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And that which you did swear to keep for me,
you not, if I be left alone,
Ner. And I his clerk ; therefore be well advised, How you
do leave me to mine own protection. Gra. Well, do you so; let not me take him then; For if I do, I'll mar the young
pen. Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels. Por. Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome notwith
Mark you but that!
Nay, but hear me.
Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth ;?
[To PORTIA Had quite miscarried. I dare be bound again, My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord Will never more break faith advisedly.
Por. Then you shall be his surety. Give him this; And bid him keep it better than the other.
Ant. Here, lord Bassanio; swear to keep this ring. Bass. By Heaven, it is the same I gave the doctor!
1 Double is here used for deceitful, full of duplicity.
2 i. e. for his advantage. VOL. II.
Por. I had it of him. Pardon me, Bassanio, For by this ring the doctor lay with me.
Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano; For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk, In lieu of this, last night did lie with me.
Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways In summer, where the ways are fair enough; What! are we cuckolds, ere we have deserved it?
Por. Speak not so grossly.—You are all amazed. Here is a letter; read it at your leisure; It comes from Padua, from Bellario; There
shall find, that Portia was the doctor ;
I am dumb.
cuckold? Ner. Ay; but the clerk that never means to do it; Unless he live until he be a man. Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be my
bedfellow ; When I am absent, then lie with my wife. .
Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life, and living; For here I read for certain, that my ships Are safely come to road. Por.
How now, Lorenzo ? My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.
Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee.There do I give to you, and Jessica, From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, After his death, of all he dies possessed of.
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
Por. It is almost morning,
Gra. Let it be so. The first intergatory
go to bed now, being two hours to day;
Of the Merchant of Venice the style is even and easy, with few pe
culiarities of diction, or anomalies of construction.
The comic part
raises laughter, and the serious fixes expectation. The probability of either one or the other story cannot be maintained. The union of two actions in one event is in this drama eminently happy. Dryden was much pleased with his own address in connecting the two plots of his Spanish Friar, which yet, I believe, the critic will find excelled by this play.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
DR. GREY and Mr. Upton asserted that this play was certainly borrowed from the Coke's Tale of Gamelyn, printed in Urry's Chaucer; but it is hardly likely that Shakspeare saw that in manuscript, and there is a more obvious source from whence he derived his plot, viz. the pastoral romance of “ Rosalynde, or Euphues' Golden Legacy,” by Thomas Lodge, first printed in 1590. From this he has sketched his principal characters, and constructed his plot; but those admirable beings, the melancholy Jaques, the witty Touchstone, and his Audrey, are of the poet's own creation. Lodge's novel is one of those tiresome (I had almost said unnatural) pastoral romances, of which the Euphues of Lyly and the Arcadia of Sidney were also popular examples. It has, however, the redeeming merit of some very beautiful verses interspersed ;* and the circumstance of its hav
* The following beautiful stanzas are part of what is called “Rosalynd's Madrigal,” and are not unworthy of a place even in a page devoted to Shakspeare :
Love in my bosom like a bee
Doth suck his sweet:
Now with his feet.
Ah, wanton, will ye?
With pretty flight,
The livelong night.
Whist, wanton, still ye?