From Romeo and Juliet. Ed. K. Deighton. London: Macmillan.
2. twenty. "Twenty cooks for half-a-dozen guests! Either
Capulet has altered his mind strangely, or Shakespeare forgot
what he had just made him tell us [iii. 4. 27, 'Therefore we'll
have some half-a-dozen friends And there an end']" (Ritson).
5. try them, test them, see what they are fit for.
6, 7. 'tis an ill ... fingers. For this adage Steevens quotes
Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, "As the old cocke crowes
so doeth the chick: A bad cooke that cannot his owne fingers
lick"; the licking of the fingers being for the purpose of testing
the food he is cooking.
7, 8. goes not with me, will not be engaged by me.
10. unfurnish'd, unprepared; so used in H. V. i. 2. 148, of
England not prepared for defence.
15. my headstrong, sc. one, my obstinate girl: gadding, used
in a contemptuous way, going about from place to place in an
aimless way, as if she was not likely to have any settled or useful
16. learn'd me, learned for myself, to my profit; see Abb. § 220.
21. I am ever ruled, I am and ever shall be obedient to your
25. becomed love, becoming, decorous, marks of love; the passive participle for the active.
26. Not stepping o'er, without exceeding, transgressing, the,
30, 1. Now, afore ... him. A confusion of constructions between
'Now, afore God, all our city is much bound to this reverend
holy friar,' and 'Now, afore God, this reverend holy friar has
laid the whole city under great obligations': afore God, I say it in the presence of God, i.e. I call God to witness the truth of
what I say. Cp. above, iii. 4. 34.
32. closet, private room, or cupboard, for keeping clothes.
33. To help me sort, to help me to choose out; for the omission
of 'to' before sort, see Abb. § 349. The idiom is still in use
among Scotch people.
34. to furnish me, to dress me, for me to wear; cp. M. A. iii. 1. 103, "Come, go in: I'll show thee some attires, and have
thy counsel Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow"; said by
Hero to her Nurse on the eve of her marriage.
37. We shall be ... provision, if the wedding takes place a day
before that already fixed, our arrangements for its celebration
will be incomplete; provision includes everything necessary for
the feast; cp. Lear, ii. 4. 208, "I am now from home, and out of
that provision Which shall be needful for your entertainment."
38. I will stir about, I will busy myself in hurrying on the
40. to deck up her, in 1. 45, below, we have "prepare him up"
(quartos "prepare up him") and in iv. 4. 25, "trim her up";
and as there is no reason for emphasis here, Lettsom would transpose the adverb and pronoun.
41. let me alone, do not interfere with me, leave me to manage
matters in my own way; said with a self-satisfied air of confidence in his powers to smooth away all difficulties.
42. I'll play ... once, for once and away I will take upon myself
to see to household affairs.
43. They are all forth, all the servants are out of doors, none of
them within call.
45. Against, see note on iii. 4. 32.
46. wayward, perverse; "originally a headless form of aweiward, adverb... Thus wayward is away-ward, i.e. turned away, perverse.... It is a parallel formation to fro-ward. It is now
often made to mean bent on one's way" ... (Skeat, Ety. Dict.):
reclaim'd, brought to her right senses; a metaphor from falconry,
in which sport to 'reclaim' (i.e. to call back) a hawk was to bring
it back to obedience in stooping to the lure; thus Cotgrave,
"Reclame, a loud calling, whooting, whooping, to make a Hawk
stoop unto the lure"; cp. Haml. ii. 1. 34, "A savageness in
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Ed. K. Deighton. London: Macmillan, 1916. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/romeo_4_2.html >.