Romeo and Juliet
Act 2, Scene 4
Verona. A street.
- Enter Benvolio and Mercutio.
Mercutio2 - 3
- Where the dev’l should this Romeo be?
- Came he not home tonight?
- Not to his father’s, I spoke with his man.
Mercutio5 - 6
- Why, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline,
- Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.
Benvolio7 - 8
- Tybalt, the kinsman to old Capulet,
- Hath sent a letter to his father’s house.
- A challenge, on my life.
- Romeo will answer it.
- Any man that can write may answer a letter.
Benvolio12 - 13
- Nay, he will answer the letter’s master, how he dares, being
Mercutio14 - 17
- Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead, stabb’d with a white
- wench’s black eye, run through the ear with a love-song, the
- very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy’s
- butt-shaft; and is he a man to encounter Tybalt?
- Why, what is Tybalt?
Mercutio19 - 25
- More than Prince of Cats. O, he’s the courageous captain of
- compliments. He fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time,
- distance, and proportion; he rests his minim rests, one,
- two, and the third in your bosom: the very butcher of a silk
- button, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of the very
- first house, of the first and second cause. Ah, the immortal
- passado, the punto reverso, the hay!
- The what?
Mercutio27 - 34
- The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting phantasimes, these
- new tuners of accent! “By Jesu, a very good blade! A very
- tall man! A very good whore!” Why, is not this a lamentable
- thing, grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with
- these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these
- pardon-me’s, who stand so much on the new form, that they
- cannot sit at ease on the old bench? O, their bones, their
- Enter Romeo.
- Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.
Mercutio37 - 44
- Without his roe, like a dried herring: O flesh, flesh, how
- art thou fishified! Now is he for the numbers that Petrarch
- flow’d in. Laura to his lady was a kitchen wench (marry, she
- had a better love to berhyme her), Dido a dowdy, Cleopatra a
- gypsy, Helen and Hero hildings and harlots, Thisby a grey
- eye or so, but not to the purpose. Signior Romeo, bonjour!
- There’s a French salutation to your French slop. You gave us
- the counterfeit fairly last night.
- Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?
- The slip, sir, the slip, can you not conceive?
Romeo47 - 48
- Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great, and in such a
- case as mine a man may strain courtesy.
Mercutio49 - 50
- That’s as much as to say, such a case as yours constrains a
- man to bow in the hams.
- Meaning to cur’sy.
- Thou hast most kindly hit it.
- A most courteous exposition.
- Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.
- Pink for flower.
- Why then is my pump well flower’d.
Mercutio58 - 60
- Sure wit! Follow me this jest now, till thou hast worn out
- thy pump, that when the single sole of it is worn, the jest
- may remain, after the wearing, solely singular.
- O single-sol’d jest, solely singular for the singleness!
- Come between us, good Benvolio, my wits faints.
- Swits and spurs, swits and spurs, or I’ll cry a match.
Mercutio64 - 67
- 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 than, I
- am sure, I have in my whole five. Was I with you there for
- the goose?
Romeo68 - 69
- Thou wast never with me for any thing when thou wast not
- there for the goose.
- I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.
- Nay, good goose, bite not.
- Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting, it is a most sharp sauce.
- And is it not then well serv’d in to a sweet goose?
Mercutio74 - 75
- O, here’s a wit of cheverel, that stretches from an inch
- narrow to an ell broad!
Romeo76 - 77
- I stretch it out for that word “broad,” which, added to the
- goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.
Mercutio78 - 82
- Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? Now art
- thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art thou what thou
- art, by art as well as by nature, for this drivelling love
- is like a great natural that runs lolling up and down to
- hide his bable in a hole.
- Stop there, stop there.
- Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair.
- Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.
Mercutio86 - 88
- O, thou art deceiv’d; I would have made it short, for I was
- come to the whole depth of my tale, and meant indeed to
- occupy the argument no longer.
Romeo89 - 91
- Here’s goodly gear!
- Enter Nurse and her man, Peter.
- A sail, a sail!
- Two, two: a shirt and a smock.
- My fan, Peter.
- Good Peter, to hide her face, for her fan’s the fairer face.
- God ye good morrow, gentlemen.
- God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.
- Is it good den?
Mercutio100 - 101
- ’Tis no less, I tell ye, for the bawdy hand of the dial is
- now upon the prick of noon.
- Out upon you, what a man are you?
- One, gentlewoman, that God hath made, himself to mar.
Nurse104 - 106
- By my troth, it is well said; “for himself to mar,” quoth
- ’a! Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I may find the
- young Romeo?
Romeo107 - 109
- I can tell you, but young Romeo will be older when you have
- found him than he was when you sought him. I am the youngest
- of that name, for fault of a worse.
- You say well.
Mercutio111 - 112
- Yea, is the worst well? Very well took, i’ faith, wisely,
- If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with you.
- She will indite him to some supper.
- A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!
- What hast thou found?
Mercutio117 - 127
- No hare, sir, unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie, that is
- something stale and hoar ere it be spent.
- He walks by them and sings.
- An old hare hoar,
- And an old hare hoar,
- Is very good meat in Lent;
- But a hare that is hoar
- Is too much for a score,
- When it hoars ere it be spent.
- Romeo, will you come to your father’s? We’ll to dinner
- I will follow you.
Mercutio129 - 131
- Farewell, ancient lady, farewell,
- “lady, lady, lady.”
- Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio.
Nurse133 - 134
- I pray you, sir, what saucy merchant was this, that was so
- full of his ropery?
Romeo135 - 137
- A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk, and
- will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a
Nurse138 - 144
- And ’a speak any thing against me, I’ll take him down, and
- ’a were lustier than he is, and twenty such Jacks; and if I
- cannot, I’ll find those that shall. Scurvy knave, I am none
- of his flirt-gills, I am none of his skains-mates.
- She turns to Peter, her man.
- And thou must stand by too and suffer every knave to use me
- at his pleasure!
Peter145 - 148
- I saw no man use you at his pleasure; if I had, my weapon
- should quickly have been out. I warrant you, I dare draw as
- soon as another man, if I see occasion in a good quarrel,
- and the law on my side.
Nurse149 - 157
- Now, afore God, I am so vex’d that every part about me
- quivers. Scurvy knave! Pray you, sir, a word: and as I told
- you, my young lady bid me inquire you out; what she bid me
- say, I will keep to myself. But first let me tell ye, if ye
- should lead her in a fool’s paradise, as they say, it were a
- very gross kind of behavior, as they say; for the
- gentlewoman is young; and therefore, if you should deal
- double with her, truly it were an ill thing to be off’red to
- any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.
Romeo158 - 159
- Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I protest unto
Nurse160 - 161
- Good heart, and, i’ faith, I will tell her as much. Lord,
- Lord, she will be a joyful woman.
- What wilt thou tell her, nurse? Thou dost not mark me.
Nurse163 - 164
- I will tell her, sir, that you do protest, which, as I take
- it, is a gentleman-like offer.
Romeo165 - 168
- Bid her devise
- Some means to come to shrift this afternoon,
- And there she shall at Friar Lawrence’ cell
- Be shriv’d and married. Here is for thy pains.
- No, truly, sir, not a penny.
- Go to, I say you shall.
- This afternoon, sir? Well, she shall be there.
Romeo172 - 178
- And stay, good nurse—behind the abbey wall
- Within this hour my man shall be with thee,
- And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair,
- Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
- Must be my convoy in the secret night.
- Farewell, be trusty, and I’ll quit thy pains.
- Farewell, commend me to thy mistress.
- Now God in heaven bless thee! Hark you, sir.
- What say’st thou, my dear nurse?
Nurse181 - 182
- Is your man secret? Did you ne’er hear say,
- “Two may keep counsel, putting one away”?
- ’Warrant thee, my man’s as true as steel.
Nurse184 - 191
- Well, sir, my mistress is the sweetest lady—Lord, Lord! When
- ’twas a little prating thing—O, there is a nobleman in town,
- one Paris, that would fain lay knife aboard; but she, good
- soul, had as lief see a toad, a very toad, as see him. I
- anger her sometimes and tell her that Paris is the properer
- man, but I’ll warrant you, when I say so, she looks as pale
- as any clout in the versal world. Doth not rosemary and
- Romeo begin both with a letter?
- Ay, nurse, what of that? Both with an R.
Nurse193 - 196
- Ah, mocker, that’s the dog’s 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 hear it.
- Commend me to thy lady.
Nurse198 - 200
- Ay, a thousand times.
- Exit Romeo.
Nurse202 - 203
- Handing him her fan.
- Before, and apace.
- Exit after Peter.