Skip to main content

Full text of "Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Edited, with notes"

See other formats










COPYRIGHT, 1879 AND 1898, BY 

COPYRIGHT, 1904 AND 1907, BY 


W. P. 8 



THIS edition of Romeo and Juliet, first published in 
1879, is now thoroughly revised on the same general 
plan as its predecessors in the new series. 

While I have omitted most of the notes on textual 
variations, I have retained a sufficient number to illus 
trate the curious and significant differences between 
the first and second quartos. Among the many new 
notes are some calling attention to portions of the early 
draft of the play some of them very bad which 
Shakespeare left unchanged when he revised it. 

The references to Dowden in the notes are to his 
recent and valuable edition of the play, which I did not 
see until this of mine was on the point of going to the 
printer. The quotation on page 288 of the Appendix 
is from his Shakspere : His Mind and Art, which, by 
the way, was reprinted in this country at my suggestion. 




The History of the Play 9 

The Sources of the Plot H 

General Comments on the Play *7 


Act I 2 9 

Act II 58 

Act III 8 5 

Act IV . . 118 

ActV - '36 



Concerning Arthur Brooke 2 75 

Comments on Some of the Characters .... 278 

The Time-Analysis of the Play 2 9 

List of Characters in the Play 291 






The earliest edition of Romeo and Juliet, so far as we 
know, was a quarto printed in 1597, the title-page of 
which asserts that " it hath been often (with great 
applause) plaid publiquely." A second quarto ap 
peared in 1599, declared to be " newly corrected, 
augmented, and amended." 

Two other quartos appeared before the folio of 1623, 
one in 1609 and the other undated; and it is doubtful 
which was the earlier. The undated quarto is the first 


io Romeo and Juliet 

that bears the name of the author (" Written by W. 
Shake-speare "),- but this does not occur in some copies 
of the edition. A fifth quarto was published in 1637. 

The first quarto is much shorter than the second, 
the former having only 2232 lines, including the pro 
logue, while the latter has 3007 lines (Daniel). Some 
editors believe that the first quarto gives the author's 
first draft of the play, and the second the form it took 
after he had revised and enlarged it ; but the majority 
of the best critics agree substantially in the opinion 
that the first quarto was a pirated edition, and repre 
sents in an abbreviated and imperfect form the play 
subsequently printed in full in the second. The former 
was "made up partly from copies of portions of the 
original play, partly from recollection and from notes 
taken during the performance ; " the latter was from an 
authentic copy, and a careful comparison of the text 
with the earlier one shows that in the meantime the 
play " underwent revision, received some slight aug 
mentation, and in some few places must have been 
entirely rewritten." A marked instance of this re 
writing the only one of considerable length is in 
ii. 6. 6-37, where the first quarto reads thus (spelling 
and pointing being modernized) : 

Jul. Romeo. 

Rom. My Juliet, welcome. As do waking eyes 
Closed in Night's mists attend the frolick Day, 
So Romeo hath expected Juliet, 
And thou art come. 

Introduction 1 1 

Jul. I am, if I be Day, 

Come to my Sun : shine forth and make me fair. 

Rom. All beauteous fairness dwelleth in thine eyes. 

Jul. Romeo, Irom thine all brightness doth arise. 

Fri. Come, wantons, come, the stealing hours do pass, 
Defer embracements till some fitter time. 
Part for a while, you shall not be alone 
Till holy Church have joined ye both in one. 

Rom. Lead, holy Father, all delay seems long. 

Jul. Make haste, make haste, this lingering doth us wrong. 

For convenient comparison I quote the later text 
here : 

Juliet. Good even to my ghostly confessor. 

Friar Laurence. Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us 

Juliet. As much to him, else is his thanks too much. 

Romeo. 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 music's tongue 
Unfold the imagin'd happiness that both 
Receive in either by this dear encounter. 

Juliet. Conceit, more rich in matter than in words, 
Brags of his substance, not of ornament. 
They are but beggars that can count their worth; 
But my true love is grown to such excess 
I cannot sum up half my sum of wealth. 

Friar Laurence. Come, come with me, and we will make short 


For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone 
Till holy church incorporate two in one. 

il Romeo and Juliet 

The " omission, mutilation, or botching " by which 
some German editors would explain all differences 
between the earlier and later texts will not suffice 
to account for such divergence as this. " The two 
dialogues do not differ merely in expressiveness and 
effect; they embody different conceptions of the char 
acters ; " and yet we cannot doubt that both were 
written by Shakespeare. 

But while the second quarto is " unquestionably our 
best authority " for the text of the play, it is certain 
that it " was not printed from the author's manuscript, 
but from a transcript, the writer of which was not only 
careless, but thought fit to take unwarrantable liberties 
with the text." The first quarto, with all its faults and 
imperfections, is often useful in the detection and cor 
rection of these errors and corruptions, and all the 
modern editors have made more or less use of its 

The third quarto (1609) was a reprint of the second, 
from which it " differs by a few corrections, and more 
frequently by additional errors." It is from this edition 
that the text of the first folio is taken, with some 
changes, accidental or intentional, " all generally for 
the worse," except in the punctuation, which is more 
correct, and the stage directions, which are more 
complete, than in the quarto. 

The date of the first draft of the play has been much 
discussed, but cannot be said to have been settled. 
The majority of the editors believe that it was begun 

Introduction 13 

as early as 1561, but I think that most of them lay too 
much stress on the Nurse's reference (i. 3. 22, 35) to 
the " earthquake," which occurred " eleven years " 
earlier, and which these critics suppose to have been 
the one felt in England in 1580. 

Aside from this and other attempts to fix the date by 
external evidence of a doubtful character, the internal 
evidence confirms the opinion that the tragedy was an 
early work of the poet, and that it was subsequently 
"corrected, augmented, and amended." There is a 
good deal of rhyme, and much of it in the form of 
alternate rhyme. The alliteration, the frequent play 
ing upon words, and the lyrical character of many 
passages also lead to the same conclusion. 

The latest editors agree substantially with this view. 
Herford says: "The evidence points to 1594-1595 as 
the time at which the play was substantially composed, 
though it is tolerably certain that some parts of our 
present text were written as late as 1596-1598, and 
possibly that others are as early as 1591." Dowden 
sums up the matter thus : " On the whole, we might 
place Romeo and Juliet, on grounds of internal evidence, 
near The Rape of Lucrece ; portions may be earlier in 
date ; certain passages of the revised version are cer 
tainly later; but I think that 1595 may serve as an 
approximation to a central date, and cannot be far 

For myself, while agreeing substantially with these 
authorities, I think that a careful comparison of what 

14 Romeo and Juliet 

are evidently the earliest portions of the text with 
similar work in Love's Labour's Lost (p. play revised like 
this, but retaining traces of the original form), The Two 
Gentlemen of Verona, and other plays which the critics 
generally assign to 1591 or 1592, proves conclusively 
that parts of Romeo and Juliet must be of quite as early 
a date. 

The earliest reference to the play in the literature of 
the time is in a sonnet to Shakespeare by John Weever, 
written probably in 1595 or 1596, though not published 
until 1599. After referring to Venus and Adonis and 
Lucrece, Weever adds : 

" Romeo, Richard, more whose names I know not, 
Their sugred tongues and power attractive beuty 
Say they are saints," etc. 

No other allusion of earlier date than the publication 
of the first quarto has been discovered. 


Girolamo della Corte, in his Storia di Verona, 1594, 
relates the story of the play as a true event occurring 
in 1303 ; but the earlier annalists of the city are silent 
on the subject. A tale very similar, the scene of which 
is laid in Siena, appears in a collection of novels by 
Masuccio di Salerno, printed at Naples in 1476 ; but 
Luigi da Porto, in his La Giulietta? published about 

i A translation of La Giulietta, with an historical and critical intro 
duction by me, was published in Boston, 1893. 

Introduction 15 

1530, is the first to call the lovers Romeo and Juliet, 
and to make them the children of the rival Veronese 
houses. The story was retold in French by Adrian 
Sevin, about 1542 ; and a poetical version of it was 
published at Venice in 1553. It is also found in 
Bandello's Novelle, 1554; and five years later Pierre 
Boisteau translated it, with some variations, into French 
in his Histoire de Deux Amans. The earliest English 
version of the romance appeared in 1562 in a poem by 
Arthur Brooke founded upon Boisteau's novel, and 
entitled Romeus and Juliet. A prose translation of 
Boisteau's novel was given in 'Paynter's Palace of 
Pleasure, in 1567. It was undoubtedly from these 
English sources, and chiefly from the poem by Brooke, 
that Shakespeare drew his material. It is to be noted, 
however, that Brooke speaks of having seen " the same 
argument lately set forth on stage " ; and it is possible 
that this lost play may also have been known to 
Shakespeare, though we have no reason to suppose 
that he made any use of it. That he followed Brooke's 
poem rather than Paynter's prose version is evident 
from a careful comparison of the two with the play. 

Grant White remarks : " The tragedy follows the 
poem with a faithfulness which. might be called slavish, 
were it not that any variation from the course of the 
old story was entirely unnecessary for the sake of 
dramatic interest, and were there not shown in the 
progress of the action, in the modification of one 
character and in the disposal of another, all peculiar 

1 6 Romeo and Juliet 

to the play, self-reliant dramatic intuition of the highest 
order. For the rest, there is not a personage or a situa 
tion, hardly a speech, essential to Brooke's poem, which 
has not its counterpart its exalted and glorified 
counterpart in the tragedy. ... In brief, Romeo 
and Juliet owes to Shakespeare only its dramatic form 
and its poetic decoration. But what an exception is 
the latter ! It is to say that the earth owes to the sun 
only its verdure and its flowers, the air only its per 
fume and its balm, the heavens only their azure and 
their glow. Yet this must not lead us to forget that 
the original tale is one of the most truthful and touch 
ing among the few that have entranced the ear and 
stirred the heart of the world for ages, or that in 
Shakespeare's transfiguration of it his fancy and his 
youthful fire had a much larger share than his phi 
losophy or his imagination. 

" The only variations from the story in the play are 
the three which have just been alluded to : the com 
pression of the action, which in the story occupies four 
or five months, to within as many days, thus adding 
impetuosity to a passion which had only depth, and 
enhancing dramatic effect by quickening truth to vivid 
ness ; the conversion of Mercutio from a mere courtier, 
' bolde emong the bashfull maydes,' ' courteous of his 
speech and pleasant of devise,' into that splendid union 
of the knight and the fine gentleman, in portraying 
which Shakespeare, with prophetic eye piercing a 
century, shows us the fire of faded chivalry expiring 

Introduction 17 

in a flash of wit ; and the bringing-in of Paris (for 
gotten in the story after his bridal disappointment) to 
die at Juliet's bier by the hand of Romeo, thus gather 
ing together all the threads of this love entanglement 
to be cut at once by Fate." 


Coleridge, in his Notes and Lectures upon Shakespeare, 
says : " The stage in Shakespeare's time was a naked 
room with a blanket for a curtain, but he made it a field 
for monarchs. That law of unity which has its founda 
tions, not in the factitious necessity of custom, but in 
nature itself, the unityjof feeling, is everywhere and at 
all times observed by Shakespeare in his plays. Read 
Romeo and Juliet : all is youth and spring youth with 
its follies, its virtues, its precipitancies ; spring with its 
odours, its flowers, and its transiency. It is one and 
the same feeling that commences, goes through, and 
ends the play. The old men, the Capulets and the 
Montagues, are not common old men ; they have an 
eagerness, a heartiness, a vehemence, the effect of 
spring; with Romeo, his change of passion, his sudden 
marriage, and his rash death, are all the effects of 
youth ; whilst in Juliet love has all that is tender and 
melancholy in the nightingale, all that is voluptuous in 
the rose, with whatever is sweet in the freshness of 
spring ; but it ends with a long deep sigh like the last 
breeze of the Italian evening." 


1 8 Romeo and Juliet 

The play, like The Merchant of Venice, is thoroughly 
Italian in atmosphere and colour. The season, though 
Coleridge refers to it figuratively as spring, is really 
midsummer. The time is definitely fixed by the Nurse's 
talk about the age of Juliet. She asks Lady Capulet 
how long it is to Lammas-tide that is, to August i 
and the reply is, " A fortnight and odd days " six 
teen or seventeen days we may suppose, making the 
time of the .conversation not far from the middle of 
July. This is confirmed by allusions to the weather 
and other natural phenomena in the play. At the 
beginning of act iii, for instance, Benvolio says to his 
friends : 

" I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire ; 
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad, 
And if we meet we shall not scape a brawl, 
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring." 

When the Nurse goes on the errand to Romeo (ii. 4), 
Peter carries her fan, and she finds occasion to use it. 
" The nights are only softer days, not made for sleep, 
but for lingering in moonlit gardens, where the fruit- 
tree tops are tipped with silver and the nightingale 
sings on the pomegranate bough." It is only in the 
coolness of the dawn that Friar Laurence goes forth 
to gather herbs ; and it is 

" An hour before the worshipp'd sun 
Peer'd forth the golden window of the east," 

that we find Romeo wandering in the grove of syca- 

Introduction 19 

more, "with tears augmenting the fresh morning's 
dew," because Rosaline will not return his love. 

In one instance, overlooked by the commentators 
generally, Shakespeare seems to forget the time of 
year. In the masquerade scene (i. 5) Old Capulet bids 
the servants " quench the fire " because " the room is 
grown too hot." In Brooke's poem, where the action 
covers four or five months, this scene is in the winter. 
Shakespeare, in condensing the time to less than a 
single week in summer, neglected to omit this reference 
to a colder season. 

Aside from this little slip, the time is the Italian 
summer from first to last. And, as a French critic 
remarks, " the very form of the language comes from 
the South." The tale originated in Italy ; " it breathes 
the very spirit of her national records, her old family 
feuds, the amorous and bloody intrigues which fill her 
annals. No one can fail to recognize Italy in its lyric 
rhythm, its blindness of passion, its blossoming and 
abundant vitality, in its brilliant imagery, its bold com 
position." All the characters are distinctively Italian. 
" In total effect," as another has said, " the play is so 
Italian that one may read it with increasing surprise 
and delight in Verona itself." 

Although, as I have said, it is doubtful whether the 
story has any historical basis, the Montagues and the 
Capulets were famous old families in Verona. Dante 
alludes to them in the Purgatorio (vi. 107), though not 
as enemies : 

2O Romeo and Juliet 

" Vieni a veder Montecchi e Cappelletti, 
Monaldi e Filippeschi, uom senza cura, 
Color gia tristi, e costor con sospetti." 1 

The palace of the Capulets is to this day pointed out 
in Verona. It is degraded to plebeian occupancy, and 
the only mark of its ancient dignity is the badge of 
the family, the cap carved in stone on the inner side 
of the entrance to the court, which is of ample size, sur 
rounded by buildings that probably formed the main 
part of the mansion, but are now divided into many 
tenements. The garden has disappeared, having been 
covered with other buildings centuries ago. 

The so-called " tomb of Juliet " is in a less disagree 
able locality, but is unquestionably a fraud, though it 
has been exhibited for a century or two, and has 
received many tributes from credulous and sentimental 
tourists. It is in the garden of an ancient convent, 
and consists of an open, dilapidated stone sarcophagus 
(perhaps only an old horse-trough), without inscription 
or any authentic history. It is kept in a kind of shed, 
the walls of which are hung with faded wreaths and other 
mementoes from visitors. One pays twenty-five centes- 
imi (five cents) for the privilege of inspecting it. Byron 
went to see it in 1816, and writes (November 6) to 
his sister Augusta : " I brought away four small pieces 

1 " Come see the Capulets and Montagues, 
Monaldi, Filippeschi, reckless one ! 
These now in fear, already wretched those." 

(Wright's translation.) 

Introduction 21 

of it for you and the babes (at least the female part 
of them), and for Ada and her mother, if she will 
accept it from you. I thought the situation more ap 
propriate to the history than if it had been less blighted. 
This struck me more than all the antiquities, more even 
than the amphitheatre." Maria Louisa, the French 
empress, got a piece of it, which she had made into 
hearts and other forms for bracelets and necklaces ; 
and many other sentimental ladies followed the royal 
example before the mutilation of the relic was pro 
hibited by its guardians. 

To return to the play one would suppose that the 
keynote was struck with sufficient clearness in the pro 
logue to indicate Shakespeare's purpose and the moral 
lesson that he meant to impress ; but many of the 
critics have nevertheless failed to understand it. They 
have assumed that the misfortunes of the hero and 
heroine were mainly due to their own rashness or im 
prudence in yielding to the impulses of passion instead 
of obeying the dictates of reason. They think that the 
dramatist speaks through Friar Laurence when he 
warns them against haste in the marriage (ii. 6. 9 

" These violent delights have violent ends, 

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 as tardy as too slow." 

22 Romeo and Juliet 

But the venerable celibate speaks for himself and in 
keeping with the character, not for Shakespeare. 

Neither does the poet, as some believe, intend to 
read a lesson against clandestine marriage and disre 
gard for the authority or approval of parents in the 
match. The Friar, even at the first suggestion of the 
hurried and secret marriage, does not oppose or dis 
courage it on any such grounds ; nor, in the closing 
scene, does he blame either the lovers or himself on 
that account. Nowhere in the play is there the slightest 
suggestion of so-called " poetic justice " or retribution 
in the fate that overtakes the unhappy pair. 

It is the parents, not the children, that have sinned, 
and the sin of the parents is visited upon their innocent 
offspring. This is the burden of the prologue ; and it 
is most emphatically repeated at the close of the play. 

The feud of the two households and the civil strife 
that it has caused are the first things to which the 
attention of those who are to witness the play is called. 
Next they are told that the children of these two foes 
become lovers not foolish, rash, imprudent lovers, 
not victims of disobedience to their parents, not in any 
way responsible for what they afterwards suffer but 
" star-cross 'd lovers." The fault is not in themselves, 
but in their stars in their fate as the offspring of 
these hostile parents. But their unfortunate and pite 
ous overthrow is the means by which the fatal feud of 
the two families is brought to an end. The " death- 
mark'd love " of the children love as pure as it was 

Introduction 23 

passionate, love true from first to last to the divine law 
of love while by an evil destiny it brings death to 
themselves, involves also the death of the hate which 
was the primal cause of all the tragic consequences. 
This is no less distinctly expressed in the last 
speeches of the play. After hearing the Friar's story, 
the Prince says : 

" 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. 

Capulet. O brother Montague, give me thy hand; 
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more 
Can I demand. 

Montague. 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. 

Capulet. As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie ; 
Poor sacrifices of our enmity ! " 

It is the parents who are punished. The scourge is 
laid upon their hate, and it was the love of their children 
by which Heaven found the means to wield that scourge. 
The Prince himself has a share in the penalty for tol 
erating the discords of the families. " We all," he 
says, "all are punished." But the good Friar's hope, 
expressed when he consented to perform the mar 

24 Romeo and Juliet 

"For this alliance may so happy prove 
To turn your households' rancour to pure love," 

is now fulfilled. Both Capulet and Montague, as they 
join hands in amity over the dead bodies of their chil 
dren, acknowledge the debt they owe to the " star- 
cross'd " love of those " poor sacrifices of their enmity." 
They vie with each other in doing honour to the guilt 
less victims of their " pernicious rage." Montague will 
raise the golden statue to Juliet, and Capulet promises 
as rich a monument to Romeo. 

Da Porto and Paynter and Brooke, in like manner, 
refer to the reconciliation of the rival families as the 
fortunate result of the tragic history. Da Porto says : 
" Their fathers, weeping over the bodies of their chil 
dren and overcome by mutual pity, embraced each 
other ; so that the long enmity between them and their 
houses, which neither the prayers of their friends, nor 
the menaces of the Prince, nor even time itself had 
been able to extinguish, was ended by the piteous death 
of the two lovers." As Paynter puts it, "The Mon- 
tesches and Capellets poured forth such abundance of 
tears, as with the same they did evacuate their ancient 
grudge and choler, whereby they were then reconciled : 
and they which could not be brought to atonement l 
by any wisdom or human counsel were in the end van- 

1 In the original sense of reconciliation ; as in Rich. HI. \. 3. 36 : 

" he desires to make atonement 
Betwixt the Duke of Gloster and your brothers/' etc. 

Introduction 25 

quished and made friends by pity." So Brooke, in his 
lumbering verse : 

"The straungenes of the chaunce, when tryed was the truth, 
The Montagewes and Capelets hath moved so to ruth, 
That with their emptyed teares, theyr choler and theyr rage 
Was emptied quite ; and they whose wrath no wisdom could 


Nor threatning of the prince, ne mynd of murthers donne 
At length (so mighty Jove it would) by pitye they are wonne." 

And then the poem, like the play, ends with a refer 
ence to the monumental honour done to the lovers : 

" And lest that length of time might from our myndes remove 
The memory of so perfect, sound, and so approved love, 
The bodies dead, removed from vaulte where they did dye, 
In stately tombe, on pillers great of marble, rayse they hye. 
On every syde above were set, and eke beneath, 
Great store of cunning Epitaphes, in honor of theyr death. 
And even at this day the tombe is to be scene ; 
So that among the monumentes that in Verona been, 
There is no monument more worthy of the sight, 
Then is the tombe of Juliet and Romeus her knight." 




ESCALUS, prince of Verona. 

PARIS, a young nobleman, kinsman to the prince. 

CAp I JiLET UE ' \ heads of two houses at variance with each other - 

An old man of the Capulet family. 

ROMEO, son to Montague. 

MERCUTIO, kinsman to the prince, and friend to Romeo. 

BENVOLIO, nephew to Montague, and friend to Romeo. 

TYBALT, nephew to Lady Capulet. 

BALTHASAR, servant to Romeo. 

PETER, servant to Juliet's nurse. 

ABRAM, servant to Montague. 

An Apothecary. 

Three Musicians. 

Page to Paris; another Page; an Officei. 

LADY MONTAGUE, wife to Montague. 
LADY CAPULET, wife to Capulet. 
JULIET, daughter to Capulet. 
Nurse to Juliet. 

Citizens of Verona; Kinsfolk of both houses; Maskers. 
Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants. 

SCENE: Verona; Mantua. 



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. 
ortn tne f ata l loins)f these two foes 

Ajpair of star-cross'd lovers take their life, 
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows 

Doth with their_death bury their parents' strife. 

thd 4 .-tow \im/ wfa 


30 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, 
And the continuance of theiFparents' rage, 

Which, but their children's end, nought could remove, 
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage, 

The which if you with patient ears attend, 

What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. 

ACT i Sunday 

SCENE I. Verona. A Public Place 

Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, of the house of Capulet, 
with swords and bucklers 

Sampson. Gregory, on my word, we '11 not carry 

Gregory. No, for then we should be colliers. 

Sampson. I mean, an we be in choler we '11 draw. 

Gregory. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out 
o' the collar. 

Sampson. I strike quickly, being moved. 

Gregory. But thou art not quickly moved to strike. 

Sampson. A dog of the house of Montague moves 
me. 10 

Gregory. To move is to stir, and to be valiant is 
to stand ; therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st 

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

Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 31 

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

Sampson. True ; and therefore women, being the 
weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall. There- 20 
fore I will push Montague's men from the wall, and 
thrust his maids to the wall. 

Gregory. The quarrel is between our masters and 
us their men. 

Sampson. 'T is all one, I will show myself a tyrant ; 
when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel 
with the maids and cut off their heads. 

Gregory. Draw thy tool ; here comes two of the 
house of the Montagues. 

Sampson. My naked weapon is out ; quarrel, I 30 
will back thee. 

Gregory. How ? turn thy back and run ? 

Sampson. Fear me not. 

Gregory. No, marry ; I fear thee ! 

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

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

Sampson. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb 
at them, which is a disgrace to them if they bear it. 40 


Abram. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir ? 
Sampson. I do bite my thumb, sir. 
Abram. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir ? 

32 Romeo and Juliet [Act J 

Sampson. [Aside to Gregory] Is the law of our 
side, if I say ay ? 

Gregory. No. 

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

Gregory. Do you quarrel, sir ? 

Abram. Quarrel, sir ! no, sir. 50 

Sampson. If you do, sir, I am for you ; I serve as 
good a man as you. 

Abram. No better. 

Sampson. Well, sir. 

Gregory. [Aside to Sampson] Say ' better ' ; here 
comes one of my master's kinsmen. 

Sampson. Yes, better, sir. 

Abram. You lie. 

Sampson. Draw, if you be men. Gregory, re 
member thy swashing blow. [They fight. 60 

Benvolio. Part, fools ! 
Put up your swords ; you know not what you do. 

[Beats down their swords. 

Tybalt. What, art thou drawn among these heartless 

hinds ? 
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death. 

Benvolio. I do but keep the peace ; put up thy 

Or manage it to part these men with me. 

Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 33 

Tybalt. What, drawn and talk of peace! I hate the 


As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee ; 
Have at thee, coward ! [They fight. 

Enter several of both houses who join the fray ; then 
enter Citizens, with clubs 

First Citizen. Clubs, bills, and partisans ! strike ! beat 
them down ! 70 

Down with the Capulets ! down with the Montagues ! 

Enter CAPULET in his gown, and LADY CAPULET 

Capulet. What noise is this ? Give me my long 

sword, ho ! 
Lady Capulet. A crutch, a crutch ! why call you for 

a sword ? 

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


Montague. Thou villain Capulet ! Hold me not, let 

me go. 
Lady Montague. Thou shalt not stir a foot to seek a 


Enter PRINCE, with his train 

Prince. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, 
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel, 
Will they not hear ? What, ho ! you men, you beasts, 80 
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage 

34 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

With purple fountains issuing from your veins, 

On pain of torture, from those bloody hands 

Throw your mistemper'd weapons 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 disturb'd the quiet of our streets, 

And made Verona's ancient citizens 

Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, 90 

To wield old partisans, in hands as old, 

Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate. 

If e^e_r 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 me ; 

And, Montague, come you this afternoon, 

To know our further pleasure in this case, 

To old Freetown, our common judgment-place. 

Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. 100 

\Exeunt all but Montague, Lady Montague, and Benv olio. 

Montague. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach ? 
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began ? 

Benvolio. Here were the servants of your adversary 
And yours close fighting ere I did approach. 
I drew to part them ; in the instant came 
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. 

Scene I] . Romeo and Juliet 35 

While we were interchanging thrusts and blows, no 
Came more and more, and fought on part and part, 
Till the prince came, who parted either part. 

Lady Montague. O, where is Romeo ? saw you him 

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

Benvolio. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd 


Peer'd forth the golden window of the east, 
I 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, 
Which then most sought where most might not be found, 
Being one too many by my weary self, Couldn'i bear 
Pursued my humour, not pursuing his, 
And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me. 

Montague. 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 ; 130 
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun 
Should in the farthest 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, 
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, 

36 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

And makes himself an artificial night. 

Black and portentous must this humour prove, 

Unless good counsel may the cause remove. 139 

Benvolio. My noble uncle, do you know the cause ? 

Montague. I neither know it nor can learn of him. 

Benvolio. Have you importun'd him by any means? 

Montague. 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. 150 

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

Enter ROMEO 

Benvolio. See, where he comes ! So please you, step 

aside ; 
I '11 know his grievance or be much denied. 

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

[Exeunt Montague and Lady. 

Benvolio. Good morrow, cousin. 

Romeo. Is the day so young ? 

Benvolio. But new struck nine. 

Romeo. Ay me ! sad hours seem long. 

Was that my father that went hence so fast ? 

Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 37 

Benvolio. It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo's 
hours ? 160 

Romeo. Not having that which, having, makes them 

Benvolio. In love ? 

Romeo. Out 

Benvolio. Of love ? 

Romeo. Out of her favour where I am in love. 

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

Romeo. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, 
Should without eyes see pathways to his will ! 
Where shall we dine ? O me ! What fray was here ? 
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. 171 

Here 's much to do with hate, but more with love. 
Why, then, O brawling love ! O loving hate f) 

O any thing, of nothing first created ! 

O heavy lightness ! serious vanity ! 

Misshapen 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 ? 

Benvolio. No, coz, I rather weep. 180 

Romeo. Good heart, at what ? 

Benvolio. At thy good heart's oppression. 

Romeo. Why, such is love's transgression. 
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast, 
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest 

3 8 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

With more of thine ; this love that thou hast shown 
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 ; 
Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears. 
What is it else ? a madness most discreet, 190 

A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. 
Farewell, my coz. 

Benvolio. Soft ! I will go along ; 

An if you leave me so, you do me wrong. 

Romeo. Tut, I have lost myself, I am not here ; 
This is not Romeo, he 's some other where. 

Benvolio. Tell me in sadness who is that you love. 

Romeo. What, shall I groan and tell thee ? 

Benvolio. Groan ! why, no, 

But sadly tell me who. 

Romeo. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will ; 
Ah, word ill urg'd to one that is so ill ! 200 

In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman. 

Benvolio. I aim'd so near when I suppos'd you 

Romeo. A right good mark-man ! And she 's fair I love. 

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

Romeo. Well, in that hit you miss. She '11 not be hit 
With Cupid's arrow ; she hath fDian^T wit, Qodtdti 
And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd, 
From Love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd. V\o( 
She will not stay the siege of loving terms, 
Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes, 210 

Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 39 

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. 

Benvolio. Then she hath sworn that she will still 
live chaste ? 

Romeo. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge 

waste ; 

For beauty starv'd with her severity 
Cuts beauty off from all posterity. 
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair, 
To merit bliss by making me despair ; 
She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow 220 

Do I live dead that live to tell it now. 

Benvolio. Be rul'd by me, forget to think of her. 

Romeo. O, teach me how I should forget to think. 

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

Romeo. 'T is the way 

To call hers, exquisite, in question more. 
These happy masks 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. 230 

Show me a mistress that is passing fair, 
What doth her beauty serve but as a note fWtyle/ 
Where I may read who pass'd that passing fair? 
Farewell ; thou canst not teach me to forget. 

Benvolio. I '11 pay that doctrine or else die in debt. 


40 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

SCENE II. A Street 
Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and Servant 

Capulet. But Montague is bound as well as I, 
In penalty alike ; and 't is not hard, I think, 
For men so old as we to keep the peace. 

Paris. Of honourable reckoning are you both, 
And pity 't is you liv'd at odds so long. 
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit ? 

Capulet. 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. 
Let two more summers wither in their pride 10 

Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride. 

Paris. Younger than she are happy mothers made. 

Capulet. And too soon marr'd are those so early 


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 ; 
An she agree, within her scope of choice 
Lies my consent and fair according voice. 
This night I hold an old accustom'd feast, 20 

Whereto I have invited many a guest, 
Such as I love ; and you, among the store, 
One more, most welcome, makes my number more. 
At my poor house look to behold this night 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 41 

Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light. 

Such comfort as do lusty young men feel 

When well-apparell'd April on the heel 

Of limping winter treads, even such delight 

Among fresh female buds shall you this night 

Inherit at my house. Hear all, all see, 30 

And like her most whose merit most shall be ; 

Which on more view of many, mine being one 

May stand in number, though in reckoning none. 

Come, go with me. [To Servant, giving a paper] Go, 

sirrah, trudge about 

Through fair Verona ; find those persons out 
Whose names are written there, and to them say, 
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay. 

\_Exeunt Capulet and Paris. 

Servant. Find them out whose names are written 
here ! It is written that the shoemaker should med 
dle with his yard and the tailor with his last, the 40 
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. , 


Benvolio. 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 languish. 

42 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

Take thou some new infection to thy eye, 50 

And the rank poison of the old will die. 

Romeo. Your plantain-leaf is excellent for that. 

Benvolio. For what, I pray thee ? 

Romeo. For your broken shin. 

Benvolio. Why, Romeo, art thou mad ? 

Romeo. Not mad, but bound more than a madman is ; 
Shut up in prison, kept without my food, 
Whipp'd and tormented and Good-den, good fellow. 

Servant. God gi' good-den. I pray, sir, can you 

Romeo. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery. 60 

Servant. Perhaps you have learned it without book; 
but, I pray, can you read any thing you see ? 

Romeo. Ay, if I know the letters and the language. 

Servant. Ye say honestly ; rest you merry ! 

Romeo. Stay, fellow ; I can read. 

[Reads] ' Signior Martina and his wife and daugh 
ters ; County Anselme and his beauteous sisters ; the 
lady widow of Vitruvio ; Signior Placentio and his 
lovely nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine; 
mine uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters ; my fair 70 
niece Rosaline; Livia ; Signior Valentio and his 
cousin Tybalt; Lucio and the lively Helena? 
A fair assembly ; whither should they come ? 

Servant. Up. 

Romeo. Whither? 

Servant. To supper ; to our house. 

Romeo. Whose house? 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 43 

Servant. My master's. 

Romeo. Indeed, I should have ask'd you that before. 

Servant. Now I '11 tell you without asking. My 80 
master is the great rich Capulet ; and if you be not 
of the house of Montagues, I pray, come and crush 
a cup of wine. Rest you merry ! [Exit. 

Benvolio. 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. 

Romeo. When the devout religion of mine eye 90 

Maintains such tfalsehoodj then turn tears to fires ; 
And these, who often drown'd could never die, ^\^vtS 

Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars ! 
Onejfairer than my love! the all-seeing sun 
Ne'er_saw her match_since firjstlhe_ jyorld begun, 

Benvolio. Tut ! you saw her fair, none else being by, 
Herself pois'd with herself in either eye ; 
But in that crystal scales let there be weigh'd 
Your lady's love against some other maid 
That I will show you shining at this feast, 100 

And she shall scant show well that now shows best. 

Romeo. I '11 go along, no such sight to be shown, 
But to rejoice in splendour of mine own. \Exeunt. 

44 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

SCENE III. A Room in Capulefs House 
Enter LADY CAPULET and Nurse 

Lady Capulet. Nurse, where 's my daughter? call her 
forth to me. 

Nurse. Now, by my maidenhead at twelve year old, 
I bade her come. What, lamb ! what, lady-bird ! 
God forbid 1 Where 's this girl ? What, Juliet 1 


Juliet. How now 1 who calls ? 

Nurse. Your mother. 

Juliet. Madam, I am here. 

What is your will ? 

Lady Capulet. This is the matter: Nurse, give 

leave awhile, 

We must talk in secret. Nurse, come back again ; 
I have remember'd me, thou 's hear our counsel. 
Thou know'st my daughter 's of a pretty age. 10 

Nurse. Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour. 

Lady Capulet. She 's not fourteen. 

Nurse. I '11 lay fourteen of my teeth, 

And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four, 
She is not fourteen. How long is it now 
To Lammas-tide ? 

Lady Capulet. A fortnight and odd days. 

Nurse. Even or odd, of all days in the year, 
Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen. 

Scene Hi] Romeo and Juliet 45 

Susan and she God rest all Christian souls 1 

Were of an age ; well, Susan is with God, 

She was too good for me ; but, as I said, at 

On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen ; 

That shall she, marry ; I remember it well. 

'T is since the earthquake now eleven years ; 

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 thenf^TMantua] 

Nay, I do bear a brain ; but, as I said, 

When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple 30 

Of my dug, and felt it bitter, pretty fool, 

To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug ! 

Shake, quoth the dove-house ; 't was no need, I trow, 

To bid me trudge. 

And since that time it is eleven years, 

For then she could stand alone ; nay, by the rood, 

She could have run and waddled all about. 

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, 40 

I have my wish. 

Lady Capukt. Marry, that * marry ' is the very 


I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet, 
How stands your disposition to be married ? 

Juliet. It is an honour that I dream not of. 

46 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

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

Lady Capulet. Well, think of marriage now ; younger 

than you 

Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, 

Are made already mothers. By my count, 50 

I was your mother much upon these years 
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. f^rfec 

Lady Capulet. Verona's summer hath not such a 

Nurse. Nay, he 's a flower ; in faith, a very flower. 

Lady Capulet. What say you ? can you love the gen 
tleman ? 

This night you shall behold him at our feast ; 
Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face, 60 

And find delight writ there with beauty's pen. 
Examine every married lineament 
And see how one another, lends content ; 
And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies 
Find written in the margent of his eyes. 
This precious book of love, this unbound lover, 
To beautify him, only lacks a cover ; 
The fish lives in the sea, and 't is much pride 
For fair without the fair within to hide. 
That book in many's eyes doth share the glory, 70 

That in gold clasps locks in the golden story \ 

Scene IV] Romeo and Juliet 47 

So shall you share all that he doth possess, 
By having him making yourself no less. 
Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love ? 

Juliet. I '11 look to like, if looking liking move ; 
But no more deep will I endart mine eye 
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly. 

Enter a Servant 

Servant. Madam, the guests are come, supper 
served up, you called, my young lady asked for, 
the nurse cursed in the pantry, and every thing in 80 
extremity. I must hence to wait ; I beseech you, 
follow straight. 

Lady Capulet. We follow thee. [Exit Servant.] 

Juliet, the county stays. 
Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days. 


SCENE IV. A Street 

Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, with five or six 
Maskers, Torch-bearers, and others 

Romeo. What, shall this speech be spoke for ou/ 

excuse ? 
Or shall we on without apology ? 

Benvolio. The date is out of such prolixity. 
We '11 have no Cupid hoodwink'd with a scarf, 
Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath, 
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper; 

48 Romeo and Juliet [Act 1 


Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke 

After the prompter, for our entrance. 

But let them measure us by what they will, 
x ,, We '11 measure them a measure, and be gone. 10 

Romeo. Give me a torch ; I am not for this ambling. 


Being but "heavy, I will bear the light. 

Mercutio. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance. 

Romeo. 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. 

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

Romeo. I am too sore en pierced with his shaft 
To soar with his light feathers, and, so bound, 20 

I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe ; 
Under love's heavy burden do I sink. 

Mercutio. And, to sink in it, should you burden love ; 
Too great oppression for a tender thing. 

Romeo. Is love a tender thing ? it is too rough, 
Too rude, too boisterous, and it (pricks) like thorn. 

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


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 30 

What curious eye doth quote deformities ? 
Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me. 

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

Scene IV] Romeo and Juliet 49 

Romeo. A torch for me ; let wantons light of heart 
Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels, 
For I am proverb'd with a grandsire phrase : 
I '11 be a candle-holder and look on. 
The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done. 

Mercutio. Tut, dun 's the mouse, the constable's own 
word ; 4 

If thou art Dun, we '11 draw thee from the mire 
Of this sir-reverence love, wherein thou stick'st 
Up to the ears. Come, we burn daylight, ho ! "^ 

Romeo. Nay, that 's not so, 

Mercutio. I mean, sir, in delay 

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

Romeo. And we mean well in going to this mask ; 
But 't is no wit to go. 

Mercutio. Why, may one ask ? 

Romeo. I dreamt a dream to-night. ^\Q^OJ<\ nujttt 

Mercutio. And so did I. 50 

Romeo. Well, what was yours ? 

J i j^Kiaytfr 

Mercutio. That dreamers often) lie/ uoorrl 

U \ ^ t | , ^ 

Romeo. In bed asleep, while they do dream things 

Mercutio. O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with 


She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes 
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone 
On the fore-finger of an alderman, 


50 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

Drawn with a team of little atomies 

Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep ; 

Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs, 

The cover of the wings of grasshoppers, 60 

The traces of the smallest spider's web, 

The collars of the moonshine's watery 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 o' mind the fairies' coachmakers. 

And in this state she gallops night by night 70 

Through lover's brains, and then they dream of love ; 

O'er 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, ^"H^S 

Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are. 

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

And then dreams he of smelling out a suit ; 

And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig's tail 

Tickling a parson's nose as a' lies asleep, 80 

Then dreams he of another benefice. 

Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck, 

And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats, 

Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, 

Of healths five-fathom deep ; and then anon 

Scene IV] Romeo and Juliet 51 

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 in foul sluttish hairs, co 

Which once untangled much misfortune bodes. 

This is she 

Romeo. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace ! 

Thou talk'st 

Mercutio. True, I talk of(dreamsj Hv lA- 

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, 
Turning his face to the dew-dropping South. 100 

Benvolio. This wind you talk of blows us from our 
selves ; 
Supper is done,_and we shall come too late. 

Romeo, [Tfearjjtoo early ; for my mind misgives* piVk 
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 clos'd in my breast 
By some vile forfeit of untimely deathj. 
But He that hath the steerage of my course 
Direct my sail ! On, lusty gentlemen. no 

Benvolio. Strike, drum. \Exeunt. 

52 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

SCENE V. A Hall in Capulefs House 
Musicians waiting. Enter Servingmen with napkins 

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

,^2 Servingman. When good manners shall lie all 
/in one or two men's hands and they unwashed too, 
' 't is a foul thing. " " Prologs C, 

1 Servingman. Away with the joint-stools, remove 
the court-cupboard, look to the plate. Good thou, 
save me a piece of marchpane ; and, as thou lovest 
me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone and 10 
Nell. Antony ! and Potpan ! 

2 Servingman. Ay, boy, ready. 

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

2 Servingman. We cannot be here and there too. 
Cheerly, boys ; be brisk a while, and the longer 
liver take all. 

Enter CAPULET, with JULIET and others of his house, 
meeting the Guests and Maskers 

Capulet. Welcome, gentlemen ! ladies that have their 


Unplagu'd with corns will have a bout with you. 
Ah ha, my mistresses ! which of you all 2 

Will now deny to dance ? she that makes dainty, 
She, I '11 swear, hath corns ; am I come near ye now? 

Scene vj Romeo and Juliet 53 

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 ; 't is gone, 't is gone, 't is gone. 

You are welcome, gentlemen! Come, musicians, 

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

[ Music plays, and they dance. 
More light, you knaves ; and turn the tables up, 
And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot. 30 
Ah, sirrah, this unlook'd-for sport comes well. 
Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet, 
For you and I are past our dancing days. 
How long is 't now since last yourself and I 
Were in a mask? 

2 Capulet. By 'r lady, thirty years. 

Capulet. What, man ! 't is not so much, 't is not so 

much ! 

'T is since the nuptial of Lucentio, 
Come Pentecost as quickly as it will, 
Some five and twenty years ; and then we mask'd. 
2 Capulet. 'T is more, 't is more 1 His son is elder, 
sir ; 40 

His son is thirty. 

Capulet. Will you tell me that ? 

His son was but a ward two years ago. 

Romeo. [To a Servingmaii\ W 7 hat lady is that, which 

doth enrich the hand 
Of yonder knight ? 

54 Romeo and Juliet [Act I 

Servingman. I know not, sir. 

Romeo. O, she doth teach the torches to burn 

bright ! 

Her bejmty] hangs upon the cheek of night 
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear ; 
pejmtyjtoo rich for use, for earth too dear 1 
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows 50 

As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. 
The measure done, I '11 watch her place of stand, 
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. 
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight 1 
For I ne'er saw! true beauty) till this night. 

Tybalt. This, by his voice, should be a Montague. 
Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave 
Come hither, cover'd with an antic face, 
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity ? 
Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, 60 

To strike him dead I hold it not a sin. 

Capulet. Why, how now, kinsman ! wherefore storm 
you so? 

Tybalt. Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe'3~ < - 
A villain that is hither come in spite, 
To scorn at our solemnity this night. 

Capulet. Young Romeo is it ? 

Tybalt. 'T is he, that villain Romeo. 

Capulet. 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-go vern'd youth. 70 

Scene V] Romeo and Juliet 55 

I would not for the wealth of all the 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. 

Tybalt. It fits when such a villain is a guest ; 
I '11 not endure him. 

Capulet. He shall be endur'd ; 

What, goodman boy ! I say he shall. Go to ; 
Am I the master here, or you ? go to. 80 

You '11 not endure him ! God shall mend my soul 1 
You '11 make ai t mutiny] among my guests 1 
You will set cock-a-hoop ! you '11 be the man 1 

Tybalt. Why, uncle, 't is a shame. 

Capulet. Go to, go to ; 

You are a saucy boy. Is 't so, indeed ? 
This trick may chance to scathe you, I know what. 
You must contrary me 1 marry, 't is time. 
Well said, my hearts ! You are a princox ; go 1 
Be quiet, or More light, more light ! For shame !. 
I '11 make you quiet. What ! Cheerly, my hearts ! 90 

Tybalt. Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting 
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting. 
I will withdraw ; but this intrusion shall, 
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitter gall. [Exit. 

Romeo. \ToJuliet~\ If I profane with my un worthiest 

This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this : 

56 Romeo and Juliet [Act i 

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand 

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. 

Juliet. Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too 

Which mannerly devotion shows in this ; 100 

For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, 

And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. 

Romeo. Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too ? 

Juliet. Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer. 

Romeo. O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do ; 

They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair. 

Juliet. SaJntsjio not move, though grant for prayers' 
sake. W*ii*rv+ (AaH.ste*/.! ,JU*4 \\~\} 

Romeo. Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take 
Thus from my lips by thine my sin is purg'd. [Kissing her. 

Juliet. Then have my lips the sin that they have took. 

Romeo. Sin from my lips ? O trespass sweetly urg'd ! 

Give me my sin again. 

fuliet. You kiss by the book. 112 

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

Romeo. 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. 

Romeo. Is she a CapuletL 

O dear account iTjny life is my foe's debt. I 120 

Scene vj Romeo and Juliet 57 

Benvolio. Away, be gone ; the sport is at the best. 

Romeo. Ay, so I fear ; the more is my unrest. 

Capulet. Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone ; 
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards. 
Is it e'en so ? why, then, I thank you all ; 
I thank you, honest gentlemen ; good night. 
More torches here ! Come on then, let 's to bed. 
Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late ; 
I '11 to my rest. [Exeunt all but Juliet and Nurse. 

Juliet. Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman ? 

Nurse. The son and heir of old Tiberio. 131 

Juliet. What 's he that now is going out of door ? 

Nurse. Marry, that, I think, be young Petruchio. 
. Juliet. What 's he that follows there, that would not 
dance ? 

Nurse.- I know not. 

Juliet. Go, ask his name. If he be married, 
My grave is like to be my wedding bed. 

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

Juliet. My only love sprung from my only hate ! 140^^ 
Too early seen unknown, and known too late ! f 00 ^ c . 
Prodigious birth of love it is to me, 
That I must love a loathed enemy. 

Nurse. What 's this ? what 's this ? 

Juliet. 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. [Exeunt. 


ACT ii shii 

Enter Chorus 

Now old desire doth in his (deaths-bed lie, 

And young affection gapes to be his heir ; 
That fair for which love groan 'd for and would die, 

With tender Juliet match 'd, is now not fair. 
Now Romeo is belov'd and loves again, -OMSfav\V 

Alike bewitched^by the charm of looks,- o^o^jf\ 
But to his foe suppos'd he must complainj____^ 

And she steal love's sweet bait from; fearful- hooks. 
Being held a foe, he may not have access "") jirfCy i 

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. 


Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 59 

But passion lends them power, time means, to meet, 
Tempering extremities with extreme sweet. [Exit. 

SCENE I. A Lane by the Wall of Capulefs Orchard 
Enter ROMEO 

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

\He climbs the wall, and leaps down within it. 


Benvolio. Romeo ! my cousin Romeo ! Romeo ! 

Mercutio. He is wise, 

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

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

wall ; 
Call, good Mercutio. 

Mercutio. Nay, I '11 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 ' Ay me ! ' pronounce but ' love ' and ' dove ' ; 10 
Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word, 
One nickname for her purblind son and heir, 
Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so trim 
When King Cophetua lov'd the beggar-maid ! 
He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not ; 
The ape is dead, and I must conjure him. 

60 Romeo and Juliet [Act II 

I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes, 

By her high forehead and her scarlet lip, 

That in thy likeness thou appear to us ! 

Benvolio. An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him. 20 
Mercutio. This cannot anger him ; 't would anger him 
his mistress' circle 

Of some strange nature, letting it there stand 
Till she had laid it and co.njur'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. 

Benvolio. Come, he hath hid himself among these 


To be consorted with the humorous night ; 
Blind is his love and best befits the dark. 30 

Mercutio. If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark. 
Romeo, good night. I '11 to my truckle-bed ; 
This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep. 
Come, shall we go ? 

Benvolio. Go, then ; for 't is in vain 

Tojseek him here that means not to be found. [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. Capulefs Orchard 

Enter ROMEO 

^ tAmiA-Ko , WW VNWVAJ juif*wu**M 
Romeo. (He jests at scars that never felt a wound. 
[Juliet appears above at a window. 
But, soft ! what light through yonder window breaks ? 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 61 

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, 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, O, it is my love ! 10 

O, that she knew she were ! 

She speaks, yet she says nothing ; what of that ? 

Her eye discourses ; I will answer it. - fttsvfeitu 

I am too bold, 't is 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 eyes in heaven 20 

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, p<7v-V^o$ 

That I might touch that cheek ! 

Ttiliet. Ay me ! 

Romeo. She speaks. 

O, speak again, bright angel ! for thou art 

As glorious to this night, being o'er my head, 

A j r r. 

As is a winged messenger of heaven 

Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes 

62 t Romeo and Juliet [Act n 

Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him, 30 

When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds 
And sails upon the bosom of the air. 

Juliet. 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 '11 no longer be a Capulet. 

Romeo. [Aside'] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak 

at this ?_ he^htbiaw 

Juliet. 'T is but thy name that is my enemy ; 
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. ju Q r y^jft, 
What 's Montague ? it is nor hand, nor foot,( , 40 

Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part 
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name ! 
What 's in a name ? That which we call a rose 
By any other name 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. 

Romeo. I take thee at thy word. 

Call me but love, and I '11 be new baptiz'd ;-naft\C Ck^ 6 
Henceforth I never will be Romeo. 

Juliet. What man art thou that thus bescreen'd in 

So stumblest on my counsel ? 

Romeo. By a name 

I know not how to tell thee who I am. 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 63 

My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, tor^kd. ^ n 

Because it is an enemy to thee ; . 

Had I it written, I would tear the word. - emotion*^ 

Juliet. My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words 
Of that tongue's utterance,/yet)l know the sound. 
Art thou not Romeo and a Montague ? W&* 6o 

Romeo. Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike. 

Juliet. How cam'st thou hither, tell me, and where 
fore ? 

The orchard walls are high and hard to climb, /^Vtxtct 
And the place death, considering who thou art, f 
If any of my kinsmen find thee here. 

Romeo. With love's light wings did I o'er-perch 

these walls, 

For stony limits cannot hold love out, 
And what love can do that dares love attempt ; 
Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me. 

Juliet. If they do see thee, they will murther thee. 70 

Romeo. Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye 
Than twenty of their swords ; look thou but sweet, 
And I am proof against their enmity. 

Juliet. I would not for the world they saw thee here. 

Romeo. I have night's cloak to hide me from their 

eyes ; 

And but thou love me, let them find me here. 
My life_were better ended by their hate 
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love. 

Juliet. By whose direction found'st thou out this 
place ? 

64 Romeo and Juliet [Act II 

Romeo. By love, that first did prompt me to inquire ; 
He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes. 81 

I am no pilot ; yet, wert thou as far 
As that vast shore wash'd with the farthest sea, 
I would adventure for such merchandise. 

Juliet. Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face, 
Else would a maiden blush bepairit 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, 90 

And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear'st, 
Thou mayst prove false ; at lovers' perjuries, 
They say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo, 
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully ; 
Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won, 
I '11 frown and be perverse and say thee nay, 
So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world. 
In truth, fair Montague, I_amjoojorid, 
^ nc * therefore thou mayst think my haviour light ; 
But trust me, gentleman, I '11 prove more true ioc 

Than those that have more cunning to be strange. 
I should have been more strange, I must confess, 
But that thou overheard '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. 

Romeo. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear 
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 65 

Juliet. O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant 


That monthly changes in her circled orb, 
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable. 

Romeo. What shall I swear by ? 

Juliet. Do not swear at all ; 

Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, 
Which is the god of my idolatry, Worship 
And I '11 believe thee. 

Romeo. If my heart's dear love 

Juliet. Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, 
I have no joy of this contract Jo-night ; Con-fcssioos so scon 
It is too rash, too unadvis'd r too sudden, 
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be 
Ere one can say it lightens. Sweet, good night ! 120 
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, - 
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. J 
Good night, good night ! as sweet repose and rest 
Come to thy heart as that within my breast ! 

Romeo. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied ? 

Juliet. What satisfaction canst thou jiayejto-niglit? 

Romeo. The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for 

Juliet. I gave thee mine before thou didst request it ; 
And yet I would it were to give again. 

Romeo. Wouldst thou withdraw it ? for what purpose, 
love ? 130 

Juliet. But to be frank and give it thee again ; 
And yet I wish but for the thing I have. 


66 Romeo and Juliet [Act n 

My bounty is as boundless as the sea, 

My love as deep ; the more I give to thee, ' tVfcUfaj 

The more I have, for both are infinite, cjfwAnj 

[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. 

Romeo. O blessed, blessed night ! I am afeard, 
Being in night, all this is but a dream, 140 

Too flattering-sweet to be substantial. 

Re-enter JULIET, above 

Juliet. Three words, dear Romeo, and good night 


If that thy bent of love be honourable, 
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, dut kt ^ 
By one that I '11 procure to come to thee, 
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite ; 
And all my fortunes at thy foot I '11 lay, 
And follow thee my lord throughout the world. 
Nurse. [ Withiii\ Madam ! 

Juliet. I come, anon. But if thou mean'st not 

well, 150 

I do beseech thee 

furse. [ Wtthin\ Madam! 

Juliet. By and by, I come. 

^o cease thy suit and leave me to my grief ; c\ 
To-morrow will I send. 

Romeo. So thrive my soul 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 67 

Juliet. A thousand times good night ! [Exit. 

Romeo. A thousand times the worse, to want thy 

light. be 4^ ntxt <fc*M r *wWY 

Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their booksv Uw*^ 1 
/But love from love toward school with heavy looks. J^ 

, ., \Retiring slowly. 
" Id&vCM vJx* h> L 

2"** Re-enter JULIET, 

Juliet. Hist! Romeo, hist! O, for a falconer's 


To lure this tassel-gentle back again ! 160 

Bondage is hoarse and may not speak aloud ; 
Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies, 
And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine 
With repetition of my Romeo's name. 

Romeo. It is jmv soul! that calls upon my name ; - JvU 
How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, 
Like softest music to attending ears ! 

Juliet. Romeo ! 

Romeo. My dear? 

Juliet. At what o'clock to 

Shall I send to thee ? 

Romeo. At the hour of nine. 

Juliet. I will not fail ; 't is twenty years till then. 170 
I have forgot why I did call thee back. 

Romeo. Let me stand here till thou remember it. 

Juliet. I shall forget, to have thee still stand there, 
Remembering how I love thy company. L ^^ rvcV 


68 Romeo and Juliet [Act n 

Romeo. And I '11 still stay, to have thee still forget, 
Forgetting any other home but this. 

Juliet. 'T is almost morning ; I would have thee 


And yet no farther than a wanton's bird, 
Who lets it hop a little from her hand, 
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves, 180 

And with a silk thread plucks it back again, 
So loving-jealous of his liberty. 

Romeo. I would I were thy bird. 

Juliet. Sweet, so would I ; 

Yet ^should kill thee with much cherishing. 
Good night, good night ! parting is such sweet sorrow 
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. 

[Exit above. 

Romeo. Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy 

breast ! 

Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest ! 
Hence will I to my(ghostlv) father's cell, 189 

His help to crave and! fayldear hapj to tell. [Exit. 


SCENE III. Friar Laurence's Cell 
Enter FRIAR LAURENCE, with a basket 

Friar Laurence. The grey-eyed morn smiles on the 

frowning night, 

Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light, 
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels 

Scene in] Romeo and Juliet 69 

From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels.* 5 
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 
'With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers. 
The earth that 's nature's mother is her tomb ; ] 
What is her burying grave that is her womb, 
And from her womb children of divers kind 
We sucking on her natural bosom find, 
Many for many virtues excellent,' 
None but for some, and yet all different. 
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies 
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities 1 
'For nought so vile that on the earth doth live 
But to the earth 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 weak flower 
IPoison hath residence, and medicine power ; 
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part, 
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart. 
Two such opposed kings encamp them still 
In man as well as | herbs, | grace and rude will ; 
And where the worser is predominant, 
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant. 30 

Romeo and Juliet [Act II 

Enter ROMEO 

Romeo. Good morrow, father. 

Friar Laurence. Benedicite I 

What early tongue so sweet saluteth me ? 
Young son, it argues a distemper'd head 
So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed. 
Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye, 
And where care lodges sleep will never lie ; 
But where unbruised youth with unstuff 'd brain 
Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign. 
Therefore thy earliness doth me assure 
Thou art up-rous'd with some distemperature ; 40 

Or if not so, then here I hit it right, 
Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night. 

Romeo. That last is true ; the sweeter rest was mine. 

Friar Laurence. God pardon sin ! wast thou with 
Rosaline ? 

Romeo. With Rosaline, my ghostly father ? no ; 
I have forgot that name and that name's woe. 

Friar Laurence. That 's my good son ; but where 
hast thou been, then ? 

Romeo. I '11 tell thee, ere thou ask it me again. 
I have been feasting with mine enemy, 
Where on a sudden one hath wounded me \)\[ Opi#s 50 
That 's by me wounded ; both our remedies CUfyw/sJ 
Within thy help and holy physic lies. 
I bear no hatred, blessed man, for, lo, 
My intercession likewise steads my foe. 

Scene in] Romeo and Juliet 71 

Friar Laurence. Be plain, good son, and homely in 

thy drift; 
Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift. 

Romeo. Then plainly know, my heart's dear love is 


On the fair daughter of rich Capulet. 
As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine ; feciproco.V^ta 
And all combin'd, save what thou must combine *' 60 * 
By holy marriage. When and where and how 
We- met, we woo'd, and made exchange of vow, 
I '11 tell thee as we pass ; but this I pray, 
That thou consent to marry us to-day. 

Friar Laurence. Holy Saint Francis, what a change 

is here ! 

Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear, 
So soon forsaken ? young men's love then lies 
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes. 
Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine 

Hath wash'd thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline ! 70 

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 ; ^ qufaJL fa 
Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit 
Of an old tear that is not wash'd off yet. 
If e'er thou wast thyself and these woes thine, 
Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline ; 
And art thou chang'd ? pronounce this sentence then : 
Women may fall when there 's no strength in men. 80 

72 Romeo and Juliet [Act II 

Romeo. Thou chidd'st me oft for loving Rosaline. 

Friar Laurence. JFor doting] not for loving, pupil 

Romeo. And bad'st me bury love. 

Friar Laurence. Not in a grave, 

To lay one in, another out to have. 

Romeo. I pray thee, chide not; she whom I love 


Doth grace for grace and love for love allow, WrtftA 
The other did not so. 

Friar Laurence. O, she knew well 

Thy love did read by rote and could not spell. 
But come, young waverer, come, go withme, 
rfrTone respect I '11 thy assistant Be ~~1 90 

For this alliance may so happy prove \ 

To turn your households' rancour to pure love. >. 

Romeo. O, let us lience ! 1 stand on sudden haste. T 

Friar Laurence. Wisely and slow ; they stumble that 
run fast. [Exeunt. 

SCENE IV. A Street 

Mercutio. Where the devil should this Romeo be ? 

Came he not home to-night ? 

Benvolio. Not to his father's ; I spoke with his man, 
Mercutio. Why, that same pale hard-hearted wench, 
that Rosaline, 

Torments him so that he will sure run mad. 

Scene IV] Romeo and Juliet 73 

Benvolio. Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet, 
Hath sent a letter to his father's house. 

Mercutio. A challenge, on my life. 

Benvolio. Romeo will answer it. 

Mercutio. Any man that can write may answer to 
a letter. 

Benvolio. Nay, he will answer the letter's master, 
how he dares, being dared. 

Mercutio. Alas, poor Romeo ! he is already dead ; 
stabbed with a white wench's black eye ; shot thor 
ough the ear with a love-song ; the very pin of his 
heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft ; and 
is he a man to encounter Tybalt ? 

Benvolio. Why, what is Tybalt ? 

Mercutio. More thanjprince of cats. I can tell you. 20 
O, he is the courageous captain of compliments ! He 
fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, 
and proportion ; rests me his minim rest, one, two, 
and the third in your bosom ; the very butcher of a 
silk button^duellist, a duellist \ a gentleman of the 
very first house, of the first and second cause. Ah, 
the immortal passado ! the punto reverse ! the hay ! 

Benvolio. The what ? 

Mercutio. The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting 
fantasticoes, these new tuners of accents ! * By Jesu, 30 
a very good blade ! a very tall man ! ' Why, is not 
this a lamentable thing, grandsire, that we should be 
thus afflicted with these strange flies, these fashion- 
mongers, these pardonnez-moisy who stand so much 

74 Romeo and Juliet [Act II 

on the new form that they cannot sit at ease on the 
old bench ? O, their botis, their bons ! 

Enter ROMEO 

Benvolio. Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo. 

Mercutio. Without his roe, like a dried herring. O 
flesh, flesh, how art thou rishified ! Now is he for the 
numbers that Petrarch flowed in ; Laura to his lady 40 
was but a kitchen-wench ; marry, she had a better 
love to be-rhyme her ; Dido a dowdy ; Cleopatra 
a gypsy ; Helen and Hero hildings and harlots ; 
Thisbe a grey eye or so, but not to the purpose. 
Signior Romeo, bon jour / there 's a French saluta 
tion to your French slop. You gave us the counter 
feit fairly last night. 

Romeo. Good morrow to you both. What counter 
feit did I give you ? 

Mercutio. The slip, sir, the slip ; can you not 50 
conceive ? 

Romeo. Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was 
great; and in such a case as mine a man may strain 

Mercutio. That 's as much as to say, such a case 
as yours constrains a man to bow in the hams. 

Romeo. Meaning, to curtsy. 
. Mercutio. Thou hast most kindly hit it. 

Romeo. A most courteous exposition. 

Mercutio. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy. 60 

Romeo. Pink for flower. 

Scerfe IV] Romeo and Juliet 75 

Mercutio. Right. 

Romeo. Why, then is my pump well flowered. 

Mercutio. 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 wear 
ing sole singular. 

Romeo. O single-souled jest, solely singular for 
the singleness ! 

Mercutio. Come between us, good Benvolio ; my 70 
wits fail. 

Romeoi Switch and spurs, switch and spurs ; or 
I '11 cry a match. 

Mercutio. Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, 
I have done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in 
one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole 
five. Was I with you there for the goose ? 

Romeo. Thou wast never with me for any thing 
when thou was not there for the goose. 

Mercutio. I will bite thee by the ear for that jest. 80 

Romeo. Nay, good goose, bite not. 

Mercutio. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting ; it is 
a most sharp sauce. 

Romeo. And is it not well served in to a sweet 
goose ? 

Mercutio. O, here 's a wit of cheveril, that stretches 
from an inch narrow to an ell broad ! 

Romeo. I stretch it out for that word 'broad,' 
which added to the goose proves thee far and wide 
a broad goose. 90 

j6 Romeo and Juliet [Act II 

Mercutio. Why, is not this better now than groan 
ing 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 drivelling love is like a great 

Benvolio. Stop there, stop there. 

Romeo. Here 's goodly gear ! 

Enter Nurse and PETER 

Mercutio. A sail, a sail ! 

Benvolio. Two, two ; a shirt and a smock. 

Nurse. Peter ! 100 

Peter. Anon ! 

Nurse. My fan, Peter. 

Mercutio. Good Peter, to hide her face ; for her 
fan 's the fairer of the two. 

Nurse. God ye good morrow, gentlemen. 

Mercutio. God ye good den, fair gentlewoman. 

Nurse. Is it good den ? 

Mercutio. 'T is no less, I tell you, for the hand of 
the dial is now upon the prick of noon. 

Nurse. Out upon you ! what a man are you! no 

Romeo. One, gentlewoman, that God hath made 
for himself to mar. 

Nurse. By my troth, it is well said ; ' for himself 
to mar,' quoth a'? Gentlemen, can any of you tell 
me where I may find the young Romeo ? 

Romeo I can tell you ; b'ut young Romeo will be 
older when you have found him than he was when 

Scene IV] Romeo and Juliet 77 

you sought him. I am the youngest of that name, 
for fault of a worse. 

Nurse. You say well. 120 

Mercutio. Yea, is the worst well ? very well took, 
i' faith ; wisely, wisely. 

Nurse. If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence 
with you. 

Benvolio. She will indite him to some supper. 

Mercutio. So ho ! 

Romeo. What hast thou found ? 

Mercutio. No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a 
lenten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere it be 
spent. Romeo, will you come to your father's ? 130 
we '11 to dinner thither. 

Romeo. I will follow you. 

Mercutio. Farewell, ancient lady ; farewell, [sing 
ing] ' lady, lady, lady ! ' 

[Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio. 

Nurse. Marry, farewell ! I pray you, sir, what 
saucy merchant was this, that was so full of his 
ropery ? 

Romeo. A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear 
himself talk, and will speak more in a minute than 
he willjsfancf to in a month. {^\fi ft, M A rw*.* of W$ ^140 

Nurse. An a' speak any thing against me, I '11 take 
him down an a' were lustier than he is, and twenty 
such Jacks ; and if I cannot, I '11 find those that 
shall. Scurvy knave ! I am none of his flirt-gills ; I 
am none of his skains-mates. And thou must stand 

7 8 Romeo and Juliet [Act II 

by too, and suffer every knave to use me at his 
pleasure ? 

Peter. 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, 150 
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 1 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 in a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a 
very gross kind of behaviour, as they say ; for the 
gentlewoman is young, and, therefore, if you should 160 
deal double with her, truly it were an ill thing to be 
offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak deal 

Romeo. 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 ! 

Romeo. What wilt thou tell her, nurse ? thou dost 
not mark me. 

Nurse. I will tell her, sir, that you do protest, 
which, as I take it, is a gentlemanlike offer. 170 

Romeo. Bid her devise some means to come to shrift 
This afternoon ; 
And there she shall at Friar Laurence' cell 

Scene IV] Romeo and Juliet 79 

Be shriv'd and married. Here is for thy pains. 

Nurse. No, truly, sir, not a penny. 

Romeo. Go to ; I say you shall. 

Nurse. This afternoon, sir? well, she shall be there. 

Romeo. 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, 180 
Which to the high top-gallant of my joy 
Must be my convoy in the secret jiight. 
Farewell ; be trusty, and I '11 quit thy pains. 
Farewell ; commend me to thy mistress. 

Nurse. Now God in heaven bless thee ! Hark you, 

Romeo. What say'st thou, my dear nurse ? 

Nurse. Is your man secret ? Did you ne'er hear say, 
Two may keep counsel, putting one away ? 

Romeo. I warrant thee, my man 's as true as steel. 

Nurse. Well, sir ; my mistress is the sweetest lady 190 
Lord, Lord ! when 'twas a little prating thing 
O, there is 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 '11 warrant you, when I say so, she looks 
as pale as any clout in the versal world. Doth not 
rosemary and Romeo begin both with a letter ? 

Romeo. Ay, nurse ; what of that ? both with an R. 

Nurse. Ah, mocker ! that 's the dog's name ; R is 200 

8o Romeo and Juliet [Act II 

for the No, I know it begins with some other 
letter and she hath the prettiest sententious of it, 
of you and rosemary, that it would do you good to 
hear it. 

Romeo. Commend me to thy lady. 

Nurse. Ay, a thousand times. \Exit Romed\ Peter ! 

Peter. Anon. 

Nurse. Before, and apace. [Exeunt. 

SCENE V. Capulefs Orchard 

Juliet. The clock struck nine when I did send the 

nurse ; 

In half an hour she promis'd to return. 
Perchance she cannot meet him ; that 's not so. 
O, she is lame ! love's heralds should be thoughts, 
Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams 
Driving back shadows over lowering 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 10 

Is three long hours, yet she is not come. 
Had she affections and warm youthful blood, 
She would 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. 

Scene V] Romeo and Juliet 81 

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. 

Juliet. Now, good sweet nurse, O Lord, why look'st 

thou sad ? ervictew^ \\W&&k 2I 

Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily ; 
If good, thou sham'st the music of sweet news 
By playing it to me with so sour a face. 

Nurse. I am aweary, give me leave awhile. 
Fie, how my bones ache ! what a jaunt have I had ! 

Juliet. I wmud thou hadst my bones, and I thy news, 
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak ; good, good nurse, speak. 

Nurse. Jesu, what haste ? can you not stay awhile ? 
Do you not see that I am out of breath ? 30 

Juliet. How art thou out of breath, when thou hast 


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 '11 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, not 
he ; though his face "be better than any man's, yet his 40 
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 

82 Romeo and Juliet [Act n 

are past compare. He is not the flower of courtesy, 
but, I '11 warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy 
ways, wench ; serve God. What, have you dined at 
home ? 

Juliet. No, no ; but all this did I know before. 
What says he of our marriage ? what of that ? 

Nurse. Lord, how my head aches! what a head! 

have 1 1 

It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces. 50 

My back o' t' other side, O, my back, my back 1 
Beshrew your heart for sending me about, 
To catch my death with jaunting up and down 1 

Juliet. I' faith, I am sorry that thou art not well. 
Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says my love ? 

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 mother? 

Juliet. Where is my mother ! why, she is within ; 
Where should she be ? How oddly thou repliest 1 60 
' Your love says, like an honest gentleman, 
Where is your mother ? ' 

Nurse. O God's lady dearl 

Are you so hot ? marry, come up, I trow ; 
Is this the poultice for my aching bones ? 
Henceforward do your messages yourself. 

Juliet. Here 's such a coil ! come, what says 
Romeo ? 

Nurse. Have you got leave to go to shrift to-day ? 

Juliet. I have. 

Scene vi] Romeo and Juliet 83 

Nurse. Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence' cell ; 
There stays a husband to make you a wife. 7c 

Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks, 
They '11 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 when it is dark. 
I am the drudge, and toil in your delight. 
Go ; I '11 to dinner ; hie you to the cell. 

Juliet. Hie to high fortune ! Honest nurse, tare- 
well. [Exeunt. 

SCENE VI. Friar Laurence's Cell 

Friar Laurence. So smile the heavens upon this holy 

That after hours with sorrow chide us not ! 

Romeo. 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- <Jeath"do what he dare, 
It is enough I may but call her mine. 

Friar Laurence. These violent delights have violent 


And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, 10 

Which as they kiss consume ; the sweetest honey 
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness, 
And in the taste confounds the appetite. 

84 Romeo and Juliet [Act II 

Therefore love moderately, long love doth so ; 
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow. 


Here comes the lady. O, so light a foot 

Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint ! 

A lover may bestride the gossamer 

That idles in the wanton summer air, 

And yet not fall, so light is vanity. 20 

Juliet. Good even to my ghostly confessor. 

Friar Laurence. Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, 
for us both. 

Juliet. As much to him, else is his thanks too much. 

Romeo. 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 music's tongue 
Unfold the imagin'd happiness that both 
Receive in either by this dear encounter. 

Juliet. Conceit, more rich in matter than in words, 
Brags of his substance, not of ornament. 31 

They are but beggars that can count their worth ; 
But my true love is grown to such excess 
I cannot sum up half my sum of wealth. 

Friar Laurence. Come, come with me, and we wili 

make short work ; 

For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone 
Till holy church incorporate two in one. [Exeunt. 



ACT m 

SCENE I. A Public Place 

Enter MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, Page, and Servants 

Benvolio. I pray thee, good Mercutio, let 's retire. 
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad, 
And if we meet we shall not scape a brawl ; 
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring. 

Mercutio. 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 


86 Romeo and Juliet [Act ill 

cup draws him on the drawer, when indeed there is 
no need. 10 

Benvolio. Am I like such a fellow ? 

Mercutio. 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. 

Benvolio. And what to ? 

Mercutio. Nay, an there were two such, we should 
have none shortly, for one would kill the other. 
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 20 
nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast 
hazel eyes ; what eye but such 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 riband ? 30 
and yet thou wilt tutor me from quarrelling ! 

Benvolio. 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. 

Mercutio. The fee-simple ! O simple ! 

Benvolio. By my head, here come the Capulets. 

Mercutio. By my heel, I care not. 

Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 87 

Enter TYBALT and others 

Tybalt. Follow me close, for I will speak to them. 
Gentlemen, good den ; a word with one of you. 

Mercutio. And but one word with one of us ? 40 
couple it with something; make it a word and a 

Tybalt. You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, 
an you will give me occasion. 

Mercutio. Could you not take some occasion with 
out giving ? 

Tybalt. Mercutio, thou consort'st with Romeo, 

Mercutio. Consort ! what, dost thou make us 
minstrels ? an thou make minstrels of us, look to 
hear nothing but discords ; here 's my fiddlestick, 50 
here 's that shall make you dance. Zounds, consort 1 

Benvolio. We talk here in the public haunt of men. 
Either withdraw unto some private place, 
Or reason coldly of your grievances, 
Or else depart ; here all eyes gaze on us, 

Mercutio. Men's eyes were made to look, and let 

them gaze ; 
I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I. 

Enter ROMEO 

Tybalt. Well, peace be with you, sir; here comes 

my man. 
Mercutio. But I '11 be hang'd, sir, if he wear your 


88 Romeo and Juliet [Act m 

Marry, go before to field, he '11 be your follower ; 60 
Your worship in that sense may call him man. 

Tybalt. Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford! 
No better term than this, thou art a villain. J 

Romeo. 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 thou know'st me not. 

Tybalt. Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries 
That thou hast done me ; therefore turn and draw. 

Romeo. I do protest, I never injur'd thee, 70 

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 my own, be satisfied. 

Mercutio. O calm, dishonourable, vile submission ! 
A la stoccata carries it away. [Draws. 

Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk ? 

Tybalt. What wouldst thou have with me ? 

Mercutio. Good king of cats, nothing but one of 
your nine lives ; that I mean to make bold withal, 80 
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 ? make haste, lest mine be about 
your ears ere it be out. 

Tybalt. I am for you. [Drawing. 

Romeo. Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up. 

Mercutio. Come, sir, your passado. \They fight. 

Romeo. Draw, Benvolio ; beat down their weapons. 

Scene IJ Romeo and Juliet 89 

Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage ! 

Tybalt, Mercutio, the prince expressly hath 90 

Forbid this bandying in Verona streets. 

Hold, Tybalt ! good Mercutio ! 

[Exeunt Tybalt and his partisans. 

Mercutio. I am hurt. 

A plague o' both your houses ! I am sped. 
Is he gone, and hath nothing ? 

Benvolio. What, art thou hurt ? 

Mercutio. Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch ; marry, 't is 

Where is my page ? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon. 

[Exit Page. 

Romeo. Courage, man ; the hurt cannot be much. 

Mercutio. No, 't is not so deep as a well, nor so 
wide as a church-door, but 't is enough, 't will serve ; 
ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave 100 
man. 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 brag 
gart, a rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of 
arithmetic ! Why the devil came you between us ? 
I was hurt under your arm. Ci *jbW*nBi <> fe> 

Romeo. I thought all for the best. 

Mercutio. Help me into some house, Benvolio, 
Or I shall faint. A plague o' both your houses ! 
They have made worms' meat of me. I have it, n 
And soundly too ; your houses ! 

[Exeunt Mercutio and J3envolio 

90 Romeo and Juliet [Act in 

/Wan* ' Beqini'iy of #4 -hnqit, nd 

Romeo. This gentleman, the prince's near ally* 
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt 
In my behalf; my reputation stain'd 
With Tybalt's slander, Tybalt, that an hour 
Hath been my cousin ! O sweet Juliet, 
"Thy beauty hath made me effeminate, 
And in my temper soften'd valour's steel 1 

Re-enter BENVOLIO 

Benvolio. O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio 's dead ! 
That gallant spirit hath aspir'd the clouds, 120 

Which too untimely here did scorn the earth. 

Romeo. This day's black fate on more days doth 

depend ; 
This but begins the woe others must end. 

Benvolio. Here comes the furious Tybalt back again. 

Re-enter TYBALT 

Romeo. Alive, in triumph ! and Mercutio slain I 
Away to heaven, respective lenity, 
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now ! 
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, 130 

Staying for thine to keep him company; 
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him. 

Tybalt. Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him 

Shalt with him hence. 

Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 91 

Romeo. This shall determine that. 

\Theyfight; Tybalt falls. 

Benvolio. Romeo, away, be gone ! 
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain. 
Stand not amaz'd; the prince will doom thee death 
If thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away ! 

Romeo. O, I am fortune's fool! rWt 

Benvolio. Why dost thou stay ? 

\Exit Romeo. 
Enter Citizens, etc. 

i Citizen. Which way ran he that kill'd Mercutio ? 140 
Tybalt, that murtherer, which way ran he ? 

Benvolio. There lies that Tybalt. 

i Citizen. Up, sir, go with me ; 

I charge thee in the prince's name, obey. 

Enter Prince, attended; MONTAGUE, CAPULET, their 
Wives, and others 

Prince. Where are the vile beginners of this fray ? 

Benvolio. 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. 

Lady Capulet. Tybalt, my cousin ! O my brother's 

child ! 

O prince ! O cousin ! husband ! O, the blood is spilt 150 
Of my dear kinsman ! Prince, as thou art true, 
For blood of ours shed blood of Montague. 
O cousin, cousin ! 

92 Romeo and Juliet [Act ill 

Prince. Benvolio, who began this bloody fray ? 

Benvolio. Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand 

did slay ; 

Romeo that spoke him fair, bade him bethink 
How nice the quarrel was, and urg'd withal 
Your high displeasure. All this, uttered 
With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bow'd, 
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen 160* 

Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts 
With piercing steel at bold Mercutio's breast, 
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 back 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 170 

An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life 
Of stout Mercutio ; and then Tybalt fled, 
But by and by comes back to Romeo^ 
^Vho 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, 
And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly. 
This is the truth, or let Benvolio die. 

Lady Capulet. He is a kinsman to the Montague ; 
Affection makes him false, he speaks not true. 180 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 93 

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. 

Prince. Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio ; 
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe ? 

Montague. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's 

friend ; 

His fault concludes but what the law should end, 
The life of Tybalt. 

Prince. And for that offence 

Immediately we do exile him hence. 190 

I have an interest m your hate's proceeding, 
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding ; 
But I '11 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 shall purchase out abuses. 
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 murthers, pardoning those that kill. 200 


SCENE II. Capulefs Orchard 
Enter JULIET S*\l\ 

Juliet. Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, 
Towards Phoebus' lodging ; such a waggoner 

94 Romeo and Juliet [Act m 

As Phaethon would whip you to the west 

And bring in cloudy night immediately. 

Spread thy close curtain, love-performing Night, 

That runaways' eyes may wink, and Romeo 

Leap to these arms, untalk'd of and unseen. 

Lovers can see to do their amorous rites 

By their own beauties ; or, if love be blind, 

It best agrees with night. Come, civil Night, 10 

Thou sober-suited matron, all in black, 

And learn me how to lose a winning match, 

Play'd for a pair of stainless maidenhoods. 

Hood my unmann'd blood, bating in my cheeks, 

With thy black mantle, till strange love grown bold 

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. 

Come, gentle Night, come, loving, black-brow'd Night, 

Give me my Romeo ; and, when he shall die, 2; 

Take him and cut him out in little stars, 

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. 

O, I have bought the mansion of a love, 

But not possess 'd 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 30 

And may not wear them. O, here comes my nurse, 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 95 

And she brings news ; and every tongue that speaks 
But Romeo's name speaks heavenly eloquence. 

Enter Nurse, with cords 

Now, nurse, what news ? What hast thou there ? the 


That Romeo bid thee fetch ? 
Nurse. Ay, ay, the Cords. 

\Throws them down. 
Juliet. Ay 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 ! 
Juliet. Can heaven be so envious ? 
Nurse. Romeo can, 40 

Though heaven cannot. O Romeo, Romeo ! 
Who ever would have thought it ? Romeo ! 
Juliet. What devil art thou, that dost torment me 


This torture should be roar'd in dismal hell. 
Hath Romeo slain himself ? say thou but ay, 
And that bare vowel / shall poison more 
Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice. 
I am not I, if there be such an /, 
Or those eyes shut that make thee answer ay. 
If he be slain, say ay ; or if not, no. 50 

Brief sounds determine of my weal or woe. 

96 Romeo and Juliet [Act m 

Nurse. I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes 
God save the mark ! here on his manly breast ; 
A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse, 
Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaub 'd in blood,. 
All in gore-blood ; I swounded at the sight. 

Juliet. 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 ! 60 

Nurse. O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had ! 
O courteous Tybalt ! honest gentleman ! 
That ever I should live to see thee dead ! 

Juliet. What storm is this that blows so contrary ? 
Is Romeo slaughter'd, and is Tybalt dead ? 
My dear-lov'd cousin, and my dearer lord ? 
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. 70 

Juliet. O God! did Romeo's hand shed Tybalt's 
blood ? 

Nurse. It did, it did ; alas the day, it did ! 

Juliet. O serpent heart, hid with ajlowering facej 
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave ? 
Beautiful tyrant ! fiend angelical ! 
Dove-feather'd raven ! wolvish-ravening lamb 1 
Despised substance of divinest show ! 
Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st, 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 97 

A damned saint, an honourable villain ! 

O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell, 80 

When thou didst 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 s 

No faith, no honesty in men ; all penur'd, 
All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers. 
Ah, where 's my man ? give me some aqua vitae. 
These griefs, these woes, these sorrows, make me old. 
Shame come to Romeo ! 

Juliet. Blister'd be thy tongue 90 

For such a wish ! he was not born to shame ; 
Upon his brow shame is asham'd to sit, 
For 't is 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 kill'd your 
cousin ? 

Juliet. Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband ? 
Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name 
When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it ? 
But, wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin ? ioc 
That villain cousin would have kill'd my husband. 
Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring ; 
Your tributary drops belong to woe, 
Which you mistaking offer up to joy. 

98 Romeo and Juliet [Act m 

My husband lives that Tybalt would have slain, 

And Tybalt 's dead that would have slain my husband. 

All this is comfort ; wherefore weep I then ? 

Some word there was, worser than Tybalt's death, 

That murther'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,' 

Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. 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 follow'd not, when she said Tybalt 's dead, 

Thy father, or thy mother, nay, or both, 

Which modern lamentation might have mov'd ? 120 

But with a rearward following Tybalt's death, 

1 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, 

In that word's death ; no words can that woe sound. 

Where is my father, and my mother, nurse ? 

Nurse. Weeping and wailing over Tybalt's corse. 
Will you go to them ? I will bring you thither. 

Juliet. Wash they his wounds with tears ; mine shall 
be spent, 130 

When theirs are dry, for Romeo's banishment. 
Take up those cords. Poor ropes, you are beguil'd, 

Scene ill] Romeo and Juliet 99 

Both you and I, for Romeo is exil'd ; 
He made you for a highway to my bed, 
But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed. 

Nurse. Hie to your chamber. I '11 find Romeo 
To comfort you ; I wot well where he is. 
Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night. 
I '11 to him ; he is hid at Laurence' cell. 

Juliet. O, find him ! give this ring to my true knight, 
And bid him come to take his last farewell. 141 


SCENE III. Friar Laurence's Cell 

Friar Laurence. Romeo, come forth ; come forth, 

thou fearful man. 

Affliction is enamour'd of thy parts, 
And thou art wedded to calamity. 

Enter ROMEO 

Romeo. Father, what news ? what is the prince's 


What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand, 
That I yet know not ? 

Friar Laurence. Too familiar 

Is my dear son with such sour company ; 
I bring thee tidings of the prince's doom. 

Romeo. What less than doomsday is the prince's 
doom ? 

ioo Romeo and Juliet [Act m 

Friar Laurence. A gentler judgment vanish 'd from 
his lips, 10 

Not body's death, but body's banishment. 

Romeo. Ha, banishment ! be merciful, say death, 
For exile hath more terror in his look, 
Much more than death ; do not say banishment. 

Friar Laurence. Hence from Verona art thou ban 
ished ; 
Be patient, for the world is broad and wide. 

Romeo. 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 banished 
Is death misterm'd; calling death banishment 
Thou cutt'st my head off with a golden axe, 
And smil'st upon the stroke that murthers me. 
1 Friar Laurence. O deadly sin ! O rude unthankful- 
y ness ! 

,TJiy 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, and thou seest it not. 

Romeo. 'T is torture, and not mercy ; heaven is here. 
Where Juliet lives, and every cat and dog 30 

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. They may seize 

Scene HI] Romeo and Juliet 101 

On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand 

And steal immortal blessing from her lips, 

Who, even in pure and vestal modesty, 

Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin ; 

But Romeo may not, he is banished. 40 

This may flies do, when I from this must fly ; 

They are free men, but I am banished. 

And say'st thou yet that exile is not death ? 

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, 

Howling attends it ; how hast thou the heart, 

Being a divine, a ghostly confessor, 

A sin-absolver, and my friend profess'd, 50 

To mangle me with that word ' banished ' ? 

Friar Laurence. Thou fond mad man, hear me but 
speak a word. 

Romeo. O, thou wilt speak again of banishment. 

Friar Laurence. I '11 give thee armour to keep off 

that word ; 

Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy, 
To comfort thee, though thou art banished. 

Romeo. 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. 60 

Friar Laurence. O, then I see that madmen have 
no ears. 

1O2 Romeo and Juliet [Act ill 

Romeo. How should they, when that wise men have 

no eyes ? 
Friar Laurence. Let me dispute with thee of thy 

Romeo. Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not 


Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,] Pl kx$ 
An hour but married, Tybalt murthered, ? 
Doting like me and like me banished, \ 
Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair, 
And fall upon the ground, as I do now, 
Taking the measure of an unmade grave. 70 

\_Knocking within. 
Friar Laurence. Arise ;. one knocks. Good Romeo, 

hide thyself. 

Romeo. Not I ; unless the breath of heart-sick groans 

Mist-like infold me from the search of eyes. [Knocking. 

Friar Laurence. Hark, how they knock ! Who 's 

there ? Romeo, arise ; 
Thou wilt be taken. Stay awhile ! Stand up ; 


Run to my study. By and by ! God's will, 
What simpleness is this ! I come, I come ! [Knocking. 
Who knocks so hard ? whence come you ? what 's your 

Nurse. [ Within~\ Let me come in and you shall 

know my errand; 
I come from Lady Juliet. 

Friar Laurence. Welcome, then. 80 

Scene inj Romeo and Juliet 103 

Enter Nurse 

Nurse. O holy friar, O, tell me, holy friar, 
Where is my lady's lord, where 's Romeo ? 

Friar Laurence. There on the ground, with his own 
tears made drunk. 

Nurse. O, he is even in my mistress' case, 
Just in her case ! 

friar Laurence. O wof ul sympathy 1 
Piteous! predicament ! 

Nurse. Even so lies she, 

Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering. 
Stand up, stand up ; stand, an you be a man. 1> L. 
For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand. 
Why should you fall into so deep an O ? 90 

Romeo. Nurse ! 

Nurse. Ah sir ! ah sir ! Well, death 's the end of 

Romeo. Spak'st thou of Juliet ? how is it with her ? 
Doth she not think me an old murtherer, 
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 conceal'd 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, 100 

And Tybalt calls ; and then on Romeo cries, 
And then down falls again. 

IO4 Romeo and Juliet [Act m 

Romeo. As if that name, 

Shot from the deadly level of a gun, 
Did murther her, as that name's cursed hand 
Murther'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 his sword. 

Friar Laurence. Hold thy desperate hand ! 

Art thou a man ? thy form cries out thou art ; 
Thy tears are womanish, thy wild acts denote no 

The unreasonable fury of a beast. 
Unseemly woman 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, 
By doing damned hate upon thyself ? 
Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth ? 
Since birth and heaven and earth, all three do meet 120 
In thee at once, which thou at once wouldst lose. 
Fie, fie, thou sham'st thy shape, thy love, thy wit, 
Which, like a 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 ; 
Thy dear love sworn, but hollow perjury, 
Killing that love which thou hast vow'd to cherish; 

Scene Hi] Romeo and Juliet 105 

Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love, 130 

Misshapen in the conduct of them both, 
Like powder in a skilless soldier's flask, 
Is set a-fire by thine own ignorance, 
And thou dismember'd with thine own defence. 
What, rouse thee, man ! thy Juliet is alive, 
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead ; 
There art thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee, 
But thou slew'st Tybalt ; there art thou happy too. 
The law that threaten 'd death becomes thy friend 
And turns it to exile ; there art thou happy. 140 

A pack of blessings lights upon thy back, 
Happiness courts thee in her best array ; 
But, like a misbehav'd and sullen wench, 
Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love. 
Take heed, 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 150 

To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends, 
Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back 
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. 

106 Romeo and Juliet [Act m 

Nurse. O Lord, I could have stay'd here all the night 
To hear good counsel ; O, what learning is ! i6c 

My lord, I '11 tell my lady you will come. 

Romeo. Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide. 

Nurse. Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir ; 
Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late. [Exit. 

Romeo. How well my comfort is reviv'd by this ! 

Friar Laurence. Go hence ; good night ; and here 

stands all your state : 
Either be gone before the watch be set, 
Or by the break of day disguis'd from hence. 
Sojourn in Mantua ; I '11 find out your man, 
And he shall signify from time to time 170 

Every good hap to you that chances here. 
Give me thy hand ; 't is late : farewell ; good night. 

Romeo. But that a joy past joy calls out on me, 
It were a grief, so brief to part with thee. 
Farewell. [Exeunt 

SCENE IV. A Room in Capulefs House 

Capulet. 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. 
'T is very late, she '11 not come down to-night ; 
I promise you, but for your company, 
I would have been a-bed an hour ago. 

Scene IV] Romeo and Juliet 107 

Paris. These times of woe afford no time to woo. 
Madam, good night ; commend me to your daughter. 

Lady Capulet. I will, and know her mind early to 
morrow ; 10 
To-night she 's mew'd up to her heaviness. 

Capulet. Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender 
Of my child's love. 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 ? 

Paris. ^Monday, my lord) 

Capulet. Monday 1 ha, ha ! Well, Wednesday is too 


O' Thursday let it be ; o' Thursday, tell her, 20 

She shall be married to this noble earl. 
Will you be ready ? do you like this haste ? 
We '11 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 '11 have some half a dozen friends, 
And there an end. But what say you to Thursday ? 

Paris. My lord, I would that Thursday were to 

Capulet. Well, get you gone ; o' Thursday be it 
then. 30 

Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed, 

io8 Romeo and Juliet [Act ill 

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. \Exeunt, 

SCENE V. Julie? s Chamber 
laW#taM Enter ROMEO and JULIET 

Juliet. Wilt thou be gone ? it is not yet near day. 
It was the nightingale, and not the lark, 
That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear ; 
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree. 
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale. 

Romeo. 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. 10 

I must be gone and live, or stay and die. 

Juliet. Yon light is not daylight, 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 ; 
Therefore stay yet, thou need'st not to be gone. 

Romeo. Let me be ta'en, let me be put to death; 
I am content, so thou wilt have it so. 
I '11 say yon grey is not the morning's eye, 
'T is but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow ; 20 

Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat 

Scene vj Romeo and Juliet 109 

The vanity heaven so high above our heads. 
I have more care to stay than will to go ; 
Come, death, and welcome ! Juliet wills it so. 
How is 't, my soul ? let 's talk, it is not day. 

Juliet. It is, it is ; hie hence, be gone, away! 
It is the lark that sings so out of tune, 
Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps. 
Some say the lark makes sweet division ; 
This doth not so, for she divideth us. 30 

Some say the lark and loathed toad change eyes ; 
O, now I would they had chang'd voices too ! 
Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray, 
Hunting thee hence with hunt's-up to the day. 
O, now be gone ; more light and light it grows. 

Romeo. More light and light ? More dark and 
dark our woes 1 

Enter Nurse 

Nurse. Madam ! 

Juliet. Nurse ? 

Nurse. Your lady mother is coming to your chamber. 
The day is broke ; be wary, look about. \Exit. 

Juliet. Then, window, let day in, and let life out. 41 

Romeo. Farewell, farewell 1 one kiss, and I '11 descend. 

\Romeo descends. 

Juliet. Art thou gone so? my lord, my love, my 

friend ! 

I must hear from thee every day in the hour, 
For in a minute there are many days. 

no Romeo and Juliet [Act m 

O, by this count I shall be much in years 
Ere I again behold my Romeo ! 

Romeo. Farewell ! I will omit no opportunity 
That may convey my greetings, love, to thee. 

Juliet. O, think'st thou we shall ever meet again ? 50 

Romeo. I doubt it not ; and all these woes shall serve 
For sweet discourses in our time to come. 

Juliet. O God, I have an ill-divining soul I 
Methinks I see thee, now thou art below, 
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb ; 
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale. 

Romeo. And trust me, love, in my eye so do you ; 
Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu ! [Exit. 

Juliet. O Fortune, Fortune ! all men call thee fickle ; 
If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him 60 

That is renown'd for faith ? Be fickle, Fortune ; 
For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long, 
But send him back. 

Lady Capulet. [ Withiri\ Ho, daughter ! are you up \ 

Juliet. Who is 't that calls ? is it my lady mother ? 
Is she not down so late, or up so early? 
What unaccustom'd cause procures her hither ? 


Lady Capulet. Why, how now, Juliet ! 

Juliet. Madam. I am not well. 

Lady Capulet. Evermore weeping for your cousin's 

death ? 
What, wilt thou wash .him from his grave with tears ? 

Scene V] Romeo and Juliet 1 1 1 

An if thou couldst, thou couldst not make him live ; 70 
Therefore, have done. Some grief shows much of love, 
But much of grief shows still some want of wit. 

Juliet. Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss. 

Lady Capulet. So shall you feel the loss, but not the 

Which you weep for. 

Juliet. Feeling so the loss, 

C cannot choose but ever weep the friend. 

Lady Capulet. Well, girl, thou w r eep'st not so much 

for his death 
As that the villain lives which slaughter'd him. 

Juliet. What villain, madam ? 

Lady Capulet. That same villain, Romeo. 

Juliet. Villain and he be many miles asunder. 80 
God pardon him ! I do, with all my heart ; 
And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart. 

Lady Capulet. That is, because the traitor murtherer 

Juliet. Ay, madam, from the reach of these my hands. 
Would none but I might venge my cousin's death ! 

Lady Capulet. We will have vengeance for it, fear 

thou not; 

Then weep no more. I '11 send to one in Mantua, 
Where that same banish'd runagate doth live, 
Shall give him such an unaccustom'd dram 
That he shall soon keep Tybalt company ; 90 

And then, I hope, thou wilt be satisfied. 

Juliet. Indeed, I never shall be satisfied 

112 Romeo and Juliet TAct m 

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 100 

Upon his body that hath slaughter'd him ! 

Lady Capulet. Find thou the means, and I '11 find 

such a man. 
But now I '11 tell thee joyful tidings, girl. 

Juliet. And joy comes well in such a needy time. 
What are they, I beseech your ladyship ? 

Lady Capulet. 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. 

Juliet. Madam, in happy time, what day is that? no 

Lady Capulet. Marry, my child, early next Thursday 


The gallant, young, and noble gentleman, 
The County Paris, at Saint Peter's Church, 
Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride. 

Juliet. 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 
Ere he that should be husband comes to woo. 

Scene V] Romeo and Juliet 113 

I pray you, tell my lord and father, madam, 
I will not marry yet ; and, when I do, I swear, 120 

It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, 
Rather than Paris. These are news indeed ! 
Lady Capulet. Here comes your father ; tell him so 

And see how he will take it at your hands. 

Enter CAPULET and Nurse 

Capulet. When the sun sets, the air doth drizzle dew ; 
But for the sunset of my brother's son 
It rains downright. 

How now ! a conduit, girl ? what, still in tears ? 
Evermore showering ? In one little body 
Thou counterfeit'st a bark, a sea, a wind : 130 

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 ? 

Lady Capulet. Ay, sir ; but she will none, she gives 

you thanks. 
I would the fool were married to her grave ! 

Capulet. Soft ! take me with you, take me with you, 
wife. 140 

How ! will she none ? doth she not give us thanks ? 
Is she not proud ? doth she not count her blest, 


114 Romeo and Juliet [Act ill 

Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought 
So worthy a gentleman to be her bridegroom ? 

Juliet. 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. 

Capulet. How now, how now, chop-logic ! What is 


' Proud ' and * I thank you ' and ' I thank you not,' 
And yet ' not proud ' ! Mistress minion, you, 150 

Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds, 
But fettle 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 ! 

Lady Capulet. Fie, fie ! what, are you mad ? 
Juliet. Good father, I beseech you on my knees, 
Hear me with patience but to speak a word. 

Capulet. Hang thee, young baggage ! disobedient 

wretch ! 

I tell thee what, get thee to church o' Thursday i6e 
Or never after look me in the face. 
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me ; 
My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest 
That God had lent us 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 1 

Scene V] Romeo and Juliet 115 

Nurse. God in heaven bless her ! 

You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so. 

Capulet. And why, my lady wisdom ? hold your 

Good prudence ; smatter with your gossips, go. 170 

Nurse. I speak no treason. 

Capulet. O 3 God ye god-den ! 

Nurse. May not one speak ? 

Capulet. Peace, you mumbling fool ! 

Utter your gravity o'er a gossip's bowl, 
For here we need it not. 

Lady Capulet. You are too hot. 

Capulet. God's bread ! it makes me mad ! 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 I 

A gentleman of noble parentage, 

Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train'd, 180 

Stuff 'd, as they say, with honourable parts, 
Proportion 'd as one's thought would wish a man, 
And then to have a wretched puling fool, 
A whining mammet, in her fortune's tender, 
To answer ' I '11 not wed ; I cannot love, 
I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.' 
But, an you will not wed, I '11 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. 190 

u6 Romeo and Juliet [Act m 

An you be mine, I '11 give you to my friend ; 

An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, 

For, by my soul, I '11 ne'er acknowledge thee, 

Nor what is mine shall never do thee good. 

Trust to 't, bethink you ; I '11 not be forsworn. [Exit. 

Juliet. Is there no pity sitting in the clouds, 
That sees into the bottom of my grief ? 
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. 

Lady Capulet. Talk not to me, for I '11 not speak a 

word ; | 
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee. \Exit. 

Juliet. O God! -O nurse, how shall this be pre 
vented ? 

J4y 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 ! an 

What say'st thou ? hast thou not a word of joy ? 
Some comfort, nurse. 

Nurse. Faith, here 't is. 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, 

Scene VJ Romeo and Juliet 117 

I think it best you married with the county. 

O, he 's a lovely gentleman ! 

Romeo 's a dishclout to him ; an eagle, madam, 

Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye 220 

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 't were as good he were 

As living here and you no use of him. 

Juliet. Speakest thou from thy heart ? 

Nurse. And from my soul too ; 

Or else beshrew them both. 

Juliet. Amenl j 

Nurse. What ? 

Juliet. Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous 


Go in, and tell my lady I am gone, 
Having displeas'd my father, to Laurence' cell, 230 

To make confession and to be absolv'd. 

Nurse. Marry, I will ; and this is wisely done. [Exit. 

Juliet. Ancient damnation ! 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 with above compare 
So many thousand times ? Go, counsellor ; 
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain. 
I '11 to the friar, to know his remedy ; 
If all else fail, myself have power to die. [Exit. 



SCENE I. Friar Laurence's Cell 

Friar Laurence. On Thursday, sir ? the time is very 


Paris. My father Capulet will have it so, 
And I am nothing slow to slack his haste. 

Friar Laurence. You say you do not know the lady's 


Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 119 

Uneven is the course, I like it not. 

Paris. 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, 10 

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. 

Friar Laurence. [Aside'] s I would I knew not why it 

should be slow'd. 
Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my cell. 


Paris. Happily met, my lady and my wife ! 
Juliet. That may be, sir, when I may be a wife. 
Paris. That may be must be, love, on Thursday 
next. 20 

Juliet. What must be shall be. 

Friar Laurence. That 's a certain text. 

Paris. Come you to make confession to this father ? 
Juliet. To answer that, I should confess to you. 
Paris. Do not deny to him that you love me. 
Juliet. I will confess to you that I love him. 
Paris. So will you, I am sure, that you love me. 
Juliet. If I do so, it will be of more price, 
Being spoke behind your back, than to your face. 

I2O Romeo and Juliet [Act IV 

Paris. Poor soul, thy face is much abus'd with tears. 

Juliet. The tears have got small victory by that, 30 
For it was bad enough before their spite. 

Paris. Thou wrong'st it more than tears with that 

Juliet. That is no slander, sir, which is a truth ; 
And what I spake, I spake it to my face. 

Paris. Thy face is mine, and thou hast slander'd it. 

Juliet. It may be so, for it is not mine own. 
Are you at leisure, holy father, now, 
Or shall I come to you at evening mass ? 

Friar Laurence. My leisure serves me, pensive 

daughter, now. 
My lord, we must entreat the time aione. 40 

Paris. God shield I should disturb devotion ! 
Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye ; 
Till then, adieu, and keep this holy kiss. \Exit. 

Juliet. O, shut the door ! and when thou hast done so, 
Come weep with me ; past hope, past cure, past help ! 

Friar Laurence. Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief ; 
It strains me past the compass of my wits. 
I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it, 
On Thursday next be married to this county. 

Juliet. Tell me not, friar, that thou hear'st of this, 50 
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 '11 help it presently. 
God join'd my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands ; 

Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 121 

And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo seal'd, 

Shall be the label to another deed, 

Or my true heart with treacherous revolt 

Turn to another, this shall slay them both. 

Therefore, out of thy long-experienc'd time, 60 

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 

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. 

Friar Laurence. Hold, daughter ! I do spy a kind 

of hope, 

Which craves as desperate an execution 
As that is desperate which we would prevent. 70 

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 '11 give thee remedy. 

Juliet. O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, 
From off the battlements of yonder tower ; 
Or walk in thievish ways ; or bid me lurk 
Where serpents are ; chain me with roaring bears ; 80 
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 skulls ; 

122 Romeo and Juliet [Act IV 

Or bid me go into a new-made grave 

And hide me with a dead man in his shroud, 

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. 

Friar Laurence. Hold, then ; go home, be merry, 

give consent 

To marry Paris. Wednesday is to-morrow. 90 

To-morrow night look that thou lie alone ; 
Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber. 
Take thou this vial, being then in bed, 
And this distilled liquor drink thou off ; 
When presently through all thy veins shall run 
A cold and drowsy humou^, for no pulse 
Shall keep his native progress but surcease. 
No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest; 
The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade 
To paly ashes, thy eyes' windows fall, 100 

Like death, when he shuts up the day of life ; 
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 continue 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 no 

Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault 

Scene II] Romeo and Juliet 123 

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, and that very night 

Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua. 

And this shall free thee from this present shame, 

If no inconstant toy nor womanish fear 

Abate thy valour in the acting it. 120 

Juliet. Give me, give me ! O, tell not me of fear ! 

Friar Laurence. Hold ; get you gone, be strong and 


In this resolve. I '11 send a friar with speed 
To Mantua, with my letters to thy lord. 

Juliet. Love give me strength ! and strength shall 

help afford. 
Farewell, dear father ! [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. Hall in Capulefs House 

Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, Nurse, and two 

Capulet. So many guests invite as here are writ. 

[Exit Servant 
Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks. 

2 Servant. You shall have none ill, sir, for I '11 
try if they can lick their ringers. 

Capulet. How canst thou try them so? 

2 Servant. Marry, sir, 't is an ill cook that cannot 

124 Romeo and Juliet [Act IV 

lick his own fingers ; therefore he that cannot lick his 
fingers goes not with me. 

Capukt. Go, be gone. [Exit Servant. 

We shall be much unfurnish'd for this time. 10 

What, is my daughter gone to Friar Laurence? 

Nurse. Ay, forsooth. 

Capulet. Well, he may chance to do some good 

on her; 
A peevish self-will'd harlotry it is. 

Nurse. See where she comes from shrift with merry 



Capulet. How now, my headstrong ! where have you 
been gadding ? 

Juliet. Where I have learn 'd me to repent the sin 
Of disobedient opposition 
To you and your behests, and am en join 'd 
By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here 20 

And beg your pardon. Pardon, I beseech you ! 
Henceforward I am ever rul'd by you. 

Capulet. Send for the county ; go tell him of this. 
I '11 have this knot knit up to-morrow morning. 

Juliet. I met the youthful lord at Laurence' cell, 
And gave him what becomed love I might, 
Not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty. 

Capulet. Why, I am glad on 't; this is well, stand 


This is as 't should be. Let me see the county; 
Ay, marry, go, I say, and fetch him hither. 30 

Scene ill] Romeo and Juliet 125 

Now, afore God ! this reverend holy friar, 
All our whole city is much bound to him. 

Juliet. 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 ? 

Lady Capulet. No, not till Thursday ; there is time 

Capulet. Go, nurse, go with her ; we Ml to church 
to-morrow. \_Exeunt Juliet and Nurse. 

Lady Capulet. We shall be short in our provision ; 
'T is now near night. 

Capulet. Tush, I will stir about, 

And all things shall be well, I warrant thee, wife. 40 
Go thou to Juliet, help to deck up her. 
I '11 not to bed to-night ; let me alone, 
I '11 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 wondrous light, 
Since this same wayward girl is so reclaim'd. [Exeunt. 

SCENE III. Juliefs Chamber 
Enter JULIET and Nurse 

Juliet. Ay, those attires are best ; but, gentle nurse, 
I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night, 
For I have need of many orisons 
To move the heavens to smile upon my state, 
Which, well thou know'st, is cross and full of sin. 

126 Romeo and Juliet [Act IV 


Lady Capulet. What, are you busy, ho? need you 
my help ? 

Juliet. No, madam ; we have cull'd such necessaries 
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 ; 10 

For, I am sure, you have your hands full all 
In this so sudden business. 

Lady Capulet. Good night ; 

Get thee to bed and rest, for thou hast need. 

[Exeunt Lady Capulet and Nurse. 

Juliet. Farewell! God knows when we shall meet 


I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins 
That almost freezes up the heat of life ; 
I '11 call them back again to comfort me. 
Nurse ! What should she do here ? 
My dismal scene I needs must act alone. 
Come, vial. 20 

What if this mixture do not work at all ? 
Shall I be married then to-morrow morning ? 
No, no ! this shall forbid it. Lie thou there. 

[Laying down a dagger. 
What if it be a poison, which the friar 
Subtly hath minister'd to have me dead, 
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour'd 
Because he married me before to Romeo ? 

Scene in] Romeo and Juliet 127 

I fear it is ; and yet, methinks, it should not, 

For he hath still been tried a holy man. 

How if, when I am laid into the tomb, 30 

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 air breathes 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, 

Where for these many hundred years the bones 40 

Of all my buried ancestors are pack'd ; 

Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth, 

Lies festering in his shroud ; where, as they say, 

At some hours in the night spirits resort ; 

Alack, alack, is it not like that I, 

So early waking, what with loathsome smells, 

And shrieks like mandrakes' torn out of the earth, 

That living mortals hearing them run mad ; 

O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught, 

Environed with all these hideous fears ? 50 

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 

128 Romeo and Juliet [Act IV 

Upon a rapier's point. Stay, Tybalt, stay ! 
Romeo, I come ! this do I drink to thee. 

[She throws herself on the bed. 

SCENE IV. Hall in Capulefs House 
Enter LADY CAPULET and Nurse 

Lady Capulet. Hold, take these keys and fetch more 

spices, nurse. 
Nurse. They call for dates and quinces in the pastry. 


Capulet. Come, stir, stir, stir ! the second cock hath 


The curfew-bell hath rung, 't is three o'clock. 
Look to the bak'd meats, good Angelica ; 
Spare not for cost. 

Nurse. Go, you cot-quean, go, 

Get you to bed ; faith, you '11 be sick to-morrow 
For this night's watching. 

Capulet. No, not a whit. What ! I have watch'd 

ere now 

All night for lesser cause and ne'er been sick. 10 

Lady Capulet. Ay, you have been a mouse-hunt in 

your time, 
But I will watch you from such watching now. 

[Exeunt Lady Capulet and Nurse. 
Capulet. A jealous-hood, a jealous-hood ! 

Scene V] Romeo and Juliet 129 

Enter three or four Servingmen, with spits, logs, and 

Now, fellow, 
What 's there ? 

1 Servant. Things for the cook, sir, but I know not 

Capulet. Make haste, make haste. [Exit Servant^ 

Sirrah, fetch drier logs ; 
Call Peter, he will show thee where they are. 

2 Servant. I have a head, sir, that will find out logs, 
And never trouble Peter for the matter. [Exit. 

Capulet. Mass, and well said ; a merry whoreson, ha ! 
Thou shalt be logger-head. Good faith, 't is day ; 21 
The county will be here with music straight, 
For so he said he would. I hear him near. 

[Music within. 
Nurse ! Wife ! What, ho ! What, nurse, I say ! 

Re-enter Nurse 

Go waken Juliet, go and trim her up ; 
I '11 go and chat with Paris. Hie, make haste, 
Make haste ; the bridegroom he is come already ; 
Make haste, I say. [Exeunt. 

SCENE V. Juliet's Chamber 
Enter Nurse 

Nurse. Mistress ! what, mistress ! Juliet ! Fast, I 
warrant her, she. 

130 Romeo and Juliet [Act iv 

Why, lamb ! why, lady ! fie, you slug-a-bed ! 

Why, love, I say ! madam ! sweet-heart ! why, bride ! 

What, not a word ? How sound is she asleep ! 

I needs must wake her. Madam, madam, madam ! 

Ay, let the county take you in your bed ; 

He '11 fright you up, i' faith. Will it not be ? 

[ Undraws the curtains. 

What, dress'd ! and in your clothes ! and down again 1 
I must needs wake you. Lady ! lady ! lady ! 
Alas, alas ! Help, help ! my lady 's dead 1 10 

O, well-a-day, that ever I was born ! 
Some aqua vitae, ho 1 My lord ! my lady 1 


Lady Capulet. What noise is here ? 

Nurse. O lamentable day ! 

Lady Capulet. What is the matter ? 

Nurse. Look, look ! O heavy day ! 

Lady Capulet. O me, O me 1 My child, my only life, 
Revive, look up, or I will die with thee 1 
Help, help 1 Call help. 

Capulet. For shame, bring Juliet forth ; her lord is 

Nurse. She 's dead, deceas'd, she 's dead ; alack the 

Lady Capulet. Alack the day, she 's dead, she 's 

dead, she 's dead ! 20 

Scene V] Romeo and Juliet 131 

Capulet. 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. 

Nurse. O lamentable day ! 

Lady Capulet. O woful time ! 

Capulet. Death, that hath ta'en her hence to make 

me wail, 
Ties up my tongue and will not let me speak. 

Enter FRIAR LAURENCE and PARIS with Musicians 

Friar Laurence. Come, is the bride ready to go to 
church ? 

Capulet. Ready to go, but never to return. 30 

O son ! the night before thy wedding-day 
Hath Death lain with thy wife. See, there she lies, 
Flower as she was, deflowered by him. 
Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir ; 
My daughter he hath wedded. I will die, 
And leave him all ; life, living, all is Death's. 

Paris. Have I thought long to see this morning's 

And doth it give me such a sight as this ? 

Lady Capulet. Accurst, unhappy, wretched, hateful 


Most miserable hour that e'er time saw 40 

In lasting labour of his pilgrimage ! 
But one, poor one, one poor and loving child, 

132 Romeo and Juliet [Act IV 

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 1 
Most lamentable day, most woful day, 
That ever, ever, I did yet behold ! 
O day ! O day ! O day ! O hateful day I 
Never was seen so black a day as this ! 
O woful day, O woful day ! 50 

Paris. BeguiPd, 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 ! 

Capulet. Despis'd, distressed, hated, martyr'd, kill'd ! 
Uncomfortable time, why cam'st thou now 
To murther, murther our solemnity ? 
O child ! O child ! my soul, and not my child I 
Dead art thou ! Alack ! my child is dead ; 
And with my child my joys are buried. 60 

Friar Laurence. Peace, ho, for shame ! confusion's 

cure 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 't was your heaven she should be advanc'd ; 
And weep ye now, seeing she is advanc'd 
Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself ? 70 

Scene V] Romeo and Juliet 133 

O, in this love you love your child so ill 
That you run mad seeing that she is well ; w~ 
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 
On this fair corse, and, as the custom is, 
In all her best array bear her to church ; 
For though fond nature bids us all lament, 
Yet nature's tears are reason's merriment. 

Capulet. All things that we ordained festival 80 

Turn from their office to black funeral : 
Our instruments to melancholy bells, 
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. 

Friar Laurence. Sir, go you in, and, madam, go 

with him ; 

And go, Sir Paris ; every one prepare 
To follow this fair corse unto her grave. 
The heavens do lower upon you for some ill ; 90 

Move them no more by crossing their high will. 

{Exeunt Capulet, Lady Capulet, Paris, and Friar. 

i Musician. Faith, we may put up our pipes, and be 

Nurse. Honest good fellows, ah, put up, put up ; 
For, well you know, this is a pitiful case. [Exit. 

i Musician. Ay, by my troth, the case maybe amended. 

Romeo and Juliet [Act IV 

Enter PETER 

Peter. Musicians, O, musicians, ' Heart's ease, 
Heart's ease ' ; O, an you will have me live, play 
1 Heart's ease.' 

i Musician. Why * Heart's ease ' ? 

Peter. O, musicians, because my heart itself plays TOO 
' My heart is full of woe.' O, play me some merry 
dump, to comfort me. 

i Musician. Not a dump we ; 't is no time to 
play now. 

Peter. You will not, then ? 

i Musician. No. 

Peter. I will then give it you soundly. 

i Musician. What will you give us ? 

Peter. No money, on my faith, but the gleek ; I 
will give you the minstrel. no 

i Musician. Then will I give you the serving- 

Peter. Then will I lay the serving-creature's 
dagger on your pate. I will carry no crotchets ; I '11 
re you, I '11 fa you ; do you note me ? 

1 Musician. An you re us and fa us, you note 

2 Musician. Pray you, put up your _ dagger, and 
put out your wit. 

Peter. Then have at you with my wit ! I will 120 
drybeat you with an iron wit, and put up my iron 
dagger. Answer me like men : 

Scene V] Romeo and Juliet 135 

* When griping grief the heart doth wound, 

And doleful dumps the mind oppress, 
Then music with her silver sound ' 

why * silver sound ' ? why * music with her silver 
sound ' ? What say you, Simon Catling ? 

1 Musician. Marry, sir, because silver hath a 
sweet sound. 

Peter. Pretty ! What say you, Hugh Rebeck? 130 

2 Musician. I say ' silver sound/ because musi- * 
cians sound for silver. 

Peter. Pretty too ! What say you, James Sound- 

3 Musician. Faith, I know not what to say. 
Peter. O, I cry you mercy, you are the singer; I 

will say for you. It is * music with her silver sound,' 
because musicians have no gold for sounding. 

* Then music with her silver sound 

- With speedy help doth lend redress.' [Exit. 

1 Musician. What a pestilent knave is this same ! 141 

2 Musician. Hang him, Jack ! Come, we '11 in 
here, tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner. {Exeunt. 



SCENE I. Mantua. A Street 
Enter ROMEO 

Romeo. If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep, 
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand. 
My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne, 
And all this day an unaccustom'd spirit 
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts. 
I dreamt my lady came and found me dead 
Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave to think ! 


Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 137 

And breath 'd such life with kisses in my lips 

That I reviv'd and was an emperor. 

Ah me! how sweet is Jove itself possess'd, 10 

When but love's shadows are so rich in joyl 


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 ? that I ask again, 
For nothing can be ill if she be well. 

Balthasar. Then she is well, and nothing can be 


Her body sleeps in Capel's monument 
And her immortal part with angels lives. 
I saw her laid low in her kindred's vault 20 

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. 

Romeo. Is it even so ? then I defy you, stars ! 
Thou know'st my lodging ; get me ink and paper, 
And hire post-horses. I will hence to-night. 

Balthasar. I do beseech you, sir, have patience ; 
Your looks are pale and wild, and do import 
Some misadventure. 

Romeo. Tush, thou art deceiv'd ; 

Leave me and do the thing I bid thee do. 30 

Hast thou no letters to me from the friar ? 

Balthasar. No, my good lord. 

138 Romeo and Juliet [Act v 

Romeo. No matter ; get thee gone 

And hire those horses. I '11 be with thee straight. 

{Exit Balthazar. 

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, 
And hereabouts he dwells, which late I noted 
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows, 
Culling of simples. Meagre were his looks, 40 

Sharp misery had worn him to the bones ; 
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung, 
An alligator stuff'd, and other skins 
Of ill-shap'd fishes ; and about his shelves 
A beggarly account of empty boxes, 
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 did need a poison now, 50 

Whose sale is present death in Mantua, 
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him. 
O, this same thought did but forerun my need, 
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 ! 

Scene I] Romeo and Juliet 139 

Enter Apothecary 

Apothecary. Who calls so loud ? 

Romeo. Come hither, man. I see that thou art 


Hold, there is forty ducats ; let me have 
A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear 60 

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. 

Apothecary. Such mortal drugs I have ; but Man 
tua's law 
Is death to any he that utters them. 

Romeo. Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness, 
And fear'st to die ? famine is in thy cheeks, 
Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes, 70 

Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back, 
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. 

Apothecary. My poverty, but not my will, consents. 

Romeo. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will. 

Apothecary. Put this in any liquid thing you will, 
And drink it off ; and, if you had the strength 
Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight. 

Romeo. There is thy gold, worse poison to men's 
souls, 80 

140 Romeo and Juliet [Act V 

Doing more murthers in this loathsome world 

Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell. 

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. \Exeunt. 

SCENE II. Friar Laurence's Cell 

Friar John. Holy Franciscan friar ! brother, ho! 


Friar Laurence. This same should be the voice of 

Friar John. 

Welcome from Mantua ; what says Romeo ? 
Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter. 

Friar John. Going to find a barefoot brother out, 
One of our order, to associate me, 
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, 10 

Seal'd up the doors and would not let us forth, 
So that my speed to Mantua there was stay'd. 

Friar Laurence. Who bare my letter, then, to 
Romeo ? 

Friar John. I could not send it, here it is again, 

Scene Hi] Romeo and Juliet 141 

Nor get a messenger to bring it thee, 
So fearful were they of infection. 

Friar Laurence. Unhappy fortune ! by my brother 

The letter was not nice, but full of charge 
Of dear import, and the neglecting it 
May do much danger. Friar John, go hence ; 20 

Get me an iron crow and bring it straight 
Unto my cell. 

Friar John. Brother, I '11 go and bring it thee. [Exit. 

Friar Laurence. Now must I to the monument alone ; 
Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake. 
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! [Exit. 

SCENE III. A Churchyard ; in it a Tomb belonging to 
the Capulets 

Enter PARIS, and his Page bearing flowers and a torch 

Paris. Give me thy torch, boy; hence, and stand 

aloof ; 

Yet put it out, for I would not be seen. 
Under yond yew-trees lay thee all along, 
Holding thine ear close to the hollow ground ; 
So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread, 

142 Romeo and Juliet [Act v 

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. [Aside] I am almost afraid to stand alone 10 
Here in the churchyard, yet I will adventure. {Retires. 

Paris. Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I 

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 ; 
The obsequies that I for thee will keep 
Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep. 

{The Page whistles. 

The boy gives warning something doth approach. 
What cursed foot wanders this way to-night, 
To cross my obsequies and true love's rite ? 20 

What, with a torch ! muffle me, night, awhile. 


Enter ROMEO and BALTHASAR, with a torch, mattock, etc. 

Romeo. 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 

Scene ill] Romeo and Juliet 143 

Is partly to behold my lady's face, 

But chiefly to take thence from her dead finger 30 

A precious ring, a ring that I must use 

In dear employment. 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, 

More fierce and more inexorable far 

Than empty tigers or the roaring sea. 

Balthazar. I will be gone, sir, and not trouble 
you. 4 o 

Romeo. So shalt thou show me friendship. Take 

thou that. 
Live, and be prosperous ; and farewell, good fellow. 

Balthazar. \Aside\ For all this same, I '11 hide me 

hereabout ; 
His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt. {Retires. 

Romeo. Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death, 
Gorg'd with the dearest morsel of the earth, 
Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open, 
And, in despite, I '11 cram thee with more food ! 

\Opens the tomb. 

Paris. This is that banish'd haughty Montague 
That murther'd my love's cousin, with which grief, 50 
It is supposed, the fair creature died, 
And here is come to do some villanous shame 
To the dead bodies ; I will apprehend him. [Advances. 

144 Romeo and Juliet [Act V 

Stop thy unhallow'd toil, vile Montague ! 
Can vengeance be pursued further than death ? 
Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee. 
Obey, and go with me, for thou must die. 

Romeo. I must indeed, and therefore came I hither. 
Good gentle youth, |tempt not a desperate~manj 
Fly hence, and leave me ; think upon these gone, 60 
Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth, 
Putno^another sin upon my head, ^\ 
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. 

Paris. I do defy thy conjurations 
And apprehend thee for a felon here. 69 

Romeo. Wilt thou provoke me ? then have at thee, 
boy! \Theyfight. 

Page. O Lord, they fight I I will go call the watch. 


Parts. O, I am slain ! \FallsI\ If thou be merciful, 
Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet. {Dies. 

Romeo. In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face. 
Mercutio's kinsman, noble County Paris 1 
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 ? 
Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet, 8c 

Scene ill] Romeo and Juliet 145 

To think it was so ? O, give me thy hand, 
One writ with me in sour misfortune's bookl 
I '11 bury thee in a triumphant grave, 
A grave ? O, no ! a lantern, slaughter'd youth ; 
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes 
This vault a feasting presence full of light. 
Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interr'd. 

[Laying Paris in the tomb, 
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 90 

Call this a lightning ? O my love ! my wife ! 
Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath, 
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty. 
Thou art not conquer 'd ; beauty's ensign yet 
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks, 
And death's pale flag is not advanced there. 
Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet ? 
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 ? 100 

Forgive me, cousin ! Ah, dear Juliet, 
Why art thou yet so fair ? 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 of dim night 
Depart again. Here, here will I remain 

146 Romeo and Juliet [Act v 

With worms that are thy chamber-maids ; O, here 

Will I set up my everlasting rest, no 

And shake the yoke of inauspicious_sjtas_ 

From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last I 

Arms, take your last embrace ! and, lips, O you 

The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss 

A dateless bargain to engrossing death ! 

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 ! \_DrinksJ\ O true apothecary ! 119 

Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die. [Dies. 

Enter, at the other end of the churchyard, FRIAR 
LAURENCE, with a lantern, crow, and spade 

Friar Laurence. Saint Francis be my speed ! how 

oft to-night 

Have my old feet stumbled at graves ! Who 's there ? 
Balthazar. Here 's one, a friend, and one that 

knows you well. 
Friar Laurence. Bliss be upon you ! Tell me, 

good my friend, 

What torch is yond that vainly lends his light 
To grubs and eyeless skulls ? as I discern, 
It burneth in the Capels' monument. 

Balthasar. It doth so, holy sir and there 's my 

One that you love. 

Scene III] Romeo and Juliet 147 

Friar Laurence. Who is it ? 

Balthasar. Romeo. 129 

Friar Laurence. How long hath he been there ? 

Balthasar. Full half an hour. 

Friar Laurence. Go with me to the vault. 

Balthasar. 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. 

Friar Laurence. Stay, then ; I '11 go alone. Fear 

comes upon me ; 
O, much I fear some ill unlucky thing ! 

Balthasar. As I did sleep under this yew-tree here, 
I dreamt my master and another fought, 
And that my master slew him. \Exit. 

Friar Laurence. Romeo ! \Advances. 

Alack, alack, what blood is this, which stains 140 

The stony entrance of this sepulchre ? 
What mean these masterless and gory swords 
To lie discolour'd by this place of peace ? 

\Enters the tomb. 

Romeo ! O, pale ! Who else ? what, Paris too ? 
And steep'd in blood ? Ah, what an unkind hour 
Is guilty of this lamentable chance ! 
The lady stirs. \Juliet wakes. 

Juliet. 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. 150 

148 Romeo and Juliet [Act v 

Friar Laurence. I hear some noise. Lady, come 

from that nest 

Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep ; 
A greater power than we can contradict 
Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away. 
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead, 
And Paris too. Come, I '11 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 no 
longer stay. 

Juliet. Go, get thee hence, for I will not away. 160 

[Exit Friar Laurence. 

What 's here ? a cup, clos'd in my true love's hand? 
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end. 
O churl ! drunk all, and left no friendly drop 
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. 

i Watch. [ Within] Lead, boy ; which way ? 

Juliet. Yea, noise? then I '11 be brief. O happy 

dagger ! {Snatching Romeo's dagger. 

This is thy sheath [Stabs herself] ; there rest, and let 

me die. [Falls on Romeo's body, and dies. 

Enter Watch, with the Page of PARIS 

Page. This is the place ; there, where the torch doth 
burn, 171 

Scene III] Romeo and Juliet 149 

1 Watch. The ground is bloody; search about the 

Go, some of you, whoe'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 ; 
Raise up the Montagues ; some others search. 

[Exeunt other Watchmen. 

We see the ground whereon these woes do lie ; 
But the true ground of all these piteous woes 180 

We cannot without circumstance descry. 

Re-enter some of the Watch, with BALTHASAR 

2 Watch. Here 's Romeo's man ; we found him in 

the churchyard. 

i Watch. Hold him in safety till the prince come 

Re-enter others of the Watch, 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, 
i 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? 

150 Romeo and Juliet [Act V 

Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, and others 

Capulet. What should it be . that they so shriek 
abroad ? 190 

Lady Capulet. 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 ? 
i 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 mur- 

ther comes, 
i Watch. Here is a friar, and slaughter'd Romeo's 


With instruments upon them fit to open 200 

These dead men's tombs. 

Capulet. O heaven ! O wife, look how our daughter 

bleeds ! 

This dagger hath mista'en, for, lo, his house 
Is empty on the back of Montague, 
And is mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom ! 

Lady Capulet. O me ! this sight of death is as a 

That warns my old age to a sepulchre. 

Enter MONTAGUE and others 

Prince. Come, Montague ; for thou art early up, 
To see thy son and heir more early down. 

Scene Hi] Romeo and Juliet 151 

Montague. Alas, my liege, my wife is dead to 
night ; 210 
Grief of my son's exile hath stopp'd her breath. 
What further woe conspires against mine age ? 

Prince. Look, and thou shalt see. 

Montague. O thou untaught! what manners is in 

To press before thy father to a grave ? 

Prince. Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while, 
Till we can clear these ambiguities, 
And know their spring, their head, their true descent ; 
And then will I be general of your woes 
And lead you even to death. Meantime forbear, 220 
And let mischance be slave to patience. 
Bring forth the parties of suspicion. 

Friar Laurence. I am the greatest, able to do least, 
Yet most suspected, as the time and place 
Doth make against me, of this direful murther ; 
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. 

Friar Laurence. I will be brief, for my short date of 


Is not so long as is a tedious tale. 230 

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 doomsday, whose untimely death 
Banish'd the new-made bridegroom from this city, 

152 Romeo and Juliet [Act v 

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 240 

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 borrow'd grave, 

Being the time the potion's force should cease. 

But he which bore my letter. Friar John, 250 

Was stay'd 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, 

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 awaking, here untimely lay 

The noble Paris and true Romeo dead. 

She wakes, and I entreated her come forth 260 

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, 

Scene ill] Romeo and Juliet 153 

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 man. 
Whera 's Romeo's man ? what can he say in this ? 271 

Balthazar. I brought my master news of Juliet's 


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 ? 280 

Page. He came with flowers to strew his lady's 


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. 290 

154 Romeo and Juliet [Act v 

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. 

Capulet. O brother Montague, give me thy hand ; 
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more 
Can I demand. 

Montague. But I can give thee more ; 
For I will raise her statue in pure gold, 
That while Verona by that name is known 30 

There shall no figure at such rate be set 
As that of true and faithful Juliet. 

Capulet. As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie, 
Poor sacrifices of our enmity ! 

Prince. A glooming peace 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 ; 
For never was a story of more woe 309 

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. \Exemit. 





THE METRE OF THE PLAY. It should be understood at the 
outset that metre, or the mechanism of verse, is something alto 
gether distinct from the music of verse. The one is matter of rule, 
the other of taste and feeling. Music is not an absolute necessity 
of verse ; the metrical form is a necessity, being that which consti 
tutes the verse. 

The plays of Shakespeare (with the exception of rhymed pas 
sages, and of occasional songs and interludes) are all in unrhymed 
or blank verse ; and the normal form of this blank verse is illus- 

i 5 8 


trated by the second line of the prologue to the present play : 
" In fair Verona, where we lay our scene." 

This line, it will be seen, consists of ten syllables, with the even 
syllables (2d, 4th, 6th, 8th, and loth) accented, the odd syllables 
(ist, 3d, etc.) being unaccented. Theoretically, it is made up of 
five feet of two syllables each, with the accent on the second sylla 
ble. Such a foot is called an iambus (plural, iambuses, or the 
Latin iambi}, and the form of verse is called iambic. 

This fundamental law of Shakespeare's verse is subject to certain 
modifications, the most important of which are as follows : 

1. After the tenth syllable an unaccented syllable (or even two 
such syllables) may be added, forming what is sometimes called a 
female line ; as in the iO3d line of the first scene : " Here were the 
servants of your adversary." The rhythm is complete with the third 
syllable of adversary, the fourth being an extra eleventh syllable. 
In iv. 3. 27 and v. 3. 256 we have two extra syllables, the last 
two of Romeo in both lines. 

2. The accent in any part of the verse may be shifted from an 
even to an odd syllable ; as in line 3 of the prologue, " From ancient 
grudge break to new mutiny," where the accent is shifted from the 
sixth to the fifth syllable. See also i. i. 92 : " Canker'd with peace, 
to part your canker'd hate ; " where the accent is shifted from the 
second to the first syllable. This change occurs very rarely in the 
tenth syllable, and seldom in the fourth ; and it is not allowable in 
two successive accented syllables. 

3. An extra unaccented syllable may occur in any part of the 
line ; as in line 7 of the prologue, where the second syllable of 
piteous is superfluous. In i. i. 64 the third syllable of Benvolio, 
and in line 71 below the second syllable of Capulets and the second 
the are both superfluous. 

4. Any unaccented syllable, occurring in an even place immedi 
ately before or after an even syllable which is properly accented, is 
reckoned as accented for the purposes of the verse ; as, for instance, 
in lines I, 3, and 7 of the prologue. In I the last syllable of dignity 

Notes 159 

and in 3 the last of mutiny are metrically equivalent to accented 
syllables. In 7 the same is true of the first syllable of misadventur 1 d 
and the third of overthrows. In iv. 2. 1 8 ("Of disobedient opposi 
tion ") only two regular accents occur, but we have a metrical accent 
on the first syllable of disobedient, and on the first and the last 
syllables of opposition, which word has metrically five syllables. In 
disobedient there is an extra unaccented syllable. 

5. In many instances in Shakespeare words must be lengthened 
in order to fill out the rhythm : 

() In a large class of words in which e or i is followed by 
another vowel, the e or i is made a separate syllable ; as ocean, 
opinion, soldier, patience, partial, marriage, etc. For instance, 
Hi. 5. 29 (" Some say the lark makes sweet division ") appears to 
have only nine syllables, but division is a quadrisyllable ; and so is 
devotion in iv. i. 41 : "God shield I should disturb devotion!" 
Marriage is a trisyllable in iv. i. II, and also in v. 3, 241 ; and the 
same is true of patience in v. I. 27, v. 3. 221 and 261. This length 
ening occurs most frequently at the end of the line. 

(b) Many monosyllables ending in r, re, rs, res, preceded by a 
long vowel or diphthong, are often made dissyllables; as fare, fear, 
dear, fire, hair, hour, your, etc. In iii. i. 198: " Else, when he 's 
found, that hour is his last," hour is a dissyllable. If the word is 
repeated in a verse it is often both monosyllable and dissyllable; as 
in M. of V. iii. 2. 20: "And so, though yours, not yours. Prove it 
so," where either yours (preferably the first) is a dissyllable, the 
other being a monosyllable. In J. C. iii. i. 172: "As fire drives 
fire, so pity, pity," the first fire is a dissyllable. 

(c) Words containing / or r, preceded by another consonant, are 
often pronounced as if a vowel came between the consonants; as in 
i. 4. 8: " After the prompter, at our entrance " [ent(e)rance]. See 
also T. of S. ii. i. 158: "While she did call me rascal fiddler" [fid- 
d(e)ler]; All's Well, iii. 5. 43: "If you will tarry, holy pilgrim" 
pilg(e)rim] ; C. of E. v. i. 360: "These are the parents of these 
children" (childeren, the original form of the word); W. T. iv. 

1 60 Notes 

4. 76: "Grace and remembrance [rememb(e)rance] be to you 
both ! " etc. See also on ii. 4. 184 and iii. I. 89 below. 

(*/) Monosyllabic exclamations (ay, O, yea, nay, hail, etc.) and 
monosyllables otherwise emphasized are similarly lengthened; also 
certain longer words; as commandement in M. of V. iv. I. 442; 
safety (trisyllable) in Ham. i. 3. 21 ; business (trisyllable, a-: origi 
nally pronounced) in J. C. iv. I. 22: "To groan and sweat ander 
the business " (so in several other passages) ; and other words 
mentioned in the notes to the plays in which they occuf. 

6. Words are also contracted for metrical reasons, like plurals 
and possessives ending in a sibilant, as balance, horse (for horses 
and horse's}, princess, sense, marriage (plural and possessive), 
image, etc. So spirit, inter' gatories, unpleasant' st, and other words 
mentioned in the notes on the plays. 

7. The accent of words is also varied in many instances for met 
rical reasons. Thus we find both revenue and revenue in the first 
scene of the M. N. D. (lines 6 and 158), dbscure and obscure, pur 
sue and pursue, cdntrary (see note on iii. 2. 64) and contrdry, 
contrdct (see on ii. 2. 117) and cdntract, etc. 

These instances of variable accent must not be confounded with 
those in which words were uniformly accented differently in the 
time of Shakespeare; like aspect, impdrtune (see on i. I. 142), 
per sever (never persevere}, perseverance, rheumatic, etc. 

8. Alexandrines, or verses of twelve syllables, with six accents, 
occur here and there ; as in the inscriptions on the caskets in M. of 
V., and occasionally in this play. They must not be comounded 

with female lines with two extra syllables (see on i above) or with 
other lines in which two extra unaccented syllables may occur. 

9. Incomplete verses, of one or more syllables, are scattered 
through the plays. See i. i. 61, 69, 162, 163, 164, 198, etc. 

10. Doggerel measure is used in the very earliest comedies 
(L. L. L. and C. of E. in particular) in the mouths of comic char 
acters, but nowhere else in those plays, and never anywhere after 
1597 or 1598. There is no instance of it in this play. 

Notes 1 6 1 

11. Rhyme occurs frequently in the early plays, but diminishes 
with comparative regularity from that period until the latest. Thus, 
in L. L. L. there are about 1 100 rhyming verses (about one-third 
of the whole number), in the M. N. D. about 900, and in Itich. II. 
about 500, while in Cor. and A. and C. there are only about 40 
each, in the Temp, only two, and in the W. T. none at all, except 
in the chorus introducing act iv. Songs, interludes, and other mat 
ter not in ten-syllable measure are not included in this enumeration. 
In the present play, out of about 2500 ten-syllable verses, nearly 
500 are in rhyme. 

Alternate rhymes are found only in the plays written before 1599 
or 1600. In the M. of V. there are only four lines at the end of 
iii. 2. In Much Ado and A. Y. L., we also find a few lines, but 
none at all in subsequent plays. Examples in this play are the pro 
logue, the chorus at the beginning of act ii., and the last speech of 
act. v. See also passages in i. 2, i. 5, and v. 3. 

Rhymed couplets or " rhyme-tags " are often found at the end of 
scenes; as in the first scene, and eleven other scenes, of the present 
play. In Ham: 14 out of 20 scenes, and in Macb. 21 out of 28, 
have such "tags"; but in the latest plays they are not so frequent. 
The Temp., for instance, has but one, and the W. T. none. 

12. In this edition of Shakespeare, the final -ed of past tenses 
and participles is printed -V when the word is to be pronounced in 
the ordinary way ; as in star-cross* d, line 6, and misadventur^d, 
line 7, of the prologue. But when the metre requires that the -ed 
be made a separate syllable, the e is retained ; as in moved, line 85, 
of the first scene, where the word is a dissyllable. The only varia 
tion from this rule is in verbs like cry, die, sue, etc., the -ed of which 
is very rarely made a separate syllable. 

This is a subject to which the critics have given very little atten 
tion, but it is an interesting study. In this play we find scenes 
entirely in verse (none entirely in prose) and others in which the 
two are mixed. In general, we may say that verse is used for what 

1 62 Notes 

is distinctly poetical, and prose for what is not poetical. The dis 
tinction, however, is not so clearly marked in the earlier as in the 
later plays. The second scene of the M. of K, for instance, is in 
prose, because Portia and Nerissa are talking about the suitors in a 
familiar and playful way ; but in the T. G. of K, where Julia and 
Lucetta are discussing the suitors of the former in much the same 
fashion, the scene is in verse. Dowden, commenting on Rich. //., 
remarks : " Had Shakespeare written the play a few years later, we 
may be certain that the gardener and his servants (iii. 4) would 
not have uttered stately speeches in verse, but would have spoken 
homely prose, and that humour would have mingled with the 
pathos of the scene. The same remark may be made with refer 
ence to the subsequent scene (v. 5) in which his groom visits the 
dethroned king in the Tower." Comic characters and those in 
low life generally speak in prose in the later plays, as Dowden 
intimates, but in the very earliest ones doggerel verse is much used 
instead. See on 10 above. 

The change from prose to verse is well illustrated in the third 
scene of the M. of V. It begins with plain prosaic talk about a 
business matter ; but when Antonio enters, it rises at once to the 
higher level of poetry. The sight of Antonio reminds Shylock of 
his hatred of the Merchant, and the passion expresses itself in 
verse, the vernacular tongue of poetry. We have a similar change 
in the first scene of J. C., where, after the quibbling " chaff " of the 
mechanics about their trades, the mentidn of Pompey reminds the 
Tribune of their plebeian fickleness, and his scorn and indignation 
flame out in m6st eloquent verse. 

The reasons for the choice of prose or verse are not always so 
clear as in these instances. We are seldom puzzled to explain the 
prose, but not unfrequently we meet with verse where we might 
expect prose. As Professor Corson remarks ( Introduction to Shake 
speare, 1889), "Shakespeare adopted verse as the general tenor of 
his language, and therefore expressed much in verse that is within 
the capabilities of prose ; in other words, his verse constantly 

Notes 163 

encroaches upon the domain of prose, but his prose can never be 
said to encroach upon the domain of verse." If in rare instances 
we think we find exceptions to this latter statement, and prose 
actually seems to usurp the place of verse, I believe that careful 
study of the passage will prove the supposed exception to be 
apparent rather than real. 

the many books that might be commended to the teacher and the 
critical student are the following: Halliwell-Phillipps's Outlines 
of the Life of Shakespeare (yth ed. 1887) ; Sidney Lee's Life of 
Shakespeare (1898; for ordinary students the abridged ed. of 1899 
is preferable) ; Schmidt's Shakespeare Lexicon (3d ed. 1902); 
Littledale's ed. of Dyce's Glossary (1902) ; Bartlett's Concordance 
to Shakespeare (1895); Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar (1873); 
Furness's " New Variorum " ed. of Romeo and Juliet (1871 ; en 
cyclopaedic and exhaustive) ; Dowden's Shakspere : His Mind and 
Art (American ed. 1881); Hudson's Life, Art, and Characters of 
Shakespeare (revised ed. 1882); Mrs. Jameson's Characteristics of 
Women (several eds., some with the title, Shakespeare Heroines} ; 
Ten Brink's Five Lectures on Shakespeare (1895); Boas's Shake 
speare and His Predecessors (1895); Dyer's Folk-lore of Shake 
speare (American ed. 1884); Gervinus's Shakespeare Commentaries 
(Bunnett's translation, 1875); Wordsworth's Shakespeare's Knowl 
edge of the Bible (3d ed. 1880); Elson's Shakespeare in Music 

Some of the above books will be useful to all readers who are 
interested in special subjects or in general criticism of Shakespeare. 
Among those which are better suited to the needs of ordinary 
readers and students, the following may be mentioned: Mabie's 
William Shakespeare: Poet, Dramatist, and Man (1900) ; Phin's 
Cyclopedia and Glossary of Shakespeare (1902 ; more compact and 
cheaper than Dyce) ; Dowden's Shakspere Primer (1877; small 
but invaluable) ; Rolfe's Shakespeare the Boy (1896 ; . treating of the 
home and school life, the games and sports, the manners, customs, 

164 Notes 

and folk-lore of the poet's time) ; Guerber's Myths of Greece and 
Rome (for young students who may need information on mytho 
logical allusions not explained in the notes). 

Black's Judith Shakespeare (1884; a novel, but a careful study 
of the scene and the time) is a book that I always commend to 
young people, and their elders will also enjoy it. The Lambs' 
Tales from Shakespeare is a classic for beginners in the study of 
the dramatist ; and in Rolfe's ed. the plan of the authors is carried 
out in the Notes by copious illustrative quotations from the plays. 
Mrs. Covvden-Clarke's Girlhood of Shakespeare 's Heroines (several 
eds.) will particularly interest girls ; and both girls and boys will 
find Bennett's Master Skylark (1897) and Imogen Clark's Will 
Shakespeare's Little Lad (1897) equally entertaining and instructive. 

H. Snowden Ward's Shakespeare's Town and Times (2d ed. 1903) 
and John Leyland's Shakespeare Country (enlarged ed. 1903) are 
copiously illustrated books (yet inexpensive) which may be particu 
larly commended for school libraries. 

ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES. The abbreviations of the names 
of Shakespeare's plays will be readily understood ; as T. N. for 
Twelfth Night, Cor. for Coriolanus, 3 Hen. VI. for The Third 
Part of King Henry the Sixth, etc. P. P. refers to The Passionate 
Pilgrim; V. and A. to Venus and Adonis ; L. C. to Lover's Com 
plaint,' and Sonn. to the Sonnets. 

Other abbreviations that hardly need explanation are Cf. (confer, 
compare), Fol. (following), Id. (idem, the same), and Prol. (pro 
logue). The numbers of the lines in the references (except for the 
present play) are those of the " Globe " edition (the cheapest and 
best edition of Shakespeare in one compact volume), which is now 
generally accepted as the standard for line-numbers in works of ref 
erence (Schmidt's Lexicon, Abbott's Grammar, Dowden's Primer, 
the publications of the New Shakspere Society, etc.). Every 
teacher and every critical student should have it at hand for 

Notes 165 


Enter Chorus. As Malone suggests, this probably meant only 
that the prologue was to be spoken by the same actor that person 
ated the chorus at the end of act i. The prologue is omitted in 
the folio, but we cannot doubt that it was written by S. It is in 
form a sonnet, of the pattern adopted in his Sonnets. See com 
ments upon it, p. 22 above. 

2. Fair Verona. The city is thus described in the opening lines 
of Brooke's poem : * 

" There is beyofide 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. 
The fruitefull hilles aboue, the pleasant vales belowe, 
The sillier streamewith chanell depe, that through the towne 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 aboue the rest 
Of Lumbard townes, or at the least compared with the best." 

6. Star-cross 1 d. For the astrological allusion, cf. i. 4. 104, v. I. 
24, and v. 3. in below. The title of one of Richard Braithwaite's 
works, published in 1615, is "Love's Labyrinth: or the True 
Lover's Knot, including the disastrous falls of two Star-crost lovets 
Pyramus and Thisbe." 

8. Doth. The reading of the quartos, changed by most of the 
modern editors to " Do." Ulrici considers it the old third person 
plural in -th. He adds that S. mostly uses it only where it has the 

1 The entire poem is reprinted in the Variorum of 1821, in Collier's 
Shakespeare's Library (and Hazlitt's revised ed. of the same), in Halli- 
well-Phillipps's folio ed. of Shakespeare, and by the New Shakspere 
Society (edited by P. A. Daniel) in 1875. I have followed Daniel's ed. 

1 66 Notes [Act i 

force of the singular, namely, where the sense is collective, as in 
overthrows here. Cf. v. I. 70 below. 

12. Two hours. Cf. Hen. VIII. prol. 13: " may see away their 
shilling Richly in two short hours." 


SCENE I. i. Carry coals. "Endure affronts" (Johnson). 
According to Nares, the phrase got this meaning from the fact that 
the carriers of wood and coals were esteemed the very lowest of 
menials. Cf. Hen. V. iii. 2. 49, where there is a play upon the 
expression. Steevens quotes Nash, Have With You, etc. : " We 
will bear no coles, I warrant you ; " Marston, Antonio and Mel- 
Hda, part ii. : " He has had wrongs ; and if I were he I would 
bear no coles," etc. Dyce cites Cotgrave, Fr. Diet. : " II a du feu 
en la teste. Hee is very chollericke, furious, or couragious ; he 
will carrie no coales." He might have added from Sherwood's 
English-French supplement to Cotgrave (ed. 1632): "That will 
carrie no coales, Brave." 

3. Colliers. The preceding note explains how colliers came to be 
a term of abuse. The New Eng. Diet, adds that it may have been 
due to " the evil repute of the collier for cheating." Steevens com 
pares T. N. iii. 4. 130: "hang him, foul collier ! " 

4. Choler. For the play upon the word, cf. Jonson, Every Man 
in his Humour, iii. 2 : 

" Cash. Why, how now, Cob ? what moves thee to this cholar, ha ? 
Cob. Collar, master Thomas ? I scorn your collar, I sir ; I am 
none of your cart-horse, though I carry and draw water." 

15. Take the wall. Claim the right of passing next the wall when 
meeting a person on the street ; a right valued in old-fashioned 
streets with narrow sidewalks or none at all. To give the wall was 
an act of courtesy ; to take the wall might be an insult. 

Scene I] Notes 1 67 

17. The weakest goes to the wall. A familiar proverb. 

28. Here comes two, etc, Halliwell-Phillipps remarks that the 
partisans of the Montagues wore a token in their hats to distin 
guish them from the Capulets ; hence throughout the play they are 
known at a distance. Cf. Gascoigne, De-vise of a Masque, written 
for I iscount Montacute, 1575 : 

"And for a further proofe, he shewed in hys hat 
Thys token which the Mountacntes did beare alwaies, for that 
They covet to be knowne from Capels, where they pass, 
For ancient grutch whych long ago 'tweene these two houses was." 

39. I will bite my thumb at them. An insult explained by Cot- 
grave, Fr. Diet. (ed. 1632) : " Nique, faire la nique, to threaten or 
defie, by putting the thumbe naile into the mouth, and with a ierke 
(from th' upper teeth) make it to knocke." 

44. Of our side. On our side (on = of, as often). 

55. Here comes one, etc. " Gregory may mean Tybalt, who enters 
directly 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 " 

60. Swashing blow. A dashing or smashing blow (Schmidt). 
Cf. Jonson, Staple of News, v. I : " I do confess a swashing blow." 
Cf. also swash = bully, bluster ; as in A. Y. L. i. 3. 122 : "I '11 have 
a martial and a swashing outside." 

63. Artthou draivn ? Cf. Temp. ii. 1. 308 : "Why are you drawn? " 
Heartless = cowardly, spiritless ; as in 1?. of L. 471, 1392. 

69. Have at thee. Cf. iv. 5. 1 19 below ; also C. of E. iii. i. 51, etc. 

70. Clubs. The cry of Clubs ! in a street affray is of English 
origin, as the bite my thumb is of Italian. It was the rallying-cry 
of the London apprentices. Cf. Hen. VIII. v. 4. 53, A. Y. L. v. 2. 
44, etc. Bills were the pikes or halberds formerly carried by the 
English infantry and afterwards by watchmen. The partisan was 
" a sharp two-edged sword placed on the summit of a staff for the 

1 68 Notes [Act I 

defence of foot-soldiers against cavalry" (Fairholt). Cf. Ham. i. I. 
140 : " Shall I strike at it with my partisan ? " 

71. Enter CAPULET in his gown. Cf. Ham. (quarto) iii. 4. 61 : 
" Enter the ghost in his night gowne ; " that is, his dressing-gown. 
See also Macb. li. 2. 70 : " Get on your nightgown, lest occasion 
call us And show us to be watchers ; " and Id. v. I. 5 : "I have 
seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her," etc. 
It is early morning, and Capulet comes out before he is dressed. 

72. Long sword. The weapon used in active warfare ; a lighter 
and shorter one being worn for ornament (see A. W. ii. I. 32: "no 
sword worn But one to dance with "). Cf. M. W. ii. I. 236 : " with 
my long sword I would have made you four tall fellows skip like 

73. A crutch, a crutch ! The lady's sneer at her aged husband. 
For her own age, see on i. 3. 5 1 below. 

75. In spite. In scornful defiance. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. i. 3. 158, 
Cymb. iv. i. 16, etc. 

79. Neighbour-stained. Because used in civil strife. 

84. Mistemper'd. Tempered to an ill end (Schmidt). Steevens 
ixplains it as = angry. The word occurs again in K. John, v. I. 
12 : " This inundation of mistemper'd humour." 

85. Moved. That is, "mov'd to wrath" (7 1 . A. i. I. 419). Cf. 
L. L. L. v. 2. 694, /. C. iv. 3. 58, etc. 

89. Ancient. Not of necessity old in years, but long settled 
there and accustomed to peace and order (Delius). 

90. Grave beseeming. Grave and becoming. Cf. Ham. iv. 

" for youth no less becomes 
The light and careless livery that it wears, . 
Than settled age his sables and his weeds, 
Importing health and graveness." 

92. Cankered with peace, etc. Canker 1 d ( = corroded) is ap 
plied literally to the partisans long disused, and figuratively to their 
owners. Cf. K. John, ii. i. 194: " Acanker'd grandam's will." 

Scene I] Notes 169 

99. Freetown. S. takes the name from Brooke's poem. It 
translates the Villa Franca of the Italian story. 

101. S. uses set abroach only in a bad sense. Cf. 2 Hen. 
IV. iv. 2. 14: "Alack, what mischiefs might be set abroach;" 
and Rich. III. \. 3. 325 : "The secret mischiefs that I set 

109. Nothing hurt withal. Nowise harmed by it. Who 
which ; as often. 

1 10. While we, etc. This line, with the change of we to they, 
is found in the ist quarto in iii. I, where Benvolio describes the 
brawl in which Mercutio and Tybalt are slain (Daniel). 

113. Saw you him to-day? This use of the past tense is not 
allowable now, but was common in Elizabethan English. Cf. Cymb. 
iv. 2. 66 : "I saw him not these many years," etc. 

115. The worshipped sun. Cf. iii. 2. 25 below : "And pay no 
worship to the garish sun." See also Lear, i. I. in : " the sacred 
radiance of the sun ; " and Cymb. iv. 4. 41 : " the holy sun." It is 
remarkable that no German commentator has tried to make S. a 

1 1 6. Forth. Cf. M. N. D. i. I. 164 : "Steal forth thy father's 
house," etc. 

1 1 8. Sycamore. According to Beisly and Ellacombe, the Acer 
pseudo-piatanus, which grows wild in Italy. It had been introduced 
into England before the time of S. He mentions it also in L. L. L. 
v. 2. 89 and Oth. iv. 3. 41. 

119. Rooteth. Cf. W. T. i. I. 25: "there rooted betwixt them 
such an affection," etc. 

121. Ware. Aware ; but not to be printed as a contraction of 
that word. Cf. ii. 2. 103 below. 

123. Affections. 'Feelings, inclinations. Cf. Ham. iii. I. 170: 
" Love ! his affections do not that way tend," etc. 

124. Which then, etc. "The plain meaning seems to be that 
Benvolio, like Romeo, was indisposed for society, and sought to be 
most where most people were not to be found, being one too many, 

170 Notes [Act I 

even when by himself" (Collier). Some editors follow Pope in 
reading (from 1st quarto) "That most are busied when they're 
most alone." 

127. Who. Him who ; the antecedent omitted, as often when 
it is easily supplied. 

131. All so soon. All is often used in this " intensive " way. 

134. Heavy. S. is fond of playing on heavy and light. Cf. 
R. of L. 1574, T. G. of V. i. 2. 84, M. of V. v. i. 130, etc. 

142. Importuned. Accented on the second syllable, as regularly 

148. With. By ; as often of the agent or cause. 

150. Sun. The early eds. all have " same." The emendation is 
due to Theobald and is almost universally adopted. 

156. To hear. As to hear ; a common ellipsis. 

157. Is the day so young? Is it not yet noon ? Good morrow or 
good day was considered proper only before noon, after which good 
den was the usual salutation. Cf. i. 2. 57 below. 

158. New. Often used by S. in this adverbial way = just, lately. 
Cf. v. 3. 197 below. For Ay me ! see on ii. i. 10. 

1 66. In his mew. In appearance; opposed to proof = experi 
ence. Cf. Ham. Hi. 2. 179 : "What my love is, proof hath made 
you know," etc. 

1 68. Ala s, that love, whose view, etc. Alas " that love, though 
blindfolded, should see how to reach the lover's heart " (Dowden). 
View here = sight, or eyes. 

172. Here^s much, etc. Romeo means that the fray has much 
to do with the hate between the rival houses, yet affects him more, 
inasmuch as his Rosaline is of the Capulet family. 

173-178. O brawling love ! etc. Cf. iii. 2. 73 fol. below. 

187. Raised. The reading of the ist quarto, adopted by the 
majority of editors. The other early eds. have " made." 

1 88. Purged. That is, from smoke. 

191. A choking gall, etc. That is, "love kills and keeps alive, 
is a bane and an antidote " (Dowden). 

Scene I] Notes 17 1 

195. Some other where. Cf. C. of E. iv. I. 30: "How if your 
husband start some other where ? " 

196. Sadness. Seriousness. Cf. A. W. iv. 3. 230: "In good 
sadness, I do not know," etc. So sadly just below = seriously, as 
in Muck Ado, ii. 3. 229. 

203. Mark-man. The 3d and 4th folios have "marks-man." 
S. uses the word nowhere else. 

206. Dianas wit. Her way of thinking, her sentiments. S. has 
many allusions to Diana's chastity, and also to her connection with 
the moon. 

207. Proof. Used technically of armour. Cf. Rich. IT. i. 3. 73 : 
" Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers ; " Ham. ii. 2. 512 : 
" Mars's armour forg'd for proof eterne," etc. 

209. The siege, etc. Cf. V. and A. 423 : 

" Remove your siege from my unyielding heart; 
* To love's alarm it will not ope the gate." 

See also R. of L. 221, A. W. iii. 7. 18, Cymb. iii. 4. 137, etc. 

213. That when she dies, etc. " She is rich in beauty, and only 
poor in being subject to the lot of humanity, that her store, or riches, 
can be destroyed by death, who shall, by the same blow, put an end 
to beauty " (Johnson) ; or, as Mason puts it, " she is poor because 
she leaves no part of her store behind her." Her store may mean 
"beauty's store," as Dowden suggests. Cf. V. and A. 1019: "For 
he, being dead, with him is beauty slain." 

215. In that sparing makes huge waste. Cf. Sonn. I. 12 : "And, 
tender churl, makes waste in niggarding." 

216. Starved. The early eds. (except the 4th folio) have 
" sterv'd," the old form of the word, found in several other passages 
in the folio (J/. of V. iv. i. 138. Cor. iv. 2. 51, etc.) and rhyming 
with deserve in Cor. ii. 3. 120. Cf. Spenser, F. Q. iv. I. 4: 

" Untill such time as noble Britomart 
Released her, that else was like to sterve 
Through cruel 1 knile ih it her deare heart did kerve." 

1 7^ Notes [Act I 

There it means to die (its original sense), as in Hen. VII. v. 3. 

226. To call hers, exquisite. " That is, to call hers, which is 
exquisite, the more into my remembrance and contemplation" 
(Heath) ; or "to make her unparalleled beauty more the subject 
of thought and conversation" (Malone). For question = conver 
sation, cf. A. Y. L. iii. 4. 39, v. 4. 167, etc. But why may not ques 
tion repeat the idea of examine? Benvolio says, "Examine other 
beauties ; " Romeo replies, in substance, that the result of the ex 
amination will only be to prove her beauty superior to theirs and 
therefore the more extraordinary. 

227. These happy masks. Steevens took this to refer to "the 
masks worn by female spectators of the play ; " but it is prob 
ably = the masks worn nowadays. They are called happy as " being 
privileged to touch the sweet countenances beneath " (Clarke). 

229. Strucken. The early eds. have " strucken " or " strooken." 
S. also uses struck (or strook) and stricken as the participle. 

231. Passing. Often used adverbially but only before adjectives 
and adverbs. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 3. 103, Much Ado, ii. i. 84, etc. 

235. Pay that doctrine. Give that instruction. Cf. L. L. L. iv, 
3- 35 : " From women's eyes this doctrine I derive ; " A. and C. 
v. 2. 31 : 

" I hourly learn 
A doctrine of obedience," etc. 

SCENE II. 4. Reckoning. Estimation, reputation. . 

9. Fourteen years. In Brooke's poem her father says, " Scarce 
saw she yet full xvi. yeres ; " and in Paynter's novel " as yet shee is 
not attayned to the age of xviii. yeares." 

13. Made. The 1st quarto has "maried," which is followed by 
some editors. The antithesis of make and mar is a very common 
one in S. Cf. ii. 4. no below: "that God hath made for himself 
to mar." See also L. L. L. iv. 3. 191, M. N. D. i. 2. 39, A. Y. Z. 
i. i. 34, T. of S. iv. 3. 97, Macb. ii. 3. 36, Oth. v. i. 4, etc. On the 
other hand, examples of the opposition of married and marred 

Scene li] Notes 173 

are not uncommon in Elizabethan writers. Cf. A. W. ii. 3. 315 : 
" A young man married is a man that 's marr'd." 

14. All my hopes but she. Capulet seems to imply here that he 
has lost some children ; but cf. iii. 5. 163 below. 

15. My earth. My world or my life ; rather than my lands, my 
landed property, as some explain it. It was apparently suggested 
by the earth of the preceding line. 

17. My will, etc. My will is subordinate to her consent. The 
old man talks very differently in iii. 5 below. 

25. Dark heaven. The darkness of night. Cf. i. 5. 47 below. 

26. Young men. Malone compares Sonn. 98. 2 : 

When proud-pied April dress'd in all his trim 
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing." 

29. Female. The quartos (except the 1st) and 1st folio have 
the curious misprint " fennell." 

30. Inherit. Possess ; as in Temp. iv. I. 154, Rich. II. ii. I. 83, 
Cyrnb. iii. 2. 63, etc. 

32. Which on more view, etc. A perplexing line for which 
many emendations have been suggested. With the reading in the 
text the meaning seems to be : which one (referring to her of most 
merit}, after your further inspection of the many, my daughter 
(who is one of the number) may prove to be, one in number, 
though one is no number. The quibble at the end alludes to the 
old proverb that "one is no number." Cf. Sonn. 136. 8: "Among 
a number one is reckon'd none." Dowden points thus: "Which 
on more view of, many mine being one May," etc., and ex 
plains thus : " On more view of whom (that is, the lady of most 
merit), many (other ladies) and my daughter among them 
may stand in a count of heads, but in estimation (reckoning, with 
a play on the word) none can hold a place." The general sense 
of the passage is clear, whatever reading or analysis we adopt. 
Capulet says in substance : Come to my house to-night, and de 
cide whom you like best of the beauties gathered there ; if Juliet 

174 Notes [Act i 

be the one, well and good. He has already told Paris that she 
shall be his if he can gain her love, but discreetly suggests that he 
look more carefully at the " fresh female buds " of Verona before 
plucking one to wear on his heart. 

36. Written there. Cf. Brooke's poem : 

" No Lady fayre 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." 

46. One fire, etc. Alluding to the old proverb that " fire drives 
out fire." Cf. J. C. iii. I. 171: "As fire drives out fire, so pity 
pity ; " Cor. iv. 7. 54 : " One fire drives out one fire ; one nail, one 
nail," etc. 

48. Holp. Used by S. oftener than helped, for both the past 
tense and the participle. 

49. Cures with. Is cured by. S. does not elsewhere use cure 
intransitively. Languish occurs again as a noun in A. and C. v. 
2. 42: "That rids our dogs of languish." On the passage cf. 
Brooke : 

" Ere long the townishe dames together will resort : 
Some one of bewty, favour, shape, and of so lovely porte : 
With so fast fixed eye, perhaps thou mayst beholde : 
That thou shalt quite forget thy loue, and passions past of olde. 

The proverbe saith vnminded oft are they that are vnseene. 
And as out of a planke a nayle a nayle doth drive : 
So novell love out of the minde the auncient loue doth rive." 

52. Your plantain-leaf. The common plantain (Plantago 
major), which still holds a place in the domestic materia medica. 
For its use in healing bruises, cf. L. L. L. iii. I. 74 : 

" Moth. A wonder, master ! here 's a costard broken in a shin. 

Costard. O sir, plantain, a plain plantain ! ... no salve, sir, but a 
plantain 1 " 

Scene II] Notes 175 

Steevens quotes Album azar : "Bring a fresh plantain leaf, I've 
broke my shin." A broken shin, like a broken head (M. W. i. 125, 
7" 1 . A\ v. i. 178, etc.) is one that is bruised, so that the blood runs, 
not one that is fractured. The plantain was supposed to have other 
virtues. Halliwell-Phillipps quotes Withals, Little Dictionarie for 
Children, 1586 : " The tode being smitten of the spyder in fighte, and 
made to swell with hir poyson, recovereth himselfe with plantaine." 

55. Not mad, but bound, etc. An allusion to the old-time treat 
ment of the insane. Cf. C. of E. iv. 4. 97 : "They must be bound 
and laid in some dark room ; " and A. Y. L. iii. 2. 420 : " Love is 
merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house 
and a whip as madmen do." 

57. Good-den. Printed " godden " and " gooden " in the early 
eds., and a corruption of good e'en, or good evening. God gi 1 good- 
den in the next line is printed " Godgigoden " in the quartos and 
first three folios, " God gi' Good-e'en " in the 4th folio. This saluta 
tion was used as soon as noon was past. See on i. I. 157 above, 
and cf. ii. 4. 105 fol. below. 

64. Rest you merry! For the full form, God rest you merry! 
( = God keep you merry), cf. A. Y. L. v. I. 65, etc. It was a 
common form of salutation at meeting, and oftener at parting. 
Here the servant is about to leave, thinking that Romeo is merely 
jesting with him. Cf. 79 below. 

66-69. Sign tor Martino, etc. Probably meant to be prose, 
but some editors make bad verse of it. 

69. Mercutio. Mercutio here figures among the invited guests, 
although we find him always associating with the young men of the 
Montague family. He is the prince's " kinsman," and apparently 
on terms of acquaintance, with both the rival houses, though more 
intimate with the Montagues than with the Capulets. 

71. Rosaline. This shows that Rosaline is a Capulet. 

74. Up. Dowden plausibly prints "Up ," assuming that 
" Romeo eagerly interrupts the servant, who would have said ' Up 
to our house.' " 

i 7 6 

Notes [Act i 

82. Crush a cup, etc. A common expression in the old plays. 
We still say "crack a bottle." 

87. Unattainted. Unprejudiced, impartial ; used by S. only 

91. Fires. The early eds. have " fire," which White retains as 
an admissible rhyme in Shakespeare's day. 

92. Who often drowrfd, etc. Alluding to the old notion that 
if a witch were thrown into the water she would not sink. King 
James, in his Damonology, says : " It appeares that God hath 
appointed for a supernatural signe of the monstrous impietie of 
witches, that the water shall refuse to receive them in her bosom 
that have shaken off them the sacred water of baptism, and wilfully 
refused the benefit thereof." 

98. That crystal scales. The reading of the early eds., changed 
by some to " those," etc. ; but scales may be used for the entire 
machine. Dyce says it was often so used by writers of the time. 

99. Lady's love. Some substitute " lady-love," which S. does not 
use elsewhere. Clarke suggests that your lady's love may mean 
" the little love Rosaline bears you," weighed against that of some 
possible maid. 

101. Scant. Not elsewhere used adverbially by S. Scantly 
occurs only in A. and C. iii. 4. 6. 

SCENE III. I. On the character of the Nurse Mrs. Jameson 
says : 

" She is drawn with the most wonderful power and discrimina 
tion. In the prosaic homeliness of the outline, and the magical 
illusion of the colouring, she reminds us of some of the marvellous 
Dutch paintings, from which, with all their coarseness, we start 
back as from a reality. Her low humour, her shallow garrulity, 
mixed with the dotage and petulance of age her subserviency, 
her secrecy, and her total want of elevated principle, or even 
common honesty are brought before us like a living and palpa 
ble truth. . . 

Scene III] Notes 177 

" Among these harsh and inferior spirits is Juliet placed ; her 
haughty parents, and her plebeian nurse, not only throw into beauti 
ful relief her own native softness and elegance, but are at once the 
cause and the excuse of her subsequent conduct. She trembles 
before her stern mother and her violent father, but, like a petted 
child, alternately cajoles and commands her nurse. It is her old 
foster-mother who is the confidante of her love. It is the woman 
who cherished her infancy who aids and abets her in her clandes 
tine marriage. Do we not perceive how immediately our impres 
sion of Juliet's character would have been lowered, if Shakespeare 
had placed her in connection with any commonplace dramatic 
waiting-woman? even with Portia's adroit Nerissa, or Desde- 
mona's Emilia ? By giving her the Nurse for her confidante, the 
sweetness and dignity of Juliet's character are preserved inviolate 
to the fancy, even in the midst of all the romance and wilfulness of 

Cf. Coleridge : " The character of the Nurse is the nearest of any 
thing in Shakspeare to a direct borrowing from mere observation ; 
and the reason is, that as in infancy and childhood the individual 
in nature is a representative of a class just as in describing one 
larch-tree, you generalize a grove of them so it is nearly as much 
so in old age. The generalization is done to the poet's hand. 
Here you have the garrulity of age strengthened by the feelings of 
a long-trusted servant, whose sympathy with the mother's affections 
gives her privileges and rank in the household ; and observe the 
mode of connection by accidents of time and place, and the child 
like fondness of repetition in a second childhood, and also that 
happy, humble ducking under, yet constant resurgence against, the 
check of her superiors ! " 

2. Maidenhead. Etymologically the same word as maidenhood. 
So lustihead = lustihood, livelihead = livelihood (as in Spenser, 
F. Q. ii. 2. 2 : " for porcion of thy livelyhed " ), etc. Cf. Godhead, 

4. God forbid! Staunton suggests that the Nurse uses lady-bird 

1 78 Notes [Act i 

as a term of endearment ; but, recollecting its application to a 
woman of loose life, checks herself God forbid her darling should 
prove such a one ! Dyce explains it : " God forbid that any acci 
dent should keep her away ! " This seems to me more probable. 

7. Give leave awhile. Leave us alone; a courteous form of dis 
missal. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. I. I : "Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, 
awhile ; " M. W. ii. 2. 165 : "Give us leave, drawer," etc. 

9. I have remembered me. For the reflexive use, cf. I Hen. IV. 
ii. 4. 468 : " and now I remember me, his name is Falstaff," etc. 

Thou 's. Cf. Lear, iv. 6. 246. The early eds. have " thou 'se " ; 
most modern ones substitute " thou shalt." 

12. Lay. Wager. Cf. L. L. L. i. I. 310, T. and C. iii. I. 95, etc. 

13. Teen. Sorrow ; used here for the play on fourteen. Cf. 
V. and A. 808: "My face is full of shame, my heart of teen ; " 
Temp. i. 2. 64 : " the teen I have turn'd you to ; " L. L. L. iv. 3. 
164: "Of sighs and groans, of sorrow and of teen," etc. 

15. Lammas-tide. The ist of August. Tide = time, as in even- 
tide t springtide, etc. Cf. K. John, iii. i . 86 : 

" What hath this day deserv'd ? what hath it done, 
That it in golden letters should be set 
Among the high tides in the calendar ? " 

See also the play upon the word in T. of A. i. 2. 57: "Flow this 
way ! A brave fellow ! he keeps his tides well." 

23. The earthquake. Tyrwhitt suggested that this may refer to 
the earthquake felt in England on the 6th of April, 1580. Malone 
notes that if the earthquake happened on the day when Juliet was 
weaned (presumably when she was a year old), she could not well 
be more than twelve years old now ; but the Nurse makes her almost 
fourteen as her father (i. 2. 9) and her mother (i. 3. 12) also do. 

26. Wormwood. Halliwell-Phillipps cites Cawdray, Treasurie 
or Storehouse of Similies, 1600 : "if the mother put worme-wood 
or mustard upon the breast, the child sucking it, and feeling the 
bitternesse, he quite forsaketh it, without sucking any more," etc. 

Scene III] Notes 179 

27. Sitting in the sun, etc. Cf. Dame Quickly's circumstantial 
reminiscences, 2 Hen. IV. ii. I. 93 fol. : "Thou didst swear to 
me," etc. 

29. Bear a brain. Have a brain, that is, a good memory. 

31. Pretty fool. On fool as a term of endearment or pity, cf. 
A. Y. L. ii. I. 22, Lear, v. 2. 308, etc. 

32. Tetchy. Touchy, fretful. Cf. Rich. III. iv. 4. 168: "Tetchy 
and wayward was thy infancy." 

33. Shake, quoth the dove-house. The dove-house shook. It re 
fers of course to the effects of the earthquake. Daniel (in Dow- 
den's ed.) quotes Peele, Old Wives' Tale: "Bounce, quoth the 
guns; " and Heywood, Fair Maid of the West: "Rouse, quoth 
the ship." 

36. By the rood. That is, by the cross; as in Ham. iii. 4. 14, 
Rich. III. iii. 2. 77, etc. For alone the 1st and 2d quartos have 
"high-lone," which Herford, Dowden, and some others adopt. " It 
is an alteration of alone, of obscure origin " {New Eng. Diet?) 
found in Marston, Middleton, and other writers of the time. In 
George Washington's Diary (1760) it is used of mares. Accord 
ing to the description here, Juliet could not have been much more 
than a year old at the time. See on 23 above. 

38. Afark. Appoint, elect. Cf. T. A. i. I. 125 : "To this your 
son is mark'd, and die he must." 

40. To see thee married once. Once see thee married. 

51. Much upon these years. Nearly at the same age. Ci.M.for 
M. iv. i. 17 :" much upon this time ; "Rich. III. v. 3. 70: " Much 
about cock-shut time," etc. As Juliet is fourteen, Lady Capulet 
would be about twenty-eight, while her husband, having done mask 
ing for some thirty years (see i. 5. 35 fol.), must be at least sixty. 
See also on v. 3. 207 below. 

55. A man of wax. " As pretty as if he had been modelled in 
wax" (Schmidt). Steevens quotes Wily Beguiled: " Why, he's a 
man as one should picture him in wax." White adds from Lyly, 
Euphues and his England: "so exquisite that for shape he must be 

i8o Notes [Act i 

framed in wax," and refers to iii. 3. 126 below. Dyce cites Faire 

Em : 

" A sweet face, an exceeding daintie hand : 
A body, were it framed of wax 
By all the cunning artists of the world, 
It could not better be proportioned." 

60. Read o'er the volume, etc. Here one quibble leads to another 
by the power of association. "The -volume of young Paris's face 
suggests the beauty's pen, which hath writ there. Then the obscuri 
ties of the fair volume are written in the margin of his eyes as com 
ments of ancient books are always printed in the margin. Lastly, 
this book of love lacks a cover ; the golden story must be locked with 
golden clasps" (Knight). 

62. Married. The reading of 2d quarto ; the other early eds. 
have "severall," which some editors adopt. Married =" closely 
joined, and hence concordant, harmonious" (Schmidt). Cf. T. 
and C. i. 3. 100 : " The unity and married calm of states ; " and 
Sonn. 8.6: 

" If the true concord of well-tuned sounds, 
By unions married, do offend thine ear." 

See also Milton, DAll. 137: "Married to immortal verse." 
65. Margent. Malone quotes R. of L. 102: 

" But she that never cop'd with stranger eyes 

Could pick no meaning from their parting looks, 
Nor read the subtle shining secrecies 
Writ in the glassy margent of such books." 

See also Ham. v. 2. 162. 

67. Cover. " A quibble on the law phrase for a married woman, 
who is styled a femme couverte \_feme covert] in law French" 

68. Lives in the sea. Is not yet caught. The bride has not yet 
been won. Farmer thought it an allusion to fish-skin as used for 
binding books. 

Scene IV] Notes l8l 

70. Many 1 *. Cf. Sonn. 93. 7 : "In many's looks," etc. 

74. Like of. Cf. Much Ado, v. 4. 59 : "I am your husband, if 
you like of me. 

76. Endart. Not elsewhere used by S. and perhaps of his own 

80. Cursed. Because she is not at hand to help. In extremity 
at a desperate pass. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 3, A. Y. L. iv. I. 5, etc. 

83. County. Count ; as often in this play. See also M. of V. 
i. 2. 49, A. W. iii. 7. 22, etc. 

SCENE IV. Mercutio is thus described in Brooke's poem : 

" At thone syde of her chayre, her lover Romeo : 
And on the other side there sat one cald Mercutio. 
A courtier that eche where was highly had in pryce: 
For he was coorteous of his speche, and pleasant of devise. 
Euen as a Lyon would emong the lambes be bolde : 
Such was emong the bashfull maydes, Mercutio to beholde. 
With frendly gripe he ceasd [seized] 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 neer the fire he dyd them holde." 

In Paynter's Palace of Pleasure he is spoken of as "an other 
Gentleman called Mercutio, which was a courtlyke Gentleman, very 
well beloued of all men, and by reason of his pleasaunt and curteous 
behauior was in euery company wel intertayned." His " audacity 
among Maydens " and his cold hands are also mentioned. 

i. This speech. Furness would read "the speech"; but, as the 
scene opens in the midst of the conversation, S. may have meant to 
imply that some one in the company has suggested an introductory 
speech. See the following note. 

3. The date is out, etc. That is, such tediousness is now out of 
fashion. Steevens remarks : " In Henry VIII. where the king in 
troduces himself to the entertainment given by Wolsey [i. 4] he 
appears, like Romeo and his companions, in a mask, and sends a 

1 82 Notes [Act I 

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 conversation. Their entry on these occasions was al 
ways prefaced by some speech in praise of the beauty of the ladies 
or the generosity of the entertainer; and to the prolixity of su_h 
introductions I believe Romeo is made to allude. So in Histrio- 
mastix, 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 
antecedent to that of Elizabeth, I find this custom preserved. Of 
the same kind of masquerading see a specimen in T. of A. [i. 2], 
where Cupid precedes a troop of ladies with a speech." Collier 
compares L. L. L.\. 2. 158 fol. 

5. Bow of lath. The Tartar bows resembled in form the old 
Roman or Cupid's bow, such as we see on medals and bas-reliefs ; 
while the English bow had the shape of the segment of a circle. 

6. Crow-keeper. Originally a boy stationed in a field to drive 
the birds away (as in Lear, iv. 6. 88 : " That fellow handles his bow 
like a crow-keeper ") ; afterwards applied, as here, to what we call 
a scarecrow. The latter was often a stuffed figure with a bow in his 

7. 8. These lines are found only in the 1st quarto, and were first 
inserted in the text by Pope. White believes that they were pur 
posely omitted, but only on account of their disparagement of the 
prologue-speakers on the stage. Prologues and epilogues were 
often prepared, not by the author of the play, but by some other 
person; and this was probably the case with some of the prologues 
and epilogues in S. Faintly = " in a weak mechanical way " 
(Ulrici). Entrance is a trisyllable, as in Macb. i. 5. 40. 

10. A measure. A formal courtly dance. Cf. Much Ado, ii. I. 
80 : " as a measure, full of state and ancientry ; " and for the play 
on the word, Id. ii. I. 74, L. L. L. iv. 3. 384, and Rich. II. iii. 4. 7. 

11. A torch. Maskers were regularly attended by torch-bearers. 

Scene IV] Notes 1 83 

The commentators quote illustrations of this from other authors, 
but do not refer to M. of V. ii. 4. 5 : " We have not spoke us yet 
of torch-bearers ;" and 21 just below : 

" Will you prepare you for this masque to-night ? 
I am provided of a torch-bearre." 

See also Id. ii. 6. 40 fol. For the contemptuous use of ambling, see 
Ham. Hi. I. 151, I Hen. IV. iii. 2. 60, etc. 

12. The light. For the poet's frequent playing on the different 
senses of light) see on i. I. 134 above. Cf. ii. 2. 105 below. 

15. Soul. For the play on the word, cf. M. of V. ii. 4. 68, iv. 
I. 123, and/. C. i. I. 15. 

19. Enpierced. Used by S. nowhere else. 

20. Bound. For the quibble, Steevens compares Milton, P. L. 
iv. 180: 

" in contempt 

At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound 
Of hill or highest wall," etc. 

29. Give me a case. Perhaps Mercutio thinks he will wear a 
mask, and then changes his mind. Littledale suggests pointing 
" visage in ! " It is possible, however, that lines 30-32 refer to a 
mask that is handed to him, and which he decides to wear, though 
it is an ugly one. On the whole, I prefer this explanation. 

31. Quote. Note, observe. Cf. Ham. ii. i. 112: 

" I am sorry that with better heed and judgment 
I had not quoted him." 

32. Beetle-brows. Prominent or overhanging brows. Cf. the 
verb beetle in Ham. i. 4. 71. 

36. Rushes. Before the introduction of carpets floors were 
strewn with rushes. Cf. I Hen. IV. iii. i. 214: "on the wanton 
rushes lay you down ; " Cymb. ii. 2. 13 : 

" Our Tarquin thus 
Did softly press the rushes," etc. 

1 84 Notes [Act i 

See also R. of L. 318, T. of S. iv. i. 48, and 2 Hen. IV. v. 5. I. 
The stage was likewise strewn with rushes. Steevens quotes 
Dekker, Guls Hornbook : " on the very rushes where the comedy 
is to daunce." 

37. / am proverb 1 d, etc. The old proverb fits my case, etc. To 
hold the candle is a very common phrase for being an idle spectator. 
Among Ray's proverbs is "A good candle-holder proves a good 
gamester" (Steevens). 

39. The game, etc. An old proverbial saying advises to give 
over when the game is at the fairest ; and Romeo also alludes to 

40. Dun 's the mouse. Apparently = keep still ; but no one has 
satisfactorily explained the origin of the phrase. Malone quotes 
Patient Grissel, 1603: "yet don is the mouse, lie still;" and 
Steevens adds The Two Merry Milkmaids, 1620: "Why then 
'tis done, and dun 's the mouse and undone all the courtiers." 

41. If thou art Dun, etc. Douce quotes Chaucer, C. T. 16936 : 

" Ther gan our hoste for to jape and play, 
And sayde, ' sires, what ? Dun is in the myre.' " 

Gifford explains the expression thus : "Dun in the mire is a Christ 
mas gambol, at which I have often played. A log of wood is brought 
into the midst of the room : this is Dun (the cart-horse), and a cry 
is raised that he is stuck in the mire. Two of the company advance, 
either with or without ropes, to draw him out. After repeated 
attempts, they find themselves unable to do it, and call for more 
assistance. The game continues till all the company take part in 
it, when Dun is extricated of course ; and the merriment arises 
from the awkward and affected efforts of the rustics to lift the log, 
and from sundry arch contrivances to let the ends of it fall on one 
another's toes. This will not be thought a very exquisite amuse 
ment ; and yet I have seen much honest mirth at it." Halliwell- 
Phillipps quotes Westward Hoe, 1607 : "I see I 'm born still to 
draw dun out o' th' mire for you ; that wise beast will I be ; " and 

Scene IV} Notes l8f 

Butler, Remains : " they meant to leave reformation, like Dun in 
the mire." 

42. Sir-reverence. A contraction of " save reverence " (sa/va 
reverentia), used as an apology for saying what might be deemed 
improper. Cf. C. of E. iii. 2. 93 : " such a one as a man may not 
speak of without he say ' Sir-reverence.' " Taylor the Water- Poet 
says in one of his epigrams : 

" If to a foule discourse thou hast pretence, 
Before thy foule words name sir-reverence, 
Thy beastly tale most pleasantly will slip, 
And gaine thee praise, when thou deserv'st a whip." 

Here " Mercutio says he will draw Romeo from the mire of this love, 
and uses parenthetically the ordinary form of apology for speaking 
so profanely of love" (Knight). For the full phrase, see Much 
Ado, iii. 4. 32, M. of V. ii. 2. 27, 139, etc. 

43. Burn daylight. " A proverbial expression used when candles 
are lighted in the daytime " (Steevens) ; hence applied to super 
fluous actions in general. Here it is = waste time, as the context 
shows. Cf. M. W. ii. I. 54, where it has the same meaning. 

45. We waste, etc. The quartos have "We waste our lights in 
vaine, lights lights by day ; " the folios, " We wast our lights in vaine, 
lights, by day." The emendation is Capell's. Daniel and Dowden 
read, " light lights by day," which is very plausible. 

47. Five wits. Cf. Much Ado, i. I. 66: "four of his five wits 
went halting off; " Sonn. 141. 9: "But my five wits nor my five 
senses." Here the five wits are distinguished from the Jive senses ; 
but the two expressions were sometimes used interchangeably. The 
five wits, on the other hand, were defined as " common wit, imagina 
tion, fantasy, estimation (judgment), and memory." 

50. To-night. That is, last night, as in M. W. iii. 3. 171 : "I 
have dreamed to-night ; " W. T. ii. 3. 10 : " He took good rest 
to-night," etc. See also ii. 4. 2 below. 

53. Queen Mai). No earlier instance of Mab as the name of the 

1 86 Notes [Act i 

fairy-queen has been discovered, but S. no doubt learned it from 
the folk-lore of his own time. Its derivation is uncertain. 

54. The fairies' midwife. Not midwife to the fairies, but the 
fairy whose department it was to deliver the fancies of sleeping 
men of their dreams, those children of an idle brain (Steevens). 
T. Warton believes she was so called because she steals new-born 
infants, and leaves "changelings" (see M. N. D. ii. I. 23, etc.) 
in their place. 

55. No bigger, etc. That is, no bigger than the figures cut in 
such an agate. Cf. Much Ado, iii. I. 65: "If low, an agate very 
vilely cut." Rings were sometimes worn on the thumb. Steevens 
quotes Glapthorne, 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." 

57. Atomies. Atoms, or creatures as minute as atoms. Cf. A. 
Y. L. iii. 2. 245: "to count atomies; " and Id. iii. 5. 13: "Who 
shut their coward gates on atomies." In 2 Hen. IV. v. 4. 33, Mrs. 
Quickly confounds the word with anatomy. S. uses it only in these 
four passages, atom not at all. 

59. Spinners. Long-legged spiders, mentioned also in M. N. 
D. ii. 2. 21 : " Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence ! " 

65. Worm. Nares says, under idle worms : " Worms bred in 
idleness. It was supposed, and the notion was probably encouraged 
for the sake of promoting industry, that when maids were idle, worms 
bred in their fingers;" and he cites Beaumont and Fletcher, Woman 
Hater, iii. I : 

" Keep thy hands in thy muff and warm the idle 
Worms in thy fingers' ends." 

67-69. Her chariot . . . coachmakers. Daniel puts these lines 
before 59. Lettsom says : " It is preposterous to speak of the parts 
of a chariot (such as the waggon-spokes and cover) before men 
tioning the chariot itself." But chariot here, as the description 

Scene IV] Notes 187 

shows, means only the body of the vehicle, and is therefore one of 
the " parts." 

76. Sweetmeats. That is, kissing-comfits. These artificial aids 
to perfume the breath are mentioned by Falstaff, in M. W. v. 5. 22. 

77. A courtier's nose. As this is a repetition, Pope substituted 
"lawyer's" (from 1st quarto), but this would also be a repetition. 
Other suggestions are " tailor's " and " counsellor's ; " but the care 
lessness of the description is in perfect keeping with the character. 
See the comments on the speech p. 290 below. 

79. Sometime. Used by S. interchangeably with sometimes. 

84. Ambuscadoes. Ambuscades ; used by S. only here. The 
Spanish blades of Toledo were famous for their quality. 

85. Healths, etc. Malone quotes Westward Hoe, 1 607 : "troth, 
sir, my master and sir Goslin are guzzling ; they are dabbling to 
gether fathom deep. The knight has drunk so much health to the 
gentleman yonder, upon his knees, that he hath almost lost the use 
of his legs." Cf. 2 Hen. IV. v. 3. 57 : 

" Fill the cup, and let it come ; 
I '11 pledge you a mile to the bottom." 

89. Plats the manes, etc. " This alludes to a very singular super 
stition not yet forgotten in some parts of the country. It was be 
lieved that certain malignant spirits, whose delight was to wander 
in groves and pleasant places, assumed occasionally the likeness of 
women clothed in white ; that in this character they sometimes 
haunted stables in the night-time, carrying in their hands tapers of 
wax, which they dropped on the horses' manes, thereby plaiting 
them in inextricable knots, to the great annoyance of the poor 
animals and vexation of their masters. These hags are mentioned 
in the works of William of Auvergne, bishop of Paris in the I3th 
century " (Douce). 

90. Elf-locks. Hair matted or clotted, either from neglect or 
from the disease known as the Plica Polonica. Cf. Lear, ii. 3. 10 : 

1 88 Notes [Act i 

"elf all my hair in knots; " and Lodge, Wifs Miserie, 1596 : 
" His haires are curld and full of elves locks." 

91. Which, etc. The real subject of bodes is -which once un 
tangled '= the untangling of which. 

97. Who. For which, as often ; but here, perhaps, on account 
of the personification. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iii. I. 22 : 

" the winds, 
Who take the ruffian billows by the top." 

103. My mind misgives, etc. One of many illustrations of 
Shakespeare's fondness for presentiments. Cf. ii. 2. 116, iii. 5. 53, 
57, etc., below. See also 50 above. 

105. Date. Period, duration ; as often in S. Cf. R. of L. 935: 
"To endless date of never-ending woes; " Sonn. 18.4 : "And 
summer's lease hath all too short a date ; " M. N. D. iii. 2. 373 : 
" With league whose date till death shall never end," etc. 

106. Expire. The only instance of the transitive use in S. Cf. 
Spenser, F. Q. iv. I. 54 : "Till time the tryall of her truth 

107. Closed. Enclosed, shut up. Cf. v. 2. 30 below : "clos'd 
in a dead man's tomb." See also R. of L. 761, Macb. iii. i. 99, etc. 

in. In the early eds. the stage-direction is " They march about 
the Stage, and Seruingmen come forth with [or with their\ Nap 
kins" This shows that the scene was supposed to be immediately 
changed to the hall of Capulet's house. 

SCENE V. 2. Shift a trencher. "Trenchers [wooden plates] 
were still used by persons of good fashion in our author's time. In 
the Household Book of the Earls of Northumberland, compiled at the 
beginning of the same century, it appears that they were common 
to the tables of the first nobility" (Percy). To shift a trencher 
was a technical term. For scrape a trencher, cf. Temp. ii. 2. 187: 
" Nor scrape trencher, nor wash dish." 

7. Joint-stools. A kind of folding-chair. Cf. I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 
418, 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 269, etc. 

Scene V] Notes 189 

8. Court-cupboard. Sideboard. Steevens quotes Chapman, 
Monsieur D' Olive, 1606: "Here shall stand my court-cupboard 
with its furniture of plate ; " and his May-Day, 1611 : "Court- 
cupboards planted with flaggons, cans, cups, beakers," etc. Cot- 
grave defines dressoir as " a court-cupboord (without box or 
drawer), onely to set plate on." 

Good thou. For this vocative use of good, cf. Temp. i. 1.3, 16. 20, 
C. of E. iv. 4. 22, etc. 

9. Marchpane. A kind^ of almond-cake, much esteemed in the 
time of S. Nares gives the following from one of the old English 
receipt-books, Delightes for Ladies, 1608 : " To make a marchpane. 
Take two poundes of almonds being blanched, and dryed in a 
sieve over the fire, beate-them in a stone mortar, and when they be 
small mix them with two pounde of sugar beeing finely beaten, add 
ing two or three spoonefuls of rosewater, and that will keep your 
almonds from oiling : when your paste is beaten fine, drive it thin 
with a rowling pin, and so lay it on a bottom of wafers, then raise 
up a little edge on the side, and so bake it, then yce it with rose- 
water and sugar, then put it in the oven againe, and when you see 
your yce is risen up and drie, then take it out of the oven and gar 
nish it with pretie conceipts, as birdes and beasts being cast out of 
standing moldes. Sticke long comfits upright in it, cast bisket and 
carrowaies in it, and so serve it ; guild it before you serve it : you 
may also print of this marchpane paste in your molds for banquet 
ing dishes. And of this paste our comfit makers at this day make 
their letters, knots, armes, escutcheons, beasts, birds, and other 
fancies." Castles and other figures were often made of marchpane, 
to decorate splendid desserts, and were demolished by shooting 
or throwing sugar-plums at them. Cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, 
Faithful Friends, iii. 2: 

" They barr'd their gates, 
Which we as easily tore unto the earth 
As I this tower of marchpane." 

190 Notes [Act I 

1 6. Cheer -ly. Cheerily, briskly. Cf. Temp. i. i. 6, 29, etc. 

1 6. The longer liver take all. A proverbial expression. 
' 1 8. Toes. Pope thought it necessary to change this to "feet." 
Malone remarks that the word " undoubtedly did not appear in 
delicate to the audience of Shakespeare's time, though perhaps it 
would not be endured at this day." We smile at this when we 
recollect some of the words that were endured then ; but it shows 
how fashions change in these matters. 

21. Deny. Refuse. Cf. Z. L. L. v. 2. 228: "If you deny to 
dance;" T. of S. ii. i. 180: " If she deny to wed," etc. Makes 
dainty = affects coyness. Cf. K. John, iii. 4. 138: 

" And he that stands upon a slippery place 
Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up." 

22. Am I come near ye now? Do I touch you, or hit you, 
now ? Cf. i Hen IV. i. 2. 14: "Indeed, you come near me now, 
Hal." Schmidt is clearly wrong in giving T. N. ii. 5. 29 as 
another example of the phrase in this sense. He might have given 
T. N. iii. 4. 71. 

23. Welcome, gentlemen ! Addressed to the masked friends of 

28. A hall, a hall ! This exclamation occurs frequently in the 
old comedies, and is = make room. Cf. Doctor Dodypoll, 1600: 
" Room ! room ! a hall ! a hall ! " and Jonson, Tale of a Tub : 
" Then cry, a hall ! a hall ! " 

29. Turn the tables up. The tables in that day were flat leaves 
hinged together and placed on trestles ; when removed they were 
therefore turned up (Steevens). 

30. Thefrre. S. appears to have forgotten that the time was in 
summer. See p. 19 above. 

32. Cousin. The " uncle Capulet " of i. 2. 70. The word was 
often used loosely = kinsman in S. Cf. iii. i. 143 below: "Tybalt, 
my cousin ! O my brother's child ! " 

Scene V] Notes 19! 

37. Nuptial. The regular form in S. In the ist folio nup 
tials occurs only in Per. v. 3. 80. 

43. What lady is that, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem : 

" At length he saw a mayd, right fayre of perfect shape r 
Which Theseus, or Paris would haue chosen to their rape. 
Whom erst he neuer sawe, of all she pleasde him most: 
Within himselfe he sayd to her, thou iustly mayst thee boste. 
Of perfit shapes renoune, and Beauties sounding prayse : 
Whose like ne hath, ne shalbe seene, 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." 

47. Her beauty hangs. The reading of the later folios, adopted 
by many editors. The quartos and ist folio have "It seemes she 
hangs." As Verplanck remarks, it is quite probable that the cor 
rection was the poet's own, obtained from some other MS. altered 
during the poet's life ; it is besides confirmed by the repetition of 
beauty in 49. Delius, who retains it seems, thinks that the boldness 
of the simile led the poet to introduce it in that way ; but it is 
Romeo who is speaking, and the simile is not over-bold .for him. 
The commentators often err in looking at the text from the " stand 
point " of the critic rather than that of the character. 

48. Ethiope's ear. Tor the simile, cf. Sonn. 27. ii: "Which, 
like a jewel hung in ghastly night," etc. Holt White quotes Lyly, 
Euphues : " A fair pearl in a Morian's ear." 

55. I ne'er saw, etc. Cf. Hen. VIII. i. 4. 75 : 

" The fairest hand I ever touch'd ! O beauty, 
Till now I never knew thee ! " 

57. What dares, etc. How dares, or why dares, etc. Cf. 
2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 129 : " What tell you me of it ? be it as it is ; " 
A. and C. v. 2. 316 : " What should I stay ? " etc. 

58. Antic face. Referring to Romeo's mask. Cf. ii. 4. 29 below. 

59. Fleer. Sneer, mock; as in Much Ado,v. i. 58, etc. For 

192 Notes [Act I 

scorn at, cf. A. Y. L. iii. 5. 131, K.John, i. i. 228, etc. We find 
scorn without the preposition in L. L. L. iv. 3. 147 : " How will he 
scorn ! " Solemnity here expresses only the idea of ceremony, or 
formal observance. Cf. the use of solemn = ceremonious, formal ; 
as in Macb. iii. i. 14 : "To-night we hold a solemn supper, sir ; " 
T. of S. iii. 2. 103: "our solemn festival," etc. Hunter quotes 
Harrington, Ariosto : 

" Nor never did young lady brave and bright 
Like dancing better on a solemn day." 

64. In spite. In malice ; or, as Schmidt explains it, " only to 
defy and provoke us." Cf. i. I. 75 above. 

67. Content thee. " Compose yourself, keep your temper " 
(Schmidt). Cf. Much Ado, v. I. 87, T. of S. i. i. 90, 203, ii. i. 343, 
etc. So be contented; as in M. VV. iii. 3. 177, Lear, iii. 4. 115, etc. 

68. Portly. The word here seems to mean simply "well- 
behaved, well-bred," though elsewhere it has the modern sense ; 
as in M. W. i. 3. 69 : "my .portly belly ; " I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 464: 
" A goodly portly man, i' faith, and a corpulent," etc. 

72. Do him disparagement. Do him injury. Cf. " do danger " 
(/. C. ii. I. 17), "do our country loss" (Hen. V. iv. 3. 21), "do 
him shame " (R. of L. 597, Sonn. 36. 10, L. L. L. iv. 3. 204), etc. 
See also iii. 3. 118 below. 

77. It fits. Cf. A. W. ii. I. 147: "where hope is coldest, and 
despair most fits," etc. 

81. God shall mend my soul! Cf. A. Y. L. iv. I. 193 : "By my 
troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me, and by all pretty 
oaths that are not dangerous," etc. See also I Hen. IV. iii. i. 255. 

83. Cock-a-hoop. "Of doubtful origin" (New. Eng. Did.}, 
though the meaning is clear. Set cock-a-hoop play the bully. 
S. uses the word only here. 

86. Scathe. Injure. S. uses the verb nowhere else ; but cf. the 
noun in K. John, ii. i. 75 : "To do offence and scathe in Christen- 

Scene V] Notes 193 

dom ; " Rich. III. i. 3. 317: "To pray for them that have done 
scathe to us," etc. 

87. Contrary. Oppose, cross ; the only instance of the verb in 
S. Steevens quotes Greene, Tultys Love : " to contrary her reso 
lution ;" Warner, Albion's England: "his countermand should 
have contraried so," etc. The accent in S. is variable. Cf. the 
adjective in iii. 2. 64 below. 

88. Well said. Well done. Cf. Oth. ii. I. 169, v. I. 98, etc, 
Princcx = a pert or impertinent boy ; used by S. only here. 
Steevens quotes The Return from Parnassus, 1606 : "Your proud 
university princox." Cotgrave renders " un jeune estourdeau 
superbe " by " a young princox boy." 

Coleridge remarks here : " How admirable is the old man's im 
petuosity, at once contrasting, yet harmonized with young Tybalt's 
quarrelsome violence ! But it would be endless to repeat observa 
tions of this sort. Every leaf is different on an oak-tree ; but still 
we can only say, our tongues defrauding our eyes, This is another 
oak leaf ! " 

9 1 . Patience perforce. Compulsory submission ; a proverbial 
expression. Nares quotes Ray's Proverbs : " Patience perforce is a 
medicine for a mad dog" (or "a mad horse," as Howell gives it). 
Cf. Spenser, F. Q. ii. 3. 3 : 

" Patience perforce : helplesse what may it boot 
To frett for anger, or for griefs to mone ? " 

94. Convert. For the intransitive use, cf. R. of L. 592, Much 
Ado, i. i. 123, Rich. II. v. I. 66, v. 3. 64, etc. Some make it tran 
sitive, with now seeming srvect (= "what now seems sweet") as its 
object ; but this seems too forced a construction. 

96. The gentle fine. The sweet penance for the offence ; that is, 
for the rude touch of my hand. For fine the early eds. have " sin " 
or "sinne." The emendation is due to Warburton; but some edi 
tors retain " sin." 


1 94 Notes [Act I 

105. Let lips do, etc. Juliet has said that palm to palm is holy 
palmers' kiss. She afterwards says that palmers have lips that they 
must use in prayer. Romeo replies that the prayer of his lips is 
that they may do what hands do, that is, that they may kiss. 

109. As Malone remarks, kissing in a public assembly was not 
then thought indecorous. Cf. Hen. VIII. i. 4. 28. 

White remarks : " I have never seen a Juliet on the stage who 
appeared to appreciate the archness of the dialogue with Romeo in 
this scene. They go through it solemnly, or at best with staid pro 
priety. They reply literally to all Romeo's speeches about saints 
and palmers. But it should be noticed that though this is the first 
interview of the lovers, we do not hear them speak until the close 
of their dialogue, in which they have arrived at a pretty thorough 
understanding of their mutual feeling. Juliet makes a feint of 
parrying Romeo's advances, but does it archly, and knows that he 
is to have the kiss he sues for. He asks, ' Have not saints lips, 
and holy palmers too ? ' The stage Juliet answers with literal so 
lemnity. But it was not a conventicle at old Capulet's. Juliet was 
not holding forth. How demure is her real answer : ' Ay, pilgrim, 
lips that they must use in prayer ! ' And when Romeo fairly 
gets her into the corner, towards which she has been contriving to 
be driven, and he says, 'Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is 
purg'd,' and does put them to that purgation, how slyly the pretty 
puss gives him the opportunity to repeat the penance by repl>ing, 
' Then have my lips the sin that they have took ! ' " 

114. What. Who; as often. Cf. 130 below. 

119. Shall have the chinks. This seems much like modern 
slang. S. uses it only here ; but Tusser {Husbandry, 1573) has 
both chink and chinks in this sense, and the word is found 
also in Florio, Cotgrave, Holinshed, Stanihurst, and other old 

1 20. My life, etc. " He means that, as bereft of Juliet he should 
die, his existence is at the mercy of his enemy, Capulet " (Staun- 
ton). Cf. Brooks: 

Scene V] Notes 195 

" 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." 

124. Foolish. A mere repetition of the apologetic trifling. 
Banquet sometimes meant a dessert, as here and in T. of S. v. 

" My banquet is to close our stomachs up, 
After our great good cheer." 

Nares quotes Massinger, Unnatural Combat : 

" We '11 dine in the great room, but let the music 
And banquet be prepared here ; " 

and Taylor, Pennilesse Pilgrim : " our first and second course be 
ing threescore dishes at one boord, and after that alwayes a ban 
quet." Towards = ready, at hand (Steevens). So toward ' ; as in 
M. N. D. iii. i. 81 : " What, a play toward ! " 

125. Is it Jen so? The ist quarto has here the stage-direction : 
" They whisper in his eare ; " that is, whisper the reason of their 

128. By my fay. That is, by my faith. Cf. Ham. ii. 2. 271, etc. 
130. Come hither, nurse, etc. Cf. Brooke: 

" As carefull was the mayde what way were best deuise 
To tearne his name, that intertaind her in so gentle wise. 
Of whome her hart receiued so deepe, so wyde a wound, 
An aucient dame she calde to her, and in her eare gan rounde.l 
This old dame in her youth, had nurst her with her mylke, 
With slender nedle taught her sow, and how to spin with silke. 
What twayne are those (quoth 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 household name, 
So she him namde yet once agayne the yong and wyly dame. 
And tell me who is he with vysor in his hand 

1 That is, whisper. Cf. W. T. i. 2. 217, K. John, ii. i. 566, etc, 

196 Notes [Act n 

That yender doth in masking weede besyde the window stand. 
His name is Romeus (said shee) a Montegewe. 

Whose fathers pryde first styrd the strife which both your householdes 

136. If he be married, etc. " Uttered to herself while the Nurse 
makes inquiry " (Dowden). Married 'is here a trisyllable. 

142. Prodigious. Portentous. Cf. M. N. D. v. I. 419, K.John, 
iii. i. 46, Rich. III. i. 2. 23, etc. 


Enter Chorus. This is generally put at the end of act i., but, as 
it refers to the future, rather than the past, it may be regarded as a 
prologue to act ii. There is no division of acts or scenes in the 
early eds. 

2. Gapes. Rushton quotes Swinburn, Briefe Treatise of Testa 
ments and Last Willes, 1590: "such personnes as do gape for 
greater bequests; " and again: "It is an impudent part still to 
gape and crie upon the testator." 

3. On the repetition of for, cf. A. W. i. 2. 29 : " But on us both 
did haggish age steal on; " Cor. ii. i. 18: "In what enormity is 
Marcius poor in?" etc. Fair fair one; as in M. N. D.'\. i. 
182, etc. 

10. Use. Are accustomed. We still use the past tense of the 
verb in this sense, but not the present. Cf. Temp. ii. I. 175: 
"they always use to laugh at nothing; " T. N. ii. 5. 104: "with 
which she uses to seal ; " A. and C. ii. 5. 32: "we use To say the 
dead are well," etc. See also Milton, Lycidas, 67 : " Were it not 
better done, as others use," etc. 

14. Extremities. That is, extreme difficulties or dangers. 

SCENE I. 2. Dull earth. " Romeo's epithet for his small world 
of man, the earthlier portion of himself" (Clarke). Cf. Sonn. 146, 
I : " Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth." 

Scene I] Notes 197 

5. Orchard. That is, garden ; the only meaning in S. 

6. Conjure. Accented by S. on either syllable, without regard 
to the meaning. 

7. Humours ! Fancies, caprices. Some read " Humour's mad 
man ! Passion-lover ! " See on 29 below. 

10. Ay me I Often changed here and elsewhere to "Ah me!" 
which occurs in the old eds. of S. only in v. 1. 10 below. Ay me ! 
is found thirty or more times. Milton also uses it often. 

11. My gossip Venus. Cf. M. ofV. iii. i. 7: "if my gossip Re 
port be an honest woman of her word." 

13. Young Abraham Cupid. The 2d and 3d quartos have 
" Abraham : Cupid; " the other early eds. " Abraham Cupid." Up 
ton conjectured "Adam Cupid," with an allusion to the famous 
archer, Adam Bell, and was followed by Steevens and others. 
Theobald suggested "auborn," and it has since been shown that 
abraham, abram, aborne, aborn, abron, aubrun, etc., were all forms 
of the word now written auburn. In Cor. ii. 3. 21 the ist, 2d, and 
3d folios read : " our heads are some browne, some blacke, some 
Abram, some bald ; " the 4th folio changes " Abram " to " auburn." 
In T. G. ofV. iv. 4. 194, the folio has " Her haire is Aburne, mine 
is perfect Yellow." These are the only instances of the word in S. 
" Auburn " is adopted by a few editors, and is explained as = 
"auburn-haired," but that surely is no nickname. Schmidt under 
stands " Young Abraham Cupid " to be used " in derision of the 
eternal boyhood of Cupid, though in fact he was at least as old as 
father Abraham." Cf. L. L. L. iii. I. 182: "This senior-junior, 
giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid; " and Id. v. 2. 10: "For he hath been 
five thousand years a boy." Furness in his Variorum ed. gives 
" Adam," but he now prefers " Abraham " = the young counterfeit, 
with his sham make-up, pretending to be purblind and yet shooting 
so trim. He thinks the allusion to the beggar-maid also favours 
this explanation. Abraham-man, originally applied to a mendi 
cant lunatic from Bethlehem Hospital, London, came to be a cant 
term for an impostor wandering about and asking alms under pre- 

198 Notes [Act n 

tence of lunacy. Herford says that "Adam" is made almost cer 
tain by Much Ado, i. I. 260 ; but it is by no means certain that 
the allusion there is to Adam Bell, as he assumes. 

Trim. The reading of 1st quarto ; the other early eds. have 
" true. " That the former is the right word is evident from 
the ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar-Maid (see Percy's 
Reliques}, in which we read: 

"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." 

For other allusions to the ballad, see L. L. L. iv. I. 66 and 2 Hen. 
IV. v. 3. 1 06. 

16. Ape. As Malone notes, ape, like fool (see on i. 3. 31 above), 
was sometimes used as a term of endearment or pity. Cf. 2 Hen. 
IV. ii. 4. 234 : " Alas, poor ape, how thou sweatest ! " 

22. Circle. Alluding to the ring drawn by magicians. Cf. 
A. Y. L. ii. 5. 62 : "a Greek invocation, to call fools into a circle. 
See also Hen. V. v. 2. 320. 

25. Spite. Vexation. Cf. i. 5. 64 above. 

29. Humorous. Humid. Delius (like Schmidt) sees a quibble 
in the word : " moist and capricious, full of such humours as char 
acterize lovers, and as whose personification Mercutio had just con 
jured Romeo under the collective name humours" 

32. Truckle-bed. Trundle-bed ; one made to run under a 
" standing-bed," as it was called. Cf. . M. W. iv. 5. 7 : " his 
standing-bed and truckle-bed." The former was for the master, 
the latter for the servant. Mercutio uses the term in sport, and 
adds a quibble on field-bed, which was a camp-bed, or a bed on 
the ground. 

SCENE II. i. He jests, etc. Referring to Mercutio, whom he 
has overheard, as the rhyme in found and wound indicates. The 

Scene II] Notes 199 

Cambridge ed. suggests that in the old arrangement of the scene 
thi wall may have been represented as dividing the stage, so that 
the audience could see Romeo on one side and Mercutio on the 
other. Mr. F. A. Marshall thinks that Romeo " merely stepped to 
the back of the stage at the beginning of the scene, and was sup 
posed to be concealed from the others, not coining out till they 
had gone. Juliet would appear on the ' upper stage ' [the balcony 
at the back of the Elizabethan stage], which did duty in the old 
plays for so many purposes." 

7. Be not her maid. Be not a votary to the moon, or Diana 
(Johnson). Gf. M. N. D.\. i. 73. 

8. Sick. The 1st quarto has " pale," which is adopted by some 
editors. It has been objected that sick and green is a strange 
combination of colours in a livery ; but it is rather the effect of the 
colours that is meant. Cf. T. N. ii. 4. 116 : "with a green and 
yellow melancholy." Perhaps, as Dowden remarks, the word 
green-sickness (see Hi. 5. 155) suggested the epithets. 

29. White-upturned. So Theobald and most of the editors. 
The early eds. have "white, upturned," which Marshall prefers as 
better expressing "the appearance of an upturned eye by moon 

39. Thou art thyself, etc. That is, you would be yourself, or 
what you now are, even if you were not a Montague ; just " as a 
rose is a rose has all its characteristic sweetness and beauty 
though it be not called a rose" (White). The thought is repeated 
below in So Romeo would . . . that title. The passage would not 
call for explanation if critics had not been puzzled by it. 

46. Owes. Possesses ; as very often. Cf. M. N. D. ii. 2. 79, 
Macb. i. 3. 76, i. 4. 10, iii. 4. 113, etc. 

52. Bescreen'd. Used by S. only here. 

58. Yet not. A common transposition. Cf. Hen. V. iii. 3. 46 : 
" his powers are yet not ready ; " Hen. VIII. ii. 4. 204 : " full 
sick, and yet not well ; " Cor. i. 5. 18 : "My work hath yet not 
warm'd me," etc. 

200 Notes , [Act ii 

61. Dislike. Displease. Cf. Oth. ii. 3. 49 : "I '11 do 't; but it 
dislikes me." So like = please ; as in Ham. v. 2. 276 : '* This 
likes me well," etc. 

62. Wherefore. For the accent on the last syllable, cf. M. N. D. 
iii. 2. 272 : " Hate me ! Wherefore ? O me ! what news, my 
love ! " 

66. CPer-perch. Used by S. nowhere else. 

69. Let. Hindrance ; as in R. of L. 330, 646, and Hen. V. v. 2. 
65. Cf. the verb in Ham. i. 4. 85, etc. 

78. Prorogued. Delayed ; as in iv. I. 48 below. On wanting 
of, cf. v. i. 40 below : " Culling of simples." 

83. As that vast shore, etc. Possibly suggested, as some have 
thought, by the voyages of Drake and other explorers to America 
about the time when S. was writing. 

84. Adventure. Venture, try the chance. Cf. Cymb. iii. 4. 

" O for such means ! 

Though peril to my modesty, not death on 't, 
I would adventure." 

89. Farewell compliment! Away with formality ! The early 
eds. have " complement " or " complements," as in ii. 4. 19 below 
and elsewhere. 

93. At lovers' perjuries, etc. Douce remarks that S. found this* 
in Ovid's Art of Love perhaps in Marlowe's translation: 

" For Jove himself sits in the azure skies, 
And laughs below at lovers' perjuries." 

Cf. Greene, Metamorphosis : " What ! Eriphila, Jove laughs at the 
perjurie of lovers." 

99. Haviour. Not " 'haviour," as often printed. It is found 
in North's Plutarch and other prose. 

101. To be strange. To appear coy or shy. Cf. iii. 2. 15 below: 
" strange love " (that is, coy love). 

103. Ware. See on i. i. 121 above. 

Scene II] Notes 2OI 

106. Discovered. Revealed, betrayed. Cf. Hi. I. 145 below, 
where it is = tell, explain. 

109. The inconstant moon. Cf. M. for M. iii. I. 25 : 

" For thy complexion shifts to atrange effects, 
After the moon." 

See also Z. L. L. v. 2. 212, Lear, v. 3. 19, and Oth. iii. 3. 178. 
Hunter quotes Wilson, Retorique, 1553: "as in speaking of con 
stancy, to shew the sun who ever keepeth one course ; in speaking 
of inconstancy, to shew the moon which keepeth no certain course." 

1 1 6. Do not swear. Coleridge remarks here : " With love, pure 
love, there is always an anxiety for the safety of the object, a dis 
interestedness by which it is distinguished from the counterfeits of 
its name. Compare this scene with the Temp. iii. I. I do not 
know a more wonderful instance of Shakespeare's mastery in play 
ing a distinctly rememberable variation on the same remembered 
air than in the transporting love-confessions of Romeo and Juliet 
and Ferdinand and Miranda. There seems more passion in the 
one, and more dignity in the other ; yet you feel that the sweet 
girlish lingering and busy movement of Juliet, and the calmer and 
more maidenly fondness of Miranda, might easily pass into each 

117. Contract. Accented by S. on either syllable, as suits the 
measure. The verb is always contrdct. See also on i. 4. 103 above. 

119. Like the lightning, etc. Cf. M. N. D. i. I. 145 : 

" Brief as the lightning in the collied night, 
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, 
And ere a man hath power to say ' Behold ! ' 
The jaws of .darkness do devour it up ; 
So quick bright things come to confusion." 

124. As that, etc. As to that heart, etc. 

131. Frank. Bountiful; repeated in bounty. Cf. Sonn. 4. 4 : 

" Nature's bequest gives nothing but doth lend, 
And being frank she lends to those are free ; " 

202 Notes [Act ii 

and Lear, iii. 4. 20: "Your old kind father, whose frank heart 
gave all." 

139. Afeard. Used by S. interchangeably with afraid (v. 3. 10 

141. Substantial. Metrically a quadrisyllable. 

142. Three words, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem : 

" 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 you 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 found: 
Obedience set aside, vnto my parentes dewe : 
The quarell eke that long agoe 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." 

143. Bent. Inclination; as in J. C. ii. I. 210: "I can give hi 
humour the true bent," etc. 

144. Send me word to-morrow, etc. This seems rather sudder 
at first glance, but her desire for immediate marriage is due, partially 
at least, to what she has just learned (i. 3) of the plan to marry he 

to Paris. 

151. Madam ! This forms no part of the verse, and might we! 
enough be separated from it, like the Juliet in i. 5. 145 above 
By and by presently; as in iii. I. 173 and iii. 3. 76 below. 

152. Suit. The reading of 4th ("sute ") and 5th quartos ; the 
other early eds. have "strife." The expression "To cease you 
sute " occurs in Brooke's poem, a few lines below the passage jus 

153. To-morrow. " In the alternative which she places before 
her lover with such a charming mixture of conscious delicacy am 
girlish simplicity, there is that jealousy of female honour which pre 
cept and education have infused into her mind, without one rea 
doubt of his truth, or the slightest hesitation in her self-abandon- 

Scene II] Notes 

ment ; for she does not even wait to hear his asseverations" (Mrs. 

157. Toward school, etc. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 145: 

" And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel 
And shining morning face, creeping like snail 
Unwillingly to school." 

1 60. Tassel-gentle. The tassel gentle or tercel-gentle is the male 
hawk. Dyce quotes Cotgrave, Fr. Diet. : " Tiercelet. The Tassell 
or male of any kind of Hawke, so tearmed, because he is, com 
monly, a third part less than the female ; " and Holmes, Academy 
of Armory : " Tiercell, Tercell, or Tassell is the general name for 
the Male of all large Hawks." Malone says that the tiercel-gentle 
was the species of hawk appropriated to the prince, and thinks that 
on that account Juliet applies it to Romeo. We find tercel in T. 
and C. iii. 2. 56: "The falcon as the tercel." The hawk was 
trained to know and obey the falconer's voice. Cf. T. of S. 
iv. i. 196: 

" Another way I have to man my haggard, 
To make her come and know her keeper's call." 

For haggard wild hawk, see Much Ado, iii. I. 36, T. N. iii. I. 71, 

163. Airy tongue. Cf. Milton, Comus, 208 : " And airy tongues, 
that syllable men's names," etc. 

1 66. Silver-sweet. Cf. Per. v. I. ill: "As silver-voic'd." See 
also iv. 5. 124 below: "Then music with her silver sound," etc. 
The figure is a very common one. 

167. Attending. Attentive. Cf. T. A. v. 3. 82 : "To lovesick 
Dido's sad attending ear." 

171. I have forgot why I did call thee back. We know, and she 
knew, that it was only to call hilh back, parting was " such sweet 

178. A wanton's bird. Here wanton means simply a playful 
girl. It is often used in such innocent sense (cf. i. 4. 35 al>ove), 

204 Notes [Act n 

and is sometimes masculine, as in K. John, v. I. 70 and Rich. IT. 
ii. 3. 164. 

181. Plucks it back. Cf. Sonn. 126.6: " As thou goest onwards, 
still will pluck thee back." See also W. T. iv. 4. 476, 762 and A. 
and C. i. 2. 131. Pluck is a favourite word with S. 

182. Loving- jealous. Compound adjectives are much used by 
S. Cf. i. i. 79, 176, 178, i. 2. 25, i. 4. 7, 100, etc., above. 

190. Dear hap. Good fortune. The ist quarto has "good 
hap," which occurs in iii. 3. 171 below. 

189. Ghostly. Spiritual; as in ii. 3. 45, ii. 6.21, and iii. 3.49 

SCENE III. i. Grey-eyed. Delius says that grey here and in 
Much Ado, v. 3. 27 is " bright blue," and Dyce defines it as 
"blue, azure"; but there is no reason why the word should not 
have its ordinary meaning. The grey, as in M. N. D. iii. 2. 419, 
/. C. ii. I. 103, and iii. 5. 19 below, is the familiar poetic grey of the 
early morning before sunrise. Whether ascribed, as here, to the 
eyes of the Morn, or, as in Milton's Lycidas, to her sandals, does 
not matter. See also on iii. 5. 8 below. 

3. Flecked. Spotted, dappled ; used by S. nowhere else. 

4. From forth. Cf. M. W. iv. 4. 53 : " Let them from forth a 
sawpit rush at once," etc. For Titan as the sun-god, cf. V. and A. 
177, T. and C. v. 10. 25, Cymb. iii. 4. 166, etc. 

7. Osier cage. Basket. Dowden suggests that of ours is " pos 
sibly not merely for the rhyme's sake, but because the Franciscan 
had no personal property." 

8. Precious-juiced flowers. S. here prepares us for the part 
which the Friar is afterwards to sustain. Having thus early found 
him to be a chemist, we are not surprised at his furnishing the 
sleeping-draught for Juliet. Cf. 'Brooke's poem : 

"What force the stones, the plants, and metals haue to woorke, 
And diuers other thinges that in the bowels of earth do loorke, 

Scene III] Notes 205 

With care I haue sought out, with payne I did then proue ; 
With them eke can I helpe my selfe at times of my behoue," etc. 

9. The earth, etc. Cf. Milton, P. L. ii. 911: "The womb of 
nature, and perhaps her grave." See also Per. ii. 3. 45 : 

" Whereby I see that Time 's the king of men, 
He 's both their parent, and he is their grave." 

15. Mickle. Much, great ; a word already half obsolete in the 
time of S. Cf. C. of E. iii. I. 45: "The one ne'er got me credit, 
the other mickle blame," etc. Powerful grace = " efficacious vir 
tue " (Johnson) ; or = gracious power. 

19. Strain 1 d. Wrenched, forced. Cf. M. of V. iv. I. 184: 
"The quality of mercy is not strain'd" (that is, excludes the idea 
of force or compulsion), etc. 

23. Weak. So all the early eds. except ist quarto, which has 
" small." Weak seems the better word as opposed to the following 
power (Daniel). 

25. With that part. That is, with its odour. Malone and Clarke 
take part to be = the sense of smell. 

26. Slays. The 2d quarto has "staies" (= stops, paralyzes), 
which some editors prefer. 

27. Encamp them. For the reflexive use, cf. Hen. V. iii. 6. 180: 
" we '11 encamp ourselves." On the figurative encamp, cf. L. C. 

29. Worser. Cf. iii. 2. 108 below : " worser than Tybalt's death." 
Predominant was originally an astrological term. See A. W.\. I. 
211, etc. 

30. Canker. Canker-worm. Cf. V. and A. 656 : "The canker 
that eats up Love's tender spring ; " T. G. of V. i. I. 43: " in the 
sweetest bud The eating canker dwells," etc. 

34. Good morrow. Here = good-by. 

37. Unstuff'd. " Not overcharged " (Schmidt) ; used by S. only 

40. With some. The editors generally adopt " by some " from 

206 Notes [Act ii 

the ist quarto ; but with = by is so common in S. that the reading 
of all the other early eds. may be accepted. See on i. I. 148 and i. 
2. 49 above. Distemperature = disorder. Cf. C. of E. v. i. 82: 
" Of pale distemperatures and foes to life." 

41, 42. Or if not so, etc. Marshall doubts whether S. wrote 
these lines. Of course, they belong to the first draft of the play. 

5 1 . Both our remedies. The healing of both of us. Cf. A. W. 

1. 3. 169: "both our mothers" =the mother of both of us. Sec 
also Ham. iii. i. 42, Cymb. ii. 4. 56, etc. 

52. Lies. Cf. V. and A. 1128: 

" She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes, 
Where lo! two lamps burnt out in darkness lies." 

See also Rich. II. iii. 3. 168 and Cymb. ii. 3. 24. 

54. Steads. Benefits, helps. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 165 : " Which since 
have steaded much ; " M.of V. i. 3. 7 : " May you stead me ? " etc. 

55. Homely in thy drift. Simple in what you have to say. Cf. 
iv. I. 114 below. 

56. Riddling. Cf. M. N. D. ii. 2. 53 : " Lysander riddles very 
prettily ; " and i Hen. VI. ii. 3. 57: "a riddling merchant." 

61. When and where and how, etc. An instance of the so-called 
" chiastic " construction of which S. was fond. Cf. M. N. D. iii. I. 
113, 114, Ham. iii. i. 158, 159, A. and C. iii. 2. 15-18, etc. 

73. Sighs. Compared to vapours which the sun dispels. 

72. To season love. A favourite metaphor with S., though a 
homely one ; taken from the use of salt in preserving meat. For 
the reference to salt tears, cf. A. W.'\. I. 55, T. N.i. I. 30, R. of L. 
796, L. C. 1 8, etc. 

74. Ancient. Aged ; as in ii. 4. 133 below. See also Lear, ii 

2. 67, Cymb. v. 3. 15, etc. 

88. Did read by rote, etc. " Consisted of phrases learned by 
heart, but knew nothing of the true characters of love " (Schmidt). 

93. I stand on sudden haste. I must be in haste. Cf. the imper 
sonal use of stand on or upon = it concerns, it is important to ; as 

Scene IV] Notes 207 

in C. of E. iv. i. 68: "Consider how it stands upon my credit ; " 
Rich. If. ii. 3. 138: "It stands your grace upon to do him right" 
(that is, it is your duty), etc. Cf. ii. 4. 34 below. 

SCENE IV. 2. To-night. Last night. See on i. 4. 50 above. 

13. How he dares. For the play on dare venture, and dare = 
challenge, cf. 2 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 203. There is also a play on 

15. A white wench's black eye. Cf. Z. L. L. iii. i. 108 : 

" A whitely wanton with a velvet brow, 
And two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes ; " 

and Rosalind's reference to the "bugle eyeballs" of Phebe in A. 
Y. L. iii. 5, 47, which the shepherdess recalls as a sneer : " He said 
mine eyes were black," etc. 

Thorough. Through. Cf. M. N. D. ii. i. 3, 5, W. T. iii. 2. 172, 
/. r. iii. i. 136, v. i. no, etc. 

1 6. The very pin, etc. The allusion is to archery. The clout 
(cf. L. L. L. iv. i. 136), or white mark at which the arrows were 
aimed, was fastened by a black pin in the centre. Cf. Marlowe, 
Tamburlane, 1590: 

" For kings are clouts that every man shoots at, 
Our crown the pin that thousands seek to cleave." 

1 7. Butt-shaft. A kind of arrow used for shooting at butts ; 
formed without a barb, so as to be easily extracted (Nares). 

20. Prince of cats. Tybert is the name of the cat in Reynard 
the Fox. ^teevens quotes Dekker, Satiromastix, 1602: "tho' you 
were Tybert, the long-tail'd prince of cats ; " and Have with You, 
etc. : " not Tibalt, prince of cats." Tibert, Tybert, and Tybalt are 
forms of the ancient name Thibault. Cf. iii. i. 77 below. 

20. Captain of compliments. A complete master of etiquette. 
Cf. L. L. L. i. i. 169: 

" A man of compliments, whom right and wrong 
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny." 

208 Notes [Act ii 

As Schmidt remarks, the modern distinction of compliment and 
complement is unknown to the orthography of the old eds. See on 
ii. 2. 89 above. 

22. Prick-song. Music sung from notes (Schmidt) ; so called 
from the points or dots with which it is expressed. S. uses the 
word only here. When opposed to plain-song, it meant counter 
point as distinguished from mere melody. Here, as Elson shows, 
there is a reference to marking the time " by tapping the foot in 
time with the music, or, more frequently and more artistically, by 
waving the hand as the conductor of an orchestra waves his baton." 

23. Me. For the " ethical dative," cf. /. C. i. 2. 270 : " He 
plucked me ope his doublet," etc. 

25. Button. St^evens quotes The Return from Parnassus, 
1606: "Strikes his poinado at a button's breadth." Staunton 
cites George Silver's Paradoxes of Defence, 1599: " Signior Rocco, 
. . . thou that takest upon thee to hit anie Englishman with a 
thrust upon anie button," etc. Duels were frequent in England 
in the time of S. The matter had been reduced to a science, and 
its laws laid down in books. The causes of quarrel had been duly 
graded and classified, as Touchstone explains in A. Y. L. v. 4. 63 fol. 

26. Of the very first house. Of the first rank among duellists. 

27. Passado. "A motion forwards and thrust in fencing'* 
(Schmidt). Cf. L. L. L. i. 2. 184: "the passado he respects 
not." The punto reverse was a back-handed stroke. We have 
punto (= thrust) in /]/. W. ii. 3. 26 : " to see thee pass thy punto." 
The hay was a home-thrust ; from the Italian hai = thgu hast it 
(not "he has it," as Schmidt and others explain it). Johnson 
gives it correctly : " The hay is the word hai, you have it, used 
when a thrust reaches the antagonist, from which our fencers, on 
the same occasion, without knowing, I suppose, any reason for it, 
cry out ha ! " 

30. Fantasticoes. Steevens quotes Dekker, Old Fortunatus : "I 
have danced with queens, dallied with ladies, worn strange attires, 
seen fantasticoes," etc. 

Scene IV] Notes 209 

32. Grandsire. Addressed to Benvolio in raillery of his staid 

33. Fashion-mongers. Cf. Much Ado, v. 1 . 94 : " fashion-mong- 
ing boys." 

34. Pardonnez-mois. Fellows who are continually saying par- 
donnez-moi ; a hit at Frenchified affectation. The Cambridge ed. 
has " perdona-mi's " (Italian, suggested by the " pardona-mees " 
of the 4th and 5th quartos). Herford reads " pardon-me's." 

35. Form. There is a play on the word, as in L. L. L.\. I. 209: 
"sitting with her upon the form ... in manner and form follow 
ing." Blakeway remarks : " I have heard that during the reign of 
large breeches it was necessary to cut away hollow places in the 
benches in the House of Commons, to make room for those mon 
strous protuberances, without which contrivance they who stood on 
the new form could not sit at ease on the old bench." 

36. Bans. The early eds. have " bones," which is unintelligible. 
The correction is due to Theobald, and is generally adopted. 

38. Without his roe. " That is, he comes but half himself ; he 
is only a sigh O me ! that is, me O ! the half of his name " (Sey 
mour). It may mean without his mistress, whom he has had to 
leave ; roe meaning a female deer as well as the spawn of a fish. 
Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 309, where the Princess says : " Whip to our 
tents, as roes run over land ;" and T. and C. v. I. 68 : "a herring 
without a roe." 

42. Be-rhyme. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 186 : "I was never so be 
rhymed," etc. 

43. Hildings. Base menials ; used of both sexes. Cf. T. of S. 
ii. I. 26 : "For shame, thou hilding;" A. W. iii. 6. 4 : "If your 
lordship find him not a hilding, hold me no more in your respect," 
etc. See also iii. 5. 167 below. It is used as an adjective in 
2 Hen. IV. i. I. 57 and Hen. V. iv. 2. 29. 

44. Grey eye. Here Malone and others make grey = blue ; 
while Steevens and Ulrici take the ground that it has its ordinary 
meaning. The latter quote Temp. \. 2. 269 (" This blue-eyed hag ") 


210 Notes [Act ii 

in proof that blue eyes were accounted ugly ; but the reference 
there, as in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 393 (" a blue eye and sunken "), seems 
to be to a bluish circle about the eyes. It is curious that these are 
the only specific allusions to blue eyes in S. In W. T. i. 2. 136, 
some make " welkin eye " = blue eye ; but it is more probably = 
heavenly eye, as Schmidt gives it. In V. and A. 482 ("Her two 
blue windows faintly she upheaveth ") the eyelids, not the eyes, are 
meant, on account of their " blue veins " {R. of L. 440). Cf. Cymb. 
ii. 2. 21 : 

" would under-peep her lids, 
To see the enclosed lights, now canopied 
Under these windows, white and azure lac'd 
With blue of heaven's own tinct." 

Malone cites both this last passage and V. and A. 482 as referring 
to blue eyes ; but the "azure lac'd" ought to settle the question in 
regard to the former, and " windows " evidently has the same 
meaning in both. If the " blue windows " were blue eyes, Malone 
would make out his case, for in V. and A. 140 the goddess says 
" Mine eyes are grey and bright." But why should the poet call 
them blue in the one place and grey in the other, when the former 
word would suit the verse equally well in both ? In my opinion, 
when he says bine he means blue, and when he says^r^y he means 
grey. See on ii. 3. I above. The New Eng. Diet, does not recog 
nize blue as a meaning of grey. It seems, however, from certain 
passages in writers of the time that the word was sometimes = 
bluish grey or bluish ; but never " bright blue " (as Delius defines 
it) or clear blue, as Dyce and others assume. 

46. Slop. For slops (= large loose breeches), see Much Ado, iii. 
2. 36, etc. Gave us the counterfeit = played a trick on us. Coun 
terfeit is used for the sake of the coming play on slip, which some 
times meant a counterfeit coin. Cf. Greene, Thieves Falling Out, 
etc. : "counterfeit pieces of money, being brasse, and covered over 
with silver, which the common people call slips." There is also a 

Scene IV] Notes 211 

play upon the word in the only other instance in which S. uses it, 
V. and A. 515 : 

" Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips 
Set thy seal-manual on my wax-red lips." 

58. Kindly. The word literally means " naturally, in a manner 
suited to the character or occasion " (Schmidt) ; hence aptly, 

63. Then is my pump, etc. The idea seems to be, my shoe or 
pump, being pinked or punched with holes, is well /lowered. Cf. 
unpinked in T. of S. iv. i. 136 : "And Gabriel's pumps were all 
unpink'd i' the heel." 

68. Single-soled. " With a quibble on sole and soul = having 
but one sole, and silly, contemptible " (Schmidt). Steevens gives 
several examples of single-soled '= mean, contemptible. Singleness 
here = simplicity, silliness. 

74. Wild-goose chase. A kind of horse-race, resembling the 
flight of wild-geese. Two horses were started together; and if one 
got the lead the other was obliged to follow over whatever ground 
the foremost rider chose to take (Holt White). 

77. Was I with you, etc. Was I even with you, have I paid you 
off ? as, perhaps, in T. of S. iv. I. 170: "What, do you grumble? 
I '11 be with you straight ! " For the allusion to five wits see on i. 4. 
47 above. 

80. / will bite thee by the ear. A playful expression of endear 
ment, common in the old dramatists. 

81. Good goose t bite not. A proverbial phrase, found in Ray's 

82. Sweeting. A kind of sweet apple. The word is still used in 
this sense, at least in New England. Steevens quotes Sumner's 
Last Will and Testament, 1600 : "as well crabs as sweetings for 
his summer fruits." There was also a variety known as the bitter 
sweet. Cf. Fair Em : " And left me such a bitter sweet to gnaw 

212 Notes [Act ii 

84. And is ii not well served in, etc. White remarks that " the 
passage illustrates the antiquity of that dish so much esteemed by 
all boys and many men goose and apple-sauce." Cf. the allu 
sions to mutton and capers in T. N. i. 3. 129, and to beef and 
mustard in M. N. D. iii. i. 197 and T. of S. iv. 3. 23. 

86. Cheveril. Soft kid leather for gloves, proverbially elastic, 
Ci. Hen. VIII. 11.3.32: 

" which gifts, 

Saving your mincing, the capacity 
Of your soft cheveril conscience would receive, 
If you might please to stretch it." 

See also T. N. iii. i. 13 : "a cheveril glove," etc. 

90. A broad goose. No satisfactory explanation of this quibble 
has been given. Schmidt defines broad here as "plain, evident." 
Dowden suggests that there is a play on brood-goose, which occurs 
in Fletcher. Humorous Lieutenant, ii. I : "They have no more 
burden than a brood-goose" (breeding goose). 

95. Natural. Fool, idiot. Cf. Temp. iii. 2. 37 and A. Y. L. i. 
2. 52, 57- 

97. Gear. Matter, business. Cf. T. and C.\. i. 6 : "Will this 
gear ne'er be mended ? " 2 Hen. VI. i. 4. 17 : "To this gear the 
sooner the better," etc. 

99. Two, two, etc. This is given to Mercutio in most of the early 
eds., and White doubts whether it belongs to the sober Benvolio ; 
but he is not incapable of fun. Cf. 125 below. 

102. My fan, Peter. Cf. L. L. L. iv. i. 147 : "To see him walk 
before a lady and to bear her fan ! " The fans of the time of S. 
were large and heavy. 

105. God ye good morrow. That is, God give ye, etc. "For good 
den, see on i. 2. 57 above. 

109. Prick of noon. Point of noon. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. i. 4. 34: 
"at the noontide prick." See also R. of L. 781. 

123. Confidence. Probably meant for conference. Cf, Much Ado. 

Scene IV] Notes 

iii. 5. 3, where Dogberry says, " Marry, sir, I would have some con 
fidence with you that decerns you nearly." 

125. Indite. Probably used in ridicule of the Nurse's confidence. 
Mrs. Quickly uses the word in the same way in 2 Hen. IV. ii. I. 30: 
" he is indited to dinner." 

126. So ho ! The cry of the sportsmen when they find a hare. 
Hence Romeo's question that follows. 

129. Hoar. Often = mouldy, as things grow white from mould 
ing (Steevens). 

134. Lady, lady, lady. From the old ballad of Susanna, also 
quoted in T. N. ii. 3. 85 : " There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, 
lady ! " 

136. Merchant. Used contemptuously, like chap, which is a 
contraction of chapman. Cf. I lien. VI. ii. 3. 57 : "a riddling 
merchant ; " and Churchyard's Chance, 1580 : " What saucie mer- 
chaunt speaketh now, saied Venus in her rage ? " 

137. Ropery. Roguery. Steevens quotes The Three Ladies of 
London, 1584: "Thou art very pleasant and full of thy roperye." 
Cf. rope-tricks in T. of S. i. 2. 112, which Schmidt explains as 
"tricks deserving the halter." Nares and Douce see the same 
allusion in ropery. 

143. Jacks. For the contemptuous use of the word, cf. M. of V. 
iii. 4. 77 : "these bragging Jacks ; " Mtich Ado, v. I. 91 : "Boys, 
apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops ! " etc. 

144. Flirt-gills. That is flirting Gills, or women of loose 
behaviour. Gill or Jill was a familiar term for a woman, as, Jack 
was for a man. Cf. the proverb, "Every Jack must have his Jill ;" 
alluded to in L. L. L. v. 2. 885 and M. N. D. iii. 2. 461. The 
word is a contraction of Gillian (see C. of E. iii. i. 31), which is 
a corruption of Juliana. Gill-flirt was the more common form. 

145. Skains-mates. A puzzle to the commentators. As skein. 
is an Irish word for knife (used by Warner, Greene, Chapman, and 
other writers of the time) Malone and Steevens make skains-mates 
mean " cut-throat companions " or fencing-school companions. 

214 Notes [Act n 

Schmidt defines it as "messmates," and Nares as probably 
= " roaring or swaggering companions." Various other explana 
tions have been suggested ; but there is probably some corruption 
in the first part of the compound. 

153. Afore. Not a mere vulgarism. It is used by Capulet in 
iii. 4. 34 and iv. 2. 31 below. Cf. Temp. iv. I. 7 : 

" here afore Heaven, 
I ratify this my rich gift," etc. 

158. In a fooVs paradise. Malone cities A handfull of Pleasam 
Delight 'es, 1584: 

" When they see they may her win, 
They leave then where they did begin ; 
They prate, and make the matter nice, 
And leave her in fooles paradise." 

and Barnaby Rich's Farewell : "Knowing the fashion of you men 
to be such, as by praisyng our beautie, you think to bring into a 
fooles paradize." 

162. Weak. Explained by Schmidt as " stupid." Clarke thinks 
that " she intends to use a most forcible expression, and blunders 
upon a most feeble one." 

177. And stay, etc. The pointing is White's. Most editors 
follow the early eds. and read " And stay, good nurse, behind the 
abbey wall, etc." 

180. A tackled stair. That is, a rope-ladder. Cf. "ladder- 
tackle" in Per. iv. I. 61. 

181. High top-gallant. The top-gallant mast; figuratively for 
summit or climax. Steevens quotes Markham, English Arcadia, 
1607: "the high top-gallant of his valour." S. uses the 
term only here. 

183. Quit. Requite, reward. Cf. Ham. v. 2. 68, 280, etc. 

184. Mistress. A trisyllable here. 

1 88. 1 wo may keep counsel. That is, keep a secret. Cf. T. A. 
iv. 2. 144: "Two may keep counsel when the third 's away." 

Scene V] Notes 215 

191. Lord, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem : 

" A prety babe (quod she) it was when it was yong : 
Lord how it could full pretely haue prated with it [its] tong." 

194. Lieve. Often used for lief in the old eds. It is sometimes 
found in good writers of recent date. Matzner quotes Sheridan : 
" I had as lieve be shot." 

195. Proper er. Handsomer. Cf. A. Y. Z. i. 2. 129, iii. 5. 51, 
etc. See also Hebrews, xi. 23. 

197. Pale as any clout. A common simile of which Dowden 
cites examples from Bunyan and others. Versal is a vulgarism for 

198. A letter. One letter. Cf. Ham. v. 2. 276: "These foils 
have all a length, "etc. For rosemary as the symbol of remem 
brance, see Ham. iv. 5. 175. 

200. The dog's name. R was called " the dog's letter." Cf. 
Jonson, Eng. Gram. : " R is the dog's letter and hurreth in the 
sound." Farmer cites Barclay, 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." 

Dyce remarks : " Even in the days of the Romans, R was called the 
dogs letter, from its resemblance in sound to the snarling of a dog." 
208. Before, and apace. Go before, and quickly. For apace, cf. 
iii. 2. I below. 

SCENE V. 7. Love. That is, Venus. Cf. Temp. iv. I. 94 : 

" I met her deity 

Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son 
Dove-drawn with her;" 

and V.andA. 1190: 

" Thus weary of the world, away she hies, 
And yokes her silver doves." 

2 1 6 Notes [Act ii 

9. Highmost. Cf. Sonn. 7. 9 : " But when from highmost pitch, 
with weary car," etc. We still use hindmost, topmost, etc. 

II. Hours. A dissyllable ; as in iii. I. 198. 

14. Bandy. A metaphor from tennis. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 29: 
" Well bandied both ; a set of wit well play'd," etc. See on iii. I. 
91 below. 

18. Honey nurse. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 530: "my fair, sweet, honey 
monarch ;" T. of S. iv. 3. 52 : " my honey love," etc. 

22. Them. S. makes news both singular and plural. For the 
latter, cf. Much Ado, i. 2. 4. 

25. CYzv me leave. Let me alone, let me rest. See on i. 3. 7 

26. Ache. Spelt " ake " in the folio both here and in 49 below. 
This indicates the pronunciation of the verb. The noun was pro 
nounced aitch, and the plural was a dissyllable ; as in Temp. i. 2. 
370, T. of A. i. i. 257, etc. 

36. Stay the circumstance. Wait for the particulars. Cf. A. Y. L. 
iii. 2. 221 : "let me stay the growth of his beard," etc. On cir 
cumstance, cf. v. 3. 181 below: "without circumstance" (= with 
out further particulars). See also V. and A. 844, Ham. v. 2. 2, etc. 

38. Simple. Silly ; as often. Cf. iii. i. 35 below, and simpleness 
in iii. 3. 77. 

43. Past compare. Cf. iii. 5. 236 below : " above compare," etc. 

50. As. As if ; a common ellipsis. 

51. 0' /' other. On the other. Cf. i. I. 44 above: "of our side." 

52. Beshrew. A mild form of imprecation, often used playfully. 
Cf. iii. 5. 221, 227 below. 

56-58. Your love, etc. Printed as prose by the Cambridge 
editors, Daniel, and some others. 

66. Coil. Ado, fuss." See Much Ado, iii. 3. 100, M. N. D. 
iii. 2. 339, etc. 

72. Straight at any news. Capell explains it, " at such talk (of 
love and Romeo), any talk of that kind." Perhaps, as Dowden 
suggests, the meaning is, " It is their way to redden at any surprise." 

Scene VI] Notes 21 7 

SCENE VI. 9. These violent delights, etc. Malone compares 
R. of L. 894: "These violent vanities can never last." He might 
have added Ham. ii. i. 102 : 

" This is the very ecstasy of love, 
Whose violent property fordoes itself." . 

10. Like fire and powder. For the simile, cf. iii. 3. 132 and v. I. 
64 below. 

12. His. Its; as often. Its was just coming into use when S. 
wrote. Cf. v. 3. 203 below. 

13. Confounds. Destroys ; as often. Cf. Macb. ii. 2. 12, iv. I. 54, 
iv. 3. 99, etc. So confusion often destruction, ruin ; as in iv. 5. 
6 1 below. 

15. Too swift, etc. "The more haste, the worse speed." 

17. Will ne'er wear out, etc. White thinks that the reading of 
the ist quarto, "So light a foot ne'er hurts the trodden flower," is 
" a daintier and more graceful, and therefore, it would seem, a more 
appropriate figure." The quarto, it is true, gives the " daintier " 
figure, which has been used by the poets from Pope's description 
of Camilla flying " o'er the unbending corn " to Tennyson's Olivia 
in The Talking Oak : 

" The flower she touch'd on dipt and rose, 
And turn'd to look at her." 

It would be appropriate in the Friar's mouth if he were in the 
fields, as in ii. 3, and Juliet had met him there. Very likely S. at 
first wrote it as in the quarto, but his poetic instinct led him to 
change it in revising the play. The speaker is now in his cell, with 
its stone floor worn by the tread of many heavy feet such as one 
sees in old churches and monasteries in Europe but Juliet's light 
step will not thus wear "the everlasting flint." The comparison is 
natural and apt. 

1 8. Gossamer. Light filaments floating in the air, especially in 
autumn. Their origin was formerly not understood, but they are 

2i 8 Notes [Act in 

now known to be the webs of certain species of spiders. Cf. Lear t 
iv. 6. 49 : " Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air." 
S. uses the word only twice. 

20. Vanity. "Here used for 'trivial pursuit,' 'vain delight.' 
The word was much used in this sense by divines in Shakespeare's 
time, and with much propriety is so put into the good old Friar's 
mouth " (Clarke). 

21. Confessor. For the accent on the first syllable, cf. M.for M. 
iv. 3. 133: "One of our covent and his confessor; " and Hen. 

VIII. i. 2. 149 : " His confessor, who fed him every minute," etc. 
See also iii. 3. 49 below. 

25. And that. And if. This use of that (in place of a preceding 
conjunction) is common in S. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 813, T. and C. ii. 
2. 179, etc. 

26. Blazon it. Set it forth. Cf. Oth. ii. I. 63: "One that excels 
the quirks of blazoning pens," etc. 

29. Encounter. Meeting. It is often used, as here, of the 
meeting of lovers. Cf. Much Ado, iii. 3. 161, iv. I. 94, M. W. 
iii. 5. 74, etc. 

30. Conceit. Conception, imagination. Cf. Ham. iii. 4. 114: 
"Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works," etc. So conceited '= 
imaginative in R. of L. 1371 : "the conceited painter," etc. 

32. They are but beggars, etc. Cf. A. and C. i. I. 15 : " There 's 
beggary in the love that can be reckon'd." Worth = wealth. 

36. Reaves. The plural is used because the reference is to more 
than one person ; a common construction in S. Cf. Rich. II. iv. I. 
314: " your sights," etc. 


SCENE I. 2. The day is hot. " It is observed that in Italy 
almost all assassinations are committed during the heat of sum 
mer " (Johnson). 

Scene I] Notes 219 

3. Scape. Not " 'scape," as often printed. The word is used in 
prose ; as in M. of V. ii. 2. 1 74, etc. 

6. Me. See on ii. 4. 23 above. We have the same construction 
in him, two lines below, where some eds. have "it" (from 1st 

8. Operation. Effect. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. 3. 104 : " A good 
sherris-sack hath a twofold operation in it," etc. 

n. Ami, etc. " The quietness of this retort, with the slight but 
significant emphasis which we imagine thrown upon the 7, admirably 
gives point to the humorous effect of Mercutio's lecturing Benvolio 
the sedate and peace-making Benvolio, and lectured by Mercutio, 
of all people ! for the sin of quarrelsomeness " (Clarke). 

12. Jack. See on ii. 4. 127 above. 

14. Moody. Angry. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. 4. 39: "But, being 
moody, give him line and scope," etc. 

31. Tutor me from. Teach me to avoid. 

39. Good den. See on i. 2. 57 above. 

43. Apt enough to. Ready enough for. Cf. iii. 3. 157 below. 

47. Consort st with. Keepest company with. Cf. V. and A. 1041, 
M. N. D. iii. 2. 387, T. and C. v. 3. 9, etc. 

48. Consort. The word (with accent on first syllable) sometimes 
meant a company of musicians. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. 2. 84 : 

" Visit by night your lady's chamber-window 
With some sweet consort ; to their instruments 
Tune a deploring dump," etc. 

See also 2 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 327. In these passages the modern eds. 
generally read " concert." Milton has consort in the same sense in 
the Ode at a Solemn Mustek, 27 : 

" O, may we soon again renew that song, 
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long 
To his celestial consort us unite, 
To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light! " 

22O Notes [Act in 

Cf. Ode on Nativ. 132: "Make up full consort to the angelic sym 
phony; " II Pens. 145: "With such consort as they keep," etc. 
" The consorts of S.'s time were not only concerted music, but gen 
erally composed of such instruments as belonged to one family. If, 
for example, only viols were employed, the consort was called whole, 
but if virginal, lute, or flute came into the combination, it was a 
broken consort, or broken music" (Elson). Cf. A. Y. L. i. 2. 150, 

51. Zounds. Like 'swounds (see Ham. ii. 2. 604), an oath con 
tracted from " God's wounds ! " and generally omitted or changed 
in the folio in deference to the statute of James I. against the use 
of the name of God on the stage. Here the folio has " Come." 

54. Reason coldly. Talk coolly or dispassionately. Cf. M. of V. 
ii. 8. 27: "I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday; " and Much 
Ado, iii. 2. 132: "bear it coldly but till midnight," etc. 

"Benvolio presents a triple alternative: either to withdraw to a 
private place, or to discuss the matter quietly where they were, or 
else to part company ; and it is supremely in character that on such 
an occasion he should perceive and suggest all these methods of 
avoiding public scandal" (White). 

55. Depart. Perhaps = part. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. ii. 6. 43: "A 
deadly groan, like life and death's departing," etc. So depart with 
= part with ; as in K. John, ii. I. 563 : 

" John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole, 
Hath willingly departed with a part," etc. 

In the Marriage Ceremony " till death us do part " was originally 
" us depart." The word is used in the same sense in Wiclif's Bible, 
Matthew, xix. 6. On the other hand, part often = depart ; as in 
T. N. v. i. 394, Cor. v. 6. 73, T. of A. iv. 2. 21, etc. 

57. /. The repetition of the pronoun at the end of the sentence 
is common in S. Cf. T. G. of V. v. 4. 132 : "I care not for her, I ; " 
Rich. III. iii. 2. 78: "I do not like these several councils, I;" 

Scene I] Notes 221 

T. A. v. 3. 113: "I am no vaunter, I; " Id. v. 3. 185: "I am no 

baby, I," etc. See also iii. 5. 12 below. 

62. The hate I bear thee. The reading of 1st quarto. The other 
early eds. have " love " ; but Tybalt is not given to irony. 

64. Love. Delius says that this " is of course ironical," but the 
reiteration in the next speech shows' that it is not. Romeo's love 
for Juliet embraces, in a way, all her kindred. His heart, as Tal- 
fourd expresses it in Ion, 

" Enlarge'd by its new sympathy with one, 
Grew bountiful to all." 

65. Appertaining rage, etc. That is, the rage appertaining to 
(belonging to, or becoming) such a greeting. Cf. Macb. iii. 6. 48 : 

" our suffering country 
Under a hand accurst." 

68. Boy. Often used contemptuously; as in Muck Ado. v. 
I. 83, 187, Cor. v. 6. 101, 104, 117, etc. 

73. Tender. Regard, cherish. Cf. Ham. i. 3. 107: "Tender 
yourself more dearly," etc. 

76. A la stoccata. Capell's emendation of the " Alia stucatho " 
or " Allastucatho " of the early eds. Stoccata is the Italian term for 
a thrust or stab with a rapier. It is the same as the " stoccado " of 
M. W. ii. i. 234, the "stock" of Id. ii. 3. 26, and the "stuck" of 
T. N. iii. 4. 303 and Ham. iv. 7. 162. Carries it away = carries 
the day. 

79. King of cats. See on ii. 4. 20 above. On nine lives, cf. 
Marston, Dutch Courtezan : " Why then thou hast nine lives like a 
cat," etc. A little black-letter book, Beivare the Cat, 1584, says 
that it was permitted to a witch " to take on her a cattes body nine 
times." Trusler, in his Hogarth Moralized, remarks : " The conceit 
of a cat's having nine lives hath cost at least nine lives in ten of the 
whole race of them. Scarce a boy in the streets but has in this 
point outdone even Hercules himself, who was renowned for killing 
a monster that had but three lives." 

222 Notes [Act in 

81. Dry-beat. Beat soundly. Cf. Z. Z. Z. v. 2. 263: "all dry- 
beaten with pure scoff." See also iv. 5. 120 below. S. uses the 
word only three times ; but we have " dry basting " in C. of E. ii. 
2. 64. 

83. Pilcher : Scabbard ; but -no other example of the word in 
this sense has been found. Pilch or pilche meant a leathern coat, 
and the word or a derivative of it may have been applied to the 
leathern sheath of a rapier. 

87. Passado. See on ii. 4. 27 above. 

89. Outrage. A trisyllable here. Cf. entrance in i. 4. 8. 

91. Bandying. Contending. Cf. I Hen. VI. iv. i. 190 : "This 
factious bandying of their favourites." For the literal sense, see on 
ii. 5. 14 above. 

92. The ist quarto has here the stage-direction, " Tibalt vnder 
Romeos arme thrusts Mercutio in and Jlyes ; " which some modern 
eds. retain substantially. 

93. Sped. Dispatched, " done for." Cf. M. of V. ii. 9. 72 : " So 
begone ; you are sped ; " T. of S. \. 2. 185 : " We three are mar 
ried, but you two are sped," etc. See also Milton, Lycidas, 122 : 
" What need they ? They are sped " (that is, provided for). 

100. Grave. Farmer cites Lydgate's Elegy on Chaucer : " My 
master Chaucer now is grave ; " and Steevens remarks that we have 
the same quibble in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1608, where Vindice 
dresses up a lady's skull and says : " she has a somewhat grave look 
with her." Cf. John of Gaunt's play on his name when on his 
death-bed (Rich. II. ii. i. 82). 

104. Fights by the book of arithmetic. Cf. ii. 4. 22 above : "keeps 
time, distance," etc. 

ill. Your houses/ '.'The broken exclamation of a dying man, 
who has not breath to repeat his former anathema, ' A plague o' 
both your houses ! ' " (Marshall). 

113. My very friend. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. 2. 41 : "his very 
friend ; " M. of V. iii. 2. 226 : " my very friends and countrymen," 

Scene I] Notes 2 23 

1 1 6. Cousin. Some editors adopt the " kinsman " of 1st quarto ; 
but cousin was often = kinsman. See on i. 5. 32 above. 

1 20. Aspired. Not elsewhere used transitively by S. Cf. Chap 
man, Iliad, ix. : " and aspir'd the gods' eternal seats ; " Marlowe, 
Tamburlaine : " our souls aspire celestial thrones," etc. 

121. Untimely. Often used adverbially (like many adjectives 
in -ly} ; as in Macb. v. 8. 16, Ham. iv. I. 40, etc. See also v. 3. 
258 below. 

122. Depend. Impend (Schmidt). Cf. R. of L. 1615 : "In me 
moe woes than words are now depending ; " and Cymb. iv. 3. 23 : 
" our jealousy Doth yet depend." 

126. Respective. Considerate. Cf. M. of V. v. I. 156 : "You 
should have been respective," etc. 

127. Conduct. Conductor, guide. Cf. Temp.v. I. 244: 

"And there is in this business more than nature 
Was ever conduct of ; " 

Rich. III. i. i. 45 : "This conduct to convey me to the Tower," 
etc. See also v. 3. 116 below. 

129. For Mercutid's soul, etc. The passage calls to mind one 
similar yet very different in Hen. V. iv. 6. 15 fol. : 

" And cries aloud, ' Tarry, dear cousin Suffolk ! 
My soul shall keep thine company to heaven ; 
Tarry, sweet soul, for mine, then fly abreast, 
As in this glorious and well-foughten field 
We kept together in our chivalry ! ' " 

133. Consort. Accompany. Cf. C. of E. i. 2. 28 : "And after 
ward consort you till bedtime ; " /. C. v. I. 83 : " Who to Philippi 
here consorted us," etc. For the intransitive use of the word, see 
on 43 above. 

137. Doom , the e death. Cf. Rich. III. ii. I. 102 : "to doom my 
brother's death;" T. A. iv. 2. 114: "The emperor, in his 

224 Notes [Act m 

rage, will doom her death." Amazed bewildered, stupefied ; as 

139. Fortune 1 s fool. Made a fool of by fortune, the sport of for 
tune. Cf. Lear, iv. 6. 195 : "The natural fool of fortune." See 
also Ham. i. 4. 54 : " we fools of nature ; " and cf. M. for M. iii. 
I. n, Macb. ii. I. 44, etc. 

145. Discover. Uncover, reveal. See on ii. 2. 106 above. 

146. Manage. "Bringing about" (Schmidt); or we may say 
that all the manage is simply = the whole course. The word means 
management, administration, in Temp. i. 2. 70 : " the manage of my 
state ; " M. of V. iii. 4. 25 : " The husbandry and manage of my 
house," etc. It is especially used of horses ; as in A. Y. L. i. I. 
13, etc. 

156. Spoke him fair. Spoke gently to him. Cf. M. N. D. ii. I. 
199 : "Do I entice you ? do I speak you fair ?" M. of V. iv. I. 
275 : " Say how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death " (that is, speak 
well of me after I am dead), etc. 

157. Nice. Petty, trivial. Cf. Rich. III. iii. 7. 175 : "nice and 
trivial ; " J. C. iv. 3. 8 : " every nice offence," etc. See also v. 2. 
1 8 below. 

1 60. Take truce. Make peace. Cf. V. and A. 82: "Till he 
take truce with her contending tears ; " K.John, iii. 1.17: " With 
my vex'd spirits I cannot take a truce," etc. Spleen heat, im 
petuosity. Cf. K. John, iv. 3. 97 : " thy hasty spleen ; " Rich. III. 
v - 3- 35 : " Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons ! " etc. 

167. Retorts. Throws back ; as in T. and C. iii. 3. 101 : 

" Heat them, and they retort that heat again 
To the first giver," etc. 

171. Envious. Malicious; as often. 

173. By and by. Presently. See on ii. 2. 151 above, and cf. iii. 
3. 76 and v. 3. 284 below. 

180. Affection makes him false. "The charge, though produced 
at hazard, is very just. The author, who seems to intend the char- 

Scene II] Notes 22 5 

acter 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). 

188. Concludes. For the transitive use ( = end), cf. 2 Hen. VI. 
iii. i. 153 : "Will not conclude their plotted tragedy." 

190. Exile. Accented by S. on either syllable. So also with the 
noun in iii. 3. 20 and v. 3. 211 below. 

193. Amerce. Used by S. only here. 

196. Purchase out. Cf. buy out in C. of E. i. 2. 5, K. John, iii. 
I. 164, Ham. iii. 3. 60, etc. 

198. Hour. Metrically a dissyllable; as in ii. 5. n above. Cf. 
Temp. v. 1.4. etc. 

200. Mercy butmurthers, etc. Malone quotes Hale, Memorials : 
" When I find myself swayed to mercy, let me remember likewise 
that there is a mercy due to the country." 

SCENE II. i. Gallop apace, etc. Malbne remarks that S. 
probably remembered Marlowe's Edward 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 ; " 

and Barnaby Rich's Farewell, 1583 : "The day to his seeming 
passed away so slowely that he had thought the stately steedes had 
bin tired that drawe the chariot of the Sunne, and wished that 
Phaeton had beene there with a whippe." For the thought, cf. 
Temp. iv. i. 30. 

3. Phaethon. For other allusions to the ambitious youth^ see 
T. G. of V. iii. I. 153, Rich. II. iii. 3. 178, and 3 Hen. VI. i. 4. 33, 
ii. 6. 12. 

6. That runaways' eyes may wink. This is the greai: crux of 
the play, and more has been written about it than would fill a vol- 

226 Notes [Act m 

ume like this. The condensed summary of the comments upon it 
fills twenty-eight octavo pages of fine print in Furness, to which 
I must refer the curious reader. The early eds. have " runna- 
wayes," " run-awayes," " run-awaies," or " run-aways." Those who 
retain this as a possessive singular refer it variously to Phoebus, 
Phaethon, Cupid, Night, the sun, the moon, Romeo, and Juliet ; 
those who make it a possessive plural generally understand it to 
mean persons running about the streets at night. No one of the 
former list of interpretations is at all satisfactory. Personally, I am 
quite well satisfied to read runaways', and to accept the explana 
tion given by Hunter and adopted by Delius, Schmidt, Daniel, and 
others. It is the simplest possible solution, and is favoured by the 
untalk 'd 0/that follows. White objects to it that " runaway seems 
to have been used only to mean one who ran away, and that runa 
gate, which had the same meaning then that it has now, would have 
suited the verse quite as well as runaway ; " but, as Furnivall and 
others have noted, Cotgrave apparently uses runaway and runa 
gate as nearly equivalent terms. In a letter in the Academy for 
Nov. 30, 1878, Furnivall, after referring to his former citations in 
favour of runaways = " runagates, runabouts," and to the fact 
that Ingleby and Schmidt have since given the same interpretation, 
adds, "But I still desire to cite an instance in which Shakspere 
himself renders Holinshed's 'runagates' by his own 'runaways.' 
In the second edition of Holinshed's Chronicle, 1587, which Shak 
spere used for his Richard III., he found the passage (p. 756, col. 
2) : ' You see further, how a company of traitors, thieves, outlaws, 
and runagates, be aiders and partakers of this feate and enterprise,' 
etc. And he turned it thus into verse (ist folio, p. 203) : 

'" Remember whom you are to cope withall, 
A sort of Vagabonds, Rascals, and Run-awayes, 
A scum of Brittaihes, and base Lackey Pezants, 
Whom their o're-cloyed Country vomits forth 
To desperate Aduentures, and assur'd Destruction. 
You sleeping safe, they bring you to vnrest.' " etc. 

Scene II] Notes 227 

Herford regards this interpretation as " a prosaic idea ; " but 
it seems to me perfectly in keeping with the character and the 
situation. The marriage was a secret one, and Juliet would not 
have Romeo, if seen, supposed to be a paramour visiting her by 
night. She knows also the danger he incurs if detected by her 
kinsmen. Cf. ii. 2. 64 fol. above. 

10. Civil. Grave, sober. Cf. M. W. ii. 2. 101 : "a civil mod 
est wife," etc. 

12. Learn. Teach ; as often. Cf. A. Y. L. i. 2. 5, Cymb. i. 5. 
12, etc. . 

14. Hood my unmanned blood, etc. The terms are taken from 
falconry. The hawk was hooded till ready to let fly at the game. 
Cf. Hen. V. iii. 7. 121 : " 'tis a hooded valour ; and when it appears 
it will bate." An unmanned hawk was one not sufficiently trained 
to know the voice of her keeper (see on ii. 2. 159 above). To 
bate was to flutter or flap the wings, as the hawk did when unhooded 
and eager to fly. Cf. T. of S. iv. i. 199 : 

" as we watch these kites 
That bate and beat and will not be obedient." 

Dyce quotes Holmes, Acad. of Armory : " Bate, Bateing or Bateth, 
is when the Hawk fluttereth with her Wings either from Pearch or 
Fist, as it were striveing to get away ; also it is taken from her 
striving with her Prey, and not forsaking it till it be overcome." 

15. Strange. Reserved, retiring. 

17. Come, Night, etc. Mrs. Jameson remarks : "The fond ad 
juration, 'Come, Night, come, Romeo, come thou day in night f 
expresses that fulness of enthusiastic admiration for her lover which 
possesses her whole soul ; but expresses it as only Juliet could or 
would have expressed it in a bold and beautiful metaphor. Let 
it be remembered that, in this speech, Juliet is not supposed to be 
addressing an audience, nor even a confidante ; and I confess I 
have been shocked at the utter want of taste and refinement in 
those who, with coarse derision, or in a spirit of prudery, yet more 

228 Notes [Act in 

gross and perverse, have dared to comment on this beautiful 
' Hymn to the Night,' breathed out by Juliet in the silence and 
solitude of her chamber. She is thinking aloud ; it is the young 
heart ' triumphing to itself in words.' In the midst of all the vehe 
mence with which she calls upon the night to bring Romeo to her 
arms, there is something so almost infantine in her perfect simplic 
ity, so playful and fantastic in the imagery and language, that the 
charm of sentiment and innocence is thrown over the whole ; and 
her impatience, to use her own expression, is truly that of ' a child 
before a festival, that hath new robes and may not wear them.' It 
is at the very moment too that her whole heart and fancy are 
abandoned to blissful anticipation that the Nurse enters with the 
news of Romeo's banishment ; and the immediate transition from 
rapture to despair has a most powerful effect." 

18. For tkou, etc. " Indeed, the whole of this speech is imagi 
nation strained to the highest; and observe the blessed effect on 
the purity of the mind. What would Dryden have made of it?" 

20. Black-brow 1 d Night. Cf. King John, v. 6. 17: "Why, here 
walk I in the black brow of night." 

25. The garish sun. Johnson remarks : " Milton had this speech 
in his thoughts when he wrote in // Pens., ' Till civil-suited morn 
appear,' and * Hide me from day's garish eye.' " S. uses garish 
only here and in Rich. III. iv. 4. 89 : "a garish flag." 

26, 27. / have bought, etc. There is a strange confusion of 
metaphors here. Juliet is first the buyer and then the thing bought. 
She seems to have in mind that what she says of herself is equally 
true of Romeo. In the next sentence she reverts to her own 

30. That hath new robes, etc. Cf. Much Ado, iii. 2. 5 : " Nay, 
that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage as 
to show a child his new coat and forbid him to wear it." See also 
Macb. i. 7. 34. 

40. Envious. Malignant; as in i. I. 148 and iii. i. 171 above. 

Scene II] Notes 229 

45. But ay. In the time of S. ay was commonly written and 
printed 7, which explains the play upon the word here. Most 
editors print " but * I ' " here, but it does not seem necessary to the 
understanding of the quibble. Lines 45-51 evidently belong to the 
first draft of the play. 

47. Death-darting eye, etc. The eye of the fabled cockatrice or 
basilisk was said to kill with a glance. Cf. T. N. iii. 4. 215: 
" they will kill one another by the look, like two cockatrices ; " 
Rich. III. iv. i. 55: 

" A cockatrice hast thou hatch'd to the world, 
Whose unavoided eye is murtherous," etc. 

49. Those eyes. That is, Romeo's. 

51. Determine of. Decide. Cf. 2 Hen IV. iv. I. 164: 

" To hear and absolutely to determine 
Of what conditions we shall stand upon." 

See also T. G. of V. ii. 4. 181, Rich. III. iii. 4. 2, etc. 

53. God save the mark! An exclamation of uncertain origin, 
commonly = saving your reverence, but sometimes, as here = God 
have mercy! Cf. I Hen. IV. i. 3. 56. So God bless the mark! in 
M. of V. ii. 2. 25, Oth. i. i. 33, etc. 

56. Gore-blood. Clotted blood. Forby remarks that the com 
bination is an East-Anglian provincialism. Halliwell-Phillipps 
cites Vicars, trans, of Virgil, 1632: "Whose hollow wound vented 
much black gore-bloud." Swounded is the reading of the 1st 
quarto; the other early eds. have "sounded," "swouned," and 
"swooned." In R. of. L. 1486 we have " swounds" rhyming with 
" wounds." 

57. Bankrupt. The early eds. have "banckrout" or "bank- 
rout," as often in other passages and other writers of the time. 

64. Contrary. The adjective is accented by S. on the first or 
second syllable. Cf. Ham. iii. 2. 221, etc. For the verb, see on 
i. 5. 87 above. 

230 Notes [Act ni 

73. O serpent heart, etc. Cf. Macb. i. 5. 66 : 

" look like the innocent flower, 
But be the serpent under it." 

Mrs. Jameson remarks on this passage : " This highly figurative 
and antithetical exuberance of language is defended by Schlegel on 
strong and just grounds; and to me also it appears natural, how 
ever critics may argue against its taste or propriety. The warmth 
and vivacity of Juliet's fancy, which plays like a light over every part 
of her character which animates every line she utters which 
kindles every thought into a picture, and clothes her emotions in 
visible images, would naturally, under strong and unusual excite 
ment, and in the conflict of opposing sentiments, run into some 
extravagance of diction." Cf. i. I. 168 fol. above. 

83. Was ever book, etc. Cf. i. 3. 66 above. 

84. O, that deceit, etc. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 468: "If the ill spirit 
have so fair a house," etc. 

86, 87. Mr. Fleay improves the metre by a slight transposition, 
which Marshall adopts : 

" No faith, no honesty in men ; all naught, 
All perjur'd, all dissemblers, all forsworn; " 

which may be what S. wrote. 

Naught = worthless, bad. Cf. Much Ado, v. i. 157, Hen. V. i. 2. 
73, etc. The word in this sense is usually spelt naught in the early 
eds., but nought when = nothing. Dissemblers is here a quadri 
syllable. See p. 159 above. 

90. B lister' d, etc. " Note the Nurse's mistake of the mind's 
audible struggle with itself for its decisions in toto" (Coleridge). 

92. Upon his brow, etc. Steevens quotes Paynter : " Is it pos 
sible 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 Brooke's poem. 

98. Poor my lord. Cf. " sweet my mother," iii. 5. 198 below. 

Scene II] Notes 23 1 

The figurative meaning of smooth is sufficiently explained by the 
following mangle. Cf. i. 5. 98 above, and see Brooke's poem : 

" Ah cruel! murthering tong, murthrer of others fame : 

How durst thou once attempt to tooch the honor of his name ? 

Whether shall he (alas) poore banishd man, now flye ? 

What place of succor shall he seeke beneth the starry skye ? 

Synce she pursueth him, and him defames by wrong: 
That in distres should be his fort, and onely rampier strong." 

1 08. Worser. Cf. ii. 3. 29 above. S. uses it often, both as 
adjective and adverb. 

112. Banished. Note how the trisyllabic pronunciation is em 
phatically repeated in this speech ; as in Romeo's in the next 
scene (19-50). 

1 1 6. Sour woe delights, etc. That is, "misfortunes never come 
single." Cf. Ham. iv. 5. 78 : 

" When sorrows come, they come not single spies, 
But in battalions." 

117. Needly will. Needs must. Needly was not coined by S., 
as some have supposed, being found in Piers Plowman- and other 
early English. He uses it only here. 

1 20. Modern. Trite, commonplace ; the only meaning of the 
word in S. See A. Y. L. ii. 7. 156, Macb. iv. 3. 170, etc. 

121. Rearward. Cf. Sonn. 90. 6 : 

" Ah ! do not, when my heart hath scap'd this sorrow, 
Come in the rearward of a conquer'd woe " 

(that is, to attack me anew) ; and Much Ado, iv. I. 128 : 

" Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches, 
Strike at thy life." 

The metaphor is a military one, referring to a rear-guard or reserve 
which follows up the attack of the vanguard or of the main army. 
126, Sound. Utter, express ; or " * to sound as with a plummet' 

232 Notes [Act in 

is possible " (Dowden). That word's death the death implied 
in that word. 

130. Wash they, etc. That is, let them wash, etc. Some eds. 
put an interrogation mark after tears, as the 2d quarto does. 

137. Wot. Know ; used only in the present tense and the par 
ticiple wotting. 

SCENE III. I. Fearful. Full of fear, afraid ; Cf. M. N. D. v. 
i. 101, 165, etc. 

2. Parts. Gifts, endowments. Cf. iii. 5. 181 below : "honour 
able parts." 

6. Familiar. A quadrisyllable here. 

7. Sour company. Cf. "sour woe" in iii. 2. 116 above, "sour 
misfortune " in v. 3. 82 below, etc. The figurative sense is a fa 
vourite one with S. 

10. Vanished. A singular expression, which Massinger has imi 
tated in The JRenegado, v. 5 : " Upon those lips from which those 
sweet words vanish'd." In JR. of L. 1041 the word is used of the 

20. Exile. For the variable accent (cf. 13 above and 43 below), 
see on iii. i. 190. 

26. Rush 1 d aside the law. Promptly eluded or contravened the 
law. The expression is pecujiar, and may be corrupt. " Push' d " 
and " brush'd " have been suggested as emendations. 

28. Dear mercy. True mercy. Cf. Much Ado, i. I. 129: "A 
dear happiness to women," etc. 

29. Heaven is here, etc. " All deep passions are a sort of athe 
ists, that believe no future" (Coleridge). 

33. Validity. Value, worth. Cf. A. W. v. 3. 192 : 

"O, behold this ring, 
Whose high respect and rich validity 
Did lack a parallel." 

See also T. N.\. i. 12 and Lear t i. i. 83. 

Scene III] Notes 233 

34. Courtship. Courtesy, courtliness (as in L. L. L. v. 2. 363 : 
"Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state," etc.); with the 
added idea of privilege of courting or wooing. For a similar 
blending of the two meanings, cf. A. Y, L. iii. 2. 364. 

38. Who. Cf. i. i. 109 and i. 4. 97 above. 

42. Free men. Bitterly sarcastic. 

45. Mean. Often used by S. in the singular, though oftener in 
the plural. Cf. IV. T. iv. 4. 89 : 

" Yet nature is made better by no mean, 
But nature makes that mean," etc. 

See also v. 3. 240 below. 

48. Howling. For the association with hell, cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 
374 and Ham. v. I. 265. 

49. Confessor. For the accent, see on ii. 6. 21 above. 
52. Fond foolish; as often in S. Cf. iv. 5. 78 below. 

55. Adversity's sweet milk. Cf. Macb. iv. 3. 98: "the sweet 
milk of concord," etc. 

59. Displant. Transplant. S. uses the word only here and in 
Oth. ii. i. 283: "the displanting of Cassio." 

60. Prevails. Avails. Cf. unprevailing in Ham. \. 2. 107. 

62. When that. This use of that as a "conjunctional affix" is 
common. Cf. ii. 6. 25 above. 

63. Dispute. That is, reason. The verb is used transitively in 
a similar sense in W. T. iv. 4. 411 and Macb. iv. 3. 220. 

70. Taking the measure, etc. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 6. 2 : " Here lie I 
down, and measure out my grave." 

77. Simpleness. Folly. Elsewhere = simplicity, innocence ; as 
in Much Ado, iii. i. 70, M. N. D.V.I. 83, etc. Cf. simple in ii. 
5. 38 and iii. i. 35. 

85. O woful sympathy, etc. The early eds. give this speech to 
the Nurse. Farmer transferred it to the Friar, and is followed by 
most of the modern eds. 

90. O. Grief, affliction. In Lear, i. 4. 212, it means a cipher. 

234 Notes [Act m 

It is also used for anything circular; as marks of small-pox (Z. L. L. 
v. 2. 45), stars (M. N. D. iii. 2. 188), a theatre (Hen. V. prol. 13), 
and the earth (A. and C. v. 2. 81). 

94. Old. Practised, experienced. Cf. L. L. L. ii. I. 254, v. 2. 
552, T. and C. i. 2. 128, ii. 2. 75, etc. 

98. -#/j' conceaVd lady. Not known to the world as my wife. 
Conceal* d\& accented on the first syllable because before the noun. 

103. Level. Aim; as in Sonn. 117. n: "the level of your 
frown ; " Hen. VIII. i. 2. 2 : " the level Of a full-charg'd confed 
eracy," etc. Cf. the use of the verb in Much Ado, ii. i. 239, Rich. 

III. iv. 4. 202, etc. 

106. Anatomy. Contemptuous for body ; as in T. N. iii. 2. 67. 

108. Hold thy desperate hand! etc. Up to this point, as Mar 
shall remarks, the Friar " treats Romeo's utter want of self-control 
with a good-humoured tolerance. ... It is only when the young 
man's passion threatens to go to the point of violating the law of 
God and man that he speaks with the authority of a priest, and in 
the tone of stern rebuke. This speech is a most admirable compo 
sition, full of striking good sense, eloquent reasoning, and noble 

109. Art thou, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem : 

"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 [off] thy mynd outchased, 
And in her stead affections lewd, and fancies 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." 

113. Ill-beseeming. Cf. i. 5. 76 above. 

115. Better tempered. Of better temper or quality. Cf. 2 Hen. 

IV. i. I. 115 : "the best temper'd courage in his troops." 

1 1 8. Doing damned hate. Cf. v. 2. 20 below: "do much 
danger," etc. 

119. Why raiPst thou, etc. Malone remarks that Romeo has 

Scene III] Notes 235 

not here railed on his birth, etc., though in Brooke's poem he 
does : 

" And then, our Romeus, with tender handes ywrong: 
With voyce, with plaint made horce, w l sobs, and with a foltring tong, 
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 sorrowes aye so ryfe : 
The time and place of byrth, he fiersly did reproue, 
He cryed out (with open mouth) against the starres aboue," etc. 

In his reply the Friar asks : 

" Why cryest thou out on loue ? why doest thou blame thy fate ? 
Why dost thou so c'rye after death ? thy life why dost thou hate ? " 

122. Wit. ' See on i. 4. 47 above. 

127. Digressing. Deviating, departing. It is = transgressing in 
Rich. II. v. 3. 66 : " thy digressing son." 

132. Like powder, etc. See on ii. 6. 10 above. Steevens re 
marks : " The ancient English soldiers, using match-locks instead 
of flints, were obliged to carry a lighted match hanging at their 
belts, very near to the wooden flask in which they kept their 

134. And thou, etc. And thou torn to pieces with thine own 
means of defence. 

144. Poufst upon. Cf. Cor. v. I. 52: "We pout upon the 

151. Blaze. Make public. Cf. blazon in ii. 6. 26 above, and 
emblaze in 2 Hen. VI. iv. 10. 76. 

154. Lamentation. Metrically five syllables. 

157. Apt unto. Inclined to, ready for. Cf. iii. I. 32 above. 

1 66. Here stands, etc. "The whole of your fortune depends on 
this" (Johnson). Cf. ii. 3. 93 and ii. 4. 34 above. 

171. Good hap. Piece of good luck. Cf. ii. 2. 190 above- 

174. So brief to part. To part so soon. 

23 6 

Notes [Act m 

SCENE IV. 11. Mew } d up. Shut up. Cf. TofS.i. I. 87, 188, 
etc. Mew originally meant to moult, or shed the feathers ; and as 
hawks were then shut up, it got the secondary sense it has here. 

12. Desperate. Overbold, venturesome. 

23. Keep no great ado. Elsewhere in S. the phrase is, as now, 
make ado. Cf. T. G. of V. iv. 4. 31, I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 223, Hen. 
VIII. v. 3. 159, etc. 

25. Held him carelessly. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. ii. 2. 109: "I hold thee 
reverently ; " Id. ii. i. 102 : " held thee dearly," etc. 

28. And there an end. Cf. T. G. of V. i. 3. 65, ii. I. 168, Rich. 
II. v. I. 69, etc. 

32. Against. Cf. iv. i. 113 below: "against thou shalt awake." 

34. Afore me. " By my life, by my soul " (Schmidt) . Cf. Per. 
ii. i. 84 : " Now, afore me, a handsome fellow ! " So before me, as 
in T. N. ii. 3. 194, Oth. iv. i. 149, etc. 

35. By and by. Presently. See on ii. 2. 151 above. 

SCENE V. Juliets Chamber. The scene is variously given by 
the editors as " The Garden," " Anti-room of Juliet's Chamber," 
"Loggia to Juliet's Chamber," "An open Gallery to Juliet's Cham 
ber overlooking the Orchard," " Juliet's Bedchamber ; a Window 
open upon the Balcony," "Capulet's Orchard," etc. As Malone 
remarks, Romeo and Juliet probably appeared in the balcony at 
the rear of the old English stage. " The scene in the poet's eye 
was doubtless the large and massy projecting balcony before one or 
more windows, common in Italian palaces and not unfrequent in 
Gothic civil architecture. The loggia, an open gallery, or high 
terrace [see cut on p. 85], communicating with the upper apart 
ments of a palace, is a common feature in Palladian architecture, 
and would also be well adapted to such a scene " (Verplanck). 

4. Nightly. It is said that the nightingale, if undisturbed, sits 
and sings upon the same tree for many weeks together (Steevens). 
This is because the male bird sings near where the female is sitting. 
" The preference of the nightingale for the pomegranate is un- 

Scene V] Notes 

questionable. * The nightingale sings from the pomegranate groves 
in the daytime,' says Russel in his account of Aleppo. A friend 
. . . informs us that throughout his journeys in the East he never 
heard such a choir of nightingales as in a row of pomegranate-trees 
that skirt the road from Smyrna to Boudjia " (Knight). 

8. Lace. Cf. Macb. ii. 3. 118: "His silver skin lac'd with his 
golden blood; " Cymb. ii. 2. 22: 

" white and azure lac'd 
With blue of heaven's own tinct," etc. 

See on ii. 4. 44 above. We have the word used literally in Much 
Ado, iii. 4. 20: "laced with silver." On the severing clouds y cf. 
/. C. ii. i. 103 : 

" yon grey lines 
That fret the clouds are messengers of day ; " 1 

and Muck Ado, v. 3. 25 : " Dapples the drowsy east with spots of 

9. Nighfs candles, etc. Cf. Macb. ii. I. 5. : "Their candles are 
all out." See also M. of V. v. I. 220 and Sonn. 21. 12. 

13. Some meteor, etc. Cf. I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 351 : " My lord, do 
you see these meteors? do you behold these exhalations?" and Id. 
v. i. 19: "an exhal'd meteor." 

14. Torch-bearer. See on i. 4. 1 1 above. 

*At the meeting of the new Shakspere Society, Oct. ii, 1878, the 
chairman read a paper by Mr. Ruskin on the word /ret in this passage, 
The following is from the report in the London Academy : 

" Fret means primarily the rippling of the cloud as sea by wind ; sec 
ondarily, the breaking it asunder for light to come through. It implies a 
certain degree of vexation, some dissolution, much order, and extreme 
beauty. The reader should have seen ' Daybreak,' and think what is 
broken and by what. The cloud of night is broken up, by Day, which 
breaks out, breaks in, as from heaven to earth, with a breach in the cloud 
wall of it. The thing that the day breaks up is partly a garment rent, 
the blanket of the dark torn to be peeped through. . . ." 

238 Notes [Act m 

19. Yon grey. See on ii. 4. 44 above. 

20. 7^ pale reflex of Cynthia's brow. That is, the pale light of 
the moon shining through or reflected from the breaking clouds 
Broiv is put for face, as in M. N. D. v. i. 1 1 : " Helen's beauty it) 
a brow of Egypt," etc. Some critics have thought that a setting 
moon was meant ; but only a rising moon could light up " the 
severing clouds " in the way described. The reflection (if we take 
reflex in that literal sense) is from their edges, as the light from be 
hind falls upon them. Have these critics never seen 

" a sable cloud 
Turn forth her silver lining on the night " 

when the moon was behind it? 

21. Nor that is not. Double negatives are common in S. 

22. The vanity heaven. Cf. K. John, v. 2. 52 : " the vaulty toj> 
of heaven; "and R. of L. 119: "her vaulty prison "(that is, 

29. Division. "The breaking of a melody, or its descant, into 
small notes. The modern musician would call it variation" 
(Elson). Cf. I Hen. IV. iii. I. 210 : 

" Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower, 
With ravishing division, to her lute." 

The word is a quadrisyllable here. 

31. The lark, etc. The toad having beautiful eyes, and the lark 
very ugly ones, it was a popular tradition that they had changed 
eyes. (Warburton). 

33. Affray. Startle from sleep ; as Chaucer in Blaunche the 
Duchess (296) is affrayed out of his sleep by"smale foules " 

34. Hunfs-np. The tune played to wake and collect the hunters 
(Steevens). Cf. Drayton, rolyolbion : "But hunts-up to the morn 
the feather'd sylvans sing;" and again in Third Eclogue : "Time 
plays the hunts-up to thy sleepy head." We have the full form in 

Scene V] Notes 239 

T. A. ii. 2. i : " The hunt is up, the morn is bright and grey." 
The term was also applied to any morning song, and especially one 
to a new- married woman. Cotgrave (ed. 1632) defines resveil as 
"a Hunts- up, or morning song, for a new-maried wife, the day after 
the manage." 

43. My lord, etc. From ist quarto ; the other quartos and ist 
folio have " love, Lord, ay husband, friend," for which Dowden 
reads: "love-lord, ay, husband-friend." Friend was sometimes = 
lover ; as in Much Ado, v. 2. 72, Oth. iv. I. 3, A. and C. iii. 12. 22, 
Cymb. i. 4. 74, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem, where Juliet referring to 
Romeo, says : 

" For whom I am becomme vnto my selfe a foe, 
Disdayneth me, his steadfast frend, and scornes my frendship so ; " 

and of their parting the poet says : 

" With solemne othe they both theyr sorowfull leaue do take ; 
They sweare no stormy troubles shall theyr steady friendship shake." 

44. Day in the hour. The hyperbole is explained by what 

53. I have an ill-divining soul. "This miserable prescience of 
futurity I have always regarded as a circumstance particularly beau 
tiful. 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 " (Steevens). See i. 4. 48 and 103 fol. above. 

54. Below. From ist quarto; the other early eds. have "so 
lowe," which is preferred by some of the modern editors. 

58. Dry sorrow drinks our blood. An allusion to the old notion 
that sorrow and sighing exhaust the blood. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 97, 
Ham. iv. 7. 123, Much Ado, iii. I. 78, etc. 

65. Doivn. Lying down, abed (Dowden). 

66. Procures her. Leads her to come. Cf. ii. 2. 145 above. 
See also M. W. iv. 6. 48 : " procure the vicar To stay for me," etc. 

67. Why, how now, Juliet ! Mrs. Jameson remarks: "In the 
dialogue between Juliet and her parents, and in the scenes with 

240 Notes [Act in 

the Nurse, we seem to have before us the whole of her previous 
education and habits : we see her, on the one hand, kept in severe 
subjection by her austere parents ; and, on the other, fondled and 
spoiled by a foolish old nurse a situation perfectly accordant with 
the manners of the time. Then Lady Capulet comes sweeping by 
with her train of velvet, her black hood, her fan, and rosary the 
very beau-ideal of a proud Italian matron of the fifteenth century, 
whose offer to poison Romeo, in revenge for the death of Tybalt, 
stamps her with one very characteristic trait of the age and the 
country. Yet she loves her daughter, and there is a touch of 
remorseful tenderness in her lamentations over her, which adds to 
our impression of the timid softness of Juliet and the harsh subjec 
tion in which she has been kept." 

69. Wash him from his grave, etc. The hyperbole may remind 
us of the one in Rich. II. iii. 3. 166 fol. 

72. Wit. See on iii. 3. 122 above. 

73. Feeling. Heartfelt. Cf. " feeling sorrows " in W. T. iv. 2. 8 
and Lear, iv. 6. 226. 

82. Like he. The inflections of pronouns are often confounded 

84. Ay, madam, etc. Johnson remarks that " Juliet's equivoca 
tions are rather too artful for a mind disturbed by the loss of a new 
lover." To this Clarke well replies : " It appears to us that, on the 
contrary, the evasions of speech here used by the young girl-wife 
are precisely those that a mind, suddenly and sharply awakened 
from previous inactivity, by desperate love and grief, into self- 
conscious strength, would instinctively use. Especially are they 
exactly the sort of shifts and quibbles that a nature rendered timid 
by stinted intercourse with her kind, and by communion limited to 
the innocent confidences made by one of her age in the confes 
sional, is prone to resort to, when first left to itself in difficulties of 
situation and abrupt encounter with life's perplexities." 

87. In Mantua, etc. No critic, so far as I am aware, has noted 
the slip of which S. is guilty here. Romeo is said to be living in 

Scene V] Notes 

Mantua, but an hour has hardly elapsed since he started for that 
city ; and how can the lady know of the plan for his going there 
which was secretly suggested by the friar the afternoon before ? 

89. Shall give. The ellipsis of the relative is not uncommon. 

92. / never shall be satisfied, etc. Daniel remarks : " The sev 
eral interpretations of which this ambiguous speech is capable are, 
I suppose : i. I never shall be satisfied with Romeo ; 2. I never shall 
be satisfied with Romeo till I behold him ; 3. I never shall be satis 
fied with Romeo till I behold him dead ; 4. Till I behold him, dead 
is my poor heart ; 5. Dead is my poor heart, so for a kinsman 

96. Temper. Compound, mix. Cf. Ham. v. 2. 339: "It is a 
poison temper'd by himself ; " Cymb. v. 250 : " To temper poisons 
for her," etc. 

97. That. So that ; as often. Receipt is not elsewhere applied 
by S. to the receiving of food or drink, though it is used of what is 
received in R. of L. 703 and Cor. i. I. 116. 

100. Cousin. Some editors add "Tybalt " (from 2d folio) to fill 
out the measure. 

104. Needy. Joyless. The word is = needful in Per. i. 4. 95 : 
"needy bread.". 

105. They. S. makes tidings, like news (cf. ii. 5. 22 with ii. 5. 
35), either singular or plural. Cf. J. C. iv. 3. 155 : "That tidings ; " 
Id. v. 3. 54 : " These tidings," etc. 

108. Sorted out. Cf. i. Hen. VI. ii. 3. 27 : "I '11 sort some other 
time to visit you," etc. 

109. Nor I looked not. See on iii. 5. 21 above. 

no. In happy time. Schmidt explains this as here = " a propos, 
pray tell me." Elsewhere it is just in time ; as in A. W. v. i. 6, 
Ham. v. 2. 214, Oth. iii. I. 32, etc. 

113. County. See on i. 3. 83 above. 

1 20. I swear. Collier thinks these words " hardly consistent with 
Juliet's character ; " but, as Ulrici remarks, "they seem necessary 
in order to show her violent excitement, and thereby explain her 
ROMEO 1 6 

242 Notes [Act in 

conduct." They appear to crowd the measure, but possibly " I will 
not marry yet " (" I '11 not marry yet ") may count only as two feet. 

122. These are news. See on 105 above. 

125. The air. The reading of the 4th and 5th quartos; the 
other early eds. have " the earth," which is adopted by many 
editors. Hudson remarks : "This is scientifically true ; poetically, 
it would seem better to read air instead of earth." It happens, 
however, that science and poetry agree here ; for it is the watery 
vapour in the air that is condensed into dew. Malone, who also 
says that the reading earth is " philosophically true," cites R. of L. 
1226: "But as the earth doth weep, the sun being set; " but this 
only means that the earth is wet with dew. To speak of the earth 
as drizzling dew is nonsense ; we might as well say that it " drizzles 
rain" {Much Ado, iii. 3. in). Elsewhere S. refers to the "fall 
ing" dew; as in K.John, ii. I. 285, Hen. VIII. i. 3. 57, Cymb. v. 
5- 35 1 etc. 

128. Conduit. Probably alluding to the human figures that 
spouted water in fountains. Cf. R. of L. 1234: 

"A pretty while these pretty creatures stand, 
Like ivory conduits coral cisterns filling." 

See also W. T. v. 2. 60. 

129-136. Evermore . . . body. This long-drawn "conceit" is 
evidently from the first draught of the play. 

134. Who. See on i. I. 109 above. 

138. She will none. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 169: " Lysander, keep 
thy Hermia; I will none," etc. 

140. Take me with you. Let me understand you. Cf. i Hen. IV. 
ii. 4. 506 : " I would your grace would take me with you ; whom 
means your grace ? " 

143. Wrought. " Not induced, prevailed upon, but brought 
about, effected" (Schmidt). Cf. Henry VIII. iii. 2. 311: "You 
wrought to be a delegate ; " Cor. ii. 3. 254 : " wrought To be set 
high in place," etc. 

Scene V] Notes 243 

144. Bridegroom. The 2d quarto has " Bride." This was used 
of both sexes in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but S. never 
makes it masculine. The New Eng. Diet, quotes Sylvester, Du 
Bartas (1598): "Daughter dear . . . Isis bless thee and thy 
Bride," etc. 

148. Chop-logic. Sophist ; used by S. only here. 

150. Minion. Originally = favourite, darling (as in Temp. iv. 
I. 98, Macb. \. 2. 19, etc.), then a spoiled favourite, and hence a 
pert or saucy person. 

151. Thank me no thankings, etc. Cf. Rich. II. ii. 3. 87: 
" Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle," etc. 

152. Fettle. Prepare, make ready. It is the reading, of the 
quartos and 1st folio ; the later folios have " settle," which may be 
what S. wrote. He does not use fettle elsewhere, and the long s 
and /were easily confounded in printing. 

155. Out, etc. " Such was the indelicacy of the age of S. 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, the translator of Virgil, in 
1582, makes Dido call ^Eneas hedge-brat, cullion, and tar-breech 
in the course of one speech. Nay, in the interlude of The Repent 
ance of Mary Magdalene, 1567, Mary Magdalene says to one of her 
attendants, ' Horeson, I beshrowe your heart, are you here ? ' " 

164. Lent. The ist quarto has " sent," which some editors 
adopt. Clarke thinks it may be a misprint for " left," as Capulet 
(i. 2. 14) speaks as if he had had other children ; but S. is careless 
in these minor matters. See on i. 5. 30 and v. 3. 207. 

167. Hilding. See on ii. 4. 43 above. 

171. God ye god-den. See on i. 2. 57 above. 

172. Peace. Theobald repeated the word for the sake of the 
measure. Peace may perhaps be metrically a dissyllable, as in 
A. Y. L. ii. 4. 70. 

244 Notes [Act in 

I 7S~ 1 77- God ' s bread! etc. The text of the early eds. is evi 
dently corrupt here. The reading in the text is Malone's, and per 
haps gives very nearly what S. wrote on the revision of the play. 

181. Stujfd, etc. Cf. Much Ado, i. i. 56: "stuffed with all 
honourable virtues," etc. For parts, cf. iii. 3. 2 above. 

184. Mammet. Puppet, doll. Cf. I Hen. IV. ii. 3. 95: "To 
play with mammets." The word is also written mawmet, and is a 
contraction of Mahomet. In her fortune's tender = when good 
fortune presents itself. Cf. iii. 4. 12 above. 

189. Use. See on ii. chor. 10 above. 

190. Lay hand on heart, advise. Consider it seriously. Cf. . 
Brooke's poem : 

" Aduise thee well, and say that thou art warned now, 
And thinke not that I speake in sporte, or mynd to breake my vowe." 

198. Sweet my mother. Cf. iii. 2. 98 : "Ah, poor my lord," etc. 

209. Should practise stratagems, etc. Should, as it were, entrap 
me into so painful and perplexing a situation. Schmidt makes 
stratagem sometimes = " anything amazing and appalling," and 
cites this passage as an instance. 

212. Faith, here V is, etc. S. here follows Brooke : 

" She setteth foorth at large the fathers furious rage, 
And eke she prayseth much to her the second mariage ; 
And County Paris now she praiseth ten times more, 
By wrong, then she her selfe by right had Romeus praysde before," etc. 

Mrs. Jameson remarks : " The old woman, true to her vocation, 
and fearful lest her share in these events should be discovered, 
counsels her to forget Romeo and marry Paris ; and the moment 
which unveils to Juliet the weakness and baseness of her confi 
dante is the moment which reveals her to herself. She does not 
break into upbraidings ; it is no moment for anger ; it is incredu 
lous amazement, succeeded by the extremity of scorn and abhor 
rence, which takes possession of her mind. She assumes at once 

Scene V] Notes 245 

and asserts all her own superiority, and rises to majesty in the 
strength of her despair." 

220. Green. We have green eyes again in M, N. D.v. I. 342 : 
" His eyes were green as leeks." Cf. The Two Noble Kinsmen, 
v. i : "With that rare green eye." Clarke remarks : "The brill 
iant touch of green visible in very light hazel eyes, and which 
gives wonderful clearness and animation to their look, has been 
admiringly denoted by various poets from time immemorial." In 
a sonnet by Drummond of Hawthornden, the gods are represented 
as debating of what colour a beauty's eyes shall be. Mars and 
Apollo vote for black : 

" Chaste Phcebe spake for purest azure dyes, 
But Jove and Venus green about the light, 
To frame thought best, as bringing most delight, 
That to pin'd hearts hope might for aye arise." 

Cf. Longfellow, The Spanish Student : " Ay, soft emerald eyes ; " 
and again : 

" in her tender eyes 

Just that soft shade of green we sometimes see 

In evening skies." 

In a note on the former passage, the poet says : "The Spaniards, 
with good reason, consider this colour of the eyes as beautiful, and 
celebrate it in song. . . . Dante speaks of Beatrice's eyes as 
emeralds {Purgat. xxxi. 116). Lami says in his Annotazioni, 
' Erano i suoi occhi d' un turchino verdiccio, simile a quel del 
mare.' " 

221. Beshrew. See on ii. 5. 52 above. 

225. Here. Not referring to Verona, but = "in this world" 

233. Ancient damnation. The abstract for the concrete, ex 
plained by what follows. Steevens cites The Malcontent, 1604 : 
" out, you ancient damnation ! " 

246 Notes [Act iv 

234. Is it more sin, etc. Mrs. Jameson remarks : " It appears 
to me an admirable touch of nature, considering the master-passion 
which, at this moment, rules in Juliet's soul, that she is as much 
shocked by the nurse's dispraise of her lover as by her wicked, time 
serving advice. This scene is the crisis in the character ; and 
henceforth we see Juliet assume a new aspect. The fond, impatient, 
timid girl puts on the wife and the woman : she has learned hero 
ism from suffering, and subtlety from oppression. It is idle to 
criticise her dissembling submission to her father and mother ; a 
higher duty has taken place of that which she owed to them ; a 
more sacred tie has severed all others. Her parents are pictured 
as they are, that no feeling for them may interfere in the slightest 
degree with our sympathy for the lovers. In the mind of Juliet 
there is no struggle between her filial and her conjugal duties, and 
there ought to be none." 

236. Compare. See on ii. 5. 43 above. 


SCENE I. 3. And I am nothing slow to slack his haste. Paris 
here seems to say the opposite of what he evidently means, and vari 
ous attempts have been made to explain away the inconsistency. It 
appears to be one of the peculiar cases of " double negative " dis 
cussed by Schmidt in his Appendix, p. 1420, though he does not 
give it there. " The idea of negation was so strong in the poet's 
mind that he expressed it in more than one place, unmindful of 
his canon that ' your four negatives make your two affirmatives.' " 
Cf. Lear, ii. 4. 142 : 

" You less know how to value her desert 
Than she to scant [" slack " in quartos] her duty ; " 

that is, you are more inclined to depreciate her than she to scant 
her duty. 

Scene I] Notes 247 

5. Uneven. Indirect. Cf. the use of even in Ham. ii. 2. 298 : 
" be even and direct with me," etc. Sometimes the word is = 
perplexing, embarrassing ; as in I Hen. IV. i. I. 50 : " uneven and 
unwelcome news," etc. 

ii. Marriage. A trisyllable here ; as in M. of V. ii. 9. 13, etc. 
So also in the quotation from Brooke in note on iii. 5. 212 above. 

13. Alone. When alone ; opposed to society below. 

1 6. Slowed. The only instance of the verb in S. 

18-36. This part of the scene evidently came from the first 
draft of the play. 

20. That may be must be. That may be of yours must be. 

29. Abused. Marred, disfigured. 

31. Spite. Cf. i. 5. 64 above. 

38. Evening mass. Ritson and others say that Juliet means 
vespers, as there is no such thing as evening mass ; and Staunton 
expresses surprise that S. has fallen into this error, since he else 
where shows a familiarity with the usages of the Roman Catholic 
Church. It is the critics who are in error, not S. Walafrid Strabo 
(De Kebiis Eccles. xxiii.) says that, while the time for mass is regu 
larly before noon, it is sometimes celebrated in the evening 
("aliquando ad vesperam"}. Amalarius, Bishop of Treves (De 
Eccles. Off. iv. 40), specifies Lent as the season for this hour. The 
Generales Riibricce allow this at other times in the year. In Win- 
kles's French Cathedrals, we are told that, on the occasion of the 
marriage of Henrietta of France, daughter of Henry IV., with the 
Duke of Chevreuse, as proxy for Charles I. of England, celebrated 
in Notre Dame at Paris, May II, 1625, "mass was celebrated in 
the evening." See Notes and Queries for April 29 and June 3, 
1876; also M'Clintock and Strong's Biblical Cyclopedia, under 

40. We must entreat, etc. We must beg you to leave us to our 
selves. Cf. Hen. VIII. i. 4. 71 : - 

" Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat 
An hour of revels with them." 

248 Notes [Act iv 

41. God shield. God forbid. Cf. A. W. i. 3. 74: "God shield 
you mean it not." So " Heaven shield," in M.for M. iii. I. 141, 
etc. Devotion is here a quadrisyllable. 

45. Past cure, etc. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 28 : "past cure is still past 

48. Prorogue. See on ii. 2. 78 above. 

54. This knife. It was the custom of the time in Italy as in 
Spain for ladies to wear daggers at their girdles. 

57. The label. The seal appended by a slip to a deed, accord 
ing to the custom of the day. In Rich. II. v. 2. 56, the Duke of 
York discovers, by the depending seal, a covenant which his son 
has made with the conspirators. In Cymb. v. 5. 430, label is used 
for the deed itself. 

62. Extremes. Extremities, sufferings. Cf. R. of L. 969 : 

" Devise extremes beyond extremity, 
To make him curse this cursed crimeful night." 

The meaning of the passage is, "This knife shall decide the strug 
gle between me and my distresses" (Johnson). 

64. Commission. Warrant, authority. Cf. A. W. ii. 3. 279: 
" you are more saucy with lords and honourable personages than 
the commission of your birth and virtue gives you heraldry." 

66. Be not so long to speak. So slow to speak. Clarke remarks 
here : " The constraint, with sparing speech, visible in Juliet when 
with her parents, as contrasted with her free outpouring flow of 
words when she is with her lover, her father confessor, or her nurse 
when, in short, she is her natural self and at perfect ease is 
true to characteristic delineation. The young girl, the very young 
girl, the girl brought up as Juliet has been reared, the youthful 
Southern maiden, lives and breathes in every line by which S. has 
set her before us." 

78. Yonder. Ulrici " cannot perceive why Juliet must designate 
a particular, actual tower, since all that follows is purely imagi 
nary ; " but to me the reference to a tower in sight seems both 

Scene I] Notes 249 

forcible and natural, and the transition to imaginary ordeals is 
equally natural. 

83. Reeky. Reeking with foul vapours, or simply = foul, as if 
soiled with smoke or reek. Cf. reechy (another form of the same 
word) in Much Ado, iii. 3. 143, Ham. iii. 4. 184, etc. 

93. Take thou this vial, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem : 

" Receiue this vyoll small and keepe it as thine eye ; 
And on the mariage 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 lira 
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 sodain chaunce ; 
The corps then will they bring to graue in this church yarde, 
Where thy forefathers long agoe a costly tombe preparde, 
Both for them selfe and eke for those that should come after, 1 
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" 

97. Surcease. Cf. R. of L. 1766: "If they surcease to be that 
should survive ; " and Cor. iii. 2. 121 : " Lest I surcease to honour 
mine own truth." For the noun, see Macb. i. 7. 74. 

100. Paly. Cf. Hen. V. iv. chor. 8 : " paly flames ; " and 2 Hen. 
VI. iii. 2. 141 : "his paly lips." 

105. Two and forty hours. It is difficult to make this period 
agree with the time of the events that follow. Maginn would read 
" two and fifty hours ; " and " two and thirty " has been sug- 

1 For the rhyme of after and daughter, cf. T. of S. i. i. 245, 246, 
W. T. iv. i. 27, 28, and Lear, i. 4. 341, 344. 

250 Notes [Act IV 

gested, which is more in accordance with the dates given in the 
play. In iv. I. 90 the Friar says to Juliet : 

" Wednesday is to-morrow : 
To-morrow night look that thou lie alone," etc. 

This agrees with the preceding dates. The conversation in iii. 4 is 
late on Monday evening (cf. lines 5 and 18), and Lady Capulet's 
talk with Juliet about marrying Paris (iii. 5. 67 fol.) is early the 
next (Tuesday) morning. The visit to the Friar is evidently on the 
same day; and the next scene (iv. 2) is in the evening of that day. 
Juliet comes home and tells her father that she has been to the 
Friar's, and is ready to marry Paris. The old man at once decides 
to have the wedding " to-morrow morning " (that is, Wednesday) 
instead of Thursday. Lady Capulet objects, but finally yields to 
her husband's persistency ; and so Juliet goes to her chamber, and 
drinks the potion on 7^uesday evening, or twenty-four hours earlier 
than the Friar had directed. He of course is notified of the change 
in the time for the wedding, as he is to perform the ceremony, and 
will understand that Juliet has anticipated the time of taking the 
potion, and that she will wake on Thursday morning instead of 
Friday. If so, instead of extending the " two and forty hours," as 
Maginn does, we need rather to shorten the interval. We may 
suppose the time of v. 3 to be as early as three o'clock in the 
morning. It is summer, and before daylight. Paris and Romeo 
come with torches, and the Friar with a lantern. Romeo tells his 
servant to deliver the letter to his father " early in the morning." 
The night watchmen are still on duty. Since we can hardly send 
Juliet to bed before nine in the evening on Tuesday, thirty hours is 
the most that can be allowed for the interval, unless we add another 
day and accept the fifty-two of Maginn. But this does not seem 
required by anything in act v. not even by the " two days buried " 
of v. 3. 176, for Thursday would be the second day that she had 
lain in the tomb. The marriage was to be early on Wednesday 
morning, and the funeral took its place. Balthasar "presently 

Scene I] Notes 251 

took post" (v. i. 21) to tell the news to Romeo at Mantua, less 
than twenty-five miles distant. He arrives before evening (cf. v. 
I. 4: "all this day," which indicates the time), and Romeo at once 
says, " I will hence to-night"- He has ample time to make his 
preparations and to reach Verona before two o'clock the next 
morning. He has been at the tomb only half an hour or so (v. 
3. 130) before the Friar comes. It must have been near midnight 
(see v. 2. 23) when Friar John returned to Laurence's cell ;.so that, 
even if he had not been despatched to Mantua until that morning, 
he would have had time to go and return, but for his unexpected 
detention. I see no difficulty, therefore, in assuming that the drama 
closes on Thursday morning; the difficulty would be in prolonging 
the time to the next morning without making the action drag. 

no. In thy best robes, etc. The Italian custom here alluded to, 
of carrying the dead body to the grave richly dressed and with the 
face uncovered (which is not mentioned by Paynter), S. found par 
ticularly described in Komeus and Juliet : 

" Now throughout Italy this common vse theyhaue, 
That all the best of euery stocke are earthed in one graue ; 

* * ***** 

An other vse there is, that whosoeuer dyes, 
Borne to their church with open face vpon the beere he lyes, 
In wonted weede attyrde, not wrapt in winding sheete." 

Cf. Ham. iv. 5. 164: "They bore him barefac'd on the bier." 
Knight remarks that thus the maids and matrons of Italy are still 
carried to the tomb ; and he quotes Rogers, Italy : 

" And lying on her funeral couch, 
Like one asleep, her eyelids closed, her hands 
Folded together on her modest breast 
As 't were her nightly posture, through the crowd 
She came at last and richly, gaily clad, 
As for a birthday feast." 

252 Notes [Act iv 

114. Drift. Scheme. Cf. ii. 3. 55 above. 

1 19. Inconstant toy. Fickle freak or caprice. Cf. Ham. i. 3. 5 : 
"a fashion and a toy in blood ; " Id. I. 4. 75: "toys of despera 
tion ; " Oth. iii. 4. 156 : " no jealous toy," etc. Inconstant toy and 
womanish fear are both from Brooke's poem : 

" Cast of from thee at once the weede of womannish dread, 
With manly courage arme thy selfe from heele vnto the head ; 

God graunt he so confirme in thee thy present will, 
That no inconstant toy thee let [hinder] thy promesse to fulfill." 

121. Give me, give me! Cf. Macb. i. 3. 5 : " ' Give me,' quoth I." 

SCENE II. 2. Twenty cunning cooks. Ritson says : " Twenty 
cooks for half a dozen guests ! Either Capulet has altered his mind 
strangely, or S. forgot what he had just made him tell us " (iii. 4. 
27). But, as Knight remarks, "Capulet is evidently a man of 
ostentation ; but his ostentation, as is most generally the case, is 
covered with a thin veil of indifference." Cf. i. 5. 124 : "We have 
a trifling foolish banquet towards." 

According to an entry in the books of the Stationers' Company 
for 1560, the preacher was paid six shillings and twopence for his 
labour ; the minstrel, twelve shillings ; and the cook; fifteen shil 
lings. But, as Ben Jonson tells us, a master cook is 

" a man of men 

For a professor ; he designs, he draws, 
He paints, he carves, he builds, he fortifies, 
Makes citadels of curious fowl and fish. 

He is an architect, an engineer, 

A soldier, a physician, a philosopher, 

A general mathematician." 

6. *T ts an ill cooky etc. Cf. Puttenham, Arte of English Poesie, 

Scene III] Notes 253 

" As the old cocke crowes so doeth the chick : 
A bad cooke that cannot his owne fingers lick." 

14. Harlotry. S. uses the noun only in this concrete sense : 
literally in Oth. iv. 2. 239 ; and in a loose contemptuous way, as 
here (= silly wench), in I Hen. IV. iii. I. 198 : "a peevish, self- 
willed harlotry, one that no persuasion can do good upon." For 
peevish = foolish, childish, cf. A. Y. L. iii. 5. no, M. W. i. 4. 14, 

1 7. Learn V me. Taught myself, learned ; not elsewhere used 
reflexively by S. Cf. iii. 2. 12 above. 

1 8. In disobedient opposition. This line has but two regular 
accents, the others being metrical. See p. 159 above. Opposition 
has five syllables. 

26. Becomed. Becoming. Cf. " lean-look'd " = lean-looking in 
Rich. II. ii. 4. 11, "well-spoken" in Rich. III. i. 3. 348, etc. We 
still say " well-behaved." 

33. Closet. Chamber ; as in Ham. ii. I. 77, iii. 2. 344, iii. 3. 27, 
etc. Cf. Matthew, vi. 6. 

34. Sort. Select. Cf. iii. 5. 108 above. 

38. Short in o^^r provision. Very feminine and housewifely ! 
Cf. Lear, ii. 4. 208 : 

" I am now from home, and out of that provision 
Which shall be needful for your entertainment." 

41. Deck up her. Such transpositions are not rare in S. The 
st quarto has "prepare up him" in 45 just below. 

SCENE III. 5. Cross. Perverse. Cf. Hen. VIII. iii. 2. 214 : 

" what cross devil 

Made me put this main secret in the packet 
I sent the king ? " 

8. Behoveful. Befitting ; used by S. nowhere else. 

15. Thrills. The ellipsis is somewhat peculiar from the fact 

254 Notes [Act iv 

that the relative is expressed in the next line. We should expect 
" thrilling " or " And almost." 

23. Lie thou there. See on iv. I. 54 above. Moreover, as 
Steevens notes, knives, or daggers, were part of the accoutrements 
of a bride. Cf. Dekker, Match me in London : " See at my girdle 
hang my wedding knives ! " and King Edward III., 1599 : " Here 
by my side do hang my wedding knives," etc. Dyce remarks that 
the omission of the word knife " is peculiarly awkward, as Juliet has 
been addressing the vial just before ; " but S. wrote for the stage, 
where the action would make the reference perfectly clear. 

27. Because he married me, etc. A " female " line with two 
extra syllables; like v. 3. 256 below. See p. 158 above. 

29. Tried. Proved ; as in/. C. iv. I. 28, Ham. i. 3. 62, etc. 

34. Healthsome. Wholesome ; used by S. only here. 

36. Like. Likely ; as often. 

39. As in a vault, etc. As is here = to wit, namely. Cf. Ham. 
i. 4. 25, etc. 

Steevens thinks that this passage may have been suggested to S. 
by the ancient charnel-house (now removed) adjoining the chancel 
of Stratford church ; but that was merely a receptacle for bones 
from old graves and disused tombs, while the reference here is to a 
family tomb still in regular use, where the body of Tybalt has just 
been deposited, and as Juliet knows that she also will be when sup 
posed to be dead. S. was of course familiar with such tombs or 

Receptacle. For the accent on the first syllable, cf. T. A.\. I. 92: 
"O sacred receptacle of my joys! " So also in Per. iv. 6. 186 ; 
the only other instance of the word in S. 

42. Green. Fresh, recent ; as in Ham. i. 2. 2, etc. 

43. Festering. Corrupting ; as in Hen. V. iv. 3. 88 and Sonn. 

47. Mandrakes 9 . The plant Atropa mandragora (cf. Oth. iii. 3 
130 and A. and C. i. 5. 4, where it is called "mandragora"), the. 
root of which was thought to resemble the human figure, and when 

Scene III] Notes 255 

torn from the earth to utter shrieks which drove those mad who 
heard them. Cf. 2 Hen, VI. iii. 2. 310: "Would curses kill, as 
doth the mandrake's groans," etc. Coles, in his Art of Simpling, 
says that witches " take likewise the roots of mandrake, . . . and 
make thereof an ugly image, by which they represent the person 
on whom they intend to exercise their witchcraft." The plant was 
of repute also in medicine, as a soporific (see the passages noted 
above in which it is called mandr agora) and for sundry other 
purposes. Sir Thomas More observes that " Mandragora is an 
herbe, as phisycions saye, that causeth folke to slepe, and therein 
to have many mad fantastical dreames." How the root could be 
got without danger is explained by Bullein, in his Bulwark of 
Defence against Sicknesse, 1575: "Therefore they did tye some 
dogge or other lyving beast unto the roote thereof wythe a corde, 
and digged the earth in compasse round about, and in the meane 
tyme stopped their own eares for feare of the terreble shriek and 
cry of this Mandrack. In whych cry it doth not only dye it selfe, 
but the feare thereof kylleth the dogge or beast which pulleth it 
out of the earth." 

49. Distraught. Distracted. S. uses the word again in 
Rich. HI. iii. 5. 4 : " distraught and mad with terror." Elsewhere 
he has distracted (as in Temp. v. i. 12, Macb. ii. 3. no, etc.) or 
distract (as in /. C. iv. 3. 155, Ham. iv. 5. 2, etc.). Spenser has 
distraught often ; as in F. Q. iv. 3. 48: "Thus whilest their minds 
were doubtfully distraught;" Id. iv. 7. 31: "His greedy throte, 
therewith in two distraught " (where it is = drawn apart, its origi 
nal sense), etc. 

58. Romeo, I come, etc. The ist quarto has here the stage- 
direction, " She fals vpon her bed within the Curtaines" The 
ancient stage was divided by curtains, called traverses, which were 
a substitute for sliding scenes. Juliet's bed was behind these cur 
tains, and when they were closed in front of the bed the stage was 
supposed to represent the hall in Capulet's house for the next scene. 
When he summons the Nurse to call forth Juliet, she opens the 

256 Notes [Act iv 

curtains and the scene again becomes Juliet's chamber, where she 
is discovered apparently dead. After the lamentations over her, the 
1st quarto gives the direction, " They all but the Nurse goe foorth, 
casting Rosemary on her and shutting the Cur tens ; " and then fol 
lows the scene with Peter and the Musicians. The stage had no 
movable painted scenery. 

SCENE IV. 2. Pastry. That is, the room where pastry was 
made. Cf. pantry (Fr. paneterie, from pain}, the place where 
bread is kept, etc. Staunton quotes A Floorish upon Fancie, 
1582 : 

" Now having scene all this, then shall you see hard by 
The pastrie, mealehouse, and the roome whereas the coales do ly." 

S. uses pastry only here. For the double meaning of the word, 
cf. spicery (Fr. epicerie), which was used both for the material 
(Rich. III. iv. 4. 424) and the place where it was kept. 

4. Curfew-bell. As the curfew was rung in the evening, the only 
way to explain this is to assume that it means " the bell ordinarily 
used for that purpose " (Schmidt). In the three other instances in 
which S. has the word ( J^emp. v. I. 40, M. for M. iv. 2. 78, Lear, 
iii. 4. 121), it is used correctly. 

5. Bak'd meats. Pastry. S. uses the term only here and in 
Ham. i. 2. 180. Nares says that it formerly meant "a meat pie, or 
perhaps any other pie." He cites Cotgrave, who defines pastisserie 
as "all kind of pies or bak'd meats; " and Sherwood (English 
supplement to Cotgrave), who renders "bak'd meats" ty pastis 
serie. Cf. The White Devil : 

" You speak as if a man 

Should know what fowl is coffin'd in a bak'd meat 
Afore it is cut up ; " 

that is, what fowl is under the crust of the pie. Good Angelica 
perhaps means Lady Capulet, not the Nurse ; and, as Dowden 
suggests, Spare not the cost seems more appropriate to the former. 

Scene V] Notes 257 

It may, however, be the Nurse, who here seems to be treated as a 
kitchen servant perhaps to avoid the introduction of another 

6. Go, you cot-quean, etc. Several editors give this speech to 
Lady*Capulet ; on the ground that the Nurse is not present, having 
been sent for spices. It has also been suggested that a servant 
would not venture to be so impudent to her master ; but, as we 
have seen, the Nurse is an old and petted servant who is allowed a 
good deal of liberty. For the same reason she may not have gone 
for the spices at once, but may have lingered, gossip -like, to hear 
what Capulet had to say. A cot-quean is a man who meddles with 
female affairs ; used by S. only here. 

n. Mouse-hunt. A woman-hunter. For mouse as a/term of 
endearment, see Ham. iii. 4. 183, L. L. L. v. 2. 19, and T. N. i. 5. 

1 3. Jealous-hood. Jealousy; the abstract for the concrete ; used 
by S. only here. 

1 6. Drier logs. For the kitchen ; not a slip like that in i. 5. 30. 

21. Logger-head. Blockhead. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 3. 204 : "Ah, you 
whoreson loggerhead ! " So logger-headed ' ; as in T. of S. iv. I. 
128 : "You logger-headed and unpolish'd grooms ! " 

SCENE V. 3. Sweet-heart. Accented on the last syllable ; as 
regularly in S. (cf. Hen. VIII. i. 4. 94, etc.) except in W. T. iv. 4. 
664 : "take your sweet-heart's hat." Schmidt would print it as 
two words (as is common in the old eds.) except in this latter 

28. Will not let me speak. Malone remarks : " S. has here fol 
lowed the poem closely, without recollecting that he had made Capu 
let, in this scene, clamorous in his grief. In Romeus and Juliet, 
Juliet's mother makes a long speech, but the old man utters not a 
word : 

" ' But more then all the rest the fathers hart was so 

Smit with the heauy newes, and so shut vp with sodain woe, 

Notes [Act iv 

That he ne had the powre his daughter to bewepe, 

Ne yet to speake, but long is forsd his teares and plaint to kepe.' " 

The poem may have suggested Capulet's speech ; but S. is not at 
fault in making him afterwards find his tongue and become " clamor 
ous in his grief." That was perfectly natural. 

36. Life, living. There is no necessity for emendation, as some 
have supposed. Living is = means of living, possessions ; as in 
M. of V. v. i. 286 : "you have given me life and living," etc. 

37. Thought. Expected, hoped ; as in Much Ado, ii. 3. 236, etc. 
41. Labour. Referring to the toilsome progress of time, as in 

T. of A. iii. 4. 8 (Delius). 

44. Catch 'd. Also used for the participle in Z. Z. Z. v. 2. 69 
and A. W. i. 3. 176 ; and for the past tense in Cor. i. 3. 68. Else 
where S. has caught. 

45. O woe ! White thinks that in "this speech of mock heroic 
woe" S. ridicules the translation of Seneca's Tragedies (1581); 
but it is in keeping with the character. Probably this and the next 
two speeches belong to the early draft of the play, with much that 
precedes and follows. 

52. Detestable. For the accent on the first syllable (as always in 
S.), cf. K. John, iii. 4. 29, T. of A. iv. i. 33, and v. 3. 45 below. 

55. Despised, distressed, etc. In this line, as in 51, note the 
mixture of contracted and uncontracted participles. 

56. Uncomfortable. Cheerless, joyless ; the one instance of the 
word in S. 

60. Buried. A trisyllable here ; as in v. 3. 176 below. 

61. Confusion's. Here, the word is = ruin, death ; but in the 
next line it is = confused lamentations. Cf. R. of L. 445 : "fright 
her with confusion of their cries. " 

66. His. Its. Heaven is not personified here. 

67. Promotion. A quadrisyllable here. 

72. Well. Often thus used of the dead. Cf. W. T. v. I. 30, 
2 Hen. IV. v. 2. 3, Macb. iv. 3. 179, A. and C. ii. 5. 33, etc. See 
also v. i. 17 below. 

Scene V] Notes 259 

75. Rosemary. That is, the rosemary that had been brought for 
the wedding ; for it was used at both weddings and funerals. Cf. 
Herrick, The Rosemarie Branch : 

" Grow for two ends, it matters not at all, 
Be 't for my bridall or my buriall; " 

and Dekker, Wonderful Year : " The rosemary that was washed 
in sweet water to set out the bridal, is now wet in tears to furnish 
her burial." Cf. ii. 4. 198 above. 

76. As the custom is. See on iv. I. no above. 

78. Fond. Foolish (cf. iii. 3. 512 above), as opposed to reason. 
80. All things, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem : 

" Now is the parentes myrth quite chaunged into mone, 
And now to sorrow is retornde the ioy of euery one ; 
And now the wedding weedes for mourning weedes they chaunge, 
And Hymene into a Dyrge ; alas ! it seemeth straunge : 
In.steade of mariage gloues, now funerall gloues they haue, 
And whom they should see maried, they follow to the graue. 
The feast that should haue been of pleasure and of ioy 
Hath euery dish and cup fild full of sorow and annoye." 

95. Case. There is a play upon the other sense of the word (a 
case for a musical instrument) ; as in W. T. iv. 4. 844 : "but 
though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out 
of it " (that is, out of my skin). 

96. Enter Peter. From the quartos we learn that William Kempe 
played the part of Peter, as he did that of Dogberry in Much Ado. 

In explanation of the introduction of this part of the scene, 
Knight remarks : " It was the custom of our ancient theatre to 
introduce, in the irregular pauses of a play that stood in place of a 
division into acts, some short diversions, such as a song, a dance, 
or the extempore buffoonery of a clown. At this point of R. andj. 
there is a natural pause in the action, and at this point such an 
interlude would probably have been presented, whether S. had 
written one or not. . . . Will Kempe was the Liston of his day, 

260 Notes [Act iv 

and was as great a popular favourite as Tarleton had been before 
him. It was wise, therefore, in S. to find some business for Will 
Kempe that should not be entirely out of harmony with the great 
business of his play. The scene of the musicians is very short, and, 
regarded as a necessary part of the routine of the ancient stage, is 
excellently managed. Nothing can be more naturally exhibited 
than the indifference of hirelings, without attachment, to a family 
scene of grief. Peter and the musicians bandy jokes ; and though 
the musicians think Peter a ' pestilent knave,' perhaps for his 
inopportune sallies, they are ready enough to look after their own 
gratification, even amidst the sorrow which they see around them. 
A wedding or a burial is the same to them. * Come, we '11 in here ; 
tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner.' So S. read the course of 
the world and it is not much' changed." 

"To our minds," says Clarke, "the intention was to show how 
grief and gayety, pathos and absurdity, sorrow and jesting, elbow 
each other in life's crowd ; how the calamities of existence fall 
heavily upon the souls of some, while others, standing close beside 
the grievers, feel no jot of suffering or sympathy. Far from the 
want of harmony that has been found here, we feel it to be one of 
those passing discords that produce richest and fullest effect of 
harmonious contrivance." 

Furness states that in Edwin Booth's acting copy this scene of 
Peter and the musicians is transposed to i. 5. 17 above. 

99. Hearfs ease. A popular tune of the time, mentioned in 
Misogonus, a play by Thomas Rychardes, written before 1570. 

101. My heart is full of woe. The burden of the first stanza of 
A Pleasant new Ballad of Two Lovers : " Hey hoe ! my heart is 
full of woe " (Steevens). 

102. Dump. A mournful or plaintive song or melody. Calling 
it merry is a joke of Peter's. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. 2. 85 : "A de 
ploring dump." See also R. of L. 1127. 

109. Gleek. Scoff. Cf. I Hen. VI. iii. 2. 123: "Now where 's 
the Bastard's braves, and Charles his gleeks ? " To give the gleek 

Scene V] Notes 261 

was "to pass a jest upon, to make a person ridiculous." It is 
impossible to say what is the joke in give you the minstrel. Some 
suppose that gleek suggests gleeman, one form of which in Anglo- 
Saxon was gligman, but no such form is found in English, if we may 
trust the New Eng. Diet. The reply of the musician may perhaps 
mean " that he will retort by calling Peter the servant to the min 
strel" (White). 

1 14. / will carry no crotchets. I will bear none of your whims ; 
with a play on crotchets, as in Much Ado, ii. 3. 58. Cf. carry coals 
in i. i. i above. The play on note is obvious. 

120. Drybeat. See on iii. i. 81 above. For have at you, cf. i. 
I. 64 above. 

122. When griping grief, etc. From a poem by Richard Ed 
wards, in the Paradise of Daintie Devises. See also Percy's 

126. Catling. A small string of catgut. Cf. T. and C. iii. 3. 
306 : " unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make catlings 

132. Pretty. Some of the German critics are troubled by pretty, 
because Peter does not intend to praise ; and irony, they say, 
would be out of place. It is simply a jocose patronizing expression 
= That 's not bad in its way, but you haven't hit it. The rebeck 
was a kind of three-stringed fiddle. Cf. Milton, L? All. 94 : " And 
the jocund rebecks sound," etc. 

141. Pestilent. Often used in an opprobrious sense ; as in Lear, 
i.4. 127: "A pestilent gall to me!" Oth. ii. i. 252: "A pesti 
lent complete knave," etc. 

142. Jack. See on iii. i. 12 above ; and for stay = wait for, on 
ii. 5- 36. 


SCENE. I. i. The flattering truth. This is apparently = that 
which bears the flattering semblance of truth. It has perplexed 

262 Notes [Act v 

some of the critics, but their emendations do not better it. For 
flattering m the sense of illusive, cf. ii. 2. 141. Some have won 
dered that S. here makes the presentiment a hopeful one ; but as 
a writer in the Cornhill Magazine (October, 1866) remarks, the 
presentiment was true, but Romeo did not trust it. Had he done 
so, his fate would not have been so tragic. 

3. My bosom 's lord. That is, my heart ; not Love, or Cupid, as 
some would make it. Lines 3-5 seem to me only a highly poetical 
description of the strange new cheerfulness and hopefulness he feels 
a reaction from his former depression which is like his dream of 
rising from the dead an emperor. 

10. Ah me ! See on Ay me! ii. i. 10 above. It may be a mis 
print for " Ay me ! " here. 

12. Balthazar. Always accented by S. on the first syllable. 
The name .occurs in C. of E., Much Ado, and M. of V. 

17. She is well. See on iv. 5. 72 above. 

18. CapeV s. The early eds. have " Capels" ; the modern ones 
generally " Capels'." The singular seems better here, on account of 
the omission of the article ; but the plural in v. 3. 127 : "the Capels' 
monument." S. uses this abbreviation only twice. Brooke uses 
Capel and Capulet indiscriminately. See quotation in note on i. I. 
28 above. 

21. Presently. Immediately ; the usual meaning in S. Cf. iv. 
I. 54 and 95 above. 

27. Patience. A trisyllable, as in v. 3. 221 and 261 below. 

29. Misadventure. Mischance, misfortune ; used by S. only 
here and in v. 3. 1 88 below. Misadventured occurs only in prol. 7 

36. In. Into ; as often. Cf. v. 3. 34 below. 

37. I do remember, etc. Joseph Warton objects to the detailed 
description here as " improperly put into the mouth of a person 
agitated with such passion." " But," as Knight remarks, " the mind 
once made up, it took a perverse pleasure in going over every cir 
cumstance that had suggested the means of mischief. All other 

Scene I] Notes 263 

thoughts had passed out of Romeo's mind. He had nothing left 
but to die ; and everything connected with the means of death 
was seized upon by his imagination with an energy that could only 
find relief in words. S. has exhibited the same knowledge of 
nature in his sad and solemn poem of A\ of L., where the injured 
wife, having resolved to wipe out her stain by death, 

" ' calls to mind where hangs. a piece 
Of skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy.' 

She sees in that painting some fancied resemblance to he own 
position, and spends the heavy hours till her husband arrives in its 
contemplation." See R. of L. 1366 fol. and 1496 fol. 

39. Overwhelming. Overhanging. Cf. V. and A. 183: "His 
lowering brows o'erwhelming his fair sight." See also Hen. V. iii. 
I. II. For weeds garments, see M. N. D. ii. 2. 71, etc. 

40. Simples. Medicinal herbs. Cf. R. of L. 530, Ham. iv. 7. 
145, etc. 

43. An alligator stuffed. This was a regular part of the fur 
niture of an apothecary's shop in the time of S. Nash, in his 
Have With You, etc., 1596, refers to "an apothecary's croco 
dile or dried alligator." Steevens says that he has met with the 
alligator, tortoise, etc., hanging up in the shop of an ancient apothe 
cary at Limehouse, as well as in places more remote from the 
metropolis. In Dutch art, as Fairholt remarks, these marine 
monsters often appear in representations of apothecaries' shops. 

45. A beggarly account, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem: 

" And seeking long (alac too soone) the thing he sought, he founde. 
An Apothecary sate vnbusied at his doore, 
Whom by his heauy countenaunce 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 frendship could be got, with money should be bought; 
For nedy lacke is lyke the poore man to compell 
To sell that which the cities lawe forbiddeth him to sell. 

264 Notes [Act v 

Then by the hand he drew the nedy man apart, 

And with the sight of glittring gold inflamed hath his hart: 

Take fiftie crownes of gold (quoth he) I geue them thee. 

Fayre syr (quoth he) be sure this is the speeding gere, 
And more there is then you shall nede for halfe of that is there 
Will serue, I vnder take, in lesse than halfe an howre 
To kill the strongest man aliue ; such is the poysons power." 

51. Present. Immediate; as in iv. I. 61 above. Cf. presently in 
21 above. Secret poisoning became so common in Europe in the 
1 6th century that laws against the sale of poisons were made in 
Spain, Portugal, Italy, anJ other countries. Knight says: "There 
is no such law in our own statute-book; and the circumstance is a 
remarkable exemplification of the difference between English and 
Continental manners." But that this practice of poisoning pre 
vailed to a considerable extent in England in the olden time is evi 
dent from the fact that in the 2ist year of the reign of Henry VIII. 
an act was passed declaring the employment of secret poisons to 
be high-treason, and sentencing those who were found guilty of it 
to be boiled to death. 

60. Soon-speeding gear. Quick -despatching stuff. Cf. the extract 
from Brooke just above. For gear, see ii. 4. 97 above. 

64. As violently, etc. See on ii. 6. 9 above. 

67. Any he. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 414: "that unfortunate he; " 3 
Hen. VI. i. I. 46: "The proudest he;" Id. ii. 2. 97: "Or any he 
the proudest of thy sort," etc. Utters them = literally, sends them 
out, or lets them go from his possession ; hence, sells them. Cf. 
L. L. L. ii. i. 1 6 and W. T. iv. 4. 330. 

70. Starveth. That is, look out hungrily ; a bold but not un- 
Shakespearian expression, for which Otway's " stareth " (adopted 
by some editors) is a poor substitution. See on i. I. 216 above; 
and for the inflection, on prol. 8. 

SCENE II. 4. A barefoot brother. Friars Laurence and John 
are evidently Franciscans. " In his kindness, his learning, and his 

Scene III] 



inclination to mix with and, perhaps, control the affairs of the world, 
he [Laurence] is no unapt representative of this distinguished order 
in their best days" (Knight). Warton says that the Franciscans 
" managed the machines of every important operation and event, 
both in the religious and political world." 
Cf. Brooke's poem : 

" Apace our frier lohn 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 fyndeth out, 
In mynde to take some frier with him, to walke the towne about." 

Each friar has a companion assigned him by the superior when he 
asks leave to go out; and thus they are a check upon each other 

6. Associate me. Accompany me. For the transitive use, cf. 
T. A. v. 3. 169: "Friends should associate friends in grief and 

9. A house. According to both the poem and the novel, this 
was the convent to which the " barefoot brother " belonged. 

1 6. Infection. A quadrisyllable. Cf. iv. i. 41 above. 

18. Nice. Trifling, unimportant. See on iii. i. 157 above. For 
charge, cf. W. T. iv. 4. 261 : " I have about me many parcels of 

19. Dear. Cf. v. 3. 32 below: " dear employment." 

20. Do much danger. See on iii. 3. 118 above. 

25. This three hours. The singular this is often thus used ; but 
cf. iv. 3. 40 above: "these many hundred years;" and v. 3. 176 
below: "these two days." 

26. Beshrew. See on ii. 5. 52 above. 

SCENE III. A Churchyard, etc. Hunter says: "It is clear 
that S., or some writer whom he followed, had in mind the church- 

266 Notes [Act v 

yard of Saint Mary the Old in Verona, and the monument of the 
Scaligers which stood in it." See the cut on p. 136, and cf. 
Brooke, who refers to the Italian custom of building large family 
tombs : 

" For euery houshold, if it be of any fame ; 
Doth bylde a tombe, or digge a vault, that beares the housholdes 


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 slaine of Romeus was layde the other day." 

bit the close of the poem we are told that 

" The bodies dead, remoued from vaulte where they did dye, 
In stately tombe, on pillers great of marble, rayse they hye. 
On euery syde aboue were set, and eke beneath, 
Great store of cunning Epitaphes, in honor of theyr death. 
And euen at this day the tombe is to be scene ; 
So that among the monumentes that in Verona been, 
There is no monument more worthy of the sight, 
Then is the tombe of luliet and Romeus her knight." 

See also the quotation in note on iv. I. 93 above. Brooke's refer 
ence to the " stately tombe, on pillers great," etc., was doubtless sug 
gested by the Tomb of the Scaligers. 

3. Lay thee all along. That is, at full length. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 
I. 30: "As he lay along Under an oak; " J. C. iii. I. 115 : "That 
now on Pompey's basis lies along," etc. 

6. Unfirm. Cf. /. C. i. 3. 4, T. N. ii. 4. 34, etc. S. also uses 
infirm, as in Macb. ii. 2. 52, etc. 

8. Something. The accent is on the last syllable, as Walker 
notes ; and Marshall prints " some thing," as in the folio. 

II. Adventure. Cf. ii. 2. 84 above. 

14. Sweet 2vater. Perfumed water. Cf. T. A. ii. 4. 6 : " call for 
sweet water ; " and see quotation in note on iv. 5. 75 above. 

Scene III] Notes 267 

20. Cross. Thwart, interfere with. Cf. iv. 5. 91 above. 

21. Muffle. Cover, hide. Cf. i. i. 168 above ; and see /. C. iii. 
2. 191, etc. Steevens intimates that it was "a low word" in his 
day; but, if so, it has since regained its poetical character. Tenny 
son uses it repeatedly ; as in l^he Talking Oak : " O, muffle round 
thy knees with fern;" The Princess: "A full sea glazed with 
muffled moonlight ; " In Memoriam : " muffled round with woe," 
etc. Milton has unmuffle in Comus, 321 : " Unmuffle, ye faint stars." 

32. Dear. See on v. 2. 19 above. 

33. Jealous. Suspicious ; as in Lear, v. I. 56, J. C. i. 2. 71, etc. 

34. In. Into. See on v. I. 36 above. 
37. Savage-wild. Cf. ii. 2. 141 above. 

39. Empty. Hungry. Cf. V. and A. 55 : " Even as an empty 
eagle, sharp by fast " (see also 2 Hen. VI. iii. I. 248 and 3 Hen. VI. 
i. I. 268); and T.ofS. iv. I. 193: "My falcon now is sharp and 
passing empty." 

44. Doubt. Distrust; as in/. C. ii. i. 132, iv. 2. 13, etc. 

45. Detestable. See on iv. 5. 52 above. 

47. Enforce. Force; as often. Cf. Temp. v. I. 100: "Enforce 
them to this place," etc. 

50. With. Often used to express the relation of cause. 

59. Good gentle youth, etc. " The gentleness of Romeo was 
shown before [iii. i. 64 fol.] as softened by love, and now it is 
doubled by love and sorrow, and awe of the place where he is " 

68. Conjurations. Solemn entreaties ; as in Rich. II. iii. 2. 23, 
Ham. v. 2. 38, etc. Some have taken it to mean incantations. 
Defy = refuse ; as in K.John, iii. 4. 23 : "I defy all counsel," etc. 

74. Peruse. Scan, examine. Cf. Ham. iv. 7. 137: "peruse the 
foils," etc. 

76. Betossed. Agitated ; used by S. nowhere else. 

82. Sour. See on iii. 3. 7 above. 

84. Lantern. Used in the architectural sense of " a turret full 
of windows" (Steevens). Cf. Parker, Glossary of Architecture : 

268 Notes [Act v 

" In Gothic architecture the term is sometimes applied to louvres 
on the roofs of halls, etc., but it usually signifies a tower which has 
the whole height, or a considerable portion of the interior, open to 
the ground, and is lighted by an upper tier of windows ; lantern- 
towers of this kind are common over the centre of cross churches, 
as at York Minster, Ely Cathedral, etc. The same name is also 
given to the light open erections often placed on the top of towers, 
as at Boston, Lincolnshire," etc. The one at Boston was used as a 
lighthouse lantern in the olden time. 

86. Presence. Presence-chamber, state apartment ; as in Rich. II. 
i. 3. 289 and Hen. VIII. iii. i. 17. 

87. Death. The abstract for the concrete. The dead man is 
Romeo, who is so possessed with his suicidal purpose that he 
speaks of himself as dead. Steevens perversely calls it one of 
" those miserable conceits with which our author too frequently 
counteracts his own pathos." 

88-1 20. How oft when men, etc. "Here, here, is the master 
example how beauty can at once increase and modify passion " 

90. A lightning before death. " A last blazing-up of the flame 
of life ; " a proverbial expression. Steevens quotes The Downfall 
of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601 : 

" I thought it was a lightning before death, 
Too sudden to be certain." 

Clarke notes " the mingling here of words and images full of light 
and colour with the murky grey of the sepulchral vault and the 
darkness of the midnight churchyard, the blending of these images 
of beauty and tenderness with the deep gloom of the speaker's 
inmost heart." 

92. Suck 1 d the honey, etc. Cf. Ham. iii. i. 164: "That suck'd 
the honey of his music vows." Steevens quotes Sidney, Arcadia : 
" Death being able to divide the soule, but not the beauty from 
her body." 

Scene III] Notes 269 

96. Death's pale flag. Steevens compares Daniel, Complaint 
of Rosamond : 

" And nought-respecting death (the last of paines) 
Plac'd his pale colours (th' ensign of his might) 
Upon his new-got spoil." 

97. Tybalt, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem : 

" Ah cosin dere, 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 revengeing 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 now ? 
Who reft by force of armes from thee thy living breath, 
The same with his owne hand (thou seest) doth poyson himselfe to 

106. Still. Constantly, always ; as very often. Cf. 270 below. 

1 10. Set up my everlasting rest. That is, remain forever. To 
tet up one's rest was a phrase taken from gaming, the rest being the 
highest stake the parties were disposed to venture ; hence it came 
to mean to have fully made up one's mind, to be resolved. Here 
the form of expression seems to be suggested by the gaming phrase 
rather than to be a figurative example of it. 

112-118. Eyes . . . bark. Whiter points out a coincidence be 
tween this last speech of Romeo's and a former one (i. 4. 103 fol.) 
in which he anticipates his misfortunes. " The ideas drawn from 
the stars, the laiu, and the sea succeed each other in both speeches, 
in the same order, though with a different application." 

115. Dateless. Limitless, eternal. Cf. Sonn. 30. 6: "death's 
dateless night ; " Rich. III. i. 3. 151 : "The dateless limit of thy 
dear exile," etc. 

Engrossing. Malone says that the word " seems here to be used 
in its clerical sense." There seems to be at least a hint of that 

2jo Notes [Act v 

sense, suggested by seal and bargain; but the leading meaning is 
that of all-seizing, or " taking the whole," as Schmidt explains it. 

116. Conduct. See on iii. I. 127 above. For unsavoury, cf. V. 
and A. 1138: "sweet beginning, but unsavoury end," Schmidt, 
who rarely makes such a slip, treats both of these examples as lit 
eral rather than metaphorical. The only example of the former 
sense in S. (not really his) is Per. ii. 3. 31 : " All viands that I eat 
do seem unsavoury." 

118. Thy. Pope substituted "my," but thy may be defended on 
the nautical principle that the pilot is the master of the ship aftei 
he takes her in charge. That seems to be Romeo's thought here ; 
he gives up the helm to the " desperate pilot," and says, " The ship 
is yours, run her upon the rocks if you will. " 

121. Be my speed. Cf. Hen. V. v. 2. 194: "Saint Denis be my 
speed ! " A. Y. L. i. 2. 222 : " Hercules be thy speed ! " etc. 

122. Stumbled at graves. The idea that to stumble is a bad 
omen is very ancient. Cicero mentions it in his De Divinatione. 
Melton, in his Astrologaster, 1620, says that "if a man stumbles in a 
morning as soon as he comes out of dores, it is a signe of ill lucke." 
Bishop Hall, in his Characters, says of the " Superstitious Man " that 
"if he stumbled at the threshold, he feares a mischief." Stumbling 
at graves is alluded to in Whimzies, or a New Cast of Characters, 
1631 : " His earth-reverting body (according to his mind) is to be 
buried in some cell, roach, or vault, and in no open space, lest 
passengers (belike) might stumble on his grave." Steevens cites 
3 Hen. VI. iv. 7. 1 1 and Rich. III. iii. 4. 86. 

127. Capets' '. See on v. I. 18 above. 

138. I dreamt, etc. Steevens considers this a touch or nature: 
" What happens to a person under the manifest influence of fear 
will seem to him, when he is recovered from it, like a dream." It 
seems to me more likely that the man confuses what he saw while 
half asleep with what he might have dreamt. 

145. Unkind. Usually accented on the first syllable before a 
noun, but otherwise on the second. This often occurs with dis- 

Scene III] 


syllabic adjectives and participles. Unkind and its derivatives are 
often used by S. in a much stronger sense than at present. In 
some cases, the etymological sense of unnatural (cf. kind and 
kindly = natural) seems to cling to them. Cf. J. C. iii. 2. 187, 
Lear, i. I. 263, iii. 4. 73, etc. 

148. Comfortable. Used in an active sense = ready to comfort 
or help ; as in A. W.\. I. 86, Lear, i. 4. 328, etc. 

158. 7'he watch. It has been asserted by some of the critics 
that there was no watch in the old Italian cities ; but, however 
that may have been, S. follows Brooke's poem : 

" The watchemen of the towne the whilst are passed by, 
And through the gates the candel light within the tombe they spye." 

162. Timeless. Untimely. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. i. 21: "your 
timeless grave ;" Rich. II. iv. i. 5 : "his timeless end," etc. 

163. Drunk all, and left. The reading of 2d quarto. The 1st 
has " drink . . . leave," and the folio " drink . . . left." 

170. There rest. From 1st quarto; the other early eds. have 
" rust," which some editors prefer. To me rest seems both more 
poetical .and more natural. That at this time Juliet should think 
of " Romeo's dagger, which would otherwise rust in its sheath, as 
rusting in her heart," is quite inconceivable. It is a " conceit '" 
of the worst Elizabethan type. 

The tragedy here ends in Booth's Acting Copy (Furness). 

173. Attach. Arrest ; as in C. of E. iv. i. 6, 73, iv. 4. 6, Rich. II. 
ii. 3. 156, Hen. VIII. i. i. 217, i. 2. 210, etc. 

176. These two days. See on iv. I. 105 above. 

181. Without circumstance. Without further particulars. Cf. 
ii. 5. 36 above. 

203. His house. Its sheath. See on ii. 6. 12 above. 

204. On the back. The dagger was commonly turned behind 
and worn at the back, as Steevens shows by sundry quotations. 

207. Old age. A slip which, strangely enough, no editor or com- 

272 Notes [Act v 

mentator has noticed. Furness notes no reference to it, and I find 
none in more recent editions. See on i. 3. 51 above. 

211. Grief of my son's exile. Cf. Much Ado, iv. 2. 65: "and 
upon the grief of this suddenly died." For the accent of exile, cf. 
iii. i. 190 and iii. 3. 20 above. 

After this line the 1st quarto has the following: "And yong 
Benuolio is deceased too;" but, as Ulrici remarks, "the pacific, 
considerate Benvolio, the constant counseller of moderation, ought 
not to be involved in the fate which had overtaken the extremes of 
hate and passion." 

214. Manners. S. makes the word either singular or plural, like 
news, tidings (see on iii. 5. 105 above), etc. Cf. A. W. ii. 2. 9, 
W. T. iv. 4. 244, etc. with T. N. iv. i. 53, Rich. III. iii. 7. 191, etc. 

21 6. Outrage. Cf. I Hen. VI. iv. i. 126: 

" Are you not asham'd 
With this immodest clamorous outrage 
To trouble and disturb the king and us ? H 

There, as here, it means a mad outcry. Dyce quotes Settle, Female 
Prelate : " Silence his outrage in a jayl, away with him ! " 

221. Patience. A trisyllable. See on v. i. 27 above. In the 
next line suspicion is a quadrisyllable. 

229. / will be brief, etc. Johnson and Malone criticise S. for 
following Brooke in the introduction of this long narrative. Ulrici 
well defends it as preparing the way for the reconciliation of the 
Capulets and Montagues over the dead bodies of their children, the 
victims of their hate. For date, see on i. 4. 105 above. 

237. Siege. Cf. the same image in i. I. 209. 

238. Perforce. By force, against her will ; as in C. of E. iv. 3. 
95, Rich. II. ii. 3. 121, etc. 

241. Marriage. A trisyllable. See on iv. I. II above, and cf. 
265 below. 

247. As this dire night. This redundant use of as in statements 

Scene III] Notes 273 

of time is not uncommon. Cf. J. C. v. I. 72: "as this very day 
was Cassias born," etc. 

253. Hour. A dissyllable; as in iii. i. 198 above. 

257. Some minute. We should now say " some minutes," which 
is Hanmer's reading. Cf. " some hour " in 268 below. 

258. Untimely. For the adverbial use, see on iii. I. 121 above. 
270. Still. Always. See on 106 above. 

273. In post. In haste, or "post-haste." Cf. v. I. 21 above. 
We find " in all post " in Rich. III. iii. 5. 73, and " all in post " in 
K. ofL. I. 

276. Going in. See on v. I. 36 above. 

280. What made your master? What was your master doing? 
Cf. A. Y. L. i. i. 3, ii. 3. 4, etc. 

284. By and by. Presently. See on ii. 2. 151 above. 

289. Pothecary. Generally printed " 'pothecary " in the modern 
eds., but not in the early ones. It was a common form of the word. 
Cf. Chaucer, Pardoneres Tale : 

" And forth he goth, no longer wold he tary, 
Into the toun unto a potecary." 

Therewithal. Therewith, with it. Cf. T. C. of V. iv. 4. 90 : 

" Well, give her that ring and therewithal 
This letter," etc. 

291. Be. Cf. Ham. iii. 2. in, v. i. 107, etc. 

295. A brace of kinsmen. Mercutio and Paris. For the former, 
see iii. i. 112; and for the latter, iii. 5. 179 and v. 3. 75. Steevens 
remarks that brace as applied to men is generally contemptuous; 
as in Temp. v. I. 126: "But you, my brace of lords," etc. As a 
parallel to the present passage, cf. T. and C. iv. 5. 175: "You 
brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither ! " 

305. Glooming. Used by S. only here. Steevens cites Tom 
Tyler and his Wife, 1578: "If either he gaspeth or gloometh." 
Cf. Spenser, /'. Q. i. 14: "A little glooming light, much like a 
ROMEO 1 8 

274 Notes [Act v 

shade." Young uses the verb in his Night Thoughts, ii. : " A night 
that glooms us in the noontide ray." 

308. Some shall be pardoned, etc. In the novel, Juliet's attend 
ant is banished for concealing the marriage ; Romeo's servant set 
at liberty because he had acted under his master's orders ; the 
apothecary tortured and hanged ; and Friar Laurence permitted to 
retire to a hermitage, where he dies five years later. 



LITTLE is known of the life of Arthur Broke, or Brooke, except 
that he wrote Romeus and fuliet (1562) and the next year pub 
lished a book entitled Agreement of Sundry Places of Scripture, 
seeming in shew to jar re, serving in stead of Commentaryes not 
only for these, but others lyke ; a translation from the French. He 
died that same year (1563), and an Epitaph by George Turbervile 
(printed in a volume of his poems, 1567) " on the death of maister 
Arthur Brooke " informs us that he was " drowned in passing to 

So far as I am aware, no editor or commentator has referred to 
the singular prose introduction to the 1562 edition of Romeus and 
Juliet. It is clear from internal evidence that it was written by 
Brooke, and it is signed " Ar. Br." the form in which his name 
also appears on the title-page ; but its tone and spirit are strangely 
unlike those of the poem. We have seen (p. 25 above) that he 
refers to the perpetuation of "the memory of so perfect, sound, 
and so approved love " by the " stately tomb " of Romeo and 
Juliet, with "great store of cunning epitaphs in honour of their 
death ; " but in the introduction he expresses a very different opin 
ion of the lovers and finds a very different lesson in their fate. 
He says : " To this end (good Reader) is this tragical matter 
written, to describe unto thee a couple of unfortunate lovers, thrall 
ing themselves to unhonest desire, neglecting the authority and 
advice of parents and friends, conferring their principal counsels 
with drunken gossips and superstitious friars (the naturally fit in 
struments of unchastity), attempting all adventures of peril for the 


276 Appendix 

attaining of their wicked lusts, using auricular confession (the key 
of whoredom and treason) for furtherance of their purpose, abus 
ing the honourable name of lawful marriage to cloak the shame of 
stolen contracts ; finally, by all means of unhonest life, hasting to 
most unhappy death." The suggestion is added that parents may 
do well to show the poem to their children with " the intent to 
raise in them an hateful loathing of so filthy beastliness." 

It is curious that there is not the slightest hint of all this any 
where in the poem ; not a suggestion that the love of Romeo and 
Juliet is not natural and pure and honest ; not a word of reproach 
for the course of Friar Laurence. Even the picture of the Nurse, 
with her vulgarity and unscrupulousness, is drawn with a kind of 

I have quoted above (note on ii. 2. 142) what Brooke makes 
Juliet say to her lover in the balcony scene. In their first inter 
view, she says : 

" You are no more your owne (deare frend) then I am yours 

(My honor saved) prest 4obay [to obey] your will while life endures. 

Lo here the lucky lot that sild [seldom] true lovers finde : 

Eche takes away the others hart, and leaves the owne behinde. 

A happy life is love if God graunt from above 

That hart with hart by even waight doo make exchaunge of love." 

And Romeo has just said : - 

" For I of God woulde crave, as pryse of paynes forpast, 
To serve, obey, and honor you so long as lyfe shall last.** 

Of the Friar the poet says : 

" This barefoote fryer gyrt with cord his grayish weeds, 
For he of Frauncis order was, a fryer as I reede. 
Not as the most was he, a grosse unlearned foole : 
But doctor of divinitie proceeded he in schoole. 

The bounty of the fryer and wisdom hath so woune 
The townes folks harts that welnigh all to fryer Lawrence ronne. 

Appendix 277 

To shrive them selfe the olde, the yong, the great and small : 

Of all he is beloved well and honord much of all. 

And for he did the rest inwisdome farre exceede 

The prince by him (his counsell cravde) was holpe at time of neede. 

Betwixt the Capilets and him great frendship grew : 

A secret and assured frend unto the Montegue." 

At the end of the tragic story the poet asks : 

" But now what shall betyde of this gray-bearded syre? 
Of fryer Lawrence thus araynde, that good barefooted fryre? 
Because that many times he woorthely did serve 
The commen welth, and in his lyfe was never found to swerve, 
He was discharged quyte, and no marke of defame 
Did seeme to blot or touch at all the honor of his name. 
But of him selfe he went into an Hermitage, 

Two myles from Veron towne, where he in prayers past forth his age; 
Till that from earth to heaven his heavenly sprite dyd flye: 
Fyve yeres he lived an Hermite, and an Hermite dyd he dye." 

The puzzling prose preface to the poem is followed, in the origi 
nal edition, by another in verse, similarly headed "To the Reader," 
from which we learn that Brooke had written other poems, which 
with this he compares to unlicked whelps "nought els but 
lumpes of fleshe withouten heare " (hair) but this poem, he 
says, is " the eldest of them " and his " youthfull woorke." He 
has decided to publish it, but " The rest (unlickt as yet) a whyle 
shall lurke" (that is, in manuscript) 

" Till tyme give strength to meete and match in fight 
With slaunders whelpes." 

I suspect that after this poem was written he had become a Puritan, 
or more rigid in his Puritanism, but nevertheless lusted after 
literary fame and could not resist the temptation to publish the 
" youthfull woorke." But after writing the verse prologue it oc 
curred to him or some of his godly friends may have admonished 
him that the character of the story and the manner in which 

278 Appendix 

he had treated it, needed further apology or justification ; and the 
prose preface was written to serve as a kind of " moral " to the pro 
duction. After the suggestion to parents quoted above he adds : 
" Hereunto if you applye it, ye shall deliver my dooing from offence, 
and profit your selves. Though I saw the same argument lately set 
foorth on stage with more commendation then I can looke for 
(being there much better set forth then I have or can dooe) yet 
the same matter penned as it is, may serve 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, such as it is." 

The reader may be surprised that Brooke refers to having seen 
the story " on stage ; " but the Puritans did not altogether disap 
prove of plays that had a moral purpose. It will be remembered 
that Stephen Gosson, in his Schoole of Abuse (1579), excepts a few 
plays from the sweeping condemnation of his " plesaunt invective 
against Poets, Pipers, Plaiers, Jesters, and such like caterpillers of 
a Commonwelth " among them being " The Jew, . . . represent 
ing the greedinesse of worldly chusers, and the bloody minds of 
usurers," which may have anticipated Shakespeare in combining 
the stories of the caskets and the pound of flesh in The Merchant 
of Venice. 

That Brooke was a Puritan we may infer from the religious char 
acter of the only other book (mentioned above) which he is known 
to have published. His death the same year probably prevented 
his carrying out the intention of licking the rest of his poetical 
progeny into shape for print. 


JULIET. Juliet is not fortunate in her parents. Her father is 
sixty or more years old (as we may infer from what he says in 
i. 5. 29 fol.), while her mother is about twenty-eight (see i. 3. 50), 
and must have been married when she was half that age. Her 
assertion that Juliet was born when she herself was "much upon 

Appendix 279 

these years " of her daughter (who will be fourteen in about a fort 
night, as the Nurse informs us in the same scene) is somewhat in 
definite, but must be within a year or two of the exact figure. Her 
marriage was evidently a worldly one, arranged by her parents with 
little or no regard for her own feelings, much as she and her hus 
band propose to marry Juliet to Paris. 

We may infer that Capulet had not been married before, though, 
as he himself intimates and the lady declares (iv. 4. n fol.), he 
had been a "mouse-hunt" (given to flirtation and intrigue) in his 
bachelor days ; and she thinks that he needs " watching " even 
now, lest he give her occasion for jealousy. 

Neither father nor mother seems to have any marked affection 
for Juliet, or any interest in her welfare except to get her off their 
hands by what, from their point of view, is a desirable marriage. 
Capulet says (iii. 5. 175) : 

" God's bread ! it makes me mad ! 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 noble parentage, 
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train'd, 
Stuff'd, as they say, with honourable parts, 
Proportion'd as one's thought would wish a man, 
And then to have a wretched puling fool, 
A whining mammet, in her fortune's tender, 
To answer ' I '11 not wed ; I cannot love, 
I am too young ; I pray you, pardon me.' " 

It is more than he can endure ; and his wife, when Juliet begs her 
to interpose and " delay the marriage for a month, a week," refuses 
to " speak a word " in opposition to his determination to let her 
" die in the streets " if she does not marry Paris that very week. 
" Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee," the Lady adds, and 
leaves the hapless girl to her despair. A moment before she had 
said, " I would the fool were married to her grave ! " 

280 Appendix 

Earlier in the play (i. 2. 16) Capulet has said to Paris: 

" But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart, 
My will to her consent is but a part ; 
An she agree, within her scope of choice, 
Lies my consent and fair according voice ; " 

but from the context we see that this is merely a plausible excuse 
for not giving the count a definite answer just then. The girl, he 
says, is "yet a stranger in the world" (has not yet "come out," in 
modern parlance), and it is best to wait a year or two : 

" Let two more summers wither in their pride 
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride." 

He sees no reason for haste ; but later, influenced by the noble 
wooer's importunities and the persuasions of his wife, who has 
favoured an early marriage from the first (i. 3), he takes a different 
tone (Hi. 4. 12) : 

" Capulet. Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender 
Of my child's love. 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? 

Paris. Monday, my lord. 

Capulet. 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." 

" She shall be married," and the day is fixed. Already he calls 
Paris " my son." No question now of delay, and getting her " con 
sent " as a condition of securing his own ! 

At the supposed sudden death of their daughter the parents 
naturally feel some genuine grief; but the*: conventional wailing 
(iv. 5) belongs to the earlier version of the play, and it is signifi 
cant that Shakespeare let it stand when revising his work some 

Appendix 281 

years afterwards. As Tieck remarks, it "had not the true tragic 
ring" and why should it ? 

Most of the critics have assumed that Shakespeare makes Juliet 
only fourteen, because of her Italian birth ; but in the original Ital 
ian versions of the story she is eighteen, and Brooke makes her six 
teen. All of Shakespeare's other youthful heroines whose ages are 
definitely stated or indicated are very young. Miranda, in The 
Tempest, is barely fifteen, as she has been "twelve year " on the en 
chanted island and was " not out [full] three years old " when her 
father was driven from Milan. Marina, in Pericles, is only fifteen 
at the end of the play; and Perdita only sixteen, as we learn from 
the prologue to act iv. of The Winter's Tale. 

In Juliet's case, I believe that the youthfulness was an essential 
element in Shakespeare's conception of the character. With the 
parents and the Nurse he has given her, she could only have been, 
at the opening of the play, the mere girl he makes her. She must 
be too young to have discovered the real character of her father 
and mother, and to have been chilled and hardened by learning 
how unlike they were to the ideals of her childhood. She must 
not have come to comprehend fully the low coarse nature of the 
Nurse, her foster-mother. The poet would not have dared to leave 
the maiden under the influence of that gross creature till she was 
eighteen, or even sixteen. As it is, she has not been harmed by 
the prurient vulgarity of the garrulous dame. She never shows 
any interest in it, or seems even to notice it. When her mother 
first refers to the suit of Paris (i. 3) we see that no thought of love 
or marriage has ever occurred to her, and the glowing description 
of a noble and wealthy young wooer does not excite her imagination 
in the least. Her only response to all that the Lady and the Nurse 
have urged in praise of Paris is coldly acquiescent : 

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

282 Appendix 

The playful manner in which Juliet receives the advances of 
Romeo (i. 5. 95-109) is thoroughly girlish, though we must note 
that his first speech, as given in the play (" If I profane," etc.), is 
not the beginning of their conversation, which has been going on 
while Capulet and Tybalt were talking. This is the first and the 
last glimpse that we get of her bright young sportiveness. With the 
kiss that ends the pretty quibbling the girl learns what love means, 
and the larger life of womanhood begins. 

The " balcony scene " (ii. 2) the most exquisite love scene ever 
written is in perfect keeping with the poet's conception of Juliet 
as little more than a child still childlike in the expression of the 
new love that is making her a woman. Hence the absolute frank 
ness in her avowal of that love an ideal love in which passion 
and purity are perfectly interfused. There is not a suggestion of 
sensuality on Romeo's part any more than on hers. When he asks, 
" O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied? " it is only the half-involun 
tary utterance of the man's impatience so natural to the man 
that the full fruition of his love must be delayed. Juliet knows that 
it involves no base suggestion, and a touch of tender sympathy 
and pity is mingled with the maiden wisdom of the innocent re 
sponse, "What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?" 

Lady Martin (Helena Faucit), who has played the part of Juliet 
with rare power and grace, and has written about it no less admira 
bly, remarks on this scene : " Women are deeply in debt to Shake 
speare for all the lovely and noble things he has put into his 
women's hearts and mouths, but surely for nothing more than for 
the words in which Juliet's reply [to Romeo, when he has over 
heard her soliloquy in the balcony] is couched. Only one who 
knew of what a true woman is capable, in frankness, in courage, 
and self-surrender when- her heart is possessed by a noble love, 
could have touched with such delicacy, such infinite charm of 
mingled reserve and artless frankness, the avowal of so fervent, yet 
so modest a love, the secret of which had been so strangely stolen 
from her. As the whole scene is the noblest paean to Love ever 

Appendix 283 

written, so is what Juliet says supreme in subtlety of feeling and ex 
pression, where all is beautiful. Watch all the fluctuations of emo 
tion which pervade it, ... the generous frankness of the giving, 
the timid drawing back, fearful of having given too much un 
sought ; the perplexity of the whole, all summed up in that sweet 
entreaty for pardon with which it closes." 

Juliet's soliloquy in iii. 3 is no less remarkable for its chaste and 
reverent dealing with a situation even more perilous for the drama 
tist. We must not forget that it is a soliloquy, " breathed out 
in the silence and solitude of her chamber," as Mrs. Jameson 
reminds us ; or, we may say, not so much as breathed out, but only 
thought and felt, unuttered even when no one could have heard 
it. As spoken to a theatrical audience, it is only to a sympa 
thetic listener who appreciates the situation that it can have its 
true effect, and one feels almost guilty and ashamed at having in 
truded upon the sacred privacy of the maiden meditation. Even 
to comment upon it seems like profanity. 

Here, as in the balcony scene, Juliet is simply the " impatient 
child" to whom she compares herself, looking forward with min 
gled innocence and eagerness to the fruition of the " tender wishes 
blossoming at night " that inspire the soliloquy. 

In one of Romeo's speeches in the interview with Friar Laurence 
after the death of Tybalt (iii. 3), there is a delicate tribute to the 
girlish purity and timidity of Juliet, though it occurs in a connec 
tion so repellent to our taste that we may fail to note it. This i 
the passage : 

" heaven is here, 

Where Juliet lives, 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. They may seize 
On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand 
And steal immortal blessing from her lips, 

284 Appendix 

Who, even in pure and vestal modesty, 
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin: 
But Romeo may not, he is banished. 
This may flies do, when I from this must fly; 
They are free men, but I am banished." 

This is unquestionably from the earliest draft of the play, and is 
a specimen of the most intolerable class of Elizabethan conceits. 
As another has said, " Perhaps the worst line that Shakespeare or 
any other poet ever wrote, is the dreadful one where Romeo, in the 
very height of his passionate despair, says, ' This may flies do, but 
I from this must fly? " It comes in "with an obtrusive incongruity 
which absolutely makes one shudder." The allusion to the " car 
rion flies" is bad enough, but the added pun on fly, which makes 
the allusion appear deliberate and elaborate rather than an unfor 
tunate lapse due to the excitement of the moment, forbids any 
attempt to excuse or palliate it. But we must not overlook the 
exquisite reference to Juliet's lips, that 

" even in pure and vestal modesty 
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin." 

There we have the true Juliet the Juliet whose maiden modesty 
and innocence certain critics (in their comments upon the soliloquy 
in iii. 3) have been too gross to comprehend. It is to Romeo's 
honour that he can understand and feel it even when recalling the 
passionate exchange of conjugal kisses. 

The scene (iv. 3) in which Juliet drinks the potion has been mis 
interpreted by some of the best critics. Coleridge says that she 
"swallows the draught in a fit of fright," for it would have been 
" too bold a thing " for a girl of fourteen to have done it otherwise. 
Mrs. Jameson says that, " gradually and most naturally, in such a 
mind once thrown off its poise, the horror rises to frenzy, her 
imagination realizes its own hideous creations," that is, after pic 
turing all the possible horrors of the tomb, she sees, or believes she 

Appendix 285 

sees, the ghost of Tybalt, and drinks the potion in the frenzied 
apprehension the vision excites. On the contrary, as George 
Fletcher remarks, " the very clearness and completeness with which 
her mind embraces her present position make her pass in lucid re 
view, and in the most natural and logical sequence, the several dis 
mal contingencies that await her " thus leading up, " step by step, 
to this climax of the accumulated horrors, not which she may, but 
which she must encounter, if she wake before the calculated mo 
ment. This pressure on her brain, crowned by the vivid apprehen 
sion of anticipated frenzy, does, indeed, amid her dim and silent 
loneliness, produce a momentary hallucination [of Tybalt's ghost], 
but she instantly recovers herself, recognizes the illusion, . . . em 
braces the one chance of earthly reunion with her lord ' Romeo, 
I come ! this do I drink to thee ! ' " 

This is substantially Lady Martin's interpretation of the scene, 
and that which she carried out in action on the stage. She says: 
" For the moment the great fear gets the better of her great love, 
and all seems madness. Then in her frenzy of excitement she 
seems to see Tybalt's figure * seeking out Romeo.' At the mention 
of Romeo's name I used to feel all my resolution return. Romeo ! 
She goes to meet him, and what terror shall hold her back ? She 
will pass through the horror of hell itself to reach what lies beyond; 
and she swallows the potion with his name upon her lips." The 
lady adds: " What it is to act it I need not tell. What power it 
demands ! and yet what restraint ! " 

ROMEO. Some critics have expressed surprise that Shakespeare 
should have preluded the main story of the drama with the " su 
perfluous complication " of Romeo's love for Rosaline. On the 
other hand, Coleridge considers it " a strong instance of the fine 
ness of his insight into the nature of the passions." He adds: 
"The necessity of loving creates an object for itself in man and 
woman ; and yet there is a difference in this respect between the 
sexes, though only to be known by a perception of it. It would 
have displeased us if Juliet had been represented as already in love, 

286 Appendix 

or as fancying herself so ; but no one, I believe, ever experiences 
any shock at Romeo's forgetting his Rosaline, who had been a mere 
name for the yearning of his youthful imagination, and rushing into 
his passion for Juliet." Mrs. Jameson says: "Our impression of 
Juliet's loveliness and sensibility is enhanced when we find it over 
coming in the bosom of Romeo a previous love for another. His 
visionary passion for the cold, inaccessible Rosaline forms but the 
prologue, the threshold, to the true, the real sentiment which suc 
ceeds to it. This incident, which is found in the original story, has 
been retained by Shakspeare with equal feeling and judgment; 
and, far from being a fault in taste and sentiment, far from preju 
dicing us against Romeo by casting on him, at the outset of the 
piece, the stigma of inconstancy, it becomes, if properly considered, 
a beauty in the drama, and adds a fresh stroke of truth to the por 
trait of the lover. Why, after all, should we be offended at what 
does not offend Juliet herself ? for in the original story we find that 
her attention is first attracted towards Romeo by seeing him ' fancy- 
sick and pale of cheer,' for love of a cold beauty." 

The German critic Kreyssig aptly remarks : " We make the ac 
quaintance of Romeo at the critical period of that not dangerous 
sickness to which youth is liable. It is that ' love lying in the eyes' 
of early and just blossoming manhood, that humorsome, whimsical 
' love in idleness,' that first bewildered, stammering interview of the 
heart with the scarcely awakened nature. Strangely enough, objec 
tions have been made to this ' superfluous complication,' as if, down 
to this day, every Romeo had not to sigh for some Junonian Rosa 
line, nay, for half a dozen Rosalines, more or less, before his eyes 
open upon his Juliet." 

Young men of ardent and sentimental nature, as Kreyssig inti 
mates, imagine themselves in love sometimes again and again 
before a genuine passion takes possession of them. As Rosalind 
expresses it, Cupid may have " clapped them on the shoulder," but, 
they are really "heart-whole." Such love is like that of the song in 
The Merchant of Venice : 

Appendix 287 

" It is engender'd in the eyes, 
By gazing fed, and fancy dies 
In the cradle where it lies." 

It lives only until it is displaced by a healthier, more vigorous love, 
capable of outgrowing the precarious period of infancy. 1 This is 
not the only instance of the kind in Shakespeare. Orsino's ex 
perience in Twelfth Night is similar to Romeo's. At the begin 
ning of the play he is suffering from unrequited love for Olivia, but 
later finds his Juliet in Viola. 

Romeo is a very young man if indeed we may call him a man 
when we first meet him. We may suppose him to be twenty, but 
hardly older. He has seen very little of society, as we infer from 
Benvolio's advising him to go to the masquerade at Capulet's, in 
order to compare "the admired beauties of Verona " with Rosaline. 
He had thought her " fair, none else being by." He is hardly less 
" a stranger in the world " than Juliet himself. Love develops him 
as it does her, but more slowly. 

Contrast the strength of Juliet's new-born heroism in her budding 
womanhood, when she drinks the potion that is to consign her to 
the horrors of the charnel-house, with the weakness of Romeo who 
is ready to kill himself when he learns that he is to be banished 
from Verona, an insignificant fate compared with that which 
threatens her banishment from home, a beggar in the streets, 
the only alternative a criminal marriage that would forever separate 
her from her lawful husband, or death to escape that guilt and 

1 Praed alludes to this affection of the " salad days " of youth in The 
Belle of the Ball-room : 

" Through sunny May, through sultry June, 
I loved her with a love eternal." 

That is about the average span of its " eternity." In Romeo's case it 
did not last even two months, as we may infer from the fact (i. i. 136) 
that his parents have not found out the cause of it, and from what his 
friends say about it. 

288 Appendix 

wretchedness. No wonder that the Friar cannot control his con 
tempt and indignation when Romeo draws his sword : 

" Hold thy desperate hand ! 
Art thou a man ? thy form cries out thou art ; 
Thy tears are womanish, thy wild acts denote 
The unreasonable fury of a beast, 
Unseemly woman 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, 
By doing damned hate upon thyself? 

* * * * * 

What, rouse thee, man ! thy Juliet is alive, 
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead; 
There art thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee, 
But thou slew'st Tybalt; there art thou happpv too. 
The law that threaten'd death becomes thy friend 
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 misbehav'd and sullen wench, 
Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love. 
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable." 

He has the form of a man, but talks and acts like a weak girl, 
while the girl of fourteen whom he loves a child three days 
before, we might say now shows a self-control and fortitude 
worthy of a man. 

Romeo does not attain to true manhood until he receives the 
tidings of Juliet's supposed death. " Now, for the first time," as 
Dowden says, " he is completely delivered from the life of dream, 
completely adult, and able to act with an initiative in his own vsill, 
and with manly determination. Accordingly, he now speaks with 

Appendix 289 

masculine directness and energy : ' Is it even so ? Then I defy 
you, stars ! ' Yes ; he is now master of events ; the stars cannot 
alter his course. ' Nothing,' as Maginn has observed, ' can be more 
quiet than his final determination, " Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee 
to night." ... It is plain Juliet. His mind is made up ; the 
whole course of the short remainder of his life so unalterably fixed 
that it is perfectly useless to think more about it.' These words, 
because they are the simplest, are amongst the most memorable 
that Romeo utters. Now passion, imagination, and will are fused 
together, and Romeo who was weak has at length become strong." 
MERCUTIO. Dryden quotes a traditional saying concerning Mer- 
cutio, that if Shakespeare had not killed him, he would have killed 
Shakespeare. But Shakespeare was never driven to disposing of a 
personage in that way, because he was unequal to the effort of 
maintaining the full vigour or brilliancy of the characterization. 
He did not have to kill off Falstaff, for instance, until he had car 
ried him through three complete plays, and then only because his 
" occupation/ ' dramatically speaking, " was gone." There was the 
same reason for killing Mercutio. The dramatist had no further 
use for him after the quarrel with Tybalt which leads to his death. 
in both the novel and the poem, Romeo kills Tybalt in a street 
brawl between the partisans of the rival houses. The dramatic 
effect of the scene in the play where Romeo avoids being drawn 
into a conflict with Tybalt until driven to incontrollable grief and 
wrath by the death of his friend is far more impressive. The self- 
control and self-restraint of Romeo, in spite of the insults of Tybalt 
and the disgust of Mercutio at what seems" to him " calm, dishonour 
able, vile submission," show how reluctant the lover of Juliet is to 
fight with her kinsman. He does his best to restrain his friend 
from the duel : " Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up " but to no 
purpose ; nor is his appeal to Benvolio to " beat down their 
weapons" more successful. He then attempts to do this himself, 
but the only result is to bring about the death of Mercutio, who 
exclaims : " Why the devil came you between us ? I was hurt under 

290 Appendix 

your arm." Poor Romeo can only plead, " I thought all for the 

But at this point in the play, when the tragic complication really 
begins, the dramatist must dismiss Mercutio from the stage, as he 
does with Falstaff after Prince Hal has become King. Mercutio 
must not come in contact with Juliet, nor will Romeo himself care 
to meet him. He is the most foul-mouthed of Shakespeare's 
characters, the clowns and profligates not excepted. The only 
instance in Shakespeare's works in which the original editions omit 
a word from the text is in a speech of Mercutio's ; and Pope, who 
could on occasion be as coarse as any author of that licentious age, 
felt obliged to drop two of Mercutio's lines from his edition of the 
dramatist. Fortunately, the majority of the knight's gross allu 
sions are so obscure that they would not be understood nowadays, 
even by readers quite familiar with the language of the time. 

And yet Mercutio is a fellow of excellent fancy poetical fancy 
as the familiar description of Queen Mab amply proves. Critics 
have picked it to pieces and found fault with some of the details ; 
but there was never a finer mingling of exquisite poetry with keen 
and sparkling wit. Its imperfections and inconsistencies, if such 
they be, are in keeping with the character and the situation. It 
was meant to be a brilliant improvisation, not a carefully elaborated 
composition. Shakespeare may, indeed, have written the speech as 
rapidly and carelessly as he makes Mercutio speak it. 


This is summed up by Mr. P. A. Daniel in his valuable paper 
"On the Times or Durations of the Actions of Shakspere's Plays" 
(Trans, of New Shaks. Soc. 1877-79, p. 194) as follows: 

" Time of this Tragedy, six consecutive days, commencing on the 
morning of the first, and ending early in the morning of the sixth. 

Day i. (Sunday) Act I. and Act II. sc. i. and ii. 
" 2. (Monday) Act II. sc. iii.-vi., Act III. sc. i.-iv. 

Appendix 291 

Day 3. (Tuesday) Act III. sc. v., Act IV. sc. i.-iv. 
" 4. (Wednesday) Act IV. sc. v. 
" 5. (Thursday) Act V. 
" 6. (Friday) End of Act V. sc. iii." 

After the above was printed, Dr. Furnivall called Mr. Daniel's 
attention to my note on page 249 fol. in which I show that the 
drama may close on Thursday morning instead of Friday. Mr. 
Daniel was at first disinclined to accept this view, but on second 
thought was compelled to admit that I was right. 


The numbers in parentheses indicate the lines the characters 
have in each scene. 

Escalus : i. 1(23); iii. 1(16); v. 3(36). Whole no. 75. 

Paris: i. 2(4); iii. 4(4); iv. 1(2*3), 5(6); v. 3(32). Whole 
no. 69. 

Montague : i. 1(28); iii. 1(3); v. 3(10). Whole no. 41. 

Capulet: i. 1(3), 2(33), 5(56); iii. 4(31), 5(63); iv. 2(26), 
4(19), 5(28); v. 3(10). Whole no. 269. 

2d Capulet : i. 5(3). Whole no. 3. 

Romeo- i. 1(65), 2(29), 4(34), 5(27); ii. 1(2), 2(86), 3(25), 
4(54), 6(12); iii. 1(36), 3(71), 5(24); v. 1(71), 3(82). Whole 
no. 618. 

Mercutio: i. 4(73) 5 i(34)4(95) "i- 1(70- Whole no. 273. 

Benvolio: i. 1(51), 2(20), 4(13), 5(1); ii. 1(9). 404); " 
1(53). Whole no. 161. 

Tybalt : i. 1(5), 5(17); iii. 1(14). Whole no. 36. 

Friar Laurence: ii. 3(72), 6(18); 1^.3(87); iv. 1(56), 5(25); 
v. 2(17), 3(75). Whole no. 350. 

Friar John : v. 2(13). Whole no. 13. 

Balthasar : v. i(n), 3(21). Whole no. 32. 

Sampson: i. 1(41). Whole no. 41. 

Gregory : i. i (24) . Whole no. 24. 

292 Appendix 

Peter: iii. 4(7); iv. 5(30). Whole no 37 

Abram : i. 1(5). Whole no. 5. 

Apothecary : \. 1(7). Whole no. 7. 

1st Musician: iv. 5(16). Whole no. 16. 

2d Musician : iv. 5(6). W T hole no. 6. 

^d Musician : iv. 5(1). Whole no. I. 

ist Servant : i. 2(21), 3(5), 5(11); iv. 4(1). Whole no. 38. 

2d Servant : i. 5(7); iv. 2(5), 4(2). W T hole no. 14. 

ist Watchman: v. 3(19). Whole no. 19. 

2d Watchman: v. 3(1). Whole no. I. 

*$d Watchman: v. 3(3). Whole no. 3. 

ist Citizen: i. 1(2); iii. 1(4). Whole no. 6. 

Page : v. 3(9). Whole no. 9. 

Lady Montague : i. 1(3). Whole no. 3. 

Lady Capulet: \. 1(1), 3(36), 5(1); iii. 1(11), 4(2), 5(37); iv. 
2(3), 3(3), 4(3), 5(13); v. #5). Whole no. 115. 

Juliet: i. 3(8), 5(19); ii. 2(114), 5(43), 6(7); iii. 2(116), 
5(105); iv. 1(48), 2(12), 3(56); v. 3(13). Whole no. 541. 

Nurse: i. 3( 6 0, 5( J 5); " 2 ( II 4), 6(43), 7(7); iii. 2(116), 
5(105); iv. 1(48), 2(12), 3(56); v. 3(13). Whole no. 290. 

" Prologue " / (14). Whole no. 14. 

" Chorus" 11 : end of act i. (14). Whole no. 14. 

In the above enumeration, parts of lines are counted as whole 
lines, making the total in the play greater than it is. The actual 
number in each scene is as follows: Prologue (14); i. 1(244), 
2(106), 3(106), 4(114), 5(147); Chorus (14); ii. 1(42), 2(190), 
3(94), 4(233), 5(80), 6(37); iii- 1(202), 2(143), 3(i75) 4(3$), 
5(241); iv. 1(126), 2(47), 3(58), 4(28), 5(150); v. 1(86), 2(30), 
3(310). W T hole number in the play, 3053. The line-numbering 
is that of the Globe ed. 


a (=one), 215 

bankrupt (spelling), 229 

cat, nine lives of, 221 

a hall, a hall! 190 

banquet (= dessert), 195 

catched, 258 

a la stoccata, 221 

bate (in falconry), 227 

catling, 261 

Abraham Cupid, 197 

bear a brain, to, 179 

charge, 265 

abused (= marred), 247 

becomed, 253 

cheerly, 190 

ache, 216 

beetle-brows, 183 

cheveril, 212 

Adventure (verb), 200, 

behoveful, 253 

chinks, 194 


bent (= inclination), 202 

choler (play upon), iC6 

advise (= consider), 244 

be-rhyme, 209 

chop-logic, 243 

afeard, 202 

bescreened, 199 

Chorus, 165 

affections, 169 
affray (verb), 238 

beshrew, 216, 244, 265 
betossed, 267 

circle (magician's), 198 
circumstance, 216, 271 

afore, 214 

better tempered, 234 

civil (= grave), 227 

afore me, 236 

bills (weapons), 167 

closed (= enclosed), 188 

against (of time), 236 

bite by the ear, to, 211 

closet (= chamber), 253 

agate, 186 

bite the thumb, to, 167 

clout, 207 

airy tongue, 203 

blaze, 235 

clubs, 167 

all (intensive), 170 

blazon, 218 

cock a-hoop, 192 

alligator, 263 

bons, 209 

coil (= ado), 216 

amazed, 224 

bosom's lord, my, 262 

colliers, 166 

ambling, 183 

both our remedies, 206 

come near, 190 

ambuscadoes, 187 

bound (play upon) 174, 

comfortable (active), 271 

amerce, 221; 


commission, 248 

anatomy, 234 

bow of lath, 182 

compare (noun), 216, 246 

ancient, 168, 206 

boy (contemptuous) , 221 

compliment, 200 

and there an endj 236 

brace, 273 

concealed, 234 

antic, 191 

bride (masculine). 243 

conceit, 218 

apace, 215 

broad (goose), 212 % 

conclude (transitive), 225 

ape, 198 

broken music, 220 

conduct (= conductor), 

apt to, 219, 235 

burn daylight, to, 185 

223, 270 

as (=as if), 216 

button, 208 

conduit, 242 

as (= namely), 254 

butt-shaft, 207 

confessor (accent), 218, 

as (omitted), 170 
as (redundant), 272 

by and by (= presently), 
224, 236, 273 

2 33 
confidence (=conference), 

associate me, 265 


aspire (transitive). 223 

candles (night's), 237 

confound (= destroy) , 217 

atomies, 186 

canker (= worm), 205 

confusions, 258 

attach (= arrest). 271 

cankered, i: 8 

conjurations, 267 

attending (= attentive), 

Capel's, 262, 270 

conjure (accent), 197 


captain of compliments, 

consort (noun), 219 

ay, 229 


consort (transitive), 223 

ay me ! 197, 262 

carries it away, 221 

consort with, 219 

carry coals, to, 166 

content thee, 192 

baked meats, 256 

carry no crotchets, 261 

contract (accent), 201 

Bahhasar (accent), 262 

case (play upon), 183, 

contrary (accent), 229 

bandying, 216, 222 


contrary (verb), 193 



Index of Words and Phrases 

convert (intransitive), 193 
cot-quean, 257 
county(= count), 181, 241 
court-cupboard, 189 
courtship, 233 
cousin (= kinsman), 223 
cousin (= uncle), 190 
cover (play upon), 180 
cross (= perverse), 253 
cross (= thwart), 267 
crow-keeper, 182 
crush a cup, 176 
crystal scales, 176 
cure (intransitive), 174 
curfew-bell, 256 
Cynthia, 238 

damnation (concrete), 245 
dare (play upon), 207 
dark heaven, 173 
date (= duration), 188 
dateless, 269 
dear, 232, 265, 267 
dear hap, 204 
dear mercy, 232 
death (concrete), 268 
death-darting eye, 229 
defy (= refuse) , 267 
deny ( refuse), 190 
depart (=part), 220 
depend (impend), 223 
desperate, 236 
determine of, 229 
detestable (accent), 258 
devotion (quadrisyllable), 


Dian's wit, 171 
digressing, 235 
discover (= reveal), 201 ; 


dislike (= displease) , 200 
displant, 233 
dispute (= reason) . 233 
dissemblers (metre), 230 
distemperature, 206 
distraught, 255 
division (in music), 238 
do danger, 265 
do disparagement, 192 
do hate, 234 
doctrine (= instruction), 


doom thee death, 223 
doth (plural), 165 
doubt (= distrust), 267 
drawn, 167 

I drift (= scheme), 252 

! dry-beat, 222, 261 

| dump, 260 
Dun in the mire, 184 
dun's the mouse, 184 

earth, 173, 196 

elf-locks, 187 

empty ( hungry) , 267 

encamp them, 205 

encounter, 218 

endart, 181 

enforce (= force) , 267 

engrossing, 269 

enpierced, 183 

entrance (trisyllable), 182 
i envious (= malicious), 
224, 228 

Ethiope, 191 
1 evening mass, 247 
| exile (accent), 225, 232 

expire (transitive), 188 

extremes, 248 

extremities, 196 

faintly, 182 

fairies' midwife, 186 

familiar (metre), 232 

fantasticoes, 208 

fashion-mongers, 209 

fay (= faith) , 195 

fearful (= afraid), 232 

feeling (= heartfelt), 240 

festering, 254 

fettle, 243 

fine (= penance) , 193 

fire drives out fire, 174 

five^vits, 185, 211 

flattering (= illusive), 261 

flecked, 204 

fleer, 191 

flirt-gills, 213 

flowered (pump), 211 

fond (= foolish), 233, 259 

fool, 179 

foolish, 195 

fool's paradise, 214 

for (repeated), 196 

form (play upon), 209 

forth, 169 

fortune's fool, 224 

frank (= bountiful), 201 

Freetown, 169 

fret, 237 

friend (= lover) , 239 

from forth, 204 

gapes, 196 

garish, 228 

gear (= matter), 212. 264 

ghostly, 204 

give leave awhile, 178 

give me, 252 

give me leave, 216 

gleek, 260 

glooming, 273 

God save the mark ! 229 

God shall mend my soul! 


God shield, 248 
God ye good morrow ! 212 
good-den (or god-den), 

170, 175, 219, 243 
good goose, bite not, 211* 
good hap, 235 
good morrow, 170, 205 
good thou, 189 
gore-blood, 229 
gossamer, 217 
grandsire, 209 
grave (play upon), 223 
grave beseeming, 168 
green (eyes), 245 
green (=fresh), 254 
grey-eyed, 204, 209 

haggard (noun), 203 

hap, 204 

harlotry, 253 

have at thee, 167, 261 

haviour, 200 

hay (in fencing), 208 

he (= him), 240 

he (= man), 264 

healthsome, 254 

heartless (=cowardly), 167 

Heart's-ease, 260 

heavy (play upon), 170 

held him carelessly, 236 

highmost, 216 

high-top-gallant, 214 

hilding, 209, 243 

his (=its), 259, 270 

hoar (= mouldy), 213 

hold the candle, to, 184 

holp, 174 

homely in thy drift, 206 

honey (adjective), 216 

hood, 227 

hour (dissyllable), 216, 


house (= sheath) , 270 
humorous, 198 

Index of Words and Phrases 295 

humours, 197 

Mab, 185 

of (=on), 167, 216 

hunts-up, 238 

made (= did), 273 

of the very first house, 208 

I (repeated), 220 

maidenhead, 177 
make and mar, 172 

old (= practised) , 234 
one is no number, 173 

idle worms, 186 

makes dainty, 190 

operation (= effect), 219 

ill-beseeming, 234 
importuned (accent), 170 

mammet, 244 
man of wax, 179 

opposition (metre), 253 
orchard (= garden), 197 

in ( into), 262, 267 

manage (noun), 224 

osier cage, 204 

in extremity, 181 

mandrake, 254 

outrage (= outcry), 272 

in happy time, 241 

manners (number), 272 

outrage (trisyllab'e), 222 

in his view, 170 

many's, 181 

overwhelming, 263 

in post, 273 

marchpane, 189 

owe (= possess) , 199 

in spite, 168, 192 

margent, 180 

inconstant, 252 

mark (= appoint), 179 

pale as a clout, 215 

indite (= invite), 213 

mark-man, 171 

paly, 249 

infection (quadrisyllable), 

marriage (trisyllable), 

pardonnez-mois, 209 


196, 247, 272 

partisan, 167 

inherit (= possess), 173 

married (figurative), 180 

parts (= gifts), 232, 244 

it fits, 192 

married and marred, 172 

passado, 208, 222 

masks (ladies'), 172 

passing (adverbial), 172 

Jack, 213, 219, 261 
jealous (=suspicious) , 267 
jealous-hood, 257 
joint-stools, 188 

me (ethical dative), 208, 
mean (noun), 233 
measure (= dance), 182 

pastry, 256 
patience (trisyllable), 262, 
patience perforce, 193 

merchant ( contemptuous), 

pay that doctrine, 172 

keep ado, 236 


peace (metre), 243 

kindly, 211, 271 

mewed up. 236 

perforce (= by force) , 272 

king of cats, 221 

mickle, 205 

peruse (=scan), 267 

kniie (worn by ladies), 

minion, 243 

pestilent, 261 

248, 254 

misadventure, 262 

Phaethon, 225 

mistempered, 168 

pilcher, 222 

label, 248 

mistress (trisyllable), 214 

pin (in archery), 207 

labour (of time), 258 

modern (= trite) , 231 

pinked, 211 

lace, 210, 237 

moody (= angry), 219 

plantain, 174 

Lady, lady, lady, 213 

mouse-hunt, 257 

pluck, 204 

lady-bird, 177 

moved, 168 

portly, 192 

lamentation (metre), 235 

much upon these years, 

poor my lord, 230 

Lammas-tide, 178 


pothecary, 273 

languish (noun), 174 

muffle, 267 

pout'st upon, 235 

lantern, 267 

powerful grace, 205 

lay (= wager), 178 

natural (= fool) , 212 

predominant, 205 

lay along, 266 

naught, 230 

presence, 268 

learn (=teach), 227, 253 

needly, 231 

present (= immediate), 264 

leaves, 218 

needy, 241 

presently, 262 

let (noun), 200 

neighbour-stained, 168 

pretty, 261 

level (= aim), 234 

new (adverbial), 170 

prevails (= avails), 233 

lieve, 215 

news (number), 216, 242 

prick of noon, 212 

light (play upon), 183 
lightning before death, 268 

nice (= petty, trifling) , 
224, 265 

prick-song, 208 
prince of cats, 207 

like (= likely), 254 

nightgown, 168 

princox, 193 

like of, 181 

nor . . . not, 238, 241 

procure, 239 

living (noun), 258 

nothing (adverb), 169 

prodigious, 196 

loggerhead, 257 

nuptial, 191 

proof (= experience), 171 

long sword, 168 

proof (of armour), 171 

love (= Venus), 215 

O (= grief) , 233 

properer, 215 

loving-jealous, 204 

o'er-perch, 200 

prorogued, 200, 248 

296 Index of Words and Phrases 

proverbed, 184 

slow (verb) , 247 

temper (= mix), 241 

pump (= shoe), 211 

smooth (verb), 231 

tender (noun), 244 

punto reverse, 208 

so (omitted), 241 

tender (= regard), 221 

purchase out, 225 

so brief to part, 235 

tetchy, 179 

so ho! 213 

thank me no thankings, 

question (= conversation). 

solemnity, 192 



some minute, 273 

that (affix), 233 

quit (= requite), 214 

some other where, 171 

therewithal, 273 

quote (= note), 183 

something (adverb), 266 

this three hours, 265 

quoth, 179 

sometime, 187 

thorough (= through) , 207 

R, the dog's letter, 215 

soon-speeding, 264 
sorrow drinks our blood, 

thought (= hoped), 258 
thou 's, 178 

rearward. 231 

2 39 

thumb, rings for, 186 

reason coldly, 220 

sort (= select) , 253 

tidings (number), 241 

rebeck, 261 

sorted out, 241 

timeless, 271 

receipt, 241 
receptacle (accent), 254 

soul (play upon) , 183, 211 
sound (= utter), 231 

't is an ill cook, etc , 252 
Titan, 204 

reckoning, 172 

sour, 232, 267 

toes, 190 

reeky. 249 

sped, 222 

to-night (= last night), 

remember (reflexive), 178 

speed, be my, 270 

185, 207 

respective, 223 

spinners, 186 

torch-bearer, 182, 237 

rest you merry! 175 

spite, 198, 247 

towards (= ready) , 195 

retort (= throw back) , 224 

spleen, 224 

toy (= caprice), 252 

riddling, 206 

spoke him fair, 224 

trencher, 188 

roe (play upon), 209 

stand on sudden haste, 

tried (= proved) , 254 

rood (= cross), 179 


truckle-bed, 198 

ropery, 213 

star-crossed, 165 

tutor me from, 219 

rosemary, 259 
round (= whisper), 195 

starved, 171 
starveth, 264 

two and forty hours, 249 
two hours (of a play), 

runaways' eyes, 225 

stay-(= wait for) , 261 


rushed aside the law, 232 

stay the circumstance, 216 

two may keep counsel, 214 

rushes, 183 

steads, 206 

Tybalt, 207 

still (= always), 269, 273 

sadly (= seriously), 171 
sadness, 171 

strained, 205 
strange, 200, 227 

unattainted, 176 
uncomfortable, 259 

savage wild, 267 

strucken, 172 

uneven (= indirect), 247 

scales (singular), 176 

stumbling at graves, 270 

unfirm, 266 

scant, 176 

substantial (quadrisylla 

unkind (accent, etc.), 270- 

scape, 219 

ble) , 202 

unmanned, 227 

scathe, 192 

surcease, 249 

unsavoury, 270 

scorn at, 192 

swashing blow, 167 

unstufTed, 205 

season, 206 

sweet my mother, 244 

untimely (adverb), 223, 

set abroach, 169 

sweet water, 266 

2 73 

set up my rest, 269 

sweet-heart (accent), 257 

up (transposed), 253 

sick and green, 199 

sweeting, 211 

use (tense), 196 

siege (figurative), 171, 

sweetmeats, 187 

utters (= sells), 264 


swounded, 229 

silver-sweet, 203 

sycamore, 169 

validity, 233 

simpleness, 216, 233 

vanished, 232 

simples (= herbs), 216, 

tables (turned up), 190 

vanity, 218 


tackled stair, 214 

vaulty (heaven), 238 

single-soled, 211 

take me with you, 242 

Verona, 165 

sir-reverence, 185 

take the wall, 166 

versal, 215 

skains- mates, 213 

take truce, 224 

very (adjective), 222 

slip (= counterfeit), 210 

tassel-gentle, 203 

view (= appearance), 170 

slops, 210 

teen, 178 

volume (figurative), 180 

Index of Words and Phrases 


wanton (masculine), 203 
ware (= aware) , 169, 200 
was I with you ? 211 
weeds (= garments), 263 
well (of the dead), 258, 

well said (= well done) , 


what (= how, why), 191 
what (=who), 194 

wherefore (accent) , 200 
who (= which), 169, 188, 
2 33, 24 2 
wild-goose chase, 211 
will none, 242 
wit, 235, 240 
with (=by), 170, 267 
withal, 169 
wits, five, 185" 
worm (in fingers), 186 

wormwood, 178 
worser, 205, 221 
worshipped sun, 169 
worth (= wealth), 218 
wot, 232 
wrought (= effected), 242 

yet not, 199 
zounds, 220 


Edited by WILLIAM J. ROLFE, Litt. D. 
Each, $0.56 


Twenty poems (including " Pippa Passes"), with Introduction, 
Life of Browning, Chronological Table of His Works, List of Books 
useful in studying them, Critical Comments, and Notes. 


"A Blot in the 'Scutcheon," " Colombe's Birthday," and 
"A Soul's Tragedy" with Introduction, Critical Comments, 
and Notes. 


" The Traveller," "The Deserted Village," and " Retaliation," 
with Life of Goldsmith, Recollections and Criticisms by Thackeray, 
Coleman the Younger, Campbell, Forster, and Irving, and Notes. 


The "Elegy," "The Bard," "The Progress of Poesy," and 
other Poems, with Life of Gray, William Hewitt's Description of 
Stoke-Pogis, and historical, critical, and explanatory Notes. 


With the Author's Preface and Introductions, Criticisms by John 
Stuart Mill, Henry Morley, "Christopher North," and others, 
historical and explanatory Notes, and copious Illustrations. 


All of Milton's Minor Poems except the Translations, with biograph 
ical and critical Introductions, and historical and explanatory Notes. 


Seventy-one Poems, with Life, Criticisms from Matthew Arnold, 
R. H. Hutton, Principal Shairp, J. R. Lowell, and Papers of the 
Wordsworth Society, and very full Notes. Illustrated by Abbey, 
Parsons, and other eminent artists. 


(S 96) 


Edited by WILLIAM J. ROLFE, Litt.D 
40 volumes, each, $0.56 

THE popularity of Rolfe's Shakespeare has been ex 
traordinary. Since its first publication in 1870-83 
it has been used more widely, both in schools and 
colleges, and by the general reading public, than any simi 
lar edition ever issued. It is to-day the standard annotated 
edition of Shakespeare for educational purposes. 
^[ As teacher and lecturer Dr. Rolfe has been constantly in 
touch with the recent notable advances made in Shakespear 
ian investigation and criticism ; and this revised edition he 
has carefully adjusted to present conditions. 
^J The introductions and appendices have been entirely re 
written, and now contain the history of the plays and poems; 
an account of the sources of the plots, with copious extracts 
from the chronicles and novels from which the poet drew 
his material ; and general comments by the editor, with 
selections from the best English and foreign criticism. 
^[ The notes are very full, and include all the historical, 
critical, and illustrative material needed by the teacher, as 
well as by the student, and general reader. Special feat 
ures in the notes are the extent to which Shakespeare is 
made to explain himself by parallel passages from his works; 
the frequent Bible illustrations; the full explanations of allu 
sions to the manners and customs of the period; and descrip 
tions of the localities connected with the poet's life and works, 
^[ New notes have also been substituted for those referring 
to other volumes of the edition, so that each volume is now 
absolutely complete in itself. The form of the books has 
been modified, the page being made smaller to adjust them 
to pocket use. 


CS. 97) 


Louisville Male High School. Price, $1.25 

ERATURE traces the development of that litera 
ture from the earliest times to the present in a 
concise, interesting, and stimulating manner. Although the 
subject is presented so clearly that it can be readily com 
prehended by high school pupils, the treatment is sufficiently 
philosophic and suggestive for any student beginning the 

^] The book is a history of literature, and not a mere col 
lection of biographical sketches. Only enough of the facts 
of an author's life are given to make students interested in 
him as a personality, and to show how his environment 
affected his work. Each author's productions, their rela 
tions to the age, and the reasons why they hold a position 
in literature, receive adequate treatment. 
^| One of the most striking features of the work consists in 
the w^y in which literary movements are clearly outlined at 
the beginning of each chapter. Special attention is given to 
the essential qualities which differentiate one period from 
another, and to the animating spirit of each age. The author 
shows that each period has contributed something definite 
to the literature of England. 

^[ At the end of each chapter a carefully prepared list of 
books is given to direct the student in studying the original 
works of the authors treated. He is told not only what to 
read, but also where to find it at the least cost. The book 
contains a special literary map of England in colors. 



of Brown University. Price, 90 cents 

IN this book Mr. Koopman, whose experience and 
reputation as a librarian give him unusual qualifications 
as an adviser, presents to the student at the outset the 
advantages of reading, and the great field of literature 
open to the reader's choice. He takes counsel with the 
student as to his purpose, capacities, and opportunities in 
reading, and aims to assist him in following such methods 
and in turning to such classes of books as will further the 
attainment of his object. 

^[ Pains are taken to provide the young student from the 
beginning with a knowledge, often lacking in older readers, 
of the simplest literary tools reference books and cata 
logues. An entire chapter is given to the discussion of 
the nature and value of that form of printed matter which 
forms the chief reading of the modern world periodical 
literature. Methods of note-taking and of mnemonics 
are fully described ; and a highly suggestive and valuable 
chapter is devoted to language study. 

^| One of the most valuable chapters in the volume to 
most readers is that concerning courses of reading. In 
accordance with the author's' new plan for the guidance 
of readers, a classified list of about fifteen hundred books 
is given, comprising the most valuable works in reference 
books, periodicals, philosophy, religion, mythology and 
folk-lore, biography, history, travels, sociology, natural 
sciences, art, poetry, fiction, Greek, Latin, and modern 
literatures. The latest and best editions are specified, and 
the relative value of the several works mentioned is indi 
cated in notes. 


(S. 106. 


By STRATTON D. BROOKS, Superintendent of 
Schools, Boston, Mass., and MARIETTA HUB- 
BARD, formerly English Department, High School, 
La Salle, 111. Price, $1.00 

THE fundamental aim of this volume is to enable pupils 
to express their thoughts freely, clearly, and forcibly. 
At the same time it is designed to cultivate literary 
appreciation, and to develop some knowledge of rhetorical 
theory. The work follows closely the requirements of the 
College Entrance Examination Board, and of the New 
York State Education Department. 

^y In Part One are given the elements of description, narra 
tion, exposition, and argument; also special chapters on let 
ter-writing and poetry. A more complete and comprehensive 
treatment of the four forms of discourse already discussed is 
furnished in Part Two. In each partis presented a series of 
themes covering these subjects, the purpose being to give the 
pupil inspiration, and that confidence in himself which comes 
from the frequent repetition of an act. A single new princi 
ple is introduced into each theme, and this is developed in 
the text, and illustrated by carefully selected examples. 
^y The pupils are taught how to correct their own errors, 
and also how to get the main thought in preparing their 
lessons. Careful coordination with the study of literature 
and with other school studies is made throughout the book. 
*J| The modern character of the illustrative extracts can not 
fail to interest every boy and girl. Concise summaries are 
given folio wingthe treatment of the variousforms of discourse, 
and toward the end of the book there is a very comprehensive 
and compact summary of grammatical principles. More than 
usual attention is devoted to the treatment of argument. 


(S. 88) 


87 CHARLES F. JOHNSON, L.H.D., Professor of 
English Literature, Trinity College, Hartford. Price, 

A TEXT-BOOK for a year's course in schools and 
colleges, in which English literary history is regarded 
as composed of periods, each marked by a definite 
tone of thought and manner of expression. The treatment 
follows the divisions logically and systematically, without 
any of the perplexing cross divisions so frequently made. 
It is based on the historic method of study, and refers 
briefly to events in each period bearing on social devel 
opment, to changes in religious and political theory, 
and even to advances in the industrial arts. In addi 
tion, the book contains critiques, general surveys, sum 
maries, biographical sketches, bibliographies, and suggestive 
questions. The examples have been chosen from 
poems which are generally familiar, and of an illustrative 



THIS book contains nothing more than every young person should 
know about the construction of English verse, and its main 
divisions, both by forms and by subject-matter. The historical 
development of the main divisions is sketched, and briefly illustrated by 
representative examples ; but the true character of poetry as an art and 
as a social force has always been in the writer's mind. Only the 
elements of prosody are given. The aim has been not to make the 
study too technical, but to interest the student in poetry, and to aid him 
in acquiring a well-rooted taste for good literature. 


(S. 10 

a i