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Belmont. A grove or green place before Portia's house.

Enter Lorenzo and Jefrica.

Lor. HE moon shines bright: in such a night

as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
And they did make no noise; in such a night
Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan wall;
And figh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night.

Jef. In such a night
Did Thilbe fearfully o'er-trip the dew;
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself,
And ran dismay'd away.

Lor. In such a night
Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
Upon the wild sea banks, and wav'd her love
To come again to Carthage.

Jef. In such a night
Medea gather'd the inchanted herbs,
That did renew old Æfon.

Lor. In such a night
Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew,
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
As far as Belmont.

Jef. And in such a night

Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well;
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,
And ne'er a true one.

Lor. And 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 Stephano.
Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night?
Mes. A friend.
Lor. What friend? Your name, I pray you, friend?

Mif. Stephano is my name, and I bring word,
My mistress will before the break of day
Vol. Il..



Be here at Belmont: she doth stray about
By holy croifes, where she 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 y.et return’d?

Lor. He is not, nor have we yet heard from him,
But go we in, I pray thee, Jeslica,
And ceremoniously let us prepare
Some welcome for the mistress of the house.

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

Laun. Sola! did you fee Master Lorenzo and Mistress Lorenzo? fola, sola!


. Lor. Leave hollowing, man: here. Laun. Sola! where? where! Lor. Here.

Laun. Tell him, there's a post come from my master. with his horn full of good news. My master will be here ere morning.

Lor. Sweet love, let's in, and there expect their coming. And yet no matter: why should we go in? My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you, Within the house, your mistress is at hand; [Exit Stepbano. And bring your music forth into the air. • How sweet the moon-light sleeps upon this bank! • Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music

Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night • Become the touches of sweet harmony. • Sit, Jessica: look how the floor of heav'n • Is thick inlay'd with patens of bright gold; • There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'ft, • But in his motion like an angel fings, • Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims; • Such harmony is in immortal sounds! • But whilst this muddy vesture of decay · Doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it.' Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn; With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear, And draw her home with music. Jef. I'm never merry when I hear sweet music. [ Music

. Lor.


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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 perchance but hear a trumpet found,

air of music touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual liand;
• Their favage eyes
turn'd to a modest

gaze, * By the sweet power of music. Therefore the poet

Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, ftones, and floods; • Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,

But music for the time doth change his nature. • The man that hath no music in himself, . Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet 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 music.'

Enter Portia and Nerisa.
Por. That light we see, 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 itself, as doth an inland brook Into the main of waters. Music, hark! [Music.

Ner. It is the music, Madam, 'of your house.

Por. Nothing is good, I fee, without respect: Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Ner. Silence bestows the 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 seafon’d are
To their right praise, and true perfection?
Peace! how the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak'd!

[Music ceases.


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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 husbands healths, Which speed we hope the better for our words. Are they return’d?

Lor. Madam, they are not yet; But there is come a messenger before, To fignify their coming.

Por. Go, Neriffa, Give order to my fervants, that they take No note at all of our being absent hence; Nor you, Lorenzo; Jeffica, nor you. [Trumpet founds.

Lor. Your husband is at hand, I hear his 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, Şuch as the day is when the sun is hid. Enter Bassanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their followers.

Bas: We should hold day with the Antipodes,
If you would walk in abfence of the fun.

Por. Let me give light, but let me not be light;
For a light wife doth make a heavy husband;
And never be Bassanio so from me;
But God sort all! You're welcome home, my Lord.

Ball. I thank you, Madam: give welcome to my This is the man, this is Anthonio,

[fried; To whom I am so infinitely bound.

Por. You should in all sense be much bound to him; For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.

Ant. No more than I am well acquitted of

Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house;
It must appear in other ways than words;
Therefore I fcant this breathing courtefy.
Gra. By yonder moon I swear you

do me wrong; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk. [To Nerija. Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you

do take it, love, so much at heart, Por. A quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter?


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Gra. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring,
That she did give me, whose poesy was,
For all the world, like cutlers poetry
Upon a knife: Love me, and leave me not.

Ner. What, talk you of the poesy, or the value?
You swore to me, when I did give it you,

you would wear it till your hour of death; And that it should lie with



your grave:
Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, ,
You should have been respective, and have kept it.
Gave it a judge's clerk! but well I know,
The clerk will ne'er wear hair on's face that had it.

Gra. He will, an? if he live to be a man.
Ner. Ay, if a woman live to be a man.

Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy,
No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk;
A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee:
I could not for my heart deny it him.

Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
To part so Nightly with your wife's first gift;
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And riveted with faith unto your flesh.

gave my love a ring, and made him swear
Never to part with it; and here he stands,
I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it,
Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth
That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief;
An 'iwere to me, I should be mad at it.

Bas. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
And Twear I lost the ring defending it.

[ Aside.
Gra. My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away
Unto the judge that begg'd it, and indeed
Deserv'd it too; and then the boy his clerk,
That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine;
And neither man nor master would take aught
But the two rings.

Por. What ring gave you, my Lord?
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me.

Ball. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
I would deny it; but you see my finger


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