Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
Not Peer Reviewed

Romeo and Juliet (Modern)

Enter Friar [Laurence] and County Paris.
Friar Laurence On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.
2295Paris My Father Capulet will have it so,
And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.
Friar Laurence You say you do not know the lady's mind?
Uneven is the course. I like it not.
Paris Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death,
2300And therefore have I little talk of love,
For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.
Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous
That she do give her sorrow so much sway,
And in his wisdom hastes our marriage
2305To stop the inundation of her tears,
Which, too much minded by herself alone,
May be put from her by society.
Now do you know the reason of this haste.
Friar Laurence[Aside] I would I knew not why it should be slowed. --
2310Look 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.
What must be shall be.
Friar Laurence
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.
2320Juliet 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,
Being spoke behind your back, than to your face.
Paris Poor soul, thy face is much abused with tears.
2325Juliet The tears have got small victory by that,
For it was bad enough before their spite.
Paris Thou wrongst 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.
2330Paris 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?
Friar Laurence My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now. --
2335My Lord, we must entreat the time alone.
Paris God shield I should disturb devotion. --
Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye.
Till then adieu, and keep this holy kiss.
Juliet O shut the door, and when thou hast done so,
2340Come weep with me, past hope, past care, past help.
Friar Laurence O Juliet, I already know thy grief;
It strains me past the compass of my wits.
I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,
On Thursday next be married to this County.
2345Juliet Tell me not, Friar, that thou hearst 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.
2350God 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,
Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
Turn to another, this shall slay them both.
2355Therefore, out of thy long-experienced time,
Give me some present counsel, or behold,
'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife
Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that
Which the commission of thy years and art
2360Could to no issue of true honor bring.
Be not so long to speak; I long to die
If what thou speakst speak not of remedy.
Friar Laurence Hold, daughter, I do spy a kind of hope
Which craves as desperate an execution
2365As that is desperate which we would prevent.
If rather then 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,
2370That cop'st with death himself to scape from it;
And if thou darest, I'll give thee remedy.
Juliet O bid me leap, rather then marry Paris,
From of the battlements of any tower,
Or walk in thievish ways, or bid me lurk
2375Where serpents are. Chain me with roaring bears,
Or hide me nightly in a charnel-house,
O'recovered quite with dead men's rattling bones,
With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls;
Or bid me go into a new-made grave,
2380And 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 Laurence Hold then, go home, be merry, give consent
2385To marry Paris. Wednesday is tomorrow.
Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone;
Let not the nurse lie with thee in thy chamber.
Take care thou this vial, being then in bed,
And this distilling liquor drink thou off,
2390When presently through all thy veins shall run
A cold and drowsy humor; for no pulse
Shall keep his native progress, but surcease;
No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest;
The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade
2395To wanny ashes, thy eyes' windows fall
Like death when he shuts up the day of life.
Each part, deprived of supple government,
Shall stiff and stark, and cold appear like death,
And in this borrowed likeness of shrunk death
2400Thou 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,
2405In thy best robes, uncovered on the bier
Be borne to burial in thy kindred's grave:
Thou shall be borne to that same ancient vault
Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie,
In the meantime, against thou shalt awake,
2410Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift,
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
2415Abate thy valor in the acting it.
Juliet Give me, give me! O tell not me of fear!
Friar Laurence Hold, get you gone; Be strong and prosperous
In this resolve, I'll send a Friar with speed
To Mantua with my letters to thy Lord.
2420Juliet Love give me strength, and strength shall help afford
Farewell dear father.