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LA. MON. O, where is Romeo!-saw you him to-day?
Right glad I am, he was not at this fray.
BEN. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun Peer'd forth the golden window of the east 5, 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: 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,— That most are busied when they are most alone,— Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his, (And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me 7.
MON. 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 : But all so soon as the all-cheering sun Should in the furthest east begin to draw
* Quarto A, peept through.
5 Peer'd forth the golden WINDOW of the east,] The same thought occurs in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. ii. c. x. :
Early before the morn with cremosin ray
'Through which into the world the dawning day
Again, in Summa Totalis; or All in All, or The Same for Ever, 4to. 1607:
"Now heaven's bright eye (awake by Vespers sheene) Peepes through the purple windowes of the East."
6 That most are busied, &c.] Edition 1597.
it is in the other editions thus:
by my own,
"Which then most fought, where most might not be found,
And gladly shunn'd, &c.] The ten lines following, not in edition 1597, but in the next of 1599. POPE.
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
BEN. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
8 Ben. Have you impórtun'd, &c.] These two speeches also omitted in edition 1597, but inserted in 1599. POPE.
9 Or dedicate his beauty to the SAME. E.] Old copy-same. When we come to consider, that there is some power else besides balmy air, that brings forth, and makes the tender buds spread themselves, I do not think it improbable that the poet wrote: Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
Or, according to the more obsolete spelling, sunne; which brings it nearer to the traces of the corrupted text. THEOBALD. I cannot but suspect that some lines are lost, which connected this simile more closely with the foregoing speech: these lines, if such there were, lamented the danger that Romeo will die of his melancholy, before his virtues or abilities were known to the world. JOHNSON.
I suspect no loss of connecting lines. An expression somewhat similar occurs in Timon, Act IV. Sc. II. :
"A dedicated beggar to the air." I have, however, adopted Theobald's emendation. Mason observes "that there is not a single passage in our author where so great an improvement of language is obtained, by so slight a deviation from the text." STEEVENS.
Dr. Johnson's conjecture is, I think, unfounded; the simile relates solely to Romeo's concealing the cause of his melancholy, and is again used by Shakspeare in Twelfth Night :
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow, We would as willingly give cure, as know. ()
Enter ROMEO, at a distance.
BEN. See, where he comes: So please you, step aside;
I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.
Is the day so young'?
BEN. But new struck nine.
Ah me! sad hours seem long.
ROM. Not having that, which, having, makes them short.
She never told her love,
"But let concealment, like a worm i'th' bud,
In the last Act of this play our poet has evidently imitated the Rosamond of Daniel; and in the present passage might have remembered the following lines in one of the Sonnets of the same writer, who was then extremely popular. The lines, whether remembered by our author or not, add such support to Mr. Theobald's emendation, that I should have given it a place in my text, but that the other mode of expression was not uncommon in Shakspeare's time:
"And whilst thou spread'st unto the rising sunne, "The fairest flower that ever saw the light, "Now joy thy time, before thy sweet be done." Daniel's Sonnets, 1594. A similar phraseology to that of my text may be found in Daniel's 14th, 32d, 44th, and 53d Sonnets. MALONE.
1 Is the day so YOUNG ?] i. e. is it so early in the day? The same expression (which might once have been popular) I meet with in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: "It is yet young nyghte, or there is yet moche of the nyghte to come." STEEVENS.
BEN. In love?
BEN. Of love?
ROM. Out of her favour, where I am in love. BEN. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view, Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
ROM. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will 2 !
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love :-
to his will!] Sir T. Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, read-to his ill. The present reading has some obscurity; the meaning may be, that love finds out means to pursue his desire. That the blind should find paths to ill is no great wonder. JOHNSON. It is not unusual for those who are blinded by love to overlook every difficulty that opposes their pursuit. NICHOLS.
What Romeo seems to lament is, that love, though blind, should discover pathways to his will, and yet cannot avail himself of them; should perceive the road which he is forbidden to take.
The quarto, 1597, reads:
Should, without laws, give path-ways to our will! " i. e. being lawless itself, prescribe laws to others.
STEEVENS. This passage seems to have been misapprehended. Benvolio has lamented that the god of love, who appears so gentle, should be a tyrant. It is no less to be lamented, adds Romeo, that the blind god should yet be able to direct his arrows at those whom he wishes to hit, that he should wound whomever he wills, or desires to wound. MALONE.
3 Why then, O brawling love! &c.] Of these lines neither the sense nor occasion is very evident. He is not yet in love with an enemy; and to love one and hate another is no such uncommon state, as can deserve all this toil of antithesis.
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
ather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
Folio, and quartos B, C, well-seeing; quarto A, best-seeming. Had Dr. Johnson attended to the letter of invitation in the next scene, he would have found that Rosaline was niece to Capulet. ANONYMOUS. Every sonnetteer characterises Love by contrarieties. Watson begins one of his canzonets:
"Love is a sowre delight, a sugred griefe,
Turberville makes Reason harangue against it in the same
“A fierie frost, a flame that frozen is with ise!
"A heavie burden light to beare! A vertue fraught with
Immediately from The Romaunt of the Rose:
"Loue it is an hateful pees,
"A free aquitaunce without reles,—
"A laughter that is weping aie,
"Rest that trauaileth night and daie," &c.
This kind of antithesis was very much the taste of the Provençal and Italian poets; perhaps it might be hinted by the ode of Sappho preserved by Longinus. Petrarch is full of it: "Pace non trovo, e non hó da far guerra;
"E temo, e spero, e ardo, e son un ghiaccio;
"E nulla stringo, e tutto'l mondo abbraccio," &c.
Sir Thomas Wyat gives a translation of this sonnet, without any notice of the original, under the title of Description of the Contrarious Passions in a Louer, amongst the Songes and Sonnettes, by the Earle of Surrey, and others, 1574. FARMER.