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But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
The private wound is deepest: O time most accurst!

'Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst !” Proteus, struck to the heart, exclaims :

• My shame and guilt confound me.
Forgive me, Valentine: if hearty sorrow
Be a sufficient ransom for offence,
I tender it here; I do as truly suffer,

As e'er I did commit."
Valentine nobly replies:

“ Then I am paid;
And once again I do receive thee honest.
Who by repentance is not satisfied
Is nor of heaven nor earth; for these are pleased;

By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeased.” Next comes the pairing communion of Helena and Hermia, so inimitably described by the former, when shrinking from a threatened breach:

“ Is all the counsel that we two have shared,

The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us, — O, and is all forgot ?
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence ?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Ilave with our neelds created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key;
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds,
Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet a union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem ;
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart,
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.

And will you rend our ancient love asunder ?” A still more charming instance of female friendship " whose loves were dearer than the natural bond of sisters is that which joins Celia and Rosalind in “ As You Like It.” When Oliver asks “if Rosalind, the Duke's daughter, be banished with her father,” Charles answers, “0, no; for the Duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her, - being ever from their cradles bred together, – that she would have followed

her exile, or have died to stay behind her.” A delicious, confidential dialogue follows between the two friends. "Cel. Why, cousin ; why, Rosalind; Cupid have mercy! - Not a word ? " Ros. Not one to throw at a dog. "Cel. No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs, throw some of them at me ; come, lame me with reasons. * Ros. Then there were two cousins laid up." The

usurper now comes in, full of anger.

Duke. Mistress, despatch you with your safest haste, And get you from our court.

Me, uncle ?

You, cousin.

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" Duke.

Cel. Dear sovereign, hear me speak.

Duke. Ay, Celia ; we stayed her for your sake,
Else had she with her father ranged along.

Cel. I did not then entreat to have her stay;
It was your pleasure, and your own remorse.
I was too young that time to value her;
But now I know her. If she be a traitor,
Why, so am I; we still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learned, played, ate together ;
And wheresoe'er we went, like Juno's swans,
Still we went coupled and inseparable.

" Duke. She is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness,
Her very silence, and her patience,
Speak to the people, and they pity her.
Thou art a fool : she robs thee of thy name;
And thou wilt show more bright, and seem more virtuous,

When she is gone. Then open not thy lips.” It is beautiful to see how utterly the detestable meanness of this appeal fails of its intended effect on the noble and indignant Celia. As soon as the Duke retires, she embraces her friend, and cries :

“O my poor Rosalind ! whither wilt thou go?
Wilt thou change fathers ? I will give thee mine.
I charge thee, be not thou more grieved than I am.
6 Ros. I have more cause.

Thou hast not, cousin :
Prythee, be cheerful. Know'st thou not, the Duke
Hath banished me, his daughter ?

Ros. That he hath not.

Cel. No ? hath not ? Rosalind lacks then the love Which teacheth me that thou and I am one:


Shall we be sundered ? Shall we part, sweet girl ?
No; let my father seek another heir.
Therefore, devise with me how we may fly,
Whither to go, and what to bear with us :
And do not seek to take your change upon you,
To bear your griefs yourself, and leave me out.
For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale,

Say what thou canst, I 'll go along with thee." In the “ Merchant of Venice,” the friendship of the sad, noble, good, old Antonio, and the bright, graceful, high, young Bassanio, is every way rich in beauty ; but there is nothing connected with it more delightful, than the manner in which it is reflected in the bearing and remarks of those around. Although entirely unobtrusive, it is so profound, exerts such a charm, that they all unconsciously become mirrors of it. And the exhibition of their direct relation and intercourse may challenge comparison with anything else of the kind in literature. Not a word is above or below the moderation of nature and life, and every line seems to breathe the very fragrance of truth and love into the soul of the reader. How finely their first appearance and conversation, at the close of the first scene, prepare us for what is to come! Through the aid of Antonio, Bassanio gets an outfit from Shylock, and goes to Belmont. He is fortunate, and wins the hand of Portia. In the midst of his joy, Salerio brings a letter from Antonio. Bassanio eagerly cries to him:

"Ere I ope

his letter, I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.” Gratiano converses with Salerio, and Portia watches Bassanio while he reads.

Portia. There are some shrewd contents in yon same paper,
That steal the color 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 anything
That this same paper brings you.

O sweet Portia
Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,

Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart. When I told you
My state was nothing, I should have told you
That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,
I have engaged myself to a dear friend,
Engaged my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady;
The paper as the body of my friend,

every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood. — But is it true, Salerio ?
Have all his ventures failed ? 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

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

Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
The best conditioned and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honor more appears


that draws breath in Italy.
* Por. What sum owes he the Jew ?
Bass. For me, three thousand ducats.
6 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.

But let me hear the letter of your friend.”

Bassanio then reads the letter from Antonio, pathetic enough to distil tears out of stones :

Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit ; and since, in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and I, if I might but see you at my death : notwithstanding, use your pleasure ; if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter."

Well might Portia burst forth :

“ O love, despatch all business, and be gone." VOL. LXXIII. 5TH S. VOL. XI. NO. II.


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In the next scene Antonio says:

“ These griefs and losses have so 'bated me,

That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
To-morrow to my bloody creditor.
Well, jailer, on. Pray God, Bassanio come

To see me pay his debt, and then I care not.” After Bassanio's departure with the money, Lorenzo says to Portia :

“ Madam, knew you to whom you show this honor,
How true a gentleman you send relief,
How dear a lover of my lord your husband,
I know you would be prouder of the work

Than customary bounty can enforce you."
She replies, most becomingly:

"I never did repent for doing good,

Nor shall not now ; for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must be needs a like proportion
Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit;
Which makes me think that this Antonio,
Being the bosom lover of my lord,
Must needs be like


lord.” In the trial scene, ere the fatal sentence falls, the disguised Portia asks Antonio :

“ Come, merchant, have you anything to say ?

“ Ant. But little ; I am armed, and well prepared. Give me your hand, Bassanio; fare


Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you:
For herein fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom. It is still her use
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
An age of poverty; from which lingering penance
Of such misery doth she cut me off.
Commend me to your honorable wife :
Tell her the process of Antonio's end ;
Say, how I loved you ; speak me fair in death :
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge,
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent not


shall lose your friend,
And he repents not that he pays your debt;
For, if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.

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