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Nurfe. No lefs? Nay, bigger; Women grow by


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 indart mine eye,
Than your confent gives strength to make it fly.

Enter a Servant.

Serv. Madam, the guefts are come, fupper ferv'd up, you call'd, my young lady afk'd for, the nurse curft in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I mult hence to wait; I befeech you, follow ftrait. La. Cap. We follow thee. Juliet, the County stays.

Nurfe. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days. [Exeunt.


A Street before Capulet's House.

Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or fix other maskers, torch-bearers, and drums.

Rom. HAT, fhall this speech be spoke for our



Or fhall we on without apology?
Ben. The date is out of fuch prolixity.

3 The date is out of such pro lixity.] i. e. Masks are now out of fashion. That Shakespear was an enemy to thefe fooleries, ap


pears from his writing none: and that his plays difcredited fuch entertainments is more than probable. But in James's time, that C 4


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 a without-book prologue faintly spoke
After the prompter, for our enterance.
But let them measure us by what they will,
We'll measure them a meafure, 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 mult have you dance. Rom. Not I, believe me; you have dancing fhoes With nimble foles; I have a foul of lead,

So ftakes me to the ground, I cannot move.

Mer. You are a Lover; borrow Cupia's Wings, And foar with them above a common Bound.

Rom. I am too fore enpearced with his Shaft, To foar with his light Feathers; and fo bound, I cannot bound a pitch above dull Woe. Under Love's heavy burden do I fink.

Mer. And to fink in it, fhould you burden Love, Too great Oppreffion for a tender Thing!

Rom. Is Love a tender Thing? It is too rough, Too rude, too boift'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 Cafe to put my vifage in?

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Here are the beetle-brows fhall blush for me.

Ben. Come, knock and enter; and no fooner in, But ev'ry man betake him to his legs.

Rom. A torch for me. Let wantons, light of heart, Tickle the fenfelefs rufhes with their heels; For I am proverb'd with a grandfire-phrafe; I'll be a candle-holder, and look on.

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

Mer. 7 Tut! dun's the mouse, the constable's own


If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire;


Or, fave your reverence, Love, wherein thou stickest Up to thine ears: come, we burn day-light, ho.

7 Tut! dun's the mouse, the conftable's own word;] This poor obfcure ftuff should have an explanation in mere charity. It is an answer to thefe two lines of Rome,

For I am proverb'd with a grandfire's phrafe,


The game was ne'er fo fair, and 1 am done.

Mercutio, in his reply, answers the laft line first. The thought of which, and of the preceding, is taken from gaming, I'll be a candle-holder (lays Romeo) and Lob on. It is true, if I could play myself, I could never expect a fairer chance than in the company we are going to: but, alas! I am done. I have nothing to play with; I have loft my heart already. Mercutio catches at the word done, and quibbles with it, as if Romeo had faid, The ladies indeed are fair, but I am dun, i. e. of a dark complexion. And fo replies, Tut! din's the mouse; a proverbial expreffion of


the fame import with the French, La nuit tous les chats font gris. As much as to fay, You need not fea, night will make all your complexions alike. And because

Fomeo had introduced his obfervation with,

I am proverb'd with a grandfire's phrafe, Mercutio adds to his reply, the confiable's own word. As much as to fay, if you are for old proverbs, I'll fit you with one; is the conftable's own word: whole cuftom was, when he fummoned his watch, and affigned them their feveral ftations, to give them what the foldiers call, the word. But this night guard being diftinguished or their pacific character, the conftable, as an emblem of their harmless disposition, chofe that domeftic animal for his word: which, in time, might become proverbial.


8 Or, fave your reverence, Love,] The word or obfcures the fentence; we fhould read O! for or Love. Mercutio

Rom. Nay, that's not fo.

Mer. I mean, Sir, in delay

We waste our lights in vain, like lights by day.
Take our good meaning, for our judgment fits
Five times in that, ere once in our fine wits.
Rom. And we mean well in going to this mask;
But 'tis no wit to go.

Mer. Why, may one ask?

Rom. I dreamt a dream to-night.

Mer. And fo did I.

Rom. Well what was yours?

Mer. That dreamers often lye.

Rom. In bed afleep; while they do dream things



Mer. O, then I fee, Queen Mab hath been with


She is the Fancy's mid-wife, and she comes

having called the affection with which Romeo was entangled by fo difrespectful a word as mire, cries


O! fave your reverence, Love. O, then I fee, Queen Mab hath been with you. She is the FAIRIES' midwife.] Thus begins that admirable fpeech upon the effects of the imagination in dreams. But, Queen Mab the fairies' midwife? What is he then Queen of? Why, the fairies. What! and their midwife too? But this is not the greatest of the abfurdities. Let us fee upon what occafion fhe is introduced, and under what quality. It is as a Being that has great power over human imaginations. But then the title given her, must have reference to the employment fhe is put upon: Firft then, fhe is

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In fhape no bigger than an agat-flone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies,
Athwart mens' noses as they lie asleep :

Her waggon-fpokes made of long spinners' legs;
The cover, of the wings of grafhoppers;
The traces, of the fmalleft fpider's web;

The collars, of the moonfhine's watry beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;
Her waggoner a small grey coated gnat,
Not half fo big as a round little worm,
Prickt from the lazy finger of a maid.
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner fquirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers.
And in this State fhe gallops, night by night,
Through lover's brains, and then they dream of love;
On courtiers' knees, that dream on court'fies ftrait;
O'er lawyers fingers, who ftrait dream on fees;
O'er ladies' lips, who ftrait on kiffes dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blifters plagues,
Because their breaths with fweet-meats tainted are.
'Sometimes the gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of fmelling out a fuit;

Sometimes she gallops o'er a
LAWYER's nafe,
And then dreams he of fmelling

out a fuit;] The old editions have it, cOURTIER's nofe; and this undoubtedly is the true reading and for thefe reafons. Firft, In the prefent reading there is a vicious repetition in this fine fpeech; the fame thought having been given in the foregoing line, O'er lawyers' fingers, who fait

dream on fees: Nor can it be objected that there


will be the fame fault if we read courtier's, it having been faid before.

On courtiers' knees, that dream

on curtfies frait: because they are fhewn in two places under different views in the first, their foppery; in the fecond, their rapacity is ridiculed, Secondly, In our author's time, a court-folicitation was called, fimply, a fuit: and a procefs, a fuit at law, to distinguish it from the other. The King (fays an


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