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answered Ruggieri, from a desire of being enriched, but from your not having given the smallest testimony to my deserts in your service: nevertheless your excuse is valid, and I am ready to see the proof you mention, though I can easily believe you without it. The king conducted him to a hall, where he had already commanded two large caskets, shut close, to be placed: and before a large company told Ruggieri, that in one of them was contained his crown, sceptre, and all his jewels, and that the other was full of earth: choose which of them you like best, and then you will see that it is not I, but your fortune that has been ungrateful. Ruggieri chose one. It was found to be the casket full of earth. The king said to him with a smile, Now you may see, Ruggieri, that what I told you of Fortune is true; but for your sake, I will oppose her with all my strength. You have no intention, I am certain, to live in Spain; therefore I will offer you no preferment here, but that casket which Fortune denied you, shall be yours in despite of her: carry it with you into your own country, shew it to your friends, and neighbours, as my gift to you; and you have my permission to boast, that it is a reward of your virtues.
DUKE of Venice.
*Suitors to Portia.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Jus
tice, Jailer, Servants, and other Attendants.
SCENE, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont,
the Seat of Portia, on the Continent..
MERCHANT OF VENICE.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO.
Antonio. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad;
Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean;
Salan. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth, The better part of my affections would
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
My wind, cooling my broth,
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 Upon the fortune of this present year: Therefore, my merchandize makes me not sad.