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;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do 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, nought 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.
Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, of the house of Capulet, armed with swords and bucklers
Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals.
No, for then we should be colliers.
I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw.
Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o' the collar.
I strike quickly, being moved.
But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand:
therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.
A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will
take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's.
That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes
to the wall.
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.
The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I
have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the
maids, and cut off their heads.
The heads of the maids?
Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads;
take it in what sense thou wilt.
They must take it in sense that feel it.
Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and
'tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
'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.
My naked weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.
How! turn thy back and run?
Fear me not.
No, marry; I fear thee!
Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.
I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as
Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;
which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.
Enter ABRAHAM and BALTHASAR
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
I do bite my thumb, sir.
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
[Aside to GREGORY] Is the law of our side, if I say
No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
bite my thumb, sir.
Do you quarrel, sir?
Quarrel sir! no, sir.
If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.
Say 'better:' here comes one of my master's kinsmen.
Yes, better, sir.
Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.
Put up your swords; you know not what you do.
Beats down their swords
What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.
What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word,
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee:
Have at thee, coward!
Enter, several of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs
Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down!
Down with the Capulets! down with the Montagues!
Enter CAPULET in his gown, and LADY CAPULET
What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!
A crutch, a crutch! why call you for a sword?
My sword, I say! Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
Enter MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE
Thou villain Capulet,—Hold me not, let me go.
Thou shalt not stir a foot to seek a foe.
Enter PRINCE, with Attendants
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 mistemper'd 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,
Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd 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 further pleasure in this case,
To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.
Exeunt all but MONTAGUE, LADY MONTAGUE, and BENVOLIO
Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
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 prepared,
Which, as he breathed 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.
O, where is Romeo? saw you him to-day?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
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,
That most are busied when they're most alone,
Pursued my humour not pursuing his,
And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.
Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
Should in the furthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
Away from the light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out
And makes himself an artificial night:
Black and portentous must this humour prove,
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
I neither know it nor can learn of him.
Have you importuned him by any means?
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.
See, where he comes: so please you, step aside;
I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.
I would thou wert so happy by thy stay,
To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let's away.
Exeunt MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE
Is the day so young?
But new struck nine.
Ay me! sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?
It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?
Not having that, which, having, makes them short.
Out of her favour, where I am in love.
Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
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 any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire,
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?
No, coz, I rather weep.
Good heart, at what?
At thy good heart's oppression.
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 raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, 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.
Soft! I will go along;
An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here;
This is not Romeo, he's some other where.
Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.
What, shall I groan and tell thee?
Groan! why, no.
But sadly tell me who.
Bid a sick man in sadness make his will:
Ah, word ill urged to one that is so ill!
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
I aim'd so near, when I supposed you loved.
A right good mark-man! And she's fair I love.
A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
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 the encounter of assailing eyes,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold:
O, she is rich in beauty, only poor,
That when she dies with beauty dies her store.
Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?
She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste,
For beauty starved 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.
Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.
O, teach me how I should forget to think.
By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.
'Tis the way
To call hers exquisite, in question more:
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies' brows
Being black put 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.
I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.
Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and Servant
But Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we to keep the peace.
Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity 'tis you lived at odds so long.
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
But saying o'er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world;
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years,
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
Younger than she are happy mothers made.
And too soon marr'd are those so early made.
The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she,
She is the hopeful lady of my earth:
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part;
An she agree, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.
This night I hold an old accustom'd feast,
Whereto I have invited many a guest,
Such as I love; and you, among the store,
One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
At my poor house look to behold this night
Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light:
Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
When well-apparell'd April on the heel
Of limping winter treads, even such delight
Among fresh female buds shall you this night
Inherit at my house; hear all, all see,
And like her most whose merit most shall be:
Which on more view, of many mine being one
May stand in number, though in reckoning none,
Come, go with me.
To Servant, giving a paper
Go, sirrah, trudge about
Through fair Verona; find those persons out
Whose names are written there, and to them say,
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.
Exeunt CAPULET and PARIS
Find them out whose names are written here! It is
written, that the shoemaker should meddle with his
yard, and the tailor with his last, the fisher with
his pencil, and the painter with his nets; but I am
sent to find those persons whose names are here
writ, and can never find what names the writing
person hath here writ. I must to the learned.—In good time.
Enter BENVOLIO and ROMEO
Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning,
One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish;
Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;
One desperate grief cures with another's languish:
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.
Your plaintain-leaf is excellent for that.
For what, I pray thee?
For your broken shin.
Why, Romeo, art thou mad?
Not mad, but bound more than a mad-man is;
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipp'd and tormented and—God-den, good fellow.
God gi' god-den. I pray, sir, can you read?
Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
Perhaps you have learned it without book: but, I
pray, can you read any thing you see?
Ay, if I know the letters and the language.
Ye say honestly: rest you merry!
Stay, fellow; I can read.
'Signior Martino and his wife and daughters;
County Anselme and his beauteous sisters; the lady
widow of Vitravio; Signior Placentio and his lovely
nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine; mine
uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters; my fair niece
Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio and his cousin
Tybalt, Lucio and the lively Helena.' A fair
assembly: whither should they come?
To supper; to our house.
Indeed, I should have ask'd you that before.
Now I'll tell you without asking: my master is the
great rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house
of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine.
Rest you merry!
At this same ancient feast of Capulet's
Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lovest,
With all the admired beauties of Verona:
Go thither; and, with unattainted eye,
Compare her face with some that I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires;
And these, who often drown'd could never die,
Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!
One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun.
Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,
Herself poised with herself in either eye:
But in that crystal scales let there be weigh'd
Your lady's love against some other maid
That I will show you shining at this feast,
And she shall scant show well that now shows best.
I'll go along, no such sight to be shown,
But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.