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Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth. .
Ner. Nor I in yours,
Sweet Portia, If you
did know to whom I gave the ring, If you did know for whom I
gave And would conceive for what I
Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Bass. No, by mine honor, madam, by my soul,
you been there, I think, you would have begged 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 loved,
1 To contain had nearly the same meaning with to retain.
And that which you did swear to keep for me,
you do not, if I be left alone,
bedfellow. Ner. And I his clerk ; therefore be well advised, 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
pen. Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels. Por. Sir, grieve not you ; you are welcome notwith
Mark you but that!
Nay, but hear me.
Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth ;?
[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.
shall be his surety. Give him this; And bid him keep it better than the other.
Ant. Here, lord Bassanio; swear to keep this ring. Bass. By Heaven, it is the same I
1 Double is here used for deceitful, full of duplicity.
2 i. e. for his advantage. VOL. II.
Por. I had it of him. Pardon me, Bassanio, 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, last night did lie with me.
Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways In summer, where the ways are fair enough ; What are we cuckolds, ere we have deserved it?
Por. Speak not so grossly.—You are all amazed. .
I am dumb.
cuckold ? Ner. Ay; but the clerk that never means to do it; Unless he live until he be a man.
Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow, When I am absent, then lie with my wife.
Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life, and living For here I read for certain, that my ships Are safely come to road. Por.
How now, Lorenzo ? 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 Jessica, From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, After his death, of all he dies possessed of.
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
Por. It is almost morning,
Gra. Let it be so. The first inter’gatory
Of the Merchant of Venice the style is even and easy, with few pe
culiarities of diction, or anomalies of construction.
The comic part
raises laughter, and the serious fixes expectation. The probability of either one or the other story cannot be maintained. The union of two actions in one event is in this drama eminently happy. Dryden was much pleased with his own address in connecting the two plots of his Span
ish Friar, which yet. I believe, the critic will find excelled by this play.