ACT I
Scene 3
 

Capulet's house.

Enter Capulet's Wife, and Nurse.

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

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

Enter Juliet.

JULIET
How now? Who calls?

NURSE
Your mother.

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

LADY CAPULET
This is the matter- Nurse, give leave awhile,
We must talk in secret. Nurse, come back again;

I have rememb'red me, thou's hear our counsel.
Thou knowest my daughter's of a pretty age.

NURSE
Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.

LADY CAPULET
She's not fourteen.

NURSE
I'll lay fourteen of my teeth-
And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four-
She is not fourteen. How long is it now
To Lammastide?

LADY CAPULET
A fortnight and odd days.

NURSE
Even or odd, of all days in the year,
Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen.
Susan and she (God rest all Christian souls!)
Were of an age. Well, Susan is with God;

She was too good for me. But, as I said,
On Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen;

That shall she, marry;
I remember it well.
'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;

And she was wean'd (I never shall forget it),
Of all the days of the year, upon that day;

For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
Sitting in the sun under the dovehouse wall.
My lord and you were then at Mantua.
Nay, I do bear a brain. But, as I said,
When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,
To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!
Shake, quoth the dovehouse! 'Twas no need, I trow,
To bid me trudge.
And since that time it is eleven years,
For then she could stand alone;
nay, by th' rood,
She could have run and waddled all about;

For even the day before, she broke her brow;

And then my husband (God be with his soul!
'A was a merry man) took up the child.
'Yea,' quoth he, 'dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;

Wilt thou not, Jule?' and, by my holidam,
The pretty wretch left crying, and said 'Ay.'
To see now how a jest shall come about!
I warrant, an I should live a thousand yeas,
I never should forget it. 'Wilt thou not, Jule?' quoth he,
And, pretty fool, it stinted, and said 'Ay.'

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

NURSE
Yes, madam. Yet I cannot choose but laugh
To think it should leave crying and say 'Ay.'
And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow
A bump as big as a young cock'rel's stone;

A perilous knock;
and it cried bitterly.
'Yea,' quoth my husband, 'fall'st upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age;

Wilt thou not, Jule?' It stinted, and said 'Ay.'

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

NURSE
Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace!
Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd.
An I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish.

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

JULIET
It is an honour that I dream not of.

NURSE
An honour? Were not I thine only nurse,
I would say thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat.

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

NURSE
A man, young lady! lady, such a man
As all the world- why he's a man of wax.

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

NURSE
Nay, he's a flower, in faith- a very flower.

LADY CAPULET
What say you? Can you love the gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our feast.
Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,
And find delight writ there with beauty's pen;

Examine every married lineament,
And see how one another lends content;

And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies
Find written in the margent of his eyes,
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him only lacks a cover.
The fish lives in the sea, and 'tis much pride
For fair without the fair within to hide.
That book in many's eyes doth share the glory,
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;

So shall you share all that he doth possess,
By having him making yourself no less.

NURSE
No less? Nay, bigger! Women grow by men

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

JULIET
I'll look to like, if looking liking move;

But no more deep will I endart mine eye
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Enter Servingman.

SERVANT
Madam, the guests are come, supper serv'd up, you call'd,
my young lady ask'd for, the nurse curs'd in the pantry, and
everything in extremity. I must hence to wait. I beseech you
follow straight.

LADY CAPULET
We follow thee.
Exit [Servingman].
Juliet, the County stays.

NURSE
Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.

Exeunt.