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Romeo and Juliet: Act 1, Scene 4

Romeo and Juliet
Act 1, Scene 4

Verona. A street.

  1. Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or six other
  2. Maskers; Torch-Bearers.

Romeo

3 - 4
  1. What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?
  2. Or shall we on without apology?

Benvolio

5 - 12
  1. The date is out of such prolixity:
  2. We’ll have no Cupid hoodwink’d with a scarf,
  3. Bearing a Tartar’s painted bow of lath,
  4. Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper,
  5. Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
  6. After the prompter, for our entrance;
  7. But let them measure us by what they will,
  8. We’ll measure them a measure and be gone.

Romeo

13 - 14
  1. Give me a torch, I am not for this ambling;
  2. Being but heavy, I will bear the light.

Mercutio

15
  1. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.

Romeo

16 - 18
  1. Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes
  2. With nimble soles, I have a soul of lead
  3. So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.

Mercutio

19 - 20
  1. You are a lover, borrow Cupid’s wings,
  2. And soar with them above a common bound.

Romeo

21 - 24
  1. I am too sore enpierced with his shaft
  2. To soar with his light feathers, and so bound
  3. I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe;
  4. Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.

Mercutio

25 - 26
  1. And, to sink in it, should you burden love
  2. Too great oppression for a tender thing.

Romeo

27 - 28
  1. Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,
  2. Too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like thorn.

Mercutio

29 - 35
  1. If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
  2. Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
  3. Give me a case to put my visage in,
  4. Puts on a mask.
  5. A visor for a visor! What care I
  6. What curious eye doth cote deformities?
  7. Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.

Benvolio

36 - 37
  1. Come knock and enter, and no sooner in,
  2. But every man betake him to his legs.

Romeo

38 - 42
  1. A torch for me. Let wantons light of heart
  2. Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels.
  3. For I am proverb’d with a grandsire phrase,
  4. I’ll be a candle-holder and look on:
  5. The game was ne’er so fair, and I am done.

Mercutio

43 - 46
  1. Tut, dun’s the mouse, the constable’s own word.
  2. If thou art Dun, we’ll draw thee from the mire
  3. Of this sir-reverence love, wherein thou stickest
  4. Up to the ears. Come, we burn daylight, ho!

Romeo

47
  1. Nay, that’s not so.

Mercutio

48 - 51
  1.                     I mean, sir, in delay
  2. We waste our lights in vain, like lights by day!
  3. Take our good meaning, for our judgment sits
  4. Five times in that ere once in our five wits.

Romeo

52 - 53
  1. And we mean well in going to this mask,
  2. But ’tis no wit to go.

Mercutio

54
  1.                        Why, may one ask?

Romeo

55
  1. I dreamt a dream tonight.

Mercutio

56
  1.                           And so did I.

Romeo

57
  1. Well, what was yours?

Mercutio

58
  1.                       That dreamers often lie.

Romeo

59
  1. In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.

Mercutio

60 - 102
  1. O then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
  2. She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
  3. In shape no bigger than an agot-stone
  4. On the forefinger of an alderman,
  5. Drawn with a team of little atomi
  6. Over men’s noses as they lie asleep.
  7. Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
  8. Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
  9. Time out a’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.
  10. Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners’ legs,
  11. The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
  12. Her traces of the smallest spider web,
  13. Her collars of the moonshine’s wat’ry beams,
  14. Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film,
  15. Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
  16. Not half so big as a round little worm
  17. Prick’d from the lazy finger of a maid.
  18. And in this state she gallops night by night
  19. Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
  20. O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on cur’sies straight;
  21. O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees;
  22. O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
  23. Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
  24. Because their breath with sweetmeats tainted are.
  25. Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
  26. And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
  27. And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
  28. Tickling a parson’s nose as ’a lies asleep,
  29. Then he dreams of another benefice.
  30. Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
  31. And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
  32. Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
  33. Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
  34. Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
  35. And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
  36. And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
  37. That plats the manes of horses in the night,
  38. And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,
  39. Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes.
  40. This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
  41. That presses them and learns them first to bear,
  42. Making them women of good carriage.
  43. This is she

Romeo

103 - 104
  1.              Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!
  2. Thou talk’st of nothing.

Mercutio

105 - 112
  1.                          True, I talk of dreams,
  2. Which are the children of an idle brain,
  3. Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
  4. Which is as thin of substance as the air,
  5. And more inconstant than the wind, who woos
  6. Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
  7. And, being anger’d, puffs away from thence,
  8. Turning his side to the dew-dropping south.

Benvolio

113 - 114
  1. This wind you talk of blows us from ourselves:
  2. Supper is done, and we shall come too late.

Romeo

115 - 122
  1. I fear, too early, for my mind misgives
  2. Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
  3. Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
  4. With this night’s revels, and expire the term
  5. Of a despised life clos’d in my breast
  6. By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
  7. But He that hath the steerage of my course
  8. Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen!

Benvolio

123
  1. Strike, drum.
  1. They march about the stage and stand to one side.
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