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Enter Gratiano.

Gra. Fair Sir, you are well o'erta'en:
My lord Baffanio, upon more advice,
Hath fent you here this ring, and doth intreat
Your company at dinner.

Por. That cannot be.

This ring I do accept moft thankfully,
And fo, I pray you, tell him; furthermore,
I pray you, fhew my Youth old Shylock's houfe.
Gra. That will I do.

Ner. Sir, I would speak with you.

[To Por.

I'll fee if I can get my husband's ring:
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.
Por. Thou may'ft, I warrant. We shall have old


That they did give the rings away to men;
But we'll out-face them, and out-swear them too :
Away, make hafte, thou know'ft where I will tarry.
Ner. Come, good Sir, will you fhew me to this




Belmont. A Grove, or green Place, before
Portia's House.

Enter Lorenzo and Jeffica.


HE moon fhines bright: In fuch a night as



When the sweet wind did gently kifs the trees,
And they did make no noife; in fuch a night,
Troylus, methinks, mounted the Trojan wall;


And figh'd his foul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Crefid lay that night.

Jef. In fuch a night,

Did Thisbe fearfully o'er-trip the dew;
And faw the lion's fhadow ere himself,
And ran difmayed away.

Lor. In fuch a night,

Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
Upon the wild fea-banks, and wav'd her love
To come again to Carthage.
Jef. In fuch a night,

Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs,
That did renew old Efon.

Lor. In fuch a night,

Did Jeffica fteal from the wealthy Jew,
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
As far as Belmont.

Jef. And in fuch a night,

Did young Lorenzo fwear, he lov'd her well;
Stealing her foul with many vows of faith,
And ne'er a true one.

Lor. And in fuch a night,

Did pretty Jeffica, (like a little fhrew)
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.

Jef. I would out-night you, did no body come: But hark, I hear the footing of a man.

Enter Stephano.

Lor. Who comes so fast, in filence of the night?
Mef. A friend.


Lor. What friend? your name, I pray you, Mef. Stephano is my name, and I bring word, My miftrefs will before the break of day Be here at Belmont: fhe doth ftray about By holy Croffes, where the kneels, and prays, For happy wedlock hours.

Lor. Who comes with her?

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Mef. None, but a holy hermit, and her maid. I pray you, is my mafter yet return'd?

Lor. He is not, nor have we yet heard from him: But go we in, I pray thee, Feffica, And ceremoniously let us prepare Some welcome for the miftrefs of the house.

Enter Launcelot.

Laun. Sola, fola, wo ha, ho, fola, fola!
Lor. Who calls?

Laun. Sola! did you see mafter Lorenzo and mistress Lorenza? fola, fola!

Lor. Leave hollowing, man: here.

Laun. Sola! where? where?

Lor. Here.

Laun. Tell him, there's a poft come from my mafter, with his horn full of good news. My mafter will be here ere morning.

Lor. Sweet love, let's in, and there expect their


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

[Exit Stephano.

And bring your mufick forth into the air.
How fweet the moon-light fleeps upon this bank!
Here will we fit, and let the founds of mufick

Creep in our ears; foft ftillness, and the night • Become the touches of sweet harmony.


Sit, Jeffica: look, how the floor of heav'n • Is thick inlay'd with patens of bright gold; There's not the fmalleft orb, which thou behold'st, • But in his motion like an angel fings,

Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims;

1 with PATTERNS of bright gold] We should read PATENS: a round broad plate of gold born in heraldry: the cover of the facramental-cap.



• Such

• 2 Such harmony is in immortal founds!
• But whilft 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 mufick.

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


Lor. The reafon 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 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

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• Since nought fo ftockish, hard and full of rage, But mufick for the time doth change his nature. 3 The man that hath no mufick in himself,

• Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet founds,

• Is

2 Such harmony is in immortal fouls;] But the harmony here described is that of the fpheres, fo much celebrated by the antients. He fays, the smalleft orb fings like an angel; and then fubjoins, fuch harmony is in immortal fouls: 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 fung like an angel: he fhould rather have faid, the angel in the orb fung. We must therefore correct the

line thus ;

Such harmony is in immortal founds:

i. e. in the mufick of the spheres.


The man that hath no mufick in himself,

Nor is not mov'd with concord of feet founds,] The thought here is extremely fine: As if the being affected with mufick was


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Is fit for treasons, ftratagems, and spoils;
• The motions of his fpirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:

Let no fuch man be trufted 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 fee the

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. Mufick, hark!


Ner. It is the mufick, Madam, of your houfe.
Por. Nothing is good, I fee, without refpect:
Methinks, it founds much fweeter than by day.

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

[Mufick ceafes.

only the harmony between the internal [mufick in himself] and the external mufick [concord of fweet founds; which were mutually affected like unifon ftrings. This whole fpeech could not chute but please an English audience, whofe great paffion, as well then as now, was love of mufick. Jam verò video naturam (fays Erafmus in praise of Folly) ut fingulis nationibus, ac pene civi tatibus, communem quandam infeviffe Philautiam: Atque hine fieri, ut BRITANNI præter alia, Formam, MUSICAM, & lautas Menfas propriè fibi vindicent.

N 2


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