Extracts from Romeo & Juliet
Romeo and Juliet meet at a party held by Juliet’s family, the Capulets, who are mortal enemies of Romeo’s family, the Montagues. Romeo had previously been infatuated with another young woman, Rosaline, but at the party—which he and his friends essentially gatecrash in the hope of runnining into Rosaline—he encounters Juliet and immediately transfers his affections to her.
The Prologue: Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could remove, Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. Act 1, scene 5: [A hall in Capulet's house.] [Musicians waiting. Enter Servingmen with napkins] First Servant Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He shift a trencher? he scrape a trencher! Second Servant When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's hands and they unwashed too, 'tis a foul thing. First Servant Away with the joint-stools, remove the court-cupboard, look to the plate. Good thou, save me a piece of marchpane; and, as thou lovest me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell. Antony, and Potpan! Second Servant Ay, boy, ready. First Servant You are looked for and called for, asked for and sought for, in the great chamber. Second Servant We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys; be brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all. [Enter CAPULET, with JULIET and others of his house, meeting the Guests and Maskers] CAPULET Welcome, gentlemen! ladies that have their toes Unplagued with corns will have a bout with you. Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all Will now deny to dance? she that makes dainty, She, I'll swear, hath corns; am I come near ye now? Welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day That I have worn a visor and could tell A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, Such as would please: 'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis gone: You are welcome, gentlemen! come, musicians, play. A hall, a hall! give room! and foot it, girls. [Music plays, and they dance] More light, you knaves; and turn the tables up, And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot. Ah, sirrah, this unlook'd-for sport comes well. Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet; For you and I are past our dancing days: How long is't now since last yourself and I Were in a mask? Second Capulet By'r lady, thirty years. CAPULET What, man! 'tis not so much, 'tis not so much: 'Tis since the nuptials of Lucentio, Come pentecost as quickly as it will, Some five and twenty years; and then we mask'd. Second Capulet 'Tis more, 'tis more, his son is elder, sir; His son is thirty. CAPULET Will you tell me that? His son was but a ward two years ago. ROMEO [To a Servingman] What lady is that, which doth enrich the hand Of yonder knight? Servant I know not, sir. ROMEO O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear; Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night. TYBALT This, by his voice, should be a Montague. Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave Come hither, cover'd with an antic face, To fleer and scorn at our solemnity? Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin. CAPULET Why, how now, kinsman! wherefore storm you so? TYBALT Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe, A villain that is hither come in spite, To scorn at our solemnity this night. CAPULET Young Romeo is it? TYBALT 'Tis he, that villain Romeo. CAPULET Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone; He bears him like a portly gentleman; And, to say truth, Verona brags of him To be a virtuous and well-govern'd youth: I would not for the wealth of all the town Here in my house do him disparagement: Therefore be patient, take no note of him: It is my will, the which if thou respect, Show a fair presence and put off these frowns, And ill-beseeming semblance for a feast. TYBALT It fits, when such a villain is a guest: I'll not endure him. CAPULET He shall be endured: What, goodman boy! I say, he shall: go to; Am I the master here, or you? go to. You'll not endure him! God shall mend my soul! You'll make a mutiny among my guests! You will set cock-a-hoop! you'll be the man! TYBALT Why, uncle, 'tis a shame. CAPULET Go to, go to; You are a saucy boy: is't so, indeed? This trick may chance to scathe you, I know what: You must contrary me! marry, 'tis time. Well said, my hearts! You are a princox; go: Be quiet, or -- More light, more light! For shame! I'll make you quiet. What, cheerly, my hearts! TYBALT Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting. I will withdraw: but this intrusion shall Now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall. [Exit] ROMEO [To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. JULIET Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. ROMEO Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too? JULIET Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer. ROMEO O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair. JULIET Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake. ROMEO Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take. Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged. JULIET Then have my lips the sin that they have took. ROMEO Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again. JULIET You kiss by the book. Nurse Madam, your mother craves a word with you. ROMEO What is her mother? Nurse Marry, bachelor, Her mother is the lady of the house, And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous I nursed her daughter, that you talk'd withal; I tell you, he that can lay hold of her Shall have the chinks. ROMEO Is she a Capulet? O dear account! my life is my foe's debt. BENVOLIO Away, begone; the sport is at the best. ROMEO Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest. CAPULET Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone; We have a trifling foolish banquet towards. Is it e'en so? why, then, I thank you all I thank you, honest gentlemen; good night. More torches here! Come on then, let's to bed. Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late: I'll to my rest. [Exeunt all but JULIET and Nurse] JULIET Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman? Nurse The son and heir of old Tiberio. JULIET What's he that now is going out of door? Nurse Marry, that, I think, be young Petrucio. JULIET What's he that follows there, that would not dance? Nurse I know not. JULIET Go ask his name: if he be married. My grave is like to be my wedding bed. Nurse His name is Romeo, and a Montague; The only son of your great enemy. JULIET My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me, That I must love a loathed enemy. Nurse What's this? what's this? JULIET A rhyme I learn'd even now Of one I danced withal. [One calls within 'Juliet.'] Nurse Anon, anon! Come, let's away; the strangers all are gone. [Exeunt; Enter Chorus] Chorus Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie, And young affection gapes to be his heir; That fair for which love groan'd for and would die, With tender Juliet match'd, is now not fair. Now Romeo is beloved and loves again, Alike betwitched by the charm of looks, But to his foe supposed he must complain, And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks: Being held a foe, he may not have access To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear; And she as much in love, her means much less To meet her new-beloved any where: But passion lends them power, time means, to meet Tempering extremities with extreme sweet. [Exit]