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And then my husband-God be with his soul!
I never should forget it: "Wilt thou not, Jule?"
And, pretty fool, it stinted, and said, "Ay."
Lady C. Enough of this: I pray thee, hold thy
Nurse. Yes, madam: Yet I cannot choose but
To think it should leave crying, and say, “Ay:
Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd:
Lady C. Marry, that marry is the very theme I came to talk of. — Tell me, daughter Juliet, How stands your disposition to be married?
3 To stint is to stop. Baret translates "Lachrymas supprimere, to stinte weeping;" and "to stinte talke," by "sermones restinguere." So Ben Jonson in Cynthia's Revels: "Stint thy babbling tongue, fond Echo."
Jul. It is an honour that I dream not of.
Nurse. An honour! were not I thine only nurse, I would say thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat. Lady C. Well, think of marriage now; younger than you,
Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
Are made already mothers: by my count,
Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man, As all the world— Why, he's a man of wax.1
Lady C. Verona's summer hath not such a flower. Nurse. Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower. Lady C. What say you? can you love the gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our feast:
And see how one another lends content;
And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies,
4 That is, as well made as if he had been modelled in wax. So in Wily Beguiled: "Why, he is a man as one should picture him in wax." So Horace uses "Cerea brachia," waxen arms, for arms well shaped.
5 Thus the quarto of 1599. The quarto of 1609 and the folio read, "every several lineament." We have, "The unity and married calm of states," in Troilus and Cressida. And in his eighth Sonnet:
"If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
The comments on ancient books were generally printed in the margin. Horatio says, in Hamlet, "I knew you must be edified by the margent." So in the Rape of Lucrece :
"But she that never cop'd with stranger eyes
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
The fish lives in the sea; and 'tis much pride,
That book in many's eyes doth share the glory,
Nurse. No less? nay, bigger: women grow by
Lady C. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love?
Jul. I'll look to like, if looking liking move:
Enter a Servant.
Serv. Madam, the guests are come, supper serv'd up, you call'd, my young lady ask'd for, the nurse curs'd in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.
Nor read the subtle shining secrecies
Writ in the glassy margent of such books."
This speech is full of quibbles. The unbound lover is a quibble on the binding of a book, and the binding in marriage; and the word cover is a quibble on the law phrase for a married woman, femme couverte.
7 It is not quite clear what is meant by this. Dr. Farmer explains it, "The fish is not yet caught;" and thinks there is a reference to the ancient use of fish-skins for book-covers. It does not well appear what this meaning can have to do with the context. The sense apparently required is, that the fish is hidden within the sea, as a thing of beauty within a beautiful thing. Malone thinks we should read, "The fish lives in the shell;" and he adds that "the sea cannot be said to be a beautiful cover to a fish, though a shell may.”. - This whole speech and the next are wanting in the quarto of 1597.
8 The quarto of 1597 reads, " engage mine eye."
Lady C. We follow thee. Juliet, the county
Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV. A Street.
Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, with five or six Maskers, Torch-Bearers, and Others.
Rom. What! shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?
Or shall we on without apology?
Ben. The date is out of such prolixity.1
1 In King Henry VIII., where the king introduces himself at the entertainment given by Wolsey, he appears, like Romeo and his companions, in a mask, and sends a messenger before with an apology for his intrusion. This was a custom observed by those who came uninvited, with a desire to conceal themselves, for the sake of intrigue, or to enjoy the greater freedom of conversation. Their entry on these occasions was always prefaced by some speech in praise of the beauty of the ladies, or the generosity tertainer; and to the prolixity of such introductions it is probable Romeo is made to allude. In Histriomastix, 1610, a man expresses his wonder that the maskers enter without any compliment : What, come they in so blunt, without device?" Of this kind of masquerading there is a specimen in Timon, where Cupid precedes a troop of ladies with a speech.
2 The Tartarian bows resemble in their form the old Roman or Cupid's bow, such as we see on medals and bas-relief. Shakespeare uses the epithet to distinguish it from the English bow, whose shape is the segment of a circle.-A crow-keeper was simply a scare-crow. See King Lear, Act iv. sc. 6, note 11.
3 This and the preceding lines are found only in the quarto of 1597. Of course there is an allusion to some of the stage prac tices of the Poet's time.
But, let them measure us by what they will,
Being but heavy, I will bear the light.
Mer. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you
Rom. Not I, believe me: You have dancing shoes, With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead, So stakes me to the ground, I cannot move.
Mer. You are a lover: borrow Cupid's wings, And soar with them above a common bound.
Rom. I am too sore enpierced with his shaft,
Mer. And, to sink 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 boisterous; 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 :
[Putting on a Mask.
A visor for a visor!-what care I,
4 A torch-bearer was a constant appendage to every troop of maskers. To hold a torch was anciently no degrading office. Queen Elizabeth's gentlemen pensioners attended her to Cambridge, and held torches while a play was acted before her in the Chapel of King's College on a Sunday evening.
5 Milton thought it not beneath the dignity of his task to use a similar quibble in Paradise Lost, Book iv.: "At one slight bound he overleap'd all bound."
6 Quote was often used for observe or notice. - Brooke's poem