Romeo and Juliet


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
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,
maidenhead (n.) 1 virginity

I bade her come. What, lamb! What, ladybird! –

God forbid! – Where's this girl? What, Juliet!

Enter Juliet


JULIET

How now? who calls?


NURSE

Your mother.


JULIET

Madam, I am here. What is your will?


LADY CAPULET

This is the matter – Nurse, give leave awhile.
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue

We must talk in secret. – Nurse, come back again.

I have remembered me, thou's hear our counsel.
remember (v.) 2 recollect, recall, call to mind
's (pron.) 2 contracted form of ‘shall’

Thou knowest my daughter's of a pretty age.


NURSE

Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.


LADY CAPULET

She's not fourteen.


NURSE

                         I'll lay fourteen of my teeth –

And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four –
teen (n.) trouble, grief, suffering

She is not fourteen. How long is it now

To Lammastide?


LADY CAPULET

                         A fortnight and odd days.


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,

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 weaned – I never shall forget it –

Of all the days of the year, upon that day.

For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
dug (n.) nipple, teat, breast
wormwood (n.) 1 absinthe plant, known for its bitter taste

Sitting in the sun under the dovehouse 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

Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,

To see it tetchy and fall out wi' th' dug!
tetchy, teachy (adj.) irritable, peevish, fretful

Shake, quoth the dovehouse! 'Twas no need, I trow,
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

To bid me trudge.
trudge (v.) go away, depart, leave

And since that time it is eleven years.

For then she could stand high-lone. Nay, by th' rood,
high-lone (adv.) upright by oneself, without support

She could have run and waddled all about.

For even the day before she broke her brow.
break (v.) 11 graze, bruise, cut open
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]

And then my husband – God be with his soul!

'A was a merry man – took up the child.

‘ Yea,’ quoth he, ‘ dost thou fall upon thy face?

Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit.
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

Wilt thou not, Jule?’ And, by my holidam,

The pretty wretch left crying and said ‘ Ay.’

To see now how a jest shall come about!
come about (v.) 1 turn out to be true, be fulfilled

I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

I never should forget it. ‘ Wilt thou not, Jule?’ quoth he,

And, pretty fool, it stinted and said ‘ Ay.’
stint (v.) 1 cease, stop short


LADY CAPULET

Enough of this. I pray thee hold thy peace.


NURSE

Yes, madam. Yet I cannot choose but laugh

To think it should leave crying and say ‘ Ay.’

And yet, I warrant, it had upon it brow
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]

A bump as big as a young cockerel's stone,
stone (n.) 4 testicle

A perilous knock. And it cried bitterly.

‘ Yea,’ quoth my husband, ‘ fallest upon thy face?

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.
stint (v.) 1 cease, stop short


NURSE

Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace!

Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed.

An I might live to see thee married once,
once (adv.) 3 one day, some time

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 dispositions to be married?
disposition (n.) 3 inclination, mood, frame of mind


JULIET

It is an honour that I dream not of.


NURSE

An honour! Were not I thine only nurse,

I would say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy teat.


LADY CAPULET

Well, think of marriage now. Younger than you,

Here in Verona, ladies of esteem

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

As all the world – why, he's a man of wax.
man of wax faultless, perfect [as of a wax model]


LADY CAPULET

Verona's summer hath not such a flower.


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.

Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,

And find delight writ there with beauty's pen.

Examine every married lineament,
lineament (n.) 1 line, feature, characteristic, attribute
married (adj.) joined in harmony, well-proportioned

And see how one another lends content.
content (n.) 1 pleasure, satisfaction, happiness

And what obscured in this fair volume lies

Find written in the margent of his eyes.
margent (n.) 1 margin [of a page, where an explanatory note would be found]

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.

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.


LADY CAPULET

Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love?


JULIET

I'll look to like, if looking liking move.

But no more deep will I endart mine eye
endart (v.) embed, bury, send in [as an arrow]

Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Enter Servingman


SERVANT

Madam, the guests are come, supper served

up, you called, my young lady asked for, the Nurse

cursed in the pantry, and everything in extremity. I

must hence to wait. I beseech you follow straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count
wait (v.) be in attendance, do service


LADY CAPULET

We follow thee.

Exit Servingman
county (n.) 1 [title of rank] count
stay (v.) 2 linger, tarry, delay

                         Juliet, the County stays.


NURSE

Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.

Exeunt

 
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