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Consisteth of all nations. Therefore go,
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 preYou have a noble, and a true conceit [sence, Of godly amity ; which appears most strongly, In bearing thus the absence of your
Por. I never did repent of doing good,
Must needs be like my lord. If it be so,
lord's return. For my own part,
Lor. Madam, with all my heart ;
Por. My people do already know my mind,
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
To wish it back on you.
Fare you well, Jessica. Now, Balthazar.
[Ereunt 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
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. l'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
I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two,
[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.