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The other did not so.

O, 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' rançour to pure love.

Rom. O, let us hence; I stand on sudden haste.9
Fri. Wisely, and slow; they stumble, that run


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Enter Benvolio and MERCUTIO,
Mer. Where the devil should this Romeo be?-
Came he not home to-night?

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

Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.

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

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

Pi. . It is of the utmost consequence for me to be hasty.


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the ear with a love-song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft ;' 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 !4

Ben. The what?

Mer. The pox of such antick, 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-moy's, who stand so much on the new form, that they cannot sit at ease on the old bench? O, their bons, their bons !5

Enter ROMEO.
Ben. Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.

Mer. Without his roe, like a dried herring :-0 flesh, flesh, how art thon 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 be-rhyme her : Dido, a dowdy ; Cleo


1 Arrow.

2 See the story of Reynard the fox. 3 By notes pricked down. 4 Terms of the fencing school.

s In ridicule of frenchified coxcombs.

patra, a gipsy; Helen and Hero, hildings and harlots; Thisbé, a grey 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.

Rom. Good-morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?

Mer. The slip, sir, the slip;7 Can you not conceive?

Rom. 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.

Rom. Meaning—to court'sy.
Mer. Thou hast most kindly hit it.
Rom. A most courteous exposition.
Mer. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.
Rom. Pink for flower.
Mer. Right.
Rom. Why, then is my pump: well flowered.

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.

Rom. O single-soledo jest, solely singular for the singleness !

Mer. Come between us, good Benvolio; my wits fail.


6 Trowsers or pantaloons, a French fashion in Shakspeare's time. 7 A pun on counterfeit money called slips.

9 Slight, thin.

8 Shoe.

Rom. Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or I'll

cry a match.


Mer. Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chace,' I have done; for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits, than, I am sure, I have in my whole five : Was I with you there for the goose?

Rom. 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.
Rom. Nay, good goose, bite not.

Mer. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting;a it is a most sharp sauce.

Rom. And is it not well served in to a sweet goose?

Mer. O, here's a wit of cheverel,that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad !

Rom. I stretch it out for that word-broad : which added to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.

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 would'st 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:


! A horse race in any direction the leader chooses to take. 2 An apple.

2 Soft stretching leather.

and meant, indeed, to occupy the argument no longer.

Rom. Here's goodly geer!

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.4

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?

Mer. 'Tis no less, I tell you ; for the bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick" of noon.

Nurse. Out upon you! what a man are you?

Rom. One, gentlewoman, that God hath made himself to mar.

Nurse. By my troth, it is well said ;--For himself to mar, quoth'a ?-Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I

find the

Ronieo? Rom. I can tell you; but young Romeo will be older when you have found him, than he was when you sought him : I am the youngest of that name, for 'fault of a worse. Nurse. You


well. Mer. Yea, is the worst well? very well took, i'faith ; wisely, wisely.

4 It was the custom for servants to carry the lady's fan. 5 Good even.

6 Point.

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