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So thou wilt woo; but, else, not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond;
And therefore thou may'st think my haviour light:
But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true
Than those that have more cunning to be strange.11
I should have been more strange, I must confess,
But that thou over-heard'st, ere I was ware,
My true love's passion: therefore, pardon me ;
And not impute this yielding to light love,
Which the dark night hath so discovered.

Rom. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear, That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops, Jul. O! swear not by the moon, th' inconstant


That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
Rom. What shall I swear by?
Do not swear at all;
Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
Which is the god of my idolatry,

And I'll believe thee.


If my heart's dear love— Jul. Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, I have no joy of this contract to-night: It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden;

Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be,
Ere one can say it lightens.12 Sweet, good night!

11 So the first quarto: the later editions have coying instead of more cunning. Also, in the first line of the next speech, all the old copies but the first have vow instead of swear.


12 With love, pure love, there is always an anxiety for the safety of the object, a disinterestedness, by which it is distinguished from the counterfeits of its name. Compare this scene with Act iii. sc. 1, of The Tempest. I do not know a more wonderful instance of Shakespeare's mastery in playing a distinctly rememberable variety on the same remembered air, than in the transporting love-confessions of Romeo and Juliet, and Ferdinand and

This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest Come to thy heart, as that within my breast!

Rom. O! wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied? Jul. What satisfaction canst thou have to-night? Rom. Th' exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine. Jul. I gave thee mine before thou didst request it; And yet I would it were to give again.

Rom. Would'st thou withdraw it? for what pur

pose, love?

Jul. But to be frank, and give it thee again.
And yet
I wish but for the thing I have:
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

[Nurse calls within. I hear some noise within: dear love, adieu ! Anon, good nurse! - Sweet Montague, be true. Stay but a little, I will come again.


Rom. O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard,
Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.

Re-enter JULIET, above.

Jul. Three words, dear Romeo, and good night, indeed.

If that thy bent of love be honourable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow

Miranda. There seems more passion in the one, and more dig. nity in the other; yet you feel that the sweet girlish lingering and busy movem ent of Juliet, and the calmer and more maidenly fondness of Miranda, might easily pass into each other.



By one that I'll procure to come to thee,

Where, and what time, thou wilt perform the rite;
And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay,
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.13
Nurse. [Within.] Madam.

- But, if thou mean'st not

Jul. I come anon. well,

I do beseech thee,

Nurse. [Within.]




By and by; I come. To cease thy suit,11 and leave me to my grief: To-morrow will I send.



So thrive soul,
Jul. A thousand times good night! [Exit.
Rom. A thousand times the worse, to want thy


Love goes toward love, as school-boys from their books;

But love from love, toward school with heavy looks. [Retiring slowly.

13 In Brooke's poem Juliet uses nearly the same expressions: "But if your thought be chaste, and have on vertue ground; If wedlocke be the marke, which your desire hath found; Obedience set aside, unto my parentes dewe,

The quarrell eke that long agoe betweene our householdes


Both me and myne I will all whole to you betake,

And, following you whereso you goe, my fathers house forsake.
But if by wanton love and by unlawful sute

You thinke to plucke my maydehood's dainty frute,
You are begylde; and now your Juliet you beseekes

To cease your sute, and suffer her to live emong her likes."

14 This passage is not in the first quarto, and the other old copies have strife instead of suit. Suit agrees much better with the context, is the word commonly given in modern editions, and is found in Mr. Collier's second folio.


Jul. Romeo!



Re-enter JULIET, above.

Jul. Hist! Romeo, hist! —O, for a falconer's

To lure this tercel-gentle back again! 15
Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud;
Else would I tear the cave where echo lies,
And make her airy voice more hoarse than mine
With repetition of my Romeo's name.

Rom. It is my soul, that calls upon my name : How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, Like softest music to attending ears!

My dear! 18

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At what o'clock to-morrow

Shall I send to thee?


At the hour of nine.

Jul. I will not fail: 'tis twenty years till then. I have forgot why I did call thee back. Rom. Let me stand here till thou remember it.

Jul. I shall forget, to have thee still stand there, Remembering how I love thy company.

Rom. And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget, Forgetting any other home but this

Jul. "Tis almost morning, I would have thee gone;

15 The tercel is the male of the gosshawk, and had the epithet gentle annexed to it, from the ease with which it was tamed, and its attachment to man. Tardif, in his book of Falconry, says that the tiercel has its name from being one of three birds usually found in the aerie of a falcon, two of which are females, and the third a male; hence called tiercelet, or the third. According to the old books of sport the falcon gentle and tiercel gentle are birds for a prince. For voice, third line after, all the old copies but the first quarto have tongue.


16 So the undated quarto. The quarto of 1597 has Madam; those of 1599 and 1609 and the first folio have niece instead of dear. The second folio changes niece to sweet, which is commonly adopted in modern editions.


And yet no further than a wanton's bird;
Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.

Rom. I would I were thy bird.
Sweet, so would I;
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sor-


That I shall say good night, till it be morrow.

[Exit. Rom. Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!

Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!
Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell,17
His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell. [Exit.


Enter Friar LAURENCE, with a Basket. Fri. The gray-ey'd morn smiles on the frowning night,'

Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light; And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels

17 So the quarto of 1597; the later copies, "my ghostly friars close cell."-The quartos of 1599 and 1609 and the folio of 1623 assign the first line of this speech to Juliet.


1 The reverend character of the Friar, like all Shakespeare's representations of the great professions, is very delightful and tranquillizing, yet it is no digression, but immediately necessary to the carrying on of the plot. COLERIDGE.


2 Flecked is dappled, streaked, or variegated. Lord Surrey uses the word in his translation of the fourth Æneid: "Her quivering cheekes flecked with deadly stain." So in the old play of



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