The Merchant of Venice By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 1

Nothing is good, I see, without respect:
Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.

The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark
When neither is attended; and I think
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise and true perfection!
Peace, ho! The moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak'd!

[Music ceases.]

That is the voice,
Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia.

He knows me as the blind man knows the cuckoo,
By the bad voice.

LORENZO. Dear lady, welcome home.

We have been praying for our husbands' welfare,
Which speed, we hope, the better for our words.
Are they return'd?

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

Go in, Nerissa:
Give order to my servants that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence;
Nor you, Lorenzo; Jessica, nor you.

[A tucket sounds.]

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

This night methinks is but the daylight sick;
It looks a little paler; 'tis a day
Such as the day is when the sun is hid.

[Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and their Followers.]

We should hold day with the Antipodes,
If you would walk in absence of the sun.

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

I thank you, madam; give welcome to my friend:
This is the man, this is Antonio,
To whom I am so infinitely bound.

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

No more than I am well acquitted of.

Sir, you are very welcome to our house.
It must appear in other ways than words,
Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.

By yonder moon I swear you do me wrong;
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk.
Would he were gelt that had it, for my part,
Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.

A quarrel, ho, already! What's the matter?

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

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,
The clerk will ne'er wear hair on's face that had it.

He will, an if he live to be a man.

Ay, if a woman live to be a man.

Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy
No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk;
A prating boy that begg'd it as a fee;
I could not for my heart deny it him.

You were to blame, — I must be plain with you, —
To part so slightly with your wife's first gift,
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And so riveted with faith unto your flesh.
I gave my love a ring, and made him swear
Never to part with it, and here he stands,
I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it
Nor pluck it from his finger for the wealth
That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief;
An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it.

Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
And swear I lost the ring defending it.

My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away
Unto the judge that begg'd it, and indeed
Deserv'd it too; and then the boy, his clerk,
That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine;
And neither man nor master would take aught
But the two rings.

What ring gave you, my lord?
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me.

If I could add a lie unto a fault,
I would deny it; but you see my finger
Hath not the ring upon it; it is gone.

Even so void is your false heart of truth;
By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed
Until I see the ring.

Nor I in yours
Till I again see mine.

Sweet Portia,
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I gave the ring,
And would conceive for what I gave the ring,
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When nought would be accepted but the ring,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure.

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