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Escalus, Prince of Verona.
Paris, a young Nobleman, Kinsman to the Prince.
Montague, ) , , ., ,
-, \ Heads of two hostile Houses.
Capulet, ) J
Uncle to Capulet.
Romeo, Son to Montague.
Mercutio, Kinsman to the Prince, and Friend to Romeo.
Benvolio, Nephew to Montague, and Friend to Romeo.
Tybalt, Nephew to Lady Capulet.
Friar Laurence, a Franciscan.
Friar John, of the same Order.
Balthasar, Servant to Borneo.
Sampson, ) _,
p > Servants to Capulet.
Peter, another Servant to Capulet.
Abram, Servant to Montague.
Boy; Page to Paris; an Officer.
Lady Montague, Wife to Montague.
Citizens of Verona; Kinsfolk of both Houses; Maskers, Guards,
SCENE: during the greater part of the play, in Verona; once, in the Fifth Act, at Mantua.
TWO households, both alike in dignity,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
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, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.]
THE TRAGEDY OF
ROMEO AND JULIET.
Scene I. — A Public Place.
Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with swords and bucklers.
GREGORY, on my word, we'll not carry coals. Gregory. 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 o' th' collar.
Sam. I strike quickly, being mov'd.
Gre. But thou art not quickly mov'd 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 mov'd, 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 shews 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 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. "lis all one, I will shew 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 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 had'st, thou had'st 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; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.
Enter Abbam and Balthazar.
Abram. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?