Merchant Of Venice(read by James McCullough)
Act III, Scene II
So may the outward shows be least themselves.
The world is still deceived with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt
But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damnèd error, but some sober brow
Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.
How many cowards whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars,
Who, inward searched, have livers white as milk,
And these assume but valor’s excrement
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,
And you shall see ’tis purchased by the weight,
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that wear most of it.
So are those crispèd snaky golden locks
Which maketh such wanton gambols with the wind,
Upon supposèd fairness, often known
To be the dowry of a second head,
The skull that bred them in the sepulcher.
Thus ornament is but the guilèd shore
To a most dangerous sea, the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty—in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
To entrap the wisest. Therefore then, thou gaudy gold,
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee.
Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
‘Tween man and man. But thou, thou meagre lead,
Which rather threaten’st than dost promise aught,
Thy paleness moves me more than eloquence,
And here choose I. Joy be the consequence!
James McCullough grew up in South Jersey, where he distinctly remembers his first encounter with Shakespeare with a study of “Julius Caesar” in the seventh grade. He’s been hooked ever since. A graduate of The College of New Jersey (Trenton State College in his day), Jim lived and worked for ten years with a college ministry in Syracuse, NY. Jim, his wife Jill and their 4 children moved back to NJ in 1997 so that he could pursue studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. Jim and Jill have lived in the Princeton area since that time. Jim’s acting experience includes roles in plays and musicals in high school and college, including the role of Guildenstern in a production of “Hamlet” at TCNJ in 1982. At Princeton Seminary Jim was involved in a production of Euripides’ “The Women of Troy.” After a long hiatus, Jim resumed involvement in acting with studies under local acting trainer Chris Osander. Jim currently teaches at Somerset Christian College in Franklin Township, NJ.
Princeton Rep Shakespeare Festival/Shakespeare in the Square Shakespear-e-thon 2008
This year, Princeton Rep is pleased to present its annual Shakespear-e-thon as part of Princeton’s Communiversity Street Festival on Saturday, April 26th on the Palmer Square Green from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.