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For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.
Which the dark night hath so discovered. In all this, amidst all the flutterings of maiden delicacy and feminine apprehensiveness, how charmingly do we read the boundless confidence in her lover's truth and sympathy which already fills her bosom. In this fulness of trust it is, that we find her checking his every protestation at its very first syllable :
Rom. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear,
Jul. Oh, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
Rom. What shall I swear by?
Do not swear at all;
heart's dear loveJul. Well, do not swear, &c. The gush of new-sprung happiness which has come upon her so suddenly and so deliciously, from this full assurance of Romeo's requital of her love, and this frank outpouring of their mutual passion, seems, at the first moment, to the inexperienced heart of Juliet, such all-sufficient bliss, that it spontaneously pauses to
take breath, as it were, in the midst of its tremulous
Although I joy in thee,
Come to thy heart, as that within my breast !
Rom. Oh, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied ?
Jul. I gave thee mine before thou didst request it-
Rom. O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard,
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial !
Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.--
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,
Nurse (within). Madam-
-But if thou mean'st not well,
Nurse (within). Madam
By and by, I come.--
So thrive my soul,
Rom. A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.
But love from love, toward school with heavy looks ! This last reflection of Romeo's we find illustrated by Juliet's returning once more to the balcony, and by the following piece of dialogue, so exquisitely expressing the impossibility to part, after such a meetingthe pang of separation, the more bitter for the sweetness of their converse :
Hist! Romeo, hist! Oh for a falconer's voice,
Rom. It is my soul, that calls upon my name:
At what o'clock to-morrow
At the hour of nine.
Rom. Let me stand here, till thou remember it.
Jul. I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
Rom. And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget,
Jul. 'Tis almost morning-I would have thee gone-
Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
Rom. I would I were thy bird !
Sweet, so would I :
Rom. Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast !-
At the risk even of wearisome repetition, we can liken the dramatic melody of this passage to nothing but the "sweetest, saddest strain” warbled by the bird of spring-time evening amid its balmiest air. How deliciously, again, does it express that perfect unison of soul—in sentiment-in idea-in language-in everything—which the poet has so peculiarly preserved between this pair, in each successive phasis of their feelings. For, the hearts of these lovers do not rush together with the impetuosity of the torrent, as supposed by those who regard this drama as a painting of peculiarly Italian passion: they glide into one, quickly indeed, but gently, as the softest and pearliest of kindred dewdrops trembling together in the morn
5.-MARRIAGE OF ROMEO AND JULIET.
THEIR betrothment is now completed, under circumstances which invite them to celebrate their marriage with all secresy, but with the least possible delay. It is not only that the ardour of their mutual passion, the absolute devotion of each to the other, leaves them little room for any other consideration; but under the peculiar relation of inveterate hostility which subsists
between their respective families, the very delay which, under ordinary circumstances, might serve to obviate the most serious obstacles to the undisturbed happiness of such a union, by the obtaining of parental sanction, would here, in all probability, but give occasion for opposing to it an eternal bar. Romeo, therefore, instinctively proceeds at once from his interview with Juliet, to seek the aid of his confessor in this matter:
Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell,
His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell.
The immediate introduction of Friar Laurence, talking like one to whom Love has ever been an utter stranger, forms a fine relief to the exquisite passionateness of the preceding scene, and to the eagerness with which Romeo comes to solicit his present assistance. How innocent the kind-hearted ecclesiastic is of all amatory experience, is evident from the impossibility which Romeo finds of making him understand the essential difference between his late passion for Rosaline and his present devotion to Juliet. To the simple apprehension of the worthy friar, all love is alike, and all love is vanity. That which the very course of this drama shews to be the most serious thing in life, is, to his ascetic view, the emptiest :A lover
bestride the gossomers That idle in the wanton summer air,
And yet not fall—so light is vanity!
She whom I love now,
The other did not so.
Oh, she knew well, Thy love did read by rote, and could not spell. He can discover nothing in Romeo's change of mistresses but the mere fickleness of youthBut come, young waverer,