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The French and English, there miscarried
Salan. You were best to tell Antonio what you hear; Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.
Salar. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth. I saw Bassanio and Antonio part: Bassanio told him, he would make some speed Of his return: he answer'd-Do not so, Slubber noto business for my sake, Bassanio, But stay the very riping of the time; And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me, Let it not enter into your mind of love: Be merry; and employ your chiefest thoughts To courtship and such fair ostents 3 of love As shall conveniently become you there: And even there, his eye being big with tears, Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, And with affection wondrous sensible He wrung Bassanio's hand, and so they parted.
Salan. I think, he only loves the world for him. I pray thee, let us go, and find him out, And quicken his embraced heaviness * With some delight or other. Salar.
Do we so. [Exeunt.
SCENE IX. Belmont.
A Room in Portia's House.
Enter NERISSA, with a Servant. Ner. Quick, quick, I pray thee, draw the curtain
straight; The prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath, And comes to his election presently.
2 To slubber is to do a thing carelessly. 3 Shows, tokens. 4 The heaviness he is fond of, or indulges.
Flourish of Cornets. Enter the Prince of Arragon, PORTIA, and their
Trains. Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince: If you
choose that wherein I am contain’d, Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemniz'd; But if you fail, without more speech, my lord, You must be gone from hence immediately.
Ar. I am enjoin’d by oath to observe three things :
Por. To these injunctions every one doth swear, That comes to hazard for my worthless self.
Ar. And so have I address'di me: Fortune now To my heart's hope !-Gold, silver, and base lead. Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath. You shall look fairer, ere I give, or hazard. What
says the golden chest? ha! let me see:Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire. What many men desire.—That many may be meant By? the fool multitude, that choose by show, Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach; Which pries not to the interior, but, like the martlet, Builds in the weather on the outward wall, Even in the force 3 and road of casualty. I will not choose what many men desire, Because I will not jump with common spirits,
By and of being synonymous, were used by our ancestors indifferently; Malone has adduced numerous instances of the use of by, in all of which, by substituting of, the sense is rendered clear to the modern reader. 3 Power.
4 To jump is to agree with.
And rank me with the barbarous multitudes.
be commanded, that command ?
choice: Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves : I will assume desert;--Give me a key for this, And instantly unlock my fortunes here.
Por. Too long a pause for that which you find there.
Ar. What's here? the portrait of a blinking idiot, Presenting me a schedule. I will read it. How much unlike art thou to Portia ? How much unlike my hopes, and my deservings? Who chooseth me, shall have as much as he deserves. Did I deserve no more than a fool's head? Is that my prize ? are my
deserts no better?
What is here?
5 The meaning is, how much meanness would be found among the great, and how much greatness among the mean.
That did never choose amiss :
go away with two.-
[Exeunt Arragon, and Train.
Ner. The ancient saying is no heresy ;-
Por. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.
Enter a Servant.
Here; what would my lord ? 6 Know.
? The poet had forgotten that he who missed Portia was never to marry any other woman.
8 Wroath is used in some of the old writers for misfortune, and is often spelt like ruth, Caxton's Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, 1471, has frequent instances of wroth. Thus also in Chapman's Version of the 22nd Iliad
born all to wroth
Of woe and labour.' Hoccleeve also uses it:
• But poore shamefast man ofte is wrooth.' And Barclay in his Ship of Fools :
• Be the poore wroth, or be well apayde.'
Serv. Madam, there is alighted at your gate A young Venetian, one that comes before To signify the approaching of his lord: From whom he bringeth sensible regreets 9; To wit, besides commends, and courteous breath, Gifts of rich value; yet I have not seen So likely an ambassador of love: A day in April never came so sweet, To show how costly summer was at hand, As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord. Por. No
pray thee; I am half afeard, Thou wilt say anon, he is some kin to thee, Thou spend'st such high-day 10 wit in praising him.Come, come, Nerissa; for I long to see Quick Cupid's post, that comes so mannerly. Ner. Bassanio, lord love, if thy will it be!
Enter SALANIO and SALARINO, Salan. Now, what news on the Rialto?
Salar. Why, yet it lives there uncheck’d, that Antonio hath a ship of rich lading wreck'd on the narrow seas; the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip report be an honest woman of her word. Salan. I would she were as lying a gossip in that,
-He speaks holiday.'