Puslapio vaizdai
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The collars, of the moonshine's watry beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lafh, of film;
Her waggoner a fmall 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 ftate 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 (2) courtier's nofe,


(2) O'er a courtier's nofe.] Tho' lawyer's is here ufed in almost all the modern editions, it is very obfervable, that in the old ones the word ufed fs, Courtier's; but the modern editors, having no idea what the poet could mean by a courtier's fmelling out a fuit, notwithstanding he had introduced the lawyers before, gave them another place, in this fine fpeech. Mr. Warburton has very well explain'd it, by obferving that "in our author's time, a courtfollicitation was call'd fimply a fuit; and a procefs, a fuit at lazo to diftinguish it from the other. The king (fays an anony mous cotemporary writer of the life of Sir William Cecil) called him [Sir William Cecil] and after long talk with him, being much delighted with his anfwers, willed his father to find [i. e. fmell out] a fuit for bim. Whereupon be became fuitor for the reverfion of the Cuftos Brevium office in the Common-Pleas. Which the king willingly granted it, being the first fuit be bad in bis life." Nor can it be objected, as Mr. Warburton alfo obferves, that there will be a repetition in this fine fpeech if we read courtiers, as there is, if we read lawyers, it having been said before,

On courtiers knees that dream on curtfies straight.

Because they are fhewn in two places under different views ; in the first their foppery, in the fecond their rapacity is ridiculed." Befides, we may add, that in the firft line he seems to allude to the court ladies, in these under confideration to the gentlemen. The cuftom being fo much out of ufe, it is not amifs that

And then dreams he of fmelling out a fuit:

And sometimes comes fhe with a tithe-pig's tail,


in the modern readings of this fpeech, and alfo on the flage, we find the doctors introduced,

O'er Doctors fingers, who straight dream on fees.

But there feems no doubt of the genuineness of the word in the


Tho' the following paffages have fomething fimilar in general to this celebrated fpeech, yet they serve only to fhew the fuperiority of Shakespear's fancy, and the vast range of his boundless imagination. If the reader will confult the 4th book and 959th Jine of Lucretius, he will find more on the fubject than I have quoted: Shakespear has an expreffion in Othello, concerning dreams, which is conformable to what Lucretius and Petronius obferve, and which is an inftance of his great knowledge of nature; here he pronounces, dreams are nothing, there, when Othello's paffions are to be raised, 'tis remark'd that they

Denote a foregone conclufion. See Othello, A. 3. S. 8.

Lucretius, Book IV.

Et quoi quifque fere fludio, &c.

Whatever ftudies pleafe, whatever things
'The mind purfues, or dwells on with delight,
The fame in dreams, engage our chief concern:
The lawyers plead, and argue what is law:
The folders fight, and thro' the battle rage:
The failors work and ftrive against the wind:
Me an enquiry into natures laws,

And writing down my thoughts conftant employs.


Somnia quæ mentes, &c.


When in our dreams the forms of things arife,
In mimic order plac'd before our eyes,
Nor heav'n, nor hell the airy vifion fends,
But every breaft its own delufion lends.
For when foft fleep the body lays at eafe,
And from the heavy mafs the fancy frees:
Whate'er it is, in which we take delight,
And think of most by day, we dream at night:
Thus he who fhakes proud ftates, and cities burns,
Sees fhowers of darts, forc'd lines, diforder'd wings,
Fields drown d in blood, and obfequies of kings:
The lawyer dreams of terms and double fees,
And trembles when he long vacations fees:


Tickling the parfon as he lies afleep;

Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes the driveth o'er a foldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambufcadoes, 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 fhe

Rom. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace :
Thou talk'ft of nothing.

Mer. True, I talk of dreams;

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Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing, but vain phantafy,
Which is as thin of fubftance as the air,
And more unconstant than the wind; who woces
Ev'n now the frozen bosom of the north,
And being anger'd, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping fouth,

The mifer hides his wealth, new treasure finds;
In ecchoing woods his horn the huntfman winds :
The failors dream a fh pwreck'd chance describes
The whore writes billet-doux; th' adultrefs bribes :
The op'ning dog the tim'rous hare purfues,
And mifery in fleep its pains renews."

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SCENE VI. A Beauty defcrib'di ma

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,


(3) The Courtship between Romeo and Juliet, in the Garden.

Enter Romeo.

Rom. He jefts at fears that never felt a wound
But foft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the eaft, and Juliet is the fun !

[Juliet appears above at a window.

Arife, fair fun, and kill the envious moon,

Who is already fick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than fhe,
Be not her maid, fince the is envious:

Her veftal livery is but fick and green,

And none but fools do wear it, caft it off-
She fpeak, yet the fays nothing; what of that?
ler eye difcourfes, I will answer it

I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the faireft ftars of all the heav'n,
Having fome bufinefs, do entreat her eyes

(3) The, &c.] The elegance and natural fimplicity of this fcene is enough to recommend it, and muft render it agreeable to every reader who hath any tafte for tendernefs, delicacy, and fincere affection: but when we have feen it fo juftly performed, and so beautifully graced by fome of the best and most judicious actors that ever appear'd on any stage, we fhall want no comment to enter into its particular excellencies, no chart to guide us to thofe beauties, which all must have fenfibly felt, on hearing them fo feelingly and pathetically expreft, in their own bofoms. The reader will find fome remarks in the Ator on this celebrated scene.




To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would fhame thofe ftars,
As day-light doth a lamp; her eyes in heav'n,
Would through the airy region stream so bright,
That birds would fing, and think it were not night,
See how she leans her cheek upon her hard!.

O, that I were a glove upon that hand,

That I might touch that cheek! ⠀
Jul. Ah me!

Rom. She fpeaks.

Oh speak again, bright angel, for thou art


As glorious to this fight, being o'er my head,
As is a winged meffenger from heav'n,
Unto the white up-turned wandring eyes
Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him,
When he beftrides the lazy-pacing clouds,.
And fails upon the bofom of the air.

Jul. ORomeo, Romeo-wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father, and refufe thy name :

Or if thou wilt not, be but fworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.


Rom. Shall I hear more, or fhall I fpeak at this?

Jul. "Tis but thy name that is my enemy:

What's in a name? that which we call a rofe,
By any other name would smell as fweet. For
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo calld,"
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title; Romeo, quit thy name,
And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all



Sight, Mr. Theobald, valg. Night.



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