Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 3

page Act 1 Scene 3 Page 3

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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
55A bump as big as a young cockerel’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.”

NURSE

Yes ,madam. But I can’t help laughing to think that the baby stopped crying and said, “Yes.” I swear, she had a bump on her forehead as big as a rooster’s testicle. It was a painful bruise, and she was crying bitterly. “Yes,” said my husband, “Did you fall on your face? You’ll fall backward when you grow up, won’t you, Jule?” And she stopped crying and said, “Yes.”

JULIET

60And stint thou too, I pray thee, Nurse, say I.

JULIET

Now you stop too, Nurse, please.

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.

NURSE

Peace. I’m done talking. May God choose you to receive his grace. You were the prettiest baby I ever nursed. If I live to see you get married someday, all my wishes will come true.

LADY CAPULET

65Marry, that “marry” is the very theme
I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How stands your disposition to be married?

LADY CAPULET

Well, marriage is exactly what we have to discuss. Tell me, my daughter Juliet, what is your attitude about getting married?

JULIET

It is an honor that I dream not of.

JULIET

It is an honor that I do not dream of.

NURSE

An honor! Were not I thine only nurse,
70I would say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy teat.

NURSE

“An honor?” If I weren’t your only nurse, I’d say you had sucked wisdom from the breast that fed you.

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
75That you are now a maid. Thus then in brief:
The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.

LADY CAPULET

Well, start thinking about marriage now. Here in Verona there are girls younger than you—girls from noble families—who have already become mothers. By my count, I was already your mother at just about your age, while you remain a virgin. Well then, I’ll say this quickly: the valiant Paris wants you as his bride.

NURSE

A man, young lady! Lady, such a man
As all the world. Why, he’s a man of wax.

NURSE

What a man, young lady. He’s as great a man as any in the whole world. He’s as perfect as if he were sculpted from wax.