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Cap. Why, I am glad on't; this is well,-stand


This is as't should be. Let me see the county:
Ay, marry, go, I say, and fetch him hither.
Now, afore God, this reverend holy friar,
All our whole city is much bound to him.

Jul. Nurse, will you go with me into my closet, To help me sort such needful ornaments As you think fit, to furnish me to-morrow? Lady C. No, not till Thursday: there is time enough.


Cap. Go, nurse, go with her. We'll to church [Exeunt JULIET and Nurse. Lady C. We shall be short in our provision: "Tis now near night.


Tush! I will stir about, And all things shall be well, I warrant thee, wife. Go thou to Juliet; help to deck up her: I'll not to bed to-night; - let me alone; I'll play the housewife for this once. - What, ho!— They are all forth: well, I will walk myself To county Paris, to prepare up him Against to-morrow. My heart is wondrous light, Since this same wayward girl is so reclaim'd.



Enter JULIET and the Nurse.

Jul. Ay, those attires are best:


I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night;
For I have need of many orisons

To move the heavens to smile upon my state,
Which, well thou know'st, is cross and full of sin.

But, gentle

Enter Lady CAPULET.

Lady C. What are you busy, ho? need you my help?

Jul. No, madam; we have cull'd such necessaries As are behoveful for our state to-morrow: So please you, let me now be left alone, And let the nurse this night sit up with you; For, I am sure, you have your hands full all, In this so sudden business.

Lady C.

Good night:

Get thee to bed, and rest; for thou hast need. [Exeunt Lady CAPULET and Nurse. Jul. Farewell! God knows when we shall meet

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I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,
That almost freezes up the heat of life:

I'll call them back again to comfort me.
Nurse! What should she do here?

My dismal scene I needs must act alone. —
Come, phial.-

What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married, then, to-morrow morning?
No, no ;- this shall forbid it :- lie thou there.
[Laying down a Dagger.'
What if it be a poison, which the friar
Subtly hath minister'd, to have me dead,
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour'd,
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear, it is; and yet, methinks, it should not,

1 66

Daggers," says Gifford, "or, as they are commonly called, knives, were worn at all times by every woman in England; whether they were so in Italy, Shakespeare, I believe, never inquired, and I cannot tell."


For he hath still been tried a holy man:
I will not entertain so bad a thought.2.
How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo

Come to redeem me? there's a fearful point!
Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,

To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
Or, if I live, is it not very like,

The horrible conceit of death and night,
Together with the terror of the place,
As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
Where, for these many hundred years, the bones
Of all my buried ancestors are pack'd; 3


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2 This line, found only in the quarto of 1597, is retained, as making the sense more complete. We subjoin the whole of this speech as it stands in the first quarto, that the reader may observe with what growth power it was afterwards worked out by the


"Farewell: God knows when we shall meet again.
Ah! I do take a fearful thing in hand.

What if this potion should not work at all,
Must I of force be married to the county?
This shall forbid it: knife, lie thou there.
What if the friar should give me this drink
To poison me, for fear I should disclose
Our former marriage? Ah! I wrong him much;
He is a holy and religious man :

I will not entertain so bad a thought.

What if I should be stifled in the tomb?
Awake an hour before the appointed time?
Ah! then I fear I shall be lunatic;

And, playing with my dead forefathers' bones,
Dash out my frantic brains. Methinks, I see
My cousin Tybalt weltering in his blood,
Seeking for Romeo! Stay, Tybalt, stay!
Romeo, I come; this do I drink to thee."


3 This idea was probably suggested to the Poet by his native place. The charnel at Stratford-upon-Avon is a very large one,

Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say,
At some hours in the night spirits resort;-
Alack, alack! is it not like, that I,

So early waking, what with loathsome smells, And shrieks like mandrakes' torn out of the earth, That living mortals, hearing them, run mad ;O! if I wake, shall I not be distraught, Environed with all these hideous fears,

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And madly play with my forefathers' joints,
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?
And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone,
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?
O, look! methinks, I see my cousin's ghost
Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body
Upon a rapier's point.-Stay, Tybalt, stay!-
Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee."
[She throws herself on the Bed.


and perhaps contains à greater number of bones than are to be found in any other repository of the same kind in England.

4 "The mandrake," says Thomas Newton in his Herbal, "has been idly represented as a creature having life, and engendered under the earth of the seed of some dead person that hath beene convicted and put to death for some felonie or murther, and that they had the same in such dampish and funerall places where the saide convicted persons were buried." So in Webster's Duchess of Malfy, 1623: "I have this night digg'd up a mandrake, and am grown mad with it." See 2 Henry VI., Act iii. sc. 2, note 14.

5 Such is the closing line of this speech in the quarto of 1597. The other old copies give it thus: "Romeo, Romeo, Romeo, here's drink I drink to thee;" where a stage-direction "[Here drink.]" has evidently got misprinted as a part of the text. The oldest reading is retained by all modern editors except Knight, Collier, and Verplanck.-Coleridge remarks upon the passage thus: Shakespeare provides for the finest decencies. It would have, been too bold a thing for a girl of fifteen ;- but she swallows the draught in a fit of fright." Schlegel has the same thought: "Her imagination falls into an uproar, - so many terrors bewilder the tender brain of the maiden, - and she drinks off the cup in a



Enter Lady CAPULET and the Nurse.

Lady C. Hold, take these keys, and fetch more spices, nurse.

Nurse. They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.1 [Exit.

Enter CAPUlet.

Cap. Come, stir, stir, stir! the second cock hath crow'd,

The curfew bell hath rung, 'tis three o'clock.-
Look to the bak'd meats, good Angelica :
Spare not for cost.
Lady C.

Go, go, you cot-quean, go; Get you to bed: 'faith, you'll be sick to-morrow For this night's watching.2

Cap. No, not a whit: What! I have watch'd ere



All night for lesser cause, and ne'er been sick. Lady C. Ay, you have been a mouse-hunt in your time;

But I will watch you from such watching now. [Exit Lady CAPULET.

tumult, to drain which with composure would have evinced a too masculine resolvedness."


1 The room where the pastry was made.

2 The old copies assign this speech to the Nurse. It was transferred to Lady Capulet at the suggestion of Z. Jackson, who pertinently asks, -"Can we imagine that a nurse would take so great a liberty with her master, as to call him a cot-quean, and order him to bed?" Besides, the Nurse has just been sent forth by her mistress to "fetch more spices."- Cot-quean was a term for a man who busied himself overmuch in women's affairs: so used down to the time of Addison, as appears from the Spectator, No. 482.


3 The animal called the mouse-hunt is the martin, which, being

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