Page images
PDF
EPUB

Who chuseth 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, ought for lead. 470
What says the silver, with her virgin hue?
Who chuseth me, shall get us 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 lady ;
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 : 483
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 here ?
Let's see once more this saying gray'd in gold.
Who chuseth 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 saint.
The Hyrcanian deserts, and the vasty wilds 490
Of wide Arabia, are as thorough-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.
Is't like that lead contains her: 'Twere damnation,
To think so base a thought; it were too gross
To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave.

500
Or shall I think, in silver she's immur'd,
Being ten times undervalu'd 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 chuse, and thrive I as I may!
Por. There, take it, prince, and if my form lie
there,

510 Then I am yours.

[Unlocking the gold Casket.
Mor. O hell! what have we here?
A carrion death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll? I'll read the writing.

30

Often have

All that glisters is not gold ;

you

heard that told :
Many a man his life hath sold,
But
my

outside to behold :
Gilded tombs do worms infold.
Had
you

been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscrol'd:
Fare
you
well :

your suit is cold,

520

Mor.

Mor. Cold, indeed ; and labour lost :

Then, farewel, heat, and welcome, frost.2. Portia, adieu ! I have too griev'd a heart - To take a tedious leave : thus losers part. [Exit, Por. A gentle riddance : - Draw the curtains,

go :Let all of his complexion chuse me so. [ Exeunt.

SCENE VIII,

Venice.

Enter SALARINO and SALANIO.

Sal. Why man, I saw Bassanio under sail;

530 With him is Gratiano gone along; And in their ship, I am sure, Lorenzo is not. Sala. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the

duke;
Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship.

Sal. He came too late, the ship was under sail :
But there the duke was given to understand,
That in a gondola were seen together
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica :
Besides, Anthonio certify'd the duke,
They were not with Bassanio in his ship.

540
Sala. I never heard a passion so confus'd,
So strange, outrageous, and so variable,
As the dog Jew did utter in the streets :
My daughter!-O my ducats!-O my daughter !
Fled with a Christian?_0 my Christian ducats!
Justice! the law! my ducats, and my daughter !

Fij

A sealed

A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats,
Of double ducats, stol'n from me. by my daughter!
And jewels ; two stones, two rich and precious stones,
Stol'n by my daughter !- Justice! find the girl! 550
She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats !

Sal. Why, all the boys in Venice follow him, Crying,-his stones, his daughter, and his ducats.

Sala. Let good Anthonio look he keep his day, Or he shall

pay

for this.
Sal. Marry, well remember'd :
I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday;
Who told me, in the narrow seas, that part
The French and English, there miscarried
A vessel of our country, richly fraught :

560 I thought upon Anthonio, when he told me; And wish'd in silence, that it were not his.

Sala. You were best to tell Anthonio what you

hear;

Yet do not suddenly, for it inay grieve him,

Sal. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
I saw Bassanio and Anthonio part :
Bassanio told him, he would make some speed
Of his return; he answer 'd,-Do not so,
Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio,
But stay the very riping of the time ;

570
And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of meg
Let it not enter in your mind of love :
Be merry; and employ your chiefest thoughts
To courtship, and such fair ostents of love
As shall conveniently become you there:

And

1

And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,
And with affection wondrous sensible
He wrung Bassanio's hand, and so they parted.

Sala. I think, he only loves the world for him,
I pray thee, let us go, and find him out, 581
And quicken his embraced heaviness
With some delight or other.
Sal. Do we so.

[Exeunt.

[ocr errors]

SCENE IX.

Belmont. Enter Neriss.A, 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.

Enter Arragon, his Train; Portia, with hers. Flourisk

of Cornets.

Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble

prince:
If
you

chuse that wherein I am contain'd,
Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemniz'd; 590
But if you fail; without more speech, my lord,
You must be gone from hence immediately.

Ar. I am enjoin’d by oath to observe three things :
First, never to unfold to any one
Which casket 'twas I chose; next, if I fail
Fiij

Of

« PreviousContinue »