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The story of the unhappy lovers of Verona, as a supposed historical ccurrence, is referred to the year 1303; but no account of it exists of an earlier date than that of Luigi da Porto, about 1530. The story quickly acquired a European celebrity. Published by Bandello in his collection of Italian novels in 1554, it was translated into French in 1559 by Pierre Boisteau, and in three years more touched English soil. Arthur Brooke in 1562 produced his long metrical version, founded upon Boisteau's novel, and a pure translation of Boisteau's work appeared in Paynter's Palace of Pleas ure in 1557. We have here reached Shakespeare's sources: Paynter he probably consulted; in nearly all essentials he follows the Romeus and Juliet of Brooke. The precise date of Shakespeare's play is uncertain. In 1597 it was published in quarto," as it hath been often (with great applause) plaid publiquely by the right Honorab.e the Lord of Hunsdon his servants." Now the Lord Chamberlain, Henry Lord Hunsdon, died July 22, 1596; his son, George Lord Hunsdon, was appointed Chamberlain in April, 1597. Before July, 1596, or after April, 1597, the theatrical company would have been style by the more honorable designation, the Lord Chamberlain's servants" but during the interval they would have been described as on the title-page of the quarto. The Nurse's mention of the earthquake (Act I Se. III., L. 23), 'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years,' has been referred to as giving the date 1591, a memorable earthquake, felt in London, having occurred in 1580; but, while professing an infallibly accurate recollection, the old woman blunders sadly bout her dates, so that even if an actual English earth quake were alluded to, he point of the jest may have been in the inaccuracy of the reference. The internal evidence favors the opinion that this tragedy was an early work of the poet, and tha it was subsequently revised and enlarged. There is much rhyme, and much of this is in the form of alternate rliyme; the forced playing upon words, and the overstrained conceits point to an arly date. We may perhaps accept the opinion that the pla was begun, and in part written, as early as 1591, and that it assumed its final form about 1597. Apart from its intrinsic beauty, Romeo and Juliet is of deep interes when viewed as Shakespeare's first tragedy, and as a work which probably occupied hi thoughts, from time to time, during a series of year.. It is a young man's tragedy, in whi Youth and Love are brought face to face with Hatred and Death. The scene is essentilly Italian: the burning noon of July in the Italian city nflame the blood of the street quarrelers; he voluptuous moonlit nights are only lik a softer day. And the characters are Italian, with their yrical ardor, their southern impetuosity of passion, and the southern forms and olor of their speech. Romeo's nature is prone to enthusiastic feeling, and, as it were, vaguely trembling in the direction of love before he sees Juliet; to meet her gives form and fixit, to his vague emotion. To Juliet-a girl of fourteen-love comes as a thing previously unknown; it is at once terrible and blissful; she rises, through love, and sorrow, and trial, from hild into a heroic w man. After Shakespear has exalted their enthusiastic joy and rapture to the highest point, he suddenly casts it down. Romeo is at first completely unmanned; but Juliet exhibits a noble fortitude and self com mand. Mercutio and the Nurse are almost creations of Shakespeare. Brooke had described Mereutio as "a lion among maidens," and speaks of his “ice-cold hand ;" but it was the dramatist who drew at full length the figure of this brilliant being, who though with wit running beyond what is becoming, and effervescent animal spirits, yet acts as a guardian of Romeo, and is always a gallant gentleman. He dies forcing a jest through his bodily anguish, bu he dies on Romeo's behalf: the scene darkens as his figure disappears. The action is accelerated by Shakespeare to the utmost, the four or five months of Brooke's poem being reduced to as many days. On Sunday the lovers meet, next day they are made one in marriage, on Tuesday morning at dawn they part, and they are finally e-united in the tomb on the night of Thursday Shakespeare does not close the tragedy with Juliet's death: as he has shown in the first scene the hatred of the houses through the comic quarrel of the servants, thereby introducing the causes which produce the tragic issue, so in the last sceue he shows us the houses sorrowfully reconciled over the dead bodies of a son and daughter.

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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.

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Sam. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant when I have fough, 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. 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. How! turn thy back and run?

Sam. Fear me not.

Gre. No, marry; I fear thee!


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Put up your swords; you know not what you do. [Beats down their swords.


Tyb. What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds ?

Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death. Ben. I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,

Or manage it to part these men with me. Tyb. What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word,

As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee: Have at thee, coward! [They fight.

Enter several of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs. First Cit. Clubs, bills, and partisans ! strike beat them down! 80 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. A crutch, a crutch! why call you for a sword?

Cap. My sword, I say! Old Montague is

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And hear 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, 100
To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd

If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
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-



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And yours, close fighting ere I did approach:
I drew to part them in the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepared,
Which, as he breathed defiance to my ears.
He swung about his head and cut the winds,
Who nothing hurt withal hiss'd him in scorn
While we were interchanging thrusts and

Came more and more and fought on part and part,

Till the prince came, who parted either part. La. Mon. O, where is Romeo? saw you him to-day?

Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
Ben. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd



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 :
I, measuring his affections by my own,
That most are busied when they're most alone,
Pursued my humor not pursuing his,
And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.
Mon. Many a morning hath he there been



With tears augmenting the fresh morning':
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep
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 daylight ou
And makes himself an artificial night:
Black and portentous must this humor prov
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
Ben. My noble uncle, do you know th
cause ?

Mon. I neither know it nor can learn him.


Ben. Have you importuned him by an


Mon. Both by myself and many oth 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 ai
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun

Could we but learn from whence his sorro


We would as willingly give cure as know.

Enter ROMEO.

Ben. See, where he comes: so please you, step aside;

I know his grievance, or be much denied.
Mon. I would thou wert so happy by thy

To bear true shrift. Come, madam, let's
anay. [Exeunt Montague and Lady.
Be Good-morrow, cousin.

Is the day so young?
Be But new struck nine.

Ay me! sad hours seem long. Was that my father that went hence so fast? Ben. It was. What sadness lengthens

Romeo's hours?

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No, coz, I rather weep.


Rom. Good heart, at what? Bea At thy good heart's oppression. Rm. Why, such is love's transgression. refs of mine own lie heavy in my breast, Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown

eth add more grief to too much of nine own. Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs; ng purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes; gvex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears: Wat is it else? a madness most discreet, Ahoking gall and a preserving sweet. Farewell, my coz.

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Soft! I will go along ; An 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 is that you love,

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She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide 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 starved with her severity
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.

She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair :
She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
Do I live dead that live to tell it now.


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Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and Servant. Cap. But 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 honorable reckoning are you both; And pity 'tis you lived 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


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Come, go with me. [To Serv., giving a paper.]
Go, sirrah, trudge about
Through fair Verona; find those persons out
Whose names are written there, and to them

My house and welcome on their pleasure stay. [Exeunt 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.


Ben. Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning,

One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish ; Tarn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;

One desperate grief cures with another's languish :

Take thou some new infection to thy eye, 50 And the rank poison of the old will die.

Rom. Your plaintain-leaf is excellent for that.

Ben. For what, I pray thee ?
For your broken shin.
Ben. Why, Romeo, art thou mad?

Not mad, but bound more than a mad-man is; Shut up in prison, kept without my food,

Whipp'd and tormented and-God-den, goo fellow.

Serv. God gi' god-den. I pray, sir, can yo read ?

Rom. Ay, mine own fortune in my miser Serv. Perhaps you have learned it witho book: but, I pray, can you read any thin you see?

Rom. Ay, if I know the letters and the la guage.

Serv. Ye say honestly: rest you merry Rom. Stay, fellow; I can read. [Rea 'Signior Martino and his wife and daug ters; County Anselme and his beauteousters; the lady widow of Vitruvio; Sign Placentio and his lovely nieces; Mercutio a his brother Valentine; mine uncle Capul his wife, and daughters; my fa.r niece Ro line; Livia; Signior Valentio and his cou Tybalt; Lucio and the lively Helena.' A fair assembly: whither should they com Serr. Up.

Rom. Whither?

Serv. To supper; to our house. Rom. Whose house?

Sere. My master's.

Rom. Indeed, I should have ask'd you t before.

Serv. Now I'll tell you without asking: master is the great rich Capulet; and if be not of the house of Montagues. I p come and crush a cup of wine. Rest


Ben. At this same ancient feast of C

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