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Two housholds, 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-croft 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' traffick of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall trive to mend".

i This prologue, after the first copy was published in 1597, received several alterations, both in respect of correctness and versification. In the folio it is omitted. The play was originally performed by ibe Rigbo Honourable tbe Lord of Hunsdon bis servants.

In the first of K. James I. was made an act of parliament for some restraint or limitation of noblemen in the protection of players, or of players under their sanction. STEEVENS.

Únder the word PROLOGUE, in the copy of 1599 is printed Chorus,
which I suppose meant only that the prologue was to be spoken by the
Came person who personated the chorus at the end of the first act.
The original prologue, in the quarto of 1597, stands thus:

Two household frends, alike in dignitie,

In faire Verona, where we lay our scene,
From civil broyles broke into enmitie,

Whose civill warre makes civill hands uncleane,
From forth the fatall loynes of these two foes

A paire of starre-croft lovers tooke their life;
Whose misadventures, piteous overthrowes,

(Through the continuing of their fathers' ftrife,
And death-markt passage of their parents' rage,)

Is now the two howres traffique of our stage,
The which if you with patient eares attend,

What here we want, wce'll studie to amend, MALONE,

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Persons Represented.

Escalus, Prince of Verona.
Paris, a young nobleman, kinsman to the Prince.
Montague, 2 Heads of two Houfes, at variance with each
Capulet, $ other.
Avold Max, uncle to Capulet.
Romeo, fon to Montague.
Mercutio, kinsman to the Prince, and friend to Romeo.
Benvolio, nephew 10 Montague, and friend to Romeo.
Tybalt, nephew to Lady Capulet.
Friar Lawrence, a Francifan.
Friar John, of the same order.
Balthasar, servant to Romeo.

Gregory;}Servants 10 Capulet

.

Abram, servant to Montague.
An Apothecary.
Three Maficians.
Chorus. Boy; Page to Paris; Peter; an Officer.

Lady Montague, Wife to Montague.
Lady Capulet, Wife to Capulet.
Juliet, Daughter to Capulet.
Nurse to Juliet.

Citizens of Verona ; several Men and Women, relations to

both houses; Maskers, Guards, Citizens, Watchmen, and Aitendants.

SCENE during the greater part of the play, in Verona :

once in the fifth Act a: Mantua.

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