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were always going on between these countries. They were fighting, not for a cause, but purely for emulation - this we must keep strictly in mind if we wish to understand this muchmooted passage. They wished to win their spurs among the noblemen of other countries and return home covered with laurels; thus they would keep up the traditions of their own fathers who were essentially men-at-arms. The king is here advising the young aristocrats who are thus starting out. Their whole standpoint, that of emulation, is strongly set forth — “Let higher Italy see, etc. As an exception to what he means by higher Italy, he is careful to add, parenthetically, that he bates (cuts off or excepts) those that inherit but the fall of the last monarchy. He means by this, all those who have recently set up as aristocrats — whose only inheritance is the recent overthrow of a monarchy. The ideal of long lineage must be kept up in a kingdom because it is upon this that the stability of the throne is based. Thus the whole course of history shows us that however much kings may fight among themselves, each will defend the other from an uprising among his own people; and this duty was, in Shakespeare's day, and much later, the very law of nations. Kings have a common cause; it is as natural as the law of self-preservation; and if aristocracy could be suddenly achieved and recognized there would be constant temptation to overthrow the ruling power.

Even Elizabeth declared to Murray her intention of keeping Mary on the Scottish throne when her own subjects rebelled, for she said it was

contrary to Scripture and unreasonable that the head should be subject to the foot.” And Catherine de Medici wrote to her “to persevere in the same opinion which you have hitherto maintained, that princes should assist each other to chastise and punish subjects who rise against them, and are rebels to the sovereign.” In Shakespeare's day this was not simply a law of nations; it was the law among monarchs themselves.

In the present passage Shakespeare is depicting aristocracy true to life, as it basically was. The king therefore, in giving his first advice to the young noblemen who had just come to his court, naturally held up to them that ideal which is the very hope of kings. It is as if he had interrupted himself to remark:“Of course I do not mean these upstarts, for we none of us consider them when we think of winning honor.” What could be more natural for a king to say under these particular circumstances? The first thing young noblemen should be reminded of is the basic law of aristocracy. However we may differ as to the identity of “those bated" there should be no doubt, upon the most Shakespearean grounds of human nature, as to what is meant by “higher" Italy.

Beginning with Hanmer (1744) and extend

ing up to the present day, the passage has refused to resolve itself into a general consistency. Coleridge did his best with it and wrote in his notes: “As it stands, in spite of Warburton's note, I can make nothing of it.” Many have interpreted “higher” to mean northern Italy; but this has been open to many objections and cannot be made to prove itself. That the word refers to the higher classes of Italy has seemed obvious to others; but the difficulty has been to define "those bated” in a way that would harmonize. Hanmer changed the latter words to "those bastards,” and this, after being long used by editors, was favored by Coleridge. Capell made it “those bated ones” in the sense of people reduced in fortune; Bulloch suggested “those fated,” Spence, “those baited,” Schmidt defined the word as meaning "beaten down.” It is now regarded as hopeless and is therefore indicated as such in the Globe. As Gollancz says, “the passage is probably corrupt.

Whatever it is, it is not corrupt.

THE SPIRIT OF CAPULET

Capulet.

Go to, go to;
You are a saucy boy. Is 't so indeed?
This trick may chance to scath you; I know what.
You must contrary me! Marry 't is time-

(Romeo and Juliet, i, 5, 87)

The period in that third line is in the wrong place. It should come after must, not after what.

Old Capulet has been circulating amongst his guests at the wedding feast, complimenting the ladies and twitting the young ones — all agog with hospitality. Suddenly he finds it necessary to check young Tybalt who is on the point of marring the occasion by picking a quarrel with Romeo. Imagine the gracious and hospitable old aristocrat — he who summarily ordered “twenty cunning cooks” and then referred to the results as “a trifling foolish banquet,” — and let the ear decide just what he said as he exercised his authority over this rash and stubborn young nephew. He said with firmness and plain definite statement, “I know what you must.” He hardly replied with that half meaningless and modern slang-sounding phrase, “I know what.” Or consider the remaining half of the remark as altered by punctuation. Having made his plain state

ment of authority he exclaimed with fiery brusqueness, Contrary me!” He certainly did not say, “You must contrary me!” This long-drawn-out remark is weak, pleading and complaining; no actor could make anything effective and fiery out of it. Following the shorter sentence, “I know what,” it is especially flat; a shorter remark should follow a longer statement - it shows his ire rising. Capulet, as Shakespeare has already let us see, is not a weak complaining sort of person.

Certainly we have been reading and reediting Shakespeare all these generations without seeing that this is bad work upon the part of the early editor who saw fit to write Shakespeare in this way.

As for authority in punctuating the line, there is none, the loosely punctuated First Folio having only commas, as follows

This trick may chance to scath you, I know what,

You must contrary me, marry 't is time. It is purely a matter of insight, not scholarship. The Globe uses a colon where Neilson (1906) uses a period, but this is all one as indicating a full stop after what. As for myself, all the editors in the world might insist upon having the passage as it now stands in standard editions; but I would reply — Not in any Shakespeare of mine.

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