Page images

Live thou, I live ; with much, much more dismay
I view the fight, than thou, that mak'it the fray.

[Mufick within. A Song, whilf Bassanio comments on the caskets ta

Tell me, where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head ?
How begot, how nourished?
Reply, reply.
It is engender'd in the eyes
With gazing fed, and fancy dies
In the cradle where it lyes :
Let us all ring fancy's knell.
I'll begin it.
Ding, dong, bell.

All. Ding, dong, bell.
Bal. So may the outward shows be least themselves :
The world is still deceiv'd with Ornament.
In law, what plea fo tainted and corrupt,
But being season'd with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? in religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some mark of virtue on its outward parts.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as falfe
As stairs of fand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars ;
Who, inward searcht, have livers white as milk?
And these assume but valour's excrement,
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,
And you shall see 'tis purchas'd by the weight,
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest, that wear most of it.
So are those crispy snaky golden locks,
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind
Upon supposed fairness, often known


To be the dowry of a second head,
The skull, that bred them, in the fepulcher.
Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dang'rous sea ; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty ; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
T'entrap the wiseft. Then, thou gaudy gold,
llard food for Midas, I will none of thee:
Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
'Tween man and man: but thou, thou meager lead,
Which rather threatnest, than dost promise aught, (11)
Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence ;
And here chuse I ; joy be the consequence !

Por. How all the other passions feet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rafh-embrac'd despair,
And shudd'ring fear, and green-ey'd jealousie.
O love, be moderate, allay thy extafie ;
In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess,
I feel too much thy blessing, make it less,
For fear I surfeit.

[Opening the leaden Casket.
Ball. What find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit? what Demi-god
Hath come so near creation? move these Eyes ?
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion ? here are sever'd lips
Parted with sugar breath; so sweet a bar
Should sunder such sweet friends: here in her hairs
The painter plays the spider, and hath woven
A golden meh e' intrap the hearts of men,

(11) Tby Paleness moves me more than Eloquence ; ] Bassanio is displeas'd at the golden Casket for its Gawdiness, and the Silver one for its Paleness ; but, What! is he charm'd with the Leaden one for having the very same Quality that disa pleas'd him in the Silver ? The Poet never intended such an: absurd Reasoning. He certainly wrote,

Tby Plainness moves me more tban Eloquence; This characteizes the Lead from the Silver, which Paleness does not, they being both pale. Besides, there is a Beauty in the Artiibefis between Plainness and Eloquence; betweer Paleness and Eloquence none.

Mr. Warburton.


Faster than gnats in cobwebs : but her eyes,
How could he fee to do them? having made one,
Methinks, it should have pow'r to steal both his,
And leave itself unfinish'd : yet how far
The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
In underprizing it; so far this shadow
Doth limp behind the Substance.

Here's the fcrowl,
The continent and summary of

my fortune.

You that chufe not by the view,
Chance as fair, and chuse as true :
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content, and seek no new.
If you be well pleas'd with this,
And hold your fortune for your bliss,
Turn you where your Lady is,

And claim her with a loving kiss.
A gentle scrowl; fair lady, by your leave ;

[Killing her.
I come by note to give, and to receive.
Like one of two contending in a Prize,
That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes ;
Hearing applause and universal shout,
Giddy in fpirit, gazing still in doubt,
Whether those peals of praise be his or no;
So (thrice fair lady) stand I, even so,
As doubtful whether what I fee be true,
Until confirm’d, fign'd, ratify'd by you.

Por. You see me, lord Bassanio, where I fand,
Such as I am ; tho' for myself alone,
I would not be ambitious in my Wish,
To wish myself much better ; yet for you,
I would be trebled twenty times myself,
A thousand times more fair; ten thousand times
More rich ; that, to stand high in your account,
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account : but the full sum of me
Is sum of something, which, to term in gross,
Is an unleffon'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis d :

[ocr errors]


Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But the may learn ; more happy then in this,
She is not bred so duli but fhe can learn;
Happiest of all, is, that her gentle fpirit
Commits it self to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her King :
My self, and what is mine, to you and yours
Is now converted. But now I was the Lord
Of this fair manfion, master of my servants,
Queen o'er my self; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and this same my self
Are yours, my lord : I give them with this ring,
Which, when you part from, lose or give away,
Let it presage the ruin of your love,
And be my vantage to exclaim on you.

Baj. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,

my blood speaks to you in my veins ;
And there is such Confusion in my pow'rs,
As, after some oration fairly spoke
By a beloved Prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleased multitude ;
Where every something, being blent together,
Turns to a wild of nothing, fave of joy
Exprest, and not expreft. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence ;
O, then be bold to say, Basario's dead.

Ner. My lord and lady, it is now our time,
That have stood by, and seen our wishes prosper,
To cry, good joy, good joy, my lord and lady!

Gra. My lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady,
I with

you all the joy that you can wish;
For, I am sure, you can wish none from me:
And when your honours mean to solemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Ev'n at that time I may be married too.

Bal. With all my heart, fo thou canst get a wife.
Gra. I thank your lordship, you have got me one.
My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours;
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid;


You lov'd; I lov'd : for intermission (12)
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the casket there;
And so did mine too, as the matter falls :
For wooing here until I sweat again,
And swearing, till my very roof was dry
With oaths of love ; at lait, if promise laft,
I got a promise of this fair one here,
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Atchiev'd her mistress.

Por. Is this true, Nerisa ?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal.
Bal. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
Gra. Yes, faith, my lord.

Baf. Our Feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.

Gra. We'll play with them, the first boy for a thousand Ducats.

Ner. What, and stake down?

Gra. No, we shall ne'er win at that sport, and stake down. But who comes here? Lorenzo and his Infidel? What, and

my old Venetian friend, Salaniu !

Enter Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salanio.
Bal. Lorenzo and Salanio, welcome hither;
If that the youth of my new Interest here .
Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave,

(12) You lov'd; I lov'd for intermission.] Thus this Paffage has been nonsensically pointed thro' all the Editions. If lowing for intermission can be expounded into any Sense, I confess, I as yet am ignorant, and shall be glad to be instructed in it. But till then I must beg leave to think, the Sentence ought to be thus regulated ;

You lov'd, I lov’d; For Intermission

No more pertains to me, my Lord, than You. i. e. ftanding idle ; a Pause or Discontinuance of Action. And such is the signification of Intermiffio and Intermiffus amongst the Latines.

« PreviousContinue »