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The Wooing of Benvolio: ACT III
BENVOLIO on stage
Enter BALTHASAR carrying a small bottle, bowl of water, and bandages
BENVOLIO: (gasps in pain and inspects wound) Quickly, Balthsar, come hither with the cure!
BALTHASAR: Here! Straight from Friar Laurence’s cell!
BENVOLIO: O Benvolio that lesion seems no doubt painful.
Ay ‘tis, yet not too bad. Have you the vile?
BALTHASAR: (hands him the vile) The Friar has advised caution,
Do not fret should your arm go flaccid.
BENVOLIO: I begin to regret turning to that fanatical fellow.
BALTHASAR: Just drink, twill end your pain.
BENVOLIO: (drinks from vile) Alright, now bring forth that bowl.
Enter LADY CARYN
CARYN: BENVOLIO! What damage has marred your arm? (goes to him and helps him)
BENVOLIO: What are you doing here?
CARYN: Walking past the wing of your chambers
I did hear the shouts of some poor wounded creature.
BENVOLIO: Alas, ‘tis true.
CARYN: I ask again,
How did you perchance this wound?
BALTHASAR: (sheepishly) Sir, I will make leave of you.
CARYN: (demanding) You certainly shant.
Hand me that bowl!
BENVOLIO: (reluctantly) ‘Twas Tybalt’s blade.
CARYN: And how did said blade split your flesh.
BENVOLIO: Saw I this morn a quarrel between Capulet’s kinsman and mine own.
Interject and drew did I to halt such idiocy.
CARYN: I have gotten word of the brawl.
BENVOLIO: (ashamed) So you have.
CARYN: O Benvolio, why did you dare draw?
And against Tybalt no less!
BENVOLIO: ‘Tis past.
CARYN: Ay, now, give me your arm.
(She cleans his wounds and he shows much pain)
CARYN: Spoke with Rosaline and Juliet this morning I did.
BENVOLIO: What say they?
CARYN: It seems Capulet is hosting a party.
BENVOLIO: Lovely, though I know you have not much taste for a ball.
Will you attend?
CARYN: Yes, but not of my own accord
I must pay a visit to Capulet still,
And the girls need to be bridled in.
BENVOLIO: Balthasar, you may leave us.
Enjoy yourself, Caryn.
CARYN: I will try
BENVOLIO: (gasps in pain as his wounds are bandaged)
CARYN: Sorry, I am trying to be gentile.
BENVOLIO: Do not apologize.
This wound is fault of mine own.
CARYN: Hush! Nay, not entirely,
Tybalt has a way of setting h*ll in one’s mind.
BENVOLIO: He says he wishes for your hand.
CARYN: My hand?
CARYN: O Benvolio, he has crawled inside your mind.
BENVOLIO: Have you no word of this.
CARYN: No, and I doubt I ever shall.
For Tybalt hath no affections for me
but for the youngest daughter of Signor Martino!
BENVOLIO: (taken aback) Lady Julia?
CARYN: (laughs) O Benvolio, (kisses him on the cheek)
You were always a bit off.
Well, you are patched back together.
BENVOLIO: Thank you. (inspects bandages)
CARYN: It was my pleasure, Sir Benvolio.
(kisses him once more and rises to leave)
CARYN: Yes Benvolio?
BENVOLIO: You did always look stunning in a ball gown.
Enter BENVOLIO and ROMEO
BENVOLIO: Tut, man, one fire burns out another’s burning,
One pain is lessened by another’s anguish;
Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;
One desperate grief cures with another’s languish.
Take thou some new infection thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.
ROMEO: Your plantation leaf is excellent for that.
BENVOLIO: For What, I pray thee?
ROMEO: For your broken shin.
BENVOLIO: Why, Romeo, art thou mad?
ROMEO: Not mad, but bound more than a madman is;
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipped and tormented and-Good e’en , good fellow.
SERVANT: God, gi’good e’en. I pray, sir, can you read?
ROMEO: Ay, mine own fortune in misery.
SERVANT: Perhaps you have learned it without
Book. But, I pray, can you read anything you see?
ROMEO: Ay, if I know the letters and the language.
SERVANT: Ye say honestly. Rest you merry! (turns to leave)
ROMEO: Stay, fellow, I can read.
“Signor Martino and his wife and daughters,
County Anseleme and his beauteous sisters,
The lady widow of Vitruvio,
Signor Placiento and his lovely nieces,
Mercutio and his brother Valentine,
Mine uncle Capulet, his wife, and daughters,
My fair niece Rosaline and Livia,
Signor Velentino and his cousin Tybalt,
Lucia and the lively Helena.”
A fair assembly. Whither should they come?
ROMEO: Whither? To Supper?
SERVANT: To our house.
ROMEO: Whose house?
SERVANT: My master’s.
ROMEO: Indeed, I should have asked thee that before.
SERVANT: Now I’ll tell you without asking. My
Master is the great rich Capulet; and if you be not of
The house of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup
Of wine. Rest you merry!
BENVOLIO: At this same ancient feast of Capulet’s
Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so loves,
With all the admired beauties of Verona.
Go thither, and with unattained eye.
Compare her face with some that I shall show,
And I shall make thee think thy swan a crow.
ROMEO: When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires;
And these who, often drowned, never could die,
Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!
One fairer than my love? The all-seeing sun
Ne’er saw her math since first the world begun.
BENVOLIO: Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,
Herself poised with herself in either eye;
But in that crystal scales let there be weighed
Your lady’s love against some other maid
That I will show you shining at this feast,
And she shall scant show well that now seems best.
ROMEO; I’ll go along, no such sight to be shone,
But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.
Enter BENVOLIO, MERCUTIO, ROMEO, with serveral MASKERS and TORCHBEARERS
ROMEO: What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?
Or shall we on without apology?
BENVOLIO: The date is out of such proxility.
We’ll have no Cupid hoodwinked with a scarf,
Being a Tartar’s painted bow of lath,
Scaring the ladies like a crowkeeper,
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, gentile 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 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 a dull woe.
Under love’s heavy burden I do sink.
MERCUTIO: And, to sink in it, you should burden love-
Too great oppression for a tender thing.
ROMEO: Is love a tender thing? I sit too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like a 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 (Puts on mask)
A visor for a visor! 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 proverbed 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- save your reverence-love wherein thou sickest
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 masque,
But ‘tis no wit to go.
MERCUTIO: Why, may one ask?
ROMEO: I dreamt a dream tonight.
MERCUTIO: So did I.
ROMEO: Well what was yours?
MERCUTIO: That dreamer’s often lie.
ROMEO: I 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 forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomi
Over men’s noses as they lie asleep.
Her chariot is an empty hazelnut,
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’mind the fairies’ choachmakers.
Her wagon spokes made of long spinners’s legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
Her traces of the smallest spider web,
Her collars of the moonshine’s water beams,
Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film,
Her wagoner a small gray-coated gnat,
Not so half as big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid.
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 curtsies straight;
O’er lawyer’s fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which of the angry Mab with blisters plagues
Because their breaths with sweetness tainted are
Sometimes she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit.
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
Tickling a parson’s nose as ‘a lies asleep;
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breeches, ambuscades, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathoms deep, and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frightened 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 on small sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled 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 a substance as the air,
And more inconstant than the wind, who woos
Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And being angered, puffs away from thence,
Turning his side to the dew-dropping south.
BENVOLIO: The wind you talk of blows us from ourselves.
Supper is done, and we shall come too late.
ROMEO: I fear, too early; for my mind misgives
Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night’s revels, and expire the term
Of a despised life closed in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
But He that hath the steerage of my course
Direct my suit! On, lusty gentlemean.
BENVOLIO: Strike, drum,
They march about the stage and exit to one side.
A hall in Capulett’s house
Several servants on stage
Enter OLD CAPULET, LORD CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, JULIET, PARIS, TYBALT, NURSE and GUESTS
LORD CAPULET: (to guests) Welcome, gentlemen! Ladies that have their toes
Unplagued with corns will walk a bout with you.
Enter LADY CARYN, LADY ISABELLA, and ROSALINE.
LORD CAPULET: (to ladies) Ah, my mistresses, which of you all
Will now deny to dance? She that makes dainty,
She, I’ll swear, hath corns. Am I come near ye now?
Enter BENVOLIO, ROMEO, MERCUTIO
LORD CAPULET: (to lads) Welcome, gentlemen I have seen the day
That I have worn a visor and could tell
A whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear
Such as would please. ‘Tis gone, ‘tis gone, ‘tis gone.
You are welcome gentlemen! Come, musicians, play!
Music plays and dancing starts
A hall, a hall! Give room! And foot it, girls!
LORD CAPULET: (to nearest servant) More light, you knaves, and turn the tables up,
And quench the fire; the room is grown too hot!
He moves to speak with OLD CAPULET. ROSALINE, ISABELLA, and CARYN converse on one end of the stage. BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO converse. JULET inquires with NURSE, whilst ROMEO inquires with a SERVANT. Eventually LORD CAPULET, LADY CAPULET, and TYBALT debate Romeo’s presence and ROMEO and JULIET join the others dancing.
MERCUTIO: Benvolio, ‘tis a festive eve is it not?
MERCUTIO: Thou wilt find many a maid with toes.
BENVOLIO: No doubt, they all do, especially in thine eyes.
MERCUTIO: Especially that maid yonder.
BERNVOLIO: She that speaks with Lady Caryn?
MERCUTIO: She be the one.
BENVOLIO: Her name be’eth Lady Isabella of Milan.
She is traveling in company with Lady Caryn.
MERCUTIO: So she is. Be she without spouse or suitor?
BENVOLIO: I believe Ay.
(focus on opposite side of stage to LADY CARYN, ISABELLA and ROSALINE)
ROSALINE: Look, Isabella, o’er cross the hall
There at the side of the masquer
Stands Sir Mercutio.
LADY CARYN: Ay, ‘tis him; yet,
grown almost a foot has he since I last saw of him.
LADY ISABELLA: Handsome.
(back to the boys)
MERCUTIO: Ah, and there,
The frightfully striking Lady Caryn,
I am sure she is the object of thy heart Benvolio.
BENVOLIO: Only In my dreams.
MERCUTIO: Did I say I had dreamt a dream tonight.
BENVOLIO: Yes you did and all know how that fared.
MERCUTIO: Thou art such a bore at times,
It renders you an appalling acquaintance in conversation at times.
BENVOLIO: I would suggest you silence your lips
With wine but it seems you’ve drank enough already.
MERCUTIO: And you’ve not swallowed a drop!
BENVOLIO: I prefer to keep my head.
An inebriated mind is not keen for the soldier in enemies’ lands.
MERCUTIO: Benvolio, Why art thou so staid?
BENVOLIO: I am confined within the battlefield of mine enemy’s house
With my dangerous love naught but across the way!
MERCUTIO: Thou certaintly not need intoxication to become drunk.
For love will do just fine,
And is more potent than any wine!
BENVOLIO: Can one be blamed for love?
MERCUTIO: Can a soldier be blamed for war?
Go to her! Crusade for her heart!
(back to girls)
ROSALINE: Say, Bella, who be the
masquer standing vigil at Mercuto’s side?
BELLA: Yes, for your eyes have strayed
not from him all night!
CARYN: I judge you know his identity as well as I.
BELLA: Ah, but I wish to hear the name flood from your lips
Reverent and lustful, swooning as if not quite awake!
ROSALINE: Oh, Caryn, a dance, ask him to dance!
CARYN:Tis not apt for a lady to ask a gent!
I have never and shall on no account bend my wills to do otherwise.
BELLA: But I have and shall again! (takes CARYN’s hand and starts for BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO)
BELLA: (to MERCUTIO) Good e’en, sir.
MERCUTIO: (bows) And to you, My lady. May I be of service?
BELLA: Well, I merely wish to ask you to the floor, but
My dear friend here shall alone sit with a wanting eye. Thus,
Should your man here invite my lovely lady we may all enter in one’s company.
MERCUTIO: And it shall be. (elbows BENVOLIO)
BENVOLIO: My Lady, (they all take arms and approach the dance floor and dance)
Enter MUSICIAN. Dancing stops.
CARYN: Benvolio, your ability to dance
has slipped my store of the past.
BENVOLIO: I see my masque does naught
To hide my identity.
CARYN: Only to one who knows thee as well as I.
BENVOLIO: Ah, alas it has been a long time
CARYN: Far too long.
CARYN: Oh, my dearest friend,
How I have missed you.
BENVOLIO: As I have missed you.
CARYN: I am terribly remorseful for what
Callous words passed between us the past night.
I see now that the words you spoke were truth.
Far long have I denied the truth of my heart,
And my long-kept love for thee.
Oh, Benvolio, wilts thou forgive me?
BENVOLIO: (kisses her) There was nothing to forgive
Enter BENVOLIO energetically
BENVOLIO: Oh how my heart soars!!!
Once again lifted by love’s flight!!!
The stars, once impossible imaginings,
now lay nestled in my palm!!!
(holds hand to sky)
Not all the shining stars nor the glowing moon or flaming sun
Can yield a candle to compare to the faultless aura of my lady Caryn!
(picks a flower) Not the reddest rose to
The blush on her cheeks or smiling lips!
Oh to kiss those lips is to taste something beyond the finest wine,
That fills the heart and soul with its lovely bouquet!
She has returned to me!!
(sees ROMEO in distance below Capulet’s wall)
BENVOLIO: There yonder lurks my cousin!
He wishes to leap!
So his spirits have been turned with some fair lady as well.
Go to her! Raise thy wings and
soar o’er the wall which dost separate thee from thy maiden!
(ROMEO climbs wall)
BENVOLIO: Fast enters our bantering friend.
Fly flee, my coz, I shall be thy shield
(pause then continues urgently)
Romeo! My cousin Romeo! Romeo!
MERCUTIO: He is wise
And, on my life, hath stolen him off to bed.
BENVOLIO: He ran this way and leapt this orchard wall.
Call, good Mercutio.
MERCUTIO: Nay, I’ll conjure too.
Romeo! Humors! Madmen! Passion! Lover!
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh.
Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
Cry but “Ayme!” Pronounce but “love” and speak “dove.”
Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
One nickname for her purblind son and heir,
Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so trim
When King Cophetua loved the beggar maid.-
He heareth not, he stireth 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 that 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’s circle
Of some strange nature, letting it there stand
Till she had laid it and conjured it down;
That were some spite. My invocation
In fair and honest; in his mistress’s 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 are alone.
O, Romeo, that she were, O, that she were
An open-*rse, and thou a popping pear!
Romeo, good night. I’ll to my truckle bed;
This field bed is way to cold for me to sleep.
Come, shall we go?
BENVOLIO: Go, then, for ‘tis in vain
To seek him here that means not to be found.
(Exit with MERCUTIO)