the olde man departed the chamber, and hir vpon hir knées. Iulietta knowing the furie of hir father, fearing to incurre his indignation, or to his further wrath, retired for that day into hir chamber, and con|triued the whole night more in wéeping than sléeping. And the next morning faining to goe heare seruice, she went forth with the woman of hir chamber to the fri|ers, where she caused father Laurence to be called vnto hir, and prayed him to heare hir confession. And when she was vpon hir knées before him, shée began hir con|fession with teares, tellyng him the great mischief that was prepared for hir, by ye mariage accorded betwéene hir father, and the Counte Paris. And for conclusion said vnto him:
Sir, for so much as you know that I can not by Gods law be maried twice, and that I haue but one God, one husbande, and one faith, I am determined (when I am from ) with these two hands which
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you sée ioyned before you, this day to end my sorowful life, that my soule may beare witnesse in the heauens, and my bloode vpon the earth of my faith and loyaltie preserued.
Then hauyng ended hir talke, she looked a|boute hir, and séemed by hir wilde countenaunce, as though she had deuised some purpose. Where|fore FrierLaurence, astonned beyond mesure, fearing lest she wold haue executed that which she was deter|mined, sayd vnto hir:
Mistresse Iulietta, I pray you in the name of God by litle and little to moderate youre conceyued griefe, and to content your self whilest you be here, vntill I haue prouided what is best for you to do, for before you part from hence, I wil giue you such consolation and remedie for your afflictio~s, as you shall remaine satisfied and contented.
And resolued vppon this good minde, he spéedily wente out of the Churche vnto his chamber, where he began to consider of many things, his conscience beyng moued to hinder the ma|riage betwene the Cou~te Paris and hir, knowing that by his meanes she had espoused an other, and callyng to remembrance what a dangerous enterprise he had begonne, by committyng hymselfe to the mercie of a symple damosell, and that if shée failed to bée wyse and secrete, all their doings should be discried, he defa|med, andRhomeo hir spouse punished. Hée then after he had well debated vpon an infinite numbre of deui|ses, was in the ende ouercome wyth pitie, and deter|mined rather to hazarde his honour, than to suffer the adulterie of CounteParis with Iulietta. And determined herevpon, opened his closet, and takyng a vyoll in hys hande, retourned agayne to Iulietta, whome hée founde lyke one that was in a traunce, waytynge for newes, eyther of lyfe, or deathe.
Of whome the good olde father demaunded vppon
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what day hir mariage was appointed. The first day of that appointment (quod she) is vpon wednesday, which is the day ordeined for my of mariage accorded betwene my father and Counte Paris, but the nuptiall solemnitie is not before the. x. day of September. Wel then (quod the religious father) be of good chéere daugh|ter, for our Lord God hath opened a way vnto me both to deliuer you & Rhomeo from the prepared thraldom. I haue knowne your husband from his cradle, and hée hath dayly committed vnto me the greatest secretes of his conscience, and I haue so dearely loued him again, as if he had ben mine own sonne. Wherfore my heart can not abide that any man shold do him wrong in that specially wherin my counsell may stande him in stede. And for somuch as you are his wife, I ought likewyse to loue you, & seke meanes to deliuer you fro~ the mar|tyrdome and anguish wherwith I sée your heart besie|ged. Understande then (good daughter) of a secrete which I purpose to manifest vnto you, and take héede aboue all things, that you declare it to no liuing crea|ture, for therein consisteth your life and death. Ye be not ignorant by the common report of the citizens of this Citie, and by the same published of me, that I haue trauailed thorough all the Prouinces of the habitable earth, wherby during the continuall time of. xx. yeres, I haue sought no rest for my wearied body, rather haue mani times protruded yesame to ye mercy of brute beasts in ye wildernesse, & many times also to the mer|cylesse waues of the seas, and to the pitie of co~mon pi|rates together with a thousande other daungers and shipwracks vpon sea and lande. So it is good daughter that all my wandryng voyages haue not bene altoge|thers vnprofitable. For besides the incredible conten|tation receiued ordinarily in mynde, I haue gathered
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some particular fruit, whereof by the grace of God you shall shortly féele some experience. I haue proued the secrete properties of stones, of plants, metals, & other things hidden within the bowels of the earth, where|with I am able to helpe my selfe against the common law of men, when necessitie doth serue: specially in things wherein I know mine eternall God to be least offended. For as thou knowest I being approched as it were, euen to the brimme of my grane, & that the time draweth neare for yelding of mine accompt before the auditor of all auditors, I ought therefore to haue some déepe knowledge and apprehe~sion of Gods iudgement more than I had when yt heat of inconsidered youth did boyle within my lusty body. Know you therefore good daughter, that with those graces and fauors which the heauens prodigally haue bestowed vpon me, I haue learned and proued of long time the composition of a certaine paaste, which I make of diuers soporiferous simples, which beaten afterwards to poudre, & dronke with a qua~titie of water, within a quarter of an houre after, bringeth the receiuer into such a sléepe, and buri|eth so déepely the senses and other sprites of life, that the cunningest Phisitian wil iudge the party dead: and besides that it hath a more maruellous effect, for the person which vseth the same feeleth no kinde of grief, and according to the quantitie of the dough, the remaineth in a swéete slepe, but when the operation is perfect & done, hée returneth into his first estate. Now then Iulietta receiue mine instruction, and put of all fe|minine affection by taking vpon you a manly stomake, for by the only courage of your minde consisteth ye or mishap of your affaires. Beholde héere I giue you a viole which you shal kéepe as your owne propre heart, and the night before your mariage, or in the morning
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before day, you shal fil the same vp with water, & drink so much as is contained therin. And then you shall féele a certain kinde of pleasant sléepe, which incroching by litle & litle all the parts of your body, wil constrain the~ in such wise, as they shal remaine: and by not doing their accustomed dueties, shall loose their na|tural féelings, and you abide in such extasie the space of xl. houres at the least without any beating of poulse or other perceptible motion, which shall so asto~ne them yt come to sée you, as they will iudge you to be dead, & ac|cording to the custome of our Citie, you shall be caried to the churchyard hard by our Church, where you shall be intombed in the common monument of the your ancestors, & in the meane time we wil send word to the Lord Rhomeo by a speciall messanger of the ef|fect of our deuise, who now abideth at Mantua. And the night folowing I am sure he will not faile to be héere, then he and I togither will open the graue, and lift vp your body, and after the operatio~ of the pouder is past, he shall conuey you secretely to Mantua,vnknowen to all your Parents and friends. Afterwards (it may be) Time the mother of truthe shall cause concord be|twene the offended Citie of Verona and Rhomeo. At which time your common cause may be made open to the generall contentation of all your friendes.