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Enter Nerissa, with a Servant.
Ner. Quick, quick, I pray thee, draw the curtain

The prince of Arragon hath ta’en his oath,
And comes to his election presently.
Enter Arragon, bis train ; Portia, with hers. Flourish of

Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince :
If you chuse that wherein I am contain'd,
Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemniz'd;
But if you fail, without more speech, my lord,
You must be gone from hence immediately.

Ar. I am enjoin'd by oach 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 PI addrest me : Fortune now
To my heart's hope !-Gold, silver, and base lead.
Who chuseth me, must give and hazard all be bath:
You shall look fairer, ere I give, or hazard.

I addrejt me :)-previously qualified myself.

And so have -Address me, fortune, now,
To my beart's hope."-Alit me in the acquisition of it.


What says the golden chest? ha! let me fee,
Wbo chuseth me, shall gain what many men defire.
What many men desire,—That many may be meant
Of the fool multitude, that chuse by show,
Not learning more than the fond eye doch teach;
Which pries not to the interior, but, like the martlet
Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
Even 'in the force and road of casualty.
I will not chuse what many men defire,
Because I will not jump 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 doft bear :
Wbo chuseth me, mall 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! and that clear honour
Were purchas'd 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 feed of honour ? and how much honour
Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times,
"To be new varnish'd ? Well, but to my choice:
Who chusetb me, shall get as much as be deferves :
I will assume desert ;-Give me a key for this,
And instantly unlock my fortunes here.


' in the force)-power, reach.

: How much low peasantry)—What meanness would be found among the great, and greatness with the mean? "To be new varnishd?]-To be restored to its primitive splendor.


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 chuseth 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 try'd that judgment is,
That did never chuse amiss :
Some there be, that madows kiss ;
Such have but a madow's bliss :
There be fools alive, I wis,
Silver'd o'er ; and so was this.
"Take what wife you will to bed,
I will ever be your head :
So be gone, fir, you are sped.

Ar. Still more fool I shall appear
By the cime 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 * wroth.
Por. Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth.
O these deliberate fools ! when they do chuse,
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.


I wis,- I guess, imagine. * Take what wife you will to bed, ]-an escape of memory : Portia's disappointed suitors were never to marry. * wroth.]-mishap.


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 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 y regreets;

To wit, besides commends, and courteous breath,
, Gifts of rich value.; yet I have not seen
So likely an embassador of love :
A day in April never came so sweet,
To show how costly summer was ac hand,
As this fore-fpurrer comes before his lord.

Por. No more, I pray thee ; I am half afeard,
Thou wilt? say anon, he is some kin to thee,
Thou spend'st such a high-day wit in praising him.-
Come, come, Nerissa; for I long to see
Quick Cupid's post, that comes so mannerly.

Ner. Bassanio, lord love, if thy will it be! [Exeunt.


: A Street in Venice.

Enter Solanio and Salarino.
Sala. Now, what news on the Rialto ?
Sol. Why, yet it lives there uncheck'd, that Anthonio

1_falutations is into a long in fuch high-fo

Ý regreets ; ]-falutations.
2 jay anon, &c.]-digress into a long tale of his being.
a bigh-day wit]-you commend him in such high-flown terms.

- “ he speaks holyday,"


hath a ship of rich lading wreck'd on the narrow seas; the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very dangerous fat, and fatal, where the carcases of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip report be an honest woman of her word.

Sala. I would she were as lying a goslip in that, as ever • knapt ginger, or made her neighbours believe she wept for the death of a third husband : But it is true,--without any lips of prolixity, or crossing the plain high-way of talk,—that the good Anthonio, the honest Anthonio, O that I had a title good enough to keep his name company!

Sol. Come the full stop.

Sala. Ha, - what say'st thou? Why the end is, he hath lost a ship.

Sol. I would it might prove the end of his losses !

Sala. Let me say amen betimes, left the devil cross thy prayer ; for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.

Enter Shylock. How now, Shylock ? what news among the merchants ?

Sby. You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my daughter's Alight.

Sol. That's certain ; I, for my part, knew the taylor that made the wings she flew withal.

Sala. And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was fledge ; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam.

Shy. She is damn'd for it.
Sol. That's certain, if the devil may be her judge.
Sby. My own flesh and blood to rebel !

knapt ginger,]-for a spiced cup-as ever spiced a bowl.
e my prayer-Solanio's, made his own by saying amen to it.

complexion]-nature, disposition,


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