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Bass. There's more depends on this, than on the

value.
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
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 answered.

Bass. 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. An if your wife be not a mad woman, And know how well I have deserved this ring, She would not hold out enemy forever, For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you!

[Exeunt Portia and NERISSA. Ant. My lord Bassanio, let him have the ring ; Let his deservings, and my love withal, Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandment.

Bass. Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him; Give him the ring; and bring him, if thou canst, Unto Antonio's house ;-away, make haste.

[Exit GRATIANO. Come, you and I will thither presently; And in the morning early will we both Fly toward Belmont. Come, Antonio. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. The same. A Street.

Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.

Por. Inquire 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.

1

Enter GRATIANO.
Gra. Fair sir, you are well overtaken.
My lord Bassanio, upon more advice,
Hath sent you here this ring; and doth entreat
Your company at dinner.
Por.

That cannot be
This ring I do accept most thankfully,
And so, I pray you, tell him. Furthermore,
I
pray you, show 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, [T. PORTIA.
Which I did make him swear to keep forever.
Por. Thou mayst, I warrant.

We shall have old 2 swearing, That they did give the rings away to men; But we'll outface them, and outswear them too. Away, make haste; thou know'st where I will tarry. Ner. Come, good sir, will you show me to this house?

[Exeunt

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Enter LORENZO and JESSICA.
Lor. The 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 walls,
And sighed his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night.

1 i. e. more reflection.

2 Of this once common augmentative in colloquial language there are various instances in the plays of Shakspeare, in the sense of abundant, frequent.

31

VOL. II.

Jes.

In such a night,
Did Thisbe fearfully o’ertrip the dew;
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself,
And ran dismayed away.
Lor.

In such a night,
Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand,
Upon the wild sea-banks, and waved her love
To come again to Carthage.
Jes.

In such a night,
Medea gathered the enchanted herbs
That did renew old Æson.
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.
Jes.

In such a night,
Did young Lorenzo swear he loved 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.

Jes. I would out-night you, did nobody come. But, hark, I hear the footing of a man.

Enter STEPHANO. Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night ? Steph. A friend. Lor. A friend? What friend? Your name, I pray

you, friend?

Steph. 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 she kneels and prays For happy wedlock hours.

1.

1 So in the Merry Devil of Edmonton:

“But there are crosses, wife: here's one in Waltham,
Another at the abbey, and the third
At Ceston; and 'tis ominous to pass

Any of these without a Paternoster."
And this is a reason assigned for the delay of a wedding.

Lor.

Who comes with her ?
Steph. None, but a holy hermit, and her maid.
I pray you, is my master yet returned ?

Lör. He is not, nor we have not 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, sola, wo, ha, ho, sola, sola!
Lor. Who calls ?

Laun. Sola! Did you see master Lorenzo, and mistress Lorenzo ? Sola, sola!

or. Leave hollaing, 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.

[Exit. Lor. Sweet soul, 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;
And bring your music forth into the air.--

[Exit STEPHANO
How sweet the moonlight 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 heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines ? 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-eyed cherubins ;
Such harmony is in immortal souls;

1 A small, flat dish or plate, used in the administration of the Eucharist; it was commonly of gold, or silver-gilt.

But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it.—1

Enter Musicians.

Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn;
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
And draw her home with music.

[Music. Jes. I am never merry, when I hear sweet music.

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 perchance a trumpet sound, Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turned to a modest gaze, By the sweet power of music. Therefore, the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, 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 moved 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 NERISSA at a distance.

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.

1 The folio editions, and the quarto printed by Roberts, read

“Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close in it, we cannot hear it."

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