From Romeo and Juliet. Ed. K. Deighton. London: Macmillan.
2. pastry, the room in which paste (i.e. dough baked for the
outside of pies, etc.) is made; formed on the same analogy as
pantry, a room in which bread (Lat. panis, bread,) was kept,
buttery, (i.e. bottlery), a room in which the bottling of wine was
done, spicery, a place where spices were kept. We now use the
word less correctly for the paste itself.
3. the second ... crow'd, the cock has crowed a second time.
4. The curfew-bell, i.e. the bell for covering or putting out the
fires, was formerly rung at night, in the summer at nine, in the
winter at eight, o'clock; and elsewhere Shakespeare uses the
word in its proper signification. It has therefore been supposed
that in the presesn instance what is meant is that the same bell
which was used for the curfew was now rung as the morning
bell, i.e. as the signal to get up and light the fires.
5. baked meats, meat baked in pastry: whether Angelica is
Lady Capulet or the Nurse is uncertain.
6. Spare not for cost, do not be sparing, stingy, on account of
the expense; do not count the cost of what you provide: cotquean, a busy-body in household affairs; the derivation of the
first element of the word is uncertain; -quean, according to
Skeat, is "absolutely the same word as queen, the original sense
being 'woman.'" By some editors this speech is given to Lady
Capulet as being one that the Nurse would not venture to make
to her master; but Dyce points out that in the first quarto
Capulet's answer is "I warrant thee Nurse I have ere now
watcht," etc. Others suppose that considerable latitude of
speech was allowed to a servant who had so long been in the
7. sick, ill.
8. watching, keeping awake; as very frequently in Shakespeare.
11. a mouse-hunt, one who runs after women.
12. But I ... now, but I will take care that you do not sit up
all night for such purposes now.
13. A jealous-hood, what, you are jealous of me, are you?
jealous-hood, jealousy; the abstract for the concrete.
17, 8. I have a head, ... matter, I have a head on my shoulders
(i.e. I have plenty of sense) and shall be able to find out where
the logs are without troubling Peter in the matter; cp. the
Nurse's compliment to herself, i. 3. 29, "Nay, I do bear a brain."
19. Mass, by the mass. i.e. the sacrament of the Eucharist.
20. Thou shalt be logger-head, we'll call you logger-head,
since you boast yourself so keen in finding out logs; logger-head,
i.q. log-head, like block-head, though, as Skeat points out, it is
difficult to account for the syllable -er. Possibly the word was
originally 'loggat-head,' loggats or loggats being small blocks of
wood thrown at fruit which could not otherwise be got at.
21. music, i.e. the band of musicians who were to play the
"hunt's-up" to awaken the bride on the wedding morning; see
note on iii. 5. 34; the word in this sense occurs frequently in
Shakespeare: straight, straightway, immediately.
26. the bridegroom he. For the insertion of the pronoun, see
Abb. § 243.
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_4.html >.