(_kneeling by her bed in prayer_): On...

The Montagues and Capulets

Juliet Capulet

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(kneeling by her bed in prayer):

One day, my end will come,

Unbidden and unsought,

When all my glimpses of this little world,

Will collapse into a single thought.

If I must die, with sadness in my heart,

Let it not be for the life I chose to live,

But that there was only one life left to give.

(opening her eyes and as an aside): The ancients saw destiny as a fate-spun thread, leading us, like Theseus, through the tangled labyrinth of a perilous world. But in my heart I know, that each moment hangs heavy with budding possibility. What if life is not a single note, but a constant branching theme, with many lives lived in unison, like chords of music, serenading the heavenly spheres? Then each choice, each fateful moment is lived both ways, with every outcome splitting to another strand – our chosen paths embroidered in a tangle of infinities. How then to choose? Some Juliets stumble to this blissful night, while others disguise themselves as men, and voyage to distant lands, or found new dynasties. Yet other’s die a mewling child, bewept and buried in a few short months.

And one foolish Juliet might even marry Romeo. There, now, his name is spoken, even on my wedding’s eve.

Ah me! If I, between ourselves, was true to my own nature, I would tarry with that doting poet, then marry the steadfast prince. For never, before Romeo, was such a sickly poison, carried in so sweet a cup. His mournful face and gentle looks belied a conjurer’s heart. Fickle at best, a changeable foolish boy forever seeking glimpses of his self love reflected in another’s eye.

And then the Prince, bold and noble, a soldier’s bearing, his body strong, and coupled with sharp intellect, which softened by my kindness might lead to greatness. But in having one, I must lose the other, whereas Romeo, knowing not how to choose, had all three. And now they all have him. Oh foolish pilgrim, to worship at every altar, is to lose your way. And yet I might have loved him, for all his faults – though finding much to fix, there was more to like. But I will not be fourth, however charming the gentleman, living forever thence, in fear of the number five.

Now, I must put doubts to bed, and wake with blissful certainty. My new husband awaits, and with him, a new world.

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