Lady Capulet watched the two men. Her husband stood at the window, his hand on Paris’ shoulder.
‘With all these sad things we haven’t had time to persuade our daughter. Look here! She loved her cousin Tybalt dearly, and so did I.’ He sighed. ‘Well, we all have to die.’
He looked apprehensively at his wife, who was reclining on a sofa. ‘It’s very late,’ he continued, his voice low. ‘She won’t come down tonight. I must say, if you hadn’t been here I would have been in bed long ago.’
Paris thought it best to leave. ‘This is the wrong time for such matters,’ he said. He went and stood before Lady Capulet. ‘Good night, Madam, Give your daughter my compliments.’
‘I will , said Lady Capulet. ‘And I’ll let you know what she says early tomorrow. She’s heartbroken tonight.’
As Paris was about to leave Capulet called him back. ‘On second thoughts, I’ll take the risk and say yes. She’ll do as I tell her.’ He snapped his fingers. ‘Wife, go and see her in the morning and tell her about my son Paris’ love for her. And tell her – listen – tell her next Wednesday. Wait, What’s today?’
‘Monday,’ said Paris,
‘Monday?’ Capulet laughed. ‘Well Wednesday is too soon. Thursday. Make it Thursday. Tell her she’s getting married to this noble earl on Thursday.’ Capulet looked sharply at Paris. ‘Will you be ready then? Is it too soon?’ He didn’t wait for an answer.
‘We won’t make a fuss about it – just a friend or two. Because, listen. Tybalt being murdered so recently, it would be disrespectful if we celebrated too much. So we’ll just have about a half a dozen friends and that‘ll be it. But what do you say to Thursday?’
Paris took Capulet’s hands in his own, ‘My Lord, I wish tomorrow was Thursday.’
‘Well off you go then. Thursday it is.’ He saw Paris out then turned to his wife. ‘Go to Juliet, wife,’ he said. ‘Prepare her for her wedding day. Light!’ he shouted. ‘Hey! Light to my room!’ He followed the servant, muttering. ‘It’s so late that we should really call it morning.’