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Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.
Lor. That is the voice,
Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows By the bad voice.
[the cuckow, Lor. Dear lady, welcome home. [healths,
Por. We have been praying for our husbands' Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. Are they returned ? · Lor. Madam, they are not, yet ; But there is come a messenger before, To signify their coming.
Por. Go, Nerissa,
Give order to my servants, that they take
[A Trumpet sounds, Lor. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trunWe are no tell-tales, madam, fear you not. [pet ;
Enter BassANIO, ANTHONIO, GRATIANO, and
their followers. Por. You are welcome home, my lord.
Bass. I thank you, madam, give welcome to This is the man, this is Anthonio, [my friend, To whom I am so infinitely bound.
Por. You should, in all sense, be much bound to For, as I hear, he was much bound for you. [him:
Anth. 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. Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me wrong :
[7. Nerissa. In faith, I gave it-to the judge's clerk. Would he were hang'd that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.
Por. A quarrel, ho, already! What's the matter: Gra. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring, . That she did give me, whose poesy was For all the world like cutler's poetry, Upon a knife; love me and leave me not,
Ner. What talk you of the poesy, or the value ? You swore to me, when I did give it you, That you would wear it till your hour of death, And that it should lie with you in your grave: Tho' not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, You should have been respective and kept it. Give it to a judge's clerk ! but well I know, [it. The clerk will ne'er wear hair on's face, that had Gra. He will, and if he live to be a man. Ner. Ay, if a woman live to be a man. Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth; A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy, No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk ; A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee : I could not for my heart deny it him. [you.
Por. You were to blame, I must be pluin with To part so slightly with your wife's first gift: A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger, And rivetted 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. Ņor 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; An '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 thạt 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 man nor master would take aught, But the two rings.
Por. 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.
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth. By Heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed Until I see the ring.
Ner. Nor I in your's, Till I again see mine.
Bass. Sweet Portia, If you did know to whom I gave the ring, If you did know for whom I gave the ring, And would conceive for what I gave the ring, And how unwillingly I left the ring, When nought would be accepted but the ring You would abate the strength of your displeasure.
Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring, Or half her worthiness that gave the ring, Or your own honour to retain the ring, You would not then have parted with the ring, What man is there so much unreasonable,
If you had pleased to have defended it,
Bass. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul,
[begg'd Had yoil been there, I think you would have The ring of me, to give the worthy doctor. [house;
Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my 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 not deny him any thing I have. No, nor 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, it I be left alone, Now by mine honour, which is yet my own, I'll have that doctor for my bedfellow.
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 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.