Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 4

Scene IV. A Street.

[Enter Benvolio and Mercutio.]

MERCUTIO.
Where the devil should this Romeo be? — 
Came he not home to-night?

BENVOLIO.
Not to his father's; I spoke with his man.

MERCUTIO.
Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline,
Torments him so that he will sure run mad.

BENVOLIO.
Tybalt, the kinsman to old Capulet,
Hath sent a letter to his father's house.

MERCUTIO.
A challenge, on my life.

BENVOLIO.
Romeo will answer it.

MERCUTIO.
Any man that can write may answer a letter.

BENVOLIO.
Nay, he will answer the letter's master, how he
dares, being dared.

MERCUTIO.
Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead! stabbed with a white
wench's black eye; shot through the ear with a love song; the
very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft:
and is he a man to encounter Tybalt?

BENVOLIO.
Why, what is Tybalt?

MERCUTIO.
More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he's the
courageous captain of compliments. He fights as you sing
prick-song — keeps time, distance, and proportion; rests me his
minim rest, one, two, and the third in your bosom: the very
butcher of a silk button, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of
the very first house, — of the first and second cause: ah, the
immortal passado! the punto reverso! the hay. —

BENVOLIO.
The what?

MERCUTIO.
The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting fantasticoes; these
new tuners of accents! — 'By Jesu, a very good blade! — a very tall
man! — a very good whore!' — Why, is not this a lamentable thing,
grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with these strange
flies, these fashion-mongers, these pardonnez-moi's, who stand so
much on the new form that they cannot sit at ease on the old
bench? O, their bons, their bons!

BENVOLIO.
Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo!

MERCUTIO.
Without his roe, like a dried herring. — O flesh, flesh, how art
thou fishified! — Now is he for the numbers that Petrarch flowed
in: Laura, to his lady, was but a kitchen wench, — marry, she had
a better love to be-rhyme her; Dido, a dowdy; Cleopatra, a gypsy;
Helen and Hero, hildings and harlots; Thisbe, a gray eye or so,
but not to the purpose, —

[Enter Romeo.]

Signior Romeo, bon jour! there's a French salutation to your
French slop. You gave us the counterfeit fairly last night.

ROMEO.
Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?

Continued on next page...

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

After the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt, Benvolio acts as a




Quiz