A line-by-line translation

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Translation Act 1, Scene 3

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LADY CAPULET and the NURSE enter.

LADY CAPULET

Nurse, where’s my daughter? Call her forth to me.

LADY CAPULET

Nurse, where’s my daughter? Tell her to come here.

NURSE

Now, by my maidenhead at twelve year oldI bade her come. What, lamb! What, ladybird!God forbid! Where’s this girl? What, Juliet!

NURSE

I swear by my virginity at age twelve, I told her to come. What is this?! Heaven forbid! Where is that girl? Juliet!

JULIET enters.

JULIET

How now, who calls?

JULIET

What? Who’s calling me?

NURSE

Your mother.

NURSE

Your mother.

JULIET

Madam, I am here. What is your will?

JULIET

Madam, I’m here. What do you want?

LADY CAPULET

This is the matter.—Nurse, give leave awhile, We must talk in secret. —Nurse, come back again. I have remembered me. Thou’s hear our counsel. Thou know’st my daughter’s of a pretty age.

LADY CAPULET

Here’s what I want—Nurse, leave us for a bit while we talk privately—wait, no, Nurse, come back. I just remembered, you can listen to our secrets. You know my daughter’s of a certain age.

NURSE

Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.

NURSE

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LADY CAPULET

She’s not fourteen.

LADY CAPULET

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NURSE

I’ll lay fourteen of my teeth—and yet, to my teen be itspoken, I have but four—she is not fourteen. How long is it now to Lammastide?

NURSE

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LADY CAPULET

A fortnight and odd days.

LADY CAPULET

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NURSE

Even or odd, of all days in the year, Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen. Susan and she—God rest all Christian souls!— Were of an age. Well, Susan is with God. She was too good for me. But, as I said, On Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen. That shall she. Marry, I remember it well. ‘Tis since the earthquake now eleven years, And she was weaned—I never shall forget it— Of all the days of the year, upon that day. For I had then laid wormwood to my dug, Sitting in the sun under the dovehouse wall. My lord and you were then at Mantua.— Nay, I do bear a brain. —But, as I said, When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool, To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug! “Shake!” quoth the dovehouse. ‘Twas no need, I trow, To bid me trudge. And since that time it is eleven years, For then she could stand alone. Nay, by the rood, She could have run and waddled all about, For even the day before, she broke her brow. And then my husband—God be with his soul! He was a merry man—took up the child. “Yea,” quoth he, “Dost thou fall upon thy face? Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit, Wilt thou not, Jule?” and, by my holy dame, The pretty wretch left crying and said “ay.” To see now, how a jest shall come about! I warrant, an I should live a thousand years, I never should forget it. “Wilt thou not, Jule?” quoth he. And, pretty fool, it stinted and said “ay.”

NURSE

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LADY CAPULET

Enough of this. I pray thee, hold thy peace.

LADY CAPULET

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NURSE

Yes, madam. Yet I cannot choose but laugh To think it should leave crying and say “ay.” And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow A bump as big as a young cockerel’s stone, A perilous knock, and it cried bitterly. “Yea,” quoth my husband, “Fall’st upon thy face? Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age. Wilt thou not, Jule?” It stinted and said “ay.”

NURSE

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JULIET

And stint thou too, I pray thee, Nurse, say I.

JULIET

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NURSE

Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace! Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er I nursed. An I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish.

NURSE

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LADY CAPULET

Marry, that “marry” is the very themeI came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,How stands your disposition to be married?

LADY CAPULET

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JULIET

It is an honor that I dream not of.

JULIET

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NURSE

An honor! Were not I thine only nurse, I would say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy teat.

NURSE

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LADY CAPULET

Well, think of marriage now. Younger than you Here in Verona, ladies of esteem Are made already mothers. By my count, I was your mother much upon these years That you are now a maid. Thus then in brief: The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.

LADY CAPULET

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NURSE

A man, young lady! Lady, such a manAs all the world. Why, he’s a man of wax.

NURSE

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LADY CAPULET

Verona’s summer hath not such a flower.

LADY CAPULET

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NURSE

Nay, he’s a flower. In faith, a very flower.

NURSE

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LADY CAPULET

What say you? Can you love the gentleman? This night you shall behold him at our feast. Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen. Examine every married lineament And see how one another lends content, And what obscured in this fair volume lies Find written in the margin of his eyes. This precious book of love, this unbound lover, To beautify him only lacks a cover. The fish lives in the sea, and ’tis much pride For fair without the fair within to hide. That book in many’s eyes doth share the glory That in gold clasps locks in the golden story. So shall you share all that he doth possess By having him, making yourself no less.

LADY CAPULET

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NURSE

No less? Nay, bigger. Women grow by men.

NURSE

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LADY CAPULET

Speak briefly. Can you like of Paris, love?

LADY CAPULET

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JULIET

I’ll look to like if looking liking move. But no more deep will I endart mine eyeThan your consent gives strength to make it fly.

JULIET

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PETER

Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you called, my young lady asked for, the Nurse cursed in thepantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait. I beseech you, follow straight.

PETER

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PETER enters.

LADY CAPULET

We follow thee.—Juliet, the county stays.

LADY CAPULET

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NURSE

Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.

NURSE

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They all exit.

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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.