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Ant. Who's there?
Gra. Signior Antonio?

Ant. Fye, fye, Gratiano! where are all the rest?
'Tis nine o'clock; our friends all stay for you:-
No masque to-night; the wind is come about,
Bassanio presently will go aboard:
I have sent twenty out to seek for you.

Gra. I am glad on 't; I desire no more delight,
Than to be under sail, and gone to-night. [Exeunt.


Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.

Flourish of Cornets. Enter Portia, with the Prince of

Morocco, and both their Trains.
Por. Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover
The several caskets to this noble prince:
Now make your choice.

Mor. The first, of gold, who this inscription bears;-
Who chooseih me, shall gain what many men desire.
The second, silver, which this promise carries;
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt;2-
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he haih.
How shall I know if I do choose the right?

Por. The one of them contains my picture, prince; If you choose that, then I am yours withal.

Mor. Some god direct my judgment! Let me see, I will survey the inscriptions back again: What says this leaden casket? Who chooseih me, must give and hazard all he hath, Must give-For what? for lead? hazard for lead? This casket threatens: Men, that hazard all, Do it in hope of fair advantages: A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross; I'll then nor give, nor hazard, aught for lead. What says the silver, with her virgin hue? Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves. As much as he deserves ?-Pause there, Morocco,


as blunt;] That is, as gross as the dull metal. Johnson.

And weigh thy value with an even hand:
If thou be’st rated by thy estimation,
Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough
May not extend so far as to the lady;
And yet to be afeard of my deserving,
Were but a weak disabling of myself.
As much as I deserve!-Why, that 's the lady:
I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes,
In graces, and in qualities of breeding;
But more than these, in love I do deserve.
What if I stray'd no further, but chose here?-
Let's see once more this saying gravid in gold:
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire.
Why, that 's the lady; all the world desires her:
From the four corners of the earth they come,
To kiss this shrine, this mortal breathing saint.
The Hyrcanian deserts, and the vasty wilds
Of wide Arabia, are as through-fares now,
For princes to come view fair Portia:
The watry kingdom, whose ambitious head
Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar
To stop the foreign spirits; but they come,
As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia.
One of these three contains her heavenly picture.
Is 't like, that lead contains her? 'Twere damnation,
To think so base a thought; it were too gross
To rib3 her cerecloth in the obscure grave.
Or shall I think, in silver she's immur’d,
Being ten times undervalued to try'd gold?
() sinful thought! Never so rich a gem
Was set in worse than gold. They have in England
A coin, that bears the figure of an angel
Stamped in gold; but that's insculp'd upon;4




3 To rib - ] i. e. inclose, as the ribs inclose the viscera. in Cymbeline :

-ribb’d and paled in “With rocks unscaleable, and roaring waters.” Steevens,

insculp'd ripon;] To insculp is to engrave. So, in a comcdy called A new Wonder, a Woman never vex'd, 1632:

- in golden text “Shall be insculp'd —" Steevens. The meaning is, that the figure of the angel is raised or embossed on the coin, not engraved on it. Tutet.

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But here an angel in a golden bed
Lies all within.-Deliver me the key;
Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may!

Por. There, take it, prince, and if my form lie there, Then I am yours.

[He unlocks the golden casket. Mor.

O hell! what have we here?
A carrion death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll? I 'll read the writing.

All that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold,
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms infold.5
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscrold:6
Fare you well; your suit is cold.

5 Gilded tombs do worms infold.] In all the old editions this line is written thus:

Gilded timber do worms infold. From which Mr. Rowe and all the following editors have made :

Gilded wood may worms infold. A line not bad in itself, but not so applicable to the occasion as that which, I believe, Shakspeare wrote:

Gilded tombs do worms infold. A tomb is the proper repository of a death's-head. Johnson.

The thought might have been suggested by Sidney's Arcadia, B. I:

“But gold can guild a rotten piece of wood.Steevens. Tombes (for such was the old spelling) and timber were easily confounded. Yet perhaps the old reading may be right. The construction may be-Worms do infold gilded timber. This, however, is very harsh, and the ear is offended. In a poem in. titled, of the Silke Wormes and their Flies, 4to. 1599, is this line:

“Before thou wast, were timber-worms in price.” Malone. More than the ear, I think, would be offended on this occasion; for how is it possible for worms that live bred within timber, to infold it? Steevens.

Dr. Johnson's emendation is supported by Shakspeare's 101st Sonnet:

it lies in thee “To make thee much outlive a gilded tomb." Malone. 6 Your answer had not beeen inscrold:] Since there is an an. swer inscrol'd or written in every casket, I believe for your we should read-this. When the words were written yr and ys, the mistake was easy. Johnson.

Cold, indeed; and labour lost:

Then, farewel, heat; and, welcome, frost.-
Portia, adieu! I have too griev'd a heart
To take a tedious leave: thus losers part. [Exit.

Por. A gentle riddance:-Draw the curtains, go;-
Let all of his complexion choose me so.? [Exeunt.


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Venice. A Street.

Salar. Why man, I saw Bassanio under sail;
With him is Gratiano gone along;
And in their ship, I am sure, Lorenzo is not.

Salan. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the duke;
Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship.

Salar. He came too late, the ship was under sail:
But there the duke was given to understand,
That in a gondola were seen together
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica:
Besides, Antonio certify'd the duke,
They were not with Bassanio in his ship.

Salan. I never heard a passion so confus'd,
So strange, outrageous, and so variable,
As the dog Jew did utter in the streets:
My daughter!-O my ducats!0 my daughter!
Fled with a Christian?-O my christian ducats!
Justice! the law! my ducats, and my daughter!
A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats,
Of double ducats, stol'n from me by my daughter!
And jewels; two stones, two rich and precious stones,
Stoln by my daughter!-Justice! find the girl!
She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats!

choose me so.] The old quarto editions of 1600 have no distribution of Acts, but proceed from the beginning to the end in an unbroken tenour. This play, therefore, having been probably divided without authority by the publishers of the first folic, lies open to a new regulation, if any more commodious division can be proposed. The story is itself so wildly incredible, and the changes of the scene so frequent and capricious, that the probability of action does not deserve much care ; yet it may be proper to observe, that, by concluding the second act here, time is given for Bassanio's passage to Belmont. Johnson.

Salar. Why, all the boys in Venice follow him,
Crying,—his stones, his daughter, and his ducats.

Salan. Let good Antonio look he keep his day,
Or he shall pay for this.

Marry, well remember'd:
I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday;8
Who told me,—in the narrow seas, that part
The French and English, there miscarried
A vessel of our country, richly fraught:
I thought upon Antonio, when he told me;
And wish'd in silence, that it were not his.

Salan. You were best to tell Antonio what you hear; Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.

Salar. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
I saw Bassanio and Antonio part:
Bassanio told him, he would make some speed
Of his return; he answer'd_Do not 80,
Slubber not' business for my sake, Bassanio,
But stay the very riping of the time;
And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me,
Let it not enter in your mind of love:1

8 I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday;] i.e. I conversed. So, in King John:

“Our griefs, and not our manners reason now.” Again, in Chapman's translation of the fourth Book of the Odyssey:

“ The morning shall yield time to you and me,

“To do what fits, and reason mutually.” Steevens. The Italian ragionare is used in the same sense. M. Mason.

9 Slubber not -] To slubber is to do any thing carelessly, imperfectly. So, in Nash's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599:

they slubber'd thee over so negligently.”. Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit without Money:

“ I am as haste ordain'd me, a thing slubber'd.Steevens.

- your mind of love :) So all the copies, but I suspect some corruption. Fohnson.

This imaginary cor is removed by only putting a comma after mind. Langton.

Of love, is an adjuration sometimes used by Shakspeare. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, sc. vii: « Quick.

desires you to send her your little page, of all loves :"> i. e. she desires you to send him by all means.

Your mind of love may, however, in this instance, mean-your loving mind. So, in The Tragedie of Cræsus, 1604: “A mind of treason is a treasonable mind.


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