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Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
Upon the fortune of this present year:
Therefore, my merchandise makes me not sad.
Salan. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you are sad, Because you are not merry: and 'twere as easy
For you to laugh, and leap, and say, you are merry,
Because you are not sad. Now, by the two-headed Janus,
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO.
Salan. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman, 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,
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 SALANIQ
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.
Gra. You look not well, signior Antonio;
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
Let me play the Fool:
Sleep when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond;
But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
Come, good Lorenzo: Fare ye well, a while;
Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time.
Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more,
Ant. Is that any thing now?
[Exeunt GRATIANO, and LORENZO,
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 promis'd to tell me of?
Bass. "Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate,
My purse, my person, my extremest means,
Bass. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaf
The self-same way, with more advised watch,
And thankfully rest debtor for the first.
Ant. You know me well, and herein spend 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:
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth;
Ant. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at sea:
To raise a present sum: therefore go forth,
SCENE II.-Belmont. A Room in PORTIA'S House.
Enter PORTIA, and NERISSA.
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 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 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 ?
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 Vene. tian, 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 was he called.
Ner. True, madam; he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.
Por. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise. How now! what news?
Enter a Servant.
Serv. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave: and there is a fore-runner 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. [Exeunt
SCENE III.-Venice. A public Place.
Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK.
Shy. Three thousand ducats,—well.
Bass. Ay, sir, for three months.
Shy. For three months,-well.
Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
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. Antonio is a good man.
Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?
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 means 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