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RSA 2004: What Is a Line?

What Is a Line?

Romeo and Juliet: the nurse rattles on

Nurse. Faith I can tell her age vnto an houre.
Wife. Shee's not fourteene.
 Nurse. Ile lay fourteene of my teeth, and yet to my teene be it
spoken, I haue but foure, shees not fourteene.
How long is it now to Lammas tide?
Wife. A fortnight and odde dayes.
 Nurse. Euen or odde, of all daies in the yeare come Lammas Eue at
night stal she be fourteen. Susan and she, God rest all Christian soules,
were of an age. Well Susan is with God, she was too good for me: But
as I said, on Lammas Eue at night shall she be fourteene, that shall
shee marrie, I remember it well. Tis since the Earth-quake now
eleuen yeares, and she was weand I neuer shall forget it, of all the daies
of the yeare vpon that day: for I had then laide worme-wood to my
dug, sitting in the sun vnder the Doue-house wall. My Lord and
you were then at Mantua, nay I doo beare a braine. But as I said,
when it did taste the worme-wood on the nipple of my dug, and
felt it bitter, pretie foole, to see it teachie and fall out with the Dugge.
Shake quoth the Doue-house, twas no need I trow to bid me trudge:
and since that time it is a leuen yeares, for then she could stand hylone,
nay byth roode she could haue run and wadled all about: for euen
the day before she broke her brow, and then my husband, God be with
his soule, a was a merrie man, tooke vp the child, yea quoth he, doest
thou fall vpon thy face? thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more
wit, wilt thou not Iule? And by my holydam, the pretie wretch left
crying, and said I: to see now how a ieast shall come about: I warrant,
and I should liue a thousand yeares, I neuer should forget it: wilt thou
not Iule quoth he? and pretie foole it stinted, and said I.
Old La. Inough of this, I pray thee hold thy peace.
 Nurse. Yes Madam, yet I can not chuse but laugh, to thinke it
should leaue crying, and say I: and yet I warrant it had vpon it brow, a
bump as big as a young Cockrels stone: a perillous knock, and it cryed
bitterly. Yea quoth my husband, fallst vpon thy face, thou wilt fall
backward when thou commest to age: wilt thou not Iule? It stinted,
and said I.
Iuli. And stint thou too, I pray thee Nurse, say I.

(Romeo and Juliet, TLN 364-405)

The Annex 
The Annex 
The Annex