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P R O L O G U E.
Wo housholds, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, (where we lay our scene) From ancient grudge break to new muliny;
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of ster-croft lovers take their life; Whose mis-adventur'd piteous overthrows
Do, with their death, bury their parents' strife. The fearful pasage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Is now the two hours' traffick of our stage :
This prologue after the first copy was published in 1597, received several alterations, both in respet of correctness and versification. The play was firft performed by the Right Hondurable the Lord of Hunsdon his servants. STEEVENS.
, } Friends of Romeo
ESCALUS, Prince of Verona.
Servants to Capulet.
Lady Montague, Wife to Montague.
10 boih lioules, Mothers, Guards, Watch, and other
The SCENE, in the beginning of the fifth ait is in
Mantua; during all ihe rest of the play at Verona.
A C T I.
S CE NE 1.
Enter Sampson and Gregory, two servants of Capulet.
Greg. No, for then we shall be colliers.
Sam. I mean, an' we be in choler, we'll draw. Greg. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of the collar.
' The story on which this play is founded, is said to have been a true one. It was originally published by an anonymous Italian novellist in 1549 at Venice, and again in 1553 at the same place.
The firit cdition of Bandello's work appeared a year later than the last of these already mentioned. Pierre Boiseau copied it with alterations and additions. Belleforest adopted it in the firit volume of his collection 1596 ; but very probably some edition of it yet more ancient had found its way abroad; as in this improved fare it was translated into Englit, and published in an octavo volume 1562, but without a name. On this occasion it appears in the form of a poem entitled, The tragicall Historie of Romeus and Juliet. The last-mentioned of these pieces our author has so minutely followed, that he has occasionally borrowed even sentiments and expreslions. The fame story is found in The Palace of Pleasure : but Shakespeare does not seem to have been at all indebted to such a faint idea of it as is conveved by Painter's Epitome. Stanyhurit, the translator of Virgil in 1582, enumerates Julietta among his heroines, in a piece which he calls an Epitaph, or Commune Defunctorum. And it appears (as Mr. Farmer has observer) from a paffage in Ames's Typographical Antiquities, that the ftory had likewise been tranflaied by another hand. SteeVINS."
2 we'll not carry coals.] Dr. Warburton very jusly obferves, that this was a phrase formerly in use to lignify the lturing injuries;