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You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so. CAP. And why, my lady wisdom? hold your tongue,

Good prudence; smatter with your gossips, go.
NURSE. I speak no treason.

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O, God ye good den!

() NURSE. May not one speak? CAP. Peace, you mumbling fool! (||) Utter your gravity o'er a gossip's bowl, For here we need it not.


You are too hot.

CAP. 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 princely parentage,

()Of fair demesnes, (||) youthful, and nobly train'd,
Stuff'd (as they say,) with honourable parts,
Proportion'd as one's heart could 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,

8 God's bread! &c.] The first three lines of this speech are formed from the first quarto, and that of 1599, with which the folio concurs. The first copy reads:

"God's blessed mother, wife, it makes me mad. "Day, night, early, late, at home, abroad, "Alone, in company, waking or sleeping, "Still my care hath been to see her match'd." The quarto 1599, and the folio, read:

"God's bread, it makes me mad.

"Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,
"Alone, in company, still my care hath been
"To have her match'd," &c. MALONE.
and having now PROVIDED


A gentleman of princely parentage,

A whining mammet, in her fortune's tender,

To answerr—I'll not wed,—I cannot love,] So, in Romeus and Juliet, 1562:

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:
An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;
An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die i' the streets,

"Such care thy mother had, so dear thou wert to me,
"That I with long and earnest suit provided have for thee
"One of the greatest lords that wons about this town,
"And for his many virtues' sake a man of great renown ;-
And yet thou playest in this case


"The dainty fool and stubborn girl; for want of skill, "Thou dost refuse thy offer'd weal, and disobey my will. "Even by his strength I swear that first did give me life,



"Unless by Wednesday next thou bend as I am bent,

And, at our castle call'd Freetown, thou freely do assent "To county Paris' suit,

"Not only will I give all that I have away,

"From thee to those that shall me love, me honour and obey; “But also to so close and to so hard a gale

And gave me in my youth the strength to get thee on my


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"I shall thee wed for all thy life, that sure thou shalt not fail A thousand times a day to wish for sudden death :— "Advise thee well, and say that thou art warned now, "And think not that I speak in sport, or mind to break my


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"There is a passage in an old play called Wily Beguil'd, so nearly resembling this, that one poet must have copied from the other. Wily Beguil'd was on the stage before 1596, being mentioned by Nashe in his Have with You to Saffron Walden, printed in that year. In that play Gripe gives his daughter Lelia's hand to a suitor, which she plucks back; on which her Nurse



She'll none, she thanks you, sir.

Gripe. Will she none? why, how now, I say? "What, you pouting, peevish thing, you untoward baggage, "Will you not be ruled by your father?

"Have I ta'en care to bring you up to this?

"And will you doe as you list?

Away, I say; hang, starve, beg, be gone;


"Out of my sight! pack, I say:

"Thou ne'er get'st a pennyworth of my goods for this. "Think on't; I do not use to jest:

"Be gone, I say, I will not hear thee speake." MALONE.

For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge tnee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:
Trust to't, bethink you, I'll not be forsworn*. [Exit.
JUL. Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,
That sees into the bottom of my grief1?
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
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies 2.

LA. CAP. Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word;

Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.


JUL. 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 strata-

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Upon so soft a subject as myself!—

What say'st thou ? hast thou not a word of joy? Some comfort, nurse 3.

NURSE. Faith, here 'tist: Romeo Is banished; and all the world to nothing,

* Quarto A, Think on't, look to't, I do not use to jest. † Quarto A, Now trust me, madam, I know not what so say.

Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,

That sees into the bottom of my grief?] So, in King John, in two parts, 1591:

"Ah boy, thy yeeres, I see, are far too greene,
"To look into the bottom of these cares."


2 In that DIM monument, &c.] The modern editors read dun monument. I have replaced dim from the old quarto 1597, and the folio. STEEVENS.


3 Some comfort, nurse.] The quarto 1597 has only this line: "Ah! Nurse, what counsel, what comfort, canst thou give me?” Boswell.


That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you; Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth.

(I) Then, since the case so stands as now it doth, (II) I think it best you married with the county *. O, he's a lovely gentleman!

Romeo's a dishclout to him: (1) an eagle, madam, Hath not so green", so quick, so fair an eye,

4 'Faith, here 'tis: Romeo

Is banished; and all the world to nothing,

That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you ;

Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,

I think it best you married with the county.] The character of the Nurse exhibits a just picture of those whose actions have no principles for their foundation. She has been unfaithful to the trust reposed in her by Capulet, and is ready to embrace any expedient that offers, to avert the consequences of her first infidelity. STEEVENS.

This picture, however, is not an original. In The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562, the Nurse exhibits the same readiness to accommodate herself to the present conjuncture:

"The flattering nurse did not praise the friar for his skill, "And said that she had done right well, by wit to order will; "She setteth forth at large the father's furious rage, "And eke she praiseth much to her the second marriage; "And county Paris now she praiseth ten times more


By wrong, than she herself by right had Romeus prais'd


"Paris shall dwell there still; Romeus shall not return; "What shall it boot her all her life to languish still and mourn?" MALONE.

Sir John Vanbrugh, in The Relapse, has copied in this respect the character of his Nurse from Shakspeare. BLACKSTONE.

5- SO GREEN,' -an eye,] So the first editions. Hanmer reads-so keen. JOHNSON.

Sir T.

Perhaps Chaucer has given to Emetrius, in The Knight's Tale, eyes of the same colour:


"His nose was high, his eyin bright citryn : i. e. of the hue of an unripe lemon or citron.

Again, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Fletcher and Shakspeare, Act V. Sc. I. :


oh vouchsafe,

"With that thy rare green eye," &c.—


may add that Arthur Hall (the most ignorant and absurd of all the translators of Homer), in the fourth Iliad (4to, 1581,) calls Minerva

As Paris hath. (1) 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.


JUL. Speakest thou from thy heart?


Or else beshrew them both.


From my soul too;



To what'?

JUL. Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous much.

Go in; and tell my lady I am gone,
Having displeas'd my father, to Laurence' cell,
To make confession, and to be absolv'd.

NURSE. Marry, I will; and this is wisely done.

[Exit. JUL. Ancient damnation 8! O most wicked fiend! Is it more sin-to wish me thus forsworn,

* Quarto A, As for your husband he is dead.
† Quarto A, wondrous.

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"The greene eide Goddese."


What Shakspeare meant by this epithet here, may be easily collected from the following lines, which he has attributed to Thisbé in the last Act of A Midsummer-Night's Dream:

"These lily lips,

"This cherry nose,

"These yellow cowslip cheeks,

"Are gone, are gone !—

"His eyes were green as leeks." MALONE.

6 As living HERE] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, -as living hence, that is, at a distance, in banishment; but here may signify, in this world. JOHNSON.

To what?] The syllable-To, which is wanting towards the measure, I have ventured to supply. When Juliet says-Amen! the Nurse might naturally ask her to which of the foregoing sentiments so solemn a formulary was subjoined. STEEVENS.

The quarto 1597 has it-What say you, madam? BOSWELL. 8 Ancient damnation!] This term of reproach occurs in The Malcontent, 1604:

out, you ancient damnation!" STEEVENS.

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