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A song, whilf Bassanio comments on the caskets to himself.
Tell me, where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the bead?
How begot, bow nourished ?
It is engenderd in the eyes,
With gazing fed ; * and fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies :
Let us all ring fancy's knell.
r'll begin it, - Ding dong, bell. All. Ding, dong, bell..
Bal.-'So may the outward shows be least themselves; The world is still deceiv'd with ornament. In law, what plea fo tainted and corrupt, But, being 'season'd with a gracious voice, Obscures the show of evil? In religion, What damned error, but some sober brow 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,
k and fancy dies &c.).—alluding to love's changeableness, being excited by one object, and extinguished by another.
So may &c.)-part of the argument had already passed in his mind. m season'd with a gracious voice, ]-set off with the charms of oratory:
beauty) - artificial.
And you shall see 'tis purchas’d by the weight;
Which therein works a miracle in nature, .
Making them Plightest that wear most of it:
So are those ? crisped fnaky golden locks,
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
Upon supposed fairness, often known
To be the dowry of 'a second head,
The scull that bred them, in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the 'guiled shore
To a most dangerous fea; 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 " stale and common drudge
“Tween man and man: but thou, thou meager lead,
Which rather threatnest, than doit promise aught,
Thy w paleness moves me more than eloquence,
And here chuse 1; Joy be the consequence !
Por. How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd despair,
And shudd'ring fear, and green-ey'd jealousy.
O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy,
In measure * rain thy joy, scant this excels ;
I feel too much thy blefling, make it less,
For fear I surfeit !
[Opening the leaden casket. . Bal. What find I here? · Fair Portia's 'counterfeic? What demy-god
o by the weight ;]-of false hair, paint, &c.
p lightest)-esteemed as wantons.
a crisped fnaky)-curled in ringlets. ' a second]-another's.
o guiled ]-treacherous, deceitful-gildid,
Indian beauty ;]-deformity.
X rein. y counterfeit?) resemblance, picture.
Hath come fo near creation ? Move these eyes?
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion ? Here are sever'd lips,
Parted with fugar 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,
Mechinks, 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,
The continent and summary of my fortune.
You that chufe not by the view,
Chance as fair, and chuse as true !
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content, and seek no new.
If you be well pleas'd with this,
And hold your fortune for your bliss,
Turn you where your lady is,
And claim her with a loving kiss.
A gentle scroll ;-Fair lady, by your leave ; [Kishing ber,
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;
z itself ]—with another-himself unfurnisb’dmitself unfinish’d.
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm’d, sign’d, ratify'd 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 to stand high in your account,
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account : but the full fum of me
• Is sum of something; which, to term in grofs,
Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd: -
Happy in this, she is not yet fo old
But she may learn; and 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.
Baf. 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,
· Is Jum of something ;]—Is really something, not merely ideal, and may be compriz'd in the following description-Is fum of nothing. be my vantage]-afford me a fair pretext.
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,
Exprest, and not expreft : 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 with none 'from me:
And, when your honours mean to solemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Even at that time I may be marry'd too.
Bal. 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 lov'd, I lov’d; 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 laft, -
I got a promise of this fair one here,
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Atchiev'd her mistress..
Por. Is this true, Nerissa ?
from me :)—that I shall not share in; or, that will deprive me of any. ' for intermifion]-as to delay, or interruption of our bliss. K4