Romeo and Juliet - Act 1, scene 3
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Act 1, scene 3
Lady Capulet informs Juliet of Paris’s marriage proposal and praises him extravagantly. Juliet says that she has not even dreamed of marrying, but that she will consider Paris as a possible husband if her parents wish her to.Enter ⌜Lady Capulet⌝ and Nurse.
0370 Nurse, where’s my daughter? Call her forth to me.
0371 Now, by my maidenhead at twelve year old,
0372 I bade her come.—What, lamb! What, ladybird!
0373 God forbid. Where’s this girl? What, Juliet!
NURSE 0375 Your mother.
0376 Madam, I am here. What is your will?
0377 This is the matter.—Nurse, give leave awhile.
0378 We must talk in secret.—Nurse, come back again.
0379 10 I have remembered me, thou ’s hear our counsel.
0380 Thou knowest my daughter’s of a pretty age.
0381 Faith, I can tell her age unto ⌜an⌝ hour.
LADY CAPULET 0382 She’s not fourteen.
NURSE 0383 I’ll lay fourteen of my teeth (and yet, to my teen
0384 15 be it spoken, I have but four) she’s not fourteen.
0385 How long is it now to Lammastide?
LADY CAPULET 0386 A fortnight and odd days.
0387 Even or odd, of all days in the year,
0388 Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen.
0389 20 Susan and she (God rest all Christian souls!)
0390 Were of an age. Well, Susan is with God;
0391 She was too good for me. But, as I said,
0392 On Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen.
0393 That shall she. Marry, I remember it well.
0394 25 ’Tis since the earthquake now eleven years,
0395 And she was weaned (I never shall forget it)
0396 Of all the days of the year, upon that day.
0397 For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
0398 Sitting in the sun under the dovehouse wall.
0399 30 My lord and you were then at Mantua.
0400 Nay, I do bear a brain. But, as I said,
0401 When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
0402 Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,
0403 To see it tetchy and fall out with ⌜the⌝ dug.
0404 35 “Shake,” quoth the dovehouse. ’Twas no need, I
0407 And since that time it is eleven years.
0408 For then she could stand high-lone. Nay, by th’
0409 40 rood,
0410 She could have run and waddled all about,
0411 For even the day before, she broke her brow,
0412 And then my husband (God be with his soul,
0413 He was a merry man) took up the child.
0414 45 “Yea,” quoth he, “Dost thou fall upon thy face?
0415 Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit,
0416 Wilt thou not, Jule?” And, by my holidam,
0417 The pretty wretch left crying and said “Ay.”
0418 To see now how a jest shall come about!
0419 50 I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
0420 I never should forget it. “Wilt thou not, Jule?”
0421 quoth he.
0422 And, pretty fool, it stinted and said “Ay.”
0423 Enough of this. I pray thee, hold thy peace.
0424 55 Yes, madam, yet I cannot choose but laugh
0425 To think it should leave crying and say “Ay.”
0426 And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow
0427 A bump as big as a young cock’rel’s stone,
0428 A perilous knock, and it cried bitterly.
0429 60 “Yea,” quoth my husband. “Fall’st upon thy face?
0430 Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age,
0431 Wilt thou not, Jule?” It stinted and said “Ay.”
0432 And stint thou, too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.
0433 Peace. I have done. God mark thee to his grace,
0434 65 Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er I nursed.
0435 An I might live to see thee married once,
0436 I have my wish.
0437 Marry, that “marry” is the very theme
0438 I came to talk of.—Tell me, daughter Juliet,
0439 70 How stands your ⌜disposition⌝ to be married?
0440 It is an ⌜honor⌝ that I dream not of.
0441 An ⌜honor?⌝ Were not I thine only nurse,
0442 I would say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy
0444 75 Well, think of marriage now. Younger than you
0445 Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
0446 Are made already mothers. By my count
0447 I was your mother much upon these years
0448 That you are now a maid. Thus, then, in brief:
0449 80 The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.
0450 A man, young lady—lady, such a man
0451 As all the world—why, he’s a man of wax.
0452 Verona’s summer hath not such a flower.
0453 Nay, he’s a flower, in faith, a very flower.
0454 85 What say you? Can you love the gentleman?
0455 This night you shall behold him at our feast.
0456 Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face,
0457 And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen.
0458 Examine every married lineament
0459 90 And see how one another lends content,
0460 And what obscured in this fair volume lies
0461 Find written in the margent of his eyes.
0462 This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
0463 To beautify him only lacks a cover.
0464 95 The fish lives in the sea, and ’tis much pride
0466 That book in many’s eyes doth share the glory
0467 That in gold clasps locks in the golden story.
0468 So shall you share all that he doth possess
0469 100 By having him, making yourself no less.
0470 No less? Nay, bigger. Women grow by men.
0471 Speak briefly. Can you like of Paris’ love?
0472 I’ll look to like, if looking liking move.
0473 But no more deep will I endart mine eye
0474 105 Than your consent gives strength to make ⌜it⌝ fly.
SERVINGMAN 0475 Madam, the guests are come, supper
0476 served up, you called, my young lady asked for, the
0477 Nurse cursed in the pantry, and everything in
0478 extremity. I must hence to wait. I beseech you,
0479 110 follow straight.
0480 We follow thee.⌜Servingman exits.⌝
0481 Juliet, the County stays.
0482 Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.