Enter PORTIA, NERISSA,
LORENZO, JESSICA, and BALTHAZAR, a
man of PORTIA’s
Madam, although I speak it in your presence,
You have a noble and a true conceit
Of godlike amity, which appears most strongly
In bearing thus the absence of your lord.
5But if you knew to whom you show this honor,
How true a gentleman you send relief,
How dear a lover of my lord your husband,
I know you would be prouder of the work
Than customary bounty can enforce you.
10I never did repent for doing good,
Nor shall not now; for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must be needs a like proportion
15Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit,
Which makes me think that this Antonio,
Being the bosom lover of my lord,
Must needs be like my lord. If it be so,
How little is the cost I have bestowed
20In purchasing the semblance of my soul
From out the state of hellish cruelty!
This comes too near the praising of myself.
Therefore no more of it. Hear other things.
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands
25The husbandry and manage of my house
Until my lord’s return.