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And bid him keep it better than the other.

Anth. 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.

Gra. Why, this is like the mending of high-way
In summer, where the ways are fair enough: 280
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 foşth as soon as you,
And but even now return’d; I have not yet
Enter'd my house.---Anthonio, you are welcome ;
And I have better news in store for you,

290
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 chanced on this letter,

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

300 Bass.

Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be

my

bedfellow; When I am absent, then lie with my wife. Anth. 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, 310
After his death, of all he dies possess'd of.

Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
Of starved people.

Por. It is almost morning,
And yet, I am sure, you are not satisfy'd
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,
That my Nerişşa shall be sworn on, is,

320 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.

[ Exeunt omnes.

THE END

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Printed for, and under the Direction of, John Bell, British-Library, STRAND, Bookseller to His Royal Highness the Prince of WALES,

MDCCLXXXVII,

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1

ANNOTATIONS

UPON THE

MERCHANT of VENICE.

Dramatis Personæ.] In the old editions in quarto, for J. Roberts, 1600, and in the old folio, 1623, there is no enumeration of the persons. It was first made by Mr. Rowe.

JOHNSON. Line 6. Salanio.] It is not easy to determine the orthography of this name. In the old editions the owner of it is called Salanio, Salino, and Solanio.

10. Our author, as Dr. Farmer informs me, took the name of his Jew from an old pamphlet, entitled, “ Caleb Shillocke, his Prophesie, or the Jewes Prediction." London, printed for T. P. (Thomas Pa. vyer.) No date.

STEEVENS. 14. This character I have restored to the Persona Dramatis. The name appears in the first folio : the description is taken from the quarto. STEEVens.

Aii

Merchant

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