The Unhappy Wives (Part 19)
"By this hand," replied Gratiano, "I gave it to a youth, a kind
of boy, a little scrubbed boy, no higher than yourself; he was
clerk to the young counselor that by his wise pleading saved
Antonio's life. This prating boy begged it for a fee, and I could
not for my life deny him."
Portia said: "You were to blame, Gratiano, to part with your
wife's first gift. I gave my Lord Bassanio a ring, and I am sure
be would not part with it for all the world."
Gratiano, in excuse for his fault, now said, "My Lord Bassanio
gave his ring away to the counselor, and then the boy, his clerk,
that took some pains in writing, he begged my ring."
Portia, hearing this, seemed very angry and reproached Bassanio
for giving away her ring; and she said Nerissa had taught her
what to believe, and that she knew some woman had the ring.
Bassanio was very unhappy to have so offended his dear lady, and
he said with great earnestness:
"No, by my honor, no woman had it, but a civil doctor who refused
three thousand ducats of me and begged the ring, which when I
denied him he went displeased away. What could I do, sweet
Portia? I was so beset with shame for my seeming ingratitude that
I was forced to send the ring after him. Pardon me, good lady.
Had you been there, I think you would have begged the ring of me
to give the worthy doctor."
下期续 to be continued.