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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' traffick of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
Escalus, Prince of Verona.
} servants to Capulet.
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, at Mantua.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
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. Gre. To move, is—to stir; and to be valiant, is— to stand to it: therefore, if thou art mov'd, thou run'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.
* A phrase formerly in use to signify the bearing injuries.