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Romeo and Juliet

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This etext was prepared by the PG Shakespeare Team, a team of about twenty Project Gutenberg volunteers.

ROMEO AND JULIET

by William Shakespeare

PERSONS REPRESENTED

Escalus, Prince of Verona. Paris, a young Nobleman, kinsman to the Prince. Montague,}Heads of two Houses at variance with each other. Capulet, } An Old Man, Uncle to Capulet. 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. Friar Lawrence, a Franciscan. Friar John, of the same Order. Balthasar, Servant to Romeo. Sampson, Servant to Capulet. Gregory, Servant to Capulet. Peter, Servant to Juliet's Nurse. Abraham, Servant to Montague. An Apothecary. Three Musicians. Chorus. Page to Paris; another Page. An Officer.

Lady Montague, Wife to Montague. Lady Capulet, Wife to Capulet. Juliet, Daughter to Capulet. Nurse to Juliet.

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.

THE PROLOGUE

[Enter Chorus.]

Chor. 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 Doth 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 naught could remove, Is 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.

ACT I.

Scene I. A public place.

[Enter Sampson and Gregory armed with swords and bucklers.]

Sampson. Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals.

Gregory. No, for then we should be colliers.

Sampson. I mean, an we be in choler we'll draw.

Gregory. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o' the collar.

Sampson. I strike quickly, being moved.

Gregory. But thou art not quickly moved to strike.

Sampson. A dog of the house of Montague moves me.

Gregory. To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand: therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.

Sampson. A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's.

Gregory. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall.

Sampson. 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.

Gregory. The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.

Sampson. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men I will be cruel with the maids, I will cut off their heads.

Gregory. The heads of the maids?

Sampson. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt.

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