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The danger formerly by me rehearsed.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the Duke.

[Shylock kneels, speechless. Gratiano. Beg that thou mayst have leave to hang

thyself : And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state, 360 Thou hast not left the value of a cord; Therefore thou must be hanged at the state's charge.

Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirits, I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it : For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's ;

365 The other half comes to the general state, Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

Portia. Aye, for the state—not for Antonio.
Shylock [in a low moan). Nay, take my life and all ;

pardon not that:
You take my house, when you do take the prop 370
That doth sustain my house : you take my life,
When you do take the means whereby I live.
Portia. What mercy can you render him, Antonio ?

[Shylock staggers to his feet. Gratiano. A halter gratis ; nothing else, for God's sake.

Antonio. So please my lord the Duke, and all the court, To quit the fine for one half of his goods,

376 I am content; so he will let me have The other half in use, to render it, Upon his death, unto the gentleman That lately stole his daughter : Two things provided more, that, for this favour, He presently become a Christian; (Shylock's face works convulsively, and he lifts his

hands appealingly to the Duke. The other, that he do record a gift, Here in the court, of all he dies possessed, Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.

385 Duke. He shall do this, or else I do recant The pardon that I late pronounced here.

Portia. Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say?
Shylock [after a long pause). I am content.
Portia.

Clerk, draw a deed of gift. Shylock. I pray you give me leave to go from hence; I am not well ; send the deed after me,

391 And I will sign it.

380 401

Duke.

Get thee gone, but do it. [Shylock totters out of court, feeling his way along the

wall, Gratiano following him as far as the door. Gratiano. In christening thou shalt have two god.

fathers : Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more, To bring thee to the gallows, not the font. 395 Duke (to Portia). Sir, I entreat you home with me to

dinner. Portia. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon : I must away this night toward Padua, And it is meet I presently set forth.

Duke. I am sorry that your leisure serves you not. Antonio, gratify this gentleman; For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.

[Exeunt the Duke, with the Magnificoes and his train. Bassanio. Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted Of grievous penalties ; in lieu whereof,

405 Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, We freely cope your courteous pains withal.

Antonio. And stand indebted, over and above, In love and service to you evermore.

Portia. He is well paid that is well satisfied ; 410 And I, delivering you, am satisfied, And therein do account myself well paid : My mind was never yet more mercenary. I pray you, [with a slight laugh, which she checks at once]

know me when we meet again : I wish you well, and so I take my leave.

415 Bassanio. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you farther: Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute, Not as a fee : grant me two things, I pray you, Not to deny me, and to pardon me.

Portia. You press me far, and therefore I will yield. [To Antonio.] Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for

421 [To Bassanio.] And, for your love, I'll take this ring from

you: Do not draw back your hand: I'll take no more; And you in love shall not deny me this.

Bassanio. This ring, good sir-alas, it is a trifle ! 425 I will not shame myself to give you this ;

N

your sake;

S

430

Portia. I will have nothing else but only this;
And now methinks I have a mind to it.
Bassanio. There's more depends on this than on the

value.
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
And find it out by proclamation :
Only for this, I pray you pardon me.

Portia. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers :
You taught me first to beg; and now methinks
You teach me how a beggar should be answered. 435
Bassanio. Good sir, this ring was given me by my

wife; And, when she put it on, she made me vow That I should never sell nor give nor lose it. Portia. That 'scuse serves many men to save their

gifts. An if your wife be not a mad-woman,

440 And know how well I have deserved this ring, She would not hold out enemy for ever, For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you !

[Exeunt Portia and Nerissa. Antonio. My Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring : Let his deservings, and my love withal,

445 Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandement.

Bassanio. Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him ; Give him the ring; and bring him, if thou canst, Unto Antonio's house : away! make haste.

[Exit Gratiano with the ring. Come, you and I will thither presently ;

450 And in the morning early will we both Fly toward Belmont : come, Antonio. [Exeunt.

SCENE VII. THE COMEDY OF THE RINGS.

Portia and Nerissa, with their disguises laid aside, return

to Belmont and find Lorenzo and Jessica in the garden and music playing to welcome them. It is a bright moonlight night, but passing clouds have just covered

the moon. Nerissa had succeeded in begging her husband's ring as

he showed the supposed clerk the way to Shylock's house after the trial when she went to deliver the deed for signature.

Enter Portia aħd Nerissa. Portia. That light we see is burning in my hall. How far that little candle throws his beams ! So shines a good deed in a naughty world. Nerissa. When the moon shone, we did not see the

candle. Portia. So doth the greater glory dim the less : 5 A substitute shines brightly as a king, Until a king be by; and then his state Empties itself, as doth an inland brook Into the main of waters. Music ! hark !

Nerissa. It is your music, madam, of the house. 10 Portia. Nothing is good, I see, without respect : Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Nerissa, Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.

Portia. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark, When neither is attended ; and I think

15 The nightingale, if she should sing by day, When every goose is cackling, would be thought No better a musician than the wren. Peace, ho! the moon sleeps with Endymion, And would not be awaked. [The music ceases.

Lorenzo [advancing to meet them). That is the voice, 20 Or I am much deceived, of Portia. Portia. He knows me, as the blind man knows the

cuckoo, By the bad voice. Lorenzo.

Dear lady, welcome home. Portia. We have been praying for our husbands' wel.

fare, Which speed, we hope, the better for our words.

25 Are they returned ? Lorenzo.

Madam, they are not yet ;
But there is come a messenger before,
To signify their coming.
Portia.

Go in, Nerissa ;
Give order to my servants that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence ;

30 Nor you, Lorenzo; Jessica, nor you. (A tucket sounds, and at this moment the moon shines

out again. Lorenzo. Your husband is at hand; I hear his trumpet: We are no tell-tales, madam ; fear you not.

Portia. This night methinks is but the daylight sick ; It looks a little paler : 'tis a day,

35 Such as the day is when the sun is hid. Enter Bassanio, Antonio, Gratiano, and their followers.

Bassanio and Gratiano greet their wives. Bassanio. We should hold day with the Antipodes, If you would walk in absence of the sun.

Portia. Let me give light, but let me not be light; For a light wife doth make a heavy husband, 40 And never be Bassanio so for me : But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord. Bassanio. I thank you, madam: give welcome to my

friend; This is the man, this is Antonio, To whom I am so infinitely bound.

45 Portia. You should in all sense be much bound to him, For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.

Antonio. No more than I am well acquitted of.

Portia. Sir, you are very welcome to our house : It must appear in other ways than words,

50 Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy. Gratiano [excitedly to Nerissa]. By yonder moon I

swear you do me wrong ; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk.

Portia. A quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter ?

Gratiano. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring 55 That she did give me; whose posy was For all the world like cutler's poetry Upon a knife, ‘Love me, and leave me not.'

Nerissa. What talk you of the posy 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; Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, You should have been respective, and have kept it. Gave it a judge's clerk ! no, God's my judge, 65 The clerk will ne'er wear hair on 's face that had it.

Gratiano. He will, an if he live to be a man. Nerissa. Aye, if a woman live to be a man. Gratiano. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,

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