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Romeo and Juliet, ACT III
SCENE I. A public place.

Enter MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, Page, and Servants

BENVOLIO
I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire:
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,
And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl;
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.

MERCUTIO
Thou art like one of those fellows that when he
enters the confines of a tavern claps me his sword
upon the table and says ‘God send me no need of
thee!’ and by the operation of the second cup draws
it on the drawer, when indeed there is no need.

BENVOLIO
Am I like such a fellow?

MERCUTIO
Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood as
any in Italy, and as soon moved to be moody, and as
soon moody to be moved.

BENVOLIO
And what to?

MERCUTIO
Nay, an there were two such, we should have none
shortly, for one would kill the other. Thou! why,
thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more,
or a hair less, in his beard, than thou hast: thou
wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no
other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes: what
eye but such an eye would spy out such a quarrel?
Thy head is as fun of quarrels as an egg is full of
meat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as
an egg for quarrelling: thou hast quarrelled with a
man for coughing in the street, because he hath
wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun:
didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing
his new doublet before Easter? with another, for
tying his new shoes with old riband? and yet thou
wilt tutor me from quarrelling!

BENVOLIO
An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man
should buy the fee-simple of my life for an hour and a quarter.

MERCUTIO
The fee-simple! O simple!

BENVOLIO
By my head, here come the Capulets.

MERCUTIO
By my heel, I care not.

Enter TYBALT and others

TYBALT
Follow me close, for I will speak to them.
Gentlemen, good den: a word with one of you.

MERCUTIO
And but one word with one of us? couple it with
something; make it a word and a blow.

TYBALT
You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, an you
will give me occasion.

MERCUTIO
Could you not take some occasion without giving?

TYBALT
Mercutio, thou consort’st with Romeo,–

MERCUTIO
Consort! what, dost thou make us minstrels? an
thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but
discords: here’s my fiddlestick; here’s that shall
make you dance. ‘Zounds, consort!

BENVOLIO
We talk here in the public haunt of men:
Either withdraw unto some private place,
And reason coldly of your grievances,
Or else depart; here all eyes gaze on us.

MERCUTIO
Men’s eyes were made to look, and let them gaze;
I will not budge for no man’s pleasure, I.

Enter ROMEO

TYBALT
Well, peace be with you, sir: here comes my man.

MERCUTIO
But I’ll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery:
Marry, go before to field, he’ll be your follower;
Your worship in that sense may call him ‘man.’

TYBALT
Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford
No better term than this,–thou art a villain.

ROMEO
Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting: villain am I none;
Therefore farewell; I see thou know’st me not.

TYBALT
Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries
That thou hast done me; therefore turn and draw.

ROMEO
I do protest, I never injured thee,
But love thee better than thou canst devise,
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love:
And so, good Capulet,–which name I tender
As dearly as my own,–be satisfied.

MERCUTIO
O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!
Alla stoccata carries it away.

Draws

Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?

TYBALT
What wouldst thou have with me?

MERCUTIO
Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine
lives; that I mean to make bold withal, and as you
shall use me hereafter, drybeat the rest of the
eight. Will you pluck your sword out of his pitcher
by the ears? make haste, lest mine be about your
ears ere it be out.

TYBALT
I am for you.

Drawing

ROMEO
Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.

MERCUTIO
Come, sir, your passado.

They fight

ROMEO
Draw, Benvolio; beat down their weapons.
Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage!
Tybalt, Mercutio, the prince expressly hath
Forbidden bandying in Verona streets:
Hold, Tybalt! good Mercutio!

TYBALT under ROMEO’s arm stabs MERCUTIO, and flies with his followers

MERCUTIO
I am hurt.
A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone, and hath nothing?

BENVOLIO
What, art thou hurt?

MERCUTIO
Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, ’tis enough.
Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.

Exit Page

ROMEO
Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.

MERCUTIO
No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a
church-door; but ’tis enough,’twill serve: ask for
me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I
am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o’
both your houses! ‘Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a
cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a
rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of
arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us? I
was hurt under your arm.

ROMEO
I thought all for the best.

MERCUTIO
Help me into some house, Benvolio,
Or I shall faint. A plague o’ both your houses!
They have made worms’ meat of me: I have it,
And soundly too: your houses!

Exeunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO

ROMEO
This gentleman, the prince’s near ally,
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt
In my behalf; my reputation stain’d
With Tybalt’s slander,–Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my kinsman! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper soften’d valour’s steel!

Re-enter BENVOLIO

BENVOLIO
O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio’s dead!
That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.

ROMEO
This day’s black fate on more days doth depend;
This but begins the woe, others must end.

BENVOLIO
Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

ROMEO
Alive, in triumph! and Mercutio slain!
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now!

Re-enter TYBALT

Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gavest me; for Mercutio’s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company:
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.

TYBALT
Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here,
Shalt with him hence.

ROMEO
This shall determine that.

They fight; TYBALT falls

BENVOLIO
Romeo, away, be gone!
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
Stand not amazed: the prince will doom thee death,
If thou art taken: hence, be gone, away!

ROMEO
O, I am fortune’s fool!

BENVOLIO
Why dost thou stay?

Exit ROMEO

Enter Citizens, & c

First Citizen
Which way ran he that kill’d Mercutio?
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?

BENVOLIO
There lies that Tybalt.

First Citizen
Up, sir, go with me;
I charge thee in the princes name, obey.

Enter Prince, attended; MONTAGUE, CAPULET, their Wives, and others

PRINCE
Where are the vile beginners of this fray?

BENVOLIO
O noble prince, I can discover all
The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl:
There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,
That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.

LADY CAPULET
Tybalt, my cousin! O my brother’s child!
O prince! O cousin! husband! O, the blood is spilt
O my dear kinsman! Prince, as thou art true,
For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.
O cousin, cousin!

PRINCE
Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?

BENVOLIO
Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay;
Romeo that spoke him fair, bade him bethink
How nice the quarrel was, and urged withal
Your high displeasure: all this uttered
With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bow’d,
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen
Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts
With piercing steel at bold Mercutio’s breast,
Who all as hot, turns deadly point to point,
And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats
Cold death aside, and with the other sends
It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity,
Retorts it: Romeo he cries aloud,
‘Hold, friends! friends, part!’ and, swifter than
his tongue,
His agile arm beats down their fatal points,
And ‘twixt them rushes; underneath whose arm
An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life
Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled;
But by and by comes back to Romeo,
Who had but newly entertain’d revenge,
And to ‘t they go like lightning, for, ere I
Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain.
And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly.
This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.

LADY CAPULET
He is a kinsman to the Montague;
Affection makes him false; he speaks not true:
Some twenty of them fought in this black strife,
And all those twenty could but kill one life.
I beg for justice, which thou, prince, must give;
Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live.

PRINCE
Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio;
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?

MONTAGUE
Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio’s friend;
His fault concludes but what the law should end,
The life of Tybalt.

PRINCE
And for that offence
Immediately we do exile him hence:
I have an interest in your hate’s proceeding,
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding;
But I’ll amerce you with so strong a fine
That you shall all repent the loss of mine:
I will be deaf to pleading and excuses;
Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses:
Therefore use none: let Romeo hence in haste,
Else, when he’s found, that hour is his last.
Bear hence this body and attend our will:
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.

Exeunt

SCENE II. Capulet’s orchard.

Enter JULIET
JULIET
Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Towards Phoebus’ lodging: such a wagoner
As Phaethon would whip you to the west,
And bring in cloudy night immediately.
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,
That runaway’s eyes may wink and Romeo
Leap to these arms, untalk’d of and unseen.
Lovers can see to do their amorous rites
By their own beauties; or, if love be blind,
It best agrees with night. Come, civil night,
Thou sober-suited matron, all in black,
And learn me how to lose a winning match,
Play’d for a pair of stainless maidenhoods:
Hood my unmann’d blood, bating in my cheeks,
With thy black mantle; till strange love, grown bold,
Think true love acted simple modesty.
Come, night; come, Romeo; come, thou day in night;
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
Whiter than new snow on a raven’s back.
Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow’d night,
Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
O, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possess’d it, and, though I am sold,
Not yet enjoy’d: so tedious is this day
As is the night before some festival
To an impatient child that hath new robes
And may not wear them. O, here comes my nurse,
And she brings news; and every tongue that speaks
But Romeo’s name speaks heavenly eloquence.

Enter Nurse, with cords

Now, nurse, what news? What hast thou there? the cords
That Romeo bid thee fetch?

Nurse
Ay, ay, the cords.

Throws them down

JULIET
Ay me! what news? why dost thou wring thy hands?

Nurse
Ah, well-a-day! he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead!
We are undone, lady, we are undone!
Alack the day! he’s gone, he’s kill’d, he’s dead!

JULIET
Can heaven be so envious?

Nurse
Romeo can,
Though heaven cannot: O Romeo, Romeo!
Who ever would have thought it? Romeo!

JULIET
What devil art thou, that dost torment me thus?
This torture should be roar’d in dismal hell.
Hath Romeo slain himself? say thou but ‘I,’
And that bare vowel ‘I’ shall poison more
Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice:
I am not I, if there be such an I;
Or those eyes shut, that make thee answer ‘I.’
If he be slain, say ‘I’; or if not, no:
Brief sounds determine of my weal or woe.

Nurse
I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes,–
God save the mark!–here on his manly breast:
A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse;
Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaub’d in blood,
All in gore-blood; I swounded at the sight.

JULIET
O, break, my heart! poor bankrupt, break at once!
To prison, eyes, ne’er look on liberty!
Vile earth, to earth resign; end motion here;
And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier!

Nurse
O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!
O courteous Tybalt! honest gentleman!
That ever I should live to see thee dead!

JULIET
What storm is this that blows so contrary?
Is Romeo slaughter’d, and is Tybalt dead?
My dear-loved cousin, and my dearer lord?
Then, dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom!
For who is living, if those two are gone?

Nurse
Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished;
Romeo that kill’d him, he is banished.

JULIET
O God! did Romeo’s hand shed Tybalt’s blood?

Nurse
It did, it did; alas the day, it did!

JULIET
O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather’d raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st,
A damned saint, an honourable villain!
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell,
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In moral paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? O that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!

Nurse
There’s no trust,
No faith, no honesty in men; all perjured,
All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.
Ah, where’s my man? give me some aqua vitae:
These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old.
Shame come to Romeo!

JULIET
Blister’d be thy tongue
For such a wish! he was not born to shame:
Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit;
For ’tis a throne where honour may be crown’d
Sole monarch of the universal earth.
O, what a beast was I to chide at him!

Nurse
Will you speak well of him that kill’d your cousin?

JULIET
Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?
Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name,
When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it?
But, wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin?
That villain cousin would have kill’d my husband:
Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring;
Your tributary drops belong to woe,
Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy.
My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain;
And Tybalt’s dead, that would have slain my husband:
All this is comfort; wherefore weep I then?
Some word there was, worser than Tybalt’s death,
That murder’d me: I would forget it fain;
But, O, it presses to my memory,
Like damned guilty deeds to sinners’ minds:
‘Tybalt is dead, and Romeo–banished;’
That ‘banished,’ that one word ‘banished,’
Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt’s death
Was woe enough, if it had ended there:
Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship
And needly will be rank’d with other griefs,
Why follow’d not, when she said ‘Tybalt’s dead,’
Thy father, or thy mother, nay, or both,
Which modern lamentations might have moved?
But with a rear-ward following Tybalt’s death,
‘Romeo is banished,’ to speak that word,
Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet,
All slain, all dead. ‘Romeo is banished!’
There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,
In that word’s death; no words can that woe sound.
Where is my father, and my mother, nurse?

Nurse
Weeping and wailing over Tybalt’s corse:
Will you go to them? I will bring you thither.

JULIET
Wash they his wounds with tears: mine shall be spent,
When theirs are dry, for Romeo’s banishment.
Take up those cords: poor ropes, you are beguiled,
Both you and I; for Romeo is exiled:
He made you for a highway to my bed;
But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed.
Come, cords, come, nurse; I’ll to my wedding-bed;
And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!

Nurse
Hie to your chamber: I’ll find Romeo
To comfort you: I wot well where he is.
Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night:
I’ll to him; he is hid at Laurence’ cell.

JULIET
O, find him! give this ring to my true knight,
And bid him come to take his last farewell.

Exeunt

SCENE III. Friar Laurence’s cell.

Enter FRIAR LAURENCE
FRIAR LAURENCE
Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man:
Affliction is enamour’d of thy parts,
And thou art wedded to calamity.

Enter ROMEO

ROMEO
Father, what news? what is the prince’s doom?
What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand,
That I yet know not?

FRIAR LAURENCE
Too familiar
Is my dear son with such sour company:
I bring thee tidings of the prince’s doom.

ROMEO
What less than dooms-day is the prince’s doom?

FRIAR LAURENCE
A gentler judgment vanish’d from his lips,
Not body’s death, but body’s banishment.

ROMEO
Ha, banishment! be merciful, say ‘death;’
For exile hath more terror in his look,
Much more than death: do not say ‘banishment.’

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hence from Verona art thou banished:
Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.

ROMEO
There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
Hence-banished is banish’d from the world,
And world’s exile is death: then banished,
Is death mis-term’d: calling death banishment,
Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden axe,
And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.

FRIAR LAURENCE
O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness!
Thy fault our law calls death; but the kind prince,
Taking thy part, hath rush’d aside the law,
And turn’d that black word death to banishment:
This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.

ROMEO
‘Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here,
Where Juliet lives; and every cat and dog
And little mouse, every unworthy thing,
Live here in heaven and may look on her;
But Romeo may not: more validity,
More honourable state, more courtship lives
In carrion-flies than Romeo: they my seize
On the white wonder of dear Juliet’s hand
And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
Who even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin;
But Romeo may not; he is banished:
Flies may do this, but I from this must fly:
They are free men, but I am banished.
And say’st thou yet that exile is not death?
Hadst thou no poison mix’d, no sharp-ground knife,
No sudden mean of death, though ne’er so mean,
But ‘banished’ to kill me?–‘banished’?
O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
Howlings attend it: how hast thou the heart,
Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,
A sin-absolver, and my friend profess’d,
To mangle me with that word ‘banished’?

FRIAR LAURENCE
Thou fond mad man, hear me but speak a word.

ROMEO
O, thou wilt speak again of banishment.

FRIAR LAURENCE
I’ll give thee armour to keep off that word:
Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy,
To comfort thee, though thou art banished.

ROMEO
Yet ‘banished’? Hang up philosophy!
Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
Displant a town, reverse a prince’s doom,
It helps not, it prevails not: talk no more.

FRIAR LAURENCE
O, then I see that madmen have no ears.

ROMEO
How should they, when that wise men have no eyes?

FRIAR LAURENCE
Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.

ROMEO
Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel:
Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
An hour but married, Tybalt murdered,
Doting like me and like me banished,
Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair,
And fall upon the ground, as I do now,
Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

Knocking within

FRIAR LAURENCE
Arise; one knocks; good Romeo, hide thyself.

ROMEO
Not I; unless the breath of heartsick groans,
Mist-like, infold me from the search of eyes.

Knocking

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hark, how they knock! Who’s there? Romeo, arise;
Thou wilt be taken. Stay awhile! Stand up;

Knocking

Run to my study. By and by! God’s will,
What simpleness is this! I come, I come!

Knocking

Who knocks so hard? whence come you? what’s your will?

Nurse
[Within] Let me come in, and you shall know
my errand;
I come from Lady Juliet.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Welcome, then.

Enter Nurse

Nurse
O holy friar, O, tell me, holy friar,
Where is my lady’s lord, where’s Romeo?

FRIAR LAURENCE
There on the ground, with his own tears made drunk.

Nurse
O, he is even in my mistress’ case,
Just in her case! O woful sympathy!
Piteous predicament! Even so lies she,
Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering.
Stand up, stand up; stand, and you be a man:
For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand;
Why should you fall into so deep an O?

ROMEO
Nurse!

Nurse
Ah sir! ah sir! Well, death’s the end of all.

ROMEO
Spakest thou of Juliet? how is it with her?
Doth she not think me an old murderer,
Now I have stain’d the childhood of our joy
With blood removed but little from her own?
Where is she? and how doth she? and what says
My conceal’d lady to our cancell’d love?

Nurse
O, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps;
And now falls on her bed; and then starts up,
And Tybalt calls; and then on Romeo cries,
And then down falls again.

ROMEO
As if that name,
Shot from the deadly level of a gun,
Did murder her; as that name’s cursed hand
Murder’d her kinsman. O, tell me, friar, tell me,
In what vile part of this anatomy
Doth my name lodge? tell me, that I may sack
The hateful mansion.

Drawing his sword

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hold thy desperate hand:
Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art:
Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast:
Unseemly woman in a seeming man!
Or ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!
Thou hast amazed me: by my holy order,
I thought thy disposition better temper’d.
Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself?
And stay thy lady too that lives in thee,
By doing damned hate upon thyself?
Why rail’st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?
Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three do meet
In thee at once; which thou at once wouldst lose.
Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit;
Which, like a usurer, abound’st in all,
And usest none in that true use indeed
Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit:
Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
Digressing from the valour of a man;
Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,
Killing that love which thou hast vow’d to cherish;
Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
Misshapen in the conduct of them both,
Like powder in a skitless soldier’s flask,
Is set afire by thine own ignorance,
And thou dismember’d with thine own defence.
What, rouse thee, man! thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
There art thou happy: Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slew’st Tybalt; there are thou happy too:
The law that threaten’d death becomes thy friend
And turns it to exile; there art thou happy:
A pack of blessings lights up upon thy back;
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
Thou pout’st upon thy fortune and thy love:
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed,
Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her:
But look thou stay not till the watch be set,
For then thou canst not pass to Mantua;
Where thou shalt live, till we can find a time
To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends,
Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back
With twenty hundred thousand times more joy
Than thou went’st forth in lamentation.
Go before, nurse: commend me to thy lady;
And bid her hasten all the house to bed,
Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto:
Romeo is coming.

Nurse
O Lord, I could have stay’d here all the night
To hear good counsel: O, what learning is!
My lord, I’ll tell my lady you will come.

ROMEO
Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide.

Nurse
Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir:
Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late.

Exit

ROMEO
How well my comfort is revived by this!

FRIAR LAURENCE
Go hence; good night; and here stands all your state:
Either be gone before the watch be set,
Or by the break of day disguised from hence:
Sojourn in Mantua; I’ll find out your man,
And he shall signify from time to time
Every good hap to you that chances here:
Give me thy hand; ’tis late: farewell; good night.

ROMEO
But that a joy past joy calls out on me,
It were a grief, so brief to part with thee: Farewell.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. A room in Capulet’s house.

Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, and PARIS
CAPULET
Things have fall’n out, sir, so unluckily,
That we have had no time to move our daughter:
Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly,
And so did I:–Well, we were born to die.
‘Tis very late, she’ll not come down to-night:
I promise you, but for your company,
I would have been a-bed an hour ago.

PARIS
These times of woe afford no time to woo.
Madam, good night: commend me to your daughter.

LADY CAPULET
I will, and know her mind early to-morrow;
To-night she is mew’d up to her heaviness.

CAPULET
Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender
Of my child’s love: I think she will be ruled
In all respects by me; nay, more, I doubt it not.
Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed;
Acquaint her here of my son Paris’ love;
And bid her, mark you me, on Wednesday next–
But, soft! what day is this?

PARIS
Monday, my lord,

CAPULET
Monday! ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon,
O’ Thursday let it be: o’ Thursday, tell her,
She shall be married to this noble earl.
Will you be ready? do you like this haste?
We’ll keep no great ado,–a friend or two;
For, hark you, Tybalt being slain so late,
It may be thought we held him carelessly,
Being our kinsman, if we revel much:
Therefore we’ll have some half a dozen friends,
And there an end. But what say you to Thursday?

PARIS
My lord, I would that Thursday were to-morrow.

CAPULET
Well get you gone: o’ Thursday be it, then.
Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed,
Prepare her, wife, against this wedding-day.
Farewell, my lord. Light to my chamber, ho!
Afore me! it is so very very late,
That we may call it early by and by.
Good night.

Exeunt

SCENE V. Capulet’s orchard.

Enter ROMEO and JULIET above, at the window
JULIET
Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

ROMEO
It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

JULIET
Yon light is not day-light, I know it, I:
It is some meteor that the sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua:
Therefore stay yet; thou need’st not to be gone.

ROMEO
Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death;
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye,
‘Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow;
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads:
I have more care to stay than will to go:
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
How is’t, my soul? let’s talk; it is not day.

JULIET
It is, it is: hie hence, be gone, away!
It is the lark that sings so out of tune,
Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.
Some say the lark makes sweet division;
This doth not so, for she divideth us:
Some say the lark and loathed toad change eyes,
O, now I would they had changed voices too!
Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,
Hunting thee hence with hunt’s-up to the day,
O, now be gone; more light and light it grows.

ROMEO
More light and light; more dark and dark our woes!

Enter Nurse, to the chamber

Nurse
Madam!

JULIET
Nurse?

Nurse
Your lady mother is coming to your chamber:
The day is broke; be wary, look about.

Exit

JULIET
Then, window, let day in, and let life out.

ROMEO
Farewell, farewell! one kiss, and I’ll descend.

He goeth down

JULIET
Art thou gone so? love, lord, ay, husband, friend!
I must hear from thee every day in the hour,
For in a minute there are many days:
O, by this count I shall be much in years
Ere I again behold my Romeo!

ROMEO
Farewell!
I will omit no opportunity
That may convey my greetings, love, to thee.

JULIET
O think’st thou we shall ever meet again?

ROMEO
I doubt it not; and all these woes shall serve
For sweet discourses in our time to come.

JULIET
O God, I have an ill-divining soul!
Methinks I see thee, now thou art below,
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb:
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look’st pale.

ROMEO
And trust me, love, in my eye so do you:
Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu!

Exit

JULIET
O fortune, fortune! all men call thee fickle:
If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him.
That is renown’d for faith? Be fickle, fortune;
For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long,
But send him back.

LADY CAPULET
[Within] Ho, daughter! are you up?

JULIET
Who is’t that calls? is it my lady mother?
Is she not down so late, or up so early?
What unaccustom’d cause procures her hither?

Enter LADY CAPULET

LADY CAPULET
Why, how now, Juliet!

JULIET
Madam, I am not well.

LADY CAPULET
Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?
What, wilt thou wash him from his grave with tears?
An if thou couldst, thou couldst not make him live;
Therefore, have done: some grief shows much of love;
But much of grief shows still some want of wit.

JULIET
Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss.

LADY CAPULET
So shall you feel the loss, but not the friend
Which you weep for.

JULIET
Feeling so the loss,
Cannot choose but ever weep the friend.

LADY CAPULET
Well, girl, thou weep’st not so much for his death,
As that the villain lives which slaughter’d him.

JULIET
What villain madam?

LADY CAPULET
That same villain, Romeo.

JULIET
[Aside] Villain and he be many miles asunder.–
God Pardon him! I do, with all my heart;
And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart.

LADY CAPULET
That is, because the traitor murderer lives.

JULIET
Ay, madam, from the reach of these my hands:
Would none but I might venge my cousin’s death!

LADY CAPULET
We will have vengeance for it, fear thou not:
Then weep no more. I’ll send to one in Mantua,
Where that same banish’d runagate doth live,
Shall give him such an unaccustom’d dram,
That he shall soon keep Tybalt company:
And then, I hope, thou wilt be satisfied.

JULIET
Indeed, I never shall be satisfied
With Romeo, till I behold him–dead–
Is my poor heart for a kinsman vex’d.
Madam, if you could find out but a man
To bear a poison, I would temper it;
That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof,
Soon sleep in quiet. O, how my heart abhors
To hear him named, and cannot come to him.
To wreak the love I bore my cousin
Upon his body that slaughter’d him!

LADY CAPULET
Find thou the means, and I’ll find such a man.
But now I’ll tell thee joyful tidings, girl.

JULIET
And joy comes well in such a needy time:
What are they, I beseech your ladyship?

LADY CAPULET
Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child;
One who, to put thee from thy heaviness,
Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy,
That thou expect’st not nor I look’d not for.

JULIET
Madam, in happy time, what day is that?

LADY CAPULET
Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn,
The gallant, young and noble gentleman,
The County Paris, at Saint Peter’s Church,
Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride.

JULIET
Now, by Saint Peter’s Church and Peter too,
He shall not make me there a joyful bride.
I wonder at this haste; that I must wed
Ere he, that should be husband, comes to woo.
I pray you, tell my lord and father, madam,
I will not marry yet; and, when I do, I swear,
It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,
Rather than Paris. These are news indeed!

LADY CAPULET
Here comes your father; tell him so yourself,
And see how he will take it at your hands.

Enter CAPULET and Nurse

CAPULET
When the sun sets, the air doth drizzle dew;
But for the sunset of my brother’s son
It rains downright.
How now! a conduit, girl? what, still in tears?
Evermore showering? In one little body
Thou counterfeit’st a bark, a sea, a wind;
For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea,
Do ebb and flow with tears; the bark thy body is,
Sailing in this salt flood; the winds, thy sighs;
Who, raging with thy tears, and they with them,
Without a sudden calm, will overset
Thy tempest-tossed body. How now, wife!
Have you deliver’d to her our decree?

LADY CAPULET
Ay, sir; but she will none, she gives you thanks.
I would the fool were married to her grave!

CAPULET
Soft! take me with you, take me with you, wife.
How! will she none? doth she not give us thanks?
Is she not proud? doth she not count her blest,
Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought
So worthy a gentleman to be her bridegroom?

JULIET
Not proud, you have; but thankful, that you have:
Proud can I never be of what I hate;
But thankful even for hate, that is meant love.

CAPULET
How now, how now, chop-logic! What is this?
‘Proud,’ and ‘I thank you,’ and ‘I thank you not;’
And yet ‘not proud,’ mistress minion, you,
Thank me no thankings, nor, proud me no prouds,
But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next,
To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
Out, you green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage!
You tallow-face!

LADY CAPULET
Fie, fie! what, are you mad?

JULIET
Good father, I beseech you on my knees,
Hear me with patience but to speak a word.

CAPULET
Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face:
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me;
My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest
That God had lent us but this only child;
But now I see this one is one too much,
And that we have a curse in having her:
Out on her, hilding!

Nurse
God in heaven bless her!
You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.

CAPULET
And why, my lady wisdom? hold your tongue,
Good prudence; smatter with your gossips, go.

Nurse
I speak no treason.

CAPULET
O, God ye god-den.

Nurse
May not one speak?

CAPULET
Peace, you mumbling fool!
Utter your gravity o’er a gossip’s bowl;
For here we need it not.

LADY CAPULET
You are too hot.

CAPULET
God’s bread! it makes me mad:
Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,
Alone, in company, still my care hath been
To have her match’d: and having now provided
A gentleman of noble parentage,
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train’d,
Stuff’d, as they say, with honourable parts,
Proportion’d as one’s thought would wish a man;
And then to have a wretched puling fool,
A whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender,
To answer ‘I’ll not wed; I cannot love,
I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.’
But, as you will not wed, I’ll pardon you:
Graze where you will you shall not house with me:
Look to’t, think on’t, I do not use to jest.
Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:
An you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in
the streets,
For, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:
Trust to’t, bethink you; I’ll not be forsworn.

Exit

JULIET
Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,
That sees into the bottom of my grief?
O, sweet my mother, cast me not away!
Delay this marriage for a month, a week;
Or, if you do not, make the bridal bed
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.

LADY CAPULET
Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word:
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.

Exit

JULIET
O God!–O nurse, how shall this be prevented?
My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven;
How shall that faith return again to earth,
Unless that husband send it me from heaven
By leaving earth? comfort me, counsel me.
Alack, alack, that heaven should practise stratagems
Upon so soft a subject as myself!
What say’st thou? hast thou not a word of joy?
Some comfort, nurse.

Nurse
Faith, here it is.
Romeo is banish’d; and all the world to nothing,
That he dares ne’er come back to challenge you;
Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth.
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
I think it best you married with the county.
O, he’s a lovely gentleman!
Romeo’s a dishclout to him: an eagle, madam,
Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye
As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart,
I think you are happy in this second match,
For it excels your first: or if it did not,
Your first is dead; or ’twere as good he were,
As living here and you no use of him.

JULIET
Speakest thou from thy heart?

Nurse
And from my soul too;
Or else beshrew them both.

JULIET
Amen!

Nurse
What?

JULIET
Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous much.
Go in: and tell my lady I am gone,
Having displeased my father, to Laurence’ cell,
To make confession and to be absolved.

Nurse
Marry, I will; and this is wisely done.

Exit

JULIET
Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!
Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn,
Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue
Which she hath praised him with above compare
So many thousand times? Go, counsellor;
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.
I’ll to the friar, to know his remedy:
If all else fail, myself have power to die.

Exit


Romeo and Juliet, ACT I
PROLOGUE

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

SCENE I. Verona. A public place.

Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, of the house of Capulet, armed with swords and bucklers
SAMPSON
Gregory, o’ my word, we’ll not carry coals.

GREGORY
No, for then we should be colliers.

SAMPSON
I mean, an we be in choler, we’ll draw.

GREGORY
Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o’ the collar.

SAMPSON
I strike quickly, being moved.

GREGORY
But thou art not quickly moved to strike.

SAMPSON
A dog of the house of Montague moves me.

GREGORY
To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand:
therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn’st away.

SAMPSON
A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will
take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.

GREGORY
That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes
to the wall.

SAMPSON
True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels,
are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push
Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids
to the wall.

GREGORY
The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.

SAMPSON
‘Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I
have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the
maids, and cut off their heads.

GREGORY
The heads of the maids?

SAMPSON
Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads;
take it in what sense thou wilt.

GREGORY
They must take it in sense that feel it.

SAMPSON
Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and
’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.

GREGORY
‘Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou
hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool! here comes
two of the house of the Montagues.

SAMPSON
My naked weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.

GREGORY
How! turn thy back and run?

SAMPSON
Fear me not.

GREGORY
No, marry; I fear thee!

SAMPSON
Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.

GREGORY
I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as
they list.

SAMPSON
Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;
which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

Enter ABRAHAM and BALTHASAR

ABRAHAM
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON
I do bite my thumb, sir.

ABRAHAM
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON
[Aside to GREGORY] Is the law of our side, if I say
ay?

GREGORY
No.

SAMPSON
No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
bite my thumb, sir.

GREGORY
Do you quarrel, sir?

ABRAHAM
Quarrel sir! no, sir.

SAMPSON
If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.

ABRAHAM
No better.

SAMPSON
Well, sir.

GREGORY
Say ‘better:’ here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.

SAMPSON
Yes, better, sir.

ABRAHAM
You lie.

SAMPSON
Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.

They fight

Enter BENVOLIO

BENVOLIO
Part, fools!
Put up your swords; you know not what you do.

Beats down their swords

Enter TYBALT

TYBALT
What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.

BENVOLIO
I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.

TYBALT
What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word,
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee:
Have at thee, coward!

They fight

Enter, several of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs

First Citizen
Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down!
Down with the Capulets! down with the Montagues!

Enter CAPULET in his gown, and LADY CAPULET

CAPULET
What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!

LADY CAPULET
A crutch, a crutch! why call you for a sword?

CAPULET
My sword, I say! Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.

Enter MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE

MONTAGUE
Thou villain Capulet,–Hold me not, let me go.

LADY MONTAGUE
Thou shalt not stir a foot to seek a foe.

Enter PRINCE, with Attendants

PRINCE
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,–
Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins,
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistemper’d weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets,
And made Verona’s ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,
To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Canker’d with peace, to part your canker’d hate:
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
For this time, all the rest depart away:
You Capulet; shall go along with me:
And, Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our further pleasure in this case,
To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.

Exeunt all but MONTAGUE, LADY MONTAGUE, and BENVOLIO

MONTAGUE
Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?

BENVOLIO
Here were the servants of your adversary,
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach:
I drew to part them: in the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepared,
Which, as he breathed defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head and cut the winds,
Who nothing hurt withal hiss’d him in scorn:
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more and fought on part and part,
Till the prince came, who parted either part.

LADY MONTAGUE
O, where is Romeo? saw you him to-day?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.

BENVOLIO
Madam, an hour before the worshipp’d sun
Peer’d forth the golden window of the east,
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad;
Where, underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from the city’s side,
So early walking did I see your son:
Towards him I made, but he was ware of me
And stole into the covert of the wood:
I, measuring his affections by my own,
That most are busied when they’re most alone,
Pursued my humour not pursuing his,
And gladly shunn’d who gladly fled from me.

MONTAGUE
Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
Should in the furthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed,
Away from the light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out
And makes himself an artificial night:
Black and portentous must this humour prove,
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.

BENVOLIO
My noble uncle, do you know the cause?

MONTAGUE
I neither know it nor can learn of him.

BENVOLIO
Have you importuned him by any means?

MONTAGUE
Both by myself and many other friends:
But he, his own affections’ counsellor,
Is to himself–I will not say how true–
But to himself so secret and so close,
So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm,
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow.
We would as willingly give cure as know.

Enter ROMEO

BENVOLIO
See, where he comes: so please you, step aside;
I’ll know his grievance, or be much denied.

MONTAGUE
I would thou wert so happy by thy stay,
To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let’s away.

Exeunt MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE

BENVOLIO
Good-morrow, cousin.

ROMEO
Is the day so young?

BENVOLIO
But new struck nine.

ROMEO
Ay me! sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?

BENVOLIO
It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?

ROMEO
Not having that, which, having, makes them short.

BENVOLIO
In love?

ROMEO
Out–

BENVOLIO
Of love?

ROMEO
Out of her favour, where I am in love.

BENVOLIO
Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!

ROMEO
Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!
Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire,
sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?

BENVOLIO
No, coz, I rather weep.

ROMEO
Good heart, at what?

BENVOLIO
At thy good heart’s oppression.

ROMEO
Why, such is love’s transgression.
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest
With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vex’d a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.

BENVOLIO
Soft! I will go along;
An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.

ROMEO
Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here;
This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.

BENVOLIO
Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.

ROMEO
What, shall I groan and tell thee?

BENVOLIO
Groan! why, no.
But sadly tell me who.

ROMEO
Bid a sick man in sadness make his will:
Ah, word ill urged to one that is so ill!
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.

BENVOLIO
I aim’d so near, when I supposed you loved.

ROMEO
A right good mark-man! And she’s fair I love.

BENVOLIO
A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.

ROMEO
Well, in that hit you miss: she’ll not be hit
With Cupid’s arrow; she hath Dian’s wit;
And, in strong proof of chastity well arm’d,
From love’s weak childish bow she lives unharm’d.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold:
O, she is rich in beauty, only poor,
That when she dies with beauty dies her store.

BENVOLIO
Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?

ROMEO
She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste,
For beauty starved with her severity
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair:
She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
Do I live dead that live to tell it now.

BENVOLIO
Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.

ROMEO
O, teach me how I should forget to think.

BENVOLIO
By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.

ROMEO
‘Tis the way
To call hers exquisite, in question more:
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies’ brows
Being black put us in mind they hide the fair;
He that is strucken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost:
Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve, but as a note
Where I may read who pass’d that passing fair?
Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.

BENVOLIO
I’ll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.

Exeunt

SCENE II. A street.

Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and Servant
CAPULET
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.

PARIS
Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity ’tis you lived at odds so long.
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?

CAPULET
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.

PARIS
Younger than she are happy mothers made.

CAPULET
And too soon marr’d are those so early made.
The earth hath swallow’d all my hopes but she,
She is the hopeful lady of my earth:
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part;
An she agree, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.
This night I hold an old accustom’d 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-apparell’d April on the heel
Of limping winter treads, even such delight
Among fresh female 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,
Come, go with me.

To Servant, giving a paper

Go, sirrah, trudge about
Through fair Verona; find those persons out
Whose names are written there, and to them say,
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.

Exeunt CAPULET and PARIS

Servant
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
Tut, man, one fire burns out another’s burning,
One pain is lessen’d 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.

ROMEO
Your plaintain-leaf is excellent for that.

BENVOLIO
For what, I pray thee?

ROMEO
For your broken shin.

BENVOLIO
Why, Romeo, art thou mad?

ROMEO
Not mad, but bound more than a mad-man is;
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipp’d and tormented and–God-den, good fellow.

Servant
God gi’ god-den. I pray, sir, can you read?

ROMEO
Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.

Servant
Perhaps you have learned it without book: but, I
pray, can you read any thing you see?

ROMEO
Ay, if I know the letters and the language.

Servant
Ye say honestly: rest you merry!

ROMEO
Stay, fellow; I can read.

Reads

‘Signior Martino and his wife and daughters;
County Anselme and his beauteous sisters; the lady
widow of Vitravio; Signior Placentio and his lovely
nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine; mine
uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters; my fair niece
Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio and his cousin
Tybalt, Lucio and the lively Helena.’ A fair
assembly: whither should they come?

Servant
Up.

ROMEO
Whither?

Servant
To supper; to our house.

ROMEO
Whose house?

Servant
My master’s.

ROMEO
Indeed, I should have ask’d you that before.

Servant
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.
Rest you merry!

Exit

BENVOLIO
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.

ROMEO
When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires;
And these, who often drown’d 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.

BENVOLIO
Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,
Herself poised with herself in either eye:
But in that crystal scales let there be weigh’d
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 shows best.

ROMEO
I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown,
But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in Capulet’s house.

Enter LADY CAPULET and Nurse
LADY CAPULET
Nurse, where’s my daughter? call her forth to me.

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

Enter JULIET

JULIET
How now! who calls?

Nurse
Your mother.

JULIET
Madam, I am here.
What is your will?

LADY CAPULET
This is the matter:–Nurse, give leave awhile,
We must talk in secret:–nurse, come back again;
I have remember’d me, thou’s hear our counsel.
Thou know’st my daughter’s of a pretty age.

Nurse
Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.

LADY CAPULET
She’s not fourteen.

Nurse
I’ll lay fourteen of my teeth,–
And yet, to my teeth be it spoken, I have but four–
She is not fourteen. How long is it now
To Lammas-tide?

LADY CAPULET
A fortnight and odd days.

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 wean’d,–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 dove-house 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 dove-house: ’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!
A’ 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 holidame,
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.’

LADY CAPULET
Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy peace.

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 parlous 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.’

JULIET
And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.

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.

LADY CAPULET
Marry, that ‘marry’ is the very theme
I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How stands your disposition to be married?

JULIET
It is an honour that I dream not of.

Nurse
An honour! were not I thine only nurse,
I would say thou hadst suck’d wisdom from thy teat.

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.

Nurse
A man, young lady! lady, such a man
As all the world–why, he’s a man of wax.

LADY CAPULET
Verona’s summer hath not such a flower.

Nurse
Nay, he’s a flower; in faith, a very flower.

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 margent 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.

Nurse
No less! nay, bigger; women grow by men.

LADY CAPULET
Speak briefly, can you like of Paris’ love?

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

Enter a Servant

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

LADY CAPULET
We follow thee.

Exit Servant

Juliet, the county stays.

Nurse
Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. A street.

Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, with five or six Maskers, Torch-bearers, and others
ROMEO
What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?
Or shall we on without a apology?

BENVOLIO
The date is out of such prolixity:
We’ll have no Cupid hoodwink’d with a scarf,
Bearing a Tartar’s painted bow of lath,
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper;
Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
After the prompter, for our entrance:
But let them measure us by what they will;
We’ll measure them a measure, and be gone.

ROMEO
Give me a torch: I am not for this ambling;
Being but heavy, I will bear the light.

MERCUTIO
Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.

ROMEO
Not I, believe me: you have dancing shoes
With nimble soles: I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.

MERCUTIO
You are a lover; borrow Cupid’s wings,
And soar with them above a common bound.

ROMEO
I am too sore enpierced with his shaft
To soar with his light feathers, and so bound,
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe:
Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.

MERCUTIO
And, to sink in it, should you burden love;
Too great oppression for a tender thing.

ROMEO
Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.

MERCUTIO
If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
Give me a case to put my visage in:
A visor for a visor! what care I
What curious eye doth quote deformities?
Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.

BENVOLIO
Come, knock and enter; and no sooner in,
But every man betake him to his legs.

ROMEO
A torch for me: let wantons light of heart
Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels,
For I am proverb’d with a grandsire phrase;
I’ll be a candle-holder, and look on.
The game was ne’er so fair, and I am done.

MERCUTIO
Tut, dun’s the mouse, the constable’s own word:
If thou art dun, we’ll draw thee from the mire
Of this sir-reverence love, wherein thou stick’st
Up to the ears. Come, we burn daylight, ho!

ROMEO
Nay, that’s not so.

MERCUTIO
I mean, sir, in delay
We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.
Take our good meaning, for our judgment sits
Five times in that ere once in our five wits.

ROMEO
And we mean well in going to this mask;
But ’tis no wit to go.

MERCUTIO
Why, may one ask?

ROMEO
I dream’d a dream to-night.

MERCUTIO
And so did I.

ROMEO
Well, what was yours?

MERCUTIO
That dreamers often lie.

ROMEO
In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.

MERCUTIO
O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spiders’ legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
The traces of the smallest spider’s web,
The collars of the moonshine’s watery beams,
Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film,
Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not so big as a round little worm
Prick’d from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on court’sies straight,
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees,
O’er ladies ‘ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
Tickling a parson’s nose as a’ lies asleep,
Then dreams, he of another benefice:
Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage:
This is she–

ROMEO
Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!
Thou talk’st of nothing.

MERCUTIO
True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes
Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And, being anger’d, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.

BENVOLIO
This wind, you talk of, blows us from ourselves;
Supper is done, and we shall come too late.

ROMEO
I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night’s revels and expire the term
Of a despised life closed in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
But He, that hath the steerage of my course,
Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen.

BENVOLIO
Strike, drum.

Exeunt

SCENE V. A hall in Capulet’s house.

Musicians waiting. Enter Servingmen with napkins
First Servant
Where’s Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He
shift a trencher? he scrape a trencher!

Second Servant
When good manners shall lie all in one or two men’s
hands and they unwashed too, ’tis a foul thing.

First Servant
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.
Antony, and Potpan!

Second Servant
Ay, boy, ready.

First Servant
You are looked for and called for, asked for and
sought for, in the great chamber.

Second Servant
We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys; be
brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.

Enter CAPULET, with JULIET and others of his house, meeting the Guests and Maskers

CAPULET
Welcome, gentlemen! ladies that have their toes
Unplagued with corns will have 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.
Ah, sirrah, this unlook’d-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
Were in a mask?

Second Capulet
By’r lady, thirty years.

CAPULET
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 mask’d.

Second Capulet
‘Tis more, ’tis more, his son is elder, sir;
His son is thirty.

CAPULET
Will you tell me that?
His son was but a ward two years ago.

ROMEO
[To a Servingman] What lady is that, which doth
enrich the hand
Of yonder knight?

Servant
I know not, sir.

ROMEO
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like 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 blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.

TYBALT
This, by his voice, should be a Montague.
Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave
Come hither, cover’d with an antic face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now, by the stock and honour of my kin,
To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin.

CAPULET
Why, how now, kinsman! wherefore storm you so?

TYBALT
Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe,
A villain that is hither come in spite,
To scorn at our solemnity this night.

CAPULET
Young Romeo is it?

TYBALT
‘Tis he, that villain Romeo.

CAPULET
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-govern’d youth:
I would not for the wealth of all the 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,
And ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.

TYBALT
It fits, when such a villain is a guest:
I’ll not endure him.

CAPULET
He shall be endured:
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!

TYBALT
Why, uncle, ’tis a shame.

CAPULET
Go to, go to;
You are a saucy boy: is’t so, indeed?
This trick may chance to scathe you, I know what:
You must contrary me! marry, ’tis time.
Well said, my hearts! You are a princox; go:
Be quiet, or–More light, more light! For shame!
I’ll make you quiet. What, cheerly, my hearts!

TYBALT
Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting.
I will withdraw: but this intrusion shall
Now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall.

Exit

ROMEO
[To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

JULIET
Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

ROMEO
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

JULIET
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

ROMEO
O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

JULIET
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.

ROMEO
Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.
Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged.

JULIET
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.

ROMEO
Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again.

JULIET
You kiss by the book.

Nurse
Madam, your mother craves a word with you.

ROMEO
What is her mother?

Nurse
Marry, bachelor,
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous
I nursed her daughter, that you talk’d withal;
I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks.

ROMEO
Is she a Capulet?
O dear account! my life is my foe’s debt.

BENVOLIO
Away, begone; the sport is at the best.

ROMEO
Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest.

CAPULET
Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone;
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.
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:
I’ll to my rest.

Exeunt all but JULIET and Nurse

JULIET
Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman?

Nurse
The son and heir of old Tiberio.

JULIET
What’s he that now is going out of door?

Nurse
Marry, that, I think, be young Petrucio.

JULIET
What’s he that follows there, that would not dance?

Nurse
I know not.

JULIET
Go ask his name: if he be married.
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.

Nurse
His name is Romeo, and a Montague;
The only son of your great enemy.

JULIET
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 loathed enemy.

Nurse
What’s this? what’s this?

JULIET
A rhyme I learn’d even now
Of one I danced withal.

One calls within ‘Juliet.’

Nurse
Anon, anon!
Come, let’s away; the strangers all are gone.

Exeuntsonae


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Timon of Athens, ACT V
SCENE I. The woods. Before Timon’s cave.

Enter Poet and Painter; TIMON watching them from his cave

Painter
As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where
he abides.

Poet
What’s to be thought of him? does the rumour hold
for true, that he’s so full of gold?

Painter
Certain: Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and
Timandra had gold of him: he likewise enriched poor
straggling soldiers with great quantity: ’tis said
he gave unto his steward a mighty sum.

Poet
Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.

Painter
Nothing else: you shall see him a palm in Athens
again, and flourish with the highest. Therefore
’tis not amiss we tender our loves to him, in this
supposed distress of his: it will show honestly in
us; and is very likely to load our purposes with
what they travail for, if it be a just true report
that goes of his having.

Poet
What have you now to present unto him?

Painter
Nothing at this time but my visitation: only I will
promise him an excellent piece.

Poet
I must serve him so too, tell him of an intent
that’s coming toward him.

Painter
Good as the best. Promising is the very air o’ the
time: it opens the eyes of expectation:
performance is ever the duller for his act; and,
but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, the
deed of saying is quite out of use. To promise is
most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind
of will or testament which argues a great sickness
in his judgment that makes it.

TIMON comes from his cave, behind

TIMON
[Aside] Excellent workman! thou canst not paint a
man so bad as is thyself.

Poet
I am thinking what I shall say I have provided for
him: it must be a personating of himself; a satire
against the softness of prosperity, with a discovery
of the infinite flatteries that follow youth and opulency.

TIMON
[Aside] Must thou needs stand for a villain in
thine own work? wilt thou whip thine own faults in
other men? Do so, I have gold for thee.

Poet
Nay, let’s seek him:
Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.

Painter
True;
When the day serves, before black-corner’d night,
Find what thou want’st by free and offer’d light. Come.

TIMON
[Aside] I’ll meet you at the turn. What a
god’s gold,
That he is worshipp’d in a baser temple
Than where swine feed!
‘Tis thou that rigg’st the bark and plough’st the foam,
Settlest admired reverence in a slave:
To thee be worship! and thy saints for aye
Be crown’d with plagues that thee alone obey!
Fit I meet them.

Coming forward

Poet
Hail, worthy Timon!

Painter
Our late noble master!

TIMON
Have I once lived to see two honest men?

Poet
Sir,
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retired, your friends fall’n off,
Whose thankless natures–O abhorred spirits!–
Not all the whips of heaven are large enough:
What! to you,
Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
To their whole being! I am rapt and cannot cover
The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude
With any size of words.

TIMON
Let it go naked, men may see’t the better:
You that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seen and known.

Painter
He and myself
Have travail’d in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.

TIMON
Ay, you are honest men.

Painter
We are hither come to offer you our service.

TIMON
Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no.

Both
What we can do, we’ll do, to do you service.

TIMON
Ye’re honest men: ye’ve heard that I have gold;
I am sure you have: speak truth; ye’re honest men.

Painter
So it is said, my noble lord; but therefore
Came not my friend nor I.

TIMON
Good honest men! Thou draw’st a counterfeit
Best in all Athens: thou’rt, indeed, the best;
Thou counterfeit’st most lively.

Painter
So, so, my lord.

TIMON
E’en so, sir, as I say. And, for thy fiction,
Why, thy verse swells with stuff so fine and smooth
That thou art even natural in thine art.
But, for all this, my honest-natured friends,
I must needs say you have a little fault:
Marry, ’tis not monstrous in you, neither wish I
You take much pains to mend.

Both
Beseech your honour
To make it known to us.

TIMON
You’ll take it ill.

Both
Most thankfully, my lord.

TIMON
Will you, indeed?

Both
Doubt it not, worthy lord.

TIMON
There’s never a one of you but trusts a knave,
That mightily deceives you.

Both
Do we, my lord?

TIMON
Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble,
Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him,
Keep in your bosom: yet remain assured
That he’s a made-up villain.

Painter
I know none such, my lord.

Poet
Nor I.

TIMON
Look you, I love you well; I’ll give you gold,
Rid me these villains from your companies:
Hang them or stab them, drown them in a draught,
Confound them by some course, and come to me,
I’ll give you gold enough.

Both
Name them, my lord, let’s know them.

TIMON
You that way and you this, but two in company;
Each man apart, all single and alone,
Yet an arch-villain keeps him company.
If where thou art two villains shall not be,
Come not near him. If thou wouldst not reside
But where one villain is, then him abandon.
Hence, pack! there’s gold; you came for gold, ye slaves:

To Painter

You have work’d for me; there’s payment for you: hence!

To Poet

You are an alchemist; make gold of that.
Out, rascal dogs!

Beats them out, and then retires to his cave

Enter FLAVIUS and two Senators

FLAVIUS
It is in vain that you would speak with Timon;
For he is set so only to himself
That nothing but himself which looks like man
Is friendly with him.

First Senator
Bring us to his cave:
It is our part and promise to the Athenians
To speak with Timon.

Second Senator
At all times alike
Men are not still the same: ’twas time and griefs
That framed him thus: time, with his fairer hand,
Offering the fortunes of his former days,
The former man may make him. Bring us to him,
And chance it as it may.

FLAVIUS
Here is his cave.
Peace and content be here! Lord Timon! Timon!
Look out, and speak to friends: the Athenians,
By two of their most reverend senate, greet thee:
Speak to them, noble Timon.

TIMON comes from his cave

TIMON
Thou sun, that comfort’st, burn! Speak, and
be hang’d:
For each true word, a blister! and each false
Be as cauterizing to the root o’ the tongue,
Consuming it with speaking!

First Senator
Worthy Timon,–

TIMON
Of none but such as you, and you of Timon.

First Senator
The senators of Athens greet thee, Timon.

TIMON
I thank them; and would send them back the plague,
Could I but catch it for them.

First Senator
O, forget
What we are sorry for ourselves in thee.
The senators with one consent of love
Entreat thee back to Athens; who have thought
On special dignities, which vacant lie
For thy best use and wearing.

Second Senator
They confess
Toward thee forgetfulness too general, gross:
Which now the public body, which doth seldom
Play the recanter, feeling in itself
A lack of Timon’s aid, hath sense withal
Of its own fail, restraining aid to Timon;
And send forth us, to make their sorrow’d render,
Together with a recompense more fruitful
Than their offence can weigh down by the dram;
Ay, even such heaps and sums of love and wealth
As shall to thee blot out what wrongs were theirs
And write in thee the figures of their love,
Ever to read them thine.

TIMON
You witch me in it;
Surprise me to the very brink of tears:
Lend me a fool’s heart and a woman’s eyes,
And I’ll beweep these comforts, worthy senators.

First Senator
Therefore, so please thee to return with us
And of our Athens, thine and ours, to take
The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
Allow’d with absolute power and thy good name
Live with authority: so soon we shall drive back
Of Alcibiades the approaches wild,
Who, like a boar too savage, doth root up
His country’s peace.

Second Senator
And shakes his threatening sword
Against the walls of Athens.

First Senator
Therefore, Timon,–

TIMON
Well, sir, I will; therefore, I will, sir; thus:
If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
That Timon cares not. But if be sack fair Athens,
And take our goodly aged men by the beards,
Giving our holy virgins to the stain
Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain’d war,
Then let him know, and tell him Timon speaks it,
In pity of our aged and our youth,
I cannot choose but tell him, that I care not,
And let him take’t at worst; for their knives care not,
While you have throats to answer: for myself,
There’s not a whittle in the unruly camp
But I do prize it at my love before
The reverend’st throat in Athens. So I leave you
To the protection of the prosperous gods,
As thieves to keepers.

FLAVIUS
Stay not, all’s in vain.

TIMON
Why, I was writing of my epitaph;
it will be seen to-morrow: my long sickness
Of health and living now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still;
Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
And last so long enough!

First Senator
We speak in vain.

TIMON
But yet I love my country, and am not
One that rejoices in the common wreck,
As common bruit doth put it.

First Senator
That’s well spoke.

TIMON
Commend me to my loving countrymen,–

First Senator
These words become your lips as they pass
thorough them.

Second Senator
And enter in our ears like great triumphers
In their applauding gates.

TIMON
Commend me to them,
And tell them that, to ease them of their griefs,
Their fears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses,
Their pangs of love, with other incident throes
That nature’s fragile vessel doth sustain
In life’s uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them:
I’ll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades’ wrath.

First Senator
I like this well; he will return again.

TIMON
I have a tree, which grows here in my close,
That mine own use invites me to cut down,
And shortly must I fell it: tell my friends,
Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree
From high to low throughout, that whoso please
To stop affliction, let him take his haste,
Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the axe,
And hang himself. I pray you, do my greeting.

FLAVIUS
Trouble him no further; thus you still shall find him.

TIMON
Come not to me again: but say to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;
Who once a day with his embossed froth
The turbulent surge shall cover: thither come,
And let my grave-stone be your oracle.
Lips, let sour words go by and language end:
What is amiss plague and infection mend!
Graves only be men’s works and death their gain!
Sun, hide thy beams! Timon hath done his reign.

Retires to his cave

First Senator
His discontents are unremoveably
Coupled to nature.

Second Senator
Our hope in him is dead: let us return,
And strain what other means is left unto us
In our dear peril.

First Senator
It requires swift foot.

Exeunt

SCENE II. Before the walls of Athens.

Enter two Senators and a Messenger
First Senator
Thou hast painfully discover’d: are his files
As full as thy report?

Messenger
have spoke the least:
Besides, his expedition promises
Present approach.

Second Senator
We stand much hazard, if they bring not Timon.

Messenger
I met a courier, one mine ancient friend;
Whom, though in general part we were opposed,
Yet our old love made a particular force,
And made us speak like friends: this man was riding
From Alcibiades to Timon’s cave,
With letters of entreaty, which imported
His fellowship i’ the cause against your city,
In part for his sake moved.

First Senator
Here come our brothers.

Enter the Senators from TIMON

Third Senator
No talk of Timon, nothing of him expect.
The enemies’ drum is heard, and fearful scouring
Doth choke the air with dust: in, and prepare:
Ours is the fall, I fear; our foes the snare.

Exeunt

SCENE III. The woods. Timon’s cave, and a rude tomb seen.

Enter a Soldier, seeking TIMON
Soldier
By all description this should be the place.
Who’s here? speak, ho! No answer! What is this?
Timon is dead, who hath outstretch’d his span:
Some beast rear’d this; there does not live a man.
Dead, sure; and this his grave. What’s on this tomb
I cannot read; the character I’ll take with wax:
Our captain hath in every figure skill,
An aged interpreter, though young in days:
Before proud Athens he’s set down by this,
Whose fall the mark of his ambition is.

Exit

SCENE IV. Before the walls of Athens.

Trumpets sound. Enter ALCIBIADES with his powers
ALCIBIADES
Sound to this coward and lascivious town
Our terrible approach.

A parley sounded

Enter Senators on the walls

Till now you have gone on and fill’d the time
With all licentious measure, making your wills
The scope of justice; till now myself and such
As slept within the shadow of your power
Hav e wander’d with our traversed arms and breathed
Our sufferance vainly: now the time is flush,
When crouching marrow in the bearer strong
Cries of itself ‘No more:’ now breathless wrong
Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease,
And pursy insolence shall break his wind
With fear and horrid flight.

First Senator
Noble and young,
When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit,
Ere thou hadst power or we had cause of fear,
We sent to thee, to give thy rages balm,
To wipe out our ingratitude with loves
Above their quantity.

Second Senator
So did we woo
Transformed Timon to our city’s love
By humble message and by promised means:
We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
The common stroke of war.

First Senator
These walls of ours
Were not erected by their hands from whom
You have received your griefs; nor are they such
That these great towers, trophies and schools
should fall
For private faults in them.

Second Senator
Nor are they living
Who were the motives that you first went out;
Shame that they wanted cunning, in excess
Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord,
Into our city with thy banners spread:
By decimation, and a tithed death–
If thy revenges hunger for that food
Which nature loathes–take thou the destined tenth,
And by the hazard of the spotted die
Let die the spotted.

First Senator
All have not offended;
For those that were, it is not square to take
On those that are, revenges: crimes, like lands,
Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman,
Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage:
Spare thy Athenian cradle and those kin
Which in the bluster of thy wrath must fall
With those that have offended: like a shepherd,
Approach the fold and cull the infected forth,
But kill not all together.

Second Senator
What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile
Than hew to’t with thy sword.

First Senator
Set but thy foot
Against our rampired gates, and they shall ope;
So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before,
To say thou’lt enter friendly.

Second Senator
Throw thy glove,
Or any token of thine honour else,
That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress
And not as our confusion, all thy powers
Shall make their harbour in our town, till we
Have seal’d thy full desire.

ALCIBIADES
Then there’s my glove;
Descend, and open your uncharged ports:
Those enemies of Timon’s and mine own
Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof
Fall and no more: and, to atone your fears
With my more noble meaning, not a man
Shall pass his quarter, or offend the stream
Of regular justice in your city’s bounds,
But shall be render’d to your public laws
At heaviest answer.

Both
‘Tis most nobly spoken.

ALCIBIADES
Descend, and keep your words.

The Senators descend, and open the gates

Enter Soldier

Soldier
My noble general, Timon is dead;
Entomb’d upon the very hem o’ the sea;
And on his grave-stone this insculpture, which
With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
Interprets for my poor ignorance.

ALCIBIADES
[Reads the epitaph] ‘Here lies a
wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft:
Seek not my name: a plague consume you wicked
caitiffs left!
Here lie I, Timon; who, alive, all living men did hate:
Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass and stay
not here thy gait.’
These well express in thee thy latter spirits:
Though thou abhorr’dst in us our human griefs,
Scorn’dst our brain’s flow and those our
droplets which
From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit
Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye
On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
Is noble Timon: of whose memory
Hereafter more. Bring me into your city,
And I will use the olive with my sword,
Make war breed peace, make peace stint war, make each
Prescribe to other as each other’s leech.
Let our drums strike.

Exeunt


Scrappy Little Nobody

By Anna Kendrick

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Timon of Athens, ACT IV
SCENE I. Without the walls of Athens.

Enter TIMON

TIMON
Let me look back upon thee. O thou wall,
That girdlest in those wolves, dive in the earth,
And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent!
Obedience fail in children! slaves and fools,
Pluck the grave wrinkled senate from the bench,
And minister in their steads! to general filths
Convert o’ the instant, green virginity,
Do ‘t in your parents’ eyes! bankrupts, hold fast;
Rather than render back, out with your knives,
And cut your trusters’ throats! bound servants, steal!
Large-handed robbers your grave masters are,
And pill by law. Maid, to thy master’s bed;
Thy mistress is o’ the brothel! Son of sixteen,
pluck the lined crutch from thy old limping sire,
With it beat out his brains! Piety, and fear,
Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
Domestic awe, night-rest, and neighbourhood,
Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades,
Degrees, observances, customs, and laws,
Decline to your confounding contraries,
And let confusion live! Plagues, incident to men,
Your potent and infectious fevers heap
On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica,
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
As lamely as their manners. Lust and liberty
Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth,
That ‘gainst the stream of virtue they may strive,
And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains,
Sow all the Athenian bosoms; and their crop
Be general leprosy! Breath infect breath,
at their society, as their friendship, may
merely poison! Nothing I’ll bear from thee,
But nakedness, thou detestable town!
Take thou that too, with multiplying bans!
Timon will to the woods; where he shall find
The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind.
The gods confound–hear me, you good gods all–
The Athenians both within and out that wall!
And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
To the whole race of mankind, high and low! Amen.

Exit

SCENE II. Athens. A room in Timon’s house.

Enter FLAVIUS, with two or three Servants
First Servant
Hear you, master steward, where’s our master?
Are we undone? cast off? nothing remaining?

FLAVIUS
Alack, my fellows, what should I say to you?
Let me be recorded by the righteous gods,
I am as poor as you.

First Servant
Such a house broke!
So noble a master fall’n! All gone! and not
One friend to take his fortune by the arm,
And go along with him!

Second Servant
As we do turn our backs
From our companion thrown into his grave,
So his familiars to his buried fortunes
Slink all away, leave their false vows with him,
Like empty purses pick’d; and his poor self,
A dedicated beggar to the air,
With his disease of all-shunn’d poverty,
Walks, like contempt, alone. More of our fellows.

Enter other Servants

FLAVIUS
All broken implements of a ruin’d house.

Third Servant
Yet do our hearts wear Timon’s livery;
That see I by our faces; we are fellows still,
Serving alike in sorrow: leak’d is our bark,
And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck,
Hearing the surges threat: we must all part
Into this sea of air.

FLAVIUS
Good fellows all,
The latest of my wealth I’ll share amongst you.
Wherever we shall meet, for Timon’s sake,
Let’s yet be fellows; let’s shake our heads, and say,
As ’twere a knell unto our master’s fortunes,
‘We have seen better days.’ Let each take some;
Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more:
Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.

Servants embrace, and part several ways

O, the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us!
Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt,
Since riches point to misery and contempt?
Who would be so mock’d with glory? or to live
But in a dream of friendship?
To have his pomp and all what state compounds
But only painted, like his varnish’d friends?
Poor honest lord, brought low by his own heart,
Undone by goodness! Strange, unusual blood,
When man’s worst sin is, he does too much good!
Who, then, dares to be half so kind again?
For bounty, that makes gods, does still mar men.
My dearest lord, bless’d, to be most accursed,
Rich, only to be wretched, thy great fortunes
Are made thy chief afflictions. Alas, kind lord!
He’s flung in rage from this ingrateful seat
Of monstrous friends, nor has he with him to
Supply his life, or that which can command it.
I’ll follow and inquire him out:
I’ll ever serve his mind with my best will;
Whilst I have gold, I’ll be his steward still.

Exit

SCENE III. Woods and cave, near the seashore.

Enter TIMON, from the cave
O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth
Rotten humidity; below thy sister’s orb
Infect the air! Twinn’d brothers of one womb,
Whose procreation, residence, and birth,
Scarce is dividant, touch them with several fortunes;
The greater scorns the lesser: not nature,
To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune,
But by contempt of nature.
Raise me this beggar, and deny ‘t that lord;
The senator shall bear contempt hereditary,
The beggar native honour.
It is the pasture lards the rother’s sides,
The want that makes him lean. Who dares, who dares,
In purity of manhood stand upright,
And say ‘This man’s a flatterer?’ if one be,
So are they all; for every grise of fortune
Is smooth’d by that below: the learned pate
Ducks to the golden fool: all is oblique;
There’s nothing level in our cursed natures,
But direct villany. Therefore, be abhorr’d
All feasts, societies, and throngs of men!
His semblable, yea, himself, Timon disdains:
Destruction fang mankind! Earth, yield me roots!

Digging

Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate
With thy most operant poison! What is here?
Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? No, gods,
I am no idle votarist: roots, you clear heavens!
Thus much of this will make black white, foul fair,
Wrong right, base noble, old young, coward valiant.
Ha, you gods! why this? what this, you gods? Why, this
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads:
This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions, bless the accursed,
Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves
And give them title, knee and approbation
With senators on the bench: this is it
That makes the wappen’d widow wed again;
She, whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores
Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
To the April day again. Come, damned earth,
Thou common whore of mankind, that put’st odds
Among the route of nations, I will make thee
Do thy right nature.

March afar off

Ha! a drum ? Thou’rt quick,
But yet I’ll bury thee: thou’lt go, strong thief,
When gouty keepers of thee cannot stand.
Nay, stay thou out for earnest.

Keeping some gold

Enter ALCIBIADES, with drum and fife, in warlike manner; PHRYNIA and TIMANDRA

ALCIBIADES
What art thou there? speak.

TIMON
A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart,
For showing me again the eyes of man!

ALCIBIADES
What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee,
That art thyself a man?

TIMON
I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind.
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
That I might love thee something.

ALCIBIADES
I know thee well;
But in thy fortunes am unlearn’d and strange.

TIMON
I know thee too; and more than that I know thee,
I not desire to know. Follow thy drum;
With man’s blood paint the ground, gules, gules:
Religious canons, civil laws are cruel;
Then what should war be? This fell whore of thine
Hath in her more destruction than thy sword,
For all her cherubim look.

PHRYNIA
Thy lips rot off!

TIMON
I will not kiss thee; then the rot returns
To thine own lips again.

ALCIBIADES
How came the noble Timon to this change?

TIMON
As the moon does, by wanting light to give:
But then renew I could not, like the moon;
There were no suns to borrow of.

ALCIBIADES
Noble Timon,
What friendship may I do thee?

TIMON
None, but to
Maintain my opinion.

ALCIBIADES
What is it, Timon?

TIMON
Promise me friendship, but perform none: if thou
wilt not promise, the gods plague thee, for thou art
a man! if thou dost perform, confound thee, for
thou art a man!

ALCIBIADES
I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.

TIMON
Thou saw’st them, when I had prosperity.

ALCIBIADES
I see them now; then was a blessed time.

TIMON
As thine is now, held with a brace of harlots.

TIMANDRA
Is this the Athenian minion, whom the world
Voiced so regardfully?

TIMON
Art thou Timandra?

TIMANDRA
Yes.

TIMON
Be a whore still: they love thee not that use thee;
Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust.
Make use of thy salt hours: season the slaves
For tubs and baths; bring down rose-cheeked youth
To the tub-fast and the diet.

TIMANDRA
Hang thee, monster!

ALCIBIADES
Pardon him, sweet Timandra; for his wits
Are drown’d and lost in his calamities.
I have but little gold of late, brave Timon,
The want whereof doth daily make revolt
In my penurious band: I have heard, and grieved,
How cursed Athens, mindless of thy worth,
Forgetting thy great deeds, when neighbour states,
But for thy sword and fortune, trod upon them,–

TIMON
I prithee, beat thy drum, and get thee gone.

ALCIBIADES
I am thy friend, and pity thee, dear Timon.

TIMON
How dost thou pity him whom thou dost trouble?
I had rather be alone.

ALCIBIADES
Why, fare thee well:
Here is some gold for thee.

TIMON
Keep it, I cannot eat it.

ALCIBIADES
When I have laid proud Athens on a heap,–

TIMON
Warr’st thou ‘gainst Athens?

ALCIBIADES
Ay, Timon, and have cause.

TIMON
The gods confound them all in thy conquest;
And thee after, when thou hast conquer’d!

ALCIBIADES
Why me, Timon?

TIMON
That, by killing of villains,
Thou wast born to conquer my country.
Put up thy gold: go on,–here’s gold,–go on;
Be as a planetary plague, when Jove
Will o’er some high-viced city hang his poison
In the sick air: let not thy sword skip one:
Pity not honour’d age for his white beard;
He is an usurer: strike me the counterfeit matron;
It is her habit only that is honest,
Herself’s a bawd: let not the virgin’s cheek
Make soft thy trenchant sword; for those milk-paps,
That through the window-bars bore at men’s eyes,
Are not within the leaf of pity writ,
But set them down horrible traitors: spare not the babe,
Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy;
Think it a bastard, whom the oracle
Hath doubtfully pronounced thy throat shall cut,
And mince it sans remorse: swear against objects;
Put armour on thine ears and on thine eyes;
Whose proof, nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes,
Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding,
Shall pierce a jot. There’s gold to pay soldiers:
Make large confusion; and, thy fury spent,
Confounded be thyself! Speak not, be gone.

ALCIBIADES
Hast thou gold yet? I’ll take the gold thou
givest me,
Not all thy counsel.

TIMON
Dost thou, or dost thou not, heaven’s curse
upon thee!

PHRYNIA TIMANDRA
Give us some gold, good Timon: hast thou more?

TIMON
Enough to make a whore forswear her trade,
And to make whores, a bawd. Hold up, you sluts,
Your aprons mountant: you are not oathable,
Although, I know, you ‘ll swear, terribly swear
Into strong shudders and to heavenly agues
The immortal gods that hear you,–spare your oaths,
I’ll trust to your conditions: be whores still;
And he whose pious breath seeks to convert you,
Be strong in whore, allure him, burn him up;
Let your close fire predominate his smoke,
And be no turncoats: yet may your pains, six months,
Be quite contrary: and thatch your poor thin roofs
With burthens of the dead;–some that were hang’d,
No matter:–wear them, betray with them: whore still;
Paint till a horse may mire upon your face,
A pox of wrinkles!

PHRYNIA TIMANDRA
Well, more gold: what then?
Believe’t, that we’ll do any thing for gold.

TIMON
Consumptions sow
In hollow bones of man; strike their sharp shins,
And mar men’s spurring. Crack the lawyer’s voice,
That he may never more false title plead,
Nor sound his quillets shrilly: hoar the flamen,
That scolds against the quality of flesh,
And not believes himself: down with the nose,
Down with it flat; take the bridge quite away
Of him that, his particular to foresee,
Smells from the general weal: make curl’d-pate
ruffians bald;
And let the unscarr’d braggarts of the war
Derive some pain from you: plague all;
That your activity may defeat and quell
The source of all erection. There’s more gold:
Do you damn others, and let this damn you,
And ditches grave you all!

PHRYNIA TIMANDRA
More counsel with more money, bounteous Timon.

TIMON
More whore, more mischief first; I have given you earnest.

ALCIBIADES
Strike up the drum towards Athens! Farewell, Timon:
If I thrive well, I’ll visit thee again.

TIMON
If I hope well, I’ll never see thee more.

ALCIBIADES
I never did thee harm.

TIMON
Yes, thou spokest well of me.

ALCIBIADES
Call’st thou that harm?

TIMON
Men daily find it. Get thee away, and take
Thy beagles with thee.

ALCIBIADES
We but offend him. Strike!

Drum beats. Exeunt ALCIBIADES, PHRYNIA, and TIMANDRA

TIMON
That nature, being sick of man’s unkindness,
Should yet be hungry! Common mother, thou,

Digging

Whose womb unmeasurable, and infinite breast,
Teems, and feeds all; whose self-same mettle,
Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puff’d,
Engenders the black toad and adder blue,
The gilded newt and eyeless venom’d worm,
With all the abhorred births below crisp heaven
Whereon Hyperion’s quickening fire doth shine;
Yield him, who all thy human sons doth hate,
From forth thy plenteous bosom, one poor root!
Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb,
Let it no more bring out ingrateful man!
Go great with tigers, dragons, wolves, and bears;
Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face
Hath to the marbled mansion all above
Never presented!–O, a root,–dear thanks!–
Dry up thy marrows, vines, and plough-torn leas;
Whereof ungrateful man, with liquorish draughts
And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind,
That from it all consideration slips!

Enter APEMANTUS

More man? plague, plague!

APEMANTUS
I was directed hither: men report
Thou dost affect my manners, and dost use them.

TIMON
‘Tis, then, because thou dost not keep a dog,
Whom I would imitate: consumption catch thee!

APEMANTUS
This is in thee a nature but infected;
A poor unmanly melancholy sprung
From change of fortune. Why this spade? this place?
This slave-like habit? and these looks of care?
Thy flatterers yet wear silk, drink wine, lie soft;
Hug their diseased perfumes, and have forgot
That ever Timon was. Shame not these woods,
By putting on the cunning of a carper.
Be thou a flatterer now, and seek to thrive
By that which has undone thee: hinge thy knee,
And let his very breath, whom thou’lt observe,
Blow off thy cap; praise his most vicious strain,
And call it excellent: thou wast told thus;
Thou gavest thine ears like tapsters that bid welcome
To knaves and all approachers: ’tis most just
That thou turn rascal; hadst thou wealth again,
Rascals should have ‘t. Do not assume my likeness.

TIMON
Were I like thee, I’ld throw away myself.

APEMANTUS
Thou hast cast away thyself, being like thyself;
A madman so long, now a fool. What, think’st
That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
Will put thy shirt on warm? will these moss’d trees,
That have outlived the eagle, page thy heels,
And skip where thou point’st out? will the
cold brook,
Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste,
To cure thy o’er-night’s surfeit? Call the creatures
Whose naked natures live in an the spite
Of wreakful heaven, whose bare unhoused trunks,
To the conflicting elements exposed,
Answer mere nature; bid them flatter thee;
O, thou shalt find–

TIMON
A fool of thee: depart.

APEMANTUS
I love thee better now than e’er I did.

TIMON
I hate thee worse.

APEMANTUS
Why?

TIMON
Thou flatter’st misery.

APEMANTUS
I flatter not; but say thou art a caitiff.

TIMON
Why dost thou seek me out?

APEMANTUS
To vex thee.

TIMON
Always a villain’s office or a fool’s.
Dost please thyself in’t?

APEMANTUS
Ay.

TIMON
What! a knave too?

APEMANTUS
If thou didst put this sour-cold habit on
To castigate thy pride, ’twere well: but thou
Dost it enforcedly; thou’ldst courtier be again,
Wert thou not beggar. Willing misery
Outlives encertain pomp, is crown’d before:
The one is filling still, never complete;
The other, at high wish: best state, contentless,
Hath a distracted and most wretched being,
Worse than the worst, content.
Thou shouldst desire to die, being miserable.

TIMON
Not by his breath that is more miserable.
Thou art a slave, whom Fortune’s tender arm
With favour never clasp’d; but bred a dog.
Hadst thou, like us from our first swath, proceeded
The sweet degrees that this brief world affords
To such as may the passive drugs of it
Freely command, thou wouldst have plunged thyself
In general riot; melted down thy youth
In different beds of lust; and never learn’d
The icy precepts of respect, but follow’d
The sugar’d game before thee. But myself,
Who had the world as my confectionary,
The mouths, the tongues, the eyes and hearts of men
At duty, more than I could frame employment,
That numberless upon me stuck as leaves
Do on the oak, hive with one winter’s brush
Fell from their boughs and left me open, bare
For every storm that blows: I, to bear this,
That never knew but better, is some burden:
Thy nature did commence in sufferance, time
Hath made thee hard in’t. Why shouldst thou hate men?
They never flatter’d thee: what hast thou given?
If thou wilt curse, thy father, that poor rag,
Must be thy subject, who in spite put stuff
To some she beggar and compounded thee
Poor rogue hereditary. Hence, be gone!
If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
Thou hadst been a knave and flatterer.

APEMANTUS
Art thou proud yet?

TIMON
Ay, that I am not thee.

APEMANTUS
I, that I was
No prodigal.

TIMON
I, that I am one now:
Were all the wealth I have shut up in thee,
I’ld give thee leave to hang it. Get thee gone.
That the whole life of Athens were in this!
Thus would I eat it.

Eating a root

APEMANTUS
Here; I will mend thy feast.

Offering him a root

TIMON
First mend my company, take away thyself.

APEMANTUS
So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of thine.

TIMON
‘Tis not well mended so, it is but botch’d;
if not, I would it were.

APEMANTUS
What wouldst thou have to Athens?

TIMON
Thee thither in a whirlwind. If thou wilt,
Tell them there I have gold; look, so I have.

APEMANTUS
Here is no use for gold.

TIMON
The best and truest;
For here it sleeps, and does no hired harm.

APEMANTUS
Where liest o’ nights, Timon?

TIMON
Under that’s above me.
Where feed’st thou o’ days, Apemantus?

APEMANTUS
Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat
it.

TIMON
Would poison were obedient and knew my mind!

APEMANTUS
Where wouldst thou send it?

TIMON
To sauce thy dishes.

APEMANTUS
The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the
extremity of both ends: when thou wast in thy gilt
and thy perfume, they mocked thee for too much
curiosity; in thy rags thou knowest none, but art
despised for the contrary. There’s a medlar for
thee, eat it.

TIMON
On what I hate I feed not.

APEMANTUS
Dost hate a medlar?

TIMON
Ay, though it look like thee.

APEMANTUS
An thou hadst hated meddlers sooner, thou shouldst
have loved thyself better now. What man didst thou
ever know unthrift that was beloved after his means?

TIMON
Who, without those means thou talkest of, didst thou
ever know beloved?

APEMANTUS
Myself.

TIMON
I understand thee; thou hadst some means to keep a
dog.

APEMANTUS
What things in the world canst thou nearest compare
to thy flatterers?

TIMON
Women nearest; but men, men are the things
themselves. What wouldst thou do with the world,
Apemantus, if it lay in thy power?

APEMANTUS
Give it the beasts, to be rid of the men.

TIMON
Wouldst thou have thyself fall in the confusion of
men, and remain a beast with the beasts?

APEMANTUS
Ay, Timon.

TIMON
A beastly ambition, which the gods grant thee t’
attain to! If thou wert the lion, the fox would
beguile thee; if thou wert the lamb, the fox would
eat three: if thou wert the fox, the lion would
suspect thee, when peradventure thou wert accused by
the ass: if thou wert the ass, thy dulness would
torment thee, and still thou livedst but as a
breakfast to the wolf: if thou wert the wolf, thy
greediness would afflict thee, and oft thou shouldst
hazard thy life for thy dinner: wert thou the
unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee and
make thine own self the conquest of thy fury: wert
thou a bear, thou wouldst be killed by the horse:
wert thou a horse, thou wouldst be seized by the
leopard: wert thou a leopard, thou wert german to
the lion and the spots of thy kindred were jurors on
thy life: all thy safety were remotion and thy
defence absence. What beast couldst thou be, that
were not subject to a beast? and what a beast art
thou already, that seest not thy loss in
transformation!

APEMANTUS
If thou couldst please me with speaking to me, thou
mightst have hit upon it here: the commonwealth of
Athens is become a forest of beasts.

TIMON
How has the ass broke the wall, that thou art out of the city?

APEMANTUS
Yonder comes a poet and a painter: the plague of
company light upon thee! I will fear to catch it
and give way: when I know not what else to do, I’ll
see thee again.

TIMON
When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be
welcome. I had rather be a beggar’s dog than Apemantus.

APEMANTUS
Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.

TIMON
Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!

APEMANTUS
A plague on thee! thou art too bad to curse.

TIMON
All villains that do stand by thee are pure.

APEMANTUS
There is no leprosy but what thou speak’st.

TIMON
If I name thee.
I’ll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.

APEMANTUS
I would my tongue could rot them off!

TIMON
Away, thou issue of a mangy dog!
Choler does kill me that thou art alive;
I swound to see thee.

APEMANTUS
Would thou wouldst burst!

TIMON
Away,
Thou tedious rogue! I am sorry I shall lose
A stone by thee.

Throws a stone at him

APEMANTUS
Beast!

TIMON
Slave!

APEMANTUS
Toad!

TIMON
Rogue, rogue, rogue!
I am sick of this false world, and will love nought
But even the mere necessities upon ‘t.
Then, Timon, presently prepare thy grave;
Lie where the light foam the sea may beat
Thy grave-stone daily: make thine epitaph,
That death in me at others’ lives may laugh.

To the gold

O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
‘Twixt natural son and sire! thou bright defiler
Of Hymen’s purest bed! thou valiant Mars!
Thou ever young, fresh, loved and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Dian’s lap! thou visible god,
That solder’st close impossibilities,
And makest them kiss! that speak’st with
every tongue,
To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts!
Think, thy slave man rebels, and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire!

APEMANTUS
Would ’twere so!
But not till I am dead. I’ll say thou’st gold:
Thou wilt be throng’d to shortly.

TIMON
Throng’d to!

APEMANTUS
Ay.

TIMON
Thy back, I prithee.

APEMANTUS
Live, and love thy misery.

TIMON
Long live so, and so die.

Exit APEMANTUS

I am quit.
Moe things like men! Eat, Timon, and abhor them.

Enter Banditti

First Bandit
Where should he have this gold? It is some poor
fragment, some slender sort of his remainder: the
mere want of gold, and the falling-from of his
friends, drove him into this melancholy.

Second Bandit
It is noised he hath a mass of treasure.

Third Bandit
Let us make the assay upon him: if he care not
for’t, he will supply us easily; if he covetously
reserve it, how shall’s get it?

Second Bandit
True; for he bears it not about him, ’tis hid.

First Bandit
Is not this he?

Banditti
Where?

Second Bandit
‘Tis his description.

Third Bandit
He; I know him.

Banditti
Save thee, Timon.

TIMON
Now, thieves?

Banditti
Soldiers, not thieves.

TIMON
Both too; and women’s sons.

Banditti
We are not thieves, but men that much do want.

TIMON
Your greatest want is, you want much of meat.
Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots;
Within this mile break forth a hundred springs;
The oaks bear mast, the briers scarlet hips;
The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want! why want?

First Bandit
We cannot live on grass, on berries, water,
As beasts and birds and fishes.

TIMON
Nor on the beasts themselves, the birds, and fishes;
You must eat men. Yet thanks I must you con
That you are thieves profess’d, that you work not
In holier shapes: for there is boundless theft
In limited professions. Rascal thieves,
Here’s gold. Go, suck the subtle blood o’ the grape,
Till the high fever seethe your blood to froth,
And so ‘scape hanging: trust not the physician;
His antidotes are poison, and he slays
Moe than you rob: take wealth and lives together;
Do villany, do, since you protest to do’t,
Like workmen. I’ll example you with thievery.
The sun’s a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea: the moon’s an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun:
The sea’s a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears: the earth’s a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
From general excrement: each thing’s a thief:
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheque’d theft. Love not yourselves: away,
Rob one another. There’s more gold. Cut throats:
All that you meet are thieves: to Athens go,
Break open shops; nothing can you steal,
But thieves do lose it: steal no less for this
I give you; and gold confound you howsoe’er! Amen.

Third Bandit
Has almost charmed me from my profession, by
persuading me to it.

First Bandit
‘Tis in the malice of mankind that he thus advises
us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.

Second Bandit
I’ll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.

First Bandit
Let us first see peace in Athens: there is no time
so miserable but a man may be true.

Exeunt Banditti

Enter FLAVIUS

FLAVIUS
O you gods!
Is yond despised and ruinous man my lord?
Full of decay and failing? O monument
And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow’d!
What an alteration of honour
Has desperate want made!
What viler thing upon the earth than friends
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
How rarely does it meet with this time’s guise,
When man was wish’d to love his enemies!
Grant I may ever love, and rather woo
Those that would mischief me than those that do!
Has caught me in his eye: I will present
My honest grief unto him; and, as my lord,
Still serve him with my life. My dearest master!

TIMON
Away! what art thou?

FLAVIUS
Have you forgot me, sir?

TIMON
Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men;
Then, if thou grant’st thou’rt a man, I have forgot thee.

FLAVIUS
An honest poor servant of yours.

TIMON
Then I know thee not:
I never had honest man about me, I; all
I kept were knaves, to serve in meat to villains.

FLAVIUS
The gods are witness,
Ne’er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord than mine eyes for you.

TIMON
What, dost thou weep? Come nearer. Then I
love thee,
Because thou art a woman, and disclaim’st
Flinty mankind; whose eyes do never give
But thorough lust and laughter. Pity’s sleeping:
Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping!

FLAVIUS
I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
To accept my grief and whilst this poor wealth lasts
To entertain me as your steward still.

TIMON
Had I a steward
So true, so just, and now so comfortable?
It almost turns my dangerous nature mild.
Let me behold thy face. Surely, this man
Was born of woman.
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
You perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man–mistake me not–but one;
No more, I pray,–and he’s a steward.
How fain would I have hated all mankind!
And thou redeem’st thyself: but all, save thee,
I fell with curses.
Methinks thou art more honest now than wise;
For, by oppressing and betraying me,
Thou mightst have sooner got another service:
For many so arrive at second masters,
Upon their first lord’s neck. But tell me true–
For I must ever doubt, though ne’er so sure–
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
If not a usuring kindness, and, as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one?

FLAVIUS
No, my most worthy master; in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas, are placed too late:
You should have fear’d false times when you did feast:
Suspect still comes where an estate is least.
That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love,
Duty and zeal to your unmatched mind,
Care of your food and living; and, believe it,
My most honour’d lord,
For any benefit that points to me,
Either in hope or present, I’ld exchange
For this one wish, that you had power and wealth
To requite me, by making rich yourself.

TIMON
Look thee, ’tis so! Thou singly honest man,
Here, take: the gods out of my misery
Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich and happy;
But thus condition’d: thou shalt build from men;
Hate all, curse all, show charity to none,
But let the famish’d flesh slide from the bone,
Ere thou relieve the beggar; give to dogs
What thou deny’st to men; let prisons swallow ’em,
Debts wither ’em to nothing; be men like
blasted woods,
And may diseases lick up their false bloods!
And so farewell and thrive.

FLAVIUS
O, let me stay,
And comfort you, my master.

TIMON
If thou hatest curses,
Stay not; fly, whilst thou art blest and free:
Ne’er see thou man, and let me ne’er see thee.

Exit FLAVIUS. TIMON retires to his cave