Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 5





           Enter JULIET.

      JULIET
  1   The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;
  2   In half an hour she promised to return.
  3   Perchance she cannot meet him: that's not so.
  4   O, she is lame! Love's heralds should be thoughts,
  5   Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams,
6. louring: scowling.
7. nimble-pinion'd doves draw Love:

  6   Driving back shadows over louring hills:
  7   Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw Love,
  8   And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
  9   Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
 10   Of this day's journey, and from nine till twelve
 11   Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
 12   Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
13. ball: Juliet probably has a tennis ball in mind, as can be seen in the next line. 14. bandy: throw back and forth.
 13   She would be as swift in motion as a ball;
 14   My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
15. his: his words
 15   And his to me:
16. feign as: act as though.
 16   But old folks — many feign as they were dead;
 17   Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.

           Enter NURSE [and PETER].

 18   O God, she comes! O honey nurse, what news?
 19   Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

      Nurse
20. gate: From the use of the word "gate," and Juliet's later statement that her mother is "within," we may deduce that this scene takes place in a garden or orchard, perhaps the same one in which Romeo stood and gazed at Juliet.
 20   Peter, stay at the gate.

           [Exit PETER.]

      JULIET
 21   Now, good sweet nurse,—O Lord, why look'st thou sad?
 22   Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily;
 23   If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
 24   By playing it to me with so sour a face.

      Nurse
25. give me leave awhile: let me alone for a while. 26. jaunce: jouncing, jolting journey.
 25   I am a-weary, give me leave awhile:
 26   Fie, how my bones ache! what a jaunce have I had!

      JULIET
 27   I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news:
 28   Nay, come, I pray thee, speak; good, good nurse, speak.

      Nurse
29. stay: wait.
 29   Jesu, what haste? can you not stay awhile?
 30   Do you not see that I am out of breath?

      JULIET
 31   How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath
 32   To say to me that thou art out of breath?
 33   The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
 34   Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
 35   Is thy news good, or bad? answer to that;
36. stay the circumstance: wait for the details.
 36   Say either, and I'll stay the circumstance:
 37   Let me be satisfied, is't good or bad?

      Nurse
38. simple: foolish. In jest, the Nurse here says the opposite of what she thinks, which is that Juliet has chosen the most handsome man in the world.
 38   Well, you have made a simple choice; you know not
 39   how to choose a man: Romeo! no, not he; though his
 40   face be better than any man's, yet his leg excels all
 41   men's; and for a hand, and a foot, and a body, though
42. be not to be talked on: are nothing to talk about.
 42   they be not to be talked on, yet they are past compare.
 43   He is not the flower of courtesy, but, I'll warrant him,
 44   as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench; serve God.
 45   What, have you dined at home?

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

      Nurse
 48   Lord, how my head aches! what a head have I!
 49   It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
50. a t' other side: on the other side. The Nurse is complaining that she is tortured from two sides, by a headache and a backache. 51. Beshrew your heart: a curse on your heart. This is a very mild oath, and the Nurse is just kidding.
52. jaunting up and down: i.e., running all over.
 50   My back a t' other side,—O, my back, my back!
 51   Beshrew your heart for sending me about,
 52   To catch my death with jaunting up and down!

      JULIET
 53   I' faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
 54   Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says my love?

      Nurse
55. honest: honorable.
 55   Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
 56   And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
 57   And, I warrant, a virtuous,—Where is your mother?

      JULIET
 58   Where is my mother! why, she is within;
 59   Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!
 60   "Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
 61   'Where is your mother?'"

      Nurse
 61                                       O God's lady dear!
62. hot: impatient. marry, come up, I trow: i.e., indeed, you should straighten up and calm down, I'm sure. 63. poultice: medicinal salve.
 62   Are you so hot? marry, come up, I trow;
 63   Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
 64   Henceforward do your messages yourself.

      JULIET
65. coil: fuss.
 65   Here's such a coil! Come, what says Romeo?

      Nurse
66. leave: permission. shrift: confession.
 66   Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

      JULIET
 67   I have.

      Nurse
68. hie: hasten.
 68   Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence' cell;
 69   There stays a husband to make you a wife.
70. wanton:
 70   Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks,
71. They'll be in scarlet straight at any news: your cheeks always turn scarlet when something excites you.
 71   They'll be in scarlet straight at any news.
 72   Hie you to church; I must another way,
 73   To fetch a ladder, by the which your love
74. climb a bird's nest:
75. in your delight: for your delight.
76. bear the burden: (1) do all the work; (2) support the weight of a man.
77. dinner: mid-day meal. hie: hurry.
 74   Must climb a bird's nest soon when it is dark.
 75   I am the drudge and toil in your delight,
 76   But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
 77   Go; I'll to dinner: hie you to the cell.

      JULIET
78. high fortune: [tremendous] good luck. Honest: loyal, reliable, trustworthy.
 78   Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse, farewell.

           Exeunt.