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TWO kousholds, 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-croft lovers take their life; Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows

Do, with their death, bury their parents' Arife.
The fearful pasage of their deaih-mark'd love,

And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their childrens' end, nought could remove,

Is now the two hours' traffick of our page;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil Mall Arive to mend *

* This prologue, after the first copy was published in 1597, received several alterations, both in relpect of correctness and verlie fication. In the folio it is omitted. The play was originally performed by the Right Honourable the Lord of Hunflon bis servants.

In the first of K. James I. was made an act of parliament for fome restraint or limitation of noblemen in the protection of players, or of players under their function. STERVENS.

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Perfons Represented

ESCALUS, Prince of Verona.
Paris, Kinsman to the Prince.
Montague, 2 Heads of two Houses, at variance with


each other,
Romeo, Son to Montague.

Tybalt, Kinsman to Capulet,
An old Man, bis Cousin.
Friar Lawrence, a Franciscan,
Friar John, of the same order,
Balthalar, Servant to Romeo.

Abram, Servant 10 Montague,
Three Musicians,

Gregory,' Servants 10 Capulet,

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Lady Montague, Wife to Montague,
Laily Capulet, Wife to Capulet,
Juliet, Daughter ta Capulet, in love with Romeo,
Nurse to Juliet.
CHORUS, – Page, Boy to Paris, an officer, an

Citizens of Verona, several Men and Wonen, relations

to both Houses ; Mafkers, Guards, Watch and other

The SCENE, in the beginning of the fifth agt, is in

Mantua; during all the rest of ihe play, at Verona,



Enter Sampson, and Gregory, trvo servants of Capulet.

Sam. Gregory, o'ıny word, * we'll not carry.coalsa Greg. No, for then we should be colliers.


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The story on which this play is founded, is related as a true one in Girolamo de la Corte's History of Verona. It was originally published by an anonymous Italian novelist in 1549 ar Venice'; and again in 1553, at the same place. The first edition of Bandello's work appeared a year later than the last of these already mentioned. Pierre Boilteau copied it with alterations and additions. Belleforest adopted it in the first volume of his collection 1596 ; but very probably some edition of it yet more ancient


we'll not carry coals.] Dr. Warburton very juftly obferves, that this was a phrase formerly in ute to lignify the bearing injuries; but, as he has given no instances in support of his declaration, I thought it neceflary to fubjoin the following:

Nah, in his Have svith you to Saffron Walden, 1595, says : * We will bear no coles, I warrant you.” So, Skelton :

-You, I say, Julian,
Wyll you

beare no coles ?" So, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida; 2 nd part, 1602 : " He has had wrong, and if I were he, 1 quould bear no coles.'' So, in Law Tricks, or, Wbo could bave thought it? a comedy, by John Day, 1608 : “I'll carry coals and you will, no horns." Again, in May-Day, a comedy by Chapman, 1616 : “ You muit swear by no man's beard but your own, for that may breed a quarrel : above all things, you must carry no coals." And again, in the same play : " Now my ancient being a man of an un-coal-carryin fpirit, &c.” Again, in B. Jonson's


B 3

Sam. I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw.

Greg. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of the collar.


had found its way abroad ; as, in this improved itate, it was tranf. lated into English, and published in an octavo volume, 1562, but without a name. On this occasion it appears in the form of a poem entitled, The tragicall Historie of Romeus and Juliet: It was republished in 1587, under the fame title : " Coztayning in it a rare Example of true Constancie : with the fubtill Counsels and Practises of ar old Fryer, and their Event. Imprinted by R. Robinson. Among the entries on the Books of the Stationers' Company, I find Feb. 18, 1582. “ M. Tottel] Romeo and Juletta." Again Aug. 5; 1595 : “Edward White) a new ballad of Romeo and Juliett." The same story is found in The Palace of Pleasure : however, Shakspeare was not entirely indebted to Painter's epitome ; but rather to the poem already mentioned. Stanyhurst, the translator of Virgil in 1982, enumerates Julietta among his heroines, in a piece which he calls an epitaph, or Commune Defunctorum :

: and it appears (as Dr. Farmer has observed), from a parlage in Amnes's I ypographical Antiquities, that the story had likewise been translated by another hand. Captain Breval in his Travels tells us, that he saw at Verona the tomb of these unhappy lovers, STEEVENS.

Breval says in his Travels, that, on a strict en quiry into the histories of Vercna, he found that Shakspeare had varied very little from the truth, either in the names, characters, or other circumstances of his play.

I be.

Every Nan out of bis Humour : " Here comes one that will carry koals ; ergo, will hold my dog.” And, lastly in the poet's own Hen. V: " At Calais they stole a fireshovel ; I knew by that piece of service the men would carry coals." Again, in the Maicontent, 1604,

“ Great flaves fear better than love, born naturally for a coal-balict." STEEVENS.

carry coals,] This phrase continued to be in use down to the middle of the Jast century. In a little satirical piece of Sir John Birkenhead, intitled, “ Two centuries (of Books) of St. Paul's Church yard, &c.". published after the death of K. Cha. I, No 22. page 5o, is interted “ Fire, Fire! a small manual, dedicated to Sir Arthur Hatclridge ; in which it is plainly proved by a whole chauldron of scripture, that John Lillburn will not carry coals." By Dr. Gouge. Percy,

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