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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


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 ; 2 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 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.

broad goose.

i Slight, contemptible.

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

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 himself 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

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

were a very gross kind of behavior, as they say; for the gentlewoman is young; and, therefore, if you should deal double with her, truly, it were an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing

Ro. Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I protest unto thee,

Nurse. Good heart! and, i' faith, I will tell her as much. Lord, lord, she will be a joyful woman.

Ro. What wilt thou tell her, nurse ? thou dost not mark me.

Nurse. I will tell her, sir, that you do protest ; which, as I take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.

Ro. Bid her devise some means to come to shrift 1
This afternoon;
And there she shall, at friar Laurence' cell,
Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.

Nurse. No, truly, sir, not a penny.
Ro. Go to; I say, you

shall. Nurse. This afternoon, sir ? well, she shall be

there. Ro. And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey

wall :
Within this hour my man shall be with thee,
And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair ;
Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
Must be my convoy in the secret night.
Farewell !-Be trusty, and I'll quito thy pains :

1 Confession.

3 Requite.

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