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She is the. Fancy's mid-wife, and the comes
In fhape no bigger than an agat-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman;
Drawn with a team of little atomies,
Athwart mens' nofes as they lie asleep :
Her waggon-fpokes made of long spinners' legs;
The cover, of the wings of grafhoppers;
The traces, of the fmalleft fpider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's watry beams;
Her whip, of crickets' bone; the lash, of film;
Her waggoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half fo big as a round little worm,
Prickt from the lazy finger of a maid.
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joyner fquirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers:
And in this State fhe gallops, night by night,
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love ::
On courtiers' knees, that dream on curtfies ftrait :
O'er lawyers' fingers, who ftrait dream on fees:
O'er ladies' lips, who ftrait on kiffes dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blifters plagues,
Because their breaths with fweet-meats tainted are.
Sometimes the gallops o'er a lawyer's nofe,
And then dreams he of fmelling out a fuit:
rence to the Employment fhe is put upon? Firft, then, she is
called Queen: which is very pertinent; for that defigns here
Power: Then fhe 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 fay, he wrote
the Fancy's Midwife: and this is a Title the moft à propas
in the World, as it introduces all that is faid afterwards
of her Vagaries. Befides, it exactly quadrates with these
Italk of Dreams;
Which are the Children of an Idle Brain,
Begor of nothing but vain Fantafie.
Thefe 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
And fometimes comes fhe with a tithe-pig's tail,
Tickling the parfon as he lies afleep;
Then dreams he of another Benefice.
Sometimes the driveth o'er a foldier's neck,
And then he dreams of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ears, at which he starts and wakes ;
And, being thus frighted, fwears a prayer or two,
And fleeps again. This is that very Mab,
That plats the manes of horfes in the night,
And cakes the elf-locks in foul fluttish hairs,
Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes.
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That preffes them, and learns them first to bear ;
Making them women of good carriage:
This is the
Rom. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace;
Thou talk'ft of nothing.
Mer. True, I talk of dreams;
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing, but vain phantafie;
Which is as thin of fubftance as the air,
And more unconftant than the wind; who wooes
Ev'n now the frozen bofom of the north,
And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping fouth.
Ben. This wind, you talk of, blows us from our felves;
Supper is done, and we shall come too late.
Rom. I fear, too early; for my mind mifgives,
Some confequence, yet hanging in the Stars,
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night's revels; and expire the term
Of a defpifed life clos'd in my breast,
By fome vile forfeit of untimely death.
But he, that hath the steerage of my course,
Direct my fuit! On, lufty Gentlemen.
Ben. Strike, drum.
[They march about the Stage, and Exeunt. SCENE
SCENE changes to a Hall in Capulet's House.
Enter Servants, with Napkins.
HERE's Potpan, that he helps not to take away; he shift a trencher ! he scrape
a trencher !
2 Ser. When good manners fhall lie all in one or two mens' hands, and they unwash'd too, 'tis a foul thing.
1 Ser. Away with the joint-ftools, remove the courtcup-board, look to the plate: good thou, fave me a piece of march-pane; and, as thou loveft me, let the porter let in Sufan Grindstone, and Nell. Antony, and Potpan
2 Ser. Ay, boy, ready.
1 Ser. You are look'd for, call'd for, ask'd for, and fought for, in the great chamber.
2 Ser. We cannot be here and there too; cheerly, boys; be brisk a while, and the longer liver take all.
Enter all the Guefts and Ladies, with the maskers. 1 Cap. Welcome, Gentlemen. Ladies, that have your
Unplagu'd with corns, we'll have a bout with you.
Ah me, my miftreffes, which of you all
Will now deny to dance? she that makes dainty,
I'll fwear, hath corns; am I come near you now?
Welcome, all, Gentlemen; I've feen the day
That I have worn a visor, and could tell
A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear,
Such as would please: 'tis gone; 'tis gone; 'tis gone!
[Mufick plays, and they dance.
More light, ye knaves, and turn the tables up;
And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.
Ah, Sirrah, this unlook'd-for fport comes well.
Nay, fit; nay, fit, good coufin Capulet,
you and I are paft our dancing days: How long is't now fince laft your felf and I VOL. VIII.
Were in a mask?
2 Cap. By'r lady, thirty years.
1 Cap. What, man! 'tis not fo much, 'tis not fo much;
'Tis fince the nuptial of Lucentio,
Come Pentecoft as quickly as it will,
Some five and twenty years, and then we mask'd.
2 Cap. 'Tis more, 'tis more; his fon is elder, Sir:
His fon is thirty.
1 Cap. Will you tell me that?
His fon was but a ward two years ago.
Rom. What lady's That, which doth enrich the hand Of yonder knight?
Ser. I know not, Sir.
Rom. O, fhe doth teach the torches to burn bright;
Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night,
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear:
Beauty too rich for ufe, for earth too dear!
So fhews a fnowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o'er her fellows fhows.
The measure done, I'll watch her place of Stand,
And, touching hers, make happy my rude hand.
Did my heart love 'till now? forfwear it, fight;
I never faw true beauty 'till this night.
Tyb. This by his voice fhould be a Montague.
Fetch me my rapier, boy: what! dares the flave
Come hither cover'd with an antick face,
To fleer and scorn at our folemnity?
Now by the stock and honour of my kin,
To ftrike him dead I hold it not a fin.
Cap. Why, how now, kinfman, wherefore ftorm you
Tyb. Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe:
A villain, that is hither come in spight,
To fcorn at our folemnity this night.
Cap. Young Romeo, is't?
Tyb. That villain Romeo.
Cap. Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone;
He bears him like a portly Gentleman :
And, to say truth, Verona brags of him,
To be a virtuous and well-govern'd youth.
I would not for the wealth of all this town,
Here in my house, do him difparagement.
Therefore be patient, take no note of him;
It is my will, the which if thou refpect,
Shew a fair prefence, and put off these frowns,
An ill-befeeming femblance for a feast.
Tyb. It fits, when fuch a villain is a guest. I'll not endure him.
Cap. He fhall be endur'd.
What, goodman boy-I fay, he fhall.
Am I the mafter here, or you? go to-
You'll not endure him! God fhall mend my foul,
You'll make a mutiny among my guests!
You will fet cock-a-hoop? you'll be the man?
Tyb. Why, uncle, 'tis a fhame.
Cap. Go to, go to,
You are a fawcy boy-is't fo, indeed ?
This trick may chance to fcathe you; I know what.
You must contrary me! Marry, 'tis time.
Well faid, my hearts: You are a Princox, go:-
Be quiet, or (more light, more light, for fhame)
I'll make you quiet-What? cheerly, my hearts.
Tyb. Patience perforce, with wilful choler meeting,
Makes my flesh tremble in their different Greeting.
I will withdraw; but this intrufion shall,
Now feeming sweet, convert to bitter gall.
Rom. If I profane with my unworthy hand (5)
(s) If I profane with my unworthy hand
This holy Shrine, the gentle Sin is this,
My Lips, wo blushing Pilgrims, &c.] All Profanations are fuppos'd to be expiated either by fome meritorious Action, or by fome Penance undergone and Punishment submitted to. So, Romeo would here fay, if I have been profane in the rude Touch of my Hand, my Lips ftand ready, as two bluing Pilgrims, to take off that Offence, to atone for it, by a fweet Penance. Our Poet therefore must have wrote,
the gentle Fine is this,