« PreviousContinue »
DUKE of Venice.
Morochius, a Moorish Prince,
Suiters to Portia.
Prince of Arragon,
Anthonio, the Merchant of Venice.
Bassanio, bis Friend, in love with Portia.
Solarino, Friends to Anthonio and Baffanio.
Lorenzo, in love with Jessica.
Shylock, a Jew.
Tubal, a Jew, bis Friend.
Launcelot, à Clown, Servant to the Jew.
Gobbo, an old Man, Father to Launcelot.
Leonardo, Servant to Bassanio.
Servants to Portia.
Portia, an Heiress of great Quality and Fortune.
Nerissa, Confident to Portia.
Jessică, Daughter to Shylock.
Serators of Venice, Oficers, failer, Servants and
SCENE, partly at Venice; and partly at Bel- mont, the seat of Portia upon the Continent.
SCENE, a Street in Venice.
Enter Anthonio, Solarino, and Salanio.
N 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 fadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know my self.
Sal. Your mind is tossing on the ocean;
There, where your Argolies with portly Sail,
Like ligniors and rich burghers on the flood,
Or as it were the pageants of the sea,
over-peer the petty traffickers,
That curtsie to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.
Sola. Believe, me, Sir, had I such venture forth, The better part
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
Plucking the grass, to know where fits the wind;
Peering in maps for ports, and peers, and roads;
And every object, that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt,
Would make me fad.
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 fandy 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 kils her burial. “Should I go to church,
And see the holy edifice of stone,
And not bethink me strait of dang’rous rocks?
Which, touching but my gentle veffet's side,
Would scatter all the spices on the stream,
Enrobe the roaring waters with my filks ;
And in a word, but even now worth this,
And now worth nothing. Shall I have the thought
To think on this, and Thall I lack the thought,
That such a thing, bechanc'd, would make me sad?
But tell not me; I know, Anthonio
Is fad 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 eftate
Upon the fortune of this present year:
Therefore, my merchandize makes me not fad.
Sola. Why then you are in love.
Anth. Fie; fie!
Sola. Not in love neither! then let's fay, you're fad,
Because you are not merry; and 'twere as easy
For you to laugh and leap, and say, you're 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 others of such vinegar aspect,
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Neftor swear, the jest be laughable.
Enter Baffanio, Lorenzo and Gratiano.
Sal. Here comes Basanio, your most noble kinsman;
Gratiano and Lorenzo: fare ye well;
We leave ye now with better company.
Sola. 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,
And you embrace th' occasion to depart.
Sal. Good morrow, my good lords.
Bal. Good Signiors both, when shall we laugh ?
You grow exceeding strange; must it be so?
Sal. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours. Sola. My lord Basanio, fince you've found Anthonio, We two will leave you, but at dinner-time, I pray you, have in mind where we must meet. Bal. I will not fail you. [Exeunt Solar. and. Sala.
Gra. You look not well, Signior Anthonio ; You have too much respect upon the world : They lose it, that do buy it with much care. Believe me, you are marvellously chang’d.
Anth. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano,
A ftage, where every man must play his part,
And mine a fad one.
Gra. Let me play the fool;
With mirth, and laughter, let old wrinkles come;
And let my liyer rather heat with wine,
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.
Why should a man, whose blood is warm within,
Sit like his grandfire cut in Alabaster ?
Sleep when he wakes, and creep into the jaundice
By being peevish? I tell thee what, Anthonio,
(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 ą wilful stilness entertain,
With purpose to be droft in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit ;
As who should say, I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark !
O my Anthonio, I do know of those,
That therefore only are reputed wife,
For saying nothing; who, I'm very fure,
If they should speak, would almoft damn those cars, (1)
Which hearing them, would 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; fare ye well a while;
I'll end my exhortation after dinner.
Lor. Well, we will leave you then 'till dinner-time.
I must be one of these fame dumb wife men ;
For Gratiano never lets me speak.
: Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more,
Thou shalt not know the found of thine own tongue.
Anth. Fare well; I'll grow a talker for this gear.
Gra. Thanks, i'faith; for silence is only commendable In a neats tongue dry'd, and a maid not vendible.
[Exeunt Gra. and Loren. Anth. Is that any thing now?
Bal. Gratiano fpeaks an infinite deal of nothing; moro than any man in all Venice : his reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two Bushels of chaff; you
(1) would almost damin those Ears,] Several Old Editions have it, dam, damme, and daunt. Some more correct Copies, damn. The Author's Meaning is this; That some people are thought wife, whilft they keep Silence; who, when they open their mouths, are fuch stupid Praters, that their Hearers cannot help calling them Fools, and so incur the Judgment denounc'd in the Gospel. The Allusion is to St. Matthew, Ch. v. ver. 22. And whosoever fall say to his Brother, Rąca, Jhall be in danger of the Council : but whosoever hall saj, thou Fool, Jhall be in danger of Hell-fire. I had regulated and explain'd this Pafsage in my SHAKESPEARE restor'd; as also shewn, how frequent it is with our Author to allude to Texts and History of Scripture. Mr. Pape, in his last Edition, has vouchsafed to borrow the correction and Explanation. I ought to take notice, the ingenious Dr. Thirlby còncarr'd in our Author's Meaning, without knowing what I had done on the Paffage. 8