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Two houfholds, both alike in dignity,

In fair Verona, where we lay our fcene,
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 ftar-croft lovers take their life;
Whole misadventur'd piteous overthrows

Do, with their death, bury their parents' ftrife.
The fearful paffage 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' traffick of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here fhall mifs, our toil fhall strive to mend1.

This prologue, after the first copy was published in 1597, received feveral alterations, both in refpe&t of corre&nefs and verfification. In the folio it is omitted. The play was originally performed by the Right Honourable the Lord of Hunfdon bis fervants.

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

Under the word PROLOGUE, in the copy of 1599 is printed Chorus, which I fuppofe meant only that the prologue was to be fpoken by the fame perfon who perfonated the chorus at the end of the first act. The original prologue, in the quarto of 1597, ftands thus:

Two household frends, alike in dignitie,

In faire Verona, where we lay our scene,

From civil broyles broke into enmitie,

Whofe civil warre makes civili hands uncleane,
From forth the fatall loynes of these two foes

A paire of ftarre-croft lovers tooke their life;

Whofe mifadventures, piteous overthrowes,

(Through the continuing of their fathers' ftrife,
And death-markt paffage of their parents' rage,)
Is now the two howres traffique of our stage,

The which if you with patient eares attend,

What here we want, wee'll ftudie to amend, MALONE.

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Perfons Represented.

Efcalus, Prince of Verona.

Paris, a young nobleman, kinsman to the Prince.
Montague, Heads of two Houses, at variance with each
Capulet, other.


An old Man, uncle to Capulet.

Romeo, fon to Montague.

Mercutio, kinfman to the Prince, and friend to Romeo.
Benvolio, nephew to Montague, and friend to Romeo.
Tybalt, nephew to Lady Capulet.

Friar Lawrence, a Francifan.
Friar John, of the fame order.
Balthafar, fervant to Romeo.

Samplon, fervants to Capulet.
Gregory, S

Abram, fervant to Montague.
An Apothecary.

Three Muficians.

Chorus. Boy; Page to Paris; Peter; an Officer.

Lady Montague, Wife to Montague.

Lady Capulet, Wife to Capulet.

Juliet, Daughter to Capulet.

Nurfe to Juliet.

Citizens of Verona ; feveral Men and Women, relations to both houfes; Mafkers, Guards, Citizens, Watchmen, and Attendants.

SCENE during the greater part of the play, in Verona: once in the fifth Act at Mantua.

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