I do remember an apothecary, / And hereabouts he dwells, which late I noted / In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows, / Culling of simples; meagre were his looks, / Sharp misery had worn him to the bones . . . Noting this penury, to myself I said /
'An if a man did need a poison now, Whose sale is present death in Mantua, Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.'
Romeo knows a poor man who prepares and sells drugs. He assumes that the man will sell him poison although selling such drugs in Mantua is illegal.