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Sol. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.

(Exeunt Sol. and Sala., R.
Lor. 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.
Bass. I will not fail you.

[Lor. and Bass. confer in back-ground.
Gra. 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.

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

Gra. (L. c.) Let me play the fool:
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come;
And let my liver rather heat with wine,


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 drest in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
As who should say, “1 am Sir Oracle,
And, when I

ope my lips, let no dog bark !”
Oh, my Antonio, I do know of these,
That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing: who, I am very sure,
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears,
Which, hearing them, wouid call their brothers fools,
I'll tell thee more of this another time;
But fish not with this melancholy bait,
For this fool's gudgeon, this opinion.-
Come, good Lorenzo: [They advance. Fare ye well,

I'll end my exhortation after dinner.
Lor. (L. c.) Well, we will leave you, then, till dinnor

time :

I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
For Gratiano never lets me speak.

Gra. (L.) Well, keep me company but two years more, Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.

Ant. Farewell ; l'll grow a talker for this year.
Gra. (L.) Thanks, i' faith ; for silence is only commen-

In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible.

Exceunt Gra. and Lor., L. Ant. (R. C.) Is that any thing, now ?

Bass. (R.) 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.

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

Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate
By something showing a more swelling port

my faint means would grant continuance :
Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
From such a noble rate; but


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 unburthen all my plots and purposes,
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.
Ant. 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, ny person, my extremest means,
Lie all unlocked to your occasions.

Bass. 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 advent’ring both,
I oft found both : I this childhood
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 shout 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.

Ant. 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.

Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
And she is fair, and, fairer than that word,
Of wondrous virtues; sometimes from her

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.
Oh, 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 fortinate.

Ant. Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea :
Nor have I money, nor commodity
To raise a present sum: therefore go forth,
Try what my credit can in Venice do ;
That shall be racked, even to the uttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont, tu fair Portia.
Go, presently inquire, and so will I,
Where money is; and I no question make,
To have it of my trust, or



(Exeunt, Ant. L., Bass, R. SCENE II.- Portia's House at Belmont.

PORTIA and NERISSA discovered. Por. (c.) By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.

Ner. (R. c.) You would be, sweet madam, if your mise. ries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes a re; 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.

Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced.
Ner. They would be better, if well followed.

Por. 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. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband :-Oh, 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 ?

[Crosses, R. Ver. 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 you shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards


of these princely suitors that are already come ?

Por. I pray thee, over-name them; and, as thou nam'st them, I will describe them; and, according to my descriptivn, level at my affection.

Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan prince.

Por. 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 afraid, my lady, his mother played false with a smith.

Ner. (c.) Then, there is the County Palatine.

Por. (R.) He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, An 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 unman

nerly 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. Heaven defend me from these two !

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

Por. Heaven made him, and therefore let him pass for

a man.

Ner. How like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony's nephew?

Por. 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; an' the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him.

[Crosses, R. Ner. 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. Por. 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.

Ner. 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 vo more suit : unless you may be won by some other sort than your father's imposition, depending on the caskets.

Por. 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 dute on his very absence, and I pray heaven grant them a fair departure,

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

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

Ner. True, madam ; he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes

looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.

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