• Enter FRIAR JOHN

    FRIAR JOHN

    Holy Franciscan Friar! Brother, ho!
    Enter FRIAR LAWRENCE

    FRIAR LAWRENCE

    This same should be the voice of Friar John.
    Welcome from Mantua. What says Romeo?
    Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.

    FRIAR JOHN

    5Going to find a barefoot brother out,
    One of our order, to associate me,
    Here in this city visiting the sick,
    And finding him, the searchers of the town,
    Suspecting that we both were in a house
    10Where the infectious pestilence did reign,
    Sealed up the doors and would not let us forth.
    So that my speed to Mantua there was stayed.

    FRIAR LAWRENCE

    Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?

    FRIAR JOHN

    I could not send it—here it is again—
    15 (gives FRIAR LAWRENCE a letter)
    Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
    So fearful were they of infection.

    FRIAR LAWRENCE

    Unhappy fortune! By my brotherhood,
    The letter was not nice but full of charge,
    20Of dear import, and the neglecting it
    May do much danger. Friar John, go hence.
    Get me an iron crow and bring it straight
    Unto my cell.
  • FRIAR JOHN enters.

    FRIAR JOHN

    Holy Franciscan Friar! Brother, hey!
    FRIAR LAWRENCE enters.

    FRIAR LAWRENCE

    That sounds like the voice of Friar John. Welcome back from Mantua. What does Romeo say? Or, if he wrote down his thoughts, give me his letter.

    FRIAR JOHN

    I went to find another poor friar from our order to accompany me. He was here in this city visiting the sick. When I found him, the town health officials suspected that we were both in a house that had been hit with the plague. They quarantined the house, sealed up the doors, and refused to let us out. I couldn’t go to Mantua because I was stuck there.

    FRIAR LAWRENCE

    Then who took my letter to Romeo?

    FRIAR JOHN

    I couldn’t send it. Here it is. (he gives FRIAR LAWRENCE a letter) I couldn’t get a messenger to bring it to you either because they were scared of spreading the infection.

    FRIAR LAWRENCE

    Unhappy fortune! By my brotherhood, the letter was not just a nice greeting. It was full of very important information. It’s very dangerous that it hasn’t been sent. Friar John, go and get me an iron crowbar. Bring it straight back to my cell.