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The husbandry and manage of my house,
Until my lord's return. For mine own part,
I have tow'rd heaven breath'd a secret vow,
To live in prayer and contemplation,
Only attended by Nerisa here,
Until her husband and my lord's return.
There is a monastery two miles off,
And there we will abide. I do desire you,
Not to deny this imposition :
The which


love and some necessity Now lays upon you.

Lor. Madam, with all my heart;
I shall obey you in all fair commands.

Por. My people do already know my mind,
And will acknowledge you and Jessica
In place of lord Bassanio and myself.
So fare you well, 'till we shall meet again.

Lor. Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you !
Jes. I wish your ladyship all heart's content.

Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas'd To wish it back on you : fare you well, Jesica.

(Exeunt Jer, and Lor. Now, Balthazar, As I have ever found thee honest, true, So let me find thee still: take this same letter, And use thou all th' endeavour of a man, In speed to Padua ; see thou render this (22) Into

my cousin's hand, Doctor Bellario ; And look what notes and garments he doth give thee, Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed Unto the Traject, to the common ferry Which trades to Venice : wafte no time in words, But get thee gone; I shall be there before thee.

(22) In speed to Mantua ;] Thus all the old copies; and thus all the modern editors implicitly after them. But 'tis evident to any diligent reader, that we must restore, as I have done, In speed to Padua : for it was there, and not at Mantua, Bellario lív’d." So afterwards; -A messenger, with letters from tbe Doctor, new come from Padua ---And again, Came you from Padua, from Bellario !---And again, It comes from Padua, from Bellario.---Besides, Padua, not Mantua, is the place of education for the civil law in Italy,


Bal. Madam, I go with all convenient speed. [Exit.

Por. Come on, Nerisa; I have work in hand, That you yet know not of: we'll fee our husbands Before they think of us.

Ner. Shall they see ús ?

Por. They Mall, Nerisa; but in such a habit,
That they shall think we are accomplished
With what we lack. I'll hold thee any wager,
When we are both apparel'd like young men,

prove the prettier fellow of the two,
And wear my dagger with the braver grace;
And speak between the change of man and boy,
With a reed voice; and turn two mincing steps
Into a manly ftride; and speak of frays,
Like a fine bragging youth ; and tell quaint lies,
How honourable ladies sought my love,
Which I denying, they fell fick and dy'd,
I could not do with all : then I'll repent,
And wish, for all that, that I had noc kill'd them.
And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell ;
That men shall swear, I've discontinued school
Above a twelve-month. I have in


mind A thousand raw tricks of these bragging jacks, Which I will practife.

Ner. Shall we turn to men ?

Por. Fie, what a question's that, If thou wert near a lewd interpreter! But come, l'll tell thee all my whole device When I am in my coach, which stays for us At the park-gate; and therefore hafte away, For we must measure twenty miles to-day. [Exeunt.

Enter Launcelot and Jeffica. Laun. Yes, truly : for, look you, the fins of the fathers are to be laid upon the children: therefore, I promise you; I fear you. I was always plain with you ; and so now I speak my agitation of the matter : there. fore be of good cheer; for truly, I think you are damn'd: there is but one hope in it that can do you any good, and that is but a kind of baftard hope neither.




Fef. And what hope is that, I pray thee?

Laun. Marry, you may partly hope that your father got you not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.

Fes. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed; so the fins of my mother should be visited upon me.

Laun. Truly, then, I fear, you are damn’d both by father and mother ; thus when you shun Scylla, (23) your father, you fall into Charybdis, your mother : well, you gone both

ways. Jef. I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian.

Laun. Truly, the more to blame he; we were christians enough before, e'en as many as could well live one by another: this making of christians will raise the price of hogs; if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rather on the coals for money.

Enter Lorenzo Jef. I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you fay : here he comes.

Lor. I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if you thus get my wife into corners.

Jef. Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo; Launcelot and I are out; he tells me flatly, there is no mercy for me in heav'n, because I am a few's daughter: and he says, you are no good member of the common wealth; for, in converting Jews to christians, you raise the price of pork.

(23) Tbus wben you foun Scylla, your fatber,] By the allusion which Launcelot makes here, 'tis evident, Sbakespeare was no franger to this Hexamiter, nor the application of it;

Incidit in Scyllum, cupiens vitare Charybdim. Erasmus in his Adagies, quotes this verse as one very much in vogue with the Latines; but fays, be does not remember its author. I prelume, it might have been founded upon the Greek proverbial sentence, likewife quoted by him, Tην Χάρυβδιν εκφυγών τη Σκύλλη περιέπισον. This is one of those lambics, he tells us, which were call'd, Dimetri öxborner. For my own part, (throwing out this cramp definition) ! think it might have been a plain lambic, as moft of the proverbial Gnomes were, and only dismounted from its numbers by the unneceffary insertion of the articles. I would read it: Σκύλλη περιέισον, Χάρυβδιν εκφυγών.


Lor. I shall answer that better to the common-wealth, than you can the getting up of the negro's belly: the Mcor is with child by you, Launcelot.

Laun. It is much, that the Moor should be more than reason : but if she be less than an honest woman, she is indeed more than I took her for.

Lor. How every fool can play upon the word! I think, the best grace of wit will sortly turn into filence, and discourse grow commendable in none' but parrots.

Go in, firrah, bid them prepare for dinner.

Laun. That is done, Sir; they have all stomachs.

Lor. Good lord, what a wit-snapper are you! then bid them prepare dinner.

Laun. That is done too, Sir; only cover is the word.
Lor. Will you cover then, Sir ?
Laun. Not so, Sir, neither; I know my duty.

Lor. Yet more quarrelling with occasion! -wilt thou shew the whole wealth of thy wit iņ an instant. I pray thee, understand a plain man in his plain meaning: go to thy fellows, bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.

Laun. For the table, Sir, it shall be serv'd in : for the meat, Sir, it shall be covered; for your coming in to dinner, Sir, why, let it be as humours and conceits shall govern.

[Exit Laun.
Lor. O dear discretion, how his words are suited!
The fool has planted in his memory
An army of good words; and I do know
A many fools that stand in better place,
Gar h'd like him, that for a tricksy word
Defy the matter : how far'st thou, Jessica?
And now, good sweet, say thy opinion,
How doft thou like the lord Bassanio's wife?

Fef. Paft all expressing: it is very meet,
The lord Basanio live an upright life.
For, having such a blefling in his lady,
He finds the joys of heaven here on earth :
And if on earth he do not merit it,
In reason he should never come to heav'n.
Why, if two Gods should play some heav'nly match,


And on the wager lay two earthly women,
And Portia one, there must be something else
Pawn'd with the other; for the poor rude world
Hath not her fellow.

Lor. Even such a husband
Halt thou of me, as she is for a wife.

Jef. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that.
Lor. I will anon: first, let us go to dinner.
Jes. Nay, let me praise you, while I have a stomach.
Lor. No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk;
Then, howsoe'er thou speak’st, ’mong other things,
I shall digeft it.
Jes. Well, I'll set you forth.

[ Exeunt.

SCENE, the Senate-house in Venice.

Enter the Duke, the Senators ; Anthonio, Bassanio.

and Gratiano, at the Bar.



HAT, is Anthonio here?

Ant. Ready, so please your Grace.
Duke. I'm sorry for thee; thou art come to answer
A ftony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty

dram of mercy.
Ant. I have heard,
Your Grace hath ta’en great pains to qualify
His rig'rous course; but since he stands obdurate,
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury; and am arm’d
To luffer, with a quietness of spirit,


of his.
Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the Court.
Sal. He's ready at the door: he comes, my

lord. VOL. II.



The very tyranny

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