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The Merchant of Venice

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Enter PORTIA and NERISSA, both disguised
PORTIA and NERISSA enter, both still in disguise.




PORTIA
Inquire the Jew’s house out. Give him this deed,
And let him sign it. We’ll away tonight,
And be a day before our husbands home.
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.
PORTIA
Find out where the Jew’s house is. Give him this deed and have him sign it. We’ll leave tonight and be home a day before our husbands get back. Lorenzo will be happy with what we’ve done.
Enter GRATIANO
GRATIANO enters.

5



GRATIANO
(giving PORTIA BASSANIO’s ring)
Fair sir, you are well o'erta'en.
My Lord Bassanio upon more advice
Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat
Your company at dinner.
GRATIANO
(he gives PORTIA BASSANIO’s ring) Sir, you’re lucky I caught up with you. Bassanio thought about it some more and sent this ring to you. He would like to invite you to dinner.


10

PORTIA
    That cannot be.
His ring I do accept most thankfully.
And so I pray you tell him. Furthermore,
I pray you show my youth old Shylock’s house.
PORTIA
I can’t have dinner with him. Please tell him I accept his ring with thanks. And could you please take my servant to old Shylock’s house?

GRATIANO
That will I do.
GRATIANO
I’ll do that.



15

NERISSA
(to PORTIA)
   Sir, I would speak with you.
(aside to PORTIA)
I’ll see if I can get my husband’s ring,
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.
NERISSA
(to PORTIA) Sir, may I speak with you? (speaking so that only PORTIAcan hear) I’ll see if I can get my husband’s ring, which I made him swear to keep forever.



20
PORTIA
(aside to NERISSA)
Thou mayst, I warrant. We shall have old swearing
That they did give the rings away to men.
But we’ll outface them, and outswear them too.—
PORTIA
(to NERISSA) I bet you’ll be able to. They’ll swear they gave the rings to men. But we’ll deny it and outswear them too.—

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