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the same manner the mule would not stale where she ought, and where she ought not, there she staled. The king said upon this, If I have not rewarded you as I have many, do not entertain a thought that I was insensible to your great merit; it is Fortune who hindered me ; she is to blame, and not l; and I will shew you manifestly that I speak truth. My discontent, sir, proceeds not, answered Ruggieri, from a desire of being enriched, but from you not having given the smallest testimony to my deserts in your service : never-, theless, your excuse is valid, and I am ready to see the proof you mention, though I can easily believe you without it. The king conducted him to a hall, where he had already commanded two large caskets, shut close, to be placed : and before a large company, told Ruggieri, that in one of them was contained his crown, sceptre, and all his jewels, and that the other was full of earth : choose which of them you like best, and then you will see that it is not I, but your fortune that has been ungrateful. Ruggieri chose one. It was found to be the casket full of earth. The king said to him with a smile, Now you may see, Ruggieri, that what I told you of fortune is true ; but for your sake I will oppose her with all my strength. You have no intention, I am certain, to live in Spain, therefore I will offer you no preferment here ; but that casket which fortune denied you, shall be yours in despight of her : carry it with you into your own country, shew it to your friends, and neighbours, as my gift to you ; and you have my permission to boast, that it is a teward of your virtues.

Of The MERCHANT OF VENICE, the style is even and easy, with few peculiarities of diction, or anomalies of construction. The comick part raises laughter, and the serious

fixes

fixes expectation. The probability of either one or the other story cannot be maintained. The union of two actions in one event is in this drama eminently happy. Dryden was much pleased with his own address in connecting the two plots of his Spanish Friar, which yet, I believe, the critick will find excelled by this play. Johnson.

Dramatis personae,

MEN,
Duke of Venice,
Prince of Morocco.
Prince of Arragon.
ANTHON 10, The Merchant of Venice.
BASSANIO, bis Friend.
SA LANIO,
SALARINO,

Friends to Anthonio and Bassania.
GRATIANO,
LORENZO, in love with Jessica.
SHYLOCK, a Jew,
TUBAL, a Jew.
LAUNCELOT, a Clown, Servant to the Jew,
GOBBO, Father to Launcelot.
SALER10, a Messenger from Venice,
LEONARDO, Servant to Bassanio.
BALTHAZAR, Servants to Portia,
STEPHANO,

WOMEN.

PORTIA,, an Heiress.
NERISSA, Waiting-Maid to Portia.
JESSICA, Daughter to Shylock.
Senators of Venice, Oficers, Failer, Servants, and other

Attendants.

SCENE, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont, the Seat

of Portia.

MERCHANT of VENICE.

ACT I. SCENE I.

A Street in Venice.' Enter ANTHONIO, SALARINO,

and SALANIO.

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Anthonio.
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 nie,
That I have much ado to know myself.

Sal. 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 over-peer the petty traffickers,
That curtsy to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.

Sala. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth, The better part of my affections would

Bo

20

Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
Plucking the grass, to know where sits the wind;
Prying in maps, for ports, and piers, and roads :
And every ob'ect, that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt,
Would make me sad.

Sal. 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, 30
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, Anthonio
Is sad to think upon his merchandize.'

Anth. 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.

Sala.

40

Sala. Why then you are in love.
Anth. Fie, fie !
Sala. Not in love neither ? Then let's say, you are

sad,

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Because you are not merry: and 'twere as easy 50 For you, fo laugh, and leap, and say, you are

merry, Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed

Janus,
Nature hath fram'd 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. Sal. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kins.

man, Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare you well;

60 We leave you now with better company. Sala. I would have staid till I had made you

merry, If worthier friends had not prevented me.

Anth, Your worth is very dear in my regard. I take it, your own business calls on you,

embrace the occasion to depart. Sal. Good morrow, my good lords. Bass. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh?

And you

say, when?

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