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Title: Shakespeare's Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
Author: Shakespeare, William
Language: English
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  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 illustrate 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.



    INTRODUCTION TO ROMEO AND JULIET                           9

    The History of the Play                                    9

    The Sources of the Plot                                   14

    General Comments on the Play                              17

    ROMEO AND JULIET                                          27

    Act I                                                     29

    Act II                                                    58

    Act III                                                   85

    Act IV                                                   118

    Act V                                                    136

    NOTES                                                    157


    Concerning Arthur Brooke                                 275

    Comments on Some of the Characters                       278

    The Time-Analysis of the Play                            290

    List of Characters in the Play                           291

    INDEX OF WORDS AND PHRASES EXPLAINED                     293

[Illustration: FUNERAL OF JULIET]

[Illustration: Verona]



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
appeared in 1599, declared to be "newly corrected, augmented, and

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 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 prologue, 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 represents 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 augmentation, and in some few places must have been
entirely rewritten." A marked instance of this rewriting--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.

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

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 characters;" 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 correction of these errors and corruptions,
and all the modern editors have made more or less use of its readings.

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 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 playing 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 certainly later; but I think
that 1595 may serve as an approximation to a central date, and cannot be
far astray."

For myself, while agreeing substantially with these authorities, I think
that a careful comparison of what are evidently the earliest portions
of the text with similar work in _Love's Labour's Lost_ (a 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_,[1] published about 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

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 to the play, self-reliant dramatic intuition of
the highest order. For the rest, there is not a personage or a
situation, 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 perfume 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 touching 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 philosophy or his

"The only variations from the story in the play are the three which have
just been alluded to: the compression 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 vividness; 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 in
a flash of wit; and the bringing-in of Paris (forgotten in the story
after his bridal disappointment) to die at Juliet's bier by the hand of
Romeo, thus gathering together all the threads of this love entanglement
to be cut at once by Fate."

[Footnote 1: A translation of _La Giulietta_, with an historical and
critical introduction by me, was published in Boston, 1893.]


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 foundations, not in the factitious necessity of custom, but in
nature itself, the unity of 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."

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 1--and the reply is,
"A fortnight and odd days"--sixteen 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 sycamore, "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 composition." 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:--

  "Vieni a veder Montecchi e Cappelletti,
  Monaldi e Filippeschi, uom senza cura,
  Color già tristi, e costor con sospetti."[2]

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, surrounded 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 disagreeable 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 centesimi (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
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 appropriate 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 prohibited by its guardians.

To return to the play--one would suppose that the keynote was struck
with sufficient clearness in the prologue 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 imprudence 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 fol.):--

  "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."

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 disregard 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 discourage 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 piteous 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
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 tolerating 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 marriage,--

  "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 children, 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 guiltless 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 children 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 Montesches 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[3] by any wisdom or human
counsel were in the end vanquished 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 asswage,
  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 reference 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 seene;
  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."

[Footnote 2:

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

  (Wright's translation.)

[Footnote 3: In the original sense of reconciliation; as in _Rich. III_.
i. 3. 36:

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


  ESCALUS, prince of Verona.
  PARIS, a young nobleman, kinsman to the prince.
  CAPULET,  } 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.
  FRIAR JOHN,     } Franciscans.
  BALTHASAR, servant to Romeo.
  GREGORY, } servants to Capulet.
  PETER, servant to Juliet's nurse.
  ABRAM, servant to Montague.
  An Apothecary.
  Three Musicians.
  Page to Paris; another Page; an Officer.

  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_.

[Illustration: THE "MEASURE"]


  Two households, both alike in dignity,
    In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
  From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
    Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
  From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
    A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life,
  Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
    Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.

  The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
   And the continuance of their parents' rage,
  Which, but their children's end, nought could 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.


SCENE I. _Verona. A Public Place_.

_Enter_ SAMPSON _and_ GREGORY, _of the house of Capulet, with swords and

  _Sampson._ Gregory, on my word, we'll not carry

  _Gregory._ No, for then we should be colliers.

  _Sampson._ I mean, an we be in choler we'll 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

  _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. Therefore            20
  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._ 'Tis 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?

  _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, remember
  thy swashing blow.                               [_They fight._   60


  _Benvolio._ Part, fools!
  Put up your swords; you know not what you do.
                                        [_Beats down their swords._

_Enter_ TYBALT

  _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 sword,
  Or manage it to part these men with me.

  _Tybalt._ What, drawn and talk of peace! I hate the word,
  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 foe.

_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
  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 ever you disturb our streets again,
  Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.--
  For this time, all the rest depart away.--
  You, Capulet, shall go along with 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 Benvolio._

  _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
  The fiery Tybalt with his sword prepar'd,
  Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears,
  He swung about his head and cut the winds,
  Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn.
  While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,                   110
  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 sun
  Peer'd forth the golden window of the east,
  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.                             120
  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,
  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,
  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'll 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?

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

  _Romeo._ Not having that which, having, makes them short.

  _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!
  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
  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 lov'd.

  _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'll not be hit
  With Cupid's arrow; she hath Dian's wit,
  And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd,
  From Love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd.
  She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
  Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes,                        210
  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._                         'Tis 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
  Where I may read who pass'd that passing fair?
  Farewell; thou canst not teach me to forget.

  _Benvolio._ I'll pay that doctrine or else die in debt.

SCENE II. _A Street_

_Enter_ CAPULET, PARIS, _and_ Servant

  _Capulet._ But 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.

  _Paris._ Of honourable reckoning are you both,
  And pity 'tis you liv'd at odds so long.
  But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?

  _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 made.
  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
  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
  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 meddle
  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.

_Enter_ BENVOLIO _and_ ROMEO

  _Benvolio._ Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning,
  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,                          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 Martino and his wife and daughters;
  County Anselme and his beauteous sisters; the
  lady widow of Vitruvio; Signior Placentio and his
  lovely nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine;
  mine 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?

  _Servant._ My master's.

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

  _Servant._ Now I'll 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 falsehood then turn tears to fires;
  And these, who often drown'd could never die,
  Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!
  One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
  Ne'er saw her match since first the world 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'll go along, no such sight to be shown,
  But to rejoice in splendour of mine own.

SCENE III. _A Room in Capulet's 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!--Where's this girl?--What, Juliet!

_Enter_ Juliet

  _Juliet._ How now! 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'll 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.
  Susan and she--God rest all Christian souls!--
  Were of an age; well, Susan is with God,
  She was too good for me; but, as I said,                          20
  On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen;
  That shall she, marry; I remember it well.
  'Tis 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 then at Mantua,--
  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; 'twas 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 Capulet._ Marry, that 'marry' is the very theme
  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.

  _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.

  _Lady Capulet._ Verona's summer hath not such a flower.

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

  Lady Capulet. What say you? can you love the gentleman?
  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 'tis 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;
  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'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.

_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

  _Nurse._ Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.    [_Exeunt._

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 our excuse?
  Or shall we on without apology?

  _Benvolio._ The date is out of such prolixity.
  We'll have no Cupid hoodwink'd with a scarf,
  Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,
  Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper;
  Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
  After the prompter, for our entrance.
  But let them measure us by what they will,
  We'll 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 enpierced 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 love;
  Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.--
  Give me a case to put my visage in; [_Putting on a mask_]
  A visor for a visor! what care I                                  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.

  _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'll 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;       40
  If thou art Dun, we'll 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 'tis no wit to go.

  _Mercutio._                      Why, may one ask?

  _Romeo._ I dreamt a dream to-night.

  _Mercutio._                      And so did I.                    50

  _Romeo._ Well, what was yours?

  _Mercutio._                      That dreamers often lie.

  _Romeo._ In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.

  _Mercutio._ O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
  She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
  In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
  On the fore-finger of an alderman,
  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,
  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
  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,                   90
  Which once untangled much misfortune bodes.
  This is she--

  _Romeo._                         Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!
  Thou talk'st of nothing.

  _Mercutio._              True, I talk of dreams,
  Which are the children of an idle brain,
  Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
  Which is as thin of substance as the air,
  And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes
  Even now the frozen bosom of the North,
  And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence,
  Turning his face to the dew-dropping South.                      100

  _Benvolio._ This wind you talk of blows us from ourselves;
  Supper is done, and we shall come too late.

  _Romeo._ I fear, too early; for my mind misgives
  Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,
  Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
  With this night's revels, and expire the term
  Of a despised life clos'd in my breast
  By some vile forfeit of untimely death,
  But He that hath the steerage of my course
  Direct my sail!--On, lusty gentlemen.                            110

  _Benvolio._ Strike, drum.                              [_Exeunt._

SCENE V. _A Hall in Capulet's House_

Musicians _waiting_. _Enter_ Servingmen _with napkins_

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

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

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 toes
  Unplagu'd with corns will have a bout with you.--
  Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all                            20
  Will now deny to dance? she that makes dainty,
  She, I'll swear, hath corns; am I come near ye now?--
  Welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day
  That I have worn a visor and could tell
  A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear,
  Such as would please; 'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis 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! 'tis not so much, 'tis not so much!
  'Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio,
  Come Pentecost as quickly as it will,
  Some five and twenty years; and then we mask'd.

  _2 Capulet._ 'Tis more, 'tis more! 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 Servingman_] What lady is that, which doth enrich the
  Of yonder knight?

  _Servingman._ I know not, sir.

  _Romeo._ O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
  Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night
  Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear;
  Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
  So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows                         50
  As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
  The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,
  And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
  Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
  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,
  A villain that is hither come in spite,
  To scorn at our solemnity this night.

  _Capulet._ Young Romeo is it?

  _Tybalt._                        'Tis 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-govern'd youth.                         70
  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'll 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'll not endure him!--God shall mend my soul!--
  You'll make a mutiny among my guests!
  You will set cock-a-hoop! you'll be the man!

  _Tybalt._ Why, uncle, 'tis 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! marry, 'tis time.--
  Well said, my hearts!--You are a princox; go!
  Be quiet, or--More light, more light!--For shame!
  I'll 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._ [_To Juliet_] If I profane with my unworthiest hand
  This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
  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 much,
  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._ Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.

  _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.

  _Juliet._                        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 Capulet?
  O dear account! my life is my foe's debt.                        120

  _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'll 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!
  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._

[Illustration: Capulet's Garden]


_Enter_ Chorus

  Now old desire doth in his death-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,
    Alike bewitched by the charm of looks,
  But to his foe suppos'd he must complain,
    And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks.
  Being held a foe, he may not have access
    To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear;
  And she as much in love, her means much less
    To meet her new-beloved any where.
  But passion lends them power, time means, to meet,
  Tempering extremities with extreme sweet.                [_Exit._

SCENE I. _A Lane by the Wall of Capulet's 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'll conjure too.--
  Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover!
  Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh!
  Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
  Cry but '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.--
  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; 'twould anger him
  To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle
  Of some strange nature, letting it there stand
  Till she had laid it and conjur'd it down.
  That were some spite; my invocation
  Is fair and honest, and in his mistress' name
  I conjure only but to raise up him.

  _Benvolio._ Come, he hath hid himself among these trees,
  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'll to my truckle-bed;
  This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep.
  Come, shall we go?

  _Benvolio._         Go, then; for 'tis in vain
  To seek him here that means not to be found.           [_Exeunt._

SCENE II. _Capulet's Orchard_

_Enter_ ROMEO

  _Romeo._ He jests at scars that never felt a wound.--
                               [_Juliet appears above at a window._
  But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
  It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.--
  Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
  Who is already sick and pale with grief
  That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
  Be not her maid, 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.
  I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks.
  Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
  Having some business, do entreat her eyes
  To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
  What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
  The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
  As daylight doth a lamp; her 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,
  That I might touch that cheek!

  _Juliet._                        Ay me!

  _Romeo._                         She speaks.--
  O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
  As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,
  As is a winged messenger of heaven
  Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes
  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'll no longer be a Capulet.

  _Romeo._ [_Aside_] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

  _Juliet._ 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
  Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
  What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
  Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
  Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
  What's in a name? 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'll be new baptiz'd;
  Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

  _Juliet._ What man art thou that thus bescreen'd in night
  So stumblest on my counsel?

  _Romeo._                         By a name
  I know not how to tell thee who I am.
  My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
  Because it is an enemy to thee;
  Had I it written, I would tear the word.

  _Juliet._ My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
  Of that tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound.--
  Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?                                60

  _Romeo._ Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.

  _Juliet._ How cam'st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
  The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
  And the place death, considering who thou art,
  If any of my kinsmen find thee here.

  _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?

  _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 bepaint my cheek
  For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.
  Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny
  What I have spoke; but farewell compliment!
  Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ay,                       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'll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,
  So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world.
  In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
  And therefore thou mayst think my haviour light;
  But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true                    100
  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--

  _Juliet._ O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
  That monthly changes in her circled orb,                         110
  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,
  And I'll 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 to-night;
  It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden,
  Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
  Ere one can say it lightens. Sweet, good night!                  120
  This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
  May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
  Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest
  Come to thy heart as that within my breast!

  _Romeo._ O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

  _Juliet._ What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?

  _Romeo._ The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.

  _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.
  My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
  My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
  The more I have, for both are infinite.
                                             [_Nurse calls within._
  I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!--
  Anon, good nurse!--Sweet Montague, be true.
  Stay but a little, I will come again.                    [_Exit._

  _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 indeed.
  If that thy bent of love be honourable,
  Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,
  By one that I'll procure to come to thee,
  Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
  And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay,
  And follow thee my lord throughout the world.

  _Nurse._ [_Within_] Madam!

  _Juliet._ I come, anon.--But if thou mean'st not well,           150
  I do beseech thee--

  _Nurse._ [_Within_] Madam!

  _Juliet._                        By and by, I come.--
  To cease thy suit and leave me to my grief;
  To-morrow will I send.

  _Romeo._                         So thrive my soul--

  _Juliet._ A thousand times good night!                   [_Exit_.

  _Romeo._ A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.--
  Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books,
  But love from love toward school with heavy looks.
                                                [_Retiring slowly._

_Re-enter_ JULIET, _above_

  _Juliet._ Hist! Romeo, hist!--O, for a falconer's voice,
  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 my soul that calls upon my name;
  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-morrow
  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.

  _Romeo._ And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget,
  Forgetting any other home but this.

  _Juliet._ 'T is almost morning; I would have thee gone,
  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 I 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 ghostly father's cell,                        189
  His help to crave and my dear hap 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
  From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels.
  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,                       10
  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!
  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.                      20
  Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
  And vice sometime's by action dignified.
  Within the infant rind of this weak flower
  Poison 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

_Enter_ ROMEO

_Romeo._ Good morrow, father.

  _Friar Laurence._                Benedicite!
  What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?--
  Young son, it argues a distemper'd head
  So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed.
  Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye,
  And where care lodges sleep will never lie;
  But where unbruised youth with unstuff'd brain
  Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign.
  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 'll tell thee, ere thou ask it me again.
  I have been feasting with mine enemy,
  Where on a sudden one hath wounded me                             50
  That's by me wounded; both our remedies
  Within thy help and holy physic lies.
  I bear no hatred, blessed man, for, lo,
  My intercession likewise steads my foe.

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

  _Romeo._ Thou chidd'st me oft for loving Rosaline.

  _Friar Laurence._ For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.

  _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 now
  Doth grace for grace and love for love allow,
  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 with me,
  In one respect I'll thy assistant be;                             90
  For this alliance may so happy prove
  To turn your households' rancour to pure love.

  _Romeo._ O, let us hence! I stand on sudden haste.

  _Friar Laurence._ Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.

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.

  _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                     10
  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 thorough
  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 than prince 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, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of the
  very first house, of the first and second cause. Ah,
  the immortal passado! the punto reverso! 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-mois_, who stand so much
  on the new form that they cannot sit at ease on the
  old bench? O, their _bons_, 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 fishified! 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 salutation
  to your French slop. You gave us the counterfeit
  fairly last night.

  _Romeo._ Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit
  did I give you?

  _Mercutio._ The slip, sir, the slip; can you not                  50

  _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.

  _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 wearing
  sole singular.

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

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

  _Romeo._ Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or
  I'll 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

  _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

  _Mercutio._ Why, is not this better now than groaning
  for love? Now art thou sociable, now art thou
  Romeo; now art thou what thou art, by art as well
  as by nature; for this 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._ 'Tis 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!                       110

  _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; but young Romeo will be
  older when you have found him than he was when
  you sought him. I am the youngest of that name,
  for fault of a worse.

  _Nurse._ You say well.                                           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'll to dinner thither.

  _Romeo._ I will follow you.

  _Mercutio._ Farewell, ancient lady; farewell, [_singing_]
  '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

  _Romeo._ A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear
  himself talk, and will speak more in a minute than
  he will stand to in a month.                                     140

  _Nurse._ An a' speak any thing against me, I'll take
  him down an a' were lustier than he is, and twenty
  such Jacks; and if I cannot, I'll find those that
  shall. Scurvy knave! I am none of his flirt-gills; I
  am none of his skains-mates.--And thou must stand
  by too, and suffer every knave to use me at his

  _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!--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 dealing.

  _Romeo._ Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress.
  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
  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 wall
  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 night.
  Farewell; be trusty, and I'll quit thy pains.
  Farewell; commend me to thy mistress.

  _Nurse._ Now God in heaven bless thee! Hark you, sir.

  _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--Lord,      190
  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'll 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
  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 Romeo_] Peter!

  _Peter._ Anon.

  _Nurse._ Before, and apace.                            [_Exeunt._

SCENE V. _Capulet's Orchard_

_Enter_ JULIET

  _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.--

_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?   21
  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 would 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 breath
  To say to me that thou art out of breath?
  The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
  Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
  Is thy news good, or bad? answer to that;
  Say either, and I'll stay the circumstance.
  Let me be satisfied, is 't good or bad?

  _Nurse._ Well, you have made a simple choice; you
  know not how to choose a man. Romeo! no, 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
  are past compare. He is not the flower of courtesy,
  but, I'll warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy
  ways, wench; serve God. What, have you dined at

  _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 I!
  It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.                       50
  My back o' t'other side,--O, my back, my back!
  Beshrew your heart for sending me about,
  To catch my death with jaunting up and down!

  _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!                     60
  'Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
  Where is your mother?'

  _Nurse._                         O God's lady dear!
  Are you so hot? marry, come up, I trow;
  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.

  _Nurse._ Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence' cell;
  There stays a husband to make you a wife.                         70
  Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks,
  They'll be in scarlet straight at any news.
  Hie you to church; I must another way,
  To fetch a ladder, by the which your love
  Must climb a bird's nest soon when it is dark.
  I am the drudge, and toil in your delight.
  Go; I'll to dinner; hie you to the cell.

  _Juliet._ Hie to high fortune!--Honest nurse, farewell.

SCENE VI. _Friar Laurence's Cell_


  _Friar Laurence._ So smile the heavens upon this holy act
  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 death do what he dare,
  It is enough I may but call her mine.

  _Friar Laurence._ These violent delights have violent ends,
  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.
  Therefore love moderately, long love doth so;
  Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.--

_Enter_ JULIET

  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 will make short work;
  For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone
  Till holy church incorporate two in one.               [_Exeunt._

[Illustration: Loggia of Capulet's House]


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
  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.

_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 without

  _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!

  _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'll be hang'd, sir, if he wear your livery.
  Marry, go before to field, he 'll 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.

  _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.--
  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, 'tis enough.--
  Where is my page?--Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.    [_Exit Page._

  _Romeo._ Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.

  _Mercutio._ No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so
  wide as a church-door, but 'tis enough, 'twill serve;
  ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave              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 braggart,
  a rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of
  arithmetic!--Why the devil came you between us?
  I was hurt under your arm.

  _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,                     110
  And soundly too;--your houses!
                                    [_Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio_

  _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!

_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!
  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 here,
  Shalt with him hence.

  _Romeo._                         This shall determine that.
                                       [_They fight; 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!

  _Benvolio._                      Why dost thou stay?
                                                     [_Exit Romeo._

_Enter_ Citizens, _etc_.

  _1 Citizen._ Which way ran he that kill'd Mercutio?              140
  Tybalt, that murtherer, which way ran he?

  _Benvolio._ There lies that Tybalt.

  _1 Citizen._                     Up, sir, go with me;
  I charge thee in the prince's name, obey.

_Enter_ Prince, _attended_; MONTAGUE, CAPULET, _their_ Wives, _and

  _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!

  _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 tongue,
  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,
  Who had but newly entertain'd revenge,
  And to 't they go like lightning, for, ere I
  Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain,
  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
  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 in your hate's proceeding,
  My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding;
  But I'll amerce you with so strong a fine
  That you shall all repent the loss of mine.
  I will be deaf to pleading and excuses;
  Nor tears nor prayers 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. _Capulet's Orchard_

_Enter_ JULIET

  _Juliet._ Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
  Towards Phœbus' lodging; such a waggoner
  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,                         21
  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,
  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 cords
  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 dead!
  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 thus?
  This torture should be roar'd in dismal hell.
  Hath Romeo slain himself? say thou but ay,
  And that bare vowel I shall poison more
  Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice.
  I am not I, if there be such an I,
  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.

  _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 a flowering face;
  Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
  Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
  Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
  Despised substance of divinest show!
  Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st,
  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,
  No faith, no honesty in men; all perjur'd,
  All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.--
  Ah, where's my man? give me some aqua vitæ.--
  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 'tis a throne where honour may be crown'd
  Sole monarch of the universal earth.
  O, what a beast was I to chide at him!

  _Nurse._ Will you speak well of him that 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?              100
  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.
  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,                                 110
  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,
  '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,
  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'll find Romeo
  To comfort you; I wot well where he is.
  Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night.
  I'll to him; he is hid at Laurence' cell.

  _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 doom?
  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?

  _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 banished;
  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                         20
  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.

  _Friar Laurence._ O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness!
  Thy fault our law calls death; but the kind prince,
  Taking thy part, hath rush'd aside the law,
  And turn'd that black word death to banishment.
  This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.

  _Romeo._ 'Tis 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
  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'll 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.

  _Romeo._ How should they, when that wise men have no eyes?

  _Friar Laurence._ Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.

  _Romeo._ Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel.
  Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
  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;          [_Knocking._
  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 will?

  _Nurse._ [_Within_] Let me come in and you shall know my errand;
  I come from Lady Juliet.

  _Friar Laurence._        Welcome, then.                           80

_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 woful sympathy!
  Piteous predicament!

  _Nurse._                         Even so lies she,
  Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering.--
  Stand up, stand up; stand, an you be a man.
  For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand.
  Why should you fall into so deep an O?                            90

  _Romeo._ Nurse!

  _Nurse._ Ah sir! ah sir! Well, death's the end of all.

  _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.

  _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                     110
  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;
  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.

  _Nurse._ O Lord, I could have stay'd here all the night
  To hear good counsel; O, what learning is!--                     160
  My lord, I'll 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'll 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; 'tis 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 Capulet's 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.--
  'Tis very late, she'll not come down to-night;
  I promise you, but for your company,
  I would have been a-bed an hour ago.

  _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! ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon.
  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'll keep no great ado,--a friend or two;
  For, hark you, Tybalt being slain so late,
  It may be thought we held him carelessly,
  Being our kinsman, if we revel much.
  Therefore we'll have some half a dozen friends,
  And there an end. But what say you to Thursday?

  _Paris._ My lord, I would that Thursday were to-morrow.

  _Capulet._ Well, get you gone; o' Thursday be it then.--          30
  Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed,
  Prepare her, wife, against this wedding-day.--
  Farewell, my lord.--Light to my chamber, ho!
  Afore me, it is so very late, that we
  May call it early by and by.--Good night.              [_Exeunt._

SCENE V. _Juliet's Chamber_

_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'll say yon grey is not the morning's eye,
  'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow;                       20
  Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
  The vaulty heaven so high above our heads.
  I have more care to stay than will to go;
  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!

_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! one kiss, and I'll 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.
  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!
  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._ [_Within_] 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?
  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 friend
  Which you weep for.

  _Juliet._                        Feeling so the loss,
  I cannot choose but ever weep the friend.

  _Lady Capulet._ Well, girl, thou weep'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 lives.

  _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'll 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
  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'll find such a man.
  But now I'll 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?                110

  _Lady Capulet._ Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn,
  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.
  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 yourself,
  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,
  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 this?
  '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                 160
  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!

  _Nurse._                         God in heaven bless her!
  You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.

  _Capulet._ And why, my lady wisdom? hold your tongue,
  Good prudence; smatter with your gossips, go.                    170

  _Nurse._ I speak no treason.

  _Capulet._                        O, 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
  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'll not wed; I cannot love,
  I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.'--
  But, an you will not wed, I'll pardon you;
  Graze where you will, you shall not house with me.
  Look to 't, think on 't, I do not use to jest.
  Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise.                     190
  An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;
  An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,
  For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee,
  Nor what is mine shall never do thee good.
  Trust to 't, bethink you; I'll 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                           200
  In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.

  _Lady Capulet._ Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word;
  Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.              [_Exit._

  _Juliet._ O God!--O nurse, how shall this be prevented?
  My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven;
  How shall that faith return again to earth,
  Unless that husband send it me from heaven
  By leaving earth? comfort me, counsel me.--
  Alack, alack, that heaven should practise stratagems
  Upon so soft a subject as myself!--                              210
  What say'st thou? hast thou not a word of joy?
  Some comfort, nurse.

  _Nurse._                         Faith, here 'tis. Romeo
  Is banished, and all the world to nothing
  That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you;
  Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth.
  Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
  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 'twere 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._                        Amen!

  _Nurse._                         What?

  _Juliet._ Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous much.
  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'll 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 short.

  _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 mind;
  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_] I would I knew not why it should be slow'd.--
  Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my cell.

_Enter_ JULIET

  _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.

_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 report.

  _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 alone.                          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'll help it presently.
  God join'd my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands;
  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'll 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;
  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 humour, 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                          110
  Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault
  Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.
  In the mean time, against thou shalt awake,
  Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift,
  And hither shall he come; and he and I
  Will watch thy waking, 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 prosperous
  In this resolve. I'll 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 Capulet's House_

_Enter_ CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, Nurse, _and two_ Servingmen

  _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'll
  try if they can lick their fingers.

  _Capulet._ How canst thou try them so?

  _2 Servant._ Marry, sir, 'tis an ill cook that cannot
  lick his own fingers; therefore he that cannot lick his
  fingers goes not with me.

  _Capulet._ 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 look.

_Enter_ JULIET

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

  _Capulet._ Go, nurse, go with her; we'll to church to-morrow.
                                        [_Exeunt Juliet and Nurse._

  _Lady Capulet._ We shall be short in our provision;
  'Tis 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'll not to bed to-night; let me alone,
  I'll play the housewife for this once.--What, ho!--
  They are all forth. Well, I will walk myself
  To County Paris, to prepare him up
  Against to-morrow. My heart is wondrous light,
  Since this same wayward girl is so reclaim'd.          [_Exeunt._

Scene III. _Juliet's 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.


  _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 again.
  I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins
  That almost freezes up the heat of life;
  I'll 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?
  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
  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 Capulet's 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 crow'd,
  The curfew-bell hath rung, 'tis 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'll be sick to-morrow
  For this night's watching.

  _Capulet._ No, not a whit. What! I have watch' 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!--

_Enter three or four_ Servingmen, _with spits, logs, and baskets_

                                   Now, fellow,
  What's there?

  _1 Servant._ Things for the cook, sir, but I know not what.

  _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, 'tis 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'll 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.--
  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'll fright you up, i' faith.--Will it not be?
                                           [_Undraws the curtains._

  What, dress'd! and in your clothes! and down again!
  I must needs wake you. Lady! lady! lady!--
  Alas, alas!--Help, help! my lady's dead!--                        10
  O, well-a-day, that ever I was born!--
  Some aqua vitæ, ho!--My lord! my lady!


  _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! My child, my only life,
  Revive, look up, or I will die with thee!--
  Help, help! Call help.


  _Capulet._ For shame, bring Juliet forth; her lord is come.

  _Nurse._ She's dead, deceas'd, she's dead; alack the day!

  _Lady Capulet._ Alack the day, she's dead, she's dead, she's dead!  20

  _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 face,
  And doth it give me such a sight as this?

  _Lady Capulet._ Accurst, unhappy, wretched, hateful day!
  Most miserable hour that e'er time saw                            40
  In lasting labour of his pilgrimage!
  But one, poor one, one poor and loving child,
  But one thing to rejoice and solace in,
  And cruel death hath catch'd it from my sight!

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

  _Paris._ Beguil'd, divorced, wronged, spited, slain!
  Most detestable Death, by thee beguil'd,
  By cruel cruel thee quite overthrown!
  O love! O life! not life, but love in death!

  _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!
  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 'twas your heaven she should be advanc'd;
  And weep ye now, seeing she is advanc'd
  Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself?                       70
  O, in this love you love your child so ill
  That you run mad seeing that she is well;
  She's not well married that lives married long,
  But she's best married that dies married young.
  Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary
  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._

  _1 Musician._ Faith, we may put up our pipes, and be gone.

  _Nurse._ Honest good fellows, ah, put up, put up;
  For, well you know, this is a pitiful case.              [_Exit._

  _1 Musician._ Ay, by my troth, the case may be amended.

_Enter_ PETER

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

  _1 Musician._ Why 'Heart's ease'?

  _Peter._ O, musicians, because my heart itself plays             100
  'My heart is full of woe.' O, play me some merry
  dump, to comfort me.

  _1 Musician._ Not a dump we; 'tis no time to
  play now.

  _Peter._ You will not, then?

  _1 Musician._ No.

  _Peter._ I will then give it you soundly.

  _1 Musician._ What will you give us?

  _Peter._ No money, on my faith, but the gleek; I will give you the
  minstrel.                                                        110

  _1 Musician._ Then will I give you the

  _Peter._ Then will I lay the serving-creature's
  dagger on your pate. I will carry no crotchets; I'll
  re you, I'll 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:

    '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 musicians
  sound for silver.

  _Peter._ Pretty too!--What say you, James Soundpost?

  _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'll 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!--
  And breath'd such life with kisses in my lips
  That I reviv'd and was an emperor.
  Ah me! how sweet is love itself possess'd,                      10
  When but love's shadows are so rich in joy!--


  News from Verona!--How now, Balthasar!
  Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?
  How doth my lady? Is my father well?
  How fares my Juliet? that I ask again,
  For nothing can be ill if she be well.

  _Balthasar._ Then she is well, and nothing can be ill;
  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.

  _Romeo._                         No matter; get thee gone
  And hire those horses. I'll be with thee straight.--
                                                 [_Exit Balthasar._
  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!

_Enter_ Apothecary

  _Apothecary._                    Who calls so loud?

  _Romeo._ Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor.
  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 Mantua'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
  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,--
  Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
  So fearful were they of infection.

  _Friar Laurence._ Unhappy fortune! by my brotherhood,
  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'll 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,
  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 strew.
    O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones,
  Which with sweet water nightly I will dew,
    Or, wanting that, with tears distill'd by moans;
  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 iron.
  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
  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.

  _Balthasar._ I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you.          40

  _Romeo._ So shalt thou show me friendship. Take thou that.
  Live, and be prosperous; and farewell, good fellow.

  _Balthasar._ [_Aside_] For all this same, I'll 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'll 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.--
  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 man.
  Fly hence, and leave me; think upon these gone,                 60
  Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth,
  Put not 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!
                                                       [They fight.

  _Page._ O Lord, they fight! I will go call the watch.    [_Exit._

  _Paris._ O, I am slain!--[_Falls._] 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!
  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,                        80
  To think it was so?--O, give me thy hand,
  One writ with me in sour misfortune's book!
  I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave,--
  A grave? O, no! a lantern, 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
  With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here
  Will I set up my everlasting rest,                             110
  And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
  From this world-wearied flesh.--Eyes, look your last!
  Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
  The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
  A dateless bargain to engrossing death!--
  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! [_Drinks._]--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?

  _Balthasar._ 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 master,
  One that you love.

  _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 'll 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?                            150
                                                   [_Noise within._

  _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'll dispose of thee
  Among a sisterhood of holy nuns.
  Stay not to question, for the watch is coming;
  Come, go, good Juliet. [_Noise again._]--I dare 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.

  _1 Watch._ [_Within_] Lead, boy; which way?

  _Juliet._ Yea, noise? then I'll 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

  _1 Watch._ The ground is bloody; search about the churchyard.
  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.

  _1 Watch._ Hold him in safety till the prince come hither.

_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.

  _1 Watch._ A great suspicion; stay the friar too.

_Enter the_ PRINCE _and_ Attendants

  _Prince._ What misadventure is so early up
  That calls our person from our morning's rest?

_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?

  _1 Watch._ Sovereign, here lies the County Paris slain;
  And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before,
  Warm and new kill'd.

  _Prince._ Search, seek, and know how this foul murther comes.

  _1 Watch._ Here is a friar, and slaughter'd Romeo's man,
  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 bell
  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.

  _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 this,
  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 breath
  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,
  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.
  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.--
  Where's Romeo's man? what can he say in this?                   271

  _Balthasar._ I brought my master news of Juliet's death,
  And then in post he came from Mantua
  To this same place, to this same monument.
  This letter he early bid me give his father,
  And threaten'd me with death, going in the vault,
  If I departed not and left him there.

  _Prince._ Give me the letter; I will look on it.--
  Where is the county's page that rais'd the watch?--
  Sirrah, what made your master in this place?                   280

  _Page._ He came with flowers to strew his lady's grave
  And bid me stand aloof, and so I did.
  Anon comes one with light to ope the tomb,
  And by and by my master drew on him;
  And then I ran away to call the watch.

  _Prince._ This letter doth make good the friar's words,
  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
  Where be these enemies?--Capulet!--Montague!
  See, what a scourge is aid 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                        300
  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.                     [_Exeunt._




THE METRE OF THE PLAY.--It should be understood at the outset that
_metre_, or the mechanism of verse, is something altogether 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 constitutes the verse.

The plays of Shakespeare (with the exception of rhymed passages, and of
occasional songs and interludes) are all in unrhymed or _blank_ verse;
and the normal form of this blank verse is illustrated 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 10th) accented, the odd syllables
(1st, 3d, etc.) being unaccented. Theoretically, it is made up of five
_feet_ of two syllables each, with the accent on the second syllable.
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 103d 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. 1. 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

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. 1. 64 the third syllable of _Benvolio_, and in line
71 below the second syllable of _Capulets_ and the second _the_ are both

4. Any unaccented syllable, occurring in an even place immediately
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 1,
3, and 7 of the prologue. In 1 the last syllable of _dignity_ 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'd_ and the
third of _overthrows_. In iv. 2. 18 ("Of disobedient opposition") 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:--

(_a_) 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, iii. 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. 1. 41: "God shield I should disturb devotion!"
_Marriage_ is a trisyllable in iv. 1. 11, and also in v. 3. 241; and the
same is true of _patience_ in v. 1. 27 v. 1. 27, v. 3. 221 and 261. This
lengthening 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. 1. 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. 1. 172: "As fire drives fire,
so pity, pity," the first _fire_ is a dissyllable.

(_c_) Words containing _l_ 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. 1. 158: "While she did call me rascal fiddler" [fidd(e)ler];
_All's Well_, iii. 5. 43: "If you will tarry, holy pilgrim"
[pilg(e)rim]; _C. of E._ v. 1. 360: "These are the parents of these
children" (childeren, the original form of the word); _W.T._ iv. 4. 76:
"Grace and remembrance [rememb(e)rance] be to you both!" etc. See also
on ii. 4. 184 and iii. 1. 89 below.

(_d_) 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. 1. 442;
_safety_ (trisyllable) in _Ham_. i. 3. 21; _business_ (trisyllable, as
originally pronounced) in _J.C._ iv. 1. 22: "To groan and sweat under
the business" (so in several other passages); and other words mentioned
in the notes to the plays in which they occur.

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 metrical
reasons. Thus we find both _révenue_ and _revénue_ in the first scene of
the _M.N.D._ (lines 6 and 158), _óbscure_ and _obscúre_, _púrsue_ and
_pursúe_, _cóntrary_ (see note on iii. 2. 64) and _contráry_, _contráct_
(see on ii. 2. 117) and _cóntract_, 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 _aspéct_, _impórtune_ (see on i. 1. 142), _perséver_
(never _persevére_), _perséverance_, _rheúmatic_, 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 confounded with
female lines with two extra syllables (see on 1 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. 1. 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 characters, but
nowhere else in those plays, and never anywhere after 1597 or 1598.
There is no instance of it in this play.

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 1100 rhyming verses (about one-third of the
whole number), in the _M.N.D._ about 900, and in _Rich. 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 matter 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

_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 prologue, 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 _-'d_ 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 variation from
this rule is in verbs like _cry_, _die_, _sue_, etc., the _-ed_ of which
is very rarely made a separate syllable.

which the critics have given very little attention, 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 is distinctly poetical, and prose
for what is not poetical. The distinction, however, is not so clearly
marked in the earlier as in the later plays. The second scene of the _M.
of V._, 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 V._, 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. II._, 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 reference 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 mention of Pompey reminds the Tribune of their plebeian fickleness,
and his scorn and indignation flame out in most 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 Shakespeare_, 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 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.

SOME BOOKS FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS.--A few out of 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_
(7th 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; encyclopædic 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 _Shakespeare and
His Predecessors_ (1895); Dyer's _Folk-lore of Shakespeare_ (American
ed. 1884); Gervinus's _Shakespeare Commentaries_ (Bunnett's translation,
1875); Wordsworth's Shakespeare's _Knowledge of the Bible_ (3d ed.
1880); Elson's _Shakespeare in Music_ (1901).

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 _Cyclopædia 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, and folk-lore of the poet's time);
Guerber's _Myths of Greece and Rome_ (for young students who may need
information on mythological 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. Cowden-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 particularly 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 Complaint_; and
Sonn. to the _Sonnets_.

Other abbreviations that hardly need explanation are _Cf._ (_confer_,
compare), _Fol._ (following), _Id._ (_idem_, the same), and _Prol._
(prologue). 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 reference
(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 reference.


_Enter Chorus._ As Malone suggests, this probably meant only that the
prologue was to be spoken by the same actor that personated 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 comments upon it, p. 22 above.

2. _Fair Verona._ The city is thus described in the opening lines of
Brooke's poem:[4]--

  "There is beyonde the Alps, a towne of auncient fame
  Whose bright renoune yet shineth cleare, Verona men it name:
  Bylt in an happy time, bylt on a fertile soyle:
  Maynteined by the heauenly fates, and by the townish toyle.
  The fruitefull hilles aboue, the pleasant vales belowe,
  The siluer streame with 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'd._ For the astrological allusion, cf. i. 4. 104, v. 1.
24, and v. 3. 111 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 lovers 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 force of
the singular, namely, where the sense is collective, as in _overthrows_
here. Cf. v. 1. 70 below.

12. _Two hours._ Cf. _Hen. VIII._ prol. 13: "may see away their shilling
Richly in two short hours."

[Footnote 4: 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 Halliwell-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.]


SCENE I.--1. _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 Mellida_, part ii.: "He has had wrongs; and if I
were he I would bear no coles," etc. Dyce cites Cotgrave, _Fr. Dict._:
"_Il 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. Dict._ adds that it may have been due to
"the evil repute of the collier for cheating." Steevens compares _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.

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 distinguish
them from the Capulets; hence throughout the play they are known at a
distance. Cf. Gascoigne, _Devise of a Masque, written for Viscount
Montacute_, 1575:--

  "And for a further proofe, he shewed in hys hat
  Thys token which the _Mountacutes_ did beare alwaies, for that
  They covet to be knowne from _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 Cotgrave,
_Fr. Dict._ (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" (Steevens).

60. _Swashing blow._ A dashing or smashing blow (Schmidt). Cf. Jonson,
_Staple of News_, v. 1: "I do confess a swashing blow." Cf. also _swash_
= bully, bluster; as in _A.Y.L._ i. 3. 122: "I'll have a martial and a
swashing outside."

63. _Art thou drawn?_ Cf. _Temp._ ii. 1. 308: "Why are you drawn?"
_Heartless_ = cowardly, spiritless; as in _R. of L._ 471, 1392.

69. _Have at thee._ Cf. iv. 5. 119 below; also _C. of E._ iii. 1. 51,

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 defence of
foot-soldiers against cavalry" (Fairholt). Cf. _Ham._ i. 1. 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._ ii. 2. 70: "Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us
And show us to be watchers;" and _Id._ v. 1. 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. 1. 32: "no sword
worn But one to dance with"). Cf. _M.W._ ii. 1. 236: "with my long sword
I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats."

73. _A crutch, a crutch!_ The lady's sneer at her aged husband. For her
own age, see on i. 3. 51 below.

75. _In spite._ In scornful defiance. Cf. 3 _Hen. VI._ i. 3. 158,
_Cymb._ iv. 1. 16, etc.

79. _Neighbour-stained._ Because used in civil strife.

84. _Mistemper'd._ Tempered to an ill end (Schmidt). Steevens explains
it as = angry. The word occurs again in _K. John_, v. 1. 12: "This
inundation of mistemper'd humour."

85. _Moved._ That is, "mov'd to wrath" (_T.A._ i. 1. 419). Cf. _L. L. L._
v. 2. 694, _J.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. 7. 79:--

          "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. _Canker'd with peace_, etc. _Canker'd_ (= corroded) is applied
literally to the partisans long disused, and figuratively to their
owners. Cf. _K. John_, ii. 1. 194: "A canker'd grandam's will."

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._ i. 3.
325: "The secret mischiefs that I set abroach."

109. _Nothing hurt withal._ Nowise harmed by it. _Who_ = which; as

110. _While we_, etc. This line, with the change of _we_ to _they_, is
found in the 1st quarto in iii. 1, 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 worshipp'd sun._ Cf. iii. 2. 25 below: "And pay no worship to
the garish sun." See also _Lear_, i. 1. 111: "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 Parsee.

116. _Forth._ Cf. _M.N.D._ i. 1. 164: "Steal forth thy father's house,"

118. _Sycamore._ According to Beisly and Ellacombe, the _Acer
pseudo-platanus_, 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. 1. 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. 1. 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, 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

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. 1. 130, etc.

142. _Importun'd._ Accented on the second syllable, as regularly in S.

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. 1. 10.

166. _In his view._ In appearance; opposed to _proof_ = experience. Cf.
_Ham._ iii. 2. 179: "What my love is, proof hath made you know," etc.

168. _Alas, 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. _Rais'd._ The reading of the 1st quarto, adopted by the majority of
editors. The other early eds. have "made."

188. _Purg'd._ That is, from smoke.

191. _A choking gall_, etc. That is, "love kills and keeps alive, is a
bane and an antidote" (Dowden).

195. _Some other where._ Cf. _C. of E._ iv. 1. 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 _Much Ado_,
ii. 3. 229.

203. _Mark-man._ The 3d and 4th folios have "marks-man." S. uses the
word nowhere else.

206. _Dian's 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. II._ 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._ 1. 12: "And, tender
churl, makes waste in niggarding."

216. _Starv'd._ The early eds. (except the 4th folio) have "sterv'd,"
the old form of the word, found in several other passages in the folio
(_M. of V._ iv. 1. 138, _Cor._ iv. 2. 51, etc.) and rhyming with
_deserve_ in _Cor._ ii. 3. 120. Cf. Spenser, _F.Q._ iv. 1. 4:--

  "Untill such time as noble Britomart
  Released her, that else was like to sterve
  Through cruell knife that her deare heart did kerve."
There it means to die (its original sense), as in _Hen. VII._ v. 3. 132.

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_ = conversation, cf. _A.Y.L._ iii.
4. 39, v. 4. 167, etc. But why may not _question_ repeat the idea of
_examine_? Benvolio says, "Examine other beauties;" Romeo replies, in
substance, that the result of the examination 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 probably = 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. 1. 84, etc.

235. _Pay that doctrine._ Give that instruction. Cf. _L. L. L._ iv. 3.
350: "From women's eyes this doctrine I derive;" _A. and C._ v. 2.

          "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. 110 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.L._ i. 1. 34, _T. of S._
iv. 3. 97, _Macb._ ii. 3. 36, _Oth._ v. 1. 4, etc. On the other hand,
examples of the opposition of _married_ and _marred_ 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. 1. 154, _Rich. II._ ii. 1. 83,
_Cymb._ 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 explains 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 decide whom you like best of the beauties
gathered there; if Juliet 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. 1. 171: "As fire drives out fire, so pity pity;"
_Cor._ iv. 7. 54: "One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail,"

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. 1. 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!"

Steevens quotes _Albumazar_: "Bring a fresh plantain leaf, I've broke my
shin." _A broken shin_, like a _broken head_ (_M.W._ i. 125, _T.N._ v.
1. 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 treatment 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' 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 salutation was used as soon
as noon was past. See on i. 1. 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. 1. 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. _Signior 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.'"

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 here.

91. _Fires._ The early eds. have "fire," which White retains as an
admissible rhyme in Shakespeare's day.

92. _Who often drown'd_, etc. Alluding to the old notion that if a witch
were thrown into the water she would not sink. King James, in his
_Dæmonology_, 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.--1. On the character of the Nurse Mrs. Jameson says:--

"She is drawn with the most wonderful power and discrimination. 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 palpable truth....

"Among these harsh and inferior spirits is Juliet placed; her haughty
parents, and her plebeian nurse, not only throw into beautiful 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 clandestine marriage. Do we not perceive how
immediately our impression 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 Desdemona'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 anything 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 childlike 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_ 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 accident should keep her
away!" This seems to me more probable.

7. _Give leave awhile._ Leave us alone; a courteous form of dismissal.
Cf. _T.G. of V._ iii. 1. 1: "Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile;"
_M.W._ ii. 2. 165: "Give us leave, drawer," etc.

9. _I have remember'd me._ For the reflexive use, cf. _1 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. 1. 310, _T. and C._ iii. 1. 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 1st of August. _Tide_ = time, as in _even-tide_,
_springtide_, etc. Cf. _K. John_, iii. 1. 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.

27. _Sitting in the sun_, etc. Cf. Dame Quickly's circumstantial
reminiscences, _2 Hen. IV._ ii. 1. 93 fol.: "Thou didst swear to me,"

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. 1. 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 refers of
course to the effects of the earthquake. Daniel (in Dowden'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. Dict._) found in
Marston, Middleton, and other writers of the time. In George
Washington's _Diary_ (1760) it is used of mares. According to the
description here, Juliet could not have been much more than a year old
at the time. See on 23 above.

38. _Mark._ Appoint, elect. Cf. _T.A._ i. 1. 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. Cf. _M. for M._ iv.
1. 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 masking for some thirty
years (see i. 5. 35 fol.), must be at least sixty. See also on v. 3. 207

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 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 obscurities of the
fair volume are written in _the margin of his eyes_ as comments 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, _L'All._ 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" (Mason).

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

70. _Many's._ 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 coining.

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. 1. 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.

1. _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 introduces
himself to the entertainment given by Wolsey [i. 4] he appears, like
Romeo and his companions, in a _mask_, and sends a messenger before to
make an apology for his intrusion. This was a custom observed by those
who came uninvited, with a desire to conceal themselves for the sake of
intrigue, or to enjoy the greater freedom of conversation. Their entry
on these occasions was always prefaced by some speech in praise of the
beauty of the ladies or the generosity of the entertainer; and to the
_prolixity_ of such introductions 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._ v. 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 purposely
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. 1. 80: "as
a measure, full of state and ancientry;" and for the play on the word,
_Id._ ii. 1. 74, _L. L. L._ iv. 3. 384, and _Rich. II._ iii. 4. 7.

11. _A torch._ Maskers were regularly attended by torch-bearers. 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._ iii. 1. 151, _1 Hen. IV._ iii. 2. 60, etc.

12. _The light._ For the poet's frequent playing on the different senses
of _light_, see on i. 1. 134 above. Cf. ii. 2. 105 below.

15. _Soul._ For the play on the word, cf. _M. of V._ ii. 4. 68, iv. 1.
123, and, _J.C._ i. 1. 15.

19. _Enpierced._ Used by S. nowhere else.

20. _Bound._ For the quibble, Steevens compares Milton, _P.L._ iv.

                  "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. 1. 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. _1 Hen. IV._ iii. 1. 214: "on the wanton rushes lay you
down;" _Cymb._ ii. 2. 13:--

                  "Our Tarquin thus
  Did softly press the rushes," etc.
See also _R. of L._ 318, _T. of S._ iv. 1. 48, and _2 Hen. IV._ v. 5. 1.
The stage was likewise strewn with rushes. Steevens quotes Dekker, _Guls
Hornbook_: "on the very rushes where the comedy is to daunce."

37. _I am proverb'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"

39. _The game_, etc. An old proverbial saying advises to give over when
the game is at the fairest; and Romeo also alludes to this.

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 Christmas
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 amusement; 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 Butler, _Remains_: "they meant to leave reformation,
like Dun in the mire."

42. _Sir-reverence._ A contraction of "save reverence" (_salva
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 superfluous actions
in general. Here it is = waste time, as the context shows. Cf. _M.W._
ii. 1. 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. 1. 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 _five senses_; but the
two expressions were sometimes used interchangeably. The _five wits_, on
the other hand, were defined as "common wit, imagination, 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 Mab._ No earlier instance of _Mab_ as the name of the
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. 1. 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. 1. 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

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. 1:--

  "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 mentioning the chariot
itself." But _chariot_ here, as the description 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 carelessness 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_, 1607: "troth, sir, my
master and sir Goslin are guzzling; they are dabbling together fathom
deep. The knight has drunk so much health to the gentleman yonder, 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'll pledge you a mile to the bottom."

89. _Plats the manes_, etc. "This alludes to a very singular
superstition not yet forgotten in some parts of the country. It was
believed 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 13th 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: "elf all
my hair in knots;" and Lodge, _Wit's Miserie_, 1596: "His haires are
curld and full of elves locks."

91. _Which_, etc. The real subject of _bodes_ is _which once untangled_
= the untangling of which.

97. _Who._ For _which_, as often; but here, perhaps, on account of the
personification. Cf. _2 Hen. IV._ iii. 1. 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. 1. 54: "Till time the tryall of her truth expyred."

107. _Clos'd._ Enclosed, shut up. Cf. v. 2. 30 below: "clos'd in a dead
man's tomb." See also _R. of L._ 761, _Macb._ iii. 1. 99, etc.

111. In the early eds. the stage-direction is "_They march about the
Stage, and Seruingmen come forth with_ [or _with their_] _Napkins_."
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. _1 Hen. IV._ ii. 4. 418,
_2 Hen. IV._ ii. 4. 269, etc.

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. Cotgrave 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, adding 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 rosewater 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 garnish 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
banqueting 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.

          "They barr'd their gates,
  Which we as easily tore unto the earth
  As I this tower of marchpane."

16. _Cheerly._ Cheerily, briskly. Cf. _Temp._ i. 1. 6, 29, etc.

16. _The longer liver take all._ A proverbial expression.

18. _Toes._ Pope thought it necessary to change this to "feet." Malone
remarks that the word "undoubtedly did not appear indelicate 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. _L. L. L._ v. 2. 228: "If you deny to dance;" _T.
of S._ ii. 1. 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. _1 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 Romeo.

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

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. _The fire._ 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. 1. 143 below: "Tybalt, my cousin! O my
brother's child!"

37. _Nuptial._ The regular form in S. In the 1st folio _nuptials_ 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:
  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 1st folio have "It seemes she hangs." As
Verplanck remarks, it is quite probable that the correction 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

48. _Ethiope's ear._ For the simile, cf. _Sonn._ 27. 11: "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. 1. 58, etc. For _scorn
at_, cf. _A.Y.L._ iii. 5. 131, _K. John_, i. 1. 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. 1. 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. 1. 75 above.

67. _Content thee._ "Compose yourself, keep your temper" (Schmidt). Cf.
_Much Ado_, v. 1. 87, _T. of S._ i. 1. 90, 203, ii. 1. 343, etc. So _be
contented_; as in _M.W._ 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;" _1 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" (_J.C._ ii.
1. 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. 1. 147: "where hope is coldest, and
despair most fits," etc.

81. _God shall mend my soul!_ Cf. _A.Y.L._ iv. 1. 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 _1 Hen. IV._ iii. 1. 255.

83. _Cock-a-hoop._ "Of doubtful origin" (_New. Eng. Dict._), 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. 1. 75: "To do offence and scathe in Christendom;" _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, _Tully's Love_: "to contrary her resolution;"
Warner, _Albion's England_: "his countermand should have contraried so,"
etc. The accent in S. is variable. Cf. the adjective in iii. 2. 64

88. _Well said._ Well done. Cf. _Oth._ ii. 1. 169, v. 1. 98, etc.
_Princox_ = 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 impetuosity, at
once contrasting, yet harmonized with young Tybalt's quarrelsome
violence! But it would be endless to repeat observations 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!"

91. _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 griefe to mone?"

94. _Convert._ For the intransitive use, cf. _R. of L._ 592, _Much Ado_,
i. 1. 123, _Rich. II._ v. 1. 66, v. 3. 64, etc. Some make it transitive,
with _now seeming sweet_ (= "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 editors retain

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 propriety. 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 solemnity. 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 replying, '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 writers.

120. _My life_, etc. "He means that, as bereft of Juliet he should die,
his existence is at the mercy of his enemy, Capulet" (Staunton). Cf.

  "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. 2.

  "My banquet is to close our stomachs up,
  After our great good cheer."

Nares quotes Massinger, _Unnatural Combat_:--

  "We'll dine in the great room, but let the music
  And banquet be prepared here;"

and Taylor, _Pennilesse Pilgrim_: "our first and second course being
threescore dishes at one boord, and after that alwayes a banquet."
_Towards_ = ready, at hand (Steevens). So _toward_; as in _M.N.D._ iii.
1. 81: "What, a play toward!"

125. _Is it e'en so?_ The 1st 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 learne 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.[5]
  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
  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. 1. 419, _K. John_, iii.
1. 46, _Rich. III._ i. 2. 23, etc.

[Footnote 5: That is, whisper. Cf. _W.T._ i. 2. 217, _K. John_, ii. 1.
566, 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

2. _Gapes._ Rushton quotes Swinburn, _Briefe Treatise of Testaments 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

3. On the repetition of _for_, cf. _A.W._ i. 2. 29: "But on us both did
haggish age steal on;" _Cor._ ii. 1. 18: "In what enormity is Marcius
poor in?" etc. _Fair_ = fair one; as in _M.N.D._ i. 1. 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. 1. 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. 1: "Poor
soul, the centre of my sinful earth."

5. _Orchard._ That is, garden; the only meaning in S.

6. _Conjure._ Accented by S. on either syllable, without regard to the

7. _Humours!_ Fancies, caprices. Some read "Humour's madman!
Passion-lover!" See on 29 below.

10. _Ay me!_ 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. of V._ iii. 1. 7: "if my gossip Report 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." Upton 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 1st, 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. of V._ 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 understands
"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. 1. 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
mendicant lunatic from Bethlehem Hospital, London, came to be a cant
term for an impostor wandering about and asking alms under pretence of
lunacy. Herford says that "Adam" is made almost certain by _Much Ado_,
i. 1. 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

  "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. 1. 66 and _2 Hen._
_IV._ v. 3. 106.

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 characterize lovers,
and as whose personification Mercutio had just conjured 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.--1. _He jests_, etc. Referring to Mercutio, whom he has
overheard, as the rhyme in _found_ and _wound_ indicates. The Cambridge
ed. suggests that in the old arrangement of the scene the 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 supposed to be concealed from the others, not coming
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).
Cf. _M.N.D._ i. 1. 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 iii. 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 moonlight."

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.

61. _Dislike._ Displease. Cf. _Oth._ ii. 3. 49: "I'll 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. _O'er-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. 1. 48 below. On _wanting of_, cf. v.
1. 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. 156:--

                  "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. 1. 121 above.

106. _Discovered._ Revealed, betrayed. Cf. iii. 1. 145 below, where it
is = tell, explain.

109. _The inconstant moon._ Cf. _M. for M._ iii. 1. 25:--

  "For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
  After the moon."

See also _L. L. L._ v. 2. 212, _Lear_, v. 3. 19, and _Oth._ iii. 3. 178.
Hunter quotes Wilson, _Retorique_, 1553: "as in speaking of constancy,
to shew the sun who ever keepeth one course; in speaking of inconstancy,
to shew the moon which keepeth no certain course."

116. _Do not swear._ Coleridge remarks here: "With love, pure love,
there is always an anxiety for the safety of the object, a
disinterestedness by which it is distinguished from the counterfeits of
its name. Compare this scene with the _Temp._ iii. 1. I do not know a
more wonderful instance of Shakespeare's mastery in playing 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 other."

117. _Contract._ Accented by S. on either syllable, as suits the
measure. The verb is always _contráct_. See also on i. 4. 103 above.

119. _Like the lightning_, etc. Cf. _M.N.D._ i. 1. 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;"
and _Lear_, iii. 4. 20: "Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave

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. 1. 210: "I can give his
humour the true bent," etc.

144. _Send me word to-morrow_, etc. This seems rather sudden 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 her to

151. _Madam!_ This forms no part of the verse, and might well enough be
separated from it, like the _Juliet_ in i. 5. 145 above. _By and by_ =
presently; as in iii. 1. 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 your sute" occurs in
Brooke's poem, a few lines below the passage just quoted.

153. _To-morrow._ "In the alternative which she places before her lover
with such a charming mixture of conscious delicacy and girlish
simplicity, there is that jealousy of female honour which precept and
education have infused into her mind, without one real doubt of his
truth, or the slightest hesitation in her self-abandonment; for she
does not even wait to hear his asseverations" (Mrs. Jameson).

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."

160. _Tassel-gentle._ The _tassel-gentle_ or _tercel-gentle_ is the male
hawk. Dyce quotes Cotgrave, _Fr. Dict._: "Tiercelet. The Tassell or male
of any kind of Hawke, so tearmed, because he is, commonly, 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. 1. 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. 1 36, _T.N._ iii. 1. 71,

163. _Airy tongue._ Cf. Milton, _Comus_, 208: "And airy tongues, that
syllable men's names," etc.

166. _Silver-sweet._ Cf. _Per._ v. 1. 111: "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 him back, parting was "such sweet sorrow."

178. _A wanton's bird._ Here _wanton_ means simply a playful girl. It is
often used in such innocent sense (cf. i. 4. 35 above), and is
sometimes masculine, as in _K. John_, v. 1. 70 and _Rich. II._ ii. 3.

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. 1.
79, 176, 178, i. 2. 25, i. 4. 7, 100, etc., above.

190. _Dear hap._ Good fortune. The 1st 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.--1. _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, _J.C._ ii. 1. 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 "possibly not
merely for the rhyme's sake, but because the Franciscan had no personal

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,
  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. 1. 45: "The one ne'er got me credit, the other
mickle blame," etc. _Powerful grace_ = "efficacious virtue" (Johnson);
or = gracious power.

19. _Strain'd._ Wrenched, forced. Cf. _M. of V._ iv. 1. 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 1st quarto, which has "small."
_Weak_ seems the better word as opposed to the following _power_

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'll encamp ourselves." On the figurative _encamp_, cf. _L.C._ 203.

29. _Worser._ Cf. iii. 2. 108 below: "worser than Tybalt's death."
_Predominant_ was originally an astrological term. See _A.W._ i. 1. 211,

30. _Canker._ Canker-worm. Cf. _V. and A._ 656: "The canker that eats up
Love's tender spring;" _T.G. of V._ i. 1. 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 here.

40. _With some._ The editors generally adopt "by some" from the 1st
quarto; but _with = by_ is so common in S. that the reading of all the
other early eds. may be accepted. See on i. 1. 148 and i. 2. 49 above.
_Distemperature_ = disorder. Cf. _C. of E._ v. 1. 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.

51. _Both our remedies._ The healing of both of us. Cf. _A.W._ i. 3.
169: "both our mothers" = the mother of both of us. See also _Ham._ iii.
1. 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. 1.
114 below.

56. _Riddling._ Cf. _M.N.D._ ii. 2. 53: "Lysander riddles very
prettily;" and 1 _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. 1. 113,
114, _Ham._ iii. 1. 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. 1. 55, _T.N._ i. 1. 30, _R. of L._ 796, _L.C._ 18,

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 impersonal
use of _stand on_ or _upon_ = it concerns, it is important to; as in
_C. of E._ iv. 1. 68: "Consider how it stands upon my credit;" _Rich._
_II._ 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. _L. L. L._ iii. 1. 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. 1. 3, 5, _W.T._ iii. 2. 172,
_J.C._ iii. 1. 136, v. 1. 110, etc.

16. _The very pin_, etc. The allusion is to archery. The _clout_ (cf.
_L. L. L._ iv. 1. 136), or white mark at which the arrows were aimed, was
fastened by a black pin in the centre. Cf. Marlowe, _Tamburlane_,

    "For kings are clouts that every man shoots at,
    Our crown the pin that thousands seek to cleave."

17. _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_. Steevens 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. 1. 77 below.

21. _Captain of compliments._ A complete master of etiquette. Cf.
_L. L. L._ i. 1. 169:--

    "A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
    Have chose as umpire of their mutiny."

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. _J.C._ i. 2. 270: "He plucked me
ope his doublet," etc.

25. _Button._ Steevens 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 reverso_
was a back-handed stroke. We have _punto_ (= thrust) in _M.W._ ii. 3.
26: "to see thee pass thy punto." The _hay_ was a home-thrust; from the
Italian _hai_ = thou 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.

32. _Grandsire._ Addressed to Benvolio in raillery of his staid

33. _Fashion-mongers._ Cf. _Much Ado_, v. 1. 94: "fashion-monging boys."

34. _Pardonnez-mois._ Fellows who are continually saying
_pardonnez-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. 1. 209:
"sitting with her upon the form ... in manner and form following."
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 monstrous protuberances, without
which contrivance they who stood on the new form could not sit at ease
on the old bench."

36. _Bons._ 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" (Seymour). 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. 1. 68: "a herring without a roe."

42. _Be-rhyme._ Cf. _A.Y.L._ iii. 2. 186: "I was never so be-rhymed,"

43. _Hildings._ Base menials; used of both sexes. Cf. _T. of S._ ii. 1.
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. 1. 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._ i. 2. 269 ("This blue-eyed hag") 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 _blue_ he means blue, and when
he says _grey_ he means grey. See on ii. 3. 1 above. The _New Eng.
Dict._ does not recognize 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.
_Counterfeit_ is used for the sake of the coming play on _slip_, which
sometimes 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 play upon
the word in the only other instance in which S. uses it, _V. and A._

  "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, pertinently.

63. _Then is my pump_, etc. The idea seems to be, my shoe or _pump_,
being _pinked_ or punched with holes, is well _flowered_. Cf. _unpinked_
in _T. of S._ iv. 1. 136: "And Gabriel's pumps were all unpink'd i' the

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. 1. 170: "What, do you grumble? I'll be with
you straight!" For the allusion to _five wits_ see on i. 4. 47 above.

80. _I will bite thee by the ear._ A playful expression of endearment,
common in the old dramatists.

81. _Good goose, 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 _bittersweet_. Cf. _Fair Em_: "And
left me such a bitter sweet to gnaw upon."

84. _And is it 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 allusions to mutton and capers
in _T.N._ i. 3. 129, and to beef and mustard in _M.N.D._ iii. 1. 197 and
_T. of S._ iv. 3. 23.

86. _Cheveril._ Soft kid leather for gloves, proverbially elastic. Cf.
_Hen. VIII._ ii. 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. 1. 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. 1: "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. 1. 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. 1. 147: "To see him walk before a
lady and to bear her fan!" The fans of the time of S. were large and

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_,
iii. 5. 3, where Dogberry says, "Marry, sir, I would have some
confidence 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. 1. 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 moulding

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. _1 Hen. VI._ ii. 3. 57: "a riddling
merchant;" and Churchyard's _Chance_, 1580: "What saucie merchaunt
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

143. _Jacks._ For the contemptuous use of the word, cf. _M. of V._ iii.
4. 77: "these bragging Jacks;" _Much Ado_, v. 1. 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. 1. 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. Schmidt defines it as
"messmates," and Nares as probably = "roaring or swaggering companions."
Various other explanations 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. 1. 7:--

        "here afore Heaven,
  I ratify this my rich gift," etc.

158. _In a fool's paradise._ Malone cities _A handfull of Pleasant
Delightes, 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

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. 1. 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.

188. _Two may keep counsel._ That is, keep a secret. Cf. _T.A._ iv. 2.
144: "Two may keep counsel when the third's away."

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. Mätzner quotes Sheridan: "I had as
lieve be shot."

195. _Properer._ Handsomer. Cf. _A.Y.L._ 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 _universal_.

198. _A letter._ One letter. Cf. _Ham._ v. 2. 276: "These foils have all
a length," etc. For _rosemary_ as the symbol of remembrance, 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 dog's
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. 1 below.

SCENE V.--7. _Love._ That is, Venus. Cf. _Temp._ iv. 1. 94:--

                    "I met her deity
  Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son
  Dove-drawn with her;"

and _V. and A._ 1190:--

  "Thus weary of the world, away she hies,
  And yokes her silver doves."

9. _Highmost._ Cf. _Sonn._ 7. 9: "But when from highmost pitch, with
weary ear," etc. We still use _hindmost_, _topmost_, etc.

11. _Hours._ A dissyllable; as in iii. 1. 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. 1. 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. _Give me leave._ Let me alone, let me rest. See on i. 3. 7 above.

26. _Ache._ Spelt "ake" in the folio both here and in 49 below. This
indicates the pronunciation of the verb. The noun was pronounced
_aitch_, and the plural was a dissyllable; as in _Temp._ i. 2. 370, _T.
of A._ i. 1. 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 _circumstance_,
cf. v. 3. 181 below: "without circumstance" (= without further
particulars). See also _V. and A._ 844, _Ham._ v. 2. 2, etc.

38. _Simple._ Silly; as often. Cf. iii. 1. 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. _O' t'other._ On the other. Cf. i. 1. 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.--9. _These violent delights_, etc. Malone compares _R. of L._
894: "These violent vanities can never last." He might have added _Ham._
ii. 1. 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. 1. 64

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. 1. 54,
iv. 3. 99, etc. So _confusion_ often = destruction, ruin; as in iv. 5.
61 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 1st
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.

18. _Gossamer._ Light filaments floating in the air, especially in
autumn. Their origin was formerly not understood, but they are now
known to be the webs of certain species of spiders. Cf. _Lear_, 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. 1. 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. 1. 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. 1. 15: "There's
beggary in the love that can be reckon'd." _Worth_ = wealth.

36. _Leaves._ The plural is used because the reference is to more than
one person; a common construction in S. Cf. _Rich. II._ iv. 1. 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 summer" (Johnson).

3. _Scape._ Not "'scape," as often printed. The word is used in prose;
as in _M. of V._ ii. 2. 174, 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 quarto).

8. _Operation._ Effect. Cf. _2 Hen. IV._ iv. 3. 104: "A good
sherris-sack hath a twofold operation in it," etc.

11. _Am I_, etc. "The quietness of this retort, with the slight but
significant emphasis which we imagine thrown upon the _I_, 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 Musick_, 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!"

Cf. _Ode on Nativ._ 132: "Make up full consort to the angelic symphony;"
_Il Pens._ 145: "With such consort as they keep," etc. "The _consorts_
of S.'s time were not only concerted music, but generally 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, etc.

51. _Zounds._ Like _'swounds_ (see _Ham._ ii. 2. 604), an oath
contracted 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. 1. 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. 1. 394, _Cor._ v. 6. 73, _T. of A._ iv. 2. 21, etc.

57. _I._ 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;" _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 Talfourd
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 _Much Ado._ v. 1. 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 "Alla 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. 1. 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, _Beware 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."

81. _Dry-beat._ Beat soundly. Cf. _L. L. L._ 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

87. _Passado._ See on ii. 4. 27 above.

89. _Outrage._ A trisyllable here. Cf. _entrance_ in i. 4. 8.

91. _Bandying._ Contending. Cf. 1 _Hen. VI._ iv. 1. 190: "This factious
bandying of their favourites." For the literal sense, see on ii. 5. 14

92. The 1st quarto has here the stage-direction, _"Tibalt under Romeos
arme thrusts Mercutio in and flyes_;" which some modern eds. retain

93. _Sped._ Dispatched, "done for." Cf. _M. of V._ ii. 9. 72: "So
begone; you are sped;" _T. of S._ v. 2. 185: "We three are married, 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.
1. 82).

104. _Fights by the book of arithmetic_. Cf. ii. 4. 22 above: "keeps
time, distance," etc.

111. _Your houses!_ "The broken exclamation of a dying man, who has not
breath to repeat his former anathema, 'A plague o' both your houses!'"

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," etc.

116. _Cousin._ Some editors adopt the "kinsman" of 1st quarto; but
_cousin_ was often = kinsman. See on i. 5. 32 above.

120. _Aspir'd._ Not elsewhere used transitively by S. Cf. Chapman,
_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. 1. 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. 1. 156: "You should
have been respective," etc.

127. _Conduct._ Conductor, guide. Cf. _Temp._ v. 1. 244:--

  "And there is in this business more than nature
  Was ever conduct of;"

_Rich. III._ i. 1. 45: "This conduct to convey me to the Tower," etc.
See also v. 3. 116 below.

129. _For Mercutio'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 afterward
consort you till bedtime;" _J.C._ v. 1. 83: "Who to Philippi here
consorted us," etc. For the intransitive use of the word, see on 43

137. _Doom thee death._ Cf. _Rich. III._ ii. 1. 102: "to doom my
brother's death;" _T.A._ iv. 2. 114: "The emperor, in his rage, will
doom her death." _Amazed_ = bewildered, stupefied; as often.

139. _Fortune's fool._ Made a fool of by fortune, the sport of fortune.
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. 1. 11, _Macb._
ii. 1. 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. 1. 13, etc.

156. _Spoke him fair._ Spoke gently to him. Cf. _M.N.D._ ii. 1. 199: "Do
I entice you? do I speak you fair?" _M. of V._ iv. 1. 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. 18

160. _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, impetuosity. Cf.
_K. John_, iv. 3. 97: "thy hasty spleen;" _Rich. III._ v. 3. 350:
"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 character of
Benvolio as good, meant, perhaps, to show how the best minds, in a state
of faction and discord, are detorted to criminal partiality" (Johnson).

188. _Concludes._ For the transitive use (= end), cf. _2 Hen. VI._ iii.
1. 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.
1. 164, _Ham._ iii. 3. 60, etc.

198. _Hour._ Metrically a dissyllable; as in ii. 5. 11 above. Cf.
_Temp._ v. 1. 4. etc.

200. _Mercy but murthers_, 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.--1. _Gallop apace_, etc. Malone remarks that S. probably
remembered Marlowe's _Edward II._, which was performed before 1593:--

  "Gallop apace, bright Phœbus, 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. 1. 30.

3. _Phaethon._ For other allusions to the ambitious youth, see _T.G. of
V._ iii. 1. 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 great _crux_ of the play,
and more has been written about it than would fill a volume 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 "runnawayes," "run-awayes," "run-awaies," or
"run-aways." Those who retain this as a possessive singular refer it
variously to Phœbus, 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 explanation given by Hunter and adopted by Delius, Schmidt, Daniel,
and others. It is the simplest possible solution, and is favoured by the
_untalk'd of_ that follows. White objects to it that "_runaway_ seems to
have been used only to mean one who ran away, and that _runagate_, 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 _runagate_ 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 Shakspere 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 (1st folio, p.

  "'Remember whom you are to cope withall,
  A sort of Vagabonds, Rascals, and _Run-awayes_,
  A scum of Brittaines, 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.

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 modest wife,"

12. _Learn._ Teach; as often. Cf. _A.Y.L._ i. 2. 5, _Cymb._ i. 5. 12,

14. _Hood my unmann'd 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. 1. 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 adjuration,
'Come, Night, come, Romeo, _come thou day in night_!' 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 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 vehemence with which she calls upon the night to bring
Romeo to her arms, there is something so almost infantine in her perfect
simplicity, 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

18. _For thou_, etc. "Indeed, the whole of this speech is imagination
strained to the highest; and observe the blessed effect on the purity of
the mind. What would Dryden have made of it?" (Coleridge).

20. _Black-brow'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 _Il 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. _I 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 position.

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.

40. _Envious._ Malignant; as in i. 1. 148 and iii. 1. 171 above.

45. _But ay._ In the time of S. _ay_ was commonly written and printed
_I_, 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. 1. 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. 1. 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. _1
Hen. IV._ i. 3. 56. So _God bless the mark_! in _M. of V._ ii. 2. 25,
_Oth._ i. 1. 33, etc.

56. _Gore-blood._ Clotted blood. Forby remarks that the combination 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 "bankrout," 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

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, however 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 excitement, and in the
conflict of opposing sentiments, run into some extravagance of diction."
Cf. i. 1. 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_, $1. $2. 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
quadrisyllable. See p. 159 above.

90. _Blister'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 possible that
under such beautie and rare comelinesse, disloyaltie and treason may
have their siedge and lodging?" The image of shame _sitting_ on the brow
is not in Brooke's poem.

98. _Poor my lord._ Cf. "sweet my mother," iii. 5. 198 below. The
figurative meaning of _smooth_ is sufficiently explained by the
following _mangle_. Cf. i. 5. 98 above, and see Brooke's poem:--

  "Ah cruell 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."

108. _Worser._ Cf. ii. 3. 29 above. S. uses it often, both as adjective
and adverb.

112. _Banished._ Note how the trisyllabic pronunciation is emphatically
repeated in this speech; as in Romeo's in the next scene (19-50).

116. _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.

120. _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. 1. 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' is
possible" (Dowden). _That word's death_ = the death implied in that

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 participle

SCENE III.--1. _Fearful._ Full of fear, afraid; Cf. _M.N.D._ v. 1. 101,
165, etc.

2. _Parts._ Gifts, endowments. Cf. iii. 5. 181 below: "honourable

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 favourite
one with S.

10. _Vanish'd._ A singular expression, which Massinger has imitated in
_The Renegado_, v. 5: "Upon those lips from which those sweet words
vanish'd." In _R. of L._ 1041 the word is used of the breath.

20. _Exile._ For the variable accent (cf. 13 above and 43 below), see on
iii. 1. 190.

26. _Rush'd aside the law._ Promptly eluded or contravened the law. The
expression is peculiar, and may be corrupt. "Push'd" and "brush'd" have
been suggested as emendations.

28. _Dear mercy._ True mercy. Cf. _Much Ado_, i. 1. 129: "A dear
happiness to women," etc.

29. _Heaven is here_, etc. "All deep passions are a sort of atheists,
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. 1. 12 and _Lear_, i. 1. 83.

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. 1. 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. _W.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. 1. 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.
1. 283: "the displanting of Cassio."

60. _Prevails._ Avails. Cf. _unprevailing_ in _Ham._ i. 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. 1. 70, _M.N.D._ v. 1. 83, etc. Cf. _simple_ in ii. 5. 38 and
iii. 1. 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. It
is also used for anything circular; as marks of small-pox (_L. 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. 1. 254, v. 2. 552,
_T. and C._ i. 2. 128, ii. 2. 75, etc.

98. _My conceal'd lady._ Not known to the world as my wife. _Conceal'd_
is accented on the first syllable because before the noun.

103. _Level._ Aim; as in _Sonn._ 117. 11: "the level of your frown;"
_Hen. VIII._ i. 2. 2: "the level Of a full-charg'd confederacy," etc.
Cf. the use of the verb in _Much Ado_, ii. 1. 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 Marshall
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 composition, full of striking good
sense, eloquent reasoning, and noble piety."

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 temper'd._ Of better temper or quality. Cf. _2 Hen. IV._ i.
1. 115: "the best temper'd courage in his troops."

118. _Doing damned hate._ Cf. v. 2. 20 below: "do much danger," etc.

119. _Why rail'st thou_, etc. Malone remarks that Romeo has 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, wͭ 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 crye 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 remarks: "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 powder."

134. _And thou_, etc. And thou torn to pieces with thine own means of

144. _Pout'st upon._ Cf. _Cor._ v. 1. 52: "We pout upon the morning."

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. 1. 32 above.

166. _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.

SCENE IV.--11. _Mew'd up._ Shut up. Cf. _T of S._ i. 1. 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, _1 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. 1. 102: "held thee dearly," etc.

28. _And there an end._ Cf. _T.G. of V._ i. 3. 65, ii. 1. 168, _Rich.
II._ v. 1. 69, etc.

32. _Against._ Cf. iv. 1. 113 below: "against thou shalt awake."

34. _Afore me._ "By my life, by my soul" (Schmidt). Cf. _Per._ ii. 1.
84: "Now, afore me, a handsome fellow!" So _before me_, as in _T.N._ ii.
3. 194, _Oth._ iv. 1. 149, etc.

35. _By and by._ Presently. See on ii. 2. 151 above.

SCENE V.--_Juliet's 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 Chamber 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 apartments 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 unquestionable.
'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_, cf. _J.C._
ii. 1. 103:--

                  "yon grey lines
  That fret the clouds are messengers of day;"[6]

and _Much Ado_, v. 3. 25: "Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey."

9. _Night's candles_, etc. Cf. _Macb._ ii. 1. 5.: "Their candles are all
out." See also _M. of V._ v. 1. 220 and _Sonn._ 21. 12.

13. _Some meteor_, etc. Cf. _1 Hen. IV._ ii. 4. 351: "My lord, do you
see these meteors? do you behold these exhalations?" and _Id._ v. 1. 19:
"an exhal'd meteor."

14. _Torch-bearer._ See on i. 4. 11 above.

[Footnote 6: At the meeting of the new Shakspere Society, Oct. 11, 1878,
the chairman read a paper by Mr. Ruskin on the word _fret_ 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;
secondarily, 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...."]

19. _Yon grey._ See on ii. 4. 44 above.

20. _The pale reflex of Cynthia's brow._ That is, the pale light of the
moon shining through or reflected from the breaking clouds _Brow_ is put
for face, as in _M.N.D._ v. 1. 11: "Helen's beauty in 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 behind 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 vaulty heaven._ Cf. _K. John_, v. 2. 52: "the vaulty top of
heaven;" and _R. of L._ 119: "her vaulty prison" (that is, Night's).

29. _Division._ "The breaking of a melody, or its descant, into small
notes. The modern musician would call it variation" (Elson). Cf. _1 Hen.
IV._ iii. 1. 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.

33. _Affray._ Startle from sleep; as Chaucer in _Blaunche the Duchess_
(296) is _affrayed_ out of his sleep by "smale foules" (Dowden).

34. _Hunt's-up._ The tune played to wake and collect the hunters
(Steevens). Cf. Drayton, _Polyolbion_: "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 _T.A._ ii. 2. 1:
"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 mariage."

43. _My lord_, etc. From 1st quarto; the other quartos and 1st 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. 1. 3, _A. and C._ iii. 12. 22, _Cymb._
i. 4. 74, etc. Cf. Brooke's poem, where Juliet referring to Romeo,

  "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 follows.

53. _I have an ill-divining soul._ "This miserable prescience of
futurity I have always regarded as a circumstance particularly
beautiful. The same kind of warning from the mind Romeo seems to have
been conscious of, on his going to the entertainment at the house of
Capulet" (Steevens). See i. 4. 48 and 103 fol. above.

54. _Below._ From 1st 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. 1. 78, etc.

65. _Down._ 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 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
subjection 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 by S.

84. _Ay, madam_, etc. Johnson remarks that "Juliet's equivocations 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 confessional, is prone to resort to, when first left
to itself in difficulties of situation and abrupt encounter with life's

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
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. _I never shall be satisfied_, etc. Daniel remarks: "The several
interpretations of which this ambiguous speech is capable are, I
suppose: 1. I never shall be satisfied with Romeo; 2. I never shall be
satisfied with Romeo till I behold him; 3. I never shall be satisfied
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 vext."

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. 1. 116.

100. _Cousin._ Some editors add "Tybalt" (from 2d folio) to fill out the

104. _Needy._ Joyless. The word is = needful in _Per._ i. 4. 95: "needy

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. _1. Hen. VI._ ii. 3. 27: "I'll sort some other
time to visit you," etc.

109. _Nor I look'd not._ See on iii. 5. 21 above.

110. _In happy time._ Schmidt explains this as here = "_à propos_, pray
tell me." Elsewhere it is = just in time; as in _A.W._ v. 1. 6, _Ham._
v. 2. 214, _Oth._ iii. 1. 32, etc.

113. _County._ See on i. 3. 83 above.

120. _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 conduct."
They appear to crowd the measure, but possibly "I will not marry yet"
("I'll 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. 111). Elsewhere S.
refers to the "falling" dew; as in _K. John_, ii. 1. 285, _Hen. VIII._
i. 3. 57, _Cymb._ v. 5. 351, 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. 1. 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. _1 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.

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. Dict._ 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. 1. 98,
_Macb._ i. 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 _f_ 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
Æneas _hedge-brat_, _cullion_, and _tar-breech_ in the course of one
speech. Nay, in the interlude of _The Repentance of Mary Magdalene_,
1567, Mary Magdalene says to one of her attendants, '_Horeson_, I
beshrowe your heart, are you here?'" (Steevens).

164. _Lent._ The 1st 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.

175-177. _God's bread!_ etc. The text of the early eds. is evidently
corrupt here. The reading in the text is Malone's, and perhaps gives
very nearly what S. wrote on the revision of the play.

181. _Stuff'd_, etc. Cf. _Much Ado_, i. 1. 56: "stuffed with all
honourable virtues," etc. For _parts_, cf. iii. 3. 2 above.

184. _Mammet._ Puppet, doll. Cf. _1 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

  "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 'tis_, 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 confidante is the moment which reveals her
to herself. She does not break into upbraidings; it is no moment for
anger; it is incredulous amazement, succeeded by the extremity of scorn
and abhorrence, which takes possession of her mind. She assumes at once
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. 1. 342: "His eyes
were green as leeks." Cf. _The Two Noble Kinsmen_, v. 1: "With that rare
green eye." Clarke remarks: "The brilliant 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 Phœbe 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

                      "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" (Johnson).

233. _Ancient damnation._ The abstract for the concrete, explained by
what follows. Steevens cites _The Malcontent_, 1604: "out, you ancient

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 heroism 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 various
attempts have been made to explain away the inconsistency. It appears to
be one of the peculiar cases of "double negative" discussed 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

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 _1 Hen. IV._ i. 1. 50: "uneven and unwelcome news,"

11. _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.

16. _Slow'd._ The only instance of the verb in S.

18-36. This part of the scene evidently came from the first draft of the

20. _That may be must be._ That _may be_ of yours must be.

29. _Abus'd._ 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 elsewhere shows a
familiarity with the usages of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the
critics who are in error, not S. Walafrid Strabo (_De Rebus Eccles._
xxiii.) says that, while the time for mass is regularly before noon, it
is sometimes celebrated in the evening ("aliquando _ad vesperam_").
Amalarius, Bishop of Trèves (_De Eccles. Off._ iv. 40), specifies Lent
as the season for this hour. The _Generales Rubricæ_ allow this at other
times in the year. In Winkles'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 11, 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 Cyclopædia_, under

40. _We must entreat_, etc. We must beg you to leave us to ourselves.
Cf. _Hen. VIII._ i. 4. 71:--

  "Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat
  An hour of revels with them."

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. 1. 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, according 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 struggle
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 imaginary;"
but to me the reference to a tower in sight seems both 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 lim
  A pleasant slumber slide, and quite dispred at length
  On all thy partes, from euery part reue all thy kindly strength;
  Withouten mouing thus thy ydle parts shall rest,
  No pulse shall goe, ne hart once beate within thy hollow brest,
  But thou shalt lye as she that dyeth in a traunce:
  Thy kinsmen and thy trusty frendes shall wayle the 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,[7]
  Both deepe it is, and long and large, where thou shalt rest, my daughter,
  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 suggested, which is more in
accordance with the dates given in the play. In iv. 1. 90 the Friar says
to Juliet:--

                  "_Wednesday_ is to-morrow:
  To-morrow night look that thou lie alone," etc.

[Footnote 7: For the rhyme of _after_ and _daughter_, cf. _T. of S._ i.
1. 245, 246, _W.T._ iv. 1. 27, 28, and _Lear_, i. 4. 341, 344.]

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 _Tuesday_ 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 took post" (v. 1. 21) to tell the news to Romeo at
Mantua, less than twenty-five miles distant. He arrives before evening
(cf. v. 1. 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.

110. _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 particularly
described in _Romeus and Juliet_:--

  "Now throughout Italy this common vse they haue,
  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 'twere her nightly posture, through the crowd
  She came at last--and richly, gaily clad,
  As for a birthday feast."

114. _Drift._ Scheme. Cf. ii. 3. 55 above.

119. _Inconstant toy._ Fickle freak or caprice. Cf. _Ham._ i. 3. 5: "a
fashion and a toy in blood;" _Id._ 1. 4. 75: "toys of desperation;"
_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

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 shillings. 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. _'Tis an ill cook_, etc. Cf. Puttenham, _Arte of English Poesie_,

  "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 1 _Hen. IV._ iii. 1. 198: "a peevish, self-willed harlotry,
one that no persuasion can do good upon." For _peevish_ = foolish,
childish, cf. _A.Y.L._ iii. 5. 110, _M.W._ i. 4. 14, etc.

17. _Learn'd me._ Taught myself, learned; not elsewhere used reflexively
by S. Cf. iii. 2. 12 above.

18. _In disobedient opposition._ This line has but two regular accents,
the others being metrical. See p. 159 above. _Opposition_ has five

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

33. _Closet._ Chamber; as in _Ham._ ii. 1. 77, iii. 2. 344, iii. 3. 27,
etc. Cf. _Matthew_, vi. 6.

34. _Sort._ Select. Cf. iii. 5. 108 above.

38. _Short in our 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 1st 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 that the
relative is expressed in the next line. We should expect "thrilling" or
"And almost."

23. _Lie thou there._ See on iv. 1. 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 _J.C._ iv. 1. 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 supposed to be dead. S. was of
course familiar with such tombs or _vaults_.

_Receptacle._ For the accent on the first syllable, cf. _T.A._ i. 1. 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._ 94.

47. _Mandrakes'._ 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 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 _mandragora_) 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. III._
iii. 5. 4: "distraught and mad with terror." Elsewhere he has
_distracted_ (as in _Temp._ v. i. 12, _Macb._ ii. 3. 110, etc.) or
_distract_ (as in _J.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 original
sense), etc.

58. _Romeo, I come_, etc. The 1st 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 curtains, 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 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
Curtens_;" and then follows 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 seene 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. _épicerie_), 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 (_Temp._ v. 1. 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" by _pastisserie_. 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. It may,
however, be the Nurse, who here seems to be treated as a kitchen
servant--perhaps to avoid the introduction of another character.

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.

11. _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. 69.

13. _Jealous-hood._ Jealousy; the abstract for the concrete; used by S.
only here.

16. _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. 1. 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 passage.

28. _Will not let me speak._ Malone remarks: "S. has here followed the
poem closely, without recollecting that he had made Capulet, 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,
  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 "clamorous 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. 1. 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 _L. L. L._ v. 2. 69 and
_A. W._ i. 3. 176; and for the past tense in _Cor._ i. 3. 68. Elsewhere
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

52. _Detestable._ For the accent on the first syllable (as always in
S.), cf. _K. John_, iii. 4. 29, _T. of A._ iv. 1. 33, and v. 3. 45

55. _Despis'd, 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

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. 1. 30, 2 _Hen.
IV._ v. 2. 3, _Macb._ iv. 3. 179, _A. and C._ ii. 5. 33, etc. See also
v. 1. 17 below.

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. 1. 110 above.

78. _Fond._ Foolish (cf. iii. 3. 52 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

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. and J._ 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, 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'll in here; tarry for the mourners, and
stay dinner.' So S. read the course of the world--and it is not much

"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. _Heart's 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"

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 deploring dump."
See also _R. of L._ 1127.

109. _Gleek._ Scoff. Cf. 1 _Hen. VI._ iii. 2. 123: "Now where's the
Bastard's braves, and Charles his gleeks?" _To give the gleek_ 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. Dict._
The reply of the musician may perhaps mean "that he will retort by
calling Peter the servant to the minstrel" (White).

114. _I 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. 1. 1 above. The play on _note_ is obvious.

120. _Drybeat._ See on iii. 1. 81 above. For _have at you_, cf. i. 1. 64

122. _When griping grief_, etc. From a poem by Richard Edwards, in the
_Paradise of Daintie Devises_. See also Percy's _Reliques_.

126. _Catling._ A small string of _catgut_. Cf. _T. and C._ iii. 3. 306:
"unless the fiddler Apollo get his sinews to make catlings on."

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. 1. 252: "A pestilent
complete knave," etc.

142. _Jack._ See on iii. 1. 12 above; and for _stay_ = wait for, on ii.
5. 36.


SCENE. I.--1. _The flattering truth._ This is apparently = that which
bears the flattering semblance of truth. It has perplexed some of the
critics, but their emendations do not better it. For _flattering_ in the
sense of illusive, cf. ii. 2. 141. Some have wondered 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

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. 1. 10 above. It may be a misprint for
"Ay me!" here.

12. _Balthasar._ 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. _Capel'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. 1. 28 above.

21. _Presently._ Immediately; the usual meaning in S. Cf. iv. 1. 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. 188 below. _Misadventured_ occurs only in prol. 7 above.

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 circumstance that had
suggested the means of mischief. All other 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 _R. 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 her 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. 1. 11. For
_weeds_ = garments, see _M.N.D._ ii. 2. 71, etc.

40. _Simples._ Medicinal herbs. Cf. _R. of L._ 530, _Ham._ iv. 7. 145,

43. _An alligator stuff'd._ This was a regular part of the furniture of
an apothecary's shop in the time of S. Nash, in his _Have With You_,
etc., 1596, refers to "an apothecary's crocodile or dried alligator."
Steevens says that he has met with the alligator, tortoise, etc.,
hanging up in the shop of an ancient apothecary 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.
  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. 1. 61 above. Cf. _presently_ in 21
above. Secret poisoning became so common in Europe in the 16th century
that laws against the sale of poisons were made in Spain, Portugal,
Italy, and 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 prevailed to a considerable extent in England
in the olden time is evident from the fact that in the 21st 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. 1. 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.
1. 16 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. 1. 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
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 Iohn 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 (Steevens).

6. _Associate me._ Accompany me. For the transitive use, cf. _T.A._ v.
3. 169: "Friends should associate friends in grief and woe."

9. _A house._ According to both the poem and the novel, this was the
convent to which the "barefoot brother" belonged.

16. _Infection._ A quadrisyllable. Cf, iv. 1. 41 above.

18. _Nice._ Trifling, unimportant. See on iii. 1. 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 churchyard 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 name:
  Wherein (if any of that kindred hap to dye)
  They are bestowde; els in the same no other corps may lye.
  The Capilets her corps in such a one dyd lay
  Where Tybalt slaine of Romeus was layde the other day."

At 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 seene;
  So that among the monumentes that in Verona been,
  There is no monument more worthy of the sight,
  Then is the tombe of Iuliet and Romeus her knight."

See also the quotation in note on iv. 1. 93 above. Brooke's reference to
the "stately tombe, on pillers great," etc., was doubtless suggested by
the Tomb of the Scaligers.

3. _Lay thee all along._ That is, at full length. Cf. _A.Y.L._ ii. 1.
30: "As he lay along Under an oak;" _J.C._ iii. 1. 115: "That now on
Pompey's basis lies along," etc.

6. _Unfirm._ Cf. _J.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.

11. _Adventure._ Cf. ii. 2. 84 above.

14. _Sweet water._ Perfumed water. Cf. _T.A._ ii. 4. 6: "call for sweet
water;" and see quotation in note on iv. 5. 75 above.

20. _Cross._ Thwart, interfere with. Cf. iv. 5. 91 above.

21. _Muffle._ Cover, hide. Cf. i. 1. 168 above; and see _J.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. Tennyson uses it
repeatedly; as in _The 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. 1. 56, _J.C._ i. 2. 71, etc.

34. _In._ Into. See on v. 1. 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. 1. 248 and 3 _Hen. VI._ i. 1. 268);
and _T. of S._ iv. 1. 193: "My falcon now is sharp and passing empty."

44. _Doubt._ Distrust; as in _J.C._ ii. 1. 132, iv. 2. 13, etc.

45. _Detestable._ See on iv. 5. 52 above.

47. _Enforce._ Force; as often. Cf. _Temp._ v. 1. 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. 1. 64 fol.] as softened by love, and now it is doubled by love and
sorrow, and awe of the place where he is" (Coleridge).

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,"

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_: "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. 1. 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."

88-120. _How oft when men_, etc. "Here, here, is the master example how
beauty can at once increase and modify passion" (Coleridge).

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'd the honey_, etc. Cf. _Ham._ iii. 1. 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."

96. _Death's pale flag._ Steevens compares Daniel, _Complaint of

  "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 armies from thee thy living breath,
  The same with his owne hand (thou seest) doth poyson himselfe to death."

106. _Still._ Constantly, always; as very often. Cf. 270 below.

110. _Set up my everlasting rest._ That is, remain forever. To _set 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 between 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
_law_, 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 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. 1. 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 literal 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 after 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. 11 and
_Rich. III._ iii. 4. 86.

127. _Capels'._ See on v. 1. 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-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. 1. 263, iii. 4. 73, etc.

148. _Comfortable._ Used in an active sense = ready to comfort or help;
as in _A.W._ i. 1. 86, _Lear_, i. 4. 328, etc.

158. _The 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. 1. 21: "your timeless
grave;" _Rich. II._ iv. 1. 5: "his timeless end," etc.

163. _Drunk all, and left._ The reading of 2nd 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. 1. 6, 73, iv. 4. 6, _Rich.
II._ ii. 3. 156, _Hen. VIII._ i. 1. 217, i. 2. 210, etc.

176. _These two days._ See on iv. 1. 105 above.

181. _Without circumstance._ Without further particulars. Cf. ii. 5. 36

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
commentator 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. 1. 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

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. 1. 53, _Rich. III._ iii. 7. 191,

216. _Outrage._ Cf. 1 _Hen. VI._ iv. 1. 126:--

                "Are you not asham'd
  With this immodest clamorous outrage
  To trouble and disturb the king and us?"

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. 1. 27 above. In the next line
_suspicion_ is a quadrisyllable.

229. _I 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. 1. 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. 1. 11 above, and cf. 265

247. _As this dire night._ This redundant use of _as_ in statements of
time is not uncommon. Cf. _J.C._ v. 1. 72: "as this very day was Cassius
born," etc.

253. _Hour._ A dissyllable; as in iii. 1. 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. 1. 121 above.

270. _Still._ Always. See on 106 above.

273. _In post._ In haste, or "post-haste." Cf. v. 1. 21 above. We find
"in all post" in _Rich. III._ iii. 5. 73, and "all in post" in _R. of
L._ 1.

276. _Going in._ See on v. 1. 36 above.

280. _What made your master?_ What was your master doing? Cf. _A.Y.L._
i. 1. 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.G. of V._ iv. 4. 90:--

  "Well, give her that ring and therewithal
  This letter," etc.

291. _Be._ Cf. _Ham._ iii. 2. 111, v. 1. 107, etc.

295. _A brace of kinsmen._ Mercutio and Paris. For the former, see iii.
1. 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. 1. 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, _F.Q._ i.
14: "A little glooming light, much like a shade." Young uses the verb
in his _Night Thoughts_, ii.: "A night that glooms us in the noontide

308. _Some shall be pardoned_, etc. In the novel, Juliet's attendant 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 Juliet_ (1562) and the next year published a book
entitled _Agreement of Sundry Places of Scripture, seeming in shew to
jarre, 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 Newhaven."

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 opinion 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, thralling
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 instruments of
unchastity), attempting all adventures of peril for the attaining of
their wicked lusts, using auricular confession (the key of whoredom and
treason) for furtherance of their purpose, abusing 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 anywhere
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 humour.

I have quoted above (note on ii. 2. 142) what Brooke makes Juliet say to
her lover in the balcony scene. In their first interview, she says:--

  "You are no more your owne (deare frend) then I am yours
  (My honor saved) prest tobay [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 weede, 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.
  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 in wisdome 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 original
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 occurred to him--or
some of his godly friends may have admonished him--that the character of
the story and the manner in which he had treated it, needed further
apology or justification; and the prose preface was written to serve as
a kind of "moral" to the production. 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 disapprove 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_,... representing 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 character 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


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 these years" of her daughter (who
will be fourteen in about a fortnight, as the Nurse informs us in the
same scene) is somewhat indefinite, 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 husband 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. 11 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'll 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!"

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 (iii. 4.

  "_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 "consent" as a
condition of securing his own!

At the supposed sudden death of their daughter the parents naturally
feel some genuine grief; but their conventional wailing (iv. 5) belongs
to the earlier version of the play, and it is significant that
Shakespeare let it stand when revising his work some 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 Italian
versions of the story she is eighteen, and Brooke makes her sixteen. 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 enchanted 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."

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 frankness 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-involuntary 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 response, "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 admirably, remarks on
this scene: "Women are deeply in debt to Shakespeare 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 overheard 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 pæan to Love ever written, so is what Juliet
says supreme in subtlety of feeling and expression, where all is
beautiful. Watch all the fluctuations of emotion which pervade it, ...
the generous frankness of the giving, the timid drawing back, fearful of
having given too much unsought; 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 dramatist.
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 sympathetic listener who
appreciates the situation that it can have its true effect, and one
feels almost guilty and ashamed at having intruded upon the sacred
privacy of the maiden meditation. Even to comment upon it seems like

Here, as in the balcony scene, Juliet is simply the "impatient child" to
whom she compares herself, looking forward with mingled 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 connection so
repellent to our taste that we may fail to note it. This is the

                                "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,
  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 "carrion flies" is bad enough,
but the added pun on _fly_, which makes the allusion appear deliberate
and elaborate rather than an unfortunate 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
misinterpreted 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 picturing all the
possible horrors of the tomb, she _sees_, or believes she 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 review, and in the most natural and
logical sequence, the several dismal 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 moment. This pressure on her brain, crowned by the vivid
apprehension 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, ...
embraces 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 "superfluous
complication" of Romeo's love for Rosaline. On the other hand, Coleridge
considers it "a strong instance of the fineness 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, 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 overcoming 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 succeeds 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 prejudicing 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 portrait 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 acquaintance 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, objections have been made to this
'superfluous complication,' as if, down to this day, every Romeo had not
to sigh for some Junonian Rosaline, 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 intimates,
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_:--

  "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.[8] This is not
the only instance of the kind in Shakespeare. Orsino's experience in
_Twelfth Night_ is similar to Romeo's. At the beginning 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 wretchedness. No wonder that the Friar
cannot control his contempt and indignation when Romeo draws his

                    "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 happy 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 will, and with manly
determination. Accordingly, he now speaks with 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."

[Footnote 8: 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. 1. 136) that
his parents have not found out the cause of it, and from what his
friends say about it.]

MERCUTIO.--Dryden quotes a traditional saying concerning Mercutio, 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 carried 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,
dishonourable, 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 your arm." Poor Romeo can only plead,
"I thought all for the best."

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 allusions 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 1. (Sunday) Act I. and Act II. sc. i. and ii.
   "  2. (Monday) Act II. sc. iii.-vi., Act III. sc. i.-iv.

  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(23), 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); ii. 1(34), 4(95); iii. 1(71). Whole no. 273.

_Benvolio_: i. 1(51), 2(20), 4(13). 5(1); ii. 1(9). 4(14); iii. 1(53).
Whole no. 161.

_Tybalt_: i. 1(5), 5(17); iii. 1(14). Whole no. 36.

_Friar Laurence_: ii. 3(72), 6(18); iii. 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. 1(11), 3(21). Whole no. 32.

_Sampson_: i. 1(41). Whole no. 41.

_Gregory_: i. 1(24). Whole no. 24.

_Peter_: iii. 4(7); iv. 5(30). Whole no. 37

_Abram_: i. 1(5). Whole no. 5.

_Apothecary_: v. 1(7). Whole no. 7.

_1st Musician_: iv. 5(16). Whole no. 16.

_2d Musician_: iv. 5(6). Whole no. 6.

_3d Musician_: iv. 5(1). Whole no. 1.

_1st Servant_: i. 2(21), 3(5), 5(11); iv. 4(1). Whole no. 38.

_2d Servant_: i. 5(7); iv. 2(5), 4(2). Whole no. 14.

_1st Watchman_: v. 3(19). Whole no. 19.

_2d Watchman_: v. 3(1). Whole no. 1.

_3d Watchman_: v. 3(3). Whole no. 3.

_1st 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_: i. 1(1), 3(36), 5(1); iii. 1(11), 4(2), 5(37); iv. 2(3),
3(3), 4(3), 5(13); v. 3(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(61), 5(15); ii. 2(114), 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_": 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(175), 4(36), 5(241); iv. 1(126), 2(47),
3(58), 4(28), 5(150); v. 1(86), 2(30), 3(310). Whole number in the play,
3053. The line-numbering is that of the Globe ed.


  a (= one), 215

  a hall, a hall! 190

  a la stoccata, 221

  Abraham Cupid, 197

  abused (= marred), 247

  ache, 216

  adventure (verb), 200, 266

  advise (= consider), 244

  afeard, 202

  affections, 169

  affray (verb), 238

  afore, 214

  afore me, 236

  against (of time), 236

  agate, 186

  airy tongue, 203

  all (intensive), 170

  alligator, 263

  amazed, 224

  ambling, 183

  ambuscadoes, 187

  amerce, 225

  anatomy, 234

  ancient, 168, 206

  and there an end, 236

  antic, 191

  apace, 215

  ape, 198

  apt to, 219, 235

  as (= as if), 216

  as (= namely), 254

  as (omitted), 170

  as (redundant), 272

  associate me, 265

  aspire (transitive), 223

  atomies, 186

  attach (= arrest), 271

  attending (= attentive), 203

  ay, 229

  ay me! 197, 262

  baked meats, 256

  Balthasar (accent), 262

  bandying, 216, 222

  bankrupt (spelling), 229

  banquet (= dessert), 195

  bate (in falconry), 227

  bear a brain, to, 179

  beetle-brows, 183

  behoveful, 253

  bent (= inclination), 202

  be-rhyme, 209

  bescreened, 199

  beshrew, 216, 244, 265

  betossed, 267

  better tempered, 234

  bills (weapons), 167

  bite by the ear, to, 211

  bite the thumb, to, 167

  blaze, 235

  blazon, 218

  bons, 209

  bosom's lord, my, 262

  both our remedies, 206

  bound (play upon) 174, 183

  bow of lath, 182

  boy (contemptuous), 221

  brace, 273

  bride (masculine), 243

  broad (goose), 212

  broken music, 220

  burn daylight, to, 185

  button, 208

  butt-shaft, 207

  by and by (= presently), 224, 236, 273

  candles (night's), 237

  canker (= worm), 205

  cankered, 168

  Capel's, 262, 270

  captain of compliments, 207

  carries it away, 221

  carry coals, to, 166

  carry no crotchets, 261

  case (play upon), 183, 259

  cat, nine lives of, 221

  catched, 258

  catling, 261

  charge, 265

  cheerly, 190

  cheveril, 212

  chinks, 194

  choler (play upon), 166

  chop-logic, 243

  Chorus, 165

  circle (magician's), 198

  circumstance, 216, 271

  civil (= grave), 227

  closed (= enclosed), 188

  closet (= chamber), 253

  clout, 207

  clubs, 167

  cock-a-hoop, 192

  coil (= ado), 216

  colliers, 166

  come near, 190

  comfortable (active), 271

  commission, 248

  compare (noun), 216, 246

  compliment, 200

  concealed, 234

  conceit, 218

  conclude (transitive), 225

  conduct (= conductor), 223, 270

  conduit, 242

  confessor (accent), 218, 233

  confidence (= conference), 212

  confound (= destroy), 217

  confusions, 258

  conjurations, 267

  conjure (accent), 197

  consort (noun), 219

  consort (transitive), 223

  consort with, 219

  content thee, 192

  contract (accent), 201

  contrary (accent), 229

  contrary (verb), 193

  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), 248

  Dian's wit, 171

  digressing, 235

  discover (= reveal), 201, 224

  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), 172

  doom thee death, 223

  doth (plural), 165

  doubt (= distrust), 267

  drawn, 167

  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

  envious (= malicious), 224, 228

  Ethiope, 191

  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 wits, 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! 192

  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, 225

  house (= sheath), 270

  humorous, 198

  humours, 197

  hunts-up, 238

  I (repeated), 220

  idle worms, 186

  ill-beseeming, 234

  importuned (accent), 170

  in (= into), 262, 267

  in extremity, 181

  in happy time, 241

  in his view, 170

  in post, 273

  in spite, 168, 192

  inconstant, 252

  indite (= invite), 213

  infection (quadrisyllable), 265

  inherit (= possess), 173

  it fits, 192

  Jack, 213, 219, 261

  jealous (= suspicious), 267

  jealous-hood, 257

  joint-stools, 188

  keep ado, 236

  kindly, 211, 271

  king of cats, 221

  knife (worn by ladies), 248, 254

  label, 248

  labour (of time), 258

  lace, 210, 237

  Lady, lady, lady, 213

  lady-bird, 177

  lamentation (metre), 235

  Lammas-tide, 178

  languish (noun), 174

  lantern, 267

  lay (= wager), 178

  lay along, 266

  learn (= teach), 227, 253

  leaves, 218

  let (noun), 200

  level (= aim), 234

  lieve, 215

  light (play upon), 183

  lightning before death, 268

  like (= likely), 254

  like of, 181

  living (noun), 258

  loggerhead, 257

  long sword, 168

  love (= Venus), 215

  loving-jealous, 204

  Mab, 185

  made (= did), 273

  maidenhead, 177

  make and mar, 172

  makes dainty, 190

  mammet, 244

  man of wax, 179

  manage (noun), 224

  mandrake, 254

  manners (number), 272

  many's, 181

  marchpane, 189

  margent, 180

  mark (= appoint), 179

  mark-man, 171

  marriage (trisyllable), 196, 247, 272

  married (figurative), 180

  married and marred, 172

  masks (ladies'), 172

  me (ethical dative), 208, 219

  mean (noun), 233

  measure (= dance), 182

  merchant (contemptuous), 213

  mewed up, 236

  mickle, 205

  minion, 243

  misadventure, 262

  mistempered, 168

  mistress (trisyllable), 214

  modern (= trite), 231

  moody (= angry), 219

  mouse-hunt, 257

  moved, 168

  much upon these years, 179

  muffle, 267

  natural (= fool), 212

  naught, 230

  needly, 231

  needy, 241

  neighbour-stained, 168

  new (adverbial), 170

  news (number), 216, 242

  nice (= petty, trifling), 224, 265

  nightgown, 168

  nor ... not, 238, 241

  nothing (adverb), 169

  nuptial, 191

  O (= grief), 233

  o'er-perch, 200

  of (= on), 167, 216

  of the very first house, 208

  old (= practised), 234

  one is no number, 173

  operation (= effect), 219

  opposition (metre), 253

  orchard (= garden), 197

  osier cage, 204

  outrage (= outcry), 272

  outrage (trisyllable), 222

  overwhelming, 263

  owe (= possess), 199

  pale as a clout, 215

  paly, 249

  pardonnez-mois, 209

  partisan, 167

  parts (= gifts), 232, 244

  passado, 208, 222

  passing (adverbial), 172

  pastry, 256

  patience (trisyllable), 262, 272

  patience perforce, 193

  pay that doctrine, 172

  peace (metre), 243

  perforce (= by force), 272

  peruse (= scan), 267

  pestilent, 261

  Phaethon, 225

  pilcher, 222

  pin (in archery), 207

  pinked, 211

  plantain, 174

  pluck, 204

  portly, 192

  poor my lord, 230

  pothecary, 273

  pout'st upon, 235

  powerful grace, 205

  predominant, 205

  presence, 268

  present(= immediate), 264

  presently, 262

  pretty, 261

  prevails (= avails), 233

  prick of noon, 212

  prick-song, 208

  prince of cats, 207

  princox, 193

  procure, 239

  prodigious, 196

  proof (= experience), 171

  proof (of armour), 171

  properer, 215

  prorogued, 200, 248

  proverbed, 184

  pump (= shoe), 211

  punto reverso, 208

  purchase out, 225

  question (= conversation), 172

  quit (= requite), 214

  quote (= note), 183

  quoth, 179

  R, the dog's letter, 215

  rearward, 231

  reason coldly, 220

  rebeck, 261

  receipt, 241

  receptacle (accent), 254

  reckoning, 172

  reeky, 249

  remember (reflexive), 178

  respective, 223

  rest you merry! 175

  retort (= throw back), 224

  riddling, 206

  roe (play upon), 209

  rood (= cross), 179

  ropery, 213

  rosemary, 259

  round (= whisper), 195

  runaways' eyes, 225

  rushed aside the law, 232

  rushes, 183

  sadly (= seriously), 171

  sadness, 171

  savage wild, 267

  scales (singular), 176

  scant, 176

  scape, 219

  scathe, 192

  scorn at, 192

  season, 206

  set abroach, 169

  set up my rest, 269

  sick and green, 199

  siege (figurative), 171, 272

  silver-sweet, 203

  simpleness, 216, 233

  simples (= herbs), 216, 263

  single-soled, 211

  sir-reverence, 185

  skains-mates, 213

  slip (= counterfeit), 210

  slops, 210

  slow (verb), 247

  smooth (verb), 231

  so (omitted), 241

  so brief to part, 235

  so ho! 213

  solemnity, 192

  some minute, 273

  some other where, 171

  something (adverb), 266

  sometime, 187

  soon-speeding, 264

  sorrow drinks our blood, 239

  sort (= select), 253

  sorted out, 241

  soul (play upon), 183, 211

  sound (= utter), 231

  sour, 232, 267

  sped, 222

  speed, be my, 270

  spinners, 186

  spite, 198, 247

  spleen, 224

  spoke him fair, 224

  stand on sudden haste, 206

  star-crossed, 165

  starved, 171

  starveth, 264

  stay (= wait for), 261

  stay the circumstance, 216

  steads, 206

  still (= always), 269, 273

  strained, 205

  strange, 200, 227

  strucken, 172

  stumbling at graves, 270

  substantial (quadrisyllable), 202

  surcease, 249

  swashing blow, 167

  sweet my mother, 244

  sweet water, 266

  sweet-heart (accent), 257

  sweeting, 211

  sweetmeats, 187

  swounded, 229

  sycamore, 169

  tables (turned up), 190

  tackled stair, 214

  take me with you, 242

  take the wall, 166

  take truce, 224

  tassel-gentle, 203

  teen, 178

  temper (= mix), 241

  tender (noun), 244

  tender (= regard), 221

  tetchy, 179

  thank me no thankings, 243

  that (affix), 233

  therewithal, 273

  this three hours, 265

  thorough (= through), 207

  thought(= hoped), 258

  thou's, 178

  thumb, rings for, 186

  tidings (number), 241

  timeless, 271

  't is an ill cook, etc., 252

  Titan, 204

  toes, 190

  to-night (= last night), 185, 207

  torch-bearer, 182, 237

  towards (= ready), 195

  toy (= caprice), 252

  trencher, 188

  tried (= proved), 254

  truckle-bed, 198

  tutor me from, 219

  two and forty hours, 249

  two hours (of a play), 166

  two may keep counsel, 214

  Tybalt, 207

  unattainted, 176

  uncomfortable, 259

  uneven (= indirect), 247

  unfirm, 266

  unkind (accent, etc.), 270

  unmanned, 227

  unsavoury, 270

  unstuffed, 205

  untimely (adverb), 223, 273

  up (transposed), 253

  use (tense), 196

  utters (= sells), 264

  validity, 233

  vanished, 232

  vanity, 218

  vaulty (heaven), 238

  Verona, 165

  versal, 215

  very (adjective), 222

  view (= appearance), 170

  volume (figurative), 180

  wanton (masculine), 203

  ware (= aware), 169, 200

  was I with you? 211

  weeds (= garments), 263

  well (of the dead), 258, 262

  well said (= well done), 193

  what (= how, why), 191

  what (= who), 194

  wherefore (accent), 200

  who (= which), 169, 188, 233, 242

  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
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Edited by WILLIAM J. ROLFE, Litt.D.

40 volumes, each, $0.56

The popularity of Rolfe's Shakespeare has been extraordinary. Since its
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¶ As teacher and lecturer Dr. Rolfe has been constantly in touch with
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¶ New notes have also been substituted for those referring to other
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A text-book for a year's course in schools and colleges, in which
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       *       *       *       *       *

    |                     Transcriber's notes:                         |
    |                                                                  |
    | Fixed various punctuation.                                       |
    | P.73. 'thorough the ear' is in another volume, keeping.          |
    | P.143. 'Some villanous shame' is in another volume, keeping.     |
    | P.191. 'iustly' means 'justly' but not changed as other words    |
    | in this poem are the same, 'i' for 'j'.                          |
    | P.199. 'Gf.' changed to 'Cf.'.                                   |
    | P.255. v. 'i.' 12, changed to v. '1.' 12,.                       |
    | P.236. 'ii. i. 102:' changed to 'ii. 1. 102:'.                   |
    | P.288. 'happpy' changed to 'happy'.                              |
    | Both words 'loggerhead' and 'logger-head' are present, leaving.  |
    | Both words 'a-bed' and 'abed' are present, leaving.              |
    | Note: underscores to surround _italic text_.                     |

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