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feek all day ere you find them, and when you have
Anth. Well; tell me now what lady is the same,
Baj. 'Tis not unknown to you, Anthonio,
grant continuance ;
Anth. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it';
Bal. In my schooldays, when I had lost one shaft,
Anth. You know me well ; and herein spend but time,
Than if you had made waste of all I have.
Bal. In Belmont is a Lady richly left,
Anth. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at sea,
- sometimes from her eyes.] So all the editions; but it certainly ought to be, sometime, (which differs much more in fignification, than feems at first view :) i. e. formerly, fome time ago, at a certain time : and it appears by the subsequent Scene, that Bassanie was at Belmont with the Marquis de Mountferrat, and saw Portia in her father's life-time. And our author, in several other places uses the word, in such acceptation. King Richard II.
Good sometime Queen, prepare thee hence for France, And again in the same play;
With much ado at length have gotten leave
To look upon my sometime master's face.
SCEN E changes to Belmont.
Three Caskets are set out, one of gold, another of filver,
and another of lead.
Enter Portia and Nerissa. Por. Y my troth, Nerisa, my little body is weary
of this great world. Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the fame abundance as your good 'fortunes are ; and yet, for ought I see, they are as fick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing ; therefore it is no mean happiness to be seated in the mean; fuperfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer. Por. Good sentences, and well
pronounc'a. Ner. They would be better, if well follow'd.
Por. If to do, were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches; and poor mens cottages, Princes palaces. He is a good divine, that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty (3) what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps o'er a cold decree ; such a hare is madne.s the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel the cripple! But this reasoning is not in fashion to chuse me a husband : O me, the word, chuse! I may neither chuse whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike; so is the
(3) I can eafier teach twenty] This reflection of Portia has very much the cast of one in Philemon, the Greek comic poet, and contemporary with Menander,
"Αλλω πινελι ραδιον παραιέσαι
“Εςιν, ποιήσαι δ' αιτών εχί ράδιον. It is easy to advise another under a difficulty ; not so eafy to follow ubat one is able to advise. I dare not pretend, therefore, that our author imitated this sentiment; for in moral axioms, particularly, allowing an equality of Genius, writers of all times and countries may happen to Atrike out the same thought.
will of a living daughter curb'd by the will of a dead father : is it not hard, Neriffa, that I cannot chuse one, nor refuse none ?
Ner. Your father was ever virtuous, and holy men, at their death have good inspirations ; therefore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three cheits of gold, filver, and lead, (whereof who chufes his meaning, chuses you) will no doubt never be chosen by any rightly, but one whom you shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors, that are already come ?
Por. I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou nam'st thein, I will defcribe them; and according to my description, level at my affection. Ner. Firit, there is the Neapolitan Prince.
Por. Ay, that's a Dolt, indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse ; (4) and he makes it a great appropriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself; I am much afraid, my lady, his mother, play'd false with a smith.
Ner. Then, there is the Count Palatine.
Por. He doth nothing but frown, as who should say, if you will not have me, chuse: he hears merry tales, and smiles not; I fear, he will
the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being so full of unman. nerly sadness in his youth. I had rather be married to a death's head with a bone in his mouth, than to either of these. God defend me from these two !
(4) Ay, that's a Colt, indeed, for be doth nothing but talk of bi borse:] Tho' all the editions agree in this reading, I can perceive Deither humour, nor reasoning, in it: How does talking of horses, or knowing how to shoe them, make a man e'er the more a Colt > Or, if a Smith and a Lady of figure were to have an affair together, would a Colt be the issue of their caresses? This seems to me to be Portia's meaning. What do you tell me of the Neapolitan Prince ? be is fuch a stupid dunce, that instead of saying fine things to me, be does norbing but talk of bis borses. The word, Dolt, which I have substituted, fully answers this idea ; and fignifies one of the most Aupid and blochish of the vulgar; and in this acceptation it is used by our author, particularly, in the following passage of Orbello.
Oh, Gull! oh, Dolt!
Ner. How say you by the French Lord, Monfieur Le Boun?
Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man ; in truth I know, it is a fin to be a mocker; but he! why, he hath a horse better than the Neapélitan's; a better bad habit of frowning than the Count Palatine; he is every man in no man ; if a throttle fing. he falls Atrait a capering; he will fence with his own fhadow; if I should marry him, I should marry twenty husbands. If he would despise me, I would forgive him; for if he love me to madness, I shall never requite him.
Ner. What fay you then to Faulconbridge, the young Baron of England
Por. You know I say nothing to him, for he underhands not me, nor I him; he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian ; and you may come into the court and fwear, that I have a poor pennyworth in the Eng. lish. He is a proper man's picture, but alas! who can converse with a dumb fhow? how odly he is fuited ! I think, he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hofe in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour
Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour? (5)
Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him ; for he borrow'd a box of the ear of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him again, when he was able. I think the Frenchman became his furety, and sealed under for another. (6)
Ner. (5) of the Scottish lord, bis neighbour ?] Thus the old 4tos and thus the poet certainly wrote. Mr. Pope takes notice of a various seading; (viz. Wbat ibink you of the other lord which is in the first Fclio ;; but has not accounted for the reason of it, which was this. Our author exhibited this play in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when there was no occasion for any restraint in satirizing the Scotch. But upon the accession of King James the First, the Union taking place, and the court swarming with people of that nation, the players, thro' a fear of giving disguft, thought fit to make this change.
(6) I tbink, the Frenchman became bis surety, and seald under for anerber.] This was a severe farcasm on the French nation; and, no VOL. II.