Page images

And never be Bafanio fo from me;
But God fort all : You are welcome Home, my Lord.

Baf. 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.

Ant. No more than I am well acquitted of.

Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our House; It must appear in other ways than Words; Therefore I scant this breathing Courtesie.

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, hoe, already; what's the Matter?

Gra. About a Hoop of Gold, a paltry Ring
That she did give me, whose Poesie was
For all the World like Cutler's Poetry
Upon a Knife; Love me, and leave not.

Ner. What talk you of the Poesie or the Value
You swore to me when I did give it you,
That you would wear it 'till the Hour of Death,
And that it should lye 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 ne'er wear Hair on's Face that had it.
Gra. He will, and if he live to be a Man.
Ner. If! 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 thy self, 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 youi ,
To part so slightly with your Wife's first Gift,
A thing stuck on with Oaths upon your Finger,
And so riveted with Faith unto your Flesh.
I gave my Love a Ring, and made him swear

Never to part with it; and here he stands,
I dare be sworn to him, he would not leave it,
Nor pluck it from his Finger for the Wealth
That the World masters. Now in Faith, Gratiano,
You give your Wife too unkind a Cause of Grief;
And 'twere to me I should be mad at it.

Bal. Why I were best to cut my left Hand off,
And swear I lost the Ring defending it.

Gra. My Lord Bassanio gave his Ring away
Unto the Judge that begg'd it, and indeed
Deserv'd it too; and then the Boy, his Clerk,
That took some Pains in Writing, be begg'd mine,
And neither Man nor Master would take ought
But the two Rings.

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

Ball. 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. And 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.

Bal. 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,'
Or your own Honour to contain the Ring,
You would not then have parted with the Ring.
What Man is there so much unreasonable,
If you had pleas'd to have defended it
With any Terms of Zeal, wanted 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.

Bal. Bal. No, by mine Honour, Madam, by my Soul, No Woman had it, but a civil Doctor, Which 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; Even he that had held up the very Life Of my dear Friend. What should I say, sweet Lady? I was inforc'd to send it after him ; I was beset with Shame and Courtefie; 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 beggd 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 Tewel 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. Lye not a Night from Home; watch me like Argos: ' If you do not, if I be left alone, Now by mine Honour, which is yet mine cwn, I'll have the Doctor for my Bedfellow.

Ner. And I his Clerk; therefore be well advis'd How you do leave me to mine own Prote&tion.

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

Ant. I am th' unhappy Subject of these Quarrels.

Por. Sir, grieve not you,
You are welcome notwithstanding.

Bal. Portia, forgive me this enforced Wrong,
And in the hearing of these many Friends,
I swear to thee, even by thine own fair Eyes,
Wherein I see my self-

Por. Mark you but that!
In both mine Eyes he doubly sees himself,
In each Eye one; swear by your double self,
And there's an Oath of Credit!


Baf. 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 thy Wealth, [To Bal.
Which but for him that had your Husband's Ring To Por.
Had quite miscarry'd. I dare be bound again,
My Soul upon the Forfeit, that your Lord
Will never more break Faith advisedly.

Pur. Then you shall be his Surety; give him this,
And bid him keep it better than the other.

Ant. Here Lord Bassanio, swear to keep this Ring.
Bal. By Heav'n it is the same I gave the Do&or.

Por. I had it of him: Pardon me, Bassanio;
For by this Ring the Do&or 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 lye with me.

Gra. Why, this is like the mending of High-ways
In Summer, where the Ways are fair enough:
What, are we Cuckolds e’er we have deserv'd it?

Por. Speak not so grolly; 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 Do&or,
Neriffa there her Clerk. Lorenzo here,
Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
And but even now return’d: I have not yet
Entred my House. Anthonio, you are welcome,
And I have better News in store for you
Than you expe&; unseal this Letter soon,
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.

Ant. I am dumb.
Bal. Were you the Doctor, and I knew you not?
Gra. Were you the Clerk that is to make me Cuckold

Ner. Ay, but the Clerk that never means to do it,
Unless he live until he be a Man.

Baf. Sweet Doctor, you shall be my Bedfellow; When I am absent, then lye with my Wife.

a of.

Ant. Sweet Lady, you have given me Life and Living;
For here I read for certain, that my Ships
Are safely come to Rhodes.
Por. How now, Lorenzo?
My Clerk hath some good Comforts too for you.

Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a Fee.
There do I give to you and Jeffica,
From the rich Few, 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,
And yet I am sure you are not satisfy'd
Of these Events at full. Let us go in,
And charge us there on Interrogatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be fo: the first Interrogatory
Thae my Nerisa shall be sworn on, is,
Whether 'till the next Night she had rather stay,
Or go to Bed, now being two Hours to Day.
But were the Day come, I should with it dark,
'Till I were couching with the Doctor's Clerk.
Well, while I live, I'll fear no other thing
So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's Ring.


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »