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The Wooing of Benvolio: ACT II
A Hall in the House of Montague.
Enter BENVOLIO, and LADY CARYN
BENVOLIO: O’ Caryn
to hear you speak of the joy in your life
Brings warmth to my heart!
CARYN: And you Benvolio?
Have you any joy in your life.
Even more, now, that I may lay my eyes upon you once again.
CARYN: Benvolio your words are too kind.
BENVOLIO: Perhaps, but they are truth in mine eyes,
Meant for worthy ears.
CARYN: Spoken from worthy lips.
BENVOLIO: Alas! Lips frozen in time
from the frost that settled in your absence.
Preserved by salty brine.
CARYN: (warning) Benvolio!
‘Tis not like you!
BENVOLIO: And to see you speak
with lips like roses full of life
escaping the bite of rime.
CARYN: You cling to the past.
BENVOLIO: Aye, but you cannot deny fact!
Our love brought green envy into the fair eyes of Venus!
‘Twas never to fade or die!
CARYN: Yes I cannot deny what once was.
Yet ‘tis no longer what is!
We were but children, our heads still soft.
BENVOLIO: (draws her close) O’ Caryn, my love,
Tell me now that old fire dost not burn in thy veins!
Speak to me naught of a love lost, dead and buried under the cold earth!
Pronounce not only to me but to thyself
For I know it lies within thy soul! (kisses her)
Caryn is silent, debating.
CARYN: (composed) Sir, I bid you good night. (exit)
Enter BENVOLIO distressed
BENVOLIO: To hear such vile words of unrequited love!
The ache it sets it my heart!
Caryn, so gentile as a dove,
Yet whose talons have cut a yawning scar in my chest!
O’ how it pains me so!
Is this what lies in the young heart of cousin Romeo?
To have a lady so close, but yet so far;
Separated, at times, no more than arms length,
And also by the schism of separate souls.
If I had but held my tongue!
O’ the fool I am! A jester in fate’s court!
How the angels mock my quixotic venture!
To use all of the valor in my veins,
And emerge from mine battle defeated!
Tilting at giants of windmills!
Oh! To where has my prudence fled!
Alas! To hear myself seethe!
Perchance I have lost my mind to my dear lady!
Should Mercutio hear me now,
Why, I’ll ne’er hear the end of it!
Sleep, night’s companionable silence,
Be thy remedy for thy raw sorrow.
Enter LADY CARYN, LADY ISABELLA, ROSALINE, and JULIET.
JULIET: ‘Tis lovely now that summer is upon us.
Do tell, Lady Caryn, art thou happy to spend it here in Verona.
ROSALINE: Oh, yes!
LADY ISABELLA: O’ quite content is she,
Once again home
Once again in the company of Sir Benvolio!
LADY CARYN: (angrily) Isabella!
JULIET: O’ look at the rose upon her cheek!
LADY ISABELLA: It is true!
Saw her last night did I
After supper with the man,
Walking arm and arm laughing merrily.
Not wishing to be seen I took a different route
When I did see them again locked
in a kiss of renewed passion were they.
ROSALINE: Caryn, be these words true.
Art thy enamored by Benvolio?
CARYN: Seal thy ears at Bella’s words!
You as well, Juliet
For you are both young and do not understand
Yes locked in a kiss of passion renewed were we,
But only he felt the passion.
ROSALINE: O’ Caryn, you can not possibly declare
That you wish not for a man like Benvolio!
JULIET: (dreamily) to have a man of thy own!
ISABELLA: (cuts her off)
The words spewed from thy mouth will be only lies
The only thing standing between you and your love
Is that thick head of yours!
You logic that there lies no emotion!
Yet open thine eyes and see the logic that
Love for Benvolio still sleeps within.
CARYN: I will not yield to these taunts!
JULIET: Invite him to the ball!
ROSALINE: Juliet! Where are thy wits?
Benvolio is of the House of Montague!
Your father will stew and Tybalt will have his head!
Though, knowing Mercutio’s thirst for a good party,
Benvolio would be dragged along as well.
Hearty fool masked as man.
ISABELLA: I heard of this fiery Mercutio at supper,
Word of him is enough to drag me into the depths of Hades!
JULIET: So you will come!
Rosaline and I shall be present as well,
Oh, Caryn (pleading) you must come!
CARYN: Fine, if it pleases you
And only because I am uneasy
At the thought of Mercutio and Bella in a room together
BENVOLIO: Darkness! Shadows which lie and prowl
Desperate to lace lovers lips and brows with an unsightly scowl.
Could the day bringing sun once again rise in the east,
And raise my spirits,
So that I once again my soar?
Oh but my tired arms have grown sore
And my wings have been torn from atop my shoulders!
I had but begged for sleep to take me to dreams of peace,
Yet I slept naught
and now with waking hours not yet upon
I endure the pitiless torture of troublesome pixies
Dancing about my brain bringing me thoughts
of my fair lady that is not mine to keep.
(Enter ROMEO in distance)
BENVOLIO: Oy, there walks Cousin Romeo
Be he tortured as I?
Dost his heart beat at melancholy tempo?
Does pain fill his soul and make him unheaded
so he clings to the mighty sycamore?
Oh, dear cousin, thy pain is akin to my own,
Conspiring brothers of misfortune!
(ROMEO flees into the woods)
Go, run, escape, find peace elsewhere
For thy wilt find it not here in Verona
For here do only dead hearts and ghost’s echoes lie.
Exit BENVOLIO. Exeunt.
SAMSON, GREGORY, BALTHASAR and ABRAHAM on stage
Samson makes taunting gestures
ABRAHAM: (angrily) Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
SAMSON: I do bite my thumb, sir.
ABRAHAM: Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
SAMSON: No, sir, I do not bite my thumb
At you, sir. But I do bite my thumb, sir.
GREGORY: Do you quarrel, sir?
ABRAHAM: Quarrel, sir? No, sir.
SAMSON: But if you do, sir, I am for you. I serve as good
A man as you.
ABRAHAM: No better.
SAMSON: Well, sir.
BENVOLIO: (aside to self) What say my kinsmen to those Capulet?
(pauses, listens, shocked) Why! They bite their thumbs!
(pauses, listens) Quarrel?
O’ should this spark engulf them in flame!
(he sees them fight and runs to them)
Put up your swords you know not what you do.
(Enter TYBALT swords drawn)
TYBALT: What? Art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
Turn thee, Benvolio. Look upon thy death.
BENVOLIO: I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.
TYBALT: What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
Have at thee, coward!
(they fight and enter LORD and LADY MONTAGUE, LORD and LADY CAPULET, and CITIZENS they fight and cheer if desired dialogue from Romeo and Juliet may be entered)
TYBALT: Shame, Benvolio,
You are a fine match of skills and a worthy blade,
Yet you only advance on the defensive.
I wonder if Lady Caryn will weep upon your lifeless stiff.
BENVOLIO: Tybalt, I beg thee, do not convey her into this.
TYBALT: Ah, alas, but we have business to settle.
For when you are dead at my hand I will giver her mine.
( Benvolio takes offensive and they fight furiously BENVOLIO is wounded in the arm)
(Enter PRINCE with his train)
PRINCE: Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbor-stained steel-
Will they not hear? What, ho! You men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With the purple fountains issued from your veins,
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets
And made Verona’s ancient citizens
Cast by their grave-beseeming ornaments
To wield old partisans in hands as old,
Cankered with peace, cankered with hate.
If you ever disturb our streets again
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
For this time all the rest depart away.
You, Capulet, shall go along with me,
And Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our farther pleasure in this course,
Too old free-town, our common judgment place.
Once more, on the pain of death, all men depart
(Exit all except BENVOLIO, LORD MONTAGUE, and LADY MONTAGUE)
LORD MONTAGUE: Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
BENVOLIO: Here were the servants of your adversary,
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach.
I drew to part them. In the instant came
The fiery Tybalt with his sword prepared,
Which, as he breathed defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head and cut the winds
Who, nothing hurt withal, hissed in scorn.
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more, and fought on part and part
Till the Prince came, who parted either part.
LADY MONTAGUE: O, where is Romeo? Saw you him today?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
BENVOLIO: Madam, an hour before the worshiped sun
Peered forth the golden window of the east,
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad,
Where, underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from this city’s side,
So early walking did I see your son.
Towards him I made, but he was ware of me
And stole into the covert of the wood.
I, measuring his affections against my own,
Which then most sought where most might not be found,
Being one too many by weary myself,
Pursued my humor, not pursuing his,
And gladly shunned who gladly fled from me.
MONTAGUE: Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augumenting the fresh morning’s dew,
Adding to clouds with his deep sighs;
But all too soon as the all-cheering sun
Should in the farthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed,
Away from light steals home my heavy son
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out,
And makes himself an artificial night.
Black and portentous must this humor prove
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
BENVOLIO: My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
LORD MONTAGUE: I neither know it nor learn of him.
BENVOLIO: Have you importuned him by any means?
MONTAGUE: Both by myself and many other friends.
But he, his own affections’ counselor,
Is to himself-I will not say how true,
But to himself so secret and so close,
So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
We would as willingly give cure as we know.
BENVOLIO: See where he comes. So please you, step aside.
I’ll know his grievance or much be denied.
MONTAGUE: I would thou wert so happy by thy stay
To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let’s away.
BENVOLIO: Good morrow, cousin.
ROMEO: Is the day so young?
BENVOLIO: But new struck nine.
ROMEO: Ay me! Sad hours seem long.
What that my father that went hence so fast?
BENVOLIO: It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?
ROMEO: Not having that which, having, makes them short
BENVOLIO: In love?
BENVOLIO: Of love?
ROMEO: Out of her favor where I am in love.
BENVOLIO: Alas, that Love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
ROMEO: Alas, that Love, whose view is muffled still,
Should without eyes see pathways to his will!
Where shall we dine? –O me! What fray was here?
Yet tell me not for I have heard it all.
Here’s much to do with hate but more to do with love.
Why, then, O brawling loving, O loving hate,
O anything of nothing first create,
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?
BENVOLIO: No, coz, I rather weep.
ROMEO: Good heart, at what?
BENVOLIO: At thy heart’s good oppression.
ROMEO: Why, such is love’s transgression.
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it pressed
With more of thine. This love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lover’s eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lover’s tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A chocking gall, and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.
BENVOLIO: Soft! I will go along.
An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
ROMEO: Tut, I have lost myself. I am not here.
BENVOLIO: Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?
ROMEO: What, shall I groan and tell thee?
BENVOLIO: Groan? Why, no, but sadly tell me who.
ROMEO: Bid a sick man in sadness make his will-
A word ill urged to one that is o ill!
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
BENVOLIO: I aimed so near when I supposed you loved.
ROMEO: A right good markman! And she’s fair I love.
BENVOLIO: A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
ROMEO: Well, in that hit you miss. She’ll not be hit
With Cupid’s arrow. She hath Dian’s wit,
And, in strong proof of chastity well armed,
From love’s weak childish bow she lives unharmed.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide th’ encounter of assailing eyes,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold.
O, she is rich, only poor
That when she dies, with beauty does her store.
BENVOLIO: Then she hath sworn that she shall live chaste?
ROMEO: She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste,
For beauty starved with her severity
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair.
She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
Do I live dead, that live to tell it now.
BENVOLIO: be ruled by me. Forget to think of her.
ROMEO: O, teach me how I should forget to think!
BENVOLIO: By giving liberty unto thine eyes:
Examine other beauties.
ROMEO: ‘Tis the way
To call hers, exquisite in question more.
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies’ brows,
Being black, puts us in mind they hide the fair.
He that is stricken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.
Show me a mistress that is passing fair:
What doth her beauty serve as but a note
Where I may read who passed that passing fair?
Farewell. Thou canst teach me to forget
BENVOLIO: I’ll pay that in doctrine, or else doe n debt.