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 !

Enter ROMEO.

Ben. Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.

Mer. Without his roe, like a dried herring:--O flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified !-Now is he for the numbers that Petrarch flowed in: Laura, to his



opatra, 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;? Can you not conceive?

Rom. Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was

were originally Italian; the rapier, or small thrusting sword, being first used in italy. The hay is the word hai, you have it, used when a thrust reaches the antagoniist, from which our fencers, on the same occasion, without knowing, I suppose, any reason for it,

cry out, ha!


your French slop.] Slops are large loose breeches or troue sers, worn at present only by sailors.

2 The slip, sir, the slip;] In our author's time there was a coun terfeit piece of money distinguished by the name of a slip.

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-soled jest,* solely singular for the singleness!

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

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.



then is my pump well flowered.] Is was the custom to wear ribbons in the shoes formed into the shape of roses, or of any other flowers. 4 O single-soled jest,] i. e. slight, unsolid, feeble.

if thy wits run the wild-goose chace,] One kind of horse.. race, which resembled the flight of wild-geese, was formerly known by this name. Two horses were started together; and which ever rider could get the lead, the other was obliged to follow him over whatever ground the foreniost jockey chose to go. That horse which could distance the other, won the race.

a broad goose.

Rom. Nay, good goose, bite not.

Mer. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; 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 parrow to an ell broad!

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

. Mer. Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? now art thou sociable, now art thou Ro-, meo; 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 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: and meant, indeed, to occupy the argument no longer.

Rom. Here's goodly geer!

tale against

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.




bitter sweeting;] Is an apple of that name.

a wit of cheverel,] Cheverel is soft leather for gloves. 8 My fan, Peter.] The business of Peter carrying the Nurse', fan, seeins ridiculous according to modern manners; but such was formerly the practice.

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


tell me where I

may find the young Romeo? 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 say well.

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

Nurse. If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence

with you.

Ben. She will indite him to some supper.
Mer. A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!
Rom. What hast thou found?

Mer. No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.

An old hare hoar,

And an old hare hoar,
Is very good meat in lent;

But a hare that is hoar,

Is too much for a score,
When it hoars ere it be spent.-

9 God ye good den,] i. e. God give you a good even,


Romeo, will you come to your father's? we'll to dinner thither. Rom. I will follow

you. Mer. Farewell, ancient lady; farewell, lady, lady,


[Exeunt Mercurio and Benvolio. Nurse. Marry, farewell !—I pray you, sir, what saucy merchant was this, that was so full of his ropery?8

Rom. A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk; and will speak more in a minute, than he will stand to in a month.

Nurse. An 'a speak any thing against me, I'll take him down an 'a were lustier than he is, and twenty such Jacks; and if I cannot, I'll find those that shall

. Scurvy knave! I am none of his flirtgills; I am none of his skains-mates:---And thou must stand by too, and suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure?

Pet. I saw no man use you at his pleasure; if I had, my weapon should quickly have been out, I warrant you: I dare draw as soon as another man,



lady, lady, ludy.] The burthen of an old song.

what saucy merchant was this, &c.] The term merchant which was, and even now is, frequently applied lo the lowest sort of dealers, seems anciently to have been used on these familiar occasions in contradistinction to gentleman; signifying that the person showed by his behaviour he was a low fellow. The term chap, i. e. chapman, a word of the same import with merchant in its less respectable sense, is still in common use among the vulgar, as a general denomination for any person of whom they mean to speak with freedom or disrespect.

- of his ropery?] Ropery was anciently used in the same sense as roguery is now.

none of his skains-mates.] A skein or skain was either a knife or a short dagger. By skains-mates the Nurse njeans none of his loose companions who frequent the fencing-school with him, where we may suppose the exercise of this weapon was taught.


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