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Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament ?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts :
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars,
Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk;
And these assume but valour's excrement
To render them redoubted ! Look on beauty,
And you shall see 'tis purchased by the weight;
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that wear most of it:
So are those crisped snaky golden locks
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
Upon supposed fairness, often known
To be the dowry of a second head,
The skull that bred them in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea ; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
To entrap the wisest. Therefore, thou gaudy gold,
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee;
Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
'Tween man and man : but thou, thou meagre lead,
Which rather threatenest than dost promise aught,

100

ous.

79. approve, confirm.

in Montaigne (Ess. ii. 12), 87. excrement, outgrowth, "The Indians describe it [beauty] beard.

black and swarthy, with blub97. guiled, guileful, treacher- bered thick lips, with a broad

and flat nose.

In this case, he 99. Indian beauty. 'Beauty' must have read the original, is probably a blunder, due to Florio's translation having apthe beauteous' of the line peared only in 1603. But the above. It has been suggested use of the word 'beauty' remains that he was recalling a passage awkward and un-Shakespearean. 106. Thy paleness moves me. character, disparaged as 'gaudy Since paleness is just above and ‘pale'; whereas the 'paledisparagingly ascribed to silver, ness' of lead becomes a virtue, Warburton proposed to read because it is associated with no plainness here. The verbal in- pretensions. consistency is, however, dramatic enough. Gold and silver are

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Thy paleness moves me more than eloquence;
And here choose I: joy be the consequence !
Por. [Aside]. How all the other passions fleet

to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! 119
O love,
Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy;
In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.
I feel too much thy blessing : make it less,
For fear I surfeit.
Bass.

What find I here?

[Opening the leaden casket. Fair Portia's counterfeit! 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 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, 130

120

116. counterfeit, portrait. .condemned as 'ornament,' and 127. unfurnish'd, unprovided then, even in their ornamental (with a fellow).

your lady is

140

The continent and summary of my fortune.
[Reads] You that choose not by the view,

Chance as fair and choose as true!
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content and seek no new.
If

you be well pleased with this
And hold your fortune for your bliss,
Turn
you

where
And claim her with a loving kiss.
A gentle scroll. 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, still gazing in a doubt
Whether those peals of praise be his or no;
So, thrice-fair lady, stand I, even so ;
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you.

Por. You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand, 150
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 in 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,

160

131. continent, inventory or 160. sum of something. The abstract ; explicit statement. Quartos have sum of nothing.

141. by note, in conformity But Portia's humility is not with the scroll (as if this were abject. a bill, specifying payments to be made or received).

160. to term in gross, to state 158. livings, possessions. it in general terms.

170

Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractised;
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learn; 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,
This house, these servants and this same 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.

Bass. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins;
And there is such confusion in my powers,
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, save of joy,
Express’d and not express'd. 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 Bassanio and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy that you can wish;
For I am sure you can wish none from me:

176. vantage, opportunity.

180

190 200

And when your honours mean to solemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Even at that time I may be married too.
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 loved, I loved 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 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
Achieved her mistress.
Por.

Is this true, Nerissa ?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleased withal.
Bass. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
Gra. Yes, faith, my lord.

Bass. 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 Salerio ?

201. for intermission. If inaction) No more pertains to the punctuation is right, this can me, my lord, than you,' gives only mean that we (both) loved a clearer meaning and keeps up in order to avoid delay or loss better the symmetrical antitheses of time. But Theobald's con- of the context. iecture, 'for intermission (i.e.

210

220

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