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Enter Morochius, a Tawney-Moor, all in white; and three or four Followers accordingly; with Portia, Neriffa, and her train. Flourish Cornets.



ISLIKE me not for my complexion,
The fhadow'd livery of the burnifh'd fun,
To whom I am a neighbour, and near' bred.
Bring me the faireft creature northward born,
Where Phabus' fire fcarce thaws the ificles,
And let us make incifion for your love,
To prove whole blood is reddeft, his or mine. 6
I tell thee, lady, this afpect of mine

Hath fear'd the valiant; by my love, I fwear,
The best regarded virgins of our clime

Have lov'd it too. I would not change this hue,
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle Queen.
Por. In terms of choice I am not folely led
By nice direction of a maiden's eyes:
Belides, the lottery of my deftiny
Bars me the right of voluntary chufing.
But if my father had not fcanted me,
"And hedg'd me by his wit to yield myfelf

6 To prove whofe blood is red

deft, bis er mine.] To underftand how the tawney Prince, whofe favage dignity is very well fupported, means to recommend himfelf by this challenge, it muft be remembered that red blood is a traditionary fign of courage; Thus Macbeth calts one of his frighted foldiers, a lilly liver'd

Lown; again in this play, Cowards are faid to have lisers white as milk; and an eff mi ate and timorous man is termed a milkJop.

7 And hedg'd me by his wit-] I fuppofe we may safely reas, and bedg'd me by his will, Confined me by his wil.



His wife, who wins me by that means I told you;
Yourself, renowned Prince, then stood as fair,
As any comer I have look'd on yet,

For my affection.

Mor. Ev'n for that I thank you;


Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets
To try my fortune. By this fcimitar,
That flew the Sophy & and a Perfian Prince,
That won three fields of Sultan Solyman,
I would out-stare the fterneft eyes that look,
Out-brave the heart moft daring to the earth,
Pluck the young fucking cubs from the she-bear,
Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey,
To win thee, lady. But, alas the while!
If Hercules and Lichas play at dice

Which is the better man, the greater throw
May turn by fortune from the weaker hand:
So is Alcides beaten by his page; 9

And fo may I, blind fortune leading me,
Mis that, which one unworthier may attain;
And die with grieving.

Por. You must take your chance,

8 That flew the Sophy, &c.] Shakespear feldom efcapes well when he is entangled with Geography. The Prince of Morocco must have travelled far to kill the Sophy of Perfia.

9 So is Alcides beaten by his Rage] Though the whole Set of Editions concur in this Reading, it is corrupt at bottom. Let us look into the Poet's Drift, and the history of the Perfons mentioned in the Context. If Hercules (fays he) and Lichas, were to play at dice for the Decifion of their Superiority, Lichas the weaker Man might have the better Caft of the Two. But

how then is Alcides beaten by his rage? The Poet means no more, than, if Lichas had the better Throw, fo might Hercules himfelf be beaten by Lichas. And who was He, but a poor unfortunate Servant of Hercules, that unknowingly brought his Mafter the envenomed Shirt, dipt in the blood of the Centaur, Neus, and was thrown headlong into the Sea for his pains? This one Circumflance of Lichas's Quality known, fufficiently ascertains the Emendation, I have substituted page instead of rage.



And either not attempt to chufe at all,

Or fwear, before you chufe, if you chufe wrong,
Never to speak to lady afterward

In way of marriage. Therefore be advis'd.

Mor. Nor will not. Come, bring me to my chance. Por. First, forward to the temple. After dinner Your hazard shall be made.、

Mor. Good fortune then,

[Cornets. To make me bleft, or curfed'ft among men! [Exeunt.




Changes to Venice.

Enter Launcelot alone.

Ertainly, my confcience will ferve me to run from this Few my mafter. The fiend is at mine elbow, and tempts me, faying to me, Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, or good Launcelot Gobbo, ufe your legs, take the start, run away. My confcience fays, no; take heed, ho. neft Launcelot; take heed, honeft Gobbo; or, as aforefaid, honeft Launcelot Gobbo, do not run; fcorn running with thy heels. Well, the molt courageous fiend bids me pack, via! fays the fiend; away! fays the fiend; for the heav'ns roufe up a brave mind, fays the fiend, and run. Well, my confcience, hanging about the neck of my heart, fays very wifely to me, my honeft friend Launcelot, being an honest man's fon, or rather an honeft woman's fon -(for, indeed, my father did fomething fmack, fomething -well, my grow to: he had a kind of tafte.)

Therefore be advis'd.] Therefore be not precipitant; confider

well what we are to do. Advis'd is the word oppofite to rafb.

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confcience fays, budge not; budge, fays the fiend; budge not, fays my confcience; confcience, fay I, you counfel ill; fiend, fay I, you counfel ill. To be rul'd by my confcience, I fhould stay with the Jew my master, who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil; and to run away from the Jew, I fhould be ruled by the fiend, who, faving your reverence, is the devil himself. Certainly, the few is the very devil incarnal; and in my confcience, my confcience is but a kind of hard confcience, to offer to counfel me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counfel; I will run, fiend, my heels are at your commandment, I will run.

Enter old Gobbo, with a basket.

Gob. Mafter young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to Master Jew's?

Laun. [afide.] O heav'ns, this is my true begot ten father, who being more than fand blind, highgravel-blind, knows me not. I will try conclufions with him. 2

Gob. Mafter young Gentleman, I pray you, which is the way to mafter Jews?

Loun. 3 Turh up,' on your right hand at the next turning, but, at the next turning of all on your left; marry, at the very next turning turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly unto the Jew's houfe.


Geb. By God's fonties, 'twill be a hard way to hit;

Try conclufions.] So the old Quarto. The first Folio, by a mere blander, reads, try confufons, which, because it makes a kind of paltry jeft, has been copied by all the Editors.

3 Turn up, on your right hand, &c] This arch and perplexed. direction, to puzzle the enquirer,

feems to imitate that of Syrus to Demea in the Brothers of Terence

uhi eas præterieris, Ad finiftram bac re&tâ plateá; ubi ad Diane veneris, Ito ad dextram prius quam ad portam venias, &c.



can you tell me whether one Launcelot, that dwells with him, dwell with him or no?

Laun. Talk you of young Mafter Launcelot? (mark me now, [afide.] now will I raife the waters;) talk you of young Master Launcelot ?

Gob. No mafter, Sir, but a poor man's fon. His father, though I fay't, is an honest exceeding poor man, and, God be thanked, well to live.


Laun. Well, let his father be what he will, we talk young Mafter Launcelot.

Gob. Your worship's friend and Launcelot, Sir. Laun. But, I pray you ergo, old man; ergo, I befeech you, talk you of young Mafter Launcelot? Gob. Of Launcelot, an't pleafe your mastership.

Laun. Ergo, Master Launcelot; talk not of Master. Launcelot, father, for the young gentleman according to fates and deftinies, and fuch odd fayings, the fifters three, and fuch branches cf learning, is, indeed, deceased; or, as you would fay, in plain terms, gone to heav'n.

Gob. Marry, God forbid! the boy was the very staff of my age, my very prop.

Laun. Do I look like a cudgel, or a hovel-post, a ftaff or a prop? do you know me, father?

Gob. Alack the day, I know you not, young gentleman; but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy, God relt his foul, alive or dead?

Laun. Do you not know me, father?

Gob. Alack, Sir, I am fand-blind, I know you


Laun. Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wife father, that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your fon. Give me your bleffing. Truth will come to light. Murder cannot be hid long; a man's fon may; but in the end, truth will out. Gob. Pray you, Sir, ftand up. I am fure, you are not Launcelot my boy.

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