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

Romeo and Iulietta – Diplomatic edition 1580


























































































































































































































































































































































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                                 TH SECOND

                                 Tome o the Palace of

                               Pleasure containying ſtore of goodlye

                               Hiſtories, Tragical matters, & other

                                 Morall arguments,very requi-

                                             ſite for delight and




                             Choſē and ſelected out

                              of divers good and commendable Au-

                                 thors,and now once again correc

                                                 ted and encreaſed.


                                   By Vviliam Painter,Clerke of the

                                         Ordinance and Armarie




                               Imprinted at London

                                   In Fleatſtrete by Thomas.











                       Rhomeo , and Iulietta.


           The goodly Hyſtory of the true, and conſtant

           Loue between RHOMEO and IVLIET

           TA, the one of whom died of Poyſon, and the

           other of ſorrow,and heuineſſe: wherein be com-

           pryſed many aduentures of Loue, and other de-

           uiſes touchinge the ſame.


                                           The XXV . Nouell.


I      am ſure that they which

                                              meaſure the Greatneſſe of Goddes

                                              workes accordinge to the capacity

                                              of their Rude , and ſimple vnder-

                                               ſtandinge, wyll not lightly adhibite

                                              credite vnto thys Hiſtory,ſo wel for

                                              the variety of ſtraunge Accidents

                                             which be therein deſcribed,as for the

                                              nouelty of ſo rare, and perfect ami=

ty. But they that haue read Plinie, Valerius Maximuſ, Plutarche,

and diuers other Writerſ,do finde,that in olde time a great num-

ber of Men , and Women haue died,ſome of exceſſiue ioy,ſome

of ouermutch ſorrow , and ſome of other paſſions :and amongſ

the ſame,Loue is not the leaſt, whych when it ſeazeth vppon any

kynde and gentle ſubiect,and findeth no reſiſtaunce to ſerue for a

rampart to ſtay the violence of his courſe,by little,& little vnder-

mineth, melteth and conſumeth the vertues of naturall powers in

ſutch wyſe as the ſpyrite yealdinge to the burden, abandoneth the

place of lyfe : Which is verified by the pitifull, and infortunate

                 Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


death of two Louers that ſurrendered their laſt Breath in one

Toumbe at Verona a Citty of Italy,wherein repoſe yet to thys

day (with great maruell) the Bones , and remnauntes of their

late louing bodies : An hyſtory no leſſe wonderfull than true. If

then perticular affection which of goodright euery man ought to

beare to the place where he was borne , doe not deceyue thoſe that

trauayle, I thincke they will confeſſe wyth me,that few Citties in

Italy,can ſurpaſſe the ſayd Citty of Verona, aſwell for the Na-

uigable riuer called Adiſſa,which paſſeth almoſt through the midſt

of the ſame,and thereby a great trafique into Almayne, as alſo for

the proſpect towards the Fertile Mountaynes, and pleaſant Va=

leys whych do enuiron the ſame,with a great number of very clere

and lyuely Fountaynes,that ſerue for the eaſe and commodity of

the place . Omittinge (biſides many other ſingularities) foure

Bridgeſ,and an infinite number of other honourable Antiquities

dayly apparaunt vnto thoſe,that be to curious to viewe and looke

vpon them. Which places I haue ſomewhat touched , bycauſe

thys moſt true Hiſtory which I purpoſe hereafter to recite,depen-

deth thereupon,the memory whereof to thys day is ſo wel known

at Verona,as vnneths their blubbred Eyes,be yet dry, that ſaw &

beheld that lamentable ſight.

When the Senior Eſcala was Lorde of Verona,there were two

families in the Citty , of farre greater fame than the reſt, aſwell

for riches as Nobility : the one called the Monteſches, and the o-

ther the Capellets : But lyke as moſt commonly there is diſcorde

amongs theym which be of ſemblable degree in honour, euen ſo

there hapned a certayne enmity betweene them: and for ſo mutch

as the beginning thereof was vnlawfull, and of ill foundation, ſo

lykewyſe in proceſſe of time it kindled to ſutch flame, as by diuers

and ſundry deuyſes practiſed on both ſides, many loſt their lyues.

The Lord Bartholmew of Eſcala,( of whom we haue already ſpo-

ken) being Lord of Verona , and ſeeing ſutch diſorder in his cō=

mmon weale,aſſayed diuers and ſundry waies to reconcile thoſe two

houſes,but all in vayne : for their hatred, had taken ſutch roote,

as the ſame could not be moderated by any wyſe counſell or good

aduice : betweene whom no other thing could be accorded,but ge-

               Rhomeo , and Iulietta.


uing ouer Armour , and Weapon for the time, attending ſome o-

ther ſeaſon more conuenient,and with better leyſure to appeaſe the

reſt. In the time that theſe thinges were adoing,one of the fami-

ly of Monteſches called R homeo, of the age of. 20. or. 21. yeares,

the comlieſt and beſt conditioned Gentleman that was amonges

the Veronian youth,fell in loue with a yong Gentlewoman of Ve-

rona,and in few dayes was attached with hir Beauty, and good

behauiour, as he abādoned all other affaires,& buſines to ſerue,&

honour hir. And after many Letters, Ambaſſades, and preſents,

he determined in the ende to ſpeake vnto hir , and to diſcloſe hys

paſſions, which he did without any other practiſe. But ſhe which

was vertuouſly brought vp, knew how to make him ſo good an-

ſwere to cut of his amorous affections, as he had no luſt after

that time to returne any more,and ſhewed hir ſelfe ſo auſtere, and

ſharpe of Speach, as ſhe vouchſafed not with one looke to behold

him. But how mutch the young Gentleman ſaw hir whiſt, and ſi-

lent, the more he was inflamed : And after he had continued cer-

tayne months in that ſeruice wythout remedy of his griefe, he de-

termined in the ende to depart Verona, for proofe if by change

of the place he might alter his affection,ſaying to himſelfe. What

do I meane to loue one that is ſo vnkinde,and thus doth diſdayn

me, I am all hir owne,& yet ſhe flieth from me. I can no lōger liue,

except hir preſence I doe enioy : and ſhe hath no contented mynde,

but when ſhe is furtheſt from me . I will then from henceforth

Eſtraunge my ſelfe from hir,for it may ſo come to paſſe by not be=

holding hir,that thys fire in me which taketh increaſe and nouriſh-

ment by hir fayre Eyes,by little,and little may dy and quench.But

minding to put in proofe what he thought, at one inſtant hee was

reduced to the contrary, who not knowing whereupon to reſolue,

paſſed dayes and nights in marueilous Playnts, and Lamenta=

tions. for Loue vexed him ſo neare,and had ſo well fixed the gen-

tlewomans Beauty within the Bowels of his heart, and mynde,

as not able to reſiſt, hee faynted with the charge, and conſumed by

little , and little as the Snow agaynſt the Sunne. Whereof hys

Parenttes , and kinred did maruayle greatly , bewaylinge hys

         Rhomeo and Iulietta .


miſfortune , but aboue all other one of hys Companyons o

riper Age , and Counſell than hee , began ſharpely to rebuke

him. For the loue that he bare him was ſo great as hee felt hys

Martirdome,and was pertaker of hys paſſion:which cauſed him

by ofte viewyng his friends diſquietneſſe in amorous panges, to

ſay thus vnto him:Rhomeo, I maruell mutch that thou ſpendeſt

the beſt time of thine age,in purſute of a thing , from which thou

ſeeſt thy ſelf deſpiſed and baniſhed,wythout reſpecte either to thy

prodigall diſpenſe,to thine honor,to thy teares,or to thy myſerable

lyfe,which be able to moue the moſt conſtant to pity.Wherefore I

pray thee for the Loue of our auncient amity,and for thyne health

ſake,that thou wilt learn to be thine owne man,and not to alyenat

thy lyberty to any ſo ingrate as ſhe is:for ſo farre as I coniecture

by things that are paſſed betwene you,either ſhe is in loue with

ſome other,or elſe determineth neuer to loue any . Thou arte

yong,rich in goods and fortune,and more excellent in beauty than

any Gentleman in thys Cyty:thou art well learned,and the   onely

ſonne of the houſe wherof thou commeſt.What gryef would it bee

to thy poore olde Father and other thy parentes,to ſee the ſo drow

ned in this dongeon of Vyce,ſpecially at that age wherein thou

oughteſt rather to put them in ſome Hope of thy Vertue? Begyn

then from henceforth to acknowledge thyne Error, wherein thou

haſt hitherto lyued,doe away that amorous vaile or couerture

whych blyndeth thyne Eyes and letteth thee to folow the ryghte

path,wherein thine aunceſtors haue walked:or elſe if thou do feele

thy ſelf ſo ſubiect to thyne owne wyll,yelde thy hearte to ſome o=

ther place,and choſe ſome Miſtreſſe accordyng to thy worthyneſſe ,

and henceforth doe not ſow thy Paynes in a Soyle ſo barrayne

whereof thou reapeſt no Fruycte :the tyme approcheth when al

the Dames of the Cyty ſhal aſſemble , where thou mayſt behold

ſutch one as ſhall make   the forget thy former Gryefs . Thys

younge Gentleman attentyuely hearyng all the perſuadyng rea-

ſons of hys fryend , began ſomewhat to moderate   that Heate

and to acknowledge all the exhortatyons which hee had made

to be directed to good purpoſe. And then determined to put them

                        R homeo and Iulietta


in al the feaſts and aſſen.blies of the City , without   bearing affect-

tion more to one W oman than to an other.And continued in thys

manner of Lyfe . ii . or iii.Monthes,thinking by that meanes to

quench the ſparks of auncient flames.It chaunced thē within few

dayes after,about the feaſt of Chryſtmaſſe,when feaſts and ban-

kets moſt commonly be vſed , and maſkes accordinge to the cuſ=

tome frequented:that Anthonie Capellet being the Chief of that

Familye , and one of the Principall Lords of the City too , made

a banket, and for the better Solempnization thereof,inuited all the

Noble men and Dames,to which Feaſt reſorted the moſte parte of

the youth of V erona. The family of the Capellets(as we haue de-

clared in the beginninge of thys Hyſtory)was at variance with the

Monteſches , which was the cauſe that none of that family repai=

red to that Banket , but onelye the yong Gentleman Rhomeo,

who came in a Maſke after ſupper with certaine other yong Gen-

tlemen. And after they had remained a certayne ſpace with their

Viſards on , at length they did put of the ſame,and Rhomeo very

ſhamefaſt,withdrew himſelf into a Corner of the Hall:but by rea-

ſon of the light of the Torches which burned very bright ,he was by and

by knowen and loked vpon of the whole Company,but ſpe-

cially of the Ladies, for beſides his Natiue Beauty wherewith

Nature had adorned him , they maruelled at his audacity how hee

durſt preſume to enter ſo ſecretly into the Houſe of that F amyllye

which had litle cauſe to do him any good.Notwithſtanding , the

Capellets diſſembling their mallice,either for the honor of the com-

pany,or elſe for reſpect of his Age , did not miſuſe him eyther in

Worde or Deede.By meanes whereof wyth free liberty he behelde

and viewed the Ladies at hys Pleaſure, which hee dyd ſo well,

and wyth grace ſo good , as there was none but did very well,lyke

the preſence of his perſon. And after hee had particularly giuen

Iudgement vppon the excellency of each one, according to his   af=

fection , hee ſawe one Gentlewoman amonges the reſte of ſur-

paſſinge Beautye who ( althoughe hee had neuer ſeene hir

tofore)pleaſed him aboue the reſt,and attributed vnto hir in heart

the Chyefeſt place for all perfection in Beautye . And fea=

ſtyng hir inceſſantlye with piteous lookes,the Loue whych hee

             Rhomeo and Iulietta .


bare to his firſt Gentlewoman, was ouercomen with this newe

fire,that tooke ſutch noriſhment and vigor in his hart,as he   was

not able neuer to quench the ſame but by Death onely:as you may

vnderſtande by one of the ſtrangeſt diſcourſes,that euer any mor-

tal man deuiſed.The yong Rhomeo then felying himſelfe thus toſ-

ſed wyth thys newe Tempeſt , could not tell what countenaunce to

vſe , but was ſo ſurpriſed and chaunged with theſe laſt flames , as

he had almoſt forgotten him ſelfe,in ſutch wiſe as he had not auda

city to enquyre what ſhee was, and wholly bente himſelf to feede

hys Eyes with hir ſighte , wherewyth hee moyſtened the ſweete a-

morous venome , which dyd ſo empoyſon him , as hee ended hys

Dayes with a kinde of moſt cruell Death. The Gentlewoman

that dydde put Rhomeo to ſutch payne, was called Iulietta, and

was the Daughter of Capellet,the mayſter of the houſe wher that

aſſembly was,who as hir Eyes did rolle and wander too and fro,

by chaunce eſpied Rhomeo, which vnto hir ſeemed to be the good-

lieſt perſonage that euer ſhee ſawe. And Loue( which lay in

wayte neuer vntill that time,)aſſayling the tender heart of that yong

Gentlewoman,touched hir ſo at the quicke,as for any reſiſtance

ſhe coulde make,was not able to defende his forces, and then be=

gan to ſet at naught the royalties of the feaſt,and felt no pleaſure

in hir heart,but when ſhe had a glimpſe by throwing or receiuing

ſome ſight or looke of Rhomeo.And after they had contented eche

others troubled heart with millions of amorous lookes which of-tentimes

interchangeably encountred and met together , the bur=

ning Beames gaue ſufficient teſtimony of loues priuy onſettes.

Loue hauing made the heartes breache of thoſe two louers,as they

two ſought meanes to ſpeake together,Fortune offered them a ve=

ry meete and apt occaſion. A certayne Lord of that Troupe and

Companye tooke Iulietta by the Hande to Daunce , wherein ſhee

behaued hir ſelfe ſo well,and wyth ſo excellent grace , as ſhee

wanne that Daye the priſe of Honour from all the Damoſels of

Verona. Rhomeo,hauynge foreſeene the Place wherevnto ſhee

mynded to retire , approched the ſame , and ſo dyſcretelye v-

ſed the matter , as hee founde the meanes at hir returne

                    Rhomeo and Iulietta


to ſit beſide hir.Iulietta when the daunce was finiſhed , returned to

the very place where ſhe was ſet before,and was placed between

Rhomeo and an other gentleman called Mercutio , which was a

courtlyke Gentleman,very well be loued of all men, and by reaſon

of his pleaſaunt and curteous behauior was in euery company wel

intertayned.Mercutio that was of audacity among Maydens,as a

Lyon is among Lambes ſeazed incontynently vpon the Hande of

Iulietta,whoſe hands wontedly were ſo cold both in Wynter and

Sommer as the Mountayne yce,although the fires heat did warm

the ſame.Rhomeo whych ſat vppon the left ſide of Iulietta , ſeynge

that Mercutio held hir by the right hand,toke hir by the other that

he myght not be deceiued of his purpoſe,and ſtrayning the ſame | a

little,he felt himſelf ſo preſt wyth that newe fauor, as he remained

mute,not able to aunſwer.But ſhe perceyuyng by his chaunge of

color,that the fault proceded of the vehemence of Loue, deſyryng to

ſpeake vnto hym,turned hir ſelfe towards hym , and wyth tremb=

lyng voyce ioyned with Virginal ſhamefaſtneſſe,intermedled with

a certayn baſhfulneſſe,ſayd to hym :Bleſſed be the Houre ofyour

neare approche:but mynding to procede in further talke,loue had

ſo cloſed vp hir mouth,as ſhe was not able to end hir Tale.

Wherunto the yong Gentleman all rauiſhed with ioy and con-

tentation,ſighing,aſked hir what was the cauſe of that right   Fortu-

nate bleſſing.Iulietta ſomwhat more emboldened with pytyful loke

and ſmyling countenance ſaid vnto him : Syr do not maruell yf I

do bleſſe your comminge hither,bicauſe ſir Mercutio a good tyme

wyth froſty hand hath wholly froſen mine,and you of your   curteſy

haue warmed the ſame agayne.Wherunto immediatly Rhomeo re

plyed:Madame, if the heauens haue ben ſo fauorable to employe me to

do you ſome agreeable ſeruice being repaired hither by chance amongs

other Gentlemen,I eſteeme the ſame well beſtowed , cra-

uying no greater Benefite for ſatiſfaction of all my contentations receiued

in this World , than to ſerue obey and honor you ſo long

as my lyfe doth laſt,as experience ſhall yeld more ample proofe

when it ſhall pleaſe you to geue further aſſaye. Moreouer,if you

haue receiued any Heat by touche of my Hand,you may be well aſ-

ſured that thoſe flames be dead in reſpect of the lyuely Sparkes &

                   Rhomeo and Iulietta


violent fire which ſorteth from your fayre Eyes,which fire hath ſo

fiercely inflamed all the moſt ſenſible parts of my body,as If I

be not ſuccored by the fauoure of your good graces,I do attend the

time to be conſumed to duſt,Scarſe had he made an ende of   thoſe

laſt Words but the daunce of the Torche was at an end.Whereby

Iulietta which wholly burnt in loue,ſtraightly claſpyng her Hand

with hys,had no leyſure to make other aunſwer,but ſoftly thus to

ſay:My deare frend, I know not what other aſſured wytneſſe you

deſire of Loue,but that I let you vnderſtand that you be no   more

your own,than I am yourſ,beying ready and dyſpoſed to obey you

ſo farre as honour ſhal permyt,beſeechying you for the preſent tyme

to content your ſelfe wyth thys aunſwere, vntyll ſome other ſeaſon

meeter to Communicate more ſecretly of our Affaires . Rhomeo

ſeeing himſelfe preſſed to part of the Company , and for that hee

knew not by what meanes he myght ſee hir agayne that was hys

Life and Death,demaunded of one of his Friends what ſhee was,

who made aunſwer that ſhe was the Daughter of Capellet.the lord

of the houſe,and Mayſter of that dayesfeaſt( who wroth beyond

meaſure that fortune had ſēt him to ſo daūgerous a place,th ought

it impoſſible to bring to end his enterpriſe begon. ) Iulietta coue-

tous on the other ſide,to know what yong gentlemā he was which

had ſo curteouſly intertayned hir that Nyght,and of whome ſhee

felt the new wound in hir heart,called an olde Gentlewoman of ho

nor which had nurſſed hir and brought her vp,vnto whom ſhe ſayd

leaning vpon hir ſhoulder:Mother,what two young Gentlemen be

they which firſt goe forth with the two Torches before them.Vn=

to whome the old Gentlewomā told the name of the Houſes wher=

of they came.Then ſhe aſked hir againe, what young Gentleman

that was which holdeth the viſarde in his Hand , wyth the Da-

maſke cloke about him:It iſ( quod ſhe) Romeo Monteſche , the

ſonne of youre Fathers capytall Enimye and deadly foe to all

your kinne, But the Mayden at the onely Name of Monteſche

was altogyther amazed , deſpayrynge for euer to attayne to

Huſband hir great affectyoned fryend Rhomeo . for the auncy-

ent hatreds betweene thoſe two Families . Neuertheleſſe ſhe knewe

                   Rhomeo and Iulietta


ſo well how to diſſemble hir grief and Diſcontented Minde, as the

olde Gentlewoman perceiued nothing,who then began to perſuade

hir to retire into hir Chamber:whom ſhe obeyed:and being in bed,

thinking to take hir wonted reſt,a great tēpeſt of diuers thoughtes

began to enuiron and trouble hir Mynde , in ſutch wyſe as ſhee

was not able to cloſe hir Eyes,but turninge heere and there,fanta-

ſied diuers things in hir thought,ſometimes purpoſed to cut of the

whole attempte of that amorous practiſe, ſometimes to   continue

the ſame. Thus was the poor pucell vexed with two contraries,

the one comforted hir to purſue hir intent,the other propoſed the

immynente Perill wherevnto vndyſcretly ſhe headlong threwe hir

ſelf. And after ſhe had wandred of long time in this amorous La=

berinth,ſhe knew not whereuppon to reſolue,but wept inceſſantly,

and accuſed hir ſelf,ſaying:Ah Caitife and myſerable Creature

from whence do riſe theſe vnaccuſtomed Trauayles which I feele

in Mynde , prouokynge mee to looſe my reſte : but infortūnate

Wretch,what doe I know if that yong Gentleman doe loue mee

as hee ſayeth. It may be vnder the vaile of ſugred woordes he go=

eth about to ſteale away mine honore, to be reuenged of my Pa=

rentes whych haue offended his, and by that meanes to my euer=

laſtinge reproche to make me the fable of the Verona people.

Afterwardes ſodainly as ſhe condempned that which ſhe ſuſpec=

ted in the beginning,ſayd: Is it poſſible that vnder ſutch beautye

and rare comelyneſſe , dyſloyaltye and Treaſon may haue theyr

Syedge and Lodgynge ? If it bee true that the Face is the

faythfull Meſſanger of the Myndes Conceypte , I may bee aſ=

ſured that hee doeth loue mee : for I marked ſo many chaun-

ged Colours in his Face in time of his talke with me, and ſawe

him ſo tranſported and beſides himſelfe, as I cannot wyſhe

any other more certayne lucke of Loue , wherein I wyll per=

ſyſt immutable to the laſte gaſpe of Lyfe , to the intente I

may haue hym to bee my huſband . For it maye ſo come to

paſſe , as this newe aliaunce ſhall engender a perpetuall peace

and Amity betweene hys Houſe and mine . Arreſtinge then vp=

pon this determynation ſtyll , as ſhe ſaw Rhomeo paſſinge before

               Rhomeo and Iulietta


hir FathersGate,ſhe ſhewed hir ſelfe with merry Countenance,and

followed him ſo with loke of Eye,vntill ſhe had loſt his ſight .

And continuing this manner of Lyfe for certaine Dayes , Rho-

meo not able to content himſelf with lookes,daily did behold and

marke the ſituation of the houſe,and one day amongs others hee

eſpied Iulietta at hir Chamber Window,boūding vpon a narrow

Lane,ryght ouer againſt which Chamber he had a Gardein,which

was the cauſe that R homeo fearing diſcouery of their loue, began

the day time to paſſe no more before the Gate, but ſo ſoone as the

Night with his browne Mantell had couered the Earth,hee wal=

ked alone vp and downe that little ſtreat. And after he had bene

there many timeſ,miſſing the chiefeſt cauſe of his comming.Iuliet=

ta impacient of hir euill,one night repaired to hir window, & per-

ceiued throughe the bryghtneſſe of the Moone hir Friend Rhomeo

vnder hir Window , no leſſe attended for,than hee hymſelfe was

weighting Then ſhe ſecretly with Teares in hir Eyes, & with

voyce interrupted by ſighes,ſayd: Signior Rhomeo, me thinke that

you hazarde your perſon to mutch,and commyt the ſame into great

Daunger at thys time of the Nyght,to protrude your ſelf to the

Mercy of them which meane you little good Who yf they had takē

would haue cut you in pieces,and mine honor(which I eſteme dea=

rer than my Lyfe,)hindred and ſuſpected for euer.Madame aunſ-

wered Rhomeo,my Lyfe is in the Hand of God,who only can diſ=

poſe the ſame:howbeyt yf any Man had ſoughte menes to beryeue

mee of my Lyfe , I ſhould (in the preſence of you)haue made him

knowen what mine ability had ben to defend the ſame . Notwyth-

ſtandyng Lyfe is not ſo deare, and of ſutch eſtimation wyth me, but

that I coulde vouchſafe to ſacryfice the ſame for your ſake : and

althoughe my myſhappe had bene ſo greate , as to bee dyſ=

patched in that Place , yet had I no cauſe to be ſorrye there=

fore , excepte it had bene by loſynge the meanes , and way how

to make you vnderſtande the good wyll and duety which I

beare you , deſyrynge not to conſerue the ſame for anye com=

modytye that I hope to haue thereby , nor for anye other

reſpecte , but onelye to Loue , Serue , and Honor you , ſo long

                      Rhomeo and Iulietta


as breath ſhal remaine in me.So ſoone as he had made   an end of

his talke,loue and pity began to ſeaze vpon the heart of Iulietta, &

leaning hir head vpon hir hand,hauing hir face all beſprent with

teares,ſhe ſaid vnto Rhomeo:Syr Rhomeo, I pray you not to re-

nue that grief agayne:for the onely Memory of ſutch inconueny-

ence,maketh me to counterpoyſe betwene death and Lyfe , my heart

being ſo vnited with yours, as you cannot receyue the leaſt Iniury

in this world,wherein I ſhall not be ſo great a Partaker as your

ſelf:beſeechyng you for   concluſion , that if you deſire your owne

health and mine,to declare vnto me in fewe Wordes what youre

determynation is to attaine:for if you couet any other ſecrete thing

at my Handes,more than myne Honoure can well allowe,you are

maruelouſly deceiued:but if your deſire be godly,and that the frēd-

ſhip which you proteſt to beare mee , be founded vppon Vertue ,

and to bee concluded by Maryage,receiuing me for your wyfe and

lawfull Spouſe,you ſhall haue ſutch part in me,as whereof with-

out any regard to the obedience and reuerence that I   owe to my

Parentes ,or to the auncient Enimity of oure Famylyes , I wyll

make you the onely Lord and Mayſter,and of all the thyngys that

I poſſeſſe,being preſt and ready in all poyntes to folow your com=

maundement:But if your intent be otherwyſe,and thinke to reape

the Fruycte of my Virginity,vnder pretenſe of wanton Amity,you

be greatly deceiued,and doe pray you to auoide and ſuffer me from

henceforth to lyue and reſt amongs myne equals . Rhomeo which

looked for none other thyng holding vp his Handes to the Hea-

uens , wyth incredible ioy and contentation,aunſwered Madame

for ſo mutch as it hath pleaſed you to doe me that honour to accepte

me for ſutch a one, I accorde and conſent to your requeſt,and doe of=

fer vnto you the beſt part of my heart,which ſhall remayn with you

for guage and ſure teſtimony of my ſaying,vntill ſutch tyme as god

ſhall giue me leaue to make you the entier owner and poſſeſſor of

the ſame:And to the intent I may begyn myn enterpryſe , to mor-

row I will to the Frier Laurence for counſell in the ſame,who be-

ſides that he is my ghoſtly father is accuſtomed to giue me inſtruc-tion in

al my other ſecret affaires , and fayle not(if you pleaſe) to

                  Rhomeo and Iulietta


meete me agayne in this place at this very hour, to the intent I

may giue you to vnderſtand the deuice betwene him and me,which

ſhe lyked very well, and ended their talke for that time. Rhomeo

receyuing none other fauour at hir hands for that night , but only

Wordes . Thys Fryer Laurence of whom hereafter wee ſhall

make more ample mention,was an auncient Doctor of Diuinity,

of the order of the Fryres Minors,who beſides the happy profeſ-

ſion which he had made in ſtudy of holy writ,was very ſkilful in

Philoſophy , and a great ſearcher of natures Secrets, and excee-

ding famous in Magike knowledge,and other hidden & ſecret ſci=

ences, which nothing diminiſhed his reputation, bicauſe hee did

not abuſe the ſame. And this Frier through his vertue and piety,

had ſo well won the citizens hearts of Verona, as he was almoſt

the Confeſſor to them all, and of all men generally reuerenced and

beloued : And many tymes for his great prudence was called by

the lords of ye Citty,to the hearing of their weighty cauſes.And a-

monges other he was greatly fauored by the Lorde of Eſcale, that

tyme the principall gouernor of Verona, and of all the Family of

Monteſches,and of the Capellets,and of many other. The young

Rhomeo ( as we haue already declared ) from his tender age,bare

a certayne particuler amity to Frier Laurence, & departed to him

his ſecrets,by meanes whereof ſo ſoone as he was gone from Iu=

lietta, went ſtrayght to the Fryers Franciſcians, where frō poinct

to poinct he diſcourſed the ſucceſſe of his loue to that good Father

and the concluſion of mariage betwene him and Iulietta, adding

vpon the ende of talke , that hee woulde rather chooſe ſhamefull

death, than to fayle hir of his promiſe. To whom the good Frier

after he had debated diuers matters,and propoſed al the inconue-

niences of that ſecret mariage,exhorted hym to more mature deli=

beration of the ſame : notwithſtandinge, all the alleged perſuaſi-

ons were not able to reuoke his promyſe. Wherefore the Frier

vanquiſhed with his ſtubborneſſe,& alſo forecaſting in his mynde y

the mariage might be ſome meanes of reconciliation of thoſe two

houſes,in th’end agreed to his requeſt,intreating him, ye he myght

haue one dayes reſpit for leyſure to excogitate what was beſt to be

done. But if Rhomeo for his part was carefull to prouide for his

                Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


affayres, Iulietta lykewiſe did her indeuour. For ſeeing that ſhee

had none about her to whom ſhe might diſcouer her paſſions , ſhee

deuiſed to impart the whole to hir Nurſe which lay in her Cham=

ber , appoyncted to wayte vppon hir, to whom ſhe committed the

intier ſecrets of the loue between Rhomeo and hir. And although

the olde Woman in the beginninge reſiſted Iulietta hir intent,yet

in the ende ſhe knew ſo wel how to perſuade and win hir, that ſhe

promiſed in all that ſhe was able to do,to be at hir cōmaundement.

And then ſhe ſent hir with all diligence to ſpeake to Rhomeo,and

to know of him by what meanes they might be maried , and that

he would do hir to vnderſtand the determination betwene Fryre

Laurence and him. Whom Rhomeo aunſwered,how the firſt day

wherein he had informed Fryre Laureuce of the matter, the ſayde

Fryre deferred aunſwere vntil the next,which was the very ſame,

and that it was not paſt one houre ſithens he returned with final

reſolution,and that Frier Laurence and he had deuiſed,that ſhe the

Saterday following.ſhould craue leaue of hir mother to go to cō=

feſſion,and to repayre to the Church of ſaynct Francis, where in a

certayne Chappell ſecretly they ſhould be maried,praying hir in a=

ny wyſe not to fayle to be there.Which thinge ſhe brought to paſſe

with ſutch diſcretion,as hir mother agreed to hir requeſt : and ac-

companied onely wyth hir gouerneſſe,and a young mayden,ſhe re-

payred thither at the determined day and tyme. And ſo ſoone as

ſhe was entred the Church, ſhe called for the good Doctor Fryer

Laurence,vnto whom anſwere was made that he was in the ſhri=

uing Chappell, and forthwith aduertiſement was gieuen him of

hir comming. So ſoone as Fryer Laurence was certified of Iuli=

etta , hee went into the body of the Church , and willed the olde

Woman and yong mayden to go heare ſeruice, and that when hee

had heard the confeſſion of Iulietta,he would ſend for them agayn.

Iulietta beinge entred a little Cell wyth Frier Laurence,he ſhut

faſt the dore as he was wont to do,where Rhomeo & he had bin to-

gether ſhut faſt in,the ſpace of one whole hour before. Then Frier

Laurence after that he had ſhriued them,ſayd to Iulietta : Daugh-

ter,as Rhomeo here preſent hath certified me,you be agreed,& con-

                  Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


tented to take him to huſband,and he likewiſe you for his Eſpouſe

and Wyfe. Do you now ſtill perſiſt and continue in that mynde?

The Louers aunſwered that they deſired none other thing. The

Fryer ſeeing theyr conformed & agreeable willes, after he had diſ=

courſed ſomewhat vppon the commendation of mariage dignity,

pronounced the vſuall woordes of the Church, and ſhe hauing re-

ceyued the Ring from Rhomeo,they roſe vp before the Fryer, who

ſayd vnto them : If you haue any other thing to conferre together,

do the ſame wyth ſpeede : For I purpoſe that Rhomeo ſhall goe

from hence ſo ſecretly as he can . Rhomeo ſory to goe from Iuliet-

ta ſayde ſecretly vnto hir , that ſhee ſhoulde ſend vnto hym after

diner the old Woman, and that he would cauſe to be made a cor-

ded Ladder the ſame euening, thereby to climbe vp to her Chāber

window,where at more leiſure they would deuiſe of their affaires.

Things determined betwene them, either of them retyred to their

houſe with incredible cōtentation, attendinge the happy houre for con-

ſummation of their mariage. Whē Rhomeo was come home to his

houſe,he declared wholly what had paſſed betwen him and Iuliet-

ta,vnto a Seruaunt of his called Pietro, whoſe fidelity he had ſo

greatly tryed,as he durſt haue truſted him with hys life,and com-

maunded hym wyth expedition to prouide a Ladder of Cordes

wyth 2. ſtrong Hookes of Iron faſtned to both endes, which hee

eaſily did, becauſe they were mutch vſed in Italy . Iulietta did not

forget in the Euening about fiue of the Clocke, to ſend the olde

Woman to Rhomeo, who hauing prepared all things neceſſary,

cauſed the Ladder to be deliuered vnto her, and prayed hir to re=

quire Iulietta the ſame euening not to fayle to bee at the accuſto=

med place. But if this Iorney ſeemed long to theſe two paſſioned

Louers , let other Iudge , that haue at other tymes aſſayed the

lyke : for euery minute of an houre ſeemed to them a Thouſande

yeares,ſo that if they had power to commaund the Heauens ( as

Ioſua did the Sunne ) the Earth had incontinently bene ſhadowed

wyth darkeſt Cloudes. The apoyncted houre come,Rhomeo put

on the moſt ſumptuous apparell hee had, and conducted by good

fortune neere to the place where his heart tooke lyfe , was ſo fully

determined of hys purpoſe , as eaſily hee clymed vp the Garden

                Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


wall. Beinge arriued hard to the Wyndow,he perceyued Iulietta ,

who had already ſo well faſtned the Ladder to draw him vp , as

without any daunger at all, he entred hir chambre, which was ſo

clere as the day, by reaſon of the Tapers of virgin Wax, which

Iulietta had cauſed to be lighted ,that ſhe might the better beholde

hir Rhomeo.   Iulietta for hir part,was but in hir night kerchief:

Who ſo ſoon as ſhe perceyued him colled him about the Neck, &

after ſhee had kiſſed and rekiſſed hym a million of times, began to

imbrace hym betwene hir armes, hauing no power to ſpeake vn-

to him,but by Sighes onely,holding hir mouth cloſe againſt his,

and being in this traunce beheld him with pitifull eye,which made

him to liue and die together. And afterwards ſomewhat come to

hir ſelfe, ſhe ſayd wt ſighes deepely fetched from the bottom of hir

heart : Ah Rhomeo,the exampler of al vertue & gentlenes,   moſt

hartely welcome to this place, wherein for your lacke, & abſence, &

for feare of your perſon, I haue guſhed forth ſo many Teares as ye

ſpring is almoſt dry:But now that I hold you betwen my armes,

let death & fortune doe what they liſt. For I count my ſelfe more

than ſatiſfied of all my ſorrowes paſt, by thefauour alone of your

preſence : Whom Rhomeo with weeping eye , giuing ouer ſilence

aunſwered : Madame for ſomutch as I neuer receyued ſo mutch

of fortunes grace, as to make you feele by liuely experience what

power you had ouer me, and the torment euery minute of the day

ſuſtained for your occaſion. I do aſſure you the leaſt grief that vex-

eth me for your abſence, is a thouſand times more paynefull than

death, which long time or this had cut of the threede of my lyfe, if

the hope of this happy Iourney had not bene, which paying mee

now the iuſt Tribute of my weepings paſt, maketh me better cō=

tent , and more glad, than if the whole Worlde were at my com=

maundement , beſeeching you ( without further memory of aunci=

ent griefe) to take aduice in tyme to come how we may content our

paſſionate hearts, and to ſort our affayres with ſutch Wyſedome,

and diſcretion as our enimies without aduantage may let vs con=

tinue the remnant of our Dayes in reſt and quiet. And as Iulietta

was about to make anſwere,the Olde woman came in the meane

time,& ſayd vnto them: He that waſteth time in talke, recouereth

                  Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


the ſame to   late . But for ſo mutch as eyther   of you hath endu-

red ſutch mutuall paynes,behold ( quoth ſhee ) a campe which I

haue made ready,( ſhewing them the Fielde bed which ſhee had

prepared and furniſhed, ) whereunto they eaſily agreed, and being

then betwene the Sheets in priuy bed,after they had gladded and

cheriſhed themſelues with al kinde of delicate embracemēts which

loue was able to deuiſe.Rhomeo vnlooſing the holy lines of vir=

ginity, tooke poſſeſſion of the place,which was not yet beſieged wt

ſutch ioy and cōtentation as they can iudge which haue aſſayed like

delites. Their marriage thus conſummate, Rhomeo perceyuing

the morning make to haſty approch,tooke his leaue , making pro=

miſe that he would not fayle wythin a day or two to reſort agayne

to the place by lyke meanes,and ſemblable time,vntil Fortune had

prouided ſure occaſion vnfearfully to manyfeſt their marriage to

the whole Worlde. And thus a month or twayne, they continued

their ioyful mindes to their incredible ſatiſfaction,vntil Lady for=

tune enuious of their proſperity,turned hir Wheele to tumble thē

into ſuch a bottomleſſe pit,as they payed hir vſury for their plea=

ſureas paſt,by a certaine moſt cruell and pitifull death,as you ſhal

vnderſtand hereafter by the diſcourſe that followeth. Now as we

haue before declared , the Capellets and the Monteſches were not

ſo well reconciled by the Lord of Verona, but that there reſted in

them ſutch ſparks of auncient diſpleaſures, as either partes wai-

ted but for ſome light occaſion to draw togethers, which they did

in the Eaſter holy dayes , ( as bloudy men commonly be moſt wil-

lingly diſpoſed after a good time to commit ſome nefarious deede)

beſides the Gate of Bourſarie leading to the olde caſtel of Verona,

a troupe of Capellets rencountred with certayne of the Monteſ-

ches,and without other woordes began to ſet vpon them. And the

Capellets had for Chiefe of their Glorious enterpriſe one called

Thibault, coſin Germayne to Iulietta,a yong man ſtrongly made, &

of good experiēce of armes,who exhorted his Companions with

ſtout ſtomakes to repreſſe the boldnes of the Monteſches,that ther

might from that time forth no memory of them be left at all. The

rumoure of this fray was diſperſſed throughout al the corners of

           Rhomeo ,and Iulietta.


Verona, that ſuccour might come from all partes of the Citty to

depart the ſame . Whereof R homeo aduertized, who walked a-

longes the Citty with certayne of his Companions, haſted him

ſpeadily to the place where the ſlaughter of his Parents and alies

were committed : and after he had well aduiſed and beholden ma=

ny wounded and hurt on both ſides, he ſayd to hys Companions :

My frēds let vs part thē,for they be ſo fleſht one vpō an other,as

will all be hewed to pieces before the game be done. And ſaying ſo,

he thruſt himſelfe amids the troupe, and did no more but part the

blowes on eyther ſide, crying vpon them aloud. My freends,no

more it is time henceforth thatour quarel ceaſe. For beſides ye pro-

uocation of Gods iuſt wrath, our two families be ſlaunderous to

the whole World,and are the cauſe that this common wealth doth

grow vnto diſorder . But they were ſo egre and furious   one a-

gaynſt the other, as they gaue no audiēce to Rhomeo his councel

and bent theymſelues too kyll , dyſmember and teare eche other

in pieces . And the fyght was ſo cruell and outragious between

them as they which looked on , were amaſed to ſee theym endure

thoſe blowes , for the grounde was all couered with armes,leg-

ges, thighes, and bloude, wherein no ſigne of cowardnes appea=

red , and mayntayned their feyghte ſo longe ,that none was able to

iudge who hadde the better , vntill that Thibault Couſin to Iu-

lietta inflamed with ire and rage , turned towardes Rhomeo

thinkinge with a pricke to runne him through.But he was ſo wel

armed and defended with a priuye coate whiche he wore ordinary-

ly for the doubt he had of the Capellets,as the pricke rebounded:

vnto whom Rhomeo made anſweare:Thibault thou maieſt know

by the pacience which I haue had vntill this preſent tyme , that I

came not hether to fyght with thee or thyne , but to ſeeke peace &

attonemente betweene vs, and if thou thinkeſt that for defaulte of

courage I haue fayled myne endeuor, thou doeſt greate wronge

to my reputacion . And impute thys my ſuffrance to ſome other

particular reſpecte,rather than to wante of ſtomacke . Wherfore

abuſe mee not but be content with this greate effuſion of Bloude

and murders already committed. And prouoke mee not I beſeeche

thee to paſſe the boundes of my good will and mynde. Ah Tray-

         Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


Traitor ſayd Thibaulte thou thinkeſte to ſaue thy ſelfe by the

plotte of thy pleaſaunt tounge ,but ſee that thou defende thy ſelfe

els preſently I will make thee feele that thy tounge ſhal not gard

thy corps ,nor yet be the Buckler to defende the ſame from pre=

ſent death . And ſaying ſo he gaue him a blow with ſuch furye , as

hadde not other warded the ſame hee had cutte of his heade from

his ſhoulders, and the one was no readyer to lende , but the other

incontinentlye was able to paye agayne , for hee being not onelye

wroth with the blowe that hee had receiued,but offended with the

iniury which the other had don,began to purſue his ennemy with

ſuche courage and viuacity , as at the third blowe with his ſwerd

hee cauſed him to fall backewarde ſtarke deade vppon the grounde

with a pricke vehementlye   thruſte into his throte , whiche

hee followed till hys Sworde appeared throughe the hyn=

der parte of the ſame ,by reaſon wherof the conflicte ceaſſed .

For beſides that Thibault was the chiefe of his companye he was

alſo borne of one of the Nobleſt houſes within the Cittye which

cauſed the Poteſtate to aſſemble his Souldiers with diligence

for the apprehenſion and impriſonment of Rhomeo , who ſeyeng

yl fortune at hande,in ſecrete wiſe conuayed him ſelfe to Fryer Lau

rence at the Friers Franciſcanes. And the Fryer vnderſtandinge

of his facte , kepte him in a certayne ſecreteplace of his couente

vntil fortune did otherwyſe prouyde for his ſafe goinge abroade.

The bruite ſpred throughout the citty , of this chaunce don vpon

the Lorde Thibault,the Capellets in mourning weedes cauſed the

deade bodye to be caryed before the ſygnory of Verona, ſo well to

moue them to pytty , as to demaunde iuſtice for the murder : be=

fore whom came alſo the Monteſches declaryng the innocencye of

Rhomeo,and the wilfull aſſault of the other.The councell aſſem=

bled and witneſſes heard on both partes a ſtraight commaunde-

mente was geuen by the Lorde of the Cittye to geeue ouer theire

weapons , and touchinge the offence of Rhomeo,becauſe he hadde

killed the other in his owne defence,he was baniſhed Verona for

euer. This cōmō miſfortune publiſhed throughout the Citty ,was

generally ſorowed and lamented. Som complayneth the death of ye

Lorde Thibault ſo   well for his dexteritye in armes as for the

             Rhomeo , and Iulietta.


hope of   his great good ſeruice in time to come,if hee hadde not

bene preuented by ſutch cruell Death. Other bewailed(ſpecially

the Ladies and Gentlewomen )the ouerthrow of yong Rhomeo,)

who beſides his beauty and good grace wherwith he was enriched

had a certayne naturall allurement,by vertue whereof he drew vn-

to him the hearts of eche man,like as the ſtony Adamante doth the

cancred iron,in ſutch wiſe as the whole nation and people of Ve-

rona lamented his miſchaunce : But aboue all infortunate Iuliet-

ta, who aduertiſed both of the death of hir coſin Thibault, and of

the baniſhment of hir huſband,made the Ayre ſound with infinite

number of mornefull playnts and miſerable lamentations. Then

feeling hirſelfe to mutch outraged with extreeme paſſion, ſhe went

into hir chamber, and ouercome with ſorrowe threwe hir ſelfe v-

pon hir bed,where ſhe began to reinforce hir dolor after ſo ſtraunge

faſhion,as the moſt conſtant would haue bene moued to pitty. Thē

like one out of hir wits, ſhe gazed heere and there, and by Fortune

beholding the Window whereat Rhomeo was wont to enter in=

to hir chamber , cried out : Oh vnhappy Windowe , Oh entry

moſt vnlucky, wherein were wouen the bitter toyle of my former

miſhaps, if by thy meanes I haue receyued at other tymes ſome

light pleaſure or tranſitory contentation, thou now makeſt me pay

a tribute ſo rigorous and paynefull, as my tender body not able a-

ny longer to ſupport the ſame , ſhall henceforth open the Gate to

that lyfe where the ghoſt diſcharged from this mortal burden,ſhal

ſeeke in ſome place els more aſſured reſt. Ah Rhomeo , Rhomeo

when acquayntaunce firſt began betweene vs , and reclined myne

eares vnto thy ſuborned promiſſes,confirmed with ſo many othes,

I would neuer haue beleeued that in place of our continued amy=

ty, and in appeaſing of ye hatred of our houſes,thou wouldeſt haue

ſought occaſion to breake the ſame by an acte ſo ſhamefull,where=

by thy fame ſhall be ſpotted for euer, and I miſerable wretch deſo-

late of Spouſe, and Companion . But if thou haddeſt beene ſo

gready after the Cappelletts bloud,wherefore didſt thou ſpare the

deare bloud of mine owne heart when ſo many tymes,and in ſutch

ſecret place the ſame was at the mercy of thy cruell handes ? The

          Rhomeo and Iulietta .


victory which thou ſhouldeſt haue gotten ouer me, had it not bene

glorious inough for thine ambitious minde, but for more trium=

phant ſolempnity to bee crowned wyth the bloude of my deareſt

kinſman ? Now get thee hence therefore into ſome other place to

deceiue ſome other, ſo vnhappy as my ſelfe. Neuer come agayne

in place where I am , for no excuſe ſhall heereafter take holde to

aſſwage mine offended minde. In the meane tyme I ſhall lament

the reſt of my heauy lyfe, with ſutch ſtore of teares , as my body

dried vp from all humidity , ſhall ſhortly ſearch reliefe in Earth.

And hauing made an ende of thoſe hir wordes, hir heart was ſo

grieuouſly ſtrayned, as ſhee coulde neyther weepe nor ſpeake, and

ſtoode ſo immoueable, as if ſhe had bene in a traunce. Then being

ſomewhat come agayne vnto hirſelfe , with feeble voyce ſhee ſayd :

Ah murderous tongue of other mens honor, how dareſt thou ſo

infamouſly to ſpeake of him whom his very enimies doe commēd

and prayſe ? How preſumeſt thou to impute the blame vpon Rho-

meo, whoſe vnguiltines and innocent deede euery man alloweth ?

Where from henceforth ſhall be hys refuge ? ſith ſhe which ought

to bee the onely Bulwarke , and aſſured rampire of his diſtreſſe,

doth purſue and defame him ? Receyue,receyue then Rhomeo the

ſatiſfaction of mine ingratitude by the ſacrifice which I ſhal make

of my proper lyfe , and ſo the faulte which I haue committed

agaynſte thy loyaltye , ſhall bee made open to the Worlde,

thou being reuenged and my ſelfe puniſhed . And thinking to vſe

ſome further talke , all the powers of hir body fayled hir with

ſignes of preſent death But the good olde Woman whych could

not imagine the cauſe of Iulietta hir longe abſence, doubted very

mutch that ſhe ſuffred ſome paſſion,and ſought hir vp and downe

in euery place wythin hir   Fathers Pallace , vntill at length ſhee

founde hir lyinge a long vpon hir Bed , all the outwarde parts of

hir body ſo colde as Marble . But the goode Olde woman which

thought hir to bee deade, began to cry like one out of hir Wittes,

ſaying : Ah deare Daughter, and Nourſechylde , howe mutch do-

eth thy death now grieue mee at the very heart ? And as ſhe was

feeling all the partes of hir body, ſhee perceyued ſome ſparke of

Lyfe to bee yet within the ſame, whych cauſed hir to call hir many

           Rhomeo and Iulietta .


many tymes by her name til at length ſhe brought her oute of her

ſounde Then ſayde vnto her:   Why Iulietta, myne owne deare

darelyng , what meane you by this tormoylinge of your ſelfe ? I

cannot tel from whence this youre behauiour & that immoderate

heauines doe proceede , but wel I wot that within this houre   I

thought to haue accompanied you to the graue . Alas good mo=

ther aunſwered woful Iulietta)do you not moſt euidently perceiue

and ſee what iuſt cauſe I haue too ſorrow and complayne, looſyng

at one inſtante two perſons of the world which wer vnto mee moſt

deare ? Methinke, aunſweared the good woman , that it is not

ſeemely for a Gentlewoman of your degree to fall into ſuch extre-

metye . For in tyme of tribulation wyſedome ſhould moſt preuaile

And if the lord Thibault be deade do you thinke to get him again

by teares ? What is he that doth not accuſe his ouermutch preſū

ption : woulde you that Rhomeo hadd done that wronge to him,

and hys houſe to   ſuffer himſelfe outraged and aſſayled by one to

whom in manhood and proweſſe he is not inferioure ? Suf-

ficeth you that Rhomeo is   alyue , and his affayres in ſutche

eſtate whoe in tyme may be called home agayne from baniſhmente

for he is a greate lorde,and as you know well allied and fauored

of all men, wherefore arme your ſelfe from henceforth with pacy=

ence.For albeit that Fortune doth eſtraunge him from you for a

tyme,yet ſure I am,that hereafter ſhee will reſtore him vnto you

agayne wyth greater ioye and Contentatyon than before . And

to the Ende that wee bee better aſſured in what ſtate he is,yf you

wyll promyſe me to gyue ouer your heauyneſſe , I wyll to Daye

knowe of Fryer Laurence whether he is gone. To which requeſt

Iulietta agreed & then the good womā repayredto S.Fraunciſ,wher

ſhee founde Fryer Laurence who tolde her that the ſame nyghte

Rhomeo would not fayle at hys accuſtomed houre to viſite

Iulietta , and there to do hir to vnderſtande what he purpoſed

to doe in tyme to come. This iorney then fared like the voiages of

mariners , who after they haue ben toſt by greate and troublous

tempeſt ſeeyng ſome Sunne beame pearce the heauens to lighten

the lande, aſſure,themſelues agayne,and thinkinge to haue auoy=

ded ſhipwracke , and ſodaynlye the ſeas begynne to ſwell ,   the

                        Rhomeo and Iulietta


waues do roare,with ſutch vehemence and noyſe,as if they were

fallen agayne into greater danger than before. The aſſigned hour

come , Rhomeo fayled not accordinge to hys promiſe to bee in his

Garden, where he founde his furniture preſt to mount the Cham=

ber of Iulietta,who with diſplayed armes, began ſo ſtrayghtly to

imbrace hym, as it ſeemed that the ſoule would haue abandoned

hir body. And they two more than a large quarter of an hour were

in ſutch agony,as they were not able to pronounce one word, and

wetting ech others Face faſt cloſed together, the teares trickeled

downe in ſutch abundance as they ſeemed to be throughly bathed

therein,which Rhomeo perceyuing, thinking to ſtay thoſe immo=

derate teares , ſayd vnto hir : Myne owne deareſt freend Iulietta,

I am not now determined to recite the particulars of the ſtraung

happes of frayle and inconſtaunte Fortune,who in a moment hoi=

ſteth vp to the hygheſt degree of hir wheele, and by,and by,

in leſſe ſpace than in the twynckeling of an eye , ſhe throweth hym

downe agayne ſo lowe, as more miſery is prepared for him in one

day, than fauour in one hundred yeares : whych I now proue, &

haue experience in my ſelfe , which haue bene nouriſhed delicately

amonges my frends,and maynteyned in ſutch proſperous ſtate,as

you doe little know,(hoping for the full perfection of my felicity)

by meanes of our mariage to haue reconciled our Parents , and

frends,and to conduct the reſidue of my lyfe,according to the ſcope

and lot determined by Almighty God : And neuertheleſſe all

myne enterpriſes be put backe , and my purpoſes tourned cleane

contrary, in ſutch wiſe as from henceforth I muſt wander lyke a

vagabonde through diuers Prouinces , and ſequeſtrate my ſelfe

from my Frends, wythout aſſured place of myne abode, whych I

deſire to let you weete, to the intent you may be exhorted, in tyme

to come, paciently to beare ſo well myne abſence, as that whych it

ſhal pleaſe God to appoint.But Iulietta,al affrighted wyth teares

and mortal agonies, would not ſuffer hym to paſſe any further,but

interruptinge his purpoſe,ſayd vnto hym : Rhomeo , how canſt

                  Rhomeo and Iulietta


thou be ſo harde hearted and voyde of all pity,to leaue mee here

lone , beſieged , with ſo manye deadlye myſerieſ ? There is

neyther houre nor Minute,wherein death doth not appeare a thou=

ſand tymes before mee,and yet my miſſehappe is ſutch , as I can

not dye,and therefore doe manyfeſtlye perceyue,that the ſame death

preſerueth my lyfe,of purpoſe to delight in my gryefes , and try=

umphe ouer my euyls.And thou lyke the myniſter and tyrante of

hir cruelty,doeſt make no conſcience(for ought that I can ſee) ha-

uing atchieued the Summe of thy deſyres and pleaſures on me, to

abandon and forſake me.Whereby I well perceyue,that all the la-

wes of Amity are deade and vtterly extinguyſhed,forſomutch as he

in whom I had greateſt hope and confidence , and for whoſe ſake

I am become an enimy to my ſelf,doth diſdayne and contemne me.

No no Rhomeo, thou muſt fully reſolue thy ſelfe vppon one of

theſe.ii.points either to ſee me incontinently throwen down head-

long from this high Window after thee:or elſe to ſuffer me to ac-

company thee into that Countrey or Place whither Fortune ſhall

guide thee:for my heart is ſo mutch tranſformed into thine,that ſo

ſoone as I ſhall vnderſtande of thy departure,preſently my lyfe

will depart this wofull body:the continuance whereof I doe not

deſire for any other purpoſe,but only to delight my ſelfe in thy pre-

ſence,to bee pertaker of thy miſfortunes,And therefore if euer there

lodged any pity in the heart of gentleman,I beſeeche the   Rhomeo

with al humility,that it may now finde place in thee,and that thou

wilt vouchſafe to receyue me for thy ſeruaunt,and the faithful com-

panion of thy miſhaps.And if thou thinke that thou canſt not con-

ueniently receyue me in the eſtate and habite of a Wyfe, who ſhall

let me to cha unge myne apparell? Shall I be the firſt that haue v-

ſed like ſhiftes ,to eſcape the tyranny of parentes? Doſte thou doubt

that my ſeruice will not bee ſo good vnto thee as that of Petre thy

ſeruaunte?Wyll my loyaltye and fidelity be leſſe than his?My beau

ty which at other ty mes thou haſt ſo greatly commended,it is not

eſteemed of thee?My teares, my loue, and the aunciente pleaſures

and delights that you hau e taken in mee ſhal they be in obliuyon ?

Rhomeo ſeing hir in theſe alter ations,fearing that worſſe inconue-

nience would chaunce , tooke hir agayne betweene hys armes,and

         Rhomeo and Iulietta


kiſſing hir amorouſly ,ſayd: Iulietta.the onely miſtreſſe of my heart,

I pray thee in the Name of God,and for the feruent Loue which

thou beareſt vnto me,to doe away thoſe vayne cogitations, excepte

thou meane to ſeeke and hazard the deſtruction of vs both : for yf

thou perſeuer in this purpoſe, there is no remedye but wee muſte

both periſh : for ſo ſoone as thyne abſence ſhalbe knowen , thy   Fa=

ther will make ſutch earneſt purſute after vs,that we cannot choſe

but be diſcried and taken,and in the ende cruelly puniſhed , I as a

theefe and ſtealer of thee,and thou as a dyſobedyent Daughter to

thy Father:and ſo in ſtead of pleaſaunt and quiet Lyfe,our Dayes

ſhalbe abridged by moſt ſhamefull Death. But if thou wylt recline

thy ſelf to reaſon,(the ryght rule of humane Lyfe,)and for ye tyme

abandon our mutuall delyghts, I will take ſutch order in the time

of my baniſhment,as within three or foure Months wythoute any

delay,I ſhalbe reuoked home agayne.But if it fall out otherwyſe

(as I truſt not ,)howſoeuer it happen,I wyll come agayne vnto

thee,and with the helpe of my Fryendes wyll fetch the from Vero=

na by ſtrong Hand , not in Counterfeit Apparell as a ſtraunger,

but lyke my ſpouſe and   perpetuall companion . In the meane

tyme quyet your ſelfe,and be ſure that nothing elſe but death ſhall

deuide and put vs a ſunder. The reaſons of Rhomeo ſo mutch

preuailed with Iulietta , as ſhee made hym thys aunſwere : My

deare fryend I wyll doe nothing contrary to your wyll and plea=

ſure. And   to what place ſo euer you repayre,my hearte ſhall bee

your owne,in like ſorte as you haue giuen yours to be mine . In

the meane while I pray you not to faile oftentimes to aduertiſe me

by Frier Laurence,in what ſtate your affaires be,and ſpecially of

the place of your abode. Thus theſe two pore louers paſſed the

Night togither,vntil the day began to appeare which did dyuyde

them,to their extreame ſorrow and gryef. Rhomeo hauiuge taken

leaue of Iulietta,went to S.Fraunces,and after he hadde aduerty-

ſed Frier Laurence of his affaires,departed from Verona in the

habit of a Marchaunt ſtraunger,and vſed ſutch expedytyon,as we=

out hurt he arriued at Mantuona,(accompanied onely wyth Petre

his Seruaunt,whome hee haſtily ſente backe agayne to Verona , to

                        Rhomeo and Iulietta


erue his Father(where he tooke a Houſe:and lyuying in honora-

ble Companye,aſſayed certayne   Monthes to put away the gryefe

whych ſo tormented him. But duryng the tyme of his abſence,mi-

ſerable Iulietta could not ſo cloke hir ſorrow , but that through the

euyll colour of hir Face,hir inwarde paſſion was   diſcryed . By

reaſon whereof hir Mother,who heard hir   oftentimes ſighing,

and inceſſantly complaining ,coulde not forbeare to ſay vnto hir:

Daughter if you continue long after thys ſort, you wyll haſten the

Death of your good Father and me ,who loue you ſo dearely   as

our owne lyues:wherefore henceforth moderate your heauineſſe, and

endeuor your ſelf to be mery:think no more vpon the Death of

your coſin Thibault,whome(ſith it pleaſed God to cal away)do you

thinke to reuoke wyth Teares,and ſo withſtande his Almightye

will?But the pore Gentlewoman not able to dyſſemble hir griefe,

ſayd vnto hir:Madame long time it is ſithens the laſt Teares for

Thibault were poured forth,and I beleue that the fountayne is ſo

well ſoked and dried vp,as no more will ſpryng in that place. The

mother which could not tell to what effect thoſe Woords were ſpo-

ken held hir peace,for feare ſhe ſhould trouble hir Daughter : and

certayne Dayes after ſeeing hir to continue in heauineſſe and conti-

nuall griefſ,aſſaied by al meanes poſſible to know, aſwell of hir,

as of other the   houſholde Seruauntes , the occaſion of their ſor-

row:but al in Vayne:wherwith the pore mother vexed beyond

meaſure , purpoſed to let the Lord Antonio hir Huſband to vnder-

ſtand the caſe of hir Daughter. And vppon a day ſeeing him at

conuenient leiſure,ſhe ſayd vnto him:My Lord,if you haue mar-

ked the Countenaunce of our Daughter,and hir kinde of behauior

ſithens the Death of the Lord Thibault hir Coſyn,you ſhall per-

ceiue ſo ſtraunge mutation in hir,as it will make you to maruell

for ſhe is not onely contented to forgoe meate , drinke and ſlepe, but

ſhe ſpendeth hir tyme in nothinge elſe then in Weeping and Lamen-

tatyon , delighting to kepe hir ſelf ſolytarye wythin hir Chamber

where ſhe tormenteth hir ſelf ſo outragiouſly, as yf wee take not

heede,hir Lyfe is to be doubted,and not able to knowe the Ory-

ginall of hir Payne, the more difficulte ſhall bee the remedye for

          Rhomeo and Iulietta


albeit that I haue ſought meanes by all extremity , yet cannot I

learne the cauſe of hir ſickneſſe.And where I thought in the be-

ginning,that it proceded vpon the Death of hir Coſin,now I doe

manifeſtly perceiue the contrary,ſpecially when ſhe hir ſelf   did aſ=

ſure me that ſhe had already wept and ſhed the laſt teares for him

that ſhe was mynded to   doe . And vncertayne whereuppon to

reſolue,I do thinke verily that ſhe mourneth for ſome deſpite,to ſee

the moſt part of theyr Companions maried,and ſhe yet vnprouy=

ded,perſuadingwith hir ſelfe(it may be)that wee hir   Parents do

not care for hir.Wherefore deare Huſband,I heartely beſeech you

for our reſt and hir quiet,,that hereafter ye be carefull to prouyde

for hir ſome maryage worthy of our ſtate:whereunto the Lord An-

tonio,willingly agreed , ſaying vnto hir:Wyfe I haue many times

thought vppon that whereof you ſpeake,notwythſtandyng ſith as

yet ſhee is not attayned to the age of.xviii.yeares,I thought to pro-

uide a huſband at leyſure. Neuertheleſſe things beinge come to

theſe Termes , and knowing the Virgins chaſtity is a dange=

rous Treaſure,I wyll be mindfull of the ſame to your contenta-

tion,and ſhe matched in ſutch wyſe ,as ſhe ſhall thynke the tyme hi=

therto well delayed . In the meane while marke dylygently why=

ther ſhe bee in loue wyth any to the end that we haue not ſo   greate

regarde to goodes,or the Nobylity of the houſe wherein we mean

to beſtow hir,as to the Lyfe and Health of our Daughter who   is

to me ſo deare as I had rather die a Begger without Landes or

goods,than to beſtow hir vpō onewhich ſhall vſe and intreat hir il.

Certayne dayes after that the Lorde Antonio had bruted the ma=

ryage of his daughter,many Gentlemen were ſuters,ſo wel for the

excellency of hir Beauty,as for hir great Rycheſſe and reuenue.

But aboue all others the alyaunce of a young Earle named Paris,

the Counte of Lodronne,lyked the Lord Antonio:vnto whom ly-

berally he gaue his conſent,and told his Wyfe the party vppon

whom he dyd mean to beſtow his Daughter.The mother very ioy

ful that they had found ſo honeſt a Gentleman for theyr Daughter

cauſed hir ſecretly to be called before hir,doyng hir to   vnderſtande

what things had paſſed betwen hir father & ye Coūte Paris,diſcour-

ſing vnto hir ye beauty & good grace of ye yōg Coūte,the vertues for

                       Rhomeo and Iulietta


which he was commended of al men,ioyning therevnto for conclu-

ſion the great richeſſe and fauor which he had in the goods of for=

tune,by means whereof ſhe and hir Fryends ſhould liue in eternal

honor.But Iulietta which had rather to haue ben torne in pieces

than to agree to that maryage,anſwered hir mother with a more

than accuſtomed ſtoutneſſe:Madame, I mutch maruel,and there-

withal am aſtonned that you being a Ladye diſcrete and honorable,

wil be ſo liberal ouer your Daughter as to commit hir to the plea=

ſure and wil of an other before,you do know how hir mind is bent:

you may do as it pleaſeth you,but of one thing I do wel aſſure you

that if you bring it to paſſe,it ſhal be againſt my wil. And touching the

regard and eſtimation of Coūte Paris,I ſhal firſt loſe my Lyfe

before he ſhal haue powerto touchany part of my body:which being

done,it is you that ſhal be counted the murderer,by deliueryng me

into the handes of him,whome I neyther can,wil,or know   whiche

way to loue.Wherefore I praye you to ſuffer me henceforth thus

to lyue,without taking any further care of me , for ſo mutche as

my cruell fortune hath otherwyſediſpoſed of me.

     The dolorous Mother which knewe not what Iudgement to

fixe vpon hir daughters aunſwere,lyke a woman confuſed and be

ſides hir ſelfe went to ſeeke the Lord Antonio,vnto whom without

conceyling any part of hir Daughters aunſwer,ſhe dyd him vnder=

ſtand the whole.The good olde man offended beyond meaſure, cō

maunded her incontinently by Force   to be brought before him,

if of hir own good will ſhe would not come.So ſoone as ſhe came

before hir Father,hir eyes full of tears ,fel down at his fete which

ſhe bathed with the luke warme drops ye that diſtilled from hir Eyes

in great abundance,and thynkyng to open hir mouth to crye him mer=

cy,the ſobbes and ſighes many tymes ſtopt hir ſpeach,that ſhee re=

mained dumbe not able to frame a Woorde. But the olde man

nothing moued with his Daughters Teares,ſayd vnto hir in

great rage:Come hither thou vnkynd and dyſobedient Daughter,

haſt thou forgotten how many tymes thou haſt hearde ſpoken at

the Table,of the puiſſance and authoryty our auncyente Romane

Fathers had ouer their Chyldren?vnto whom it was not onelye

lawfull to ſell ,guage , and otherwyſe diſpoſe them( in theyr ne-

                    Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


their neceſſity)at their pleaſure,but alſo which is more , they had

abſolute po wer ouer their Death and Lyfe ? With what yronſ,

with what torments,with what racks would thoſe good Fathers

chaſten and correct thee if they were a liue againe,to ſee that ingra=

titude,miſbehauior and diſobedience which thou vſeſt towards thy

Father,who with many prayers and requeſtes hath prouided one

ofthe greateſt Lords of this prouince to be thy huſband,a Gentle=

man of beſt renoume,and indued wyth all kynde of Vertues , of

whom thou and I be vnworthy,both for the notable maſſe of goods

and ſubſtance wherewith he is enriched, as alſo for the Honoure

and generoſitie of the houſe whereof hee is diſcended, and yet thou

playeſt the parte of an obſtinate and rebellyous Chyld agaynſt thy

Fathers will, I take the omnipotency of that Almightye God to

witneſſe,which hath vouchſafed to bryng the forth into this   world

that if vpon Tueſday nexte thou faileſt to prepare thy ſelfe to be at

my Caſtell of Villafranco,where the Counte   Paris purpoſeth to

meete vs,and there giue thy conſent to that whych thy Mother and

Ihaue agreed vppon,I will not onely depriue thee of my worldly

goodes,but alſo will make the eſpouſe & marie a pryſon ſo ſtraight

and ſharpe,as a thouſande times thou ſhalt curſe the Day   & tyme

wherein thou waſt borne.Wherfore from henceforth take aduiſe-

ment what thou doeſt,for excepte the promiſe be kept which I haue

made to the Counte Paris,I will make the feele how greate ye iuſt

choler of an offended Father is againſt a Chylde vnkynde . And

without ſtaying for other anſwer of his Daughter , the olde man

departed the Chamber,and lefte hir vppon hir knees . Iulietta

knowing the fury of hir Father,fearing to incurre his indignati-

on,or to prouoke his further wrath : retired for ye day into hir Chā-

ber,and contriued ye whole Nyght more in weeping then ſlepyng.

And the next Morning fayning to goe heare ſeruice,ſhe went forth

with the Woman of hir Chamber to the Fryers,where ſhe cauſed

father Laurence to be called vnto hir,and prayed him to heare hir

confeſſion.And when ſhe was vpon hir knees before hym , ſhee be-

gan hir Confeſſion wyth Teares,tellinge him the greate miſchyefe

that was prepared for hir,by the maryage accorded betweene hir

               Rhomeo,and Iulietta.          


Father,and the Counte Paris. And for concluſion ſayd vnto him :

Sir,for ſo mutch as you know that I cannot by Gods Law bee

maried twice,and that I haue but one God,one huſband and   one

faith, I am determined when I   am from hence!) with theſe two

hands which you ſee ioyned before you,this Day to ende my ſorow=

ful lyfe,that my ſoule may beare wytneſſe in the Heauens , and my

bloude vppon the Earth of my faith and loyalty preſerued. Then

hauyng ended hir talke,ſhee looked about hir, and ſeemed by hir

wylde countenaunce,as though ſhe had deuiſed ſome ſiniſter pur=

poſe. Wherefore Frier Laurence,aſtonned beyonde meaſure , fea=

ryng leaſt ſhe would haue executed that which ſhe was determy=

ned,ſayd vnto hir: Miſtreſſe Iulietta: I pray you in the name of god

by little and little to moderate youre   conceiued griefe , and

to content your ſelf whilſt you bee heere, vntill I haue prouided

what is beſt for you to doe,for before you part from hence , I will

giue you ſutch conſolation and remedy for your afflictions,as you

ſhall remaine ſatyſfied and contented. And reſolued vppon thys

good minde,he ſpeedily wente out of the Churche vnto his cham=

ber,where he began to conſider of many things,his conſcience be=

yng moued to hinder the marriage betwene the Counte Paris and

hir,knowing by his meanes ſhe had eſpouſed an other,and callynge

to remembraunce what a daungerous enterpriſe he had begonne

by committyng hymſelf to the mercy of a ſymple damoſell,and that

if ſhee fayled to bee wyſe and ſecrete,all theyr doyngs ſhould be diſ-

cried,he defamed,and Rhomeo hir ſpouſe puniſhed. Hee then af-

ter he had well debated vpon infinite numbre of deuiſes,was in the end

ouercome with pity,and determined rather to hazarde his ho-

nour,than to ſuffer the Adultery of the Counte Paris with Iulietta.

And being determined herevpon,opened his cloſet,and takynge a

vyall in his Hande,retourned agayne to Iulietta whom he founde

lyke one that was in a Traunce,wayghtinge for Newes,eyther of

Lyfe or Death. Of whome the good olde Father demaunded

vppon what Day hir maryage was appointed . The firſte Daye

of that appoyntment( quod ſhee ) is vppon Wedneſdaye,which

is the Daye ordeyned for my Conſente of   Maryage accorded

                     Rhomeo,and Iulietta


betweene my father and Counte Paris,but the Nuptiall ſolemnitye

is not before of September.W el then(quod the religi-

ous father)be of good cheere daughter,for our Lord God hathe

opened a way vnto me both to deliuer you and Rhomeo from the

prepared thraldom. I haue knowne your huſband from his cradle,

and hee hath daily committed vnto me the greateſt ſecretes of hys

Conſcience,and I haue ſo dearely loued him agayne,as if hee had

benmine owne ſonne.Wherefore my heart can not abide that anye

man ſhould do him wrong in that ſpecially wherein my Counſell

may ſtande him in ſtede.   And forſo mutch as you are his wyfe,

I ought lykewyſe to loue you,and ſeke meanes to delyuer you frō

the martyrdome and Anguiſh wherewyth I ſee your heart beſie=

ged. Vnderſtande then(good Daughter of a ſecrete which , I

purpoſe to manifeſt vnto you, and take heede aboue all thinges

that you declare it to no liuing creature,for therein conſiſteth your

life and Death Ye be not ignorant by the common report of the Ci-

tyzens of this City,and by the ſame publiſhed of me,that I haue

trauailed throughe all the Prouinces of the habytable Earthe,

wherby duryng the continuall tyme of. xx yeres,I haue ſoughte no

reſt for my wearied body,but rather haue many times protruded

the ſame to the mercy of brute beaſts in the Wylderneſſe,and many

times alſo to the mercileſſe Waues of the Seas,and to the   pity of

common Pirates together with a thouſand other Daungers and

ſhipwracks vppon Sea and Land. So it is good Daughter that

all my wandring Voyages haue not bene altogethers vnprofitable.

For beſides the incredible contētation receiued ordinarily in mind,

I haue gathered ſome particular fruyct,whereof by the grace   of

god you ſhallſhortly feele ſome experience. I haue proued the ſe=

crete properties of Stoneſ,of Plants,Metals,and other thinges

hydden within the Bowels of the Earth,wherewith I am able to

helpe my ſelfe againſte the common Lawe of Men , when neceſſity

doth ſerue:ſpecyally in thyngs wherein I know mine eternal god

to be leaſt offended. For as thou knoweſt I beynge approched as

it were,euen to the Brymme of my Graue , and that the Tyme

draweth neare   for yeldynge of myne Accompte before the

Audytor of all Audytors , I oughte therefore to haue ſome

                 Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


deepe knowledge and apprehenſion of Gods iudgement more thā

I had when the heat of conſidered youth did boyle within my luſty

body. Know you therefore good daughter,that with thoſe graces,

and fauours which the learned and proued of long time the com-

poſition of a certayne Paaſte,which I make of diuers ſoporife-

rous ſimples, which beaten afterwards to Pouder , and dronke

wyth a quantyty of Water , within a quarter of an houre after,

bringeth the receiuer into ſutch a ſleepe , and burieth ſo deepely

the ſenſes and other ſprits of life ; that the cunningeſt   Phiſitian

will iudge the party dead : and beſides that it hath a more maruei=

lous effect, for the perſon which vſeth the ſame feeleth no kinde of

griefe,and according to the quantity of the dough . the pacient re-

mayneth in a ſweete ſleepe, but when the operation is wrought &

done,hee returneth into his firſt eſtate . Now then Iulietta receiue

myne inſtruction, put of all Feminine affection by taking vppon

you a manly ſtomacke for by the only courage of your minde con=

ſiſteth the hap or miſhap of your affayres . Beholde here I geue

you a Vyale which   you ſhall keepe as your owne propre heart,

and the night before your mariage, or in the morninge before day,

you ſhall fil the ſame vp with water,and drink ſo mutch as is con=

tayned therein. And then you ſhall feele a certayne kynde of plea-

ſaunt ſleepe , which incrochinge by litle and litle all the partes of

your body,wil conſtrayne them in ſutch wyſe, as vnmoueable they

ſhal remayne : and by not doing their accuſtomed duetieſ , ſhall

looſe their naturall feelinges , and you abide in ſutch extaſie the

ſpace of. 40. houres at the leaſt, without any beating of poulſe or

other perceptible motion, which ſhall ſo aſtonne them that come to

ſee you,as they will iudge you to be deade,& according to the cuſ=

tome of our Citty,you ſhal be caried to the Churchyarde hard by

our Church, where you ſhall be Intoumbed in the common mo=

nument of the Capellets your aunceſtorſ,& in the meane tyme we

will ſend word to Lord Rhomeo by a ſpeciall meſſanger of the ef-

fect of our deuice,who now abideth at Mantua. And the night fol=

lowing I am ſure he will not fayle to be heere, then he and I to-

gether will open the graue, and lift vp your body, and after the o=

peration of the Pouder is paſt , hee ſhall conuey you ſecretly to

                    Rhomeo, and Iulietta.


Mantua, vnknowen to all your Parents and frends.Afterwards

(it may be.) Tyme, the mother of Truth ſhall cauſe concord be=

twene the offended City of Verona,and Rhomeo. At which time

your common cauſe may be made open to the general contentaci=

on of all your frends. The words of the good father ended, new

ioy ſurpriſed the heart of Iulietta , who was ſo attentiue to his

talke as ſhe forgat no one poynct of hir leſſon. Then ſhe ſayd vnto

him: Father,doubt not at all that my heart ſhall fayle in performance

of your commaundement : For were it the ſtrongeſt Poyſon, or

moſt peſtiferous Venome, rather woulde I thruſt it into my bo-

dy , than to conſent to   fall in the hands of him, whom I vtterly

miſlike : With a right ſtrong reaſon then may I fortifie my ſelfe,

and offer my body to any kinde of mortall daunger to approch and

draw neare to him,vpon whom wholly dependeth my Life and all

the ſolace I haue in this World. Go your wayes then my daugh=

ter ( quod the Frier ) the mighty hand of God keepe you,and hys

ſurpaſſing power defende you , and confirme that will and good

mynde of yours , for the accompliſhment of this worke. Iulietta

departed from frier Laurence,and returned home to hir fathers

Pallace about. ii. of the clock, where ſhe found hir mother at the

Gate attending for hir : And in good deuotion demaunded if ſhee

continued ſtill in hir former follies ? But Iulietta with more glad-

ſome cheere than ſhe was wont to vſe, not ſuffering hir mother to

aſke agayne, ſayd vnto hir . Madame I come from S. Frauncis

Church,where I haue taried longer peraduenture than my duety

requireth : How be it not without fruict and great reſt to my af-

flicted conſcience,by reaſon of the godly perſuaſions of our ghoſt-

ly Father Frier Laurence , vnto whom I haue made a large de-

claration of my life. And chiefly haue communicated vnto him in

confeſſion,that which hath paſt betwene my Lord my father and

you,vpon the mariage of Countee Paris and me. But the good

man hath reconciled me by his holy words,and commendable ex-

hortations , that where I had minde neuer to mary , now I am

well diſpoſed to obey your pleaſure and commaundement.Wher=

fore Madame I beſeech you to recouer the fauor and good wyl of

             Rhomeo , and Iulietta.


my father,aſke pardon in my behalfe,and ſay vnto him(if it pleaſe

you ) that by obeying his Fatherly requeſt, I am ready to meete

the Countee Paris at Villafranco,and there in your preſence to ac=

cept him for my Lorde and huſband : In aſſuraunce whereof, by

your pacience, I meane to repayre into my Cloſet, to make choiſe

of my moſt pretious Iewels , that I being richly adorned, and

decked,may appeare before him more agreeable to his mynde,and

pleaſure.The good mother rapt with exceeding great ioy,was not

able to   aunſwere a word, but rather made ſpeede to ſeeke out hir

huſband the Lord Antonio,vnto whom ſhe reported the good will

of hir daughter, and how by meanes of Frier Laurence hir minde

was chaunged. Whereof the good olde man maruellous ioyfull,

prayſed God in heart , ſaying : Wife this is not the firſte good

turne which we haue receiued of that holy man, vnto whom euery

Cittizen of this Common wealth is dearely bounde. I would to

God that I   had redeemed. 20. of his yeares with the third parte

of my goods,ſo grieuous is to me his extreme old age.The ſelfe

ſame houre the Lorde Antonio went to ſeeke the Countee Paris,

whom hee thought to perſwade to goe to Villafranco . But the

countee told him agayne,that the charge would be to great , and

that better it were to reſerue that coſt to the mariage day, for the

better celebration   of the ſame . Notwithſtanding if it were his

pleaſure, he would himſelfe goe viſite Iulietta : And ſo they went

together . The Mother aduertiſed of his comming, cauſed hir

Daughter to make hir ſelfe ready, and to ſpare no coſtly Iewels

for adorning of hir beauty agaynſt the Countees comming,which

ſhe beſtowed ſo well for garniſhing of hir Perſonage, that before

the Countee parted from the houſe , ſhee had ſo ſtolne away his

heart,as he liued not from that time forth, but vpon meditation of

hir beauty,and ſlacked no time for acceleration of the mariage day

ceaſing not to be importunate vpon father and mother for th’ende

and cōſummation thereof : And thus with ioy inough paſſed forth

this day and many others vntil the day before the mariage,againſt

which time the mother of Iulietta did ſo well prouide, that there

wanted nothing to ſet forth the magnificence and nobility of their

houſe. Villafranco whereof we haue made mention, was a place

               Rhomeo, and Iulietta.


of pleaſure,where the Lord Antonio was wont many tymes to re=

createhimſelfe a mile or two from Verona,there the Dynner was

prepared,for ſo mutch as the ordinary ſolemnity of neceſſity muſte

be done at Verona.Iulietta perceyuing hir time to approache dyſ=

ſembled the matter ſo well as ſhee coulde : and when tyme forced

hir to retire to hir Chamber,hir Woman would have waited vp=

pon hir, and haue lyen in hir Chambre , as hir cuſtome was :

But Iulietta ſayd vnto hir : Good and faithfull mother, you know

that to morrow is my maryage Day,and for that I would ſpend

the moſt parte of the Nyght in prayer , I pray you for this time to

let me alone,and to morrow in the Mornyng the clocke

come to   me agayne to helpe   make mee readie. Then good olde

woman willing to follow hir minde,ſuffred hir alone,and doubted

nothyng of that which ſhe did meane to do. Iulietta beinge within

hir Chambre hauing an eawer ful of Water ſtanding vppon the

Table filled the viole which the Frier gaue hir : and after ſhe had

made the mixture,ſhe ſet it by hir bed ſide ,and went to Bed . And

being layde,new Thoughtes began to aſſaile hir , with a conceipt

of grieuous Death,which brought hir into ſutch caſe as ſhe could

not tell what to doe,but playning inceſſantly ſayd. Am not I   the

moſt vnhappy and deſperat creature,that euer was borne of Wo=

man?for mee there is nothyng left in this wretched Worm but miſ-

hap,miſery,and mortall woe,my diſtreſſe hath brought me to ſutch

extremity,as to ſaue mine honor and conſcience, I am forced to de-

uoure the drynke whereof I know not the vertue:but what know

I(ſayd ſhe)whether the Operatyon of thys Pouder will be to ſoone or

to late , or not correſpondent to the due tyme,and that my fault be-

ing diſcouered,I ſhall remayne a Fable to the People ? What

know I moreouer,if the Serpents & other venomous and crau=

ling Wormes,which commonly frequent the Graues and pittes

of the Earth wyll hurt me , thynkyng that I am deade?. But howe

ſhall I indure the ſtynche of ſo many carions and Bones of myn

aunceſtors whych reſt in the Graue , yf by Fortune I do awake

before Rhomeo and Fryer Laurence doe come to help me?And as

ſhee was thus plunged in the deepe contemplatyon of thynges,

                 Rhomeo , and Iulietta.


ſhe thought that ſhe ſaw a certayn viſion or   fanſie of hir   Couſin

Thibault,in the very ſame ſort as ſhee ſawe him wounded and im=

brued wyth Bloud,and muſing how that ſhemuſt be buried quick

amongs ſo many dead Carcaſes and deadly naked boneſ,hir ten=

der and delycate body began to ſhake and tremble, and hir yelowe

lockes to ſtare for feare, in ſutch wyſe as fryghtned with terroure

a cold ſweate beganne to pierce hir heart, and bedewe the reſte of

al hir membres,in ſutch wiſe as ſhe thought that an hundred thou-

ſand Deathes did ſtande about hir,haling hir on euery ſide , and

plucking hir in pieces,and feelyng that hir forces diminyſhed by

lyttle and lyttle,fearing that through to great debilyty ſhe was not

able to do hir enterpryſe,like a furious and inſenſate Woman,with

out further care,gulped vp the Water wythin the V oyal,then croſ

ſing hir armes vpon hir ſtomacke,ſhe loſt at that inſtante all the

powers of hir Body,reſtyng in a Traunce.And when the morning

lyght began to thruſt his head out of his Oryent , hir Chaumber

Woman which had lockte hir in with the key,did open the doore,

and thynkyng to awake hir,called hir many tymes,and ſayd vnto

hir : Miſtreſſe,you ſleepe to long,the Counte Paris will come to

raiſe you.The poore olde Woman ſpake vnto the Wall , and ſāge

a ſong vnto the deafe. For if   all the horrible   and tempeſtuous

ſoundes of the world had bene cannonised forth out of the greateſt

bombardes,and ſounded through hir delycate Eares,hir ſpyrites

of Lyfe were ſo faſt bounde and ſtopt,as ſhe by no meanes coulde

awake,wherewith the pore olde Woman amazed , began to ſhake

hir by the armes and Handes , whych ſhe found ſo colde as mar=

ble ſtone . Then puttyng Hande vnto hir Mouthe,ſodainely per

ceyued that ſhe was dead , for ſhee perceyued no breath in hir.

Wherefore lyke a Woman out of hir Wyttes , ſhee ranne to tell

hir Mother , who ſo madde as a Tigre,berefte of hir Faūes hi-

ed hir ſelfe into hir Daughters Chaumber , and in that pitiful

ſtate beholdynge hir Daughter,thinkyng hir to be deade,cried out

Ah cruell Death,which haſt ended all my ioye and Blyſſe, vſe the

laſt ſcourge of thy Wrathfull ire agaynſt me , leaſt by ſufferyng

mee to liue the reſt of my woefull Dayes , my Torment doe in-

                          Rhomeo and Iulietta


creaſe : then ſhe began to fetch ſutch ſtrayning ſighes, as hir heart

did ſeeme to cleaue in pieces.   And as hir cries began to encreaſe,

behold the Father, the County Pariſ, and a great troupe of Gen=

tlemen and Ladies,which were come to honour the feaſte,hearing

no ſooner tell of that which chaunced, were ſtroke into ſutch ſor=

rowfull dumpes as he which had beheld their Faces would eaſi=

ly haue iudged that the ſame had ben a day of ire and pity,ſpecial=

ly the Lord Antonio,whoſe heart was frapped with ſutch ſurpaſ-

ſing woe,as neither teare nor word could iſſue forth,& knowing not

what to doe,ſtraight way ſent to ſeeke the moſt expert Phiſitians

of the towne,who after they had inquired of the life paſt of   Iuliet-

ta, deemed by common reporte , that melancoly was the cauſe of

that ſodayne death,& then their ſorows began to renue a freſh.And

if euer day was Lamentable,Piteouſ,Vnhappy,and Fatall,tru-

ly it was that wherein Iulietta hir death was publiſhed in Vero-

na : for ſhee was ſo bewayled of great and ſmall, that by the cō-

mon playnts, the Common wealth ſeemed to be in daunger,and

not without cauſe. For beſides hir naturall beauty accompanied

with many vertues wherewith nature had enriched hir ) ſhe was

elſe ſo humble,wiſe and debonaire,as for that humility and curte-

ſie ſhe had ſtollen away the hearts of euery wight , and there was

none but did lament hir Miſfortune . And whileſt theſe thinges

were in this lamented ſtate,Frier Laurence with diligence diſpat-

ched a Frier of his Couent, named Frier Anſelme , whom hee

truſted as himſelfe, and deliuered him a Letter written with hys

owne hande, commaunding him expreſſely not to giue the ſame to

any other but to Rhomeo , wherein was conteyned the chaunce

which had paſſed betwene him and Iulietta,ſpecially the vertue of

the Pouder , and commanded him the nexte enſuinge Nighte

to ſpeede himſelfe to Verona , for that the operation   of the

Pouder that time would take ende, and that he ſhould cary with

him back agayne to Mantua his beloued Iulietta,in diſſembled ap-

parell, vntill Fortune had otherwiſe prouided for them. The fri-

ermade ſutch haſt as ( to late ) hee arriued at Mantua,within a

while after. And bicauſe the maner of Italy is,that the Frier tra-

uayling abroade ought to take a companion of his Couent to doe

          Rhomeo and Iulietta .


his affaires wythin the City , the Fryer went into his couent , and

for that he was within,it was not lawfull for him to come oute a-

gaine that Day,bicauſe that certain Dayes before ,one relygious

of that couent as it was ſayd,dyd dye of the Plague . Wherefore

the Magiſtrates appoynted for the health and viſitation of the ſick,

commaunded the Warden of the Houſe that no Friers ſhould wā

der abrode the city ,or talke with any Citizen,vntilthey were li-

cenſed by the officers in that behalfe appoynted,which was ye cauſe

of the great miſhap,which you ſhal heare hereafter. The Friar be-

ing in this perplexitye,not able to goe forth,and not knowyng what

was contayned in the Letter,deferred hys Iorney for that Day.

Whilſt things were in thys plyght,preparation was made at Ve

rona,to doe the obſequies of Iulietta . There is a cuſtome alſo

(which is common in Italy,)to laye all the beſt of one lignage and

Familye in one Tombe ,wherevppon Iulietta was intoumbed in

the ordinary Graue of the Capellettes , in a Churcheyarde,hard

by the Churche of the Fryers .where alſo the Lord Thibault was

interred whoſe Obſequies honorably done ,euery man returned:

whereūto Pietro,the ſeruāt of Rhomeo gaue hysaſſyſtāce. For as

we haue before declared ,hys Mayſter ſente hym backe agayne

from Mantua to Verona,to do his father ſeruice,and to aduertiſe

him of that which ſhould chaunce in his abſence there:who ſeeyng

the Body of Iulietta,incloſed in Toumbe,thinkyng with the   reſte

that ſhee had bene dead in deede,incontinently tooke poſte horſe,and

with dylygence rode to Mantua,where he founde his Mayſter in

his wonted houſe,to whom he ſayde,wyth hys Eyes full of Tea=

res:Syr,there is chaunced vnto you ſo ſtraunge a matter as if ſo

be you do not arme your ſelfe with Conſtancye, I am afrayed that

I ſhall be the cruell minyſter of your Death,Be it known vnto you

ſir,that yeſterday morning my   miſtreſſe Iulietta left hir Lyfe in

thys Worlde to ſeeke reſt in an other:and wyth theſe Eyes I ſaw

her buryed in the Churchyarde of S . Frauncis.At the ſounde of

whych heauye   meſſage , Rhomeo begann woefullye to La-

mente,as thoughe hys Spyrites gryeued wyth the Tormente of

               Rhomeo and Iulietta


hys Paſſion at that inſtant would haue abandoned his Bodye.

But ſtronge Loue which wouldenot permytte him to faynt vntyl

the extremity, framed a thoughte in hys fanteſie,that if it were poſ-

ſyble for him to dye beſides hir his Death ſhould be more   glory=

ous ,and ſhee(as he thought)better contented.By reaſon whereof,

after hee had waſhed his face for feare to diſcouer his ſorrowe, hee

wente out of his Chamber,and commaunded hys man to tarry be=

hynd him , that he myght walke through out all the   Corners of

the Citye , to finde propre remedye(if it were poſſyble ) for hys

gryefe .   And amonges others , beholdynge an Apoticarye’s ſhop

of lyttle furnyture and leſſe ſtore of Boxes and other thinges re=

quiſite for that ſcyence , thought that the verye pouerty of the may=

ſter Apothecarye would make hym wyllingle yeld to that which h e

pretended to demaunde. And after he had taken hym aſide,ſecret-

ly ſayde vnto him: Syr,if you be the Mayſter of the Houſe, as I

thynke you be,beholde here Fifty Ducateſ,whych I gyue you to

the intent you delyuer me ſome   ſtrong and vyolente Poyſon that

within a quarter of an houre is able to procure Death vnto hym

that ſhall vſe it. The couetous Apothecarye entyſed by gayne , a=

greed to his requeſt ,and faynying to gyue hym ſome other medy-

cine before the Peoples Face,he ſpeedily made ready a ſtrong   and

cruell Poyſon,afterwardes he ſayd unto him ſoftly:Syr , I gyue

you more than is needefull , for the one halfe is able to deſtroy the

ſtrongeſt manne of the world:who after he hadde receyued the poy=

fon,retourned home ,where he commaunded his man to departe

with diligence to Verona,and that he ſhould make prouiſion of can

dels,a tynder Boxe,and other Inſtrumentesmeete for the opening

of the graue of Iulietta,and that aboue all things hee ſhoulde not

fayle to attende his commynge beſides the Churchyarde of

S . Frauncis ,and vppon Payne of Life to keepehys intente

in ſilēce.Which Pietro obeied in order as hys maiſter had requy

red,and made therin ſutch expedityō ,as he arriued in good time to

Verona,taking order for al things that wer cōmaunded him. Rho=

             Rhomeo and Iulietta .


m e o in the meane while being ſolycyted wyth mortall thoughtes

cauſed incke and paper to be b oughte vnto hym,and in few words

put in wryting all the diſcourſe of his loue,the mariage of him and

Iulietta, the meane obſerued for conſummation of the   ſame , the

helpe that he had of Frier Laurence,the buying of his Poyſon,and

laſt of all his death. Afterwardes hauing finiſhed his heauy tra-

gedy,hee cloſed the letters,and ſealed the ſame with his   ſeale , and

directed the Superſcription thereof to hys Father : and puttynge

the letters into his purſſe,he mounted on horſebacke , and vſed

ſutch dylygence,as he arriued vppon darke Nyght at the Citye of

Verona,before the gates were ſhut,where he founde his ſeruaunte

tarying for him with a Lanterne and inſtrumentes as is before

ſayd,meete for the opening of the graue,vnto whome hee ſaid Pie-

tro,helpe mee to open this Tombe,and ſo ſoone as it is open I

commaunde thee vppon payne of thy life,not to come neere mee,nor

to ſtay me from the thing I purpoſe to doe.Beholde,there is a let-

ter which thou ſhalt preſent to morrow in the mornyng to my Fa-

ther at his vpryſing , which peraduenture !ſhall pleaſe him better

than thou thinkeſt.Pietro ,not able to imagine what was his mai-

ſters intent,ſtode ſomewhat aloofe to beholde his maiſter’s geſtes

and Countenance. And when they had opened the Vaulte, Rho-

meo deſcended downe two ſteppeſ,holdyng the candel in his hand

and began to behold wyth pityfull Eye,the body of hir,which was

the organ of his Eyes,and kyſt it tenderly,holdyng it harde between

his Armes,and not able to ſatiſfie him ſelfe with hir ſight,put hys

farefull handes vppon the colde ſtomacke of Iulietta. And after

he had touched hir   in many places , and not able to feele anye

certayne Iudgemente of Lyfe ,he drewe   the Poyſon out of hys

Boxe , and ſwallowyng downe a great quantytye of the ſame,

cryed out:O Iulietta , of whome the Worlde was vnworthye,

what Death is   it poſſyble my Hearte coulde chooſe oute more

agreeable than that whych yt   ſuffereth harde by thee ? What

Graue more Gloryous,than to bee buried in thy Tombe? What

more woorthy or   excellent Epytaphe can   bee vowed for Me-

morye , than the mutuall and pytyfull Sacryfice of our lyues?

            Rhomeo and Iulietta


And thinkinge to renue   his ſorrowe ,his hearte began to frette

through the vyolence of the Poyſon,which by lyttle and lyttle aſſai=

led the ſame , and lookyng about hym, eſpied the Bodye of the

Lorde Thibault,lying nexte vnto Iulietta,whych as yet was not al

together putrified, and ſpeakyng to the Bodye as though it hadde

bene alyue ,ſayde : In what place ſo euer thou arte ( O Couſyn

Thibault) I moſt heartely do crye the mercye for the offence which

I haue done by depryuing of thy Lyfe:and yf thy Ghoſt doe wyſhe

and crye out for Vengeaunce vppon mee,what greater or more

cruell ſatyſfaction canſte thou deſyre to haue , or henceforth hope

for,than to ſee him whych murdered thee,to bee empoyſoned with

his owne handes, and buryed by thy ſide ? Then endynge hys

talk,felyng by lyttle and lyttle that his Lyfe began to fayle falling

proſtrate vppon his knees,wyth feeble voyce hee ſoftely ſayd: O

my Lord God,which to redeeme me dideſt diſcend from the boſom

of thy Father , and tookeſt humane fleſhe in the Wombe of the

Vyrgine , I acknowledge and confeſſe,that this body of myne is

nothing elſe but Earth and Duſt. Then ſeazed vppon wyth deſ=

perate ſorrow,he fell downe vppon the Body of Iulietta with ſutch

vehemence,as the heart faint and attenuated with too great tor=

ments,not able to beare ſo hard a vyolence , was abandoned of all

his ſenſe and Naturall powers, in ſutch ſorte as the ſiege of hys

ſoule fayled him at that inſtant,and his members ſtretched forthe,

remayned ſtiffe and colde . Fryer Laurence whych knew the cer-

tayne tyme of the pouders operation , maruelled that he had no

anſwe re of the Letter which he ſent to   Rhomeo by his fellowe

Fryer Anſelme,departed from S. Frauncis and with Inſtruments

for the purpoſe,determined to open the Graue to let in aire to Iu-

lietta,whych was ready to wake:and approchyng the place ,hee

eſpied a Lyght within,which made him afraide vntyll that Pie-

tro whych was hard by,had certyfied hym that Rhomeo was with

in , and had not ceaſed there to Lamente and Complayne the

ſpace of halfe an Houre . And when they two were entred the

Graue and finding Rhomeo without Lyfe,made ſutch ſorrowe as

they can well conceyue whych Loue their deare Fryende with

                     Rhomeo and Iulietta


lykeperfection.And as they were making theyr cōplaints, Iulietta

riſingout of hir traunce,& beholding light within ye Toumbe, vn-

certayne wheather it were a dreame or fantaſie that appearedbe=

fore his eyeſ, comming agayne to hir ſelfe,knew Frier Laurence,

vnto whom ſhe ſaid : Father I pray thee in the name of G O D

to perfourme thy promiſe,for I am almoſt deade. And then Frier

Laurence concealing nothing from hir,(bycauſe he feared to beta-

ken through his too long abode in that place ) faithfully rehearſed

vnto hir,how he had ſent Frier Anſelme to Rhomeo at Mantua,

from whom as yet hee had receiued no aunſwere. Notwithſtan-

ding he found Rhomeo dead in the graue,whoſe body he poyncted

vnto,lyinge hard by hir , praying hir ſith it was ſo, paciently to

beare that ſodayne miſfortune,and that if it pleaſed hir ,he would

conuey hir into ſome monaſtery of women where ſhe might in time

moderate hir ſorrow,and giue reſt vnto hir minde. Iulietta had no

ſooner caſt eye   vppon the deade corps of Rhomeo, but began

to breake the fountayne pipes of guſhing teareſ, which ran forth

in ſutch aboundance,as not able to ſupport the furor of hir griefe,

ſhe breathed without ceaſing vpon his mouth, and then throwen

hir ſelfe vppon his body,and embracing it very hard, ſeemed that

by force of ſighes and ſobs, ſhe would haue reuiued, and brought

him againe to life,& after ſhe had kiſſed and rekiſſed hym a million

of times,ſhe cried out : Ah the ſweete reſte of my cares,& the onely

port of all my pleaſures and paſtimes, hadſt thou ſo ſure a hearte

to chooſe thy Churchyarde in this place betwene the armes of thy

perfect Louer, and to   ende the courſe of thy life for my ſake in

the floure of thy Youth when lyfe to thee ſhould have bene moſt

deare and delectable ? How had this tender body power to reſiſt the

furious Combat of death, very death it ſelfe here preſent? How

coulde thy tender and delicate youth willingly permit that thou

ſhouldeſt approch into this filthy and infected place, where from

henceforth thou ſhalt be the paſture of Worms vnworthy of thee?

Alas,alas,by what meanes ſhall I now renue my playnts,which

time & long pacience ought to haue buried & clearely quenched ?

Ah I miſerable, and Caitife wretch, thinking to finde remedy

for my griefs , haue ſharpned the Knife that hath gieuen me this

                   Rhomeo and Iulietta


cruell blow, whereof I receiue the cauſe of mortall wound .   Ah

happy and fortunate graue which ſhalt ſerue in world to come for

witneſſe of the moſt perfect aliaunce that euer was betwene two

moſt infortunate louers,receyue now the laſt ſobbing ſighes, and

intertayment of the moſt cruell of all the cruell ſubiects of ire &

death. And as ſhe thought to continue hir complaynts,Pietro ad-

uertiſed Frier Laurence that he heard a noyſe beſides the citadell,

wherewyth being afrayd,they ſpeadily departed , fearing to be ta-

ken . And then Iulietta ſeeing hir ſelfe alone,and in full Liberty,

tooke agayne Rhomeo betweene hir armes, kiſſing him with ſutch

affection, as ſhe ſeemed to be more attaynted with loue than death,

and drawing out the Dagger which Rhomeo ware by his ſide,

ſhe pricked hir ſelfe with many blowes againſt the heart, ſayinge

with feeble & pitiful voice:Ah death the end of ſorrow,& beginning

of felicity , thou art moſt hartely welcome : feare not at this time

to ſharpen thy dart : giue no longer delay of life, for feare that my

ſprite trauayle not to finde Rhomeos ghoſt amongs ſutch nūber of

carion corpſes . And thou my deare Lord and loyall huſband Rho=

meo,if there reſt in thee any knowledge, receyue hir whom thou

haſt ſo faythfully loued,the onely cauſe of thy violent death,which

frankely offreth vp hir ſoule that none but thou ſhalt ioy the loue

whereof thou haſt made ſo lawfull conqueſt, and that our ſoules

paſſing from this light, may eternally liue together in the place of

euerlaſting ioy : And when ſhe had ended thoſe wordes ſhee yel-

ded vp hir ghoſt. While theſe thinges thus were done, the garde

and w atch of the Citty by chaunce paſſed by,and ſeeing light with

in the graue,ſuſpected ſtraight that there were ſome Necroman=

cers which had opened the Toumbe to abuſe the deade bodies for

ayde of their arte : And deſirous to knowe what it ment , went

downe into the vaut,where they found Rhomeo and Iulietta,with

their armes imbracing ech others neck, as though there had bene

ſome token of lyfe. And after they had well viewed them at ley-

ſure, they perceyued in what caſe they were. And then all amazed

they ſought for ye Theeues which(as they thought ) had done the

murther , and in the ende founde the good Father Fryer Lau-

rence , and Pietro the Seruaunte of deade Rhomeo ( which

had hid themſelues under a ſtall)whom they caryed to Pryſon, &

                         Rhomeo and Iulietta


aduertyſed the Lord of Eſcala,and the Magiſtrates of Verona of

that horrible murder,which by and by was publiſhed throughout

the City.Then flocked together al the Citizens,women and chil-

dren leauyng their houſes,to loke vppon that pityful ſighte and to

the Ende that in preſence of the whole Cytie,the murder ſhould be

knowne , the Magiſtrates ordayned that the two deade Bodies

ſhould he erected vppon a ſtage to the view and ſight of the whole

World,in ſutch ſorte and manner as they were found withyn the

Graue,and that Pietro and frier Laurence ſhould publikely bee

examyned,that afterwardes there myght be no murmure or other

pretended cauſe of ignoraunce. And thys good olde Frier beyinge

vppon the Scaffold , hauinge a whyte Bearde all wet and   bathed

with Teares,the Iudges commaunded him to declare vnto them

who were the Authors of that Murder,ſith at vntimely houre hee

was apprehended with certayne Irons beſides the Graue. Fryer

Laurence a rounde and franke Man of talke,nothyng moued with

that accuſation,anſwered them with ſtoute and bolde voyce :My

maiſters,there is none of you all(if you haue reſpect vnto my fore-

paſſed Life,and to my aged Yeres,and therewithall haue conſide-

ration of this heauy ſpectacle, whereunto vnhappy fortune hathe

preſently brought me)but doeth greatly maruell of ſo ſodaine mu=

tation and change vnlooked for ſo mutch as theſe three ſcore and

Ten or twelue Yeares ſithens I came into this Worlde,and be-

gan to proue the vanities thereof. I was neuer ſuſpected, touched,

or found guilty of any crime which was able to make me bluſhe, or

hide my face,although(before God) I doe confeſſe my ſelf to be the

greateſt and moſt abhominable ſinner of al the redeemed flocke of

Chriſt. So it is notwythſtanding,that ſith I am preſt and ready

to render mine accompte,and that Death,the Graue and wormes

do dailye ſummon this wretched Corps of myne to appeare before

the Iuſtyce ſeate of God,ſtill wayghtyng and attending to be car=

ried to my hoped Graue ,this is the houre I ſay,as you   likewiſe

may thinke wherein I am fallen to the greateſt damage and preiu=

dice of my Lyfe and honeſt porte ,and that which hath ingendred

thys ſynyſter opynyon of mee,may peraduenture bee theſe greate

Teares which in abundaunce tryckle downe my Face as though

Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


though the holy Scriptures do not witneſſe,that Ieſus Chriſt mo-

ued with humayne pitty,& compaſſion , did weepe,and pour forth

teares, and that many times teares be the faythfull meſſengers of

a mans innocency. Or elſe the moſt likely euidence, and preſump=

tion,is the ſuſpected hour,which(as the magiſtrate doth ſay)doth

make mee culpable of the murder, as though all houres were not

indifferently made equall by God their Creator,who in his owne

perſon declareth vnto vs that there be twelue houres in the Day,

ſhewing thereby that there is no exception of houres nor of Mi-

nutes, but that one may doe eyther good or ill at all times indiffe=

rently , as the party is guided or forſaken by the ſprite of God :

touching the Irons which were founde about me , needefull it is

not now to let you vnderſtand for what vſe Iron was firſt made,

and that of it ſelfe it is not able to increaſe in man eyther good or

euill,if not by the miſchieuous minde of hym which doth abuſe it .

Thus mutch I haue thought good to tell you,to the intent that

neyther teares, nor Iron, ne yet ſuſpected houre , are able to make

me guilty of the murder , or make me otherwyſe than I am, but

only the witneſſe of mine owne conſcience , which alone if I were

guilty ſhould be the accuſer ,the witneſſe, and the hangman, which

(by reaſon of mine age and the reputation I haue had amonges

you,and the little time that I haue to liue in this World ſhoulde

more torment me within , than all the mortall paynes that coulde

be deuiſed. But( thankes be to myne eternall God ) I feele no

Worme that gnaweth,nor any remorſe that pricketh me touching

that fact,for which I ſee you all troubled and amazed. And to ſet

your harts at reſt,and to remoue the doubts which hereafter may

torment your conſcienceſ, I ſweare vnto you by all the heauenly

parts wherein I hope to be, that forthwith I will diſcloſe from

firſt to laſt   the entire diſcourſe of this pitifull Tragedy, which

peraduenture ſhall driue you into no leſſe wondre and amaze, than

thoſe two poore paſſionate Louers were ſtrong and pacient,to ex-

pone themſelues to the mercy of death, for the feruent and indiſſo-

luble loue betwene them . Then the Fatherly Frier began to re=

peate the beginning of the loue betwene Iulietta , and Rhomeo,

which by certayne ſpace of time confirmed , was proſecuted by

                Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


wordes at the firſt, then by mutual promiſe of mariage, vnknown

to the world. And as within few dayes after,the two Louers fee=

linge themſelues ſharpned & incited with ſtronger onſet, repaired

vnto him vnder colour of confeſſion, proteſting by othe that they

were both maried, and that if he woulde not ſolempnize that ma-

riage in the face of the Church, they ſhould be conſtrayned to of=

fend God to liue in diſordred luſt. In conſideration whereof,and

ſpecially ſeeing their alliaunce to be good, and comfortable in dig-

nity , richeſſe and Nobility on both ſides, hoping by that meanes

perchaunce to reconcile the Monteſches, and Capellets, and that

by doing ſutch an acceptable worke to God,he gaue thē yechurches

bleſſingin a certayne Chappel of ye friers church whereof ye night

following they did conſūmate ye mariage fruicts in the Pallace of

the Capellets. For teſtimony of which copulation, ye womā of Iu-

liettaes Chāber was able to depoſe : Addingmoreouer, ye murder

of Thibault, which was Couſin to Iulietta : By reaſon whereof

the baniſhment of Rhomeo   did followe, and howe in the abſence

of the ſayd Rhomeo, the mariage being kept ſecret betwene them,

a new M atrimony was intreated wyth the Countee Paris, which

miſliked by Iulietta, ſhe fell proſtrate at his feete in a Chappell of

S. Frauncis Church,with full determination to haue killed hirſelf

with hir owne hands,if he gaue hir not councell how ſhe ſhould a-

uoyde the mariage agreed betwene hir father and the Countee Paris.

For cōcluſion,he ſayd,that although he was reſolued by reaſon of

his age, and neareneſſe of death to abhorre all ſecrete Sciences,

wherein, in his younger yeares he had delight, notwithſtanding,

preſſed with importunity,and moued with pitty, fearing leaſt Iu-

lietta ſhould do ſome cruelty agaynſt hirſelfe, he ſtrayned his con=

ſcience,and choſe rather with ſome little fault to grieue his minde,

than to ſuffer   the young Gentlewoman to deſtroy hir   body, and

hazarde the daunger of hir ſoule . And therefore he opened ſome

part of his auncient cunning, and gaue her a certayne Pouder to

make hir ſleepe, by meanes whereof ſhe was thought to be deade.

Then he tolde them how he had ſent Frier Anſelme to cary let=

ters to Rhomeo of their enterpriſe, whereof hitherto he had no

                     Rhomeo,and Iulietta.


aunſwere. Then briefly he concluded how he found Rhomeo dead

within the graue,who as it is moſt likely did impoyſon himſelfe,

or was otherwiſe ſmothered or ſuffocated with ſorow by finding

Iulietta in that ſtate,thinking ſhee had bene dead . Then he tolde

them how Iulietta did kill hirſelfe with the Dagger of Rhomeo

to beare him company after his death, and how it was impoſſible

for them to ſaue hir for the noyſe of the watch which forced theym

to flee from thence. And for more ample approbation of his ſay-

ing, he humbly beſought the Lord of Verona & the Magiſtrats to

ſend to Mantua for Frier Anſelme to know the cauſe of his ſlack

returne,that the contēt of the letter ſent to Rhomeo might be ſeene.

To examine the Woman of the Chamber of Iulietta, and Pietro

the ſeruaunt of Rhomeo, who not attending for further requeſt,

ſayd vnto them : My Lordes when Rhomeo entred the graue, he

gaue me this Pacquet, written as I ſuppoſe with his owne hand,

who gaue me expreſſe commaundement to deliuer it to his father.

The Pacquet opened, they founde the whole effect of this ſtory,

ſpecially the Apothecaries name which ſold him the Poyſon, the

price, and the cauſe wherefore he vſed it, and all appeared to be ſo

cleare and euident, as there reſted nothing for further verificati-

on of the ſame,but their preſence at the doing of the particulers

thereof, for the whole was ſo well declared in order, as they were

out of doubt that the ſame was true. And then the Lord Bartho-

lomew of Eſcala , after he had debated with the Magiſtrates of

theſe euents, decreed that the Woman of Iulietta hir Chamber

ſhould bee baniſhed, becauſe ſhee did conceale that priuy marriage

from the Father of Rhomeo , which if it had beene knowne in

tyme,had bred to the whole Citty an vniuerſall benefit. Pietro be-

cauſe he obeyed hys Mayſters commaundement, and kept cloſe

hys lawfull ſecrets, according to the well conditioned nature of a

truſty ſeruaunt, was ſet at liberty . The Poticary taken, rackt,

and founde guilty, was hanged. The good olde man Frier Lau-

rence( as well for reſpect of his auncient ſeruice which he had

done to the cōmon wealth of Verona, as alſo for his vertuous life

(for the which hee was ſpecially recommended ) was let goe in

peace, without any note of Infamy.

               Rhomeo,and Iulietta.          


Notwithſtanding by reaſon of his age, he voluntarily gaue ouer

the World, and cloſed himſelfe in an Hermitage, two miles from

Verona, where he liued.5.or. 6.yeares,and ſpent hys tyme incō-

tinuall prayer,vntil he was called out of this tranſitory worlde,

into the bliſful ſtate of euerlaſting ioy. And for the compaſſion of

ſo ſtraunge an infortune, the Monteſches, and Capellets poured

forth ſutch abundaunce of teares, as with the ſame they did eua=

cuate their auncient grudge and choler , whereby they were then

reconciled. And they which coulde not bee brought to atonement

by any wiſedome or humayne councell, were in the ende vanqui-

ſhed and made frends by pity . And to immortalizate the memory

of ſo intier and perfect amity, the Lord of Verona ordayned , that

the two bodies of thoſe miraculous Louers ſhould be faſt intoū-

bed in the graue where they ended their lyues, in which place

   was erected a high marble Piller,honoured with an infinite

     number of excellent Epytaphes, which to this day be ap-

       paraunt, with ſutch noble memory,as amongs all the

       rare excellencies,wherewith that City is furniſhed,

           there is none more Famous than the Monu-

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