Romeo and Juliet - Act 5, scene 1
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Act 5, scene 1
Romeo’s man, Balthasar, arrives in Mantua with news of Juliet’s death. Romeo sends him to hire horses for their immediate return to Verona. Romeo then buys poison so that he can join Juliet in death in the Capulets’ burial vault.Enter Romeo.
2733 If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,
2734 My dreams presage some joyful news at hand.
2735 My bosom’s ⌜lord⌝ sits lightly in his throne,
2736 And all this day an unaccustomed spirit
2737 5 Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
2738 I dreamt my lady came and found me dead
2739 (Strange dream that gives a dead man leave to
2741 And breathed such life with kisses in my lips
2742 10 That I revived and was an emperor.
2743 Ah me, how sweet is love itself possessed
2744 When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy!
Enter Romeo’s man ⌜Balthasar, in riding boots.⌝
2745 News from Verona!—How now, Balthasar?
2746 Dost thou not bring me letters from the Friar?
2747 15 How doth my lady? Is my father well?
2748 How doth my Juliet? That I ask again,
2749 For nothing can be ill if she be well.
2750 Then she is well and nothing can be ill.
2751 Her body sleeps in Capels’ monument,
2752 20 And her immortal part with angels lives.
2754 And presently took post to tell it you.
2755 O, pardon me for bringing these ill news,
2756 Since you did leave it for my office, sir.
2757 25 Is it e’en so?—Then I deny you, stars!—
2758 Thou knowest my lodging. Get me ink and paper,
2759 And hire post-horses. I will hence tonight.
2760 I do beseech you, sir, have patience.
2761 Your looks are pale and wild and do import
2762 30 Some misadventure.
ROMEO 2763 Tush, thou art deceived.
2764 Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do.
2765 Hast thou no letters to me from the Friar?
2766 No, my good lord.
ROMEO 2767 35 No matter. Get thee gone,
2768 And hire those horses. I’ll be with thee straight.
2769 Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight.
2770 Let’s see for means. O mischief, thou art swift
2771 To enter in the thoughts of desperate men.
2772 40 I do remember an apothecary
2773 (And hereabouts he dwells) which late I noted
2774 In tattered weeds, with overwhelming brows,
2775 Culling of simples. Meager were his looks.
2776 Sharp misery had worn him to the bones.
2777 45 And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
2778 An alligator stuffed, and other skins
2779 Of ill-shaped fishes; and about his shelves,
2780 A beggarly account of empty boxes,
2781 Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,
2782 50 Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses
2783 Were thinly scattered to make up a show.
2784 Noting this penury, to myself I said
2786 Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
2787 55 Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.”
2788 O, this same thought did but forerun my need,
2789 And this same needy man must sell it me.
2790 As I remember, this should be the house.
2791 Being holiday, the beggar’s shop is shut.—
2792 60 What ho, Apothecary!
APOTHECARY 2793 Who calls so loud?
2794 Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor.
⌜He offers money.⌝
2795 Hold, there is forty ducats. Let me have
2796 A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear
2797 65 As will disperse itself through all the veins,
2798 That the life-weary taker may fall dead,
2799 And that the trunk may be discharged of breath
2800 As violently as hasty powder fired
2801 Doth hurry from the fatal cannon’s womb.
2802 70 Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua’s law
2803 Is death to any he that utters them.
2804 Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
2805 And fearest to die? Famine is in thy cheeks,
2806 Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes,
2807 75 Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back.
2808 The world is not thy friend, nor the world’s law.
2809 The world affords no law to make thee rich.
2810 Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.
2811 My poverty, but not my will, consents.
2812 80 I ⌜pay⌝ thy poverty and not thy will.
2813 Put this in any liquid thing you will
2814 And drink it off, and if you had the strength
2815 Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight.
ROMEO, ⌜handing him the money⌝
2816 There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls,
2817 85 Doing more murder in this loathsome world
2818 Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not
2820 I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none.
2821 Farewell, buy food, and get thyself in flesh.
2822 90 Come, cordial and not poison, go with me
2823 To Juliet’s grave, for there must I use thee.