Shakespeare’s Narrative Sources: Italian Novellas and Their European Dissemination
Romeo and Iulietta – Semidiplomatic edition 1580
THE SECOND Tome o the Palace of Pleasure containying ſtore of goodlye Hiſtories, Tragical matters, & other Morall arguments, very requiſite for delight and profite. Choſē and ſelected out of divers good and commendable Authors, and now once again corrected and encreaſed. By Vviliam Painter, Clerke of the Ordinance and Armarie. Imprinted at London. In Fleatſtrete by Thomas MARSHE. 1582
Rhomeo, and Iulietta. The goodly Hyſtory of the true, and conſtant Loue between RHOMEO and IVLIETTA, the one of whom died of Poyſon, and the other of ſorrow, and heuineſſe: wherein be compryſed many aduentures of Loue, and other deuiſes 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 vnderſtandinge, wyll not lightly adhibite credite vnto thys Hiſtory, ſo wel forthe variety of ſtraunge Accidents which be therein deſcribed, as for the nouelty of ſo rare, and perfect amity. But they that haue read Plinie, Valerius Maximus, Plutarche, and diuers other Writers, do finde, that in olde time a great number 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 arampart to ſtay the violence of his courſe, by little, & little vndermineth, melteth and conſumeth the vertues of naturall powers inſutch wyſe as the ſpyrite yealdinge to the burden, abandoneth the place of lyfe: Which is verified by the pitifull, and infortunate death of two Louers that ſurrendered their laſt Breath in one Toumbe at Verona a Citty of Italy, wherein repoſe yet to thysday (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 tobeare to the place where he was borne, doe not deceyue thoſe thattrauayle, I thincke they will confeſſe wyth me, that few Citties in Italy, can ſurpaſſe the ſayd Citty of Verona, as well for the Nauigable riuer called Adiſſa, which paſſeth almoſt through the midſt of the ſame, and thereby a great trafique into Almayne, as alſo forthe proſpect towards the Fertile Mountaynes, and pleaſant Valeys 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, dependeth thereupon, the memory whereof to thys day is ſo wel know nat 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, aſwellfor riches as Nobility: the one called the Monteſches, and the other 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 ſpoken) being Lord of Verona, and ſeeing ſutch diſorder in his cōmon 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 geuing ouer Armour, and Weapon for the time, attending ſome other ſeaſon more conuenient, and with better leyſure to appeaſe thereſt. In the time that theſe thinges were adoing, one of the family of Monteſches called Rhomeo, 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 Verona, 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 anſwere 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 ſilent, the more he was inflamed: And after he had continued certayne months in that ſeruice wythout remedy of his griefe, he determined 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 diſdaynme, 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 beholding hir, that thys fire in me which taketh increaſe and nouriſhment 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 Lamentations. for Loue vexed him ſo neare, and had ſo well fixed the gentlewomans Beauty within the Bowels of his heart, and mynde, as not able to reſiſt, hee faynted with the charge, and conſumed bylittle, and little as the Snow agaynſt the Sunne. Whereof hys Parenttes, and kinred did maruayle greatly, bewaylinge hys 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 healthſake, 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 drowned 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 other 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 reaſons of hys fryend, began ſomewhat to moderate that Heateand to acknowledge all the exhortatyons which hee had made to be directed to good purpoſe. And then determined to put them al the feaſts and aſſenblies of the City, without bearing affecttion more to one Woman 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 bankets moſt commonly be vſed, and maſkes accordinge to the cuſtome 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 Verona. The family of the Capellets (as we haue declared in the beginninge of thys Hyſtory) was at variance with the Monteſches, which was the cauſe that none of that family repaired to that Banket, but onelye the yong Gentleman Rhomeo, who came in a Maſke after ſupper with certaine other yong Gentlemen. 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 reaſon of the light of the Torches which burned very bright, he was by and by knowen and loked vpon of the whole Company, but ſpecially 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 Famyllye which had litle cauſe to do him any good. Notwithſtanding, the Capellets diſſembling their mallice, either for the honor of the company, or elſe for reſpect of his Age, did not miſuſe him eyther in Worde or Deede. By meanes whereof wyth free liberty he beheld 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 affection, hee ſawe one Gentlewoman amonges the reſte of ſurpaſſinge Beautye who (althoughe hee had neuer ſeene hirtofore) pleaſed him aboue the reſt, and attributed vnto hir in heart the Chyefeſt place for all perfection in Beautye. And feaſtyng hir inceſſantlye with piteous lookes, the Loue whych hee 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 mortal man deuiſed. The yong Rhomeo then felying himſelfe thus toſſed 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 audacity to enquyre what ſhee was, and wholly bente himſelf to feede hys Eyes with hir ſighte, wherewyth hee moyſtened the ſweete amorous 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 goodlieſt 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 began 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 oftentimes interchangeably encountred and met together, the burning 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 very 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 vſed the matter, as hee founde the meanes at hir returne 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, ſeyngethat Mercutio held hir by the right hand, toke hir by the other thathe 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 tremblyng voyce ioyned with Virginal ſhamefaſtneſſe, intermedled with a certayn baſhfulneſſe, ſayd to hym: Bleſſed be the Houre of your 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 contentation, ſighing, aſked hir what was the cauſe of that right Fortunate bleſſing. Iulietta ſomwhat more emboldened with pytyful loke and ſmyling countenance ſaid vnto him: Syr do not maruell yf Ido 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 replyed: 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, crauying 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 aſſured that thoſe flames be dead in reſpect of the lyuely Sparkes & 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 Handwith 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 days feaſt (who wroth beyond meaſure that fortune had ſēt him to ſo daūgerous a place, thought it impoſſible to bring to end his enterpriſe begon.) Iulietta couetous 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 honor 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.Vnto whome the old Gentlewomā told the name of the Houſes wherof they came. Then ſhe aſked hir againe, what young Gentleman that was which holdeth the viſarde in his Hand, wyth the Damaſke 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 Monteſchewas altogyther amazed, deſpayrynge for euer to attayne to Huſband hir great affectyoned fryend Rhomeo, for the auncyent hatreds betweene thoſe two Families. Neuertheleſſe ſhe knewe 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, fantaſied 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 hirſelf. And after ſhe had wandred of long time in this amorous Laberinth, 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 goeth about to ſteale away mine honore, to be reuenged of my Parentes whych haue offended his, and by that meanes to my euerlaſtinge reproche to make me the fable of the Verona people.
Afterwardes ſodainly as ſhe condempned that which ſhe ſuſpected 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 aſſured that hee doeth loue mee: for I marked ſo many chaunged 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 perſyſt immutable to the laſte gaſpe of Lyfe, to the intente I may haue hym to bee my huſband. For it maye ſo come topaſſe, as this newe aliaunce ſhall engender a perpetuall peace and Amity betweene hys Houſe and mine. Arreſtinge then vppon this determynation ſtyll, as ſhe ſaw Rhomeo paſſinge hir Fathers Gate, 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, Rhomeo 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 Rhomeo 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 walked alone vp and downe that little ſtreat. And after he had bene there many times, miſſing the chiefeſt cauſe of his coming, Iulietta impacient of hir euill, one night repaired to hir window, & perceiued 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 theMercy of them which meane you little good Who yf they had take would haue cut you in pieces, and mine honor (which I eſteme dearer than my Lyfe,) hindred and ſuſpected for euer. Madame aunſwered Rhomeo, my Lyfe is in the Hand of God, who only can diſpoſe 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. Notwythſtandyng 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 dyſpatched in that Place, yet had I no cauſe to be ſorrye therefore, 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 commodytye that I hope to haue thereby, nor for anye other reſpecte, but onelye to Loue, Serue, and Honor you, ſo long 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 renue that grief agayne: for the onely Memory of ſutch inconuenyence, 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 yourſelf: 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 frēdſhip 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 without 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 commaundement: But if your intent be otherwyſe, and thinke to reapethe 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 Heauens, 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 offer 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 ofthe ſame: And to the intent I may begyn myn enterpryſe, to morrow I will to the Frier Laurence for counſell in the ſame, who beſides that he is my ghoſtly father is accuſtomed to giue me inſtruction in al my other ſecret affaires, and fayle not (if you pleaſe) to 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 profeſſion which he had made in ſtudy of holy writ, was very ſkilful in Philoſophy, and a great ſearcher of natures Secrets, and exceeding famous in Magike knowledge, and other hidden & ſecret ſciences, 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 amonges 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 Iulietta, 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 inconueniences of that ſecret mariage, exhorted hym to more mature deliberation of the ſame: notwithſtandinge, all the alleged perſuaſions 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, yt he might 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 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 Chamber, 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 tha the 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 cōfeſſion, and to repayre to the Church of ſaynct Francis, where in acertayne Chappell ſecretly they ſhould be maried, praying hir in any wyſe not to fayle to be there. Which thinge ſhe brought to paſſewith ſutch diſcretion, as hir mother agreed to hir requeſt: and accompanied onely wyth hir gouerneſſe, and a young mayden, ſhe repayred thither at the determined day and tyme. And ſo ſoone asſhe was entred the Church, ſhe called for the good Doctor Fryer Laurence, vnto whom anſwere was made that he was in the ſhriuing Chappell, and forthwith aduertiſement was gieuen him of hir comming. So ſoone as Fryer Laurence was certified of Iulietta, 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 together ſhut faſt in, the ſpace of one whole hour before. Then Frier Laurence after that he had ſhriued them, ſayd to Iulietta: Daughter, as Rhomeo here preſent hath certified me, you be agreed, & contented 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 diſcourſed ſomewhat vppon the commendation of mariage dignity, pronounced the vſuall woordes of the Church, and ſhe hauing receyued the Ring from Rhomeo, they roſe vp before the Fryer, whoſayd 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 Iulietta ſayde ſecretly vnto hir, that ſhee ſhoulde ſend vnto hym afterdiner the old Woman, and that he would cauſe to be made a corded 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 conſummation of their mariage. Whē Rhomeo was come home to hishouſe, he declared wholly what had paſſed betwen him and Iulietta, vnto a Seruaunt of his called Pietro, whoſe fidelity he had ſogreatly tryed, as he durſt haue truſted him with hys life, and commaunded 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 require Iulietta the ſame euening not to fayle to bee at the accuſtomed 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 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 vnto 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 tohir 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 the fauour alone of your preſence: Whom Rhomeo with weeping eye, giuing ouer ſilencea unſwered: 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 vexeth 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 cōtent, and more glad, than if the whole Worlde were at my commaundement, beſeeching you (without further memory of auncient 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 continue the remnant of our Dayes in reſt and quiet. And as Iulietta was about to make anſwere, the Olde woman came in the meanetime, & ſayd vnto them: He that waſteth time in talke, recouereth the ſame to late. But for ſo mutch as eyther of you hath endured ſutch mutuall paynes, behold (quoth ſhee) a campe which Ihaue 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 virginity, 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 promiſe 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 many feſt their marriage to the whole Worlde. And thus a month or twayne, they continued their ioyful mindes to their incredible ſatiſfaction, vntil Lady fortune enuious of their proſperity, turned hir Wheele to tumble thē into ſuch a bottomleſſe pit, as they payed hir vſury for their pleaſureas 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 waited but for ſome light occaſion to draw togethers, which they did in the Eaſter holy dayes, (as bloudy men commonly be moſt willingly 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 Monteſches, 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 withſtout 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 Verona, that ſuccour might come from all partes of the Citty to depart the ſame. Whereof Rhomeo aduertized, who walked alonges 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 many 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 that our quarel ceaſe. For beſides ye prouocation of Gods iuſt wrath, our two families be ſlaunderous tothe whole World, and are the cauſe that this common wealth doth grow vnto diſorder. But they were ſo egre and furious one agaynſt the other, as they gaue no audiēce to Rhomeo his councel and bent theymſelues too kyll, dyſmember and teare eche otherin 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, legges, thighes, and bloude, wherein no ſigne of cowardnes appeared, and mayntayned their feyghte ſo longe, that none was able to iudge who hadde the better, vntill that Thibault Couſin to Iulietta 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 ordinaryly 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 traytor ſayd Thibaulte thou thinkeſte to ſaue thy ſelfe by the plotte of thy pleaſaunt tounge, but ſee that thou defende thy ſelfeels preſently I will make thee feele that thy tounge ſhal not gard thy corps, nor yet be the Buckler to defende the ſame from preſent 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 hynder 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 whichcauſed 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 Laurence at the Friers Franciſcanes. And the Fryer vnderſtandinge of his facte, kepte him in a certayne ſecrete place 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: before whom came alſo the Monteſches declaryng the innocencye of Rhomeo, and the wilfull aſſault of the other. The councell aſſembled and witneſſes heard on both partes a ſtraight commaundemente was geuen by the Lorde of the Cittye to geeue ouer their eweapons, and touchinge the offence of Rhomeo, becauſe he hadde killed the other in his owne defence, he was baniſhed Verona foreuer. 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 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 vnto 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 Verona lamented his miſchaunce: But aboue all infortunate Iulietta, 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 vpon 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 into hir chamber, cried out: Oh vnhappy Windowe, Oh entrymoſt vnlucky, wherein were wouen the bitter toyle of my former miſhaps, if by thy meanes I haue receyued at other tymes ſomelight pleaſure or tranſitory contentation, thou now makeſt me pay a tribute ſo rigorous and paynefull, as my tender body not able any 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 my neeares vnto thy ſuborned promiſſes, confirmed with ſo many othes, I would neuer haue beleeued that in place of our continued amyty, and in appeaſing of ye hatred of our houſes, thou wouldeſt haue ſought occaſion to breake the ſame by an acte ſo ſhamefull, whereby thy fame ſhall be ſpotted for euer, and I miſerable wretch deſolate of Spouſe, and Companion. But if thou haddeſt beene ſo gready after the Cappelletts bloud, wherefore didſt thou ſpare thedeare 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 victory which thou ſhouldeſt haue gotten ouer me, had it not bene glorious inough for thine ambitious minde, but for more triumphant ſolempnity to bee crowned wyth the bloude of my deareſt kinſman? Now get thee hence therefore into ſome other place todeceiue 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 commēdand prayſe? How preſumeſt thou to impute the blame vpon Rhomeo, 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 ofhir 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 Nourſe chylde, howe mutch doeth 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 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 mother (aunſwered woful Iulietta) do you not moſt euidently perceiue and ſee what iuſt cauſe I haue too ſorrow and complayne, looſyngat one inſtante two perſons of the world which wer vnto mee moſtdeare? Methinke, aunſweared the good woman, that it is not ſeemely for a Gentlewoman of your degree to fall into ſuch extremetye. For in tyme of tribulation wyſedome ſhould moſt preuaile And if the lord Thibault be deade do you thinke to get him againby teares? What is he that doth not accuſe his ouermutch preſūtion: 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? Sufficeth 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 pacyence. 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 repayred to 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 lightenthe lande, aſſure, themſelues agayne, and thinkinge to haue auoyded ſhipwracke, and ſodaynlye the ſeas begynne to ſwell, the waues do roare, with ſutch vehemence and noyſe, as if they were fallen agayne into greater danger than before. The aſſigned hourcome, Rhomeo fayled not accordinge to hys promiſe to bee in his Garden, where he founde his furniture preſt to mount the Chamber 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 werein ſutch agony, as they were not able to pronounce one word, andwetting 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 immoderate 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 hoiſteth a man vp to the hygheſt degree of hir wheele, and by, and by, in leſſe ſpace than in the twynckeling of an eye, ſhe throweth hymdowne 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 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 thouſand tymes before mee, and yet my miſſehappe is ſutch, as I cannot dye, and therefore doe manyfeſtlye perceyue, that the ſame death preſerueth my lyfe, of purpoſe to delight in my gryefes, and tryumphe ouer my euyls. And thou lyke the myniſter and tyrante of hir cruelty, doeſt make no conſcience (for ought that I can ſee) hauing atchieued the Summe of thy deſyres and pleaſures on me, to abandon and forſake me. Whereby I well perceyue, that all the lawes of Amity are deade and vtterly extinguyſhed, for ſo mutch 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 headlong from this high Window after thee: or elſe to ſuffer me to accompany 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 preſence, 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 companion of thy miſhaps. And if thou thinke that thou canſt not conueniently receyue me in the eſtate and habite of a Wyfe, who ſhall let me to chaunge myne apparell? Shall I be the firſt that haue vſed 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 beauty which at other tymes thou haſt ſo greatly commended, it is not eſteemed of thee? My teares, my loue, and the aunciente pleaſures and delights that you haue taken in mee ſhal they be in obliuyon? Rhomeo ſeing hir in theſe alterations, fearing that worſſe inconuenience would chaunce, tooke hir agayne betweene hys armes, and kiſſing hir amorouſly, ſayd: Iulietta, the onely miſtreſſe of my heart, I pray thee in the Name of God, and for the feruent Loue whichthou beareſt vnto me, to doe away thoſe vayne cogitations, exceptethou 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 Father 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 Verona by ſtrong Hand, not in Counterfeit Apparell as a ſtraunger, but lyke my ſpouſe and perpetuall companion. In the meanetyme 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 pleaſure. 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 ofthe 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 aduertyſed Frier Laurence of his affaires, departed from Verona in the habit of a Marchaunt ſtraunger, and vſed ſutch expedytyon, as wtout hurt he arriued at Mantuona, (accompanied onely wyth Petre his Seruaunt, whome hee haſtily ſente backe agayne to Verona, to serue his Father) where he tooke a Houſe: and lyuying in honorable Companye, aſſayed certayne Monthes to put away the gryefe whych ſo tormented him. But duryng the tyme of his abſence, miſerable 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 ſpoken held hir peace, for feare ſhe ſhould trouble hir Daughter: and certayne Dayes after ſeeing hir to continue in heauineſſe and continuall griefſ, aſſaied by al meanes poſſible to know, aſ well of hir, as of other the houſholde Seruauntes, the occaſion of their ſorrow: but al in Vayne: wherwith the pore mother vexed beyond meaſure, purpoſed to let the Lord Antonio hir Huſband to vnderſtand the caſe of hir Daughter. And vppon a day ſeeing him at conuenient leiſure, ſhe ſayd vnto him: My Lord, if you haue marked the Countenaunce of our Daughter, and hir kinde of behauior ſithens the Death of the Lord Thibault hir Coſyn, you ſhall perceiue 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 Lamentatyon, 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 Oryginall of hir Payne, the more difficulte ſhall bee the remedye for albeit that I haue ſought meanes by all extremity, yet cannot I learne the cauſe of hir ſickneſſe. And where I thought in the beginning, that it proceded vpon the Death of hir Coſin, now I doe manifeſtly perceiue the contrary, ſpecially when ſhe hir ſelf did aſſure me that ſhe had already wept and ſhed the laſt teares for himthat ſhe was mynded to doe. And vncertayne whereuppon to reſolue, I do thinke verily that ſhe mourneth for ſome deſpite, to ſeethe moſt part of theyr Companions maried, and ſhe yet vnprouyded, perſuading with 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 Antonio, 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 prouide a huſband at leyſure. Neuertheleſſe things beinge come to theſe Termes, and knowing the Virgins chaſtity is a dangerous Treaſure, I wyll be mindfull of the ſame to your contentation, and ſhe matched in ſutch wyſe, as ſhe ſhall thynke the tyme hitherto well delayed. In the meane while marke dylygently whyther ſhe bee in loue wyth any to the end that we haue not ſo greatere garde 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 one which ſhall vſe and intreat hir il. Certayne dayes after that the Lorde Antonio had bruted the maryage 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 lyberally he gaue his conſent, and told his Wyfe the party vppon whom he dyd mean to beſtow his Daughter. The mother very ioyful 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, diſcourſing vnto hir ye beauty & good grace of ye yōg Coūte, the vertues for which he was commended of al men, ioyning therevnto for concluſion the great richeſſe and fauor which he had in the goods of fortune, 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 therewithal am aſtonned that you being a Ladye diſcrete and honorable, wil be ſo liberal ouer your Daughter as to commit hir to the pleaſure 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 power to touch any 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 otherwyſe diſpoſed of me.
The dolorous Mother which knewe not what Iudgement to fixe vpon hir daughters aunſwere, lyke a woman confuſed and beſides hir ſelfe went to ſeeke the Lord Antonio, vnto whom without conceyling any part of hir Daughters aunſwer, ſhe dyd him vnderſtand the whole. The good olde man offended beyond meaſure, cōmaunded 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 yt diſtilled from hir Eyes in great abundance, and thynkyng to open hir mouth to crye him mercy, the ſobbes and ſighes many tymes ſtopt hir ſpeach, that ſhee remained 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 neceſſity) at their pleaſure, but alſo which is more, they had abſolute power 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 aliue againe, to ſee that ingratitude, miſbehauior and diſobedience which thou vſeſt towards thy Father, who with many prayers and requeſtes hath prouided one of the greateſt Lords of this prouince to be thy huſband, a Gentleman 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 I haue 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 aduiſement 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 indignation, or to prouoke his further wrath: retired for ye day into hir Chāber, and contriued ye whole Nyght more in weeping then ſlepyng. And the next Morning fayning to goe heare ſeruice, ſhe went forthwith 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 began hir Confeſſion wyth Teares, tellinge him the greate miſchyefe that was prepared for hir, by the maryage accorded betweene hir 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 ſorowful 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 purpoſe. Wherefore Frier Laurence, aſtonned beyonde meaſure, fearyng leaſt ſhe would haue executed that which ſhe was determyned, ſayd vnto hir: Miſtreſſe Iulietta: I pray you in the name of godby 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 youſ hall remaine ſatyſfied and contented. And reſolued vppon thys good minde, he ſpeedily wente out of the Churche vnto his chamber, where he began to conſider of many things, his conſcience beyng 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 diſcried, he defamed, and Rhomeo hir ſpouſe puniſhed. Hee then after he had well debated vpon infinite numbre of deuiſes, was in the end ouercome with pity, and determined rather to hazarde his honour, 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 appointment (quod ſhee) is vppon Wedneſdaye, which is the Daye ordeyned for my Conſente of Maryage accorded betweene my father and Counte Paris, but the Nuptiall ſolemnitye is not before the x day of September. Wel then (quod the religious 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 ben mine 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 for ſo 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 beſieged. Vnderſtande then (good Daughter) of a ſecrete which, I purpoſe to manifeſt vnto you, and take heede aboue all things 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 Cityzens 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 manytimes 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 ſhall ſhortly feele ſome experience. I haue proued the ſecrete properties of Stones, of Plants, Metals, and other things 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 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 compoſition of a certayne Paaſte, which I make of diuers ſoporiferous 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 marueilous effect, for the perſon which vſeth the ſame feeleth no kinde of griefe, and according to the quantity of the dough, the pacient remayneth 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 conſiſteth 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 contayned therein. And then you ſhall feele a certayne kynde of pleaſaunt ſleepe, which incrochinge by litle and litle all the partes ofyour 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 cuſtome of our Citty, you ſhal be caried to the Churchyarde hard by our Church, where you ſhall be Intoumbed in the common monument of the Capellets your aunceſtors, & in the meane tyme we will ſend word to Lord Rhomeo by a ſpeciall meſſanger of the effect of our deuice, who now abideth at Mantua. And the night following I am ſure he will not fayle to be heere, then he and I together will open the graue, and lift vp your body, and after the operation of the Pouder is paſt, hee ſhall conuey you ſecretly to Mantua, vnknowen to all your Parents and frends. Afterwards (it may be.) Tyme, the mother of Truth ſhall cauſe concord betwene the offended City of Verona, and Rhomeo. At which time your common cauſe may be made open to the general contentacion 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 body, 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 daughter (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 gladſome 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 afflicted conſcience, by reaſon of the godly perſuaſions of our ghoſtly Father Frier Laurence, vnto whom I haue made a large declaration 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 goodman hath reconciled me by his holy words, and commendable exhortations, that where I had minde neuer to mary, now I am well diſpoſed to obey your pleaſure and commaundement. Wherfore Madame I beſeech you to recouer the fauor and good wyl of 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 accept 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 notable 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 ſelfeſame 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 dayceaſing not to be importunate vpon father and mother for th’endeand cōſummation thereof: And thus with ioy inough paſſed forththis 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 of pleaſure, where the Lord Antonio was wont many tymes to recreate himſelfe 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 dyſſembled the matter ſo well as ſhee coulde: and when tyme forced hir to retire to hir Chamber, hir Woman would have waited vppon 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 about vi of the clocke come to me agayne to helpe make mee readie. Then good oldewoman 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 Woman? for mee there is nothyng left in this wretched World but miſhap, miſery, and mortall woe, my diſtreſſe hath brought me to ſutch extremity, as to ſaue mine honor and conſcience, I am forced to deuoure 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 being diſcouered, I ſhall remayne a Fable to the People? What know I moreouer, if the Serpents & other venomous and crauling 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, 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 imbrued wyth Bloud, and muſing how that ſhe muſt be buried quick amongs ſo many dead Carcaſes and deadly naked bones, hir tender 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 thouſand 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 notable to do hir enterpryſe, like a furious and inſenſate Woman, without further care, gulped vp the Water wythin the Voyal, then croſſing 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 marble ſtone. Then puttyng Hande vnto hir Mouthe, ſodainely perceyued 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 hied 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 increaſe: 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 Gentlemen and Ladies, which were come to honour the feaſte, hearing no ſooner tell of that which chaunced, were ſtroke into ſutch ſorrowfull dumpes as he which had beheld their Faces would eaſily haue iudged that the ſame had ben a day of ire and pity, ſpecially the Lord Antonio, whoſe heart was frapped with ſutch ſurpaſſing 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 Iulietta, deemed by common reporte, that melancoly was the cauſe ofthat ſodayne death,& then their ſorows began to renue a freſh. And if euer day was Lamentable, Piteous, Vnhappy, and Fatall, truly it was that wherein Iulietta hir death was publiſhed in Verona: for ſhee was ſo bewayled of great and ſmall, that by the cōmon 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 curteſie ſhe had ſtollen away the hearts of euery wight, and there was none but did lament hir Miſfortune. And whileſt theſe things were in this lamented ſtate, Frier Laurence with diligence diſpatched 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 apparell, vntill Fortune had otherwiſe prouided for them. The frier made ſutch haſt as (to late) hee arriued at Mantua, within awhile after. And bicauſe the maner of Italy is, that the Frier trauayling abroade ought to take a companion of his Couent to doe 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 againe that Day, bicauſe that certain Dayes before, one religious 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 wāder abrode the city, or talke with any Citizen, vntil they were licenſed by the officers in that behalfe appoynted, which was ye cauſe of the great miſhap, which you ſhal heare hereafter. The Friar being 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 Verona, 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, hardby 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 hys aſſyſtāce. 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 Teares: 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 Lamente, as thoughe hys Spyrites gryeued wyth the Tormente of hys Paſſion at that inſtant would haue abandoned his Bodye.
But ſtronge Loue which woulde not permytte him to faynt vntyl the extremity, framed a thoughte in hys fanteſie, that if it were poſſyble for him to dye beſides hir his Death ſhould be more gloryous, 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 behynd him, that he myght walke through out all the Corners ofthe 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 requiſite for that ſcyence, thought that the verye pouerty of the mayſter Apothecarye would make hym wyllingle yeld to that which he pretended to demaunde. And after he had taken hym aſide, ſecretly 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, agreed to his requeſt, and faynying to gyue hym ſome other medycine 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 poyfon, retourned home, where he commaunded his man to departe with diligence to Verona, and that he ſhould make prouiſion of candels, a tynder Boxe, and other Inſtrumentes meete 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 keepe hys intentein ſilēce. Which Pietro obeied in order as hys maiſter had requyred, and made therin ſutch expedityō, as he arriued in good time to Verona, taking order for al things that wer cōmaunded him. Rhomeo in the meane while being ſolycyted wyth mortall thoughtescauſed incke and paper to be b oughte vnto hym, and in few wordsput 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 tragedy,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,a s 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 Pietro, 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 letter which thou ſhalt preſent to morrow in the mornyng to my Father at his vpryſing, which peraduenture ſhall pleaſe him better than thou thinkeſt. Pietro, not able to imagine what was his maiſters intent, ſtode ſomewhat aloofe to beholde his maiſter’s geſtes and Countenance. And when they had opened the Vaulte, Rhomeo deſcended downe two ſteppes, holdyng the candel in his handand 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 anyecertayne 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 Memorye, than the mutuall and pytyfull Sacryfice of our lyues? And thinkinge to renue his ſorrowe, his hearte began to frette through the vyolence of the Poyſon, which by lyttle and lyttle aſſailed the ſame, and lookyng about hym, eſpied the Bodye of the Lorde Thibault, lying nexte vnto Iulietta, whych as yet was not altogether 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 theVyrgine, I acknowledge and confeſſe, that this body of myne is nothing elſe but Earth and Duſt. Then ſeazed vppon wyth deſperate ſorrow, he fell downe vppon the Body of Iulietta with ſutch vehemence, as the heart faint and attenuated with too great torments, 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 certayne tyme of the pouders operation, maruelled that he had no anſwere 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 Iulietta, whych was ready to wake: and approchyng the place, hee eſpied a Lyght within, which made him afraide vntyll that Pietro whych was hard by, had certyfied hym that Rhomeo was within, 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 lyke perfection. And as they were making theyr cōplaints, Iulietta riſing out of hir traunce, & beholding light within ye Toumbe, vncertayne wheather it were a dreame or fantaſie that appeared before his eyes, comming agayne to hir ſelfe, knew Frier Laurence, vnto whom ſhe ſaid: Father I pray thee in the name of GOD to perfourme thy promiſe, for I am almoſt deade. And then Frier Laurence concealing nothing from hir, (bycauſe he feared to betaken 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. Notwithſtanding 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 tha tby 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 hence forth 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 cruell blow, whereof I receiue the cauſe of mortall wound. Ah happy and fortunate graue which ſhalt ſerue in world to come forwitneſſe 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 aduertiſed Frier Laurence that he heard a noyſe beſides the citadell, wherewyth being afrayd, they ſpeadily departed, fearing to be taken. 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 timeto ſharpen thy dart: giue no longer delay of life, for feare that myſprite trauayle not to finde Rhomeos ghoſt amongs ſutch nūber of carion corpſes. And thou my deare Lord and loyall huſband Rhomeo, 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 louewhere of 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 yelded vp hir ghoſt. While theſe thinges thus were done, the garde and watch of the Citty by chaunce paſſed by, and ſeeing light within the graue, ſuſpected ſtraight that there were ſome Necromancers 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 vault, 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 leyſure, 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 Laurence, and Pietro the Seruaunte of deade Rhomeo (which had hid themſelues under a ſtall) whom they caryed to Pryſon, & aduertyſed the Lord of Eſcala, and the Magiſtrates of Verona ofthat horrible murder, which by and by was publiſhed throughout the City. Then flocked together al the Citizens, women and children 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 forepaſſed Life, and to my aged Yeres, and therewithall haue conſideration of this heauy ſpectacle, whereunto vnhappy fortune hathe preſently brought me) but doeth greatly maruell of ſo ſodaine mutation and change vnlooked for ſo mutch as theſe three ſcore and Ten or twelue Yeares ſithens I came into this Worlde, and began 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 carried to my hoped Graue, this is the houre I ſay, as you likewiſe may thinke wherein I am fallen to the greateſt damage and preiudice 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 the holy Scriptures do not witneſſe, that Ieſus Chriſt moued 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 preſumption, 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 Minutes, but that one may doe eyther good or ill at all times indifferently, 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 expone themſelues to the mercy of death, for the feruent and indiſſoluble loue betwene them. Then the Fatherly Frier began to repeate the beginning of the loue betwene Iulietta, and Rhomeo, which by certayne ſpace of time confirmed, was proſecuted by wordes at the firſt, then by mutual promiſe of mariage, vnknown to the world. And as within few dayes after, the two Louers feelinge 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 mariage in the face of the Church, they ſhould be conſtrayned to offend God to liue in diſordred luſt. In conſideration whereof, and ſpecially ſeeing their alliaunce to be good, and comfortable in dignity, 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 ye churches 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 Iuliettaes Chāber was able to depoſe: Adding moreouer, 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 Matrimony 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 auoyde the mariage agreed betwene hir father and the Countee Paris. For cōcluſion, he ſayd, that although he was reſolued by reaſon o fhis 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 Iulietta ſhould do ſome cruelty agaynſt hirſelfe, he ſtrayned his conſcience, 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 letters to Rhomeo of their enterpriſe, whereof hitherto he had no aunſwere. Then briefly he concluded how he found Rhomeo deadwithin 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 ſaying, 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, hegaue 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 verification 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 Bartholomew 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 becauſe 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 Laurence (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.
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 in cōtinuall 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 euacuate 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 vanquiſhed 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 intoūbed 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 apparaunt, with ſutch noble memory, as amongs all the rare excellencies, wherewith that City is furniſhed, there is none more Famous than the Monument of Rhomeo, and Iulietta.