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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 still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will ! 13 Where shall we dine? —O me! what fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love:-
O heavy lightness! serious vanity !
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
No, coz, I rather weep.
13 That is, should blindly and recklessly think he can surmount all obstacles to his will.
14 This string of antithetical conceits seems absurd enough to us; but such was the most approved way of describing love in Shakespeare's time, and for some ages before. Petrarch and Chaucer used it, and divers old English poets and ballad-makers abound in it. Perhaps the best defence of the use here made of it is, that such an affected way of speaking not unaptly shows the state of Romeo's mind, that his love is rather self-generated than inspired by any object. At all events, as compared with his style of speech after meeting with Juliet, it serves to mark the difference between being love-sick and being in love.
With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown
Rom. Tut! I have lost myself; I am not here:
But sadly tell me who.
Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will; A word ill urg'd to one that is so ill!
In sadness,16 cousin, I do love a woman.
Ben. I aim'd so near, when I suppos'd you lov❜d.
Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
15 Such is the reading of the old copies. Divers modern editions, following Dr. Johnson, change purg'd to urg'd. The change is a good one, if any change were needed. Of course, purg'd is purified. Mr. Collier's celebrated second folio substitutes puff'd. -As Romeo here resumes his strain of conceits, it may be well to quote one or two precedents for it. Thus Watson, in one of his canzonets:
"Love is a sowre delight, and sugred griefe,
And Turberville makes Reason harangue against love thus:
"A fierie frost, a flame that frozen is with ise;
A heavie burden light to beare; a vertue fraught with vice." 16 In sadness is gravely, in seriousness.
Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss: she'll not be hit With Cupid's arrow: she hath Dian's wit; And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd, From love's weak childish bow she lives encharm'd.1 She will not stay the siege of loving terms, Nor bide th' encounter of assailing eyes, Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold: O! she is rich in beauty; only poor,
That when she dies, with beauty dies her store.18 Ben. Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?
Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;
For beauty, starv'd with her severity,
She is too fair, too wise; wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair :
Ben. Be rul'd by me; forget to think of her. Rom. O teach me how I should forget to think. Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes: Examine other beauties.
Rom. "Tis the way To call hers, exquisite, in question more.' These happy masks 20 that kiss fair ladies' brows,
17 The first quarto and the folio read uncharmed, which gives a sense just the opposite of that required. Since the time of Rowe, the uniform reading has been unharm'd. Encharm'd is taken from Mr. Collier's second folio. For this use of charm see Cymbeline, Act v. sc. 3, note 5.
18 She is poor only, because she leaves no part of her store behind her, as with her all beauty will die.
19 That is, to call her exquisite beauty more into my mind, and make it more the subject of conversation. Question was often
used in this sense.
20 This is probably an allusion to the masks worn by the female
Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair:
Ben. I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.
SCENE II. A Street.
Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and a Servant.
Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both;
Cap. But saying o'er what I have said before:
spectators of the play; unless we suppose that these means no more than the. See Measure for Measure, Act iii. sc. 4, note 11.
21 If we are right, from the internal evidence, in pronouncing this one of Shakespeare's early dramas, it affords a strong instance of the fineness of his insight into the nature of the passions, that Romeo is introduced already love-bewildered. The necessity of loving creates an object for itself in man and woman; and yet there is a difference in this respect between the sexes, though only to be known by a perception of it. It would have displeased us if Juliet had been represented as already in love, or as fancying herself so but no one, I believe, ever experiences any shock at Romeo's forgetting his Rosaline, who had been a mere name for the yearning of his youthful imagination, and rushing into his passion for Juliet. Rosaline was a mere creation of his fancy; and we should remark the boastful positiveness of Romeo in a love of his own making, which is never shown where love is really near the heart. COLERIDGE.
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made.
Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she,
An she agree, within her scope of choice
1 So reads the quarto of 1597: all the other old copies have made instead of married. There can be little doubt that married is right. Puttenham, in his Art of Poesy, quotes the expression as proverbial: "The maid that soon married soon marred is."
2 Fille de terre is the old French phrase for an heiress. is put for lands, or landed estate, in other old plays.
3 Johnson would read yeomen instead of young men. Others think young men to be here used for yeomen, as it sometimes is by old writers. The meaning in that case would be, such comfort as farmers have at the coming of spring. But there seems to be no cause for either supposition. What feelings the young are apt to have in the spring, can hardly need explaining, to those who remember their youth. However, the Poet's 98th Sonnet yields a good comment on the text:
"From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim,