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Capulet determines to marry Juliet, immediately, to the County Paris; she implores her parents in vain, to defer the match,-distracted at the thought of being compelled to marry a second husband while Romeo is yet living, she consults Friar Laurence in her extremity.
SCENE I.-Friar Laurence's Cell.
Enter Friar LAURENCE, and PARIS.
Fri. On Thursday, sir? the time is very short.
Par. My father Capulet will have it so;
And I am nothing slow, to slack his haste.
Fri. You say, you do not know the lady's mind; Uneven is the course, I like it not.
Par. Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death,
And therefore have I little talk'd of love;
Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous,
That she doth give her sorrow so much sway;
And, in his wisdom, hastes our marriage,
To stop the inundation of her tears;
Which, too much minded by herself alone,
May be put from her by society:
Now, do you know the reason of this haste?
Fri. I would I knew not why it should be slow'd.
Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my cell.
Par. Happily met, my lady, and my wife!
Jul. That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.
Par. That may be, must be, love, on Thursday next.
Jul. What must be, shall be.
That's a certain text.
Par. Come you to make confession to this father?
Jul. To answer that, were to confess to you.
Are you at leisure, holy father, now;
Or shall I come to you at evening mass?
Fri. My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now :— My lord, we must entreat the time alone.
Par. Heaven shield, I should disturb devotion! Juliet, farewell.
Jul. O, shut the door! and when thou hast done so,
Come weep with me: Past hope, past cure, past help!
Fri. Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief;
It strains me past the compass of my wits:
I hear thou must, and nothing must prorogue it,
On Thursday next be married to this county.
Jul. Tell me not, friar, that thou hear'st of this, Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it:
If, in thy wisdom, thou canst give no help,
Do thou but call my resolution wise,
And with this knife I'll help it presently.
Heaven joined my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands;
And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo seal'd,
Shall be the label to another deed,
Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
Turn to another, this shall slay them both:
Therefore, out of thy long-experienc'd time,
Give me some present counsel; or, behold,
'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife
Shall play the umpire.
Fri. Hold, daughter; I do spy a kind of hope,
Which craves as desperate an execution
As that is desperate which we would prevent.
If, rather than to marry County Paris,
Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself;
Then is it likely, thou wilt undertake
A thing like death to chide away this shame,
That cop'st with death himself to 'scape from it;
And, if thou dar'st, I'll give thee remedy.
Jul. O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,
From off the battlements of yonder tower;
Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk
Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears;
Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house,
O'er-covered quite with dead men's rattling bones;
Or bid me go into a new-made grave,
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud;
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble; And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love.
Fri. Hold, then; go home, be merry, give consent To marry Paris: Wednesday is to-morrow: To-morrow night look that thou lie alone, Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber: Take thou this phial, being then in bed, And this distilled liquor drink thou off; When, presently, through all thy veins shall run A cold and drowsy humor, which shall seize Each vital spirit; for no pulse shall keep His natural progress, but surcease to beat: No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou liv'st; The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade To paly ashes; thy eyes' windows fall, Like death, when he shuts up the day of life; Each part, depriv'd of supple government, Shall stiff, and stark, and cold, appear like death: And in this borrow'd likeness of shrunk death
Thou shalt remain full two and forty hours,
And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
Now when the bridegroom in the morning comes
To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead:
Then (as the manner of our country is,)
In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier,
Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault,
Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.
In the mean time, against thou shalt awake,
Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift:
And hither shall he come; and he and I
Will watch thy waking, and that very night
Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.
And this shall free thee from this present shame;
If no unconstant toy, nor womanish fear,
Abate thy valor in the acting it.
Jul. Give me, O give me! tell me not of fear.
Fri. Hold; get you gone, be strong and prosperous
In this resolve: I'll send a friar with speed
To Mantua, with my letters to thy lord.
Jul. Love, give me strength! and strength shall help afford. Farewell, dear father!
SCENE III.-Juliet's Chamber.
Enter JULIET, and Nurse.
Jul. Ay, those attires are best :-But, gentle nurse,
I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night;
For I have need of many orisons
To move the heavens to smile upon my state,
Which, well thou know'st, is cross and full of sin.
Enter Lady CAPULET.
La. Cap. What, are you busy? do you need my help?
Jul. No, madam; we have cull'd such necessaries
As are behoveful for our state to-morrow:
So please you, let me now be left alone,
And let the nurse this night sit up with you;
For, I am sure, you have your hands full all,
In this so sudden business.
Get thee to bed, and rest; for thou hast need.
[Exeunt Lady Capulet, and Nurse. Jul. Farewell!-heaven knows, when we shall meet again.
I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,
That almost freezes up the heat of life:
I'll call them back again to comfort me:-
Nurse!-What should she do here?
My dismal scene I needs must act alone.—
What if this mixture do not work at all?
Must I of force be married to the county ?-
No, no ;-this shall forbid it :-lie thou there.-
What if it be a poison, which the friar
Subtly hath minister'd to have me dead;
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonor'd,
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear, it is: and yet, methinks, it should not,
For he hath still been tried a holy man :
I will not entertain so bad a thought.-
How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo
Come to redeem me? there's a fearful point!
Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,
To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
Or, if I live, is it not very like,
The horrible conceit of death and night,
Together with the terror of the place,
As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
Where, for these many hundred years, the bones
Of all my buried ancestors are pack'd;
Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies fest'ring in his shroud; where, as they say,
At some hours in the night spirits resort :-
O! if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
Environed with all these hideous fears?
And madly play with my forefathers' joints?
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?
And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone,
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?
O, look! methinks, I see my cousin's ghost
Seeking out Romeo.-Stay, Tybalt, stay!-
Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.
[She throws herself on the bed. Juliet being supposed dead is interred in "the Tomb of the Capulets."
SCENE I.-Mantua. A Street.
Rom. If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand:
My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne;
And, all this day, an unaccustom'd spirit
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead;
And breath'd such life with kisses in my lips,
That I reviv'd, and was an emperor.
News from Verona !-How now, Balthasar?
Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?
How doth my lady? Is my father well?
How fares my Juliet? That I ask again;
For nothing can be ill, if she be well.
Bal. Then she is well, and nothing can be ill :
Her body sleeps in Capulet's monument,
And her immortal part with angels lives.
I saw her laid low in her kindred's vault,
And presently took post to tell it you:
O pardon me for bringing these ill news,
Since you did leave it for my office, sir.
Rom. Is it even so? then I defy you, stars!-
Thou know'st my lodging: get rae ink and paper,
And hire post-horses: I will hence to-night.
Bal. Pardon me, sir, I will not leave you Your looks are pale and wild, and do import Some misadventure.
Tush, thou art deceiv'd;
Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do.
Hast thou no letters to me from the friar?
Bal. No, my good lord.
No matter: get thee gone,
And hire those horses; I'll be with thee straight. [Exit BALTHASAR.
Well, Juliet, I will be with thee to-night.
Let's see for means :-O, mischief! thou art swift
To enter in the thoughts of desperate men!
I do remember an apothecary,-
And hereabouts he dwells,-whom late I noted
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of simples; meagre were his looks,
Sharp misery had worn him to the bones:
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
An alligator stuff'd, and other skins
Of ill-shap'd fishes; and about his shelves
A beggarly account of empty boxes,
Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,
Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses,
Were thinly scatter'd to make up a show.
Noting his penury, to myself I said-
An if a man did need a poison now
Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.