Por. How all the other passions fleet to ayre, As doubtfull thoughts, and rash imbrac'd despaire: And shuddring feare, and greene-eyed iealousie. O loue be moderate, allay thy extasie, In measure raine thy ioy, scant this excesse, I feele too much thy blessing, make it lesse, For feare I surfeit

Bas. What finde I here? Faire Portias counterfeit. What demie God Hath come so neere creation? moue these eies? Or whether riding on the bals of mine Seeme they in motion? Here are seuer'd lips Parted with suger breath, so sweet a barre Should sunder such sweet friends: here in her haires The Painter plaies the Spider, and hath wouen A golden mesh t' intrap the hearts of men Faster then gnats in cobwebs: but her eies, How could he see to doe them? hauing made one, Me thinkes it should haue power to steale both his And leaue it selfe vnfurnisht: Yet looke how farre The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow In vnderprising it, so farre this shadow Doth limpe behinde the substance. Here's the scroule, The continent, and summarie of my fortune. You that choose not by the view Chance as faire, and choose as true: Since this fortune fals to you, Be content, and seeke no new. If you be well pleasd with this, And hold your fortune for your blisse, Turne you where your Lady is, And claime her with a louing kisse

Bass. A gentle scroule: Faire Lady, by your leaue, I come by note to giue, and to receiue, Like one of two contending in a prize That thinks he hath done well in peoples eies: Hearing applause and vniuersall shout, Giddie in spirit, still gazing in a doubt Whether those peales of praise be his or no. So thrice faire Lady stand I euen so, As doubtfull whether what I see be true, Vntill confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you

Por. You see my Lord Bassiano where I stand, Such as I am; though for my selfe alone I would not be ambitious in my wish, To wish my selfe much better, yet for you, I would be trebled twenty times my selfe, A thousand times more faire, ten thousand times More rich, that onely to stand high in your account, I might in vertues, beauties, liuings, friends, Exceed account: but the full summe of me Is sum of nothing: which to terme in grosse, Is an vnlessoned girle, vnschool'd, vnpractiz'd, Happy in this, she is not yet so old But she may learne: happier then this, Shee is not bred so dull but she can learne; Happiest of all, is that her gentle spirit Commits it selfe to yours to be directed, As from her Lord, her Gouernour, her King. My selfe, and what is mine, to you and yours Is now conuerted. But now I was the Lord Of this faire mansion, master of my seruants, Queene ore my selfe: and euen now, but now, This house, these seruants, and this same my selfe Are yours, my Lord, I giue them with this ring, Which when you part from, loose, or giue away, Let it presage the ruine of your loue, And be my vantage to exclaime on you

Bass. Maddam, you haue bereft me of all words, Onely my bloud speakes to you in my vaines, And there is such confusion in my powers, As after some oration fairely spoke By a beloued Prince, there doth appeare Among the buzzing pleased multitude, Where euery something being blent together, Turnes to a wilde of nothing, saue of ioy 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 haue stood by and seene our wishes prosper, To cry good ioy, good ioy my Lord and Lady

The Merchant of Venice Page 20

William Shakespeare Plays

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

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book