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Monologues for Men


If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,

My dreams presage some joyful news at hand.

My bosom’s lord sits lightly in his throne,

And all this day an unaccustom’d spirit

Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.

I dreamt my lady came and found me dead—

Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave to think!—

And breath’d such life with kisses in my lips

That I reviv’d and was an emperor.

Ah me, how sweet is love itself possess’d,

When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy!

Enter Romeo’s man Balthasar, booted.

News from Verona! How now, Balthasar?

Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?

How doth my lady? Is my father well?

How doth my Juliet? That I ask again,

For nothing can be ill if she be well.

Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight.

Let’s see for means. O mischief, thou art swift

To enter in the thoughts of desperate men!

I do remember an apothecary—

And hereabouts ’a dwells—which late I noted

In tatt’red weeds, with overwhelming brows,

Culling of simples; meagre were his looks,

Sharp misery had worn him to the bones;

And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,

An alligator stuff’d, and other skins

Of ill-shap’d fishes, and about his shelves

A beggarly account of empty boxes,

Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,

Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses

Were thinly scattered, to make up a show.

Noting this penury, to myself I said,

“An’ if a man did need a poison now,

Whose sale is present death in Mantua,

Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.”

O, this same thought did but forerun my need,

And this same needy man must sell it me.

As I remember, this should be the house.

Being holiday, the beggar’s shop is shut.

What ho, apothecary!

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