Thus these two pore louers pas|sed the night togither, vntill the day began to appeare, which did separate them, to their extreame sorow and grief. Rhomeohauing taken leaue of Iulietta, went to S. Fraunces, and after he hadde aduertised Frier Lau|rence of his affaires, departed from Verona in the habit of a Marchaunt straunger, and vsed such expedition, as without hurt hée arriued at Mantona, (accompanied only with Petre his seruaunt, whome hée hastely sent backe againe to Verona, to serue his Father) where he tooke a house: and liuing in honorable company, assayed certaine months to put away the griefe which so tor|mented
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him. But during the time of his absence, mi|serable Iulietta could not so cloke hir sorow, but that through the euill coloure of hir face, hir inwarde pas|sion was discried. By reason whereof hir mother, who heard hir oftentymes sighing, and incessantly com|plaining, coulde not forbeare to say vnto hir:
Daugh|ter if you continue long after this sorte, you will ha|sten the death of your good Father and me, who loue you so dearely as our owne liues: wherefore hence|forth moderate your heauinesse, and endeuor your self to be mery: thinke no more vpon the death of your co|sin Thibault, whome (sith it please~d God to call away) do you thinke to reuoke with teares, and to withstand his almighty will? But the pore Gentlewoman not able to dissemble hir grief, sayd vnto hir: Madame long time it is sithens the last teares for Thibault wer pou|red forth, and I beleue that the fountaine is so well so|ked and dried vp, as no more will spring in that place. The mother which coulde not tell to what effect those woords were spoken held hir peace, for feare she should trouble hir daughter
: and certaine dayes after séeing hir to continue in heauinesse and continuall griefs, as|sayed by all meanes possible to know, aswell of hir, as of other the housholde seruaunts, the occasion of hir so|row, but al in vaine: wherwith the pore mother beyonde measure, purposed to let the Lorde Antonio hir husband to vnderstand the case of hir daughter. And vpon a day séeing at conuenient leisure, she sayd vnto him: My Lord, if you haue marked the counte|na~ce of our daughter, and hir kinde of behauior sithens the death of the Lord Thibault hir cosin, you shall per|ceiue so straunge mutation in hir, as it will make you to maruel:
for she is not only conte~ted to forgoe meat, drinke and sléepe, but she spendeth hir time in nothing
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else but in wéeping & lamentation, delighting to kepe hir self solitarie within hir chamber, where she torme~|teth hir self so out ragiously, as if we take not héede, hir life is to be doubted, and not able to know the original of hir paine, the more difficult shall be the remedy: for albeit that I haue sought meanes by all extremitie, yet cannot I learne the cause of hir sicknesse. And where I thought in the beginning, that it procéeded vpon the death of hir cosin, now I doe manifestly perceiue yt con|trary, specially when she hir self did assure me that she had already wept and shed the last teares for him, that shée was minded to doe. And vncertaine wherupon to resolue, I do thinke verily that she mourneth for some despite, to sée the most part of hir companions maried, & she yet vnprouided, persuading with hir self (it may be) that we hir parents doe not care for hir. Where|fore deare husband, I heartely beséeche you for our rest and hir quiet, that hereafter ye be carefull to prouide for hir some mariage worthy of our state: whereunto the Lord Antonio willingly agréed, saying vnto hir: Wife, I haue many times thought vpon that whereof you speake, notwithsta~ding sith as yet she is not attai|ned to the age of. . yeares, I thought to prouide a husba~d at leisure. Neuerthelesse things being come to these termes, & knowing yt virgins chastitie is a da~ge|rous treasure, I wil be mindful of yt same to your con|tentation, and she matched in such wise, as she shall thinke the time hitherto well delayed. In the meane while mark diligently whither she be in loue with any to the end yt we haue not so gret regard to goodes, or to yt nobilitie of yt house wherin we meane to hir, as to yt life & helth of our daughter, who is to me so dere as I rather a begger wtout lands or goods, than to bestow hir vpon one which shal vse & intreat hir yll.
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Certain dayes after that the Lord Antonio had bruted the mariage of his Daughter, many Gentlemen were suters, so wel for yt excellencie of hir beautie, as for hir great richesse & reuenue. But aboue all others the ali|ance of a yong Earle named Paris, the Counte of Lo|dronne liked the Lord Antonio: vnto whome liberally he gaue his co~sent, & told his wife the party vpo~ whom he did mean to bestow his daughter. The mother very ioyful yt they had found so honest a Gentlema~ for their daughter: caused hir secretly to be called before hir, do|ing hir to vnderstand what things had passed betwene hir father & the Counte Paris, discoursing vnto hir the beauty & good grace of that yong Counte, yt vertues for which he was commended of al men, ioyning therunto for conclusion yt great richesse & fauor which he had in ye goods of fortune, by means wherof she & hir frie~ds shold liue in eternall honor. But Iulietta which had rather to haue bene torne in pieces than to agrée to yt mariage, answered hir mother wt a more tha~ accustomed stout|nesse:
Madame, I much maruel, & therwithal am asto~|ned yt you being a Lady discréete & honorable, wil be so liberal ouer your daughter as to co~mit hir to yt plesure & wil of an other before, you do know how hir minde is bent: you may do as it pleaseth you, but of one thing I do wel assure you, that if you bring it to passe, it shal be against my will. And touching the regarde and estima|tion of Counte Paris, I shall first loose my life before he shall haue power to touch any part of my body: which being done, it is you that shall be cou~ted the murderer, by deliuering me into the hands of him, whome I nei|ther can, wil, or know which way to loue. Wherfore I pray you to suffer me henceforth thus to liue, wythout taking any further care of me, for so muche as my cruell fortune hath otherwise disposed of me.
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The dolorous mother whiche knewe not what iudge|ment to fire vpon hir daughters aunswere, like a wo|man confused & bisides hir self went to seke the Lorde Antonio,vnto whome without conceyling any part of hir daughters talke, she did him vnderstand the whole. The good olde man offended beyonde measure, co~man|ded hir incontine~tly by force to be brought before him, if of hir own good wil she wold not come. So soon as she came before hir father, hir eyes ful of teares, fel downe at his féet, which she bathed with the luke warm drops that distilled from hir eyes in great abundance, & thin|king to open hir mouth to crie him mercie, the sobbes and sighes many times stopt hir speach, that she remai|ned dumbe not able to frame a worde. But the old ma~ nothing moued with his daughters teares, sayde vnto hir in great rage:
Come hither thou vnkynde and dis|obedient daughter, hast thou already forgotten howe many times thou hast heard spoken at the table, of the puissance and authoritie our auncient Romane fathers had ouer their children? vnto whome it was not onely lawfull to sell, guage, and otherwise dispose them (in necessitie) at their pleasure, but also whiche is more, they had absolute power ouer their death & lyfe? With what yrons, with what torme~ts, wt what racks wold those good fathers chasten and correct thée if they were aliue againe, to sée that ingratitude, misbehauor and disobedience which thou vsest towards thy father, who with many prayers and requestes hath prouided one of the greatest lords of this prouince to be thy hus|bande, a gentleman of best renoume, and indued with all kinde of vertues, of whome thou and I be vn|worthie, bothe for the notable masse of goodes and sub|stance wherwith he is enriched, as also for the honour and generositie of the house whereof hée is discended,
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and yet thou playest the parte of an obstinate and re|bellious childe against thy fathers wil, I take the om|nipotencie of that almightie God to witnesse, whiche hath to bryng thée forth into this worlde, that if vpon Tuesday nexte thou failest to prepare thy selfe to be at my castel of , where the Cou~te Paris purposeth to mete vs, and there giue thy consent to that which thy mother & I haue agréed vpon, I will not onely depriue thée of my worldly goodes, but also will make thée espouse and marie a prison so strayght and sharpe, as a thousande times thou shalt curse the day and tyme wherin thou wast borne. Wherfore fro~ hence forth take aduisement what thou dost, for except the promise be kept which I haue made to the Counte Paris, I will make thée féele how great the iust choler of an offended father is against a childe vnkinde. And without staying for other answer of his daughter,