A monologue from Act I, Scene iii
by: William Shakespeare
|NOTE: Romeo and Juliet was originally published in quarto in 1597. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.
- NURSE: Even or odd, of all the 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 she shall be fourteen;
- That shall she, marry; I remember it well.
- 'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;
- And she was weaned (I never shall forget it),
- Of all the days of the year, upon that day;
- For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
- Sitting in the sun under the dovehouse wall.
- My lord and you were then at Mantua.
- Nay, I do bear a brain. But, as I said,
- When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
- Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,
- To see it tetchy  and fall out with the dug!
- Shake, quoth the dovehouse!  'Twas no need, I trow ,
- To bid me trudge .
- And since that time it is eleven years,
- For then she could stand high-lone ; nay, by th' 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 holidam ,
- 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.'
2 The dovehouse shook from the earthquake.
4 run away
7 a holy place, as a church or sanctuary; upon my word