terature, and had long meditated penning a gloss to "The Murther of Gonzago," a play which Hamlet held in deservedly high estimation.
He made acquaintances, too. In the same palace where he sojourned lived a very valiant soldier and wit, a kinsman to Prince Escalus, one Mercutio by name, with whom Hamlet exchanged civilities on the staircase at first, and then fell into companionship.
A number of Verona's noble youths, poets and light-hearted men-about-town, frequented Mercutio's chambers, and with these Hamlet soon became on terms.
Among the rest were an agreeable gentleman, with hazel eyes, named Benvolio, and a gallant young fellow called Romeo, whom Mercutio bantered pitilessly and loved heartily. This Romeo, who belonged to one of the first families, was a very susceptible spark, which the slightest breath of a pretty woman was sufficient to blow into flame. To change the metaphor, he fell from one love affair into another as easily and logically as a ripe pomegranate drops from a bo