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When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise, and true perfection?
- Peace! how the moon Neeps with Endymion,
And would not be awaked !

Mufick ceases.
Lor. That is the voice,
Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia.
Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows the

cuckow, By the bad voice.

Lor. Dear lady, welcome home.

Por. We have been praying for our husband's healths, Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. Are they return'd?

Lor. Madam, they are not yet ;
But there is come a messenger before,
To signify their coming.

Por. Go, Nerissa,
Give order to my servants, that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence.
-Nor you, Lorenzo; Jessica! nor you.

[ A Tucket sounds. Lor. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet : -We are no tell-tales, Madam, fear you not.

Por. This night, methinks, is but the day-light lick; It looks a little paler ; 'tis a day, Such as the day is when the sun is hid Enter Bailano, Anthonin, Gratiano, and their followers,

Bal. We should hold day with the Antipodes, If you would walk in absence of the fun.

Por. Let me give light, * but let me not be light; For a light wife doth make a heavy husband; And never be Buffanio so for me ; But God sort all!-You're welcome home, my lord.

* There is scareely any word delights to trifle as with light, with which Shakespear so much in its various fignifications,

Bal. Bal. I thank you, Madam. Give welcome to my

friend. -This is the man, this is Anthonio, To whom I am so infinitely bound.

Por. You should in all sense be much bound to him ; For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.

Anth. No more than I am well acquitted of.

Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house.
It must appear in other ways than words;
Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.

[Graciano and Nerissa seem to talk apart.
Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me wrong;
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk.
Would he were geld that had it, for my part,
Since 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 cutler's poetry
Upon a knife ; Love me, and leave me not.

Ner. What talk you of the poely, or the value ?
You swore to me, when I did give it you,

you would wear it ’ill your hour of death,
And that it should lie with you in your grave.
Tho' 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, thar begg'd ic as a fee.
I could not for my heart deny it him.

Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
To part fo lightly with your wife's first gift;
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,


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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 Twear, I lost the ring defending it. [ Afide.

Gra. My lord Bassanio gave his ring away
Unto the Judge that begg'd it, and, indeed,
Deserv'd it too. 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.

Ball. 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 gone.

Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
By heaven, I will ne'er come into your bed
Until I see the ring.

Ner. Nor I in yours,
'Till I again see mine.

Bas. Sweet Portia,
If you did know to whom I gave the ring
If you did know for whom I gave the ring.
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 virtue of the ring,
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
Or your own honour to * retain the ring,
You would not ghen have parted with the ring.


the ring,

* I. II. III. IV. contain,


What man is there so much unreasonable,

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.

Ball. 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 lite
Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady?
I was enforc'd to send it after him ;
I was beset with shame and courtesy ;
My honour would not let ingratitude
So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady,
And by these blefied candles of the night,

you been there, I think, you would have begg’d The ring of me, to give the worthy Doctor.

Por. Let not that Do&or 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 ; l'll not deny him any thing I have, No, not my body, nor my husband's bed. Know him I shall, I am well sure of it. 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 bedfellow.

Ner. And I his clerk-cherefore be well advis’d, How you do leave me to mine own protection.

7 What man wanted the What man could have so little momudesty

dely, or cuanted modefty fo much To urge ibe thing held as a cere- as to urge the demand of a thing

mony?] This is very bicei- kept in an account in some fort tiously expreffed. The sense is, religious.


Gra. Well, do you so; let me not take him then; For if I do, I'll mar the

young clerk's pen. Anth. I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels. Por. Sir, grieve not you, You are welcome, not

Ball. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong,
And in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, ev'n by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see 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 !

Bal. Nay, but hear me :
Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear,
I never more will break an oath with thee:

Anth. I once did lend my body for his wealth &
Which but for him, that had your husband's ring,

[7o 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.

Anth. Here, lord Bassanio, swear to keep this ring.
Bas. By heav'n, 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 high ways In fummer, where the ways are fair enough. What! are we cuckolds, ere we have delerv'd it?

Per. Speak not so grossly-you are all amaz’d

8 for his wealth.] For term opposite to adverfity, or cahis advantage ; 10 obtain his hap- lamity, piness. Wealth was, at ume, the


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