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Then do but say to me, what I should do,
Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
Ant. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at sea :
[Exeunt, Antonio L. Bassanio R.
SCENE II.-Portia's House at Belmont.
Enter Portia and NERISSA, R. Por. (c.) By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.
Ner. (R.c.) 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 pronounc'd.
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. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband :-0 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 buitors that are already come?
Por. I pray thee, over-name them; and, as thou nam'st 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 play'd false with a smith,
Nor. (c.) Then, there is the County Palatine.
Por. (R.) He doth nothing but frown; as who shou'd say, “An 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 ?
Por. Heaven made him, and therefore let him pass for
Ner. How like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony's nephew ?
Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober; and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk : when he is best, he is a little worse than a man; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast; an the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him.
Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right
casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to accept him.
Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket; for, if the devil be within, and that temptation without, I know he will choose it.
Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords; they have acquainted me with their determinations : which is, indeed, to return to their home, and to trouble you with no more suit: unless you may be won by some other sort than your father's imposition, depending on the caskets.
Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will: I am glad this parcel of wooers are so reasonable ; for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I pray heaven grant them a fair departure.
Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's time, a Venetian, a scholar, and a soldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat ?
Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio, as I think, so he was call’d.
Ner. True, madam; he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes look'd upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.
Por. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise.
Enter BALTHAZAR, L. Por. How now! what news ?
[Crosses to L. Bal. (L.) The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave; and there is a forerunner come from a fifth, the Prince of Morocco: who brings word, the prince, his master, will be here to-night.
Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach. Come, Nerissa.-Sirrah, go before.—Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.
SCENE III.-A Street in Venice.
Enter SHYLOCK and BASSANIO, R.
Buss. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
Shy. Antonio shall become bound-well.
Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me ? Shall I know your answer?
Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months, and Antonio bound.
Bass. Your answer to that.
Shy. Ho, no, no, no, no; my meaning, in saying he is a good man, is to have you understand me, that he is sufficient : yet his ineans are in supposition ; he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies ; I understand moreover upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England-and other ventures he hath, squander'd abroad : but ships are but boards, sailors but men : there be land rats, and water rats, water thieves, and land thieves ; I mean pirates; and then, there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks; the man is, notwithstanding, sufficient :-three thousand ducats ;-I think I may take his bond.
Bass. Be assur'd you may.
Shy. (R.) I will be assur'd I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me: [Nodding significantly] may I speak with Antonio ?
Bass. (c.) If it please you to dine with us.
Shy. (R. C.) Yes, to smell pork : to eat of the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into : I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you,
drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto ?-Who is he comes here? Bass. This is signior Antonio.
[Exit, L. Shy. (L. c.) [Pointing L.] How like a fawning pub
lican he looks!
On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,
Enter BASSANIO and ANTONIO, L.
[ Antonio stands L. Shy. (R.) I am debating of my present store ; And, by the near guess my memory, I cannot instantly raise up the gross Of full three thousand ducats : What of that? Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe, Will furnish me : but soft; how many months Do you desire ?-[To Antonio, affecting not to have seen
him before.] – Rest you fair, good Signior; Your worship was the last man in our mouths.
Ant. Shylock-(c.) albeit I neither lend nor borrow,
Shy. Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.
[To Bassanio. Well then your bond ;-[To Antonio.]-and let me see,
(C.)—but hear you ;
Ant. I do never use it.
Jacob from our holy Abraham was
Ant. And what of him ? did he take interest ?
Shy. No, not take interest; not, as you would say