Nurse’s Eulogy for Juliet
I come before you all, perhaps at fault, perhaps condemnable, but in mourning of this portentous matter, just as you, nonetheless. Such a lamentable day as this has never yet existed, and on no account will another as tragic befall Verona in such pernicious splendor. Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague, brought to Death by blind ambiguity and an ill-starred love, deserve more than passing sorrow and enduring reconciliation amid these grieving families: they ought to be remembered and not forgotten. Juliet, that your grace, and voice, and passion, and beauty will be shrouded from the world pains me. I humbly believe you were my own daughter, not to replace Susan, whom you now rest with, but to be mine alongside her. I remember well that you were the prettiest I ever nursed, one who, through the thirteen years you walked on earth, brought me laughter and strife, joy and woe. Yet lie knowing well that you had more merriment to deal than misery, and that even as we gather to speak, we are all aware that you would not have been happy to live without fair Romeo by your side. All I ever wished was for you to be content, so much so that I transgressed my lord and lady’s trust, which, while a dreadful mistake, I do not wholly regret. Today many of us come to honor Juliet and her Romeo. Juliet was an angel who left sure delight with many, and who must not be emblazoned in our minds for her untimely demise, but for her cherished, near-fourteen years of blessed life. Death, our universal adversary, intervened too soon for celebration of any sort to ensue, a cruel punishment for the ages of rivalry between the Capulets and Montagues. Let us recall the good, and not the evil, and learn from these youths’ examples that peace must triumph over discord and calamity. Her wisdom, her kindness and magnificence, wrought upon her by my lord and lady, her spirit, a determination so sound that Death could not rupture it, and her ability to find love amid the...
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