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Tybalt's death

All this is comfort; Wherefore weep I then?
Some word there was, worser than Tybalt's death,
That murder'd me: I would forget it fain;
But, O! it presses to my memory,
Like damned guilty deeds to sinners' minds:
Tybalt is dead, and Romeo-banished ;
That-banished, that one word-banished,
Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts 3.
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 5?
But, with a rear-ward following Tybalt's death,
Romeo is banished,-to speak that word,

3 Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts.] Hath put Tybalt out of my mind, as if out of being. JOHNSON.

The true meaning is,-I am more affected by Romeo's banishment than I should be by the death of ten thousand such relations as Tybalt. RITSON.

"Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts." That is, is worse than the loss of ten thousand Tybalts. Dr. Johnson's explanation cannot be right; for the passage itself shows that Tybalt was not out of her mind. M. MASON.

4 sour woe delights in fellowship,] Thus the Latin hexameter: (I know not whence it comes)

"Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris." STEEVENS. So, in The Rape of Lucrece :

"And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage,

"As palmers' chat makes short their pilgrimage.” Again, in King Lear:


the mind much sufferance doth o'er-skip,
"When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship."


5 Which MODERN lamentation, &c.] This line is left out of the later editions, I suppose because the editors did not remember that Shakspeare uses modern for common, or slight: I believe it' was in his time confounded in colloquial language with moderate.


It means only trite, common. So, in As You Like It : "Full of wise saws and modern instances." STEEVENS. VOL. VI.


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

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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. JUL. Wash they his wounds with tears? mine shall be spent,

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.


Come, cords; come, nurse; I'll to my wedding bed; And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!

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.

JUL. O find him! give this ring to my true


And bid him come to take his last farewell.


Friar LAURENCE'S Cell.

Enter Friar LAURENCE and ROMEO.

FRI. Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man;

Affliction is enamour'd of thy parts,

And thou art wedded to calamity.

ROM. Father, what news? what is the prince's doom?

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


Too familiar

Is my dear son with such sour company:
I bring thee tidings of the prince's doom.
ROM. What less than dooms-day is the prince's

FRI. A gentler judgment vanish'd from his lips, Not body's death, but body's banishment.

ROM. Ha! banishment? be merciful, say-death: For exile hath more terror in his look, Much more than death: do not say-banishment. FRI. Hence from Verona art thou banished: Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.

ROM. There is no world without Verona walls, But purgatory, torture, hell itself. Hence-banished is banish'd from the world, And world's exíle* is death :-() then banished, Is death mis-term'd: () calling death-banishment, Thou cut'st my head off with a golden axe, And smil'st upon the stroke that murders me.

FRI. 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.

ROM. 'Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here,

* Quarto A, world exiled.

† Quarto A, monstrous.

7 This is DEAR mercy,] So the quarto 1599, and the folio. The earliest copy reads-This is mere mercy. MALONE.

Mere mercy, in ancient language, signifies absolute mercy So, in Othello:

"The mere perdition of the Turkish fleet."

Again, in King Henry VIII. :


to the mere undoing

“Of all the kingdom." STEEVENS.

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 2 :



heaven is here,

Where Juliet lives;] From this and the foregoing speech of Romeo, Dryden has borrowed in his beautiful paraphrase of Chaucer's Palamon and Arcite:



Heaven is not, but where Emily abides,

"And where she's absent, all is hell besides." STEEVENS. More VALIDITY,

More honourable state, more COURTSHIP lives

In carrion flies, than Romeo:] Validity seems here to mean worth or dignity: and courtship the state of a courtier permitted to approach the highest presence. JOHNSON.

Validity is employed to signify worth or value, in the first scene of King Lear. STEEVENS.

By courtship, the author seems rather to have meant, the state of a lover; that dalliance, in which he who courts or woos a lady is sometimes indulged. This appears clearly from the subsequent lines:


they may seize


"On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand,
"And steal immortal blessing from her lips ;-
"Flies may do this." MALONE.

Who, even in pure and vestal modesty,] This and the next line are not in the first copy.

2 But Romeo may not; he is banished:] This line has been very aukwardly introduced in the modern as well as ancient copies, and might better be inserted after-their own kisses sin.


This line, in the original copy, immediately follows-“ And steal immortal blessing from her lips." The two lines, Who, even, &c. were added in the copy of 1599, and are merely parenthetical: the line, therefore, "But Romeo may not ; &c." un


Flies may do this, when I from this must fly;
They are free men, but I am banished.
And say'st thou yet, that exile is not death 3?
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;
Howlings attend it: How hast thou the heart,
Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,
A sin-absolver, and my friend profess'd,
To mangle me with that word-banishment?
FRI. Thou fond mad man, hear me but speak a
word 5.

ROM. O, thou wilt speak again of banishment. FRI. I'll give thee armour to keep off that word; Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy, To comfort thee, though thou art banished".

doubtedly ought to follow those two lines. By mistake, in the copy of 1599, it was inserted lower down, after-is not death.


3 They are free men, but I am banished.

And say'st thou yet, that exile is not death ?] These two lines are not in the original copy. MALONE.

The first of these lines is neither in the first quarto, nor first folio; whatever is its merit belongs to the quarto 1599. Boswell.

4 To kill me; banished?] These lines are thus given in the quarto 1597:

"O father! had'st thou no strong poison mix'd,

"No sharp-ground knife, no present mean of death,


'Though ne'er so mean, but banishment,

"To torture me withall? ah! banished?"


5 THOU fond mad man, hear ME BUT SPEAK A WORD.] So the quarto 1597. The quartos 1599 and 1609 read:

"Then fond mad man, hear me a little speak." The folio:

"Then fond mad man, hear me speak." MALONE. 6 Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy,

To comfort thee, though thou art banished.] So, in Romeus and Juliet, the Friar says

"Virtue is always thrall to troubles and annoy, "But wisdom in adversity finds cause of quiet joy." See also Lyly's Euphues, 1580: "Thou sayest banishment is

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