Romeo and Juliet: Act 1, Scene 2


Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and Servant.

CAPULET: But Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we to keep the peace.

PARIS: Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity 'tis you lived at odds so long.
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?

CAPULET: But saying o'er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world;
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years;
Let two more summers wither in their pride,        [10]
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.

PARIS: Younger than she are happy mothers made.

CAPULET: And too soon marr'd are those so early made.
The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she,
She is the hopeful lady of my earth:
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part;
An she agree, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.
This night I hold an old accustom'd feast,        [20]
Whereto I have invited many a guest,
Such as I love; and you, among the store,
One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
At my poor house look to behold this night
Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light:
Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
When well-apparell'd April on the heel
Of limping winter treads, even such delight
Among fresh female buds shall you this night
Inherit at my house; hear all, all see,        [30]
And like her most whose merit most shall be:
Which on more view, of many mine being one
May stand in number, though in reckoning none,
Come, go with me.

[To Servant, giving a paper.]

Go, sirrah, trudge about
Through fair Verona; find those persons out
Whose names are written there, and to them say,
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.

[Exeunt CAPULET and PARIS.]

Servant: Find them out whose names are written here! It is
written, that the shoemaker should meddle with his        [40]
yard, and the tailor with his last, the fisher with
his pencil, and the painter with his nets; but I am
sent to find those persons whose names are here
writ, and can never find what names the writing
person hath here writ. I must to the learned.--In good time.

Enter BENVOLIO and ROMEO.

BENVOLIO: Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning,
  One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish;
Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;
  One desperate grief cures with another's languish:
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.

ROMEO: Your plaintain-leaf is excellent for that.        [50]

BENVOLIO: For what, I pray thee?

ROMEO:               For your broken shin.

BENVOLIO: Why, Romeo, art thou mad?

ROMEO: Not mad, but bound more than a mad-man is;
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipp'd and tormented and--God-den, good fellow.

Servant: God gi' god-den. I pray, sir, can you read?

ROMEO: Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.

Servant: Perhaps you have learned it without book:
but, I pray, can you read any thing you see?

ROMEO: Ay, if I know the letters and the language.        [60]

Servant: Ye say honestly: rest you merry!

ROMEO: Stay, fellow; I can read.

[Reads.]

'Signior Martino and his wife and daughters;
County Anselme and his beauteous sisters; the lady
widow of Vitruvio; Signior Placentio and his lovely
nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine; mine
uncle Capulet, his wife, and daughters; my fair niece
Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio and his cousin
Tybalt; Lucio and the lively Helena.'
A fair assembly: whither should they come?        [70]

Servant: Up.

ROMEO: Whither?

Servant: To supper; to our house.

ROMEO: Whose house?

Servant: My master's.

ROMEO: Indeed, I should have asked you that before.

Servant: Now I'll tell you without asking: my master is the
great rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house
of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine.
Rest you merry!        [80]

[Exit.]

BENVOLIO: At this same ancient feast of Capulet's
Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lovest,
With all the admired beauties of Verona:
Go thither; and, with unattainted eye,
Compare her face with some that I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.

ROMEO: When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires;
And these, who often drown'd could never die,
Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!        [90]
One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun.

BENVOLIO: Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,
Herself poised with herself in either eye:
But in that crystal scales let there be weigh'd
Your lady's love against some other maid
That I will show you shining at this feast,
And she shall scant show well that now shows best.

ROMEO: I'll go along, no such sight to be shown,
But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.        [100]

[Exeunt.]


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This page last updated April 24, 1997. Enquiries to Michael Best, mbest1@uvic.ca.