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And more perchaunce she thinkes you mynd to kepe her 30;
Wherefore dispayring doth she weare herselfe away with woe.
Therefore, deere Syr, in tyme, take on your daughter ruth;
For why? a brickle thing is glasse, and frayle is skillesse youth.
Joyne her at once to somme in linke of mariage,
That may be meete for our degree, and much about her age:
So shall you banish care out of your daughters brest,
So we her parentes, in our age, shall live in quiet rest.”
Whereto gan easely her husband to agree,
And to the mothers skilful talke thus straightway aunswered he.
“Oft have I thought, deere wife, of all these things ere this,
But evermore my mynd me gave, it should not be amisse
By farther leysure had a husband to provyde;
Scarce saw she yet full sixteen yeres, too yong to be a bryde.
But since her state doth stande on termes so perilous,
And that a mayden daughter is a treasure daungerous,
With so great speede I will endeavour to procure
A husband for our daughter yong, her sicknes faynt to cure,
That you shall rest content, so warely will I choose,
And she recover soone enough the time she seemes to loose.
The whilst seeke you to learne, if she in any part
Already hath, unware to us, fixed her frendly hart;
Lest we have more respect to honor and to welth,
Then to our daughters quiet lyfe, and to her happy helth:
Whom I do hold as deere as thapple of myne eye,
And rather wish in poore estate and daughterles to dye,
Then leave my goodes and her y-thrald to such a one,
Whose chorlish dealing, (I once dead) should be her cause of
This pleasaunt aunswer heard, the lady partes agayne,
And Capilet, the maydens syre, within a day or twayne,
Conferreth with his frendes for marriage of his daughter,
And many gentilmen there were, with busy care that sought her;
Both, for the mayden was well-shaped, yong and fayre,
As also well brought up, and wise; her fathers onely heyre.
Emong the rest was one inflamde with her desyre,
Who county Paris cleeped was; an earle he had to syre.
Of all the suters hym the father lyketh best,
And easely unto the earle he maketh his behest,
Both of his owne good will, and of his frendly ayde,
To win his wyfe unto his will, and to persuade the mayde.
The wyfe dyd joy to heare the joyful husband say
How happy hap, how meete a match, he had found out that day;
Ne did she seeke to hyde her joyes within her hart,
But straight she hyeth to Juliet; to her she telles, apart,
What happy talke, by meane of her, was past no rather
Betwene the wooing Paris and her careful loving father.
The person of the man, the features of his face,
His youthfull yeres, his fayrenes, and his port, and seemely grace,
With curious woordes she payntes before her daughters eyes,
And then with store of vertues prayse she heaves him to the
She vauntes his race, and gyftes that Fortune did him geve,
Whereby she sayth, both she and hers in great delight shall live.
When Juliet conceved her parentes whole entent,
Whereto both love and reasons right forbod her to assent,
Within herselfe she thought rather than be forsworne,
With horses wilde her tender partes asunder should be torne.
Not now, with bashful brow, in wonted wise, she spake,
But with unwonted boldnes straight into these wordes she brake:
“Madame, I marvell much, that you so lavasse are
Of me your childe, your jewell once, your onely joy and care,
As thus to yelde me up at pleasure of another,
Before you know if I do lyke or els mislike my lover.
Doo what you list; but yet of this assure you still,
If you do as you say you will, I yelde not there untill.
For had I choyse of twayne, farre rather would I choose
My part of all your goodes and eke my breath and lyfe to loose,
Then graunt that he possess of me the smallest part:
Fyrst, weary of my painefull lyfe, my cares shall kill my hart;
Els will I perce my brest with sharpe and bloody knife;
And you, my mother, shall becomme the murdresse of my lyfe,
In geving me to him whom I ne can, ne may,
Ne ought, to love: wherefore, on knees, deere mother, I you pray,
To let me live henceforth, as I have lived tofore;
Cease all your troubles for my sake, and care for me no more;
But suffer Fortune feerce to worke on me her will,
In her it lyeth to do me boote, in her it lyeth to spill.
For whilst you for the best desyre to place me so,
You hast away my lingring death, and double all my woe.
So deepe this aunswere made the sorrowes downe to sinke Into the mothers brest, that she ne knoweth what to thinke Of these her daughters woords, but all appalde she standes, And up unto the heavens she throwes her wondring head and
handes. And, nigh besyde her selfe, her husband hath she sought; She telles him all; she doth forget ne yet she hydeth ought. The testy old man, wroth, disdainfull without measure, Sendes forth bis folke in haste for her, and byds them take no
leysure; Ne on her tears or plaint at all to have remorse, But, if they cannot with her will, to bring the mayde perforce. The message heard, they part, to fetch that they must fet, And willingly with them walkes forth obedient Juliet. Arrived in the place, when she her father saw, Of whom, as much as duety would, the daughter stoode in awe, The servantes sent away (the mother thought it meete), The wofull daughter all bewept fell groveling at his feete, Which she doth wash with teares as she thus groveling lyes; So fast and eke so plenteously distill they from her eyes : When she to call for grace her mouth doth thinke to open, Muet she is ; for sighes and sobs her fearefull talke have broken.
The syre, whose swelling wroth her teares could not asswage, With fiery eyen, and skarlet cheekes, thus spake her in bis rage
(Whilst ruthfully stood by the maydens mother mylde): * Listen (quoth he) unthankfull and thou disobedient childe; Hast thou so soone let slip out of thy mynde the woord, 'That thou so often times hast heard rehearsed at boord ? How much the Romayne youth of parentes stoode in awe, And eke what powre upon theyr seede the parentes had by lawe? Whom they not onely might pledge, alienate, and sell, (When so they stoode in neede) but more, if children did rebell, The parentes had the powre of lyfe and sodayn death. What if those good men should agayne receve the living breth In how straight bondes would they the stubborne body bynde? What weapons would they seeke for thee? what torments would
they fynde, To chasten, if they saw the lewdness of thy life, Thy great unthankfulnes to me, and shamefull sturdy stryfe? Such care thy mother had, so deere thou wert to mee, That I with long and earnest sute provyded have for thee One of the greatest lordes that wonnes about this towne, And for his many vertues sake a man of great renowne. Of whom both thou and I unworthy are too much, So rich ere long he shal be left, his fathers welth is such, Such is the noblenes and honor of the race From whence his father came: and yet thou playest in this case The dainty foole and stubborne gyrle; for want of skill Thou dost refuse thy offered weale, and disoběy my will. Even by his strength I sweare, that fyrst did geve me lyfe, And gave me in my youth the strength to get thee on my wyfe, Onlesse by Wensday next thou bend as I am bent, And at our castle cald Freetowne thou freely do assent To Countie Paris sute, and promise to agree To whatsoever then shall passe twixt him, my wife, and me, Not only will I geve all that I have away From thee, to those that shall me love, me honor, and obay, But also to so close and to so hard a gayle I shall thee wed, for all thy life, that sure thou shalt not fayle A thousand times a day to wishe for sodayn death, And curse the day and howre when fyrst thy lunges did geve thee
breath. Advise thee well, and say that thou are warned now, And thinke not that I speake in sporte, or mynde to break my
For were it not that I to Counte Paris gave
My fayth, which I must keepe unfalst, my honor so to save,
Ere thou go hence, my selfe would see thee chastned so,
That thou shouldst once for all be taught thy dutie how to knowe;
And what revenge of olde the angry syres did finde
Agaynst theyre children that rebeld, and shewd them selfe un,
These savde, the olde man straight is gone in haste away:
Ne for his daughters aunswere would the testy father stay.
And after him his wyfe doth follow out of doore,
And there they leave theyr chidden childe kneeling upon the
floore, Then she that oft had seene the fury of her syre, Dreading what might come of his rage, nould farther styrre his.
yre. Unto her chaumber she withdrew her selfe aparte, Where she was wonted to unlode the sorowes of her hart. There did she not so much busy her eyes in sleping, As (overprest with restles thoughts) in piteous booteless weeping. The fast falling of teares make not her teares decrease, Ne, by the powring forth of playnt, the cause of plaint to cease. So that to thend the mone and sorow may decaye, The best is that she seeke somme meane to take the cause away, Her wery bed betyme the woful wight forsakes, And to saint Frauncis church, to masse, her way devoutly takes. The fryer forth is calde; she prayes him heare her shrift; Devotion is in so young yeres a rare and pretious gyft. When on her tender knees the daynty lady kneeles, In mynde to powre foorth all the greefe that inwardly she feeles, With sighes and salted teares her shriving doth beginne, For she of heaped sorowes hath to speake, and not of sinne. Her voyce with piteous playnt was made already horce, And hasty sobs, when she would speake, brake of her woordes
perforce. But as she may, peace meale, she powreth in his lappe The mariage newes, a mischefe new, prepared by mishappe; Her parentes promise erst to Counte Paris past, Her fathers threats she telleth him, and thus concludes at last : “Once was I wedded well, ne will I wed againe; For since I know I may not be the wedded wife of twaine, (For I am bound to have one God, one fayth, one make,) My purpose is as soone as I shall hence my jorney take, With these two handes, which joynde unto the heavens I stretch, The hasty death which I desyre, unto my selfe to reach. This day, O Romeus, this day, thy wofull wife Will bring the end of all her cares by ending carefull lyfe. So my departed sprite shall witnes to the skye, And eke my blood unto the earth beare record, how that I Have kept my fayth unbroke, stedfast unto my frend."
When thys her heavy tale was told, her vowe eke at an ende, Her gasing here and there, her feerce and staring looke, Did witnes that some lewd attempt her hart had undertooke. Whereat the fryer astonde, and gastfully afrayde Lest she by dede perfourme her woord, thus much to her he
sayde: “ Ah! Lady Juliet, what nede the wordes you spake? I pray you, graunt me one request, for blessed Maries sake. Measure somewhat your greefe, hold here a while your peace, Whilst I bethinke me of your case, your plaint and sorowes cease. Such comfort will I geve you, ere you part from bence, And for thassaults of Fortunes yre prepare so sure defence,
So holesome salve will I for your afflictions fynde,
That you shall hence depart againe with well contented mynde."
His wordes have chased straight out of her hart despayre,
Her blacke and ougly dredfuli thoughts by hope are waxen fayre.
So fryer Lawrence now hath left her there alone,
And he out of the church in haste is to the chaumber gonne;
Where sundry thoughtes within his carefull head aryse;
The old mans foresight divers doutes hath set before his eyes.
His conscience one while condemns it for a sinne
To let her take Paris to spouse, since he him selfe hath byn
The chefest cause that she unknown to father or to mother,
Nor five monthes past, in that selfe place was wedded to another.
An other while an hugy heape of daungers dred
His restles thoughts hath heaped up within his troubled hed.
Even of itselfe thattempte he judgeth perilous;
The execution eke he demes so much more daungerous,
That to a womans grace he must him selfe commit,
That yong is, simple and unware, for waighty affayres unfit.
For, if she fayle in ought, the matter published,
Both she and Romeus were undonne, him selfe eke punished.
When too and fro in mynde he dyvers thoughts had cast,
With tender pity and with ruth his bart was wonne at last;
He thought he rather would in hazard set his fame,
Then suffer such adultery. Resolving on the same,
Out of his closet straight he tooke a little glasse,
And then with double hast retornde where woful Juliet was;
Whom he hath found wel nigh in traunce, scarce drawing breath,
Attending still to heare the
newes of lyfe or els of death.
Of whom he did enquire of the appoynted day;
“ On Wensday next, (quoth Juliet) so doth my father say,
I must geve my consent; but, as I do remember,
The solemne day of mari: is the tenth day of September."
“Deere daughter, (quoth the fryer) of good cheere see thou be,
For loe! sainct Frauncis of his grace hath shewde a way to me,
By which I may both thee and Romeus together,
Out of the bondage which you feare, assuredly deliver,
Even from the holy font thy husband have I knowne,
And, since he grew in yeres, have kept his counsels as myne owne.
For from his youth he would unfold to me his hart,
And often have I cured him of anguish and of smart:
I knowe that by desert his frendship I have wonne,
And him do bolde as deere, as if he were my propre sonne.
Wherefore my frendly hart can not abyde that he
Should wrongfully in oughte be harmde, if that it lay in me
To right or to revenge the wrong by my advise,
Or timely to prevent the same in any other wise.
And sith thou art his wyfe, thee am I bound to love,
For Romeus friendship sake, and seeke thy anguish to remove,
And dredful torments, which thy hart besegen rounde;
Wherefore, my daughter, geve good care unto my counsels