The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (1594-5)

Intro
Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.a.
Shakespeare Network - https://shakespearenetwork.net/

Act I, Scene 3

A room in Capulet's house.

[Enter LADY CAPULET and Nurse]

380

Lady Capulet Nurse, where's my daughter? call her forth to me.

381

Nurse Now, by my maidenhead, at twelve year old,
I bade her come. What, lamb! what, ladybird!
God forbid! Where's this girl? What, Juliet!

382

[Enter JULIET]

385

Juliet How now! who calls?

386

Nurse Your mother.

387

Juliet Madam, I am here.
What is your will?

388

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 know'st my daughter's of a pretty age.

390

Nurse Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.

394

Lady Capulet She's not fourteen.

395

Nurse I'll lay fourteen of my teeth,--
And yet, to my teeth be it spoken, I have but four--
She is not fourteen. How long is it now
To Lammas-tide?

396

Lady Capulet A fortnight and odd days.

400

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 years,
I never should forget it: 'Wilt thou not, Jule?' quoth he;
And, pretty fool, it stinted and said 'Ay.'

401

Lady Capulet Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy peace.

434

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 comest to age;
Wilt thou not, Jule?' it stinted and said 'Ay.'

435

Juliet And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.

443

Nurse Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace!
Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed:
An I might live to see thee married once,
I have my wish.

444

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?

448

Juliet It is an honour that I dream not of.

451

Nurse An honour! were not I thine only nurse,
I would say thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat.

452

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.

454

Nurse A man, young lady! lady, such a man
As all the world--why, he's a man of wax.

460

Lady Capulet Verona's summer hath not such a flower.

462

Nurse Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower.

463

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 obscured 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.

464

Nurse No less! nay, bigger; women grow by men.

480

Lady Capulet Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love?

481

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.

482

[Enter a Servant]

485

Servant Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you
called, my young lady asked for, the nurse cursed in
the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must
hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.

486

Lady Capulet We follow thee.
[Exit Servant]
Juliet, the county stays.

490

Nurse Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.

493

[Exeunt]

494
© Copyright 2017-2020 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.