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Romeo and Juliet
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Navigate this workRomeo and Juliet
Act 1, scene 1
A street fight breaks out between the Montagues and the Capulets, which is broken up by the ruler of Verona, Prince Escalus. He threatens the Montagues and Capulets with death if they fight again.
A melancholy Romeo enters and is questioned by his cousin Benvolio, who learns that the cause of Romeo’s sadness is unrequited love.Enter Sampson and Gregory, with swords and bucklers,
of the house of Capulet.
SAMPSON 0015 Gregory, on my word we’ll not carry coals.
GREGORY 0016 No, for then we should be colliers.
SAMPSON 0017 I mean, an we be in choler, we’ll draw.
GREGORY 0018 Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of
0019 5 collar.
SAMPSON 0020 I strike quickly, being moved.
GREGORY 0021 But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
SAMPSON 0022 A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
GREGORY 0023 To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to
0024 10 stand. Therefore if thou art moved thou runn’st
SAMPSON 0026 A dog of that house shall move me to stand. I
0027 will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.
GREGORY 0028 That shows thee a weak slave, for the weakest
0029 15 goes to the wall.
SAMPSON 0030 ’Tis true, and therefore women, being the
0031 weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall. Therefore
0032 I will push Montague’s men from the wall and
0033 thrust his maids to the wall.
GREGORY 0034 20The quarrel is between our masters and us
0035 their men.
SAMPSON 0036 ’Tis all one. I will show myself a tyrant.
0037 When I have fought with the men, I will be civil
0038 with the maids; I will cut off their heads.
p. 11GREGORY 0039 25The heads of the maids?
SAMPSON 0040 Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads.
0041 Take it in what sense thou wilt.
GREGORY 0042 They must take it ⌜in⌝ sense that feel it.
SAMPSON 0043 Me they shall feel while I am able to stand,
0044 30 and ’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
GREGORY 0045 ’Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou
0046 hadst been poor-john. Draw thy tool. Here comes
0047 of the house of Montagues.
Enter ⌜Abram with another Servingman.⌝
SAMPSON 0048 My naked weapon is out. Quarrel, I will back
0049 35 thee.
GREGORY 0050 How? Turn thy back and run?
SAMPSON 0051 Fear me not.
GREGORY 0052 No, marry. I fear thee!
SAMPSON 0053 Let us take the law of our sides; let them
0054 40 begin.
GREGORY 0055 I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it
0056 as they list.
SAMPSON 0057 Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at
0058 them, which is disgrace to them if they bear it.
⌜He bites his thumb.⌝
ABRAM 0059 45Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
SAMPSON 0060 I do bite my thumb, sir.
ABRAM 0061 Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
SAMPSON, ⌜aside to Gregory⌝ 0062 Is the law of our side if I
0063 say “Ay”?
GREGORY, ⌜aside to Sampson⌝ 0064 50No.
SAMPSON 0065 No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir,
0066 but I bite my thumb, sir.
GREGORY 0067 Do you quarrel, sir?
ABRAM 0068 Quarrel, sir? No, sir.
SAMPSON 0069 55But if you do, sir, I am for you. I serve as
0070 good a man as you.
ABRAM 0071 No better.
p. 13SAMPSON 0072 Well, sir.
GREGORY, ⌜aside to Sampson⌝ 0073 Say “better”; here comes
0074 60 one of my master’s kinsmen.
SAMPSON 0075 Yes, better, sir.
ABRAM 0076 You lie.
SAMPSON 0077 Draw if you be men.—Gregory, remember
0078 thy washing blow.They fight.
BENVOLIO 0079 65Part, fools!⌜Drawing his sword.⌝
0080 Put up your swords. You know not what you do.
Enter Tybalt, ⌜drawing his sword.⌝
0081 What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
0082 Turn thee, Benvolio; look upon thy death.
0083 I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword,
0084 70 Or manage it to part these men with me.
0085 What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word
0086 As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
0087 Have at thee, coward!⌜They fight.⌝
Enter three or four Citizens with clubs or partisans.
0088 Clubs, bills, and partisans! Strike! Beat them down!
0089 75 Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!
Enter old Capulet in his gown, and his Wife.
0090 What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!
0091 A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a
Enter old Montague and his Wife.
0093 My sword, I say. Old Montague is come
0094 80 And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
0095 Thou villain Capulet!—Hold me not; let me go.
0096 Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.
Enter Prince Escalus with his train.
0097 Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
0098 Profaners of this neighbor-stainèd steel—
0099 85 Will they not hear?—What ho! You men, you beasts,
0100 That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
0101 With purple fountains issuing from your veins:
0102 On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
0103 Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground,
0104 90 And hear the sentence of your movèd prince.
0105 Three civil brawls bred of an airy word
0106 By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
0107 Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets
0108 And made Verona’s ancient citizens
0109 95 Cast by their grave-beseeming ornaments
0110 To wield old partisans in hands as old,
0111 Cankered with peace, to part your cankered hate.
0112 If ever you disturb our streets again,
0113 Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
0114 100 For this time all the rest depart away.
0115 You, Capulet, shall go along with me,
0116 And, Montague, come you this afternoon
0117 To know our farther pleasure in this case,
0118 To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.
0119 105 Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.
⌜All but Montague, Lady Montague,
and Benvolio⌝ exit.
p. 17MONTAGUE, ⌜to Benvolio⌝
0120 Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
0121 Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
0122 Here were the servants of your adversary,
0123 And yours, close fighting ere I did approach.
0124 110 I drew to part them. In the instant came
0125 The fiery Tybalt with his sword prepared,
0126 Which, as he breathed defiance to my ears,
0127 He swung about his head and cut the winds,
0128 Who, nothing hurt withal, hissed him in scorn.
0129 115 While we were interchanging thrusts and blows
0130 Came more and more and fought on part and part,
0131 Till the Prince came, who parted either part.
0132 O, where is Romeo? Saw you him today?
0133 Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
0134 120 Madam, an hour before the worshiped sun
0135 Peered forth the golden window of the east,
0136 A troubled mind ⌜drove⌝ me to walk abroad,
0137 Where underneath the grove of sycamore
0138 That westward rooteth from this city side,
0139 125 So early walking did I see your son.
0140 Towards him I made, but he was ’ware of me
0141 And stole into the covert of the wood.
0142 I, measuring his affections by my own
0143 (Which then most sought where most might not be
0144 130 found,
0145 Being one too many by my weary self),
0146 Pursued my humor, not pursuing his,
0147 And gladly shunned who gladly fled from me.
0148 Many a morning hath he there been seen,
0149 135 With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew,
0150 Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs.
p. 190151 But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
0152 Should in the farthest east begin to draw
0153 The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed,
0154 140 Away from light steals home my heavy son
0155 And private in his chamber pens himself,
0156 Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out,
0157 And makes himself an artificial night.
0158 Black and portentous must this humor prove,
0159 145 Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
0160 My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
0161 I neither know it nor can learn of him.
0162 Have you importuned him by any means?
0163 Both by myself and many other friends.
0164 150 But he, ⌜his⌝ own affections’ counselor,
0165 Is to himself—I will not say how true,
0166 But to himself so secret and so close,
0167 So far from sounding and discovery,
0168 As is the bud bit with an envious worm
0169 155 Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air
0170 Or dedicate his beauty to the same.
0171 Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
0172 We would as willingly give cure as know.
0173 See where he comes. So please you, step aside.
0174 160 I’ll know his grievance or be much denied.
0175 I would thou wert so happy by thy stay
0176 To hear true shrift.—Come, madam, let’s away.
⌜Montague and Lady Montague⌝ exit.
0177 Good morrow, cousin.
ROMEO 0178 Is the day so young?
0179 165 But new struck nine.
ROMEO 0180 Ay me, sad hours seem long.
0181 Was that my father that went hence so fast?
0182 It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?
0183 Not having that which, having, makes them short.
BENVOLIO 0184 170In love?
ROMEO 0185 Out—
BENVOLIO 0186 Of love?
0187 Out of her favor where I am in love.
0188 Alas that love, so gentle in his view,
0189 175 Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
0190 Alas that love, whose view is muffled still,
0191 Should without eyes see pathways to his will!
0192 Where shall we dine?—O me! What fray was here?
0193 Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
0194 180 Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.
0195 Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate,
0196 O anything of nothing first ⌜create!⌝
0197 O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
0198 Misshapen chaos of ⌜well-seeming⌝ forms,
0199 185 Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
0200 Still-waking sleep that is not what it is!
0201 This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
0202 Dost thou not laugh?
BENVOLIO 0203 No, coz, I rather weep.
0204 190 Good heart, at what?
p. 23BENVOLIO 0205 At thy good heart’s oppression.
ROMEO 0206 Why, such is love’s transgression.
0207 Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
0208 Which thou wilt propagate to have it pressed
0209 195 With more of thine. This love that thou hast shown
0210 Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
0211 Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs;
0212 Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
0213 Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
0214 200 What is it else? A madness most discreet,
0215 A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
0216 Farewell, my coz.
BENVOLIO 0217 Soft, I will go along.
0218 An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
0219 205 Tut, I have lost myself. I am not here.
0220 This is not Romeo. He’s some other where.
0221 Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?
ROMEO 0222 What, shall I groan and tell thee?
0223 Groan? Why, no. But sadly tell me who.
0224 210 A sick man in sadness makes his will—
0225 A word ill urged to one that is so ill.
0226 In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
0227 I aimed so near when I supposed you loved.
0228 A right good markman! And she’s fair I love.
0229 215 A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
0230 Well in that hit you miss. She’ll not be hit
0231 With Cupid’s arrow. She hath Dian’s wit,
0232 And, in strong proof of chastity well armed,
p. 250233 From love’s weak childish bow she lives uncharmed.
0234 220 She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
0235 Nor bide th’ encounter of assailing eyes,
0236 Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold.
0237 O, she is rich in beauty, only poor
0238 That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store.
0239 225 Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?
0240 She hath, and in that sparing ⌜makes⌝ huge waste;
0241 For beauty, starved with her severity,
0242 Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
0243 She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
0244 230 To merit bliss by making me despair.
0245 She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
0246 Do I live dead, that live to tell it now.
0247 Be ruled by me. Forget to think of her.
0248 O, teach me how I should forget to think!
0249 235 By giving liberty unto thine eyes.
0250 Examine other beauties.
ROMEO 0251 ’Tis the way
0252 To call hers, exquisite, in question more.
0253 These happy masks that kiss fair ladies’ brows,
0254 240 Being black, puts us in mind they hide the fair.
0255 He that is strucken blind cannot forget
0256 The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.
0257 Show me a mistress that is passing fair;
0258 What doth her beauty serve but as a note
0259 245 Where I may read who passed that passing fair?
0260 Farewell. Thou canst not teach me to forget.
0261 I’ll pay that doctrine or else die in debt.