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Anth. Fy, fy!
Sola. Not in love neither! Then let's say you're sad, Because you are not merry; and 'cwere as easy For you to laugh and leap, and say, you're merry, Because you are not fad. 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 others of such vinegar-aspect, That they'll not thew their teeth in way of smile," Though Neftor swear the jest be laughable.
Enter BASSANIO, Lorenzo, and GRATIANO.'
Sal. Here comes Basanio, your most noble kinsman, Gratiano and Lorenzo. Fare ye well; We leave you now with better company.
Sola. I would have staid till I had made you merry; If worthier friends had not prevented me.
Anth. Your worth is very dear in my regard :
embrace th' occafion to depart.
Sal. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.
have in mind where we must meet. Bal. I will not fail you.. [Exeunt Solar. and Sala.
Gra. You look not well, signior Anthonio, You have too much respect upon the world ; They loose 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,
Gra. Let me play the fool.
* This is a very pleasant fignificant satirical rhapsody, rather difficult to speak with propriety, the ideas conveyed in it being obscure, and the file of expression peculiar.
And let my liver rather heat with wine,
Lor. Well, we will leave you then, 'till dinnerI must be one of these same dumb wise men ; [time. For Gratiano never lets me speak.
Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more, Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.
Anth. Farewel; I'll grow a talker for this gear.
mendable, In a neat's tongue dry'd, and a maid not vendible.
Exeunt Gra. and Loren. Anib. Is that any thing, now?
Baf. 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 buhels of chaff; you shall seek, all day, ere you find them, and when you have them, they are not worth the search.*
* Baffanio's remark of the grains of wheat and chaff, is compa&tly pregnant with just satire, upon all those who prace much 10 very little purpose,
Arch. Well, tell me now, what lady is the sames
Bil. 'Tis not unknown to you, Anthonio,
Anih. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
Bal. In my school days, when I had lost one shaft, I shoc his fellow, of the self same fight, The self-same way, with more advised watch, To find the other forth ; by, vent'ring both, I oft found both. I urge this childhood proof, Because what follows is
Anth. You know me well; and herein spend but To wind about my love with circumstance ; [time,
† Bassanio's method of opening his case to Anthonio, is modeftly sensible, well conceived, and pretcily worded,
I This ready and generous Atrecch of credit, to serve a friend, gives us a molt amiable idea of Anthonio's character, and leads on to the plot, agreeably.
The idea of shooting one arrow at random, to find another that has been loft, though bagish, is introduced here with'much care and propriety of application.
And out of doubt, you do me now more wrong,
Baj. In Belmont is a lady, richly left,
Anth. Thou know't, that all my fortunes are at Nor have I money, nor commodity,
[fea, To raise a present fum; therefore, go forth ; Try what my credit cap in Venice do ; That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermoft, To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia. Go, presently inquire, and fo will I, Where money is ; and I no question make, To have it of my truft, or for my
sake. (Exeunt. SCENE changes to PORTIA's House in Belmont.
A grand Saloon. Three Caskets are set out, one of Gold, another of Silver,
and another of Lead.
Enter Portia and NERISSA. Por. By my tro h, Nerila, my little body is weary of this great world.
Ner You wouid be, fweet madam, if your miseries were in the same abundance, as your good fortunes are; and yet, tor ought I see, they are as fick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with no
thing; therefore, it is no mean happiness to be seated in the mean. Superfuity comes fjoner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.
Por. Good sentences, and we l pronounc'd.
Por. If to do, were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had be·n churches, and poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. He is a good divine, that follows his own initructions; I can easier teach (wenty what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching. But this reasoning is not in fahion, to chuse me a husband. Ome, the word, chuse! I may neither chufe whom I would, nor refuse whoin idinike ; so is the will of a living daughter, curb’d by the will of a dead futher. Is it not hur?, Nerila, that I cannot chale one, nor refuse none?
Ner. Your father wa ever virtuous, and holy men, at their death, have goud inspirations : therefore the lottery that he hath devised, in these three chests of gold, filver, and lead, (whereof who chuses his meaning, chuses you) will no doubt never be chosen by any, rightly, but one who shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards
any of these princely suitors, that are alreidy come?
Por. I pray thee, over-name them, and as thounam'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 dolt, 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 hoe him, nimself; I am much afraid, my lady, his mother, play'd false with a finish.
Ner. Then, there is the count Palatine.
Por. He doth nothing but frown, as who should say, if you will not have me, chuse: he hears merry tales, and smiles not : I fear he will prove the weep. ing 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