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DUKE of Venice.
Morochius a Moorish Prince,
Suitors to Portia.
Prince of Arragon,
Anthonio, the Merchant of Venice.
Bassanio, his Friend, in love with Portia.
Solarino, Friends to Anthonio and Bassanio.
Lorenzo, in love with Jefsica.
Shylock, a Jew.
Tubal, a Jew, his Friend.
Launcelot, a Clown, Servant to the Jew.
Gobbo, an old Man, Father to Launcelot.
Leonardo, Servant to Baffania.
Servants to Portia.
Portia, an Heiress of great Quality and Fortune.
Nerissa, Confident to Portia.
Jeffica, Daughter to Shylock.
Senators of Venice, Oficers, Jailor, Servants, and
SCENE, partly at Venice; and partly at Bel
ment, the Seat of Portia upon the Continent..
N footh, I know not why I am so fad :
It wearies me; you say, it wearies you ;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by its
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.
Sal. Your mind is tossing on the ocean ;
There, were your Argofies with portly fail,
Like figniors and rich burghers on the flood,
Or as it were the pageants of the sea,
Do over-peer the petty traffickers,
That curtsie to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.
Solai 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 grafs, to know where fits the wind;
Peering in maps
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 sandy hour-glass run,
But I fhould think of shallows and of flats;
And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in fand,
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 strait of dang’rous rocks ?
Which, touching but my gentle vessel's fide,
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 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 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 say, you're sad,
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
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 fwear, the jeft be laughable.
Enter Bassanio, Lorenzo and Gratiano.
Sal. Here comes Bafanio, your moit noble kinsman;
Graciano 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' occafion to depart.
Sal. Good-morrow, my good lords.
Bas. Good Signiors both, when shall we laugh ?" say,
You grow exceeding strange; muft it be fo?
Sal. We'll make our leisure to attend on yours.
Sola. My lord Bafanie, fince you've found Anthonio, We two will leave you; bat at dinner-time, I pray you, have in mind where we must meet. Baf. I will not fail you. Exeunt Solar. and Sala
Gra. You look not well, Sigrior Anthonio; You have too much respect upon the world : They lose it, that do buy it with much care. Believe me, you are marvelously chang'd.
Anth. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano,
A ftage, where every man must play his part,
And mine a sad one.
Gra. 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 grandfire cut in Alabafter?
Sleep when he wakes, and creep into the jaundice.
By being peevith ? I tell thee what, Anthonis,
(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 stilness entertain,
With purpose to be crest 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 thole,
That therefore only are reputed wife,
For saying nothing; who, I'm very fure,
If they mould speak, would almost damn those ears, (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 wise men ;
For Gratiano never lets me speak.
Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more, Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.
Anth. Fare well ; I'll grow a talker for this gear.
Gra. Thanks, i'faith; for filence is only commendable In a neat's tongue dry'd, and a maid not vendible.
(Exeunt Gra. and Loren. Anth. Is that any thing now?
Baf. Gratiano fpeaks 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
(1) would almoff damn 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 wise, whilft they keep filence; who, when they open their mouths, are such stupid praters, that their hearers cannot help calling them Fools, and so incur the judgment denounc'd in the Gospel. The allufion is to St. Matthew, Ch. v. ver. 22. And whosoever shall say to bis brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council : but whosoever fall say, thou Fool, ball be in danger of Hell-fire. . I had regulated and explain'd this passage in my SHAKESPEARE restor’d; as also shewn, how frequent it is with our author to allude to texts and history of Scripture. Mr. Pope, in his last edition, has vouchsafed to borrow the correction and explanation. I ought to take notice, the ingenious Dr. Tbirlby concurr’d in our author's meaning, without knowing what I had done on the pallage.