Por. That light we see is burning in my hall: How farre that little candell throwes his beames, So shines a good deed in a naughty world

Ner. When the moone shone we did not see the candle? Por. So doth the greater glory dim the lesse, A substitute shines brightly as a King Vntill a King be by, and then his state Empties it selfe, as doth an inland brooke Into the maine of waters: musique, harke.

Musicke.

Ner. It is your musicke Madame of the house

Por. Nothing is good I see without respect, Methinkes it sounds much sweeter then by day? Ner. Silence bestowes that vertue on it Madam

Por. The Crow doth sing as sweetly as the Larke When neither is attended: and I thinke The Nightingale if she should sing by day When euery Goose is cackling, would be thought No better a Musitian then the Wren? How many things by season, season'd are To their right praise, and true perfection: Peace, how the Moone sleepes with Endimion, And would not be awak'd.

Musicke ceases.

Lor. That is the voice, Or I am much deceiu'd of Portia

Por. He knowes me as the blinde man knowes the Cuckow by the bad voice? Lor. Deere Lady welcome home? Por. We haue bene praying for our husbands welfare Which speed we hope the better for our words, Are they return'd? Lor. Madam, they are not yet: But there is come a Messenger before To signifie their comming

Por. Go in Nerrissa, Giue order to my seruants, that they take No note at all of our being absent hence, Nor you Lorenzo, Iessica nor you.

A Tucket sounds.

Lor. Your husband is at hand, I heare his Trumpet, We are no tell-tales Madam, feare you not

Por. This night methinkes is but the daylight sicke, It lookes a little paler, 'tis a day, Such as the day is, when the Sun is hid. Enter Bassanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their Followers.

Bas. We should hold day with the Antipodes, If you would walke in absence of the sunne

Por. Let me giue light, but let me not be light, For a light wife doth make a heauie husband, And neuer be Bassanio so for me, But God sort all: you are welcome home my Lord

Bass. I thanke you Madam, giue welcom to my friend This is the man, this is Anthonio, To whom I am so infinitely bound

Por. You should in all sence be much bound to him, For as I heare he was much bound for you

Anth. No more then I am wel acquitted of

Por. Sir, you are verie welcome to our house: It must appeare in other waies then words, Therefore I scant this breathing curtesie

Gra. By yonder Moone I sweare you do me wrong, Infaith I gaue it to the Iudges Clearke, Would he were gelt that had it for my part, Since you do take it Loue so much at hart

Por. A quarrel hoe alreadie, what's the matter? Gra. About a hoope of Gold, a paltry Ring That she did giue me, whose Poesie was For all the world like Cutlers Poetry Vpon a knife; Loue mee, and leaue mee not

Ner. What talke you of the Poesie or the valew: You swore to me when I did giue it you, That you would weare it til the houre of death, And that it should lye with you in your graue, Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, You should haue beene respectiue and haue kept it. Gaue it a Iudges Clearke: but wel I know The Clearke wil nere weare haire on's face that had it

Gra. He wil, and if he liue to be a man

Nerrissa. I, if a Woman liue to be a man

The Merchant of Venice Page 32

William Shakespeare Plays

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