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Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Do, with their death, bury their parents' strife.
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
ROMEO AND JULIET.
SCENE I. A public place.
Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with swords and
bucklers. Sam. 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. To move, is—to stir; and to be valiant, isto stand to it: therefore, if thou art mov'd, thou runn'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.
Gre. The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men. Sam. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant : * A phrase formerly in use to signify the bearing injuries,
when I have fought 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 t.
Enter Abram and Balthasar. Sam. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee.
Gre. How? turn thy back, and run ?
Sam. Let us take the law of our sides ; let them begin.
Gre. I will frown, as I pass by; and let them take it as they list.
Sam. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.
Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
your thumb at us, sir ? Sam. Is the law on our side, if I say-ay? Gre. No.
Sam. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.
Gre. Do you quarrel, sir?
Sam. If you do, sir, I am for you; I serve as good a man as you.
Abr. No better.
Enter Benvolio, at a distance.
Sam. Draw, if you be men.-Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.
(They fight. Ben. Part, fools; put up your swords; you know not what you do. [Beats down their swords.
Ben. I do but keep the peace; put up thy sword,
Enter several Partizans of both houses, who join the
fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs. i Cit. Clubs*, bills, and partizans ! strike ! beat
them down ! Down with the Capulets ! down with the Mon
tagues ! 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
à sword ? Cap. My sword, I say !-Old Montague is come, And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
• Clubs! was the usual exclamation at an affray in the streets, as We now call Watch!