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An old hare hoar“,
And an old hare boar,
But a haré 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.
Rom. I will follow you.
[Exeunt MERCUT10, and Benvolio. Nurse. Marry, farewel!- I pray you, fir, what faucy merchant was this?, that was so full of nis ropery 5 ?
Rom. A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk; and will speak more in a minute, than he will stand to in a month.
4 An old bare hoar,] Hoar or boary, is often used for mouldy, as things grow white from moulding. So, in Pierce Pennyless's Supplica. sicnto ibe Devil, 1595 : “ —as boary as Dutch butter." Again, in F. Beaumont's letier to Speght on his edition of Chaucer, 1602 : “ Many of Chaucer's words are become as it were vinew'd and bearie with over-long lying." STEEVENS.
These lines appear to have been part of an old song. In the quarto 1997, we have here this stage direction : " He walks between ibem, [i. e. the nurse and Peter,) and fings. MALONE.
s-lady, lady, lody.] The burthen of an old song. See Vol. IV. p. 38, n. 6. STEEVENS.
Marry, farewell!--} These words I have rcovered from the quarto, 1597
MALONE. i mwbas saucy merchant was this, &c.] The term mercbant which was, and even now is, frequently applied to the lowest sort of dealers, seems anciently to have been used on these familiar occasions in con. tradistinction to genileman; fignifying that the person shewed by his be. haviour he was a low fellow. The term chap, i, e. obapmana word of the same import with mercbant in its lets respectable lente, is ftill in common use among the vulgar, as a general denomination for any person of whom they mean to speak with freedom or disrespect.
STEEVENS. See Vol. VI. p. 38, n. 1.
MALONE. 8 -of his ropery?] Ropery was anciently used in the same sense as roguery
So, in the Three Ladies of London, 1584 : « Thou art very pleasant and full of thy roperye.' Rope-tricks are mentioned in another place. STEEVENS. See Vol. lll. p. 27., n. 6. MALONI.
Nurse. An 'a speak any thing against me, I'll take him down an 'a were luftier than he is, and twenty such Jacks'; and if I cannot, I'll find those that shall. Scurvy knave! I am none of his flirt-gills; I am none of his kains-mates':- And thou must stand by too, and suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure ?
Pet I saw no man use you at his pleafure; if I had, my weapon should quickly have been out, I warrant you ; Í 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 vex'd, that every part about me quivers. Scurvy knave! -Pray you, fir, a word: and as I told you, my young lady bade me inquire you out; what the 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 were a very gross kind of behaviour, 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,
9-sucl Jacks;] See Vol. II. p. 214, n. 5. MALONE.
1-none of bis ikains-males : ] None of bis skains-mates means, I apprehend, none of his cut-throat companions. MALONE.
A skein or skain was either a knife or a mort dagger. By skains. nales the nurse means none of his loose companions who frequent the fencing-school with him, where we may fuppose the exercise of this weapon was taught. The word is used in the old tragedy of Soliman and Perseda, 1599 :
“ Against the light-foot Irith have I serv'd,
“ And in my skin beare tokens of their skeins." Green, in his Quip for en upfiare Courtier, describes “ an ill-fa. vour'd knave, who wore by his side a skeine like a brewer's bung-knife."
Skein is the Icifh word for a kaife. STEEVENS.
« A cubit at least
“ The length of their skains." NICHOLS. 2-if ye sbould lead ber into a fool's paradise, as ebey say,] So, in A Hand full of pleasant deligbres, containing sundrie new jonets, &c, 15843
“ When they see they may her win,
“ And leave her in foules paradise." MALONE. Vol. IX.
Rom. Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I proteft unto chee
Nurse. Good heart! and, i'faith, I will tell her as much: Lord, lord, she will be a joyful woman.
Rom. What wilt thou tell her, nurse ? thou doft not mark me.
Nurse. I will tell her, fir,--that you do proteft 3; which, as I take it, is a gentleman-like offer.
Rom. Bid her devise some means to come to Arift
Nurse. No, truly, fir; not a penny.
Rom. And ftay, good nurse, behind the abbey-wall:
3-proteft;] Whether the repetition of this word conveyed any idea peculiarly comic to Shakspeare's audience, is not at present to be determined. The use of it, however, is ridiculed in the old comedy of Sir Giles Goosecap, 1606 :
" There is not the best duke's son in France dares say, I prosef, till he be one and thirty years old at leaft; for the inheritance of that word is not to be poflefied before." STIIVINS.
4 - Here is for tby pains.) So, in Tbe Tragical Hyllory of Repen and Juliet, 1562:
“ Then he vi crowns of gold out of his pocket drew,
adieu." MALONE. s-like a tackled fair ;] Like fairs of rope in the tackle of a ship.
JOHNSON. A fair, for a flight of Nairs, is fill the language of Scotland, and was probably once common to both kingdoms. MALONE.
6-op-gallant of my joy~] The rop-gellane is the highest extremity of the mart of a ship.
The expression is common to many writers; among the rest, to Markham in his English Arcadia, icon: “ beholding in the high Isp-gallast of his valour," STEEVENS.
Nurse. Now God in heaven bless thee !--Hark you, fir.
Nurse. Is your man secret'? Did you ne'er hear say-
Rom. I warrant thee ?: my man's as true as steel.
Nurse. Well, fir; my mistress is the sweetest ladyLord, Iord !-when 'twas a little prating thing',-0,there's a nobleman in town, one Paris, that would fain lay knife aboard; but the, good soul, had as lieve fee a toad, a very toad, as see him. I anger her sometimes, and tell her that Paris is the properer man; but, l'll war. rant you, when I say so, she looks as pale as any clout in the varsal world. Doth not rosemary and Romeo begin both with a letter 9?
Rom, Ay, nurse ; What of that? both with an R.
7 I warrant ibee :) I, which is not in
quartos or first folio, was Tupplied by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
Well, for ; my mistress is be sweetest lady :-Lord, lord !--wber 'swas a little prating ibing,-) So, in the poem :
“ And how she gave her suck in youth, she leaveth not to tell. • A pretty babe, quoth the, it was, when it was young ;
“ Lord, how it could full prettilý have pråred with its tonguc;" This dialogue is not found in Painter's Rbomeo and Julietta
MALONE 9 Dorb for rosemary and Romeo begin borb with a letter ?'] By this queftion the nurse means to infinuate that Romeo's image was ever in the mind of Juliet, and that they would be married. Rosemary being conceived to have the power of strengthening the memory, was an emblem of remembrance, and of the affection of lovers, and (for this reason probably,) was worn at weddings. So, in A Handfull of pleafene Delites; &c. 1584:
“ Rosemary is for remembrance,
“ You present in my light."
“ There's rosemary, that's for remembrance." That rosemary was much used at weddings, appears from many passages in the old plays. So, in the Noble Spanish Soldier, 1634 : “ I meet few but are stuck with rosemary; every one ask'd me, who was to be married in Again, in the Wit of a Woman, 1604: “What is here to do? Wine and cakes, and rosemary, and sojegaies? What, a wedding I" MALONI.
Nurse. Ah, mocker! that's the dog's name. Ris for the dog. No; I know it begins with some other letter': and she hath the prettiest sententious of it, of you and rosemary, that it would do you good to hear it. Rom. Commend me to thy lady.
Al, mocker! ibai's obe dog's name, R. is for ebe dog. No; I know it begins with some orber letter :) This pariage is not in the original copy of 1597. The quarto 1599, and folio read-Ah, mocker, that's the dog's name. R is for ibe no, I know it begins, &c. The emendation was made by Mr. Tyrwhitt.
Dr. Warburton observes that Ben Jonson in his Englifo Grammar, says, that R is the dog's name, and hirreth in the found.
“ Irritata canis quod R R quam plurima dicat.” Lucil. I am not sure that Mr. Tyrwhitt's emendation is neceflary. An abrupt sentence may have been intended. R. is for the-No; I know it begins, &c. The fame remark, I have lately observed, has been made by an anonymous writer. MALONE.
2 Peter, take my far, and go before.) Thus the first quarto. The fubsequent ancient copies inttead of these words have-Before, and apace.
MALONI. 3-pould be thougbis, &c.] The speech is thus continued in the quarto, 1597:
should be thoughts,
What says my love?