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But there is come a messenger before,
Por. Go, Nerissa,
Lór. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet : We are no tell-tales, madam, fear your not.
Por. This night, methinks, is but the day-light fick; It looks a little paler; 'tis a day, Such as the day is when the sun is hid. Enter Bassanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their followers.
Baj: We should hold day with the Antipodes,
Por. Let me give light, but let me not be light;
Bas: I thank you, madam: give welcome to my friend;
Por. You should in all sense be much bound to him ; For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.
Anth. No more than I am well acquitted of.
than words; Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.
Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me wrong; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk. [To Neriffa, Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, 'fo '
much at heart. Por. A quarrel, ho, alreadyi! what's the matter ?
Gra. About a hoop of gold, à paltry ring,
Ner. What talk you of the poesy, or the value ?
It must appear
And that it should lye with you in your grave:
Gra. He will, an if he live to be a man.
Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
Baj). Why, I were beft to cut my left hand off,
Gra. My Lord Baljanio gave his ring away
Por. What ring gave you, my Lord ?
Bal. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
Till I again see mine.
Baj. Sweet Portia, If you
did know to whom I gave the ring,
Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
urge the thing held as a ceremony?
Baf. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul, 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 suffer'd him to go displeas’d away ; Ev’n he, that did uphold 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, And 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. Lye not a night from home; watch me, like Argus :
If you do not, if I be left alone,
Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis'd,
you do leave me to mine own protection. Gra. Well, do you so; let me not take him then; For if I do, I'll mar the young
Por. Mark you but that !
Bal. Nay, but hear me :
Ant. I once did-lend my body for his weal; (32)
[To Portia. Had quite miscarry'd. 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. Ball. By heav'n, it is the same I
the Doctor. Por. I had it of him : pardon me, Bafanio ; For by this ring the Doctor lay with me.
Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano,
(32) my body for his wealth ;) I have ventur’d, againf the authority of the copies, to substitute weal here; i.e. for his welfare, benefit. Wealıb has a more confin'd fignification. Tho' I muft own, that weal and wealtb in our author's time might be in some measure synonomous; as they are now in the words, common-weal, and common. wealıb.