Imagens das páginas

The pretty wretch left crying, and said—-Ay.
To see now, how a jest shall come about!

I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
I never should forget it; Wilt thou not, Jule? quoth he:
And, pretty fool, it stinted,' and said—Ay.

La. Cap. Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy


Nurse. Yes, madam; yet I cannot choose but laugh,

To think it should leave crying, and say—Ay.
And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow
A bump as big as a young
as a young cock'rel's stone;
A parlous knock, and it cried bitterly.
Yea, quoth my husband, fall'st upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward, when thou com'st to age;
Wilt thou not, Jule? It stinted, and said—Ay.

Jul. And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I. Nurse. Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace!

Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed;
An I might live to see thee married once,
I have my wish.

La. Cap. Marry, that marry is the very theme
I came to talk of.-Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How stands your disposition to be married?


Jul. It is an honor that I dream not of.

Nurse. An honor! were not I thine only nurse, say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy teat. La. Cap. Well, think of marriage now; younger than you,

Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,

Are made already mothers; by my count,
I was your mother much upon these years

That you are now a maid. Thus, then, in brief;-
The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.

Nurse. A man, young lady! Lady, such a man, As all the world-Why, he's a man of wax.3

1 To stint is to stop.

2 This tautologous speech is not in the first quarto of 1597.
3 i. e. as well made as if he had been modelled in wax.

La. Cap. Verona's summer hath not such a flower. Nurse. Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower.1 La. Cap. What say you? can you love the gen


This night you shall behold him at our feast;
Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,
And find delight writ there with beauty's pen ;
Examine every married lineament,

And see how one another lends content;
And what obscured in this fair volume lies,
Find written in the margin of his eyes.3
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover.

The fish lives in the sea; and 'tis much pride,
For fair without the fair within to hide.

That book in many's eyes doth share the glory,
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;
So shall you share all that he doth possess,
By having him, making yourself no less.

Nurse. No less? nay, bigger; women grow by


La. Cap. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love?
Jul. I'll look to like, if looking liking move;

But no more deep will I endart 5 mine eye,
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Enter a Servant.

Serv. Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you called, my young lady asked for, the nurse

1 After this speech of the nurse, lady Capulet, in the old quarto, says only:

“Well, Juliet, how like you of Paris' love?"

She answers, "I'll look to like," &c.; and so concludes the scene.

2 Thus the quarto of 1599. The quarto of 1609 and the folio read, several lineaments.

3 The comments on ancient books were generally printed in the margin.

4 Dr. Farmer explains this, "The fish is not yet caught." Fish-skin covers to books anciently were not uncommon.

5 The quarto of 1597 reads engage mine eye.

cursed in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight. La. Cap. We follow thee.-Juliet, the county stays. Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. A Street.

Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO,' BENVOLIO, with five or six maskers, torch-bearers, and others.

Rom. What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?

Or shall we on without apology?



Ben. The date is out of such prolixity.
We'll have no Cupid hood-winked with a scarf,
Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,3
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper;
Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
After the prompter for our entrance;
But, let them measure us by what they will,
We'll measure them a measure, and be gone.

Rom. Give me a torch.—I am not for this ambling.

Being but heavy, I will bear the light.

Mer. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance. Rom. Not I, believe me; you have dancing shoes, With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead, So stakes me to the ground, I cannot move.

Mer. You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings, And soar with them above a common bound. Rom. I am too sore enpierced with his shaft,

1 Shakspeare appears to have formed this character on the following slight hint: "Another gentleman, called Mercutio, which was a courtlike gentleman, very well beloved of all men, and by reason of his pleasant and courteous behavior was in all companies well entertained."— Painter's Palace of Pleasure, tom. ii. p. 221.

2 "Introductory speeches are out of date or fashion."

3 The Tartarian bows resemble, in their form, the old Roman or Cupid's bow, such as we see on medals and bass-relief.

4 See King Lear, Act iv. Sc. 6.

5 A torch-bearer was a constant appendage to every troop of maskers. To hold a torch was anciently no degrading office.

To soar with his light feathers; and so bound,
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe

Under love's heavy burden do I sink.

Mer. And, to sink in it, should you burden love; Too great oppression for a tender thing.

Rom. Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, Too rude, too boisterous; and it pricks like thorn. Mer. If love be rough with you, be rough with love, Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.— Give me a case to put my visage in.

A visor for a visor!-What care I,

[Putting on a mask.

What curious eye doth quote' deformities?

Here are the beetle-brows, shall blush for me.
Ben. Come, knock, and enter; and no sooner in,
But every man betake him to his legs.

Rom. A torch for me. Let wantons, light of heart, Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels;

For I am proverbed with a grandsire phrase,-
I'll be a candle-holder,3 and look on,-

The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done.

Mer. Tut! dun's the mouse, the constable's own


If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire'
Of this (save reverence) love, wherein thou stick'st
Up to the ears.-Come, we burn daylight,5 ho.
Rom. Nay, that's not so.

1 To quote is to note, to mark.

2 It has been before observed, that the apartments of our ancestors were strewed with rushes; and so, it seems, was the ancient stage.

3 To hold the candle is a common proverbial expression for being an idle spectator. There is another old prudential maxim subsequently alluded to, which advises to give over when the game is at the fairest.

4 Dun is the mouse, is a proverbial saying, to us of vague signification, alluding to the color of the mouse, but frequently employed with no other intent than that of quibbling on the word done. Why it is attributed to a constable we know not. To draw dun out of the mire was a rural pastime, in which dun meant a dun horse, supposed to be stuck in the mire, and sometimes represented by one of the persons who played, at others, by a log of wood. Mr. Gifford has described the game at which he remembers often to have played, in a note to Ben Jonson's Masque of Christmas, vol. vii. p. 282.

5 This proverbial phrase was applied to superfluous actions in general.


I mean, sir, in delay
We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.
Take our good meaning; for our judgment sits
Five times in that, ere once in our five wits.'

Rom. And we mean well, in going to this mask; But 'tis no wit to go.

Why, may one ask?
Rom. I dreamt a dream to-night.


Rom. Well, what was yours?


And so did I.

That dreamers often lie.

Rom. In bed, asleep, while they do dream things


Mer. O, then, I see, queen Mab hath been with you. She is the fairies' midwife; and she comes


In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,3
Drawn with a team of little atomies 4
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep:

Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners' legs;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's watery beams:
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film:
Her wagoner, a small, gray-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid:
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love :
On courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies straight:

1 The quarto of 1597 reads, "Three times a-day;" and right wits instead of five wits.

2 The fairies' midwife does not mean the midwife to the fairies, but that she was the person among the fairies whose department it was to deliver the fancies of sleeping men of their dreams, those children of an idle brain. Warburton reads, "the fancy's midwife."

3 The quarto of 1597 has "of a burgomaster." The citizens of Shakspeare's time appear to have worn this ornament on the thumb.

4 Atomies for atoms.

« AnteriorContinuar »