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O, what more favour can I do to thee,
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in
To sunder his that was thine enemy ?
9- Ah, dear Juliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous; &c.] Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 463, speaking of the power of beauty, tells us :-" But of all the tales in this kinde, that is most memorable of Death himselfe, when he should have stroken a sweet young virgin with his dart, he fell in love with the object."-Burton refers to Angerianus; but I have met with the same story in some other ancient book of which I have forgot the title. STEEvens.
So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1594:
"Ah, now, methinks, I see death dallying seeks
To entertain itselfe in love's sweete place."
Instead of the very long notes which have been written on this controverted passage, I shall lay before the reader the lines as they are exhibited in the original quarto of 1597, and that of 1599, with which the folio corresponds.
In the quarto 1597, the passage appears thus:
Ah, dear Juliet,
"How well thy beauty doth become this grave!
'O, I believe that unsubstantial death
"Is amorous, and doth court my
"Therefore will I, O here, O ever here,
"With worms that are thy chamber-maids.
Thy drugs are swift: thus with a kiss I die.
In the quarto 1599, and the folio, (except that the folio has arms instead of arm,) the lines stand thus:
Ah, dear Juliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? I will believe,
"Shall I believe that unsubstantial death is amorous,
"Thee here in dark to be his paramour;
"For fear of that I still will stay with thee,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
"And never from this palace [palat * 4o] of dim night
"Here's to thy health where e'er thou tumblest in.
Thy drugs are quick thus with a kiss I die.]
"With worms that are thy chamber-maids : O, here
"And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars, &c.
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
Thy drugs are quick thus with a kiss I die." There cannot, I think, be the smallest doubt that the words included within crotchets, which are not found in the undated quarto, were repeated by the carelessness or ignorance of the transcriber or compositor. In like manner, in a former scene we have two lines evidently of the same import, one of which only the poet could have intended to retain. See p. 188, n. 7.
In a preceding part of this passage Shakspeare was probably in doubt whether he should write
66 - I will believe
"That unsubstantial death is amorous;
66 Shall I believe
"That unsubstantial death is amorous?"
and having probably erased the words I will believe imperfectly, the wise compositor printed the rejected words as well as those intended to be retained.
With respect to the line,
"Here's to thy health, where'er thou tumblest in,' it is unnecessary to inquire what was intended by it, the passage in which this line is found being afterwards exhibited in another form; and being much more accurately expressed in its second than its first exhibition, we have a right to presume that the poet
-palat-] Meaning, perhaps, the bed of night. So, in King Henry IV. Part II. :
"Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee."
In The Second Maiden's Tragedy, however, (an old MS. in the library of the Marquis of Lansdowne,) monuments are styled the "palaces of death." STEEVENS.
For fear of that, I will still stay with thee;
With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here Will I set up my everlasting rest ';
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh.-Eyes, look your last!
intended it to appear in its second form, that is, as it now appears in the text. MALONE.
Mr. Steevens has expressed his acquiescence in Mr. Malone's opinion respecting this passage, but has given the greater part of that gentleman's note, with a very slight alteration of the language, as his own. BOSWELL.
my everlasting rest;] See a note on scene 5th of the preceding Act, p. 203, n. 6. So, in The Spanish Gipsie, by Middleton and Rowley, 1653:
could I set up my rest
"That he were lost, or taken prisoner,
I could hold truce with sorrow."
To set up one's rest, is to be determined to any certain purpose, to rest in perfect confidence and resolution, to make up one's mind.
Again, in the same play:
"Set up thy rest; her marriest thou, or none." STEEVENS. - Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!-] So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1594:
“Pitiful mouth, said he, that living gavest
"The sweetest comfort that my soul could wish,
O, be it lawful now, that dead, thou havest
"The sorrowing farewell of a dying kiss!
"Entomb'd in your sweet circles, sleep for ever!"
I think there can be little doubt, from the foregoing lines and the other passages already quoted from this poem, that our author had read it recently before he wrote the last Act of the present tragedy.
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
Enter, at the other End of the Churchyard, Friar LAURENCE, with a Lantern, Crow, and Spade *. FRI. Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to
"A dateless bargain to engrossing death!] Engrossing seems to be used here in its clerical sense. MALONE.
3 Come, bitter CONDUCT,] Marston also in his Satires, 1599, uses conduct for conductor:
"Be thou my conduct and my genius."
So, in a former scene in this play:
"And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now." MALONE.
4 This scene, to the death of Juliet, is thus given in the quarto 1597:
"Enter Friar, with a lantern.
"How oft to-night have these my aged feet "Stumbled at graves as I did pass along!
"Man. A friend, and one that knows you well.
"What light is yon? If I be not deceiv'd,
"Man. It doth so, holy sir; and there is one "That loves you dearly.
"Fri. Who is it?
"Fr. How long hath he been there?
"Man. Full half an hour and more.
"Fri. Go with me thither.
"Man. I dare not, sir; he knows not I am here: "On pain of death, he charg'd me to be gone; "And not for to disturb him in his enterprise. "Fri. Then must I go: my mind presageth ill.
"Friar stoops, and looks on the blood and weapons. "What blood is this that stains the entrance
"Of this marble stony monument?
Have my old feet stumbled at graves?-Who's
Who is it that consórts, so late, the dead" ?
BAL. Here's one, a friend, and one that knows you well.
"What means these masterless and gory weapons?
"Is accessary to so foul a sin?
"The lady stirs.
"Jul. Ah comfortable friar!
"I do remember well where I should be,
"And what we talk'd of? but yet I cannot see
"Him for whose sake I undertook this hazard.
"Fri. Lady, come forth: I hear some noise at hand; "We shall be taken; Paris, he is slain,
"And Romeo dead: and, if we be here ta'en,
"We shall be thought to be as accessary.
"I will provide for you in some close nunnery.
"Jal. Ah! leave me, leave me, I will not from hence.
"What's here, a cup clos'd in my lover's hands?
"Watch. This way, this way.
"Jul. Ay, noise? then must I be resolute.
"O happy dagger, thou shalt end my fear,
"Rest in my bosom, thus I come to thee.
[She stabs herself and falls."
show oft to-night
Have my old feet STUMBLED at graves?] This accident was reckoned ominous. So, in King Henry VI. P. III. :
"For many men that stumble at the threshold,
Again, in King Richard III. Hastings, going to execution, says: "Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble.' 6 Who is it, &c.] This very appropriate question I have restored from the quarto 1597.
To consort, is to keep company with. So, in Chapman's version of the 23d Iliad:
'Tis the last of all care I shall take, "While I consort the careful." STEEvens.