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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 1.

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; For Venus smiles not in a house of tears. 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?.

[Aside. Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my

cell. 1 The meaning of Paris is clear, he does not wish to restrain Capulet, or to delay his own marriage; there is nothing of slowness in me, to induce me to slacken or abate his haste: but the words the poet has given him import the reverse, and seem rather to mean I am not backward in restraining his haste. I endeavour to retard him as much as I can. The poet has hastily fallen into similar inadvertencies elsewhere. In the first edition the line ran :

• And I am nothing slack to slow his haste.' ? To slow and to foreslow were anciently in common use as verbs :

will you o’erflow
The fields, thereby iny march to slow.'

love me.

Enter JULIET. 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. Fri.

That's a certain text. Par. Come


to make confession to this father? Jul. To answer that, were to confess to you. Par. Do not deny to him, that you

love me. Jul. I will confess to you, that I love him. Par. So will

I am sure,


you Jul. If I do so, it will be of more price, Being spoke behind your back, than to your face.

Par. Poor soul, thy face is much abus’d with tears.

Jul. The tears have got small victory by that ; For it was bad enough before their spite. Par. Thou wrong'st it, more than tears, with

that report. Jul. That is no slander, sir, that is a truth ; And what I spake, I spake it to my face.

Par. Thy face is mine, and thou hast slander'd it.

Jul. It may be so, for it is not mine own.-
Are you at leisure, holy father, now;
Or shall I come to you at evening mass 3 ?

Fri. My leisure serves me, pensive daughter,


My lord, we must entreat the time alone.

Par. God shield, I should disturb devotion :Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse you: Till then, adieu ! and keep this holy kiss.

[Exit Paris. 3 Juliet means vespers, there is no such thing as evening massó Masses (as Fynes Moryson observes) are only sung in the morning, and when the priests are fasting.

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



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. God join'd 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 4, 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 umpires; arbitrating that Which the commission of thy years and art Could to no issue of true honour bring. Be not so long to speak; I long to die, If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.

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 hadst the strength of will to slay thyself ; Then is it likely, thou wilt undertake

4 The seals of deeds formerly were appended on distinct slips or labels affixed to the deed. Hence in King Richard II. the Duke of York discovers a covenant which his son the Duke of Aumerle had entered into by the depending seal. 5 i. e. shall decide the struggle between me and my distress. Commission

may be here used for authority : but it is more probable that commixtion is the word intended.


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 nightly7 in a charnel-house,
O’er cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones,
With reeky shanks, and yellow chapless-sculls;
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 8.

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 humour, 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
? The quarto 1597 reads-

• Or chain me to some steepy mountain's top,

Where roaring bears and savage lions roam.' In the text the 4to of 1599 is followed, except that it has or hide me nightly.'

8 Thus the 4to 1599 and the folio: the 4to 1597 reads, I think, with more spirit :

* To keep myself a faithful unstain'd wife
To my dear lord, dearest Romeo.'


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 10,
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'ı, nor womanish fear,
Abate thy valour in the acting it.

Jul. Give me, give me! O tell me not of fear. 9 Instead of the remainder of this scene the 4to 1597 has only these four lines :

* And when thou art laid in thy kindred's vault,
I'll send in haste to Mantua to thy lord;
And he shall come and take thee from thy grave.

Jul. Friar, I go; be sure thou send for dear Romeo.' 10 The Italian custom here alluded to, of carrying the dead body to the grave richly dressed, and with the face uncovered (which is not mentioned by Painter), Shakspeare found particularly described in the The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet :

• Another use there is, that whosoever dies,
Borne to the church, with open face upon the bier he lies,

In wonted weed attir'd, not wrapt in winding sheet.'
Thus also Ophelia's song in Hamlet:-

They bore him bare-faced on the bier.' 11 If no fickle freak, no light caprice, no change of fancy, hinder the performance. The expressions are from the poem.



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