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Ben, Stop there, stop there.
Mer. Thou defir'it me to stop in my tale, against the hair.
Ben, Thou wouldīt else have made thy. tale large.
Mer. O, thou art deceiv’d, 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.
Enter Nurse, and Peter her Man,
Mer. Do, good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan's the fairer of the two.
Nurse. God ye good morrow, gentlemen.
Nurse. Out upon you! what a man are you?
Nurfe. By my troth, it is well said: 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 i him: I am the youngest of that name, for fault of a worfe.
Nurse. You say well.
Mer. Yea, is the worst well ?
Nurse. If you be he, Sir,
(17) I de fire some confidence with you.
Ben. She will invite bim to some fupper.] Mr. Rowe first spoil'd the joak of the second lige in his editions, and Mr. Pope is generally
Ben. She will indite him to fome supper.
Mer. No hare, Sir, unless a hare, Sir, in a lenten pye, that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent. An old hare hoar, 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, ancient lady: Farewel, lady, lady, lady.
Exeunt Mercatio, Benvolio, Narfe. I pray you, Sir, what faucy merchant was this, that was so 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.
Nurse. An'a speak any thing against me, I'll take him down an' he were luftier than he is, and twenty such 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 suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure ? [To her man.
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, if I see occa. fion in a good quarrel, and the law on my fide.
faithful to his foot-steps. All the genuine copies read, as I have re. Ror'd to the text;
She will indite bim to fome supper. Benvolio, hearing the nurse knock one word out of joint, humourously is resolv'd he will corrupt another in imitation of her. Both the corruptions are used by our Author in other parts of his works.
Quick. -and I will tell your worship more of the wast, the next time we have confidence, and of other wooers. Merry Wives, &c. Dogb. Marry, Sir, I would have some confidence with you,
that de cerns you nearly
Mucb Ado, &c. Quick. and be is indired to dinner to the Lubbar's head, &c.
2 Henry IV.
Nurse. 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 she bid me say, I will keep to myfelf: 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 if you should 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 proteft unto thee
Nurse. Good heart, and, i'faith, I will tell her as much : Lord, Lord, she will be a joyful woman.
Rom. What wilç thou tell her, nurse ? thou doft not mark me.
Nurse. I will tell her, Sír, that you do proteft; which, as I take it, is a gentleman-like offer.
Rom. Bid her devise fome means to come to fhrift this
Nurse. No, truly, Sir, not a penny,
Nurse. Now, God in heav'n bless thee! hark you, Sir. Rom. What sayest thou, my dear nurse?
Nurse. Is your man secret ? did you ne'er hear fay, Two may keep counsel, putting one away ?
Rem. I warrant thee, my man's as true as steel.
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 she, good soul, had as lieve fee a
toad, a very toad, as see him: I anger her fometimes, and tell her, that Paris is the properer man ; but I'll warrant you, when I say so, the looks as pale as any clout in the versal world. Doth not rosemary and Rcmeo begin both with a letter?
Rom. Ay, nurse, what of that? both with an R. (18)
Nurse. Ah, mocker! that's the dog's name. R. is for thee? No; I know, it begins with another 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 [Exit Romeo.
Nurse. Ab mocker! that's tbe dog's name. R. is for the I krow it begins with no other letter,] I believe, I have rectified this odd stuff; but it is a little mortifying, that the sense, when 'tis found out, should hardly be worth the pains of retrieving it. The Nurse is represented as a prating silly creature; the says, he will tell Romes a good joak about his miftress, and asks him, whether Rosemary and Romeo do not begin both with a letter: he says, Yes, an Ř. She, who, we must suppose, could not read, thought he had mock'd her, and says, No, Sure, I know better : our dog's name is R. Yours begins with ano. ther letter. This is natural enough, and very much in character for this infipid, prating creature. R put her in mind of that found which is made by dogs when they snail : and therefore, I presume, she says, that is the dog's name. A quotation from Ben Jonson's Alchemist will clear up this allusion.
He shall have a bell, that's Abel;
Mr. Warburton. B. Fonfon again, in describing the found of the letters, in his English Grammar, says, R is the dog's letter, and birreth in the found. For this reason Perhus, the satirist, calld it litera canna : because the trembling vibration of the tongue in pronouncing it imitates the snarling of a dog. Quòd tremulâ linguæ vibratione, canum, quum ringuntur, sonum imitari videatur, says Rob. Stepbens.
Irritata canis qudd RR quam plurima dicat. Lucillius.
SCENE changes to Capulet's House.
Enter Nurse, with Peter.
Nurs. i am a weary, let me reft a while ;
Jul. I would, thou hadft my bones, and I thy news ! Nay, come, I pray thee, speak-Good, good nurse,
speak. Nurse: Jesu! what haste ? can you not stay a while ? Do you not fee, that I am out of breath? [breath
Ful. How art thou out of breath, when thou hast To say to me that thou art out of breath ?