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Suitors to Portia.
ANTONIO, the Merchant of Venice.
BASSANIO, his Friend.
SALARINO Friends to Antonio and Bassanio.
Lorenzo, in love with Jessica.
SHYLOCK, a few.
TUBAL, a few, his Friend.
LAUNCELOT Gobbo, a Clown, Servant to Shy-

OLD GOBBO, Father to Launcelot.
SALERIO, a Messenger from Venice.
LEONARDO, Servant to Bassanio.
Portia, a rich Heiress.
NERISSA, her Waiting-maid.
JESSICA, Daughter to Shylock.

Servants to Portia.

Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court

of Justice, Jailer, Servants, and other Attendants.

SCENE, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont, the Seat of Portia, on the Continent.

The Merchant of Venice




NTONIO. In sooth, I know not why I am so



It wearies me; you say it wearies you; But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born, I am to learn; and such a want-wit sadness makes of

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 of 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,
Veiling 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 the thought
That such a thing bechanced would make me sad ?
But, tell not me; I know Antonio
Is sad to think upon his merchandise.

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 merchandise makes me not sad.

Salan. Why, then you are in love.

Fie, fie!
Salan. Not in love neither? Then let us 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 two-headed Janus,
Nature hath framed 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 kins


Gratiano and Lorenzo, fare you well;
We leave you now with better company.

Salar. I would have stayed till I had made you

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.
Bas. 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 ŚALANIO. 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.
Bas. 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 changed.

Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano,
A stage, where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.

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, Antonio,
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 dress'd in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,
As who should say, I am, sir, an oracle,
And when I ope my lips let no dog bark.

Oh, my Antonio, 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 ears
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 awhile;
I'll end my exhortation after dinner.

Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time.
I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
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.

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

able In a neat's tongue dried and a maid not vendible.

[Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO. Ant. Is that anything now?

Bas. 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 the same
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promised to tell me of?

Bas. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate
By something showing a more swelling port
Than my faint means would grant continuance:
Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
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 gaged. To you, Antonio,
I owe the most in money and in love;
And from your love I have a warranty

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