ACT I: ROMEO, a young man of VERONA pining for love of ROSALIND, finds that several of his father's ships have been beset by PIRATES and their fortune imperiled; his father and cousin BENVOLIO swear vengeance
ACT II: ROMEO, BENVOLIO, and their comrade MERCUTIO are shipwrecked, rescued, and taken captive by these selfsame pirates; of one, CESAR by name, ROMEO takes notice, for the lad is as comely as he is reckless in his mockery of ROMEO
ACT III: It is revealed that CESAR is a woman, ETHEL, the daughter of the leader of the pirates; ROMEO is enamored, but ETHEL spurns him and will heed him not. ROMEO repines. BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO [unintelligible strikethrough] pursue some manner of foolery. Pirate clown? ??
ACT IV: ROMEO wins ETHEL's love by means of ???
ACT V: Events occur??? Verona profits thereby ??????????????????????
ROMEO: It is my pirate, O, it is my love!
Thy words cut crueler than thy father's sword –
ETHEL: Try my sword, then, and see which stings the worse.
ROMEO: O beauty born from lawless butcher's blood,
Deny thy father, and refuse thy name,
or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love –
ROMEO: [unintelligible strikethrough]
ROMEO: Ah, Mercutio, she is cold; Mercutio, she spurns me.
MERCUTIO: This tale is worn through from the over-telling.
ROMEO: See how she leans her sword upon her knee!
Oh, that I were a sheath along that sword,
That I might touch that knee!
MERCUTIO: Why, Romeo, I took thee for a swordsman.
Go, prattle in this reckless mooncalf fashion,
And someone soon shall take thee at thy word,
And sheathe their sword in thee.
BENVOLIO: Ha! Ha, haha!
MERCUTIO: Why, I myself am known for a good blade,
A very keen blade –
ROMEO: Aye, and a keen tongue, too;
Yet hers the keener.
MERCUTIO: An unexpected blow!
Come, Romeo; though her tongue be sharp, I'll vow
I've spent more of my life pricked out than she.
Experience will tell. Why, hers the keener?
Did you say hers? I'll prove it is not so.
Go then, Lorenzo! Call your pirate mistress,
And tell her she is challenged to a duel –
Of words, of swords, of whatever she will.
I'm wearied of this endless talk of love.
The girl's disarmed our Romeo already,
And now for me –
ETHEL: I will not fight with thee.
Thou art a prisoner, it would be ill done.
MERCUTIO: And thou, for all thy outward manly habits,
We know thee for a maid. Well, what of that?
Let's cross our swords, and one of us thereby
Become unmanned. [MARGIN NOTE: Will, dick jokes aside, hath this scene a purpose??]
[MARGIN NOTE, LIKELY SHAKESPEARE'S HAND: [crude drawing of male genitalia]]
BENVOLIO: Romeo! Wherefore silent?
[Wherefore IS Romeo fucking silent? Fuck.]
ETHEL: Ay me!
ROMEO: What's this?
ETHEL: What softness of the heart has overcome me?
ROMEO: Why, can it be?
ETHEL: These fool boys of Verona –
ROMEO: But which fool boy? Fair piratess, speak on!
ETHEL: My father says he will have them slain.
ROMEO: And if she pities not, then slain is best,
For slain my heart will have already been.
ETHEL: Oh, if they would but join with us! Those three –
That one –
ROMEO: But which one? Who –
ETHEL: Did someone speak?
ROMEO: Oh mercy, help! She must not know I'm here.
I'll imitate the seagull – caw! Ca-caw!
ETHEL: That lonesome gull's an echo to my thoughts.
This melancholy likes not me. I, melancholy!
Who always have been tasked with being merry,
And cover over all my fears with wit,
And so, too, clothe my love –
ETHEL: Is this love?
Nay, for what reason is it I should love him?
What has occurred to bring me to this pass?
For on my life, I cannot make it out. [MARGIN NOTE: PERHAPS BECAUSE THE RELEVANT SCENES ARE MISSING FROM THIS PLAY, WILL]
True, he's a comely figure of a man,
But if I gave my heart away so quick
To every comely figure of a man,
My stock would soon run short. Why, did I have
A store of thirty such, I could, perhaps
Such reckless generosity allow.
But I, alas – poor maid! – have only one.
The rarest jewel commands the highest price,
And better merchant should I be than this,
To trade it for such common coin as 'comely' –
Hold, Ethel! How thy father would despise thee,
To see thee weighing life out on a scale,
So good, so good, and this, and this, in measure –
What, caution? Better say thee, cowardice.
A buccaneer is not concerned with trade;
But, seeing something lovely, claims it straight
And makes of it their own. Shall I do less?
I'll scorn the merchant's cunning currency;
A pirate born, and pirate still, I be.
ROMEO: Shall I rejoice? I thought to woo a maid;
Instead, by pirate,
LORENZO: There's none so clever as the Pirate King,
None who endeavor like the Pirate King.
There's none whose neck is quite so broad and scarry,
Nor beard so thick and hairy, as the King's.
MERCUTIO: Skilled at expectoration, is the King,
A manly decoration, is the King.
BENVOLIO: A paragon among pirates, it's true,
But God's sake, man, we needn't sing it too!
[The whole section above broadly crossed out]
[MARGIN NOTE: Nay, Will, leave it – it's the best thing you've written yet. Perhaps a dog?]