« PreviousContinue »
, both alike in dignit', (i) In fair Verona, (where we lay our Scene:) From ancient grudge break to new mutiny;
Where civil blood makes civil bands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of far-croft lovers take their life; Whose mis-adventur'd piteous overthrows
Do, with their death, bury their parents' Arife.
(1) Two boufebolds, &c.] The fable of this play is built on a real tragedy, that happen'd about the beginning of the 14th century. The story, with all its circumstances, is given us by Bandello, in one of his novels; as also by Girolame da Corte in his history of Verona, The young lover, as this historian tells us,' was call's, Romeo Mondecrbi ; and the lady, Julietta Capello. Captain Breval in his travels tells us, that, when he was at Verona, he was thewn an old building, (converted into an house for orphans) in which the tomb of these unhappy lovers had formerly been broken up; and that he was info: m'd by his guide in all the particulars of their story: which put him in mind of our Author's play on the subject. The captain has cles'd his account of this affair with a reproof to our excellent OTWAY, for having turn'd this story to that of Caius Marius; con. sidering, (says he) "how inconsistent it was (to pass by other absuro dities) to make the Romans bury their bodies in the latter end of 6. the consular times, when every School-boy knows, that it was the .6. custom to burn them first, and then bury their afhes."I can. not help observing in respect to Otrưay's memory, that both interring and burring were at one and the same time used by the Romans. For instance, Marius was buried; and Sylla, his enemy, was by his own express orders burnt; the first of the Cornelian family, that had been to discos.'d of. Pliny gives us the reason for such his orders : ldq; voluille, veritum talionem, eruto Caii Marii cadavere. (Nat. Hift. 1. vii. cap.:55.) He fear'd reprisals upon his own body, his soldiers having dụg up and committed indignities on the body of Marius. To