Meet us on:
 
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient."
     

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    Act 2. Scene IV

    • Rate it:
    • Average Rating: 4.3 out of 5 based on 12 ratings
    • 32 Favorites on Read Print
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 11
    Previous Chapter
    SCENE IV. A street.

    Enter BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO
    MERCUTIO
    Where the devil should this Romeo be?
    Came he not home to-night?

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

    MERCUTIO
    Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline.
    Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.

    BENVOLIO
    Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet,
    Hath sent a letter to his father's house.

    MERCUTIO
    A challenge, on my life.

    BENVOLIO
    Romeo will answer it.

    MERCUTIO
    Any man that can write may answer a letter.

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

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

    BENVOLIO
    Why, what is Tybalt?

    MERCUTIO
    More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he is
    the courageous captain of compliments. 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!

    BENVOLIO
    The what?

    MERCUTIO
    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 at ease on the old bench? O, their
    bones, their bones!

    Enter ROMEO

    BENVOLIO
    Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.

    MERCUTIO
    Without his roe, like a dried herring: 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.

    ROMEO
    Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?

    MERCUTIO
    The ship, sir, the slip; can you not conceive?

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

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

    ROMEO
    Meaning, to court'sy.

    MERCUTIO
    Thou hast most kindly hit it.

    ROMEO
    A most courteous exposition.

    MERCUTIO
    Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.

    ROMEO
    Pink for flower.

    MERCUTIO
    Right.

    ROMEO
    Why, then is my pump well flowered.

    MERCUTIO
    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.

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

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

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

    MERCUTIO
    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, I have in my whole five:
    was I with you there for the goose?

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

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

    ROMEO
    Nay, good goose, bite not.

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

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

    MERCUTIO
    O here's a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an
    inch narrow to an ell broad!

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

    MERCUTIO
    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.

    BENVOLIO
    Stop there, stop there.

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

    BENVOLIO
    Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.

    MERCUTIO
    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.

    ROMEO
    Here's goodly gear!

    Enter Nurse and PETER

    MERCUTIO
    A sail, a sail!

    BENVOLIO
    Two, two; a shirt and a smock.

    Nurse
    Peter!

    PETER
    Anon!

    Nurse
    My fan, Peter.

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

    Nurse
    God ye good morrow, gentlemen.

    MERCUTIO
    God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.

    Nurse
    Is it good den?

    MERCUTIO
    'Tis no less, I tell you, for the bawdy hand of the
    dial is now upon the prick of noon.

    Nurse
    Out upon you! what a man are you!

    ROMEO
    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?

    ROMEO
    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.

    Nurse
    You say well.

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

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

    BENVOLIO
    She will indite him to some supper.

    MERCUTIO
    A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! so ho!

    ROMEO
    What hast thou found?

    MERCUTIO
    No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie,
    that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.

    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, thither.

    ROMEO
    I will follow you.

    MERCUTIO
    Farewell, ancient lady; farewell,

    Singing

    '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?

    ROMEO
    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?

    PETER
    I saw no man use you a 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.

    Nurse
    Now, afore God, I am so vexed, that every part about
    me quivers. Scurvy knave! 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 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 offered
    to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.

    ROMEO
    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.

    ROMEO
    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.

    ROMEO
    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.

    ROMEO
    Go to; I say you shall.

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

    ROMEO
    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.

    ROMEO
    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?

    ROMEO
    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?

    ROMEO
    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.

    ROMEO
    Commend me to thy lady.

    Nurse
    Ay, a thousand times.

    Exit Romeo

    Peter!

    PETER
    Anon!

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

    Exeunt
    Next Chapter
    Chapter 11
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a William Shakespeare essay and need some advice, post your William Shakespeare essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Finished
    Want to read
    Abandoned

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?