Abbildungen der Seite

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 2 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 threat'nest, than dost promise aught,
Thy paleness: moves me more than eloquence,
And here choose I. Joy be the consequence!

Por. How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy.
O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy,
In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess;
I feel too much thy blessing; make it less,
For fear I surfeit!

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 severed 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,

1 Shakspeare has also satirized this fashion of false hair in Love's Labor's Lost.

2 Guiled for guiling, or treacherous. 3 In order to avoid

the repetition of the epithet pale, Warburton altered this to plainness, and he has been followed in the modern editions; but the reading of the old copy, which is here restored, is the true one.

And leave itself unfurnished. 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,
The continent and




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,


And claim her with a loving kiss.

your lady is,

A gentle scroll. Fair lady, by your leave!

[Kissing her.
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 confirmed, signed, ratified by you.

Por. You see me, lord Bassanio, where I stand,
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 on 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,

1 i. e. unfurnished with a companion or fellow.

2 The folio reads, “Is sum of nothing,” which may probably be the true reading.

Is an unlessoned girl, unschooled, 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 myself,
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 berest 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,
Expressed, and not expressed. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
0, 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!

Grā. 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 ;
And, when your honors 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.


| That is, none away from me; none that I shall lose, if you gain it.

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 caskets 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

Achieved her mistress.

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 honored 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 ?

Enter LORENZO, Jessica, and SALERIO.
Bass. Lorenzo, and Salerio, welcome hither;
If that the youth of my new interest here
Have power to bid you welcome.—By your leave,
I bid my very friends and countrymen,
Sweet Portia, welcome.

So do I, my lord ;
They are entirely welcome.

Lor. I thank your honor. For my part, my lord, My purpose was not to have seen you here ; But meeting with Salerio by the way,

[blocks in formation]

He did entreat me, past all saying nay,
To come with him along.

I did, my lord,
And I have reason for it. Seignior Antonio
Commends him to you.

[Gives Bassanio a letter. Bass.

Ere I ope his letter,
pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.

Sale. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind;
Nor well, unless in mind. His letter there
Will show you his estate.

Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon stranger; bid her welcome
Your hand, Salerio. What's the news from Venice?
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio ?
I know, he will be glad of our success;
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.
Sale. Would you had won the fleece that he hath

lost ! Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon same

That steal the color from Bassanio's cheek.
Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world
Could turn so much the constitution
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse ?-
With leave, Bassanio; I am half yoạrself,
And I must freely have the half of any thing
That this same paper brings you.

O sweet Portia,
Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
When I did first impart my love to you,
I freely told you, all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins; I was a gentleman;
And then I told you true; and yet, dear lady,
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart. When I told you
My state was nothing, I should then have told

you That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,

| It should be remembered that steadfast, sad, grave, sobor, were ancient synonymes of constant.

« ZurückWeiter »