William Painter: The second tome of the Palace of pleasure

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The couetous Apothecarie entised by gayne, agréed to hys request, and saynyng to gyue hym some other medicine before the peoples face, he spéedily made ready a strong and cruel poyson, afterwardes hée sayd vnto hym softely:

Syr, I  you more than is needefull, for the one halfe in an houres space is able to destroye the strongest manne of the worlde:

who after he hadde receyued the poy|son, retourned home, where he commaunded his man to depart with diligence to Veronna, and that he should make prouision of candels, 'a tynder boxe, and other instrumentes méete for the openynge of the graue of Iulietta, and that aboue all things he shoulde not faile

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to attende hys commyng besides the Churchyarde of S. Frauncis, and vpon paine of life to kéepe his intente in scilence. Which Pietro obeyed in order as his ma|ster had commaunded hym, and made therin such expe|dition, as he arriued in good tyme to Verona, taking or|der for all thinges that were commaunded him.  in the meane whyle beyng solicited wyth mor|tall thoughtes, caused incke and paper to be broughte vnto hym, and in fewe wordes put in writing all the  of his loue, the mariage of hym and Iulietta the meane obserued for consummation of the same, the helpe that he hadde of Frier Laurence, the buying of his poyson, and last of all his death. Afterwardes, hauing finished his heauie tragedie, hée closed the let|ters, and sealed the same with his seale, and directed the Superscription thereof to hys father: and put|tyng the letters into his pursse, he mounted on horse|backe, and vsed suche diligence, that he arriued vppon darke night at the Citie of Veronna,before the gates were shut, where he found his seruant tarying for him there, with a Lanterne and instruments beforesayd, méete for the openyng of the graue, vnto whome hée sayde: Pietro, helpe mée to open this Tombe, and so soone as it is open, I commaunde thée vpon payne of thy lyfe, not to come néere me, nor to stay me from the thyng I purpose to doe. Beholde, there is a letter which thou shalt present to morow in the morning to my father at hys vprisyng, which peraduenture shall please him better than thou thynkest.Pietro, not able to imagine what was his maisters intent, stode some|what aloofe to beholde his maisters gestes and . And when  hadde opened the vaulte, Rhomeo descended downe two , holdyng the

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candell in his hande, and beganne to beholde wyth pi|tifull eye, the body of hir, which was the organ of his lyfe, and washt the same with the teares of his eyes, and kyst it tenderly, holding it harde betwene his ar|mes, and not able to satisfie him selfe wyth hir , put his fearefull handes vpon the colde stomacke of Iulietta. And after he had touched hir in manye pla|ces, and not able to féele any certaine  of lyfe, he drewe the poyson out of his boxe, and swa|lowyng downe a greate quantitie of the same, cried out:

Iulietta, of whome the worlde was vnwor|thie, what death is it possible my heart coulde choose out more agreable than that whiche it suffereth hard by thée? What graue more glorious, than to bée bu|ried in thy tombe? What more woorthie or excel|lente Epitaph can bée vowed for memorie, than the mutuall and pitifull sacrifice of our lyues? And thin|king to renue his sorowe,

his hearte began to frette thorough the violence of the poyson, which by litle and little assayled the same, and lookyng aboute hym, espyed the bodie of the Lorde Thibault, lying nexte vnto Iulietta, whyche as yet was not altoge|ther putrified, and speakyng to the bodye, as though it hadde bene alyue, sayde:

In what place so euer thou arte (O cousyn Thibault) I moste heartily doe crye thée mercy for the offense whyche I haue done by depriuyng of thy lyfe: and if thy ghost  wyshe and crye oute for vengeaunce vpon mée, what grea|ter or more cruell satisfaction canste thou desyre to haue, or henceforth hope for, than to sée hym which murdered thée, to bée empoysoned wyth hys owne handes, and buryed by thy syde? Then endyng hys talk, feling by litle and litle that his life began to faile falling prostrate vpon his knées, with féeble voice hée

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softly said: O my Lord God, which to redéeme me didst  from the bosome of thy father, & tokest humane flesh in the wombe of the virgine, I acknowledge and co~fesse, that this body of mine is nothing else but earth and dust.

Then seased vpon with desperate sorow, he fell downe vpon the body ofIulietta with such vehe|me~ce, as the heart faint and attenuated with too great torment, not able to beare so hard a violence, was aba~|doned of all his sense and naturall powers, in such fort as the siege of his soule failed him at that instant, and his membres stretched forth, remained stiffe and colde. FrierLaurence which knew the certaine time of the pouders operation, maruelled that he had no answere of the letter which he sent to Rhomeo by his fellow Frier Anselme, departed from S. Frauncis, and with instruments for the purpose, determined to open the graue to let in air to Iulietta, which was redy to wake: and approching yt place, he espied a light within, which made him afraid, vntill that Pietro which was hard by, had certified him that Rhomeo was within, & had not ceased there to lament and complaine the space of half an houre. And then they two were entred the graue, & finding Rhomeo without life, made such sorow as they can well conceiue which loue their deare friend with like perfection. And as they were making their com|plaints, Iulietta rising out of hir traunce, and beholding light within the tombe, vncertaine whether it were a dreame or fantasie that appeared before hir eyes, com|ming againe to hir selfe, knew Frier Laurence, vnto whom she sayd:

Father I pray thée in the name of God  perfourme thy promise, for I am almost deade.

And then Frier Laurence concealing nothing from hir, (bi|cause he feared to be taken through his too long abode in that place) faithfully rehearsed vnto hir, how he had

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