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PROLO GU E.

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 remove,

Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

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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, if 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. But thou art not quickly moved to strike. Sam. A dog of the house of Montague moves me. Gre. To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand ; a therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn’st away.

a The first quarto of 1597, which we mark as (A), “ Stand to it.

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.

Sam. True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall:—therefore I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.

Gre. The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men.

Sam. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant : when I have fought with the men, I will be civila with the maids, and cut off their heads. Gre. The heads of the maids ?

Sam. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads ; take it in what sense thou wilt.

Gre. They must take it sense,b that feel it.

Sam. Me they shall feel, while I am able to stand : and 't is known I am a pretty piece of flesh.

Gre. 'T is well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool; here comes 1 of the house of the Montagues.

Enter ABRAM and BALTHASAR. Sam. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee. Gre. How? turn thy back, and run? Sam. Fear me not. Gre. No, marry: I fear thee! 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 ;3 which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Sam. I do bite my thumb, sir.

a The undated quarto, which we mark as (D), cruel. (A), in sense. c Poor John-hake, dried and salted. d (A), two of the house.

ROMEO AND JULIET.

SCENE I.]
ROMEO AND JULIET.

287
Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir ?
Sam. Is the law of 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 ? Abr. Quarrel, sir ? no, sir.

Sam. If you do, sir, I am for you; I serve as good a man as you.

Abr. No better.
Sam. Well, sir.

Enter Benvolio, at a distance.
Gre. Say—better; here comes one of my master's kinsmen.
Sam. Yes, better.
Abr. You lie.

Sam. Draw, if you be men.—Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.+

[They fight. Ben. Part, fools; put up your swords; you know not what you do.

[Beats down their swords.

Enter TYBALT. Tyb. What, art thou drawn among these heartless 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, draw,a and talk of peace ? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee : Have at thee, coward.

[They fight. Enter several partisans of both houses, who join the fray;

then enter Citizens, with clubs. 1 Cit. Clubs, bills, and partisans !5 strike! beat them down! Down with the Capulets! down with the Montagues !

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 ?

The quarto of 1609, which we mark as (C), drawn.

Cap. My sword, I say !—Old Montague is come, And flourishes his blade in spite of me.

Enter Montague and Lady MONTAGUE. Mon. Thou villain Capulet,—Hold me not, let me go. La. Mon. Thou shalt not stir a foota to seek a foe.

Enter PRINCE, with Attendants. Prin. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,Will they not hear?—what ho! you men, you beasts,That quench the fire of your pernicious rage With purple fountains issuing from your veins ! On pain of torture, from those bloody hands Throw your mistemper'd weapons to the ground, And hear the sentence of your moved prince. Three civil broils, bred of an airy word, By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets; And made Verona's ancient citizens Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, To wield old partisans, in hands as old, Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate : If ever you disturb our streets again, Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. For this time, all the rest depart away : You, Capulet, shall go along with me; And, Montague, come you this afternoon, To know our farthere pleasure in this case, To old Free-town, our common judgment-place. Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. [Exeunt PRINCE and Attendants ; CAPULET, LADY

CAPULET, Tybalt, Citizens, and Servants. Mon. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach ?Speak, nephew, were you by, when it began?

Ben. Here were the servants of your adversary, And yours, close fighting ere I did approach : a (C), one foot.

1 (C), brawls. • So (A). The folio and (C), father's.

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