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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,
And by these blessed candles of the night,
Had

you been there, I think, you would have begg'a 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;
l'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,
Now, by mine honour, which is yet my own,
I'll have that Doctor for my bed fellow.

Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis'd,
How you do leave me to mine own protection.

Gra. Well, do you fo; let me not take him then ; For if I do, I'll mar the young clerk’s pen.

Anth. I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels.
Por. Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome, notwith

standing
Ball. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong.
And in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, ev'n by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see myself-
Por. Mark

you

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

Bal. Nay, but hear me :
Pardon this fault, and by my foul I swear,
I never more will break an oath with thee.

Anth. I once did lend my body for his weal ;
Which but for him, that had your husband's ring,

[To Portia.

Had

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 furety.; give him this,
And bid him keep it better than the other.

Anth. Here, lord Bafanio, 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, Bafanio ; 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, lait night did lie 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 grofsly; 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 ;
Nerisa there, her clerk. Lorenzo, here,
Shall witness I fet 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 ftore for you,
Than you expect; unseal this letter foon,
There you shall find, three of your Argosies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly.
You shall not know by what ftrange accident
I chanced on this letter.

Anih. I am dumb.
Baf. 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.

Baf. Sweet Doctor, you shall be my bedfellow; When I am absent, then lie with my

wife. Anth. Sweet lady, you have giv'n me life and living ; For here I read for certain, that my ships Are safely come to road. Por. How now, Lorenko?

My

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 Jeffica,
From the rich few, a special deed of gift,
After his death, of all he dies poffefs'd of.

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

Por. It is almost morning,
And
yet,
I'm

re, you are not satisfy'd
Of these events at full. Let us go in,
And charge us there upon interrgatories, '
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be fo: the first interr'gatory,
That my Neriffa 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 thould 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 Nerisu's ring.

[Exeunt omnesa

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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX ANO
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.

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