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The story of this play, scept the episode of Ed- that it follows the chronicle; it has the rudiments mund, which is derived, I think, from Sidney, is of the play, but none of its amplifications: it first taken originally from Geoffry of Monmouth, whom hinted Lear's madness, but did not array it in cir Holinshed generally copied; but perhaps immedi- cumstances. The writer of the ballad added ately from an old historical ballad. My reason for something to the history, which is a proof that he believing that the play was posterior to the ballad, would have added more, if more had occurred to rather than the ballad to the play, is, that the bal- his mind; and more must have occurred if he had lad has nothing of Shakspeare's nocturnal tempest, seen Shakspeare.

which is too striking to have been omitted, and]

JOHNSON.

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PROLOGUE.

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 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.

ACT I.

SCENE 1-A public place. Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with swords and bucklers.

Sampson.

GREGORY, o'my word, we'll not carry coals.' Gre. 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.

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; 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.2 Draw thy tool; here comes two of the house of the Montagues.'

Enter Abram and Balthazar.

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

Gre. To move, is-to stir; and to be valiant, is-bear it. to stand to it: therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.

Sam. A dog of that house shall move me to

(1) A phrase formerly in use to signify the bearing injuries.

VOL. N.

Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Sam. I do bite my thumb, sir.
Abr. Do you bite your thumb at 's, sir?

(2) Poor John is hake, dried and salted.
(3) The disregard of concord is in character.
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Sam. Is the law on our side, if I say-ay?
Gre. No.

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 as you.

Abr. No better.

Sam. Well, sir.

Enter Benvolio, at a distance.

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

[Exe. Prince, and Attendants; Capulet, Lady
Capulet, Tybalt, Citizens, and Servants.
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 yours, close fighting ere I did approach:

Gre. Say-better; here comes one of my mas- I drew to part them; in the instant came

ter's kinsmen.

Sam. Yes, better, sir.

Abr. You lie.

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, Sam. Draw, if you be men.-Gregory, remem-Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn. ber thy swashing blow. (They fight. While we were interchanging thrusts and blows, Ben. Part, fools; put up your swords; you know Came more and more, and fought on part and part, not what you do. [Beats down their swords. Till the prince came, who parted either part. La. Mon. O, where is Romeo?-saw you him to-day?

Enter Tybalt.

Tyb. What, art thou drawn among these heart-Right glad I am, he was not at this fray.

less hinds?

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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.

1 Cit. Clubs,' bills, and partizans! strike! beat
them down!

Down with the Capulets! down with the Montagues!

Enter Capulet, in his gown; and Lady Capulet. Cap. What noise is this?-Give me my long sword, ho!

La. Cap. 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.

Enter Montague and Lady Montague.
Mon. Thou villain Capulet,-Hold me not, let

me go.

La. Mon. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.

Enter Prince, with Attendants.
Prince. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
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 mistemper'd' weapons to the ground,
And near 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 partizans, in hands as old,
Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate:
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.

(1) Clubs! was the usual exclamation at an affray in the streets, as we now call Watch!

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:
That most are busied when they are most alone, –
I, measuring his affections by my own,-
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
Should in the furthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
Away from light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself;
Shuts up his windows, locks fair day-light out,
And makes himself an artificial night:
Black and portentous must this humour prove,
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.

Ben. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
Mon. I neither know it, nor can learn of him.
Ben. Have you impórtun'd him by any means?
Mon. Both by myself, and many other friends:
But he, his own affections' counsellor,
Is to himself-I will not say, how true-
But to himself so secret and so close,
So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm,
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow
We would as willingly give cure, as know.

Enter Romeo, at a distance.

Ben. See, where he comes: So please ycu, step
aside;

I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.
Mon. I would, thou wert so happy by thy stay
To hear true shrift.-Come, madam, let's away.
[Exeunt Montague and Lady
Ben. Good morrow, cousin.
Rom.
Is the day so young
Ben. But new struck nine.
Rom.
Ah me! sad hours seem long-

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