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BIANCA

Baptista. Gentlemen, importune me no further, For how I firmly am resolved

am resolved you know; That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter Before I have a husband for the elder.

Bianca, get you in :
And let it not displease thee, good Bianca;
For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.

Katharina. A pretty peat! ?tis best
Put finger in the eye—an she knew why.
Bianca. Sister, content you

in
my

discontent.
Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe:
My books and instruments shall be my company;
On them to look, and practise by myself.

Lucentio. Hark, Tranio! thou may'st hear Minerva speak.
Hortensio. Signior Baptista, will you

be so strange?
Sorry am I that our good-will effects
Bianca's grief.

[Aside.

*

[Exit Bianca.

Baptista. Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolved:
Go in, Bianca.
And, for I know she taketh most delight
In music, instruments, and poetry,
Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
Or, Signior Gremio,

you

know
Prefer them hither; for to cunning men
I will be very kind, and liberal
To mine own children in good bringing up;
And so farewell. Katharina, you may stay;
For I have more to commune with Bianca.

any such,

TAMING OF THE SHREW.-Act 1. Scene I. BIANCA

Baptista. Messieurs, n'insistez pas davantage; vous connaissez ma ferme résolution de n'accorder à personne la main de ma fille cadette avant d'avoir trouvé un mari pour mon aînée.

*

*

- Bianca, rentre; et que cela ne te fâche pas ma bonne Bianca; je ne t'en aimerai pas moins, ma fille.

Catharina. Jolie enfant gâtée! que ne lui a-t-on mis un doigt dans l'æil ? au moins elle pleurerait pour quelque chose.

Bianca. Ma scur, réjouissez-vous de mon affliction.—Mon père, je souscris humblement à votre volonté; mes livres et mes instruments seront ma société; j'étudierai et m'exercerai seule avec eux.

Lucentio. (à part, à Tranio.) Ecoute, Tranio; c'est Minerve qui parle.

Hortensio. Seigneur Baptista, pourquoi être si bizarre ? Je regrette que notre affection pour Bianca cause tous ses chagrins.

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Baptista. Messieurs, prenez-en votre parti; ma résolution est arrêtée. - Rentre, Bianca. (BIANCA s'éloigne.) Comme je sais que la musique, les instruments et la poésie font tous ses délices, je veux avoir chez moi des professeurs capables d'instruire sa jeunesse. Si vous en connaissez, Hortensio, ou vous, Grémio, envoyez-les-moi; je serai toujours bienveillant envers les hommes instruits, et je n'épargnerai rien pour donner à mes enfants une bonne éducation. Sur ce, adieu !—Catharina, tu peux rester, car j'ai à m'entretenir avec Bianca.

LA MÉCHANTE MISE À LA RAISON.- Acte I. Scène I.

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JESSICA.

“And in such a night Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,

Slander her love, and he forgave her." THE Merchant of Venice is generally esteemed one of the best of Shakspeare's dramas. It presents some finely wrought delineations of character, and is remarkably free from those apparent inconsistencies of time and place, which are frequently met with in many of his productions. He first introduces to us two friends, Antonio and BASSANIO, on whose mutual constancy, and unselfish regard to each other's welfare, much of the interest of the play depends. Indeed, on these traits of their character, nearly the entire plot is founded.

In PORTIA, who sustains a high position in several scenes, we have a fine specimen of the Heroines of Shakspeare; one on whom he has lavished great skill, to exhibit her to perfection. But, undoubtedly, the character of the drama is to be found in SHYLOCK, whose hatred to ANTONIO—

“For that in low simplicity,
He lends out money gratis, and brings down

The rate of usance here with us in Venice,” affords to the dramatist, materials for that splendid piece of word-painting which commences the fourth act.

“Pretty JESSICA” is the only daughter of SHYLOCK; and on her he depends, as he thinks, securely, for the safety of his ducats during his absence. But Jessica is deeply in love with LORENZO, who as equally returns the passion. She is prepared to sacrifice her father, her religion, and all

“Though I am a daughter to his blood,
I am not to his manners.

O Lorenzo,
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife,

Become a Christian, and thy loving wife.” Taking advantage of SHYLOCK's absence, whilst he is entertained by BASSANIO, and having secretly, by letter, informed LORENZO of her plans, she leaves SHYLOCK's house, disguised as a boy, and acts the part of torch-bearer to her lover, on his way to BASSANII's feast. If we would satisfy our curiosity as to the character of JESSICA, we must trust to LORENZO for, however, a by no means impartial description of her, which he tells GRATIANO, his friend :

“I love her heartily,
For she is wise, if I can judge of her.
And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true.

And true she is, as she hath prov'd herself.” In no part of the play does Shakspeare put Jessica forward as a prominent personage. She is painted as one of those happy, confiding mortals, whose soul is rapt in affectionate devotion to her LORENZO; and if we prefer any of the incidents in which she is mentioned, it is that of their residence at Belmont, Portia's house; and the bantering and playful dialogue in the avenue by moonlight. In this scene, there is a pleasing and airy lightness of character, which exhibits LORZNZO and JESSICA as perfectly happy in each other's society. The last act is closed by NERISSA, PORTIA'S maid, who had accompanied her mistress, disguised as a doctor's clerk, declaring to LORENZO

“There do I give to you, and Jessica,
From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
After his death, of all he dies possessed of.”

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