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Enter PORTIA and NERISSA, at a distance.

Por. That light we see is burning in my hall;
How far that little candle throws its 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:

A substitute shines brightly as a king,
Until a king be by; and then his state
Empties himself, as doth the inland brook
Into the main of waters. Music! hark!

Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house
Por. Nothing is good I see without respect;
Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.
Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended; and, I think,
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.

How many things by season, season'd are,
To their right praise, and true perfection!

Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak'd!

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[Music ceases.

Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows the cuckoo,
By the bad voice.

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7" In such a night as this," &c.—All the stories here alluded to,— Troilus and Cressida, Pyramus and Thisbe, Dido and Æneas, Jason and Medea, are in Chaucer's Legend of Good Women. It is pleasant to see our great poet so full of his predecessor. He cannot help, however, inventing particulars not to be found in his original.

8 And sigh'd his soul, &c.

"The day go'th fast, and after that came eve,
And yet came not Troilus to Crescid:

He looketh forth by hedge, by tree, by greve (grove),
And far his head over the wall he laid."

Clarke's Chaucer, vol. ii., p. 151.

9" And saw the lion's shadow."-Thisbe in Chaucer does not see

the shadow before she sees the beast (a fine idea!); nor does she in Ovid. In both poets it is a lioness seen by moonlight.

"With bloody mouth, of strangling of a beast."

Cæde leæna boum spumantes oblita rictus.
Metam., lib. iv., v. 97.

10 Stood Dido with a willow in her hand."-The willow, a symbol of being forsaken, is not in Chaucer. It looks as if Shakspeare had seen it in a picture, where it would be more necessary than in a poem.

11" Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs."-Shakspeare has here gone from Chaucer to Gower. Warton, in his Observations on the Faerie Queene, vol. i., p. 361, edit. 1807, has noticed a passage in Gower's story, full of imagination. The poet is speaking of Medea going out upon the business noticed by Shakspeare.

Thus it fell upon a night,

When there was naught but starrie light,

She was vanish'd right as she list,

That no wight but herself wist,

And that was at midnight tide.
The world was still on every side.
With open head and foot all bare;
Her hair too spread, she 'gan to fare;
Upon her clothés girt she was,
And speecheless, upon the grass,

She glode* forth, as an adder doth.

12"There's not the smallest orb."-The "warbler of wood-notes wild" has here manifestly joined with Plato and other learned spirits to suggest to Milton his own account of the Music of the Spheres, which every reader of taste, I think, must agree with Mr. Knight in thinking "less perfect in sentiment and harmony."-Pictorial Shakspeare, vol. ii., p. 448. The best thing in it is what is observed by Warton: that the listening to the spheres is the recreation of the Genius of the Wood (the speaker) after his day's duty, "when the world is locked up in sleep and silence."

Glode, is glided. If Chaucer's contemporary had written often thus, his name would have been as famous.

Then listen I

To the celestial Sirens' harmony,

That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantine spindle round,

On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie
To lull the daughters of Necessity,

And keep unsteady Nature in her law,
And the low world in measur'd motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould, with gross unpurged ear.

Arcades, v. 62.

The best account I remember to have read of the Music of the Spheres is in the History of Music by Hawkins.

13 "Dear lady, welcome home."-Never was a sweeter or more fitting and bridal elegance, than in the whole of this scene, in which gladness and seriousness prettily struggle, each alternately yielding predominance to the other. The lovers are at once in heaven and earth. The new bride is "drawn home" with the soul of love in the shape of music; and to keep her giddy spirits down, she preached that little womanly sermon upon a good deed shining in a "naughty world." The whole play is, in one sense of the word, the most picturesque in feeling of all Shakspeare's. The sharp and malignant beard of the Jew (himself not unreconciled to us by the affections) comes harmlessly against the soft cheek of love.



Ant. Eros, thou yet behold'st me?

Eros. Ay, noble lord.

Ant. Sometime we see a cloud that's dragonish :

A vapor sometime; like a bear, or lion,

A tower'd citadel, a pendant rock,

A forked mountain, or blue promontory

With trees upon't that nod unto the world,

And mock our eyes with air; thou hast seen these signs;
They are black Vesper's pageants

Eros. Ay, my lord.

Ant That which is now a horse, even with a thought The rack dislimns; and makes it indistinct,

As water is in water.

Eros. It does, my lord.

Ant. My good knave, Eros, now thy captain is Even such a body :-here I am,-Antony

Yet cannot hold this shape.


Hotspur. My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my soul !

Sir Richard Vernon. Pray God, my news be worth a welcome, lord The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,

Is marching hitherwards; with him, Prince John.

Hot. No harm: what more?

Ver. And further, I have learn'd,

The king himself in person is set forth,

Or hitherwards intended speedily,

With strong and mighty preparation.

Hot. He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,

The nimble-footed mad-cap Prince of Wales,

And his comrades, that daff'd the world aside,
And bid it pass?

Ver. All furnish'd, all in arms,

All plum'd like estridges that wing the wind;
Bated like eagles having lately bath'd;
Glittering in golden coats, like images;
As full of spirit as the month of May
And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;
Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls,
I saw young Harry, with his beaver on,
His cuises on his thighs, gallantly arm'd,-
Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,

And witch the world with noble horsemanship.

Hot. No more, no more; worse than the sun in March,

This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come;

They come like sacrifices in their trim,

And to the fire-ey'd maid of smoky war,

All hot, and bleeding, will we offer them;
The mailed Mars shall on his altar sit,

Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire,

To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh,

And yet not ours :-Come, let me take my horse,

Who is to bear me, like a thunder-bolt,

Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales:

Harry to Harry shall, hot (query not?) horse to horse,14
Meet, and ne'er part, till one drop down a corse.

14 66

Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse.”—I cannot help think, ing that the word hot in this line ought to be not. "Hot horse to horse" is not a very obvious mode of speech, and it is too obvious an image. The horses undoubtedly would be hot enough. But does not Hotspur mean to say that the usual shock of horses will not be sufficient for the extremity of his encounter with the Prince of Wales; their own bodies are to be dashed together, and not merely the horses:

14 Harry to Harry shall, not horse to horse :

so closely does he intend that their combat shall hug.



(Jachimo, dared by Imogen's husband to make trial of her fidelity, hides in her chamber in order to bring away pretended proofs against it.)

Imo. (reading in bed.) Who's there? my woman Helen?
Lady. Please you, madam.

Imo. What hour is it?

Lady. Almost midnight, madam.

Imo. I have read three hours then: mine eyes are weak:


Fold down the leaf where I have left:-to
Take not away the taper; leave it burning:
And if thou canst awake by four o' the clock,
I prithee, call me. Sleep hath seized me wholly.

[Exit Lady.

To your protection I commend me, Gods!
From fairies, and the tempters of the night,

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