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Even he that had held up the very life
Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady?
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 blessed 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

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

standing.
Bass. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong;
And in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see myself,
Por.

Mark you but that!
In both my eyes he doubly sees himself:
In each eye one: swear by your double self 3,
And there's an oath of credit.
Bass.

Nay, but hear me: - swear by your double self;) Double is here used in a bad sense for – full of duplicity.

clerk's pen.

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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 4;
Which, but for him that had your husband's ring,

[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
In summer, where the ways are fair enough:
What! are we cuckolds, ere we have deservd 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 but even now returned; 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 chanced on this letter."
Ant.

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 ?
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,
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 satisfied
Of these events at full: Let us go in;
And charge us there upon intergatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be so; The first intergatory,
That my 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. [Exeunt."

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.

JOHNSON.

AS YOU LIKE IT.

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