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O flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified!

      — Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene 4

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

Act II

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Prologue

Scene 1. A lane by the wall of Capulet’s orchard.

Scene 2. Capulet’s orchard.

Scene 3. Friar Laurence’s cell.

Scene 4. A street.

Scene 5. Capulet’s orchard.

Scene 6. Friar Laurence’s cell.

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Prologue

      next scene .
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[Enter Chorus]

  • Chorus. Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie, 780
    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 beloved and loves again,
    Alike betwitched by the charm of looks, 785
    But to his foe supposed 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 use to swear;
    And she as much in love, her means much less 790
    To meet her new-beloved any where:
    But passion lends them power, time means, to meet
    Tempering extremities with extreme sweet.

[Exit]

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Act II, Scene 1

A lane by the wall of Capulet’s orchard.

      next scene .
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[Enter ROMEO]

  • 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]

  • Mercutio. He is wise;
    And, on my lie, 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. 805
    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, 810
    One nick-name for her purblind son and heir,
    Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim,
    When King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid!
    He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not;
    The ape is dead, and I must conjure him. 815
    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! 820
  • Benvolio. And 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 conjured it down; 825
    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: 830
    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. 835
    Romeo, that she were, O, that she were
    An open et caetera, thou a poperin pear!
    Romeo, good night: I'll to my truckle-bed;
    This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep:
    Come, shall we go? 840
  • Benvolio. Go, then; for 'tis in vain
    To seek him here that means not to be found.

[Exeunt]

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Act II, Scene 2

Capulet’s orchard.

      next scene .
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[Enter ROMEO]

  • Romeo. He jests at scars that never felt a wound. 845
    [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, 850
    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! 855
    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, 860
    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 865
    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! 870
  • 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 875
    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? 880
    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; 885
    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 890
    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 895
    Take all myself.
  • Romeo. I take thee at thy word:
    Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized;
    Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
  • Juliet. What man art thou that thus bescreen'd in night 900
    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; 905
    Had I it written, I would tear the word.
  • Juliet. My ears have not yet 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. 910
  • Juliet. How camest 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'er-perch these walls; 915
    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 920
    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: 925
    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, who first did prompt me to inquire;
    He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes. 930
    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.
  • Juliet. Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face,
    Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek 935
    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, 940
    Thou mayst prove false; at lovers' perjuries
    Then say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
    If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully:
    Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won,
    I'll frown and be perverse an say thee nay, 945
    So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world.
    In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
    And therefore thou mayst think my 'havior light:
    But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true
    Than those that have more cunning to be strange. 950
    I should have been more strange, I must confess,
    But that thou overheard'st, ere I was ware,
    My true love's passion: therefore pardon me,
    And not impute this yielding to light love,
    Which the dark night hath so discovered. 955
  • 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. 960
  • 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. 965
  • 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 unadvised, too sudden;
    Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be 970
    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! 975
  • 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. 980
  • Romeo. Wouldst 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, 985
    The more I have, for both are infinite.
    [Nurse calls within]
    I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!
    Anon, good nurse! Sweet Montague, be true.
    Stay but a little, I will come again. 990

[Exit, above]

  • Romeo. O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard.
    Being in night, all this is but a dream,
    Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.

[Re-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; 1000
    And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay
    And follow thee my lord throughout the world.
  • Juliet. I come, anon.—But if thou mean'st not well,
    I do beseech thee— 1005
  • 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— 1010
  • Juliet. A thousand times good night!

[Exit, above]

  • Romeo. A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.
    Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from
    their books, 1015
    But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

[Retiring]

[Re-enter JULIET, above]

  • Juliet. Hist! Romeo, hist! O, for a falconer's voice,
    To lure this tassel-gentle back again! 1020
    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: 1025
    How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night,
    Like softest music to attending ears!
  • Juliet. At what o'clock to-morrow 1030
    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. 1035
  • 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: 1040
    And yet no further than a wanton's bird;
    Who 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. 1045
  • 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, 1050
    That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

[Exit above]

  • 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, 1055
    His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell.

[Exit]

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. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 3

Friar Laurence’s cell.

      next scene .
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[Enter FRIAR LAURENCE, with a basket]

  • Friar Laurence. The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
    Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light, 1060
    And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
    From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels:
    Now, 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 1065
    With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
    The earth that's nature's mother is her tomb;
    What is her burying grave that is her womb,
    And from her womb children of divers kind
    We sucking on her natural bosom find, 1070
    Many for many virtues excellent,
    None but for some and yet all different.
    O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
    In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
    For nought so vile that on the earth doth live 1075
    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. 1080
    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 1085
    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. 1090
  • Friar Laurence. Benedicite!
    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, 1095
    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 up-roused by some distemperature; 1100
    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.
  • Romeo. With Rosaline, my ghostly father? no; 1105
    I have forgot that name, and that name's woe.
  • 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, 1110
    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 Laurence. Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift; 1115
    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 combined, save what thou must combine 1120
    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 Laurence. Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here! 1125
    Is Rosaline, whom 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! 1130
    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 my ancient ears;
    Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit 1135
    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 changed? pronounce this sentence then,
    Women may fall, when there's no strength in men. 1140
  • Romeo. Thou chid'st me oft for loving Rosaline.
  • Romeo. And bad'st me bury love.
  • Friar Laurence. Not in a grave,
    To lay one in, another out to have. 1145
  • 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 Laurence. O, she knew well
    Thy love did read by rote and could not spell. 1150
    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. 1155

[Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 4

A street.

      next scene .
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[Enter BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO]

  • Mercutio. Where the devil should this Romeo be?
    Came he not home to-night? 1160
  • 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 of old Capulet,
    Hath sent a letter to his father's house. 1165
  • Mercutio. Any man that can write may answer a letter.
  • Benvolio. Nay, he will answer the letter's master, how he
    dares, being dared. 1170
  • 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? 1175
  • Mercutio. More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he is
    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 1180
    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
    hai! 1185
  • 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, 1190
    grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with
    these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these
    perdona-mi's, who stand so much on the new form,
    that they cannot at ease on the old bench? O, their
    bones, their bones! 1195

[Enter ROMEO]

  • Benvolio. Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.
  • Mercutio. Without his roe, like a dried herring: flesh, flesh,
    how art thou fishified! Now is he for the numbers
    that Petrarch flowed in: Laura to his lady was but a 1200
    kitchen-wench; marry, she had a better love to
    be-rhyme her; Dido a dowdy; Cleopatra a gipsy;
    Helen and Hero hildings and harlots; Thisbe a grey
    eye or so, but not to the purpose. Signior
    Romeo, bon jour! there's a French salutation 1205
    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 ship, sir, the slip; can you not conceive?
  • Romeo. Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great; and in 1210
    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. 1215
  • Romeo. A most courteous exposition.
  • Mercutio. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.
  • Romeo. Why, then is my pump well flowered. 1220
  • 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. 1225
  • Mercutio. Come between us, good Benvolio; my wits faint.
  • Romeo. Switch and spurs, switch 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: 1230
    was I with you there for the goose?
  • Romeo. Thou wast never with me for any thing 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. 1235
  • Mercutio. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most
    sharp sauce.
  • Romeo. And is it not 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! 1240
  • 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; now art
    thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature: 1245
    for this drivelling love is like a great natural,
    that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.
  • Mercutio. Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair.
  • Benvolio. Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large. 1250
  • 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]

  • Benvolio. Two, two; a shirt and a smock.
  • Nurse. My fan, Peter. 1260
  • 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? 1265
  • Mercutio. 'Tis no less, I tell you, 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. 1270
  • 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?
  • Romeo. I can tell you; but young Romeo will be older when
    you have found him than he was when you sought him: 1275
    I am the youngest of that name, for fault of a worse.
  • Mercutio. Yea, is the worst well? very well took, i' faith;
    wisely, wisely.
  • Nurse. if you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with 1280
    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, 1285
    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 1290
    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. 1295
  • 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. 1305
  • Nurse. An a' speak any thing 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 1310
    too, and suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure?
  • Peter. I saw no man use you a 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. 1315
  • 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 bade me inquire you
    out; what she bade me say, I will keep to myself:
    but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into 1320
    a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a very gross
    kind of behavior, 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. 1325
  • Romeo. Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I
    protest unto thee—
  • 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. 1330
  • 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;
    And there she shall at Friar Laurence' cell 1335
    Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.
  • Nurse. No truly sir; not a penny.
  • Romeo. Go to; I say you shall.
  • Nurse. This afternoon, sir? well, she shall be there.
  • Romeo. And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey wall: 1340
    Within this hour my man shall be with thee
    And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair;
    Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
    Must be my convoy in the secret night.
    Farewell; be trusty, and I'll quit thy pains: 1345
    Farewell; commend me to thy mistress.
  • Nurse. Now God in heaven bless thee! Hark you, sir.
  • Romeo. 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? 1350
  • Romeo. 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 lief 1355
    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? 1360
  • Romeo. 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 1365
    to hear it.
  • Romeo. Commend me to thy lady.
  • Nurse. Ay, a thousand times.
    [Exit Romeo]
    Peter! 1370
  • Nurse. Peter, take my fan, and go before and apace.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 5

Capulet’s orchard.

      next scene .
---

[Enter JULIET]

  • Juliet. The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse; 1375
    In half an hour she promised 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 louring hills: 1380
    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. 1385
    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; 1390
    Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.
    O God, she comes!
    [Enter Nurse and PETER]
    O honey nurse, what news?
    Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away. 1395
  • Nurse. Peter, stay at the gate.

[Exit PETER]

  • Juliet. 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 1400
    By playing it to me with so sour a face.
  • Nurse. I am a-weary, give me leave awhile:
    Fie, how my bones ache! what a jaunt have I had!
  • Juliet. I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news:
    Nay, come, I pray thee, speak; good, good nurse, speak. 1405
  • Nurse. Jesu, what haste? can you not stay awhile?
    Do you not see that I am out of breath?
  • Juliet. 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 1410
    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 1415
    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 talked on, yet they are
    past compare: he is not the flower of courtesy, 1420
    but, I'll warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy
    ways, wench; serve God. What, have you dined at home?
  • Juliet. 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! 1425
    It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
    My back o' t' other side,—O, my back, my back!
    Beshrew your heart for sending me about,
    To catch my death with jaunting up and down!
  • Juliet. I' faith, I am sorry that thou art not well. 1430
    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?
  • Juliet. Where is my mother! why, she is within; 1435
    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; 1440
    Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
    Henceforward do your messages yourself.
  • Juliet. Here's such a coil! come, what says Romeo?
  • Nurse. Have you got leave to go to shrift to-day?
  • 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, 1450
    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 burden soon at night.
    Go; I'll to dinner: hie you to the cell. 1455
  • Juliet. Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse, farewell.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 6

Friar Laurence’s cell.

       
---

[Enter FRIAR LAURENCE and ROMEO]

  • Friar Laurence. So smile the heavens upon this holy act,
    That after hours with sorrow chide us not! 1460
  • Romeo. 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; 1465
    It is enough I may but call her mine.
  • Friar Laurence. 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 1470
    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 1475
    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.
  • Juliet. Good even to my ghostly confessor. 1480
  • Juliet. As much to him, else is his thanks too much.
  • Romeo. 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 1485
    This neighbour air, and let rich music's tongue
    Unfold the imagined happiness that both
    Receive in either by this dear encounter.
  • Juliet. Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
    Brags of his substance, not of ornament: 1490
    They are but beggars that can count their worth;
    But my true love is grown to such excess
    I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.
  • Friar Laurence. Come, come with me, and we will make short work;
    For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone 1495
    Till holy church incorporate two in one.

[Exeunt]

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