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But one, the wicked'st caitiff on the ground,
May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute,
As Angelo; even so may Angelo,
In all his dressings,* characts, titles, forms,
Be an arch-villain: believe it, royal prince,
If he be less, he's nothing; but he's more,
Had I more name for badness.
MIRTH AND MELANCHOLY,
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.
You have too much respect upon the world:
They lose it, that do buy it with much care.
THE WORLD'S TRUE VALUE,
I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage where every man must play a part.
Let me play the fool:
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come:
And let my liver rather heat with wine,
Than my 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?
* Habits and characters of office.
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 dress'd 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 Antonio, I do know of these,
That therefore only are reputed wise,
For saying nothing.
LOQUACITY. 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 search.
MEDIOCRITY. 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.
SPECULATION MORE EASY THAN PRACTICE.
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 þe done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps over a cold decree; such a hare is madness the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel the cripple.
THE JEW'S MALICE.
Bass. This is signior Antonio.
Shy: [Aside.] How like a fawning publican he
I hate him, for he is a Christian:
But more, for that, in low simplicity,
He lends out money gratis, and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
He hates our sacred nation; and he rails,
Even there where merchants most do congregate,
On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,
Which' he calls interest: Cursed be my tribe,
If I forgive him!
Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul, producing holy witness,
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek;
A goodly apple rotten at the heart;
o, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
THE JEW'S EXPOSTULATION.
Signior Antonio, many a time and oft,
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my monies, and my usances:*
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug;
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe:
You call me-misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then it now appears, you need my help:
Go to then; you come to me,
Shylock, we would have monies: You say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my heard,
And foot me, as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold: Monies is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
Hath a dog money? is it possible,
A cur can lend three thousand ducats ? or
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key,
With 'bated breath, and whispering humbleness,
Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last,
You spurn'd me such a day: another time
You call’d me -dog; and for these courtesies
thus much monies.
GRAVITY ASSUMED. Signior Bassanio, hear me; If I do not put on a sober habit, Talk with respect, and swear but now and then, Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely; Nay more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes Thus with my hat, and sigh, and say, amen; Use all the observance of civility, Like one well studied in a sad ostent* To please his grandam, never trust me more.
THE JEW'S COMMANDS TO HIS DAUGHTER. Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum, And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife, Clamber not you up to the casements then, Nor thrust your head into the public street, To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces: But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements; Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter My sober house. POSSESSION MORE LANGUID THAN EXPECTATION,
0, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly To seal love's bonds new made, than they are wont, To keep obliged faith unforfeited. Who riseth from a feast, With what keen appetite that he sits down? Where is the horse that doth untread again His tedious measures with the unbated fire
* Shaw of staid and serious demeanour.
That he did pace them first? All things that are,
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd.
How like a yonker, or a prodigal,
The scarfed* bark puts from her native bay,
Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind!
How like the prodigal doth she return,
With over-weather'd ribs, and ragged sails,
Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the strumpet wind!
From the four corners of the earth they come,
To kiss this shrine, this mortal breathing saint.
The Hyrcanian deserts, and the vasty wilds
Of wide Arabia, are as through-fares now,
For princes to come view fair Portia:
The watery kingdom, whose ambitious head
Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar
To stop the foreign spirits; but they come,
As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia.
THE PARTING OF FRIENDS.
I saw Bassanio and Antonio part:
Bassanio told him he would make some speed
Of his return; he answer'd-Do not so,
Slubber nott business for my sake, Bassanio,
But stay the very riping of the time;
And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me,
Let it not enter in your mind of love:
Be merry; and employ your chiefest thoughts
To courtship, and such fair ostents of love
As shall conveniently become you there:
And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,
And with affection wondrous sensible
He wrung Bassanio's hand and so they parted.
HONOUR TO BE CONFERRED ON MERIT ONLY.
For who shall go about
To cozen fortune, and be honourable
* Decorated with flags.
+ To slubbey is to do a thing carelessly.