Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
Not Peer Reviewed

Romeo and Juliet (Quarto 1, 1597)

1105Enter 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- (saline
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
E fights
The excellent Tragedie
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
of Romeo and Iuliet.
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
the 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.
1200Enter Nurse and her man.
Mer: A saile, a saile, a saile.
E2 Ben: Two
The excellent Tragedie
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.
1232.1He 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.
of Romeo and Iuliet.
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.
1251.1She 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
E3 Must
The excellent Tragedie
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.