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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 ;
But there the duke was given to understand,
That in a gondola were seen together
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica.
Besides, Antonio certified the duke,
They were not with Bassanio in his ship.

Salan. I never heard a passion so confused,
So strange, outrageous, and so variable,
As the dog Jew did utter in the streets.
My daughter !–0 ту ducats !-0

my daughter!
Fled with a Christian!-O 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 remembered.
I reasoned with a Frenchman yesterday;
Who told me, in the narrow seas, that part

1 Conversed.

The French and English, there miscarried
A vessel of our country, richly fraught.
I thought upon Antonio, when he told me,
And wished 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 answered—Do not so;
Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio,
But stay the very riping of the time;
And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me,
Let it not enter into your mind of love.
Be merry; and employ your chiefest thoughts
To courtship and such fair ostents ? 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.

[Exeunt.

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.

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!

1 Prepared.

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.
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves ;
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.
0, 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 gleaned
From the true seed of honor, and how much honor
Picked from the chaff and ruin of the times,
To be new varnished! Well, but to my choice.
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.
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 !
How much unlike my hopes, and my deservings!
Who chooseth me, shall have as much as he deserves.
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,
Silvered o'er; and so was this.

i The meaning is, how much meanness would be found among the great, and how much greatness among the mean.

2 Know.

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.2

[Exeunt Arragon, 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.

Ner. The ancient saying is no heresy.Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.

Por. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.

3

Enter a Servant. Serv. Where is

my

lady? Por.

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,

I
pray

thee. I am half afeard, Thou wilt say, anon, he is some kin to thee,

to marry

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.

3 Salutations.

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