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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.


ROM. Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.
MER. Come, sir, your passado.

ROм. Draw, Benvolio;

[They fight.

Beat down their weapons:-Gentlemen, for shame Forbear this outrage ;-Tybalt-Mercutio

The 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?


What, art thou hurt? MER. Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, 'tis


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

s Will you pluck your sword out of his PILCHER by the ears?] We should read pilche, which signifies a cloke or coat of skins, meaning the scabbard. WARBURTON.

The old copy reads scabbard. Dr. Warburton's explanation is, I believe, just. Nash, in Pierce Pennyless his Supplication, 1595, speaks of a carman in a leather pilche. Again, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602:

"I'll beat five pounds out of his leather pilch."

Again, "Thou hast forgot how thou ambled'st in a leather pilch, by a play-waggon in the highway, and took'st mad Jeronimo's part, to get service among the mimicks."

It appears from this passage, that Ben Jonson acted the part of Hieronimo in the Spanish tragedy, the speech being addressed to Horace, under which character old Ben is ridiculed.


as a church door *; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve : ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man o. 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, 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,

* Quarto A, barne door.

† Quarto A, inserts, I am sped; y faith, he hath made worms meat of me.

6 —a GRAVE man.] 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 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: 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.

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 *;-O () sweet (1) 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 aspir'd the clouds, Which too untimely here did scorn the earth. ROM. This day's black fate on more days doth depend9;

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!


*So quarto A; the rest, cousin.

† Quarto A, What other dayes must end.

SOFTEN'D valour's STEEL.] So, in Coriolanus:

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When steel grows

Soft as the parasite's silk-." MALONE.

hath ASPIR'D the clouds,] So, in Greene's Card of Fancy,

"Her haughty mind is too lofty for me to aspire."

Again, in Chapman's version of the tenth Iliad :

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and presently aspir'd

"The guardless Thracian regiment."

Again, in the ninth Iliad :

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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." MALONE. 9 This day's black fate on more days doth depend ;] This day's unhappy destiny hangs over the days yet to come. There will yet

be more mischief. JOHNSON.

1 Alive! in triumph! &c.] Thus the quarto 1597; for which the quarto 1599 has

Away to heaven, respective lenity 2,

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 *,

Staying for thine to keep him company;
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him .
(1) TYB. Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort
him here,

Shalt with him hence.


This shall determine that. ()

[They fight; TYBALT falls.

BEN. Romeo, away, be gone!

The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain :

Stand not amaz'd':-the prince will doom thee


If thou art taken :-hence !-be gone!-away!
ROM. O! I am fortune's fool"!

* Quarto A,

above the clouds.

† Quarto A, bear him.

Quarto A, Or thou, or I, or both, shall follow him.

"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 :


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Respect and reason well beseem the sage.' MALONE. 3 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.

4 Stand not AMAZ'D:] i. e. confounded, in a state of confusion. So, in Cymbeline: "I am amaz'd with matter." STEEVENS.

5 O! 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, Act III. Sc. II. STEEVENS.


Why dost thou stay? [Exit ROMEO.

Enter Citizens, &c.

1 CIT. 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'd"

In the first copy-O! I am fortune's slave. STEEvens. 5- Which way ran he?] Instead of these four speeches, it is thus in quarto 1597:

"Ben. Romeo, away! thou seest that Tybalt's slain. "The citizens approach; away! begone!

"Thou wilt be taken.

"Rom. Ah! I am fortune's slave.

"Enter Citizens.

"Watch. Where's he that slew Mercutio? Tybalt, that villain?" BoSWELL.

6 Unhappy sight! ah ME, the blood is spill'd-] The pronoun -me, has been inserted by the recommendation of the following note. STEEVENS.

The quarto 1597 reads:

"Unhappy sight! ah, the blood is spill'd-."

The quarto 1599, and the subsequent ancient copies, have:

"O prince! O cousin! husband! O, the blood is spill'd," &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 spill'd," &c. MALONE.



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