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He was from thence discharged? Sir, call to mind
That I have been your wife, in this obedience,
Upward of twenty years, and have been blest
With many children by you; if, in the course
And process of this time, you can report,
And prove it too, against mine honour aught,
My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty,
Against your sacred person, in God's name,
Turn me away, and let the foul'st contempt
Shut door upon me, and so give me up
To the sharpest kind of justice.

It would be unjust to the memory of this excellent queen, were we to omit the following passage which so admirably shows that her love and duty to her royal husband continued until death. The queen is speak, ing to Capucius, Ambassador from the Emperor, Charles V.

'O Capucius, remember me In all humility unto his highness : Say, his long trouble now is passing Out of this world; tell him, in death I bless'd him, For so I will.—Mine eyes grow dim.-Farewell, My lord.—Griffith, farewell.–Nay, Patience, You must not leave me yet. I must to bed; Call in more women.- When I am dead, good wench, Let me be used with honour: strew me over With maiden flowers, that all the world may know I was a chaste wife to my grave: embalm me, Then lay me forth; although unqueen'd, yet like,

A queen, and daughter to a king, inter me.
I can no more. - [Exeunt, leading Katharine.

PORTIAS MODEST SPEECH TO BASSANIO.

FROM "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.' You see me, lord Bassanio, where I stand, Such as I am: though, for myself alone, I would not be ambitious in my wish, To wish myself much better; yet, for you, I would be trebled twenty times myself; A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times More rich: That only to stand high in your account, I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends, Exceed account; but the full sum of me Is sum of nothing; which, to term in gross, Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd. Happy in this, she is not yet so old But she may learn; and happier than this, She is not bred so dull but she can learn; Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit Commits itself to yours to be directed, As from her lord, her governor, her king. Myself, and what is mine, to you and yours Is now converted: but now I was the lord Of this fair mansion, master of my servants, Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now, This house, these servants, and this same myself,

Are yours, my lord; I give them with this ring;
Which, when you part from, lose, or give away,
Let it presage the ruin of your love,
And be my 'vantage to exclaim on you.

The play of Julius Cæsar furnishes us with another Portia, the noble, sympathetic wife of Brutus, who, in those terrible days of civil commotion, suspecting from the conduct of her husband, that business connected with the state, presents a fearful aspect, firmly, yet gently, appeals to him for an explanation.

PORTIA’S CONFERENCE WITH BRUTUS.

You have ungently, Brutus, Stole from my bed; and yesternight, at supper, You suddenly arose, and walk'd about, Musing, and sighing, with your arms across : And when I ask'd you what the matter was, You stared upon me with ungentle looks : I urged you further; then you scratch'd your head, And too impatiently stamp'd with your foot; Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not; But, with an angry wafture of your hand, Gave sign for me to leave you: so I did; Fearing to strengthen that impatience, Which seem'd too much enkindled; and, withal, Hoping it was but an effect of humour, Which sometime bath his hour with every man, It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep;

And, could it work so much upon your shape, '
As it hath much prevail'd on your condition,
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord,
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.
Bru. I am not well in health, and that is all.
Por. Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health,

He would embrace the means to come by it.
Bru. Why so I do: Good Portia, go to bed.
Por. Is Brutus sick? and is it physical

To walk unbraced, and suck up the humours
Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick;
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed,
To dare the vile contagion of the night,
And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air
To add unto his sickness ? No, my Brutus ;
You have some sick offence within your mind,
Which, by the right and virtue of my place,
I ought to know of: And upon my knees
I charm you by my once commended beauty,
By all your vows of love, and that great yow,
Which did incorporate and make us one,
That you unfold to me, yourself, your half,
Why you are heavy; and what men to night
Have had resort to you: for here have been
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.

Bru. Kneel not, gentle Portia.
Por. I should not need, if you were gentle, Brutus,
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it excepted, I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself,
But, as it were, in sort, or limitation; -
To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in

the suburbs
Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.

Bru. You are my true and honourable wife;

As dear to me, as are the ruddy drops

That visit my sad heart.
Por. If this were true, then should I know this

secret.
I grant, I am a woman; but withal,
A woman that lord Brutus took to wife;
I grant, I am a woman; but withal,
A woman well reputed; Cato's daughter.
Think you, I am no stronger than my sex,
Being so father'd, and so husbanded ?
Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose

them:
I have made strong proof of my constancy,
Giving myself a voluntary wound
Here in the thigh: Can I bear that with pa-

tience,
And not my husband's secrets?

The amiable and accomplished Portia of the Merchant of Venice, however, should not too suddenly be

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