The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Dowden)/Act 4/Scene 5

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SCENE V.—The Same. Juliet's chamber.[C 1]

Enter Nurse.

Nurse. Mistress! what, mistress! Juliet![E 1] fast, I warrant her, she:[C 2]
Why, lamb! why, lady! fie, you slug-a-bed!
Why, love, I say! madam! sweet-heart! why, bride!
What, not a word? you take your pennyworths now;
Sleep for a week; for the next night, I warrant,5
The County Paris hath set up his rest[E 2]
That you shall rest but little.—God forgive me,[C 3]
Marry, and amen, how sound is she asleep!
I needs must[C 4] wake her.—Madam, madam, madam!
Ay, let the county take you in your bed;10
He'll fright you up, i' faith. Will it not be?
What, dress'd! and in your clothes! and down again!
I must needs wake you. Lady! lady! lady!
Alas, alas! Help, help! my lady 's dead!
O, well-a-day,[C 5] that ever I was born!15
Some aqua-vitæ, ho! My lord, my lady!

Enter Lady Capulet.[C 6]

Lady Cap. What noise is here?
Nurse. O lamentable day!
Lady Cap. What is the matter?
Nurse. Look, look! O heavy day!
Lady Cap. O me, O me! My child, my only life,
Revive, look up, or I will die with thee.20
Help, help! call help.

Enter Capulet.

Cap. For shame, bring Juliet forth; her lord is come.
Nurse. She's dead, deceased, she's dead; alack the day!
Lady Cap. Alack the day, she's dead, she's dead, she's dead!
Cap. Ha! let me see her. Out, alas! she's cold;25
Her blood is settled and her joints are stiff;
Life and these lips have long been separated:
Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.[E 3]
Nurse. O lamentable day!
Lady Cap. O woeful time!30
Cap. Death, that hath ta'en her hence to make me wail,
Ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak.[E 4]

Enter Friar Laurence and Paris, with Musicians.[C 7]

Fri. Come,[E 5] is the bride ready to go to church?
Cap. Ready to go, but never to return.
O son, the night before thy wedding-day35
Hath Death lain with thy wife:[C 8] see,[C 9][E 6] there she lies,
Flower as she was, deflowered[C 10] by him.
Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir;
My daughter he hath wedded: I will die,
And leave him all; life, living,[C 11][E 7] all is Death's.40
Par. Have I thought long[C 12][E 8] to see this morning's face,
And doth it give me such a sight as this?
Lady Cap. Accurst, unhappy, wretched, hateful day!
Most miserable hour that e'er time saw
In lasting labour of his pilgrimage!45
But one, poor one, one poor and loving child,
But one thing to rejoice and solace in,
And cruel death hath catch'd[E 9] it from my sight!
Nurse. O woe![E 10] O woeful, woeful, woeful day!
Most lamentable day, most woeful day,150
That ever, ever, I did yet behold!
O day! O day! O day! O hateful day!
Never was seen so black a day as this:
O woeful day, O woeful day![E 11]
Par. Beguiled, divorced, wronged, spited, slain!55
Most detestable[E 12] death, by thee beguiled,
By cruel cruel thee quite overthrown!
O love! O life! not life, but love in death![E 13]
Cap. Despised, distressed, hated, martyr'd, kill'd!
Uncomfortable time, why earnest thou now60
To murder, murder our solemnity?
O child! O child! my soul, and not my child!
Dead[E 14] art thou! alack! my child is dead;
And with my child my joys are buried.
Fri. Peace, ho! for shame! confusion's cure[C 13] lives[E 15] not65
In these confusions. Heaven and yourself
Had part in this fair maid; now heaven hath all,
And all the better is it for the maid:
Your part in her you could not keep from death;
But heaven keeps his part in eternal life.70
The most you sought was her promotion,
For 'twas your heaven she should be advanced;[E 16]
And weep ye now, seeing she is advanced
Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself?
O, in this love, you love your child so ill,75
That you run mad, seeing that she is well:[E 17]
She's not well married that lives married long,
But she's best married that dies married young.
Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary[E 18]
On this fair corse; and, as the custom[E 19] is,80
In all [C 14]her best array bear her to church;
For though fond[C 15][E 20] nature bids us all[C 16] lament,
Yet nature's tears are reason's merriment.
Cap. All things that we ordained festival,
Turn from their office to black funeral;85
Our instruments to melancholy bells,
Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast,
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges[E 21] change,
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,
And all things change them to the contrary.90
Fri. Sir, go you in; and, madam, go with him;
And go, Sir Paris; every one prepare
To follow this fair corse unto her grave.
The heavens do lour upon you for some ill;
Move them no more by crossing their high will.95
[Exeunt Capulet, Lady Capulet, Paris, and Friar.[C 17][E 22]
First Mus.[C 18] Faith, we may put up our pipes,[E 23] and be gone.
Nurse. Honest good fellows, ah, put up, put up;
For, well you know, this is a pitiful case.[E 24][Exit.[C 19]
First Mus.[C 20] Ay, by my troth, the case may be amended.

Enter Peter.[E 25]

Peter. Musicians, O, musicians, "Heart's ease,[E 26]100
Heart's ease": O, an[C 21] you will have me live,
play "Heart's ease."
First Mus.[C 22] Why "Heart's ease"?
Peter. O, musicians, because my heart itself plays
"My heart is full of woe."[C 23][E 27] O, play me some105
merry dump,[E 28] to comfort me.[C 24]
First Mus.[C 25] Not a dump we; 'tis no time to play now.
Peter. You will not then?
First Mus.[E 29] No.
Peter. I will then give it you soundly.110
First Mus. What will you give us?
Peter. No money, on my faith, but the gleek;[E 30] I
will give you the minstrel.
First Mus. Then will I give you the serving-creature.[E 31]
Peter. Then will I lay the serving-creature's dagger115
on your pate. I will carry no crotchets:[E 32] I'll
re you, I'll fa you.[E 33] Do you note me?
First Mus. An[C 26] you re us and fa us, you
note us.
Second Mus. Pray you, put up your dagger, and120
put out your wit.
Peter. Then have at you[E 34] with my wit![C 27] I will dry-
beat[E 35] you with an iron wit, and put up my iron
dagger. Answer me like men:
When griping grief[C 28][E 36] the heart doth wound,125
And doleful dumps the mind oppress,[C 29]
Then music with her silver sound[C 30]
why "silver sound"? why "music with her
silver sound"?—What say you, Simon
Catling?[E 37]130
First Mus.[C 31] Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet
Peter. Pretty![C 32][E 38] What say you, Hugh Rebeck?[E 39]
Second Mus. I say "silver sound," because musicians
sound for silver.135
Peter. Pretty too![C 33]—What say you, James Sound-
post?[E 40]
Third Mus. Faith, I know not what to say.
Peter. O, I cry you mercy; you are the singer; I
will say for you. It is "music with her silver140
sound," because musicians[C 34] have no gold[C 35] for
Then music with her silver sound
With speedy help doth lend redress.
First Mus.[C 36] What a pestilent[E 41] knave is this145
Second Mus. Hang him, Jack![C 37][C 38]—Come, we'll in
here; tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner.

Critical notes

  1. Juliet's chamber] Theobald (who adds "Juliet on a bed").
  2. 1. she] omitted F2.
  3. 7. little.—God … me,] little, … me. Q, little, … me: F.
  4. 9. needs must] Q, must needs F.
  5. 15. well-a-day] Q 3, F; wereaday Q.
  6. 16. Enter …] Enter Mother Q 1, F; omitted Q.
  7. 32. Enter …] "with Musicians" omitted Q, F; present in Q 4.
  8. 36. wife] Q, F; bride Q 1;
  9. see] F 2; omitted Q, F.
  10. 37. deflowered] Q, F (deflowred), deflowred now F 2.
  11. 40. all; life, living] Collier, all life living Q, F; all, life, living Q 4.
  12. 41. long] F, loue Q (alone).
  13. 65. confusions cure] Theobald, confusions care Q, confusions: Care F.
  14. 81. In all] Q 1; And in Q, F.
  15. 82. fond] F 2; some Q, F;
  16. us all] Q, all us F.
  17. 95. Exeunt …] Theobald, Exeunt manet Q, Exeunt manent Musici Q 4, Exeunt F.
  18. 96. First Mus.] Capell, Musi. Q, Mu. F.
  19. 98. Exit] Theobald.
  20. 99. First Mus.] Capell, Fid. Q, Mu. F.
  21. 101. an] Pope; and Q, F.
  22. 103. First Mus.] Capell, Fidler Q, Mu. F.
  23. 105. of woe] Qq 4, 5; omitted Q, F.
  24. 105, 106. O … comfort me.] Q omitted F.
  25. 107. First Mus.] Capell, Minstrels Q, Mu. F.
  26. 118. An] Pope; And Q, F.
  27. 122. Then … wit] continued to Sec. Mus. Q, F; as here Q 4.
  28. 125. grief] Q 1; griefes Q, F.
  29. 126. And … oppress] Q 1; omitted Q, F.
  30. 125–127. When … sound] verse Q 1; prose Q, F.
  31. 131. First Mus.] 1 Q 1, Minst. Q, Mu. F.
  32. 133. Pretty!] Pope (from Q 1 Pretie); Prates Q; Pratest Q 3, F.
  33. 136. Pretty too!] Pope, from Q 1; Prates to Q; Pratest to Q 3, F.
  34. 141. musicians] Q, F; such fellowes as you Q 1;
  35. no gold] Q, F; seldom gold Q 1.
  36. 145. First Mus.] Capell, Min. Q, Mu. F.
  37. 147. him, Jack!] Hanmer; him Jack, Q, F.
  38. 147. Jack!] See II. iv. 163, note.

Explanatory notes

  1. 1. mistress! Juliet] Daniel reads—"what, mistress Juliet!"—.
  2. 6. set up his rest] A metaphor from primero, a game at cards; as I understand it, the stake was a smaller sum, the rest a larger sum, which, if a player were confident (or desperate) might all be set, or set up, that is, be wagered. In the game of primero played in dialogue, in the Dialogues (p. 26) appended to Minsheu's Spanish Dict., "two shillings form the stake, eight shillings the rest." Florio explains the Italian restare, "to set up one's rest, to make a rest, or play upon one's rest at primero." Cotgrave has under Renvier: "Il y renvioit de sa reste, He set his whole rest, he adventured all his estate upon it." Hence to set up one's rest came to mean to be resolved, or determined, For many examples, see Nares' Glossary. The phrase occurs in several passages of Shakespeare, e.g. Merchant of Venice, II. ii. 110.
  3. 29. field] Pope and other editors add here from Q 1 the line "Accursed time! unfortunate old man!"
  4. 32. let me speak] In Brooke's poem Capulet cannot speak for grief; Shakespeare remembered this, but only to produce a dramatic touch of self-incongruity in the old man.
  5. 33. Fri. Come] Q 1 alone of early editions gives this line to Paris; it is followed by Staunton.
  6. 36. see] This added word of F 2 s also found in Q 1.
  7. 40. life, living,] From Capell onwards, various editors read life leaving. In the text living means possessions, the means of living, as where Antonio says to Portia (Merchant of Venice, V. 286): "Sweet lady, you have given me life and living."
  8. 41. thought long] desired. In Brooke's poem, anticipating his marriage, Paris' "longing hart thinkes long for theyr appoynted howre" (line 2274).
  9. 48. catch'd] Capell conjectures snatched.
  10. 49. O woe!] Grant White suggests that in "this speech of mock heroic woe," Shakespeare ridicules the translation of Seneca's Tragedies (1581). The exclamatory mode of love and grief is ridiculed in the Pyramus and Thisbe of A Midsummer Nights Dream, V. i.
  11. 54. O … day!] Daniel adopts Fleay's conjecture (to emend metre), "O woeful day! O woeful, woeful day!"
  12. 56. detestable] Accent on first syllable, as in V. iii. 45.
  13. 58. love! … death] I doubtfully throw out the suggestion: "O life! not life, O love! but love in death!"
  14. 63. Dead] Theobald and many editors read, "Dead art thou! dead"; Malone conjectures, "Dead, dead, art thou!"
  15. 65. lives] Lettsom conjectures lies.
  16. 72. advanced] Advance means both promote and raise or lift up, as often in Shakespeare of a sword or a standard. Furness reads advanced—.
  17. 76. well:] Rolfe: "Often thus used of the dead." Compare Winter's Tale, V. i. 30, and Ant. and Cleop. II. v. 32: "But, sirrah, mark we use To say the dead are well."
  18. 79. rosemary] The evergreen, emblematic of immortality, and of remembrance, used at both weddings and funerals. See note on Hamlet, frequent IV. v. 175 (ed. Dowden). Compare Dekker (Works, ed. Grosart, i. 129): "Death rudely lay with her, and spoild her of a maidenhead … the rosemary that was washt in sweete water to set out the Bridall is now wet in teares to furnish her buriall."
  19. 80. custom] See IV. i. 110, note.
  20. 82. fond] foolish. Knight defends some Q, F, some impulses of nature, comparing Milton's "some natural tears." Possibly the right word is soon (misprinted some) in the sense, in Shakespeare, of readily.
  21. 88. dirges] The transposing of all things from wedding to funeral uses is described in Brooke's poem—"And Hymen to a dirge," etc.
  22. 95. Exeunt …] Q i has the stage-direction, "They all but the Nurse goe foorth, casting Rosemary on her and shutting the Curtens. Enter Musitions."
  23. 96. pipes] "To put up pipes" was also used figuratively; "Poor mens' children may put up their pipes for being gentils in their day"—Blazon of Gentry, Part I.
  24. 99. case] The play on case, state of things, and case, cover, occurs again in Winter's Tale, IV. iv. 844, where by case the Clown means his skin: "though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it."
  25. 99. Enter Peter] So Qq 4, 5, Ff; Qq 2, 3, "Enter Will Kemp"; Q 1, "Enter Servingman." Kemp, the successor of Tarlton in comic parts, played Peter. In both Q 1600 and F his name is prefixed to speeches of Dogberry in Much Ado. Before Peter's entrance Qq 2–5 have Exit (or Exeunt) omnes.
  26. 100. "Heart's ease"] A tune mentioned in Misogonus, a play as early as 1560; the music is given in Naylor's Shakespeare and Music (1896), p. 193.
  27. 105. "My heart is full of woe"] The burden of the first stanza of A Pleasant New Ballad of Two Lovers, printed in Sh. Soc. Papers, I. p. 12: "Hey ho! my heart is full of woe."
  28. 106. dump] New Eng. Dict.: "A mournful or plaintive melody or song; also, by extension, a tune in general; sometimes apparently used for a kind of dance." The adjective merry is a comic incongruity. So in Two Gentlemen of Verona, III. ii. 85: "to their instruments Tune a deploring dump."
  29. 109. First Mus.] Here and in later speeches the speaker is Minst. or Min. (Minstrel) in Qq and Mu. in F.
  30. 112, 113. the gleek … minstrel] "To give the gleek" meant to flout or scoff. "Where's the Bastard's braves and Charles his gleeks?" (scoffs), 1 Henry VI. III. ii. 123; "gleeking and galling at this gentleman," Henry V. V. i. 78. Turbervile's Ovid's Epistles, X. vi.: "To him alone she closely clinges, and gives the rest the gleake." There may be a quibble in "give the minstrel" on gleeman or gligman. Minstrel may have been a scoffing name, because of the inclusion of wandering "minstrels" in 39 Elizabeth 3 and 4 with bearwards, fencers, etc., as "rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars." For to give meaning to represent or describe, compare Coriolanus, I. ix. 55: "to us that give you truly."
  31. 114. serving-creature] Perhaps a more contemptuous title than serving-man. In The Three Ladies of London (1584), Simplicity says, "Faith I'll … be a serving-creature" Hazlitt's Dodsley's Old Plays, x. 253.
  32. 116. crotchets] I will bear none of your whims; the same play on the words crotchets and note occurs in Much Ado, II. iii. 58, 59.
  33. 116, 117. I'll re you, I'llfa you] It is possible that (as Ulrici thinks) quibbles are continued here. Ray meant to befoul; compare Taming of the Shrew, IV. i. 3: "Was ever man so beaten? was ever man so rayed?" Fay meant to cleanse, as in Burton, Anat. of Melancholy: "To … fay channels." See New Eng. Dict. for other examples; and compare the phrase "to dust one's coat." The processes of befouling and cleansing might both be accomplished by a "dry-beating." But probably no quibble is intended.
  34. 122. have at you] Peter takes put out not as meant, i.e. extinguish, but as the opposite of put up (your dagger), and so draw, unsheathe.
  35. 122, 123. dry-beat] See III. i. 82, note.
  36. 125. When griping grief] From a poem by Richard Edwards in the Paradise of Daintie Devices. See also the poem as given in Percy's Reliques.
  37. 130. Catling] A small lute or fiddle string of catgut, as in Troilus and Cressida, III. iii. 306.
  38. 133. Pretty!] Here and in line 136 what is probably a misprint of Q Prates, modified to Pratest in Q 3, F, is followed by some editors. Pratest? Rowe; Pratest! Johnson; Prates! Delius. Compare the speech beginning "Prate you!" in Northward Hoe (Pearson's Dekker, iii. p 11).
  39. 133. Rebeck] a three-stringed fiddle.
  40. 136, 137. Soundpost] the pillar or peg which supports the belly of a stringed instrument.
  41. 145. pestilent] vexatious, as in Othello, II i. 252.