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The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 7

page Act 2 Scene 7 Page 3

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60Lies all within.—Deliver me the key.
Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may!
Here an angel’s lying in a golden bed.—Give me the key. I will choose this one and try my chances.


(giving MOROCCO a key)
There, take it, Prince. And if my form lie there
Then I am yours.


(she hands him a key) There, take it, prince. And if my picture’s in there, then I’m yours.
MOROCCO opens the golden casket
MOROCCO opens the gold casket.


65O 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—
70Often have you heard that told.
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold.
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
75Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscrolled.
Fare you well. Your suit is cold—
Cold, indeed, and labor lost.”
Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost!
80Portia, adieu. I have too grieved a heart
To take a tedious leave. Thus losers part.


Damn it! What’s this? It’s a skull with a scroll in its empty eye socket. I’ll read it aloud.
(he reads)
“All that glitters is not gold—
You’ve often heard that said.
Many men have sold their souls
Just to view my shiny surface.
But gilded tombs contain worms.
If you’d been as wise as you were bold,
With an old man’s mature judgment,
You wouldn’t have had to read this scroll.
So goodbye—you lost your chance.”
Lost my chance indeed! So goodbye hope, and hello despair. Portia, goodbye to you. My heart’s too sad for long goodbyes. Losers always leave quickly.
Exit MOROCCO with his train
MOROCCO exits with his entourage.


A gentle riddance.—Draw the curtains, go.—
Let all of his complexion choose me so.


Good riddance!—Close the curtains and leave.—I hope everyone who looks like him will make the same choice.
They exit.