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Por.

Mark you

but that! In both my eyes he doubly sees himself :

In each eye one ;—swear by your double self,
235 And there's an oath of credit.
Bass.

Nay, but hear me ;
Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear,
I never more will break an oath with thee.

Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth ;
Which, but for him that had your husband's ring,

[To PORTIA. 240 Had quite miscarried : I dare be bound again,

My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
Will never more break faith advisedly.

Por. Then you shall be his surety : Give him this ;

And bid him keep it better than the other. 245 Ant. Here, Lord Bassanio ; swear to keep this ring.

Bass. By Heaven, it is the same I gave the doctor !

Por. I had it of him : You are all amaz’d;
Here is a letter, read it at your leisure ;

It comes from Padua, from Bellario :
250 There you shall find, that Portia was the doctor;

Nerissa there, her clerk : Lorenzo here
Shall witness, I set forth as soon as you,
And but e'en now return'd; I have not yet

Enter'd my house.—Antonio, you are welcome ; 255 And I have better news in store for you

Than you expect : unseal this letter soon ;
There you shall find, three of your argosies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly :

You shall not know by what strange accident
260 I chanced on this letter.
Ant.

I am dumb.
Bass. Were you the doctor, and I knew you not ?
Gra. Were you the clerk, that is to make me jealous ?

Ner. Ay ; but the clerk that never means to do it,
Unless he live until he be a man.

238. Wealth, i.e., weal, wellbeing, advantage.

265

Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life, and living ;
For here I read for certain, that my ships
Are safely come to road.
Por.

How now, Lorenzo ?
My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.

Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee.270 There do I give to you and Jessica,

From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
After his death, of all he dies possess'd of.

Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
Of starved people.
Por.

It is almost morning, 275 And yet, I am sure, you are not satisfied

Of these events at full : Let us go in;
And charge us there upon inter'gatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Well, while I live, I'll fear no other thing 280 So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.

[Exeunt.

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The Castle of Chillon, on the Lake of Geneva, and partly surrounded by its waters, belonged, in the early part of the sixteenth century, to the Dukes of Savoy. From 1530 to 1536, a patriotic citizen of Geneva, Francis Bonni. vard, was confined in it, until he was released by the Bernese, who took the castle and the whole Pays de Vaud from the Eavoyards. Byron, when he wrote his poem on two rainy days at the village of Ouchy, near the castle, did not know much of the history of Bonnivard, and largely drew upon his imagination for the materials. The poem is vigorous, passionate, and pathetic, but like too many of Byron's hurried productions, rather loose and irregular in its diction. It does not always bear a searching investigation and a critical analysis.

I.

My hair is grey, but not with years,

Nor grew it white

In a single night,
As men's have grown from sudden fears :
5 My limbs are bow'd, though not with toil,

But rusted with a vile repose,
For they have been a dungeon's spoil,

And mine has been the fate of those
4. As men's have grown. The plural have refers to the singular hair.

To whom the goodly earth and air
10 Are bann'd, and barr’d-forbidden fare ;

But this was for my father's faith,
I suffered chains and courted death ;
That father perish'd at the stake

For tenets he would not forsake ; 15 And for the same his lineal race

In darkness found a dwelling-place.
We were seven—who now are one,

Six in youth, and one in age,
Finish'd as they had begun,
20 Proud of Persecution's rage ;

One in fire, and two in field,
Their belief with blood have seal'd,
Dying as their father died,

For the God their foes denied ; 25 Three were in a dungeon cast,

Of whom this wreck is left the last.

II.

There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old,

There are seven columns, massy and gray, 30 Dim with a dull imprison'd ray

A sunbeam which hath lost its way,
And through the crevice and the cleft
Of the thick wall is fallen and left,

Creeping o'er the floor so damp,
35 Like a marsh's meteor lamp
And in each pillar there is a ring,

And in each ring there is a chain ;

11. Bonnivard adopted the reformed doc- nor is it at all clear what kind of distinction, trine. Byron's expressions, however, leave if any, is to be made here. it doubtful to which faith the prisoner belonged

32. Crevice and cleft seem to be here 29. Pillars and columns are Synonymes, Synonymous, like pillar and column.

N

That iron is a cankering thing,

For in these limbs its teeth remain, 40 With marks that will not wear away,

Till I have done with this new day,
Which now is painful to these eyes,
Which have not seen the sun to rise

For years—I cannot count them o'er, 45 I lost their long and heavy score

When my last brother droop'd and died,
And I lay living by his side.

III.

They chain'd us each to a column stone,

And we were three-yet each alone : 50 We could not move a single pace,

We could not see each other's face,
But with that pale and livid light
That made us strangers in our sight;

And thus together—yet apart,
55 Fetter'd in hand, but pined in heart;

'Twas still some solace in the dearth
Of the pure elements of earth,
To hearken to each other's speech,

And each turn comforter to each
60 With some new hope, or legend old,

Or song heroically bold.
But even these at length grew cold ;
Our voices took a dreary tone,
An echo of the dungeon stone,

39 and 42. These.-See Milton, I. 113, note.

52. With that pale and livid light.-Adjunct to the Prin. Sent., 'Twas still some solace to hearken, &c.

65. Fetter'd and pined must be joined

grammatically with for us, understood before hearken. The structure of the sentence generally is loose.

55. But.-The adversative force of the Adversative Conjunction is not perceptible.

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