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A public Place.


SAMPSON and GREGORY, armed with swords and


Sam. Gregory, on my word, we'll not carry coals”.
Gré. 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 ; therefore, if thou art moved, thou run'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.

Sam. 'Tis true; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall:—therefore, I will push

! – armed with swords and bucklers.] The old copies add the information, that the men were “ of the house of Capulet."

- we'll not carry coals.] Numberless authorities might be produced to show that “ to carry coals” formerly meant to bear injuries. The 4to, 1597, opens the tragedy thus :

"1. Gregory, of my word, I'll carry no coals.

2. No, for if you do, you should be a collier.
1. If I be in choler, I'll draw.

2. Ever, while you live, draw your neck out of the collar." The 4to, 1599, omits “the” before “collar :" "the" is twice repeated in the 4to, 1597. Such differences hardly require notice.

Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall. Gre. The quarrel is between our m

masters, and


their men. Sam. '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 ?

Sam. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maiden-heads; take it in what sense thou wilt.

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

Sam. 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. 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 o.

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 of our side, if I say—ay ?
Gre. No.


I will be CRUEL with the maids ;] The 4to, 1597, has not the word; but the 4tos, 1599 and 1609, together with the folio, 1623, have "civil.”

It was doubtless a misprint for cruel, as the undated edition gives it; and cruel for “civil” is the emendation of the corr. fo. 1632. The misprint of civil for“ cruel” is allowed to remain in Greene and Lodge's “ Looking Glass for London and England," (Dyce's edit. i. 74,) “And play the civil wanton ” for cruel wanton."

- poor John.] Dried and salted bake was frequently so called.

- two of the house of the Montagues.) So the 4to, 1597 : that of 1599, and the subsequent impressions made from it, omit “two.”

6 – which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.] Malone quoted the following passage from Dekker's “ Dead Term,” 4to, 1608, where he is adverting to the persons who visited the walks in St. Paul's church :-“What swearing is there, what shouldering, what justling, what jeering, what biting of thumbs to beget quarrels.” Other quotations, though in point, are needless.


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

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you do.

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.-Gregory, remember swashing blow

[They fight. Ben. Part, fools ! put up your swords; you know not what

[Beating down their swords.

Enter TYBALT. 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 persons of both Houses, who join the fray; then

enter Citizens, with clubs or partisans. 1 Cit. Clubs, bills, and partisans ! strike! beat them down ! Down with the Capulets ! down with the Montagues !

7 Say-better : here comes one of my master's kinsmen.] The 4to, 1597, reads, “Say ay : here comes my master's kinsman." It is immediately followed by the subsequent stage-direction, which is all that is there found, until the entrance of "the Prince and his Train"_"They draw: to them enters Tybalt. They fight: to them the Prince, old Montague and his Wife; old Capulet and his Wife, and other Citizens, and part them.”

– remember thy SWASHING blow.) We have had "swashing" in "As You Like It," Vol. ii. p. 369, “ We'll have a swashing and a martial outside." Barret in his “Alvearie," 1580, states that “to swash is to make a noise with swords against targets." Ben Jonson also, in his “ Staple of News," speaks of "a swashing blow;" which is evidently the right word, though the 4tos, 1597, 1599, 1609, and all the folios, have washing. The old annotator on the folio, 1632, alters washing to "swashing," and the undated 4to has “swashing."

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.

Mon. Thou villain Capulet !-Hold me not; let me go.
La. Mon. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.
Prin. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,

Enter Prince, with his Train.
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,-
Will they not hear ?—what ho! you men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins',
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mis-temper'd weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved prince. -
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word ',
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets;
And made Verona's ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,
To wield old partisans, in handş as old,
Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate?.
If ever


disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace :
For this time, all the rest depart away.
You, Capulet, shall go along with me;
And, Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our farther pleasure in this case,
To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.

[Exeunt Prince, and Attendants ; CAPULET, Lady

CAPULET, TYBALT, Citizens, and Servants.


9. With purple fountains, &c.] This and the three preceding lines are not in the 4to, 1597.

bred of an AIRY word,] “ Angry word,” in the corr. fo. 1632. The opposite error occurs in “ The Knight of Malta,” (Dyce's Beaumont and Fletcher, v. 145,) where the epithet angry is strangely misapplied to a “ dream."

? — your canker'd hate.] This and the three preceding lines are wanting in the 4to, 1597.

Mon. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach ?-
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?

Ben. Here were the servants of your adversary,
And your's, close fighting ere I did approach.
I drew to part them : in the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar'd;
Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head, and cut the winds,
Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn.
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more, and fought on part and part,
Till the prince came, who parted either part :.

La. Mon. Oh! where is Romeo ?-saw you him to-day? Right glad I am he was not at this fray.

Ben. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun Peer'd forth the golden window of the east, A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad; Where, underneath the grove of sycamore That westward rooteth from the city's side, So early walking did I see your son. Towards him I made ; but he was ’ware of me, And stole into the covert of the wood : I, measuring his affections by my own, Which then most sought, where most might not be found, Being one too many by my weary self, Pursu'd my humour", not pursuing his, And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.

Mon. Many a morning hath he there been seen, With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew, Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs : But all so soon as the all-cheering sun


who parted either part.] Only the two first lines of this speech are given in the 4to, 1597.

* Pursu'd my humour,] Our reading of the two preceding lines is that of the 4tos, 1599, 1609, and of the folio, which has been generally rejected for that of the 4to, 1597. The plain meaning seems to be, that Benvolio, like Romeo, was indisposed for society, and sought to be most, where most people were not to be found, being one too many, even when by himself. The text, since Pope's time, has usually been

“I noting his affections by my own,
That most are busied when they're most alone,

Pursued my humour." In all the copies, 4to. and folio, excepting the 4to, 1599, “humour” is misprinted honour, but the error is set right in the corr. fo. 1632. The last line of this speech, and the first ten lines of the next, are wanting in the 4to, 1597.

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