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

Tragical History – Diplomatic Edition 1562





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































of Romeus and Iuliet.

   A thouſand times a day

         to wiſhe for ſodayn death:

And curſe the day, and howre when firſt

         thy lunges did geue thee breath.

   Aduiſe thee well, and ſay

         that thou art warned now,

And thinke not that I ſpeake in ſport,

         or mynd to breake my vowe.

   For were it not that I

         to Counte Paris gaue

My fayth, which I muſt kepe vnfalſt,

         my honor ſo to ſaue:

   Ere thou goe hence,my ſelfe

         would ſee thee chaſtned ſo,

That thou ſhouldſt once for all be taught,

         thy duetie how to knowe

   And what reuenge of olde,

         the angry ſyres did finde

Againſt theyr children that rebeld,

         and ſhewd them ſelfe vnkinde.

   Theſe ſayd, the olde man ſtraight.

         is gone in haſt a way.

Ne for his daughters anſwere would

         the teſty father ſtay.

vAnd after him,  his wife

         doth follow out of doore,

And there they leaue theyr chidden chylde.

         kneeling vpon the  floore.

   Then ſhe that oft had ſeene

         the fury of her ſyre,

Dreading what might come of his rage,

         nould farther ſtyrre his yre.

   Vnto her chamber ſhe

         withdrew her ſelfe aparte,

Where ſhe was wonted to vnlode,

         the ſorowes of her hart.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   There did ſhe not ſo much

         buſy her eyes in ſleping,

As ouerpreſt with reſtles thoughts

         in piteous booteles weping.

   The faſt falling of teares

         make not her teares decreaſe,

Ne by the powring forth of plaint,

         the cauſe of plaint doth ceaſe.

   So that to thend the mone

         and ſorow may decaye,

The beſt is that ſhe ſeeke ſome meane

         to take the cauſe away.

   Her wery bed betime

         the wofull wight forſakes,

And to ſainct Frauncis church to maſſe

         her way deuoutly takes.

   The fryer forth is calde,

         ſhe prayes him heare her ſhrift:

Deuocion is in ſo yong yeres,

         a rare and precious gyft.

   When in her tender knees

         the dainty lady kneeles,

In minde to powre forth all the greefe,

         that inwardly ſhe feeles.

   With ſighes and ſalted teares

         her ſhryuing doth beginne,

Forſhe of heaped ſorowes hath

         to ſpeake, and not of ſinne.

   Her voyce with piteous plaint

         was made already horce,

And haſty ſobs, when ſhe would ſpeake,

         brake of her woordes parforce.

   But as ſhe may peece meale,

         ſhe powreth in his lappe,

The mariage newes, a miſchief newe,

         prepared by miſhappe.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Her parentes promiſſe erſt

         to Counte Paris paſt,

Her fathers threats ſhe telleth him,

         and thus concludes at laſt.

   Once was I wedded well,

         ne will I wed agayne,

For ſince I know I may not be

         the wedded wyfe of twayne,

   For I am bound to haue

         one God,one fayth, one make,

My purpoſe is as ſoone as I

         ſhall hence my iorney take

   With theſe two handes which ioynde

         vnto the heauens I ſtretch,

The haſty death which I deſire

         vnto my ſelfe to reache.

   This day(O Romeus)

         this day thy wofull wife

Will bring the end of all her cares

         by ending carefull lyfe.

   So my departed ſprite

         ſhall witnes to the ſkye,

And eke my blood vnto the earth

         beare record how that I

   Haue kept my fayth vnbroke,

         ſtedfaſt vnto my frende,

When this her heauy tale was tolde

         her vowe eke at an ende,

   Her gaſing here and there,

         her feerce and ſtaring looke,

Did witnes that ſome lewd attempt,

         her hart had vndertooke.

   Whereat, the fryer astonde,

         and gaſtfully afrayde,

Leſt ſhe by dede perfourme her woord,

         thus much to her he ſayde.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Ah lady Iuliet,

         what nede the wordes you ſpake?

I pray you graunt me one requeſt

         for bleſſed Maries ſake.

   Meaſure ſomewhat your greefe,

         holde here a while your peace,

Whilſt I bethinke me of your caſe,

         your plaint and ſorowes ceaſe.

   Such comfort will I geue

         you ere you part from hence,

And for thaſſaltes of Fortunes yre

         prepare ſo ſure defence,

   So holeſome ſalue will I

         for your afflictionſ finde,

That you ſhall hence depart agayne

         with well contented mynde.

   His wordes haue chaſed ſtraight

            out of her hart deſpayre,

Her blacke and ougly dredfull thoughts

         by hope are waxen fayre.

   So fryer Lawrence now

         hath left her there alone,

And he out of the church in haſt

         is to his chaumber gone.

   Where ſundry thoughtes within

         his carefull head ariſe,

The old mans foreſight diuers doutes

         hath ſet before his eyes.

   His conſcience one while

         condems it for a ſinne,

To let her take Paris to ſpouſe,

         ſince he himſelfe had byn

   The chefeſt cauſe,that ſhe

         vnknowne to father or mother,

Not fiue monthes paſt in that ſelfe place

         was wedded to another.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   An other while an hugy

         heape of daungers dred,

His reſtles thought hath heaped vp,

         within his troubled hed.

   Euen of it ſelfe thattempt

         he iudgeth perilous,

The execucion eke he demes

         ſo much more daungerous,

   That to a womans grace

         he muſt himſelfe commit,

That yong is,ſimple,and vnware,

         for waighty affaires vnfit.

   For if the fayle in ought

         the matter publiſhed,

Both ſhe and Romeus were vndonne,

         himſelfe eke puniſhed,

   When too and fro in mynde

         he dyuers thoughts had caſt,

With tender pity and with ruth

         his hart was wonne at laſt.

   He thought he rather would

         in haſard ſet his fame,

Then ſuffer ſuch adultery

         reſoluing on the ſame,

   Out of his cloſet ſtraight,

         he tooke a litele glaſſe,

And then with double haſt retornde

         where wofull Iuliet was.

   Whom he hath found welnigh

         in traunce, ſcarce drawing breath,

Attending ſtill to heare the newes

         of lyfe or els of death.

   Of whom he did enquire

         of the appointed day.

On wenſday next(quod Iuliet)

         ſo doth my father ſay:

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   I muſt geue my conſent

         but(as I do remember)

The ſolemne day of mariage is,

         the tenth day of September.

   Deere daughter quoth the fryer

         of good chere ſee thou be,

For loe,ſainct  Frauncis of his grace

         hath ſhewde a way to me,

   By which I may both thee,

         and Romeus together,

Out of the bondage which you feare

         aſſuredly deliuer.

   Euen from the holy font

         thy huſband haue I knowne,

And ſince he grew in yeres,haue kept

         his counſels as myne owne.

   For from his youth he would

         vnfold to me his hart,

And often haue I cured him,

         of anguiſh,and of ſmart.

   I know that by deſert

         his frendſhip I haue wonne,

And I him holde as dere, as if

         he were my propre ſonne.

   Wherfore my frendly hart,

         can not abyde that he

Should wrongfully in ought be harmde,

         if that it lay in me,

   To right or to reuenge

         the wrong by my aduiſe,

Or timely to preuent the ſame

         in any other wiſe.

   And ſith thou art his wife,

         thee am I bound to loue,

For Romeus frindſhips ſake,and ſeeke

         thy anguiſhe to remoue.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   And dreadfull torments which

         thy hart beſegen rounde,

Wherfore my daughter geue good eare,

         vnto my counſels ſounde.

   Forget not what I ſay,

         ne tell it any wight,

Not to the nurce thou truſteſt so,

         as Romeus is thy knight.

   For on this threed doth hang

         thy death and eke thy lyfe,

My fame, or ſhame, his weale or woe,

         that choſe thee to his wyfe.

   Thou art not ignorant

          (becauſe of ſuch renowne

Aſ euery where is ſpred of me,

         but chefely in this towne.)

   That in my youthfull dayes

         abrode I trauayled

Through euery land found out by men,

         by men inhabited,

   So twenty yeres from home,

         in landes vnknowne, a geſt,

I neuer gaue my weary limmes

         long time of quiet reſt.

   But in the deſert woodes,

         to beaſte? of cruell kinde,

Or on the ſeas to drenching waues,

         at pleaſure of the winde.

   I haue committed them

         to ruth of rouers hand,

And to a thouſand daungers more

         by water and by lande,

   But not in vayne(my childe)

         hath all my wandring byn,

Beſide the great contentednes

         my ſprete abydeth in.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   That by the pleaſant thought

         of paſſed thinges doth grow

One priuate frute more haue I pluchd

         which thou ſhalt ſhortly know:

   What force the ſtones,the plants,

         and metals haue to woorke,

And diuers other things that in

         the bowels of earth do loorke,

   With care I haue ſought out

         with payne I did them proue,

With them eke can I helpe my ſelfe,

         at times of my behoue,

    (Although the ſcience be

         againſt the lawes of men)

When ſodain daunger forceth me,

         but yet moſt cheefly when

   The worke to doe is leaſt

         diſpleaſing vnto God,

Not helping to do any ſinne

         that wrekefull Ioue forbode.

   For ſince in lyfe no hope

         of long abode I haue,

But now am comme vnto the brinke

         of my appointed graue,

   And that my death drawes nere,

         whoſe ſtripe I may not ſhonne,

But ſhalbe calde to make account

         of all that I haue donne,

   Now ought I from hence forth

         more depely print in mynde

The iudgement of the lord, then when

         youthes folly made me blynde,

   When loue and fond deſyre

         were boyling in my breſt,

Whence hope and dred by ſtriuing thoughts

         had baniſhed frendly reſt,

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Knowe therfore(daughter) that

         with other gyftes which I

Haue well attained to by grace

         and fauour of the ſkye,

   Long ſince I did finde out,

         and yet the way I knowe

Of certain rootes and ſauory herbes

         to make a kinde of dowe,

   Which baked hard,and bet

         into a powder fine,

And dronke with conduite water, or

         with any kynd of wine,

   It doth in halfe an howre

         aſtonne the taker ſo,

And maſtreth all his ſences,that

         he feeleth weale nor woe,

   And ſo it burieth vp

         the ſprite and liuing breath,

That euen the ſkilfull leche would ſay,

         that he is ſlayne by death.

   One vertue more it hath,

         as meruelous as this,

The taker by receiuing it,

         at all not greeued is.

   But painleſſe as a man,

         that thinketh nought at all,

Into a ſwete and quiet ſlepe

         immediately doth fall,

   From which(according to

         the quantitie he taketh,

Longer or ſhorter is the time

         before the ſleper waketh.

   And thence(theffect once wrought)

         agayne it doth reſtore

Him that receaued vnto the ſtate,

         wherin he was before.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   Wherfore,marke well the ende,

         of this my tale begonne,

And therby learne what is by thee

         hereafter to be donne.

   Caſt of from thee at once,

         the weede of womanniſh dread,

With manly courage arme thy ſelfe,

         from heele vnto the head.

   For onely on the feare

         or boldnes of thy breſt,

The happy happe, or yll miſhappe

         of thy affayre doth reſt.

   Receiue this vyoll ſmall,

         and keepe it as thine eye,

And on thy mariage day before

         the ſunne doe cleare the ſkye,

   Fill it with water full,

         vp to the very brim.

Then drinke it of,and thou ſhalt feele,

         throughout eche vayne and lim:

   A pleaſant ſlumber ſlide,

         and quite diſpred at length,

On all thy partes,from euery part

         reue all thy kindly ſtrength.

   Withouten mouing thus

         thy idle partſ ſhall reſt,

No pulſe ſhall goe,ne hart once beate

         within thy hollow breſt.

   But thou ſhalt lye as ſhe

         that dyeth in a traunce,

Thy kinſmen,and thy truſty frendes

         ſhall wayle the ſodain chaunce:

   Thy corps then will they bring

         to graue in this church yarde,

Where thy forefathers long agoe

         a coſtly tombe preparde.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Both for himſelfe,and eke

         for thoſe that ſhould come after,

Both deepe it is,and long and large,

         where thou ſhalt reſt my daughter,

   Till I to Mantua ſende

         for Romeus thy knight.

Out of the tombe, both he and I

         will take thee forth that night.

   And when out of thy ſlepe

         thou ſhalt awake agayne,

Then mayſt thou goe with him from hence,

         and healed of thy payne.

   In Mantua lead with him

         vnknowne a pleaſant life,

And yet perhaps in time to comme,

         when ceaſe ſhall all the ſtrife,

   And that the peace is made

         twixt Romeus and his foes,

My ſelfe may finde ſo fit a time

         theſe ſecretes to dyſcloſe,

   Both to my prayſe, and to

         thy tender parentes ioy,

That daungerles without reproche

         thou ſhalt thy loue enioy.

   When of  his ſkilfull tale,

         the fryer had made an ende,

To which our Iuliet ſo well

         her eare and wits dyd bend,

   That ſhe hath heard it all,

         and hath forgotten nought,

Her fainting hart was comforted,

         with hope and pleaſant thought.

   And then to him ſhe ſaid,

         doubte not but that I will

With ſtoute and vnappauled hart,

         your happy heſt fulfill.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Yea,if I wiſt it were

         a venemous dedly drinke:

Rather would I that through my throte

         the certaine bane ſhould ſinke,

   Then I (not drinking it)

         into his handes ſhould fall,

That hath no part of me as yet,

         ne ought to haue at all.

   Much more I ought with bold

         and with a willing hert,

To greateſt daunger yelde my ſelfe

         and to the dedly ſmart,

   To comme to him, on whome

         my life doth wholy ſtay,

That is my onely hartes delight,

         and ſo he ſhalbe aye.

   Then goe quoth he (my childe)

         I pray that God on hye,

Direct thy foote,and by thy hand

         vpon the way thee gye:

   God graunt he ſo confirme

         in thee thy preſent will,

That no inconſtant toy thee let,

         thy promeſſe to fulfill.

   A thouſand thankes and more,

         our Iuliet gaue the fryer,

And homeward to her fathers houſe

         ioyfull ſhe doth retyre.

   And as with ſtately gate

         ſhe paſſed through the ſtreete,

She ſaw her mother in the doore,

         that with her there would meete.

   In mynd to aſke if ſhe

         her purpoſe yet did holde,

In mynd alſo a part twixt them,

         her duety to haue tolde:

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Wherfore with pleaſant face,

         and with vnwonted chere,

As ſoone as ſhe was vnto her

         approched ſumwhat nere,

   Before the mother ſpake,

         thus did ſhe fyrſt begin,

Madame,at ſainct Frauncis churche

         haue I this morning byn,

   Where I did make abode,

         alonger while(percaſe)

Then dewty would, yet haue I not

         been abſent from this place,

   So long a while,whithout

         a great and iuſt cauſe why,

This frute haue I receaued there,

         my hart erſt lyke to dye,

   Is now reuiued agayne,

         and my afflicted breſt

Releaſed from affliction,

         reſtored is to reſt.

   For lo,my tronbled goſt

          (alas too ſore diſeaſde,)

By goſtly counſell and aduiſe,

         hath fryer Lawrence eaſde,

   To whome I did at large

         diſcourſe my former lyfe,

And in confeſſion did I tell

         of all our paſſed ſtrife.

   Of Counte Paris ſute,

         and how my lord my ſyre,

By my vngrate and ſtubborne ſtryfe,

         I ſtyrred vnto yre.

   But lo,the holy fryer

         hath by his goſtly lore,

Made me another woman now,

         then I had been before,

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   By ſtrength of argumentes

         he charged ſo my mynde,

That(though I ſought)no ſure defence

         my ſerching thought could finde.

   So forced I was at length

         to yelde vp witles will,

And promiſt to be orderd by

         the friers prayſed ſkill,

   Wherfore,albeit I

         had raſhely long before,

The bed and rytes of mariage,

         for many yeres forſwore,

   Yet mother now behold,

         your daughter at your will,

Ready(if you commaunde her ought)

         your pleaſure to fulfill.

   Wherfore in humble wiſe.

         dere madam I you pray

To goe vnto my lord and ſyre,

         withouten long delay,

   Of him fyrſt pardon craue

         of faultes already paſt,

And ſhew him(if it pleaſeth you)

         his child is now at laſt

   Obedient to his luſt

         and to his ſkilfull heſt.

And that I will(god lending life)

         on wenſday next be preſt.

   To wayte on him and you,

         vnto thappoynted place,

Where I will in your hearing and

         before my fathers face,

   Vnto the Counte geue

         my fayth and whole aſſent,

To take him for my lord and ſpouſe.

         thus fully am I bent.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   And that out of your mynde

         I may remoue all doute,

Vnto my cloſet fare I now,

         to ſearche and to chooſe out

   The braueſt garmentes and

         the richeſt iewels there,

Which(better him to pleaſe) I mynd

         on wenſday next to weare.

   For if I did excell

         the famous Gretian rape,

Yet might attyre helpe to amende

         my bewty and my ſhape.

   The ſimple mother was,

         rapt in to great delight,

Not halfe a word could ſhe bring forth,

         but in this ioyfull plight,

   With nimble foote ſhe ran

         and with vnwonted pace,

Vnto her penſiue huſband, and

         to him with pleaſant face

   She tolde what ſhe had heard,

         and prayſeth much the fryer.

And ioyfull teares ranne downe the cheekes

         of this gray berded fyer.

   With handes and eyes heaued vp,

         he thankes God in his hart,

And then he ſayth,this is not(wife)

         the friers firſt deſart.

   Oft hath he ſhewde to vs,

         great frendſhip heretofore,

By helping vs at nedefull times,

         with wiſdomes pretious lore:

   In all our common weale,

         ſcarce one is to be founde,

But is for ſomme good torne vnto

         this holy father bounde.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Oh that the thyrd part of

         my goods(I doe not fayne)

But twenty of his paſſed yeres

         might purchaſe him agayne

   So much in recompence

         of frendſhip would I geue,

So much(in faith)his extreme age

         my frendly hart doth greue.

   Theſe ſaid,the glad old man,

         from home,goeth ſtraight abrode,

And to the ſtately palace hyeth,

         where Paris made abode.

   Whom he deſyres to be

         on wenſday next his geaſt,

At Freetowne,where he myndes to make

         for him a coſtly feaſt.

   But loe,the Earle saith

         ſuch feaſting were but loſt,

And counſels him till mariage time

         to ſpare ſo great a coſt.

   For then he knoweth well

         the charges wilbe great,

The whilſt his hart deſyreth ſtill

         her ſight,and not his meate.

   He craues of Capilet,

         that he may ſtraight go ſee

Fayre Iuliet, wher to he doth

         right willingly agree.

   The mother warnde before,

         her daughter doth prepare,

She warneth and ſhe chargeth her

         that in no wyſe ſhe ſpare

   Her curteous ſpeche, her pleaſant

         lookes,and commely grace,

But liberally to geue them forth

         when Paris commes in place.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Which ſhe as cunningly

         could ſet forth to the ſhewe,

As cunning crafteſmen to the ſale

         do ſet theie wares on rew:

   That ere the County did

         out of her ſight depart,

So ſecretly vnwares to him,

         ſhe ſtale away his hart,

   That of his lyfe and death

         the wyly wench hath powre,

And now his longing hart thinkes long

         for theyr appoynted howre.

   And with importune ſute,

         the parentes doth he pray,

The wedlocke knot to knit ſoone vp,

         and haſt the mariage day.

   The woer hath paſt forth

         the firſt day in this ſort,

And many other more then this,

         in pleaſure and diſport,

   At length the wiſhed time

         of long hoped delight,

(As Paris thought)drew nere, but nere

         approched heauy plight:

   Againſt the bridall day

         the parentes did prepare,

Such rich attyre,ſuch furniture,

         ſuch ſtore of dainty fare,

   That they which did behold

         the ſame the night before,

Did thinke and ſay,a man could ſcarcely

         wiſhe for any more.

Nothing did ſeeme to deere,

         the deereſt thinges were bought,

   And(as the written ſtory ſaith)

         in dede there wanted nought.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

That longd to his degree

         and honor of his ſtocke,

   But Iuliet the whilſt her thoughts

         within her breſt did locke.

Euen from the truſty nurce,

         whoſe ſecretries was tryde,

   The ſecret counſell of her hart

         the nurce childe ſeekes to hide.

For ſith to mocke her dame

         ſhe dyd not ſticke to lye,

   She thought no ſinne with ſhew of truth,

         to bleare her nurces eye.

In chamber ſecretly

         the tale ſhe gan renew,

   That at the doore ſhe tolde her dame

         as though it had been trew.

The flattring nurce did prayſe

         the fryer for his ſkill,

   And ſaid that ſhe had done right well

         by wit to order will.

She ſetteth foorth at large

         the fathers furious rage,

   And eke ſhe prayſeth much to her,

         the ſecond mariage.

And County Paris now

         ſhe praiſeth ten times more,

   By wrong,then ſhe her ſelfe by right,

         had Romeus prayſde before.

Paris ſhall dwell there ſtill,

         Romeus ſhall not retourne,

   What ſhall it boote her life,

         to languiſh ſtill and mourne.

   The pleaſures paſt before,

         ſhe muſt account as gayne,

But if he doe reforne, what then?

         for one ſhe ſhall haue twayne.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   The one ſhall vſe her as

         his lawfull wedded wyſe,

In wanton loue,with equall ioy

         the other leade his lyfe:

   And beſt ſhall ſhe be ſped

         of any towniſh dame,

Of huſband and of paramour,

         to fynde her chaunge of game.

   Theſe wordes and like,the nurce

         did ſpeake,in hope to pleaſe,

But greatly did thoſe wicked wordes

         the ladies mynde diſeaſe:

   But ay ſhe hid her wrath,

         and ſeemed well content,

When dayly dyd the naughty nurce

         new argumentes inuent:

   But when the bryde perceued

         her howre opproched nere,

She ſought(the beſt ſhe could)to fayne,

         and tempted ſo her cheere,

   That by her outward looke,

         no liuing wight could geſſe

Her inward woe, and yet a new

         renewde is her diſtreſſe.

   Vnto her chaumber doth

         the penſiue wight repayre.

And in her hand a percher light

         the nurce beares vp the ſtayre,

   In Iuliets chamber was

         her wonted vſe to lye,

Wherfore her miſtres dreading that

         ſhe ſhould her work deſcrye

   As ſone as ſhe began

         her pallet to vnfold,

Thinking to lye that night, where ſhe

         was wont to lye of olde:

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Doth gently pray her ſeeke,

         her lodgeing ſome where els.

And leſt the crafty ſhould ſuſpect,

         a ready reaſon telles.

   Derefrend(quoth ſhe)you knowe,

         to morow is the day,

Of new contract,wherfore this night,

         my purpoſe is to pray,

   Vnto the heauenly myndes,

         that dwell aboue the ſkyes,

And order all the courſe of thinges,

         as they can beſt deuyſe,

   That they ſo ſmyle vpon

         the doynges of To morow,

That all the remnant of my lyfe,

         may be exempt from ſorow:

   Wherfore  I pray you leaue

         me here alone this night,

But ſee that you to morow comme

         before the dawning light,

   For you muſt coorle my heare,

         and ſet on my attyre,

And eaſely the louing nurſe,

         dyd yelde to her deſire.

   For ſhe within he hed

         dyd caſt before no doute,

She little knew the cloſe attempt,

         her nurce childe went about.

   The nurce departed once,

         the chamber doore ſhut cloſe,

Aſſured that no liuing wight,

         her doing myght diſcloſe,

   She powred forth into

         the vyole of the fryer,

Water out of a ſiluer ewer,

         that on the boord ſtoode by her,

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   The ſlepy mixture made,

         fayre Iuliet doth it  hyde,

Vnder her bolſter ſoft, and ſo

         vnto her bed ſhe hyed:

   Where diuers nouel thoughts

         ariſe within her hed,

And ſhe is ſo inuironed

         about with deadly dred,

   That what before ſhe had

         reſolued vndoutedly,

That ſame ſhe calleth  into doute,

         and lying doutfully,

   Whilſt honeſt loue did ſtriue

         with dred of dedly payne,

With handes ywrong,and weping eyes,

         thus gan ſhe to complaine.

   What, is there any one

         beneth the heauens hye,

So much vnfortunate as I,

         ſo much paſt hope as I?

   What,am not I my ſelfe

         of all that yet were borne,

The depeſt drenched in diſpayre,

         and moſt in  Fortunes ſkorne?

   For loe the world for me,

         hath nothing els to finde,

Beſide miſhap and wretchednes,

         and anguiſh of the mynde,

   Since that the cruel cauſe

         of my vnhappines,

Hath put me to this ſodaine plonge,

         and brought to ſuch diſtres,

   As(to the end I may

         my name and conſcience ſaue,)

I muſt deuowre the mixed drinke,

         that by me here I haue.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   Whoſe woorking and whoſe force

         as yet I doe not know,

And of this piteous plaint began

         another doute to growe.

   What doe I knowe (quoth ſhe)

         if that this powder ſhall

Sooner or later then it ſhould

         or els not woorke at all?

   And then my craft deſcride,

         as open as the day,

The peoples tale and laughing ſtocke,

         ſhall I remayne for aye.

   And what know I (quoth ſhe)

         if ſerpentes odious,

And other beaſtes and wormes that are

         of nature venemous,

   That wonted are to lurke,

         in darke caues vnder grounde,

And commonly as I haue heard

         in dead mens tombes are found,

   Shall harme me yea  or  nay,

         were I ſhall  lye as ded,

Or how ſhall I that alway  haue

         in ſo freſhe ayre been bred

   Endure the lothſome ſtinke

         of ſuch an heaped ſtore

Of carkaſes,not yet conſumde

         and bones that long before

   Intombed were,where I

         my ſleping place ſhall haue,

Where all my aunceſters doe reſt,

         my kindreds common graue.

   Shall not the fryer and

         my Romeus when they come,

Fynd me(if I awake before)

         yſtified in the tombe?

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   And whtlſt ſhe in theſe thoughtes

         doth dwell ſomwhat to long,

The force of her ymagining,

         anon dyd ware ſo ſtrong,

   That ſhe ſurmyſde ſhe ſaw

         out of the hollow vaulte,

(A griefly thing to looke vpon,)

         the carkas of Tybalt,

   Right in the ſelfe ſame ſort,

         that ſhe few dayes before

Had ſeene him in his blood embrewde,

         to death eke wounded ſore.

   And then, when ſhe agayne

         within her ſelfe had wayde,

That quicke ſhe ſhould be buried there,

         and by his ſide be layde

   All comfortles,for ſhe

         ſhall liuing feere haue none

But many a rotten carkas, and

         full many a naked bone:

   Her dainty tender partes

         gan ſheuer all for dred,

Her golden heares did ſtand vpright,

         vpon her chilliſh hed.

   Then preſſed with the feare

         that ſhe there liued in,

A ſweat as colde as mountaine yſe,

         pearſt through her tender ſkin,

   That with the moyſture hath

         wet euery part of hers,

And more beſides,ſhe vainely thinkes,

         whilſt vainely thus ſhe feares,

   A thouſand bodies dead

         haue compaſt her about,

And leſt they will diſmember her,

         ſhe greatly ſtandes in dout,

                    The Tragicall hyſtory.

   But when ſhe felt her ſtrength

         began to weare away,

By little and little,and in her hart

         her feare increaſed ay:

   Dreading that weakenes might

         or fooliſh cowardiſe

Hinder the execution of

         the purpoſde enterpriſe,

   As ſhe had frantike been,

         in haſt the glaſſe ſhe cought,

And vp ſhe dranke the mixture quite.

         withouten farther thought.

   Then on her breſt ſhe croſt

         her armes long and ſmall,

And ſo her ſenſes fayling her,

         into a traunce did fall.

   And when that  Phoebus bright

         heaued vp his ſeemely hed,

And from the Eaſt in open ſkies

         his gliſtring rayes diſpred

  The nurce vnſhut the doore,

         for ſhe the key did keepe,

And douting ſhe had ſlept to long,

         ſhe thought to breake her ſlepe:

   Fyrſt, ſoftly dyd ſhe call,

         then lowder thus did crye,

Lady, you ſlepe to long, (the Earle)

         will rayſe you by and by.

   But wele away, in vayne

         vnto the deafe ſhe calles,

She thinkes to ſpeake to Iuliet,

         but ſpeaketh to the walles.

   If all the dredfull noyſe,

         that might on earth be found,

Or on the roaring ſeas,or if

         the dredfull thunders ſound,

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Had blowne into her eares,

         I thinke they could not make,

The ſleping wight before the time

         by any meanes awake:

   So were the ſprites of lyfe

         ſhut vp,and ſenſes thrald,

Wherwith the ſeely carefull nurce,

         was wondrouſly apalde.

   She thought to daw her now

         as ſhe had donne of olde,

But loe,ſhe found her parts were ſtiffe.

         and more then marble colde,

   Neither at mouth nor noſe,

         found ſhe recourſe of breth,

Two certaine argumentes were theſe,

         of her vntimely death.

   Wherfore as one diſtraught,

         ſhe to her mother ranne,

With ſcratched face, and heare betorne,

         but no woord ſpeake ſhe can.

   At laſt(with much a doe)

         dead(quoth ſhe)is my childe,

Now out alas(the mother cryde)

         and as a Tyger wilde,

   Whoſe whelpes whilſt ſhe is gonne

         out of her denne to pray,

The hunter gredy of his game,

         doth kill or cary away:

   So, rageing forth ſhe ranne,

         vnto her Iuliets bed,

And there ſhe found her derling, and

         her onely comfort ded.

   Then ſhriked ſhe out as lowde,

         as ſerue her would her breth,

And then(that pity was to heare)

         thus cryde ſhe out on death.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   Ah cruell death(quoth ſhe)

         that thus againſt all right

Haſt ended my felicitie,

         and robde my hartes delight,

   Do now thy worſt to me,

         once wreake thy wrath for all.

Euen in deſpite I crye to thee

         thy vengeance let thou fall.

    Wherto ſtay I (alas,)

         ſince Iuliet is gone?

Wherto liue I ſince ſhe is dead,

         except to wayle and mone?

   Alacke dere chyld,my teares

         for thee ſha l neuer ceaſe,

Euen as my dayes of life increaſe,

         ſo ſhall my plaint increaſe.

   Such ſtore of ſorow ſhall

         afflict my tender hart,

That dedly panges when they aſſayle

         ſhall not augment my ſmart.

   Then gan ſhe ſo to ſobbe,

         it ſeemde her hart would braſt,

And while ſhe crieth thus,behold

         the father at the laſt,

   The County Paris, and

         of gentilmen a route,

And ladies of Verona towne,

         and country round about,

    Both kindreds and alies,

         thether a pace haue preaſt,

For by theyr preſence there they ſought

         to honor ſo the feaſt,

    But when the heauy newes

         the hydden geaſtes did heare,

So much they mournd, that who had ſeene

         theyr countnance and theyr cheere,

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Mi ght eaſely haue iudgde,

         by that that they had ſeene,

That day the day of wrath, and eke

         of pity haue beene.

   But more then all the reſt

         the fathers hart was ſo

Smit with the heauy newes, and ſo

         ſhut vp with ſodain woe,

   That he ne had the powre

         his daughter to bewepe,

Ne yet to ſpeake,but long is forſd,

         his teares and plaint to kepe.

   In all the haſt he hath

         for ſkilfull leaches ſent,

And hearyng of her paſſed life,

         they iudge with one aſſent,

   The cauſe of this her death

         was inward care and thought,

And then with double force againe

         the doubled ſorowes wrought.

   If euer there hath been

         a lamentable day,

A day ruthfull,vnfortunate,

         and fatall,then I ſay,

   The ſame was it in which,

         through Veron towne was ſpred,

The wofull newes how Iuliet

         was ſterued in her bed.

   For ſo ſhe was bemonde,

         both of the yong and olde,

That it might ſeeme to him that would

         the commen plaint behold,

   That all the commen welth

         did ſtand in ieopardy,

So vniuerfall was the plaint,

         ſo piteous was the crye.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   For lo,beſide her ſhape,

         and natiue bewties hewe,

With which, like as ſhe grew in age,

         her vertues prayſes grewe.

   She was alſo ſo wiſe,

         ſo lowly ,and ſo mydle:

That euen from the hory head,

         vnto the witles childe,

   She wan the hartes of all,

         ſo that there was not one,

Ne great ne ſmall,but dyd that day

         her wretched ſtate bemone.

   Whilſt Iuliet ſlept,and whilſt

         the other wepen thus:

Our fryer Lawrence hath by this,

         ſent one to Romeus.

   A frier of his houſe,

         there neuer was a better,

He truſted him euen as himſelfe,

         to whom he gaue a letter:

   In which,he written had,

         of euery thing at length,

That paſt twixt Iuliet and him,

         and of the powders ſtrength.

   The next night after that,

         he willeth him to comme

To helpe to take his Iuliet

         out of the hollow toombe.

   For by that time, the drinke

         he ſaith will ceaſe to woorke,

And for one night his wife and he

         within his cell ſhall loorke.

   Then ſhall he cary her

         to Mantua away,

(Till ſickell Fortune fauour him)

         diſguiſde in mans aray.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Thys letter cloſde he ſendes

         to Romeus by his brother:

He chargeth him that in no caſe

         he geue it any other.

   Apace our frier Iohn

         to Mantua him hyes,

And for becauſe in Italy

         it is a wonted gyſe,

   That friers in the towne

         ſhould ſeeldome walke alone,

But of theyr couent ay ſhould be

         accompanide with one:

   Of his profeſſion ſtraight

         a houſe he fyndeth out.

In mynde to take ſome frier with him,

         to walke the towne about.

   But entred once, he might

         not iſſue out agayne,

For that a brother of the houſe,

         a day before or twayne.

   Dyed of the plague(a ſickenes which

         they greatly feare and hate)

So were the brethren charged to kepe

         within theyr couent gate,

   Bard of theyr felowſhip,

         that in the towne do wonne,

The towne folke eke commaunded are,

         the fryers houſe to ſhonne:

   Tyll they that had the care of health,

         theyr fredome ſhould renew,

Wherof, as you ſhall ſhortly heare,

         a miſcheefe great there grewe.

   The fryer by this reſtraint,

         beſet with dred and ſorow,

Not knowing what the letters held,

         differd vntill the morowe:

                    The Tragicall Hiſtory.

   And then he thought in tyme

         to ſend to  Romeus,

But whilſt at Mantua where he was,

         theſe dooinges framed thus,

   The towne of Iuliets byrth

         was wholy buſied,

About her obſequies, to ſee

         theyr darlyng buried.

   Now is the parentes myrth

         quite chaunged into mone,

And now to ſorow is retornde

         the ioy of euery one.

   And now the wedding weedes

         for mourning weedes they chaunge,

And Hymene into a Dyrge,

         alas it ſeemeth ſtraunge.

   In ſteade of mariage gloues,

         now funerall gloues they haue,

And whom they ſhould ſee maried,

         they follow to the graue.

   The feaſt that ſhould haue been

         of pleaſure and of ioy,

Hath euery diſh,and cup,fild full

         of ſorow and annoye.

   Now throughout Italy

         this commen vſe they haue,

That all the beſt of euery ſtocke

         are earthed in one graue.

   For euery houſhold, if

         it  be of any  fame,

Doth bylde a tombe,or digge a vault

         that beares the houſholdes name.

   Wherein (if any of

         that kindred hap to dye)

They are beſtowde,els in the ſame

         no other corps may lye.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   The Capilets,her corps

         in ſuch a one dyd lay,

Where Tybalt ſlayne of  Romeus,

         waſ layde the other, day:

   An other vſe there  is,

         that  whoſoeuer dyes,

Borne to their church with open face,

         vpon the beere he lyes

   In wonted weede attyrde,

         not wrapt in winding ſheete,

So, as by chaunce he walked abrode,

         our Romeus man dyd meete

   His maiſters wyſe,the ſight

         with ſorow ſtraight  dyd wounde

His honeſt hart, with teares he ſawe

         her lodged vnder ground.

   And for he had been ſent

         to Verone for a ſpye,

The doynges of the  Capilets

         by wiſdome to deſcrye,

   And for he knew her death

         dyd tooch his maiſter moſt,

(Alas) too ſoone,with heauy newes

         he byed away in poſt:

   And in his houſe he found

         his maiſter Romeus,

Where he beſprent with many teares,

         began to ſpeake him thus.

   Syr,vnto you  of  late

         iſ chaunced ſo great a harme,

That ſure except with conſtancy

         you ſeeke your ſelfe to arme,

   I feare that ſtrayght you will

         brethe out your latter breath,

And I moſt wretched wight ſhalbe

         thoccaſion of your death.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Know ſyr that yeſterday

         my lady and your wyfe,

I wot not by what ſodain grefe,

         hath made exchaunge of life:

   And for becauſe on earth,

         ſhe found nought but vnreſt,

In heauen hath ſhe ſought to fynde

         a place of quiet reſt.

   And with theſe weping eyes

         my ſelfe haue ſeene her layde

Within the tombe of Capilets,

         and here withall he ſtayde,

   This ſodayne meſſage ſounde

         ſent forth with ſighes and teares,

Our Romeus receaued too ſoone

         with open liſtening eares,

   And therby hath ſonke in

         ſuch ſorow in his hart,

That loe,his ſprite annoyed ſore

         with torment and with ſmart,

   Was like to breake out of

         his priſon houſe perforce,

And that he might flye after hers,

         would leaue the maſſy corce.

   But earneſt loue that will

         not fayle him till hie ende,

This fond and ſodain fantaſy

         into his head dyd ſende:

   That if nere vnto her

         he offred vp his breath,

That then an hundred thouſand parts

         more glorious were his death,

   Eke ſhould his painfull hart

         a great deale more be eaſed,

And more alſo(he vainely thought)

         his lady better pleaſed.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Wherfore, when he his face

         hath waſht with water cleene,

Leſt that the ſtaynes of dryed teares,

         might on his cheekes be ſeene,

   And ſo his ſorow ſhould

         of euery one be ſpyde,

Which he with all his care dyd ſeeke

         from euery one to hyde:

   Straight wery of the houſe,

         he walketh forth abrode,

His ſeruant at the maiſters heſt

         in chamber ſtyll abode:

   And then fro ſtreate to ſtreate,

         he wandreth vp and downe,

To ſee if he in any place

         may fynde in all the towne,

   A ſalue meete for his ſore,

         an oyle fitte for his wounde,

And ſeeking long (alac too ſoone)

         the thing he ſought, he founde.

   An Apothecary ſate

         vnbuſied at his doore,

Whom by his heauy countenaunce

         he geſſed to be poore,

   And in his ſhop  he  ſaw

         his boxes were but fewe,

And in his window (of his wares)

         there was ſo ſmall a ſhew,

   Wherfore our  Romeus

         aſſuredly hath thought,

What by no frendſhip could be got,

         with money ſhould be bought.

   For nedy lacke is lyke

         the poore man to compell,

To ſell that which the cities lawe

         forbiddeth  him to ſell.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Then by the hand he drew

         the nedy man apart,

And with the ſight of glitrring gold

         inflamed hath his hart,

   Take fiftie crownes of gold

          (quoth he)I geue them thee,

So that before I part from hence

         thou ſtraight deliuer me,

   Somme poyſon ſtrong, that may

         in leſſe then halfe an howre,

Kill him whoſe wretched hap ſhalbe

         the potion to deuowre.

   The wretch by couetiſe

         is wonne, and doth aſſent,

To ſell the thing, whoſe ſale ere long

         too late he doth repent.

   In haſt he poyſon ſought,

         and cloſely he it bounde,

And then began with whiſpering voyce

         thus in his eare to rounde,

   Fayre ſyr(quoth he)be ſure,

         this is the ſpeeding gere,

And more there is then you ſhall nede,

         for halfe of that is there,

   Will ſerue,I vndertake,

         in leſſe then half an howre,

To kill the ſtrongeſt man aliue,

         ſuch is the poyſons power,

   Then Romeus ſomwhat eaſd

         of one part of his care,

Within his boſome putteth vp

         his dere vnthrifty ware.

   Retorning home agayne,

         he ſent his man away,

To Verone towne,and chargeth him,

         that he without delay,

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Prouyde both  inſtruments,

         to open wyde the toombe,

And lightes to ſhew him  Iuliet,

         and ſtay(till he ſhall comme.)

   Nere to the place whereas

         his louing wyfe doth reſt,

And chargeth him not to bewray

         the dolours of his breſt.

   Peter,theſe heard,his leaue

         both of his maiſter take,

Betyme he commes to towne,ſuch haſt

         the paynfull man did make.

   And then with buſy care

         he ſeeketh to fulfill,

But doth dyſcloſe vnto no  wight

         his wofull maiſters will.

   Would God he  had  herein

         broken his maiſters heſt,

Would God that to the fryer he had

         dyſcloſed all hys breſt.

   But Romeus,the whyle,

         with many a dedly thought,

Prouoked much,hath cauſed ynke

         and paper to be brought,

   And in few lynes he dyd

         of all his loue dyſcoorſe,

How by the fryers helpe, and by

         the knowledge of the noorſe,

   The wedlocke  knot was  knyt,

         and by what meane that night

And many moe he dyd enioy,

         his happy  hartes delight.

   Where he the poyſon bought,

         and how his lyfe ſhould ende,

And  ſo his  wailefull tragedy

         the wretched man hath pend.

                    The Tragicall Hiſtory.

   The letters cloſe and ſeald,

         directed to his ſyre:

He locketh in his purſe, and then,

         a poſt hors doth he hyre.

   When he approched nere,

         he waxely lighted downe,

And euen with the ſhade of night,

         he entred Verone towne,

   Where he hath found his man

         wayting when he ſhould comme,

With lanterne and with inſtruments,

         to open Iuliets toomme.

   Helpe Peter,helpe quod he,

         helpe to remoue the ſtone,

And ſtraight when I am gone fro thee

         my Iuliet to bemone:

   See that thou get thee hence,

         and on the payne of death,

I charge thee that thou comme not nere,

         whyle I abyde beneath,

   Ne ſeeke thou not to let

         thy maſters enterpriſe,

Which he hath fully purpoſed

         to doe in any wiſe.

   Take there a letter, which

         as ſoone as he ſhall ryſe,

Preſent it in the morning to

         my louing fathers eyes.

   Which vnto him perhaps

         farre pleaſanter ſhall ſeeme,

Then eyther I do mynd to ſay,

         or thy groſe head can deeme.

   Now Peter that knew not,

         the purpoſe of his hart,

Obediently a little way

         withdrew himſelfe apart,

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   And then our Romeus,

          (the vault ſtone ſet vpright)

Deſcended downe,and in his hand,

         he bare the candle light.

   And then with piteous eye,

         the body of his wyfe,

He gan beholde,who ſurely was

         the organ of  his  lyfe.

   For whom vnhappy  now

         he is,but erſt was blyſt:

He watred her with teares, and then

         an hundred times her kyſt.

   And in his folded armes,

         full ſtraightly he her plight,

But no way could his greedy eyes

         be filled with her ſight,

   His fearfull handes he layd

         vpon her ſtomacke colde,

And them on diuers parts beſyde,

         the wofull wight did hold.

   But when he could not fynd

         the ſignes of lyfe he ſought,

Out of his curſed box he drewe

         the poyſon that he bought.

   Wherof,he gredely

         deuowrde the greater part,

And then he cryde with dedly ſigh,

         fetcht from his mourning hart:

   Oh Iuliet,of whom

         the world  vnwoorthy was,

From which,for worldes vnworthines

         thy worthy goſt dyd paſſe:

   What death more pleaſant could

         my hart wiſh to  abyde,

Then that which here it ſuffreth now,

         ſo nere thy frendly ſyde.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   Or els ſo gloriouſ tombe,

         how could my youth haue craued.

As in one ſelfe ſame vaulte with thee

         haply to be ingraued?

   What Epitaph more worth,

         or halfe ſo excellent,

To conſecrate my memorye,

         could any man inuente

   As this,our mutuell, and

         our piteous ſacrifice

Of lyfe,ſet light for loue, but while

         he talketh in this wiſe,

   And thought as yet a while

         his dolors to enforce,

His tender hart began to faynt,

         preſt with the venoms force:

   Which little and little gan

         to ouercomme hys hart,

And whilſt his buſy eyne he threwe

         about to euery part:

   He ſaw hard by the corce

         of ſleping Iuliet,

Bold Tybalt carkas dead,which was

         not all conſumed yet,

   To whom(as hauing life)

         in this ſort ſpeaketh he,

Ah coſin dere Tybalt, whereſo

         thy reſtles ſprite now be,

   With ſtretched handes to thee

         for mercy now I crye,

For that before thy kindly howre

         I forced thee to dye.

   But if with quenched lyfe,

         not quenched be thine yre.

But with reuengeing luſt as yet

         thy hart be ſet on fyre:

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   What more amendes,or cruell

         wreke deſyreſt thou?

To ſee on me,then this which here

         is ſhewd forth to thee now?

   Who reft by force of armes

         from thee thy liuing breath,

The ſame with his owne hand (thou ſeeſt)

         doth poyſon himſelfe to death.

   And for he cauſed thee

         in tombe too ſoone to lye,

Too ſoone alſo,yonger then thou

         himſelfe he layeth by.

   Theſe ſaid,when he gan feele,

         the poyſons force preuayle,

And little and little maſtred lyfe,

         for aye beganne to fayle,

   Kneeling vpon his knees,

         he ſaid with voyce full lowe,

Lord Chriſt that ſo to raunſome me

         reſcendedſt long agoe,

   Out of thy fathers boſome,

         and in the virgins wombe,

Didſt put on fleſhe,Oh let my plaint

         out of this hollow toombe,

   Perce through the ayre,and graunt

         my ſute may fauour finde.

Take pity on my ſinnefull and

         my poore afflicted mynde.

   For well enough I know,

         this body is but clay,

Nought but a maſſe of ſinne, to frayle,

         and ſubiect to decay.

   Then preſſed with extreme greefe,

         he threw with ſo great force,

His ouerpreſſed parts vpon

         his ladies wayled corps:

                    The Tragicall Hyſtory.

   That now his wekened hart,

         weakened with tormentes paſt,

Vnable to abyde this pang,

         the ſharpeſt and the laſt:

   Remayned quite depriued,

         of ſenſe and kindly ſtrength,

And ſo the long impriſond ſoule,

         hath freedome wonne at length.

   Ah cruell death,too ſoone,

         too ſoone was this deuorce,

Twixt youthfull Romeus heauenly ſprite,

         and his fayre earthy corſe.

   The fryer that knew what time

         the powder had been taken,

Knew eke the very inſtant,when

         the ſleper ſhould awaken.

   But wondring that he  could

         no kind of aunſwer heare,

Of letters,which to Romeus

         his fellow fryer did beare:

   Out of ſainct Frauncis church

         hymſelfe alone dyd fare,

And for the opening of the tombe,

         meete inſtrumentes he bare:

   Approching nigh the place,

         and ſeeing there the  lyght,

Great horror felt he in his hart,

         by ſtraunge and ſodaine  ſight,

   Tyll Peter(Romeus man)

         hiſ coward hart made bolde,

When of his maſters being there,

         the certain newes he tolde:

   There hath he been(quoth he)

         this halfe howre at the leaſt,

And in this time I dare well ſay

         his plaint hath ſtill increaſt.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Then both they entred in,

         where they (alas)dyd fynde,

The bretheles corps of Romeus,

         forſaken of the mynde.

   Where they haue made ſuch mone,

         as they may beſt conceue,

That haue with perfect frendſhip loued,

         whoſe frend,feerce death dyd reue.

   But whilſt with piteous playnt,

         they Romeus fate be wepe,

An howre too late fayre Iuliet

         awaked out of ſlepe.

   And much amaſde to ſee

         in tombe ſo great a light,

She wiſt not if ſhe ſaw a dreame,

         or ſprite that walkd by night.

   But cumming to her ſelfe,

         ſhe knew them,and ſaid thus,

What fryer Lawrence, is it you?

         where is my Romeus?

   And then the auncient frier,

         that greatly ſtoode in feare,

Leſt if they lingred ouer long,

         they ſhould be taken theare,

   In few plaine woordes,the whole

         that was betyde he tolde,

And with his fingar ſhewd his corps

         out ſtretched,ſtiffe, and colde,

   And then perſwaded her

         with pacience to abyde

This ſodain great miſchaunce, and ſayth

         that he will ſoone prouyde

   In ſomme religious houſe

         for her a quiet place,

Where ſhe may ſpend the reſt of lyfe,

         and where in time percaſe

                    The Tragicall hyſtory.

   She may with wiſdomes meane,

         meaſure her mourning breſt,

And vnto her tormented ſoule

         call backe exiled reſt.

   But loe, as ſoone as ſhe

         had caſt her ruthfull eye

On Romeus face, that pale and wan,

         faſt by her ſide dyd lye,

   Straight way ſhe dyd vnſtop

         the conduites of her teares,

And out they guſhe, with cruell hand

         ſhe tare her golden heares.

   But when ſhe neither could

         her ſwelling ſorowſwage,

Ne yet her tender hart abyde

         her ſickenes furious rage:

   Falne on his corps, ſhe lay

         long panting on his face,

And then with all her force and ſtrength,

         the ded corps dyd embrace,

   As though with ſighes,with ſobs,

         with force and buſy payne,

She would him rayſe, and him reſtore

         from death to lyfe agayne:

   A thouſand times ſhe kiſt

         his month as cold as ſtone,

And it vnkiſt agayne as oft,

         then gan ſhe thus to mone.

   Ah pleaſant prop of all

         my thoughtes, ah onely ground

Of all the ſweete delightes, that yet

         in all my lyfe I found.

   Did ſuch aſſured truſt

         within thy hart repoſe:

That in this place,and at this time,

         this churchyarde thou haſt choſe?

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Betwixt the armes of me,

         thy perfect louing make?

And thus by meanes of me to ende

         thy lyfe,and for my ſake?

   Euen in the flowring of

         thy youth,when vnto thee,

Thy lyfe moſt deare(as to the moſt)

         and pleaſant ought to be:

   How could this tender corps

         withſtand the cruell fight

Of furious death,that wonts to fray

         the ſtouteſt with his ſight:

   How could thy dainty youth

         agree with willing hart,

In this ſo fowle infected place

          (to dwell) where now thou art.

   Where ſpitefull Fortune hath

         appaynted thee to be,

The dainty foode of greedy woormes,

         vnworthy ſure of thee.

   Alas,alas, alas,

         what neded now a new,

My wonted ſorowes doubled twiſe

         agayne thus to renewe?

   Which both the tyme,and eke

         my pacient long abode,

Should now at length haue quenched quite,

         and vnder foote haue trode.

   Ah wretch,and caytiue that

         I am,euen when I thought

To find my painefull paſſions ſalue:

         I myſt the thing I ſought,

   And to my mortall harme,

         the fatall knyfe I grounde,

That gaue to me ſo deepe,ſo wyde,

         ſo cruell dedly wounde.

                    The Tragicall Hiſtory.

   Ah thou moſt fortunate,

         and moſt vnhappy tombe,

For thou ſhalt beare from age to age,

         witnes in time to comme,

   Of the moſt perfect leage,

         betwixt a payre of louers,

That were the moſt vnfortunate,

         and fortunate of others:

   Receaue the latter ſigh,

         receaue the latter pang,

Of the moſt cruell of cruell ſlaues,

         that wrath and death ay wrang.

   And when our Iuliet would

         continue ſtill her mone,

The fryer and the ſeruant fled

         and left her there alone.

   For they a ſodayne noyſe,

         faſt by the place did heare,

And leſt they might be taken there,

         greatly they ſtoode in feare.

   When Iuliet ſaw her ſelfe

         left in the vaulte alone,

That freely ſhe might worke her will,

         for let or ſtay was none:

   Then once for all, ſhe tooke

         the cauſe of all her harmes,

The body dead of Romeus,

         and claſpd it in her armes,

   Then ſhe with earneſt kiſſe,

         ſufficiently did proue,

That more then by the feare of death,

         ſhe was attaint by loue.

   And then paſt deadly feare,

         for lyfe ne had ſhe care,

With haſty hand ſhe did draw out,

         the dagger that he ware.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   O welcome death (quoth ſhe)

         end of vnhappines,

That alſo art beginning of

         aſſured happines:

   Feare not to darte me nowe,

         thy ſtripe no longer ſtay,

Prolong no longer now my lyfe,

         I hate this long delaye.

   For ſtraight my parting ſprite,

         out of this carkas fled,

At eaſe ſhall finde my Romeus ſprite,

         emong ſo many ded.

   And thou my louing lord,

         Romeus my truſty feer,

If knowledge yet doe reſt in thee,

         if thou theſe woordes doſt heer:

   Receue thou her whom thou

         didſt loue ſo lawfully,

That cauſd(alas)thy violent death

         although vnwillingly.

   And therfore willingly

         offers to thee her goſt,

To thend that no wight els but thou,

         might haue iuſt cauſe to boſte

   Thinioying of my loue,

         which ay I haue reſerued,

Free from the reſt, bound vnto thee,

         that haſt it well deſerued.

   That ſo our parted ſprites,

         from light that we ſee here,

In place of endleſſe light and bliſſe,

         may euer liue yfere.

   Theſe ſaid,her ruthleſſe hand

         through gyrt her valiant hart.

Ah Ladies helpe with teares to wayle,

         the ladies dedly ſmart.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   She grones ſhe ſtretcheth out

         her limmes,ſhe ſhuttes her eyes,

And from her corps the ſprite doth flye.

         what ſhould I ſay:ſhe dyes.

   The watchemen of the towne,

         the whilſt are paſſed by,

And through the grates the candel light

         within the tombe they ſpye:

   Wherby they did ſuppoſe,

         inchaunters to be comme,

That with prepared inſtrumentes

         had opend wide the tombe,

   In purpoſe to abuſe

         the bodies of the ded,

Which by theyr ſcience ayde abuſde

         do ſtand them oft in ſted.

   Theyr curious harts deſire,

         the trueth heros to know,

Then they by certaine ſteppes deſcend,

         where they do fynd below

   In claſped armes ywrapt

         the huſband and the wyfe,

In whom as yet they ſeemd to ſee

         ſomme certaine markes of lyfe.

   But when more curiouſly

         with leyſure they did vew,

The certainty of both theyr deathes,

         aſſuredly they knew.

   Then here and there ſo long

         with carefull ere they ſought,

That at the length hidden they found

         the murthrers,ſo they thought.

   In dongeon depe that night

         they lodgde them vnder grounde,

The next day do they tell the prince

         the miſchefe that they found.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   The newes was by and by

         throughout the towne dyſpred

Both of the takyng of the fryer,

         and of the two found ded.

   Thether might you haue ſeene

         whole houſholdes forth to ronne.

For to the tombe where they did heare

         this wonder ſtraunge was donne,

   The great,the ſmall,the riche,

         the poore,the yong,the olde,

With haſly pace do ronne to ſee,

         but rew when they behelde.

   And that the murtherers

         to all men might be knowne,

Like as the murders brute abrode

         through all the towne was blowne.

   The prince did ſtraight ordaine,

         the corſes that wer founde

Should be ſet forth vpon a ſtage,

         hye rayſed from the grounde,

   Right in the ſelfe ſame fourme,

          (ſhewde forth to all mens ſight)

That in the hollow valt they had

         been found that other night.

   And eke that Romeus man,

         and fryer Lawrence ſhould

Be openly examined,

         for els the people would

   Haue murmured,or faynd

         there were ſome wayghty cauſe,

Why openly they were not calde,

         and ſo conuict by lawes.

   The holy fryer now,

         and reuerent by his age,

In great reproche ſet to the ſhew

         vpon the open ſtage.

                    The Tragicall Hiſtory.

   (A thing that ill beſeemde,

         a man of ſiluer heares)

His beard as whyte as mylke he bathes,

         with great faſt falling teares.

   Whom ſtraight the dredfull Iudge

         commaundeth to declare

Both how this murther hath been donne,

         aud who the murthrers are.

   For that he nere the tombe

         was found at howres vnfitte,

And had with him thoſe yron tooles,

         for ſuch a purpoſe fitte:

   The frier was of liuely

         ſprite, and free of ſpeche,

The Iudges woordes appald him not,

         ne were his wittes to ſeeche.

   But with aduiſed heed,

         a while fyrſt did he ſtay,

And then with bold aſſured voyce,

         aloude thus gan he ſay.

   My lordes, there is not one

         emong you,ſet togyther,

So that(affection ſet aſide)

         by wiſdome he conſider

   My former paſſed lyfe,

         and this my extreme age,

And eke this heauy ſight, the wreke,

         of frantike Fortunes rage,

   But that amaſed much,

         doth wonder at this chaunge,

So great,ſo ſodainly befalne,

         vnlooked for,and ſtraunge.

   For I,that in the ſpace

         of.lx.yeres and tenne,

Since firſt I did begin to ſoone

         to leade my lyfe with men,

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   And with the worldes vaine thinges

         my ſelfe I did acquaint,

Was neuer yet,in open place

         at any time attaynt

   With any cryme, in waight,

         as heauy as a ruſhe,

Ne is there any ſtander by,

         can make me gylty bluſhe,

   (Although before the face

         of God, & doe confeſſe,

My ſelfe to be the ſinfulſt wretch

         of all this mighty preſſe.)

   When readieſt I am,

         and likelieſt to make

My great accompt,which no man els

         for me ſhall vndertake:

   When wormes, the earth, and death

         doe cyte me euery howre,

Tappeare before the iudgement ſeate

         of euerlaſting powre,

   And falling ripe I ſteppe

         vpon my graues brinke:

Euen then am I moſt wretched wight

          (as eche of you doth thinke.)

   Through my moſt haynous deede,

         with hedlong ſway throwne downe,

In greateſt daunger of my lyfe,

         and domage of renowne.

   The ſpring,whence in your head,

         this new conceite doth ryſe,

And in your hart increaſeth ſtill

         your vayne and wrong ſurmiſe:

   May be the hugenes of

         theſe teares of myne (percaſe,)

That ſo aboundantly downe fall,

         by eyther ſyde my face.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory.

   As though the memory

         in ſcriptures were not kept,

That Chriſt our ſauiour himſelfe

         for ruth and pittie wept.

   And more whoſo will reade,

         ywritten ſhall he fynde,

That teares are as true meſſengers

         of mans vngyltie mynde,

   Orels(a liker proofe)

         that I am in the cryme,

You ſay theſe preſent yrone are,

         and the ſuſpected tyme.

   As though all howres alike

         had not been made aboue,

Did Chriſt not ſay the day had twelue?

         whereby he ſought to prone,

   That no reſpect of howres,

         ought iuſtly to be had,

But at all times men haue the choyce

         of dooing good or bad.

   Euen as the ſprite of God,

         the hartes of men doth guyde,

Or as it leaueth them to ſtray

         from Vertues path aſyde.

   As for the yrons that

         were taken in my hand,

As now I deeme,I neede not ſeeke,

         to make ye vnderſtande,

   To what vſe yron firſt

         was made,when it began:

How of it ſelfe it helpeth not,

         ne yet can helpe a man.

   The thing that hurteth, is

         the malice of his will,

That ſuch indifferent thinges is wont

         to vſe and order yll.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Thus much I thought to ſay,

         to cauſe you ſo to know,

That neither theſe my piteous teares,

         though nere ſo faſt they flowe.

   Ne yet theſe yron tooles,

         nor the ſuſpected time,

Can iuſtly proue the murther donne,

         or damne me of the cryme,

   No one of theſe hath powre,

         ne power haue all the three,

To make me other then I am,

         how ſo I ſeeme to be.

   But ſure my conſcience

          (if ſo my gylt deſerue)

For an appeacher, witneſſe, and

         a hangman eke ſhould ſerue.

   For through mine age, whoſe heares,

         of long time ſince were hore,

And credyt greate that I was in,

         with you in time to fore,

   And eke the ſoiorne ſhort

         that I on earth muſt make,

That euery day and howre do loke

         my iourney hence to take,

   My conſcience inwardly,

         ſhould more torment me thriſe,

Then all the outward deadly payne

         that all you could deuyſe.

   But (God I prayſe) I feele

         no worme that gnaweth me,

And from remorſes pricking ſting,

         I ioy that I am free.

   I meane as touching this,

         wherwith you troubled are,

Wherwith you ſhould be troubled ſtill

         if I my ſpeche ſhould ſpare.

                    The Tragicall Hiſtory.

   But to the end I may

         ſet all your hartes at reſt,

And plucke out all the ſcrupuls that

         are rooted in your breſt:

   Which might perhappes henceforth

         increaſing more and more

Within your conſcience alſo,

         increaſe your cureleſſe ſore:

   I ſweare by yonder heauens,

         whither I hope to clym,

And for a witnes of my woordes,

         my hart atteſteth him,

   Whoſe mighty hand doth welde

         them in their vyolent ſway,

And on the rolling ſtormy ſeas

         the heauy earth doth ſtay:

   That I will make a ſhort

         and eke a true dyſcourſe

Of this moſt wofull Tragedy,

         and ſhew both thend and ſourſe

   Of theyr vnhappy death,

         which you perchaunce no leſſe

Will wonder at, then they (alas)

         poore louers in diſtreſſe,

   Tormented much in mynd

         not forcing liuely breath,

With ſtrong and patient hart dyd yelde

         themſelfe to cruell death.

   Such was the mutuall loue,

         wherin the burned both:

And of their promyſt frendſhippes fayth,

         ſo ſtedy was the troth.

   And then the auncient frier

         began to make dyſcourſe,

Euen from the firſt of Romeus,

         and Iuliets amours.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   How firſt by ſodayn ſight,

         the one the other choſe,

And twixt them ſelfe dyd knitte the knotte,

         which onely death might loſe.

   And how within a while,

         with hotter loue oppreſt,

Vnder confeſſions cloke, to him,

         them ſelfe they haue adreſt.

   And how with ſolemne othes

         they haue proteſted both,

That they in hart are maried

         by promiſe and by othe.

   And that except he graunt

         the rytes of church to geue,

They ſhalbe forſt by earneſt loue,

         in ſinnefull ſtate to liue.

   Which thing when he had wayde,

         and when he vnderſtoode,

That the agreement twixt them twayne

         was lawfull honeſt, good,

   And all thinges peyſed well,

         it ſeemed meete to bee,

For lyke they were of nobleneſſe,

         age,riches,and degree:

   Hoping that ſo at length,

         ended myght be the ſtryfe,

Of Montagewes and Capelets,

         that led in hate theyr lyfe.

   Thinking to woorke a woorke

         well pleaſing  in Gods ſight,

In ſecret ſhrift he wedded them,

         and they the ſelfe ſame night

   Made vp the mariage

         in houſe of Capelet,

As well doth know(if ſhe be aſkt,)

         the nurce of Iuliet.

                    The Tragicall hiſtory

   He told how Romeus fled,

         for reuing Tybalts lyfe,

And how the whilſt ,Paris the Earle

         was offred to hys wyfe.

And how the lady dyd,

         ſo great a wrong dyſdayne,

And how to ſhrift vnto his church

         ſhe came to him agayne:

And how ſhe fell flat downe

         before his feete aground,

And how ſhe ſware her hand,

         and blody knife ſhould wound

Her harmeles hart, except,

         that he ſome meane dyd fynde

To dyſappoynt theEarles attempt,

         and ſpotles ſaue her mynde.

Wherfore he doth conclude,

          (although that long before)

By thought of death, and age, he had

         refuſde for euermore.

The hidden artes which he

         delighted in,in youth,

Yet wonne by her importunenes,

         and by his inward ruth,

And fearing leſt ſhe would

         her cruell vowe dyſcharge,

His cloſed conſcience he had

         opened and ſet at large.

And rather did he chooſe

         to ſuffer for one tyme,

His ſoule to be ſpotted ſomdeale

         with ſmall and eaſy cryme,

Then that the lady ſhould,

          (wery of liuyng breath)

Murther her ſelfe,and daunger much

         her ſeely ſoule by death.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Wherfore,his auncient artes

         agayne he puttes in vre,

A certayne powder gaue he her

         that made her ſlepe ſo ſure,

   That they her held for dead,

         and how that frier Iohn

With letters ſent to Romeus,

         to Mantua is gone,

   Of whom he knoweth not

         as yet,what is becomme,

And how that dead he found his frend

         within her kindreds tombe.

   He thinkes with poyſon ſtrong,

         for care the yong man ſterued,

Suppoſing Iuliet dead,and how,

         that Iuliet hath carued

   With Romeus dagger drawne

         her hart and yelded breath,

Deſyrous to accompany

         her louer after death.

   And how they could not ſaue

         her, ſo they were afeard,

And hidde them ſelfe, dreding the noyſe

         of watchmen that they heard.

   And for the proofe of  thys

         his tale, he doth deſyer

The Iudge,to ſend forthwith

         to Mantua for the fryer,

   To learne his cauſe of ſtay,

         and eke to reade his letter,

And more beſide,to thend that they

         might iudge his cauſe the better,

   He prayeth them depoſe

         the nurce of Iuliet,

And Romeus man,whom at vnwares

         beſyde the tombe he met.

                    The Tragicall Hiſtory.

   Then Peter not ſo much

         ad erſt he was, dyſmayd,

My lordes(quoth he)too true is all,

         that fryer Laurence ſayd.

   And when my maiſter went

         into my myſtres graue,

This letter that I offer you,

         vnto me then he gaue.

   Which he himſelfe dyd write

         as I do vnderſtand,

And charged me to offer them

         vnto his fathers hand.

   The opened packet doth

         conteyne in it the ſame,

That erſt the ſkilfull frier ſaid,

         and eke the wretches name

   That had at his requeſt,

         the dedly poyſon ſold,

The price of it,and why he bought,

         his letters playne haue tolde.

   The caſe vnfolded ſo,

         and open now it lyes,

That they could wiſh no better proof,

         ſaue ſeeing it with theyr eyes.

   So orderly all thinges

         were tolde and tryed out,

That in the preaſe there was not one

         that ſtoode at all in doute.

   The wyſer ſort to councell

         called by  Eſcalus,

Haue geuen aduyſe,and Eſcalus

         ſagely decreeth thus.

   The nurſe of Iuliet,

         is baniſht in her age,

Becauſe that from the parentes ſhe

         dyd hyde the mariage.

                    of Romeus and Iuliet.

   Which might haue wrought much good,

         hau it in time been knowne,

Where now by her concealing it,

         a miſcheefe great is growne.

   And Peter,for he dyd

         obey his maſters heſt,

In woonted freedome had good leaue

         to leade his lyfe in reſt.


         is hanged by the throte,

And for the paynes he tooke with him,

         the hangman had his cote.

   But now what ſhall betyde

         of this gray bearded ſyre?

Of fryer Lawrence thus araynde,

         that good barefooted fryre.

   Becauſe that many times

         he woorthely did ſerue

The commen welth,and in his lyfe

         was neuer found to ſwerue:

   He was diſcharged quyte,

         and no marke of defame,

Did ſeeme to blot,or touch at all,

         the honor of his name.

   But of him ſelfe he went

         into an Hermitage,

Two myles from Veron towne,where he

         in prayers paſt forth his age.

   Tyll that from earth to heauen,

         his heauenly ſprite dyd flye,

Fyue yeres he liued an Hermite, and

         an Hermite dyd he dye.

   The ſtraungenes of the chaunce,

         when tryed was the truth

The Montagewes and Capelets

         hath moued ſo to ruth,

                    The Tragicall Hiſtory.

   That with their emptyed teares,

         theyr choler and theyr rage,

Was emptied quite,and they whoſe wrath

         no wiſdom could aſſwage,

   Nor threatning of the prince,

         ne mynd of murthers donne:

At length(ſo mighty Ioue it would)

         by pitye they are wonne.

   And leſt that length of time

         might from our myndes remoue,

The memory of ſo perfect, ſound,

         and ſo approued loue.

   The bodies dead remoued

         from vaulte where they did dye,

In ſtately tombe,on pillers great,

         of marble rayſe they hye.

   On euery ſyde aboue,

         were ſet and eke beneath,

Great ſtore of cunning Epitaphes,

         in honor of theyr death.

   And euen at this day

         the tombe is to be ſeene.

So that among the monumentes

         that in Verona been,

   There is no monument

         more worthy of the ſight:

Then is the tombe of Iuliet,

         and Romeus her knight.


Imprinted at London in

   Flete ſtrete within Temble barre,   at

     the ſigne of the hand and ſtarre, by

      Richard Tottill the .xix. day of

        Nouember. An. do. 1562.



Fo.56. || <G.viii.r>





































<Fo.56. || G.viii.v>





































Fo.57. || H.j.<r>





































<Fo.57. || H.j.v>





































Fo.58. || H.ii.<r>





































<Fo.58. || H.ii.v>





































Fo.59. || H.iii.<r>





































<Fo.59. || H.iii.v>





































Fo.60. || H.iiij.<r>





































<Fo.60. || H.iiij.v>





































Fo.61. || <H.v.r>





































<Fo.61. || H.v.v>





































Fo.62. || <>





































<Fo.62. ||>





































Fo.63. || <H.vii.r>





































<Fo.63. || H.vii.v>





































Fo.64. || <H.viii.r>





































<Fo.64. || H.viii.v>





































Fo.65. || I.i.<r>





































<Fo.65. || I.i.v>





































Fo.66. || I.ij.<r>





































<Fo.66. || I.ij.v>





































Fo.67. || I.iii.<r>





































<Fo.67. || I.iii.v>





































Fo.68. || I.iiii.<r>





































<Fo.68. || I.iiii.v>





































Fo.69. || <I.v.r>





































<Fo.69. || I.v.v>





































Fo.70. || <>





































<Fo.70. ||>





































Fo.71. || <I.vii.r>





































<Fo.71. || I.vii.v>





































Fo.72. || <I.viii.r>





































<Fo.72. || I.viii.v>





































Fo.73. || K.j.<r>





































<Fo.73. || K.j.v>





































Fo.74. || K.ij.<r>





































<Fo.74. || K.ij.v>





































Fo.75. || K.iii.<r>





































<Fo.75. || K.iii.v>





































Fo.76. || K.iiij.<r>





































<Fo.76. || K.iiij.v>





































Fo.77. || <K.v.r>





































<Fo.77. || K.v.v>





































Fo.78. || <>





































<Fo.78. ||>





































Fo.79. || <K.vii.r>




































A thing

<Fo.79. || K.vii.v>





































Fo.80. || <K.viii.r>





































<Fo.80. || K.viii.v>





































Fo.81. || L.j.<r>





































<Fo.81. || L.j.v>





































Fo.82. || L.ij.<r>





































<Fo.82. || L.ij.v>





































Fo.83. || L.iij.<r>





































<Fo.83. || L.iij.v>





































Fo.84. || <L.iiij.r>





































<Fo.84. || L.iiij.v>

[. . .]




































1       2       3