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Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.

Flourish of Cornets. Enter PORTIA, with the Prince of Morocco, and both their Trains.

Por. Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover The several caskets to this noble prince:

Now make your choice.

Mor. The first, of gold, who this inscription bears;

Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire. The second, silver, which this promise carries;— Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves. This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt ;Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath. How shall I know if I do choose the right?


Por. The one of them contains my picture, prince;

you choose that, then I am yours withal.

Mor. Some god direct my judgment! Let me see, I will survey the inscriptions back again:

What says this leaden casket?

Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath. Must give-For what? for lead? hazard for lead? This casket threatens: Men, that hazard all,

Do it in hope of fair advantages:

A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross;
I'll then nor give, nor hazard, aught for lead.
What says the silver, with her virgin hue?

Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.
As much as he deserves?-Pause there, Morocco,
And weigh thy value with an even hand:

If thou be'st rated by thy estimation,

Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough

May not extend so far as to the lady;
And yet to be afeard 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 further, but chose here?-
Let's see once more this saying grav'd in gold:
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desires
Why, that's the lady; all the world desires her:
From the four corners of the earth they come,
To kiss this shrine, this mortal breathing saint.
The Hyrcanian deserts, and the vasty wilds
Of wide Arabia, are as through-fares now,
For princes to come view fair Portia :
The watry kingdom, whose ambitious head
Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar
To stop the foreign spirits; but they come,
As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia.

One of these three contains her heavenly picture.
Is't like, that lead contains her? "Twere damnation,
To think so base a thought; it were too gross
To ribs her cerecloth in the obscure grave.
Ör shall I think, in silver she's immur'd,
Being ten times undervalued 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 insculp'd upon;
But here an angel in a golden bed

Lies all within.-Deliver me the key;
Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may!

To rib-] i. e. inclose, as the ribs inclose the viscera.

9 insculp'd upon;] To insculp is to engrave. The meaning is, that the figure of the angel is raised or embossed on the coin not engraved on it.

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Por. There, take it, prince, and if my form lie there,

Then I am yours. [He unlocks the golden casket.
Mor. O hell! what have we here?

A carrion death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll? I'll read the writing.

All that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold,
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms infold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inserol'd:
Fare you well; your suit is cold.·

Cold, indeed; and labour lost:

Then, farewell, heat; and, welcome, frost.

Portia, adieu! I have too griev❜d a heart

To take a tedious leave: thus losers part.


Por. A gentle riddance:Draw the curtains,


Let all of his complexion choose me so. [Exeunt.


Venice. A Street.


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 rais'd the


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 certify'd the duke,
They were not with Bassanio in his ship.
Salan. I never heard a passion so 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, stol'n from me by my daughter!
And jewels; two stones, two rich and precious stones,
Stol'n 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'd 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


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,


'I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday ;] i. e. I conversed.


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 in 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,3
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.


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.

2 Slubber not] To slubber is to do any thing carelessly, imperfectly.

3 And even there, his eye being big with tears,

Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, &c.] So curious an observer of nature was our author, and so minutely had he traced the operation of the passions, that many passages of his works might furnish hints to painters. It is indeed surprizing that they do not study his plays with this view. In the passage before us, we have the outline of a beautiful picture. MALONE. ·embraced heaviness- The heaviness which he indulges,


and is fond of.

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