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Mer.

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

That dreamers often lie. Ro. 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 1 Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep: Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs; The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers ; The traces, of the smallest spider's web; The collars, of the moonshine's watery beams : Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film: Her waggoner, a small gray-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 of 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 courtesies

straight;

on

i For atoms.

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 : 1
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 :
Sometime 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 beår,
Making them women of good carriage.
This, this is she
Ro.

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;

1 Court solicitation.

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 our-

selves :
Supper is done, and we shall come too late.

Ro. 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, closed in my breast,
By some vile forfeit of untimely death :
But He, that hath the steerage of my course,
Directs my sail !-On, lusty gentlemen.
Ben. Strike, drum.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

A hall in Capulet's house. Musicians waiting. Enter SERVANTS. 1 Ser. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away? he shift a trencher! he scrape a trencher!

2 Ser. When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's hands, and they unwashed too, 'tis a foul thing.

1 Ser. Away with the joint-stools; remove the

SHAK

XIII.

N

court-cupboard ;' look to the plate. Good thou, save me a piece of marchpane; 2 and, as thou lovest me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone, and Nell.-Antony! and Potpan!

2 Ser. Ay, boy; ready.

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

2 Ser. We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys; be brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.

(they retire behind.

Enter CAPULET, &c. with the Guests and the

Maskers. Cap. Gentlemen, welcome! ladies, that have

their toes 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 you now?
You are 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 ;—’tis gone,

'tis
gone,

'tis gone. You are welcome, gentlemen !-Come, musicians,

play.

I A sideboard, on which the plate was placed.
? A kind of sweet bread or biscuit.

A hall! a hall! 1 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. Ah, sirrah, this unlook'd-for sport comes well. Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin 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? 'tis not so much ; 'tis not so

much : 'Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio, Come Pentecost as quickly as it will, Some five and twenty years; and then we mask'd.

2 Cap. 'Tis more, 'tis more : his son is elder, sir ; His son is thirty. 1 Cap.

Will
you

tell me that? His son was but a ward two years ago. Ro. What lady's that, which doth enrich the

hand
Of yonder knight?

Şer. I know not, sir.
Ro. O, she doth teach the torches to burn

bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear :
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!

Ti. e. give place, make room.

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