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But He, that hath the steerage of my course,
A Hall in CAPULET's House.
Musicians waiting. Enter Servants. 1 Sero. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to Lake away ? he shift a trencher !he scrape a trencher!
2 Serv. When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's hands, and they unwash'd too, 'tis a foul thing.
1 Serv. Away with the joint-stools, remove the court-cupboard, look to the plate. — Good thou, save me a piece of marchpane ; * and, as thou lovest me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone, and Nell. - Antony! and Potpan!
2 Serv. Ay, boy; ready.
20 So in the first quarto; the other old copies have suit instead of sail,
21 Here the folio adds : “ They march about the stage, and serving men come forth with their napkins."
1 The opening of this scene, down to the entrance of Capulet, is not in the quarto of 1597.
2 To shift a trencher was technical. Trenchers were used in Shakespeare's time and long after by persons of good fasbion and quality.
3 The court cupboard was the ancient sideboard: it was a cuin brous piece of furniture, with stages or shelves gradually receding, like stairs, to the top, whereon the plate was displayed at festivals They are mentioned in many old comedies.
Marchpane was a constant article in the desserts of our ancestors. It was a sweet cake, composed of 6lberts, almonds, pista. chios, pine kernels, and sugar of roses, with a small portior of Gour. They were often made in fantastic forms.
I Serv. You are look'd for and callid for, ask'd for and sought for, in the great chamber.
2 Serv. We cannot be here and there too. — Cheerly, boys! be brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.
[They retire behind.
Enter CAPULET, &c., with the Guests and the
Maskers. Cap. Welcome, gentlemen! ladies, that have their
Unplagued with corns, will have a bout with you :Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all . Will now deny to dance ? she that makes dainty,
she, . I'll swear, hath corns: Am I come near you now? You are welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day, That I have worn a visor, and could tell A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, Such as would please ; - 'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis
gone. You are welcome, gentlemen ! —Come, musicians,
play. A hall ! a hall!® give room, and foot it, girls. —
[Music plays, and they dance. More lights, ye knaves! and turn the tables up,” And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot. — Ab, sirrah! this unlook'd-for sport comes well. Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet ; 8
• So the first quarto ; the other old copies, “ will wolk about with you."
H. 6 An exclamation to make room in a crowd for any particular purpose, as we now say a ring! a ring!
7 The ancient tables were fat leaves or boards joined by binges and placed on trestles; when they were to be removed they were therefore turned u
8 Cousin was a 'ommon expression for kinsman.
For you and I are past our dancing-days:
By'r lady, thirty years.
much : "Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio, Come pentecost as quickly as it will, Some five-and-twenty years; and then we mask'd.
2 Cap. 'Tis more, 'tis more: his son is elder, sir ; His son is thirty
1 Cap. Will you tell me that ? His son was but a ward two years ago. Rom. What lady's that, which doth enrich the
hand Of yonder knight?
Serv. I know not, sir.
Rom. O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright' It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear; Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand." Did my heart love till now ? forswear it, sight! I never saw true beauty till this night.
Tyb. This, by his voice, should be a Montague. —
9 So read all the old copies till the second folio, which has, “ Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night.” The Poet has a similar passage in his 27th Sonnet:
“Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
10 So all the old copies excepe the first quarto, which has happy instead of blessed.
Fetch ine my rapier, boy. – What! dares the slave
you so ?
1 Cap. Young Romeo is it ?
'Tis he, that villain Romeo. 1 Cap. Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone, He bears him like a portly gentleman ; And, to say truth, Verona brags of him, To be a virtuous and well-govern'd youth. I would not for the wealth of all this town, Here, in my house, do him disparagement; Therefore be patient, take no note of him : It is my will; the which if thou respect, Show a fair presence, and put off these frowns, An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.
Tyb. It fits, when such a villain is a guest : I'll not endure him. 1 Cap.
He shall be endur'd :
Tyb. Why, uncle, 'tis a shame.
Go to, go to;
11 That is, do you an injury.
You must contrary me! marry, 'tis time, -
go: be quiet, or — More light ! more light, for shame! I'll make you quiet : What !- Cheerly, my hearts ! Tyb. Patience perforce with wilful choler meet
ing, Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting. I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall, Now seeming sweet, convert to bitter gall. [Erit.
Rom. If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this,'3 —
12 Minshew calls a princox “ a ripe-headed young boy," and derives the word from the Latin precox. The more probable derivation is from prime cock; that is, a cock of prime courage or spirit ; hence applied to a pert, conceited, forward person. So in the Return from Parnassus : “Your proud uviversity princox thinkes he is a man of such merit, the world cannot sufficiently eddow him with preferment." And in Phaer's Virgil : - Fyne prin. cox, fresh of face, furst ullring youth by buds onshorne." — Coleridge remarks upon this dialogue thus : “ How admirable is the old man's impetuosity, at once contrasting, yet barmonized, with young Tybalt's quarrelsome violence! But it would be endless to repeat observations of this sort. Every leaf is different on an oak tree; but still we can only say, - our longues defrauding our eyes, - This is another oak-leaf !”
H. 13 The old copies have sinne instead of fine ; an easy misprint when sinne was written with a long s; corrected by Warburton
- In tbe preceding line, the first quarto has unworthy instead of unworthiest. — The temper of this first interview is very happily suggested by the corresponding passage in Brooke's poem : « As soone as had the knight the vyrgins right hand raugb. Within his trembling band her left hath Romeus caught. Tben she with slender band his tender palm haib prest: Wbat joy, trow you, was graffed so in Romeus brest ? At last, with trembling voyce and shamefast chere, the inayde Unto ber Romeus lournde, and thus to him sbe sayde : • 0, blessed be the time of thy arrivall here.' •Whal chauuce (q' be) unware to me, O lady mive, is hapt,
That geves you worthy cause my cuinming bere to blisse?' Fyrst ruthfully she lookd, then sayd with smyling chere, • Mervayle no whit my hearles delight my only knight and sere;