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A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men Faster than gnats in cobwebs. But her eyes, How could he see to do them?

Here's the scroll, 5 The continent and summary of my fortune.

[Reads.] “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,

where your lady is
And claim her with a loving kiss.”



A gentle scroll. Fair lady, by your leave; 15 I come by note, to give and to receive.

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, still gazing in a 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, ratified by you.

Por. You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand, 25 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 only to stand high in your account,
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends
Exceed account. But the full sum of me
Is sum of — something, 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; happier than 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. But now I was the lord
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
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.

Bass. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins;
And there is such confusion in my powers,




As, after some oration fairly spoke
By a beloved prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleased multitude;
Where every something, being blent together,
5 Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy
Express'd and not express'd. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
0, then be bold to say Bassanio's dead!

SHAKESPEARE: The Merchant of Venice.


SCENE I. 1. Where does this scene take place? 2. Who are the speakers ? 3. Why cannot Portia choose a husband for herself? 4. How is a husband to be selected for her? 5. What suitors have appeared? 6. What does Portia think of the Neapolitan prince? 7. What of County Palatine? 8. Of whom does she say “God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man ”? 9. What objection does she make to the Englishman? to the German? 10. What have all these suitors decided to do? 11. Who does Nerissa say is the man "best deserving of a fair lady"? 12. Can you " level at Portia's affection? 13. What new suitor is announced? 14. Select a number of Portia's wisest and wittiest sayings.

Notes on Words and Phrases. Page 376, 1. 1, troth, truth; 1.6, surfeit, overeat; P. 378, 1. 6, whereof, of which; 1. 11, overname, name over; 1. 13, level, level a gun so as to shoot correctly, i.e., guess; 1. 15, Ay (I), yes; 1. 16, appropriation, addition ; 1. 19, County, Count; 1. 23, weeping philosopher, Heraclitus (Hěr-ā-kli'tủs), the Greek, was so named; P. 379, 1. 1, by, concerning; 1. 18, poor pennyworth, i.e., very little; 1. 19, a proper man's picture, the picture of a handsome man; 1. 21, suited, clothed; 1. 21, doublet, jacket; 1. 22, hose, breeches; P. 380, 1. 6, An, if ; P.381, 1. 11, four : this seems a mistake. How many have been mentioned ?

Proper Names: Portia (Põr'sha), Nerissa (Ne-rys'sa), Neapolitan (Ne-à-pěl'i-tăn), Palatine (Păl'a-tin), Le Bon (Le Bon'), Falconbridge (Fo'kon-brij), Saxony (Săk'son-i), Montferrat (Môn-fễr-rä'), Bassanio (Bắs-sẵni-õ), Morocco (Mô-rÖkokô).

For Study with the Glossary: curb'd, lottery, devised, Monsieur, capering, requite, determinations, marquis, forerunner.

SCENE II. 1. What suitor now enters? 2. Where does he come from? 3. What does he say about his complexion? 4. What passage shows that the prince is boastful ? 5. With what hero does he compare himself ? 6. What are the conditions to which he must swear before choosing? 7. Where have you heard of Hercules before?

Notes on Words and Phrases. Page 382, 1. 2, shadow'd livery, poetical for “dark dress "; 1. 4, aspect, face, appearance; 1. 5, fear'd, made to fear; l. 6, best-regarded, in highest regard; 1. 10, nice, fastidious, “particular"; 1. 13, scanted me, restricted me; 1. 14, hedg'd me, bound me. P. 383, 1. 5, outbrave, surpass in bravery; 1. 9, Lichas (Li'kas) is nowhere else spoken of as the page of Hercules. He brought Hercules the poisoned shirt and in return was kicked sky-high into the sea. 1. 12, Alcides, name for Hercules ; 1. 19, be advis'd, i.e., not to choose.

Proper Names: Phæbus (Fē būs), Sophy (So'fi), Hercules (Hěr'. kū-lēz), Lichas (Li'kăs), Alcides (AX-si'dēz).

SCENE III. 1. Where is this scene? 2. Who are the speakers ? 3. Of what are the caskets made? 4. What inscriptions do they bear? 5. Why does Morocco refuse the lead casket? 6. Why does he hesitate over the silver casket ? 7. Why does he choose the gold ? 8. What does he find within the casket ? 9. What is written on the scroll? 10. In what way had Morocco lacked wisdom? 11. What do you think of his character ? 12. Was Portia sorry to see him go? 13. “A gentle riddance” has become a proverbial phrase. What does it mean?

Notes on Words and Phrases. P. 384, 1. 12, withal, with it; P.385, 1. 7, qualities of breeding, qualities that come from birth and training; 1. 10, grav'd, engraved; 1. 21, To rib her cerecloth, to enclose her shroud ; l. 27, insculp'd, engraved; P. 386, 1. 6, a carrion Death, carrion means anything dead, and so is here applied to an image of Death.

Hyrcanian (Her-kẫni-ăn), Arabia (A-rã’bi-a).

For Study with the Glossary: dross, immur'd, scroll, inscroll'd, adieu, riddance.

SCENE IV. 1. Who now comes to his election "?

2. Why does he refuse the golden casket? 3. Why does he choose the silver casket? 4. What does he find in it? 5. Does he get what he deserves? 6. Which do you prefer, Morocco or Arragon? 7. What does Portia call them both ? 8. What news does the messenger bring? 9. Who is announced? 10. Who does Nerissa hope he is ?

Notes on Words and Phrases. P. 387, 1. 6, nuptial rites be solemniz'd, marriage ceremony be celebrated; P. 388, 1. 4, ere, before; 1. 10, jump, agree; l. 16, cozen, cheat; 1. 20, assume desert, suppose that I deserve it; 1. 24, schedule, here merely

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