SAMPSONA dog of the house of Montague moves me.GREGORYTo move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand.Therefore if thou art moved thou runn’st away.SAMPSONA dog of that house shall move me to stand. I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.GREGORYThat shows thee a weak slave, for the weakest goes to the wall..GREGORYBut it’s hard to make you angry.SAMPSONOne of those dogs from the Montague house can make me angry.GREGORYAngry enough to run away. You won’t stand and fight.SAMPSONA dog from that house will make me angry enough to take a stand. If I pass one of them on the street, I’ll take the side closer to the wall and let him walk in the gutter.GREGORYThat means you’re the weak one, because weaklings get pushed up against the wall.
Act 1 Scene 1 continuedOriginal TextModern TextSAMPSON'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..GREGORYThe 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 civil with the maids. I will cut off their heads.GREGORYThe heads of the maids?SAMPSONAy, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads.Take it in what sense thou wilt.SAMPSONYou’re right. That’s why girls get pushed up against walls—they’re weak. So what I’ll do is push the Montague men into the street and the Montague women up against the wall.GREGORYThe fight is between our masters, and we men who work for them.SAMPSONIt’s all the same. I’ll be a harsh master to them. After I fight the men, I’ll be nice to the women—I’ll cut off their heads.GREGORYCut off their heads? You mean their maidenheads?SAMPSONCut off their heads, take their maidenheads—whatever. Take my remark in whichever sense you like.
Act 1 Scene 1 continuedOriginal TextModern TextGREGORYThey must take it in sense that feel it.SAMPSONMe 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.Enter ABRAM and another SERVINGMANDraw thy tool! Here comes of the house of Montagues.SAMPSONMy naked weapon is out. Quarrel! I will back thee.GREGORYThe women you rape are the ones who’ll have to “sense” it.SAMPSONThey’ll feel me as long as I can keep an erection. Everybody knows I’m a nice piece of flesh.GREGORYIt’s a good thing you’re not a piece of fish. You’re dried and shriveled like salted fish.ABRAM and another servant of the Montagues enter.Pull out your tool now. These guys are from the house of Montague.SAMPSONI have my naked sword out. Fight, I’ll back you up.
Act 1 Scene 1 continuedOriginal TextModern TextGREGORYHow? Turn thy back and run?