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140 A gentle scroll. Fair lady, by your leave;
I come by note, to give and to receive.
Hearing applause and universal shout, 145 Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
Whether those peals of praise be his or no:
Until confirm’d, sign’d, ratified by you. 150 Por. You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand,
Such as I am: though for myself alone
I would be trebled twenty times myself; 155 A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times
Exceed account; but the full sum of me
Is an unlesson’d girl, unschool'd, unpractised,
She is not bred so dull but she can learn; 165 Happiest of all in that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed,
Is now converted: but now I was the lord 170 Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now,
175 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 powers, 180 As, after some oration fairly spoke
By a beloved prince, there doth appear
Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy, 185 Express'd and not express’d. 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, 190 To cry, good joy : good joy, my lord and lady!
Gra. My lord Bassanio and my gentle lady,
And when your honours mean to solemnize 195 The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you, Even 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: 200 You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid ;
You loved, I loved : for intermission
And so did mine too, as the matter falls; 205 For wooing here until I sweat again,
And swearing till my very roof was dry
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Achieved her mistress. 210 Por.
Is this true, Nerissa ?
Bass. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage. 215 Gra. 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 hither:
Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave,
So do I, my lord :
Lor. I thank your honour. For my part, my lord,
He did intreat me, past all saying nay,
I did, my lord :
[Gives Bassanio a letter. Bass.
Ere I ope his letter, 230 I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.
Salan. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind ;
Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon stranger; bid her welcome. 235 Your hand, Salanio: what's the news from Venice?
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio ?
I know he will be glad of our success;
Salan. I would you had won the fleece that he hath lost.
Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon same paper, That steals 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! 245 With leave, Bassanio; I am half yourself,
And I must freely have the half of anything
O sweet Portia,
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady, 250 When I did first impart my love to you,
I freely told you, all the wealth I had
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
My state was nothing, I should then have told you
Engaged my friend to his mere enemy,
The paper as the body of my friend,
Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one hit ? 265 From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India ?
Not one, my lord.
270 The present money to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it. Never did I know
He plies the duke at morning and at night, 275 And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
If they deny him justice: twenty merchants,
But none can drive him from the envious plea 280 Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.
Jes. When I was with him I have heard him swear
Than twenty times the value of the sum
If law, authority, and power deny not,
Por. Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble ?
Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man, 290 The best-condition'd and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies, and one in whom
Por. What sum owes he the Jew ?
What, no more?
Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault.
And then away to Venice to your friend;