Before long the hall was brightly lit. A space had been cleared and music was playing again. Guests began taking to the floor.
Once they were in the hall Mercutio and his friends put their masks on and went their separate ways. Each one had his own idea of how he was going to enjoy himself.
Romeo had made up his mind that he wouldn’t dance. He would find Rosaline and declare himself to her again. He wandered about, picking at snacks and watching out for her. He was also keeping one eye on Tybalt, staying as far away from him as possible. Tybalt was dancing with a pretty girl, smiling and being charming, but you never knew what he was going to do. What the Prince had said made no difference: Tybalt was always looking for a fight. It was best to give him a wide berth.
Mercutio was in a corner, entertaining some girls who laughed at every word he uttered. There was nothing new in that. Benvolio was dancing and Horatio was nowhere to be seen.
A serving man with a jug approached the table where Romeo was standing and poured some wine into a glass. He lifted the glass and handed it to Romeo but just as Romeo was about to take it a girl he had never seen before passed in front of him, dancing with a rather formal looking stranger.
Romeo drew his breath in sharply. The serving man, thinking Romeo had taken the glass, let go and it crashed on the floor. It made Romeo snap out of his trance. He looked down to see his shoes splashed with wine and the serving man trying to wipe it off with his apron. He didn’t take it in, though – his mind was completely preoccupied with the heavenly image before him, moving so gracefully to the music.
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