"My name is Friar Laurence. I will not say that I am innocent, because I don't think anyone here is completely innocent, but what I will do is justify my actions in the hope that you will think more kindly of an old friar who wants nothing more than peace and happiness for everyone. And this is my statement.
"I only married Romeo to Juliet because I thought that their marriage would bring an end to the fighting between the Capulet and the Montague families, and not for the fighting to tear the two love-struck lovers apart, and ultimately destroy their lives. I never, ever intended for either Romeo or Juliet to die.
"When Juliet and I talked about my plan, it seemed foolproof, at the time but, it had not entered our heads that our letter might not get through to Romeo. I am deeply and truly sorry for not having recognized that this might be a problem.
When I found Romeo dead in poor Juliet's tomb, I did my best to save the situation from complete disaster. Upon poor dear Juliet's awakening, I tried to persuade her to go with me. I did this in the hope that I might be able to take her to a safe place, so that she would not get into any further trouble with her parents or with anyone else. Unfortunately it was all to no avail, because when she found Romeo's dead body and that he had poisoned himself she kissed him and took his dagger and stabbed herself and there smothered the flame of her life.
"All that I ever wanted to do was to help, but I am afraid that I have failed terribly. For that, I am really very sorry, and you have my sincerest apologies. I...