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Consisteth of all nations. Therefore go,
These griefs and losses have so 'bated me,
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh,
To-morrow, to my bloody creditor.
Well, jailer, on; pray heav’n Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!

[Ereunt.

SCENE-A Chamber in Portia's House. Enter PortiA, NERISSA, LORENZO, JESSICA,

and BALTHAZAR, a man of Portia's.
Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your pre-
You have a noble, and a true conceit [sence,
Of godly amity ; which appears most strongly,
In bearing thus the absence of your lord.
But if you knew to whom you shew this honour,
How true a gentleman you send relief to,
How dear a lover of my lord, your husband ;
I know you would be prouder of the work,
Than customary bounty can enforce you.

Por. I never did repent of doing good,
And shall not now. For in companions
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must needs be a like proportion,
Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirits :
Which makes me think that this Anthonio,
Being the bosom lover of my lord,

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Must needs be like my lord. If it be so,
How little is the cost I have bestowed,
In purchasing the semblance of my soul,
From out of the state of hellish cruelty ?
This comes too near the praising of myself.
Therefore, no more of it: hear other things.-
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands
The husbandry and manage of my house,
Until my lord's return. For my own part,
I have towrd heaven breath'd a secret vow,
To live in pray’r and contemplation,
Only attended by Nerissa here,
Until her husband and my lord's return.
There is a monastery, two miles off,
And there we will abide. I do desire
Not to deny this imposition :
The which my 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. [you!

Lor. Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on Jes. I wish your ladyship all heart's content. Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well

pleased

le nece

To wish it back on you. Fare you well, Jessica. Now, Balthazar.

[E.reunt Jes, and Lor. 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 Into my cousin's hand, Doctor Bellario ; [thee; And look what notes and garments he doth give Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed, Unto the Traject, to the common ferry, Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words, But get thee gone; I shall be there before thee. Bal. Madam, I go with all convenient speed.

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

Ner. Shall they see us ?

Por. They shall, Nerissa ; 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 apparell'd like young men,(57)

(27) Portia, habited as a boy, may be seen in the figure of Cupid, who had the same prototype, No. 22, ante. By conceiving the lights around her to constitute the skirts of her robe, it is not difficult to imagine her either in her proper character as a woman, or in a counsellor's robe, in

P'll 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 sieps Into a manly stride; and speak of frays, Like a fine bragging youth ; and tell quaint lies, How honourable ladies sought my love, Which I denying, they fell sick and died : I could not do with all; then I'll repent, And wish, for all that, that I had not 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 my mind, A thousand raw tricks of these bragging jacks, Which I will practise. But, come, I'll tell thee all my whole device, When I am in my coach, which stays for us At the park gate; and therefore haste away, For we must measure twenty miles to-day.

[Exeunt, Enter LAUNCELOT and Jessica. Laun. Yes, truly; for look you, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children ; therefore, I promise you, I fear you. I was always plain with

which she appears hereafter. Neither is it difficult to fancy Nerissa, on viewing her prototype, to be in a male or female dress.

you; and so now I speak my agitation of the matter: therefere be of good cheer; for truly, I think, you are damn’d. - There is but one h opein it that can do you any good, and that is but a kind of bastard hope, neither.

Jes. 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.

Jes. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed. So the sins of my mother shall be visited upon me.

Laun. Truly, then, I fear you are damn'd both by father and mother: thus when you shun Scylla, your father, you fall into Charybdis, your mother. Well, you are gone both ways.

Jes. 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 rasher on the coals for money.

Enter Lorenzo. Jes. I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say. Here he comes.

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

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