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Which I did make him fwear to keep for ever. Por. Thou may'ft, I warrant. We shall have old fwearing,

That they did give the rings away to men; But we'll out-face them, and out-fwear them too: -Away, make hafte, thou know'ft where I will tarry, Ner. Come, good Sir, will you fhew me to this house? [Exeunt.


Belmont. A Grove, or green Place, before
Portia's House.

Enter Lorenzo and Jeffica.



HE moon fhines bright-In fuch a night as this, When the fweet wind did gently kifs the trees, And they did make no noife; in fuch a night, Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan wall; And figh'd his foul towards the Grecian tents, Where Creffid lay that night.

Jef. In fuch a night,

Did Thisbe fearfully o'er-trip the dew
And faw the lion's fhadow ere himself,
And ran difmayed away.

Lor. In fuch a night,

Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
Upon the wild fea-banks, and wav'd her love
To come again to Carthage.

Jef. In fuch a night,

Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs,
That did renew old Æfon.
Lor. In fuch a night,


Did Jeffica fteal from the wealthy Jew,

And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
As far as Belmont.

Jef. And in fuch a night,

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

Lor. And in fuch a night,

Did pretty Jeffica (like a little fhrew)
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.

Jef. I would out-night you, did no body come: But hark, I hear the footing of a man.

Enter Stephano.

Lor. Who comes so fast, in filence of the night? Mef. A friend.

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

Mef. 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 Croffes, where she kneels, and prays,
For happy wedlock hours.

Lor. Who comes with her?

Mef. None, but a holy hermit,' and her maid. -I pray you, is my master yet return'd?

Lor. He is not, nor have we yet 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, fola, wo ha, ho, fola, fola!

1 None but a boly bermit.] I do not perceive the use of this hermit, of whom nothing is feen or heard afterwards. The Poet had first

planned his fable fome other way, and inadvertently, when he changed his fcheme, retained fomething of the original defign. Lor. Hh3

Lor. Who calls ?

Laun. Sola! did you fee Mafter Lorenzo and Miftrefs Lorenza? fola, fola!

Ler. Leave hollowing, man: here.

Laun. Sola! where? where?

Lor. Here.

Laun. Tell him, there's a poft come from my mafter with his horn full of good news. My mafter will be here ere morning.

Lor. Sweet love, let's in, and there expect their coming.

And yet no matter-why fhould we go in?
My friend Stephanc, fignity, I pray you,
Within the houfe, your miftrefs is at hand;
And bring your mufick forth into the air,

[Exit Stephano, How fweet the moon-light fleeps upon this bank! Here will we fit, and let the founds of mufick Creep in our ears; foft ftillness, and the night Become the touches of fweet harmony. Sit, Felica: look, how the floor of heav'n Is thick inlay'd with pattens of bright gold;" There's not the fmalleft orb, which thou behold'ft, But in his motion like an angel fings, Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims Such harmony is in immortal fouls! 3


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fo much celebrated by the antients. He fays, the malleft orb fings like an angel; and then fabjoins, fuch barmony is in immortal fouls: But the harmony of angels is not here meant, but of the orbs. Nor are we to think, that here the poet alludes to the notion, that each orb has its intelligence or angel to direct it; for then with no propriety could he fay, the orb fung like an angel:


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But whilft this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grofly clofe us in, we cannot hear it.
Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn; 4
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
And draw her home with mufick.

Jef. I'm never merry, when I hear fwcet mufick.

Lor. The reason is, your fpirits 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 perchance but hear a trumpet found,
Or any air of mufick touch their ears,
You fhall perceive them make a mutual stand;
Their favage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze,
By the sweet power of mufick. Therefore, the Poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, ftones, and floods;

he fhould rather have faid, the
angel in the orb fung. We mult
therefore correct the lines thus ;

Such harmony is in immortal

i.e. in the mufick of the spheres.
This paffage is obfcure. Im-
mortal founds is a harsh combina-
tion of words, yet Milton ufes a
parallel expreffion.
Spiritus et rapidos qui circinat
igneus orbes,

Nunc quoque fidereis intercinit ipfe
Immortale melos, et inenarra-
bile carmen.

It is proper to exhibit the
lines as they stand in the copies,
I. II. III. IV. without any va-
riation, for a change has been
filently made, by Rowe, and
adopted by all the fucceeding

Such harmony is in immortal fouls, But while this muddy veflure of decay

Doth grofly clofe in it, we cannot bear it.

That the third is corrupt must be allowed, but it gives reason to fufpect that the original was,

Doth grofly close it in.

Yet I know not whether from this any thing better can be produced than the received reading. Perhaps harmony is the power of perceiving harmony, as afterwards, Mufick in the foul is the quality of being moved with concord of Sweet jounds. This will fomewhat explain the old copies, but the fentence is ftill imperfect. wake Diana with a hymn ;] Diana is the Moon, who is in the next fcene reprefented as fleeping. Hh 4



Since nought so stockifh, hard and full of rage,
But mufick for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no mufick in himself, 5
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treafons, ftratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his fpirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no fuch man be trufted-Mark the mufick.
Enter Portia and Neriffa at a diftance.

Por. That light we fee, is burning in my hall :
How far that little candle throws his beams!

So fhines a good deed in a naughty world.

Ner. When the moon fhone, we did not fee the candle..

Por. So doth the greater glory dim the lefs:
A fubftitute fhines brightly as a King,
Until a King be by; and then his state
Empties itfelf, as doth an inland brook
Into the main of waters.-Mufick, hark!


Ner. It is your mufick, Madam, of the house. Por. Nothing is good, I fee, without respect : 6 Methinks, it founds much fweeter than by day.

Ner. Silence beftows the virtue on it, Madam.
Por. The crow doth fing as fweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended; and, I think,
The nightingale, if she should fing by day,

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