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5A CT V. SCENE I.
MAN T U A.
Enter ROME O.
F I may truft the flattering Truth of sleep,
5 The acts are here properly enough divided, nor did any better diftribution than the editors have already made, occur to me in the perufal of this play; yet it may not be improper to remark, that in the first folio, and I fuppofe the foregoing editions are in the fame ftate, there is no divifion of the acts, and there-fore fome future editor may try, whether any improvement can be made, by reducing them to a length more equal, or interrupting the action at more proper intervals.
6 If I may truft the flattering TRUTH of fleep] This man was of an odd compofition to be able to make it a queftion, whether he should believe what he confeffed to be true. Tho' if he thought Truth capable of Flattery, he might indeed fuppofe her to be turn'd apoftate. But none of this nonfenfe came from Shakespear. He wrote,
If I may truft the flattering RUTH of fleep, i. e. Pity. The compaffionaté
advertisement of fleep. This was a feasonable question; and the epithet given to Ruth fuits its nature. But, above all, the character which the poet always gives us of Sleep is here well defcribed in this reading; that it is pitiful, compaffionate, the
Balm of burt minds, great Na
tare's fecond course, Chif nourisher of life's feat.But because I had corrected it,
-the flattering Ruth of fleep, the Oxford Editor would be even with me, and reads it,
-the flattery of fleep; And he has done it. For tho' a reafonable man might make it a queftion, whether he should believe a compaffionate advertisement, yet who would hefitate whether he should believe a flatterer. WARBURTON.
This feems to be a favourite correction, but it is not necessary. The fenfe is, If I may only truft the honesty of fleep, which I know however not to be so nice as not often to practise flattery.
My bofom's Lord fits lightly on his throne, And, all this day, an unaccustom'd spirit Lifts me above the ground with chearful thoughts. I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead, Strange dream! that gives a dead man leave to think, And breath'd fuch life with kiffes in my lips, That I reviv'd, and was an Emperor. Ah me! how sweet is love itfelf poffeft, When but love's fhadows are fo rich in joy?
News from Verona-How now, Balthafar?
Balth. Then he is well, and nothing can be ill;
9 My befom's Lord-] Thefe three lines are very gay and pleafing. But why does Shakefeare give Romeo this involuntary cheerfulness juft before the extremity of unhappiness? Perhaps
to fhew the vanity of trusting to thofe uncertain and cafual exaltations or depreffions, which many confider as certain foretokens of good and evil.
Rom. Tufh, thou art deceiv'd.
Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do.
Rom. No matter. Get thee gone,
And hire those horfes; I'll be with thee ftraight.
[Exit Balthafar. Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to-night;
Let's fee for means--O mischief! thou art swift
And hereabouts he dwells, whom late I noted
A BEGGARLY account of empty boxes;] Though the boxes were empty, yet their titles, or the accounts of their contents, if like thofe in the fhops of other apothecaries, we may be fure, were magnificent enough. I fufpect therefore that Shakefp.ar
the reading of the old Quarto of 1597:
-whofe needy fhop is stufft With beggarly accounts of emp ty boxes;
Not but account may fignify number as well as contents; if the first, the common reading is right. WARBURTON.
Beggarly is probably right; if A BRAGGARTLY account of the boxes were empty, the account empty boxes; was more beggarly, as it was
Which is somewhat confirmed by more pompous.
Here lives a caitiff wretch would fell it him.
Oh, this fame thought did but fore-run my need,
Ap. Who calls fo loud?
I fee, that thou art poor.
Rom. Come hither, man.
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.
Ap. Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua's law Is death to any he that utters them.
Rom. Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
Doing more murders in this loathfome world,
Farewel, buy food, and get thee into flesh.
Changes to the Monastery at Verona.
Enter Friar John.
OLY Franciscan Friar! brother! ho!
Enter Friar Lawrence to him.
Law. This fame fhould be the voice of Friar John.-
And finding him, the Searchers of the town,
Law. Unhappy fortune! by my Brotherhood,
John. Brother, I'll go and bring it thee.