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You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid :
You lov’d, I lov'd; for intermission
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the caskets 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
Achiev'd her mistress.
Por.

Is this true, Nerissa?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal.
Bass. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
Gra. Yes, 'faith, my lord.
Bass. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your mar-

riage. 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, Salerio ?

Enter LORENZO, JESSICA, and SALERIO”.
Bass. Lorenzo, and Salerio, welcome hither,
If that the youth of my new interest here
Have power to bid you welcome.—By your leave
I bid my very friends and countrymen,
Sweet Portia, welcome.
Por.

So do I, my lord :
They are entirely welcome.

Lor. I thank your honour.–For my part, my lord, My purpose was not to have seen you here,

and Salerio.] “ A Messenger from Venice" is added in the stage-direetion of the quartos.

But meeting with Salerio by the way,
He did entreat me, past all saying nay,
To come with him along.
Sale.

I did, my lord,
And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio
Commends him to you. [Gives BASSANIO a letter.
Bass.

Ere I ope his letter,
I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.

Sale. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind;
Nor well, unless in mind : his letter there
Will show you his estate.

Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon stranger; bid her welcome.
Your hand, Salerio: what's the news from Venice?
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio?
I know, he will be glad of our success ;
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.
Sale. I would you had won the fleece that he hath

lost! Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon same

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 freely 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,

8 Will show you his estate.] Here the old stage-direction is, “He opens the letter ;" but this must, of course, be understocd as applying to Bassanio, who reads the letter, while the rest pursue the conversation.

Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
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 mere 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, Salerio ?
Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one hit ?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India ?
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?
Sale.

Not one, my lord.
Besides, it should appear, that if he had
The present money to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it. Never did I know
A creature, that did bear the shape of man,
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 countrymen,
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh,
Than twenty times the value of the sum
That he did owe him; and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.

Por. Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble? Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,

The best condition'd and unwearied spirit
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 ?
Bass. For me, three thousand ducats.
Por.

What, no more?
Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond :
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description
Shall lose a hairo through 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 side
With an unquiet soul. 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 myself, mean time,
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away!
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day.
Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer ;
Since you are dear bought, I will love you -
But let me hear the letter of your friend.

Bass. [Reads.]' “ Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since in paying it it is impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and I, if I might but see you at my death. Notwithstanding, use your pleasure: if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.”

Por. O love! despatch all business, and begone.

you dear.

• Shall lose a hair – ] So all the old copies. Malone reads should, which Boswell asserts is supported by the 4to. of Heyes, and by the folio. This is a strange mistake. For the metre we ought perhaps to read thorough “through,” instead of making “hair,” as Malone contended, a dissyllable.

1 Bass. reads.] In the old copies it is printed as if Portia had read the letter, but she had only asked to “hear” it. When it is done, she continues to speak without any fresh prefix. VOL. II.

M m

Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away,

I will make haste; but till I come again,
No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay,
Nor rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

Venice. A Street.

Enter SHYLOCK, SALANIO, ANTONIO, and Jailor. Shy. Jailor, look to him : tell not me

of mercy. This is the fool that lent out money gratis?.Jailor, look to him. Ant.

Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Shy. I'll have my bond ; speak not against my

bond:
I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond.
Thou call’dst me dog before thou hadst a cause,
But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs.
The duke shall grant me justice.—I do wonder,
Thou naughty jailor, that thou art so fond
To come abroad with him at his request.

Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.

Shy. I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak : I'll have my bond, and therefore speak no more. I'll not be made a soft and dull-ey'd fool, To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield To Christian intercessors. Follow not ; I'll have no speaking: I will have my bond.

[Exit SHYLOCK.

? This is the fool that lent out money gratis.) This is the reading of both the quartos ; and now Antonio is ruined and in prison, it is more proper for Shylock to speak in the past, than in the present tense. The folio has lends, at a time when Antonio has nothing to lend.

3 – SO FOND] i. e. So foolish. See note 5, p. 37.

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