Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair;
He, that is strucken blind, cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost;
Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve, but as a note
Where I may read, who pass'd that passing fair?
Farewell; thou canst not teach me to forget.
Ben. I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.

[Exeunt.
SCENE II. A Street,
Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and Servant.
Cap. And Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we to keep the peace.

Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity 'tis, you liv'd at odds so long.

lord, what

say you

to
my

suit?
Cap. By 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,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.

Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made.
Cap. And too soon marr'd are those so early

made1.
The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she,
1 The quarto of 1597 reads :-

* And too soon marr'd are those so early married.' Puttenham, in bis Arte of Poesy, 1589, uses this expression, which seems to be proverbial, as an instance of a figure which he calls the Rebound :

· The maid that soon married is, soon marred is.' The jingle between marrd and made is likewise frequent among the old writers. So Sidney :

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

But now, my

2

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,
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 Earth-treading stars, that make dark heaven light: Such comfort, as do lusty young men * feel

? Fille de terre is the old French phrase for an heiress. Earth is likewise put for lands, i.e. landed estate, in other old plays. But Mason suggests that earth may here mean corporal part, as in a future passage of this play :

• Can I go forward when my heart is here?

Turn back, dull arth, and find thy centre out.' So in Shakspeare's 146th Sonnet:

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth.' 3 i. e. in comparison to. See vol. iv. p. 272, note 9. 4 For 'lustý young men' Johnson would read 'lusty yeomen.' Ritson has clearly shown that young men was used for yeomen in our elder language. And the reader may convince himself by turning to Spelman's Glossary in the words juniores and yeo

Cotgrave also translates Franc-gontier, a good rich yeoman; substantial yonker. He also renders “Vergaland, a lustie yonker.' As in another part of this play, ' young trees' and

young tree,' is printed in the old copy for 'yew trees' and yew tree, this may be also a misprint for yeomen. “You shall feel from the sight and conversation of these ladies such comfort as the farmer receives at the coming of spring ;' which is (as Baret says) 'the lustyest and most busie time to husbandemen.'

Steevens supports the present reading :- To tell Paris (says be) that he shonld feel the same sort of pleasure in an assembly of beauties which young folk feel in that season when they are most gay and amorous, was surely as much as the old man ought to say.

ubi subdita flamma medullis,
Vere magis (quia vere calor redit ossibus).'

Virgil. Georg. iii. Malone adds, from Shakspeare's 99th Sonnet :

'When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing.'

man.

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,
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;-Go, sirrah, trudge about
Through fair Verona; find those persons out,
Whose names are written there [gives a Paper], and

to them say,

My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.

[Exeunt CAPULET and PARIS. Serv. Find them out, whose names are written here?? It is written—that the shoemaker should meddle with his yard,—and the tailor with his last, the fisher with his pencil, and the painter with his

5 To inherit, in the language of Shakspeare, is to possess. 6 By a perverse adherence to the first quarto copy of 1597, which reads, ‘Such amongst view of many,' &c. this passage has been made unintelligible. The subsequent quartos and the folio read, Which one [on] more,' &c.; evidently meaning, ' Hear all, see all, and like her most who has the most merit; her, which, after regarding attentively the many, my daughter being one, may stand unique in merit, though she may be reckoned nothing, or held in no estimation. The allusion, as Malone has shown, is to the old proverbial expression, . One is no number,' thus adverted to in Decker's Honest Whore:

to fall to one

is to fall to none,

For one no number is.' And in Shakspeare's 136th Sonnet:

• Among a number one is reckon'd none,

Then in the number let me pass untold.' It will be unnecessary to inform the reader that which is here used for who, a substitution frequent in Shakspeare, as in all the writers of his time. One of the later quartos has corrected the error of the others, and reads, as in the present text:

• Which on more view,' &c. ? The quarto of 1597 adds, · And yet I know not who are written here: I must to the learned to learn of them: that's as much as to say, the tailor,' &c.

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.

Enter Benvolio and Romeo. Ben. Tut, man! one fire burns out another's burn

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

Rom. Your plantain leaf is excellent for that 8.
Ben. For what, I pray thee?
Rom.

For
your

broken shin. Ben. Why, Romeo, art thou mad?

Rom. Not mad, but bound more than a madman is : Shut up in prison, kept without my food, Whipp'd, and tormented, and—Good-e’en, good

fellow. Serv. God gi' good e’en.— I pray, sir, can you read ?

Rom. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.

Serv. Perhaps you have learn’d it without book: But, I pray, you

read any thing you see? Rom. Ay, if I know the letters, and the language. Serv. Ye say honestly; Rest you merry! Rom. Stay, fellow; I can read. [Reads.

Signior Martino, and his wife and daughters; County Anselme, and his beauteous sisters ; The lady widow of Vitruvio; Signior Placentio, and his

can

8 The plantain leaf is a blood-stancher, and was formerly applied to green wounds. So in Albumazar :

· Help, Armellina, help! I'm fallen i'the cellar:
Bring a fresh plantain-leaf, I've broke my shin.'

a cup

lovely nieces; Mercutio, and his brother Valentine;
Mine uncle Capulet, his wife, and daughters; My
fair niece Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio, and
his cousin Tybalt; Lucio, and the lively Helena.
A fair assembly; [Gives back the Note). Whither

should they come ?
Serv. Up
Rom. Whither?
Serv. To supper; to our house.
Rom. Whose house?
Serv. My master's.
Rom. Indeed, I should have asked you that before.

Serv. Now I'll tell you without asking: My master is the great rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come and crush of wine. Rest you merry.

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

Rom. When the devout religion of mine eye

Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires !
And these,—who, often drown'd, could never die,-

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

Ben. Tut! you saw her fair, none else being by,
Herself pois’d with herself in either eye:
But in those crystal scales, let there be weigh'd
Your lady's love 10 against some other maid

9 This cant expression seems to have been once common: it often occurs in old plays. We have one still in use of similar import:- To crack a bottle.

10 Heath says, ' Your lady's love' is the love you bear to your lady, which, in our language, is commonly used for the lady herself.' Perhaps we should read, “Your lady love.'

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »