Page images

One half of me is your's, the other half your's,
Mine own, I would say: but if mine, then your's;
And so all your's. Alas! these naughty times
Put bars between the owners and their rights :
And so tho' your's, not your's, prove it so,
Let fortune go to hell for it. . Not I.
I speak too long, but 'tis to peece the time,
To eche it, and to draw it out in length,
To stay you from election.

Bal. Let me chuse:
For as I am, I live upon the rack.

Por. Upon the rack, Bassanio? then confess,
What treason there is mingled with your love.

Ball. None, but that ugly treason of miftruft,
Which makes me fear th' enjoying of my love.
There may as well be amity and life
'Tween snow and fire, as treason and


love. Por. Ay, but, I fear, you speak upon the rack; Where men enforced do speak any thing.

Bal. Promise me life, and I'll confess the truth, Por. Well then, confess, and live.

Bal. Confess, and love, Had been the

very sum of my confession. O happy torment, when torturer Doth teach me answers for deliverance ! But let me to my fortune and the caskets.

Por. Away then! I am lock'd in one of them; If

you do love me, you will find me out. Nerisa, and the rest, ftand all aloof, Let music found, while he doth make his choice; Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end, Fading in music. That the comparison May stand more juft, my eye shall be the stream And wat’ry death-bed for him : he may win, And what is music then ? then music is Even as the flourish, when true subjects bow To a new-crowned monarch: such it is, As are those dulcet sounds in break of day, That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear,

And summon him to marriage. Now he goes, With no less presence, but with much more love, Than young Alcides, when he did redeem


The virgin-tribute, paid by howling Troy
To the sea-monster : I stand for sacrifice;
The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,
With bleared visages come forth to view
The issue of th' exploit. Go, Hercules !
Live thou, I live ; with much, much more dismay
I view the fight, than thou that mak'st the fray.

[Music within. Afong, whilf Bassanio comments on the caskets to himself.

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 lies :
Let us all ring fancy's knell,
I'll begin it.
Ding, dong, bell.

All, Ding, dong, bell.
Baf. 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 false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars;
Who, inward search’d, 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.

* That is, a beard..

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 scull, that bred them, in the fepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the guilty shore
To a most dang’rous sea; the beauteous scarf
Vailing an Indian beauty ; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
T' intrap the wifest. Then, thou gaudy gold,
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee;
Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
'Tween man and man : But thou, thou meagre lead,
Which rather threat'nest, than dost promise aught,
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 rash-embrac'd despair,
And shudd'ring fear, and green-ey'd jealousy.
O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy;
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,
Bal. What find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit? What demy-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 mesh t'intrap the hearts of men,
Fafter than gnats in cobwebs : but her

eyes, How could he fee to do them ? having made one, Methinks it should have power to iteal both his, And leave itself unfinish'd. Yct how far The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow In underprizing it, so far this-shadow Doth limp behind the subitance. Here's the scrowl, The continent and summary of my fortune. Vol. II.


You that chuse not by the view,
Chance as fair, and chufe 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;

[Kifing 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 spirit, gazing ftill in doubt,
Whether those peals of praise be his or no;
So (thrice fair Lady) stand I, even so,
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm'd, fign'd, ratify'd by you.

Por. You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand;
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 treble 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 some of something, which, to term in gross,
Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd :
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But the may learn; more happy then in this,
She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to your's to be directed,
A; from her lord, her governor, her king :
Myself, and what is mine, to you

and your's
Is now converted. But now I was the lord
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and this fame myself,

Are your's, 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.

Baf. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only 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
Express'd, and not express'd. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
O, then be bold to say, Bassanio'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 Baffanio, and my gentle Lady,
I wih you all the joy that you can with;
For, I am sure, you can wish none from me*
And when your Honours mean to folemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Ev'n at that time I may be married too.

Bal. With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.

Gra. I thank your Lordship, you have got me one.
My eyes, my Lord, can look as swift as your's;
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid;
You lov’d, I lov’d; for intermisfion
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 last, if promise laft,
I got a promise of this fair one here,
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Atchiey'd her mistress.

Por. Is this true, Nerissa ?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas’d wital.

[ocr errors]

* that is, distinct from me and my wishes.

« PreviousContinue »