present tense endeth in eth, and of the Dano were no other evidence, from Shakspere alone. Saxon in es." Malone, we think, has rightly The matter had been reduced to a science. stated the principle upon which such idioms, Tybalt is the “ courageous captain of compliwhich appear false concords to us, should be ments,"—a perfect master of punctilio, one corrected,—that is, " to substitute the modern who kills his adversary by rule—“one, two, idiom in all places except where either the and the third in your bosom.” The gentleman metre or rhyme renders it impossible.” But of the "first and second cause” is a gentleman to those who can feel the value of a slight who will quarrel upon the very slightest offences. sprinkling of our antique phraseology, it is the degrees in quarrelling were called the pleasant to drop upon the instances in which causes; and these have been most happily ridicorrection is impossible. We would not part culed by Shakspere in ‘As You Like It:'with the exquisite bit of false concord, as we

" Jaques. But for the seventh cause; how did you find must now term it, in the last word of the four

the quarrel on the seventh cause? following lines, for all that Shakspere's gram Touchstone. Upon a lie seven times removed; as thus, mar-correctors have ever written :

sir, I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard; he

sent me word, if I said his beard was not cut well, he was "Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings, in the mind it was: this is called the Retort courteous. If And Phæbus 'gins arise,

I sent him word again, it was not well cut, he would send His steeds to water at those springs

me word he cut it to please himself: this is called the Quip On chalic'd flowers that lies.”

modest. If, again, it was not well cut, he disabled my judg

ment: this is called the Reply churlish. If, again, it was > SCENE IV.—A duellist, a duellist.not well cut, he would answer, I spake not true: this is

called the Reproof valiant. If again, it was not well cut, he George Wither, in his obsequies upon the would say, I lie: this is called the Countercheck quarreldeath of Prince Henry, thus introduces Bri some ; and so to the Lie circumstantial and the Lie direct.” tannia lamenting :

When Touchstone adds, “O sir ! we quarrel in “Alas! who now shall grace my tournaments, print by the book," he alludes to the works of Or honour me with deeds of chivalrie ?”

Saviolo and Caranza, who laid down laws for the The tournaments and the chivalrie were then, duello. The wit of Shakspere is the best comhowever, but "an insubstantial pageant faded.” | mentary upon the philosophy of Montaigne : Men had learnt to revenge their private wrongs, Inquire why that man hazards his life and without the paraphernalia of heralds and honour upon the fortune of his rapier and warders. In the old chivalrous times they dagger; let him acquaint you with the occasion might suppress any outbreak of hatred or of the quarrel, he cannot do it without blushing, passion, and cherish their malice against each 't is so idle and frivolous."—(“Essays,' book iii. other until it could be legally gratified ; so ch. 10.) But philosophy and wit were equally that, according to the phrase of Richard Cour- unavailing to put down the quarrelsome spirit de-Lion in his ordinance for permitting tour of the times, and Henry IV. of France in vain naments, “ the peace of our land be not broken, declared all duellists guilty of lese-majesté, and nor justice hindred, nor damage done to our punishable with death ; and James I. of England forests." The private contest of two knights as vainly denounced them in the Star-chamber. was a violation of the laws of chivalry. Chau The practice of duelling went on with us till cer has a remarkable exemplification of this the civil wars came to merge private quarrels in his 'Knight's Tale,' where the duke, coming in public ones. Burton, in his ‘Anatomy of to the plain, saw Arcité and Palamon fighting Melancholy, has a bitter satire against the like two bulls :

nobility, when he says, they are "like our " This duke his courser with his spurrés smote, modern Frenchmen, that had rather lose a And at a start he was betwixt them two,

pound of blood in a single combat, than a drop And pulled out a sword and cried, Ho! No more, up pain of losing of your head;

of sweat in any honest labour." By mighty Mars, he shall anon be dead That smiteth any stroke that I may seen!

30 SCENE IV.—"What counterfeit did I give you? But telleth me what mistere men ye been,

The slip, sir, the slip."
That be so hardy for to fighten here
Withouten any judge or other officer,

A counterfeit piece of money and a slip were As though it were in listés really" (royally).

synonymous ; and in many old dramas we have That duels were frequent in England in the the same play upon words as here. In Robert reign of Elizabeth, we might collect, if there | Green's “Thieves falling out,' the word slip is

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defined as in a dictionary : "and therefore he consistent with such a division of time as
went and got him certain slips, which are coun this.
terfeit pieces of money, being brass, and covered

36 SCENE IV.–" Saucy merchant."
over with silver, which the common people call

Steevens pointed out that the term merchant

was anciently used in contradistinction to 31 Scene IV.-" The wild-goose chase.gentleman ; as we still use the word chap as Horse racing, and the wild-goose chase, were

an abbreviation of chapman. Douce has quoted amongst the “disports of great men in the

a passage from Whetstone's “Mirour for Matime of Elizabeth. It is scarcely necessary to

gestrates of Cyties' (1584), in which he speaks describe a sport, if sport it can be called, which of the usurious practices of the citizens of is still used amongst us.

When the “wits run

London, which is conclusive upon this point :the wild-goose chase,” we have a type of its

“The extremity of these men's dealings hath

been and is so cruell as there is a natural malice folly ; as the “switch and spurs, switch and spurs," is descriptive of its brutality.

generally impressed in the hearts of the gen

tlemen of England towards the citizens of 32 SCENE IV.—“Why, is not this better nou than London, insomuch as if they odiously name a groaning for love ?

man, they forthwith call him atrimme merchaunt. Coleridge invites us to compare, in this

In like despight the citizen calleth every rascal

scene, “Romeo's half-excited, and half-real ease of

a joly gentleman.” mind, with his first manner when in love with

» SCENE IV.-“R is for the dog."
Rosaline ! His will had come to the clenching
point.” Romeo had not only recovered the R was called the dog's letter. In his 'English
natural tone of his mind, but he had come back Grammar,' Ben Jonson says, “R is the dog's
to the conventional gaiety — the fives-play of letter and hirreth in the sound.” In our old
witty words—which was the tone of the best writers we have a verb formed from the noise
society in Shakspere's time. “Now art thou of a dog. Thus in Nashe (1600),
what thou art,” says Mercutio, "by art as well “They arre and bark at night against the moon;"
as by nature.”

and in Holland's translation of Plutarch's

;'"A dog is, by nature, fell and quarrel.
33 SCENE IV.-"My fan, Peter."

some, given to arre and war upon a very small The fan which Peter had to bear was of pre- occasion.” Erasmus has a meaning for R being posterous dimensions. It does not appear quite the dog's letter, which is not derived from the so ridiculous, therefore, when we look at the sound :-“R, litera quæ in Rixando prima est, size of the machine, to believe the Nurse should canina vocatur.” have a servant to bear it. Shakspere has given the same office to Armado in 'Love's Labour's

37 SCENE V. Therefore do nimble-pinion'd Lost:'

doves draw love." “Oh! a most dainty man,

The "love" thus drawn was the queen of To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan."

love ; for “the wind-swift Cupid” had “wings." 34 SCENE IV.-“Is it good den ?"

Shakspere had there the same idea which sug.

gested his own beautiful description at the According to Mercutio's answer, the time was

close of the 'Venus and Adonis :'noon when the evening salutation “good den”

"Thus weary of the world, away she hies, began. But Shakspere had here English man And yokes her silver doves; by whose swift aid, ners in his eye. The Italian custom of com Their mistress mounted, through the empty skies mencing the day half an hour after sunset, and

In her light chariot quickly is convey'd,

Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen reckoning through the twenty-four hours, is in. Means to immure herself, and not be seen."

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* SCENE I.—" Affection makes him false." dents; so that the man-at-arms was, like Romeo THERE is a slight particle of untruth in Ben- in his passion, dismembered with his own volio's statement, which, to a certain degree, defence." justifies this charge of Lady Capulet. Tybalt was bent upon quarrelling with Romeo, but

41 SCENE V.—"Juliet's Chamber.Mercutio forced on his own quarrel with Tybalt. The stage direction in the folio edition of Dr. Johnson's remark upon this circumstance is 1623 is, “Enter Romeo and Juliet aloft." In worthy his character as a moralist :-“ The the first quarto, 1597, the direction is, “Enter charge of falsehood on Benvolio, though pro- Romeo and Juliet at the window.” To underduced at hazard, is very just. The author, who stand these directions, we must refer to the conseems to intend the character of Benvolio as struction of the old theatres. "Towards the good, meant, perhaps, to show how the best rear of the stage,” says Malone, “there appears minds, in a state of faction and discord, are to have been a balcony or upper stage; the platdetorted to criminal partiality.”

form of which was probably eight or nine feet

from the ground. I suppose it to have been * SCENE II.—God save the mark !

supported by pillars. From hence, in many of This expression occurs in the 'First Part of our old plays, part of the dialogue was spoken ; Henry IV.,' in Hotspur's celebrated speech de- and in the front of it curtains likewise were fending the denial of his prisoners. In 'Othello' hung, so as occasionally to conceal the persons we have God bless the mark. In these cases, as in it from the view of the audience. At each in the instance before us, the commentators side of this balcony was a box very inconveleave the expression in its original obscurity. niently situated, which was sometimes called May we venture a conjecture ? The mark which the private box. In these boxes, which were at persons who are unable to write are required to a lower price, some persons sate, either from make, instead of their signature, is in the form economy or singularity.” The balcony probably of a cross ; but anciently the use of this mark served a variety of purposes.

Malone says, was not confined to illiterate persons, for, amongst the Saxons, the mark of the cross, as an attestation of the good faith of the person signing, was required to be attached to the signature of those who could write, and to stand in the place of the signature of those who could not write. (See ‘Blackstone's Commentaries.') The ancient use of the mark was universal ; and the word mark was, we believe, thus taken to signify the cross. God save the mark was, therefore, a form of ejaculation approaching to the character of an oath; in the same manner as assertions were made emphatic by the addition of " by the rood,” or “ by the holy rood.” * SCENE III.—Like powder in a skill-less

soldier's flask.The force and propriety of this comparison are manifest; but, fully to understand it, we must know how the soldier of Shakspere's time was accoutred. His heavy gun was fired with a match, his powder was carried in a flask; and the match and the powder, in unskilful hands, “When the citizens of Angiers are to appear on were doubtless sometimes productive of acci the walls of their town, and young Arthur to


leap from the battlements, I suppose our ances us that throughout his journeys in the East he tors were contented with seeing them in the never heard such a choir of nightingales as in a balcony already described; or, perhaps, a few row of pomegranate-trees that skirt the road boards tacked together, and painted so as to from Smyrna to Boudjia. In the truth of resemble the rude discoloured walls of an old details such as these the genius of Shakspere is town, behind which a platform might have been as much exhibited as in his wonderful powers of placed near the top, on which the citizens stood.” generalization. It appears to us probable that even in these cases the balcony served for the platform, and “3 SCENE V.-" It was the lark, the heralt of the that a few painted boards in front supplied the

morn." illusion of wall and tower. There was still

Shakspere's power of describing natural objects another use of the balcony. According to is unequalled in this beautiful scene, which, as Malone, when a play was exhibited within a

we think, was amongst his very early producplay, as in “Hamlet, the court, or audience, tions. The 'Venus and Adonis,' published in before whom the interlude was performed, sate 1593, is also full of this power. Compare the in the balcony. To Malone's historical account following passage with the description of mornof the English stage, and to Mr. Colliers ing in the scene before us :valuable details regarding theatres (‘Annals of

“ Lo! here the gentle lark, weary of rest, the Stage,' vol. iii.), the reader is referred for

From his moist cabinet mounts up on high, fuller details upon this and other points which

And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast bear upon the economy of our ancient drama. The sun ariseth in his majesty; We prefix a representation of the old stage, with

Who doth the world so gloriously behold,

That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold." its balcony, which we have been fortunate in finding engraved in the title-page to Dr. William " SCENE V.—Hunting thee hence with huntsAlabaster's Latin tragedy of Roxana,' 1632.

up to the day."

There was one Gray, a maker of " certain 42 SCENE V.—“Nightly she sings on yon pome- merry ballads,” who, according to Puttenham in granate-tree."

his ‘Art of English Poesy' (1589), grew into In the description of the garden in Chaucer's good estimation with Henry VIII., and the translation of the Romaunt of the Rose,' the Protector Somerset, for the said merry ballads, pomegranate is first mentioned amongst the "whereof one chiefly was, “The hunte is up, the fruit-trees :

hunte is up.'" Douce thinks he has recovered “ There were and that wot I full well)

the identical song, which he reprints. One of pomegranates a full great deal."

stanza will, perhaps, satisfy our readers :The "orchard of pomegranates with pleasant “Chorus

{The hunt is up, the hunt is up, fruits." was one of the beautiful objects described

Sing merrily wee, the hunt is up;

The birds they sing, by Solomon in his Canticles. Amongst the

The dear they fing, fruit-bearing trees, the pomegranate is in some

Hey, nony nony-no:

The hounds they crye, respects the most beautiful; and, therefore, in

The hunters flye, the south of Europe and in the East it has

Hey trolilo, trololilo. become the chief ornament of the garden. But

The hunt is up, the hunt is up." where did Shakspere find that the nightingale haunted the pomegranate-tree, pouring forth

45 SCENE V._"O God! I have an ill-divining her song from the same bough, week after week!

soul." Doubtless in some of the old travels with which Coleridge has some remarks upon that beauhe was familiar. Chaucer puts his nightingale tiful passage in ‘Richard II.,' where the queen "in a fresh green laurel-tree;" but the prefer- saysence of the nightingale for the pomegranate is “Some unborn sorrow, ripe in sorrow's womb, unquestionable. “The nightingale sings from Is coming toward me;" the pomegranate-groves in the day-time," says which we may properly quote here : “ Mark in Russel in his account of Aleppo. A friend, this scene Shakspere's gentleness in touching whose observations as a traveller are as acute as the tender superstitions, the terre incognito of his descriptions are graphic and forcible, informs presentiments, in the human mind; and how

sharp a line of distinction he commonly draws

my mind misgives between these obscure forecastings of general

Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,

Shall bitterly begin his fearful date experience in each individual, and the vulgar

With this night's revels; " errors of mere tradition. Indeed, it may be taken, once for all, as the truth, that Shakspere, he is under the influence of his habitual melanin the absolute universality of his genius, always colours all his imagination with a gloomy fore

choly,—the sentiment of unrequited love, which reverences whatever arises out of our moral nature; he never profanes his muse with a con- shadowing of coming events. In the passage temptuous reasoning away of the genuine and

before us, when Juliet sees her husband general, however unaccountable, feelings of man "As one dead in the bottom of a tomb," kind."—(* Literary Remains,' vol. ii. page 174.) we have the fear” which doth “ teach” her -Shakspere has himself given us the key to heart “ divination.” But Romeo, in the fifth his philosophy of presentiments. Venus, dread. Act, has a presentiment directly contrary to the ing the death of Adonis by the boar, says

approaching catastrophe : and this arises out of "The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed; his “unaccustomed” animal spirits :

And fear doth teach it divination;
I prophesy thy death."

“My bosom's lord sits lightly on his throne.” Such presentiments, which may or may not be All these states of mind are common to the realized, appertain to the imagination when in imagination deeply stirred by passionate emoa highly-excited state. Our poet has exhibited tions. Nothing, in all Sbakspere's philosophy, the feeling under three different aspects in appears to us finer than the deceiving nature of Romeo and Juliet :' when Romeo, before going Romeo's presages in the last Act, as compared to the masquerade, exclaims,

with the true-divining fears of Juliet.



* SCENE I.--"In thy best robes, uncoverd, on the cumstances. Juliet was carried to her tomb as bier."

the maids and the matrons of Italy are still In the adaptation of Bandello's tale, in ‘Painter's

carried. Rogers has most accurately described

such a scene :Palace of Pleasure,' we have, “they will judge you to be dead, and, according to the custom of

“But now by fits

A dull and dismal noise assail'd the ear, our city, you shall be carried to the churchyard

A wail, a chant, louder and louder yet; hard by our church.” The Italian mode of And now a strange fantastic troop appear'd! interment is given in the poem of 'Romeus

Thronging, they came-as from the shades below;

All of a ghostly white ! 'Oh! say, 'I cried, and Juliet':

Do not the living here bury the dead? "Another use there is, that whosoever dyes,

Do spirits come and fetch them? What are these, Borne to their church with open face upon the beere he

That seem not of this world, and mock the day;

Each with a burning taper in his hand ?' In wonted weede attyrde, not wrapt in winding-sheet.”

• It is an ancient brotherhood thou seest.

Such their apparel. Through the long, long line, Painter has no description of this custom; but

Look where thou wilt, no likeness of a man; Shakspere saw how beautifully it accorded with

The living mask'd, the dead alone uncover'd.

But mark'-And, lying on her funeral couch, the conduct of his story, and he therefore Like one asleep, her eyelids closed, her hands emphatically repeats it in the directions of the Folded together on her modest breast, Friar, after Juliet's supposed death :

As 't were her nightly posture, through the crowd

She came at last—and richly, gaily clad, * Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary

As for a birthday feast !”
On this fair corse ; and, as the custom is,
In all her best array bear her to church."

47 SCENE II.—"Sirrah, go hire me twenty Ancient customs survive when they are built

cunning cooks." upon the unaltering parts of national character, The “cunning cook,” in the time of Shakand have connection with unalterable local cir- I spere, was, as he is at present, a great personage.

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