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SCENE I.–Venice. A Street.
Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean,
Salan. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
My wind, cooling my broth, Would blow me to an ague, when I thought
What harm a wind too great might do at sea.
Ant. Believe me, no. I thank my fortune for it,
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,
And from your love I have a warranty
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,
My purse, my person, my extremest means,
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
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
As I will watch the aim, or to find both,
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
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,
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