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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: 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.
Confess, and love,
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 wat'ry death-bed for him: He may win; And what is musick then? then musiek 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 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 !
* Dignity of mien.
Live thou, I live :-With much, much more dismay
Musick, whilst Bassanio comments on the caskets
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourished ?
With gazing fed ; and fancy dies
Let us all ring fancy's knell ;
AN. Ding, dong, bell.
* Love. + Winning favour. | Curled.
To be the dowry of a second head,
Por. How all the other passions fleet to air,
[Opening the leaden casket. Fair Portia's counterfeit t? 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 sugar'd 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 my fortune.
* Treacherous. + Likeness, portrait.
You that choose not by the view,
And claim her with a loving kiss.
. [Kissing her.
Por. You see me, lord Bassanio, 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 only to stand high on 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; and 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,
Bass. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Ner. My lord and lady, it is now our time,
Gra. My lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady,
Bass. 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 t No more pertains to me, my lord, than you. Your fortune stood upon the caskets 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 last, I got a promise of this fair one here, To have her love, provided that your fortune
* Blended. + Pause, delay.