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Flourish of Cornets. Enter the Prince of Arragon, PORTIA, and their Trains.
Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince:
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: First, never to unfold to any one Which casket 'twas I chose; next, if I fail Of the right casket, never in my life To woo a maid in way of marriage; lastly, If I do fail in fortune of my choice, Immediately to leave you and be gone.`
Por. To these injunctions every one doth swear, That comes to hazard for my worthless self.
Ar. And so have I address'd me:5 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,
5 And so have I address'd me:] To address is to prepare,
Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house;
O, that estates, degrees, and offices,
Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times,
Por. Too long a pause for that which you find there.
Ar. What's here? the portrait of a blinking
Presenting me a schedule? I will read it.
How much unlike my hopes, and my deservings?
Por. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices, And of opposed natures.
• How much low peasantry would then be glean'd
From the true seed of honour?] The meaning is, How much meanness would be found among the great, and how much greatness among the mean.
What is here?
The fire seven times tried this;
Still more fool I shall appear
[Exeunt Arragon, and Train. Por. Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth. O these deliberate fools! when they do choose, They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.
Ner. The ancient saying is no heresy ;-
Enter a Servant.
Serv. Where is my lady?
I wis,] I know. Wissen, German.
To wit, besides commends, and courteous breath,
SCENE I. Venice. A Street.
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 carcases 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 as ever knapp'd ginger, or made her neighbours believe she wept for the death of a third husband: But it is true, without any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plain high-way of talk,-that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio,- -O that I had a title good enough to keep his name company!—
Salar. Come, the full stop.
Salan. Ha,-what say'st thou?-Why the end is, he hath lost a ship.
Salar. I would it might prove the end of his losses!
Salan. Let me say amen betimes, lest the devil cross my prayer; for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.
How now, Shylock? what news among the merchants?
Shy. You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my daughter's flight.
Salar. That's certain; I, for my part, knew the tailor that made the wings she flew withal.
Salan. And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was fledg'd; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam,
Shy. She is damn'd for it.
Salar. That's certain, if the devil may be her judge.
Shy. My own flesh and blood to rebel!
Salan. Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these years?
Shy. I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood.
Salar. There is more difference between thy flesh and hers, than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods, than there is between red wine and rhenish:-But tell us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at sea or no?
Shy. There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto;-a beggar that used to come so smug upon the mart;-let him look to his bond: he was wont to call me usurer ;-let him look to his bond: he was wont to lend money for a Christian courtesy; -let him look to his bond.