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Shy. What, what, what? Ill luck, ill luck? Tub. hath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis.
Shy. I thank God, I thank God!-Is it true? is it true?
Tub. I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the wreck.
Shy. I thank thee, good Tubal.-Good news, good news! Ha! ha!-Where? In Genoa?
Tub. Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, one night, fourscore ducats.
Shy. Thou stickest a dagger in me.--I shall never see my gold again. Fourscore ducats at a sitting! Fourscore ducats!
Tub. There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my company to Venice, that swear he cannot choose but break.
Shy. I am very glad of it; I'll plague him; I'll torture him; I am glad of it.
Tub. One of them showed me a ring, that he had of your daughter for a monkey.
Shy. Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal. It was my turquoise;1 I had it of Leah, when I was a bachelor. I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.
Tub. But Antonio is certainly undone.
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 merchandise I will. Go, go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.
1 The turquoise is a well-known precious stone found in the veins of the mountains on the confines of Persia to the east. In old times, its value was much enhanced by the magic properties attributed to it in common with other precious stones, one of which was, that it faded or brightened its hue as the health of the wearer increased or grew less.
SCENE II. Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Enter BASSANIO, PORTIA, GRATIANO, NERISSA, and Attendants. The Caskets are set out.
Por. I pray you tarry; pause a day or two,
But lest you should not understand me well,
Let me choose,
For as I am, I live upon the rack.
Por. Upon the rack, Bassanio? Then confess What treason there is mingled with your love.
Bass. None, but that ugly treason of mistrust, Which makes me fear the enjoying of my love.
1 To be o'erlooked, forelooked, or eye-bitten, was a term for being bewitched by an evil eye.
2 To pieze is from peser (Fr.), to weigh or balance.
There may as well be amity and life
Por. Ay, but, I fear, you speak upon the rack,
Bass. Promise me life, and I'll confess the truth.
Confess, and love,
Had been the very sum of my confession.
Por. Away then; I'm locked in one of them;
May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream,
Music, whilst BASSANIO comments on the Caskets to
1 i. e dignity of mien.
1. Tell me, where is fancy1 bred,
2. It is engendered in the eyes,
Let us all ring fancy's knell;
All. Ding, dong, bell.
Bass. So may the outward shows be least them
The world is still deceived with ornament.2
2 Bassanio begins abruptly, the first part of the argument having passed
in his mind.
3 i. e. justify it.
4 That is, what a little higher is called the beard of Hercules.
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
To be the dowry of a second head,
Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
Por. How all the other passions fleet to air,
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 severed lips, Parted with sugar 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,
1 Shakspeare has also satirized this fashion of false hair in Love's Labor's Lost.
2 Guiled for guiling, or treacherous.
3 In order to avoid the repetition of the epithet pale, Warburton altered this to plainness, and he has been followed in the modern editions; but the reading of the old copy, which is here restored, is the true one.