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Now Romeo is belov'd, and loves again,
Alike bewitched by the charm of looks ; But to his foe suppos'd he must complain,
And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks:
used as a substantive, and was synonymous to beauty. See vol. 5, p. 136, n. 3. MALONE.
7-for which love groan'd FOR,] Thus the ancient copies, for which all the modern editors, adopting Mr. Rowe's alteration, read-groan'd sore. This is one of the many changes that have been made in the text from not attending to ancient phraseology; for this kind of duplication was common in Shakspeare's time. So, in Coriolanus, Act II. Sc. I. : "In what enormity is Marcius poor in, that you two have not in abundance?" As You Like It, Act II. Sc. VII. : 66 the scene wherein we play in." MALONE. The instances produced by Mr. Malone, to justify the old and corrupt reading, are not drawn from the quartos, which he judiciously commends, but from the folio, which with equal judgment he has censured. These irregularities, therefore, standing on no surer ground than that of copies published by ignorant players, and printed by careless compositors, I utterly refuse to admit their accumulated jargon as the grammar of Shakspeare, or of the age he lived in.
Fair, in the present instance was used as a dissyllable,
Sometimes, our author, as here, uses the same word as a dissyllable and a monosyllable, in the very same line. Thus, in The Tempest, Act I. Sc. II. :
"Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since."
The whole of Mr. Steevens's note must have been intended to mislead the reader. The passages which I have cited are certainly drawn from the folio, and not from the quartos, for this very satisfactory reason, that there are no quarto copies of those plays. The word for, which Mr. Steevens would here omit, is not found in the quarto 1597, because the chorus is there left out altogether, but it stands on the ground of the quarto 1599, and the first folio. I will show by a few other instances, out of many that I could produce, that the phraseology of the_text was that of Shakspeare's time. Thus in Lilly's Prologue at Court, to Campaspe : "So are we enforced upon a rough discourse to drawe on a smooth excuse." So, in Job, chap. xli. v. 11, Barker's Bible, 1599; "Out of his nostrils cometh out smoke." So, in a letter from Lord Burghley to the Earl of Shrewsbury, Jan. 23, 1587-8, Weymouth, MSS. "I did earnestly enqre of hy, in what estate he stood in for discharge of his former detts." So, in another letter from the same to the same, October 26, 1586: "To the which it is ment that we all should put to our names."
Being held a foe, he may not have access
To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear: And she as much in love, her means much less To meet her new-beloved any where: But passion lends them power, time means to meet, Temp'ring extremities with extreme sweet. [Exir.
ACT II. SCENE I.
An open Place, adjoining CAPULET'S Garden.
ROM. Can I go forward, when my heart is here? Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out. [He climbs the Wall, and leaps down within it.
Enter BENVOLIO, and MERCUTIO.
BEN. Romeo! my cousin Romeo!
He is wise;
And, on my life, hath stolen him home to bed. BEN. He ran this way, and leap'd this orchard wall:
Call, good Mercutio.
Nay, I'll conjure too *.Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover! Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh, Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied; Cry but-Ah me! pronounce but-love and dove *;
* This speech in the folio, and quartos A, B, C, is given to Benvolio.
PRONOUNCE but-love and dove ;] Thus the first quarto, 1597. Pronounce, in the quartos of 1599 and 1609, was made provaunt.
In the first folio, which appears to have been printed from the
Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
* So quarto A; folio, true.
latter of these copies, the same reading is adopted. The editor of the second folio arbitrarily substituted couply, meaning certainly couple; and all the modern editors have adopted his innovation. Provaunt, as Mr. Steevens has observed, means provision; but I have never met with the verb To provant, nor has any example of it been produced. I have no doubt, therefore, that it was a corruption, and have adhered to the first quarto.
In this very line-love and dove, the reading of the original copy of 1597 was corrupted in the two subsequent quartos and the folio, to-love and day; and heir, in the next line, corrupted into her. MALONE.
The quarto 1597 reads pronounce; the two succeeding quartos and the first folio, provaunt; the 2d, 3d, and 4th folios, couply; and Mr. Rowe, who printed from the last of these, formed the present reading. Provant, however, in ancient language, signifies provision. So, in "The Court and Kitchen of Elizabeth, called Joan Cromwell, the Wife of the late Usurper, truly described and represented," 1664, p. 14: “ carrying some dainty provant for her own and her daughter's repast." To provant is to provide; and to provide is to furnish. Provant but love and dove," may therefore mean, furnish but such hackneyed rhymes as these are, the trite effusions of lovers.
Mr. Malone asks for instances of the verb provant. When he will produce examples of other verbs (like reverb, &c.) peculiar to our author, I may furnish him with the instance he desires. I am content, however, to follow the second folio. STEEvens.
9 Young ADAM Cupid.] All the old copies read-Abraham Cupid. The alteration was proposed originally by Mr. Upton. See Observations, p. 243. It evidently alludes to the famous archer, Adam Bell. REED.
When king Cophetua, &c.] Alluding to an old ballad preserved in the first volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry:
"Here you may read, Cophetua,
"The beggar for to wed." STEEVENS.
"Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim,
When," &c. This word trim, the first editors, consulting the
He heareth not, () he stirreth not2, he moveth not;
general sense of the passage, and not perceiving the allusion, would naturally alter to true; yet the former seems the more humorous expression, and, on account of its quaintness, more likely to have been used by Mercutio. PERCY.
So trim is the reading of the oldest copy, and this ingenious conjecture is confirmed by it. In Decker's Satiromastix, is a reference to the same archer :
He shoots his bolt but seldom; but when Adam lets go, he hits:"
"He shoots at thee too, Adam Bell; and his arrows stick here."
Trim was an epithet formerly in common use. It occurs often in Churchyard's Siege of Leeth, 1575:
"Made sallies forth, as tryme men might do." Again, ibid. :
"And showed themselves trimme souldiours as I ween."
The ballad here alluded to, is King Cophetua and the BeggarMaid, or, as it called in some old copies, The Song of a Beggar and a King. The following stanza Shakspeare had particularly in view:
"The blinded boy that shoots so trim,
"From heaven down did hie,
"He drew a dart and shot at him,
"In place where he did lie." MALONE. 2he heareth not, stirreth not,] Old copies, unmetrically,he stirreth not. STEEVENS.
Is the metre improved by Mr. Steevens's alteration? BOSWELL. 3 The ape is dead,] This phrase appears to have been frequently applied to young men, in our author's time, without any reference to the mimickry of that animal. It was an expression of tenderness, like poor fool. Nashe, in one of his pamphlets, mentions his having read Lyly's Euphues, when he was a little ape at Cambridge. MALONE.
4 By her HIGH forehead,] A high forehead was in Shakspeare's time thought eminently beautiful. See Tempest, Act. IV. ad finem, and Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. Sc. III. MALONE.
That in thy likeness thou appear to us.
BEN. An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him. MER. This cannot anger him: 'twould anger him To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle Of some strange nature, letting it there stand Till she had laid it, and conjur'd it down; That were some spite: my invocation Is fair and honest, and, in his mistress' name, I conjure only but to raise up him.
BEN. Come, he hath hid himself among those trees,
To be consorted with the humorous night:
MER. If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
6 the HUMOROUS night:] I suppose Shakspeare means humid, the moist dewy night. Chapman uses the word in that sense in his translation of Homer, b. ii. edit. 1598 :
"The other gods and knights at arms slept all the humorous night."
Again, in the 21st book:
"Whence all floods, all the sea, all founts, wells, all deeps
"Fetch their beginnings -."
Again, in Drayton's Polyolbion, song 3:
"Such matter as she takes from the gross humorous earth.” Again, song 13th:
which late the humorous night "Bespangled had with pearl-.' Again, in his Barons' Wars, canto i. :
"The humorous fogs deprive us of his light." STEEVENS. In Measure for Measure we have "the vaporous night approaches; " which shows that Mr. Steevens has rightly interpreted the word in the text. MALONE.
7 As maids, &c.] After this line, in the old copies, I find two other verses, containing such ribaldry, that I cannot venture to insert them in the text, though I exhibit them here as a proof that the editors of our poet have sometimes known how to blot :