Imágenes de páginas

I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Julier,
How ftands your disposition to be married ?

Jul. It is an honour that I dream not of.

Nurse. An honour? were not I thine only nurse, I'd say, thou hadft suck'd wisdom from thy teat.

La Cap. Well, think of marriage now; younger Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,

(than you Are made already mothers. By my count, I was your mother much upon these years That you are now a maid. Thus, then, in brief; The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.

Nurse. A man, young lady, lady, such a man
As all the world-Why, he's a man of wax.

La. Cap. Verona's summer hath not such a flower.
Nurse. Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower.
La. Cap. What say you, can you like the gentle-

man? (8)
This night you shall behold him at our feast;
Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,
And find delight writ there with Beauty's pen;
Examine ev'ry sev'ral lineament,
And fee, how one another lends content:
And what obscure in this fair volume lies,
Find written in the margin of his eyes.
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him only lacks a cover.
The fih lives in the sea, and tis much pride,
For fair without the fair within to hide.
That book in many eyes doth share the glory,
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story.
So, shall you share all that he doth possess,
By having him, making yourself no less.
Nurse. No less? Nay, bigger; women grow by men.
La. Cap. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris loves
Jul. I'll look to like, if looking liking move.
(8) What say you ? Can you like tbe gentleman?] This speech of
lady Capulet, tho' I cannot readily commend it, yet I could not
conceive I had any authority to leave it out: I have restor'd many
other passages in this play, not of the best ftamp, but for the same


But no more deep will I indart mine eye,
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Enter a Servant. Sery. Madam, the guests are come, fupper servid up. You call'd, my young lady ask'd for, the nurse curft in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow itrait.

La Cap. We follow thee. Juliet, the County stays. Nurse. Go, girl, seek 'happy nights to happy days.


ŚCËNE, a Street before Capulet's House. Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or fix

other maskers, torch-bearers, and drums. Rom. W"

HAT, shall this speech be spoke for our

Or shallwe on without apology? [excuse? Pen. The date is out of such prolixity. We'll have no Cupid hood-wink'd with a scarf, Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath, Scaring the ladies like a crow keeper: (9) Nor a without-book prologue faintly spoke After the prompter, for our entrance. But let them measure us by what they will, We'll measure them a measure, and be gone.

Rom. Give me a torch, I am not for this ambling. Being but heavy, I will bear the light, Mer. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have


dance. Rom. Not I, believe me ; you have dancing shoes With nimble foles; I have a soul of lead, So itakes me to the ground I cannot move.

Mer. You are a lover ; borrow Cupid s wings. And foar with them above a common bound.

(9) Scaring tbe ladies like a cow-keeper.) I led Mr. Pope into this miftaken reading, which I once thought the true one, before I fully underfood the passage But Í have prov'd, that crow-keeper, which pofleffes all the old copies, is the genuine reading of the Poet, in my 4gth note on King Lear.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Rom. I am too fore enpearced with his shaft,
To soar with his light feathers: and so bound,
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe :
Under love's heavy burden do I fink.

Mer. And to fink in it, should you burden love :
Too great oppression for a tender thing!

Rom. Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,
Too rude, too boift'rous; and it pricks like thorn.

Mer. If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
Give me a case to put my visage in;

[Pulling off bis mak.
A visor for a visor! what care I,
What curious


quote deformities? Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me.

Ben. Come, knock and enter; and no sooner in,
But ev'ry man betake him to his legs.

Rom. A torch for me. Let wantons, light of heart,
Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels;
For I am proverb'd with a grandfire-phrase ;
I'll be a candle-holder, and look on.
The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done.

Mer. Tut! dun's the mouse, the constable's own word;
- If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire ;
Or, save your reverence, love, wherein thou stick'A
Up to thine ears : come, we burn day-light, ho.

Rom.'Nay, that's not fo.
Mer. I mean, Sir, in delay
We burn our lights by light, and lamps by day.
Take our good meaning, for our judgment fits
Five times in that, ere once in our fine wits.

Rom. And we mean well in going to this malk;
But 'tis no wit to go.

Mer. Why, may one ak ?
Rom. I dreamt a dream to-night.
Mer. And so did I.
Rom. Well; what was yours?
Mer. That dreamers often lie.
Rom.-In bed alleep; while they do dream things true.


Mer. O, then I see, Queen Mabhath been with you.(10) She is the Fancy's midwife, and she comes In shape no bigger than an agat stone On the fore-finger of an alderman; Drawn with a team of little atomies, Athwart mens' noses as they lie asleep : Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs; The cover, of the wings of grashoppers ; The traces, of the smallest spider's web; The collars, of the moonshine's watry beams; Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film ; Her waggoner, a small grey.coated-gnat, Not half so big as a round little worm, Prickt from the lazy finger of a maid. Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut, Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub, Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers : And in this state she gallops night by night, Through lovers! brains, and then they dream of love :

(10) O, then I see, Queen Mab harb been with

you : She is ebe fairies' midwife.] Thus begins that admirable speech upon the effects of the imagination in dreams. But, Queen Mab the fairies midwife? What is the then Queen of? Why, the fairies, What! and their midwife too ? Sure, this is a wonderful condescenfion in her Royal Highness. But this is not the greatest of the abSurdities. The fairies' midwife? But let us see upon what occasion the is introduced, and under what quality. Why, as a Being that has great power over human imaginations. But then according to the laws of common sense, if she has any title given her, must not that title have reference to the employment she is put upon ? First, then, she is called Queen : which is very pertinent; for that deagns her power : then she is called the fairies' midwife; but what has that to do with the point in hand ? If we would think that Shakespeare wrote sense, we must say, he wrote- -tbe Fancy's midwife : and this is a title the mast à propos in the world, as it introduces all that is said afterwards of ber vagaries. Besides, it exactly quadrates with these lines :

I talk of dreams ;
Which are the children of an idle brain,

Begot of nothing but vain fantasie. These dreams are begot upon fantasie, and Mab is the midwife to bring them forth. And Fancy's midwife is a phrase altogether in the manner of our Author.

Mr. Warburton, 8



On courtiers' knees, that dream on curtfies strait:
O'er lawyers fingers, who strait dream on fees :
O'er ladies' lips, who ftrait on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweet-meats tainted are.
Sometimes the gallops o'er a lawyer's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a fuit :
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
Tickling the parson as he lies asleep;
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes the driveth o er a soldier's neck,
And then he dreams of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; (11) and then anon
Drums in his ears, at which he starts and wakes;
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab,
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And cakes the elf-locks in foul fluttish hairs,
Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes,
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them, and learns them first to bear;
Making them women of good carriage :
This is the

Rom. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace ;
Thou talk'st of nothing.

Mer. True, I talk of dreams ;
Which are the children of an idle brain :

(11) of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, Of healths five fatbom deep ;] As the generality of the terms coupled here, have a reference to the wars, some ingenious persons have con. je&tured that our Poet wrote ;

Of delves five fathoms deep ;i. e. Trencbes; places delw'd, or dog down. But, with submission, I conceive the text to be fincere as it is ; and alludes to drinking deep to a mistress's health. I find the like expression in Wefward boe, a comedy wrote in our Author's time.

Troth, Sir, my master, and Sir Gofin are guzzling; they are dabBling together fatbom deep. The knight has drunk so much bealıb to the gentleman yonder on his knees, that he hath almost lost the use of his legs.

Beget 7

« AnteriorContinuar »