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my man. Mer. But I'll be hang’d, 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.
Tyb. Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford No better term than this, — Thou art a villain.
Rom. 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 know'st me not.
Tyb. Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries That thou hast done me; therefore, turn and draw.
Rom. I do protest, I never injur'd 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.
Mer. O calm, dishonourable, vile submission ! A la stoccata’ carries it away. —
[Draws. Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk ?
Tyb. What would'st thou have with me?
Mer. 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.
2 The Italian term for a thrust or stab with a rapier. 3 Alluding to his name. See Act ji. sc. 4, note 2.
4 Warburton says that we should read pilche, which signifies a coat or covering of skin or leather ; meaning the scabbard. The first quarto has scabbard.
Tyb. I am for you. . [Drawing
Rom. Draw, Benvolio :
cutio! [Exeunt TYBALT and his Partizans. Mer. I am hurt;A plague o' both the houses !- I am sped:Is he gone, and hath nothing ? Ben.
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 pepper'd, 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.
5 After this the quarto of 1597 continues Mercutio's speech as follows: “ A pox of 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 will he keep a mumbling in my guts on the other side. - Come, Benvolio ; lend me thy hand. A pox of your houses !"
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 worms' meat of me: I have it, and soundly too :- Your houses !
[Excunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO. Rom. This gentleman, the prince's near ally, My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt In my behalf; my reputation stain'd With Tybalt's slander, Tybalt, that an hour Hath been my cousin ; — , sweet Juliet ! Thy beauty hath made me effeminate, And in my temper soften'd valour's steel.
Re-enter BenvoLIO. Ben. O Romeo, Romeo! brave Mercutio's dead; That gallant spirit hath aspir'd the clouds, Which too untimely here did scorn the earth. Rom. This day's black fate on more days doth
depend ; This but begins the woe, others must end.
Rom. Alive! in triumph !8 and Mercutio slain!
6. We have already had cousin in the sense of kinsman. The first quarto has kinsman here.
7 This day's unhappy destiny hangs over the days yet to come. There will yet be more mischief.
8 So the first quarto ; the later copies, “ He gone in triumph." – The later copies also have “ fire and fury" instead of “fire-ey'd fury.” — Respective is considerative. Conduct for conductor.
Is but a little way above our heads,
This shall determine that.
[They fight; TYBALT falls. Ben. Romeo, away! be gone! The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain : Stand not amaz'd: — the prince will doom thee
death, If thou art taken. — Hence !- be gone! - away!
Rom. O! I am fortune's fool.
Why dost thou stay?
[Exit ROMEO. Enter Citizens, foc. 1 Cit. Which way ran he, that kill'd 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 the 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. Lady C. Tybalt, my cousin !-0, 'my brother's
child ! O prince! 0 cousin ! husband ! O, the blood is
Of my dear kinsman! - Prince, as thou art true,
Prin. Benvolio, who began this bloody fray ?
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 entertain'd 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.
9 Nice here means silly, trifling.
10 This small portion of untruth in Benvolio's narrative is finely conceived. - COLERIDGE.
H. 11 So the first quarto; the other old copies having aged instead of agile.