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  • Title: Romeo and Juliet (Quarto 1, 1597)
  • Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
  • ISBN: 1-55058-299-2

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Romeo and Juliet (Quarto 1, 1597)

    Enter Mercutio, Benuolio.
    Mer: Why whats become of Romeo? came he not
    home to night?
    Ben: Not to his Fathers, I spake with his man.
    Mer: Ah that same pale hard hearted wench, that Ro-
    1110Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.
    Mer: Tybalt the Kinsman of olde Capolet
    Hath sent a Letter to his Fathers House:
    Some Challenge on my life.
    Ben: Romeo will answere it.
    1115Mer: I, anie man that can write may answere a letter.
    Ben: Nay, he will answere the letters master if hee bee
    Mer: Who, Romeo? why he is alreadie dead: stabd
    with a white wenches blacke eye, shot thorough the eare
    1120with a loue song, the verie pinne of his heart cleft with the
    blinde bow-boyes but-shaft. And is he a man to encounter
    Ben: Why what is Tybalt?
    Mer: More than the prince of cattes I can tell you. Oh
    1125he is the couragious captaine of complements. Catso, he
    fightes as you sing pricke-song , keepes time dystance and
    proportion, rests me his minum rest one two and the thirde
    in your bosome, the very butcher of a silken button, a Duel-
    list a Duellist, a gentleman of the very first house of the first
    and second cause, ah the immortall Passado, the Punto re-
    1130uerso, the Hay.
    Ben: The what?
    Me: The Poxe of such limping antique affecting fan-
    tasticoes these new tuners of accents. By Iesu a very good
    blade, a very tall man, a very good whoore. Why graund-
    1135sir is not this a miserable case that we should be stil afflicted
    with these strange flies: these fashionmongers, these par-
    donmees, that stand so much on the new forme, that they
    cannot sitte at ease on the old bench. Oh their bones, theyr
    Ben. Heere comes Romeo.
    Mer: Without his Roe, like a dryed Hering. O flesh flesh
    how art thou fishified. Sirra now is he for the numbers that
    Petrarch flowdin : Laura to his Lady was but a kitchin
    1145drudg, yet she had a better loue to berime her: Dido a dow-
    dy Cleopatra a Gypsie, Hero and Hellen hildings and harle-
    tries: Thisbie a gray eye or so, but not to the purpose. Signior
    Romeo bon iour, there is a French curtesie to your French
    stop: yee gaue vs the counterfeit fairely yesternight.
    Rom: What counterfeit I pray you?
    Me: The slip the slip, can you not conceiue?
    Rom: I cry you mercy my busines was great, and in such
    1155a case as mine, a man may straine curtesie.
    Mer: Oh thats as much to say as such a case as yours wil
    constraine a man to bow in the hams.
    Rom: A most curteous exposition.
    Me: Why I am the very pinke of curtesie.
    Rom: Pinke for flower?
    Mer: Right.
    Rom: Then is my Pumpe well flour'd:
    1165Mer: Well said, follow me nowe that iest till thou hast
    worne out thy Pumpe, that when the single sole of it is worn
    the iest may remaine after the wearing solie singuler.
    Rom: O single soald iest solie singuler for the singlenes.
    Me: Come between vs good Benuolio, for my wits faile.
    Rom: Swits and spurres, swits & spurres, or Ile cry a match.
    Mer: Nay if thy wits runne the wildgoose chase, I haue
    1175done: for I am sure thou hast more of the goose in one of
    thy wits, than I haue in al my fiue: Was I with you there for
    the goose?
    Rom: Thou wert neuer with me for any thing, when
    thou wert not with me for the goose.
    1180Me: Ile bite thee by the eare for that iest.
    Rom: Nay good goose bite not.
    Mer:Why thy wit is a bitter sweeting, a most sharp sauce
    Rom: And was it not well seru'd in to a sweet goose?
    1185Mer: Oh heere is a witte of Cheuerell that stretcheth
    from an ynch narrow to an ell broad.
    Rom: I stretcht it out for the word broad, which added to
    the goose, proues thee faire and wide a broad goose.
    Mer: Why is not this better now than groning for loue?
    1190why now art thou sociable, now art thou thy selfe, nowe art
    thou what thou art, as wel by arte as nature. This driueling
    loue is like a great naturall, that runs vp and downe to hide
    his bable in a hole.
    Ben: Stop there.
    1195Me: Why thou wouldst haue me stopp my tale against
    1195the haire.
    Ben: Thou wouldst haue made thy tale too long?
    Mer: Tut man thou art deceiued, I meant to make it
    short, for I was come to the whole depth of my tale? and
    meant indeed to occupie the argument no longer.
    Rom: Heers goodly geare.
    Enter Nurse and her man.
    Mer: A saile, a saile, a saile.
    Ben: Two, two, a shirt and a smocke.
    Nur: Peter, pree thee giue me my fan.
    Mer: Pree thee doo good Peter, to hide her face: for
    her fanne is the fairer of the two.
    Nur: God ye goodmorrow Gentlemen.
    1210Mer: God ye good den faire Gentlewoman.
    Nur: Is it godye gooden I pray you.
    Mer: Tis no lesse I assure you, for the baudie hand of
    the diall is euen now vpon the pricke of noone.
    Nur: Fie, what a man is this?
    1215Rom: A Gentleman Nurse, that God hath made for
    himselfe to marre.
    Nur: By my troth well said : for himselfe to marre
    quoth he? I pray you can anie of you tell where one maie
    finde yong Romeo?
    1220Rom: I can : but yong Romeo will bee elder when you
    haue found him, than he was when you sought him, I am
    the yongest of that name for fault of a worse.
    Nur: Well said.
    Mer: Yea, is the worst well? mas well noted, wise-
    1225ly, wisely.
    Nu: If you be he sir, I desire some conference with ye.
    Ben: O, belike she meanes to inuite him to supper.
    Mer: So ho. A baud, a baud, a baud.
    1230Rom: Why what hast found man?
    Mer: No hare sir, vnlesse it be a hare in a lenten pye,
    that is somewhat stale and hoare ere it be eaten.
    He walkes by them, and sings.
    And an olde hare hore, and an olde hare hore
    is verie good meate in Lent:
    1235But a hare thats hoare is too much for a score,
    if it hore ere it be spent.
    Youl come to your fathers to supper?
    Rom: I will.
    1240Mer: Farewell ancient Ladie,farewell sweete Ladie.
    Exeunt Benuolio, Mercutio.
    Nur: Marry farewell. Pray what saucie merchant was
    this that was so full of his roperipe?
    1245Rom: A gentleman Nurse that loues to heare himselfe
    talke, and will speake more in an houre than hee will stand
    to in a month.
    Nur: If hee stand to anie thing against mee, Ile take
    him downe if he were lustier than he is: if I cannot take him
    1250downe, Ile finde them that shall: I am none of his flurt-
    gills,I am none of his skaines mates.
    She turnes to Peter her man.
    And thou like a knaue must stand by, and see euerie Iacke
    vse me at his pleasure.
    Pet: I see no bodie vse you at his pleasure, if I had, I
    1255would soone haue drawen: you know my toole is as soone
    out as anothers if I see time and place.
    Nur: Now afore God he hath so vext me, that euerie
    member about me quivers: scuruie Iacke. But as I said, my
    1260Ladie bad me seeke ye out, and what shee bad me tell yee,
    that Ile keepe to my selfe: but if you should lead her into a
    fooles paradice as they saye, it were a verie grosse kinde of
    behauiour as they say, for the Gentlewoman is yong. Now
    1265if you should deale doubly with her, it were verie weake
    dealing, and not to be offered to anie Gentlewoman.
    Rom: Nurse, commend me to thy Ladie, tell her I pro-
    Nur: Goodheart: yfaith Ile tell her so: oh she will be
    1270a ioyfull woman.
    Rom: Why, what wilt thou tell her?
    Nur: That you doo protest: which (as I take it) is a
    Gentlemanlike proffer.
    1275Rom: Bid her get leaue to morrow morning
    To come to shrift to Frier Laurence cell:
    And stay thou Nurse behinde the Abbey wall,
    My man shall come to thee, and bring along
    The cordes, made like a tackled staire,
    Which to the hightop-gallant of my ioy
    1285Must be my conduct in the secret night.
    1285.1Hold, take that for thy paines.
    Nur: No, not a penie truly.
    Rom: I say you shall not chuse.
    Nur: Well, to morrow morning she shall not faile.
    1285.5Rom: Farewell, be trustie, and Ile quite thy paine.Exit
    Nur: Peter, take my fanne, and goe before. Ex. omnes.