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Enter some of the Watch, with BALTHASAR.

2 Watch. Here's Romeo's man, we found him in the churchyard.

1 Watch. Hold him in safety, till the prince come hither.

Enter another Watchman, with FRIAR LAU


3 Watch. Here is a friar, that trembles, sighs, and weeps:

We took this mattock and this spade from him,
As he was coming from this churchyard side.
1 Watch. A great suspicion; Stay the friar too.
Enter the Prince and Attendants.

Prince. What misadventure is so early up,
That calls our person from our morning's rest?

Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, and Others. Cap. What should it be, that they so shriek abroad?

La. Cap. The people in the street cry-Romeo, Some-Juliet, and some— -Paris; and all run, With open outcry toward our monument.

Prince. What fear is this, which startles in our ears? 1 Watch. Sovereign, here lies the county Paris slain;

And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before,
Warm and new kill'd.

Prince. Search, seek, and know how this foul murder comes.

1 Watch. Here is a friar, and slaughter'd Romeo's


With instruments upon them, fit to open
These dead men's tombs.

Cap. O heavens!-O, wife! look how our daugh

ter bleeds!

This dagger hath mista'en, for lo! his house
Is empty on the back of Montague,-

And is missheathed in my daughter's bosom 18.
La. Cap. O me! this sight of death is as a bell,
That warns my old age to a sepulchre.

Enter MONTAGUE and Others.

Prince. Come, Montague; for thou art early up, To see thy son and heir more early down.


Mon. Alas, my liege, my wife is dead to-night 19; Grief of my son's exíle hath stopp'd her breath; What further woe conspires against mine age?

Prince. Look, and thou shalt see.

Mon. O thou untaught! what manners is in this, Το press before thy father to a grave


Prince. Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while, "Till we can clear these ambiguities,

And know their spring, their head, their true descent; And then will I be general of your woes,

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18 The words, for lo! his house is empty on the back of Montague,' are to be considered parenthetical. It appears that the dagger was anciently worn behind the back. So in Humor's Ordinarie :

'See you yon huge bum dagger at his back?'

And in The Longer Thou Livest the More Fool Thou Art, 1570: Thou must wear thy sword by thy side,

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And thy dagger handsumly at thy backe.'

19 After this line the quarto of 1597 adds:And young Benvolio is deceased too.'

20 So in The Tragedy of Darius, 1603:—

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Ah me! malicious fates have done me wrong:
Who came first to the world, should first depart.
It not becomes the old t' o'er-live the young;
This dealing is preposterous and over-thwart.'
Thus also in Shakspeare's Rape of Lucrece :-
If children pre-decease progenitors,

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We are their offspring, and they none of ours.'

And lead you even to death: Mean time forbear,
And let mischance be slave to patience.—
Bring forth the parties of suspicion.

Fri. I am the greatest, able to do least,
Yet most suspected, as the time and place
Doth make against me, of this direful murder;
And here I stand, both to impeach and purge
Myself condemned and myself excus'd.

Prince. Then say at once what thou dost know in this.

Fri. I will be brief 21, for my short date of breath Is not so long as is a tedious tale.

Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet;
And she, there dead, that Romeo's faithful wife:
I married them; and their stolen marriage-day
Was Tybalt's doomsday, whose untimely death
Banish'd the new made bridegroom from this city;
For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pin'd.
You-to remove that siege of grief from her,-
Betroth'd, and would have married her perforce,
To county Paris:-Then comes she to me;
And, with wild looks, bid me devise some means
To rid her from this second marriage,

Or, in my cell there would she kill herself.
Then gave I her, so tutor❜d by my art,
A sleeping potion; which so took effect
As I intended, for it wrought on her

The form of death: meantime I writ to Romeo,

21 It is to be lamented that the poet did not conclude the dialogue with the action, and avoid a narrative of events which the audience already knew.'-Johnson.

Shakspeare was led into this uninteresting narrative by following too closely The Tragical Hystory of Romeus and Juliet. In this poem (which is printed in the Variorum Editions of Shakspeare) the bodies of the dead are removed to a public scaffold; and from that elevation is the Friar's narrative delivered. The same circumstance is introduced in Hamlet near the conclusion.

That he should hither come as this dire night,
To help to take her from her borrow'd grave,
Being the time the potion's force should cease.
But he which bore my letter, Friar John,
Was staid by accident; and yesternight
Return'd my letter back: Then all alone,
At the prefixed hour of her waking,

Came I to take her from her kindred's vault;
Meaning to keep her closely at my cell,
Till I conveniently could send to Romeo:
But, when I came (some minute ere the time
Of her awakening), here untimely lay
The noble Paris, and true Romeo, dead.
She wakes; and I entreated her come forth,
And bear this work of heaven with patience:
But then a noise did scare me from the tomb;
And she, too desperate, would not go with me,
But (as it seems) did violence on herself.
All this I know: and to the marriage
Her nurse is privy: And, if aught in this
Miscarried by my fault, let my old life
Be sacrific'd, some hour before his time,
Unto the rigour of severest law.

Prince. We still have known thee for a holy man.—
Where's Romeo's man? what can he say in this?
Bal. I brought my master news of Juliet's death;
And then in post he came from Mantua.
To this same place, to this same monument.
This letter he early bid me give his father;
And threaten'd me with death, going in the vault,
If I departed not, and left him there.

Prince. Give me the letter, I will look on it.— Where is the county's page, that rais'd the watch? Sirrah, what made your master in this place?

Page. He came with flowers to strew his lady's grave;

And bid me stand aloof, and so I did:

Anon, comes one with light to ope the tomb;
And, by and by, my master drew on him;
And then I ran away to call the watch.

Prince. This letter doth make good the friar's words,

Their course of love, the tidings of her death:
And here he writes-that he did buy a poison
Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal

Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.—
Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!-
See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!
And I, for winking at your discords too,
Have lost a brace of kinsmen 22:-all are punish'd.

Cap. O, brother Montague, give me thy hand:
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand.


But I can give thee more:
For I will raise her statue in pure gold;
That, while Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set,
As that of true and faithful Juliet.

Cap. As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie;
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!

Prince. A glooming 23 peace this morning with it brings;

The sun for sorrow will not show his head:

22 Mercutio and Paris. Mercutio is expressly called the Prince's kinsman in Act iii. Sc. 4; and that Paris was also the Prince's kinsman, may be inferred from the following passages. Capulet, speaking of the count in the fourth act, describes him as a gentleman of princely parentage;' and after he is killed, Romeo says:-

Let me peruse this face;

Mercutio's kinsman, noble county Paris.'

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23 The quarto of 1597 reads, A gloomy peace.' To gloom is an ancient verb, used by Spenser and other old writers.

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