Imágenes de página

BASS. Madam, you have bereft me of all words, Only my blood speaks to you in my veins : And there is such confusion in my powers, As, after some oration fairly spoke By a beloved prince, there doth appear Among the buzzing pleased multitude; Where every something, being blent together, Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy, Express'd, and not express'd: But when this ring Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence; O, then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead.

NER. My lord and lady, it is now our time, That have stood by, and seen our wishes prosper, To cry, good joy; Good joy, my lord, and lady! GRA. My lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady, I wish you all the joy that you can wish; For, I am sure, you can wish none from me': And, when your honours mean to solemnize The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you, Even at that time I may be married too.

BASS. With all my heart, so thou can'st get a wife.

GRA. I thank your lordship; you have got me


My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours:
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid;
You lov'd, I lov'd; for intermission'

No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the caskets there;
And so did mine too, as the matter falls:
For wooing here, until I sweat again;

8 being BLENT together,] i. e. blended. STEEVENS.


you can wish none from me:] That is, none away from me; none that I shall lose, if you gain it. JOHNSON.


for INTERMISSION-] Intermission is pause, intervening time, delay. So, in Macbeth :


gentle heaven

Cut short all intermission!"



And swearing, till my very roof was dry
With oaths of love: at last,-if promise last,-
I got a promise of this fair one here,
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Achiev'd her mistress.


Is this true, Nerissa? NER. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal. BASS. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith? GRA. Yes, 'faith, my lord.

BASS. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your


GRA. We'll play with them, the first boy for a thousand ducats.

NER. What, and stake down?

GRA. No; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and stake down.—

But who comes here? Lorenzo, and his infidel?
What, and my old Venetian friend, Salerio?

My purpose was not to have seen you here;
But meeting with Salerio by the way,
He did entreat me, past all saying nay,
To come with him along.


And I have reason for it.
Commends him to you.


BASS. Lorenzo, and Salerio, welcome hither; If that the youth of my new interest here Have power to bid you welcome :-By your leave, I bid my very friends and countrymen, Sweet Portia, welcome.


So do I, my lord;

They are entirely welcome.

LOR. I thank your honour:-For my part, my


I did, my lord,
Signior Antonio
[Gives BASSANIO a letter.
Ere I ope his letter,


pray you, tell me how my good friend doth. SALE. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind; Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there Will show you his estate.

GRA. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger; bid her wel


Your hand, Salerio; What's the news from Venice ?
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio?
I know, he will be glad of our success;
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece 2.
SALE. 'Would you had won the fleece that he
hath lost!

POR. There are some shrewd contents in yon' same paper,

That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek: Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world Could turn so much the constitution

Of any constant man. What, worse and worse?—
With leave, Bassanio; I am half yourself,
And I must freely have the half of any thing
That this same paper brings you.


O sweet Portia, Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady, When I did first impart my love to you,

2 We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.] So, in Abraham Fleming's Rythme Decasyllabicall, upon this last luckie Voyage of worthie Čapteine Frobisher, 1577:


The golden fleece (like Jason) hath he got,
"And rich'd return'd, saunce losse or luckless lot."

Again, in the old play of King Leir, 1605:


I will returne seyz'd of as rich a prize "As Jason, when he wanne the golden fleece." It appears, from the registers of the Stationer's Company, that we seem to have had a version of Valerius Flaccus in 1565. In this year (whether in verse or prose is unknown,) was entered to J. Purfoote: "The story of Jason, howe he gotte the golden flece, and howe he did begyle Media [Medea,] out of Laten into Englishe, by Nycholas Whyte." STEEVENS.

I freely told you, all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
And then I told you true: and yet, dear lady,
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart: When I told you
My state was nothing, I should then have told you
That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,
I have engag'd myself to a dear friend,
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady;
The paper as the body of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood.-But is it true, Salerio?
Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India?
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?


Not one, my lord. Besides, it should appear, that if he had The present money to discharge the Jew, He would not take it: Never did I know A creature, that did bear the shape of man, So keen and greedy to confound a man: He plies the duke at morning, and at night: And doth impeach the freedom of the state, If they deny him justice: twenty merchants, The duke himself, and the magnificoes Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him;

3 The paper as the body-] I believe, the author wrote-is the body. The two words are frequently confounded in the old copies. So, in the first quarto edition of this play, Act IV.:

"Is dearly bought, as mine," &c. instead of-is mine.

MALONE. The expression is somewhat elliptical: "The paper as the body," means-the paper resembles the body, is as the body.


But none can drive him from the envious plea
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.

JES. When I was with him, I have heard him swear,

To Tubal, and to Chus, his countrymen,
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh,
Than twenty times the value of the sum
That he did owe him and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.

POR. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trouble ?

BASS. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man, The best condition'd and unwearied spirit In doing courtesies; and one in whom The ancient Roman honour more appears, Than any that draws breath in Italy.


POR. What sum owes he the Jew? BASS. For me, three thousand ducats. POR. What, no more ? Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond; Double six thousand, and then treble that, Before a friend of this description Should* lose a hair through Bassanio's fault. First, go with me to church, and call me wife: And then away to Venice to your friend; For never shall you lie by Portia's side With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold To pay the petty debt twenty times over; When it is paid, bring your true friend along: My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time, Will live as maids and widows. Come, away; For you shall hence upon your wedding-day:

*So folio, and quarto, H.; shall, quarto, R.

4 Should lose a HAIR.] Hair is here used as a dissyllable.


« AnteriorContinuar »