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Bass. 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. Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be my

bedfellow; When I am absent, then lie with my wife. 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.
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,
And yet, I am sure, you are not satisfied
Of these events at full : Let us go in;
And charge us there upon intergatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be so: The first intergatory,
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,
That 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."

9 It has been lately discovered, that this fable is taken from a story in the Pecorone of Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, a novelist, who wrote in 1378. [The first novel of the fourth day.) The story has been published in English, and I have epitomized the translation. The translator is of opinion, that the choice of the caskets is borrowed from a tale of Boccace, which I have likewise abridged, though I believe that Shakspeare must have had some other novel in view. Johnson.

There lived at Florence, a merchant whose name was Bindo. He was rich, and had three sons. Being near his end, he called for the two eldest, and left them heirs: to the youngest he left nothing. This youngest, whose name was Giannetto, went to his father, and said, what has my father done! The father replied, Dear Giannetto, there is none to whom I wish better than to you. Go to Venice to your godfather, whose name is Ansaldo; he has no child, and has wrote to me often to send you thither to him. He is the richest merchant amongst the Christians: if you behave well, you will be certainly a rich man. The son answered I am ready to do whatever my dear father Mall coinmand: upon which he gave him his benediction, and in a few days died.

Giannetto went to Ansaldo, and presented the letter given by the father before his death. Ansaldo reading the letter, cried out, My dearest godson is welcome to my arms.

He then asked news of his father. Giannetto replied, He is dead. I am much grieved, replied Ansaldo, to hear of the death of Bindo; but the joy I feel, in seeing you, mitigates my sorrow. He conducted liim to his house, and gave orders to his servants, that Giannetto should be obeyed, and served with more attention than had been paid to himself. He then delivered him the keys of his ready money: and told him, Son, spend this money, keep a table, and make yourself known: remember, that the more you gain the good will of every body, the more you will be dear to me.

Giannetto now began to give entertainments. He was more obedient and courteous to Ansaldo, than if he had been an hundred times his father. Every body in Venice was fond of him. Ansaldo could think of nothing but him; so much was he pleased with his good manners and behaviour.

* Sec Dr. Farmer's note at the beginning of this play, from which it appears that Dr. Johnson was right in his conjecture. MALONE.

It happened, that two of his most intimate acquaintance designed to go with two ships to Alexandria, and told Giannetto, he would do well to take a voyage and see the world. I would go willingly, said he, if my father Ansaldo will give leave. His companions go to Ansaldo, and beg his permifion for Giannetto to go in the {pring with them to Alexandria; and desire him to provide him a Thip. Ansaldo immediately procured a very fine ship, loaded it with merchandize, adorned it with streamers, and furnished it with arms; and, as soon as it was ready, he gave orders to the captain and sailors to do every thing that Giannetto commanded. It happened one inorning early, that Giannetto saw a gulph, with a fine port, and asked the captain how the port was called ? He replied That place belongs to a widow lady, who has ruined many gentlemen.

In what manner? says Giannetto. He answered, This lady is a fine and beautiful woman, and has made a law, that who'ever arrives here is obliged to go to bed with her, and if he can have the enjoyment of her, he must take her for his wife, and be lord of all the country; but if he cannot enjoy her, he loses every thing he has brought with him. Giannetto, after a little reflection, tells the captain to get into the port. He was obeyed; and in an inftant they nide into the port so easily that the other ships perceived nothing.

The lady was soon informed of it, and sent for Giannetto, who waited on her immediately. She, taking him by the hand, asked him who he was? whence he came? and if he knew the custom of the country? He answered, That the knowledge of that custom was his only reason for coming. The lady paid him great honours, and sent for barons, counts, and knights in great numbers, who were her subjects, to keep Giannetto company. These nobles were highly delighted with the good breeding and manners of Giannetto; and all would have rejoiced to have him for their lord.

The night being come, the lady faid, it seems to be time to go to bed. Giannetto told the lady, he was entirely devoted to her service: and immediately two damsels enter with wine and sweetmeats. The lady entreats him to taste the wine; he takes the sweetmeats, and drinks some of the wine, which was prepared with ingredients to cause sleep. He then goes into the bed, where he instantly falls asleep, and never wakes till late in the morning, but the lady rose with the sun, and gave orders to unload the vessel, which she found full of rich merchandize. After nine o'clock the women servants go to the bed-fide, order Giannetto to rise and be gone, for he had lost the fhip. The lady gave him a horse and money, and he leaves the place very melancholy, and goes to Venice. When he arrives, he dares not return home for Thame: but at night goes to the house of a friend, who is surprised to see him, and inquires of him the cause of his return: He answers, bis fhip had ftruck on a rock in the niglit, and was broke in pieces.

This friend, going one day to make a visit to Anfaldo, found him very disconsolate. I fear, says Ansaldo, so much, that this son of mine is dead, that I have no rest. His friend told him, that he had been shipwreck’d, and had loft his all, but that he himself was safe. Ansaldo instantly gets up and runs to find him. My dear son, said he, you need not fear my displeasure; it is a common accident; trouble yourself no further. He takes him home; all the way telling him to be chearful and easy.

The news was foon known all over Venice, and every one was concerned for Giannetto. Some time after, his companions arriva ing from Alexandria very rich, demanded what was become of their friend, and having heard the story, ran to see him, and rejoiced with him for his fafety ; telling him that next spring, he might gain as much as he had loft the last. But Giannetio had no other thoughts than of his return to the lady; and was resolved to marry her, or die. Ansaldo told him frequently, not to be cast down. Giannetto faid, he should never be happy, till he was at liberty to make another voyage. Ansaldo provided another thip of more value than the first. He again entered the port of Belmonte, and the lady looking on the port from her bed-chamber, and seeing the ship, asked her maid, if she knew the streamers; the maid said, it was the ship of the young man who arrived the last year. You are in the right, answered the lady; he must surely have a great regard for me, for never any one came a second time: the maid faid, he had never seen a more agreeable man. He went to the castle, and presented himself to the lady; who, as soon as she saw him embraced him, and the day was passed in joy and revels. Bed-time being come, the lady entreated him to go to reít: when they were seated in the chamber, the two damsels enter with wine and sweetmeats; and having eat and drank of them, they go to bed, and immediately Giannetto falls asleep; the lady undressed, and lay down by his fide; but he waked not the whole night. In the morning, the lady rises, and gives orders to strip tle ship. He has a horse and money given him, and away he goes, and never stops till he gets to Venice; and at night goes to the same friend, who with attonithment aked him what was the matter? I am undone, says Giannetto. His friend answered, You are the cause of the ruin of Ansaldo, and your fame ought to be greater than the loss you have suffered. Giannetto lived privately many days. At Laft he took the resolution of seeing Ansaldo, who rose from his chair, and running to embrace him, told him he was welcome : Giannetto with tears returned his embraces. Ansaldo heard his tale: Do not grieve, my dear fon, says he, we have still enough: the sea enriches fome men, others it ruins.

Poor Giannetto's head was day and night full of the thoughts of his bad fuccess. When Ansaldo enquired what was the matter, he confeiled, he could never be contented till he should be in a con

dition to regain all that he loft. When Anfáldo found him resolved, he began to fell every thing he had, to furnith this other fine fhip with merchandize : but, as he wanted ftill ten thousand ducats, he applied himself to a Jew at Meftri, and borrowed them on condition, that if they were not paid on the feast of St. Jobn in the next month of June, that the few might take a pound of flesh from any part of his body he pleased. Ansaldo agreed, and the Jew had an obligation drawn, and witnessed, with all the form and ceremony necessary; and then counted him the ten thousand ducats of gold, with which Anfaldo bought what was ftill wanting for the vessel. This last ship was finer and better freighted than the other two; and his companions made ready for their voyage, with a design that whatever they gained should be for their friend. When it was time to depart, Ansaldo told Giannetto, that fince he well knew of the obligation to the Jew, he entreated, that if any misfortune happened, he would return to Venice, that he might see him before he died; and then he could leave the world with satisfaction: Giannetto promised to do every thing that he con. ceived might give him pleasure. Ansaldo gave him his blelling, they took their leave, and the ihips set out.

Giannetto had nothing in his head but to fteal into Belmonte ; and he prevailed with one of the sailors in the night to sail the ves. fel into the port. It was told the lady that Giannetto was arrived in port. She saw from the window the vessel, and immediately fent for him.

Giannetto goes to the castle, the day is spent in joy and feasting: and to honour him, a tournament is ordered, and many barons and knights tilted that day. Giannetto did wonders, so well did he understand the lance, and was fo graceful a figure on horseback : he pleased fo much, that all were defirous to have him for their lord.

The lady, when it was the usual time, catching him by the hand, begged him to take his reft. When he passed the door of the chamber, one of the damsels in a whisper said to him, Make a pretence to drink the liquor, but touch' not one drop. The lady said, I know you must be thirfty, I muft have you drink before you go to bed : immediately two damsels entered the room, and presented the wine. Who can refuse wine from such beautiful hands? cries Giannetto : at which the lady smiled. Giannetto takes the cup, and making as if he drank, pours the wine into his bosom. The lady thinking he had drank, says afide to herself with great joy, You must go, young man, and bring another ship, for this is condemned. Giannetto went to bed, and began to înore as if he Alept foundly. The lady perceiving this, laid herself down by his fide. Giannetto loses no time, but turning to the lady, embraces her, saying, Now am I in possession of my utmost wishes. When Giannetto came out of his chamber, he was knighted and placed in the chair of ftate, had the sceptre put into his hand, and was

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