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SCENE IV. A Street.
Enter BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO.
BEN. Not to his father's; I spoke with his man.
Torments him so, that he will sure run1 mad.
BEN. Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet,
MER. A challenge, on my life.
BEN. Nay, he will answer the letter's master, how he dares, being dared. 2
MER. Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead! stabb'd with a white wench’s3 black eye! shot thorough the ear with a love-song: the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow - boy's butt-shaft;4. And is he a man to encounter Tybalt?
BEN. Why, what is Tybalt ?
0, he is the courageous captain of compliments. 6
He fights as you sing, keeps time, distance, and proportion; rests me his minim rest,? one, two,' and the third in
bosom: the very butcher of a silk button, a duellist, a duellist; à gentleman of the very first house, - of the first and second cause: 8 Ah, the immortal passado! the punto reverso! the hay!!
1) To pass from one state or con- cat, in the story-book of Reynard the dition to another; as, to run into Fox. Warburton. confusion; to run distracted; here, 6) A complete master of all the to run mad, to fall into madness, to laws of ceremony.
7) A minim is a note of slow time 2) That he has courage, being in music, equal to two crotchets. challenged or provoked.
Malone. 3) A young woman; despitefully 8) A gentleman of the first rank,
of the first eminence among those 4) A butt-shaft was the kind of ar- duellists; and one who understands row used in shooting at butts. The the whole science of quarrelling, clout or white mark at which the and will tell you of the first cause, arrows are directed, was fastened and the second cause, for which a by a black pin placed in the centre man is to fight. The Clown, in As of it. To hit (to cleave) this was the you like it, talks of the seventh cause highest ambition of a marksman. in the same sense. Steevens. Malone.
9) A passado, a push or thrust. 5) Tybert, the name given to the Punto reverso, a faint, a show of
BEN. The what?
MER. The plague of such antick, lisping, affecting fantasticoes; these new, tuners of accents! – Why, is not this a lamentable thing, grandsire,2 that we should be thus afflicted with these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these pardonnez-moys, 4 who stand so much on the new form, that they cannot sit at ease on the old bench? 5 0, their bons, their bons ! 6
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; Thisbé, a grey eye or so,? but not to the purpose. Signior Romeo, bon jour! there's a French salutation to your French slop. 8 You gave us the counterfeito fairly last night.
Rom. Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?
MER. The slip, sir, the slip; 10 Can you not conceive ?
making a thrust at one part, to de-|(a bench without a back). See Love's ceive an antagonist, when the inten- Labour's Lost, Act I. sc. I: "sittion is to strike another part. Allting with her on the form, and taken the terms of the modern fencing- following her into the park, which, school were originally Italian; the put together, is in manner and form rapier, or small thrusting sword, following.' being first used in Italy. The hay is 6) Mercutio is here ridiculing the word hai, you have it, used when those frenchified fantastical coxa thrust reaches the antagonist. combs whom he calls pardonnezJohnson.
moi's. Besides .we learn that bon 1) A curse upon, etc.
jour was the common salutation of 2) Humorously apostrophising his those who affected to appear fine ancestors, whose sober times were gentlemen in our author's time. unacquainted with the fopperies here 7) He means to allow, says Malone, complained of. Warburton.
that Thisbé had a very fine eye: for 3) One who studies the fashion; from various passages it appears a fop.
that a grey eye was thought emi4) Pardonnez-moi became the lan- nently beautiful, as beautiful as guage of doubt or hesitation among what we now denominate a blue eye. men of the sword, when the point of 8) Trowsers or pantaloons, a honour was grown so delicate, that French fashion in Shakspeare's time. no other mode of contradiction would 9) You cheated, you deceived us. be endured. Johnson.
10) The slip is used equivocally 5) A quibble on the two meanings in the meaning of an unexpected or of the word form, manner and seat secret desertion, and a counterfeit,
Rom. Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great; and, in such a case as mine, a man may strain courtesy.
MER. That's as much as to say -- such a case as yours constrains a man to bow.
Rom. Meaning - to court'sy.
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, solely singular.
ROM. O single-soled 3 jest, solely singular for the singleness !
MER. Come between us, good Benvolio; my wits fail.
Rom. Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or I'll cry a match.5
MER. Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, 6 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.
MER. Thy wit is a very bitter-sweeting;? it is a most sharp sauce.
ŘOM, And is it not well served in to a sweet goose ?
piece of money, being brass cover 4) A small, flexible twig or rod, ed with silver, which they called used as a whip. a slip.
5) Cry victory! 1) Pink in the double meaning of 6) The kind of horse-race, which any thing extremely excellent, and resembled the flight of wild - geese, of a plant and flower (of the genus was formerly known by this name. Dianthus) common in gardens. Two horses were started together,
2) A low shoe with a thin sole. and whichever rider could get the It was the custom to wear ribbons lead, the other was obliged to folin the shoes formed into the shape low him over whatever ground the of roses, or other flowers.
foremost jockey chose to go. That 3) Single-soled formerly signified horse which could distance the other, figuratively slight, unsolid, feeble. won the race. This epithet is here used equivocally. 7) An apple.
MER. O, here's a wit of cheverel," 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. 2
MER. 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. Rom. Here's goodly geer!3
Enter Nurse and PETER.
MER. Pr’ythee, do, good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan's the fairer of the two.
NURSE. God ye good morrow, gentlemen.
MER. 'Tis no less, I tell you; for the hand of the dial 7 is now upon the point of noon.
NURSE. 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 'faults of a worse.
1) A soft stretching leather, spelled | ed out; this was one of the offices also cheveril, from the French che of her gentleman usher. The Nurse vreuil. This leather being of a very affects this dignity. (Nares' Glosflexible nature, was often allud- sary.) – Compare the last line of ed to in comparisons. Thus a very this scene. pliant conscience was proverbially 6) God give you a good even. Good compared to it.
den is a mere corruption of good 2) To afford some meaning to this e'en, for good evening. Upon being poor but intended witticism, Dr. Far- thus corrected, the nurse asks, mer would read — “proves thee far whether it is good den? that is, and wide abroad, goose. Steevens. whether the time is come for using
3) Obsolete spelling for jeer, biting that expression rather than the jest, mockery.
other? to which Mercutio replies, 4) Immediately, or presently. that it is; for the dial now points Anon, Sir! was the customary, an- the hour of noon. swer of waiters, as they now say, 7) A plate marked with lines, “Coming, Sir.”
where a hand or shadow shows the 5) It was a piece of state for a hour. servant to attend, on purpose to 8) For 'fault of, i. e. for, or in carry the lady's fan when she walk- I default, for want of.
NURSE. You say well.
MER. Yea, is the worse well? very well took,' i' faith; wisely, wisely
NURSE. If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence
MER. Romeo, will you come to your father's ? we'll to dinner thither.
Rom. I will follow you.
(Exeunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO. NURSE. Marry, farewell! — I pray you, sir, what saucy merchant' was this, that was so full of his ropery?5 Rom. A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself
and will speak more in a minute, than he will stand to in a month.
NURSE. An 'aø 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. 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: buť 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: She will be a joyful woman.
1) Well taken, or understood. the person showed by his behaviour
2) To indite, endite or endict is he was a low fellow. The term chap, stilí used in the meaning of to charge i. e. chapman, a word of the same any man by a written accusation be- import with merchant in its less refore a court of justice; here it is, to spectable sense, is still in common invite, to ask to any place.
use among the vulgar, as a general 3) The burden of an old song. denomination for any person of Steevens.
whom they mean to speak with free4) 'The term merchant which was, dom or disrespect. Steevens, and even now is, frequently applied to the lowest sort of dealers, seems
5) Anciently used in the sense of anciently to have been used on these roguery, rogue's tricks. familiar occasions in contradistinc 6) If he. tion to gentleman; signifying that 7) To deceive, acting two parts.