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Romeo and Juliet

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130

And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out,
And makes himself an artificial night.
Black and portentous must this humor prove
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
He locks himself up alone in his bedroom, shuts his windows to keep out the beautiful daylight, and makes himself an artificial night. This mood of his is going to bring bad news, unless someone smart can fix what’s bothering him.

BENVOLIO
My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
BENVOLIO
My noble uncle, do you know why he acts this way?

MONTAGUE
I neither know it nor can learn of him.
MONTAGUE
I don’t know, and he won’t tell me.

135
BENVOLIO
Have you importuned him by any means?
BENVOLIO
Have you done everything you could to make him tell you the reason?





140




145
MONTAGUE
Both by myself and many other friends.
But he, his own affections' counselor,
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 same.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow.
We would as willingly give cure as know.
MONTAGUE
I’ve tried, and many of our friends have tried to make him talk, but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He doesn’t want any friend but himself, and though I don’t know whether he’s a good friend to himself, he certainly keeps his own secrets. He’s like a flower bud that won’t open itself up to the world because it’s been poisoned from within by parasites. If we could only find out why he’s sad, we’d be as eager to help him as we were to learn the reason for his sadness.
Enter ROMEO
ROMEO enters.


BENVOLIO
See, where he comes. So please you, step aside.
I’ll know his grievance or be much denied.
BENVOLIO
Look—here he comes. If you don’t mind, please step aside. He’ll either have to tell me what’s wrong or else tell me no over and over.


MONTAGUE
I would thou wert so happy by thy stay
To hear true shrift.—Come, madam, let’s away.
MONTAGUE
I hope you’re lucky enough to hear the true story by sticking around. (to his wife) Come, madam, let’s go.
Exeunt MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE
MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE exit.