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Sharp misery had worn him to the bones 5:
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
An alligator stuff’d, and other skins 6
Of ill shap'd fishes; and about his shelves
A beggarly account of empty boxes,
Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,
Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses,
Were thinly scatter'd, to make up a show.
Noting this penury, to myself I said —
And if a man did need a poison now,
Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.
0, this same thought did but forerun


And this same needy man must sell it me.
As I remember, this should be the house;
Being holiday, the beggar's shop is shut,-
What, ho! apothecary!

Enter Apothecary.

Who calls so loud ? Rom. Come hither, man.—I see, that thou art poor; Hold, there is forty ducats; let me have

5 See Sackville's description of misery in the Induction to the Mirror of Magistrates :

• His face was leane and some deal pinde away,

And eke his hands consumed to the bones.' 6 We learn from Nashe's Have with You to Saffron Walden, 1596, that a stuffed aligator then made part of the furniture of an apothecary's shop:- He made an anatomie of a rat, and after hanged her over his head, instead of an apothecary's crocodile or dried alligator.' Steevens was informed that formerly when an apothecary first engaged with his druggist, he was gratuitously furnished by him with these articles of show, which were then imported for that use only; and had met with the alligator, tortoise, &c. hanging up in the shop of an ancient apothecary at Limehouse, as well as in places more remote from the metropolis. See Hogarth's Marriage à la Mode, plate iii. It seems that the apothecaries dismissed their alligators, &c. sometime before the physicians parted with their amber-headed canes and solemn periwigs.

A dram of poison; such soon-speeding geer
As will disperse itself through all the veins,
That the life-weary taker may fall dead;
And that the trunk may be discharg'd of breath
As violently, as hasty powder fir'd
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.

Ap. Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law Is death, to any he that utters them.

Rom. Art thou so bare, and full of wretchedness,
And fear'st to die? famine is in thy cheeks,
Need and oppression stareth in thy eyes?,
Upon thy back hangs ragged misery,
The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law :
The world affords no law to make thee rich;
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.

Ap. My poverty, but not my will, consents.
Rom. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.

Ap. Put this in any liquid thing you will,
And drink it off; and, if you had the strength
Of twenty men, it would despatch you straight8.
7 The quarto of 1597 reads :-

Upon thy back hangs ragged miserie,

And starved famine dwelleth in thy cheeks.' The quartos of 1599 and 1609:

Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes.' Otway exhibited the line as it is in the text in his Caius Marius, and the alteration is so slight that it well merits adoption. Ritson has justly observed that need and oppression could not properly be said to starve in the eyes of the Apothecary, though they may be supposed to be manifest in bis haggard looks. To avoid the grammatical error Pope reads :

Need and oppression stare within thy eyes.' The later quartos and the folio read :

Contempt and beggary hang upon thy back.' 8 Steevens thinks that Shakspeare may have remembered the following passage in The Pardonere's Tale of Chaucer, v. 12794 :

The Potecary answered, thou shalt have
A thing, as wisly God my soule save,
In all this world thir n'is no creature,
That ete or dronke hath of this confecture,


Rom. There is thy gold, worse poison to men's

souls, Doing more murders in this loathsome world, Than these poor compounds that thou may’st not sell: I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none. Farewell; buy food, and get thyself in flesh.Come, cordial, and not poison; go with me To Juliet's grave, for there must I use thee.


SCENE II. Friar Laurence's Cell.

John. Holy Franciscan friar! brother, ho!

Lau. This same should be the voice of Friar

Welcome from Mantua; What says

Romeo ?
Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.

John. Going to find a barefoot brother out,
One of our order to associate me,
Here in this city visiting the sick,
And finding him, the searchers of the town,
Suspecting that we both were in a house
Where the infectious pestilence did reign,

Not but the mountance of a corne of whete,
That he ne shall his lif anon forlete ;
Ye, sterve he shall, and that in lesse while
Than thou wolt gon a pas not but a mile:

This poison is so strong and violent.' 1 Each friar had always a companion assigned him by the superior, when he asked leave to go out. In the Visitatio Notabilis de Seleborne, a carious record printed in White's Natural History of Selborne, Wykeham enjoins the canons not to go abroad without leave from the prior, who is ordered on such occasions to assign the brother a companion,‘ ne suspicio sinis tra vel scandalum oriatur. There is a similar regulation in the

Seal'd up the doors, and would not let us forth;
So that my speed to Mantua there was stay’d.

Lau. Who bare my letter then to Romeo ?

John. I could not send it,-here it is again,-
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
So fearful were they of infection.

Lau. Unhappy fortune! by my brotherhood,
The letter was not nice?, but full of charge,
Of dear import; and the neglecting it
May do much danger: Friar John, go hence;
Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight


John. Brother, I'll go and bring it thee. (Exit.

Lau. Now must I to the monument alone;
Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake 3 ;
She will beshrew me much, that Romeo
Hath had no notice of these accidents:
But I will write again to Mantua,
And keep her at my cell till Romeo.come:
Poor living corse, clos’d in a dead man's tomb!

[Exit. statutes of Trinity College, Cambridge. So in The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562:

Apace our friar John to Mantua bim hies,
And, for because in Italy it is a wonted guise
That friars in the town should seldom walk alone,
But of their convent aye should be accompanied with one
Of his profession, straight a house he findeth out,
In mind to take some friar with him to walk the town

about.' Shakspeare, having occasion for Friar John, has departed from the poem, and supposed the pestilence to rage at Verona instead of Mantua.

? i. e. was not wantonly written on a trivial or idle matter, but on a subject of importance. See Act iii. Sc. 1, note 1.

3 Instead of this line and the concluding part of the speech, the first quarto reads only:

. Lest that the lady should before I come
Be wak’d from sleep, I will hye
To free her from that tomb of miserie.'

SCENE III. A Church Yard: in it a Monument belonging to

the Capulets. Enter PARIS, and his Page, bearing Flowers and a

Torch. Par. Give me thy torch, boy: Hence, and stand

aloof;Yet put it out, for I would not be seen. Under yon yew-trees lay thee all along, Holding thine ear close to the hollow ground; So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread (Being loose, unfirm, with digging up of graves), But thou shalt hear it: whistle then to me, As signal that thou hear'st something approach. Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go.

Page. I am almost afraid to stand alone Here in the churchyard; yet I will adventure.

[Retires. Par. Sweet flower, with flowers I strew thy

bridal bed:
Sweet tomb, that in thy circuit dost contain
The perfect model of eternity;
Fair Juliet, that with angels dost remain”,
Accept this latest favour at

That living honour'd thee, and, being dead,
With funeral praises do adorn thy tomb!

[The Boy whistles. 1 The folio has these lines :

• Sweet flow'r, with flow'rs thy bridal bed I strew;

O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones,
Which with sweet water I will nightly dew;

Or, wanting that, with tears distill’d by moans :
The obsequies that I for thee will keep

Nightly shall be, to strew thy grave and weep.' In the text the seven lines are printed as they appear in the quarto of 1597.


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