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ESCALUS, prince of Verona.
LADY MONTAGUE, wife to Montague.
Citizens of Verona; several Men and Women, relations to both houses;
Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants.
SCENE-during the greater part of the play in Verona : once (in the fifth act)
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,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
ROMEO AND JULIET.
Scene I. A public place.
Sam. Gregory, o'my word, we'll not carry coals.
Gre. To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand : therefore, if thou art moved, 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: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids, and 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. VOL. V.
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.
Sam. My naked weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.
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 ABRAHAM 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.
[They fight. Enter BENVOLIO. Ben. Part, fools! Put up your swords; you know not what you do.
[Beats down their swords.