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Fer. I'm never merry, when I hear sweet musick.

Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive;
For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
(Which is the hot condition of their blood)
If they perchance but hear a trumpet found,
Or any air of musick touch their cars,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand;
Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze,
By the sweet power of musick. Therefore, the Poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods;
Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage,
But musick for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no mufick in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils ;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus :
Let no such man be trusted - Mark the musick,

Enter Portia and Neriffa.
Por. That light we fee, is burning in my

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
Ner. When the moon fhone, we did not see the

candle. Por. So doth the greater glory dim the less; A substitute fhines brightly as a King, Until a King be by; and then his state Empties it felf, as doth an inland brook Into the main of waters. Musick, hark ! [Musick.

Ner. It is the musick, madam, of your house.

Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect : Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Ner. Silence bestows the virtue on it, madam.

Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark, When neither is attended;

and, I think, The nightingale, if the should sing by day,


When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season feason'd are
To their right praise, and true perfection?
Peace ! how the moon sleeps with Endimion,
And would not be awaked!

[Mufick ceases. Lor. That is the voice, Or I am much deceiv’d, of Portia.

Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows the cuckow, By the bad voice. Lor. Dcar lady, welcome home.

Por. We have been praying for our husbands healths,
Which speed, we hope, the better for our words.
Are they return'd.?

Lor. Madam, they are not yet;
But there is come a messenger before,
To signifie their coming.

Por. Go, Nerisa,
Give order to my servants, that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence;
Nor you, Lorenzo; Jesrca, nor you. [A Tucket sounds.

Lor. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet : We are no tell-tales, madam, fear you 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.

Bal. We should hold day with the Antipodes, If you would walk in absence of the sun.

Por. Let me give light, but let me not be light ; For a light wife doth make a heavy husband; And never be Bafanio so from me ; But God sort all: you're welcome home, my lord.

Bas I thank you, madam : give welcome to my friend; This is the man, this is Antbonio, To whom I am so infinitely bound.

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.


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Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house; It must appear in other ways than words; Therefore I scant this breathing courtesic.

Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me wrong; In faith, I gave

it to the judge's clerk. [To Nerifia. Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.

Por. A quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter?

Gra. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring,
That she did give me, whose poesie was
For all the world like cutler's poetry
Upon a knife; Love me, and leave me not.

Ner. What talk you of the poesie, 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 lye with you in your grave:
Tho' not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
You should have been respective, and have kept it.
Gave it a Judge's clerk! but well I know,
The clerk will ne'er wear hair on's 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 thy self, 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

To part so slightly with your wife's first gift;
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And riveted 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.

Ball. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
And Twear, I lost the ring defending it. [Aside.


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Gra. My lord Basanio 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 begg'd mine
And neither 'man, nor master, would take ought
But the two rings.

Pór. What ring gave you, my lord ?
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me.

Bas. 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.
Ner. Nor I in

yours, Till I again fee mine.

Bal. 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

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 retain 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 modefty
To urge the thing held as a ceremony ?
Nerisa teaches me what to 'believe;
I'll die for't, but fome woman had the ring.

Ball. 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?


the ring,

I was enforc'd to send it after him ;
I was besec with shame and courtesie;
My honour would not ler 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 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 me not take him then; For if I do, I'll mar the

pen. Ant. I am th' unhappy subje&t of these quarrels. Por. Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome, not

Bal. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong.
And in the bearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, ev'n by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see my self

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

Baf. 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; (32)


young clerk's

(32 my Body for his Wealth ;] I have ventur'd, against the Authority of the Copies, to substitute Weal bere; i. 6. for his Welfare,


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