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That you are now a maid. Thus, then, in brief;-
The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.

Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man,
As all the world—Why, he's a man of wax.

La. Cap. Verona's summer hath not such a flower.
Nurse. Nay, he 's a flower; in faith, a very flower.

La. Cap. aWhat say you? can you love the gentleman ?
This night you shall behold him at our feast:
Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face, la
And find delight writ there with beauty's pen;
Examine every several lineament,
And see how one another lends content;
And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies,
Find written in the margin of his eyes.
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover :
The fish lives in the sea; and 't is much pride,
For fair without the fair within to hide:
That book in many's eyes doth share the glory,
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;
So shall you share all that he doth possess,

,
By having him, making yourself no less.
Nurse. No less? nay, bigger; women grow by men.
La. Cap. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris’ love?

Jul. I 'll look to like, if looking liking move:
But no more deep will I endart mine eye,
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Enter a Servant. Serv. Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you called, my young lady asked for, the nurse cursed in the pantry, and everything in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.

La. Cap. We follow thee.—Juliet, the county stays.
Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.

[Exeunt.

a The next seventeen lines are wanting in (A).

b (B), married ; which reading has been adopted by Steevens and Malone, in preference to several in the folio and (C).

SCENE IV.-A Street.

Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, with Five or Six

Maskers, Torchbearers, 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 hoodwink'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 :a
But, let them measure us by what they will,
We'll measure them a measure,15 and be gone.

Rom. Give me a torch,16—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 burthen do I sink.

Mer. And, to sink in it, should you burthen 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:

[Putting on a mask.
A visor for a visor !—what care I,
What curious eye doth quote deformities?
Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me.

a These two lines in (A) are omitted in the subsequent old editions.
b To bound, in folio; so bound, in (C).

Quote—observe.

с

Mer.

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 ;17
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,ls 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.
Mer.

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

And so did I.
Rom. Well, what was yours?
Mer.

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 d
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;
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
a Thus (A). • (A), like lamps, by day.

(A), burgomaster. à (A), atomy.

e Thus (A). (C) and folio, over.

с

b

Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid :a
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.
Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit:
And sometime 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 ears; 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-

20

a (A), maid; folio and (C), man,-clearly an error in the latter.
b A suit. A court solicitation was called a suit;-a process, a suit at law.

c It is desirable to exhibit the first draft of a performance so exquisitely finished as this celebrated description, in which every word is a study. And yet it is curious that in the quarto of 1609, and in the folio (from which we print), and in both of which the corrections of the author are apparent, the whole speech is given as if it were prose. The original quarto of 1597 gives the passage as follows :

“Ah, then I see queen Mab hath been with you.

She is the fairies' midwife, and doth come
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the forefinger of a burgomaster,

Drawn

Rom.

Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace,
Thou talk'st of nothing.
Mer.

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 a 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,

Drawn with a team of little atomy,
Athwart men's noses when they lie asleep.
Her waggon-spokes are made of spinners' webs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
The traces are the moonshine watery beams,
The collars cricket bones, the lash of films.
Her waggoner is a small grey-coated fly
Not half so big as is a little worm,
Pick'd from the lazy finger of a maid.
And in this sort she gallops up and down
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love ;
O'er courtiers' knees, who straight on courtesies dream;
O’er ladies' lips, who dream on kisses straight,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometimes she gallops o'er a lawyer's lap,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
Ti a parson's nose that lies asleep,
And then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she gallops o'er a soldier's nose,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, countermines,
Of healths five fathom deep, and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And swears a prayer or two, and sleeps again :
This is that Mab that makes maids lie on their backs,
And

proves them women of good carriage.
This is the very Mab,
That plaits the manes of horses in the night,
And plaits the elf-locks in foul sluttish hair,

Which once untangled much misfortune breeds." a Thus (A). (C) and the folio, side.

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