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Por. A gentle riddance.—Draw the curtains,
go; Let all of his complexion choose me so. Exeunt.
SCENE VIII. Venice. A Street.
Enter SALARINO and SALANIO. Salar. Why, man, I saw Bassanio under sail; With him is Gratiano gone along; And in their ship, I am sure, Lorenzo is not. Salan. The villain Jew with outcries raised the
duke ; Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship.
Salar. He came too late ; the ship was under sail ;
Salan. I never heard a passion so confused,
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,
Marry, well remembered.
The French and English, there miscarried
Salar. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
Salan. I think he only loves the world for him.
Do we so.
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.
1 To slubber is to do a thing carelessly.
2 Shows, tokens.
Flourish of Cornets.
Enter the Prince of Arragon, Portia, and their
Trains. Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince. If you choose that wherein I am contained, Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemnized; But if you fail, without more speech, my lord, You must be gone from hence immediately.
Ar. I am enjoined 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 addressed me.
Fortune now To my heart's hope !-Gold, silver, and base lead. Who chooseth 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 chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire. What many men desire.—That many may be meant Bythe fool multitude, that choose by show, Not learning more than the fond 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, Because I will not jump4 with common spirits, And rank me with the barbarous multitudes. Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house!
2 By and of, being synonymous, were used by our ancestors indifferently; Malone has adduced numerous instances of the use of by, in all of which, by substituting of, the sense is rendered clear to the modern reader. 3 Power.
4 To jump is to agree with.
Tell me once more what title thou dost bear.
Por. Too long a pause for that which you find there.
Ar. What's here ? the portrait of a blinking idiot,
Por. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices,
What is here?
The fire seven times tried this;
i The meaning is, how much meanness would be found among the great, and how much greatness among the mean.
Take what wife you will to bed,
So begone, sir, you are sped.
[Exeunt Arragon, and Train.
Ner. The ancient saying is no heresy.Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.
Por. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.
Enter a Servant. Serv. Where is
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 ambassador 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. Por. No more,
thee. I am half afeard, Thou wilt say, anon, he is some kin to thee,
i The poet had forg en that he who missed Portia was ne any other woman.
* Wroath is used in some of the old writers for misfortune, and is often spelled like ruth.