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Dum. O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife? Kath. Not so, my lord.—A twelvemonth and a day I'll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say. Come when the king doth to my lady come; Then, if I have much love, I’ll give you some. Dum. I’ll serve thee true and faithfully till then. Kath. Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn again. Long. What says Maria P. Mar. At the twelvemonth’s end, I’ll change my black gown for a faithful friend. Long. I’ll stay with patience; but the time is long. Mar. The liker you; few taller are so young. Biron. Studies my lady? Mistress, look on me; Behold the window of my heart, mine eye, What humble suit attends thy answer there. Impose some service on me for thy love. Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Birón, Before I saw you; and the world's large tongue Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks; Full of comparisons and wounding flouts; Which you on all estates will execute, That lie within the mercy of your wit. To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain, And, therewithal, to win me, if you please, Without the which I am not to be won,) ou shall this twelvemonth term from day to day Visit the speechless sick, and still converse With groaning wretches; and your task shall be, With all the fierce endeavor of your wit, To enforce the pained impotent to smile. Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death P It cannot be ; it is impossible. Mirth cannot move a soul in agony. Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit, Whose influence is begot of that loose grace, Which shallow, laughing hearers give to fools. A jest's prosperity lies in the ear Of him that hears it, never in the tongue Of him that makes it. Then, if sickly ears.
Deafed with the clamors of their own dear' groans,
Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me, Prin. Was not that Hector P Dum. The worthy knight of Troy. Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger and take leave. I am a votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled, in praise of the owl and the cuckoo P it should have followed in the end of our show. King. Call them forth quickly; we will do so. Arm. Holla! Approach.
Enter HoloFERNES, NATHANIEL, MoTH, Costard, and others.
This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo Wer, begin.
1 Dear; used by ancient writers to express pain, solicitude, &c. .
Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,
are called “in English cuckoo flowers, in Norfolk Canterbury bells, and at Namptwich, in Cheshire, Ladie-smocks.”
When all aloud the wind doth blow,
Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way: [Exeunt.
1 This wild English apple, roasted and put into ale, was a very favorite indulgence in old times. 2 To keel, or kele, is to cool.
IN this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our Poet, it must be confessed that there are many passages mean, childish, and vulgar; and some which ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspeare.
“THE Merchant of Venice,” says Schlegel, “is one of Shakspeare's most perfect works; popular to an extraordinary degree, and calculated to produce the most powerful effect on the stage, and at the same time a wonder of ingenuity and art for the reflecting critic. Shylock, the Jew, is one of the inconceivable masterpieces of characterization of which Shakspeare alone furnishes us with examples. It is easy for the poet and the player to exhibit a caricature of national sentiments, modes of speaking, and gestures. Shylock, however, is every thing but a common Jew; he possesses a very determinate and original individuality, and yet we perceive a slight touch of Judaism in every thing which he says or does. We imagine we hear a sprinkling of the Jewish pronunciation in the mere written words, as we sometimes still find it in the higher classes, notwithstanding their social refinement. In tranquil situations, what is foreign to the European blood and Christian sentiments, is less perceivable; but in passion, the national stamp appears more strongly marked. All these inimitable niceties the finished art of a great actor can alone properly express. Shylock is a man of information, even a thinker in his own way; he has only not discovered the region where human feelings dwell: his morality is founded on the disbelief in goodness and magnanimity. The desire of revenging the oppressions and humiliations suffered by his nation is, after avarice, his principal spring of action. His hate is naturally directed chiefly against those Christians who possess truly Christian sentiments; the example of disinterested love of our neighbor seems to him the most unrelenting persecution of the Jews. The letter of the law is his idol; he refuses to lend an ear to the voice of mercy, which speaks to him from the mouth of Portia with heavenly eloquence; he insists on severe and inflexible justice, and it at last recoils on his own head. Here he becomes a symbol of the general history of his unfortunate nation. The melancholy and self-neglectful magnanimity of Antonio is affectingly sublime. Like a royal merchant, he is surrounded with a whole train of noble friends. The contrast which this forms