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lord Mountague and lord Capulet out of their beds, with the prince, to inquire into the causes of the disturbance. The friar had beenapprehended by some of the watch, coming from the church-yard, trembling, sighing, and weeping, in a suspicious man.

A great multitude being assembled at the Capulets monument, the friar was commanded by the prince to deliver what he knew of these strange and disastrous accidents.

And there, in the presence of the old lords Mountague and Capulet, he faithful. ly related the story of their children's fatal love, the part he took in promoting their marriage, in the hope in that union to end the long quarrels between their families; how Romeo, there dead, was husband to Juliet, and Juliet, there dead, was Romeo's faithful wife: how before he could find a fit opportunity to divulge their marriage, another match was projected for Juliet, who to avoid the crime ofa second marriage swallowed the sleeping draught (as he advised) and all thought her dead: how meantime he wrote

to Romeo, to come and take her thence when the force of the potion should cease, and by what unfortunate miscarriage of the messenger the letters never reached Romeo: further than this the friar could not follow the story, nor knew more than that coming himself to deliver Juliet from that place of death, he found the count Paris and Romeo slain. The remainder of the transactions was supplied by the narration of the page who had seen Paris and Romeo fight, and by the servant who came with Romeo from Verona, to whom this faithful lover had given letters to be delivered to his father in the event of his death which made good the friar's words, confessing his marriage with Juliet, imploring the forgiveness of his parents, acknowledging the buying of the poison of the poor apothecary, and his intent in coming to the monument, to die, and lie with Juliet. All these circumstances agreed together to clear the friar from any hand he could be supposed to have had in these complicated slaughters, further than as the unintended consequences of his

own well meant, yet too artificial and subtle contrivances.

And the prince, turning to these old lords, Mountague and Capulet, rebuked them for their brutal and irrational enmities, and showed them what a scourge Heaven had laid upon such offences, that it had found means even through the love of their children to punish their unnatural hate. And these old rivals, no longer enemies, agreed to bury their strife in their children's graves; and lord Capulet requested lord Mountagne to give him his hand, calling him by the name of brother, as if in acknowledgment of the union of their families by the marriage of the young Capulet and Mountague; and saying that lord Mountague's band in token of reconcilement, was all hedemanded for his daughter's jointure: but lord Mountague said he would give him more, for he would raise her statue of pure gold, that while Verona kept its name, no figure should be so esteemed for its richness and workmanship as that of the true and faithful Juliet. And lord Capulet in return said

that he would raise another statue to Ro. meo. So did these poor old lords, when it was too late, strive to outgo each other in mutual courtesies: while so deadly had been their rage and enmity in past times, that nothing but the fearful overthrow of their children (poor sacrifices to their quar. rels and dissentions) could remove the rooted hates and jealousies of the noble families.

TALE XVIII.

HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.

GERTRUDE, queen of Denmark, becoming a widow by the sudden death of king Hamlet, in less than two months after his death married his brother Claudius, which was noted by all people at the time for a strange act of indiscretion, or unfeelingness, or worse: for this Claudius did no ways resemble her late husband in the qualities of his person or his mind, but was as contemptible in outward appearance, as he was base and unworthy in disposition; and suspicions did not fail to arise in the minds of some, that he had privately made away with his brother, the late king, with the view of marrying his widow, and ascending the throne of Denmark, to the exclusion of young Hamlet, the son of the

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