Lately, there has been a lot of finger-pointing about who may or may not have sold some poison to a teenager, most notably Romeo Montague, whose life has been tragically cut short. Many of you have cited me as the culprit, but I cannot confirm or deny this as I am bound by doctor and patient confidentiality. It would be against the oath I took as a pharmacist to disclose such information.
Of course I was seen with Romeo on the night of his death, but that could have been anything: a horehound for a cold or perhaps frankincense for the onset of arthritis. I can’t say because I’m legally obligated not to disclose what I’m prescribing to a patient. Well, many of you in this room have come to me under the cloak of night to buy drams which you hope to keep secret from your wives and neighbours. Supposing I open up about one of my patients, who’s to say what other secrets I can reveal?
And yes, even though it’s none of your business, I’ve been through some tough times, but everyone’s crime in this city has gotten so out of control. Whoever started the rumor that I would do anything for forty ducats is the real criminal here. I live a modest lifestyle, almost like a monk; I am pious, pious and chaste. Well, maybe not chaste, but I’m not a member of the clergy, am I?
I am well aware that Mantua law prohibits the sale of poison to anyone, especially minors. I am a sincere member of this community, and I would never intentionally help a lovesick teen on my own because of a girl. But even if I had, I couldn’t tell you. Even if I poisoned the boy, which I’m not saying I did… maybe it was just to deal with a huge rat problem that seems to have besieged this town. Once it leaves my hands, it’s up to the owner to take good care of it. Poisons don’t kill people; people kill people and big rats.
What about the person who sold the knife that poor girl used to stab herself? Won’t he also be brought to this kangaroo court? Or the blacksmith who forged it? Shouldn’t he be held accountable?! What about the miner who dug out the ore that made the steel for the blade? And who is this Brother Lawrence that I’ve heard of? He also appears to be handing out potions to any lovesick teen who knocks on his door. At least my toxins are working – again, if it were all my toxins.
We’ve got two dead bodies on our hands, and I think we should focus on that. Finding the person or person who sold this Romeo child poison is irrelevant. I would like to tell you that politicizing the death of two innocent children is as toxic as the poison itself. This is a time to mourn, not to blame.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ll excuse me, I have some leech pots that aren’t going to inventory themselves. Good day!