Page images

And find it out by Proclamation ;
Only for this I pray you pardon me.

Por. I see, Sir, you are liberal in Offers;
You taught me first to beg, and now, methinks,
You teach me how a Beggar should be answer'd.

Bas. Good Sir, this Ring was given me by my Wife;
And when she put it on, she made me vow
That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it.

Por. That 'scuse serves many Men to save their Gifts ;
And if your Wife be not a mad Woman,
And know how well I have deserv'd this Ring,
She wou'd not hold out Enmity for ever
For giving it to me. Well, Peace be with you. [Exit,

Anth. My Lord Basanio, let him have the Ring.
Let his Deservings, and my Love withal,
Be valued against your Wife's Commandment.

Ball. Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him,
Give him the Ring, and bring him, if thou canst,
Unto Anthonio's House: Away, make ḥaste, [Exit Gra.
Come, you and I will thither presently,
And in the Morning early will we both
Fly toward Belmont; come, Anthonio.

Enter Portia and Nerissa.
Par. Enquire the Jew's House out, give him this Deed,
And let him sign it; we'll away to Night,
And be a day before our Husbands home:
This Deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo,

Enter Gratiano.
Gra. Fair Sir, you are well o’erta'en :
My Lord Ballanio, upon more advice,
Hath sent you here this Ring, and doth intreat
Your Company at Dinner.

Por. That cannot be.
His Ring do I accept most thankfully,
And so I pray you tell him : Furthermore,
I pray you shew my Youth old Shylock's House. ..

Gra. That will I do.

Ner. Sir, I would speak with you.
I'll see if I can get my Husband's Ring
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever,

[ocr errors]

Por. Thou may'st, I warrant. We shall haye old swearing, That they did give the Rings away to Men; But we'll out-face them, and out-swear them too ; Away, make hatte, thou know'ft where I will tarry. Ner. Come, good Sir, will you shew me to this House?



SCENE Belmont.

Enter Lorenzo and Jessica. Lor. THE Moon shines bright. In such a Night as this,

T When the sweet Wind did gently kiss the Trees,
And they did make no noise ; in such a Night,
Troylus methinks mounted the Troyan Wall,
And figh'd' his Soul toward the Grecian Tents,
Where Cressed lay that Night.

Jef. In such a Night,
Did Thisby fearfully o'er-trip the Dew,
And saw the Lion's Shadow e'er himself,
And ran dismay'd away,

Lor. In such a Night,
Stood Dido with a Willow in her Hand
Upon the wide Sea-banks, and waft her Love
To come again to Carthage.

7ef. In such a Night,
Medea gather'd the Inchanted Herbs
That did renew old Afon,

Lor. In such a Night,
Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Few,
And with an unthrift Love did run from Venice,
As far as Belmont.

Jef. In such a Night
Did young Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well,
Stealing her soul with many Vows of Faith,
And ne'er a true one.
· Lor. In such a Night,
Did pretty Jessica (like a little Shrew)
Slander her Love, and he forgave it her.

Jef. I would out-night you, did no Body come:
But hark, I hear the footing of a Man.

Enter Messenger.
Lor. Who comes so fast, in silence of the Night?
Mes. A Friend.

Lor. A Friend! what Friend? Your Name, I pray you, Friend?

Mef. Stephano is my Name, and I bring word
My Mistress will before the break of Day
Be here at Belmont : She doth stray about
By holy Crosses, where the kneels and prays
For happy Wedlock Hours.

Lor. Who comes with her ?

Mef. None but a holy Hermit and her Maid.
I pray you is my Master yet return'd?

Lor. He is not, nor have we yet heard from him;
But go we in I pray thee, Jessica,
And ceremoniously let us prepare
Some Welcome for the Mistress of the House.

Enter Launcelot.
Laun. Sola, fola; wo ha, ho, sola, sola.
Lor. Who calls?

Laun. Sola, did you see Mr. Lorenzo and Mrs Lorenzo? Sola, sola.

Lor. Leave hollowing, Man: Here.
Lann. Sola, where? where?
Lor. Here.

Laun. Tell him, there's a Poft come from my Master, with his Horn full of good News; my Master will be here e'er Morning.

Lor. Sweet Love, let's in, and there expect their coming. And yet no matter: Why should we go in? My Friend Stephano, signifie, I pray you, Within the House, your Mistress is at hand, And bring your Musick forth into the Air. How sweet the Moon-light sleeps upon this Bank; Here will we fit, and let the sounds of Musick Creep in our Ears; foft Stilness, and the Night Become the touches of sweet Harmony. Sit, Jessica, look how the Floor of Heav'n Is thick inlay'd with Patterns of bright Gold;


There's not the smallest Orb which thou behold'st,
But in his Motion like an Angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-ey'd Cherubims;
Such Harmony is in immortal Souls;
But whilst this muddy Vesture of Decay
Doth grofly close us in it, we cannot hear it.
Come hoe, and wake Diana with a Hymn,
With sweetest Touches pierce your Mistress Ear,
And draw her Home with Musick. .
Jef. I am never merry when I hear sweet Musick.

Lor. The Reason is, your Spirits are attentive;
For do but note a wild and wanton Herd,
Or Race of youthful and unhandled Colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
Which is the hot Condition of their Blood;
If they but hear përchance a Trumpet sound,
Or any Air of Musick touch their Ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand;
Their savage Eyes turn'd to a modest Gaze
By the sweet Power of Musick. Therefore the Poet
Did fain that Orpheus drew Trees, Stones, and Floods,
Since naught so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But Musick for the time doth change his Nature:
The Man that hath no Mufick in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with Concord of sweer Sounds,
Is fit for Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils;
The Motions of his Spirit are dull as Night,
And his Affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such Man be trusted. Mark the Musick.

Enter Portia and Nerissa.
Por. That Light we fee is burning in my Hall:
How far that little Candle throws his Beams;
So shines a good Deed in a naughty World.

Ner. When the Moon shone we did not see the Candle,

Por. So doth the greater Glory dim the less; A Substitute shines brightly as a King Until a King be by; and then his State Empties it self, as doth an inland Brook Into the Main of Waters. Musick, hark ! [Music!


Ner. It is the Musick, Madam, of your House,

Por. Nothing is good, I see, without Respect: Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by Day.

Ner. Silence bestows that Virtue on it, Madam.

Por. The Crow doth fing as sweetly as the Lark,
When neither is attended; and I think

The Nightingale, if she should fing by Day,
When every Goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a Musician than the Wren.
How many things by Season season'd are
To their right Praise and true Perfection?
Peace, how the Moon sleeps with Endimion,
And would not be awak'd!

Mufick ceases. Lor. That is the Voice, Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia. . Por. He knows me as the blind Man knows the Cuckow, by the bad Voice.

Lor. Dear Lady, welcome Home.

Por. We have been praying for our Husband's welfare,
Which speed, we hope, the better for our Words.
Are they return'd?

Lor. Madam, they are not yet's
But there is come a Messenger before,
To signifie their coming.

Por. Go in, Nerissa,
Give Order to my Servants, that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence,
Nor you Lorenzo, Jessica nor you.

ATucket Founds.
Lor. Your Husband is at hand, I hear a Trumpet;
We are no Tell-tales, Madam, fear you not.

Por. This Night methinks is but the Day-light fick;
It looks a little paler; 'tis a Day,
Such as the Day is when the Sun is hid.
Enter Bassanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their Followers.

Bal. We should hold Day with the Antipodes, If you would walk in Absence of the Sun.

Por. Let me give Light, but let me not be light; For a light Wife doth make a heavy Husband,


« PreviousContinue »