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you with an iron wit, and put up my iron dagger.— Answer me like men:

When griping grief the heart doth wound,
And doleful dumps the mind oppress,

Then music, with her silver sound,'

Why, silver sound? why, music with her silver sound? What say you, Simon Catling? 2

1 Mus. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound. Pet. Pratest! What say you, Hugh Rebeck? 2 Mus. I say―silver sound, because musicians sound for silver.

Pet. Pratest too!-What say you, James Soundpost? 3 Mus. 'Faith, I know not what to say.

Pet. O, I cry you mercy! you are the singer; I will say for you. It is-music with her silver sound, because musicians have seldom gold for sounding

Then music, with her silver sound,
With speedy help doth lend redress.

[Exit, singing.

1 Mus. What a pestilent knave is this same! 2 Mus. Hang him, Jack! Come, we'll in here; tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner.


1 This is part of a song by Richard Edwards, to be found in the Paradice of Dainty Devices, fol. 31, b. Another copy of this song is to be found in Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.

2 This worthy takes his name from a small lutestring made of catgut; his companion, the fiddler, from an instrument of the same name, mentioned by many of our old writers, and recorded by Milton as an instrument of mirth.

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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 unaccustomed spirit
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
I dreamed my lady came and found me dead,
(Strange dream! that gives a dead man leave to think,)
And breathed such life with kisses in my lips,
That I revived, and was an emperor.

Ah me! how sweet is love itself possessed,
When but love's shadows are so rich in joy!


News from Verona !-How now, Balthasar?
Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?
How doth my lady? Is my father well?
How doth 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 Capels' 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!—

1 Thus the first quarto. The folio reads:

"If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep."

The sense appears to be, If I may repose any confidence in the flattering visions of the night. Otway reads:

"If I may trust the flattery of sleep."

Thou know'st my lodging; get me ink and paper,
And hire post-horses; I will hence to-night.

Bal. Pardon me, sir, I will not leave you thus.
Your looks are pale and wild, and do import
Some misadventure.


Tush, thou art deceived;

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.


Well, Juliet, I will lie 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 tattered 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 stuffed, and other skins
Of ill-shaped 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 scattered to make up a show.
Noting this penury, to myself I said-
And if a man did need a poison now,
Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.
O, this same thought did but forerun my need;
And this same needy man must sell it me.
As I remember, this should be the house;
Being holiday, the beggar's shop is shut.-
What, ho! apothecary.


Enter Apothecary.

Who calls so loud?

Rom. Come hither, man.-I see that thou art poor;

Hold, there is forty ducats; let me have
A dram of poison; such soon-speeding gear
As will disperse itself through all the veins,
That the life-weary taker may fall dead;
And that the trunk may be discharged of breath
As violently, as hasty powder fired

Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.

Ap. Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law Is death to any he that utters them.

Rom. Art thou so bare, and full of wretchedness,
And fear'st to die? Famine is in thy cheeks;
Need and oppression stareth in thy eyes;1
Upon thy back hangs ragged misery;

The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law.
The world affords no law to make thee rich;
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.
Ap. My poverty, but not my will, consents.
Rom. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.
Ap. Put this in any liquid thing you will,
And drink it off; and, if you had the strength
Of twenty men, it would despatch you straight.

Rom. There is thy gold, worse poison to men's souls,
Doing more murders in this loathsome world,
Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.
I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none.
Farewell; buy food, and get thyself in flesh.
Come, cordial, and not poison; go with me
To Juliet's grave, for there must I use thee.

SCENE II. Friar Laurence's Cell.


John. Holy Franciscan friar! brother, ho!

1 The quarto of 1597 reads:

"Upon thy back hangs ragged miserie,

And starved famine dwelleth in thy cheeks."

The quartos of 1599 and 1609:

"Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes."





Lau. This same should be the voice of friar John.Welcome from Mantua; what says Romeo?

Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.

John. Going to find a barefoot brother out, One of our order to associate me,1

Here in this city visiting the sick,

And finding him, the searchers of the town,
Suspecting that we both were in a house
Where the infectious pestilence did reign,
Sealed up the doors, and would not let us forth;
So that my speed to Mantua there was stayed.
Lau. Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?
John. I could not send it,-here it is again,-
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
So fearful were they of infection.

Lau. Unhappy fortune! by my brotherhood,
The letter was not nice, but full of charge,
Of dear import; and the neglecting it
May do much danger. Friar John, go hence;
Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight
Unto my cell.

John. Brother, I'll go and bring it thee.
Lau. Now must I to the monument alone;
Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake.3
She will beshrew me much, that Romeo
Hath had no notice of these accidents;
But I will write again to Mantua,

And keep her at my cell till Romeo come;


Poor living corse, closed in a dead man's tomb! [Exit.

1 Each friar had always a companion assigned him by the superior,

when he asked leave to go out.

2 i. e. was not wantonly written on a trivial or idle matter.

3 Instead of this line, and the concluding part of the speech, the first quarto reads only:

"Lest that the lady should before I come

Be wak'd from sleepe, I will hye

To free her from that tomb of miserie."

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