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Ner. My lord and lady, it is now our time, That have stood by, and seen our wishes prosper, To cry, good joy. Good joy, my lord and lady!

Gra. My lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady, I wish you all the joy that you can wish; For, I am sure, you can wish none from me: And when your honors mean to solemnise The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you, Even at that time I may be married too. Bas. With all my heart, so thou canst get a

wife. Gra. I thank your lordship; you have got me

one.

My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours :
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid ;
You loved, I loved ; for intermission
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the caskets there;
And so did mine too, as the matter falls :
For wooing here, until I sweat again ;
And swearing, till my very roof was dry
With oaths of love ; at last,-if promise last, -
I got a promise of this fair one here,
To have her love, provided that your

fortune
Achieved her mistress..
Por.

Is this true, Nerissa ? Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleased withal. Bas. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?

| None that I shall lose if you gain it.

Gra. Yes, faith, my

lord. Bas. Our feast shall be much honor'd in your

marriage. Gra. We'll play with them, the first boy, for a thousand ducats.

Ner. What, and stake down?
Gra. No; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and

stake down.
But who comes here? Lorenzo, and his infidel ?
What, and my old Venetian friend, Salerio ?

Enter LORENZO, JESSICA, and SALERIO. Bas. Lorenzo, and Salerio, welcome hither ; If that the youth of my new interest here Have power to bid

you

welcome.-By your leave, I bid my very friends and countrymen, Sweet Portia, welcome. Por.

So do I,

my

lord : They are intirely welcome. Lor. I thank your honor.–For my part, my

lord,
My purpose was not to have seen you here ;
But meeting with Salerio by the way,
He did entreat me, past all saying nay,
To come with him along.
Saler.

I did, my lord,
And I have reason for it.

Signior Antonio Commends him to you.

[gives Bas. a letter. Bas.

Ere I

ope

his letter, I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth,

Saler. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind, Nor well, unless in mind : his letter there Will show you

his estate. Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger; bid her wel

come.

Your hand, Salerio. What's the news from Venice?
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio ?
I know, he will be glad of our success.
We are the Jasons; we have won the fleece.
Saler. Would you had won the fleece that he

hath lost! Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon'

same paper, That steal the color from Bassanio's cheek. Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world Could turn so much the constitution Of any constant man. What, worse and worse : With leave, Bassanio; I am half yourself, And I must freely have the half of any thing That this same paper brings you. Bas.

O sweet Portia, Here are a few of the unpleasantest words That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady, When I did first impart my love to you, I freely told you, all the wealth I had Ran in my veins ; I was a gentleman : And then I told you true: and yet, dear lady, Rating myself at nothing, you shall see How much I was a braggart. When I told you My state was nothing, I should then have told

you

That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,
I have engaged myself to a dear friend ;
Engaged my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady :
The paper as the body of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood.—But is it true, Salerio ?
Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one

hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India ?
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks ?
Saler.

my

lord.
Besides, it should appear, that if he had
The present money to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it. Never did I know
A creature, that did bear the shape of man,
So keen and greedy to confound a man.
He plies the duke at morning and at night,
And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
If they deny him justice: twenty merchants,
The duke himself, and the magnificoes 1
Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him ;
But none can drive him from the envious plea
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.

Jes. When I was with him, I have heard hina

Not one,

swear

| The chief men.

To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen,
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh,
Than twenty times the value of the sum
That he did owe him : and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power deny not,
It will

go
hard with

poor

Antonio.
Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in

trouble ?
Bas. The dearest friend to me, the kindest

man,
T'he best condition'd and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies ; and one in whom
'The ancient Roman honor more appears,
Than any that draws breath in Italy.

Por. What sum owes he the Jew ?
Bas. For me, three thousand ducats.
Por.

What, no more ?
Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description
Should lose a hair through Bassanio's fault.
First, go with me to church, and call me wife,
And then away to Venice to your

friend; For never shall

you lie by Portia's side
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
Το

pay the petty debt twenty times over.
When it is paid, bring your true friend along:
My maid Nerissa, and myself, meantime,
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away;
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day.

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