For Never was a Story of More Woe

To summarize several weeks of work: my house put on a mostly-memorized, semi-drunken, heavily abridged version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet this weekend.  For posterity — and any high school English students who happen upon this page — I present here the shortened script I designed for a cast of ten (or, as the case would have it, seven with three people playing two roles each).

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the Tearful Tragedy of

ROMEO and JULIET

a play in five acts
written by that Most Prolific Bard
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
 
abridged and adapted for the Backyard Stage and a Limited Troupe of Actors by the most expertly lachrymal thespians of
IDYLLWILD RANCH
 

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DRAMATIS PERSONAE

HOUSE VERONA

  • the PRINCE of Verona
  • PARIS, a kinsman of the PRINCE and suitor of JULIET

HOUSE CAPULET

  • CAPULET, the patriarch
  • JULIET, the daughter of CAPULET
  • TYBALT, the cousin of JULIET
  • the NURSE, an attendant of JULIET

HOUSE MONTAGUE

  • MONTAGUE, the patriarch
  • ROMEO, the son of MONTAGUE
  • MERVOLIO, the cousin of ROMEO
  • FRIAR LAURENCE, the confidant of ROMEO

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ACT I

PROLOGUE

CHORUS
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 half hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

SCENE I. Verona. A public place.

Enter TYBALT, armed, and CAPULET.

TYBALT
A dog of the house of Montague moves me.

CAPULET
To move is to stir; and to be valiant
Is to stand: if thou art moved, runn’st away.

TYBALT
A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will
take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.

CAPULET
The quarrel is between the men alone.

TYBALT
‘Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I
have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the
maids, and cut off their heads.

CAPULET
The heads of the maids?

TYBALT
Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads;
take it in what sense thou wilt.

CAPULET
They must take it in sense that feel it.

TYBALT
Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and
’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.

CAPULET
‘Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou
Hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool! here comes one
Man of the foul house of the Montagues.

TYBALT
My naked weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.
I will bite my thumb at them;
which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

Enter MERVOLIO.

MERVOLIO
Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

TYBALT
I do bite my thumb, sir.

MERVOLIO
Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

TYBALT
No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you,
But I bite my thumb.

MERVOLIO
Thou art a liar.

TYBALT
Draw, if you be a man. My master, remember thy swashing blow.

CAPULET
My sword, I say! Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.

Enter MONTAGUE.

MONTAGUE
Thou villain Capulet!

They fight.  Enter PRINCE.

PRINCE
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel–
Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you beasts,
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistemper’d weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet and Montague,
Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets.
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.

Exeunt all but MONTAGUE and MERVOLIO.

MONTAGUE
O, where is Romeo? saw you him to-day?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.

MERVOLIO
Good sir, an hour before the worshipp’d sun
Peer’d forth the golden window of the east.
So early walking did I see your son:
Towards him I made, but he was ware of me
And stole into the covert of the wood:

MONTAGUE
Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.

Enter ROMEO.

MERVOLIO
See, where he comes: so please you, step aside;
I’ll know his grievance, or be much denied.

MONTAGUE
I would thou wert so happy by thy stay,
To hear true shrift. With that, I am away.

Exit MONTAGUE.

MERVOLIO
Good-morrow, cousin.

ROMEO
Ay me! sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?

MERVOLIO
It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?

ROMEO
Not having that, which, having, makes them short.

MERVOLIO
In love?

ROMEO
Out–

MERVOLIO
Of love?

ROMEO
Out of her favor, where I am in love.

MERVOLIO
Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?

ROMEO
What, shall I groan and tell thee?

MERVOLIO
Groan! why, no. But sadly tell me who.

ROMEO
I do love Rosaline; she’ll not be hit
With Cupid’s arrow; she hath Diana’s wit;
And, in strong proof of chastity well arm’d,
From love’s weak childish bow she lives unharm’d.
O, she is rich in beauty, only poor,
That when she dies with beauty dies her store.

MERVOLIO
Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?

ROMEO
She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste,
For beauty starved with her severity
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair.
Rosaline hath forsworn to love, a vow
And I live dead but live to tell it now.

MERVOLIO
Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.

ROMEO
O, teach me how I should forget to think!

MERVOLIO
By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.

ROMEO
Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.

Exeunt.

SCENE II. A street.

Enter CAPULET and PARIS.

PARIS
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,
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.
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part.

Exeunt CAPULET and PARIS.

Enter MERVOLIO and ROMEO.

MERVOLIO
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.

ROMEO
Nay, mine own fortune is my misery.

MERVOLIO
Soft! I have heard good tidings on the street.
This eventide, at 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
One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
Ne’er saw her match since first the world begun.

MERVOLIO
Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by.

ROMEO
I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown,
But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in Capulet’s house.

Enter CAPULET, JULIET, and NURSE.

CAPULET
Juliet! Juliet!

JULIET
How now! who calls?

NURSE
Your father.

JULIET
Good sir, I am here.  What is your will?

CAPULET
Nurse, thou know’st my daughter’s of a pretty age.

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

CAPULET
She’s not fourteen.

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

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 —

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

NURSE
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 —

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 nursed:
An I might live to see thee married once,
I have my wish.

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 honor! were not I thine only nurse,
I would say thou hadst suck’d wisdom from thy teat.

CAPULET
Well, think of marriage now; younger than you,
Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
Are made already mothers.  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.

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,
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover:
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.

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.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. A hall in Capulet’s house.

Enter CAPULET, with JULIET and TYBALT.

CAPULET
Welcome, gentlemen! ladies that have their toes
Unplagued with corns will have a bout with you.
You are welcome, gentlemen! 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!

Enter Romeo.

ROMEO
What lady is that, which doth
enrich the hand of yonder knight?
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
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 now! What dares the slave
Come hither, cover’d with an antic face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
‘Tis he, that villain Romeo.

CAPULET
Content thee, nephew, let him alone.
To say truth, our 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.

TYBALT
I’ll not endure him.

CAPULET
He shall be endured:
Am I the master here, or you? Go to!
You will set the cock-a-hoop! You’ll be the man!
Go to, go to; You are a saucy boy: is’t so, indeed?

TYBALT
I will withdraw: but this intrusion shall
Now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall.

Exeunt all but ROMEO and JULIET.

ROMEO
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
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.

They kiss.  Re-enter NURSE.

NURSE
Madam, your father craves a word with you.

Exit JULIET.

ROMEO
What is her father?

NURSE
Marry, bachelor,
Her father is the great lord of the house.

ROMEO
Is she a Capulet?
O dear account! my life is my foe’s debt.

Exit. Re-enter JULIET.

JULIET
Come hither, Nurse. What is yond gentleman?

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!

Exeunt.

ACT II

SCENE I. Capulet’s orchard.

Enter ROMEO.

ROMEO
Can I go forward when my heart is here?
Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out.

JULIET appears above, at a window.

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, ’tis not to me she speaks:
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!

JULIET
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

ROMEO
I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

JULIET
My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words
Of that tongue’s utterance, yet I know the sound:
Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?

ROMEO
Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.

ROMEO
Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow —

JULIET
O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

ROMEO
What shall I swear by?

JULIET
Do not swear at all; although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract to-night:
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;
Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart as that within my breast!

ROMEO
O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

JULIET
What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?

ROMEO
The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.

JULIET
I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:

NURSE calls within.

I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!
Anon, good nurse! Sweet Montague, be true.
Stay but a little, I will come again.

Exit, above.

ROMEO
O blessed, blessed night!

Re-enter JULIET, above.

JULIET
Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honorable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,
And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay
And follow thee, my lord, throughout the world.

NURSE
[Within]
Madam!

ROMEO
So thrive my soul —

JULIET
A thousand times good night!

Exit, above.

ROMEO
A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.

Exit, below. Re-enter JULIET, above.

JULIET
Hist! Romeo, hist! O, for a falconer’s voice,
To lure this tassel-gentle back again!

Re-enter Romeo, below.

ROMEO
It is my soul that calls upon my name:
How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night!

JULIET
Romeo!

ROMEO
My dear?

JULIET
At what o’clock to-morrow
Shall I send to thee?

ROMEO
At the hour of nine.

JULIET
I will not fail: ’tis twenty years till then.
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

Exit above.

ROMEO
Hence will I to my ghostly father’s cell,
His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell.

Exit.

SCENE III. Friar Laurence’s cell.

Enter FRIAR LAURENCE, with a basket.

FRIAR LAURENCE
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power:

Enter ROMEO.

ROMEO
Good morrow, father.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Benedicite!
What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?
Thou art up-roused by some distemperature;
Or if not so, then here I hit it right:
Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night.

ROMEO
That last is true; the sweeter rest was mine.

FRIAR LAURENCE
God pardon sin! Wast thou with Rosaline?

ROMEO
With Rosaline, my ghostly father? no;
I have forgot that name, and that name’s woe.

FRIAR LAURENCE
That’s my good son: but where hast thou been, then?

ROMEO
I have been feasting with mine enemy,
I plainly know my heart’s dear love is set
On the fair daughter of rich Capulet:
As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine;
I’ll tell thee as we pass; but this I pray,
That thou consent to marry us to-day.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.

ROMEO
Thou chid’st me oft for loving Rosaline.
I pray thee, chide not; she whom I love now
Doth grace for grace and love for love allow;
The other did not so.

FRIAR LAURENCE
O, she knew well
Thy love did read by rote and could not spell.
But come, young waverer, come, go with me,
In one respect I’ll thy assistant be;
For this alliance may so happy prove,
To turn your households’ rancor to pure love.

ROMEO
O, let us hence; I stand on sudden haste.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.

Exeunt.

SCENE IV. A street.

Enter ROMEO and NURSE.

NURSE
Pray you, sir, a word:
My young lady bade me inquire you
out; what she bade me say, I will keep to myself —
but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into
a fool’s paradise, as they say, it were a very gross
kind of behavior, as they say. For the gentlewoman
is young; and, therefore, if you should deal double
with her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered
to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.

ROMEO
Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I
protest unto thee —

NURSE
I will tell her, sir, that you do protest; which, as
I take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.

ROMEO
Bid her devise some means to come to shrift this afternoon;
And there she shall at Friar Laurence’s cell
Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.

NURSE
This afternoon, sir? well, she shall be there.
O, there is a nobleman in town, one Paris, that would fain
lay knife aboard; but she, good soul, had as lief
see a toad, a very toad, as see him. I anger her
sometimes and tell her that Paris is the properer
man; but, I’ll warrant you, when I say so, she looks
as pale as any clout in the versal world.

ROMEO
Commend me to thy lady.

NURSE
Ay, a thousand times.

Exeunt.

SCENE V. Capulet’s orchard.

Enter JULIET and NURSE.

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.

JULIET
No, no: but all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage? what of that?

NURSE
Have you got leave to go to shrift to-day?

JULIET
I have.

NURSE
Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’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.

JULIET
Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse, farewell.

Exeunt.

SCENE VI. Friar Laurence’s cell.

Enter FRIAR LAURENCE and ROMEO.

FRIAR LAURENCE
So smile the heavens upon this holy act,
That after hours with sorrow chide us not!

Enter JULIET.

Here comes the lady.

JULIET
Good even to my ghostly confessor.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Come, come with me, and we will make short work;
For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone
Till holy church incorporate two in one.

Exeunt.

ACT III

SCENE I. A public place.

Enter MERVOLIO, armed.

MERVOLIO
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,
And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl;
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.
My head is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of
meat, and yet my head hath been beaten as addle as
an egg for quarrelling:
By my head, here come the Capulets.

Enter TYBALT, armed.

TYBALT
Gentleman, good den: a word with you.
Mervolio, thou consort’st with Romeo —

MERVOLIO
Consort! what, dost thou make us minstrels? an
thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but
discords: here’s my fiddlestick; here’s that shall
make you dance. ‘Zounds, consort!

Enter ROMEO.

TYBALT
Well, peace be with you, sir: here comes my man.

MERVOLIO
But I’ll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery.

TYBALT
Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford
No better term than this: thou art a villain.

ROMEO
Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting: villain am I none;
Therefore farewell; I see thou know’st me not.

TYBALT
Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries
That thou hast done me; therefore turn and draw.

ROMEO
I do protest, I never injured thee,
But love thee better than thou canst devise,
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love:
And so, good Capulet — which name I tender
As dearly as my own — be satisfied.

MERVOLIO
O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!
Alla stoccata carries it away.

Draws.

Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?

TYBALT
What wouldst thou have with me?

MERVOLIO
Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine lives.

TYBALT
I am for you.

Draws.

ROMEO
Gentle Mervolio, put thy rapier up.

MERVOLIO and TYBALT fight.

MERVOLIO
Come, sir, singst thou your prick-song, keep time;
Rest thou your minim rest, ah, your immortal passado!
Your punto reverso! Your hai!

ROMEO comes between the two.

ROMEO
Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage!
Tybalt, Mervolio, the prince expressly hath
Forbidden bandying in Verona streets:
Hold, Tybalt! good Mervolio!

TYBALT under ROMEO’s arm stabs MERVOLIO, and flees.

MERVOLIO
I am hurt.

ROMEO
Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.

MERVOLIO
No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a
church-door; but ’tis enough, ’twill serve: ask for
me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I
am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o’
both our houses!  Why the devil came you between us? I
was hurt under your arm.

ROMEO
I thought all for the best.

MERVOLIO
A plague o’ both our houses!
He hath made worms’ meat of me: I have it,
And soundly too: your houses!

He dies.

ROMEO
This gentleman, the prince’s near ally,
My good cousin, hath got his mortal hurt
In my behalf; Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my kinsman! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper soften’d valor’s steel!
Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.
Alive, in triumph! and Mervolio slain!

Re-enter TYBALT.

Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gavest me; for Mervolio’s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,

TYBALT
Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here,
Shalt with him hence.

ROMEO

This shall determine that.

They fight; TYBALT falls.

The prince will doom me death,
If I am taken: hence I am gone, away!
O, I am fortune’s fool!

Exit ROMEO. Enter PRINCE, MONTAGUE, and CAPULET.

PRINCE
Which way ran he that kill’d Mervolio?
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?
Where are the vile beginners of this fray?

He spies TYBALT.

The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl:
There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,
That slew my kinsman, brave Mervolio.

CAPULET
Tybalt, my nephew!
O my dear kinsman! Prince, as thou art true,
For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.

PRINCE
Romeo slew him, he slew Mervolio;
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?

MONTAGUE
Not Romeo, prince, he was Mervolio’s friend;
His fault concludes but what the law should end,
The life of Tybalt.

PRINCE
And for that offense
Immediately we do exile him hence.
I will be deaf to pleading and excuses;
Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses:
Therefore use none. Let Romeo hence in haste;
Else, when he’s found, that hour is his last.
Bear hence this body and attend our will:
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.

Exeunt.

SCENE II. Capulet’s orchard.

Enter JULIET.

JULIET
Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
And bring in cloudy night immediately.
Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow’d night,
Give me my Romeo.

Enter NURSE.

Now, nurse, what news? What hast thou there?

NURSE
Ah, well-a-day! he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead!
We are undone, lady, we are undone!
Alack the day! he’s gone, he’s kill’d, he’s dead!

JULIET
Can heaven be so envious?

NURSE
Romeo can,
Though heaven cannot: O Romeo, Romeo!
Who ever would have thought it? Romeo!

JULIET
What devil art thou, that dost torment me thus?
This torture should be roar’d in dismal hell.
Hath Romeo slain himself?

NURSE
I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes,–
God save the mark!–here on his manly breast:
A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse;

JULIET
O, break, my heart! poor bankrupt, break at once!
To prison, eyes, ne’er look on liberty!
Vile earth, to earth resign; end motion here;
And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier!

NURSE
O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!
O courteous Tybalt! honest gentleman!
That ever I should live to see thee dead!

JULIET
What storm is this that blows so contrary?
Is Romeo slaughter’d, and is Tybalt dead?
My dear-loved cousin, and my dearer lord?
Then, dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom!
For who is living, if those two are gone?

NURSE
Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished;
Romeo that kill’d him, he is banished.

JULIET
O God! did Romeo’s hand shed Tybalt’s blood?

NURSE
It did, it did; alas the day, it did!

JULIET
O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Dove-feather’d raven! Wolvish-ravening lamb!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st,
A damned saint, an honorable villain!

NURSE
Will you speak well of him that kill’d your cousin?

JULIET
Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?
But, wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin?
Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring;
My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain,
And Tybalt’s dead, that would have slain my husband:
All this is comfort; wherefore weep I then?
“Tybalt is dead, and Romeo — banished”;
That “banished,” that one word “banished,”
There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,
In that word’s death; no words can that woe sound.
Now I, a maid, die maiden-widowed.
Come, cords, come, nurse; I’ll to my wedding-bed;
And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!

NURSE
Hie to your chamber: I’ll find Romeo
To comfort you; I wot well where he is.
Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night:
I’ll to him; he is hid at Laurence’s cell.

Exeunt.

SCENE III. Friar Laurence’s cell.

Enter FRIAR LAURENCE.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man:
Affliction is enamour’d of thy parts,
And thou art wedded to calamity.

Enter ROMEO.

ROMEO
Father, what news? what is the prince’s doom?

FRIAR LAURENCE
A gentler judgment vanish’d from his lips,
Not body’s death, but body’s banishment.

ROMEO
Ha, banishment! be merciful, say “death”;
For exile hath more terror in his look,
Much more than death: do not say “banishment.”

FRIAR LAURENCE
Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.

ROMEO
There is no world without Verona walls,
‘Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here,
Where Juliet lives; and every cat and dog
Live here in heaven and may look on her;
But Romeo may not:
And say’st thou yet that exile is not death?

FRIAR LAURENCE
Thou fond mad man, hear me but speak a word.

ROMEO
Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel.

Enter NURSE.

NURSE
O holy friar, O, tell me, holy friar,
Where is my lady’s lord, where’s Romeo?

FRIAR LAURENCE
There on the ground, with his own tears made drunk.

NURSE
O, he is even in my mistress’ case,
Just in her case! O woeful sympathy!

ROMEO
Spakest thou of Juliet? how is it with her?
Doth she not think me an old murderer?

NURSE
O, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps;
And now falls on her bed; and then starts up,
And Tybalt calls; and then on Romeo cries,
And then down falls again.

ROMEO
As if that name,
Did murder her; tell me, friar, tell me,
In what vile part of this anatomy
Doth my name lodge?

He draws.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hold thy desperate hand:
Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art:
Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast!
What, rouse thee, man! Thy Juliet is alive;
Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed,
For then thou canst not pass to Mantua;
Where thou shalt live, till we can find a time
To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends,
Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back.

Exeunt.

SCENE IV. A room in Capulet’s house.

Enter CAPULET and PARIS.

CAPULET
Things have fall’n out, sir, so unluckily,
That we have had no time to move our daughter:
Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly,
And so did I — Well, we were born to die.
‘Tis very late, she’ll not come down to-night.

PARIS
These times of woe afford no time to woo.

CAPULET
Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender
Of my child’s love: I think she will be ruled
In all respects by me; nay, more, I doubt it not.
O’ Thursday let it be: o’ Thursday, I say,
She shall be married to this noble earl.

PARIS
My lord, I would that Thursday were to-morrow.

Exeunt.

SCENE V. Capulet’s orchard.

Enter ROMEO and JULIET.

JULIET
Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.

ROMEO
It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

JULIET
It is, it is: hie hence, be gone, away!

ROMEO
More light and light; more dark and dark our woes!
Farewell, farewell! one kiss, and I’ll descend.

They kiss. Exit ROMEO.

CAPULET
[Within]
Ho, daughter! are you up?

Enter CAPULET.

Why, how now, Juliet!

JULIET
Good sir, I am not well.

CAPULET
Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?
What, wilt thou wash him from his grave with tears?
But now I’ll tell thee joyful tidings, girl.

JULIET
And joy comes well in such a needy time:
What are they, I beseech your eminence?

CAPULET
Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child;
One who, to put thee from thy heaviness,
Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy,
That thou expect’st not nor look’d not for.

JULIET
Good sir, in happy time, what day is that?

CAPULET
Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn,
The gallant, young, and noble gentleman,
The County Paris, at Saint Peter’s Church,
Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride.

JULIET
Now, by Saint Peter’s Church and Peter too,
He shall not make me there a joyful bride.
I wonder at this haste; that I must wed
Ere he, that should be husband, comes to woo.

CAPULET
How! You shalt not wed? Givest me not thanks?
Be thou not proud? Countst thyself not blest,
Unworthy as thou art, that I have wrought
So worthy a gentleman to be thy bridegroom?

JULIET
Not proud, you have; but thankful, that you have:
Proud can I never be of what I hate;
But thankful even for hate, that is meant love.

CAPULET
How now, how now, chop-logic! What is this?
“Proud,” and “I thank you,” and “I thank you not,”
And yet “not proud”; mistress minion, you,
Thank me no thankings, nor, proud me no prouds,
But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next,
To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!
You tallow-face!

JULIET
Good father, I beseech you on my knees,
Hear me with patience but to speak a word.

CAPULET
Hang thee, young baggage! Disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face:

Exit CAPULET.

JULIET
Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,
That sees into the bottom of my grief?

Enter NURSE.

O God! — O nurse, how shall this be prevented?

NURSE
Faith, here it is.
Romeo is banish’d; and all the world to nothing,
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
I think it best you married with the county.
O, he’s a lovely gentleman!
Romeo’s a dishclout to him: an eagle, madam,
Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye
As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart,
I think you are happy in this second match,
For it excels your first: or if it did not,
Your first is dead; or ’twere as good he were,
As living here and you no use of him.

JULIET
Speakest thou from thy heart?

NURSE
And from my soul too;
Or else beshrew them both.

JULIET
Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous much.
Go in: and tell my father I am gone,
Having displeased him so, to Laurence’s cell,
To make confession and to be absolved.

Exit NURSE.

Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!
I’ll to the friar, to know his remedy:
If all else fail, myself have power to die.

Exit.

ACT IV

SCENE I. Friar Laurence’s cell.

Enter FRIAR LAURENCE and PARIS.

FRIAR LAURENCE
On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.

PARIS
My father Capulet will have it so;
And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.

Enter JULIET.

Happily met, my lady and my wife!

JULIET
That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.

PARIS
That may be must be, love, on Thursday next.

JULIET
What must be shall be.

PARIS
Come you to make confession to this father?

JULIET
It may be so.
Are you at leisure, holy father, now,
Or shall I come to you at evening mass?

FRIAR LAURENCE
My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now.
My lord, we must entreat the time alone.

PARIS
God shield I should disturb devotion!
Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye:
Till then, adieu; and keep this holy kiss.

Exit.

JULIET
O shut the door! and when thou hast done so,
Come weep with me; past hope, past cure, past help!

FRIAR LAURENCE
Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief;
It strains me past the compass of my wits.

JULIET
Tell me not, friar, that thou hear’st of this,
Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it:
If, in thy wisdom, thou canst give no help,
Then with this knife I’ll help it presently.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hold, daughter: I do spy a kind of hope,
If, rather than to marry County Paris,
Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself,
Then is it likely thou wilt undertake
A thing like death to chide away this shame,

JULIET
O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,
From off the battlements of yonder tower.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hold, then; go home, be merry, give consent
To marry Paris. Wednesday is to-morrow:
To-morrow night look that thou lie alone;
Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
And this distilled liquor drink thou off;
When presently through all thy veins shall run
A cold and drowsy humour, for no pulse
Shall keep his native progress, but surcease.
And in this borrow’d likeness of shrunk death
Thou shalt continue two and forty hours,
And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
Now, when the bridegroom in the morning comes
To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead:
Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault
Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.
In the mean time, against thou shalt awake,
Shall Romeo by my telling know our drift,
And hither shall he come: and that night
Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.

JULIET
Give me, give me! O, tell not me of fear!

Exeunt.

SCENE II. Juliet’s chamber.

Enter JULIET and NURSE.

JULIET
Ay, those attires are best: but, gentle nurse,
I pray thee, leave me to my self to-night,

Exit NURSE.

Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.
I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,
That almost freezes up the heat of life:
What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married then to-morrow morning?
No, no: this shall forbid it: lie thou there.

She lays down her dagger.

Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.

She drinks, and falls upon her bed.

SCENE III. Juliet’s chamber.

Enter NURSE.

NURSE
Mistress! What, mistress! Juliet! Fast, I warrant her, she:
Why, lamb! Why, lady! Fie, you slug-a-bed!
Why, love, I say! Madam! Sweet-heart! Why, bride!
What, not a word? You take your pennyworths now;
Sleep for a week. For the next night, I warrant,
The County Paris hath set up his rest,
That you shall rest but little. God forgive me,
Marry, and amen, how sound is she asleep!
I must needs wake you; Lady! Lady! Lady!
Alas, alas! Help, help! My lady’s dead!

Enter CAPULET.

CAPULET
What noise is here?

NURSE
O lamentable day!

CAPULET
What is the matter?

NURSE
Look, look! O heavy day!

CAPULET
O me, O me! My child, my only life!

Enter FRIAR LAURENCE and PARIS.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Come, is the bride ready to go to church?

CAPULET
Ready to go, but never to return.
O son! The night before thy wedding-day
Hath Death lain with thy wife. There she lies,
Flower as she was, deflowered by him.
Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir;
My daughter he hath wedded.

PARIS
Have I thought long to see this morning’s face,
And doth it give me such a sight as this?

CAPULET
All things that we ordained festival,
Turn from their office to black funeral.

Exeunt.

ACT V

SCENE I. Mantua. A street.

Enter ROMEO.

ROMEO
News from Verona! A letter from my house
Arrived this morn. How fares my Juliet?
For nothing can be ill, if she be well.

He reads.

Her body sleeps in Capel’s monument,
And her immortal part with angels lives!
Is it even so? then I defy you, stars!
Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to-night.
Let’s see for means: O mischief, thou art swift
To enter in the thoughts of desperate men!
I do remember an apothecary —
And if a man did need a poison now,
Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.
I will walk myself to him and draught procure.
Come, cordial and not poison, go with me
To Juliet’s grave; for there must I use thee.

Exit.

SCENE II. Friar Laurence’s cell.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Alas! There lies in Mantua a house
Where the infectious pestilence does reign,
And lo the town hath sealed up the doors;
My speed to Mantua therefore was stay’d,
And I couldst not get word to Romeo
So fearful were they of infection.
The message was of dear and mortal import,
And the neglecting of it may do much danger.
Now must I to the monument alone;
Within three hours will fair Juliet wake:
She will beshrew me much that Romeo
Hath had no notice of these accidents;
Poor living corse, closed in a dead man’s tomb!

Exit.

SCENE III. A churchyard; in it a tomb belonging to the Capulets.

Enter PARIS.

PARIS
Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew —
O woe! Thy canopy is dust and stones!
A noise! I fear that something doth approach.

Enter ROMEO.

ROMEO
Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,
Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth!
Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,
And, in despite, I’ll cram thee with more food!

Opens the tomb.

PARIS
Stop thy unhallow’d toil, vile Montague!
Can vengeance be pursued further than death?
Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee:
Obey, and go with me; for thou must die.

ROMEO
Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man;
For I come hither arm’d against myself.

PARIS
I do defy thy conjurations,
And apprehend thee for a felon here.

ROMEO
Wilt thou provoke me? Then have at thee, boy!

They fight, and PARIS falls.

PARIS
O, I am slain! If thou be merciful,
Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.

He dies.

ROMEO
In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face.
The Prince’s kinsman, noble County Paris!
I’ll bury thee in a triumphant grave;
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes
This vault a feasting presence full of light.
O my love! my wife!
Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.
Never from this palace of dim night will I
Depart again: here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chamber-maids;
Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! And, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
Here’s to my love!

He drinks.

O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.

He dies.

Enter, at the other end of the churchyard, FRIAR LAURENCE.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night
Have my old feet stumbled at graves! Romeo!

Enters the tomb.

Romeo! O, pale! Who else? what, Paris too?
And steep’d in blood? Ah, what an unkind hour
Is guilty of this lamentable chance!
The lady stirs.

JULIET wakes.

JULIET
O comfortable friar! where is my lord?
I do remember well where I should be,
And there I am. Where is my Romeo?

FRIAR LAURENCE
I hear some noise. Lady, come from that nest
Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep:
A greater power than we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away.
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead;
And Paris too.  Come, go, good Juliet  —

A noise, from the churchyard.

I dare no longer stay.

JULIET
Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.

Exit FRIAR LAURENCE.

What’s here? a cup, closed in my true love’s hand?
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end:
O churl! Drunk all, and left no friendly drop
To help me after? I will kiss thy lips;
Haply some poison yet doth hang on them,
To make die with a restorative.

The noise again.

JULIET
Yea, noise? then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger!

She takes ROMEO’s dagger.

This is thy sheath;

And stabs herself.

There rust, and let me die.

She falls on ROMEO’s body, and dies. Enter PRINCE.

PRINCE
What misadventure is so early up,
That calls our person from our morning’s rest?
Pitiful sight! here lies the county slain,
And Juliet bleeding, warm, and newly dead,
Who here hath lain these two days buried.

Enter CAPULET.

CAPULET
The people in the street all run
With open outcry toward our monument.

PRINCE
Alas, here lies the County Paris slain;
And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before,
Warm and new kill’d.

Enter MONTAGUE.

Come, Montague; for thou art early up,
To see thy son and heir more early down.

MONTAGUE
O thou untaught! what manners is in this?
To press before thy father to a grave?

PRINCE
Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while,
Till we can clear these ambiguities,
And know their spring, their head, their
true descent —

Enter FRIAR LAURENCE.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Lo, here I stand, both to impeach and purge;
Myself condemned and myself excused.

PRINCE
Then say at once what thou dost know in this.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet;
And she, there dead, that Romeo’s faithful wife.
I married them; and their stol’n marriage-day
Was Tybalt’s dooms-day, whose untimely death
Banish’d the new-made bridegroom from the city,
For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pined.

PRINCE
And with poison I presume did Romeo
Come to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.
Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!
See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.

CAPULET
O brother Montague, give me thy hand:
This is my daughter’s jointure, for no more
Can I demand.

MONTAGUE
But I can give thee more:
For I will raise her statue in pure gold;
That while Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set
As that of true and faithful Juliet.

CAPULET
As rich shall Romeo’s by his lady’s lie;
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!

PRINCE
A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

Exeunt.

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