Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold ;, Lor. Your busband is at hand, I bear bis There's not the smallest orb, which thou be

trumpet ; hold'st,

We are no tell-tales, madam ; fear you not. But in his motion like an angel sings,

Por. This night, metbinks, is but the day Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims :

Jigbt sick, Such harmony is in immortal souls ;

It looks a little paler ; 'is a day, But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay

Such as the day is, when the sun is hid. Doth grossly close it in, we cannot bear it.

Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and Enter Musicians.

their Followers. Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn ; Bass. We should hold day with the AntiWith sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,

podes, And draw her home with music.

If you would walk in absence of the sun. Jes. I am never merry, when I hear sweet Por. Let me give light, but let me not be music.

[Music.

light; Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive : For a light wife doth make a heavy husband, For do but note a wild and wanton herd,

And never be Bassanio so for me, Or race of youthful and unbandled colts, But God sort all! You are welcome bome, my Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neigbing

lord. loud,

Bass. I thank you, madam: give welcome to which is the hot condition of their blond;

my friend.If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, This is the man, this is Antonio, Or any ait of music touch their ears,

To whom I am so tutinitely bound. You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Por. You should in all sense be much bound Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze,

to him, By the sweet power of music : Therefore, the poet for, as I hear, he was much bound for you. Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and Ant. No more tban I am well acquitted of. floods ;

Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house : Since nought so stockish, bard, and full of rage, it must appear in other ways than words, But music for the time doth change his nature : Therefore i scant this breatbing courtesy. The man that hath no music in himself,

(GRATIANO and NERISSA seem to talk apart. Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils ;

wrong ; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk : And his affectious dark as Erebus :

Would be were gelt that had it, for my part, Let no such man be trusted.-Mark the music.

Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.

Por. A quarrel, ho, already? what's the Enter PORTIA and Nerissa at a distance.

matter 1 Por. That light we see, is burning in iny hall. Gra. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring How far that little candle throws his beams ! That she did give me ; whose posy was So shines a good deed in a naughty world. For all the world, like cutler's poetry Ner. When the moon sbone, we did not see Upon a knife, Love me, and leave me not. the candle.

Ner. What, talk you of the posy, or the value ? Por. So doth the greater glory dim the less : You swore to me, when I did give it you, A substitute shines brightly as a king,

That you would wear it till your hour of death : Until a king be by; and then his state

And that it should lie with you in your grave : Empties itself, as doth an inland brook

Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, Into the main of waters. Music l bark !

You should have been respective † and have Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house.

kept it. Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect ; Gave it a judge's clerk !--but well I know, Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day. The clerk will ne'er wear hair on his face that Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.

bad it. Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the Gra. He will, an if he live to be a man. Jark,

Ner, Ay, if a woman, live to be a man. When neither is attended ; and, I think,

Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth, The nightingale, if she should sing by day, A kind of boy ; a little scrubbed boy, When every goose is cackling, would be thought No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk ; No better a musician than the wren.

A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee; How many things by season season'd are I could not for my heart deny it him. To their right praise and true perfection

Por. You were to blame, I must be plain Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endyinion,

with you, And would not be awak'd ! (Music ceases. To part so slightly with your wife's first gist; Lor. That is the voice,

A tbing stuck on with oatbs upon your finger, Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia.

And riveted so with faith unto your fesh. Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows I gave my love a ring, and made him swear the cuckoo,

Never to part with it; and here he stands; By the bad voice.

I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it, Lor. Dear lady, welcome home.

Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth Por. We have been praying for our husbauds' That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano, welfare,

You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief; Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. An 'twere to me, I would be mad at it. Are they return'd ?

Bass. Why, I were best to cut my left hand Lor. Madam, they are not yet ;

And swear, I lost the ring defending it. (off, But there is come a messenger before,

(Aside. To signify their coming.

Gra, My lord Bassanio gave his ring away Por. Go in, Nerissa,

Unto the judge that begg'd it, and, indeed, Give order to my servants that they take

Deserv'd it too ; and then the boy, his clerk, No note at all of our being absent hence ; That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine : Nor you, Lorenzo ;-Jessica, nor you.

Aud neither man nor master, would take aught [A tucket + sounds. But the two rings.

Por. What ring gave you, my lord ? • A small flat dish, used in the administration of the Not ibat, I hope, which you receiv'd of me. Euchanst---or, according to Warburton, plates of gold Bass. If I could add a lie unto a fault, borne in heraldry.

A flourish ou a trumpet.

• Verbal, complimentary form. + Regardfus

this ;

I would deny it; but you see, my finger

Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth ;' Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone.

Whicb, but for him that bad your husband's rink, Por. Even so void is your false beart of truth.

(To PORTIA. By heaven I will ne'er come in your bed Had quite iniscarried: 1 dare be bound again, Until I see the ring.

My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord Ner. Nor I in your's,

Will never more break faith advisedly, Till I again see mine.

Por. Then you shall be his surely : Give himn Bass. Sweet Portia, If you did know to whom I gave the ring, And bid bim keep it better than the other. If you did know for whom gave the ring, Ant. Here, lord Bassaniu ; swear to keep this And would conceive for what I gave the ring,

ring. And how unwillingly I left the ring,

Bass. By heaven, it is the same I gave the Wben naught would be accepted but the ring,

doctor! You would abate the strength of your displea- Por, I had it of him : pardon me, Bassanio ; sure.

For by this ring the doctor lay with me. Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring, Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano; Or half her worthiness that gave the ring, For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk, Or your own honour to contain the ring,

In lieu of this, last nigbt did lie with me. You would not then bave parted with the ring. Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highWhat man is there so much unreasonable,

ways If you had pleas'd to have defended it

In sirmer, where the ways are fair enough ; With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty What! are we cuckolds, ere we have desery'd To urge the thing held as a ceremony? Nerissa teaches nie what to believe ;

Por. Speak not so grossly.--You are all I'll die for't, but some woman had the ring.

amaz'd: Buss. No, by mine bonour, madam, by my Here is a letter, read it at your leisure ; soul,

It comes from Padua, from Bellario, No woman had it, but a civil doctor,

There you shall find, that Portia was the doctor; Wbich did refuse three thousand ducats of me, Nerissa there, her clerk : Lorenzo here And begy'd the ring ; the which I did deny him, Shall witness, I set forth as soon as you, And suffer'd bim to go displeas'd away ;

And but even now return'd; I have not yet Even he that had held up the very life

Enter'd my house.- Antonio, you are welcome ; of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet Aud I have better news in store for you, lady?

Than you expect : unseal this letter soon; I was enforc'd to send it after him ;

There you shall find, three of your argosies I was beset with sbame and courtesy ;

Are richly come to harbour suddenly : My honour would not let ingratitude

You shall not know by wbat strange accident Só much besmear it: Pardon me, good lady ; I chanced on this letter, For, by these blessed candles of the night,

Ant. I am domb. Had you been there, I think you would have Bass. Were you the doctor, and I knew you begg'd

not? The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.

Gra. Were you the clerk, that is to make me Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near niy

cuckoldt house ;

Ner. Ay; but the clerk that never nieans to Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd,

do it, And that which you did swear to keep for me, Unless he live until he be a man. I will become as liberal as you :

Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bed. I'll not deny hiin any thing I have,

fellow; No, not my body, nor my husband's bed : When I am absent, then lie with my wife. Know him I shall, I am well sure of it:

Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life, and Lie not a night from home; watch me, like

living; Argus :

For here I read for certain, that my ships
If you do not, if I be left alone,

Are safely come to road.
Now, by mine honour, which is yet my own, Por. How now, Lorenzo ?
I'll have that doctor for my bedrellow.

My clerk bath some good comforts too for you. Ner. Avd i his clerk ; therefore be well ad- Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a Vis'd,

Tbere do I give to you, and Jessica, (ree. How you do leave me to mine own protection. From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, Gra. Well, do you so : let me not take bim After bis death, of all he dies possess'd of. then ;

Lor. Fair ladies, you drop nauna in the way For, if I do, i'll mar the young clerk's pen.

of starved people. Ant.

I am the unhappy subject of these Por. It is almost morning,
quarrels.

And yet, I am sure, you are not satisfied Por. Sir, grieve not you ; You are welcome of these events at full : Let us go in ; notwithstanding.

And charge us there upon intergatories, Bass. Portia, forgive me this enforced and we will answer all things faithfully. wrong;

Gra. Let it be so : The first intergatory And, in the bearing of these many friends, That my Nerissa shall be sworn on, is, I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes, Whether till the next night she had rather stay, Wherein I see myself,

Or go to bed now, being two hours to-day : Por. Mark you but that!

But were the day come, I should wish it dark, In both my eyes he doubly sees bimself: That I were couching with the doctor's clerk. In each eye, one :-swear by your double self, Well, while I live, I'll fear no other thing And there's an oath of credit.

So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring. Buss. Nay, but hear me :

(Exeunt. Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear, I never more will break an oath with thee.

• Advantago.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. THE fable of this play (written in 1603) was taken from the Promos and Cassandra of George Whetstone. That pro

duction is described as very meagre and insipid, though forming a complete embryo of Measure for Measure; and if the genius of Shakspeare enabled him to avoid the faults of his modelist, by imparting a greater degree of interest to his own drama, it did not give him strength to resist the besetting sin of his pieces--an indulgence in obscenity, buffoonery, and quibble. Some portion of this would naturally result from the indelicate and improbable incident which he took for the ground-work of his plot. Such an occurrence could only be wrought into a catastrophe, by the introduction of agents whom morality condemus, and by the use of allusions at which modesty revolts. But neither the necessities of the story, nor the purposes of entertainment,can justify such a strange admixture of pathetic contingencies and unmeaning trifles---of ennobling sentiment and disgusting ribaldry as are exhibited in this piece. Still the moral is of excellent application; since there are few situations of life in which delegated authority is not rapable of abuse. Satire may fail in restraining tyranny, and precept in correcting intolerance; but they teach mankind the De cessity of caution in conferring power, by shewing "the fantastie tricks" which mortals are prone to play, when “ dressed in a little authority," and entrusted with“ the thunder of Jove." Though Shakspeare wrote to gratify monarchs, he never descended to palliate oppression ; and in the scene between Angelo and Isabella, where the latter pleads for her Vrother's life, the reader will meet with another eloquent vindication of the principles of justice and huma pity---differing from the speech of Portia, on a somewhat similar occasion, but excellently opposed to that mild and dispassionate appeal, by the cutting and indignant sarcasm with which it lashes " the insolence of office.” Dr. Johnson animadverts upon the peculiarities of the play, and thus decides upon its merits : “ The light or comic part is very natural and pleasing ; but the grave scenes (a few passages excepted) have more labour than elegance. The plot is more iutricate thau artful."

DRAMATIS PERSON VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.

FROTH, a Foolish Gentleman. ANGELO, Lord Deputy in the Duke's ab. CLOWN, Servant to Mrs. Over-none. sence.

ABHORSON, an Erecutioner. Escalos, an ancient Lord, joined with Ange- BARNARDINB, a dissolute Prisoner.

lo in the deputation. Claudio, a young Gentlemen. Lucio, a Fantastic.

ISABELLA, Sister to Claudio. Two other like Gentleman.

MARIANA, betrothed to Angelo. VaRrius, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke. Juliet, beloved by Claudio. PROVOST,

FRANCISCA, a Nun.

MRS. OVER-DONE, a Bawd.
Tuomas, } Two Friars.
A JUSTICE

Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Oficers, and Elbow, a simple Constable.

other Attendants. SCENE-Vienna.

ACT I.

But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is

able, SCENE I.-An apartment in the Duke's And let them work. The nature of our people, Palace.

Our city's institutions, aud the terms Enter DURE, Escalus, Lords, and Atten. For common justice, you are ag pregnant + in,

As art and practice bath enriched any dants.

That we remember : There is our commission, Duke. Escalus,

From wbich we would not have you warp.-Escal. My lord.

Call bither, Duke, or government the properties to un- I say, bid come before as Angelo. fold,

(Exit an Attendant. Would seem in me to affect speech and dis- What figure of us think you he will bear?

course : Since I am put to know, that your own sciente,

For you must know, we have with special scal

Elected bim our absence to supply; Exceeds, in that the lists, of all advice

Lent him our terror, drest hiun with our love ; My strength can give you; Then no more reinainis

+ This is a cout-orerted passage ; and es uninteiligible • Bounds.

• Full of

as ever.

[graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »