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You swore to me, when I did give it you,
you would wear it till your hour of death ; And that it should lie with
Gra. He will, an if he live to be a man.
Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,-
Por. You were to blame- I must be plain with you—
gave my love a ring, and made him swear
Bass. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
What ring gave you, my lord ?
Bass. If I could add a lie unto a fault, I would deny it; but you see, my finger Hath not the ring upon it; it is
it; it is gone. 1 Respective, that is considerative, regardul; not respectful or respectable, as Steevens supposed.
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
Ner. Nor I in yours,
Sweet Portia, If you did know to whom I
gave If you did know for whom I
ring, And would conceive for what I
Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Bass. No, by mine honor, madam, by my soul,
Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my house: Since he hath got the jewel that I loved,
1 To contain had nearly the same meaning with to retain. 2 1. e. kept in a measure religiously, or superstitiously.
And that which you did swear to keep for me,
bedfellow. Ner. And I his clerk ; therefore be well advised, How you do leave me to mine own protection.
Gra. Well, do you so; let not me take him then; For if I do, I'll mar the young
pen. Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels. Por. Sir, grieve not you ; you are welcome notwith
Mark you but that!
Nay, but hear me.
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!
1 Double is here used for deceitful, full of duplicity.
2 i. e. for his advantage. VOL. II.
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 deserved it ?
Por. Speak not so grossly.—You are all amazed. Here is a letter; read it at your leisure; It comes from Padua, from Bellario; There
shall find, that Portia was the doctor ;
I am dumb.
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 possessed of.
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
Por. It is almost morning,
Gra. Let it be so. The first inter’gatory