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Medea gather’d the enchanted herbs
That did renew old Æfon.
Lor. In such a night,
Did Jesica steal from the wealthy Jew,
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
As far as Belmont.
Jef. And in such a night,
Did young Lorenzo swear he loy'd her well,
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,
And ne'er a true one.
Lor. And in such a night,
Did pretty Jefica, like a little shrew,
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
Jes. I would out-night you, did no body come:
But, hark! I hear the footing of a man.
Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night?
Mes. A friend.
Lor. What friend? your name, I pray you, friend?
Mes. 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 ?
Mes. None, but a holy hermit and her maid.
I pray you,
my mafter yet return'd?
Lor. He is not, nor have we yet heard from him.
But go we in, I pray thee Jeffica,
And ceremoniously let us prepare
Some welcome for the mistress of the house.
Laun. Sola, fola, wo ha, ho, sola, sola!
Lor. Who calls ?
Laun. Sola! did you see master Lorenzo and mistress Lorenza? sola, sola!
Lor. Leave hollowing, man: here.
Laun. Sola! where? where?
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.
Lor. Sweet love, let's in, and there expect their coming.
And yet no matter: why should we go in?
My friend Stephano, fignify, I pray you,
Within the house, your mistress is at hand,
And bring your musick forth into the air.
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank !
Here will we fit, and let the sounds of musick
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jesica; look how the floor of heav'n
Is thick inlay'd with patterns of bright gold;
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'ft,
But in his motion like an angel fings,
Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims :
Such harmony is in immortal souls !
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grofly close us 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 musick.
Jef. I'm never merry when I hear sweet mufick. [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,
air of musick touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand;
Their savage eyes turn to a modest gaze
By the sweet power of musick. Thus the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and foods;
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But musick for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no musick in himself,
And 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 musick.
Enter Portia, and Nerissa.
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;
A substitute shines brightly as a king
Until a king be by; and then his state
Emptys itself, as doth an inland brook
Into the main of waters. Musick! hark!
Ner. It is the musick, madam, of your house.
Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect :
Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day.
Ner. Silence bestows the virtue on it, madam.
Por. The crow doth fing 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! how the moon sleeps with Endimion,
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 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 messenger before,
To signify their coming.
Por. Go, Nerisa,
Give order to my servants, that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence;
Lorenzo; Jelica, nor you.
[a tucket founds.
Lór. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet :
We are no telltales, madam, fear you not.
Por. This night, methinks, is but the daylight fick;
It looks a little paler ; 'tis a day,
Such as the day is when the sun is hid.
Enter Bassanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their followers.
Baf. We should hold day with the Antipodes,
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 Basanio fo from me;
But, god sort all! you're welcome home, my lord.
Baj. I thank you, madam: give welcome to my friend;
This is the man, this is Anthonio,
To whom I am so 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.
Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house; It must appear in other ways than words; Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.
Gra. By yonder moon, I swear you do me wrong; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk.
[to Nerissa, 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 cutler's 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
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'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 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 with faith unto your fesh.
I gave my love a ring, and made him swear