Romeo and Juliet. Othello / Ромео и Джульетта. Отелло, стр. 1

William Shakespeare / Уильям Шекспир

Romeo and Juliet. Othello / Ромео и Джульетта. Отелло

© Матвеев С.А., адаптация текста

© ООО «Издательство АСТ», 2020

Romeo and Juliet

Once upon a time there lived in Verona two great ancient families named the Montagues [1] and the Capulets [2]. Two households, both alike in dignity. They were both rich, and the city of Verona was divided by hatred. There was an old feud between them. Frequent fights took place between members of the two most powerful families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Even a servant of the house of the Capulets could not pass a servant of the house of the Montagues. Rude and unpleasant things, which they saying about each other, often ended in a fight. “The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.”

So street fights and duels were always growing out of these families. Moreover, frequent fights took place between them and the Prince of Verona [3], who ruled the city. But the Prince could do nothing to end the old dispute.

The son of Lord Montague was very unhappy because he was in love. He loved a nice girl called Rosaline [4], but his love gave him no joy, only dull pain and despair. His lady would not listen to his prayers and did not return his love. Young and passionate Romeo spent many sleepless nights thinking of his beloved Rosaline, but she continued to ignore him.

On a Sunday evening two of Capulet’s men were walking the streets of Verona. Suddenly they saw two servants wearing the livery of Montague coming towards them. They drew their swords and eyed each other, neither side quite daring to begin the fight until Capulet’s men saw Benvolio [5] (Romeo’s cousin), one of their master’s kinsmen, approaching their way. So with a great show of boldness they began to attack. Benvolio sternly bade them put up their swords. But before he had ended this quarrel, Tybalt [6], a young man of the house of Capulet, was behind him with rapier drawn. This Tybalt was a fiery soul, an eager duelist, and very skilful with his rapier. When Benvolio saw Tybalt, he asked him to be peaceful and help him to end the fray. But Tybalt sneered at him.

“What?” said he. “Talk of peace with your sword drawn? I hate the word peace as much as I hate hell, all Montagues, and you.”

Such insults were too much for Benvolio, and in a moment the fight began. At the sound of the fight the citizens came running out of their houses, eager to part them or to join in; and soon there was a fierce battle up and down the streets of Verona as more and more joined in on one side or the other. Even old Capulet, aroused by the cries, came out, with his wife following and trying to drag him back; and before long old Montague and his wife also were cheering on their own household: and abusing the Capulets.

Reports of the fray soon reached the Prince, who called for his horses and soldiers and galloped down to restore order. At the sight of the Prince the brawlers were suddenly quiet. They lowered their weapons and stood sullenly looking at each other. The Prince called Capulet and Montague before him, and spoke to them in anger.

“Three times,” he said, “you, Capulet, and you, Montague, disturbed the quiet of our streets with your brawls. If ever you disturb the peace again you will pay for it with your lives. “

He commanded Capulet to go with him, and all the rest to return peaceably back to their homes. When quiet was restored Montague asked Benvolio how the quarrel had started.

“Some of Capulet’s servants,” he replied, “were already fighting with some of yours as I approached. I drew my sword to part them, when Tybalt came at me; and so we fell to fighting, and more and more came out to join one side or the other, till the Prince himself came.”

“Where is my son Romeo?” asked Lady Montague. “I am glad he was not in this brawl.”

“Madam,” replied Benvolio, “an hour before sunrise Romeo rose and went walking by himself, sad and moody.”

“He would do this many mornings,” said Montague, “but when the sun is up back he goes to his chamber, locks the door, draws the curtains, and sits thus in darkness.”

“Do you know the cause of his sadness, uncle?” asked Benvolio.

“No,” said Montague, “though I have asked him and his friends; but he keeps his sorrows to himself so close and secretly that we can neither find the cause.”

At this they saw Romeo himself slowly coming towards them. So Montague and his wife, hoping that perhaps a young friend might succeed where parents had failed, went into the house, leaving Benvolio to speak with their son.

Benvolio soon discovered Romeo’s trouble: he was in love.

“Why, then,” said Benvolio, “forget to think of her.”

He was trying to persuade Romeo to forget Rosaline.

“Teach me how to forget,” answered Romeo pitifully.

“Look at other ladies,” said Benvolio. “Think about other faces.”

But Romeo refused. Benvolio was still trying to lift him out of his melancholy mood when a servant accosted them. He was carrying invitations to a grand party which his master was going to give.

“I pray you, sir,” said he to Romeo, “can you read anything you see?”

“Yes,” replied Romeo, “if I know the letters and the language.”

So the man handed Romeo a paper. It was a list of names, which Romeo read out for him.

“‘Signior Martino and his wife and daughters;

County Anselmo and his beauteous sisters;

The lady widow of Utruvio;

Signior Placentio and his lovely nieces;

Mercutio and his brother Valentine;

Mine uncle Capulet, his wife, and daughters;

My fair niece Rosaline and Livia;

Signior Valentio and his cousin Tybalt;

Lucio and the lively Helena’.

To what feast are these invited?” he asked

“To supper,” said the man.

“Where?” asked Romeo.

“To master’s house,” said the man. “My master is the great rich Capulet, and if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a cup of wine.”

But the man was indeed speaking with the only son of Montague himself.

“The fair Rosaline,” said Benvolio, “whom you love so, is going to this feast, with all the beauties of Verona. Go yourself; compare her face with some others that I’ll show you, and your lady will seem like a crow beside a swan. You’ll see many beautiful women there and then perhaps you’ll forget your Rosaline.”

Romeo would not believe it, but he consented to go:

“Oh no, I can never forget her, but I’ll go to that party because I’ll see my beloved Rosaline there!”

Meanwhile in old Capulet’s house all was bustle and excitement, and not only because of the feast. Capulet had only one child, a daughter called Juliet; and Count Paris [7], a very suitable young nobleman, approached Capulet to ask that Juliet might be his wife.

“She is very young,” said Capulet, “she is not even fourteen; it will be time enough in two years. Wait.”

“Others at her age are married,” replied Paris.

“And too soon married,” said Capulet. “Tonight I hold a feast, and many of our Verona beauties will be there; you too will be most welcome.”

Paris accepted this invitation eagerly, and old Capulet went off to tell his news to his wife and to bid her prepare Juliet. So Lady Capulet sent Juliet’s old nurse to fetch her.

When Juliet came her mother began to talk to her, though the nurse, who was a very garrulous old woman, ever ready to tell some tale of Juliet as a baby, kept interrupting. At last Lady Capulet asked Juliet whether she had considered marriage.