Actus Quintus.

Enter Lorenzo and Iessica.

Lor. The moone shines bright. In such a night as this, When the sweet winde did gently kisse the trees, And they did make no noyse, in such a night Troylus me thinkes mounted the Troian walls, And sigh'd his soule toward the Grecian tents Where Cressed lay that night

Ies. In such a night Did Thisbie fearefully ore-trip the dewe, And saw the Lyons shadow ere himselfe, And ranne dismayed away

Loren. In such a night Stood Dido with a Willow in her hand Vpon the wilde sea bankes, and waft her Loue To come againe to Carthage

Ies. In such a night Medea gathered the inchanted hearbs That did renew old Eson

Loren. In such a night Did Iessica steale from the wealthy Iewe, And with an Vnthrift Loue did runne from Venice, As farre as Belmont

Ies. In such a night Did young Lorenzo sweare he lou'd her well, Stealing her soule with many vowes of faith, And nere a true one

Loren. In such a night Did pretty Iessica (like a little shrow) Slander her Loue, and he forgaue it her

Iessi. I would out-night you did no body come: But harke, I heare the footing of a man. Enter Messenger.

Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night? Mes. A friend

Loren. A friend, what friend? your name I pray you friend? Mes. Stephano is my name, and I bring word My Mistresse will before the breake of day Be heere at Belmont, she doth stray about By holy crosses where she kneeles and prayes For happy wedlocke houres

Loren. Who comes with her? Mes. None but a holy Hermit and her maid: I pray you is my Master yet return'd? Loren. He is not, nor we haue not heard from him, But goe we in I pray thee Iessica, And ceremoniously let vs prepare Some welcome for the Mistresse of the house, Enter Clowne.

Clo. Sola, sola: wo ha ho, sola, sola

Loren. Who calls? Clo. Sola, did you see M[aster]. Lorenzo, & M[aster]. Lorenzo, sola, Lor. Leaue hollowing man, heere

Clo. Sola, where, where? Lor. Heere? Clo. Tel him ther's a Post come from my Master, with his horne full of good newes, my Master will be here ere morning sweete soule

Loren. Let's in, and there expect their comming. And yet no matter: why should we goe in? My friend Stephen, signifie pray you Within the house, your Mistresse is at hand, And bring your musique foorth into the ayre. How sweet the moone-light sleepes vpon this banke, Heere will we sit, and let the sounds of musicke Creepe in our eares soft stilnes, and the night Become the tutches of sweet harmonie: Sit Iessica, looke how the floore of heauen Is thicke inlayed with pattens of bright gold, There's not the smallest orbe which thou beholdst But in his motion like an Angell sings, Still quiring to the young eyed Cherubins; Such harmonie is in immortall soules, But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grosly close in it, we cannot heare it: Come hoe, and wake Diana with a hymne, With sweetest tutches pearce your Mistresse eare, And draw her home with musicke

Iessi. I am neuer merry when I heare sweet musique.

Play musicke.

Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentiue: For doe but note a wilde and wanton heard Or race of youthful and vnhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud, Which is the hot condition of their bloud, If they but heare perchance a trumpet sound, Or any ayre of musicke touch their eares, You shall perceiue them make a mutuall stand, Their sauage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze, By the sweet power of musicke: therefore the Poet Did faine that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods. Since naught so stockish, hard, and full of rage, But musicke for time doth change his nature, The man that hath no musicke in himselfe, Nor is not moued with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoyles, The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections darke as Erobus, Let no such man be trusted: marke the musicke. Enter Portia and Nerrissa.

The Merchant of Venice Page 31

William Shakespeare Plays

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book