Mer. A challenge, on my life.
Ben. Romeo will answer it.
Mer. Any man that can write may answer a
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
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 ?
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, dis-
tance 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 re verso ! the hay.
Ben. The what ?
Mer. The plague of such antic, lisping, affecting
fantasticoes ; these new tuners of accents ! By
Jesu, a very good blade ! a very tall man ! a very
ACT II., Sc. 4.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
good ichore ! Why, is not this a lamentable thing,
grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with
these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these
fardonnez mois, who stand so much on the new
form, that they cannot sit at ease on the old
bench ? O, their bows, their bons !
Sen. Here cornea Borneo, 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.
Rom. Good morrow to you both. What coun-
terfeit did I give you?
Mer. The slip, sir, the slip; can you not con-
Rom. Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was
great, and in such a case as mine a man may
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.
Rom. A most courteous exposition.
Mer. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.
Rom. Pink for flower.
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.
Rom. O single-soled jest, solely singular for the
Mer. Come between us, good Benvolio; my
Rom. Switch and spurs, switch and spurs, or
I '11 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, 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
Mer. 0, here 's a wit of cheveril, that stretches
from an inch narrow to an ell broad !
Rom. I stretch it out for that word broad;
which added to the goose, proves thee far and
wide a broad goose.
I Mer. Why, is not this better now than groaning
for love? now art thou sociable, now art thou
Borneo; now art thou what thou art, by art as
[well as by nature : for this drivelling love is like
i great natural, that runs lolling up and down to
tiide his bauble in a hole.
Ben. Stop there, stop there.
Mer. Thou desirest me to stop in my tale
against the hair.
Ben. Thou wouldst else have made thy tale
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
Rom. Here 's goodly gear !
Enter Nurse and Peter.
Mer. A sail, a sail !
Ben. Two, two ! a shirt and a smock.
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 tell you, for the hand of the
dial is now upon the prick of noon.
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 him-
self 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.
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 confi-
dence 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
An old hare hoar,
And an old hare hoar,
Is rery 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 '11 to
Rom. I will follow you.
Mer. Farewell, ancient lady ; farewell, [Si-no's.]
lady, lady, lady. Exeunt Mer. and Ben.
Nurse. Marry, farewell ! I pray you, sir, what
saucy merchant was this, that was so full of his
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 '11
take him down, an a' were lustier than he is, and
twenty such Jacks ; and if I cannot, I '11 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 ?
ROMEO AND JULIET.
ACT II., Sc. 5.
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 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 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.
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.
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
Rom. And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey
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 '11 quit thy pains :
Farewell ; commend me to thy mistress.
Nurse. Now God in heaven bless thee ! Hark
-Bom. What say'st thou, my dear nurse?
Nurse. Is your man secret ? Did you ne'er hear
Two may keep counsel, putting one away ?
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 '11 warrant you, when I
say so, she looks as pale as any clout in the versul
world. Doth not rosemary and Romeo begin both
with a letter ?
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 senten-
tious 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. Peter ! [Exit
Romeo. ] Peter !
Nurse. Peter, take my fan, and go before.
Scene V. Capukfs Orchard.
Jul. The clock struck nine when I did send the
In half an hour she promised to return.
Perchance she cannot meet him : that 's not so.
O, she is lame ! love's heralds should be thoughts,
Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams,
Driving back shadows over lowering hills :
Therefore do nimble-pinion' d doves draw love,
And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
Of this day's journey, and from nine till twelve
Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
She would be as swift in motion as a ball ;
My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
And his to me :
But old folks, many feign as they were dead ;
Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.
O God, she comes ! O honey nurse, what news ?
Enter Nurse and Peter.
Hast thou met with him ? Send thy man away.
Nurse. Peter, stay at the gate. Exit Peter.
Jul. Now, good sweet nurse, O Lord, why
look'st thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily ;
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.
Nurse. I am a-weary, give me leave awhile :
Fie, how my bones ache ! what a jaunt have I had !
Jul. I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak ; good, good nurse,
Nurse. Jesu, what haste ? can you not stay
Do you not see that I am out of breath ?
Jul. How art thou out of breath, when thou
To say to me that thou art out of breath ?
The excuse that thou dosfe make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good, or bad ? answer to that ;
Say either, and I '11 stay the circumstance :
Let me be satisfied, is 't good or bad ?
Nurse. Well, you have made a simple choice;
you know not how to choose a man : Romeo ! no,
not he ; though his face be better than any man's,
yet his leg excels all men's ; and for a hand, and
a foot, and a body, though they be not to be
talked on, yet they are past compare : he is not
the flower of courtesy, but, I '11 warrant him, as
gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench ; serve
God. What, have you dined at home ?
Jul. No, no : but all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage ? what of that ?
Nurse. Lord, how my head aches ! what a head
have I !
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back o' t' other side, O, my back, my back !
Beshrew your heart for sending me about,
To catch my death with jaunting up and down !
Jul. I' faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says my
Nurse. Your love says, like an honest gentle-
ACT III., Sc. 1.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
man, and a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
and, I warrant, a virtuous, Where is your
Jul. Where is my mother ! why she is within ;
Where should she be ? How oddly thou repliest !
Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
Where is your mother ?
Nurse. O God's lady dear !
Are you so hot ? marry, come up, I trow ;
Is this the poultice for my aching bones ?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.
Jul. Here 's such a coil ! come, what says
Nurse. Have you got leave to go to shrift to-
Jul. I have.
Nurse. Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence'
There stays a husband to make you a wife :
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks,
They '11 be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder, by the which your love
Must climb a bird's nest soon when it is dark :
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go ; I '11 to dinner ; hie you to the cell.
Jul. Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse,
Scene VI. Friar Laurence's Cell.
Enter Friar Laurence and Romeo.
Friar. So smile the heavens upon this holy act,
That after hours with sorrow chide us not !
Rom. Amen, amen ! but come what sorrow can,
(It cannot countervail the exchange of joy
That one short minute gives me in her sight :
Do thou but close our hands with holy words,
Then love-devouring death do what he dare ;
It is enough I may but call her mine.
Friar. These violent delights have violent ends
iAnd in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume. The sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
'And in the taste confounds the appetite :
[Therefore love moderately ; long love doth so ;
[Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
iiHere comes the lady : O, so light a foot
IWill ne'er wear out the everlasting flint :
Li lover may bestride the gossamer
(That idles in the wanton summer air,
|And yet not fall ; so light is vanity.
| Jul. Good even to my ghostly confessor.
I Friar. Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for
I Jul. As much to him, else is his thanks too
1 Rom. Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy
Be heap'd like mine and that thy skill be more
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
This neighbour air, and let rich music's tongue
Unfold the imagined happiness that both
[Receive in either by this dear encounter.
I Jul. Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
\ Brags of his substance," not of ornament :
They are but beggars that can count their worth ;
But my true love is grown to such excess
I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.
Friar. Come, come with me, and we will make
short work ;
For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone
Till holy church incorporate two in one. Exeunt.
Scene I. A Public Place.
Enter Mercutio, Benvolio, Page and Servants.
Ben. I pray thee, good Mercutio, lt's retire :
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,
And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl ;
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.
Mer. Thou art like one of those fellows that
when he enters the confines of a tavern claps me
his sword upon the table and says, God send me
no need of thee ! and by the operation of the
second cup draws it on the drawer, when indeed
there is no need.
Ben. Am I like such a fellow ?
Mer. Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in
thy mood as any in Italy, and as soon moved to
be moody, and as soon moody to be moved.
Ben. And what to ?
Mer. Nay, an there were two such, we should
have none shortly, for one would kill the other.
Thou ! why, thou wilt quarrel with a man that
hath a hair more, or a hair less, in his beard,
than thou hast. Thou wilt quarrel with a man
for cracking nuts, having no other reason but
because thou hast hazel eyes : what eye but such
an eye would spy out such a quarrel ? Thy head
is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat, and
yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as an egg
for quarrelling : thou hast quarrelled with a man
for coughing in the street, because he hath wakened
thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun. _ Didst
thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing his
new doublet before Easter? with another, for
tying* his new shoes with old riband ? and yet
thou wilt tutor me from quarrelling !
Ben. An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art,
any man should buy the fee-simple of my life for
an hour and a quarter.
Mer. The fee-simple ! O simple !
Ben. By my head, here come the Capulets.
Mer. By my heel, I care not.
Enter Tybalt and others.
Tyb. Follow me close, for I will speak to them.
Gentlemen, good den : a word with one of you.
Her. And but one word with one of us ? couple
it with something ; make it a word and a blow.
Tyb. You shall find me apt enough to that, sir,
an you will give me occasion.
Mer. Could you not take some occasion without
Tyb. Mercutio, thou consort' st with Romeo,
Mer. Consort ! what, dost thou make us min-
strels ? an thou make minstrels of us, look to hear
nothing but discords: here 's my fiddlestick ; here 's
that shall make you dance. 'Zounds, consort !
Ben. We talk here in the public haunt of men :
Either withdraw unto some private place,
ROMEO AND JULIET.
ACT III., Sc. 1.
Or reason coldly of your grievances,
Or else depart; here all eyes gaze on us.
Her. Men's eyes were made to look, and let
them gaze ;
I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I.
Tyb. Well, peace be with you, sir : here comes
Her. But I '11 be hang'd, sir, if he wear your
Marry, go before to field, he '11 be your follower ;
Your worship in that sense may call him man.
Tyb. Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford
No better term than this, thou art a villain.
Rom. Tybalt, the reason that I have to love
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting : villain am I none ;
Therefore farewell ; I see thou know'st me not.
Tyb. Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries
That thou hast done me ; therefore turn and draw.
Rom. I do protest, I never injured thee,
But love thee better than thou canst devise,
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love :
And so, good Capulet, which name I tender
As dearly as my own, be satisfied.
Mer. O calm, dishonourable, vile submission !
Alia stoccata carries it away. Draws.
Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk ?
Tyb. What wpuldst thou have with me ?
Mer. Good king of cats, nothing but one of
your nine lives ; that I mean to make bold withal,
and, as you shall use me hereafter, dry-beat the
rest of the eight. Will you pluck your sword out
of his pilcher by the ears ? make haste, lest mine
be about your ears ere it be out.
Tyb. I am for you. Drawing.
Rom. Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.
Mer. Come, sir, your passado. They fight.
Rom. Draw, Benvolio; beat down their weapons.
Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage !
Tybalt, Mercutio, the prince expressly hath
Forbidden bandying in Verona streets :
Hold, Tybalt ! good Mercutio ! Exit Tybalt.
Mer. I am hurt.
A plague o' both your houses ! I am sped.
Is he gone, and hath nothing ?
Ben. What, art thou hurt ?
Mer. Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch ; marry, 'tis
Where is my page ? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.
Rom. Courage, man ; the hurt cannot be much.
Mer. No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide
as a church-door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve.
Ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a
grave man. I am peppered, I warrant, for this
world. A plague o' both your houses ! 'Zounds,
a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to
death ! a braggart, a rogue, a villain, that fights
by the book of arithmetic ! Why the devil came
you between us ? I was hurt under your arm.
Rom. I thought all for the best.
Mer. Help me into some house, Benvolio,
Or I shall faint. A plague o' both your houses !
They have made worms' meat of me : I have it,
And soundly too : your houses !
Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio.
Rom. This gentleman, the prince's near ally,
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt
In my behalf; my reputation stain' d
With Tybalt's slander, Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my kinsman ! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper soften'd valour's steel !
Ben. Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio 's dead !
That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.
Rom. This day's black fate on more days doth
This but begins the woe, others must end.
Ben. Here comes the furious Tybalt back
Rom. Alive, in triumph ! and Mercutio slain !
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now !
Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gavest me ; for Mercutio' s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company :
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.
Tyb. Thou, wretched boy, that didst con
Shalt with him hence.
Rom. This shall determine that.
Th ey fight ; Ty bait falls.
Ben. Romeo, away, be gone !
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
Stand not amazed : the prince will doom thee
If thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away !
Rom. O, I am fortune's fool !
Ben. Why dost thou stay ?
Enter Citizens, Sfc.
1 Cit. Which way ran he that kill'd Mercutio ?
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he ?
Ben. There lies that Tybalt.
1 Cit. Up, sir, go with me ;
I charge thee in the prince's name, obey.
Enter Prince, old Montague, Capulet, their
Wives and others.
Pri. Where are the vile beginners of this fray ?
Ben. O noble prince, I can discover all
The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl :
There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,
That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.
L. Cap. Tybalt, my cousin ! my brother's
O prince ! O cousin ! husband ! 0, the blood is
Of my dear kinsman ! Prince, as thou art true,
For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.
O cousin, cousin !
Pri. Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?
Ben. Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's
did slay ;
Romeo that spoke him fair, bade him bethink
How nice the quarrel was, and urged withal
Your high displeasure : all this uttered
With gentle breath, calm look, knees huml
ACT III., Sc. 2.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen
Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts
With piercing steel at bold Mercutio's breast,
Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point,
And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats
Cold death aside, and with the other sends
It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity
Eetorts it : Romeo he cries aloud,
Hold, friends ! friends, part ! and, swifter than
His agile arm beats down their fatal points,
And 'twixt them rushes ; underneath whose arm
An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life
Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled ;
But by and by comes back to Romeo,
Who had but newly entertain'd revenge,
And to 't they go like lightning, for, ere I
Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain,
And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly.
This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.
L. Cap. He is a kinsman to the Montague ;
Affection makes him false, he speaks not true :
Some twenty of them fought in this black strife.
And all those twenty could but kill one life.
I beg for justice, which thou, prince, must give ;
Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live.
Pri. Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio ;
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe ?
Mon. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's
His fault concludes but what the law should end,
The life of Tybalt.
Pri. And for that offence
Immediately we do exile him hence :
I have an interest in your hate's proceeding,
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding ;
But I '11 amerce you with so strong a fine
That you shall all repent the loss of mine :
I will be deaf to pleading and excuses ;
Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses :
Therefore use none : let Romeo hence in haste,
Else, when he 's found, that hour is his last.
Bear hence this body and attend our will :
[ercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.
Scene IL Capulet's Orchard.
Jul. Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds.
Wards Phoebus' lodging : such a waggoner
L.S Phaethon would whip you to the west,
.nd bring in cloudy night immediately,
pread thy close curtain, love-performing night,
'hat runaways' eyes may wink, and Romeo
jeap to these arms, untalk'd of and unseen.
Covers can see to do their amorous rites
ly their own beauties ; or, if love be blind,
t best agrees with night. Come, civil night,
'hou sober-suited matron, all in black,