Act II, scene iv

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[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 of 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 is
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
hai!

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
perdona-mi's, who stand so much on the new form,
that they cannot at ease on the old bench? O, their
bones, their bones!

Enter ROMEO

BENVOLIO

Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.

MERCUTIO

Without his roe, like a dried herring: 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 gipsy;
Helen and Hero hildings and harlots; Thisbe a grey
eye or so, but not to the purpose. 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?

MERCUTIO

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