[Enter Lord Capulet, a nobleman named Paris, and a servant]
But Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike, and 'tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we to keep the peace.
Of honorable reckoning are you both,
And pity 'tis you lived at odds so long.
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
But saying o'er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world;
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
Younger than she are happy mothers made.
And too soon marred are those so early made.
The earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she;
She's the hopeful lady of my earth.
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart.
My will to her consent is but a part,
And she agreed, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.
This night I hold an old-accustomed feast,
Whereto I have invited many a guest
Such as I love; and you among the store
One more most welcome makes my number more.
At my poor house look to behold this night
Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light.
Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
When well-apparelled April on the heel
Of limping Winter treads — even such delight
Among fresh fennel buds shall you this night
Inherit at my house. Hear all, all see
And like her most whose merit most shall be,
Which on more view, of many, mine being one,
May stand in number, though in reckoning none.
[To Servant, giving him a piece of paper]
Through fair Verona; find those persons out
Whose names are written there, and to them say,
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.
[Exit Capulet and Paris]
Find them out whose names are written here! It is
written that the shoemaker should meddle with his
yard, and the tailor with his last, the fisher with
his pencil, and the painter with his nets. But I am
sent to find those persons whose names are here
writ, and can never find what names the writing
person hath here writ. I must to the learned — in good time.
[Enter Benvolio and Romeo. Benvolio is advising Romeo on how to get over his lovesickness. They do not notice the servant]
Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning;
One pain is lessened by another's anguish;
Turn giddy and be holp by backward turning;
One desperate grief cures with another's languish.
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.
Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.
Why, Romeo, art thou mad?
Not mad, but bound more than a madman is:
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipped and tormented and —
[Romeo and Benvolio notice the servant who has approached them]
God gi' good e'en. I pray, sir, can you read?
Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
Perhaps you have learned it without book.
But, I pray, can you read any thing you see?
Ay, if I know the letters and the language.
Ye say honestly. Rest you merry!
Stay, fellow; I can read.
'Signior Martino and his wife and daughters;
County Anselme and his beauteous sisters;
The lady widow of Vitruvio;
Signior Placentio and his lovely nieces;
Mercutio and his brother Valentine;
Mine uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters;
My fair niece Rosaline, and Livia;
Signior Valentio and his cousin Tybalt;
Lucio and the lively Helena.'
A fair assembly. Whither should they come?
Indeed, I should have asked you that before.
Now I'll tell you without asking. My master is the
great rich Capulet, and if you be not of the house
of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine.
At this same ancient feast of Capulet's
Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lovest,
With all the admired beauties of Verona.
Go thither and, with unattainted eye,
Compare her face with some that I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fire;
And these who often drowned could never die,
Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!
One fairer than my love! The all-seeing sun
Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun.
Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,
Herself poised with herself in either eye.
But in that crystal scales let there be weighed
Your lady's love against some other maid
That I will show you shining at this feast,
And she shall scant show well, that now seems best.
I'll go along no such sight to be shown,
But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.