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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.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
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.
Gre. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of the collar.
Sam. I strike quickly, being moved.
Gre. To move, is—to stir; and to be valiant, is to stand to it: therefore, if thou art mov'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.
Sam. True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall :-therefore I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.
Gre. The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men. · Sam. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant : * A phrase formerly in use to signify the bearing injuries,
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 maidenheads; 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 Montaguest.
Enter Abram and Balthasar. Sam. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee.
Sam. Fear me not.
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. 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.
Enter Benvolio, at a distance. Gre. Say—better; here comes one of my master's kinsmen.
Sam. Yes, better, sir. 1
Sam. Draw, if you be men.-Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.
[They fight. Ben. Part, fools; put up your swords; you know not what you do. . [Beats down their swords.
less hinds ?
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. i Cit. Clubs*, bills, and partizans ! strike ! beat
them down ! Down with the Capulets ! down with the Mon
tagues ! 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!