Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 4

MERCUTIO.
The slip, 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.
Swits and spurs, swits 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 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, then, 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; not 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.

Continued on next page...

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