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Enter Baffanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their followers.


Baff. We should hold day with the Antipodes, you would walk in abfence 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 Baffanio fo for me;

But, God fort all !-You are welcome home, my lord. Baff. I thank you, madam: give welcome to my friend.— This is the man, this is Anthonio,

To whom I am fo infinitely bound.

Por. You fhould in all fenfe 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 fcant' this breathing courtesy.

[Gratiano and Neriffa feem to talk apart. Gra. By yonder moon, I fwear, you do me wrong; In faith, I gave it the judge's clerk : Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, fo 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; whofe poefy was
For all the world, like cutler's poetry
Upon a knife, Love me, and leave me not.

Ner. What talk you of the poefy, or the value?
You fwore to me, when I did give it you,
That you would wear it till your hour of death;
And that it should lie with you in your grave:

with the Antipodes,]—as they do now.
this breathing]-verbal, these profeffions of.



Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
You should have been refpective, and have kept it,
Gave it a judge's clerk !-but well I know,

The clerk will ne'er wear hair on his 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 " fcrubbed boy,

No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk;

A prating boy, that begg'd it 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 flightly with your wife's first gift;
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And riveted with faith unto your flesh.

gave my love a ring, and made him fwear
Never to part with it; and here he stands :
I dare be fworn for him, he would not leave it,
Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth
That the world mafters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief;
An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it.

Baff. Why, I were beft to cut my left hand off,
And fwear, I loft the ring defending it.

Gra. My lord Baffanio gave his ring away
Unto the judge that begg'd it, and, indeed,
Deferv'd it too; and then the boy, his clerk,
That took fome 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.

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Baff. If I could add a lye unto a fault,
I would deny it, but you fee, my finger
Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone.

Por. Even fo void is your false heart of truth.
By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed
Until I fee the ring.

Ner. Nor I in yours,

'Till I again fee mine.
Baff. Sweet Portia,

If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
did know for whom I gave the ring,
And would conceive for what I gave the ring,
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 then have parted with the ring.
What man is there fo much unreasonable,
If you had pleas'd to have defended it


With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty
To urge the thing held as a ceremony?
Neriffa teaches me what to believe;

I'll die for't, but fome woman had the ring.
Baff. No, by mine honour, madam, by my foul,
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 fuffer'd him to go difpleas'd away;
Even he that had held up the very life

• contain.

P wanted the modefty &c.]-wanted modefty fo much, as to prefs you for a thing, kept on fo folemn an account.


dear friend. What fhould I fay, fweet lady?



I was enforc'd to fend it after him;

I was befet with fhame and courtesy;

My honour would not let ingratitude

So much befmear it: Pardon me, good lady,

For, by these bleffed 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
Since he hath got the jewel that I lov❜d,
And that which you did fwear 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 fhall, I am well fure of it:

Lie not a night from home; watch me, like Argus:
do not, if I be left alone,


Now, by mine honour, which is yet my own,
I'll have that doctor for my bed-fellow.

Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis'd,
you do leave me to mine own protection.
Gra. Well, do you fo: let me not take him then;
For, if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's pen.

Anth. I am the unhappy fubject of these quarrels.
Por. Sir, grieve not you; You are welcome notwith-


Baff. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong;

And, in the hearing of thefe many friends,
I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,

candles of the night,]—


Night's candles are burnt out."

ROMEO AND JULIET, A& III, S. 5. "As thofe gold candles fix'd in heaven's air." POEMS, 598. enforced wrong;]-that I was conftrain'd to commit.


Wherein I see myself,

Por. Mark you but that!

In both mine eyes he doubly fees himself:

In each eye, one :-fwear by your double self,
And there's an oath of credit.

Baff. Nay, but hear me:

Pardon this fault, and by my foul I fwear,

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, [To Portia.

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Had quite mifcarry'd: I dare be bound again,
My foul upon the forfeit, that your lord
Will never more break faith " advisedly.

Por. Then you fhall be his furety: Give him this;
And bid him keep it better than the other.

Anth. Here, lord Baffanio; fwear to keep this ring.
Baff. By heaven, it is the fame I gave the doctor.
Por. I had it of him: pardon me, Baffanio;
For by this ring the doctor lay with me.

Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano;
For that fame 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 deferv'd it?

Por. Speak not fo grofsly,-You are all amaz'd:
Here is a letter, read it at your leisure;
It comes from Padua, from Bellario:

There you fhall find, that Portia was the doctor;
Neriffa there, her clerk: Lorenzo here

double-falfe, full of duplicity.

wealth;]-advantage, welfare, happiness.



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