Speeches (Lines) for Mercutio
in "Romeo and Juliet"

Total: 62

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



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:
A visor for a visor! what care I
What curious eye doth quote deformities?
Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.



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.



Romeo. And we mean well in going to this mask;
But 'tis no wit to go.

Mercutio. Why, may one ask?



Romeo. I dream'd a dream to-night.

Mercutio. And so did I.



Romeo. Well, what was yours?

Mercutio. That dreamers often lie.



Romeo. In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.

Mercutio. O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spiders' legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
The traces of the smallest spider's web,
The collars of the moonshine's watery beams,
Her whip of cricket's bone, the lash of film,
Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not so big as a round little worm
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
O'er courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies straight,
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees,
O'er ladies ' lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig's tail
Tickling a parson's nose as a' lies asleep,
Then dreams, he of another benefice:
Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage:
This is she—



Romeo. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!
Thou talk'st of nothing.

Mercutio. True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes
Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.



Benvolio. Romeo! my cousin Romeo!

Mercutio. He is wise;
And, on my lie, hath stol'n him home to bed.



Benvolio. He ran this way, and leap'd this orchard wall:
Call, good Mercutio.

Mercutio. Nay, I'll conjure too.
Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover!
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh:
Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
Cry but 'Ay me!' pronounce but 'love' and 'dove;'
Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
One nick-name for her purblind son and heir,
Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim,
When King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid!
He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not;
The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.
I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes,
By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh
And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
That in thy likeness thou appear to us!



Benvolio. And if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.

Mercutio. This cannot anger him: 'twould anger him
To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle
Of some strange nature, letting it there stand
Till she had laid it and conjured it down;
That were some spite: my invocation
Is fair and honest, and in his mistress' name
I conjure only but to raise up him.



Benvolio. Come, he hath hid himself among these trees,
To be consorted with the humorous night:
Blind is his love and best befits the dark.

Mercutio. If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
Now will he sit under a medlar tree,
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.
Romeo, that she were, O, that she were
An open et caetera, thou a poperin pear!
Romeo, good night: I'll to my truckle-bed;
This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep:
Come, shall we go?



(stage directions). [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



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!



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. The ship, sir, the slip; can you not conceive?



Romeo. Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great; and in
such a case as mine a man may strain courtesy.

Mercutio. That's as much as to say, such a case as yours
constrains a man to bow in the hams.



Romeo. Meaning, to court'sy.

Mercutio. Thou hast most kindly hit it.



Romeo. A most courteous exposition.

Mercutio. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.



Romeo. Pink for flower.

Mercutio. Right.



Romeo. Why, then is my pump well flowered.

Mercutio. Well said: follow me this jest now till thou hast
worn out thy pump, that when the single sole of it
is worn, the jest may remain after the wearing sole singular.



Romeo. O single-soled jest, solely singular for the

Mercutio. Come between us, good Benvolio; my wits faint.



Romeo. Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or I'll cry a match.

Mercutio. Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have
done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of
thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five:
was I with you there for the goose?



Romeo. Thou wast never with me for any thing when thou wast
not there for the goose.

Mercutio. I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.



Romeo. Nay, good goose, bite not.

Mercutio. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most
sharp sauce.



Romeo. And is it not well served in to a sweet goose?

Mercutio. O here's a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an
inch narrow to an ell broad!



Romeo. I stretch it out for that word 'broad;' which added
to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.

Mercutio. Why, is not this better now than groaning for love?
now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art
thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature:
for this drivelling love is like a great natural,
that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.



Benvolio. Stop there, stop there.

Mercutio. Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair.



Benvolio. Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.

Mercutio. O, thou art deceived; I would have made it short:
for I was come to the whole depth of my tale; and
meant, indeed, to occupy the argument no longer.



(stage directions). [Enter Nurse and PETER]

Mercutio. A sail, a sail!



Nurse. My fan, Peter.

Mercutio. Good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan's the
fairer face.



Nurse. God ye good morrow, gentlemen.

Mercutio. God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.



Nurse. Is it good den?

Mercutio. 'Tis no less, I tell you, for the bawdy hand of the
dial is now upon the prick of noon.



Nurse. You say well.

Mercutio. Yea, is the worst well? very well took, i' faith;
wisely, wisely.



Benvolio. She will indite him to some supper.

Mercutio. A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! so ho!



Romeo. What hast thou found?

Mercutio. No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie,
that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.
An old hare hoar,
And an old hare hoar,
Is very good meat in lent
But a hare that is hoar
Is too much for a score,
When it hoars ere it be spent.
Romeo, will you come to your father's? we'll
to dinner, thither.



Romeo. I will follow you.

Mercutio. Farewell, ancient lady; farewell,
'lady, lady, lady.'



Benvolio. I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire:
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,
And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl;
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.

Mercutio. Thou art like one of those fellows that when he
enters the confines of a tavern claps me his sword
upon the table and says 'God send me no need of
thee!' and by the operation of the second cup draws
it on the drawer, when indeed there is no need.



Benvolio. Am I like such a fellow?

Mercutio. Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood as
any in Italy, and as soon moved to be moody, and as
soon moody to be moved.



Benvolio. And what to?

Mercutio. Nay, an there were two such, we should have none
shortly, for one would kill the other. Thou! why,
thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more,
or a hair less, in his beard, than thou hast: thou
wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no
other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes: what
eye but such an eye would spy out such a quarrel?
Thy head is as fun of quarrels as an egg is full of
meat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as
an egg for quarrelling: thou hast quarrelled with a
man for coughing in the street, because he hath
wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun:
didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing
his new doublet before Easter? with another, for
tying his new shoes with old riband? and yet thou
wilt tutor me from quarrelling!



Benvolio. An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man
should buy the fee-simple of my life for an hour and a quarter.

Mercutio. The fee-simple! O simple!



Benvolio. By my head, here come the Capulets.

Mercutio. By my heel, I care not.



Tybalt. Follow me close, for I will speak to them.
Gentlemen, good den: a word with one of you.

Mercutio. And but one word with one of us? couple it with
something; make it a word and a blow.



Tybalt. You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, an you
will give me occasion.

Mercutio. Could you not take some occasion without giving?



Tybalt. Mercutio, thou consort'st with Romeo,—

Mercutio. Consort! what, dost thou make us minstrels? an
thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but
discords: here's my fiddlestick; here's that shall
make you dance. 'Zounds, consort!



Benvolio. We talk here in the public haunt of men:
Either withdraw unto some private place,
And reason coldly of your grievances,
Or else depart; here all eyes gaze on us.

Mercutio. Men's eyes were made to look, and let them gaze;
I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I.



Tybalt. Well, peace be with you, sir: here comes my man.

Mercutio. But I'll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery:
Marry, go before to field, he'll be your follower;
Your worship in that sense may call him 'man.'



Romeo. I do protest, I never injured thee,
But love thee better than thou canst devise,
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love:
And so, good Capulet,—which name I tender
As dearly as my own,—be satisfied.

Mercutio. O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!
Alla stoccata carries it away.
Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?



Tybalt. What wouldst thou have with me?

Mercutio. Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine
lives; that I mean to make bold withal, and as you
shall use me hereafter, drybeat the rest of the
eight. Will you pluck your sword out of his pitcher
by the ears? make haste, lest mine be about your
ears ere it be out.



Romeo. Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.

Mercutio. Come, sir, your passado.



(stage directions). [TYBALT under ROMEO's arm stabs MERCUTIO, and flies with his followers]

Mercutio. I am hurt.
A plague o' both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone, and hath nothing?



Benvolio. What, art thou hurt?

Mercutio. Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, 'tis enough.
Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.



Romeo. Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.

Mercutio. 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
arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us? I
was hurt under your arm.



Romeo. I thought all for the best.

Mercutio. Help me into some house, Benvolio,
Or I shall faint. A plague o' both your houses!
They have made worms' meat of me: I have it,
And soundly too: your houses!

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