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Romeo and Juliet

by William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

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Romeo and Juliet Act 4, Scene 1



Friar Lawrence's cell

Enter FRIAR LAWRENCE and PARIS

Enter FRIAR LAWRENCE and PARIS

FRIAR LAWRENCE

On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.

 

PARIS

My father Capulet will have it so,

father=prospective father-in-law

And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.

 

PARIS

My father Capulet will have it so,

And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

You say you do not know the lady’s mind.

Uneven is the course. I like it not.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

You say you do not know the lady’s mind.

Uneven is the course. I like it not.

 

PARIS

Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt’s death,

And therefore have I little talked of love,

For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.

Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous

That she do give her sorrow so much sway,

And in his wisdom hastes our marriage

To stop the inundation of her tears—

Which, too much minded by herself alone,

May be put from her by society.

Now do you know the reason of this haste.

 

PARIS

Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt’s death,

And therefore have I little talked of love,

For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.

Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous

That she do give her sorrow so much sway,

And in his wisdom hastes our marriage

To stop the inundation of her tears—

Which, too much minded by herself alone,

May be put from her by society.

Now do you know the reason of this haste.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

(aside) I would I knew not why it should be slowed.—

Look, sir, here comes the lady toward my cell.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

(aside) I would I knew not why it should be slowed.—

Look, sir, here comes the lady toward my cell.

 

Enter JULIET

Enter JULIET

PARIS

Happily met, my lady and my wife.

 

PARIS

Happily met, my lady and my wife.

 

JULIET

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

 

JULIET

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

 

PARIS

That “may be” must be, love, on Thursday next.

 

PARIS

That “may be” must be, love, on Thursday next.

 

JULIET

What must be shall be.

 

JULIET

What must be shall be.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

That’s a certain text.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

That’s a certain text.

 

PARIS

Come you to make confession to this Father?

 

PARIS

Come you to make confession to this Father?

 

JULIET

To answer that, I should confess to you.

 

JULIET

To answer that, I should confess to you.

 

PARIS

Do not deny to him that you love me.

 

PARIS

Do not deny to him that you love me.

 

JULIET

I will confess to you that I love him.

 

JULIET

I will confess to you that I love him.

 

PARIS

So will ye, I am sure, that you love me.

 

PARIS

So will ye, I am sure, that you love me.

 

JULIET

If I do so, it will be of more price

price=worth

Being spoke behind your back than to your face.

 

JULIET

If I do so, it will be of more price

Being spoke behind your back than to your face.

 

PARIS

Poor soul, thy face is much abused with tears.

is much abused by tears=has suffered from tears

 

PARIS

Poor soul, thy face is much abused with tears.

 

JULIET

The tears have got small victory by that,

For it was bad enough before their spite.

before their spite=before the tears marred it

 

JULIET

The tears have got small victory by that,

For it was bad enough before their spite.

 

PARIS

Thou wrong’st it more than tears with that report.

(your telling of it is more abusive to it than the tears)

 

PARIS

Thou wrong’st it more than tears with that report.

 

JULIET

That is no slander, sir, which is a truth,

And what I spake, I spake it to my face.

 

JULIET

That is no slander, sir, which is a truth,

And what I spake, I spake it to my face.

 

PARIS

Thy face is mine, and thou hast slandered it.

 

PARIS

Thy face is mine, and thou hast slandered it.

 

JULIET

It may be so, for it is not mine own.—

Are you at leisure, holy Father, now,

Or shall I come to you at evening mass?

 

JULIET

It may be so, for it is not mine own.—

Are you at leisure, holy Father, now,

Or shall I come to you at evening mass?

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now.—

My lord, we must entreat the time alone.

entreat the time alone=ask you to leave us alone

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now.—

My lord, we must entreat the time alone.

 

PARIS

God shield I should disturb devotion!—

shield=forbid

Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye.

rouse ye – (rouse her with music, as was customary)

(kisses her) Till then, adieu, and keep this holy kiss.

 

PARIS

God shield I should disturb devotion!—

Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye.

(kisses her) Till then, adieu, and keep this holy kiss.

 

Exit PARIS

Exit PARIS

JULIET

O, shut the door! And when thou hast done so,

Come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help.

 

JULIET

O, shut the door! And when thou hast done so,

Come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

O Juliet, I already know thy grief.

It strains me past the compass of my wits.

compass of my wits=extent of my intelligence

I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,

prorogue=postpone

On Thursday next be married to this county.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

O Juliet, I already know thy grief.

It strains me past the compass of my wits.

I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,

On Thursday next be married to this county.

 

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,

Do thou but call my resolution wise,

resolution=decision

And with this knife I’ll help it presently.

help it presently=resolve the intolerable situation at once

(shows him a knife)

God joined my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands.

And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo sealed,

ere this hand=before this hand

Shall be the label to another deed,

label=parchment that attached a seal to a deed (contract)

Or my true heart with treacherous revolt

Turn to another, this shall slay them both.

this=this knife

both=hand and heart

Therefore out of thy long-experienced time,

Give me some present counsel, or, behold,

'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife

extremes=extreme difficulties

Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that

Which the commission of thy years and art

commission=authority

Could to no issue of true honor bring.

Be not so long to speak. I long to die

If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.

 

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,

Do thou but call my resolution wise,

And with this knife I’ll help it presently.

(shows him a knife)

God joined my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands.

And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo sealed,

Shall be the label to another deed,

Or my true heart with treacherous revolt

Turn to another, this shall slay them both.

Therefore out of thy long-experienced time,

Give me some present counsel, or, behold,

'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife

Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that

Which the commission of thy years and art

Could to no issue of true honor bring.

Be not so long to speak. I long to die

If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Hold, daughter. I do spy a kind of hope,

Which craves as desperate an execution

As that is desperate which we would prevent.

as that is desperate=as suicide is desperate

If, rather than to marry County Paris,

Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself,

Then is it likely thou wilt undertake

then is it=then it is

A thing like death to chide away this shame,

chide away this shame=drive away this plan to marry Paris

That copest with death himself to ’scape from it.

copest=deals

to ‘scape from it=to escape from shame

An if thou darest, I’ll give thee remedy.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Hold, daughter. I do spy a kind of hope,

Which craves as desperate an execution

As that is desperate which we would prevent.

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,

That copest with death himself to ’scape from it.

An if thou darest, I’ll give thee remedy.

 

JULIET

O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,

From off the battlements of yonder tower;

Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk

thievish ways=roads frequented by thieves

Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears;

Or shut me nightly in a charnel house,

charnel house=house for storing the bones of the dead

O'ercovered quite with dead men’s rattling bones,

With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls;

reeky shanks=stinky leg bones

chapless skulls=skulls missing a lower jaw

Or bid me go into a new-made grave

And hide me with a dead man in his shroud—

Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble—

And I will do it without fear or doubt,

To live an unstained wife to my sweet love.

 

JULIET

O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,

From off the battlements of yonder tower;

Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk

Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears;

Or shut me nightly in a charnel house,

O'ercovered quite with dead men’s rattling bones,

With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls;

Or bid me go into a new-made grave

And hide me with a dead man in his shroud—

Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble—

And I will do it without fear or doubt,

To live an unstained wife to my sweet love.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Hold, then. Go home, be merry. Give consent

To marry Paris. Wednesday is tomorrow.

Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone.

Let not the Nurse lie with thee in thy chamber.

(shows her a vial)

Take thou this vial, being then in bed,

And this distillčd liquor drink thou off,

When presently through all thy veins shall run

presently=immediately

A cold and drowsy humor, for no pulse

humor=fluid

Shall keep his native progress, but [shall] surcease.

keep=maintain

surcease=cease

No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest.

The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade

To paly ashes, thy eyes' windows fall

windows=eyelids

Like death when he shuts up the day of life.

Each part, deprived of supple government,

Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death.

stark=rigid

And in this borrowed 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.

Then, as the manner of our country is,

In thy best robes uncovered on the bier

uncovered=bare faced

Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault

Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.

In the meantime, against thou shalt awake,

against=in preparation for the time when

Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift,

And hither shall he come, and he and I

Will watch thy waking, and that very night

Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.

And this shall free thee from this present shame,

If no inconstant toy, nor womanish fear,

inconstant toy=capricious change of mind

Abate thy valor in the acting it.

abate=lessen

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Hold, then. Go home, be merry. Give consent

To marry Paris. Wednesday is tomorrow.

Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone.

Let not the Nurse lie with thee in thy chamber.

(shows her a vial)

Take thou this vial, being then in bed,

And this distillčd liquor drink thou off,

When presently through all thy veins shall run

A cold and drowsy humor, for no pulse

Shall keep his native progress, but surcease.

No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest.

The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade

To paly ashes, thy eyes' windows fall

Like death when he shuts up the day of life.

Each part, deprived of supple government,

Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death.

And in this borrowed 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.

Then, as the manner of our country is,

In thy best robes uncovered on the bier

Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault

Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.

In the meantime, against thou shalt awake,

Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift,

And hither shall he come, and he and I

Will watch thy waking, and that very night

Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.

And this shall free thee from this present shame,

If no inconstant toy, nor womanish fear,

Abate thy valor in the acting it.

 

JULIET

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

 

JULIET

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

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

(gives her a vial)

Hold. Get you gone. Be strong and prosperous

hold=enough!

prosperous=fortunate

In this resolve. I’ll send a friar with speed

To Mantua with my letters to thy lord.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

(gives her a vial)

Hold. Get you gone. Be strong and prosperous

In this resolve. I’ll send a friar with speed

To Mantua with my letters to thy lord.

 

JULIET

Love give me strength, and strength shall help afford.

afford=provide

Farewell, dear Father.

 

JULIET

Love give me strength, and strength shall help afford.

Farewell, dear Father.

 

Exeunt, separately

Exeunt, separately

 

 

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