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Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-brow'd
Give me my Romeo: and, when he shall die,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine,
To an impatient child, that hath new robes,
Enter Nurse, with Cords.
And she brings news: and every tongue, that speaks But Romeo's name, speaks heavenly eloquence.Now, nurse, what news? What hast thou there, the cords,
That Romeo bade thee fetch?
Ay, ay, the cords. [Throws them down.
Jul. Ah me! what news! why dost thou wring
Nurse. Ah well-a-day! he's dead, he's dead, he's dead!
We are undone, lady, we are undone !—
Alack the day!-he's gone, he's kill'd, he's dead!
Why here walk I, in the black brow of night.'
• Milton had this speech in his thoughts when he wrote Il
Hide me from day's garish eye.'
Till civil-suited morn appear.' Garish is gaudy,
Though heaven cannot:-O Romeo! Romeo!
This torture should be roar'd in dismal hell.
Nurse. I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes,— God save the mark 11!-here on his manly breast: A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse; Pale, pale as ashes, all bedawb'd in blood, All in gore blood; I swoonded at the sight. Jul. O break, my heart!-poor bankrupt, break at once!
To prison, eyes! ne'er look on liberty!
Vile earth, to earth resign; end motion here;
Jul. What storm is this, that blows so contrary?
Nurse. Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished; Romeo, that kill'd him, he is banished.
9 In Shakspeare's time the affirmative particle ay was usually written I, and here it is necessary to retain the old spelling. 10 See what is said of the basilisk, King Henry VI. Part II. Act iii. Sc. 2.
See Othello, Act i. Sc. 1.
Jul. O God!-did Romeo's hand shed Tybalt's
Nurse. It did, it did; alas the day! it did.
Jul. O serpent heart, hid with a flow'ring face 12 !
Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
Was ever book, containing such vile matter,
All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.-
Blister'd be thy tongue,
For such a wish! he was not born to shame :
12 The same image occurs in Macbeth:
look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it.'
The succeeding line has its parallel in King John :
Rash, inconsiderate, firy voluntaries,
With ladies' faces and fierce dragons' spleens.'
Again in King Henry VIII.:
'You have angels' faces, but Heaven knows your hearts.' The line' Did ever dragon,' &c. and the following eight lines, are not in the quarto, 1597.
So in Painter's Palace of Pleasure, tom. ii. p. 223 :-' Is it possible that under such beautie and rare comelinesse, disloyaltie and treason may have their siege and lodging?'
For 'tis a throne where honour may be crown'd
O, what a beast was I to chide at him!
Nurse. Will you speak well of him that kill'd your cousin?
Jul. Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband? Ah; poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth 13 thy
When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it?— But wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin? That villain cousin would have kill'd my husband: Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring; Your tributary drops belong to woe,
Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy 14.
My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain; And Tybalt's dead, that would have slain my hus
All this is comfort: Wherefore weep I then?
Like damned guilty deeds to sinners' minds;
13 To smooth is to flatter, to speak fair; it is here metaphorically used for to mitigate or assuage the asperity of censure with which Romeo's name would be now mentioned. See vol. ix. p. 275, note 9.
14 So in The Tempest:
I am a fool
To weep at what I'm glad of.'
15 i. e. is worse than the loss of ten thousand Tybalts.'
Thy father, or thy mother, nay, or both,
In that word's death; no words can that woe sound.— Where is my father, and my mother, nurse ?
Nurse. Weeping and wailing over Tybalt's corse: Will you go to them? I will bring you thither. Jul. Wash they his wounds with tears? mine shall be spent,
When theirs are dry, for Romeo's banishment. Take up those cords:-Poor ropes, you are beguil'd, Both and I; you for Romeo is exil'd:
He made you for a highway to my bed;
But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed.
Come, cords; come, nurse; I'll to my wedding bed;
Jul. O find him! give this ring to my true knight, And bid him come to take his last farewell.
SCENE III. Friar Laurence's Cell.
Enter FRIAR LAURENCE and ROMEO.
Fri. Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful
Affliction is enamour'd of thy parts,
And thou art wedded to calamity.
16 Modern is trite, common. So in As You Like It:
Full of wise saws, and modern instances.'