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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Juliet
    Juliet The clock struck nine when I did send the Nurse;
    In half an hour she promised to return.
    Perchance she cannot meet him. That's not so.
    Oh she is lame! Love's heralds should be thoughts,
    1315Which ten times faster glides then the sun's beams,
    Driving back shadows over louring hills.
    Therefore do nimble-pinioned doves draw Love,
    And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
    Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
    1320Of this day's journey, and from nine till twelve
    Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
    Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
    She would be as swift in motion as a ball;
    My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
    1325And his to me,
    But old folks, many feign as they were dead,
    Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead. Enter Nurse [and Peter]
    O God, she comes! -- O honey Nurse, what news?
    1330Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.
    Nurse Peter stay at the gate.
    [Exit Peter]
    Juliet Now good sweet Nurse -- O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
    Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily;
    1335If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
    By playing it to me with so sour a face.
    Nurse I am aweary, give me leave a while.
    Fie, how my bones ache! What a jaunce have I!
    Juliet I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news.
    1340Nay come, I pray thee, speak, good good Nurse, speak.
    Nurse Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay awhile?
    Do you not see that I am out of breath?
    Juliet How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath
    To say to me that thou art out of breath?
    1345The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
    Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
    Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that,
    Say either, and I'll stay the circumstance.
    Let me be satisfied; is't good or bad?
    1350Nurse Well, you have made a simple choice. You know not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he, though his face be better then any man's, yet his leg excels all men's, and for a hand and a foot and a body, though they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare. He is not the flower 1355of courtesy, but I'll warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve God. What, have you dined at home?
    Juliet No, no. But all this did I know before.
    What says he of our marriage, what of that?
    Nurse Lord how my head aches, what a head have I?
    1360It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
    My back o' t'other side, ah, my back, my back!
    Beshrew your heart for sending me about
    To catch my death with jauncing up and down.
    Juliet I'faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
    1365Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me what says my love?
    Nurse Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
    And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
    And, I warrant, a virtuous -- Where is your mother?
    Juliet Where is my mother? 1370Why, she is within.
    Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest:
    "Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
    'Where is your mother?'"
    O God's lady dear,
    1375Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.
    Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
    Henceforward do your messages yourself.
    Here's such a coil. Come, what says Romeo?
    Nurse Have you got leave to go to shrift today?
    1380Juliet I have.
    Nurse Then high you hence to Friar Laurence' cell,
    There stays a husband to make you a wife.
    Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;
    They'll be in scarlet straight at any news.
    1385Hie you to church. I must another way,
    To fetch a ladder by the which your love
    Must climb a bird's nest soon when it is dark.
    I am the drudge and toil in your delight,
    But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
    1390Go. I'll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.
    Juliet Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.