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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, ls 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.
SCENTE I—A public place. Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with swords and bucklers.
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, .# moved. Gre. But thou art not o moved 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 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 bear2ng trajuries.
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 sought 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 Montagues.”
Prince. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel, Will they nothear?—what ho!youmen, 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 hear the sentence of your moved prince.— Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, By thee, old Capulet and Montague, #. 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 af. fray in the streets, as we now call Watch!
For this time, all the rest depart away:
(2) Angry. (3) Appeared.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?
ere: Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here's much to do with hate, but more with love:Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! Q anything, of nothing first create! O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms: Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health; Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is 'This love feel I, that feel no love in this. Dost thou not laugh? era. No, coz, I rather weep. Rom. Good heart, at what? Ben. At thy good heart's oppression. Rom. Why, such is love's transgression.— Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast; Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest With more of thine: this love, that thouhast shown, Doth add more grief to too much of mine own. Love is a smoke o with the fume of sighs; Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes; i. o a sea . lovers' tears: What is it else? a madness most discreet, A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. Farewell, my coz. [Going. Ben. Soft, I will go along; And if you leave me so, you do me wrong. Rom. Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he's some other where. Ben. Tell me in sadness, who she is you love. Rom. What, shall I groan, and tell thee? Ben. Groan: why, no; But sadly tell me, who. Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will:— Ah, word ill urg'd to one that is so ill!— In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman. Ben. I aim'd so near, when I suppod ou lov’d. Rom. A o good marksman!—And she's fair ove. Ben. A right fair mark, fair cow, is soonest hit. Rom. Wi. in that hit, you miss: she'll not be hit With Cupid's arrow, she hath Dian's wit: And, in strong proof of chastity well arm’d, From love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd. She will not stay the siege of loving terms, Norbide the encounter of assailing eyes, Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold : O, she is rich in beauty; only poor, That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store. Ben. Then she hath sworn, that she will still live chaste? Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste; For beauty, starv'd with her severity, Cuts beauty off from all posterity. She is too fair, too wise; wisely too fair,
(1) In seriousness. (2) . e. What end does it answer. (3) Account, estimation.
To merit bliss by making me despair:
Cap. And Montague is bound as well as I, In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think, For men so old as we to keep the peace. Par. Of honourable reckoning” are you both; And pity'tis, i. liv'd at odds so long. But now, my lord, what say you to my suit? Cap. But saying o'er what I have said before: My child is yet a stranger in the world, She hath not seen the change of fourteen years; Let two more summers wither in their pride, Ere we may think her ripe to be a o: Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made. Cap. And too soon marr'd are those so early made. The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she, She is the hopeful lady of my earth: But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart, My will to her consent is but a part; o An she agree, within her scope of choice Lies my consent and fair according voice. This night I hold an old accustom'd feast, Whereto I have invited many a guest, Such as I love; and you, among the store, One more, most welcome, makes my number
more. At my poor house, look to behold this night Earth-treading stars, that make dark heaven light: Such comfort, as do lusty young men feel When well-apparell'd April on the heel Of limping winter treads, even such delight Among fresh female buds shall you this night Inherit" at my house; hear all, all see, And like her most, whose merit most shall be: Such, amongst view of many, mine, being one, May stand in number, though in reckoning” none. Come, go with me;—Go, sirrah, trudge about Through fair Verona; find those persons out, Whose names are written there, (Gives a paper.] and to them say, My house and welcome on their pleasures stay. [Ereunt Capulet and Paris. Serv. Find them out, whose names are written here? It is written—that the shoemaker should meddle with his yard, and the tailor with his last, the fisher with his pencil, and the painter with his nets; but I am sent to find those persons, whose names are here writ, and can never find what names the writing person hath here writ. I must to the learned:—In good time.
(4) To inherit, in the language of Shakspeare, is to possess. (5) Estimation.
Enter Benvolio and Romeo.
Ben. Tut, man! one fire burns out another's burning, One pain is lessen'd by another's of. Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning; One desperategriefcures with another's languish: Take thou some new infection to thy eye, And the rank poison of the old will die. Rom. Your plantain leaf is excellent for that. Ben. For what, I pray thee? Rom. For your broken shin. Ben. Why, Romeo, art thou mad? Rom. Not mad, but bound more than a madman is: Shut up in prison, kept without my food, Whipp'd, and tormented, and—Good-e'en, good fellow. Serv. God read Rom. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery. Serv. Perhaps you have learn'd it without book: But I pray, can you read anything you see? Rom. Åy, if I know the letters, and the language. Serv. Ye say o: Rest you merry! Rom. Stay, fellow; I can read. [Reads.
Signior Martino, and his wife, and daughters; County Anselme, and his beauteous sisters; The lady widow of Vitruvio; Signior Placentio, and his lovely nieces; Mercutio, and his brother Walentine: JMine uncle Capulet, his wife, and daughters; JMy fair niece Rosaline; Livia; Signior Walentio, and his cousin Tybalt; Lucio, and the lively Helena.
A fair assembly; [Gives back the note.] Whither should they come?
ore. Serv. Now I'll tell you without asking : My master is the great rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine. Rest you merry. [Erit. Ben. At this same ancient feast of Capolet's Sups the fair Rosaline, whom thou so lov'st; With all the admired beauties of Verona: Gothither; and, with unattainted eye, Compare her face with some that I shall show, And I will make thee think thy swan a crow. Rom. When the devout religion of mine eye Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires! And these, who, often drown'd, could never die, Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars! One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun Ne'er saw her match, since first the world begun. Ben. Tut! you saw her fair, none else being by, Herself pois'do with herself in either eye : But in those crystal scales, let there be weigh'd Your lady's love against some other maid That I will show you, shining at this feast, And she shall scanto show well, that now shows best. Rom. I'll go along, no such sight to be shown, But to rejoice in splendour of mine own. [Exeunt.
Enter Juliet. Jul. How now, who calls? .Nurse. Your mother. . Jul. Madam, I am here.
What is your will?
(5) i. e. I have a perfect remembrance or recolection.
(6) The cross.
(7) Holy dame, i.e. the blessed Virgin.
(8) It stopped crying.
A parlous knock; and it cried bitterly.
age; Wilt thou not, Jule 2 it stinted, and said–Ay. Jul. And stint thoutoo, I pray thee, nurse, say I. .Nurse. Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace si * Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd: An I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish. La. Cap. Marry, that marry is the very theme I came to talk o o §. How stands your disposition to be married' Jul. It is an honour that I dream not of. Wurse. An honour! were not I thine only nurse, I d say, thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat. La. Cap. Well, think of marriage now; younger than you, Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, Are made already mothers: by my count, I was your mother much upon these years, That you are now a maid. Thus then, in brief:The valiant Paris seeks you for his love. .Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man, As all the world—Why, he's a man of wax.2 Cap. Verona's summer hath not such a flower. .Nurse. Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very flower. La. Cap. What say you? can you love the gentleman? This night you shall behold him at our feast: Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face, And find delight writ there with beauty's pen; Examine every married lineament, And see how one another lends content; And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies, Find written in the margin of his eyes.” This precious book of love, this unbound lover, To beautify him, only lacks a cover: The fish lives in the sea;" and 'tis much pride, For fair without the fair within to hide: That book in many's eyes doth share the glory, That in gold clasps locks in the golden story; So shall you share all that he doth possess, By having him, making yourself no less. JNurse. No less? nay, bigger; women grow by inen. La. Cap. speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love? Jul. I'll look to like, if looking liking move: But no more deep will I endart mine eye, Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.
SCE.WE IV.-A street. Enter Romeo, Mercu-
er. Why, may one ask? Rom. I dreamt a dream to-night. JMer. “And so did 1. Rom. Well, what was yours? ..Mer. hat dreamers often lie. (7) A dance.
(8) A torch-bearer was a constant appendage to every troop of maskers.
(10) It was anciently the custom to strew rooms with rushes.
(11). This is equivalent to phrases in common use—I am done, for, it is over with me.