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No fharp-ground knife, no prefent means of death,
O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
Fri. O then I fee that madmen have no ears.
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,
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 was the nightingale, and not the lark,
Rom. It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
(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,
And by and by out-breafted, that the fenfe,
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:
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.
Now rofe the ruddy morn from Tython's bed,
The morn enfuing from the mountains' height,
Ovid by Trap.
Lo, from the rofy east, her purple doors
Taffo by Fairfax.
The purple morning left her crimson bed,
Spenfer, in his Faerie Queene.
Now when the rofy-finger'd morning fair,
Had fpread her purple robes thro' dewy air,
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.
Came dancing forth fhaking his dewy hair,
Milton in his Paradise Loft.
Now morn her rofy fteps in the eastern clime
And now went forth the morn,
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,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
I'll fay yon grey is not the morning's eye,
ACT IV. SCENE III.
O bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,
Or, cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones,
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,