Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
Not Peer Reviewed

Romeo and Juliet (Folio 1, 1623)


Enter Capulets Wife and Nurse.
Wife Nurse wher's my daughter? call her forth to me.
Nurse. Now by my Maidenhead, at twelue yeare old
I bad her come, what Lamb: what Ladi-bird, God forbid,
355Where's this Girle? what Iuliet?
Enter Iuliet.
Iuliet. How now, who calls?
Nur. Your Mother.
Iuliet. Madam I am heere, what is your will?
360Wife. This is the matter: Nurse giue leaue awhile, we
must talke in secret. Nurse come backe againe, I haue re-
membred me, thou'se heare our counsell. Thou knowest
my daughter's of a prety age.
Nurse. Faith I can tell her age vnto an houre.
365Wife. Shee's not fourteene.
Nurse. Ile lay fourteene of my teeth,
And yet to my teene be it spoken,
I haue but foure, shee's not fourteene.
How long is it now to Lammas tide?
370Wife. A fortnight and odde dayes.
Nurse. Euen or odde, of all daies in the yeare come
Lammas Eue at night shall she be fourteene. Susan & 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 La-
375mas Eue at night shall she be fourteene, that shall she ma-
rie, I remember it well. 'Tis since the Earth-quake now
eleuen yeares, and she was wean'd I neuer shall forget it,
of all the daies of the yeare, vpon that day: for I had then
laid Worme-wood to my Dug sitting in the Sunne vnder
380the Douehouse wall, my Lord and you were then at
Mantua, nay I doe beare a braine. But as I said, when it
did tast the Worme-wood on the nipple of my Dugge,
and felt it bitter, pretty foole, to see it teachie, and fall out
with the Dugge, Shake quoth the Doue-house, 'twas no
385neede I trow to bid mee trudge: and since that time it is
a eleuen yeares, for then she could stand alone, nay bi'th'
roode she could haue runne, & wadled all about: for euen
the day before she broke her brow, & then my Husband
God be with his soule, a was a merrie man, tooke vp the
390Child, yea quoth hee, doest thou fall vpon thy face? thou
wilt fall backeward when thou hast more wit, wilt thou
not Iule? And by my holy-dam, the pretty wretch lefte
crying, & said I: to see now how a Iest shall come about.
I warrant, & I shall liue a thousand yeares, I neuer should
395forget it: wilt thou not Iulet quoth he? and pretty foole it
stinted, and said I.
Old La. Inough of this, I pray thee hold thy peace.
Nurse. Yes Madam, yet I cannot chuse but laugh, to
thinke it should leaue crying, & say I: and yet I warrant
400it had vpon it brow, a bumpe as big as a young Cockrels
stone? A perilous knock, and it cryed bitterly. Yea quoth
my husband, fall'st vpon thy face, thou wilt fall back-
ward when thou commest to age: wilt thou not Iule? It
stinted: and said I.
405Iule. And stint thou too, I pray thee Nurse, say I.
Nur. Peace I haue done: God marke thee too his grace
thou wast the prettiest Babe that ere I nurst, and I might
liue to see thee married once, I haue my wish.
Old La. Marry that marry is the very theame
410I came to talke of, tell me daughter Iuliet,
How stands your disposition to be Married?
Iuli. It is an houre that I dreame not of.
Nur. An houre, were not I thine onely Nurse, I would
say thou had'st suckt wisedome from thy teat.
415Old La. Well thinke of marriage now, yonger then you
Heere in Verona, Ladies of esteeme,
Are made already Mothers. By my count
I was your Mother, much vpon these yeares
That you are now a Maide, thus then in briefe:
420The valiant Paris seekes you for his loue.
Nurse. A man young Lady, Lady, such a man as all
the world. Why hee's a man of waxe.
Old La. Veronas Summer hath not such a flower.
Nurse. Nay hee's a flower, infaith a very flower.
425Old La: What say you, can you loue the Gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our Feast,
Read ore the volume of young Paris face,
And find delight, writ there with Beauties pen:
Examine euery seuerall liniament,
430And see how one another lends content:
And what obscur'd in this faire volume lies,
Find written in the Margent of his eyes.
This precious Booke of Loue, this vnbound Louer,
To Beautifie him, onely lacks a Couer.
435The fish liues in the Sea, and 'tis much pride
For faire without, the faire within to hide:
That Booke in manies eyes doth share the glorie,
That in Gold claspes, Lockes in the Golden storie:
So shall you share all that he doth possesse,
440By hauing him, making your selfe no lesse.
Nurse. No lesse, nay bigger: women grow by men.
Old La. Speake briefly, can you like of Paris loue?
Iuli. Ile looke to like, if looking liking moue.
But no more deepe will I endart mine eye,
445Then your consent giues strength to make flye.
Enter a Seruing man.
Ser. Madam, the guests are come, supper seru'd vp, you
cal'd, my young Lady askt for, the Nurse cur'st in the Pan-
tery, and euery thing in extremitie: I must hence to wait, I
450beseech you follow straight.
Exit.
Mo. We follow thee, Iuliet, the Countie staies.
Nurse. Goe Gyrle, seeke happie nights to happy daies.
Exeunt.