Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 4

Scene IV. A Street.

[Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or six Maskers;
Torch-bearers, and others.]

ROMEO.
What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?
Or shall we on without apology?

BENVOLIO.
The date is out of such prolixity:
We'll have no Cupid hoodwink'd with a scarf,
Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper;
Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
After the prompter, for our entrance:
But, let them measure us by what they will,
We'll measure them a measure, and be gone.

ROMEO.
Give me a torch, — I am not for this ambling;
Being but heavy, I will bear the light.

MERCUTIO.
Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.

ROMEO.
Not I, believe me: you have dancing shoes,
With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.

MERCUTIO.
You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings,
And soar with them above a common bound.

ROMEO.
I am too sore enpierced with his shaft
To soar with his light feathers; and so bound,
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe:
Under love's heavy burden do I sink.

MERCUTIO.
And, to sink in it, should you burden love;
Too great oppression for a tender thing.

ROMEO.
Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous; and it pricks like thorn.

MERCUTIO.
If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down. —
Give me a case to put my visage in: [Putting on a mask.]
A visard for a visard! what care I
What curious eye doth quote deformities?
Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me.

BENVOLIO.
Come, knock and enter; and no sooner in
But every man betake him to his legs.

ROMEO.
A torch for me: let wantons, light of heart,
Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels;
For I am proverb'd with a grandsire phrase, —
I'll be a candle-holder and look on, —
The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done.

MERCUTIO.
Tut, dun's the mouse, the constable's own word:
If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire
Of this — sir-reverence — love, wherein thou stick'st
Up to the ears. — Come, we burn daylight, ho.

ROMEO.
Nay, that's not so.

MERCUTIO.
I mean, sir, in delay
We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.
Take our good meaning, for our judgment sits
Five times in that ere once in our five wits.

Continued on next page...

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