William Painter: The second tome of the Palace of pleasure

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William Painter: The second tome of the Palace of pleasure conteyning store of goodly histories, tragicall matters, and other morall argument, very requisite for delighte and profit. Chosen and selected out of diuers good and commendable authors: by William Painter, clerke of the ordinance and armarie. Anno. 1567.,Imprinted at London : In Pater Noster Rowe, by Henry Bynneman, for Nicholas England, [1567] 

Rhomeo and Julietta

¶ The goodly Historie of the true and constant Loue be|twene RHOMEO and IVLIETTA, the one of whom died of poison, and the other of sorow and : wher|in be comprised many aduentures of loue, and other deui|ses touching the same.

The. xxv. Nouel.

I Am sure, that they whiche measure the greatenesse of Gods works, according to the capacitie of their rude & simple vnder|standing, wyll not lightly adhibite cre|dite vnto this histo|rie, so wel for the va rietie of strange ac|cide~ts which be ther|in described, as for yt noueltie & straunge|nesse of so rare and perfect amitie. But they that haue redde Plinie, Valerius Maximus, Plutarche, and diuers other writers, doe finde, that in olde tyme a greate numbre of men and women haue died, some of exces|siue ioye, some of ouermuch sorrowe, and some of o|ther passions: and amongs the same, Loue is not the least, which when it seaseth vpon any kynde & gentle subiect, & findeth no resistance to serue for a ra~part to

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 the  of his course, by litle & litle vndermi|neth melteth &  yt vertues of natural powers in such wise as the sprite yelding to the burden, aban|doneth ytplace of life: which is verified by the pitifull and infortunate death of two louers that surrendred their last breath in one  at  a Citie of I|taly, wherin repose yet to this day (with great maruel) the bones and remnantes of their late louing bodies: An history no lesse  than true. If then per|ticular affection which of good right euery man ought to beare to the place where he was borne, doe not de|ceiue those that trauaile, I thinke they will confesse with me, that few Cities in Italie, can surpasse the said Citie of Verona, aswell for the Nauigable riuer called , which passeth almost through the midst of the same, and therby a great trafique into Almaine, as al|so for the prospect towards the fertile Mountains and plesant valeis which do enuiron yt same, with a great numbre of very clere and liuely fountains that serue for the ease and commodity of the place. Omitting (bi|sides many other singularities) foure bridges, and an infinite numbre of other honorable antiquities, daily apparant vnto those, that be to curious to view & loke vpon them. Which places I haue somewhat touched, bicause this most true Historie which I purpose here|after to recite, depe~deth therupon, the memory wher|of to this day is so well knowne at Verona, as vnneths their blubbred eyes, be yet dry that sawe and behelde that lamentable sight.

When the Senior Escala was Lord of Verona; there were two families in the Citie, of farre greater fame than the rest, as well for riches as Nobilitie: the one called the Montesches, and the other the Capellets: but like as most commonly there is discord amongs them

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which be of semblable degrée in honor, euen so then hapned a certaine enimitie betwene them: and for so much as the beginning therof was vnlawful, and of foundation, so likewise in processe of time it kindled to such flame, as by diuers and sundry deuises practised on both sides, many lost their liues. The LordBartho|lomeu of Escala, (of whome we haue already spoken) being Lord ofVerona, and seing such disorder in his co~|mon weale, assayed diuers and sundry wayes to reco~|cile those two houses, but all in vaine: for their hatred, had taken such roote, as yt same could not be  by any wise councell or good aduise: betwene whome no other thing could be accorded, but giuing ouer and weapon for the time, attending some other season more co~uenient, and with better leisure to ap|pease the rest. In the time yt these things wer adoing, one of the familie of Montesches called Rho~meo, of the age of. xx. or. xxi. yeres, the fairest and best conditioned Gentleman that was amongs theVeronian youth,  in loue with a yong Gentlewoman of Verona, & in few dayes was so attached with hir comely & good behaui|our, as he abandoned all other affaires and businesse  serue & honor hir. And after many letters and presents, he determined in the end to speake vnto hir, & to disclose his passions, which he did without any other practise. But she which was vertuously brought vp, knew how to make him so good answer to cutte of his  affectio~s: as he had no lust after that time to return any more, and shewed hir self so austere  sharpe of speach, as she vouchsafed not with one loke to beholde him. But the more yt yong Gentleman  hir whist and silent, the more he was inflamed: and  hée had  certaine months in that seruice

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