better of their own." 
There was likewise a place of this name under the Exchequer 
Chamber, where the king's debtors were confined till they had 
" paid the uttermost farthing." STEEVEKS. 

An account of the local situation of HELL may be found in 
the Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. X. p. 83, as the 
Commons passed through it to King William and Queen Marys 
Coronation, and gave directions concerning it. In Queen Eliza- 
beth's time the office of Clerk of the Treasury was situated there, 
as I find in Sir James Dyer's Reports, fol. 24-5, A, where men- 
tion is made of " one Christopher Hole Secondary del Treasurie, 
et un auncient attorney and practiser in le office del Clerke del 
Treasurie al HELL." 

This I take to be the Treasury of the Court of Common Pleas, 
of which Sir James Dyer was Chief Justice, and which is now 
kept immediately under the Court of Exchequer. The Office 
of the Tally-Court of the Chamberlain of the Exchequer is still 
there, and tallies for many centuries back are piled up and pre- 
served in this office. Two or three adjacent apartments have 
within a few years been converted to hold the Vouchers of the 
public Accounts, which had become so numerous as to overstock 
the place in which they were kept at Lincoln's Inn. These, 
therefore, belong to the Auditors of public Accounts. Other 
rooms are turned into coal cellars. There is a. pump still standing 
of excellent water, called HELL pump: And the place is to 
this day well known by the name of Hell. VAILLANT. 

* on the case.] An action upon the case, is a general 
action given for the redress of a wrong done any man without 
force, and not especially provided for by law. GREY. 

Dromio, I believe, is still quibbling. His master's case was 
touched by the shoulder-clapper. See p. 424 : " in a case of 
leather," &c. MALONE. 

jsc. ii. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 421 

ADR. What, is he arrested ? tell me, at whose 

Duo. S. I know not at whose suit he is arrested, 

But he's in 5 a suit of buff, which 'rested him, that 

can I tell: 
Will you send him,mistress,redemption, the money 

in the desk ? 

ADR. Go fetch it, sister. This I wonder at, 


That he, 6 unknown to me, should be in debt : 
Tell me, was he arrested on a band ? 7 

DRO. S. Not on a band, but on a stronger thing ; 
A chain, a chain ; do you not hear it ring ? 

1 But he's in ] The old copy reads But is in. The 
emendation is Mr. Rowe's. MALONE. 

9 That he,~\ The original copy has Thushe. The emenda- 
tion was made by the editor of the second folio. MALONE. 

~ tvas he arrested on a band ?] Thus the old copy, and 

I believe rightly; though the modern editors read bond. 
A bond, i. e. an obligatory writing to pay a sum of money, was 
anciently spelt band. A band is likewise a neckcloth. On this 
circumstance, I believe, the humour of the passage turns. 
Ben Jonson, personifying the instruments of the law, says 

" Statute, and band, and wax shall go with me." 

Again, without person ification : 

" See here your mortgage, statute, band, and wax." 
Again, in Ilistriomastir, 1610: 

" tye fast your lands 

" In statute staple, or these merchant's bands." 


Band is used in the sense which is couched under the words, 
" a stronger thing," in our author's t'cniu and Adonis: 

" Sometimes her arms infold him, like a band." 
See Minaheu's Dictionary, HJ17, in v: "BAND or Obliga- 
tion." In the same column is found " \ BAND or thong to 
tie withal." Also " A BAND for the neck, because it serves to 
bind about the neck." Tl\ese sufficiently explain the equivoque. 



ADR. What, the chain ? 

DRO. S. No, no, the bell : 'tis time, that I were 


It was two ere I left him, and now the clock strikes 

ADR. The hours come back! that did I never 

DRO. S. O yes, if any hour meet a sergeant, 
a* turns back for very fear. 

. ADR. As if time were in debt ! how fondly dost 
thou reason ? 

DRO. S. Time is a very bankrupt, and owes more 
than he's worth, to season. 

Nay, he's a thief too : Have you not heard men say, 

That time comes stealing on by night and day ? 

If he be in debt, 8 and theft, and a sergeant in the 

Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day ? 


ADR. Go, Dromio ; there's the money, bear it 

straight ; 

And bring thy master home immediately. 
Come, sister; I am press'd down with conceit; 9 
Conceit, my comfort, and my injury. 


be in debt,"] The old edition reads If /be in debt. 


For the emendation now made I am answerable. Mr. Rowe 
reads If time, &c. but / could not have been confounded by 
the ear with time, though it might with he. MALONE. 

9 - conceit;"] i. e. fanciful conception. So, in King 

" - 1 know not how conceit may rob 
" The treasury of life." STEEVENS. 

ec. in. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 423 


The same. 

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse. 

ANT. S. There's not a man I meet, but doth 

salute me 

As if I were their well-acquainted friend ; 
And every one doth call me by my name. 
Some tender money to me, some invite me ; 
Some other give me thanks for kindnesses ; 
Some offer me commodities to buy : 
Even now a tailor call'd me in his shop, 
And show'd me silks that he had bought for me, 
And, therewithal, took measure of my body. 
Sure, these are but imaginary wiles, 
And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here. 

Enter DROMIO of Syracuse. 

DRO. S. Master, here's the gold you sent me for: 
What, have you got the picture of old Adam new 
apparelled ? l 

1 What, have you got the picture of old Adam nctu 

apparellfdf] A short word or two must have slipped out here, 
by some accident in copying, or at the press ; otherwise I have 
no conception of the meaning of the passage. The case is this: 
Dromio's master had been arrested, and sent his servant home 
for money to redeem him: he, running back with the money, 
meets the twin Antipholus, whom he mistakes for his master, 
and seeing him clear of the officer before the money was come, 
be cries, in a surprize 


ANT. S. What gold is this? What Adam dost 
thou mean ? 

DRO. S. Not that Adam, that kept the paradise, 
but that Adam, that keeps the prison : he that goes 
in the calfs-skin that was killed for the prodigal ; 
he that came behind you, sir, like an evil angel, and 
bid you forsake your liberty. 

ANT. S. I understand thee not. 

DRO. S. No ? why, 'tis a plain case : he that went 
like a base-viol, in a case of leather ; the man, sir, 
that, when gentlemen are tired, gives them a fob, 
and 'rests them ; he, sir, that takes pity on decayed 
men, and gives them suits of durance ; he that sets 
up his rest to do more exploits with his mace, than 
a morris-pike. 2 

What, have you got rid of the picture of old Adam 

neiu apparelled? 

For so I have ventured to supply, by conjecture. But why is 
the officer called old Adam new apparelled ? The allusion is to 
Adam, in his state of innocence, going naked ; and immediately 
after the fall, being clothed in a frock of skins. Thus he was 
new apparelled: and, in like manner, the Sergeants of the 
Counter were formerly clad in buff, or calfs-skin, as the author 
humorously a little lower calls it. THEOBALD. 

The explanation is very good, but the text does not require 
to be amended. JOHNSON. 

These jests on Adam's dress are common among our old 
writers. So, in King Edward III. 1599 : 
" The register of all varieties 
" Since leathern Adam, to this younger hour." 
Again, in Philip Stubbes's Anatomic of Abuses, 8vo. 1583: 
" Did the Lorde clothe our first parents in leather, as not hauing 
any thyng more precious to attire them withall," &c. 


* he that sets up his rest to do more exploits ivith his mace t 

than a morris-pike.'] Sets up his rest, is a phrase taken from 
military exercise. When gunpowder was first invented, its 
force was very weak compared to that in present use. This^ 
necessarily required fire-arms to be of an extraordinary length. 

sc. m. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 425 

ANT. S. What ! thou mean's! an officer ? 

As the artists improved the strength of their powder, the sol- 
diers proportionably shortened their arms and artillery ; so that 
the cannon, which Froissart tells us was once fifty feet long, was 
contracted to less than ten. This proportion likewise held in 
their muskets ; so that, till the middle of the last century, the 
musketeers always supported their pieces, when they gave fire, 
with a rest stuck before them into the ground, which they called 
setting up their rest, and is here alluded to. There is another 
quibbling allusion too to the Serjeant's office of arresting. But 
what most wants animadversion is the morris-pike, which is 
without meaning, impertinent to the sense, and false in the 
allusion : no pike being used amongst the dancers so called, or 
at least not famed for much execution. In a word, Shakspeare 

a Maurice-pike. 

\. e. a pikeman of Prince Maurice's army. He was the greatest 
general of that age, and the conductor of the Low -country wars 
against Spain, under whom all the English gentry and nobility 
were bred to the service. Hence the pikes of his army became 
famous for their military exploits. WARBURTON. 

This conjecture is very ingenious, yet the commentator talks 
unnecessarily of the rett of a, musket, by which he makes the 
hero of the speech set up the rest of a musket to do exploits with 
a pike. The re^t of a pike was a common term, and signified, 
I believe, the manner in which it was fixed to receive the rush 
of the enemy. A morris-pike was a pike used in a morris or a 
military dance, and with which great exploits were done, that 
is, great feats of dexterity were shown. There is no need of 
change. JOHN. SON. 

A morris-pike is mentioned by the old writers as a formidable 
weapon ; and therefore Dr. Warburton's notion is deficient in 
first principles. " Morcspikes (says Langley, in his translation 
of Polydore Virgil,) were used nrst in the siege of Capua." 
And in Reynard's Deliverance of certain Christians from the 
Turks, " the English mariners laid about them with brown bills, 
halbcrtfi, and morrice-pike.s." FARMER. 

Polydore Virgil does not mention morrit-pikes at the siege of 
Capua, though Langley's translation of him advances their and* 
quity so high. 

Morris pike.*, or the nikoH of the Moors, were excellent for- 
merly ; and since, the Spanish pikes have been equally famous. 
Sec Hartlih's Lrirfir, . 4K. TOLLET. 


DRO. S. Ay, sir, the sergeant of the band ; he, 
that brings any man to answer it, that breaks his 
band ; one that thinks a man always going to bed, 
and says, God give you good rest! 

ANT. S. Well, sir, there rest in your foolery. Is 
there any ship puts forth to-night? may we be 
gone ? 

DRO. S. Why, sir, I brought you word an hour 
since, that the bark Expedition put forth to-night; 
and then were you hindered by the sergeant, to 
tarry for the hoy, Delay : Here are the angels that 
you sent for, to deliver you. 

ANT. S. The fellow is distract, and so am I ; 
And here we wander in illusions ; 
Some blessed power deliver us from hence ! 

The mention of morris-pikes is frequent among our old 
writers. So, in Heywood's King Edward IV. 1626: 
" Of the French were beaten down 
" Morris-pikes and bowmen," &c. 

Again, in Holinshed, p. 816: " they entered the gallies 
again with moris pikes and fought," &c. STEEVENS. 

There is, I believe, no authority for Dr. Johnson's assertion, 
that the Morris-Pike was used in the Morris-dance. Swords 
were sometimes used upon that occasion. It certainly means 
the Moorish-pike, which was very common in the 16th century. 
See Grose's History of the English Army, Vol. I. p. 135. 


The phrase he that sets up his rest, in this instance, signifies 
only, I believe, " he that trusts" is confident in his expectation. 
Thus, Bacon : " Sea-fights have been final to the war, but this 
is, when Princes set up their REST upon the battle." Again, 
Clarendon : " they therefore resolved to set up their REST upon 
that stake, and to go through with it, or perish." This figure 
of speech is certainly derived from the REST which Dr. War- 
burton has described, as that was the only kind of rest which, 
was ever set up. HENLEY. 

sc. in. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 427 

Enter a Courtezan. 

COUR. Well met, well met, master Antipholus. 
I see, sir, you have found the goldsmith now : 
Is that the chain, you promis'd me to-day ? 

ANT. S. Satan, avoid ! I charge thee tempt me 


DRO. S. Master, is this mistress Satan ? 
ANT. S. It is the devil. 

DRO. S. Nay, she is worse, she is the devil's dam; 
and here she comes in the habit of a light wench; 
and thereof comes, that the wenches say, Goddamn 
?ne, that's as much as to say, God make me a light 
u-enc/i. It is written, they appear to men like 
angels of light : light is an effect of fire, and fire 
"will burn; ergo, light wenches will burn; Come 
not near her. 

COUR. Your man and you are marvellous, merry, 


Will you go with me ? We'll mend our dinner 
here. 3 

DRO. S. Master, if you do expect spoon-meat, 
or bespeak a long spoon. 4 

1 We'll mend our dinner here.] i. e. by purchasing some* 

thing additional in the adjoining market. MALONE. 

if you do expect spoon-meat, or bespeak a long spoon."] 
The passage is wrong pointed, and the or, a mistake tor and: 

Cour. We'll mend our dinner here. 

Dro. S. Master, if you do, expect tpoon meat, and bespeak a 
long spoon, RITSON. 

In the old copy you is accidentally omitted. It was supplied 
by the editor oi' the second folio. I believe some other words 
were passed over by the compositor, perhaps of this import: 
" If you do expect *poon-mcat, either stay away, or bespeak a 
long spoon." 


ANT. S. Why, Dromio ? 

DRO. S. Marry, he must have a long spoon, that 
must eat with the devil. 

ANT. S. Avoid then, fiend! what tell' st thou me 

of supping ? 

Thou art, as you are all, a sorceress: 
I conjure thee to leave me, and be gone. 

COUR. Give me the ring of mine you had at 


Or, for my diamond, the chain you promis'd ; 
And I'll be gone, sir, and not trouble you. 
DRO. S. Some devils ask but the paring of one's 


A rush, a hair, a drop of blood, 5 a pin, 
A nut, a cherry-stone ; but she, more covetous, 
Would have a chain. 
Master, be wise ; an' if you give it her, 
The devil will shake her chain, and fright us with 

COUR. I pray you, sir, my ring, or else the chain; 
I hope, you do not mean to cheat me so. 

ANT. S. Avaunt, thou witch ! Come, Dromio, 

let us go. 
DRO. S. Fly pride, says the peacock : Mistress, 

that you know. 

\_Exenunt ANT. S. and DRO. S. 

COUR. Now, out of doubt, Antipholus is mad, 
Else would he never so demean himself: 

The proverb mentioned afterwards by Dromio, is again alluded 
to in The Tempest. See Vol. IV. p. 87, n. 2. MALONE. 

* a drop of blood,] So, in The Witch, by Middleton, 

when a spirit descends, Hecate exclaims 

" There's one come downe to fetch his dues, 

A kisse, a coll, a sip of bloody" &c. STEEVENS. 


A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats, 

And for the same he promis'd me a chain ; 

Both one, and other, he denies me now. 

The reason that I gather he is mad, 

(Besides this present instance of his rage,) 

Is a mad tale, he told to-day at dinner. 

Of his own doors being shut against his entrance. 

Belike, his wife, acquainted with his fits, 

On purpose shut the doors against his way. 

My way is now, to hie home to his house, 

And tell his wife, that, being lunatick, 

He rush'd into mv house, and took perforce 

My ring away: This course I fittest choose ; 

For forty ducats is too much to lose. [Exit. 


The same. 
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, and an Officer. 

ANT. E. Fear me not, man, I will not break 


I'll give thee, ere I leave thee, so much money 
To warrant thee, as I am 'rested for. 
My wife is in a wayward mood to-day; 
And will not lightly trust the messenger, 
That I should be attach'd in Ephesus: 
1 tell you, 'twill sound harshly in her ears. 

Enter DIIOMIO of Ephesus, icith a rope's end. 

Here comes my man ; I think, he brings the money. 
How now, sir? have you that I sent you for? 


DRO. E. Here's that, I warrant you, will pay 
them all. 6 

ANT. E. But where's the money ? 

DRO. E. Why, sir, I gave the money for the 

ANT. E. Five hundred ducats, villain, for a 
rope ? 

DRO. E. I'll serve you, sir, five hundred at the 

ANT. E. To what end did I bid thee hie thee 

DRO. E. To a rope's end, sir ; and to that end 
am I returned. 

ANT. E. And to that end, sir, I will welcome 
you. [Beating him. 

OFF. Good sir, be patient. 

DRO. E. Nay, 'tis for me to be patient ; I am in 

OFF. Good now, hold thy tongue. 

DRO. E. Nay, rather persuade him to hold his 

ANT. E. Thou whoreson, senseless villain ! 

DRO. E. I would I were senseless, sir, that I 
might not feel your blows. 

ANT. E. Thou art sensible in nothing but blows, 
and so is an ass. 

DRO. E. I am an ass, indeed; you may prove it 

. ivitt pay them all."] i. e. serve to hit, strike, correct 

them all. So, in Twelf th- Night : " He pays you as surely as 
your feet hit the ground they step on." STEEVENS. 

sc. iv. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 431 

by my long ears. 7 I have served him from the 
hour of my nativity to this instant, and have no- 
thing at his hands for my service, but blows: 
when I am cold, he heats me with beating : when 
I am warm, he cools me with beating : I am waked 
with it, when I sleep ; raised with it, when I sit ; 
driven out of doors with it, when I go from home; 
welcomed home with it, when I return : nay, I 
bear it on my shoulders, as a beggar wont her 
brat; and, I think, when he hath lamed me, I 
shall beg with it from door to door. 

Enter ADRIAXA, LUCIANA, and the Courtezan, 
with PiNCH, 8 and Others. 

ANT. E. Come, go along ; my wife is coming 

DRO. E. Mistress, respice Jinem, respect your 
end ; or rather the prophecy, like the parrot, 
Beware the rope's end. 13 

7 by my long ears.] He means, that his master had 

lengthened his ears by frequently pulling them. STEEVENS. 

* Pinch, ] The direction in the old copy is, " and 

a schoolmaster called Pinch." In many country villages the 
pedagogue is still a reputed conjurer. So, in Ben Jonsou's 
Staple of \ews : "I would have ne'er a cunning school-master 
in England, I mean a cunning man as a schoolmaster ; that is, 
a conjurour," &c. STEEVENS. 

9 Mistress, respice fincm, respect your end ; or rather the 
prophecy, like the parrot, Beware the rope's end."] These words 
seem to allude to a famous pamphlet of that time, wrote by 
Buchanan against the Lord of Liddington; which ends with 
these words, Itc&picejincm, respice funem. But to what purpose, 
unless our author would .-how that he could quibble as well 
in English, as the other in Latin, I confess I know not. Afl for 
pronheiying like the parrot, this alludes to people's teaching that 
bird unlucky word*; with which, when any passenger was 
VOL. XX. 2 F 


ANT. E. Wilt thou still talk? [Beats him. 

COUR. How say you now ? is not your husband 

ADR. His incivility confirms no less. 
Good doctor Pinch, you are a conjurer ; 
Establish him in his true sense again, 
And I will please you what you will demand. 

Luc. Alas, how fiery and how sharp he looks! 
COUR. Mark, how he trembles in his extacy ! 

PINCH. Give me your hand, and let me feel 
your pulse. 

ANT. E. There is my hand, and let it feel your 

PINCH. I charge thee, Satan, hous'd within this 


To yield possession to my holy prayers, 
And to thy state of darkness hie thee straight ; 
I conjure thee by all the saints in heaven. 

ANT. E. Peace, doting wizard, peace ; I am 
not mad. 

ADR. O, that thou wert not, poor distressed soul! 

ANT. E. You minion, you, are these your cus- 
tomers ? l 

offended, it was the standing joke of the wise owner to say, 
Take heed, sir, my parrot prophesies. To this, Butler hints, 
where, speaking of Ralpho's skill in augury, he says 

" Could tell what subtlest parrots mean, 

" That speak and think contrary clean; 

" What member 'tis of whom they talk, 

" When they cry rope, and walk, knave, walk" 


So, in Decker's Satiromastix : 

" But come, respicejunem" STEEVENS. 
your customers ?] A customer is used in Othello for a 


sc. /F. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 433 

Did this companion 2 with the saffron face 
Revel and feast it at my house to day, 
Whilst upon me the guilty doors were shut, 
And I denied to enter in my house ? 

ADR. O, husband, God doth know, you din'd 

at home, 

Where 'would you had remained until this time, 
Free from these slanders, and this open shame ! 
ANT. E. I din'd at home ! 3 Thou villain, what 
say'st thou ? 

DRO. E. Sir, sooth to say, you did not dine at 

ANT. E. Were not my doors lock'd up, and I 
shut out ? 

DRO. E. Perdy, 4 your doors were lock'd, and 

you shut out. 

ANT. E. And did not she herself revile me there ? 
DRO. E. Sans fable, she herself revil'd you there. 

ANT. E. Did not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt, 
and scorn me ? 

DRO. E. Certes, 5 she did; the kitchen-vestal c 
scorn'd you. 

common woman. Here it seems to signify one who visit* such 
women. MALONE. 

companion ] A word of contempt, anciently used as 
we now u&cJelU/w. STEEVENS. 

1 / din'd at home!] I is not found in the old copy. It was 
inserted by Mr. Theobald. MALONE. 

4 Perdu,"] A corruption of the common French oath Par- 
Aim. Chaucer's personages are frequent in their use of it. 


' CVr/c*,] i. e. certainly. So, in The Tempest: 
" For ccrtes, these are people of the island. 


2 F 2 


ANT. E. And did not I in rage .depart from 
thence ? 

DRO. E. In verity, you did ; my bones bear 

That since have felt the vigour of his rage. 

ADR. Is't good to sooth him in these contraries ? 

PINCH. It is no shame ; the fellow finds his vein, 
And, yielding to him humours well his frenzy. 

ANT. E. Thou hast suborn'd the goldsmith to 
arrest me. 

ADR. Alas, I sent you money to redeem you, 
By Dromio here, who came in haste for it. 

DRO. E. Money by me? heart and good-will 

you might, 
But, surely, master, not a rag of money. 

ANT. E. Went'st not thou to her for a purse of 
ducats ? 

ADR. He came to me, and I deliver'd it. 
Lpc. And I am witness with her, that she did. 

DRO. E. God and the rope-maker, bear me wit- 
That I was sent for nothing but a rope ! 

PINCH. Mistress, both man and master is pos- 


I know it by their pale and deadly looks : 
They must be bound, and laid in some dark room. 

ANT. E. Say, wherefore didst thou lock me 

forth to-day, 
And why dost thou deny the bag of gold ? 

ADR. I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth. 

* kitchen-vestal ] Her charge being like that of the 

,-estal virgins, to keep the fire burning. JOHNSON. 

sc. iv. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 455 

DRO. E. And, gentle master, I receiv'd no gold; 
But I confess, sir, that we were lock'd out. 

ADR. Dissembling villain, thou speak'st false in 

ANT. E. Dissembling harlot, thou art false in all j 
And art confederate with a damned pack, 
To make a loathsome abject scorn or me : 
But with these nails I'll pluck out these false eyes, 
That would behold me in this shameful sport. 

[ PINCH and his Assistants bind ANT. E. and 
DRO. E. 

ADR. O, bind him, bind him, let him not come 
near me. 

PINCH. More company; the fiend is strong 
within him. 

Luc. Ah me, poor man, how pale and wan he 
looks ! 

ANT. E. What, will you murder me ? Thou 

gaoler, thou, 

I am thy prisoner ; wilt thou suffer them 
To make a rescue ? 

OFF. Masters, let him go: 

He is my prisoner, and you shall not have him. 

PINCH. Go, bind this man, for he is frantick too. 

ADR. What wilt thou do, thou peevish officer ? 7 
Hast thou delight to see a wretched man 
Do outrage and displeasure to himself? 

OFF. He is my prisoner ; if I let him go, 
The debt he owes, will be required of me. 

7 thou peevish officer?] This ia the second time that, in 

the course of this play, peevish has been used for foolish. 



ADR. I will discharge thee, ere I go from thee: 
Bear me forthwith unto his creditor, 
And, knowing how the debt grows, I will pay it. 
Good master doctor, see him safe conveyed 
Home to my house. O most unhappy day ! 

ANT. E. O most unhappy strumpet ! 8 

DRO. E. Master, I am here enter'd in bond for 

ANT. E. Out on thee, villain ! wherefore dost 
thou mad me ? 

DRO. E. Will you be bound for nothing ? be 

Good master ; cry, the devil. 

Luc. God help, poor souls, how idly do they talk ! 

ADR. Go bear him hence. Sister, go you with 

\J&xeunt PINCH and Assistants, with ANT. E. 

and Dro. E. 
Say now, whose suit is he arrested at ? 

OFF. One Angelo, a goldsmith ; Do you know 

ADR. I know the man : What is the sum he 
owes ? 

OFF. Two hundred ducats. 

ADR. Say, how grows it due ? 

OFF. Due for a chain, your husband had of him. 

ADR. He did bespeak a chain for me, but had it 
not. 9 

8 unhappy strumpet. 1 '] Unhappy is here used in one of 

the senses of unlucky; i. e. mischievous. STEEVENS. 

He did bespeak a chain for me, but had it not.~\ I suppose, 
the words for we, which spoil the metre, might safely be 

COUR. When as your husband, all in rage, to-day 
Came to my house, and took away my ring, 
(The ring I saw upon his finger now,) 
Straight after, did I meet him with a chain.' 

ADR. It may be so, but I did never see it : 
Come, gaoler, bring me where the goldsmith is, 
I long to know the truth hereof at large,. 

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse, with his Rapier 
drawn, and DROMIO of Syracuse. 

Luc. God, for thy mercy ! they are loose again. 

ADR. And come with naked swords ; let's call 

more help, 

To have them bound again. 
OFF. Away, they'll kill us. 

\Exeunt Officer, ADR. and Luc. 

ANT. S. I see, these witches are afraid of swords. 

DRO. S. She, that would be your wife, now ran 
from you. 

ANT. S. Come to the Centaur j fetch our stuff 1 

from thence : 
I long, that we were safe and sound aboard. 

DRO. S. Faith, stay here this night, they will 
surely do us no harm ; you saw, they speak us fair, 
give us gold: methinks, they are such a gentle na- 
tion, that but for the mountain of mad flesh that 
claims marriage of me, I could find in my heart to 
stay here still, and turn witch. 

ANT. S. I will not stay to night for all the townj 
Therefore away, to get our stuff aboard. [Exeunt. 

1 our stuff ~] i. c. our baggage. In the orders that 

were issued for the Royal Progresses in the last century, the 
king's baggage was always thus denominated. MALONE. 



The same. 
Enter Merchant and ANGELO. 

ANG. I am sorry, sir, that I have hinder' d you ; 
But, I protest, he had the chain of me, 
Though most dishonestly he doth deny it. 

MER. How is the man esteem'd here in the city ? 

ANG. Of very reverent reputation, sir, 
Of credit infinite, highly belov'd, 
Second to none that lives here in the city ; 
His word might bear my wealth at any time. 

MER. Speak softly : yonder, as I think, he walks. 
Enter ANTIPHOLUS and DROMIO of Syracuse. 

ANG. 'Tis so ; and that self chain about his neck, 
Which he forswore, most monstrously, to have, 
Good sir, draw near to me, I'll speak to him. 
Signior Antipholus, I wonder much 
That you would put me to this shame and trouble; 
And not without some scandal to yourself, 
With circumstance, and oaths, so to deny 
This chain, which now you wear so openly : 
Besides the charge, the shame, imprisonment, 
You have done wrong to this my honest friend ; 
Who, but for staying on our controversy, 
Had hoisted sail, and put to sea to-day : 
This chain you had of me, can you deny it ? 

ANT. S. I think, I had ; I never did deny it. 
. Yes, that you did, sir ; and forswore it too, 

ac. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 439 

ANT. S. Who heard me to deny it, or forswear it ? 

MER. These ears of mine, thou knowest, did hear 

thee : 

Fye on thee, wretch ! 'tis pity, that thou liv'st 
To walk where any honest men resort. 

ANT. S. Thou art a villain, to impeach me thus : 
I'll prove mine honour and mine honesty 
Against thee presently, if thou dar'st stand. 

MER. I dare, and 'do defy thee for a villain. 

\_They draw. 

Enter ADRIANA, LUCIANA, Courtezan, and Others. 

ADR. Hold, hurt him not, for God's sake ; he is 

mad ; 

Some get within him, 2 take his sword away : 
Bind Dromio too, and bear them to my house. 

DRO. S. Run, master, run ; for God's sake, take 

a house. 3 
This is some priory ; In, or we are spoil'd. 

[Exeunt ANT. S. and DRO. S. to the Priory. 

Enter the Abbess. 

ABB. Be quiet, people ; Wherefore throng you 
hither ? 

ADR. To fetch my poor distracted husband hence : 
Let us come in, that we may bind him fast, 
And bear him home for his recovery. 

ANG. I knew, he was not in his perfect wits. 

* get within Aim,] i. e. close with him, grapple with 


take a home.'] i. e. go into a house. So, vf say a 

dog takes the -water. STEEVENS. 


MER. I am sorry now, that I did draw on him. 

Ass. How long hath this possession held the 
man ? 

ADR. This week he hath been heavy, sour, sad, 
And much, much different from the man he was ; 4 
But, till this afternoon, his passion 
Ne'er brake into extremity of rage. 

Ass. Hath he not lost much wealth by wreck at 


Buried some dear friend ? Hath not else his eye 
Stray'd his affection in unlawful love ? 
A sin, prevailing much in youthful men, 
Who give their eyes the liberty of gazing. 
Which of these sorrows is he subject to ? 

ADR. To none of these, except it be the last ; 
Namely, some love, that drew him oft from home. 

Ass. You should for that have reprehended him. 

ADR. Why, so I did. 

Ass. Ay, but not rough enough. 

ADR. As roughly, as my modesty would let me. 

Ass. Haply, in private. 

ADR. And in assemblies too. 

Ass. Ay, but not enough. 

ADR. It was the copy 5 of our conference : 
In bed, he slept not for my urging it ; 
At board, he fed not for my urging it ; 
Alone, it was the subject of my theme ; 

4 And much, much different from the man he luas;"] Thus 
the second folio. The first impairs the metre by omitting to 
repeat the word much. STEEVENS. 

* the copy ] i. e. the theme. We still talk of setting 

copies for boys. STEEVENS. 

sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 441 

In company, I often glanced it ; 

Still did I tell him it was vile and bad. 

ABB. And thereof came it, that the man was 

mad : 

The venom clamours of a jealous woman 
Poison more deadly than a mad dog's tooth. 
It seems, his sleeps were hinder'd by thy railing : 
And thereof comes it, that his head is light. 
Thou say'st, his meat was sauc'd with thy upbraid- 


Unquiet meals make ill digestions, 
Thereof the raging fire of fever bred ; 
And what's a fever but a fit of madness ? 
Thou say'st, his sports were hinder'd by thy brawls: 
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue, 
But moody and dull melancholy, 
(Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair; 6 ) 

6 But moody and dull melancholy, 

f Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair;)'] Shakspeare 
could never make melancholy a male in this line, and a Jemale 
in the next. This was the foolish insertion of the first editors. 
I have, therefore, put it into hooks, as spurious. 


The defective metre of the second line, is a plain proof that 
some dissyllable word hath been dropped there. I think it 
therefore probable our poet may have written : 
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue, 
But moody [moping] and dull melancholy, 
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair f 
And at their heels a huge infectious troop . HEATH. 

It has been observed to me that Mr. Capell reads: 

But moody and dull melancholy, kins 

woman to grim and comfortless despair; 

Yet, though the Roman language may allow of such transfers 
from the end of one verse to the beginning of the next, the 
custom is unknown to English poetry, unless it be of the bur- 
lesque kind. It is too like Homer Travesty : 

" On this, Agam 

M mcrnnon began to curse and damn." STEEVENS. 


And, at her heels, a huge infectious troop 7 
Of pale distemperatures, and foes to life r 
In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest 
To be disturbed, would mad or man, or beast : 
The consequence is then, thy jealous fits 
Have scared thy husband from the use of wits. 

Luc. She never reprehended him but mildly, 
Whenhedemean'dhimself rough, rude andwildly. 
Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not ? 

ADR. She did betray me to my own reproof. 
Good people, enter, and lay hold on him. 

ABB. No, not a creature enters in my house. 

ADR. Then, let your servants bring my husband 

ABB. Neither ; he took this place for sanctuary, 
And it shall privilege him from your hands, 
Till I have brought him to his wits again, 
Or lose my labour in assaying it. 

ADR. I will attend my husband, be his nurse, 
Diet his sickness, for it is my office, 
And will have no attorney but myself j 

Kinsman means no more than near relation. Many words are 
used by Shakspeare with much greater latitude. 

Nor is this the only instance of such a confusion of genders. 
In The Merchant of Venice, Portia says 

" but now I was the lord 

" Of this fair mansion, master of my servants, 
" Queen o'er myself." RITSON. 

7 And, at her heels, a huge infectious troop ] I have no 
doubt the emendation proposed by Mr. Heath [" their heels"'] 
is right. In the English manuscripts of our author's time the 
pronouns were generally expressed by abbreviations. In this 
very play we have already met their for her, which has been 
rightly amended : 

" Among my wife and their confederates ." 

Act IV. sc. i. MALONE. 

sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 443 

And therefore let me have him home with me. 

ABB. Be patient ; for I will not let him stir, 
Till I have used the approved means I have, 
With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers, 
To make of him a formal man again :* 
It is a branch and parcel of mine oath, 
A charitable duty of my order ; 
Therefore depart, and leave him here with me. 

ADR. I will not hence, and leave my husband 


And ill it doth beseem your holiness, 
To separate the husband and the wife. 

ABB. Be quiet, and depart, thou shalt not have 
him. \_Exit Abbess. 

Luc. Complain unto the duke of this indignity. 

ADR. Come, go ; I will fall prostrate at his feet, 
And never rise until my tears and prayers 
Have won his grace to come in person hither, 
And take perforce my husband from the abbess. 

MER. By this, I think, the dial points at five : 
Anon, I am sure, the duke himself in person 
Comes this way to the melancholy vale ; 
The place of death 9 and sorry execution, 1 
Behind the ditches of the abbey here. 

' a formal man again:"] i.e. to bring him back to his 

senses, and the forms of sober behaviour. So, in Measure for 
Measure, " informal women," for just the contrary. 


The place of death ] The original copy has depth. 
'Sir. Rowe made the emendation. MALONE. 

1 sorry execution,] So, in Macbeth: 

" Of sorriest fancies your companions making.'* 

Sorry had anciently a stronger meaning than at present. 
Thus, in Chaucer's Prologue to the Sompnotire* Tale, v. 7,283, 
Mr. Tyrwhitt'g edition : 


ANG. Upon what cause ? 

MER. To see a reverend Syracusan merchant, 
Who put unluckily into this bay 
Against the laws and statutes of this town, 
Beheaded publickly for his offence. 

ANG. See, where they come ; we will behold his 

Luc. Kneel to the duke, before he pass the abbey. 

Enter Duke attended ; ^EGEON bare-headed; with 
the Headsman and other Officers. 

DUKE. Yet once again proclaim it publickly, 
If any friend will pay the sum for him, 
He shall not die, so much we tender him. 

ADR. Justice, most sacred duke, against the ab- 

DUKE. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady; 
It cannot be, that she hath done thee wrong. 

ADR. May it please your grace, Antipholus, my 

" This Frere, whan he loked had his fill 
" Upon the turments of this sory place." 
Again, in The Knightes Tale, where the temple of Mars is 
described : 

" All full of chirking was that sory place.'* 
Again, in the ancient MS. Romance of The Soudan of Baby- 
loyne, &c : 

" It was done as the kinge comaunde 

" His soule was fet to helle 
" To daunse in that sory lande 
" With develes that wer ful felle." STEEVENS. 

Thus, Macbeth looking on his bloody hands after the murder 
of Duncan : 

" This is a sorry sight." HENLEY. 

Mr. Douce is of opinion, that sorry, in the text, is put for 
sorrovoful. STEEVENS. 


Whom I made lord of me and all I had, 
At your important letters, 2 this ill day 
A most outrageous fit of madness took him ; 
That desperately he hurried through the street, 
(With him his bondman, all as mad as he,) 
Doing displeasure to the citizens 
By rushing in their houses, bearing thence 
Rings, jewels, any thing his rage did like. 
Once did I get him bound, and sent him home, 
Whilst to take order 3 for the wrongs I went, 
That here and there his fury had committed. 
Anon, I wot not by what strong escape, 4 
He broke from those that had the guard of him ; 

* Whom I made lord of me nnd all I had, 

At your important Utters,'] Important seems to be used for 
importunate. JOHNSON". 

So, in King Lear: 

" great France 

" My mourning and important tears liath pitied." 
Again, in George Whetstone's Castle of Delight, 1576: 
" yet won by importance accepted his courtesie." 

Shakspeare, who gives to all nations the customs of his own, 

seems from this passage to allude to a court of wards in Ephesus. 

The court of wards was always considered as a grievous 

oppression. It is glanced at as early as in the old morality of 

Hycke Scorncr: 

" these ryche men ben unkinde: 

" Wydowes do curse lordes and gentyllmen, 

** For they contrayne them to marry with their men ; 

" Ye, wheder they wyll or no." STEEVENS. 

J to take order } i.e. to take measures. So, in 

Othello, Act V : 

" Honest lago hath taen order for it." STEEVENS. 

by ivhat strong escape,] Though strong is not unin- 
telligible, I suspect we should read strange. The two words 
are often confounded in the old copies. MA LONE. 

A strong escape, I suppose, mean* an escape effected by 
strength or violence. STEEVENS. 


And, with his mad attendant and himself, 5 
Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords, 
Met us again, and, madly bent on us, 
Chased us away ; till, raising of more aid, 
We came again to bind them : then they fled 
Into this abbey, whither we pursued them ; 
And here the abbess shuts the gates on us, 
And will not suffer us to fetch him out, 
Nor send him forth, that we may bear him hence. 
Therefore, most gracious duke, with thy command. 
Let him be brought forth, and borne hence for help. 

DUKE. Long since, thy husband serv'd me in my 


And I to thee engag'd a prince's word, 
When thou didst make him master of thy bed, 
To do him all the grace and good I could. 
Go, some of you, knock at the abbey-gate, 
And bid the lady abbess come to me j 
I will determine this, before I stir. 

Enter a Servant. 

SERV. O mistress, mistress, shift and save your- 
My master and his man are both broke loose, 

4 And, with his mad attendant and himself,'] We should 

" mad himself. WARBURTON. 

We might read : 

And here his mad attendant and himself. 
Yet, as Mr. Ritson observes, the meeting to which Adriana 
alludes, not having happened before the abbey, we may more 
properly suppose our author wrote 

And then his mad attendant and himself. STEEVENS. 

I suspect, Shakspeare is himself answerable for this inaccu- 
racy. MALONE. 

&.'i. COMEt)Y OF EimOfcS. 447 

Beaten the maids a-row, 6 and bound the doctor, 
Whose beard they have singed off with brands of 

fire; 7 

A'nd ever as it blazed, they threw on him 
Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair : 
My master preaches patience to him, while 3 
His man with scissars nicks him like a fool : 9 

6 Beaten the maids a-row,] i. e. successively, one after 
another. So, in Chaucer's 1Vife of Bathes Tale, v. 6,836, Mr. 
Tyrwhitt's edition : 

" A thousand time a-rmv he gan hire kisse." 
Again, in Turbervillc's translation of Ovid's Epistle from 
Penelope to Ulysses: 

" and drawes with wine 

" The Troian tentes arawe." STEEVENS. 

Again, in Hormanni Vulgaria,p. 288: 

" I shall tell thee aratue all that I sawe." 

" Ordine tibi visa omnia exponam." DOUCE. 

" Whose beard they have singed ojfidth brands ofjire;] Such 
a hidicrous circumstance is not unworthy of the farce m which 
we find it introduced ; but it is rather out of place hi an cpick 
poem, amidst all the horrors and carnage of a battle : 
" Obvius ambustum torrem Cormaeas ah* afa 
" Corripit, et venienti Ebuso, plagdrnkftfe fereriti, 
" Occupat os flanimis : UK ingens barba reluxit, 
" Nidoremque ambusta dedit." Virg. JEneis, Lib. XII. 


Shakspeare was a great reader of Plutarch, where he might 
have seen this method of shaving in the Life of Dion, p. 167, 
4to. See North's translation, in wlrich oVr/ax?; may be trans- 
lated brands. S. W. 

North gives it thus ** with a hot burning cole to burne his 
goodly bush of heare rounde about." STEEVENS. 

My master preaches patience to him, while 1 The old 
copy redundantly feads and the while. I have followed Sir 
Thomas Hanmer, by omitting the unnecessary syllables. 


9 //M man with scissars nicks him like afool:~\ The force 
of this .-illusion I am unabtc to explain with certainty. Perhaps 
it was once the custom to cut the hair of idiots close- to their 
VOL. XX. 2 G 


And, sure, unless you send some present help, 
Between them they will kill the conjurer. 

ADR. Peace, fool, thy master and his man are 

here ; 
And that is false, thou dost report to us. 

SERF. Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true j 
I have not breath'd almost, since I did see it. 
He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you, 
To scorch your face, 1 and to disfigure you : 

[Cry 'within. 
Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress ; fly, be gone. 

DUKE. Come, stand by me, fear nothing: Guard 
with halberds. 

ADR. Ah me, it is my husband ! Witness you, 
That he is borne about invisible : 

heads. There is a proverbial simile " Like crop the conjurer;" 
which might have been ironically applied to these unfortunate 
beings. STEEVENS. 

There is a penalty of ten shillings in one of King Alfred's 
ecclesiastical laws, if one opprobriously shave a common man 
like a. fool. TOLLET. 

Fools, undoubtedly, were shaved and nicked in a particular 
manner, in our author's time, as is ascertained by the following 
passage in The Choice of Change, containing the Triplicitie of 
Divinitie, Philosophie, and Poetrie, by S. R. Gent. 4to. 1598: 
" Three things used by monks, which provoke other men to 
laugh at their follies. 1. They are shaven and notched on the 
head, like Jboles." 

See also Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598, in v. " Zuccone. 
A shaven pate, a notted poule ; a poule-pate ; a gull, a ninnie." 


The hair of idiots is still cut close to their heads, to prevent 
the consequences of uncleanliness. RITSON. 

1 To scorch your face,"} We should read scotch; i.e. hack, 

To scorch, I believe, is right. He would have punished her 
as he had punished the conjurer before. STEEVENS. 

-sc. /. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 449 

Even now we hous'd him in the abbey here ; 
And now he's there, past thought of human reason. 

Enter ANTIPHOLUS and DROMIO o/'Ephesus. 

ANT. E. Justice, most gracious duke, oh, grant 

me justice! 

Even for the service that long since I did thee, 
When I bestrid thee in the wars, and took 
Deep scars to save thy life ; even for the blood 
That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice. 

JEoE. Unless the fear of death doth make me 

I see my son Antipholus, and Dromio. 

ANT. E. Justice, sweet prince, against that wo- 
man there. 

She whom thou gav'st to me to be my wife ; 
That hath abused and dishonour'd me, 
Even in the strength and height of injury ! 
Beyond imagination is the wrong, 
That she this day hath shameless thrown on me. 

DUKE. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just. 

ANT. E. This day, great duke, she shut the 

doors upon me, 
While she, with harlots 2 feasted in my house. 

* with harlots ] Antipholus did not suspect his wife 

of having entertained courtezans, but of having been confederate 
with cheats to impose on him and abuse him. Therefore, Ire 
*ays to her Act IV. sc. iv : 

" are these your customers ? 
" Did this companion with the saffron face 
" Ilcvel and feast it at my house to-day?" 
By this description he points out Pinch and his followers. 
Ifarlnl was a term of reproach applied to cheats among men as 

'2 G 2 


DUKE. A grievous fault: Say, woman, didst 
thou so ? 

ADR. No, my good lord ; myself, he, and my 


To-day did dine together : So befal my soul, 
As this is false, he .burdens me withal ! 

Luc. Ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on night, 
But she tells to your highness simple truth ! 

ANG. O perjur'd woman ! they are both forsworn. 
In this the madman justly chargeth them. 

ANT. E. My liege, I am advised 3 what I sayj 
Neither disturb'd with the effect of wine, 
Nor heady-rash, provok'd with raging ire, 
Albeit, my wrongs might make one wiser mad. 
This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner : 

well as to wantons among women. Thus, in The Fox, Cor- 
bacchio says to Volpone 

Out harlot!" 

Again, in The Winter's Tale : 

" for the harlot king 

" Is quite beyond mine arm." 

Again, in the ancient mystery of Candlemas-Day, 1512, 
Herod says to Watkin " Nay, harlott, abyde stylle with my 
knyghts I warne the." 

The learned editor of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 5 vols. 
8vo. 1775, observes, that in The Romaunt of the Rose, v. 6068, 
King of Harlots is Chaucer's translation of Roy des ribaulx. 
Chaucer uses the word more than once : 

" A sturdy harlot went hem ay behind, 
" That was hir hosts man," &c. 

Sompnoures Tale, v. 7336. 

Again, in The Dyers' Play, among the Chester Collection, 
in the Museum, Antichrist says to the male characters on the 

" Out on ye harlots, whence come ye ?" STEEVENS. 

3 / am advised ] i. e. I am not going to speak pre- 
cipitately or rashly, but on reflection and consideration. 


sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 451 

That goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her, 
Could witness it, for he was with me then ; 
Who parted with me to go fetch a chain, 
Promising to bring it to the Porcupine, 
Where Balthazar and I did dine together. 
Our dinner done, and he not coming thither, 
I went to seek him : In the street I met him ; 
And in his company, that gentleman. 
There did this perjur'd goldsmith swear me down, 
That I this day of him receiv'd the chain, 
Which, God he knows, I saw not : for the which, 
He did arrest me with an officer. 
I did obey ; and sent my peasant home 
For certain ducats : he with none return'd. 
Then fairly I bespoke the officer, 
To go in person with me to my house. 
By the way we met 
My wife, her sister, and a rabble more 
Of vile confederates ; along with them 
They brought one Pinch ; a hungry lean-faced vil- 

A meer anatomy, a mountebank, 
A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller ; 
A needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch, 
A living dead man : 4 this pernicious slave, 
Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer ; 
And, gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse, 
And with no face, as 'twere, outfacing me, 
Cries out, I was possess'd : then altogether 
They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence ; 

4 A living dead man .] This thought appears to have been 
borrowed from Sackvil's Induction to The Mirror for Magi- 
strates : 

" but as a h/uing death, 

" So ded aliuc ot life nee drew the breath." 



And in a dark and dankish vault at home 

There left me and my man, both bound together ; 

Till gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder, 

I gain'd my freedom, and immediately 

Ran hither to your grace ; whom I beseech 

To give me ample satisfaction 

For these deep shames and great indignities. 

ANG. My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with 

him j 

That he dined not at home, but was lock'd out. 
DUKE. But had he such a chain of thee, or no ? 
ANG. He had, my lord : and when he ran in 


These people saw the chain about his neck. 
MER. Besides, I will be sworn, these ears of 


Heard you confess you had the chain of him, 
After you first, forswore it on the mart, 
And, thereupon, I drew my sword on you ; 
And then you fled into this abbey here, 
From whence, I think, you are come by miracle. 

ANT. E. I never came within these abbey walls, 
Nor ever didst thou draw thy sword on me : 
I never saw the chain, so help me heaven ! 
And this is false, you burden me withal. 

DUKE. What an intricate impeach is this ! 
I think, you all have drank of Circe's cup. 
If here you hous'd him, here he would have been ; 
If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly: 
You say, he dined at home ; the goldsmith here 
Denies that saying : Sirrah, what say you ? 

DRO. E. Sir, he dined with her there, at the 

COUR. He did ; and from my finger snatch'd 
that ring. 

sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 453 

ANT. E. 'Tis true, my liege, this ring I had of 

DUKE. Saw'st thou him enter at the abbey here? 

COUR. As sure, my liege, as I do see your grace. 

DUKE. Why, this is strange : Go call the ab- 
bess hither ; 

I think, you are all mated, 5 or stark mad. 

[Exit an Attendant. 

JEGE. Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak 

a word ; 

Haply, I see a friend will save my life, 
And pay the sum that may deliver me. 

DUKE. Speak freely, Syracusan, what thou wilt. 

J&GE. Is not your name, sir, calPd Antipholus ? 
And is not that your bondman Dromio ? 

DRO. E. Within this hour I was his bondman, 


But he, I thank him, gnaw'd in two my cords ; 
Now am I Dromio, and his man, unbound. 

JEGE. I am sure, you both of you remember me. 

DRO. E. Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you ; 
For lately we were bound, as you are now. 
You are not Pinch*s patient, are you, sir ? 

JEGE. Why look you strange on me ? you know 
me well. 

ANT. E. I never saw you in my life, till now. 

JEGE. Oh! grief hath chang'd me, since you saw 

me last ; 
And careful hours, with Time's deformed 6 hand 

' mated,] Seep. 401, n. 2. MAI.ONK. 

deformed ] For deforming. 

454 COMEPY OF PHROftS, 4C T v, 

Have written strange defeatures 7 in my face: 
But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice ? 

ANT. & Neither. 

MGE. Dromio, nor thou ? 

DRO. E, No, trust me, sir, nor I. 

JEGE. I am sure, thou dost. 

DRO. E. Ay, sir ? but I am sure, I do not; and 
whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to 
believe him. 8 

JEGE. Not know my voice ! O, times extremity ! 
Hast thou so crack* d and splitted my poor tongue, 
In seven short years, that here my only son 
Knows not my feeble key of untun'd cares ? 9 

strange defeatures ] Defeature is the privative of 

feature. The meaning is, time hath cancelled my features. 


Defeatures are undoings, miscarriages, misfortunes ; from de- 
faire, Fr. So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1599: 

" The day before the night of my defeature, (i. e. un- 

*' He greets me with a casket richly wrought." 
The sense is, I am deformed, undone, by misery. Misfortune 
has left its impression on my face. STEEVENS. 

Defeature is, I think, alteration of feature, marks of defor- 
mity. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis : 

" to cross the curious workmanship of nature, 

'< To mingle beauty with infirmities, 

" Arid pure perfection with impure defeature*" 


Defeatures are certainly neither more nor less than features ; 
as demerits are neither more nor less than merits. Time, says 
jfegeon, hath placed new and strange features in my face; i. e. 
given it quite a different appearance : no wonder therefore thou 
dost not know me. RITSON. 

8 yfiu are now bound to believe him.'} Dromio is still 

quibbling on his favourite topick. See p. 453. MALONE. 

9 my feeble key of untun'd cares?] i. e. the weak and 

discordant tone of my voice, that is changed by grief. DOUCE. 

sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 455 

Though now this grained face 1 of mine be hid 
In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow, 
And all the conduits of my blood froze up ; 
Yet hath my night of life some memory, 
My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left, 
My dull deaf ears a little use to hear : 
All these old witnesses (I cannot err,) 2 
Tell me, thou art my son Antipholus. 

ANT. E. I never saw my father in my life. 

JEGE. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy, 
Thou know'st, we parted : but, perhaps, my son, 
Thou sham'st to acknowledge me in misery. 

AXT> E. The duke, and all that know me in the 


Can witness with me that it is not so ; 
I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life. 

DUKE. I tell thee, Syracusan, twenty years 
Have I been patron to Antipholus, 
During which time he ne'er saw Svracusa : 
I see, thy age and dangers make thee dote. 

1 this grained Jacc~] i. e. furrowed, like the grain of 

wood. So, in Coriolanus: 

" my grained ash." STEEVBNS. 

* AH the$e old mititestes (I cannot r,)] I believe should be 
read : 

All these hold witnesses 1 cannot err. 

i. e. all these continue to testify that I cannot err, and tell 
me, &c. WAKBLHTON. 

The old reading is the true one, as well as the most poetical. 
The words I cannot err, should be thrown into a parenthesis. 
By old witnestes I believe he means experienced, accustomed 
ones, which are therefore less likely to err. So, in The Tempest: 

" If these be true spies that I wear in my head," &c. 
Again, in Titus Andronicus, sc. ult : 

But if my froaty signs and chaps of age, 

" Grave wtncwi of true experience," &c. STEEVBNS. 


Enter the Abbess, with ANTIPHOLUS Syracusan, 
and DROMIO Syracusan. 

Ass. Most mighty Duke, behold a man much 
wrong'd. [ All gather to see him. 

ADR. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive 

DUKE. One of these men is Genius to the other ; 
And so of these : Which is the natural man, 
And which the spirit ? Who deciphers them ? 

DRO. S. I, sir, am Dromio ; command him away. 
DRO. E. I, sir, am Dromio ; pray, let me stay. 
ANT. S. .JSgeon, art thou not ? or else his ghost? 

DRO. S. O, my old master ! who hath bound him 
here ? 

ABB. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds. 
And gain a husband by his liberty : - 
Speak, old ^Egeon, if thou be'st the man 
That had'st a wife once called jJEmilia, 
That bore thee at a burden two fair sons : 
O, if thou be'st the same ^Egeon, speak, 
And speak unto the same ^Emilia \ 

. If I dream not, 3 thou art ./Emilia ; 

3 If I dream not,'] In the old copy, this speech of Jigeon, 
and the subsequent one of the Abbess, follow the speech of the 
Duke, beginning with the words " Why, here" &c. The 
transposition was suggested by Mr. Steevens. It scarcely requires 
any justification, ^geon's answer to .^Emilia's adjuration would 
necessarily immediately succeed to it. Besides, as Mr. Steevens 
has observed, as these speeches stand in the old copy, the Duke 
comments on .^Emilia's words before she has uttered them. The 
slight change now made renders the whole clear. MALONE. 

That, however, will scarcely remove the difficulty : the next 

sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 457 

If thou art she, tell me, where is that son 
That floated with thee on the fatal raft ? 

ABB. By men of Epidamnum, he, and I, 
And the twin Dromio, all were taken up ; 
But, by and by, rude fishermen of Corinth 
By force took Dromio, and my son from them, 
And me they left with those of Epidamnum : 
What then became of them, I cannot tell ; 
I, to this fortune that you see me in. 

DUKE. Why, here begins his morning story 

right : 4 

These two Antipholus's, these two so like, 
And these two Dromio's, one in semblance, 5 
Besides her urging of her wreck at sea, 6 
These are the parents to these children, 7 

speech is ./Egeon's. Both it and the following one should pre- 
cede the Duke's ; or there is possibly a line lost. RITSON. 

If this be the right reading, it is, as Steevens justly remarks, 
one of Shakspcare's oversights, as the Abbess had not hinted at 
her shipwreck. But possibly we should read 

" Besides his urging of her wreck at sea." M. MASON. 

* fVhy, here begins his morning story right :~] " The morn- 
ing story" is what ^Egeon tells the Duke in the first scene of 
this play. HOLT WHITE. 

s semblance,"] Semblance (as Mr. Tyrwhitt has observed) 

is here a trisyllable. STEEVENS. 

of her wreck at sea,"] I suspect that a line following 

this has been lost; the import of which was, that These ctrcum- 
stances all concurred to prove that These were the parents, &c. 
The line which I suppose to have been lost, and the following 
one, beginning perhaps with the same word, the omission might 
have been occasioned by the compositor's eye glancing from one 
to the other. MALONE. 

7 children,"] This plural is here used as a trisyllable. 

So, in Chapman's version of the sixteenth Iliad: 

* Abhor'd Chimaru; and such bane now caught his 

Again, in the fourth Iliad: 


Which accidentally are met together. 
Antipholus, thou cam'st from Corinth first. 

ANT. S. No, sir, not I j I came from Syracuse. 

DUKE. Stay, stand apart j I know not which is 

ANT. E. I came from Corinth, my most gracious 

DRO. E. And I with him. 

ANT. E. Brought to this town by that most 

famous warrior 
Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle. 

ADR. Which of you two did dine with me to-day ? 

ANT. S. I, gentle mistress. 

ADR. And are not you my husband ? 

ANT. E. No, I say nay to that. 

ANT. S. And so do I, yet did she call me so j 
And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here, 
Did call me brother : What I told you then, 
I hope, I shall have leisure to make good ; 
If this be not a dream, I see, and hear. 

ANG. That is the chain, sir, which you had of me. 

ANT. S. I think it be, sir ; I deny it not. 

ANT. E. And you, sir, for this chain arrested me. 

ANG. I think I did, sir ; I deny it not. 

ADR. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail, 
By Dromio ; but I think he brought it not. 

DRO. E. No, none by me. 

ANT. S. This purse of ducats I received from you, 

sometimes childeren 

" May with discretion plant themselves against their 

fathers' wills." 
Again, in the sixth Iliad: 

" Yet had he one surviv'd to him of those three chil- 
deren." STEEVENS. 

sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 459 

And Dromio my man did bring them me : 
I see, we still did meet each other's man, 
And I was ta'en for him, and he for me, 
And thereupon these Errors are arose. 

ANT. E. These ducats pawn I for my father here. 
DUKE. It shall not need, thy father hath his life. 
COUR. Sir, I must have that diamond from you. 

ANT. E. There, take it ; and much thanks for 
my good cheer. 

ABB. Renowned duke, vouchsafe to take the 


To go with us into the abbey here, 
And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes : : 
And all that are assembled in this place, 
That by this sympathized one day's error 
Have suffer'd wrong, go, keep us company, 
And we shall make full satisfaction. 
T wenty-fi ve years 8 have I but gone in travail 

' Twenty-five years 3 ^ n former editions : 

Thirty-three years. 

'Tis impossible the poet should be so forgetful, as to design 
this number here ; and therefore I have ventured to alter it to 
/ur/j/y : //iT, upon a proof, that, I think, amounts to demon- 
strut ion. The number, I presume, was at first wrote in figures, 
and, perhaps, blindly ; and thence the mistake might arise. 
^Egeon, in the first scene of the first Act, is precise as to the 
time his son left him, in quest of his brother : 

" My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care, 

" At eighteen years became inquisitive 

" After his brother;" &c. ' 

And how long it was from the son's thus parting from his 
father, to their meeting again at Ephesus, where JEgeon, mis- 
takenly, recognizes the twin-brother, for him, we as precisely 
learn from another passage, in the fifth Act : 

" JR. But xeven years since, in Syracusa bay, 

" Thou know'st we parted ; ." 

So that these two numbers, put together, settle the date of their 
birth beyond dispute. THEOBALD. 


Of you, my sons ; nor, till this present hour, 9 
My heavy burdens are delivered : 
The duke, my husband, and my children both, 
And you the calendars of their nativity, 
Go to a gossip's feast, and go with me j l 
After so long grief, such nativity ! 2 

DUKE. With all my heart, I'll gossip at this feast. 
\JLxeunt Duke, Abbess, ^GEON, Courtezan, 
Merchant, ANGELO, and Attendants. 

DRO. S. Master, shall I fetch your stuff from 
shipboard ? 

9 nor, till this present hour,'] The old copy reads 

and till . The emendation was made by Mr. Theobald. 

Burden, in the next line, was corrected by the editor of the 
second folio. MALONE. 

1 and go with me;~] We should read : 

and gaude with me; 

i. e. rejoice, from the French, gaudir. WARBURTON. 

The sense, is clear enough without the alteration. The Revisal 
offers to read, more plausibly, I think : 
joy with me. 

Dr. Warburton's conjecture may, however, be countenanced 
by the following passage in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: "I 
have good cause to set the cocke on the hope, and make gaudyc 

Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. sc. xi : 
" Let's have one other gaudy night." 

In the novel of M. Alberto, of Bologna, the author adviseth 
gentlewomen " to beware how they contrive their holyday 
talke, by waste wordes issuing forth their delicate mouths in 
carping, gauding, and jesting at young gentlemen, and speciallye 
old men," &c. Palace of Pleasure, 1582, Vol. I. fol. 60. 


* After so long grief, such nativity!"] We should surely 

After so long grief, such festivity. 

Nativity lying so near, and the termination being the same of 
both words, the mistake was easy. JOHNSON. 

The old reading may be right. She has just said, that to her, 
her sons were not lorn till now. STEEVENS. 

sc. i. COMEDY OF ERRORS. 461 

ANT. E. Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou 

embark* d ? 
DRO. S. Your goods, that lay at host, sir, in the 

ANT. S. He speaks to me j I am your master, 

Dromio : 

Come, go with us ; we'll look to that anon : 
Embrace thy brother there, rejoice with him. 

{Exeunt ANTIPHOLUS S. and E. ADR. and Luc. 
DRO. S. There is a fat friend at your master's 


That kitchen'd me for you to-day at dinner j 
She now shall be my sister, not my wife. 

DRO. E. Methinks, you are my glass, and not 

my brother : 

I see by you, I am a sweet-faced youth. 
Will you walk in to see their gossiping ? 

DRO. S. Not I, sir ; you are my elder. 

DRO. E. That's a question : how shall we try it ? 

DRO. S. We will draw cuts for the senior : till 
then, lead thou first. 

DRO. E. Nay, then thus : 

We came into the world, like brother and brother ; 
And now let's go hand in hand, not one before an- 
other. \_Exeunt? 

1 On a careful revision of the foregoing scenes, I do not 
hesitate to pronounce them the composition of two very unequal 
writer*. Snak.peare had undoubtedly a share in them ; but that 
the entire |>lay was no work of his, is an opinion which (as 
Benedick Bays) " fire cannot melt out of me ; I will die in it at 
the stake." 1 hus, as we are informed by Aulus Gellius, Lib. IFI. 
cap. 3, some plays were absolutely ascribed to Plant us, which in 
truth had only been (retractatte et cxpolitcc) retouched and 
polished by him. 


In this comedy we find more intricacy of plot than distinction 
of character ; and our attention is less forcibly engaged, because 
we can guess in great measure how the denouement will be 
brought about. Yet the subject appears to have been reluctantly 
dismissed, even in this last and unnecessary scene, where the 
same mistakes are continued, till their power of affording enter- 
tainment is entirely lost. STEEVENS. 

The long doggrel verses that Shakspeare has attributed in this 
play to the two Dromios, are written in that kind of metre 
which was usually attributed, by the dramatick poets before his 
time, in their comick pieces, to some of their inferior characters ; 
and this circumstance is one of many that authorize us to place 
the preceding comedy, as well as Love's Labours Lost, and The 
Taming of the Shreiv, (where the same kind of versification is 
likewise found,) among our author's earliest productions ; com- 
posed probably at a time when he was imperceptibly infected 
with the prevailing mode, and before he had completely learned 
" to deviate boldly from the common track." As these early 
pieces are now not easily met with, I shall subjoin a few extracts 
from some of them : 



" Royst. If your name to me you will declare and showe, 
" You may in this matter my minde the sooner knowe. 

" Tos. Few wordes are best among freends, this is true, 
" Wherefore I shall briefly show my name unto you. 
" Tom Tospot it is, it need not to be painted, 
" Wherefore I with Raife Roister must needs be acquainted," &c. 


[About 1570.] 

" Shift. By gogs bloud, my maisters, wee were not best 

longer here to staie, 
" I thinke was never suche a craftie knave before this daie. 

[Exeunt Ambo. 

* This dramatick piece, in its entire state, has not been met with. The 
only fragment of it known to be existing, is in my possession. STEEVENS. 


" Cortd. Are thei all gone ? Ha, ha, ha, wel fare bid Shift 

at a neede : 

* By his woundes had I not devised this, I had hanged indeede. 
" Tinkers (q d you) tinke me no tinks; He meddle with them 

no more ^ 
" I thinkc was never knave *b Used by a companie of tinkers 


" By your leave He bee BO boldc as to looke about me and spie, 
" Least any knaves for my commyng doune in ambush doe lie. 
'* By your licence I minde not to preache longer in this tree, 
" My tinkerly slaves are packed hence, as farre as I maie see." &c. 



" The wind is yl blows no man's gaine : for cold I neede not 


" Here is nine and twentie sutes of apparel for my share ; 
' And some, berlady, very good, for so standeth the case, 
" As neither gentleman nor other Lord Promos sheweth any 

grace ; 
" But I marvel much, poore slaves, that they are hanged so 

" They were wont to staye a day or two, now scarce an after- 

noone." &c. 


* You think I am going to market to buy rost meate, do ye 

not ? 

" I thought so, but you are deceived, for I wot what I wot : 
" I am neither going to the butchers, to buy veale, mutton, or 

" But I am going to bloodsucker, and who is it ? faith Usurie, 

that theete." 


" Quoth Niccncss to Newfanglc, thou art such a Jackc, 
" That thou devisest fortie fashions for my ladle's backe. 
" And thou, quoth he, art so possess t with everie frantick toy, 
Tint following' of my ludie'a hamour thou dost make her coy. 
VOL. XX. 2 H 


" For once a day for fashion-sake my lady must be sickc, 
" No meat but mutton, or at most the pinion of a chicke : 
" To-day her owne haire best becomes, which yellow is as gold, 
' A periwig is better for to-morrow, blacke to behold : 
" To-day in pumps and cheveril gloves to walk she will be bold, 
" To-morrow cuffes and countenance, for feare of catching cold : 
" Now is she barefast to be seene, straight on her muffler goes ; 
" Now is she hufft up to the crowne, straight nusled to the 


See also Gammer Gurton's Needle, Damon and Pythias, &c. 



Printed by S. Hamilton, Weybridge. 


A 000025580