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The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing, and think it were not
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!”
Juliet speaks, and finally out of her fevered, lovelit mind says:
"O, Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet!"
"I take thee at thy word;
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized,
Henceforth I never will be Romeo."
"How cam'st thou hither?
The orchard walls are too high and hard to climb; And the place death, considering who thou art."
Romeo quickly responds:
"With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls; For stony limits cannot hold love out;
And what love can do, that dares love attempt,
Therefore thy kinsmen are no hindrance to me!
I am no pilot, yet wert thou as far
As that vast shore washed with the further sea
I would adventure for such merchandise!"
Then Juliet, with her fine Italian cunning makes the following declaration of her love; and considering that she is only fourteen years of age, yet in the hands of a house nurse, older and wiser girls could not give a better gush of affectionate eloquence:
"Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face,
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek,
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.
Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain, fain, deny
What I have spoke; But, farewell compliment!
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say, Ay;
And I will take thy word, yet if thou swear'st,
Thou may'st prove false; at lover's perjuries
They say Jove laughs. O, gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully;
Ór, if thou think'st I am too quickly won,
I'll frown and be perverse, and say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world,
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond;
And therefore thou may'st think my conduct light;
But, trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true
Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
I should have been more shy, I must confess,
But that thou overheard'st, ere I was aware,
My true love's passion; therefore, pardon me;
And not impute this yielding to light love,
Which the dark night hath so discovered,
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite!”
The lovers part, promising eternal love and marriage "to-morrow" at the cell of good Friar Laurence, the confessor of the fair Juliet.
The friar, priest, preacher and bishop have ever been great matrimonial matchmakers, and when "Love's young dream" is foiled or withered by parental tyranny, these velvet-handed philosophers find a way to tie the hymeneal knot, even in personal and legal defiance of cruel, social dictation.
Friar Laurence, in contemplation of tying loveknots soliloquizes in the following lofty lines:
"The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light;
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day's pathway, made by Titan's
Now ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer, and night's dark dew to try,
I must fill up this osier cage of ours
With baleful needs and precious-juiced flowers.
The earth that's Nature's mother, is her tomb;
What is her burying grave, that is her womb;
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None, but for some, and yet all different;
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones and their true qualities;
For naught so vile that on the earth doth live,
But to the earth some special good doth give;
Nor aught so good, but strained from that fair
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower,
'Poison hath residence and medicine power,
For, this being smelt, with that part cheers each
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed foes encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will,
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant!"
Romeo implores the holy Friar:
"Do thou but close our hands with holy words, Then love devouring death do what he dare, It is enough I may but call her mine!"
Juliet addressing Romeo in the Friar's cell exclaims:
"Imagination more rich in matter than in words,
Brags of his substance, not of ornament;
They are but beggars that can count their worth;
But my true love is grown to such excess,
I cannot sum up half my sum of wealth."
The good old Friar then says:
"Come, come with me and we will make short work; For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone Till holy church incorporate two in one!"
Mercutio and Tybalt fight, in faction of the Capulet and Montague houses. Mercutio is killed, and then Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished from the State by Prince Escalus.
Juliet awaits Romeo in her room the night after marriage, and with passionate, impatient longing exclaims:
"Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so bright
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
O, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possessed it; and, though I am sold;
Not yet enjoyed; so tedious is this day,
As is the night before some festival
To an impatient child that hath new robes,
And may not wear them!"
Although the verdict of banishment was pronounced against Romeo to go to Mantua instanter, he found means through the old nurse and good Friar Laurence to visit his new-made bride the night before his forced departure; and in spite of locks, bars, law, parents and princes, plucked the ripe fruit from the tree of virginity.
Romeo must be gone before the first crowing