Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 4



Summary
           Enter BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO.

      MERCUTIO
  1   Where the devil should this Romeo be?
  2   Came he not home tonight?

      BENVOLIO
  3   Not to his father's; I spoke with his man.

      MERCUTIO
  4   Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline,
  5   Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.

      BENVOLIO
  6   Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet,
  7   Hath sent a letter to his father's house.

      MERCUTIO
  8   A challenge, on my life.

      BENVOLIO
  9   Romeo will answer it.

      MERCUTIO
 10   Any man that can write may answer a letter.

      BENVOLIO
 11   Nay, he will answer the letter's master, how he
 12   dares, being dared.

      MERCUTIO
 13   Alas poor Romeo! he is already dead;
 14   stabbed with a white wench's black eye; run through
 15   the ear with a love-song; the very pin of his heart
 16   cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft; and is he a
 17   man to encounter Tybalt?

      BENVOLIO
 18   Why, what is Tybalt?

      MERCUTIO
 19   More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he is
 20   the courageous captain of compliments. He fights
 21   as you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and
 22   proportion; rests his minim rests, one, two, and the
 23   third in your bosom: the very butcher of a silk button,
 24   a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of the very first
 25   house, of the first and second cause: ah, the
 26   immortal passado! the punto reverso! the hay!

      BENVOLIO
 27   The what?

      MERCUTIO
 28   The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting
 29   phantasimes; these new tuners of accents! "By Jesu,
 30   a very good blade! a very tall man! a very good
 31   whore!" Why, is not this a lamentable thing,
 32   grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with these strange
 33   flies, these fashion-mongers, these pardon-me's, who
 34   stand so much on the new form, that they cannot sit at
 35   ease on the old bench? O, their bones, their bones!
Summary


           Enter ROMEO.

      BENVOLIO
 36   Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.

      MERCUTIO
 37   Without his roe, like a dried herring: O flesh,
 38   flesh, how art thou fishified! Now is he for the numbers
 39   that Petrarch flowed in. Laura to his lady was a
 40   kitchen-wench; marry, she had a better love to
 41   be-rhyme her; Dido a dowdy; Cleopatra a gipsy;
 42   Helen and Hero hildings and harlots; Thisbe a grey
 43   eye or so, but not to the purpose. Signior Romeo,
 44   bon jour! there's a French salutation to your French
 45   slop. You gave us the counterfeit fairly last night.

      ROMEO
 46   Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I
 47   give you?

      MERCUTIO
 48   The slip, sir, the slip; can you not conceive?

      ROMEO
 49   Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great;
 50   and in such a case as mine a man may strain
 51   courtesy.

      MERCUTIO
 52   That's as much as to say, such a case as yours
 53   constrains a man to bow in the hams.

      ROMEO
 54   Meaning, to cur'sy.

      MERCUTIO
 55   Thou hast most kindly hit it.

      ROMEO
 56   A most courteous exposition.

      MERCUTIO
 57   Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.

      ROMEO
 58   Pink for flower.

      MERCUTIO
 59   Right.

      ROMEO
 60   Why, then is my pump well flower'd.

      MERCUTIO
 61   Sure wit! Follow me this jest now till thou hast
 62   worn out thy pump, that when the single sole of it
 63   is worn, the jest may remain, after the wearing, solely
 64   singular.

      ROMEO
 65   O single-soled jest, solely singular for the
 66   singleness.

      MERCUTIO
 67   Come between us, good Benvolio; my
 68   wits faint.

      ROMEO
 69   Swits and spurs, swits and spurs! or I'll cry
 70   a match.

      MERCUTIO
 71   Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have
 72   done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of
 73   thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five.
 74   Was I with you there for the goose?

      ROMEO
 75   Thou wast never with me for any thing when thou wast
 76   not there for the goose.

      MERCUTIO
 77   I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.

      ROMEO
 78   Nay, good goose, bite not.

      MERCUTIO
 79   Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most
 80   sharp sauce.

      ROMEO
 81   And is it not well served in to a sweet
 82   goose?

      MERCUTIO
 83   O here's a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an
 84   inch narrow to an ell broad!

      ROMEO
 85   I stretch it out for that word "broad"; which
 86   added to the goose, proves thee far and wide
 87   a broad goose.

      MERCUTIO
 88   Why, is not this better now than groaning
 89   for love? Now art thou sociable, now art thou
 90   Romeo; now art thou what thou art, by art as well
 91   as by nature, for this drivelling love is like a great
 92   natural, that runs lolling up and down to hide his
 93   bauble in a hole.

      BENVOLIO
 94   Stop there, stop there.

      MERCUTIO
 95   Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the
 96   hair.

      BENVOLIO
 97   Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.

      MERCUTIO
 98   O, thou art deceived; I would have made it short:
 99   for I was come to the whole depth of my tale; and
100   meant, indeed, to occupy the argument no longer.

      ROMEO
101   Here's goodly gear!
Summary


           Enter NURSE and her man [PETER].

102   A sail, a sail!

      BENVOLIO
103   Two, two; a shirt and a smock.

      Nurse
104   Peter!

      PETER
105   Anon!

      Nurse
106   My fan, Peter.

      MERCUTIO
107   Good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan's the
108   fairer face.

      Nurse
109   God ye good morrow, gentlemen.

      MERCUTIO
110   God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.

      Nurse
111   Is it good den?

      MERCUTIO
112   'Tis no less, I tell you, for the bawdy hand of the
113   dial is now upon the prick of noon.

      Nurse
114   Out upon you! what a man are you?

      ROMEO
115   One, gentlewoman, that God hath made, for himself
116   to mar.

      Nurse
117   By my troth, it is well said; "for himself to mar,"
118   quoth a'? Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I
119   may find the young Romeo?

      ROMEO
120   I can tell you; but young Romeo will be
121   older when you have found him than he was when you
122   sought him. I am the youngest of that name, for fault
123   of a worse.

      Nurse
124   You say well.

      MERCUTIO
125   Yea, is the worst well? very well took, i' faith;
126   wisely, wisely.

      Nurse
127   If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence
128   with you.

      BENVOLIO
129   She will indite him to some supper.

      MERCUTIO
130   A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!

      ROMEO
131   What hast thou found?

      MERCUTIO
132   No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie,
133   that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.

           [Sings.]

134                           An old hare hoar,
135                           And an old hare hoar,
136          Is very good meat in Lent;
137                           But a hare that is hoar
138                           Is too much for a score,
139          When it hoars ere it be spent.

140   Romeo, will you come to your father's? we'll
141   to dinner, thither.

      ROMEO
142   I will follow you.

      MERCUTIO
143   Farewell, ancient lady; farewell,
           [Singing.]
144   "lady, lady, lady."
Summary


           Exeunt [MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO].

      Nurse
145   Marry, farewell! I pray you, sir, what saucy
146   merchant was this, that was so full of his ropery?

      ROMEO
147   A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk,
148   and will speak more in a minute than he will stand
149   to in a month.

      Nurse
150   An a' speak any thing against me, I'll take him
151   down, an a' were lustier than he is, and twenty
152   such Jacks; and if I cannot, I'll find those that shall.
153   Scurvy knave! I am none of his flirt-gills; I am
154   none of his skains-mates. [To Peter.] And thou must
155   stand by too, and suffer every knave to use me at his
156   pleasure!

      PETER
157   I saw no man use you at his pleasure; if I had, my
158   weapon should quickly have been out, I warrant you.
159   I dare draw as soon as another man, if I see occasion
160   in a good quarrel, and the law on my side.

      Nurse
161   Now, afore God, I am so vexed, that every part about
162   me quivers. Scurvy knave! [To Romeo.] Pray you, sir,
163   a word: and as I told you, my young lady bade me inquire
164   you out; what she bade me say, I will keep to myself.
165   But first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into
166   a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a very gross
167   kind of behavior, as they say: for the gentlewoman
168   is young; and, therefore, if you should deal double
169   with her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered
170   to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.

      ROMEO
171   Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I
172   protest unto thee—

      Nurse
173   Good heart, and, i' faith, I will tell her as much.
174   Lord, Lord, she will be a joyful woman.

      ROMEO
175   What wilt thou tell her, nurse? thou dost not mark
176   me.

      Nurse
177   I will tell her, sir, that you do protest; which, as
178   I take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.

      ROMEO
179   Bid her devise
180   Some means to come to shrift this afternoon;
181   And there she shall at Friar Laurence' cell
182   Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.

      Nurse
183   No truly sir; not a penny.

      ROMEO
184   Go to; I say you shall.

      Nurse
185   This afternoon, sir? well, she shall be
186   there.

      ROMEO
187   And stay, good nurse— behind the abbey wall:
188   Within this hour my man shall be with thee
189   And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair;
190   Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
191   Must be my convoy in the secret night.
192   Farewell; be trusty, and I'll quit thy pains.
193   Farewell; commend me to thy mistress.

      Nurse
194   Now God in heaven bless thee! Hark you, sir.

      ROMEO
195   What say'st thou, my dear nurse?

      Nurse
196   Is your man secret? Did you ne'er hear say,
197   Two may keep counsel, putting one away?

      ROMEO
198   I warrant thee, my man's as true as steel.

      NURSE
199   Well, sir; my mistress is the sweetest lady—Lord,
200   Lord! when 'twas a little prating thing:—O, there
201   is a nobleman in town, one Paris, that would fain
202   lay knife aboard; but she, good soul, had as lief
203   see a toad, a very toad, as see him. I anger her
204   sometimes and tell her that Paris is the properer
205   man; but, I'll warrant you, when I say so, she looks
206   as pale as any clout in the versal world. Doth not
207   rosemary and Romeo begin both with a letter?

      ROMEO
208   Ay, nurse; what of that? both with an R.

      Nurse
209   Ah. mocker! that's the dog's name; R is for the
210   —No; I know it begins with some other letter:
211   —and she hath the prettiest sententious of it, of you
212   and rosemary, that it would do you good to hear it.

      ROMEO
213   Commend me to thy lady.

      Nurse
214   Ay, a thousand times.

           [Exit Romeo.]

215   Peter!

      PETER
216   Anon!

      Nurse
217   Before and apace.

           Exit [after Peter].