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'my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady? was enforc'd to send it after him ; was beset with shame and courtesie; y honour would not let ingratitude much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady, d by these blessed candles of the night, xd you been there, I think, you would have begg'd ne ring of me, to give the worthy Doctor. Por. Let not that Doctor e'er come near my house, nce he hath got the jewel that I lovod, nd that which you did swear to keep for me : will become as liberal as you ; Il not deny him any thing I have, 6, not my body, nor my husband's bed ; now him I shall, I am well sure of it. ye not a night from home; watch me, like Argus :

you do not, if I be left alone, low, by mine honour, which is yet my own, 'll have that Doctor for my

bedfellow. Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis'd,

you do leave me to mine own protection. Gra. Well, do you fo; let me not take him then ; or if I do, I'll mar the young


pen. Ant. I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels. Por

. Sir, grieve not you ; you are welcome, notwithstanding Bal. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong. Ind in the hearing of these mány friends, swear to thee, ev'n by thine own fair eyes, Wherein I see my self Por. Mark


but that!
in both mine eyes he doubly sees himself;
In each eye, one ; swear by your double felf,
And there's an oath of credit !

Baff. 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 weal ;
Which but for him, that had your husband's ring,

[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 Bas. By heav'n, it is the fame I gave the Doctor

Por. I had it of him : pardon me, Basanio; 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 lye with me.

Gra. Why, this is like the mending of high-ways In summer, where the ways are fair enough: What! are we cuckolds, ere we have deferv'd 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


shall find, that Portia was the Doctor ;
Nerisa there, her clerk. Lorenze, here,
Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
And even but now return'd: I have not yet
Enter'd my house. · Anthonio, you are welcome ;
And I have better news in store for you,
Than you expect ; unseal this letter foon,
There you fall find, three of your Argofies
Are richly come to Harbour suddenly.
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chanced on this letter.

Ant. I am dumb.
Bal. Were you the Doctor, and I knew you not?
Gra. Were you the clerk, that is to make me cuckolu

Ner. Ay, but the clerk, that never means to do it, Unless he live until he be a man.

Bal. Sweet Doctor, you shall be my bedfellow ; When I am ablent, then lye with my wife.

Ant. Sweet lady, you have giv'n me life and living i 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 Jefica,
From the rich few, a special Deed of Gift,
After his death, of all he dies pofsess'd of.

Lor. Fair ladies, you drop Manna in the way
Of starved people.

Por. It is almost morning,
And yet, I'm sure, you are not satisfy'd
Of these events at full. Let us go in,
And charge us there upon interr'gatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be fo: the first interr’gatory,
That my Nerisa 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,
Till I were couching with the Doctor's clerk.
Well, while I live, I'll fear no other thing
So fore, as keeping safe Nerisa's ring.

[Exeunt omnes.

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