Imatges de pàgina
[ocr errors]

Laun. Sola! where? where ?
Lor. Here.

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

And yet no matter : why should we go in s
My friend Stephano, fignifie, I pray you,
Within the house, your mistress is at hand

Exit Stephano.
And bring your musick forth into the air.
How sweet the moon-light sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we fit, and let the sounds of musick our ears ; soft fillness, and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica : 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'it;
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims ;
Such harmony is in immortal sounds! (19)
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grosly 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.

(19) Such Harmony is in immortal Souls; ] But the Harmo: ny here described is That of the Spheres, so much celebrated by the Antients. He says, the smallest Orb fings like an Angel; and then subjoins, Such Harmony is in immortal Souls : But the Harmony of Angels is not here meant, but of the Orbs. Nor are we to think, that here the Poet alludes to the Notion, that each Orb has its Intelligence or Angel to direct it; for then with no Propriety could he say, the Orb Sung like an Angel: he should rather have said, the Angel in the Orb sung. We must therefore corre& the Line thus;

Such Harmony is in immortal Sounds : is er in the Musick of the Spheres,

Mi, Warl urtaro

Fef. I'm never merry, when I hear sweet musick.

[Mufick. Lor. The reason is, your fpirits 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 mufick 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 musick. Therefore, the Poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods ; Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage, But musick for the time doth change his nature. The man that hath no mufick in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils ; The motions of his fpirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus : Let no such man be truited Mark the musick.

Enter Portia and Nerissa. Por. That light we fee, 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 fhone, 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 Empties it felf, as doth an inland brook Into the main of waters. Musick, hark ! [Mufick.

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 the fhould fing 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 awaked !

[Mufick ceases
Lór. 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 messenger before,
To signifie their coming.

Por. Go, Nerisa,
Give order to my servants, that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence ;
Nor you, Lorenzo; effica, 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 day-light 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.

Bal. 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 Basanio fo from me ;
But God sort all ? you're welcome home, my

Bal. 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 courtesie.

Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me wrong ; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk.

[To Nerijia. Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since


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 poesie was
For all the world like cutler's poetry
Upon a knife; Love me, and leave me not.

Ner. What talk you of the poesie, 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 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 thy self, 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 firft gift ;
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And riveted 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.
Baf. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,


And swear, I loft the ring defending it. [ Afide.

Gra. My lord Basanio 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 maker, would take aught
But the two rings.

Por. What ring gave you, my lord ?
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me.

Bas. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
I would deny it; but you see my finger
Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone.

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

Ner. Nor I in yours, 'Till I again see mine.

Bal. Sweet Portia,
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I

gave And would conceive for what I

And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When nought would be accepted but the ring,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure.

Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Or half her worthiness 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 so much unreasonable,
If you had pleas’d to have defended it
With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty
To urge the thing held as a ceremony?
Nerisa teaches me what to believe ;
I'll die for't, but some woman had the ring.

Bal. No, by mine honour, Madam, by my soul,
No woman had it, but a Civil Doctor,
Who did refuse three thousand ducats of me,
And begg'd the ring ; the which I did deny him,
And suffer'd him to go displeas'd away ;
Ev'n he, that did uphold the very life


the ring;

the ring,

« AnteriorContinua »