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cup, draws it on the drawer, when, indeed, there is no need.
Ben. Am I like such a fellow?
Mer. 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.
Ben. And what to ?
Mer. 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 quarrelling. Thou hast quarrelled 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 quarrelling?!
Ben. 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. Mer. The fee simple? O simple' !
Enter TYBALT, and Others. Ben. By my head, here come the Capulets. Mer. By my heel, I care not. ? i.e. thou wilt endeavour to restrain me by prudential advice from quarrelling.
3 This and the foregoing speech have been added since the first quarto, with some few circumstances in the rest of the scene, as well as in the ensuing one.
Tyb. Follow me close, for I will speak to them.Gentlemen, good den: a word with one of you.
Mer. And but one word with one of us ? Couple it with something; make it a word and a blow.
Tyb. You will find me apt enough to that, sir, if you will give me occasion.
Mer. Could you not take some occasion without giving ?
Tyb. Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo,
Mer. Consort4 ! what, dost thou make us minstrels? an thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords: here's my fiddlestick; here's that shall make you dance. 'Zounds, consort!
Ben. We talk here in the public haunt of men : Either withdraw into some private place, Or reason coldly of your grievances, Or else depart; here all eyes gaze on us. Mer. Men's eyes were made to look, and let them
gaze; I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I.
my man.. Mer. 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.
Tyb. Romeo, the hate 1 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
4 To comprehend Mercutio's captious indignation, it should be remembered that a consort was the old term for a set or company of musicians. See vol. i. p. 152, note 7.
To such a greeting :-Villain am I none;
Tyb. Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries
Rom. I do protest, I never injured thee; · But love thee better than thou canst devise,
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love :
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. Tyb. I am for you.
[Drawing. 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-MercutioThe prince expressly hath forbid this bandying In Verona streets:-hold, Tybalt;—good Mercutio.
[Exeunt TYBALT and his Partizans. Mer. I am hurt; A plague o' both the houses !—I am sped :Is he gone, and hath nothing ?
5 The Italian term for a thrust or stab with a rapier. 6 Alluding to his name. See Act ii. Sc. 4, note 2.
7 Warburton says that we should read pilche, which signifies a coat or covering of skin or leather; meaning the scabbard. A pilche or leathern coat seems to have been the common dress of a carman. The old copy reads--scabbard.
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 man8. 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 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 some house, Benyolio,
[Exeunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO. & After this the quarto, 1597, continues Mercutio's speech as follows:
- A pox o'both your houses! I shall be fairly mounted upon four men's shoulders for your house of the Montague's 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 Mercatio 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 !
As for the jest, “You shall find me a grave man,' it was better in old language than it is at present ; Lidgate says, in his Elegy upon Chaucer :
My master Chaucer now is grave.' In Sir Thomas Overbury's description of a Sexton, Characters, 1616, we have it again :- At every church-style commonly there's an ale-house ; where let him be found never so idlepated, hee is still a grave drunkard.'
Rom. This gentleman, the prince's near ally,
Re-enter BENVOLIO. Ben. O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio's dead; That gallant spirit hath aspir’d9 the clouds, Which too untimely here did scorn the earth. Rom. This day's black fate on more days doth
depend 10; This but begins the woe, others must end.
Rom. Alive! in triumph! and Mercutio slain !
9 We never use the verb aspire, at present, without some particle, as to and after. There are numerous ancient examples of a similar use of it with that in the text: thus Marlowe, in his Tamburlaine :
• Until our bodies turn to elements,
And both our souls aspire celestial thrones.' So in Chapman's version of the ninth Iliad :
and aspir'd the gods eternal feats.' 10 This day's unhappy destiny hangs over the days yet to come. There will yet be more mischief.
11 • Respective lenity' is considerative gentleness. See vol. iii. p. 97, note 16.
12 Conduct for conductor. VOL. X.