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The other did not so.
F. Lau.

0, she knew well,
Thy love did read by rote, and could not spell.
But come, young waverer, come, go with me,
In one respect I 'll thy assistant be;
For this alliance may so happy prove,
To turn your households' rancor to pure love.

Ro. O, let us hence; I stand on sudden haste.
F. Lau. Wisely and slow; they stumble that run



A street.

Mer. Where the devil should this Romeo be ?
Came be not home to-night?

Ben. Not to his father's; I spoke with his man.
Mer. Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench,

that Rosaline, Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.

Ben. Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet,
Hath sent a letter to his father's house,

Mer. A challenge, on my life.
Ben. Romeo will answer it.

Mer. Any man, that can write, may answer a letter.

Ben. Nay, he will answer the letter's master, how he dares, being dared.

Mer. Alas, poor Romeo! he is already dead : stabbed with a white wench's black eye; shot

thorough the ear with a love-song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft : 1 and is he a man to encounter Tybalt?

Ben. Why, what is Tybalt ?

Mer. More than prince of cats,' I can tell you. O, he is the courageous captain of compliments : he fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and proportion; rests me his minim rest, one, two, and the third in your bosom : the very butcher of a silk button, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of the very first house, of the first and second cause. Ah, the immortal passado! the punto reverso ! the

hay !3.

Ben. The what?

Mer. The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting fantasticoes; these new tuners of accents !- By Jesu, a very good blade !-- a very tall man!-a very good whore !' Why, is not this a lamentable thing, grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these pardonnez-moys, who stand so much on the new form, that they cannot sit at ease on the old bench ? 0, their bons, their bons ! 4

Enter ROMEO.

Ben. Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.

1 Arrow.

9 In allusion to Tybert the cat, in the story-book of Reynard the Fox.

3 Terms of the fencing-school. * In ridicule of those coxcombs who affected the manners of the French,

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.4

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.

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