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Lor. That is the voice, Or I am much deceiv’d, of Portia. Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows the

cuckow, By the bad voice. Lor. Dear lady, welcome home. Por. We have been praying for our husband's

healths, Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. Are they return'd ?

Lor. Madam, they are not yet;
But there is come a messenger before,
To fignify their coming.

Por. Go, Nerissa,
Give order to my servants, that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence;
Nor you, Lorenzo; Jesica, nor you. [A Tucket sounds.

Lor. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet: We are no tell-tales, Madam, fear

Por. This night, methinks, is but the day-light sick; It looks a little paler; 'tis a day, Such as the day is when the sun is hid. Enter Bassanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their fol

lowers. Bas. We should hold day with the Antipodes, If you would walk in absence of the sun.

Por. Let me give light, but let me not be light; For a light wife doth make a heavy husband; And never be Bassanio fo from me; But God sort all! you're welcome home, my lord. Bal. I thank you, Madam: give welcome to my

friend; This is the man, this is Anthonio, To whom I am so infinitely bound. Por. You should in all 'sense be much bound to

him; For, as I hear, he was much bound for



you not.

you are


Anth. No more than I am well acquitted of.
Por. Sir,

very welcome to our house;
It must appear in other ways than words;
Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.
Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you

do me wrong; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk.

[To Nerissa. Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.

Por. A quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter?

Gra. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring,
That she did give me, whose poesy was
For all the world like cutler's poetry
Upon a knife; Love me, and leave me not.

Ner. What talk you of the poesy, or the value ?
You swore to me, when I did give it you,
That you would wear it 'till your hour of death,
And that it should lie with you in your grave:
Tho' not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
You should have been respective, and have kept it.
Gave it a Judge's clerk! but well I know,
The clerk will neer wear hair on's face, that had it.

Gra. He will, an' if he live to be a man.
Ner. Ay, if a woman live to be a man.

Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy,
No higher than thyself, the Judge's clerk ;
A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee:
I could not for my heart deny it him.

Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
To part so slightly with your wife's first gift;
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And riveted with faith unto


flesh. I gave my love a ring, and made him swear Never to part with it, and here he stands, I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it, Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,


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You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief;
An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it.

Baf. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off, And swear, Í lost the ring defending it. [Aside.

Gra. My lord Bassanio gave his ring away
Unto the judge that begg'd it, and, indeed,
Desery'd it too ; and then the boy, his clerk,
That took some pains in writing, He begg'd mine ;
And neither man, nor master, would take aught
But the two rings.

Por. What ring gave you, my lord ?
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me.

Bal. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
I would deny it; but you see my finger
Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone .

Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed
Until I see the ring.

Ner. Nor I in yours, 'Till I again see mine,

Baff. Sweet Portia,
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I gave the ring,
And would conceive for what I gave the ring,
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When nought would be accepted but the ring,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure.

Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,

your own honour to retain the ring, You would not then have parted with the ring. What man is there fo much unreasonable, If you had pleas'd to have defended it With any terms of zeal, iwanted the modesty To urge the thing held as a ceremony? Nerisa teaches me what to believe ; I'll die for't, but some woman had the ring. Baf. No, by mine honour, Madam, by my soul,



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No woman had it, but a Civil Doctor,

Who did refuse three thousand ducats of me, | And begg'd the ring; the which I did deny him,

And suffer'd him to go displeas'd away ;
Ev'n he, that did uphold the very life

dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady?
I was enforc'd to send it after him ;
I was beset with shame and courtesy;
My honour would not let ingratitude
So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady,
And by these blessed candles of the night,
Had you been there, I think, you would have begg’d
The ring of me to give the worthy Doctor.

Por. Let not that Doctor e'er come near my house, Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd, . And that which you did swear to keep for me :

I will become as liberal as you ;
I'll not deny him any thing I have,
No, not my body, nor my husband's bed;
Know him I shall, I am well sure of it.
Lie not a night from home ; watch me, like Argus
If you do not, if I be left alone,
Now, by mine honour, which is yet my own,
I'll have that Doctor for my bedfellow.

Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis'd, How you do leave me to mine own protection.

Gra. Well, do you so ; let me not take him then ; For if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's

pen. Anth. I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels. Por. Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome, not

Bal. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong.
And in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, ey'n by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see myself

but that!
In both mine eyes he doubly sees himself;
In each eye, one; swear by your double felf,
And there's an oath of credit!



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

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

[To Portia. Had quite miscarry’d. 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.

Anth. Here, lord Basanio, swear to keep this ring. Bas. By heav'n, it is the same I gave the Doctor,

Por. I had it of him : pardon me, Bassanio; For by this ring the Doctor lay with me.

Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano, For that same scrubbed boy, the Doctor's clerk, In lieu of this, last night did lie with me.

Gra. Why, this is like the mending of high-ways
In summer, where the ways are fair enough:
What are we cuckolds, 'ere we have deferv'd it?

Por. Speak not so grofly , you are all amaz'd;
Here is a letter, read it at your leisure ;
It comes from Padua, from Bellario :
There you shall find, that Portia was the Doctor;
Nerissa there, her clerk. Lorenzo, here,
Shail witness I set forth as soon as you,

but now return'd: I have not yet
Enter'd my house. Anthonio, you are welcome ;
And I have better news in store for you,
Than you expect ; unseal this letter foon,
There you shall find, three of your Argofies
Are richly come to Harbour suddenly.
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chanced on this letter.

Anth. I am dumb.
Baf. Were you the Doctor, and I knew you not?



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