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Por. How all the other paffions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd defpair,
And fhudd'ring fear, and green-ey'd jealoufie.
O love, be moderate, allay thy ecftafie;
In measure rain thy joy, fcant this excess,
I feel too much thy bleffing, make it lefs,
For fear I furfeit.
[Opening the leaden casket.
Baff. What find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit? what Demy-god
Hath come fo near creation? move these eyes?
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion? here are fever'd lips
Parted with fugar breath; fo fweet a bar
Should funder fuch fweet friends: here in her hairs
The painter plays the spider, and hath woven
A golden mesh t' intrap the hearts of men,
Fafter than gnats in cobwebs: but her eyes,
How could he fee to do them? having made one,
Methinks, it should have pow'r to fteal both his,
And leave it felf unfinish'd: yet how far
The fubftance of my praise doth wrong this fhadow
In underprizing it; fo far this fhadow
Doth limp behind the fubftance. Here's the fcrowl,
The continent and fummary of my fortune.
You that chufe not by the view,
Chance as fair, and chufe as true:
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content, and feek no new.
If you be well pleas'd with this,
And bold 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; [Kiffing 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 fpirit, gazing ftill in doubt,
Whether those peals of praise be his or no;
So (thrice-fair lady) ftand I, even fo,
As doubtful whether what I fee be true,
Until confirm'd, fign'd, ratify'd by you.
Por. You see me, lord Bassanio, where I ftand,
Such as I am; tho' for my felf alone,
I would not be ambitious in my wish,
To with my felf much better; yet for you,
I would be trebled twenty times my felf,
A thousand times more fair; ten thousand times
More rich; that, to ftand high in your account,
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account: but the full fum of me
Is fum of fomething, which, to term in grofs,
Is an unleffon'd girl, unfchool'd, unpractis'd:
Happy in this, fhe is not yet fo old
But the may learn; more happy then in this,
She is not bred fo dull but she can learn;
Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
Commits it felf to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her King:
My felf, and what is mine, to you and yours
Is now converted. But now I was the Lord
Of this fair manfion, master of my fervants,
Queen o'er my felf; and even now, but now,
This house, these fervants, and this fame my felf
Are yours, my lord: I give them with this ring,
Which, when you part from, lose or give away,
Let it prefage the ruin of your love,
And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
Baff. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood fpeaks to you in my veins;
And there is fuch confufion in my pow'rs,
As, after fome oration fairly spoke
By a beloved Prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleafed multitude;
Where every fomething, being blent together,
Turns to a wild of nothing, fave of joy
Expreft, and not expreft. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
O, then be bold to fay, Bajanio's dead.
Ner. My lord and lady, it is now our time,
That have stood by, and feen our wishes profper,
To cry, good joy, good joy, my lord and lady!
Gra. My lord Baffanio, and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy, that you can wish;
For, I am fure, you can wish none from me:
And when your honours mean to folemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Ev'n at that time I may be married too.
Baff. With all my heart, fo thou canst get a wife.
Gra. I thank your lordship, you have got me one.
My eyes, my lord, can look as fwift as yours;
You faw the mistress, I beheld the maid;
You lov'd; I lov'd: for intermiffion (18)
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune ftood upon the casket there;
And fo did mine too, as the matter falls:
For wooing here until I fweat again,
And fwearing, till my very roof was dry
With oaths of love; at laft, if promise last,
got a promise of this fair one here,
(18) You lov'd; I lov'd for Intermiffion.] Thus this Paffage has been nonfenfically poined thro' all the Editions. If loving for Intermiffion can be expounded into any Senfe, I confeis, I as yet am ignorant, and fhall be glad to be inftructed in it. But till then I must beg Leave to think, the Sentence ought to be thus regulated;
You lov'd, I lovd:
No more pertains to me, my Lord, than You.
i. e. ftanding idle; a Pause, or Difcontinuance of Action. And fuch is the Signification of Intermiffio and Intermiffus amongst the Latines. Neque alia ulla fuit caufa intermiffionis Epiftolarum, nifi quod ubi effes planè nefciebam: fays Cicero to Trebatius." Nor was there any other "Reason for my difcontinuing to write, but that I was abfolutely igno
rant where you were". And fo Pliny, of the Nightingale Lufciniis diebus ac noctibus quindecim garrulus fine intermiflu Cantus. "Nightin
gales hold their Song for fifteen days and nights together, without Intermiffion". Our Author ufes this Word again in his Lear:
Deliver'd Letters fpight of Intermiffion,
And I did laugh, fans Intermiffion,
An hour by his Dial.
Which prefently they read.
i. e. in fpight of any Paufe, or Delay. Sometimes, without Intermiffion, is, without Ceflation: as in the Greek, adtaxis, áæávsws.
So in As you like it;
To have her love, provided that your
Atchiev'd her mistress.
Por. Is this true, Neriffa?
Ner. Madam, it is, fo you ftand pleas'd withal.
Baff. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
Gra. Yes, faith, my lord.
Baff. Our feaft shall be much honour'd in your marriage.
Gra. We'll play with them, the first boy for a thoufand 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, Jeffica, and Salanio.
Baff. 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 feen you here;
But meeting with Salanio by the way,
He did intreat me, past all faying nay,
To come with him along.
Sal. I did, my lord,
And I have reafon for't; Signior Anthonio
Commends him to you.
Baff. Ere I ope his letter,
I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.
Sal. Not fick, my lord, unless it be in mind. ;
Nor well, unless in mind; his letter there
Will fhew you his eftate.
Gra. Neriffa, cheer yond come. (19)
[Baffanio opens the letter. stranger: Bid her wel
(19) Neriffa, cheer yond Stranger.] The Poet has fhewn a fingular Art here, in his Conduct with Relation to Jelica. 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 fuccefs:
We are the Jafons, we have won the fleece.
Sal. Would, you had won the fleece, that he hath loft!
Por. There are fome fhrewd contents in yond fame paper,
That fteal the colour from Ballanio's cheek:
Some dear friend dead; elfe nothing in the world
Could turn fo much the conftitution
Of any conftant man. What, worfe 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.
Baff. O fweet Portia!
Here are a few of the unpleasant'ft 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,
Rating my self at nothing, you shall fee
How much I was a braggart: when I told you,
My state was nothing, I fhould 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,
Iffuing 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 fuperfluous Repetition. Nor could it be done properly, while a Letter of fuch Hafte and Confequence was to be deliver d: 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.