ACT I
Scene 1
 
[Exit.]

Verona. A public place.

Enter Sampson and Gregory (with swords and bucklers) of the house
of Capulet.

SAMPSON
Gregory, on 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 of 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
'Tis 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.

GREGORY
They must take it in sense that feel it.

SAMPSON
Me they shall feel while I am able to stand;
and 'tis
known I am a pretty piece of flesh.

GREGORY
'Tis well thou art not fish;
if thou hadst, thou hadst
been poor-John. Draw thy tool! Here comes two of the house of
Montagues.

Enter two other Servingmen [Abraham and Balthasar].

SAMPSON
My naked weapon is out. Quarrel! I will back thee.

GREGORY
How? turn thy back and run?

SAMPSON
Fear me not.

GREGORY
No, marry. I fear thee!

SAMPSON
Let us take the law of our sides;
let them begin.

GREGORY
I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they
list.

SAMPSON
Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;
which is
disgrace to them, if they bear it.

ABRAHAM
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON
I do bite my thumb, sir.

ABRAHAM
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON
[aside to Gregory] Is the law of our side if I say ay?

GREGORY
[aside to Sampson] No.

SAMPSON
No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir;
but I bite
my thumb, sir.

GREGORY
Do you quarrel, sir?

ABRAHAM
Quarrel, sir? No, sir.

SAMPSON
But if you do, sir, am for you. I serve as good a man as
you.

ABRAHAM
No better.

SAMPSON
Well, sir.

Enter Benvolio.

GREGORY
[aside to Sampson] Say 'better.' Here comes one of my
master's kinsmen.

SAMPSON
Yes, better, sir.

ABRAHAM
You lie.

SAMPSON
Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.

They fight.

BENVOLIO
Part, fools! [Beats down their swords.] Put up your swords. You know not what you do.

Enter Tybalt.

TYBALT
What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
Turn thee Benvolio! look upon thy death.

BENVOLIO
I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.

TYBALT
What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
Have at thee, coward!

They fight.

Enter an officer, and three or four Citizens with clubs or partisans.

OFFICER
Clubs, bills, and partisans! Strike! beat them down!
Citizens. Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!

Enter Old Capulet in his gown, and his Wife.

CAPULET
What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!

WIFE
A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?

CAPULET
My sword, I say! Old Montague is come
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.

Enter Old Montague and his Wife.

MONTAGUE
Thou villain Capulet!- Hold me not, let me go.

LADY MONTAGUE
Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.

Enter Prince Escalus, with his Train.

PRINCE
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel-
Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins!
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb'd the quiet of our streets
And made Verona's ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments
To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Cank'red with peace, to part your cank'red hate.
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
For this time all the rest depart away.
You, Capulet, shall go along with me;
And, Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our farther pleasure in this case,
To old Freetown, our common judgment place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.

Exeunt [all but Montague, his Wife, and Benvolio].

MONTAGUE
Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?

BENVOLIO
Here were the servants of your adversary
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach.
I drew to part them. In the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar'd;
Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head and cut the winds,
Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn.
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more, and fought on part and part,
Till the Prince came, who parted either part.

LADY MONTAGUE
O, where is Romeo? Saw you him to-day?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.

BENVOLIO
Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun
Peer'd forth the golden window of the East,
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad;
Where, underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from the city's side,
So early walking did I see your son.
Towards him I made;
but he was ware of me
And stole into the covert of the wood.
I- measuring his affections by my own,
Which then most sought where most might not be found,
Being one too many by my weary self-
Pursu'd my humour, not Pursuing his,
And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.

MONTAGUE
Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew,
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
Should in the farthest East bean to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
Away from light steals home my heavy son
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out
And makes himself an artificial night.
Black and portentous must this humour prove
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.

BENVOLIO
My noble uncle, do you know the cause?

MONTAGUE
I neither know it nor can learn of him.

BENVOLIO
Have you importun'd him by any means?

MONTAGUE
Both by myself and many other friends;
But he, his own affections' counsellor,
Is to himself- I will not say how true-
But to himself so secret and so close,
So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
We would as willingly give cure as know.

Enter Romeo.

BENVOLIO
See, where he comes. So please you step aside,
I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.

MONTAGUE
I would thou wert so happy by thy stay
To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let's away,

Exeunt [Montague and Wife].

BENVOLIO
Good morrow, cousin.

ROMEO
Is the day so young?

BENVOLIO
But new struck nine.

ROMEO
Ah me! sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?

BENVOLIO
It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?

ROMEO
Not having that which having makes them short.

BENVOLIO
In love?

ROMEO
Out-

BENVOLIO
Of love?

ROMEO
Out of her favour where I am in love.

BENVOLIO
Alas that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!

ROMEO
Alas that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should without eyes see pathways to his will!
Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O anything, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?

BENVOLIO
No, coz, I rather weep.

ROMEO
Good heart, at what?

BENVOLIO
At thy good heart's oppression.

ROMEO
Why, such is love's transgression.
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest
With more of thine. This love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;

Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;

Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.

BENVOLIO
Soft! I will go along.
An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.

ROMEO
Tut! I have lost myself;
I am not here:
This is not Romeo, he's some other where.

BENVOLIO
Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?

ROMEO
What, shall I groan and tell thee?

BENVOLIO
Groan? Why, no;
But sadly tell me who.

ROMEO
Bid a sick man in sadness make his will.
Ah, word ill urg'd to one that is so ill!
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.

BENVOLIO
I aim'd so near when I suppos'd you lov'd.

ROMEO
A right good markman! And she's fair I love.

BENVOLIO
A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.

ROMEO
Well, in that hit you miss. She'll not be hit
With Cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit,
And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd,
From Love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide th' encounter of assailing eyes,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold.
O, she's rich in beauty;
only poor
That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store.

BENVOLIO
Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?

ROMEO
She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;

For beauty, starv'd with her severity,
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair.
She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
Do I live dead that live to tell it now.

BENVOLIO
Be rul'd by me: forget to think of her.

ROMEO
O, teach me how I should forget to think!

BENVOLIO
By giving liberty unto thine eyes.
Examine other beauties.

ROMEO
'Tis the way
To call hers (exquisite) in question more.
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies' brows,
Being black puts us in mind they hide the fair.
He that is strucken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.
Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve but as a note
Where I may read who pass'd that passing fair?
Farewell. Thou canst not teach me to forget.

BENVOLIO
I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.

Exeunt.