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Rom. I do proteft, I never injur'd thee,
But love thee better than thou canst devife;
'Till thou fhalt know the reafon of my love.
And fo, good Capulet, whofe name I tender
As dearly as my own, be fatisfied.

Mer. O calm, dishonourable, vile fubmiffion!
Ah! la Stoccata carries it away.

Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk ?

Tyb. What wouldst 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 ufe me hereafter, dry-beat the rest of the eight. Will you pluck your fword out of his pilcher by the ears? Make hafte, left mine be about ears ere it be out.



Tyb. I am for you.
Rom. Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.
Mer, Come, Sir, your paffado.

[Mercutio and Tybalt fight.

Rom. Draw, Benvolio,-beat down their weapons

Gentlemen-for fhame, forbear this outrage

Tybalt-Mercutio-the Prince expresly hath

Forbidden bandying in Verona ftreets.

Hold, Tybalt,good Mercutio.
Mer. I am hurt.

[Exit Tybalt.

A plague on both the houses! I am sped.

Is he gone, and hath nothing?

Ben. What, art thou hurt?

Mer. Ay, ay, a fcratch, a fcratch; marry, 'tis


Where is my page? go, villain, fetch a furgeon.
Rom. Courage, man.

The hurt cannot be much.

Mer. No, 'tis not fo deep as a well, nor fo wide as a church-door, but 'tis enough, 'twill ferve. Afk for

9 Will you pluck your fword out of his PILCHER by the ears?] We should read PILCHE, which

fignifies a cloke or coat of skins, meaning the fcabbard.



me to-morrow, and you fhall find me a grave man. I am pepper'd, I warrant, for this world. A plague on both your houses! What? a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to fcratch a man to death? a braggart, a rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of arithmetick? Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm.

Rom. I thought all for the best.

Mer. Help me into fome houfe, Benvolio,
Or I fhall faint. A plague on both
A plague on both your houses!
They have made worm's meat of me.

I have it, and foundly too. Plague o' your houses!

[Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio.


Rom. This Gentleman, the Prince's near allie,
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt
In my behalf; my reputation ftain'd
With Tybalt's flander; Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my coufin. O fweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate,
And in my temper foftned valour's steel.

Enter Benvolio.

Ben. O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio's dead; That gallant fpirit hath afpir'd the clouds,

Which too untimely here did fcorn the earth.

Rom. This day's black fate on more days does depend;

This but begins the woe, others must end.

• This day's black fate on more days does depend;] This day's unhappy destiny bangs over the

days yet to come.
yet be more mischief.

There will

Enter Tybalt.

Ben. Here comes the furious Tybalt back again. Rom. Alive? in Triumph? and Mercutio nain? Away to heav'n, refpective lenity,

And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now!
Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gav'ft me; for Mercutio's foul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company;
Or thou or I, or both, must go with him.

Tyb. Thou, wretched boy, that didft confort him here,

Shalt with him hence.

Rom. This fhall determine that.

[They fight, Tybalt falls.

Ben. Romeo, away. Begone: The citizens are up, and Tybalt flainStand not amaz❜d. The Prince will doom thee death, If thou art taken. Hence. Begone. Away. Rom. Oh! I am fortune's fool. Ben. Why dost thou stay?


Enter Citizens.

[Exit Romeo.

Cit. Which way ran he that kill'd Mercutio?
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?
Ben. There lies that Tybalt.

Ob! I am fortune's fool.] I am always running in the way of evil fortune, like the fool in a


play. Thou art death's fool: in Meafure for Meafure. See Dr. Warburton's Note.



Cit. Up, Sir. Go with me.

I charge thee in the Prince's name, obey.

Enter Prince, Montague, Capulet, their Wives, &c.

Prin. Where are the vile beginners of this fray? Ben. O noble Prince, I can discover all Th' unlucky manage of this fatal brawl. There lies the man, flain by young Romeo, That flew thy kinfman, brave Mercutio.

La. Cap. Tybalt, my coufin! O my brother's child!


O-coufin-husband-O-the blood is fpill'd Of my dear kinfman. Prince, as thou art true, For blood of ours, fhed blood of Montague. O! coufin, coufin.

Prin. Benvolio, who began this fray?

Ben. Tybalt, here flain, whom Romeo's hand did flay;

Romeo, that spoke him fair, bid him bethink

* How nice the quarrel was, and urg'd withal
Your high displeasure; all this uttered

With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bow'd,
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen
Of Tybalt, deaf to peace; but that he tilts
With piercing fteel at bold Mercutio's breast;
Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point,
And with a martial fcorn, with one hand beats
Cold death afide, and with the other fends
It back to Tybalt, whofe dexterity
Retorts it. Romeo he cries aloud,

3 as thou art true,] As thou art juft and upright.

4 How nice the quarrel-] How fight, how unimportant, how


So in the last Act, The letter was not nice, but full of charge

Of dear import.


Hold, friends! friends, part! and, fwifter than his


His agile arm beats down their fatal points,
And 'twixt them rufhes; underneath whofe arm
An envious thruft from Tybalt hit the life
Of ftout 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 ftout Tybalt flain;
And as he fell, did Romeo turn to fly.

This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.

La. Cap. He is a kinfman to the Montagues,
'Affection makes him falfe, he speaks not true.
Some twenty of them fought in this black ftrife,
And all those twenty could but kill one life.
I beg for juftice, which thou, Prince, must give;
Romeo flew Tybalt, Romeo muft not live.

Prin. Romeo flew him, he flew Mercutio;
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?
La. Ment. Not Romeo, Prince, he was Mercutio's

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

Prin. And for that offence,
Immediately we do exile him hence:

I have an interest in your hearts' proceeding,
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a bleeding;

Affection makes him falfe. ] The charge of falfhood on Bentivolis, though produced at hazard, is very juft. The authour, who feems to intend the character of Bentivolio as good, meant perhaps to fhew, how the best minds, in a state of faction and difcord, are detorted to criminal partiality.


6 I have an intereft in your

hearts' proceeding,] Sir Th. Hanmer faw that this line gave no sense, and therefore put, by a very eafy change,

I have an intereft in your heat's proceeding.

Which is undoubtedly better than the old reading which Dr. Warburton has followed; but the F 2


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