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There you shall find, three of your argosies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly:
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chanced on this letter.


I am dumb.

Bass. Were you the doctor, and I knew you


Gra. Were you the clerk, that is to make me 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.


How now, Lorenzo?

My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.

Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a


There do I give to you, and Jessica,

From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
After his death, of all he dies possess'd of.

Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way Of starved people.


It is almost morning,
And yet, I am sure, you are not satisfied
Of these events at full: Let us go in;
And charge us there upon intergatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be so: The first intergatory,
That my Nerissa shall be sworn on, is,
Whether till the next night she had rather stay;
Or go to bed now, being two hours to day :
But were the day come, I should wish it dark,
That I were couching with the doctor's clerk.
Well, while I live, I'll fear no other thing
So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.


Of the Merchant of Venice the style is even and easy, with few peculiarities 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, believe, the critic will find excelled by this play. JOHNSON.



Duke, living in exile.

Frederick, brother to the Duke, and usurper of



his dominions.

lords attending upon the Duke in his

Le Beau, a courtier attending upon Frederick.
Charles, his wrestler.


Jaques, sons of sir Rowland de Bois.




servants to Oliver.

Touchstone, a clown.

Sir Oliver Mar-text, a vicar.



} shepherds.

William, a country fellow, in love with Audrey.

A person representing Hymen.

Rosalind, daughter to the banished Duke.

Celia, daughter to Frederick.

Phebe, a shepherdess.

Audrey, a country wench.

Lords belonging to the two Dukes; pages, foresters, and other attendants.

The Scene lies, first, near Oliver's house; afterwards, partly in the usurper's court, and partly in the forest of Arden.

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