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Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and this same myself
Are yours, my lord: I give them with this ring,
Which, when you part from, luse or give away,
Let it presage the ruin of your love,
And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
Bass. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins;
And there is such confusion in my pow'rs,
As, after fome oration fairly spoke
By a beloved prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleased multitude;
Where every something, being blent together,
Turns to a wild of nothing, fave of joy
Exprest, and not exprest. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence :
0, then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead.
Ner. My lord and lady, it is now our time,
That have stood by, and seen our wishes prosper,
To cry, good joy, good joy, my lord and lady!
GRA. My lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy that you can with;
For, I am sure, you can with none from me:
And when your honours mean to folemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Ev’n at that time I may be married too.
Bass. With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.
GRA. I thank your lordship, you have got me one. My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours ; You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid; You lov’d; I lov'd : for intermiffion No more pertains to me, my lord, than you. Vol. I.
Your fortune stood upon the casket there;
And so did mine too, as the matter falls :
For wooing here until I sweat again ;
And swearing till my very roof was dry ·
With oaths of love ; at last, if promise last,
I got a promise of this fair one here,
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Atchiev'd her mistress.
Por. Is this true, Nerissa?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal.
BA88. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
Gra. Yes, faith, my lord.
Bass. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.
Gra. We'll play with them, the first boy for a thousand ducats.
Ner. What, and stake down ? '...
Gra. No, we shall ne'er win at that sport, and stake down.
But who comes here ? Lorenzo and his infidel ?
What, and my old Venetian friend, Salanio?
Enter Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salanio.
Bass. Lorenzo and Salanio, welcome bither;
If that the youth of my new interest here
Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave,
I bid my very friends and country-men,
Sweet Portia, welcome.
Por. So do I, my lord; they are intirely welcome.
Lor. I thank your honour. For my part, my lord,
My purpose was not to have seen you here ; .
But meeting with Salanio by the way,
He did intreat me, past all saying nay,
To come with him along.
Sal. I did, my lord,
And I have reason for't. Signior Anthonio
Commends him to you.
[Gives Baffanio a letter. Bass. Ere I ope his letter, I pray you tell me how my good friend doth ?
SAL. Not fick, my lord, unless it be in mind; Nor well, unless in mind; his letter there Will shew you his estate. [Bassanio opens the letter,
Cra. Nerissa, cheer yond stranger : Bid her welcome. Your hand, Salanio; what's the news from Venice? How doth that royal merchant, good Anthonio? I know, he will be glad of our success : We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece..
Sal. Would you had won the fleece, that he hath loft !
Por. There are some shrewd contents in yond fame paper,
That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek:
Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world
Could turn so much the constitution
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse!
With leave, Bassanio, I am half yourself,
And I must have the half of any thing
That this same paper brings you.
Bass. O sweet Portia !
Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words
That ever blotted paper. Gentle lady,
When I did first impart my love to you, ..
I freely, told you, all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman ;
And then I told you true. And yet, dear lady,
Rating myself at nothing, you shall fee
How much I was a braggart : when I told you,
My state was nothing, I should then have told you,
That I was worse than nothing. For, indeed,
I have engag'd myself to a dear friend,
Engag'd my friend to his meer enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady,
The paper 'as the body of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salanio?
Have all his ventures faild? what not onę hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, from England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India ?
And not one vessel scap'd the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?
SAL. Not one, my lord,
(Besides, it should appear, that if he had
The present mony to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it. Never did I know
A creature, that did bear the shape of many
So keen and greedy to confound a man,
He plies the duke at morning and at night,
And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
If they deny him justice, . Twenty merchants,
The duke himself and the magnificoes
Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him;
But none can drive him from the envious plea
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.
Jes. When I was with him, I have heard him swear,
To Tubal and to Chus his country-men,
That he would rather have Anthonio's flesh, ..
Than twenty times the value of the sum
That he did owe him; and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and pow'r deny not,
It will go hard with poor Anthonio.
Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trouble?
Bass. The dearest friend to me; the kindeft man ;
The best condition'
d a n unweary'd fpirit
In doing courtesies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears,
Than any that draws breath in Italy.,
Por. What sum owes he the Jew.
BBss. For me, three thousand ducats.
Pok. What, no more?
Pay him fix thousand and deface the bond;
Double fix thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this defcription
Shall lose a hair through my Bassanio's fault.
First, go with me to church, and call me wife,
And then away to Venice to your friend:
For never shall you lie by Portia's fide
With an unquiet foul. You shall have gold
To pay the petty debt twenty times over.
When it is paid, bring your true friend along ;
My maid Nerissa and my elf, mean time,
Wilt live as maids and widows. Come away!
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day.
Bid your friends welcome, sew a merry cheer ;
Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.
But let me hear the letter of your friend. Bass. reads. “ Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscar“ carry'd, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, “ my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since, in paying it, it 6 is impoflible I should live, all debts are cleared between