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Even he that had held up the very life
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 ;
Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels.
Mark you but that!
Nay, but hear me: - swear by your double self;) Double is here used in a bad sense for – full of duplicity.
Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear
Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth 4;
[To Portia. Had quite miscarried : 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.
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.
Gra. Why, ihis is like the mending of high-ways
Por. Speak not so grossly. - You are all amaz’d:
I am dumb.
- for his wealth ;] For his advantage ; to obtain his happiness. Wealth was, at that time, the term opposite to adversity, or calamity,
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.
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 ?
Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee. -
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
It is almost morning,
Gra. Let it be so; The first intergatory,
5 Of The MERCHANT OF VENICE the style is even and easy, with few peculiarities of 'diction, or anomalies of construction. The comick part raises laughter, and the serious fixes expectation. The probability of either one or the other story cannot be maintained. The union of two actions in one event is in this drama eminently happy. Dryden was much pleased with his own address in connecting the two plots of his Spanish Friar, which yet, I believe, the critick will find excelled by this play.