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SCENE, Belmont. A Grove, or green

place before Portia's House.


Enter Lorenzo and Jessica.

HE moon shines bright : in such a night as this,

When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
And they did make no noise ; in such a night,
Trcilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan wall ;
And figh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents,

Creffid lay that night.
Jes. In such a night,
Did Thisbe fearfully o'er-trip the dew;
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself,
And ran dismayed away.

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

Jef. In luch a night,
Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs,
That did renew old Æfon.

Lor. In such a night,
Did Jeffica steal from the wealthy Jew,
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice
As far as Belmont.

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

Lor. And in such a night,
Did pretty Jeffica (like a little fhrew)
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.

fofo pray you, friend?

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

Enter Stephano.
Lor. Who comès so faft, in filence of the night?
Mes. A friend.
Lor. What friend ? your name,

Mes: 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 crofles, where she kneels, and prays,
For happy wedlock hours.

Lor. Who comes with her?

Mej. None, but a holy hermit, and her maid.
I pray you,


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

Enter Launcelot.
Laun. Sola, Sola; wo ha, ho, fola, sola!
Lor. Who calls ?

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

Lor. Leave hollowing, man: here.
Laun. Sola! where? where?
Lor. Here.
Laun. Tell him, there's a post come from my

matter, with his horn full of good news. My master 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, signify, 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
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night


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Become the touches of sweet harmony,
Sit, efica : 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'ft,
But in his motion like an angel fings,
Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims ;
Such harmony is in immortal sounds! (31)
But whilft this muddy vesture of decay
Dcth 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 musick.

Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive ;
For do but note a wild and wantcn 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 musick touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual ftand;
Their savage eyes turn’d to a modest gaze,
By the sweet power of musick. Therefore, the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, ftones, and floods s
Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage,

(31) Sucb barmony is in immortal souls;] But the harmony here deScribed is that of the spheres, so much celebrated by the ancients. He says, the smallest orb hings like an angel ; and then fubjoins, ficb bar. mony is in immorial 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 lung like an angel : he should rather have laid, the angel in tbe orb fung. We must therefore correet the line thus ;

Such barmony is in immortal sounds :
i. e. in the musick of the spheres. Mr. Warburton.

Macrobius, I remember, accounts for our nnt hearing that mufick, which is produc'd by the constant volubility of the heavens, from the organg in the human ear not being capable, thro' their straitness, of admitting, fo vehement a foued. Muficam perpetua cæli volubilitate rafcentem ideo claro non fentimus auditu, quia major fonus eft quam ut bumanarum aurium recipiatur anguftiis.


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But mufick 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 trusted. 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 shone, we did not see the candle.

Por. So doth the greaterg'ory dim the less ; A substitute shines brightly as a King, Until a King be by ; and then his itate Empties itself, 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 fee, without respe&t :
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 should fing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by feason season'd are
To their right praise, and true perfection ?
Peace ! how the moon sleeps with Endimion,
And would not be awaked !

[Mufick ceases. Lor. That is the voice, Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia.

Por. Heknows 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 signify their coming.

Por. Go, Nerija,
Give order to my servants, that they take
No note at all of our being abíent hence;
Nor you, Lorenzo ; Jellica, nor you. [A Tucket sounds,

Lór. 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 Baffanio, Antonio, 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 Bafanio fo from me;
But God fort all : you're welcome ome, my lord.

Bas. 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.

Anth. No more than I am well acquitted of.

Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house ;
It must
in other


than words;
Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.

Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me wrong;
In faith I gave it to the judge's clerk. (To Nerifa.
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 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 poesy, or the value ?
You swore to me, when I did give it you,
That you would wear it till your hour of, death,



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