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Two housholds, 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-croft lovers take their life; Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Do, with their death, bury their parents' ftrife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents'rage,
Is now the two hours' traffick of our stage;
1 This prologue, after the first copy was published in 1597, received several alterations, both in respect of correctnets and versification. In the folio it is omitted. The play was originally performed by ebe Rigbe Horourable obe Lord of Hunsdon bis servants.
In the first of K. James 1. was made an act of parliament for some reftraint or limitation of noblemen in the protection of players, or of players under their sanction. STEEVENS.
Under the word PROLOGUE, in the copy of 1599 is printed Chorus, which I suppose meant only that the prologue was to be spoken by the same person who personated the chorus at the end of the first act. The original prologue, in the quarto of 1597, stands thus :
Two household frends, alike in dignitie,
In faire Verona, where we lay our scene,
Whose civill warre makes civill hands uncleane.
A paire of starre-croft lovers tooke their life;
(Through the continuing of their fathers' ftrife,
Is now the two howres traffique of our stage,
What here we want, wce'll studie to amend, MALONE,
Escalus, Prince of Verona.
Gregory;}Servants 10 Capulet
Abram, servant to Montague.
Lady Montague, Wife to Montague.
Citizens of Verona ; several Men and Women, relations to
both houses; Maskers, Guards, Citizens, Watchmen, and Aitendants.
SCENE during the greater part of the play, in Verona :
once in the fifth Act a: Mantua.