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Gorg'd with the dearest morsel of the earth,
[Breaking open the Door of the Monument. And, in despite, I'll cram thee with more food! PAR. This is that banish'd haughty Montague, That murder'd my love's cousin ;-with which grief, It is supposed, the fair creature died,—
And here is come to do some villainous shame
Stop thy unhallow'd toil, vile Montague;
ROM. I must, indeed; and therefore came I hither.
Again, in Daniel's Civil Warres, 1595: "Such détestable vile impiety."
Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man,
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. i. c. i. st. 26:
"That detestable sight him much amus'd." MALOne. 7 HEAP not, &c.] Thus the quarto 1597. The quartos 1599 and 1609, and the folios-Put not; which led Mr. Rowe to introduce the unauthorized reading-pull. That in the text, however, is the true one. So, in Cymbeline :
Again, in a Letter from Queen Elizabeth to Lady Drury: "Heape not your harmes where helpe ther is none," &c. See Nichols's Progresses, &c. vol. ii. p. 36, F. 2. b.
After all, it is not impossible our author designed we should read-Pluck not, &c. Thus, in King Richard III. : sin will pluck on sin." STEEVENS.
So, in the poem of Romeus and Juliet: "With sighs and salted tears her shriving doth begin, "For she of heaped sorrows hath to speak, and not of sin."
By heaven, I love thee better than myself;
ROM. Wilt thou provoke me? then have at thee,
Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet".
8 I do DEFY thy conjurations,] Thus the quarto 1597. Paris conceived Romeo to have burst open the monument for no other purpose than to do some villainous shame on the dead bodies, such as witches are reported to have practised; and therefore tells him he defies him, and the magick arts which he suspects he is preparing to use. So, in Painter's translation of the novel, tom. ii. p. 244: 66 the watch of the city by chance passed by, and seeing light within the grave, suspected straight that they were necromancers which had opened the tombs to abuse the dead bodies, for aide of their arte." The folio reads:
"I do defy thy commiseration."
Among the ancient senses of the word-to defy, was to disdain, refuse, or deny. So, in the Death of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601:
Or, as I said, for ever I defy your company." Again, in The Miseries of Queen Margaret, by Drayton : My liege, quoth he, all mercy now defy."
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. ii. c. viii. :
"Foole, (said the Pagan) I thy gift defye."
Paris may, however, mean-I refuse to do as thou conjurest me to do, i. e. to depart. STEEVENS.
"I do defy thy conjurations." So the quarto 1597. Instead of this, in that of 1599, we find-commiration. In the next quarto, of 1609, this was altered to commiseration, and the folio being probably printed from thence, the same word is exhibited there. The obvious interpretation of these words, "I refuse to do as thou conjurest me to do, i. e. to depart," is in my apprehension the true one. MALONE.
9 Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.] This scene, till we come
ROM. In faith, I will:-Let me peruse this face;
to the following speech of Romeo, is thus given in the quarto 1597:
"Enter County Paris and his Page, with flowers and sweet water. "Par. Put out the torch, and lie thee all along
"Under this yew-tree, keeping thine ear close to the hollow ground.
"And if thou hear one tread within this churchyard, "Straight give me notice.
"Boy. I will, my lord.
[Paris strews the tomb with flowers. "Par. Sweet flower, with flowers I strew thy bridal bed: "Sweet tomb, that in thy circuit dost contain "The perfect model of eternity:
"Fair Juliet, that with angels dost remain,
"Enter Romeo and Balthasar, with a torch, a mattock, and a crow of iron.
"Par. The boy gives warning, something doth approach. "What cursed foot wanders this way to-night, "To stay my obsequies and true love's rites?
What, with a torch? muffle me, night, a while. "Rom. Give me this mattock, and this wrenching iron; "And take these letters: early in the morning, "See thou deliver them to my lord and father. "So get thee gone, and trouble me no more. "Why I descend into this bed of death, "Is partly to behold my lady's face, "But chiefly to take from her dead finger "A precious ring which I must use "In dear employment: but if thou wilt stay, "Further to pry in what I undertake, "By heaven, I'll tear thee joint by joint, "And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs. "The time and my intents are savage, wild.
"Balt. Well, I'll be gone, and not trouble you. "Rom. So shalt thou win my favour; take thou this ; "Commend me to my father; farewell, good fellow. "Balt. Yet for all this will I not part from hence. [Romeo opens the tomb. "Rom. Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,
Mercutio's kinsman, noble county Paris :-
"Gor'd with the dearest morsel of the earth. "Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to ope.
"Par. This is that banish'd haughty Montague. "That murder'd my love's cousin ; I will apprehend him Stop thy unhallow'd toil, vile Montague!
"Can vengeance be pursu'd further than death? "I do attach thee as a felon here.
"The law condemns thee, therefore thou must die.
"Rom. I must, indeed, and therefore came I hither; "Good youth, be gone! tempt not a desperate man, "Heap not another sin upon my head "By shedding of thy blood. I do protest "I love thee better than I love myself. "For I come hither arm'd against myself, "Par. I do defy thy conjurations,
"And do attach thee as a felon here.
"What, dost thou tempt me? then have at thee, boy.
"Boy. O Lord, they fight! I will go call the watch.
"Rom. I'faith, I will; let me peruse this face;
or did I dream it so?] Here the quarto 1597 not inelegantly subjoins:
"But I will satisfy thy last request,
"For thou hast priz'd thy love above thy life."
A following addition, however, obliged our author to omit these lines, though perhaps he has not substituted better in their room.
which their keepers call But how may I BOSWELL.
(1) Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet,
2 A grave? O, no; a LANTERN,] A lantern may not, in this instance, signify an enclosure for a lighted candle, but a louvre, or what in ancient records is styled lanternium, i. e. a spacious round or octagonal turret full of windows, by means of which cathedrals, and sometimes halls, are illuminated. See the beautiful lantern at Ely Minster.
The same word, with the same sense, occurs in Churchyard's Siege of Edinbrough Castle:
"This lofty seat and lantern of that land,
"Like lodestarre stode, and lokte o'er eu'ry streete." Again, in Philemon Holland's translation of the 12th chapter of the 35th book of Pliny's Natural History: hence came the louvers and lanternes reared over the roofes of temples," &c.
presence] A presence is a publick room.
A presence means a publick room, which is at times the presencechamber of the sovereign. So, in The Two Noble Gentlemen, by Beaumont and Fletcher, Jacques says, his master is a duke,— "His chamber hung with nobles, like a presence."
the king sent for
Again, in Westward for Smelts, 1620: the wounded man into the presence." MALONE. This thought, extravagant as it is, is borrowed by Middleton in his comedy of Blurt Master Constable, 1602 :
"The darkest dungeon which spite can devise
- by a dead man interr'd.] Romeo being now determin'd to put an end to his life, considers himself as already dead. MALONE.
Till I read the preceding note, I supposed Romeo meant, that he placed Paris by the side of Tybalt who was already dead, and buried in the same monument. The idea, however, of a man's receiving burial from a dead undertaker, is but too like some of those miserable conceits with which our author too frequently counteracts his own pathos. STEEvens.