Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

MERCUTIO

Farewell, ancient lady. Farewell, lady, lady, lady.

MERCUTIO

Exeunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO
BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO exit.

NURSE

I pray you, sir, what saucy merchant was this that was so full of his ropery?

NURSE

Please tell me, sir, who was that foulmouthed punk who was so full of crude jokes?

ROMEO

75A gentleman, Nurse, that loves to hear himself talk, and will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.

ROMEO

Nurse, he’s a man who likes to hear the sound of his own voice. He says more in one minute than he does in a whole month.

NURSE

An he speak any thing against me, I’ll take him down, an he were lustier than he is, and twenty such Jacks. And if I cannot, I’ll find those that shall. Scurvy knave! I am none of his flirt-gills. I am none of his skains-mates. (to PETER) And thou must stand by, too, and suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure?

NURSE

If he says anything against me, I’ll humble him, even if he were stronger than he is—and twenty punks like him. If I can’t do it myself, I’ll find someone who can. That dirty rat! I’m not one of his sluts. I’m not one of his punk friends who carries a knife. (to PETER) And you just stand there letting every jerk make fun of me for kicks.

PETER

I saw no man use you at his pleasure. If I had, my weapon should quickly have been out, I warrant you. I dare draw as soon as another man if I see occasion in a good quarrel and the law on my side.

PETER

I didn’t see anybody use you for kicks. If I had seen something like that, I would have quickly pulled out my weapon. Believe me, I’ll draw my sword as quick as any other man if I see a fight starting and the law is on my side.

NURSE

Now, afore God, I am so vexed that every part about me quivers. Scurvy knave!
(to ROMEO) Pray you, sir, a word. And as I told you, my young lady bid 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.

NURSE

Now, I swear, I’m so angry that I’m shaking all over. That rotten scoundrel! (to ROMEO) Now, please, may I have a word with you, sir? My young mistress asked me to find you. What she asked me to say I’ll keep to myself. But let me tell you this first. If you lead her into a fool’s paradise, as the saying goes, it would be an outrageous crime because the girl is so young. And if you try to trick her, it would be an evil thing to do to any woman and very poor behavior.