Romeo and Juliet
Act I, Scene 4
Verona. A street.
- Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or six other
- Maskers; Torch-Bearers.
Romeo1 - 2
- What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?
- Or shall we on without apology?
Benvolio3 - 10
- The date is out of such prolixity:
- We’ll have no Cupid hoodwink’d with a scarf,
- Bearing a Tartar’s painted bow of lath,
- Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper,
- Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
- After the prompter, for our entrance;
- But let them measure us by what they will,
- We’ll measure them a measure and be gone.
Romeo11 - 12
- Give me a torch, I am not for this ambling;
- Being but heavy, I will bear the light.
- Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.
Romeo14 - 16
- Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes
- With nimble soles, I have a soul of lead
- So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.
Mercutio17 - 18
- You are a lover, borrow Cupid’s wings,
- And soar with them above a common bound.
Romeo19 - 22
- I am too sore enpierced with his shaft
- To soar with his light feathers, and so bound
- I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe;
- Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.
Mercutio23 - 24
- And, to sink in it, should you burden love—
- Too great oppression for a tender thing.
Romeo25 - 26
- Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,
- Too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like thorn.
Mercutio27 - 32
- If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
- Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
- Give me a case to put my visage in,
- Puts on a mask.
- A visor for a visor! What care I
- What curious eye doth cote deformities?
- Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.
Benvolio33 - 34
- Come knock and enter, and no sooner in,
- But every man betake him to his legs.
Romeo35 - 39
- A torch for me. Let wantons light of heart
- Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels.
- For I am proverb’d with a grandsire phrase,
- I’ll be a candle-holder and look on:
- The game was ne’er so fair, and I am done.
Mercutio40 - 43
- Tut, dun’s the mouse, the constable’s own word.
- If thou art Dun, we’ll draw thee from the mire
- Of this sir-reverence love, wherein thou stickest
- Up to the ears. Come, we burn daylight, ho!
- Nay, that’s not so.
Mercutio45 - 48
- I mean, sir, in delay
- We waste our lights in vain, like lights by day!
- Take our good meaning, for our judgment sits
- Five times in that ere once in our five wits.
Romeo49 - 50
- And we mean well in going to this mask,
- But ’tis no wit to go.
- Why, may one ask?
- I dreamt a dream tonight.
- And so did I.
- Well, what was yours?
- That dreamers often lie.
- In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.
Mercutio57 - 99
- O then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
- She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
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- On the forefinger of an alderman,
- Drawn with a team of little atomi
- Over men’s noses as they lie asleep.
- Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
- Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
- Time out a’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.
- Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners’ legs,
- The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
- Her traces of the smallest spider web,
- Her collars of the moonshine’s wat’ry beams,
- Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film,
- Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
- Not half so big as a round little worm
- Prick’d from the lazy finger of a maid.
- And in this state she gallops night by night
- Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
- O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on cur’sies straight;
- O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees;
- O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
- Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
- Because their breath with sweetmeats tainted are.
- Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
- And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
- And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
- Tickling a parson’s nose as ’a lies asleep,
- Then he dreams of another benefice.
- Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
- And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
- Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
- Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
- Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
- And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
- And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
- That plats the manes of horses in the night,
- And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,
- Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes.
- This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
- That presses them and learns them first to bear,
- Making them women of good carriage.
- This is she—
Romeo100 - 101
- Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!
- Thou talk’st of nothing.
Mercutio102 - 109
- True, I talk of dreams,
- Which are the children of an idle brain,
- Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
- Which is as thin of substance as the air,
- And more inconstant than the wind, who woos
- Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
- And, being anger’d, puffs away from thence,
- Turning his side to the dew-dropping south.
Benvolio110 - 111
- This wind you talk of blows us from ourselves:
- Supper is done, and we shall come too late.
Romeo112 - 119
- I fear, too early, for my mind misgives
- Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
- Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
- With this night’s revels, and expire the term
- Of a despised life clos’d in my breast
- By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
- But He that hath the steerage of my course
- Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen!
- Strike, drum.
- They march about the stage and stand to one side.