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Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 1

           Enter FRIAR [LAURENCE] and
           COUNTY PARIS.

  1   On Thursday, sir? the time is very short.

  2   My father Capulet will have it so,
3. I am nothing slow to slack his haste: I have no reluctance which might slow down his haste.
  3   And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.

  4   You say you do not know the lady's mind:
5. Uneven is the course: i.e., this course of events is out of order. Friar Laurence objects the fact that the wedding is being arranged before Juliet has consented to the marriage.
  5   Uneven is the course, I like it not.

  6   Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death,
  7   And therefore have I little talk'd of love;
  8   For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.
  9   Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous
 10   That she doth give her sorrow so much sway,
 11   And in his wisdom hastes our marriage,
 12   To stop the inundation of her tears;
13-14. Which, too much minded by herself alone, / May be put from her by society: [her grief], too much thought about in her solitude, may be lifted from her by having company.
 13   Which, too much minded by herself alone,
 14   May be put from her by society.
 15   Now do you know the reason of this haste.

      FRIAR LAURENCE  [Aside.]
16. I would I knew not why it should be slow'd: i.e., I wish I didn't know why Juliet's marriage to Paris must be put off.
 16   I would I knew not why it should be slow'd.
 17   Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my cell.

           Enter JULIET.

 18   Happily met, my lady and my wife!
 Paris and Juliet

 19   That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.

 20   That "may be" must be, love, on Thursday next.

 21   What must be shall be.

 21                                        That's a certain text.

 22   Come you to make confession to this father?

 23   To answer that, I should confess to you.

 24   Do not deny to him that you love me.

 25   I will confess to you that I love him.

 26   So will ye, I am sure, that you love me.

27. of more price: worth more [because it will be more trustworthy].
 27   If I do so, it will be of more price,
 28   Being spoke behind your back, than to your face.

 29   Poor soul, thy face is much abused with tears.

 30   The tears have got small victory by that;
 31   For it was bad enough before their spite.

32. that report: i.e., Juliet's description of her face as "bad enough."
 32   Thou wrong'st it, more than tears, with that report.

 33   That is no slander, sir, which is a truth;
 34   And what I spake, I spake it to my face.

 35   Thy face is mine, and thou hast slander'd it.

36. for it is not mine own: I believe Juliet's hidden meaning is that, in exchanging witticisms with Paris, she is putting on a false face.
 36   It may be so, for it is not mine own.
 37   Are you at leisure, holy father, now;
 38   Or shall I come to you at evening mass?

 39   My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now.
 40   My lord, we must entreat the time alone.

41. God shield: God forbid.
 41   God shield I should disturb devotion!
 42   Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye:
43. keep this holy kiss: Though there is no stage direction, it must be that Paris kisses Juliet.
 43   Till then, adieu; and keep this holy kiss.

 44   O shut the door! and when thou hast done so,
 45   Come weep with me; past hope, past cure, past help!

 46   Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief;
47. It strains me past the compass of my wits: i.e., The solution to your problem is beyond the reach of my wit.  48. prorogue: delay.
 47   It strains me past the compass of my wits:
 48   I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,
 49   On Thursday next be married to this county.

 50   Tell me not, friar, that thou hear'st of this,
 51   Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it.
 52   If, in thy wisdom, thou canst give no help,
 53   Do thou but call my resolution wise,
54. I'll help it presently: I'll solve the problem at once.
 54   And with this knife I'll help it presently.
 55   God join'd my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands;
56-57. ere this hand  ...  / Shall be the label to another deed: i.e., before this hand of mine shall make another contract of marriage.
59. this shall slay them both: i.e., this knife will kill both my hand and heart.  60. out of thy long-experienced time: from your long-experienced age. 61. present counsel: immediate, useful advice. 62. extremes: desperate difficulties.
 56   And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo seal'd,
 57   Shall be the label to another deed,
 58   Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
 59   Turn to another, this shall slay them both.
 60   Therefore, out of thy long-experienced time,
 61   Give me some present counsel, or, behold,
 62   'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife
 63   Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that
64-65. the commission of thy years and art / Could to no issue of true honor bring: the authority of your age and professional skill [as a friar] could bring no honorable outcome.
 64   Which the commission of thy years and art
 65   Could to no issue of true honor bring.
 66   Be not so long to speak; I long to die,
 67   If what thou speak'st speak not of remedy.

 68   Hold, daughter! I do spy a kind of hope,
 69   Which craves as desperate an execution
 70   As that is desperate which we would prevent.
 71   If, rather than to marry County Paris,
 72   Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself,
 73   Then is it likely thou wilt undertake
 74   A thing like death to chide away this shame,
75. That copest with death himself to scape from it: [you] who would encounter death himself to escape from shame.
 75   That copest with death himself to scape from it;
 76   And, if thou darest, I'll give thee remedy.

 77   O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,
 78   From off the battlements of yonder tower;
79. thievish ways: streets infested with thieves.
 79   Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk
 80   Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears;
81. charnel-house: a building or vault in which the bones or bodies of the dead are stored.
83. reeky: emitting foul vapor.  chapless: without lower jaws.

 81   Or hide me nightly in a charnel-house,
 82   O'er-cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones,
 83   With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls;
 84   Or bid me go into a new-made grave
 85   And hide me with a dead man in his shroud;
 86   Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble;
 87   And I will do it without fear or doubt,
 88   To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love.

 89   Hold, then; go home, be merry, give consent
 90   To marry Paris: Wednesday is tomorrow:
 91   Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone;
 92   Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber:
 93   Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
94. distilling: having the power to permeate the body.
95. presently: immediately.
96. humor: fluid; bodily sensation.
97. keep his native progress: maintain its natural rhythm.  surcease: cease.
 94   And this distilling liquor drink thou off;
 95   When presently through all thy veins shall run
 96   A cold and drowsy humor, for no pulse
 97   Shall keep his native progress, but surcease:
 98   No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest;
 99   The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade
100. wanny: pale.  windows: shutters; i.e., eyelids.
100   To wanny ashes, thy eyes' windows fall,
101   Like death, when he shuts up the day of life;
102. supple government: control of movement.
102   Each part, deprived of supple government,
103   Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death:
104   And in this borrow'd likeness of shrunk death
105   Thou shalt continue two and forty hours,
   "as the manner of our country is, / In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier"
106   And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
107   Now, when the bridegroom in the morning comes
108   To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead:
109   Then, as the manner of our country is,
110   In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier
111   Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault
112   Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.
113. against: in preparation for the time when.
114. drift: intent.
113   In the mean time, against thou shalt awake,
114   Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift,
115   And hither shall he come: and he and I
116   Will watch thy waking, and that very night
117   Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.
118   And this shall free thee from this present shame;
119. inconstant toy: capricious whim.
119   If no inconstant toy, nor womanish fear,
120   Abate thy valour in the acting it.

121   Give me, give me! O, tell not me of fear!

122. prosperous: fortunate.
122   Hold; get you gone, be strong and prosperous
123   In this resolve: I'll send a friar with speed
124   To Mantua, with my letters to thy lord.

125. afford: provide.
125   Love give me strength! and strength shall help afford.
126   Farewell, dear father!