Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 4

page Act 2 Scene 4 Page 4

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ROMEO

Why, then is my pump well flowered.

ROMEO

Well, then my

pump

Romeo plays along: pump= shoe and penis.

pump
is well decorated with flowers.

MERCUTIO

30Sure wit, 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 solely singular.

MERCUTIO

Alright my witty friend, this joke has worn out your pump. Its thin skin is all worn out. The joke is all you have left.

ROMEO

O single-soled jest, solely singular for the singleness.

ROMEO

This is a bad joke. It’s all silliness.

MERCUTIO

Come between us, good Benvolio. My wits faints.

MERCUTIO

Come break this up, Benvolio. I’m losing this duel of wits.

ROMEO

Switch and spurs, switch and spurs, or I’ll cry a match.

ROMEO

Keep going, keep going, or I’ll declare myself the winner.

MERCUTIO

Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am 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?

MERCUTIO

Now, if our jokes go on a wild-goose chase, I’m finished. You have more wild goose in one of your jokes than I have in five of mine. Was I even close to you in the chase for the goose?

ROMEO

35Thou wast never with me for anything when thou wast not there for the goose.

ROMEO

You were never with me for anything if you weren’t there for the goose.

Romeo implies that Mercutio is only good for jokes.

MERCUTIO

I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.

MERCUTIO

I’ll bite you on the ear for that joke.

ROMEO

Nay, good goose, bite not.

ROMEO

No, good goose, don’t bite me.

MERCUTIO

Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting. It is a most sharp sauce.

MERCUTIO

Your joke is a very bitter apple. Your humor is a spicy sauce.

ROMEO

And is it not well served into a sweet goose?

ROMEO

Then isn’t it just the right dish for a sweet goose?

MERCUTIO

40Oh, here’s a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad!

MERCUTIO

Oh, that’s a joke made out of leather that spreads itself thin, from the width of an inch to as fat as a yard.