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Introduction ix

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet i

Appendix I.— Some Passages from the Quarto of 1597 183
Appendix II.— Analysis of Brooke's "The Tragicall


Appendix III.— Runaway's Eyes . . . . .197




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In the text of this edition of Romeo and Juliet I have
introduced only two readings not previously found in
editions of authority ; first, I have placed a comma in
I. ii. 32 after the words "view of"; secondly, in III. v.
43 I have inserted the hyphens in "love-lord" and .
"husband-friend." I hope these slight changes may
commend themselves to some readers ; if the former be
correct, it solves a long recognised difficulty. I have not
altered the received punctuation of III. ii. $-8, although
I venture to suggest in Appendix III. (" Runaway's
eyes") a new. pilnctuation, which, as regards lines 5, 6,
commends itself to me ; the suggestion respecting line 7
I offer as a mere possibility. I am not so sanguine as to
expect that readers long familiar with the received text
will accept my suggestions as to that difficult passage ;
but how should any critic neglect to add his stone to the
cairn under which the meaning lies buried? I accept
Theobald's reading "sun" in I. i. 157, and in so doing
follow the best modem editors. With some reluctance
I read in II. i. 13," Adam Cupid," yielding to the
authority of Dyce (ed. 2), the Cambridge editors, Fumess,
and others; and in a note I try to point out possi-

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bilities which may justify or lead towards justifying the
'* Abraham " of all the early texts.

t may add here that if the nickname "Abraham"
was given to Cupid because he is the " father of many
nations," an additional comic effect might be gained by
choosing for Cupid a name recognised as a favourite one
with Elizabethan Puritans. In Middleton's TAe Family
of LovBy Dryfat, a member of the " Family," says, " I
have Aminadabs and Abrahams to my godsons." I
must leave it to some more ingenious critic to make the
discovery that we should read " Abron Cupid," and that
Shakespeare had noticed in Cooper's Thesaurus (1573):
" Abron, the name of a man, whose sensualitie and
delicate life is growne to a Proverbe."

The Quarto editions of Romeo and Juliet are the
following : —

^^ An Excellent conceited Tragedie of Romeo omdluliety
As it hath bene often (with great applause) plaid
publiquely, by the right Honourable the L. of Hunsdon
his Servants. London, Printed by' lohn Danter.

1 597 "(Q I).

" The Most Excellent and lamentable TragediCy of

Romeo and luliet. Newly corrected, augmented, and
amended: As it hath bene sundry times publiquely
acted, by the right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine
his Servants. London Printed by Thomas Creede, for
Cuthbert Burby, and are to be sold at his shop neare
the Exchange. 1599." This, the second Quarto, I refer
to as Q, unless there is special occasion to distinguish
it as Q 2.

The third Quarto (Q 3) was printed in 1609 for

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John Smethwick; the title-page describes the tragedy
as having been " sundry times publiquely Acted, by the
Kings Majesties Servants at the Globe."

The fourth Quarto (Q 4), printed also for John
Smethwicke, is without date. In some copies the word
" Globe " is followed by " Written by W. Shake-speare."
In other copies (said by Halliwell-Phillipps to be the
later issues) the name of the author does not appear.

The fifth Quarto (Q 5) is dated 1637 ; it was printed
by " R. Young for John Smethwicke."

The text of Romeo and Juliet in the first Folio, 1623,
(F) was derived from Q 3.

The editors of the Cambridge Shakespeare observe :
"As usual there are a number of changes, some
accidental, some deliberate, but all generally for the
worse, excepting the changes in punctuation and in the
stage-directions. The punctuation, as a rule, is more
correct, and the stage-directions are more complete, in
the Folio."

The second Quarto — 1599 — first gives the play in
full ; it is our best authority for the text ; but the correc-
tions of the later Quartos and of the Folio are valuable
aids towards ascertaining the text, while in not a few
passages Q i lends assistance which cannot elsewhere
be found.

In the present edition the readings of Q and of F
which differ from the editor's text are recorded, except a
few obvious misprints and such others as seem wholly
unimportant. Not many references are made to Q 3,
because in general its various readings passed into the
text of F, which was derived from that Quarto. For my

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' references to Q 5 (which are few) I have trusted to the
Cambri^e Shakespeare and to Fumess.

Q I differs so considerably, and in so many minute
details, from the received text, that the variations can-
not be rightly exhibited in notes; it must be read in
its entirety, and happily it is easily accessible in the
facsimile by Praetorius, in Mommsen's reprint, in the
Cambridge Shakespeare^ in Furness, and (with most
advantage for the student) in the New Shakspere
Society's reprint of Parallel Texts of the First Two
Quartos^ admirably edited by Mr. Daniel. Such
readings as have been adopted from Q i into the text
of modern editors have a special claim to attention ;
these I have, with few exceptions, recorded, and have
added in notes and in Appendix I. several lines and
passages differing from the received text in a way which
can hardly be accounted for by errors of the printer or
reporter. In these, or in some of these, we probably
find work of Shakespeare discarded in his revision of the

The relation of Q i to the later text has been the
subject of much discussion. I cannot state the results of
niy own study better than by quoting from Mr. Daniel's
Introduction to the Parallel Texts \ "A hasty and
separate perusal of Q i may leave the reader with the
impression that it represents an earlier play than that
given in the subsequent editions ; read line for line with
Q 2 its true character soon becomes apparent. It is an
edition made up partly from copies of portions of the
original play, partly from recollection and from notes
taken during the performance. Q 2 gives us for the

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first time a substantially true representation of the
original play. Still Q i is of great value, as it affords
the means of correcting many errors which had crept
into the * copy 'from which Q 2 was printed, and also,
in its more perfect portions, affords conclusive evidence
that that * copy ' underwent revision, received some slight
augmentations, and, in some few places, must have been
entirely rewritten." As evidence of the last statement \
I may refer my reader to Appendix I., to which the
following may here be added ; in III. ii. 5 7-60 Juliet,
in our received text, speaks :

O break, my heart ! poor bankrupt, break at once 1

To prison, eyes, ne'er look on liberty!

Vile earth, to earth resign,* end motion here, 1

And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier ! |

These are evidently new lines written to replace those of )
Q I, which run thus : |

Ah Romeo, Romeo, what disaster hap f

Hath severd thee from thy true Juliet? [

Ah why should Heaven so much conspire with Woe, j

Or Fate envie our happie Marriage, !

So soone to sunder us by timelesse Death? (


Shall we conjecture that Shakespeare felt that the sense
of fatality, though proper to Romeo, was less character-|
istic of the strong-willed Juliet ? I

Q I, then, is an imperfect representation, piratically
issued, of the same play which is given fully and, in
the main, aright in Q 2 ; but before Q 2 appeared
Shakespeare had revised thq play, and had rewritten a
few passages. The theory of Mr. Grant White that traces

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of another hand than Shakespeare's maybe detected in
the earlier version of the play is, I think, sufficiently
refuted by Mr» T. A. Spalding in his paper " On the First
Quarto of Romeo and Juliet : Is there any evidence of a
Second Hand in it ? " printed in Transactions of the New
Shakspere Society^ iS77—7g.

An interesting peculiarity of Q i is found in the stage-
directions; they were evidently noted down by a
spectator in the ^theatre, perhaps by the shorthand
writer who probably supplied much of the manuscript.
They give us pleasant glimpses of the stage-business
during the original presentation of Romeo and Juliet, In
the opening scene a stage-direction serves as a substitute
for the bustling dialogue, which in the clash of swords
and clubs may have reached the reporter's ears too
imperfectly to be reported : " They draw, to them enters
Tybalt, they fight, to them the Prince, old Mountague,
and his wife, old Capulet and his wife, and other Citizens
and part them." Later we have the departing guests
whispering excuses to Capulet — " they whisper in his
eare"; Mercutio insulting the Nurse's dignity — "he
walkes by them, and sings"; the Nurse rebuking her
too passive protector — " she turnes to Peter her man " ;
Juliet entering " somewhat fast " and embracing Romeo ;
Tybalt thrusting Mercutio under Romeo's arm ; the
Nurse " wringing her hands, with the ladder of cordes in
her lap"; Romeo offering to stab himself, and the
Nurse snatching the dagger away ; Capulet calling Paris
again, as he offers to go in, in order that he may make
the " desperate tender " of Juliet's love ; Juliet kneeling
to her father, and again looking after the departing Nurse,

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before she breaks forth with the words, "Ancient
damnation, O most cursed fiend " ; the mourners for
Juliet all crying out at once, and wringing their hands ;
Countie Paris and his Page bearing flowers and sweet
water to Juliet's tomb ; Friar Laurence, at the entrance
to the tomb, stooping and looking on the blood and

The date at which Romeo and Juliet was written
cannot be certainly determined. The title-page of Q i
describes the tragedy as having been often played
publicly by the Lord of Hunsdon's servants. Malone
ascertained that two Lords Hunsdon, Henry, the father,
and George, his son, filled the office of Lord Chamberlain
of the Household to Queen Elizabeth. Henry, the
father, died July 22, 1596; on his death, Shakespeare's
company came under the protection of his son, who
was appointed Lord Chamberlain on April 17, 1597.
Before July 22, 1596, and after April 1597 the actors
would be styled the Lord Chamberlain's servants (as
they are on the title-page of Q 2); in the interval
they were the Lord Hunsdon's servants; and hence
we may infer that it was during this interval that the
presentations spoken of on the title-page of Q i took

An allusion to the play by John Weever has been
supposed to carry back the date to 159?. Weever's
Epigramtnes was published in 1599, when the author
was twenty-three years old ; he tells us that most of the
epigrams were written when he was only twenty; he
attained that age in 1596, and to suppose that his
reference to Romeo and Juliet is of a date earlier than

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that year is a gratuitous assumption. An allusion in
Marston's Scourge of Villanie —

I set thy lips abroach, from whence doth flow
Naught but pure Juliet and Romeo —

testifies to the popularity of the play, and possibly by
the mention of " Curtain plaudities '* points to the Curtain
theatre as the place of representation ; but the Scourge
of Villanie is later in date than the first Quarto of
Romeo and Juliet Some lines in The Wisdom of Doctor
Dodipoll which imitate (or seem to imitate) words of
Juliet, and some resemblances between Romeo and Juliet
and Wily Beguiled^ when dates are scrutinised (see
Daniel's edition of Romeo and Juliet^ New Sh. Soc. p.
xxxv), prove equally fallacious in helping us to fix a

Turning to the play itself, we find mention of " the
first and second cause " (ll. iv.), which has been regarded,
on no sufficient grounds, as suggested by Vincentio
Saviolo his Practise (1594 and 1595). Mr. Fleay has
noticed that the reference may be to " The Book of Honor
and Arms i wherein is discussed the causes of quarrel," etc.
{Stationers' Register, December 13, 1589). There are
undoubtedly reminiscences in Romeo and Juliet of
Marlowe's plays. The lines

But soft ! what light through yonder window breaks ?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun !

seem to echo Marlowe's lines in The Jew of Malta, II. i.


But stay, what star shines yonder in the east?
The loadstar of my life, if Abigail.

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Juliet's age is reduced by Shakespeare from the sixteen

years of his original (the Romeus and Juliet of Brooke)

to fourteen. "Death lies on her," exclaims Capulet

(IV. v.),

like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.

At the close of Act l. of The Jew of Malta Don Mathias
describes the Jew's daughter, now entered into a
convent :

A fair young maid, scarce fourteen years of age,
The sweetest flower in Cytherea*s field,
Cropt from the pleasures of the fruitful earth.^

Still more striking is the resemblance between the open-
ing lines of Juliet's soliloquy (ill. ii.), " Gallop apace,
you fiery footed steeds," etc., and lines in Marlowe's
Edward IL IV. iii. :

Gallop apace, bright Phoebus, through the sky,
And dusky night, in rusty iron car.
Between you both shorten the time, etc.

Shakespeare was much influenced by Marlowe in some
early plays; but Romeo and Juliet is not written in disciple-
ship to Marlowe, and it must be remembered that in plays
as late as As You Like It and Troilus and Cressida
reminiscences of Marlowe are found.^

These echoes from Marlowe have a certain bearing
on the supposed imitation of lines of Romeo and Juliet ^

* This interesting parallel has been pointed out to me by Mr, W. J.

' The points in common between Juliet's Nurse and the Nurse in Dido
Queen of Carthage by Marlowe and Nash seem to me of little importance.
Shakespeare found his Nurse in Brooke's poem.

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V. iii., by Daniel in his Complaint of Rosamond (i Sg2).
The most striking of these resemblances is that of
Daniel's verses —

And noiight-respecting death (the last of paines)
Placed his pale colours (th* ensigne of his might)
Upon his new-got spoil before his right —

to Shakespeare's —

Thou art not conquered ; beauty's ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death's pale flag is not advanced there.

Daniel was charged — not altogether unfairly — with the
infirmity of plagiarism. But Shakespeare was certainly a
reader of some of Daniel's poetry ; and if he derived
suggestions from Marlowe, why may he not have taken
a hint from Daniel, and vindicated his conveyance by a
triumphant ennoblement of Daniel's imagery and ex-
pression ? ^

Far too much insistence, in my opinion, has been
laid on the Nurse's reference (I. iii.) to the earthquake
— "'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years." An
allusion may not improbably have been intended to the
earthquake of 1580 felt in England. But the humour
of the allusion may lie in the fact that the Nurse, who
insists on the accuracy of her recollection — " Nay, I do
bear a brain," — is really astray in her chronology. Juliet
is now on the point of being fourteen years of age ; yet
eleven years previously — at three years old — she was only

^ The case is greatly strengthened by a comparison of Lucrece with
Daniel's Rosamond. There can here be no doubt that Shakespeare was the
debtor. See the article, ** Shakespeare's Lucrece," by Ewig, in Anglia xxii.,
Neue Folge Band x., Viertes Heft, pp. 436-448.

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about to be weaned, and had barely learnt to " run and
waddle," with a risk of breaking her brow. The Nurse
again asseverates that "since that time it is eleven
years"; but this making the most of a jest seems
slender evidence on behalf of the theory that the play
was produced in the year 1591.^

There is no decisive evidence to prove that the
tragedy was written long before its presentation in 1596,
when, probably, its popularity called forth a ballad (entry
in Stationers* Register^ August S) on the subject of Romeo
and Juliet. Yet most readers, I think, have felt that it
is a play of Shakespeare's early years of authorship ; the
lyrical character of the play, though partly accounted for
by the love-theme, the abundance of rhyme, not only
in couplets, but alternate, and arranged in sextet and
sonnet form, the pleasure of the writer in forced conceits,
and play upon words, sometimes even in serious passages,
point to an early date.^ When his judgment had matured
^Shakespeare could not have written so very ill as he
sometimes does in Romeo and Juliety but a writer of
genius could at an early age, when inspired by the
passion of his theme, have written as admirably as he
does even in the noblest passages of the fifth Act. That
he was conscious of having already attained comparative
mastery in his art may be inferred from his independence
of Marlowe, and the implied criticism of the style of

* If anyone should care to see a catalogue of earthquakes compiled by a
contemporary of Shakespeare, he will find one in the Indice to Discorsi del
S, Allesandro Sardo (Venice, 1586), which volume includes a treatise **Del

^ Gervinus notices, beside the sonnet-form in Romeo tmdjuliety something
corresponding to the epithalamium (Juliet's soliloquy) and to the dawn-song.

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Kyd in the exclamatory lamentations over Juliet sup-
posed dead. I can hardly doubt that Mr. Spalding is
right in stating that the line

O love, O life, not life but love in death,
and again,

O child, O child, my soul and not my child,

are parodies on Hieronimo*s words in The Spanish
Tragedy :

O eyes ! no eyes, but fountains fraught with tears ;

O life ! no life, but lively forms in death ;

O world ! no world, but mass of public wrongs.

Yet there is something inartificial in introducing such
irony of literary criticism into the body of the play ; and
Shakespeare took a better method in his " tedious brief
scene " of very tragical mirth in A Midsummer Nights
Dreamy and again in ^Eneas' tale to Dido (where he
reproduces rather than parodies an earlier style), which
the player recites before Hamlet. On the whole, we
might place Romeo and Juliet^ on grounds of internal
evidence, near The Rape of Lucrece\ portions may be
earlier in date ; certain passages of the revised version
are certainly later; but I think that 159S may serve as
an approximation to a central date, and cannot be very
far astray.

The basis, as Malone puts it, upon which Shakespeare
built his play is the Romeus and Juliet of Arthur Brooke
or Broke, of which I have given an analysis in Appendix
II. Brooke's poem, which is a free rehandling in verse of

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Pierre Boisteau's French version of a novel by Bandello,
was first published in 1562.^ Painter's prose rendering
in the Palace of Pleasure of Boisteau's story appeared
some years later. From this last Shakespeare derived,
if anything, certainly very little ; but how carefully he
followed Brooke will appear from my analysis, and more
fully from Mr. Daniel's valuable Introduction to the
New Shakspere Society's reprint of Brooke's poem and
Painter's prose. That Shakespeare agrees with Brooke
where the latter differs from Painter was decisively
established by Malone: " i. In the poem the Prince of
Verona is called Escalus ; so also in the play. In
Painter's translation from Boisteau he is named Signor
Escaltty and sometimes Lord Bartholomew of Escala. 2.
In Painter's novel the family of Romeo are called the
Montesckes] in the poem and in the play the Montagues.
3. The messenger employed by Friar Lawrence to carry
a letter to Romeo is in Painter's translation called
Anselme] in the poem and in the play Friar John is
employed in this business. 4. The circumstance of
Capulet's writing down the names of the guests whom
he invites to supper is found in the poem and in the play,
but is not mentioned by Painter, nor is it found in the
original Italian novel. 5. The residence of the Capulets
in the original and in Painter is called Villa Franca ; in
the poem and in the play Freetown} 6. Several passages
of Romeo and Juliet appear to have been formed on hints

* In his address "To the Reader" Brooke mentions that he had seen
"the same argument lately set foorth on stage," with more commendation
than he can look for.


* In the play it is the name of the "common judgment-place" of the
nee.— E. D. ^ -^ r

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