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Which rather threatnest, than dost promise aught,
s. Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence ;
And here chuse I; joy be the consequence !
Por. How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd despair,
And shudd'ring fear, and green-ey'd jealousie.
O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasie;
In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess,
I feel too much thy blessing, make it less,
For fear I surfeit.
[Opening the leaden casket,
Bal. What find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit? what Demy-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
Parced with sugar breath; so sweet a bar
Should sunder such fweer friends: here in her hairs
The painter plays the spider, and hath woven
A golden mesh r intrap the hearts of men,
Faster than gnats in cobwebs: but her eyes, -
How could he fee to do them? having made one,
Methinks, it should have power to steal both his,
And leave itself unfinishid: yet 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 scrowl,
The continent and summary of my
5 Tby paleness moves me more than eloquence ;] Bafanio is displeas'd at the golden casket for its gawdiness
, and the silver one for its paleness; but, what! is he charm'd with the leaden one for having the very fame quality that displeas'd him in the filver: The poet certainly wrote,
Thy Plainness moves me more than eloquence : This characterizes the lead from the filver, which paleness does not, they being both pale. Besides, there is a beauty in the antithesis between plain. ness and eloquence; between paleness and eloquence none. So it is laid before of the leaden-casket,
This third dull lead, with warning all as blunt.
You that chuse not by the view,
Chance as fair, and chuse 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 scrowl; fair lady, by your leave ;
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, gazing still in doubt,
Whether those peals of praise be his or no;
So (thrice-fair lady) stand I, even fo,
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratify'd by you.
Por. You see me, lord Basanio, where I stand,
Such as I am ; tho' for my self alone,
I would not be ambitious in my Wish,
To wish my self much better ; yet for
I would be trebled twenty times my felf,
A thousand times more fair; ten thousand times
More rich; that, to stand high in your account,
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account: but the full fum of me
• Is some of something, which, to term in grofs,
Is an unlesfon'd girl, unschoold, unpractisid:
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learn ; more happy then in this,
She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
6 Is sum of something, --] We should read, some of fometbing, i. e, only a piece or part only of an imperfe&t account. Which she explains in the following line.
Happiest of all, is, that her gentle fpiric
Commits it felf to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her King:
My self, 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 my self; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and this fame my self
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.
Baf. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins ;
And there is such Confusion in my pow'rs,
As, after some oration fairly spoke
By a beloved Prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleased multitude;
Where every something, being blent together,
Turns to a wild of nothing, fave of joy
Exprest, and not exprest. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
O, then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead.
Ner. My lord and lady, it is now our time,
That have stood by, and seen our wishes prosper,
To cry, good joy, good joy, my lord and lady!
Gra. My lord Basanio, and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy that you can with ;
For, I am sure, you can wish none from me:
And when your honours mean to folemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Ey'n at that time I may be married too.
Baf. 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
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the casket there ;
And so did mine too, as the matcer falls :
For wooing here until I sweat again,
And swearing, till my very roof was dry
With oaths of love; at last, if promise laft,
I got a promise of this fair one here,
To have her love, provided that your
fortune Atchiev'd her mistress.
Por. Is this true, Nerisa?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal.
Bal. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
Gra. Yes, faith, my lord.
Bal. Our Feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.
Gra. We'll play with them, the first boy for a thousand Ducats.
Ner. What, and stake down?
Gra. No, we shall ne'er win at that sport, and stake down. But who comes here? Lorenzo and his Infidel? What, and my old Venetian friend, Salanio ?
Enter Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salanio.
Bas. Lorenzo and Salanio, welcome hither;
If that the youth of my new Interest here
Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave,
I bid my very friends and country-men,
(Sweet Portia) welcome.
Por. So do I, my Lord; they are intirely welcome.
Lor. I thank your honour; for my part, my lord, My purpose was not to have seen you here; But meeting with Salanio by the way, 7 A comma here set exactly right, by Mr. Theobald.
He did intreat me, paft all saying nay,
To come with him along.
Sal. I did, my lord,
And I have reason for’t ; Signior Antbonio
Commends him to you.
[Gives Baffanio a Letter.
Bas. Ere I ope his letter,
I pray you tell me how my good friend doth.
Sal. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind;
Nor well, unless in mind ; his letter there
Will shew you his estate. [Bassanio opens the letter.
Gra. Nerissa, cheer yond ftranger: Bid her wel-
Your hand, Salanio ; what's the news from Venice?
How doth that royal merchant, good Anthonio?
I know, he will be glad of our Success :
We are the Jafons, we have won the fleece.
Sal. Would you had won the Aeece, that he hath
Por. There arc fome shrewd Contents in yond samo
That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek:
Some dear Friend dead; else nothing in the world
Could turn so much the constitution
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse!
With leave, Bassanio, I am half your self,
And I must have the half of any thing
That this fame Paper brings you.
Bal. O sweet Portia !
Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words
That ever blotted paper. "Gentle lady,
When I did first impart my love to you,
1 freely told you, all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
And then I told you true; and yet, dear lady,
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart: when I told you,
My state was nothing, I should then have told you,