Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

   By'r Lady, thirty years.
I swear, it must be thirty years.
What, man, ’tis not so much, ’tis not so much.
'Tis since the nuptials of Lucentio,
35Come Pentecost as quickly as it will,
Some five and twenty years, and then we masked.
What, man? It’s not that long, it’s not that long. It’s been since Lucentio’s wedding. Let the years fly by as fast as they like, it’s only been twenty-five years since we wore masks.
'Tis more, ’tis more. His son is elder, sir.
His son is thirty.
It’s been longer, it’s been longer. Lucentio’s son is older than that, sir. He’s thirty years old.
   Will you tell me that?
His son was but a ward two years ago.
Are you really going to tell me that? His son was a minor only two years ago.
40 (to a SERVINGMAN) What lady is that which doth enrich the hand
Of yonder knight?
(to a SERVINGMAN) Who is the girl on the arm of that lucky knight over there?
   I know not, sir.
I don’t know, sir.
Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear,
45Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make blessèd my rude hand.
50Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.
Oh, she shows the torches how to burn bright! She stands out against the darkness like a jeweled earring hanging against the cheek of an African. Her beauty is too good for this world; she’s too beautiful to die and be buried. She outshines the other women like a white dove in the middle of a flock of crows. When this dance is over, I’ll see where she stands, and then I’ll touch her hand with my rough and ugly one. Did my heart ever love anyone before this moment? My eyes were liars, then, because I never saw true beauty before tonight.