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I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Julier,
Jul. It is an honour that I dream not of.
Nurse. An honour? were not I thine only nurse, I'd say, thou hadft suck'd wisdom from thy teat.
La Cap. Well, think of marriage now; younger Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
(than you 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
La. Cap. Verona's summer hath not such a flower.
But no more deep will I indart mine eye,
Enter a Servant. Sery. Madam, the guests are come, fupper servid up. You call'd, my young lady ask'd for, the nurse curft in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow itrait.
La Cap. We follow thee. Juliet, the County stays. Nurse. Go, girl, seek 'happy nights to happy days.
ŚCËNE, a Street before Capulet's House. Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or fix
other maskers, torch-bearers, and drums. Rom. W"
HAT, shall this speech be spoke for our
Or shallwe on without apology? [excuse? Pen. The date is out of such prolixity. We'll have no Cupid hood-wink'd with a scarf, Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath, Scaring the ladies like a crow keeper: (9) Nor a 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
dance. Rom. Not I, believe me ; you have dancing shoes With nimble foles; I have a soul of lead, So itakes me to the ground I cannot move.
Mer. You are a lover ; borrow Cupid s wings. And foar with them above a common bound.
(9) Scaring tbe ladies like a cow-keeper.) I led Mr. Pope into this miftaken reading, which I once thought the true one, before I fully underfood the passage But Í have prov'd, that crow-keeper, which pofleffes all the old copies, is the genuine reading of the Poet, in my 4gth note on King Lear.
Rom. I am too fore enpearced with his shaft,
Mer. And to fink in it, should you burden love :
Rom. Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,
Mer. If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
[Pulling off bis mak.
quote deformities? Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me.
Ben. Come, knock and enter; and no sooner in,
Rom. A torch for me. Let wantons, light of heart,
Mer. Tut! dun's the mouse, the constable's own word;
Rom.'Nay, that's not fo.
Rom. And we mean well in going to this malk;
Mer. Why, may one ak ?
Mer. O, then I see, Queen Mabhath been with you.(10) She is the Fancy's midwife, and she comes In shape no bigger than an agat stone On the fore-finger of an alderman; Drawn with a team of little atomies, Athwart mens' noses as they lie asleep : Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs; The cover, of the wings of grashoppers ; The traces, of the smallest spider's web; The collars, of the moonshine's watry 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, Prickt 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 :
(10) O, then I see, Queen Mab harb been with
you : She is ebe fairies' midwife.] Thus begins that admirable speech upon the effects of the imagination in dreams. But, Queen Mab the fairies midwife? What is the then Queen of? Why, the fairies, What! and their midwife too ? Sure, this is a wonderful condescenfion in her Royal Highness. But this is not the greatest of the abSurdities. The fairies' midwife? But let us see upon what occasion the is introduced, and under what quality. Why, as a Being that has great power over human imaginations. But then according to the laws of common sense, if she has any title given her, must not that title have reference to the employment she is put upon ? First, then, she is called Queen : which is very pertinent; for that deagns her power : then she is called the fairies' midwife; but what has that to do with the point in hand ? If we would think that Shakespeare wrote sense, we must say, he wrote- -tbe Fancy's midwife : and this is a title the mast à propos in the world, as it introduces all that is said afterwards of ber vagaries. Besides, it exactly quadrates with these lines :
I talk of dreams ;
Begot of nothing but vain fantasie. These dreams are begot upon fantasie, and Mab is the midwife to bring them forth. And Fancy's midwife is a phrase altogether in the manner of our Author.
Mr. Warburton, 8
On courtiers' knees, that dream on curtfies strait:
Rom. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace ;
Mer. True, I talk of dreams ;
(11) of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, Of healths five fatbom deep ;] As the generality of the terms coupled here, have a reference to the wars, some ingenious persons have con. je&tured that our Poet wrote ;
Of delves five fathoms deep ;i. e. Trencbes; places delw'd, or dog down. But, with submission, I conceive the text to be fincere as it is ; and alludes to drinking deep to a mistress's health. I find the like expression in Wefward boe, a comedy wrote in our Author's time.
Troth, Sir, my master, and Sir Gofin are guzzling; they are dabBling together fatbom deep. The knight has drunk so much bealıb to the gentleman yonder on his knees, that he hath almost lost the use of his legs.