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Rom. Father, what news? what is the prince's


What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand,
That I yet know not?




Too familiar

dear son with such sour company : I bring thee tidings of the prince's doom.

Rom. What less than dooms-day is the prince's doom?

Fri. A gentler judgment vanish'd from his lips, Not body's death, but body's banishment.

Rom. Ha! banishment? be merciful, say—death: For exile hath more terror in his look,

Much more than death: do not say-banishment.
Fri. Hence from Verona art thou banished:
Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.
Rom. There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.

Hence-banished is banish'd from the world,
And world's exile is death:-then banishment
Is death misterm'd: calling death-banishment,
Thou cut'st my head off with a golden axe,
And smil'st upon the stroke that murders me.

Fri. O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness!
Thy fault our law calls death; but the kind prince,
Taking thy part, hath rush'd aside the law,
And turn'd that black word death to banishment:
This is dear mercy1, and thou seest it not.

Rom. 'Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here, Where Juliet lives 2; and every cat, and dog, And little mouse, every unworthy thing,

1 The quarto, 1597, reads This is mere mercy,' i. e. absolute


2 From this and the foregoing speech of Romeo, Dryden has borrowed in his beautiful paraphrase of Chaucer's Palamon and Arcite :

'Heaven is not but where Emily abides,
And where she's absent all is hell besides.'

Live here in heaven, and may look on her,
But Romeo may not.-More validity3,
More honourable state, more courtship lives
In carrion flies, than Romeo: they may seize
On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand,
And steal immortal blessing from her lips;
Who, even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin;
But Romeo may not; he is banished:
Flies may do this, when I from this must fly:
They are free men, but I am banished.

And say'st thou yet, that exile is not death?
Hadst thou no poison mix'd, no sharp-ground knife,
No sudden mean of death, though ne'er so mean,
But-banished-to kill me; banished?

O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
Howlings attend it: How hast thou the heart,
Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,

A sin-absolver, and my friend profess'd,
To mangle me with that word-banishment?

3 Validity is again employed to signify worth, value, in the first scene of King Lear.

By courtship, courtesy, courtly behaviour is meant. See vol. iii. p. 136, note 32. As this is one of the words which have escaped the industry of Shakspeare's editors, it may be as well to elucidate its meaning fully. Bullokar defines' compliment to be ceremony, court-ship, fine behaviour.' See also Cotgrave in Curtisanie and Curialité; and Florio in Cortegianía. • Would I might never excell a Dutch skipper in courtship, if I did not put distate into my carriage of purpose, I knew I should not please them.'-Sir Giles Goosecap, a Comedy. Again, in the same play: My lord, my want of courtship makes me fear I should be rude.'

• Whilst the young lord of Telamon, her husband,
Was packeted to France, to study courtship,
Under, forsooth, a colour of employment.'

Ford's Fancies Chaste and Noble.

See also Gifford's Massinger, vol. ii. p. 505, where the true meaning of the word has not escaped the acute and able editor.

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Fri. Thou fond mad man, hear me but speak a


Rom. O, thou wilt speak again of banishment. Fri. I'll give thee armour to keep off that word; Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy *,

To comfort thee, though thou art banished.
Rom. Yet banished?-Hang up philosophy!
Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom;
It helps not, it prevails not, talk no more.

Fri. O, then I see that madmen have no ears. Rom. How should they, when that wise men have no eyes?

Fri. Let me dispute with thee of thy estate 5. Rom. Thou canst not speak of what thou dost not feel:

Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
An hour but married, Tybalt murdered,
Doting like me, and like me banished,

Then might'st thou speak, then might'st thou tear thy hair,

And fall upon the ground, as I do now,
Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

4 So in the poem of Romeus and Juliet, the Friar says:Virtue is always thrall to troubles and annoy,

But wisdom in adversity finds cause of quiet joy.'

See also Lyly's Euphues, 1580:- Thou sayest banishment is bitter to the freeborne. There be many meates which are sowre in the mouth and sharp in the maw; but if thou mingle them with sweet sawces, they yeeld both a pleasant taste and wholesome nourishment.—I speake this to this end, that though thy exile seem grievous to thee, yet guiding thyself with the rules of philosophy it shall be more tolerable.'

5 The same phrase, and with the same meaning, occurs in The Winter's Tale ::

can he speak? hear?

Know man from man? dispute his own estate?

i. e. is he able to talk over his own affairs, or the present state he is in?

Fri. Arise; one knocks; good Romeo, hide thyself. [Knocking within. Rom. Not I; unless the breath of heart-sick groans, Mistlike, infold me from the search of eyes.

[Knocking. Fri. Hark, how they knock!-Who's there?-Romeo, arise;

Thou wilt be taken :-Stay awhile: stand up;
Run to my study:-By and by:-God's will!
What wilfulness is this?—I come, I come.

[Knocking. Who knocks so hard? whence come you? what's your will?

Nurse. [Within.] Let me come in, and you shall know my errand;

I come from Lady Juliet.


Welcome then.

Enter Nurse.

Nurse. O holy friar, O tell me, holy friar, Where is my lady's lord, where's Romeo? Fri. There on the ground, with his own tears made drunk.

Nurse. O, he is even in my mistress' case,

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Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering:-
Stand up, stand up; stand, an you be a man:
For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand;
Why should you fall into so deep an O?

Rom. Nurse!

Nurse. Ah sir! ah sir!-Well, death's the end of all.

Rom. Spak'st thou of Juliet? how is it with her? Doth she not think me an old murderer,

Now I have stain'd the childhood of our joy
With blood remov'd but little from her own?
Where is she? and how doth she? and what says
My conceal❜d lady to our cancell❜d love?

Nurse. O, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and

weeps ;

And now falls on her bed; and then starts up,
And Tybalt calls; and then on Romeo cries,
And then falls down again.


As if that name,

Shot from the deadly level of a gun,

Did murder her; as that name's cursed hand Murder'd her kinsman.-O tell me, friar, tell me, In what vile part of this anatomy

Doth my name lodge? tell me, that I may sack

The hateful mansion.


[Drawing his Sword. Hold thy desperate hand: Art thou a man? thy form cries out, thou art; Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote The unreasonable fury of a beast7: Unseemly woman, in a seeming man! Or ill beseeming beast, in seeming both! Thou hast amaz'd me: by my holy order, I thought thy disposition better temper❜d. Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself?

6 The epithet concealed is to be understood, not of the person, but of the condition of the lady; so that the sense is, 'My lady, whose being so, together with our marriage which made her so, is concealed from the world.'

7 Shakspeare has here followed the poem :

'Art thou, quoth he, a man? thy shape saith, so thou art,
Thy crying and thy weeping eyes denote a woman's heart,
For manly reason is quite from off thy mind outchased,
And in her stead affections lewd, and fancies highly placed;
So that I stood in doubt, this hour at the least,

If thou a man or woman wert, or else a brutish beast.'

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