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SCENE I A public place
enter Mercutio, Benvolio, and Men
Benvolio I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire. The day is hot, the Capulets abroad, And if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl, For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.
Mercutio Thou art like one of these fellows that, when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword upon the table and says "God send me no need of thee!" and by the operation of the second cup draws him on the drawer, when indeed there is no need.
Benvolio Am I like such a fellow?
Mercutio Come, come, thou art as hot a jack in thy mood as any in Italy; and as soon moved to be moody, and as soon moody to be moved.
Benvolio And what to?
Mercutio Nay, an there were two such, we should have none shortly, for one would kill the other. Thou! Why, thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more or a hair less in his beard than thou hast. Thou wilt quarrel with a man for racking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes. What eye but such an eye would spy out such a quarrel? Thy head is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as an egg for quarreling. Thou hast quarreled with a man for coughing in the street, because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun. Didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing his new doublet before Easter, with another for tying his new shoes with an old riband? And yet thou wilt tutor me from quarreling!
Benvolio An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the fee simple of my life for an hour and a quarter.
Mercutio The fee simple? O simple!
enter Tybalt and others
Benvolio By my head, here come the Capulets.
Mercutio By my heel, I care not.
Tybalt (to other Capulets) Follow me close, for I will speak to them. Gentlemen, good den. A word with one of you.
Mercutio And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something, make it a word and a blow.
Tybalt You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, an you will give me occasion.
Mercutio Could you not take some occasion without giving?
Tybalt Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.
Mercutio Consort? What, dost thou make us minstrels? An thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords. (indicates his sword) Here's my fiddlestick, here's that shall make you dance. Zounds, consort!
Benvolio We talk here in the public haunt of men. Either withdraw unto some private place And reason coldly of your grievances, Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us.
Mercutio Men's eyes were made to look, and let them gaze. I will not budge for no man's pleasure.
Tybalt Well, peace be with you, sir. Here comes my man.
Mercutio But I'll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery. Marry, go before to field, he'll be your follower. Your worship in that sense may call him man.
Tybalt Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford No better term than this: thou art a villain.
Romeo Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee Doth much excuse the appertaining rage To such a greeting. Villain am I none. Therefore farewell. I see thou knowest me not.
Tybalt Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries That thou hast done me. Therefore turn and draw.
Romeo I do protest I never injured thee, But love thee better than thou canst devise, Till thou shalt know the reason of my love. And so good Capulet, which name I tender As dearly as mine own, be satisfied.
Mercutio O calm, dishonorable, vile submission! Alla stoccata carries it away. (he draws) Tybalt, you ratcatcher, will you walk?
Tybalt What wouldst thou have with me?
Mercutio Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your nine lives. That I mean to make bold withal and, as you shall use me hereafter, dry beat the rest of the eight. Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears? Make haste, lest mine be about your ears ere it be out.
Tybalt I am for you. (he draws)
Romeo Gentle Mercurio, put thy rapier up.
Mercutio (to Tybalt) Come, sir, your passado!
Romeo Draw, Benvolio, beat down their weapons. Gentlemen, for shame! Forbear this outrage! Tybalt, Mercutio! The Prince expressly hath Forbid this bandying inVerona streets. Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!
Tybalt under Romeo's arm stabs Mercutio and flies with his Followers
Mercutio I am hurt. A plague both your houses. I am sped. Is he gone and hath nothing?
Benvolio What, art thou hurt?
Mercutio Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch. Marry, 'tis enough. Where is my page? (to Page) Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.
Romeo Courage, man. The hurt cannot be much.
Mercutio No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but 'tis enough, 'twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow, 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.
Romeo I thought all for the best.
Mercutio Help me into some house, Benvolio, Or I shall faint. A plague o' both your houses. They have made worms' meat of me. I have it, And soundly too. Your houses!
exit, supported by Benvolio
Romeo This gentleman, the Prince's near ally, My very friend, hath got this mortal hurt In my behalf - my reputation stained With Tybalt's slander - Tybalt, that an hour Hath been my kinsman. O sweet Juliet, Thy beauty hath made me effeminate And in my temper softened valor's steel.
Benvolio O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercurio's dead, That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds, Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.
Romeo This day's black fate on moe days doth depend. This but begins the woe others must end.
Benvolio Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.
Romeo Alive in triumph, and Mercurio slain? Away to heaven respective lenity, And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now! Now, Tybalt, take the "villain" back again That late thou gavest 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.
Tybalt Thou wretched boy, that didst consort him here, Shalt with him hence.
Romeo (drawing his sword) This shall determine that.
they fight. Tybalt falls
Benvolio Romeo, away, be gone. The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain. Stand not amazed. The Prince will doom thee death If thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away!
Romeo O I am fortune's fool.
Benvolio Why dost thou stay?
Citizen Which way ran he that killed Mercutio? Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?
Benvolio There lies that Tybalt.
Citizen Up, sir, go with me. I charge thee in the Prince's name obey.
enter Prince, attended, Old Montague, Capulet, their Wives, and others
Prince Where are the vile beginners of this fray?
Benvolio 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.
Lady Capulet Tybalt, my cousin. O my brother's child! O Prince, O husband, O the blood is spilled Of my dear kinsman. Prince, as thou art true, For blood of ours shed blood of Montague. O cousin, cousin.
Prince Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?
Benvolio Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand did slay. Romeo, that spoke him fair, bid him bethink How nice the quarrel was, and urged withal Your high displeasure. All this - utterhd 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 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 tongue 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 fled, 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.
Lady Capulet 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.
Prince Romeo slew him, he slew Mercurio. Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?
Montague Not Romeo, Prince. He was Mercutio's friend. His fault concludes but what the law should end, The life of Tybalt.
Prince And for that offense Immediately we do exile him hence. I have an interest in your hate's proceeding, My blood for your rude brawls doth lie ableeding. 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 is found, that hour is his last. Bear hence this body, and attend our will. Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.
Juliet Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, Towards Phoebus' lodging. 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 eyes may wink, 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 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 Whiter than new snow upon a raven's back. Come, gentle night. Come, loving, black-browed night, Give me my Romeo. And when I shall die Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun. O I have bought the mansion of a love But not possessed it, and though I am sold, Not yet enjoyed. So tedious is this day As is the night before some festival To an impatient child that hath new robes And may not wear them. O here comes my Nurse.
enter Nurse, with ladder of cords
And she brings news, and every tongue that speaks But Romeo's name speaks heavenly eloquence. Now, Nurse, what news? What hast thou there? The cords That Romeo bid thee fetch?
Nurse Ay, ay, the cords.
SHE THROWS THEM DOWN
Juliet Ay me, what news? Why dost thou wring thy hands
Nurse Ah, weraday! He's dead, he's dead, he's dead! We are undone, lady, we are undone. Alack the day! He's gone, he's killed, he's dead.
Juliet Can heaven be so envious?
Nurse Romeo can, Though heaven cannot. O Romeo, Romeo, Who ever would have thought it? Romeo!
Juliet What devil art thou that dost torment me thus? This torture should be roared in dismal hell. Hath Romeo slain himself? Say thou but "Ay," And that bare vowel "Ay" shall poison more Than the death darting eye of cockatrice. I am not I, if there be such an "Ay," Or those eyes shut that make thee answer "Ay." If he be slain, say "Ay," or if not, "no. " Brief sounds determine of my weal or woe.
Nurse I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes, (God save the mark!) here on his manly breast. A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse, Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaubed in blood, All in gore blood. I swounded at the sight.
Juliet O break, my heart. Poor bankrupt, break at once. To prison, eyes, ne'er look on liberty. Vile earth, to earth resign, end motion here, And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier.
Nurse O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had. O courteous Tybalt. Honest gentleman, That ever I should live to see thee dead.
Juliet What storm is this that blows so contrary? Is Romeo slaughtered, and is Tybalt dead? My dear loved cousin, and my dearer lord? Then, dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom, For who is living, if those two are gone?
Nurse Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banishhd. Romeo that killed him, he is banishhd.
Juliet O God! Did Romeo's hand shed Tybalt's blood?
Nurse It did, it did, alas the day, it did.
Juliet O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face.
Excerpted from Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare Copyright © 2000 by William Shakespeare. Excerpted by permission.
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