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The Merchant of Venice

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And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
(gives BASSANIO a ring)
If you ever give away this ring or lose it, it means our love’s doomed, and I’ll have a right to be angry with you.
(she gives BASSANIO the ring)

180




185




190
BASSANIO
Madam, you have bereft me of all words.
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins.
And there is such confusion in my powers
As after some oration fairly spoke
By a belovèd prince there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleasèd multitude,
Where every something, being blent together,
Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy,
Expressed and not expressed. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence.
O, then be bold to say Bassanio’s dead!
BASSANIO
Madam, you’ve left me speechless, but my feelings are responding to your words. I’m as confused as a crowd of people going wild after hearing their prince give a speech. But the day I take this ring off will be the day I die. If you see me without it, you can be confident I’m dead.



NERISSA
My lord and lady, it is now our time,
That have stood by and seen our wishes prosper,
To cry, “Good joy, good joy, my lord and lady!”
NERISSA
My lord and lady, it’s now our turn, who have been watching as our dreams came true. Now we can shout, “Congratulations, congratulations, my lord and lady!”


195



GRATIANO
My Lord Bassanio and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy that you can wish,
For I am sure you can wish none from me.
And when your honors mean to solemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you
Even at that time I may be married too.
GRATIANO
My Lord Bassanio, and my dear lady, I wish you all the joy I can wish for. And when you get married, I hope I can be married at the same time.

200
BASSANIO
With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.
BASSANIO
Absolutely, if you can find a wife by then.





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210


GRATIANO
I thank your lordship, you have got me one.
My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours.
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid.
You loved, I loved. For intermission
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the casket there,
And so did mine too, as the matter falls.
For wooing here until I sweat again,
And swearing till my very roof was dry
With oaths of love, at last—if promise last—
I got a promise of this fair one here
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Achieved her mistress.
GRATIANO
I think I’ve found one already, thanks to you, my lord. I can fall in love just as quickly as you can, and I loved Nerissa as soon as I laid eyes on her. You fell in love with Portia, and I fell in love with Nerissa, because I’m not in the habit of delaying any more than you are, my lord. Your fate depended on those boxes, and it turns out that mine did too. I couldn’t help but chase her. I started making love vows to her till my mouth was dry. Then finally she said she loved me and would marry me if you two got married as well.

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