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Rom. Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.
Mer. Come, sir, your passado. [They fight.

Rom. Draw, Benvolio;
Beat down their weapons.--Gentlemen, for shame
Forbear this outrage.-Tybalt--Mercutio-
The prince expressly hath forbid this bandying
In Verona streets.--Hold, Tybalt;--good Mercutio.

[Exeunt Tybalt and his partisans.
Mer. I am hurt ;--
A plague o? both the houses !-I am sped.-
Is he gone, and hath nothing?

What, art thou hurt ?
Mer. Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry,

'tis enough.-Where is my page!--Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.

[Exit Page. Rom. Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.

Mer. No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve ; ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.' I am peppered, I warrant, for this world.--A plague o' both your houses !--Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of arithmetic !-Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm.

Rom. I thought all for the best.

Mer. Help me into some house, Benvolio,
Or I shall faint.--A plague o’ both your houses!
They have made worm's meat of me ;
I have it, and soundly too.--Your houses!

[Exeunt Mercurio and BENVOLIO.

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1 After this, the quarto, 1597, continues Mercutio's speech as follows


pox o'both your houses! I shall be fairly mounted upon four men's shoulders for your house of the Montagues and the Capulets : and then some peasantly rogue, some sexton, some base slave, shall write my epitaph, that Tybalt came and broke the prince's laws, and Mercutio was slain for the first and second cause.

Where's the surgeon? Boy. He's come, sir.

Mer. Now he'll keep a mumbling in my guts on the other side.Come, Benvolio, lend me thy hand: a pox o'both your houses !”


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SC. I.]



Rom. This gentleman, the prince's near ally,
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt
In my behalf; my reputation stained
W th Tybalt's slander; Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my kinsman.-0 sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate,
And in my temper softened valor's steel.

Re-enter BENVOLIO.

Ben. O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio's dead;
That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.

Rom. This day's black fate on more days doth


This but begins the woe, others must end.

Re-enter TYBALT.


Ben. Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

Rom. Alive! in triumph! and Mercutio slain !
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct 4 now !--
Now, Tybalt

, take the villain back again,
That late thou gav'st me; for Mercutio's soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company;
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.
Tyb. Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him

Shalt with him hence.
Rom. This shall determine that.

[They fight; TYBALT falls. Ben. Romeo, away, be gone!

1 We never use the verb aspire without some particle, as to and after There are numerous ancient examples of a similar use of it with that in the text.

2 This day's unhappy destiny hangs over the days yet to come. There will yet be more mischief.

35 Respective” is considerative.” 4 Conduct for conductor.



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The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
Stand not amazed ;--the prince will doom thee death
If thou art taken :-hence !--be gone !-away!

Rom. O! I am fortune's fool! I

Why dost thou stay?

[Exit Romeo. Enter Citizens, &-c. 1 Cit. Which way ran he that killed Mercutio ? Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?

Ben. There lies that Tybalt.
1 Cit.

Up, sir, go with me; I charge thee in the prince's name, obey.


Enter Prince, attended; MONTAGUE, CAPULET, their

wives, and others. Prin. Where are the vile beginners of this fray?

Ben. O noble prince, I can discover all
The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl.
There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,
That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.
La. Cap. Tybalt, my cousin -O my brother's

Unhappy sight! ah me, the blood is spilled
Of my dear kinsman !--Prince, as thou art true,
For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.
O cousin, cousin !

Prin. Benvolio, who began this bloody fray ?
Ben. Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand did

Romeo, that spoke him fair, bade him bethink
How nice : the quarrel was, and urged withal
Your high displeasure.--All this—uttered
With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bowed-
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen
Of Tybalt, deaf to peace, but that he tilts

1 In the first quarto, “0! I am fortune's slave."
2 As thou art just and upright.
3 Nice here means silly, trifling, or wanton.



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With piercing steel at bold Mercutio's breast;
Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point,
And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats
Cold death aside, and with the other sends
It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity
Retorts it. Romeo, he cries aloud,
Hold, friends! friends, part! and, swifter than his

His agile arm beats down their fatal points,
And 'twixt them rushes; underneath whose arm
An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life
Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt iled;
But by and by comes back to Romeo,
Who had but newly entertained revenge,
And to't they go like lightning; for, ere I
Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain;
And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly.
This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.

La. Cap. He is a kinsman to the Montague.
Affection makes him false; he speaks not true.
Some twenty of them fought in this black strife,
And all those twenty could but kill one life.
I beg for justice, which thou, prince, must give;
Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live.

Prin. Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio ;
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?
Mon. Not Romeo, prince ; he was Mercutio's

His fault concludes but, what the law should end,
The life of Tybalt.

And, for that offence,
Immediately we do exile him hence:
I have an interest in your hates' proceeding,
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding,
But I'll amerce you with so strong a fine,
That you shall all repent the loss of mine.
I will be deaf to pleading and excuses;
Nor tears, nor prayers, shall purchase out abuses,
Therefore use none; let Romeo hence in haste,
Else, when he's found, that hour is his last.


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Bear hence this body, and attend our will;
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill."


SCENE II. A Room in Capulet's House.


Jul. Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, Towards Phoebus mansion ; such a wagoner As Phaeton would whip you to the west, And bring in cloudy night immediately. :Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night! That runaway's eyes may wink; 3 and Romeo Leap to these arms, untalked of, and unseen !-Lovers can see to do their amorous rites By their own beauties; or, if love be blind, It best agrees with night.-Come, civil 4 night, Thou sober-suited, matron, all in black, And learn me how to lose a winning match, Played for a pair of stainless maidenhoods; Hood my unmanned blood bating in my cheeks, With thy black mantle ; till strange love, grown bold, Think true love acted, simple modesty. Come, night!--Come, Romeo! come, thou day in

night! For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night


1 The sentiment here enforced is different from that found in the first edition, 1597. There the prince concludes his speech with these words:

“ Pity shall dwell, and govern with us still ;

Mercy to all but murderers,---pardoning none that kill.2 Here ends this speech in the original quarto. The rest of the scene has likewise received considerable alterations and additions.

3 i. e. that the eyes of prying persons, who run away as soon as observed, may wink, i. e. see imperfectly. Much ingenious criticism has been bestowed in endeavoring to explain this passage. The runaway has been supposed to refer to the sun, to night, to Juliet, to Romeo, and to Fame. There is most probably some typographical error in the lines.

4 Civil is grave, solemn.

5 These are terms of falconry. An unmanned hawk is one that is not brought to endure company. Bating is fluttering or beating the wings as striving to fly away.


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