Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 1

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.

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.

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.

Continued on next page...

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