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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 remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which of you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
SCENE I.-A public Place. Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, armed with swords and bucklers. SAMPSON. Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals.1 ~ 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 o' 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 ; therefore, if thou art moved, thou runnest 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 shews thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall. The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men.
Sam. 'Tis all one, I will shew myself a tyrant. 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.
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.
Enter ABRAM and BALTHASAR.
Sam. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir ; but I bite my thumb, sir.
Gre. Do you quarrel, sir?
Sam. If you do, sir, I am for you ; I serve as good a man as you.
Abr. No better.
Sam. Draw, if you be men.—Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.
Enter BENVOLIO. Ben. Part, fools ; put up your swords ; you know not what you do.
[Beats down their swords.
Ben. I do but keep the peace ; put up thy sword,
Tyb. What, drawn, and talk of peace ! I hate the word,
Enter several partisans of both houses, who join the fray; then enter
Citizens, with clubs. First Cit. Clubs, bills, and partisans! 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.
Enter MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE. · Mon. Thou villain Capulet-Hold me not, let me go. La. Mon. Thou shalt not stir a foot to seek a foe.
Enter PRINCE, with Attendants.
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
[Exeunt PRINCE and Attendants ; CAPULET, LADY CAPULET,
TYBALT, Citizens, and Servants.
Ben. Here were the servants of your adversary,
La. Mon. O, where is Romeo ?—saw you him to-day?
Ben. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun