Page:Romeo and Juliet (Dowden).djvu/73

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SC III.]

ROMEO AND JULIET

29

This night you shall behold him at our feast: 80
Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,
And find delight writ there with beauty's pen;
Examine every married[C 1][E 1] lineament,
And see how one another lends content[E 2];
And what obscured[E 3] in this fair volume lies 85
Find written in the margent[E 4] of his eyes.
This precious book of love, this unbound[E 5] lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover[E 6]:
The fish[E 7] lives in the sea; and 'tis much pride
For fair without the fair within[C 2] to hide: 90
That book in many's eyes doth share the glory,

  1. 83. married] Q (alone), severall F.
  2. 90. fair within] F, faire, within Q (alone).
  1. 83. married] The word as used here for mutually dependent is illustrated by the "well-tuned sounds By unions married" of Sonnets, viii.; but several has the authority of all texts except Q.
  2. 84. content] Perhaps with a play on contents of a volume, though elsewhere in Shakespeare only the plural contents is used for what is contained.
  3. 85. obscured] Allen suggests obscure.
  4. 86. margent] Obscurities were often explained in old books in the margin. Compare Hamlet, v. ii. 162. Malone quotes a close parallel: Lucrece, 99–102:

    "But she, that never coped with stranger eyes,
    Could pick no meaning from their parling looks,
    Nor read the subtle-shining secrecies
    Writ in the glassy margents of such books."

    So Dekker, Honest Whore (Pearson's Dekker, ii. p. 136): "I read Strange comments in those margines of your lookes."
  5. 87. unbound] unattached (of a lover); without binding (of a book).
  6. 88. cover] Mason suggests a play on femme couverte, a married woman. That which binds a lover is a wife, and as the lover here is an unbound book, a wife corresponds to the binding or cover of the book. The present passage is the earliest cited in New Eng. Dict, for cover of a book.
  7. 89. The fish] Farmer supposed there was an allusion here to fish-skin used for binding books, a far-fetched notion. Lady Capulet, I think, interrupts her metaphor of a book to say Lovers are at large, like fishes in the sea, but ready to be hooked. For the metaphor of lover as a fish, see Chorus preceding Act II. 8, Much Ado, II. iii. 114, and III. i. 26–29, Ant. and Cleop. II. v. 10–15. This parenthetical metaphor occurs after the description of Paris; then the main metaphor proceeds, in a second part, with Juliet (the book-cover) for its theme. Mason proposes shell for sea, the purport of what follows being, he thinks, to show the advantage of having a handsome person to cover a virtuous mind.