Act 3, Scene 1

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[Enter Mercutio, Benvolio, Page, and Servants]

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 those 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
cracking 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 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!

Benvolio

By my head, here come the Capulets.

Mercutio

By my heel, I care not.
[Enter Tybalt and others]

Tybalt

[To his companions]
Follow me close, for I will speak to them.
[To Benvolio and Mercutio]
Gentlemen, good e’en. 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. [Pointing to 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, I.
[Enter Romeo]

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 hate 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 my own — be satisfied.

Mercutio

O calm, dishonorable, vile submission!
Alla stoccata carries it away.
[Draws]
Tybalt, you rat-catcher, 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.
[Drawing]

Romeo

Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.

Mercutio

Come, sir, your “passado”.
[They fight]

Romeo

Draw, Benvolio, beat down their weapons.
Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage!
Tybalt, Mercutio, the prince expressly hath
Forbidden bandying in Verona streets.
Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!
[Tybalt under Romeo's arm stabs Mercutio, and flies with his followers]

Mercutio

I am hurt.
A plague o' 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? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.
[Exit Page]

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!
[Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio]

Romeo

This gentleman, the prince's near ally,
My very friend, hath got his 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!
[Re-Enter Benvolio]

Benvolio

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

Romeo

This day's black fate on more days doth depend;
This but begins the woe, others must end.                     

Benvolio

Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

Romeo

Alive in triumph and Mercutio slain!
Away to heaven respective lenity,
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now.
[Re-Enter Tybalt]
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

                                   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?
[Exit Romeo, Enter Citizens]

First Citizen

Which way ran he that killed Mercutio?
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?

Benvolio

There lies that Tybalt.

First Citizen

                                     Up, sir, go with me;
I charge thee in the princes name, obey.                        
[Enter Prince, attended; 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 cousin, husband, O, the blood is spilt
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, 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
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 Mercutio.
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 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.
Bear hence this body and attend our will.
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.
[Exeunt]