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Mer. 'Tis no less, I tell you; for the bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon.
Nurfe. Out upon you! what a man are you? Rom. One, gentlewoman, that God hath made, himfelf to mar.
Nurfe. By my troth, it is well faid: for himself to mar, quotha? Gentlemen, can any of you 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 fought him: I am the youngest of that name, for fault of a worse.
Nurfe. You fay well.
Mer. Yea, is the worft well?
Very well took, i'faith, wifely, wifely.
I defire fome confidence with you.
Mer. No hare, Sir, unless a hare, Sir, in a lenten pye, that is fomething ftale 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.
Romeo, will you come to your father's ? we'll to dinner thither.
Rom. I will follow you.
Mer. Farewel, antient lady:
Farewel, lady, lady, lady. [Exeunt Mercutio, Benvolio.' Nurfe. I pray you, Sir, what faucy merchant was this, that was fo full of his ropery?
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.
Nurfe. An a fpeak any thing against me, I'll take him down an' he were luftier than he is, and twenty fuch Jacks and if I cannot, I'll find those that shall. Scurvy knave, I am none of his flirt-gills; I am none of his
skains-mates. And thou must stand by too, and fuffer every knave to use me at his pleasure ? [To her man.. Pet. I faw no man ufe you at his pleasure: if I had, my weapon fhould quickly have been out, I warrant you. I dare draw as foon as another man, if I fee occafion in a good quarrel, and the law on my fide.
Nurfe. Now, afore God, I am fo vext, that every part about me quivers Scurvy knave! Pray you, Sir, a word and as I told you, my young lady bid me enquire you out; what the bid me fay, I will keep to my felf but firft let me tell ye, if ye fhould lead her into a fool's paradife, as they fay, it were a very grofs kind of behaviour, as they fay, for the gentlewoman is young; and therefore if you fhould deal double with her, truly, it were an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.
Rom. Commend me to thy lady and mistress, I pro teft unto thee
Nurfe. Good heart, and, i'faith, I will tell her as much: Lord, lord, fhe will be a joyful woman.
Rom. What wilt thou tell her, nurfe? thou dost not mark me.
Nurse. I will tell her, Sir, that you do protest; which, as I take it, is a gentleman-like offer.
Rom. Bid her devife fome means to come to fhrift this afternoon;
And there fhe fhall at friar Laurence' Cell
Be fhriv'd and married: here is for thy pains.
Rom. Go to, I fay, you fhall.
Nurfe. This afternoon, Sir? well, fhe fhall be there. Rom. And ftay, good nurfe, behind the abby-wall: Within this hour my man fhall be with thee, And bring thee cords, made like a tackled ftair, Which to the high top-gallant of my joy Must be my convoy in the fecret night. Farewel, be trufty, and I'll quit thy pains.
Nurfe. Now, God in heav'n bless thee! hark
Two may keep counfel, putting one away?
Rom. I warrant thee, my man's as true as fteel. Nurfe. Well, Sir, my mistress is the sweetest lady; lord, lord! when 'twas a little prating thing -0, there is a noble man in town, one Paris, that would fain lay knife aboard; but fhe, good foul, had as lieve fee a toad, a very toad, as fee him: I anger her fometimes, and tell her, that Paris is the properer man; but I'll warrant you, when I fay fo, fhe looks as pale as any clout in the varfal world. Doth not Rosemary and Romeo begin both with a letter?
Rom. Ay, nurfe, what of that? both with an R. (8) Nurfe. Ah, mocker! that's the dog's name. R. is for Thee? No; I know, it begins with another letter; and fhe hath the prettieft fententious of it, of you and rosemary, that it would do you good to hear it. Rom. Commend me to thy lady
(8) Rom. Ay, Nurse, what of That? Both with an R. Nurfe. Ab mocker! that's the Dog's Name. R. is for the no, I know it begins with no other Letter,] I believe, I have rectified this old Stuff; but it is a little mortifying, that the Senfe, when 'tis found out, should hardly be worth the pains of retrieving it. The Nurse is represented as a prating filly Creature; She fays, She will tell Romeo a good Joak about his Miftref, and asks him, whether Rosemary and Romeo do not begin Both with a Letter: He fays, Yes, an R. She, who, we muft fuppofe, could not read, thought he had mock'd her, and fays, No, fure, I know better: our Dog's name is R. Yours begins with another Letter. This is natural enough, and very much in Character for this infipid prating Creature, R. put her in mind of that Sound which is made by Dogs when they fnarl: and therefore, I presume, she says, that is the Dog's Name. A Quotation from Ben Johnson's Alchemist will clear up this Allufion.
He fhall have a Bell, that's Abel;
And, by it, ftanding One whofe Name is D
In a rug Gown; there's Ɗ and rug, that's Drug ;
And right anenst him a dog snarling,·
Nurfe. Ay, a thousand times. Peter,
Nurfe. Take my fan, and go before.
SCENE changes to Capulet's Houfe.
HE clock ftruck nine, when I did fend the
In half an hour she promis'd to return.
Of this day's journey; and from nine 'till twelve
Enter Nurfe, with Peter.
O God, she comes. O honey Nurse, what news?
Nurfe. Jefu! what hafte ? Can you not stay a while? De you not fee, that I am out of breath?
Jul. How art thou out of breath, when thou haft breath
To fay to me, that thou art out of breath?
Nurse. Well, you have made a fimple choice; you know not how to chufe a man: Romeo, no, not he; though his face be better than any man's, yet his legs excel all men's; and for a hand, and a foot, and a body, tho' they be not to be talk'd on, yet they are past compare. He is not the flower of courtefie, but, I warrant him, as gentle as a lamb Go thy ways, wench, ferve God What, have dined at home? Jul. No, no but all this did I know before: What fays he of our marriage? what of that?
Nurfe. Lord, how my head akes! what a head have I ? It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces. My back o' th' other fide O my back, my Befhrew your heart, for fending me about To catch my death with jaunting up and down. Jul. I'faith, I am forry that thou art fo ill. Sweet, fweet, fweet nurfe, tell me, what fays my love? Nurfe. Your love fays like an honeft gentleman, And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, And, I warrant, a virtuous where is your mother? Jul. Where is my mother? why the is within; Where fhould fhe be? how odly thou reply'ft! Your love fays like an honeft gentleman: Where is your mother?
Nurfe. O, God's lady dear,
Jul. Here's fuch a coil; come, what fays Romeo? Nurfe. Have you got leave to go to fhrift to day?