JULIET & NURSE

Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 5, 18-78
Arden 3 | René Weis | London: Bloomsbury, 2012 | 226-229

“O God, she comes. O honey nurse, what news?”

Scene
Arden 3 | 2012

Enter Nurse [and Peter].

O God, she comes. O honey Nurse, what news?
Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

NURSE
Peter, stay at the gate.                                                                             20

([Exit Peter.])

JULIET
Now, good sweet Nurse – O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.

NURSE
I am aweary, give me leave awhile.                                                           25
Fie, how my bones ache. What a jaunt have I!

JULIET
I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak, good, good Nurse, speak.

NURSE
Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay a while?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?                                                  30

JULIET
How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that,                                               35
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?

NURSE
Well, you have made a simple choice. You know
not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he. Though
his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all                    40
men’s; and for a hand and a foot and a body, though
they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare.
He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll warrant him
as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve God.
What, have you dined at home?                                                                45

JULIET
No, no. But all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage, what of that?

NURSE
Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back a’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!                                   50
Beshrew your heart for sending me about
To catch my death with jauncing up and down.

JULIET
I’faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

NURSE
Your love says, like an honest gentleman,                                               55
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
And, I warrant, a virtuous – Where is your mother?

JULIET
Where is my mother! Why, she is within.
Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!
‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman’,                                              60
‘Where is your mother!’

NURSE
————————O God’s Lady, dear,
Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.
Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.

JULIET
Here’s such a coil! Come, what says Romeo?                                       65

NURSE
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET
I have.

NURSE
Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;
There stays a husband to make you a wife.
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;                               70
They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,                                                  75
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go, I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.

JULIET
Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.

(Exeunt.)

Words and Pronunciation +
Arden 3 | 2012

Words

O God: one of several apostrophes to the Deity by Juliet. (Weis)

honey: sweet, used here adjectivally; honey was the standard sweetener in Shakespeare’s day, and Juliet is humouring Nurse. (Weis)

aweary: tired (Leung); weary, tired (SW)

jaunt: fatiguing journey (cited in OED) (Weis)

have I: have I had (Weis)

would: 3. a. Denoting expression (usually authoritative) of a wish or intention: Determine, decree, ordain, enjoin, give order (that something be done). Obs. (OED)

Jesu: not yet banned at this date and, outside RJ, used exclusively in the history plays, particularly in the Henry IVs (Weis)

stay the circumstance: wait for the detail (see without circumstance, 5.3.181) (Weis)

circumstance: special argument, detailed explanation (SW); circumlocution, verbiage, unnecessary detail (SW): pageantry, ceremony, spectacle (SW)

simple: foolish; Nurse picks up Juliet’s formal dichotomy of good and bad while ignoring the substance of her question. (Weis); foolish, silly, stupid (SW)

flower of courtesy: effectively a non sequitur after flower of courtesy since gentleness could be thought to be part of courtesy; ‘as gentle as a lamb’ is proverbial (Dent, L34). (Weis)

go thy ways: ‘Lucky you!’ ways: well done (SW), carry on, go ahead (SW); get along, be off (SW)

wench:  a term of endearment for a young woman (OED sb. c) (Weis)

serve God: ‘Be good.’ (Weis)

dined: had your midday meal (Weis)

as: as if (Weis, re: line 49)

beshrew your heart: a mild and humorous imprecation on Juliet’s romantic heart for sending Nurse on this ‘back-breaking’ trip (cf. MA 5.1.55) (Weis)

beshrew: blame, censure, take to task, wish mischief on (SW); curse, devil take, evil befall (SW)

jauncing: prancing about (cited under OED jaunce v.)(Weis); jaunce: jaunt, trudge about, run around (SW); jaunt, fatiguing journey (SW)

honest: honourable (Weis); honourable, respectable, upright (SW); genuine, real, true (SW); innocent, well-intentioned, innocuous (SW)

warrant: assure, promise, guarantee, confirm (SW)

oddly: unequally, unevenly; or unusually, in a peculiar way (SW)

O God’s Lady: ‘by the Virgin Mary’ (Weis)

hot: eager, with a teasing intimation of unbecoming sexual passion (Weis); active, vigourous (SW); hot-tempered, angry, passionate (SW); fast, hasty (SW); lecherous, lustful, hot-blooded (SW); amorous, sexually eager, ardent, appetent (Partridge)

marry come up: a proverbial expression of indignant or amused surprise (Dent, M699.2) (Weis); expression of (real or playful) impatience (SW)

marry: [exclamation] by Mary (SW)

I trow: here meaning ‘surely’ (OED v. 4b glosses ‘I suppose’) (Weis); trow: (I) wonder, (I) ask you (SW); think, expect, believe (SW); believe, give credence to, accept as true (SW); hope, trust, suppose (SW); think, be sure (SW); know, guess, imagine (SW)

poultice: soothing dressing (Shakespeare’s only usage of the word) (Weis);1. A moist, usually heated mass of a substance with a soft, pasty consistency, applied to the skin, usually by means of a bandage or dressing, in order to promote healing, reduce swelling, relieve pain, etc.; a fomentation, a cataplasm. Also figurative. (OED)

coil: ado, fuss; cf. ‘I am not worth this coil that’s made for me’ (KJ 2.1.165).(Weis); turmoil, disturbance, fuss (SW); 1. Noisy disturbance, ‘row’; ‘tumult, turmoil, bustle, stir, hurry, confusion’ (Johnson).2. Confused noise of inanimate things; clutter, rattle, confused din. 3. Fuss, ado; a ‘business’.  4.a. to keep a coil: to keep up a disturbance; make a fuss, bustle, much ado.

shrift:  confession (Leung, SW); absolution (SW); confessional, place for hearing confession (SW)

hie: hasten, go quickly (also at 72, 77, 78) (Weis); hasten, hurry, speed (SW)

cell: small, humble dwelling (SW)

stays: waits (Leung); stay: stay in hiding, remain hidden (SW); staying, remaining, continued presence (SW); remain, continue, endure (SW); wait (for), await (SW)

wanton blood: Juliet is starting to blush (Weis)

blood: spirit, vigour, mettle (SW); anger, temper, passion (SW); colouring, healthy complexion, blushing (SW); hot blood, the blood as affected by sexual passion (Partridge, 67)

wanton: feminine; or: childlike (SW); lascivious, lewd, obscene (SW); carefree, lighthearted, frolicsome, playful (SW)

climb: to climb a woman’s legs (as though they were the limb of a tree) and then enjoy her (Partridge, 80)

bird’s nest: i.e. Juliet’s bedroom; the idiom ‘to climb a bird’s nest’ may have been proverbial (Dent, N124.1). (Weis) pudend and pubic hair (Partridge, 66)

at any: hasten, go quickly (also at 72, 77, 78) (Weis)

drudge and toil in your delight: ‘I am a mean labourer and hack, and I labour for your pleasure.’ (Weis)

drudge: slave, serf, lackey (SW)

bear the burden: assume responsibility for what will ensue; but also suggesting that Juliet will experience the weight of Romeo’s body during love-making (cf. AC 1.5.22).(Weis); bear: to bear children; to bear, support, a superincumbent man (Partridge, 63)

soon at night: tonight (proverbial; Dent, S639.1) (Weis); quickly, in a short time (SW)

hie to high fortune: Wish me luck. (No Fear Shakespeare Translation)

Pronunciation +

lookest: possibly “look’st” (Leung, also: Arden CWRE, 1998)

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

+prose: (lines 38-45) The nurse switches to prose for this speech.

Translation
No Fear Shakespeare

The NURSE and PETER enter.

JULIET
Oh my God, here she comes! Oh sweet Nurse, what news do you bring? Have you spoken to him? Send your man away.

NURSE
Peter, wait for me at the gate.

PETER exits.

JULIET
Now, good sweet Nurse—Oh Lord, why do you look so sad? Even if the news is sad, tell me with a smile on your face. If the news is good, you’re ruining the sweet news by playing a trick with a sour face like that.

NURSE
I am tired. Leave me alone for a minute. Oh my, my bones ache so much. I’ve been running all over the place.

JULIET
I wish you had my bones, and I had your news. Come on now, I beg you, speak, good Nurse, speak.

NURSE
Sweet Jesus, you’re in such a hurry! Can’t you wait for a moment? Don’t you see that I’m out of breath?

JULIET
How can you be out of breath when you have enough breath to tell me that you’re out of breath? The excuse you make to delay the news is longer than the news itself. Is the news good or bad? Answer that question. Tell me if it’s good or bad, and I’ll wait for the details. Tell me so I can be satisfied. Is it good or bad?

NURSE
Well, you have made a foolish choice. You don’t know how to pick a man. Romeo? No, not him, though his face is more handsome than any man’s, and his legs are prettier, and as for his hands and feet and body, they’re not much to speak of, and yet they’re beyond compare. He’s not the most polite man in the world, but, believe me, he’s gentle as a lamb. Well, do what you want. Be good. Have you had lunch yet?

JULIET
No, I haven’t had lunch. Everything you told me I already knew. What does he say about our marriage? What about that?

NURSE
Lord, what a headache I’ve got! My head is pounding. It feels like it’ll break into twenty pieces. My back aches too—(JULIET rubs her back) Ooh, on the other side—ah, my poor aching back! Curse your heart for sending me running all over town. I could get sick and die.

JULIET
Believe me, I’m sorry you’re in pain. Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what did my love Romeo say?

NURSE
Your love says, like an honorable gentleman, who is courteous, kind, handsome, and, I believe, virtuous— where is your mother?

JULIET
Where is my mother? Why, she’s inside. Where else would she be? Your answer is so strange! “Your love says, like an honorable gentleman, ‘Where is your mother?’”

NURSE
Oh holy Mary, mother of God! Are you this impatient? Come on, you’re being ridiculous! Is this the cure for my aching bones? From now on, take care of your messages yourself.

JULIET
You’re making such a fuss. Come on, what did Romeo say?

NURSE
Do you have permission to go out and take confession today?

JULIET
I do.

NURSE
Then hurry up and rush over to Friar Lawrence’s cell. There’s a husband there who’s waiting to make you his wife. Now I see the blood rushing to your cheeks. You blush bright red as soon as you hear any news. Go to the church. I must go by a different path to get a rope ladder. Your love will use it to climb up to your window while it’s dark. I do the drudge work for your pleasure. But soon you’ll be doing a wife’s work all night long. Go. I’ll go to lunch. You go to Friar Lawrence’s cell.

JULIET
Wish me luck. Thank you, dear Nurse.

They exit.

Assonance
Arden 3 | 2012

Enter Nurse [and Peter].

O God, she comes. O honey Nurse, what news?
Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

NURSE
Peter, stay at the gate.                                                                             20

([Exit Peter.])

JULIET
Now, good sweet Nurse – O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.

NURSE
I am aweary, give me leave awhile.                                                           25
Fie, how my bones ache. What a jaunt have I!

JULIET
I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak, good, good Nurse, speak.

NURSE
Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay a while?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?                                                  30

JULIET
How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that,                                               35
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?

NURSE
Well, you have made a simple choice. You know
not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he. Though
his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all                    40
men’s; and for a hand and a foot and a body, though
they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare.
He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll warrant him
as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve God.
What, have you dined at home?                                                                45

JULIET
No, no. But all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage, what of that?

NURSE
Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back a’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!                                   50
Beshrew your heart for sending me about
To catch my death with jauncing up and down.

JULIET
I’faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

NURSE
Your love says, like an honest gentleman,                                               55
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
And, I warrant, a virtuous – Where is your mother?

JULIET
Where is my mother! Why, she is within.
Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!
‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman’,                                              60
‘Where is your mother!’

NURSE
————————O God’s Lady, dear,
Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.
Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.

JULIET
Here’s such a coil! Come, what says Romeo?                                       65

NURSE
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET
I have.

NURSE
Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;
There stays a husband to make you a wife.
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;                               70
They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,                                                  75
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go, I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.

JULIET
Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.

(Exeunt.)

Pronunciation +

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

Alliteration
Arden 3 | 2012

Enter Nurse [and Peter].

O God, she comes. O honey Nurse, what news?
Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

NURSE
Peter, stay at the gate.                                                                             20

([Exit Peter.])

JULIET
Now, good sweet Nurse – O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.

NURSE
I am aweary, give me leave awhile.                                                           25
Fie, how my bones ache. What a jaunt have I!

JULIET
I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak, good, good Nurse, speak.

NURSE
Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay a while?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?                                                  30

JULIET
How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that,                                               35
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?

NURSE
Well, you have made a simple choice. You know
not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he. Though
his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all                    40
men’s; and for a hand and a foot and a body, though
they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare.
He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll warrant him
as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve God.
What, have you dined at home?                                                                45

JULIET
No, no. But all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage, what of that?

NURSE
Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back a’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!                                   50
Beshrew your heart for sending me about
To catch my death with jauncing up and down.

JULIET
I’faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

NURSE
Your love says, like an honest gentleman,                                               55
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
And, I warrant, a virtuous – Where is your mother?

JULIET
Where is my mother! Why, she is within.
Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!
‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman’,                                              60
‘Where is your mother!’

NURSE
————————O God’s Lady, dear,
Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.
Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.

JULIET
Here’s such a coil! Come, what says Romeo?                                       65

NURSE
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET
I have.

NURSE
Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;
There stays a husband to make you a wife.
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;                               70
They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,                                                  75
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go, I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.

JULIET
Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.

(Exeunt.)

Consonance
Arden 3 | 2012

Enter Nurse [and Peter].

O God, she comes. O honey Nurse, what news?
Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

NURSE
Peter, stay at the gate.                                                                             20

([Exit Peter.])

JULIET
Now, good sweet Nurse – O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.

NURSE
I am aweary, give me leave awhile.                                                           25
Fie, how my bones ache. What a jaunt have I!

JULIET
I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak, good, good Nurse, speak.

NURSE
Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay a while?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?                                                  30

JULIET
How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that,                                               35
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?

NURSE
Well, you have made a simple choice. You know
not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he. Though
his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all                    40
men’s; and for a hand and a foot and a body, though
they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare.
He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll warrant him
as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve God.
What, have you dined at home?                                                                45

JULIET
No, no. But all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage, what of that?

NURSE
Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back a’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!                                   50
Beshrew your heart for sending me about
To catch my death with jauncing up and down.

JULIET
I’faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

NURSE
Your love says, like an honest gentleman,                                               55
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
And, I warrant, a virtuous – Where is your mother?

JULIET
Where is my mother! Why, she is within.
Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!
‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman’,                                              60
‘Where is your mother!’

NURSE
————————O God’s Lady, dear,
Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.
Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.

JULIET
Here’s such a coil! Come, what says Romeo?                                       65

NURSE
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET
I have.

NURSE
Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;
There stays a husband to make you a wife.
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;                               70
They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,                                                  75
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go, I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.

JULIET
Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.

(Exeunt.)

Thoughts
Arden 3 | 2012

Enter Nurse [and Peter].

1. O God, she comes. 2. O honey Nurse, what news?
3. Hast thou met with him? 4. Send thy man away.

NURSE
1. Peter, stay at the gate.                                                                             20

([Exit Peter.])

JULIET
1. Now, good sweet Nurse – 2. O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
3. Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
4. If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.

NURSE
1. I am aweary, give me leave awhile.                                                           25
2. Fie, how my bones ache. 3. What a jaunt have I!

JULIET
1. I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.
2. Nay, come, I pray thee, speak, good, good Nurse, speak.

NURSE
1. Jesu, what haste! . 2Can you not stay a while?
3. Do you not see that I am out of breath?                                                  30

JULIET
1. How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
2. The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
3. Is thy news good or bad? 4. Answer to that,                                               35
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
5. Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?

NURSE
1. Well, you have made a simple choice. 2. You know
not how to choose a man. Romeo? 3. No, not he. 4. Though
his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all                    40
men’s; (b) and for a hand and a foot and a body, though
they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare.
5. He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll warrant him
as gentle as a lamb. 6. Go thy ways, wench, serve God.
7. What, have you dined at home?                                                                45

JULIET
1. No, no. 2. But all this did I know before.
3. What says he of our marriage, what of that?

NURSE
1. Lord, how my head aches! 2. What a head have I!
3. It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
4. My back a’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!                                   50
5. Beshrew your heart for sending me about
To catch my death with jauncing up and down.

JULIET
1. I’faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
2. Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

NURSE
1. Your love says, like an honest gentleman,                                               55
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
And, I warrant, a virtuous – 2. Where is your mother?

JULIET
1. Where is my mother! 2. Why, she is within.
3. Where should she be? 4. How oddly thou repliest!
5. ‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman’,                                              60
‘Where is your mother!’

NURSE
————————1. O God’s Lady, dear,
Are you so hot? 2. Marry come up, I trow.
3. Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
4. Henceforward do your messages yourself.

JULIET
1. Here’s such a coil! 2. Come, what says Romeo?                                       65

NURSE
1. Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET
1. I have.

NURSE
1. Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;
(b) There stays a husband to make you a wife.
2. Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;                               70
(b) They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
3. Hie you to church; (b) I must another way,
To fetch a ladder by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
4. I am the drudge and toil in your delight,                                                  75
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
5. Go, I’ll to dinner. 6. Hie you to the cell.

JULIET
1. Hie to high fortune! 2. Honest Nurse, farewell.

(Exeunt.)

JULIET

Long:
Medium:
Short:
Complex:

End stopped:
Midline:

Period:
Exclamation:
Question:
Dash:

 

NURSE

Long:
Medium:
Short:
Complex:

End stopped:
Midline:

Period:
Exclamation:
Question:
Dash:

Rhythm
Arden 3 | 2012

Enter Nurse [and Peter].

O God, she comes. O honey Nurse, what news?
Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

NURSE
Peter, stay at the gate.                                                                             20

([Exit Peter.])

JULIET
Now, good sweet Nurse – O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.

NURSE
I am aweary, give me leave awhile.                                                           25
Fie, how my bones ache. What a jaunt have I!

JULIET
I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak, good, good Nurse, speak.

NURSE
Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay a while?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?                                                  30

JULIET
How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that,                                               35
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?

NURSE
Well, you have made a simple choice. You know
not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he. Though
his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all                    40
men’s; and for a hand and a foot and a body, though
they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare.
He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll warrant him
as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve God.
What, have you dined at home?                                                                45

JULIET
No, no. But all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage, what of that?

NURSE
Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back a’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!                                   50
Beshrew your heart for sending me about
To catch my death with jauncing up and down.

JULIET
I’faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

NURSE
Your love says, like an honest gentleman,                                               55
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
And, I warrant, a virtuous – Where is your mother?

JULIET
Where is my mother! Why, she is within.
Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!
‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman’,                                              60
‘Where is your mother!’

NURSE
————————O God’s Lady, dear,
Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.
Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.

JULIET
Here’s such a coil! Come, what says Romeo?                                       65

NURSE
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET
I have.

NURSE
Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;
There stays a husband to make you a wife.
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;                               70
They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,                                                  75
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go, I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.

JULIET
Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.

(Exeunt.)

Pacing
Arden 3 | 2012

Enter Nurse [and Peter].

O God, she comes. O honey Nurse, what news?
Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

NURSE
Peter, stay at the gate.                                                                             20

([Exit Peter.])

JULIET
Now, good sweet Nurse – O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.

NURSE
I am aweary, give me leave awhile.                                                           25
Fie, how my bones ache. What a jaunt have I!

JULIET
I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak, good, good Nurse, speak.

NURSE
Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay a while?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?                                                  30

JULIET
How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that,                                               35
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?

NURSE
Well, you have made a simple choice. You know
not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he. Though
his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all                    40
men’s; and for a hand and a foot and a body, though
they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare.
He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll warrant him
as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve God.
What, have you dined at home?                                                                45

JULIET
No, no. But all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage, what of that?

NURSE
Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back a’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!                                   50
Beshrew your heart for sending me about
To catch my death with jauncing up and down.

JULIET
I’faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

NURSE
Your love says, like an honest gentleman,                                               55
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
And, I warrant, a virtuous – Where is your mother?

JULIET
Where is my mother! Why, she is within.
Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!
‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman’,                                              60
‘Where is your mother!’

NURSE
————————O God’s Lady, dear,
Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.
Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.

JULIET
Here’s such a coil! Come, what says Romeo?                                       65

NURSE
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET
I have.

NURSE
Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;
There stays a husband to make you a wife.
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;                               70
They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,                                                  75
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go, I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.

JULIET
Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.

(Exeunt.)

Beats
Arden 3 | 2012

Beat 1:


Enter Nurse [and Peter].

JULIET
O God, she comes.

Beat 2:


JULIET
——————–O honey Nurse, what news?
Hast thou met with him?

Beat 3:


JULIET
————————–Send thy man away.

NURSE
Peter, stay at the gate.                                                                             20

([Exit Peter.])

Beat 4:


JULIET
Now, good sweet Nurse –

Beat 5:


JULIET
———————– – O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.

NURSE
I am aweary, give me leave awhile.                                                           25
Fie, how my bones ache. What a jaunt have I!

JULIET
I would thou hadst my bones and I thy news.
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak, good, good Nurse, speak.

NURSE
Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay a while?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?                                                  30

JULIET
How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that,                                               35
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?

NURSE
Well, you have made a simple choice. You know
not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he. Though
his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels all                    40
men’s; and for a hand and a foot and a body, though
they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare.
He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll warrant him
as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve God.
What, have you dined at home?                                                                45

JULIET
No, no. But all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage, what of that?

NURSE
Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back a’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!                                   50
Beshrew your heart for sending me about
To catch my death with jauncing up and down.

JULIET
I’faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?

NURSE
Your love says, like an honest gentleman,                                               55
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
And, I warrant, a virtuous – Where is your mother?

JULIET
Where is my mother! Why, she is within.
Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!
‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman’,                                              60
‘Where is your mother!’

NURSE
————————O God’s Lady, dear,
Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.
Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.

JULIET
Here’s such a coil! Come, what says Romeo?                                       65

Beat:


NURSE
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET
I have.

NURSE
Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;
There stays a husband to make you a wife.
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;                               70
They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,                                                  75
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go, I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.

JULIET
Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.

(Exeunt.)

Pronunciation +

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

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