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ACT. I. SCENE I.
The back-ground of this design represents the houses join in the fray: but the Prince entering, his church of Santa Maria Antica , as also part of the attendants, separate the combatants. Capulet and Piazza, in Verona, with the domestics of the Ca- Montague, who had come out, are ordered, the pulets and of the Montagues, quarrelling and fight- former to attend the Prince immediately; and the ing. The fore-ground represents Benvolio, Monta- latter to come, the same evening, to the palace. All gue's nephew, who has interposed, with his drawn present are then commanded to disperse, on pain sword, to force the servants to part; when
of death. It is after this broil that Romeo appears; « The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar'd,»
whilst Montague is discussing with his nephew, arrives, and ever-ready to breathe defiance to any of his frequent visiting
Benvolio , the cause of his son's present grief, and of the Montagues, exclaims furiously –
sycamore, « What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds ?
That westward rooteth from the city's side, Turn thee , Benvolio, look upon thy death.»
Although challenging, it might be said, that, in Many a morning bath he there been seen, the design, Tybalt seems to turn from his adversary. With tears auginenting the fresh morning's dew It must, however, be remembered, that bis contempt
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep siglas : for the « beartless hinds » around, sufficiently points
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
Should in the furthest east begin to draw out his wish to seek another, and less contaminated
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed, spot, to fight upon : when Benvolio's answer,
Away from light steals home my heavy son, «I do but keep the peace; put up thy sword,
And private in his chamber pens himself;
Shuts Or manage it to part these men with me, »
up his windows, locks fair day light out,
And makes himself an artificial night: again urges him; and he retorts :
Black and portentous must this humour prove , « Whal, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word, Unless good counsel inay the cause remove. » As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee :
Benvolio accosts Romeo, and finally succeeds in Have at thee, coward. »
making his cousin acknowledge the cause of the They fight, and several of the followers of both deep-rooted sorrow that has so altered him,
ACT I. SCENE 2.
The friends of Montague, anxious to wean Romeo from a fruitless flame, use various means to divert his attention from it : amongst other devices, they have induced him to go , under favour of a disguise, to a masked ball, given by Capulet; that he may thus have an opportunity, as Benvolio has already said to him, of comparing Rosaline with other beauties of Verona; and more particularly with one, he will show him;
Shining at this feast, And she sball scant show well, that now shows best. >> it is, in the street, previous to entering Capulet's house, that the sprightly Mercutio addresses to Romeo, the inimitable description of « the fairies' midwife » and of her vagaries — the subject of the second design : « 0, then, I see, queen Mab hath been with
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nat,
My mind misgives,
my saill - On, lusty gentlemen. .