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Nurfe. Now, by my maiden-head, -at twelve
year old,-

I bade her come.-What, lamb! what, lady-bird!--
God forbid !-where's this girl? what, Juliet!

Enter Fuliet.

ful. How now, who calls? Nurfe. Your mother.

Jul. Madam, I am here; what is your will? La. Cap. This is the matter:-Nurse, give leave awhile,

We must talk in fecret.-Nurfe, come back again;
I have remember'd me, thou fhalt hear our counsel,
Thou know'ft, my daughter's of a pretty age.

Nurfe. 'Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.
La. Cap She's not fourteen.

Nurfe. I'll lay fourteen of my teeth,---
And yet, 'to my teen be it spoken, I have but four,
She's not fourteen: How long is't now to Lammas-

La. Cap. A fortnight, and odd days.

Nurse. Even or odd, of all days in the year, Come Lammas-eve at night, shall she be fourteen. Sufan and fhe,-God rest all Chriftian fouls!-Were of an age.-Well, Sufan is with God; She was too good for me: But, as I faid, On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen; That fhall fhe, marry; I remember it well. 'Tis fince the earthquake now eleven years;


7-to my teen-] To my forrow. JOHNSON. This old word is introduced by Shakspeare for the fake of the jingle between teen, and four, and fourteen. See vol. i. p. 13.


It is fince the earthquake now eleven years;] But how comes the nurse to talk of an earthquake upon this occafion? There is no fuch circumstance, I believe, mentioned in any of the novels from which Shakspeare may be fuppofed to have drawn his story; and


And she was wean'd,-I never fhall forget it,-
Of all the days of the year, upon that day:
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
Sitting i' the fun under the dove-houfe wall,
My lord and you were then at Mantua :
Nay, I do bear a brain':-but, as I said,
When it did tafte the worm-wood on the nipple
Of my dug, and felt it bitter, pretty fool!
To fee it teachy, and fall out with the dug.
Shake, quoth the dove-house: 'twas no need, I trow,
To bid me trudge.

And fince that time it is eleven years :

For then she could stand alone'; nay, by the rood,
She could have run and waddled all about.
For even the day before, the broke her brow;
And then my husband-God be with his foul!
'A was a merry man ;-took up the child;

therefore it feems probable, that he had in view the earthquake, which had really been felt in many parts of England in his own time, viz. on the 6th of April, 1580. [See Store's Chronicle, and Gabriel Harvey's letter in the preface to Spenfer's works, ed. 1679.] If fo, one may be permitted to conjecture, that Romeo and Juliet, or this part of it at least, was written in 1591; after the 6th of April, when the eleven years fince the earthquake were completed; and not later than the middle of July, a fortnight and odd days before Lammas-tide. TYRWHITT.

9 Well, I do bear a brain.] That is, I have a perfect remembrance or recollection. So in The Country Captain, by the Duke of Newcastle, 1649, P. 51. "When these wordes of command are rotten, wee will fow fome other military feedes; you beare a braine and memory." EDITOR.

So, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:

"Dash, we must bear some brain.”

Again, in Marston's Dutch Courtefan, 1604: 66 -nay an I bear not a brain,"

Again, in Heywood's Golden Age, 1611:

"As I can bear a pack, fo I can bear a brain."


-could ftand alone,] The 4to, 1597, reads: "could stand bigh lone, i. c. quite alone, completely alone. So in another of our author's plays, high fantaftical means entirely fantalical.



Yea, quoth he, dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward, when thou haft more wit ;
Wilt thou not fule? and, by my holy-dam,
The pretty wench left crying, and faid-Ay:
To fee now, how a jeft fhall come about!
Iwarrant, an I should live a thousand years,
I never fhould forget it; Wilt thou not, Jule? quoth he:
And, pretty fool, it ftinted, and faid-Ay.

La. Cap. Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy



Nurfe. Yes, madam; Yet I cannot chufe but laugh, To think it should leave crying, and fay-Ay. And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow A bump as big as a young cockrel's ftone; A par'lous knock; and it cried bitterly. Yea, quoth my husband, fall upon thy face? Thou wilt fall backward when thou com'ft to age; Wilt thou not Jule? it ftinted, and faid,-Ay.

Jul. And ftint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.
Nurfe. Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his

Thou waft the prettieft babe that ere I nurs'd
An I might live to fee thee married once,
I have my wifh.

La. Cap. Marry, that marry is the very theme

9-it fiinted,] i. e. it stopped, it forbore from weeping. So, fir Thomas North, in his tranflation of Plutarch, fpeaking of the wound which Antony received, fays: "for the blood finted a little when he was laid."

Again, in Cynthia's Revells, by Ben Jonfon:

Stint thy babbling tongue."

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Again, in What you will, by Marfton, 1607:

"Pifh! for fhame ftint thy idle chat."

Again, in the Misfortunes of King Arthur, an ancient drama, 1587: "Fame's but a blast that founds a while,

"And quickly flints, and then is quite forgot."

Spenfer uses this word frequently in his Faerie Queen. STEEVENS. Nurfe. Yes, madam; yet I cannot chufe, &c.] This fpeech

and tautology is not in the firft edifion. POPE.

I came

I came to talk of :-Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How ftands your difpofition to be married?


ful. It is an honour that I dream not of.

Nurfe. An honour! were not I thine only nurse, I'd fay, thou hadft fuck'd wisdom from thy teat. La. Cap. Well, think of marriage, now ; younger than you,

Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,

Are made already mothers: by my count,
I was your mother much upon thefe years
That you are now a maid. Thus, then in brief ;-
The valiant Paris feeks you for his love.

Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man,
As all the world-Why, he's a man of wax +.
La. Cap. Verona's fummer hath not fuch a flower.
Nurfe. Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower.

2 It is an honour] The first quarto reads honour; the folio hour. I have chofen the reading of the quarto.

The word bour feems to have nothing in it that could draw from the Nurfe that applaufe which fhe immediately bestows. The word honour was likely to ftrike the old ignorant woman, as a very elegant and difcreet word for the occafion. STEEVENS.

3 Instead of this fpeech, the quarto, 1597, has only one line: Well, girl, the noble County Paris feeks thee for his wife. STEEVENS

-a man of wax.] So, in Wily Beguiled:
"Why, he's a man as one should picture him in wax.”


man of wax. -] Well made, as if he had been modelled in wax, as Mr. Steevens by a happy quotation has explained it. "When you, Lydia, praife the waxen arms of Telephus," (fays, Horace.) Waxen, well fhaped, finely turned :

"With paffion fwells my fervid breast,
"With paffion hard to be fuppreft."

Dr. Bently changes cerea into lactea, little understanding that. the praise was given to the fhape, and not the colour.

S. W.

5 Nurfe.] After this speech of the Nurse, Lady Capulet in the old quarto fays only:

"Well, Juliet, how like you of Paris' love?" She anfwers, "I'll look to like, &c." and fo concludes the scene, without the intervention of that stuff to be found in the later quartos and the folio. STEEVENS.


La. Cap. What fay you? can you love the gentle


This night you shall behold him at our feast :
'Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,
And find delight writ there with beauty's pen;
• Examine every feveral lineament,

And fee how one another lends content;
And what obfcur'd in this fair volume lies,
Find written in the margin of his eyes.
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover :

The fish lives in the fea; and 'tis much pride,
For fair without the fair within to hide :

That book in many eyes doth fhare the glory,
That in gold clasps locks in the golden ftory;


6 La. Cap. What fay you? &c.] This ridiculous fpeech is entirely added fince the first edition. POPE.

7 Read o'er the volume, &c.] The fame thought occurs in Pericles Prince of Tyre:

"Her face the book of praises, where is read

"Nothing but curious pleasures." STEEVENS. Examine ev'ry feveral lineament,] The quarto, 1599, reads, every married lineament.-Shakspeare meant by this laft phrafe, Examine how nicely one feature depends upon another, or accords with another, in order to produce that harmony of the whole face which feems to be implied in content.-In Troilus and Crefida, he fpeaks of "the married calm of states ;" and in his 8th Sonnez has the fame allufion :


"If the true concord of well-tuned founds, "By unions married, do offend thine ear." 9-the margin of his eyes.] The comments on the ancient books were always printed in the margin. So Horatio in Hamlet fays: -I knew you must be edify'd by the margent, &c. STEEVENS. The fifb lives in the fea ;] i. e. is not yet caught. Fish-fkin covers to books anciently were not uncommon. Such is Dr. Farmer's explanation of this paffage, and it may receive fome fupport from what Enobarbus fays in Antony and Cleopatra "The tears live in an onion, that should water this forrow."


2 That in gold clafps locks in the golden ftory;] The golden flory is perhaps the golden legend, a book in the dark ages of popery much read, and doubtless often exquifitely embellished, but of which


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