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Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO.
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean;
Salan. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
Salar. 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, 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 Antonio
Is sad to think upon his merchandise.
Ant. 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
Salan. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you are sad,
Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO.
Salan. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,
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.
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 SALARINO, and SALANIO. Lor. My lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio, We two will leave you: but, at 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;
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
Sleep when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond;
I'll tell thee more of this another time:
But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time.
Gra. Well, keep me company but two years inore,
Ant. Farewell: I'll grow a talker for this gear.
[Exeunt GRATIANO, and LORENZO.
Ant. Is that any thing now?
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,
Bass. "Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
My purse, my person, my extremest means,
Bass. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
Ant. You know me well, and herein spend but time,
Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth;
Ant. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at sea;
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; superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.
Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced.
Ner. They would be 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:-Is 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 three 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, overname them; and as thou namest them, I will describe thein; 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 does nothing but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great appropriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself.
Ner. Then, is there the county Palatine.
Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, And if you will 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. Heaven defend me from these two!
Ner. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le Bon ?