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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
THE PROLOGUE [Enter Chorus.]
CHORUS Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which but their children's end naught could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which, if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. [Exeunt.]
ACT I. Scene I. A public place.
[Enter Sampson and Gregory armed with swords and bucklers.]
SAMPSON Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals.
GREGORY No, for then we should be colliers.
SAMPSON I mean, an we be in choler we'll draw.
GREGORY Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o' the collar.
SAMPSON I strike quickly, being moved.
GREGORY But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
SAMPSON A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
GREGORY To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand:
therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.
SAMPSON A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's.
GREGORY That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the
SAMPSON True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague's men
from the wall and thrust his maids to the wall.
GREGORY The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
SAMPSON 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant:
when I have fought with the men I will be cruel with the maids, I will cut off their heads.
GREGORY The heads of the maids?
SAMPSON Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads;
take it in what sense thou wilt.
GREGORY They must take it in sense that feel it.
SAMPSON Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and 'tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
GREGORY 'Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst,
thou hadst been poor-John.--Draw thy tool; Here comes two of the house of Montagues.
SAMPSON My naked weapon is out: quarrel! I will back thee.
GREGORY How! turn thy back and run?
SAMPSON Fear me not.
GREGORY No, marry; I fear thee!
SAMPSON Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.
GREGORY I will frown as I pass by; and let them take it as they list.
SAMPSON Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is
disgrace to them if they bear it. [Enter Abraham and Balthasar.]
ABRAHAM Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
SAMPSON I do bite my thumb, sir.
ABRAHAM Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
SAMPSON Is the law of our side if I say ay?
SAMPSON No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my
GREGORY Do you quarrel, sir?
ABRAHAM Quarrel, sir! no, sir.
SAMPSON But if you do, sir, am for you: I serve as good a man as
ABRAHAM No better.
SAMPSON Well, sir.
GREGORY Say better; here comes one of my master's kinsmen.
SAMPSON Yes, better, sir.
ABRAHAM You lie.
SAMPSON Draw, if you be men.--Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.
[They fight.] [Enter Benvolio.]
BENVOLIO Part, fools! put up your swords; you know not what you do.
[Beats down their swords.] [Enter Tybalt.]
TYBALT What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
Turn thee Benvolio, look upon thy death.
BENVOLIO I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword, Or manage it to part these men with me.
TYBALT What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee: Have at thee, coward!
[They fight.] [Enter several of both Houses, who join the fray; then enter
Citizens with clubs.]
1 CITIZEN Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down! Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!
[Enter Capulet in his gown, and Lady Capulet.]
CAPULET What noise is this?--Give me my long sword, ho!
LADY CAPULET A crutch, a crutch!--Why call you for a sword?
CAPULET My sword, I say!--Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me. [Enter Montague and his Lady Montague.]
MONTAGUE Thou villain Capulet!-- Hold me not, let me go.
LADY MONTAGUE Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.
[Enter Prince, with Attendants.]
PRINCE Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,--
Will they not hear?--What, ho! you men, you beasts, That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins,-- On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistemper'd weapons to the ground And hear the sentence of your moved prince.--
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb'd the quiet of our streets; And made Verona's ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate: If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. For this time, all the rest depart away:--
You, Capulet, shall go along with me;-- And, Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our farther pleasure in this case, To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.--
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. [Exeunt Prince and Attendants; Capulet, Lady Capulet, Tybalt,
Citizens, and Servants.]
MONTAGUE Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?--
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
BENVOLIO Here were the servants of your adversary And yours, close fighting ere I did approach:
I drew to part them: in the instant came The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar'd;
Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears, He swung about his head, and cut the winds,
Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn: While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more, and fought on part and part, Till the prince came, who parted either part.
LADY MONTAGUE O, where is Romeo?--saw you him to-day?--
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
BENVOLIO Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun Peer'd forth the golden window of the east,
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad; Where,--underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from the city's side,-- So early walking did I see your son:
Towards him I made; but he was ware of me, And stole into the covert of the wood:
I, measuring his affections by my own,-- That most are busied when they're most alone,--
Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his, And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.
MONTAGUE Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew, Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs:
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun Should in the farthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed, Away from light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself; Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out
And makes himself an artificial night: Black and portentous must this humour prove,
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
BENVOLIO My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
MONTAGUE I neither know it nor can learn of him.
BENVOLIO Have you importun'd him by any means?
MONTAGUE Both by myself and many other friends;
But he, his own affections' counsellor, Is to himself,--I will not say how true,--
But to himself so secret and so close, So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
We would as willingly give cure as know.
BENVOLIO See, where he comes: so please you step aside; I'll know his grievance or be much denied.
MONTAGUE I would thou wert so happy by thy stay
To hear true shrift.--Come, madam, let's away, [Exeunt Montague and Lady.]
BENVOLIO Good morrow, cousin.
ROMEO Is the day so young?
BENVOLIO But new struck nine.
ROMEO Ay me! sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?
BENVOLIO It was.--What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?
ROMEO Not having that which, having, makes them short.
BENVOLIO In love?
BENVOLIO Of love?
ROMEO Out of her favour where I am in love.
BENVOLIO Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
ROMEO Alas that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!-- Where shall we dine?--O me!--What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here's much to do with hate, but more with love:--
Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O anything, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!--
This love feel I, that feel no love in this. Dost thou not laugh?
BENVOLIO No, coz, I rather weep.
ROMEO Good heart, at what?
BENVOLIO At thy good heart's oppression.
ROMEO Why, such is love's transgression.--
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast; Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest
With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs; Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears: What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.-- Farewell, my coz.
BENVOLIO Soft! I will go along: An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
ROMEO Tut! I have lost myself; I am not here:
This is not Romeo, he's some other where.
BENVOLIO Tell me in sadness who is that you love?
ROMEO What, shall I groan and tell thee?
BENVOLIO Groan! why, no;
But sadly tell me who.
ROMEO Bid a sick man in sadness make his will,--
Ah, word ill urg'd to one that is so ill!-- In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
BENVOLIO I aim'd so near when I suppos'd you lov'd.
ROMEO A right good markman!--And she's fair I love.
BENVOLIO A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
ROMEO Well, in that hit you miss: she'll not be hit
With Cupid's arrow,--she hath Dian's wit; And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd,
From love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd. She will not stay the siege of loving terms
Nor bide th' encounter of assailing eyes, Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold:
O, she's rich in beauty; only poor That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store.
BENVOLIO Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?
ROMEO She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;
For beauty, starv'd with her severity, Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise; wisely too fair, To merit bliss by making me despair:
She hath forsworn to love; and in that vow Do I live dead that live to tell it now.
BENVOLIO Be rul'd by me, forget to think of her.
ROMEO O, teach me how I should forget to think.
BENVOLIO By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.
ROMEO 'Tis the way To call hers, exquisite, in question more:
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies' brows, Being black, puts us in mind they hide the fair;
He that is strucken blind cannot forget The precious treasure of his eyesight lost:
Show me a mistress that is passing fair, What doth her beauty serve but as a note
Where I may read who pass'd that passing fair? Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.
BENVOLIO I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.
Scene II. A Street. [Enter Capulet, Paris, and Servant.]
CAPULET But Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think, For men so old as we to keep the peace.
PARIS Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity 'tis you liv'd at odds so long. But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
CAPULET But saying o'er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world, She hath not seen the change of fourteen years;
Let two more summers wither in their pride Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
PARIS Younger than she are happy mothers made.
CAPULET And too soon marr'd are those so early made.
The earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she,-- She is the hopeful lady of my earth:
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart, My will to her consent is but a part;
An she agree, within her scope of choice Lies my consent and fair according voice.
This night I hold an old accustom'd feast, Whereto I have invited many a guest,
Such as I love; and you among the store, One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
At my poor house look to behold this night Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light:
Such comfort as do lusty young men feel When well apparell'd April on the heel
Of limping winter treads, even such delight Among fresh female buds shall you this night
Inherit at my house; hear all, all see, And like her most whose merit most shall be:
Which, among view of many, mine, being one, May stand in number, though in reckoning none.
Come, go with me.--Go, sirrah, trudge about Through fair Verona; find those persons out
Whose names are written there, [gives a paper] and to them say, My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.
[Exeunt Capulet and Paris].
SERVANT Find them out whose names are written here! It is written that the shoemaker should meddle with
his yard and the tailor with his last, the fisher with his pencil, and the painter with his nets; but I am
sent to find those persons whose names are here writ, and can never find what names the writing person
hath here writ. I must to the learned:--in good time! [Enter Benvolio and Romeo.]
BENVOLIO Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning,
One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish; Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;
One desperate grief cures with another's languish: Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.
ROMEO Your plantain-leaf is excellent for that.
BENVOLIO For what, I pray thee?
ROMEO For your broken shin.
BENVOLIO Why, Romeo, art thou mad?
ROMEO Not mad, but bound more than a madman is;
Shut up in prison, kept without my food, Whipp'd and tormented and--God-den, good fellow.
SERVANT God gi' go-den.--I pray, sir, can you read?
ROMEO Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
SERVANT Perhaps you have learned it without book:
but I pray, can you read anything you see?
ROMEO Ay, If I know the letters and the language.
SERVANT Ye say honestly: rest you merry!
ROMEO Stay, fellow; I can read. [Reads.] 'Signior Martino and his wife and daughters;
County Anselmo and his beauteous sisters; the lady widow of Vitruvio; Signior Placentio and
his lovely nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine; mine uncle Capulet, his wife, and
daughters; my fair niece Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio and his cousin Tybalt; Lucio and the
lively Helena.' A fair assembly. [Gives back the paper]: whither should they
SERVANT To supper; to our house.
ROMEO Whose house?
SERVANT My master's.
ROMEO Indeed I should have ask'd you that before.
SERVANT Now I'll tell you without asking: my master is the great
rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine. Rest you merry!
BENVOLIO At this same ancient feast of Capulet's Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lov'st;
With all the admired beauties of Verona. Go thither; and, with unattainted eye,
Compare her face with some that I shall show, And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
ROMEO When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires; And these,--who, often drown'd, could never die,--
Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars! One fairer than my love? the all-seeing sun
Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun.
BENVOLIO Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by, Herself pois'd with herself in either eye:
But in that crystal scales let there be weigh'd Your lady's love against some other maid
That I will show you shining at this feast, And she shall scant show well that now shows best.
ROMEO I'll go along, no such sight to be shown,
But to rejoice in splendour of my own. [Exeunt.]
Scene III. Room in Capulet's House. [Enter Lady Capulet, and Nurse.]
LADY CAPULET Nurse, where's my daughter? call her forth to me.
NURSE Now, by my maidenhea,--at twelve year old,--
I bade her come.--What, lamb! what ladybird!-- God forbid!--where's this girl?--what, Juliet!
JULIET How now, who calls?
NURSE Your mother.
JULIET Madam, I am here. What is your will?
LADY CAPULET This is the matter,--Nurse, give leave awhile,
We must talk in secret: nurse, come back again; I have remember'd me, thou's hear our counsel.
Thou knowest my daughter's of a pretty age.
NURSE Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.
LADY CAPULET She's not fourteen.
NURSE I'll lay fourteen of my teeth,--
And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four,-- She is not fourteen. How long is it now
LADY CAPULET A fortnight and odd days.
NURSE Even or odd, of all days in the year,
Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen. Susan and she,--God rest all Christian souls!--
Were of an age: well, Susan is with God; She was too good for me:--but, as I said,
On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen; That shall she, marry; I remember it well.
'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years; And she was wean'd,--I never shall forget it--,
Of all the days of the year, upon that day: For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall; My lord and you were then at Mantua:
Nay, I do bear a brain:--but, as I said, When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool, To see it tetchy, and fall out with the dug!
Shake, quoth the dove-house: 'twas no need, I trow, To bid me trudge.
And since that time it is eleven years; For then she could stand alone; nay, by the rood
She could have run and waddled all about; For even the day before, she broke her brow:
And then my husband,--God be with his soul! 'A was a merry man,--took up the child:
'Yea,' quoth he, 'dost thou fall upon thy face? Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;
Wilt thou not, Jule?' and, by my holidame, The pretty wretch left crying, and said 'Ay:'
To see now how a jest shall come about! I warrant, an I should live a thousand yeas,
I never should forget it; 'Wilt thou not, Jule?' quoth he; And, pretty fool, it stinted, and said 'Ay.'
LADY CAPULET Enough of this; I pray thee hold thy peace.
NURSE Yes, madam;--yet I cannot choose but laugh,
To think it should leave crying, and say 'Ay:' And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow
A bump as big as a young cockerel's stone; A parlous knock; and it cried bitterly.
'Yea,' quoth my husband, 'fall'st upon thy face? Thou wilt fall backward when thou com'st to age;
Wilt thou not, Jule?' it stinted, and said 'Ay.'
JULIET And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.
NURSE Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace!
Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd: An I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish.
LADY CAPULET Marry, that marry is the very theme
I came to talk of.--Tell me, daughter Juliet, How stands your disposition to be married?
JULIET It is an honour that I dream not of.
NURSE An honour!--were not I thine only nurse,
I would say thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat.
LADY CAPULET Well, think of marriage now: younger than you,
Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, Are made already mothers: by my count
I was your mother much upon these years That you are now a maid. Thus, then, in brief;--
The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.
NURSE A man, young lady! lady, such a man
As all the world--why he's a man of wax.
LADY CAPULET Verona's summer hath not such a flower.
NURSE Nay, he's a flower, in faith, a very flower.
LADY CAPULET What say you? can you love the gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our feast; Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,
And find delight writ there with beauty's pen; Examine every married lineament,
And see how one another lends content; And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies
Find written in the margent of his eyes. This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover: The fish lives in the sea; and 'tis much pride
For fair without the fair within to hide: That book in many's eyes doth share the glory,
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story; So shall you share all that he doth possess,
By having him, making yourself no less.
NURSE No less! nay, bigger; women grow by men
LADY CAPULET Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love?
JULIET I'll look to like, if looking liking move: But no more deep will I endart mine eye
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly. [Enter a Servant.]
SERVANT Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you
called, my young lady asked for, the nurse cursed in the pantry, and everything in extremity. I must
hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.
LADY CAPULET We follow thee. [Exit Servant.]--
Juliet, the county stays.
NURSE Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days. [Exeunt.]
Scene IV. A Street. [Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or six Maskers;
Torch-bearers, and others.]
ROMEO What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse? Or shall we on without apology?
BENVOLIO The date is out of such prolixity:
We'll have no Cupid hoodwink'd with a scarf, Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper; Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
After the prompter, for our entrance: But, let them measure us by what they will,
We'll measure them a measure, and be gone.
ROMEO Give me a torch,--I am not for this ambling;
Being but heavy, I will bear the light.
MERCUTIO Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.
ROMEO Not I, believe me: you have dancing shoes, With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.
MERCUTIO You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings, And soar with them above a common bound.
ROMEO I am too sore enpierced with his shaft
To soar with his light feathers; and so bound, I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe:
Under love's heavy burden do I sink.
MERCUTIO And, to sink in it, should you burden love; Too great oppression for a tender thing.
ROMEO Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous; and it pricks like thorn.
MERCUTIO If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.-- Give me a case to put my visage in: [Putting on a mask.]
A visard for a visard! what care I What curious eye doth quote deformities?
Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me.
BENVOLIO Come, knock and enter; and no sooner in
But every man betake him to his legs.
ROMEO A torch for me: let wantons, light of heart, Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels;
For I am proverb'd with a grandsire phrase,-- I'll be a candle-holder and look on,--
The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done.
MERCUTIO Tut, dun's the mouse, the constable's own word: If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire
Of this--sir-reverence--love, wherein thou stick'st Up to the ears.--Come, we burn daylight, ho.
ROMEO Nay, that's not so.
MERCUTIO I mean, sir, in delay
We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day. Take our good meaning, for our judgment sits
Five times in that ere once in our five wits.
ROMEO And we mean well, in going to this mask; But 'tis no wit to go.
MERCUTIO Why, may one ask?
ROMEO I dreamt a dream to-night.
MERCUTIO And so did I.
ROMEO Well, what was yours?
MERCUTIO That dreamers often lie.
ROMEO In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.
MERCUTIO O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife; and she comes In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman, Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep: Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers; The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's watery beams; Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;
Her waggoner, a small grey-coated gnat, Not half so big as a round little worm
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid: Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub, Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
O'er courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies straight; O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream,-- Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are: Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit; And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
Tickling a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep, Then dreams he of another benefice:
Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck, And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes; And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab That plats the manes of horses in the night;
And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs, Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs, That presses them, and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage: This is she,--
ROMEO Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace,
Thou talk'st of nothing.
MERCUTIO True, I talk of dreams, Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy; Which is as thin of substance as the air,
And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence, Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.
BENVOLIO This wind you talk of blows us from ourselves:
Supper is done, and we shall come too late.
ROMEO I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars, Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night's revels; and expire the term Of a despised life, clos'd in my breast,
By some vile forfeit of untimely death: But He that hath the steerage of my course
Direct my sail!--On, lusty gentlemen!
BENVOLIO Strike, drum. [Exeunt.]
Scene V. A Hall in Capulet's House. [Musicians waiting. Enter Servants.]
1 SERVANT Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away?
he shift a trencher! he scrape a trencher!
2 SERVANT When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's hands, and they unwash'd too, 'tis a foul thing.
1 SERVANT Away with the join-stools, remove the court-cupboard, look
to the plate:--good thou, save me a piece of marchpane; and as thou loves me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell.--
Antony! and Potpan!
2 SERVANT Ay, boy, ready.
1 SERVANT You are looked for and called for, asked for
and sought for in the great chamber.
2 SERVANT We cannot be here and there too.--Cheerly, boys; be brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.
[They retire behind.] [Enter Capulet, &c. with the Guests the Maskers.]
CAPULET Welcome, gentlemen! ladies that have their toes
Unplagu'd with corns will have a bout with you.-- Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all
Will now deny to dance? she that makes dainty, she, I'll swear hath corns; am I come near you now?
Welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day That I have worn a visard; and could tell
A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, Such as would please;--'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis gone:
You are welcome, gentlemen!--Come, musicians, play. A hall--a hall! give room! and foot it, girls.--
[Music plays, and they dance.] More light, you knaves; and turn the tables up,
And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.-- Ah, sirrah, this unlook'd-for sport comes well.
Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet; For you and I are past our dancing days;
How long is't now since last yourself and I Were in a mask?
2 CAPULET By'r Lady, thirty years.
CAPULET What, man! 'tis not so much, 'tis not so much:
'Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio, Come Pentecost as quickly as it will,
Some five-and-twenty years; and then we mask'd.
2 CAPULET 'Tis more, 'tis more: his son is elder, sir; His son is thirty.
CAPULET Will you tell me that?
His son was but a ward two years ago.
ROMEO What lady is that, which doth enrich the hand Of yonder knight?
SERVANT I know not, sir.
ROMEO O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.
TYBALT This, by his voice, should be a Montague.-- Fetch me my rapier, boy:--what, dares the slave
Come hither, cover'd with an antic face, To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, To strike him dead I hold it not a sin.
CAPULET Why, how now, kinsman! wherefore storm you so?
TYBALT Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe;
A villain, that is hither come in spite, To scorn at our solemnity this night.
CAPULET Young Romeo, is it?
TYBALT 'Tis he, that villain, Romeo.
CAPULET Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone,
He bears him like a portly gentleman; And, to say truth, Verona brags of him
To be a virtuous and well-govern'd youth: I would not for the wealth of all the town
Here in my house do him disparagement: Therefore be patient, take no note of him,--
It is my will; the which if thou respect, Show a fair presence and put off these frowns,
An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.
TYBALT It fits, when such a villain is a guest: I'll not endure him.
CAPULET He shall be endur'd:
What, goodman boy!--I say he shall;--go to; Am I the master here, or you? go to.
You'll not endure him!--God shall mend my soul, You'll make a mutiny among my guests!
You will set cock-a-hoop! you'll be the man!
TYBALT Why, uncle, 'tis a shame.
CAPULET Go to, go to!
You are a saucy boy. Is't so, indeed?-- This trick may chance to scathe you,--I know what:
You must contrary me! marry, 'tis time.-- Well said, my hearts!--You are a princox; go:
Be quiet, or--More light, more light!--For shame! I'll make you quiet. What!--cheerly, my hearts.
TYBALT Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting. I will withdraw: but this intrusion shall,
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitter gall. [Exit.]
ROMEO [To Juliet.] If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this,-- My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
JULIET Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.
ROMEO Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
JULIET Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
ROMEO O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
JULIET Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.
ROMEO Then move not while my prayer's effect I take.
Thus from my lips, by thine my sin is purg'd. [Kissing her.]
JULIET Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
ROMEO Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urg'd!
Give me my sin again.
JULIET You kiss by the book.
NURSE Madam, your mother craves a word with you.
ROMEO What is her mother?
NURSE Marry, bachelor,
Her mother is the lady of the house. And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous:
I nurs'd her daughter that you talk'd withal; I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks. ROMEO
Is she a Capulet? O dear account! my life is my foe's debt.
BENVOLIO Away, be gone; the sport is at the best.
ROMEO Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest.
CAPULET Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone;
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.-- Is it e'en so? why then, I thank you all;
I thank you, honest gentlemen; good-night.-- More torches here!--Come on then, let's to bed.
Ah, sirrah [to 2 Capulet], by my fay, it waxes late; I'll to my rest.
[Exeunt all but Juliet and Nurse.]
JULIET Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman?
NURSE The son and heir of old Tiberio.
JULIET What's he that now is going out of door?
NURSE Marry, that, I think, be young Petruchio.
JULIET What's he that follows there, that would not dance?
NURSE I know not.
JULIET Go ask his name: if he be married,
My grave is like to be my wedding-bed. NURSE
His name is Romeo, and a Montague; The only son of your great enemy.
JULIET My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy. NURSE
What's this? What's this? JULIET
A rhyme I learn'd even now Of one I danc'd withal.
[One calls within, 'Juliet.'] NURSE
Anon, anon! Come, let's away; the strangers all are gone.
[Exeunt.] [Enter Chorus.]
CHORUS Now old desire doth in his deathbed lie,
And young affection gapes to be his heir; That fair for which love groan'd for, and would die,
With tender Juliet match'd, is now not fair. Now Romeo is belov'd, and loves again,
Alike bewitched by the charm of looks; But to his foe suppos'd he must complain,
And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks: Being held a foe, he may not have access
To breathe such vows as lovers us'd to swear; And she as much in love, her means much less
To meet her new beloved anywhere: But passion lends them power, time means, to meet,
Tempering extremities with extreme sweet. [Exit.]
ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare
ACT II. Scene I. An open place adjoining Capulet's Garden.
ROMEO Can I go forward when my heart is here? Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out.
[He climbs the wall and leaps down within it.] [Enter Benvolio and Mercutio.]
BENVOLIO Romeo! my cousin Romeo!
MERCUTIO He is wise;
And, on my life, hath stol'n him home to bed.
BENVOLIO He ran this way, and leap'd this orchard wall: Call, good Mercutio.
MERCUTIO Nay, I'll conjure too.--
Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover! Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh:
Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied; Cry but 'Ah me!' pronounce but Love and dove;
Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word, One nickname for her purblind son and heir,
Young auburn Cupid, he that shot so trim When King Cophetua lov'd the beggar-maid!--
He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not; The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.--
I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes, By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh, And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
That in thy likeness thou appear to us!
BENVOLIO An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.
MERCUTIO This cannot anger him: 'twould anger him To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle,
Of some strange nature, letting it there stand Till she had laid it, and conjur'd it down;
That were some spite: my invocation Is fair and honest, and, in his mistress' name,
I conjure only but to raise up him.
BENVOLIO Come, he hath hid himself among these trees, To be consorted with the humorous night:
Blind is his love, and best befits the dark.
MERCUTIO If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
Now will he sit under a medlar tree, And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars when they laugh alone.-- Romeo, good night.--I'll to my truckle-bed;
This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep: Come, shall we go?
BENVOLIO Go then; for 'tis in vain
To seek him here that means not to be found. [Exeunt.]
Scene II. Capulet's Garden. [Enter Romeo.]
ROMEO He jests at scars that never felt a wound.--
[Juliet appears above at a window.] But soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!-- Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief, That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious; Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.-- It is my lady; O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!-- She speaks, yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses, I will answer it.-- I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return. What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars, As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright That birds would sing and think it were not night.--
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
JULIET Ah me!
ROMEO She speaks:--
O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,
As is a winged messenger of heaven Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.
JULIET O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
ROMEO [Aside.] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
JULIET 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;--
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title:--Romeo, doff thy name; And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
ROMEO I take thee at thy word: Call me but love, and I'll be new baptiz'd;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
JULIET What man art thou that, thus bescreen'd in night, So stumblest on my counsel?
ROMEO By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am: My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
Because it is an enemy to thee. Had I it written, I would tear the word.
JULIET My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of that tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound; Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?
ROMEO Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.
JULIET How cam'st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb; And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.
ROMEO With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls; For stony limits cannot hold love out:
And what love can do, that dares love attempt; Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.
JULIET If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
ROMEO Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet, And I am proof against their enmity.
JULIET I would not for the world they saw thee here.
ROMEO I have night's cloak to hide me from their sight;
And, but thou love me, let them find me here. My life were better ended by their hate
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.
JULIET By whose direction found'st thou out this place?
ROMEO By love, that first did prompt me to enquire;
He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes. I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far
As that vast shore wash'd with the furthest sea, I would adventure for such merchandise.
JULIET Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face;
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.
Fain would I dwell on form,fain, fain deny What I have spoke; but farewell compliment!
Dost thou love me, I know thou wilt say Ay; And I will take thy word: yet, if thou swear'st,
Thou mayst prove false; at lovers' perjuries, They say Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully: Or if thou thinkest I am too quickly won,
I'll frown, and be perverse, and say thee nay, So thou wilt woo: but else, not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond; And therefore thou mayst think my 'haviour light:
But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
I should have been more strange, I must confess, But that thou overheard'st, ere I was 'ware,
My true-love passion: therefore pardon me; And not impute this yielding to light love,
Which the dark night hath so discovered.
ROMEO Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear,
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops,--
JULIET O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
ROMEO What shall I swear by?
JULIET Do not swear at all;
Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, Which is the god of my idolatry,
And I'll believe thee.
ROMEO If my heart's dear love,--
JULIET Well, do not swear: although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract to-night; It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden;
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be Ere one can say It lightens. Sweet, good night!
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest Come to thy heart as that within my breast!
ROMEO O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
JULIET What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?
ROMEO The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.
JULIET I gave thee mine before thou didst request it;
And yet I would it were to give again.
ROMEO Would'st thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?
JULIET But to be frank and give it thee again.
And yet I wish but for the thing I have; My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.
I hear some noise within: dear love, adieu!-- [Nurse calls within.]
Anon, good nurse!--Sweet Montague, be true. Stay but a little, I will come again.
ROMEO O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard, Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial. [Enter Juliet above.]
JULIET Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honourable, Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,
By one that I'll procure to come to thee, Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay And follow thee, my lord, throughout the world.
NURSE [Within.] Madam!
JULIET I come anon.-- But if thou meanest not well,
I do beseech thee,--
NURSE [Within.] Madam!
JULIET By-and-by I come:--
To cease thy suit and leave me to my grief: To-morrow will I send.
ROMEO So thrive my soul,--
JULIET A thousand times good night!
ROMEO A thousand times the worse, to want thy light!-- Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books;
But love from love, towards school with heavy looks. [Retiring slowly.]
[Re-enter Juliet, above.]
JULIET Hist! Romeo, hist!--O for a falconer's voice
To lure this tassel-gentle back again! Bondage is hoarse and may not speak aloud;
Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies, And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine
With repetition of my Romeo's name.
ROMEO It is my soul that calls upon my name:
How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, Like softest music to attending ears!
ROMEO My dear?
JULIET At what o'clock to-morrow
Shall I send to thee?
ROMEO At the hour of nine.
JULIET I will not fail: 'tis twenty years till then. I have forgot why I did call thee back.
ROMEO Let me stand here till thou remember it.
JULIET I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
Remembering how I love thy company.
ROMEO And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget, Forgetting any other home but this.
JULIET 'Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone:
And yet no farther than a wanton's bird; That lets it hop a little from her hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves, And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.
ROMEO I would I were thy bird.
JULIET Sweet, so would I:
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing. Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. [Exit.]
ROMEO Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!--
Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest! Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell,
His help to crave and my dear hap to tell. [Exit.]
Scene III. Friar Lawrence's Cell. [Enter Friar Lawrence with a basket.]
FRIAR The grey-ey'd morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light; And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels: Non, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and night's dank dew to dry, I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers. The earth, that's nature's mother, is her tomb;
What is her burying gave, that is her womb: And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find; Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some, and yet all different. O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities: For naught so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give; Nor aught so good but, strain'd from that fair use,
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse: Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified. Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence, and medicine power: For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart. Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs,--grace and rude will; And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant. [Enter Romeo.]
ROMEO Good morrow, father!
What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?-- Young son, it argues a distemper'd head
So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed: Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye,
And where care lodges sleep will never lie; But where unbruised youth with unstuff'd brain
Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign: Therefore thy earliness doth me assure
Thou art uprous'd with some distemperature; Or if not so, then here I hit it right,--
Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night.
ROMEO That last is true; the sweeter rest was mine.
FRIAR God pardon sin! wast thou with Rosaline?
ROMEO With Rosaline, my ghostly father? no; I have forgot that name, and that name's woe.
FRIAR That's my good son: but where hast thou been then?
ROMEO I'll tell thee ere thou ask it me again.
I have been feasting with mine enemy; Where, on a sudden, one hath wounded me
That's by me wounded. Both our remedies Within thy help and holy physic lies;
I bear no hatred, blessed man; for, lo, My intercession likewise steads my foe.
FRIAR Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift;
Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.
ROMEO Then plainly know my heart's dear love is set On the fair daughter of rich Capulet:
As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine; And all combin'd, save what thou must combine
By holy marriage: when, and where, and how We met, we woo'd, and made exchange of vow,
I'll tell thee as we pass; but this I pray, That thou consent to marry us to-day.
FRIAR Holy Saint Francis! what a change is here!
Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear, So soon forsaken? young men's love, then, lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes. Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine
Hath wash'd thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline! How much salt water thrown away in waste,
To season love, that of it doth not taste! The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears,
Thy old groans ring yet in mine ancient ears; Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit
Of an old tear that is not wash'd off yet: If e'er thou wast thyself, and these woes thine,
Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline; And art thou chang'd? Pronounce this sentence then,--
Women may fall, when there's no strength in men.
ROMEO Thou chidd'st me oft for loving Rosaline.
FRIAR For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.
ROMEO And bad'st me bury love.
FRIAR Not in a grave
To lay one in, another out to have.
ROMEO I pray thee chide not: she whom I love now Doth grace for grace and love for love allow;
The other did not so.
FRIAR O, she knew well Thy love did read by rote, that could not spell.
But come, young waverer, come go with me, In one respect I'll thy assistant be;
For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households' rancour to pure love.
ROMEO O, let us hence; I stand on sudden haste.
FRIAR Wisely, and slow; they stumble that run fast.
Scene IV. A Street. [Enter Benvolio and Mercutio.]
MERCUTIO Where the devil should this Romeo be?--
Came he not home to-night?
BENVOLIO Not to his father's; I spoke with his man.
MERCUTIO Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline,
Torments him so that he will sure run mad.
BENVOLIO Tybalt, the kinsman to old Capulet, Hath sent a letter to his father's house.
MERCUTIO A challenge, on my life.
BENVOLIO Romeo will answer it.
MERCUTIO Any man that can write may answer a letter.
BENVOLIO Nay, he will answer the letter's master, how he
dares, being dared.
MERCUTIO Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead! stabbed with a white
wench's black eye; shot through the ear with a love song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft:
and is he a man to encounter Tybalt?
BENVOLIO Why, what is Tybalt?
MERCUTIO More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he's the
courageous captain of compliments. He fights as you sing prick-song--keeps time, distance, and proportion; rests me his
minim rest, one, two, and the third in your bosom: the very butcher of a silk button, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of
the very first house,--of the first and second cause: ah, the immortal passado! the punto reverso! the hay.--
BENVOLIO The what?
MERCUTIO The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting fantasticoes; these
new tuners of accents!--'By Jesu, a very good blade!--a very tall man!--a very good whore!'--Why, is not this a lamentable thing,
grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these pardonnez-moi's, who stand so
much on the new form that they cannot sit at ease on the old bench? O, their bons, their bons!
BENVOLIO Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo!
MERCUTIO Without his roe, like a dried herring.--O flesh, flesh, how art
thou fishified!--Now is he for the numbers that Petrarch flowed in: Laura, to his lady, was but a kitchen wench,--marry, she had
a better love to be-rhyme her; Dido, a dowdy; Cleopatra, a gypsy; Helen and Hero, hildings and harlots; Thisbe, a gray eye or so,
but not to the purpose,-- [Enter Romeo.]
Signior Romeo, bon jour! there's a French salutation to your French slop. You gave us the counterfeit fairly last night.
ROMEO Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?
MERCUTIO The slip, sir, the slip; can you not conceive?
ROMEO Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great; and in such a
case as mine a man may strain courtesy.
MERCUTIO That's as much as to say, such a case as yours constrains a man to bow in the hams.
ROMEO Meaning, to court'sy.
MERCUTIO Thou hast most kindly hit it.
ROMEO A most courteous exposition.
MERCUTIO Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.
ROMEO Pink for flower.
ROMEO Why, then is my pump well-flowered.
MERCUTIO Well said: 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, sole singular.
ROMEO O single-soled jest, solely singular for the singleness!
MERCUTIO Come between us, good Benvolio; my wits faint.
ROMEO Swits and spurs, swits and spurs; or I'll cry a match.
MERCUTIO Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have 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
ROMEO Thou wast never with me for anything when thou wast not there for the goose.
MERCUTIO I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.
ROMEO Nay, good goose, bite not.
MERCUTIO Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most sharp
ROMEO And is it not, then, well served in to a sweet goose?
MERCUTIO O, here's a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an inch
narrow to an ell broad!
ROMEO I stretch it out for that word broad: which added to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.
MERCUTIO Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? now art
thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; not art thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature: for this drivelling love is like a
great natural, that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.
BENVOLIO Stop there, stop there.
MERCUTIO Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair.
BENVOLIO Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.
MERCUTIO O, thou art deceived; I would have made it short: for I was
come to the whole depth of my tale; and meant indeed to occupy the argument no longer.
ROMEO Here's goodly gear!
[Enter Nurse and Peter.]
MERCUTIO A sail, a sail, a sail!
BENVOLIO Two, two; a shirt and a smock.
NURSE My fan, Peter.
MERCUTIO Good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan's the fairer face.
NURSE God ye good morrow, gentlemen.
MERCUTIO God ye good-den, fair gentlewoman.
NURSE Is it good-den?
MERCUTIO 'Tis no less, I tell ye; for the bawdy hand of the dial is
now upon the prick of noon.
NURSE Out upon you! what a man are you!
ROMEO One, gentlewoman, that God hath made for himself to mar.
NURSE By my troth, it is well said;--for himself to mar, quoth 'a?--Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I may find the young
ROMEO I can tell you: but young Romeo will be older when you have found him than he was when you sought him: I am the youngest of
that name, for fault of a worse.
NURSE You say well.
MERCUTIO Yea, is the worst well? very well took, i' faith; wisely,
NURSE If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with you.
BENVOLIO She will indite him to some supper.
MERCUTIO A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!
ROMEO What hast thou found?
MERCUTIO No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie, that is
something stale and hoar ere it be spent. [Sings.]
An old hare hoar, And an old hare hoar,
Is very good meat in Lent; But a hare that is hoar
Is too much for a score When it hoars ere it be spent.
Romeo, will you come to your father's? we'll to dinner thither.
ROMEO I will follow you.
MERCUTIO Farewell, ancient lady; farewell,--
[singing] lady, lady, lady. [Exeunt Mercutio, and Benvolio.]
NURSE Marry, farewell!--I pray you, sir, what saucy merchant was
this that was so full of his ropery?
ROMEO A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk; and will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.
NURSE An 'a speak anything against me, I'll take him down, an'a
were lustier than he is, and twenty such Jacks; and if I cannot, I'll find those that shall. Scurvy knave! I am none of his
flirt-gills; I am none of his skains-mates.--And thou must stand by too, and suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure!
PETER I saw no man use you at his pleasure; if I had, my weapon
should quickly have been out, I warrant you: I dare draw as soon as another man, if I see occasion in a good quarrel, and the law
on my side.
NURSE Now, afore God, I am so vexed that every part about me
quivers. Scurvy knave!--Pray you, sir, a word: and, as I told you, my young lady bid me enquire you out; what she bade me say I
will keep to myself: but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a very gross
kind of behaviour, as they say: for the gentlewoman is young; and, therefore, if you should deal double with her, truly it were
an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.
ROMEO Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I protest unto
NURSE Good heart, and i' faith I will tell her as much: Lord, Lord, she will be a joyful woman.
ROMEO What wilt thou tell her, nurse? thou dost not mark me.
NURSE I will tell her, sir,--that you do protest: which, as I
take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.
ROMEO Bid her devise some means to come to shrift This afternoon;