Romeo and Juliet (1917) Yale/Text/Act IV

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Notes originally placed at the bottom of each page appear below, following Act IV. Where these notes gloss a word in the text, the gloss can also be found by hovering over the text.

Where these notes refer to an end note (cf. n. = confer notam; "consult note"), a link to the accompanying end note is provided from the Footnotes section. The end notes accompanying Act IV begin on page 127 of the original volume.


Scene One

[Friar Laurence's Cell]

Enter Friar and County Paris.

Fri. L. On Thursday, sir? the time is very short.

Par. My father Capulet will have it so;
And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.

Fri. L. You say you do not know the lady's mind: 4
Uneven is the course, I like it not.

Par. Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death,
And therefore have I little talk of love;
For Venus smiles not in a house of tears. 8
Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous
That she doth give her sorrow so much sway,
And in his wisdom hastes our marriage
To stop the inundation of her tears; 12
Which, too much minded by herself alone,
May be put from her by society.
Now do you know the reason of this haste.

Fri. L. [Aside.] I would I knew not why it should be slow'd. 16
Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my cell.

Enter Juliet.

Par. Happily met, my lady, and my wife!

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

Par. That may be must be, love, on Thursday next. 20

Jul. What must be shall be.

Fri. L. That’s a certain text.

Par. Come you to make confession to this father?

Jul. To answer that, I should confess to you.

Par. Do not deny to him that you love me.

Jul. I will confess to you that I love him. 25

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

Jul. If I do so, it will be of more price,
Being spoke behind your back, than to your face. 28

Par. Poor soul, thy face is much abus'd with tears.

Jul. The tears have got small victory by that;
For it was bad enough before their spite.

Par. Thou wrong'st it, more than tears, with that report. 32

Jul. That is no slander, sir, which is a truth;
And what I spake, I spake it to my face.

Par. Thy face is mine, and thou hast slander'd it.

Jul. It may be so, for it is not mine own. 36
Are you at leisure, holy father, now;
Or shall I come to you at evening mass?

Fri. L. My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now:
My lord, we must entreat the time alone. 40

Par. God shield, I should disturb devotion!
Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse you:
Till then, adieu; and keep this holy kiss. Exit Paris.

Jul. O! shut the door! and when thou hast done so, 44
Come weep with me; past hope, past cure, past help!

Fri. L. Ah! 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. 49

Jul. 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, 52
Do thou but call my resolution wise,
And with this knife I'll help it presently.
God join'd my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands;
And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo seal'd, 56
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-experienc'd time, 60
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 64
Could to no issue of true honour bring.
Be not so long to speak; I long to die,
If what thou speak'st speak not of remedy.

Fri. L. Hold, daughter; I do spy a kind of hope, 68
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, 72
Then is it likely thou wilt undertake
A thing like death to chide away this shame,
That cop'st with death himself to 'scape from it;
And, if thou dar'st, I’ll give thee remedy. 76

Jul. O! bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,
From off the battlements of any tower;
Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk
Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears; 80
Or hide me nightly in a charnel-house,
O'er-cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones,
With reeky shanks, and yellow chapless skulls;
Or bid me go into a new-made grave 84
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 unstain'd wife to my sweet love. 88

Fri. L. Hold, then; go home, be merry, give consent
To marry Paris: Wednesday is to-morrow:
To-morrow night look that thou lie alone,
Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber:
Take thou this vial, being then in bed, 93
And this distilling liquor drink thou off;
When presently through all thy veins shall run
A cold and drowsy humour, for no pulse 96
Shall keep his native progress, but surcease;
No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou liv'st;
The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade
To paly ashes; thy eyes' windows fall, 100
Like death, when he shuts up the day of life;
Each part, depriv'd of supple government,
Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death;
And in this borrow'd likeness of shrunk death
Thou shalt continue two-and-forty hours, 105
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— 109
In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier,
Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault
Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie. 112
In the mean time, 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 116
Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.
And this shall free thee from this present shame;
If no unconstant toy, nor womanish fear,
Abate thy valour in the acting it. 120

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

Fri. L. 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. 14

Jul. Love, give me strength! and strength shall help afford.
Farewell, dear father! Exeunt.

Scene Two

[Hall in Capulet's House]

Enter Father Capulet, Mother, Nurse, and Serving-men, two or three.

Cap. So many guests invite as here are writ.
[Exit Servant.]
Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks.

Sec. Serv. You shall have none ill, sir; for
I'll try if they can lick their fingers. 4

Cap. How canst thou try them so?

Sec. Serv. Marry, sir, 'tis an ill cook that
cannot lick his own fingers: therefore he that
cannot lick his fingers goes not with me. 8

Cap. Go, be gone. [Exit Second Servant.]
We shall be much unfurnish'd for this time.
What! is my daughter gone to Friar Laurence?

Nurse. Ay, forsooth. 12

Cap. Well, he may chance to do some good on her:
A peevish self-will'd harlotry it is.

Nurse. See where she comes from shrift with merry look. 16

Enter Juliet.

Cap. How now, my headstrong! where have you been gadding?

Jul. Where I have learn'd me to repent the sin
Of disobedient opposition
To you and your behests; and am enjoin'd 20
By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here,
To beg your pardon. Pardon, I beseech you!
Henceforward I am ever rul'd by you.

She kneels down.

Cap. Send for the county; go tell him of this: 24
I'll have this knot knit up to-morrow morning.

Jul. I met the youthful lord at Laurence' cell;
And gave him what becomed love I might,
Not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty. 28

Cap. Why, I'm glad on 't; this is well: stand up:
This is as 't should be. Let me see the county;
Ay, marry, go, I say, and fetch him hither.
Now, afore God! this reverend holy friar, 32
All our whole city is much bound to him.

Jul. Nurse, will you go with me into my closet,
To help me sort such needful ornaments
As you think fit to furnish me to-morrow? 36

Lady Cap. No, not till Thursday; there is time enough.

Cap. Go, nurse, go with her. We'll to church to-morrow.

Exeunt Juliet and Nurse.

Lady Cap. We shall be short in our provision:
'Tis now near night.

Cap. Tush! I will stir about, 40
And all things shall be well, I warrant thee, wife:
Go thou to Juliet, help to deck up her;
I'll not to bed to-night; let me alone;
I'll play the housewife for this once. What, ho!
They are all forth: well, I will walk myself 45
To County Paris, to prepare him up
Against to-morrow. My heart is wondrous light,
Since this same wayward girl is so reclaim'd. 48

Exeunt Father and Mother.

Scene Three

[Juliet's Chamber]

Enter Juliet and Nurse.

Jul. Ay, those attires are best; but, gentle nurse,
I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night;
For I have need of many orisons
To move the heavens to smile upon my state, 4
Which, well thou know'st, is cross and full of sin.

Enter Mother.

Lady Cap. What! are you busy, ho? need you my help?

Jul. No, madam; we have cull'd such necessaries
As are behoveful for our state to-morrow: 8
So please you, let me now be left alone,
And let the nurse this night sit up with you;
For, I am sure, you have your hands full all
In this so sudden business.

Lady Cap. Good-night: 12
Get thee to bed, and rest; for thou hast need.

Exeunt [Mother and Nurse].

Jul. Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.
I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,
That almost freezes up the heat of life: 16
I'll call them back again to comfort me:
Nurse! What should she do here?
My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
Come, vial. 20
What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married then to-morrow morning?
No, no; this shall forbid it: lie thou there.
[Laying down a dagger.]
What if it be a poison, which the friar 24
Subtly hath minister'd to have me dead,
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour'd
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear it is: and yet, methinks, it should not, 28
For he hath still been tried a holy man.
I will not entertain so bad a thought.
How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo 32
Come to redeem me? there's a fearful point!
Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,
To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
Or, if I live, is it not very like, 37
The horrible conceit of death and night,
Together with the terror of the place,—
As in a vault, an ancient receptacle, 40
Where, for these many hundred years, the bones
Of all my buried ancestors are pack'd;
Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say, 44
At some hours in the night spirits resort;—
Alack, alack! is it not like that I,
So early waking, what with loathsome smells,
And shrieks like mandrakes' torn out of the earth, 48
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad:
O! if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
Environed with all these hideous fears,
And madly play with my forefathers' joints, 52
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?
And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone,
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?
O, look! methinks I see my cousin's ghost 56
Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body
Upon a rapier's point. Stay, Tybalt, stay!
Romeo, I come! This do I drink to thee.

She falls upon her bed within the curtains.

Scene Four

[Hall in Capulet's House]

Enter Lady of the house and Nurse.

Lady Cap. Hold, take these keys, and fetch more spices, nurse.

Nurse. They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.

Enter old Capulet.

Cap. Come, stir, stir, stir! the second cock hath crow'd,
The curfew bell hath rung, 'tis three o'clock: 4
Look to the bak'd meats, good Angelica:
Spare not for cost.

Nurse. Go, you cot-quean, go;
Get you to bed; faith, you'll be sick to-morrow
For this night's watching. 8

Cap. No, not a whit; what! I have watch'd ere now
All night for lesser cause, and ne'er been sick.

Lady Cap. Ay, you have been a mouse-hunt in your time;
But I will watch you from such watching now.

Exeunt Lady and Nurse.

Cap. A jealous-hood, a jealous-hood!

Enter three or four, with spits, and logs, and baskets.

Now, fellow, 17
What's there?

First Serv. Things for the cook, sir; but I know not what.

Cap. Make haste, make haste. [Exit first Serving-
man.] Sirrah, fetch drier logs: 16
Call Peter, he will show thee where they are.

Sec. Serv. I have a head, sir, that will find out logs,
And never trouble Peter for the matter. Exit.

Cap. Mass, and well said; a merry whoreson, ha! 20
Thou shalt be logger-head. Good faith! 'tis day:
The county will be here with music straight,
For so he said he would. Play music [within].
I hear him near.
Nurse! Wife! what, ho! What, nurse, I say!

Enter Nurse.

Go waken Juliet, go and trim her up; 25
I'll go and chat with Paris. Hie, make haste,
Make haste; the bridegroom he is come already:
Make haste, I say. [Exeunt.]

Scene Five

[Juliet's Chamber]

[Enter Nurse.]

Nurse. Mistress what, mistress! Juliet! fast, I warrant her, she:
Why, lamb! why, lady! fie, you slug-a-bed!
Why, love, I say! madam! sweet-heart! why, bride!
What! not a word? you take your pennyworths now: 4
Sleep for a week; for the next night, I warrant,
The County Paris hath set up his rest,
That you shall rest but little. God forgive me,
Marry, and amen, how sound is she asleep! 8
I needs must wake her. Madam, madam, madam!
Ay, let the county take you in your bed;
He'll fright you up, i' faith. Will it not be?
What, dress'd, and in your clothes! and down again! 12
I must needs wake you. Lady! lady! lady!
Alas! alas! Help! help! my lady's dead!
O! well-a-day, that ever I was born.
Some aqua-vitæ, ho! My lord! my lady! 16

Enter Mother.

Lady Cap. What noise is here?

Nurse. O lamentable day!

Lady Cap. What is the matter?

Nurse. Look, look! O heavy day!

Lady Cap. O me, O me! my child, my only life,
Revive, look up, or I will die with thee! 20
Help, help! Call help.

Enter Father.

Cap. For shame! bring Juliet forth; her lord is come.

Nurse. She's dead, deceas'd, she's dead; alack the day!

Lady Cap. Alack the day! she's dead, she's dead! she's dead! 24

Cap. Ha! let me see her. Out, alas! she's cold;
Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff;
Life and these lips have long been separated:
Death lies on her like an untimely frost 28
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.

Nurse. O lamentable day!

Lady Cap. O woeful time!

Cap. Death, that hath ta'en her hence to make me wail,
Ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak. 32

Enter Friar and the County with Musicians.

Fri. L. Come, is the bride ready to go to church?

Cap. Ready to go, but never to return.
O son! the night before thy wedding-day
Hath Death lain with thy wife. There she lies, 36
Flower as she was, deflowered by him.
Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir;
My daughter he hath wedded: I will die,
And leave him all; life, living, all is Death's! 40

Par. Have I thought long to see this morning's face,
And doth it give me such a sight as this?

Lady Cap. Accurs'd, unhappy, wretched, hateful day!
Most miserable hour, that e'er time saw 44
In lasting labour of his pilgrimage!
But one, poor one, one poor and loving child,
But one thing to rejoice and solace in,
And cruel death hath catch'd it from my sight! 48

Nurse. O woe! O woeful, woeful, woeful day!
Most lamentable day, most woeful day,
That ever, ever, I did yet behold!
O day! O day! O day! O hateful day! 52
Never was seen so black a day as this:
O woeful day, O woeful day!

Par. Beguil'd, divorced, wronged, spited, slain!
Most detestable death, by thee beguil'd, 56
By cruel cruel thee quite overthrown!
O love! O life! not life, but love in death!

Cap. Despis'd, distressed, hated, martyr'd, kill'd!
Uncomfortable time, why cam'st thou now 60
To murder, murder our solemnity?
O child! O child! my soul, and not my child!
Dead art thou! dead! alack, my child is dead;
And with my child my joys are buried! 64

Fri. L. Peace, ho! for shame! confusion's cure lives not
In these confusions. Heaven and yourself
Had part in this fair maid; now heaven hath all,
And all the better is it for the maid: 68
Your part in her you could not keep from death,
But heaven keeps his part in eternal life.
The most you sought was her promotion,
For 'twas your heaven she should be advanc'd;
And weep ye now, seeing she is advanc'd 73
Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself?
O! in this love, you love your child so ill,
That you run mad, seeing that she is well:
She's not well married that lives married long; 76
But she's best married that dies married young.
Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary
On this fair corse; and, as the custom is, 80
In all her best array bear her to church;
For though fond nature bids us all lament,
Yet nature's tears are reason's merriment.

Cap. All things that we ordained festival, 84
Turn from their office to black funeral;
Our instruments to melancholy bells,
Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast,
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change, 88
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,
And all things change them to the contrary.

Fri. L. Sir, go you in; and, madam, go with him;
And go, Sir Paris; every one prepare 92
To follow this fair corse unto her grave.
The heavens do lower upon you for some ill;
Move them no more by crossing their high will.

They all but the Nurse [and the Musicians] go forth, casting rosemary on her and shutting the curtains.

First Mus. Faith, we may put up our pipes,
and be gone. 97

Nurse. Honest good fellows, ah! put up, put
up, for, well you know, this is a pitiful case.


First Mus. Ay, by my troth, the case may be
amended. 101

Enter Peter.

Pet. Musicians! O! musicians, 'Heart's ease,
Heart's ease': O! an ye will have me live, play
'Heart's ease.' 104

First Mus. Why 'Heart's ease'?

Pet. O! musicians, because my heart itself
plays 'My heart is full of woe'; O! play me
some merry dump, to comfort me. 108

Sec. Mus. Not a dump we; 'tis no time to
play now.

Pet. You will not then?

Musicians. No. 112

Pet. I will then give it you soundly.

First Mus. What will you give us?

Pet. No money, on my faith! but the gleek;
I will give you the minstrel. 116

First Mus. Then will I give you the serving-

Pet. Then will I lay the serving-creature's
dagger on your pate, I will carry no crotchets:
I'll re you, I'll fa you. Do you note me? 121

First Mus. An you re us, and fa us, you
note us.

Sec. Mus. Pray you, put up your dagger,
and put out your wit. 125

Pet. Then have at you with my wit! I will
dry-beat you with an iron wit, and put up my
iron dagger. Answer me like men: 128
'When griping grief the heart doth wound,
And doleful dumps the mind oppress,
Then music with her silver sound—'
Why 'silver sound'? why 'music with her silver
sound'? What say you, Simon Catling? 133

First Mus. Marry, sir, because silver hath a
sweet sound.

Pet. Pretty! What say you, Hugh Rebeck?

Sec. Mus. I say 'silver sound,' because mu-
sicians sound for silver.

Pet. Pretty too! What say you, James
Soundpost? 140

Third Mus. Faith, I know not what to say.

Pet. O! I cry you mercy; you are the singer;
I will say for you. It is, 'music with her silver
sound,' because musicians have no gold for
sounding: 145
'Then music with her silver sound
With speedy help doth lend redress.'


First Mus. What a pestilent knave is this
same! 149

Sec. Mus. Hang him, Jack! Come, we'll in
here; tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner.


Footnotes to Act IV

Scene One

3 to slack: i.e., so as to slack
5 Uneven: not straightforward
course: method of procedure
14 society: companionship
38 evening mass; cf. n.
40 entreat: ask to have
41 shield: forbid
47 Cf. n.
57 label: seal appended to a document
62 extremes: extreme difficulties, utter distress
64 commission: authority
74 chide: drive
75 cop'st: encounterest
79 thievish: infested with robbers
81 charnel-house: place where the dead are laid
83 reeky: full of rank moisture
chapless: lacking the lower jaw
96 drowsy: sleep inducing
humour: fluid
97 native progress: natural motion
surcease: cease
104 borrow'd: counterfeit
119 toy: whim
122 Hold: Here, take it

Scene Two

10 unfurnish'd: unprepared
14 peevish: perverse
harlotry: silly wench
27 becomed: befitting
33 bound: under obligation
34 closet: chamber
35 sort: select
36 furnish: dress, adorn

Scene Three

3 orisons: prayers
5 cross: perverse
8 state: appearance befitting rank
25 minister'd: supplied
29 tried: proved
30 Cf. n.
33 redeem: save
40 As: namely
43 green in earth: freshly buried
48 mandrakes'; cf. n.
59 Cf. n.

Scene Four

2 pastry: room where pastry is made
4 curfew bell; cf. n.
5 bak'd meats: meat-pies
6 cot-quean: 'servant-wench'; used derisively of the meddling Capulet
8 watching: being awake
11 mouse-hunt: woman-hunter
13 jealous-hood: jealous woman
20 Mass: by the Mass
whoreson: dog
21 logger-head: blockhead

Scene Five

1 fast: sound asleep
4 pennyworths: money's worth (of sleep)
6 set up his rest: staked his all, i.e., is determined
26 settled: congealed
41 thought long: longed
61 solemnity: (marriage) feast
65 confusion's: ruin's
66 confusions: disorders
73 advanc'd: raised
79 rosemary; cf. n.
83 Cf. n.
85 office: function
101 amended: bettered
S. d. Enter Peter; cf. n.
102 Heart's ease; cf. n.
108 dump: a mournful tune
115 gleek: gibe; cf. n.
120 carry: put up with
crotchets: both 'quarter-note' and 'whim'
121 re . . . fa: syllables for the second and fourth notes of the musical scale
123 note: provide with notes, set to music
125 put out: exert
129 When griping grief; cf. n.
133 Catling; cf. n.
142 cry you mercy: beg your pardon
145 sounding: making music