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SCENE IV

A street.
Enter BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO.

Mer.
Where the devil should this Romeo be?

Came he not home to-night?

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

Mer.
Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline,

Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.

Ben.
Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet,

Hath sent a letter to his father's house.

Mer.
A challenge, on my life.

Ben.
Romeo will answer it. (10)

Mer.
Any man that can write may answer a letter.

Ben.
Nay, he will answer the letter's master,
how he dares, being dared.

Mer.
Alas, poor Romeo! he is already
dead; stabbed with a white wench's black
eye; shot thorough 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?

Ben.
Why, what is Tybalt?

Mer.
More than prince of cats, I can tell
you. O, he is the courageous captain of complements.
He fights as you sing prick-song,
keeps time, distance, and proportion; rests me
his minim rest, 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
hai!

Ben.
The what?

Mer.
The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting
fantasticoes; these new tuners of accents!
'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 perdona-mi's, who stand
so much on the new form, that they cannot
sit at ease on the old bench? O, their bones,
their bones! Enter ROMEO.

Ben.
Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.

Mer.
Without his roe, like a dried herring:
O flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified!
Now is he for the numbers that Petrarch
flowed in: Laura to his lady was but a kitchen-wench;
marry, she had a better love to be-rhyme
her; Dido a dowdy; Cleopatra a
gipsy; Helen and Hero hildings and harlots;
Thisbe a grey eye or so, but not to the purpose.
Signior Romeo, bon jour! there's a French salutation
to your French slop. You gave us the counterfeit
fairly last night. (50)

Rom.
Good morrow to you both. What (50)
counterfeit did I give you?

Mer.
The slip, sir, the slip; can you not
conceive?

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

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

Rom.
Meaning, to court'sy.

Mer.
Thou hast most kindly hit it. (60)

Rom.
A most courteous exposition.

Mer.
Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.

Rom.
Pink for flower.

Mer.
Right.

Rom.
Why, then is my pump well flowered.

Mer.
Well said: 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 sole singular. (70)

Rom.
O single-soled jest, solely singular
for the singleness!

Mer.
Come between us, good Benvolio;
my wits faint.

Rom.
Switch and spurs, switch and spurs;
or I'll cry a match.

Mer.
Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose
chase, I have done, for thou hast more of the
wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, (79)
I have in my whole five: was I with you there
for the goose?

Rom.
Thou wast never with me for any
thing when thou wast not there for the goose.

Mer.
I will bite thee by the ear for that
jest.

Rom.
Nay, good goose, bite not.

Mer.
Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting;
it is a most sharp sauce.

Rom.
And is it not well served in to a
sweet goose?

Mer.
O, here's a wit of cheveril, that
stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad! (89)

Rom.
I stretch it out for that word 'broad;'
which added to the goose, proves thee far and
wide a broad goose.

Mer.
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 bauble in a hole.

Ben.
Stop there, stop there. (99)

Mer.
Thou desirest me to stop in my tale
against the hair.

Ben.
Thou wouldst else have made thy
tale large.

Mer.
O, thou art deceived; 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.

Rom.
Here's goodly gear! Enter Nurse and PETER.

Mer.
A sail, a sail!

Ben.
Two, two; a shirt and a smock. (110)

Nurse.
Peter!

Pet.
Anon!

Nurse.
My fan, Peter.

Mer.
Good Peter, to hide her face; for
her fan's the fairer face.

Nurse.
God ye good morrow, gentlemen.

Mer.
God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.

Nurse.
Is it good den?

Mer.
'Tis no less, I'll tell you, for the
bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick
of noon. (120)

Nurse.
Out upon you! what a man are
you!

Rom.
One, gentlewoman, that God hath
made for himself to mar.

Nurse.
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?

Rom.
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. (130)

Nurse.
You say well.

Mer.
Yea, is the worst well? very well
took, i' faith; wisely, wisely.

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

Ben.
She will indite him to some supper.

Mer.
A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!

Rom.
What hast thou found?

Mer.
No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a
lenten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere
it be spent. Sings. (141)

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, thither.

Rom.
I will follow you.

Mer.
Farewell, ancient lady; farewell, singing (151)

'lady, lady, lady.' Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio.

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

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

Nurse.
An a' speak any thing against me,
I'll take him down, an 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. And thou must stand by too,
and suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure?

Pet.
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 ocasion in a good
quarrel, and the law on my side. (170)

Nurse.
Now, afore God, I am so vexed,
that every part about me quivers. Scurvy k
nave! Pray you, sir, a word: and as I told
you, my young lady bade me inquire you out;
what she bade me say, I will keep to myself:
but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her
into a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a
very gross kind of behaviour, 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 offered to any gentlewoman,
and very weak dealing. (182)

Rom.
Nurse, commend me to thy lady and
mistress. I protest unto thee--

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

Rom.
What wilt thou tell her, nurse? thou
dost not mark me.

Nurse.
I will tell her, sir, that you do protest;
which, as I take it, is a gentlemanlike
offer. (191)

Rom.
Bid her devise

Some means to come to shrift this afternoon;

And there she shall at Friar Laurence' cell

Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.

Nurse.
No, truly, sir; not a penny.

Rom.
Go to; I say you shall.

Nurse.
This afternoon, sir? well, she shall
be there. (199)

Rom.
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.

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

Rom.
What say'st thou, my dear nurse?

Nurse.
Is your man secret? Did you ne'er hear say,

Two may keep counsel, putting one away? (210)

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

Nurse.
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? (221)

Rom.
Ay, nurse! what of that? both with an R.

Nurse.
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.

Rom.
Commend me to thy lady.

Nurse.
Ay, a thousand times. Exit Romeo. (230)
Peter!

Pet.
Anon!

Nurse.
Peter, take my fan, and go before,
and apace. Exeunt.

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