Page images


You grow exceeding strange; Must it be so? Sal. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours. [Exeunt SAL. and SALA.

Lor. My lord Bassanio, since you have found An.


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 Anthonio;
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.

Anth. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano

A stage, where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.

Gra. Let me play the Fool:

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come;
And let my liver rather heat with wine,
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.
Why should a man, whose blood is warm within,
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?

Sleep when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice
By being peevish? I tell thee what, Anthonio,-

I love thee, and it is my love that speaks ;-
There are a sort of men, whose visages
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond :.
And do a wilful stillness entertain,
With purpose to be drest in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
As who should say, I am Sir Oracle,


[ocr errors]


And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!
O, my Anthonio, I do know of these,
That therefore only are reputed wise,
For saying nothing; who, I am very sure,


If they should speak, would almost damn those


Which, hearing them, would call their brothers, fools.

I'll tell thee more of this another time:

But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
For this fool's gudgeon, this opinion.—

Come, good Lorenzo:-Fare ye well, a while;
I'll end my exhortation after dinner.

Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinnertime.

I must be one of these same dumb wise men,

For Gratiano never lets me speak.


Gra. Well, keep me company but two years


Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own


Anth. Fare well: I'll grow a talker for this gear. Gra. Thanks, i'faith; for silence is only commend


In a neat's tongue dry'd, and a maid not vendible. [Exeunt GRA. and LOREN.

Anth. Is that any thing now!

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

[blocks in formation]

shall seek all day ere you find them; and, when you have them, they are not worth the search.


Anth. Well; tell me now, what lady is the same, To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,

That you to-day promis'd to tell me of?
Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Anthonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate,
By something shewing a more swelling port
Than my faint means would grant continuance ;
Nor do I now make moan to be abridg'd
From such a noble rate; but my chief care
Is, to come fairly off from the great debts,
Wherein my time, something too prodigal,
Hath left me gag'd: To you, Anthonio,
I owe the most, in money, and in love;
And from your love I have a warranty
To unburthen all my plots, and purposes,
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.


Anth. I pray you good Bassanio, let me know it; And, if it stand, as you yourself still do,

Within the eye of honour, be assur'd,


My purse, my person, my extremest means,

Lye all unlock'd to your occasions.

Bass. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,

I shot his fellow of the self-same flight

The self-same way, with more advised watch,
To find the other forth; and by advent'ring both,
I oft found both; I urge this childhood proof,
Because what follows is pure innocence.

I owe you much; and, like a wilful youth,
That which I owe is lost: but if you please
To shoot another arrow that self way

Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
As I will watch the aim, or to find both,
Or bring you latter hazard back again,

And thankfully rest debtor for the first.


Anth. 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 :
Then do but say to me what I should do,
That in your knowledge may by me be done,
And am I prest unto it; therefore, speak.
Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
· And she is fair, and fairer than that word,
Of wondrous virtues; sometimes from her eyes
I did receive fair speechless messages;
Her name is Portia; nothing undervalu'd
To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia.



Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth;
For the four winds blow in from every coast
Renowned suitors: and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;
Which makes her seat of Belmont, Colchos' strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.
O my Anthonio, had I but the means
To hold a rival place with one of them,

I have

I have a mind presages me such thrift,

That I should questionless be fortunate.

Anth. Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at

[ocr errors][merged small]

Nor have I money, nor commodity

To raise a present sum : Therefore go forth,
Try what my credit can in Venice do;
That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.
Go, presently inquire, and so will I,
Where money is ; -and I no question make,
To have it of my trust, or for my sake.

[ocr errors]




A Room in PORTIA's House at Belmont. Enter PORTIA


Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.


Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fɔrtunes 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.
Ner. They would be better, if well follow'd.



« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »