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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,
My dreams prefage fome joyful news at hand:

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?

Enter Balthafar.

News from Verona-How now, Balthafar?
Doft thou not bring me letters from the Friar?
How doth my Lady? is my father well?
How doth my Juliet? That I afk again;
For nothing can be ill, if fhe be well.

Balth. Then he is well, and nothing can be ill;
Her body fleeps in Capulets' monument,
And her immortal part with angels lives.
I faw her laid low in her kindred's vault,
And prefently took poft to tell it you.
O, pardon me for bringing thefe ill news,
Since you did leave it for my Office, Sir.
Rom. Is it even fo? then I defy you, Stars!
Thou know'st my lodging,-get me ink and
And hire poft horfes. I will hence to-night.
Balth. Pardon me, Sir, I dare not leave you thus.
Your looks are pale and wild, and do import
Some mifadventure.

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

paper,

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.

Rom. Tufh, thou art deceiv'd.

Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do.
Haft thou no letters to me from the Friar?
Balth. No, my good Lord.

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
To enter in the thought of defperate men!
I do remember an Apothecary,

And hereabouts he dwells, whom late I noted
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of fimples; meager were his looks;
Sharp mifery had worn him to the bones;
And in his needy fhop a tortoife hung,
An alligator ftuft, and other skins.
Of ill-fhap'd fishes; and about his fhelves.
A beggarly account of empty boxes;
Green earthen pots, bladders, and mufty feeds,
Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of rofes
Were thinly scatter'd to make up a fhow.
Noting this penury, to myself, I said,
An if a man did need a poifon now,
Whose fale is prefent death in Mantua,

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

wrote,

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

Here lives a caitiff wretch would fell it him.

Oh, this fame thought did but fore-run my need,
And this fame needy man muft fell it me.
As I remember, this fhould be the house.
Being holy-day, the beggar's fhop is fhut.
-What, ho! apothecary!

Enter Apothecary.

Ap. Who calls fo loud?

I fee, that thou art poor.

Rom. Come hither, man.
Hold. There is forty ducats. Let me have
A dram of poison, fuch foon-speeding geer,
As will difperfe itself thro' all the veins,
That the life-weary Taker may fall dead;
And that the Trunk may be discharg'd of breath,
As violently, as hafty powder fir'd

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,
And fear'st to die? famine is in thy cheeks,
Need and oppreffion ftare within thine eyes,
Contempt and beggary hang upon thy back,
The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law;
The world affords no law to make thee rich,
Then be not poor, but break it and take this.
Ap. My poverty, but not my will, confents.
Rom. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.
Ap. Put this in any liquid thing you will,
And drink it off, and if you had the ftrength
Of twenty men, it would difpatch you ftraight.
Rom. There is thy gold; worfe pofon to men's
fouls,

Doing more murders in this loathfome world,
Than thefe poor compounds that thou may'st not sell.
I fell thee poifon, thou haft fold me none.

Farewel,

Farewel, buy food, and get thee into flesh.
Come, cordial, and not poifon; go with me
To Juliet's grave, for there must I use thee. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Changes to the Monastery at Verona.

Enter Friar John.

OLY Franciscan Friar! brother! ho!

John.

HOL

Enter Friar Lawrence to him.

Law. This fame fhould be the voice of Friar John.-
Welcome from Mantua; what fays Romeo?
Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.
John. Going to find a bare-foot brother out,
One of our Order, to affociate me,
Here in this city vifiting the fick;

And finding him, the Searchers of the town,
Sufpecting that we both were in a house
Where the infectious peftilence did reign,

Seal'd up
the doors, and would not let us forth;
So that my speed to Mantua there was staid.
Law. Who bore my letter then to Romeo?
John. I could not fend it; here it is again;
Nor get a Meffenger to bring it thee,
So fearful were they of infection.

Law. Unhappy fortune! by my Brotherhood,
The letter was not nice, but full of charge
Of dear import; and the neglecting it
May do much danger. Friar John, go hence,
Get me an iron Crow, and bring it ftraight
Unto my cell.

John. Brother, I'll go and bring it thee.

[Exit.

Law.

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