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And yet to be afraid of my deserving,
Were but a weak disabling of myself.
As much as I deserve-- why, that's the lady:
I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes,
In graces, and in qualities of breeding:
But more than these, in love I do deserve.
What if I stray'd no farther, but chose here?
Let's see once more this saying grav'd in gold.
Who chuseth me, shall gain what many men defire.
Why, that's the lady; all the world desires her;
From the four corners of the earth they come
To kiss the shrine, this mortal breathing saint.
Th' Hyrcanian deserts, and the vafty wilds
Of wide Arabia, are as thorough-fares now,
For Princes to come view fair Portia.
The wat’ry kingdom, whose ambitious head
Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar
To stop the foreign fpirits; but they come,
As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia.
One of these three contains her heav'nly picture.
Is't like, that lead contains her? 'twere damnation,
To think so base a thought : it were too gross
To rib her searcloth in the obscure grave.
Or shall I think, in filver she's immur'd,
Being ten times undervalu'd to try'd gold?
O sinful thought, never so rich a gem
Was set in worse than gold! they have in England
A coin, that bears the figure of an angel
Stamped in gold, but that's insculpt upon:
But here an angel in a golden bed
Lies all within. Deliver me the key;
Here do I chuse, and thrive I as I may !
Por. There take it, Prince, and if my form lie
Then I am yours.
[Unlocking the gold casket. Mor. O hell! what have we here? a carrion death, Within whose empty eye there is a scrowl: I'll read the writing,
All that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told;
Many a man his life hath fold,
But my outside to behold.
Gilded wood may worms infold :
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscrold;
Fare you well, your suit is cold.
Mor. Cold, indeed, and labour loft:
Then farewel, heat, and welconie, frost:
Portia, adieu! I have too griev'd a heart
To take a tedious leave: thus losers part. [Exit.
Por. A gentle riddance : draw the curtains ; go-
Let all of his complexion chusę me fo. [Exeunt.
Changes to Venice.
Enter Solarino and Salanio. Sal,
HY, man, I saw Bassanio under fail ;
With him is Gratiano gone along;: And in their ship, I'm sure, Lorenzo is not.
Sola. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the Duke,
Who went with him to search Basario's fhip.
Sal. He came too late, the ship was under fail;
But there the Duke was given to understand,
That in a Gondola were seen together
Lorenzo and his am'rous Jefica :
Besides, Anthonio certify'd the Duke,
They were not with Bassanio in his ship.
Sóla. I never heard a passion fo confus'd,
So strange, outrageous, and so variable,
As the dog Jew did utter in the streets;
My daughter! O my ducats ! O 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, ftoll'n from me by my daughter!
And jewels too, stones, rich and precious stones,
Stoll'n by my daughter! justice! find the girl;
She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats.
Sal. Why, all the boys in Venice follow him,
Crying his stones, his daughter, and his ducats.
Šola. Let good Anthonio look, he keep his day;
Or he shall pay for this.
Sal. Marry, well remember'd.
I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday,
Who told me, in the narrow seas, that part
The French and English, there miscarried
A veffel of our country richly fraught:
I thought upon Anthonio, when he told me,
And wish'd in silence, that it were not his.
Sola. You were best to tell Anthonio what you hear,
Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.
Sal. A kinder Gentleman treads not the earth.
I saw Basanio and Anthonio part.
Basanio told him, he would make some speed
Of his return: he answer'd, do not so,
Slubber not business for my fake, Baffanio,
But stay the very riping of the time;
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 courthip, and such fair oftents of love,
As shall conveniently become you there.
And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he puts his hand behind him,
And with affection wondrous sensible
He wrung Bassanio's hand, and so they parted.
Sola. 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.
Sal. Do we fo.
Enter Nerissa with a Servant. Ner. UICK, quick, I pray thee, draw the cur
tain strait; The Prince of Arragon has ta'en his oath, And comes to his election presently. Enter Arragon, his train, Portia. Flor. Cornets.
The Caskets are discover'd.
Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble Prince;
chuse that, wherein I am contain'd,
Strait shall our nuptial rites be folemniz'd:
But if you fail, without more speech, my lord,
You must be gone from hence immediately.
Ar. I am enjoin'd by oath t'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
life To woo a maid in
way of marriage : Last, if I 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
worthless self. Ar. And so have I addrest me; fortune now To my heart's hope! gold, silver, and base lead. Who chuseth me, mus give and hazard all he hath. You shall look fairer, ere I give or hazard. What says the golden cheft? ha, let me fee; Who chuseth me, Mall gain what many men desire. What many men delire—that
be meant Of the fool-multitude, that chuse by show,
Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach;
pry not to th' interior, but like the martlet
Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
Ev’n in the force and road of casualty.
I will not chuse what
many men desire,
Because I will not jump with common spirits,
And rank me with the barb'rous multitudes.
Why then to thee, thou silver treasure-house ;
Tell me once more, what title thou dost bear.
Who chuseth me, shall get as much as he deserves ;
And well said too, for who shall go about
To cozen fortune, and be honourable
Without the stamp of merit? let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity:
O, that estates, degrees, and offices,
Were not deriv'd corruptly, that clear honour
Were purchas'd by the merit of the wearer!
then should cover, that stand bare !
How many be commanded, that command ?
How much low peasantry would then be gleaned
From the true feed of honour? how much honour
Pickt from the chaff and ruin of the times,
To be new vanned ? well, but to my choice:
Who chuseth me, shall get as much as he deserves :
I will assume desert; give me a key for this,
And instantly unlock iny fortunes here. .
Por. Too long a pause for that which you find there.
(Unlocking the silver casket.
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 chuses 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?