Abbildungen der Seite

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;
For, by these blessèd 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 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 mine own,
I'll have that doctor for my 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 not me take him, then;
For if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's pen.

Ant. I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels.
Por. Sir, grieve not you; you're welcome notwithstand-

Bass. Portia, forgive me this enforcèd wrong; ;
And, in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, even by thine 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 soul I swear
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,
Had quite miscarried : I dare be bound again,
My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord

own fair

[ocr errors]

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.(87)

Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways
In summer, when(88) 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 even but 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;
There you shall find three of your argosies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly:
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chancèd on this letter.

I am dumb.
Bass. Were you the doctor, and I knew you not?

Gra. Were


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. Por.

How now, Lorenzo! My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.

Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee.

[ocr errors]

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 starvèd people.

It is almost morning,
And yet I'm sure you are not satisfied
Of these events at full. Let us go in;
And charge us there upon inter’gatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be so: the first inter'gatory

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.


P. 345. (1)

rich burghers of the flood," The old eds, have “ - on the flood.”—Corrected by Steevens; who compares, in As you like it, “native burghers of this desolate city.” (Douce defends “on," informing us that here the Venetians are alluded to !)

[blocks in formation]

P. 346. (4) Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks ;Mr. W. N. Lettsom thinks that something is wanting between this line and the next.

P. 346. (5)

· Fie, fie!" I have little doubt that Shakespeare wrote “In love! fie, fie !"

P. 347. (6)

"mine" Has been altered to “mine's,”-rightly perhaps.

P. 347. (7)

'twouldSo Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector.-The old eds. have “would.”

P. 348. (8)

dumb wise men," “ Write,” says Walker (Crit. Exam. &c. vol. ii. p. 139), “ dumb-wise ; for dumb wise men would be pronounced dumb wisemen.

[ocr errors]

P. 348. (9)

Is that any thing now ?The old eds. have “ It is that any thing now :"-an explanation of which inexplicable reading may be found in Mr. Collier's note ad 1.-—"It appears to me a mere blunder for ‘I,' i. e. Ay! an ironical interjection. As to the rest of this short speech, nothing can be more awkward than 'is that any thing' for is there any thing in that ?' and 'now' is worse than superfluous. On the other hand, it may be said against Johnson's conjecture 'new,' that it does not so exactly accord with Bassanio's phrase,' an infinite deal of nothing.' It is, however, quite common for speakers to wrest the meaning of a preceding speech for the sake of a retort: when this happens in a written dialogue, it is only an imitation of nature; but it is a fault in the writer to prepare the way for a retort by previously introducing awkward phraseology." W. N. LETTSOM. VOL. 11.



P. 349. (10)

and by adventuring both, Qu. “and, venturing both?

P. 349. (11)

"wilful" Warburton would read “witless;” Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector “wasteful.”

[blocks in formation]

P. 354. (13) "land-thieves and water-thieves," The old eds. have “water theeues, and land theeues."

P. 355. (14)

"we" So Walker (Crit. Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 53).—The old eds. have "you" and “he."

P. 356. (15)

* goodlyPerhaps repeated by mistake from the preceding line.—Hanmer, and Walker (Crit. Exam. &c. vol. i. p. 303) read “godly.”

P. 356. (16)

spiť Here the old eds. have “spet:” but to follow them (as several recent editors do) is only to introduce inconsistency of spelling into a modern edition; for the folio has “ spit in Measure for Measure, act ii. sc. 1; As you like it, act iii. sc. 2, act iv. sc. 1; Taming of the Shrew, act iii. sc. 1; Winter's Tale, act iv. sc. 2, &c. &c.

[blocks in formation]

P. 358. (18)

"will,The old eds. have “wit" (which early transcribers and printers frequently confound with “ wil').—Steevens did not displace the original reading because" wit” formerly signified" sagacity or power of mind.”—Compare " the will of a dead father,p. 350 ; “perform your father's will,p. 352; my father's will,ibid.


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

P. 360. (20)

confusionsSo Heyes's quarto and the folio.-Mr. Knight, adopting the reading of Roberts's quarto, “conclusions,” observes that “to try confusions is not very intelligible,”—a remark which shows that, like the printer of that quarto, he did not perceive the joke intended here.

« ZurückWeiter »