The Merchant of Venice

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Portia with Morrocho, and Flourish of cornets. Enter Portia with Morocco and MV II.vii.1.1
both their traines.both their trains MV II.vii.1.2
Goe, draw aside the curtaines, and discouerGo, draw aside the curtains and discoverdiscover (v.)

old form: discouer
reveal, show, make known
MV II.vii.1
The seuerall Caskets to this noble Prince:The several caskets to this noble Prince.several (adj.)

old form: seuerall
separate, different, distinct
MV II.vii.2
Now make your choyse.Now make your choice. MV II.vii.3
The first of gold, who this inscription beares,The first, of gold, who this inscription bears, MV II.vii.4
Who chooseth me, shall gaine what men desire.Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire; MV II.vii.5
The second siluer, which this promise carries,The second, silver, which this promise carries, MV II.vii.6
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserues.Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves; MV II.vii.7
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt,This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt,dull (adj.)
dead, lifeless, sluggish, inactive
MV II.vii.8
Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath.Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.hazard (v.)
expose to risk, take one's chance [of]
MV II.vii.9
How shall I know if I doe choose the right? How shall I know if I doe choose the right.How shall I know if I do choose the right? MV II.vii.10
The one of them containes my picture Prince,The one of them contains my picture, Prince. MV II.vii.11
If you choose that, then I am yours withall.If you choose that, then I am yours withal. MV II.vii.12
Some God direct my iudgement, let me see,Some god direct my judgement! Let me see: MV II.vii.13
I will suruay the inscriptions, backe againe:I will survey th' inscriptions back again. MV II.vii.14
What saies this leaden casket?What says this leaden casket? MV II.vii.15
Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath.Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath. MV II.vii.16
Must giue, for what? for lead, hazard for lead?Must give, for what? For lead! Hazard for lead? MV II.vii.17
This casket threatens men that hazard allThis casket threatens; men that hazard all MV II.vii.18
Doe it in hope of faire aduantages:Do it in hope of fair advantages.advantage (n.)

old form: aduantages
benefit, gain, advancement, profit
MV II.vii.19
A golden minde stoopes not to showes of drosse,A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross;show (n.)

old form: showes
appearance, exhibition, display
MV II.vii.20
Ile then nor giue nor hazard ought for lead.I'll then nor give nor hazard aught for lead.aught (n.)

old form: ought
anything, [with negative word] nothing
MV II.vii.21
What saies the Siluer with her virgin hue?What says the silver with her virgin hue? MV II.vii.22
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserues.Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves. MV II.vii.23
As much as he deserues; pause there Morocho,As much as he deserves? Pause there, Morocco, MV II.vii.24
And weigh thy value with an euen hand,And weigh thy value with an even hand. MV II.vii.25
If thou beest rated by thy estimationIf thou be'st rated by thy estimation,estimation (n.)
esteem, respect, reputation
MV II.vii.26
rate (v.)
reckon, estimate, appraise
Thou doost deserue enough, and yet enoughThou dost deserve enough and yet enough MV II.vii.27
May not extend so farre as to the Ladie:May not extend so far as to the lady, MV II.vii.28
And yet to be afeard of my deseruing,And yet to be afeard of my deservingafeard (adj.)
afraid, frightened, scared
MV II.vii.29
Were but a weake disabling of my selfe.Were but a weak disabling of myself.disabling (n.)
disparagement, detraction, belittling
MV II.vii.30
As much as I deserue, why that's the Lady.As much as I deserve? Why that's the lady! MV II.vii.31
I doe in birth deserue her, and in fortunes,I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes, MV II.vii.32
In graces, and in qualities of breeding:In graces, and in qualities of breeding; MV II.vii.33
But more then these, in loue I doe deserue.But more than these, in love I do deserve. MV II.vii.34
What if I strai'd no farther, but chose here?What if I strayed no farther, but chose here? MV II.vii.35
Let's see once more this saying grau'd in gold.Let's see once more this saying graved in gold:graved (adj.)

old form: grau'd
graven, carved, engraved
MV II.vii.36
Who chooseth me shall gaine what many men desire:Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire. MV II.vii.37
Why that's the Lady, all the world desires her:Why, that's the lady! All the world desires her; MV II.vii.38
From the foure corners of the earth they comeFrom the four corners of the earth they come MV II.vii.39
To kisse this shrine, this mortall breathing Saint.To kiss this shrine, this mortal breathing saint. MV II.vii.40
The Hircanion deserts, and the vaste wildesThe Hyrcanian deserts and the vasty wildsvasty (adj.)

old form: vaste
vast, immense, spacious
MV II.vii.41
Hyrcan, Hyrcania (n.)
[pron: 'herkan, her'kaynia] ancient region of Asia Minor, in modern Iran
wild (n.)

old form: wildes
wilderness, waste land
Of wide Arabia are as throughfares nowOf wide Arabia are as throughfares nowthroughfare (n.)
MV II.vii.42
Arabia (n.)
region of SW Asia, thought of as a desert area
For Princes to come view faire Portia.For princes to come view fair Portia. MV II.vii.43
The waterie Kingdome, whose ambitious headThe watery kingdom, whose ambitious headhead (n.)
surface, surge, swell
MV II.vii.44
Spets in the face of heauen, is no barreSpits in the face of heaven, is no barbar (n.)

old form: barre
obstruction, barrier, obstacle
MV II.vii.45
To stop the forraine spirits, but they comeTo stop the foreign spirits, but they come MV II.vii.46
As ore a brooke to see faire Portia.As o'er a brook to see fair Portia. MV II.vii.47
One of these three containes her heauenly picture.One of these three contains her heavenly picture. MV II.vii.48
Is't like that Lead containes her? 'twere damnationIs't like that lead contains her? 'Twere damnationlike (adv.)
likely, probable / probably
MV II.vii.49
To thinke so base a thought, it were too groseTo think so base a thought; it were too grossgross (adj.)

old form: grose
bad, inferior, poor
MV II.vii.50
base (adj.)
dishonourable, low, unworthy
To rib her searecloath in the obscure graue:To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave.rib (v.)
enclose [as if with ribs]
MV II.vii.51
cerecloth (n.)

old form: searecloath
waxed winding-sheet, shroud
Or shall I thinke in Siluer she's immur'dOr shall I think in silver she's immured,immured (adj.)

old form: immur'd
walled up, enclosed, confined
MV II.vii.52
Being ten times vndervalued to tride gold;Being ten times undervalued to tried gold? MV II.vii.53
O sinfull thought, neuer so rich a IemO sinful thought! Never so rich a gem MV II.vii.54
Was set in worse then gold! They haue in EnglandWas set in worse than gold. They have in England MV II.vii.55
A coyne that beares the figure of an AngellA coin that bears the figure of an angel MV II.vii.56
Stampt in gold, but that's insculpt vpon:Stamped in gold – but that's insculped upon;insculp (v.)

old form: insculpt
carve, engrave
MV II.vii.57
But here an Angell in a golden bedBut here an angel in a golden bed MV II.vii.58
Lies all within. Deliuer me the key:Lies all within. Deliver me the key.deliver (v.)

old form: Deliuer
hand over, convey, commit to the keeping [of someone]
MV II.vii.59
Here doe I choose, and thriue I as I may.Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may! MV II.vii.60
There take it Prince, and if my forme lye thereThere, take it, Prince, and if my form lie there,form (n.)

old form: forme
image, likeness, shape
MV II.vii.61
Then I am yours.Then I am yours. MV II.vii.62.1
He opens the golden casket MV II.vii.62
O hell! what haue we here, O hell! What have we here? MV II.vii.62.2
a carrion death, / Within whose emptie eye A carrion Death, within whose empty eyecarrion (adj.)
lean as carrion, skeleton-like; or: putrefying
MV II.vii.63
death (n.)
skull, memento mori
carrion (adj.)
loathsome, vile, disgusting, corrupting
there is a written scroule; / Ile reade the writing.There is a written scroll. I'll read the writing. MV II.vii.64
All that glisters is not gold,All that glitters is not gold; MV II.vii.65
Often haue you heard that told;Often have you heard that told. MV II.vii.66
Many a man his life hath soldMany a man his life hath sold MV II.vii.67
But my outside to behold;But my outside to behold. MV II.vii.68
Guilded timber doe wormes infold:Gilded tombs do worms infold.infold (v.)
enfold, wrap up, conceal
MV II.vii.69
Had you beene as wise as bold,Had you been as wise as bold, MV II.vii.70
Yong in limbs, in iudgement old,Young in limbs, in judgement old, MV II.vii.71
Your answere had not beene inscrold,Your answer had not been inscrolled.inscroll (v.)

old form: inscrold
enter on a scroll, inscribe
MV II.vii.72
Fareyouwell, your suite is cold,Fare you well, your suit is cold.suit (n.)

old form: suite
wooing, courtship
MV II.vii.73
fare ... well (int.)

old form: Fareyouwell
goodbye [to an individual]
cold (adj.)
ineffective, unattended to, coldly received
Cold indeede, and labour lost,Cold indeed, and labour lost. MV II.vii.74
Then farewell heate, and welcome frost:Then farewell heat, and welcome frost. MV II.vii.75
Portia adew, I haue too grieu'd a heartPortia, adieu, I have too grieved a heart MV II.vii.76
To take a tedious leaue: thus loosers part. To take a tedious leave. Thus losers part.part (v.)
depart [from], leave, quit
MV II.vii.77
Exit with his train. Flourish of cornets MV II.vii.77
A gentle riddance: draw the curtaines, go:A gentle riddance. Draw the curtains, go.gentle (adj.)
courteous, friendly, kind
MV II.vii.78
Let all of his complexion choose me so. Let all of his complexion choose me so.complexion (n.)
appearance, look, colouring
MV II.vii.79
Exeunt. Exeunt MV II.vii.79
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