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Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls,
And sighed his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night.
In such a night,
Did Thisbe fearfully o’ertrip the dew;
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself,
And ran dismayed away.
In such a night,
Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand,
Upon the wild sea-banks, and waved her love
To come again to Carthage.
In such a night,
Medea gathered the enchanted herbs
That did renew old Æson.
In such a night,
Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew;
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
As far as Belmont.
In such a night,
Did young Lorenzo swear he loved her well;
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,
And ne'er a true one.
In such a night,
Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
Jes. I would out-night you, did nobody come. But, hark, I hear the footing of a man.
Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night?
Steph. A friend.
Lor. A friend? What friend? Your name, I pray you,
Steph. 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.
Who comes with her ?
Steph. None, but a holy hermit, and her maid.
I pray you, is my master yet returned ?
Lor. He is not, nor we have not heard from him.But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica, And ceremoniously let us prepare Some welcome for the mistress of the house.
Laun. Sola, sola, wo, ha, ho, sola, sola!
Lor. Who calls ?
Laun. Sola! Did you see master Lorenzo, and mistress Lorenzo ? Sola, sola!
Lor. Leave hollaing, 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
[Exit. Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their coming. And yet no matter; — why should we go in? My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you, Within the house, your mistress is at hand; And bring your music forth into the air.
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night,
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica. Look, how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold.
There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st,
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims ;
Such harmony is in immortal souls ;
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it 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 music.
[Music. Jes. I am never merry, when I hear sweet music.
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 but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
air of music touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turned to a modest gaze,
By the sweet power of music. Therefore, the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods;
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved 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 music.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA at a distance.
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
Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
Into the main of waters. Music! Hark!
Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house.
Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect; Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.
Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
Por. The crow doth sing 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 seasoned are
To their right praise, and true perfection!
Peace, hoa! The moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awaked !
That is the voice, Or, I am much deceived, 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' welfare,
Which speed, we hope, the better for our words.
Are they returned ?
Madam, they are not yet ;
But there is come a messenger before,
To signify their coming.
Go in, Nerissa ;
Give order to my servants, that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence;-
Nor you, Lorenzo; - Jessica, nor you.
Jessica, 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 daylight sick; It looks a little paler; 'tis a day, Such as a day is when the sun is hid. Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and their Followers.
Bass. 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 Bassanio so for me;
But God sort all!- You are welcome home, my lord. .
Bass. I thank you, madam; give welcome to my friend. -
This is the man, this is Antonio,
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.
Ant. 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.
[GRATIANO and NERISSA seem to talk apart. 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, 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 posy was
For all the world like cutler's poetry
Upon a knife, Love me, and leave me not.
Ner. What talk you of the posy, 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 your vehement oaths,
You should have been respective, and have kept it.
Gave it a judge's clerk! - But well I know,
The clerk wil ne'er wear hair on his 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 begged 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 so 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.
Bass. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off
, And swear I lost the ring defending it. [Aside.
Gra. My lord Bassanio gave his ring away
Unto the judge that begged it, and, indeed,
Deserved it too; and then the boy, his clerk,
That took some pains in writing, he begged mine;
And neither man, nor master, would take aught
But the two rings.
What ring gave you, my lord ?
Not that, I hope, which you received of me.
Bass. 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.
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I gave the ring,
And would conceive for what I gave the ring,
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 honor to contain the ring,
You would not then have parted with the ring.
What man is there so much unreasonable,
If you had pleased to have defended it
With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty