William Painter: The second tome of the Palace of pleasure



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 a song vnto the deafe. For if all the horrible and tempestuous soundes of the worlde had bene cano|ned forth oute of the greatest bombardes, and soun|ded through hir delicate eares, hir spirits of lyfe were so fast bounde and stopt, as she by no meanes coulde awake, wherewith the poore olde woman amazed, be|ganne  shake hir by the armes and handes, which she founde so colde as marble stone. Then puttyng hande vnto hir mouthe, sodainely perceyued that she was deade, for she perceyued no breath in hir. Wher|fore lyke a woman out of hir wyttes, shée ranne to tell hir mother, who so madde as Tigre, bereft of hir faons, hyed hir selfe into hir daughters chaumber, and in that pitifull state beholdyng hir daughter, thinking hir to be deade, cried out:

Ah cruell death, which hast ended all my ioye and blisse, vse thy laste scourge of thy wrathfull ire against me, least by suffering me to lyue the rest of my woful dayes, my tormente do in|crease:



then she began to fetchsuch straining sighes as hir heart dyd séeme to cleaue in pieces. And as hir cries beganne to encrease, beholde the father, the CounteParis, and a greate troupe of Gentlemen and Ladies, which were come to honour the feast, hearing no soner tell of that which chaunced, were stroke into such so|rowfull dumpes as he whiche had behelde their faces wold easily haue iudged yt the same had be~ a day of ire & pitie, specially the lord Antonio,whose heart was frap|ped with such surpassing wo, as neither teare nor word could issue forth, & knowing not what to doe, streight way se~t to seke yt most expert phisitians of the towne, who after they had inquired of the life past ofIulietta, déemed by common reporte, that melancolie was the cause of that sodaine death, & then their sorowes began to renue a . And if euer day was lamentable, pi|teous

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vnhappie and fatall, truely it was that wherin Iulietta hir death was published inVerona: for shée was so bewailed of great & small, that by the co~mon plain|tes the common wealth séemed to be in daunger, & not without cause. For besides hir natural beautie accom|panied with many vertues wherewith nature had en|riched hir) she was else so humble, wise and debonaire, as for that humilitie and curtesie she had stollen away the heartes of euery wight, and there was none but did lamente hir misfortune. And whilest these things were in this lamented state, Frier Laurence with dili|gence dispatched a Frier of his Couent, named Frier Anselme, whome he trusted as himselfe, and deliuered him a letter written with his owne hande, commaun|ding him expressely not to gyue the same to any other but to Rhomeo, wherein was conteyned the chaunce which had passed betwene him and Iulietta, specially yt vertue of the pouder, and commaunded him the nexte ensuing night to spéede him self toVerona, for that the operation of the pouder that time would take ende, & that he should cary with him back again to Mantua his  Iulietta, in dissembled apparell, vntill Fortune bad otherwise prouided for them. The frier made such hast as (too late) he ariued at Mantua, within a while af|ter. And bicause the maner of Italie is, that the Frier trauailing abroade oughte to take a companion of his couent to doe his affaires within the Citie, the Frier went into his couent, but bicause he was entred in, it was not lawfull for him to come out againe that day, for that certain dayes before, one religious of that co|uent as it was sayd, did die of the plague. Wherefore the magistrates appointed for the healthe and visita|tion of the sicke, commaunded the warden of the house that no Friers shold wander abrode the Citie, or talke

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with any citizen, vntill they were licenced by the offi|cers in that behalfe appointed, which was the cause of the great mishap, which you shal heare hereafter. The Frier being in this perplexitie, not able to goe forth, and not knowing what was co~tained in the letter, de|ferred his iorney for that day. Whilest things were in this plight, preparation was made at Veronna, to doe the obsequies of Iulietta. There is a custome also (which is common in Italie,) to place all the beste of one lig|nage and familie in one Tombe, wherby Iuliettawas layde in the ordinarie graue of the , in a Churcheyarde, harde by the Churche of the Friers, where also the Lorde Thibault was interred. And hir obsequies honourably done, euery man returned: whereunto Pietro, the seruant of Rhomeo, gaue hys assistance. For as we haue before declared, his master sente him backe againe from Mantua to Verona, to do his father seruice, and to aduertise hym of that whiche shoulde chaunce in his absence there: who séeing the body of Iulietta, inclosed in tombe, thinkyng with the rest that she had bene dead in déede, incontinently toke poste horse, and with diligence rode to Mantua, where he founde his maister in his wonted house, to whome he sayde, with his eyes full of teares:

Syr, there is chaunced vnto you so straunge a matter, as if so bée you do not arme your selfe with constancie, I am a|frayde that I shal be the cruell minister of your death. Bée it knowne vnto you syr, ytyesterday morning my mistresse Iulietta left hir lyfe in this world to seke rest in an other: and wyth these eyes I saw hir buried in the Churchyarde of S. Frauncis. At the sounde of which heauie message,Rhomeo began wofully to , as though his spirites grieued with the of his passion at that instant woulde haue abandoned his

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bodie.


But strong Loue whiche woulde not permitte hym to faint vntill the extremitie, framed a thoughte in his fantasie, that if it were possible for hym to dye besides hir, his death shoulde be more glorious, and  (as he thought) better contented. By reason whereof, after  had washed his face for  to discouer hys sorrow, he went out of hys chamber, and commaun|ded hys man to behynde hym, that hée might walke thorough oute all the corners of the Citie, to fynde propre remedie (if it were possyble) for hys griefe. And  others, beholdyng an Apoti|caries shoppe of lytle furniture and lesse store of boxes and other thynges requisite for that science, thought that the verie pouertie of the mayster Apothecarye woulde make hym wyllyngly yelde to that whych he pretended to demaunde. And after hée hadde taken hym aside, secretely he sayd vnto hym:

Syr, if you bée the mayster of the house, as I thynke you be, beholde here Fiftie Ducates, whych I gyue you, to the intent you delyuer me some strong and  poyson that within a quarter of an houre is able to procure death vnto hym that shall vse it.

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