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

withstanding. Bass. 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. [this,

Por. Then thou shalt be his surety. Give him And bid him keep it better than the other. [ring.

Anth. Here, lord Bassanio, swear to keep this
Bass. 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 highways In summer, where the ways are fair enough. What? are we cuckolds, ere we have deserv'd it?

Por. Speak not so grossly. You are all amazd. 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,

Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
And even but now returnd: 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 soon,
There you shall find, three of your Argosies,
Are richly come to harbour, suddenly.
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chanced on this letter.

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

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

Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow ; When I am absent, then lie with my wife. [living;

Anth. Sweet lady, you have given me life and For here, I read for certain, that my ships Are safely comie to road.

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

Ner. Ay, and I'll give them too without a fee. There do I give to you and Jessica, From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, After his deuth, 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'm sure, you are not satisfy'd
Of these events at full. Let us go in,
And charge us there, upon interr’gatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be so : the first interr'gatory,
That my Nerissa 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 wish 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.

[Exeunt omnes.



Sic rarò scribis ut toto non quater anno (1) Membranam poscas, scriptorum quæque retexens,

(1) Having in the preceding pages explained four Plays of Shakespeare and two poems of a later date, by a reference to the pictures exhibited by the disk of the moon, I conceive that sufficient evidence has been adduced in proof of the two propositions inentioned in the beginning of the preface; and if the reader will compare the fable prefixed to Gil Blas, which is inserted in the conclusion of the preface, with the map of the moon likewise, I think he will have no difficulty in recognizing Le plus jeune des écoliers in the prototype of Ralph in Hudibras; his more prudent companion in that of Hudibras himself; and all the other details of the fable in the corresponding objects of the moon contiguous to those prototypes.' From thence will arise a strong presumption that the romance of Gil Blas itself, which is supposed to be of a still later date than the Poems above mentioned, is only to be rightly understood by a reference to the moon, or at least to some other external object; a presumption which adds further strength to the evidence before noticed. But in respect of the disquisition which is the main object of these volumes, it is Iratus tibi quod vini somnique benignus (2) Nil dignum sermone canas quid' fiet? ab ipsis of less concern to sbew of how modern a date the mysterious, or ænigmatical, method of composition is, than to shew how old it is; and as to this last point, though far from meaning to affirm that every ancient composition derives its illustration from the same source, yet I think it may be safely stated that the following Satire, of no less ancient date than the time of Horace, has a direct relation to the moon. The express object of the Satire is to sliew that all mankind are mad, or, in other words, that prototypes may be traced in the moon, that have an analogy to all the different characters which are to be found in the world, however varied by their occupations or pursuits. It will be seen accordingly that the different characters (and indeed almost all the incidents likewise) which are introduced in the Satire, have already appeared in some one or more .of the compositions which have been above explained by a plain reference to the moon. Damasippus, one of the speakers in the dialogue of the satire, is to be ascribed to the same prototype as Ralph in Hudibras (fig. 2); his name of a horse-breaker (dapaw and 1770s) being derived from the mettlesome horse on which (like Ralph, as drawn in fig. 8, ante) he may be conceived to be mounted. Why the other speaker in the dialogue (who has the same original in the moon as Hucibras himself, Fig 1.) is called a Stoic it would be impossible, under the philosophical notions of the present day, different altogether from those of the ancients, rightly to explain : the same may be said in regard to the character of Siertinius mentioned in line 33; but it has already been premised, that the subjects they regard are

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