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Of the right casket, never in my life
To woo a maid in way of marriage ; lastly
If I do fail in fortune of my choice,
Immediately to leave you and be gone.

Por. To these injunctions every one doth swear, That comes to hazard for my worthless self. 601

Ar. And so have I addrest me : Fortune now To my heart's hope !--Gold, silver, and base lead. Who chuseth me, must give and hazard all he hath : You shall look fairer, ere I give, or hazard. What says the golden chest? ha ! let me see :Who chuseth me, shall gain what many men desire. What many men desire, – That many may be


Of the fool multitude, that chuse by show,
Not learning more than the fond


doth teach; 610 Which pries not to the interior, but, like the martlet, Builds in the weather on the outward wall, Even in the force and road of casualty. I will not chuse what many inen desire, Because I will not jump with common spirits, And rank me with the barbarous multitudes. Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house ; Tell me once more what title thou dost bear: Who chuseth me, shall get as much as he deserves ; And well said too; For who shall go about 620 To cozen fortune, and be honourable Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume To wear an undeserved dignity. O, that estates, degrees, and offices,


Were not deriv'd corruptly! and that clear honour
Were purchas’d by the merit of the wearer!
How many then should cover, that stand bare ?
How many be commanded that command ?
How much low peasantry would then be gleaned
From the true seed of honour ? and how much

Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times,
To be new varnish'd? Well, but to my choice :
Who chuseth me, shall get as much as he deserves :
I will assume desert ;-Give me a key for this,
And instantly unlock my fortunes here
Por. Too long a pause for that which you find

there. Ar. What's here? the portrait of a blinking idiot, Presenting me a schedule? I will read it. How much unlike art thou to Portia! How much unlike my hopes, and my deservings! Who chuseth me, shall have as much as he deserves. Did I deserve no more than a fool's head ?

649 Is that my prize ? are my deserts no better?

Por. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices, And of opposed natures.

Ar. What is here?

The fire seven times tried this;
Seven times iry'd that judgment is,
That did never chuse amiss.
Some there be, that shadows kiss;
Such have but a shadow's bliss ;



There be fools alive, I wis,
Silver'd o'er; and so was this.
Take what wife you will to bed,
I will ever be your

head :
So be gone, sir, you are sped.


Ar. Still more fool I shall appear
By the time I linger here :
With one fool's head I came to woo,
But I go away with two.-
Sweet, adieu! I'll keep my oath,

Patiently to bear my wroth.
Por. Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth.
O these deliberate fools! when they do chuse,
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.

Ner. The ancient saying is no heresy ;-
Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.

Por. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.

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Enter a Servant.

Serv. Where is my lady?
Por. Here; what would my lord ?

Serv. Madam, there is alighted at your gate
A young Venetian, one that comes before
To signify the approaching of his lord :
From whom he bringeth sensible regreets;
To wit, besides commends, and courteous breath,
Gifts of rich value ; yet I have not seen
So likely an embassador of love:
A day in April never came so sweet,


To show how costly summer was at hand,
As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord. 680

Por. No more, I pray thee, I am half afeard,
Thou wilt say anon, he is some kin to thee,
Thou spend'st such high-day wit in praising him.-
Come, come, Nerissa; for I long to see
Quick Cupid's post, that comes so mannerly.
Ner. Bassanio, lord love, if thy will it be!



A Street in Venice. Enter SALANIO and SALARINO.

Now, what news on the Rialto ?

Sal. Why, yet it lives there uncheck'd, that Anthonio hath a ship of rich lading wreck'd on the narrow seas ; the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where the carcases of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip report be an honest woman of her word.

Sala. I would she were as lying a gossip in that, as ever knapt ginger, or made her neighbours believe she wept for the death of a third husband : But it is true, --without any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plain high-way of talk,--that the good Anthonio, the honest Anthonio,- -O that I had a title good enough to keep his name company !

14 Sal. Come the full stop,


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Sala. Hay-what say'st thou? Why the end is, he hath lost a ship.

Sal. I would it might prove the end of his losses !

Sala. Let me say amen betimes, lest the devil cross thy prayer ; for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.



How now, Shylock ? what news among the merchants ?

Shy. You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my daughter's flight.

Sal. That's certain ; I, for my part, knew the tay. lor that made the wings she flew withal.

Sala. And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was fledge ; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam.

30 Shy. She is damn'd for it. Sal. That's certain, if the devil may be her judge. Shy. My own flesh and blood to rebel ! Sala. Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these

years? Shy. I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood.

Sal. There is more difference between thy flesh and hers, than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods, than there is between red wine and rhenish : But tell us, do you hear, whether Anthonio have had any loss at sea or no ?

40 Shy. There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce shew his head on


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