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like the work of Greene or Peele. Titus Andronicus magnificent conceptions which were afterwards emresembles the style of Marlow, and if written by bodied in the Lear, the Macbeth, Othello, and Tempest Shakspeare, as distinct contemporary testimony of his tragic muse. affirms, it must have been a very youthful produc- The chronology of Shakspeare's plays has been tion. The Taming of the Shrew is greatly indebted arbitrarily fixed by Malone and others, without adeto an old play on the same subject, and must also quate authority. Mr Collier has shown its incorbe referred to the same period. It is doubtful rectness in various particulars. He has proved, for whether Shakspeare wrote any of the first part of example, that Othello' was on the stage in 1602, Henry VI. The second and third parts are model. though Malone assigns its first appearance to 1604. led on two older plays, the Contention of York and Macbeth' is put down to 1606, though we only know Lancaster,' and the • True Tragedy of the Duke of that it existed in 1610. Henry VIII, is assigned to York. Whether these old dramas were early 1603, yet it is mentioned by Sir Henry Wotton as a sketches of Shakspeare's own, or the labours of some new play in 1613, and we know that it was produced obscure and forgotten playwright, cannot now be with unusual scenic decoration and splendour in ascertained: they contain the death-scene of Cardi- that year. The Roman plays were undoubtedly nal Beaufort, the last speech of the Duke of York, among his latest works. The Tempest has been and the germs of that vigorous delineation of cha- usually considered the last, but on no derisive authoracter and passion completed in ‘Richard IIT.' Werity. Adopting this popular belief, Mr Campbell has know no other dramatist of that early period, ex-remarked, that the Tempest' has a 'sort of sacredcepting Marlow, who could have written those | ness' as the last drama of the great poet, who, as if powerful sketches. From the old plays, Shakspeare conscious that this was to be the case, has been borrowed no less than 1771 entire lines, and nearly inspired to typify himself as a wise, potent, and double that number are merely alterations. Such benevolent magician,' wholesale appropriation of the labours of others is There seems no good reason for believing that found in none of his other historical plays (as King Shakspeare did not continue writing on to the period John, Richard III., &c., modelled on old dramas), of his death in 1616; and such a supposition is counand we therefore incline to the opinion, that the tenanced by a tradition thus recorded in the diary Contention and the True Tragedy were early pro- of the Rev. John Ward, A.M., vicar of Stratfordductions of the poet, afterwards enlarged and im-on-Avon, extending from 1648 to 1679. “I have proved by him, as part of his English historical heard,' says the careless and incurious vicar, who series, and then named Henry VI.

might have added largely to our stock of ShakThe gradual progress of Shakspeare's genius is spearian facts, had he possessed taste, acuteness, or supposed to have been not unobserved by Spenser. industry—I have heard that Mr Shakspeare was a In 1594, or 1595, the venerable poet wrote his pas. natural wit, without any art at all. He frequented toral, entitled 'Colin Clout's Come Home Again,' in the plays all his younger time, but in his elder days which he commemorates his brother poets under lived at Stratford, and supplied the stage with two feigned names. The gallant Raleigh is the Shep- plays every year, and for it had an allowance so herd of the Ocean, Sir Philip Sidney is Astrophel, large, that he spent at the rate of £1000 a-year, as and other living authors are characterised by ficti- I have heard. Shakspeare, Drayton, and Ben Jontious appellations. He concludes as follows: son, had a merry meeting, and it seems drank too And then, though last not least, is Aëtion,

hard, for Shakspeare died of a fever there contracted.'

We place no great reliance on this testimony, either A gentler shepherd may nowhere be found,

as to facts literary or personal. Those who have Whose muse, full of high thoughts' invention, Doth, like himself, heroically sound.

studied the works of the great dramatist, and marked

his successive approaches to perfection, must see that The sonorous and chivalrous-like name of Shak. he united the closest study to the keenest observaspeare seems here designated. The poet had then tion, that he attained to the highest pitch of dramapublished his two classical poems, and probably tic art, and the most accurate philosophy of the most of his English historical plays had been acted. human mind, and that he was, as Schlegel has hapThe supposition that Shakspeare was meant, is at pily remarked, ' a profound artist, and not a blind least a pleasing one. We love to figure Spenser and and wildly-luxuriant genius."* Raleigh sitting under the shady alders' on the banks of Mulla, reading the manuscript of the 'Faery | * Coleridge boasted of being the first in time who publicly Queen ;' but it is not less interesting to consider the demonstrated, to the full extent of the position, that the sup. great poet watching the dawn of that mighty mind

posed irregularity and extravagances of Shakspeare were the which was to eclipse all its contemporaries. A few

mere dreams of a pedantry that arraigned the eagle because it

had not the dimensions of the swan.' Ile maintains, with his years afterwards, in 1598, we meet with an impor

usual fine poctical appreciation and feeling, that that law of tant notice of Shaksreare by Francis Meres, a con.

unity which has its foundations, not in the factitious necessity temporary author. “As Plautus and Seneca,' he

of custom, but in nature itself, the unity of feeling, is everywhere, says, are accounted the best for comedy and tra- and at all times, observed by Shakspeare in his plays. Read gedy among the Latins, so Shakspeare, among the

Romeo and Juliet-all is youth and spring : youth with its folEnglish, is the most excellent in both kinds for the lies, its virtues, its precipitancies ; spring with its odours, its stage; for comedy, witness his Gentlemen of Verona, flowers, and its transiency; it is one and the same feeling that his Errors, his Love's Labour Lost, his Love's commences, goes through, and ends the play.' This unity of Labour Won (or All's Well that Ends Well), his Mid action, or of character and interest, conspicuous in Shakspeare, summer Night's Dream, and his Merchant of Venice; Coleridge illustrates by an illustration drawn, with the taste of for tragedy, his Richard II., Richard III., Henry a poet, from external nature. Whence arises the harmony IV., King John, Titus Andronicus, and his Romeo

that strikes us in the wildest natural landscapes-in the relaand Juliet.' This was indeed a brilliant contribu

tive shapes of rocks-the harmony of colours in the heaths,

ferns, and licheng--the leaves of the beech and the oak--the tion to the English drama, throwing Greene, Peele,

stems and rich brown branches of the birch and other mounand Marlow immeasurably into shade, and far

tain trees, varying from verging autumn to returning springtranscending all the previous productions of the

compared with the visual effect from the greater number of English stage. The harvest, however, was not yet artificial plantations? From this-that the natural landscape half reaped--the glorious intellect of Shakspeare is effected, as it were, by a single energy modified ab intra in was still forming, and his imagination nursing those l each component part. in working out his conceptions, either


Eleven of the dramas were printed during Shak-guage (like 'light from heaven')—his imagery and speare's life, probably from copies piratically ob-versification. tained. It was the interest of the managers that That Shakspeare deviated from the dramatic uninew and popular pieces should not be published ; ties of time, place, and action, laid down by the but we entertain the most perfect conviction, that ancients, and adopted by the French theatre, is wellthe poet intended all his original works, as he had known, and needs no defence. In his tragedies, he revised some, for publication. The Merry Wives of amply fulfils what Aristotle admits to be the end Windsor' is said to have been written in fourteen and object of tragedy, to beget admiration, terror, or days, by command of Queen Elizabeth, who wished sympathy. His mixture of comic with tragic scenes to see Falstaff in love. Shakspeare, however, was is sometimes a blemish, but it was the fault of his anxious for his fame, as well as eager to gratify the age; and if he had lived to edit his works, some of queen; when the temporary occasion was served, these incongruities would doubtless have been exhe returned to his play, filled up his first in perfect punged. But, on the whole, such blending of oppooutline, and heightened the humour of the dialogue site qualities and characters is accordant with the and character. Let not the example of this greatest actual experience and vicissitudes of life. No course name in English literature be ever quoted to sup of events, however tragic in its results, moves on in port the false opinion, that excellence can be attained measured, unvaried solemnity, nor would the Engwithout study and labour!

lish taste tolerate this stately French style. The In 1623 appeared the first collected edition of great preceptress of Shakspeare was Nature : he Shakspeare's dramatic works-seven years after his spoke from her inspired dictates, 'warm from the own death, and six months after that of his widow, heart and faithful to its fires;' and in his disregard of who, we suspect, had a life-interest in the plays. classic rules, pursued at will his winged way through The whole were contained in one folio volume, and all the labyrinths of fancy and of the human heart. a preface and dedication were supplied by the poet's These celestial flights, however, were regulated, as fellow comedians, Hemming and Condell.

we have said, by knowledge and taste. Mere poetiThe plots of Shakspeare's dramas were nearly all cal imagination might have created a Caliban, or borrowed, some from novels and romances, others evoked the airy spirits of the enchanted island and from legendary tales, and some from older plays. the Midsummer Dream; but to delineate a DesdeIn his Roman subjects, he followed North's transla mona or Imogen, a Miranda or Viola, the influence tion of Plutarch's Lives ; his English historical plays of a pure and refined spirit, cultivated and disci. are chiefly taken from Holinshed's Chronicle. From plined by 'gentle arts,' and familiar by habit, thought, the latter source he also derived the plot of · Mac and example, with the better parts of wisdom and beth,' perhaps the most transcendent of all his works. humanity, were indispensably requisite. Peele or A very cursory perusal will display the gradual pro Marlow might have drawn the forest of Arden, with gress and elevation of his art. In the • Two Gentle its woodland glades, but who but Shakspeare could men of Verona,' and the earlier comedies, we see the have supplied the moral beauty of the scene?-the timidity and immaturity of youthful genius; a half- refined simplicity and gaiety of Rosalind, the philoformed style, bearing frequent traces of that of his sophic meditations of Jaques, the true wisdom, tenpredecessors; fantastic quibbles and conceits (which derness, and grace, diffused over the whole of that he never wholly abandoned); only a partial develop- antique half-courtly and half pastoral drama. These ment of character; a romantic and playful fancy; and similar personations, such as Benedict and Beabut no great strength of imagination, energy, or pastrice, Mercutio, &c., seem to us even more wondersion. In Richard II. and III., the creative and master | ful than the loftier characters of Shakspeare. No mind are visible in the delineation of character. In types of them could have existed but in his own the Midsummer Night's Dream,' the Merchant of mind. The old drama and the chroniclers furnished Venice,' Romeo and Juliet,' &c., we find the ripened the outlines of his historical personages, though poetical imagination, prodigality of invention, and a destitute of the heroic ardour and elevation which searching, meditative spirit. These qualities, with he breathed into them. Plutarch and the poets a finer vein of morality and contemplative philo- kindled his classic enthusiasm and taste; old Chapsophy, pervade As You Like It,' and the • Twelfthinian's Homer perhaps rolled its majestic cadences Night.' In Henry IV.,'the Merry Wives,' and Mea- over his ear and imagination; but characters in sure for Measure,' we see his inimitable powers of which polished manners and easy grace are as precomedy, full formed, revelling in an atmosphere of dominant as wit, reflection, or fancy, were then unjoyous life, and fresh as if from the hand of nature. | known to the stage, as to actual life. They are He took a loftier flight in his classical dramas, con- | among the most perfect creations of his genius, and, ceived and finished with consummate taste and free- in reference to his taste and habits, they are valuable dom. In his later tragedies, “Lear,' Hamlet (in its materials for his biography. improved form), “Othello,' Macbeth,' and the. Tem- In judgment, Shakspeare excels his contemporary pest,' all his wonderful faculties and acquirements are dramatists as much as in genius, but at the same found combined-his wit, pathos, passion, and sub-time it must be confessed that he also partakes of limity-his profound knowledge and observation of their errors. To be unwilling to acknowledge any mankind, mellowed by a refined humanity and bene- faults in his plays, is, as Hallam remarks, an exvolence-his imagination richer from skilful culture travagance rather derogatory to the critic than and added stores of information-his unrivalled lan- honourable to the poet.' Fresh from the perusal of

any of his works, and under the immediate effects of of character or passion, we conceive Shakspeare to have laboured

his inspirations-walking, as it were, in a world of for ultimate and lasting fame, not immediate theatrical effect.

his creating, with beings familiar to us almost from His audiences must often have been unable to follow his philo. sophy, his subtle distinctions, and his imagery.

infancy-it seems like sacrilege to breathe one word

The actors must have been equally unable to give effect to many of his

of censure. Yet truth must admit that some of his personations. He was apparently indifferent to both at least plays are hastily and ill-constructed as to plot; that in his great works-and wrote for the mind of the universe.

his proneness to quibble and play with words is There was, however, always enough of ordinary nature, of brought forward in scenes where this peculiarity pomp, or variety of action, for the multitude; and the English constitutes a positive defect; that he is sometimes historical plays, connected with national pride and glory, must indelicate where indelicacy is least pardonable, and have rendered their author popular.

I where it jars most painfully with the associations of

the scene; and that his style is occasionally stiff, excluded by that inquiring temper, which is as chaturgid, and obscure, chiefly because it is at once racteristic of literature in our times, as is its appearhighly figurative and condensed in expression. Ben ance of comparative animation.' Jonson has touched frcely, but with manliness and The difficulty of making selections from Shakfairness, on these defects.

speare must be obvious. If of character, his cha'I remember,' he says, 'the players have often racters are as numerous and diversified as those in mentioned it as an honour to Shakspeare, that in human life; if of style, he has exhausted all styles, his writing (whatsoever he penned) he never blotted and has one for each description of poetry and acout a line. My answer hath been, would he had tion; if of wit, humour, satire, or pathos, where shall blotted a thousand! which they thought a male- our choice fall, where all are so abundant? We have volent speech. I had not told posterity this, but felt our task to be something like being deputed to for their ignorance who chose that circumstance to search in some magnificent forest for a handful of commend their friend by wherein he most faulted, the finest leaves or plants, and as if we were diligently and to justify mine own candour; for I loved the exploring the world of woodland beauty to accomman, and do honour his memory on this side idolatry | plish faithfully this hopeless adventure. Happily, as much as any. He was, indeed, honest, and of Shakspeare is in all hands, and a single leaf will rean open and free nature ; had an excellent phantasy, call the fertile and majestic scenes of his inspiration. brave notions, and gentle expressions, wherein he flowed with that facility, that sometimes it was necessary he should be stopped, su filimandus erat, as

[Murder of King Duncan.) Augustus said of Haterius. His wit was in his own power; would the rule of it had been so too! (Macbeth, prompted by ambition, and pushed on by his Many times he fell into those things could not savage wife, resolves to murder the king, then his guest, and escape laughter, as when he said, in the person of seize the crown.] Cæsar, one speaking to him, “ Cæsar, thou dost me

MACBETH and a Servant. wrong," he replied, “ Cæsar did never wrong but with just cause," and such like, which were ridicu

Macb. Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, lous. * But he redeemed his vices with his virtues. | She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed. There was ever more in him to be praised than to

[E.cit Servant. be pardoned.'

Is this a dagger which I see before me, The first edition of Shakspeare was published, as

The handle toward my hand ? Come, let me clutch thee, already stated, in 1623. A second edition was pub

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. lished in 1632, the same as the first, excepting that

at Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible it was more disfigured with errors of the press. A

To feeling as to sight or art thou but third edition was published in 1644, and a fourth in

A dagger of the mind, a false creation 1685. The public admiration of this great English

Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain ! classic now demanded that he should receive the

I see thee yet, in forn as palpable honours of a commentary; and Rowe, the poet,

As this which now I draw. gave an improved edition in 1709. Pope, Warbur

Thou marshal'st me the way that I was going ; ton, Johnson, Chalmers, Steevens, and others, suc

And such an instrument I was to use.

Mine eyes are made the fools o' th' other senses, cessively published editions of the poet, with copious

Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still; notes. The best of the whole is the voluminous edition by Malone and Boswell, published in twenty

And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,

Which was not so before. There's no such thing. one volumes, in 1821. The critics of the great poet

| It is the bloody business, which informs are innumerable, and they bid fair, like Banquo's

| Thus to mine eyes. Now, o'er one half the world progeny, to 'stretch to the crack of doom.' The N

Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse scholars of Germany have distinguished themsclves The

| Tbe curtain'd sleep : now witchcraft celebrates by their philosophical and critical dissertations on Pale Hecate's offerings : and wither'd Murder, the genius of Shakspeare. There never was an Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf. author, ancient or modern, whose works have been Whose howI's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace, so carefully analysed and illustrated, 80 eloquently | With Tarquin's ravishing strides, tow'rds his design expounded, or so universally admired.

| Moves like a ghost. Thou sound and firm-set earth, He so sepulchred in such pomp dost lie,

Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

| Thy very stones prate of my whereabout, Milton on Shakspeare, 1630.

| And take the present horror from the time,

Which now suits with it. Whilst I threat, he lives-• Since the beginning of the present century,' says a Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives. writer in the Edinburgh Review (1840), «Shak

[A bell rings. speare's influence on our literature has been very I go, and it is done ; the bell invites me : great; and the recognition of his supremacy not Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell only more unqualified, but more intelligent than | That summons thee to heaven or to hell. [Exit. ever. In many instances, indeed, and particularly

Enter Lady MACBETH. by reason of the exaggerated emphasis which is so apt to infect periodical writing, the veneration for Lady. That which hath made them drunk, hath the greatest of all poets has risen to a height which made me bold : amounts literally to idolatry. But the error is the What hath quench'd them, hath given me fire. Hark ! safest which can be committed in judging the works

peace! of genius; and the risk of any evil consequences is It was the owl that shriek’d, the fatal bellman,

Which gives the stern'st good-night-he is about it * Jonson's allusion is to the following line in the third act of

The doors are open ; and the surfeited grooms Julius Cæsar

Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugg'd Know Cæsar doth not wrong, nor without cause

their possets, Will he be satisfied.

That death and nature do contend about them, The passago was probably altered by Ben's suggestion, or still Whether they live or die. more likely it was corrupted by the blunder of the player. | Macb. [Within.) Who's there what ho!

Lady. Alack ! I am afraid they have awak'd ;

Enter Lady MACBETH.
And 'tis not done. Th' attempt, and not the deed,
Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready;

Lady. My hands are of your colour ; but I shame He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled

To wear a heart so white. (Knock.) I hear a knocking My father as he slept, I [Enter Macbeth) had done't.

At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber;
My husband!

A little water clears us of this deed,
Macb. I've done the deed—didst thou not hear a

How easy is it then? Your constancy noise !

Hath left you unattended. [Knocking.] Hark, more Lady. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry.

knocking! Did not you speak ?

Get on your night-gown, lest occasion call us, Macb. When ?

And show us to be watchers. Be not lost Lady. Now.

So poorly in your thoughts. Macb. As I descended !

Macb. To know my deed, 'twere best not know Lady. Ay.


(Knock. Macó. Hark !--who lies i' th' second chamber? Wake, Duncan, with this knocking. Ay, 'would thou Lady. Donalbain.

couldst !

[Exeunt. Macó. This is a sorry sight. (Looks on his hands. Lady. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.

(Love Scene by Night in a Garden.) Macb. There's one did laugh" in's sleep, and one

Romeo. He jests at scars, that never felt a woundcried, Murder !

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks ; That they did wake each other ; I stood and heard

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun! them;

[Juliet appears above at a window. But they did say their prayers, and address'd them

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Again to sleep.

Who is already sick and pale with grief, Lady. There are two lodg'd together.

That thou her maid art far more fair than she; Macb. One cried, God bless us ! and Amen ! the

Be not her maid since she is envious ; other ;

Her vestal livery is but sick and green, As they had scen me with these hangman's hands,

And none but fools do wear it ; cast it off Listening their fear, I could not say, Amen,

It is my lady ; 0! it is my love ; When they did say, God bless us.

O that she knew she were !Lady. Consider it not so deeply.

She speaks, yet she says nothing. What of that ! Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce Amen?

Her eye discourses ; I will answer itI had most need of blessing, and Amen

I am too bold ; 'tis not to me she speaks : Stuck in my throat.

Two of the fairest stars of all the heav'n, Lady. These deeds must not be thought,

Having some business, do intreat her eyes, After these ways ; so, it will make us mad.

To twinkle in their spheres till they return. Macb. Methought I heard a voice cry, Sleep no

What if her eyes were there, they in her hcad ! more!

The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars, Macbeth does murder sleep-the innocent sleep

| As daylight doth a lamp: her eyes in heav'n Sleep that knits up the raveli'd sleeve of care, The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,

Would through the airy region stream so bright,

That birds would sing, and think it were not night. Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,

See how she lcans her cheek upon her hand ! Chief nourisher in life's feast.

O that I were a glove upon that hand, Lady. What do you mean?

That I might touch that cheek ! Macó. Still it cry'd, Sleep no more, to all the

Jul. Ah me!

Rom. She speaks.
Glamis hath murder'd sleep. And therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more ; Macbeth shall sleep no more!

Oh, speak again, bright angel! for thou art

As glorious to this sight, being c'er my head,
Lady. Who was it that thus cry'd! Why, worthy | As is a winged messenger of heav'n,
"Thane ;

Unto the white-upturned, wond'ring eyes
You do unbend your noble strength, to think
So brain-sickly of things. Go, get some water,

Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand."

When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds, Why did you bring these daggers from the place ?

And sails upon the boson of the air.

Jul. O Romeo, Romeo They must lie there. Go, carry them, and smear

w herefore art thou Romeo !

Deny thy father, and refuse thy name : The sleepy grooms with blood.

Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
Macb. I'll go no more.

And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
I am afraid to think what I have done ;
Look’t on't again, I dare rot.

Rom. Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at

[Aside. Lady. Infirm of purpose :

Jul. 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy : Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
Are but as pictures ; 'tis the eye of childhood

What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,

Nor arm, nor face-nor any other part
For it must seem their guilt.

Belonging to a man. O, be some other name ! [Exit.

What's in a name? That which we call a rose, Knocking within.

By any other name would smell as sweet.

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Macb. Whence is that knocking!

[Starting. Retain that dear perfection which he owes, How is't with me, when every noise appals me? Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name ; What hands are here ?-ha! they pluck out mine And for that name, which is no part of thee, eyes.

Take all myself. Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood

Rom. I take thee at thy word : Clean from my hand ? No ; this my hand will Call me but love, and I'll be new baptis'd ; rather

Henceforth I never will be Romeo. The multitudinous seas incarnardine,

Jul. What man art thou, that thus, bescreen'd in night, Making the green one red

| So stumblest on my counsel !

Rom. By a name

Jul. What satisfaction canst thou have to-night ? I know not how to tell thee who I am:

Rom. Th' exchange of thy love's faithful vow for My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,

mine. Because it is an enemy to thee.

Jul. I gave thee mine before thou did'st request it: Had I it written, I would tear the word.

And yet I would it were to give again. Jul. My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words | Rom. Wouldst thou withdraw it 7 for what purpose, Of that tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.

love ! Art thou not Romneo, and a Montague ?

Ju. But to be frank, and give it thee again,
Rom. Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike. And yet I wish but for the thing I have :

Jul. How cam’st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore! My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
The orchard walls are high, and hard to climb; My love as deep ; the more I give to thee,
And the place death, considering who thou art, The more I have, for both are infinite.
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.

I hear some noise within. Dear love, adieu !
Rom. With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these

[Nurse calls within. walls,

Anon, good nurse ! Sweet Montague, be true. For stony limits cannot hold love out;

Stay but a little, I will come again.

[E.cit. And what love can do, that dares love attempt : Řom. O blessed, blessed night ! I am afear'a," Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.

Being in night, all this is but a dream; Jul. If they do see thee, they will murder thee. Too flattering sweet to be substantial.

Rom. Alack ! there lies more peril in thine eye Than twenty of their swords ; look thou but sweet,

Re-enter JULIET above. And I am proof against their enmity.

| Jul. Three words, dear Romeo, and good-night Jul. I would not for the world they saw thee here.

indeed. Rom. I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes, If that thy bent of love be honourable, And but thou love me, let them find me here; Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, My life were better ended by their hate,

By one that I'll procure to come to thee, Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.

Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite ; Jul. By whose direction found'st thou out this place? And all my fortunes at thy foot i'll lay,

Rom. By love, that first did prompt me to inquire ; And follow thee, my love, throughout the world. He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes.

[Within : Madam ! I am no pilot ; yet wert thou as far

I come, anon-but if thou mean'st not well,
As that vast shore, wash'd with the farthest sea, I do beseech thee -[Within : Madam !] By and by,
I would adventure for such merchandise.

I come
Jul. Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face, To cease thy suit, and leave me to my grief.
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek

To-morrow will I send.
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night. Rom. So thrive my soul
Fain would I dwell on form ; fain, fain deny

Jul. A thousand times good night.
What I have spoke-but farewell compliment !

Rom. A thousand times the worse, to want thy light. Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ay ; Love goes tow'rd love, as school-boys from their books ; And I will take thy word. Yet if thou swear'st, But love from love, tow'rds school with heavy looks. Thou may'st prove false : at lovers' perjuries, They say, Jove laughs. O, gentle Romeo !

Enter JULIET again. If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully;

Jul. Hist! Romeo, hist! O for a falconer's voice, Or, if thou think'st I am too quickly won,

To lure this tassel gentle back again, I'll frown and be perverse, and say thee nay,

Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud; So thou wilt woo; but else not for the world.

Else would I tear the cave where Eche lies, In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,

And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine, And therefore thou may'st think my 'haviour light; | With repetition of my Romeo's name. But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true

Rom. It is my soul that calls upon my name. Than those that have more coying to be strange. How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, I should have been more strange, I must confess. Like softest music to attending ears ! But that thou over-heard'st, ere I was 'ware,

Jul. Romeo ! My true love's passion ; therefore pardon me,

Rom. My sweet! And not impute this yielding to light love,

Jul. At what o'clock to-morrow Which the dark night hath so discover'd.

Shall I send to thee ! Rom. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear,

Rom. At the hour of nine. That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops,

Jul. I will not fail ; 'tis twenty years till then. Jul. O swear not by the moon, th' inconstant moon, I have forgot why I did call thee back. That monthly changes in her circled orb:

Rom. Let me stand here till thou remember it. Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

Jul. I shall forget, to have thee still stand there; Rom. What shall I swear by!

Rememb'ring how I love thy company. Jul. Do not swear at all;

Rom. And I'll still stay to have thee still forget, Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,

Forgetting any other home but this. Which is the god of my idolatry,

Jul. 'Tis almost morning. I would have thee gono; And I'll believe thee.

And yet no further than a wanton's bird, Rom. If my heart's dear love

Who lets it hop a little from her hand, Jul. Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, | Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves, I have no joy of this contract to-night ;

| And with a silk thread plucks it back again, It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden,

So loving-jealous of his liberty. Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be

Rom. I would I were thy bird. Ere one can say it lightens. Sweet, good-night! Jul. Sweet, so would I : This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing, May prove a beauteous flower, when next we meet. Good-night, good-night : parting is such sweet sorrow, Good-night, good-night-as sweet repose and rest That I shall say good-night, till it be morrow. [Erit, Come to thy heart, as that within my breast !

Rom. Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy Rom. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied ?

brcast !

But ioes tow'rd love, as sche Worse, to want theint.

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