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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


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

ESCALUS, Prince of Verona.

PARIS, a young nobleman, kinsmen to the Prince. MONTAGUE, heads of two houses, at variance with each other.


An old Man, uncle to Capulet.

ROMEO, Son to Montague.

MERCUTIO, kinsman to the Prince, and friend to


BENVOLIO, nephew to Montague, and friend to


TYBALT, nephew to Lady Capulet.

Friar LAWRENCE, a Franciscan.
Friar JOHN, of the same order.
BALTHAZAR, servant to Romeo.

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servants to Capulet.

ABRAM, servant to Montague.

An Apothecary.

Three Musicians.

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, Watchmen, and Attendants.

SCENE, during the greater part of the Play, in Verona; once, in the fifth Act, at Mantua.





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. 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 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.

I 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.


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; 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.

Abr. Do you bite 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?

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, sir.

Abr. You lie.

Sam. Draw, if you be men. ber thy swashing blow.

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Gregory, remem[They fight.

Ben. Part, fools; put up your swords; you know [Beats down their Swords.

not what

you do.


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, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word,

As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee;

Have at thee coward.

[They fight.

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 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?

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

Clubs! was the usual exclamation at an affray in the streets, as we now call Watch!

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