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Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Flourish of Cornets. Enter PortIA, with the Prince
of Morocco, and both their Trains. Por. Gọ, draw aside the curtains, and discover The several caskets to this noble prince: Now make your choice. Mor. The first, of gold,, who this inscription
bears; Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire. The second, silver, which this promise carries;Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves. This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt;Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath. How shall I know if I do choose the right? Por. The one of them contains my picture,
prince; If you choose that, then I am yours withal.
Mor. Some god direct my judgment! Let me sees I will survey the inscriptions back again: What says this leaden casket? Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath. Must give-For what? for lead? hazard for lead? This casket threatens: Men, that hazard all, Do it in hope of fair advantages: A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross; I'll then nor give, nor hazard, aught for lead. What says the silver, with her virgin hue? Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves. As much as he deserves ? - Pause there, Morocco, And weigh thy value with an even hand': If thou be'st rated by thy estimation, Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough
May not extend so far as to the lády; And yet to be afeard of my deserving, Were but a' weak disabling of myself. As much as I deserve ! Why, that's the lady: I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes, In graces, and in qualities of breeding; But more than these, in love I do deserve. What if I stray’d no further, but chose herè ?-Let's see once more this saying gravid in gold: Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire. Why, that's the lady; all the world desires her: From the four corners of the earth they come, To kiss this shrine, this mortal breathing saínt. The Hyrcanian deserts, and the vasty wilds Of wide Arabia, are as through-fares now, For princes to come view fair Portia: The watry kingdom, whose ambitious head Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar To stop the foreign spirits; but they come, As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia. One of these three contains her heavenly picture. K't like, that lead contains her? "Twere damnation, To think so base a thought; it were too gross To ribs her cerecloth in the obscure grave. Or shall I think, in silver she's immur'd, Being ten times undervalued to try'd gold? O sinful thought! Never so rich a gem Was set in worse than'gold. They have in England A coin, that bears the figure of an angel Stamped in gold; but that's insculp'd upon; But here an angel in a golden bed Lies all within Deliver me the key; Here do I choose, and thrive'l as I may!
To rib4] i.e. inclóse, as the ribs inclose the viscera.
- insculp'd upon ;) To insculp is to engrave. The meaning is, that the figure of the angel is raised or embossed on the coin; not engrared on it.
Por. There, take it, prince, and if my form lie
there, Then I am yours. [He unlocks the golden casket.
Mor. O hell! what have we here?
All that glisters is not gold,
been as wise as bold,
well; your suit is cold.
Cold, indeed; and labour lost:
Then, farewell, heat; and, welcome, frost. Portia, adieu! I have too griev'd a heart To take a tedious leave: thus losers part. [Erit. Por. A gentle riddance:--Draw the curtains,
go; Let all of his complexion choose me so. [Exeunt.
Venice. A Street.
Enter SALARINO and SALANIO. Salar. Why man, I saw Bassanio under sail; With him is Gratiano gone along; And in their ship, I am sure, Lorenzo is not. Salan. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the
duke; Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship.
Salar. He came too late, the ship was under sail :
Salan. I never heard a passion so confus'd,
Salar. Why, all the boys in Venice follow him,
Salan. Let good Antonio look he keep his day, Or he shall
for this. Salar.
Marry, well remember'd:
Salar. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
1 I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday ;] i. e. I conversed.
Slubler nota business for my sake, Bassanio,
Salan. I think, he only loves the world for him. I
pray thee, let us go, and find him out,
Do we so.
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Enter NERISSA, with a Servant, Ner. Quick, quick, I pray thee, draw the curtain
straight; The prince of Arragon hath ta’en his oath, And comes to his election presently.
% Slubber not -) To slubber is to do any thing carelessly, imperfectly s And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, &c.] So curious an observer of nature was our author, and so minutely had he traced the operation of the passions, that many passages of his works might furnish hints to painters. It is indeed surprizing that they do not study his plays with this view. În the passage before us, we have the outline of a beautiful picture. MALONE.
embraced heaviness-] The heaviness which he indulges, and is fond of.