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Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their coming.
And yet no matter;-why should we go in?
There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st,
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn:
Jes. I am never merry when I hear sweet music.
If they but hear, perchance, a trumpet sound,
You shall perceive them make a mutual staud,
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
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:
Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house.
When neither is attended; and, I think,
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.
Bass. 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 all!-You are welcome home, my lord.
Bass. 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.
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.
Gra. [To NERISSA.] By yonder moon, I swear, you do me wrong;
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk:
Por. A quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter?
That she did give me; whose poesy was
A kind of boy; a little scrubbed boy,
I will become as liberal as you:
No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk;
I could not for my heart deny it him.
Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with
To part so slightly with your wife's first gift;
I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it,
Bass. [Aside.] Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
And swear I lost the ring defending it.
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 man, nor master, would take aught But the two rings.
What ring, gave you, my lord?
I would deny it; but you see, my finger
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
Till I again see mine. Bass.
Nor I in yours,
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
When nought would be accepted but the ring,
Even he that had held up the very life
Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady?
I was enforc'd to send it after him:
I was beset with shame and courtesy ;
My honour would not let ingratitude
So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady,
Had you been there, I think, you would have begg'd
Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my house.
Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd,
I'll not deny him any thing I have;
No, not my body, nor my husband's bed. Know him I shall, I am well sure of it:
Lie not a night from home; watch me like Argus;
Now, by mine honour, which is yet mine own,
Ner. And I his clerk; therefore, be well advis'd
For, if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's pen.
Ant. I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels. Por. Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome notwithstanding.
Bass. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong; And in the hearing of these many friends
I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
Mark you but that!
In both my eyes he doubly sees himself;
Nay, but hear me. Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear, I never more will break an oath with thee. Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth, Which, but for him that had your husband's ring, Had quite miscarried: I dare be bound again, My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
Will never more break faith advisedly.
Por. Then, you shall be his surety. Give him this,
And bid him keep it better than the other.
Ant. Here, lord Bassanio; swear to keep this
Bass. By heaven! it is the same I gave the doctor. Por. I had it of him: pardon me, Bassanio, For by this ring the doctor lay with me.
Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano, For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk, In lieu of this last night did lie with me.
Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways In summer, where the ways are fair enough. What! are we cuckolds, ere we have deserv'd it?
Por. Speak not so grossly.-You are all amaz'd: Here is a letter, read it at your leisure;
It comes from Padua, from Bellario:
I am dumb.
Gra. Were you the clerk, that is to make me
Ner. Ay; but the clerk that never means to do it, Unless he live until he be a man.
Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow: When I am absent, then, lie with my wife.
Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life, and living,
Of these events at full. Let us go in;
"-SALARINO and SALANIO"-There is much confusion in the early editions which it is not now easy to rectify, between the names of these characters and the speeches assigned to them, as designated by Sal., Salan., Sol., Salar.; and the names themselves are variously spelled. The text here differs from that of some of the modern editions in following the arrangement of the quartos, which receives some confirmation by its giving a larger and more lively share of the dialogue to Salarino, who had professed his wish to make Antonio merry. This discrimination of character, even in subordinate parts, slight as it is, is in Shakespeare's manner, and is lost by the more equal alternation of the dialogue given by Stevens, and retained by Collier.
'There, where your ARGOSIES"-"Argosies" were large merchant vessels: the word is said by Stevens to be corrupted from Ragosies, or, ships of Ragusa, distinguished in their day for their size and value; but Douce derives it from the classical ship Argo, which is more probable, from argis being the word for ship in the Latin of the lower empire.
"And see my wealthy Andrew DOCK'D in sand"— "Andrew" is the ship's name, and was probably a common one for Italian vessels, in honour of the great admiral, Andrew Doria. For "dock'd in sand" all the old editions print "docks in sand;" and Collier proposes to read, "my wealthy Andrew's decks in sand."
"VAILING her high top"-To vail means to bow, to lower, to cast down, as in HAMLET, "vailed lids."
- Now, by two-headed Janus, Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time." "By 'two-headed Janus' is meant those antique bifrontine heads, which generally represent a young and smiling face, together with an old and wrinkled one; being of Pan and Bacchus, of Saturn and Apollo, etc. These are not uncommon in collections of antiques, and in the books of the antiquaries, as Montfaucon, Spanheim, etc."-WARBURTON.
"WHEN I am very sure"-" So all the old copies. This reading is in Shakespeare's manner, who often left the nominative case of the verb to be understood.
Rowe altered 'when' to who, which has been followed by the modern editors."-COLLIER.
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears, Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools." That is, (says Theobald,) Some people are thought wise while they keep silence, who, when they open their mouths, are such stupid praters that the hearers cannot help calling them fools, and so incur the judgment denounced in the gospel against him who says to his brother, Thou fool."
"For this FOOL-GUDGEON"-An expressive compound, which Malone (followed in many editions) altered to fool's-gudgeon, against all the early copies.
"--for this GEAR"-i. e. " Matter, subject, or business in general; often applied to dress, Saxon."-NARES'S "Glossary."
Modern use has narrowed down the word to meaning harness or other firings (to use an Americanism) of man, or beast, or machinery; but, in older English, it was used to express any matter in hand, as Launcelot in this play says, "Fortune is a good wench for this gear," i. e. for this affair, or this occasion.
"Is that any thing now?"-All the early editions have, "It is that any thing now," which words Collier retains, with an altered punctuation, thus, "It is that:any thing now;" and explains thus: "Antonio's observation, It is that, is addressed to Gratiano, concurring in his remark just before he made his exit; and then Antonio's bad spirits return upon him, and he adds, as if weary of Gratiano's talk, any thing now.' naturally leads to Bassanio's criticism upon Gratiano." But on looking at the original quarto, it will be seen that there are marks of a misprint, thus, "An. It is that any thing now," for, as elsewhere, "Ant. Is that any thing now?" and this last reading suits the context.
"And I am PREST"-i. e. Ready: it is used in this sense by Chaucer, Spenser, Fox, and others: from the French pret, anciently spelled preste.
"-he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian""A satire," says Warburton, "on the ignorance of the