« PreviousContinue »
Forget not what I say, ne tell it any wight,
blynde; When love and fond desyre were boyling in my brest, Whence hope and dred by striving thoughts had banishd frendly
rest. Know therefore, daughter, that with other gyftes which I Have well attained to, by grace and favour of the skye, Long since I did finde out, and yet the way I knowe, Of certain rootes and savory herbes to make a kynd of dowe, Which baked hard, and bet into a powder fyne, And dranke with conduite water, or with any kynd of wine, It doth in halfe an howre astone the taker so, And mastreth all his sences, that he feeleth weale nor woe: And so it burieth up the sprite and living breath, That even the skilful leclre would say, that he is slayne by death. One vertue more it hath, as marvelous as this ; The taker, by receiving it, at all not greeved is; But paineless as a man that thinketh nought at all, Into a sweete and quiet slepe immediately doth fall;
From which, according to the quantitie he taketh,
chaunce; The corps then will they bring to grave in this churcheyarde, Where thy forefathers long agoe a costly tombe preparde, Both for them selfe and eke for those that should come after, (Both depe it is, and long and large) where thou shalt rest, my
daughter, Till I to Mantua sende for Romeus, thy knight; Out of the tombe both he and I will take thee forth that night. And when out of thy slepe thou shalt awake agayne, Then may'st thou goe with him from hence; and, healed of thy.
payne, In Mantua lead with him unknowne a pleasant lyfe; And yet perhaps in tyme to comme, when cease shall all the stryfë,. And that the peace is made twixt Romeus and his foes, My selfe may finde so fit a time these secretes to disclose, Both to my prayse, and to thy tender parentes joy, That dangerles, without reproche, thou shalt thy love enjoy."
When of his skilfull tale the fryer had made an ende,
To come to him on whom my life doth wholly stay,
A thousand thankes and more our Juliet gave the frier,
meete, In mynde to aske if she her purpose yet dyd hold, In mynde also, apart twist them, her duety to have tolde; Wherefore with pleasant face, and with her wonted chere, As soone as she was unto ber approched sumwhat nere, Before the mother spake, thus did she fyrst begyn: “Madame, at sainct Frauncis churche have I this morning byn, Where I did make abode a longer while, percase, Then deuty would; yet have I not been absent from this place So long a while, without a great and just cause why; This frute have I receaved there;-my hart, erst lyke to dye, Is now revived agayne, and my afflicted brest, Released from affliction, restored is to rest! For lo! my troubled gost, alas too sore diseasde By gostly counsell and advise hath fryer Lawrence easde; To whom I dyd at large discourse my former lyfe, And in confession did I tell of all our passed stryfe: Of Counte Paris sute, and how my lord, my syre, By my ungrate and stubborne stryfe I styrred unto yre; But lo, the holy fryer hath by his gostly lore Made me another woman now than I had been before. By strength of argumentes he charged so my mynde, That. though I sought, no sure defence my searching thought
could finde. So forced I was at length to yeld up witles will, And promist to be ordered by the fryers praysed skill. Wherefore, albeit, I had rashely, long before, The bed and rytes of mariage for many yeres forswore, Yet mother, now behold your daughter at your will, Ready, if you commaunde her alight, your pleasure to fulfill: Wherefore in humble wise, dere madam, I you pray, To go unto my lord and syre, withouten long delay; Of him fyrst pardon crave of faultes already past, And shew him, if it pleaseth you, his child is now at last Obedient to his just and to his skilfull hest, And that I will, God lendeth lyfe, on Wensday next, be prest To wayte on him and you, unto thappoynted place, Where I will, in your hearing, and before my fathers face, Unto the Counte geve my fayth and whole assent, And take him for my lord and spouse; thus fully am I bent; And that out of your mynde I may remove all doute, Drito my closet fare I Dow, to searchę and to choose out
The bravest garmentes and the richest jewels there,
These said, the glad old man from home goeth straight abrode, And to the stately palace hyeth where Paris made abode; Whom he desyres to be on Wensday next his geast, At Freetowne, where he myndes to make for him a costly feast. But loe, the earle saith, such feasting were but lost, And counsels him till mariage time to spare so great a cost. For then he knoweth well the charges will be great ; The whilst, his hart desyreth still her sight, and not his meate. He craves of Capilet that he may straight goe see Fayre Juliet; wherto he doth right willingly agree. The mother, warnde before, her daughter doth prepare ; She warneth and she chargeth her that in no wyse she spare Her courteous speche, her pleasant lookes, and commely grace, But liberally to geve them foorth when Paris comes in place: Which she as cunningly could set forth to the shew, As cunning craftsman to the sale do set theyr wares on rew; That ere the County dyd out of her sight depart, So secretly unwares to him she stale away his hart, That of his lyfe and death the wily wench hath powre; And now his longing hart thinkes long for theyr appoynted howre, And with importune sute the parents doth he pray The wedlocke knot to knit soone up, and hast the mariage day.
The waer hath past forth the fyrst day in this sort, And many other more then this, in pleasure and disport. At length the wished time of long hoped delight (As Paris thought) drew nere; but nere approched heavy plight. Agaynst the brydall day the parentes did prepare Such rich attyre, such furniture, such store of dainty fare, That they which did behold the same the night before, Did thinke and say, a man could scarcely wish for any more. Nothing did seeme to deere; the deerest thinges were bought: And, as the written story sayth, in dede there wanted nought,
That longd to his degree, and honor of his stocke;
The secret counsell of her bart the nurce-childe seekes to hyde.
cheere, That by her outward looke no living wight could gesse Her inward woe; and yet anew renewde is her distresse. Unto her chaumber doth the pensive wight repayre, And in her hand a percher light the nurce beares up the stayre. In Juliets chaumber was her wonted use to lye; Wherefore her mistres, dreading that she should her work descrye, As soone as she began her pallet to unfold, Thinking to lye that night where she was wont to lye of olde, Doth gently pray her seeke her lodging some where els; And, lest the crafty should suspect, a ready reason telles. “ Dere frend, quoth she you knowe, tomorow is the day Of new contract; wherefore, this night, my purpose is to pray Unto the heavenly myndes that dwell above the skyes, And order all the course of thinges as they can best devyse, That they so smyle upon the doinges of tomorow, That all the remnant of my lyfe may be exempt from sorow : Wherefore, I pray you, leave me here alone this night, But see that you tomorow comme before the dawning light, For you must coorle my heare, and set on my attyre;”— And easely the loving nurce did yelde to her desyre: For she within her hed dyd cast before no doute; She little knew the close attempt her nurce-child went about: