Salino. Heere comes Lorenzo, more of this hereafter

Lor. Sweete friends, your patience for my long abode, Not I, but my affaires haue made you wait; When you shall please to play the theeues for wiues Ile watch as long for you then: approach Here dwels my father Iew. Hoa, who's within?

Iessica aboue.

Iess. Who are you? tell me for more certainty, Albeit Ile sweare that I do know your tongue

Lor. Lorenzo, and thy Loue

Ies. Lorenzo certaine, and my loue indeed, For who loue I so much? and now who knowes But you Lorenzo, whether I am yours? Lor. Heauen and thy thoughts are witness that thou art

Ies. Heere, catch this casket, it is worth the paines, I am glad 'tis night, you do not looke on me, For I am much asham'd of my exchange: But loue is blinde, and louers cannot see The pretty follies that themselues commit, For if they could, Cupid himselfe would blush To see me thus transformed to a boy

Lor. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer

Ies. What, must I hold a Candle to my shames? They in themselues goodsooth are too too light. Why, 'tis an office of discouery Loue, And I should be obscur'd

Lor. So you are sweet, Euen in the louely garnish of a boy: but come at once, For the close night doth play the run-away, And we are staid for at Bassanio's feast

Ies. I will make fast the doores and guild my selfe With some more ducats, and be with you straight

Gra. Now by my hood, a gentle, and no Iew

Lor. Beshrew me but I loue her heartily. For she is wise, if I can iudge of her. And faire she is, if that mine eyes be true, And true she is, as she hath prou'd her selfe: And therefore like her selfe, wise, faire, and true, Shall she be placed in my constant soule. Enter Iessica.

What, art thou come? on gentlemen, away, Our masking mates by this time for vs stay. Enter.

Enter Anthonio.

Ant. Who's there? Gra. Signior Anthonio? Ant. Fie, fie, Gratiano, where are all the rest? 'Tis nine a clocke, our friends all stay for you, No maske to night, the winde is come about, Bassanio presently will goe aboord, I haue sent twenty out to seeke for you

Gra. I am glad on't, I desire no more delight Then to be vnder saile, and gone to night.

Exeunt.

Enter Portia with Morrocho, and both their traines.

Por. Goe, draw aside the curtaines, and discouer The seuerall Caskets to this noble Prince: Now make your choyse

Mor. The first of gold, who this inscription beares, Who chooseth me, shall gaine what men desire. The second siluer, which this promise carries, Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserues. This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt, Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath. How shall I know if I doe choose the right? How shall I know if I doe choose the right

Por. The one of them containes my picture Prince, If you choose that, then I am yours withall

Mor. Some God direct my iudgement, let me see, I will suruay the inscriptions, backe againe: What saies this leaden casket? Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath. Must giue, for what? for lead, hazard for lead? This casket threatens men that hazard all Doe it in hope of faire aduantages: A golden minde stoopes not to showes of drosse, Ile then nor giue nor hazard ought for lead. What saies the Siluer with her virgin hue? Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserues. As much as he deserues; pause there Morocho, And weigh thy value with an euen hand, If thou beest rated by thy estimation Thou doost deserue enough, and yet enough May not extend so farre as to the Ladie: And yet to be afeard of my deseruing, Were but a weake disabling of my selfe. As much as I deserue, why that's the Lady. I doe in birth deserue her, and in fortunes, In graces, and in qualities of breeding: But more then these, in loue I doe deserue. What if I strai'd no farther, but chose here? Let's see once more this saying grau'd in gold. Who chooseth me shall gaine what many men desire: Why that's the Lady, all the world desires her: From the foure corners of the earth they come To kisse this shrine, this mortall breathing Saint. The Hircanion deserts, and the vaste wildes Of wide Arabia are as throughfares now For Princes to come view faire Portia. The waterie Kingdome, whose ambitious head Spets in the face of heauen, is no barre To stop the forraine spirits, but they come As ore a brooke to see faire Portia. One of these three containes her heauenly picture. Is't like that Lead containes her? 'twere damnation To thinke so base a thought, it were too grose To rib her searecloath in the obscure graue: Or shall I thinke in Siluer she's immur'd Being ten times vndervalued to tride gold; O sinfull thought, neuer so rich a Iem Was set in worse then gold! They haue in England A coyne that beares the figure of an Angell Stampt in gold, but that's insculpt vpon: But here an Angell in a golden bed Lies all within. Deliuer me the key: Here doe I choose, and thriue I as I may

The Merchant of Venice Page 14

William Shakespeare Plays

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book