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    Not Peer Reviewed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's wife and Nurse.
    Capulet's Wife Nurse, where's my daughter? Call her forth to me.
    Nurse Now by my maidenhead at twelve year old
    I bade her come. What, lamb! What, ladybird!
    God forbid! 355Where's this girl? What, Juliet!
    Enter Juliet.
    Juliet How now, who calls?
    Nurse Your mother.
    Juliet Madam, I am here. What is your will?
    360Capulet's Wife This is the matter. -- Nurse, give leave awhile,
    We must in secret. -- Nurse, come back again,
    I have remembered me, thou's hear our counsel.
    Thou knowest my daughter's of a pretty age.
    Nurse Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.
    365Capulet's Wife
    She's not fourteen.
    I'll lay fourteen of my teeth,
    And yet to my teen be it spoken, I have but four,
    She's not fourteen. How long is it now
    To Lammastide?
    370Capulet's Wife
    A fortnight and odd days.
    Nurse Even or odd, of all days in the year,
    Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen.
    Susan and she -- God rest all Christian souls --
    Were of an age. Well Susan is with God;
    She was too good for me. But as I said,
    On 375Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen,
    That shall she, marry, I remember it well.
    'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years,
    And she was weaned -- I never shall forget it --
    Of all the days of the year upon that day;
    For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
    Sitting in the sun under 380the dovehouse wall.
    My Lord and you were then at Mantua --
    Nay, I do bear a brain. But as I said,
    When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
    Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,
    To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!
    "Shake," quoth the dovehouse. 'Twas no 385need, I trow,
    To bid me trudge.
    And since that time it is eleven years,
    For then she could stand high-lone. Nay, by th' rood,
    She could have run and waddled all about;
    For even the day before she broke her brow,
    And then my husband -- God be with his soul,
    A was a merry man -- took up the 390child.
    "Yea," quoth he, "dost thou fall upon thy face?
    Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit,
    Wilt thou not Jule?" And by my holidam,
    The pretty wretch left crying and said "Ay."
    To see now how a jest shall come about!
    I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
    I never should 395forget it. "Wilt thou not, Jule?" quoth he,
    And, pretty fool, it stinted and said "Ay."
    Capulet's Wife Enough of this, I pray thee, hold thy peace.
    Nurse Yes, Madam, yet I cannot choose but laugh
    To think it should leave crying and say 'Ay.'
    And yet, I warrant, 400it had upon it brow
    A bump as big as a young cock'rel's stone,
    A perilous knock, and it cried bitterly.
    "Yea," quoth my husband, "fall'st upon thy face?
    Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age,
    Wilt thou not, Jule?" It stinted and said "Ay."
    405Juliet And stint thou too, I pray thee, Nurse, say I.
    Nurse Peace I have done. God mark thee to his grace,
    Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed.
    An I might live to see thee married once,
    I have my wish.
    Capulet's Wife Marry, that "marry" is the very theme
    410I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,
    How stands your dispositions to be married?
    Juliet It is an honor that I dream not of.
    Nurse An honor! Were not I thine only Nurse,
    I would say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy teat.
    415Capulet's Wife Well, think of marriage now. Younger than you
    Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
    Are made already mothers. By my count
    I was your mother much upon these years
    That you are now a maid. Thus then in brief:
    420The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.
    Nurse A man, young lady, lady, such a man
    As all the world -- why, he's a man of wax.
    Capulet's Wife Verona's summer hath not such a flower.
    Nurse Nay, he's a flower, in faith, a very flower.
    425Capulet's Wife What say you, can you love the gentleman?
    This night you shall behold him at our feast;
    Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face
    And find delight writ there with beauty's pen;
    Examine every married lineament,
    430And see how one another lends content;
    And what obscured in this fair volume lies
    Find written in the margent of his eyes.
    This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
    To beautify him only lacks a cover.
    435The fish lives in the sea, and 'tis much pride
    For fair without the fair within to hide.
    That book in many's eyes doth share the glory
    That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;
    So shall you share all that he doth possess
    440By having him, making yourself no less.
    Nurse No less? Nay, bigger. Women grow by men.
    Capulet's Wife Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love?
    Juliet I'll look to like, if looking liking move.
    But no more deep will I endart mine eye
    445Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.
    Enter Servingman.
    Tybalt Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you called, my young lady asked for, the Nurse cursed in the pantry, and everything in extremity. I must hence to wait, I 450beseech you follow straight.
    Capulet's Wife We follow thee. [Exit Servingman]. Juliet the County stays.
    Nurse Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.