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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 narrow to an ell broad!

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

Mer. Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; 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 tale against

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!

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.R

bitter sweeting;] Is an apple of that name.

a wit of cheverel,] Cheverel is soft leather for gloves. My fan, Peter.] The business of Peter carrying the Nurse's 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 me where I may find the young Romeo?

you tell

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, '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 hoar's ere it be spent.-.

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, lady.'

Exeunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO. Nurse. Marry, farewell!-I pray you, sir, what saucy merchant was this, that was so full of his ropery ?3


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, lady.] The burthen of an old song.

what saucy merchant was this, &c.] The term merchant which was, and even now is, frequently applied to 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 means none of his loose companions who frequent the fencing-school with him, where we may suppose the exercise of this weapon was taught.

if I see occasion in a good quarrel, and the law on my side.

Nurse. Now, afore God, I am so vexed, that every part about me quivers. Scurvy knave!Pray you, sir, a word: and as I told you, my young lady bade me inquire you out; what she bade me say, I will keep to myself: but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a very gross kind of behaviour, as they say: for the gentlewoman is young; and, therefore, you should deal double with her, truly, it were an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.


Rom. Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I protest unto thee,

Nurse. Good heart! and, i'faith, I will tell her as much: Lord, lord, she will be a joyful woman. Rom. What wilt thou tell her, nurse? thou dost not mark me.

Nurse. I will tell her, sir,-that you do protest; which, as I take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.

Rom. Bid her devise some means to come to shrift This afternoon;

And there she shall at friar Laurence' cell

Be shriv'd, and married. Here is for thy pains.
Nurse. No, truly, sir; not a penny.

Rom. Go to; I say, you shall.

Nurse. This afternoon, sir? well, she shall be there.

Rom. And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey-wall: Within this hour my man shall be with thee; And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair:" Which to the high top-gallant of my joy


a ship.

like a tackled stair;] Like stairs of rope in the tackle of

6 top-gallant of my joy-] The top-gallant is the highest extremity of the mast of a ship.



Must be my convoy in the secret night.
Farewell!-Be trusty, and I'll quit thy pains.
Farewell!-Commend me to thy mistress.

Nurse. Now God in heaven bless thee!-Hark

you, sir.

Rom. What say'st thou, my dear nurse?

Nurse. Is your man secret? Did you ne'er hear


Two may keep counsel, putting one away ?

Rom. I warrant thee; my man's as true as steel. Nurse. Well, sir; my mistress is the sweetest lady-Lord, lord!-when 'twas a little prating thing,-O,-there's a nobleman in town, one Paris, that would fain lay knife aboard; but she, good soul, had as lieve see a toad, a very toad, as see him. I anger her sometimes, and tell her that Paris is the properer man; but, I'll warrant you, when I say so, she looks as pale as any clout in the varsal world. Doth not rosemary and Romeo begin both with a letter?


Rom. Ay, nurse; What of that? both with an R. Nurse. Ah, mocker! that's the dog's name. is for the dog. No; I know it begins with some other letter: and she hath the prettiest sententious of it, of you and rosemary, that it would do you

good to hear it.

Rom. Commend me to thy lady.

Nurse. Ay, a thousand times.-Peter!

Pet. Anon?



Nurse. Peter, Take my fan, and go before.

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