Page images


Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint:
A lover may bestride the gossomers
That idle in the wanton summer air,
And yet not fall; so light is vanity.

JUL. Good even to my ghostly confessor.

FRI. Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us


JUL. As much to him, else are his thanks too


Roм. Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy
Be heap'd like mine, and that thy skill be more
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
This neighbour air, and let rich musick's tongue
Unfold the imagin'd happiness that both
Receive in either by this dear encounter.

JUL. Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,

Brags of his substance, not of ornament:
They are but beggars that can count their worth *;


lasting flint appears to me not only more reprehensible, but even less beautiful than the lines as they were originally written, where the lightness of Juliet's motion is accounted for from the cheerful effects the passion of love produced in her mind. STEEVENS. 2 A lover may bestride the GossOMERS] The gossomer is the long white filament which flies in the air in summer. So, in Hannibal and Scipio, 1637, by Nabbes :

"Fine as Arachne's web, or gossamer

"Whose curls when garnish'd by their dressing, shew
"Like that spun vapour when 'tis pearl'd with dew?"


See Bullokar's English Expositor, 1616: "Gossomor. Things that flye like cobwebs in the ayre." MALONE.

3 CONCEIT, more rich, &c.] Conceit here means imagination. So, in The Rape of Lucrece:


which the conceited painter drew so proud," &c.


Thus, in title-page to the first quarto edition of The Merry Wives of Windsor: "A most pleasant and excellent conceited comedy," &c. Again, in the title, &c. to King Henry IV. Part I. quarto, 1599: " with the humorous conceits of Sir John Fal

staffe -."

[ocr errors]


4 They are but beggars that can count their worth;] So, in Antony and Cleopatra:

But my true love is grown to such excess,

I cannot sum up half my sum of wealth 5.

FRI. Come, come with me, and we will make short work;

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


A publick Place.

Enter MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, Page, and Servants.
BEN. I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire ;
The day is hot, the Capulets * abroad,
(I) And, if we meet, we shall not 'scape a brawl;

* Quarto A, The Capels are abroad.

"There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.”


So, in Much Ado About Nothing: "I were but little happy if I could say how much." MALone.

5 I cannot sum up half my sum of wealth.] The quarto 1599 reads:

"I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth."

The undated quarto and the folio:

"I cannot sum up some of half my wealth."

The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens. MALONE.

6 Till holy church incorporate two in one.] So, in Arden of Feversham, 1599:


But she is myself,

"And holy church-rites makes us two but one." MALONE. 7 The day is hot,] It is observed, that, in Italy, almost all assassinations are committed during the heat of summer.


In Sir Thomas Smith's Commonwealth of England, 1583, b. ii. c. xix. p. 70, it is said-" And commonly every yeere or each second yeere in the beginning of sommer or afterwards (for in the warme time the people for the most part be more unruly) even in the calm time of peace, the prince with his counsell chooseth out," &c. REED.

For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring. (||) MER. Thou art like one of those fellows, that, when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword upon the table, and says, God send me no need of thee! and, by the operation of the second cup, draws it on the drawer, when, indeed, there is no need.

BEN. Am I like such a fellow ?

MER. Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood, as any in Italy; and as soon moved to be moody, and as soon moody to be moved.

BEN. And what to?

MER. Nay, an there were two such, we should have none shortly, for one would kill the other. () Thou! why thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more, or a hair less, in his beard, than thou hast. () Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes; () What eye, but 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 ribband? and yet thou wilt tutor me from quarrelling'!

BEN. 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.


[ocr errors]

-thou wilt tutor me FROM quarrelling!] Thou wilt endeavour to restrain me, by prudential advice, from quarrelling.

Thus the quarto 1599, and the folio. The quarto 1597 reads -thou wilt forbid me of quarrelling. The modern editions, after Mr. Pope, read-Thou wilt tutor me for quarrelling.



MER. The fee-simple ? O simple !

Enter TYBALT, and Others.

BEN. By my head, here come the Capulets.
MER. By my heel, I care not.

TYB. Follow me close, for I will speak to them. Gentlemen, good den! a word with one of you. MER. And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something; make it a word and a blow. TYB. You will find me apt enough to that, sir, if you will give me occasion.

MER. Could you not take some occasion () without giving? (||)

TYB. Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.MER. Consort! what, dost thou make us minstrels? an thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords: ()here's my fiddlestick; here's that shall make you dance. 'Zounds, consort!

BEN. We talk here in the publick haunt of men : Either withdraw into some private place,* Or reason coldly of your grievances, Or else depart; here all eyes gaze on us.

8 An I were so apt, &c.] These two speeches have been added since the first quarto, together with some few circumstances in the rest of the scene, as well as in the ensuing one. STEEVENS

9 FOLLOW ME CLOSE, for I will speak to them.] In the original copy this line is not found, Tybalt entering alone. In that of 1599 we find this stage-direction: "Enter Tybalt, Petruchio, and others;" and the above line is inserted; but I strongly suspect it to be an interpolation: for would Tybalt's partisans suffer him to be killed without taking part in the affray? That they do not join in it, appears from the account given by Benvolio. In the original copy Benvolio says, on the entrance of Tybalt, By my head, here comes a Capulet." Instead of the two latter words, we have in the quarto 1599-the Capulets. MALONE.


Mr. Malone forgets that, even in his own edition of this play, Tybalt is not killed while his partisans are on the stage. They go out with him after he has wounded Mercutio; and he himself re-enters, unattended, when he fights with Romeo. STEEVENS.

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


I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I. (II)

Enter ROMEO.

TYB. Well, peace be with you, sir! here comes my man.

MER. But I'll be hanged, sir, if he wear your


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

TYB. Romeo, the hate I bear thee ', can afford No better term than this-Thou art a villain.

ROM. Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee Doth much excuse the appertaining rage To such a greeting:-Villain am I none; Therefore farewell; I see, thou know'st me not. TYB. Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries That thou hast done me; therefore turn, and draw. ROM. I do protest, I never injur'd thee; But love thee better than thou canst devise, Till thou shalt know the reason of my love: (I) And so, good Capulet,-which name I tender

As dearly as mine own,-be satisfied. (II)

MER. O calm, dishonourable, vile submission! A la stoccata 3 carries it away.

Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?


TYB. What would'st thou have with me?
MER. Good king of cats, nothing, but one of

2- the HATE I bear thee,] So the quarto 1597. The subsequent ancient copies have-the love, &c.


3 Ala STOCCATA-] Stoccata is the Italian term for a thrust or stab with a rapier. So, in The Devil's Charter, 1607:

"He makes a thrust; I with a swift passado

"Make quick avoidance, and with this stoccata," &c. STEEVENS.

4 Good king of cats,] Alluding to his name. See p. 97, n. 4. MALONE.

« PreviousContinue »