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Black and portentous must this humour prove,
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.

Ben. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
Mon. I neither know it, nor can learn it of him.
Ben. Have you importun'd him by any means ?
Mon. Both by myself, and many other friends.

Ben. So please you, sir, Mercutio and myself
Are most near to him;
We will attempt upon his privacy,
And, could we learn from whence his sorrows grow,
We would as willingly give cure as knowledge.

Mon. 'Twill bind us to you: good Benvolio, go. Ben. We'll know his grievance, or be much denied.



Before CAPULET'S House.

Enter CAPULET and Paris.
Cap. And Montague is bound, as well as I,
In penalty alike ; and 'tis not hard
For men so old as we to keep the peace.

Par. Of honourable reck’ning are you both,
And pity 'tis you liv'd at odds so long:
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?

Cap. But saying o'er what I have said before,
My child is yet a stranger in the world,
She hath not seen the change of eighteen years :
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a wife.

Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made.
Cap. And too soon marrd are those so early made-
The earth bath swallow'd all my hopes but her.
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;
If she agree, within her scope of choice


Lies my consent; so woo her, gentle Paris.
This night I hold an old accustom'd feast,
Whereto I have invited many a friend,
Such as I love, and you among the rest ;
Once more, most welcome!
Come, go with me.



A Wood, near Verona.

Mer. See, where he steals—Told I you not, Ben-

That we should find this melancholy Cupid
Lock'd in some gloomy covert, under key
Of cautionary silence; with his arms
Threaded, like these cross boughs, in sorrow's knot?

Enter ROMEO.
Ben. Good morrow, cousin.
Rom. Is the day so young?
Ben. But new struck nine.
Rom. Ah me! sad hours seem long.
Mer. Pr’ythee, what sadness lengthens Romeo's

Rom. Not having that, which, having, makes them

short. Ben. In love, me seems! Alas! that love, so gentle to the view, Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof! Rom. Where shall we dine?-O me!--Cousin Ben

volio, What was the fray this morning with the Capulets ? Yet, tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here's much to do with hate, but more with love :



Love, heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms !
This love feel I; but such my froward fate,
That there I love where most I ought to hate.
Dost thou not laugh, my friend :-Oh, Juliet! Juliet!

Ben. No, coz, I rather weep.
Rom. Good heart, at what ?
Ben. At thy good heart's oppression.
Mer. Tell me, in sadness, who she is love?
Rom. In sadness, then, I love a woman.
Mer. I aim'd so near, when I suppos'd you

Rom. A right good marksman! and she's fair I love:
But knows not of my love; 'twas through my eyes,
The shaft empierc'd my heart; chance gave the wound,
Which time can never heal: no star befriends me,
To each sad night succeeds a dismal morrow;
And still’tis hopeless love, and endless sorrow.

Mer. Be ruld by me, forget to think of her.
Rom. O, teach me how I shall forget to think.

Mer. By giving liberty unto thine eyes:
Take thou some new infection to thy heart,
And the rank poison of the old will die.
Examine other beauties.

Rom. He, that is strucken blind, cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eye-sight lost.
Show me a mistress, that is passing fair;
What doth her beauty serve but as a note,
Rememb’ring me, who pass'd that passing fair ?
Farewell; thou canst not teach me to forget.

Mer. I warrant thee, if thou'lt but stay to hear.
To-night there is an ancient splendid fcast,
Kept by old Capulet, our enemy,
Where all the beauties of Verona meet.

Rom. At Capulet's !

Mer. At Capulet's, my friend ;
Go there, and with an unattainted eye,
Compare her face with some that I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.

Rom. When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires :
And burn the heretics. All-seeing Phæbus
Ne'er saw her match, since first his course began.
Mer. Tut, tut, you saw her fair, none else being

Herself pois’d with herself; but let be weigh’d
Your lady love against some other fair,
And she will show scant weight.

Rom. I will along, Mercutio.

Mer. 'Tis well.
Hear all, all see, try all; and like her most,
That most shall merit thee.

Rom. My mind is chang'd
I will not go to-night.

Mer. Why, may one ask?
Rom. I dream'd a dream last night.

Mer. Ha! ha! a dream?
O, then I see Queen Mab has been with you.
She is the fancy's midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore finger of an alderman,
Drawn with the team of little atomies,
Athwart men's noses, as they lie asleep;
Her waggon-spokes made of long spinner's legs ;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers ;
The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's wat’ry beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bone, the lash, of film:
Her waggoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm,
Prick'd 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' coachmakers :
And in this state she gallops night by night,
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
On courtiers' knces, that dream on court'sies straight;


On doctors' fingers, who straight dream on fees;
On ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream :
Sometimes she gallops o’er a lawyer's nose,
And then he dreams of smelling out a suit :
And sometimes comes she with a tithe pig's tail,
Tickling the parson, as he lies asleep;
Then dreams he of another benefice:
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ears, at which he starts, and wakes,
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that Mab-

Rom. Peace, peace,
Thou talk'st of nothing,

Mer. True, I talk of dreams; Which are the children of an idle brain, Begot of nothing, but vain phantasy, Which is as thin of substance as the air, And more unconstant than the wind. Ben. This wind you talk of, blows us from our

And we shall come too late.

Rom. I fear, too early; for my mind misgives
Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,
From this night's revels-lead, gallant friends,

[Exeunt Mercurio and BENVOLIO.
Let come what may, once more I will behold
My Juliet's eyes, drink deeper of affliction :
I'll watch the time; and, mask'd from observation,
Make known my sufferings, but conceal my name :
Tho' hate and discord 'twixt our sires increase,
Let in our hearts dwell love and endless peace.


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