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But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
[Music. Jes. I am never merry, when I hear sweet music.
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, Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turned to a modest gaze, By the sweet power of music. Therefore, the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods; Since nought 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.
i The folio editions, and the quarto printed by Roberts, read
“Such harmony is in immortal souls;
A substitute shines brightly as a king,
Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house.
Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
[Music ceases. Lor.
That is the voice, Or, I am much deceived, of Portia. Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows the
cuckoo, By the bad voice. Lor.
Dear lady, welcome home.
Madam, they are not yet ;
Go in, Nerissa;
[A tucket? sounds. Lor. Your husband is at hand; I hear his trumpet; We are no telltales, madam ; fear you not.
Not absolutely, but relatively good, as it is modified by circumstances. 2 Toccato (Ital.), a flourish on a trumpet.
Por. This night, methinks, is but the daylight sick,
Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and their
Por. Let me give light, but let me not be light;'
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.
(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 ?
i Shakspeare delights to trifle with this word.
3"- like cutler's poetry
Upon a knife.” Knives were formerly inscribed, by means of aqua fortis, with short sen tences in distich.
You swore to me, when I did give it you,
Gra. He will, an if he live to be a man.
Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth, —
Por. You were to blame- I must be plain with you
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
What ring gave you, my lord ?
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.
1 Respective, that is considerative, regardful; not respectful or respecta. ble, as Steevens supposed.
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
Ner. Nor I in yours,
Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Bass. No, by mine honor, madam, by my soul,
Por. Let not that doctor e’er come near my house : Since he hath got the jewel that I loved,
1 To contain had nearly the same meaning with to relain. 2 1. e. kept in a measure religiously, or superstitiously.