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Romeo and Juliet

by William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scene 5 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 



Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 5



Capulet's orchard

Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 5

Enter JULIET

Enter JULIET

JULIET

The clock struck nine when I did send the Nurse.

In half an hour she promised to return.

Perchance she cannot meet him. That’s not so.

Oh, she is lame! Love’s heralds should be thoughts,

Which ten times faster glide than the sun’s beams,

Driving back shadows over louring hills.

louring=darkly threatening

Therefore do nimble-pinioned doves draw Love

nimble-pinioned=nimble-winged

Love=Venus, goddess of love

And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.

(Cupid has wings in order to get places quickly)

Now is the sun upon the highmost hill

highmost hill=noon

Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve

this day’s journey=the sun’s journey from East to West

Is three long hours, yet she is not come.

Had she affections and warm youthful blood,

She would be as swift in motion as a ball.

My words would bandy her to my sweet love,

bandy=send to and fro

And his to me.

But old folks, many feign as they were dead,

(many pretend to be dead)

Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead.

lead=white lead, used as a cosmetic

 

JULIET

The clock struck nine when I did send the Nurse.

In half an hour she promised to return.

Perchance she cannot meet him. That’s not so.

Oh, she is lame! Love’s heralds should be thoughts,

Which ten times faster glide than the sun’s beams,

Driving back shadows over louring hills.

Therefore do nimble-pinioned doves draw love

And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.

Now is the sun upon the highmost hill

Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve

Is three long hours, yet she is not come.

Had she affections and warm youthful blood,

She would be as swift in motion as a ball.

My words would bandy her to my sweet love,

And his to me.

But old folks, many feign as they were dead,

Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead.

 

Enter NURSE and PETER

Enter NURSE and PETER

O God, she comes.—O honey Nurse, what news?

Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

 

O God, she comes.—O honey Nurse, what news?

Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

 

NURSE

Peter, stay at the gate.

 

NURSE

Peter, stay at the gate.

 

Exit PETER

Exit PETER

JULIET

Now, good sweet Nurse— O Lord, why look’st thou sad?

Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.

If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news

By playing it to me with so sour a face.

 

JULIET

Now, good sweet Nurse— O Lord, why look’st thou sad?

Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.

If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news

By playing it to me with so sour a face.

 

NURSE

I am aweary. Give me leave awhile.

Fie, how my bones ache! What a jaunce have I!

jaunce=jouncing, i.e., tiring journey

 

NURSE

I am aweary. Give me leave awhile.

Fie, how my bones ache! What a jaunce have I!

 

JULIET

I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.

Nay, come, I pray thee, speak. Good, good Nurse, speak.

 

JULIET

I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.

Nay, come, I pray thee, speak. Good, good Nurse, speak.

 

NURSE

Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay awhile?

stay=wait

Do you not see that I am out of breath?

 

NURSE

Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay awhile?

Do you not see that I am out of breath?

 

JULIET

How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath

To say to me that thou art out of breath?

The excuse that thou dost make in this delay

Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.

Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that.

Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.

stay the circumstance=wait for the details

Let me be satisfied. Is ’t good or bad?

 

JULIET

How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath

To say to me that thou art out of breath?

The excuse that thou dost make in this delay

Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.

Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that.

Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.

Let me be satisfied. Is ’t good or bad?

 

NURSE

Well, you have made a simple choice (choice of a simpleton). You know not how to choose a man. (The nurse joshes Juliet:) Romeo! No, not he, though his face be better than any man’s, yet (though) his leg excels all men’s, and for a hand and a foot and a body, though they be not to be talked on (not a subject for discussion), yet they are past compare. He is not the flower of courtesy, but, I’ll warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench. Serve God. What, have you dined at home?

 

NURSE

Well, you have made a simple choice. You know not how to choose a man. Romeo! No, not he, though his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all men’s, and for a hand and a foot and a body, though they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare. He is not the flower of courtesy, but, I’ll warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench. Serve God. What, have you dined at home?

 

JULIET

No, no. But all this did I know before.

What says he of our marriage? What of that?

 

JULIET

No, no. But all this did I know before.

What says he of our marriage? What of that?

 

NURSE

Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!

It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.

My back a' t' other side. Ah, my back, my back!

a’t’=on  the

Beshrew your heart for sending me about,

beshrew=a curse on

To catch my death with jaunting up and down!

 

NURSE

Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!

It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.

My back a' t' other side. Ah, my back, my back!

Beshrew your heart for sending me about,

To catch my death with jaunting up and down!

 

JULIET

I' faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.

Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

 

JULIET

I' faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.

Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

 

NURSE

Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, and, I warrant, a virtuous— Where is your mother?

 

NURSE

Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, and, I warrant, a virtuous— Where is your mother?

 

JULIET

Where is my mother? Why, she is within.

Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!

“Your love says, like an honest gentleman,

'Where is your mother?'”

 

JULIET

Where is my mother? Why, she is within.

Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!

“Your love says, like an honest gentleman,

'Where is your mother?'”

 

NURSE

     O God’s lady dear,

God’s lady=Virgin Mary

Are you so hot? Marry, come up, I trow.

hot=impatient

marry=by Mary

trow=believe

Is this the poultice for my aching bones?

Henceforward do your messages yourself.

 

NURSE

     O God’s lady dear,

Are you so hot? Marry, come up, I trow.

Is this the poultice for my aching bones?

Henceforward do your messages yourself.

 

JULIET

Here’s such a coil. Come, what says Romeo?

coil=fuss

 

JULIET

Here’s such a coil. Come, what says Romeo?

 

NURSE

Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET

I have.

 

NURSE

Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET

I have.

 

NURSE

Then hie you hence to Friar Lawrence’s cell.

hie you hence=hurry away from here

There stays a husband to make you a wife.

Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks.

They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.

Hie you to church. I must another way

To fetch a ladder, by the which your love

Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.

I am the drudge and toil in your delight,

But you shall bear the burden (i.e., Romeo) soon at night.

Go. I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.

 

NURSE

Then hie you hence to Friar Lawrence’s cell.

There stays a husband to make you a wife.

Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks.

They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.

Hie you to church. I must another way

To fetch a ladder, by the which your love

Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.

I am the drudge and toil in your delight,

But you shall bear the burden soon at night.

Go. I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.

 

JULIET

Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.

JULIET

Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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