Romeo and Juliet: Act 1, Scene 3



Summary
          Enter CAPULET'S WIFE, and NURSE.

      LADY CAPULET
  1   Nurse, where's my daughter? call her forth to me.

      Nurse
  2   Now, by my maidenhead at twelve year old,
  3   I bade her come. What, lamb! what, ladybird!
  4   God forbid! Where's this girl? What, Juliet!

          Enter JULIET.

      JULIET
  5   How now! who calls?

      Nurse
  5                     Your mother.

      JULIET
  5                                Madam, I am here.
  6   What is your will?

      LADY CAPULET
  7   This is the matter. —Nurse, give leave awhile,
  8   We must talk in secret. —Nurse, come back again;
  9   I have remember'd me, thou's hear our counsel.
 10   Thou know'st my daughter's of a pretty age.



      Nurse
 11   Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.

      LADY CAPULET
 12   She's not fourteen.

      Nurse
 12                                     I'll lay fourteen of my teeth—
 13   And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four—
 14   She is not fourteen. How long is it now
 15   To Lammas-tide?

      LADY CAPULET
 15                                A fortnight and odd days.

      Nurse
 16   Even or odd, of all days in the year,
 17   Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen.
 18   Susan and she—God rest all Christian souls!—
 19   Were of an age. Well, Susan is with God;
 20   She was too good for me: but, as I said,
 21   On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen;
 22   That shall she, marry; I remember it well.
 23   'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;
 24   And she was wean'd—I never shall forget it—
 25   Of all the days of the year, upon that day;
 26   For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
 27   Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall;
 28   My lord and you were then at Mantua—
 29   Nay, I do bear a brain—but, as I said,
 30   When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
 31   Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,
 32   To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!
 33   Shake, quoth the dove-house; 'twas no need, I trow,
 34   To bid me trudge.
 35   And since that time it is eleven years;
 36   For then she could stand high-lone; nay, by th' rood,
 37   She could have run and waddled all about;
 38   For even the day before, she broke her brow,
 39   And then my husband—God be with his soul!
 40   'A was a merry man—took up the child:
 41   "Yea," quoth he, "dost thou fall upon thy face?
 42   Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;
 43   Wilt thou not, Jule?" and, by my holidam,
 44   The pretty wretch left crying and said "Ay."
 45   To see, now, how a jest shall come about!
 46   I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
 47   I never should forget it: "Wilt thou not, Jule?" quoth he;
 48   And, pretty fool, it stinted and said "Ay."

      LADY CAPULET
 49   Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy peace.

      Nurse
 50   Yes, madam, yet I cannot choose but laugh,
 51   To think it should leave crying and say "Ay."
 52   And yet, I warrant, it had upon it brow
 53   A bump as big as a young cockerel's stone;
 54   A parlous knock; and it cried bitterly:
 55   "Yea," quoth my husband,"fall'st upon thy face?
 56   Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age;
 57   Wilt thou not, Jule?" it stinted and said "Ay."



      JULIET
 58   And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.

      Nurse
 59   Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace!
 60   Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed:
 61   An I might live to see thee married once,
 62   I have my wish.

      LADY CAPULET
 63   Marry, that "marry" is the very theme
 64   I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,
 65   How stands your disposition to be married?

      JULIET
 66   It is an honor that I dream not of.

      Nurse
 67   An honor! were not I thine only nurse,
 68   I would say thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat.

      LADY CAPULET
 69   Well, think of marriage now; younger than you,
 70   Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
 71   Are made already mothers: by my count,
 72   I was your mother much upon these years
 73   That you are now a maid. Thus then in brief:
 74   The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.

      Nurse
 75   A man, young lady! Lady, such a man
 76   As all the world—why, he's a man of wax.

      LADY CAPULET
 77   Verona's summer hath not such a flower.

      Nurse
 78   Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower.

      LADY CAPULET
 79   What say you? can you love the gentleman?
 80   This night you shall behold him at our feast;
 81   Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,
 82   And find delight writ there with beauty's pen;
 83   Examine every married lineament,
 84   And see how one another lends content;
 85   And what obscured in this fair volume lies
 86   Find written in the margent of his eyes.
 87   This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
 88   To beautify him, only lacks a cover.
 89   The fish lives in the sea, and 'tis much pride
 90   For fair without the fair within to hide:
 91   That book in many's eyes doth share the glory,
 92   That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;
 93   So shall you share all that he doth possess,
 94   By having him, making yourself no less.

      Nurse
 95   No less! nay, bigger; women grow by men.

      LADY CAPULET
 96   Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love?

      JULIET
 97   I'll look to like, if looking liking move:
 98   But no more deep will I endart mine eye
 99   Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

          Enter SERVINGMAN.



      Servingman
100   Madam, the guests are come, supper served
101    up, you called, my young lady asked for, the nurse
102    cursed in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I
103    must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.

          Exit Servant

      LADY CAPULET
104   We follow thee. Juliet, the county stays.

      Nurse
105   Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.

          Exeunt.