Page images
[ocr errors]

The earth hath swallow'd 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 accustoin'd feast,
Whereto I have invited many a guest,
Such as I love ; and you, among the store,
Once 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 apparelld 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:
Such, amongst 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. Sero. 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.
Ben. Tut, man ! one fire burns out another's burn-

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.

Rom. Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.
Ben. For what, I pray thee?
Rom. For your broken shin.
Ben. Why, Romeo, art thou mad?

Rom. Not mad, but bound more than a madman is :
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipp’d, and tormented, and—Good-e'en, good fel-

low. Serv. God gi' good e'en.— I pray, sir, can you read ? Rom. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.

Serv. Perhaps you have learn’d it without book :
But I pray, can you read any thing you see?

Rom. Ay, if I know the letters, and the language.
Sero. Ye say honestly ; Rest you merry!
Rom. Stay, fellow; I can read.

[Reads. Signior Martino, and his wife, and daughters ; County Anselme, 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 ; Li

via ; Signior Valentio, and his cousin Tybalt; Lucio, and the lively Helena. A fair assembly ; [Gives back the note]. Whither should

they come? Serv. Up. Rom. Whither : Serv. To supper ; to our house. Rom. Whose house? Serv. My master's. Rom. Indeed, I should have asked you that before.

Sero. 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.

[Exit, Ben. 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.

Rom. 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 hereticks, be burnt for liars !
One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
Ne'er saw her match, since first the world begun.

Ben. Tut! you saw her fair, none else being by,
Herself pois’d with herself in either eye:
But in those 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.

Rom. I'll go along, no such sight to be shown, But to rejoice in splendour of mine own. [Exeunt.


SCENE III.- A room in Capulet's house.

Enter Lady Capulet and Nurse. La. Cap. Nurse, where's my daughter ? call her forth

to me. Nurse. Now, by my maiden-head,-at twelve year

old, I bade her come.-What, lamb! what, lady-bird ! God forbid !—where's this girl ?-what, Juliet!


Enter Juliet.
Jul. How now, who calls ?
Nurse. Your mother.

Jul. Madam, I am here.
What is your will?
La. Cap. This is the matter :-Nurse, give leave a

We must talk in secret.-Nurse, come back again;
I have remember'd me, thou shalt hear our counsel.
Thou know'st, my daughter's of a pretty age.

Nurse. 'Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.
La, Cap. 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
To Lammas-tide?

La. Cap. 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 backwards when thou hast more wit ;
Wilt thou not, Jule ? and, by my holy-dam,
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 years,
I never should forget it; Wilt thou not, Jule? quoth

he :
And, pretty fool, it stinted, and said — Ay.


« PreviousContinue »