« PreviousContinue »
ROMEO AND JULIET.
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. IN 1662 Mr. Arthur Brooke published a poem on "The Tragicall Historie of Romeus and Juliett;" the material.
for which he chietly obtained from a French translation (by Boisteau) of an Italian novel by Luigi da Porto, a Venetian gentleman, who died in 1529. A prose translation of Boisteau's work was also published 1576, by Paister, in his Palace of Pleasure, vol. II.; and upon the incidents of these two works, especially of the poem, Malone decides that Shakspeare constructed his entertaining tragedy. Dr. Johnson has declared this play to be “one of the most pleasing of Shakspeare's performances :" but it contains some breaches of irregularity--many superfluities, tumid conceits, and bombastic ideas, inexcusable even in a lover ; with a continued recurrence of jingling periods and trifling quibbles, which obscure the sense, or disgust the reader. Several of the characters are, however, charmingly designed, and not less happily executed ; the catastrophe is intensely affecting ; the incidents various and expressive ; and as the passion which it delineates is one of universal acceptance in the catalogue of human wishes, the tinder-like character of the lady, and the notable constancy of the gentleman, are forgotten in the dangers and the calamities of both. The numerous rhymes which occur, are probably seedlings from Arthur Brooke's stock plant. “The nurse (says Dr. Jobpson)is one of the characters in which Shakspeare delighted : he has, with great subtilty of distipetion, drawu her at once loquacious and secret, ubsequious and insolent, trusty and dishonest."
ABRAM, Servant to Montague.
Heads of two Houses at vari. CHORUS.-Boy, Puge to Paris.-PETER, an
LADY MONTAGUE, Wife Montague.
JULIET, Daughter to Capulet. BENVOLIO, Nephew to Montague, and Friend NURSE to Juliet. to Romeo.
Citizens TYBALT, Nephew to Lady Capulet.
of Verona; several
and FRIAR LAWRENCE, a Franciscan.
Women, relations to both Houses : FRIAR JOHN, of the same Order.
Maskers Guards, Watchmen, and Al. BALTHAZAR, Scrvant to Romeo.
tendants. SAMPSON, GREGORY,
}Servants to Capulet. Scene, during the greater part of the Play, in Verona : once, in the fifth Act, at Mantua.
PROLOGUE. Two households, both alike in dignity,
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
And the continuance of their parents' rage, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Which, but their children's end, nougat could reWhere civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
move, From forth the fatal loins of these two foes Is now the two hours' trafic of our stage;
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life ; Tbe which if you with patient ears attend Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows • What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to Do, with their death, bury their parents' strife.
Gre. Ay, while you live, draw your neck ont
of the collas. SCENÉ 1.- A public Place.
Sam. I strike qnickly, being moved.
Gre. But thou art not quickiy moved to Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, armed with
strike. Swords and Bucklers.
Sam. A dog of the house of Montague moves Sam. Gregory, oʻmy word, we'll not carry
Gre. To move, is—to stir; and to be valiant, Gre. No, for when we should be colliers. is-to stand to it: therefore, if thou art moy'd, Sam. I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw. tbou run'st away.
Sam. A dog of that house shall move me to • A phrase formerlv in nse to signify the bearing in- stand : I will take the wall of any man or inaid juries.
Gre. That shows thee a weak slave; for the Down with the Capulets ! down with the Mon weakest goes to the wall.
tagues ! Sum. True ; and therefore women, being the weaker Vessels, are ever thrust to the wall :
Enter CAPULET, in his Gown ; and LADY therefore I will push Montague's men from the
CAPULET. wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.
Cap. What noise is this ?-Give me my long Gre. The quarrel is between our masters, and sword, ho! us their men.
La. Cup. A crutch, a crutch! Why call you Sam. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant :
for a sword ? when I have fought with the men, I will be Cap. My sword, I say !-Old Montague is cruel with the inaids; I will cut off their
And flourishes his blade in spite of me. Gre. The beads of the maids ?
Sam. Ay, the beads of the maids, or their Enter MONTAGUE, and LADY MONTAGUE. maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt. Mon. Thou villain, Capulet,-Hold me not, Gre. They must take it in seuse, that feel
let me go it.
La. Mon. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek Sam. Me they shall feel, while I am able to
a foe. stand : and 'tis known I am a pretty piece of
Enter Prince, with Attendants. fesh.
Gre. 'Tis well, thou art not fish : it thou Prin. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, hadst, thou hadst been poor John.. Draw thy Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,tool ; here comes two of the house of the Mon. Will they not hear 2-what ho! you meu, you tagues.
That quench the fire of your pernicions rage Enter ABRAM and BALTHAZER.
With purple fountains issuing from your veins, Sam. My naked weapon is out ; quarrel, I will on pain of torture, from those bloody hands back thee.
Throw your mistemper'd weapons to the Gre. How ? turn thy back, and run ?
ground, Sam. Fear ine not.
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.Gre. No, marry : I fear thee!
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, Sam. Let us take the law of our sides ; let By thee, old Capulet and Montague, then begin.
Have thrice disturi'd the quiet of our streets; Gre. I will frown as I pass by : and let them and made Verona's ancient citizens take it as they list.
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, Sam. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb To wield old partizans, iu bands as old, at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they canker'd with peace to part your canker'd hate : bear it.
If ever you disturb our streets again, Abr. Do you bite yonr thumb at us, Sir 3
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. Sam. I do bite my thumb, Sir.
For this time, all the rest depart away : Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, Sir ? You, Capulet, shall go along with me ; Sem. Is the law on our side, if I say,-ay? And, Montague, come you ibis afternoon, Gre. No.
To know our further pleasure in this case, Sam. No, Sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, To old Free-town, our commou judgment-place. Sir; but I bite iny thumb, Sir.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. Gre. Do you quarrel, Sir ?
[Exeunt PRINCE and Attendants ; CaruAbr. Quarrel, Sir ? no, Sir.
LET, LADY CAPULET, TYBALT, Curi. Sam. If you do, Sir, I am for you ; I serve as
ZENS, and Servunts. good a man as you.
Mon. Who set this ancient quarrel new Abr, No better.
abroach? Sam. Well, Sir
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began ?
Ben. Here were the servants of your adEnter BENVOLIO, at a Distance.
versary, Gre. Say-better ; here comes one of my And your's, close fighting ere I did approach : master's kinsmen.
I drew to part them; in the instant came Sam. Yes, better, Sir.
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar'd; Abr. You lie.
Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears, Sam. Draw, if you be men.-Gregory, re. He swung about his bead, and cut the winds, member thy smashing blow.
Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd bim in scorn :
[They fight. While we were interchanging thrusts and blows Ben. Part, fools ; put up your swords ; you came more and more and fought on part and kuow not what you do.
part, [Beats down their Swords. Till the prince came, who parted either part.
La. Mon. O where is Romeo ?-saw you him Enter TYBALT.
to day? Tyb. What, art thou drawn among these Right glad I ain, he was not at his fray. heartless hinds ?
Ben. Madain, an hour before the worshipp'd Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
son, Ben. I do but keep the peace ; put up thy Peer'd through the golden window of the east, sword,
A troubled miud drave me to walk abroad; Or manage it to part these men with me. Where,-iinderneath the grove of sycamore, Tyb. What, drawn, and talk of peace ? I hate that westward rooteth from the city's side, the word,
So early walking did I see your son : As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee :
Towards him I inade ; but he was 'ware of me, Have at thee, coward.
And stole into the covert of the wood :
[They fight. 1, measuring his affections by my own, Enter several Partizans of both Houses, who
That inost are busied when they are most alone, join the Fray: then enter Citizens with And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.
Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his, Clubs. i Cit. Clubs, 1 bills, and partizans! strike !
Mon. Many a morning hath he there been
seen, beat them down!
With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew. • Poor John is hake, dried and salted.
Adding to clouds more clouc,s with his deep + The disregard of concord is in character.
sighs : 1 Clubs! was equivalent to the modern cry of Watch!
step aside :
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
Rom. What, shall I groan, and tell thee Should in the furthest east begin to draw
Ben. Groan ? why, no; The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
But sadly tell me, wbo. Away from light steals home my heavy son, Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make li's And private in his chamber pens himself ;
will : Shuts up his windows, locks fair day-light out, Ab word ill urg'd to one that is so ill ! And makes hiinself an artificial night :
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman. Black and portentous must this humour prove, Ben. I aim'd so near, when I suppos'd you Unless good counsel may the cause reinove.
lov'd. Ben. My noble uncle, do you know the cause ? Rom. A right good marksman l-And she's Mon. I neither know it, nor can learn of bim.
fair I love. Ben. Have you importun'd bim by any means ? Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest Mon. Both by myself, and many other friends:
hit. Bat he, his own affections' counsellor,
Rom. Well, in that bit, you miss : she'll not Is to himself-I will not say, how true,
be hit But to himself so secret and so close,
With Cupid's arrow, she hath Dian's wit; So far from sounding and discovery,
And, in strong proof of cbastity well arm'd, As is the bnd bit with an envious worm,
From love's weak childish bow she lives un. Ere he can spread bis sweet leaves to thie air,
harun'd. • Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms, Could we but learn from whence his sorrows Nor bide th' encounter of assailing eyes, grow,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold : We would as willingly give cure, as know. O she is rich in beauty; only poor,
That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store. Enter Romeo, at a distance.
Ben. Then she hath sworu, that she will still Ben. See, where he comes : So please you,
live chaste ?
Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.
huge waste ; Mon. I would thou wert so happy by thy stay, For beauty, starv'd with her severity, To hear true shrift,--Come, madani, let's away. Cuts beauty off ironi all posterity.
(Exeunt MONTAGUÉ und LADY. She is too fair, too wise ; wisely too fair, Ben. Good morrow, cousin.
To inerit bliss by making me despair : Rom. Is the day so young?
She hath forsworn to love ; and, in that vow, Ben. But new struck niue.
Do I live dead, that live to tell it now. Rom. Ah me! sad hours seem long.
Ben, Be rul'd by me, forget to think of her. Was that my father that went bence so fast? Rom. O teach ine how I should forget to Ben. It was :- What saduess lengthens Ro.
thiuk. meo's hours ?
Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes : Rom. Not having that, which having, makes Examine other beauties. them short.
Rom, 'Tis the way Ben. lu love?
To call her's exquisite, in question more : Rom. Out
These happy masks, that kiss fair ladies' brows, Ben. Of love?
Being black, put us in mind they hide the Rom. Out of her favour, where I am in love.
Ben. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view, He, that is strucken blind, cannot forget
Rom. Alas, that love, whose view is mutfied still. Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
(Exeunt. o any thing, of nothing first create ! O heavy lightness ! serious vanity!
SCENE 11.-A Street.
Enter CAPULET, Paris, and SERVANT. health !
Cap. And Montague is bound as well as I, Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is ! In penalty alike ; and 'tis not hard, I think, This love feel 1, that feel no love in this. For men so old as we to keep the peace. Dost thon not laugh?
Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both ; Ben. No, cor, i' rather weep.
And pity 'tis, you liv'd at odds so long. Rom. Good heart, at what?
Biit now, my lord, what say you to my suit ? Ben. At thy good heart's oppression.
Cap. But saying o'er what I have said beRom. Why, such is love's transgression.-
fore : Grief's of mine own lie heavy in my breast; My child is yet a stranger in the world, Which thou wilt propagate, to have it press'd She hath not seen the change of fourteen years ; With more of thine : this love, tvat thou bast Let two more summers wither in their pride, shown,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride. Doth add more grief to too much of mine own. Par. Younger than she are happy mothers Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs ;
made. Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in a lover's eyes ; Cap. Aud too soon marr'd are those so early Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears :
made. What is it else ? a madness most discreet, The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she ; A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
She is the hopeful lady of my earth : Farewell, my coz.
(Going. But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart, Ben. Soit, I will go along;
My will to her consent is but a part;
This uight I hold an old accustom'd feast,
• Acomplimect to Queen Elizabeth, in whose reign • In seriousness.
the play was first represeuled.
Such as I love ; and you, among the store, (more. not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come
Rest your merry! Once more, most welcome, makes my nunber and crush a cup of wine. *
[Erit. At my poor house, look to behold this night Earth-treading stars, that make dark heaven Ben. At this saine ancient feast of Capulet's light:
Sups the fair Rosaline, whom thou so lui'st;
Go thither; and, with unattainted eye,
Rom. When the devout religion of mine eye
Transparent beretics, be burn: for liars !
Ben. Tat! you saw her fair, none else be. My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.
ing by, (Exeunt CAPULET and Paris. Herself pois'd † with herself in either eye: Serv. Find them out, whose names are writ. But in those crystal scales let there be weigh'd ten here? It is written-that the shoemaker Your lady's love against some other maid should meddle with his yard, and the tailor with That I will show you, shining at this least, his last, the fisher with his pencil, and the And she shall scant sbow well, that now shows painter with his nets; but I am sent to find
best. those persons, whose names are here writ, and Rom. Ill go along, no such sight to be showu. can never tiud what wames the writing person But to rejoice in splendour of mine own. hath here writ. I must to the learned :-In
(Ereunt. good time.
SCENE NII.-A Room in CAPULET's House.
Enter Lady CAPULET and NURSE.
La. Cap. Nurse, where's my daughter! call burving,
her forth to me. One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish ;
Nurse. Now, by my maidenhead, at twelve Turu giddy, and be holp by backward turning :
(bird !-One desperate grief cures with another's lan
| bade her come.-What, lamb! what, ladyguish : Take thou soine new infection to thy eye,
God forbid !-where's this girl 3-what, Juliet ! Aud the rank poisou of th' old will die.
Enter JULIET. Rom. Your plaintain leaf is excellent for
Jul. How how, who calls ? that.
Nurse. Your mother. Ben. For what, I pray thee?
Jul. Madami, I am here,
What is your will ?
La. Cup. This is the matter :-Nurse, give
leave awhile, man is ; Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
We must talk in secret.-Nurse, come back again ;
I bave reineinber'd me, thou shalt hear our Wbipp'd, and tormented, and-Good-e'en, good fellow.
counsel, Serv. God gi' good e'en.-I pray, Sir, can you
Thou know'st, my daughter's of a pretty age.
Nurse. 'Faith, I can tell her age unto an jead?
hoar. Rom. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
La. (ay She's not fourteen. Serv. Perhaps you bave learn'd it without
Nurse. I'll lay fourteen of my teeth, book : But I pray, can you read any thing you see?
And yet, to my teen g be it spoken, I have but Rom. Ay, if I know the letters, and the lan- she is not fourteen : How long is it how
To Laumas tide ?
La, Cap. A fortnight, and odd days.
Nurse. Even or odd, of all days in the year, Signior Martino, and his wife and daugh-Coune Lammas-eve at night, shall she be fourters; County Anselme, and his beauteous
teen. Sisters ; The lady widow of Vitruvio ; Signior Susan and she,-God rest all Christian souls ! Placentio, and his lovely nieces ; bercutio, Were of an age.-Well, Susan is with God; and his brother Valentine ; Mine uncle She was too good for ine : But, as I said, Capulet, his wife, and daughters ; My fair on Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen ; niece Rosaline ; Lidia ; Signior Valentio,
That shall slie, marry; I remember it well. and his cousin Tybalt ; Lucio, and the lively l 'Tis since the earthquake how eleven years ; Helena.
And she was wean'd,-I never shall forget
it,A fair assembly ; [Gives back the Note.) Whither of all the days of the year, upon that day : should they come ?
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug, Serv. Up.
Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall, Rom. Whitber?
My lord and you were then at Mautua :Seru. To supper; to our house.
Nay, I do bear a brain : ||---but, as I said, Rom. Whose bouse ?
When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple Serv. My master's.
of my dug, and felt it bitter, pretty fool ! Rom. Indeed, I should have asked you that to see it tetchy, and fall out with the dug. before.
Shake, qnoth the dove-house : 'twas no need, Serv. Now I'll tell you without asking: My
I trow, master is the great rich Capulet; and if you be | To bid me urudge.
• To inheril, in the language of Shakspeare is lo • To crack a bottle, is still a cant phrase. possess.
# Weighed. * Scarcely.
To my sorrow. # Estimation.
il.e. I have a perfect recollection.