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JULIET'S Chamber 1.
Enter ROMEO and JULIET.
JUL. Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day3: It was the nightingale, and not the lark, That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear; Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree ° :
4 Juliet's Chamber.] The stage-direction in the first edition is "Enter Romeo and Juliet, at a window." In the second quarto, "Enter Romeo and Juliet aloft." They appeared probably in the balcony which was erected on the old English stage. See the Account of the Ancient Theatres in vol. iii. MALONE.
5 Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day: &c.] This scene is formed on the following hints in the poem of Romeus and Juliet, 1562:
"The golden sun was gone to lodge him in the west,
"The full moon eke in yonder south had sent most men to rest ; "When restless Romeus and restless Juliet,
"In wonted sort, by wonted mean, in Juliet's chamber met, &c.
"Thus these two lovers pass away the weary night "In pain, and plaint, not, as they wont, in pleasure and delight. "But now, somewhat too soon, in farthest east arose "Fair Lucifer, the golden star that lady Venus chose; "Whose course appointed is with speedy race to run, "A messenger of dawning day and of the rising sun."When thou ne lookest wide, ne closely dost thou wink, "When Phoebus from our hemisphere in western wave doth
"What colour then the heavens do show unto thine eyes, "The same, or like, saw Romeus in farthest eastern skies : "As yet he saw no day, ne could he call it night,
"With equal force decreasing dark fought with increasing light. "Then Romeus in arms his lady gan to fold, "With friendly kiss, and ruthfully she 'gan her knight behold.” MALONE.
6 NIGHTLY she sings on yon pomegranate tree :] This is not merely a poetical supposition. It is observed of the nightingale, that, if undisturbed, she sits and sings upon the same tree for many weeks together.
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.
ROM. 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 7, and jocund day Stands tiptoe on the misty mountaintops; I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
JUL. Yon light is not day-light, 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 MantuaR : Therefore stay yet, thou need'st not to be gone 9.
* Quarto A, And not the nightingale.
What Eustathius, however, has observed relative to a fig-tree mentioned by Homer, in his 12th Odyssey, may be applied to the passage before us : These particularities, which seem of no consequence, have a very good effect in poetry, as they give the relation an air of truth and probability. For what can induce a poet to mention such a tree, if the tree were not there in reality?" STEEVENS.
7 Night's candles are burnt out,] Thus Sophocles: ἄκρας νυκτὸς, ἡνίχ ̓ ἕσπεροι Λαμπητῆρες οὐκέτ' ησθον.—Ajax, 288.
8 It is some METEOR that the sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a TORCH-BEARER,
And light thee on thy way-] Compare Sidney's Arcadia, 13th edit. p. 109: "The moon, then full, (not thinking scorn to be a torch-bearer to such beauty) guided her steps."
And Sir J. Davies's Orchestra, 1596, st. vii. of the sun :
"When the great torch-bearer of heauen was gone
And Drayton's Eng. Heroic. Epist. p. 221, where the moon is described with the stars
Attending on her, as her torch-bearers." TODD.
9 -thou need'st not to be gone.] The quarto 1597, reads; "Then stay awhile, thou shalt not go soon."
With a slight emendation, it appears to me to be a better line than that in the text:
"Then stay awhile; thou shalt not go so soon." BOSWELL. VOL. VI.
ROM. 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 reflex1 of Cynthia's brow; 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 2:— Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.How is't, my soul? let's talk, it is not day3. JUL. 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 *;
-the pale reflex —] The appearance of a cloud opposed to the moon. JOHNSON.
2 Let's talk, it is not day.] This speech is better, I think, in the quarto 1597:
"Let me stay here, let me be ta’en, and die;
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.-
3 I have more care to stay, than will to go;] Would it not be better thus-I have more will to stay, than care to go? JOHNSON. Care was frequently used in Shakspeare's age for inclination.
- sweet DIVISION ;] Division seems to have been the technical phrase for the pauses or parts of a musical composition. So, in King Henry IV. P. I.:
Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower, "With ravishing division to her lute."
To run a division, is also a musical term. STEEVENS.
Does not division rather mean where the voice or instrument runs off from the air or plain song in notes of shorter duration than those of the tune in general? Divisions do not properly make part of an air, but are a sort of ornaments added to it.
This doth not so, for she divideth us:
* Quarto A, this.
5 Some say, the lark and loathed toad change eyes;
O, now I would they had chang'd voices too!] I wish the lark and toad had changed voices; for then the noise which I hear would be that of the toad, not of the lark: it would consequently be evening, at which time the toad croaks; not morning, when the lark sings; and we should not be under the necessity of separation. A. C.
If the toad and lark had changed voices, the unnatural croak of the latter would have been no indication of the appearance of day, and consequently no signal for her lover's departure. This is apparently the aim and purpose of Juliet's wish. HEATH.
The toad having very fine eyes, and the lark very ugly ones, was the occasion of a common saying amongst the people, that the toad and lark had changed eyes. To this the speaker alludes. WARBURTON. This tradition of the toad and lark I have heard expressed in a rustick rhyme :
To heav'n I'd fly,
"But that the toad beguil'd me of mine eye." JOHNSON. Read chang'd eyes. M. MASON.
6 Since arm from arm, &c.] These two lines are omitted in the modern editions, and do not deserve to be replaced, but as they may show the danger of critical temerity. Dr. Warburton's change of I would to I wot was specious enough, yet it is evidently erroneous. The sense is this-The lark, they say, has lost her eyes to the toad, and now I would the toad had her voice too, since she uses it to the disturbance of lovers. JOHNSON.
7 Hunting thee hence with hunts-up to the day.] The huntsup was the name of the tune anciently played to wake the hunters, and collect them together. So, in The Return from Parnassus, 1606:
"Yet will I play a hunts-up to my Muse." Again, in the play of Orlando Furioso, 1594 and 1599: "To play him huntsup with a point of war, "I'll be his minstrell with my drum and fife.” Again, in Westward Hoe, 1607 :
O, now be gone; more light and light it grows. ROM. More light and light?-more dark and dark our woes.
JUL. Nurse ?
NURSE. Your lady mother's coming to your chamber:
The day is broke; be wary, look about.
[Exit Nurse. and let life out. kiss, and I'll de[ROMEO descends.
JUL. Then, window, let day in,
JUL. Art thou gone so? my lord! my love! my friend 9!
I must hear from thee every day i' the hour,
Make a noise, its no matter; any huntsup to waken vice."
Again, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song 13th:
"But hunts-up to the morn the feather'd sylvans sing." STEEVENS.
Puttenham, in his Art of English Poesy, 1589, speaking of one Gray, says, "what good estimation did he grow into with king Henry [the Eighth] and afterwards with the duke of Somerset protectour, for making certaine merry ballads, whereof one chiefly was The Hunte is up, the Hunte is up." RITSON.
A huntsup also signified a morning song to a new-married woman, the day after her marriage, and is certainly used here in that sense. See Cotgrave's Dictionary, in v. Resveil. MALONE.
9 Art thou gone so? my lord! my love! my friend!] Thus the quarto 1597. That of 1599, and the folio, read:
"Art thou gone so? love, lord, ay husband, friend!" MALONE. For in a minute there are many days:] The quarto 1597 has two lines instead of the one here given :
"For in an hour there are many minutes;
"Minutes are days; so shall I number them." Boswell. So, in Abraham's Sacrifice, a Tragedy, by Beza, translated by Arthur Golding, 1577: