The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Dowden)/Act 5/Scene 3

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SCENE III.—The Same. A churchyard;[C 1][E 1] in it a monument belonging to the Capulets.


Enter[C 2] Paris and his Page, bearing flowers and a torch.

Par. Give me thy torch, boy: hence, and stand aloof[C 3]:—
Yet put it out, for I would not be seen.
Under yond yew-trees[C 4] lay thee all along,[C 5]
Holding thine[C 6] ear close to the hollow ground;
So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread,5
Being loose, unfirm, with digging up of graves,
But thou shalt hear it: whistle then to me,
As signal that thou hear'st something approach.
Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee; go.
Page. [Aside.[C 7]] I am almost afraid to stand[E 2] alone10
Here in the churchyard; yet I will adventure.[Retires.[C 8]
Par. Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew,—
O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones—[C 9][E 3]
Which with sweet water[E 4] nightly I will dew,
Or, wanting that, with tears distill'd by moans:15
The obsequies that I for thee will keep
Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep. [The Page whistles.[C 10]
The boy gives warning something[C 11][E 5] doth approach.
What cursed foot wanders this way[C 12] to-night,
To cross my obsequies and true love's rite?[C 13]20
What, with a torch!—muffle me, night, awhile.[Retires.[C 14]

Enter[C 15] Romeo and Balthasar,[E 6] with a torch, mattock, etc.

Rom. Give me that mattock and the wrenching iron.
Hold, take this letter; early in the morning
See thou deliver it to my lord and father.
Give me the light: upon thy life I charge thee,25
Whate'er thou hear'st or seest, stand all aloof,
And do not interrupt me in my course.
Why I descend into this bed of death
Is partly to behold my lady's face,
But chiefly to take thence from her dead finger30
A precious ring, a ring that I must use
In dear[E 7] employment: therefore hence, be gone:
But if thou, jealous,[E 8] dost return to pry
In what I farther[C 16] shall intend to do,
By heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint,35
And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs:
The time and my intents are savage-wild,[C 17]
More fierce and more inexorable far
Than empty tigers or the roaring sea.
Bal.[C 18] I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you.[C 19]40
Rom. So shalt thou show me friendship.[C 20] Take thou that:
Live, and be prosperous; and farewell, good fellow.
Bal. [Aside.[C 21]] For all this same, I'll hide me hereabout:
His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt.[Retires.[C 22]
Rom. Thou detestable[E 9] maw, thou womb of death,45
Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth,
Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open, [Opens the tomb.[C 23][E 10]

And, in despite,[E 11] I'll cram thee with more food!

Par. This is that banish'd haughty Montague,
That murder'd my love's cousin, with which grief50
It is supposed the fair creature died;
And here is come to do some villanous shame
To the dead bodies: I will apprehend him.—[Comes forward.[C 24]
Stop thy unhallow'd toil, vile Montague!
Can vengeance be pursued further than death?55
Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee:
Obey, and go with me; for thou must die.
Rom. I must indeed; and therefore came I hither.
Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man;
Fly hence and leave me: think upon these[C 25] gone;60
Let them affiright thee. I beseech thee, youth,
Put[C 26][E 12] not another sin upon my head
By urging me to fury: O, be gone!
By heaven, I love thee better than myself,
For I come hither arm'd against myself:65
Stay not, be gone; live, and hereafter say
A madman's mercy bid[C 27] thee run away.
Par. I do defy thy conjurations[C 28][E 13]
And apprehend[C 29] thee for a felon here.
Rom. Wilt thou provoke me? then have at thee, boy!70[They fight.[C 30]
Page.[C 31] O Lord, they fight! I will go call the watch.[E 14][Exit.[C 32]
Par. O, I am slain!—[Falls[C 33]] If thou be merciful,
Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.[Dies.[C 34]
Rom. In faith, I will.—Let me peruse this face:
Mercutio's kinsman, noble County Paris!75
What said my man when my betossed soul
Did not attend him as we rode? I think
He told me Paris should have married Juliet:
Said he not so? or did I dream it so?
Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet,80
To think it was so?—O, give me thy hand,
One writ with me in sour misfortune's book![C 35]
I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave;
A grave? O, no, a lantern,[E 15] slaughter'd youth;
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes85
This vault a feasting presence[E 16] full of light.
Death,[E 17] lie thou there, by a dead man[E 18] interr'd.—[Laying[C 36] Paris in the tomb.
How oft when men are at the point of death
Have they been merry! which their keepers call
A lightning[E 19] before death: O, how may I90
Call this a lightning?—O my love! my wife!
Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:
Thou art[C 37] not conquer'd; beauty's ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,95
And death's pale flag[E 20] is not advanced there.—
Tybalt,[E 21] liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?
O, what more favour can I do to thee
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
To sunder his that was thine[C 38] enemy?100
Forgive me, cousin!—Ah, dear Juliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe[C 39]
That unsubstantial Death is amorous,[E 22]
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour?105
For fear of that I still[E 23] will stay with thee,
And never from this palace[C 40] of dim night
Depart again:[E 24] here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chambermaids; O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,[E 25]110
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh.—Eyes,[E 26] look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you,
The doors of breath,[E 27] seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing[E 28] death!115
Come, bitter conduct,[E 29] come, unsavoury guide!
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks thy[E 30] sea-sick weary bark!
Here's to my love! [Drinks][C 41] O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick.—Thus with a kiss I die.120[Dies.[C 42]

Enter,[C 43] at the other end of the churchyard. Friar Laurence, with a lantern, crow, and spade.

Fri. Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night
Have my old feet stumbled[E 31] at graves!—Who's there?
Bal.[E 32] Here's one, a friend, and one that knows you well.
Fri. Bliss be upon you! Tell me, good my friend,
What torch is yond, that vainly lends his light125
To grubs and eyeless skulls? as I discern,
It burneth in the Capels' monument.
Bal. It doth so, holy sir; and there's my master,
One that you love.
Fri. One that you love. Who is it?
Bal. One that you love. Who is it? Romeo.
Fri. How long hath he been there?
Bal. How long hath he been there? Full half an hour.130
Fri. Go with me to the vault.
Bal. Go with me to the vault. I dare not, sir:
My master knows not but I am gone hence;
And fearfully did menace me with death
If I did stay to look on his intents.
Fri. Stay, then;[C 44] I'll go alone. Fear[C 45] comes upon me;135
O, much I fear some ill unlucky[C 46][E 33] thing.
Bal. As I did sleep under this yew-tree[C 47] here,
I dreamt[E 34] my master and another fought,
And that my master slew him.
Fri. And that my master slew him. Romeo![C 48][Advances.[C 49]
Alack, alack, what blood is this which stains140
The stony entrance of this sepulchre?
What mean these masterless and gory swords
To lie discolour'd by this place of peace?[Enters the tomb.[C 50]
Romeo! O, pale!—Who else? what, Paris too?
And steep'd in blood?—Ah, what an unkind hour145
Is guilty of this lamentable chance!—
The lady stirs.[Juliet wakes.[C 51]
Jul. O comfortable[E 35] friar! where is[C 52] my lord?
I do remember well where I should be,
And there I am: where is my Romeo?150
[Noise within.[C 53]
Fri. I hear some noise.—Lady,[C 54] come from that nest
Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep:
A greater power than we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents: come, come away:
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead;155
And Paris too: come, I'll dispose of thee
Among a sisterhood of holy nuns.
Stay not to question, for the watch[E 36] is coming;
Come, go, good Juliet; I dare no longer stay.[Exit.[C 55]
Jul. Go,[E 37] get thee hence, for I will not away.—160
What's here? a cup closed in my true love's hand?
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless[E 38] end:—
O[C 56] churl! drunk all,[C 57] and left[C 58] no friendly drop
To help me after?—I will kiss thy lips;
Haply some poison yet doth hang on them,165
To make me die with a restorative.[Kisses him.

Thy lips are warm!

First Watch. [Within.][C 59] Lead, boy: which way?
Jul. Yea, noise? then I'll be brief.—O happy dagger![Snatching[C 60] Romeo's dagger.
This is[C 61] thy sheath;[Stabs herself.[C 62]
This is[C 61] thy sheath; there rust,[C 63][E 39] and let me die.[Falls[C 64] on Romeo's body, and dies.

Enter Watch,[C 65] with the Page[C 66] of Paris.

Page. This is the place; there, where the torch doth burn.170
First Watch. The ground is bloody; search about the churchyard:
Go, some of you, whoe'er you find, attach.—[Exeunt some.[C 67]
Pitiful sight! here lies the county slain,
And Juliet bleeding, warm, and newly dead,
Who here hath lain this[C 68] two days[E 40] buried.—175
Go, tell the prince; run to the Capulets;
Raise up the Montagues; some others search:—[E 41][Exeunt other Watchmen.[C 69]

We see the ground whereon these woes do lie;
But the true ground of all these piteous woes
We cannot without circumstance[E 42] descry.180

Re-enter[C 70] some of the Watch, with Balthasar.

Second Watch.[C 71] Here's Romeo's man; we found him in the churchyard.
First Watch.[C 72] Hold him in safety till the prince come hither.

Re-enter Friar Laurence, and another Watchman.

Third Watch. Here is a friar, that trembles, sighs and weeps:
We took this mattock and this spade from him,
As he was coming from this churchyard[C 73] side.185
First Watch. A great suspicion: stay the friar too.[C 74]

Enter the Prince and Attendants.

Prince. What misadventure is so early up,
That calls our person from our morning's[C 75] rest?

Enter[C 76] Capulet, Lady Capulet, and others.

Cap. What should it be that they so shriek[C 77][E 43] abroad?
Lady Cap. The people[C 78][E 44] in the street cry "Romeo,"190
Some "Juliet," and some "Paris"; and all run
With open outcry toward our monument.
Prince. What fear is this which startles in our[C 79] ears?
First Watch.[C 80] Sovereign, here lies the County Paris slain;
And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before,195
Warm and new kill'd.
Prince. Search, seek, and know how this foul murder comes.
First Watch. Here is a friar, and slaughter'd Romeo's man,
With instruments upon them fit to open
These dead men's tombs.[E 45]200
Cap. O heaven![C 81]—O wife, look how our daughter bleeds!
This dagger hath mista'en, for, lo, his house
Is empty on the back[E 46] of Montague,
And it[C 82][E 47] mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom!
Lady Cap. O me! this sight of death is as a bell205
That warns my old age to a sepulchre.

Enter[C 83] Montague and others.

Prince. Come, Montague; for thou art early up,
To see thy son and heir more early down.[C 84]
Mon. Alas! my liege, my wife is dead to-night;
Grief of my son's exile hath stopp'd her breath:[E 48]210
What further woe conspires against mine[C 85] age?
Prince. Look,[E 49] and thou shalt see.
Mon. O thou untaught! what manners[E 50] is in[C 86] this,
To press before thy father to a grave?
Prince. Seal up the mouth of outrage[E 51] for a while,215
Till we can clear these ambiguities,
And know their spring, their head, their true descent;
And then will I be general of your woes,
And lead you even to death: meantime forbear,
And let mischance be slave to patience.—220
Bring forth the parties of suspicion.
Fri. I am the greatest, able to do least,
Yet most suspected, as the time and place
Doth make against me, of this direful murder;
And here I stand, both to impeach and purge225
Myself condemned and myself excused.
Prince. Then say at once what thou dost know in this.
Fri. I will be brief,[E 52] for my short date of breath
Is not so long as is a tedious tale.
Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet;230
And she, there dead, that[C 87] Romeo's faithful wife:
I married them; and their stol'n marriage-day
Was Tybalt's doomsday, whose untimely death
Banish'd the new-made bridegroom from this city;
For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pined.235
You, to remove that siege of grief from her,
Betroth'd, and would have married her perforce,
To County Paris: then comes she to me,
And with wild looks bid me devise some mean[C 88]
To rid her from this second marriage,240
Or in my cell there would she kill herself.
Then gave I her, so tutor'd by my art,
A sleeping potion; which so took effect
As I intended, for it wrought on her
The form of death: meantime I writ to Romeo245
That he should hither come as[E 53] this dire night,
To help to take her from her borrow'd grave,
Being the time the potion's force should cease.
But he which bore my letter, Friar John,
Was stay'd by accident, and yesternight250
Return'd my letter back. Then, all alone,
At the prefixed hour of her waking,
Came I to take her from her kindred's vault,
Meaning to keep her closely at my cell
Till I conveniently could send to Romeo:255
But when I came, some minute[E 54] ere the time
Of her awakening,[C 89] here untimely lay
The noble Paris and true Romeo dead.
She wakes; and I entreated her come forth
And bear this work of heaven with patience:260
But then a noise did scare me from the tomb,
And she, too desperate, would not go with me,
But, as it seems, did violence on herself.
All this I know;[E 55] and to the marriage
Her nurse is privy: and, if aught in this265
Miscarried by my fault, let my old life
Be sacrificed some hour before his[C 90] time
Unto the rigour of severest law.
Prince. We still[E 56] have known thee for a holy man.—
Where's Romeo's man? what can he say to this?[C 91]270
Bal.[C 92] I brought my master news of Juliet's death;
And then in post[E 57] he came from Mantua
To this same place, to this same monument.[C 93]
This letter he early[E 58] bid me give his father,
And threaten'd me with death, going in the vault,275
If I departed not and left him there.
Prince. Give me the letter; I will look on it.—
Where is the county's page that raised the watch?—
Sirrah, what made[E 59] your master in this place?
Page.[C 94] He came with flowers to strew his lady's grave;280
And bid me stand aloof, and so I did:
Anon comes one with light to ope the tomb;
And by and by[E 60] my master drew on him;
And then I ran away to call the watch.
Prince. This letter doth make good the friar's words,285
Their course of love, the tidings of her death:
And here he writes that he did buy a poison
Of a poor pothecary, and therewithal
Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.—
Where be these enemies?—Capulet!—Montague!290
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love;
And I, for winking at your discords too,
Have lost a brace[E 61] of kinsmen: all are punish'd.
Cap. O brother Montague, give me thy hand:295
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand.
Mon. But I can give thee more:
For I will raise[C 95] her statue in pure gold;
That whiles[C 96] Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such[C 97] rate be set300
As that of true[E 62] and faithful Juliet.
Cap. As rich shall Romeo[E 63] by his lady[C 98] lie;
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!
Prince. A glooming[C 99][E 64] peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:305
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:[E 65]
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.[Exeunt.


Critical notes

  1. A churchyard …] Rowe (substantially).
  2. Enter …] Capell (substantially); Enter Countie Paris and his Page with flowers and sweete water Q 1; Enter Paris and his Page Q, F.
  3. 1. aloof] Q, aloft F.
  4. 3. yond yew-trees] Pope; this Ew-tree Q 1; yond young trees Q, F;
  5. along] Q, F; alone F 2.
  6. 4. Holding thine] Capell; Keeping thine Q 1; Holding thy Q, F.
  7. 10. [Aside]] Capell.
  8. 11. Retires] Capell; Exit F 2; omitted Q, F.
  9. 12, 13. strew,— … stones—] strew: … stones, Q, F.
  10. 17. The Page whistles] Whistle Boy Q, F.
  11. 18. warning something] Collier; warning, something Q, F.
  12. 19. way] Q, wayes F.
  13. 20. rite] Pope (ed. 2); right Q, F; rites Q 1.
  14. 21. Retires] Capell.
  15. Enter …] Malone, from Theobald and Capell; Enter Romeo and Peter Qq 2, 3, Ff; Enter Romeo and Balthazar his man, Qq 4, 5; Enter Romeo and Balthasar, with a torch, a mattocke, and a crow of yron Q 1.
  16. 34. farther] Q, further F.
  17. 37. savage-wild] hyphen, Steevens.
  18. 40, 43. Bal.] Qq 4, 5; Pet. Q, F.
  19. 40. you] F, ye Q.
  20. 41. show me friendship] Q, F; win my favour Q 1.
  21. 43. [Aside]] Capell.
  22. 44. Retires] Hanmer, Exit F 2.
  23. 47. Opens …] Capell substantially; Cambridge after line 48.
  24. 53. Comes forward] draws and rushes forward Capell (after line 54).
  25. 60. these] Q, those F.
  26. 62. Put] Q, F; Heape Q 1; Pull Rowe.
  27. 67. bid] Q, F; bad Q 5.
  28. 68. conjurations] Q 1; commiration Q; commisseration Q 3, F.
  29. 69. apprehend] Q, F; doe attach Q 1.
  30. 70. They fight] Q 1.
  31. 71. Page] Qq 4, 5; omitted Qq 2, 3; Pet. F; Boy Q 1.
  32. Exit] Capell.
  33. 72. [Falls]] Capell.
  34. 73. Dies] Theobald.
  35. 82. book!] Capell, booke, Q, booke. F.
  36. 87. Laying …] Theobald.
  37. 94. art] Q, are F.
  38. 100. thine] Q, thy F.
  39. 102. shall I believe] Theobald; I will believe, Shall I believe Q, F.
  40. 107. palace] pallat Q (alone).
  41. 119. [Drinks]] Theobald (substantially).
  42. 120. Dies] Theobald.
  43. 121. Enter …] Malone (after Capell); Enter Frier with Lanthorne, Crowe, and Spade. Q, F.
  44. 135. Stay, then;] Hazlitt, Stay then Q, Stay, then F, Stay then, Q 5;
  45. Fear] Q, Feares F.
  46. 136. unlucky] F, unthriftie Q (alone).
  47. 137. yew-tree] Pope, yong tree Q, young tree F.
  48. 139. Romeo!] Rowe; Romeo. Q, F; Romeo? Hanmer.
  49. Advances] Malone.
  50. 143. Enters …] Capell, substantially.
  51. 147. Juliet wakes] Pope (substantially), Juliet rises Q 1.
  52. 148. where is] Q, where's F.
  53. 150. Noise within] Capell.
  54. 151. noise.—Lady] Capell; noyse Lady, Q, F.
  55. 159. Exit …] Q, F; after line 160 Dyce.
  56. 163. O] Q, F; Ah Q 1;
  57. all,] Q, all? F;
  58. drunk … left] Q; drinke … left Q 3, Ff; drinke … leave Q 1.
  59. 167. First Watch [Within]] Capell; Enter boy and Watch. Watch Q, F.
  60. 168. Snatching …] Steevens.
  61. 169. This is] Q, 'Tis in F.
  62. Stabs herself] Kils herselfe F (at end of line), omitted Q, She stabs herselfe and falles Q 1;
  63. rust] Q, F; rest Q 1.
  64. Falls …] Malone.
  65. Enter Watch …] Capell substantially, here, in place assigned by Q 1 (compare collation, line 167).
  66. 170. Page] Capell, Watch boy Q, Boy F.
  67. 172. Exeunt …] Hanmer substantially.
  68. 175. this] Q these F.
  69. 177. Exeunt …] Capell.
  70. 180. Re-enter …] Dyce; Enter Romeos man Q, F.
  71. 181. Second Watch] Rowe; Watch Q, F.
  72. 182, 186. First Watch] Rowe, Chiefe Watch Q, Con. F.
  73. 185. churchyard] F, churchyards Q.
  74. 186. too] F, too too Q.
  75. 188. morning's] F, morning Q.
  76. Enter …] Capell (substantially), Enter Capels Q, Enter Capulet and his Wife F.
  77. 189. they so shriek] F, is so shrike Q.
  78. 190. The people] Pope; O the people Q, F.
  79. 193. our] Capell (Johnson and Heath conjec.); your Q, F.
  80. 194, 198. First Watch] Capell; Watch Q, F.
  81. 201. heaven] F, heavens Q (alone).
  82. 204. it] Q (alone), is F.
  83. Enter …] Capell; Enter Mountague Q, F.
  84. 208. more early down] Q 1, now earling downe Q, now early downe F.
  85. 211. mine] Q, my F.
  86. 213. is in] Q, in is F.
  87. 231. that] Qq 4, 5; thats Q, that's F.
  88. 239. mean] Q, means F.
  89. 257. awakening] Q, awaking F.
  90. 267. his] Q, the F.
  91. 270. to this] Q, F; in this Q 1.
  92. 271. Bal.] Q, Boy F.
  93. 273. place, to … monument.] F, place. To … monument Q.
  94. 280. Page] F, Boy Q.
  95. 298. raise] F, raie Q.
  96. 299. whiles] Q, F; while Rowe.
  97. 300. such] Q, that F.
  98. 302. Romeo … lady] Q 1, F; Romeos … Ladies Q.
  99. 304. glooming] Q, F; gloomie Q 1.


Explanatory notes

  1. A churchyard …] Brooke in his poem "refers to the Italian custom of building large family tombs" (Rolfe).
  2. 10. stand] Collier (MS.) has stay; the Page does not stand, but lies "along"; Dyce takes "stand" to mean remain.
  3. 12, 13. strew,— … stones—] The pointing, which differs little from that of the Cambridge Shakespeare, is intended to make the second line of this sonnet-like sextet parenthetic, thus to connect which with "flowers" instead of with "canopy."
  4. 14. sweet water] water perfumed, as in Titus Andronicus, II. iv. 6. See stage-direction Q 1 at opening of this scene.
  5. 18. warning something] Several editors point as Q, F.
  6. 21. Balthasar] Peter in Q, F. Collier suggests that Kemp doubled his part, acting both Peter and Balthasar, whence the confusion.
  7. 32. dear] precious in import, important, as in 1 Henry IV. IV. i. 34: "so … dear a trust."
  8. 33. jealous] suspicious, as often in Shakespeare.
  9. 45. detestable] accented as in IV. v. 56.
  10. 47. Opens the tomb] Daniel supposes that the tomb was placed in the space under the gallery at the back of the stage proper. Malone thinks a trap-door may have been opened, and that Romeo may have brought Juliet up in his arms from the vault beneath the stage.
  11. 48. despite] Keightley conjectures requite.
  12. 62. Put] Capell conjectures Pluck.
  13. 68. conjurations] solemn entreaties, as in Henry V. I. ii. 29. A passage in Painter's tale misled Steevens into supposing that it meant magical incantations. Collier (MS.) omits thy and reads commiseration. Mommsen conjectures commination.
  14. 71. O … watch] Printed in italics, without prefix, in Qq 2, 3. Mommsen supposes that the italics indicate that it was spoken behind the scenes.
  15. 84. lantern] used in the architectural sense; a structure on the top of a dome, or the roof of a hall for the admission of light; a tower the interior of which, open to view from the ground, is lighted from an upper tier of windows (e.g. the lantern of Ely), also a light open erection on the top of a tower. Steevens cites Holland's Pliny, 35. 12: "hence came the louvers and lanternes reared over the roofes of temples."
  16. 86. presence] presence-chamber, state-room, as in Richard II. I. iii. 289.
  17. 87. Death] Dyce (ed. 2) adopts Lettsom's conjecture Dead. Romeo brings "Death," in the person of Paris, into the presence-chamber.
  18. 87. a dead man] For Romeo himself already has parted with life. Clarke aptly compares Keats, Isabella:

    "So the two brothers and their murder'd man
    Rode past fair Florence."

  19. 90. lightning] Ray gives as a proverbial saying, "It's a lightning before death." Steevens quotes an example from The Second Part of The Downfall of Robert, Earl of Huntingdon (1601). For other examples, and a fine simile from Daniel's Civil Wars, see Nares' Glossary.
  20. 96. death's pale flag] Steevens compares Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond (1592), lines 773–775:

    "And nought-respecting death (the last of paines)
    Plac'd his pale colours (th' ensigne of his might)
    Upon his new-got spoyle before his right."

  21. 97. Tybalt] This address to Tybalt had its suggestion in Brooke's poem.
  22. 103. Death is amorous] Malone compares Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond (1592), lines 841–845:

    "Ah, how me thinkes I see Death dallying seekes,
    To entertaine it selfe in Loves sweet place.
    ******
    And ugly Death sits faire within her face."

  23. 106. still] constantly, as often in Shakespeare.
  24. 108. Depart again] Following line 107 and preceding line 108 Qq 2, 3 and Ff read:

    "Depart againe, come lye thou in my arme, (armes Ff)
    Heer's to thy health, where ere thou tumblest in.
    O true Appothecarie!
    Thy drugs are quicke. Thus with a kisse I die."

    Qq 4, 5 omit these lines; Daniel supposes that they are a shortened version of the speech intended for the stage and by accident printed. Where ere thou tumblest in, he adds, "may possibly be a corruption of a stage-direction to the actor to fall into the tomb." The words may only be a grim way of saying, "Wherever thy grave may be."

  25. 110. set … rest] See note on IV. v. 6.
  26. 112–118. Eyes … bark] Whiter notes the coincidence that in Romeo's speech I. iv. 106 of ominous premonition, ideas drawn from the stars, the land, the sea succeed one another as here.
  27. 114. doors of breath] Compare 2 Henry IV. IV. v. 31: "gates of breath," in the sense of lips.
  28. 115. dateless … engrossing] Dateless is without a term, everlasting, as in Sonnets, xxx. 6: "death's dateless night." "Engrossing," probably not copying a document, but rather buying up wholesale, as in Sonnets, cxxxiii. 6. So Misselden, Free Trade, 71 (1622): "Some one or few … do joine together to engrosse and buy in a Commodotie."
  29. 116. conduct] See III. i. 130.
  30. 118. thy] Pope read my, which Capell and Dyce adopt. Rolfe justly observes that Romeo has given up the helm to the "desperate pilot," who now is master of the bark.
  31. 122. stumbled] an evil omen, referred to in 3 Henry VI. IV. vii. 11. Sir Tobie Matthew, stumbling on the morning of his intended reception into the Roman Catholic Church, was tempted to postpone it to another day. After this line (122) Steevens inserts from Q 1, "Who is it that consorts, so late, the dead?"
  32. 123. Bal.] So, and in subsequent speeches, Qq 4, 5; "Man." Q, F.
  33. 136. unlucky] Some editors, following Q, unthrifty.
  34. 138. I dreamt] I fail to see any other "touch of nature" here than that Balthasar, who did not venture to his master's assistance, wishes to break the fact to the Friar rather than state it plainly.
  35. 148. comfortable] strengthening, supporting; used, as often, in the active sense. So All's Well, I. i. 86, "Be comfortable to my mother."
  36. 158. the watch] Shakespeare follows Brooke's poem.
  37. 160. Go … away] The words, as Dyce and the Cambridge editors indicate by bringing "Exit" to line 160, may be addressed to the Friar; but they may also be uttered by Juliet to herself after his departure.
  38. 162. timeless] untimely, as in Richard II. IV. i. 5.
  39. 169. rust] Of course rest Q 1, which many editors prefer, may be right; but our best authority is Q, and rust would more readily be misprinted rest than vice versâ. Grant White, who had regarded rust as a misprint, altered his opinion, and wrote: "Juliet's imagination is excited, and, looking beyond her suicidal act, she sees her dead Romeo's dagger, which would otherwise rust in its sheath, rusting in her heart; and, with fierce and amorous joy, she cries, 'This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die.'" 'Tis in of F is an attempt to emend the misprint 'Tis is of Q 3. Mr. Fleay proposes dagger lie In this, ending line 167 at noise.
  40. 175. two days] See IV. i. 105.
  41. 177. search] S. Walker conjectures that, after this, a line is lost, rhyming to woes.
  42. 180. circumstance] particulars, details.
  43. 189. shriek] Daniel adopts a suggestion of the Cambridge editors, "that is so shriek'd abroad?"
  44. 190. The people] Several editors retain O of Q, F.
  45. 200. tombs] Here Q, which had "Enter Capels" line 188, has "Enter Capulet and his Wife."
  46. 203. back] The dagger was carried on the back below the waist. See for evidence Steevens's note.
  47. 204. And it] The force of lo, line 202, goes on from "his house" (the sheath) to it, the dagger. With the reading And is F, from for lo to Montague must be regarded as parenthetic. Mommsen conjectures "And it is mis-sheath'd."
  48. 210. breath] After this line Dyce (following Ritson) inclines to think the following line from Q 1 should be added: "And young Benvolio is deceased too."
  49. 212. Look] Steevens conjectures "Look in this monument, and," etc. "Look here," and "Look there" have been proposed. A pause, equivalent to a syllable, is perhaps intended after Look.
  50. 213. manners] Shakespeare makes the word, at pleasure, singular or plural.
  51. 215. outrage] passionate utterance, as in 1 Henry VI. IV. i. 126: "this immodest, clamorous outrage." Collier (MS.), outcry.
  52. 228. brief] Malone: "Shakespeare was led into this uninteresting narrative by following Romeus and Juliet too closely." Ulrici argues that it is needed for the reconciliation of the houses, which follows.
  53. 246. as] This as used with adverbs and adverbial phrases of time is still common dialectically, but literary English retains only as yet (New Eng. Dict.). I have noticed it frequently in Richardson's novels, used as in the following from Mrs. Delany's Autobiog. iii. 608 (quoted in New Eng. Dict.): "To carry us off to Longleat as next Thursday." Its force was restrictive; now we regard it as redundant. Compare Measure for Measure, V. i. 74: "As then the messenger."
  54. 256. minute] Hanmer minutes; compare hour in line 267.
  55. 264. All this] Daniel conjectures "This, all I know";
  56. 269. still] constantly, always.
  57. 272. in post] in haste, or post-haste, as often in Shakespeare.
  58. 274. he early] Marshall conjectures "bid me give his father early," or "bid me early give his father."
  59. 279. made] was doing, or was about, as in Merry Wives, II. i. 244: "What they made there I know not."
  60. 283. by and by] immediately, presently, as often in Shakespeare.
  61. 294. brace] Mercutio and Paris. See iii. i. 115, iii. v. 180 ("princely parentage" Q i), and v. iii. 75. In Troilus and Cressida, iv. v. 175 brace is used as here: "Your brace of warlike brothers."
  62. 301. true] Collier (MS.) fair.
  63. 302. Romeo] Several editors follow Q Romeo's and lady's. Theobald has Romeo's and lady.
  64. 304. glooming] The word is neither uncommon nor obsolete, but it dropped for a time out of literature; hence probably F 4 gloomy.
  65. 307. pardon'd … punished] In Brooke's poem the Nurse is banished, because she had hid the marriage; Romeo's servant is allowed to live free; the apothecary is hanged; Friar Lawrence is discharged, retires to a hermitage two miles from Verona, and, after five years, there dies.