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master, with his horn full of good news: my master will be here ere morning.


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.-

[Exit Stephano. 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 patines1 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 cherubins; Such harmony is in immortal souls: But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.—

Enter Musicians.

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

Jes. I am never merry when I hear sweet music. [music.

'A patine is the small flat dish or plate used in the administration of the Eucharist.'-Malone.

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 turn'd to a modest gaze,
By the sweet power of music: therefore the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and

Since naught 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 season'd are
To their right praise and true perfection!-
Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awaked!
[music ceases.

That is the voice,

Or I am much deceived, of Portia.

Por. 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' welfare,

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.

1 'Not absolutely, but relatively good, as it is modified by circumstances.'-Johnson.

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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 1 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 the day is when the sun is hid.

Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and their followers.

Bas. 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 2 all!-You are welcome home, my


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


A florish on a trumpet.

2 Reduce to order from a state of confusion.

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.1
[Gra. and Ner. seem to talk apart.
Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me


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 poesy was For all the world like cutler's poetry Upon a knife, Love me, and leave me not.'

2 "

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, And that it should lie with you in your grave. Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, You should have been respective,3 and have kept it. Gave it a judge's clerk!—but well I know, The clerk will 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.

This verbal complimentary form.

2 Knives were formerly inscribed, by means of aqua fortis, with short sentences in distich. 3 Regardful.

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