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Enter NERISSA and a Servitor. Ner. Quick, quick, I pray thee, draw the cur
tain straight, The Prince of Arragon hath ta’en his oath, And comes to his election presently.
Enter ARRAGON and his train, with PORTIA. Port. Behold, there stand the caskets.
Arr. Fortune! bow Το
my heart's hope: gold, silver, and base lead
(44) In the last note the position of the duke's prototype in the moon was pointed out; and if the map be reversed so as turn that prototype upside down, such reverse of the duke will form what I conceive to be the prototype of the Prince of Arragon, as drawn in
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 Of the fool multitude that choose by shew. Why then to thee, thou silver treasure-house! Who chooseth me, shall gain as much as he deAnd well said too; for who shall go about [serves. To cozen fortune, and be honourable Without the stamp of merit : let some presume To wear an undeserved dignity. Oh that estates, degrees, and offices, Were not derived corruptly! and that clear honour Were purchased by the merit of the wearer, Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the timesI will assume desert: give me a key for this ; (45) What’s here ? the portrait of a blinking ideot (46)
(45) Observe the action of the Prince of Arragon in the moon, and in fig. 113.
(46) It appears from hence that the silver casket is to be referred to that portion of the moon which is occupied by the foolish face of Cerdon in Hudibras, now Gobbo. And, (to point out the position of the three caskets in one view) the golden one occupies the shadows which constitute Hudibras's person in the moon; the silver one, those that make up Ralph's person there; and the leaden one (in the field of which lies the picture or prototype of Portia herself) is formed of ihe light space free from shadow, in the center of the moon.
Presenting me a schedule? I will read it:
The fire seven times tried this,
go away with two.
Por. Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth, (47) Oh these deliberate fools, when they do choose, They have the wisdom by their wit to lose. Nerissa, draw the curtain,
(47) If the prototype of the Prince of Arragon in the moon be observed, the allusion to the candle and moth will be seen to be perfectly apposite.
Enter a Messenger.
young Venetian; yet I have not seen So likely an embassador of love.
Port. Come, come, Nerissa, for I long to see Quick Cupid's post.
Enter SALANIO and SOLARINO. Sola. Now, what news on the Ryalto?
Sal. Why yet it lives there uncheck’d, that Anthonio hath a ship of rich lading wreck’ 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 bury'd, as they say,
if my gossip, Report, be an honest woman of her word.
Sola. I would'she were as lying a gossip in that, as ever knapt ginger: or made her neighbours believe she wept for the death of her third husband. But it is true, without any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plain highway of talk, that the good Anthonio, the honest Anthonio–0 that I had a title good enough to keep his name company!
Sal. Come, the full stop. (48)
Sola. Let me say Amen, betimes, lest the devil cross thy 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.
Sal. That's certain ; I, for my part, knew the tailor that made the wings she flew withal.
Sola. And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was fledged ; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam.
Shy. She is damn’d for it.
Sal. There is more difference between thy flesh and hers, than between jet and ivory; more be
(48) The full stop. This quaint expression is referable to the strong circular mark (as of a period or full stop) on the cheek of Salanio, who (as above stated) is the same as Crowdero in Hudibras,