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SCENE IV.-A Street.

Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, with Five or Six Maskers, Torch-Bearers, and others.

Rom. What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?

Or shall we on without apology?

Ben. The date is out of such prolixity:
We'll have no Cupid hood-wink'd with a scarf,
Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper;
Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
After the prompter, for our entrance:

But, let them measure us by what they will,
We'll measure them a measure, and be gone.

Rom. Give me a torch,-I am not for this ambling;

Being but heavy I will bear the light.

Mer. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance. Rom. Not I, believe me: you have dancing shoes, With nimble soles: I have a soul of lead, So stakes me to the ground I cannot move. Mer. You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings, And soar with them above a common bound. Rom. I am too sore enpierced with his shaft, To soar with his light feathers; and to bound-I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe: Under love's heavy burden do I sink.

Mer. And, to sink in it, should you burden love: Too great oppression for a tender thing.

Rom. Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,

Too rude, too boist'rous; and it pricks like thorn.
Mer. If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.--
Give me a case to put my visage in:

A visor for a visor-what care I,

[Putting on a mask.

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What curious eye doth quote deformities?
Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me.

Ben. Come, knock, and enter; and no sooner in,
But every man betake him to his legs.

Rom. A torch for me: let wantons, light of heart, Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels;

For I am proverb'd with a grandsire phrase,-
I'll be a candle-holder, and look on,

The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done.

Mer. Tut! dun's the mouse, the constable's own word:

If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire
Of this, sir reverence, love, wherein thou stick'st
Up to the ears.-Come, we burn daylight, ho.
Rom. Nay, that's not so.

I mean, sir, in delay
We waste our lights in vain, lights, lights, by day.
Take our good meaning; for our judgment sits
Five times in that, ere once in our five wits.

Rom. And we mean well in going to this mask;
But 't is no wit to go.

Why, may one ask?
Rom. I dreamt a dream to-night.


Rom. Well, what was yours?


And so did I.

That dreamers often lie.

Rom. In bed, asleep, while they do dream things true. Mer. O, then, I see, queen Mab hath been with you, She is the fairies' midwife; and she comes

In shape no bigger than an agate-stone

On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies

Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep :

Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs,
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
Her traces of the smallest spider's web;

a Quote-observe.

Her collars of the moonshine's watery beams;
Her whip of cricket's bone; the lash of film:
Her waggoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid :
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out o' mind the fairies' coach-makers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love:
On courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies straight:
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees:
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream;
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit:
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
Tickling a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep,
Then dreams he of another benefice:
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear; at which he starts, and wakes;
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night;
And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes.
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them, and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage.

This is she


Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace,

Thou talk'st of nothing.

a A suit. A court solicitation was called a suit.


True, I talk of dreams,

Which are the children of an idle brain,

Begot of nothing but vain fantasy;
Which is as thin of substance as the air;
And more inconstant than the wind who wooes
Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.

Ben. This wind, you talk of, blows us from ourselves; Supper is done, and we shall come too late.

Rom. I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date

With this night's revels; and expire the term
Of a despised life, clos'd in my breast,
By some vile forfeit of untimely death:
But He, that hath the steerage of my course,
Direct my sail!-On, lusty gentlemen.
Ben. Strike, drum.


SCENE V.-A Hall in Capulet's House.

Musicians waiting. Enter Servants.

1 Serv. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away? he shift a trencher! he scrape a trencher!

2 Serv. When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's hands, and they unwashed too, 't is a foul thing.

1 Serv. Away with the joint-stools, remove the courtcupboard, look to the plate:-good thou, save me a piece of marchpane; and, as thou lovest me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone, and Nell.-Antony! and Potpan!

2 Serv. Ay, boy; ready.

Marchpane-a kind of sweet cake or biscuit, sometimes. called almon-l-cake. Our maccaroous are diminutive marchpanes.


1 Serv. You are looked for, and called for, asked for, and sought for, in the great chamber.

2 Serv. We cannot be here and there too.-Cheerly, boys; be brisk a while, and the longer liver take all. [They retire behind.

Enter CAPULET, &c., with the Guests, and the Maskers. Cap. Welcome, gentlemen! ladies, that have their


Unplagued with corns, will have a bout with you :Ah ha, my mistresses! which of

you all Will now deny to dance? she that makes dainty, she, I'll swear, hath corns; Am I come near ye now? Welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day, That I have worn a visor; and could tell A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, Such as would please; 't is gone, 't is gone, 't is You are welcome, gentlemen!-Come, musicians, play. A hall! a hall! give room, and foot it, girls.


[Music plays, and they dance More light, ye knaves; and turn the tables up, And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.Ab, sirrah, this unlooked-for sport comes well. Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin a Capulet; For you and I are past our dancing days: How long is 't now, since last yourself and I Were in a mask?

2 Cap.

By 'r lady, thirty years.

1 Cap. What, man! 't is not so much, 't is not so much:

"T is since the nuptial of Lucentio,

Come pentecost as quickly as it will,

Some five-and-twenty years; and then we mask'd.

2 Cap. T is more, 't is more: his son is elder, sir; His son is thirty.

a Good cousin Capulet. The word cousin, in Shakspere, is applied to any collateral relation of whatever degree.

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