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For all the world, like cutler's poetry
Ner. What talk you of the posy, or the value?
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. [Aside.
Gra. My lord Bassanio gave his ring away Unto the judge that begg'd it, and, indeed, Desery'd it too; and then the boy, his clerk, That took some 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.
Bass. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
Nor I in yours,
Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty
Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my house:
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.
Mark you but that!
Nay, but hear me:
Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth 63 ; 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,
Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways
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 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 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. 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.
Buss. 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