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Act 1, Scene 5


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Original Play
 
Modern Translation
 

 

PETER and other SERVINGMEN come forth with napkins
 
PETER and other SERVINGMEN enter, carrying napkins.
 




 

PETER
Where’s Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He shift a
trencher? He scrape a trencher!

PETER
Where’s Potpan, who’s not helping us clear the table? Has he even moved or scraped a plate?

 

FIRST SERVINGMAN
When good manners shall lie all in one or two men’s hands, and they unwashed too, ’tis a foul thing.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
When all the good manners are owned by just one or two men, and even those two are dirty, it’s a bad thing.

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5
 

PETER
Away with the joint-stools, remove the court-cupboard, 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.—Antony and Potpan!

PETER
Clear away the stools, sideboards, and plates. My friend, save me a piece of marzipan, and if you love me, have the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell. Antony and Potpan!

 

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Ay, boy, ready.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Yes, boy, I’m ready.

*
10
 

PETER
You are looked for and called for, asked for and sought for, in the great chamber.

PETER
You’re being called for, asked after, and looked for in the great chamber.




 

FIRST SERVINGMAN
We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys. Be brisk
0awhile, and the longer liver take all.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
We can’t be both here and there at once! Be cheerful, boys. Be quick for a while, and may the longest lived take everything.

 

Exeunt PETER and SERVINGMEN
 
PETER and the SERVINGMEN exit.
 

 

Enter CAPULET with CAPULET’S COUSIN, TYBALT, LADY CAPULET, JULIET, and others of the house, meeting ROMEO, BENVOLIO, MERCUTIO, and other GUESTS and MASKERS
 
CAPULET enters with his cousin, TYBALT, LADY CAPULET, JULIET, and other Capulets. They meet ROMEO, BENVOLIO, MERCUTIO, and other guests and MASKERS
 

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15
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20
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25
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30


 

CAPULET
Welcome, gentlemen! Ladies that have their toes
Unplagued 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 unlooked-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?

CAPULET
Welcome, gentlemen. All the ladies who aren’t suffering from corns on their feet will dance with you. Ha ha! My ladies, now which of you will refuse to dance now? If any of you acts shyly, I’ll swear she has corns. Have I hit the mark? Welcome, gentlemen. Once there was a time when I could wear a mask and charm a girl by whispering a story in her ear. No more, no more, no more. You are welcome gentlemen. Come, musicians, play. (music plays and they dance) Make room in the hall! Make room! Dance, girls. (to SERVINGMEN) More light. Move the tables out of the way. Put out the fire—it’s getting hot in here. (to his COUSIN) Ah, sir, these unexpected guests are welcome. No, sit, sit, my Capulet cousin. We’re too old to dance. How long has it been since you and I last wore masks?

 

CAPULETS’ COUSIN
      By’r Lady, thirty years.

CAPULET’S COUSIN
I’d swear thirty years.

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35
 

CAPULET
What, man, ’tis not so much, ’tis not so much.
‘Tis since the nuptials of Lucentio,
Come Pentecost as quickly as it will,
Some five and twenty years, and then we masked.

CAPULET
What, man? It’s not been that long, not that long. It was at Lucentio’s wedding. No matter how quickly the years fly by, it’s been just twenty-five years since we wore masks.




 

CAPULET’S COUSIN
‘Tis more, ’tis more. His son is elder, sir.
His son is thirty.

CAPULET’S COUSIN
Longer, longer. Lucentio’s son is older than that, sir. He’s thirty.




 

CAPULET
      Will you tell me that?
His son was but a ward two years ago.

CAPULET
How can you say that? His son was still a minor two years ago.

*
40
 

ROMEO
(to a SERVINGMAN) What lady is that which doth enrich the hand
Of yonder knight?

ROMEO
(to a SERVINGMAN) Who is that girl decorating the arm of that man over there?

 

SERVINGMAN
      I know not, sir.

SERVINGMAN
I don’t know, sir.

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45
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50
 

ROMEO
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,
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 blessèd my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.

ROMEO
Oh, she teaches the torches to burn bright! She glows in the darkness like a jewel in the ear of an African. Her beauty is too good to be used and worn, too precious for this world. Like a white dove in a flock of crows, she surpasses all the other women. When this dance ends, I’ll note where she stands, and then I’ll touch her hand and thereby bless my ugly one. Did I ever love anyone before this moment? Renounce that love, my eyes! I never saw true beauty until this night.

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55



 

TYBALT
This, by his voice, should be a Montague.—
(to his PAGE) Fetch me my rapier, boy.—
What, dares the slave
Come hither, covered 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.

TYBALT
By his voice I know that this man is a Montague. (to his PAGE) Get my sword, boy.How dare this punk come here with his face covered by a mask so he can mock and scorn our celebration? To defend the honor of my family, I don’t think it would be a sin to kill him.

 

CAPULET
Why, how now, kinsman? Wherefore storm you so?

CAPULET
What’s all this, nephew? Why are so furious?

*
60


 

TYBALT
Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe,
A villain that is hither come in spite
To scorn at our solemnity this night.

TYBALT
Uncle, that is a Montague—our rival. He’s a rogue who’s come here out of spite to scorn our celebration.

 

CAPULET
Young Romeo is it?

CAPULET
It’s young Romeo, right?

 

TYBALT
               ‘Tis he, that villain Romeo.

TYBALT
That’s him, that villain Romeo.

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65
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70



 

CAPULET
Content thee, gentle coz. Let him alone.
He bears him like a portly gentleman,
And, to say truth, Verona brags of him
To be a virtuous and well-governed youth.
I would not for the wealth of all the 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.

CAPULET
Calm yourself, gentle cousin. Leave him be. He holds himself like a gentleman of good manners, and, to be honest, everyone in Verona says that he is a virtuous and well-behaved youth. Not for all the wealth in this town would I insult him in my own house. Be calm. Pretend you never saw him. That is my command, and if you respect me you’ll stop with all these frowns, which is no way to behave at a party.

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75
 

TYBALT
It fits when such a villain is a guest.
I’ll not endure him.

TYBALT
It’s the way to behave when a jerk like him shows up. I won’t stand him coming here.

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80
 

CAPULET
      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!

CAPULET
You will stand him. What, boy? I say you will. Get out of here. Am I the master here, or you? Get out. You won’t stand him? God save my soul, you’ll start a riot among my guests! And you’ll crow like a rooster, like you’re the man!

 

TYBALT
Why, uncle, ’tis a shame.

TYBALT
But, uncle, we’re being dishonered.

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85


 

CAPULET
               Go to, go to.
You are a saucy boy. Is ’t so, indeed?
This trick may chance to scathe 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!

CAPULET
Come on, come on. You’re an impertinent boy. Is that really how you think it is? This silliness is likely to come back to harm you. I know what I’m doing, but you feel the need to contradict me. Well, I’ll show you a thing or two. (to the GUESTS) Well done, my dears! (to TYBALT) You’re an insolent boy, now shoo. Keep your mouth shut — (to SERVINGMEN) more light, more light! (to TYBALT) — I’ll make you be quiet. (to the guests) Party on, my friends!

 

Music plays again, and the guests dance
 
The music plays again, and the guests dance
 

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90
 

TYBALT
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 bitterest gall.

TYBALT
The blend of enforced restraint with my burning rage is making me tremble. I’ll leave, but I’ll make Romeo regret this prank, which at the moment seems to him like such great fun.

 

Exit TYBALT
 
TYBALT exits.
 

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95
 

ROMEO
(taking JULIET’s hand) 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.

ROMEO
(taking JULIET’s hand) If I offend you by touching your holy hand with my own unworthy one, then my lips stand ready, like two blushing pilgrims, to smooth my rough touch with a gentle kiss.






 

JULIET
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.

JULIET
Good pilgrim, you are unfair to your hand. Your hand shows proper devotion by touching mine, just as pilgrims reach out to touch the hands of saints. Holding palm to palm is like a pilgrim’s kiss.

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100
 

ROMEO
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

ROMEO
Don’t saints, and pilgrims too, have lips?

 

JULIET
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

JULIET
Yes, pilgrim—lips they’re supposed to use to pray.




 

ROMEO
O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do.
They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

ROMEO
Oh, then, saint, let lips do what hands do: pray. Grant my prayer or my faith will turn to despair.

 

JULIET
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.

JULIET
Saints don’t move, though they do grant prayers.

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105
 

ROMEO
Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.

ROMEO
Then remain still while I pray.

 

Kisses her
 
He kisses her
 

 

Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged.

Now your lips have cleaned the sin from mine.

 

JULIET
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.

JULIET
Then my lips now have the sin they took from yours.

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110
 

ROMEO
Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again.

ROMEO
Sin from my lips? Oh how you urge me on to another crime. Give me back my sin.

 

They kiss again
 
They kiss again
 

 

JULIET
      You kiss by th’ book.

JULIET
You kiss as if you’ve studied how. (Editor’s note: Juliet is also teasing about how Romeo used religion, the Bible or “the book,” to steal two kisses)

 

NURSE
Madam, your mother craves a word with you.

NURSE
Madam, your mother wants to speak with you.

 

JULIET moves away
 

JULIET moves away
 

 

ROMEO
What is her mother?

ROMEO
Who is her mother?

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115


 

NURSE
      Marry, bachelor,
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous.
I nursed her daughter that you talked withal.
I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks.

NURSE
Well, young man, her mother is the lady of the house. A good, wise, and virtuous lady. I nursed her daughter, who you were talking to just now. I tell you, the man who marries that girl will be rich.




 

ROMEO
(aside) Is she a Capulet?
O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt.

ROMEO
(to himself) Is she a Capulet? Oh, what a price I’ve paid! My life is now owned by my enemy.

 

BENVOLIO
(to ROMEO) Away, begone. The sport is at the best.

BENVOLIO
(to ROMEO) Let’s go, let’s go, now while everything is still perfect.

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120
 

ROMEO
Ay, so I fear. The more is my unrest.

ROMEO
Yes, it is still perfect now. But I’m afraid it will never be again.

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125


 

CAPULET
Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone.
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.—
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.
Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late.
I’ll to my rest.

CAPULET
No, gentlemen, don’t leave now. We have a bit of dessert arriving any moment — (they whisper something to him) Is that so? Then, I thank you. I thank you, honest gentlemen. Good night. Bring more torches over here! Come on, let’s all get to bed. (to his COUSIN) Ah, good sir, by God, it’s late. I’m going sleep.

 

All but JULIET and NURSE move to exit
 
Everyone except JULIET and NURSE begins to exit.
 

 

JULIET
Come hither, Nurse. What is yond gentleman?

JULIET
Come here, nurse. Who is that gentleman over there?

 

NURSE
The son and heir of old Tiberio.

NURSE
The son and heir of old Tiberio.

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130
 

JULIET
What’s he that now is going out of door?

JULIET
Who’s the one going out the door?

 

NURSE
Marry, that, I think, be young Petruchio.

NURSE
That, I think, is young Petruchio.

 

JULIET
What’s he that follows here, that would not dance?

JULIET
What about the one over there, who wouldn’t dance?

 

NURSE
I know not.

NURSE
I don’t know him.

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135
 

JULIET
Go ask his name.—If he be married.
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.

JULIET
Go ask. (the nurse leaves; JULIET speaks to herself) If he’s married, I’d rather die than marry someone else.




 

NURSE
His name is Romeo, and a Montague,
The only son of your great enemy.

NURSE
(returning) His name is Romeo. He’s a Montague. He’s the only son of your greatest enemy.

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140
 

JULIET
(aside) 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 loathèd enemy.

JULIET
(to herself) The one man I love is the son of the one man I hate! I saw him before I knewg who he was, and learned who he was too late! What a monster love is to make me love my worst enemy.

 

NURSE
What’s this? What’s this?

NURSE
What’s this? What’s this?




 

JULIET
               A rhyme I learned even now
Of one I danced withal.

JULIET
A rhyme I learned just now from somebody I danced with.

 

One calls within “Juliet!”
 

Somebody calls “Juliet!” offstage.
 




 

NURSE
               Anon, anon!
Come, let’s away. The strangers all are gone.

NURSE
On my way, on my way. Let’s go. The guests are all gone.

 

Exeunt
 
They exit.
 

 

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