Any man that can write may answer a letter.
Nay, he will answer the letter's master, how he dares,
Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead! stabb'd 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?
More than Prince of Cats, I can tell you. O, he's the
courageous captain of compliments. He fights as you sing
pricksong-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 reverse! the hay.
The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting fantasticoes-
these new tuners of accent! 'By Jesu, a very good blade! a
very tall man! a very good whore!' Why, is not this a
lamentable thing, grandsir, that we should be thus afflicted
with these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these
pardona-mi's, who stand so much on the new form that they
cannot sit at ease on the old bench? O, their bones, their
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 berhyme her), Dido a dowdy,
Cleopatra a gypsy, Helen and Hero hildings and harlots, This
be a gray 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.
Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?
The slip, sir, the slip. Can you not conceive?
Pardon, good Mercutio. My business was great, and in such
a case as mine a man may strain courtesy.
That's as much as to say, such a case as yours constrains
a man to bow in the hams.
Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most sharp
And is it not, then, well serv'd in to a sweet goose?
O, here's a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an inch
narrow to an ell broad!
I stretch it out for that word 'broad,' which, added to
the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.
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.
Marry, farewell! I Pray you, Sir, what saucy merchant
was this that was so full of his ropery?
A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk and
will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.
An 'a speak anything 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
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.
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 bid me enquire you out. What she bid 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 off'red to
any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.
Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I protest unto
Good heart, and i' faith I will tell her as much. Lord,
Lord! she will be a joyful woman.
What wilt thou tell her, nurse? Thou dost not mark me.
I will tell her, sir, that you do protest, which, as I
take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.
Bid her devise
Some means to come to shrift this afternoon;
And there she shall at Friar Laurence' cell
Be shriv'd and married. Here is for thy pains.
This afternoon, sir? Well, she shall be there.
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 topgallant 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.
Now God in heaven bless thee! Hark you, sir.
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 lieve 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?
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.