Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

Jef. I'm never merry, when I hear sweet mufick.

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 perchance but hear a trumpet found, Or any air of musick touch their You fhall perceive them make a mutual ftand; Their favage eyes turn'd to a modeft gaze,


By the sweet power of mufick. Therefore, the Poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, ftones, and floods;
Since nought fo ftockish, hard and full of rage,
But mufick for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no mufick in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of fweet founds,
Is fit for treasons, ftratagems, and fpoils;
The motions of his fpirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no fuch man be trusted.

Mark the mufick.

Enter Portia and Neriffa.

Por. That light we fee, is burning in my hall:
How far that little candle throws his beams!
So fhines a good deed in a naughty world.

Ner. When the moon fhone, we did not see the


Por. So doth the greater glory dim the less ;
A fubftitute fhines brightly as a King,
Until a King be by; and then his ftate
Empties it felf, as doth an inland brook
Into the main of waters. Mufick, hark!
Ner. It is the mufick, madam, of your house.
Por. Nothing is good, I fee, without respect :
Methinks, it founds much fweeter than by day.
Ner. Silence beftows the virtue on it, madam.
Por. The crow doth fing as fweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended; and, I think,
The nightingale, if the fhould fing by day,


[ocr errors]

When every goofe is cackling, would be thought
No better a mufician than the wren.
How many things by feafon feason'd are
To their right praife, and true perfection?
Peace! how the moon fleeps with Endimion,
And would not be awaked!

[Mufick ceafes.

Lor. That is the voice,

Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia.

Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows the cuckow, By the bad voice.

Lor. Dear lady, welcome home.

Por. We have been praying for our husbands healths, Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. Are they return'd?

Lor. Madam, they are not yet;
But there is come a meffenger before,
To fignifie their coming.

Por. Go, Neriffa,

Give order to my fervants, that they take
No note at all of our being abfent hence;
Nor you, Lorenze; Jeffica, nor you. [4 Tucket founds.
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 day-light fick; It looks a little paler; 'tis a day,

Such as the day is when the fun is hid.

Enter Bassanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their followers.
Baff. We should hold day with the Antipodes,
you would walk in absence of the fun.

Por. Let me give light, but let me not be light;

For a light wife doth make a heavy husband;

And never be Bassanio fo from me;

But God fort all: you're welcome home, my lord. Baff. I thank you, madam : give welcome to my friend; This is the man, this is Anthonio,

To whom I am fo infinitely bound.

Por. You should in all sense be much bound to him, For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.

Anth. No more than I am well acquitted of.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house, It must appear in other ways than words; Therefore I fcant this breathing courtefic.

Gra. By yonder moon, I fwear, you do me wrong; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk. [To Neriffa. Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, fo much at heart. Por. A quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter? Gra. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring, That he did give me, whofe poefie was For all the world like cutler's poetry Upon a knife; Love me, and leave me not.

Ner. What talk you of the poefie, 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 lye with you in your grave: Tho' not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, You should have been refpective, and have kept it. Gave it a Judge's clerk! but well I know, 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, A kind of boy, a little fcrubbed boy, No higher than thy felf, 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 fo flightly with your wife's firft gift; A thing ftuck on with oaths upon your finger, And riveted with faith unto your flesh. I gave my love a ring, and made him fwear Never to part with it; and here he ftands, I dare be fworn for him, he would not leave it, Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth That the world mafters. Now, in faith, Gratiano, You give your wife too unkind a caufe of grief; An 'twere to me, I fhould be mad at it.

Ball. Why, I were beft to cut my left hand off, And fwear, I loft the ring defending it.



[Afide. Gra

Gra. My lord Baffanio gave his ring away
Unto the Judge that begg'd it, and, indeed,
Deferv'd it too; and then the boy, his clerk,
That took fome pains in writing, He begg'd mine s
And neither man, nor mafter, would take ought
But the two rings.

Pór. What ring gave you, my lord?
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me.
Baff. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
I would deny it; but you fee my finger
Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone.

Por. Even fo void is your false heart of truth.
By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed
Until I fee the ring.

Ner. Nor I in yours, 'Till I again fee mine. Baff. Sweet Portia,

you did know to whom I gave the ring, you did know for whom I gave the ring, And would conceive for what I gave the ring, And how unwillingly I left the ring, When nought would be accepted but the ring, You would abate the ftrength of your difpleafure.

Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Or half her worthinefs that gave the ring,
Or your own honour to retain the ring,
You would not then have parted with the ring.
What man is there fo much unreasonable,
If you had pleas'd to have defended it
With any terms of zeal, wanted the modefty
To urge the thing held as a ceremony?
Neriffa teaches me what to believe;
I'll die for't, but fome woman had the ring.

Baff. No, by mine honour, madam, by my foul,
No woman had it, but a Civil Doctor,
Who did refufe three thousand ducats of me,



And begg'd the ring; the which I did deny him,
And fuffer'd him to go difpleas'd away;
Ev'n he, that did uphold the very life
Of my dear friend. What should I fay, fweet lady?

I was enforc'd to send it after him;
I was befet with fhame and courtefie;
My honour would not let ingratitude
So much befmear it. Pardon me, good lady,
And by these bleffed candles of the night,

Had you been there, I think, you would have begg'd
The ring of me, to give the worthy Doctor.

Por. Let not that Doctor e'er come near my house, Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd, And that which you did fwear to keep for me: I will become as liberal as you; I'll not deny him any thing I have, No, not my body, nor my husband's bed; Know him I fhall, I am well fure of it.

Lye not a night from home; watch me, like Argus:
If you do not, if I be left alone,

Now, by mine honour, which is yet my own,
I'll have that Doctor for my bedfellow.

Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis'd,
How you do leave me to mine own protection.

Gra. Well, do you fo; let me not take him then; For if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's pen.

Ant. I am th' unhappy fubject of these quarrels. Por. Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome, notwithstanding.

Baff. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong.
And in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, ev'n by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see my felf

Por. Mark you but that!

In both mine eyes he doubly fees himself;
In each eye, one; fwear by your double self,
And there's an oath of credit!

Baff. Nay, but hear me :

Pardon this fault, and by my foul I fwear,
I never more will break an oath with thee.

Ant. I once did lend my body for his weal; (32) Which


my Body for his Wealth ;] I have ventur'd, against the Authority of the Copies, to fubftitute Weal here; i. e. for his Welfare,

G 2


« ZurückWeiter »