The woords of the good Father ended, new ioy surprised the heart of Iulietta,who was so attentiue to his talke as she forgate no one poynt of hir .
Then she sayde vnto him: Father, doubt not at all that my heart shall faile in performance of your commaundement: for were it the strongest poyson or moste ve|nome, rather would I thrust it into my body, than to consent to fall in the hands of him, whome I vtterly: with a right strong reason then may I for
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my self, and offer my body to any kinde of mortal dan|ger to approche and draw neare to him, vpon whome wholly dependeth my life & al the contentation I haue in this world. Go your wayes then my daughter (quod the Frier) the mighty hand of God keepe you, and his surpassing power defend you, and confirme that will and good mind of yours, for the accomplishment of this worke.
Iulietta departed from Frier Laurence, and re|turned home to hir fathers palace about. xi. of the clock, where she founde hir mother at the gate attending for hir: and in good deuotion demau~ded if she continued stil in hir former follies? But Iulietta with more gladsome chéere than she was wont to vse, not suffering hir mo|ther to aske againe, sayde vnto hir:
Madame I come from S. Frauncis Church, where I haue taried lon|ger peraduenture than my duetie requireth: how be it not without frute and great rest to my afflicted con|science, by reason of the godly persuasions of our ghost|ly father Frier Laurence, vnto whome I haue made a large declaration of my life. And chiefly haue commu|nicated vnto him in confession, that which hath past be|twene my Lord my father and you, vpon the mariage of Counte Paris and me. But the good man hath recon|ciled me by his holy woords and commendable exhor|tations, that where I had minde neuer to mary, now I am well disposed to obey your pleasure and com|maundement. Wherefore I be séeche you to recouer the fauor & good will of my father, aske pardon in my behalfe, and say vnto him (if it please you) that by obeying his Fatherly request, I am ready to méete the Counte Paris atVillafranco, and there in your pre|sence to accept him for my Lord and husband: in assu|rance wherof, by your pacience, I meane to repair into my closet, to make choise of my most pretious iewels,
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that I being richly adorned and decked, may before him more agréeable to his minde and pleasure.
The good mother rapte with excéeding great ioy, was not able to answer a word, but rather made spéede to séeke out hir husband the Lord Antonio, vnto whome she reported the good will of hir daughter, and how by meanes of FrierLaurence hir minde was chaunged. Wherof the good olde man maruellous ioyfull, praised God in heart, saying:
wife this is not yt first good turne which we haue receiued of that holy man, vnto whom euery Citizen of this Common wealth is dearly . I wold to God that I had redemed. xx. of his yeres the third parte of my goods, so grieuous is to me his ex|treme olde age.
The self same houre the Lord Antonio went to séeke the Counte Paris, whome he thought to persuade to goe to Villafranco. But the Counte tolde him againe, that the charge would be to great, and that better it were to reserue that cost to the mariage day, for the better celebration of the same. Notwithsta~ding if it were his pleasure, he would himself goe visite Iu|lietta: and so they went together. The mother aduer|tised of his comming, caused hir Daughter to make hir self ready, and to spare no costly iewels for adorning of hir beautie against the Countes co~ming, which she be|stowed so wel for garnishing of hir personage, that be|fore the Counte parted fro~ the house, she had so stolne away his heart, as he liued not fro~ that time forth, but vpon meditation of hir beautie, and slacked no time for acceleration yt mariage day ceasing not to be impor|tunate vpon father and mother for the ende and con|summation thereof: And thus with ioy inoughe passed forth this day and many others vntill ye day before the mariage, against which time the mother of Iulietta did so well prouide, that there wanted nothing to set forth
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the magnificence and nobilitie of their house. Villafran|co wherof we haue made mention, was a place of plea|sure, where the lorde Antonio was wont many times to recreate him self a mile or two from Veronna, there the dynner was prepared, for so muche as the ordi|narie solemnitie of necessitie muste be done at Veron|na. Iulietta perceiuing hir time to approach, dissembled the matter so well as shée coulde: and when time for|ced hir to retire to hir chambre, hir woman wold haue waited vpon hir, and haue lyen in hir chambre, as hir custome was: But Iulietta sayde vnto hir:
Good and faithfull mother, you know that to morow is my ma|riage day, and for that I would spende the most parte of the night in prayer, I pray you for this time to let me alone, and to morow in the morning about. [...]. of the clocke come to me againe to helpe me make me re|die.
The good olde woman willing to folow hir mind, suffred hir alone, and doubted nothing of that whiche she did meane to do. Iulietta being within hir chambre hauing an eawer ful of water standing vpon the table filled the viole which the Frier gaue hir: and after she had made the mixture, she set it by hir bed side, & went to bed. And being layde, new thoughts began to assaile hir, with a conceipt of grieuous death, which broughte hir into such case as she coulde not tell what to doe, but playning incessantly sayd:
Am not I the most vnhap|pie and desperat creature, that euer was borne o[...] wo|man? for me there is nothyng lefte in this wretched worlde but mishap, miserie, and mortall woe, my di|stresse hath brought me to such extremitie, as to saue mine honor and conscie~ce, I am forced to deuoure the drinke wherof I know not the vertue: but what know I (sayd she) whether the operation of this pouder will be to soone or to late, or not correspondent to the due
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time, and that my faulte being discouered, I shall remayne a iesting stocke and fable to the people? what know I moreouer, if the serpents and other venomous and crauling wormes, which commonly frequent the graues and pittes of the earth will hurt me, thinkyng that I am dead? But how shal I indure the stinche of so many carions and bones of myne auncestors which rest in the graue, if by fortune I do awake before Rho|meo & Frier Laurence doe come to help me?
And as she was thus plunged in the déepe conte~plation of things, she thought that she sawe a certaine vision or fansie of hir cousin Thibault, in the very same sort as she sawe him wounded and imbrued with blood, and musyng howe that she must be buried quicke amongs so many dead carcases and deadly naked bones, hir tender and delicate body began to shake and tremble, and hir ye|lowe lockes to stare for feare, in suche wise as frigh|ted with terrour, a colde sweate beganne to pierce hir heart, and bedew the rest of all hir membres, in suche wise as she thought that an hundred thousand deathes did stande about hir, haling hir on euery side, and pluc|king hir in pieces, & féelyng that hir forces diminyshed by litle and litle, fearing that through to great debili|tie she was not able to do hir enterprise, like a furious and insensate woma~, without further care, gulped vp the water within the viol, then crossing hir armes vp|on hir stomacke, she lost at that instant al the powers of hir body, and remained in a traunce. And when the mornyng light began to thrust his head out of his Ori|ent, hir chamber woman which had lockte hir in with the key, did open the doore, and thinking to awake hir, called hir many times, and sayde vnto hir: Mistresse, you sléepe to long, the Counte Paris will come to raise you. The poore olde woman spake vnto the wall, and
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