Mer. O then I see Queene Mab hath beene with you: She is the Fairies Midwife, & she comes in shape no bigger then Agat-stone, on the fore-finger of an Alderman, drawne with a teeme of little Atomies, ouer mens noses as they lie asleepe: her Waggon Spokes made of long Spinners legs: the Couer of the wings of Grashoppers, her Traces of the smallest Spiders web, her coullers of the Moonshines watry Beames, her Whip of Crickets bone, the Lash of Philome, her Waggoner, a small gray-coated Gnat, not halfe so bigge as a round little Worme, prickt from the Lazie-finger of a man. Her Chariot is an emptie Haselnut, made by the Ioyner Squirrel or old Grub, time out a mind, the Faries Coach-makers: & in this state she gallops night by night, through Louers braines: and then they dreame of Loue. On Courtiers knees, that dreame on Cursies strait: ore Lawyers fingers, who strait dreampt on Fees, ore Ladies lips, who strait on kisses dreame, which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues, because their breath with Sweet meats tainted are. Sometime she gallops ore a Courtiers nose, & then dreames he of smelling out a sute: & somtime comes she with Tith pigs tale, tickling a Parsons nose as a lies asleepe, then he dreames of another Benefice. Sometime she driueth ore a Souldiers necke, & then dreames he of cutting Forraine throats, of Breaches, Ambuscados, Spanish Blades: Of Healths fiue Fadome deepe, and then anon drums in his eares, at which he startes and wakes; and being thus frighted, sweares a prayer or two & sleepes againe: this is that very Mab that plats the manes of Horses in the night: & bakes the Elklocks in foule sluttish haires, which once vntangled, much misfortune bodes, This is the hag, when Maides lie on their backs, That presses them, and learnes them first to beare, Making them women of good carriage: This is she

Rom. Peace, peace, Mercutio peace, Thou talk'st of nothing

Mer. True, I talke of dreames: Which are the children of an idle braine, Begot of nothing, but vaine phantasie, Which is as thin of substance as the ayre, And more inconstant then the wind, who wooes Euen now the frozen bosome of the North: And being anger'd, puffes away from thence, Turning his side to the dew dropping South

Ben. This wind you talke of blowes vs from our selues, Supper is done, and we shall come too late

Rom. I feare too early, for my mind misgiues, Some consequence yet hanging in the starres, Shall bitterly begin his fearefull date With this nights reuels, and expire the tearme Of a despised life clos'd in my brest: By some vile forfeit of vntimely death. But he that hath the stirrage of my course, Direct my sute: on lustie Gentlemen

Ben. Strike Drum.

They march about the Stage, and Seruingmen come forth with their napkins.

Enter Seruant.

Ser. Where's Potpan, that he helpes not to take away? He shift a Trencher? he scrape a Trencher? 1. When good manners, shall lie in one or two mens hands, and they vnwasht too, 'tis a foule thing

Ser. Away with the Ioynstooles, remoue the Courtcubbord, looke to the Plate: good thou, saue mee a piece of Marchpane, and as thou louest me, let the Porter let in Susan Grindstone, and Nell, Anthonie and Potpan

2. I Boy readie

Ser. You are lookt for, and cal'd for, askt for, & sought for, in the great Chamber

1. We cannot be here and there too, chearly Boyes, Be brisk awhile, and the longer liuer take all.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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