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soul I swear,

I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see myself,

Mark you but that!
In both my eyes he doubly sees himself:
In each eye one :---swear by your double self,
And there's an oath of credit

Nay, but hear me: Pardon this fault, and by my 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,

To Portia. 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 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 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 ;

(1) Advantage.

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.

I am dumb.
Bass. Were you the doctor, and I knew you

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.

How now, Lorenzo ? My clerk hath some good comforts too for you. Ner. Ay, and I'lĩ give them him without a

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.

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.


Of the Merchant of Venice the style is even and easy, with few peculiarities of diction, or anomalies of construction. The comic part raises laughter, and the serious fixes expectation. The probability of either one or the other story cannot be main. tained. The union of two actions in one event is in this drama eminently happy. Dryden was much pleased with his own address in connecting the two plots of his Spanish Friar, which yet, believe, tħe critic will find excelled by this play.




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