Verona. A hall in Capulet’s house.
(Anthony; Potpan; Capulet; Lady Capulet; Old Capulet; Juliet; Tybalt; Nurse; First Servingman; Second Servingman; Third Servingman; Guests; Gentlewomen; Maskers; Romeo; Mercutio; Benvolio)
Capulet’s servants bustle about. Capulet and his guests come in to greet the masked gentlemen who have just entered, and dancing begins. Capulet and a kinsman reflect on how long it’s been since they last danced themselves. Romeo spots Juliet and is overcome by her beauty, but makes the mistake of commenting aloud: Tybalt overhears him and recognizes his voice. He sends for his sword, but he is interrupted by old Capulet, who refuses to see his house turned into a brawling place, especially since Romeo is an admired young man. When Tybalt persists, Capulet puts him in his place. Tybalt vows to make Romeo pay. Romeo speaks to Juliet, and their immediate understanding of one another is clear in how well she picks up and plays with the language he uses. He manages to steal two kisses from her before she is called away. When he asks, the Nurse tells Romeo that Juliet is the Capulets’ daughter, and just how rich she is. Romeo is shocked that he has fallen for his great enemy. As the maskers leave, Juliet makes the Nurse find out who Romeo is, and she is equally appalled. (146 lines)
Servingmen come forth with napkins.
Where’s Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He shift a trencher? He scrape a trencher?
When good manners shall lie all in one or two men’s hands, and they unwash’d too, ’tis a foul thing.
Away with the join-stools, remove the court-cubbert, look to the plate. Good thou, save me a piece of marchpane, and, as thou loves me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell.
Exit Second Servant.
Anthony and Potpan!
Enter Anthony and Potpan.
Ay, boy, ready.
You are look’d for and call’d for, ask’d for and sought for, in the great chamber.
We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys, be brisk a while, and the longer liver take all.
Enter Capulet, Lady Capulet, Old Capulet, Juliet, Tybalt, Nurse, Servingmen, and all the Guests and Gentlewomen to the Maskers.
Welcome, gentlemen! Ladies that have their toes
Unplagu’d with corns will walk a bout with you.
Ah, my mistresses, which of you all
Will now deny to dance? She that makes dainty,
She I’ll swear hath corns. Am I come near ye now?
Welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day
That I have worn a visor and could tell
A whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear,
Such as would please; ’tis gone, ’tis gone, ’tis gone.
You are welcome, gentlemen! Come, musicians, play.
Music plays, and they dance.
A hall, a hall! Give room! And foot it, girls.
More light, you knaves, and turn the tables up;
And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.
Ah, sirrah, this unlook’d-for sport comes well.
Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet,
For you and I are past our dancing days.
How long is’t now since last yourself and I
Were in a mask?
By’r lady, thirty years.
What, man? ’Tis not so much, ’tis not so much:
’Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio,
Come Pentecost as quickly as it will,
Some five and twenty years, and then we mask’d.
’Tis more, ’tis more. His son is elder, sir;
His son is thirty.
Will you tell me that?
His son was but a ward two years ago.
To Third Servingman.
What lady’s that which doth enrich the hand
Of yonder knight?
I know not, sir.
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
As a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear—
Beauty 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 blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.
This, by his voice, should be a Montague.
Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave
Come hither, cover’d with an antic face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now, by the stock and honor of my kin,
To strike him dead I hold it not a sin.
Why, how now, kinsman, wherefore storm you so?
Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe;
A villain that is hither come in spite
To scorn at our solemnity this night.
Young Romeo is it?
’Tis he, that villain Romeo.
Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone,
’A bears him like a portly gentleman;
And to say truth, Verona brags of him
To be a virtuous and well-govern’d youth.
I would not for the wealth of all this town
Here in my house do him disparagement;
Therefore be patient, take no note of him;
It is my will, the which if thou respect,
Show a fair presence and put off these frowns,
An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.
It fits when such a villain is a guest.
I’ll not endure him.
He shall be endured.
What, goodman boy? I say he shall, go to!
Am I the master here, or you? Go to!
You’ll not endure him! God shall mend my soul,
You’ll make a mutiny among my guests!
You will set cock-a-hoop! You’ll be the man!
Why, uncle, ’tis a shame.
Go to, go to,
You are a saucy boy. Is’t so indeed?
This trick may chance to scath you, I know what.
You must contrary me! Marry, ’tis time.—
Well said, my hearts!—You are a princox, go,
Be quiet, or—More light, more light!—For shame,
I’ll make you quiet, what!—Cheerly, my hearts!
Patience perforce with willful choler meeting
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting.
I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall,
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall.
If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
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.
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in pray’r.
O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do,
They pray—grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.
Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take.
Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purg’d.
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urg’d!
Give me my sin again.
Kissing her again.
You kiss by th’ book.
Madam, your mother craves a word with you.
What is her mother?
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous.
I nurs’d her daughter that you talk’d withal;
I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks.
Is she a Capulet?
O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt.
Away, be gone, the sport is at the best.
Ay, so I fear, the more is my unrest.
Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone,
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.
They whisper in his ear.
Is it e’en so? Why then I thank you all.
I thank you, honest gentlemen, good night.
More torches here! Come on, then let’s to bed.
To Second Capulet.
Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late,
I’ll to my rest.
Exeunt all but Juliet and Nurse.
Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman?
The son and heir of old Tiberio.
What’s he that now is going out of door?
Marry, that, I think, be young Petruchio.
What’s he that follows here, that would not dance?
I know not.
Go ask his name.—If he be married,
My grave is like to be my wedding-bed.
His name is Romeo, and a Montague,
The only son of your great enemy.
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me
That I must love a loathed enemy.
What’s tis? What’s tis?
A rhyme I learnt even now
Of one I danc’d withal.
One calls within, “Juliet!”
Come let’s away, the strangers all are gone.