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Rom. I do protest, I never injured thee,

But love thee better than thou canst devise 70
Till thou shalt know the reason of love:
And so, good Capulet,—which name I tender

As dearly as mine own,—be satisfied.
Mer. O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!
Alla stoccata carries it away.

[Draws.
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 use me hereafter, dry-beat the rest 80
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, Mercutio, the prince expressly hath
Forbid this bandying in Verona streets :

90
Hold, Tybalt! good Mercutio !
[Tybalt under Romeo's arm stabs Mercutio

and flies with his followers. Mer.

I am hurt;
A plague o' both your 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.

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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
grave man.

I am peppered, I warrant, for this 100
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.
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 !

ΙΙΟ

[Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio. Rom. This gentleman, the prince's near ally,

My very friend, hath got this mortal hurt
In my behalf; my reputation stain'd
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 soften'd valour's steel !

Re-enter Benvolio.
Ben. O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio 's dead !

That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,

Which too untimely here did scorn the earth. I 20 Rom. This day's black fate on more days doth depend; This but begins the woe others must end.

Re-enter Tybalt.
Ben. Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

Rom. Alive, in triumph! and Mercutio 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 :

130 Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him. Tyb. Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here,

Shalt with him hence. Rom.

This shall determine that.

[They fight; Tybalt fails. Ben. 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!
Rom. O, I am fortune's fool!
Ben,

Why dost thou stay?

[Exit Romeo. Enter Citizens, &*c. First Cit. Which way ran he that kill'd Mercutio ?

Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he? 140
Ben. There lies that Tybalt.
First Cit.

Up, sir, go with me;
I charge thee in the prince's name, obey.

Enter 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.
La. Cap. 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, 150
For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.

O cousin, cousin !
Prin. Benvolio, who began this bloody fray ?
Ben. 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 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 160
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 170
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.
La. Cap. He is a kinsman to the Montague,

Affection makes him false, he speaks not true:
Some twenty of them fought in this black strife, 180
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.
Prin. Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio ;

Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe? Mon. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's friend;

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 hate's proceeding, 190
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.

Scene II.
Capulet's orchard.

Enter Juliet.
Jul. Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Toward Phoebus' lodging : such a waggoner

Phaethon would whip you to the west,

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