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Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Do, with their death, bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could re
move, Is now the two hours' traffick of our stage; The which if
with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
ESCALUS, Prince of Verona.
servants to Capulet.
Citizens of Verona ; several Men and Women, rela
tions to both houses ; Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants.
SCENE, during the greater part of the Play, in
Verona ; once, in the fifth Act, at Mantua.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
ACT THE FIRST.
A Public Place.
Enter Sampson and GREGORY, armed with Swords
and Bucklers. Sam. GREGORY, o’my word, we'll not carry
coals.' Gre. No, for then we should be colliers. Sam. I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw.
Gre. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of the collar.
Sam. I strike quickly, being moved.
Gre. To move, is – to stir ; and to be valiant, is—to stand to it: therefore, if thou art moy'd, thou runn'st away.
Sam. A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's.
Gre. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest
goes to the wall. The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men.
1 A phrase formerly in use, to signify the bearing injuries. Sam. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant.
Gre. Draw thy sword; here comes two of the house of Montagues.
Enter ABRAM and BALTHASAR. Sam. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee.
Gre. How? turn thy back, and run ?
Sam. Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.
Gre. I will frown as I pass by; and let them take it as they list.
Sam. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it. Abr. Do
thumb at us, sir?
your thumb at us, sir? Sam. Is the law on our side, if I say-ay? Gre. No.
Sam. No sir; I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.
Gre. Do you quarrel, sir ?
Sam. If you do, sir, I am for you; I serve as good a man as you.
Abr. No better.
Enter Benvolio, at a distance. Gre. Say — better ; here comes one of my master's kinsmen.
Sam. Yes, better, sir.
Sam. Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.
[They fight. Ben. Part, fools ; put up your swords ; you know not what
do. [Beats down their Swords.
Tyb. What, art thou drawn among these heart
less hinds? Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death. Ben. I do but keep the peace; put up thy
sword, Or manage it to part these men with me. Tyb. What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate
the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee; Have at thee coward.
Enter several Partizans of both Houses, who join the
Fray; then enter Citizens with Clubs. Cit. Clubs?, bills, and partizans ! strike! beat
them down! Down with the Capulets ! down with the Monta
Enter CAPULET, in his Gown; and Lady CAPULET. Cap. What noise is this? - Give me my long
sword, ho! La. Cap. A crutch, a crutch! Why call you
for a sword? Cap. My sword, I say!-Old Montague is come, And Aourishes his blade in spite of me.
* Clubs ! was the usual exclamation at an affray in the streets, as we now call Watch !