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from English Grammar Today

Intonation describes how the voice rises and falls in speech. The three main
patterns of intonation in English are: falling intonation, rising intonation and
fall-rise intonation.

Falling intonation
Falling intonation describes how the voice falls on the final stressed syllable
of a phrase or a group of words. A falling intonation is very common in wh-

Wheres the nearest post-office?

What time does the film finish?

We also use falling intonation when we say something definite, or when we

want to be very clear about something:

I think we are completely lost.

OK, heres the magazine you wanted.

See also:
Questions: wh-questions

Rising intonation
Rising intonation describes how the voice rises at the end of a sentence.
Rising intonation is common in yes-no questions:

I hear the Health Centre is expanding. So, is that the new doctor?

Are you thirsty?

What is intonation?

Intonation and stress are closely linked. In fact it's impossible to

dissociate them. They go hand in hand.

Intonation is about how we say things, rather than what we say, the
way the voice rises and falls when speaking, in other words the
music of the language.

Just as words have stressed syllables, sentences have regular

patterns of stressed words. In addition, the voice tends to rise, fall or
remain flat depending on the meaning or feeling we want to convey
(surprise, anger, interest, boredom, gratitude, etc.). Intonation
therefore indicates the mood of the speaker.

There are two basic patterns of intonation in English: falling

intonation and rising intonation.
In the following examples a downward arrow () indicates a fall in
intonation and an upward arrow () indicates a rise in intonation.

Again, these are not rules but patterns generally used by native
speakers of English.
Just remember that content words are stressed, and intonation adds
attitude or emotion.

This explanation on intonation is intended to serve as a general

guide to help learners.
It should in no way make them unnecessarily anxious!

It should be remembered that a written explanation can never be a

substitute for a 'live' conversation with a native speaker.
Attitudinal intonation is something that is best acquired through
talking and listening to English speakers.

Falling Intonation ()
(The pitch of the voice falls at the end of the sentence.)

Falling intonation is the most common intonation pattern in English.

It is commonly found in statements, commands, wh-questions
(information questions),
confirmatory question tags and exclamations.


o Nice to meet you.

o Ill be back in a minute.

o She doesnt live here anymore.

o Dad wants to change his car.

o Here is the weather forecast.

o Cloudy weather is expected at the end of the week.

o We should work together more often

o I'm going for a walk in the park.


o Write your name here.

o Show me what youve written.

o Leave it on the desk.

o Take that picture down.

o Throw that out.

o Put your books on the table.

o Take your hands out of your pockets.

Wh- questions (requesting information.)

(questions beginning with 'who', 'what', 'why', 'where', 'when',
'which', and 'how')

o What country do you come from?

o Where do you work?

o Which of them do you prefer?

o When does the shop open?

o How many books have you bought?

o Which coat is yours?

o Whose bag is this?

Questions Tags that are statements requesting

confirmation rather than questions.
Not all tag questions are really questions.
Some of them merely ask for confirmation or invite agreement,
in which case we use a falling tone at the end.

o He thinks hes so clever, doesnt he?

o She's such a nuisance, isn't she?

o I failed the test because I didn't revise, did I?

o It doesn't seem to bother him much, does it?


o How nice of you!

o That's just what I need!

o You don't say!

o What a beautiful voice!

o That's a surprise!

Rising Intonation ()
(The pitch of the voice rises at the end of a sentence.)
Rising intonation invites the speaker to continue talking.
It is normally used with yes/no questions, and question tags that are
real questions.

Yes/no Questions
(Questions that can be answered by 'yes' or 'no'.)

o Do you like your new teacher?

o Have you finished already?

o May I borrow your dictionary?

o Do you have any magazines?

o Do you sell stamps?

Questions tags that show uncertainty and require an

answer (real questions).

o We've met already, haven't we?

o You like fish, don't you?

o You're a new student aren't you?

o The view is beautiful, isn't it?

We sometimes use a combination of rising and falling

intonation in the same sentence.
The combination is called Rise-Fall or Fall-Rise intonation.

Rise-Fall Intonation ()
(The intonation rises and then falls.)

We use rise-fall intonation for choices, lists, unfinished thoughts and

conditional sentences.

Choices (alternative questions.)

o Are you having soup or salad?

o Is John leaving on Thursday or Friday?

o Does he speak German or French?

o Is your name Ava or Eva?

Lists (rising, rising, rising, falling)

Intonation falls on the last item to show that the list is finished.

o We've got apples, pears, bananas and oranges

o The sweater comes in blue, white pink and black

o I like football, tennis, basketball and volleyball.

o I bought a tee-shirt, a skirt and a handbag.

Unfinished thoughts (partial statements)

In the responses to the following questions, the rise-fall
intonation indicates reservation.
The speaker hesitates to fully express his/her thoughts.

o Do you like my new handbag? Well the leather is

nice... ( but I don't like it.)

o What was the meal like? Hmm, the fish was good...
(but the rest wasn't great).

o So you both live in Los Angeles? Well Alex does ... (but
I don't).

Conditional sentences
(The tone rises in the first clause and falls gradually in the
second clause.)

o If he calls, ask him to leave a message.

o Unless he insists, I'm not going to go.

o If you have any problems, just contact us.

Fall-Rise Intonation ()
(The voice falls and rises usually within one word.

The main function of fall-rise intonation is to show that the speaker

is not certain of the answer they are giving to a question, or is
reluctant to reply (as opposed to a falling tone used when there is no
hesitation). It is also used in polite requests or suggestions.


o So you'd be willing to confirm that? ...Well ... I suppose

so ...

o You didn't see him on Monday? I don't quite

remember ...

Politeness-Doubt-Uncertainty: (You are not sure what the

answer might be.)

o Perhaps we could visit the place?

o Should we copy the list?

o Do you think it's allowed?

Tips for learners:

A good exercise to improve pronunciation would be to listen to short

recordings of everyday dialogues and then 'shadow read' the script,
or read it along with the tape using the same stress and intonation
as the speaker. Students can repeat this exercise until their voice
sounds similar to the voice on the recording.

It is also a good idea to note down or record some examples of

everyday conversations (either from real life or from film or
television dialogues) and repeat them as often as possible, copying
the stress and intonation of the speakers.

Modern English songs are also a useful way of learning English

stress, rhythm and intonation.
To begin with, try singing (or saying loudly) the lyrics of songs that
you find easy to understand.

You will be surprised how quickly your pronunciation will improve

with the help of audio materials.
It will be a reward for all your hard work!



Repetition of an initial consonant sound.

A moist young moon hung above the mist of a

neighboring meadow.

Guinness is good for you.

Good men are gruff and grumpy, cranky, crabbed, and



Repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of

successive clauses or verses.

We shall go on to the end.

We shall fight with growing confidence and growing
strength in the air.

We shall depend our island.


The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced


Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing

Everybody doesnt like something, but nobody doesnt

like Sara Lee.

Hillary has soldiered on, damned if she does, damned if

she doesnt, like most powerful women, expected to be
tough as nails and warm as toast at the same time.


Breaking off discourse to address some absent person or

thing, some abstract quality, an inanimate object, or a
nonexistent character.

O western wind, when wilt thou blow

That the small rain down can rain?

Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone,Without a dream

in my heart,Without a love on my own.

Death be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,For, those,
whom thou thinkst, thou dost overthrow,Die not, poore
death, nor yet canst thou kill me.


Identity or similarity in sound between internal vowels in

neighboring words.

Those images that yet

Fresh images beget,

That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.

If I bleat when I speak its because I just got . . .


The spider skins lie on their sides, translucent and

ragged, their legs drying in knots.


A verbal pattern in which the second half of an

expression is balanced against the first but with the parts

Nice to see you, to see you, nice!

You forget what you want to remember, and you

remember what you want to forget.

In the end, the true test is not the speeches a president

delivers; its whether the president delivers on the

The substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered
offensively explicit.

Well see you when you get back from image

enhancement camp.

Youve got a prime figure. You really have, you know.


An extravagant statement; the use of exaggerated terms

for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect.

I was helpless. I did not know what in the world to do. I

was quaking from head to foot, and could have hung my
hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far.

He snorted and hit me in the solar plexus.

I bent over and took hold of the room with both hands
and spun it. When I had it nicely spinning I gave it a full
swing and hit myself on the back of the head with the


The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal

meaning. A statement or situation where the meaning is
contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the

Gentlemen, you cant fight in here! This is the War


He is as smart as a soap dish.

I have no doubt your theatrical performance will receive
the praise it so richly deserves.


A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in

which an affirmative is expressed by negating its

The graves a fine a private place,

But none, I think, do there embrace.


An implied comparison between two unlike things that

actually have something important in common.

Love is a lie.

Life is going through time.

You are the light in my life.


A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is

substituted for another with which it is closely associated;
also, the rhetorical strategy of describing something
indirectly by referring to things around it.

Fear gives wings.

Detroit is still hard at work on an SUV that runs on rain
forest trees and panda blood.

I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches.

They didnt do me any good. All they did was make me
think of Silver Wig, and I never saw her again.


The use of words that imitate the sounds associated with

the objects or actions they refer to.

Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong.

The little train rumbled over the tracks.

Brrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinng! An alarm clock clanged in the

dark and silent room.

Im getting married in the morning!

Ding dong! the bells are gonna chime.


A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory

terms appear side by side.

How is it possible to have a civil war?

The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.

A yawn may be defined as a silent yell.


A statement that appears to contradict itself.

The swiftest traveler is he that goes afoot.

If you wish to preserve your secret, wrap it up in



A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or

abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities.

Oreo: Milks favorite cookie.

The road isnt built that can make it breathe hard!


A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the

same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound
of different words.

A vulture boards a plane, carrying two dead possums.

The attendant looks at him and says, Im sorry, sir, only
one carrion allowed per passenger.

Kings worry about a receding heir line.


A stated comparison (usually formed with like or as)

between two fundamentally dissimilar things that have
certain qualities in common.

Good coffee is like friendship: rich and warm and

You know life, life is rather like opening a tin of sardines.
Were all of us looking for the key.


A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent

the whole (for example, ABCsfor alphabet) or the whole
for a part (England won the World Cup in 1966).

The sputtering economy could make the difference if

youre trying to get a deal on a new set of wheels.

General Motors announced cutbacks.


A figure of speech in which a writer or a speaker

deliberately makes a situation seem less important or
serious than it is.

The graves a fine and private place,But none,I think,do

there embrace.

I am just going outside and may be some time.

Romeo and Juliet: Annotated Balcony Scene, Act 2, Scene 2
Please see the bottom of the main scene page for more explanatory notes.

Scene II. Capulet's Garden.

[Enter Romeo.]

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

[Juliet appears above at a window.]

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love! (10)
O that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing; what of that?
Her eye discourses, I will answer it.
I am too bold: 'tis not to me she speaks.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp. Her eyes in heaven (20)
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand
O that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!

Ay me!

She speaks.
O, speak again, bright angel, for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,
As is a winged messenger of heaven (30)
Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-puffing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

[Aside.] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy: (40)
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name, which is no part of thee, (50)
Take all myself.

I take thee at thy word.
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptis'd;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night,
So stumblest on my counsel?

By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am:
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
Because it is an enemy to thee. (60)
Had I it written, I would tear the word.

My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?

Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.

How cam'st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.

With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls, (70)
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do, that dares love attempt:
Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.

If they do see thee, they will murder thee.

Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
Than twenty of their swords. Look thou but sweet
And I am proof against their enmity.

I would not for the world they saw thee here.

I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes,
And, but thou love me, let them find me here; (80)
My life were better ended by their hate
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.

By whose direction found'st thou out this place?

By love, that first did prompt me to enquire.
He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes.
I am no pilot, yet, wert thou as far
As that vast shore wash'd with the furthest sea,
I should adventure for such merchandise.
Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face,
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek (90)
For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight.
Fain would I dwell on form; fain, fain deny
What I have spoke. But farewell compliment.
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say 'Ay',
And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear'st,
Thou mayst prove false. At lovers' perjuries,
They say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully:
Or if thou thinkest I am too quickly won,
I'll frown, and be perverse, and say thee nay, (100)
So thou wilt woo: but else, not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond;
And therefore thou mayst think my 'haviour light:
But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true
Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
I should have been more strange, I must confess,
But that thou overheard'st, ere I was 'ware,
My true-love passion: therefore pardon me;
And not impute this yielding to light love
Which the dark night hath so discovered. (110)

Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow,
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops --

O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

What shall I swear by?
Do not swear at all.
Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
Which is the god of my idolatry,
And I'll believe thee. (120)

If my heart's dear love --

Well, do not swear: although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract to-night:
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say 'It lightens.' Sweet, good night!
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart as that within my breast! (130)
O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?
The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.
I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:
And yet I would it were to give again.
Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?

But to be frank, and give it thee again.
And yet I wish but for the thing I have:
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee, (140)
The more I have, for both are infinite.
Nurse calls within
I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!
Anon, good nurse! Sweet Montague, be true.
Stay but a little, I will come again.

Exit, above.

O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard.
Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.

Re-enter JULIET, above.

Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honourable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, (150)
By one that I'll procure to come to thee,
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.

[Within] Madam!

I come, anon.--But if thou mean'st not well,
I do beseech thee--

[Within] Madam!

By and by, I come:--
To cease thy suit, and leave me to my grief: (160)
To-morrow will I send.

So thrive my soul--

A thousand times good night!

Exit, above.

A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.
Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from
their books,
But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.


Re-enter JULIET, above.

Hist! Romeo, hist! O, for a falconer's voice,
To lure this tassel-gentle back again!
Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud; (170)
Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies,
And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine,
With repetition of my Romeo's name.

It is my soul that calls upon my name:
How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night,
Like softest music to attending ears!

My dear?

At what o'clock to-morrow
Shall I send to thee? (180)

At the hour of nine.

I will not fail: 'tis twenty years till then.
I have forgot why I did call thee back.

Let me stand here till thou remember it.

I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
Remembering how I love thy company.

And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget,
Forgetting any other home but this.

'Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone:
And yet no further than a wanton's bird; (190)
Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.
I would I were thy bird.

Sweet, so would I:
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! parting is such
sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. (200)

Exit above

Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!
Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!
Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell,
His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell.


Romeo and Juliet Scenes

Verona. A public place.

(Sampson; Gregory; Abram; Balthasar; Benvolio; Tybalt; Citizens; Capulet; Lady Capulet; Montague; Lady
Montague; Prince Escalus; Romeo)
Enter Sampson and Gregory, with swords and bucklers, of the house of Capulet.

Gregory, on my word, well not carry coals.

No, for then we should be colliers.

I mean, and we be in choler, well draw.

Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of collar.

I strike quickly, being movd.

But thou art not quickly movd to strike.

A dog of the house of Montague moves me.

To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand; therefore, if thou art movd, thou runst

A dog of that house shall move me to stand! I will take the wall of any man or maid of

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

Tis true, and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall;
therefore I will push Montagues men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.

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

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

The heads of the maids?

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

They must take it in sense that feel it.

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

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

Enter two other servingmen: Abram and Balthasar.

My naked weapon is out. Quarrel, I will back thee.

How, turn thy back and run?

Fear me not.

No, marry, I fear thee!

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

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

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

Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

I do bite my thumb, sir.

Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?


Aside to Gregory

Is the law of our side if I say ay?


Aside to Sampson


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

Do you quarrel, sir?

Quarrel, sir? No, sir.

But if you do, sir, I am for you. I serve as good a man as you.

No better?

Well, sir.

Enter Benvolio.

Say better, here comes one of my masters kinsmen.
Yes, better, sir.

You lie.

Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy washing blow.

They fight.

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

Beats down their swords.

Enter Tybalt.

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

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

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 three or four Citizens with clubs or partisans.

Citizens of Verona
Clubs, bills, and partisans! Strike! Beat them down!
Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!

Enter old Capulet in his gown, and his wife, Lady Capulet.
What noise is this? Give me my long sword ho!

Lady Capulet
A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?

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

Enter old Montague and his wife, Lady Montague.

Thou villain Capulet!Hold me not, let me go.

Lady Montague
Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.

Enter Prince Escalus with his Train.

Prince Escalus
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbor-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 mistempered 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 disturbd the quiet of our streets,
And made Veronas ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments
To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Cankred with peace, to part your cankred 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 farther 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.

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

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 prepard,
Which, as he breathd defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head and cut the winds,
Who, nothing hurt withal, hissd 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 today?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.

Madam, an hour before the worshippd sun
Peerd forth the golden window of the east,
A troubled mind drive me to walk abroad,
Where, underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from this city 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,
Which then most sought where most might not be found,
Being one too many by my weary self,
Pursued my humor not pursuing his,
And gladly shunnd who gladly fled from me.

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

My noble uncle, do you know the cause?

I neither know it, nor can learn of him.

Have you importund him by any means?

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.
See where he comes. So please you step aside,
Ill know his grievance, or be much denied.

I would thou wert so happy by thy stay
To hear true shrift. Come, madam, lets away.

Exeunt Montague and Lady.

Good morrow, cousin.

Is the day so young?

But new strook nine.

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

It was. What sadness lengthens Romeos hours?

Not having that which, having, makes them short.

In love?


Of love?

Out of her favor where I am in love.

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

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:
Heres 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,
Misshapen 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?

No, coz, I rather weep.

Good heart, at what?

At thy good hearts oppression.

Why, such is loves transgression.
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
Which thou wilt propagate to have it pressd
With more of thine. This love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs,
Being purgd, a fire sparkling in lovers eyes,
Being vexd, a sea nourishd with loving tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.
Soft, I will go along;
And if you leave me so, you do me wrong.

Tut, I have lost myself, I am not here:
This is not Romeo, hes some other where.

Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?

What, shall I groan and tell thee?

Groan? Why, no;
But sadly tell me, who?

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

I aimd so near when I supposd you lovd.

A right good mark-man! And shes fair I love.

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

Well, in that hit you miss: shell not be hit
With Cupids arrow, she hath Dians wit;
And in strong proof of chastity well armd,
From Loves weak childish bow she lives uncharmd.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide th 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.

Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?

She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;
For beauty starvd 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.

Be ruld by me, forget to think of her.

O, teach me how I should forget to think.

By giving liberty unto thine eyes:
Examine other beauties.

Tis the way
To call hers (exquisite) in question more.
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies brows,
Being black, puts us in mind they hide the fair.
He that is strooken 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 passd that passing fair?
Farewell, thou canst not teach me to forget.

Ill pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.

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