Page images
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]

SCENE I.–Venice. A Street.
Enter Antonio, Salarino, and Salanio.
Ant. 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.

Salar. 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 curt'sy to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.

Salan. 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.

My wind, cooling my broth, Would blow me to an ague, when I thought

What harm a wind too great might do at sea.
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 bechanc'd would make me sad ?
But, tell not me: I know, Antonio
Is sad to think upon his merchandize.

Ant. 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 merchandize makes me not sad.

Salar. Why, then you are in love.

Fie, fie! Salar. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you

are sad, Because you are not merry; and 'twere as easy

For you to laugh, and leap, and say, you are merry,

Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue. Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Ant. Farewell: l'll grow a talker for this gear. Janus,

Gra. Thanks, i' faith; for silence is only comNature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time:

mendable Some that will evermore peep through their eyes, In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible. And laugh, like parrots, at a bag-piper;

[Ereunt Gratiano and LORENZO. Aud other of such vinegar aspect,

Ant. Is that any thing now? That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile, Bass. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable. more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are

as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: Enter Bassanio, LORENZO, and GRATIANO.

you shall seek all day ere you find them; and when Salan. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble you have them, they are not worth the search. kinsman,

Ant. Well; tell me now, what lady is the same Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare you well :

To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage, We leave you now with better company.

That you to-day promis'd to tell me of ? Salar. I would have stay'd till I had made you Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio, merry,

How much I have disabled mine estate, If worthier friends had not prevented me.

By something showing a more swelling port Ant. Your worth is very dear in my regard. Than my faint means would grant continuance: I take it, your own business calls on you,

Nor do I now make moan to be abridg'd And you embrace the occasion to depart.

From such a noble rate; but my chief care Salar. Good morrow, my good lords.

Is to come fairly off from the great debts, Buss. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? | Wherein my time, something too prodigal, Say, when?

Hath left me gaged. To you, Antonio,
You grow exceeding strange: must it be so? I owe the most, in money, and in love;
Salar. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.

And from your love I have a warranty
[Ereunt Salarino and SalaNiO. To unburthen all my plots and purposes,
Lor. My lord Bassanio, since you have found How to get clear of all the debts I owe.

Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it; We two will leave you; but at dinner-time,

And if it stand, as you yourself still do,
I pray you, have in mind where we must meet. Within the eye of honour, be assurd,
*Bass. I will not fail you.

My purse, my person, my extremest means,
Gra. You look not well, signior Antonio; Lie all unlock'd to your occasions.
You have too much respect upon the world :

Bass. In my school-days, when I had lost one They lose it, that do buy it with much care.

shaft, Believe me, you are marvellously chang'd.

I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano; | The self-same way with more advised watch,
A stage, where every man must play a part,

To find the other forth; and by adventuring both, And mine a sad one.

I oft found both. I urge this childhood proof, Gra. Let me play the fool:

Because what follows is pure innocence. With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come, I owe you much, and, like a wilful youth, And let my liver rather heat with wine,

That ch I owe is lost; but if you please Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.

To shoot another arrow that self way
Why should a man, whose blood is warm within, Which you did shoot the first, I do not donbt,
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?

As I will watch the aim, or to find both,
Sleep when he wakes, and creep into the jaundice Or bring your latier hazard back again,
By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio, - And thankfully rest debtor for the first.
I love thee, and it is my love that speaks ;-

Ant. You know me well, and herein spend but There are a sort of men, whose visages

time, Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond, To wind about my love with circumstance; And do a wilsul stillness entertain,

And, out of doubt, you do me now more wrong, With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion

In making question of my uttermost, Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;

Than if you had made waste of all I have: As who should say, "I am Sir Oracle,

Then, do but say to me what I should do, And, when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!"

That in your knowledge may by me be done, 0! my Antonio, I do know of these,

And I am prest unto it: therefore, speak. That therefore only are reputed wise,

Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left, For saying nothing; when, I am very sure,

And she is fair, and, fairer than that word, If they should speak, would almost damn those ears, Of wondrous virtues : sometimes from her eyes Which, hearing them, would call their brothers I did receive fair speechless messages. fools.

Her name is Portia ; nothing undervalued I'll tell thee more of this another time :

To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia. But fish not, with this melancholy bait,

Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth, For this fool-gudgeon, this opinion.

For the four winds blow in from every coast
Come, good Lorenzo.-Fare ye well, awhile: Renowned suitors; and her sunny locks
I'll end my exhortation after dinner.

Hang on her temples like a golden fleece; Lor. Well, we will leave you, then, till dinner- Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand, time.

And many Jasons come in quest of her. I must be one of these same dumb wise men, (), my Antonio! had I but the means For Gratiano never lets me speak.

To hold a rival place with one of them, Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more, I have a mind presages me such thrist,



[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

Scene II.—Belmont. An Apartment in Portia's || chests of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who chooses House.

his meaning, chooses you,) will, no doubt, never Enter Portia and NERISSA.

be chosen by any rightly, but one whom you shall

rightly love. But what warmth is there in your Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is affection towards any of these princely suitors that aweary of this great world.

are already come? Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your mise- Por. I pray thee, over-name them, and as thon ries were in the same abundance as your good for- | namest them, I will describe them; and, according tunes are. And, yet, for aught I see, they are as to my description, level at my affection. sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan prince. with nothing: it is no mean happiness, therefore, Por. Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for he doth nothing to be seated in the mean: superfluity comes sooner but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great apby white hairs, but competency lives longer. propriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe

Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced. him himself. I am much afraid, my lady his Ner. They would be better, if well followed. mother played false with a smith.

Por. If to do were as easy as to know what were Ner. Then, is there the county Palatine. good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor Por. He doth nothing but frown, as who should men's cottages princes' palaces. It is a good divine say, “ An you will not have me, choose.” He hears that follows his own instructions : I can easier teach merry tales, and smiles not: I fear he will prove twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The so full of unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot tem- | rather be married to a death's head with a bone in per leaps o'er a cold decree: such a hare is mad- his mouth, than to either of these. God defend ness, the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good | me from these two! counsel, the cripple. But this reasoning is not in Ner. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur the fashion to choose me a husband.-O me! the Le Bon ? word choose! I may neither choose whom I would, Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass nor refuse whom I dislike; so is the will of a living for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a daughter curbed by the will of a dead father.—Is mocker; but, he! why, he hath a horse better it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor than the Neapolitan's; a better bad habit of frownrefuse none?

ing than the count Palatine : he is every man in Ner. Your father was ever virtuous, and holy | no man; if a throstle sing, he falls straight a camen at their death have good inspirations; there- pering: he will fence with his own shadow. If I fore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three I should marry him, I should marry twenty hus



bands. If he would despise me, I would forgive any thing, Nerissa, ere I will be married to a him: for if he love me to madness, I shall never spunge. requite him.

Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of Ner. What say you, then, to Faulconbridge, the these lords: they have acquainted me with their young baron of England ?

determinations; which is, indeed, to return to their Por. You know, I say nothing to him, for he home, and to trouble you with no more suit, unless understands not me, nor I him: he hath neither you may be won by some other sort than your Latin, French, nor Italian; and you will come into father's imposition, depending on the caskets. the court and swear, that I have a poor penny-worth Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die in the English. He is a proper man's picture; as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the but, alas ! who can converse with a dumb show? manner of my father's will. I am glad this parcel How oddly he is suited! I think, he bought his of wooers are so reasonable; for there is not one doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his among them but I dote on his very absence, and I bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every- pray God grant them a fair departure. where.

Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his time, a Venetian, a scholar, and a soldier, that came neighbour?

hither in company of the Marquis of Montserrat ? Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him; Por. Yes, yes; it was Bassanio: as I think, so for he borrowed a box of the ear of the English- was he called. man, and swore he would pay him again, when he Ner. True, madam : he, of all the men that ever was able: I think, the Frenchman became his my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deservsurety, and sealed under for another.

ing a fair lady. Ner. How like you the young German, the duke Por. I remember him well, and I remember him of Saxony's nephew?

worthy of thy praise.—How now? what news! Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober, and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is

Enter a Serrant. drunk : when he is best, he is a little worse than a Serv. The four strangers seek for you, madam, man; and when he is worst, he is little better than to take their leave; and there is a forerunner come a beast. An the worst fall that ever fell, I hope, from a fifth, the prince of Morocco, who brings I shall make shift to go without him.

word, the prince, his master, will be here to-night. Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good the right casket, you should refuse to perform heart, as I can bid the other four farewell, I should your father's will, if you should refuse to accept be glad of his approach: if he have the condition him.

of a saint, and the complexion of a devil, I had Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come, set a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary Nerissa.—Sirrah, go before.—Whiles we shut the casket; for, if the devil be within, and that tempta- gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door. tion without, I know he will choose it. I will do


[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »