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In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk:
Would he were gelt that had it, for my part,
Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.
For. A quarrel, ho, already? what's the inatter?
Gra. Abo it a hoop of gold, a paltry ring
That she did give me; whose posy was
For all the world, like cutler's poetry
Upon a knife, Love me, and leave me not.

Ner. What talk you of the posy, or the value?
You swore 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:
Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
You should have been respective,' and have kept it.
Give 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 scrubbed 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 so slightly with your wife's first gift;
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And riveted so with faith unto your flesh.
I gave my love a ring, and made him swear
Never to part with it; and here he stands;
I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it,
Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth
That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief;
An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it.

Bass. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
And swear, I lost the ring defending it.


Gra. My lord Bassanio gave his ring away
Unto the judge that begg'd it, and, indeed,
Deserv'd it too; and then the boy, his clerk,
That took some pains in writing, he berg'd mine:
And neither man, nor master, would take aught
But the two rings.

Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me,
And begg'd the ring; the which I did deny him,
And suffer'd him to go displeas'd away:
Even he that had held up the very life
Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady 7
I was enforc'd to send it after him;

What ring gave you, my lord?
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me.
Bass. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
I would deny it; but you see my finger
Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone.

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


Nor I in yours,

Till I again see mine.

Sweet Portia,

If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you 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 contain the ring,
You would not then have parted with the ring.
What man is there so 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?
Nerissa teaches me what to believe;
I'll die for't, but some woman had the ring.
Bass. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul,
No woman had it, but a civil doctor,

(1) Regardful.

(2) Advantage.

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 candies 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 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 my 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 clerk's pen.
Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels.
Por. Sir, grieve not you; You are welcome
no withstanding.

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


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


Nay, but hear me:
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;
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


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 highways
In summer, where the ways are fair enough:
What! are we cuckolds, ere we have deserved 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, set forth as soon as you,
And but even now return'd; 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, three of your argosies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly:
You shall not know by what strange accident

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I chanced on this letter.

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.

Biss. 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

For here I read for certain, that my ships
Are safely come to road.


How now, Lorenzo? My clerk hath some good comforts too for you. Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without

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Of the Merchant of Venice the style is even and easy, with few peculiarities of diction, or anomalies of construction. The comic 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, believe, the critic will find excelled by this play.


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 anna in the way

Of starved people.
It is almost morning,
And yet, I am sure, you are not satisfied
Of these events at full: Let us go in ;




Duke, living in exile.

Frederick, brother to the Duke, and usurper of A person representing Hymen.

his dominions.

Amiens, lords attending upon the Duke in his

Le Beau, a courtier attending upon Frederick.
Charles, his wrestler,


Jaques, sons of sir Rowland de Bois.
Touchstone, a clown.
Sir Oliver Mar-text, a vicar.

servants to Oliver.

Sylvius, shepherds.

William, a country fellow, in love with Audrey.

Rosalind, daughter to the banished Duke.
Celia, daughter to Frederick.
Phebe, a shepherdess.
Audrey, a country wench,

Enter Oliver,

Adam. Yonder comes my master, your brother. Orl. Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up.

Oli. Now, sir! what make you here?1 Orl. Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing. (1) What do you here? (2) Villain is used in a double sense; by Oliver for a worthless fellow, and by Orlando for a man

of base extraction.

Lords belonging to the two Dukes; pages, foresters, and other attendants.

The Scene lies, first, near Oliver's house; afterwards, partly in the usurper's court, and partly in the forest of Arden.


Oli. What mar you then, sir?

Orl. Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that SCENE I-An orchard, near Oliver's house. which God made, a poor unworthy brother of Enter Orlando and Adam. Orlando,

yours, with idleness.

Oli. Marry, sir, be better employ'd, and be naught a while.

Orl. Ay, better than he I am before knows me. know you are my eldest brother, and, in the gen

As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me: By will, but a poor thousand crowns; and, as thou say'st, charged my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well: and there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and report speaks goldenly of his profit: for my part, he keeps me rustically at home, or, to speak more properly, stays me here at home un-I kept: For call you that keeping for a gentleman le condition of blood, you should so know me: of my birth, that differs not from the stalling of an The courtesy of nations allows you my better, in ox? His horses are bred better; for, besides that that you are the first-born; but the same tradition they are fair with their feeding, they are taught takes not away my blood, were there twenty bro their manage, and to that end riders dearly hired: thers betwixt us: I have as much of my father in but I, his brother, gain nothing under him but me, as you; albeit, I confess, your coming before growth; for the which his animals on his dung me is nearer to his reverence. hills are as much bound to him as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the something that nature gave me, his countenance seems to take from me: he lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a brother, and, as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my education. sir Rowland de Bois; he was my father; and he This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the spirit is thrice a villain, that says, such a father begot of my father, which I think is within me, begins villains: Wert thou not my brother, I would not to mutiny against this servitude: I will no longer take this hand from thy throat, till this other had endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy how pulled out thy tongue for saying so; thou hast railto avoid it. ed on thyself.

Oli. What, boy!

Orl. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.

Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?

Orl. I am no villain: I am the youngest son of

Orl. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should come to such penury?

Oli. Know you where you are, sir?

Or!. O, sir, very well: here in your orchard.
Oli. Know you before whom, sír?

Adam. Sweet masters, be patient; for your fa-
ther's remembrance, be at accord.
Oli. Let me go,
I say.

Orl. will not, till I please: you shall hear me. My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities: the spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or

give me the poor allottery my father left me by tes

tament; with that I will go buy my fortunes. Jand have by underhand means laboured to dissuade Oli. And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is him from it; but he is resolute. I'll tell thee, spent? Well, sir, get you in: I will not long be Charles,-it is the stubbornest young fellow of troubled with you: you shall have some part of France; full of ambition, an envious emulator of your will: I pray you, leave me. every man's good parts, a secret and villanous Orl. I will no further offend you than becomes contriver against me his natural brother; thereme for my good. fore use thy discretion; I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger: And thou wert best

Oli. Get you with him, you old dog. Alam. Is old dog my reward? Most true, I look to't; for if thou dost him any slight disgrace, have lost my teeth in your service.-God be with or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he my old master, he would not have spoke such a will practise against thee by poison, entrap thee by word. [Exeunt Orlando and Adam. some treacherous device, and never leave thee till Oli. Is it even so? begin you to grow upon me? 'he hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or I will physic your rankness, and yet give no thou- other: for, I assure thee, and almost with tears I sand crowns neither.-Holia, Dennis! speak it, there is not one so young and so villanous this day living. I speak but brotherly of him but him as is, i must blush and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.

Enter Dennis.

Cha. I am heartily glad I came hither to you: If he come to-morrow, I'll give him his payment: If ever he go alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more: And so, God keep your worship!

Den. Calls your worship?

Oli. Was not Charles, the Duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?

Den. So please you, he is here at the door, and importunes access to you.

Oli. Call him in. (Exit Dennis.]-Twill be good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.



Oli. Farewell, good Charles.-Now will I stir this gamester:2 I hope, I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle; never school'd, and yet learned; full of noble device; of all sorts

Cha. There's no news at the court, sir, but the enchantingly beloved; and, indeed, so much in old news: that is, the old duke is banished by his the heart of the world, and especially of my own younger brother the new dake; and three or four people, who best know him, that I am altogether loving lords have put themselves into voluntary misprized: but it shall not be so long; this wrestler exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich shall clear all: nothing remains, but that I kindle the new duke; therefore he gives them good leave the boy thither, which now I'll go about. [Exit. SCENE II-A lawn before the Duke's palace. Enter Rosalind and Celia.

to wander.

Enter Charles.

Cha. Good morrow to your worship.

Oli. Good monsieur Charles! what's the new news at the new court?

Oli. Can you tell, if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be banished with her father?

Cha. O, no; for the dike's daughter, her cousin, so loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.

Cel. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.

Oli. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?

Ros. Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.

Cel. Herein, I see, thou lovest me not with the

Oli. Where will the old duke live? Cha. They say, he is already in the forest of full weight that I love thee: if my uncle, thy baArden, and a many merry men with him; and nished father, had banished thy uncle, the duke there they live like the old Robin Hood of England: my father, so thou hads't been still with me, I could they say, many young gentlemen flock to him every have taught my love to take thy father for mine; day; and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in so would'st thou, if the truth of thy love to me the golden world. were so righteously temper'd as mine is to thee. Ros. Well, I will forget the condition of my es tate, to rejoice in yours.

Cha. Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint Cel. You know, my father hath no child but I, you with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to nor none is like to have; and, truly, when he dies, understand, that your younger brother, Orlando, thou shalt be his heir: for what he hath taken hith a disposition to come in disgui'd against me away from thy father perforce, I will render thee to try a fall: To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my again in affection; by mine honour, I will; and credit: and he that escapes me without some bro-when I break that oath, let me turn mons'er: thereken limb shall acquit him well. Your brother is fore, my sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry. but young, and tender; and, for your love, I would Ros. From henceforth I will, coz, and devise be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own honour, sports: let me see; What think you of falling in if he come in: therefore, out of my love to you, I love?

Ros. What shall be our sport then?

came hither to acquaint you withal; that either Cel. Marry, I pr'ythee, do, to make sport withal: you might stay him from his intendment, or brook but love no man in good earnest; nor no further in such disgrace well as he shall run into; in that it port neither, than with safety of a pure blush thou is a thing of his own search, and altogether against may'st in honour come off again. my will. Oli. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. had myself notice of my brother's purpose herein, (2) Frolicksome fellow.

(1) A ready assent.

Cel. Let us sit and mock the good housewife, Fortune, from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.

(3) Of all ranks.

Ros. I would, we could do so; for her benefits are mightily misplaced: and the bountiful blind) woman doth most mistake in her gifts to women.

Cel 'Tis true: for those, that she makes fair, she scarce makes nonest; and nose, that she makes honest, she makes very ill-favour'dly.

Ros. Nay, now thon goest from fortune's office to nature's: lortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of nature.

Cel. Pe. adventure, this is not fortune's work neither, but nature's; who perceiving our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, hath sent this natural for our whetstone: for always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of his wits.-How now, wit? whither wander you? Touch. Mistress, you must come away to your father.

Ros. Where learned you that oath, fool? Touch. Of a certain knight, that swore by his honour they were good pancakes, and swore by his honour the mustard was naught: now, I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught, and the mustard was good; and yet was not the knight forsworn.

Cel. How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?

Enter Touchstone.

Cel. No? When nature hath made a fair creature, may she not by fortune fall into the fire!-are coming to perform it. Though nature hath given us wit to flout at fortune, hath not fortune sent in this fool to cut off buried. the argument?

Ros. Indeed, there is fortune too hard for nature; when fortune makes nature's natural the cutter off of nature's wit.

Ros. Ay, marry; now unmuzzle your wisdom. Touch. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear by your beards that I am a knave. Cel. By our beards, if we had them, thou art. Touch. By my knavery, if I had it, then I were: but if you swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn: no more was this knight, swearing by his honour, for he never had any; or if he had, he had sworn it away, before ever he saw those pancakes or that mustard.

Cel. Pr'ythee, who is't that thou mean'st? Touch. One that old Frederick, your father, loves. Cel. My father's love is enough to honour him.Enough! speak no more of him: you'll be whipp'd for taxation, one of these days.


Ros. As wit and fortune will.
Touch. Or as the destinies decree.

Cel. Well said; that was laid on with a trowel.
Touch. Nay, i I keep not my rank,-
Ros. Thou losest thy old smell.

Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale. Le Beau. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence ;-

Ros. With bills on their necks,-Be it known unto all men by these presents.

Beau. The eldest of three wrestled with Charles, the duke's wrestler; which Charles in a moment threw him, and broke three of his ribs, that there is little hope of life in him: so he served the second, and so the third: Yonder they lie; the poor old man, their father, making such pitiful

Cel. Were you made the messenger?

Touch. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to dole over them, that all the beholders take his part come for you. with weeping.

Ros. Alas!

Le Beau. You amaze me, ladies: I would have told you of good wrestling, which you have lust the sight of.

Ros. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling. Le Beau. I will tell you the beginning, and, if it please your ladyships, you may see the end; for the best is yet to do; and here, where you are, they

Cel. Well, the beginning, that is dead and

Le Beau. There comes an old man, and his three sons,

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Duke F. Come on; since the youth will not be entreated, his own peril on his forwardness. Ros. Is yonder the man?

Touch. The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely, what wise men do foolishly.

Cel. By iny troth, thou say'st true: for since the little wit, that fools have, was silenced, the little foolery, that wise men have, makes a great show. Here comes monsieur Le Beau.

Ros. Then shall we be news-cramm'd.

Cel. All the better; we shall be the more marketable. jour, monsieur Le Beau: What's

the news?

Le Beau. Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.

Cel. Of what colour?

Cel. Alas, he is too young: yet he looks successfully.

Duke F. How now, daughter, and cousin? are you crept hither to see the wrestling?

Ros. Ay, my liege? so please you give us leave. Duke F. You will take little delight in it, I can tell you, there is such odds in the men: In pity of the challenger's youth, I would fain dissuade him,

Enter Le Beau.

Ros. With his mouth full of news.

Cel. Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed but he will not be entreated: Speak to him, ladies: their young. see if you can move him.

Cel. Call him hither, good monsieur Le Beau.
Duke F. Do so; I'll not be by.

Le Beau. Even he, madam.

[Duke goes apart. Le Beau. Monsieur the challenger, the prin cesses call for you.

Orl. I attend them, with all respect and duty.
Ros. Young man, have you challenged Charles

Le Beau. What colour, madam? How shall I the wrestler ? answer you?

(1) Satire.

(2) Perplex, confuse.

Orl. No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I come but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.

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