The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Dowden)/Act 2/Scene 2

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SCENE II.The Same. Capulet's Orchard.[C 1]


Romeo advances.[E 1]

Rom. He jests[E 2] at scars that never felt a wound.—
[Juliet appears above at a window.
But, soft ! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!—
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief, 5
That thou her maid[E 3] art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick[C 2] and green,[E 4]
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.—
It is[E 5] my lady; O, it is my love! 10
O, that she knew she were!—
She speaks, yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, 15
Having some business, do[C 3] entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes[C 4] in heaven 20
Would through the airy region[E 6] stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.—
See, how[C 5] she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch[C 6] that cheek!
Jul. Ay me!
Rom. She speaks: 25
O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
As glorious to this night,[E 7] being o'er my head,
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturned[E 8] wondering eyes
Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him 30
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing[C 7] clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.
Jul. O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, 35
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
Rom. [Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
Jul. 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.[E 9]
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, 40
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name![C 8]
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name[C 9] would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, 45
Retain that dear perfection which he owes[E 10]
Without that title[C 10].—Romeo, doff[C 11][E 11] thy name,
And for thy[C 12] name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
Rom. I take thee at thy word:[E 12]
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized; 50
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
Jul. What man art thou, that, thus bescreen'd in night,
So stumblest on my counsel?
Rom. By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am:
My name, dear saint,[E 13] is hateful to myself, 55
Because it is an enemy to thee:
Had I it written, I would tear the word.
Jul. My ears have yet not[C 13] drunk a hundred words
Of thy tongue's uttering,[C 14][E 14] yet I know the sound:
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague? 60
Rom. Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.[C 15][E 15]
Jul. How cam'st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?[E 16]
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here. 65
Rom. With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls,
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do that dares love attempt;
Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop[C 16] to me.
Jul. If they do see thee, they will murder thee. 70
Rom. Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet,
And I am proof against their enmity.
Jul. I would not for the world they saw thee here.
Rom. I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes[C 17]; 75
And but thou love me, let them find me here:
My life were better ended by their hate,
Than death prorogued,[E 17] wanting of thy love.
Jul. By whose direction found'st thou out this place?
Rom. By love,[E 18] that[C 18] first did prompt me to inquire; 80
He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes.
I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far
As that vast[E 19] shore wash'd[C 19] with the farthest[C 20] sea,
I would[C 21] adventure[E 20] for such merchandise.
Jul. Thou know'st the mask[E 21] of night is on my face, 85
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.
Fain would I dwell on form,[E 22] fain, fain deny
What I have spoke: but farewell compliment![C 22][E 23]
Dost thou love me? I[C 23] know thou wilt say "Ay," 90
And I will take thy word; yet, if thou swear'st,
Thou mayst prove false; at lovers' perjuries,
They say, Jove laughs.[C 24][E 24] O gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully;
Or if thou think'st[C 25] I am too quickly won, 95
I'll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond;
And therefore thou mayst think my haviour[C 26] light:
But trust me, gentleman[E 25], I'll prove more true 100
Than those that have more cunning[C 27] to be strange.[E 26]
I should have been more strange, I must confess,
But that thou overheard'st, ere I was ware,
My true love's[C 28] passion: therefore pardon me,
And not impute this yielding to light love, 105
Which[E 27] the dark night hath so discovered.
Rom. Lady, by yonder blessed[C 29] moon I swear[C 30][E 28],
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops—[C 31]
Jul. O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon[E 29],
That monthly changes in her circled[C 32] orb, 110
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
Rom. What shall I swear by?
Jul. Do not swear at all;
Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious[C 33] self,
Which is the god of my idolatry,
And I'll believe thee.
Rom. If my heart's dear[C 34] love—[C 35]115
Jul. Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,[C 36]
I have no joy of this contract[E 30] to-night;
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say "It lightens."[C 37][E 31] Sweet, good night! 120
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart as that[E 32] within my breast!
Rom. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied? 125
Jul. What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?
Rom. The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.
Jul. I gave thee mine before thou didst request it;
And yet I would it were to give again.
Rom. Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love? 130
Jul. But to be frank,[E 33] and give it thee again.
And yet[E 34] I wish but for the thing I have:
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite. 135
[Nurse calls within.
I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!—
Anon, good nurse!—Sweet Montague, be true.
Stay but a little, I will come again. [Exit.[C 38]
Rom. O blessed blessed night! I am afeard,
Being in night, all this is but a dream, 140
Too flattering-sweet[C 39] to be substantial.

Re-enter[C 40] Juliet, above.

Jul. Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honourable,[E 35]
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,
By one that I'll procure to come to thee, 145
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite[C 41],
And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay,
And follow thee my lord[C 42] throughout the world.
Nurse. [Within.][C 43] Madam!
Jul. I come, anon.—But if thou mean'st not well, 150
I do beseech thee—
Nurse. [Within.]Madam!
Jul. By and by,[E 36] I come:—
To cease thy suit,[C 44][E 37] and leave me to my grief:
To-morrow will I send.
Rom. So thrive my soul,—[C 45]
Jul. A thousand times good night![Exit.[C 46]
Rom. A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.[C 47] 155
Love goes toward love, as school-boys from their books,
But love from love, toward[C 48] school[E 38] with heavy looks.
[Retiring slowly.

Re-enter Juliet, above.

Jul. Hist! Romeo, hist!—O, for a falconer's voice,
To lure this tassel-gentle[C 49][E 39] back again!
Bondage is hoarse,[E 40] and may not speak[C 50] aloud; 160
Else would I tear the cave[E 41] where Echo lies,
And make her airy tongue[C 51] more hoarse than mine,
With[C 52] repetition of my Romeo's name[C 53].[C 54]
Rom. It is my soul[C 55] that calls upon my name:
How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, 165
Like softest music to attending ears!
Jul. Romeo!
Rom. My dear?[C 56]
Jul. At what[C 57] o'clock to-morrow
Shall I send to thee?
Rom. By[C 58] the hour of nine.
Jul. I will not fail; 'tis twenty years[C 59] till then.
I have forgot why I did call thee back. 170
Rom. Let me stand here till thou remember it.
Jul. I shall forget, to[C 60] have thee still stand there,
Remembering how I love thy company.
Rom. And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget,
Forgetting any other home but this. 175
Jul. 'Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone;
And yet no further[C 61] than a wanton's bird,
Who lets it hop a little from her[C 62] hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silk thread plucks it back again,[C 63] 180
So loving-jealous[C 64] of his liberty.
Rom. I would I were thy bird.
Jul. Sweet, so would I:
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night,[E 42] good night! parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. 185
[Exit.[C 65]
Rom. Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!
Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!
Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell,[C 66]
His help to crave, and my dear[C 67] hap to tell.[Exit.


Critical notes

  1. Capulet's Orchard] Globe.
  2. 8. sick] Q, F; pale Q 1.
  3. 16. do] F, to Q.
  4. 20. eyes] Q 1; eye Q, F.
  5. 23. how] Q, F; now Q 1, Daniel.
  6. 25. touch] Q, F; kisse, Q 1.
  7. 31. lazy-pacing] Q 1 (hyphen Pope); lazie puffing Q, F; lazy passing Collier (MS.).
  8. 42. Nor arm … name] Malone; Q 1 has 41, omits 42; The rest Nor arme nor face, ô be some other name Belonging to a man.
  9. 44. name] Q 1; word Q, F.
  10. 47. title.—Romeo] tytle, Romeo Q, title Romeo, F;
  11. doff] Q, F; part Q 1.
  12. 48. thy] Q, F; that Q 1.
  13. 58. yet not] Q, F; not yet Q 1.
  14. 59. thy … uttering] Q, F; that … utterance Q 1, Malone.
  15. 61. maid … dislike] Q, F; saint … displease Q 1.
  16. 69. stop] Q, F; let Q 1.
  17. 75. eyes] Q, F; sight Q 1.
  18. 80. that] Q, F; who Q 1.
  19. 83. vast shore washed] Qq 4, 5; vast shore washeth Q; vast-shore-washet F
  20. farthest] Q, F; furthest Q 1.
  21. 84. would] Q 1; should Q, F.
  22. 89. compliment] Pope; complement Q, F; complements Q 1, F 2.
  23. 90. love me? I] Q; Love? I F; Love? O I Ff 2, 3.
  24. 93. laughs] Q, laught F.
  25. 95. thou think'st] Q, F; thou think Q 1.
  26. 99. haviour] Q 1, F 2; behaviour Q, F.
  27. 101. more cunning] Q 1; coying Q, F; more coying Qq 4, 5.
  28. 104. true love's] true loves Q 1, F; truelove Q.
  29. 107. blessed] Q 1, Q; omitted F;
  30. swear] Q 1; vow Q, F.
  31. 108. tops] Rowe; tops. Q, F.
  32. 110. circled] F, circle Q.
  33. 113. gracious] Q, F; glorious Q 1.
  34. 115. hearts dear] Q, F; true heart's Q 1;
  35. love—] F 2; love. Q, F.
  36. 116. thee,] Q 5, Ff 2–4; thee: Q, F.
  37. 120. say "It lightens."] Globe; say, it lightens, Q, F.
  38. 138. Exit] Rowe; entitled Q, F.
  39. 141. flattering-sweet] hyphen Theobald.
  40. 141. Re-enter …] Rowe; omitted Q, F; Enter F 2.
  41. 146. rite] F 3; right Q, F; rights Q 4; rites Q 5.
  42. 148. lord] Q 1, F; L. Q; Love Qq 4, 5.
  43. 149, 151. Nurse [Within] Capell, omitted Q (Madam in margin), Within: F.
  44. 152. suit] Qq 4, 5; strife Q, F.
  45. 153. soul,—] Theobald; soule. Q, F.
  46. 154. Exit] F, omitted Q.
  47. 155. light] Q, F; sight Qq 4, 5.
  48. 157. toward] Q, towards F.
  49. 159. tassel-gentle] Hanmer; Tassel gentle Q, F.
  50. 160. speak] Q, F; crie Q 1.
  51. 162. tongue] Q, F; voice Q 1.
  52. 162, 163. than mine, With] Q 5; then myne With Q 4; then With Q, F.
  53. 163. Romeo's name] Q 1; Romeo Q, F.
  54. 163, 164.] Cambridge editors insert Romeo! (from Q 1) between these lines.
  55. 164. soul] Q, F; love, Qq 4, 5.
  56. 167. My dear?] Qq 4, 5 (without?); Madame Q 1; My Neece Q, F; My sweet, Ff 2–4 and many editors;
  57. At what] Q 1; What Q, F.
  58. 168. By] Q, F; At Q 1 and several editors.
  59. 169. years] F, yeare Q.
  60. 172. forget, to] Qq 3, 4, F; forget to Q and several editors.
  61. 177. further] F, farther Q.
  62. 178. Who … her] Q 1; That … his Q, F.
  63. 180. silk … again] Pope; so Q 1, reading puls for plucks; Q, F have silken and plucks, and so Ff 2–4, omitting back.
  64. 181. loving-jealous] hyphen Theobald.
  65. 185. Exit] Pope; omitted Q, F; after line 186 Ff 2–4.
  66. 188. father's cell] Q 1; Friers close cell Qq, Ff 3, 4; Fries close cell Ff 1, 2.
  67. 189. dear] Q, F; good Q 1.


Explanatory notes

  1. Romeo advances] I indicate by these words that Romeo has not left the stage. He overhears Mercutio's words, and his opening line rhymes with Benvolio's last. Grant White argues that Scene i. is in the orchard, and he here continues the scene.
  2. 1. He jests] Referring to Mercutio.
  3. 6. her maid] A votary of the virgin Diana.
  4. 8. sick and green] Collier pleads for his "old corrector's" white and green on the ground that these were the colours of the fool's livery under Henry viii. Probably the word green-sickness suggested the epithets. See III. v. 156.
  5. 10. It is] Grant White supposes that at this point Juliet steps out upon the balcony; previously only the light from her window was visible.
  6. 21. region] strictly a division of the sky; see note on Hamlet, II. ii. 518 (ed. Dowden).
  7. 27. night] Theobald, followed by several editors, reads sight, as agreeing better with line 29.
  8. 29. white-upturned] The hyphen is Theobald's.
  9. 39. Thou … Montague] Dyce has followed Malone's unhappy punctuation, "Thou art thyself though, not." The meaning is obviously: What's in a name? If you refuse the name Montague, you remain yourself.
  10. 46. owes] possesses, as in Lear, I. i. 205.
  11. 47. doff] Daniel pleads for Q 1 part, as characteristically playing with the word part of next line. He compares Sonnet cxiii.: "Doth part his function and is partly blind."
  12. 49. I … word] Ought we not to pause after thee, making I take thee a response to Take all myself?
  13. 55. saint] recalling their recent meeting, I. v. 102. H. Coleridge compares Drayton, England's Heroicall Epistles, Henry to Rosamund:

    "If 't be my name that doth thee so offend,
    No more myself shall be my own name's friend."

  14. 59. uttering] Malone compares Edward III. (1596), II. i. 2: "His ear to drink her sweet tongue's utterance."
  15. 61. dislike] displease, as in Othello, II. iii. 49.
  16. 62. wherefore] accented as here in Midsummer Night's Dream, III. ii. 272 (Rolfe). See Walker, Shakespeare's Versification, p. 1ll.
  17. 78. prorogued] delayed, as in IV. i. 48.
  18. 80. By love] Keightley reads By Love's.
  19. 83. vast] Walker (Crit. Exam. of Shakespeare's Text, ii. 39) has an article which attempts to show that Shakespeare uses the word like Lat. vastus, empty, waste.
  20. 84. adventure] There is a special propriety in the word when referring to a commercial enterprise across the sea. The society of Merchant Adventurers was so named by Henry vii.
  21. 85. mask] like saint, line 55, perhaps a reverberation from the recent feast and dance.
  22. 88. dwell on form] adhere to conventional manners.
  23. 89. compliment] outward forms, punctilio, as in Much Ado, IV. i. 322.
  24. 93. Jove laughs] Douce: This Shakespeare found in Ovid's Art of Love—perhaps in Marlowe's translation, B. i.: "For Jove himself sits in the azure skies, And laughs below at lovers' perjuries." Greene has it also in his Metamorphosis.
  25. 100. gentleman] Rushton, Shakespeare's Euphuism, p. 56, illustrates from Lyly this mode of address, and cites parallels for parts of this speech.
  26. 101. strange] reserved, as in III. ii. 15.
  27. 106. Which] refers to yielding; discovered, revealed.
  28. 107. swear] Walker: "F omits blessed and has vow for swear. Can this have originated in the Profanation Act?"
  29. 109. moon] Of many parallels which might be quoted that cited by Hunter from Wilson's Rhetorique (Amplification) may suffice: "as … in speaking of inconstancy to shew the moon which keepeth no certain course."
  30. 117. contract] Rolfe: "Accented by Shakespeare on either syllable … The verb always on the second."
  31. 120. "It lightens"} Steevens compares Midsummer Night's Dream, I. i. 145–148, and cites a parallel from Drayton, The Miracle of Moses.
  32. 124. as that] Delius explains: "as to that heart within my breast."
  33. 131. frank] bountiful, as in Sonnets, iv. 4.
  34. 132. And yet] The meaning is given in lines 134, 135.
  35. 143] honourable] The suggestion of this speech is from Brooke's poem.
  36. 151. By and by] immediately. New Eng. Dict. quotes Cogan, Haven of Health: "Ill seeds … shew not themselves by and by, but yet in processe of time they bud forth."
  37. 152. suit] The reading suit is confirmed by the occurrence of "to cease your suit" in the corresponding passage of Brooke's poem.
  38. 157. toward school] Rolfe compares As You Like It, II. vii. 145—Jaques' "whining schoolboy."
  39. 159. lure this tassel-gentle] Madden, Diary of Master William Silence, p. 157: "The males of the hawks principally used in falconry—the peregrine and goshawk—were called 'tiercels' or 'tercels' [corrupted to tassels], because (it is said) they are smaller than the females by one third; the male of the nobler species—the peregrine—being distinguished by the addition of the word 'gentle.' There was thus a subtle tribute paid by Juliet to her lover's nobility of nature." Minsheu, Guide into the Tongues, gives rapel as a synonym for lure for a hawk, from Fr. "Rapeler, i., reappellare, i., to repeale or call backe." In Mabbe's translation of Gusman de Alfarache, 1623 (quoted by Rolfe), tassel-gentles, used metaphorically, is explained in the margin as "Kinde Lovers." In Massinger's The Guardian, I. i., the tiercel gentle is named as the bird "for an evening flight."
  40. 160. hoarse] Daniel reads husht, and in line 162 for mine he reads Fame (rhyming with name).
  41. 161. tear … cave] Milton's ear perhaps was haunted by this passage; in Par. Lost, B. i. 542, we have "tore hell's concave," and in Comus, 208, "airy tongues that syllable men's names."
  42. 184. Good night] Cambridge: "This passage was printed substantially right in Q 1. The Q 2 inserted after the first line of Romeo's speech the first four of the Friar's, repeating them in their proper place." Further corruption in Q 3; intruding lines ejected, and speeches distributed aright in Qq 4, 5; F follows Q 3; "Pope restored the true arrangement." For further details, see Camb. ed.