Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

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, this is she-

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

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 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,
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night's revels; and expire the term
Of a despised life, clos'd in my breast,
By some vile forfeit of untimely death :
But He, that hath the steerage of my course,
Direct my sail!-On, lusty gentlemen.
Ben. Strike, drum.



A Hall in Capulet's House. Musicians waiting

Enter Servants.

1 Serv. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away? he shift a trencher!' he scrape a trencher ! the hair of human creatures, as the manes and tails of horses, into hard knots, which it was not fortunate to untangle.--Nares. In reading, " cakes the elf-locks," instead of bakes the elf-locks,” I have printed the words as I find them quoted in the invaluable glossary from which the above note is taken.

espire-] i. e. Exhaust, or wear out.

shift a trencher !] This expression was technical with servants. Tren. chers were still used by persons of good fashion in our author's time.- Reed and Percy.

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

1 Serv. Away with the joint-stools, remove the courtcupboard, look to the plate :-good thou, save me a piece of marchpane;" and, as thou lovest me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone, and Nell.–Antony! and Potpan!

2 Serv. Ay, boy; ready.

1 Serv. You are look'd for, and called for, asked for, and sought for, in the great chamber.

2 Serv. We cannot be here and there too.—Cheerly, boys; be brisk a while, 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
Unplagu'd 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 : You are welcome, gentlemen !-Come, musicians, play. A hall! a hall!i give room, and foot it, girls.

[Musick 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 :

court-cupboard,) Apparently a kind of moveable closet or buffet, in which plate or other articles of luxury were displayed.--Nares.

marchpane;] A cake composed of filberts, almonds, pistachoes, pinekemels, and sugar of roses, with a small proportion of four. Our macaroons. are only debased and diminutive marchpanes

. -Steevens. I A hall! a hall!] An exclamation signifying make room.-Stevens.

turn the tables up.] Before this phrase is generally intelligible, it should be observed that ancient tables were flat leaves, joined by hinges, and placed on tressels. When they were to be removed, they were therefore turned tip.-STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

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.

Rom. What lady's that, which doth enrich the hand Of yonder knight?

Serv. I know not, sir.

Rom. 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!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make happy my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

Tyb. This, by his voice, should be a Montague:-
Fetch me my rapier, boy :-What! dares the slave
Come hither, cover'd with an antick face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now, by the stock and honour of


kin, To strike him dead I hold it not a sin. 1 Cap. Why, how now, kinsman ? wherefore storm you

Tyb. Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe;
A villain, that is hither come in spite,
To scorn at our solemnity this night.

1 Cap. Young Romeo is't?

'Tis he, that villain Romeo 1 Cap. Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone,

It seems she hangs upon-] This is the reading of every one of the old copies, with the exception of the second folio, which reads“ her beauty hangs upon.”

« PreviousContinue »