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Enter Gratiano.

Gra. Fair sir, you are well overtaken :
My lord Bassanio, upon more advice*,

Hath sent you here this ring; and doth entreat
Your company at dinner.


That cannot be:

This ring I do accept most thankfully,

And so, I pray you, tell him: Furthermore,

I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house.
Gra. That will I do.


Sir, I would speak with you:-I'll see if I can get my husband's ring, [To Portia. Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.

Por. Thou may'st, I warrant: We shall have old swearing,

That they did give the rings away to men; But we'll outface them, and outswear them too. Away, make haste; thou know'st where I will tarry. Ner. Come, good sir, will you show me to this house? [Exeunt.


SCENE I. Belmont. Avenue to Portia's house.

Enter Lorenzo and Jessica.

Lor. The 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,
Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls,


And sigh'd 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 rau dismay'd away.


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.


Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs.

That did renew old Eson.


In such a night,

In such a night,

Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew:

And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,

As far as Belmont.


And in such a night,

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


And 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 no body come : But, hark, I hear the footing of a man.

Enter Stephano.

Lor. Who cones so fast in silence of the night? Steph. A friend.

Lor. A friend? what friend? your name, I pray you, friend?

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. pray you, is my master yet return'd?

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.

Enter Launcelot.

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?

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.

[Exit. Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their


And yet no matter;-Why should we go in ?
My friend Stepháno, signify, I pray you,
Within the house, your mistress is at hand;
And bring your music forth into the air.

[Exit Stephano.
How sweet the moon-light 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-ey'd cherubius:
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.-

* A small flat dish, used in the administration of the Eucharist.

Enter musicians.

Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn;
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
And draw her home with musick.

Jes. I am never merry, when I hear sweet musick.

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,
Or any air of musick 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


Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But musick for the time doth change his nature:
The man that hath no musick in himself,

Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratageins, 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 musick.

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. Musick! hark!

Ner. It is your musick, 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 season'd are To their right praise, and true perfection!Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endymion, And would not be awak'd!


[Musick ceases..

That is the voice,

Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia.

Pcr. He knows me, as the blind man knows the


By the bad voice.


Dear lady, welcome home.

Por. We have been praying for our husbands'


Which speed, we hope, the better for our words.

Are they return'd?


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.


[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 sick,

It looks a little paler; 'tis a day,

Such as the day is when the sun is hid.

* A flourish on a trumpet.

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