[The main ballroom at the Capulet’s mansion. The feast is over and the butler is berating the servants for not clearing away the dining tables quickly enough to make room for the dancing.]
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 unwashed too, 'tis a foul thing.
Away with the joint-stools, remove the
court-cupboard, look to the plate. Good thou, save
me a piece of marchpane, and, as thou lovest me,
let the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell.
You are looked for and called for, asked for and
sought for, in the great chamber.
We cannot be here and there too. [To the other servants] Cheerly,
boys, be brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.
[Enter Lord Capulet with Juliet and others of his extended family. They are welcoming guests who missed the feast but are now arriving for the dancing such as Romeo and his friends.]
Welcome, gentlemen. Ladies that have their toes
Unplagued with corns will walk a bout with you.
Ah ha, 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.
A hall, a hall! Give room, and foot it, girls.
[Music plays, and they dance]
More light, you knaves, and turn the tables up,
And quench the fire — the room is grown too hot.
[Seeing his cousin, another elderly Capulet lord, arriving]
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
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.
'Tis more, 'tis more, his son is elder, sir.
His son was but a ward two years ago.
[Romeo notices a beautiful woman across the room and gets one of the servant’s attention]
What lady is that, which doth enrich the hand
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
As 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.
[Tybalt, Lord Capulet’s nephew, has overheard Romeo talking to the servant]
This, by his voice, should be a Montague.
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.
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.
'Tis he, that villain Romeo.
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 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.
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.
You are a saucy boy. Is't so, indeed?
This trick may chance to scathe you, I know what.
You must contrary me! [To guests] Marry, 'tis time.
Well said, my hearts. [To Tybalt] You are a princox; go.
Be quiet, or [to servants] more light, more light [to Tybalt] for shame,
I'll make you quiet. [To guests] What, cheerly, my hearts!
[Tybalt turns away from his uncle]
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.
[Tybalt exists. Romeo approaches Juliet and speaks to her]
If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:
[Romeo takes Juliet’s hand]
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;
[Juliet places the palm of her hand against Romeo’s]
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 prayer.
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.
[He kisses her]
Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged.
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
[He kisses her again]
[Juliet’s nurse approaches the two lovers]
Madam, your mother craves a word with you.
[Juliet goes to her mother]
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
O dear account! My life is my foe's debt.
Away, begone; 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 indicate that they must leave.]
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.
[Exit all but Juliet and the Nurse. Juliet points to one of the departing guests]
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 there, that would not dance?
[The nurse goes]
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 loathèd enemy.
What's this? What's this?
A rhyme I learned even now
[Someone offstage calls out for Juliet]
Come, let's away, the strangers all are gone.