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Por. How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd despair,
And shudd'ring fear, and green-ey'd jealousie.
O love, be moderate, allay thy ecftafie;
In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess,
I feel too much thy blessing, make it less,
For fear I surfeit.
[Opening the leaden casket.
Bal. What find I here?
Fair Portia’s counterfeit? what Demy-god
Hath come so near creation? move these eyes?
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion? here are sever'd lips
Parted with sugar breath; so sweet a bar
Should sunder Fuch sweet friends: here in her hairs
The painter plays the spider, and hath woven
A golden meth 't' intrap the hearts of men,
Faster than gnats in cobwebs : but her eyes,
How could he fee to do them? having made one,
Methinks, it should have pow'r to steal both his,
And leave it self unfinish'd : yet how far
The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
In underprizing it; so far this shadow
Doth limp behind the fubstance. Here's the scrowl,
The continent and summary of my
You that chuse not by the view,
Chance as fair, and chuse as true.
Since this fortune fails to you,
Be content, and seek no new.
If you be well pleas'd with this,
And hold your fortune for your bliss,.,
Turn you where your lady is,
And claim her with a loving kiss.
A gentle scrowl; fair lady, by your leave; (Kifing her.
I come by note to give, and to receive.
Like one of two contending in a prize,
That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes ;
Hearing applause and universal shout,
Giddy in spirit, gazing ftill in doubt,
Whether those peals of praise be his or no;
So (thrice-fair lady) stand I, even so,
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratify'd by you.
Por. You see me, lord Basanion where I stand,
Such as I am ; tho' for my self alone,
I would not be ambitious in my wish,
To with my self much better; yet for you,
I would be trebled twenty times my self,
A thousand times more fair; ten thousand times
More rich; that, to stand high in your account,
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account: but the full sum of me
Is sum of something, which, to term in gross,
Is an unlesson'd girl, unschoold, unpractis’d:
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But the may learn; more happy then in this,
She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
Commits it self to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her King:
My self, and what is mine, to you and yours
Is now converted. But now I was the Lord
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
Queen o'er my self; 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.
Bal. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins ;
And there is such confusion in my pow’rs,
As, after some oration fairly spoke
By a beloved Prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleased multitude ;
Where every something, being blent together,
Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy
Exprest, and not expreft. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
O, 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 Basanio, and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy, that you can wish;
For, I am sure, you can with none from me:
And when your honours mean to folemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Ey'n at that time I may be married too.
Ball. With all my heart, so thou canst 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 lov’d; I lov’d: for intermission (18) No more pertains to me, my lord, than you. Your fortune stood upon the casket 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 last, I
got a promise of this fair one here,
(18) You lov'd; I lov'd for Intermission.] Thus this Passage has been nonsentically poined thro' all the Editions. If loving for Intermifiona can be expounded into any Sense, I confeis, I as yet am ignorant, and shall be glad to be instructed in it. But till then I must beg Leave to think, the Sentence ought to be thus regulated ;
You lov’d, I lovd : For Intermission
No more pertains to me, my Lord, than You. i. e. standing idle ; a Pause, or Discontinuance of Action. And such is the signification of Intermiffio and Intermissus amongit the Latines. Neque alia ulla fuit causa intermiffionis Epistolarum, nisi quod ubi esses planè nesciebam: says Cicero to Trebatius."" Nor was there any other “ Reason for my discontinuing to write, but that I was absolutely igno
rant where you were”. And so Pliny, of the Nightingale : Lusciniis diebus ac noctibus quindecim garrulus fine intermiflu Cantus. “ Nightin“ gales hold their Song for fifteen days and nights together, without Intermision”. Our Author uses this Word again in his Lear :
Deliver'd Letters spight of Intermission,
Which presently they read. i. e. in spight of any Pauß, or Delay. Sometimes, without Intermificx is, without Cessation: as in the Greek, ád ranéerlas, drausws. So in As you like it ;
And I did laugh, fans Intermission,
An hour by his Dial. VOL. II.
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Atchiev'd her mistress.
Por. Is this true, Nerisa?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal.
Bal. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
Gra. Yes, faith, my lord. .
Baf. Our feast Thall be much honour'd in your marriage.
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 fport, and stake
But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel?
What, and my old Venetian friend, Salanio ?
Enter Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salanio.
Bal. Lorenzo and Salanio, welcome hither ;
If that the youth of my new interest here
Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave,
I bid my very friends and country-men,
(Sweet Portia) welcome.
Por. So do I, my lord; they are intirely welcome.
Lor. I thank your honour; for my part, my lord,
My purpose was not to have seen you here;
But meeting with Salanio by the way,
He did intreat me, past all saying nay,
To come with him along.
Sal. I did, my lord,
And I have reason for't ; Signior Anthonio
Commends him to you. [Gives Bassanio a Letter,
Bal. Ere I ope his letter, I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.
Sal. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind. ; Nor well, unless in mind; his letter there Will shew you his eftate. [Bassanio opens the letter. Gra. Nerisa, cheer yond stranger: Bid her welcome. (19)
Your (19) Neriffa, cheer yond Stranger.] The Poet has shewn a singular Art here, in his Conduct with Relation to Jessica. As the Audience were
Your hand, Salanio; what's the news from Venice?
How doth that royal merchant good Anthonio ?
I know, he will be glad of our success:
We are the fasons, we have won the fleece.
Sal. Would, you had won the Acece, that he hath
loft! Por. There are some shrewd contents in yond same
That steal the colour from Balanio's cheek:
Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world
Could turn so much the constitution
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse !
With leave, Bafanio, I am half your self,
And I must have the half of any thing
That this fame paper brings you.
Bal. O sweet Portia!
Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words,
That ever blotted paper. "Gentle lady,
When I did first impart my love to you,
I freely told you, all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
And then I told you true; and yet, dear lady,
Rating my self at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart : when I told you,
My state was nothing, I should then have told you,
That I was worse than nothing. For, indeed,
I have engag'd my self to a dear friend,
Engag'd my friend to his meer enemy,
To feed my means.
Here is a letter, lady,
The paper, as the body of my friend;
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salanio?
Have all his ventures fail'd? what, not one hit.
From Tripolis, from Mexico, from England,
already appriz'd of her Story, the opening it here to Portia would have been a superfluous Repetition. Nor could it be done properly, while a Letter of fuch Hafte and Consequence was to be deliverd : and on which the main Action of the Play depended. Feffica is therefore, artfully, complimented in dumb Shew ; and no Speech made to her, because the Scene is drawn out to a great Length by more important Business. E 2