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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 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.
9 a grave mán.] 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 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 he'll keep a mumbling in my guts on the other side.—Come, Benvolio, lend me thy hand : A pox o’both your houses !" STEEVENS.
“ You shall find me a grave man." This jest was better in old language, than it is at present. Lidgate says, in his elegy upon Chaucer:
“My master Chaucer now is grave.” FARMER. We meet with the same quibble in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1608, where Vindici dresses up a lady's scull, and observes : s ." — she has a somewhat grave look with her.”
STEEVENS. Again, in Sir Thomas Overbury's Description of a Sexton, CHARACTERS, 1616: “ At every church-style commonly there's an ale-house; where let him bee found never so idle-pated, hee is still a grave drunkard.”! MALONE.
MER. Help me into some house, Benvolio, Or I shall faint.-A plague o’both your houses! They have made worm's meat of me: I have it, and soundly too :-Your houses !
[Exeunt 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 kinsman:-0 sweet Juliet, Thy beauty hath made me effeminate, And in my temper soften’d valour's steel."
Ben. O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio's dead; That gallant spirit hath aspir'd the clouds, 8 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.
softer when parasites.de,] So,
a soften’d valour's steel.] So, in Coriolanus :
66 - When steel grows
“ Soft as the parasite's silk-." MALONE. · :8 hath aspir’d the clouds,] So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608:
“ Her haughty mind is too lofty for me to aspire.” Again, in Chapman's version of the tenth Iliad:
" — and presently aspir'd
“ The guardless Thracian regiment.” Again, in the ninth Iliad:
“— and aspir'd the gods' eternal feats.” We never use this verb at present without some particle, as, to and after. STEEVENS. So also, Marlowe, in his Tamburlaine, 1590:
“ Until our bodies turn to elements,
“ And both our souls aspire celestial thrones.” MALONÉ. 9 This day's black fate on more days doth depend ;] This
BEN. Here comes the furious Tybalt back again. - ROM. Alive! in triumph !" and Mercutio slain! Away to heaven, respective lenity, . And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now !3— Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again, That late thou gav’st me; for Mercutio's soul Is but a little way above our heads, .:i. Staying for thine to keep him company ; : . 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 falls. BEN. Romeo, away, be gone! .' The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain :
day's unhappy destiny hangs over the days yet to come. There will yet be more mischief. JOHNSON.
Alive! in triumph! &c.] Thus the quarto, 1597; for which the quarto, 1599, has
He gan in triumph— : This, in the subsequent ancient copies, was made-He gone, &c. MALONE.
- respective lenity,] Cool, considerate gentleness. Respect formerly signified consideration ; prudential caution. So, in The Rape of Lucrece :
“ Respect and reason well beseem the sage.” MALONE. • And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now!] Conduct for conductor. So, in a former scene of this play, quarto, 1597:
“ Which to the high top-gallant of my joy
“ Must be my conduct in the secret night.” Thus the first quarto. In that of 1599, end being corruptly printed instead of ey'd, the editor of the folio, according to the usual process of corruption, exhibited the line thus :
.:And fire and fury be my conduct now. MALONE.
Stand not amaz’d:4—the prince will doom thee
death, If thou art taken :-hence !—be gone!-away! · Rom. O! I am fortune's fool!5 Ben.
Why dost thou stay?
· Enter Citizens, &c. i Crt. 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 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 ! Unhappy sight! ah me, the blood is spill’de
. 4 Stand not amaz’d:] i. e. confounded, in a state of confusion. So, in Cymbeline : “ I am amaz'd with matter.”
STEEVENS. :50! I am fortune's fool!] I am always running in the way of evil fortune, like the Fool in the play. Thou art death's fool, in Measure for Measure. See Dr. Warburton's note. JOHNSON. · See Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Vol. XXI. Act III. sc. ii.
- STEEVENS. In the first copy—! I am fortune's slave. STEEVENS. • Unhappy sight! ah me, the blood is spilld-] The pro
Of my dear kinsman - Prince, as thou art true,
Prin. Benvolio, who began this bloody fray ?
did slay ; :
noun-me, has been inserted by the recommendation of the following note. STEEVENS. The quarto, 1597, reads :
Unhappy sight! ah, the blood is spill’d , Thé quarto, 1599, and the subsequent ancient copies, have: O prince! O cousin! husband! O, the blood is spilld
&c. The modern editors have followed neither copy. The word me was probably inadvertently omitted in the first quarto. Unhappy sight! ah me, the blood is spilld &c.
MALONE. - as thou art true,] As thou art just and upright.
Johnson. So, in King Richard III: “ And if King Edward be as true and just,~"
STEEVENS. * How nice the quarrel—] How slight, how unimportant, how petty. So, in the last Act:
• The letter was not nice, but full of charge,
“ Of dear import.” Johnson. See also Vol. XVII. p. 197, n. 8. Malone.
9 and urg'd withab] The rest of this speech was new written by the poet, as well as a part of what follows in the same scene. STEEVENS.