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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

班伏里奥及茂丘西奥上。

茂丘西奥见鬼的,这罗密欧究竟到哪儿去了?他昨天晚上没有回家吗?

班伏里奥没有,我问过他的仆人了。

茂丘西奥嗳哟!那个白面孔狠心肠的女人,那个罗瑟琳,一定把他虐待得要发疯了。

班伏里奥提伯尔特,凯普莱特那老头子的亲戚,有一封信送到他父亲那里。

茂丘西奥一定是一封挑战书。

班伏里奥罗密欧一定会给他一个答复。

茂丘西奥只要会写几个字,谁都会写一封复信。

班伏里奥不,我说他一定会接受他的挑战。

茂丘西奥唉!可怜的罗密欧!他已经死了,一个白女人的黑眼睛戳破了他的心;一支恋歌穿过了他的耳朵;瞎眼的丘匹德的箭已把他当胸射中;他现在还能够抵得住提伯尔特吗?

班伏里奥提伯尔特是个什么人?

茂丘西奥我可以告诉你,他不是个平常的阿猫阿狗。啊!他是个胆大心细、剑法高明的人。他跟人打起架来,就像照着乐谱唱歌一样,一板一眼都不放松,一秒钟的停顿,然后一、二、三,刺进人家的胸膛;他全然是个穿礼服的屠夫,一个决斗的专家;一个名门贵胄,一个击剑能手。啊!那了不得的侧击!那反击!那直中要害的一剑!

班伏里奥那什么?

茂丘西奥那些怪模怪样、扭扭捏捏的装腔作势,说起话来怪声怪气的荒唐鬼的对头。他们只会说,“耶稣哪,好一柄锋利的刀子!”——好一个高大的汉子,好一个风流的婊子!嘿,我的老爷子,咱们中间有这么一群不知从哪儿飞来的苍蝇,这一群满嘴法国话的时髦人,他们因为趋新好异,坐在一张旧凳子上也会不舒服,这不是一件可以痛哭流涕的事吗?

罗密欧上。

班伏里奥罗密欧来了,罗密欧来了。

茂丘西奥瞧他孤零零的神气,倒像一条风干的咸鱼。啊,你这块肉呀,你是怎样变成了鱼的!现在他又要念起彼特拉克②(彼特拉克(Petrarch,1304—1374),意大利诗人,他的作品有很多是歌颂他终身的爱人罗拉的。 )的诗句来了:罗拉比起他的情人来不过是个灶下的丫头,虽然她有一个会做诗的爱人;狄多是个蓬头垢面的村妇;克莉奥佩屈拉是个吉卜赛姑娘;海伦、希罗都是下流的娼妓;提斯柏也许有一双美丽的灰色眼睛,可是也不配相提并论。罗密欧先生,给你个法国式的敬礼!昨天晚上你给我们开了多大的一个玩笑哪。

罗密欧两位大哥早安!昨晚我开了什么玩笑?

茂丘西奥你昨天晚上逃走得好;装什么假?

罗密欧对不起,茂丘西奥,我当时有一件很重要的事情,在那情况下我只好失礼了。

茂丘西奥这就是说,在那情况下,你不得不屈一屈膝了。

罗密欧你的意思是说,赔个礼。

茂丘西奥你回答得正对。

罗密欧正是十分有礼的说法。

茂丘西奥何止如此,我是讲礼讲到头了。

罗密欧像是花儿鞋子的尖头。

茂丘西奥说得对。

罗密欧那么我的鞋子已经全是花花的洞儿了。

茂丘西奥讲得妙;跟着我把这个笑话追到底吧,直追得你的鞋子都破了,只剩下了鞋底,而那笑话也就变得又秃又呆了。

罗密欧啊,好一个又呆又秃的笑话,真配傻子来说。

茂丘西奥快来帮忙,好班伏里奥;我的脑袋不行了。

罗密欧要来就快马加鞭;不然我就宣告胜利了。

茂丘西奥不,如果比聪明像赛马,我承认我输了;我的马儿哪有你的野?说到野,我的五官加在一起也比不上你的任何一官。可是你野的时候,我几时跟你在一起过?

罗密欧哪一次撒野没有你这呆头鹅?

茂丘西奥你这话真有意思,我巴不得咬你一口才好。

罗密欧啊,好鹅儿,莫咬我。

茂丘西奥你的笑话又甜又辣;简直是辣酱油。

罗密欧美鹅加辣酱,岂不绝妙?

茂丘西奥啊,妙语横生,越拉越横!

罗密欧横得好;你这呆头鹅变成一只横胖鹅了。

茂丘西奥呀,我们这样打着趣岂不比呻吟求爱好得多吗?此刻你多么和气,此刻你才真是罗密欧了;不论是先天还是后天,此刻是你的真面目了;为了爱,急得涕零满脸,就像一个天生的傻子,奔上奔下,找洞儿藏他的棍儿。

班伏里奥打住吧,打住吧。

茂丘西奥你不让我的话讲完,留着尾巴好不顺眼。

班伏里奥不打住你,你的尾巴还要长大呢。

茂丘西奥啊,你错了;我的尾巴本来就要缩小了;我的话已经讲到了底,不想老占着位置啦。

罗密欧看哪,好把戏来啦!

乳媪及彼得上。

茂丘西奥一条帆船,一条帆船!

班伏里奥两条,两条!一公一母。

乳媪彼得!

彼得有!

乳媪彼得,我的扇子。

茂丘西奥好彼得,替她把脸遮了;因为她的扇子比她的脸好看一点。

乳媪早安,列位先生。

茂丘西奥晚安,好太太。

乳媪是道晚安时候了吗?

茂丘西奥我告诉你,不会错;那日规上的指针正顶着中午呢。

乳媪你说什么!你是什么人!

罗密欧好太太,上帝造了他,他可不知好歹。

乳媪说得好:你说他不知好歹哪?列位先生,你们有谁能够告诉我年轻的罗密欧在什么地方?

罗密欧我可以告诉你;可是等你找到他的时候,年轻的罗密欧已经比你寻访他的时候老了点儿了。我因为取不到一个好一点的名字,所以就叫做罗密欧;在取这一个名字的人们中间,我是最年轻的一个。

乳媪您说得真好。

茂丘西奥呀,这样一个最坏的家伙你也说好?想得周到;有道理,有道理。

乳媪先生,要是您就是他,我要跟您单独讲句话儿。

班伏里奥她要拉他吃晚饭去。

茂丘西奥一个老虔婆,一个老虔婆!有了!有了!

罗密欧有了什么?

茂丘西奥不是什么野兔子;要说是兔子的话,也不过是斋节里做的兔肉饼,没有吃完就发了霉。(唱)

老兔肉,发白霉,

老兔肉,发白霉,

原是斋节好点心:

可是霉了的兔肉饼,

二十个人也吃不尽,

吃不完的霉肉饼。

罗密欧,你到不到你父亲那儿去?我们要在那边吃饭。

罗密欧我就来。

茂丘西奥再见,老太太;(唱)

再见,我的好姑娘!(茂丘西奥、班伏里奥下。)

乳媪好,再见!先生,这个满嘴胡说八道的放肆家伙是谁?

罗密欧奶妈,这位先生最喜欢听他自己讲话;他在一分钟里所说的话,比他在一个月里听人家讲的话还多。

乳媪要是他对我说了一句不客气的话,尽管他力气再大一点,我也要给他一顿教训;这种家伙二十个我都对付得了,要是对付不了,我会叫那些对付得了他们的人来。混帐东西!他把老娘看做什么人啦?我不是那些烂污婊子,由他随便取笑。(向彼得)你也是个好东西,看着人家把我欺侮,站在旁边一动也不动!

彼得我没有看见什么人欺侮你;要是我看见了,一定会立刻拔出刀子来的。碰到吵架的事,只要理直气壮,打起官司来不怕人家,我是从来不肯落在人家后头的。

乳媪嗳哟!真把我气得浑身发抖。混帐的东西!对不起,先生,让我跟您说句话儿。我刚才说过的,我家小姐叫我来找您;她叫我说些什么话我可不能告诉您;可是我要先明白对您说一句,要是正像人家说的,您想骗她做一场春梦,那可真是人家说的一件顶坏的行为;因为这位姑娘年纪还小,所以您要是欺骗了她,实在是一桩对无论哪一位好人家的姑娘都是对不起的事情,而且也是一桩顶不应该的举动。

罗密欧奶妈,请你替我向你家小姐致意。我可以对你发誓——

乳媪很好,我就这样告诉她。主啊!主啊!她听见了一定会非常喜欢的。

罗密欧奶妈,你去告诉她什么话呢?你没有听我说呀。

乳媪我就对她说您发过誓了,证明您是一位正人君子。

罗密欧你请她今天下午想个法子出来到劳伦斯神父的寺院里忏悔,就在那个地方举行婚礼。这几个钱是给你的酬劳。

乳媪不,真的,先生,我一个钱也不要。

罗密欧别客气了,你还是拿着吧。

乳媪今天下午吗,先生?好,她一定会去的。

罗密欧好奶妈,请你在这寺墙后面等一等,就在这一点钟之内,我要叫我的仆人去拿一捆扎得像船上的软梯一样的绳子来给你带去;在秘密的夜里,我要凭着它攀登我的幸福的尖端。再会!愿你对我们忠心,我一定不会有负你的辛劳。再会!替我向你的小姐致意。

乳媪天上的上帝保佑您!先生,我对您说。

罗密欧你有什么话说,我的好奶妈?

乳媪您那仆人可靠得住吗?您没听见古话说,两个人知道是秘密,三个人知道就不是秘密吗?

罗密欧你放心吧,我的仆人是最可靠不过的。

乳媪好先生,我那小姐是个最可爱的姑娘——主啊!主啊!——那时候她还是个咿咿呀呀怪会说话的小东西——啊!本地有一位叫做帕里斯的贵人,他巴不得把我家小姐抢到手里;可是她,好人儿,瞧他比瞧一只蛤蟆还讨厌。我有时候对她说帕里斯人品不错,你才不知道哩,她一听见这样的话,就会气得面如土色。请问罗丝玛丽花③(即“迷迭香”(Rosemary),是婚礼常用的花。 )和罗密欧是不是同样一个字开头的呀?

罗密欧是呀,奶妈;怎么样?都是罗字起头的哪。

乳媪啊,你开玩笑哩!那是狗的名字啊;阿罗就是那个——不对;我知道一定是另一个字开头的——她还把你同罗丝玛丽花连在一起,我也不懂,反正你听了一定喜欢的。

罗密欧替我向你小姐致意。

乳媪一定一定。(罗密欧下)彼得!

彼得有!

乳媪给我带路,拿着我的扇子,快些走。(同下。)