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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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Act I, Scene 2

A street.


[Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and Servant]

  • Capulet. But Montague is bound as well as I,
    In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think,
    For men so old as we to keep the peace.
  • Paris. Of honourable reckoning are you both;
    And pity 'tis you lived at odds so long. 275
    But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
  • Capulet. But saying o'er what I have said before:
    My child is yet a stranger in the world;
    She hath not seen the change of fourteen years,
    Let two more summers wither in their pride, 280
    Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
  • Paris. Younger than she are happy mothers made.
  • Capulet. And too soon marr'd are those so early made.
    The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she,
    She is the hopeful lady of my earth: 285
    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 accustom'd feast, 290
    Whereto I have invited many a guest,
    Such as I love; and you, among the store,
    One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
    At my poor house look to behold this night
    Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light: 295
    Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
    When well-apparell'd 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, 300
    And like her most whose merit most shall be:
    Which on more view, of many mine being one
    May stand in number, though in reckoning none,
    Come, go with me.
    [To Servant, giving a paper] 305
    Go, sirrah, trudge about
    Through fair Verona; find those persons out
    Whose names are written there, and to them say,
    My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.

[Exeunt CAPULET and PARIS]

  • Servant. 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 315
    writ, and can never find what names the writing
    person hath here writ. I must to the learned.—In good time.


  • Benvolio. Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning,
    One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish; 320
    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.
  • Romeo. Your plaintain-leaf is excellent for that. 325
  • Romeo. For your broken shin.
  • Romeo. Not mad, but bound more than a mad-man is;
    Shut up in prison, kept without my food, 330
    Whipp'd and tormented and—God-den, good fellow.
  • Servant. God gi' god-den. I pray, sir, can you read?
  • Romeo. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
  • Servant. Perhaps you have learned it without book: but, I
    pray, can you read any thing you see? 335
  • Romeo. Ay, if I know the letters and the language.
  • Servant. Ye say honestly: rest you merry!
  • Romeo. Stay, fellow; I can read.
    'Signior Martino and his wife and daughters; 340
    County Anselme and his beauteous sisters; the lady
    widow of Vitravio; Signior Placentio and his lovely
    nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine; mine
    uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters; my fair niece
    Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio and his cousin 345
    Tybalt, Lucio and the lively Helena.' A fair
    assembly: whither should they come?
  • Servant. To supper; to our house. 350
  • Romeo. Indeed, I should have ask'd you that before.
  • Servant. Now I'll tell you without asking: my master is the
    great rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house 355
    of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine.
    Rest you merry!


  • Benvolio. At this same ancient feast of Capulet's
    Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lovest, 360
    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.
  • Romeo. When the devout religion of mine eye 365
    Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires;
    And these, who often drown'd could never die,
    Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!
    One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
    Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun. 370
  • Benvolio. Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,
    Herself poised with herself in either eye:
    But in that crystal scales let there be weigh'd
    Your lady's love against some other maid
    That I will show you shining at this feast, 375
    And she shall scant show well that now shows best.
  • Romeo. I'll go along, no such sight to be shown,
    But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.