Page images
PDF
EPUB

Fled with a Christian ?-0 my Christian ducats !-
Justice! the law! my ducats, and my daughter !
A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats,
Of double ducats, stolen from me by my daughter!
And jewels; two stones, two rich and precious

stones,
Stolen by my daughter !—Justice ! find the girl!
She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats!'

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

Salan. Let good Antonio look he keep his day, Or he shall pay for this. Salar.

Marry, well remember'd : I reason'd1 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: I thought upon Antonio, when he told me; And wish'd in silence, that it were not his. Salan. You were best to tell Antonio what you

hear ; Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.

Salar. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth. I saw Bassanio and Antonio 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;

1 Conversed.

2 To slubber is to do any thing carəlessly

SHAK.

III.

And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me,
Let it not enter in your mind of love :
Be merry; and employ your chiefest thoughts
To courtship, and such fair ostents 1 of love
As shall conveniently become you there.'
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.
Salan. I think, he only loves the world for him.
I pray thee, let us go, and find him out ;
And quicken his embraced heaviness?
With some delight or other.
Salar.

Do we so.

[Ereunt.

SCENE IX.

Belmont. A room in Portia's house.

Enter NERISSA, 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.

Florish of cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF ARRAGON,

PORTIA, and their trains. Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince:

1 Shows, tokens.

2 The heaviness which he indulges.

If you choose that wherein I am contain'd,
Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemnised;
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
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.

Ar. And so have I address'd 1 me. Fortune now To

my heart's hope !-Gold, silver, and base lead. • Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all lie

hath.' You shall look fairer, ere I give or hazard. What says the golden chest? ha! let me see:• Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men

desire.' What many men desire.—That many may be meant By the fool multitude, that choose by show, Not learning more than the fond 2 eye doth teach ; Which pries not to the interior, but, like the martlet, Builds in the weather on the outward wall, Even in the force 3 and road of casualty. I will not choose what many men desire,

• Prepared.

Foclish.

3 Power.

Because I will not jump 1 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 chooseth me, shall get as much as he de.

serves.'
And well said too; for who shall go about
To cozen Fortune, and be honorable
Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity.
O, that estates, degrees, and offices
Were not derived corruptly, and that clear honor
Were purchased 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 glean'd From the true seed of honor; and how much honor Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times, To be new varnish'd! Well, but to

my

choice :• Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he de

serves.' 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 !

1 Agree.

How much unlike my hopes and my deservings ! Who chooseth me, shall have as much as he de

serves.'
Did I deserve no more than a fool's head ?
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 tried that judgment is,
That did never choose amiss.
Some there be, that shadows kiss;
Such have but a shadow's bliss :
There be fools alive, I wis, 1
Silver'd o'er; and so was this.
Take what wife you will to bed,
I will ever be

your

head:
So begone, sir ; you are sped.'
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 wroath ? ?

[Exeunt Arr. and train,
Por. Thus hath the candle singed the moth.
O these deliberate fools ! when they do choose,
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »