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Ner. It is your musick, madam, of the house.
Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect; Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day.
Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark, When neither is attended; and, I think, The nightingale, if she should sing by day, Whep every goose is cackling, would be thought No better a musician than the wren. How many things by season seasou'd are To their right praise, and true perfection Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endymion, And would not be awak'd!
[Musick ceases. Lor.
That is the voice, Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia. Per. He knows me, as the blind man knows the
cuckoo, By the bad voice. Lor.
Dear lady, welcome home.
Madam, they are not yet;
Go in, Nerissa,
[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
sick, It looks a little paler; 'tis a day, Such as the day is when the sun is hid.
* A flourish on a trumpet.
Enter Bassanio, Antonio, Gratiano, and their fol
lowers. Bass. 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 Bassanio so for me; But God sort all !-You are welcome home, my
lard. Bass. I thank you, madam : give welcome to my
friend, This is the man, this is Antonio, 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.
Ant. No more than I am well acquitted of.
Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house : It must appear in other ways than words, Therefore, I scant this breathing courtesy".
[Gratiano and Nerissa seem to talk apart. Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me
Por. A quarrel, ho, already? what's the matter?
Ner. What talk you of the posy, or the value?
• Verhal, complimentary form.
Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
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; Ap '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, Deserv'd it too; and then the boy, his clerk, That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine: And neither inan, nor master, would take augbt But the two rings.
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, I would deny it; but you see my finger Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone.
Pør. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed
Nor I in yours,
Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Bass. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul,
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 pot deny him any thing I have,
No, not my body, nor my husband's bed:
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; 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. llere, lord Bassanio; swear to keep this ring.
Por. I had it of him : pardon me, Bassanio;
Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano;