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you, friend?

Scene I.-Belinont. The Avenue to Portia's

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 sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night.

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

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.

In such a night,
Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs
That did renew old Æson.

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

In such a night,
Did young Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well,
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,
And ne'er a true one.

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 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. Lor.

Who comes with her ?
Steph. None, but a holy hermit, and her maid.
I pray you, is my master yet return'a ?
Lor. He is not, por we have not heard from

But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica,
And ceremoniously let us prepare
Some welcome for the mistress of the house.

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

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

Lor. Leave hallooing, man; here.
Laun. Sola! where? where?
Lor. Here.

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


Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear, coming.

And draw her home with music.

(Music. And yet no matter ;—why should we go in ?

Jes. I am never merry when I hear sweet music. My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you,

Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive : Within the house, your mistress is at hand; For do but note a wild and wanton herd, And bring your music forth into the air. Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,

(Exit STEPHANO. Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud, How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Which is the hot condition of their blood, Here we will sit, and let the sounds of music If they but hear, perchance, a trumpet sound, Creep in our ears : soft stillness, and the night, Or any air of music touch their ears, Become the touches of sweet harmony.

You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Sit, Jessica: look, how the floor of heaven

Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze, Is thick inlaid with patens of bright gold;

By the sweet power of music: therefore, the poet. There's not the smallest orb, which thou be Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and hold'st,

floods, But in his motion like an angel sings,

Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage, Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubins :

But music for the time doth change his nature. Such harmony is in immortal souls ;

The man that hath no music in himself, But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay

Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it. Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils :

The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
Enter Musicians.

And his affections dark as Erebus.
Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn : Let no such man be trusted.—Mark the music.

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Italian Villa by Moonlight.


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Enter Portia and Nevissa, 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 daughty world.
Ner. When the moon shone, we did not see the

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 !

Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house.
Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect :
Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the

When neither is attended ; and, I think,
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise, and true perfection !


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 daylight It looks a little paler: 'tis a day, Such as the day is when the sun is hid. Enter BassANIO, Antonio, GRATIANO, and their

Followers. Bass. We should hold day with the Antipodes, If you would walk in absence of the sun.

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 for me : But God sort all !—You are welcome home, my

lord. Bass. I thank you, madam. Give welcome to

my friend : This is the man, this is Antonio, To whom I am so infinitely bound.

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Peace! how the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak'd ! [Music ceases.

That is the voice,
Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia.
Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows the

cuckoo, By the bad voice. Lor.

Dear lady, welcome home. Por. We have been praying for our husbands'

welfare, 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 signify their coming. Por.

Go in, Nerissa ; Give order to my servants, that they take No note at all of our being absent hence ;Nor you, Lorenzo ;-Jessica, nor you.

(A tucket sounded.

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 scant this breathing courtesy,
Gra. [To Nerissa.] By yonder moon, I swear,

you do me wrong;
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk :
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?
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,
That you would wear it till your hour of death,
And that it should lie with you in 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! no, God's my judge,
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,

young clerk's

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A kind of boy; a little scrubbed boy,

1 will become as liberal as you : No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk;

I'll not deny him any thing I have; A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee:

No, not my body, nor my husband's bed. I could not for my heart deny it him.

Know him I shall, I am well sure of it :
Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with Lie not a night from home; watch me like Argus;

If you do not, if I be left alone,
To part so slightly with your wife's first gift ; Now, by mine honour, which is yet mine own,
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger, I'll have that doctor for my bedfellow.
And so riveted with faith unto your flesh.

Ner. And I his clerk; therefore, be well advis'd
I gave my love a ring, and made him swear

How you do leave me to mine own protection. Never to part with it; and here he stands :

Gra. Well, do you so: let not me take him, I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it,

then; Nor pluck it from his finger for the wealth

For, if I do, I'll mar the

That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano, Ant. I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels.
You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief: Por. Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome not-
An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it.

Bass. [Aside.) Why, I were best to cut my

Jeft Bass. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong; hand off,

And in the hearing of these many friends
And swear I lost the ring defending it.

I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
Gra. My lord Bassanio gave his ring away

Wherein I see myself,
Unto the judge that begg'd it, and, indeed,


Mark you but that!
Deservd it too; and then the boy, his clerk, In both my eyes he doubly sees himself ;
That took some pains in writing, he begg’d mine; In each eye, one :-swear by your double self,
And neither man, nor master, would take aught And there's an oath of credit.
But the two rings.


Nay, but hear me.

What ring, gave you, my lord ? Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear,
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me. I never more will break an oath with thee.
Bass. If I could add a lie unto a fault,

Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth, I would deny it; but you see, my finger

Which, but for him that had your husband's ring,
Hath not the ring upon it: it is gone.

Had quite miscarried : I dare be bound again.
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth. My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
By heaven, I will ne'er come in your


Will never more break faith advisedly.
Until I see the ring.

Por. Then, you shall be his surety. Give him
Nor I in yours,

Till I again see mine.

And bid him keep it better than the other.
Sweet Portia,

Ant. Here, lord Bassanio; swear to keep this
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,

If you did know for whom I gave the ring,

Bass. By heaven! it is the same I gave the doctor.
And would conceive for what I gave the ring,

Por. I had it of him: pardon me, Bassanio,
And how unwillingly I left the ring,

For by this ring the doctor lay with me.
When nought would be accepted but the ring, Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure. For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk,

Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring, In lieu of this last night did lie with me.
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,

Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways
Or your own honour to contain the ring,

In summer, where the ways are fair enough.
You would not then have parted with the ring. What! are we cuckolds, ere we have deserv'd it ?
What man is there so much unreasonable,

Por. Speak not so grossly.--You are all amaz’d:
If you had pleas'd to have defended it

Here is a letter, read it at your leisure ;
With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty It comes from Padua, from Bellario :
To urge the thing held as a ceremony ?

There you shall find, that Portia was the doctor;
Nerissa teaches me what to believe:

Nerissa there, her clerk. Lorenzo, here,
I'll die for’t, but some woman had the ring.

Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
Bass. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul, And even but now return'd: I have not yet
No woman had it; but a civil doctor,

Enter'd my house.—Antonio, you are welcome;
Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me,

And I have better news in store for you,
And begg'd the ring, the which I did deny him, Than you expect: unseal this letter soon;
And suffer'd him to go displeas'd away,

There you shall find, three of your argosies
Even he that had held up the very life

Are richly come to harbour suddenly.
Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet You shall not know by what strange accident

I chanced on this letter.
I was enforc'd to send it after him :


I am dumb.
I was beset with shame and courtesy ;


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Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd,

Bass. Were you the doctor, and I knew you My honour would not let ingratitude

not ? So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady, Gra. Were you the clerk, that is to make me For, by these blessed candles of the night,

cuckold ? Had you been there, I think, you would have begg’d Ner. Ay; but the clerk that never means to do it, The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.

Unless he live until he be a man. Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow :

When I am absent, then, lie with my wife.

Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life, and And that which you did swear to keep for me,



For here I read for certain that my ships
Are safely come to road.

How now, Lorenzo ? My clerk hath some good comforts, too, for you.

Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee.There do I give to you and Jessica, From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, After his death, of all he dies possess'd of.

Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way Of starved people. Por.

It is almost morning, And yet, I am sure, you are not satisfied

Of these events at full. Let us go in;
And charge us there upon inter'gatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be so : the first inter'gatory,
That my Nerissa shall be sworn on, is,
Whether till the next night she had rather stay,
Or go to bed now, being two hours to day!
But were the day come, I should wish it dark,
Till I were couching with the doctor's clerk.
Well, while I live, I'll fear no other thing
So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.



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