Puslapio vaizdai

No fharp-ground knife, no prefent means of death,
But banishment to torture me withal?

O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
Howlings attend it: how haft thou the heart,
Being a divine, a ghoftly confeffor,
A fin abfolver, and my friend profeft,
To mangle me with that word, banishment?
Fri. Fond madman, hear me fpeak.
Rom. O thou wilt fpeak again of banishment.
Fri. I'll give thee armour to bear off that word,
Adverfity's fweet milk, philofophy,
To comfort thee, though thou art banished.
Rom. Yet banished? hang up philofophy:
Unlefs philofophy can make a Juliet,
Difplant a town, reverfe a prince's doom,
It helps not, it prevails not, talk no more-

Fri. O then I fee that madmen have no ears.
Rom. How fhould they, when that wife men have no


Fri. Let me difpute with thee of thy estate.

Rom. Thou canst not speak of what thou dost not feel:

Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
An hour but married, Tibalt murdered,
Doting like me, and like me banished;
Then mightit thou fpeak, then mightft thou tear thy
And fall upon the ground as I do now,
Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

SCENE VII. Juliet's Chamber, looking to the Garden.

Enter Romeo and Juliet above at a window; a ladder of ropes fet.

Jul. Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:

(10) 'It

[ocr errors]

(10) It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly the fings on yond' pomegranate tree;
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

Rom. It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale. (11) Look, love, what envious ftreaks

(10) It was, &c.] The poets abound with numberless fimilies and frequent mention of the nightingale: fhe, as well at the clofe of the evening when the fings, feems to have been a favourite. of Milton: the paffages in his works are well known; the following fine fimile, though perhaps not fo apt to our prefent purpose, yet as little known, I cannot help recommending.

I have heard

Two emulous philomels beat the ear of night,

With their contentious throats, now one the higher,
Anon the other, then again the first,

And by and by out-breafted, that the fenfe,
Could not be judge between them: fo, &c.

See Two Noble Kinfmen, A. 5. Sc. 3.

(11) Look, &c.] The poets in general feem to have exerted themselves in their defcription of the morning: the English may juftly claim the preference over the Greeks and Romans, and Shakespear I think over all: the prefent paffage is fufficient to fet in competition with all we can produce: and the Reader by referring to the index will find many others equally beautiful. However, according to my promife, I must remember to quote fome descriptions, the better to fet forth Shakespear's fuperior excellence: Homer has led the way, and in almost innumerable places, fpoken of the morning "as a goddess or divine perfon flying in the air, unbarring the gates of light, and opening the day. She is drawn by him in a faffron robe, and with rofy hands (p.dodaurin, which is the epithet he almost constantly bestows upon her, and perhaps may vie with any other however beautiful) fprinkling light through the earth. She arifes out of the waves of the fea, leaves the bed of Tython her lover, afcends the heavens, appears to gods and men, and gives notice of the fun's rifing. She is placed by the father of the poets fometimes on a throne of gold; now in a chariot drawn by swift horfes, and bearing along with her the day; and at other times the is ushered in by the ftar, which is her harbinger, and which gives the fignal of the morning's approach.-On this as a ground, the poets fol


Do lace the fevering clouds in yonder east:
Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day


lowing Homer, have run their divifions of fancy: this will ap pear by the following instances, &c." See Lay Monastery, p. 229.

See Dryden's Virgil for the ensuing;

Aurora now had left her faffron-bed,

And beams of early light the heav'ns o'erspread.
And now the rofy morn began to rise,
And wav'd her faffron streamer through the skies.

Now rofe the ruddy morn from Tython's bed,
And with the dawn of day the fkies o'erfpread:
Nor long the fun his daily course withheld,
But added colours to the world reveal'd.

The morn enfuing from the mountains' height,
Had fcarcely spread the skies with rofy light:
T'etherial courfers bounding from the fea,
From out their flaming noftrils breath'd the day.

Ovid by Trap.

Lo, from the rofy east, her purple doors
The morn unfolds adorn'd with blufhing flowers,
The leffen'd ftars draw off and disappear,
Whose bright battalions, laftly Lucifer,
Brings up, and quits his ftation in the rear.

Taffo by Fairfax.

The purple morning left her crimson bed,
And donn'd her robes of pure vermilion hue:
Her amber locks the crown'd with rofes red,
In Eden's flow'ry gardens gather'd new.

Spenfer, in his Faerie Queene.

Now when the rofy-finger'd morning fair,
Weary of aged Tithon's saffron bed,

Had fpread her purple robes thro' dewy air,
And the high hills Titan difcovered,
The royal virgin, &c.

At laft the golden oriental gate

Of greatest heaven 'gan to open fair,

And Phoebus fresh as bridegroom to his mate



Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
Jul. Yon light is not day-light, I know it well;
It is fome meteor which the fun exhales,

Came dancing forth fhaking his dewy hair,
And hurles his gliftering beams thro' gloomy air.

Milton in his Paradise Loft.

Now morn her rofy fteps in the eastern clime
Advancing, fow'd the earth with orient pearl,
The morn,
Wak'd by the circling hours, with rofy hand
Unbarr'd the gates of light.

And now went forth the morn,
Such as in highest heaven, array'd in gold
Empyreal, from before her vanish'd night
Shot thro' with orient beams.

[ocr errors]

There is fomething rather too puerile (I think) in this conceit of Milton's.


Many more might be produced from each of these poets: I have only felected those where particular notice is taken of the morning as a perfon; there are numberless admirable descriptions of the feveral circumstances that attend the rifing of the day, which occafion many beautiful images proper to the feafon; these would be too long to infert here; I fhall only add a few more lines from Beaumont and Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess; they likewise have many fine expreffions of the morn, to fet in competition with their brother poets: and which indeed of our English bards have not? Taylor the Water-poct boafts, that he has expreft the rifing of the fun, the morning, (I think) a thousand different ways. The following is from the latter end of the 4th Act of the Faithful Shepherdess.

See the day begins to break,
And the light fhoots like a streak
Of fubtle fire, the wind blows cold,
While the morning doth unfold:
Now the birds begin to roufe,
And the fquirrel from the boughs,
Leaps to get in nuts and fruit;
The early lark that erft was mute,
Carols to the rifing day,
Many a note and many a lay.


To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua ;
Then ftay a while, thou shalt not go so soon.
Rom. Let me then stay, let me be ta'en and die :
If thou wilt have it fo, I am content.

I'll fay yon grey is not the morning's eye,
'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow;
I'll fay it is the nightingale that beats
The vaulty heav'ns fo high above our heads,
And not the lark, the meffenger of morn.
Come death, and welcome: Juliet wills it fo.
How is't my foul? let's talk, it is not day.


Juliet's Refolution.

O bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,
From off the battlements of yonder tower;
Or chain me to fome steepy mountain's top,
Where roaring bears, and favage lion's roam;
Or fhut me nightly in a charnel houfe;

Or, cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones,
With reeky thanks, and yellow chapless skulls,
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud;
(Things that, to hear them ñam'd, have made me

And I will do it without fear or doubt,

To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love.


Hence Milton took the hint of the following lines in his ini mitable L'Allegro:

To hear the lark begin his flight,
And finging startle the dull night,
From is watch-tow'r in the fkics
Till the dappled dawn doth rife.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »