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Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end,
Fading in music.

[Music plays, and Bassanio goes to the caskets.

Bass. So may the outward shews be least them-
The world is still deceiv’d with ornament. [selves :
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But being season'd with a gracious voice,
Obscures the shew 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 its 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 searchd, have livers white as milk?
Then, 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 leact,
Which rather threatenest, than dost promise aught,
Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence;
And here choose I ; joy be the consequence !

Por. O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstacy,
In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess,
I feel too much thy blessing, make it less,
For fear I surfeit.

Bass. What find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit! what demi-god (55)
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 : 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 unfinish'd. Here's the scroll,
The continent and summary of my fortune,

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 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;

[Kissing her.
I come by note to give, and to receive.
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm’d, sign’d, ratify’d, by you.

(55) The position of the third casket has been designated before in note 46 : and it has, in fact, more of the shape of a casket than either of the other two..

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see me, lord Bassanio, where. I stand, Such as I am ; tho’ 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 sum of me Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd: Happy in this ; she is not yet so old But she may learn ; more happy then in 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 bereft me of all words ; But when this ring

VOL. III.

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 your wishes prosper, To cry, great 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 wish none from me;
And when your honours mean to solemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Evn 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 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 last,
I got a promise of this fair one here,
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Achiev'd her mistress.

Por. Is this true, Nerissa?
Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd 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? [stake down. Gra. No, we shall ne'er win at that sport, and But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel? What, and my old Venetian friend, Salanio?

Enter LORENZO, JESSICA, and SALANIÓ. Bass. Lorenzo and Salanio welcome hither; If that the youth of our new interest here, (leave, Have power to bid you welcome. By your I bid my friends and contrymen, (Sweet Portia) welcome.

[come. Por. So do I, my lord; they are entirely wel

Lor. I thank your honour; for my part, my lord, My purpose was not to have seen you here; But meeting with Salanio by the way, He did intreat me, past all saying nuy, To come with him along.'

Sal. I did, my lord, And I have reason for't; Signior Anthonio Commends him to you. [Gives Bassanio a Letter.

Bass. Ere I ope his letter, I pray you tell me how my good friend doth. Sal. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind :

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