Page images
PDF
EPUB

Salan. You were beft to çell Anthonio what you hcare,
Yet do not sodainely, for it may greeue him.

Salar. A kinder Gentleman creades not the carth,
I saw Baffanio and Anthonis part:
Baffanio told him he would make some speede
Ofhis recurac: he answered, do nocfo,
Slubber noc businesse for my fake Bafranca,
Buc stay the very riping of the time,
And for the lewes bond which he hath of me,
Let it not enter in your minde of louc :
Be nterry, and employ your checfelt thoughts
To Courtship, and such faire oftents ofloue,
As shall conueniently become you there.
And cuen there his eye being bigge with teares,
Turning his face, he put his hand behinde him;
And with affection wondrous sensible,
He wrung Baffanios hand, and so they parted.

Salan. I think he onely loues the world for him:
I prethee let vs goc and finde him out,
And quicken his embraced hcauinesse,
With some delight or other.
Salar. Do we fo.

Exerint

Enter Nerriffa and a Serwitor.
Ner. Quicke, quickc, I pray thee, draw the Curcain Araite,
The Prince of Arragon bach cane his oach,
And comes to his election presently.

Enter Arragon, his traine, and Portia.
Por. Behold, there stand the Caskets Noble Prince,
If you choose that wherein I am contain'd,
Srraight shall our nuptiall rights be solemniz'd: 1
Buc if you faile, without more speech my Lord,
You must be gone from hence immediately,

Arra. I am enioynd by oath to obserue three things.
First, ncuer to ynfold to any one

E

Which

Which Casket twas I chose. Next, if I faile
Ofthe right Casket, neuer in my life
To woc a maide in way of marriage :
Lastly, if I do faile in fortune of my choise,
Immediately to leave you, and be gone.

Por. To these iniunctions euery one doth sweare,
That comes to hazard for my worthlesse felfe.

Arr. And so haue l addreft me, fortune now
To my hcarts hope :Gold, Siluer, and base Lead.
Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath,
You shall looke fairer ere I giue or hazard.
VVhat sayes the golden Chest? ha, let me see,
VVho chooseth me, shall gaine what many men desire.
VVhat many mea desire, that many may be meant
By the foole-mulcitude, that chuse by show:
Not learning inore then the fond eye doth teach,
VVhich pries not to th’interiour; but like the Martlet,
Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
Euen in the force and rode of casualty.
I will not chuse what many men delire,
Because I will not jumpe with common spirits,
And ranke me with the barbarous multitudes.
VVhy then co thee thou Siluer treasure house,
Tell me once more what title thou doft beare:
who chooseth me shall

get as much as he deserues,
And well said too, for who shall go about
Tocoren Fortune, and be honourable
VVithout the stampe of merit, let none presume
To weare an vndeserued dignity:
Otha: estates, degrees, and

offices,
VVere not deriu'd corruptly, and that cleare honor
VVere purchac'd by the merit of the wearer,
How inany then should couer, that stand bare?
How many be commanded, that command?
How much low pezantry would then be gleaned
From the true scede of honor? And how much honor,

[ocr errors]

Pickt from the chaffe and ruine of the times
To be new vernish'd ? well, but to my choisc,
whochooseth me shall get as much as he de fernes.
I will assume desert. Giue me a key for this,
And instantly vnlocke my fortunes heere.
Por. Too long a pause

for that which you finde there.
Arrag. VVhat's heere, the portrait of a blinking Idcor,
Presenting me a sedule? I will rcade it.
How much ynlike art thou to Portia?
How much ynlike my hopes, and my deseruings.
Wbo chooseth me shall bane as much as he deformes.
Did I deserue no more then a fooles head?
Is that my prize? Are my deserts no better?

Por. To offend and iudge are diftin&t offices,
And of opposed Natures.
Arrag. VVhat hcere ?

Hoerende
The fire fewen times tried this :
Seven times tried that indgement is,
That did nener choose amis.
Some there be that shadowes kis,
Such haue but afbadowes blis:
There be fooles aline I mis,
Silmer'dore, and so was this.
Take what wife you will to bed,
I will euer be your head:
Sobe gone, you are sped.

Still more foole I shall appeere,
By the time I linger heere,
VVith one fooles head I came to Wor,
But I go away. vvith two.
Sweet adicu, Ile kcepe my oath,
Patiently to beare my vvroath.

Portia. Thus hath the candle sindg'd the Moth.
Orbesc deliberate fooles, vvhen they do choose,

Ę Z

They

Which Casket twas I chose. Next, if I faile
Ofthe right Casket, neuer in my life
To woe a inaide in way of marriage :
Lastly, if I do faile in fortune of my choise,
Immediately colcaue you, and be gone.

Por. To these iniunctions cuery one doth sweare,
That comes to hazard for my worthlesse felfe.

Arr. And so haue I addreft me, fortune now
To my hearts hope :Gold, Siluer, and base Lead.
Who choosech me, must give and hazard all he hath.'
You shall looke fairer ere I giue or hazard.
VVhatsayes the golden Cheft? ha, let me see,
VVho chooseth me, Mall gaine what many men defire,
VVhat inany men desire, that many may be means
By the foole-multitude, that chuse by show:
Not learning inore then the fond eye doth teach,
VVhich pries not to th’interiour; but like the Martlet,
Builds in the wcacher on the outward wall,
Euen in the force and rode of casualty.
I will not chuse what many men dcfire,
Because I will not iumpe with common spirits,
And ranke me with the barbarous multitudes.
VVhy then to the thou Siluer treasure house,
Tell me once more what title thou doft beare:
who chooseth me shall

get as much as he deserues,
And well said too, for who shall go about
Tocoren Fortune, and be honourable
VVithout the stampe of merit, let none presume
To weare an vndeserued dignity:
Othar estates, degrees, and offices,
VVere not deriu d corruptly, and that cleare honor
VVere purchac'd by the merit of the wearer,
How inany then should couer, that stand bare?
How many be commanded, that command ?
How much low pezantry would then be gleaned
From the true feede of honor? And how much honor,

1

Pickt from the chaffe and cuine of the times To be new vernish'd ? well, but to my choisc, who chooseth me shall

get as much as he de fernes. I will allume desert. Giue me a key for this, And instantly vnlocke my fortunes heere,

Por. Too long a pause for that which you finde there.

Arrag. VVhat's heere, the portrait of a blinking Idcoc,
Presenting me a sedule? I will readeit.
How much ynlike art thou to Portia?
How much vnlike my hopes, and my deseruings.
Wbo chooseth me shall bane as much as he deserwes.
Did I deserue no more then a fooles head?
Is that my prize? Are my deserts no better?

Por. To offend and iudge are distinct offices,
And of opposed Naturcs.
Arrag. VVhat hcere?

Heerenda
The fire fewen times tried this :
Seuen times tried that indgement ing
That did noner choose amis.
Some there be that shadowes kis,
Such haue but a feadowes blis:
There be fooles aline I wis,
Silner'dore, and so was this.
Take what wife you will to bed,
I will euer be your head:
Sobe gone, you are sped.

Still more foole I shall appeere,
By the time I linger heere,
VVith one fooles head I came to Woc,
But I go away. vvith two.
Sweet adicu, Ile kcepe my oath,
Patiently to beare my vyroath.

Portia. Thus hath the candle sindg'd the Moth.
Ochese deliberatė fooles, vvhen they do choose,

E 2

They

« PreviousContinue »