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ROMEO AND JULIET.
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 ;
Why, may one ask?
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; 2 and she comes In shape no bigger than an agate-stone On the fore-finger of an alderman, 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 Shaka speare's time appear to have worn this ornament on the thumb.
4 Atomies for atoms.
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees :
Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace;
True, I talk of dreams; Which are the children of an idle brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy; Which is as thin of substance as the air; And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes Even now the frozen bosom of the north, And, being angered, puffs away from thence, Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.
1 This speech received much alteration after the first edition in the quarto of 1597; and Shakspeare has inadvertently introduced the courtier twice.
2 A place in court.
3 The quarto of 1597 reads, “ counter mines.” Spanish blades were held in high esteem. A sword was called a Toledo, from the excellency of the Toledan steel.
4 i. e. fairy locks, locks of hair clotted and tangled in the night.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
Ben. This wind, you talk of, blows us from ourselves; Supper is done, and we shall come too late.
Rom. I fear too early; for my mind misgives,
SCENE V.3 A Hall in Capulet's House. Musi
1 Serv. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He shift a trencher !4 he scrape a trencher!
2 Serv. When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's hands, and they unwashed too, 'tis a foul thing.
1 Serv. Away with the joint-stools, remove the court-cupboard, look to the plate.--Good thou, save me a piece of marchpane; 6 and, as thou lovest me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell.Antony! and Potpan!
2 Serv. Ay, boy; ready.
1 So in The Rape of Lucrece :
“ An expired date cancelled ere well begun.” 2 Here the folio adds :-“They march about the stage, and serving-men come forth with their napkins."
3 This scene is not in the first copy in the quarto of 1597.
4 To shift a trencher was technical. Trenchers were used in Shakspeare's time, and long after, by persons of good fashion and quality.
5 The court-cupboard was the ancient sideboard, whereon the plate was dsplayed at festivals.
6 Marchpane was a constant article in the desserts of our ancestors. It was a sweet cake, composed of filberts, almonds, pistachoes, pinekernels, and sugar of roses, with a small portion of flour. They were often made in fantastic forms. In 1562, the Stationers' Company paid “ for ix. marchpaynes xxvi, s. viii. d.”
ROMEO AND JULIET.
1 Serv. You are looked for, and called for, asked for, and sought for, in the great chamber.
2 Serv. We cannot be here and there too.-Cheerly, boys; be brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.
[They retire behind.
Enter CAPULET, &c. with the guests and the maskers.
Cap. Gentlemen, welcome! Ladies, that have their
Unplagued with corns, will have a bout with you.-
[Music plays, and they dance.
By’r lady, thirty years. 1 Cap. What, man! 'tis not so much, 'tis not so
much : 'Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio, Come Pentecost as quickly as it will, Some five-and-twenty years; and then we masked.
1 An exclamation commonly used to make room in a crowd for any particular purpose.
2 The ancient tables were flat leaves or boards joined by hinges and placed on tressels; when they were to be removed, they were therefore
3 Cousin was a common expression for kinsman.
2 Cap. 'Tis more, 'tis more; his son is elder, sir ;
you tell me that?
Rom. What lady's that, which doth enrich the hand
Serv. I know not, sir.
Rom. O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
Tyb. This, by his voice, should be a Montague ;-
1 Cap. Why, how now, kinsman ? wherefore storm
Tyb. Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe;
1 Cap. Young Romeo is't?
'Tis he; that villain Romeo
I This speech stands thus in the quarto of 1597:-
66 Will you tell me that? it cannot be so:
Good youths, i' faith - youth's a jolly thing !"
6 Her beauty hangs upon,” &c.