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Duke of Venice.
LAUNCELOT GOBBO, a Clown.
Prince of Morocco, Suitors to OLD GOBBO, Father to Launcelot.
Prince of Arragon, Portia. SALERIO, a Messenger.
ANTONIO, the Merchant of Venice: LEONARDO, Servant to Bassanio.
BASSANIO, his Friend.
BALTHAZAR , Servants to Portia.
Friends to Antonio
PORTIA, a rich Heiress.
LORENZO, in love with Jessica. NERISSA, her Waiting-woman.
SHYLOCK, a Jew:
JESSICA, Daughter to Shylock.
TUBAL, a Jew, his Friend.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice, Jailors,
Servants, and other Attendants.
SCENE, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont.
ACT 1. SCENE I.
Venice. A Street.
Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO.
Ant. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.
It wearies me: you say, it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff 't is made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn ;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.
Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean,
There, where your argosies with portly sail,
Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood,
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea ,
Do overpeer the petty traffickers,
That curt'sy to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.
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
Plucking the grass to know where sits the wind,
Peering in maps for ports, and piers, and roads;
And every object that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt,
Would make me sad.
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 ihe thought,
That such a thing bechanc'd would make me sad?
But, tell not me: I know, Antonio
Is sad to think upon his merchandize.
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.
Salan. Why, then you are in love.
Salan. Not in love neither? Then let 's say, you are sad,
Because you are not merry; and 't were as easy
For you to laugh, and leap, and say, you are merry,
Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus,
Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time:
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes,
And laugh, like parrots, at a bag-piper;
And other of such vinegar aspect,
That they 'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
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 stay'd 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 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;
You have too much respect upon the world :
They lose it, that do buy it with much care.
Believe me, you are marvellously chang'd.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;