Page images

Nor ope

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.

Enter Romeo, at a distance.
Ben. See where he comes : so please you,

step aside; I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.

Mon. I would thou wert so happy by thy stay, To hear true shrift.—Come, madam, let 's away.

(Exeunt Montague and Lady Montague. Ben. Good morrow, cousin. Rom. Is the day so young! Ben. But new struck nine.

Rom. Ah me! sad hours seem long. Was that my father that went hence so fast? Ben. It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo's

bours? Rom. Not having that which, having, makes

them short Ben. In love? Rom. OutBen. Of love? Rom. Out of her favour where I am in love.

Ben. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view, Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!

Rom. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, Should without eyes see pathways to his will! Where shall we dine ?-0 me !—What fray was

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 !
O anything, of nothing first create !
O heavy lightness ! serious vanity!
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke,cold fire, sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feei 1, that feel no love in this.-
Dost thou not laugh?

Ben. No, coz, I rather weep.
Rom. Good heart, at what?
Ben. At thy good heart's oppression.

Rom. Why, such is love's trangression.
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

shewn 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 vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears : What is it else? a madness most discreet, A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. Farewell, my coz.


Ben. Soft, I will go along :
An if you leave me so, you do me wrong

Rom. Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo; he's some other where.

Ben. Tell me in sadness, who she is you love. Rom. What, shall I groan, and tell thee?'

Ben. Groan? why, no; But sadly tell me who.

Rom. 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.

Ben. I aimed so near when I supposed you loved. Rom. A right good marksman !-And she's

fair I love. Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.

Rom. 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 armed, From love's weak childish bow she lives un

harmed. She will not stay the siege of loving terms, Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes,

her lap to saint-sedncing gold. O, she is rich in beauty: only poor, That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store ! Ben. Then she bath sworn that she will still

live chaste ? Rom. 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,
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.

Ben. Be ruled by me; forget to think of her.
Rom. O, teach me how I should forget to think.

Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes :
Examine other beauties.

"T is the way
To call her's, exquisite, in question more.
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies' brows,
Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair :
He that is strucken blind, cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost:
Shew me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve, but as a note
Where I may read who passed that passing fair
Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.
Ben. I ’U pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.


[ocr errors]

Scene II-A Street,

Enter CAPULET, Paris, and Servant Cap. And Montague is bound as well as I,

la penalty alike; and 't is not hară, I think, Rom. Your plaintain leaf is excellent for that. For men so old as we to keep the peace.

Ben. For what, I pray thee? Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both ;

Rom. For your broken shin. And pity 't is you lived at odds so long.

Ben. Why, Romeo, art thou mad ? But now, my lord, what say you to my suit ? Rom. Not mad, but bound more than a madCap. But saying o'er what I have said before :

man is : My child is yet a stranger in the world,

Shut up in prison, kept without my food She hath not seen the change of fourteen years : Whipped and tormented, and-Good-e'en, good Let two more summers wither in their pride,

fellow. Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.

Serv. God gi' good-e'en. I pray, sir, can you Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made.

read? Cap. And too soon marred are those so early Rom. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery. made.

Serv. Perhaps you have learned it without book: The earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she; But I pray, can you read anything you see? She is the hopeful lady of my earth.

Rom. Ay, if I know the letters and the lanBut woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;

guage. My will to her consent is but a part:

Serv. Ye say honestly: rest you merry! An she agree, within her scope of choice

Rom. Stay, fellow: I can read. Lies my consent and fair according voice.

Reads. This night I hold an old accustomed feast,

Signior Martino, and his wife and daughters ; Whereto I hare invited many a guest,

County Anselme and his beauteous sisters; the lady Such as I love: and you, among the store, widow of Vitruvio ; Signior Placentio and his lovely One more, most welcome, makes my numbermore. nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine; mine At my poor house look to behold this night uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters; my fair niece Eurth-treading stars, that make dark heaven light. Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio and his cousin Such comfort as do lusty young men feel

Tybalt: Lucio, and the lively Helena. When well-apparelled April on the heel

A fair assembly [gives back the note). Whither Of limping winter treads, even such delight

should they come ? Among fresh female buds shall you this night

Serv. Up.
Inherit at my house: hear all, all see,

Rom. Whither?
And like lier most whose merit most shall be: Serv. To supper; to our house.
Such, amongst view of many, mine, being one, Rom. Whose house?
May stand in number, though in reckoning none. Serv. My master's.
Come, go with me:-Go, sirrah, trudge about Rom. Indeed I should have asked

you that Through fair Verona; find those


before. Whose names are written there (gives a paper), Serv. Now I 'll tell you without asking : my and to them say,

master is the great rich Capulet; and if you be My house and welcome on their pleasure stay. not of the house of Montagues, I pray come and

[Exeunt Capulet and Paris. crush a cup of wine. Rest you merry. (Exit. Serv. Find them out whose names are written Ben. At this same ancient feast of Capulet's here? It is written that the shoemaker should Sups the fair Rosaline, whom thou so lov'st; meddle with his yard, and the tailor with his With all the admired beauties of Verona : last, the fisher with his pencil, and the painter Go thither; and, with unattainted eye, with his nets;

but I am sent to find those persons Compare her face with some that I shall shew, whose names are here writ, and can never find And I will make thee think thy swan a crow. what names the writing person hath here writ. Rom. When the devout religion of mine eye I must to the learned :-In good time.

Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires!

And these—who, often drowned, could never dieEnter Benvolio and Romeo.

Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars ! Ben. Tut, man! one fire burns out another's One fairer than my love !—the all-seeing sun burning,

Ne'er saw her match, since first the world begun. One pain is lessened by another's anguish; Ben. Tut! you saw her fair, none else being by; Turn giddy, and be holp by backward twrning; Herself poised with herself in either eye: One desperate grief cures with another's lan- But in those crystal scales, let there be weighed guish :

Your lady-love against some other maid T'ake thou some new infection to thy eye, That I will shew you, shining at this feast, And the rank poison of the old will die.

And she shall scant shew well. that now shewi test


Rom. I'll go along, no such sight to be shown, But to rejoice in splendour of mine own. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.-A Room in Capulet's House.

Enter LADY CAPULET, and Nurse. Lady C. Nurse, where 's my daughter? call

her forth to me. Nurse. Now, by my maidenhead-at twelve

years old

And since that time it is eleven years :
For then she could stand alone; nay, by the rond,
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 :
“Yea," quoth he,“ dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more

Wilt thou not, Jule?" and, by my holy-dam,
The pretty wretch left crying, and said “ “Ay:"
To see now, how a jest shall come about !
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." Lady C. 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 its brow A bump as big as a young cockrel's stone: A parlous knock; and it cried bitterly. Yea," quoth my husband, “fall’st upon thy

face? Thou wilt fall backward when thou com'st to

age; Wilt thou not, Jule?" it stinted, and said “Ay."

Jul. And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse,

say I.

I bade her come.—What, lamb! what, lady

bird !God forbid !-where's this girl? what, Juliet !

Enter Julier. Jul. How now; who calls ? Nurse. Your mother.

Jul Madam, I am here. What is your will ? Lady C. This is the matter :-Nurse, give

leave awhile; We must talk in secret.-Nurse, come back

again; I have remembered me, thou shalt hear our

Thou know'st my daughter 's of a pretty age.

Nurse. 'Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.
Lady C. She's not fourteen.
Nurse. I'll lay fourteen of my

teeth And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but

fourShe is not fourteen. How long is it now To Lammas-tide?

Lady C. A fortnight and odd days.

Nurse. Even or odd, of all days in the year, Come Lammas-eve at night, shall she be four

teen. 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 itOf all the days of the year, upon that day: For I had then laid wormwood to my dug, 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 teteh and fall out with the dug. "Shake," quoth the dovehouse : 't was no need,

I trow, l'o bid me trudge.

Nurse. Peace; I have done. God mark theo

to His grace! Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed : An I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish.

Lady C. Marry, that marry is the very theme I came to talk of.—Tell me, daughter Juliet, How stands your disposition to be married?

Jul. It is an honour that I dream not of. Nurse. An honour! were not I thine only

nurse, I'd say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy

teat. Lady C. 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


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 maa, As all the world—why, he's a man of wax. Lady C. Verona's summer hath not such

flower. Nurse. Nay, he's a flower ; in faith, a very Nurse. No less ? nay, bigger ; women grow by


[graphic][merged small]


Lady C. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris'

love? Jul. 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


Lady C. 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, And see how one another lends content: And what obscured in this fair volume lies, Find written in the margin 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 't is much pride For fair without the fair within to hide : That book in many's eyes does share the glory, That in gold clasps locks in the golden story; So shall you share all that he doth possess, Bv having him, making yourself no less.

Enter a Servant. Serv. 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. Lady C. We follow thee.-Juliet, the County Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.



SCENE IV.-A Strcet.

Enter Romeo, Mercurio, Benvolio, with five

or six Maskers, Torchbearers, and others. Rom. What, shall this speech be spoke for our

excuse? Or shall we on without apology?

Ben. The date is out of such prolixity. We'll have no Cupid hoodwinked with a scarf, Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath, Scaring the ladies like a crowkeeper; Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke After the prompter,—for our entrance: But, let them measure us by what they will, We'll measure them a measure, and be gone. Rom. Give me a torch: I am not for this am

bling: Being but heavy, I will bear the light. Mer. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you

dance. Rom. Not I, believeme:you have dancing-shoes, With nimble soles : I have a soul of lead, So stakes me to the ground, I cannot move.

Mer. You are a lover : borrow Cupid's wings, And soar with them above a common bound.

Rom. I am too sore empiercéd with his shaft, 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.

Mer. And, to sink in it, should you burden love: Too great oppression for a tender thing.

Rom. Is love a tender thing? it is too rough, Too rude, too boisterous; and it pricks like thorn. Mer. 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.

(Putting on a mask. A visor for a visor!-what care I What curious eye doth quote deformities? Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me.

Ben. Come, knock, and enter; and no sooner in, But every man betake him to his legs. Rom. A torch for me: let wantons, light of

heart, Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels ; For I am proverbed with a grandsire phrase, — I 'll be a candle-holder, and look on ;The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done. Mer. Tut! “ dun's the mouse," the constable's

own word: If thuu art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire

Of this (save reverence), love, wherein thou stick'st
Up to the ears.-Come, we burn daylight, ho.

Rom. Nay, that's not so.

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.

Rom. And we mean well, in going to this mask; But 't is no wit to go.

Mer. Why, may one ask?
Rom. I dreamt a dream to-night.
Mer. And so did I.
Rom. Well, what was yours?
Mer. That dreamers often lie.
Rom. In bed, asleep, while they do dream things

true. Mer. 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 On the forefinger of an alderman, Drawn with a team of little atomies Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep: Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners' legs; The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers ; The traces, of the smallest spider's web; The collars, of the moonshine's watery beams : Her whip of cricket's bone; the Jash, of film : Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat, Not half so big as a round little worm Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid: Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut, Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub, Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers. And in this state she gallops night by night Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of

love: On 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, Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are. Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose, And then dreams he of smelling out a suit: And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail, Tickling a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep, Then dreams he of another benefice: Sometimes 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 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;

« PreviousContinue »