Romeo and Juliet


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Friar Laurence and County Paris


FRIAR

On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.


PARIS

My father Capulet will have it so,

And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.
slack (v.) 1 slacken, reduce, slow down
slow (adj.) 2 reluctant, unwilling, slowly given


FRIAR

You say you do not know the lady's mind.

Uneven is the course. I like it not.
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count
uneven (adj.) irregular, erratic


PARIS

Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death,

And therefore have I little talked of love;

For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.
house (n.) 5 [astrology] heavenly domain [one of twelve divisions of the heavens] See Topics: Cosmos

Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous

That she do give her sorrow so much sway,
sway (n.) 1 power, dominion, rule

And in his wisdom hastes our marriage
haste (v.) hurry, speed up, accelerate

To stop the inundation of her tears,

Which, too much minded by herself alone,
mind (v.) 3 think of, call to mind

May be put from her by society.
society (n.) 1 companionship, fellowship, association

Now do you know the reason of this haste.


FRIAR

(aside)

I would I knew not why it should be slowed. –

Look, sir, here comes the lady toward my cell.

Enter Juliet


PARIS

Happily met, my lady and my wife!


JULIET

That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.


PARIS

That ‘ may be ’ must be, love, on Thursday next.


JULIET

What must be shall be.


FRIAR

                         That's a certain text.


PARIS

Come you to make confession to this father?


JULIET

To answer that, I should confess to you.


PARIS

Do not deny to him that you love me.


JULIET

I will confess to you that I love him.


PARIS

So will ye, I am sure, that you love me.


JULIET

If I do so, it will be of more price,
price (n.) value, worth, importance

Being spoke behind your back, than to your face.


PARIS

Poor soul, thy face is much abused with tears.
abuse (v.) 2 misuse, maltreat, treat badly, wrong


JULIET

The tears have got small victory by that,

For it was bad enough before their spite.
spite (n.) 2 malice, ill-will, hatred


PARIS

Thou wrongest it more than tears with that report.


JULIET

That is no slander, sir, which is a truth.

And what I spake, I spake it to my face.


PARIS

Thy face is mine, and thou hast slandered it.


JULIET

It may be so, for it is not mine own. –

Are you at leisure, holy father, now,

Or shall I come to you at evening mass?
mass (n.) 2 service, liturgy, divine celebration


FRIAR

My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now. –
pensive (adj.) sorrowful, sad, full of melancholy
serve (v.) 3 provide opportunity [to], be favourable [to], favour

My lord, we must entreat the time alone.


PARIS

God shield I should disturb devotion! –
shield (v.) forbid [as exclamation]

Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye.

Till then, adieu, and keep this holy kiss.

Exit Paris


JULIET

O shut the door! and when thou hast done so,

Come weep with me. Past hope, past cure, past help!


FRIAR

Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief.

It strains me past the compass of my wits.
compass (n.) 1 range, reach, limit, scope
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)

I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,
prorogue (v.) 1 postpone, delay, defer

On Thursday next be married to this County.
county (n.) 1 [title of rank] count


JULIET

Tell me not, Friar, that thou hearest of this,

Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it.

If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help,

Do thou but call my resolution wise

And with this knife I'll help it presently.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

God joined my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands;

And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo's sealed,

Shall be the label to another deed,
label (n.) 2 codicil, appendix, additional clause

Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
revolt (n.) 1 betrayal, change of heart, faithlessness

Turn to another, this shall slay them both.

Therefore, out of thy long-experienced time,
time (n.) 3 lifetime, life

Give me some present counsel; or, behold,

'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife
extreme (n.) 4 intense emotion, violent passion

Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that
umpire (n.) arbitrator, mediator, adjudicator

Which the commission of thy years and art
art (n.) 1 knowledge, learning, scholarship, science
commission (n.) 1 warrant, authority [to act]

Could to no issue of true honour bring.
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count

Be not so long to speak. I long to die

If what thou speakest speak not of remedy.


FRIAR

Hold, daughter. I do spy a kind of hope,

Which craves as desperate an execution
crave (v.) 2 need, demand, require

As that is desperate which we would prevent.

If, rather than to marry County Paris,

Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself,

Then is it likely thou wilt undertake

A thing like death to chide away this shame,
chide (v.), past form chid 4 brusquely command, drive [away] with harsh words
shame (n.) 1 disgrace, dishonour, affront

That copest with death himself to 'scape from it.
cope, cope with (v.) 1 encounter, face, have to do [with], come into contact [with]
scape, 'scape (v.) escape, avoid See Topics: Frequency count

And, if thou darest, I'll give thee remedy.


JULIET

O bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,

From off the battlements of any tower,

Or walk in thievish ways, or bid me lurk
thievish (adj.) frequented by thieves, infested with robbers

Where serpents are. Chain me with roaring bears,

Or hide me nightly in a charnel house,
charnel-house, charnel house (n.) bone-store, burial vault

O'ercovered quite with dead men's rattling bones,
overcover (v.) cover up, bury
quite (adv.) totally, completely, entirely

With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls.
reeky (adj.) foul-smelling, smoky
shank (n.) 2 shin-bone

Or bid me go into a new-made grave

And hide me with a dead man in his tomb –

Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble –

And I will do it without fear or doubt,

To live an unstained wife to my sweet love.


FRIAR

Hold, then. Go home, be merry, give consent

To marry Paris. Wednesday is tomorrow.

Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone.

Let not the Nurse lie with thee in thy chamber.

Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
vial (n.) phial, small bottle, flask

And this distilling liquor drink thou off;
distilling (adj.) infusing, penetrative, permeating the body

When presently through all thy veins shall run
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

A cold and drowsy humour. For no pulse
drowsy (adj.) causing sleepiness, sleep-inducing, soporific
humour (n.) 5 secretion, fluid, juice

Shall keep his native progress, but surcease.
native (adj.) 1 natural, habitual, normal
surcease (v.) cease, stop, leave off

No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest.

The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade

To wanny ashes, thy eyes' windows fall
wanny (adj.) wan, pallid, pale
window (n.) 2 (plural) eyelids

Like death when he shuts up the day of life.

Each part, deprived of supple government,
government (n.) 1 control, charge, management

Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death.
stark (adj.) rigid, stiff [as in death]

And in this borrowed likeness of shrunk death
borrowed (adj.) assumed, pretended, feigned

Thou shalt continue two-and-forty hours,

And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.

Now, when the bridegroom in the morning comes

To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead.

Then, as the manner of our country is,

In thy best robes uncovered on the bier

Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault

Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.

In the meantime, against thou shalt awake,
against, 'gainst (conj.) in anticipation of the time when

Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift.
drift (n.) 1 plan, intention, aim

And hither shall he come. And he and I

Will watch thy waking, and that very night

Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.

And this shall free thee from this present shame,

If no inconstant toy nor womanish fear
toy (n.) 1 whim, caprice, trifling matter

Abate thy valour in the acting it.


JULIET

Give me, give me! O tell not me of fear!


FRIAR

Hold. Get you gone. Be strong and prosperous
prosperous (adj.) 2 favourable, happy, showing success

In this resolve. I'll send a friar with speed

To Mantua, with my letters to thy lord.


JULIET

Love give me strength, and strength shall help afford.

Farewell, dear father!

Exeunt

 
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