Les lecteurs trouveront ici un extrait de la pièce « Romeo and Juliet », de William Shakespeare.
Cet extrait (acte I, scène IV, vers 53 – 103) montre assez bien l’esprit des ouvrages publiés par
les Éditions de la reine Mab.
O ! then, I see, Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife; and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
On men’s noses as they lie asleep:
Her waggon - spokes made of long spinners’ legs;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
The traces, of the smallest spider’s web;
The collars, of the moonshine’s watery beams;
Her whip of cricket’s bone; the lash, of film;
Her waggoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Prick’ d from the lazy finger of a maid.
Her charriot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies’ coach-makers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brain ― and then they dream of love:
O’er courtiers knees that dream court she’s straight:
O’er lawyers’ fingers who straight dream of fees:
O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream;
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths 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 dreams he 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 ―
Peace, Peace! Mercutio, peace!
Thou talk’st of nothing.
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 inconsistant than the wind, who woos
Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And, being anger’d puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.