[Act 2, Scene 4]
Enter Benuolio and Mercutio.
Where the deu
le should this
Romeo be? came he
not home to night?
Not to his Fathers, I spoke with his man.
Why that same pale hard‑harted wench, that
torments him so, that he will sure run mad.
Tibalt, the kinsman to old
Capulet, hath sent a Let
ter to his Fathers house.
A challenge on my life.
Romeo will answere it.
Any man that can write, may answere a Letter.
Nay, he will answere the Letters Maister how he
dares, being dared.
Romeo, he is already dead stab'd with
a white wenches blacke eye, runne through the eare with
a Loue song, the very pinne of his heart, cleft with the
blind Bowe‑boyes but‑shaft, and is he a man to encounter
Why what is
More then Prince of Cats. Oh hee's the Couragi
ous Captaine of Complements: he fights as you sing
pricksong, keeps time, distance, and proportion, he rests
his minum, one, two, and the third in your bosom: the ve
ry butcher of a silk button, a Dualist, a Dualist: a Gentleman
of the very first house of the first and second cause: ah the
immortall Passado, the Punto reuerso, the Hay.
The Pox of such antique lisping affecting phan
tacies, these new tuners of accent: Iesu a very good blade,
a very tall man, a very good whore. Why is not this a la
mentable thing Grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted
with these strange flies: these fashion Mongers, these par
don‑mee's, who stand so much on the new form, that they
cannot sit at ease on the old bench. O their bones, their
Romeo, here comes
Without his Roe, like a dryed Hering. O flesh,
flesh, how art thou fishified? Now is he for the numbers
Petrarch flowed in:
Laura to his Lady, was a kitchen
wench, marrie she had a better Loue to berime her:
Cleopatra a Gipsie,
Thisbie a gray eie or so, but not to the purpose.
Bon iour, there's a French salutation to your
French slop: you gaue vs the counterfait fairely last
Good morrow to you both, what counterfeit
did I giue you?
The slip sir, the slip, can you not conceiue?
Mercutio, my businesse was great, and in
such a case as mine, a man may straine curtesie.
That's as much as to say, such a case as yours con
strains a man to bow in the hams.
Meaning to cursie.
Thou hast most kindly hit it.
A most curteous exposition.
Nay, I am the very pinck of curtesie.
Pinke for flower.
Why then is my Pump well flowr'd.
Sure wit, follow me this ieast, now till thou hast
worne out thy Pump, that when the single sole of it is
worne, the ieast may remaine after the wearing, sole‑
O single sol'd ieast,
Soly singular for the singlenesse.
Come betweene vs good
Benuolio, my wits faints.
Swits and spurs,
Swits and spurs, or Ile crie a match.
Nay, if our wits run the Wild‑Goose chase, I am
done: For thou hast more of the Wild‑Goose in one of
thy wits, then I am sure I haue in my whole fiue. Was I
with you there for the Goose
Thou wast neuer with mee for any thing, when
thou wast not there for the Goose.
I will bite thee by the eare for that iest.
Nay, good Goose bite not.
Thy wit is a very Bitter‑sweeting,
It is a most sharpe sawce.
And is it not well seru'd into a Sweet‑Goose?
Oh here's a wit of Cheuerell, that stretches from
an ynch narrow, to an ell broad.
I stretch it out for that word, broad, which added
to the Goose, proues thee farre and wide, abroad Goose.
Why is not this better now, then groning for
Loue, now art thou sociable, now art thou
Romeo: now art
thou what thou art, by Art as well as by Nature, for this
driueling Loue is like a great Naturall, that runs lolling
vp and downe to hid his bable in a hole.
Stop there, stop there.
Thou desir'st me to stop in my tale against the
Thou would'st else haue made thy tale large.
O thou art deceiu'd, I would haue made it short,
or I was come to the whole depth of my tale, and meant
indeed to occupie the argument no longer.
Enter Nurse and her man.
Here's a goodly geare.
A sayle, a sayle.
Two, two: a Shirt and a Smocke.
Peter to hide her face?
For her Fans the fairer face?
God ye good morrow Gentlemen.
God ye gooden faire Gentlewoman.
Is it gooden?
'Tis no lesse I tell you: for the bawdy hand of the
Dyall is now vpon the pricke of Noone.
Out vpon you: what a man are you?
That God hath made, himselfe to mar.
By my troth it is said, for himselfe to, mar qua
t ha: Gentlemen, can any of you tel me where I may find
I can tell you: but young
Romeo will be older
when you haue found him, then he was when you sought
him: I am the youngest of that name, for fault of a worse.
You say well.
Yea is the worst well,
Very well tooke: Ifaith, wisely, wisely.
If you be he sir,
I desire some confidence with you?
She will endite him to some Supper.
A baud, a baud, a baud. So ho.
What hast thou found?
No Hare sir, vnlesse a Hare sir in a Lenten pie,
that is something stale and hoare ere it be spent.
An old Hare hoare, and an old Hare hoare is very good
meat in Lent.
But a Hare that is hoare is too much for a score, when it
hoares ere it be spent,
Romeo will you come to your Fathers? Weele to dinner
I will follow you.
Farewell auncient Lady:
Farewell Lady, Lady, Lady.
Exit. Mercutio, Benuolio.
I pray you sir, what sawcie Merchant was this
that was so full of his roperie?
A Gentleman Nurse, that loues to heare himselfe
talke, and will speake more in a minute, then he will stand
to in a Moneth.
And a speake any thing against me, Ile take him
downe, & a were lustier then he is, and twentie such Iacks:
and if I cannot, Ile finde those that shall: scuruie knaue, I
am none of his flurt‑gils, I am none of his skaines mates,
and thou must stand by too and suffer euery knaue to vse
me at his pleasure.
I saw no man vse you at his pleasure: if I had, my
weapon should quickly haue beene out, I warrant you, I
dare draw assoone as another man, if I see occasion in a
good quarrell, and the law on my side.
Now afore God, I am so vext, that euery part about
me quiuers, skuruy knaue: pray you sir a word: and as I
told you, my young Lady bid me enquire you out, what
she bid me say, I will keepe to my selfe: but first let me
tell ye, if ye should leade her in a fooles paradise, as they
say, it were a very grosse kind of behauiour, as they say:
for the Gentlewoman is yong: & therefore, if you should
deale double with her, truely it were an ill thing to be of
fered to any Gentlewoman, and very weake dealing.
This speech is conventionally attributed to Romeo.
Nurse commend me to thy Lady and Mistresse, I
protest vnto thee.
Good heart, and yfaith I will tell her as much:
Lord, Lord she will be a ioyfull woman.
What wilt thou tell her Nurse? thou doest not
I will tell her sir, that you do protest, which as I
take it, is a Gentleman‑like offer.
Bid her deuise some meanes to come to shrift this
And there she shall at Frier
Be shriu'd and married: here is for thy paines.
No truly sir not a penny.
Go too, I say you shall.
This afternoone sir? well she shall be there.
And stay thou good Nurse behind the Abbey wall,
Within this houre my man shall be with thee,
And bring thee Cords made like a tackled staire,
Which to the high top gallant of my ioy,
Must be my conuoy in the secret night.
Farewell, be trustie and Ile quite thy paines:
Farewell, commend me to thy Mistresse.
Now God in heauen blesse thee: harke you sir,
What saist thou my deare Nurse?
Is your man secret, did you nere heare say two
may keepe counsell putting one away.
Warrant thee my man is true as steele.
Well sir, my Mistresse is the sweetest Lady, Lord,
Lord, when 'twas a little prating thing. O there is a No
ble man in Towne one
Paris, that would faine lay knife a
board: but she good soule had as leeue a see Toade, a very
Toade as see him: I anger her sometimes, and tell her that
Paris is the properer man, but Ile warrant you, when I say
so, shee lookes as pale as any clout in the versall world.
Doth not Rosemarie and
Romeo begin both with a letter?
I Nurse, what of that? Both with an
A mocker that's the dogs name.
R. is for the no,
I know it begins with some other letter, and she hath the
prettiest sententious of it, of you and Rosemary, that it
would do you good to heare it.
Commend me to thy Lady.
I a thousand times.
Before and apace.
Exit Nurse and Peter.