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The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 11

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PORTIA

Let not that doctor e'er come near my house!
Since he hath got the jewel that I loved,
225And that which you did swear to keep for me,
I will become as liberal as you.
I’ll not deny him anything I have,
No, not my body, nor my husband’s bed.
Know him I shall, I am well sure of it.
230Lie not a night from home. Watch me like Argus.
If you do not, if I be left alone,
Now, by mine honor—which is yet mine own—
I’ll have that doctor for my bedfellow.

PORTIA

Don’t let that lawyer ever come near my house! Since he has the jewel I loved, which you swore you’d keep forever, I’ll be as generous as you were to him. I won’t deny him anything of mine, including my own body and my husband’s bed. I’ll recognize him all right, I’m sure of it. So don’t spend one night away from this house. Watch me like a hawk. If you don’t, if I’m left alone, I swear I’ll have that legal expert as my bedfellow.

NERISSA

(to GRATIANO) And I his clerk. Therefore be well advised
235How you do leave me to mine own protection.

NERISSA

(to GRATIANO) And I’ll have his clerk as mine. So be careful when you leave me to my own devices.

GRATIANO

Well, do you so, let not me take him then.
For if I do I’ll mar the young clerk’s pen.

GRATIANO

Well, go ahead. But don’t let me catch him, because if I do I’ll break that clerk’s pen.

ANTONIO

I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels.

ANTONIO

All these quarrels are about me.

PORTIA

Sir, grieve not you. You are welcome notwithstanding.

PORTIA

Don’t be upset. You’re welcome in our home in spite of everything that’s going on.

BASSANIO

240Portia, forgive me this enforcèd wrong,
And in the hearing of these many friends
I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes
Wherein I see myself—

BASSANIO

Portia, forgive me for this mistake that I had to make. All these friends are my witnesses, so I swear to you, I swear by your beautiful eyes, in which I see myself reflected—

PORTIA

    Mark you but that!
In both my eyes he doubly sees himself—
245In each eye, one. Swear by your double self,
And there’s an oath of credit!

PORTIA

Did you hear that! He sees himself in my two eyes, so there’s two of him. He should swear by his two-faced self, and that’s an oath I’ll believe!