Shakespeare’s Narrative Sources: Italian Novellas and Their European Dissemination

Tragical History – Diplomatic Edition 1562




































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































                        T H E    T R A G I C A L L    H I S=                       

                        torye of Romeus and Iuliet , writ=

                             ten firſt in Italian by Bandell,

                               and nowe in Engliſhe by

                                             Ar. Br.

                       ☞ Nil violentum diuturnum ☜


                      ☞ [I hint at liberty and like my life] ☜

                            ☞ [nothing continueth longe in any




                           In aedibus Richardi Tottelli.

                                     Cum Privilegio.

                                      ☞ [. . .] ☜


☞ [Maria Biancha] ☜

                To the Reader.

T                           He God of all glorye

                            created vniverſallye

                            all creatures , to ſette

                            forth hiſ prayſe , both

                            thoſe whiche we eſ=

                            teme profitable in vſe

and pleaſure,and alſo thoſe , whiche we

accompte noyſome, and lothſome.  But

principally he hath appointed man , the

chiefeſt inſtrument of his honour , not

onely, for miniſtryng matter thereof in

man himſelf : but as well in gatheryng

out of other ,the occaſions of publiſhing

Godſ goodnes, wiſdome,& power. And

in like ſort , euerye dooyng of man hath

by Goddes dyſpenſacion ſome thynge,

whereby God may,and ought to be ho=

nored.So the good doyngeſ of the good,

& the euill actes of the wicked, the hap=

py ſucceſſe of the bleſſed , and the wo=

full procedinges of the miſerable , doe in

diuers ſorte ſound one prayſe of God.

And as eche flower yeldeth hony to the

                    To the Reader.

bee : ſo euery exaumple miniſtreth good

leſsons,to the well diſpoſed mynd . The

glorious triumphe of the continent man

vpon the luſtes of wanton fleſhe, incou=

rageth men to honeſt reſtraynt of wyld

affections  the ſhamefull and wretched

endeſ of ſuch,as haue yelded their liber=

tie thrall to fowle deſires,teache men to

witholde them ſelues from the hedlong

fall of looſe diſhoneſtie.  So , to lyke ef=

fect, by ſundry meanes , the good mans

exaumple byddeth men to be good , and

the euill mans miſchefe ; warneth men

not to be euyll.To this good ende , ſerue

all ill endes,of yll begynnynges.  And to

this ende (good Reader) is this tragicall

matter written , to deſcribe vnto thee

a coople of vnfortunate lovers , thral=

ling themſelues to vnhoneſt deſire,neg=

lecting the authoritie and aduiſe of pa=

rents and frends,conferring their prin=

cipall counſels with dronken goſſyppes,

and ſuperſtitious friers( the naturally

                  To the Reader.

fite inſtrumentes of vnchaſtitie ) at=

temptyng all aduentures of peryll , for

thattaynyng of their wiſhed luſt, vſyng

auriculer confeſſion ( the kay of whore=

dome,and treaſon ) for furtheraunce of

theyr purpoſe , abuſyng the honorable

name of lawefull mariage , to cloke the

ſhame of ſtolne contracts , finallye , by

all meanes of vnhoneſt lyfe , haſtyng to

moſt vnhappye death. This preſident

(good Reader )ſhallbe to thee,as the ſla=

ues of Lacedemon,  oppreſſed with ex=

ceſſe of drinke ,  deformed and altered

from likenes of men,both in mynde,and

vſe of body, were to the free borne chil=

dren , ſo ſhewed to them by their pa=

rentes , to thintent to rayſe in them an

hateful lothying of ſo filthy beaſtlynes.

Hereunto if you applye it , ye ſhall de=

liuer my dooing from offence, and profit

your ſelues. Though I ſaw the ſame ar=

gument lately ſet foorth on ſtage with

more commendation  , then I can looke

                    To the Reader.

for:  (being there much  better ſet forth

  then I haue or can dooe ) yet the ſame

    matter penned aſ it is , may serue to

     lyke good effect,if the readers do

       brynge with them  lyke good

        myndes,to conſider it. which

           hath the more incoura=

            ged me to publishe it,

                   ſuche as it is.

                       Ar. Br.

                    To the Reader.

A      mid the desert rockes, the mountaine beare,

        Bringes forth vnformed, vnlyke her selfe her yong:

        Nought els but lumpes of fleshe withouten heare,

        In tract of time, her often lycking tong

Geues them such shape, as doth (ere long) delight

        The lookers on: Or when one dogge doth shake

        With moosled mouth, the ioyntes too weake to fight.

         Or when vpright he standeth by his stake,

(A noble creast ,) or wylde in sauage wood,

        A dosyn dogges one holdeth at a baye,

        With gaping mouth, and stayned iawes with blood,

        Or els, when from the farthest heauens, they

The lode stares are, the wery pilates marke,

        In stormes to gyde to hauen the tossed barke.

                                                   Right so my muse

        Hath (now at length) with trauell long brought forth

        Her tender whelpes, her diuers kindes of style,

        Such as they are, or nought, or little worth,

        Which carefull trauell, and a longer whyle,

May better shape. The eldest of them loe,

        I offer to the stake, my youthfull woorke,

        Which one reprochefull mouth might ouerthrowe:

        The rest (vnlickt as yet) a whyle shall lurke,

Tyll tyme geue strength, to meete and match in fight

        with slaunders whelpes. Then shall they tell of stryfe

        Of noble tryumphes, and deedes of martial might,

        And shall geue rules of chast and honest lyfe.

The whyle I pray that ye with fauour blame,

        Or rather not reproue the laughing game

                                        Of this my muse.

                    The Argument.

L       oue hath inflamed twayne by ſodayn ſight.

         And both do graunt the thing that both deſire

         They wed in ſhrift by counſellof a frier.

   Yong Romeus clymes fayre Juliets bower by night.

Three monthes he doth enioy his cheefe delight.

   By Tybalts rage,provoked vnto yre,

   He payeth death to Tybalt for his hyre.

   A baniſht man he ſcapes by ſecret flight.

New mariage is offred to his wyfe.

   She drinkes a drinke that ſeemes to reave her breath.

   They bury her, that ſleping yet hath lyfe.

Her huſband heares the tydinges of her death.

   He drinkes his bane.And ſhe with Romeus knyfe,

When ſhe awakes,her ſelfe(alas)ſhe  ſleath.

                    Romeus and Iuliet.

T   here is beyond the Alps,

           a towne of auncient fame,

Whoſe bright renoune yet ſhineth cleare,

         Verona men it name.

   Bylt in an happy time,

         bylt on a fertile ſoyle:

Maynteined by the heavenly fates,

         and by the towniſh toil.

   The fruitfull hilles aboue,

         the pleaſant uales belowe,

The ſilver ſtreame with channell depe,

         that through the towne doth flow:

   The ſtore of ſpringes that ſerue

         for vſe,and eke for eaſe:

And other moe commodittes

         which profite may and pleaſe.

   Eke many certaine ſignes

         of thinges betyde of olde,

To fyll the houngry eyes of thoſe

         that curiouſly beholde:

   Doe make this towne to be

         preferde aboue the reſt

Of Lumbard townes,or at the leaſt,

         compared with the beſt.

   In which while Eſcalus,

         as prince alone dyd raigne,

To reache rewarde vnto the good,

         to pay the lewde with payne.

   Alas(I rewe to thinke)

         an heauy happe befell:

Which Boccace ſkant(not my rude tong)

         were able forth to tell.

   Within my trembling hande,

         my penne doth ſhake for feare:

And on my colde amſed head,

         upright doth ſtand my heare.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   But ſith ſhe doth commaunde,

         whoſe heſt I muſt obaye,

In moorning verſe,a wofull chaunce

         to tell I will aſſaye.

   Helpe learned Pallas,helpe,

         ye muſes with your arte,

Helpe all ye damned feendes to tell,

         of ioyes retournd to ſmart.

   Helpe eke ye ſiſters three,

         my ſkilleſſe penne tindyte:

For you it cauſd which I (alas)

         unable am to wryte.

   There were two auncient ſtockes,

         which Fortune high dyd place

Aboue the reſt, indewd with welth,

         and nobler of their race.

   Loued of the common ſort,

         loued of the Prince alike:

And like vnhappy were they both,

         when fortune liſt to ſtrike.

   Whoſe prayſe with equall blaſt,

         fame in her trumpet blew:

The one was clipd Capelet,

         and thother Montagew.

   A wonted vſe it is,

         that men of likely ſorte,

(I wot not by what furye forſd)

         envye eche others porte.

   So theſe,whoſe egall ſtate

         bred enuye pale of hew,

And then, of grudging enuyes roote,

         blacke hate and rancor grewe.

   As of a little ſparke,

         oft ryſeth mighty fyre,

So of a kyndled ſparke of grudge,

         in flames flaſhe out theyr yre.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   And then theyr deadly foode,

         firſt hatched of trifling ſtryfe:

Did bathe in bloud of ſmarting woundes,

         it reued breth and lyfe.

   No legend lye I tell,

         ſcarce yet theyr eyes be drye:

That did behold the griſly ſight,

         with wet and weping eye.

   But when the prudent prince,

         who there the ſcepter helde,

So great a new diſorder in

         his common weale beheld:

   By ientyl meane he ſought,

         their choler to aſſuage:

And by perſwaſion to appeaſe,

         their blameful furious rage.

   But both his woordes and tyme,

         the prince hath ſpent in vayne:

So rooted was the inward hate,

         he loſt his buyſy payne.

   When friendly ſage aduiſe,

         ne ientyll woords auayle:

By thondring threats,and princely powere

         their courage gan he quayle.

   In hope that when he had

         the waſting flame ſuppreſt,

In time he ſhould quyte quench the ſparks

         that boornd within their breſt.

   Now whilſt thee kyndreds do

         remayne in this eſtate,

And eceh with outward frendly ſhew

         dooth hyde his inward hate:

   One Romeus,who was

         of race a Montague,

Upon whoſe tender chyn,as yet,

         no manlyke beard there grewe.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Whoſe beauty and whoſe ſhape

         ſo farre the reſt did ſtayne:

That from the cheefe of Veron youth

         he greateſt fame dyd gayne.

   Hath founde a mayde ſo fayre

          (he found ſo foule his happe)

Whoſe beauty,ſhape,and comely grace,

         did ſo his heart entrappe,

   That from his owne affayres,

         his thought ſhe did remoue:

Onely he ſought to honor her,

         to ſerue her,and to loue.

   To her he writeth oft,

         oft meſſengers are ſent:

At length (in hope of better ſpede)

         himſelfe the louer went:

   Preſent to pleade for grace,

         which abſent was not founde:

And to diſcouer to her eye

         his new receaued wounde.

   But ſhe that from her youth

         was foſtred euermore

With vertues foode,and taught in ſchole

         of wiſdomes ſkilfull lore:

   By aunſwere did cutte of

         thffections of his loue,

That he no more occaſion had

         ſo vayne a ſuite to moue.

   So ſterne ſhe was of chere,

          (for all the payne he tooke)

That in reward of toyle,ſhe would

         not geue a frendly looke.

   And yet how much ſhe did

         with conſtant mind retyre;

So much the more his feruent minde

         was prickt fourth by deſyre.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   But when he many monthes,

         hopeleſſe of his recure,

Had ſerued her, who forced not

         what paynes he did endure:

   At length he thought to leaue

         Verona,and to proue,

If chaunge of place might chaunge awaye

         his ill beſtowed loue.

   And ſpeaking to himſelfe,

         thus gan he make his mone:

What booteth me to loue and ſerue

         a fell vnthankfull one,

   Sith that my humble ſute

         and labour ſowede in vayne,

Can reap none other fruiet at all

         but ſcorne and proude diſdayne:

   What way ſhe ſeekes to goe,

         the ſame I ſeeke to runne:

But ſhe the path wherein I treade,

         with ſpedy flight doth ſhunne.

   I can not liue,except

         that nere to her I be:

She is ay beſt content when ſhe

         is fartheſt of from me.

   Wherefore henceforth I will

         farre from her take my flight:

Perhaps mine eye once baniſhed

         by abſence from her ſight:

   This fyre of myne,that by

         vher pleaſant eyne is fed:

Shall little and little weare away,

         and quite at laſt be ded.

   But whileſt he did decree

         this purpoſe ſtill to kepe:

A contrary repugnant thought

         ſanke in his breſt ſo depe:

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   That doutefull is he now,

         which of the twayne is beſt:

In ſighs,in teares,in plainte,in care,

         in ſorow and vnreſt.

   He mones the daye, he wakes

         the long and wery night,

So deepe hath loue with pearcing hand,

         ygraud her bewty bright.

   Within his breſt,and hath

         ſo maſtred quite his hart:

 That he of force muſt yeld as thrall,

         no way is left to ſtart.

   He can not ſtaye his ſteppe,

         but forth ſtill muſt he ronne,

 He languiſheth and melts awaye,

         as ſnow againſt the ſonne.

   His kyndred and alyes,

         do wonder what he ayles,

And eche of them in frendly wiſe,

         his heauy hap bewayles.

   But one emong the reſt,

         the truſtieſt of his feeres.

 Farre more then he with counſel fild,

         and ryper of his years.

   Gan ſharply him rebuke,

         ſuche loue to him he bare:

 That he wasfelow of his ſmart,

         and partner of his care.

   What meaneſt thou Romeus

          (quoth he) what doting rage

Dooth make thee thus conſume away,

         the beſt parte of thine age,

   In ſeking her that ſcornes,

         and hydes her from thy ſight:

 Not forſing all thy great expence,

         ne yet thy honor bright.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Thy teares,thy wretched lyfe,

         ne thine unſpotted truth:

Which are of force(I weene) to moue

         the hardeſt heart to ruthe.

   Now for our frendſhips ſake,

         and for thy health I pray:

That thou hencefoorth become thyne owne,

         O geue no more away.

   Unto a thankles wight,

         thy precious free eſtate:

In that thou loueſt ſuch a one,

         thou ſeemſt thy ſelfe to hate.

   For ſhe doth loue els where,

          (and then thy time is lorne)

Or els (what booteth thee to ſue)

         loues court ſhe hath forſworne.

   Both yong thou art of yeares,

         and high in Fortunes grace:

What man is better ſhapd than thou?

         Who hath a ſwetter face?

   By painfull ſtudies meane,

         great learning haſt thou wonne:

Thy parentes haue none other heyre,

         thou art theyr onely ſonne.

   What greater griefe(trowſt thou?)

         what wofull dedly ſmart

Should ſo be able to diſſtraine

         thy ſeely fathers heart?

   As in his age to ſee

         thee plonged deepe in vyce:

When greateſt hope he hath to heare

         thy vertues fame ariſe.

   What ſhall thy kinſmen thinke,

         thou cauſe of all theyr ruthe?

Thy dedly foes do laugh to ſkorne

         thy yll employed youth.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Wherefore my counſell is,

         that thou henceforth beginne

To knowe and flye the errour which

         to long thou liuedſt in.

   Remoue the veale of loue,

         that keepes thine eyes ſo blynde:

That thou ne canſt the ready path

         of thy forefatherſfynde.

   But if vnto thy will

         ſo much in thrall thou art:

Yet in ſome other place beſtowe

         thy witles wandring hart.

   Chooſe out ſome worthy dame,

         her honor thou and ſerue,

Who will geue eare to thy complaint

         and pitty ere thou ſterue.

   But ſow no more thy paynes

         in ſuch a barrayne ſoyle:

As yeldes in harueſt time no crop

         in recompence of toyle.

   Ere long the towniſhe dames

         together will reſort:

Some one of bewty,favour,ſhape,

         and of ſo louely porte:

   With ſo faſt fixed eye,

         perhaps thou mayſt beholde:

That thou ſhalt quite forget thy loue,

         and paſſions paſt of olde.

   The young mans liſtning eare

         receiude the holeſome ſounde,

And reaſons truth yplanted ſo,

         within his head had grounde:

   That now with healthy cool

         ytempred is the heate:

And piecemeale wears away the greefe

         that erſt his heart dyd freate.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   To his approued frend,

         a ſolemne othe he plight:

At euery feaſt ykept by day,

         and banquet made by night:

   At pardons in the churche,

         at games in open ſtreate:

And euery where he would reſort

         where Ladies wont to meete.

   Eke ſhould his  ſauage heart

         lyke all indifferently:

For he would view and iudge them all

         with vnallured eye.

   How happy had he been.

         had he not been forſworne:

But twyſe as happy had he been

         had he been neuer borne.

   For ere the Moone could thryſe

         her waſted hornes renew,

Falſe Fortune caſt for him poore wretch,

         a myſſchiefe newe to brewe.

   The wery winter nightes

         reſtore the Chriſtmas games:

And now the ſeaſon doth inuite

         to banquet towniſh dames.

   And fyrſt in Capels houſe,

         the chiefe of all the kyn:

Sparth for no coſt,the wonted vſe

         of banquets to begyn.

   No Lady fayre or fowle,

         was in Verona towne:

No knight or gentleman

         of high or lowe renowne:

   But Capilet himſelfe

         hath byd vnto his feaſt:

Or by his name in paper ſent,

         appoynted as a geaſt.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

Yong damſels thether flocke,

         of bachelers a route:

Not ſo much for the banquets ſake,

         as bewties to ſearch out.

   But not a Montaguew

         would enter at his gate:

For as you heard, the Capilets,

         and they were at debate.

   Saue Romeus , and he.

         in maſke with hidden face:

The ſupper done, with other fiue

         dyd preaſe into the place.

   When they had maſkd a whyle,

         with dames in courtly wiſe:

All dyd vnmaſke, the reſt dyd ſhew

         them to theyr ladies eyes.

   But baſhfull  Romeus,

         with ſhamefaſt face forſooke

The open preaſes, and him withdrew

         into the chambers nook.

   But brighter than the ſunne,

         the waxen torches ſhone:

That mauger what he could,he was

         eſpyd of every one.

   But of the women cheefe,

         theyr gaſing eyes that threwe,

To wonder at his ſightly ſhape

         and bewties ſpotles hewe.

   With which the heauens him had

         and nature  ſo  bedect:

That Ladies thought the faireſt dames

         were foule in his reſpect.

   And in theyr head beſide,

         an other wonder roſe,

How he durſt put himſelfe in throng

         among ſo many foes.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Ofcourage ſtoute they thought

         his cumming to procede:

And women loue an hardy hart

         as I in ſtories rede.

   The Capilets diſdayne

         the preſence of theyr foe:

Yet they ſuppreſſe theyr ſtyred yre,

         the cauſe I do not knowe

   Perhaps toffend their geſtes

         the courteous knights are loth,

Perhaps they ſtay from ſharp reuenge,

         dreadyng the Princes wroth.

   Perhaps for that they ſhamd

         to exerciſe theyr rage:

Within their houſe,gainſt one alone

         and him of tender age.

   They vſe no taunting talk,

         ne harme himby theyr deede:

They neyther ſay,what makſt thou here,

         ne yet they ſay God ſpede.

   So that he freely might

         the Ladies view at eaſe.

And they alſo behelding him,

         their chaunge of fanſies pleaſe.

   Which nature had him taught

         to doe with ſuch a grace,

That there was none but ioyed at

         his being there in place.

   With upright beame he weyd

         the bewty of eche dame,

And iudgd who beſt,and who next her,

         was wrought in natures frame.

   At length he ſaw a mayd,

         right fayr, of perfect ſhape:

Which Theſeus, or Paris would

         haue choſen to their rape.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Whom erſt he neuer ſawe,

         of all ſhe pleaſde him moſt:

Within himſelfe he ſaid to her,

         thou iuſtly mayſt thee boſte.

   Of perfit ſhapes renoune,

         and Beauties ſounding prayſe:

Whoſe like ne hath,ne ſhale ſeene,

         ne liueth in our dayes

   And whileſt he fixd on her

         his partiall perced eye,

His former loue,for which of late

         he ready was to dye.

   Is nowe as quite forgotte,

         as it had neuer been:

The prouerb ſaith vnminded oft

         are they that are vnſeene.

   And as out of a planke

         a nayle a nayle doth driue:

So nouell loue out of the minde

         the auncient loue doth riue.

   This ſodain kindled fyre

         in time is wox ſo great:

That only death,and both theyr blouds

         might quench the fiery heate.

   When Romeus ſaw himſelfe

         in this new tempest toſt:

Where both was hope of pleaſant port,

         and daunger to be loſt:

   He doubtefull,ſkaſely knew

         what countenance to keepe

In Lethies floud his wonted flames

         were quenchd and drenchd deepe.

   Yea he forgets himſelfe,

         ne is the wretch ſo bolde

To aſke her name,that without force

         hath him in bondage folde.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Ne how tunlooſe his bondes

         doth the poore foole deviſe,

But onely ſeeketh by her ſight

         to feede his haungry eyes.

   Through them he ſwalloweth downe

         loues ſweete empoyſonde baite,

How ſurely are the wareles wrapt

         by thoſe that lye in wayte?

   So is the poyſon ſpred

         throughout his bones and veines:

That in a while(alas the while)

         it haſteth deadly paines

   Whilſt Iuliet(for ſo

         this gentle damſell hight)

From ſyde to ſyde on euery one

         dyd caſt about her ſight:

   At laſt her floating eyes

         were ancored faſt on him,

Who for her ſake dyd baniſhe health

         and fredome from eceh limme.

   He in her ſight did ſeeme

         to paſſe the reſt as farre

As Phoebus ſhining beames do paſſe

         the brightnes of a ſtarre.

   In wayte laye warlike loue

         with golden bowe and ſhaft,

And to his ear with ſteady hand

         the bowſtring vp he raft.

   Till now ſhe had eſcapde

         his ſharpe inflaming darte:

Till now he liſted not aſſaulte

         her yong and tender hart.

   His whetted arrow looſde,

         ſo touchd her to the quicke:

That through the eye it ſtrake the hart,

         and there the hedde did ſticke.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   It booted not to ſtriue,

         for why, ſhe wanted ſtrength:

The weaker aye vnto the ſtrong

         of force muſt yeld at length.

   The pomps now of the feaſt

         her heart gyns to deſpyſe:

And onely ioyeth when her eyen

         meete with her louers eyes.

   When their new ſmitten heartes

         had fed on louing gleames:

Whilſt, paſſing too and fro theyr eyes,

         ymingled were theyr beames.

   Each of theſe louers gan

         by others lookes to knowe:

That frendſhip in their breſt had roote,

         and both would haue it grow.

   When thus in both theyr harts

         had Cupide made his breache:

And eche of them had ſought the meane

         to end the warre by ſpeache.

   Dame Fortune did aſſent

         theyr purpoſe to aduaunce:

With torche in hand a comly knight

         did fetch her foorth to daunce.

   She quit her ſelfe ſo well,

         and with ſo trim a grace:

That ſhe the cheefe prayſe wan that night

         from all Verona race.

   The whilſt our Romeus,

         a place had warely wonne:

Nye to the ſeate where ſhe muſt ſit,

         the daunce once beyng donne.

   Fayre Iuliet tourned to,

         her chayre with pleaſant cheere:

And glad ſhe was her Romeus

         approched was ſo neere.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   At thone ſide of her chayre,

         her louer Romeo:

And on the other ſide there ſat

         one cald Mercutio.

   A courtier that eche where

         was highly had in pryce:

For he was coorteous of his ſpeche,

         and pleaſant of deviſe.

   Euen as a Lyon would

         among the lambes be bolde:

Such was among the baſhfull maydes,

         Mercutio to beholde.

   With frendly gripe he ſeiſd

         fayre Iuliets ſnowiſh hand:

A gyft he had that nature gaue

         him in his ſwathing band.

   That froſen mountayne yſe

         was neuer halfe ſo cold

As were his handes,though nere ſo neer

         the fire he dyd them holde.

   As ſoone as had the knight

         the vyrgins right hand raught:

Within his trembling hand her left

         hath louing Romeus caught.

   For he wiſt well himſelfe

         for her abode moſt payne:

And well he wiſt ſhe loued him beſt,

         vnles ſhe liſt to fayne.

   Then ſhe with tender hand

         his tender palme hath preſt:

What ioy trow you was graffed ſo

         in Romeus clouen breaſt:

   The ſwdain ſweete delight

         hath ſtopped quite his tong.

Ne can he claime of her his right,

         ne craue redreſſe of wrong.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   But ſhe eſpyd ſtraight waye

         by chaunging of his hwe

From pale to red,from red to pale,

         and ſo from pale anew:

   That vehment loue was cauſe,

         why ſo his tong dyd ſtay:

And ſo much more ſhe longed to heare

         what loue could teache him ſaye.

   When ſhe had longed long,

         and he long held his peace,

And her deſire of hearing him,

         by ſylence dyd encreaſe.

   At laſt with trembling voyce

         and ſhamefaſt chere,the mayde

Unto her Romeus tournde her ſelfe,

         and thus to him  ſhe  ſayde.

   O bleſſed be the time

         of thy arriuall here:

But ere ſhe could ſpeak forth the reſt,

         to her loue drewe ſo nere:

   And ſo within her mouth,

         her tongue he glewed faſt,

That no one woord could ſcape her more,

         then what already paſt.

   In great contented eaſe

         the yong man ſtraight is rapt,

What chaunce (ȹ he) vnware to me

         O lady myne is hapt:

   That geues you worthy cauſe,

         my cumming here to bliss:

Fayre Iuliet was come agayne

         vnto her  ſelfe by  this.

   Fyrſt ruthfully  ſhe  lookd,

         then ſayd with ſmylyng chere:

Meruayle no whit my heartes delight,

         my onely knight and fere,

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Mercutious yſy hande

         had all to froſen myne,

And of thy goodnes thou agayne

         haſt warmed it with thine.

   Whereto with ſtayed brow,

         gan Romeus to replye

If ſo the gods haue graunted me,

         ſuche fauour from the ſkye,

   That by my being here,

         ſome ſeruice I haue donne

That pleaſeth you I am as glad,

         as I a realme had wonne,

   O well beſtowed time.

         that hath the happy hyre,

Which I woulde wyſh if I might haue,

         my wiſhed harts deſire.

   For I of God woulde craue,

         as pryſe of payines forpaſt.

To ſerue, obey and honour you,

         ſo long as lyfe ſhall laſt.

   As proofe ſhall teache you playne,

         if that you like to trye

His faltles truth,that nill for ought,

         vnto his lady lye.

   But if my tooched hand,

         haue warmed yours ſome dele

Aſſure your ſelf the heat is colde,

         which in your hand you fele.

   Compard to ſuche quick ſparks

         and glowing furious gleade,

As from your bweuties pleaſaunt eyne,

         loue cauſed to proceade.

   Which haue ſo ſet on fyre,

         eche feling parte of myne.

   That lo,my mynde doeth melt awaye:

         my vtwerdparts doe pyne.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   And but you helpe all whole,

         to aſhes ſhall I toorne:

Wherefore(alas)haue ruth on him,

         whom you do force to boorne.

   Euen with his ended tale,

         the torches daunce had ende,

And Iuliet of force muſt part

from her new choſen frend.

   His hand ſhe claſped hard,

         and all her partes did ſhake:

When lay ſureles with whiſpring voyce

         thus did ſhe aunſwer make.

   You are no more your owne

          (dear friend)then I am yours

(My honour ſaued)preſt tobey

         your will,while life endures,

   Lo here the lucky lot

         that ſild true louers finde:

Eche takes away the others hart,

         and leaues the owne behinde.

   A happy life is loue

         if God graunt from aboue,

That hart with hart by euen waight

         doo make exchaunge of loue.

   But Romeus gone from her,

         his heart for care is colde:

He hath forgot to aſke her name

         that hath his hart in holde.

   With forged careles cheere,

         of one he ſeekes to knowe,

Both how ſhe hight,and whence ſhe cammee,

         that him enchuanted ſo.

   So hath he learnd her name,

         and knowth ſhe is no geaſt.

Her father was a Capilet,

         and maſter of the feaſt.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Thus hath hiſfoe in choyſe

         to geue him lyfe or death:

That ſcarſely can his wofull breaſt

         keepe in the liuely breath.

   Wherefore with piteous plaint

         feerce Fortune doth he blame:

That in his ruth and wretched plight

         doth ſeeke her laughing game.

   And he reproueth loue,

         cheefe cauſe of his vnreſt:

Who eaſe and freedome hath exilde

         out of his youthfull breſt.

   Twiſe hath he made him ſerue,

         hopeles of his rewarde:

Of both the ylles to chooſe the leſſe,

         I weene the choice were hard.

   Fyrſt to a ruthleſſe one

         he made him ſue for grace:

And now with ſpurre he forceth him

         to ronne an endles race.

   Amyd theſe ſtormy ſeas

         one ancor doth him holde,

He ſerueth not a cruell one,

         as he had done of olde.

   And therfore is content,

         and chooſeth ſtill to ſerue:

Though hap ſhould ſwear that guerdonles

         the wretched wight ſhould ſterue.

   The lot of Tantalus

         is Romeus lyke to thine

For want of foode amid his fwde,

         the myſer ſtyll doth pine.

   As carefull was the mayde

         what way were beſt deuiſe

To learne his name, that entertaind

         her in ſo gentle wiſe.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Of whome her hart receiued

         ſo deepe,ſo wyde a wounde,

An auncient dame ſhe calde to her,

         and in her ear gan rounde.

   This olde dame in her youth,

         had nurſt her with her mylke,

With ſlender nedle taught her ſow,

         and how to ſpin with ſilke.

   What twayne are thoſe (quoth ſhe)

         which preaſe vnto the doore,

Whoſe pages in theyr hand doe beare,

         two toorches light before.

   And then as eche of them

         had of his houſhold name,

So ſhe him namde yet once agayne

         the yong and wyly dame.

   And tell me who is he

         with vyſor in his hand

That yender doth in maſking weede

         beſyde the window ſtand.

   His name is Romeus

          (ſayd ſhe) a Montegewe.

Whoſe fathers pryde firſt ſtyrd the ſtrife

         which both your houſholdes rewe.

   The woord of Montegew,

         her ioyes did ouerthrow,

And ſtraight in ſteade of happy hope,

         dyſpayre began to growe.

   What hap haue I quoth ſhe,

         to loue my fathers foe?

What,am I wery of my wele?

         What,doe I wiſhe my woe?

   But though her grieuous paynes

         diſtrained her tender hart,

Yet with an outward ſhewe of ioye

         ſhe cloked inward ſmart.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   And of the courtlyke dames

         her leaue ſo courtly tooke,

That none dyd geſſe the ſodain change

         by changing of her looke.

   Then at her mothers heſt

         to chamber ſheher hyde

So well ſhe faynde,mother ne nurce,

         the hidden harme deſcride.

   But when ſhe ſhould haue ſlept

         aſ wont ſhe was,in bed,

Not halfe a winke of quiet ſlepe

         could harber in her bed.

   For loe,an hugy heape

         of dyuers thoughtes ariſe

That reſt haue baniſht from her hart,

         and ſlumber from her eyes.

   And now from ſide to ſide

         ſhe toſſeth and ſhe turnes,

And now for feare ſhe ſheuereth,

         and now for loue ſhe burnes.

   And now ſhe lykes her choyſe,

         and now her choyſe ſhe blames,

And now eche houre within her head,

         a thouſand fanſies frames

   Sometime in mynde to ſtop,

         amyd her courſe begonne

Sometime ſhe vowes what ſo betyde,

         thattempted race to ronne.

   Thus dangers dred and loue,

         within the mayden fought,

The fight was feerce continuyng long

         by their contrary thought.

   In tourning maſe of loue

         ſhe wandreth too and fro,

Then ſtandeth doutfull what to doe,

         laſt ouerpreſt with woe.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   How ſo her fanſies ceaſe,

         her teares dyd neuer blyn,

With heauy cheere and wringed hands,

         thus doth her plaint begyn.

   Ah ſily foole quoth ſhe)

         ycought in ſoottill ſnare:

Ah wretched wench bewrapt in woe,

         ah caytife clad with care.

   Whence come theſe wandring thoughtes

         to thy vnconſtant breſt?

By ſtraying thus from rayſons lore,

         that reue thy wonted reſt.

   What if his ſuttell brayne,

         to fayne haue taught his tong?

And ſo the ſnake that lurkes in graſſe,

         thy tender hart hath ſtong?

   What if with frendly ſpeache

         the traytor lye in wayte?

As oft the poyſond hooke is hid,

         wrapt in the pleaſant bayte?

   Oft vnder cloke of truth,

         hath falſhood ſerued her luſt:

And toornd theyr honor into ſhame,

         that did ſo ſlightly truſt.

   What,was not Dido ſo,

         a crouned Queene:defamd?

And eke for ſuch an heynouſ cryme,

         haue men not Theſeus blamd?

   A thouſand ſtories more,

         to teache me to beware:

In Boccace,and in Ouids bookes

         too playnely written are.

   Perhaps the great reuenge

         he cannot woorke by ſtrength:

By ſuttel ſleight (my honor ſtaynde)

         he hopes to worke at length.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   So ſhall I ſeeke to finde

         my fathers foe his game:

So I befylde,report ſhall take

         her trompe of blacke defame.

   Whence ſhe with puffed cheeke

         ſhall blowe a blaſt ſo ſhrill

Of my diſprayſe,that with the noyſe

         Verona ſhall ſhe fill.

   Then I a laughing ſtocke

         through all the towne becomme:

Shall hide my ſelfe,but not my ſhame,

         within an hollowe toombe.

   Straight vnderneth her foote,

         ſhe treadeth in the duſt

Her troubleſom thought as wholy vaine,

         ybred of fond diſtruſt.

   No no by God aboue,

         I wot it well quoth ſhee,

Although I raſhely ſpake before,

         in no wiſe can it bee.

   That where ſuch perfet ſhape,

         with pleaſant bewty reſtes:

There crooked craft and trayſon blacke,

         ſhould be appoynted geſtes.

   Sage writers ſay, the thoughts

         are dwelling in the eyne:

Then ſure I am aſ Cupid raignes

         that Romeus is myne.

   The tong the meſſenger,

         eke call they of the mynd:

So that I ſee he loueth me,

         ſhall I then be vnkynd?

   His faces roſy hew,

         I ſaw full oft to ſeeke:

And ſtraight againe it flaſhed foorth,

         and ſpred in eyther cheeke.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   His fyxed heauenly eyne,

         that through me quite did perce

His thoughts vnto my hart,my thought

         they ſemed to rehearce.

   What ment his foltring tunge,

         in telling of his tale:

The trembling of his ioynts and eke

         his cooller waxen pale?

   And whilſt I take with him,

         hym ſelf he hath exylde,

Out of him ſelf (as ſeemed me)

         ne was I ſure begylde.

   Thoſe arguments of loue,

         craft wrate not in his face

But natures hande when all deceyte,

         was baniſhd out of place

   What other certain ſignes

         ſeke I of his good wil?

Theſe doo ſuffiſe, and ſtedfaſt I

         will loue and ſerue him ſtill.

   Till Attropos ſhall cut,

         my fatall thread of lyfe,

So that he mynde to make of me

         his lawfull wedded wyfe.

   For ſo perchaunce this new

         aliance may procure

Vnto our houſes ſuche a peace

         as euer ſhall endure

   Oh how we can perſwade,

         our ſelf to what we like

And how we can diſwade our mynd,

         if ought our mynd miſlyke.

   Weake arguments are ſtronge,

         our fanſies ſtreyght to frame,

To pleaſing things, and eke to ſhonne,

         if we miſlike the ſame.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   The mayde had ſcarſely yet

         ended the wery warre,

Kept in her heart by ſtriuing thoughtes

         when euery ſhining ſtarre

   Had payd his borowed light,

         and Phebus ſpred in ſkies

His golden rayes, which ſeemd to ſay:

         now time it is to riſe.

   And Romeus had by this

         forſaken his wery bed:

Where reſtles he a thouſand thoughts

         had forged in his hed.

   And while with lingring ſtep

         by Iuliets houſe he paſt:

And vpward to her windowes high

         his gredy eyes did caſt:

   His loue that looked for him,

         there gan he ſtraight eſpie,

With pleaſant cheere eche greeted is,

         ſhe followeth with her eye

   His parting ſteppes,and he

         oft looketh backe againe:

But not ſo oft as he deſyres,

         warely he doth refraine.

   What life were lyke to loue,

         if dred of ieopardy,

Yſowred not the ſweete, if loue

         were free from ieloſy.

   But ſhe more ſure within,

         vnſeene of any wight,

When ſo he comes, lookes after him,

         till he be out of ſight.

   In often paſſing ſo,

         his buſy eyes he threw,

That euery pane and tooting hole

         the wily louer knew.

                    The Tragicall Hiſtory.

   In happy houre he doth

         a garden plot eſpye:

From which except he warely walke,

         men may his loue deſcrye.

   For lo,it fronted full,

         vpon her leaning place:

Where ſhe is woont to ſhew her heart

         by cheerefull frendly face.

   And leſt the arbors might

         theyr ſecret loue bewraye:

He doth keepe backe his forward foote

         from paſſing there by daye.

   But when on earth the night

         her mantel blacke hath ſpred:

Well armd he walketh foorth alone,

         ne dreadfull foes doth dred.

   Whom maketh loue not bold,

         naye whom makes he not blynde?

He reueth daungers dread oft times

         out of the loues minde.

   By night he paſſeth here,

         a weeke or two in vayne:

And for the miſſing of his marke.

         his griefe hath him nye ſlaine.

   And Iuliet that now

         both lacke her hearts releefe:

Her Romeus pleaſant eyen (I meene)

         is almoſt dead for greefe.

   Eche day ſhe chaungeth howres,

          (for louers keepe an howre)

When they are ſure to ſee theyr loue

         in paſſing by their howre.

   Impacient of her woe,

         ſhe hapt to leane one night

Within her window,and anon

         the Moone did ſhine ſo bright.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   That ſhe eſpyde her loue,

         her hart reuiued,ſprang,

And now for ioy ſhe clappes her handes,

         which erſt for woe ſhe wrang.

   Eke Romeus when he ſawe

         his long deſired ſight:

His moorning cloke of mone caſt of,

         hath clad him with delight.

   Yet dare I ſay,of both,

         that ſhe reioyced more:

His care was great,hers twiſe as great,

         was all the tyme before:

   For whilſt ſhe knew not why

         he dyd himſelfe abſent:

Ay douting both his health and lyfe,

         his death ſhe dyd lament.

   For loue is fearefull oft,

         where is no cauſe of feare:

And what loue feares,that loue laments,

         as though it chaunced weare.

   Of greater cauſe alway

         iſ greater woorkeybred:

While he nought douteth of her helth,

         ſhe dreads leſt he be ded.

   When onely abſence is

         the cauſe of Romeus ſmart:

By happyhope of ſight agayne

         he feedes his faynting hart.

   What woonder then if he

         were wrapt in leſſe annoye?

What maruell if by ſodain ſight

         ſhe fed of greater ioye?

   His ſmaller greefe or ioy,

         no ſmaller loue doo proue:

   Ne for ſhe paſſed him in both,

         did ſhe him paſſe in loue.

                    The Tragicall Hiſtory.

   But eche of them alike

         dyd burne in equall flame:

The welbelouing knight,and eke

         the welbeloued dame.

   Now whilſt with bitterteares

         her eyes as fountaynes ronne:

With whiſpering voyce ybroke with ſobs,

         thus is her tale begonne.

   Oh Romeus (of your lyfe)

         too lauas ſure yon are:

That in this place, and at thys tyme

         to hasard it you dare.

   What if your dedly foes

         my kynſmen, ſaw you here?

Lyke Lyons wylde, your tender partes

         aſonder would they teare.

In ruth and in diſdayne,

         I weary of my lyfe:

With cruell hand my moorning hart

         would perce with bloudy knyfe.

   For you myne owne once dead,

         what ioy ſhould I haue heare?

And eke my honor ſtaynde which I

         then lyfe doe holde more deare.

   Fayre lady myne dame Iuliet

         my lyfe (quod he)

Euen from my byrth committed was

         to fatall ſiſters three.

   They may in ſpyte of foes,

         draw foorth my liuely threed:

And they alſo,who ſo ſayth nay,

         a ſonder may it ſhreed.

   But who to reaue my lyfe,

         his rage and force would bende:

Perhaps ſhould trye vnto his payne

         how I it could defende.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Ne yet I loue it  ſo,

         but alwayes for your ſake,

A ſacrifice to death I would

         my wounded corps betake.

   If my miſhappe were ſuch,

         that here before your ſight,

I ſhould reſtore agayne to death,

         of lyfe my borowde light:

   This one thing and no more

         my parting ſprite would rewe:

That part he ſhould, before that you

         by certaine triall knew

   The loue I owe to you,

         the thrall I languiſh in:

And how I dread to looſe the gayne

         which I doe hope to win.

   And how I wiſhe for lyfe,

         not for my propre eaſe:

But that in it,you might I loue,

         you honor, ſerue and pleaſe.

   Tyll dedly pangs the ſprite

         out of the corps ſhall ſend:

And therupon he ſware an othe,

         and ſo his tale had ende.

   Now loue and pitty boyle,

         in Iuliets ruthfull breſt,

In windowe on her leaning arme,

         her weary hed doth reſt.

   Her boſome bathd in teares,

         to witnes inward payne:

With dreary chere to Romeus,

         thus aunſwerd ſhe agayne.

   Ah my deere Romeus,

         keepe in theſe woordes(quod ſhe)

For lo,the thought of ſuch miſchaunce,

         already maketh me

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   For pitty and for dred,

         welnigh to yelde vp breath:

In euen ballance payſed are

         my life and eke my death.

   For so my hart is knitte,

         yea, made one ſelfe with yours:

That ſure there iſ no greefe ſo ſmall,

         by which your mynde endures.

   But as you ſuffer payne,

         ſo I doe beare in part:

(Although it leſſens not your greefe)

         the halfe of all your ſmart.

   But theſe thinges ouerpaſt,

         if of your health and myne

You haue reſpect,or pitty ought

         my teary weping eyen:

   In few vnfained woords,

         your hidden mynd vnfolde,

That as I ſee your pleaſant face,

         your heart I may beholde.

    For if you doe intende

         my honor to defile:

In error ſhall you wander ſtill

         as you haue done this whyle,

    But if your thought be chaſte,

         and haue on vertue ground

If wedlocke be the ende and marke

         which your deſire hath found:

    Obedience ſet aſide,

         vnto my parentes dewe:

The quarell eke that long agoe

         betwene our houſholdes grewe:

    Both me and myne I will

         all whole to you betake:

And following you where ſo you goe,

         my fathers houſe forſake.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   But if by wanton loue,

         and by vnlawfull ſute.

You thinke in ripeſt yeres to plucke

         my maydenhods dainty frute:

   You are begylde,and now

         your Iuliet you be ſeekes

To ceaſe your ſute, and ſuffer her

         to liue emong her likes.

   Then Romeus,whoſe thought

         was free from fowle deſyre:

And to the top of vertues haight,

         did worthely aſpyre:

   Was fild with greater ioy

         then can my pen expreſſe:

Or till they haue enioyd the like

         the hearers hart can geſſe.

   And then with ioyned hands

         heaud vp into the ſkies:

He thankes the Gods, and from the heauens

         for vengeance downe he cries.

   If he haue other thought,

         but as his lady ſpake:

And then his looke he toornd to her,

         and thus did aunſwer make.

   Since Lady that you like

         to honor me ſo much,

As to accept me for your ſpouſe,

         I yeld my ſelfe for ſuch.

   In true witnes wherof,

         becauſe I muſt depart,

Till that my deede do proue my woord,

         I leaue in pawne my hart.

   To morow eke betimes.

         before the ſunne ariſe:

To fryer Lawrence will I wende,

         to learne his ſage aduiſe.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   He is my goſtly ſyre,

         and oft he hath me taught

What I ſhould doe in things of wayght,

         when I his ayde haue ſought.

   And at this ſelfe ſame houre,

         I plyte you here my fayth:

I wil be here (if you thinke good)

         to tell you what he ſayth.

   She was contented well,

         els fauour found he none,

That night at lady Iuliets hand,

         ſaue pleaſant woordes alone.

   This barefoote fryer gyrt,

         with cord his grayiſh weede,

For he of Frauncis order was,

         a fryer as I reede,

    Not as the moſt was he,

         a groſſe vnlearned foole:

But doctor of diuinitie

         proceded he in ſchoole.

   The ſecretes eke he knew,

         in natures woorkes that loorke:

By magiks arte moſt men ſuppoſd

         that he could wonders woorke.

   Ne doth it ill beſeeme

         deuines thoſe ſkils to know:

If on no harmefull deede they do

         ſuch ſkilfulnes beſtow.

   For iuſtly of no arte

         can men condemne the vſe:

But right and reaſons lore crye out

         agaynſt the lewd abuſe.

   The bounty of the fryer

         and wiſdom hath ſo wonne

The townes folks herts,that welnigh all

         to fryer Lawrence ronne.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   To ſhriue them ſelfe the olde,

         the yong, the great and ſmall:

Of all he is beloued well,

         and honord much of all.

   And for he did the reſt

         in wiſdome farre exceede:

The prince by him(his counſell craude)

         was holpe at time of neede.

   Betwixt the Capilets

         and him great frendſhip grew:

A ſecret and aſſured frend

         vnto the Montegue.

   Loued of this yong man more

         then any other geſt,

The frier eke of Verone youth,

         aye liked Romeus beſt.

   For whom he euer hath

         in time of his diſtres:

(As erſt you heard) by ſkilfull lore,

         found out his harmes redreſſe.

   To him is Romeus gonne,

         ne ſtayth he till the morowe:

To him he paynteth all his caſe,

         his paſſed ioy and ſorow.

   How he hath her eſpyde

         with other dames in daunce,

And how that firſt to talke with her,

         himſelfe he did aduaunce.

   Their talke and change of lookes

         he gan to him declare:

And how ſo faſt by fayth and troth

         they both ycoupled are.

   That neither hope of lyfe,

         nor dreed of cruel death,

Shall make him falſe his fayth to her

         while lyfe ſhall lend him breath.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   And then with weping eyes

         he prayes his goſtly ſyre

To further and accompliſh all

         theyr honeſt hartes deſire.

   A thouſand doutes and moe

         in thold mans hed aroſe:

A thouſand daungers like to come,

         the olde man doth diſcloſe.

   And from the ſpouſall rites

         he readeth him refrayne:

Perhaps he ſhalbe bet aduiſde

         within a weeke or twayne.

   Aduiſe is baniſhd quite

         from thoſe that followe loue,

Except aduiſe to what they like

         theyr bending mynde do moue.

   As well the father might

         haue counſeld him to ſtay

That from a mountaines top thrown downe,

         is falling halfe the way:

   As warne his frend to ſtop,

         amyd his race begonne,

Whom Cupid with his ſmarting whip

         enforceth foorth to ronne.

   Part wonne by earneſt ſute,

         the fryer doth graunt at laſt:

And part,becauſe he thinkes the ſtormes

         so lately ouerpaſt,

   Of both the houſholdes wrath:

         this mariage might apeaſe,

So that they ſhould not rage agayne,

         but quite for euer ceaſe.

   The reſpite of a day,

         he aſketh to deuyſe:

What way were beſt vnknowne to ende

         ſo great an enterpriſe.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   The wounded man that now

         doth dedly paines endure:

Scarce pacient tarieth whilſt his leeche

         doth make the ſalue to cure.

   So Romeus hardly graunts

         a ſhort day and a night,

Yet nedes he muſt,els muſt he want

         his onely hearts delight.

   You ſee that Romeus

         no time or payne doth ſpare:

Thinke that the whilſt fayre Iuliet

         is not deuoyde of care.

   Yong Romeus powreth foorth

         his hap and his miſhap,

Into the friers breſt,but where

         ſhall Iuliet vnwrap

   The ſecretes of her hart?

         to whom ſhall ſhe vnfolde,

Her hidden burning loue, and eke

         her thought and cares ſo colde.

   The nurce of whom I ſpake

         within her chaumber laye:

Vpon the mayde ſhe wayteth ſtill,

         to her ſhe doth bewray

   Her new receiued wound,

         and then her ayde doth craue:

In her ſhe ſaith it lyes to ſpill,

         in her her life to ſaue.

   Not eaſely ſhe made

         the froward nurce to bowe:

But wonne at length, with promeſt hyre

         ſhe made a ſolemne vowe.

   To do what ſhe commaundes,

         as handmayd of her heſt:

Her miſtres ſecrets hide ſhe will,

         within her couert breſt.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   To Romeus ſhe goes

         of him ſhe doth deſyre,

To know the meane of mariage

         by councell of the fryre.

   On Saterday quod he,

         if Iuliet come to ſhrift,

She ſhalbe ſhriued and maried,

         how lyke you noorſe this driſt?

   Now by my truth (quod ſhe)

         gods bleſſing haue your hart:

For yet in all my life I haue

         not heard of ſuch a part.

   Lord how you yong men can

         ſuch crafty wiles deuiſe,

If that you loue the daughter well

         to bleare the mothers eyes.

   An eaſy thing it is,

         with cloke of holines,

To mocke the ſely mother that

         ſuſpecteth nothing leſſe

   But that it pleaſed you

         to tell me of the caſe.

For all my many yeres perhaps,

         I ſhould haue found it ſcarſe.

   Now for the reſt let me

         and Iuliet alone:

To get her leaue, ſome feate excuſe

         I will deuiſe anone.

   For that her golden lockes

         by ſloth haue been vnkempt:

Or for vnwares ſome wanton dreame

         the youthfull damſell drempt,

   Or for in thoughts of loue

         her ydel time ſhe ſpent:

Or otherwiſe within her hart

         deſerued to be ſhent.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   I know her mother will

         in no caſe ſay her nay:

I warrant you ſhe ſhall not fayle

         to come on Saterday.

   And then ſhe ſweares to him,

         the mother loues her well:

And how ſhe gaue her ſucke in youth

         ſhe leaueth not to tell.

   A prety babe(quod ſhe)

         it was when it was yong:

Lord how it could full pretely

         haue prated with it tong.

   A thouſand times and more

         I laid her on my lappe,

And clapt her on the buttocke ſoft

         and kiſt where I did clappe.

   And gladder then was I

         of ſuch a kiſſe forſooth:

Then I had been to haue a kiſſe

         of ſome olde lechers mouth.

   And thus of Iuliets youth

         began this prating noorſe,

And of her preſent ſtate to make

         a tedious long diſcoorſe.

   For though he pleaſure tooke

         in hearing of his loue:

The meſſage aunſwer ſeemed him

         to be of more behoue.

   But when theſe Beldams ſit

         at eaſe vpon theyr tayle:

The day and eke the candle light

         before theyr talke ſhall fayle.

   And part they ſay is true,

         and part they do deuiſe:

Yet boldly do they that of both

         when no man checkes theyr lyes.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   Then of gold

         out of his pocket drew:

And gaue them her, a ſlight reward

          (quod he)and ſo adiew.

   In ſeuen yeres twiſe tolde

         ſhe had not bowd ſo lowe,

Her crooked knees, as now they bowe,

         ſhe ſweares ſhe will beſtowe.

   Her crafty wit,her time,

         and all her buſy payne,

To helpe him to his hoped bliſſe,

         and cowring downe agayne:

   She takes her leaue,and home

         ſhe hyes with ſpedy pace:

The chaumber doore ſhe ſhuts,and then

         ſhe ſaith with ſmyling face.

   Good newes for thee my gyrle,

         good tidinges I thee bring:

Leaue of thy woonted ſong of care

         and now of pleaſure ſing.

   For thou mayſt hold thy ſelfe

         the happieſt vnder ſonne:

That in ſo little while, ſo well

         ſo worthy a knight haſt wonne.

   The beſt yſhapde is he,

         and hath the fayreſt face,

Of all this towne,and there is none

         hath halfe ſo good a grace.

   So gentle of his ſpeche,

         and of his counſell wiſe:

And ſtill with many prayſes more

         ſhe heaued him to the ſkies.

   Tell me els what(quod ſhe)

         this euermore I thought:

But of our mariage ſay at once,

         what aunſwer haue you brought?

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Nay ſoft quoth ſhe, I feare,

         your hurt by ſodain ioye:

I liſt not play quoth Iuliet,

         although thou liſt to toye.

   How glad trow you was ſhe,

         when ſhe had heard her ſay:

No farther of then Saterday,

         differred was the day.

   Againe the auncient nurce

         doth ſpeake of Romeus,

And then (ſaid ſhe) he ſpake to me,

         and then I ſpake him thus.

   Nothing was done or ſaid,

         that ſhe hath left vntolde,

Saue onely one, that ſhe forgot

         the taking of the golde.

   There is no loſſe quod ſhe,

          (ſweete wench)to loſſe of time:

Ne in thine age ſhalt thou repent

         ſo much of any crime.

   For when I call to mynde,

         my former paſſed youth:

One thing there is which moſt of all

         doth cauſe my endles ruth.

   At ſixtene yeres I firſt

         did chooſe my louing feere:

And I was fully ripe before,

          (I dare well ſay) a yere.

   The pleaſure that I loſt.

         that yere ſo ouerpaſt:

A thouſand times I haue be wept,

         and ſhall while lyfe doth laſt.

   In fayth it were a ſhame,

         yea ſinne it were ywiſſe,

When thou mayſt liue in happy ioy

         to ſet light by thy bliſſe.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   She that this mornyng could

         her miſtres mynde diſſwade,

Is now becomme an Oratreſſe,

         her lady to perſwade.

   If any man be here

         whom loue hath clad with care:

To him I ſpeake,if thou wilt ſpede,

         thy purſe thou muſt not ſpare.

   Two ſortes of men there are,

         ſeeld welcome in at doore:

The welthy ſparing nigard, and

         the ſutor that is poore.

   For glittring gold is woont

         by kynd to mooue the hart:

And often times a ſlight rewarde

         doth cauſe a more deſart.

   Ywritten haue I red,

         I wot not in what booke:

There is no better way to fiſhe,

         then with a golden hooke.

   Of Romeus theſe two,

         doe ſitte and chat a while,

And to them ſelfe they laugh, how they

         the mother ſhall begyle.

   A feate excuſe they finde,

         but ſure I know it not:

And leaue for her to goe to ſhrift

         on Saterday ſhe got.

   So well this Iuliet,

         this wyly wench dyd know

Her mothers angry houres, and eke

         the true bent of her bowe.

   The Saterday betimes

         in ſober weede yelad,

She tooke her leaue,and forth ſhe went

         with viſage graue and ſad.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   With her the nurce is ſent

         as brydle of her luſt:

With her the mother ſendes a mayde,

         almoſt of equall truſt.

   Betwixt her teeth the bytte,

         the Ienet now hath cought:

So warely eke the vyrgin walkes

         her mayde perceiueth nought.

   She gaſeth not in churche,

         on yong men of the towne:

Ne wandreth ſhe from place to place,

         but ſtraight ſhe kneleth downe

   Vpon an alters ſtep,

         where ſhe deuoutly prayes:

And there vpon her tender knees

         the wery lady ſtayes:

   Whilſt ſhe doth ſend her mayde

         the certain truth to know,

If fryer Lawrence layſure had,

         to heare her ſhrift, or no.

   Out of his ſhriuing place

         he commes with pleaſant cheere:

The ſhamefaſt mayde with baſhfull brow

         to himward draweth neere.

   Some great offence (ȹ he)

         you haue committed late:

Perhaps you haue diſpleaſd your frend,

         by geuing him a mate.

   Then turning to the nurce,

         and to the other mayde:

Goe heare a maſſe or two quod be,

         which ſtraight way ſhalbe ſayde.

   For her confeſſion heard,

         I will vnto you twayne

The charge that I receiud of you,

         reſtore to you agayne.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   What,was not Iuliet

         trow you right well apayde?

That for this truſty fryre hath chaungde

         her yong miſtruſting mayde?

   I dare well ſay there is

         in all Verona none:

But Romeus, with whom ſhe would

         ſo gladly be alone.

   Thus to the fryers cell,

         they both foorth walked bin:

He ſhuts the doore as ſoone as he

         and Iuliet were in.

   But Romeus her frend

         was entred in before:

And there had wayted for his loue,

         two howers large and more.

   Eche minute ſeemde an howre,

         and euery howre a day:

Twixt hope he liued and deſpayre,

         of cumming or of ſtay.

   Now wauering hope and feare,

         are quite fled out of ſight.

For what he hopde he hath at hande

         his pleaſant cheefe delight.

   And ioyfull Iuliet

         is healde of all her ſmart:

For now the reſt of all her parts,

         haue found her ſtraying hart.

   Both theyr confeſſions firſt

         the fryer hath heard them make:

And then to her with lowder voyce

         thus fryer Lawrence ſpake.

   Fayre lady Iuliet

         my goſtly doughter deere:

As farre as I of Romeus learne

         who by you ſtandeth here:

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Twixt you it is agreed

         that you ſhalbe his wyfe:

And he your ſpouſe in ſteady truth

         till death ſhall end your life.

   Are you both fully bent

         to kepe this great beheſt?

And both the louers ſaid it was

         theyr onely harts requeſt.

   When he did ſee theyr myndes

         in linkes of loue so faſt:

When in the prayſe of wedlocks ſtate

         ſomme ſkilfull talke was paſt.

   When he had told at length

         the wife what was her due:

His duety eke by goſtly talke

         the youthfull huſband knew.

   How that the wife in loue

         muſt honor and obay:

What loue and honor he doth owe,

         and dette that he muſt pay.

   The woords pronounced were

         which holy church of olde

Appointed hath for mariage:

         and ſhe a ring of golde

   Receiued of Romeus:

         and then they both aroſe.

To whom the frier then ſaid,perchaunce

         a part you will diſcloſe

   Betwixt your ſelfe alone

         the bottome of your hart:

Say on at once, for time it is

         that hence you ſhould depart.

   Then Romeus ſaid to her,

          (both loth to part ſo ſoone:)

Fayre lady ſend to me agayne

         your nurce this after noone.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Of corde I will beſpeake,

         a ladder by that time:

By which, this night,while other ſleepe,

         I will your window clime.

   Then will we talke of loue,

         and of our olde diſpayres:

And then with longer layſure had,

         diſpoſe our great affaires.

   Theſe ſaid, they kiſſe,and then

         part to theyr fathers houſe:

The ioyfull bryde vnto her home,

         to his eke goth the ſpouſe.

   Contented both,and yet

         both vncontented ſtill:

Till night and Venus child, geue leaue

         the wedding to fulfill.

   The painfull ſouldiour ſore

         ybet with wery warre:

The merchant eke that nedefull things

         doth dred to fetch from farre:

   The plowman that for doute

         of feerce inuading foes,

Rather to ſit in ydle eaſe

         then ſowe his tilt hath choſe:

   Reioyce to heare proclaymd

         the tydinges of the peace:

Not pleaſurd with the ſound ſo much:

         but when the warres do ceaſe.

   Then ceaſed are the harmes

         which cruell warre bringes foorth.

The merchant then may boldly fetch,

         his wares of precious woorth.

   Dredeleſſe the huſband man

         doth till his fertile feeld:

For welth her mate,not for her ſelfe,

         is peace ſo precious held.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   So louers liue in care,

         in dread,and in vnreſt:

And dedly warre by ſtriuing thoughts

         they kepe within their breſt.

   But wedlocke is the peace

         wherby is freedome wonne,

To do a thouſand pleaſant thinges

         that ſhould not els be donne.

   The newes of ended warre

         theſe two haue hard with ioy:

But now they long the fruite of peace

         with pleaſure to enioy.

   In ſtormy wind and waue,

         in daunger to be loſt:

Thy ſtearles ſhip( O Romeus)

         hath been long while betoſt.

   The ſeas are now appeaſd,

         and thou by happy ſtarre

Art comme in ſight of quiet hauen:

         and now the wrackfull barre

   Is hid with ſwelling tyde,

         boldly thou mayſt reſort

Vnto thy wedded ladies bed,

         thy long deſyred port.

   God graunt no follies miſt

         ſo dymme thy inward ſight,

That thou do miſſe the chanell, that

         doth leade to thy delight.

   God graunt no daungers rocke

         ylurking in the darke

Before thou win the happy port

         wracke thy ſea beaten barke.

   A ſeruant Romeus had,

         of woord and deede ſo iuſt:

That with his life(if nede requierd)

         his maſter would him truſt,

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   His faithfulnes had oft

         our Romeus proued of olde

And therfore all that yet was done

         vnto his man he tolde.

   Who ſtraight as he was charged,

         a corden ladder lookes:

To which he hath made faſt two ſtrong

         and crooked yron hookes.

   The bryde to ſend the nurce

         at twylight fayleth not:

To whom the bridegroome yeuen hath.

         the ladder that he got.

   And then to watch for him

         appointeth her an howre:

For whether Fortune ſmyle on him,

         or if ſhe liſt to lowre,

   He will not miſſe to comme

         to his appoynted place,

Where wont he was to take by ſtelth

         the view of Iuliets face.

   How long theſe louers thought

         the laſting of the day,

Let other iudge that woonted are

         lyke paſſions to aſſay.

   For my part, I do geſſe

         eche howre ſeemes twenty yere:

So that I deeme if they might haue

          (as of Alcume we heare)

   The ſunne bond to theyr will,

         if they the heauens might gyde:

Black ſhade of night and doubled darke

         ſhould ſtraight all oner hyde.

   Thappointed howre is comme,

         he clad in riche araye,

Walkes toward his deſyred home,

         good Fortune gyde his way.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Approching nere the place

         from whence his hart had lffe:

So light he wox, he lept the wall,

         and there he ſpyde his wife.

   Who in the windowe watcht

         the cumming of her lorde:

Where ſhe ſo ſurely had made faſt

         the ladder made of corde:

   That daungerles her ſpouſe

         the chaumber window climes,

Where he ere then had wiſht himſelfe

         aboue ten thouſand times.

   The windowes cloſe are ſhut,

         els looke they for no geſt,

To light the waxen quariers,

         the auncient nurce is preſt,

   Which Iuliet had before

         prepared to be light,

That ſhe at pleaſure might beholde

         her huſbandes bewty bright.

   A Carchef white as ſnowe,

         ware Iuliet on her hed,

Such as ſhe wonted was to weare,

         attyre meete for the bed.

   As ſoone as ſhe him ſpyde,

         about his necke ſhe clong:

And by her long and ſlender armes

         a great while there ſhe hong.

   A thouſand times ſhe kiſt,

         and him vnkiſt agayne:

Ne could ſhe ſpeake a woord to him

         though would ſhe nere ſo fayne.

   And like betwixt his armes

         to faynt his lady is:

She fettes a ſigh, and clappeth cloſe

         her cloſed mouth to his.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   And ready then to ſownde

         ſhe looked ruthfully:

That loe, it made him both at once

         to liue and eke to dye.

   Theſe piteous painfull panges

         were haply ouerpaſt:

And ſhe vnto her ſelfe agayne

         retorned home at laſt.

   Then through her troubled breſt,

         euen from the fartheſt part,

An hollow ſigh, a meſſenger

         ſhe ſendeth from her hart.

   O Romeus quoth ſhe,

         in whome all vertues ſhyne:

Welcome thou art into this place

         where from theſe eyes of myne,

   Such teary ſtreames dyd flowe,

         that I ſuppoſe welny

The ſource of all my bitter teares

         is altogether drye.

   Abſence ſo pynde my heart,

         which on thy preſence fed:

And of thy ſafetie and thy health

         ſo much I ſtood in dred.

   But now what is decreed

         by fatall deſteny:

I force it not, let Fortune do

         and death their woorſt to me.

Full recompenſd am I

         for all my paſſed harmes,

   In that the Gods haue graunted me

         to claſpe thee in myne armes.

The chriſtall teares began

         to ſtand in Romeus eyes,

   When he vnto his ladies woordes

         gan aunſwere in this wiſe.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

Though cruell Fortune be

         ſo much my dedly foe:

   That I ne can by liuely proofe

         cauſe thee(fayre dame) to knowe

How much I am by loue

         enthralled vnto  thee:

   Ne yet what mighty powre thou haſt

         by thy deſert on me.

Ne tormentes that for thee

         I did ere this endure:

   Yet of thus much(ne will I fayne)

         I may thee well aſſure.

The leaſt of many paynes

         which of thy abſence ſprong:

   More paynefully then death it ſelfe

         my tender hart hath wroong.

Ere this one death  had reft

         a thouſand deathes away:

   But lyfe prolonged was by hope,

         of this deſired  day.

Which ſo iuſt tribute payes

         of all my paſſed mone:

   That I as well contented am,

         as if my ſelfe alone

Did from the  Occean reigne

         vnto the ſea of Inde:

   Wherfore now let vs wipe away

         old cares out of our mynde.

For as the wretched ſtate

         is now redreſt at laſt,

   So is it ſkill behinde  our backe

         the curſed care to caſt.

Since Fortune of her  grace

         hath place and time aſſinde

   Where we with pleaſure may content

         our vncontented minde.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

In Lethes hyde we deepe

         all greefe and all annoy,

   Whilſt we do bath in bliſſe, and fill

         our hungry harts with ioye.

And for the time to comme,

         let be our buſy care:

   So wiſely to direct our loue

         as no wight els be ware.

Leſt enuious foes by force

         deſpoyle our new delight,

   And vs throwe backe from happy ſtate

         to more vnhappy plight.

Fayre Iuliet began

         to aunſwere what he ſayde:

   But foorth in haſt the olde nurce ſtept,

         and ſo her aunſwere ſtayde.

Who takes not time(quoth ſhe)

         when time well offred is,

   An other time ſhall ſeeke for time,

         and yet of time ſhall miſſe.

And when occaſion ſerues,

         who ſo doth let it ſlippe,

   Is woorthy ſure (if I might iudge)

         of laſhes with a whippe.

Wherfore, if eche of you

         hath harmde the other ſo,

   And eche of you hath been the cauſe

         of others wayled woe,

Loe here a fielde, (ſhe ſhewd

         a fieeldbed ready dight)

   Where you may,if you liſt, in armes,

         reuenge your ſelfe by fight.

Wherto theſe louers both

         gan eaſely aſſent,

And to the place of mylde reuenge

         with pleaſant cheere they went.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Where they were left alone,

         the nurce is gone to reſt:

How can this be? they reſtles lye,

         ne yet they feele vnreſt.

   I graunt that I enuie

         the bliſſe they liued in:

Oh that I might haue found the like.

         I wiſh it for no ſin.

   But that I might as well

         with pen their ioyes depaynt,

As here to fore I haue diſplayd

         their ſecret hidden playnt.

   Of ſhyuering care and dred,

         I haue felt many a fit,

But Fortune ſuch delight as theyrs

         dyd neuer graunt me yet.

   By proofe no certain truth

         can I vnhappy write:

But what I geſſe by likelihod,

         that dare I to endite.

   The blyndfyld goddeſſe that

         with frowning face doth fraye,

And from theyr ſeate the mighty kinges

         throwes downe with hedlong ſway:

   Begynneth now to turne,

         to theſe her ſmyling face,

Nedes muſt they taſt of great delight,

         ſo much in Fortunes grace.

   If Cupid, God of loue,

         be God of pleaſant ſport,

I thinck O  Romeus Mars himſelfe

         enuies thy happy ſort.

   Ne Venus iuſtly might,

          (aſ I ſuppoſe) repent,

If in thy ſtead( O Iuliet)

         this pleaſant time ſhe ſpent.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   This paſſe they foorth the night

         in ſport, in ioly game:

The haſtines of Phoebus ſteeds

         in great deſpyte they blame.

   And now the virgins fort

         hath warlike Romeus got,

In which as yet no breache was made

         by force of canon ſhot.

   And now in eaſe he doth

         poſſeſſe the hoped place:

How glad was he,ſpeake you that may

         your louers parts embrace?

   The mariage thus made vp,

         and both the parties pleaſd:

The nigh approche of dayes retoorne

         theſe ſeely foles diſeaſd.

   And for they might no while

         in pleaſure paſſe theyr time,

Ne leyſure had they much to blame

         the haſty mornings crime:

   With frendly kiſſe in armes

         of her his leaue he takes,

And euery other night to come,

         a ſolemne othe he makes.

   By one ſelfe meane, and eke

         to come at one ſelfe howre:

And ſo he doth till  Fortune liſt

         to ſawſe his ſweete with ſowre.

   But who is he that can

         his preſent ſtate aſſure?

And ſay vnto himſelf, thy ioyes

         ſhall yet a day endure.

   So wauering Fortunes whele

         her chaunges be ſo ſtraunge.

And euery wight ythralled is

         by ſate vnto her chaunge.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Who raignes ſo ouer all,

         that eche man hath his part:

( Although not aye perchaunce alike)

         of pleaſure and of ſmart.

   For after many ioyes,

         ſome feele but little payne:

And from that little greefe they toorne

         to happy ioy againe.

   But other ſomme there are,

         that liuing long in woe,

At length they be in quiet eaſe,

         but long abide not ſo.

   Whoſe greefe is much increaſt

         by myrth that went before:

Becauſe the ſodayne chaunge of thinges

         doth make it ſeeme the more.

   Of this vnlucky ſorte

         our Romeus is one

For all his hap turnes to miſhap,

         and all his myrth to mone.

   And ioyfull Iuliet

         an other leafe muſt toorne:

As wont ſhe was (her ioyes bereft)

         ſhe muſt begin to moorne.

   The ſummer of their bliſſe,

         doth laſt a month or twayne:

But winters blaſt with ſpedy foote

         doth bring the fall agayne.

   Whom glorious fortune erſt

         had heaued to the ſkies:

By enuious fortune ouerthrowne

         on earth now groueling lyes.

   She payd theyr former greefe

         with pleaſures doubled gayne:

But now for pleaſures vſery

         ten folde redoubleth payne.


☞[Spes me fallit]☜

☞[. . .] ☜













































































































☞[Sins ye can

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best is to ſuffre for

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☞[Me mea Galla

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[i] Battista Spagnuoli, also called “il Mantovano”, the Mantuan (1447 – 1516), Eclogae, De adulescentia 1: 

“de honesto amore et felici eius exitu” (Of lawful love and its happy outcome”), 42-3.

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