Por. You press me far, and therefore I will yield. Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your

sake; And, for your love, I'll take this ring from you :Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no more; And you in love shall not deny me this.

Bass. This ring, good sir,-alas, it is a trifle; I will not shame myself to give you this.

Por. I will have nothing else but only this ;
And now, methinks, I have a mind to it.
Bass. There's more depends on this, than on the

The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
And find it out by proclamation:
Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.

Por. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers :
You taught me first to beg; and now, methinks,
You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd.

Bass. Good sir, this ring was given me by my wife;
And, when she put it on, she made me vow,
That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it.
Por. That 'scuse serves many men to save their

An if your wife be not a mad woman,
And know how well I have desery'd this ring,
She would not hold out



ever, For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you!

[Exeunt PORTIA and NERISSA. Ant. My lord Bassanio, let him have the ring; Let his deservings, and my love withal, Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandment.

Bass. Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him, Give him the ring; and bring him, if thou canst, Unto Antonio's house :


make haste.

[Exit GRATIANO. Come, you and I will thither presently; And in the morning early will we both Fly toward Belmont: Come, Antonio. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. The same.

A Street.

Por. Inquire the Jew's house out,give him this deed,
And let him sign it; we'll away to-night,
And be a day before our husbands home:
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.

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. 1 i. e. more reflection. So in All's Well that Ends Well : You never did lack advice so much.'

2 Of this once common augmentative in colloquial language there are various instances in the plays of Shakspeare in the sense of abundant frequent. Soin The Merry Wives of Windsor : • Here will be an old abusing of God's patience and the king's English. Again in King Henry IV. Part II.: ‘here will be old utis.'





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

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 ran dismay'd away.

In such a night,
Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand 3
Upon the wild sea-banks, and wavd her love
To come again to Carthage.

In such a night,
Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs
That did renew old Æson 4.


1 The several passages beginning with these words are imitated in the old comedy of Wily Beguiled, written before 1596. See the play in Hawkins's Origin of the Drama, vol. iii.

? This image is from Chaucer's Troilus and Cresseide, b. v. v. 666, and 1142.

3 Steevens observes that this is one instance, among many that might be brought to prove that Shakspeare was no reader of the classics. Perhaps he recollected Chaucer's description of Ariadne in a similar situation in the Legend of Good Women ; or he may have taken this circumstance, as Warton suggests, from some ballad on the subject.

4 Steevens refers to Gower's description of Medea in his Confessio Amantis.


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,

Lorenzo swear he lov'd 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.

Enter STEPHANO. Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night? Steph. A friend. Lor. A friend? what friend ?

your name,


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 5. Lor.

Who comes with her ? 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.
5 So in the Merry Devil of Edmonton :

• But there are crosses, wife: here's one in Waltham,
Another at the abbey, and the third
At Ceston; and 'tis ominous to pass

Any of these without a Pater-noster.'
And this is a reason assigned for the delay of a wedding.

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 Stephano, signify, I pray you,
Within the house, your mistress is at hand;
And bring your musick forth into the air.-

How sweet the moon-light sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of musick
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 7 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 cherubins;
Such harmony is in immortal souls;

6 So in Churchyard's Worthines of Wales, 1587 :.

• A musicke sweete that through our eares shall creepe

By secret arte, and lull a man asleep.' Again, in The Tempest:

* This music crept by me upon the waters.' ? A small flat dish or plate, used in the administration of the Eucharist; it was commonly of gold, or silver-gilt.

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