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Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs

That did renew old Æfon.

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 Messenger.

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

Lor. What friend? your name, I pray you, friend?
Mef. Stephano is my name; and I bring word,

My mistress will before the break of day

Be here at Belmont : fhe doth ftray about

By holy croffes, where fhe kneels and prays
For happy wedlock hours.

Lor. Who comes with her?

Mes. None, but a holy hermit and her maid.

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 Jeffica,

And ceremoniously let us prepare

Some welcome for the miftrefs of the house.

Enter Launcelot.

Laun. Sola, fola, wo ha, ho, fola, sola!

Lor. Who calls?

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

Lor. Leave hollowing, man: here.

Laun. Sola! where? where?

Lor. Here.

[Ex. Messenger.

Laun. Tell him, there's a post come from my master, with his
horn full of good news: my mafter 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 mufick forth into the air.
How fweet the moonlight 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 fweet harmony.
Sit, Jeffica; look how the floor of heav'n
Is thick inlay'd with patterns 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:
Such harmony is in immortal fouls!
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grofly clofe 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.
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)

Ìf they perchance but hear a trumpet sound,



Or any air of mufick touch their ears,
You fhall perceive them make a mutual stand;
Their favage eyes turn to a modest gaze

By the sweet power of mufick. Thus the poet

Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, ftones, and floods;
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But mufick 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, ftratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit 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 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. Mufick! hark!
Ner. It is the mufick, madam, of your house.
Por. Nothing is good, I fee, without respect :
Methinks, it founds much sweeter than by day.
Ner. Silence beftows 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 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 awak'd!

Lor. That is the voice,

Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia.

[mufick ceafes.

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 fignify their coming.

Por. Go, Neriffa,

Give order to my fervants, that they take

No note at all of our being absent hence;

Nor you, Lorenzo; Feffica, nor you.

[a tucket founds.

Lor. 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 fun is hid.

Enter Bassanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their followers.

Bass. We should hold day with the Antipodes,

If you would walk in abfence 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 Baffanio fo from me;

But, god fort all! you're welcome home, my lord.

Ball. I thank you, madam: give welcome to my friend; This is the man, this is Anthonio,

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To whom I am so infinitely bound.


Por. You should in all fenfe 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 fcant this breathing courtesy.

Gra. By yonder moon, I swear you do me wrong;
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk.
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 she did give me, whofe poefy was,
For all the world, like cutler's poetry
Upon a knife: love me, and leave me not.

Ner. What talk you of the poefy, or the value?
You fwore 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 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.

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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 thyfelf, the judge's clerk;

A prating boy that begg'd it as a fee:

I could not for my heart deny it him.

[to Neriffa.

Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with you, To part fo flightly with your wife's first 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

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