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And how unwillingly I left the ring,
Portia. If you had known the virtue 2 of the ring,
Bassanio. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul, No woman had it; but a civil doctor,5 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? 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,
1. Strength, violence.
remarks that the use of the word 2. Virtue, power, qualities. in this sense is a license. 3. And your own honour, depend
5. i. e, a doctor of law, ing upon your retaining the ring.
4. i. e. kept in a measure religi- 6. To hold up, to sustain, to preously, or superstitiously. Johnson serve.
Now, by mine honour, which is yet mine own,
Nerissa. And I his clerk; therefore, be well advis'd
Gratiano. Well, do you so: let not me take him, then; For, if I do, I 'll mar the young clerk's pen.
Antonio. I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels.
Mark you but that!
Nay, but hear me:
Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth, 3
Por. Then, you shall be his surety: Give him this;
Ant. Here, lord Bassanio; swear to keep this ring.
Por. I had it of him: pardon me, Bassanio;
Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano;
Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways
1. i. e. this wrong to which I was was at that time the opposite to adforced.
versity, or calamity. We use it still 2. i. e. your deceitful self. in this sense in the word common
3. i. e. for his, weal, advantage, wealth. prosperity. Johnson says that wealth 4. Advisedly, purposely, knowingly
Portia. Speak not so grossly: You are all amaz'd:
I am dumb.
Nerissa. 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. 4 Por.
How now, Lorenzo ?
Ner. Ay, and I 'll give them him without a fee. —
Lorenzo. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
It is almost morning,
Let us go in; And charge us there upon inter'gatories, And we will answer all things faithfully.
1. i. e. richly laden.
4. i. e. to anchor. A road is ground 2. This letter came into my pos- where ships may anchor. session.
5. These events are not yet quite 3. i. e. riches, fortune.
clear to you. Merchant of Venice,
Gratiano. Let it be so: the first inter'gatory,
as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.
1. So sore, to such a degree, so much.
LEIPZIG: PRINTED BY FERBER & SEYDEL.