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Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd :
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learn ; happier than this, in that s
She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her king.
Myself, and what is mine, to you, and yours
Is now converted : but now I was the lord 6


After telling us, in expressions of great warmth, what she would be, if wishes could make her such, and on what account, she descends, with exquisite modesty, to what she is; and in doing so, asserts her title to be estimated as something; and, that even this may not appear too much, that something is presently defined and ascertained by her in terms of great sweetness. CAPELL.

-which to term in gross, &c.] The relative here being the nominative case to a following verb, the verb term, in strict propriety of grammar, seems to demand an accusative after it: Shakspeare, perhaps, in this, as in some other places, considered which both as nominative and accusative. E.

5. -happier than this in that] The measure in this line being, according to ancient copies, obviously defective, and the sense left very imperfect, I have been induced, after the example of Mr. Capell

, to introduce the two latter words into the text. E.

but now I was the lord, &c.] The change made by the Oxford Editor of lord to lady and master to mistress is injurious; the former of those terms seeming to have been chosen intentionally to express


greater dominion. Capell.



Of this fair mansion, master of my servants, Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now, This house, these servants, and this same my

self, Are yours, my lord ; I give them with this

ring; Which when you part from, lose, or give

away, Let it presage the ruin of your love, And be my vantage to exclaim on you. Bass. Madam, you have bereft me of all

words, Only my blood speaks to you in my veins : And there is such confusion in my powers, As, after some oration fairly spoke By a beloved prince, there doth appear Among the buzzing pleased multitude; Where every something, being blent together, 8


Her words will have a more natural effect, if in pronouncing them, a particular stress be laid upon the pronoun,

--but now I was the lord “ Of this fair mansion,” &c. E. 7 And be my vantage to exclaim on you.] By vantage is here to be understood

-title, privilege, &c. E.

8 Where every something, being blent together,] Where the effects of the various affections excited in different minds by the power of his eloquence, being mingled together, all seem, as it were, at a stand, and nothing is completely expressed. E



Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy, Express’d, and not express'd : But when this

ring Parts from this finger, then parts life from

hence; 0, then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead.

Ner. My lord and lady, it is now our time, That have stood by, and seen

our wishes prosper. To cry, good joy ; Good joy, my lord, and

lady! Gra. My lord Bassanio, and my gentle

lady, I wish you all the joy that you can wish; For, I am sure, you can wish none from me:9 when your

honours mean to solemnize The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you, Even at that time I may be married too. Bass. With all my heart, so thou can’st get

a wife. Gra. I thank your lordship ; you have got


me one.

My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours: You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid ;



you can wish none from me :) That is, none away from me; none that I shall lose, if you gain it. JOHNSON. I beheld the maid;] It is probable that


You lov’d, I lov'd; for intermission,
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the caskets there;
And so did mine too, as the matter falls :
For wooing here, until I sweat again ;
And swearing, till my very roof was dry
With oaths of love; at last,-if promise

I got a promise of this fair one here,
To have her love, provided that
Atchiev'd her mistress.

Is this true, Nerissa?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd

withal. Bass. And do you, Gratiano, mean good

faith? Gra. Yes, 'faith, my lord. Bass. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.


your fortune

the latter term might not have conveyed, in the time of Shakspeare, an idea of so much degradation as it does at the present day: Nerissa, though not, perhaps, in a state of absolute independence, is unquestionably the companion of Portia, and it does not appear that Gratiano is considered in rank as inferior to the other gentlemen of the play. E.

- for intermission-) Intermission is, pause, intervening time, delay. So, in Macbeth:

-gentle heaven « Cut short all intermission !" STEEVENS.


Gra. We'll play with them, the first boy,

for a thousand ducats. Ner. What, and stake down? Gra. No ; we shall ne'er win at that sport,

and stake down.3But who comes here? Lorenzo, and his in

fidel ? What, and my old Venetian friend, Salerio?

Enter Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salerio.4
Bass. Lorenzo, and Salerio, welcome hither;
If that the youth of my new interest here
Have power to bid you welcome:-By your

I bid my very friends and countrymen,
Sweet Portia, welcome.

So do I, my lord;
They are entirely welcome.



3 No; we shall ne'er win at that sport, &c.] The humour of this, I imagine, is not very easy to be discovered ; it, possibly, contains some allusion to the disparity of their fortunes. E.

-Salerio.] This person is considered by Mr. Capell as the same with Salarino, or Salerino (as he spells his name) which being here abridged, is made Salerio : Mr. Steevens conceives the latter to be a different person, who in the quarto is, in this part of the play, characterized as -A messenger from Venice. It should be recollected that there are not any Dramatis personæ prefixed to the quartos—The former modern editors suppose Salanio to enter here -See Mr. Steeven’s note upon the name Salerio in the Dramatis persona. E.

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