Page images
PDF
EPUB

Or, if you do not, make the bridal bed
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.
La. Cap. Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a

word; Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee. [Exit. Jul. O God!-0 nurse! how shall this be pre

vented? My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven; How shall that faith return again to earth, Unless that husband send it me from heaven By leaving earth ?-comfort me, counsel me.Alack, alack, that heaven should practise stratagems Upon so soft a subject as myself!What say'st thou? hast thou not a word of joy? Some comfort, nurse. Nurse.

’Faith, here 'tis: Romeo Is banished; and all the world to nothing, That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you; Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth. Then, since the case so stands as now it doth, I think it best you married with the county." O, he's a lovely gentleman! Romeo's a dishclout to him; an eagle, madam, Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye, As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart, I think you are happy in this second match, For it excels your first : or if it did not, Your first is dead; or 'twere as good he were, As living here and you no use of him.

Jul. Speakest thou from thy heart?

'I think it best you married with the county.] The character of the Nurse exhibits a just picture of those whose actions have no principles for their foundation. She has been unfaithful to the trust reposed in her by Capulet, and is ready to embrace any expedient that offers, to avert the consequences of her first infidelity. Steevens.

Nurse.

From

my

soul too; Or else beshrew them both. Jul.

Amen!
Nurse.

To what?
Jul. Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous

much.
Go in; and tell my lady I am gone,
Having displeas'd iny father, to Laurence' cell,
To make confession, and to be absolv'd.
Nurse. Marry, I will; and this is wisely done.

[Exit.
Jul. Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!
Is it more sin—to wish me thus forsworn,
Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue
Which she hath prais'd him with above compare
So many thousand times?-Go, counsellor;
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.-
I'll to the friar, to know his remedy;
If all else fail, myself have power to die. [Exit.

ACT IV.

SCENE I. Friar Laurence's Cell.

Enter Friar LAURENCE and PARIS. Fri. On Thursday, sir? the time is

very

short. Par. My father Capulet will have it so; And I am nothing slow, to slack his haste.”

Fri. You say, you do not know the lady's mind; Uneven is the course, I like it not.

Par. Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death,

? And I am nothing slow, &c.] His haste shall not be abated by my slowness.

[ocr errors]

And therefore have I little talk'd of love;
For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.
Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous,
That she doth give her sorrow so much sway;
And, in his wisdom, hastes our marriage,
To stop the inundation of her tears;
Which, too much minded by herself alone,
May be put from her by society:
Now do you know the reason of this haste.
Fri. I would I knew not why it should be slow'd.

[Aside. Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my

cell.

Enter JULIET.

Par. Happily met, my lady, and my wife!
Jul. That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.
Par. That may be, must be, love, on Thursday

next.
Jul. What must be shall be.
Fri.

That's a certain text. Par. Come you to make confession to this father? Jul. To answer that, were to confess to you. Par. Do not deny to him, that you love me. Jul. I will confess to you, that I love him. Par. So will you, I am sure, that you love me.

Jul. If I do so, it will be of more price, Being spoke behind your back, than to your face. Par. Poor soul, thy face is much abus’d with

tears. Jul. The tears have got small victory by that; For it was bad enough, before their spite. Par. Thou wrong'st it, more than tears, with that

report. Jul. That is no slander, sir, that is a truth; And what I spake, I spake it to my face.

Par. Thy face is mine, and thou hast slander'd it.

Jul. It

may

be
So,

for it is not mine own.
Are you at leisure, holy father, now;
Or shall I come to you at evening mass ?:

Fri. My leisure serves me, pensive daughter,

now:

My lord, we must entreat the time alone.

Par. God shield, I should disturb devotion! Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse you: Till then, adieu! and keep this holy kiss.

[Exit Paris. Jul. O, shut the door! and when thou hast done

SO, Come weep with me; Past hope, past cure, past help!

Fri. Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief; It strains me past the compass of my wits: I hear thou must, and nothing must prorogue it, On Thursday next be married to this county.

Jul. Tell me not, friar, that thou hear'st of this, Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it: If, in thy wisdom, thou canst give no help, Do thou but call my resolution wise, And with this knife I'll help it presently. God join’d my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands; And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo seald, Shall be the label to another deed, Or my true heart with treacherous revolt Turn to another, this shall slay them both: Therefore, out of thy long-experienc'd time, Give me some present counsel; or, behold, 'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife

s Or shall I come to you at evening mass ?] Juliet means vespers. There is no such thing as evening mass.

Shall be the label to another deed,] The seals of deeds in our author's time were not impressed on the parchment itself on which the deed was written, but were appended on distinct slips or labels affixed to the deed.

Shall play the umpire;' arbitrating that
Which the commission of thy years and arto
Could to no issue of true honour bring.
Be not so long to speak; I long to die,
If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.

Fri. Hold, daughter; I do spy a kind of hope,
Which craves as desperate an execution
As that is desperate which we would prevent.
If, rather than to marry county Paris,
Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself;
Then is it likely, thou wilt undertake
A thing like death to chide away this shame,
That cop'st with death himself to scape from it;
And, if thou dar’st, I'll give thee remedy.

Jul. O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, From off the battlements of yonder tower; Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears ; Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house, O’er-cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones, With reeky shanks, and yellow chapless sculls; Or bid me go into a new-made grave, And hide me with a dead man in his shroud; Things that, to hear them told, have made me

tremble; And I will do it without fear or doubt, To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love.

Fri. Hold, then; go home, be merry, give consent To marry Paris: Wednesday is to-morrow; To-morrow night look that thou lie alone, Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber: Take thou this phial, being then in bed, And this distilled liquor drink thou off:

s Shall plıy the umpire;] That is, this knife shall decide the struggle between me and my distresses.

commission of thy years and art -] Commission is for authority or power.

6

« PreviousContinue »