Romeo and Juliet Act 2

Mercutio Where the devil should this Romeo be? Came he not home tonight?
Benvolio Not to his father’s. I spoke with his man.
Mercutio Why, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline, torments him so, that he will sure run mad.
Benvolio Tybalt, the kinsmen to old Capulet, hath sent him 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 the Prince of Cats. Oh, he’s the courageous captain of compliments. He fights are you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and proportion. He rests his minim rests one, two, and the third in your bosom. The very butcher of a silk button, a duelist, a duelist, 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 antic, lisping, affecting fantasmines, 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 ting, grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these “pardon me’s,” who stand so much on the new form that they cannot sit at ease on the old bench? Oh, their bones, their bones.
Benvolio Her comes Romeo, her comes Romeo!
Mercutio Without his roe, like a dried herring. O flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified! Now is her for the numbers that Petrarch flowed in. Laura to his lady was but a kitchen-wench — marry, she had a better love to berhyme her — Dido a dowdy, Cleopatra a gypsy, Helen and Hero hildings and harlots, Thisbe a grey eye or so, but not to the purpose — Signior Romeo, bonjour! 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 slip, sir, the slip. Can you not conceive?
Romeo Pardon, good Mercutio, my buisness was great, and in such a case as mine a man may strain courtesy.
Mercutio That’s as much to say, such a case as yours constrains a man to bow in the hams.
Romeo Meaning “to curtsey”?
Mercutio Thou has 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 Sure wit, 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 solely singular.
Romeo O single-soled jest, solely singular for the singleness.
Mercutio Come between us, good Benvolio. My wits faints.
Romeo Switch and spurs, switch and spurs, or I’ll cry a match.
Mercutio Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am 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 there for the goose?
Romeo Thou wast never with me for anything 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 into a sweet goose?
Mercutio Oh, 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 this not better 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 driveling 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 my tale against the hair.
Benvolio Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.
Mercutio Oh, thou are 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.
Benvolio A sail, a sail!
Mercutio 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 Gd ye good e’en, fair gentlewoman.
Nurse Is it good e’en?
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?
Mercutio One, gentlewoman, that God hath made, himself to mar.
Nurse By my troth, it is well said. “For himself to mar,” quoth he? 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. Romeo, will you come to your father’s? We’ll to dinner, thither.
Romeo I will follow you.
Mercutio Farewell, ancient lady. Farewell, lady, lady, lady.
Nurse 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 one minute than he will stand to in a month.
Nurse An he speak any thing against me, I’ll take him down, and he 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 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! Pay you, sir a word. And as I told you, my young lady bid me to 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’ 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, comment 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, sit, 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 Lawrence’ 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 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 sayst thou, my dear Nurse?
Nurse Is your man secret? Did you ne’er hear say, “Two may keep counsel, putting one away”?
Romeo 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. — Oh, there is no nobleman in town, one Paris, that would fain lay knife abroad, 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 gentleman. 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, you and rosemary, that it would do you good to hear it.
Romeo Commend me to thy lady.
Nurse Ay, a thousand times. — Peter!
Peter Anon!
Nurse Before and space.

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