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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act IV. Scene III.

Romeo and Juliet

The Same.JULIET’S Chamber.

Enter JULIET and Nurse.

Jul.Ay, those attires are best; but, gentle nurse,

I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night;

For I have need of many orisons

To move the heavens to smile upon my state,

Which, well thou know’st, is cross and full of sin.


Lady Cap.What! are you busy, ho? need you my help?

Jul.No, madam; we have cull’d such necessaries

As are behoveful for our state to-morrow:

So please you, let me now be left alone,

And let the nurse this night sit up with you;

For, I am sure, you have your hands full all

In this so sudden business.

Lady Cap.Good-night:

Get thee to bed, and rest; for thou hast need.[Exeunt LADY CAPULET and Nurse.

Jul.Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,

That almost freezes up the heat of life:

I’ll call them back again to comfort me:

Nurse! What should she do here?

My dismal scene I needs must act alone.

Come, vial.

What if this mixture do not work at all?

Shall I be married then to-morrow morning?

No, no; this shall forbid it: lie thou there.[Laying down a dagger.

What if it be a poison, which the friar

Subtly hath minister’d to have me dead,

Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour’d

Because he married me before to Romeo?

I fear it is: and yet, methinks, it should not,

For he hath still been tried a holy man.

I will not entertain so bad a thought.

How if, when I am laid into the tomb,

I wake before the time that Romeo

Come to redeem me? there’s a fearful point!

Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,

To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,

And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?

Or, if I live, is it not very like,

The horrible conceit of death and night,

Together with the terror of the place,

As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,

Where, for these many hundred years, the bones

Of all my buried ancestors are pack’d;

Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,

Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say,

At some hours in the night spirits resort:

Alack, alack! is it not like that I,

So early waking, what with loathsome smells,

And shrieks like mandrakes’ torn out of the earth,

That living mortals, hearing them, run mad:

O! if I wake, shall I not be distraught,

Environed with all these hideous fears,

And madly play with my forefathers’ joints,

And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?

And, in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone,

As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?

O, look! methinks I see my cousin’s ghost

Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body

Upon a rapier’s point. Stay, Tybalt, stay!

Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.[She falls upon her bed within the curtains.