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Enter LAUNCELOT, with a letter. Friend Launcelot, what's the news ?

Laun. An it shall please you to break up this, it shall seem to signify.

Lor. I know the hand; in faith, 'tis a fair hand;
And whiter than the paper it writ on,
Is the fair hand that writ.

Gra. Love-news, in faith.
Laun. By, your leave, Sir.
Lor. Whither goest thou ?

Laun. Marry, Sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup tonight with my new master the Christian.

Lor. Hold here, take this : tell gentle Jessica, I will not fail her;-speak it privately; go.Gentlemen,

[Exit LAUNCELOT. Will you prepare you for this masque to-night? I am provided of a torch-bearer.

Salar. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
Salan. And so will I.

Lor. Meet me, and Gratiano,
At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.

Salar. "Tis good we do so. [Exeunt SALAR. and SALAN.
Gra. Was not that letter from fair Jessica ?

Lor. I must needs tell thee all : She hath directed,
How I shall take her from her father's house;
What gold, and jewels, she is furnish'd with;
What page's suit she hath in readiness.
If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven,
It will be for his gentle daughter's sake :
And never dare misfortune cross her foot,
Unless she do it under this excuse, -
That she is issue to a faithless Jew.
Come, go with me; peruse this, as thou goest:
Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer.

[Exeunt. SCENE V.-The same. Before SHYLOCK'S House.

Shy. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge.
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio :
What, Jessica ! thou shalt not gormandize,
As thou hast done with me; - What, Jessica !-
And sleep, and snore, and rend apparel out;
Why, Jessica, I say!

Laun. Why, Jessica !
Shy. Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.

Laun. Your worship was wont to tell me, I could do nothing without bidding.

Jes. Call you? What is your will?

Shy. I am bid forth to supper, Jessica ;
There are my keys:-But wherefore should I go?

I am not bid for love; they flatter me:
But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon
The prodigal Christian.-Jessica, my girl,
Look to my house :- I am right loath to go;
There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
For I did dream of money-bags to-night.

Laun. I beseech you, Sir, go; my young master doth expect your reproach.

Shy. So do I his.

Laun. And they have conspired together, -I will not say, you shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on Black-Monday last, at six o'clock i' the morning, falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four in the afternoon.

Shy. What! are there masques ? Hear you me, Jessica:
Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum,
And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife,
Clamber not you up to the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the public street,
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces :
But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements;
Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
My sober house.-By Jacob's staff, I swear,
I have no mind of feasting forth to-night:
But I will go.-Go you before me, sirrah;
Say, I will come.

Laun. I will go before, Sir,-
Mistress, look out at window, for all this;

There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Jewess' eye.

[Exit LAUNCELOT. Shy. What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha ? Jes. His words were, Farewell, mistress ; nothing else.

Shy. The patch* is kind enough; but a huge feeder.
Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
More than the wild cat; drones hive not with me.
Therefore I part with him; and part with him
To one that I would have him help to waste
His borrow'd purse.--Well, Jessica, go in;
Perhaps, I will return immediately;
Do, as I bid you,
Shut doors after you: Fast bind, fast find;
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.

[Exit. Jes. Farewell: and if my fortune be not crost, I have a father, you a daughter, lost.

[Exit. Enter GRATIANO and SALARINO, masked. Gra. This is the pent-house, under which Lorenzo Desired us to make stand.

Salar. His hour is almost past.

Gra. And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour,
For lovers ever run before the clock.
Salar. O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly

* Fool.

To seal love's bonds new made, than they are wont,
To keep obliged faith unforfeited!

Gra. That ever holds: Who rises from a feast,
With that keen appetite that he sits down?
Where is the horse that doth untread again
His tedious measures with the unbated fire
That he did pace them first? All things that are,
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd.
How like a younker, or a prodigal,
The scarfed* bark puts from her native bay,
Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind !
How like the prodigal doth she return;.
With over-weather'd ribs and ragged sails,
Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the strumpet wind !

Salar. Here comes Lorenzo ;-more of this hereafter.

Lor. Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode:
Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait;
When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,
I'll watch as long for you then.--Approach;
Here dwells my father Jew :-Ho! who's within.

Enter JESSICA above, in boy's clothes.
Jes. Who are you? Tell me, for more certainty,
Albeit I'll swear that I do know your tongue.

Lor. Lorenzo, and thy love.

Jes. Lorenzo, certain; and my love indeed; For who love I so much ? And now who knows, But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?

Lor. Heaven, and thy thoughts, are witness that thou art.

Jes. Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains.
I am glad 'tís night, you do not look on me,
For I am much ashamed of my exchange:
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit;
For if they could, Cupid himself would blush
To see me thus transformed to a boy.

Lor. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer.
Jes. What, must I hold a candle to my shames ?
They in themselves, good sooth, are too, too light.
Why 'tis an office of discovery, love;
And I should be obscured.

Lor. So are you, sweet,
Even in the lovely 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.

Jes. I will make fast the doors, and gild myself
With some more ducats, and be with you straight.

[Exit from above.

[blocks in formation]

Gra. Now, by my hood, a Gentile, and no Jew.

Lor. Beshrew me, but I love her heartily:
For she is wise, if I can judge of her;
And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true;
And true she is, as she hath proved herself;
And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true,
Shall she be placed in my constant soul.

Enter JESSICA, below.
What, art thou come ?-On, gentlemen, away;
Our masking mates by this time for us stay.

[Exit with JESSICA and SALARINO.

Ant. Who's there?
Gra. Signior Antonio ?

Ant. Fie, fie, Gratiano! where are all the rest ?
'Tis nine o'clock ; our friends all stay for you :-
No masque to-night; the wind is come about,
Bassanio presently will go aboard:
I have sent twenty out to seek for you.

Gra. I am glad on't; I desire no more delight,
Than to be under sail, and gone to-night.

[Exeunt. SCENE VI.Belmont. A Room in PORTIA'S House. Flourish of Cornets. Enter PORTIA with the PRINCE OF

MOROCCO, and both their Trains.
Por. Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover
The several caskets to this noble prince:-
Now make your choice.

Mor. The first, of gold, who this inscription bears ;-
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire.
The second; silver, which this promise carries;
Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.
This third, dull lead, with warning all as, blunt;
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath.
How shall I know if I do choose the right ?

Por. The one of them contains my picture, prince;
If you choose that, then I am yours withal.

Mor. Some god direct my judgment! Let me see,
I will survey the inscriptions back again :
What says this leaden casket ?
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath.
Must give-For what? for lead ? hazard for lead ?
This casket threatens; Men, that hazard all,
Do it in hope of fair advantages :
A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross :
I'll then nor give, nor hazard, aught for lead.
What says the silver, with her virgin hue?
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.
As much as he deserves ? Pause there, Morocco,
And weigh thy value with an even hand:

If thou be'st rated by thy estimation,
Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough
May not extend so far as to the lady;
And yet to be afeard of my deserving,
Were but a weak disabling of myself.
As much as I deserve !--Why, that's the lady:
I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes,
In graces, and in qualities of breeding;
But more than these, in love I do deserve.
What if I stray'd no further, but chose here ?---
Iset's see once more this saying, graved in gold:
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire.
Why, that's the lady; all the world desires her:
From the four corners of the earth they come,
To kiss this shrine, this mortal breathing saint.
The Hyrcanian deserts, and the vasty wilds
Of wide Arabia, are as through-fares now,
For princes to come view fair Portia:
The watery kingdom, whose ambitious head
Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar
To stop the foreign spirits; but they come,
As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia.
One of these three contains her heavenly picture
Is’t like, that lead contains her? "Twere damnation,
To think so base a thought; it were too gross
To rib* her cerecloth in the obscure grave.
Or shall I think, in silver she's immured,
Being ten times undervalued to tried gold ?
O sinful thought! Never so rich a gem
Was set in worse than gold. They have in England
A coin, that bears the figure of an angel
Stamped in gold; but that's insculp’dt upon;
But here an angel in a golden bed
Lies all within.-Deliver me the key;
Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may !

Por. There, take it, prince, and if my form lie there,
Then I am yours.

[He unlocks the golden casket.
Mor. O hell! what have we here :
A carrion death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll? I'll read the writing.

All that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told :
Many a man his life hath sold,
But my outside to behold :
Gilded tombs do worms infold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscrolld:

Fare you well; your suit is cold.
Cold, indeed ; and labour lost;
Then, farewell, heat; and, welcome, frost.

* Enclose.

+ Carved in relief.

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