« PreviousContinue »
But let me to my fortune and the caskets.
Por. Away then: I am lock'd in one of them;
If you do love me, you will find me out.
Nerissa, and the rest, stand all aloof:
Let mufick sound while he doth make his choice;
Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end,
Fading in musick. That the comparison
May stand more just, my eye shall be the stream
And wat’ry death-bed for him: he
And what is mufick then ? then musick is
Even as the flourish, when true subjects bow
To a new crowned monarch: such it is,
As are those dulcet sounds in break of day,
That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear,
And summon him to marriage. Now he goes
With no less presence, but with much more love,
Than young Alcides, when he did redeem
The virgin-tribute pay'd by howling Troy.
To the sea-monster: I stand for sacrifice;
The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,
With bleared visages come forth to view
The issue of th’exploit. Go, Hercules,
Live thou, I live; with much, much more dismay
I view the fight, than thou that mak'st the fray. (mufick within..
A song whilf Baffanio comments on the caskets to himself.
Tell me, where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head ?
How begot, bow nourished ?
It is engender'd in the eyes,
With gazing fed, and fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies :
Let us all ring fancy's knell.
I'll begin it.
Ding, dong, bell.
All. Ding, dong, bell.
Bal. So may the outward shows be least themselves :
The world is still deceiv'd with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being season'd with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? in religion,
What damned errour, but some fober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of fand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars;
Who, inward search’d, have livers white as milk?
And these assume but * valour's excrement,
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,
shall see ʼtis purchas'd by the weight,
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that wear most of it:
So are those crisped snaky golden locks,
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind
Upon supposed fairness, often known
To be the dowry of a second head,
The fkull, that bred them, in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the gilded shore
To a most dang’rous sea; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian "dowdy; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
T'entrap the wisest. Then, thou gaudy gold,
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee:
Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
'Tween man and man: but thou, thou meager lead,
Which rather threaten'st than dost promise ought;
Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence,
And here choose I, joy be the consequence!
a That is, a beard. b The word dowdy is used again in Rom. and Jul.
Por. How all the other passions feet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash embrac'd despair,
And shudd'ring fear, and greeney'd jealousy.
Be moderate, love! allay thy ecstafy;
In measure rein thy joy, scant this excess,
I feel too much thy blessing; make it less,
For fear I surfeit.
[opening the leaden casket.
Bal. What do I find here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit? what demy-god
Hath come so near creation? move these eyes?
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion? here are sever'd lips
Parted with sugar'd breath; so sweet a bar
Should sunder such sweet friends: here in her hair
The painter plays the spider, and hath woven
A golden mesh t'entrap the hearts of men
Faster than gnats in cobwebs; but her eyes,
How could he fee to do them? having made one,
Methinks, it should have pow'r to steal both his,
And leave itself .unfurnish'd: yet how far
The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
In underprizing it, so far this shadow
Doth limp behind the substance. Here's the scroll,
The continent and summary of my fortune.
You that choose not by the view,
Chance as fair, and choose as true !
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content, and seek no new.
If you be well pleas’d with this,
And hold your fortune for your bliss,
your lady is,
And claim her with a loving kiss.
A gentle scroll; fair lady, by your leave,
[kifing ber. I come by note to give, and to receive. • That is, not furnish'd with another eye.
Like one of two contending in a prize,
That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes;
Hearing applause and universal shout,
Giddy in spirit, gazing still in doubt,
Whether those peals of praise be his or no;
So, thrice fair lady, stand I, even so,
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm’d, sign’d, ratify'd by you.
Por. You see, my lord Basanio, where I stand,
Such as I am; though for myself alone,
I would not be ambitious in my wish,
To wish myself much better; yet for you,
I would be trebled twenty times myself,
A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times
More rich, that, to stand high in your account,
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account: but the full sum of me
Is sum of nothing, which, to term in gross,
Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis’d:
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learn; more happy then in this,
She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
Happiest of all is, that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her king:
Myself, and what is mine, to you and yours
Is now converted. I but now was lady
Of this fair mansion, mistress of my fervants,
Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and this same myself
Are yours, my lord: I give them with this ring,
Which when you part from, lose or give away,
Let it presage the ruin of your love,
And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
Bas. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins;
And there is such confusion in my pow’rs,
As, after fome oration fairly spoke
By a beloved prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleased multitude;
Where every fomething, being blent together,
Turns to a wild of nothing, fave of joy
Express’d, and not exprefs'd. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
O, then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead.
Ner. My lord, and lady, it is now our time,
That have stood by, and seen our wishes prosper,
To cry, good joy; good joy, my lord and lady!
Gra. My lord Ballanio, and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy that you can wilh;
For, I am sure, you can wish none from 'me :
And, when your honours mean to solemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you
Ev’n at that time I may be married too.
Ball. With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.
Gra. I thank your lordship, you have got me one.
My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours:
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid;
You lov’d; I lov’d; for intermission
No more pertains to me, my lord, than yoų.
Your fortune stood upon the casket there;
And so did mine too, as the matter falls ;
For wooing here until I sweat again,
And swearing till my very roof was dry
With oaths of love; at last, if promise laft,
got a promise of this fair one here
To have her love, provided that your
Atchiev'd her mistress.
Por. Is this true, Nerissa?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas’d withal.
Bal. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
That is, distinct from me and my wilhęs.