Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
Peer Reviewed

Romeo and Juliet (Quarto 2, 1599)


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 Ladie-bird, God forbid,
355Wheres this Girle? what Iuliet.
Enter Iuliet.
Iuliet. How now who calls?
Nur. Your mother.
Iuli. Madam I am here, what is your will?
360 Wife. This is the matter. Nurse giue leaue a while, we must talk
in secret. Nurse come backe againe, I haue remembred mee.
thou'se heare our counsel. Thou knowest my daughters of a pre-
tie 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, shees 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 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
375shee 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
380you 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:
385and 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
390thou 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
395not 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
400bump 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.
405Iuli. And stint thou too, I pray thee Nurse, say I.
Nurse. 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. Marrie, that marrie is the very theame
410I came to talke of, tell me daughter Iuliet,
How stands your dispositions to be married?
Iuliet. It is an houre that I dreame not of.
Nurse. An houre, were not I thine onely Nurse, I would say thou
hadst suckt wisedome from thy teate.
415Old La. Well thinke of marriage now, yonger then you
Here in Verona, Ladies of esteeme,
Are made alreadie 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 hees a man of waxe.
OldLa. Veronas Sommer hath not such a flower.
Nurse. Nay hees a flower, in faith a very flower.
425Old La. What say you, can you loue the Gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our feast,
Reade ore the volume of young Paris face,
And find delight, writ there with bewties pen,
Examine euery married liniament,
430And see how one an other lends content:
And what obscurde in this faire volume lies,
Finde written in the margeant of his eyes.
This precious booke of loue, this vnbound louer,
To bewtifie 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 locks 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.
OldLa. 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 flie.
Enter Serving.
Ser. Madam the guests are come, supper seru'd vp, you cald,
my young Lady askt for, the Nurse curst in the Pantrie, and e-
uerie thing in extremitie: I must hence to wait, I beseech you
450follow straight.
Mo. We follow thee, Iuliet the Countie staies.
Nur. Go gyrle, seeke happie nights to happie dayes.
Exeunt.