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Steph. None, but a holy hermit, and her maid. I 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.
Laun. Sola, sola, wo ha, ho, sola, sola!
Laun. Sola! did you see master Lorenan, and mistress Lorenzo ! sola, sola!
Lor. Leave hollaing, man; 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.
[Erit. Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their
* A small flat dish, used in the administration of the Eucharist.
Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn;
Enter Portia and Nerissa, at u distance.
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, Whed every goose is cackling, would be thought No better a musician than the wren. How many things by season seasou'd are To th
right praise, and ue perfection Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endymion, And would not be awak'd!
[Musick ceases. Lor.
That is the voice, Or I am much deceiv'd, 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'
Madam, they are not yet;
Go in, Nerissa,
[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 fourish on a trumpet.
Enter Bassanio, Antonio, Gratiano, and their fol
Por. Let me give light, but let me not be light;
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.
Por. A quarrel, ho, already? what's the matter?
Gra. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring
Ner. What talk you of the posy, or the value?
• Verhal, complimentary form.
Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
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 begg'd 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 su 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; Ap’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 begg'd it, and, indeed, Deserv'd it too; and then the boy, his clerk, That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine: And neither inan, nor master, would take aught But the two rings. Por.
What ring gave you, my lord? Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd 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.