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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.
[Erit. Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their com
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.-
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 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-ey'd cherubins:
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it 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.
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 turn'd 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 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 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 can-
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 lark,
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!
Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak'd !
Lor. 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' wel-
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 to my servants, absent hen
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 sounds. 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 sick, It looks a little paler; 'tis a day, Such as the day is when the sun is hid.
Enter BASSANIO, Antonio, Gratiano, and their fol
lowers. : 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.
Por. You should in all sense be inuch 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.
Gratiano and Nerissa seem to talk apart.
Gra. 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 posy was,
For all the world, like cutler's poetry
Upon a knife, Love me, and leave me not.
Ner. What talk you of the posy, 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 !—but well I know,
The clerk will ne'er wear hair on his 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 slightly with your wife's first gift;
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And riveted so with faith unto your flesh.
I 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 ’twere to me, I should be mad at it.
Bass. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
And swear, 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 ?