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Shy. Nay, that's true, that's very true: Go, Tubal, fee me an officer, bespeak him a fortnight before: I will have the heart of him, if he forfeit; for were he out of Venice, I can make what merchandize I will : Go, go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.



Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.


Attendants. The caskets are set out.
Por. I pray you, tarry; pause a day or two,
Before you hazard; for, in choosing wrong,
I lose your company; therefore, forbear a while:
There's something tells me, (but it is not love,)
I would not lose you; and you know yourself,
Hate counsels not in such a quality:
But lest you should not understand me well,
(And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought)
I would detain


here some month or two, Before you venture for me.

I could teach you,
How to choose right, but then I am forsworn;
So will I never be: so may you miss me;
But if you do, you'll make me wish a sin,
That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes, ,
They have o'er-look'd me, and divided me;
One half of me is


the other half yours,
Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours,
And so all yours: O! these naughty times
Put bars between the owners and their rights ;
And so, though yours, not yours. — Prove it so,
Let fortune go to hell for it,
I speak too long; but 'tis to peize the time ;

to peize the time;] To peize, is to weigh, or balance; and figuratively, to keep in suspense, to delay.

not I.


To eke it, and to draw it out in length,
To stay you from election.

Let me choose;
For, as

I live

the rack.
Por. Upon the rack, Bassanio? then confess
What treason there is mingled with


love. Bass. None, but that ugly treason of mistrust, Which makes me fear the enjoying of my

love: There may as well be amity and life 'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my

love. Por. Ay, but, I fear, you speak upon the rack, Where men enforced do speak any thing.

Bass. Promise me life, and I'll confess the truth.
Por. Well then, confess and live.

Confess, and love,
Had been the very sum of my confession :
O happy torment, when my torturer
Doth teach me answers for deliverance !
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 musick 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 proper, my eye shall be the stream, And watry death-bed for him: He may win; And what is musick then ? then musick is Even as the flourish when true subjects bow To a new-crown'd 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 paid by howling Troy

4 With no less presence,] With the same dignity of mien,

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 the exploit. Go, Hercules !
Live thou, I live:- With much much more dismay
I view the fight, than thou that mak’st the fray.

Musick, whilst BASSANIO comments on the caskets to



1. Tell me, where is fancys bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head ?

How begot, how nourished ?

2. 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 ;
ru begin it, Ding, dong, bell.
All. Ding, dong, bell.

Bass. - 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 error, but some sober brow Will bless it, and approve it? with a text, Hiding the grossness with fair ornament? There is no vice so simple, but assumes


fancy -] i. e. Love.
† “ Reply, reply,” as part of the song. MALONE.

gracious voice,] Pleasing, winning favour,
approve it -] 1. e. justify it.


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Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, 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 excremento,
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,
And you shall see 'tis 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 scull that bred them, in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
To entrap the wisest. Therefore, 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 meagre lead,
Which rather threatnest, than dost promise aught,
Thy plainnessť moves me more than eloquence,
And here choose I; Joy be the consequence!

Por. How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd despair,
And shuddering fear and green-ey'd jealousy.
O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstacy,
In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess ;

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valour's excrement,] i. e. what a little higher is called the beard of Hercules.

the guiled shore ---] i.e. the treacherous shore. Shakspeare in this instance, as in many others, confounds the participles. Guiled stands for guiling.

† “ Paleness." MALONE.

I feel too much thy blessing, make it less,
For fear I surfeit!

What find I here?

[Opening the leaden casket. Fair Portia's counterfeit?' What demi-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


breath; so sweet a bar Should sunder such sweet friends: Here in her hairs The painter plays the spider; and hath woven A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men, Faster than gnats in cobwebs: But her eyes, How could he see to do them? having made one, Methinks, it should have power to steal both his, And leave itself unfurnish'd: Yet look, 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



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,
Turn you where your lady is,
And claim her with a loving kiss.

A gentle scroll; — Fair lady, by your

leave :

[Kissing her. 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,

1 Fair Portia's counterfeit ?] Counterfeit, which is at present used only in a bad sense, anciently signified a likeness, a resemblance, without comprehending any idea of fraud.

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