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P R O L OG U
TWO households, both alike in dignitr, (i)
In fair Verona, (where we lay our Scene) From ancient grudge break to new mutiny;
Where civil blood makes civil bands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of far-croft lovers take their life; W bole mil-adventur'd piteous overt brows
Do, with their death, bury their parents' Arife.
(1) Two boufebolds, &c.] The fable of this play is built on a real tragedy, that happen'd about the beginning of the 14th century. The story, with all its circumstances, is given us by Bandello, in one of his novels; as also by Girolame da Corte in his history of Verona, The young lover, as this historian tells us,' was call's Romeo Mondecebi; and the lady, Julietta Capello. Captain Breval in his travels tells us, that, when he was at Verona, he was shewn an old building, (converted into an house for orphans) in which the tomb of these unhappy lovers had formerly been broken up; and that he was info!m'd by his guide in all the particulars of their story: which put him in mind of our Author's play on the subject. The captain has clos'd his account of this affair with. a reproof to our excellent OTWAY, for having turn'd this story to that of Caius Marius; con. fidering, (says he) " how inconsistent it was (to pass by other absur“ dities) to make the Romans bury their bodies in the latter end of or the confular times, when every Schonl-boy knows, that it was the ." custom to burn them first, and then bury their afhes.”
I can.not help observing in respect to Oravay's memory, that both interring and burring were at one and the same time used by the Romans. Fir instance, Marius was buried; and Sylla, his enemy, was by his own express orders burnt; the first of the Cornelian family, that had been so di'cos'd of. Pliny gives us the reason for such his orders : ldq; voluile, veritum talionem, cruto Caii Marii cadavere. (Nat. Hift. 1. vi. cap.:55.) He fear'd reprisals upon his own body, his soldiers having dụg up and committed indigoities on the body of Marius. To
The fearful pasage of their deatb-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Is now the two hours traffick of our stage :
this fear of his, Cicero has likewise alluded in his second book De Legibus. I had almost forgot to observe, that Pliny expresly says, burning of dead bodies was not an old institution among the Romans ; but their dead weré interr'd.Ipsum cremare apud Romanos non føit veteris inftituti : terrâ condebantur. .
ESCALUS, Prince of Verona.
Nobleman in love with Juliet, and kinsman to the Prince. Montague, Two Lords of antient familie., enemies te Capulet,
Servants to Capulet..
Lady Montague, Wife 10 Montague..
The SCENE, in the beginning of the fifth Aat, is in Man.. tua ;, during all the rest of the Play, in and near Verona..
ROMEO and JULIE T.
A C T I.
SCENE, The Street, in Verona.
Sam. I mean, an' we be in choler, we'll
Greg. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of the collar..
Sam. I strike quickly, being mov’d.
Greg. To move, is to stir; and to be valiant, is to ftand: therefore, if thou art mov'd, thou runn'It away.
Sam. A dog of that house shall move nie to stand : I will take the wall of any man, or maid, of Montague's.
Greg. That shews thee a weak llave ; for the weakest goes to the wall.