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Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare you well;
We leave you now with better company.

Salar. I would have staid till I had made you merry,
If worthier friends had not prevented me.

Ant. Your worth is very dear in my regard.
I take it, your own business calls on you,
And you embrace the occasion to depart.

Salar. Good morrow, my good lords.
Bass. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh ?

Say, when ?
You grow exceeding strange: Must it be so ?
Salar. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.

[Exeunt Satarino and Salanio.
Lor. Mylord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,
We two will leave you : but, ai dinner-time,
I pray you, have in mind where we must meet.

Bass. I will not fail you.
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,
Aud mine a sad one.

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? 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; who, I am very sure:
I they should speak, would almost damn those ears,
Which, hearing theni, 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.-


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Come, good Lorenzo:-Fare ye well, & while;
I'll end my exhortation after dinner.

Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner time:
I must be one of these same 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.

Ant. Farewell: I'll grow a talker for this gear.

Gra. Thanks, i'faith; for silence is only commendable In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible.

[Exeunt Gratiano and Lorenzo. Ant. Is that any thing now?

Bass. 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
Than my faint means would grant continuance:
Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
From such

noble rate; but my chief care
Is, to come fairly 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 unburden all my plots and purposes,
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.
And, if it stand, as you yourself still do,

Anth pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
Within the eye of honour, be assured,
My purse, my person, my extremest nieans,
Lie all unlock'd to your occasions.

Bass. In my school days, when I had lost one shult,
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 urge this childhood proof,
Because what follows is pure innocence.
Lowe you much; and, like a wilful youth,
That which I owe is lost; but if you please
To shoot another arrow that sell way
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt

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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 spent 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 bnt say to me what I should do,
That in your knowledge may by me be done,
And I am press'd 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 eyes
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: and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;
Which makes her seat of Belmont, Colchos' strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.
O, 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 fortunate.

Ant. Thou kuow'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 rack d, even to the uttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.
Go, presently inquire, and so will I,
Where money is, and I no question make,
To have it of my trusi, or for my sake. [Exeunt.
SCENE II.-Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.

Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a-weary
of this great world.

Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries Were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are : 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;


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superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency
lives longer,

Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced.
Ner. They would do 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. 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. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband: -O me, the word choose! I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curb'd by the will of a dead father:- 15 it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none ?

Ner. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations, therefore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these ihree 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 any of these princely suitors that are already come? Por. I pray thee, over-name them

and as thou namest them, I will describe them; and according to my description, 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. Then, is there the county Palatine.

Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, An if you toill 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 unmannerly 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. God defend me from these two!

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

Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker;

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Bon ?


But, he ! why, he hath a horse better than the Neapolitan's ; a better bad habit of frowning than the count Palatine: he is every man in no man: if a throstle sing, he falls straight a capering: he will fence with his own shadow: if I should marry him, I should marry me:

forgive him ; for if he love me to madness, I shall never requite him

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Por. You know, I say nothing to him; for he and swear, that I have a poor penny-worth in the

nor Italian: and you will come into the court English. He is a proper man's picture

: But, alas! who suited! I think, he bought his doublet in Italy, his in France, his bonnet

in Germany, and his Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his

Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him; for he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him again, when he was able: I think the

Por. How like you the young German, the duke of Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober ; and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk when he he is little worse than a man; and

worst, he is little better than a beast; and

ever fell, I hope, I shall make shift go without

Ner. If he offer to choose, and choose the

casket, you should refuse to perform your father's
Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee,
set a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casketi

know he will choose it. I will do any thing,
Ner. You need not fear, lady, The having any of
home, and to trouble you with no more suit, unless
imposition, depending

on the caskets.

these lords; they have acquainted nie with their
determinations which is indeed, to return to their
You may be won by some other sort than your father's

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