The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Dowden)/Act 4/Scene 2
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
|Cap.||Well, he may chance to do some good on her:|
A peevish[E 3] self-will'd harlotry[E 4] it is.
|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.
- Hall …] Capell.
- Enter …] substantially Q, F, which add after Servingmen "two or three."
- 1. Exit] … omitted Q, F.
- 3, 6. Second Serv.] Malone; Ser. Q, F.
- 9. Exit …] Capell.
- 15. comes … look] Q, F; commeth from confession Q 1.
- 31. reverend holy] Q, F; holy reverent Q 1, Q 5.
- 36. there is] Q, there's F.
- 45. him up F, up him Q.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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."
- 26. becomed] becoming, befitting.
- 33. closet] private chamber, as in Hamlet, II. i. 77.
- 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."
- 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.
- 41. up her] Hudson adopts Lettsom's conjecture her up; so "trim her up," IV. iv. 25.