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PROLOGUE.

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 misadventured 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, naught 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.

ROMEO AND JULIET.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

A public place. Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, armed with swords and

bucklers.

Samp. Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals. 1

Gre. No, for then we should be colliers.
Samp. I mean, an we be in choler, we ʼll draw.

Gre. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of the collar.

Samp. I strike quickly, being moved.
Gre. But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
Samp. A dog of the house of Montague moves

me.

Gre. To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand to it: therefore, if thou art moved, thou runnest away.

Samp. A dog of that house shall move me to

1 A phrase formerly in use to signify the bearing of injuries.

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.

Samp. 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.

Samp. 'Tis all one; I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men I will be cruel with the maids; I will cut off their heads.

Gre. The heads of the maids ?

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

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

Samp. Me they shall feel, while I am able to stand; and, 'tis known, I am a pretty piece of flesh.

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

Enter ABRAM and BALTHASAR.

Samp. My naked weapon is out: quarrel ; I will back thee.

Gre. How? turn thy back, and run ?
Samp. Fear me not.
Gre. No, marry : I fear thee!

| Poor John is bake, dried and salted.

Abr.

Samp. 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.

Samp. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

Do
you
bite
your

thumb at us, sir ?
Samp. I do bite my thumb, sir.
Abr. Do

you
bite
your

thumb at us, sir ? Samp. Is the law on our side, if I say Ay? Gre. No.

Samp. 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.

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

Abr. No better.
Samp. Well, sir.

Enter BENVOLIO, at a distance. Gre. Say, better; here comes one of my master's kinsmen.

Samp. Yes, better, sir.
Abr. You lie.

Samp. Draw, if you be men.-Gregory, remember the swashing 1 blow.

[they fight.

| Noisy.

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