A lane by the wall of Capulet’s orchard.

Act II

. Scene I.

A lane by the wall of Capulet’s orchard.

Enter Romeo alone.

Rom. Can I go forward when my heart is here?

Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out.

[Climbs the wall and leaps down within it.]

Enter Benvolio with Mercutio.

Ben. Romeo! my cousin Romeo! Romeo!

Mer. He is wise,

And, on my life, hath stol’n him home to bed.

Ben. He ran this way, and leapt this orchard wall.

Call, good Mercutio.

Mer. 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 ‘Ay me!’ pronounce but ‘love’ and ‘dove’;

Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,

One nickname for her purblind son and heir,

Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim

When King Cophetua lov’d the beggar maid!

He heareth not, he stirreth not, be 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!

Ben. An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.

Mer. 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: in his mistress’ name,

I conjure only but to raise up him.

Ben. Come, he hath hid himself among these trees

To be consorted with the humorous night.

Blind is his love and best befits the dark.

Mer. 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.

O, Romeo, that she were, O that she were

An open et cetera, thou a pop’rin pear!

Romeo, good night. I’ll to my truckle-bed;

This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep.

Come, shall we go?

Ben. Go then, for ’tis in vain

‘To seek him here that means not to be found.


Scene II.

Capulet’s orchard.

Enter Romeo.

Rom. He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

Enter Juliet 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!

Jul. Ay me!

Rom. 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 wond’ring 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.

Jul. 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.

Rom. [aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

Jul. ‘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.

Rom. I take thee at thy word.

Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d;

Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

Jul. What man art thou that, thus bescreen’d in night,

So stumblest on my counsel?

Rom. 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.

Jul. 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?

Rom. Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.

Jul. 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.

Rom. 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.

Jul. If they do see thee, they will murther thee.

Rom. Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye

Than twenty of their swords! Look thou but sweet,

And I am proof against their enmity.

Jul. I would not for the world they saw thee here.

Rom. 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.

Jul. By whose direction found’st thou out this place?

Rom. 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 farthest sea,

I would adventure for such merchandise.

Jul. 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.

Rom. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear,

That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops-

Jul. O, swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon,

That monthly changes in her circled orb,

Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

Rom. What shall I swear by?

Jul. 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.

Rom. If my heart’s dear love-

Jul. 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 flow’r when next we meet.

Good night, good night! As sweet repose and rest

Come to thy heart as that within my breast!

Rom. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

Jul. What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?

Rom. Th’ exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.

Jul. I gave thee mine before thou didst request it;

And yet I would it were to give again.

Rom. Would’st thou withdraw it? For what purpose, love?

Jul. 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. [Exit.]

Rom. 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.

Jul. 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!

Jul. I come, anon.- But if thou meanest not well,

I do beseech thee-

Nurse. (within) Madam!

Jul. By-and-by I come.-

To cease thy suit and leave me to my grief.

To-morrow will I send.

Rom. So thrive my soul-

Jul. A thousand times good night! Exit.

Rom. 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.

Enter Juliet again, [above].

Jul. 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.


Rom. It is my soul that calls upon my name.

How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,

Like softest music to attending ears!

Jul. Romeo!

Rom. My dear?

Jul. At what o’clock to-morrow

Shall I send to thee?

Rom. By the hour of nine.

Jul. I will not fail. ‘Tis twenty years till then.

I have forgot why I did call thee back.

Rom. Let me stand here till thou remember it.

Jul. I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,

Rememb’ring how I love thy company.

Rom. And I’ll still stay, to have thee still forget,

Forgetting any other home but this.

Jul. ‘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.

Rom. I would I were thy bird.

Jul. 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.


Rom. 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.


Scene III.

Friar Laurence’s cell.

Enter Friar, [Laurence] alone, with a basket.

Friar. The grey-ey’d morn smiles on the frowning night,

Check’ring 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 sometime’s 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.

Rom. Good morrow, father.

Friar. Benedicite!

What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?

Young son, it argues a distempered 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 distemp’rature;

Or if not so, then here I hit it right-

Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night.

Rom. That last is true-the sweeter rest was mine.

Friar. God pardon sin! Wast thou with Rosaline?

Rom. 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?

Rom. 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.

Rom. 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.

Rom. Thou chid’st me oft for loving Rosaline.

Friar. For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.

Rom. And bad’st me bury love.

Friar. Not in a grave

To lay one in, another out to have.

Rom. 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.

Rom. 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.

Mer. Where the devil should this Romeo be?

Came he not home to-night?

Ben. Not to his father’s. I spoke with his man.

Mer. Why, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline,

Torments him so that he will sure run mad.

Ben. Tybalt, the kinsman to old Capulet,

Hath sent a letter to his father’s house.

Mer. A challenge, on my life.

Ben. Romeo will answer it.

Mer. Any man that can write may answer a letter.

Ben. Nay, he will answer the letter’s master, how he dares,

being dared.

Mer. Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead! stabb’d 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?

Ben. Why, what is Tybalt?

Mer. More than Prince of Cats, I can tell you. O, he’s the

courageous captain of compliments. He fights as you sing

pricksong-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 reverse! the hay.

Ben. The what?

Mer. The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting fantasticoes-

these new tuners of accent! ‘By Jesu, a very good blade! a very

tall man! a very good whore!’ Why, is not this a lamentable thing,

grandsir, that we should be thus afflicted with these strange

flies, these fashion-mongers, these pardona-mi’s, who stand

so much on the new form that they cannot sit at ease on the old

bench? O, their bones, their bones!

Enter Romeo.

Ben. Here comes Romeo! here comes Romeo!

Mer. 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 berhyme her), Dido a dowdy, Cleopatra a gypsy,

Helen and Hero hildings and harlots, This be a gray eye or so,

but not to the purpose. Signior Romeo, bon jour! There’s a French

salutation to your French slop. You gave us the counterfeit

fairly last night.

Rom. Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?

Mer. The slip, sir, the slip. Can you not conceive?

Rom. Pardon, good Mercutio. My business was great, and in such a

case as mine a man may strain courtesy.

Mer. That’s as much as to say, such a case as yours constrains a

man to bow in the hams.

Rom. Meaning, to cursy.

Mer. Thou hast most kindly hit it.

Rom. A most courteous exposition.

Mer. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.

Rom. Pink for flower.

Mer. Right.

Rom. Why, then is my pump well-flower’d.

Mer. 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, solely singular.

Rom. O single-sold jest, solely singular for the singleness!

Mer. Come between us, good Benvolio! My wits faint.

Rom. Swits and spurs, swits and spurs! or I’ll cry a match.

Mer. 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?

Rom. Thou wast never with me for anything when thou wast not

there for the goose.

Mer. I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.

Rom. Nay, good goose, bite not!

Mer. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most sharp sauce.

Rom. And is it not, then, well serv’d in to a sweet goose?

Mer. O, here’s a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an inch

narrow to an ell broad!

Rom. I stretch it out for that word ‘broad,’ which, added to

the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.

Mer. Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? Now

art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now 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.

Ben. Stop there, stop there!

Mer. Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair.

Ben. Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.

Mer. O, thou art deceiv’d! 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.

Rom. Here’s goodly gear!

Enter Nurse and her Man [Peter].

Mer. A sail, a sail!

Ben. Two, two! a shirt and a smock.

Nurse. Peter!

Peter. Anon.

Nurse. My fan, Peter.

Mer. Good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan’s the fairer face of

the two.

Nurse. God ye good morrow, gentlemen.

Mer. God ye good-den, fair gentlewoman.

Nurse. Is it good-den?

Mer. ‘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!

Rom. 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?

Rom. 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.

Mer. Yea, is the worst well? Very well took, i’ faith! wisely,


Nurse. If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with you.

Ben. She will endite him to some supper.

Mer. A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!

Rom. What hast thou found?

Mer. No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie, that is

something stale and hoar ere it be spent

He walks by them and 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.

Rom. I will follow you.

Mer. Farewell, ancient lady. Farewell,

[sings] lady, lady, lady.

Exeunt Mercutio, Benvolio.

Nurse. Marry, farewell! I Pray you, Sir, what saucy merchant

was this that was so full of his ropery?

Rom. 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


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 bid 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 off’red to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.

Rom. 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.

Rom. 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.

Rom. Bid her devise

Some means to come to shrift this afternoon;

And there she shall at Friar Laurence’ cell

Be shriv’d and married. Here is for thy pains.

Nurse. No, truly, sir; not a penny.

Rom. Go to! I say you shall.

Nurse. This afternoon, sir? Well, she shall be there.

Rom. And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey wall.

Within this hour my man shall be with thee

And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair,

Which to the high topgallant of my joy

Must be my convoy in the secret night.

Farewell. Be trusty, and I’ll quit thy pains.

Farewell. Commend me to thy mistress.

Nurse. Now God in heaven bless thee! Hark you, sir.

Rom. What say’st thou, my dear nurse?

Nurse. Is your man secret? Did you ne’er hear say,

Two may keep counsel, putting one away?

Rom. I warrant thee my man’s as true as steel.

Nurse. Well, sir, my mistress is the sweetest lady. Lord, Lord!

when ’twas a little prating thing- O, there is a nobleman in

town, one Paris, that would fain lay knife aboard; but she,

good soul, had as lieve see a toad, a very toad, as see him. I

anger her sometimes, and tell her that Paris is the properer man;

but I’ll warrant you, when I say so, she looks as pale as any

clout in the versal world. Doth not rosemary and Romeo begin both

with a letter?

Rom. Ay, nurse; what of that? Both with an R.

Nurse. Ah, mocker! that’s the dog’s name. R is for the- No; I

know it begins with some other letter; and she hath the prettiest

sententious of it, of you and rosemary, that it would do you

good to hear it.

Rom. Commend me to thy lady.

Nurse. Ay, a thousand times. [Exit Romeo.] Peter!

Peter. Anon.

Nurse. Peter, take my fan, and go before, and apace.


Scene V.

Capulet’s orchard.

Enter Juliet.

Jul. The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;

In half an hour she ‘promis’d to return.

Perchance she cannot meet him. That’s not so.

O, she is lame! Love’s heralds should be thoughts,

Which ten times faster glide than the sun’s beams

Driving back shadows over low’ring hills.

Therefore do nimble-pinion’d doves draw Love,

And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.

Now is the sun upon the highmost hill

Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve

Is three long hours; yet she is not come.

Had she affections and warm youthful blood,

She would be as swift in motion as a ball;

My words would bandy her to my sweet love,

And his to me,

But old folks, many feign as they were dead-

Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.

Enter Nurse [and Peter].

O God, she comes! O honey nurse, what news?

Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

Nurse. Peter, stay at the gate.

[Exit Peter.]

Jul. Now, good sweet nurse- O Lord, why look’st thou sad?

Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily;

If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news

By playing it to me with so sour a face.

Nurse. I am aweary, give me leave awhile.

Fie, how my bones ache! What a jaunce have I had!

Jul. I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news.

Nay, come, I pray thee speak. Good, good nurse, speak.

Nurse. Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay awhile?

Do you not see that I am out of breath?

Jul. How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath

To say to me that thou art out of breath?

The excuse that thou dost make in this delay

Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.

Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that.

Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.

Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?

Nurse. Well, you have made a simple choice; you know not how to

choose a man. Romeo? No, not he. Though his face be better

than any man’s, yet his leg excels all men’s; and for a hand and a

foot, and a body, though they be not to be talk’d on, yet

they are past compare. He is not the flower of courtesy, but, I’ll

warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench; serve


What, have you din’d at home?

Jul. No, no. But all this did I know before.

What says he of our marriage? What of that?

Nurse. Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!

It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.

My back o’ t’ other side,- ah, my back, my back!

Beshrew your heart for sending me about

To catch my death with jauncing up and down!

Jul. I’ faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.

Sweet, sweet, Sweet nurse, tell me, what says my love?

Nurse. Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a courteous,

and a kind, and a handsome; and, I warrant, a virtuous- Where

is your mother?

Jul. Where is my mother? Why, she is within.

Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!

‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman,

“Where is your mother?”‘

Nurse. O God’s Lady dear!

Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.

Is this the poultice for my aching bones?

Henceforward do your messages yourself.

Jul. Here’s such a coil! Come, what says Romeo?

Nurse. Have you got leave to go to shrift to-day?

Jul. I have.

Nurse. Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;

There stays a husband to make you a wife.

Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks:

They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.

Hie you to church; I must another way,

To fetch a ladder, by the which your love

Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.

I am the drudge, and toil in your delight;

But you shall bear the burthen soon at night.

Go; I’ll to dinner; hie you to the cell.

Jul. Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse, farewell.


Scene VI.

Friar Laurence’s cell.

Enter Friar [Laurence] and Romeo.

Friar. So smile the heavens upon this holy act

That after-hours with sorrow chide us not!

Rom. Amen, amen! But come what sorrow can,

It cannot countervail the exchange of joy

That one short minute gives me in her sight.

Do thou but close our hands with holy words,

Then love-devouring death do what he dare-

It is enough I may but call her mine.

Friar. These violent delights have violent ends

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

Which, as they kiss, consume. The sweetest honey

Is loathsome in his own deliciousness

And in the taste confounds the appetite.

Therefore love moderately: long love doth so;

Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.

Enter Juliet.

Here comes the lady. O, so light a foot

Will ne’er wear out the everlasting flint.

A lover may bestride the gossamer

That idles in the wanton summer air,

And yet not fall; so light is vanity.

Jul. Good even to my ghostly confessor.

Friar. Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us both.

Jul. As much to him, else is his thanks too much.

Rom. Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy

Be heap’d like mine, and that thy skill be more

To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath

This neighbour air, and let rich music’s tongue

Unfold the imagin’d happiness that both

Receive in either by this dear encounter.

Jul. Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,

Brags of his substance, not of ornament.

They are but beggars that can count their worth;

But my true love is grown to such excess

cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.

Friar. Come, come with me, and we will make short work;

For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone

Till Holy Church incorporate two in one.


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