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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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Act II, Scene 5

Capulet’s orchard.


[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.