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Unhand me, gentlemen.
By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!

      — Hamlet, Act I Scene 4


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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

Act I

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Scene 1. Verona. A public place.

Scene 2. A street.

Scene 3. A room in Capulet’s house.

Scene 4. A street.

Scene 5. A hall in Capulet’s house.


Act I, Scene 1

Verona. A public place.

      next scene .

[Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, of the house of Capulet, armed with swords and bucklers]

  • Sampson. Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals.
  • Gregory. No, for then we should be colliers.
  • Sampson. I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw.
  • Gregory. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o' the collar. 20
  • Sampson. I strike quickly, being moved.
  • Gregory. But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
  • Sampson. A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
  • Gregory. To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand:
    therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away. 25
  • Sampson. A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will
    take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's.
  • Gregory. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes
    to the wall.
  • Sampson. True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, 30
    are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push
    Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids
    to the wall.
  • Gregory. The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
  • Sampson. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I 35
    have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the
    maids, and cut off their heads.
  • Sampson. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads;
    take it in what sense thou wilt. 40
  • Gregory. They must take it in sense that feel it.
  • Sampson. Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and
    'tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
  • Gregory. 'Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou
    hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool! here comes 45
    two of the house of the Montagues.
  • Sampson. My naked weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.
  • Gregory. How! turn thy back and run?
  • Gregory. No, marry; I fear thee! 50
  • Sampson. Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.
  • Gregory. I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as
    they list.
  • Sampson. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;
    which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it. 55


  • Abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
  • Abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
  • Sampson. [Aside to GREGORY] Is the law of our side, if I say 60
  • Sampson. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
    bite my thumb, sir.
  • Sampson. If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.
  • Gregory. Say 'better:' here comes one of my master's kinsmen. 70
  • Sampson. Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.

[They fight]


  • Benvolio. Part, fools!
    Put up your swords; you know not what you do.

[Beats down their swords]

[Enter TYBALT]

  • Tybalt. What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds? 80
    Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
  • Benvolio. I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,
    Or manage it to part these men with me.
  • Tybalt. What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word,
    As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee: 85
    Have at thee, coward!
    [They fight]
    [Enter, several of both houses, who join the fray;
    then enter Citizens, with clubs]
  • First Citizen. Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down! 90
    Down with the Capulets! down with the Montagues!

[Enter CAPULET in his gown, and LADY CAPULET]

  • Capulet. What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!
  • Lady Capulet. A crutch, a crutch! why call you for a sword?
  • Capulet. My sword, I say! Old Montague is come, 95
    And flourishes his blade in spite of me.


  • Montague. Thou villain Capulet,—Hold me not, let me go.

[Enter PRINCE, with Attendants]

  • Prince Escalus. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
    Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,—
    Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you beasts,
    That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
    With purple fountains issuing from your veins, 105
    On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
    Throw your mistemper'd weapons to the ground,
    And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
    Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
    By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, 110
    Have thrice disturb'd the quiet of our streets,
    And made Verona's ancient citizens
    Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,
    To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
    Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate: 115
    If ever you disturb our streets again,
    Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
    For this time, all the rest depart away:
    You Capulet; shall go along with me:
    And, Montague, come you this afternoon, 120
    To know our further pleasure in this case,
    To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.
    Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.


  • Montague. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? 125
    Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
  • Benvolio. Here were the servants of your adversary,
    And yours, close fighting ere I did approach:
    I drew to part them: in the instant came
    The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepared, 130
    Which, as he breathed defiance to my ears,
    He swung about his head and cut the winds,
    Who nothing hurt withal hiss'd him in scorn:
    While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
    Came more and more and fought on part and part, 135
    Till the prince came, who parted either part.
  • Lady Montague. O, where is Romeo? saw you him to-day?
    Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
  • Benvolio. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun
    Peer'd forth the golden window of the east, 140
    A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad;
    Where, underneath the grove of sycamore
    That westward rooteth from the city's side,
    So early walking did I see your son:
    Towards him I made, but he was ware of me 145
    And stole into the covert of the wood:
    I, measuring his affections by my own,
    That most are busied when they're most alone,
    Pursued my humour not pursuing his,
    And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me. 150
  • Montague. Many a morning hath he there been seen,
    With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.
    Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
    But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
    Should in the furthest east begin to draw 155
    The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
    Away from the light steals home my heavy son,
    And private in his chamber pens himself,
    Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out
    And makes himself an artificial night: 160
    Black and portentous must this humour prove,
    Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
  • Benvolio. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
  • Montague. I neither know it nor can learn of him.
  • Benvolio. Have you importuned him by any means? 165
  • Montague. Both by myself and many other friends:
    But he, his own affections' counsellor,
    Is to himself—I will not say how true—
    But to himself so secret and so close,
    So far from sounding and discovery, 170
    As is the bud bit with an envious worm,
    Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
    Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
    Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow.
    We would as willingly give cure as know. 175

[Enter ROMEO]

  • Benvolio. See, where he comes: so please you, step aside;
    I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.
  • Montague. I would thou wert so happy by thy stay,
    To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let's away. 180


  • Romeo. Is the day so young?
  • Romeo. Ay me! sad hours seem long. 185
    Was that my father that went hence so fast?
  • Benvolio. It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?
  • Romeo. Not having that, which, having, makes them short.
  • Romeo. Out of her favour, where I am in love.
  • Benvolio. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
    Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
  • Romeo. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, 195
    Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!
    Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here?
    Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
    Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.
    Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate! 200
    O any thing, of nothing first create!
    O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
    Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
    Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire,
    sick health! 205
    Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
    This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
    Dost thou not laugh?
  • Romeo. Good heart, at what? 210
  • Benvolio. At thy good heart's oppression.
  • Romeo. Why, such is love's transgression.
    Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
    Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest
    With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown 215
    Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
    Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
    Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
    Being vex'd a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears:
    What is it else? a madness most discreet, 220
    A choking gall and a preserving sweet.
    Farewell, my coz.
  • Benvolio. Soft! I will go along;
    An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
  • Romeo. Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here; 225
    This is not Romeo, he's some other where.
  • Benvolio. Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.
  • Romeo. What, shall I groan and tell thee?
  • Benvolio. Groan! why, no.
    But sadly tell me who. 230
  • Romeo. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will:
    Ah, word ill urged to one that is so ill!
    In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
  • Benvolio. I aim'd so near, when I supposed you loved.
  • Romeo. A right good mark-man! And she's fair I love. 235
  • Benvolio. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
  • Romeo. Well, in that hit you miss: she'll not be hit
    With Cupid's arrow; she hath Dian's wit;
    And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd,
    From love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd. 240
    She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
    Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes,
    Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold:
    O, she is rich in beauty, only poor,
    That when she dies with beauty dies her store. 245
  • Benvolio. Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?
  • Romeo. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste,
    For beauty starved with her severity
    Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
    She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair, 250
    To merit bliss by making me despair:
    She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
    Do I live dead that live to tell it now.
  • Benvolio. Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.
  • Romeo. O, teach me how I should forget to think. 255
  • Benvolio. By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
    Examine other beauties.
  • Romeo. 'Tis the way
    To call hers exquisite, in question more:
    These happy masks that kiss fair ladies' brows 260
    Being black put us in mind they hide the fair;
    He that is strucken blind cannot forget
    The precious treasure of his eyesight lost:
    Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
    What doth her beauty serve, but as a note 265
    Where I may read who pass'd that passing fair?
    Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.
  • Benvolio. I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 2

A street.

      next scene .

[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.


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 3

A room in Capulet’s house.

      next scene .

[Enter LADY CAPULET and Nurse]

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

[Enter JULIET]

  • Juliet. Madam, I am here.
    What is your will?
  • Lady Capulet. This is the matter:—Nurse, give leave awhile, 390
    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.
  • Nurse. Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.
  • 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?
  • 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, 405
    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: 410
    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 415
    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; 420
    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: 425
    '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! 430
    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.'
  • Nurse. Yes, madam: yet I cannot choose but laugh, 435
    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? 440
    Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age;
    Wilt thou not, Jule?' it stinted and said 'Ay.'
  • Juliet. And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.
  • Nurse. Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace!
    Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed: 445
    An I might live to see thee married once,
    I have my wish.
  • 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? 450
  • Juliet. It is an honour that I dream not of.
  • Nurse. An honour! were not I thine only nurse,
    I would say thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat.
  • Lady Capulet. Well, think of marriage now; younger than you,
    Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, 455
    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.
  • Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man 460
    As all the world—why, he's a man of wax.
  • Nurse. Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower.
  • Lady Capulet. What say you? can you love the gentleman?
    This night you shall behold him at our feast; 465
    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 470
    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: 475
    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.
  • Nurse. No less! nay, bigger; women grow by men. 480
  • 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.

[Enter a Servant]

  • 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.
  • Lady Capulet. We follow thee. 490
    [Exit Servant]
    Juliet, the county stays.
  • Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 4

A street.

      next scene .

[Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, with five or six [p]Maskers, Torch-bearers, and others]

  • Romeo. What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?
    Or shall we on without a apology?
  • Benvolio. The date is out of such prolixity:
    We'll have no Cupid hoodwink'd with a scarf, 500
    Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,
    Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper;
    Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
    After the prompter, for our entrance:
    But let them measure us by what they will; 505
    We'll measure them a measure, and be gone.
  • Romeo. Give me a torch: I am not for this ambling;
    Being but heavy, I will bear the light.
  • Mercutio. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.
  • Romeo. Not I, believe me: you have dancing shoes 510
    With nimble soles: I have a soul of lead
    So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.
  • Mercutio. You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings,
    And soar with them above a common bound.
  • Romeo. I am too sore enpierced with his shaft 515
    To soar with his light feathers, and so bound,
    I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe:
    Under love's heavy burden do I sink.
  • Mercutio. And, to sink in it, should you burden love;
    Too great oppression for a tender thing. 520
  • Romeo. Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
    Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.
  • Mercutio. If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
    Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
    Give me a case to put my visage in: 525
    A visor for a visor! what care I
    What curious eye doth quote deformities?
    Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.
  • Benvolio. Come, knock and enter; and no sooner in,
    But every man betake him to his legs. 530
  • Romeo. A torch for me: let wantons light of heart
    Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels,
    For I am proverb'd with a grandsire phrase;
    I'll be a candle-holder, and look on.
    The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done. 535
  • Mercutio. Tut, dun's the mouse, the constable's own word:
    If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire
    Of this sir-reverence love, wherein thou stick'st
    Up to the ears. Come, we burn daylight, ho!
  • Romeo. Nay, that's not so. 540
  • Mercutio. I mean, sir, in delay
    We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.
    Take our good meaning, for our judgment sits
    Five times in that ere once in our five wits.
  • Romeo. And we mean well in going to this mask; 545
    But 'tis no wit to go.
  • Romeo. I dream'd a dream to-night.
  • Romeo. Well, what was yours? 550
  • Romeo. In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.
  • Mercutio. O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
    She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
    In shape no bigger than an agate-stone 555
    On the fore-finger of an alderman,
    Drawn with a team of little atomies
    Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep;
    Her wagon-spokes made of long spiders' legs,
    The cover of the wings of grasshoppers, 560
    The traces of the smallest spider's web,
    The collars of the moonshine's watery beams,
    Her whip of cricket's bone, the lash of film,
    Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
    Not so big as a round little worm 565
    Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid;
    Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
    Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
    Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.
    And in this state she gallops night by night 570
    Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
    O'er courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies straight,
    O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees,
    O'er ladies ' lips, who straight on kisses dream,
    Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues, 575
    Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
    Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
    And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
    And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig's tail
    Tickling a parson's nose as a' lies asleep, 580
    Then dreams, he of another benefice:
    Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
    And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
    Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
    Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon 585
    Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
    And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
    And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
    That plats the manes of horses in the night,
    And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs, 590
    Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
    This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
    That presses them and learns them first to bear,
    Making them women of good carriage:
    This is she— 595
  • Romeo. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!
    Thou talk'st of nothing.
  • Mercutio. True, I talk of dreams,
    Which are the children of an idle brain,
    Begot of nothing but vain fantasy, 600
    Which is as thin of substance as the air
    And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes
    Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
    And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence,
    Turning his face to the dew-dropping south. 605
  • Benvolio. This wind, you talk of, blows us from ourselves;
    Supper is done, and we shall come too late.
  • Romeo. I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
    Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
    Shall bitterly begin his fearful date 610
    With this night's revels and expire the term
    Of a despised life closed in my breast
    By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
    But He, that hath the steerage of my course,
    Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen. 615


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 5

A hall in Capulet’s house.


[Musicians waiting. Enter Servingmen with napkins]

  • First Servant. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He
    shift a trencher? he scrape a trencher! 620
  • Second Servant. When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's
    hands and they unwashed too, 'tis a foul thing.
  • First Servant. Away with the joint-stools, remove the
    court-cupboard, look to the plate. Good thou, save
    me a piece of marchpane; and, as thou lovest me, let 625
    the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell.
    Antony, and Potpan!
  • First Servant. You are looked for and called for, asked for and
    sought for, in the great chamber. 630
  • Second Servant. We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys; be
    brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.

[Enter CAPULET, with JULIET and others of his house, meeting the Guests and Maskers]

  • Capulet. Welcome, gentlemen! ladies that have their toes
    Unplagued with corns will have a bout with you. 635
    Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all
    Will now deny to dance? she that makes dainty,
    She, I'll swear, hath corns; am I come near ye now?
    Welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day
    That I have worn a visor and could tell 640
    A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear,
    Such as would please: 'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis gone:
    You are welcome, gentlemen! come, musicians, play.
    A hall, a hall! give room! and foot it, girls.
    [Music plays, and they dance] 645
    More light, you knaves; and turn the tables up,
    And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.
    Ah, sirrah, this unlook'd-for sport comes well.
    Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet;
    For you and I are past our dancing days: 650
    How long is't now since last yourself and I
    Were in a mask?
  • Capulet. What, man! 'tis not so much, 'tis not so much:
    'Tis since the nuptials of Lucentio, 655
    Come pentecost as quickly as it will,
    Some five and twenty years; and then we mask'd.
  • Second Capulet. 'Tis more, 'tis more, his son is elder, sir;
    His son is thirty.
  • Capulet. Will you tell me that? 660
    His son was but a ward two years ago.
  • Romeo. [To a Servingman] What lady is that, which doth
    enrich the hand
    Of yonder knight?
  • Romeo. O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
    It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
    Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear;
    Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
    So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, 670
    As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
    The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,
    And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
    Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
    For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night. 675
  • Tybalt. This, by his voice, should be a Montague.
    Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave
    Come hither, cover'd with an antic face,
    To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
    Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, 680
    To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin.
  • Capulet. Why, how now, kinsman! wherefore storm you so?
  • Tybalt. Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe,
    A villain that is hither come in spite,
    To scorn at our solemnity this night. 685
  • Tybalt. 'Tis he, that villain Romeo.
  • Capulet. Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone;
    He bears him like a portly gentleman;
    And, to say truth, Verona brags of him 690
    To be a virtuous and well-govern'd youth:
    I would not for the wealth of all the town
    Here in my house do him disparagement:
    Therefore be patient, take no note of him:
    It is my will, the which if thou respect, 695
    Show a fair presence and put off these frowns,
    And ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.
  • Tybalt. It fits, when such a villain is a guest:
    I'll not endure him.
  • Capulet. He shall be endured: 700
    What, goodman boy! I say, he shall: go to;
    Am I the master here, or you? go to.
    You'll not endure him! God shall mend my soul!
    You'll make a mutiny among my guests!
    You will set cock-a-hoop! you'll be the man! 705
  • Tybalt. Why, uncle, 'tis a shame.
  • Capulet. Go to, go to;
    You are a saucy boy: is't so, indeed?
    This trick may chance to scathe you, I know what:
    You must contrary me! marry, 'tis time. 710
    Well said, my hearts! You are a princox; go:
    Be quiet, or—More light, more light! For shame!
    I'll make you quiet. What, cheerly, my hearts!
  • Tybalt. Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting
    Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting. 715
    I will withdraw: but this intrusion shall
    Now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall.


  • Romeo. [To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand
    This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: 720
    My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
    To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
  • Juliet. Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
    Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
    For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, 725
    And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.
  • Romeo. Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
  • Juliet. Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
  • Romeo. O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;
    They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair. 730
  • Juliet. Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.
  • Romeo. Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.
    Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged.
  • Juliet. Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
  • Romeo. Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! 735
    Give me my sin again.
  • Juliet. You kiss by the book.
  • Nurse. Madam, your mother craves a word with you.
  • Romeo. What is her mother?
  • Nurse. Marry, bachelor, 740
    Her mother is the lady of the house,
    And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous
    I nursed her daughter, that you talk'd withal;
    I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
    Shall have the chinks. 745
  • Romeo. Is she a Capulet?
    O dear account! my life is my foe's debt.
  • Benvolio. Away, begone; the sport is at the best.
  • Romeo. Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest.
  • Capulet. Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone; 750
    We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.
    Is it e'en so? why, then, I thank you all
    I thank you, honest gentlemen; good night.
    More torches here! Come on then, let's to bed.
    Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late: 755
    I'll to my rest.

[Exeunt all but JULIET and Nurse]

  • Juliet. Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman?
  • Nurse. The son and heir of old Tiberio.
  • Juliet. What's he that now is going out of door? 760
  • Nurse. Marry, that, I think, be young Petrucio.
  • Juliet. What's he that follows there, that would not dance?
  • Juliet. Go ask his name: if he be married.
    My grave is like to be my wedding bed. 765
  • Nurse. His name is Romeo, and a Montague;
    The only son of your great enemy.
  • Juliet. My only love sprung from my only hate!
    Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
    Prodigious birth of love it is to me, 770
    That I must love a loathed enemy.
  • Nurse. What's this? what's this?
  • Juliet. A rhyme I learn'd even now
    Of one I danced withal.

[One calls within 'Juliet.']

  • Nurse. Anon, anon!
    Come, let's away; the strangers all are gone.