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Why, Jeffica! I fay.
Shy. Who bids thee call? I did not bid thee call. Laun. Your worship was wont to tell me, that I could do nothing without bidding.
Jef. Call you? what is
Laun. I befeech you, Sir, go; my young mafter doth expect your reproach.
Shy. So do I his.
Laun. And they have confpired together, I will not fay, you fhall fee a mafque; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nofe fell a bleeding on black monday laft, at fix a clock i'th' morning, falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four year in the afternoon.
Shy. What are there mafques? hear you me,
Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum,
Say, I will come.
Laun. I will go before, Sir.
Shut the doors after you; faft bind, faft find;
Jef. Farewel; and if my fortune be not croft, I have a father, you a daughter, loft.
Enter Gratiano and Salanio in masquerade.
Gra. This is the pent-house, under which Lorenzo defired us to make a stand.
Sal. His hour is almost past.
Gra. And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour, For lovers ever run before the clock.
Sal. O, ten times fafter Venus' Widgeons fly
80, ten times fafter Venus' Pidgeons fly] This is a very odd image, of Venus's Pidgeons flying to feal the bonds of Love. The fenfe is obvious, and we know the dignity due to Venus's Pidgeons. There was certainly a joke intended here, which the
To feal love's bonds new made, than they are wont To keep obliged faith unforfeited!
Gra. That ever holds. Who rifeth from a feast, With that keen appetite that he fits down? Where is the horse, that doth untread again His tedious measures with th' unbated fire, That he did pace them firft? all things that are, Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd. How like a younker, or a prodigal, The skarfed bark puts from her native bay, Hugg'd and embraced by the ftrumpet wind! How like the prodigal doth fhe return, With over-weather'd ribs and ragged fails, Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the ftrumpet wind! Enter Lorenzo.
Sal. Here comes Lorenzo: more of this hereafter.
Lor. Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode; Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait; When you shall please to play the thieves for wives, I'll watch as long for you then; come, approach; Here dwells my father Jew. Hoa, who's within?
ignorance or boldness of the firft tranfcribers have murder'd: I doubt not, but Shakespear wrote the line thus: O, ten times fafter Venus' Widgeons Ay To feal, &c.
For Widgeon is not only one fpecies of Pidgeons, but fignified likewife, metaphorically, a filly fellow, as Goofe, or Gudgeon, does now. The joke confilts in the ambiguity of the fignification. And the calling love's votaries, Venus's Widgeons, is in high humour. Butler ufes the fame joke in fpeaking of the presby
Th' apoftles of this fierce religion,
Like Mahomet's, were afs and Widgeon.
Mahomet's afs or rather mule was famous: and the monks in their fabulous accounts of him faid, he taught a pidgeon to pick peas out of his ears to carry on the ends of his imposture.
Jeffica above, in boy's cloaths.
Jef. Who are you? tell me for more certainty, Albeit I'll fwear, that I do know your tongue.
Lor. Lorenzo, and thy love.
Jef. Lorenzo certain, and my love, indeed; For who love I fo much? and now who knows, But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
Lor. Heav'n and thy thoughts are witness, that thou art.
Jef. Here catch this casket, it is worth the pains. I'm glad, 'tis night, you do not look on me; For I am much afham'd of my exchange; But love is blind, and lovers cannot fee The pretty follies that themselves commit; For if they could, Cupid himself would blufh To fee me thus transformed to a boy.
Lor. Defcend, for you must be my torch-bearer. Jef. What must I hold a candle to my fhames? They in themselves, goodfooth, are too, too, light. Why, 'tis an office of discovery, love, And I fhould be obfcur'd.
Lor. So are you, sweet,
Ev'n in the lovely garnish of a boy.
But come at once
For the close night doth play the run-away,
Jef. I will make faft the doors, and gild my felf
Enter Jeffica, to them.
What, art thou come? on, gentlemen, away;
Anth. Who's there?
Gra. Signior Anthonio,
anth. Fie, Gratiano, where are all the reft? 'Tis nine o'clock, our friends all stay for you; No mafque to night; the wind is come about, Bassanio presently will go aboard;
I have fent twenty out to feek for you.
Gra. I'm glad on't; I defire no more delight Than to be under fail, and gone to night. [Exeunt.
Changes to Belmont.
Enter Portia with Morochius, and both their trains.
Por.GO, draw afide the curtains, and discover
The fev'ral caskets to this noble Prince.
Por. The one of them contains my picture, Prince;
Mor. Some God direct my judgment! let me fee,