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SCENE III. A Church-yard; in it a Monument belonging to the Capulets.
Enter PARIS, and his Page, bearing flowers and a torch.
Par. Give me my torch, boy. Hence, and stand aloof;
Yet put it out, for I would not be seen.
Sweet tomb, that in thy circuit dost contain
[The boy whistles. The boy gives warning, something doth approach. What cursed foot wanders this way to-night, To cross my obsequies, and true-love's rites? What, with a torch!-muffle me, night, a while.
1 The folio has these lines :
"Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew;
Or, wanting that, with tears distill'd by moans;
In the text, the seven lines are printed as they appear in the quarto of 1597.
Enter ROMEO and BALTHASAR, with a torch, mattock, &c.
Rom. Give me that mattock, and the wrenching-iron. Hold, take this letter; early in the morning See thou deliver it to my lord and father. Give me the light. Upon thy life, I charge thee, Whate'er thou hear'st or see'st, stand all aloof, And do not interrupt me in my course. Why I descend into this bed of death, Is, partly, to behold my lady's face;
But, chiefly, to take thence from her dead finger
In dear1 employment; therefore hence, be gone ;-
By Heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint,
Bal. I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you.
Live, and be prosperous; and farewell, good fellow.
[Breaking open the door of the monument.
And here is come to do some villanous shame
1 That is, in action of importance. The sense of the word dear has been explained.
Stop thy unhallowed toil, vile Montague;
Rom. I must, indeed; and therefore came I hither.— Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man; Fly hence and leave me;-think upon these gone; Let them affright thee.-I beseech thee, youth, Heap not another sin upon my head, By urging me to fury.-O, be gone! By Heaven, I love thee better than myself; For I come hither armed against myself. Stay not; begone;-live, and hereafter say— A madman's mercy bade thee run away. Par. I do defy thy conjurations,1
And do attach thee as a felon here.
Rom. Wilt thou provoke me? Then have at thee, boy.
[They fight. call the watch.
Page. O Lord! they fight. I will go
Par. O, I am slain! [Falls.]—If thou be merciful, Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.
Rom. In faith, I will.-Let me peruse this face; Mercutio's kinsman, noble county Paris. What said my man, when my betossed soul Did not attend him as we rode? I think He told me Paris should have married Juliet. Said he not so? or did I dream it so? Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet, To think it was so ?-O, give me thy hand, One writ with me in sour misfortune's book! I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave;—
A grave? O, no; a lantern, slaughtered youth;
1 I refuse to do as thou conjurest me to do, i. e. depart. So Constance, in King John, says :—
"No, I defy all counsel, all redress."
2 A lantern may here signify what in ancient records is styled lanternium, i. e. a spacious round or octagonal turret, full of windows, by means of which cathedrals and sometimes halls are illuminated.
A presence is a public room, which is, at times, the presence-chamber of a sovereign.
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes
1 The first quarto reads, " But how," &c. This idea very frequently occurs in our old dramas.
2 See note, p. 225.
3 Conduct for conductor.
Enter, at the other end of the church-yard, FRIAR LAURENCE, with a lantern, crow, and spade.
Fri. Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night Have my old feet stumbled at graves! -Who's there? Who is it that consorts, so late, the dead?
Bal. Here's one, a friend, and one that knows you well.
Fri. Bliss be upon you! Tell me, good my friend, What torch is yond' that vainly lends his light To grubs and eyeless skulls? as I discern, It burneth in the Capels' monument.
Bal. It doth so, holy sir; and there's my master, One that you love.
Who is it?
Fri. Go with me to the vault.
Full half an hour.
I dare not, sir.
My master knows not but I am gone hence;
Fri. Stay, then, I'll go alone.-Fear comes upon me;
Romeo? [Advances. Alack, alack, what blood is this, which stains The stony entrance of this sepulchre ?— What mean these masterless and gory swords To lie discolored by this place of peace?
[Enters the monument. Romeo! O, pale!-Who else? what, Paris too?
1 This accident was reckoned ominous.
2 This was one of the touches of nature that would have escaped the hand of any painter less attentive to it than Shakspeare. What happens to a person while he is under the manifest influence of fear, will seem to him, when he is recovered from it, like a dream.