Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
Romeo and Juliet
Act V. Scene III.
The Same.  A Churchyard; 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 yond yew-trees lay thee all along,        5
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.        10
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.
  Par.  Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew,
O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones;        15
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
Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep.  [The Page whistles.
The boy gives warning something doth approach.        20
What cursed foot wanders this way to-night,
To cross my obsequies and true love’s rite?
What! with a torch?—muffle me, night, awhile.  [Retires.
Enter ROMEO and BALTHASAR, with a torch, mattock, &c.
  Rom.  Give me that mattock, and the wrenching iron.        25
Hold, take this letter; early in the morning
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.        30
Why I descend into this bed of death,
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:        35
But, if thou, jealous, dost return to pry
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,        40
More fierce and more inexorable far
Than empty tigers or the roaring sea.
  Bal.  I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you.
  Rom.  So shalt thou show me friendship. Take thou that:
Live, and be prosperous; and farewell, good fellow.        45
  Bal.  [Aside.]  For all this same, I’ll hide me here about:
His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt.  [Retires.
  Rom.  Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,
Gorg’d with the dearest morsel of the earth,
Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,  [Opens the tomb.        50
And, in despite, I’ll cram thee with more food!
  Par.  This is that banish’d haughty Montague,
That murder’d my love’s cousin, with which grief
It is supposed the fair creature died;
And here is come to do some villanous shame        55
To the dead bodies: I will apprehend him.—  [Comes forward.
Stop thy unhallow’d toil, vile Montague,
Can vengeance be pursu’d further than death?
Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee:
Obey, and go with me; for thou must die.        60
  Rom.  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;
Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth,
Put not another sin upon my head        65
By urging me to fury: O! be gone:
By heaven, I love thee better than myself.
For I come hither arm’d against myself:
Stay not, be gone; live, and hereafter say
A madman’s mercy bade thee run away.        70
  Par.  I do defy thy conjurations,
And apprehend thee for a felon here.
  Rom.  Wilt thou provoke me? then have at thee, boy!  [They fight.
  Page.  O Lord! they fight: I will go call the watch.  [Exit.
  Par.  [Falls.]  O, I am slain!—If thou be merciful,        75
Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.  [Dies.
  Rom.  In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face:
Mercutio’s kinsman, noble County Paris!
What said my man when my betossed soul
Did not attend him as we rode? I think        80
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,
To think it was so? O! give me thy hand,
One writ with me in sour misfortune’s book:        85
I’ll bury thee in a triumphant grave;
A grave? O, no! a lanthorn, slaughter’d youth,
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes
This vault a feasting presence full of light.
Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interr’d,  [Laying PARIS in the tomb.        90
How oft when men are at the point of death
Have they been merry! which their keepers call
A lightning before death: O! how may I
Call this a lightning? O my love! my wife!
Death, that hathsuck’d the honey of thy breath,        95
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:
Thou art not conquer’d; beauty’s ensign yet
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?        100
O! what more favour can I do to thee,
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
To sunder his that was thine enemy?
Forgive me, cousin! Ah! dear Juliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe        105
That unsubstantial Death is amorous,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
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        110
Depart again: here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chambermaids; O! here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!        115
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on        120
The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!
Here’s to my love!  [Drinks.]  O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.  [Dies.
Enter, at the other end of the Churchyard, FRIAR LAURENCE, with a lanthorn, crow, and spade.
  Fri. L.  Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night        125
Have my old feet stumbled at graves! Who’s there?
  Bal.  Here’s one, a friend, and one that knows you well.
  Fri. L.  Bliss be upon you! Tell me, good my friend,
What torch is yond, that vainly lends his light
To grubs and eyeless skulls? as I discern,        130
It burneth in the Capel’s monument.
  Bal.  It doth so, holy sir; and there’s my master,
One that you love.
  Fri. L.        Who is it?
  Bal.                Romeo.        135
  Fri. L.  How long hath he been there?
  Bal.        Full half an hour.
  Fri. L.  Go with me to the vault.
  Bal.        I dare not, sir.
My master knows not but I am gone hence;        140
And fearfully did menace me with death
If I did stay to look on his intents.
  Fri. L.  Stay then, I’ll go alone. Fear comes upon me;
O! much I fear some ill unlucky thing.
  Bal.  As I did sleep under this yew-tree here,        145
I dreamt my master and another fought,
And that my master slew him.
  Fri. L.        [Advances.]  Romeo!
Alack, alack! what blood is this which stains
The stony entrance of this sepulchre?        150
What mean these masterless and gory swords
To lie discolour’d by this place of peace?  [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.        155
The lady stirs.  [JULIET wakes.
  Jul.  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.
  Fri. L.  I hear some noise. Lady, come from that nest        160
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;
And Paris too: come, I’ll dispose of thee        165
Among a sisterhood of holy nuns.
Stay not to question, for the watch is coming;
Come, go, good Juliet.—[Noise again.]  I dare no longer stay.
  Jul.  Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.  [Exit FRIAR LAURENCE.
What’s here? a cup, clos’d in my true love’s hand?        170
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end.
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 me die with a restorative.  [Kisses him.        175
Thy lips are warm!
  First Watch.  [Within.]  Lead, boy: which way?
  Jul.  Yea, noise? then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger!  [Snatching ROMEO’S dagger.
This is thy sheath;  [Stabs herself.]  there rest, 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.
  First Watch.  The ground is bloody; search about the churchyard.
Go, some of you; whoe’er you find, attach.  [Exeunt some of the Watch.
Pitiful sight! here lies the county slain,
And Juliet bleeding, warm, and newly dead,        185
Who here hath lain these two days buried.
Go, tell the prince, run to the Capulets,
Raise up the Montagues, some others search:  [Exeunt others of the Watch.
We see the ground whereon these woes do lie;
But the true ground of all these piteous woes        190
We cannot without circumstance descry.
Re-enter some of the Watch, with BALTHASAR.
  Sec. Watch.  Here’s Romeo’s man; we found him in the churchyard.
  First Watch.  Hold him in safety, till the prince come hither.
Re-enter others of the Watch, with FRIAR LAURENCE.
  Third Watch.  Here is a friar, that trembles, sighs, and weeps;
We took this mattock and this spade from him,
As he was coming from this churchyard side.
  First Watch.  A great suspicion: stay the friar too.
Enter the PRINCE and Attendants.
  Prince.  What misadventure is so early up,
That calls our person from our morning’s rest?
Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, and Others.
  Cap.  What should it be, that they so shriek abroad?
  Lady Cap.  The people in the street cry Romeo,        205
Some Juliet, and some Paris; and all run
With open outcry toward our monument.
  Prince.  What fear is this which startles in our ears?
  First Watch.  Sovereign, here lies the County Paris slain;
And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before,        210
Warm and new kill’d.
  Prince.  Search, seek, and know how this foul murder comes.
  First Watch.  Here is a friar, and slaughter’d Romeo’s man;
With instruments upon them, fit to open
These dead men’s tombs.        215
  Cap.  O, heaven!—O wife! look how our daughter bleeds!
This dagger hath mista’en!—for, lo, his house
Is empty on the back of Montague—
And is mis-sheathed in my daughter’s bosom.
  Lady Cap.  O me! this sight of death is as a bell,        220
That warns my old age to a sepulchre.
  Cap.  O, heaven!—O wife! look how our daughter bleeds!
This dagger hath mista’en!—for, lo, his house
Is empty on the back of Montague—
And is mis-sheathed in my daughter’s bosom.        225
  Lady Cap.  O me! this sight of death is as a bell,
That warns my old age to a sepulchre.
Enter MONTAGUE and Others.
  Prince.  Come, Montague: for thou art early up,
To see thy son and heir more early down.        230
  Mon.  Alas! my liege, my wife is dead to-night;
Grief of my son’s exile hath stopp’d her breath.
What further woe conspires against mine age?
  Prince.  Look, and thou shalt see.
  Mon.  O thou untaught! what manners is in this,        235
To press before thy father to a grave?
  Prince.  Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while,
Till we can clear these ambiguities,
And know their spring, their head, their true descent;
And then will I be general of your woes,        240
And lead you even to death: meantime forbear,
And let mischance be slave to patience.
Bring forth the parties of suspicion.
  Fri. L.  I am the greatest, able to do least,
Yet most suspected, as the time and place        245
Doth make against me, of this direful murder;
And here I stand, both to impeach and purge
Myself condemned and myself excus’d.
  Prince.  Then say at once what thou dost know in this.
  Fri. L.  I will be brief, for my short date of breath        250
Is not so long as is a tedious tale.
Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet;
And she, there dead, that Romeo’s faithful wife:
I married them; and their stolen marriage-day
Was Tybalt’s doomsday, whose untimely death        255
Banish’d the new-made bridegroom from this city;
For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pin’d.
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,        260
And, with wild looks bid me devise some mean
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        265
As I intended, for it wrought on her
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.        270
But he which bore my letter, Friar John,
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,        275
Meaning to keep her closely at my cell,
Till I conveniently could send to Romeo:
But, when I came,—some minute ere the time
Of her awakening,—here untimely lay
The noble Paris and true Romeo dead.        280
She wakes; and I entreated her come forth,
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.        285
All this I know; and to the marriage
Her nurse is privy: and, if aught in this
Miscarried by my fault, let my old life
Be sacrific’d, some hour before his time,
Unto the rigour of severest law.        290
  Prince.  We still have known thee for a holy man.
Where’s Romeo’s man? what can he say in this?
  Bal.  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.        295
This letter he early bid me give his father,
And threaten’d me with death, going in the vault,
If I departed not and left him there.
  Prince.  Give me the letter; I will look on it.
Where is the county’s page that rais’d the watch?        300
Sirrah, what made your master in this place?
  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;        305
And then I ran away to call the watch.
  Prince.  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        310
Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.
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,        315
Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish’d.
  Cap.  O brother Montague! give me thy hand:
This is my daughter’s jointure, for no more
Can I demand.
  Mon.        But I can give thee more;        320
For I will raise her statue in pure gold;
That while Verona by that name is known.
There shall no figure at such rate be set
As that of true and faithful Juliet.
  Cap.  As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie;        325
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!
  Prince.  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:        330
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.  [Exeunt.

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