Sunday, May 1, 2011

Promus - 30 Romeo and Juliet - slug-abed warrant

Part 2 - Parallels between Bacon's Promus and Romeo and Juliet
(with special emphasis on Promus Folio 112)

Part 2X

R&J  Act 4.5.1-10

(Juliet has taken the drugs. The Nurse goes to wake her but finds her in a deep sleep):

Nurse. Mistress! what, mistress! Juliet! Fast, I warrant her, she.
    Why, lamb! why, lady! Fie, you slug-abed!
    Why, love, I say! madam! sweetheart! Why, bride!
    What, not a word? You take your pennyworths now!
    Sleep for a week; for the next night, I warrant,
    The County Paris hath set up his rest
    That you shall rest but little. God forgive me!
    Marry, and amen. How sound she is asleep!
    I needs must wake her. Madam, madam, madam!
    Ay, let the County take you in your bed!

Bacon's Promus entry 1198 & 1199 (Folio 112):

"Late rising finding a-bed"
"Early rising, summons to rise"

Promus entry 1222 (Folio 112):

"There is Law against liers a bed"

Promus entry 1223  (Folio 112):

"You have no warrant to lie a bed"

Comment:  "You slug-abed" echoes these Promus entries. The Nurse tells Juliet in effect that she has no warrant to be a-bed, and summonses her to rise. Further, it is a well-known characteristic of Shake-Speare's mind that he sometimes associates particular words or conceits, so that if he uses one of a pair, he is quite likely to use the other as well, even in a different context or with a different meaning. In Promus 1223 Bacon associates "warrant" and "bed". Shake-Speare does the same in the present passage; and again in Pericles 4.2.125-7 and in The Tempest 3.2.102-3. In Pericles Marina has fallen into the clutches of a bawd and is about to be put with a client. The bawd comments: "Your bride goes to that with shame which is her way to go with warrant"; i.e, a bride goes to the marriage bed bashfully, though she may go to it lawfully. In The Tempest Caliban says of Miranda: "She will become thy bed, I warrant / And bring thee forth a brave brood". In the present passage, the Nurse by "I warrant" means "I guarantee" (as does Caliban), which is not directly related to Juliet's right or otherwise to be in bed.  But the idea of Promus 1223 lurks beneath the surface of Shake-Speare's lines. For when the Nurse first says "I warrant", she thinks Juliet should no longer be in bed. And when she says "I warrant" the second time, she is adverting to the following night when Juliet will be lawfully in bed with Count Paris as his wife.

It should be noted too that Promus 1221 ("Block heads and clock heads") and Promus 1222 and 1223 (the "bed" entries) follow the order of events in Scene 4.5 - i.e. first the dialogue from Lord Capulet, then the Nurse's attempt to wake Juliet. This makes one wonder whether Promus 1222 and 1223 were designed (though in the event not used) as Nanny nonsense to be spoken by the Nurse with the aim of rousing Juliet. Nonsense they seem to be, because I know of no Elizabethan law against people lying in bed, nor need of any warrant to do so. 

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