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It must appear in other ways than words;
Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.
Gra. By yonder moon I swear you do me wrong;
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk, [To Neriffa.
Would he were gelt that had it, for my part,
you do take it, love, so much at heart. Por. A quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter?
Gra, About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring,
That she did give me, whose poesy was,
For all the world, like cutlers poetry
Upon a knife : Love me, and leave me not.
Ner. What, talk you of the poefy, or the value
You swore to me, when I did give it you,
would wear it till
hour of death;
And that it should lie with you in your grave :
Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
You should have been respective, and have kept it.
Gave it a judge's clerk ! but well I know,
The clerk will ne'er wear hair on's face that had it..
Gra. He will, an' if he live to be a man.
Ner. Ay, if a woman live to be a man.
Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy,
No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk;
A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee :
I could not for my heart deny it him.
Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with your
To part so slightly with your wife's firft gift ;
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And riveted with faith unto your flesh.
I gave my love a ring, and made him swear
Never to part with it; and here he stands,
I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it,
Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth
That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano
You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief;
An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it.
Bal. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off, And swear I lost the ring defending it. [ Aside
Gra. My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away Unto the judge that begg'd it, and indeed Desery'd it tpo; and then the boy his clerk,
That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine ;
And neither man nor master would take aught
But the two rings.
Por. What ring gave you, my Lord ?
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me.
Bal. If I could add a lye unto a fault, I would deny it; but you see my finger Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone.
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth, By Heaven, I will ne'er come in your
bed Until I see the ring.
Ner. Nor I in your's, Till I again see mine.
Bal. Sweet Portia, If you did know to whom I
the ring, If you did know for whom I
gave And would conceive for what I
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When nought would be accepted but the ring,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure.
Por. If you had known the virtúe 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.
Bal. No, by mine honour, Madam, by my soul,
No woman had it, but a civil Doctor,
Who 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;
Ev’n he that did uphold the very life
dear friend. What should I say, fweet Lady? I was in forc'd to send it after hinı ; I was beset with strame and courtesy ;. My honour would not let ingratitude So much beímcar it. Pardon me, good Lady: And by thefe bleffed candles of the night;
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 body, nor my husband's bed;
Know him I shall, I am well fure of it.
Lie not a night from home; watch me, like Argus:
if I be left alone, Now, by mine honour, which is yet my own, I'll have the Doctor for
bedfellow. Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis’d, How you do leave me to mine own protection.
Gra. Well, do you so; let me not take him then : For if I do, I'll mar the young clerk’s pen.
Art. I am th’unhappy subject of these quarrels.
Por.. Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome, notwith-
Bal. Portia, forgive me this inforced wrong.
And in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, ev'n by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I fee myself-
Por. Mark you but that !
In both mine eyes he doubly sees himself;
In each eye, one ; swear by your double self,
And there's an oath of credit !
Ball. Nay, but hear me :
Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear
I never more will break an oath with thee.
Ant. I once did lend my body for his weal;
Which but for him that had your husband's ring,
[T. Portia, Had quite miscarry'd. 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 Bafranio, swear to keep this ring,
Ball. By Heav'n, it is the fame I gave the Doctor.
Per. I had it of him : pardon me, Baffanio ;
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 high-ways
In summer, where the ways are fair enough:
What! are we cuckolds ere we have desery'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 :
shall find, that Portia was the Doctor ;
Neriffa there, her clerk. Lorenzo, here,
Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
And even but now return'd: I have not yet
house. Anthonio, you are welcome;, And I have better news in ftore for
you, Than you expect : unseal this letter foon; There
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.
Ant. I am domb.
the Doctor, and I knew you not? Gra. Were you the clerk that is to make me cuc
kold ? Ner. Ay, but the clerk that never means to do it, Unless he live until he be a man.
Baft. Sweet Doctor, you shall be my bedfellow; When I am absent, then lie with
Ant. Sweet Lady, you have giv’n 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, aậd 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 poffess'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 interrogatory,
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 fore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring. [Exeunt omnes.