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But to the end I may fet all your hartes at reft,

And pluck out all the fcrupuls that are rooted in your brest,
Which might perhappes henceforth increafing more and more,
Within your confcience alfo increase your curelesse fore,

I fweare by yonder heavens, whither I hope to clym,
(And for a witnes of my woordes my hart attefteth him,
Whofe mighty hande doth welde them in theyr violent sway,
And on the rolling ftormy feas the heavy earth doth stay)
That I will make a fhort and eke a true dyfcourfe

Of this moft wofull tragedy, and shew both thend and fourse
Of theyr unhappy death, which you perchaunce no leffe
Will wonder at then they alas! poore lovers in diftreffe,
Tormented much in mynd, not forcing lively breath,

With strong and patient hart dyd yelde them felfe to cruell death:
Such was the mutual love wherein they burned both,

And of theyr promyft frendshippes fayth foftedy was the troth."
And then the auncient fryer began to make difcourse,

Even from the firft, of Romeus and Juliets amours;

How first by fodayn fight the one the other chose,

And twixt them felfe dyd knitte the knotte which onely death might lofe ;

And how, within a while, with hotter love oppreft,

Under confeffions cloke, to him themfelfe they have addreft;

And how with folemne othes they have protefted both,

That they in hart are maried by promife and by othe;

And that except he graunt the rytes of church to geve,

They fhal be forft by earnest love in finneful ftate to live:

Which thing when he had wayde, and when he understoode

That the agreement twixt them twayne was lawfull, honeft, good,

And all thinges peyfed well, it seemed meet to bee

(For lyke they were of noblenesse, age, riches, and degree);

Hoping that fo at length ended might be the ftryfe

Of Montagew and Capelets, that led in hate theyr lyfe,

Thinking to woorke a worke well-pleafing in Gods fight,

In fecret fhrift he wedded them; and they the felfe fame night

Made up the mariage in houfe of Capilet,

As well doth know (if she be afkt) the nurce of Juliet.

He told how Romeus fled for reving Tybalts lyfe,

And how, the whilft, Paris the earle was offred to his wife;
And how the lady dyd fo great a wrong dyfdayne,

And how to fhrift unto his church the came to him agayne;
And how she fell flat downe before his feete aground,
And how the fware, her hand and bloody knife should wound
Her harmles hart, except that he fome meane dyd fynde
To difappoynt the earles attempt: and fpoties fave her mynde.
Wherefore, he doth conclude, although that long before
By thought of death and age he had refufde for evermore


The hidden artes which he delighted in, in youth,
Yet, wonne by her importunenes, and by his inward ruth,
And fearing left she would her cruell vowe dyfcharge,
His clofed confcience he had opened and fet at large;
And rather did he choose to fuffer for one tyme

His foule to be spotted fomdeale with small and easy cryme,
Then that the lady should, wery of livying breath,

Murther her felfe, and daunger much her feely foule by death:
Wherefore his auncient artes agayne he puts in ure;

A certain powder gave he her, that made her flepe fo fure,
That they her held for dead; and how that fryer John
With letters fent to Romeus to Mantua is gone;

Of whom he knoweth not as yet, what is become;

And how that dead he found his frend within her kindreds tombe.
He thinkes with poyfon strong, for care the yong man tervde,
Suppofing Juliet dead; and how that Juliet hath carvde,
With Romeus dagger drawne her hart, and yelded breath,

Defyrous to accompany her lover after death;

And how they could not fave her, fo they were afeard,

And hidde themfelfe, dreading the noyfe of watchmen, that they heard. And for the proofe of this his tale, he doth defyer

The judge to fend forthwith to Mantua for the fryer,

To learne his cause of stay, and eke to read his letter;

And, more befide, to thend that they might judge his caufe the better, He prayeth them depofe the nurce of Juliet,

And Romeus man, whom at unawares befyde the tombe he met.

Then Peter, not fo much, as erft he was, difmayd:

My lordes, quoth he, too true is all that fryer Laurence fayd.
And when my maifter went into my myftres grave,
This letter that I offer you, unto me he gave,

Which he him felfe dyd write, as I do understand,
And charged me to offer them unto his fathers hand.

The opened packet doth conteyne in it the fame

That erft the skilfull fryer faid; and eke the wretches name
That had at his request the dedly poyfon fold,

The price of it, and why he bought his letters plaine have tolde.

The cafe unfolded fo and open now it lyes,

That they could with no better proofe, save seeing it with theyr eyes › So orderly all thinges were tolde, and tryed out,

That in the preafe there was not one that stoode at all in doute.

The wyfer fort, to counfell called by Efcalus,

Here geven advice, and Efcalus fagely decreeth thus:

The nurfe of Juliet is banisht in her age,

Because that from the parentes fhe dyd hyde the mariage,

Which might have wrought much good had it in time been knowne,
Where now by her concealing it a mischeefe great is growne ;
And Peter, for he dyd obey his masters heft,

In woonted freedome had good leave to lead his lyfe in reft a

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Thapothecary high is hanged by the throte,

And, for the paynes he tooke with him, the hangman had his cotes
But now what shall betyde of this gray-bearded fyre,

Of fryer Lawrence thus araynde, that good barefooted fryre?

Because that many time he woorthily did serve

The common welth, and in his lyfe was never found to fwerve,
He was difcharged quyte, and no mark of defame

Did feem to blot or touch at all the honour of his name.

But of himselfe he went into an hermitage,

Two miles from Veron towne, where he in prayers past forth his age;
Till that from earth to heaven his heavenly fprite dyd flye:

Fyve years he lived an hermite, and an hermite dyd he dye.
The ftraungnes of the chaunce, when tryed was the truth,
The Montagewes and Capelets hath moved fo to ruth,
That with their emptyed teares theyr choler and theyr rage
Has emptied quite; and they, whofe wrath no wifdom could affwage,
Nor threatning of the prince, ne mynde of murthers donne,
At length, (fo mighty Jove it would) by pitye they are wonne.
And left that length of time might from our myndes remove
The memory of so perfect, found, and fo approved love,
The bodies dead, removed from vaulte where they did dye,
In ftately tombe, on pillars great of marble, rayse they hye.
On every fide above were fet, and eke beneath,

Great ftore of cunning epitaphes, in honor of theyr death.
And even at this day the tombe is to be seene*;
So that among the monumentes that in Verona been,
There is no monument more worthy of the fight,
Then is the tombe of Juliet and Romeus her knight.

Imprinted at London in Fleete Strete within Temble bar, at the
figne of the hand and ftarre, by Richard Tottill the xix day of
November. An. do. 1562.

Breval fays in his Travels, 1726, that when he was at Verona, his guide fhewed him an old building, then converted into a house for orphans, in which the tomb of these unhappy lovers had been; but it was then deftroyed. MALONE.




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