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Stamped in gold; but that's insculp'd' upon;
Then I am yours.
Por. There, take it, prince, and if my form lie there, [He unlocks the golden casket. Mor. O hell! what have we here? A carrion death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll? I'll read the writing.
All that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told:
Cold, indeed; and labour lost:
Draw the curtains,
go:Let all of his complexion choose me so.
Venice. A Street.
Enter SALARINO and SALANIO.
Salar. Why, man, I saw Bassanio under sail; With him is Gratiano gone along ;
And in their ship, I am sure Lorenzo is not.
9 insculp'd upon;] To insculp is to engrave. The meaning is, that the figure of the angel is raised or embossed on the coin, not engraved on it.
Salan. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the duke; Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship.
Salar. He came too late, the ship was under sail :
Of double ducats, stol'n from me by my daughter!
Salar. Why, all the boys in Venice follow him,
I thought upon Antonio, when he told me ;
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:
1 I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday ;] i. c. I conversed.
Of his return; he answer'd-Do not so.
Be merry; and employ your chiefest thoughts
To courtship and such fair ostents of love
He wrung Bassanio's hand, and so they parted.
Do we so.
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,
Slubber not-] To slubber is to do any thing carelessly, imperfectly.
3 And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, &c.] So curious an observer of nature was our author, and so minutely had he traced the operation of the passions, that many passages of his works might furnish hints to painters. It is indeed surprizing that they do not study his plays with this view. In the passage before us, we have the outline of a beautiful picture. MALONE.
embraced heaviness—] The heaviness which he indulges, and is fond of.
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: 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 begone.
Por. To these injunctions every one doth swear, That comes to hazard for my worthless self.
Ar. And so have I address'd 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 and road of casualty. I will not choose what many men desire, Because I will not jump' with common spirits, And rank me with the barbarous multitudes. Why then to thee, thou silver treasure house; Tell me once more what title thou dost bear : Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves;
5 And so have I address'd me :] To address is to prepare.
in the force] i. e. the power.
- jump —] i. e. agree with.
And well said too; For who shall go about
O, that estates, degrees, and offices,
Were not deriv'd corruptly! and that clear honour
Por. Too long a pause for that which you find there.
Is that my prize? are my deserts no better?
Por. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices, And of opposed natures.
What is here?
The fire seven times tried this;
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.