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your bed,

the ring,

Por. Even so void is

your

false heart of truth,
By Heaven, I will ne'er come into
Until I see the ring.
Ner. Nor I in

yours, Till I again see mine.

Bass. Sweet Portia, If you did know to whom I

gave

the ring, If you did know for whom I

gave And would conceive for what I

gave
the

ring,
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When naught 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 retain 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?
Nerissa teaches me what to believe;
I'll die for't, but some woman had the ring.

Bass. 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

very

life Of my

dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady, I was enforced to send it after him. 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 husband's bed : Know him I shall, I am well sure of it:

up the

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

bed-fellow. Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis’d, How you

do leave me to mine own protection. Gra. Well, do you see : let me not take him then ; For, if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's pen.

Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels.
Por. Sir, grieve not you ; You are welcome not-

withstanding
Bass. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong;
And, in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
I never more will break an oath with thee.

Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth,
Which, but for him, that had your husband's ring,
Had quite miscarried : 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.

Ant. Here, lord Bassanio, swear to keep this ring. Bass. By Heaven, It is the same I gave the doctor!

Por. I had of him: pardon me, Bassanio i 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 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 Shall witness, I set forth as soon as you, And but even now return'd; I have not yet

Enter'd my house.-Antonio, you are welcome;
And I have better news in store for you,
Than you expect; unseal this letter soon!
Thre
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.

Buss. 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 sleep 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 satisfied
Of these events at full: Let us go in;
And charge us there upon inter'gatory,
And we will anwser all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be so: The first intergatory,
That my Nerissa shall be sworu 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 sure, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.

THE END.

A HISTORICAL PLAY,

IN FIVE ACTS;

BY WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.

AS PERFORMED AT THE

THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT GARDEN.

PRINTED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE MANAGERS

FROM THE PROMPT BOOK.

WITH REMARKS

BY MRS. INCHBALD.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORML,

PATERNOSTER ROW,

WILLIAM SAVAGE, PRINTER,

LONDON

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