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Mer. Without his roe, like a dried herring. O flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified! Now is he for the numbers that Petrarch flowed in : Laura, to his lady, was but a kitchen-wench ;-marry, she had a better love to berhyme her: Dido, a dowdy; Cleopatra,' a gipsy; Helen and Hero, hildings 1 and harlots; Thisbe, a gray eye or so, but not to the purpose.—Signior Romeo, bon jour ! there's a French salutation to your French slop. You gave us the counterfeit fairly last night.

Ro. Good morrow to you both.—What counterfeit did I give you?

Mer. The slip, sir, the slip : 3 can you not conceive?

Ro. Pardon, good Mercutio; my business was great; and, in such a case as mine, a man may strain courtesy.

Mer. That's as much as to say, such a case as yours constrains a man to bow in the hams.

Ro. Meaning to courtesy.
Mer. Thou hast most kindly hit it.
Ro. A most courteous exposition.
Mer. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.
Ro. Pink for flower.
Mer. Right.
Ro. Why, then is my pump well flowered.

I Mean women.

Loose trowsers, a French fashion in Shakspeare's time. ; In allusion to a counterfeit piece of money called a slip.

* It was the custom to wear ribands in the shoes, in the shape of roses or other flowers.

Mer. Well said : follow me this jest now, till thou hast worn out thy pump; that, when the single sole of it is worn, the jest may remain, after the wearing, solely singular.

Ro. O single-soled 1 jest, solely singular for the singleness !

Mer. Come between us, good Benvolio; my wits fail.

Ro. Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or I'll

cry a match.

Mer. Nay, if thy wits run the wildgoose chase, I have done; for thou hast more of the wildgoose in one of thy wits, than, I am sure, I have in my whole five, Was I with you there for the goose ?

Ro. Thou wast never with me for any thing, when thou wast not there for the goose.

Mer. I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.
Ro. Nay, good goose, bite not.

Mer. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting ; ? it is a most sharp sauce.

Ro. And is it not well served in to a sweet goose ?

Mer. O, here's a wit of cheveril,3 that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad!

Ro. I stretch it out for that word, broad; which, added to the goose, proves thee far and wide a

broad goose.

· Slight, contemptible. ? An apple of that name. 3 Kid-skin, i. e. soft, stretching.

Mer. Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo ; now art thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature: for this drivelling love is like a great natural, that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.

Ben. Stop there, stop there.

Mer. Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair,

Ben. Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.

Mer. O, thou art deceived; I would have made it short: for I was come to the whole depth of my tale; and meant, indeed, to occupy the argument no longer.

Ro. Here's goodly geer! 1

Enter NURSE and PETER.

Mer. A sail, a sail, a sail !
Ben. Two, two; a shirt and a smock.
Nurse. Peter !
Peter. Anon?
Nurse. My fan, Peter.

Mer. Pr’ythee, do, good Peter, to hide her face ; for her fan 's the fairer of the two.

Nurse. God ye good morrow, gentlemen.
Mer. God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.
Nurse. Is it good den?

i Stuff.

2 Good even.

Mer. Tis no less, I tell you; for the bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon.

Nurse. Out upon you! what a man are you !

Ro. One, gentlewoman, that God hath made himself to mar.

Nurse. By my troth, it is well said ;—for himself to mår, quoth 'a ?—Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I may find the young Romeo ?

Ro. I can tell you; but young Romeo will be older when you have found him than he was when you sought him: I am the youngest of that name, for fault of a worse. Nurse. You


well. Mer. Yea, is the worst well ? very well took, i' faith ; wisely, wisely.

Nurse. If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence

with you.

Ben. She will indite him to some supper.
Mer. A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!
Ro. What hast thou found ?

Mer. No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.

• An old hare hoar,

And an old hare hoar,
Is very good meat in Lent :

But a hare that is hoar,

Is too much for a score,
When it hoars ere it be spent.

Romeo, will you come to your father's ? we 'll to dinner thither.

Ro. I will follow you.
Mer. Farewell, ancient lady; farewell, lady, lady,

lady. [Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio. Nurse. Marry, farewell !—I pray you, sir, what saucy

merchant 1 was this, that was so full of his

ropery ? 2

Ro. A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear him. self talk; and will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.

Nurse. An 'a speak any thing against me, I 'll · take him down an 'a were lustier than he is, and twenty such Jacks; and if I cannot, I 'll find those that shall. Scurvy knave! I am none of his flirtgills; I am none of his skains-mates.3— And thou must stand by too, and suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure ?

Peter. I saw no man use you at his pleasure; if I had, my weapon should quickly have been out, I warrant you. I dare draw as soon as another man, if I see occasion in a good quarrel, and the law on

my side.

Nurse. Now, afore God, I am so vexed, that every part about me quivers. Scurvy knave! Pray you, sir, a word : and as I told you, my young lady bade me inquire you out: what she bade me say, I will keep to myself; but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into a fool's paradise, as they say, it

A term of disrespect, in contradistinction to gentleman. • Roguery. s Cut-throat companions. A skain signifies a sbort sword.

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