Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Romeo and Juliet (Modern)
  • Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
  • ISBN: 1-55058-299-2

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Romeo and Juliet (Modern)

    Enter Capulet, County Paris, and the Clown [a Servingman].
    Capulet But Montague is bound as well as I,
    In penalty alike, and 'tis not hard, I think,
    250For men so old as we to keep the peace.
    Paris Of honorable reckoning are you both,
    And pity 'tis you lived at odds so long.
    But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
    Capulet But saying o'er what I have said before:
    255My child is yet a stranger in the world,
    She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.
    Let two more summers wither in their pride
    Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
    Paris Younger than she are happy mothers made.
    260Capulet And too soon marred are those so early made.
    Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she;
    She's the hopeful lady of my earth.
    But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
    My will to her consent is but a part;
    265And she agreed, within her scope of choice
    Lies my consent, and fair according voice.
    This night I hold an old accustomed feast,
    Whereto I have invited many a guest
    Such as I love; and you among the store,
    270One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
    At my poor house look to behold this night
    Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light.
    Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
    When well-appareled April on the heel
    275Of limping winter treads, even such delight
    Among fresh fennel buds shall you this night
    Inherit at my house. Hear all, all see,
    And like her most, whose merit most shall be;
    Which, on more view of many, mine being one,
    280May stand in number, though in reck'ning none.
    Come, go with me. [To Servingman] Go, sirrah, trudge about
    Through fair Verona, find those persons out
    Whose names are written there, and to them say
    My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.
    Exeunt [Capulet and Paris]
    285Tybalt Find them out whose names are written here. It is written that the shoemaker should meddle with his yard and the tailor with his last, the fisher with his pencil and the painter with his nets. But I am sent to find those persons whose names are here writ, and can never find 290what names the writing person hath here writ. I must to the learned. In good time.
    Enter Benvolio and Romeo.
    Benvolio Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning,
    One pain is lessened by another's anguish;
    295Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;
    One desperate grief cures with another's languish.
    Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
    And the rank poison of the old will die.
    Romeo Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.
    For what, I pray thee?
    For your broken shin.
    Benvolio Why, Romeo, art thou mad?
    Romeo Not mad, but bound more than a madman is;
    Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
    305Whipped and tormented, and -- Good e'en, good fellow.
    Servant God gi'good e'en. I pray, sir, can you read?
    Romeo Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
    Servant Perhaps you have learned it without book. But I pray, can you read anything you see?
    310Romeo Ay, if I know the letters and the language.
    Servant Ye say honestly, rest you merry.
    Romeo Stay, fellow, I can read.
    He reads the Letter.
    "Signor Martino and his wife and daughters;
    County 315Anselme and his beauteous sisters;
    The Lady widow of Vitruvio;
    Signor Placentio and his lovely nieces;
    Mercutio and his brother Valentine;
    Mine Uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters;
    My faire niece Rosaline, and Livia;
    Signor Valentio and his cousin Tybalt;
    Lucio and the lively Helena."
    320A fair assembly. Whither should they come?
    Servant Up.
    Romeo Whither? To supper?
    Servant To our house.
    Romeo Whose house?
    325Servant My master's.
    Romeo Indeed, I should have asked thee that before.
    Servant Now I'll tell you without asking. My master is the great rich Capulet, and if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a cup of wine. Rest 330you merry.
    Benvolio At this same ancient feast of Capulet's,
    Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so loves,
    With all the admirèd beauties of Verona.
    Go thither, and with unattainted eye
    335Compare her face with some that I shall show,
    And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
    Romeo When the devout religion of mine eye
    Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fire;
    And these who, often drowned, could never die,
    340Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars.
    One fairer than my love? The all-seeing sun
    Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun.
    Benvolio Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,
    Herself poised with herself in either eye;
    345But in that crystal scales let there be weighed
    Your lady's love against some other maid
    That I will show you shining at this feast,
    And she shall scant show well that now seems best.
    Romeo I'll go along, no such sight to be shown,
    350But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.