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ROMEO AND JULIET' was first printed in the Byron as appropriate to the legend—to that year 1597. The second edition was printed simple tale of fierce hatreds and fatal loves in 1599. The title of that edition declares which tradition has still preserved, amongst it to be “Newly corrected, augmented, and those wh may never have read Luigi da amended." There can be no doubt whatever Porto or Bandello, the Italian romancers that the corrections, augmentations, and who give the tale, and who, perhaps, never emendations were those of the author. We heard the name of Shakspere. To the know of nothing in literary history more legend only is the blighted place appropriate. curious or more instructive than the example For who that has ever been thoroughly of minute attention, as well as consummate imbued with the story of Juliet, as told by skill, exhibited by Shakspere in correcting, Shakspere, -who that has heard his “glori. augmenting, and amending the first copy i ous song of praise on that inexpressible feelof this play.
ing which ennobles the soul and gives to it “Of the truth of Juliet's story, they (the its highest sublimity, and which elevates Veronese) seem tenacious to a degree, insist- even the senses themselves into soul,"a— ing on the fact-giving a date (1303), and who that, in our great poet's matchless delineshowing a tomb. It is a plain, open, and ation of Juliet's love, has perceived “whatpartly decayed sarcophagus, with withered ever is most intoxicating in the odour of a leaves in it, in a wild and desolate conventual southern spring, languishing in the song of garden, once a cemetery, now ruined to the the nightingale, or voluptuous on the first very graves. The situation struck me as opening of the rose," b—who, indeed, that very appropriate to the legend, being blighted looks upon the tomb of the Juliet of Shak. as their love." Byron thus described the spere, can see only a shapeless ruin amidst tomb of Juliet to his friend Moore, as he wildness and desolation ? saw it at the close of autumn, when
- A grave? o, no, a lantern, withered leaves had dropped into the decayed For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes sarcophagus, and the vines that are trailed
This vault a feasting presence full of light." above it had been stripped of their fruit.
In 'Romeo and Juliet' the principle of His letter to Moore, in which this passage limiting the pathetic according to the degree occurs, is dated the 7th November. But in which it is calculated to produce emotions this wild and desolate garden only struck • A. W. Schlegel's · Lectures.' Ibid.
of pleasure, is interwoven with the whole of each with reference to the whole; showed structure and conduct of the play. The why such a particular circle of characters tragical part of the story, from the first and relations was placed around the two scene to the last, is held in subjection to the lovers ; explained the signification of the beautiful. It is not only that the beautiful mirth here and there scattered; and justified comes to the relief of the tragic, as in ‘Lear' the use of the occasional heightening given and Othello,' but here the tragic is only a to the poetical colours.”a Schlegel wisely mode of exhibiting the beautiful under its did this to exhibit what is more remarkable most striking aspects. Shakspere never in- in Shakspere than in any other poet, “the tended that the story of 'Romeo and Juliet' thorough formation of a work, even in its should lacerate the heart. When Mrs. Inch- minutest part, according to a leading ideabald, therefore, said, in her preface to the the dominion of the animating spirit over acted play, “Romeo and Juliet' is called a all the means of execution.” The general pathetic tragedy, but it is not so in reality criticism of Schlegel upon 'Romeo and -it charms the understanding and delights Juliet' is based upon a perfect comprehenthe imagination, without melting, though it sion of this great principle upon which Shaktouches, the heart,"—she paid the highest spere worked. The following is the close of compliment to Shakspere's skill as an artist, a celebrated passage upon 'Romeo and for he had thoroughly worked out his own Juliet,' which has often been quoted ;-but idea.
it is altogether so true and so beautiful, that Coleridge has described the homogeneous we cannot resist the pleasure of circulating ness—the totality of interest—which is the it still more widely :great characteristic of this play, by one of “ Whatever is most intoxicating in the those beautiful analogies which could only odour of a southern spring, languishing in proceed from the pen of a true poet : the song of the nightingale, or voluptuous
“Whence arises the ha pony that strikes on the first opening of the rose, is breathed us in the wildest natural landscapes,-in the into this poem. But, even more rapidly than relative shapes of rocks, the harmony of the earliest blossoms of youth and beauty colours in the heaths, ferns, and lichens, the decay, it hurries on from the first timidlyleaves of the beech and the oak, the stems bold declaration of love and modest return, and rich brown branches of the birch and to the most unlimited passion, to an irrevoother mountain trees, varying from verging cable union; then, amidst alternating storms autumn to returning spring, --compared with of rapture and despair, to the death of the the visual effect from the greater number of two lovers, who still appear enviable as their artificial plantations ?—From this, that the love survives them, and as by their death natural landscape is effected, as it were, by a they have obtained a triumph over every single energy modified ab intra in each com separating power. The sweetest and the ponent part. And, as this is the particular bitterest, love and hatred, festivity and dark excellence of the Shaksperian drama gene- forebodings, tender embraces and sepulchres, rally, so is it especially characteristic of the the fulness of life and self-annihilation, are Romeo and Juliet.'
all here brought close to each other; and all Schlegel carried out the proofs of this asser- these contrasts are so blended in the har. tion in an Essay on “Romeo and Juliet'; monious and wonderful work into a unity of in which, to use his own words, he "went impression, that the echo which the whole through the whole of the scenes in their leaves behind in the mind resembles a single order, and demonstrated the inward nécessity but endless sigh."
Literary Remains,' vol. ii. p. 150. b. Charakteristiken und Kritiken.'
Escalus, Prince of Verona. Appears, Act I. sc. 1. Act III. sc. 1. Act V. sc. 3. Paris, a young nobleman, kinsman to the
Prince. Appears, Act I. sc. 2. Act III. sc. 4. Act IV.sc. 1; sc. 5.
Act V. sc. 3. MONTAGUE, head of a house, at variance with
the house of Capulet.
Appears, Act III. sc. I. Act V. sc. 3. CAPULET, head of a house, at variance with
the house of Montague. Appeurs, Act I. sc. I; sc. 2; sc. 5. Act III.sc. 1; sc. 4; sc. 5.
Act IV. sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 5. Act V. sc. 3.
Appeara, Act I. sc. 5.
Act II. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 4; sc. 6.
to Romeo. Appears, Act I. sc. 4. Act II. sc. 1 ; sc. 4. Act III. sc. 1. BENVOLIO, nephew to Montague, and friend
Act II. sc. 1; sc. 4. Act III. sc. I.
FRIAR LAURENCE, a Franciscan.
Appears, Act V. sc. 2.
SAMPSON, servant to Capulet.
Appears, Act I. sc. I.
Appears, Act I. sc. I.
Appears, Act I. sc. l.
Page to Paris.
Appears, Act III. sc. 1.
Appears, Act I. sc. 1. Act III. sc. 2.
Lady CAPULET, wife to Capulet.
JULIET, daughter to Capulet.
Nurse to Juliet. Appears, Act I. sc. 3; se. 5. Act II. sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 5.
Act III. sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 5.
Act IV. sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 4; sc. 5. Citizens of Verona; several Men and Wo
men, relations to both houses; Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants.
(IN THE FIFTH
SCENE,-DURING THE GREATER PART OF THE PLAY, IN VERONA;
ACT) at Mantua.
PROLOGUE. Two households, both alike in dignity, The fearful passage of their death-mark'd In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
love, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, And the continuance of their parents' Where civil blood makes civil hands un
Which, but their children's end, nought From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
could remove, A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows The which if you with patient ears attend, Do, with their death, bury their parents' What here shall miss, our toil shall strive strife.
Sam. Gregory, o' my word, we 'll not carry coals '.
moved, thou runn'st away. Sam. A dog of that house shall move me to stand : I will take the wall of any
man or maid of Montague's. GRE. That shows thee a weak slave ; for the weakest goes to the wall.
• The first quarto of 1597, which we mark as (A), “Stand to it.”