Actus Secundus.

Enter Morochus a tawnie Moore all in white, and three or foure followers accordingly, with Portia, Nerrissa, and their traine. Flo. Cornets.

Mor. Mislike me not for my complexion, The shadowed liuerie of the burnisht sunne, To whom I am a neighbour, and neere bred. Bring me the fairest creature North-ward borne, Where Phoebus fire scarce thawes the ysicles, And let vs make incision for your loue, To proue whose blood is reddest, his or mine. I tell thee Ladie this aspect of mine Hath feard the valiant, (by my loue I sweare) The best regarded Virgins of our Clyme Haue lou'd it to: I would not change this hue, Except to steale your thoughts my gentle Queene

Por. In tearmes of choise I am not solie led By nice direction of a maidens eies: Besides, the lottrie of my destenie Bars me the right of voluntarie choosing: But if my Father had not scanted me, And hedg'd me by his wit to yeelde my selfe His wife, who wins me by that meanes I told you, Your selfe (renowned Prince) than stood as faire As any commer I haue look'd on yet For my affection

Mor. Euen for that I thanke you, Therefore I pray you leade me to the Caskets To trie my fortune: By this Symitare That slew the Sophie, and a Persian Prince That won three fields of Sultan Solyman, I would ore-stare the sternest eies that looke: Out-braue the heart most daring on the earth: Plucke the yong sucking Cubs from the she Beare, Yea, mocke the Lion when he rores for pray To win the Ladie. But alas, the while If Hercules and Lychas plaie at dice Which is the better man, the greater throw May turne by fortune from the weaker hand: So is Alcides beaten by his rage, And so may I, blinde fortune leading me Misse that which one vnworthier may attaine, And die with grieuing

Port. You must take your chance, And either not attempt to choose at all, Or sweare before you choose, if you choose wrong Neuer to speake to Ladie afterward In way of marriage, therefore be aduis'd

Mor. Nor will not, come bring me vnto my chance

Por. First forward to the temple, after dinner Your hazard shall be made

Mor. Good fortune then,


To make me blest or cursed'st among men.


Enter the Clowne alone.

Clo. Certainely, my conscience will serue me to run from this Iew my Maister: the fiend is at mine elbow, and tempts me, saying to me, Iobbe, Launcelet Iobbe, good Launcelet, or good Iobbe, or good Launcelet Iobbe, vse your legs, take the start, run awaie: my conscience saies no; take heede honest Launcelet, take heed honest Iobbe, or as afore-said honest Launcelet Iobbe, doe not runne, scorne running with thy heeles; well, the most coragious fiend bids me packe, fia saies the fiend, away saies the fiend, for the heauens rouse vp a braue minde saies the fiend, and run; well, my conscience hanging about the necke of my heart, saies verie wisely to me: my honest friend Launcelet, being an honest mans sonne, or rather an honest womans sonne, for indeede my Father did something smack, something grow too; he had a kinde of taste; wel, my conscience saies Lancelet bouge not, bouge saies the fiend, bouge not saies my conscience, conscience say I you counsaile well, fiend say I you counsaile well, to be rul'd by my conscience I should stay with the Iew my Maister, (who God blesse the marke) is a kinde of diuell; and to run away from the Iew I should be ruled by the fiend, who sauing your reuerence is the diuell himselfe: certainely the Iew is the verie diuell incarnation, and in my conscience, my conscience is a kinde of hard conscience, to offer to counsaile me to stay with the Iew; the fiend giues the more friendly counsaile: I will runne fiend, my heeles are at your commandement, I will runne. Enter old Gobbe with a Basket.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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