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Romeo and Juliet - Act 2, scene 5
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workRomeo and Juliet - Act 2, scene 5
Act 2, scene 5
Juliet waits impatiently for the Nurse to return. Her impatience grows when the Nurse, having returned, is slow to deliver Romeo’s message. Finally Juliet learns that if she wants to marry Romeo, she need only go to Friar Lawrence’s cell that afternoon.Enter Juliet.
1349 The clock struck nine when I did send the Nurse.
1350 In half an hour she promised to return.
1351 Perchance she cannot meet him. That’s not so.
1352 O, she is lame! Love’s heralds should be thoughts,
1353 5 Which ten times faster glides than the sun’s beams,
p. 1051354 Driving back shadows over louring hills.
1355 Therefore do nimble-pinioned doves draw Love,
1356 And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
1357 Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
1358 10 Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve
1359 Is ⌜three⌝ long hours, yet she is not come.
1360 Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
1361 She would be as swift in motion as a ball;
1362 My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
1363 15 And his to me.
1364 But old folks, many feign as they were dead,
1365 Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead.
Enter Nurse ⌜and Peter.⌝
1366 O God, she comes!—O, honey nurse, what news?
1367 Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.
NURSE 1368 20Peter, stay at the gate.⌜Peter exits.⌝
1369 Now, good sweet nurse—O Lord, why lookest thou
1371 Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
1372 If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
1373 25 By playing it to me with so sour a face.
1374 I am aweary. Give me leave awhile.
1375 Fie, how my bones ache! What a jaunt have I!
1376 I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news.
1377 Nay, come, I pray thee, speak. Good, good nurse,
1378 30 speak.
1379 Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay awhile?
1380 Do you not see that I am out of breath?
1381 How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath
1382 To say to me that thou art out of breath?
1383 35 The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
p. 1071384 Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
1385 Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that.
1386 Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
1387 Let me be satisfied; is ’t good or bad?
NURSE 1388 40Well, you have made a simple choice. You know
1389 not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he.
1390 Though his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg
1391 excels all men’s, and for a hand and a foot and a
1392 body, though they be not to be talked on, yet they
1393 45 are past compare. He is not the flower of courtesy,
1394 but I’ll warrant him as gentle as a lamb. Go thy
1395 ways, wench. Serve God. What, have you dined at
1397 No, no. But all this did I know before.
1398 50 What says he of our marriage? What of that?
1399 Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!
1400 It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
1401 My back o’ t’ other side! Ah, my back, my back!
1402 Beshrew your heart for sending me about
1403 55 To catch my death with jaunting up and down.
1404 I’ faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
1405 Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says my
NURSE 1407 Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a
1408 60 courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, and, I
1409 warrant, a virtuous—Where is your mother?
1410 Where is my mother? Why, she is within.
1411 Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest:
1412 “Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
1413 65 Where is your mother?”
NURSE 1414 O God’s lady dear,
1415 Are you so hot? Marry, come up, I trow.
p. 1091416 Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
1417 Henceforward do your messages yourself.
1418 70 Here’s such a coil. Come, what says Romeo?
1419 Have you got leave to go to shrift today?
JULIET 1420 I have.
1421 Then hie you hence to Friar Lawrence’ cell.
1422 There stays a husband to make you a wife.
1423 75 Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;
1424 They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
1425 Hie you to church. I must another way,
1426 To fetch a ladder by the which your love
1427 Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
1428 80 I am the drudge and toil in your delight,
1429 But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
1430 Go. I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.
1431 Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse, farewell.