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What seest thou else
In the dark backward and abysm of time?

      — The Tempest, Act I Scene 2

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

Act V

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Scene 1. Mantua. A street.

Scene 2. Friar Laurence’s cell.

Scene 3. A churchyard; in it a tomb belonging to the Capulets.

---
       

Act V, Scene 1

Mantua. A street.

      next scene .
---

[Enter ROMEO]

  • Romeo. If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep, 2805
    My dreams presage some joyful news at hand:
    My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne;
    And all this day an unaccustom'd spirit
    Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
    I dreamt my lady came and found me dead— 2810
    Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave
    to think!—
    And breathed such life with kisses in my lips,
    That I revived, and was an emperor.
    Ah me! how sweet is love itself possess'd, 2815
    When but love's shadows are so rich in joy!
    [Enter BALTHASAR, booted]
    News from Verona!—How now, Balthasar!
    Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?
    How doth my lady? Is my father well? 2820
    How fares my Juliet? that I ask again;
    For nothing can be ill, if she be well.
  • Balthasar. Then she is well, and nothing can be ill:
    Her body sleeps in Capel's monument,
    And her immortal part with angels lives. 2825
    I saw her laid low in her kindred's vault,
    And presently took post to tell it you:
    O, pardon me for bringing these ill news,
    Since you did leave it for my office, sir.
  • Romeo. Is it even so? then I defy you, stars! 2830
    Thou know'st my lodging: get me ink and paper,
    And hire post-horses; I will hence to-night.
  • Balthasar. I do beseech you, sir, have patience:
    Your looks are pale and wild, and do import
    Some misadventure. 2835
  • Romeo. Tush, thou art deceived:
    Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do.
    Hast thou no letters to me from the friar?
  • Romeo. No matter: get thee gone, 2840
    And hire those horses; I'll be with thee straight.
    [Exit BALTHASAR]
    Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to-night.
    Let's see for means: O mischief, thou art swift
    To enter in the thoughts of desperate men! 2845
    I do remember an apothecary,—
    And hereabouts he dwells,—which late I noted
    In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows,
    Culling of simples; meagre were his looks,
    Sharp misery had worn him to the bones: 2850
    And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
    An alligator stuff'd, and other skins
    Of ill-shaped fishes; and about his shelves
    A beggarly account of empty boxes,
    Green earthen pots, bladders and musty seeds, 2855
    Remnants of packthread and old cakes of roses,
    Were thinly scatter'd, to make up a show.
    Noting this penury, to myself I said
    'An if a man did need a poison now,
    Whose sale is present death in Mantua, 2860
    Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.'
    O, this same thought did but forerun my need;
    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. 2865
    What, ho! apothecary!

[Enter Apothecary]

  • Romeo. Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor:
    Hold, there is forty ducats: let me have 2870
    A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear
    As will disperse itself through all the veins
    That the life-weary taker may fall dead
    And that the trunk may be discharged of breath
    As violently as hasty powder fired 2875
    Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.
  • Apothecary. Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law
    Is death to any he that utters them.
  • Romeo. Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
    And fear'st to die? famine is in thy cheeks, 2880
    Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes,
    Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back;
    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. 2885
  • Apothecary. My poverty, but not my will, consents.
  • Romeo. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.
  • Apothecary. Put this in any liquid thing you will,
    And drink it off; and, if you had the strength
    Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight. 2890
  • Romeo. There is thy gold, worse poison to men's souls,
    Doing more murders in this loathsome world,
    Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.
    I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none.
    Farewell: buy food, and get thyself in flesh. 2895
    Come, cordial and not poison, go with me
    To Juliet's grave; for there must I use thee.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

Friar Laurence’s cell.

      next scene .
---

[Enter FRIAR JOHN]

  • Friar John. Holy Franciscan friar! brother, ho! 2900

[Enter FRIAR LAURENCE]

  • Friar Laurence. This same should be the voice of Friar John.
    Welcome from Mantua: what says Romeo?
    Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.
  • Friar John. Going to find a bare-foot brother out 2905
    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, 2910
    Seal'd up the doors, and would not let us forth;
    So that my speed to Mantua there was stay'd.
  • Friar John. I could not send it,—here it is again,—
    Nor get a messenger to bring it thee, 2915
    So fearful were they of infection.
  • Friar Laurence. 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; 2920
    Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight
    Unto my cell.

[Exit]

  • Friar Laurence. Now must I to the monument alone; 2925
    Within three hours will fair Juliet wake:
    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; 2930
    Poor living corse, closed in a dead man's tomb!

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

A churchyard; in it a tomb belonging to the Capulets.

       
---

[Enter PARIS, and his Page bearing flowers and a torch]

  • Paris. Give me thy torch, boy: hence, and stand aloof:
    Yet put it out, for I would not be seen. 2935
    Under yond 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, 2940
    As signal that thou hear'st something approach.
    Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go.
  • Page. [Aside] I am almost afraid to stand alone
    Here in the churchyard; yet I will adventure.

[Retires]

  • Paris. Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew,—
    O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones;—
    Which with sweet water nightly I will dew,
    Or, wanting that, with tears distill'd by moans:
    The obsequies that I for thee will keep 2950
    Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep.
    [The Page whistles]
    The boy gives warning something doth approach.
    What cursed foot wanders this way to-night,
    To cross my obsequies and true love's rite? 2955
    What with a torch! muffle me, night, awhile.

[Retires]

[Enter ROMEO and BALTHASAR, with a torch, mattock, &c]

  • Romeo. Give me that mattock and the wrenching iron.
    Hold, take this letter; early in the morning 2960
    See thou deliver it to my lord and father.
    Give me the light: upon thy life, I charge thee,
    Whate'er thou hear'st or seest, stand all aloof,
    And do not interrupt me in my course.
    Why I descend into this bed of death, 2965
    Is partly to behold my lady's face;
    But chiefly to take thence from her dead finger
    A precious ring, a ring that I must use
    In dear employment: therefore hence, be gone:
    But if thou, jealous, dost return to pry 2970
    In what I further shall intend to do,
    By heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint
    And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs:
    The time and my intents are savage-wild,
    More fierce and more inexorable far 2975
    Than empty tigers or the roaring sea.
  • Balthasar. I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you.
  • Romeo. So shalt thou show me friendship. Take thou that:
    Live, and be prosperous: and farewell, good fellow.
  • Balthasar. [Aside] For all this same, I'll hide me hereabout: 2980
    His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt.

[Retires]

  • Romeo. Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,
    Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth,
    Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open, 2985
    And, in despite, I'll cram thee with more food!

[Opens the tomb]

  • Paris. This is that banish'd haughty Montague,
    That murder'd my love's cousin, with which grief,
    It is supposed, the fair creature died; 2990
    And here is come to do some villanous shame
    To the dead bodies: I will apprehend him.
    [Comes forward]
    Stop thy unhallow'd toil, vile Montague!
    Can vengeance be pursued further than death? 2995
    Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee:
    Obey, and go with me; for thou must die.
  • Romeo. I must indeed; and therefore came I hither.
    Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man;
    Fly hence, and leave me: think upon these gone; 3000
    Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth,
    Put not another sin upon my head,
    By urging me to fury: O, be gone!
    By heaven, I love thee better than myself;
    For I come hither arm'd against myself: 3005
    Stay not, be gone; live, and hereafter say,
    A madman's mercy bade thee run away.
  • Paris. I do defy thy conjurations,
    And apprehend thee for a felon here.
  • Romeo. Wilt thou provoke me? then have at thee, boy! 3010

[They fight]

  • Page. O Lord, they fight! I will go call the watch.

[Exit]

  • Paris. O, I am slain!
    [Falls] 3015
    If thou be merciful,
    Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.

[Dies]

  • Romeo. In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face.
    Mercutio's kinsman, noble County Paris! 3020
    What said my man, when my betossed soul
    Did not attend him as we rode? I think
    He told me Paris should have married Juliet:
    Said he not so? or did I dream it so?
    Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet, 3025
    To think it was so? O, give me thy hand,
    One writ with me in sour misfortune's book!
    I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave;
    A grave? O no! a lantern, slaughter'd youth,
    For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes 3030
    This vault a feasting presence full of light.
    Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interr'd.
    [Laying PARIS in the tomb]
    How oft when men are at the point of death
    Have they been merry! which their keepers call 3035
    A lightning before death: O, how may I
    Call this a lightning? O my love! my wife!
    Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath,
    Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:
    Thou art not conquer'd; beauty's ensign yet 3040
    Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
    And death's pale flag is not advanced there.
    Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?
    O, what more favour can I do to thee,
    Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain 3045
    To sunder his that was thine enemy?
    Forgive me, cousin! Ah, dear Juliet,
    Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe
    That unsubstantial death is amorous,
    And that the lean abhorred monster keeps 3050
    Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
    For fear of that, I still will stay with thee;
    And never from this palace of dim night
    Depart again: here, here will I remain
    With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here 3055
    Will I set up my everlasting rest,
    And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
    From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
    Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
    The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss 3060
    A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
    Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
    Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
    The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!
    Here's to my love! 3065
    [Drinks]
    O true apothecary!
    Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.
    [Dies]
    [Enter, at the other end of the churchyard, FRIAR] 3070
    LAURENCE, with a lantern, crow, and spade]
  • Friar Laurence. Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night
    Have my old feet stumbled at graves! Who's there?
  • Balthasar. Here's one, a friend, and one that knows you well.
  • Friar Laurence. Bliss be upon you! Tell me, good my friend, 3075
    What torch is yond, that vainly lends his light
    To grubs and eyeless skulls? as I discern,
    It burneth in the Capel's monument.
  • Balthasar. It doth so, holy sir; and there's my master,
    One that you love. 3080
  • Balthasar. I dare not, sir
    My master knows not but I am gone hence;
    And fearfully did menace me with death,
    If I did stay to look on his intents.
  • Friar Laurence. Stay, then; I'll go alone. Fear comes upon me: 3090
    O, much I fear some ill unlucky thing.
  • Balthasar. As I did sleep under this yew-tree here,
    I dreamt my master and another fought,
    And that my master slew him.
  • Friar Laurence. Romeo! 3095
    [Advances]
    Alack, alack, what blood is this, which stains
    The stony entrance of this sepulchre?
    What mean these masterless and gory swords
    To lie discolour'd by this place of peace? 3100
    [Enters the tomb]
    Romeo! O, pale! Who else? what, Paris too?
    And steep'd in blood? Ah, what an unkind hour
    Is guilty of this lamentable chance!
    The lady stirs. 3105

[JULIET wakes]

  • Juliet. O comfortable friar! where is my lord?
    I do remember well where I should be,
    And there I am. Where is my Romeo?

[Noise within]

  • Friar Laurence. I hear some noise. Lady, come from that nest
    Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep:
    A greater power than we can contradict
    Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away.
    Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead; 3115
    And Paris too. Come, I'll dispose of thee
    Among a sisterhood of holy nuns:
    Stay not to question, for the watch is coming;
    Come, go, good Juliet,
    [Noise again] 3120
    I dare no longer stay.
  • Juliet. Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.
    [Exit FRIAR LAURENCE]
    What's here? a cup, closed in my true love's hand?
    Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end: 3125
    O churl! drunk all, and left no friendly drop
    To help me after? I will kiss thy lips;
    Haply some poison yet doth hang on them,
    To make die with a restorative.
    [Kisses him] 3130
    Thy lips are warm.
  • Juliet. Yea, noise? then I'll be brief. O happy dagger!
    [Snatching ROMEO's dagger]
    This is thy sheath; 3135
    [Stabs herself]
    there rust, and let me die.

[Falls on ROMEO's body, and dies]

[Enter Watch, with the Page of PARIS]

  • Page. This is the place; there, where the torch doth burn. 3140
  • First Watchman. The ground is bloody; search about the churchyard:
    Go, some of you, whoe'er you find attach.
    Pitiful sight! here lies the county slain,
    And Juliet bleeding, warm, and newly dead,
    Who here hath lain these two days buried. 3145
    Go, tell the prince: run to the Capulets:
    Raise up the Montagues: some others search:
    We see the ground whereon these woes do lie;
    But the true ground of all these piteous woes
    We cannot without circumstance descry. 3150

[Re-enter some of the Watch, with BALTHASAR]

[Re-enter others of the Watch, with FRIAR LAURENCE]

  • Third Watchman. Here is a friar, that trembles, sighs and weeps: 3155
    We took this mattock and this spade from him,
    As he was coming from this churchyard side.

[Enter the PRINCE and Attendants]

  • Prince Escalus. What misadventure is so early up, 3160
    That calls our person from our morning's rest?

[Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, and others]

  • Capulet. What should it be, that they so shriek abroad?
  • Lady Capulet. The people in the street cry Romeo,
    Some Juliet, and some Paris; and all run, 3165
    With open outcry toward our monument.
  • First Watchman. Sovereign, here lies the County Paris slain;
    And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before,
    Warm and new kill'd. 3170
  • First Watchman. Here is a friar, and slaughter'd Romeo's man;
    With instruments upon them, fit to open
    These dead men's tombs.
  • Capulet. O heavens! O wife, look how our daughter bleeds! 3175
    This dagger hath mista'en—for, lo, his house
    Is empty on the back of Montague,—
    And it mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom!
  • Lady Capulet. O me! this sight of death is as a bell,
    That warns my old age to a sepulchre. 3180

[Enter MONTAGUE and others]

  • Prince Escalus. Come, Montague; for thou art early up,
    To see thy son and heir more early down.
  • Montague. Alas, my liege, my wife is dead to-night;
    Grief of my son's exile hath stopp'd her breath: 3185
    What further woe conspires against mine age?
  • Montague. O thou untaught! what manners is in this?
    To press before thy father to a grave?
  • Prince Escalus. Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while, 3190
    Till we can clear these ambiguities,
    And know their spring, their head, their
    true descent;
    And then will I be general of your woes,
    And lead you even to death: meantime forbear, 3195
    And let mischance be slave to patience.
    Bring forth the parties of suspicion.
  • Friar Laurence. I am the greatest, able to do least,
    Yet most suspected, as the time and place
    Doth make against me of this direful murder; 3200
    And here I stand, both to impeach and purge
    Myself condemned and myself excused.
  • Friar Laurence. I will be brief, for my short date of breath
    Is not so long as is a tedious tale. 3205
    Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet;
    And she, there dead, that Romeo's faithful wife:
    I married them; and their stol'n marriage-day
    Was Tybalt's dooms-day, whose untimely death
    Banish'd the new-made bridegroom from the city, 3210
    For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pined.
    You, to remove that siege of grief from her,
    Betroth'd and would have married her perforce
    To County Paris: then comes she to me,
    And, with wild looks, bid me devise some mean 3215
    To rid her from this second marriage,
    Or in my cell there would she kill herself.
    Then gave I her, so tutor'd by my art,
    A sleeping potion; which so took effect
    As I intended, for it wrought on her 3220
    The form of death: meantime I writ to Romeo,
    That he should hither come as this dire night,
    To help to take her from her borrow'd grave,
    Being the time the potion's force should cease.
    But he which bore my letter, Friar John, 3225
    Was stay'd by accident, and yesternight
    Return'd my letter back. Then all alone
    At the prefixed hour of her waking,
    Came I to take her from her kindred's vault;
    Meaning to keep her closely at my cell, 3230
    Till I conveniently could send to Romeo:
    But when I came, some minute ere the time
    Of her awaking, here untimely lay
    The noble Paris and true Romeo dead.
    She wakes; and I entreated her come forth, 3235
    And bear this work of heaven with patience:
    But then a noise did scare me from the tomb;
    And she, too desperate, would not go with me,
    But, as it seems, did violence on herself.
    All this I know; and to the marriage 3240
    Her nurse is privy: and, if aught in this
    Miscarried by my fault, let my old life
    Be sacrificed, some hour before his time,
    Unto the rigour of severest law.
  • Prince Escalus. We still have known thee for a holy man. 3245
    Where's Romeo's man? what can he say in this?
  • Balthasar. I brought my master news of Juliet's death;
    And then in post he came from Mantua
    To this same place, to this same monument.
    This letter he early bid me give his father, 3250
    And threatened me with death, going in the vault,
    I departed not and left him there.
  • Prince Escalus. Give me the letter; I will look on it.
    Where is the county's page, that raised the watch?
    Sirrah, what made your master in this place? 3255
  • Page. He came with flowers to strew his lady's grave;
    And bid me stand aloof, and so I did:
    Anon comes one with light to ope the tomb;
    And by and by my master drew on him;
    And then I ran away to call the watch. 3260
  • Prince Escalus. This letter doth make good the friar's words,
    Their course of love, the tidings of her death:
    And here he writes that he did buy a poison
    Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal
    Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet. 3265
    Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!
    See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
    That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
    And I for winking at your discords too
    Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish'd. 3270
  • Capulet. O brother Montague, give me thy hand:
    This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
    Can I demand.
  • Montague. But I can give thee more:
    For I will raise her statue in pure gold; 3275
    That while Verona by that name is known,
    There shall no figure at such rate be set
    As that of true and faithful Juliet.
  • Capulet. As rich shall Romeo's by his lady's lie;
    Poor sacrifices of our enmity! 3280
  • Prince Escalus. A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
    The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
    Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
    Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
    For never was a story of more woe 3285
    Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

[Exeunt]

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