The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Dowden)/Act 4/Scene 2

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SCENE II.—The Same. Hall[C 1] in Capulet's house.

Enter[C 2] Capulet, Lady Capulet, Nurse, and Servingmen.

Cap. So many guests invite as here are writ.—
[Exit[C 3] Servant.

Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks.[E 1]
Second Serv.[C 4] You shall have none ill, sir, for I'll
try if they can lick their fingers.
Cap. How canst thou try them so?5
Second Serv. Marry, sir, 'tis an ill cook[E 2] that cannot
lick his own fingers: therefore he that cannot
lick his fingers goes not with me.
Cap. Go, be gone.—[Exit[C 5] Second Servant.

We shall be much unfurnish'd for this time.10
What, is my daughter gone to Friar Laurence?

Nurse. Ay, forsooth.
Cap. Well, he may chance to do some good on her:
A peevish[E 3] self-will'd harlotry[E 4] it is.

Enter Juliet.

Nurse. See where she comes from shrift with merry look.[C 6]15
Cap. How now, my headstrong! where have you been gadding?
Jul. Where I have learn'd me to repent the sin
Of disobedient opposition
To you and your behests, and am enjoin'd
By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here,20
To beg your pardon. Pardon, I beseech you!
Henceforward I am ever ruled by you.
Cap. Send for the county; go, tell him of this:
I'll have this knot knit up to-morrow morning.
Jul. I met the youthful lord at Laurence' cell,25
And gave him what becomed[E 5] love I might,
Not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty.
Cap. Why, I am glad on 't; this is well: stand up:
This is as 't should be.—Let me see the county;
Ay, marry, go, I say, and fetch him hither.—30
Now, afore God, this reverend holy[C 7] friar,
All our whole city is much bound to him.
Jul. Nurse, will you go with me into my closet,[E 6]
To help me sort such needful ornaments
As you think fit to furnish me to-morrow?35
Lady Cap. [E 7]No, not till Thursday; there is[C 8] time enough.
Cap. Go, nurse, go with her: we'll to church to-morrow.[Exeunt Juliet and Nurse.
Lady Cap. We shall be short in our provision:
'Tis now near night.[E 8]
Cap. Tush, I will stir about,
And all things shall be well, I warrant thee, wife:40
Go thou to Juliet, help to deck up her;[E 9]
I'll not to bed to-night; let me alone;
I'll play the housewife for this once.—What, ho!—
They are all forth: well, I will walk myself
To County Paris, to prepare him up[C 9]45
Against to-morrow. My heart is wondrous light,
Since this same wayward girl is so reclaim'd.
[Exeunt.


Critical notes

  1. Hall …] Capell.
  2. Enter …] substantially Q, F, which add after Servingmen "two or three."
  3. 1. Exit] … omitted Q, F.
  4. 3, 6. Second Serv.] Malone; Ser. Q, F.
  5. 9. Exit …] Capell.
  6. 15. comes … look] Q, F; commeth from confession Q 1.
  7. 31. reverend holy] Q, F; holy reverent Q 1, Q 5.
  8. 36. there is] Q, there's F.
  9. 45. him up F, up him Q.


Explanatory notes

  1. 2. twenty cunning cooks] The impetuous old Capulet characteristically forgets Tybalt's death, and his intention (III. iv. 27) that the wedding should be almost a private affair.
  2. 6. ill cook] Steevens quotes the adage, as given in Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie (1589): "A bad cooke that cannot his owne fingers lick." It is also given in Heywood's Proverbs (Spenser Soc. ed. 151).
  3. 14. peevish] may mean childish, thoughtless, foolish, as in other passages of Shakespeare, and in Lyly's Endimion, I. i.: "There never was any so peevish to imagine the moone either capable of affection or shape of a mistris." Perhaps childishly perverse is implied.
  4. 14. harlotry] Used much as "slut" might be used at a later date. Compare the description of Lady Mortimer in 1 Henry IV. III. i. 198: "a peevish self-will'd harlotry, one that no persuasion can do good upon."
  5. 26. becomed] becoming, befitting.
  6. 33. closet] private chamber, as in Hamlet, II. i. 77.
  7. 36. Lady Cap.] In Q 1:

    "Moth. I pree thee doo, good Nurse goe in with her,
    Helpe her to sort Tyres, Rebatoes, Chaines,
    And I will come unto you presently."

  8. 39. near night] Malone observes that immediately after Romeo's parting from his bride at daybreak she went to the Friar; she returns, and it is near night. Dramatic time is often dealt with by Shakespeare as subject to dramatic illusion.
  9. 41. up her] Hudson adopts Lettsom's conjecture her up; so "trim her up," IV. iv. 25.