Parting Words (Part 12)
Antonio with a calm resignation replied that he had but little to
say, for that he had prepared his mind for death. Then he said to
"Give me your hand, Bassanio! Fare you well! Grieve not that I am
fallen into this misfortune for you. Commend me to your honorable
wife and tell her how I have loved you!"
Bassanio in the deepest affliction replied: "Antonio, I am
married to a wife who is as dear to me as life itself; but life
itself, my wife, and all the world are not esteemed with me above
your life. I would lose all, I would sacrifice all to this devil
here, to deliver you."
Portia hearing this, though the kind-hearted lady was not at all
offended with her husband for expressing the love he owed to so
true a friend as Antonio in these strong terms, yet could not
"Your wife would give you little thanks, if she were present, to
hear you make this offer."
And then Gratiano, who loved to copy what his lord did, thought
he must make a speech like Bassanio's, and he said, in Nerissa's
hearing, who was writing in her clerk's dress by the side of
"I have a wife whom I protest I love. I wish she were in heaven
if she could but entreat some power there to change the cruel
temper of this currish Jew."
"It is well you wish this behind her back, else you would have
but an unquiet house," said Nerissa.
Shylock now cried out, impatiently: "We trifle time. I pray
pronounce the sentence."
下期续 to be continued.
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