Chief Seattle’s Speech ICSE English Literature

Chief Seattle’s Speech ICSE English Literature

Yonder sky that has wept tears of compassion upon my people for centuries untold, and which to us appears changeless and eternal, may change.

Today is fair. Tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds. My words are like the stars that never change. Whatever Seattle says, the Great Chief at Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of; the sun or the seasons.

The White Chief says that Big Chief at Washington sends us greetings of friendship and goodwill. This is kind of him for we know he has little need of our friendship in return. His people are many. They are like the grass that covers vast prairies.

My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain. The great – and, I presume – good, White Chief sends us word that he wishes to buy our land but is willing to allow us enough to live comfortably.

This indeed appears just, even generous, for the Red Man no longer has rights that he needs respect, and the offer may be wise, also, as we are no longer in need of an extensive country.
There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory. I will not dwell on, nor mourn over, our untimely decay, nor reproach my paleface brothers with hastening it, as we too may have been somewhat to blame.
Youth is impulsive. When our young men grow angry at some real or imaginary wrong and disfigure their faces with black paint, it denotes that their hearts are black, and that they are often cruel and relentless, and our old men and old women are unable to restrain them. Thus it has ever been.

Thus it was when the white man began to push our forefathers ever westward. But let us hope that the hostilities between us may never return. We would have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives, but old men who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better.
Our good father in Washington—for I presume he is now our father as well as yours, since King George has moved his boundaries further north—our great and good father, I say, sends us word that if we do as he desires he will protect us. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of strength, and his wonderful ships of war will fill our harbors, so that our ancient enemies far to the northward — the Haidas and Tsimshians — will cease to frighten our women, children, and old men.

Then in reality he will be our father and we his children. But can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine! He folds his strong protecting arms lovingly about the paleface and leads him by the hand as a father leads an infant son. But, He has forsaken His Red children, if they really are His. Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us.

Your God makes your people wax stronger every day. Soon they will fill all the land. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. The white man’s God cannot love our people or He would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help. How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness? If we have a common Heavenly Father He must be partial, for He came to His paleface children. We never saw Him.

He gave you laws but had no word for His red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. No; we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in common between us.

To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it.

Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors — the dreams of our old men,
given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.

Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb, and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, console, and comfort them.

Day and night cannot dwell together. The Red Man has ever fled the approach of the White Man, as the morning mist flees before the morning sun. However, your proposition seems fair and I think that my people will accept it and will retire to the reservation you offer them. Then we will dwell apart in peace, for the words of the Great White Chief seem to be the words of nature speaking to my people out of dense darkness.

It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. The Indian’s night promises to be dark. Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon. Sad­voiced winds moan in the distance. Grim fate seems to be on the Red Man’s trail, and wherever he will hear the
approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.

A few more moons, a few more winters, and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours. But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people?

Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny.

We may be brothers after all. We will see. We will ponder your proposition and when we decide we will let you know. But should we accept it, I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends and children.

Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.
Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season will love these somber solitudes and at eventide, they greet shadowy returning spirits.

And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children’s children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone.

In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.
Let him be just, and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless. Dead, did I say? There is no death, only a change of worlds.
– Chief Seattle

*Version 2, which appeared in the Seattle ‘Sunday Star’ on October 29, 1887, in a column
by Dr. Henry A. Smith

Where The Mind Is Without Fear ICSE Class 10, 9 English Poem

Where The Mind Is Without Fear ICSE Class 10, 9 English

Where
the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where
knowledge is free;
Where
the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where
words come out from the depth of truth;
Where
tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where
the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of
dead habit;
Where
the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into
that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

The Inchcape Rock Poem ICSE Class 10, 9 English

The Inchcape Rock Poem ICSE Class 10, 9 English

No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The ship was still as she could be,
Her sails from heaven received no
motion,
Her keel was steady in the ocean.

Without either sign or sound of their
shock
The waves flow’d over the Inchcape
Rock;
So little they rose, so little they
fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.

The Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape
Rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and
swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.

When the Rock was hid by the surge’s
swell,
The mariners heard the warning bell;
And then they knew the perilous Rock,
And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok.

The Sun in heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds scream’d as they wheel’d
round,
And there was joyaunce in their sound.

The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walk’d his deck,
And he fix’d his eye on the darker
speck.

He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made his whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness.

His eye was on the Inchcape float;
Quoth he, ‘My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I’ll plague the Abbot of
Aberbrothok.’

The boat is lower’d, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the Bell from the Inchcape
float.

Down sunk the Bell with a gurgling
sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, ‘The next who comes to
the Rock
Won’t bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.’

Sir Ralph the Rover sail’d away,
He scour’d the seas for many a day;
And now grown rich with plunder’d
store,
He steers his course for Scotland’s
shore.

So thick a haze o’erspreads the sky
They cannot see the Sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath died away.

On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, ‘It will be lighter
soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising
Moon.’

‘Canst hear,’ said one, ‘the breakers
roar?
For methinks we should be near the
shore.’
‘Now where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish I could hear the Inchcape
Bell.’

They hear no sound, the swell is
strong;
Though the wind hath fallen they drift
along,
Till the vessel strikes with a
shivering shock,―
‘Oh Christ! It is the Inchcape Rock!’

Sit Ralph the Rover tore his hair;
He curst himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side,
The
ship is sinking beneath the tide.

But
even in his dying fear
One
dreadful sound could the Rover hear,
A
sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
The
Devil below was ringing his knell.

In The Bazaars Of Hyderabad ICSE Class 10, 9 English Poem

In The Bazaars Of Hyderabad ICSE Class 10, 9 English Poem

What do you sell, O ye merchants?
Richly your wares are displayed,
Turbans of crimson and silver,
Tunics of purple brocade,
Mirrors with panels of amber,
Daggers with handles of jade.
What do you weigh, O ye vendors?
Saffron, lentil and rice.
What do you grind, O ye maidens?
Sandalwood, henna and spice.
What do you call, O ye pedlars?
Chessmen and ivory dice.
What do you make, O ye goldsmiths?
Wristlet and anklet and ring,
Bells for the feet of blue pigeons,
Frail as a dragon-fly’s wing,
Girdles of gold for the dancers,
Scabbards of gold for the king.
What do you cry, O fruitmen?
Citron, pomegranate and plum.
What do you play, O ye musicians?
Sitar, Sarangi and drum.
What do you chant, O magicians?
Spells for the aeons to come.
What do you weave, O ye flower-girls?
With tassels of azure and red?
Crowns for the brow of a bridegroom,
Chaplets to garland his bed,
Sheets of white blossoms new-gathered
To perfume the sleep of the dead.

A Psalm Of Life By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ICSE English Poem

A Psalm Of Life By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ICSE English Poem

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they
seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its
goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout
and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the
grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its
dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God
o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives
sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of
time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn
main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart
again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

A Doctor’s Journal Entry By Vikram Seth ICSE English Poem

A Doctor’s Journal Entry By Vikram Seth ICSE English Poem

The morning stretched calm, beautiful, and warm.
Sprawling half clad, I gazed out at the form
Of shimmering leaves and shadows. Suddenly
A strong flash, then another, startled me.
I saw the old stone lantern brightly lit.
Magnesium flares? While I debated it,
The roof, the walls and, as it seemed, the world
Collapsed in timber and debris, dust swirled
Around me – in the garden now – and, weird,
My drawers and undershirt disappeared.
A splinter jutted from my mangled thigh.
My right side bled, my cheek was torn, and I
Dislodged, detachedly, a piece of glass,
All the time wondering what had come to pass.
Where was my wife? Alarmed, I gave a shout,
‘Where are you, Yecko-san?’ My blood gushed out.
The artery in my neck? Scared for my life,
I called out, panic-stricken, to my wife.
Pale, bloodstained, frightened, Yecko-san emerged,
Holding her elbow. ‘We’ll be fine,’ I urged –
‘Let’s get out quickly.’ Stumbling to the street
We fell, tripped by something at our feet.
I gasped out, when I saw it was a head:
‘Excuse me, please excuse me –‘ He was dead:
A gate had crushed him. There we stood, afraid.
A house standing before us tilted, swayed,
Toppled, and crashed. Fire sprang up in the dust,
Spread by the wind. It dawned on us we must
Get to the hospital: we needed aid –
And I should help my staff too. (Though this made
Sense to me then, I wonder how I could)
My legs gave way. I sat down on the ground.
Thirst seized me, but no water could be found.
My breath was short, but bit by bit my strength
Seemed to revive, and I got up at length.
I was still naked, but I felt no shame.
This thought disturbed me somewhat, till I came
Upon a soldier, standing silently,
Who gave the towel round his neck to me
My legs, stiff with dried blood, rebelled. I said
To Yecko-san she must go on ahead.
She did not wish to, but in our distress
What choice had we? A dreadful loneliness
Came over me when she had gone. My mind
Ran at high speed, my body crept behind.
I saw the shadowy forms of people, some
Were ghosts, some scarecrows, all were wordless dumb –
Arms stretched straight out, shoulder to dangling hand;
It took some time for me to understand
The friction on their burns caused so much pain
They feared to chafe flesh against flesh again.
Those who could, shuffled in a blank parade
Towards the hospital. I saw, dismayed,
A woman with a child stand in my path –
Both naked. Had they come back from the bath?
I turned my gaze, but was at a loss
That she should stand thus, till I came across
A naked man – and now the thought arose
That some strange thing had stripped us of our clothes.
The face of an old woman on the ground
Was marred with suffering, but she made no sound.
Silence was common to us all. I heard
No cries of anguish, or a single word.

The Merchant Of Venice ICSE Class 10 English Sample Questions

The Merchant Of Venice ICSE Class 10 English Sample Questions

Full marks – 30

A. Read the following extracts and answer the questions

1. “If I can catch him once upon the hip I will feed fat, the ancient grudge I bear him.”

a) Who is the speaker? What ancient grudge does he bear against the person he is talking about? 1+2=(3)
b) What is the context of the above quoted lines? (3)
c) Acquaint us with the conspiracy hatched by the speaker. (3)

2. “When Jacob grazed his uncle Laban’s sheep – This Jacob from our holy Abraham was (as his wise mother wrought in his behalf) The third possessor any he was the third.”

a) Acquaint us with the allusion of Jacob (4)
b) What does shylock wants to convey through the allusion of Jacob? (3)
c) What was Antonio’s opinion about Jacob’s allusion? (3)

3. “why, look you how you storm!”

a) Bring out the context of the lines. (3)
b) What are the distinct differences between Antonio and shylock? (3)
c) What negative aspects of Antonio did shylock present before hand? (3)
d) What offer does shylock gives after the quoted line? (2)

The Professor ICSE Class 10 English Poem

The Professor ICSE Class 10 English Poem

Remember me? I am Professor Sheth.
Once I taught you geography. Now
I am retired, though my health is good. My wife died some years back.
By God’s grace, all my children
Are well settled in life.
One is Sales Manager,
One is Bank Manager,
Both have cars.
Other also doing well, though not so well.
Every family must have black sheep.
Sarala and Tarala are married,
Their husbands are very nice boys.
You won’t believe but I have eleven grandchildren.
How many issues you have? Three?
That is good. These are days of family planning.
I am not against. We have to change with times.
Whole world is changing. In India also
We are keeping up. Our progress is progressing.
Old values are going, new values are coming.
Everything is happening with leaps and bounds.
I am going out rarely, now and then
Only, this is price of old age
But my health is O.K. Usual aches and pains.
No diabetes, no blood pressure, no heart attack.
This is because of sound habits in youth.
How is your health keeping?
Nicely? I am happy for that.
This year I am sixty-nine
and hope to score a century.
You were so thin, like stick,
Now you are man of weight and consequence.
That is good joke.
If you are coming again this side by chance,
Visit please my humble residence also.
I am living just on opposite house’s backside

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening ICSE English Poem

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening ICSE English Poem

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

The Merchant Of Venice ICSE Class 10, 9 English Sample Questions

The Merchant Of Venice ICSE Class 10, 9 English Sample Questions

FULL MARKS -40

A. Read the following extracts and answer the questions.

1. “I am as like to call the so again
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee”.

a) Acquaint us with the context of the extract. (3)

b) Bring out the chemistry between the speaker and listener . (4)

c) What does the speaker say after the extract? (3)

2. “………………..Let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
On your fair flesh.”

a) Bring out the context of the extract (3)
b) How does this extract play an important role in the drama? (4)
c) How do the listeners react to this? (3)

3. “Nay I bar tonight, you shall not gauge me by what we do tonight.”

a) What does Bassanio say to the speaker before hand? (3)
b) What did the speaker say in answer to the statement by Bassanion. (4)
c) What does the extract mean? What answer does Bassanio give after this statement? (1+2)

4. “There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest for I did dream of money bags to night.”

a) What is the context of the lines? (3)
b) Before this extract which advice did shylock give to her daughter? (3)
c) Bring out the link of the dream with the future happenings. (4)

The Merchant If Venice Act 1 Scene 1 Class 10 ICSE

The Merchant If Venice Act 1-Scene-1 Class 10 ICSE

SCENE I. Venice. A street.

Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO

ANTONIO

In sooth, I know not why I am so sad:
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.

SALARINO

Your mind is tossing on the ocean;
There, where your argosies with portly sail,
Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood,
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea,
Do overpeer the petty traffickers,
That curtsy to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.

SALANIO

Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
The better part of my affections would
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
Plucking the grass, to know where sits the wind,
Peering in maps for ports and piers and roads;
And every object that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt
Would make me sad.

SALARINO

My wind cooling my broth
Would blow me to an ague, when I thought
What harm a wind too great at sea might do.
I should not see the sandy hour-glass run,
But I should think of shallows and of flats,
And see my wealthy Andrew dock’d in sand,
Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs
To kiss her burial. Should I go to church
And see the holy edifice of stone,
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks,
Which touching but my gentle vessel’s side,
Would scatter all her spices on the stream,
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks,
And, in a word, but even now worth this,
And now worth nothing? Shall I have the thought
To think on this, and shall I lack the thought
That such a thing bechanced would make me sad?
But tell not me; I know, Antonio
Is sad to think upon his merchandise.

ANTONIO

Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it,
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,
Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
Upon the fortune of this present year:
Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.

SALARINO

Why, then you are in love.

ANTONIO

Fie, fie!

SALARINO

Not in love neither? Then let us say you are sad,
Because you are not merry: and ’twere as easy
For you to laugh and leap and say you are merry,
Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus,
Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time:
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes
And laugh like parrots at a bag-piper,
And other of such vinegar aspect
That they’ll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.

Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO

SALANIO

Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,
Gratiano and Lorenzo. Fare ye well:
We leave you now with better company.

SALARINO

I would have stay’d till I had made you merry,
If worthier friends had not prevented me.

ANTONIO

Your worth is very dear in my regard.
I take it, your own business calls on you
And you embrace the occasion to depart.

SALARINO

Good morrow, my good lords.

BASSANIO

Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? say, when?
You grow exceeding strange: must it be so?

SALARINO

We’ll make our leisures to attend on yours.
Exeunt Salarino and Salanio

LORENZO

My Lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,
We two will leave you: but at dinner-time,
I pray you, have in mind where we must meet.

BASSANIO

I will not fail you.

GRATIANO

You look not well, Signior Antonio;
You have too much respect upon the world:
They lose it that do buy it with much care:
Believe me, you are marvellously changed.

ANTONIO

I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.

GRATIANO

Let me play the fool:
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come,
And let my liver rather heat with wine
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.
Why should a man, whose blood is warm within,
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?
Sleep when he wakes and creep into the jaundice
By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio–
I love thee, and it is my love that speaks–
There are a sort of men whose visages
Do cream and mantle like a standing pond,
And do a wilful stillness entertain,
With purpose to be dress’d in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,
As who should say ‘I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips let no dog bark!’
O my Antonio, I do know of these
That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing; when, I am very sure,
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears,
Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools.
I’ll tell thee more of this another time:
But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
For this fool gudgeon, this opinion.
Come, good Lorenzo. Fare ye well awhile:
I’ll end my exhortation after dinner.

LORENZO

Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time:
I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
For Gratiano never lets me speak.

GRATIANO

Well, keep me company but two years moe,
Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.

ANTONIO

Farewell: I’ll grow a talker for this gear.

GRATIANO

Thanks, i’ faith, for silence is only commendable
In a neat’s tongue dried and a maid not vendible.

Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO

ANTONIO

Is that any thing now?

BASSANIO

Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more
than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two
grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you
shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you
have them, they are not worth the search.

ANTONIO

Well, tell me now what lady is the same
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promised to tell me of?

BASSANIO

‘Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate,
By something showing a more swelling port
Than my faint means would grant continuance:
Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
From such a noble rate; but my chief care
Is to come fairly off from the great debts
Wherein my time something too prodigal
Hath left me gaged. To you, Antonio,
I owe the most, in money and in love,
And from your love I have a warranty
To unburden all my plots and purposes
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.

ANTONIO

I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
And if it stand, as you yourself still do,
Within the eye of honour, be assured,
My purse, my person, my extremest means,
Lie all unlock’d to your occasions.

BASSANIO

In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way with more advised watch,
To find the other forth, and by adventuring both
I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof,
Because what follows is pure innocence.
I owe you much, and, like a wilful youth,
That which I owe is lost; but if you please
To shoot another arrow that self way
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
As I will watch the aim, or to find both
Or bring your latter hazard back again
And thankfully rest debtor for the first.

ANTONIO

You know me well, and herein spend but time
To wind about my love with circumstance;
And out of doubt you do me now more wrong
In making question of my uttermost
Than if you had made waste of all I have:
Then do but say to me what I should do
That in your knowledge may by me be done,
And I am prest unto it: therefore, speak.

BASSANIO

In Belmont is a lady richly left;
And she is fair, and, fairer than that word,
Of wondrous virtues: sometimes from her eyes
I did receive fair speechless messages:
Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued
To Cato’s daughter, Brutus’ Portia:
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,
For the four winds blow in from every coast
Renowned suitors, and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;
Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos’ strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.
O my Antonio, had I but the means
To hold a rival place with one of them,
I have a mind presages me such thrift,
That I should questionless be fortunate!

ANTONIO

Thou know’st that all my fortunes are at sea;
Neither have I money nor commodity
To raise a present sum: therefore go forth;
Try what my credit can in Venice do:
That shall be rack’d, even to the uttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.
Go, presently inquire, and so will I,
Where money is, and I no question make
To have it of my trust or for my sake.
Exeunt

SCENE II: Belmont. A room in PORTIA’S house.Enter PORTIA and NERISSA
PORTIA

By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of
this great world.

NERISSA

You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in
the same abundance as your good fortunes are: and
yet, for aught I see, they are as sick that surfeit
with too much as they that starve with nothing. It
is no mean happiness therefore, to be seated in the
mean: superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but
competency lives longer.

PORTIA

Good sentences and well pronounced.

NERISSA

They would be better, if well followed.

PORTIA

If to do were as easy as to know what were good to
do, chapels had been churches and poor men’s
cottages princes’ palaces. It is a good divine that
follows his own instructions: I can easier teach
twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the
twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may
devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps
o’er a cold decree: such a hare is madness the
youth, to skip o’er the meshes of good counsel the
cripple. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to
choose me a husband. O me, the word ‘choose!’ I may
neither choose whom I would nor refuse whom I
dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curbed
by the will of a dead father. Is it not hard,
Nerissa, that I cannot choose one nor refuse none?

NERISSA

Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men at their
death have good inspirations: therefore the lottery,
that he hath devised in these three chests of gold,
silver and lead, whereof who chooses his meaning
chooses you, will, no doubt, never be chosen by any
rightly but one who shall rightly love. But what
warmth is there in your affection towards any of
these princely suitors that are already come?

PORTIA

I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou namest
them, I will describe them; and, according to my
description, level at my affection.

NERISSA

First, there is the Neapolitan prince.

PORTIA

Ay, that’s a colt indeed, for he doth nothing but
talk of his horse; and he makes it a great
appropriation to his own good parts, that he can
shoe him himself. I am much afeard my lady his
mother played false with a smith.

NERISSA

Then there is the County Palatine.

PORTIA

He doth nothing but frown, as who should say ‘If you
will not have me, choose:’ he hears merry tales and
smiles not: I fear he will prove the weeping
philosopher when he grows old, being so full of
unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had rather be
married to a death’s-head with a bone in his mouth
than to either of these. God defend me from these
two!

NERISSA

How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le Bon?

PORTIA

God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man.
In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker: but,
he! why, he hath a horse better than the
Neapolitan’s, a better bad habit of frowning than
the Count Palatine; he is every man in no man; if a
throstle sing, he falls straight a capering: he will
fence with his own shadow: if I should marry him, I
should marry twenty husbands. If he would despise me
I would forgive him, for if he love me to madness, I
shall never requite him.

NERISSA

What say you, then, to Falconbridge, the young baron
of England?

PORTIA

You know I say nothing to him, for he understands
not me, nor I him: he hath neither Latin, French,
nor Italian, and you will come into the court and
swear that I have a poor pennyworth in the English.
He is a proper man’s picture, but, alas, who can
converse with a dumb-show? How oddly he is suited!
I think he bought his doublet in Italy, his round
hose in France, his bonnet in Germany and his
behavior every where.

NERISSA

What think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour?

PORTIA

That he hath a neighbourly charity in him, for he
borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman and
swore he would pay him again when he was able: I
think the Frenchman became his surety and sealed
under for another.

NERISSA

How like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony’s nephew?

PORTIA

Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober, and
most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk: when
he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and
when he is worst, he is little better than a beast:
and the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall
make shift to go without him.

NERISSA

If he should offer to choose, and choose the right
casket, you should refuse to perform your father’s
will, if you should refuse to accept him.

PORTIA

Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a
deep glass of rhenish wine on the contrary casket,
for if the devil be within and that temptation
without, I know he will choose it. I will do any
thing, Nerissa, ere I’ll be married to a sponge.

NERISSA

You need not fear, lady, the having any of these
lords: they have acquainted me with their
determinations; which is, indeed, to return to their
home and to trouble you with no more suit, unless
you may be won by some other sort than your father’s
imposition depending on the caskets.

PORTIA

If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as
chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner
of my father’s will. I am glad this parcel of wooers
are so reasonable, for there is not one among them
but I dote on his very absence, and I pray God grant
them a fair departure.

NERISSA

Do you not remember, lady, in your father’s time, a
Venetian, a scholar and a soldier, that came hither
in company of the Marquis of Montferrat?

PORTIA

Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, he was so called.

NERISSA

True, madam: he, of all the men that ever my foolish
eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.

PORTIA

I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of
thy praise.
Enter a Serving-man
How now! what news?
Servant
The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take
their leave: and there is a forerunner come from a
fifth, the Prince of Morocco, who brings word the
prince his master will be here to-night.

PORTIA

If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good a
heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should
be glad of his approach: if he have the condition
of a saint and the complexion of a devil, I had
rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come,
Nerissa. Sirrah, go before.
Whiles we shut the gates
upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.
Exeunt

error: Content is protected !!