Open Source Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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Act IV, Scene 5

Juliet’s chamber.


[Enter Nurse]

  • Nurse. Mistress! what, mistress! Juliet! fast, I warrant her, she:
    Why, lamb! why, lady! fie, you slug-a-bed!
    Why, love, I say! madam! sweet-heart! why, bride! 2655
    What, not a word? you take your pennyworths now;
    Sleep for a week; for the next night, I warrant,
    The County Paris hath set up his rest,
    That you shall rest but little. God forgive me,
    Marry, and amen, how sound is she asleep! 2660
    I must needs wake her. Madam, madam, madam!
    Ay, let the county take you in your bed;
    He'll fright you up, i' faith. Will it not be?
    [Undraws the curtains]
    What, dress'd! and in your clothes! and down again! 2665
    I must needs wake you; Lady! lady! lady!
    Alas, alas! Help, help! my lady's dead!
    O, well-a-day, that ever I was born!
    Some aqua vitae, ho! My lord! my lady!


  • Lady Capulet. What noise is here?
  • Nurse. O lamentable day!
  • Lady Capulet. What is the matter?
  • Nurse. Look, look! O heavy day!
  • Lady Capulet. O me, O me! My child, my only life, 2675
    Revive, look up, or I will die with thee!
    Help, help! Call help.


  • Capulet. For shame, bring Juliet forth; her lord is come.
  • Nurse. She's dead, deceased, she's dead; alack the day! 2680
  • Lady Capulet. Alack the day, she's dead, she's dead, she's dead!
  • Capulet. Ha! let me see her: out, alas! she's cold:
    Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff;
    Life and these lips have long been separated:
    Death lies on her like an untimely frost 2685
    Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
  • Nurse. O lamentable day!
  • Lady Capulet. O woful time!
  • Capulet. Death, that hath ta'en her hence to make me wail,
    Ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak. 2690

[Enter FRIAR LAURENCE and PARIS, with Musicians]

  • Friar Laurence. Come, is the bride ready to go to church?
  • Capulet. Ready to go, but never to return.
    O son! the night before thy wedding-day
    Hath Death lain with thy wife. There she lies, 2695
    Flower as she was, deflowered by him.
    Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir;
    My daughter he hath wedded: I will die,
    And leave him all; life, living, all is Death's.
  • Paris. Have I thought long to see this morning's face, 2700
    And doth it give me such a sight as this?
  • Lady Capulet. Accursed, unhappy, wretched, hateful day!
    Most miserable hour that e'er time saw
    In lasting labour of his pilgrimage!
    But one, poor one, one poor and loving child, 2705
    But one thing to rejoice and solace in,
    And cruel death hath catch'd it from my sight!
  • Nurse. O woe! O woful, woful, woful day!
    Most lamentable day, most woful day,
    That ever, ever, I did yet behold! 2710
    O day! O day! O day! O hateful day!
    Never was seen so black a day as this:
    O woful day, O woful day!
  • Paris. Beguiled, divorced, wronged, spited, slain!
    Most detestable death, by thee beguil'd, 2715
    By cruel cruel thee quite overthrown!
    O love! O life! not life, but love in death!
  • Capulet. Despised, distressed, hated, martyr'd, kill'd!
    Uncomfortable time, why camest thou now
    To murder, murder our solemnity? 2720
    O child! O child! my soul, and not my child!
    Dead art thou! Alack! my child is dead;
    And with my child my joys are buried.
  • Friar Laurence. Peace, ho, for shame! confusion's cure lives not
    In these confusions. Heaven and yourself 2725
    Had part in this fair maid; now heaven hath all,
    And all the better is it for the maid:
    Your part in her you could not keep from death,
    But heaven keeps his part in eternal life.
    The most you sought was her promotion; 2730
    For 'twas your heaven she should be advanced:
    And weep ye now, seeing she is advanced
    Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself?
    O, in this love, you love your child so ill,
    That you run mad, seeing that she is well: 2735
    She's not well married that lives married long;
    But she's best married that dies married young.
    Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary
    On this fair corse; and, as the custom is,
    In all her best array bear her to church: 2740
    For though fond nature bids us an lament,
    Yet nature's tears are reason's merriment.
  • Capulet. All things that we ordained festival,
    Turn from their office to black funeral;
    Our instruments to melancholy bells, 2745
    Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast,
    Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change,
    Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,
    And all things change them to the contrary.
  • Friar Laurence. Sir, go you in; and, madam, go with him; 2750
    And go, Sir Paris; every one prepare
    To follow this fair corse unto her grave:
    The heavens do lour upon you for some ill;
    Move them no more by crossing their high will.


  • First Musician. Faith, we may put up our pipes, and be gone.
  • Nurse. Honest goodfellows, ah, put up, put up;
    For, well you know, this is a pitiful case.


  • First Musician. Ay, by my troth, the case may be amended. 2760

[Enter PETER]

  • Peter. Musicians, O, musicians, 'Heart's ease, Heart's
    ease:' O, an you will have me live, play 'Heart's ease.'
  • First Musician. Why 'Heart's ease?'
  • Peter. O, musicians, because my heart itself plays 'My 2765
    heart is full of woe:' O, play me some merry dump,
    to comfort me.
  • First Musician. Not a dump we; 'tis no time to play now.
  • Peter. You will not, then?
  • First Musician. No. 2770
  • Peter. I will then give it you soundly.
  • First Musician. What will you give us?
  • Peter. No money, on my faith, but the gleek;
    I will give you the minstrel.
  • First Musician. Then I will give you the serving-creature. 2775
  • Peter. Then will I lay the serving-creature's dagger on
    your pate. I will carry no crotchets: I'll re you,
    I'll fa you; do you note me?
  • First Musician. An you re us and fa us, you note us.
  • Second Musician. Pray you, put up your dagger, and put out your wit. 2780
  • Peter. Then have at you with my wit! I will dry-beat you
    with an iron wit, and put up my iron dagger. Answer
    me like men:
    'When griping grief the heart doth wound,
    And doleful dumps the mind oppress, 2785
    Then music with her silver sound'—
    why 'silver sound'? why 'music with her silver
    sound'? What say you, Simon Catling?
  • First Musician. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound.
  • Peter. Pretty! What say you, Hugh Rebeck? 2790
  • Second Musician. I say 'silver sound,' because musicians sound for silver.
  • Peter. Pretty too! What say you, James Soundpost?
  • Third Musician. Faith, I know not what to say.
  • Peter. O, I cry you mercy; you are the singer: I will say
    for you. It is 'music with her silver sound,' 2795
    because musicians have no gold for sounding:
    'Then music with her silver sound
    With speedy help doth lend redress.'


  • First Musician. What a pestilent knave is this same! 2800
  • Second Musician. Hang him, Jack! Come, we'll in here; tarry for the
    mourners, and stay dinner.